Commercial Radio Australia's Joan Warner to depart

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 23 September 2021

Joan Warner is stepping down as Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) chief executive officer early next year.

Warner has led the industry body since 2001, overseeing significant transformations in the radio industry.

“I’ve been privileged to lead CRA through an amazing period of growth and evolution, have worked with talented, passionate and outstanding CRA staff, Chairs, Board members and radio executives,” Warner says.

“While it will soon be time for a new chapter, I have no doubt that radio will continue to evolve, innovate and thrive.”

CRA will begin searching for a replacement immediately with the aim of a new chief executive taking up the position during the first quarter of 2022.

“While I informed the CRA Board some time ago of my intention to step down at 31 December 2021, the bBoard requested, and I agreed, to remain as CEO to 31 March 2022 to allow the company to undertake a comprehensive and far-reaching search for a replacement.

“There are also major projects with which the Board has asked I continue to assist in the early implementation stages and to ensure a smooth and seamless handover to the incoming CEO.”

CRA has recently revealed one of the most significant changes to the ratio ratings survey, with the incorporation of livestreaming data and use of smart watches.

“Joan has had a substantial and meaningful impact on CRA and the industry over the past two decades and has worked tirelessly to advance the strategic imperatives for a healthy and vibrant radio industry,” Grant Blackley, chair of CRA says.

“This has included expert policy and regulatory management, a drive to innovate trading and advance the sector’s digital posture, while continually maintaining a focus on the marketing and promotion of the industry to the benefit of members and key stakeholders.

“The radio industry has recovered well from the COVID impact and is gaining further momentum with a renewed commercial approach at industry level to drive increased share of advertising to radio.

“There is an extensive amount of work already underway across industry integration with smart speakers and connected cars, an improved and comprehensive all-of-industry automated trading platform to be implemented in 2022, and the continued maturity and acceleration of both podcasting and audio streaming platforms. For this reason, we are very pleased Joan has agreed to extend her contract to allow for the seamless implementation and handover of this important set of initiatives.”


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