Ali Longhurst replaces Barry Drinkwater as ARN Brisbane content director

Former Editor & Content Director

The Australian Radio Network (ARN) has a new content director for its Brisbane operations, Radio Today can reveal.

Long-serving executive Barry Drinkwater will finish up the lead content role at stations 97.3FM and 4KQ at the end of July.

In his place will be Ali Longhurst, who Radio Today recently revealed would be leaving the Hit Network on the Gold Coast.

Drinkwater started his radio career in the late 1970s as a panel operator, before joining 4KQ as the Drive announcer in 1993. He then became assistant program director and music director.

In 2001, he helped launch the new 97.3FM brand into Brisbane as content director. He picked up CD duties for 4KQ in 2007.

Drinkwater said as 97.3FM turns 20, it’s time to try something different.

“Back in 2001 it was amazing to get the chance to launch 97.3FM – a brand-new FM radio station in Brisbane. So many great and talented people came on board and it’s wonderful to share in the incredible successes of 97.3FM with them. To also oversee the 4KQ crew – the station where I got my start at ARN – for the past 14 years has been equally pleasing,” he said.

“I’d like to thank everyone at ARN who has worked with me and played a part in both of these amazing stations and wish nothing but great success to all moving forward. There has been a heap of #1s which is a credit to all the gifted and hardworking team members across both stations. I leave knowing that both 97.3FM and 4KQ are in the very capable hands of Alisson going forward.”

ARN’s chief content officer, Duncan Campbell, thanked Drinkwater for his success and dedication.

“Barry’s leadership, attention to detail and his unwavering passion for his job has seen some amazing results under his guidance across the past two decades. We wish nothing but all the very best to Barry for his next endeavours and can’t thank him enough for his drive and dedication,” he said.

Drinkwater’s replacement, Longhurst, was previously with ARN in roles including executive producer for KIIS Melbourne’s Matt & Meshel, and senior producer of Sydney’s Kyle & Jackie O Show. 

Campbell welcomed her home to ARN.

“Her enthusiasm, knowledge and passion for radio will further strengthen the Brisbane market. Alisson has some wonderfully creative ideas and coupled with exceptional leadership skills, we have the very best person for the role,” he added.

Longhurst said the new role is a fantastic opportunity.

“After five years, I’m very pleased to be returning to ARN as the content director for 97.3 and 4KQ. To be given the opportunity to lead fantastic teams both on-air and off is a career highlight for me and I can’t wait to get started,” she said.


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Ali Donnellan
24 Jun 2021 - 9:34 am

ICREDIBLE news. huge Ali!

24 Jun 2021 - 9:59 am

Congrats Alli! Looking forward to seeing you work your content magic!

24 Jun 2021 - 10:21 am

Congrats Ali, so well deserved, onwards and upwards for you.

24 Jun 2021 - 11:56 am

Huge congrats Ali, what a great step forward.
With Ali stepping into this role, and Georgina Marckwald as local MD, talk about a powerhouse programming team!

Bianca Dye
24 Jun 2021 - 12:18 pm

Such a huge loss for us at Hit 90.9 🙁 Ali is just an incredible boss that we all adore- A wonderful leader – great ideas generator -passionate -compassionate and a kind human – 973fm have had a huge win gaining Ali.. she is gonna go down as one of the “great CDs in our industry I reckon

24 Jun 2021 - 1:21 pm

Sorely missed, Ali. Our loss is ARN’s gain!

24 Jun 2021 - 10:02 pm

Well done Ali!!! Well deserved you are an exceptional human in business and personal. So proud.

25 Jun 2021 - 9:45 am

Well done Ali, totally deserved. I’m just so bloody pleased for you, you’re a rare gem. Hold your space, your quiet determination is my favourite things about you. E x

Geoff Harrison
25 Jun 2021 - 12:29 pm

Clearly an ARN press release. No mention of the great experience that Barry bought to the table in the first place from his years as part of the highly successful record breaking FM-104 Brisbane team in the 1980’s mannnnn. Here’s a bit of Baz from then:

Good on you Barry – great longevity and contribution, great success under your belt.

Good wishes to Ali Longhurst and all on new beginnings.


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