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John Drinnan is a Herald business writer and media commentator

John Drinnan: RNZ boss says radio in decline - big changes needed

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Paul Thompson, RNZ CEO (pictured in his previous role as Fairfax NZ group MD) NZH - file pic
Paul Thompson, RNZ CEO (pictured in his previous role as Fairfax NZ group MD) NZH - file pic

Radio New Zealand is expected to restructure management at the end of this month.

The revamp is part of the next stage of its makeover to place greater emphasis on its online arm, with details expected to be revealed after a board meeting scheduled for May 29.

Chief executive Paul Thompson has signaled an increased focus on its online operations but insists it will not be turning its back on its radio stations; National, Concert and RNZ international.

Thompson hinted at the shift in a keynote address delivered this week to the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association conference in Glasgow.

He was blunt when describing the present shortfalls of RNZ's online operation.

"We are weak, almost irrelevant on the web. As a broadcaster we lack visual journalism and digital story-telling skills," he told the conference.

RNZ's preferred medium where it had built up expertise - radio - was in long term decline, he said.

Thompson has initiated significant changes to key programmes such as Morning Report since taking over as chief executive.

A RNZ source said Thompson was pressing for a more proactive approach to news coverage and aimed to break more stories.

Changes to be announced at the end of the month are also expected to affect news gathering operations.

Thompson told the conference RNZ was the most trusted source of news in New Zealand.

Read the full speech here:

- NZ Herald

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