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Mentor inspires scholarship for young broadcasters

Media Release – Tuesday 26th February 2008

Mentor inspires scholarship for young broadcasters

A desire to acknowledge the people and country that gave them their start in the broadcasting industry has led two New Zealanders to establish a $13,000 radio scholarship to give young broadcasters the same opportunity.

The John Douglas Radio Scholarship offers assistance to promising students who otherwise may not pursue a career in radio due to financial barriers. It will be awarded to a Bachelor of Broadcasting Communications student at the New Zealand Broadcasting School at CPIT in Christchurch and will cover 90% of the fees for two years.

The benefactors of the scholarship, Bill Clemens and Peter Don, spent many years working in radio in New Zealand and around the world before establishing the successful Australian based media research and consultancy business Broadcast Programming & Research (BP&R) in 1984. Their choice of name for the scholarship is in recognition of the person they say had a major impact on their careers.

“John Douglas was a significant and highly respected influence in New Zealand radio over several decades. He contributed at all levels in the industry, mainly behind the scenes and particularly by identifying and fostering on-air and programming talent,” says Bill.

“Both Peter and I came through the ranks of New Zealand radio and John Douglas had a major impact on our progress. In naming this award after him we’re recognising one of the most influential and supportive people the industry has seen.”

John Douglas was among the industry members and academic staff at CPIT that considered the applications for the inaugural scholarship. Eighteen year old Holly Belcher from Fielding was selected as this year’s recipient and will begin her studies later this month.

“With this award we hope in a small way to emulate John's support for young broadcasters entering their career. We wish Holly all the very best for the course and her career,” says Bill

Personal Profiles

John Douglas
For over four decades John Douglas was an important influence on the development of New Zealand commercial radio. He rose from an entry level position to become Head of Commercial Network Programmes for the government-owned Radio New Zealand 23 commercial stations. In 1987 (circa) he was appointed General Manager of National Radio, where he established the daily news flagship ‘Morning Report’ which remains a top rating programme after three decades.

John helped found local radio Beach FM on the Kapiti Coast in the mid 1990s, and was its Programme Director at Paraparaumu Beach until his retirement in 2002.

He is a regular guest tutor on the history of New Zealand radio for the Bachelor of Broadcasting Communication degree at the New Zealand Broadcasting School.

Bill Clemens
Principal and Director of Broadcast Programming & Research.

Bill Clemens has been actively involved in radio since the beginning of the 1970's. His radio experience has involved programming and producing for many formats and markets, before branching into a more specialized focus on research applications for radio and television.

Bill was one the first people in the world to successfully recognise the importance of using listener research to direct the strategic programming of radio and television stations. He led the development of PC based research software applications for radio during the 1980's. This software became the basis for BPR Xplorer, which is now one of the most widely used radio research and programming software applications throughout Australasia and Europe.

Peter Don
Principal and Director of Broadcast Programming & Research.

Peter Don has a radio background covering 30 years as a Programme Director, General Manager and Consultant in a number of formats and markets.

Beginning in New Zealand as a music producer, Peter's later radio experience included producing talk radio programmes, writing and producing on air imaging and programming a range of stations including top 40, and full service radio. This was followed by a period as a National Programme Director and later General Manager before establishing Broadcast Programming & Research with partner Bill Clemens in 1984.


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