MediaWorks and NBC International have appointed Maria Mahony as the general manager for Bravo New Zealand.
She joins the joint venture from her recent role as the head of programming and local content for Lightbox, arriving with 17 years in local and international broadcasting experience at a range of companies, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TVNZ (Lightbox is yet to announce a replacement for Mahony).
Mahony will report to a five-member board, consisting of Justin Che (managing director of NBCUniversal International Distribution and Networks for APAC), Christine Fellowes (managing director of NBCUniversal International Networks in APAC), Andrew Szusterman (MediaWorks chief content officer) and Julie Christie (MediaWorks board director).
The board will be lead by executive chair Chris Taylor, who also serves as the managing director of NBCUniversal International Distribution and Networks across Australia and New Zealand.
Commenting on Mahony’s arrival, Taylor said: “Maria’s blend of traditional and new media expertise make her an ideal fit for Bravo. We are delighted to be able to tap both her multi-faceted experience and intimate knowledge of the local broadcasting landscape, which will best-position Bravo New Zealand for growth, both as a channel and as she develops her local team.”
Bravo launched on local TV screens on Sunday, 3 July.
In the lead up to the first night of broadcasting, Bravo advertising manager Laurissa Hollis told StopPress that advertising sales were tracking well.
“Advertisers have shown interest in the range of programming Bravo had to offer – including ‘first time in NZ’ and ‘express from the us’ content, as well as returning favourites, Top Chef and Million Dollar Listing.”
Hollis added that she expected sales to lift further once Bravo had the opportunity to demonstrate to the market what it could offer advertisers.
Lightbox chief executive Kym Niblock says she has not yet announced a replacement for Mahony.
“Maria will still be working out her notice period, so we’ll have some time to see where we go.”
She said that while the move has been quite sudden, it makes sense given Mahony’s career aspirations.
“She’s spoken to us about what she wants to do, and this is a great opportunity for her. Bravo is lucky to have her.”