Voila! Our Top 10 Best Of The Best Commercial Directors – Media Owners, Presented By Finecast, Part Of GroupM Nexus

Voila! Our Top 10 Best Of The Best Commercial Directors – Media Owners, Presented By Finecast, Part Of GroupM Nexus

Oh, commercial, the unrivalled masters of the ‘work hard, play hard’ ethos, unparalleled in their ability to create unforgettable moments in the world of Australian media. And these ten formidable players have outdone even the sharpest competitors in the biz.

Commercials are the lifeblood of our media owners sector, with an influence that extends far beyond the art of the sale, or the foresight to seize emerging media trends. 

They inject innovation into the industry, challenge conventions, and redefine conceptions of what’s possible through their commercial endeavours. 

From groundbreaking campaigns to game-changing partnerships, these commercial leaders have left an indelible mark on media through their keen understanding of audience, market dynamics, and the potential of untapped opportunities.

With no more dilly-dallying, we present to you, the Top 10 Best of the Best Commercial Directors – Media Owners:

10) Steven Sos
Managing Director AUNZ, Vevo
Steven Sos is distinguished by his diverse background in the media, mobile, technology, and music industries. Gaining success through revenue growth, team building, strategic planning, and business development, Sos has been able to leverage his analytical approach to seize opportunities and deliver substantial commercial value. He is passionate about driving change and fostering success through strong management and effective communication. 

9) Nicole Bence
Chief Commercial Officer, NOVA Entertainment
With a sharp focus on driving aggressive growth strategies and delivering exceptional commercial outcomes, Nicole Bence has built a reputation for spotting innovative money-making opportunities. Her strategic mindset, data obsession, and effective communication skills have contributed to her successful development of one of Australia’s most sophisticated data platforms. Her ability to cultivate authentic relationships and her unwavering commitment to putting customers’ needs first have solidified her position as a trusted advisor.

8) Ciaran Davis
CEO and Managing Director, HT&E (ARN)
With a media career spanning over 20 years across Europe and the Middle East, Ciaran Davis has been instrumental in transforming HT&E into one of Australia’s most exciting media businesses. As CEO of Australian Radio Network (ARN), Davis repositioned the company as the leading metropolitan radio operator in Australia. He currently serves as Chairman of Emotive and holds board memberships in Gfinity Australia, Soprano Design, Unbnd Group, and The Australian Ireland Fund.

7) Guy Burbidge
Managing Director, Val Morgan
Guy Burbidge amassed his wealth of experience in driving commercial outcomes through digital and social strategies over a 15-year career spanning media agency and publisher roles, encompassing branded content, digital, data, technology, TV, outdoor, and radio. He is an expert in ad-tech solutions, content and programmatic channels, and cross-platform campaigns. Burbidge is recognised for his exceptional problem-solving abilities for complex, long-cycle business issues, as well his team building, business strategy, and new business development prowess.

6) Mark Frain
Chief Executive Officer, Foxtel Media
Mark Frain has redefined the television advertising model through innovative initiatives like the LandMark trading platform and the world’s first programmatic private marketplace for TV. His customer-first mindset and ability to see things differently have been instrumental in driving the shift towards an ‘all video’ media buy. His winning philosophy for business is simple: “work hard, execute well and be present.

5) Rod Prosser
Chief Sales Officer, Paramount ANZ
Prior to assuming the role of CSO for Paramount ANZ in February 2020, Rod Posser, served as CSO for Network 10, leading the rebuilding and insourcing of the sales team. With a decade-long tenure at the company, Posser has held various senior positions, including executive general manager, sales director, and national head of trading. He is a valued member of Paramount’s executive leadership team in Australia and New Zealand. Previous to joining Network 10, Rod gained extensive sales experience at the Nine Network and ACP Magazines over a span of 12 years.

4) Anny Havercroft
Head of Business Marketing AUNZ, TikTok
Anny Havercroft is a fearless leader known for her networking and collaboration skills. She brings to her position at TikTok a solid history in digital and brand communications across various industries, as well as a successful background as CEO and co-founder of TRENDii and CEO of Dame Changer. Havercroft’s extensive global experience in marketing and advertising empowers her to excel in commercialising emerging products and services and establishing new revenue streams.

3) Kurt Burnette
Chief Revenue Officer, Seven West Media
Under Kurt Burnette’s direction, Seven Network consistently secures over a billion dollars annually across broadcast, digital, and print, while achieving record TV revenue shares. His expertise extends to successful relaunches and commercialisation, including the renowned 7Plus Broadcast Video On Demand platform. Burnette is a highly accomplished leader in the media industry, commanding a top-class team to drive revenue growth and profitability.

2) Michael Stephenson
Chief Sales Officer, Nine
With an impressive 25-year career in advertising, Michael Stephenson has previously held the position of director of sales for Nine  and ninemsn, as well as various roles at Seven and Ten Networks. As CSO, Stephenson oversees Nine’s total advertising revenue performance across all broadcast, digital, radio, and publishing assets. He serves as Chairman of the Premium Content Alliance while also being a board member of ThinkTV and OzTAM.

1) Louise Barrett
Managing Director National Sales, News Corp Australia
Lou Barrett is a lauded figure in the Australian media sales landscape, and so it is with little surprise that she claims first place. With an remarkable career spanning over 30 years across and encompassing the full gamut of media, having held such notable prior positions as executive general manager at Network Ten and senior roles at Bauer Media and Nine Entertainment Co. As managing director national sales at News Corp Australia, Barrett leads a powerful team in strengthening the company’s commitment to their valued clients.

Have a hankering for more exceptional lists? Why not check out our other Finecast, part of GroupM Nexus-presented Best of the Best lists, like our Top 10 industry consultants, and our Top 10 creative minds.




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