John Simons works as a Consultant for some of the biggest radio companies
around the world. He began his career in radio as a presenter over 35 years
ago and is now one of the leading experts in regional programming. His huge
contribution to the industry was recognised in 2004 when he won the Gold
Sony Programmer of the Year award.
John has been instrumental in the success of the Guardian Media Group (now
owned by Global Radio) brands and as Group Programme Director for 14
years, he led the on-air development of the group’s Real Radio, Real XS
(Classic Rock) and Smooth Radio stations.
Previously, John launched the hugely successful Century brand of stations
onto the airwaves. In 1997 he became Programme Director of national station
Talk Radio, delivering a record 2.8 million listeners. He then moved onto
London’s LBC and BBC Radio 2 before joining GMG Radio in 2000.
On presenting John with his Sony Radio Academy Award, the then Radio
Academy Chairman John Bradford summed up his professional style in a
nutshell: “The judges were particularly impressed by John Simon’s creation of
a truly distinctive style of commercial radio, his ability to attract personality led
broadcasters, to inspire them and to direct their work in an innovative and
imaginative way. In other words, to build demonstrable success within an
He has concluded two terms as a trustee of the Radio Academy, and has also
chaired the Radio Festival Committee and served on the Sony Radio
Academy Awards Committee as well as being a judge. He was honoured with
a Fellowship of the Radio Academy in 2006.