Ten Network fires James Warburton to make way for appointment of Hamish McLennan as CEO

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Screen shot 2010-06-22 at 6.41.20 PM.pngTen Network Holdings has announced that the Board had given notice of termination to James Warburton to make way for the appointment of Hamish McLennan (left), currently executive VP, Office of the chairman, News Corporation - and the former global CEO of Y&R - as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Company, with a salary of just under $2 million.

Warburton will no longer be performing the role of Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Company, effective immediately.

Says TEN Chairman, Mr Lachlan Murdoch: "The Board would like to thank James Warburton for his hard work and contribution during what has been a difficult period for the Company and for the broader media sector. He steps down with TEN's best wishes."
Commenting on McLennan's appointment Murdoch said, "the Board is delighted to have been able to attract a world class CEO with a strong track record to lead TEN."

Says McLennan: "TEN is a media business with a strong balance sheet and excellent staff. I look forward to leading TEN through a period of creative renewal and financial growth."

McLennan, the former Y&R global CEO who joined News Corporation in February 2012, will remain the Non-Executive Chairman of REA Group.

RUSSELL-HOWCROFT-CANNES-thumb-300x400-79227.jpgBefore joining Y&R, McLennan worked for George Patterson Bates in a number of capacities in Sydney, Hong Kong and Melbourne, eventually ascending to the post of National Managing Director in 1999.

Russel Howcroft (left), Executive General Manager, Network Ten and McLennan's former Y&R colleague, who joined TEN at the start of this year, will act as CEO until McLennan joins TEN on 18 March.

19 Comments

Couldn't run a bath said:

People running big business are a joke. Everything Lachlan touches turns to shit. And this is another further decent down the u bend

Well, well, well. said:

Too funny.

Seriously, just too funny.

Ex-Y&R said:

Thank God for Hamish.

It always felt a bit mean making fun of Channel Ten's woes, but now that he has taken over I look forward to months of pleasure.

I do feel sorry for every staff member and shareholder.

But this is about me. Go Hamish. Do what you always do.

James666 said:

So sorry Ten Staff and Shareholders. The fact that Lachlan entered the building and got rid of all the professional Broadcast Talent and Management starting with the Chairman and CEO shows his pure unadulterated lack of insight and ability.

Warburton and his merry men were and are failures. Lachlan should also remember his year at CEO which was instrumental in the slide and loss of value to all.

Now Rupert has to clean the mess up again by appointing McLennan - a loyal soldier. Lachlan's at least consistent - OneTel & TenTel.

Shame on the Board and Regulator and pity the viewer, shareholders and loyal talented staff.

Yes! said:

@Ex -Y&R.....you perfectly captured my sentiment.

The only thing that upsets me is that he'll get paid a fortune for it.

Ooh Dear said:

I bet Russel didn't expect that to happen...
And now TEN employees it's "Hammer Time"...best of luck to all.

Aussie Aussie Aussie, Old Boys, Old Boys, Old Boys said:

Once again proof that Australia is not a meritocracy, but a clan of bullying families and their crony henchmen who by continuing to promote from inside their various inbred incompetent circles, has given birth over time to an ever more shallow gene pool.

It's rarely the best and the brightest, but more often who you were mates with at Cranbrook, or Scots, or Sydney Uni. We see it in our corporate leaders, and decidedly in our politicians.

Is it any wonder that even the most successful Australians are viewed from abroad as a fumbling, crass, reactionary, loud, unsophisticated, and generally slow-witted lot who like the bull in the china shop comes stomping into the party with a gratingly harsh accent and an approach that champions bravado at the expense of intelligence and creative insight.

Regardless of what he's done in the past... said:

Let's hope he creates some decent local content that isn't reality tv hogwash. People are getting really sick of it.

Look at what Channel 9 has done with Underbelly, it's a great thing for the entire industry. And look at what the networks like AMC have done in the US have with shows like MadMen, Breaking Bad – not to mention the success of HBO.

If he can get that right, quality programming, creating good local content combined with 0 day broadcasts of quality shows from the US cable networks, eventually they'll see an awesome return in revenue. It will take time, but they'll become the best in Australia again. Surprising they don't have the rights to Family Guy and American Dad or any HBO shows, by the time they're on the TV here Aussies have already downloaded them and forgotten about them.

Totally bored TV viewer said:


A big challenge for the Big H, but I reckon he's up for it.
Let's hope he has a little more time than Warburton got to fix it though.

Re: Regardless said:

"Look at what Channel 9 has done with Underbelly, it's a great thing for the entire industry. And look at what the networks like AMC have done in the US have with shows like MadMen, Breaking Bad – not to mention the success of HBO."

You don't know what you are talking about.

Underbelly is cheaply produced shit compared to those AMC shows. It rates because it has tits and guns. Mad Men barely manags a couple of million a week in a country with over 300 million people. But it doesn't matter because AMC is a cable channel, unlike 9 or 10.

And no, cheaply made shit is not a great thing for the entire industry. It is possible to make something of quality for a mass audience (Howzat, Paper Giants, Offspring) but you need a producer like John Edwards who can stand up to a network.

@10:47 said:

Yes John, I have no idea. Good luck buddy.

Joker said:

The dark knight returns...

Enjoy your morning scones with Russel.

Penny wise, Pound foolish said:

Once again, an Australian media business installs an accountant and toe cutter to run what should be a creative shop.

The results are predictable; lower costs will give the appearance of a successful bottom line at the outset, but the long view will be overlooked and without substantively new ideas, new creativity to capture the imaginations of prospective viewers, the business will die a slow but inevitable death. This is a story that is repeated over and over again here, where the bean counters cannibalise their own businesses by somehow imagining that they are the essential ingredient to success, rather than the creators of their product, their creativity, their content.

One need look no further than McLennan's dream child Plush where the true creative collaborators necessary to make great ads just refused to play along in the end, and the experiment in cost cutting failed so miserably that it closed it's doors after a few years, but not before it did tremendous damage to the production industry in general, and fostered in an era of great decline in the overall quality of ads in Australia.

@12:28 said:

On the head.

SAME OL' said:

Penny wise, Pound foolish

PERFECTLY PUT

These people are not interested in longevity, just quick bottom line results, They get a pat on the back, a disgustingly huge bonus then they move on.

H has done it numerous times.

@Penny Wise said:

Wasn't Plush STW, not Patts Y&R?

Shamish said:

It's an incredibly tough gig. Bottom line is that tv networks are fucked. They will be more fucked in five years and probably gone in 10. I'd do it for two mil a year, but the glory days are over whoever is in charge.

The dark side said:

The Dark Lord of the Sith sends in Darth Vader.

You poor souls at Network 10.

@4:45 said:

Plush was WPP, Y&R, O&M, JWT

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