Stuff CEO buys company for $1

Sinead Boucher, chief executive of Stuff. Photo: Supplied
Sinead Boucher, chief executive of Stuff. Photo: Supplied
A huge shake-up of New Zealand's media landscape is underway, with TV-owner MediaWorks revealing it will cut 130 jobs and Stuff announcing it is being bought by its chief executive for $1.

Stuff - owned by Australia's Nine Entertainment - announced the sale of its business to management, led by chief executive Sinead Boucher.

The chief executive was returning the company to New Zealand ownership, with the sale is expected to be completed by May 31.

As well as the Stuff website, the business owns several newspapers including The Press and Dominion Post.

"Our plan is to transition the ownership of Stuff to give staff a direct stake in the business as shareholders," Boucher said in a statement.

"Local ownership will bring many benefits to our staff, our customers and indeed to all Kiwis, as we take advantage of opportunities to invest in and grow the business."

MediaWorks chief executive Michael Anderson told staff in an email this morning that the business was entering a restructuring process across its sales, out-of-home and radio divisions.

"It's proposed that in the region of 130 of our friends and colleagues will have to leave our business".

Because MediaWorks is still attempting to sell its TV arm, Anderson said there would only be small changes to that area of the business.

Anderson also said the company's pay cuts would be extended throughout the business to the end of September.

The huge shakeup at both businesses follows Bauer's New Zealand closing during the Covid-19 lockdown and more than 200 people being let go from the company, which published magazine titles including The Listener and North and South.

Last month NZME, which owns the Herald and Newstalk ZB, announced 200 positions would be lost. It also asked staff earning above a certain amount to take a 15 per cent pay cut for 12 weeks.

The government last month offered New Zealand media businesses an initial $50 million to help them weather the economic fallout from Covid-19 while it puts together a second round of support.

- RNZ and NZ Herald







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