APRIL 18, 2016, HOLLYWOOD, CA—Sideshow Mike Andersen, Triple M Imaging, Southern Cross Austereo in Sydney, Australia, captured the title of World’s Best Imager on Friday, April 15, 2016, at the All Access Worldwide Radio Summit at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Andersen took on three-time Iron Imager Champion Dan Kelly, Creative Services Director of WPLJ and NASH-FM New York, in the head-to-head live audio imaging competition presented annually by Benztown, an international radio imaging, production library, programming, jingles and voice-over services company.
Iron Imager is the first and only competition of its kind. Justin Case, Director of Programming and Imaging for Benztown, awarded the championship belt to Andersen at the Westwood One Awards Luncheon held on Friday, April 15, at 1:00 p.m.
Andersen and Kelly demonstrated their world-class imaging skills by producing a 60-second station ID on Thursday, April 14, for a format unannounced until the day of the live competition. This year’s format was Political Talk. The Iron Imager finalists used elements from one of Benztown’s 20 production libraries and an original script created by the Benztown team. Legendary voiceover talent, Joe Cipriano, emceed the Iron Imager competition.
Benztown is donating an honorarium to each of the four Iron Imager judges’ charities of choice. The “fifth” judge was the readers of Benztown’s imaging blog (http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/), who voted online.
Judges for 2016 Iron Imager were:
Pat Bohn, President at Bohn & Associates
Charity: Los Angeles Mission
Rick Cummings, President Programming at Emmis Communications
Charity: Butler University General Fund
Sean Galbraith, Imaging Producer at Z1035 Toronto / Energy 106 Winnipeg Evanov Radio Group
Charity: Canadian Red Cross Society
Jeff Berlin, Voice & Creative Services at Greater Media Boston
Charity: Doctors Without Borders
Benztown Imaging Blog Readers
Dave “Chachi” Denes, Benztown President, said: "I want to thank Dan and Sidey who are both remarkable talent for putting on an incredible show! Their participation helps raise the profile and the importance of imaging throughout the industry.”
Iron Imager 2016 Champion “Sideshow” Mike Andersen said: “It's been a pear-shaped adventure here in LA. One week of absolute rock n roll! The Benztown crew are the best of the best and I've enjoyed every minute. Dan Kelly is a legend. But I'm happy to be the guy that's de-throned the champ. My only regret was ripping my favourite jeans jumping over a fence to get to a rooftop pool at 5am. Cue Motley Crue's 'Kickstart my heart', fade to black.”
Dan Kelly, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Iron Imager Champion, said: “DAMNIT! Umm…I mean. Congrats to Sidey! Really great job from him under lots of pressure, a ticking clock and using somebody else’s ProTools system! Especially great job considering he’s Australian and knows next to nothing about American politics! He had quite a week in the USA! It’s been a lot of fun and an honor to hold the belt three years in a row. Iron Imager is a great contest, putting the spotlight on imaging and imaging guys…highlighting the crazy job we do. It’s a pressure-filled contest, but lots of fun! Huge thanks to Chachi, Andy, Masa, Chris, Justin, Kevin, Bonnie, Syd, Shane and everybody at Benztown for being such awesome people and good friends. They’re a special group. I guess I’m in Iron Retirement for now!”
Sideshow has been 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 has racked up a record 20 Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRA’s) for his production. In Australia, Sidey is also a well known vocieover 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.
Four-time challenger and native New Yorker, Dan Kelly, has been Creative Services Director for WPLJ, New York since 2002 and for Nash-FM 94-7, New York since its launch in 2013. Doing the imaging for both formats has been a gratifying experience for Dan, who uses the same principles to create fun and entertaining promos and sweepers for two different audiences, using different voice talent and different styles in his production. This summer marks Dan’s 23rd year in the radio business, which has taken him from stations near his home in the suburbs of New York City to Poughkeepsie, NY, White Plains, NY, Trenton, NJ, and Philadelphia, PA, in both on-air and production roles-- only to have the huge honor to come home to the legendary WPLJ in 2002. Dan’s professional focus is to make his imaging as fun and entertaining to listen to as possible without losing the message. His philosophy is “Less is more”. He also provides his voice to many television and radio clients.