New Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner has confirmed that he will maintain responsibility for running the Seven Network for now, but expects to appoint his successor soon.
"In the immediate term I will maintain my responsibility for running the TV business. However, in the short term, we expect to make an appointment in terms of a new CEO of Seven Network,” said Worner, adding that he was unable to comment on whether it will be another internal promotion. “We will appoint the very best person for the job,” he said.
Worner confirmed that he doesn’t anticipate any further changes to the management team, and that he wants to “make sure that the management team is incentivised in exactly the same way as I am”.
However, he was unable to provide assurance that the budget for content creation would not be touched following his appointment, stating that the budget is something that’s “always subject to review”.
Chairman of Seven West Kerry Stokes revealed that there were a number of other candidates in the running for the CEO position, but following a "lengthy" and "rigorous" board evaluation process, it was concluded that Worner was the man to take them forward.
Meanwhile, media agencies have given a massive thumbs up to Worner’s appointment.
“It's brilliant news … fantastic,” Mark Pejic (pictured), CEO at MediaCom Australasia told B&T. “This is a very good appointment as I think Tim is the right selection and ready for it. He’s well known and respected, and I think it can only be a good thing for media agencies."
Peter Horgan, CEO at OMD, added: “Tim has proven himself to be an incredibly capable executive, comfortably making the transition from a content lead as head of programming to CEO.
"I thought Dom Voelte might hang around a bit longer, but the speed of Tim's appointment obviously means Seven Media is confident about how Tim has come through. I never had any doubt it would be Tim."
Toby Hack, managing director at PHD, agreed that Worner has all the attributes to further strengthen Seven Media’s position in the market.
"Tim is a fantastic TV executive. He knows everything from understanding the programming side of the business to the financial side. He also understands the future of TV too, with a deep understanding of the digital opportunity around broadcasting."
Hack added that this was no changing of the guard but more a good example of continuity.
“This is just business as usual, it’s a good continuation," he said.