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Friday, April 8, 2011

CTV Founder's widow may sell share

Founder's widow may sell share

Last updated 05:00 09/04/2011
The widow of Canterbury Television (CTV) founder Murray Wood is considering selling her 50 per cent share in the television company.

The station, which was jointly owned by Murray Wood and Allied Press, is set to be back on air by April 18. The station lost 16 staff, including Murray Wood, in the collapse of the CTV building in the February quake.

Murray Wood's widow, Nicki, is not involved in the reboot of CTV, which is being led by chairman Nick Smith. A friend of Murray Wood and chartered accountant for the estate, Robert Bijl, said they were considering a sale.

"CTV was Murray's baby, not Nicki's. We are not blocking anything, but we are not driving anything either. The new driver is Nick Smith. The Wood family are not actively involved," he said.

"Murray was working there all the time and he was the driving force. Murray had a huge passion for it. Nicki has her own family and life to run so she doesn't have the time and energy to attend to another business."

Bijl said negotiations were under way for the sale of the share "or staying there as a silent shareholder. We need time to see what the needs of the family are and how we can best meet those needs. It is too early to tell."

Smith said he was in a position to buy the Wood shares if they decided to sell.

"If they want to leave, that is fine and if they want to stay in that is fine. It is their call. It would not worry me either way," he said. "If we end up with 100 per cent, so be it and we will make it work."

CTV will be broadcast for four hours a day on Maori TV and on the local analogue channel 24 hours a day. Smith said they are seeking replacement equipment to resume broadcasting later this month.

Christchurch City councillor Sue Wells was in talks to revive her shopping show.

"I don't think it's confirmed, but I hope it is. She has the talent and the profile and will help CTV. If she wants to help, we would like her to help us."

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