TVNZ shuffles exex, chops mktg.

Channels facing consolidation

AUCKLAND — Cost-conscious Television New Zealand has shaken up its senior management team and dropped key execs in advance of a public broadcasting charter.

The pubcaster is bringing its TV1 and TV2 channels under one boss, breaking up its marketing department and shuffling top positions, it announced Tuesday.

TV1 general manager Shaun Brown will be responsible for both channels, while TV2 boss Stephen Smith moves over to the online arm, NZoom, and takes charge of future digital channels.

James Munro, the exec who spearheaded the company’s digital strategy, is leaving.

Marketing manager Simon Dunlop’s position has been eliminated. Dunlop’s department will be broken up and staff deployed to other areas of the business.

Network operations head Alan Brookbanks is leaving, and sales manager Jeff Latch has resigned to join independent production house Sportsworld Media Group NZ.

Chief exec Rick Ellis, who will leave before next June, said the changes would ready TVNZ for implementing a government charter in July.

More layoffs are expected as the restructuring continues through the end of the year.

“What we are looking at is how to make the business more efficient, both in terms of the way we put television to air and how we can minimize costs,” a TVNZ spokesman said.

He said the two channels would retain their distinctive look and audiences, but industry observers expressed concern that programming style on the two webs could blur under one boss.

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