MediaWorks announces major strategic reorganisation, Paul Maher and Siobhan McKenna depart

  • Media
  • December 8, 2014
  • StopPress Team
MediaWorks announces major strategic reorganisation, Paul Maher and Siobhan McKenna depart

Late afternoon on 8 December, MediaWorks sent out a release announcing a significant reshuffling of the business, which included three major changes.

The first change will see MediaWorks' TV, radio, and digital new operations merged to form a single unit under the leadership of Mark Jennings, who has been promoted to the position of group head of news. The 200 staff previously employed under the discrete sections will now become part of the integrated team, according to the release.

The second major change is that the separate interactive division will be dissolved and merged into the wider business. 

“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,” said chief executive Mark Weldon. 

As is to be expected with a reorganisation of such scale, some staff members have also left their positions. On an executive level, chief executive of television Paul Maher and chief executive of interactive, Siobhan McKenna will both be departing from the company. 

  • Read more about the thinking behind Weldon's decisions here

Here's the release from MediaWorks:

MEDIAWORKS TO MERGE NEWSROOMS, AND MOVE DIGITAL TO THE CORE OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS IN MAJOR STRATEGIC REORGANISATION

MediaWorks Limited (MWL) today announced its new organisational structure, setting the foundation for growing a thriving, integrated media business.

MWL, which owns and operates TV3 and FOUR, has more than 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, announced major strategic changes in the News and Digital areas.

Group CEO, Mark Weldon says: "Having already created Group Content, Revenue, and Product and IT roles, I am pleased to announce MWL is moving to a single, converged 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.”  

MediaWorks will create a new, fully intergrated newsroom. 

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. 

Group Head of News, Mark Jennings says:  "I feel privileged to be leading our combined news operation at this important time in our history.  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.

Group CEO Mark Weldon says:  “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. 

Group CEO, Mark Weldon says: “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.”

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 and Product Officer, responsible for delivery and design of all IT and IT-related products across the Group. 

Other executive changes

As a result of this reorganisation, and after discussion over other roles, both CEO Television, Paul Maher and CEO Interactive, Siobhan McKenna are leaving MediaWorks.  

Mark Weldon says: “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 have, under his leadership, been responsible for a significant turnaround in the profitability of the TV unit at MediaWorks. 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.”

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