Julie Christie to leave MediaWorks board at end of the month
By Paul McBeth
June 22 (BusinessDesk) - Reality TV pioneer Julie Christie will leave the board of MediaWorks Investments at the end of the month, ending almost four years as a director of the private equity-owned free-to-air broadcaster.
Christie, who was this month awarded a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to governance and the television industry, will leave the board on June 30, which she said will let her pursue two new roles she was recently appointed to and return to producing television.
"I think it's important that directors refresh their governance portfolios regularly and that boards refresh their skill set regularly so after more than four years with MediaWorks, it is time for me to do other things," Christie said in a statement. "I have now taken up two new roles which enable me to pursue my interest in economic development - as a trustee of Development West Coast and as a member of the steering group for New Zealand's World Expo 2020 project."
Christie joined the MediaWorks board in August 2013 after the broadcaster's lenders seized control from previous private equity owner Ironbridge Capital to restructure the debt. US private equity firm Oaktree Capital ultimately took control of MediaWorks and hired former NZX boss Mark Weldon to transform the company. His management style jarred with the company's staff and saw a string of high-profile talent quit, leading up to Weldon's own departure last year.
A boardroom shake-up soon followed which saw Jack Matthews replace Rod McGeoch as chairman.
Matthews today thanked Christie for her contribution to the board, saying she played a "major part" in the fundamental change to the business.
The Auckland-based media group posted a net loss of $14.8 million in calendar 2016, due in part to $6.4 million of impairment charges on the TV business which struggled in the year. New chief executive Michael Anderson, who took over in August, has said the business has stabilised since then and was running ahead of budget as the first half of 2017 draws near a close.