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The former Newshub political editor is set to make her morning radio debut later this month on a brand new MediaWorks show.
But she is taking Newshub’s owner to court over a three-month restraint of trade clause, Newsroom reports.
O’Brien is taking her former employer to the Employment Relations Authority in a bid to escape the clause, which would prevent her from starting work for a competitor until three months after her former contract ended.
MediaWorks was previously owned TV3 but sold its TV arm to Discovery in September 2020. Now O’Brien is jumping back to MediaWorks.
The launch date for her new radio show Today FM hasn’t been confirmed but is rumoured to be this month. If so, it would coincide with the return of TV3‘s new AM Show, expected back on air in February.
O’Brien often appeared on The AM Show and was broadcast on both TV3 and Magic Talk radio - harking back to when MediaWorks owned both the radio and TV networks.
Restraint of trade clauses are designed to prevent employees from jumping ship to work for a competitor.
In this case, Discovery will have to convince the Employment Relations Authority that O’Brien’s new radio show is similar to her former role as a TV political editor, Newsroom reports.
O’Brien announced her resignation at the beginning of November last year in time to finish at Discovery before Christmas, take a month’s leave, and finish out her contract in time for Today FM’s launch by the end of this month.
But then Discovery told her it would be enforcing the three-month restraint clause in her contract.
The hearing comes after the failure of mediation between the parties.