Russel Howcroft move from Y&R to Ten confirmed

Russell Howcroft: Y&R to Ten

Y&R Brands Australia and New Zealand boss and Gruen Planet pundit Russel Howcroft has joined Network Ten, as widely speculated in recent weeks.

The well connected Melburnian takes on the role on executive general manager early next year, and will relocate to his home town. However, Howcroft will maintain ties with Y&R as non-executive chairman of the group.

His departure has prompted a restructure at Y&R, with the main move seeing chief financial officer Jason Buckley taking on the role of COO of the Sydney offices of Y&R Brands, which includes the agencies GPY&R, VML and Ideaworks.

The announcement from Ten defined Howcroft’s new role as “responsible for Network Ten’s operations in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.” Ten’s station managers in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth will report to Howcroft, who will join the company’s executive team, reporting CEO James Warburton.

Warburton said: “Russel is a great leader and one of the most outstanding advertising executives in Australia. We are very pleased he is joining Network Ten.”

“Russell is extremely well connected in the marketing, advertising and media sectors. His appointment will bring new skills and strengths to the Network Ten management team, particularly in the Melbourne market,” he said.

Howcroft commented: “After 24 years of working for some of the best agencies in the world, I am privileged to be given the chance to pursue another great passion. Television is a very powerful and engaging medium and my experience over the past few years have fuelled my desire to work within the television business.

“In this multi-screen world, television has terrific opportunities to lead the way and develop devoted audiences,” he said.

In a press release from Y&R, Howcroft paid tribute to his former employer: “Since returning to George Patterson Y&R in late 2006 I have had the time of my advertising life, and we have accomplished so much that makes me proud.”

Though Howcroft oversaw the launch of digital agency VML and Patts Melbourne enjoyed more success at Cannes this year than any other Australian agency, he will also be remembered for the closure of The Campaign Palace a few months ago, with the iconic Australian agency being folded into JWT.


  1. Daniel
    19 Sep 12
    12:30 pm

  2. But we he also leave The Gruen Planet?

  3. Steve
    19 Sep 12
    12:37 pm

  4. I always thought Russel owned Y&R ?

  5. Dan
    19 Sep 12
    12:45 pm

  6. Lets hope Ten are still in business by Feb13.

  7. Chris
    19 Sep 12
    1:02 pm

  8. I would think not, the way Ch. 10 spruke his involvement – surely his inclusion is pivotal and a superb opportunity to build ‘engaged audiences’ for Ch. 10.

    Maybe they’ll just buy the franchise – that’s always a good strategy…

  9. Jame
    19 Sep 12
    1:07 pm

  10. Excellent talent on Gruen and top Ad executive…But what about programming.
    The grass roots of any TV Network?

  11. Tony
    19 Sep 12
    1:08 pm

  12. The ex – Sales Manager, Barry OBrien and now Howcroft. Maybe TEN should be looking for TV people not PR releases.

  13. Roberto
    19 Sep 12
    1:19 pm

  14. Interesting appointment. A great Ad-man perhaps, but what does he know about television operations?

  15. TV Advertiser
    19 Sep 12
    1:23 pm

  16. What does he know about running TV stations?
    And he will be responsible for 4 of them! OMG!
    A challenging and clumsy role for a very talented advertising professional.
    I’m thinking TEN needs a postive headline and some key connectivity in Melbourne.
    Will be interesting to see if he gets involved in the sales function as that, in my view, is where his skill set is.

  17. Liferaft
    19 Sep 12
    1:38 pm

  18. Russell..congrats, well done, all the best etc.

    Now lets be serious, was it the money because I hope you are getting a lot to join the Good Ship Ten.

    It has more issues than a sinking lifeboat !

  19. Scoop
    19 Sep 12
    1:40 pm

  20. He’ll have to leave Gruen now, unless of course, he moves the show to Channel 10.

  21. Graeme Rodda
    19 Sep 12
    2:24 pm

  22. Let’s hope that he won’t, as that programme is “a breath of fresh air” on our airwaves. And if anyone can make CH 10 work; surely it is him. His ability to “think outside the square” is one of the more highly-developed ones in the national media scene so it appears to be an outstanding appointment.
    Every wish Russell; and for our sakes too.

  23. ok
    19 Sep 12
    2:33 pm

  24. so who is going to be running the show at the top level now that Russ has departed?

  25. Dave B
    19 Sep 12
    2:49 pm

  26. = The Ruin Transfer for someone….

  27. Sunny
    19 Sep 12
    3:11 pm

  28. Of course Daniel. Lachlan doesn’t like to share.

  29. Kaylee
    19 Sep 12
    3:26 pm

  30. @Daniel: From the post on Gruen’s Facebook page: ” Russel’s change of employment will not prevent him appearing on Gruen. It might mean we get to make more jokes about The Shire though.”

  31. Buga
    19 Sep 12
    3:46 pm

  32. How-crafty is that!!

  33. Surin
    19 Sep 12
    4:07 pm

  34. He has a very impressive CV, and looks on the face of it to be a great get. But didn’t they try something similar in sales? How did that go?
    They cannot get out of their current funk unless they get some ratings.

  35. Officer Krupke
    19 Sep 12
    5:58 pm

  36. russel and todd never featured work from their respective could they.
    so as a result the integrity of the show was compromised.this didn’t matter too much given the nature of the show.but will russel really be able to criticise major advertisers spending big bucks on ten?methinks not.

  37. Mitchell
    19 Sep 12
    8:58 pm

  38. Actually, Krupke, they did highlight a couple ads by their agencies, or for products/companies their agency is heavily involved with. Mainly the latter over the former, especially in recent years.

    It will be interesting to see what happens, though. It’s entirely possible this could cause big problems for Gruen. But I think the guys behind the show are smart enough to figure out how to work this. At least I certainly hope so, it’s the best thing on TV.

  39. nick williams
    20 Sep 12
    6:44 am

  40. congratulations Jason.