31 Jan 19

Ray Gunston, caretaker chief executive of the embattled Essendon Football Club, has been shortlisted for the top job at racing’s broadcasting network TVN.
Nanjing Night Net

Gunston took over from Ian Robson, who resigned as Essendon chief last week amid allegations of the use of illegal substances on players at the club, but is being keenly pursued for the TVN role.

Gunston, a former boss of Tattersalls and non-executive director of Sigma Pharmaceuticals Ltd, is one of the leading candidates for the TVN position, which is believed to carry an annual salary of $800,000 a year, after other high-profile targets passed on the role, including former Football Federation Australia chief Ben Buckley and News Ltd’s Michael Miller.

This followed the departure of former News Ltd boss John Hartigan from the position of TVN chairman earlier this year after he observed that a dysfunctional board and a restrictive shareholder agreement rendered the position unworkable.

TVN has been split by controversy and inept commercial dealings over the past 12 months and a fierce split between board members in Melbourne and Sydney has cost the racing industry significant income.

Racing administrators are uneasy about the state of the business because of the amount of money spent on consultants and payroll.

The favourite for the TVN role is former Channel Seven chief executive Peter Lewis, who was the architect of the deal that saw TVN pay $2million a year to Seven for a free-to-air platform to broadcast select race meetings. Lewis then signed corporate bookmaker Tom Waterhouse to a $5 million a year deal, securing a boon result for Seven.

Lewis spent 13 years at Seven West Media but left the position as chief executive earlier this year.

Former Washington Redskins administrator Bruce Mann is also on a shortlist of candidates to be considered by the TVN board after finishing a 10-year role with XYZnetworks last year, as is acting TVN chief executive Stephen Dole.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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