Welcome to the Mediaweek 100 Power List 2023, the third annual list of Australia’s top 100 media executives.
In 2023 there has been significant movement right across the rankings with only a handful of people who occupy the same spot they had 12 months ago.
In addition to this, a total of 28 new entries were added alongside new criteria to shake up the list. The reason was partly the change in criteria and also the number of people who exited the industry this year. Mediaweek has also welcomed executives from the out-of-home sector for the first time.
As a reminder, here are the new criteria that were taken into consideration when building the list for 2023.
Mediaweek 100 Power List 2023 criteria
The media executives are the ones who control the direction of the most influential media companies in the country. From operations, sales, marketing, and content, these decision-makers shape the industry.
- Accomplishments and wins
- Revenue and profit
- Cultural contributions
New for 2023
There are a total of 56 different media companies represented on the list this year. Two companies have over 10 people on the list when you count entries from across their respective brands.
There has also been a fair bit of change near the top, something that will be revealed in detail on Friday, October 13, 2023.
Helen Bowden and Jason Stephens (NEW)
Managing Director/ Creative Director, Lingo Pictures
Prior to forming Lingo in 2015, Bowden was a founder and managing director of Matchbox Pictures and Stephens produced five television dramas between 2010 and 2014 under a joint venture with Fremantle Media. A diverse slate from this production duo working together has ranged from Catherine Tate’s Queen of Oz to The Messenger in 2023. Still to come shortly is Erotic Stories for SBS and the family drama Prosper for Stan.
Greg Woods (89)
Chief Executive Officer, Fremantle
After the plug was initially pulled on Neighbours, Fremantle was able to structure a deal that saw the Aussie soap recommissioned. The “New” Neighbours is now financed by Prime Video in conjunction with Paramount and Channel Five in the UK. Another focus this year has been the production of a second season of the “new” Heartbreak High for Netflix.
Mark Fennessy (88)
Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Helium
The newish media company from one of Australia’s most successful TV producers made an instant mark with the series Last King of the Cross earlier this year on Paramount+. A second season is currently in production. This year Fennessy and his team has been producing a series for 10 called Paper Dolls. Coming for 2024 is the “event series” Australia’s Most Identical hosted by Scott Cam and Dr Jana Pittman for Nine.
Charlie Aspinwall and Daley Pearson (NEW)
Co-founders, Ludo Studio
The Brisbane-based production house creates and produces original drama, comedy, animation and digital content. However, it’s best known for one show that has become a household name in much of the world – Bluey. The original TV series continues to be a huge hit locally for ABC.
Partnerships with ABC and Disney have taken the loveable, inexhaustible six-year-old Blue Heeler dog well beyond Australian shores. The Bluey industry now includes clothing, books, a Bluey camp (launching in Los Angeles in November), a mobile app, and a video game next month for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC. Nielsen noted Bluey was top 10 for the most streamed shows in the US in 2022 and in recent weekly data, it has been in the top five.
Michael Hirsh, Santo Cilauro, Jane Kennedy, Rob Sitch and Tom Gleisner (85)
Two weekly shows helping drive 10’s primetime audience early in the week continued this year in the form of Have You Been Paying Attention? and The Cheap Seats. The Thank God You’re Here format, first launched in 2006, was dusted off, also for 10, with Celia Pacquola hosting. Also making a reappearance was season five of Utopia for the ABC.
Ian Collie and Rob Gibson (NEW)
Founder/Producer & Chief Executive Officer/Producer, Easy Tiger
This fast-growing production company will have trouble proving that it can still label itself a “boutique” production business. The list of recent commissions and hit series is getting very long. Award-winning producer Collie had no shortage of quality content on his CV when he launched the Easy Tiger business. But after buying out the Fremantle shareholding and bringing in Gibson, the business has really taken off. Colin From Accounts proved to be a huge hit locally and internationally. Other content on the slate includes One Night, Scrublands, The Twelve, Blood on the Tracks: Platform Killer and Desert King.
David Mott (84)
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, ITV Studios
After 38 years in FTA TV with Seven, 10 and Nine, Mott has been running one of Australia’s biggest production houses for eight years. The portfolio of programs runs from monster global franchises to quirky mainstream hits to bespoke specialist content. The brands the broadcasters trust to Mott and is team include The Voice, Love Island. My Kitchen Rules, The Chase, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, and Alone. Locally developed content includes Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell, Life of the Outside, Inside Central Station and Nurses.
Julian Cress and David Barbour (82)
Cavalier only makes one show. But what a cracker it is. The co-creators of The Block and business partners next year will be making the 20th season of the show which is critical to Nine’s back-half performance every year. Cress works on-site making as the contestants build and then sell the properties. Barbour works in Sydney making sense of all the raw images in the editing suites as the team piece together the hours of construction and the associated grief that makes up the 12 weeks of the show.
How long can The Block and its team keep the magic formula working? Casting is key to the series’ success and Cress recently shared with Mediaweek: “Part of the secret success of The Block, and why we are still going 20 years later, is that we have never done the same thing twice. We are always looking for something that is a little bit different to engage us and to deliver something that is interesting and exotic for the audience.”
Michael Brooks (81)
Managing Director and Head of Studios ANZ, Warner Bros Discovery
Looking after much of what the fourth largest media company in the world does in this territory in a big job. The wide remit includes local production, content licensing, theatrical distribution and home entertainment. For the theatrical distribution, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) partners with NBC Universal who manage the day-to-day business. Another partnership is key to the home entertainment division where WBD uses Village Roadshow.
The recently much-discussed licensing deals are all handled directly by WBD, Brooks explained to Mediaweek: “Content licensing for HBO, HBO Max [since rebranded Max], Warner Bros., Warner Bros. features, content from Discovery brands which includes output deals for Foxtel and others are overseen by us.”
Making hit TV shows has been a focus to Brooks: “Unscripted franchises, big entertainment franchises, factual, drama and this year we are also in animation. We are then going to be making our first feature film.”
Steve Crawley (55)
Executive Director, Fox Sports
The importance of sport in keeping audiences watching TV is not lost on anyone in the business. All platforms are stronger by having some form of live action.
What Fox Sports does is different though, as Crawley explained to Mediaweek after moving from Nine to the Foxtel Group in 2016: “Nine’s life is about ratings, Fox Sports is about subscribers. They are very different businesses.”
He’s been doing a good job ever since, something that Patrick Delany noted in his memo to staff earlier this year: “I have highlighted how important sport is to our future. Our platforms to monetise our sports rights are uniquely matched by our leadership in the production of live sports and entertainment at Australia’s largest sports production company – Fox Sports. It is unrivalled in Australia and around the world.”
The delivery of those sports is what drives many Fox Sports subs at Foxtel and the 1.4m+ Kayo customers.
Brent Williams (NEW)
Director of Sport, Nine Entertainment Co
Williams had some work to do at Nine in 2019, moving into the top job after Nine lost the rights to cricket to Seven just the year before his arrival. The appointment came as the director of sports started reporting to the head of news and current affairs Darren Wick. With the help of investment from Stan, the group’s sports war chest now boasts Australian Open tennis, NRL and Rugby Union.
The biggest win of all though has been the bid for the Summer and Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games from 2024 through until 2032. Having Williams working on that coverage secures in-house experience as he was part of the team that worked on one of the few Games not covered by Seven, London in 2012.
Lewis Martin (56)
Managing Director Seven Melbourne and Head of Network Sport, Seven West Media
Martin is never far from the action on the sporting field for Seven, whatever the code. What a year it has been too. Seven West Media has secured long-term deals for arguably the two most sort-after pieces of sporting content – AFL and cricket – which give Seven a year-round audience magnet. If that wasn’t enough, mid-year Seven acquired the FTA rights to 15 FIFA Women’s World Cup matches that went on to rewrite the record book for big TV audiences.
Grant Tothill (92)
Executive Head LiSTNR Podcasts, SCA
LiSTNR and iHeartPodcast Network battle it out month on month for bragging rights about who is the biggest and best. Tothill has some strong assets at his disposal and in September 2023 was able to remind people that LiSTNR’s again had the top podcast in Australia.
His platform also had the most listeners, with over 8m for the first time in a single month. It also boasts the #1 news podcast and #1 comedy podcast. “It’s great to see Hamish & Andy continue their run as the most listened-to podcast and the early growth of our new podcast titles, which debuted in the ranker, supporting our commitment and investment in commissioning and creating podcasts for Australian audiences,” said Tothill.
Corey Layton (91)
Head of Digital Audio at ARN/iHeartRadio & iHeartPodcast Network Australia
It doesn’t seem that long ago that Layton and his ARN/iHeartPodcast team were celebrating ranking as the #1 podcast publisher for 25 consecutive Podcast Ranker charts.
The August Podcast Ranker marked the 40th consecutive month for ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network Australia as the #1 publisher, with over 21m downloads for the month and over 5m monthly listeners. iHeart reported 10m more downloads, and over 1m more monthly listeners, than any other publisher in August.
Layton said: “Hitting the big 40 is the result of our incredible partners and team continuing to capture the attention of Australian ears and brands. With 81% of Australian podcast listeners choosing to hear one of our shows, today’s result showcases the strength of our phenomenal slate.”
Gereurd Roberts (71)
Chief Digital Officer, Seven West Media
Roberts is responsible for the development, growth and innovation of SWM’s digital assets, as well as broadcast operations, information technology and cyber security.
Key to the digital assets is 7plus where FAST channels have been helping fuel audience growth.
“For us, FAST channels have been critically important – they’re a key pillar of our content strategy,” said Roberts recently. “Our content strategy for 7plus is built on three pillars: live, VOD, and now FAST. I think the power is in how they work in combination.” In an increasingly fragmented TV landscape, Roberts says that FAST channels offer viewers a reprieve from endlessly scrolling while trying to find something to watch.
Brendan Taylor and Peter Clay (78)
Group Program Director & Head of Programming smooth Network, Nova Entertainment
With the departure of Nova programmer Ben Latimer to the ABC, these two executives continue to look after the Nova and Smooth FM stations around Australia.
After the results of GfK Survey 5 were released, the two spread the word about their respective brand’s achievements: Nova was Australia’s most listened-to network with a cume of 4,154,800 – 281,000 ahead of its nearest competitor, and Smooth FM 91.5 was Melbourne’s #1 FM station in share on 9.9%, while Smooth FM 95.3 was Sydney’s most listened to station with a of cume 1,352,000.
Richard Hunwick, Jo Clasby, and Ashley Earnshaw (NEW)
Senior Sales team, Nine Entertainment
The sales trio is key to Nine’s success in the battle for advertising revenue.
Hunwick is director of sales, total television. He recently noted television had 19.5m+ viewers in a week (including “non adults”), with about 90% of the Total TV audience turning up week in, week out…with higher levels of attention and more opportunity to advertise.
Clasby is director of sales total publishing and last month celebrated national publishing and TV indies teams for winning the IMAA’s Partner of the Year Award.
“So nice for the team to be acknowledged and recognised for their hard work, passion and dedication,” she said. Earnshaw is the director of sales – total audio.
He joined Nine from agencies, first to look after regional television, and last year took his current role which includes the radio network and the growing podcast portfolio.
Tanya Denning-Orman (79)
Director of Indigenous Content, SBS
Tanya Denning-Orman, a proud Birri and Guugu Yimidhirr woman from Central and North Queensland, has led National Indigenous Television since it joined SBS in 2012 and was appointed to her current position in 2020.
In a busy few months, Denning-Orman oversaw the annual programming feast that accompanies NAIDOC Week with content spread across SBS, NITV, SBS On Demand, SBS Audio, NITV Radio, SBS Food, SBS World Movies and SBS Learn. More recently the broadcaster has played an important role in the lead-up for the October referendum on The Voice.
“Whether its NITV providing a vital platform for elevating the diversity of First Nations voices, our unique ability to reach and engage Australians in their preferred language through SBS Audio, or trusted and reliable insights into the latest developments from SBS News, across the SBS network we’re playing a crucial role in supporting all Australians to be informed when they vote on October 14,” said Denning-Orman.
Gai LeRoy (65)
Chief Executive Officer, IAB Australia
The trade body association for online advertising led by LeRoy reported online advertising market reached $14.2b for the financial year ending 30th June 2023. All categories recorded growth despite challenging economic conditions and a strong comparative period which included the Summer and Winter Olympics and a federal election. Growth slowed to 1.8% YOY, compared to the 22% YOY growth recorded in FY 2022. Working closely with LeRoy, and voted for by the 150+ IAB members, is IAB chair Matt Rowley from Pedestrian Group who this year started his second term in the role.
Nick Bower, Paramount (NEW)
General Manager – Ad Sales, Paramount ANZ
Last month, Paramount Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) announced it had expanded its sales leadership team and created two new divisions under Rod Prosser.
The new divisions include the Paramount ANZ Sales Group led by Bower. He has been on a journey this past 15 years starting with Seven where he worked in sports sales for eight years. A tour of duty followed in South-East Asia where he worked for Fox Sports, True Digital and Football Marketing Asia in Singapore before joining Paramount ANZ in 2021.
Pippa Leary (NEW)
Managing Director, Client Product, News Corp
Leary joined News Corp Australia two years ago in a role to accelerate the company’s ambition to be the nation’s leading marketing services provider for Australian businesses.
As managing director, of client product, Leary reports directly to News Corp Australia executive chairman Michael Miller as part of the senior leadership team. Leary has for the past 25 years worked in roles across many of Australia’s largest media companies: Microsoft, ninemsn, Fairfax and Nine and was previously chief executive at ASX-listed Swift Media. Mediaweek spoke to Leary recently, to dig deeper into the Total Commerce offering announced at the 2023 D_Coded event.
“We always had a really strong e-commerce business,” said Leary. “Today, we are the number one referrer for the online retail industry – we can see that especially in Black Friday and the cyber weekend.”
Rebecca McCloy (NEW)
Executive Director – Commercial, Sport
The Foxtel Group this year recognised the work done by backroom sports rights negotiator McCloy.
She will now report directly to CEO Patrick Delany after being a key player in securing renewals of AFL, Formula 1, Cricket Australia and No Limit Boxing. She has spent over 15 years in sports broadcasting, media rights negotiations and strategy, having also worked previously for Network 10 and the Stadium Australia.
McCloy has been involved in many domestic and international rights negotiations across all major sporting codes, part of which sees her involved in the growth strategies of the various sporting federations across Australia and internationally.
Nev Hasan (NEW)
Chief Sales Officer, Foxtel Media
Nev Hasan has been with the television business for over 15 years. His previous role was executive director of agency sales.
Hasan originally joined the Foxtel Media team (then MCN) as digital group sales manager in 2012 and has led Foxtel Media’s national sales teams to a video-first advertising future, while managing the evolution of linear TV and the rise of BVOD assets across the Foxtel Group, including Foxtel Go and Now, Kayo Sports, Binge, and Tubi.
Prior to his tenure with the Foxtel Group, Hasan held positions at SMG RED, Yahoo!7 and Ninemsn.
Tyler Bern (76)
Head of Content, Prime Video Australia
The streaming platform has invested heavily in Australian content this year. And not just this year. Since 2019, Prime Video has commissioned 25 Amazon Original series in Australia.
The programming this year was led by The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart which is now the most successful Australian Original worldwide with the biggest opening weekend viewership globally for any Australian launch.
Prime Video reported the series reached the top five in 78 countries, and the top three in 42 countries, after launching on Friday, August 4. Other Australian drama content this year included Class of 07 and Deadloch.
That content and many international hits, with a combination of the other benefits of a Prime Subscription, make it an entertainment investment hard to say no to for many.
Peter Zavecz, News Corp (52)
Managing Director, Victoria/Tasmania Publishing, News Corp Australia
Zavecz looks after all the key commercial relationships for Australia’s biggest publisher in Vitoria and Tasmania.
An initiative supported by Zavecz and HWT chair Penny Fowler last year, the Future Victoria event, held its second event earlier this week.
Following a sell-out audience in its first year, the Herald Sun and the Victorian Chamber collaborated to stage the second exclusive event on the future of Victoria.
This year’s focus was around growth suburbs, population increases, multicultural Melbourne, health and transport. It was also held just days after a new Premier of the state was sworn in.
James Chessell (42)
Managing Director of Publishing, Nine Entertainment
There was relief all around the Nine Publishing newsrooms after a court found stories published by the company had proven Ben Roberts-Smith was a war criminal who had also bullied a fellow soldier.
Speaking after the result, Chessell said: “Investigations by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald were correct in their reporting that Ben Roberts-Smith committed war crimes. The judgment is a vindication for journalists Nick McKenzie and Chris Masters, who began reporting this difficult and complicated story more than seven years ago. It is a vindication for the many people in our newsrooms and our organisation who supported this really important public interest journalism.”
More recently Chessell oversaw a revamp of the Brisbane Times including increased investment in an expanded editorial team, a refreshed brand identity, and a supporting marketing campaign.
Peter Blunden (41)
National Executive Editor, News Corp Australia
The top editorial executive at News Corp overseas a group that includes all the editors of the metro daily newspapers from around Australia.
One of the challenges facing Blunden and that group is how best to leverage the power of AI for News Corp Australia customers around the country.
He is a director of the Herald & Weekly Times, the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Good Friday Appeal, a committee member of the Moonee Valley Racing Club, and a member of the Carbine Club.
Darren Wick (39)
Director of News and Current Affairs, Nine
Despite recent speculation about an unsuccessful challenge from within to take over from Wick, he continues to lead a news brand that has the edge in Sydney, and competes fiercely around other metro markets. Other Nine news assets include 60 Minutes, Today and A Current Affair.
The Nine News brand is also a powerhouse online where in recent Ipsos Iris rankings nine.com.au was at #3, only trailing news.com.au and ABC News.
Craig McPherson (38)
Director of News and Public Affairs, Seven
A big shakeup at the HQ for Australia’s #1 national TV news brand this year with the move of Sydney’s Seven News and Sunrise from Martin Place in the Sydney CBD out to Seven’s corporate facility in Eveleigh.
Now the news comes from just below the office of CEO James Warburton and just above the studios where much of Home and Away is filmed. (All three elements critical to Seven’s success.)
Seven News is a clear leader in Perth and Adelaide and nationally across Australia. The race is a little closer in the East Coast capitals, but McPherson explained to Mediaweek recently how they have narrowed the gap with Nine.
7News.com.au continues to be a big focus with a dedicated app to launch soon.
Ford Ennals (62)
Chief Executive Officer, Commercial Radio & Audio
As with many industry lobby and marketing groups this year, it has been one of transformation for the radio and audio streaming body.
Earlier this year Ennals oversaw the launch Radio360 – a new hybrid audience measurement system for the GfK metropolitan radio surveys.
The first phase of the Radio360 rollout saw streaming added to broadcast audience figures for each radio station across the five major metro markets.
The second phase is scheduled for 2024 and will introduce podcast metrics, as well as special reports from data collected by GfK MediaWatches.
Ennals explained: “The industry recognises the need to better deliver the granular measurement and deep customer insights that brands and media agencies are hungry for.”
Kim Portrate (61)
CEO, Think TV Australia
Earlier this year there was a shake-up at Premium Content Alliance, with the organisation refocusing on how to make the best use of its resources after the departure of Foxtel from the ThinkTV marketing group, which sat within PCA.
Speaking to Mediaweek after the split, Portrate said that the future of the organisation would see it moving in different directions to achieve the same overall goals.
“We will be focusing on building confidence, knowledge, and understanding of the new trading currency based on the VOZ measurement system in 2024,” said Portrate.
Another compelling fact from the FTA TV space: “More Australians, more often than any other media every week.”
Vanessa Lyons (NEW)
Formerly part of the Premium Content Alliance, ThinkNewsBrands struck out on its own this year under the leadership of Lyons.
The TNB stakeholders are News Corp Australia, Nine Entertainment and Seven West Media.
Lyons has more than 20 years’ experience with marketing positions including general manager, marketing and customer experience at Wilson Parking, group head of marketing, at insurance business AUB Group and time with both Telstra and Philips. Lyons recently wrote in Mediaweek how a marketing investment in Total News isn’t just working with a brand-building powerhouse, but it delivers hefty bottom-of-funnel results, too.
Daniel Monaghan (33)
Senior VP Content and Programming, Paramount ANZ
Monaghan recently looked back at the company’s on-demand service 10 Play as it celebrated its 10th birthday.
“Over the past decade, 10 Play has met the demands of the market and our viewers, which has been reflected in our ability to evolve,” said Monaghan of the service which broke ground for younger viewers after launch.
“Our extensive new library of Pluto TV FAST channels offers a world of entertainment for audiences but it’s also a premium, brand-safe environment for advertisers to connect with key demographics. We are extremely proud to be bringing more content than ever to Australians, and to provide unique, innovative and seamless integration opportunities across all our platforms for our clients.”
This year he successfully filled the 10 schedule with programming from Working Dog on three nights of the week for part of the year and has had a hand in some of the great content helping Paramount+ grow its customer base.
Julian Delany (37)
Chief Technology Officer, News Corp Australia
News Corp Australia continues to lead the market when it comes to news online.
In addition to having Australia’s biggest commercial news site, news.com.au, the publisher has plenty of activity in the top 20 with the digital homes for The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun.
Delany has overseen the design and implementation of these sites, keeping the look fresh and offering solutions to monetise the offerings.
Describing the key parts of his role, Delany told Mediaweek: “I’ve got three areas of work to focus on – technology, digital product, and data.”
While he is no longer working at the “coalface” of news.com.au or the big Food Corp brands (including Taste.com.au), Delany noted, “The team and I are still accountable for how the digital product looks and feels.”
Natalie Harvey (67)
National Sales Director, Seven West Media
Seven executives have been prominent in discussions about how no other medium can rival television’s ability to build brands while delivering strong short-term outcomes.
Explaining Seven’s success in terms of Total TV and 7plus has been a key part of the comms. Harvey delivered a message to marketers at The Future of TV Advertising forum earlier this year: “Without a doubt, television is going through the biggest period of disruption we have ever seen. However, one of the big benefits of disruption is that it destabilises inertia. As an industry, it is time to ‘destabilise’ our thinking, to remove bias and to create new ways to connect with audiences. The opportunities for brands are enormous. There is a huge opportunity for brands to stand out from their competitors and leverage the power of linear to deliver mass reach and to leverage BVOD to reach hard-to-find audiences who are often co-viewing.”
Alex Spurzem (NEW)
General Manager, Australia & New Zealand, Samsung Ads
As a founding executive of Samsung Ads Australia, Spurzem helped set up the Australia arm of the business after he joined in July 2020. Prior to that he spent over eight years with Google, most recently as head of go-to-market strategy and operations, combined Google measurement, tech, data products, APAC.
He arrived at Google from PHD Media Australia where he served as head of search and performance display for 16 months.
Nick Seckold (NEW)
Regional VP, APAC, Microsoft Advertising
Seckold has a background in digital marketing communications, business strategy, marketing tech, and operations.
He has spent over 20 years in the digital advertising and media industry.
Seckold returned to Australia earlier in 2019, where he was the national managing director for the Denstu Aegis performance agency, iProspect. Prior to iProspect, Seckold’s experience included founding the search practice at Mindshare UK, later moving to Singapore to serve as Mindshare’s head of digital and then CEO for APAC.
Following his time at Mindshare, Seckold was a regional director at Facebook APAC.
Dave Cameron (69)
Chief Content Officer, SCA/LiSTNR
When it comes to metro ratings bragging rights for Cameron, Brisbane’s B105 has been the network’s bright spot. Triple M had a good year in Adelaide too under Matt O’Reilly and his team. However, radio is much more than that these days with multi-platform listening and on-demand programming.
Fox in Melbourne recently unseated Gold as Melbourne’s #1 FM and Hamish & Andy still command huge downloads as Australia’s #1 podcasters.
Cameron recently secured the services of Jay Mueller again for Triple M Melbourne and did he dare to dream about K&J calling 2Day home again?
Duncan Campbell (68)
Chief Content Officer, ARN
Negotiating a new contract for the broadcaster’s biggest stars Kyle and Jackie O has been top of the agenda this year.
Media reports suggest signing them might have been straightforward – if ARN was prepared to double their fee to $10m each annually! Another complication was that their former employer SCA was reportedly prepared to match the ARN offer.
A less stressful part of the job is the visit to the annual iHeartRadio Music Festival, hosting visitors from Australia and talking radio formats with colleagues from around the world.
Adam Johnson (NEW)
Chief Growth Officer, Nova Entertainment
It’s been close to two years since Johnson started in the role of heading commercial at the audio group. He has over 17 years of business and marketing experience across media, digital and technology. Prior to joining Nova Entertainment, Johnson, like his CEO Peter Charlton, was based in London, as chief marketing officer for Global.
Prior to joining Global, Johnson was the UK marketing director for Microsoft’s Mobile Devices division, responsible for the development and delivery of Microsoft’s smartphone marketing strategy.
He spent eight years in Sydney from 2003 to 2011, initially with the creative agencies George Patterson/Y&R before taking on a client-side role at Nokia Australia in 2006.
Clive Dickens (94)
Vice President – TV, Audio, Content and Product Development, Optus
It was all about the Matildas this year with Optus Sport securing all broadcast rights. It on-sold some FTA coverage to Seven and in hindsight could have charged a lot more. (As could Seven for the ads that ran on Seven and Optus Sport.) There should be one hell of a battle for the next FIFA World Cup events, women and men.
Don’t overlook the Optus play in the aggregation space where SubHub is a very tidy product that should do well if word gets out. The tech might not be as ambitious as Foxtel’s forthcoming Project Magneto, but it had first in market advantage. And with deals like six months free Amazon Prime (a recent offer), you can hear customers shouting, “Shut up and take my money.”
Que Minh Luu (54)
Director, Content (ANZ), Netflix
The Australian Netflix team continue to bask in the success of Heartbreak High with Season 2 due in 2024.
The show just last month was nominated for an International Emmy. Another major recent commission was Desert King from Easy Tiger which is being filmed in the Northern Territory under the guidance of Greg McLean.
The synopsis reads a little like Succession in the Outback. Not all shows are for everybody, but when you have a huge global audience there will always be a big crowd for most shows, even Wellmania.
Cate Hefele (74)
Executive Director, Kayo Sports
With Foxtel Group’s streaming division now split in two, Hefele and Julian Ogrin will now focus solely on growing the Kayo Sports subscriber base and making the most of any commercial opportunities that won’t impact the viewing experience.
Keeping the subscription TV rights to cricket, AFL and NRL makes the job a little easier.
Previously, Hefele worked for McKinsey & Company in New York and later Sydney before joining Foxtel Group as chief of staff under CEO Patrick Delany.
Alison Hurbert-Burns (73)
Executive Director, Binge & Commissioning and Content for the Foxtel Group
News Corp recently revealed Binge has 1.5m subscribers as the platform overtook Kayo.
In splitting the two services management teams, Patrick Delany this year confirmed the importance of content in the entertainment division when he said: “We must ensure Binge can continue to compete effectively by making content and marketing decisions that directly drive its growth.”
Amanda Laing heads entertainment with the key role of running Binge and commissioning content across the wider group falls to Burns.
Among the programming hits for Binge is the Aussie comedy series Colin From Accounts.
Ads on the basic tier now help revenues as will a recent price rise for standard and premium packages.
John McNerney (NEW)
Managing Director, AUSEA, Yahoo
Yahoo earlier this year unveiled its new team to lead Australia and Southeast Asia for Yahoo’s ad tech division, Yahoo Advertising.
The remit includes supporting the business’ refreshed focus as a media solutions partner for premium clients.
John McNerney stepped into the new role of managing director for Australia and Southeast Asia. He has been with Yahoo for 13 years and was previously senior director of platforms for APAC.
In his new role, McNerney will oversee the recently formed integrated teams across all of Yahoo Advertising’s disciplines.
Earlier this month Yahoo held its 2024 New Fronty, with McNerney revealing Yahoo was the first Australian DSP to launch a measurement solution with Amplified Intelligence’s attention platform.
Peter Whitehead (60)
Chief Commercial Officer, ARN
With the second biggest sales job in radio and a portfolio of metro stations with a bulging regional portfolio too — not to mention overseeing commercial opportunities on the iHeartPodcast network — Whitehead continues to sell the two biggest FM breakfast shows in the country – The Kyle and Jackie O Show in Sydney and The Christian O’Connell Show in Melbourne.
Add into that other successful breakfast shows in all five metro markets and you have enough radio to keep a big sales team busy. Strategising how to possibly network Kyle, Jackie and Christian live around the country without cannibalising the other stations could be a challenge if syndication rumours are true.
Seb Rennie (NEW)
Chief Commercial Officer, SCA
Early in 2023, SCA announced changes to the company’s senior sales leadership with Seb Rennie stepping into the role of chief commercial officer, following chief sales officer Brian Gallagher advising of his resignation.
Rennie joined SCA from Group M, where he spent the past eight years, most recently as chief investment officer for Australia and New Zealand. Rennie has 20-plus years of experience in the media industry and has worked with media agencies, media owners, advertisers and tech vendors in Australia and Canada.
During his career, he has worked with Mediacom in the UK and Australia, OMD as group trading manager and MEC as chief investment officer prior to moving to Group M in 2015. He was ranked at #15 in Mediaweek’s 2022 Agency 50 Power List.
Mike Connaghan (44)
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.
“We’ve easily got the biggest commercial content business in the country – more clients are seeing the power of having an organisation like News,” Connaghan explained to Mediaweek recently.
“We’ve got the storytelling background, we’ve got incredible data, and we’ve got incredible reach right across the metro and regional markets in Australia. We’ve got the facility to actually deliver for clients.”
Part of this commercialisation mix at News Corp is the several companies inside of the business that can service clients in-house. This includes the creative agency Roller, and the content marketing agencies Medium Rare, Storyation, Suddenly, News Native Network and NewsCast.
Guy Burbidge (96)
Managing Director, Val Morgan Cinema
It’s been a good year for advertising in the cinema. Especially if you’d had the smarts to secure spots in cinemas screening Barbie and/or Oppenheimer. SMI reported in the July 2023 data that cinema grew 18.9% off the back of interest in both blockbuster hits. Ad spend on cinema for FY 22/23 was close to 30% up YOY.
The opening of Barbie and Oppenheimer, aka Barbenheimer, in Val Morgan’s terms, “officially blew up the box office”. The two releases generated a combined $34.1 million in ticket sales – the biggest weekend box office result since Avengers: Endgame was released in 2019.
Spruiking his medium to agencies this year, Burbidge said: “Cinema is more than just a screen solution, it’s an unparalleled opportunity for brands to tap into the biggest cultural moments within the most immersive environment, commanding undivided attention. Cinema’s superpower is its ability to influence conversations, create connections and invoke emotion.”
Kevin Whyte (77)
Founder and Managing Director of Token Group
There aren’t many managers on this list, but Whyte’s group of companies and his TV work ensure a place for him here. While leaders from media companies gather to celebrate their achievements on October 13 at the Mediaweek 100 event, Whyte will be in London with one of his most successful artists.
Hannah Gadsby is doing a series of shows including sold-out gigs at Alexandra Palace. We have been lucky to secure Token’s Dave Thornton for our Mediaweek 100 event though.
Whyte’s roll call of talent extends from household names like Anthony Morgan, Judith Lucy, Denise Scott and Rod Quantock through to emerging new talent like Dave Hughes, Wil Anderson and Rove McManus.
The Token Group 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. Recent TV success included Deadloch for Prime Video and David Wenham’s interview series The ABC Of.
Eric Beecher (100)
Chairman, Private Media
Taking on Fox Corp in the courts has seen Private Media founder Beecher receiving more publicity than perhaps at any stage of his career. Fox Corp CEO and chairman Lachlan Murdoch sued Private Media’s Crikey in August 2022 for comments made in an article published in June that covered the role of Fox News in the January 6 insurrection in Washington DC.
The case was subsequently dropped and a payment was made to Crikey to cover its costs. 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. In addition to Crikey, Private Media also publishes The Mandarin, Smart Company and Inc. Australia.
Matt Rowley (59)
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.
This year CEO Rowley again was appointed chairman of IAB Australia for a second time. Pedestrian recently celebrated its 18th birthday with a party that reputedly lasted eight hours with 12 different DJs keeping the crowd of 300+ entertained.
A host of appointments earlier this year included Pedestrian Group announcing Sarah Michael as publisher, Rachel Tikey was promoted to the newly created role of chief commercial officer and Matthew Galea was promoted to managing editor.
In August this year, Rowley stepped back from his ownership of the sports publication Green and Gold Rugby on the eve of the Rugby World Cup.
The new owner of the site is Ponderosa Publishing.
“I started Green and Gold Rugby (G&GR) in 2007 as an experiment; it was the time before social media and there were these new things called ‘blogs’ – I wanted to find out how they worked,” said Rowley as he handed over the G&GR keyboard to his successor.
Morry Schwartz (99)
Executive Chairman, Schwartz Media
The publisher of The Saturday Paper and The Monthly was outspoken during a controversy surrounding Adelaide Writer’s Week (AWW) this year.
Schwartz has called on Louise Adler to resign as director of AWW after a controversial booking of two pro-Palestinian speakers. Adler – who is Jewish and a daughter of Holocaust survivors –refused to back down, instead telling AAP, “I’m not running a political festival here, I’m running a literary festival.”
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. Schwartz launched the current affairs magazine The Monthly in 2005 and then nine years later launched the weekly publication The Saturday Paper which will celebrate its first decade next year.
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 7 am which is ranked in the top 10 of all podcasts in Australia.
Scott Purcell and Frank Arthur NEW
Founders, Man of Many
Purcell is the co-founder of Man of Many and a CFA Charterholder. He graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney majoring in Finance and International Business. Prior to starting Man of Many, he spent seven years at Westpac Institutional Bank as a senior financial analyst.
Over a decade, the independent Australian men’s lifestyle platform Man of Many has grown organically, connecting with over 2m monthly readers and establishing a social media community of 700,000 followers.
Revenue was up 16.4% YOY in the 12 months to March 2023. Purcell specialises in technology, finance, whisky and general lifestyle content.
Frank Arthur is the co-founder of Man of Many. He has a background in design and a passion for innovation, style and creativity.
Arthur holds a Bachelor of Industrial Design from the University of Newcastle and a Master of Commerce with a major in Marketing International Business from the University of Sydney.
Prior to founding Man of Many, he worked as a product designer for seven years on consumer goods, furniture, smart-city technology and sustainable public infrastructure.
In the past year, Man of Many executed over 194 advertising campaigns, including partnerships with top-tier multinational and luxury brands.
In 2022, it fostered strategic distribution partnerships, signing exclusive publishing deals with Apple Maps Guides and Microsoft Start. Man of Many has launched its own AI ChatGPT plugin, a world first for a major publisher.
The plugin enables content discovery by generating personalised responses to user queries. When he’s not holed up in the Man of Many offices, Arthur spends his time boxing and playing the guitar. His specialist subjects are design, technology, fashion, architecture and watches.
Luke Girgis (53)
Chief Executive Officer, The Brag Media
As CEO of The Brag Media, Luke Girgis has established a bulging portfolio of entertainment brands represented in this market including The Brag, Rolling Stone, Variety, Billboard, Rotten Tomatoes, The Hollywood Reporter and many more.
One of many announcements this year included a new premium content destination promising curated content from across The Brag Media’s entertainment and youth brands.
Just days before that was a deal with Evolve Media to represent its premium advertising inventory in Australia. Evolve Media’s publishing network spans a range of titles covering music, gaming and film including culture publication ComingSoon, Aussie online music title Music Feeds, and gaming websites GameRevolution and PlayStation Lifestyle.
The network also includes WrestleZone, SuperHeroHype, Sherdog, and Mandatory. The Brag Media also runs events, an ad agency and manages talent.
Lisa Davies (57)
Chief Executive Officer, AAP
It’s been a busy year for the heritage news agency. AAP launched an indigenous affairs desk with philanthropic support.
Meta, Google and TikTok continued contracts with AAP FactCheck for a variety of services. AAP relaunched its video and multimedia offering for subscribers.
It is also back in the press statement distribution business with AAP Releases.
AAP received interim funding from the Federal Government and is looking forward to extra funding from the NewsMAP media assistance program. On the customer front, AAP was pleased to continue its relationship with the Nine Publishing mastheads which renewed their content contract.
Fiona Lang (83)
General Manager, BBC Studios Australia & New Zealand
Building on the work already done, Lang has been focusing on deeper partnerships across the business and exploiting the BBC back catalogue.
The Foxtel partnership has expanded from five linear channels to extra content being sold to other channels.
A multi-year deal was signed for The Great Bake Off format with BBC Studios producing for Foxtel Group’s Lifestyle channel. In the past year, Studios sealed a new multi-year, multi-genre deal with ABC across linear and digital to continue as the broadcaster’s biggest supplier of international content. BBC Studios also has multi-year deals with Stan, Nine and TVNZ.
The Death in Paradise spin-off drama series Beyond Paradise debuted to big audiences on BBC First. Death in Paradise is expected to film some of its next series in Australia. In addition to the Foxtel channels, there are seven on Fetch and four on Sky in New Zealand.
BBC Podcasts Premium launched a subscription service in March with Apple. Britbox continues to grow its subscriber numbers with originals and pricing deals.
BBC is very active in the brands and licensing space too with the BBC Earth Experience opening in Melbourne in October. Bluey celebrated its fifth birthday recently with BBC Licensing driving its global growth.
The locally created Bluey’s Big Play embarked on a tour of US in November 2022 and this year extended the US tour for a further 12 months to July 2024 as well as bringing the play to audiences across Canada, UK and Ireland.
The Bluey numbers continue to be astonishing: The “Bluey: Dance Mode” album topped the ARIA chart, book sales have passed 5m globally and apparel sales are over 8m.
Tom Malone (28)
Managing Director, Nine Radio
The Nine Radio group has continued its stronghold on audiences 10+ under Malone’s guidance.
GfK radio rating survey results in September indicated that streaming is the latest frontier in 3AW, 2GB, 4BC and 6PR perform well.
The stations boasted 11.9 million podcast session starts in August (up 14% year on year) and 11.4 million hours of listening (up 16% year on year) – both the highest on record for Nine.
Melbourne’s 3AW recorded its highest ever Survey 5 cume and grew overall share to 16.7% (up 2.1), with breakfast duo Ross and Russ recording a 23% share (up 3.2), and Neil Mitchell having 20% (up 3.0).
Malone has overseen a couple of big programming changes with Mitchell moving out of 3AW mornings and Ray Hadley being taken off air in Brisbane.
Malone negotiated to keep Mitchell on the books though with commentary spots across the network and a new podcast to launch in 2024.
Peter Newman (80)
CEO, Endemol Shine Australia
The Banijay-owned production companies are the market giant with shows on all networks across the year. At one stage this year there were seven different series concurrently.
The line-up features some of the biggest shows on TV starting with Married at First Sight and including other hits MasterChef Australia, Gogglebox Australia, Big Brother, Australian Survivor, The 100 with Andy Lee, Location Location Location and Lego Masters.
The drama RFDS has been a hit for Seven and should be back for a third season if they can assemble the talented cast again. The new Stan dating series from the tea behind MAFS, Love Triangle, scored a second season and has been sold to international territories.
Newman, who has worked in Australia, UK and US in the independent production sector and for various television networks, is in the UK and Europe in October 2023 meeting with colleagues from elsewhere in the group and visiting MIPCOM.
Nikki Clarkson (51)
Chief Marketing Officer, SCA
Working under a new chief executive in John Kelly, the work of Clarkson and her team has helped drive the LiSTNR brand toward profitability by the end of 2024. The platform is also home to SCA’s 99 radio stations in addition to the on-demand audio.
Helping to spread the word to commercial partners, Clarkson recently launched the platform’s first podcast trade platform.
“Insights from our key media agencies revealed that, while strong reach remains a necessity for planning podcast campaigns, personalisation is recognised and valued by them as being at the very heart of LiSTNR’s offering,” explained Clarkson. “The new campaign brings all these strands of the personalisation theme together, heroing LiSTNR’s own executives, as just some of the examples of LiSTNR’s eight million-strong captivated audience and what makes every one of them unique. Many of our people who are featured also have very strong, valuable relationships directly with our clients and agencies, which brings home the personalisation theme even more.”
Liana Dubois (49)
Chief Marketing Officer, Nine Entertainment Co
As we noted last year, Dubois plays a key role at the Nine Upfront and was a presenter at Nine’s Big Ideas Store too earlier in 2023. She was also a guest on the first series of the Mediaweek and Samsung Ads series Behind the Screens: The Future of Television. She spoke to us about the scope of her role: “As group CMO for Nine, in addition to the television business we have a digital business, a radio business and a publishing business. My remit and my role spans the entirety of those assets. The focus for me is on growth and that’s what gets me out of bed every single day. I ask myself how Nine can continue its cultural relevance for the next 100 years as it has for the past 100.”
And also, what might be coming: “We are constantly looking for what is next and what’s best for the future. Whether that is what’s happening on the 9Now platform, FAST channel strategies and what we might be experimenting with from a pure campaign point of view. How we might want to show up a little bit differently, the kind of activation we might do or how we might pop up in a surprising or delightful kind of way.”
Melissa Hopkins (NEW)
Chief Marketing and Audience Officer, Seven West Media
Seven West Media announced the appointment of Hopkins as chief marketing and audience officer at the end of 2022, replacing Charlotte Valente. She was previously CMO at Optus and prior to that held the roles of head of consumer marketing and senior director of marketing and communications. Hopkins is responsible for driving audience numbers and growth across the entire Seven West Media portfolio.
She told Mediaweek recently there are three major focuses for her and the team in the next 12 months. The first one, she says, is redefining in the industry what Australians watch. “I believe there’s a little bit of a myth out there that the minutes watched on television and BVOD keep shrinking. Australians are watching more long-form content than ever, and Seven is batting way above what many people expect it should be for reach.
The second thing is just how we really focus on enhancing and building the Seven brand as a brand that represents something in Australians’ lives. That’s a big challenge, but I’m excited about it. Finally, we’re in this amazing space of transformation and a new digital world in the way that consumers are choosing to snack their content – be that broadcast or on 7Plus – and the opportunity to really shake up the status quo in the market is super exciting.”
Steve O’Connor (NEW)
Chief Executive Officer, JCDecaux Australia and New Zealand
JCDecaux has been delivering premium outdoor advertising opportunities since 1997. Leading the Australian arm of the global out-of-home giant is O’Connor who stepped up to the leadership plate in 2004. He is celebrating 30 years in the sector in 2023 after first signing on as a sales director at Buspak.
JCDecaux’s acquisition of APN Outdoor in 2018 represented a major expansion of its footprint, making Australia the fourth largest JCDecaux market.
It also marked its entry into the New Zealand market for the first time. More recently the chief executive has been navigating the company through the loss of the City of Sydney business.
Helping grow the portfolio was the recent launch 16 new large format sites to its national network across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide. JCDecaux also announced it is launching Australia’s first programmatic digital out-of-home award.
The JCDecaux Programmatic Campaign of the Year Award will be judged by five OOH and digital experts: Steve O’Connor, CEO of JCDecaux Australia and New Zealand; Elizabeth McIntyre, CEO of the Outdoor Media Association; Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia, Joe Lunn, head of media APAC at Uber and former chairman of the MFA Awards; and Dorota Karc, head of programmatic at WallDecaux Germany.
Antony Catalano (19)
Executive Chairman, Australian Community Media
Catalano bought Australian Community Media (ACM) in 2019 with ASX-listed Thorney Investment Group its founder and chairman Alex Waislitz. The publishing business is led by Tony Kendall, a former News Corp, Bauer and News Magazines executive.
The ACM group includes around 140 mastheads that reach millions of 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. While the news brands are the core of the business, Catalano has big hopes for the property listing site view.com.au which launched on September 30. While it is a separate business, there will be synergies to explore between the two.
Catalano is taking view.com.au well beyond that REA and Domain offer customers: “What View will do is give you a view of 11 million properties in Australia, not just the 150,000 that are for sale currently. That way you have the opportunity to buy the house that’s right for you, not just the one that’s currently on the market,” he said recently.
Andrew Lancaster (16)
Chief Executive Officer, WIN Corp
After five years as Network 10’s affiliate partner, Lancaster and his sales team have been enjoying the fruits of a stronger stream of ad revenue with its traditional metro partner Nine.
Helping secure that revenue stream was the decision to merge the WIN and Nine sales operations to offer a one-stop shop for buyers wishing to gain access to metro and regional Australia with a single buy. It was an important move for Lancaster to make in order to match Seven’s acquisition of Prime Television.
Meanwhile, Lancaster has mainly been in the news this year regarding his directorship of NRL team St George Illawarra Dragons, where he was appointed chairman at the end of 2022, and facing questions about the WIN Entertainment Centre and WIN Stadium upgrades.
Michael Healy & Hamish Turner (32)
Director of Television, and Director 9Now & Programming at Nine Entertainment Co
The Road to the Paris Olympics and the games themselves should fill a few hours in 2024. Otherwise, the programming duo have recommissioned the big hits from Married at First Sight through to The Block, Lego Masters and Travel Guides. For drama Nine has again turned to crime shows from people who know what it takes – Human Error brings together John Edwards, Greg Haddrick and John Silvestor. Blood on the Tracks is being made by the Easy Tiger hit factory. The biggest programming roll of the dice in 2024 could be Tipping Point with Todd Woodbridge in the 5pm weekday slot.
Angus Ross (31)
Chief Content Officer, Entertainment Programming, Seven
A good year for the network with audiences growing off the back of good decisions including The 1% Club hosted by Jim Jeffries. A refreshed My Kitchen Rules recently performed well too, knocking off the previously untouchable The Block on some nights. Much anticipation around what the schedule will look like next year, but expect some property programming mixed in with the returning major franchises.
Scott Lorson (45)
Chief Executive Officer, Fetch
The boss of Fetch TV has edged higher this year with the continuing implications of the deal for Telstra to invest around $50m including provision for migrating Telstra TV customers onto Fetch.
As part of that deal, Telstra acquired a 51% stake in the TV platform, valuing Fetch at close to $100m.
The migration of Telstra TV customers to Fetch continues which will give Fetch a subscriber base over 1.3m. The platform had two significant recent announcements: Firstly, Fetch TV has announced that premium video advertising is now available to purchase on the Fetch aggregation platform and is supported by a dedicated local sales team, and an expanded portfolio of Free Ad Supported TV (FAST) channels. Fetch launched eight FAST channels in March, and this week introduced a further 11 channels, bringing the FAST channel portfolio to 19.
Secondly, the Fetch team launched a multi-platform campaign with the message Fetch is The Way to Watch. The campaign was commissioned from the full-service indie agency Today the Brave. The timing has been chosen to coincide with the arrival of Telstra TV customers to the Fetch platform.
Chris Taylor (95)
Managing Director, Distribution Networks and DTC ANZ and IMD USA at NBCUniversal
Taylor has now been running the ANZ arm of the global media business for over 10 years. Australian media businesses have been jostling for rights to an output deal with NBCU and Seven announced a deal just on 12 months ago to be the home of 7Bravo with the channel launching in January this year. Also this year Fetch TV and NBCUniversal International Networks & Direct-to-Consumer renewed their long-term channel partnership.
The agreement ensures continuing access to drama, true crime and news programming for the Fetch entertainment platform subscribers. The deal was preceded at the end of 2022 the Foxtel Group and NBCU agreeing on a new, multi-year partnership for blockbuster movies, drama, comedy, reality, news, and more to drive the group’s subscription TV and streaming platforms.
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.
Martin Kugeler (43)
Chief Executive Officer, Stan
Having a background as the CFO will come in very handy for the challenges facing Kugeler and the Nine-owned local streaming service. As an indie in a market ruled by global studios, Stan has to negotiate hard for the international content it secures.
The content drought triggered by the writers and actors strike in the US made it harder to secure big-ticket programming.
What Stan is doing well is building its Stan Original library. Although that’s now a strategy being copied by other players here. Growing a sports portfolio will be even harder given the appetite for sport which is now seen as the most secure way to guarantee an audience.
Total Stan subscribers this year as of June 30 were 2.6m (2.2m paying). Earnings increased nicely by 30% to $37m off the back of revenue lifting by 12% to $427m.
Chief Executive Officer, Hoyts & Val Morgan
Prior to joining Hoyts in 2011, Keogh spent over seven years with MCN (now Foxtel Media) as national sales and marketing director. Cinema has continued its strong rebound from the Covid impact to record box office year-to-date at 6% ahead of 2022.
That places it now less than 15% behind pre-Covid figures. Box office has been driven by the success of Barbie ($85m) and Oppenheimer ($40m) which opened in July. October will be further fuelled by the release of the Taylor Swift Eras concert.
Val Morgan Cinema Advertising, run by Guy Burbidge, is running at +6% YOY. The Val Morgan brand is also used for growing out-of-home and digital divisions which have their own MDs reporting to Keogh.
Collectively the VM business is up 12% this year, with the outdoor business up 17% in a market that has faced some tough recent challenges. Val Morgan Digital is home to media brands Fandom, The Latch, POPSUGAR, Bustle, Inverse, BuzzFeed, Tasty and Gamespot. Revenue is +17% YTD and projected to deliver +40% for CY23.
Glen Kyne (58)
Senior Vice President & Head of Networks, Warner Bros Discovery Australia, New Zealand, Japan
Although Kyne has a significant regional role, the New Zealand-based executive has had his hands full managing the assets in that country.
TV3, the New Zealand TV business WBD bought for $20m in 2020, has been a loss maker since and it was reported recently that WBD asked for NZ Government support while it transitions the broadcaster to a digital-led business.
While it is expected the streaming platform Max will launch in Australia in 2025, Kyne has been considering how it might fit into the New Zealand market too. Another consideration for the FTA TV service has been the place of FAST channels in the consumer offering.
John O’Neill NEW
Chief Executive Officer, QMS Australia
Growing out-of-home player QMS is closing in on its first decade of operation after launching in 2014. The company boasts a market share of 15%, but that climbs to 20%+ when counting only market segments where it competes.
After launching with just five staff, it now boasts over 250. Many of them have been focussed on its biggest asset this past year, the City of Sydney advertising contract. It’s a much sought-after contract that covers a 26 square kilometre patch of Sydney that reaches 2.6m people.
Apart from a short stint at Nova Entertainment, O’Neill has worked in out-of-home for over two decades at Eye Corp, Media Puzzle (as founder and MD), oOh!media and he joined QMS as chief revenue officer in 2015.
It’s not all about inner Sydney though. Under O’Neill’s leadership, other wins have seen continued growth in the network elsewhere in Sydney plus expansion in South-East Queensland and Melbourne.
We can’t mention O’Neill’s love of thoroughbreds and the success he’s had as an owner including many Group One victories including the Melbourne Cup. He travelled to Royal Ascot this year to see his horse Coolangatta in action. O’Neill shares his thoughts on the racing industry as a contributor to SENTrack radio.
Craig Hutchison (29)
Chief Executive Officer, Sports Entertainment Network
Followers of the journey Hutchison has been on since moving from journalism to media ownership have seen him undertake quite the journey.
He and business partner Chris Giannopoulos took control of publicly-listed Pacific Star Network and turned SEN 1116 into the home station in a two-country network that now spans 60+ stations including major AM operations in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, smaller SEN stations, the SENTrack racing network, 29 SENZ stations in New Zealand and a growing digital footprint that make it easier for consumers to switch between the different options in addition to listening on demand.
Sports ownership has also been a focus with the Perth Wildcats the main offering in addition to WNBL’s Bendigo Spirit and two basketball teams in NZ – Otago Nuggets and Southern Holho. The company’s recent full-year results noted it had now finished building its network which it will now monetise.
Melinda Petrunoff NEW
Managing Director, Pinterest Australia and New Zealand
Petrunoff joined Pinterest in December 2021. Her career until that date had been with two major media players. Most recently she was with Facebook for 8.5 years, ending her time-based in Singapore as managing director, global business group, scaled ANZ. Prior to that, Petrunoff was at Fairfax Media for just over a decade.
During her time there she had some help along the way. She recently explained to Mediaweek: “In my early years at Fairfax Digital I was placed in a rising stars program and aligned to [Google’s] Mel Silva as my mentor. In the time she mentored me, she was smart, authentic, compassionate and moved fast. As she progressed in her career I’ve continued to admire her as a leader, she is a transformational leader who is forward thinking and incredibly kind.”
Pinterest revenues are skewed heavily within the US, but its small rest of world segment [which includes Australia] is growing – up 32% YOY for the three months ended June 30, 2023.
CEO, Publicis Groupe Australia and New Zealand
The largest communications company in the world runs a huge number of brands in Australia including Spark Foundry, Zenith, Starcom and Leo Burnett.
Rebelo has over 25 years of international leadership experience in building, transforming, starting up, acquiring and integrating businesses across the UK, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Publicis media agencies have been having a good year with COMvergence data indicating US$65m of new business wins in H1 2023.
The company has a focus on “connected growth” in addition to attracting new business. Rebelo recently told Mediaweek: “The consistency in our performance is evidence that we are well placed to weather the tough market conditions that the industry is currently facing and in a more sustainable way than our competitors.”
Publicis has a 50/50 gender split among CEOs and MDs and is a member of Pride in Diversity. Publicis has a Gold Standard Accreditation from Mental Health First Aid Australia and currently has 105 trained Mental Health First Aiders who connect regularly to share learnings and promote wellbeing offerings in the business.
The company also introduced a new financial fitness survey and tool in partnership with Stanford Brown Financial Services. Staff are able to access a series of financial guidance tools.
James Taylor (18)
Managing Director, SBS
In the 2021/22 SBS Annual Report, Taylor reminded people of the importance of the service the broadcaster offers to the community. He pointed out that the recent census showed more than 50% of Australian residents were born overseas or have at least one parent who was.
Over 5.5m Australians – that’s more than one in five – now speak a language other than English at home. It’s worth a reminder of the wide range of services on offer in addition to the main SBS linear TV channel. It also broadcasts NITV, SBS Viceland, SBS Radio, SBS Food, SBS World Movies, SBS WorldWatch and a streaming platform held in high regard by many – SBS On Demand. Earlier this year the Federal Government revealed a five-year funding commitment for SBS.
One of the main issues still to be sorted out is where will the new home of SBS be with a plan to move to western Sydney from its current north shore home. It cost $460m to run SBS according to 2021/22 data, of which it generates close to one third of that predominantly from ad sales on its networks.
Brett Armstrong (34)
General Manager, TikTok Australia
The social media platform might be facing some regulatory challenges elsewhere in the world, but Australians have really taken to it as Armstrong explained recently to Mediaweek. He said: “Australians don’t take themselves too seriously, and TikTok is the perfect example of just being real and having fun. The more real and vulnerable people are on the platform, the more connection you get.
“We’ve seen the numbers, more than eight and a half million people are on the platform, so a large percentage of Australia is now getting involved. We’ve got very creative and humorous people in Australia, and the tools are pretty easy for anyone to make content with,” he added.
More recently at the TikTok #ForYou Summit, Armstrong detailed how around 350,00 Australian businesses have used the platform to connect with the 8.5m users.
Rod Prosser, Paramount (26)
Chief Sales Officer, Paramount ANZ
It’s a bit of a challenge predicting what Prosser and his sales team might have to take to market before it’s announced in their 2024 Upfront.
It’s probably a safe bet to say the portfolio of programs will revolve around some of its biggest successes including MasterChef Australia, Gogglebox Australia, Have You Been Paying Attention? and Australian Survivor.
Paramount will also be working hard to best monetise its network of FAST channels recently launched under the Pluto TV brand. 10 Play is also an important part of the Paramount ecosystem for advertisers.
Prosser told Mediaweek: “The ultimate goal has always been an all-screens proposition. This 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.”
Mark Frain (25)
Chief Executive Officer, Foxtel Media
Frain will now be working alongside Julian Ogrin on the monetisation of the Foxtel Group assets. While noting Foxtel Media remains an important brand it takes to market, Patrick Delany outlined the vision for future growth recently.
“Foxtel Media will come together with Kayo Sports in a new sports and advertising division. The executives of Kayo Sports have an unrivalled knowledge of digital customer acquisition and retention using data and AI, and together with Foxtel Media they will lead the ongoing development of our digital advertising capabilities to monetise new audience reach.
Importantly this effort will be for all our ad-enabled platforms including Kayo Sports, Binge, Foxtel and [soon-to-launch] streaming aggregation technology business Magneto.”
Ogrin and Frain will make a noise about the commercial opportunities at what promises to be a spectacular Foxtel Media Upfront on Sydney Harbour in October.
To help on the new mission, Frain recently promoted 15-year Foxtel Media veteran Nev Hasan to chief sales officer.
Kurt Burnette (23)
Chief Revenue Officer, Seven West Media
No Olympics, no worries, says Seven and the person responsible for monetising Seven’s Olympic and Paralympic investments until Nine took the Olympic torch for at least the next decade. Despite forecasts that it’s all over for FTA TV, the license holders continue to have an offer that major advertisers can’t refuse. While ad budgets were under pressure, Seven West Media ad revenue was close to $1.4b from its TV assets – five FTA channels and the 7plus service. That ad haul accounts for close to 75% of Seven West Media revenues. The 7plus platform now has 13.5m verified users, with 6m of them active.
Burnette and his team are helped in their sales pitches by being able to leverage off the #1 regional player, #1 news service and #1 sports offering.
About the game-changing VOZ Streaming initiative, Burnette wrote in Mediaweek: “Several BVOD platforms including SBS On Demand, Foxtel Now, Foxtel Go, Binge and Kayo are not yet part of the initiative. Beyond that, a big challenge lies in achieving unity across the divided and competitive screen industry – yes, that means streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, and Disney+. Universal agreement among everyone is essential.”
Michael Stephenson (24)
Commercial Director, Nine Entertainment Co
The role is not just about monetising the rights granted by the IOC. But that’s important. As discussions got underway with IOC partners, Stephenson shared with Mediaweek: “Irrespective of the commercial outcome, what we are building is a much closer relationship with those brands and Nine.
Our proposition goes well beyond the Games. It is not just the 17 days of the Olympics or the 12 days of the Paralympics. We start in January  the road to Paris allowing our partners to leverage our assets all the way through until September.”
Nine’s conversations at its Olympic installation in its Sydney HQ came as the network commanded a leading 40%+ share of metro commercial FTA ad revenues. “Our aspiration is to continue to grow that share number,” said a confident Stephenson.
“Metro TV in isolation is only one part of the story. We have the WIN team now as part of Nine and we now represent regional markets as well. We have grown share in regional markets and we have nearly a 50% share of the BVOD market when you look at it as a traditional market with Seven, Nine and 10.”
Lou Barrett (20)
Managing Director Sales, News Corp Australia
As the head of the sales operation at Australia’s largest publisher, Barrett leads the engagement with advertisers around the country. This year she was the key presenter at the fifth D_Coded, News Corp Australia’s digital marketing event for advertising, marketing, and media executives. One of the key messages this year was helping clients sell their product.
“It’s not just shoppable video anymore, it’s so much more than that,” Barrett told Mediaweek. “Whether it’s video, whether it’s an app, whether it’s a piece of branded content, whether it’s editorial – that’s what our total commerce solution is all about. For us, this it’s all about content and commerce.”
Barrett is a strong advocate of supporting your brand, whatever the economic climate.
“The worst thing that advertisers could do is cut their budget. Take a leaf out of the books of Harvey Norman, and look at what Katie Page does – when we were heading into tough times, she doubled down, and guess what? Her brand is stronger than anyone’s coming out of tough times.”
Julian Ogrin (21)
Managing Director, Kayo Sports
Should the chief executive decide to depart at some stage in the future, the two internal candidates tipped to take over are ranked at #17 and #16 on this list. With the streaming business split in two, Ogrin now heads one of the streaming brands he launched, Kayo Sports, with a brief to also look after Foxtel Media alongside Mark Frain.
That gives you an idea of where Foxtel Group sees future growth for advertising dollars.
Patrick Delany said earlier this year: “Foxtel Media remains an important brand we take to market, led by Mark. We have the best ad-tech and mar-tech capability in this country, so this now represents a brand-new opportunity for both Julian and Mark to generate the next wave of digital advertising growth for the business.”
Amanda Laing (30)
Chief Commercial and Content Officer – Foxtel Group, Managing Director – Binge
It’s been a big year for the Foxtel Group and Laing figured in the mid-year transformation, being appointed to lead the entertainment division.
As CEO Patrick Delany described it: “With Binge reaching more than 1.5m subscribers now is the time to create a dedicated entertainment division responsible for both Binge and all of the entertainment strategy, acquisitions and commissioning that power Binge and Foxtel (and Flash)…this area will be our home of entertainment streaming, and the content strategy, acquisitions and commissions that support our entertainment offering across Binge, Foxtel and Magneto. This area also manages all of our third-party content partnerships, whether through channels, outputs, production houses and studios.
Amanda will lead this area to ensure we can grow subscribers, leverage the content that has come from our long-term deals with leading studios and local and global production partners, and drive subscription and advertising revenue potential in the entertainment category. Amanda also remains the key lead in driving our major deals across all commercial categories with the support of legal and regulatory.”
Jarrod Villani, Paramount (22)
EVP, Chief Operating and Commercial Officer & Regional Lead, Paramount ANZ
There’s plenty to keep Villani busy checking P&Ls with his role as COO across the growing suite of businesses that this year included the launch of Pluto TV on 10 Play and the continued growth of the Paramount+ streaming service.
Villani spoke to The AFR earlier this year about missing out on sports rights, including the AFL and cricket: “We got to a point during those discussions where I think the AFL believed that we were most likely going to be their partner. We got as close as that,” Villani said.
“But we run a business. And our job is to continue to improve the bottom line of the organisation and make strategic decisions that benefit our businesses as a whole. We’ve spent the last two to three years building a really well-performing business and continue to add distribution platforms to our bow. And none of that changes as a result of what’s happened over the last six months. We didn’t have it before, we don’t have it now.”
Paul Whittaker (14)
Chief Executive Officer, Sky News Australia
It’s not possible to get a read of the financial contribution Sky News Australia makes to parent company News Corp. But judging from the audience metrics it’s probably doing OK.
Primetime heavy lifting continues to rest on the shoulders of Credlin, The Bolt Report and Paul Murray Live from 6pm onwards. Chris Kenny Tonight is now part of that mix at 8pm nightly. Mornings are the domain of Peter Stefanovic (from 5.30 a.m.) and then Laura Jayes from 9am.
With news during the day and commentary at night, distribution initiatives have been driving audience growth. Sky News Australia recently detailed growth of 21.5% over the last 24 months, with 11.1m Australians now engaging with the brand each month.
Whittaker explained: “We have expanded our content reach onto more platforms including news streaming service Flash, Sky News Radio on the Nova Player, Sky News Now on Samsung TV Plus, and the relaunched Sky News Australia App – all playing a contributing role in amplifying our reach and diversifying our viewer audience profile.”
Kylie Watson-Wheeler (46)
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.
It was for that last role she made headlines earlier this year with speculation she was a candidate to replace Gillon McLachlan as chief executive of the AFL.
Speaking recently on SEN, she commented: “From my perspective I have a pretty extraordinary job at The Walt Disney Company, running both the Walt Disney company and ESPN for the region, here in Australia and New Zealand.”
The entertainment company has been facing some big challenges globally as it plays with a business model that depends more on subscriptions.
There’s also been talk about various asset sales. In Australia, Disney+ subscriber numbers were 3.1m at June 30, 2023.
Will Easton (11)
Managing Director & Vice President, Meta Australia & New Zealand
Easton was the key presenter at Meta’s recent Performance Marketing Summit. He began with a reflection on the company’s family of apps – Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp – which have continued to grow across Australia and New Zealand, with 3 billion people logging in every day, and 3.8 billion people logging in monthly.
Easton highlighted three reasons why the company had seen strong and healthy growth across its family of apps, starting with tweaks to components of the discovery engine with the addition of an AI recommendation engine that looks at content a user is interested in and provides further information.
The second has been the boom in short-form videos, better known as Reels. Easton noted that 200m people heavily engaged with the content, particularly in Australia. Rounding out Easton’s points is the addition of new products and services to meet their customer’s needs. He also noted Meta has focused on rebuilding its advertiser platform and ensuring the delivery of relevant results to customers.
Melanie Silva (10)
Managing Director and Vice President, Google Australia & New Zealand
At its recent Brandcast upfront event, Silva and her senior team revealed YouTube reached more than 17 million Australian adults in June 2023 – more than 85% of the Australian population. More than 11 million people watched YouTube on their TV in Australia in June 2023, with average daily views of YouTube Shorts up by over 150% year on year in Australia.
The leader of the search and video giant in ANZ recently have a glimpse into how she juggles career and motherhood. Silva was speaking to David Koch at The West Australian’s Leadership Matters breakfast recently.
Koch asked about hours in the office for the mother of three. She revealed she has a timetable that helps her meet the needs of family. One rule is a 3 pm Friday knockoff.
“I believe I need to pick up my daughter from school. That’s a non-negotiable. I leave [work] pretty loudly at five o’clock most days. I’m online at night afterwards but I leave loudly so that I can have that two hours of time with the kids.”
Silva further explained: “I am muddling my way through it like most of the working parents in the room or people who are looking after older parents. It’s a daily juggle,” she said. “Once every six weeks I have a ‘thinking day’ where you cannot find me, you cannot book me in,” she said. “It’s been a game changer for me.”
Peter Charlton (12)
Chief Executive Officer, Nova Entertainment
While the breakfast teams have largely been stable across the country, with one major exception, Charlton has overseen a number of key executive moves. Last year Paul Jackson stepped away as an employee to become a consultant while the company lost Ben Latimer earlier this year. (He has since secured the top radio job at the ABC.)
Filling the programming gap is Brendan Taylor who was recently announced by Charlton as the group programming director for the Nova brand. The major breakfast move was the dissolution of the Chrissie, Sam, and Browny team in Melbourne. They were replaced by Ben and Liam with the addition of Belle Jackson to the on-air team.
Nova boasts the biggest broadcast audience in the country, connecting with over 5.8m metro listeners. Smoothfm continues to perform well – the Smooth network, inclusive of Smooth Relax, Vintage & 80s, reaches over 2.8m+ listeners nationally across FM and DAB+.
Cathy O’Connor (NEW)
Chief Executive Officer, oOh!media
oOh!media recently announced its half-year financial results with a 10% increase in revenue to $276.1m.
Earnings continued to grow faster than revenue, with EBITDA increasing 62% on the prior corresponding period to $51.5m.
O’Connor recently told Mediaweek: “It’s really about the out-of-home sector continuing to grow and gather momentum. We obviously have a large part of our business that is road, retail, and street furniture. These road-based formats are all really firing now above 2019 levels and that’s driving our growth. We saw a lot of momentum in Q4 last year and it’s really continued into 2022.”
O’Connor joined oOh!media at the start of 2021 with 35 years of sales experience working for Australian media organisations, including 12 years as CEO of Nova Entertainment.
The appointment followed a global search for a replacement for oOh!media founder and CEO, Brendon Cook, who stood down from the role after more than 30 years.
Jane Huxley (13)
Chief Executive Officer, Are Media
The company continues to work hard to re-establish the might of some of Australia’s best consumer brands. Huxley recently announced the return of a print edition of Elle and a rethink on digital strategy that sees dedicated sites for The Australian Women’s Weekly and Home Beautiful.
Recent appointments have included the promotion of Nicky Briger to Are Media general manager – fashion and beauty and the hire of former Fairfax Media executive Lisa Hudson as general manager – homes. Speaking at a recent upfront event, Huxley unveiled a new e-commerce and content strategy that includes a new digital destination and content commerce hub for The Australian Women’s Weekly, and a new Home Beautiful digital marketplace.
Huxley also recently revealed the combined readership of Are Media’s print titles rose 10% in the June 2023 quarter, versus the previous corresponding period in 2022, to an average of 5.9m readers a month.
Beverley McGarvey (6)
EVP & Chief Content Officer, Head of Paramount+, Paramount ANZ
While a major sport continues to allude to Network 10, it continues to broadcast a stable of hit shows at 7.30 pm which resonate with audiences under 50. Those include MasterChef Australia, Australian Survivor and a refreshed Thank God You’re Here.
10 recently celebrated the return of Neighbours to the primary channel (it also screens on 10 Peach) and the business also broadcasts some of the most successful later evening originals including Have You Been Paying Attention?, The Cheap Seats and Gogglebox Australia.
Paramount+ continues to build, although there’s no indication yet how much more it needs to be a contributor to the bottom line. Quality Australian commissions continue to be a highlight for the streamer with recent programming including Last King of the Cross, One Night, No Escape and Far North. Having access to content from the prolific Taylor Sheridan also helps. His most recent hit was Special Ops: Lioness.
Ciaran Davis (9)
Chief Executive Officer, ARN
The pillars of the audio business continue to be KIIS 106.5 Sydney’s Kyle and Jackie O and Gold 104.3 Melbourne’s Christian O’Connell. The former were perhaps the biggest challenge this year with the ambition of doubling their salary in their next contract. That would take them from a combined $10m a year to $20m. It’s a massive ask and it’s a decision a CEO needs a board to endorse.
Davis and his team have helped KIIS and Gold remain #1 FM shows in their respective markets across the past 12 months. Along the way, there has been strong support from other network stations including improved performances from KIIS in 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 21m downloads in August.
John Kelly (NEW)
Kelly has biggish shoes to fill at SCA, moving to replace the recently departed CEO for eight years, Grant Blackley. Kelly has 25 years’ of experience working for Australian media and sporting organisations. He spent 16 years in executive roles at the Ten Network, including eight years as group CFO, and then three years as chief operating officer at Football Federation Australia, before joining SCA as chief operating officer in 2016.
In that role Kelly oversaw SCA’s general management teams, strategy, research and insights, and digital audio, as well as facilitating SCA’s key sporting rights, television affiliations, and digital audio partnerships. Getting an exit strategy in place for the TV business would be a big win. The new CEO has also flagged LiSTNR will be in the black by the end of 2024.
Patrick Delany (8)
Chief Executive Officer, Foxtel
Last year we mentioned the single most critical achievement was remaining the subscription TV partner of the AFL which locks in the sport until the end of the 2031 season.
This year it could be the renewal of the partnership with Cricket Australia for the next seven years. Like their colleagues at Seven, Foxtel had to dig deep for Australia’s summer sport, but life without cricket was unimaginable.
Key to success at Foxtel in the past year has been the increase in subscribers to lower-cost streaming platforms Kayo Sports and Binge. Both now have close to 1.5m 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, 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. Key to success in 2024 will be how consumers respond to Project Magneto.
Michael Miller (4)
Executive Chairman, News Corp Australia
Despite the ad market being soft. Miller recently characterised the News Corp Australia performance as being the best in a decade. Speaking at the World News Media Congress in Taipei, Miller highlight three key stats to back up his claim: 1. 40% of the company’s total revenue now comes from digital and that digital revenue has grown 42% in the past two years. 2. Over the past two years, NewsCorp Australia’s total monthly audience has grown from 16.4m to 18.1m. 3.
In October, the group passed the 1 million digital paid subscriber milestone, “The highest result of any publisher per capita in the world,” Miller said. 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.
Mike Sneesby (1)
Chief Executive Officer, Nine Entertainment Co
As the year ends, Nine has a clear focus on making its new prized asset – Olympics and Paralympics – return a profit for the multimedia group.
The 2024 Upfront focus was on the Games with the road to Paris kicking off big time across the group on January 1. Sneesby recently told Mediaweek: “We have made a [Games revenue] forecast over a 10-year period through until Brisbane. We have allocated a different amount of cost to each of the games depending on how relevant each is to our time zone and our market. We have set ourselves a target and we feel really good about how we are travelling.”
Metro TV ad revenue has been strong for the group, although like its competitors, dollars have been harder to secure in a flat market. Similarly, ad revenues elsewhere in the group have been under pressure too.
James Warburton (5)
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Seven West Media
A move up to #1 this year off the back of a number of wins. Sport is the #1 asset now for FTA broadcasters in terms of generating audience and revenue. After securing an extension of its AFL agreement last year, Seven secured its place as the FTA home of cricket in Australia with a deal tying up the sport for the next seven years.
Those rights include streaming for the first time and covering two five-Test series against England and India in the rights period. Securing the Matilda’s at the FIFA Women’s World Cup certainly boosted the audience, if not the bank balance, on the days Seven had matches.
Seven didn’t keep Olympic and Paralympics rights, instead, it highlighted the savings it will make by not having those sporting events for the next nine years.
Warburton and his team have pushed hard to have national Total TV ratings data, where Seven is the leader, used as the currency.