Former News Corp Boss Joins AFL’s Commission

By Community | February 17, 2014

The Australian Football League (AFL) has announced former News Corp Australia boss Kim Williams has joined the AFL Commission.

AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick nominated Williams for the non-executive role at an announcement in Sydney on Monday.

He replaces Rio Tinto chief financial officer Chris Lynch, who will step down on March 4 after six years in the role.

The media executive joins a number of other businessmen on the commission, including Wesfarmers chief executive Richard Goyder and Seek co-founder Paul Bassat.

Williams abruptly stood down as News Corp chief executive in August last year after less than two years in the job.

He previously spent a decade as head of pay TV company Foxtel.

The appointment comes as the AFL reportedly looks to bring forward negotiations over television broadcast rights.

Fitzpatrick thanked Lynch for his role in developing the game at a time of great change, which included the addition of Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney.

He said Williams’ nomination was recommended by a sub-committee made up of himself, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire, West Coast chairman Alan Cransberg and current commissioner Linda Dessau.

“Kim will bring significant experience and knowledge of broadcasting, print and digital media to the role, as well as his well-known life-long interest in the arts,” Fitzpatrick told reporters.

“He’s one of Australia’s most dynamic and creative business people.

“We welcome his intellect and his vision to Commission deliberations.”

Williams said it was a great honour to join the AFL.

“I look forward to being a dedicated contributor to Commission affairs and I trust that my skill set will represent something that combines harmoniously with that of the other commissioners,” he said.

Williams was an invited observer at the AFL Commission’s meeting in Sydney on Monday.

Fitzpatrick confirmed the league’s controversial cost of living allowances was being discussed, but was not a “key” item.

He said he didn’t anticipate a decision on any potential changes to the current regulations at Monday’s meeting, but hopes the AFL will reach “some sort of conclusion” in the next two to three months.

“Obviously whatever happens, clubs have to plan,” he added.