XYZ’s Bruce Mann and Nikki Warburton depart after Foxtel-Austar merger

Two key staff have stepped down after the Foxtel-Austar merger, which got the go-ahead earlier this month.

XYZ Networks CEO Bruce Mann and Nikki Warburton, Austar’s group director for product, sales and marketing have both announced their departures.

XYZ Networks was previously jointly owned by both Foxtel and Austar and required a mediating CEO between the two firms. As of 24 May, the brand will be wholly Foxtel’s.

Mann, who has been in the position for ten years, said: “Foxtel is rightly taking advantage of this opportunity to create a national Foxtel brand which will include both the Austar and XYZ Networks assets.”

On his tenure, Mann said: “I am pleased to be leaving XYZnetworks in great shape. XYZ is the jewel in the crown. Our financial performance is strong. We have developed a suite of themed channel brands that are the leaders in their genres. And we have a fantastic team of TV professionals who understand their audiences intimately and consistently produce innovative programming.”

Nikki Warburton, Austar’s group director for product, sales and marketing, has also confirmed she will leave due to the merger. Warburton, wife of Ten boss James Warburton, has been with Austar for 12 years.

XYZ Networks operates The LifeStyle Channels of LifeStyle Food, LifeStyle You and LifeStyle Home as well as much channels [V], [V] Hits, Max, and the Country Music Channel, The Weather Channel Arena and jointly owns Nickelodean and Nick Jr as well as distributing global channel Discovery.

Mann said he is unsure of his movements, but is keeping his options open.

He said: “I love television and the media. It’s been my passion for 30 years, and the last 10 years with XYZ have been fantastic. Media is in my blood, but what I really enjoy is building and growing consumer brands and recruiting, developing and motivating people. My aim is to apply these skills and experience in my next role, whether it be in media or in another industry.”


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