50. Dave Evans – Star FM Gosford
Dave was still doing his HSC when he was hosting a breakfast show on community radio. He managed to pass his HSC then hose this industry to immerse himself into. He’s a gun Music Director and brings his shift to life in the morning on Star 104.5 in Gosford.
49. Aaron Rich – 101.9 Fox FM
Starting this career as a panel operator at SEN before busting Nova’s door down. Aaron has worked hard on his craft and the results speak for themselves as he effortlessly talks to callers on the air bringing the Fox brand to life during workdays.
48. Troy Ellis – Nova 100
Best know for his work on breakfast radio in Melbourne on the Matt and Jo show Troy has versatility in his bones which is why being a solo music jock now comes so easy to him.
47. James Turbo Anderson – Triple M
A guy that is no longer in the industry and its a huge loss. Turbo was an outside of the box thinker when it came to content surprising programming staff occasionally with his clever and unexpected radio antics.
46. Simon Diaz – Smooth FM
Simon secured his first job in the radio industry because he was willing enough to take a risk. Armed with a demo tape and a tank full of petrol Simon did a bit of a tour of regional Victoria and it payed off. You can hear the full story in The Air Heads Podcast that features Simon.
45. Bob Rogers
Over the years Bob has achieved a lot including putting the song “Pub with not beer” on the map. Bob only retired this week from the radio industry and will no doubt go down of one of the industries Stalwarts.
44. Ward Pally Austin
Ward Pally Austin was massive on the air in the 60’s and 70’s gaining popularity because of his unpredictable and wildly popular stints on a number of Sydney Radio Stations. The Jingles… Remember those Jingles?
43. Mike Perso (Smooth)
Mike Perso is a Triple threat… Breakfast announcer, Content Director and Solid days announcer. Mike really has done it all across various States and networks but the one thing that hasn’t changed is his work ethic.
42. Trevor Sinclair (2SM/ MIX)
He began his career in 1978 at the then most popular commercial music station in Sydney 2SM. With over 40 years in the games he’s certainly racked up the flying hours and is another versatile operator going between breakfast and solo announcing throughout his career.
41. Mike Hammond (WSFM)
Mike definitely doesn’t have a face for radio which is why he has been in between radio and TV for most of his career. Thing is it doesn’t matter what he does, he’s a carasmatic entertainer who delivers on any platform. That’s why he comes in at number 41.
40. Smallzy (Nova)
This guy! Number #1 in nights across the Country consistently and there’s a reason for that he continues to deliver a solid product. Not only does he hold down a number 1 night show but there was a while there where he was delivering a workday shift at the same time in his local market.
39. Rod Maldon (Triple M)
What a performer! Rod is the only guy I know that takes 2 hours to VT a 4 hour show. Why? Because he knows you still have to put in the effort. While most guys in radio have the mentality of knocking over a VT shift in 30 mins Rod is still in the studio making sure that every break is still as engaging as if the show was live.
38. Charlie Fox (2SM/WSFM)
Charlie landed is first gig at 2SM working with Ian Grace. He eventually ended up as the PD of Triple M Sydney and later WSFM. Behind every great programmer is an announcer that everyone wanted to sound like growing up! Charlie Fox was that announcer for a lot of people.
37. Nick Bennet (Fox FM/2Day FM)
4 decades is a long time in radio so as you can imagine his resume looks great! Triple M, Nova 969, WS FM, thebasement.com.au, FOX FM, 2DAY FM, 2CH, ABC, Hope 1032, The Voice of Peace and Radio Luxembourg. Globally and nationally syndicated shows include Talking Tales (with Jimmy Barnes), Qantas Rock on Q, The Big Backyard, The Rock 40 Countdown and The Beat.
He’s done everything – so I’m not surprised he’s made this list.
36. Brendan “whippy” Danger (Gold 104)
Now for the fella who’s passionate about music announcers – Why because that’s his back ground. While Whippy was On AIr at GOLD 104.3 no song would be left un-segued going into his shift. Whippy would not only sound great on the air but every single asset in his shift would be massaged to within an inch of it’s life.
35. Liam Renton (Brisbane 973 FM)
Liam Renton started as a solo jock on B105 in the late 90’s learning from Jamie Angel who was on mornings at the time. After 15 years of doing Breaky Shows around the country, Liam has found himself back on Solo Shifts for the last 2 years in Brisbane. His strength is his ability to relate to his audience male or female and the fact he adds a touch of showbiz to every single break.
34. Greg Evans
Everyone knows Greg Evans is one of the most popular wedding celebrants going around off the back of his days on The Perfect Match! All that had to start somewhere and it was right there between the speakers talking about the best rock classics on the radio.
33. Melissa Tracina (Nova 100)
Mel Started her radio career as Casanova before eventually landing a gig in Dubbo as a breakfast announcer. After a few years waking up before the sparrows Mel re-located back to Melbourne and got busy with a casual weekends role on 89.9 Light FM. Flying hours and some serious networking she landed a gig with Nova 100 and has never looked back!
32. Alo Baker
Alo reside in Dubbo now and heads up the Triple M Breakfast show. Solo breakfast is easy for Alo because he’s had a lot of practice as a music jock on his own. You may even hear him across the Hit net work from time to time – he can’t pull himself away from the music shifts. Jock of all trades.
31. Sarah Maree (Fox FM/ Triple M)
Relatable… That’s the word I think of when I think of Sarah Marie. She’s done stand up comedy, Breakfast radio and now holds down mornings on 105.1 Melbourne’s Triple M. Sarah is at her best when she’s talking to someone that’s why it’s rare to hear her un accompanied by either a listener or a piece of audio that helps inject color into everything she does.
30. Brad Wood (B105)
Work Horse… That’s the word I use to sum up Brad Wood. He just loves radio and is always finding ways to take his craft to the next level. Brad has got Zetta (The playout system) doing things that I don’t think even Zetta knew it could do.
29. Rob duckworth (Triple M)
Every one knows the name Rob “The Duck” Duckworth. He’s one of the living legends of the industry.
The “Duck” was once Canberra’s leading breakfast personality before moving to Sydney’s 2UW then 2SM. He hosted Drive time show on WSFM prior to that and at some point took his talents abroad with a National Breakfast show for Radio 2 in the United Arab Emirates broadcast out of Dubai.
28. Digby Gillings (Triple M)
Relaxed… That’s what you hear straight away when you tune into Triple M and Digby Gillings is on the radio. He’s like the Graceful swan works hard behind the scenes bringing it all together but what’s coming out of the speakers is a casual approach to a workday shift.
27. Toni Tenaglia (Gold 104)
Not only is Toni one of the best Music Directors this Country has ever seen but she’s super talented between the Speakers as well. Toni has an ability to meet the audience right were they are in the moment of any given day. Cleaning the house during COVID lockdown or picking the kids up from School Tony is right there with you.
26. Gordie Waters (Kiss FM)
We talk about announcers thinking outside the box! Well Gordie Waters broke the box open along time ago. Gordie does things on the air that makes you stop and think and say… “Why didn’t I think of that”? Simple yet so effective as you will hear in the Countdown.
25. Keegan Bakker (101.9 Fox FM)
Keegan “Keegs” Bakker has spent over 13 years in Commercial Radio, landing his first major on-air gig as a Fox FM Announcer at 21 years old. Keegs has since co-founded Audata, a software company which has taken the hard work out of collecting details from listeners and getting prizes out too them. Bless your cotton socks Keegs!
24. John Peters (3XY/ Triple M)
On 11 July 1980, Australia’s first commercial FM radio station, Eon FM, began broadcasting on 92.3 MHz, behind the microphone at the momentous occasion was John Peters. One of very few in radio that has those bragging rights.
23. Euan J Dixon (Triple M)
I’m a massive wrap for announcers that don’t pretend to be someone they are not on the air and Euan J Dixon was as real as they come. A really engaging Character on the air who drew you into the content he used to put between the songs.
22. Steve Woods (K-Rock)
So a good work day announcer is normally a jack of all trades and Steve Woods is no exception. He’s been a Content Director in his time, he’s written a book and he used to mix it with the best of them on the air which is why he is sitting at number 22 on this list.
21. Rob Elliott (101.9 The Fox)
Our number 21 spot goes to a bloke who clearly didn’t have a face for radio and switched codes if you like when Tony Barber retired from Wheel of Fortune. They all have to start somewhere right? and I’m sure radio has a special place in Rob’s Heart.
20. Jason Staverly (Gold 104.3)
So here’s a guy who belongs on the air. He’s not on the air anymore in fact works tirelessly behind the scenes making sure all of the music suits the brand on Gold 104. I know for a fact he loves getting back behind the microphone when given the opportunity and in this countdown you’ll hear why.
19. Craig Bruce
Craig has done so much for the Australian Radio industry and would probably cringe knowing he’s made this list. But let’s be honest you can’t ignore talent when you hear it. Craig went on to be one of the best programmers this country has seen and hosts the other industry podcast (the Game Changers Podcast) which you really need to check out if you have not already.
18. Chris “Becko” Beckhouse
Now for the bloke who fell into radio by accident. He reached out to Stan Zemanek’s producer requesting he come in a watch the show with his parents. Becko fell in love with radio, glad he did because he is one of radio’s good guys giving a lot of his time to up and coming talent too to make sure they are heading in the right direction.
17. Jaben Ryan (NOVA/ 2Day FM)
If you are a regular listener to the Air Heads Pod cast you would know that Jaben’s motto is – Never let the Truth get in the way of a good Job offer. When you get some time make sure you flick through the back catalogue and listen to Jaben’s Episode. It’s a very funny story which I’m sure he’s still dining out on to this day.
16. Steve Fitton (WSFM)
Radio these days is all about being real and authentic and that’s exactly what you get when you hear Steve Fitton on the air in Sydney. He’s always thinking outside the box to bring his craft to life. He’s the kind of announcer you hear do something and it’s so simple you find yourself saying “Why didn’t I think of that”?
15. Dave “Higgo” Higgins
I don’t actually think Higgo has ever pulled a music shift in his life. See with Higgo it’s all about the show biz and every shift that he is rostered on for he’s always performing in some way. Higgo leaves no resource untapped with his shows and you can hear that on the air.
14. John Vinny Vincent
Commencing his radio career at 2RE in Taree John Vincent did the regional map ending up in Adelaide. John was versatile and could swap between breakfast radio and solo announcing at the drop of a hat. Vinny was soon adopted by Adelaide and that’s where that great man retired.
13. Dangerous “Dave” Williams
If I was voting in this countdown then Dave Williams would be a lot higher on my list. I think it’s because he’s now the anchor of Kennedy Molloy that’s he’s not as well know for his work when he was a solo Jock! Dave Williams by far one of the very best.
12. Craig “Huggy” Huggins
I challenge you to find me someone who has spent longer in one radio station than Craig “Huggy” Huggins. Craig is not only one of the best announcers still rolling around today but one of the best blokes in the game too. Craig loves radio and gives his time generously to those who want to learn from him.
11. Tim Lee (The Fox)
Elite on the air but off the air he’s a game changer too with the Zetta Life Hack videos he has put into motion over the years. You wanna learn about the premiere radio playout system? Look no further than Tim Lee’s Youtube tutorials.
10. Ronnie Sparks or Ron E Sparks (Triple M/ WSFM)
Radio Royalty really is the only words I can use to describe Ronnie The “E” in his name “Ron E Sparks” apparently doesn’t stand for anything. It was originally added by Program Director Rod Muir, who thought that “Ronnie Sparx” sounded too immature, and wanted Sparks to transition gradually to using just “Ron” (which he has resisted doing).
9. Lee Simon (Eon FM/ Triple M)
Lee Simon first came to prominence between the speakers in Melbourne radio stations 3XY (from 1975) and EON FM from 1980). Lee also spent 8 years from 1977 as host of Night moves, claimed as Australia’s first night-time, for adults, music TV program.
Later in Lee’s career he saw the launch of Triple M Football as you currently hear it today.
8. Gavin Miller (Gold 104.3)
Gavin Miller has the best music knowledge in the industry. Every time you tune into GOLD 104.3 there’s a fact about an artist I didn’t know. He’s like the walking talk encyclopedia of music.
7. David “Daisy” Day (Triple M/ SAFM)
South Australia’s favorite son! Not only was Daisy one of Adelaide’s best kept secrets on the air but he was a great teacher of the craft too. Daisy invested in the Adelaide Media Training Centre with Kev Mulcahy and Mark Aiston selling it later to Sean Craig Murphy. David Day has since passed away and I’m sure the whole of South Australia can agree he is missed greatly.
6. Kevin Hillier (Melbourne)
When voting went out for the Air Heads Top 50 Music Jocks Kevin’s name came up a bit. Not only was Kevin a massive player in radio with the D Generation early in his career but he held down several music shifts over the years too. he’s one of those talents that could comfortably do any form of radio and be successful, a skill not not too many people are blessed with.
5. Ash London (Hit Network)
Authentic, real, inclusive, kind and outgoing all of the attributes that make up the ultimate radio personality. She’s the queen of new music in Australia and every night of the week she delivers a show that’s informative and engaging.
4. Jamie Angel (2 Day FM)
Top five was never in doubt for this guy. He’s got it all. Localism, Word Economy, Slick Panel skills and a ability to make a 12 second conversation with a caller on the air sound like it’s meant to be between your speakers. Jamie has floated between programming and On Air over the years but let’s be honest it’s clear where be belongs.
3. Ugly Phil O’Neil (Triple M)
When I first got into radio it was Ugly Phil that occupied my hours in the evening. Originally on the Hot 30 with his (then wife) Jackie O he was a personality that drew you in and I’m sure that I’m not alone in saying that he’s one of the reasons I chose the career path I did.
2. Sean Craig Murphy (SAFM)
Sean Craig Murphy is like a good bottle of wine. Get’s better with age! Over the Years Sean has been the voice of Adelaide across the board SAFM, Triple M, Mix 102.3 and The Australian Radio School (Formally Adelaide Media Training Centre). Sean’s ability to think outside the box and create is second to none which is why he comes in at number #2 in the Top 50 Solo Jocks.
- Barry Bissel (Fox FM/ Take 40 Australia)
Everyone in radio today grew up listening in Barry Bissel on Take 40 Australia. Every Sunday afternoon I would sit in my bedroom only dreaming about life behind the microphone. Turns out you can turn a dream into reality.