Meakin to become Ten news boss in February

ten logoNews supremo Peter Meakin is to start at Ten in February next year, six months after his departure from Seven.

The announcement, which came as a result of discussions between the network bosses Hamish McLennan and Tim Worner, avoids a repeat of the messy court battle when previous Ten boss James Warburton left Seven to become CEO and had to wait nearly nine months before starting the job.

The colourful Meakin is credited with having turned around Seven’s news operation during his decade as director of news and current affairs.  He previously spent three decades with Nine, eventually heading the news and affairs operation.

He will be executive director of news and current affairs, heading up the network’s news operation along with new morning shows Wake Up and Studio 10, although they will be on the air well before he starts. Meakin previously worked with Adam Boland, the EP for the morning lineup, at Seven.

Meakin’s appointment over the head of Ten’s current head of news and affairs Anthony Flannery has raised eyebrows about what this meant for his future role.  According to Ten, Flannery will report in to Meakin who in turn will report directly to McLennan.

McLennan said in a statement: “We are very pleased Peter will be joining us in February to lead our News and Current Affairs team. Peter is a legend of the television industry and his appointment underlines our commitment to hiring the best people. Everyone at Ten is looking forward to his arrival.”

When Meakin’s new role was announced in August, Seven had argued that a non compete clause in his contract should put him on the sidelines for at least a year while Mumbrella understands that Meakin had asked to be released after three months.

The decision of the networks to settle it between McLennan and Worner rather than in court indicates something of a thawing of relations between the two organisations. Throughout the process Seven has reiterated its high regard for Meakin.


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