Matt Nippert is a business investigations journalist.

Mediaworks board shake-up

Mediaworks chief executive Mark Weldon. Photo / NZME
Mediaworks chief executive Mark Weldon. Photo / NZME

Oaktree Capital appears to be taking a closer interest in their New Zealand broadcasting business MediaWorks, with one of the hedge funds' London-based executives made a director in a boardroom shakeup.

According to Companies Office filings, Jonas Mitzschke became a director earlier this month, alongside new board member and former Fairfax Australia executive Jack Matthews.

Mitzschke, based in London, is described on Oaktree's website as a senior vice president who joined the firm in 2009 from the London Office of Goldman Sachs.

Mitzschke is said to be fluent in German and comes from the part of the Oaktree's "value opportunities" business which primarily deals with distressed debt.

US-born, but now Queenstown-based, Matthews brings considerable media and online experience to his new role having previously run digital and metropolitan titles for Fairfax Media in Sydney.

He has also formerly headed TelstraSaturn in Wellington and currently sits on the board of Crown Fibre Holdings.

The two new directors join the existing quartet of chairman Rod McGeoch and board members Julie Christie, Paul Lockey and Martin Dalgeish.

MediaWorks have had a turbulent few years since lenders tipped the company into receivership in 2013, seeing Oaktree emerge as eventual owner after progressively snapping up hundreds of millions of dollars of bank debt at a steep discount.

Their new-broom chief executive, former NZX boss Mark Weldon, ruffled feathers cutting several long-running current affairs programs, including Campbell Live, and overseeing a merger of the company's radio, online and television newsrooms into Newshub.

- NZ Herald

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