Great Southern Television appoints new CEO

Great Southern Television appoints new CEO

NZ based Great Southern Television has appointed Cate Calver as its new Chief Executive Officer, replacing Philip Smith.

Philip Smith, the founder and owner of the company, will remain actively involved as Chief Creative Officer. Smith has been CEO since launching the company with the late Sir David Levene in 2002.

Calver has worked at TVNZ for the past 10 years, with most of that time as Director of Content. She is currently in the role of Chief Transformation Officer. She is a lawyer by trade, and before TVNZ spent seven years at sport and entertainment giant IMG in London and Auckland.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining Great Southern Television. Philip is an incredibly talented creative and executive and has built a strong independent production company with a fantastic reputation both locally and globally. I can’t wait to help steer it through its next chapter,” she said.

Great Southern Television has produced drama and factual series, including One Lane Bridge, The Casketeers and Tracked plus current affairs series The Hui.

“With the industry in a state of change, we have secured New Zealand’s smartest head to guide us through this exciting phase. Cate is a strong leader and blue-sky thinker, and we are absolutely delighted that she has chosen to join the Great Southern whānau (family). As a creatively-led company with a strong cultural foundation and history of innovative thinking, Cate aligns perfectly with Great Southern Television’s values,” said Smith.

Great Southern Television’s currently has three dramas in production, Friends Like Her, Spinal Destination and Noob in major deals with international partners Fifth Season, Hattrick and Oble respectively.

“Cate has displayed great vision and leadership at TVNZ, where she led the Content Department for a number of years and oversaw the content strategy which has seen the network’s streaming service TVNZ+ transform from a catch-up service to a fully-fledged entertainment and sport streamer – providing the network with a globally acknowledged success story. We know she will bring the same robust thinking to Great Southern Television,” he continued.

“With so many international series currently in production at Great Southern Television, my focus will switch to the creation and packaging of content for local and international clients – allowing GSTV to take even more great NZ series to the world.”

Calver will take up the role in January 2024.