1 May 2024

Warner Bros Discovery boss to step down on same day Newshub ends

1:49 pm on 1 May 2024

Photo: RNZ/Nick Monro

Warner Bros Discovery boss Glen Kyne is stepping down on the same day Newshub airs its final show.

As the media giant's head of networks for Australia and New Zealand, Kyne has been overseeing the closure of Newshub, with more than 240 employees set to lose their jobs.

Kyne also stood alongside Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher and announced Stuff would be taking over the 6pm bulletin on Three.

In a statement, the company said Kyne would be replaced by senior content director Juliet Peterson starting 5 July.

Newshub will air its final programme on the same day.

"It goes without saying that it's been a particularly challenging year for our teams," Kyne said in a statement.

"But the grace and professionalism with which they've carried themselves is a true indication of the people and culture here."

Peterson told RNZ the business was shifting towards digital content, particularly in its ThreeNow streaming service.

"[We are] growing ThreeNow in particular, moving to very much a digital-first future."

Warner Bros Discovery was not leaving the television audience behind entirely, she said.

"We're still, of course, providing for our viewers who watch via broadcast, [incuding] the external provision of the news bulletin with our partner Stuff."

Peterson declined to comment on whether that change in strategy or the closure of Newshub had a part in Kyne's departure. Nor did she comment on the number of Newshub staff who would remain for Stuff's bulletin, or who would present the programme when it started airing in July.

"[The presenters are] not something that's been sorted yet."

Peterson said employee wellbeing was a top priority.

"We need to make sure the people continuing with the business and those leaving the business are well looked after," she said.

Peterson confirmed staff leaving Newshub for other jobs before 5 July would not be eligible for redundancy payments.

"They have to stay until July 5th and then they are entitled to their full redundancy."

Asia Pacific president James Gibbons said Kyne had been popular with employees.

"His leadership of the organisation through its recent restructure put empathy and kindness at the forefront," he said.

Peterson will lead the networks alongside Kyne until his departure in July.

"I will also be looking across the whole ANZ business to evolve our portfolio in the Trans-Tasman market alongside our partners on both sides of the ditch," Peterson said.

"My focus is to grow these capabilities even further and continue to provide top-performing channels and platforms for the benefit of our partners and audiences in both markets."

More to come...

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