Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) is pushing its agenda on media reform, by appointing media and political heavyweight Creina Chapman to joins its ranks in a newly created, regulatory-focused role.
Chapman joins as SCA's head of regulatory affairs and corporate communications, to lead its interaction with stakeholders and to push for the change needed in the media industry.
SCA CEO Grant Blackley said: “Media reform is a necessary requirement to create a vibrant media sector that reflects the digital age.”
“Creina's experience will allow SCA to actively pursue the change agenda needed to support the growth of the business.”
Chapman joins from a role at Woolworths as its senior manager corporate and public affairs. Prior to that she was a senior adviser for Treasurer Joe Hockey and a senior adviser for now Prime Minster, Tony Abbott, during his federal election campaign.
Previously she held senior roles at News Corporation and Nine Network.
“I am delighted to be returning to a regulatory and communications role within the media and be joining SCA with such an ambitious agenda under new leadership.”
The news follows a new regional ad campaign by Seven West Media against media reform, as a response to a recent advertising push by SCA, Prime, Imparja and WIN, to put it back on the agenda.
The campaign called “Save the Voices of Regional Australia,” gives a warning about regional news as the government continues to support the reach rules.
However Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner said the advertisement hits back at the “scare” tactics of the other regional networks.
“I seriously do not get the TV ads they launched last week, which was exactly the scare campaign we predicted they would run,” Worner said. “If they were really serious about the future of local news, they'd be backing it up by investing more not less.”
“Unlike some of our regional colleagues, we are in this business for the long term and we are walking the talk.”
Seven Network Queensland GM Neil Mooney said the “whole argument is nonsense”.
“What I find personally disappointing is the lack of honesty by some of the regional networks in this debate. They are just not telling the truth,” Mooney said.
“Most of the news services that have been closed by other regional players already had the guts ripped out of them years ago and never had the budget to do the job properly.
“It would be refreshing if they put their full cards on the table and came clean about their real agenda here which is trimming costs to get ready for merger or sale. As far as we are concerned, investing in local news is a no-brainer for a regional broadcaster.
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