Sony BMG Music Entertainment Australia has hired broadcasting executive Grant Tothill to take over as senior director of Australian artist marketing.

Tothill, who joins the label in May, reports to chairman and CEO Denis Handlin.

"I recently signed a new long term agreement with the company," Sydney-based Handlin tells Billboard.biz, "and I'm absolutely focussed on maximising this company's traditional business, and our diversification into touring, TV and online production, artist management and publishing. He adds, "We need creative strategies. Grant is savvy about online activity and was responsible for the integration of traditional and new media channels in his last role at (radio network) Austereo."

Tothill began his music career 30 years ago in artist management and touring. He joined Austereo, Australia's largest radio network in 1992, with stints as promotions and marketing director and network program director for Austereo's Triple M network. Most recently he was appointed to the newly-created post of programming integration director, to merge online opportunities with traditional avenues.

Tothill said in a statement, "Working with artists from the ground up is one that will allow fresh thinking and enormous opportunity to create and develop new initiatives. I am looking forward to the exciting challenges that are ahead."

Sony BMG's local roster includes chart success stories John Farnham, Delta Goodrem, Pete Murray, Rogue Traders, Human Nature, David Campbell, Guy Sebastian, Shannon Noll and Damien Leith. At the ARIA No. 1 chart awards, held in Sydney March 6, Sony BMG acts led the pack, with six of the 17 wins.

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