Ultimate management control of Network Ten will be held in London, as the network’s boss Paul Anderson steps down as chief executive.

Anderson’s resignation has prompted a shake up of top management. Ten’s owner, US media conglomerate ViacomCBS, won’t directly replace the CEO role, and has instead promoted the network’s programming chief Beverley McGarvey to chief content officer and executive vice president.

McGarvey will report to Maria Kyriacou, president of Viacom CBS’s operations in the UK and Australia.

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It is a form of cultural colonialism by ViacomCBS, an American media company controlled by the Redstone family who made their money out of movie theatres.

Anderson had led the network since 2015 and was promoted as executive vice president of ViacomCBS operations three months ago.

Now he’s announced his departure, Viacom CBS plans to level and reshape the operations in Australia and New Zealand, starting with senior management.

Anderson will remain at Ten to help with the transition, the network said in a statement on Wednesday.

By deciding not to directly replace the CEO, ViacomCBS is introducing a flat management structure with the boss not in Australia but in faraway London.

Kyriacou is a former senior executive of UK broadcaster ITV and was hired last October as “president international”, which included the UK and northern and eastern Europe. 

She was also given the oversight of all its media networks and related businesses in 33 European countries, including Channel 5 in the UK. No mention was made of Australia or NZ at the time, but that has clearly changed. 

ViacomCBS says it will also recruit a co-lead who will have oversight of all the combined company’s commercial activities and operations in both markets. They will also report to Kyriacou.

And in the most worrying news for Ten staff and those at ViacomCBS operations in this country and NZ, a bean counter from insolvency specialists KordaMentha has been named “interim chief transformation officer”.

A statement said Henriette Rothschild is a partner at KordaMentha and brings to the role experience as chief operating officer at iSelect and regional managing director of the global management consulting firm Hay Group.

Anderson and McGarvey were two of the last old-line Ten managers left standing when Ten went into administration in 2017, and escaped a final effort by Lachlan Murdoch and WIN owner Bruce Gordon to grab control on the cheap.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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