Kagiso Media, the largest black-owned media corporation in South Africa has announced new key leadership appointments within its radio division. Kagiso Media is the owner of East Coast Radio and Jacaranda FM.
According to the management, the new changes in its structure are designed to add further value to its audiences, commercial partners, and platforms, following some tweaks to its structure.
The changes include the repositioning of its industry-leading digital content team into a specialist Audience Acquisition unit, with a significant emphasis placed on audience research via the establishment of a new research role, and more coordination of its news content via a central news editor role.
Kagiso chief executive of radio, Nick Grubb said the company’s radio brands, Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio have been the most consistent and best performing digital platforms in the radio industry, and the investment into a Data Management Platform last year gave even more ability to both understand their audiences and connect to them.
“We’ve taken the opportunity to take all this capacity to the next level as we refine some of our existing departments and bring in some fresh blood,” Grubb said.
Research consultant specialist Melissa McNally with over fifteen years of experience now joins the team as the group’s research and analytics manager. McNally began her career in social research, before progressing into market research with a focus on brand health and media studies.
She has spent the last few years heading up a research team in the broadcasting industry, where she was responsible for primary research across multiple radio stations, as well as commercial research.
Earlier in 2021, McNally was elected to the board of the Broadcast Research Council of South Africa. Some of her career highlights include playing a role in the design of the new RAMS and working on the South African Infinite Dial study.
She expressed a love for working in the radio and broadcasting environment, noting it is fast-paced.
“There is never a dull moment and you’re always surrounded by passionate people. Also knowing that the work I do has an impact in terms of what the listener experiences [are] rewarding. I always tell people that it is a privilege to be the voice of the listener,” McNally said.
“I’m looking forward to working with incredibly strong brands/stations that are so deeply entrenched in the lives of their listeners, as well as in the communities that they reach.”
After working in the digital media industry for 20-years, Anthea Carstens was also appointed as audience acquisition manager.
She joined Kagiso Media in 2012 and has worked on various publishing products over the years. She most recently worked as a content and data strategist for East Coast Radio and Jacaranda FM. She will continue to work closely with the stations to grow their current audiences, according to the station.
She has been fascinated by the numbers and how content and statistics can be used to increase audience participation and engagement, something which makes her role a natural fit.
“I’m looking forward to working closely with the stations to develop a sustainable acquisition strategy that is able to evolve and keep up with new trends and technology,” she said.
The media company also announced that Marius van der Walt has been appointed as its news editor for radio for both Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio. Van der Walt joined Jacaranda FM as a weekend freelancer in 2007 and worked his way up to news editor.
He says that he is thrilled to be adding East Coast Radio to his portfolio.
“I grew up in KwaZulu-Natal listening to East Coast Radio, so it’s a homecoming of sorts. I am looking forward to working on a bigger canvas, where we can get the two newsrooms to work together to create a better product,” he said.
Grub expressed confidence in members of the team in their respective new positions.
“Anthea and Marius have been tremendously valuable in our digital and news operations, respectively, and we look forward to them building on these successes as they each step into new and expanded roles,” he said.
“Melissa brings us new and exciting capacity in audience understanding and analytics, and these insights will help us drive benefit for our programmers and content people, as well as for our advertisers.”