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Weldon says he still has board's backing

NZN 2/05/2016 Edwin Mitson

Mediaworks chief executive Mark Weldon has insisted he still has the confidence of the company's board following a meeting in Auckland.

Weldon was asked by reporters camped outside the television and radio broadcaster's headquarters on Monday if he still had the confidence of his board, to which he responded: "I think so", Radio New Zealand reported.

There was media speculation he could be about to resign following the decision of long-serving newsreader Hilary Barry to leave TV3 - the latest in a string of controversial departures by senior staff.

She announced her resignation on Friday and will leave at the end of May.

Long-serving newsroom chief Mark Jennings left TV3 in February and a host of other senior executives across the business have also departed, while insiders are feeding stories of low morale and further resignations in the wings.

TV3's Newshub team also embarrassed the company by emailing details of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's March cut to the Official Cash Rate from an embargoed lock-up to its main newsroom, where it was sent to an external party, leading to the RBNZ stopping lock-ups.

Former NZX boss Weldon was appointed as chief executive in 2014 and among his changes has been the merger of the company's TV, radio and digital operations into a single entity, Newshub, which launched on Feb. 1 "with a strong emphasis on digital, servicing web, mobile devices and social media".

Last month Oaktree Capital, the US hedge fund that owns Mediaworks, imposed a collar on the company's management which meant they couldn't spend $2 million without recourse to the board.

Earlier, TVNZ and Fairfax Media announced a collaboration which would see the state broadcasters news video being made available on the Stuff website from May 5.

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