SCA creates head of news & information role, appoints Melanie Withnall

Former Editor & Content Director

ABC Radio Sydney’s local manager Melanie Withnall is leaving the national broadcaster to take up a role with Southern Cross Austereo (SCA).

The broadcast journalist, producer, educator and manager will become head of news and information at SCA from November 15.

She will report to SCA’s chief content officer Dave Cameron and completes the SCA content leadership team.

In the new role, she will be charged with leading the overall broadcast and on-demand news function, and implementing a growth strategy to further expand SCA’s news, information and current affairs content across LiSTNR as well as the Hit and Triple M networks.

Cameron said Withnall will help SCA cement its position as Australia’s biggest audio content creator.

“It’s a real coup to have someone with Melanie’s experience join SCA at such an exciting time in our rapid digital audio growth,” he said. “Melanie’s proven leadership in the recent success of ABC Radio Sydney will be hugely valuable in driving SCA’s news and information content expansion on LiSTNR, which already includes The Briefing, Australia Today with Steve Price, Australia Today’s Morning Agenda with Natarsha Belling, and multi-market Locals’ Guides on top of our 99 radio stations.”

Withnall said she’s looking forward to finding SCA’s unique voice in the market and working with the team.

“I am really excited to be joining SCA at such an exciting time, with news and information more important than ever and an important pillar on Hit, Triple M and LiSTNR,” she added.

During her time with ABC Radio Sydney, Withnall helped the broadcaster migrate to digital platforms, developed new programming which took it to record audience reach, and led emergency broadcasting.

The ABC’s director of regional and local, Judith Whelan, said the broadcaster was sad to be losing someone as outstanding as Withnall.

“She has been an exceptional leader of an exceptionally high-performing team at ABC Radio Sydney, helping see the station to record audience numbers. We’ll miss her editorial experience and ability to connect with diverse audiences across Sydney, and across all broadcast platforms. We wish her the very best in her new role at Southern Cross Austereo,” she said.

The ABC has begun seeking a replacement for the role of manager, ABC Radio Sydney with an appointment expected to be made in October.

Withnall’s appointment comes soon after SCA made a number of other appointments to its audio news teams across Sydney and Melbourne.

In Sydney, Micaela Savage came across from 2SM to join as Drive journalist. She will work with the Sydney news team to create on-air bulletins for 2DayFM and Triple M.

Loren Howarth also joined the Sydney team from Nine Radio’s 2GB. She will work on the Breakfast show The Morning Crew to create news content as a news writer.

Also in Sydney, Siobhan Caulfield was promoted to second in charge in the news team. She will retain her Breakfast newsreader duties for Triple M Sydney.

In Melbourne, meanwhile, Celeste Mitsiou brings experience from SEN, ARN and 2GB. She will provide support on-air across Workdays on The Fox and Triple M.

Monisha Iswaran will also provide support in all dayparts across the two stations after a sting in regional Victoria with WIN Television.

SCA’s head of news operations, Natasha Jacobson, said: “We’re adding to our high calibre audio news team thanks to this continued growth and high engagement with our audience. From bite sized breaking news explainers to deep dives, SCA has the community covered via the LiSTNR app and the Hit and Triple M networks.”

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