8 questions asked at 2021 Southern Cross Media AGM

October 30, 2021

Here is the text of the 8 questions asked at the 2021 Southern Cross Media AGM.

1. How much JobKeeper did we receive in total and why haven't we paid any back like other companies such as Cochlear, Premier Investments, Harvey Norman and Super Retail Group. If our revenue didn't drop by the required 30%, on what ethical grounds did we claim JobKeeper from March until December last year.

2. It is appropriate for us to be paying the current Lord Mayor of Perth, Basil Zempalis, to deliver a Breakfast program on Triple M Perth? Isn't this a conflict of interest and a breach of the idea that media should remain independent of politics. Would we pay a Premier or Prime Minister to have their own radio show? Where do we draw the line on this issue?

3. In my opinion, Sky News is a disgrace with its endless climate denialism, regular soft interviews with Pauline Hanson and its pandering to the dangerous anti-vax movement. Why are we amplifying their toxic message in regional areas on our television platforms and do we have the contractual power in the agreement to terminate the arrangement if they remain Australia's most reckless, divisive and damaging news outlet?

4. Why did we agree to delete the Jessica Rowe podcast interview with Pauline Hanson? Where does the power lies between the company and the talent in terms of cancelling content. Has the chair or CEO had any dealings with Pauline Hanson after this event given we may need One Nation's support in the Senate to get regulatory change in regional areas?

5. With the benefit of hindsight, do the chair and CEO agree that we grossly overpaid for Austereo in 2011, shelling out $741 million, which was funded by a $471 million 6-for-7 capital raising at $1.45. Factoring in last year's 10-for-1 consolidation, our shares were trading at the equivalent of $21.60 before the Austereo takeover was announced. Can the CEO cite any media acquisitions over the past 12 years that were worse than this one, given that our market capitalisation is now only $558 million today.

6. Will an archive of the webcast of today's AGM be available on the Southern Cross website and will you also undertake to publish a full transcript, similar to what companies such as ASX, AGL, Westpac, IAG and Woolworths do. Why isn't the archive of past AGM webcasts available on your website?

7. Does the board acknowledge that last year's $169m equity raising at 9c badly diluted retail shareholders without any compensation. Do you recognise that the $47 million placement component was too large and that non-participating retail shareholders should have been compensated for their dilution. Why not offer retail shareholders a discounted $30,000 Share Purchase Plan to make up for the fact that we only contributed $12 million to the $169 million raising last year.

8. Thanks to the chair for disclosing the proxies ahead of the debate and for also disclosing that 369 shareholders voted by proxy. Not many companies reveal voter numbers. Will Rob match the precedent he recently set at Metcash by revealing the final for and against outcome on the company website in terms of both shares and shareholders.