The Top 10 Most Influential Program Directors in Australian Metro FM Radio


“It’s all about the content. Without great, compelling content, radio will lose the battle for the ear of the listener “

The Program Director or Content Director’s role is arguably the most important role in radio stations in competitive markets.

Program Directors are responsible for the ‘sound’ of a radio station. The music, breakfast and drive shows, announcers, imaging/production, social media, execution of promotions, implementation of network shows and execution of sales promotions. You have to be able to multi-task more than ever before.

Their performance is largely measured on ratings performance.

These highly respected individuals program some of the most brilliant sounding radio stations in Australia.

Producing this list isn’t easy as the role varies from station to station, network to network. What makes a great Content Director? They have to be strategic, operational, creative, good executives, courageous and strong leaders.

It’s a pivotal role and the stations success or otherwise largely depends on their ability, drive, skills, experience and influence.

Here is a list of the Top 10 Metro FM Program Directors taking into account their overall influence in the radio station, ratings, talent choice, talent management & direction, music influence, experience, market size, competitive landscape, group/network input and the scale of their position.

Radio Today salutes all the Program Directors around Australia . These ones are the Top 10 most influential Program Directors in FM Metro Radio.

1. Derek Bargwanna  ARN – Kiis Sydney Program Director, was formerly Program Director at 2Dayfm

2. Brad McNally  ARN – 96FM Program Director previously 92.9, Gold, and stations in Toronto, UK and across Europe.

3. Jamie Angel  SCA – Triple M Sydney Program Director Sydney formerly of 2dayfm

4. Irene Hulme SCA – 2day/Hit Content Director was previously at Hit107 Adelaide, Mix Melbourne and Triple M.

5. Charlie Fox ARN – Program Director WSFM and also PD of Edge 96.1 Formerly from Triple M Sydney.

6. Jay Walkerdon NE – Nova Brisbane Content Director he’s also Nova’s General Manager, has been at MCM and Global media.

7. Barry Drinkwater ARN – 97.3 Brisbane Content Director and also CD for 4KQ

8. Erica Hodge SCA – Mix 94.5 Content Director previously Breakfast EP and Triple M Sydney.

9. Brendon Dangar ARN – Kiis Melbourne Content Director prior to that was Nova Brisbane Asst CD, B105 and Nova 100.

10. Daniel Underhill NE – Nova Perth Program Director was previously Nova’s Creative Director.

The Group and Network Program Directors were previously listed in The Most 50 Most Influential People in Radio in 2015 

The Program Directors role and his or her ability to execute is critical in determining the success and health of a radio station brand.

Greg Smith former Programmer and Radio Hall of Fame inductee said “A winning Content Director has to develop great judgement. The goal is to get the audience afraid to turn off because they might miss something “

We wish all the up and coming Program Directors in metro and regional markets the best of luck for their future.

Brad March is a Director of Radio Today a former Program Director, Group Program Director & CEO of Austereo and Group Programmer at ARN. He is Director of Marchmedia.

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