Welcome to the second annual Mediaweek 100 list.
The 2022 Mediaweek 100 will again no doubt create debate within the industry about people ranked too high, too low, people who shouldn’t be on it and others who missed out.
The media executives on this list control the purse strings for the content that Australians, and many people around the world, consume each year. With some exceptions they are not the people who make the shows or write the stories and scripts, yet they make the decisions about what we all get to consume.
There will be 20 new Mediaweek 100 rankings revealed each day this week.
Also look out for our new lists – Star Power 25, Agency 50 and Mediaweek Icons – which will be all published on Friday October 21.
Taking on Fox Corp in the courts has seen Private Media founder Eric Beecher receiving more publicity than perhaps at any stage of his career. The former editorial executive for Fairfax and News Corp sums up the recent controversy on the Crikey GoFundMe page: On August 23, the billionaire chairman of Fox News, Lachlan Murdoch, sued Crikey over an article published in June that covered the role of Fox News in the January 6 insurrection in Washington DC. That article did not name Lachlan Murdoch (rather, one paragraph referred to “the Murdochs”); the headline mentioned the word “Murdoch”. Based on those two references, published on a small independent news website in Australia, Lachlan Murdoch has unleashed his legal and financial forces against us. So far the GoFundMe campaign has raised over $500,000 of the $3m target. Before launching Private Media, Beecher sold his media business Text Media to Fairfax for over $60m in 2003. The Private Media business then bought Crikey from founder Stephen Mayne for $1m. Private Media shareholders also include John B Fairfax and Cameron O’Reilly. Beecher also contributes to Crickey with over 100 columns over the years. The most recent five deal with his Fox Corp dispute.
Executive Chairman, Schwartz Media
Schwartz has been a publisher since 1971 when, at the age of 23, he along with three friends established Outback Press, one of Australia’s first independent book publishers. In the 1980s, Schwartz set up Schwartz Media and went on to launch the imprint, Black Inc in 1997. Black Inc. received Australian Book Industry Awards for Best Small Publisher of the Year Award in 2007, 2009 and 2015. Schwartz launched the current affairs magazine The Monthly in 2005 and then nine years later launched the weekly publication The Saturday Paper. Sister publications include Quarterly Essay which first appeared in 2001 and Australian Foreign Affairs. The company diversified into podcasts successfully with the daily news podcast 7am.
Lovatts Media Group
Northey has been navigating the challenging world of magazines for close to 15 years. During that time the former exclusive puzzle publisher has diversified significantly with print and digital editions. It also boasts a significant lifestyle division with flagship titles Breathe and Nourish. Lovatts has always had an eye on international markets too where it continues to play with both its puzzles division and Nourish. The company was founded by James and Christine Lovatt. James retired several years ago, but Christine continues to write columns. The company is all over any developments in the puzzle word. The latest title it is launching is Handy Binary Puzzles.
Vice President APAC, Yahoo
Earlier this year Yahoo promoted Sigaloff to his current role. The posting means Sigaloff leads sales for the ad technology business across the entire Asia Pacific region. Previously VP of ANZ, India and South-East Asia, his expanded remit now includes Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. Commenting on the appointment, Sigaloff said he’s looking forward to working collaboratively with teams across the region to accelerate growth. “I’m humbled to step into this role and lead APAC, working with our global leaders to scale the Yahoo business. My aim is simple as I connect with teams across the region – foster a people first organisation that is agile, focused on strategy and structured to deliver our growth expectations in a human and helpful way.”
Managing Director, Val Morgan
Burbidge started his career in the UK working agency side and he has extensive experience across the industry including outdoor and digital. Before joining Val Morgan, he held the position of sales director at Quantcast. In the four years he has been managing the business, Val Morgan has expanded with growing Val Morgan Outdoor and Val Morgan Digital divisions. Covid saw cinemas closed for many months, but recently the company revealed cinema admissions had reached a record two-and-half-year peak, with over 3.05 million admissions in one week helped by major cinema hits like Top Gun Maverick.
Managing Director, Distribution Networks and DTC ANZ and IMD USA at NBCUniversal
Taylor is about to start his 10th year with the global media business. Companies have been jostling for rights to an output deal with NBCU lately with reports Seven could be in the box seat and might even use the content to spearhead a new SVOD business. Taylor worked in television sales early in his career and then took management positions at Nine and Prime. He later moved to Telstra where one of three roles included running Telstra Media. Positions at Quickflix and Skyfii followed. He also lists a number of companies he chairs – Houseandland.com.au, Bravo TV New Zealand and mortgage aggregator Joust.
VP Digital Product Development, Optus
Under Dicken’s watch, Optus Sport really has reinforced its position as Australia’s home of international football. The jewel in the crown remains the Premier League rights with the telco signing a new contract extension late last years for six years through until 2028. There was much interest in securing the rights also from the likes of Fox Sports/Kayo and Stan Sport. At the time of the renewal, Dickens said: “In the six years since securing the exclusive Premier League rights, Optus Sport has become the undisputed home of premium European football and has introduced new Australian audiences to the game whilst setting the benchmark on live sports streaming.” Earlier this year Optus Sport revealed a significant price increase, listing the monthly fee from $15 to $25. Qualifying Optus customers however can secure a subscription for $7 monthly. Helping justify the increased cost is even more football with customers also able to watch LaLiga, Women’s Super League, J.League and most recently Germany’s DFB Pokal.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Universal Media Co
Earlier this year, the digital magazine app Readly announced the signing of Universal Magazines. This was a milestone for Readly, with all major Australian publishers now available for customers on the platform. Among the new digital magazines added from Universal are Australian 4WD & SUV Buyer’s Guide, Australian Country, Australian New Car Buyer, Backyard and Outdoor Living, Eat Well, Grand Designs Australia, Outdoor Design, Poolside Showcase, WellBeing, and WellBeing Wild. Universal Media is the second-biggest Australian magazine publisher behind only Are Media. Working under Prema Perera are long-time publisher Janice Williams and associate publisher Emma Perera. The decision to diversity revenue streams sees the company with over 30 magazine and digital brands plus activities including content creation, video and even a growing line of stationery products. Universal Media Co’s stationery division claims to be the largest publisher of licensed and branded calendars, diaries and planners sold through Australia’s biggest retailers including Woolworths, Coles, and Big W.
Executive Head LiSTNR Podcasts
After a radio career behind the microphone, Tothill moved into programming and management working with what was then Austereo. He spent four years as Triple M Network program director before working on program integration across the group. Tothill stepped away from radio briefly for 18 months at Sony Music working with A&R, marketing the Australian artists for the label. He rejoined Southern Cross Austereo in a number of executive posts before being appointed head of podcasting six years ago. He drove the partnership with PodcastOne which launched in 2017 before being made general manager digital audio for SCA. In July this year Tothill was promoted to his current role. In August 2022, LiSTNR claimed to be the #1 sales representation podcast network in Australia with 5.9m monthly listeners cross the podcasts it represented. That #1 ranking should grow after the recent partnership with Wondery was announced which will push monthly listeners to around 7.5m.
Head of Digital Audio at ARN/iHeartRadio & iHeartPodcast Network Australia
Layton started in radio under the moniker Captain Turntable in Melbourne first at Hitz FM and then on late nights for what was still then ARN’s TTFM. He moved to an on-air role at Nova 100 before producing breakfast for Hughesy and Kate. He then spent three years in the UK working for Global and then IMG. On return he produced Fifi Box across the Today Network before she went into Fox breakfast. Layton then worked as head of response and activation for SCA in Melbourne and Sydney. After a year with Mediabrands on the Ensemble team, he spent three years with Whooshkaa as content and marketing director. Layton re-joined ARN as head of commercial audio and podcasts before taking his current role at the start of 2021. Podcast Ranker listed iHeartPodcast Network as #1 podcast publisher in Australia with close to 4m monthly listeners and just under 20m monthly downloads in August 2022.
Rachel Perkins and Darren Dale
We list Perkins in her role at Blackfella Film as the ranking acknowledges company performance over the past 12 months. However just earlier this month she announced she was departing the production company she founded. Without detailing what might be next, Perkins said it’s time to pursue other life goals. Co-director Dale commented: “I could not be prouder of the legacy of ground-breaking content Rachel and I have built over two decades of creative partnership.” The most compelling and important recent Blackfella Films’ production was Perkins’ three-part documentary series for SBS, The Australian Wars. Others include Total Control season two and Books That Made Us hosted by Claudia Karvan, both for ABC.
CEO, Fremantle Australia
After a time as interim chief executive, earlier this year Woods was confirmed as Fremantle Australia CEO. With Fremantle-controlled Eureka looking after the entertainment formats, Woods will focus on the development and production of drama, documentaries, and factual-skewing programs. An accountant by trade, Woods is a former CFO of Fremantle Australia. Prior to that he also worked in FMCG and treasury. Recent Fremantle successes include the new season of Heartbreak High which has found a substantial global following for Netflix who quickly commissioned a second season. The company continues to be the home of the long-running formats Grand Designs Australia and Restoration Australia.
Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Helium
It’s been 12 months since Fennessy revealed his new company after stepping away from Endemol Shine Australia. The new business comprises Helium Studios, Helium Pictures and Helium Records and is promising to specialise in the creation of innovative, authentic, and compelling content, aiming to redefine the boundaries between music and pictures. Helium’s initial slate includes the drama series Last King of The Cross, the John Ibrahim drama series currently in post-production for Paramount+, and the feature film 6 Festivals, also for Paramount+. Helium also revealed new commissions for Nine (Twins) and 10 (Paper Dolls). Earlier this year Therese Hegarty was appointed chief executive officer of Helium.
Chris Culvenor and Paul Franklin
Another year of growth for the Eureka Group TV business where founders Culvenor and Franklin sold down their shareholding to give Fremantle a controlling stake. The duo has made several key appointments this year including Eden Gaha as president and Wes Dening as head of global formats. Fremantle announced development and production of all entertainment, reality, and game show formats would be handled by Eureka. In addition to major formats Farmer Wants a Wife, The Amazing Race Australia and Parental Guidance the group has a thriving US business. More recent Australian commissions include The Real Love Boat, Luxe Listings and Kitchen Nightmares. Fremantle formats underway this year are Australia’s Got Talent and Australian Idol, both on Seven after Covid delays to production.
Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder: Michael Cordell and Nick Murray, founders and Pps, Matt Campbell CEO
Company co-founders Cordell and Murray are hands on with many of the shows on the CJZ slate, while group chief executive Matt Campbell runs the business and keeps an eye on the bottom line of the Australian and New Zealand operations. Campbell is possibly the only former ski instructor turned French television presenter turned TV programmer. The latter job was at SBS where Campbell was programmer and later director of television. Before signing on at CJZ, Campbell spent time with Shine Australia as managing director. Recent CJZ releases include the Acorn original movie Darby and Joan and the second season of Question Everything for the ABC. CJZ’s Gruen has been shortlisted for a 2022 Rose d’Or Award.
Pictured [L-R]: Matt Campbell, Toni Malone (director of production), Nick Murray and Michael Cordell
Working Dog: Michael Hirsh, Santo Cilauro, Jane Kennedy, Rob Sitch and Tom Gleisner
More of a collective perhaps than any other business on the list. Arguably with a better hit percentage than most production businesses too. Working Dog is home to so many iconic TV landmarks going back to The Late Show and then through Frontline, The Panel, Utopia, Thank God You’re Here and Have You Been Paying Attention? The latter will be back for season 12 in 2023. A newish spin-off is The Cheap Seats which will be back for season 3 in 2023. Launches are a rarity these days, which makes a venture into the theatre next year all the more special. Tom Gleisner is the author of a play based on his book Bloom being produced by the Melbourne Theatre Company. The cast includes Anne Edmonds, Frankie J. Holden and Vidya Makan. Tickets on sale March 30, 2023 for a July 30 opening.
Mott sticks to his roles. He’s clocked up seven years now running ITV Studios in Australia after previously signing up for 18 years with Seven and then another 18 with 10. The ITV business runs the gamut of major franchises like Love Island, The Voice and I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! through to quirky, more niche programming like Inside Central Station and Letters and Numbers. Among the recent interesting commissions are a return of This Is Your Life, a version of Alone Australia and the Kate Langbroek-hosted My Mum Your Dad.
General Manager, BBC Studios Australia & New Zealand
Lang arrived in media after a legal career with a couple of big firms. She has now been with the BBC for a decade, currently looking after operations across the region. Her role includes responsibility for content sales, branded services, consumer products, licensing, live events and home entertainment businesses. She is responsible for BBC World News and BBC’s interest in BritBox Australia, where she is a board member on the latter. BBC Studios growth across the past year comes from multiple sources, including the Bluey partnership and associated deals with Colgate, Arnotts, Boost Juice, V-Tech, Adairs, Hasbro/Moose, Designworks, Peter Alexander and AirBnB. Following the successful Bluey’s Big Play Australian tour, a 45-week US tour is visiting 118 cities. BBC Studios content continues to be widely distributed on all major free to air broadcasters, SVOD and BVOD services, with BritBox the single biggest SVOD customer. In the branded services BBC Studios has expanded its relationship with Fetch, renewing all of the seven BBC branded channels (BBC First, UKTV, BBC Earth, BBC BRIT, BBC World News, CBeebies and BBC Kids).
Julian Cress & David Barbour
The veteran duo has previously produced shows in Australia and the US for networks in both territories. These days there is one focus – working their magic on Nine’s most profitable piece of programming, The Block. As they wrap another successful season, they have reportedly settled on new properties for season 19 at a cost of $14m+ for the network. The current season is the first outside of metro Melbourne or Sydney, and next year it looks like it’s back to Cress and Barbour’s happy hunting grounds, the inner south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Cress is hands on during the shoot for each season while Barbour overseas post production and delivers the polished gold to Nine.
Managing Director, Warner Bros. International Television Production Australia [WBITVP]
After recent regional leadership changes, Brooks continues as MD of Warner Bros. International Television Production Australia [WBITVP], where he will, just like WBITVP NZ, continue to report directly into the global WBITVP organisation. In addition, Brooks was appointed as Head of Studios, Australia & New Zealand, where he will be responsible for content licensing, and optimising studio-related activities across both markets, for which he will report to Gibbons. Brooks is based in Sydney. Formats in production this year include Selling Houses Australia, The Repair Shop, The Masked Singer, The Bachelors and Dancing with the Stars.
CEO, Endemol Shine Australia
The Banijay owned productions companies in Australia grew this month with the announcement that The French-based global giant has acquired Sydney-based global producer and distributor Beyond International. The biggest of any production business in Australia, the Banijay owned Endemol Shine Australia looks like operating separately from the new acquisition though with Beyond founder and CEO Mikael Borglund remaining with the business. Meanwhile ESA chief executive Newman continues to place new series and formats with broadcasters, unveiling new shows across all the FTA networks and Foxtel during this Upfront season. Newman has worked in the Australian, UK and US in the independent production sector and for various television networks. Formats he has helped steer in a decade with Endemol Hine Australia have included MasterChef Australia, Big Brother, Australian Survivor, LEGO Masters, Married at First Sight, Australian Ninja Warrior, and Gogglebox
Director of Indigenous Content, SBS
By its own high standard, SBS has showcased some wonderful Indigenous programming this year on its channels that is very worthy of bigger audiences. Recently SBS and NITV provided coverage of the 22nd Garma Festival of Cultures across the SBS network, giving Australians unique insights and access to the event taking place in Gulkula, Gumatj Country, in north-east Arnhem Land. At the time Denning-Orman explained: “Garma provides an important stage and moment for discussion about the challenges impacting First Nations communities that we face as a nation, underpinned by tens of thousands of years of cultural tradition, knowledge and practice of the Yolŋu peoples. From the daily dialogue to the beautiful Buŋgul – the traditional Yolŋu ceremony each afternoon – we have a special opportunity with NITV and across SBS to share this unique celebration of First Nations cultures, achievements and determination with all Australians through our coverage.”
Brendan Taylor, Peter Clay and Ben Latimer
After Paul Jackson stepped away from Nova Entertainment for his own audio consultancy, replacing the former group programmer and marketing boss was going to be a challenge. Rising to that challenge, and expanding that role, are three radio veterans who have started off landing the business the #1 network position in the latest radio ratings survey. The senior programming team know there way around Nova – Peter Clay (smooth operator for 12 years), Ben Latimer (contend and talent specialist is relative newcomer after five years), and Brendan Taylor (programming ops specialist for 14 years) – and now report to Nova’s chief executive officer, Peter Charlton.
Group Managing Director and Founder, Token Artists
There aren’t many managers on this list, but Whyte’s group of companies and his TV work ensure a place for him here. The businesses under his guidance include Token Artists which boasts a rich catalogue of talent including Hannah Gadsby, Lloyd Langford, Tom Ballard, Dave Hughes, Wil Anderson, Adam Hills, Mel Buttle, Anne Edmonds, Charlie Pickering and Anne Edmonds. He also runs major comedy festivals and tours, another bulging management business called Creative Representation plus the TV producer Guesswork Television and a share of Thinkative Television alongside partners Chris Walker and Charlie Pickering. Token Artists had to be inventive during Covid helping its comedians diversify their offerings with no live gigs.
Head of Content Australia & New Zealand, Amazon Prime Video
Luxe Listings Australia has been something of a sleeper for the platform and has hit on a formula that looks like being replicated in other markets. The company continues to commission a significant number of Australian originals. The streaming business model allows them to program offbeat niche series alongside more mainstream fare. Put that together with some major international franchises – from The Grand Tour and Clarkson’s Farm to major Hollywood movies like Memory and Thirteen Lives – and other content deals and the Amazon Prime delivery offer, it is a must have for canny shoppers. Bern’s most recent visit to Australia was to co-host a Prime Video showcase where the company announced six new commissions that will join three previously announced making 2023 its biggest year ever for Australian content.
Chief Content Officer, Stan
A legal background helped propel Scobie into the world of content acquisition after landing a post at Nine where she worked for seven years from 2007. She then transferred across to Stan at launch as general counsel, soon moving to program buying as head of acquisition. Scobie was then made commercial director of content before replacing Nick Forward as chief content officer. Stan’s quirky and talented acquisitions team have had a colossal year in 2022 that might be hard to replicate. Scobie recently told Mediaweek: “We’ve announced that we are intending to move towards 30% of our first run programming being Stan original commissions, and with that is the ability to move into genres outside of drama – which has been our traditional strength. At the end of the day, it is what streaming services have originally been built on, whether that’s licenced or commissioned content.”
Executive Director, Kayo Sports
A former executive at the head office for the NFL, Hefele relocated to Australia with consultants McKinsey and Co several years ago. She departed that role for the Foxtel Group where she was chief of staff to Patrick Delany. Hefele’s background proved to be the perfect grounding to run Kayo Sports, possibly one of the most successful media business launches ever in Australia. While it was/is keenly priced at $25 it’s success was all about the content, convenience and user experience. If you want lots of uninterrupted football and cricket, this is the place to be. Special introductory and partner deals have helped growth as have Kayo Freebies.
Executive Director, BiNGE
The successful launch of low-cost streaming platform Binge has turned out to be central to the new look Foxtel. The group’s attractively-priced entertainment streaming offering is a no-brainer for people carefully building their library of content suppliers. Having entertainment exec Ric Burns as her father, Alsion Hurbert-Burns got a taste of what the business had to offer. After roles at ninemsn and then Time Warner in the UK, she landed at Slattery Media which was the forerunner to AFL Media, running commercial operations. Hurbert-Burns then moved to Nine in programming and commercial roles before joining Foxtel to renegotiate the portfolio of movie and entertainment content deals. Building a portfolio of strong local content will be a BiNGE focus as more and more global studio groups tie their content into their own streaming brands.
Director 9Now & Programming, Nine
Turner looking after the schedule at Nine and the content for 9Now keeps Turner very busy. Nine’s year continues be bookended by MAFS and The Block, filling out some of the middle months is Lego Masters. The linear TV business sucks up most of the promo dollars, but browse around 9Now and you’ll understand how much work has gone into building that programming library. With Stan as the SVOD model, Nine is under no pressure to get sign-up dollars for 9Now. Commenting on Nine’s growing BVOD audience and the strategy, Turner told Mediaweek recently: “This is twofold: chasing a digital audience who may have cut the cord and providing them with the best user experience possible. Then, also being able to convert that audience who have got connected TVs and to ensure that free to air is the place that they are tuning into first.”
Chief Digital Officer, Seven
The former magazine editor-turned sales boss-turned chief executive has helped secure Seven’s digital future building out 7plus into a significant contributor. Seven already streams more content than any other FTA platform. Next is a possible SVOD model as Seven already has the biggest group of streaming AVOD channels. Being late to market won’t matter if they launch an SVOD model and can acquire the content to drive take up. Getting some extra content in a renewed NBCU deal just might help. Roberts and his team had great numbers earlier this year out of Birmingham. Seven’s coverage of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games reached more than 9.9 million Australians on Seven linear broadcast TV and more than 1.77 million on 7plus. On 7plus, Birmingham 2022 was up 165% in BVOD versus the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and up 86% live streaming. Roberts commented: “Streaming on 7plus is up a remarkable 165% on the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which, of course, were hosted in the Gold Coast and in an Australian time zone.”
Head of Content, Nine Radio
After 20 years in news radio and a spell at Sky News Australia, Byrnes and his team managed to replace 2GB breakfast and refresh the AW breakfast offering without losing audience. Choosing the right announcers is only part of the job of course, keeping them happy and performing is also in the job specs. Last year we mentioned the eventual departure of Ray Hadley and the opportunity that throws up for another broadcaster. That is still Byrnes’ biggest decision to make, but maybe still a way off. In survey 6, 2022, Nine’s talk radio stations achieved a record cumulative audience of 2.072 million – with a 6% increase in the 25-54 demo. Byrnes told Mediaweek the growth comes off the back of the record audiences they had during Covid.
Chief Content Officer, Southern Cross Austereo
Cameron has been with SCA for over 25 years and brings to the role of Chief Content Officer much experience in content strategy, programming, and talent management. He has spent several years in content and music director roles and prior to his appointment to chief content officer and also held the position of general manager of the Melbourne office. He was closely linked to the development and long success that Hamish and Andy had on radio at Fox FM, then the wider Today Network and now on LiSTNR. He is better known to a generation of Hamish and Andy fans as Grumpy Dave. Cameron is responsible for overseeing and delivering leadership and creative excellence for SCA’s content initiatives across all of its stations including FM, DAB+ and extended digital and associated on-demand and streaming content under the LiSTNR brand.
Content Director, ARN
Campbell has been programming radio in some of the most competitive markets, not only in Australia but internationally, for the past 25 years. In August 2010, he accepted the position of National Content Director of ARN based in Sydney. Campbell has a strong history of developing winning radio formats and teams in competitive markets. His experience and success in programming various music formats, along with his strong leadership skills, are helping ARN lead the way. Together with ARN chief executive Ciaran Davis, Campbell led the troops responsible for the successful launch of KIIS 1065 Sydney in 2014, taking the station straight to #1 FM after securing the services of Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O. Without the star power needed at launch, Melbourne’s KIIS 101.1 has been a slower burn. Campbell also scored bigtime for the Pure Gold format, first with first Jonesy and Amanda at WSFM and then a decade or more later having massive success at Gold 104.3 with Christian O’Connell. There’s only one place he’s happier than watching a #1 radio team at work, and that’s in seat 1A on an international carrier.
Early in her career Harvey spent time with Mediacom and later moved to UM and worked across a mix of clients including the Australian Government, Pfizer, Boots, and Meat and Livestock Australia. After relocating to Brisbane with her family, Harvey took up the position of general manager at UM Brisbane, working with clients including McDonald’s and Tourism and Events Queensland. Her career has been bookended by stints at Seven though. First as an office assistant to the CEO. In Brisbane, Harvey departed UM and re-joined Seven where she created the first combined SWM sales team, bringing Pacific Magazines and Seven together, before she moved back to Sydney in 2017 to take up the role of Sydney sales director and was promoted into the network sales director role in 2018. Harvey was most recently promoted to national sales director in March 2022.
CEO, Screen Producers Australia
Deaner is celebrating a decade running Screen Producers Australia, the industry body that represents Australian producers on all issues affecting the business and creative aspects of screen production. He has taken a prominent role in the Make It Australian campaign that sees performers, producers, writers, directors and crew joining forces to campaign for the future of the screen industry. The sector wants Australian stories told on Australian screens by local creatives. “We want to Make It Australian” is the rallying cry. Getting global streaming services that are moving into Australia in a big way to commission more local content is part of the plan.
Chief Executive Officer, IAB Australia
IAB Australia is the peak advocacy, research and standards body representing digital media and advertising. LeRoy first joined IAB as director of research and was promoted two years later to the role of chief executive. She has worked in the media industry for 30 years and in the digital ad industry since portals were cool, pop-ups were rampant and an unnamed TV exec told her that internet advertising would never be worth more than $100m. (The IAB recently reported FY22 digital ad revenue of $13.9b.) Prior to running the IAB, LeRoy held senior roles at Fairfax, Nielsen, ninemsn & Gateway Research.
Bridget Fair & Greg Hywood
Chief Executive and Chairman, Free TV
Free TV Australia advances the interests of its metro and regional commercial TV members in national policy debates, positions the industry for the future in technology and innovation and highlights the contribution commercial free-to-air television makes to Australia’s culture and economy. Fair joined Free TV Australia as chief executive officer in February 2018. She previously held a number of senior roles with Seven West Media looking after corporate affairs, government relations, corporate strategy and external stakeholder management and has also worked with the ABC and SBS. Hywood was appointed independent chairman in 2020. He is a Walkley Award-winning journalist and the former CEO and managing director of Fairfax Media. He holds the rare distinction of being, at separate times, editor-in-chief and publisher of The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. One important focus is maintaining the anti-siphoning list to keep major sport of FTA TV. The new Labor government has committed to review the list that expires in April 2023.
CEO, Outdoor Media Association
Just in the past few weeks, Moldrich revealed her intention to stand down from the trade group OMA she has successfully led since 2010. Moldrich said: “It’s a bittersweet moment, but after more than a decade working in an industry it is time to move on. Out of home (OOH) has become so much a part of my life and I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished in that time – particularly how we’ve seized the opportunities of digital OOH and developed tools to help advertisers, buyers, and planners understand the effectiveness of the channel. As part of the recruitment process for a replacement, the announcement of her departure include this positions vacant plug: To register expressions of interest or to have a confidential discussion about the CEO position at the OMA, contact Alex Jervis, Johnson Partners, [email protected].
In October 2022 OMA announced an increase of 43.7% on revenue for the third quarter of 2022 – $244.6m in revenue, up from $170.2m for the same quarter in 2021. Year-to-date revenue is sitting at $725.3m, an increase from 26.5% on 2021 and sitting behind pre-pandemic 2019 by -2.8%.
Chief Executive Officer, CRA
After being appointed in March 2022 to succeed Joan Warner as Commercial Radio Australia CEO, Ford Ennals relocated to his new home in April 2022. One of his first announcements this year was rebranding the trade group to Commercial Radio & Audio. Prior to his Australian arrival, Ennals was founding CEO of Digital UK and most recently was CEO of Digital Radio UK. Digital UK was a consortium of British commercial and public service broadcasters including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel Five where Ennals was responsible for working with broadcasters and the UK Government to convert UK homes to digital TV. At Digital Radio UK, Ennals led the UK radio industry’s transition to digital listening, working with the BBC, Global, Bauer and Arqiva, as well as with the automotive and tech organisations the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and techUK, the UK Government, and media regulator Ofcom. Ennals is about to oversee a new look radio Audio Unlimited conference and will then attend the night that celebrates the best in commercial radio, the ACRAS, the following day.
Chief Executive Officer, Premium Content Alliance
During more than two decades’ experience in the packaged goods, telco, finance and tourism industries, Kim Portrate has worked in creative agencies and media agencies in the US and Australia. She has worked in marketing some of the biggest brands including Unilever, Pepsi Cola, Optus, AMP and Tourism Australia. The Premium Content Alliance – made up of ThinkTV, ThinkPremiumDigital and ThinkNewsBrands – promotes the benefits using the assets of its shareholders Foxtel and Foxtel Media, News Corp Australia, Seven West Media, Nine Entertainment and Paramount. ThinkNewsBrands now releases detailed readership data across news platforms (print, digital and cross platform). ThinkTV has been driving the transition to Total TV data as a guide to buyers and offers advertisers a deep dive on all things TV, including top performing programs and episodes, as well as metro, regional and national viewing base.
Chief Commercial Officer, ARN
Whitehead originally joined ARN in 2016 as commercial director with responsibility across the Melbourne and Adelaide markets. He has an extensive background in radio sales, spending 14 years working at Southern Cross Austereo where he held a number of roles including five years as Melbourne sales director. Prior to joining ARN, he was the national sales director at outdoor company oOh!media. After the acquisition of Grant Broadcasters, ARN started syndicating major KIIS and Pure Gold Network shows via regional stations, meaning some metro shows are being broadcast nation-wide. Whitehead explained to Mediaweek: “The goals in the regional areas are largely to make sure that we have stations that are connecting, as they currently are, with their local communities. In a nutshell, we’re not going to be messing with what’s coming out of the speakers in the local market, we’re going to be enhancing it, and we’re going to be providing new content – Christian O’Connell, Kyle & Jackie O, Jonesey & Amanda, Will & Woody. Local breakfast shows will not be touched in any of our [regional] markets.”
Chief Executive Officer, Pedestrian Group
Pedestrian Group sits within Nine Entertainment and is a digital publisher, producing content covering entertainment, tech, gaming, lifestyle, and business news, through to in-depth investigative journalism and unique opinion writing. Recent staff movements have included the promotion of James McManus to executive creative director about which Rowley commented: “James has been a foundational member of Pedestrian Group leadership and spearheaded the growth of our creative capability, which has included bringing the VICE, Refinery29 and Openair Cinemas brands into our creative arsenal.” Pedestrian Group recently lost publisher Vanessa Lawrence to Linkby, an adtech platform expanding across the US, UK, Australia and Singapore. A recent Pedestrian initiative was the launch of Chainsaw, Australia’s first web3-focused news site that aims to sort fact from fiction on the impact and real-world applications of the blockchain technology that’s reshaping major sectors such as finance, business and culture.
Senior Vice President & Head of Networks, Warner Bros Discovery Australia, New Zealand, Japan
From 2002 Kyne spent eight years with Optus based in Sydney. He crossed the ditch to New Zealand initially for a career in radio with The Radio Network and then NZME. He joined MediaWorks NZ in 2015 working for six years until 2020, transitioning then to new MediaWorks parent, Discovery. Now as the senior executive for the newly merged Warner Bros Discovery in ANZ and Japan, Kayne is part of the team planning what the structure of the new business will be in those markets. One of the big decisions will be launching the international divisions of the streaming platform the media group decides to focus on globally.
Chief Executive Officer, AAP
After suddenly departing The Sydney Morning Herald in 2021, Davies quickly re-surfaced as chief executive of the new-look AAP after the previous owners sold it off. In 2020, AAP Newswire came close to closing down, but at the eleventh hour AAP was sold to a consortium of investors and philanthropists. While the company still faced job losses, the change in ownership meant that the newswire continued to operate. Davies told Mediaweek earlier this year: “It’s great to be back at AAP which is where I started my journalistic career. It’s a very different company to the one that it was back then. I’m really energised by the work that everyone’s doing and the opportunities we have in front of us.”
Head of Network Sport and Melbourne MD, Seven
The busy sports executive has guided the business through a hectic couple of years with Summer and Winter Olympics plus Commonwealth Games. Those international events were in addition to the overflowing basket of domestic rights at Seven which include AFL, Cricket (Test and white ball), Supercars and thoroughbred racing. Martin recently told Mediaweek: “The last 12 months has seen a historical schedule of events that will not be repeated. The Tokyo Olympics, the Paralympics, the AFL Grand Final in Western Australia and then returning to Melbourne, the Bathurst 1000, the Spring racing carnival, Ashes cricket, then back into a Winter Olympics, then back to the footy, and recently the Comm Games. I have got to pinch myself sometimes, I am so lucky to be part of it.”
Executive Director, Fox Sports
The TV executive has an embarrassment of riches under his watch including AFL, NRL, cricket (test and white ball) and Supercars. Crawley’s career with News Corp was celebrated at last year’s News Awards where he received the Chairman’s Award. Challenges in next few years will include expanding an already bulging team of AFL commentators as Fox Footy prepares to do its own coverage of all games each round. The arrival of Kayo has given the Foxtel Group even bigger sporting audiences. Summer might be highlighted by a new-look domestic T20 comp after the T20 World Cup, and 2023 will be huge with new AFL and NRL seasons return plus a new year of Supercars, F1, Netball etc.
Que Minh Luu
Head of Originals, Netflix
Commissioning a refresh of Heartbreak High seems to have been a masterstroke. The original episodes of the drama were on the market for a streaming platform when Netflix stepped in agreeing to contemporise the show. As well as the new 2022 version all 38 episodes of the original are on the streaming platform. The drama has been in the Netflix Top 10 TV shows globally for many weeks since release. Although Netflix doesn’t reveal the number of people watching, it noted in the first week of October 2022, nearly 10m hours were viewed globally. This will be career-changing for all involved. Commenting on the cast and crew, Que Minh Luu said: “Making Heartbreak High for today’s generation of Australians has been a long-standing dream. We couldn’t be more stoked to have a production that means so much to so many of us, with a cohort of such incredible breakthrough talent stepping up both on screen and off. Teenage (and adult) me would be equally thrilled to be friends with or socially rejected by this outrageously talented cast.”
Chief Executive Officer, Brag Media
The hip-hop artist Coptic Soldier later turned to label management and then the media sector where The Brag Media has established a bulging portfolio of entertainment brands represented in this market including The Brag, Rolling Stone, Variety and Billboard. The company also runs events, an ad agency and manages talent. The company has a bold target: “The Brag Media’s mission is to be the most ubiquitous presence in Australian culture; with its people, its artists and brands.” In a recent podcast with Zanda Wilson, Girgis went a bit deeper into the culture: “We believe that as a publisher, not only is it better for society if we focus on inspiring and non-dividing [content], but we actually think it’s going to be long-term benefit for our brand and our equity because our mastheads will live longer and be more respected and be more fondly received than if all you’re doing is trying to divide your public and show your audience how offended you are about everything that happens.”
Managing Director, Victoria/Tasmania Publishing News Corporation
It seems just yesterday that Zavecz stepped back from his role running Pacific Magazines to return to the Herald & Weekly Times. But that was in fact 2016 – just over six years ago. Over the course of more than two decades he held various positions at News including advertising sales director at HWT. He has also worked as national advertising director at ACP Magazines (later Bauer Media and now Are Media), and more recently as director of magazines, and then CEO at Pacific Magazines (also now part of Are Media). Zavecz is a key dealmaker for the ad dollars that flow out of Victoria and through the News Corp Australia brands. He is one the hosts, alongside News Corp Australia chairperson Penny Fowler and MD of national sales Lou Barrett, for people enjoying News Corp hospitality in the Birdcage during Cup Week. Although Racing NSW strategically used the Herald Sun for three front page ads and then a wrap for The Everest recently, Zavecz said the newsbrand continues to support local sporting events. This year the Herald Sun launched Come Back Melbourne during the tennis when Covid restrictions started to be lifted and has been continuing the initiative during the year. That will segue into a Future Victoria campaign which will be launched during Cup Week in partnership with the Victorian Chamber of Commerce. Like other parts of News Corp Australia, Zavecz said the state was enjoying a boom in retail marketing like he hadn’t seen for over 20 years. This meant more ad pages and inserted catalogues. Travel too was back as a strong category after two very tough Covid years.
Chief Marketing Officer, SCA
Clarkson has over 20 years of, award winning marketing and communications experience across multiple industries. After just over a decade with SCA, CEO Grant Blackley announced the promotion of Clarkson to her current role which also sees her sitting on the SCA executive leadership team. Prior to joining the leadership team, Clarkson held the position of head of marketing and communication at SCA for 10 years and has also held senior executive positions in creative advertising agencies including Clemenger Harvie Edge. As CMO, Clarkson is responsible for all marketing and communication strategy and execution for SCA’s radio and TV brands, all on-demand brands, trade and corporate marketing and group corporate communications and publicity. For the past two years Clarkson has been a member of the CMO 50 List. Key amongst recent achievements for Clarkson and team was the creation of the LiSTNR brand inhouse. The brand, which may eventually be the name of the company, has exceeded all growth targets since launch including over 100%+ for growth target and installs of the LiSTNR app.
Chief Marketing Officer, Seven
Shortly after arriving at Seven in 2019, chief executive James Warburton created the role of chief marketing officer and brought in Valente from his team during his time at APN Outdoor. Valente joined the eight-person senior management team reporting directly to Warburton at Seven. At the time of the appointment, the CEO said: “The CMO role is a first for Seven and will cover a broad range of viewer and business facing marketing initiatives, including data analytics, on-air promotions, digital optimisation and public relations.” Valente’s remit covers trade and consumer marketing, creative and content, data and insights and corporate communications and publicity at Australia’s #1 TV network.
Chief Marketing Officer, Nine Entertainment Co
Dubois was appointed as the Nine CMO during her tenth year with the company. She joined Nine as director of sales – Sydney in 2013 after 13 years at Network 10. The role at Nine is one for someone with ambition as the brief is a broad one, with the CMO responsible for Nine’s total marketing and brand strategy to accelerate audience and revenue growth across its suite of assets (including television, radio, publishing, and digital). The marketing boss was a key presenter at the Nine 2023 Upfront, reinforcing the message to advertisers that “You’re not just welcome here…you belong here.” The talent shortage is real at Nine too, with Dubois active on LinkedIn recently sharing posts looking for key sales executives among several roles on offer.
Chief Sales Officer, Southern Cross Austereo
The company did its sales team no favours by losing the Nine regional contract after just one contract period. However, the biggest revenues come from radio and you’d have to say the sales team is performing well considering the competitive pressure on their premium brands in all metro markets. The value of the national buy with a comprehensive network must help revenues. However, it wouldn’t hurt if Triple M in Sydney and Melbourne and 2Day FM were more competitive. Digital revenues are climbing, but are still small compared to radio ad dollars. In FY 2021/22 SCA’s audio revenue of $392.9m was up $33.1m (9.2%) on the prior year. Broadcast radio revenue grew by 9.4% to $182.7m in metro markets and by 6.4% to $168.5m in regional markets, while digital audio revenues grew by 35.2% to $20.8m.
Director of Regional & Local, ABC
Whelan has a broad brief as head of all specialist genres across television, radio, and digital platforms at the ABC. She oversees all content for arts, science, health and technology, religion and ethics, ideas and society, and education. That includes podcasts created by the Audio Studios, focusing on innovation, comedy, true crime and investigation, among others. ABC rarely gets a complimentary mention for its radio ratings in commercial media, but its five radio brands command a share of 18.9% of the Sydney radio market and 14.9% in Melbourne (GfK 6/2022). The flagship local radio stations are performing at lower levels though when compared to their recent best. The highest local radio metro market share at present belongs to Adelaide on 8.9%. Melbourne and Sydney are both close to an 8% share, but Brisbane has dipped below 5%.
Senior Vice President & Managing Director, The Walt Disney Company Australia & New Zealand
Watson-Wheeler is best known in media circles for her role leading The Walt Disney Company in Australia and New Zealand. She is better known though to an army of AFL fans as the president of the Melbourne-based Western Bulldogs team. The club last won a premiership in 2018, was knocked out of the 2021 Grand Final and didn’t make it past the first week of the finals in 2022. Disney however has been powering along as an unstoppable force though with 2022 largely about the growth of Disney+. Internationally the subscriber number is 152m, but when adding in other group subscribers from ESPN+ and Hulu the company boasts more than 200m and narrowly overtakes Netflix. Telsyte reported recently that in Australia Disney+ has more than 3m subscribers, trailing only Netflix (6.3m) and Amazon Prime (4.1m) and ahead of Stan (2.5m).
Chief Executive Officer, Fetch
The television executive revealed a deal earlier this year for Telstra to invest around $50m including provision for migrating Telstra TV customers onto Fetch. As part of the deal, Telstra acquires a 51% stake in the TV platform, valuing Fetch at close to $100m. Commenting at the time, Lorson said Fetch has achieved scale and profitability on the back of a compelling proposition and distribution partnerships with leading Australian telcos and retailers. “With Telstra on board, Fetch is now well placed to deliver a home and entertainment proposition with the scale to enable us to partner with global content and streaming providers.” At the time of the transaction, Fetch revealed it had approximately 670,000 active subscribers through its Australian Retail Service Providers (RSP) relationships including Optus, iiNet, Aussie Broadband, Primus and Dodo.
Managing Director, Commercial Content, News Corp Australia
The copywriter-turned-agency executive transitioned to the publisher after 13 years leading STW/WPP as chief executive officer. On joining News, Connaghan said it represented an exceptional opportunity to extend his extensive experience by working with some of Australia’s leading content creators: “News Corp Australia has always been the quintessential media partner for brands looking to connect with consumers. I’m looking forward to working with a distribution platform that’s second to none, that can deploy personalised content at scale or build distinct, highly targeted audiences.”
Chief Executive Officer, Stan
Stan veteran Kugeler joined the streamer in 2014 and was previously a partner in Venture Consulting and served as Executive Director of Pacific Strategy Partners. He was confirmed in the top job as the replacement for Mike Sneesby earlier this year when the former Stan boss hinted Kugeler was probably the best person to replace him here last year. Subscribers know how well he is doing in the role with the constant stream of premium content arriving on the platform including its expanding sports offering. Securing sports rights will be the challenge and a combo bid with Nine will probably be the way forward. The newer pay-per-view offering is another area of focus with some considerable upside when the right entertainment is offered at the right price.
Managing Director Publishing, Nine Entertainment
In 2021 Nine Entertainment promoted James Chessell to the role of Managing Director. The appointment followed the decision of Chris Janz to step down as Chief Digital and Publishing officer after four years of leading Fairfax and subsequently Nine’s metropolitan publishing business. Chessell oversaw the changing of the guard at The Sydney Morning Herald at the end of 2021 when Lisa Davies departed and was replaced by Bevan Shields. The publishing division of Nine had a record year with an EBITDA of $180m which makes it alone more profitable than most other Australian media businesses. The success comes from strong subscriber growth and a successful sales strategy. Another recent achievement was the enterprise bargaining agreement with staff which was formally accepted by 93% of staff. At the 2023 Nine Upfront, Chessell said: “The beating heart of our newsrooms is producing high-quality, public interest journalism that people are willing to pay for. As our recent financial results showed, this translates into strong commercial outcomes and opportunities for brands. These initiatives will help to grow the way readers consume news, and the way advertisers can connect with them.” Expansion plans include growing the Brisbane Times online and Good Food.
National Executive Editor, News Corp Australia
The long-time former editor of Australia’s biggest-selling newspaper the Herald Sun now heads News Corp Australia’s national news network. He is the head of the division that boasts around 350 journalists and supplies content for company newsbrands around the country. The key pillars are News, Sport, Racing, Code and News360 (commercial journalism). The editors of the Geelong Advertiser, The Weekly Times and Hobart Mercury also report to Blunden. He is the editorial representative on the News Corp Australia leadership team and he sits on the News Corp Australia editorial board which meets weekly with all the News Corp editors and executive chairman Michael Miller. Blunden is also on the board of the new online betting brand Betr. He was named as a recipient of the Chairman’s Award at the 2021 News Awards.
Managing Director, Daily Mail Australia
Looking after one of the biggest, and at times most controversial, website in Australia keeps the journalist-turned-publisher busy. Holder joined Daily Mail when it was in a joint venture with Nine Entertainment and steered it to becoming a single, and profitable, entity. As the biggest entertainment news site in Australia, Holder has overseen and forged commercial partnerships with companies including ARN, Stan and UPI. The content may annoy some celebrities, but those celebrity employers knows that where their audience comes from. It’s not just the biggest entertainment website, but one of the top five news sites overall. For a site with edgy content, Holder spends time with legal teams defending claims made against various stories. One recently involved radio and TV broadcaster Erin Molan and a now infamous segment linked to racism accusations. After claims from the Daily Mail that she appeared to be mocking Polynesian names in a radio broadcast, a court found in favour of Molan and awarded her $150,000. Daily Mail Australia is appealing against the judge’s findings on grounds he erred on 13 points and the damages awarded Molan were “manifestly excessive”.
Director of News and Current Affairs, Nine Entertainment Co
Nine still retains boasting rights for the biggest primetime metro TV bulletins in Sydney and Brisbane. Add that to the daily pull of A Current Affair six days a week and the continued success of 60 Minutes on Sundays, Nine remains the key competitor up against Seven in news and current affairs. The broadcaster also has a regular commercial late night news bulletin across the week. Like Seven, Nine was also across the big domestic stories and mobilised its team for the war in Europe and the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. There was a big change in Canberra recently with Charles Croucher becoming the third Chief Political Editor for Nine, replacing Chris Uhlmann, who replaced Laurie Oakes. Wick is still working through replacing Tracy Grimshaw on A Current Affair and moves needed across the division if an internal candidate is promoted. With the daily current affairs show off air in January during the tennis, Nine might delay the host reveal until the Australian Open for maximum impact.
Director of News and Public Affairs, Seven
The longtime news boss at Seven overseas the biggest news audience in Australia. Key coverage of major events included domestic weather events, the war in Europe and Britain’s Royal Family. While it has leading news services across most metro markets, with many bulletins post the acquisition of Prime, McPherson reaches the most Australians for the broadcaster daily. While the key timeslot win is 6pm News nationally, Seven also dominates in breakfast with Sunrise, and then The Morning Show. The digital audience engaging with 7NEWS.com.au continues to grow and the division is having success with 7NEWS Spotlight on Sunday nights.
CTO, News Corp Australia
While Delany has moved away from his overseeing of Australia’s biggest news publishing site news.com.au, he continues to be instrumental in the look and UI that keeps audiences coming back to the company’s digital properties. New digital product launches in the past year include CODE Sports launch on web and app for the new niche sports offering, The OZ launch for reaching a youth audience for The Australian and Kommunity TV launch for grassroots local community sports video streaming offering. Less sexy, but critical for the group, was a customer data platform that enabled the first unified view of News Corp Australia, Foxtel, Streamotion and REA Group consumer data assets through a cross-company data solution to leverage the combined addressable audience.
Managing Director, Twitter Australia
Twitter appointed Angus Keene to replace Suzy Nicoletti as the managing director of Australia and New Zealand earlier in 2022. Reporting to Yu Sasamoto, Twitter’s vice president of Asia Pacific, Keene is responsible for continuing and accelerating Twitter’s revenue growth. Keene has over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and media, and as one of the founding members of Twitter Australia, Keene joined the short form messaging platform when it first launched down under in 2013. Prior to that he had close to seven years with Fairfax Media as a GSM. A much-anticipated feature coming soon to the platform is the ability to edit a Tweet. Much of the publicity recently surrounding the platform has been about the on-again off-again pending acquisition of Twitter by an affiliate of Elon Musk.
General Manager APAC, Snap
A mixture of roles on both sides of the media business fill Carter’s CV before she arrived at Snap in 2016 as GM, Australia and New Zealand. After graduation, Carter had a number of roles here and overseas learning the publishing business at Fairfax, The Guardian, Nat Mags and PBL Media before transitioning into agencies with just over three years at MediaCom. She then joined News Corp Australia before joining Snap. The organisation went through a major restructure this year as founder Evan Spiegel explained to staff: “We are restructuring our business to increase focus on our three strategic priorities: community growth, revenue growth, and augmented reality. Projects that don’t directly contribute to these areas will be discontinued or receive substantially reduced investment.”
General Manager, TikTok Australia
A former banker who segued into digital before spending seven years with Google, Armstrong joined TikTok in early 2020 as the platform started to take off. Now home to a massive global audience seeking entertainment, Armstrong earlier this year shared with Mediaweek some of its impressive growth stats: “What we’re seeing is an increase in News and Entertainment (+311% Jan 2021 vs Jan 2022), Sports & Outdoors (+288% YoY), Travel (+308% YoY), Baby & Maternity (+255% YoY), and Automobile (+156% YoY) content.” At the recent inaugural ForYou summit, Armstrong explained: “In two years, TikTok’s unique ecosystem of entertainment has helped brands drive business, performance, and social impact, and given Australians an unparalleled point of access to the ultimate joy – knowing yourself. Our platform wasn’t always a touchpoint people use in their daily lives. Now, Australians use TikTok as a primary form of entertainment. As we move in 2023, we are determined to build around what makes us a special place for brands to generate meaningful connections with their audiences and supercharge their results with us.”
Senior Vice President, Content & Programming at Paramount ANZ
Although perhaps lacking the financial resources of 10’s commercial competitors, Monaghan has some big brands to anchor primetime. Those shows include The Masked Singer, MasterChef Australia and I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! Buy cutting the number of episodes of MasterChef Australia in 2023, Monaghan has found the budget to launch a spin-off, Dessert Masters. But it’s not all about primetime on 10, Monaghan also runs development and execution of content strategies across Paramount ANZ’s suite of platforms: 10,10Peach, 10Bold, 10Shake, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central NZ, 10’s AVOD and catch service 10Play and Australia’s fastest-growing streaming service Paramount +. Intriguing drama commissions next year include North Shore and Paper Dolls.
Director of Television, Nine
A suite of strong reality franchises at 7.30pm is the bedrock of Nine’s ratings success. While some formats have started to soften (including Australian Ninja Warrior which has been rested for 2023) others show no sign of losing their audiences. Nine’s season starts with the long-running Married at First Sight and ends with the even longer running The Block which first went to air 20 years ago. Keeping these formats fresh enough to bookend the year is the skill, as is choosing what to introduce or move each year to keep the offering fresh. Lego Masters Australia was one of the more recent successful acquisitions. Healy and his team didn’t need a lot of new shows for 2023 and Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars and The Summit are two of the most likely new hits. Hoping to work the Underbelly magic again Nine has brought back Greg Haddrick and John Silvester, this time working with John Edwards on Human Error.
Director of Network Programming, Seven
Since the arrival of James Warburton, Ross has worked with the chief executive to secure rights to familiar TV franchises. Once the property is secured and a timeslot found, Ross then works with Kurt Burnette and Andrew Backwell and their teams to produce and monetise the various series. The win ratio is pretty good too. Not everything has again resonated with audiences, but most have. Recent formats that were delayed by Covid and have aired or gone into production include Australia’s Got Talent and a refreshed Australian Idol. Years of audience research and learning the business from quirky no-nonsense executives ranging from David Castran to David Leckie have honed Ross’ sensibilities for what audiences might warm to.
Chief Commercial and Content Officer, Foxtel
Laing is one of a team of rights negotiators within the Foxtel Group that also includes talented dealmakers Siobhan McKenna and Rebecca McClory. Laing has long worked on NRL rights (with Nine and Foxtel), and Netball Australia rights (now an exclusive Foxtel Group property). She has also worked her way through all the Foxtel content deals with major global studios and secured more favourable long-term deals. Along the way keeping exclusivity to some key properties and letting go exclusivity of others not seen as essential to moving the needle on subscriptions. Speaking about securing content, Laing told Mediaweek: “For some things it is important to have them exclusively, for others it is just important to have them. A lot of the content on our Fox branded channels is not exclusive, but we know the channels we have created are exclusive. Our curation of that content is the special sauce that we bring.”
Chief Executive Officer, Sports Entertainment Network (SEG)
One of the biggest movers on the chart was Hutchy who was arguably underdone last year at #68. His biggest moves among many over the past couple of years include the acquisition of the AM licences that were formerly 2CH and 4KQ and the launch of SENTrack stations all over Australia and New Zealand. The radio network now totals a remarkable 60+ stations including 14 SEN, 17 SENTrack, 29 SENZ, SEN Spirit and 4 app channels. SEG regularly breaks digital audience records and had over 2m live streams in August 2022. There were close to 600,000 unique podcast listeners that month. Acquisitions helped push revenue to $109m in 2022, up 50% in FY 2022. Net profit was up 50% too at $3.17m. After acquiring the licence for NBL team Perth Wildcats in 2021, the group also own the licence for WNBL’s Bendigo Spirit and two basketball teams in NZ – Otago Nuggets and Southern Holho.
Managing Director, Nine Radio
The Nine Radio group has held a vice-like grip on its #1 10+ audience for a long, long time. While it’s a leader in share, FM competitors like to point to cume audience numbers. GfK survey 6 of 2022 saw Nine’s talk stations achieved a record cumulative audience of 2.072m with a 6% increase in its 25-54 demo. The continued success of the 3AW and 2GB breakfast shows indicate the power of the brand when it was thought by some that tipping out Alan Jones and John Burns could rock the respective radio boats. No so, Ben Fordham and Russel Howcroft slipped seamlessly into their new roles, refreshing their respective programs with little blowback from the audience. Malone and his team’s decision to bring in 4KQ’s Laurel, Gary and Mark was genius. 4BC subsequently posted an 11.8% share in breakfast in GfK 6/2022, it’s best share result in 14 years.
Managing Director, Guardian Australia
It has been a year of growth at Guardian Australia with the brand firmly established as an alternative voice to the major publishers News Corp and Nine. Guardian Australia continues to grow its audience. In September 2022 the brand claimed over 11m unique browsers to the site. Guardian Australia’s advertising revenue grew 47% last financial year, and continues to significantly outpace the market. In the past year, Guardian Australia launched its first-ever brand platform and campaign, as well as a content distribution partnership with JCDecaux where an estimated 5.2m will see Guardian headlines curated directly by newsroom editors during their commute. Stinton explained: “Guardian Australia continues to expand its base of supporters, who voluntarily fund the journalism because they believe in the Guardian’s mission. In the last 12 months, Guardian Australia received more than 200k acts of support, mostly comprised of voluntary recurring contributions, with the addition of single contributions and subscriptions to Guardian Weekly.”
Chief Sales Officer, Paramount ANZ
While the company at times seems all about growing its SVOD platform Paramount+, Prosser and his team reminded the market just earlier this month about the FTA TV franchises that still deliver compelling demographics to commercial partners. Prosser recently confirmed the strategy to Mediaweek which includes 10, 10 Play and Australia’s fastest-growing streaming platform, Paramount+: “The ultimate goal has always been an all screens proposition. The breadth of content and platforms allows us to further expand that proposition. The introduction of VOZ means the measurement across screens will become more robust. We are definitely going to look at ways that we bundle and go to market together. Of course, it can be bought on its own as well. With all of our assets whether it’s STV, linear TV, or digital our team is working across all those various platforms, and in many instances, we bring them together and sell them as a package.”
Chief Executive Officer, Foxtel Media
Advertising on the subscription TV platforms remains a key component of the Foxtel Group business model. One initiative this year announced in March was the commissioning of a three-phase research project to better understand the growing female sporting audience and show the value of the coverage of women’s sport to brands, partners and sponsors. Part of the extra airtime showing off the skills of female sports stars came from the AFLW. Frain, his sports guru Marty Medcraf and the Foxtel Media team now have 18 AFL women’s teams and 18 AFL men’s teams secure on their platforms for the next nine years. Foxtel Media will also no doubt find new ways to add value for commercial partners when Fox Footy starts commentating on all games of AFL instead of taking the Seven feed for some. The recent 2023 Upfront showcased a number of programs that will attract considerable commercial interest.
Commercial Director, Nine Entertainment Co
The media company’s slick 2023 Upfront made a compelling argument for advertisers to stick the Australia’s largest media company. Stephenson and his colleagues presented a cross section of media assets that made sense from its television properties, through the publishing business and into its radio assets. Nine’s most-wanted assets should be its major TV franchises that start and end the year (Married at First Sight and The Block), its news and current affairs offerings, the NRL and Australian Open, and the still huge digital audiences for news and information plus of course the reach that 9Now has. The secret sauce in the profitable publishing division could be the growing popularity of digital versions of the daily newspapers which offer all the benefits of digital bundled with the curation that skilled teams at the newspapers offer. Speaking at the Upfront, Stephenson told Mediaweek: “Through times of economic change, there is an enormous opportunity for everyone. Never will it be more important to choose a media partner that can help you grow your business. We’re not perfect, but we’re lots of things to lots of people, and I think we should be everybody’s primary media partner.”
Chief Revenue Officer, Seven West Media
No one would be more thrilled than the commercial director of the FTA broadcaster with the renewal of the rights to Australia’s biggest winter sport. Although Burnette and his team have a bulging portfolio of other sporting assets (Supercars, Olympics, Comm Games, cricket), retaining the AFL and being able to talk with commercial partners about securing deals for the next nine years must be reassuring. With the AFL in the bag, the next win for Seven could be securing a delayed start for the AFL Grand Final with a late afternoon or early evening timeslot a bigger carrot to dangle before advertisers. That alone wouldn’t guarantee bigger ratings, but it surely won’t hurst the audience numbers. Burnette and his sales team will also have a plan ready to put into action if Seven is successful with an ambitious play to secure an Olympics package that will include Paris 2024, LA 2028 and Brisbane 2022. Paris is coming quickly, now less than 22 months away. The channel’s single biggest boost this year perhaps came with the Prime acquisition which secures Seven as a clear leader with national audiences.
EVP & Chief Operating and Commercial Officer, Paramount ANZ
The company continues to move in what looks to be transition from a FTA linear broadcaster to an on-demand subscriber service. However, Paramount still sees plenty of life left in the linear model judging by the amount of new programming it has commissioned for 2023. Although other Paramount execs are more hands-on with the content, Villani got stage time at the recent 2023 Upfront to talk about what is to come. Villani’s management skills from his eight years with KordaMentha in Australia and seven years in the UK no doubt come in handy managing the careful balance needed to juggle content between the two business models – SVOD and FTA. He also runs his ruler over the bids for major sports rights.
Chief Executive Officer, Kayo, Binge & Flash
Ogrin has probably had the fastest growing audiences in Australian in the past couple of years with the launch first of streaming platform Kayo Sports and later Binge. Both were built on attractive propositions of price and content for potential customers. In just over the four years that Ogrin has been with the Foxtel Group the latest official subscriber numbers see the total group streaming subscribers, including Kayo Sports, Binge, Foxtel Now and Flash on 2.806m (2.690m paid), up 31% YOY as at June 30, 2022. Those streaming subscribers represent 62% of the Foxtel Group’s total subscribers. Regarding the individual services that Ogrin looks after, in June Kayo Sports reached 1.312m subscribers (1.293m paid), up 22%. Binge reached 1.263m subscribers (1.192m paid), up 53%. The most recent launch, streaming news service Flash, launched in October 2021, reached 29,000 subscribers (11,000 paid). Does the Foxtel Group have an appetite for another platform?
Managing Director Sales, News Corp Australia
Barrett loves a challenge and she’s had a few of those over her career. Since joining News Corp she’s been at the forefront of preserving as much of the print ad revenues as possible while growing the digital ad assets and helping take them to market. Progress has been made recently in combining the first party data from all News Corp Australia platforms from the news brands, to the Foxtel Group and REA Group. At the News Corp D-Coded event earlier this year, Barrett told Mediaweek the event was about “getting people to notice your brand, people wanting your brand, and people buying your brand. People have been saying to us that this is great because it shows how News Corp can take you right through the purchase funnel. We’ve addressed all areas of it.”
Australian Community Media
Catalano is the executive chairman and co-owner, alongside investor Alex Waitz, of what is labelled as Australia’s largest privately-owned media company. The business includes around 140 mastheads that reach an estimated 6.4 million Australians every month. The ACM network includes 14 daily titles, such as The Canberra Times, Newcastle Herald, The Courier in Ballarat and The Examiner in Launceston. Just what is currently printed and what exists solely as digital has changed during and post the Covid epidemic. The ACM website also mentions 200+ media news brands and over 170 different titles. The two investors are continuing to build a major property play to challenge the established market leaders REA and Domain. The latest person to share their vision is Seven West Media CEO James Warburton with a company investment in View Media Group, a real estate digital media and agent services business comprising a suite of property tech platforms.
Managing Director, SBS
This year marks a decade at the broadcaster, with Taylor first joining to work in corporate finance before rising through the ranks to CFO and then MD. Taylor recently saw the departure of SBS board member Warren Mundine shortly after Mundine authored a number of memorable tweets calling a journalist the c-word and using an f-bomb to describe the Canadian prime minister. In the recently started financial year, SBS expects to spend about $515m of which $180m will come from generated revenues, mainly advertising. Commercial competitors are sometimes frustrated by the amount SBS bids for foreign programs, some of which sit on the popular SBS On-Demand streaming platform. Others think there must be costs synergies it could share with the ABC. In a recent corporate plan, a brief mention of co-operation between the two simply said: SBS works collaboratively with the ABC, including in relation to content sharing and efforts to reduce costs across both organisations through activities such as joint procurement where relevant.
Managing Director, ABC
Now over three years into his five-year contract, Anderson seems to be more than capable at hosing down flare-ups that occur regularly within the sprawling publicly funded media business. Some of the controversies are perhaps more imagined than real, and often get good coverage in commercial media where many see the ABC as an unnecessary government funded competitor. The size of the ABC budget allocation is a constant concern, although the current government is expected to be a little more sympathetic to the funding ambitions of the organisation. Anderson doesn’t appear as much in the media as his chairperson Ita Buttrose. One recent report indicates many Sydney staff are less than enthusiastic about a move from Ultimo to Parramatta.
WIN is back in its happy place as the affiliate partner for Nine after former Nine CEO Hugh Marks and SCA CEO Grant Blackley flipped affiliate partners with 10. SCA’s regional revenues took a hit after the change, and presumably WIN TV’s have lifted in line with the size of the SCA drop. Lancaster, a graduate of UOW (University of Wollongong), acts a mentor for students currently studying to their degree. In addition to overseeing the regional TV and radio business, Lancaster is also a director of Nine Entertainment, Free TV Australia, Broadcast Transmission Services and NRL team St George Illawarra Dragons. Earlier this year WIN Corporation announced Genevieve Gordon was promoted to General Manager – Radio to her broader responsibilities within the WIN Group of companies. Genevieve is also a director of WIN Corporation and a member of the Gordon family working in the WIN Group and is the daughter of owner Bruce Gordon.
Group Director – Broadcasting, News Corp Australia
There was a rare public appearance recently from the ultimate backroom operator at the AFL press conference following News Corp Australia’s successful bid for TV rights for Australia’s biggest sport. The broadcasting role at News Corp sees McKenna the chairperson of Foxtel, Fox Sports and Sky News. She also sits on the boards of Amcil and Woolworths. As if juggling all those meetings is not enough, McKenna is also a director at Nova Entertainment. Readers might come across McKenna who published her first novel Man in Armour in 2020. She spoke about her novel with Andrew Bolt on Sky News (who introduced her as his boss!). She revealed she was motivated to write after reading about (the recently deceased) British author Hilary Mantel. McKenna also revealed that her portrayal of the business world in the novel was an accurate translation of the world she has experienced.
Chief Executive Officer, Sky News Australia
Paul Whittaker and his head of programs Mark Calvert decided to offer viewers more than wall-to-wall coverage from Sky News UK after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The broadcaster mobilised a largish team to broadcast in breakfast and primetime from the UK in the week leading up to the funeral. Major primetime moves at the channel include the disappearance of broadcasters Alan Jones and later in the year Piers Morgan moved to a later timeslot. (The latter is available on-demand on the Flash news service.) Primetime heavy lifting now rests on the shoulders of Credlin, The Bolt Report and Paul Murray Live from 6pm onwards. Mornings are the domain of Peter Stefanovic (from 5.30am) and then Laura Jayes from 9am. Ratings indicate the audience continues to like what it gets with Sky News Australia #1 channel on Foxtel for the second consecutive year in 2021. It is tracking as the #1 non-sport channel on Foxtel in 2022. Free-to-air channel Sky News Regional launched on 1 August 2021, with audiences up +18% year-on-year (compared to Sky News on WIN).
After arrival, Huxley embarked on a new strategy direction with diversification and digital transformation at its heart for Are Media. The publisher recently reminded lapsed magazine readers what it did well with special editions of its weeklies and The Australian Women’s Weekly following the death of Queen Elizabeth. The company recently returned to profitability with Are Media able to boast it is the #1 cross-platform for premium women’s lifestyle content, with a total monthly all people reach of 8.02m. Acquisitions recently have included premium product marketplace Hard to Find and Ovato Retail Distribution, rebranding it as Are Direct across ANZ. Committed to supporting and strengthening the retail and newsagency sector and securing the supply chain, Are Direct distributes Are Media’s magazines and others to 2,800 newsagents and travel outlets, 2,300 supermarkets and 1,900 convenience stores.
Chief Executive Officer, Nova Entertainment
Like all Australia’s major audio players, Nova Entertainment navigated its way through Covid minimising the impact of fewer commutes by improving on demand options. For Nova Entertainment that included growing its podcast business where lead titles include repackaged breakfast and drive shows and the native podcasts. Radio ratings have been off the dial recently: Nova is the #1 metro network in share and cume (GfK 6/2022), record cumes recorded all over the place, record share and/or cumes to for smoothfm stations, Nova Perth (where Nathan, Nat & Shaun continue to set the bar high), outstanding results for Ash, Luttsy & Susie O’Neill; Ben & Liam; David & Will; Fitzy & Wippa; Chrissie, Sam & Browny; Kate, Tim & Joel and Smallzy & Zac. Earlier this year the smoothfm brand expanded across additional metro markets with local hosts in Brisbane, Perth & Adelaide.
Managing Director, Meta
Like his counterpart Mel Silva at Google, the tech titans operate almost off the radar when it comes to media exposure. When they do show up, it is usually at an annual upfront event or managing disaster control when something goes wrong. Not that much went wrong for Meta subsidiary Facebook in its most recently lodged financial report for this market. Facebook Australia’s tax bill was $24 million last year after it doubled profits but funnelled nearly $1 billion in local advertising revenue to an international subsidiary, reports The SMH. “During the last financial years, we paid income taxes in Australia at effective tax rates well above 30 per cent and in accordance with local taxation laws,” a Meta spokesperson told the newsbrand. “We have called for and welcomed reform on global tax rules by the OECD. We take our tax obligations seriously, and we are committed to supporting local communities and businesses in Australia.”
MD, Google Australia & New Zealand
Supporting community initiatives remains a key focus for Google with the Australian leader commenting recently on a partnership with the Indigenous Australian led creative consultancy Campfire x. “I love seeing women show up to support each other and ensuring equal opportunities are available to all,” said Silva. “We partnered with Campfire x to bring a diverse group of First Nations women together to share their stories in a yarning circle. These extraordinary ladies are sparking meaningful change, exchanging knowledge across generations, and transforming the lives of those around them by providing real support in their communities.” Silva was onstage in August with an opening address at the 2022 YouTube Brandcast event telling advertisers about their big connected TV audience and using a case study from Canva to illustrate the impact of using the platform. Google has made multi-year commercial deals with Nine Entertainment and News Corp. Financial documents lodged for 2021 indicate a revenue increase of nearly 40% to $7b+. Ad revenue was listed as $6.1b.
Chief Executive Officer, HT&E
The pillars of HT&E’s radio business ARN remain KIIS 106.5 Sydney’s Kyle and Jackie O and Gold 104.3 Melbourne’s Christian O’Connell. Davis and his team have helped both remain #1 FM shows across the past 12 months. Along the way there has been strong support from other network stations including improved performances from KIIS in Sydney and Melbourne, 973 in Brisbane and 96FM in Perth. Sharing its recent results with the market, ARN pointed to its growing 58 AM/FM stations positioned across 33 markets (following the Grant Broadcasters acquisition) which give advertisers access to more than a third of Australian consumers in one transaction. While digital audio income remains small (5% of revenue), the company said billings were up 41%. The digital audience growth is more spectacular though, with Australia’s #1 podcast network (iHeartPodcasts) reporting 23m downloads in the financial year, up 43%. ARN served digital audio ads to 8m unique customers in June 2022.
Chief Executive Officer, Foxtel
The single most critical achievement this year was remaining the subscription TV partner of the AFL which locks in the sport until the end of the 2031 season. Like their colleagues at Seven, the broadcasters paid a lot for it, but life without it was unimaginable. Key to success at Foxtel in the past year has been the increase in subscribers to lower cost streaming platforms Kayo and Binge. Both now have close to 1.3m subscribers each. Foxtel revealed recently that Kayo accounts for 47% of live AFL viewing. Foxtel negotiated the rights to add its own commentary to all AFL matches every year, with the exception of the Grand Final, when the new deal starts in 2025. Total streaming subscribers, including Kayo Sports, Binge, Foxtel Now and Flash reached 2.806 million (2.690 million paid), up 31%. Streaming subscribers represent 62% of the Foxtel Group’s total subscribers. With Foxtel Now and Flash being overshadowed by the group’s successes, they could be due a rethink.
Chief Executive Officer, Southern Cross Austereo
The message to the market in the reporting season was that radio continues to perform strongly. While SCA might struggle in some markets with competitive breakfast products, the company noted it is the #1 Australian network for people 25-44 which accounts for more than 70% of ad briefs. The audio and TV broadcaster said revenue from the latter dipped 25% linked to the change of regional affiliation from Nine to 10. Audio revenue was up 9% although audio earnings were flat. While digital audio is growing quickly, there’s a long way to go for it to be a significant contributor. Of the $393m audio revenue, $21m belongs to LiSTNR-related activity. Blackley noted mid-year SCA will keep its TV assets as bids from interested parties fell short of what he was hoping for. Blackley is also chairman of Commercial Radio & Audio (CRA).
Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer, Paramount Australia and New Zealand
There has been a strong focus at the business in developing the Paramount+ streaming business where there has been a number of Australian originals commissioned including The Bridge, Five Bedrooms, 6 Festivals, The Challenge Australia, and next year’s The Last King of The Cross. While the company was the underbidder at both most recent cricket and AFL rights auctions, Paramount+ has built a sports folio with A-League, Socceroos and FA Cup amongst the offerings. When it comes to linear TV, Paramount continues to rely on existing franchises MasterChef Australia, Gogglebox, The Masked Singer and The Bachelor. Not all might return next year as 10 recently announced a raft of new programming for 2023. Working Dog’s Have You Been Paying Attention? continues to be a local hit while the Tuesday night staple The Cheap Seats has earnt a regular place in the schedule.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Seven West Media
The company has cemented its position as the #1 Australian network via the acquisition of Prime Media which took effect from the end of 2021. The move consolidates Seven’s grip on key audiences for Seven News, Sunrise and key sporting events. When it comes to sporting events, it’s been a tale of two codes this year. Seven successfully negotiated a renewed AFL TV agreement which keeps the single biggest TV sport in Australia locked in at Seven for the next nine years – two more years in the existing deal and then seven years from 2025-2031 inclusive. Improved conditions for Seven in the new deal include the ability to stream the Seven games each round on 7plus as Seven develops an “AFL hub” which will be available on all devices. With cricket it’s another matter, with Warburton unhappy with the way Cricket Australia structures the schedule. Warburton has been a strong advocate for overhauling the TV ratings system, asking more than once, “Why are we releasing the smallest possible number” which refers to the once standard practice of promoting overnight metro numbers without factoring in catchup, regional, or streaming.
Executive Chairman, News Corp Australia
Although News Corp doesn’t break out performance by market, the star performer in the Australian operations has been the turnaround at the Foxtel Group. While earnings were flat for the 12 months ended June 30 2022, there was an improvement in final three months of that year with earnings up 23% YOY. As of June 30, 2022, Foxtel’s total closing paid subscribers were 4.4 million, a 13% increase compared to same period in the prior year, primarily due to the growth in Binge and Kayo subscribers. In the News Media segment, revenues at News Corp Australia increased 9%, representing improved digital ad sales, circulation and subscription revenues. Miller first joined News in 1992 and has held various roles at News Corp Australia ever since, except for just over two years running APN News & Media from May 2013.
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Seven Group, Director of Seven West Media, and Chief Executive Officer of Australian Capital Equity
It has been a busy of achievement for the head of the parent company of Seven West Media. At the most recent financial results presentation for 2021-22, Stokes noted that contribution for the media segment was up 40% on the previous year. The media segment revenue accounts for around 5% of Seven Group company earnings. While Kerry and Ryan Stokes remain heavily involved in the media, running the Westrac, Coates and now Boral businesses keep them very busy. Of the outlook for the media business, Ryan commented earlier this year: “The business successfully executed its strategy to grow and strengthen in FY22, through content leadership, digital transformation, strengthening its balance sheet, and the acquisition of Prime Media, which has extended Seven’s reach to over 90% of Australians.”
Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Corporation, Co-chairman News Corp
The court action initiated by Lachlan Murdoch over an article in Crikey has fascinated much of the media since Murdoch accepted the smaller Australian publisher’s invitation to take it to court. The main business game for Murdoch remains the Fox business which is split between the broadcast TV business and the cable TV operation. Although each division generates similar revenues, the cable TV business (Fox News) generates a significantly higher profit. Releasing the full-year financial results in August, Murdoch commented: “We begin Fiscal 2023 with strong momentum, supported by an enviable schedule of live sporting events and the mid-term election cycle, and bolstered by a best-in-class balance sheet. These attributes will serve us well in navigating any macroeconomic uncertainty while continuing to create value for our shareholders.” Acquisitions in that financial year included paying Warner Media a reported US$50m for entertainment news publisher TMZ. The recently announced potential re-merger of News Corp and Fox might not impact Murdoch’s role too much as he already also holds down a role at News Corp.
Chief Executive Officer, Nine Entertainment Co
Another 12 months leading Nine Entertainment sees Mike Sneesby lift to the top of our Power rankings. The business that operates across TV, radio, publishing print and digital plus ad-funded and subscription streaming TV has reported many achievements this year not the least of which was a 2021-22 net profit after tax of $373m, growth of 35% YOY. Other highlights include the negotiation of a wage and conditions agreement with the Nine Publishing journalists, the presentation of a well-received 2023 Upfront and the payment to all staff of a bonus. Stan revenues were up 69%, yet costs were up 80%, resulting in a smaller profit as the company spent more on sports rights and Stan Originals. Stan subscriber numbers are steady around 2.5m. Group revenue diversity continues with broadcast (TV and radio) now accounting for 50% of revenues. Publishing continues to grow less reliant on print dollars with digital now accounting for 60% of publishing revenue. Sneesby and the business remain bullish about the outlook, forcasting advertising revenues will grow more strongly than the underlying markets in which they operate.