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AFTRS Radio Students are Live on the Air for Pop-up Station ‘Next’ on iHeartRadio

2021 Graduate Diploma in Radio Students

AFTRS’ Graduate Diploma in Radio and Podcasting students are proud to launch their fourth and final pop-up station for 2021, NEXT, which is broadcasting live nationally on ARN’s iHeartRadio app and via the NEXT website over the next two weeks.

After researching the commercial radio market, the students identified a perceived lack of programming specifically targeting 18-24-year-olds and in Western Sydney. NEXT is a youth, music and talk station.

In a year rocked again by COVID-19, AFTRS’ Radio and Podcasting students and teaching team have had to adapt rapidly to the changing circumstances.

Head of Radio Fyona Smith praised students for finding a viable gap in the highly competitive Sydney market and acknowledged they are looking forward to being back in AFTRS state-of-the-art studios. “NEXT is radio for the podcast and TikTok generation. This is a chance to hear a viable youth talk format for the next generation, a demo often overlooked for talk formats. Young people of Western Sydney are passionate about issues affecting their region, celebrating culture and identity”, Fyona said.

The station experience includes live and audio-on-demand content with a focus on rap, hip-hop and urban music with Western Sydney’s music scene producing high-quality artists.

Content Directors Erielle Sudario and Charlie Meller said, “NEXT is a station for youth. It is social and online. We’re excited to create a place where the young people of Western Sydney can have their voices heard. It’s a great opportunity to see some positive representation for those who live in the area. So often we see negative portrayals of such a beautiful and diverse part of our city.”

NEXT will focus on creating content for listeners on the go. “Our listeners aren’t just in the car, they’re on their phones, and online. NEXT offers a radio experience that extends beyond the broadcast. With extensive digital and social media content, as well as multiple podcasts and on-demand listening options, NEXT is a station of the modern era,” Charlie said.

The broadcast is the culmination of the student’s year developing all the skills involved in crafting a stations 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-focused 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 and Podcasting students will be air checked by industry professionals including:

Blair Woodcock, Head of Content, Regional, SCA;
Ryan Rathbone, Group Content Director, Grant Broadcasters;
Duncan Potts, Content Director Inland NSW Hit/MMM;
Barry Keohane, Regional Content Director, Grant Broadcasters;
Shayne Sinclair, Program Director, Nova Entertainment;
Sian Gard Chief of Staff ABC Central Victoria;
Natalie Peters, News Director, Nine Radio Sydney, and
Jase Allen, Group Content Director, Newcastle, SCA.

AFTRS’ Graduate Diploma in Radio and Podcasting prepares students for the ever-evolving radio and podcast industry by providing industry-focused learning designed to launch careers.

NEXT will broadcast live on iHeartRadio from 25 October to 6 November. Listen on iHeartRadio.com or on the free iHeartRadio app.