News Corp’s Peter Zavecz pulls the pin on dazzling 50-year media career

Peter Zavecz

Peter Zavecz CV: Murdochs five times, Packer twice, Stokes once

Peter Zavecz, News Corp managing director for Victoria and Tasmania Publishing, shared this news with colleagues and friends this morning:

“After 50 years in the media business, I have decided to pull up stumps to spend more time with my family and enjoy some overseas travel later this year.”

In a short message, Zavecz also said:

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to finish my media career at H&WT and I am committed to ensuring a smooth transition of my role. My last day with News Corp will be July 1, 2024.”

The executive chairman of News Corp Australia, Michael Miller, also shared the news with staff this morning.

Peter will remain in his role until the end of the financial year and Jason Scott will lead an open recruitment process, starting from the end of February, to select his successor.

This year marks 50 years in media for Peter in what has been a distinguished career. On behalf of everyone at News, I would like to thank ‘Zav’ for his tremendous contribution and achievements in the many positions he has held with News.

Miller continued:

Zav has had an extraordinarily diverse career within different media companies, as well as here at News. It was terrific to bring him back into the fold for his final run to the line, and his collective knowledge and range of contacts within the industry has benefited our business greatly over the past eight years.

Zav’s approach to work has always been collaborative and innovative, and his vast experience has enabled him to be a great mentor to those around him. We will miss him not only as a valued colleague but as a great friend, and we wish him all the best with the new adventures and endeavours he chooses to pursue.

Peter Zavecz

Peter Zavecz with Herald Sun editor Sam Weir and HWT chair Penny Fowler

The HWT chairman and News Corp Australia’s community ambassador, Penny Fowler, also added her own tribute:

“Peter has been an amazing leader. Our Victorian and Tasmanian businesses and The Weekly Times have all benefited from his wealth of commercial experience and his can-do approach. He’s also been a great support to me and a marvellous advocate for the important work we do in the community such as with Run for the Kids and the Good Friday Appeal.” 

Peter Zavecz CV: Murdochs five times, Packer twice, Stokes once

Reflecting on his career, Peter said: “I started at HWT (Herald & Weekly Times – before News’ ownership) and I am proud to finish my career here as managing director.”

He has held senior roles for Australia’s major family-controlled media businesses:

“During my six decades I have worked for the Murdochs five times, the Packers twice and Kerry Stokes for 11 years. It’s probably some sort of record,” he said.

Zavecz first worked with News back in 1984 at Southdown Press and after News acquired the HWT group in 1987, he said: “I returned to HWT to be, surprisingly, the last advertising sales manager of The (Melbourne) Herald and then, even more surprisingly, the first ad sales director of the Herald-Sun (when the masthead had a hyphen in its name).”

He later spent 10 years commuting to Sydney for ACP Magazines and another 11 years commuting for Pacific Magazines, where he finished in 2016 as CEO.

“I always called Melbourne home and in between magazine stints I always found my way back to HWT,” Zavecz said. “Next year will mark eight years as managing director of HWT.

“Over this period, I have worked with many talented staff. I would like to personally thank Penny Fowler for her unwavering support and guidance over my time here. There are so many others to thank: Julian Clarke (who employed me twice), Michael Miller (who decided to have me back one last time), my boss Jason Scott and the incredible Lou Barrett who continues to expertly lead our client teams.”

See also: Peter Zavecz inducts Barry O’Brien as a Mediaweek Icon
At the Mediaweek 100 event last year, Barry O’Brien was inducted by Peter Zavecz, managing director, Victoria/Tasmania publishing, News Corporation. Zavecz spoke highly about his character as a leader, his professionalism and his dedication to the industry.

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