Kerry Stokes’ ratings forecast, farewells directors Gammell & Kennett

New Seven West Media CEO report card: “We are delighted with his progress so far”

Speaking at the Seven West Media AGM held in Sydney today, executive chairman Kerry Stokes spoke about his new CEO, gave a 2020 ratings forecast, had a recommendation for the Government and farewelled two veteran Seven West Media directors.

Her are some of the highlights of Kerry Stokes’ presentation:

Seven West Media experienced a tough 2019 financial year and as a result we have had to make tough decisions, especially as the market is becoming increasingly crowded with largely unregulated foreign digital players.

Two months ago, we appointed James Warburton as Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, with a brief to transform the business and execute a content led growth strategy.

In that time James and Seven’s leaner senior management team have started that transformation, consolidating our TV operations with the proposed Prime Media acquisition, divested our magazine division and radio stations and right-sizing our business operations.

In addition, James and his team have recently announced a refreshed programming line-up for 2020, while executing a plan to further leverage our leading sports assets, with AFL, cricket and horse racing to reach wider and younger audiences.

The combination of refreshed evening programming and the best sports programming in Australia, topped off by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, will make Seven the most watched network next year.

We are delighted with his progress so far as we meet the challenge from multi-national digital players, which continue to grow their share of audiences and advertising budgets.

The ACCC’s report to the Federal Government has recommended that the foreign companies be subject to the same rules as local broadcasters, including content quotas, advertising classifications and privacy laws.

We urge the Federal Government to adopt all of these recommendations, otherwise the digital platforms’ disruption in the broadcast media industry will accelerate, to the detriment of consumers, advertisers and thousands of Australian workers.

We are not seeking special favours from the government but a chance to continue delivering first class local content and news to Australians in both city and regional areas.

I now turn to the retirement of two directors of Seven West Media, Peter Gammell and Jeff Kennett, from your board at this meeting.

Gammell has been a director of Seven West Media since 2008, and prior to the formation of the group, Peter was a director of Seven Network for 14 years.

Peter has been an integral part of Seven for 26 years and has played a critical role in a range of transformative corporate transactions and rights acquisitions for us.

I have been very close to Peter for many years and I thank him for his friendship and valuable contribution he has made to Seven.

After four years of sterling service as a director, Jeff Kennett has retired, and we will miss his forthright and constructive contributions.

He will not be lost to Seven as he will continue to be a commentator on the network’s news and current affairs programs.

I thank both of them for their magnificent contributions to Seven and wish them well in their future endeavours.

Shareholders at the AGM voted for the re-election of Seven West Media directors Collette Garnsey, John Alexander and Ryan Stokes.

Top Photo :Kurt Burnette, Charlotte Valente and James Warburton

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