Reports: SCA Enlists Executive Search Firm To Help Find Grant Blackley’s Replacement

Grant Blackley (CEO & Managing Director, Southern Cross Austereo) at Radio Alive 2017

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) have engaged executive search firm, Korn Ferry, to help find its new CEO following a difficult period for the company, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.

According to the Herald, several anonymous sources said SCA hired Korn Ferry earlier this year to develop a succession plan for current CEO, Grant Blackley (featured image).

Blackley, who has held the CEO position since 2015, has not been seen at recent media events, including the farewell of CRA’s stalwart chief executive, Joan Warner, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s meeting with media bosses last month.

B&T reached out to SCA for comment on the matter. However, the company denied any intentions of hiring a new CEO, and said engaging Korn Ferry was simply part of the board’s “routine succession planning for senior executives”.

“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,” an SCA spokesperson told B&T.

“SCA has performed a succession review of key executives each year for the last five years. The CEO has been actively involved in this annual planning process which is performed on a regular basis.”

However, according to the Herald‘s anonymous industry sources, the role under review by Korn Ferry was chief executive.

It has been a difficult past decade for the ASX-listed media company, which was hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with company shares having fallen by 29 per cent since November 2020, and net profit after tax dropping 43.8 per cent in the December half last year.

Whether or not it’s planning to nab a new CEO, SCA will continue focusing its growth on the company’s digital audio offering.

This offering includes the streaming and podcast app, LiSTNR, which hosts popular programs such as Hamish and Andyand It’s A Lot with Abbie Chatfield.

In better news for the media company, SCA’s digital audio revenue grew 40 per cent to $15.4 million in 2021.

Despite this figure being relatively slight compared to traditional radio and television revenue, SCA expects digital to grow a further 75 to 100 per cent in the coming financial year.

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