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Two heads to leave SCA Sydney’s sales department

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) Sydney’s head of agency sales Maryanne O’Sullivan is set to depart the network at the end of the year, while head of radio sales, Amanda Unwin, will move to SCA Perth, Mumbrella can reveal.

After 7 years at the radio giant, O’Sullivan will be heading up a role at SBS as NSW sales manager, where she will report to director of media sales, Adam Sadler and Andrew Mudgway, national sales manager.

Meanwhile, Unwin will take on SCA Perth, as head of sales.

(L-R): O’Sullivan, Unwin

“I’m ecstatic to be joining a media business that is deeply rooted in purpose, inclusivity, and captivating content,” O’Sullivan told Mumbrella.

“It is overwhelmingly obvious that SBS are the Australian leaders when it comes to developing initiatives that support a different advertising experience for the future. They are not afraid to do things differently and I love that!

“With the convergent move between TV and digital video across our industry, it is a very exciting time to be leading the NSW sales team though this continued evolution. I look forward to bringing thought leadership and unique partnership opportunities to all our agency partners in the new year,” she concluded.

Unwin told Mumbrella: “It’s not everyday you get the opportunity to return to your roots and reconnect with a market you so deeply love and admire, so I am incredibly grateful to SCA to be returning to Perth into the head of sales role.

“With so much opportunity for growth in a booming market, I look forward to working with the team there to create campaign excellence for our partners across our audio assets in Hit, Triple M & LiSTNR.

“It has been an absolute privilege to be a sales leader in the SCA Sydney office over the past 10 years,” she continued.

“I’m very excited about a new professional challenge, in a new market. Sydney will remain a dominant force, the people here are outstanding at their craft and I can’t wait to see the teams here continue to soar.”

SCA chief commercial officer, Seb Rennie, said to Mumbrella: “We are delighted to say that Amanda will be taking up the mantle of head of sales Perth from 6 November 2023.

“Amanda has been in various leadership for our Sydney market for the last 10 years and has headed Sydney sales for the past three. She is known in equal measure for her empathetic leadership and her ability to deliver innovative solutions and strong results for our advertising partners.

“We’d also like to thank Maryanne for her dedicated contribution to our business and wish her all the best in her new role. We will be making further announcements regarding additions to our team soon,” he said.

Earlier this week, SCA’s national head of audio sales Andrea Salmon also announced her departure from the radio giant, with Luke Minto promoted to replace her.

Salmon spent eight years at SCA, and is moving to the Nine Network to head up its metro, regional, streaming, and on-demand TV, radio, print, and publishing teams as its new director of sales – Melbourne.

Minto, who started at SCA three months ago as head of regional sales strategy, has over 19 years experience in radio, working with Nova, most recently as group commercial director – Australia.

The departures and moves come at a rocky time for SCA, as rival network ARN has made a non-binding indicative offer to acquire 100% of the network.

“The board has carefully considered numerous strategic options to continue the company’s growth and believe this transaction would be transformative for both sets of shareholders,” ARN Media chairman, Hamish McLennan said in a statement.

As part of the proposed takeover bid, a “focused” metro radio network will see a KIIS and Triple M brand across each metro city – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. The proposal also includes aims to increase its regional footprint from 47 to 88 stations.

However, today SCA has unveiled its regional plans for its 2024 Hit and Triple M networks, and SCA chief content officer, Dave Cameron, said the focus would be on the network’s “high successful super show strategy”, with Triple M continuing to double-down on localism with a range of new shows.

At last week’s SCA annual general meeting (AGM), chair Rob Murray confirmed the network is in discussions about the bid, though he said he wasn’t optimistic about an in-principle agreement to be reached by next month.

“Since receiving the proposal last week, we have set up sub-committees of our board and management to consider the proposal and our financial and legal advisers have held initial discussions with the consortium’s advisers,” Murray said.

At the AGM, SCA CEO John Kelly also announced the network will reduce costs by $15 million, with $10 million cut by the end of the 2023/24 financial year (June 30, 2024).

All this news comes only months after ARN took 14.7% from SCA’s shareholder register, while the network’s stars, Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O Henderson, were reportedly in talks with SCA about a move back to the network that they left in 2013.

Sandilands and Henderson are expected to finalise a deal, speculated to be worth around $200 million over ten years, by the end of the year.

Unwin’s last day at SCA Sydney will be 6 November, while O’Sullivan and Salmon will both finish up at SCA on 15 December.

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