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.
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.