F.Y.I.

Business leader Tony Shepherd to chair ASTRA

The Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association has appointed business leader Tony Shepherd as chairman. Shepherd has been president of the Business Council of Australia for the last two years.

The announcement:

Business leader Tony Shepherd will commence as chair of the subscription television peak body, ASTRA, later this week.

Mr Shepherd was recruited to the role in July 2013 following the resignation of his predecessor, former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks.

Mr Shepherd said he was delighted to support a growing industry sector which had invested, grown rapidly and enriched the lives of millions of Australians.

“I have long been an admirer of the subscription television sector because it promotes competition, creates jobs and enriches the lives of millions of Australians,” Mr Shepherd said.

“The subscription television sector also plays a crucial role advancing and defining Australian culture, producing 65,000 hours of first-run local television that is enjoyed by one in three Australians.

“Importantly, the subscription television sector invests, innovates and grows without depending on public subsidies and despite its competitors enjoying special protections from competition,” Mr Shepherd said.

The subscription television industry invests $700 million in local first-run television production each year, making it a bigger investor in Australian television than the ABC.

The industry creates jobs for 6600 Australians and adds $1.6 billion to the Australian economy each year.

The ASTRA board also includes CEO, Andrew Maiden, and Foxtel CEO, Richard Freudenstein, together with representatives of independent channel groups BBC Worldwide, Discovery Networks, Fox Sports, Telstra, Turner International and advertising sales agency MCN.

Mr Shepherd formally takes over as chair at ASTRA’s AGM in Sydney on Friday, 15 November.

The first independent chair of ASTRA was former New South Wales Premier, Nick Greiner, between 2003 and 2008.

Source: ASTRA press release.

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