The replacement for departing head of news at MediaWorks Mark Jennings has been announced as news website editor Hal Crawford.

Australian Crawford will be leaving his role as editor-in-chief of Ninemsn, where he has held various positions over the past decade.

Yesterday Newshub reported Jennings would be leaving after 27 years of service at MediaWorks.

Hal Crawford, has been appointed as the new Chief News Officer for MediaWorks. Photo / MUMBRELLA.COM
Hal Crawford, has been appointed as the new Chief News Officer for MediaWorks. Photo / MUMBRELLA.COM

Group chief executive MediaWorks, Mark Weldon, told the channel: "Over 25 years of leadership of TV3 News, Mark has made a major and lasting contribution to NZ journalism and wider NZ society.


"I personally have greatly enjoyed working with Mark.

"I believe that the timing of his departure, coming as it does after the successful launch of Newshub, and at the beginning of a new digital-led phase, works best for the company and for Mark personally. His legacy of strong and fearless journalism will continue to reverberate through the Newshub - he is leaving with significant momentum in our news brands."

Australian media reported Crawford would stay on at Ninemsn until the end of May.

Former journalist at MediaWorks David Farrier joked on Twitter about Jennings' successor being from a background in online news.

He also shared a link to an opinion piece Crawford wrote called "Why 'quality journalism' should be left to die" on Australian media and marketing blog Mumbrella.

Several current and former journalists and employees for MediaWorks have paid tribute to Jennings on social media.

Veteran journalist Amanda Gillies wrote on Twitter: "Mark Jennings is leaving TV3. He offered me a job 15 years ago and kindly agreed to be my mentor. He has been brilliant and will be missed.''

Journalist Sarah Hall called Mr Jennings' depature "tragic.''

"Tragic day for TV3. Mark Jennings was a fantastic boss and a great newsman.''

While Prime TV journalist Eric Young remembered when he joined the TV3 network in 1989.

"Mark Jennings was already someone to aspire to. Feels like a punch in the guts. And I don't even work for him.''