Ten terminates CEO James Warburton
Market watch top headlines
February 22 2013, 8:51PM
SYDNEY, Feb 22 AAP - Troubled television group Ten Network Holdings has dumped its chief executive James Warburton just 13 months after he took up the top job.
The broadcaster told the Australian Securities Exchange after the close of share-market trading that Mr Warburton "will no longer be performing the role of chief executive officer and managing director of the company, effective immediately".
Ten said that News Corporation executive Hamish McLennan has been appointed chief executive but Ten executive general manager Russel Howcroft, known to ABC viewers through the popular TV program The Gruen Transfer, will act as CEO until Mr Mclennan joins the company on March 18.
Mr Warburton, a former Seven Network executive, joined Ten as chief executive in January 2012 but only after a successful court action by Seven in 2011 that delayed his official appointment to Ten.
Before Mr Warburton's defection to Ten, Seven's major shareholder, Kerry Stokes, had offered Mr Warburton the post of chief executive, according to documents filed by Seven.
Ten chairman Lachlan Murdoch thanked Mr Warburton in a statement for "his hard work and contribution during what has been a difficult period for the company" but Ten did not elaborate further on the circumstances surrounding his dismissal.
Mr Murdoch said the board was delighted to have been able "to attract a world-class CEO with a strong track record to lead Ten".
Mr McLennan is executive vice-president, office of the chairman of the global media group News Corporation and chairman of REA GRoup, a digital advertising business focusing on real estate.
Before joining News Corp in 2011, Mr McLennan was global chairman and CEO of advertising group Young & Rubicam.
He said Ten was a media business with a strong balance sheet and excellent staff.
"I look forward to leading Ten through a period of creative renewal and financial growth," he said in the statement.
Mr McLennan will remain as non-executive chairman of REA Group.
Earlier on Friday, Ten reported that it had received an $80 million cash advance from the Commonwealth Bank to replace an existing $350 million facility that was due to expire in February 2014.
In October last year, Ten posted a $12.9 million full-year loss and announced a round of redundancies as it battled poor advertising markets and struggled to hold on to viewers.
Ten on Friday was up one cent at 29.5 cents but was $1.44 in April 2010.
AAP was seeking further comment from Ten.