Russell Stendell, Head of Technology & Digital Planning for ABC Radio, died on Friday 10 February. Russell had struggled with cancer over the past nine months.
Russell was a very significant person in encouraging and supporting the ABC in the move to digital radio.
“Russell’s enthusiasm for digital radio and willingness to think about the future of Radio, not just the future of the ABC allowed the Commercial Radio industry and the public broadcasters to work closely on the planning phase which has been a key factor in Australia’s success.
We are sad at the loss of a passionate DAB+ champion and told Russell before he died that we will continue the commitment to DAB+ in Australia with the innovation and drive that was so much a part of his life.” Joan Warner, CEO, Commercial Radio Australia
Russell’s career in the ABC spanned 35 years. He was appointed Head of Radio Development in 2000. He knew earlier than most that digital radio would be crucial to the future of the medium. From the mid- 1990s, utilising his particular blend of technical know-how and editorial passion, he drove ABC Radio through from nothing to a promising suite of well-founded digital services launched in August 2009.
Kate Dundas and Russell’s colleagues at the ABC said “Russell was highly respected within the radio industry, for the depth of his knowledge and his dedication to the cause. He was very, very pleased to hear that digital radio listenership hit the million mark in early 2012.
Russell has left a profound mark on the ABC and the digital radio industry and will be deeply missed by his friends and colleagues. He leaves behind his wife Sophie Townsend and their daughters Claire and Anna, and our thoughts are with them.”