A Celebration of Women in Media
Lifetime Achievement Tribute
It is true that without Jane Raphaely there would still have been a women’s magazine industry in South Africa. It is equally true that it would have been a much lesser one.
Some 36 years ago, when Hubert Coetzee of Nasionale Pers was looking for an
editor for an as-yet unnamed foray into the English magazine market, his wife, Alba Bouwer, helped out.
Then assistant editor on Sarie, Alba suggested an unknown and pregnant British immigrant who had written two freelance articles for her title.
The unnamed English magazine became Fair Lady; the editor (and writer of those freelance pieces) turned out to be Jane Raphaely. For the next 18 years Fair Lady would be the final word on women’s magazines in South Africa.
Powerful, pioneering, and hugely popular, Fair Lady strengthened Jane’s desire to establish her own publishing company. So in 1982, along with long-time business partner Volker Kuhnel, she launched Cosmopolitan as the first title in this new company, called Associated Magazines. Now, 21 years later, Cosmo is the flagship of the largest privately owned publishing house in South Africa.
After the success of Cosmopolitan came Femina, then the bi-annual
Cosmopolitan Fashion, followed by House & Leisure, Baby & Me and Brides & Homes. In 2001 Associated Magazines was the only company considered by Oprah Winfrey to launch O, The Oprah Magazine (which had been the most successful women’s magazine launch ever in the United States). The South African version of O was successfully launched in 2002. So too was Popular Mechanics, in partnership with Ramsay, Son and Parker. In August 2003, Associated Magazines relaunched the South African version of Marie Claire. Currently, Associated Magazines’ titles speak to 2,7 million readers monthly.
Over the years, Jane has been named Businesswoman of the Year, Media Innovator of the Year and Star Woman of our Time.
Associated has always taken its lead from Jane’s passion for magazines and her commitment to South Africa and its women. Jane’s dedication to quality journalism, her concern for the development of female potential, and her ability to find and train talent have created magazines that are a credit to South Africa and its women.
And Jane is as passionate about the various causes close to her heart as she is about her profession. She was the driving force behind the first shelter for battered women in Langa (Cape Town), the controversial Charlize Theron ‘Real Men Don’t Rape’ campaign, and the Men’s March in the Cape. Women Demand Dignity also has her support.
Jane draws inspiration from female figures as diverse as Helen Gurley Brown, Oprah Winfrey, Helen Suzman and Aung Sung Sui Kyi. Although her own influence spreads further than the 2,7 million readers of her magazines - she has had a significant and powerful influence on South Africa itself - she prefers the company of her two grandchildren to anything else on earth.
The 10 Most Remarkable Women in South African Media
Bronwyn Keene-Young, currently deputy channel director at e.TV, first arrived at the country’s only free-to-air private television station with the task of helping key staff understand how to implement their licence conditions. As former head of the monitoring and complaints department at the old Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), she was well placed to shape e.TV’s programme scheduling within the context of the regulatory framework.
In ensuring e.TV’s compliance with its licence conditions, Bronwyn became fascinated with programming and from there it was a short jump to managing the programme inventory and designing the schedule. According to channel director Quraysh Patel, ‘she muscled the CEO [Marcel Golding] out of international programme acquisitions.” Today, from drafting agreements and policies to planning promotions and campaigns, Bronwyn manages most of the major functions of the channel.
A drama graduate at Wits University, she completed her MA on community radio broadcasting and while at the IBA, in the late ‘90s, she registered for an LLB degree. Her interest in the media began when she single-handedly started the Media Monitoring Project (MMP), just before the country’s first democratic election. Her aim with the MMP was to ensure fairness in media coverage; and the organisation’s reports became the standard for all international and local agencies, political parties and embassies on the state of media coverage in the early ‘90s. As a result, she was asked to head the media monitoring division of the Independent Media Commission, the statutory body established to oversee the media in the 1994 election.
During the turmoil at the IBA in 1997, Bronwyn was appointed as acting CEO. At 28 she presided over the troubled organisation and compiled a dossier that set the organisation on a smooth path. She left the IBA to set up a regulatory consultancy for new broadcasters in the country.
Terry Volkwyn’s involvement in radio was initially through sales. The role has grown somewhat over the last decade, and she is now the leader of one of the most successful broadcasting companies in South Africa.
In the early ‘90s Terry was 702’s sales manager, a position she excelled at before being appointed Primedia Broadcasting’s group sales director. In 1999 she became managing director of 94.7 Highveld Stereo, and in August 2002 she was appointed CEO of Primedia Broadcasting, the company that manages Talk Radio 702, 94.7 Highveld Stereo and 567 Cape Talk.
In 1997, she was part of the 702 sales management team that led the talk station to gross its highest ever revenue of R70 million. Under her leadership over the past four years, 94.7 Highveld Stereo’s revenue base has grown by 65 percent from R108 million to R178 million, with profitability soaring by 78 percent over the same period. This is despite very tight market conditions, where radio’s share of national adspend has not really increased by huge margins.
In her current position as CEO of Primedia Broadcasting, Terry has put into place the business practices that, according to Primedia Broadcasting’s chairman Dan Moyane, will go a long way to improving the operational effectiveness of the company’s Jo’burg stations.
Terry has chaired the Radio Committee of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) since 2002, and her colleagues on the body bear testimony to the fact that she inspires a shared vision of a better future for the industry and all stakeholders.
Says Moyane: ‘Although I have only worked with Terry at this senior level since July 2002, I have known her as a colleague since 1991. Throughout this 12 year period, I have seen Terry grow to be the most dynamic yet down-to-earth leader in our business.”
Brenda Wortley was voted as the first chairperson of the newly constituted Advertising Media Forum (AMF) in April 2002, and took on the task of formulating working guidelines and principles for this important industry body. She held the position until July 2003, and continues to serve the AMF on its executive committee as the member responsible for addressing the research needs of the media industry.
Brenda has been a member of the South African Advertising Research Foundation (SAARF) board since March 1998. Over the last year she has been actively involved in the deliberations of the task team of the Marketer’s Industry Trust (MIT), formed after the SAARF funding mechanisms were called into question at a heated industry summit in October 2002. Her role on the task team is to determine the industry’s base research requirements, and to scope the watchdog function a governing body should perform. She was instrumental in negotiating a mutually suitable solution to the long-standing Caxton/SAARF impasse that had remained unresolved for some years.
As significantly, Brenda has been at the forefront of the racism in media debate and has twice presented at the hearings of the Portfolio Committee on Communications in Parliament. Since 2001 she has given countless hours to helping private stakeholders appreciate and understand the stance of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) and Department of Communication on the racism issue. It was at her instigation that the broader marketing and advertising industries began to take the hearings seriously.
As for her professional career, Brenda was instrumental in negotiating what is today MindShare, the media specialist partnership between JWT and Ogilvy & Mather Rightford. She was the company’s joint managing director before leaving to take a sabbatical to bring up her two children, Sinead and Bevan.
In 1994, when Khanyi Dhlomo was given the job of True Love editor at the age of 22, circulation for the magazine was below 70,000 a month. Now Khanyi is 30, and the running circulation on True Love for the first five months of 2003 came in at 139, 147. These figures have been achieved in a magazine sector where most other titles have remained static or declined. More importantly, these figures have been achieved because Khanyi has given voice to a dynamic generation of black women who, prior to 1994, had no coherent print vehicle in which their aspirations were reflected.
Khanyi’s natural grace, intelligence and intuition were viewed by millions in her former role as television news anchor. Khanyi became the first black evening newsreader on SABC’s TV1 in 1993, and her interviews with prominent politicians, including former South African President Nelson Mandela and former Ghanaian President Jerry Rawlings, bear testimony to her natural ability to work in any media field.
She left the public broadcaster last year to expand True Love into Southern Africa and focus on her Lifestyle Centre, which is linked to the publication and conducts readers’ workshops and empowerment sessions for women.
Khanyi has a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Communications and Industrial Psychology from the University of South Africa. She has also completed an Executive Course in Media Management through the University of Stellenbosch Business School, and in 2001 was voted Alumnus of the Year by the latter.
‘It is evident that Khanyi’s media career has only just begun,” says True Love publisher Samantha Sneddon. ‘Equally evident is that her future is destined to be one accompanied by constant reference to her unique sense of style and very special understanding of the local media environment.”
Dr. Melanie Chait
Dr. Melanie Chait returned to South Africa in 1995 (when her `persona non grata’ status was cleared) to take up a position as special advisor to the group chief executive of the SABC. Prior to returning she lived in London, where she was an award winning documentary filmmaker working for Channel 4 and the BBC.
From 1996 to 1998, as general manager at the SABC, Melanie established the first department on programme policy, planning and co-productions, which she saw as critical to creating programme diversity within the public broadcaster.
In 1996 she was invited by the Minister of Arts and Culture to help formulate the White Paper on Funding for Film and Television, and spent two years on the Interim Committee allocating funds. From 1998 to 2000 she was a councillor on the South Africa Broadcasting Complaints Commission, and in January 2000 was appointed by President Mbeki to the SABC board, where she is currently chairperson of the Restructuring Sub-Committee.
Melanie has fought passionately to get the SABC away from daily soaps only, and to move towards one-off dramas, three-part series and made-for-television movies. In addition, she has been arguing for the establishment of a SABC film fund. It is thanks to her work that there are now production fees set aside in budgets, that there is a cash flow/cost reporting system assisting broadcasters as well as independent producers, and that producers enjoy a shared percentage of distribution rights.
Melanie is currently spearheading a co-production treaty between Australia and South Africa. Her ambition is to assist South Africa to find its own identity and to move away from the American model.
Melanie has a D. Phil. from Oxford University (1999) and was a Fulbright Scholar and recipient of the East-West Centre Fellowship (1993-1995).
Elana de Swardt
Elana de Swart has been an active member of the Advertising Media Forum (ex Media Directors Circle) for more than 10 years and was the first female to chair the body. During her long-standing service on this executive committee she played a key role in the formulation of the Broadcast Act, together with the former Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA). She is also a board member of the South African Advertising Research Foundation (SAARF) and serves on the advisory committee. In the latter capacity she has been an instrumental figure in the positive changes made to industry measurements such as LSMs, TAMS and RAMS.
Elana began her media career in the late ‘70s as a trainee planner for DM&M. In the early ‘80s she joined Lindsay Smithers, at which time her and Brenda Stang created the Comp 2 package, a computerised buying programme currently used by 80 percent of South Africa’s agencies.
Five years at Y&R as media director and board member followed the first stint at Lindsay Smithers. She was then approached by DMB&M to join in the same capacity, and after some seven years Klasie Wessels persuaded her to return to FCB Lindsay Smithers where she is now a shareholder and group media director.
Elana has pioneered many media firsts in South Africa, including space buying, wrap-arounds, and consecutive colour pages. She was also one of the first people to challenge the SABC on demand vs. supply pricing models.
As a leading figure in the South African media industry, Elana has been dedicated to the training and upliftment of previously disadvantaged groups and has inspired many of her staff to take up the challenge of running their own businesses. She has lectured at the AAA and contributed to a number of the textbooks that instruct future media strategists.
Felicia Roman joined the private commercial radio station Kfm as managing director in May 2000. After four years of insignificant growth since being sold by the SABC, Felicia’s first year at the helm saw Kfm move to its current position as the largest radio station in the Western Cape. In 2002 the station managed to increase its audience size by more than 50 percent against the previous year, and, at over 1 million listeners per the latest RAMS, it is now one of the top five regional radio stations in the country.
During Felicia’s tenure Kfm has made big inroads into the Western Cape’s coloured market. She has also initiated the move towards a greater percentage of English on the station, for which she came under severe flak from the Afrikaans press in Cape Town. Despite this, Kfm’s listenership has increased amongst Afrikaans speaking whites and coloureds.
On the advertising revenue side, and working closely with her sales house Radmark, Felicia steered Kfm to its position as one of the top three stations in South Africa in terms of year-on-year growth. As importantly, Felicia has been a driving force in the work Kfm has done for communities in the Western Cape. She has played a major role in the total donations of some R12,5 million that Kfm has made to deserving organisations in the region over the last six years.
Says Radmark managing director Coen Gous: ‘The radio industry is perceived by many ‘insiders’ as very closed; where, in order to succeed, an individual requires years of experience. But Felicia Roman is not your average individual. Her influence in transforming Kfm within just two years is a significant achievement. Her influence in the local community is equally impressive.”
Patti McDonald recently joined the Sunday Times as new business manager after working for the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) for three and a half years. Her position on leaving GCIS was chief director of the Communication Service Agency (CSA). During this time she project managed the redesign of the National Coat of Arms and the new Presidential Medals. She was an advisor to the Department of Arts and Culture for the selection of the women’s monument at the Union Buildings and the burial of Sarah Baartmann in Hankey, Eastern Cape.
Her final project with GCIS was to co-ordinate discussions between the advertising, marketing and communication industry and government on racism in this particular environment. These deliberations culminated in a report back to the Portfolio Committee on Communications in Parliament under the chairmanship of MP Nkenke Kekana in November 2002.
As chief director of the CSA, Patti managed a team of 40 people responsible for, amongst other services, developing and implementing marketing, media placement and distribution strategies for GCIS and government.
In 1981 Patti McDonald went into exile in London and only returned to South Africa when the ANC was unbanned, at the end of 1990. While in exile she helped design and produce publications for the ANC and the Anti Apartheid Movement. She also completed a Design for Print diploma and a post-graduate diploma in Design and Media Technology at the London College of Printing.
On her return to South Africa she worked for South, a community newspaper in Cape Town, under the editorships of Moegsien Williams and Guy Berger. She redesigned the Sowetan newspaper, under the editorships of Aggrey Klaaste and Joe Thloloe, in 1992; and the Pretoria News, under the editorship of Alan Dunn, in 1996. Patti has also art-directed Femina, Tribute and Elle magazines.
Nadia Bulbulia has been part of the development and growth of the media sector from the beginning of South Africa’s transition to democracy. She spent almost seven years at the former Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) in the policy development division and as a councillor.
Nadia’s relationship with media covers an assortment of areas. She has a creative background with an Honours in Dramatic Art (Wits University), and a Teachers Diploma in Speech and Drama from the Trinity College of London. She has worked in both live theatre and television. As the former head of a television project focusing on youth and sustainable development, she was the executive producer of an unprecedented pan-African television documentary series on HIV/Aids.
Although policy and regulation is her core focus, her passion lies with children’s broadcasting and she represents Africa at the World Summit Foundation on Media for Children. She has initiated a groundbreaking children’s Internet and television project and has been a broadcasting consultant and an associate member of the Link Center (Wits) lecturing in broadcasting policy. She also holds a diploma in International Relations.
Nadia joined the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) Council in July 2002 for a four-year term. During her brief stint at ICASA she has already been involved in numerous broadcasting matters, including renewals of commercial radio licenses, Gauteng community radio hearings, inquiries into Sports Rights, and the Review of Ownership rules for broadcasters.
She chairs an ICASA committee that deals with the plight of people with disabilities in the communications industry, and is a member of the Broadcasting Monitoring Complaints Committee (BMCC). She serves on several boards and advisory committees and when asked about her biggest achievement thus far, her answer is, without hesitation, motherhood.