McCann man takes on top role at Classic FM

Classic FM has appointed Universal McCann’s European media director Murray Dudgeon as its new managing director.

Dudgeon will report to Ralph Bernard, chief executive of GWR, Classic’s new owner. Dudgeon will draw on his European media knowledge to advise GWR on the expansion of the Classic brand across Europe. Classic already owns subsidiary stations in Scandinavia.

“Radio has always been a pet medium of mine,” says Dudgeon. “And Classic FM has a unique position that it is very interesting. Where it is going next is interesting as it is looking at other markets. I would not have left McCann’s for another media agency.”

Dudgeon has been European media director of McCann-Erickson and then Universal McCann for the past six years.

He is expected to oversee the promotion of sales controller Jon Waters to the role of sales director in the coming months. GWR group sales and marketing director Simon Ward currently heads the Classic sales operation.

GWR took control of Classic FM last year in a 71m takeover (MW August 30). It has restructured the station’s advertising sales operation and plans to tighten the financial performance of its overseas operations.

Industry sources expect GWR to use Classic FM’s sales team as the basis for a group-wide national operation, when GWR’s contract with radio sales house MSM expires later this year. Last week, it merged Classic’s regional sales operations with GWR’s northern sales team.

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