Korn Ferry hired in Southern Cross succession planning effort

Radio and tv firm Southern Cross Austereo enlisted a recruitment agency to discover the {industry} for its subsequent chief government because it grappled with a falling share value and industry-wide issues the corporate isn’t positioned for progress.

Multiple {industry} sources, who spoke on the situation of anonymity as a result of the method is confidential, stated government search agency Korn Ferry was enlisted by the Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) board earlier this yr to assist with succession planning for chief government Grant Blackley, who has held the position since 2015. This is the primary time it has employed Korn Ferry to take action since Blackley was employed.

Grant Blackley has run Southern Cross since 2015.

Grant Blackley has run Southern Cross since 2015.Credit:Louise Kennerley

“SCA has performed a succession review of key executives each year for the last five years. This is the first year SCA has engaged Korn Ferry to assist in this process,” a Southern Cross spokesperson stated. “This work includes advising about potential internal and external candidates for senior executive roles at SCA. The board has not briefed Korn Ferry or any other party to search for a new CEO nor for any other senior executive role.”

Multiple {industry} sources, who requested anonymity, stated the position that was being mentioned was the chief government place.

Blackley, one of many media {industry}’s longest serving CEOs, has not been seen at a number of public occasions this yr together with the farewell of Commercial Radio Australia’s long-standing chief government Joan Warner. Blackley is the chairman of the CRA. He additionally didn’t attend a gathering final month between the media executives and Prime Minister Scott Morrison, which included Nine Entertainment boss Mike Sneesby, Seven West Media boss James Warburton and Paramount co vice-president, Beverley McGarvey.


Southern Cross shares have fallen almost 80 p.c from when Blackley took the helm to when a capital elevating was accomplished in May 2020. The firm raised cash $169 million by issuing new shares to help the corporate because it confronted a big hit to income brought on by elements associated to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shares within the $442 million firm have fallen by 29 per cent since November 2020 when the corporate accomplished a one for 10 share consolidation.

The firm, which owns regional tv and the Triple M and Hit radio networks, is likely one of the final remaining ASX-listed media firms. It has not benefited from broader {industry} consolidation together with the $4 billion merger of Nine Entertainment Co, the proprietor of this masthead, and Fairfax Media, the privatisation of Network Ten by Paramount (beforehand generally known as ViacomCBS) after it went into administration, or the newer merger of Seven West Media and Prime Media Group.

Multiple {industry} sources beforehand stated Seven was in superior discussions final yr with Southern Cross a few potential tie-up, however the talks fell by means of and a deal was struck with Prime.

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