Revealed: The 10 Most Powerful Women on Australian FM Radio in 2019

Staff Writer

Among Radio Today‘s most popular lists have always been those that celebrate and champion the women of our industry.

Radio Today spent considerable time talking to industry experts about who they consider being in the top 10: women who are successful, have had great ratings success and longevity, those who have built a strong local and national profile and, most importantly, women who have a strong message.

We also factored in the thoughts of leading radio programmers and took into account market size and the competitive landscape. The final result is a list for which the industry can be proud.

These ten remarkable women (and the honourable mentions that follow) have real star power. They are engaging, smart, assertive, driven and brilliant communicators. Five days a week, they are delivering the laughs, the ratings, and are leading the way for other women to succeed in the radio industry.

Here are the 10 Most Powerful Women on Australian FM Radio in 2019:

1. Jackie ‘O’ Henderson – KIIS 106.5

KIIS FM’s Jackie O is undoubtedly one of the most high-profile and successful media personalities in Australia, having started out in radio in regional markets on the Gold Coast and in Canberra.

Henderson was later on 2DayFM nights with co-host Kyle Sandilands, before moving to Breakfast in 2005.

She and Sandilands famously moved to KIIS 106.5 in 2013 and is one of the longest-serving women on-air in Australian radio.

Henderson is well known nationally via the ARN-syndicated Hour of Power and also hosted Take 40 Australia, Hot Hits, The A-List and the Hot 30 Countdown.

She is also an accomplished television presenter. Henderson has hosted or appeared on numerous TV programs including Big Brother, Popstars, Australian Princess, The Nation, Surprise Gotcha, Robots and Ground Zero.

2. Fifi Box – Fox FM

Starting in regional markets, Box joined Triple M nights, then The Shebang. She hosted National Drive on the Today Network with Jules Lund in 2010 and now hosts Melbourne’s #1 FM Breakfast show on Fox FM with Brendan Fevola and Byron Cooke.

The presenter is also well known on television for her “standout” performance on Dancing with the Stars on the Seven Network in 2007 and guest appearances on Sunrise, The Project, Thank God You’re Here and Have You Been Paying Attention?.

3. Amanda Keller – WSFM

A triple threat in Australian showbiz, Keller is a journalist, radio presenter and TV personality.

Starting in radio in Bathurst, she did breakfast with Andrew Denton on Triple M from 1994 and is in her 15th year at WSFM, currently hosting Breakfast with Brendan Jones.

Keller has made TV appearances on Good News Week, Rove Live, The Glass House, 20 to 1, Spicks and Specks, Have You Been Paying Attention?, Show Me the Movie and Network Ten’s quiz show Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation.

Keller is also the host of the Australian lifestyle program The Living Room and now Dancing With The Stars.

4. Kate Langbroek – Hit Network

After a highly successful run on Nova 100 Breakfast and KIIS Network Drive, Langbroek now co-hosts SCA’s national Hit Network Drive show from a studio in Italy.

Langbroek started on Triple M Melbourne Weekend Breakfast and moved to Nova 100 with Dave Hughes. Before entering the world of commercial radio, Langbroek was a radio announcer on community radio 3RRR Melbourne.

Langbroek has a degree in journalism and has appeared on The Panel, Thank God You’re Here, The Project, Have You Been Paying Attention? and Hughesy, We Have a Problem.

5. Chrissie Swan – Nova 100

Chrissie Swan‘s primary career was in copywriting before appearing on television in 2003 as a contestant on the reality TV series Big Brother where she was the runner-up.

Swan sought work in Breakfast radio in Queensland in late 2003 where she worked at Hot 91.1 with co-host Ronnie Stanton. Swan also worked on-air at Vega and Mix 101.1 (now KIIS).

She also appeared on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!.

In October 2015, Swan was named as a host of Chrissie, Sam & Browny on Nova 100 with Jonathan Brown and Sam Pang.

6. Robin Bailey – Triple M Brisbane

Bailey has more than 20 years of media experience. Starting in Sydney as a journalist, she has worked in most metro markets.

Bailey has been successful at Brisbane’s 97.3FM and B105 Breakfast shows. She moved from ARN’s 97.3FM to Triple M in 2017 joining Ed Kavalee and Greg Martin for the Ed, Marto & Robin breakfast show – rating more than 14% last year.

Now a co-host of Marto, Robin & Nick Cody, Bailey also appears as a regular guest on the national Nine’s Weekend Today.

7. Kate Ritchie – Nova Network

The Gold Logie winner featured on Seven’s Home & Away and joined Merrick & Rosso on Nova 96.9 Breakfast in 2007.

She later combined with Marty Sheargold and Tim Blackwell on the hugely successful and national Kate, Tim & Marty Drive show where she can be heard today.

Ritchie left Nova in 2009, to return to acting but later came back to radio after the departure of Meshel Laurie.

Kate, Tim & Marty have enjoyed great ratings success and many industry awards and accolades.

8. Abby Coleman – Hit105

Coleman first rose to fame by finishing runner-up of the Australian version of The Mole as an 18-year-old. Abby is now co-host of Brisbane’s Hit105 breakfast show with Stav Davidson and Matty Acton.

Coleman moved home to Adelaide to complete a degree at university, and two years later she began presenting afternoons on SAFM (now Hit107).

She moved to Brisbane in 2011 to co-host the Stav, Abby & Matt breakfast show and recently gave birth to her third child.

9. Jane Kennedy – Triple M

Kennedy is an Australian actress, comedian, radio presenter, and television producer, best known for her work with TV production company Working Dog.

She is currently the co-host of Triple M National Drive with Mick Molloy.

Kennedy has appeared on The Panel, and is a regular guest on Ten’s Have You Been Paying Attention?.

10. Carrie Bickmore – Hit Network

Bickmore, like Ritchie and Kellar, is a Gold Logie winner.

She currently co-hosts Carrie & Tommy across Southern Cross Austereo’s Hit Network with comedian Tommy Little and Ten’s daily light news show The Project.

Bickmore started her career as a newsreader on 92.9FM Perth.

She has a journalism degree from Curtin University of Technology and in 2001 became the afternoon newsreader for radio station Nova 100 in Melbourne, and in 2002 she became the co-host of the Drive show with Andy Ross. In 2007, Bickmore was appointed the breakfast newsreader for Hughesy & Kate on Nova 100 breakfast.

Just outside the top ten are some very talented names.

Natalie Locke from Nova Perth, Katie Dimond from KIIS FM, Heidi Anderson from Hit Perth, Sarah McGilvray from Nova Sydney, Bianca Dye from 97.3FM Brisbane, Polly Harding from KIIS Melbourne, Jodie Oddie from Mix Adelaide, Veronica Milsom at triple j, Rebecca Judd from KIIS FM, Ash London from 2DayFM Sydney and Jess Eva from Triple M Sydney.

There are also many names who have appeared inside the top ten in previous years. Meshel Laurie, Wendy Harmer, Brigitte Duclos, Lisa Shaw, Jo Stanley, Maz Compton and Lisa Shaw.

We look forward to your comments and feedback and mention any names we should be looking out for in the future.

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Recent comments (16)
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25 Feb 2019 - 10:57 am

No mention of Em Rusciano ? Otherwise good list.

25 Feb 2019 - 11:04 am

Good that the breakfast stars topped the list as anyone in the business will tell you breakfast is a lot harder, more competitive than drive shows.

25 Feb 2019 - 11:37 am

Kate Ritchie is good but is more famous than all of them put together. Kate should be at Number One.

25 Feb 2019 - 12:39 pm

You missed a few. Someone won’t be happy. Guess who ?

25 Feb 2019 - 2:13 pm

Carrie is a TV person not radio

25 Feb 2019 - 3:23 pm

I’ll be listening to KTM today I’m sure Kate will have something to say about this.
And it won’t be pretty.

25 Feb 2019 - 4:18 pm

How is Kate Ritchie not in the top 3?

25 Feb 2019 - 4:31 pm

Not cool!

You left off the biggest name in the biz, Shazza! Shazza does the day shift once a month when Big Billy needs to go to family court, on the middle of nowhere’s number one hit music station, Country FM. She really should be number 1!

25 Feb 2019 - 4:48 pm

@Rachel… Em isn’t in radio in 2019.. probably why she isn’t on the list (Thank God!)

25 Feb 2019 - 6:03 pm

Nice to hear Abby mentioned. One of our unsung super talents.

25 Feb 2019 - 8:42 pm

2 from ARN 2 from Nova and 6 from SCA but rigged.

26 Feb 2019 - 6:40 am

These ladies all have such different roles in their respective shows. It’s one thing being the third wheel and an entirely different thing being one half of a duo.
Hats off to Amanda, Jackie, Carrie, Kate Lambroek and Jane Kennedy all half of some very successful duo’s. I would have included Natalie and Sarah in your Top Ten also.

26 Feb 2019 - 6:42 am

Some network should give Maz Compton another go.

The Insider
26 Feb 2019 - 7:50 am

I hear Kate Ritchie spat the dummy yesterday over this. Had to be consoled by management. Fair enough she could have been Top Three.

26 Feb 2019 - 5:41 pm


12 Jul 2019 - 9:39 am

Powerful ? really ? have they got the code for Def Con 5


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