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Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh exits with Fox Sports’ Patrick Delany to take the helm

Foxtel chief executive Peter Tonagh has left the company after less than two years.

He will be succeeded by Fox Sports CEO Patrick Delany, who takes over effective immediately.

Peter Tonagh departs Foxtel

Tonagh joined the company as CEO in March 2016, replacing Richard Freudenstein. Tonagh was previously News Corp’s joint head with Michael Miller.

His departure comes two months after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission cleared the merger between Fox Sports and Foxtel.

Under the proposal, Foxtel – which at present is a 50/50 joint venture between News and Telstra – and 100% News-owned Fox Sports will merge.

The new proposal will see News holding 65% of the merged entity and Telstra 35%. The merger was confirmed six months ago.

Late last year, it looked like the merger was in jeopardy, after Telstra and News Corp were caught in a standoff over carriage fees. It was resolved earlier this month.

On January 29, an opinion piece by John McDuling in the Sydney Morning Herald suggested that one senior executive role would “fall victim to ‘synergies'”.

News Corp CEO, Robert Thomson, thanked Tonagh for his efforts and service to Foxtel, News Corp and REA Group.

Delany will take the helm, effective immediately

“There is no question that Peter Tonagh has been a thoughtful, far-sighted leader and his positive influence will resonate for many years to come,” said Thomson.

Tonagh said he was proud of what Foxtel had achieved in his time, but noted Delany was the “right person” to be at the helm of the new era.

“With the process of bringing Foxtel and Fox Sports together proceeding towards a conclusion soon, it is the right time for me to move on and put Foxtel into the hands of the person who will lead the new company. I have known Patrick from his years at Foxtel and Fox Sports, and he is the right person to be at the helm in this new era,” Tonagh said.

News Corp Australia executive chairman Michael Miller, said Tonagh’s contributions to Foxtel and News Corp had helped the companies grow in a time of “digital disruption”.

Miller added: “We also look forward to working closely with Patrick, who has much experience with the people and opportunities that exist in both Foxtel and Fox Sports.”

Delany takes the helm after seven years as CEO of Fox Sports. Prior to his role with Fox Sports, Delany’s experience was largely with Foxtel.

He first joined in 2002 as director of digital before being appointment to other roles including executive director of content, product and delivery and  executive director of sales, content and delivery.

Delany said Tonagh had left a “great foundation” at Foxtel.

“It has extraordinary assets, great people and a deep subscriber base. I’m excited by opportunities at both Foxtel and Fox Sports to give consumers something better, different and special,” he said.

Fox Sports Australia will be led by chief operating officer, Peter Campbell, while the final structure of the combined Foxtel and Fox Sports Australia entity is decided.

Campbell joined Fox Sports last year after four years as general manager of media and broadcasting at the AFL.

The changes are effective immediately.

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