Factors explaining how Television New Zealand (TVNZ) managed its way to success in the face of a radically deregulated business environment are examined. To understand the scope of the challenge a brief history of TVNZ is outlined; the values and problems which that history had produced by the mid‐1980s are discussed; and the strategy pursued to change the legacy and the results TVNZ is achieving today are detailed. Transforming TVNZ into a modern, outward looking company required a change in organisational structure; reforming staff attitudes, structure and accounting systems; introducing total costing and zero‐based budgeting; and breaking the company into strategic business units. A more dynamic marketing policy was adopted – giving the customers exactly what they wanted; greater emphasis on product differentiation, with the adoption of “brands” for its two channels; and an aggressive advertising campaign using company videotapes and publicity in the National Business Review . TVNZ is now the undisputed market leader, with its channels ranking first and second in the popularity stakes. In conclusion, Michael Cox, Group Internal Audit Manager at TVNZ, provides a brief internal audit perspective.
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