1: He’s the man John Key picked to chair the “Summit on Employment” in 2009(1)
2:He’s also the man John Key picked to lead The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal(2)
3: He’s also the man who used that position to breach the Bill of Rights Act and force “the advancement of religion” into the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust’s constitution(3)
4: And he’s the man Cameron Slater (Whaleoil) characterises as “allegedly a friend of John Key”(4)
5: Slater also asked on October 15 last year “Who will be the first (of many) casualties under Mark “I’m the boss” Weldon at Mediaworks?” with one commenter on that story saying “The man is a tyrant who doesn’t play nicely with others. Frankly, I love the idea of Weldon and John Campbell having to work together …”(5)
6: he’s also the man whom insiders were picking as a potential National Party candidate for the safe seat of Tamaki(6)
7: And he’s a man who praised John Key’s program of asset sales announced in 2011 as “bold, it was clear, it was early – and very positive…” and called those who were cautious about it “fearmongering”. That’s the same assets sales program that had to be drastically cut back and became something of an embarrassment to the government(7)
8: He’s the man who made a substantial personal gain ($6 million) as a result of Key’s asset sales announcement(8)
9: He’s also the man who, as CEO of the NZX, characterised those who voiced concerns about aspects of the Exchange’s operations as mentally ill(9)
10: He’s the man who’s already got rid of two of Mediaworks’s main financial watchdogs – chief financial officer Peter Crossan and company secretary and lawyer Claire Bradley(10)
11: He’s the man of whom blogger Cactus Kate (business lawyer and commentator Cathy Odgers) noted “Mediaworks currently does not employ anyone on your television or radio with a larger ego than Weldon, even Willie Jackson, Sean Plunket and Duncan Garner combined can’t compete” and that “NZX was the greatest reality soap opera in town under Weldon’s leadership, the casting couch of characters was enormous as disgruntled staff left and new bright eyed disciples were employed”(11)
12: He’s the man Odgers also described (in a blog post now deleted by referenced by another, also right wing, blogger) as a “weasel word corporate-welfared CEO…” and a “shallow self-promoting tool”(12)
13: He’s the man who said there was no conflict of interest in allowing the NZX to be the provider of NZX services, the supervisor of its members, a listed participant on its own exchange and the market regulator… a statement one broker described as “utter balderdash”(13)
Weldon was also appointed by Key, or one of his Ministers, the Capital Markets Development Taskforce in 2009/10; the Tax Working Group in 2009; and the Climate Change Leadership Forum in 2007.
Key gave him a QSO in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Now remember that Slater, Odgers and Cresswell are all considered right wingers. They’re certainly not the type of people who’d be found cheering John Campbell’s advocacy journalism on behalf of the less fortunate.
Generally, you might expect them to be quite supportive of a man with Weldon’s background who’s chaired the NZX and is friends with the Leader of the National Party.
So, you be the judge… is the move to axe Campbell Live motivated by ratings (it’s not advertising revenue, as advertisers strongly support the show) or by something else altogether?