Cam Wallace named new MediaWorks boss

Former Air New Zealand revenue chief Cam Wallace has been named the new CEO of MediaWorks.

Wallace had been silent on the suggestion but his commercial background at the airline and breadth of knowledge and contacts throughout New Zealand business community which made him a strong candidate to replace Michael Anderson who is due to leave at the end of the year.

MediaWorks told staff today of the new appointment, Business Insider learned ahead of an announcement this afternoon.

MediaWorks had also announced it was getting into the digital travel booking game, something that was part of Wallace’s extensive portfolioat Air New Zealand.

He was at the airline for 19 years before the parting of ways was announced in early September.He was core to driving Air NZ’s expansion throughout the last decade, developing new revenue streams and working closely with airline alliance partners to expand its global reach.

When his September 30 departure was announced the airline said he would continue to ”provide consultancy support” to chief executive Greg Foran until the end of the year.

”His global revenue generation experience and deep customer centricity have been critical to our efforts to ensure our airline has a viable future,” Foran said.

Wallace would have been snapped up quickly by another airline under normal circumstances and even in the altered state of Covid-19 aviation would have attractive to other carriers but has strong family ties to this country.Any job overseas would be complicated – in many places workers can’t get into the office.

The gregarious Wallace is a media and political junkie, prominent on Twitter where he has urged support for the local media industry in the past.

He was also the face of Air New Zealand’s rearguard action this year to try and soothe public fury over refunds and credits for passengers.

In his new role he’ll be dealing with a few less zeros than he was used to at Air NZ before Covid hit.

MediaWorks outdoor business QMS showed the outdoor business delivering an overall revenue of $28.2 million and an underlying EBITDA of $5.8 million in its 2019 Annual Report.

The revenue earning from the radio side of the business sat at $153.8 million for the period ended 31 December 2018.

The MediaWorks business is currently going through a period of major transition, with the TV arm having been sold to Discovery.

It’s also unclear how severe the impact of covid-19 has been on the business, although it’s understood the wage subsidy and an uptick in advertising revenue in recent months have helped to keep things reasonably stable.

MediaWorks did, however, cut 130 roles across its radio and outdoor business earlier this year.

“MediaWorks needs to be a different shaped business to operate in a different world,” said Anderson when announcing the cuts.

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