Foxtel Names New CEO Ahead of Merger With Fox Sports Australia

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Patrick Delany

Fox Sports’ Patrick Delany replaces former News Corp executive Peter Tonagh.

Peter Tonagh, the CEO of Australian pay TV giant Foxtel, has left the company after just under two years in the job, shareholder News Corp announced Tuesday.

Tonagh will be replaced by Fox Sports Australia CEO Patrick Delany, who will lead Foxtel and Fox Sports when they finalize a merger in the coming months.

Tonagh joined Foxtel as CEO in March 2016, replacing Richard Freudenstein. He was previously News Corp Australia’s joint head with Michael Miller.

News Corp currently owns Fox Sports Australia outright and is a joint venture partner in Foxtel with local telco Telstra Corp. Once the merger is complete, News Corp will have a controlling 65 percent stake of Foxtel-Fox Sports and Telstra will retain 35 percent.

News and Telstra have previously said a merger of the pay TV companies would better position Foxtel-Fox Sports for a possible IPO. Australia’s antitrust regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, gave a green light to the merger in December.

News Corp CEO Robert Thomson thanked Tonagh “for his excellent service to Foxtel, News Corp Australia and REA Group during years of great change and challenge in the marketplace.”

“Patrick’s astute and innovative leadership of Fox Sports, combined with his broad experience during his nine years at Foxtel, make him the ideal person to take the helm at such a profoundly important moment for Foxtel,” he added.

“With the process of bringing Foxtel and Fox Sports together proceeding towards a conclusion soon, it is the right time for me to move on and put Foxtel into the hands of the person who will lead the new company," said Tonagh. "I have known Patrick from his years at Foxtel and Fox Sports, and he is the right person to be at the helm in this new era."