Ten Network Holdings has terminated the contract of chief executive James Warburton.
The television broadcaster told the Australian Securities Exchange after the close of share market trading that Mr Warburton “will no longer be performing the role of chief executive officer and managing director of the company, effective immediately”.
Ten said that News Corporation executive Hamish McLennan has been appointed chief executive but Ten executive general manager Russel Howcroft will act as CEO until Mr McClennan joins the company on March 18.
Mr McLennan is executive vice-president, office of the chairman of the global media group News Corporation and chairman of REA Group, a digital advertising business focusing on real estate.
Before joining News Corporation in 2011, Mr McLennan was global chairman and CEO of advertising group Young & Rubicam.
Mr Warburton, a former Seven Network executive, joined Ten as chief executive in January 2012 but only after a successful court action by Seven in 2011 that delayed his official appointment to Ten.
Before Mr Warburton’s defection to Ten, Seven’s major shareholder, Kerry Stokes, had offered Mr Warburton the post of chief executive, according to documents filed by Seven.
Earlier on Friday Ten reported that it had received an $80 million cash advance from the Commonwealth Bank to replace an existing $350 million facility that was due to expire in February 2014.
In October last year, Ten posted a $12.9 million full year loss and announced a round of redundancies as it battled poor advertising markets and struggled to hold on to viewers.
Ten today was up one cent at 29.5 cents but was $1.44 in April 2010.