Australian free-to-air commercial broadcaster Nine has announced that its director of sport, Tom Malone, will move to a new role as managing director of radio.
Malone moves to the new post ahead of Nine taking over operational control of Macquarie Media on November 8. Nine sealed a takeover deal for the Australian radio group last month.
Malone has headed up Nine’s sports output for the past four years, overseeing the growth of the Wide World of Sports brand and its relationships with major sporting codes, including leading Nine’s switch from cricket to tennis in 2018.
In August, Nine further bolstered its tennis portfolio by acquiring rights to the ATP Cup, the new team tournament launched by the men’s Association of Tennis Professionals which will be hosted in Australia.
Nine announced the addition of the ATP Cup to its tennis line-up as it detailed expanded coverage plans for the 2020 Australian Open. In June 2018, Nine reached an agreement to commence its coverage of the Australian Open a year early, with the deal coming a week after it said it had exited talks with the previous rights-holder of the slam, fellow commercial broadcaster Seven.
Nine’s deal with Seven and Tennis Australia meant its contract started in January and will run for six years, until the end of 2024.
Malone was named director of sport at the beginning of 2016, having worked at Nine for a decade as executive producer on “60 Minutes” and the “Today Show”.
In a memo sent to staff today (Tuesday), reported by the TV Blackbox website, Malone said: “From the outside Wide World of Sports sets the standard in sports broadcasting – the best camera and audio operators bringing the clearest and sharpest pictures and audio into people’s homes.
“We have done so much together that I am incredibly proud of. We reshaped our cricket coverage in our final two summers, returning to iconic voices and cricket focused storytelling.
“We made the bold call to switch from cricket to tennis, knowing that it would be better for our business, and we delivered an outstanding first summer of tennis, giving Nine its strongest start to the year in more than 19 years, and which has us on track to win the ratings year for the first time in 15 years.”
Nine will reportedly appoint a new head of sport in the coming days.