Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Unmade: media and marketing analysis
'There doesn't seem to be any let up' former Austereo boss Michael Anderson on the ad market's accelerating decline

'There doesn't seem to be any let up' former Austereo boss Michael Anderson on the ad market's accelerating decline

Welcome to an audio-led edition of Unmade. Today, we talk to one of adland’s most experienced media executives Michael Anderson as he takes on the new challenge of chairing the ASX-listed research house Pureprofile.

Also in this post, the decapitation of most of Seven West Media’s leadership team spooks the Unmade Index.

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Pureprofile chair Michael Anderson prepares for the AI gold rush: ‘This is going to be the most disruptive technology the planet’s ever seen’

Anderson: Some research businesses will not survive the AI gold rush but others will thrive

In today’s interview we talk to former Austereo boss Michael Anderson as he returns to the fray as chair of Pureprofile.

Anderson is one of Australian media’s most storied executives, having run Austereo when it was at the height of its powers before being taken over by Southern Cross Media. Anderson went on to be a board member of Fairfax Media and Ooh Media before taking on the thankless job of CEO of New Zealand’s Mediaworks.

The conversation - recorded the same day Anderson chaired his first Pureprofile board meeting - ranges across what generative AI-driven synthetic data means for the company (he argues it could be an opportunity); what his board needs to do to persuade the stock market to value the company more highly; and whether a company as small as Pureprofile still belongs on the ASX.

Anderson also reflects on the tough media landscape and the lessons that the decline of Mediaworks and its axing of Newshub has for Australian networks. “The value of having news as you lead into prime time became so expensive that the value equation collapsed. I could easily see that trajectory occurring at some point in the future in Australia.”

He also discusses how advertisers have abruptly turned their backs on Australia’s broadcasters: “This has been coming for a long time and seems to have taken forever to get here. And then all of a sudden is really happening quickly."

“Given that we're as close to an economic recession as we're going to get, if not tip over, there doesn't seem to be any let up to what media is experiencing in advertising in the short to medium term, which means it could actually be quite a sustained structural shift.”

Anderson also discussed what happened to the merged Southern Cross Austereo after he left, including the defection of Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson to ARN when SCA boss Rhys Holleran decided not to offer them a long term contract. Having paid $740m for Austereo, the whole company has now declined to less than a $150m valuation. Says Anderson: “They've done a lot of things that that have contributed to that - so some of that has been management failure, board failure. Losing Kyle and Jackie O would be one of those things you'd put into the basket of going ‘that was unnecessary’.”

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Red day on the Unmade Index

The Unmade Index saw a hefty decline yesterday as the share market reacted to Seven West Media’s moves to remove most of its top management tier. The index fell by 2.88% to 473.1 points, almost at its all time low.

Seven’s nearest rival Nine declined 4.18% to a market capitalisation below $2.2bn for the first time since the Covid crisis. Outdoor company Ooh Media fell 4.51%. ARN Media lost another 0.77%.

Today’s podcast was edited by the excellent people at Abe’s Audio.

Time to leave you to your Thursday. We’ll be back with more tomorrow.

Have a great day.


Tim Burrowes

Publisher - Unmade


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