Mounter joins Oz’s Seven as chief exec

Kiwi TV exec becomes net head replacing Rice

SYDNEY — Former Star TV and Television New Zealand executive Julian Mounter has moved into the hot seat as chief exec of the Seven Network, replacing Gary Rice who ankled Tuesday.

Mounter, who has been based in the Channel Islands south of the U.K. as a self-employed media consultant, told reporters Thursday, after he flew in from London, that he believes Seven is “very well positioned,” although he stopped short of endorsing exec chairman Kerry Stokes’ forecast that Seven would supplant the Nine Network as the top-rating broadcaster.

Market challenge

“The fact that Seven is so close to being a market leader makes it a more comfortable challenge than if we were dragging along in third or fourth place,” he said.

Stokes said Mounter’s international experience in broadcast and pay TV, coupled with his strategic and financial management skills, “will be fundamental to our plans for the development of Seven.”

Mounter, 53, is a former group chief exec of TVNZ, and he was president and CEO of satcaster Star TV until it was bought by News Corp.

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