American rapper Jay-Z said “men lie, women lie, numbers don’t”. That statement may be true for this year’s MTN Radio Awards.

The awards were trending on Twitter for four days, they were filmed by six TV programmes, received more than 800 entries, awarded over 100 winners and hosted 1 000 guests at the gala awards. It’s pretty obvious that doing it big is the awards’ style – and next year should be no different.

Announced at a launch last week, the 2013 MTN Radio Awards promise to be bigger and louder.

For starters, the cellphone network has signed on to sponsor the awards that kicked off in 2010 for another three years, ensuring that excellence in radio would be awarded at least until 2016.

For next year, the awards that concentrate on commercial and community radio stations are running with a theme that simply says: Always On.

Lance Rothschild, who is the chief executive of the MTN Radio Awards, says, “We’ve gone with ‘Always On’ because radio is always there when you need it. It is usually the first to break news and with info. It’s your constant companion.”

The awards aim to “foster and promote incredible and awesome radio”, says Rothschild, “and acknowledge the people who make sure the radio is kept on”.

Presenters, producers and the stations can enter various categories and those in the radio industry are encouraged to enter six-minute clips.

Among a host of reputable adju- dicators that have either worked in or are working in the radio industry, Rothschild is the only judge that has to listen to every single entry. “But I love radio,” he protests, “so it’s not like listening is a chore.”

The other adjudicators are allocated various sections of the categories. The entries are judged according to criteria that include the following boxes that need to be ticked: creativity, value to the listener, presentation and production.

To promote excellence in radio beyond awards season, Rothschild and his team have helped to develop a programme that radio stations can use.

“It’s in the format of the awards. It helps to run an internal system and to create a library of work that makes it easier to focus on excel- lence internally and also to get ready to submit for the awards.”

This will, no doubt, improve the radio industry. So, you see, The Buggles were wrong, video most certainly did not kill the radio star.

• Entries for the 2013 MTN Radio Awards are now open and close on February 5. Visit for more information.