Industry Profile: SCA's head of content for Hit Network Gemma Fordham

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 31 January 2017
Gemma Fordham

Our Industry Profile takes a weekly look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

Last week we spoke with We Are Social MD, Suzie Shaw. This week we chat to Southern Cross Austereo's (SCA) head of content for Hit Network, Gemma Fordham.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

One year in current role and have have worked at the company on and off for 18 years.

In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?

Entertains and engages people across various platforms with brilliant content (of course).

In one sentence, what does your role involve?

Setting and implementing the strategy for the network to make sure we are reaching ratings goals by connecting with and entertaining our audience. Deciding on the national and local shows and talent. Leading and managing the national content team.

Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?

For the Hit side of the business it’s been setting a strong offering of shows across our network that genuinely connects and grows our audience. Addition of outstanding shows to our great stable such as Carrie Bickmore and Tommy Little to afternoons nationally, Ash London live to our nights and the Em Rusciano radio show with Harley Breen for breakfast in Sydney.

Moving firmly into experiences as part of our brand, from exclusive World Famous Rooftops with major artists to our sold out RNB Fridays Live concert series across Australia and more to come in this space.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

The spontaneity and creativity.

Previous industry related (ad land/ad tech) companies you have worked at:

I started at 2DayFM in Sydney when I was 14 and have had various roles over the past 20 years at SCA, Global radio London, NZME in New Zealand and eight years in the US with Nicole Kidman and her production company Blossom Films.

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years time?

I’m about to start my MBA at Sydney University so hopefully in three years that will be completed and helping me further my career with SCA (not a suck up answer, I love the people and company).

What is the elephant in the room? The thing that no one is talking about – but they should be.

Equality for women in the workplace. A large gap still exists in equal pay and women in executive roles. I’m a fierce advocator for this and whilst we are making progress in Australia there are still a lot of companies that have major imbalance.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

I can speak Japanese (although a bit rusty).

Top networking tip:

Be genuine as it builds relationships based on trust.

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:

Ding Tai Fung - it's downstairs from work and the best dumplings.

My favourite advert is:

I’ve always loved the Ricky Gervais adverts for Optus.

My must-have gadget is:

iPhone - when I’m traveling it is my mini office and I use it for Facetiming with my hubby and young kids when I’m away which is really important to me.

My favourite media is:

Radio because I love the emotional connection.

My favourite TV show is:

Currently ‘The Crown’ on Netflix.

The last book I read:

‘Leading’ by Alex Ferguson

My mantra / philosophy is:

I have two: I believe in treating people the way you want to be treated and for content its ‘Do Epic Shit’.

I got into advertising because:

It makes me happy and I love the creativity.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:

Traveling the world as I’m inquisitive and love exploring (I’m assuming I would have won the lottery).

In five years' time I'll be:

Still me.

Define your job in one word:


What's your poison:

Nothing beats a cold glass of French Rosé.

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