Pre-election Job Cuts As RNZ Continues Move North

CAPTION RNZ is moving more jobs to Auckland.

Radio New Zealand is planning a small but significant shake-up of its news division, including key roles being moved from Wellington to Auckland. Only four roles will be affected,  including one on-air position. But my source says there may be a greater impact on staff being unable or unwilling to move north. Away from news, it is understood that longtime overnights announcer Lloyd Scott is moving on.

Lloyd Scott

RNZ is explaining the latest shakeup as an aftershock from the Kaikoura earthquake. It showed how the capital and the RNZ head office were vulnerable to natural disaster. RNZ has a legislated role for communications during a civil defence emergency. However, some Wellington staff believe there is a natural bias at the RNZ board of governors which sees Wellington as hidebound by past practices. The Auckland office is perceived as part of the new look RNZ. The image head of content Carol Hirschfeld appearing on an RNZ podcast dressed in gym gear for a promotion of a fitness programme is said to illustrate the change.  It includes a more relaxed approach to the depiction of brands. This new approach has been supported by chief executive Paul Thompson. As Auckland has grown, relations between the two offices have become strained. Thompson and key news management have been based in Wellington. Former Checkpoint host Mary Wilson is in a senior news role in Wellington, while John Campbell and the new Checkpoint team are in Auckland.

RNZ CEO Paul Thompson

So is Jesse Mulligan, and in some ways, the Auckland office has come to epitomise the new look RNZ. The specifics of changes are to be spelt out on Wednesday. RNZ stresses there are only a small number of changes. But the timing is significant given the impending general election. Thompson said any changes to the news would not affect election coverage, In the last budget, the government ended a punishing nine-year funding freeze. It allocated an annual $2.8 million increase on top of the $32 million it has been given since 2007.


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6 thoughts on “Pre-election Job Cuts As RNZ Continues Move North”

  1. You seem to have been suckered by a management version of events John! Small changes? They’re talking about moving dozens of jobs from Wellington to Auckland and obviously that’s going to mean layoffs. Lloyd Scott is not so much “moving on” as being told he has to go. Other long-serving and talented broadcasters who’ve made RNZ the success it is are also heading for the chop. Apparently the future of radio is glitzy multi-media stuff that a few kids will watch on their apps and old fuddies who just want to turn on the radio and listen are no longer the priority.

  2. Oh No! my worst fear. For years I have really enjoyed Loyd Scotts all night shows. His witty banter, chit chat and impeccable pronunciation all make up the wonderful radio host that he is. Its a sad day to hear this news. Thank god for the BBC world programme.

  3. I am shocked at the loss of “Scotty” – the voice of reason and entertainment from midnight to dawn for so long – the very antithesis of garrulous as we have grown to expect on the other side of the program. As a long-standing member of the ‘sleepless’ club, I appreciate the incredible comfort that Lloyd has provided to literally thousands of elderly and others facing temporary, or incurable illness. Lloyds calm and intelligent persona will be widely missed, even if not by management. I wish him well in his ‘retirement’ if that is what he is contemplating. I can hardly bear to contemplate his replacement.

  4. When RNZ has completed the move to Auckland, they should rename the outfit RA, because it sure won’t represent anything or anyone south of the Bombay Hills. The powers that be can then complete the exercise by vacating the Beehive and Parliament and moving that whole bag of tricks north too. God knows where they’d put them but that won’t be our problem! Sometime soon after that, I await the ‘once in 500 years’ major eruption from at least one of the 50+ volcanoes in and around Auckland. Then where will they go? Kaitaia? Sydney? Capitulate to Canberra? At that point maybe the rest of us can restart here as a new and separate South Seas country.

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