Category: Companies

Wendy Palmer Exits RadioWorks Updated by press release

Wendy Palmer resigned today as chief executive of the MediaWorks radio operation, signaling more big changes ahead for New Zealand media. Yesterday, Jeff Latch resigned as TVNZ director of content after 23 years.  Both have been major players in New Zeland media. Palmer has been a leading light of MediaWorks and she has maintained market leadership against NZME radio operations.

Jeff Latch is exiting TVNZ as well.

The stability and strength in Mediaworks radio – especially in Auckland – has balanced the major problems facing TV3. Sources say that Palmer has become frustrated with the ructions during the troubled era when Mark Weldon was CEO of MediaWorks. Weldon was more interested in TV, but sources say it was a challenging time for Palmer as well. Amidst persistent rumours of potential sales for MediaWorks there have been suitors for radio alone, but few when TV is included in the sale, sources say. In August last yea, Michael Anderson took over as CEO. His profile on the MediaWorks website highlights a background radio. “Michael spent seven years as CEO of one of Australia’s largest commercial radio groups Austereo (now Southern Cross Austereo) and before that as their Group Director, Sales. “Under Michael’s leadership, Austereo’s performance in both revenue and audience grew significantly – in a time of huge change to the industry.” MediaWorks has previously rejected several requests to speak to Anderson about the strategy and future of the firm.

 

A press release was issued but Palmer refused to comment further on her reasons for leaving.

MediaWorks Radio CEO, Wendy Palmer has decided to step down. Wendy has been with MediaWorks Radio almost 12 years – the last three of which have been as CEO Radio where she has led the business to its number one position in the market – with its highest ever ratings achieved last year.Wendy Palmer said: “It has been an absolute privilege to be part of such a brilliant team of people – I cannot thank them enough. I am so proud of everything we have achieved together and in particular over the last year – our great content team for our best ever ratings and the radio business overall for delivering our best ever financial performance. I wish them all the very best for the future.”Michael Anderson, MediaWorks CEO said: “We are really sad to lose Wendy but understand her decision to move on. She leaves our radio business in strong shape – and poised to move forward and capitalise on its leading position – thanks to her brilliant leadership and work with her teams and with clients. She has been a great support to me in my time at MediaWorks and I know I speak on behalf of the many, many people Wendy has worked with when I say she will be greatly missed.”David Gibbs, who has been assisting the radio team since the beginning of the year, will act as Head of Radio where he will lead the Regional Managers and branch operations working closely with Group Content Director – Music, Leon Wratt and Chief Commercial Officer, Glen Kyne.

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

Hunkering Down For The Perfect Storm 2017: The Big Shakedown

It’s hardly news that newspapers have been going through heavy weather. But it is clear 2017 will be make or break time for New Zealand newspapers. All over the world papers are closing and downsizing. In general, NZ papers have remained profitable, though this week Fairfax New Zealand announced a $75 million loss after writing down the value of its papers by $100 million. But there are special problems here make our journalism more vulnerable. Partly it is because we have uniquely had no specific media and as a result we have already reached the point where our media is already ruled by duopolies. The next step is monopolies and the Commerce Commission regulating competition, seems wary of taking that step.

The romantic images a newspaper reporter - circa1946
The romantic images a newspaper reporter – circa 1946

Perhaps more than other countries New Zealand newspapers  have been doing the hard work building stories from the start – the heavy lifting some call it. Establishing the detail and diversity of news for other media that follow up on them.  A diminished resources for newspapers has already led to the end of the rounds system – where reporters brvsmr experts in issues or or institions, That has diminished newspaper reporter and had a downstream effect with poorer TV and radio bulletins. Further cuts are inevitable for newspapers and that will flow on to other media. The immediate future will be decided on March 15 when the Commerce Commission decides whether to change its mind and approve the merger of NZME. and Fairfax. The strong criticism in the ComCom draft report issued in November means that few expect merger approval. Commerce Commission chair Mark Berry appeared to go out of his way to discourage expectations for a turnaround, saying the influence of the combined countries as second only to Mainland China,. If it does occur there will likely be a swift change and layoffs .The two firms will stop sending two or more people to cover one news story. Some predict over 25 per cent of 3000 combined staff will go, including dozens of journalists. Even if there is no merger there will be cuts to staff longer term . Newspaper companies will have to assess how they can continue to make money in a market where their business model (they freely admit) no longer works.

 

 

Continue reading Hunkering Down For The Perfect Storm 2017: The Big Shakedown

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

Loads Of Sugar Needed For Fairfax-NZME Merger To Go Down

I was being way overly optimistic recently when I suggested  NZME and Fairfax should continue some competition in its politics, sports and investigative journalism to add a spoonful of sugar to the harsh medicine for journalism. Judging by the unvarnished concerns of the Commission issued today – comparing the print market competition to China if approval were given on the current application —  it will take quite a bit more than that to make the merger go ahead. It is only the preliminary report from the Commission declining the application for a merger. The big thing to watch now is how that judgement affects the NZX share price of NZME in this country and, to a lesser extent, Fairfax in the ASX. Many of  us felt that MediaWorks was fooling itself when it said that if approved, the combined media company needed to sell off one or the other of nzherald.co.nz or Stuff.co.nz to deal with new competition from Google and Facebook.

Continue reading “Loads Of Sugar Needed For Fairfax-NZME Merger To Go Down”

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

A Spoonful of Sugar Needed For The Fax-ME Merger

It might be overly optimistic. But I am hoping NZME and Fairfax might add a spoonful of sugar to make their merger just a tiny bit more palatable. The sweetener would be some competition to remain. Next week, the Commerce Commission is expected to announce its draft decision on the merger.  For hundreds of staff the draft will be an indication about the future should two of New Zealand’s biggest media firms be united into one local company.

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

Julie Christie Is Still The Programming Brains At TV3

CAPTION. Julie Christie will continue to be the programming brains on the MediaWorks Board after McGeoch goes next month

MediaWorks has taken another step away from dysfunction of the Mark Weldon era with the departure of its chairman, Rod McGeoch. His replacement – board member Jack Matthews – will be hard-pressed to bring back the goodwill of the firm pre-receivership. But he will need to try – because the current funk puts it at a disadvantage ,to its competitors. Matthews appears to be well liked by staff and will need to try.

Continue reading “Julie Christie Is Still The Programming Brains At TV3”

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

Aussie MediaWorks Boss Confirmed

As tipped, MediaWorks has announced the appointment of Michael Anderson as CEO, replacing Mark Weldon. He will start on August 29 from Australia where he is currently Chairman of Oztam and oOH! Media and a non-Executive Director of Fairfax Media. Prior to his tenure on Board seven years as CEO of one of Australia’s largest commercial radio groups Austereo (now Southern Cross Austereo) and before that as their Group Director, Sales. MediaWorks statement said Under Michael’s leadership, Austereo’s performance in both revenue and audience grew significantly – in a time of huge change to the industry. Media Works said. See below – earlier stories in Zagzagger on Anderson’s likely  appointment and how MediaWorks problems are in TV, not radio. Earlier this month Australian Hal Crawford started as Chief News Officer at Media Works. The appointment could not have come sooner. The media sector is facing huge upheavals in New Zealand. While acting CEO David Chalmers has kept a steady ship, the company has been left behind due to a lack of leadership to deal with the company’s strategy.

 

 

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

MediaWorks Woes At TV3, Not Radio: Update

MediaWorks appointment of Michael Anderson as chief executive would still leave it short on television expertise. The Australian Financial Review has tipped Anderson’s appointment soon. Anderson is a radio man and has been chief executive of the FM radio company Austereo for eight years. He is chairman of outdoor media firm oOh! Media and a director of print and radio-focused Fairfax Media in Australia. (Though the AFR said he would likely be standing down from those board room roles). Industry people I have spoken to Anderson is well respected and liked. He is said to be inclusive – with a personal style that appears to be the polar opposite of Mark Weldon, the man he replaces. Anderson knows media well – so he is several steps ahead of where Weldon  started, But he does not have a background in television.

Continue reading “MediaWorks Woes At TV3, Not Radio: Update”

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

Aussie Radio Man Tipped To Head MediaWorks

CAPTION: Aussie media man Michael Anderson tipped to head MediaWorks.

The Australian Financial Review reports that MediaWorks has appointed a senior media executive with extensive media experience at Austereo to take over the chief executive vacancy left by Mark Weldon.

Mark Weldon - controversial.
Mark Weldon – controversial.

Michael Anderson is chairman of oOh! Media and the AFR tips he will be named within days to take over the company that owns TV3 and half New Zealand’s commercial radio stations. Anderson has spent 21 years at Austereo – the past eight as CEO at the Australian FM radio group, the AFR reports.

He is on the board of directors for Fairfax, which is currently merging its media interests in New Zealand with those of NZME. Weldon stepped down in April after a year of upheavals.

He left citing personal costs of the role and many talented staff left taking institutional knowledge of the company.

Continue reading “Aussie Radio Man Tipped To Head MediaWorks”

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

Let The Fun And Games Begin Fairfax-NZME v Sky TV

CAPTION: Newspapers and pay TV are in an Olympian tussle.

They claim that the agreement requires them to sign away fair dealing rights for the Games. Sky insists that is because it is offering more than fair dealings anyway. Sky also insists it is giving away more than other video rights holders and is offering to sell further rights. The terms 0f those sales are not clear. In my opinion this appears to be something of a public relations play by the newspaper companies which are taking the high ground claiming they are staying home as a matter of journalist integrity.

Sky TV spokeswoman Kirsty Way said that if media took more than their allotted free video content, Sky would seek an injunction to stop them.

Continue reading Let The Fun And Games Begin Fairfax-NZME v Sky TV

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

NZME On Olympics Pullout Statement

Caption: Shayne Currie.

 

NZME Publishing regretfully announces that we are cancelling our accreditation for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil.
This has been a difficult decision but ultimately we cannot accept what we view as unduly restrictive and unnecessary News Access Rules as proposed by the New Zealand rights holder, Sky Television. These do not allow for fair-use of copyright material in accordance with the New Zealand Copyright Act and have the potential to impact heavily on our ability to cover the Games in a fair and meaningful way.
We also believe that they run counter to the Olympic charter.
As a result, NZME Publishing – publisher of New Zealand’s biggest newspaper, the NZ Herald; one of the two largest New Zealand news websites, nzherald.co.nz; and six regional daily newspapers – will no longer be sending a team of journalists to Rio.
Through our syndicated agencies and partnerships, plus with our award-winning sports journalists in New Zealand, we will be doing our utmost to provide the best Games coverage possible.

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ