Hungry Jack's founder and Network Ten director Jack Cowin has been appointed to the Fairfax Media board, effective immediately.
Cowin was tipped to gain one of the three board seats mining magnate Gina Rinehart, who owns 14.99% of Fairfax, was requesting in her bid to gain board representation.
Rinehart and Cowin are co-directors of Network Ten.
Fairfax chairman Roger Corbett said Cowin's appointment is the product of months of discussions and is unrelated to Rinehart's talks with the media company about gaining board representation.
“We are very pleased that Mr Cowin, an experienced media investor and director, has accepted our invitation to join the board,” Corbett said in a statement. “Our discussions with Mr Cowin over recent months have made it clear that he has considerable value to add to the company.
“Neither Mr Cowin or Fairfax Media consider his appointment as being indicative or connected to the potential outcomes of the company's inconclusive discussions with [Rinehart's company] Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd.”
Cowin, who does not own a stake in the media company, will join as an independent director, having agreed to all board conditions, including the upholding of the Fairfax Charter of Editorial Independence.
Rinehart's rumoured reluctance to agree to the Charter's terms reportedly played a part in the mining magnate being refused board representation last month when talks with Fairfax broke down.