Movings/Shakings: 20 October

Job cuts at NZ Herald

An email to NZ Herald staff from Herald managing editor Shayne Currie was recently leaked to media and reveals that several Herald staff members have either accepted or requested redundancy packages.

Alan Perrott (feature writer), Greg Dixon (deputy editor of Canvas), Penny Lewis (editor of Herald on Sunday’s Living magazine), Wayne Thompson (reporter), Linda Herrick (books editor), Geoff Cumming (feature writer) and Steven Deane (reporter) are among those named in Currie’s email.

In addition to these confirmed redundancies, Currie also says there will be other roles impacted and that further announcements will be made this week.

Currie then goes on to say the NZME will be seeking new talent to take on specific roles in the newsroom as well as newly created positions. 

Currie then continues: “Our new newsroom will be bigger than ever and our commitment to quality journalism and unique content is stronger than ever. I must reiterate that all of the changes (including rosters and new roles) are being driven by ever-changing audience demands and habits.”

This statement refers to NZME’s earlier announcement that it would be bringing together its print, digital and radio news into an integrated 24/7 operation led by Currie.

At the time of the announcement, industry speculation suggested that columnists John Drinnan, Brian Rudman, John Roughan and Michele Hewitson were also among those undergoing a consultation process; however, it is still unclear whether they all face redundancy.

News of the latest round of job cuts also comes off the back of the September report of 22 NZME jobs being disestablished after the media company decided not to renew its publishing partnership with Pacific Magazines.

StopPress reached out to the NZME comms team for an interview with someone on the Herald team, but we are yet to receive a reply.

UPDATE: As spokesperson from NZME says Currie will be happy to chat once the staff restructuring process is complete.       


In more positive news, NZME group revenue director Laura Maxwell has been elected as the new chair of the IAB, a role she return she returns to after a two-year absence.

On her appointment, Maxwell said: “In an industry that competes in a global marketplace, it’s imperative that the Interactive industry body is at the forefront of trends, threats and opportunities for NZ business.  As with the IABs around the world, IABNZ empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy.  Working with chief executive Adrian Pickstock, we will continue to promote growth and best practice for advertisers, agencies and media.”

Maxwell has held a broad range of executive roles until now, having served as group director of digital media at NZME and commercial director at The Radio Network as well as working as general manager and a director of Yahoo! New Zealand.   


Kelli Brett has been appointed editor of Fairfax-owned Cuisine magazine.

An accomplished food journalist, Brett has written for magazines and newspapers in Europe and Dubai. Most recently, as Australian Broadcasting Commission content director (Victoria), she developed and managed statewide content from over 200 content makers, and created the award-winning The Main Ingredient food radio programme, which airs on the ABC nationally.

She has also written a book, Australia Cooks, which will be published by HarperCollins in early 2016. 

Kate Coughlan, the editorial director at Fairfax Magazine, says Brett will bring a great mix of skills and experience to the role.

“Kelli’s passion for food, and for serving food-loving audiences fabulous content is exceptional, and we look forward to her leading the Cuisine team.”

Brett joins Cuisine in December and will replace Sarah Nicholson, who has edited the publication for five years but has decided to move to Mount Maunganui (Nicholson will, however, remain involved with Fairfax Media food channels, including Cuisine).  


TRA’s growth continues with the arrival of UK expat Simon Taylor.

Taylor joins from the UK where he has spent the last five years with retail giant, Tesco. While there, he held senior positions across product development, business improvement, insight and strategy.

A release said Taylor’s hands-on experience with one of the world’s largest loyalty programmes Clubcard will be a great asset for TRA as they continue their push into the data analytics space.

“We’re excited to have Simon on board,” TRA managing director Andrew Lewis said. “His experience with product development and business growth is going to be invaluable for our clients.”

Taylor will be responsible for supporting a range of clients, working in collaboration with them to identify opportunities for growth.

Familiar surroundings

MediaCom has appointed Sean Seamer as chief executive, and he’ll take over the position in early November.   

Seamer has served as the chief executive of GroupM New Zealand since the media company arrived in New Zealand a year ago. 

Seamer’s move to MediaCom is largely a return to familiar surroundings, in that he spent 12 years working a the media company across the US, Europe and Asia Pacific. 

“MediaCom has been a huge part of my career and I’m very much looking forward to being back in the team,” Seamer said in a release. “The talent in Australia and in the network is world class, so it will be a pleasure to work with them again. MediaCom Australia has great people, a strong product vision and some of the most diverse capabilities. It’s a really exciting time to be in the industry and I’m raring to get stuck in.”

Seamer’s appointment follows the promotion of James Sneddon to managing director of the Sydney office and Anny Havercroft to Melbourne managing director.

“Sean has been one of the big success stories within MediaCom and I loved working with him previously,” said MediaCom APAC chief executive Mark Heap. “His background in digital leadership, his experience in developing the business and his ability to inspire those around him are exactly the capabilities we need.  We looked at many potential candidates for this role and felt that Sean’s familiarity with our people, product, culture and clients really made him the stand out choice and will allow him to gain traction very quickly.  He has worked with many of our senior people in Australia and I’m sure they will be as excited as I am to welcome him back as our new CEO.”

Seamer will continue to oversee GroupM New Zealand operations into 2016 and replacement has not yet been announced (StopPress contact Seamer in regard to the appointment of a replacement, but he has not yet replied).  

Making triangles
Creative agency hunch has recently bought two new office chairs from Warehouse Stationery. They’re fairly standard dark blue chairs with two or three levers and free delivery. The new people sitting on them are far more interesting.

Kyle Morris (pictured right) is a multi-award-winning creative director who previously led the creative department at Affinity ID for six years. He’s a marketing automation expert with deep digital knowledge, an intuitive understanding of customer journey and a magic touch when bringing ideas to life on pixels and on paper.

Morris joins hunch to lead their growing creative department, develop new talent and one day find the time to get a haircut.
Emma Newell is a massively experienced data wrangler, client whisperer and occasional fire extinguisher. Strategically smart and unflappable in the most flappy of situations, Newell will lead the account service team at hunch, overseeing key accounts Spark, Meridian Energy and NZ Story.
Previously a team leader at Marketing Impact, Newell has a long suit in working campaigns through the data and print process and on their way to customers. This background gives her an understanding of both the potential complexities and the ultimate simplicity of well-executed marketing automation, said a release from Hunch.
Newell and Morris will work directly with Hunch founder, Michael Goldthorpe in something of a triangle formation. “We find triangles really helpful to get ideas across in strategy documents,” Says Goldthorpe. “So we thought we’d see if they work in real life.”
“But seriously” says Goldthorpe. “Kyle and Emma are both brilliant. They’re clever at what they do and even cleverer in the way they do it. Better yet, they’re both really nice people. It’s a well formed triangle – and a very exciting time for all of us.


Consumer proximity marketing agency Hypermedia has announced the appointment of Justine Ussher as sales director, where among other projects she will oversee the recently launched the Rewarded and SuperMarketer platforms.

Ussher’s 30-year career has spanned banking, professional services and alcohol brands with stand-out roles at Westpac, Kiwibank, DB Breweries, Montana Wines and most recently as company sales manager at Yes Finance.

Hypermedia managing director Chris Jones says the addition of Justine to the team boosts the expert capabilities: “Not only does Justine bring with her a wealth of experience in sectors with huge relevance to our business, she also is armed with the very best sales practices and a terrific network.”

Ussher says: “We have a fantastic team and an excellent product offering. Exciting times ahead as we work closely with our business partners and advertisers to ensure the success of Rewarded and SuperMarketer”.

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