Steinke, directors head for WAN exit


Ken Steinke

LEADING newspaper executive Ken Steinke has quit West Australian Newspapers.

He will stay in his CEO role during a period of transition, which has already featured the departure of WAN’s chairman, Peter Mansell, and directors Jenny Seabrook and Mel Ward. Australia Post managing director Graeme John is a new board member.

Another two directorships are to be made, plus the appointment of a chairman. Pundits predict the new chairman will be Kerry Stokes, the head of WAN’s biggest shareholder, the Seven Network. He and Seven director Peter Gammell were appointed to the board in October after the TV company increased its shareholding beyond 15 percent.

Seven earlier this year failed to convince shareholders to replace the newspaper company’s directors after it had bought an initial 14.9 percent of the company in October 2006. Following that rebuttal, a campaign in the media and behind closed doors to put Mr Stokes and Mr Gammell on the board was successfully waged.

A statement sent to the Australian Stock Exchange today and signed by the Company Secretary, Peter Bryant, states: “The Board of the West Australian Newspaper Holdings Limited (WAN) today announced Mr Ken Steinke will cease as CEO and Managing Director and confirmed that Spencer Stuart had been through a process and have provided a shortlist of candidates that the Board will consider.

“Mr Steinke will remain in his role and will work with the Board to ensure a smooth transition. The Board acknowledges Mr Steinke’s continued and ongoing support of the company.”

Kerry Stokes

Kerry Stokes

Mr Steinke is a former director of PANPA, resigning in September after nine years on the association’s board. He was replaced by Mr Liam Roche, who is General Manager of Group Operations and Information Technology at WAN.

The fate of the editor, Paul Armstrong, may now come into focus. On November 5, AAP reported that Mr Stokes had accused the editor of running “a self-indulgent newspaper” that had lost touch with its readers. “I’m not making any comment on those issues – it’s up to the chairman, not me,” Mr Stokes told AAP at the time.


Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: