Movings/Shakings: 12 August

TRN fills Buchanan’s previous role

​Gemma Fordham has been appointed as the chief content officer at TRN, stepping into the role vacated by Dean Buchanan, who was recently promoted to the managing director role at the network (Fordham’s role does not include the talkback stations, which are now being managed by the talk programming general manager Dallas Gurney).

(Image credit: RadioToday.com) 

And while this announcement makes her position official, she has in fact been working behind the scenes at TRN for some time.

At the end of last year, shortly after giving birth to her first child, Fordham moved from Australia with her husband, who was required to work here for a few months.   

After Fordham arrived in the country, it didn’t take long for Buchanan, who met her while working in the Australian radio industry, to offer her the content development manager role, a position which has seen her manage some of the major changes that have taken place at the network over the last few months.

“They knew that we were only here for a short period of time, and that worked well given the project I was working on with ZM and The Hits required a few months,” says Fordham. “So I was doing all that in here behind the scenes with no one knowing what was going on … Dean and Jane [Hastings] were so brilliant that they let me do a fair bit of it from home as well. Obviously, with the little one that was really important.”

Despite her intentions to return to Australia on account of her husband having completed his project in New Zealand, Fordham says that Hastings and Buchanan persuaded her to stay in the country. And she says the experience she has already gained on the job has made it easier to adapt to the new role.

“It’s good, because it doesn’t feel like I’ve just come from Australia and I don’t know where I am. I know everyone, and I know their strategy behind each brand. It’s helped me ease in and I don’t feel like I’m in the deep end,” says Fordham.

Interestingly, Buchanan and Fordham were competitors in Australia, making this the first time that the pair have worked together at the same network. And given Fordham’s track record in the industry, it comes as little surprise that Buchanan was so eager to keep her at TRN.

Fordham’s career stretches back to when she was 14 years old (then the legal age to work), and she says that this early stint kicked off a life-long fascination with what happens behind the scenes in the radio industry.

“I started at a radio station in Sydney called 2Day FM, when I 14,” she says. “I annoyed them so much that they gave me a job answering the phone. So I would go there every day after school in my uniform I started there and progressively moved my way up.”

From these early days in the industry, Fordham says that she was always a huge fan of the Wendy Harmer and the Morning Crew, and adds that one of the highlights of her career was being appointed the executive producer of the show.

In addition to this role, she held a range of other executive producer roles and also produced the Ugly Phil and Jackie O show. Her success in the industry was soon noticed as far afield as London, and this led to the Heart radio brand offering her job to executive produce its breakfast show. 

“They had a specific target to get their breakfast show to number one. They had closely been following what we had been doing with the Morning Show in Australia, so they basically just wanted me to try to emulate that. And we eventually did.”

After returning to Australia, Fordham’s career diverged as she took on the role of content director for Channel V. And after that her career would stray even further from her radio roots, as she took on a role as the executive assistant to Nicole Kidman, a position she held for about eight years.

“I took a big break from radio, but there were certainly elements that I learnt from that period of time about leadership and management,” she says. “I actually managed quite a large team, and particularly when we were producing films, I’d have an entire cast that I was responsible for. While I was away from radio, there were certain elements that I think I couldn’t have learnt if I had stayed in radio.”

The travel involved with the job eventually became too much for Fordham, who wanted to start a family and settle down.

“The timing was rather uncanny. As I was starting to think about putting down some roots somewhere, I was approached to become the breakfast content manager at 2Day FM … It was a chance to get back to radio and get a normal life again, because those eight years weren’t a normal life. But in a good way. It was like a dream.”

During this stint at 2Day Fm, she also worked on the Kyle and Jackie O show, and in this position showed her willingness to change shows if they weren’t working.  

“A big part of what I did with Kyle and Jackie was shift their show slightly. They were very much known for being pranksters, and it was something I could feel was starting to die off. So I very slowly shifted their show to start incorporating other emotions and elements.”

And despite her knack for giving her radio shows the edge over the competition, Fordham says she doesn’t make a habit out of looking over the fence. 

“At all my previous jobs I’ve never really cared about what people are doing over the road. No disrespect, and I’m sure they’re wonderful people and create great content, but I’ve always believed in running my own race,” she says.

“My style is very different. All of my teams here have told me that Dean and I tell them to do the exact opposite of what their previous bosses have told them to do. And I do have a formula on what I think makes a radio station works.”       

And while she wouldn’t be pulled into divulging any details about upcoming changes, she did say that her formula is already at work under the surface at TRN.

Joining the MPA

Julian Andrews has joined the Magazine Publishers Association on a part-time basis, working two days a week as a commercial director. In addition to this, he is continuing to serve as a publisher at On-Brand publishers. 

Prior to starting his stint at On-Brand publishers, he worked as an independent creative solutions and business development consultant for over two years, a period during which he worked with TRN, APN, Waitemata District Health Board, Ministry of Education, The Big Idea, Rotoroa Island Trust, Rainger & Rolfe and Auckland Zoo.

His career also includes a stint as the head of customer content at McCann Singapore and he previously shared office space with StopPress, during a three-year stint at Tangible Media between 2009 and 2012.

His stint at Tangible Media followed on from Image Centre’s purchase of Jones Publishing, a company that he co-owned from 2003 to 2008.    

From online to outdoor

Adshel has announced the appointment of Ashley Murray to the position of account manager. 

Commencing 1 September, Murray takes over the role vacated by Christie Tanner, who has left the business after three years to embark on her OE.

Murray joins Adshel from Trade Me where she was an account manager in the display advertising team. 

“We are really excited to have Ashley join the Adshel team. She has a wealth of digital experience which will be of great value as we prepare for the future,” says Adshel general manager Nick Vile.

Murray will be based in the Auckland office with responsibility for key agencies and will report to Adshel Auckland Sales Manager, Raewyn Anderson. 

A duo arrives

Out-of-home advertising company iSite Media has appointed two candidates to newly created roles.

The first sees iSite’s current national commercial manager Frank Costello stepping into the position of operations director. 

In addition, new recruit Phil Neely has been appointed commercial director.

Neely brings substantial experience spanning brand owner, media seller and agency environments during a career that has included roles at OMG, Hypermedia, Progressive Enterprises and Goodman Fielder.

“These two new roles exemplify our commitment to executing the strategic framework that underpins our business ambition. Each mandate will be instrumental in ensuring that iSite remains best positioned to maximise expected future opportunities afforded by evolving consumer and media dynamics,” said iSite chief executive Wayne Chapman in a release. 

Hunch up

Indie ‘thinking shop’ hunch has welcomed Karen Baker as general manager, with a key responsibility for the Westpac account.

Previously at Digital Arts Network, Baker has spent time with Jericho, AMP and nearly three years as a senior consultant at Davanti.

“Karen is awesome,” says Michael Goldthorpe, owner at Hunch. “She just gets it, she knows how things should be done and rolls up her sleeves to get them done. The team loves her and she’s already well known to our clients and partners – many of whom wanted to hire her. More importantly, Karen yings my yang. She’s good at pretty much all of the things that I’m crap at. And vice versa. Last year we were lucky enough to have Karen on board for six weeks on contract. We knew then we needed more – and we’re more than stoked that Karen has chosen to join the party.”

“Hunch is amazing,” says Baker. “Of course I have to say that because Michael’s writing the press release, but I really mean it. They’re a great bunch of people, who look after some of the best clients in the country. I’m loving it.”

Hunch now employs eight humans, specialises in strategy, content and voice and it works with a number of blue-chip clients including Spark, Westpac, TVNZ, Air New Zealand, Fisher & Paykel, Diabetes NZ and Canteen.

Gong collection

ApolloNation has taken home two gold and one silver award for the Tui ‘Catch a Million’ campaign at the APMA (Australasian Promotional Marketing Association) Star Awards, which were held in Sydney last Thursday night.

The Star Awards recognise and celebrate the best in Promotional & Experiential Marketing and the ‘Tui Catch a Million’ campaign, which was developed in partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi, took home awards in the categories of ‘best activity generating brand awareness and trial’; ‘best brand-building campaign and best integrated communications campaign (under $1 million budget)’.

“In only our second year as a NZ Blackcaps cricket sponsor, we challenged our agency partners to deliver a bold and courageous leverage campaign that would not only get Tui into the hearts and minds of cricket fans, but also drive real commercial returns. It’s not often you get a campaign that delivers on both fronts so strongly,” says William Papesch, the marketing manager of Tui. “Cricket interest and brand association measures went through the roof, Tui hit the media like never before, but equally important, the Tui brand grew while its competitors declined.”

Success also came for Auckland-based BelowTheLine, which won a bronze award for Fonterra’s ‘Find Your Fortune’ campaign in the Best Shopper Marketing Campaign category. 

According to an official statement, BelowTheLine won the award “for its clear focus on the shopper to create what the retailer described as a new benchmark in industry best practice”.

“Belowtheline focused on the path to purchase journey from consumer to shopper, to help Fonterra execute a simple idea exceedingly well and drive unprecedented results,” said the release.

Finding talent

The Pond has mad it easier for prospective employers to find young creative talent with a new programme called ‘Up & Comers’.

The Pond has invited the very best recent graduates from throughout New Zealand to participate in the programme, which is designed to relieve advertising, digital, and design agencies of the arduous task of sourcing fresh, young creatives.

Graduates have been sought in the fields of advertising, animation, digital design, front-end and back-end development, graphic design, illustration, motion graphics, UX design, and writing – and more are being added daily.

“We’ve handpicked the crème-de-la-crème of recent grads and given them free access to the full Pond service,” says Leighton Howl, co-founder of The Pond.

“That includes personal representation, exposure to prospective employers online, and a range of employment opportunities,” he says. “Plus we also give them the benefit of our guidance and advice on everything from how to improve their portfolio to which job offers to accept. When they’re ready to hit the ground running, we serve the best of them up to agencies garnished with The Pond’s unrivalled customer service and support.”

Howl says that the system also provides greater flexibility to agencies looking to bring new talent onboard. 

“Up & Comers means agencies can find reliably excellent freelance or fulltime junior creatives more quickly and easily than ever. And we’re open to agencies taking a ‘try-before-they-buy’ approach where they can hire a junior on a freelance basis with an eye to hiring them fulltime once they’ve proven themselves. Either way, the Up & Comers programme enables our clients to turn their full attention to the work in hand – not hand-holding.”

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