The Media Online’s weekly round up of people, account and business moves in media.
This week’s BIG move: New executive committee at Arena as Andrew Gill appointed CEO
Andrew Gill has been appointed CEO of Arena Holdings. His promotion is part of an executive reshuffle designed to give “additional thrust to the Group’s business strategy”.
“We are entrusting the leadership of the underlying news and entertainment brands to this capable team, and we look forward to them leading us to higher ground as we build a strong, robust and resilient business for the future,” said Arena Holdings and Lebashe chairman, Tshepo Mahloele.
Gill will be supported by additional internal appointments to the executive level.
Pule Molebeledi takes over responsibility for the Group’s news titles – Sunday Times, Sowetan, Business Day, Financial Mail – as well as magazines, digital products and editorial, events, marketing and subscriptions.
Moshoeshoe Monare will assume responsibility as managing director: operations and corporate services while Debbie McCrum has been appointed as managing director: TV & Entertainment, with responsibility for TV broadcast, TV production, Empire Films, Indigenous Films and Gallo Music.
Linda Yanta has been announced as chief financial officer of Arena Holdings, taking responsibility of the financial function across all divisions of the business.
Lyndon Johnstone new head of LM Radio
LM Radio has announced the appointment of seasoned radio executive, Lyndon Johnstone, as its new head of operations. Johnstone will operate from LM Radio’s Rivonia Studios and will be tasked with managing strategic agency partnerships as well as the day-to-day business. His appointment accelerates the momentum with which LM Radio has been growing its business over the last couple of years.
LM Radio executive director Dayne Allenbrook said Johnstone’s experience of more than 35 years in the media and broadcast industry would be invaluable as the station steps up its growth
trajectory. “We are looking to build on the strong foundation we have laid over the past few years and look forward to Lyndon’s contribution and leadership,” he said.
Johnstone’s media journey took him via the SABC, to Managing Director of OFM in Bloemfontein, Station Manager at KayaFM and then on to RadioHeads (now MediaHeads360). His last assignment was CEO of Classic 1027.
Mondelēz International bolsters regional leadership
American multinational confectionery, food, holding and beverage company Mondelēz International has announced the appointment of long-term employee Nigel Parsons as the president of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) operations, and Alisdair Sinclair as managing director, South Africa, effective from June 2020.
Parsons joins Mondelez SSA in a newly created leadership role that will strengthen focus in the region, directly supported by Sinclair. Prior to this appointment Parsons held the position of country director of Mondelez Australia, while Sinclair held the position of CEO at Vamara Group.
Both Parsons and Sinclair bring with them a deep understanding of the confectionary industry locally and abroad, and their unique skill sets and global perspective make them the right leaders to drive Mondelez’s focus on long-term growth across its SSA markets, as well as unlock the exciting business potential that exists in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
Sony and CSA announce joint venture, first of its kind in Africa
Sony Music Entertainment Africa (SMEA) and Celebrity Services Africa (CSA Global) have announced a new joint venture which will facilitate existing artist-brand opportunities and develop new talent on the continent.
The first of its kind in Africa, the collaboration plays off the strengths of both companies in developing a 360 solution for artist support & brand integration, further affording artists greater influence in the creative economy.
“We’re excited about the partnership. There has never been a service dedicated to commercialising opportunities for artists in the African music industry outside of traditional channels and this venture does just that. CSA has a great track record working with some of the world’s biggest brands & entertainers while Sony Music Entertainment Africa is at the forefront of the music culture on the continent, from developing new voices into household names and as well as taking established artists to the next level in their careers,” said SMEA MD, Sean Watson.
Artists on the SMEA roster include Kwesta, Mlindo, AKA, Shekhinah, Distruction Boyz, DJ Maphorisa, Ndlovu Youth Choir, amongst many others.
With offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, London and Lagos, CSA is one of the continent’s leading entertainment-brand agencies. At the epicenter of popular culture, CSA’s talent division works with top names such as NBA basketball player, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Hollywood Oscar nominated actor Djimon Hounsou and also manages media personality Bonang Matheba.
“The joint venture has been years in the making and historically we have had a great relationship with Sony, who represent some of the continent’s biggest artists,” said CSA executive director Davin Phillips.
South African mobile operators face increased pressure to keep communities connected
Mobile operators throughout South Africa are experiencing increased traffic as the coronavirus pandemic drives users online for information. According to online search data from Upstream’s Zero-D, during March and May this year, coronavirus accounted for 15% of all online searches nationwide.
Interest in general health news also saw a dramatic increase, jumping from just 5.2 percent between December 2019 and February 2020, to 28.6 percent by May 2020, accounting for more than a quarter of all news content.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the top trending search query in South Africa was “How to get free data?” Since the outbreak, this has been joined in the rankings, alongside “What is coronavirus?” and “When are schools opening?” which now occupy the top two positions. This signals a very clear demand for free and discounted internet access during the pandemic, alongside a thirst for education.
Kostas Kastanis, Deputy CEO at Upstream, has been a long-time advocate of the role that free data and services can play in helping emerging markets like South Africa bridge the digital divide.
Norton Rose Fulbright’s insurance comic book
It is never fun having to reject a claim but Norton Rose Fulbright has found a fun way to learn how to do it fairly. As the brainchild of Donald Dinnie, director at global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, for the next part of the popular Big Read Book Series, the team has produced a unique Comic Book Edition of their updated ‘how-to’ book on the Avoidance & Cancellation of Policies and Rejection of Claims. Many will quickly recognise the drawings of Dennis Havenga who did the cover for a number of years for Cover magazine.
“We have taken plain language to a new level of plain cartooning and it works best of all. There’s a challenge for you, but we don’t expect to see multi-peril comic books soon,” the company said.
Dolby adds Live Streaming feature update on Dolby On
Livestreaming content has become a fixture in our lives. One of the most crucial components in content creation is sound quality, as is with visual quality. The traditional way of creating high quality material is tedious, costly and time consuming. With the advance of technology, musicians and content creators now have accessible tools such as Dolby On to capture great sound.
Dolby On is a free music and video recording and streaming app which is available on both iOS and Android downloadable via the App Store and Google Play Store. Using a mobile device, the app can easily record and live stream audio and video with superior Dolby sound quality letting you capture the moment when it strikes with unmatched simplicity.
Ogilvy Johannesburg & Ogilvy Cape Town among Cannes Top 5 most creative agencies of the decade
Ogilvy Johannesburg has ranked third in the Cannes Lions Middle East & Africa Agency of the Decade rankings, followed closely by Ogilvy Cape Town, ranking fourth.
Cannes Lions celebrates the companies that have produced game-changing bodies of work time and time again, and these rankings have proven Ogilvy’s ability to consistently produce award-winning work.
“Creative excellence for work that works is our biggest competitive advantage,” says Mathieu Plassard, Chief Growth Officer, Ogilvy South Africa. “We are fortunate to attract and work with amazing talent and clients in our various campuses. We are extremely proud of the recognition given to our Cape Town and Johannesburg offices for their relentless creativity for the past 10 years.”
Over the past decade, Ogilvy has topped creative and effectiveness headlines, through campaigns for an impressive list of big brands like AbinBev, KFC, Vodacom, DStv, Cadbury, Kimberley Clark, Volkswagen, Tiger Brands, Philips and Unilever, to name a few.
Ogilvy Johannesburg and Ogilvy Cape Town have consistently taken up top creative rankings in large agency tables, culminating in Ogilvy receiving AdFocus Network of the Year for consecutive years between 2009 to 2014, and 2018, as well as the top-ranked agency at the Creative Circle advertising awards for three consecutive years.
OFM Youth Day competition frees someone’s future
OFM has helped one young person to move forward with their future goals and aspirations thanks to the #FreeYourFuture competition. The initiative was part of the station’s Youth Day celebrations on the 16June.
Ayanda Makehma, a 22-year old Public Management and Governance student at the Central University of Technology, was the lucky recipient of financial assistance to help clear student debt stopping her from receiving her qualification.
According to Lindiwe Mtwentula, OFM marketing manager, student debt is a huge obstacle preventing many students to move forward in life.
“A student cannot graduate until all outstanding accounts at the higher education institution have been settled. As a result, many students cannot graduate despite passing all their subjects and qualifying for the degree, because of crippling student debt. This is why we created the #FreeYourFuture competition – to help one person to finally graduate and embark on their career path.”
The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa announces winners of the #strongtogether Celebrity Challenge
Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa Celebrity Ambassadors has announced the winners of the #strongtogether Celebrity Challenge. The social awareness initiative, launched by Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco, turned out to be hugely successful.
In the end, it was a tight race and an extremely difficult decision considering the astounding efforts of everyone involved, but the Celebrity Ambassador is Percy Montgomery, with runner up, Louis Oosthuizen.
Over the course of the Challenge, the Celebrity Ambassadors battled it out on social media to see who could garner the most support for the #strongtogether movement, their specific charity, and the Foundation. And their always-loyal fans and supporters were quite happy to help!
Through the #strongtogether Celebrity Challenge, these incredible South Africans brought awareness and hope to thousands of those in need working through 45 Charities all around South Africa to ultimately deliver 15 000 #strongtogether masks and sanitisers with a message of unity and solidarity.
Montgomery is an ex Springbok Rugby Player who was the first Rugby player to reach 100 test caps for South Africa. When he ended his international career in August 2008, he held the all-time records for both caps and points for South Africa’s national team, the Springboks.
For the Diary
Highway Africa and Rhodes JMS Webinar Series
Highway Africa and the Rhodes School of Journalism and Media Studies is hosting a series of webinars entitled ‘Our Futures Our New Normals’.
The first webinar that will focus on The Future of Journalism and Media in Africa will take place on 30 June 2020. The panelists are Styli Charalambous (Daily Maverick), Sandra Gordon (SA Magazines Expert), Julie Masiga (The Conversation Africa) and Roukaya Kasenally (Africa Media Initiative).
Our media landscape is shifting dramatically. We’ve seen magazines suddenly close, new online forms of media pressing us urgently for donations and webinars arise as the new form of public debate. Talk shows are held from home with a single presenter, no guests in person, no music, no applause.
Science journalism has been given a boost, epidemiologists are the news rock stars while conspiracy theories and fake news abound. Governments debate how to get Facebook and Google to pay for the news they disseminate for free, and Twitter is as vicious and opinionated as always. Newspapers keep on closing while some, having stuck to paywalls, are finding that this strategy is paying off.
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