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Ardern acknowledges 'uncertainty' for MediaWorks staff after Three sale announcement

The Prime Minister today acknowledged staff at Mediaworks after the announcement it would be putting its television channel Three up for sale. 

"A commercial decision has been made today, obviously that creates a period of uncertainty for a number of people working for MediaWorks," Jacinda Ardern told media from Nelson. 

The sale will include Three's headquarters on Flower Street, in Auckland's Eden Terrace.

A Government review of public broadcasting is being undertaken and is set to be announced in December. However, Ms Ardern distanced this from MediaWork's decision. 

"The work we've been doing as a Government is to try and strengthen public broadcasting. Of course we need strong journalism in New Zealand ... but what's been announced today essentially is a commercial decision for a commercial player. 

"No doubt we have had a changing media environment globally for some time, and a commercial decision has been made, and that is a commercial decision for the operators."

She said Government was not putting funding into the day-to-day operations of TVNZ, when asked if the industry was a level playing field. 

"We need to have a strong fourth estate, we need to have a strong media to hold to account both political agents and others as well. 

"That is the area we as a Government have been focused on."

The channel, a major arm of MediaWorks' TV business, includes Bravo and Newshub. MediaWorks will retain its radio network and outdoor advertising company QMS.

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Jacinda Ardern says the sale of MediaWorks’ Three television channel will create uncertainty for those working there. Source: 1 NEWS