Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Unmade: media and marketing analysis
'Know my role, play my role': Russel Howcroft on learning his new craft of radio

'Know my role, play my role': Russel Howcroft on learning his new craft of radio


No transcript...

Welcome to an audio-led edition of Unmade.

Today’s edition features adman and radio host, Russel Howcroft, riding high after another 3AW ratings win.

Further down, the Unmade Index recovery continues.

The only way to access Unmade’s full archive, and our weekly Tuesdata analysis, is as a paying member. Unmade members also get discounted tickets to our future events.

From boardroom to broadcast: How Russel Howcroft made the transition from adland to radio

Howcroft keeps his toe in the marketing world through his role as partner at Sayers

If there was anyone in the Australian marketing world who could be called a household name, it’s Russel Howcroft.

Howcroft is the former CEO of what was once the iconic ad agency George Patterson Y&R and is now part of VMLY&R. He became recognisable to the Australian public after his 15 years as a panelist on the ABC’s Gruen, which is still the broadcaster’s top rating show.

Along the way, Howcroft went further into broadcasting where he eventually ended up as caretaker CEO of Network Ten after the sudden departure of James Warburton. Perhaps surprisingly given the trouble the network was in at the time, Howcroft says: “I genuinely have to say it was maybe the most enjoyable business time of my life. I really did enjoy sitting in that seat. And I actually feel like we got quite a lot done.”

He was behind the creation of enduring brand lines for Ten including “Turn on Ten” and The Project’s “News delivered differently”.

Howcroft then became PwC’s first chief creative officer where he led the creation of its CMO Advisory practice. He now has a part time role as a partner and brand design advisor at Sayers Group.

PWC’s brand has since been shattered by the tax advice scandal. Asked about how PWC will rebuilt its reputation, Howcroft says the process will be arduous - one teaspoon at a time. “Organisations will be very shy. They’ll do it teaspoon by teaspoon.”

Already a Melbourne business identity, three years ago Howcroft joined Ross Stevenson on 3AW’s breakfast show, which has retained its place as the city’s top rating show.

Howcroft is clear about his role learning his new job alongside the more experienced Stevenson. “Know my role, play my role” is how he describes it.

That includes, unlike much of Nine Radio’s output, not taking political sides. Says Howcroft, who has not disclosed to listeners how he will be voting in the Voice referendum: “The key to our show is it isn’t a political show.”

The discussion also included a fascinating explanation from Howcroft on how politics, business and geography interconnects in Melbourne.

The conversation with Unmade’s Tim Burrowes kicks off by discussing the results of the sixth radio ratings survey of the year which arrived just as the conversation was getting underway.

Unmade Index continues its upward climb

Seja Al Zaidi writes

The recovery of the Unmade Index continued yesterday with a 1.60% rise taking it up to 626.4 points.

Most stocks performed positively - Nine had the biggest increase in share price, lifting 2.49%, while ARN Media lifted 1.76% and Domain 1.53%. Southern Cross Austereo followed with a 1.35% rise.

Sports Entertainment Group had the sharpest fall of 6.38%, while Enero dropped 2.47%.

Time to leave you to your Thursday. We’ll be back with an end of week update tomorrow.

With thanks for recording assistance to 3AW’s Damian Tardio. Editing was courtesy of Abe’s Audio, the people to talk to about voiceovers, sound design and podcast production.

Message us: letters@unmade.media

Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Media and marketing news with all the in-depth analysis, insight and context you need.
Unmade offers industry news from an Australian perspective, from the founder of Mumbrella and the author of the best-selling book Media Unmade, Tim Burrowes