Mark Weldon walks; having full confidence of the Board isn’t enough

MediaWorks chief executive Mark Weldon has resigned. […]

Mr Weldon said in a statement this morning that he notified the MediaWorks board of his resignation last night, saying “the personal cost is now too high to continue in this role”.

MediaWorks, the parent company of TV3 and RadioLive, said the board had accepted Mr Weldon’s resignation and respected his decision.

Reaction to the controversial boss’s resignation flooded social media. Former weekend newsreader Carolyn Robinson tweeted: “Goodbye Weldon.

Don’t trip on the ruins you created as you leave.” Former Campbell Live producer Pip Keane posted: “It’s definitely a karma day.”

A string of long-time TV3 personalities have left under Mr Weldon’s watch.

John Campbell, Hamish McKay, Paula Penfold – wife of Barry’s co-presenter Mike McRoberts – and the rest of the 3D investigative journalism team, including Melanie Reid, Phil Vine, Eugene Bingham and Sarah Hall have all left or announced their departures.

MediaWorks chairman Rod McGeoch said: “The board is very grateful for Mark’s success in driving change through the entire organisation and under his leadership MediaWorks has truly become an integrated company. Mark has agreed to assist the board on strategic projects and we would like to thank him for his efforts and successes.”

“The board has complete confidence that the company will continue its momentum and growth. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at MediaWorks for their dedication and support of the company. I also want to assure the company and its stakeholders that the strategy initiated by Mark will continue.”

The company will immediately start a search for a CEO. In the interim, MediaWorks’ CFO, David Chalmers will act as CEO.

On Monday MediaWorks said Barry’s exit from TV3 had not dented Mr Weldon’s position and that the board of directors had given him “full support” after a key meeting.

Mr McGeoch dismissed speculation about Mr Weldon’s position following the meeting, saying every mainstream media company in the world was undergoing significant change.

He said the changes involved major restructuring which included a focus on reducing costs. Part of that was reviewing the profitability of shows.

“MediaWorks is no different. We have to change and we are changing. We have a clear strategy for this, led by our CEO.” He said there was “full support for the CEO executing that strategy”.

It was well known that Weldon was on “stress leave”. ¬†Ultimately, he wasn’t up to the job of gutting an organisation full of people who don’t take direction from management, and run things their own way.

It will be interesting to see who is willing to fill Weldon’s “dead man’s shoes”. ¬†It will have to be someone who thrives on conflict because the Board is still united in seeing through the restructuring, which includes the departure of people who think they are bigger than the brand.

 

– NZ Herald

 


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • MaryLou

    Kudos to Mr Weldon. I don’t doubt getting this far has sucked up every bit of energy he’s had. Hopefully he can take a good break before jumping into his next role, and I really hope the Board means what it says about finding a CEO who will continue along the path he has set.

  • Sticktotheknitting

    Sounds like the perfect role for John Campbell. Must have planned it. /sarc
    However it now gives all these luvvies a chance to put the boot in and make the new incumbents job even more difficult and stressful. I hope H Barry doesn’t gloat.

  • Ross15

    OMG we’ll never hear the end of this from the MSM –it will go on for weeks.
    Never mind it will distract them from continuing on the PM and Govt. can get on with the job.

  • John Q Public

    A lot of those smarmy tweets look a lot like bridge burning.

    Weldon was hated simply because he was Queen Street hatchet man, not a Grey Lynn media luvvie.

  • Karma

    Careful what you wish for TV3 staffers…the next boss may have an even bigger hatchet.

  • Cadwallader

    Who would take the job on? Trying to get these self-anointed msm types to be at all answerable for their actions through their veil of sanctity will be close to impossible.Perhaps they’ll need to advertise overseas as Maori TV did in Canada a few years ago…that worked out well!
    Weldon is too smart a cookie to tolerate the infantile ethos of a television channel. He is best off out of there. There will be some who’ll blame JK for the recent departures as they did when Campbell went Dead there.

  • waldopepper

    these “journalists” (i cant type that word without laughing) all think they are celebrities and stars. unfortunately it instead turns out that the emperor simply isnt wearing any clothes lol. but there is no investigative journalism any more. so weldon probably realised all he needs is a school leaver who can “cut and paste” on a computer, which is all these reporters seem to do now anyway. all the so called “faces” are simply dead wood. time for them all to get real jobs i think.

  • Damon Mudgway

    Seems like a ton of these TV3 staffers believe KPI’s don’t apply to them even though they work for a private organisation. As we all know that’s a true indicator of a self important leftie.

  • Observer

    Appalling to see so called professional journalists publicly bagging someone who has resigned. Doesn’t reflect well on them.

    • waldopepper

      i agree. they come across as petulant children.

      • Ruahine

        That is the default position in life for many of them childish. Easily observed from their public behaviour and pimping of their personal lives for easy money.

    • contractor

      Of no surprise whatsoever given that journalists are less trusted than used car salesmen.

  • Dave

    The next CEO needs to be from WAY OUTSIDE media, and a loner. Weldon did a good job in changing direction, and removing the very entrenched pimp the poor, socialist agenda dead wood, but there is a lot more to do, I only hope it continues. As above, they really need someone with the fortitude to see it through, one with a solid support network out of the media, and one who thrives on constant change, and a dash of loneliness, it is very lonely in the back room implementing change that no one in the organisation wants.

    Change. Everyone wants change unless it is happening to them.

    • papagaya

      Correct, they need a tough SOB to crush the dissenters and wreckers, and force them out.

      • Vutekno

        I hope they find the tough SOB to finish the job. Then that person should move to RNZ and clean that den of Leftie luvvies out.

  • Ross15

    Here is a post from KB, by howitis, that needs to be spread wide and far :

    “There seems to be a myth that the people in the seat make ratings.

    This was put to the test when Paul Holmes had 400,000 viewers at 7pm slot before he left TVNZ.
    He went to Prime and attracted an audience of 40,000 in the same time slot.
    This faded to 20,000 in short order.
    While Prime did not get to all the country it reached over 80% so that was not the numerical difference.

    Holmes was the most high profile person in NZ television history with a top rating morning radio show to add to his coverage.
    He moved channels and his audience did not.
    A newsreader moving will not change much.

    You could replace the two on TVNZ breakfast with a male monkey and dyed-blond female monkey and you would get the same audience. Anyone watching it now is already brain dead.”

  • localnews

    with the CFO in the hot seat, it is hard to imagine there will be much let up in looking at the bottom line. If you are bleeding money, it is a pretty simple exercise to look at who is pulling the biggest salary and ask if they are an asset or a liability.

  • axeman

    Weldon probably saved many of those whingers jobs by turning the company aorund with it reaching its 1st quarter profit target.
    Lets wait and see the screams and howls of protest when MediaWorks goes broke and who’s to blame then

    • Christie

      Which probably won’t be long, now that the luvvies seem to have won.

  • RogerB

    What is it with these people ? The bitter invective being directed at Mark Weldon is appalling – just because he failed to buy into the deification of John Campbell who is now happily ensconced at Red Radio ( paid for by the taxpayer no less !). What these bitter “journalists” are failing to acknowledge is that when Mark Weldon arrived the company was in Receivership i.e. technically insolvent ! It was/is a private company -something had to be done urgently , more of the same was simply not going to “cut it”
    The company’s financial position will only improve if the ratings improve – something that Weldon was attempting to address . Unfortunately all the people pouring out the hate at Mark Weldon are the exact same people who have an irrational hatred of John Key ( “KDS syndrome”) – in other words the “journo luvvies” who inhabit twitter ! But don’t forget , they are all “professional ” and not all biased !

  • CheesyEarWax

    I have been made redundant 3 times in my career, as a professional I would never bag my ex-bosses or ex-companies in public like these ex-TV3 staffers has. But my IT profession is not as important and sanctimonious as journalism.

    • STAG

      I totally agree, even if you truly believe it to the bottom of your heart, you smile, wish them luck or thank them for the opportunities and leave as a professional! You never know what the future holds.

      I’ve had senior staff give me a start when they really didn’t need too, 10 years latter I’ve helped them ba k into the workforce. It’s the professional merri-go-round.

      But them most of those sending these tweets will never be confused for professionals.

    • Larry

      It is a massive turn off for a potential employer, when you bag your old boss or company in a job interview.

  • Gazza

    Donald Trump would be a good hatchet man if the Presidency does not materialise….

    • Bartman

      Trump has a Royale flush!

  • Big_Al

    After reading the article on Stuff this morning, i would say that Mark Weldon is well rid of a disgusting and nasty rabble of Mediaworks staff. Reading some of the staff’s public media comments they obviously have no respect for management and refuse to follow directives. Who would employ anyone with those attitudes.

  • kayaker

    Sounds like Mark Weldon has had a lucky escape. The toxic vitriol coming from MediaWorks current and ex-employees is unbelievable. No matter how maligned and justified they feel, they’re not doing their own personal brands any good whatsoever. Along with a few others, I’ve recently been made redundant as a result of a procedurally incorrect restructure led by a hamfisted boss. Last week he also lost his job – karma, but there’s no way I’d bag him in any forum (private or public).

    • spanishbride

      I totally agree. I resigned my last job for two key reasons. One of them was my boss breaking his word to me regarding letting me choose my new teaching assistant as I had to work closely with them and we needed to be compatible.

      I had been given a temporary person for the role and he wanted to become permanent and I wanted to keep him. Instead my boss moved the guy I wanted to Hamilton and gave me a guy who had frozen when one of our students was threatened by a student from another alternative education provider.

      I told my boss that I needed a man capable of protecting our students from violence as well as capable of protecting me, as I had disarmed a student with a knife twice in the three years I had worked there.I was ignored so I resigned at the end of the year.

      I later learned that my boss had been fired by his boss. I didn’t rejoice at the news because I knew my boss had been forced to break his word to me because of his boss. The big boss not long after firing my boss was fired himself. He was incompetent so I was not at all surprised.

      He had threatened to fire me if I did not increase student numbers in order to make my part of the organisation profitable ( I worked for a charitable organisation ) I looked him in the eye and said, you do realise don’t you that I have no control over how many students we are allocated by another organisation and that our numbers are capped at 15 and we are not allowed legally to go above that?
      He didn’t even understand the organisation he had been hired to manage.

  • Sounds like Mr Weldon did the job he was paid to do and from some of the ex employees comments, did it well.

  • Ceebee

    Sounds like the perfect job for Cam. Good clean out required !

    • Nige.

      Yeah ay. And then he can employ Pete and I to clean up the crap that messes up their disgusting comments sections on their websites.

  • Ross

    It’s pathetic.. They think it was his job to be their friend.. actually he was employed to get them out of a tight spot (i.e. receivership). I get he wasn’t popular, but when you’ve got to make some tough choices you’re never going to be popular. The way they’re carrying on (Mike and Hillary carrying champagne into their offices) is a terrible look. I’m often guilty of schadenfreude, but it’s best kept to oneself.

    • biscuit barrel

      The recievership was to get them out of tax dodge which they lost in court, and thus owed $30 mill to us the taxpayers.

      “But given the same parties are involved in both the disposal and the purchase of the assets – the second part of the deal – going from receivership to the new entity – should not take long.
      Michael Stiassny of KordaMentha said the potential obligation to Inland Revenue Department taxes will be “left behind” in the changeover.

      Same businesses were involved in disposal and purchase. How dodgy is that

  • Justme

    Tomorrow morning’s News Headlines: “Weldon’s resignation a ruse – Expect more heads to roll”.

  • Christie

    I’m actually quite shocked by the vitriol coming from current and former Mediaworks employees. I’ve never seen anything like it. Is this the sort of attitude we can expect from media personnel these days? Who do they think they are? Do these people think they can run the place without a competent CEO? Don’t they realise it is all about viewers and ratings? Have to admit, I haven’t watched anything on TV3 for years. I doubt if that is going to change now.

  • Karma

    I’ve just seen the photos on Stuff of Mike and Hilary carrying champagne into the TV3 headquarters. Do staff at TV3 not realise that if the company goes under they will ALL be out of a job? The TV and film industry in this country isn’t exactly massive, so I doubt if the other networks would be able to employee them. Not the brightest crayons in the box now are they.

    • biscuit barrel

      you do remember they have been under 2 or 3 times already. The most recent time was a contrived receivership as the current owners wanted to avoid a $30 mill tax bill they lost in court. So we taxpayers were stiffed by them.

      These sort of trophy CEOs come and go all the time. Weldon was out the door the same day he ‘resigned’, you tell me who was the smarty pants here.

  • Sally

    I was never a fan of TV3 but after today’s display by staff (ex and current) I will never venture that way again for the foreseeable future. Who would want to employ that rabble?

    • Doug

      Just as print newspapers are a dying medium, I would suspect scheduled television will not be far behind… This lot of rabble may not realise it, but their jobs are not guaranteed in the long run.

  • Phenandra

    What I find most puzzling is that TV3’s toxic entitled minions don’t seem to understand the connection between their ratings and their value to the organisation, or indeed any organisation other than the increasingly bizzare National Radio.

    John Campbell being the most stunningly unaware of the lot. And I mean, Hillary Barry? Yes, she is competent, but I can’t imagine anyone deciding to watch the news because she was presenting it.

  • old school

    I once worked for a company that employed someone (from offshore) to reorganize the company. He oversaw a lot of redundancies and soon after, was gone. A hatchet man.

  • RightFirstTime

    So will Hillary be asking for her job back now……?

    • Lux

      Saint Hilary will need a substantial pay rise for saving all the Luvvies jobs, thanks very much.

  • Rebecca

    BOO HOO
    This lot are lucky Weldon was able to keep them in a job for as long as they have been
    Do people forget the place was broke – of course change needed to happen – of course they needed someone to get rid of the overpaid ego’s
    Just deliver the dam news – its not that hard
    5 year olds tell there news most mornings at school – a lot do it very well – stick them in front of a teleprompter – it will be a lot cheaper

  • Rebecca

    Oh and one more thing
    Be careful what you wish for – they next CEO may have a bigger knife
    Change is needed or its over – accept it – embrace it or move out of the way because it is coming ready or not

41%