They play it rough at Macquarie Bank.

Last Friday, as Macquarie Media’s takeover of Southern Cross Broadcasting moved a step closer with the scheme of arrangement approved by the Victorian Supreme Court, Managing Director Alex Harvey, who has fronted the deal for Macquarie through the ACCC, shareholder meetings and dealing with Fairfax, was out briefing some media and analysts about planned cost savings.

But by yesterday, Harvey was out of a job, restructured as Max “The Axe” Moore-Wilton, the lurking chairman of MMG, struck to cut costs. He was replaced by Mark Dorney, Mr Invisible, despite Moore-Wilton’s assertion that Dorney “led” the acquisition of Southern Cross.

The coup came on the eve of this morning’s Macquarie Media annual meeting where it was the Max and Mark show with this briefing.

Harvey’s new gig is global head of the Telecommunications, Media, Entertainment and Technology group for the Macquarie Investment Banking group which is run Nicholas Moore, a real power at Macquarie and a board member of Macquarie Media Group.

Obviously Moore couldn’t save Harvey but found a bolt hole for him to be warehoused. He will presumably be in charge of finding deals for the likes of Messrs Moore-Wilton and Dorney to assess, though Macquarie Media won’t be in a position to look elsewhere while it digests the regional TV interests of Southern Cross.

TV executives are fascinated at how MacBank are going to make their expensive deal pay — monstering the Ten Network won’t help. Dorney is as much an investment banker as Harvey. Neither have any previous experience running media assets apart from their time at MMG.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey