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SCA elevates Rebecca Ackland as new chief people and culture officer

Australia – Australian media company Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has elevated Rebecca Ackland, former people and culture manager at SCA, to the new role of chief people and culture officer.

In her new role, Ackland will be working to align culture and change initiatives at SCA to deliver against its strategic objectives. She will be reporting directly to Grant Blackley, SCA’s CEO.

Commenting on her elevation, Ackland said: “I feel privileged to work closely with Grant and the Leadership Team, and I couldn’t be more excited to continue to champion our award-winning culture, ensuring we place our people and our values at the core of what we do every day.”

Meanwhile, Blackley noted that Ackland is an exceptional executive who has built an amazing team of effective and passionate executives at SCA. 

“During her time as people and culture manager, Rebecca has shaped our people strategy, led change across all departments, and developed a deep understanding of the key business drivers and strategic challenges, as our business progresses its digital transformation. She has a clear vision and uses her expertise to help our leaders take ownership and drive change successfully,” said Blackley.

In February 2022, SCA has also announced the appointment of Lucia Elliott, former principal at marketing consultancy Creighton Ward, to be its new national trade marketing director. She was tasked to drive awareness and understanding of SCA’s total media portfolio.

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SCA welcomes Lucia Elliott as new national trade marketing director

Australia – Australian media company Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has appointed Lucia Elliott, former principal at marketing consultancy Creighton Ward, to be its new national trade marketing director. 

Elliott brings her strategic and creative expertise to the trade remit leveraging her more than 20 years of experience working in marketing and creative agencies, including McCann-Erickson, Mojo, George Patterson Partners, and The Campaign Palace. She has also run her own marketing consultancy for several years working successfully with many high-profile Australian brands.

In her new role, Elliott will be charged with driving awareness and understanding of SCA’s total media portfolio, including the company’s digital transformation amongst clients and media agencies nationally. 

Aside from her role at SCA, Elliott is currently the marketing director of the Boomtown collective, where she oversaw several successful initiatives. She is also a part of the Boomtown Steering Committee.

Commenting on her new role, Elliott said, “SCA is committed to technology that not only delivers more invested consumers, but it also enables SCA to better understand its audiences as well. I’m thrilled to be part of the evolution and the fact that I can continue to champion Boomtown, a brand that’s near and dear to my heart, is a win-win, and I can’t wait to get stuck in!”

In addition, SCA has promoted Megan Parkes, its current trade marketing manager for New South Wales (NSW), as its new national trade marketing manager, where she will work closely with Elliott. Parkes will retain her NSW trade and client engagement activities, and lead the state-based trade marketing managers. Prior to SCA, she worked in marketing and events and fashion PR for several years.

Nikki Clarkson, SCA’s chief marketing officer, said that in Elliot’s role leading Boomtown, she has demonstrated strong strategic and creative skills with many achievements, and they are excited for her to join the SCA Marketing team. 

“Megan is already a valuable member of the trade marketing team and has proven her ability to deliver exceptional outcomes. Both Lucia and Megan will add a great degree of strength to SCA’s trade marketing,” added Clarkson. 

The appointments of Elliott and Parkes will be effective from 7 February 2022.

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SCA elevates James Pedersen as head of general management

Australia – Australian media company Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), which has radio, TV, and digital channels in the region, has elevated James Pedersen to the newly created role of head of general management. Pedersen is currently the executive general manager of the company for Melbourne, South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory. 

The appointment, which will take effect immediately, charges Pedersen in managing and leading SCA’s senior general management team. Amid the new position, he will continue as general manager for the Melbourne and Adelaide markets 

SCA is also welcoming some new additions to the senior general management team including Rob Iannazzo, who has been promoted to general manager of Regional South Australia and Northern Territory, in addition to his role as head of sales for South Australia. Furthermore, Marc Eddy and Ian Kennedy will also join the senior general management team and continue in their current roles of general manager for Perth and general manager of Regional Western Australia respectively. 

SCA Chief Operating Officer John Kelly says of Pederson, “James has had a stellar 23-year career with SCA and is the ultimate ‘coach’ and mentor for those around him. James applies a highly commercial and collaborative approach to all that he does and has a genuine passion for exhibiting values-based leadership to drive business performance. 

Kelly adds, “I know he will continue to take the senior general management team from strength to strength and I look forward to seeing him work his magic in this new leadership role.”

Meanwhile, Pedersen comments on his new role, “I am really excited to take on this new role and have responsibility across the national team. SCA has an exceptional general management team that embodies localism. I am looking forward to working with them to bring ideas to life and drive initiatives to ensure SCA maintains and grows its position as one of Australia’s leading and most innovative media companies.” 

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Vodka brand Grey Goose Vodka launches one-of-a-kind immersive cocktail podcast

Australia – Vodka brand Grey Goose Vodka in Australia has launched a one-of-a-kind podcast series that will be featuring 3D augmented reality audio and sonic seasoning – designed to make use of the fifth sense of hearing, which is the first time applied to a drink.

Titled ‘Grey Goose Garden Bar’, the podcast, developed in partnership with Southern Cross Austereo‘s (SCA) commercial creative services unit, The Studio, and the brand’s media and communications agency OMD Create, aims to immerse listeners in a virtual garden bar experience. It features three crafted Grey Goose Cocktails, namely Le Grand Fizz, Fresh Cut Spritz, and Watermelon Spritz, where each cocktail will be utilizing immersive 3D sound that washes over listeners to enhance and complement the taste of the drinks.

The new podcast series will be hosted by Australian journalist Brooke Boney, and will run each Friday in December. For each episode, Boney will be releasing a special sonic seasoned cocktail immersive short cast, where listeners will be walked through steps in making each cocktail and to introduce them to a piece of smooth, uniquely composed music that is designed to deepen the taste and experience of the cocktail.

Stephanie Sarantakos, Grey Goose’s marketing manager, believes that the world-first curated sound and the taste experience is yet another elevated way to engage consumers with their products. 

“Vodka is a booming category and Grey Goose is leading the way with innovation not only in flavor but also in consumer experience and enjoyment,” said Sarantakos.

Meanwhile, Luke Parsons, the head of The Studio, said, “This world-first audio innovation is a new way forward in creating customer experiences via bespoke, cutting-edge, immersive audio technology.”

Steph Pearson, OMD Create’s director of social and innovation, said this is an exciting time to be in the industry where enhanced audio technology is being more embraced by Australians. 

“We wanted to create a memorable experience that truly enhances the taste of a Grey Goose cocktail, through the science of sonic seasoning and binaural sound technology. We’re proud to be working alongside SCA and Grey Goose to bring this world-first to market,” said Pearson.

The podcast will run starting today, 10 December, on the digital audio app LiSTNR.

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SCA to tap into AI to boost free audio platform ‘LiSTNR’

Australia – Australian leading media company Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) is tapping the powers of AI in order to boost the user experience of its digital audio app ‘LiSTNR’. It will be adopting SourseAI, an AI and machine learning platform, to particularly provide content recommendations on LiSTNR. 

SCA has been reaching Aussie viewers with its broad line of radio, television, and digital assets. LiSTNR, in particular, is its free audio destination for consumers housing radio, podcasts, music, and news. 

SourseAI has combined applied AI, management consulting, and SaaS into its decision augmentation platform. Through this, SCA will be assisted in discovering audience behavioral insights, listener mood states, and how to power dynamic cohorts of LiSTNR users, ultimately enabling a hyper-personalized experience across the app.

SCA’s in-house analytical capability will be enhanced by SourseAI, which ingests data from SCA’s systems and applies a machine learning algorithm designed to power content recommendations to users. SCA will also leverage other SourseAI capabilities, such as forecasting and anomaly detection, to understand growth across content genres, predict seasonal content scheduling peaks and troughs, and explore changing content tastes.

SCA’s Head of Digital and Innovation Chris Johnson, said, “The AI and Machine Learning space is scaling rapidly, and we believe that investing in the Australian entrepreneurial ecosystem to support our digital audio ambitions is the best strategy. SourseAI is the right partner to deliver on our vision and our investment will provide significant long-term value to both parties.”

Meanwhile, Matt Jones, the CEO of SourseAI, said their mission is to apply the patented machine learning algorithms to enhance the experience for LiSTNR audiences using a whole range of data.

“Machine learning models make it possible to drive the key media metrics of frequency of engagement and time spent. By personalizing the experience with Sourse, SCA will progress these metrics, resulting in a more engaged audience, and delivering improvement across both advertising targeting and yield,” said Jones.

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AU’s Southern Cross Austereo names Blair Woodcock as new head of regional content

Australia – Media company Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) in Australia has appointed Blair Woodcock, former assistant content director for Triple M Brisbane and group content director for Triple M Southern Queensland, to be its new head of regional content, effective 10 May.

Woodcock brings with him over 20 years of experience in the radio industry. He first joined SCA in 2008 as a breakfast announcer in Gladstone, and thereafter, became the content director for regional Queensland. Most recently, Woodcock was the assistant content director for Triple M Brisbane since 2020, as well as the group content director for Triple M Southern Queensland. In his new role, he will be leading SCA’s regional content initiatives, including its 79 regional Hit and Triple M stations around the country.

Commenting on his appointment, Woodcock said, “It’s truly exciting to get to work with a great bunch of people who love making content that connects to their local markets each and every day. Also, having worked in those markets, and alongside them in the past, it is a great honour to be leading our regional content teams. I can’t wait to dive right into this role.”

Meanwhile, Dave Cameron, the chief content officer of Southern Cross Austereo, said, “Blair has been a superstar at SCA since joining the organisation in 2008. He lives and breathes regional content and the passion he has for our regional business is unparalleled. I am confident that this appointment will help bring our mantra of Proudly National, Fiercely Local to life right across our regional footprint.”

SCA deems to be one of the leading media companies in the country. Under the Triple M and Hit network brands, SCA owns 99 stations across FM, AM, and DAB+ radio.