Grant Blackley has announced he will step down as Managing Director and CEO of Southern Cross Austereo.
Announcing the decision on LinkedIn, Blackley said he will “hand the baton” to current Chief Operating Officer John Kelly, who will take the reins when he departs on June 30th.
“This morning we have announced John Kelly’s appointment as Managing Director and CEO of Southern Cross Austereo,” wrote Blackley.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to hand the baton to a natural successor in John Kelly. Having worked with John for over 20 years, both at SCA and previously at the Ten Network, I know he is the right person to lead the next growth phase at SCA.”
“Whilst not an easy decision to leave SCA, I genuinely feel the time is right for me to pursue a number of other personal and professional interests both in Australia and abroad.”
“I want to thank the Board, Leadership Team and all the people of SCA for constantly making such a meaningful impact to our great company. I leave the company in very capable hands with John and I look forward to watching SCA’s future success under John’s leadership.”
Blackley was the CEO of Ten Network until 2011. He joined SCA in 2015 when Rhys Holleran resigned.
While Blackley has not explicitly stated his next moves other than alluding to “personal and professional interests both in Australia and abroad” he has agreed to extend his contractual post-employment restraint period from six months to nine months.
SCA Chair Rob Murray said, “Grant has made a significant contribution to SCA since joining in June 2015. Under his leadership, SCA has become a truly national media business. This included rolling out our market-leading radio brands Triple M and Hit around the country, acquiring the Redwave stations in Western Australia, expanding SCA’s national sales representation to 51 non-owned radio stations, and establishing national management structures and reporting lines. More recently, we have launched our LiSTNR ecosystem as the centrepiece of SCA’s digital transformation and invested in digital infrastructure to enable our audiences to enjoy our live and on-demand content anywhere, at any time, on the device of their choice.”
“The Board has appreciated Grant’s leadership over his term and particularly through the challenges presented by the lockdowns and uneven recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“It is also a credit to Grant that he embraced and led constructive cultural change, along with a robust succession planning process throughout his tenure. This has given the Board confidence in appointing John Kelly as Grant’s successor.”
Incoming CEO John Kelly brings forward 25 years of experience in Australian media and sporting organisations.
Kelly spent time at Ten Network, reaching 16 years before joining Football Federation Australia as COO for three years, then finding SCA in 2016 where he has been COO.
In his current role, Mr Kelly oversees SCA’s general management teams, strategy, research and insights, and digital audio, as well as facilitating SCA’s key sporting rights, television affiliations, and digital audio partnerships.
Mr Murray said, “The Board is delighted to confirm John’s appointment as Managing Director and CEO. John has an intimate understanding of SCA’s radio, television, and digital audio portfolio of assets, and he has been pivotal in leading the digital transformation of the group’s business model to position SCA for future growth.
“John is universally respected around the business for his balanced and engaging leadership style, his ability to build effective and accountable teams, and for his strong networks in the wider media industry. The Board is confident he will hit the ground running in leading SCA’s next stage of growth.”