Corazon Miller is a NZ Herald reporter

With Mark Weldon gone will Hilary Barry rethink her resignation?

Hilary Barry staying on could be the victory the embattled broadcaster MediaWorks needs to ensure a viable future, an expert has said.

As its chief executive, Mark Weldon, rounds up the long list of controversial departures at the broadcaster during his one-and-a-half year reign, the company will be carefully considering where to next.

Herald columnist and Milford Asset Management executive director Brian Gaynor has suggested convincing Barry to stay could be what it needs to rise out of the mire.

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"They need a psychological victory to succeed and it would be seen as one if she decided to stay."

The long-time news television journalist resigned last week, the second high-profile casualty at TV3 in the past year, after John Campbell left in May.

Her resignation has been touted as the tipping point that led to Mark Weldon's resignation yesterday.

Now he was gone, Gaynor didn't doubt MediaWorks would be looking hard at how they could convince Barry to rethink her decision.

But he didn't think it would be just about the money.

"It's not just about the financial offer, but the vision they can give her...an image of a positive route forward."

Weldon's management style and the raft of high-profile departures under his watch have been touted as key reasons behind the TV anchor's decision to leave a company she'd worked for since 1993.

And now that he's set to go it could open the door to the possibility Barry could reconsider her own resignation.

However, as the Herald has previously reported, sources say Barry has signed a contract with TVNZ.

While she was yet to talk publically on Weldon's departure her joy was apparent as she unloaded boxes of celebratory drinks with co-host Mike McRoberts yesterday afternoon.

Gaynor said he wouldn't comment on how Weldon may not have been a "cultural fit", but said one could draw their own conclusions from this image.

But he did say it was evident Weldon's approach hadn't worked.

"They are now going to have to try something else...they are going to have to come up with a successful strategy in what's a very, very, very competitive industry."

One of the other biggest questions for the broadcaster was likely to be who could and should replace Weldon.

Herald columnist John Drinnan has suggested Paul Maher, a former MediaWorks employee who had been tipped to replace Mr Weldon's predecessor Sussan Turner.

However, Maher, who'd worked as the TV chief executive until his role was disestablished as part of the company restructure, manned by Weldon, wouldn't comment on his return to the company.

"It's been a year and a half since I was at MediaWorks, I loved my time there and I still have strong feelings for the company and its people."

Maher did say Barry was a loss for the network.

"She's a brilliant journalist and presenter," he said. "More importantly she is/was a part of the cultural fabric that made TV3 a great place to be."

- NZ Herald

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