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Duff switches off TVNZ, turns on The Shopping Channel

The Shopping Channel announced its arrival last week, and dropped a few hints about the industry bigwig that would be running the ship. Seven days later and it has been confirmed that Alistair Duff, currently TVNZ’s general manager of media sales, will be the network’s chief executive. Duff, who has a long career in sales and production both at TV3 and, for the past ten years, TVNZ, will take up the job on 11 June and he said in a release: “This whole job embodies everything I’ve learned in my career. It’s the perfect job for me. In this rapidly world of rapidly converging media The Shopping Channel has done what everyone is trying to achieve, blend online eCommerce with television. The time is right because this is where the market is now … To get in on the ground floor and lead this kind of channel from scratch is what I’ve always been waiting for.”

Greg Partington, co-owner of The Shopping Channel and grand fromage at Ogilvy, where the content will be produced, says Duff’s appointment as chief executive is pivotal to the success of the venture.

“He brings exactly the right skill set to the channel: strong sales leadership, a depth of knowledge of the television industry, a passion for local content and belief in TV home shopping content … We’ve long been impressed with Al’s extraordinary track record and reputation. He understands television, offers dynamic leadership, and has a client network second to none.”

Based on the internationally popular television home shopping format pioneered by Home Shopping Network (HSN) and QVC, The Shopping Channel launches on Sky Channel 18 on 1 October with a multi-platform approach, accessible on line, on mobile devices and as ‘on demand’ viewing.

Partington says it offers New Zealand’s retailers and importers an opportunity to pitch products not appropriate for their current retail formats and it will create between 50-70 new jobs. A majority of the content will be live television with the likes of Candy Lane and Monty Betham thought to have been enlisted as hosts, and a mix of local and international hosts still to be announced.

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