Kerry Packer’s Nine Network announced major executive shifts Thursday as the web readies itself for the new ratings season next month.

John Stephens has been upped to network program director, with supervision of publicity, promotions and presentation.

Reporting to him is publicity director Mary Hennessy, who will oversee the web’s advertising.

Former co-programmer Jim Blomfield becomes future development director with responsibility for new corporate strategies in broacasting and techno and developing entertainment aspects of Nine’s bid for the Sydney Casino.

Lifestyle programs exec producer David Lyle is now program development director. General counsel James McLachlan will evaluate and negotiating new business.

In Los Angeles, Jeremy Fox has been named president and CEO of Channel Nine Australia Inc., a move that the web says “recognizes the importance of senior management representation in the offshore market.”

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