Ciaran Davis on CEO Magazine cover

It’s not quite the Cover of the Roling Stone, but its the corporate equivalent for a CEO.

ARN’s Ciaran Davis, who won CEO of the Year at CEO Magazine’s third annual Executive of the Year Awards is featuring on the cover of the magazine’s most recent issue.

In the issue, Ciaran talks about how he values the award, how he stays on top of his game and what future changes he anticipates for Australia’s media sector.


The CEO Magazine: What does this achievement mean to you?

Ciaran: I’m incredibly proud of the business we are building at ARN, but this award is not about me; it’s a collective recognition for all of our staff. They are the ones who bring their skills, passion, commitment, creativity, and tenacity to work every day and are ultimately responsible for the transition of ARN from a challenger brand to the market leader it is today.

Radio is a people business, and I’m a firm believer in building a strong team environment, particularly during times of great change, and communicating openly by informing staff what’s happening, what’s next on the horizon, and delivering on those commitments. This cultural shift has been a key driver in empowering all our staff to contribute the innovation and hard work required to transform ARN.

2014 has been ARN’s best year ever, and celebrating success collectively is important. We’re building a workplace culture that encourages people to thrive professionally and cultivating an energetic place to work. Part of that dynamic is sharing success together, so it’s important to me that all of our staff feel that their efforts have contributed greatly to the winning of this award.

I’m also a strong advocate of the power of radio, and this award is a huge endorsement for the industry— its resilience in a digital environment, its effectiveness as an advertising medium, the live and local content it continues to deliver, and the talent it attracts on and off air.

Given the fast-paced and demanding nature of the media and broadcasting industry, how do you stay at the top of your game, and what future changes do you anticipate for Australia’s media sector?

At a time when traditional media is coming under increasing pressure from many digital niche platforms— many of which have yet to prove their advertising effectiveness—radio continues to thrive in terms of both audience engagement and advertising revenue.

Why? With many media owners having to cut costs to hold profit margins, the board of ARN has been incredibly supportive in its investment and growth strategy built on hiring Australia’s best talent, producing great content, and marketing our brands aggressively.

We have also evolved our radio stations into broader entertainment brands, offering audiences
exclusive on-air, social, and digital content and customised experiences via the ongoing evolution of internet and streaming platforms such as iHeartRadio.

Also, additional investment in smart data has resulted in an intimate understanding of fan bases, called ‘super fans’, allowing ARN to leverage relationships with high-value audiences whose demand for relevant, accessible content across areas like music, entertainment, and celebrity continues. This connection with audiences enables radio to provide a seamless and targeted multiplatform offering for advertisers, agencies, and their brands, with deeper talent, content, and brand integration at the core.

However, for radio to remain relevant, we are supportive of a change in media reforms regulation that supports media diversity while also addressing the influx of digital opportunities and players. Current media reach and ownership restrictions are outdated and do not take into account digital or social media voices or the arrival of overseas media outlets. They do not recognise the fact that most media companies now communicate across multiple platforms.


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