7 May 2013

APN appoints new chief executive

7:54 am on 7 May 2013

APN News & Media has appointed an executive from rival News Ltd as its new chief executive.

Michael Miller is New South Wales regional director at News Ltd and has been in senior roles with that company since 1997.

He has some experience of New Zealand, having been a director of Sky Network Television since 2005 until News Ltd sold its stake earlier this year.

His appointment follows the resignation of former APN chief executive Brett Chenoweth in February along with half the company's board, including former chair Peter Hunt.

They resigned after APN's largest investor, Independent News and Media, said it had lost confidence in management and along with another large owner, fund manager Allan Gray, opposed a capital raising proposal.

The response to the news of Mr Miller's appointment was tepid with shares rising 2 cents to 47 cents on Monday.

APN's share price has been trending down for six years and Radio New Zealand's business editor says

there are no obvious indications of what might arrest the decline. The shares have fallen more than 55% in the last year alone.

New APN chairman Peter Cosgrove said Mr Miller's experience in publishing, digital, broadcast and sports businesses will be of significant benefit and is precisely what the company needs.

APN owns the New Zealand Herald and Listener magazine.

The media company is working on re-engineering its publishing operations in both Australia and New Zealand and on expanding its digital business to interact more closely with the newspaper and magazine operations as well as creating new products.

Mr Miller will take up the position in mid-June on a salary of $1.2 million a year plus other incentives.