Toby Chadd will take over as Content Manager for ABC Classic FM and ABC Jazz after having been promoted to Development Manager earlier this year. A widely respected figure, he was for many years Label Manager at ABC Classics and Jazz, and before that Head of Communications at the Academy of Ancient Music in the UK.
His appointment was announced by ABC’s Head of Music Chris Scadden in an email to station staff, reports Limelight Magazine.
“Toby has actively worked with the Classic and Jazz content teams on many award- winning recording projects,” wrote Scadden. “He enjoys strong relationships with all of our external musical partners, orchestras and opera companies. He’s done some exceptional work to strengthen our key partnerships in his current role as Classic’s Development Manager, and I know he’ll achieve a very smooth transition into his new role.”
Chadd comes in after a period of much change and turmoil at ABC Classic FM under its former head, Richard Buckham. He overhauled the station’s programming and dropped several of its high-profile presenters but in particular was criticised in the process for moving towards ‘automated’ music programming and reducing the number of live broadcasts. Buckham recently left the role and moved to ABC Arts, leaving Matthew Dewey to fill in as Acting Content Manager during the past few months.
We can expect no major changes to Classic FM in the immediate future and can look forward to a period of stability and consolidation. Chadd told Limelight that he plans to keep a steady ship and work with the staff before contemplating any changes. He said: “there’s a real feeling, I think, of rejuvenation and looking to the future within the network at the moment. Absolutely there are areas that I’d like to look at, but I’m not coming into the job with a particular agenda per se”.
Chadd was in the news in 2016 when he criticised the ARIA awards for giving the gong for best classical album to the electronic duo Flight Facilities in its collaboration with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. That and his copious, enthusiastic tweets about the current state of classical music bode well for the station’s future.
Interestingly, he also serves as a tour leader in an expedition to the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and surrounding outback towns in August of this year.
In February, Hugh Robertson, former manager of Fish Fine Music and music editor of Concrete Playground, took over as head of ABC Classics.