November 24, 2015 by Doug Coutts
The former state wireless service, affectionately known as RNZ by the dozen or so regular listeners still hanging on Jesse Mulligan’s every lifeless syllable, is about to undergo a change of image, direction, branding and lift carpet, according to a memo reported to be circulating around the tea-room at Broadcasting House (Wellington branch).
WWNews was unable to obtain a copy of the memo before press time but it apparently sets out the changes RNZ Senior Management believes are necessary to “make RNZ a credible performer in worldwide media circles”.
RNZ publicity manager Fay Downett d’End told WWNews she was unable to go into specifics, having forgotten the door code, but confirmed there would be a restructuring. “The role of the media has changed,” she said. “People are seeking out information in many different and/or varied ways, and our organisation needs to respond to that.”
Part of that response would be a change in staff numbers. “We are fortunate to have a large number of experienced staff with a lengthy track record in broadcasting, and their email addresses, so that will make sending out redundancy notices a lot easier,” Ms Downett d’End said.
A major thrust of the restructuring is a rebranding, Ms Downett d’End said, which includes the dropping of the word ‘radio’. “That recognises how our core business has changed, and that we are much more than just a radio broadcaster. We are a radio broadcaster with a webpage, and soon – although not as soon as we promised – we’ll be a radio broadcaster with a website and three Go-Pro cameras in the studio, with one embedded in John Campbell’s chin.”
The company will still be called RNZ however – Ms Downett d’End said deleting the R was not an option. “There’s already an organization called NZ, so to avoid confusion and the chance of John Oliver poking fun at us as well we’ll stick with the R for the time being and make it stand for something else.”
What that something else might be is as yet uncertain, according to Ms Downett d’End. “We’ve engaged a firm of media consultants who’ve come up with some possibles and we’re currently having a brainstorming session to choose the best one,” she said. Would that make RNZ relevant? “No, it’s not on the list,” Ms Downett d’End said.