Sad farewells and welcome additions…

…as the industry says goodbye to Brian Milnes, MediaWorks finds its PR man, ASB’s Deborah Simpson creates a new future, Radio New Zealand finds a voice of the Pacific, and Terabyte Interactive helps out the Aussies. 

Life of Brian

Research industry stalwart Brian Milnes died this week in Auckland hospital at the age of 64 after going in for a minor operation.

“As you know, Brian was one of the New Zealand research industry stalwarts with a long career across Nielsen, including a spell as Managing Director Nielsen net ratings Pacific Region, Colmar Brunton and more recently the medical publishers Research Review,” says the NAB’s Robert Munro. “James Armstrong his fellow director at Research Review has asked that we pass on the news to as many media people who would have remembered Brian. He also played a significant role in our industry as one of the founding directors of the NAB back in 1977. Brian continued to take a keen interest in newspapers and visited the NAB just last year for a catch up.”

Details about the funeral can be found here.

Shand and deliver

While speculation mounts that MediaWorks’ owner IronBridge capital is courting potential suitors for a sale, life in the business goes on and Greg Shand, one of New Zealand’s most experienced communications professionals has joined the MediaWorks’ team to work on corporate affairs and public relations.

Shand has an extensive media background and has worked as a journalist and political editor for the NZ Herald and Auckland and Sunday Star newspapers. More recently he has been engaged with corporate public affairs as a principal and managing director of Baldwin Boyle Group, which advises a number of New Zealand, Australian and global companies including Fonterra. In April he chucked in the towel after 25 years with the firm and sold up his quarter shareholding in the company.

Shand, who takes over the corporate comms and public affairs work from Roger Beaumont, but not his marketing and publicity roles, will start on September 5.

“I think MediaWorks will be well served in its various key marketplaces by having someone of Greg’s considerable experience in business, government and media to help us build even stronger relationships with all our key stakeholders and audiences,” says MediaWorks’ group managing director Sussan Turner.  “Greg has the professional background we have been looking for in a new communications partner and will help to further promote the integrity and credibility of MediaWorks radio, online and television assets.”

Elsewhere in lobbying land, the NZ Herald reports that TVNZ is still looking for a replacement for Peter Parussini, who left his role as head of communications in July to take a senior role with ANZ.

Creating new futures

Deborah Simpson, ASB Bank’s general manager of brand, communication and marketing and the main brain behind the controversial Creating Futures campaign, has stepped down after almost two years in the role, according to the NZ Herald.

Simpson was unable to be contacted, but it is thought she is leaving soon to start her own business.

Simpson, who used to work on the ASB account when she was strategic planning director at TBWA\, was at the helm when the long running “Goldstein” campaign was dropped and when Droga 5 was chosen as the bank’s agency.

Voice of the Pacific

Radio New Zealand, New Zealand’s top-rating radio station, has strengthened its news team with the appointment of Karen Mangnall as Pacific Issues Correspondent.

A respected journalist with 30 years experience in print, radio and television and a Master of Arts (Honours) in Pacific Studies from the University of Auckland, Mangnall has a long and impressive track record reporting on the Pacific region and on Pacific communities in New Zealand.

She has previously worked for Radio New Zealand, The New Zealand Herald and TVNZ and she has also held roles in editorial management, and the training of Pacific Island journalism students.

“Karen was born and raised in Fiji, and lived and worked in New Caledonia and Tahiti,” Radio New Zealand Head of News, Don Rood. “She knows the Pacific and the issues that are important to Pacific communities. Radio New Zealand’s team of correspondents produces some of the country’s best journalism and ensures New Zealanders are kept informed about the issues and debates important to them and their society’s development.”

On the Aussie radio

Speaking of radio, eight years of great service to The Radio Network in New Zealand has paid off for Auckland web design company Terabyte Interactive Ltd, which has been awarded the job of redesigning ten radio station websites for Australian Radio Network.

“Now that they’re all live we can finally announce that a New Zealand company picked up such an amazing project out of Australia,” says Terabyte’s sales director Jane Melville-Allen.

“The design for the brands is right on the money. These sites are a very positive step for our brands, presenting rich content beautifully and pushing them ahead of their competition online. We’re excited to watch them grow even further from here,” says Jodie Koning, national marketing director, ARN.

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