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TVNZ taps House of Travel boss for new chief executive

Tuesday 10th April 2012

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Television New Zealand’s board has tapped former House of Travel boss Kevin Kenrick to lead the state-owned broadcaster.

The former travel agency head will take on the role of chief executive at TVNZ from mid-May, and he singled out ultra-fast broadband as a means to take advantage of new opportunities for the company.

“The future of TVNZ is all about continuing to deliver the news, information, and the great entertainment that kiwis want to see, all while expanding how this is delivered to every screen, where and when people want to see it,” Kenrick said in a statement. “I’m excited about building on these strong foundations and taking advantage of the new opportunities, like ultra-fast broadband, to deliver richer media services to more New Zealanders.”

His appointment ends a five-month process since Rick Ellis flagged his intention to leave for a job with Australian phone company Telstra.

Last month TVNZ’s head of TV One and TV2, Jeff Latch, told Parliament’s commerce select committee the broadcaster is tightening up its internet strategy as it seeks to tap into the 83 percent of New Zealand homes viewing content online.

Kenrick led House of Travel for three years, having previously held a number of senior management roles at Telecom between 1999 and 2007, including chief operating officer. Kenrick’s left along with other top Telecom executives following its then CEO, Theresa Gattung’s, exit after the government enforced operational separation on the phone company.

The state broadcaster more than tripled its first-half profit to $19.2 million through the final six months of 2011, putting the government in line for a big dividend at the end of the June financial year.

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