Asset Sales and Media Law Reforms – are they on SCA’s Radar?

Staff Writer

The SCA AGM wrapped up in Sydney yesterday with the group forecasting an 18-20% revenue decline, it also took a hit on its stock price on the news.

And while Max Moore-Wilton, the current SCA Chairman maybe stepping down from the post when a replacement is secured, it didn’t stop him having a go at the government at the lack of action of media ownership laws; telling shareholders and media alike that is a:

failure of government taking responsibility on public policy”.

For SCA, they are held back by the current ownership laws, like all in the space they cannot reach more than 75 per cent of the population and they prevent one company from owning a TV signal, radio station and newspaper in the same market.

We certainly believe it’s holding back our business in terms of providing a better service to our communities; we are literally hogtied at the moment by the nature of the regulation”, Max said at the AGM and media scrum.

With Malcom Turnball putting a handbrake on media law reforms requesting that media companies reach consensus before the government moves forward Max said:

“Someone will have to make a decision and at the highest levels of government that will have to be taken,”

“Because, to reach consensus among competing parties has proven very difficult.”

Just two weeks ago SCA restructured their management team and put a divide between the Metro operations headed by Guy Dobson and the Regional Radio and Television group by Rick Lenarcic – does that signal preparations to offload some assets? 

The Australian is onto it, quizzing Max Moore-Wilton on the potential sale of underperforming assets with him saying:

“The board will be having a major strategy discussion at its first board meeting in November.”

“I will leave anything we might want to say until after that (board meeting),”

Adding: “Certainly, we intend to be in the business. We intend to maintain our position of leadership and adjust our strategies according to the circumstances.”

If the media law reforms eventually go ahead, SCA could again be a prime acquisition target.


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