Julie Christie Is Still The Programming Brains At TV3

CAPTION. Julie Christie will continue to be the programming brains on the MediaWorks Board after McGeoch goes next month

MediaWorks has taken another step away from dysfunction of the Mark Weldon era with the departure of its chairman, Rod McGeoch. His replacement – board member Jack Matthews – will be hard-pressed to bring back the goodwill of the firm pre-receivership. But he will need to try – because the current funk puts it at a disadvantage ,to its competitors. Matthews appears to be well liked by staff and will need to try.

Jack Matthews
Jack Matthews

The hope will be that the expatriate American can repair some of the staff morale damaged by the management approach 2014 and 2015. He will have an advantage over McGeoch,  who was based in Sydney. Matthews owns a home in Queenstown. He will be working alongside new CEO Michael Anderson and recently appointed head of news, Hal Crawford, McGeoch leaves at the end of September. He had backed Weldon publicly, and chided staff for their public criticism of management. McGeoch was a vocal promoter of the TV3 soap that failed to win taxpayer funding and talked about it as a fait accompli. The loss of the show  has left TV3 with holes in its schedule. McGeoch had been tipped to exit the firm after Weldon’s departure in April. The media sector has been in upheaval. the role of McGeoch and Weldon was to quickly find a new buyer so it does not get left behind. UnknownFrom October 1, the MediaWorks Board will be comprised of Matthews, Jonas Mitzschke, Paul Lockey, Julie Christie and the MediaWorks CEO, Michael Anderson. Christie remains on e of the most important advisers on programming to the MediaWorks board.

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Labour, ComCom And the Monster Media Mash Up

Unknown-31There is an implausibly little government leadership on how this small country survives in the media revolution. National sees the matter, ignores it and seems to be letting the chips fall where they may.

Labour seems focused on its old touchstones of unions and public service broadcasting advocates. However, it needs to concentrate on the bigger structure of a global battle between NZ companies and international players like Google and Facebook. Labour is at interested in the current media upheavals and the danger for consumers of journalism and local content.

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TVNZ Audience Up, Revenue Down

CAPTION: TVNZ  On Demand is growing but most of its revenue comes from TV One and TV2.

TVNZ took a bigger share of the TV audience for the year to June 30 and increased its share of TV ad revenue from 60.3  to 61.2 per cent during the year to June 30.

Kevin Kenrick
Kevin Kenrick

Chief executive Kevin Kendrick points to TVNZ programming success. But in my opinion, it was partly due to a year of dysfunction at TV3 and its failed focus on realty TV over the latter part of 2015. It is understood Sky TV’s TV  market share was also up slightly.

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Jock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels Chalk and Cheese Council Candidates

Legal eagle journalist Jock Anderson has taken a leaf out of Bill Ralston’s book. He is standing for the Timaru District Council in local body elections. Both are standing on an independent right of centre ticket. Ralston is a media commentator and PR man standing, a former liberal hero, standing for the famously liberal Waitemata ward on Auckland Council. Anderson – who has taken on the mantle of a conservative commentator – and will be be standing in the proudly illiberal capital of South Canterbury. He said that he and his girlfriend Lorraine moved from Auckland at the end of last year. He says he enjoys the area and the opportunities for keeping up his longtime hobby, shooting game.

Bill Ralston
Bill Ralston

Anderson says he stands for innovation, careful planning, community consultation, sustainable development, transparency, encouragement, progress and prudent financial stewardship. All of those things. He writes profiles for the New Zealand Law Society, writes a column for Cameron Slater’s InCite website, makes the occasional appearance on Waatea 5th Estate and is a regular commentator Larry Williams on NewstalkZB and for RNZ’s The Panel. He says he is also about to re-launch his popular CaseLoad website (www.caseload.co.nz) – saying  enigmatically: “It’s time the cat gave the pigeons a hoozle-up.”

 

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Fun And Games And The Paul Henry Show Opinion

CAPTION: Henry in an ad for Snickers.

New management at MediaWorks are facing a challenge. – how to negotiate with the broadcasters’ s biggest star. There is a lot of confusion and spin over the future of the Paul Henry breakfast show and Story. And they suggest that the the network is still dysfunctional. The Weekend Herald reported on Saturday Henry would be moving to prime time and Story Duncan Garner would take over the Breakfast show. On Sunday he rejected the assertion in Stuff.

 “I seriously just don’t give a s*** about any of this. I’m not moving to another show.”I’m not moving to 7 o’clock because I have no interest in doing that, and for a number of years have not been interested in doing that.

MediaWorks news boss Hal Crawford
MediaWorks news boss Hal Crawford

On Monday’s programme he lambasted The Herald for their coverage. A MediaWorks source said that it had been leaked from people at MediaWorks who are admirers of Henry. I am told the suggestions in the Herald piece reflect discussions about Henry’s future. But the information was not made by Henry, the source said.

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Slums ‘R’ Us: The Guardian And Kiwi Poverty Porn

CAPTION: South Auckland is a slum in “an increasingly chaotic megacity.” 

An article in the Guardian website recently reported on “New Zealand’s Shameful Secret” and the growing problems of poverty and homelessness in a country held up as the land of milk and honey. It was an important and timely article. But parts of read like Poverty Porn.

“Catch a bus or two from Britomart in central Auckland, and after an hour and a half and you will arrive in the urban slum of South Auckland. Here, houses are wooden, damp and mouldy and often hold in excess of 10 people. Young children walk the streets in mid-winter with no shoes and gummy eyes. Looming over polluted streams and rubbish-strewn parks is the vast Double Brown Beer Brewery. 

Elsewhere.

The (Auckland City) mission is located in busy central Auckland but the most deprived regions of this increasingly chaotic mega-city are in South Auckland, in the ghettoised suburbs of Otara, Papatoetoe and East Tamaki.

A slum. A ghetto.
A slum. A ghetto.

The theme of the article was strong.  It exposes a hardening of attitudes and darkening prospects for the poor. The Guardian’s Dunedin-based reporter Eleanor Ainge Roy has a good turn of phrase that makes for very readable copy. But the story was over-egged. South Auckland is not an urban slum. Otara, Papatoetoe and East Tamaki do have a lot of poor people and problems associated with low incomes. But they are not “ghettoised.”

Most South Auckland residents are proud of their homes and communities. They enjoy lives they have created there, and many have no wish to live in Ponsonby. They well be surprised to find they live in a ghetto or a slum.

A Guardian reader.
A Guardian reader.

Its one of the tendencies for middle class media that are discovering poverty in their midst. Papatoetoe is Port au Prince. Favona is a Favela. Back in May we had a similar instance when Heather du Plessis-Allan described Ngaruawahia as “rotting”. The dismissive annoyed local people and leading to du Plessis Allan to an embarrassing back down.

Ngaruawahia "rotting"
Ngaruawahia “rotting”

Poverty is a story that media like. But it betrays the middle class background to the majority of journalists that see hardscrabble places as foreign and unsightly. I wonder if local truck stops even offer eggs benedict.

I can remember, as a young reporter at the Waikato Times doing describing singer Maria Dallas returning to Morrinsville, which I described as a simple “cow town” – a term that could be used for a lot of places in the dairying province. My chief sub-editor at the time chided me. Sure, he said, Morrinsville might not have the thrills and spills of Hamilton’s Garden Place on a Friday night. But people had chosen to live their lives in Morrinsville. It was more than a cow town. It was a community. South Auckland people don’t believe they are living in a slum or ghetto  – even if Guardian readers do.

 

 

 

 

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Street Nutters Will Always Be With Us

CAPTION: Verity Johnson is talented. 

I quite like Verity Johnson as a writer and as a social media “guru” on the Paul Henry’s show. She is entertaining and her opinions are seldom inflected with ideology and cant. I’m not in her demographic. But she has chiseled out a place in the commercial media world, and that is no easy task. A recent  item on the Henry show show Johnson is in tune with the way that media works nowadays.

Johnson told how  she had been verbally attacked on Auckland’s Karangahape Road. A middle-aged woman approached her in the street called her a “hooker” and a slut in what is called “slut shaming.” The woman apparently mistook her for a prostitute, solely because she was wearing torn jeans and boots.

imagesIt’s a big leap in logic, but that is Mad people for you. Johnson produced a video commentary for Facebook and that ended up the Henry show. Johnson pointed out in the video that the woman’s comments were mean. They were hurtful and would have been hurtful to an actual prostitute, who did not deserve to be treated that way. My first thought was that this middle-aged woman sounded unhinged, Why would anyone attack a stranger, let alone based on their wearing torn jeans and boots.
Johnson could have told her to mind her own business and keep her warped thoughts to herself. Instead she responded on video and nationwide TV. “There is no reason to say those things even if that person had been a sex worker or a journalist who just happened to be buying earrings, like me, she said,”Next time, just think before you do it because the person you’re doing it to might just happen to be journalist and TV presenter who happens to make a video about it.” she said in the video.

 

Another approach to unwanted curbside advice ...
Another approach to unwanted curbside advice …

My point – and I do have one – is that this type celebrity, and social media commentary have become a big part of the media diet. We are constantly being told us what crosses media people’s minds on twitter and Facebook, how they felt happy or proud, and how their feelings were hurt Initially public emoting was on in twitter and Facebook. Now its mainstream.  If this mad middle aged woman watches the Paul Henry Show – which is entirely feasible – she might have been chastened by Johnson’s request that she should not be a dick. If so service would have been done for other pedestrians on K Road.

I’m tempted to write an item explaining how recently a bunch of hoons driving past me on Carlton Gore Road. yelled abuse, saying I was a ‘ f.cking ugly prick”/ They laughed uproariously, and drove off into the Mean streets of Newmarket. It was embarrassing, and certainly annoying. Stop being dicks. I’m a journalist. I’m not on TV. But you might end up being mentioned on my website.

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China Film Zooms In On Money-for-Access Deal

CAPTION: “Beast of Burden” is a 3D animated NZ China co-production, one of 18 China projects involving North Auckland based Huhu Animation studios

The NZ Film Commission is pushing ahead with promotion of film and TV co-productions between kiwi and Chinese film companies. Chief executive Dave Gibson confirmed yesterday that representatives from the China Film Group and its subsidiaries were coming to New Zealand next month to develop projects with New Zealand filmmakers. The chinese influx follows  NZFC trips with government officials to China last year that promoted more use of the co-production deal. The co-production deal allows China to access generous NZ film incentives, and allows NZ film makers access to the China market where foreign film is otherwise heavily restricted.

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Matthews Tipped To Replace McGeoch Soon

CONFIRMED. UPDATED AUGUST 30: JULIE CHRISTIE STILL THE BRAIN ON THE MEDIAWORKS BOARD.

An announcement is expected soon that MediaWorks board member Jack Matthews is to be appointed chair of the company. Matthews – who has a strong association with New Zealand media – has long been tipped to take over from chairman Rod McGeoch. The changeover is said to have been waiting for the appointment of Aussie Michael Anderson effective at the end of this month. Before joining the MediaWorks board, Matthews worked for several years in Australia where he is said to have been a friend of Michael Anderson. The chair and chief executive look set to have a good working relationship. Meanwhile, there has been another unnoticed spin of the revolving door at MediaWorks. MediaWorks Chief commercial officer Mark David also ended his job after just

Mark David - in and out in six months.
Mark David – in and out in six months.

six months. David is said to have had a blunt approach in dealing with that was similar to Mark Weldon’s. David’s role was in overseeing revenue, but who had experience in Britain developing a pay TV distribution platform.

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More Revolving Doors at Mediaworks

Caption: The MediaWorks Board will be hoping Chalmers  exit is that last for some time after a period of comings and goings at the firm.

Spark has appointed the interim chief executive officer of MediaWorks as its new chief financial officer – in the top run of management reporting to Simon Moutter. The appointment follows the announcement Australian Michael Anderson to the permanent CEO role.  The application appears to have been underway a long time.

David Chalmers restored stability while he planned his exit to Spark
David Chalmers restored stability while he planned his exit to Spark

The timing of both appointments  suggests that Chalmers has not been a candidate for the MeddiaWorks CEO role. The Herald reports Chalmers will succeed Jolie Hodson at Spark, who has moved to become CEO of Spark Digital. Chalmers is expected to take up his appointment with Spark later in the year. Chalmers has been a steady pair of hands bringing stability to MediaWorks after the Weldon years. He will remain at MediaWorks till later in the year. His departure will mean another gap in institutional knowledge at the company, that Michael Anderson will need to overcome.

 

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