Commercial Radio & Audio, Australia’s commercial radio industry body, has announced the appointment of Ciaran Davis, CEO and managing director of HT&E, as its new chair. Davis, who has been a director of the CRA Board since 2018, takes over from SCA CEO Grant Blackley, who has stepped down as chair after four years in the role but remains on the CRA Board.
CRA represents 260 commercial radio stations across Australia, with members including Australian Radio Network (ARN), SCA, NOVA Entertainment, Nine Radio, ACE Radio Broadcasters and Super Radio Network.
Davis said he looked forward to beginning work as the new chair. “The role of radio is incredibly important to all Australians — no other medium delivers the engagement and connection with local communities that radio does. I look forward to working collaboratively with the entire industry to further strengthen radio’s unique role in Australian media and to take a leading position in the emerging digital audio market,” he said.
No other medium delivers the engagement and connection with local communities that radio doesIncoming CRA chair Ciaran Davis
Emphasis on digital distribution
CRA chief executive officer Ford Ennals welcomed Davis to the new role and thanked outgoing chair Grant Blackley for his leadership.
“Over the past four years, CRA has renewed the strategic direction of the industry with greater emphasis on digital distribution and listening across multiple platforms, embraced a new, hybrid, world-leading measurement model in Radio360, partnered with Triton Digital in launching the Australian Podcast Ranker, expanded the broadcast footprint of DAB+, actively engaged in meaningful regulatory debate and change, and been at the forefront of innovative research and insights with the aim of improving the education and return on investment for our advertising partners. Radio and, more broadly, audio listening have soared to record levels.
“I’m confident that under Ciaran’s leadership, the CRA Board will continue to take the successful development of the commercial radio and digital audio industry to the next stage. His experience and expertise will be valuable in helping us to seize the wide range of audio opportunities in front of us,” Ennals said.
Outgoing chair Blackley said, “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the privilege of leading the CRA with my fellow directors in the pursuit of improving the contribution, value and understanding of the vital role radio and audio play in every community across Australia. The audio industry is not only resilient but, importantly, expanding at pace, evidenced by record listenership of live and on-demand content. The industry has recovered well from the economic impacts of COVID evidenced by 20 consecutive year-on-year months of growth.”