Departure of the CRA boss for final tasks and search for a replacement

As Media week publishes our first Mediaweek 100 ranking, we’re only featuring a handful of those people this week.

A group of media executives who deserve their places are those charged by their sectors to manage their membership group, to keep the profile of the sector high and unblemished, and to lobby on behalf of the members.

Joan Warner, CEO of Commercial Radio Australia, advocates for the audio industry, which now includes radio and a booming podcast arena.

Warner has held the post for 20 years, but recently announced she would step down in March 2022.

Talk to Media week, Warner began talking about how its members are doing in the marketplace and the latest industry initiatives.

Market recovery

“Members say the market is coming back strongly. The financial impact of the Covid seems almost over. Our members are quite happy with the way things are going and the way clients and agencies are coming back.

Audience measurement: Radio 360

One of the main items on Warner’s final to-do list is to oversee the early stages of Radio 360’s audience measurement overhaul.

“Some of the things that we have announced, like Radio 360, have really generated a lot of interest in radio. We’ll be tracking ratings going forward with a revolutionary hybrid approach to measurement that will yield much more targeted audience data. It showed the market that behind the scenes during the pandemic we have been working hard to get something that will benefit our business stakeholders. “

ARC held a board meeting last week with rating provider GfK where it was confirmed that the industry was aiming to split the paper diary and e-diary 20/80 by the 5 survey , 2022. “We also aim to integrate live streaming data. as part of the currency survey by 4, 2022. ”Warner noted that these will be important milestones for the industry.

“The good thing about what we are doing now is the decision not to have only calendars, or only electronic counters, or only streaming data. We hope to have it all. “

When asked if station rankings could be affected by a change in measurement method, Warner said it was too early to tell. “It is expected that agencies and clients will be able to see who the target audience is via streaming. The numbers will be based on server logs and SDKs. It won’t be the memory of the streaming we have now.

“We will also have configured the monitoring panel to validate the streaming data that we get. Who knows what we might also do in the future with these watch counter panels. Maybe special event surveys for things like soccer finals or maybe a summer valuation survey. It’s a bit of a brave new world.

There have never been so many radio stations surveyed. There are 31 in Sydney and Melbourne alone (including ABC stations), around 30 DAB + stations and around 30 regional surveys.

Cancellation of radio prizes

“We would have liked to be able to do ACRAS live this year, but it was not possible this calendar year,” said Warner. “We’ll be announcing the winners on December 1, and we expect some interest in who wins during these two difficult years.

Although there is only one group of winners, the period covered is 24 months.

Karl Stefanovic interviewed Kyle Sandilands at the last Radio Alive conference in October 2019

Radio Vivante in 2022

Although there has not been a Radio Alive conference for a second year in a row, Commercial Radio Australia is looking into the possibility of hosting an event in early 2022. “We are looking into the possibility of an event that we could use to rekindle interest in what we have. done, ”Warner said. “By then we will be able to report on the progress of the new measurement system. We would also like to talk about our automated trading platform and the modules that will be launched early next year. We are also planning to do some research on the audio that we are exploring.

If we do something, it could be mid-March, which would ideally attract senior radio stations, but also a clientele of agencies and clients. Kind of a radio on what we’re going to be doing over the next 12 months.

Sale of subsidies to broadcasters

While Warner has said the sale of Grant Broadcasters to ARN is of major importance to the industry, she has seen a number of major deals during her two decades as the head of the industry body.

“DMG moved its regional stations to RG Capital and then they were taken over by Macquarie Bank. It was a big upheaval.

“There was also the acquisition of Southern Cross by Macquarie, which was also a big step. Among other major ownership changes, Nine took control of Macquarie Radio.

She also noted the movement of Lachlan murdoch getting 100% control of Nova Entertainment was important. “We certainly haven’t been a static industry,” Warner said.

Replacement of an industry general manager

“My contract ended on December 31 of this year and I told the board some time ago that I would be leaving. There is a search in progress for my replacement. I’ll be there for small projects next year, but I certainly don’t want to work up to 60 hours a week again.

Blenheim Partners is the recruitment firm looking for a new CEO. Warner said she believed there were no internal candidates.

“It takes an interesting skill set to run the office, all of our events, but also to keep our members happy and to keep the industry together. “

While Warner is ready to hand over the entire baton to her replacement, she doesn’t plan to work alongside them for some time. “It might be a little scary,” she suggested.

Find out where Joan Warner ranks in the Mediaweek 100 and which other leaders in the media industry are on the list. We are posting 20 Industry Profiles every day this week.

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