Issue 9
Monday, 02 November 2020
Charles Darwin University
1041 Territory FM Station Manager Matt Bern celebrates 10 years as Drive presenter
1041 Territory FM Station Manager Matt Bern celebrates 10 years as Drive presenter

Radio presenter hits professional milestone

By Patrick Nelson

Territory FM radio personality Matthew Bernasconi will celebrate his 10th anniversary as the presenter of the Drive program on Monday.

The occasion has given him pause to reflect on the decade, which he said had passed in a flash.

“I’m amazed at how quickly it has gone,” he said. “Every day is different and full of surprises, and every day I learn something new.”

Matt Bern, as he prefers to be known, had worked at radio stations in Perth, Melbourne and Wollongong before finding his way to Darwin in 2010.

“We had family in the Top End, and I was ready for a lifestyle change,” he said. “I’d done 15 years of mainstream radio, which had taken its toll. After a few weeks in Darwin, Territory FM offered me some fill-in work and I’ve never left.”

Mr Bernasconi worked first as a volunteer and then casually before being offered a job as producer-announcer in 2010. He became program director / music director role in 2013 and station manager in 2015. 

“I’ve interviewed some of the ‘coolest people’,” he said.” A few that come to mind are the rock legends Barnsey, The Superjesus and the Baby Animals. I’ve also interviewed Elmo the Muppet, ventriloquist David Strassman, voice artist Michael Winslow (from the Policy Academy movies) and a couple of our chief ministers.”

He estimated he has played more than 33,000 songs on Drive, including his favourite, the 1983 Dragon song “Rain”, which will be on the playlist for Monday’s program. 

“I’m very happy with where we sit in Darwin’s radio market,” he said. “As a not-for-profit community radio station, we are strong, stable and our audience continues to grow every year. I think that’s a reflection of our commitment to work hard to understand and communicate what our demographic wants and needs.

Mr Bernasconi said he was grateful for the support from Charles Darwin University, which has held the station’s radio licence for almost 40 years.