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Sony pulls Sony Awards sponsorship after 32 years

By | Published on Tuesday 13 August 2013

Sony Radio Academy Awards

Well, this is awkward. Sony has withdrawn its sponsorship of the Sony Awards after 32 years. So this is probably a good time to remind you that the UK radio industry’s big annual bash is actually called the Sony Radio Academy Awards. You never won a “Sony” my friend, that there is an “Academy”, OK?

The Radio Academy has announced that its annual awards ceremony will go by the name of The Radio Academy Awards for the time being, but promises to announce a new sponsor in the near future. So that’s fun.

Current Chairman of the Radio Academy, Ben Cooper said: “The Radio Academy would like to thank Sony for their magnificent 32 year support of what has become the UK’s gold standard radio awards. The Radio Academy Awards will continue to celebrate the very best of the UK radio industry, but the media landscape has changed radically from when the awards first launched in the 1980s offering the Academy great potential for some exciting new partnerships and ideas”.

Sony UK & Ireland’s Chris Bowen added: “Sony has enjoyed a long and successful partnership with the Radio Academy Awards for over 30 years, achieving huge recognition and respect within the British radio industry during that period. The awards ceremony itself has become an outstanding event showcasing the best radio talent on the air. It is now time for Sony to move on and focus on other areas of the business. We wish The Radio Academy every success and we are delighted to have played our part in making these awards the most credible radio awards, not only in the UK, but worldwide”.

So that’s all very positively spun. The Sony Radio Academy Awards launched in 1983 and has grown to become one of radio’s most prestigious awards ceremonies – even if commercial radio types can often be heard to gripe “well, if we had their budgets” when yet another BBC bod picks up a prize. BBC Radio 4 has been particularly successful over the awards’ history, picking up almost 200 since 1983, over a hundred more than its nearest competitor, BBC Radio 1.