New Nova CEO Peter Charlton talks future of radio company amidst pandemic

• Charlton was chief commercial officer for eight years at Nova before the announcement

Nova Entertainment announced on Monday that after 18 years with the company, including 12 years as CEO, Cathy O’Connor would be leaving Nova. In the same announcement Nova chief commercial officer, Peter Charlton was confirmed as the new CEO of the company.

See more: Peter Charlton new Nova CEO as Cathy O’Connor goes to oOh!media

Charlton was chief commercial officer for eight years and has worked with Nova in various roles since August 2012.

Mediaweek caught up with Australian media’s newest CEO who said that he was excited for the new role and is hopefully very well equipped from the eight-year apprenticeship that he served while working under Cathy O’Connor.

“It has been an aspiration and Cathy made it very easy in terms of succession, and we have worked closely together over the last 8 years with her and people like Paul Jackson as a tight-knit team. In the last two years, Cathy has opened up more generalist skills over the wider breadth of the business as well.”

Charlton said that while a succession plan is always difficult, he is inheriting a strong situation and he needs to make sure he is completely across every element of the company to keep Nova on its current path.

“We are a very joined up executives team that has been consistent for the last couple of years and have a very clear strategy on what we want to do and I just have to take up those reins and continue what has been a very successful strategy for us.”

“We want to maximise our strength in terms of radio listening and grow our revenue shares in a recovering market and that is the difficult bit.

“The media market has been suppressed this year and that was never the plan for any of us. We have to work closely with advertisers to give them exactly what they want to help get them out of what has been a difficult time for all of us.

“We have obsessed about securing our digital future. It is about new opportunities for the consumers to interact and for us to build a connected experience so we can understand more about consumers and give that back to the advertising community.”

Charlton has chosen an interesting time to take over the hot seat of one of Australia’s biggest media companies- in the midst of a pandemic.

“Anyone doing any job in media is an interesting one and a difficult one. All of us have faced challenges this year that we didn’t want to or didn’t expect to face. Hopefully, we are at the start of recovery and I feel comfortable working in the radio industry that we are at the start of recovery.

“I am just happy to get the opportunity in whatever conditions we are in.”

When asked about the positives and negatives of Nova the company’s new CEO said:

“The positives are the fact that we have had 11 years of growth in terms of audience, revenue and profitability. And we have been an enduring brand that has stayed true to its brand attributes.

“Any negatives that we have are shared by a media industry that is going through a challenging time. Our revenue has gone backwards which we are not used to and that is a negative for whatever business you do.

When asked what he thinks makes a good CEO Charlton said: “They are passionate about the industry they are in. They are far sighted and can predict future trends. And they are always challenging, particularly during success.”

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