AdNews Power 50: Gyngell grabs gold in media industry who's who

By Damian Francis | 9 August 2013
David Gyngell, Nine Entertainment CEO.

This print issue story went to the printers on Thusday night. Kim Williams resigned on Friday. Look out for the sticker bearing Julian Clarke's name in the next issue.

Nine Entertainment Co. chief executive David Gyngell has taken out the number one spot in the AdNews Power 50. It was a tale of persistence for the Nine boss, having climbed steadily up the ranks, making the leap from fourth last year.

A combination of a redefined Power 50 and some brilliant power plays landed Gyngell the number one tag. This year’s ranking focuses on ‘street power’ – the men and women in the industry that make the big moves at the same time as fronting the cameras, stepping out in public, talking to the people and making their voice heard. It’s a position that requires industry luminaries to step away from the mahogany desks, leave the locked boardrooms and get off the yachts. Gyngell has done all of this.

He continues to make the headlines in light of Nine’s IPO, circulates with blue-chip advertisers and the media industry quicker than the Sydney monorail used to do loops of the CBD and is putting in the hard yards to claw back viewers from Seven. Not to mention the ace he helped pull in selling off ACP to Bauer for $525 million at a time when the magazine industry is struggling.

Much of the talk was around Kim Williams, however, holding on to third place behind GroupM’s John Steedman. With Col Allan in town and looking to dig his heels in, a lot of people in the News Limited camp are said to be uneasy, not least of all Williams. He has power now, but for how long?

A further focus of the Power 50 was on the content creators – the people behind the stuff that actually brings in the audiences and allows media owners to charge for advertising and advertising agencies to develop businesses focused on finding the best content to fit client messages around.

Content kings included Hamish Blake and Andy Lee, Mark Fennessy, Brian Walsh, Alan Jones, Julian Morrow and Nick Murray. Some have fan bases in the millions, others are responsible for choosing the programs that draw in the viewers. Whatever the case, it is a significant part of what makes this industry turn and needs to be acknowledged like the media owners and agency leads at the top end of town.

There are also a few dark horses in the mix as well. Names like Justin Diddams, Mark Hassell and Alan Kirkwood may not automatically ring a bell, but if they don’t now, they will soon. You can find out exactly who they are and why you should care, plus the rest of the Power 50, in this issue of AdNews.

This article first appeared in the 9 August 2013 edition of AdNews, in print and on iPad. Click here to subscribe for more news, features and opinion.

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