Executives head to Canberra for inquiry

Media executives - including Ten boss Hamish McLennan in his first day in charge of the network - converge on Canberra on Monday to testify before committees that will determine the fate of the government's media reforms announced last week.

Media executives - including Ten boss Hamish McLennan in his first day in charge of the network - converge on Canberra on Monday to testify before committees that will determine the fate of the government's media reforms announced last week.

Successful passage of the reforms concerning mergers and media diversity are expected to trigger a wave of corporate activity among the television broadcasters, with Nine Entertainment already in talks with Southern Cross Media.

The Senate committee inquiry into the media reform bills - which is looking into the less contentious elements of the reforms - meets from midday on Monday.

Executives from the ABC, SBS, Fairfax Media - publisher of the Herald - Nine Entertainment, Seven West Media, Ten and Southern Cross are listed to attend the inquiry, which will run for two days.

Little information is known about the other committee, the joint select committee on broadcasting legislation, that will look into the reforms facing widespread opposition - including abolition of the 75 per cent reach rule on broadcasters. This committee is listed to hold a four-hour inquiry in the morning but no further information is available.

The reach rule, preventing commercial television operators from broadcasting to more than 75 per cent of the Australian population, is considered an anachronism in the digital age.

But Ten, Seven West and WIN are among those who changed camps and announced they are bitterly opposing it after Fairfax Media revealed the talks between Nine and Southern Cross.

Mr McLennan has accused Southern Cross of withholding information from investors about its merger talks with Nine and questioned whether it has met its continuous disclosure obligations.

A spokesman for the ASX said it had no concerns at this stage.

"The obligation to meet disclosure obligations sits with the company. The company has announced that it is aware of its obligations. ASX will continue to monitor developments as a matter of course," the spokesman said.

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