Richard FitzGerald, the chief executive officer of Racecourse Media Group (RMG), has confirmed that he will step down from the position after nearly 12 years in the role.
Having joined RMG in 2008, FitzGerald has been responsible for a decade of year-on-year increases in licence fees payable to its racecourse shareholders.
In addition, he oversaw the relaunch of Racing UK as a standalone channel, which became Racing TV. He secured the exclusive domestic TV rights deal with ITV from 2017 lasting through to 2023, as well as the roll out of the Watch & Bet service – a new streaming service which helps RMG generate ‘significantly increased turnover’.
FitzGerald said: “It has been a fabulous and rewarding 12 years working for RMG. The business has flourished and delivered on the vision of the founding shareholders around a collective approach to commercialising their media and data rights.
“There is never a good time to step down but with resumption of racing, the new Watch & Bet deals, the terrestrial TV renewal and launch in Italy of fixed odds, and a new cycle of renewals starting shortly, it seems the right time to step down.
“It has been a great journey and I have enjoyed working with a strong, capable, committed and stable team to deliver the results we have been able to achieve consistently over the last decade.”
FitzGerald will be stepping down gradually over the course of the next six weeks and RMG Finance Director, Martin Stevenson, has been named as the acting CEO.
Roger Lewis, Chairman of RMG, added: “On behalf of the Board of RMG, I thank Richard for his exceptional leadership of the RMG team for almost 12 years. During this period RMG has produced great returns for our Racecourses, generating over £800m of licence fees during his tenure of office.
“The recent renewal of the RMG contract with ITV until 2023, the successful launch of our new Watch & Bet Service in June, and ensuring RMG is fully operational following the Covid-19 outbreak and so generating significant revenues for our racecourses, has created the right moment for Richard to announce his decision to step down.
“The achievements of RMG, which have driven its financial performance with Richard as CEO are significant, and include a ground-breaking data licensing and production service, an innovative LBO deal with SIS, the securing of the rights to Irish racing, the rebrand and launch of Racing TV, enhancing its HD service, and the expansion of RMG opportunities across the world.
“Richard leaves RMG with our sincerest thanks and best wishes for having delivered an outstanding performance over a considerable period of time.”