What next for Bauer and radio? Interview w/ Simon Myciunka, CEO of Bauer Media Audio UK

What next for Bauer and radio? Interview w/ Simon Myciunka, CEO of Bauer Media Audio UK
Myciunka (left) in conversation with Oakes
The Future of Audio and Entertainment 2024

Simon Myciunka has a “simple” mission taking the reins at Bauer Media Audio UK, he said.

Speaking with The Media Leader editor-in-chief Omar Oakes at The Future of Audio and Entertainment last month, the Bauer Media Audio UK CEO revealed his priorities for the business moving forward in terms of leadership and innovation.

Because there had been “a static leadership team” for “quite some time”, there was not always “progression of ideas and people”.

Listen to the full interview on The Media Leader Podcast (also available on all major platforms):

Myciunka highlighted two ways to address this: “empowering” people to have autonomy to make decisions and play a bigger role in defining strategy; and “aligning people” as the company had been “born out of acquisition” with “lots of diverse goals and objectives in a big portfolio”.

He stressed: “We need to be really clear about what it is everybody’s trying to do. It’s really simple: we’re trying to create more and more digital products that are complementary to our broadcast brand. We need to balance investment between those two to make sure that our portfolios have the biggest chance of success.”

Marketing power

Bauer Media owns a considerable number of brands, with the company recently moving to group many radio stations under umbrella names.

While Myciunka conceded that multiple brand names don’t necessarily “come through” in a digital environment with a clear proposition, he added: “We need to be a little bit more focused, but we’ve still got some fantastic brands — and we need them. We’re going to continue to invest it and we’re headed in the right direction.”

One example is Hits Radio, which has taken more local stations under its wing and launched a marketing campaign recently.

Indeed, according to Myciunka, one topic that came up in conversations with employees since he joined was “lack of marketing and marketing power”. While it’s “not cost-efficient” to advertise so many brands, Hits Radio is “probably our biggest but most under-developed brand”, he said.

Hits Radio has a strong focus on the under-40s and there has been investment in new programming, but Myciunka promised “a lot more” marketing investment going forward.

Meanwhile, adding more speech and podcast content to the portfolio is “really important” for its future, Myciunka explained, and the development of its on-demand Rayo app, slated to launch in June, is “a huge area of investment for us”.

Rayo will give listeners a more personalised listening experience, across app and web, that will “hopefully” keep them listening for longer and increase the quality of the data captured, he added.

A start at Global

During the session, Myciunka also dived more into his background.

He grew up in the north east, raised by his grandparents and later his friend’s parents. This upbringing has taught him gratitude and resilience — things that he values as key leadership skills.

For Myciunka, the value of “invisible PR” — or how you act when people are not watching — is “huge” and he had been “really, really fortunate” to be provided with lots of opportunities around improving his social mobility.

He continued: “Whilst I’m really cognisant that I’ve been afforded lots of other privileges, I think it is a really good example of investing in internal talent, but also investing in diversity of thought in leadership roles.”

Myciunka’s first job was at Newcastle’s Galaxy, owned by Chrysalis — which was Global’s first radio acquisition. He worked at Global for 10 years.

But his career “really kick-started” when he made the move to Ireland to join Comunicorp Media, which was later acquired by Bauer, and the two years he spent leading that business under Bauer ownership was “probably my job interview” for the UK CEO role.

Having focused on content creation and launched a digital audio advertising exchange while in Ireland, Myciunka believes he had “a really interesting skillset and experience” that was “a really good fit” for Bauer Media Audio UK, which was going through its own digital transformation.

You can watch this interview in full:

Adwanted UK are the audio experts operating at the centre of audio trading, distribution and analytic processing. Contact us for more information on J-ET, Audiotrack or our RAJAR data engine. To access our audio industry directory, visit audioscape.info and to find your new job in audio visit The Media Leader Jobs, a dedicated marketplace for media, advertising and adtech roles.

Media Jobs