Author: John Drinnan

Hidden Treasures "Better Things"- Lightbox

Well, it has not been hidden to active users of Lightbox. But I imagine there are others like myself, who get Lightbox free with their Xtra broadband but are only an occasional users. I struggle to find many must sees on Lightbox. In this case I accidentally happened on “Better Things” After the latest episode of “Better Call Saul,” I browsed the EPG. After watching Episode 1, I binge watched my way through the rest of the 10-part series over the next two nights. It was that good.

Wikipedia writes:  Better Things is an American comedy-drama television series created by Pamela Adlon and Louis C.K. for FX, starring Adlon as a divorced actress who raises her three daughters by herself. FX gave a 10-episode order on August 7, 2015. On September 20, 2016, FX announced it had renewed the series for a second season 

Louis CK (real name Louis Székel) directs and sometimes co-wrote this comedy-drama featuring Adlon, a longime collaborator, he worked with on earlier series using a similar anti-sitcom approach.Where Louis is deadpan and somewhat maudlin. Adlon’s character Sam Fox is brassy and brazen and vulnerable to boot, “Better Things” is not unlike Louis, and Curb Your EnthusiasmAdlon it mixes her real life with scripted stories. The characters and plot are nuanced, and best of all, the show is not predictable. One warning. You have to take the rough with the smooth. You may well find one of her three children, is very very annoying.

Trivial fact. The name is from a song “Better Things” by Ray Davies.

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JT’s Quiet Hunt For A New Maori TV Studio Reprised: Zagzigger.com June 2 2016.

The selection of a new base for Maori TV coincides with the departure of CEO Paora Maxwell. This article shows that the board has been looking for a new building for more than one year. There was an intense push to keep it in Auckland after a push to move to Rotorua. John Tamihere was appointed to the Board of Maori TV in March 2016.

Time is starting to run out for finding a new studio for Maori TV. The lease on Newmarket studios doesn’t run out for nearly a year – but there are a lot of requirements for a TV studio. The foundation CEO Derek Fox chose the present location back in 2004 and it has served the channel well, but the building is expensive and the five-year lease runs out in May 2017. (The lease has since been extended)

Continue reading JT’s Quiet Hunt For A New Maori TV Studio Reprised: Zagzigger.com June 2 2016.

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The Shifting Sands of Maori TV

CAPTION: An artist’s impression of the new Maori TV building in East Tamaki.

Paora Maxwell

Paora Maxwell has resigned as chief executive of Maori TV just as the channel moves to a new base in East Tamaki. Maxwell’s resignation comespart way through his contract and is attributed to unspecified “changes in his personal and business circumstances,”  Maxwell said.

Maxwell had previously been head of the Maori unit at Television New Zealand and the process for his appointment – championed by chairwoman Georgina te Heuheu  – was the centre of controversy. This week Maori TV sources linked his resignation to tensions in the relationship between management and Maori TV board over the selection of the leasehold building in East Tamaki. the source said. The building has required substantial spending on a fitout and has limited studio space.

Chairman and former National cabinet minister Georgina te Heuheu

Maori TV head of corporate affairs Rick Osborne declined requests to speak to the retiring chief executive or the chairman. He declined to discuss the departure of the chief executive. Asked about the status of the new building, Osborn said.

“I can confirm that the official opening of our new premises in East Tamaki will take place on Thursday 24 August. The news studio will be fully operational at the same time. The construction and design teams have been working hard to transform the existing building into a modern vibrant working environment. A production studio A production studio build at the new premises has been deferred at this time.The executive team is working through the operational impacts of this and will keep Maori Television staff and stakeholders informed and updated on developments,” he said.

A source said that said that delays in the board reaching a decision on a new location had complicated the arrangments. There were limited options given the deadline for leaving the current building. Owners of the Newmarket site had planned to develop it so Maori TV had to move. Maxwell had initially supported the idea of moving Maori TV to Rotorua using land supplied by local tribal interests for free.

The current building in central Newmarket.

This was opposed by many staff who would have had to move. It was also seen as identifying Maori TV with one tribal group – Te Arawa. Subsequently the Government had indicated it did not support the additional move south. Board member John Tamihere was called in to help find an Auckland location. In the past Maori TV said the said the aim was to utilise Maori land and own its own property and give it a permanent home.

The choice of East Tamaki may provide that. But it is leasehold. provides limited studio space, and requires substantial spending to use it as a TV station.

MTS issued a statement yesterday.

The Chief Executive of Māori Television Paora Maxwell has announced his resignation from the broadcaster. Maxwell said it has been a tremendous privilege to have led Māori Television through a challenging era for the entire industry.

“This has been a difficult decision but changing family and business circumstances has led to the need to dedicate my time to other commitments. Iwillalwayssupporttheimportant kaupapa of Māori broadcasting and am proud of Māori Television and its people who have worked very hard for the revitalisation of the Māori language,” says Mr. Maxwell.

Chair of the Board of Māori Television, Georgina te Heuheu acknowledged Mr Maxwell’s resignation.

“On behalf of the board we thank Paora for his work and commitment to Māori Television and wish him all the very best in his future endeavours. The Board will begin the process of recruiting a new Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief later in the year,” says Mrs te Heuheu.

Maxwell has spent three decades in broadcasting – in governance, senior management, executive producing and directing roles. He has led MāoriTelevision through the rapid and fundamental technological changes in the broadcasting industry.

As Chief Executive, Maxwell prioritised the development of multi-platform audience engagementincludingthetransitiontoHighDefinition. Heintroducedanumberofcrucial research initiatives to ensure stronger and informed decisions were made across programming.

In 2016, Maxwell guided the launch of the successful Matariki Awards which honoured New Zealanders. He has also managed the relocation to new office premises in East Tāmaki.

Maxwell said he takes pride in the ongoing initiatives for staff development which have taken place at Māori Television during his leadership.

“I have confidence in the senior executive team and all the kaimahi. It has been a privilege to see the positive changes they have achieved for the kaupapa.”

Maxwell will remain with Māori Television as Chief Executive until the end of August 2017 and will remain with Māori Television till the end of 2017 in a consultation role.

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Who Would Buy TV3?

Chief executive Greg Hywood: What does he mean by “the end game ” for Fairfax?

Rejection of the Fairfax-NZME merger has revived speculation about the future of Tv3. In the past, Fairfax was tipped as a possible buyer for the MediaWorks Group, including TV3 (+HR=E)  and half the country’s radio stations. Eighteen months ago it made some sense. Fairfax-owns some big newspapers and the Stuff website. Mediaworks owns TV3, but the radio network is much more commercially successful. It has an under-developed digital arm. But the main plus for Fairfax would be there are none of the market dominance issues that bedeviled the NZME deal.

 

Media industry sources say that the media landscape has changed. Fairfax has bigger fish to fry back home. Does it want really want to hang around and buy into a difficult market in this country?

Advertising has slumped and television ad spend is particularly vulnerable. During merger hearings at the Commerce Commission, Greg Hywood said that rejection of the merger would be “the end game” for Fairfax.

Continue reading “Who Would Buy TV3?”

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Wendy Palmer Exits RadioWorks Updated by press release

Wendy Palmer resigned today as chief executive of the MediaWorks radio operation, signaling more big changes ahead for New Zealand media. Yesterday, Jeff Latch resigned as TVNZ director of content after 23 years.  Both have been major players in New Zeland media. Palmer has been a leading light of MediaWorks and she has maintained market leadership against NZME radio operations.

Jeff Latch is exiting TVNZ as well.

The stability and strength in Mediaworks radio – especially in Auckland – has balanced the major problems facing TV3. Sources say that Palmer has become frustrated with the ructions during the troubled era when Mark Weldon was CEO of MediaWorks. Weldon was more interested in TV, but sources say it was a challenging time for Palmer as well. Amidst persistent rumours of potential sales for MediaWorks there have been suitors for radio alone, but few when TV is included in the sale, sources say. In August last yea, Michael Anderson took over as CEO. His profile on the MediaWorks website highlights a background radio. “Michael spent seven years as CEO of one of Australia’s largest commercial radio groups Austereo (now Southern Cross Austereo) and before that as their Group Director, Sales. “Under Michael’s leadership, Austereo’s performance in both revenue and audience grew significantly – in a time of huge change to the industry.” MediaWorks has previously rejected several requests to speak to Anderson about the strategy and future of the firm.

Continue reading Wendy Palmer Exits RadioWorks Updated by press release

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Journo Cuts After Building Blowout Opinion

Television New Zealand’s answer to the collapse of journalism has been a $6o million refurbishment. That and a restructure of the news with fewer journalists. Don’t we deserve better from the state broadcaster and the politicians who control it?

TVNZ will not specify the number of journalist jobs that will be lost from the restructuring of news. My sources suggest that maybe 20 editorial positions will go, representing around 10 percent of its news staff. The Christchurch and Wellington bureaus will be cut back with more processing of video from Auckland.

Bill Ralston: TVNZ restructuring claims are bullshit

A few reporters will be moved to smaller provincial centres such as Queenstown and TVNZ chief executive Kevin Kenrick says that new technology will make the news management more efficient and that will make up for the loss of staff. Some people – such as former TVNZ former head of news and current affairs Bill Ralston suggest there will be a loss of quality. Another former TVNZ news executive who would not be named said restructures are inevitable in media, but they seldom lead to the efficiencies they claim. Ralston points out that the first stop for TVNZ cutbacks is the news, while it retains a weighty middle management, As the old TV reporters sign off would put it. “Only time will tell.” But these latest cutbacks aimed at news illustrate the short-sighted thinking of TVNZ and the government.

 

Kevin Kenrick. Job cuts after blowout

There is so much happening with journalism and media – the only thought from the government is about trimming cost to keep TVNZ afloat I wonder if the TVNZ news operation should be broken away from its struggling Mothership. There is precious little love for news at TVNZ – even though it is largely kept afloat by it news audience. The main point of TVNZ nowadays is the survival of TVNZ.

TVNZ’s big initiative of late has been to undertake a $60 million upgrade of the network centre, after a $23 million blowout. Kevin Kenrick says it is wrong to link the cost overrun. Problems became apparent during work, he said.

Kenrick insists the restructuring cannot be juxtaposed the blown out cost for the refurbishment.

It was the first in 25 years. Maybe. But in my view the result from the taxpayers investing in the flash new building will be the further diminishing of a once proud newsroom, Once shows like Holmes played an active role in the news eco-system.  Nowadays TVNZ news is risk-averse. Of course it rates. And that is what matters for a management team focused on the short term.

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Put Some Oomph Into The Project

Caption: Maybe Jeremy Corbett or Paul Ego could help The Project cut through with the audience.

I am hoping that the core audience for The Project sticks with the show and gives MediaWorks time to fix it. Lord knows, audiences nowadays are not patient allowing new shows to settle in. But there is clearly a good idea there. It might just mean changing the line-up.

Continue reading “Put Some Oomph Into The Project”

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TV3 Rebrands As Three

MediaWorks has unveiled a rebrand of Tv3. The new look channel starts tomorrow and its promotion includes changing the TV3 to “Three” using fresh fonts while focusing on familiar shows such as Seven Days, Newshub and its’ news products. Starting soon will be the comedy-news show “The Project” at 7pm and “The AM Show” replacing Paul Henry on radio and TV. It is the first time that TV3 has been rebranded since 2003, and in my view, TV3 will be hoping it marks a turning point from a tough period in 2014 and 2015 with Mark Weldon at the helm. Last year, Tv3 parent company MediaWorks established a more stable management structure. But this is a tough time for free-to-air television and TV3 is trying to recover and increase it’s share of advertising revenue.

 

 

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Bathrobe Video Puts Polly Show Under Review Updated

The Polly and Grant show South of Auckland may not continue following Gillespie’s bathroom criticism of NZME. Todd Campbell Content Director The Hits said 

Todd Campbell, Content Director The Hits, said:  
“The Polly and Grant Show is not on air, we are reviewing the events of the last few days, no further comment will be made at this time. In the meantime we will continue to bring the best music from the 90s till now including the chance to see Adele in concert.”

Earlier story.  Polly Gillespie’s bathrobe video is a strange belated response to her losing the breakfast show in Auckland for “The Hits” You wonder if there may be more changes ahead at The Hits. When the change of Auckland hosts was announced by NZME on Christmas Eve, Gillespie was on board saying all the things dropped hosts were meant to say. She congratulated Sam Wallace and Toni Street who were to take over the Auckland breakfast show.

Toni Street and Sam Wallace

Judging by her Facebook video this week, Gillespie is not happy with the outcome. Dressed in a bathrobe and dying her hair, she criticised the move and new restrictions on what she can say in social media. Her contract ends in March.

Asked about plans for her and her co-host Grant Kereama, she told Stuff>  “I have no plans to go anywhere else but I’m fairly sure I won’t be re-signing with current employers.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/89122547/Polly-Gillespie-talks-about-her-future-and-her-overnight-Facebook-post

Changes in on-air hosts happen all the time. Auckland ratings for The Hits breakfast show may do better with Wallace, and Street moving from TVNZ.  Street will continue in her role as mumsy sidekick to Mike Hosking on Seven Sharp, helping her profile. The attempt to turn Polly Gillespie into a celebrity in Auckland always seemed like a Big Ask..to me, She was very much a Wellington person virtually unknown in Auckland, the biggest market and most competitive breakfast radio market.

Polly Gillespiet.

Former NZME chief executive Jane Hastings there were extraordinary efforts to promote Gillespie in Auckland. But under MediaWorks programming boss Leon Wratt, the competition has been doing well with Auckland ratings for its music stations.

 

Jane HastingsI

It is easy to see why NZME was attracted to Street and Wallace with their established TV profiles. NZME has a commercial arrangement to share talent with TVNZ.

It has Hosking on Breakfast at Newstalk ZB nationally and now they will have Street at “The Hits”  … in Auckland at least. You wonder if Wallace and Street will eventually go nationwide.

 

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Labour, Willie And The Future Of Maori Media Opinion

CAPTION: Willie Jackson and Labour’s Matt McCarten.

What happens to Auckland’s Waatea Maori Radio if Willie Jackson wins a place in the Labour caucus? As it stands he controls Waatea along with John Tamihere who head the urban Maori authorities for Manukau and Waipareira, though Jackson has an editorial role as well.  He heads the National Urban Maori Authority and is chairman of the Iwi Maori Radio Association representing 21 stations. He has a significant influence on Maori broadcasting, and indirectly on Maori TV. Labour is expected to announce soon he has been given a high place on the Labour list raising questions about how the independence of these bodies is maintained.  In my opinion that will need to be redoubled if Labour ends up leading the next government.

 

Continue reading Labour, Willie And The Future Of Maori Media Opinion

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