Business Scoop
Network

CORRECT: Sky TV chair holds succession plan

Article – BusinessDesk

Oct. 18 (BusinessDesk) – Sky Network Television’s veteran chairman Peter Macourt will think about planning for his replacement once the pay-TV operator has a new chief executive settled in.CORRECT: Sky TV chair holds succession plan until Fellet’s CEO slot filled

(Fixes size of writedown in 7th paragraph)

By Paul McBeth

Oct. 18 (BusinessDesk) – Sky Network Television’s veteran chairman Peter Macourt will think about planning for his replacement once the pay-TV operator has a new chief executive settled in.

The former News Ltd executive has chaired the Kiwi media group since 2002, when Rupert Murdoch’s Independent Newspapers was the dominant shareholder. His chairmanship of the board has largely coincided with chief executive John Fellet’s tenure which started in 2001 and ends once a successor is found. Fellet has been with the company since 1991.

Macourt told shareholders at today’s annual meeting he hopes to announce a new CEO in the near future, having run a global search and considered a number of candidates. Fellet will stay on as a director, but Macourt stressed that the new head will be free to run the company within the normal constraints of board oversight.

He had been considering his own role as part of the planned merger with Vodafone New Zealand but had to re-think the timing after the Commerce Commission rejected the deal. Macourt will be up for re-election at next year’s annual meeting.

“My immediate focus is appointing the new CEO, and supporting them as they get into the role. I will address the succession planning for the next chair once the new CEO is settled in their role,” he said.

Chief financial officer Jason Hollingsworth is among those known to have thrown his hat in the ring.

Sky TV wrote down goodwill by $360 million to $1.07 billion this year as it reels from declining subscriber numbers as online streaming video alternatives such as Netflix have suited a new appetite for on-demand content, while Spark New Zealand has successfully won rights to broadcast some sporting events, such as the Rugby World Cup 2019.

The pay-TV operator slashed prices to compete more aggressively and trimmed dividend payments and debt to get its balance sheet in better shape, and Macourt today said it still has a strong content library and unrivalled sports production and distribution.

“One of the characteristics of the New Zealand market is that a significant number of New Zealanders don’t yet have access to streaming-capable internet, and it may be some years before they do,” he said. “Our sport partners know they can rely on Sky to deliver their content to all of their NZ fans, in ways that work for each individual.”

The shares rose 1.8 percent to $2.24, having bottomed out earlier this month at $2.05.

(BusinessDesk)

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url