TVNZ shuffles sales deck, prepares for ‘new era’

TVNZ’s new chief executive Kevin Kenrick has had his feet under the desk for a few months now and Jeremy O’Brien took over from MediaWorks-bound Paul Maher as its new head of sales back in May. And now it’s announced five new senior appointments, four of them coming from within, that “herald a new era for the company and recognise the changing needs of consumers and customers in the modern media landscape”. 

Jodi O’Donnell, Melissa Taylor and Tony Waite have been named in the general manager, media sales (agency) team based in Auckland; Glenn McGahan has been named general manager, direct and regional sales; and Richard Sandford has been named as general manager, channel sales (see below for profiles on each hire). 

“The appointments provide a mix of modern thinking, youthful and enthusiastic high performers and a solid base of experience and industry knowledge,” says O’Brien. “Media has changed more over the past decade than it has for the previous 20 years and as such our senior team is as experienced as any in the Australasian market. They have all operated either locally or internationally in a high capacity at the epicentre of the transformation of television and visual content, equipping them for the continual industry change that lies ahead.”

O’Brien says he’s excited by the passion and belief that were evident across the candidates and the fact that four of the general management roles were internal hires “speaks volumes for the depth and quality of the sales team at TVNZ”.

O’Brien will spend the next week with his new team working through agency allocations across the three Auckland media sales teams with a view to maintaining as much continuity of service as possible across media agency clients. 

The senior sales team will commence their new roles on 30 July.

Glenn McGahan

  • 25 years media industry experience.
  • Has held senior sales and media agency roles – TVNZ National Sales Manager; Media Director FCB, Head of Buying at Mojo.
  • Set up NZs first agency targeting ethnic audiences working with key government agencies (LTNZ, Working for Families, Ministry of Fisheries, Pharmac and Ministry of Health – Like Minds Like Mine)
  • Previous experience includes retail clients such as Foodstuffs, Mitre 10, Cerebos Greggs, Nissan and ACP
  • Former Member of CAANZ media committee

Tony Waite

  • Five years in the UK market working for Zenith Optimedia, London.
  • Past seven years working for TVNZ in various Sales and Marketing roles.
  • Experience across Agency and Direct sales, media solutions and marketing.
  • Most recently General Manager Media Sales, Direct, Auckland.

Melissa Taylor

  • 19 years media experience at TV Works across a variety of sales roles.
  • Moved to TVNZ at the start of 2011 into the role of Group Business Manager responsible for a number of strategic agency partnerships including DraftFCB, Starcom and MediaEdge.
  • Business lead on the TVNZ/DraftFCB Mitre 10 ‘Easy As’ project.
  • Passionate about television and dedicated to the New Zealand media industry.

Jodi O’Donnell

  • 13 years media experience across Sales and Marketing disciplines.
  • Strong comprehension of broadcasting and understanding of innovative and developing technologies.
  • Most recent roles include: TV2 Marketing Manager and Business Marketing Manager (three years) and Group Business Manager working across strategic agency partnerships including OMD, Total Media, Zenith Optimedia and JWT.

Richard Sandford

  • Commenced career with Sky Television, New Zealand.
  • Spent the past nine years abroad working in London and Singapore for British Sky Broadcasting (BskyB) and Nokia Corporation specialising in mobile content and applications.
  • Senior positions leading/managing digital and services across UK/Ireland, Asia Pacific, as well as leading and managing preloaded content business globally across Americas, Europe, Middle East, India & Asia territories.
  • General management, business development plus sales and marketing experience.

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