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Ennals Takes the Reins at CRA

Commercial Radio Australia has been led by Joan Warner for 21 years

Ford Ennals has started in his role as the new CEO of Commercial Radio Australia, succeeding its dynamic longtime leader Joan Warner.

Ford Ennals, CEO of Commercial Radio Australia

“My Australian mum would have been proud,” he wrote in an introductory email.

“This is an exciting time for radio and the overall audio sphere. I have spent the past 10 years working with the wider UK radio industry — the government, media regulator, broadcasters, supply chain and the automotive industry — to transition listening to digital platforms. It has been exciting to see the growth of digital radio in the UK with 65% of all radio listening now done via DAB and streaming, stimulating commercial radio growth and record ad revenues.”

Ennals described Australia as having “one of the most advanced and dynamic radio and audio markets in the world” and said it is “enjoying strong innovation and growth with digital radio, apps, podcasts and smart speakers all playing an increasing role.”

Warner announced her intention to leave last September. July of 2021 marked her 20th anniversary in the CEO position. 

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CRA represents the interests of commercial radio broadcasters in the country. Known as the Federation of Australian Radio Broadcasters when Warner started, it changed its name to Commercial Radio Australia Limited in 2002.

CRA Chair Grant Blackley said last year that Warner had “worked tirelessly to advance the strategic imperatives for a healthy and vibrant radio industry.”

Ford Ennals previously led Digital Radio UK since its founding in 2010. Prior to that, he headed the British digital television switchover body Digital UK. 

In March, Ennals announced his resignation from Digital Radio UK as part of its merger with Radioplayer.

At Digital Radio UK, Ennals worked with the BBC, Global, Bauer and Arqiva, as well as with automotive and technical bodies, the British government, and media regulator Ofcom to advance digital listening.

Blackley called Ennals “an entrepreneurial change agent and leader in digital transformation, both of which will be valuable skills at CRA as the audio industry is well on its way to digital transformation.”