Radio Today’s Top 50 Most Influential People in Australian Radio in 2018
Here are the Top 50 Most Influential People in Australian Radio in 2018.
Radio Today‘s latest list features the men and women who help shape the fortunes of the Australian radio industry and wield considerable influence over listeners, advertisers, and their respective companies.
This new list is our biggest and most comprehensive to date, and includes management, senior executives, directors, programmers, and moguls who have influenced the airwaves, and the business of radio, in 2018.
It does not include on-air talent, who will be given the spotlight with their own list in the coming weeks.
Factors including market size, reach of stations and networks have been taken into account, as well as the longevity, ratings success, revenue, profitability, each person’s profile and their overall influence within the media industry.
In compiling the list, Radio Today also looked at each station’s format to gauge market competitiveness – this remains a major factor in determining the final result, months in the making.
Every name listed here plays a key role in the industry. They set the standards and help shape and influence Australian culture through the powerful medium of radio.
1. Mitch Fifield – Minister of Communications
Fifield has conducted a review into cross media ownership in his tenure with the Communications portfolio. He has retained his position following new Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s recent Cabinet reshuffle.
2. Lachlan Murdoch – Executive Chairman & Owner NOVA Entertainment
The media heir and businessman is the man behind NOVA Entertainment, includes the Nova and Smooth networks. He is also the Executive Co-Chairman of News Corp.
3. Cathy O’Connor – CEO NOVA Entertainment
The longest-serving and most successful CEO of any metro radio group, Cathy has been at the helm of Nova/DMG for over 13 years now.
4. Michelle Guthrie – Managing Director ABC
The ABC has the biggest radio market share in Australia, and includes Radio National, triple j, Classic FM, News Radio, Local Radio and a series of DAB+ stations. The ABC is also the home of Australia’s most downloaded podcasts.
5. Grant Blackley – CEO & Managing Director Southern Cross Austereo
The former CEO of the Ten network, he has been in the role at SCA since 2015, and oversees the fortunes of Australia’s biggest radio group.
6. Ciaran Davis – CEO HT&E
HT&E are the owners of ARN’s radio and digital assets. Davis has received the coveted CEO of the Year award and is recognised as the key person behind ARN’s Sydney turnaround in recent years.
7. Adam Lang – CEO Macquarie Media
Lang oversees the Macquarie network including 2GB, 3AW, 2UE. Formerly from Southern Cross Austereo, he watches over one of the leading line-ups of talk radio talent in the country.
8. Michael Mason – Director ABC Radio
Mason oversees all ABC radio around Australia, he has more than 25 years experience in commercial and public radio and television. A former Group Program Director of the ABC.
9. Joan Warner – CEO Commercial Radio Australia
Head of the national industry body representing Australia’s commercial radio broadcasters, Warner is one of the most influential women in the radio industry.
10. Rob Atkinson – CEO Australian Radio Network
The former sales director of Bauer Media and CEO of Bauers magazine division, Atkinson now leads the strategic direction of ARN (which includes the KIIS and Pure Gold networks), as well as leading positions in digital and content integration.
11. Peter Bush – Chairman Southern Cross Austereo
Appointed to the Chair of SCA in 2015, Bush was formerly a Director and Board Member at Nine Entertainment and a former CEO of McDonalds Australia.
12. Robert Kaye – Interim Chairman HT&E
Kaye currently holds the role of Interim Chairman at HT&E; owners of ARN, following the departure of Peter Cosgrove earlier this year.
13. Russell Tate – Chairman Macquarie Media Network
Is at the helm of the merged Macquarie Radio / Fairfax radio group which includes stations 2GB, 2UE, 3AW, 2CH and Magic. The largest commercial talk radio network in Australia.
14. Paul Jackson – Group Program Director NOVA Entertainment
Oversees the content of the successful Nova and Smooth brands, with big upturns in the most recent ratings survey across Sydney and Melbourne. He was previously at Global Radio and Virgin Radio.
15. Guy Dobson – Chief Creative Officer Southern Cross Austereo
Has been with Austereo since 2005, and oversees the programming, content and talent on the Hit and Triple M Networks in metro and regional.
16. Chris Scaddan – Head of Music & Creative Development ABC
Looks after the music programming for the national broadcaster, this includes triple j which now tops the ratings in many metro and regional markets, plus Classic FM, Double J, triple j Unearthed, ABC Jazz and ABC Country.
17. Duncan Campbell – Group Content Director Australian Radio Network
The man responsible for ARN’s ratings, Campbell has been overseeing the content on the KIIS and Pure Gold networks for almost a decade now.
18. Dave Cameron – General Manager Melbourne & Head of National Shows/New Talent Development SCA
He programmed FOX during its most successful period, and now manages daily operations of Southern Cross Austereo Melbourne, including national talent development unit and digital radio strategy.
19. Mike Fitzpatrick – Content Director Triple M Network
Behind the success of Triple M Melbourne and the Triple M network in general in recent years. Fitzpatrick heads up audio and digital content creation; talent recruitment, development and coaching, as well as music and format strategy.
20. Ollie Wards – National Content Director triple j
Wards started out at triple j in 2010 and oversees triple j’s brand and content, Hack news/current affairs, strategy for content distribution, and on-air development. Recently departed on 12 months sabbatical, with former Head of Unearthed Lachlan Macara stepping into the role.
21. Jeremy Millar – Senior Strategist ABC
Millar joined the ABC from commercial radio and after running ABC Sydney, managed the ABC’s capital-city Local stations. More recently he moved into ABC Strategy working on longer-term planning for all ABC radio in a rapidly changing media environment.
22. Louise Higgins – Chief Operating Financial Officer ABC
Higgins is responsible for providing strategic leadership and oversight of the following ABC functions and frameworks; ABC Commercial, finance & operations, legal, business transformation & more.
23. Siobhan McKenna – Managing Partner of Lachlan Murdoch’s Illyria
Illyria owns NOVA Entertainment’s Nova and Smooth networks. She is a key part of Lachlan Murdoch’s management team.
24. John Kelly – Chief Operating Officer Southern Cross Austereo
Joining Southern Cross Austereo in 2016, John looks after SCA’s highly diverse and successful set of media assets across the Australian geographic and demographic footprint.
25. Gemma Fordham – Head of Content Hit Network
Fordham looks after talent, content and programming for 2DayFM, Fox FM and the Hit Network. A former EP she was previously Group Content Director at NZME.
26. Mickey Maher – Group Regional Content Director Southern Cross Austereo
With over 20 years at SCA, Maher oversees the content of 68 regional radio stations around Australia. His responsibilities include the recruitment and development content teams including on-air talent, and driving successful strategies for SCA brands.
27. Janet Cameron/Alison, Grant & Dugald Cameron – Grant Broadcasters
Grant Broadcasters are regional radio pioneers in Australia, operating more than 70 regional radio stations across Australia and the Radio Sales Network. This year Alison Cameron assumed the role of CEO with Janet Cameron remaining as Chairman of the Group.
28. Kevin Blyton – Chairman/Owner Capital Radio Group.
Capital owns and operates regional radio stations across NSW, WA and Victoria. An inductee into the Australian Commercial Radio Hall of Fame.
29. Derek Bargwanna – Content Director KIIS Network
Heads up the programming of ARN’s KIIS Sydney and KIIS Melbourne. One of the key people behind Kyle and Jackie O’s success both at ARN and SCA.
30. Jay Walkerden – Head of Podcasting, Brisbane Program Director & Market Lead NOVA Entertainment
Not only content director of Nova 106.9 Brisbane, but also NOVA’s first head of podcasting. He was previously at MCM and Global Media in the UK.
31. John Singleton – Shareholder & Owner Macquarie Media Network
Owner of 2UE, 2GB, 3AW under the MMN banner. He is a major shareholder of the merged entity, which controls the leading commercial talk radio stations in Australia.
32. Michael Harvey – COO & CFO Australian Radio Network
Was previously CFO at ARN and has been a Director of Commercial Radio Australia and CEO of Fox Studios.
33. Scott Muller – Content Director WSFM
Vastly experienced programmer Scott Muller took over duties at ARN’s WSFM in 2018. The widely respected programming consultant and talent coach famously took Nova 96.9 to its first ever #1 position.
34. Rowly Paterson / Judy Paterson – Executive Directors ACE Radio Network
At the helm of Victorian broadcaster ACE Radio Network, which includes 17 regional radio stations and one newspaper.
35. Adrian Brine – Content Director Fox FM
Brine is in charge of content and talent at leading Melbourne FM station SCA’s Fox FM. Also oversees SCA’s new talent development business unit.
36. Jamie Angel – Content Director Triple M Sydney
Now in his 26th year at SCA, Angel has overseen significant on-air changes this year to Triple M’s Sydney lineup. Previously has been a successful CD at 2DayFM, FoxFM and B105.
37. Grant Tothill – Head of Podcasting Southern Cross Austereo
Former Triple M PD, Tothill returned to SCA in 2010 and held various partnerships roles before becoming SCA Head of Podcasting in 2016. Launched PodcastOne Australia last year.
=38. Tony Thomas – Chief Marketing and Digital Officer
With vast experience working across brands including Pepsi, Gatorade, Nine MSN, and Coles, Thomas joined NOVA in 2010 and last year oversaw the company’s biggest ever Nova Network brand refresh since its launch in 2001.
=38. Anthony Xydis – Chief Marketing Officer Australian Radio Network
Xydis is responsible for responsible for leading the brand activation, marketing and communications function nationally for ARN. Significantly he led the marketing strategy for the launch of KIIS 106.5 and subsequent rollout of the KIIS National Network.
39. Bruno Bouchet – Executive Producer KIIS 106.5 Breakfast
Bruno produces the Kyle and Jackie O show on KIIS 106.5 Breakfast. The duo’s record speaks for itself, with over a decade as a duo.
40. Brendan Taylor – Group Program Operations Director NOVA Entertainment
Taylor has worked at NOVA for a decade and moved from the role of Nova 96.9 PD to Group Program Operations Director in 2015.
41. Peter Charlton – Chief Commercial Officer NOVA Entertainment
Oversees NOVA’s sales teams across the country, Peter joined the company from Adshel in 2012; having previously worked at Capital Radio in London. Currently acting CEO, as of September 2018.
42. Leon Sjogren – Executive Producer Fox FM Breakfast
After spending time producing Dan and Maz on 2DayFM, and later Merrick and Australia on Triple M Sydney, Sjogren joined Fox FM Breakfast in 2017. His tenure has seen Fifi, Fev and Byron remain top of the tree on Melbourne Breakfast.
43. Natasha Jobson – Metro News Operations Manager Southern Cross Austereo
Previously in the role of Brisbane News Director, Natasha has been elevated for her current role in 2017. Ensures the efficient running of SCA’s Metro newsrooms, as well as training and development of staff across key brands Hit Network and Triple M Network.
43. Kellie Riordan – Manager ABC Audio Studios
Kellie leads the ABC’s podcast and long-form audio teams on content ideas, audio storytelling, podcasts, journalism, digital strategy and delivery, editorial standards, radio, and on-air presentation.
44. Nikki Clarkson – Head of Marketing and Communication Southern Cross Austereo
Clarkson was appointed to her current role in 2008, and has overseen a plethora of national campaigns across both the Triple M and Hit Networks over the past decade (including the rebrand of most of SCA’s regional assets).
45. Bill Caralis – Owner Super Radio Network
The veteran media mogul holds one of the largest privately held radio networks with 36 stations across NSW.
46. Brian Gallagher – Chief Sales Officer Southern Cross Austereo
Appointed CSO in 2015, and is responsible for the development and implementation of an overall sales strategy for the company, including driving the entire sales operation across SCA’s full suite of media channels and brands. Previously the Director of Sales at the Ten Network.
47. Hans Torv – Owner/Executive Chairman Hot Tomato
Leading the Gold Coast’s premier independent family-owned radio station Hot Tomato.
=48. Rohan Brown – Program Director Nova 100 & Nova 91.9
Previously assistant program director at SCA’s FoxFM and Triple M, and PD for smoothfm, Brown and is now at the helm of Nova 100, and in addition, recently took over as PD of Adelaide’s Nova 919.
=48. Ben Latimer – Program Director Nova 96.9
Lattimer looks after Nova 96.9, having previously worked as smoothfm program director and has held various roles at ARN.
49. Irene Hulme – National Head of Music & Entertainment Partnerships Hit Network
Irene oversees the music vision of the largest radio network in Australia and was behind the creation of the Hits and Old Skool and the network’s RnB Fridays.
=50 Deborah Clay – National News Director Australian Radio Network
Clay was promoted to the national role in 2017 after working as the Sydney/Brisbane News Director. She recently took out the 2018 B&T Women In Media Award for top Journalist/Producer.
=50. Michelle Stephenson – National Newsroom Manager NOVA Entertainment
Stephenson took over the role of National News Director in 2015, now National Newsroom Manager. Also the newsreader for Kate, Tim and Marty as well as Star 104.5 FM.
As always, hit us up in the comments below if you believe we’ve missed anyone.