CAPTION: Tim Murphy (left) and Mark Jennings.
Former MediaWorks news boss Mark Jennings and former New Zealand Herald editor-in-chief Tim Murphy have formed a new media consultancy with the tagline “all things media”. Zagzigger.com has confirmed the firm – Jennings Murphy – will work on editorial content and how to monetise it. The new firm is based at offices in Greenlane.
Jennings Murphy is launching at a pivotal point for journalism and the media. Mainstream media are converging platforms, merging and cutting staff. Most significantly, NZME and Fairfax New Zealand are proposing a merger. Murphy said that the new company is not linked to the proposed merger. However, it has the potential to make an impact in journalism – and advertising – in New Zealand. Both men have been at the centre of change at their respective former companies. Murphy stepped down as editor-in-chief of the New Zealand Herald in April 2015. Jennings left his role as director of news and current affairs at MediaWorks in January. The CEOs of NZME and MediaWorks (Jane Hastings and Mark Weldon) have have both subsequently left their jobs, under different circumstances. The pair say their start-up has work in hand but have declined to name the client or clients involved.
Murphy has been writing occasional pieces for the entertainment website The Spinoff, but says there is no consultancy arrangement with Spinoff. Murphy sees room for mid-size players in New Zealand media.
He compared the sector to the to grocery business, which is dominated by big players but has in recent times encompassed mid-scale players like Nosh and Farro Fresh. The pair say commercial links are going to be necessary for new editorial ventures to succeed, and that companies need to let readers and viewers know what commercial arrangements are involved in their content. Jennings Murphy aims to operate as a fee-based consultancy but does not rule out taking equity in projects as well.