The Australian tips that the Board began to have reservations around August, when new shows The Shire, Everybody Dance Nowand I Will Survive aired.
Then there were falling ratings, the failed appointment of Mike Morrison as head of Sales, the failure to secure NRL rights and the short-lived Creative Development Unit. Observers noted the tension between Warburton and other board members at the December AGM in Sydney.
This year the network has seen MasterChef being decimated by his former network, Seven.
But Warburton also inherited a company plagued by job losses, cost cuts and shows commissioned before his arrival. 12 months was hardly much time to rectify so many deep-seated challenges.
The newspaper suggests the Board made a decision two weeks ago.
Warburton is said to have departed on good terms and is again likely to face “gardening leave” for 12 months.
The Herald Sun says Lachlan Murdoch flew to New York just 10 days ago to personally meet his replacement, Hamish McLennan, about taking on the chief executive role. Poaching someone from another network could have led to another long, drawn-out contract dispute.
McLennan was reportedly introduced to some of TEN’s billionaire shareholders, including Gina Rinehart, last week and shown around the Pyrmont building on Friday night.
“I think if we make the right sort of calls around programming, people, and engendering better relationships with the media-buying industry and advertisers, then we will do well,” said McLennan.