APN News & Media outgoing chief executive Michael Miller
APN News & Media outgoing chief executive Michael Miller Contributed

APN chief executive Michael Miller to help lead News Corp

APN News & Media chief executive officer Michael Miller will leave the company to become the Executive Chairman of News Corp's Australasian business.

APN is the parent company of Australian Regional Media -- the publishers of this website.

The news has also been released through announcements made to the ASX and the NZX.

News Corp Australia chief executive Julian Clarke will retire at the end of the year, and will be replaced by Peter Tonagh, while Mr Miller rejoins the company in the newly created role of executive chairman.

APN's Australian Radio Network chief Ciaran Davis has agreed to take Mr Miller's place.

In March, APN News and Media became the target of an overture by News Corp Australia, with the New York-based firm announcing its plan to take a 14.99% stake in the company.

The deal made News Corp Australia the largest shareholder in APN, after the Irish-based Independent News and Media sold out in a trade worth almost $300 million.

Chairman Peter Cosgrove said Mr Miller would not leave APN in a hurry but was "committed to staying with us during a transition period to ensure the smoothest possible handover to Mr Davis.

"The APN Board has had a succession plan in place and following Ciaran's outstanding leadership and successes, including taking ARN to Australia's number one metropolitan radio network, made him the identified successor to replace Michael.

"Radio is now the largest APN operating asset across Australia and New Zealand.

"This internal appointment will minimise disruption across the Group."

Mr Cosgrove said Mr Davis had all the key attributes needed in a CEO including "strong commercial nous, good communication skills and the proven ability to execute well on business strategies".

"Ciaran is a key member of APN's executive leadership team and has been involved in Board planning for the past five years," Mr Cosgrove said.

"He has a deep understanding of all our businesses and how they operate, as well as excellent relationships with the Board and senior management in Australia and New Zealand.

"The APN Board has been impressed with Ciaran's abilities and achievements since he joined APN in January 2010.

"Over the last six years Ciaran has successfully restructured ARN and positioned it for the next phase of industry growth.

"Under his leadership, ARN has recruited leading on- and off-air industry talent, focused on ratings growth, increased revenue and introduced new digital technologies to the Australian market. 

"All up he is a proven and very experienced media executive who is ready to step up."

A replacement for Mr Davis' role within ARN will begin soon, he said.

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