MediaWorks chief content officer Andrew Szusterman has resigned after 17 years with the broadcaster.

Szusterman first joined the business in 2002, originally as a programme director before steadily moving his way up the ranks.

In 2008, Szusterman became associate director of programming for TV3, playing an integral role in introducing locally produced formats, including New Zealand's Next Top Model and X Factor.

Szusterman has been chief content officer at MediaWorks since 2014, and has continued his commitment to developing big-ticket local shows. Under his stewardship, the channel's local content lineup has continued to develop with local versions of Married At First Sight NZ and Dancing With The Stars NZ being added to the mix.

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His departure does, however, come as MediaWorks scraps its marquee TV production, Love Island NZ, as part of a range of company-wide cost-cutting measures including a staff hiring freeze.

Andrew Szusterman has been with the company for 17 years. Photo / Supplied
Andrew Szusterman has been with the company for 17 years. Photo / Supplied

A general staff email sent by MediaWorks chief executive Michael Anderson last week announced Love Island NZ would be taken out of the 2019 production schedule and the company will "look to do it in 2020".

Staff insiders said a soft advertising market had made it difficult to find decent sponsors for the show.

Read more:
MediaWorks scraps prized signing Love Island NZ

Anderson also announced a freeze on staff recruitment for all "non-essential roles" across MediaWorks, as well as scrutiny on staff international travel in an effort to be "very mindful of our cost base".

These measures also come off the back of reports in May of a restructure in the news department at the company.

Read more:
MediaWorks journos brace for cost-cutting

Szusterman's official statement did not provide details on his next move.

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"MediaWorks is such a special business, its people have so much passion for it, it's rare and at times unexplainable as to why and that's what I'll miss the most. But for now, it's time to see what life outside MediaWorks is like, and I'm truly excited by that," he said.

MediaWorks has not yet announced a replacement, but it has some time given that Szusterman will only be leaving the business in October.