The exodus of senior staff from Television New Zealand continued yesterday with one of its news chiefs quitting after losing out on a promotion.

Cliff Joiner, the state broadcaster's national bureau editor, will join MediaWorks next year to produce the Marcus Lush Breakfast show on RadioLive. Mr Joiner is the most recent departure as the network undergoes an end-of-year shuffle.

TVNZ communications spokeswoman Megan Richards talked down the defection of key staff. She said it was a routine exercise which occurred every December.

"This is the time of year when people traditionally move around. We've lost a couple of high-profile people but that comes with the territory. No doubt there will be other high-profile people coming our way in due course."


The Herald understands that Mr Joiner was a frontrunner to replace TVNZ head of news and current affairs Anthony Flannery, who is heading to Australian television.

RadioLive general manager Jana Rangooni said she was extremely pleased to have Mr Joiner joining the breakfast team.

"Cliff Joiner is a news heavyweight who brings a wealth of journalistic experience to our breakfast programme and RadioLive, which I'm very excited about."

Mr Joiner has been at TVNZ since 2007, when he shifted from TV3.

Mr Flannery's job of overseeing One News, Close Up and Q+A is expected to be handed to an Australian news executive this week.

His departure has amplified the usual Christmas shake-up because he has taken with him former Breakfast host Paul Henry and Close Up producer Sarah Bristow.

Last week, TVNZ political editor Guyon Espiner quit to work as a reporter on TV3's 60 Minutes. His replacement has not yet been found.

No decision has been made on a role for New York correspondent Tim Wilson when he arrives home. He is being replaced by Jack Tame.