Peter Cosgrove appointed chairman of APN board

By a staff reporter, with AAP

In a bid to steady what has been a tumultuous period marked by five high profile resignations, APN News & Media has appointed Peter Cosgrove as chairman of its board.

Mr Cosgrove has been a board member since December 2003, APN said in a statement.

He is also a former director of majority shareholder, INM.

The appointment comes just a day after the forced departure of the company's chief executive, chairman and three independent directors.

The resignations came at the request of APN's two largest shareholders - Ireland-based Independent News and Media and funds manager Allan Gray, which together hold a 51 per cent stake.

The two had opposed a proposed pro-rata capital raising being considered by the regional and New Zealand newspaper publisher.

Chief executive Brett Chenoweth, chairman Peter Hunt and independent directors Melinda Conrad, John Harvey and John Maasland left the company yesterday.

APN shares responded poorly to the news throughout the trading session.

At the 1615 AEDT offcial market close, APN shares were 8.33 per cent lower at 27.5 cents, against a benchmark index rise of 0.37 per cent.

APN shares resumed trading on the share market this morning, after being placed a trading halt late last week ahead of its proposed capital raising.

The APN board met over the weekend to discuss reducing its debt, but failed to agree on a method.

In December, APN said it was expecting net profit for calendar 2012 of between $51 million and $54 million, a decline of up to 34 per cent from the prior year.

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