TVNZ has appointed a specialist in business rescue and insolvency as a new director amid hefty Covid-19 cost-cutting measures at the state-owned broadcaster.

Christchurch-based Keiran Horne, a consultant at HFK Ltd Chartered Accountants, became a director of TVNZ on July 1, according to Companies Office records updated on Friday.

Horne, a member of the Hamilton City Council, also sits on the board of Lotto New Zealand and Breastscreen Otago Southland. She has previously been a director of the former state coal miner Solid Energy and Crown Asset Management, the entity set up to manage stricken assets from the finance company crash during the Global Financial Crisis.

Keiran Horne has been appointed to the TVNZ board.
Keiran Horne has been appointed to the TVNZ board.

Horne's appointment to the TVNZ board follows the departure of Cameron Harland, who stepped down in March to be the new boss of broadcasting funding agency NZ On Air.

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It comes as TVNZ is trying to save $10 million from cost cutting, including making up to 90 staff redundant.

Chief executive Kevin Kenrick last month said the changes were necessary to protect the financial sustainability of the business, "which continues to be influenced by Covid-19's impact on the advertising market".

The economic slump has led to a massive downturn in advertising revenue for all New Zealand media outlets.

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TVNZ's revenue had dropped 30 per cent during the nationwide lockdown and expected revenue momentum to recover gradually over the next 18 months.

On April 4, TVNZ's Kenrick informed staff of the company's strategy to "preserve cash" and their fresh eligibility for the Government's wage subsidy.

The chief executive outlined the "three strategic priorities for the foreseeable future" as the state broadcaster faces economic "confronting realities".

They ran: "1. Deliver essential news, 2. Entertain New Zealand audiences, and 3. Preserve cash."

"TVNZ has already made substantial savings in areas of discretionary spending, executive remuneration, capital investment projects, and deferred content productions. These actions have enabled TVNZ to offset revenue losses for this quarter, and we now need to resize our business to safeguard the future of TVNZ," he said on June 11.

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