MediaWorks’ Mark Jennings to be replaced by NineMSN’s Hal Crawford

In a staff email sent out this afternoon MediaWorks confirmed that veteran Mark Jennings is moving on from the organisation after 25 years leading 3News.

“Mark [Jennings] has made a major, and lasting, contribution to MediaWorks, New Zealand journalism, and wider New Zealand society. His legacy in journalism will continue to reverberate through the Newshub in its future,” said MediaWorks chief executive Mark Weldon in the email.

Weldon confirmed Jennings, whose role was group head of news, would be replaced by Hal Crawford who would take up the role of chief news officer. Crawford is currently editor in chief and publisher of NineMSN in Australia.

Crawford would be starting in the coming months, Weldon said.

In the interim period Richard Sutherland would be acting chief news officer and participate as a group executive over the period. When Crawford took over Sutherland would be appointed to head of flagship brands and head of content.

“With respect to our flagship brands, Story, Paul Henry, and Newshub Live at 6pm, Mark [Jennings] will work closely with Richard [Sutherland] and the EPs in the near term to ensure the continual development of our product and audience offerings.”

The email didn’t confirm what Jennings’ next move would be, and said the departure was amicable.

“I believe that the timing of his departure, coming as it does after the successful launch of Newshub, and at the beginning of a new, digital-led phase, has been managed by Mark to be timing that works best for the company and for Mark personally. He is leaving on an up, and with significant momentum in our news organisation,” said Weldon.

Several New Zealand journalists and media personalities took to Twitter to send well wishes and express their sadness over Jennings’ departure.

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