Vet Shaw swims to S. Pacific

TNZ consolidates nets

AUCKLAND — Vet TV exec Andrew Shaw goes from gamekeeper to trapper this month, moving from Television New Zealand to indie production after 26 years with the pubcaster.

Shaw becomes chief operating officer for South Pacific Pictures after a final sojourn at Mipcom TV mart in Cannes for TNZ.

Then life takes a 180 degree turn as he swings from buyer to seller for South Pacific, the drama production house with its fingers in many pies.

His move comes at an opportune time for him. Cost-conscious TNZ has shaken up its management team and dropped key execs in advance of a new public broadcasting charter.

The pubcaster announced Oct. 2 it is bringing its TV1 and TV2 channels under one boss, breaking up its marketing department and shuffling top positions.

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. CEO Rick Ellis will leave before June.

Such concerns are in the past for Shaw. South Pacific has three primetime shows, aiming at different demos, on the three major channels — a first for Kiwi television history.

TVNZ has the long-running “Shortland Street” on TV2 and new rural medical drama “Mercy Peak” on TV1. A teenage series, “Being Eve,” screens on TV3.

With “Shortland Street” still strong after nine years, the second series of “Eve” about to go into production and development on the second grouping of “Mercy Peak” in hand, South Pacific has its studios pumping for the next 18 months.

It will also join Germany’s ApolloMedia and Pandora Film in producing a new Kiwi pic, “Whale Rider.” South Pacific managing director John Barnett will produce the pic with Tim Sanders (“The Lord of the Rings”).

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