Movings/Shakings: 16 May

Wikileaks co-conspirator

Fairfax Media has appointed Jonathan Milne as its Sundays editor. The award-winning news, features and political journalist will oversee the Sunday Star-Times and Sunday News publications for Fairfax.

“Jonathan’s unique style of campaigning journalism, combined with his leadership skills, will add significant value to our Sundays team and portfolio as we continue to provide our audiences with quality content. As one of New Zealand’s very best journalists and editors, Jonathan brings an enormous amount of talent and passion to our organisation. I look forward to working with him closely,” says Sinead Boucher, Fairfax Media group executive editor.

Milne joins Fairfax from APN, where he gained critical success as the deputy editor of the Herald on Sunday. He is known in the industry for obtaining and publishing the entire dossier of Wikileaks cables from the US Embassy, breaking the story of John Key and John Banks’ controversial cuppagate discussion and leading the coverage of three general elections.

Milne, 39, says that after 10 years away, it’s an honour to return to Fairfax to edit two of the country’s most distinguished Sunday newspapers.

“The editorial teams have brought us some of this country’s most important investigative journalism, beautiful writing and stunning design and photography. The lively fun of the Sunday News, the depth and authority of the Sunday Star-Times, they’re a big part of the lives of hundreds of thousands of Kiwis – that’s certainly true for me and my family,” he says.

“New Zealand audiences and advertisers are tough critics. They always expect more, they always expect better – and rightly so. We’re going to continue to deliver that; offering the hardest-hitting news and sport, the most trenchant opinions from respected household names, and some good old-fashioned tips for living well. I want Kiwis to consider these papers as must-buys every single Sunday,” says Milne.

The chosen ones

Earlier this week, StopPress reported that Jenny Stiles would be joining Fairfax as the northern region marketing manager and that there would be further appointments to follow.

Fairfax media marketing manager Campbell Mitchell has now confirmed its marketing leadership team with the following appointments:  

  • group marketing director – Campbell Mitchell
  • insights manager – Nimesh Amin
  • audience growth manager – Grant Torrie
  • customer solutions manager – Pip Simeon
  • southern region marketing manager – Simon Carter
  • central region marketing manager – Paul Williams
  • northern region marketing manager – Jenny Stiles

Mitchell says that these changes have been made to reorganise the team into areas of speciality.

“At Fairfax Media our audiences and our customers are at the centre of everything we do and we needed to reflect this in the way our marketing team was organised. As of last Monday we have come together as a single national marketing team organised under five core capabilities: insights, audience growth, customer solutions, communications and new product marketing. We’ve taken the position that we need to be specialists in these key areas and for those five teams to deliver greater value to all advertisers and all audiences across our portfolio regardless of location.”

He says that the reorganisation means that “almost everyone in the marketing community has a new or rescoped role but there is no change to the overall number” of staff members.

“We continue to have teams located at six offices across the country and have three regional marketing managers, including former Newsworks chief executive Jenny Stiles who started this week.”

He also says that the reorganisation is not yet complete, because Fairfax is still on the hunt for a communications manager and a new product marketing manager.


MediaWorks has appointed Emily Turnbull to the new position of director of client engagement for the group. She will be working across MediaWorks’ television, radio and digital assets to coordinate and deepen engagement with customers. 

“Relationships with clients, viewers and listeners are at the heart of our business, and the strength of our customer engagement with is a major factor in our success. This new role builds on the excellent work currently taking place around the company, adding significant resource in this area,” says Mediaworks group chief executive Sussan Turner.

Client Service has been a focus of Turnbull’s 19-year career in agencies and media companies, and she has worked for both MediaWorks’ TV and Radio divisions, in New Zealand and Australia. She developed and drove the client service strategy for RadioWorks, with this work recognised by her twice being awarded in the Associated Craft category at the NZ Radio Awards. She has also worked for media organisations in the UK and Europe.

Turnbull takes up her new role immediately.

A Prebble in the MediaWorks pond

TV3 has announced the appointment of Amy Prebble as a senior publicist of news and current affairs. In her new position, Prebble will report to TV3 and Four publicity manager Jacqui Loates-Haver and be responsible for publicising TV3’s news and current affairs programmes and people. 

Prebble’s ten-year career includes extensive experience in television publicity. She has worked for MediaWorks and TVNZ, on TV3, Four, TV One, and TVNZ 6 and 7 as well as major projects Dancing with the Stars and NZ Idol. A former sub-editor for the Listener, Prebble is also a skilled writer. She joins TV3 from The Blind Foundation, where she was responsible for publicising the organisations’s activity, including the ‘Red Puppy Appeal’ and Blind Week, as well as other internal communications.

A homecoming

Digital media network Mi9 has appointed James Butcher as its national sales director for New Zealand.

Butcher will oversee Mi9’s New Zealand sales division, which represents Microsoft products, including Microsoft Ad Exchange, Mi9’s 3P network, and Daily Mail NZ, when it launches in New Zealand later this year.

A Kiwi, he has returned to New Zealand from Sydney, where he most recently held the position of group business manager, Mi9 Australia. Earlier, he worked for Microsoft advertising in the United Kingdom.

“I’m delighted to return home to New Zealand and take this opportunity. The New Zealand market offers unique opportunities for Mi9, our clients, and our suite of local and global online brands,” said Butcher.

Two added to 8

Production company 8 has added Sydney-based directors Matt Palmer (right) and Eddy Bell (left) its roster.

“Matt Palmer’s talent for comedy direction is what impresses us most. There’s an English subtlety to his work. He’s a master of observational comedy and understated performance, and he rounds our roster out nicely,” says executive producer Katie Millington.

This understated trend was also evident in Palmer’s comments on his production talents.

“My wife describes my work as mildly amusing,” he said when discussing his work.

This move will see Palmer reunited with his school mate Josh Frizzell, who he spent much of his childhood with in Auckland.  

8’s other recruit, Bell, is predominantly a performance director with experience working with actors, kids, non-actors and non-humans including animals and celebrities. He’s recently moved back to Sydney after three years in Melbourne.

Bell’s most recent short film ‘Grey Bull‘ uses predominantly non-trained talent unearthed from within Melbourne’s South Sudanese refugee community. Pre-production also involved ten weeks of training for two Brahman bulls.

‘Grey Bull’ looks at the theme of identity in an unfamiliar culture and demonstrates what people are often asked to leave at the door when they arrive in a new place. The film has been selected to screen in competition at the 2014 Sydney Film Festival in June.

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