INDEPENDENT News & Media has called for the resignation of the head of Australasian media group APN, claiming it had "lost confidence" in him.
In a statement released last night, INM announced it was "seeking the removal of Brett Chenoweth as director and chief executive of APN News & Media".
INM holds a 28.95pc shareholding in APN, which owns a host of radio stations and newspapers across Australia and New Zealand, including the 'New Zealand Herald'.
The group said it had, "lost confidence in Mr Chenoweth's ability to implement the strategic initiatives necessary to reposition APN for the more challenged media landscape that has emerged in Australasia".
"Notwithstanding its market-leading positions, APN has underperformed as evidenced by a near halving of APN's interim profits in the period from the first half of 2010 to the first half of 2012," INM added.
INM has formally advised APN of its views and it is now seeking an extraordinary general meeting to allow all APN shareholders to express their views on "this important matter".
APN has struggled in recent months, with its share price plummeting by almost 90pc since May 2010.
In its most recent full-year results, for 2011, full-year earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) slipped 17pc to AUS$171m (€132m) and net profit after tax before exceptional items was down 24pc to AUS$78m.
Taking into account a non-cash impairment charge of AUS$159m that had been previously announced, costs associated with restructuring and other charges, the company reported a net loss after tax of AUS$45m.
APN also spun its outdoor advertising business into a joint venture with Quadrant Private Equity. The deal was completed in May 2012.
Shares in the company closed at AUS 30c yesterday.
APN will reveal its results for 2012 next Thursday.