The students, after researching the commercial radio market, identified a perceived lack of talk radio aimed at 25-39-year-old young professionals. To fill this niche, they’ve created NEXT – a combination talk/indie AC station purpose-built to cover the issues that matter to this diverse group of Australians.
Head of Radio Fyona Smith applauded the students for finding a viable gap in the market.
“NEXT is radio for the podcast generation. A unique format for young Australians. This is a chance to hear and see the work of the next generation of podcast and radio talent, producers, and content makers,” Fyona said.
The station experience includes live and audio on-demand content covering news, current affairs, pop culture and entertainment. AFTRS Senior Lecturer Jess Campanaro said, “Radio students have worked extremely hard to uncover a great audio opportunity, combining the localism of live radio and the quick on-demand passion this target audience has for podcasting.”
NEXT will focus on creating content for listeners on the go, not just in the car but on their phones. NEXT will offer experiences beyond radio, from social media to web articles to three original on-demand podcasts. To this end, students used the skills they have learned this year to create the NEXT brand including the station’s art and imaging, website, social media content and of course the sound of the station itself.
iHeartRadio Australia Content Director Brett “Nozz” Nossiter said, “AFTRS always delivers the most hands-on, future-focussed training and we’re proud to be working with them on this dynamic new radio station. We are excited to offer a platform that empowers the students to share their stories on multiple devices, offers a real-world education on radio, and helps develop the next generation of radio and audio content producers.”
AFTRS Graduate Diploma in Radio students have been taught by industry professionals including Mark Daniel from Triple M; Natalie Peters, Sydney News Director and Breakfast newsreader for 2GB; Jennifer Goggin and Alex Mitchell from Podcast One; HIT Network’s Nic Kelly; Mitchell Coombs, digital producer for Kyle and Jackie O; Heidi Tiltens from NOVA; ABC Podcast Producer Karla Arnall; and podcaster and writer Talecia Vescio.
The Graduate Diploma in Radio course at AFTRS prepares students for the ever-evolving radio and podcast industry by providing hands-on, industry-focused learning. In a year rocked by COVID-19, AFTRS Radio students and staff have had to adapt rapidly to the changing circumstances.
NEXT Content Director Haylee Potts said, “One of the most exciting parts of NEXT is the opportunity to work and collaborate with our classmates in person. After doing two of our assessment broadcasts from home this year, it’s great to be live in the studios, making exciting new radio for Sydney’s young professional audience.”