Cuts continue at Fairfax/MRN
The bloodletting at newly merged Fairfax and Macquarie Radio Network’s continued today, with more of the Fairfax senior management group leaving the company.
It includes Group Program Director Clarke Forbes, National News Director and Acting GM for Melbourne Rob Curtain. Also exiting is 2UE Sydney GM, Chris Parker and confirmation of the departure of Brisbane GM Anthony Frangi.
An internal email from Macquarie Radio Network COO Adam and Chairman Russel Tate said:
Following the completion of the merger of the operations of Fairfax Radio Network and Macquarie Radio Network on March 31 into the publicly listed Macquarie Radio Network Limited (“MRN”), we are pleased to announce a new national management structure for the combined businesses.
The new business brings together in one network the number one rating metro radio stations in Sydney and Melbourne, 2GB and 3AW respectively, together with other News Talk stations 2UE (Sydney), 4BC (Brisbane) and 6PR (Perth) and music stations Magic 1278 (Melbourne), Magic 882 (Brisbane) and 2CH (Sydney).
The company will be led by Russell Tate, who will continue in the role of Executive Chairman of MRN, and Adam Lang, previously Managing Director of FRN, as Chief Operating Officer.
Lisa Young remains Chief Financial Officer reporting to Russell Tate. Lisa will lead the Finance function with the support of Deanne Hassett, formerly Finance Director of FRN, who assumes the same role in MRN.
In Sales, Nick Randall, previously FRN National Sales Director, will head the combined national agency sales team, while Mark Noakes, previously MRN Group Sales Director, will head the national direct sales team. Nick and Mark will report directly to Russell.
New Operations Directors, reporting to Adam, have been appointed to drive the execution of our national objectives in each market through the teams including program and station production issues, news, sales, promotions, engineering and online.
Effective from 1st May, Paul Bowd, previously MRN’s Agency Sales Director, has been appointed Operations Director Sydney. Stephen Beers, previously FRN Melbourne’s Chief Engineer, has been appointed Operations Director Melbourne. Liz Illidge, previously FRN Brisbane Sales Director, has been appointed Operations Director Brisbane. Continuing in their existing roles will be Martin Boylen as General Manager Perth, William Barrington as General Manager of Syndication and Jonathan Champion as General Manager of SMA.
Content direction and development across the network will be the responsibility of the national leadership group comprising Russell, Adam and the above Sales and Operations Directors. In program content and editorial direction will continue to be the domain of the presenters and their teams on each station.
As a consequence of implementing the new structure, National Content Director Clark Forbes, National News Director and Melbourne Acting General Manager Rob Curtain, Sydney General Manager Chris Parker and Brisbane General Manager Anthony Frangi will leave the business.
Russell Tate comments: “The merger has brought together the greatest mix of News Talk talent ever. Our new company now has more than 450 employees representing many of the best radio brands in Australia, which together now reach more than 2.3 million listeners every week.
“The merger has enabled us to adopt best practice and procedures from each of MRN and FRN and obviates the considerable duplication of roles which existed across both companies operating separately. I am confident that we now have in place the people and the structure to maximise the benefits of the merger for all stakeholders, including our listeners.”
Adam Lang comments: “We have entered an exciting new chapter for Macquarie Radio Network and these key appointments are a critical element of that success. We have created this merger of equals to be a genuine force in media with an enviable and influential audience reach from our national network of stations and digital assets.
“Since the merger we have worked as quickly as possible to remove any uncertainty for our staff and to set up our newly combined company for immediate success. An unfortunate reality of the integration is a reduction of approximately 10% of roles across our combined business.
“We are grateful for the dedication, passion, professionalism and great character of Clark, Rob, Chris and Anthony. We thank them for all that they have given to our company. They have each played a valuable role in building a national network and setting our business up for this next stage of its growth and evolution.”
There are a number of changes present here so we are attaching an organisational chart to reflect how these changes are reflected in the management structure. If you have any queries, please first contact your immediate manager who can escalate any queries to Russell or Adam as required.
Russell and Adam
Clarke Forbes has been with 3AW for more than a decade in the role of Program Director and more recently in a group role with Fairfax. Rob Curtain has also been part of the Fairfax Melbourne operation since 1996.
The reporting structures are: