Mediaweek New Zealand: News

Mediaweek writer John Drinnan rounds up the media news in the NZ market

Dame Julie departs Mediaworks

New Zealand reality TV pioneer Dame Julie Christie has stepped down from the board of MediaWorks. Christie was one of four directors appointed to the board in 2013 when TPG bought out debt for previous owners Ironbridge Capital. Christie has been contentious player in the market. She was closely associated with former CEO Mark Weldon during a period when TV3 lost several high-profile on-air talent. Christie was instrumental in TV3 developing its programming focus to reality TV. Christie has had close ties to the National party government and is active in developing government media policies

NZFC CEO departs

New Zealand Film Commission chief executive Dave Gibson is stepping down in December, four years into a five-year term. He was credited with successes with structural issues including the NZFC closing its sales arm and its swallowing of the industry-owned locations office Film NZ. More significantly, the NZFC has developed closer ties with the Chinese film industry as part of developing the China New Zealand co-production treaty. His term coincided with the government extending incentives for foreign firms to include larger-scale TV productions,

Dykzeul returning to Sydney

Paul Dykzeul will not be creating a new executive role to oversee Auckland, now that he is running Australia and New Zealand operations out of the Sydney office. Asked about his approach to running the two offices, he said: “Getting our two businesses working closer together will be about sharing and implementing our best ideas across both markets, bringing our brightest minds together regularly and looking for synergy opportunities that provide greater scale or cost savings.

“It’s only three hours away and it’s pretty easy to be productive on a plane these days. I’ve also got absolute faith in my executive team back in New Zealand, whom I know won’t miss a beat having me at the end of the phone versus upstairs, so that will allow me the chance to really focus on the Australian business.”

RNZ news changes

RNZ news director Brent Edwards announced he was stepping down from post after the September 23 election The decision comes amid growing tensions between newsrooms in Wellington and Auckland following an announced push to slowly move 50 jobs north in the next short period. Chief executive Paul Thompson says the change is due to earthquake risks in the capital and that that it could be “ambidextrous” in a localised civil defence emergency. The government recently ended a nine-year funding freeze against RNZ.

NZ newspaper sales

ABC circulation figures were issued this week. The New Zealand Herald had an audited net circulation of 121,069, down 7.9% 12 months previously. The Fairfax Wellington-based Dominion Post was 50,834, down 11.4%. The Fairfax Christchurch-based The Press was 51,338 down 10%. The Fairfax Sunday Star-Times was 84,383, down 14.3% from 2016. NZME’s Herald On Sunday was 86,440, down 8.6%.

New ad boss at FCB

Dan Martin has been appointed CEO at FCB New Zealand. Currently chief operating officer of Ogilvy & Mather in London, he has previously worked for Fallon, WCRS, Lowe Lintas and JWT, where clients have included Smirnoff, Adidas, Rolls-Royce, Vodafone, Heineken, Unilever, Bacardi and MINI. While at WCRS he led his client Transport for London to being voted UK advertiser of the year by Campaign magazine.

Fairfax legal victory

Fairfax New Zealand has won a court decision in Little Rock, Arkansas in the latest development of the troubled deal for digitisation of Fairfax photo archives. Rogers Photo Archives was to keep hard copies in return for free digitisation. But the process has been fraught and caught in legal troubles. NZ content was alongside content from Fairfax Australia and got caught in the legal tussles. Fairfax says the New Zealand hard copies have special status because they were registered under New Zealand Precious Objects Act, and on sale has to be approved by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. The hard copies will have to be shipped to New Zealand and stored here, but will remain the property of RPA (in receivership).

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