LOS ANGELES, CA, APRIL 7, 2017—Benztown, a global leader in radio imaging, voiceover services, production libraries, programming, and jingles and one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S., today announced that Brad Leask, Network Imaging Producer, Nova Entertainment, Victoria, Australia, has been chosen as the finalist in the sixth annual Iron Imager Contest, an international radio imaging contest where production professionals compete for the coveted title of World’s Best Imager. Leask will face off against fellow countryman and Iron Imager 2016 titleholder, Sideshow Mike Andersen, Triple M Imaging, Southern Cross Austereo in Sydney, Australia, in a head-to-head live competition on Thursday, May 4, 2017, at the All Access Worldwide Radio Summit at the W Hollywood Hotel. Leask and Andersen will demonstrate their world-class imaging skills by producing an original imaging piece for a format unannounced until the day of the competition. Contestants will use elements from one of Benztown’s 20 production libraries, voiceover talent roster, and an original script created by the Benztown team. The 2017 Iron Imager will be declared and presented at 10:55 a.m. on Friday, May 5, in the General Session Room. Iron Imager is the first and only competition of its kind.
Brad Leask has been NOVA Entertainment’s Network Imaging Producer for the past three years. While undertaking an advanced Diploma of Sound Production at RMIT, Brad became part of NOVA Entertainment’s Internship Program. In February 2014, Brad joined that company as an Imaging Producer and within 12 months had developed his skills to take on his current role crafting the imagery for NOVA Entertainment’s Nova and smoothfm networks, Star 104.5 and FIVEaa.
Title defender Sideshow has been pushing buttons and writing great creative at Australia’s top rock station, Triple M in Sydney since 1995. He worked with breakfast team Andrew Denton and Amanda Keller in the 90s, before moving into the imaging slot. His style is a quirky mix of rock riffs and clever, subtle scripts. In his 20 years at Triple M he’s racked up a record 20 Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRA’s) for his production. In Australia, Sidey is also a well known voiceover artist, lending his voice to national campaigns for Qantas, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Mitsubishi, Energizer, Coca Cola, Universal Music, Warner Music, Sony Music, Virgin Mobile and many more, including being the station voice for TV networks Channel 7 and FX.
Dave “Chachi” Denes, Benztown President, said: "Andy and I have always been impressed with how great radio is in Australia. It’s amongst the most creative in the world. Sidey and Brad are both instrumental in the sound of their respective station groups and we’re honored to have them participate."
Andreas Sannemann, Benztown Chief Executive Officer, said: “I am excited to see two of the world’s best imagers fight for the belt. It will be an epic battle between a highly decorated imaging veteran known for countless awards, genius writing and creative skills and a youngster, who is really keen to win and is pushing the boundaries of what is possible technically in production these days. Let’s get ready to rumble!”
Iron Imager 2017 finalist Brad Leask said: “I am pinching myself. I’m extremely humbled to have my name in the same sentence as the imaging unit that is Sideshow. I still can’t believe I get to travel to L.A and take him on for the Iron Imager title.”
Sideshow “Sidey” Mike Andersen, 2016 Iron Imager, said: “Ha ha- I know Brad. He’s a top bloke. And he’s been taught by one of the best- Nova’s Matty Dower (my arch nemesis)… Needless to say, I’ve dropped a nugget in my pants. Game on, Brad!”
Benztown is a leading international radio imaging, production library, programming, jingles and voiceover services company with over 2,300 affiliations on six different continents. In 2016, Benztown was named to the prestigious Inc. 5000 by Inc. magazine for the fourth consecutive year as one of America’s Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies. With studios in Los Angeles, New York, and Stuttgart, Benztown offers the highest quality audio imaging workparts for 20 libraries across 13 music and spoken word formats including AC, Hot AC, CHR, Country, Urban, Rhythmic, Classic Hits, Rock, News/Talk, Sports, JACK, and Alien Imaging's AI-FX1 and AI-FX2 sound effects libraries. Benztown’s proprietary web-based imaging solution, Benztown Branding, is used daily by nearly 1,200 broadcast radio stations and digital services worldwide. Benztown provides custom VO and imaging across all formats, including commercial VO and copywriting. Benztown Radio Networks produces, markets and distributes high quality programming and services to radio stations around the world, including: The Todd ‘N’ Tyler Radio Empire, Hot Mix, Sunday Night Slow Jams with R Dub!, Remote News Service, Vipology, Mr. Master, Explicitly Old School With Sir Mix-A-Lot, Nessa On Air, Dawson McAllister Live and Flashback. For more information, visit www.benztown.com.