ABC774 Manager Ian Mannix moves to new Emergency Services national role | radioinfo

ABC774 Manager Ian Mannix moves to new Emergency Services national role

Friday 28 April, 2006
Ian Mannix

ABC Local Radio is furthering its commitment to emergency broadcasting by appointing the current Manager of Local Radio Victoria Ian Mannix to the position of Manager, Emergency Services and Community Development.

Head of ABC Local Radio Michael Mason says Mannix is an excellent choice for the
Role because of his work at ABC 774:

"Ian has great skill in identifying and planning events which resonate with
communities. And his emergency broadcasting experience, coupled with his many
years as an ABC journalist and manager, will be invaluable as Local Radio
connects with our very diverse audiences and builds on our enviable reputation
as the most credible source of accurate and up to date information when you need
it most."

Mannix has told radioinfo ABC774 has “put a lot of work into emergency service broadcasting” under his leadership and he will now be in a position to spread that success across the whole network.

"We signed a memorandum of understanding in January 2003 to work closely with emergency services to give listeners accurate and up to date information from reliable sources and it paid off in times of bushfires and other natural disasters. We agreed to provide 24 hour 7 day access within 2 minutes in emergencies. We have no ads to worry about and our accuracy and urgency are unparalleled. Now we will be spreading that sort of commitment across Australia.”

ABC Local Radio has followed the same approach with coverage of recent emergencies such as Cyclone Larry in Queensland, Glenda in WA and Monica in the NT, flooding in
Katherine and the bushfires in Victoria.

Under Ian Mannix's supervision, Victorian ABC Local Radio listeners stayed abreast of
latest developments during the most recent Victorian bushfires when regular
programming was replaced with back-to-back fire updates. This commitment to
community safety was recognised by the Country Fire Authority as a vital component of their work in protecting homes and lives during bushfires.

In his new role, Mannix will manage and review network emergency broadcasting
procedures, services and training, and liaise with external emergency service
organisations, as well as develop consistency across the Local Radio network for
emergency broadcasts and protocols. He will be based in Adelaide where his family is located.

He will also work with stations to strengthen existing ties and forge new ones
with local service providers and organisations, as well as “developing a brief to
assist Local Radio connect with communities in a consistent way.”

During his time as Manager of ABC Local Radio Victoria, Mannix has built the cumulative
audience of 774 ABC Melbourne to record levels. ABC774 now has a 25% reach, while rival 3AW has only two thirds of that. “We want even more people to engage with the ABC. My job is to identify and assist them to engage.”

Mannix, who has been in the role since 2002, says his successes at ABC774 have included engaging Red Simons to present breakfast. Mannix says the decision to appoint Simons was part of a long term strategy for the network: “Yes, it was controversial but we knew what we were doing. We had a plan for the network which was fully supported in management and is being rolled out in a successful way. We did that at 774 with Red and it has been successful.

“Red has gone from a raw broadcaster to a presenter who has increased the audience significantly. We are holding the ABC’s traditional audience and also expanding into new audiences. Our reach has increased by 25%, we had 890,000 listeners in the first two surveys this year. Bringing in new listeners hasn’t been easy, but we have achieved it with balance and local engagement.”

On the subject of 3AW’s frequency change Minnix simply comments: “Good luck to them!”

He relinquishes his position, effective immediately, to take up his new role in Adelaide. Program Director Steve Kyte will take up the role of acting manager until the position is advertised in the next couple of weeks.

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