Jul 26 2012

Sparks Fly with International Award Win!

We recently caught up with Richie Lee from Spark FM (head of station sound), the community radio station based in Sunderland University, to talk about their recent win at the New York International Radio awards.

Congratulation on the win! Silver in Best Student based radio station in the world! Who were your biggest opposition for the award?

“The biggest opposition for the award was basically the rest of the community / student based radio stations in the world!”

Big task achieved!

What are the qualities of Spark FM that you think made you a winner?

The Trophy

“When people hear Spark we are often mistaken as a commercial or BBC Radio Station. We are in fact ran by over 40 volunteers and a management team. We run a in-house news service between 7AM – 6PM and a full schedule of Presenters who are from the university and the community.”

“Because we’re about making good radio and serving the community of Sunderland and not necessary about making money – we are able to do a lot of stuff that others aren’t able to.”

“We locked three presenters up in a cage in our City Centre Studios in a cage before Christmas as part of our charity event, raising money for ‘If U Care Share’ – We did full coverage on the Torch and followed it around Sunderland…”

“We play a track from a LOCAL NORTH EAST Band every hour on the half hour and have a whole show dedicated to local bands on a Sunday.”

What is next for Spark FM?

“We’re planning another big Charity Fun Raiser around Christmas Time. Spark TV is growing. Last weekend we covered the whole of the air show live on FM and TV – and we are working on becoming more multi platform.”

Station Director Fred Marden also said:

“When we launched in October 2009 and we set a target to win in New York within three years. We did it! But to win in the category of Best Station was more than we dared to dream. Our students, volunteers, staff and Sunderland have reason to be immensely proud.”

Sarah Harrison, former station manager of Spark FM also won Bronze in the student category for Best Documentary for ‘A Tale of Procrastination’ and,  Phil Dean who formerly presented Rock show The Takedown, won a finalist certificate in the documentary category for ‘The Zombie and You’.

In New York: Sarah Harrison – Former Station Manager and Richie Lee – Head of Station Sound & Presenter.

Specialist Shows run after 7pm every evening.
Monday’s – New Music
Tuesday’s Indie and Electro
Wednesday’s – Sport
Thursdays – Rock
Friday’s Dance

Sunderland International Airshow 2012 | On The Ground Coverage