Economy

Kim Williams steps down as News Corp Australia chief, Tom Waterhouse sells business to William Hill: Midday Roundup

Patrick Stafford /

Kim Williams has resigned as the head of News Corp Australia, in a shock move less than two years after Williams was appointed to the role.

The announcement comes as News continues to reinvent its business model in the face of the changing digital landscape of news and publishing.

In a statement, the company announced Kim Williams will be replaced with Julian Clarke, who was been at the company for three decades, most recently as chairman of the Herald and Weekly Times.

“He is an experienced executive with a unique understanding of our company’s culture, and the immense energy and clarity of vision necessary to drive our properties forward at this challenging time for all media in all countries,” News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch says in a statement.

“He will certainly bring out the very best in the talented teams in our Australian broadcasting, digital and publishing properties, [with] the full support of our dynamic global network.”

Murdoch praised Williams, saying he had been a “steady and courageous leader”.

“I want to thank him for his unwavering commitment, and the blood, sweat and tears he has put into News Corp Australia.”

Tom Waterhouse sells business to William Hill

Bookmaker and entrepreneur Tom Waterhouse has sold his online company to British business William Hill for a reported $34 million.

According to Fairfax, William Hill chief executive Ralph Topping says the deal will create the company’s view of Australia as a “second home”.

“We are delighted to have secured this acquisition. International expansion is a key part of William Hill’s growth strategy and making Australia our second home is our priority,” Topping says.

William Hill purchased Sportingbet Australia for over $600 million earlier this year.

The sale comes after a controversial period of Tom Waterhouse, during which his business has come under scrutiny for its advertising practices.

Reserve Bank cuts GDP forecast

The Reserve Bank has issued a downward revision of its GDP growth forecast for the year to December.

In the monthly statement on monetary policy, the RBA said GDP growth would be just 2.25% in the year to December, down from the 2.5% forecast made earlier this year.

“GDP growth is expected to remain a little below trend at close to 2.5 per cent through to mid-2014, before picking up to above-trend growth by the end of the forecast horizon as the global economy experiences above-trend growth,” the RBA says.

Shares flat after weak offshore leads

The Australian sharemarket has opened lower this morning following a weak night from Wall Street, although the Australian dollar has lifted above US91c due to positive economic data from China.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 29.6 points or 0.6% to 5035.2 at 11.45 AEST, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 27.6 points or [email protected] to 15,498.3

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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