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NZ not-for-profit wins big at international radio awards

New Zealand not-for-profit wins big at international radio awards

A small New Zealand not-for-profit trust has just won four prestigious New York Festivals Worlds Best Radio Programs™ awards including Best Talk/Interview Special for their innovative Christmas radio special, Newstalk BC. Christian Broadcasting Association (CBA) was awarded two golds and two silvers last night (23rd June) in Manhattan, New York where the competition included some of the largest radio companies from more than 30 countries.

The winning entry, Newstalk BC, was broadcast last Christmas morning on Newstalk ZB. Newstalk BC transported listeners back in time to Jerusalem in 1BC. It was an hour of 'talkback' on the very first Christmas morning, except nobody is aware of the significance of the day. The talk was topical including the strange light in the sky, Caesar selling 49% of the publicly owned aqueduct and frustrations arising from the Roman census. In a tense and oppressive political landscape, amid conjecture of a foretold liberator, talkback host, Mordechai „Mordy Lehmann, investigates the claim of a new king being born in Judea.

Managing Trustee of CBA, Phil Guyan, says “Im incredibly proud that were able to use our limited resources and some classic kiwi ingenuity to compete on the world stage. We used a back office in industrial Penrose and built a blanket-fort-sound-booth with a couch and cushions, and here we are winning gold and silver. Its gratifying to know that the quality of our product can compete with the likes of the BBC and ESPN."

CBAs level of success in New York has never been achieved by a New Zealand broadcaster before. When news broke that Newstalk BC was the most nominated programme in the 2014 awards, Dallas Gurney, General Manager at Newstalk ZB stated, “It appears to be unprecedented and a true tribute to the world-class broadcasting CBA creates every week."

“We had the chance to work with some incredible people for Newstalk BC,” says Pat Brittenden who played talkback host Mordechai Lehmann, “we roped in 40 different voices for this production, from high profile amateurs like the Prime Minister and Sir Peter Leitch to some of the most respected actors in New Zealand such as Ian Mune and Mark Hadlow. None of those „guests were actually paid, but they all leapt at the chance to be part of our little on-air nativity play."

Over the decades, CBA has drawn on the talents of kiwi media personalities such as John Hawkesby, Rob Harley and Petra Bagust. CBA has been providing top quality content for radio stations across New Zealand since its first broadcast from aboard the “Tiri” in the Hauraki Gulf in 1968.

To listen to the winning entry visit

Silver Radio Winner - Best Performance by an Actor (Pat Brittenden) Newstalk BC Gold Radio Winner - Best Talk/Interview Special (Phil Guyan, Pat Brittenden, Josh Couch, Phil Yule) Gold Radio Winner - Best Director (Phil Guyan, Pat Brittenden, Josh Couch) Silver Radio Winner - Religious Programs (Phil Guyan, Pat Brittenden, Josh Couch)

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