The Top 50 Most Influential People in Radio in 2016

Staff Writer

Radio Today has compiled the Top 50 Most Influential People in Radio.

The Top 50 includes On-Air Talent, Management, Senior Executives, Directors and Owners who have influence on the airwaves and the business of radio.

These are the men and women who help shape the fortunes of the Australian radio industry and wield considerable influence over listeners and advertisers alike.

The market size and reach of stations, networks and the companies have been taken into account as have ratings, revenue, profitability, each person’s profile and their overall influence in the industry.

The names listed all have a role in shaping the future of the radio industry. They set the standards and culture of radio and also influence Australian culture.

Additions to this years list include Sam Thompson, Tony Kendall, Gemma Fordham, Brian Gallagher, Michael Harvey, Mitch Fifield, Alison Cameron, Derek Bargwanna, FiFi Box, Michelle Guthrie and Chrissie Swan.

This year there are 45 men listed and 17 women, so still a fair way to go on gender equality in Australian radio.

Here are the leaders of the Australian radio industry.




1. Mitch FifieldMinister of Communications has recently reviewed cross media ownership. Along with PM Malcolm Turnbull will almost certainly oversee some of the biggest changes to the radio landscape we have ever seen. A new entry this year.





2. Lachlan Murdoch – Executive Chairman Nova Entertainment which includes the Nova and Smooth networks. The media heir and businessman is also Executive Co-Chairman of News Corp. Last years position 2.





3. Grant Blackley – CEO/ Managing Director SCA. The former CEO of the Ten network, he has been in the role for nearly 12 months now. Oversees the fortunes of Australia’s biggest radio group. Same position as last year.






4. Ciaran Davis CEO of APN owners of ARN’s diverse mix of radio and digital assets. He has received the coveted CEO of the Year award and is recognised as the key man behind ARN’s turnaround in recent years. Last years position 4.





5. Mark Scott / Michelle Guthrie – CEO of the ABC – Mark is the outgoing CEO and Michelle starts in the role in May. The ABC has the biggest radio market share in Australia. (includes Radio National, triple j, Classic FM, News Radio and Local Radio). Last years position 6. Michelle is a new entry this year.






6. Alan Jones – Announcer 2GB – One of Australia’s highest rating and highest profile Breakfast announcers he is one of the most influential personalities in Australian radio. Last years position 7.





7. Cath O’Connor – CEO Nova Entertainment – the longest serving and most successful CEO of any metro radio group, Cathy has been at the helm of Nova/DMG for over 13 years now. Last years position 5.





8. Ross Stevenson & John Burns – 3AW Breakfast Top rating Breakfast announcers of MRG’s 3AW who have lead Melbourne’s breakfast ratings since 2001 now with over 20% ratings share. Last years position 15.






9. Kyle and Jackie O –The most successful breakfast duo in Australian FM radio history. They top the Sydney FM ratings at ARN’s KIIS. They are responsible for turning around the fortunes of KIIS Sydney. Last years position 10.





10. Russell Tate – Chairman MMN is at the helm of the merged Macquarie radio / Fairfax radio group which includes stations 2GB, 2UE, 3AW, 2CH and Magic. The largest commercial talk radio network in Australia. Last years position 11.





11. Tony Kendall – CEO ARN the former sales director of Bauer Media and CEO of Bauers magazine division. Tony is in his first year in radio taking the reigns from Ciaran Davis less than a year ago. New entry this year.





12. Michael Mason – Director of ABC Radio oversees all ABC radio around Australia, he has more than 25 years experience in commercial and public radio and television. A former Group Program Director of the ABC. Last year number 30.





13. Peter Bush – Chairman Southern Cross Austereo formerly Director and on the Board on Nine Entertainment and a former CEO of McDonalds Australia. Last years position 9.





14. Siobhan McKenna – Managing Partner of Lachlan Murdoch’s Illyria, which owns Nova Entertainment’s Nova and Smooth networks. She is a key part of Lachlan Murdoch’s management team. Last years position 8.





15. Eddie McGuire – Triple M Breakfast Co-host of SCA’s Triple M Hot Breakfast show with Mick Molloy and Luke Darcy. He’s the key driver of Triple M Melbourne’s ratings success. Last years position 32.





16. Chris Scaddan triple j National Content Director –looks after the programming for the national broadcaster, which now tops the ratings in many metro and regional markets. Last years position 36.





17.  Hamish and Andy – SCA’s Top rating national drive duo on the Hit network. Number 1 in Melbourne at Fox. Hamish and Andy are now the number 1 metro network drive show in share. Last years position 13.





18. Duncan Campbell – Group Content Director of ARN Under his leadership, ARN has achieved #1 FM stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Has been overseeing content at ARN for almost 6 years now. Last years position 12.






19. Kate, Tim and Marty – Nova’s top rating show lead by Marty Sheargold with Tim Blackwell and Kate Ritchie. The top rating show has now been with this line-up for over 2 years. Currently the highest cuming drive show nationally. Last years position 17.





20. Guy Dobson – Group Creative Director at Southern Cross Austereo has held the roles of Programmer, CEO and Executive Director, recently moving into a newly created role. Last years position 19.





21. Hughesy and Kate – Formerly Nova100 Breakfast and now highly successful and top rating at ARN. Dave and Kate do national drive on the KIIS network. Last years position 20.







22. Mike Fitzpatrick – Content Director of SCA’s Triple M Network the man behind the success of Triple M Melbourne and the Triple M network’s success in recent years. Last years position 28.






23. Jonesy & Amanda – WSFM Breakfast Top rating WSFM Breakfast hosts Amanda Keller and Brendan Jones. Have been at or near the top of the ratings in breakfast in Sydney for over a decade. Last years position 35.






24. Mick Molloy – Triple M Announcer – Co host of the top rating Hot Breakfast with Eddie McGuire on Triple M Melbourne. Originally part of the ground-breaking national drive show Martin Molloy. Last years position 32






25.  Ray Hadley – 2GB Morning Announcer– top rating morning announcer currently with the highest rating morning show in Sydney. Last years position 18.






26. Paul Jackson – Group Program Director of Nova Entertainment – Oversees the content of the Nova and successful Smooth brands; was previously at Global Radio and Virgin Radio. Last years position 16. 






27. Gemma Fordham – Hit Network Content Director new to the role she looks after 2dayfm, Fox and the Hit network programming. A former EP she was previously Group Content Director at NZME. New entry this year.





28. Dave Cameron – SCA’s Group Content Director is now Head of National SCA shows and new talent development. He programmed FOX during its most successful period. Last years position 25.





29. Jeremy Millar – Manager of Metropolitan Local Radio ABC – Manager of Metropolitan Local Radio for ABC Radio overseeing 60 ABC stations, including 51 regional stations and 9 metropolitan. Last years position 33.





30. Louise Higgins – Nova Chief Operating officer / General Manager Melbourne – heads up Nova 100 and Smooth and the operations of the Nova Entertainment group. Is charged with turning around Nova100’s fortunes. Last years position 29.






31. Derek Bargwanna – KIIS network Content Director heads up the programming of ARN’s KIIS Sydney and KIIS Melbourne. One of the key people behind Kyle and Jackie O’s success. New entry this year






32. Joan Warner – CEO Commercial Radio Australia – Head of the national industry body representing Australia’s commercial radio broadcasters.

One of the most influential women in the radio industry. Last years position 26.





33. Sam Thompson – ARN Melbourne Group Content Director looks after the programming of leading #1 FM station Gold and the recently relaunched KIIS. New entry this year.





34. Adam Lang – Chief Operating Officer Macquarie Media, which includes 2GB, 3AW, 2UE . Formerly from Southern Cross Austereo Adam oversees one of the biggest line-up of talk radio talent in the country. Last years position 22.






35. Janet Cameron / Alison, Grant & Dugald Cameron – Grant Broadcasters regional radio pioneers, Grants operates more than 50 regional radio stations across Australia and the Radio Sales Network. Last years position 21.





36. Michael Harvey – COO and CFO Australian Radio Network was previously CFO at ARN and has been a Director of Commercial Radio Australia and CEO of Fox Studio’s. New entry this year.






37. John Singleton – Shareholder / Owner of MMN owners of 2UE, 2GB, 3AW . He is a major shareholder of the merged entity, which controls the leading commercial talk radio stations in Australia. Last years position 27..






38. Fran Kelly – Announcer ABC – Host of radio national’s Breakfast show, Fran is a leading journalist and political correspondent.

(=) Jon Faine – Announcer ABC mornings top rating host on 774 ABC Melbourne was previously voted as one of the Top 50 most influential members of the Jewish community. Last years position 49.





39. Kevin Blyton – Managing Director Capital Radio Group. Capital owns and operates regional radio stations across NSW, WA and Victoria. Inductee into the Australian Commercial Radio Hall of Fame. Last years position 24.





40. Neil Mitchell – 3AW Morning Announcer at MMN’s 3AW who leads Melbourne morning ratings and an inductee into the Australian Commercial Radio Hall of Fame. Last years position 23.





41. Rick Lenarcic – Executive Director Regional Operations SCA – previously was General Manager for the southern arm of SCA radio. He now oversees over 70 regional radio stations. Last years position 40.






42. Mickey Maher – Group Regional Content Director Southern Cross Austereo. He has the responsibility for the content of over 70 regional radio stations around Australia. Last years position 38.






43. FiFi Box – FOXFM Top rating Fox breakfast host for SCA in Melbourne. A former member of The Shebang she has been at Fox breakfast for over 2 years now. New entry this year.





44. Brian Gallagher Chief Sales Officer at Southern Cross Austereo – has only been in the role for less than a year. Previously was Director of Sales at the Ten Network. New entry this year.





45. Chrissie Swan – Nova 100 Breakfast after switching from ARN to Nova Melbourne Chrissie heads up Nova100’s new breakfast show. New entry this year.






46. Matthew Granger – National Sales Director at ARN. He was previously Group Sales Manager at the Seven network, successfully making the switch from television to radio. Last years position 34.





47. = Mark Klemens – Managing Director of Profile Management steers the careers of top radio talent including Hamish and Andy, Fifi Box and Michael Wipfli. Last years position 39.

47 = Kevin Whyte – Managing Director Token which manages key radio talent including Merrick Watts, Dave Hughes, Dave Thornton. Last years position 44.

47 = Liz Adams – Director of Talent at Creative Representation formerly of Adams Management she oversees the careers of radio talent such as Matt Tilley, James Brayshaw & Kate Langbroek. Last years position 46.


48. Peter Charlton – Group Sales Director at Nova Entertainment, joined the company from Adshel in 2012; previously worked at Capital Radio in London. Last years position 37.






49. Bill Caralis – Owner of the Super Radio Network one of the largest privately held radio networks with 36 stations across NSW. Last years position 45.


50. Geoff Handbury / Rowley Patterson – Executive Directors ACE The Victorian broadcaster ACE includes 13 regional radio stations. Last years position 47.



Here are some of the names who have recently dropped out of Radio Todays Most Influential list. They include …

  • Craig Bruce
  • Rhys Holleran
  • Geraint Davies
  • Cathy Thomas
  • Max Moore Wilton
  • Clarke Forbes
  • Helen Davies

And here are the breakdowns in the key categories..


Top  Women

  • Cathy O’Connor
  • Michelle Guthrie
  • Jackie O
  • Siobhan McKenna
  • Louise Higgins
  • Kate Langbroek


Top On Air Talent

  • Alan Jones
  • Ross and John
  • Kyle and Jackie O
  • Eddie McGuire
  • Hamish and Andy
  • Kate Tim & Marty


Top  Programmers

  • Chris Scaddan
  • Duncan Campbell
  • Paul Jackson
  • Mike Fitzpatrick
  • Dave Cameron
  • Derek Bargwanna
  • Gemma Fordham


Top  CEO’s

  • Grant Blackley
  • Ciaran Davis
  • Mark Scott / Michelle Guthrie
  • Cathy O’Connor
  • Russell Tate
  • Tony Kendall


Top  Owners

  • Lachlan Murdoch
  • Janet Cameron / Cameron Family
  • John Singleton
  • Kevin Blyton
  • Bill Caralis
  • Geoff Hanbury / Rowley Patterson



  • Mark Scott
  • Michelle Guthrie
  • Michael Mason
  • Chris Scaddan
  • Jeremy Miller
  • Fran Kelly / Jon Faine

If you’d like to add any other names to the list or make comment, we would love to hear from you. We always welcome your feedback.


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