Television New Zealand chief executive Simon Power needs to use his undoubted abilities and start leading the organisation from the front.
Throughout the excoriating saga of Breakfast host Kamahl Santamaria’s inappropriate behaviour and subsequent resignation of the networks head of news, Power has seemed to be far from the front line.
What began as a manageable problem turned into a mess, not only in terms of staff morale but also public perception of the state broadcaster. Tom Dillane’s extensive analysis of the issue in the Weekend Herald traced the broad scope of the malaise afflicting the newsroom and associated departments. The problems clearly run wide and deep and are not solely a result of Santamaria’s transgressions.
This could not have come at a worse time – TVNZ should have been preparing for its integration into a new public media entity with a positive outlook and sure of its place in the new organisation. Instead, its culture has been shaken, its processes found wanting, its newsroom leadership placed in limbo, and public trust in the organisation damaged because those who hold others to account are expected to be above reproach.
The statement repeated throughout the meltdown has been that Simon Power is not available for interview, nor will he answer written questions. Employment issues are bound up in complex law and do require careful handling. However, questions around Santamaria’s hiring and the subsequent handling of an allegation against him were well-and-truly in the public domain and TVNZ was naïve to think it could stay almost silent. Continue reading “TVNZ boss Simon Power must use his skills and lead from the front”