Magazine article Marketing

Profile: Pace Maker - Barnaby Dawe, Managing Director, Heart 106.2

Magazine article Marketing

Profile: Pace Maker - Barnaby Dawe, Managing Director, Heart 106.2

Article excerpt

Slapped between a council estate, wasteland and a railway bridge in West London, the location of Chrysalis' headquarters seems to lend itself more to a pirate radio station than the easy listening of its flagship Heart 106.2 brand.

But once past the security gate, and thanks to the proud enthusiasm of the station's immaculately dressed managing director Barnaby Dawe, it is clear that this is one of the UK's most dynamic media houses.

'Let's go up to the studio and see Jamie and Harriet,' says Dawe, referring to the co-hosts of Heart's breakfast show, Jamie Theakston and Harriet Scott.

On the journey upstairs, he is talkative and funny, covering subjects from how early he starts work - about 8am - to what he thinks of Heart's location. Apparently, it's great - but then Dawe's former employer, BSkyB, was based on the outskirts of London.

Not only was Dawe buried out in the suburbs, Sky also happens to frown on self-publicity - which made it somewhat surprising when he was included (at number 98) in this year's Independent on Sunday list of the most influential gay men and women, the Pink List. Dawe, it seems, was on the Indy's radar after being interviewed by the gay press.

Two months into his role at Heart, he is loving it. 'It's uplifting, fun and friendly here,' he says. In the vibrant breakfast show studio, he shows no sign that it is still so early most people are just reaching for their first coffee. 'Barnsey', as Theakston calls him, still manages to look dignified as he claps and jokes along with the team.

This week Heart pulled ahead of London rivals Capital and Magic in audience numbers, but Dawe, 35, says there is still much to do. 'Heart is 10 years old and my brief is to take it into the next decade,' he says. 'Radio needs to repackage itself, and we need to look beyond spot ads by creating more partnerships and doing more to help advertisers. I am looking at elements such as our digital offerings and how we can exploit things such as podcasts.'

Dawe was educated at the elite Westminster School and then studied French and Russian at Bristol University. His career began in financial publishing and at 23 he was part of a management buy-out of Investor Relations. …

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