TVNZ's head of news resigns after nine months

WILLIAM MACE
Last updated 17:39 15/01/2013

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Television New Zealand's head of news and current affairs Ross Dagan has resigned after less than nine months in the job.

In an email to staff, Dagan said his departure was for personal reasons and he was heading back to his hometown of Brisbane to take up a job at Seven Network.

He said the decision had been made "after much soul searching" and that he was sorry for the "absolutely inconvenient timing".

"However, we all face difficult crossroads at some point - the need to find the right mix of work, life and family has come into sharp focus for me and my family in recent times, and it is at the heart of my decision.

"It's a rare and unexpected opportunity to return home to the best possible role I could hope for in Brisbane, at the network where I completed my formative years as a journalist. After much soul searching, I have chosen to take this path."

Dagan had been leading major changes at TVNZ, where he had axed Close Up in the 7pm time slot in favour of a new, more entertaining show called Seven Sharp which launches on February 4.

There is also speculation that TVNZ is reviewing the way it uses international consultants to influence the format of its news and current affairs shows.

In an email to staff, chief executive Kevin Kenrick said he had accepted the resignation with regret and understood it had been a difficult decision for Dagan to make.

He said Dagan would finish leading some key projects before leaving, most notably the development and launch of Seven Sharp.

Dagan joined TVNZ in April from Network 10 in Australia and was responsible for all news and current affairs output, including cutting Close Up in favour of the new entertaining Seven Sharp format.

He also had responsibility for factual content, Maori and Pacific programmes and sport. 

Dagan replaced Anthony Flannery who took up a job at Network 10.

Kenrick said a search for a replacement was under way.

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