Hot Tomato moves into metro structure
ARN has announced that Hot Tomato on the Gold Coast, currently part of its regional network, will operate within ARN’s metro structure from September 1.
The changes are part of the ongoing integration of Grant Regional Broadcasters into ARN after they were acquired earlier this year.
The strategic move will benefit commercial clients through greater access to national sales opportunities, ease of executing network promotions, and extended multi-platform content opportunities. It follows several recent structural changes that have brought the network’s enabling business areas together into single, ARN-wide teams to identify and realise more effective ways of working.
ARN Chief Executive Officer Ciaran Davis says “After a lengthy review process, it has become clear the Hot Tomato operating model and Gold Coast market scale is more aligned to ARN’s metro markets than the regional markets.”
“The Gold Coast is currently Australia’s sixth largest city with a population of over 630,000 people; Hot Tomato’s annual revenues are similar to our Adelaide and Perth markets; and the Gold Coast is GfK surveyed for 30 weeks a year. It makes sense to operate the station alongside the other capital cities and extend this highly valuable audience to our clients in the same way they enjoy access to our other metro markets.”
“It is important to note these changes are unique to the Gold Coast market. The current structure of ARN’s regional business works effectively in the other markets, and we do not intend to change this.”
As a result of the restructure, Graham Miles, General Manager of Hot Tomato, will step down from a 49-year career in radio. From September 1, Graham will move into a transitional role supporting the Hot Tomato integration and other key business initiatives, before finishing with ARN in early December 2022.
Miles says “This is without a doubt the best business decision for Hot Tomato and where the station needs to be moving forward. Being integrated with the metropolitan properties is a strong message that we see the Gold Coast as filling its rightful spot as the sixth largest city in the country. Having the ability to resource the metropolitan facilities of ARN is treating the market with great respect, and I look forward to working with the team at ARN to make the transition as smooth as possible.”
Davis adds “With 20 years’ experience running Hot Tomato, and a total of nearly 50 years in radio (working for ARN amongst other networks), Graham’s perspective was an important consideration, and he was a key part of making this decision. I thank him for the highly constructive and professional way he has engaged with us during these discussions.”
In line with the structural change, the local leaders will report into the national functional leads across ARN as follows:
* Graeme Tawyer, Sales Director, will report to Nick Flood, National Commercial Director, Direct & Independent Agencies
* Brendan (Whippy) Dangar, Content Director, will report to Duncan Campbell, Chief Content Officer
* Matt McDonald, News Director, will report to Monique Dews, Acting National News Director
* Justin Williams, Marketing & Promotions Manager, will report to Claire Murphy, Head of Brand & Promotions
* Deidre Wilson, Finance Manager will report to Cara White, Acting Regional Finance Manager
Listeners will continue to enjoy relevant, localised content for the Gold Coast, with no changes being made to the on-air line-up of talent or programming. Hot Tomato achieved record breaking results in the market’s recent first survey and has cemented its place as a pillar of the community and go-to when it comes to staying up to date and connected.
ARN’s Regional network was acquired from Grant Broadcasters earlier this year. The former metro network’s expansion delivers even more reach and scale nationally connecting with 8 million people nationwide across 135 stations and 71 markets in every state and territory.