Spark's slice of global success in the Big Apple
Released: Thursday 21st June 2012 at 10:51
SUNDERLAND’S community radio station has been named ‘Best Student Radio Station in the World’ at a prestigious international awards ceremony in New York.
The team at 107 Spark FM “dared to dream” big when they received three nominations in two categories last month at the New York Radio Festival, which is now in its 55th year, recognising the best radio work internationally.
And last night the region’s student-driven station, based at the University of Sunderland, was named the ‘Best Student Radio Station in the World” at the event in New York, attended by four Spark representatives.
Programme Controller Ivan Lehane, Head of Station Sound Richie Lee and former Station Manager Sarah Harrison were thrilled to collect the award, recognising Spark internationally for its achievements.
But the accolades did not end there; Sarah went on to win Bronze in the student category for Best Documentary for ‘A Tale of Procrastination’ and Phil Dean, who formerly presented Rock show The Takedown, won a finalist certificate in the documentary category for ‘The Zombie and You’.
And to make the trip to the radio festival even more special, the Spark team broadcast their drive-time programme live from the Big Apple itself.
Station Director Fred Marden said: “When we launched in October 2009 and we set a target to win in New York within three years.
“We did it! But to win in the category of Best Station was more than we dared to dream. Our students, volunteers, staff and Sunderland have reason to be immensely proud today.”
The first New York Radio Festival awards took place back in 1957 and entries are judged by a panel of industry professionals who are themselves previous award winners.
Spark is a multi-award winning radio and television station, and magazine, which broadcasts from the David Puttnam Media Centre to Sunderland on 107FM, and to the North East and the world at www.sparksunderland.com
Since 2009, Spark has picked up a host of awards, including Best Station in the North East (Radio Academy Nations and Regions), and Best Community Engagement (Student Radio Association).
Most recently the team has won another three national student television awards to add to their cabinet.
Graeme Thompson, Dean of Arts, Design and Media at the University, said: “Congratulations! A wonderful tribute to the professionalism and talent of everyone involved in the Spark project."
For a full list of winners, log on to New York Radio Festival official website – http://bit.ly/MgqhF3.