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    Farewell James Warburton, Seven West Media CEO’s last day in the office

    James Warburton is expected to clear out his desk at Seven West Media on Thursday April 18. The media boss revealed his decision to stand down in December 2023.

    Taking over from Warburton is the business’s CFO Jeff Howard.

    Farewell James Warburton, Seven West Media CEO’s last day in the office

    James Warburton and Jeff Howard

    This is the second time Warburton has left the network. There’s less controversy surrounding this departure.

    On 2 March 2011, James Warburton, then a Seven sales executive, signed a written contract with Network 10 to commence employment on 14 July 2011 and informed Seven the same day that he had signed with the rival network.

    Seven immediately instructed Warburton to leave the premises and instructed him not to contact staff or clientele.

    Seven then successfully went to the Supreme Court of New South Wales to enforce the restraints to prevent Warburton from commencing employment with Network 10 until 14 October 2012, being 12 months from the cessation date of his employment contract.

    In 2024 Warburton steps away before his departure deadline of June 30. But in a carefully worded decision last year the business did note “James will leave on or before 30 June”. The TV business has recently been all over the media for a number of misdemeanours. Warburton recently sent an email to staff saying, in part, “We take issue with the allegations recently made about our conduct”.

    David Leckie

    David Leckie


    Seven’s Hall of Fame

    For the past 20 years, Seven had four long-term chief executives – David Leckie, Tim Worner and James Warburton. It was also led by the first woman to head a commercial TV network – Maureen Plavsic. (Paramount ANZ’s Beverley McGarvey became the second.)

    That’s little cheeky as it doesn’t address the contribution of Don Voelte who was in the chair briefly between Plavsic and Leckie.

    Leckie moved to Seven after an impressive career at Nine. He brought with him the magic touch which helped Nine own the #1 ratings spot.

    Worner worked under Leckie at Seven and moved into the top job from production and programming. Dramas and reality TV on air were Worner’s specialty. He even managed to survive an off-air drama too as the chairman Kerry Stokes stood by him after what both labelled a serious misstep.

    Tim Worner

    FTA TV CEO Hall of Fame: 2000 – 2024

    Kerry Stokes (acting, later executive chairman)
    Maureen Plavsic
    Don Volte
    David Leckie
    Tim Worner
    James Warburton
    Jeff Howard

    David Leckie
    David Gyngell
    Ian Johnson
    Eddie McGuire
    Sam Chisholm
    David Gyngell
    Hugh Marks
    Mike Sneesby

    Network 10
    John McAlpine
    Grant Blackley
    Lachlan Murdoch (acting, later chairman)
    James Warburton
    Russel Howcroft (acting, 11 days)
    Hamish McLennan
    Paul Anderson
    Beverley McGarvey and Jarrod Villani
    Beverley McGarvey

    The Warburton Years at Seven

    The acquisition and integration of Prime into Seven has made it the leading national total television network.

    Seven is #1 in revenue with a 40%+ national share.

    In the past five years there was significant transformation from traditional to digital – 2% of earnings in 2019 to 50% in 2024.

    Paid down debt and onerous contracts by $491 million – now with the lowest debt level in SWM’s history.

    Secured AFL rights for nine more years with digital rights from 2025.

    Secured the cricket rights until 2031 including the digital rights.

    Sold Pacific Magazines for $40 million at six times earnings plus contra package.

    Sold Airtasker stake post IPO for $45 million.

    Secured NBCU/Bravo deal which now makes up 15% of minutes on 7plus.

    Change at Sunrise with Natalie Barr replacing Sam Armytage and Matt Shirvington replacing David Koch.

    TV Week Logie Awards move from Nine to Seven. Sam Pang hosts and 2023 event records best audience in five years.

    Warburton pushes hard to secure Total Television measurement. Industry moves to national VOZ data.

    James Warburton ranked #1 on the Mediaweek 100, 2023.

    James Warburton with Seven colleagues at Mediaweek 100 event in 2023

    See also:
    James Warburton’s memo to Meta: No one likes bullies (and they don’t win)
    James Warburton on ad market recovery: Seven is “absolutely set to explode”

    The post Farewell James Warburton, Seven West Media CEO’s last day in the office appeared first on Mediaweek.

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