Movings/Shakings: 6 October—UPDATED

In the money

After two years as director of sales and marketing for MediaWorks TV, Liz Fraser has been appointed to a new role as group head of revenue for MediaWorks, where she will be charged with growing revenue across television, radio, digital, social, product integration and sponsorships.

“We have unparalleled reach, touching 3.8 million New Zealanders across our many TV, radio and digital platforms,” says MediaWorks’ new group chief executive Mark Weldon. “Having a single leader with the ability to work across those assets, and interface with our major agency and direct clients will generate increased value for our customers, and for MediaWorks. There is no better qualified person than Liz for this critical group executive role. Liz has a deep background in media, is great with people, loves her clients, and represents the best of MediaWorks’ brand values: fun, energetic, professional and successful.” 

Fraser joined MediaWorks TV from MSN, where she was general manager. And while 2014 has been a fairly tough year for the TV business, with no Home & Away, a misfire on The Great Food Race and sagging ratings for The Block NZ in comparison to the previous two seasons, radio is still going strong, interactive is on the rise and MediaWorks TV was also named Media Brand of the Year at the Beacon Awards. 

Fraser takes up her new group responsibilities immediately, but she will continue to manage the TV sales and integration teams.

In other MediaWorks news, Leon Wratt has been appointed as group content director – music, responsible for MediaWorks Radio’s music brands, The Edge, The Rock, More FM, The Breeze, The Sound, Mai FM, Kiwi FM, George, Coromandel FM, Radio Dunedin and Times FM.

Wratt has a 23-year-career with MediaWorks, most recently being both programme director for The Edge, and general manager for hip hop and R ‘n B station, Mai FM. He replaces Andrew Szusterman, who was promoted to the newly created role of group content and entertainment brand director earlier this month. 

Wratt’s 23-year career with MediaWorks started at Energy FM in Taranaki. He has been a key part of the team who grew The Edge from a Hamilton radio station with 15,000 listeners, to the #1 station in the country, with 454,400 people tuning in each week, the #1 radio website (theedge.co.nz), and the #1 music television channel, The Edge TV. At the 2014 NZ Radio Awards, The Edge was awarded Station of the Year, ‘The Blackie’, the Sir Paul Holmes Broadcaster of the Year and Best Music Breakfast Show. As general manager for Mai FM, Wratt has also overseen exceptional growth in the hip hop and R&B brand, which is now the station with the most listeners in the Auckland 18-34 demographic.

Bauer’s Matt Tremain is also heading to MediaWorks and will work in the Auckland radio sales operation.  

Tremain ran the direct sales business and was named as advertising director for Bauer Media NZ – Consumer Magazines in mid-2013. As part of a recent restructure, Bauer recently brought Suzanne Bull onboard as Auckland agency sales director.

Tremain has worked with Bauer Media for over seven years. 

“With Matt, and Glen Kyne and Daniel Dalton both leaving NZME to join MediaWorks, we’re adding some great people to the sales and integration sides of the business,” says group head of corporate comms Rachel Lorimer. 

A returning son

PHD Group has expanded its strategy team, appointing Gareth O’Connor as strategy director and promoting James Davidson to the role of senior strategist. 

The team will work across PHD Group’s three divisions—Spark PHD, PHDIQ and Spark PR & Activate—and will be led by Jane Stanley, group strategy director, who has been with the business since 2011. 

Originally from Scotland, O’Connor’s last New Zealand post was at Carat before he headed back to the UK in June last year to work at PHD as global strategy director on Unilever. He has also had spells at Starcom and Mindshare working on IBM, Samsung, EMI and Activision.

“Internationally, New Zealand is renowned as one of the strongest PHD offices,” says O’Connor. “Combining this local strength with my international experience, I feel it will be a winning combination for clients and the overall business.” 

Davidson has been with Spark PHD for nine years, working on NZ Lotteries, Vodafone and Sanitarium. During that time, Stanley says he has demonstrated exceptional strategic ability.

“We’re consistently impressed by James’ ability to distil the team’s thinking and drive the development of truly innovative campaigns. Now our clients across all arms of the business will benefit from his results-focused planning skills,” she says.

Davidson is also instrumental in running the industry-first gamification tool ‘Source‘, a strategy framework and live engine that allows everyone across the global PHD network to work together in real-time and encourages collaboration and deeper thinking. 

A new public posting 

Carol Hirschfeld, the former general manager production for Maori TV, Campbell Live producer and Radio New Zealand cadet reporter, has been appointed to the new role of head of content at Radio New Zealand, where she will be responsible for news, drama, music, spoken features and Radio New Zealand International.

In the final appointments in Radio New Zealand’s reorganisation of its senior management team, current presentation manager John Howson takes up the new position of head of radio. 

Chief executive Paul Thompson emphasised the importance of the new roles as it implements a strategy to deliver high quality multi-media journalism and programming across multiple digital platforms.

“Both are very experienced broadcasters. Carol is a respected media executive with a proven track record of success in managing stories, developing programmes and leading staff, while John is an effective leader with a deep knowledge of Radio New Zealand and he has a clear vision of what he wants to achieve over the next two years.”

Earlier, Stuff website editor Glen Scanlon was appointed as head of digital media.

Hirschfeld was widely thought to be destined for bigger things at Maori TV, as was head of news Julian Wilcox, but a restructure under new chief executive Paora Maxwell saw their roles disestablished.  

The Herald reported that Maori TV’s general manager of finance and administration Alan Withrington also tendered his resignation after more than ten years.

Street radio

Toni Street, Seven Sharp co-presenter and leading contender for mother of the nation status, started her career as an intern with Radio Sport in Auckland. And she’s returning to her roots, signing on with NZME’s radio division. 

“I’m relatively new to New Zealand and watching Toni on Seven Sharp I was immediately taken with her quick wit, warmth and relatability,” says chief content officer Gemma Fordham. “It was clear to me that she has tremendous talent and I was eager to get her as part of the NZME radio team as quickly as possible. Quite simply she’s a star and I’m delighted she has signed with us.”

Initially Street will be on air while Polly and Grant from The Hits breakfast show are away for the week. Their colleague Marc Peard will co-host with Street but Fordham says she has no hesitation in using Street across other NZME radio brands.

“We have a great relationship with TVNZ and particularly Seven Sharp. Toni has a regular spot on Newstalk ZB already and given the nature of Seven Sharp she has the ability to work across a number of our music or news brands and of course she has a huge background in sport so the possibilities are numerous.” 

Street, who is set to take maternity leave early next year, began with The Hits this morning.

Doing better 

Dunedin-based start-up DoBetter.co.nz, “New Zealand’s first training broker”, has appointed Naell Crosby-Roe as its marketing manager.

Whether it’s undertaking a first aid course, re-writing a CV, developing winning interview techniques or help transitioning to a new career with a tertiary qualification, DoBetter.co.nz aims to be a ‘one-stop training and career support shop’.

Sponsored by Otago Polytechnic, Crosby-Roe was one of the site’s creators. He will stay on to assist building its profile and helping Kiwis find the career support they want. 

Crosby-Roe’s career includes senior roles within educational software, IT and training businesses before joining Otago Polytechnic. Originally from the UK, he studied marketing with the UK Chartered Institute of Marketing, and graduated from the University of Ulster with a Bachelor of Arts (honours) Degree. He is completing a Master of Professional Practice with Capable NZ.

Happy Valintine

The Mind Lab by Unitec founder and chairperson Frances Valintine has been appointed to the board of NZTech (the New Zealand Technology Industry Association) following a process that saw more than 20 people nominated for the position.

“I have a commitment to increased alignment between talent development within our education institutes and future opportunities and ICT industry needs,” says Valintine.

She says there’s tremendous scope and potential for New Zealand to be a significant contributor in new and emerging growth sectors, including 3D printing, software visualisation, technology sustainability and online security. And while technology education is at the heart of her focus, she has a deep passion for raising awareness of the need for business preparedness for tomorrow’s world and tomorrow’s customer.

Valintine co-founded Media Design School and founded Shoko Ltd, an award-winning interactive development company in Auckland, including the development of a world-first interactive patented product ‘Brandplay’ in 2006.

She currently holds numerous board positions including Education New Zealand, and as a member of the ministerial-appointed Small Business Development Group that brings the voice of small business into government. She has previously held board positions for the Santa Fe University of Art & Design, New Zealand Game Developers Association, and the Creative Development Creation Industry Group (2011/2012).

The Mind Lab won the recent Talent Unleashed award for best new start up business in Asia/Pacific judged by Steve Wozniak and Sir Richard Branson and she’s also been a winner at the Film & Television awards and the NZ CIO Awards in 2014.

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