Mark Weldon, Medaworks, Campbell Live, John Key

Highlighting some interesting things in relation to the reported ‘review’ of Campbell Live by MediaWorks, and especially about the relationship between Mark Weldon and John Key.

Curious to see Rex Widerstrom do a guest post at The Daily Blog. In the past this sort of post would probably have been reposted at The Standard, but Prentice and Bradbury are feuding. As it’s done it’s dash at TDB It’s worth a repost here.

Rex Widerstrom – Thirteen things you (probably) didn’t know about Mark Weldon (CEO of Mediaworks)

1: He’s the man John Key picked to chair the “Summit on Employment” in 2009

2: He’s also the man John Key picked to lead The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal

3: He’s also the man who used that position to breach the Bill of Rights Act and force “the advancement of religion” into the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust’s constitution.

4: And he’s the man Cameron Slater (Whaleoil) characterises as “allegedly a friend of John Key”

5: Slater also asked on October 15 last year “Who will be the first (of many) casualties under Mark “I’m the boss” Weldon at Mediaworks?” with one commenter on that story saying “The man is a tyrant who doesn’t play nicely with others. Frankly, I love the idea of Weldon and John Campbell having to work together …”

6: He’s also the man whom insiders were picking as a potential National Party candidate for the safe seat of Tamaki.

7: And he’s a man who praised John Key’s program of asset sales announced in 2011 as “bold, it was clear, it was early – and very positive…” and called those who were cautious about it “fearmongering”. That’s the same assets sales program that had to be drastically cut back and became something of an embarrassment to the government.

8: He’s the man who made a substantial personal gain ($6 million) as a result of Key’s asset sales announcement.

9: He’s also the man who, as CEO of the NZX, characterised those who voiced concerns about aspects of the Exchange’s operations as mentally ill.

10: He’s the man who’s already got rid of two of Mediaworks’s main financial watchdogs – chief financial officer Peter Crossan and company secretary and lawyer Claire Bradley.
MediaWorks parts with more executives

11: He’s the man of whom blogger Cactus Kate (business lawyer and commentator Cathy Odgers) noted “Mediaworks currently does not employ anyone on your television or radio with a larger ego than Weldon, even Willie Jackson, Sean Plunket and Duncan Garner combined can’t compete” and that “NZX was the greatest reality soap opera in town under Weldon’s leadership, the casting couch of characters was enormous as disgruntled staff left and new bright eyed disciples were employed”.

12: He’s the man Odgers also described (in a blog post now deleted by referenced by another, also right wing, blogger) as a “weasel word corporate-welfared CEO…” and a “shallow self-promoting tool”.

13: He’s the man who said there was no conflict of interest in allowing the NZX to be the provider of NZX services, the supervisor of its members, a listed participant on its own exchange and the market regulator… a statement one broker described as “utter balderdash”.

WeldonKeyWeldon was also appointed by Key, or one of his Ministers, the Capital Markets Development Taskforce in 2009/10; the Tax Working Group in 2009; and the Climate Change Leadership Forum in 2007.

Key gave him a QSO in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Now remember that Slater, Odgers and Cresswell are all considered right wingers. They’re certainly not the type of people who’d be found cheering John Campbell’s advocacy journalism on behalf of the less fortunate.

Generally, you might expect them to be quite supportive of a man with Weldon’s background who’s chaired the NZX and is friends with the Leader of the National Party.

So, you be the judge… is the move to axe Campbell Live motivated by ratings (it’s not advertising revenue, as advertisers strongly support the show) or by something else altogether?

– Rex Widerstrom, as posted at The Daily Blog, with functional links located and added.

Support building

Getting ordinary people in person and on Facebook behind us is easy, they readily identify with and pick up on what we’re offering.

Politically interested people more often have an initially negative reaction, but with discussion and explanation that can often be turned to at least respect for what we’re doing, and increasingly open support (and more behind the scenes). For example:

Rex Widerstrom:

David Garrett asks:

Pete George: Been an MP have you? A City Councillor? A member of a Community Board? School Committee?

Ah I see… evidence of moral decay as a prerequisite for office 😉 Seriously though, if Pete had pushed himself forward for any and every office going I’d immediately flag that as an indicator that he’s probably not worth voting for.

I don’t know what he has done, but hopefully it’s something in the real world, like earning an honest living or running a small business; perhaps struggled on the dole for a bit; maybe played up a bit as a youngster rather than emerging from the womb with his eye firmly fixed on the public teat.

If you knew anything at all about politics you wouldn’t be deluding yourself you can start a one man party and take a seat first time up… That IS you isn’t it?

No it isn’t. Pete is trying to start a political movement which will be responsive to the will of its grassroots membership – unlike any of the present parties (the Greens come close in some respects, but not others). He’s advertised for other candidates and he’s standing himself with a view to generating publicity for the idea.

I do hope you took the time to read and understand the material you were required to consider as an MP, as you’ve clearly missed the entire point of what Pete is endeavouring to do.

[Disclaimer: Pete has sought, and I’ve privately offered, some advice (for what it’s worth) and broadly support the principles of what he’s trying to do. The commitment to grassroots control is the closest I’ve seen anyone get to the Founding Principles of NZ First since they abandoned them in 1996]

David Garrett:

Pete George: I was too harsh…call it Sunday Morning Dyspepsia…

Good upon you for having a go…but be careful what you wish for mate!
Rex Widerstrom:

“If Pete George succeeds in attracting even a handful of such people, and getting them elected, it will change the face of politics in NZ for the better.”

Incidentally Your NZ is not a “one man band” – I started it but we have widening support, and we appointed an acting party leader Jason Ashley last week who among other things will manage the list formation, is contributing to this blog and is promoting the party.