Australian broadcasters brand under attack

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Paul Nelson was interviewed about the Seven West Media scandal as part of this Bloomberg article by Angus Whitley.


Australia’s biggest commercial broadcaster is under assault from the boss’s ex-lover. Seven West Media Ltd. this month cleared Chief Executive Officer Tim Worner following allegations he took illegal drugs and abused expenses during an extra-marital affair with a female colleague. Billionaire chairman Kerry Stokes and his board called the relationship “inappropriate,” but kept private a report into the affair.

The matter was over, Seven said. Not so. Some shareholders want the report into Worner’s affair with Amber Harrison made public. And the former executive assistant, who no longer works for Seven, has taken to Twitter to launch almost daily attacks on the board, calling its inquiry a “whitewash.” She has tweeted images of taxi receipts that she said proved Worner used his company credit card to pay for trips to her Sydney home for sex and excerpts from her settlement with Seven. Seven’s private handling of the public dispute -- which has included the pair’s sexually charged text messages -- has raised questions about corporate governance at the broadcaster.

The affair was made public in December and Wednesday’s first-half results presentation will be the first time Worner has faced investors since then.