A New Media Landscape: UPDATE
Brad March is a former CEO of the Austereo Network.
Media tycoon's and executives are in Canberra today to appear at a hearing into Stephen Conroy's media reforms.
The proposed Nine and Southern Cross merger would have the biggest impact on radio since the advent of FM, the Austereo/Village merger of the Today/Triple M networks or the launch of dmg's Nova Network.
It would change the face of radio competition in Australia and mean massive changes for SCM and the media landscape. To find out what it would mean to you see here.
Not surprisingly the owners of Ten and Seven are not in favour of changing the regulation that would allow this to happen. Southern Cross Media CEO Rhys Holleran and David Gyngell, CEO of Nine Entertainment Company, will be offering to make enforceable legal commitments to ensure regional news services remain in place, as there are concerns that these will be jeopardised if the rules are changed and the two groups are allowed to merge.
It's been revealed that Graeme Samuel, Managing Director of investment bank Greenhill and Co, is the key architect behind the Nine Network merger with Southern Cross Media.
Rhys Holleran has commented that as Southern Cross is a listed company it has a responsibility to look at commercial options such as the merger with Nine. Southern Cross are keen for the rules to be scrapped. Holleran has also recently defended the regional broadcasters small amount of news coverage and added that it wasn't viable to produce news in markets which have a population of under 100,000.
Other regional operator Prime Media also supports the dropping of the rules. Prime CEO Ian Audsley has said it's a "furphy" that abolishing the rules would diminish local news.
Brad March is a former CEO of the Austereo Network