6 Aug 2014

MediaWorks CEO looks to profitability

9:12 am on 6 August 2014

MediaWorks new chief executive is clearly being charged with restoring the company's profitability sufficiently so that its banker owners can sell and get their money back.

MediaWorks has appointed Mark Weldon, who used to head stock exchange operator NZX, as its new chief executive to replace Sussan Turner who resigned last month.

Mr Weldon starts work next Monday and Ms Turner leaves the following Friday.

MediaWorks owns the TV3 and TV4 television stations, and RadioWorks whose networks include RadioLive, The Rock and LiveSport.

Chairman Rod McGeoch said he had a clear goal for MediaWorks which was to get the business back into the sort of revenue and profit numbers that it used to have.

Mark Weldon said he acknowledged there was only so far MediaWorks costs could be pared back, which meant he was going to have to achieve growth. But he said he didn't have pre-conceived ideas as to how to achieve that.

MediaWorks went into receivership last year after the banks finally pulled the plug on the previous owner, the private equity firm, Ironbridge, who bought the company in 2007 for $700 million, mostly using debt.

The banks then swapped more than $600 million in debt to equity, leaving MediaWorks with a much more manageable $100 million debt burden.