Movings/Shakings: March 16

Unlimited hunts for a new helmsman, MediaWorks plays some more news and current affairs swapsies with TVNZ, Rodney Hide sharpens his pen for the NBR, Grownups.co.nz finds some independence, EMC names new marketing director, Village PR adds to the flock, and Hamilton company Torpedo7 hops into bed with an Aussie suitor. 


Mark Revington has left his role as editor of Unlimited magazine for a position as publications editor and editor of Te Karaka at Te Runanga o Ngai Tahufor Ngai Tahu.

He worked as deputy editor for three years and then tested out PR with a short stint at Porter Novelli before taking over as editor in January 2009. ABC figures show the magazine has been struggling since then, with average net paid sales decreasing from 3,667 in December 2008 to 1,638 in December 2011.

Fairfax is currently advertising the position.

NCA swapsies

TV3 has appointed Richard Sutherland, currently director of coverage for TVNZ’s news and current affairs division, to the new role of deputy director of news and current affairs.

Director of news and current affairs, Mark Jennings, says Sutherland is one of the most capable and respected news managers in the country. 

“Richard is what we call a journalist’s journalist,” he says. “He is extremely well regarded for his news judgement and management style, and will add further strength to what is already a top-notch team.”

Prior to TVNZ, he was the managing editor for SKY News New Zealand for three years, and his extensive experience in radio newsgathering includes five years as news editor at NewstalkZB.

He will take up his new role in late April and follows other recent channel changers Cliff Joiner and Guyon Espiner.

Ross Dagan, TVNZ’s new head of news and current affairs and the ex-director of news for Network 10 in Sydney, was to be starting his new role in early 2012.

Hide found

Former ACT leader Rodney Hide is set to take up his pen once more for the NBR and breathe life into his “his blunt and highly popular column Hidesight”.

The column will re-appear for the first time for several years in The National Business Review from this morning and also feature in the NBR ONLINE’s Weekend Review section tomorrow, behind the site’s paywall.

The hard-hitting former Parliamentary “perkbuster” has kept a low profile since the November General Elections but he will come out swinging tomorrow.

Hide was an NBR columnist before he was elected to Parliament where he went on to become the leader of his party and a Cabinet Minister in the first term of John Key’s coalition government.

GrownUps cuts the Yellow apron strings

GrownUps.co.nz, a lifestyle magazine and social club website for the 50+ community, is heading back to its entrepreneurial roots after Yellow, which originally purchased a 60 percent share in 2008 to complement its Retirement Guide product, sold its majority stake back to the website’s founders.

Director Richard Poole, who co-founded GrownUps.co.nz in 2006, says they’re very pleased to have back complete ownership so they can concentrate on growing the website and creating innovative programmes for advertisers.

The GrownUps team is focusing on growing the advertiser base, and increasing content for members and visitors to the site. Plans for a complete website refresh and rebuild are already underway and there are mobile apps in the pipeline too.

“The GrownUps website provides an extremely strong ROI for advertisers,” says Poole. “In many cases click-through rates on banners are double those of some mass market websites, at the same time delivering ROI for the advertiser many times above their advertising investment.”

Currently there are approximately 1.4 million New Zealanders aged 50 years and over, and the 50+ community is the fastest growing group online globally, says Poole.

“We have an extremely loyal and highly interactive member base of around 70,000 and provide a broad platform with many communication channels for organisations who want to reach the 50+ demographic. This is a premium target audience for advertisers as they also control more than 65 percent of disposable income, and within 15 years will account for 80 percent of individual net worth. This is not an audience that can be ignored.”

Into the clouds

Global IT company EMC has announced the appointment of Karinne Brannigan as director of marketing, Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), replacing Wendy Reid who assumed a new leadership role as senior director of marketing for the Asia Pacific and Japan region.

Brannigan will be based in Sydney and will set the direction for EMC’s ANZ strategic marketing and communications programme that addresses the company’s full portfolio of products and solutions.

“Karinne brings a wealth of valued experience and a very strong understanding of the IT industry that will undoubtedly enrich our company,” says David Webster, president, EMC Australia and New Zealand, and South East Asia. “EMC has experienced significant growth in the last year, performing strongly across all business units in ANZ, and continues to attract and retain top talent in the technology industry. Brannigan’s appointment is further testament to our success in the region.”

Brannigan’s career spans over 15 years in the technology industry and she joins EMC after seven years at Symantec/Veritas, where she was head of marketing, responsible for all business segments and solutions.

Adding to the Village

Mount Maunganui (and, recently, Auckland) based Village PR and and marketing has appointed Karen Clarkson as a senior account executive working on the tourism and lifestyle clients.

Clarkson has recently returned from New York where she worked alongside international fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg overseeing launches and events for her onboard Eos, the world’s largest private sail yacht. High profile guests hosted onboard included New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, Barbara Walters and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Clarkson has vast experience in the media and communications industry, including as a production manager at the BBC and Channel 4 in the UK.

She built a successful sales track record while working in the North American and European tourism and hospitality sectors and has worked for an Auckland consumer PR activation agency.

Co-owner of Village, Bridgette Paton-Tapsell, says her international experience will be valuable to the continued growth of the company’s tourism, fashion, food, beverage and lifestyle clients.

Man the torpedoes 

Hamilton-based Torpedo7 has announced the sale of a 15 percent stake in its business to carsales.com Ltd, the owner and operator of the largest online automotive, motorcycle, industry, farm equipment and marine classifieds sites in Australia.

The company owns and operates the Torpedo7 and 1-day brands, and is the largest Australasian online retailer of adventure sport, motocross, bike, snow and fishing gear and daily product deals.

“We are very excited about this opportunity and the belief that a market leader like carsales has shown in our business,” says Luke Howard-Willis, founder of Torpedo7. “Our sales are now approaching $100 million per annum and the company is growing fast. We have big plans for expansion and this deal gives us the tools we need to advance our growth.”

The new relationship will provide Torpedo7 with access to carsales’ vast customer base and e-commerce expertise, although it will not have input into the day-to-day running of the Torpedo7 business.

“The carsales customer base is huge and every month millions of visitors are attracted to their classified site. The company was launched in 1998 and listed on the ASX in 2009. No other company comes close to its market share.”

Torpedo7 Limited was advised by Auckland-based merchant bank Clavell Capital.

“There was considerable interest from overseas corporates and private equity investors in Torpedo7, which is in line with strong interest in the sector and investment into New Zealand,” says Clavell Capital’s executive chairman, David Belcher. “There are cost advantages in operating an online retail business in New Zealand when compared with other countries, which added to the attraction of the opportunity to offshore investors.”


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