In response to ongoing speculation about the future of The Radio Bureau, NZME and MediaWorks have released a joint statement saying that the future of the industry body "remains solid and secure".
As was previously the case, NZME Radio managing director Dean Buchanan and MediaWorks Radio chief executive (and TRB chair) Wendy Palmer were quoted together:
“We have agreed on a structure that is best suited to the current and future needs of our evolving industry, and the TRB team is informed and excited by the challenges and opportunities ahead. This is the start of an exciting new chapter for The Radio Bureau.”
Several sources in the industry have confirmed to StopPress that TRB will not be dissolved and that MediaWorks and NZME are working closely with the independent radio stations to re-shape the organisation to make to ensure it remains relevant in the media landscape.
Also quoted in the statement, Peter Richardson, the acting general manager of TRB says the organisation still has "an important job to do for the radio industry".
“I am working with the senior account directors and planners to ensure TRB continues to deliver industry-wide planning solutions with the high levels of service our agency clients expect.”
As part of the restructuring, several staff members previously at TRB have moved across to take up positions at the commercial networks. It was previously reported that TRB account director Gerhard Simanke and digital planner Johnathan Schaffer joined the MediaWorks sales team in mid February.
And these staff changes have now been followed by the moves of senior planner Mauro Murace and interactive and digital communications director James Roberts to NZME Radio while branded content and communications manager Darryl Paton is shifting across to MediaWorks Radio.
"One of the things agreed by the shareholders is that digital and integration sales activity that has been part of TRB's offering is best placed at the networks (ie in-house at NZME and MediaWorks)," explains MediaWorks' group head of corporate communications Rachel Lorimer. "Darryl worked in the branded content area, so he is moving to MediaWorks in a group role, and I understand James Roberts who works for TRB on the digital side, will move to NZME."
As with any restructure, TRB is also adding a few new faces to its team. The organisation's website currently features several 'coming soon' tags that allude to future staff members joining the team. And, in addition, TRB currently has a job advertisement for sales coordinators on its website (this in itself suggests that the organisation will continue to play a role in the future).
Once this recruitment process ends and the new structure of the organisation is settled, TRB and the networks are likely to provide further information on the redefined role of the organisation.
UPDATE: Richardson has confirmed to StopPres that TRB has added three new staff members to its team. Tyson Jemmett and Chris Maxwell have joined as account managers, while Sarah Hamilton-Hibbard has started as a sales co-ordinator.
Having previously worked at the TRB between March 2013 and April 2014, this will be Jemmett's second stint at the organisation. He most recently worked at OraHQ.
Also joining from OraHQ is Maxwell, who has previously held roles at Trends Publishing, Hyde Group and DDB.
Hamilton-Hibbard joins the organisation straight out of Massey University, where she majored in media studies.