Mediaworks' head of news Mark Jennings has resigned from the role.
Jennings joined MediaWorks TV in 1989, and was appointed director of news in 1994. In December 2014, he was appointed to lead the integration of MediaWorks' TV, radio and digital news operations into an unified news team, which launched as Newshub earlier this month.
Earlier today it was revealed that NineMSN editor-in-chief Hal Crawford had resigned to take on the "chief news officer" role at Mediaworks, and he will join the organisation "in the coming months".
In a statement released this afternoon, Mr Jennings said the company had become part of his DNA.
"It has been a wonderful place to work and I am truly grateful for all the opportunities it has given me. The bulk of my career has been at TV3 and I have had fantastic jobs and a fantastic time doing them. It is now time for me to move on and I am looking forward to throwing myself into my next project. I still have tons of energy and a real passion for news journalism. I want to thank all my loyal staff, they have made my job a total pleasure."
Mediaworks chief executive Mark Weldon said Mr Jennings had made a major and lasting contribution to New Zealand journalism.
"I believe that the timing of his departure, coming as it does after the successful launch of Newshub, and at the beginning of a new digital-led phase, works best for the company and for Mark personally. His legacy of strong and fearless journalism will continue to reverberate through the Newshub - he is leaving with significant momentum in our news brands."
Several journalists have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to Mr Jennings:
Mark Jennings - inspirational news boss. Taught so many how to make television news. Made 3news what it was. Tough & clear-sighted.— Richard Langston (@richlangston2) February 24, 2016
Sorry to hear Mark Jennings is leaving MediaWorks. To me he always stood as a beacon of competence and good judgement.— Vernon Small (@VernonSmall) February 24, 2016
When I joined @TV3nz in 1989, Mark Jennings was already someone to aspire to. Feels like a punch in the guts. And I don’t even work for him.— Eric Young (@RealEricYoung) February 24, 2016
Mark Jennings leaving @TV3nz after starting on day one 25 years ago. Sad day— Tom McRae (@tommcrae_nz) February 24, 2016
Mark Jennings, best and most influential news manager of his generation, has left MediaWorks. That feels like more than the end of an era.— Russell Brown (@publicaddress) February 24, 2016
Alas - @Dirnews Mark Jennings quits Newshub/ Mediaworks. A fine, funny gentleman with grit who outlasted so many rivals at TVNZ.— Claire Trevett (@CTrevettNZH) February 24, 2016
Not a lot of dry eyes in this corner of TV3 today. Couldn't have been happier to work for Mark Jennings & the newsroom he built. True legend— Conor Whitten (@ConorWhittenTV) February 24, 2016