Harold Mitchell resigns from Free TV Australia

Harold Mitchell has resigned his position as Chairman of Free TV Australia after 5 years.

It follows allegations surrounding Tennis Australia’s 2013 broadcast rights deal.

Corporate regulator ASIC is alleging Harold Mitchell and former Tennis Australia president Stephen Healy withheld material information from the Tennis Australia board when it made its decision to award the 2013 broadcast rights to the Seven network.

Free TV CEO, Bridget Fair, said: “It is with great regret that Free TV announces that Mr Harold Mitchell AC has taken the decision to resign as Chairman of Free TV. Harold’s contributions to the industry cannot be overstated. Over the past five years he has overseen some of the most significant developments in the commercial television sector and delivered superb leadership and advice, for which we are sincerely grateful.

“Harold’s expertise, experience and commitment will be very much missed throughout the organisation. He leaves a lasting and important legacy at Free TV, having significantly changed the industry for the better in his time as Chairman.

“Speaking personally, I am very sorry to be losing Harold, who has been an outstanding Chairman for Free TV. It has been a great privilege to have the opportunity to work with and learn from a business leader of his calibre with such a deep understanding of commercial television and the wider industry landscape. He has been generous with his knowledge, his energy and his time in furthering the interests of Free TV broadcasters and leaves us very well placed for the future,” added Ms Fair.

“Harold will be sorely missed by Free TV and the commercial television industry. We thank him for his outstanding service to the industry and we wish him well.”

Free TV notes key issues during his tenure as Chairman include the historic repeal of the media ownership laws, the removal of commercial television licence fees, the transition to digital only television, defeating the proposal to increase SBS advertising time limits and maintaining the anti-siphoning list.

A hearing around ASIC allegations is scheduled to take place on Friday, November 30 in Melbourne.

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