Since his promotion to sales director of Classic FM, Simon Daglish,
or ’Dags’ as his colleagues like to call him, can’t stop smiling. ’After
six months of running the sales team as acting sales director - without
the facility to put my ideas into practice - I’m relieved to finally
have control of the reins,’ he explains.
But then ’Dags’ thinks that being grumpy is a sin in the sales game,
whatever the situation. ’Without wishing to sound like someone out of
The Sound of Music, I believe that smiling keeps things running
Daglish is making up for lost time. He has an army background and was at
Sandhurst before exchanging his military career for a job in media.
’This might appear a strange move, but my father was in the army and
also left to get into advertising - he became the sales director of More
O’Ferrell - so I followed in his footsteps.’
When Daglish came out of the army, his father pulled a few strings at
The Express, where Daglish Jnr started out by making the tea. Eighteen
months later, he left for Australia, where he worked under Rupert
Murdoch at the Sydney Telegraph and clawed his way up the ranks to
become sales director. On his return to the UK, he became group head of
The Daily Telegraph.
Daglish fell into radio in much the same way as he started out in
’I bumped into an ex-Telegraph colleague, Giles Howard, who was sales
director at Classic at the time, and he offered me a job in agency
The 34-year-old seems to relish life in radio and the only reminders of
his newspaper days are a pair of distinctive red braces, which have
become his trademark. ’Radio is an exciting and dynamic medium and, when
compared with newspapers, offers real flexibility.’
In his new position, Daglish is already looking to recruit and will
spend the next few weeks in management meetings, determining the best
way of taking Classic into the new century.
’I want to build a clearer picture of what exactly the Classic FM brand
stands for. Classic was aimed at the older, more upmarket audience but
it’s changing as younger people are now listening to classical music and
we are, after all, a commercial radio station.’
Daglish also wants to improve the station’s relationship with
’We must mirror what the agencies want and the obvious investment is in
planning. I want clients to feel like they are getting value for money
by offering them better planning than perhaps they have had in the past.
That’s why I am putting an emphasis on recruiting people who have a
marketing background and who can think along these lines,’ he says.
He has also instigated a strategic planning support team, so that each
sales group can refer to a strategic person for help.
Daglish admits he’s a typical Classic FM listener. ’I love the station
and I like classical music. But when I listen to a piece, if you asked
me to name the composer, opus number or whether it was a symphony or
concerto, I probably couldn’t tell you.’
Daglish is also a family man and if you don’t catch him at work, he’s
likely to be at the opera with his grandfather or rushing home to his
wife who is expecting their second child.
Daglish on selling
’There is no poetry in this profession - you can be a complete bastard
and do really well, or be a decent chap and fail miserably. You should
maintain a level of honesty when making deals and think ahead of the
game to produce different approaches to conventional problems.’