James Warburton is the new boss of Ten as Packer flees the board.Major rumblings are going on in the TV networks today with the news that Channel Ten have just poached Seven’s sales boss from right under their noses.
Warburton, the (now) former group sales and digital boss at Seven, will be taking over the reins from Lachlan Murdoch, who was appointed as stand in CEO at Ten as Grant Blackley got the sack just last week.
His earnings will be in the region of $2.2m a year with a performance bonus of up to a further 50%. He was previously tipped for the top job at Seven late last year, taking over from Leckie.
According to Ad News, Lachlan Murdoch attended a meeting with Seven’s chief executive David Leckie this morning over AFL broadcast rights, who was unaware of the happenings with management.
As a result, the meeting was interrupted by a phone call from Seven Chairman Kerry Stokes, who informed him of Warburton’s defection to Ten.
The Seven boss was said to be left unimpressed by the move.
Murdoch is said to have helped snare Warburton to the network, according to Ten Holdings Chairman, Brian Long.
“The company continues to be grateful to Lachlan Murdoch for his commitment in the role of Acting CEO during this period, and for bringing James Warburton to Ten.”
Ten’s new boss “has the ad market worked out, will know the investment community though his exposure at Seven Media Group but will have a steep curve ahead in dealing with Hollywood studios,” which the report says is a view shared across the media spectrum.
“James is a high calibre media executive with an enviable track record in television and digital media sales. He has forged an exemplary reputation in the media sector in Australia and has strong relationships within the media and advertising community,” said Brian Long.
However, why James Packer resigned from his seat on the board at Ten remains a mystery, although it could have been to make room for Warburton, who it has been confirmed will sit on the board.