Former Fairfax Media New Zealand executive editor Paul Thompson has been head-hunted by Radio New Zealand, now leading the public broadcaster as its chief executive and editor-in-chief.
Thompson headed the editorial team at Christchurch's The Press between 2001 and 2007, during which the daily metro was twice awarded Newspaper of the Year at the Qantas Media Awards. For the past six years he's been Fairfax's group executive editor, in charge of the editorial direction of the media company's many publications.
His new role at Radio NZ is much more operationally focused, though maintaining a rein on its news team.
Thompson has already put his foot into the door, telling Radio NZ's Morning Report programme that the public broadcaster will remain ad-free under his tenure.
"I think any form of commercialisation for any of the stations or the content would be a bad thing," he says on the breakfast show.
Thompson admits that public funding for Radio NZ is tight. For the past five years, funding from New Zealand on Air for the network, including Radio NZ Concert, has remained static at around $31.8 million – only $11 million more than what it was receiving in 1993.
"Funding is what the funding is and lets hope in the future at some stage that changes. In the meantime I'm sure that we can continute to do a very good job."
Image Credit: Fairfax Media