If you’re not completely sick to death of TEN analysis articles this week (and yes I’ve thrown in my 2c worth) then there is a very good read in Fairfax today from Adele Ferguson and Michael Idato.
They write about the downfall of James Warburton leading to the appointment of Hamish McLennan:
By December, it was clear Warburton had to go and his replacement had to start within one or two months. To that end, a list of 30 names was put in and out the box. The candidates were then vetted by a head hunter with a remit to find a replacement with strong leadership skills.
The urgency automatically ruled out candidates from the Australian media industry because they would have a six to nine-month non-compete clause or, God forbid, end up in a legal battle as had happened when Warburton was hired from Seven Network in 2011.
As chairman, Murdoch led the recruitment process. He included McLennan, who he had known for 15 years and who had been working for his father, Rupert, for the past year.
Throughout the Christmas and January period, there were many board discussions about the various candidates, followed by a meeting with each of the directors. McLennan was the standout.
However an article by business analyst Terry McCrann in The Australian suggests the time is nigh for three commercial Free to Air networks:
Simply, bluntly, the “missed point” in all this Murdoch frenzy is that the time for three FTA TV networks has gone.
Both the broader context which sustained the overall industry revenue base, and the particular operating characteristics of the three players that produced three viable businesses, are no longer. And neither can be reborn.
If that is understood and accepted, that leads to a second prospective conclusion: that attempts to sustain a three-network future will not only be futile, but costly and highly damaging to the FTA TV industry overall.