Walker hits Prime time in Australia

TVNZ ‘s recently departed head of advertising sales Dave Walker has accepted a role as national sales manager with Prime Media Group in Australia, putting to bed a few rumours that ex-TVNZ and now MediaWorks chief executive Jason Paris had implemented some kind of dastardly scheme to poach the whole TVNZ staff after Walker, Sharon Daly and general manager of marketing Charlotte Findlay all departed in quick succession.

Walker’s new role will see him looking after Seven Affiliate Sales, which represents Prime, 7QLD and GWN and take Seven programming into the regional Australian markets of Queensland, NSW, ACT, Victoria and WA.

Walker said in a release: “It is an exciting time to join Seven Affiliate Sales with the organisation poised for further market share and yield growth. I look forward to deploying my leadership and sales development experience to help the team achieve new levels of excellence in client service and, accordingly, revenue outcomes.”

Moderately interestingly, Walker will now be working under Prime Media Group chief executive Ian Audsley, he of recent MediaWorks fame.

Making way for TVNZ’s incoming sales chief Paul Maher, the well-liked (that is, aside from everyone at ad agencies who he had to tell about the halving of their commission), Walker announced his resignation from TVNZ a few weeks back and said he had no firm plans, but that “he’d be around”.

He started as head of advertising sales at TVNZ in 2007 and before that, he spent five years as TVNZ’s head of television sales. Before joining the national broadcaster in 2002, he was group business director for OMD Sydney where he managed the McDonald’s Australia media account.

Prime Television chief executive Doug Edwards said Walker’s track record in building and leading high-calibre media sales teams is well established, “with TVNZ’s television market revenue share at a three-year high in 2009/10”.

Walker takes up his new role on 27 September.

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