New era for News Corp, Miller and Tonagh take the reins

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 16 November 2015
News Corp's Peter Tonagh and Michael Miller

News Corp officially has new management with Michael Miller and Peter Tonagh taking up the top jobs at the company as of today.

The pair marked the occasion by sending out a joint announcement to all staff outling how they plan to run the business and who will over see what.

On paper, Miller will be stepping into the role of executive chairman of News Corp Australasia and Tonagh as chief executive of News Corp Australia, however the pair explained that they'll be “working very closely together at all times”.

Firstly, the pair paid tribute to departing chief exec Julian Clarke saying: “Julian has been an inspirational leader to the company and to us both individually. We know everyone joins us in thanking Julian for the immeasurable contribution he has made to our company over the past 32 years. We wish Julian and his wife Tina the very best for their future.”

The announcement then went on to outline the how the duo will work together in their roles.

“We will jointly lead the strategic direction of the company, and will work alongside each other to develop and direct our company's growth. The company’s Holt Street head office operations including finance, legal and corporate affairs, will report to us both.

“PT (Peter Tonagh) will have direct responsibility for our Australian publishing assets, while Michael will lead our expansion plans for other acquisitions and startups, including overseas. Michael will also take on responsibility for our investments in Foxtel, Fox Sports, REA and our other joint ventures. PT will remain on the boards of Foxtel, Fox Sports and REA.

“We know that our bosses in New York deliberately set things up this way - our skills and experience are complementary, and so we hope to provide a seamless, collaborative, partnership.

"Running News Corp Australia is a huge job and so having the two of us working alongside each other should drive the business harder and faster - if one of us isn’t around to make a decision, the other will be.”

The duo noted that high on their priority list was enhancing communication and collaboration around the company.

“The more we talk to each other and, more importantly, listen to each other, the better we will work together to grow our business,” they said.

You can read the full announcement for yourself below:

“Dear colleagues,

Today is our first official day in our new roles – Michael as executive chairman of News Corp Australasia and PT as chief executive of News Corp Australia.

First, we would like to pay tribute to Julian Clarke. Julian has been an inspirational leader to the company and to us both individually. We know everyone joins us in thanking Julian for the immeasurable contribution he has made to our company over the past 32 years. We wish Julian and his wife Tina the very best for their future.

Today we are holding our weekly executive meeting in Adelaide. As the birthplace of News, we felt it was a great location to start anew, take stock of where we are at and look ahead to our future.

We are aware that a lot of people are thinking the same questions about our appointments - ‘who is going to be responsible for what?’ and ‘how will you two work together day to day?’

The short answer is that we are going to be working very closely together at all times.

We will jointly lead the strategic direction of the company, and will work alongside each other to develop and direct our company's growth.  The company’s Holt Street head office operations including finance, legal and corporate affairs, will report to us both.

PT will have direct responsibility for our Australian publishing assets, while Michael will lead our expansion plans for other acquisitions and start-ups, including overseas. Michael will also take on responsibility for our investments in Foxtel, Fox Sports, REA and our other joint ventures. PT will remain on the boards of Foxtel, Fox Sports and REA.

We know that our bosses in New York deliberately set things up this way - our skills and experience are complementary, and so we hope to provide a seamless, collaborative, partnership. Running News Corp Australia is a huge job and so having the two of us working alongside each other should drive the business harder and faster - if one of us isn’t around to make a decision, the other will be.

Another question we know is on everyone’s mind is ‘what is the plan?’ Broadly speaking our strategic framework, as laid out in ‘The Ribbon’ remains unchanged.

Many of you will have attended one of the strategy briefings Julian and PT hosted last year. You told us the sessions were helpful and informative, and we received the message loud and clear that you would like us to repeat it. So, the executive team will be travelling around Australia in the new year to give you an update on how our business is tracking and our plans for the future.  

One area that we do want to focus on is enhancing communication and collaboration around the company. The more we talk to each other and, more importantly, listen to each other, the better we will work together to grow our business.

We also want to communicate directly with the outside world to help tell the story of our company. To that end we are each launching Twitter and Facebook accounts. You are very welcome to engage with us – you’ll find us at @mm_newscorpaus and @pt_newscorpaus, and at facebook.com/mmnewscorpaus and facebook.com/ptnewscorpaus

So we begin our first day excited, honoured to have been asked to lead this great company, and feeling privileged to work alongside you all. News is a truly wonderful place to work, and that is primarily down to all of you, our people. You are this company’s greatest asset, and we thank each of you for your ongoing support and commitment.

Warm Regards

PT & Michael”

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