NZ On Air taps Wrightson chief exec

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Kiwi funding agency New Zealand On Air has appointed its first full-time chief executive in 18 months amid escalating film and TV industry dissatisfaction with its performance.

The agency announced Wednesday that former chief film censor, Jane Wrightson, will take up the post in February.

Wrightson is a 25-year veteran of screen industry administration, including four years as chief executive of indie guild the Screen Production and Development Assn. and, before that, five years as TV manager and deputy CEO for NZOA. She is currently CEO of the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

In a statement, NZOA chair Don Hunn said Wrightson's experience in public broadcasting and management as well as the wider screen sector in New Zealand was exceptional.

Her appointment is expected to help restore producer and broadcaster confidence in the agency following a succession of staff changes and controversial decisions, including the unprecedented three-year commitment to a new NZ$12 million ($8 million) serial called "The Point" that will screen in fringe primetime next year on pubcaster TVNZ.
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