Major media shakeup makes commercial operators nervous

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AUCKLAND, Today: “There are certainly signs things could become messy,” warns Damien Venutto in today’s Herald, about the RNZ/TVNZ merger (into Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media – ANZPM).

“It’s still unclear how the non-commercial and commercial imperatives will be balanced.”

MediaWorks ceo Cam Wallace told Venutto he was supportive of a strong public media entity, but was wary of how the amalgamated entity would compete with advertising-funded businesses.

“We remain concerned about the lack of detail in the proposed legislation, specifically how the RNZ/TVNZ business will evolve into new digital segments and whether this will be commercially funded or advertising-free,” Wallace said.


“The reality is that digital ventures started by ANZPM will compete directly with digital properties owned by existing media companies.”

“The aggressive timelines that are now required to pass this legislation run the risk of driving unintended consequences for the wider commercial operators which are inconsistent with the objectives.”

Venutto: “New Zealand’s local commercial operators are competing for a tightening share of the advertising market.

“Google, Facebook, and Tiktok (perhaps even Netflix in the future) are pulling in hundreds of millions of digital ad spend every year – and there’s no sign any of that will change in the near future.

“At this stage in the digital economy, it’s ludicrous to believe that any local player, regardless of its makeup, is going to turn around that trajectory.

“The reality is that any digital ventures started by ANZPM will compete directly with the digital properties owned by existing media companies.”


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