Mediaweek 100: Australian media’s most powerful people 80-61

Mediaweek 100

We continue to profile and rank the most powerful media people in Australia in the Mediaweek 100. The people who made the list control the budgets that shape what we consume via TV and streaming, radio, newspapers and digital platforms.

The list includes a diverse group of executives from “old media” proprietors through to the challengers who continue to grow their businesses.

While this list is not as diverse as it should be, the face of Australian media is changing and we look forward to the list evolving over coming years.

See also:

Australian media’s most powerful people – 100 to 81
Australian media’s most powerful people – 60-41
Australian media’s most powerful people – 40-21
Australian media’s most powerful people – 20-1


Paul Sigaloff

Managing Director & VP ANZ & INSEA Yahoo

After a career in UK media sales and radio, Paul Sigaloff arrived in Australia at Fairfax Media in 2009. At Fairfax he started in the Fairfax Digital business and then worked on the then-new Metro Division as the brands transitioned to a combination of print and digital. After five years with what was then Yahoo7, he changed his business card to Verizon Media after it took over the Yahoo! brands. Sigaloff has been managing director at Verizon Media for ANZ since 2018 and recently his remit has been expanded to also include India and South East Asia. Verizon rebranded as Yahoo in September 2021.


Jon Penn

EVP Asia Pacific, BBC Studios

In 2019 Jon Penn was appointed Executive Vice President, APAC, as BBC Studios created an Asia-Pacific regional business unit. BBC Studios brought its Asia and Australia & New Zealand regions together to create the Asia-Pacific (APAC) regional business comprising its international sales and distribution business under the leadership of Penn, formerly Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand, BBC Studios. Penn had been leading a 160 strong team located across seven offices in the APAC region. Due to a recent reorganisation, the BBC has all markets reporting to a London-based executive. Penn will stay with the BBC in as yet an unspecified role. Penn is a member of the External Engagement Committee at UNSW and an advisory board member of Peter Tonagh’s global media VC – Act Media Ventures.


Ian Audsley

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Prime Media

Ian Audsley has over 30 years of experience in the free to air television industry. He will see the regional television business folded into Seven West Media when the recent deal to sell the business closes. After that asset sale Prime Media will be wound up. Audsley was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Prime in 2010 and quickly set about restructuring the business to improve its financial performance, and repositioned the television division as the leading regional television broadcaster in Australia. He has previously been Executive Director of Mediaworks TV New Zealand, Chief Operating Officer at Nine Network Australia and General Manager Operations, Seven Network.

Emma Cowdroy facebook aap

Emma Cowdroy

Chief Executive Officer, AAP

Emma Cowdroy joined AAP in 2002 after working with legal firms in media, telecommunications and commercial law. During her time with the business, she was general counsel before taking over as CEO in 2020 when previous owners – News Corp, Nine Entertainment and Seven West Media – sold the newswire business. Cowdroy has represented AAP on the board of the News Media Coalition, which lobbies sporting, entertainment and other bodies for press freedom to cover events. She has also represented AAP in various forums, including Australia’s Right to Know, the Senate Inquiry into Sports News Reporting (leading to the establishment of the Code of Practice for Sports News Reporting), the Senate Inquiry into Evidence Amendment (Journalists’ Privilege) Bill (resulting in the Journalists’ Shield Laws) and the Independent Inquiry into Media and Media Regulation. After last year’s near-death experience and the sale to a consortium of investors and philanthropists, Cowdroy told Mediaweek early in 2021: “We’ve done a pretty amazing job, even though we’ve obviously had editorial cuts. We’re down to 75 editorial staff from what was around 140, but we’re still managing to put out 220 stories a day. The data we have that we’re following quite closely shows that a lot of those, if not all of those stories are being picked up and run by our subscribers.”


Matthew Deaner

Chief Executive Officer, Screen Producers Australia

Screen Producers Australia is a national organisation that represents the screen industry to campaign for the best possible commercial environment as its members go about their business of making feature films, television programs, interactive content and games across all genres and formats. Deaner, who has just started his 10th year in the role, oversees all aspects of Screen Producers Australia’s advocacy work, industrial negotiations, events and operational issues. He also works on the strategic direction of the organisation as well as seeking business development opportunities. Deaner has experience as a lawyer in both Sydney and London and in senior policy and strategy positions with Screen Australia and the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association. In July 2015 he was appointed to the board of Media Super as an employer-representative director, nominated by Screen Producers Australia.

Brian White Scholarship

Joan Warner

Chief Executive Officer, Commercial Radio Australia

Joan Warner has been the leader of Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) for the past two decades. The organisation, which launched as the Federation of Australian Radio Broadcasters (FARB) in 1930, represents 99% of all commercial radio broadcasters. Warner was responsible for the planning, rollout and implementation of DAB+ digital radio in the five metropolitan capitals covering up to 60% of the Australian population. In her role as CEO she also oversees the whole of industry marketing campaign, Radio Codes of Practice, audience survey contracts and industry copyright agreements. Warner recently announced she will step down in early 2022 and the hunt is on for a replacement. She had wanted to depart at the end of December 2021, but will now stay on until the end of the first quarter of 2022.


Charmaine Moldrich

Chief Executive Officer, Outdoor Media Association

Like some of the other industry organisation leaders ranked alongside Charmaine Moldrich, when an organisation gets a good chief they make sure they hang on to them. Moldrich stepped into the role in early 2010 and has transformed the sector. She has a background of careful management skills that include time at the Historic Houses Trust and the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority. She was key to the introduction Move, the measurement of outdoor audience. As her members are coming out of the pandemic disruption, she was leading from the front at the recent Outfront 2022 which revealed a number of initiatives including Move 1.5.


Bridget Fair and Greg Hywood

Free TV Chief Executive and Chairman

Bridget Fair joined Free TV Australia as Chief Executive Officer in February 2018. She previously held a number of senior roles with Seven West Media responsible for corporate affairs, government relations, corporate strategy and external stakeholder management. Fair previously worked with the ABC and SBS and is a former chair of Screenrights and has been on the boards of OzTAM and Freeview. She is also a non-executive director of iSelect and a board member of the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism & Ideas.

Free TV Australia appointed Greg Hywood as its independent chairman in October 2020. Hywood is a Walkley Award-winning journalist who worked as both editor-in-chief of The Sydney Morning Herald and later The Age. He crossed over into management to be the CEO and managing director of Fairfax Media and is credited by many as saving the company from ruin as digital disruption cut a swathe through the newspaper industry. He is widely regarded as having been instrumental in the turnaround of Fairfax in the face of a changing media environment, making it attractive to be acquired by Nine Entertainment Co.


Kim Portrate

Chief Executive Officer, Premium Content Alliance

The CEO of the Premium Content Alliance Kim Portrate also has the role of running ThinkTV which now sits inside that overall collection of media marketing support companies. Portrate started her career in agencies which culminated in three years at Carat as Director of Insight and Innovation. She moved into marketing working first at Tourism Australia and then took the CMO role at the Helloworld travel group. She joined ThinkTV in mid-2016 and has now outlasted the then CEOs at the three commercial broadcasters and Foxtel. In 2021 as part of the wider media industry marketing body Premium Content Alliance, ThinkTV has welcomed the release of the first VOZ Total TV data. VOZ broadcast viewing measurement brings together deduplicated national viewing on TV sets and connected devices (connected TVs, desktop/laptop computers, tablets and smartphones) to provide all-screen, cross-platform planning and reporting for Australia’s television industry. ThinkTV chief executive Kim Portrate told Mediaweek: “We actually have a bigger audience across TV than we think. VOZ is the first opportunity we have had to demonstrate that.”


Sophie Madden

Chief Executive Officer, Media Federation of Australia

Sophie Madden is in her ninth year at the head of the organisation of Australia’s major media agencies. A collection of largely multinational groups that compete fiercely for business but who have enough common goals to entrust them to Madden to pursue on their behalf. Madden spent a decade in agency land at McCann Erikson and then close to another decade as media director at Unilever. She then spent just over a year with Vodafone in Dublin and then another year with Kraft Foods in Melbourne before being hired by the MFA. The MFA run a number of programs on behalf of its members, designed to attract and retain the very best talent in the industry. A more recent initiative was MFA Support, a program to support media agency professionals who lost their job due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The goal is to retain valued talent in the industry by ensuring that they remain connected. Ex-employees of MFA member agencies are eligible to join the program. In September more than 100 judges reviewed and discussed a record number of entries to select 52 finalists for the 2021 MFA Awards, now being held on 10 February 2022 because of Covid-19.

Vice Australia

Matt Rowley

Chief Executive Officer, Pedestrian Group

Matt Rowley was appointed CEO of Nine’s Pedestrian Group in April 2019 as the founders Chris Wirasinha and Oscar Martin moved from full-time to advisory roles as they explored new ventures. Under the leadership of Wirasinha and Martin, Pedestrian Group expanded to include Pedestrian.TV and the Australian editions of Business Insider, Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker and Popsugar. Rowley joined Pedestrian managing director Brian Florido and publisher Vanessa Lawrence to form the Pedestrian Group leadership team. Earlier in 2021 Rowley oversaw a multi-year deal with the world’s largest independent youth media company, Vice Media Group. The long-term partnership means Pedestrian Group will be the exclusive publishing and commercial partner for Vice Australia. The deal also saw the launch of a new platform: Refinery29 Australia, which was described as being the new leading media and entertainment destination for women in Australia and New Zealand.


Clive Dickens

VP, Television, Content and Product Development, Optus Media

Clive Dickens joined Optus in May 2019 and works on lifting Optus’ digital capability and leveraging Optus’ exclusive content assets, content and OTT partnerships, including Optus Sport, Apple Music and Fetch TV. Having the rights to the Premier League and the FIFA World Cup have been key to the growth of Optus Sport. Rights that were also being eyed by other streaming platforms. Dickens was formerly Chief Digital Officer at Seven West Media. He was an advisor to the founders of, and a minority shareholder in, Shazam (acquired by Apple in 2018). Other previous non-executive roles include Yahoo7 and Air Tasker and previous corporate executive roles include Southern Cross Austereo Australia and Absolute Radio in the UK. In mid-November 2021, amid speculation multiple parties were trying to get Premier League rights, Dickins and Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin re-signed a deal for a further eight years.


Craig Hutchison

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Sports Entertainment Network

Regular listeners to Hutchy’s weekly podcast The Sounding Board, with Damian Barret, will be well-schooled on his rise from a humble cadet reporter to the CEO of Australia’s fastest-growing specialist sports broadcaster and publisher. Along the way Hutchy was the centre of many big sports stories he covered for Seven News and later Nine’s AFL Footy Show. However, it is as media owner and salesman where he has arguably been most successful, taking Crocmedia from a US-based entertainment agency to an Australian and New Zealand conglomerate with more radio stations than you can count, associated digital broadcasting apps and web properties, a publishing business, a talent management agency, and a sports events company.


Peter Tonagh

Peter Tonagh is best known for his leadership roles at Foxtel and News Corp Australia in addition to his time as a partner at The Boston Consulting Group. He has a portfolio of roles including board positions and advisory/mentoring roles with start-up organisations, some of which he was an early investor in. Tonagh is the non-executive Chairman of Bill Identity Limited, GTN Limited and ACT Capital Pty Limited and a non-executive director of The Quantium Group. He is also the Chairman of Bus Stop Films – a not-for-profit organisation supporting inclusion in the film and television industry – and a non-executive Director of AAP, the not-for-profit entity that rescued Australia’s newswire service in 2020. He was appointed to the board of the ABC in May this year and was made ABC deputy chair in November. Tonagh worked for News Corporation entities for nearly 14 years in senior executive roles across each of the key Australian businesses as Chief Executive Officer of each of Foxtel, REA and News Corp Australia.


Deanne Weir

Chair of Ai-Media and Seer Data and Analytics, Founder

Deanne Weir is a former media lawyer and executive turned producer, investor and company director. Her career includes legal and senior executive roles at Telstra, Austar and Foxtel. She has launched her own business,, that has an investment and advisory role in Hoodlum, the Brisbane-based Emmy and BAFTA award-winning film and television production company, and Moshcam, the online home of live concert video. has made direct investments in Australian feature films including I Used to Be Normal, Babyteeth, Miss Fisher & The Crypt of Tears and I Am Woman. Weir is also chair of Ai-Media, the ASX listed global provider of speech to text services, and Seer Data & Analytics, a technology start-up helping the social sector make better decisions through the use of data and insights. Weir was a board member of Screen Australia for eight years until 2016, where she was instrumental in the development of its Gender Matters program and remains a member of its Gender Matters Taskforce. She is also chair of the Sydney Film Festival and For Film’s Sake, an advocacy organisation providing opportunity for all women in production, distribution and cultural exhibition.


Suzy Nicoletti

Managing Director, Twitter Australia

Suzy Nicoletti is former head of online sales at Twitter Australia and has been at the company for nearly eight years. In 2016 she was promoted to Managing Director Australia, taking over from Karen Stocks. In her previous role at Twitter, Nicoletti looked after mid-market and small medium business channels. Nicoletti has worked in Australia for 13 years, spending that time in the online sector and also working at Google in the US and here prior to joining Twitter.


Tanya Denning-Orman

Director of Indigenous Content, SBS

A Birri and Guugu Yimidhirr woman, Tanya Denning-Orman has been with NITV in various roles since 2007. She was appointed commissioning editor and director of content in 2007. She was later NITV Channel Manager from 2012 and took on the current wider role in July 2020. She also an advisory director of Media Diversity Australia, alongside a board that includes MDA co-founders, journalists Isabel Lo and Antoinette Lattouf, company secretary Alvaro Rodas, and philanthropist Talal Yassine. Other advisory board members are Indigenous journalist Stan Grant, The Project host Waleed Aly, journalists Monica Attard and Hugh Riminton, former Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphomassane, lawyer and non-executive director Katrina Rathie and multicultural advertising expert Sheba Nandkeolyar.

Peter Holder

Peter Holder

Managing Director, Daily Mail Australia

After a career that started with a Fairfax cadetship and then five years on the colourful men’s weekly People, Peter Holder has one of the more interesting CVs on our list. He was later the founding editor of GQ Australia, built Sydney Confidential into a powerful, multi-platform brand, co-authored Harry M Miller’s second autobiography, spent a decade at ACP/Bauer Media as publisher of various titles, including launch editor of Men’s Style and overseeing a portfolio of titles from Ralph and FHM to Woman’s Day and Cleo, before signing on as managing director of Daily Mail Australia where he has been for nearly seven years.

Guardian Australia Dan Stinton

Dan Stinton

Managing Director, Guardian Australia

In mid-2018, Dan Stinton was named the managing director of Guardian Australia. He succeeded Ian McClelland, who was promoted to be Guardian Media Group’s Managing Director of corporate development based in London. As managing director, Stinton leads Guardian Australia’s commercial strategy, with responsibility for revenues and operations across advertising and other areas. He works closely with Guardian Australia editor Lenore Taylor. Stinton was previously head of digital at Seven West Media, responsible for digital products and technology across Seven West Media’s Western Australian business including The West Australian, Perth Now and 7 Perth. He worked for Yahoo7 for seven years in a number of roles including head of news and information.

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Andrew Lancaster

Chief Executive Officer WIN Corp and Birketu

Currently the CEO of Bruce Gordon’s privately held WIN Corporation and Birketu, Andrew Lancaster is the right-hand man running day-to-day operations for Gordon in Australia. With more than 27 years working in the media sector, he has extensive experience in both metropolitan, and regional television and radio. Lancaster’s background has given him a good grounding in strategic, structural, operational, financial and resource management as well as a proven history of driving strong revenue growth across all areas of the media business. Engineering the move back to an affiliation deal with Nine was a recent win. Lancaster is also a Director of Free TV Australia, Broadcast Transmission Services and NRL team St George Illawarra Dragons.

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