Weldon: done, or done in?

Mark Weldon resigned as CEO from MediaWorks today. There seems to have been as much online interest in this as there was for Hilary Barry’s resignation a few days ago.

Barry certainly seemed interested, seen going into the office with a half dozen box of Moet after Weldon’s announcement.

What is not clear (and may never be clear) is whether Weldon had done his required job – get rid if high paid media presenters like Barry and John Campbell – or if he was done in by the MediaWorks board dismayed with the havoc he wrought.

Duncan Grieve at The Spinoff “looks back at the brief and blighted Mark Weldon era at MediaWorks” in What Mark Weldon never understood about TV3.

The resignations of first Jennings and then Barry this year were ample evidence that you cannot remove one cog and expect the others to keep on whirring away as they did before. Newsrooms, like all work environments, are an ecosystem – one that breaks down if subjected to change on a swift and seemingly callous basis.

This then, was Weldon’s chief failing: that he didn’t understand either the value of news to TV3, or the importance of relationships within the whole organisation. The channel was always the plucky upstart, its culture the stuff of legend. But as waves of those who had made it so departed, at every level of the business, so that culture eroded even as flash new studios were built and new brands pioneered. And if the public hates your channel for what you’ve done to its longstanding faces, they’re going to struggle to get excited about your reality shows and your radio stations.

Does this really matter?

In one way probably not much. More and more people are deserting old fashioned repackaged media.

But if it further depletes serious news coverage then we all suffer to an extent, whether we listen to their talking heads and watch their news shows or not.

Previous Post


  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  4th May 2016

    We’ll probably never know-and I am not really interested. I am really wondering why I bother to have a television, I know people who don’t have one and don’t want one.

    • Gezza

       /  4th May 2016

      I have a tv so I could knock it over, smash the screen, buy a new one, put in an insurance claim and get told the other one was fixable so they wouldn’t cover the cost of the replacement. Otherwise I wouldn’t bother with it. 😎

  2. Sponge

     /  4th May 2016

    Wheldon was there to do a job – much like Mark Hammett had a job to do at the Hurricanes. Go in and sort out the overpaid prima donnas. Job now done and now someone else with a different skill set can come in and try and make a success of TV3.

  3. Ratty

     /  4th May 2016

    I dont have a television…couldnt care less

  4. jamie

     /  4th May 2016

    There’s a bit more to it than whether you have a television or not.

    If you’re reading this site then it’s safe to say you’re interested in politics and current events.

    Mediaworks is a huge part of our media landscape and contributes to shaping our public life and the information we have about the world in a significant way every day.

  5. Steve Taylor

     /  4th May 2016

    Full Board support one day, unreserved resignation the next day: I wonder what shifted?

  6. David

     /  4th May 2016

    Mark Sainsbury replacing Sean Plunkett is the biggest clanger, Sainsbury is awful to listen too and doesn’t have a voice for radio and he is really quite ill informed, surprisingly so. I have dumped the whole station now which sorta surprised me and I am not alone either in tuning out.

  7. patupaiarehe

     /  4th May 2016

    LOL, speaking of Mediaworks…
    If they carry on like that, I’m expecting ratings might rise… 😀

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  4th May 2016

      Maybe they don’t have enough money for clothes now?

      • Gezza

         /  4th May 2016

        my young daughters and I didn’t need to see a vagina, a parental guidance warning would have been appreciated!!!” one mother commented.

        I’d pretty surprised if the camera actually went that far …

    • jamie

       /  5th May 2016

      That “genitalia” picture looks exactly like Duncan Garner.

      • Gezza

         /  5th May 2016

        XD I’d have given you 3 upticks for that one if it require two restarts …

        • Gezza

           /  5th May 2016

          bugger … if it didn’t require two restarts … XD

  8. Pickled Possum

     /  5th May 2016

    All the pictures I have seen of Mr Weldon he looks soulless, like it’s been sucked out of him by a Mean Eating Media Machine.
    He would know, how the dogs attack the new kid.
    Will the next New broom will also have a Clean Sweep Hit list, will be interesting.

  9. People in the real world see TV3 as simply another channel to flick through to. Among the worst offenders out there are those who imagine TV3 as performing a public duty, ( i.e. Suck up NZOn Air funds to employ various wannabes and employ the Campbell’s of this world to confirm their bias). It is nothing to do the public what TV3 do, apart from some accountability because taxpayers have bailed them out and need to be assured that won’t happen again. TV3 are not there to provide a public service to the earnest navel gazing, NZOn Air residents of Grey Lynn, they’re there with a product and if they want to make a profit they need to tailor it to the market.

  10. Steve Taylor

     /  5th May 2016

    Pickled Possum: No, I don’t think Weldon is soulless, as it appears he has invested his heart, mind, and soul into the role.

    What I see in his look is burnout.

    The media twitterati are now feasting on his exit – imagine what the actual environment might have been like for Weldon to work in?

    Personally, I have no stake in what happens or doesn’t happen to Mediaworks – but one has to admire the man’s work ethic, even if it turns out he took on a behemoth he couldn’t eventually tame.