MediaWorks New Zealand

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Mediaworks
Private
Industry Media
Founded 2004; 12 years ago
Headquarters Auckland, New Zealand
Area served
New Zealand
Owner Oaktree Capital Management
Divisions Radio (11 brands)
Television (TV3/FOUR/The Edge TV)
Interactive (13 websites)
Website mediaworks.co.nz

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, MediaWorks received a $43 million loan guarantee for the Government to renew its licenses until 2030.[2] The deal went against official advice, and then Communications Minister Steven Joyce was accused of having a conflict of interest as the past managing director of the company's RadioWorks division[3] The loan was described by AUT's Centre for Journalism, Media and Democracy as a form of corporate welfare,[4] and was criticised by blogger Sarah Miles as a case of Government interference in the media.[5] Radio Bay of Plenty secured commercial loans, The Radio Network covered its own costs, and Rhema Broadcasting Group covered the cost with no interest loans.[6]

In June 2013, with over NZ$700 million in debt, MediaWorks NZ was put into receivership.[7] 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.[8] Weldon resigned in May 2016 amidst a backdrop of a large number of long serving and high-profile staff leaving the company under his leadership. CFO David Chalmers replaced him in an acting capacity.[9]

On 29 April 2015, Oaktree Capital Management took a 77.8% controlling interest in the business.[10]

History[edit]

Television[edit]

MediaWorks owned TV3 and C4 upon 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 replaced it with C4 in 2003.[1] In 2009 the timeshift channel TV3 Plus 1 was launched. C4 2 was launched in 2010, then, when Four replaced C4 later that year, C4 replaced C4 2. In 2014, timeshift channel Four Plus 1 was launched, and The Edge TV replaced C4. In 2016, Bravo and Bravo Plus 1 replaced Four and Four Plus 1.

Channel
Year
3 4 8 9 11
1989 TV3 N/A N/A N/A N/A
1997 TV4
2003 C4
2009 TV3 Plus 1
2010 C4 2
Four C4
2014 Four Plus 1 The Edge TV
2016 Bravo Bravo Plus 1

Radio[edit]

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.

Services[edit]

Television[edit]

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
Bravo 25-54 females 2016
The Edge TV 15-39 2014

Radio[edit]

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.[11] 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.[12]

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

Interactive[edit]

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.[13] 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.

Websites[edit]

Website Name Primary purpose Target audience News content
3news.co.nz Website of 3 News 18-54 Articles, videos, audio clips from 3 News, Radio Live and affiliates
tv3.co.nz Website of TV3 18-49 Feed of 3 News
thebreeze.co.nz Website of The Breeze 40-60 female Feed of 3 News
four.co.nz Website of Four 15-39 None
theedge.co.nz Website of The Edge 18-34 Feed of 3 News, in-house music news
georgefm.co.nz Website of George FM 25-39 None
thesound.co.nz Website of The Sound 35-59 male Feed of 3 News
radiolive.co.nz Opinion, news, lifestyle & general website of Radio Live 35+ Feed of 3 News
maifm.co.nz Website of Mai FM 15-30 male Feed of 3 News
morefm.co.nz Website of More FM 25-44 Feed of 3 News
nzsport.co.nz Listings for sports clubs, results, cancellations 10+ Sports feed of 3 News
therock.net.nz Website of The Rock 20-44 male In-house music news
scout.co.nz Celebrity and entertainment news In-house celebrity gossip

Previous websites[edit]

Website Name Primary purpose Target audience Current use
adsearch.co.nz Ads-on-demand from MediaWorks clients 20-40 Defunct
mymobizone.co.nz Mobile content provider 10-34 Sold to Modica Group
vouchermate.co.nz Print and mobile voucher website All ages Sold to Associated Media
livesport.co.nz Website of LiveSport 18-49 Brand disestablished
kiwifm.co.nz Website of Kiwi FM 18-30 male Brand disestablished

Confidentiality and Trust[edit]

On March 10, 2016 a reporter for MediaWorks broke embargo and leaked sensitive information about a 25 basis point cut by the Reserve Bank to the Official Cash Rate (OCR).[14] MediaWorks conducted their own investigation to the leak, and followed up with an apology from CEO Mark Weldon (former head of the New Zealand Stock exchange), although Weldon stopped short of naming the reporters involved.[15] As a result of the loss of trust with the media, the Reserve Bank has elected to discontinue the media lockup prior to future releases of the OCR. It is not known if Mark Weldon or any of the unnamed reporters gained financially due to the leak.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c http://www.mediaworks.co.nz/Default.aspx?tabid=38
  2. ^ "Govt warned on media deal". The New Zealand Herald. 8 April 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "Govt lends MediaWorks $43m against advice". TVNZ. One News. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  4. ^ Myllylahti, Merja (16 September 2011). "The New Zealand Media Ownership Report 2011" (Report). labour.org.nz. AUT. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Miles, Sarah (10 April 2015). "https://thechristchurchfiasco.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/bread-and-games-and-the-plight-of-campbell-live/". The Christchurch Fiasco. Sarah MIles. Retrieved 17 July 2015.  External link in |title= (help)
  6. ^ Drinnan, John (11 March 2011). "Media: Radio deal a mockery of free market". New Zealand Media and Entertainment. New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "MediaWorks in receivership - Business - NZ Herald News". The New Zealand Herald. 17 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Mark Weldon named MediaWorks new boss". New Zealand Herald. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2014. 
  9. ^ http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11633237
  10. ^ "MediaWorks Ownership Update". MediaWorks. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  11. ^ http://www.theradiovault.net/whitianga.htm
  12. ^ Coromandel FM Website
  13. ^ 3 News radio advertisement on MediaWorks stations September 2009
  14. ^ "Reserve Bank". 
  15. ^ "MediaWorks CEO apology". 

External links[edit]