NZME is set to take another big step since its rebrand from APN New Zealand last year, with plans to merge its Auckland operations including the New Zealand Herald, The Radio Network and GrabOne into a new building.
The move, to commence later this year, will bring together Herald staff with the team from radio station Newstalk ZB in the one newsroom, in a similar project to what Channel Seven and The West Australian have undertaken this month in Perth.
The aim of the move was to bring about a new corporate culture, according to NZME director of group transformation Sarah Judkins.
“It’s hard to create a new culture moving one business into another,” Ms Judkins said, “but with a brand new location it will be much more natural – like creating one new business rather than bringing three businesses together.
“We want to be a business that is future-focused, in tune with our audience, with what New Zealanders want and what’s going on – whether in digital, print or radio.”
While details of the newsroom merger are still to be determined, Herald and Newstalk staff would “keep their own character” but would likely collaborate on breaking news, Ms Judkins said.
“It will give them the ability to cover a broader range of subject matter and provide a more nationwide perspective, leveraging radio assets like Newstalk [which is also based in Christchurch].”
The building, currently being fitted out by property developer Manson TCLM, is “an amazing modern work environment” with lots of natural light, showers and other amenities to encourage staff to cycle, and lots of spaces where staff can congregate to foster collaboration.
Bringing “like-minded people” together from different brands to co-operate more closely was a key aim of the move.
“New journalists who work in radio will have a lot in common with those in publishing,” she said. “Radio and entertainment brands like TimeOut will also be able to collaborate.”
However, there would still be a focus on maintaining the individuality of the brands “within a broader corporate umbrella”.
It would also encourage brands to become more “multidimensional” with a stronger digital presence across the board, she said.
The move will commence on November 1.
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