Sandra Gordon, publisher of TheMediaOnline and The Media magazine, whips out her crystal ball and makes some irreverent – if wickedly on the spot – predictions for some big media events this year.
1. Busiest man in the sector will be Sarel Du Plessis as he attempts to build the membership base of the beleaguered Marketing Association and deal with the pending SAARF/ASA funding crisis. He will resign as SAARF Chairman.
2. The man without portfolio is likely to be Quentin Green who has battled to salvage MAMCA, the SAARF/ASA levy collection agency. All in vain as now kaput.
3. The busiest woman is and will be Esmare Weideman, CEO of Media 24. She is expected to run a multi-facetted group under a head honcho whose strategy is to drive broadcast and digital media, with scant interest in print. Yet capital has been sunk into print assets (mags, newpapers and printing machines – lots of them).
4. The woman without portfolio is likely to be Thandi Msibi , CEO of ASA. Unless marketers agree to fund the ASA, or it charges proper fees for its work.
5. Most challenged person will be the new CEO of the SABC. Ask anyone you know whether they would like this position – it is fraught with political interference and a ‘now on, now off’ board of directors. Let’s hope the first woman to take on the position, Lulama Mokhobo, can withstand the pressure. Have a feeling she will. Second most challenged SABC will be the COO, third most challenged with be the SABC CFO, fourth…you get the picture.
6. Longest awaited announcement will be made by Nazeem Howa, CEO of the New Age newspaper, who has threatened to reveal ABC figures in March. We are promised a surprise – you betcha.
7. More top appointments and reshuffling to come within AVUSA. Mike Robertson as CEO of newspapers with Colin Carey Universal Print/Hirt and Carter, as CEO of the portfolio of non newspaper assets? Trevor Ormerod is in, Enver Groenewald out. When there is movement at the top, expect shuffling lower down.
8. Magazine editor of the year. Watch Sbu Mpungose, newly appointed ed of Cosmopolitan.
9. Newspaper editors of the year the stalwarts will be Ferial Haffajee [City Press] and Peter Bruce [Business Day].
10. Death in the ranks. Daily Maverick won’t last; there is just so little Greek money left to prop it up.