Maher & McKenna exit as MediaWorks revamps

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MediaWorks has unveiled a new organisational structure – a plan that will not include Television ceo Paul Maher and Interactive ceo Siobhan McKenna, who are now leaving MediaWorks. “The changes set the foundation for growing a thriving, integrated media business,” said group ceo Mark Weldon.

“Having already created Group Content, Revenue, and Product and IT roles, I am pleased to announce MWL is moving to a single, converged, fully integrated Newsroom, and will also integrate our historically standalone Digital operations into the business.

“This is a major strategic reorganisation that puts MediaWorks in an excellent position for future growth, with an Executive team characterised by their fresh thinking and technology, content  and customer savvy.”

MWL’s TV, Radio and Digital news operations will be combined into a unified news team under the leadership of Mark Jennings, who has been promoted to a new role, group head of news. Current staff members working in TV, Radio and Digital news roles will become part of a new integrated news team, comprising more than 200 people.

“I feel privileged to be leading our combined news operation at this important time in our history,” said Group Head of News Mark Jennings. “The news environment is changing rapidly, yet we are uniquely equipped to meet the challenges.

“By bringing together our television, radio and digital assets, we will create the best news service in the country and drive home our competitive advantage. The cross-platform breakfast show hosted by Paul Henry is the spearhead of this new approach and I am very keen to work with Mark and the Group Executive to create the newsroom of the future.”

Weldon said:  “News is core to our business and merging our news operations and combining our strength across radio, TV and digital gives us the opportunity to build New Zealand’s leading news service.”

MediaWorks’ Interactive division will be merged into the wider business. Consistent with an integrated, brand-led strategy, Digital will sit at the centre of MediaWorks, rather than in a separate business unit.

“Merging our Interactive division into the wider business  places our digital strategy at the heart of every part of MWL, and is key to creating an organisation that better serves advertisers and audiences,” Weldon said.

Digital news staff will become part of the integrated News group; the Digital Sales team will become part of Group Head of Revenue, Liz Fraser’s team; and the technology members of Interactive will move to the IT and Productisation area headed by Tom Cotter.

These changes follow three recent appointments to new group executive roles.

Liz Fraser was recently promoted to group head of revenue, responsible for MediaWorks sales and integration teams across TV, Radio and Digital (

Andrew Szusterman was named group entertainment content director, with oversight of the content strategy of MediaWorks across all platforms – linear TV, linear radio, VOD, online, mobile, tablet and emerging platforms (

Tom Cotter joined the company as chief information & product officer, responsible for delivery and design of all IT and IT-related products across the Group (

“As a result of this reorganisation, and after discussion over other roles, both Paul Maher and Siobhan McKenna are leaving MediaWorks,” Weldon said.

“On behalf of the board and all staff, I want to thank Paul and Siobhan for their contributions to MediaWorks.

“Paul built a strong team across TV News, Programming and Sales, that has been responsible for a significant turnaround in the profitability of the TV unit. That two of this team – Liz Fraser and Mark Jennings – are now group executives is testament to the value he has added to the business.

“Siobhan has successfully grown a digital start-up into a mature set of revenue lines, and developed a team who make a significant contribution to every part of the business. She is to be applauded for this success and for the drive and determination of her leadership.”

MWL, which owns and operates TV3 and FOUR, around half the commerical radio market including The Edge, The Rock, More, George, Mai, The Breeze, and RadioLIVE, and a strong portfolio of websites, mobile and tablet apps.

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