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....and The Contender is......

LOS ANGELES, CA, March 4, 2019 —Benztown, a global leader in radio imaging, voiceover services, production libraries, programming and jingles, announced that Brendan (“BT”) Tacey, Head of Production, Triple M Network, Southern Cross Austereo in Melbourne, Australia, has been selected as the finalist in the 8th Annual Iron Imager Contest, the international radio imaging contest where audio production professionals compete for the title of World’s Best Imager. Current Iron Imager Champion Sam Wickens, Assistant Audio Producer for Capital FM in London, will face off against BT in a head-to-head live competition at WWRS 2019 on March 27-29 at Castaway in Burbank, CA, the Media Capital of the World. Iron Imager is the first and only competition of its kind.

Sam and BT will demonstrate their world-class imaging skills by producing an original imaging piece for a format unannounced until the day of the competition. Contestants will use elements from one of Benztown’s 23 production libraries, voiceover talent roster, paired with a script from the Benztown team.

Iron Imager 2018 Champion Sam Wickens, 27, is Assistant Audio Producer for Capital FM in London. He took home his first Iron Imager title last year. After graduating with an audio production degree at University, Wickens’ career started with a letter to Capital in 2016 – where he landed an internship and then a job the following year with the UK’s #1 Hit Music station. Wickens works from Capital’s Leicester Square office in London, creating imaging every day for Capital's 8 million listeners. He also handles projects for Capital XTRA and Radio X. Wickens also has experience working backstage at Capital’s Summertime Ball and Jingle Bell Ball concerts at Wembley Stadium and the O2. To hear some of Wickens’ work, visit: https://soundcloud.com/spwickens.

Challenger Brendan “BT” Tacey, is Head of Production for Southern Cross Austereo’s Triple M Network in Melbourne, Australia, a position he has held for the last 10 years. He was previously a longstanding Imaging Producer on what was formerly The Today Network, and has worked in the UK for GWR/Capital.

Benztown also recognized Iron Imager semi-finalists in this year’s competition. Those high-performing semi-finalists are: 1st Runner-Up: Jonathan Young, Capital FM/London; 2nd Runner-Up: Chris Longman, Capital FM/London; Honorable Mention: Ilya Myagkov, Europa Plus/Moscow; Honorable Mention: Mikel Vilchez, Flaix FM/Barcelona; Honorable Mention: Alban Rivoal, Fun Radio/France.

Andreas Sannemann, Benztown Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are thrilled to have Brendan Tacey, one of Ozzi’s imaging legends and a longtime friend of mine, come to L.A. to repeat the battle of UK vs. Australia. The competition will pit more than 20 years of experience and creativity against the braveness and speed of one of the most talented imaging guns in the business. This will be a battle every imaging director will look forward to. May the better man win!”

Dave “Chachi” Denes, Benztown President, said: “I believe that all great stations sound different and that’s a key ingredient to their success. The semifinalists epitomized that mantra and produced some of the most creative imaging I’ve ever heard. Selecting just one challenger was exceptionally difficult, but ultimately, it was BT’s comedic chops that won the day. On March 28th we will see if he can withstand the pressure of only having 60 minutes to produce a great promo while going head-to-head against the formidable reigning champ, Sam Wickens!”

Brendan “BT” Tacey said: “Because the Poms are known for knocking back a few pints of ale and smashing a late night dodgy butter chicken curry, I plan to do my best in loading Mr. Wickens up on both the night before, in the hope it just may give me an edge over him during the contest.”

Sam Wickens, 2018 Iron Imager, said: "Brendan's radio imaging experience speaks for itself. I've heard his work before and it's clear he's a very creative producer with a lot of talent. It's gonna be amazing to face someone who's been doing this for so long! I can't wait to meet him and compete."