Mark Weldon named new MediaWorks CEO
UPDATE / Aug 5: MediaWorks has just named former-NZX CEO Mark Weldon as its new CEO.
Mr Weldon is the former chief executive of the New Zealand Stock Exchange. He left in 2012, after 10 years at the helm.
He is the owner of Terra Sancta, a central Otago winery and also the chairman of recently listed software company GeoOp
Mr Weldon will start at the broadcaster on August 11.
MediaWorks chairman Rod McGeoch says securing Mr Weldon is a “huge coup.”
He replaces outgoing MediaWorks CEO Sussan Turner who will finish on August 15.
MediaWorks 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," Mr Weldon said. "There is a talented and commercial board in place and I am completely aligned with them on the mission and opportunity."
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.
EARLIER: MediaWorks spokeswoman Rachel Lorimer said Ms Turner is “taking a break” after 30 years with the company. She says Ms Turner will reassess career opportunities after a brief holiday.
MediaWorks chair Rod McGeoch said Ms Turner had successfully navigated the company through one of its most challenging times.
“We’ve come out the other side with a restored balance sheet and a stellar trading performance across the group this year.”
Ms Turner began her radio career as a cadet journalist in Dunedin in 1984 and rose to become managing director of Radio Otago, a publicly listed company, before she was 30.
She is seen as the driving force behind the emergence of MediaWorks’ radio brands and was appointed to her current role in 2010.
Ms Turner had been a board member at MediaWorks but stepped down in 2012.