Four Fellowships awarded at the 2023 Radio Academy Festival

The Radio Academy has awarded four new Fellowships at this year’s Festival – to Matt Deegan, Sheena Mason, Ray Paul and Nina Robinson.

Sheena Mason is Deputy Content Director, Magic Radio. Having worked in radio for more than 25 years, 15 of those years have been at Bauer Media running the main Magic station, while launching Mellow Magic, Magic Soul, Magic Chilled, and more recently Magic at the Musicals.

Sheena’s Fellowship was awarded by Bauer Media’s Chief Content and Music Officer, and The Radio Academy Fellow, Ben Cooper. Ben said: “A champion of her team and colleagues, Sheena is focussed on how she can support the team, especially new entrants into our business… She has also been one of the radio industry’s most important ambassadors to the music industry.”

Ray Paul is founder of The Playmaker Group. During his 20 year career at the BBC, he worked for a number of radio stations, running BBC London from 1997-2001 then setting up 1Xtra.

His Fellowship was awarded by DJ and broadcaster, DJ Spoony, who said:“Playmaker by name, and Playmaker by nature, this man has been making moves and creating world class radio for the past 30 years. His name has taken on legendary status within broadcasting and Black music circles as the man who signed and developed a number of leading broadcasters, producers and DJs.”

Nina Robinson is CEO of Soundtruism, a media production company specialising in factual narrative podcasts, based in Birmingham, West Midlands. The company specialises in podcast production, training and consultancy, and organises the annual Birmingham Podcast Festival.

Nina’s Fellowship was awarded in a video address by actor and broadcaster Sir Lenny Henry, who said: “Nina is a trailblazer. A multi-award winner… But at the heart of all this tremendous work… is using audio to tell incredibly powerful stories and empowering people to use audio to tell their own stories – for the benefit of themselves and their communities.”

Matt Deegan is Director of Folder Media and Podcast Discovery. He also co-created the MuxCo network of digital radio multiplexes and Fun Kids.

His fellowship was awarded by The Radio Academy’s Deputy Chair Nick Pitts, who said: “There are a number of exceptionally talented creatives working in audio and there are also an equal number of gifted technical wizards – but very few excel at both – and our new fellow certainly does that.”

Citing Matt’s entrepreneurial spirit, Nick added: “Today he is recognised as one of the UK’s foremost commentators on audio and radio.”

The Fellowships are usually presented once a year at The Radio Academy Festival. Returning to the Royal College of Physicians in London for a second year, this year’s Festival centred around the theme of “Sound Connections”. Across three stages of discussions, the audio industry came together for a day of debate, entertainment, inspiration and networking.

Catch up videos from the event will available on The Radio Academy website.