As Southern Cross Austereo has reported a significant drop in revenue, the broadcaster is searching for a chief content officer.
The company hasn’t had someone filling the group content role since Guy Dobson stepped away from the business almost 12 months ago.
The executive search also comes as Kyle Sandilands has again described former executives as “assholes”.
The stinging critique from one of Australia’s highest-paid radio hosts comes just two days before he will address a room full of former colleagues at the Radio Alive conference on Friday. There could be some interesting questions from the floor at the end of the session.
Sandilands was speaking this morning on KIIS 1065 as he read from The Australia Financial Review about SCA’s revenue warning.
Although Guy Dobson was ultimately in charge of content until his departure, his official title was chief creative officer. Prior to that Dobson spent a short time as CEO and before that was content director from 2005 to 2010.
Craig Bruce was the last content director from 2011 to 2015. Previous content bosses included Jeff Allis (seven years from 1997), Brad March (four years from 1994) and Greg Smith (eight years from 1986).
The key internal candidate for the role could be Triple M Network head Mike Fitzpatrick who just this week appointed Rex Morris to run Triple M Sydney.
The biggest challenge for anyone taking on the national role would be to get 2Day FM breakfast back on the radar. Other internal candidates would be longtime Melbourne SCA GM Dave Cameron and recently returned SCA program executive Dan Bradley. Another current SCA candidate would also be Gemma Fordham.
External candidates who could perhaps take on that challenge would include Andy Roberts, who just left Bauer Group in London after 12 years, Jay Walkerden from Nova, US-based Kiwi running a group of iHeartRadio stations Andrew Jeffries, maybe even Tom Poleman head of programming at iHeartRadio, former Nova national PD Dean Buchanan now head of content at NZME, Absolute Radio CD Paul Sylvestor, Nova head of programming across Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth Ben Latimer, former Austereo and Fox FM guru turned consultant Brian Ford, former Nova, SCA and ARN content executive Ryan Rathbone now content director at MediaWorks NZ, former SCA and now ARN executive Derek Bargwanna, SCA NSW head of content Mathew Eggleston or Tony Moorey group content director at Magic and Absolute Radio for Bauer Media.
Could SCA chief Grant Blackley even try and entice back former execs in the role Brad March, Craig Bruce or Jeff Allis?
Other candidates Mediaweek also rates would be content specialist Jay Mueller and the head of Virgin Radio UK Mike Cass. But would Cass, formerly CD for Nova in Perth and Melbourne, want to leave a new job where he looks after one of the world’s best breakfast shows – Chris Evans – to tackle the challenges facing 2Day FM?
But the job of course is about a lot more than just 2Day FM – based in Sydney or Melbourne and reporting into Grant Blackley, the role oversees content initiatives across a radio network of 78 FM stations, 10 DAB radio stations plus extended digital and associated on-demand content.