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.
The hope will be that the expatriate American can repair some of the staff morale damaged by the management approach 2014 and 2015. He will have an advantage over McGeoch, who was based in Sydney. Matthews owns a home in Queenstown. He will be working alongside new CEO Michael Anderson and recently appointed head of news, Hal Crawford, McGeoch leaves at the end of September. He had backed Weldon publicly, and chided staff for their public criticism of management. McGeoch was a vocal promoter of the TV3 soap that failed to win taxpayer funding and talked about it as a fait accompli. The loss of the show has left TV3 with holes in its schedule. McGeoch had been tipped to exit the firm after Weldon’s departure in April. The media sector has been in upheaval. the role of McGeoch and Weldon was to quickly find a new buyer so it does not get left behind. From October 1, the MediaWorks Board will be comprised of Matthews, Jonas Mitzschke, Paul Lockey, Julie Christie and the MediaWorks CEO, Michael Anderson. Christie remains on e of the most important advisers on programming to the MediaWorks board.