Cathy O’Connor quits Nova, Peter Charlton named CEO

Former Publisher

NOVA Entertainment boss Cathy O’Connor is leaving radio, for good.

oOh!media announced O’Connor’s appointment as chief executive officer on Monday (August 31), marking the end of an era for the radio business.

The widely respected executive is scheduled to begin in her new role next year after more than 17 years with the Lachlan Murdoch-owned business.

She has overseen a period of tremendous growth and success in the business, which came under the ownership of Murdoch’s Illyria in December 2009.

Radio Today can confirm Peter Charlton becomes Nova’s new CEO and Peter Colosimo elevates to COO from November 2. Charlton has worked for Nova since August 2012.

Staffers were notified of the changing of the guard during a virtual Town Hall on Monday morning.

“Cathy has been a great leader of the NOVA team,” Murdoch said in a statement.

“NOVA Entertainment is the number one commercial radio network in Australia and is continuing to outperform the industry in a challenging time. I know she will do well in her new role.”

Before joining Nova, first under the DMG Radio Australia umbrella, O’Connor was general manager of Southern Cross Austereo’s two Sydney stations, 2DayFM and Triple M.

Her oOh!media appointment follows a global search after founder and CEO, Brendon Cook, recently announced his intention to stand down from the role after more than 30 years.

In a statement, O’Connor said she looked forward to taking on the role as CEO at oOh!media.

“It has been a privilege to serve as CEO of NOVA Entertainment over the last 12 years,” she said.

“Despite the challenges of 2020, the Out of Home sector is an exciting place to be in, with strong growth prospects and increasing prominence in a digital future.

“oOh! is a great business with an extensive national reach backed by both leading data smarts and a fantastic team of professionals that are the best in their field.

“I am looking forward to joining the team and building on oOh!’s success and guiding the
company’s next phase of growth.

“Fresh leadership under Peter Charlton will see NOVA continue to deliver on its strategic objectives, bringing to the role with him a wealth of experience and insights.”

O’Connor was inducted into Commercial Radio Hall of Fame at the 2016 Australian Commercial Radio Awards, that year also celebrating more than three decades in the industry.

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31 Aug 2020 - 11:32 am

Wow. So many changes over the last year at Nova. A very different business than when it was flying over a year ago with the loss of Tony Thomas, Jay Walkerdon, Rohan Brown, Marty Sheargold, the talented people that have just been made redundant and now Cathy. I’m sure Peter Charlton will look to build a talented team in at Nova to get the businesses going again.

Radio Guy
31 Aug 2020 - 12:11 pm

Congratulations Cathy and Peter. I gotta say that I agree with @craig. You can’t lose this calibre of great radio talent and not have a noticeable impact on product and staff morale. From what I know of Peter Charlton, I’m sure he’ll make lots of changes to ‘make nova great again’

31 Aug 2020 - 1:32 pm

Peter and Peter are natural choices to take over the 2 most senior leadership positions at Nova. You have both been the two most responsible (other than Cathy) for the success in at Nova based on your integrity, respect for the staff and your accountability to get in and make sure things get done. We’re all looking forward to seeing those values become the norm in the leadership team in the future.

Wicket Keeper
31 Aug 2020 - 4:38 pm

Congrats Cath on a stellar innings.

Mick C
2 Sep 2020 - 2:37 am

First she announces all three redundancies and now she leaving
Maybe before she became redundant

Johnny Blancmange
2 Sep 2020 - 6:33 am

Where’s the rest of the story? Why is she REALLY gone? Radio to Billboards? That’s like going from laser-printer to rock, hammer and chisel. My guess is it was a matter of principle. Staff and cost cutting, take it or leave it, personality conflict? The NDA probably precludes us from ever knowing.

6 Sep 2020 - 8:18 pm

Another CEO of another radio company should take Cathy’s que and get out now.


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