The Top 25 Most Influential Women in Australian Radio 2016

Staff Writer

Radio Today has put together a list of the Top 25 Women with the greatest influence in Australian radio in 2016.

This includes key on air talent, management, programmers and owners.

These women influence the airwaves and the business of radio. They contribute to contemporary culture, influence society’s views, standards, and opinions and importantly they help shape the future of the Australian radio industry.

The size and reach of their networks/stations/shows was taken into account. All of the Top 25 women have considerable power with listeners, advertisers and within their companies, some command sizable salaries and most live and breathe the radio business.

If there’s anyone we missed make sure you add their names and your comments below. We welcome your feedback.


1.   Michelle Guthrie – New CEO of the ABC. The ABC has the biggest radio market share in Australia. (includes Radio National, triple j, Classic FM, News Radio and Local Radio). Michelle is a new entry this year.






2. Cath O’Connor – CEO Nova Entertainment – the longest serving and most successful current CEO of any metro radio group, Cathy has been at the helm of Nova/DMG for over 13 years now and has just recorded nearly a 40% profit growth. Last years position # 1.





3. Jackie O Henderson –The most successful female on Australian FM radio. With partner Kyle Sandilands tops the Sydney FM ratings at ARN’s KIIS. They are largely responsible for turning around the fortunes of KIIS Sydney. Last years position # 6.





4. 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 # 2.






5. Amanda Keller – ARN’s top rating Breakfast host Amanda Keller heard daily on Sydneys WSFM with cohost Brendan Jones. Amanda been at or near the top of the ratings for over a decade. Last years position # 5.






6. 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 # 3.






7.  Louise Higgins – Nova Chief Operating Officer – guides the Melbourne Nova 100 and Smooth teams and the operations of the Nova Entertainment group. Is charged with turning around Nova100’s fortunes. Last years position # 10.





8. Robin Bailey – The top rating number 1 breakfast host in Brisbane at ARN’s 97.3 FM with Terri and Bob currently rating an impressive 14%. Has previously worked in Sydney and Melbourne at WSFM, FOX and B105. Last years position # 12.





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





10. Kate Langbroek – Formerly Nova100 Breakfast and now highly successful and top rating at ARN. Kate and Dave Hughes can be heard on national drive on the KIIS network. Last years position # 20.






11. 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 after working on national drive with Jules Lund on the Today network. Last years position # 17





12. Sam Thompson – ARN Melbourne Group Content Director, and looks after the programming of leading Melbourne station GOLDFM and the recently relaunched KIIS. Last years position # 13





13. Kate Richie – Nova’s top rating show with Marty Sheargold with Tim Blackwell. The show has now been with this line-up for over 2 years. Currently the highest cumeing drive show nationally. Last years position # 15.






14. Chrissie Swan – Nova 100 Breakfast after switching from ARN to Nova Melbourne Chrissie heads up Nova100’s new breakfast show. Was previously on Mix ( KIIS ) breakfast. Last years position # 21.





15. Janet Cameron (pictured) / Alison Cameron – Grant Broadcasters regional radio pioneers, Grants operates a huge network of regional radio stations across Australia, and the Radio Sales Network. Last years position # 7






16. Jo Stanley – new to ARN’s Gold ARN’s number 1 FM station in Melbourne. Co hosts breakfast with Lehmo. Previously was FOX breakfast co host with Matt Tilley. Last years position # 19





17. Fran Kelly – Announcer ABC – Host of radio national’s Breakfast show, Fran is a leading journalist and political correspondent. Last years position # 9.






18. Wendy Harmer – former number 1 2day breakfast host. Wendy is now host of ABC Sydney’s 702 Mornings radio program in last ratings is now  #2 behind 2GB’s Ray Hadley. New entry this year.






19. 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 # 18.






20. Meshel Laurie – co host of KIIS Melbourne breakfast show with Matt Tilley. Was previously on Nova 106.9 with Ash, Kip and Lutsy and Nova national drive with Marty Sheargold and Tim Blackwell. Last years position # 11.






21. Linda Wayman – General Manager for SCA’s Perth stations Hit 92.9 and Mix. Has been in the chair now for over 13 years. Last years position # 14.






22. Irene Hulme – Former Content Director & Music Director at 2dayfm, Nova and Triple M now is SCA’s Network Head of Music and Entertainment Partnerships for The Hit Network. Last years position # 16






23. Erica Hodge – Content Director for SCA’s Perth number 1 station Mix 94.5. Previously held roles of Executive Producer and Journalist. New entry this year.






24. Anna Murdoch Mann ( nee Torv ) – Owner and Founder of highly successful Gold Coast radio station Hot Tomato. Last years position # 23.






25 = Cathy Thomas – the new General Manager broadcasting on The Pacific Star network, 3MP and 1116SEN. Formerly of Southern Cross Austereo. Last years position # 4.






25 = Sally Dobson – Director of Resonate broadcasters, operating three FM radio stations and nine AM radio stations in regional Queensland. Last years position # 26.







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