New Boss for Britain's RAJAR; New Quarry for MacKenzie

11 December 2003

Kelvin MacKenzie, chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's The Wireless Group, has a new target at whom to direct his ire over the group's poor showings in listening data published by RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research).

Moving into the recently vacated managing director's hotseat at RAJAR [WAMN: 03-Nov-03] is Sally De La Bedoyere (43), former managing director of the London Evening Standard. She takes up her post on January 5.

RAJAR chairman Lord James Gordon of Strathblane welcomed De La Bedoyere's appointment, declaring himself impressed by her near-twenty year media track record as well as her enthusiasm for the challenges that lie ahead.

Not the least of these will be the constant sniping of MacKenzie, former rottweiler editor of The Sun, now a radio chihuahua, whose company has been on the receiving end of indifferent ratings from RAJAR.

He has not taken the adverse data lying down, attacking both the methodology used (paper diaries) and the research body's alleged Luddite resistance to new technology, such as electronic 'wristwatch' recorders.

The latter -- which operate continuously even when its wearers' are on the move -- would show his company's performance in a more favourable light, MacKenzie insists.

He charges conspiracy on the part of RAJAR, a company wholly owned by Commercial Radio Companies Association and the BBC. The allegedly biased setup and its outmoded measurement system favour the big players, MacKenzie avers, citing the fact that RAJAR's nominally independent chairman also doubles as chairman of Scottish Radio Holdings.

The Wireless Group announced last month it is to sue RAJAR for £27 million ($47.08m; €38.45m), although MacKenzie-watchers take this with a fistful of salt, imminent litigation having been his constant refrain since September last year [WAMN: 23-Sep-02].

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff