Hugh Marks has resigned as CEO of leading Australian media conglomerate Nine Entertainment. His departure was announced on Monday and will become effective in the second half of the company’s current financial year, which runs to June 2021.
“When I was appointed CEO five years ago, my brief was to lead the transformation of what was then a television business to a digitally-based media company. We have achieved so much in that time frame.
Bringing together three legacy media businesses, each with their own structural challenges, and investing in the assets that will ensure our position at the forefront of Australia’s media future,” Marks said in a statement that was filed to the Australian Stock Exchange.
In Marks’ time since 2015, Nine acquired Fairfax Media, a newspaper and TV group that owned the other half of streaming platform Stan not owned by Nine, as well as the full acquisition of Macquarie Media. These are now known as Nine Publishing and Nine Radio.
For the 12-month period to end-June 2020, Nine reported losses of A$575 million $419 million) on revenue of A$2.2 billion ($1.60 billion). Profits for continuing businesses were A$160 million ($117 million), a drop of 19%.
“Nine’s suite of assets today- with Stan, 9Now and Domain complementing our core broadcasting and publishing businesses – is second to none in Australia. With almost 50% of our earnings sourced from our digital assets providing a clear growth profile for the company. I am confident this is an opportune time to announce my retirement,” Marks said in the filing. Marks has been included in Variety’s V500 list for the past two years.
In recent days, Nine Entertainment launched Stan Sport an add-on service to the streaming platform that currently focuses on movies and TV series. Breaking into territory previously dominated by pay-TV platform Foxtel, Fox Sports and Network 10, Stan Sport, it announced a three-year (2021-2024) deal with Rugby Australia. Nine will show Super Rugby, (New Zealand’s) Super Rugby Aotearoa and Women’s format Super Rugby W and incoming test matches. Some matches will be shown free-to-air on Nine Network.