In his new role, Freudenstein will be responsible for the rapid growth of the News Limited online operations into a broarder digital business encompassing the existing websites, as well as businesses spanning internet, mobile, broadband and other emerging technologies.
Hartigan regards Freudenstein in high esteem. He says Freudenstein has proven himself a competent and media savvy leader, who will bring strategic opportunities for News Limited’s operations.
“Richard is one of the most highly regarded executives in our industry.
At Sky in the UK, he has helped transform the business into a broadcasting powerhouse which in recent years has achieved its ambitious growth targets and become highly profitable.”
“Part of this success has been due to Richard’s ability to identify opportunities and develop them into commercially viable businesses. He will bring strong strategic thinking and negotiating skills to our new digital business unit,” says Hartigan.
Freudenstein has worked for six years as CEO of Sky Broadcasting (Sky) in the UK, as well as in a number of senior roles at Foxtell in Australia, where he negotiated the joint venture between the company and Telstra.
At sky, Freudenstein negotiated a range of successful content deals for English Premier League football and with Hollywood studios for film and television programming and channel distribution, and was directly involved in the launch of Sky’s high definition service in 2006, as well as the launch of sky’s broadband products in December 2005.
Freudenstein was also closely involved in Sky’s acquisition of Easynet Group plc, and lead a successful restructure of Sky’s customer operations group which includes 8,000 employees managing more than eight million residential customers.
According to Hartigan, Freudenstein’s appointment to the News Digital Media division will help drive the growing interest in digital media and broadcasting.
“The creation of News Media and Richard’s appointment signals an aggressive gear change for News Limited. We see numerous opportunities to repackage and repurpose our quality journalism for new platforms and to develop new content and commercial sites,” says Hartigan.