MediaWorks New Zealand

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Industry Media
Founded 2004
Headquarters Auckland, New Zealand
Area served
New Zealand
Owner Oaktree Capital Management
Divisions Radio (10 brands)
Television (TV3/FOUR)
Interactive (18 websites)

MediaWorks New Zealand is a New Zealand-based television, radio and interactive media company entirely owned by Oaktree Capital Management. It operates playout services from Auckland and Wellington studios via Kordia's microwave network for 3 News, TV3, and FOUR, ten national radio brands, eighteen websites and three locally operated radio stations.

In 2004, CanWest Global Communications combined television company TV3 Network Services and radio company RadioWorks to form the new MediaWorks company. On 29 July 2004, 30% of this new company was sold on the NZSX. Three years later, in July 2007, CanWest sold its stake of the company to Ironbridge Capital, a group of Australian investors, who subsequently obtained the remaining 30% from other investors.[1] MediaWorks is significantly larger than any of its other investments.

In 2011, controversy erupted over a $43 million loan guarantee made by the Government to MediaWorks, with critics citing Communications Minister Steven Joyce's conflict of interest as past managing director of the company's RadioWorks division.[2] In June 2013, with over NZ$700 million in debt, MediaWorks NZ was put into receivership.[3] It came out of receivership in November 2013. In August 2014, Mark Weldon was appointed CEO, replacing Susan Turner who had resigned in July 2014.[4]

On 29 April 2015, Oaktree Capital Management took a 77.8% controlling interest in the business.[5]



MediaWorks has owned TV3 and C4 since its inception in 2004. TV3 was founded in 1989 after the Fourth Labour government allowed for a private television broadcaster and CanWest obtained TV3 between 1991 and 1997 after the National government loosened rules on foreign ownership.

Under CanWest control, TV3 relaunched in March 1998 with a new brand and a 3 News bulletin hosted by John Campbell and Carol Hirschfeld. In 2005, Hilary Barry & Mike McRoberts became the station's news anchors. TV3 staff also launched youth station TV4 in 1997 and relaunched it as C4 in 2003 [1] - it is now known as FOUR.


Main article: MediaWorks Radio
Invercargill's Foveaux Radio was one of several heritage stations to be transitioned to network programming.

MediaWorks inherited most of its radio stations from its namesake RadioWorks, which was itself the result of a history of amalgamations. That history began when Radio Pacific purchased the Energy Enterprises group of local North Island stations in the 1990s and began to operate as Pacific/Radioworks Group. In 1999 Radio Pacific and Radio Otago merged to form the publicly listed company RadioWorks; this included the growing brands of The Edge, The Rock and Solid Gold.

Between 2000 and 2001 CanWest purchased RadioWorks, awaiting company restructuring before completing the year-long takeover, and moved its existing MORE FM group assets, including Channel Z and The Breeze Wellington, into the company. Local heritage stations were categorised under the LocalWorks brand. Some stations, like Magic 828 and 98.6FM Manawatu, The Breeze Wellington and Lite FM Christchurch, were transferred to an easy listening format and were rebranded as semi-local stations in the The Breeze in 2004.

The music format on most of the LocalWorks stations was an Adult Contemporary format, including KCC FM Northland, Y99.3 FM Waikato, Coastline FM Tauranga, Lakes 96FM Rotorua, Energy FM Taranaki, Hot 93 Hawkes Bay, Star FM Wanganui, 2XS FM Manawatu, Fifeshire FM Nelson, C93FM Christchurch, Radio Central in Central Otago, Resort Radio Queenstown, 4XO Dunedin and Foveaux FM Southland. From March 2003, these stations were required to introduce a centralised playlist to create a standard in the music played across the stations. Many of these stations became part of the More FM network in December 2004.



TV3, FOUR and The Edge TV operate out of Auckland City. Television advertising is sold by the MediaWorks offices in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Melbourne, Sydney and Hamilton. There are 3 News bureaus in the TV3 Headquarters in Auckland and MediaWorks offices in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, with news staff working out of other offices as needed.

TV3 provides mature content, 3 News bulletins, current affairs and sport while FOUR broadcasts content for children, young adults and families. Both channels are available as timeshift channels on digital platforms such as terrestrial, satellite and cable, with 3 Plus 1 launched in 2009 and FOUR Plus 1 launched 2014. The Edge TV, also launched in 2014, broadcasts music videos and entertainment news. All are available via all digital platforms such as terrestrial, satellite and cable. TV3 and FOUR were the only ones previously available via analogue terrestrial on the VHF band before the 2013 switch-off.

Television brands[edit]

Channel Target audience Launched
TV3 25-54 1989
FOUR 18-49 1997
The Edge TV 15-39 2014


Main article: MediaWorks Radio

Since its inception in 2004, MediaWorks have moved its local stations over to the More FM and The Breeze brand; all these broadcasts now carry this branding and some or all of the brand's programming. At the same time, MediaWorks have rolled out new brands Radio Live and Kiwi FM, converted Radio Pacific to LiveSport, and purchased brands Mai FM and George FM. MediaWorks owns Times FM in Orewa, Coromandel FM on the Coromandel Peninsula and Radio Dunedin in Otago.[1]

All MediaWorks owned and affiliated stations read or carry Radio Live News updates hourly or half hourly during their weekday breakfast programmes. Most also carry pre-recorded news and sports updates hourly at other times. Radio Live News took over from the RadioWorks news service, Global News, with the launch of Radio Live in 2005. While most stations carry branded programming, some More FM and The Breeze stations have their own breakfast, daytime and drive programmes. Most branded stations carry local advertisements, promotions and community notices, sponsor or report from local events, provide local traffic updates and have local news and sports commentary spots.

Radio brands[edit]

Brand Type Target audience Original station News updates
The Breeze Easy listening 40-59 female The Breeze Wellington in 1993 Half hourly in breakfast; hourly
LiveSport Sports talk 40+ male Radio Pacific Auckland in 1978 Half hourly in breakfast
The Edge Pop/Rock, R&B/top 40 Under 35 The Edge Hamilton in 1994 Half hourly in breakfast and drive
Kiwi FM Alternative music 18-49 Channel Z Wellington in 1996 Hourly
George FM Dance music 25-39 George FM Auckland in 1998 Hourly in breakfast and drive
Mai FM Urban music Under 35 years Mai FM Auckland in 1992 Half hourly in breakfast,; hourly
Magic Oldies 50-69 years New Station Half hourly in breakfast; hourly
More FM AC/Pop 25-44 female More FM Wellington in 1991 Half hourly in breakfast; hourly
Radio Live Talk radio 35-54 Radio Pacific Auckland in 1978 Half hourly (daytime), hourly (nights); as breaking
The Rock Rock music under 44 male The Rock Hamilton in 1992 Half hourly in breakfast; hourly
The Sound Classic rock/Oldies 35-59 Solid Gold Auckland in 1997 Half hourly in breakfast; hourly

Local services[edit]

Coromandel FM is a regional Coromandel Peninsula radio network with a Hot AC music format and hourly Radio Live News updates. It was officially launched by station manager Warren Male in December 1992, but began as short trial broadcasts on Pauanui-Tairua and Whitianga-Whangamata during previous summers.[6] Under a contract with MediaWorks New Zealand, independent affiliate Coromandel FM Limited also operates The Breeze Mercury Bay and The Rock Mercury Bay from Thames.

Coromandel FM's daily breakfast programme is hosted by Rex Simpson and includes the Carswell Construction Rural Hour, political commentary from MP Scott Simpson, Thames-Coromandel Mayor Glenn Leach, and Hauraki Mayor John Tregidga, birthday announcements, and horoscopes. Alan Beagle hosts mid-mornings and Mike Bain hosts afternoons.[7]

Local brands and affiliates[edit]

Brand Type Target audience Market and location News updates
Big River Radio Adult contemporary 25-54 Otago: Balclutha since 1992 Hourly
Coromandel FM Hot AC Coromandel Peninsula: Thames since 1992 Hourly
Radio Dunedin Otago: Dunedin since 1922 Hourly


MediaWorks Interactive consists of the 3 News website, the official websites of the company's television and radio brands, and six specialist websites set up since the department was formed in 2004. The Interactive department designs, maintains and sells advertising on all eighteen websites. Most websites have a similar layout and a MediaWorks link bar at the top of every page.

The 3 News website is the flagship news website of MediaWorks, and is continuously updated by the company's journalists. It claims to have provided the first video coverage and breaking news coverage of several events, including being the first website to have posted the verdict of the retrial of David Bain in 2009.[8] It includes sections on national, world, sport, business, entertainment, politics, lifestyle, technology and odd news, as well as weather forecasts, information on 3 News programmes and a news forum. The other websites carry feeds from relevant sections.


Website Name Primary purpose Target audience News content Website of 3 News 18-54 Articles, videos, audio clips from 3 News, Radio Live and affiliates Website of TV3 18-49 Feed of 3 News Website of The Breeze 40-60 female Feed of 3 News Website of Four 15-39 None Website of The Edge 18-34 Feed of 3 News, in-house music news Website of George FM 25-39 None Website of The Sound 35-59 male Feed of 3 News Opinion, news, lifestyle & general website of Radio Live 35+ Feed of 3 News Website of LiveSport 18-49 Sports feed from 3 News Website of Kiwi FM 18-30 male Feed of 3 News Website of Mai FM 15-30 male Feed of 3 News Website of More FM 25-44 Feed of 3 News Listings for sports clubs, results, cancellations 10+ Sports feed of 3 News Website of The Rock 20-44 male In-house music news

Previous websites[edit]

Website Name Primary purpose Target audience Current use Ads-on-demand from MediaWorks clients 20-40 Defunct Mobile content provider 10-34 Sold to Modica Group Print and mobile voucher website All ages Sold to Associated Media

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ "Govt warned on media deal". The New Zealand Herald. 8 April 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "MediaWorks in receivership - Business - NZ Herald News". The New Zealand Herald. 17 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Mark Weldon named MediaWorks new boss". New Zealand Herald. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "MediaWorks Ownership Update". MediaWorks. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Coromandel FM Website
  8. ^ 3 News radio advertisement on MediaWorks stations September 2009

External links[edit]