FOXTEL Chief Executive Officer Kim Williams AM has been appointed to the position of CEO of News Limited, the Australian division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.
This comes after Mr Murdoch, News Corporation’s Chairman & Chief Executive announced today that current CEO & Chairman of the Australian unit (News Limited) of News Corp, John Hartigan will retire after a 41-year career with the media company.
Mr Murdoch will assume the position of Chairman of News Limited.
To fill Mr Williams’ previous role at FOXTEL will be the current CEO of News Digital Media & The Australian and FOXTEL Board Member, Richard Freudenstein.
FOXTEL is 50% owned by Telstra, with News Corporation and Consolidated Media Holdings each owning 25% of Australia’s largest pay-TV provider. News Corporation has management rights to the subscription-TV provider.
Here is the full press release from News Corporation:
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – 9 November, 2011 – News Corporation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mr Rupert Murdoch today announced that Mr John Hartigan will step down as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of News Limited.
“John’s decision will end a distinguished 41 year career with News in which he has given us exemplary service and incredible leadership,” Mr Murdoch said.
“John was an outstanding reporter, an editor with few peers and has been an inspiring executive, initially as Group Editorial Director and, later, as Chief Executive for 11 years and Chairman and Chief Executive for the past six.
“Few people have contributed as much as John to the quality of journalism in Australia. He has earned enormous respect among both colleagues and competitors.”
Mr Murdoch also praised Mr Hartigan’s leadership of a long running campaign to defend the public’s right to know how it is governed and how our courts dispense justice.
“Few people have done as much as John to campaign on the public’s behalf to uphold freedom of speech and freedom of the press in Australia.
“I thank John for having contributed so much to our company and applaud his great integrity, immense journalistic talent and inspirational leadership,” said Mr Murdoch.
Mr Hartigan joined the company in Sydney in 1970 as a reporter on The Daily Mirror, and, later, The Daily Telegraph. He went on to work for The Sun in London and the New York Post.
After returning to Australia, Mr Hartigan became Editor of Queensland’s Sunday Sun, and later the founding Editor of the Brisbane metropolitan daily, The Daily Sun, and a director of Queensland Sun Newspapers.
In 1986 Mr Hartigan was appointed Editor of The Daily Telegraph, and three years later was promoted to Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph.
In 1997 Mr Hartigan was appointed Group Editorial Director, the company’s most senior editorial position responsible for of all of the company’s newspapers.
He was appointed Chief Executive Officer of News Limited in 2000 and Chairman and
Chief Executive Officer in 2005.
Mr Hartigan said “I am immensely proud of News. I am privileged to have worked for such a great company. I want to thank the many colleagues that have helped, encouraged, inspired and challenged me to be the best I can be.
“As a reporter I worked with some great editors. As an editor I worked with incredibly talented people and as a senior executive I could not have asked for a better management team.
“I am indebted to the millions of readers who buy our newspapers every day and to our advertisers for their great support.
“In Rupert, I have been fortunate to work for a proprietor who cares passionately about journalism and the vital role that a free press plays in a democracy,” said Mr Hartigan.
In recent years Mr Hartigan has delivered numerous speeches on the future of journalism at industry conferences and at the National Press Club.
In 2007 he delivered the ABC’s Andrew Olle Lecture to great acclaim and in 2006 he delivered the Australian National University’s Reconciliation Lecture, calling for new approaches to solving indigenous disadvantage and the need for better education and employment opportunities for indigenous Australians.
In 2007 Mr Hartigan led the formation of a media coalition “Australia’s Right to Know” which has successfully campaigned for changes in legislation to improve the openness and transparency of government and the courts.
In 2008 Mr Hartigan joined a small group of distinguished journalists to be awarded the
Walkley Award for Journalistic Leadership.
Mr Hartigan has been a longstanding director of News Limited and its subsidiary companies, Queensland Press, Advertiser Newspapers and The Herald and Weekly Times Limited. He is also chairman of Australian News Channel which owns and operates Sky News and was, previously, a director of FOXTEL.
Among his external board and community responsibilities he is a director of The Bradman Foundation, the American Australian Association and the NSW Wine Industry Council. He was recently appointed as a director of the NSW Export and Investment Advisory Board.
Mr Hartigan will leave the company on 30 November, 2011.
News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) had total assets as of September 30, 2011 of approximately US$60 billion and total annual revenues of approximately US$34 billion. News Corporation is a diversified global media company with operations in six industry segments: cable network programming; filmed entertainment; television; direct broadcast satellite television; publishing; and other. The activities of News Corporation are conducted principally in the United States, Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia and Latin America.