Former NZX boss Mark Weldon appointed top job at MediaWorks
By Suze Metherell
Aug. 5 (BusinessDesk) - Former NZX chief Mark Weldon has been appointed to the top job at free-to-air broadcaster MediaWorks, replacing Sussan Turner.
Weldon will take up the group chief executive position on Aug. 11 after Turner announced her resignation last month, MediaWorks said in a statement. Weldon will take charge of the broadcaster, whose stable includes TV3 and Four channels and radio stations Rock, MoreFM and RadioLIVE, as it enters a new phase after its lenders tipped the company receivership last June to rein in what had become an unmanageable level of debt.
"I have followed the business with interest and for me this was a quick decision," Weldon said. "There is a talented and commercial board in place and I am completely aligned with them on the mission and opportunity."
Weldon left the NZX in 2011 after a decade in charge of the stock market, and has since been running a central Otago winery, Terra Sancta, owned by he and his wife.
The media group's lenders completed their recapitalisation of MediaWorks in November, which reduced the company’s debt levels to about $100 million from more than $700 million beforehand. The transaction put a value of $285 million on MediaWorks, according to the Overseas Investment Office’s August approval of the deal.
The restructure also installed a new board, chaired by Australian businessman Rod McGeoch. Former Eyeworks Touchdown boss Julie Christie, best known in New Zealand for a string of reality TV series, ex-PBL director Martin Dalgleish and former Lion Nathan chief financial officer and McKinsey & Co consultant Paul Lockey join him on the MediaWorks’ board.
"We have an executive team in place that has the media experience we need," McGeoch said. "The group CEO appointment will complement existing skills, focusing on a strategy to offensively pursue growth."