Tova O’Brien sues Newshub over employment for new MediaWorks role

PM Jacinda Ardern has her turn to answer questions from reporters Tova O’Brien and Jessica Mutch McKay and receives a special gift from Jono & Ben in their Christmas interview. Video / Hits

Tova O’Brien is said to be locked in a legal affair with her former employer.

The former Newshub political editor is set to make her morning radio debut later this month in a brand new MediaWorks show.

But she is taking the Newshub owner to court over a three-month trade restriction clause, Newsroom reports.

O’Brien is taking his former employer to the Employment Relations Authority in a bid to escape the clause, which would prevent him from starting work for a competitor until three months after his old contract ended.

MediaWorks previously owned TV3 but sold its TV arm to Discovery in September 2020. Now O’Brien returns to MediaWorks.

A launch date for his new Today FM radio show has not been confirmed, but is rumored to be this month. If so, it would coincide with the return of TV3’s new AM show, which is set to air in February.

O’Brien often appeared on The AM Show and was broadcast on both TV3 and Magic Talk radio – reminiscent of the days when MediaWorks owned both radio and television networks.

Trade restriction clauses are designed to prevent employees from jumping ship to work for a competitor.

In that case, Discovery will have to convince the Employment Relations Authority that O’Brien’s new radio show is similar to her former role as a television political editor, Newsroom reports.

O’Brien announced his resignation in early November last year in time to finish at Discovery before Christmas, take a month off and complete his contract in time for the launch of Today FM by the end of that month. But then Discovery told her that she would enforce the three-month hold clause in her contract.

The hearing takes place after the failure of mediation between the parties.

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