Movings/Shakings: 16 August

Back to tech 

 Sunday Star Times business editor Rob O’Neill is going back to his roots and has taken up a role as a reporter with technology website ZDNet

He will be primarily focused on Australasia, but, due to the time difference, will also be covering late-breaking news from the Northern Hemisphere. 

He took over as business editor in mid 2010 and was previously editor of IT title Computerworld. He has also been a research analyst with Fairfax Business Research in Sydney and a technology reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, in Melbourne.

Fairfax comms manager Victoria Griffin says there’s no news on a replacement for O’Neill yet. 

Business time

In other Fairfax news, Maria Slade has been announced as the new editor of Unlimited, replacing Caitlin Sykes, who left after just over a year in the role to freelance and focus on her young family. 

“Maria is an excellent writer with first rate news judgement and well developed skills in all aspects of journalism,” says Fairfax Business Bureau managing editor Fiona Rotherham.

Slade has been morning editor at the Fairfax Business Bureau for the past two years and also spent five years as a business writer and editor on the daily NZ Herald, news editor at the Herald on Sunday and eight years with The Radio Network producing, news editing and reporting.

In 2010 she received the NZ Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators’ Agribusiness Award for her coverage of the ailing New Zealand strong-wool industry and its efforts to relaunch product in the US as a high end sustainable carpet fibre.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to lead Unlimited with its new digital capabilities and to be part of evolving the title in this space,” says Slade.

Unlimited ceased its print issue in February this year and shifted to a digital model, with a subscription costing $19.95 for 12 issues. Content is also distributed via stuff.co.nz.

New shores

Consumer PR agency Undertow Media has set up an Auckland office. 

The company now boasts 25 staff and works with trans-Tasman clients like Jetstar and Kathmandu, as well as property companies Mirvac and Cbus Property. In the Australian market, it has recently added Fairfax Media, Lavazza, five:am organic yoghurt, Adairs and the Sandhill Road Group to its roster. 

“Ten years on, our culture and philosophy remains the same: a team and client base that is highly engaged and always moving forward. With a strong presence in Victoria, it was a natural progression to look at expansion elsewhere. We have multiple clients operating heavily in the New Zealand market so it was a perfect next step—and we won’t be stopping there,” says founder Jane Martino. 

Current chief executive Jess Nunns has been promoted to group chief executive. And her new role will encompass strategic direction for Undertow Media NZ as well as scoping new opportunities in like-minded fields and territories. 

“Expanding into new markets is a key objective for us in the next three years and this is not limited to traditional public relations. The next logical step is to grow into the digital space, possibly by partnering with a digital specialist to complement our current offer,” she says. 

Former general manager of the consumer division, Greer Bland, has headed back to her homeland to establish the office in Auckland, which opened at the start of August. It will work with Kathmandu, Tupperware, Intrepid Travel, Ocean Spray and Witchery. 

Joining the Consortium

After just over two years as digital director at ViVaki, Alex Radford has taken up the role of head of digital at Consortium. 

As he said on his blog: “When I first arrived in New Zealand I met a really smart guy called Paul Shale who owned an ad agency called Consortium. We worked together a bit on Ferrit. I recall at the time thinking that I would love to work for a guy like that. The main client at Ferrit was a super smart guy called Ralph who I met but a few times. Time went by, I worked at Omnicom, which was interesting but not really for me, then I went to work at VivaKi, which was fine but still not I really wanted to do so I left there when that became clear. At about the same time Paul and Ralph, who had recently bought into Consortium needed a digital lead for the agency. I jumped at the chance. And it feels really right. It’s chaotic, its frenetic, and at times surreal, but I’m surrounded by really bright people who really care about what they do. It is refreshing and I feel reinvigorated. And I’m only in week five.” 

New lifestyle

Louise Richardson, who has been lifestyle editor at the NZ Woman’s Weekly for 19 years, has left to freelance. 

Building Blocks

Josephine Mackenzie has joined Blockhead as executive producer.

In recent years Mackenzie has been executive producer at The Editors in Sydney, where she was responsible for managing and growing the business.

Previously she worked at The Mill, London before relocating to Sydney where she worked at a number of design, production, and visual effects houses.  

“I’m thrilled to be joining Blockhead,” says Mackenzie “It’s a fantastic brand built by a highly skilled and creative team, which I am very proud to be a part of”.

Blockhead also recently added top colourist Peter Ritchie to its roster. 

Park life

The Sweet Shop has added Korean-American director John S. Park to its global team.

Park has an impressive resume of commercial, documentary, and short form content distinctive for its mixing of both Eastern and Western advertising traditions. Recently, he garnered plenty of attention with his highly-acclaimed Samsung commercial ‘What Does The Mind See?’, which followed a group of eleven blind students as they are encouraged to shoot photographs based on scent, sound, and texture alone. It won a Grand Prix at Spikes Asia and two Gold Lions at Cannes. 

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