McCarthy confirmed as Fairfax CEO

Fairfax Media has appointed Brian McCarthy has its new chief executive, succeeding David Kirk, who resigned last week.

The Fairfax Media Board installed the former Rural Press chief when it met today. The Board also decided to reduce the company’s dividend payout ratio to approximately 20 percent for the March 2009 payout. A company statement said it the temporary reduction would see the preserved funds used to service the company’s debt.

Chairman Ron Walker, who received unanimous support in his position from the Board, said of Mr McCarthy’s appointment: “Brian McCarthy is an excellent choice given his deep and extensive media experience and very successful track record as Managing Director of Rural Press Limited for 13 years.

“Fairfax Media has benefited enormously by his achievements as Deputy CEO and CEO, Australia, where he has managed the Australian publishing and printing assets. Mr McCarthy is the right person with the right experience at this time to run the Company.”

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