Author: John Drinnan

TVNZ’s Ed Kindred: The Aussie Gent Behind Duke

CAPTION: Ed Kindred used to programme UKTV and BBC World channels for New Zealand.

 

Ed Kindred arrived in New Zealand last May with a nuanced understanding of the local TV market. Plenty of Australian media folk jump across the ditch, but Kindred was better prepared than most.The young Sydneysider is programming manager for Duke, a free-to-air channel that has a solid start in a slowed ad market.

How many times can you watch Seinfeld reruns? A few more times on TVNZ’s Duke.

As Sydney-based BBC Worldwide programmer for New Zealand, he was drawn to the idea of having his own free-to-air channel and being able to commission content. Duke has had a good start. One year after its March 20, 2016 launch Duke is distinguished as the only channel on Freeview with a majority male audience. Its audience is 64% male compared to the average 42%.

When it startedDuke was positioned somewhere between male-skewed 7mate in Australia and the similar Dave channel in the UK.

 

For full story: http://www.mediaweek.com.au/mediaweek-nz-profile-ed-kindred/

 

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

Ryan Rathbone: Leaning Over The Edge

CAPTION: Ryan Rathbone is National Content Director for the top rating music station, The Edge FM.

Ryan Rathbone was headed for Canadian radio, but detoured to New Zealand instead to take up an offer overseeing youth stations at MediaWorks. Rathbone later took over as national content director the Edge, a jewel in the crown for MediaWorks, the top-rating radio network nationwide.

The Edge FM breakfast teams a ratings winner,

Rathbone had given it a big makeover and the quarter three survey from GfK saw a big boost.“When you make change to a heritage brand you usually go down, not up, so it was a massive relief,” he said. The gods were on his side. The new GfK ratings system incorporated smaller provincial centres, which had been ignored in the past, and The Edge had an unrecognised big following. MediaWorks has been on the ascendancy lately in Auckland, taking audience away from NZME, which controls the other half of New Zealand’s commercial radio duopoly.

Three years after leaving his job programming 2Day FM in Sydney, Rathbone sees subtle differences in the two markets.

For the rest of the story. read Mediaweek: https://www.mediaweek.com.au/mediaweek-nz-profile-mediaworks-ryan-rathbone/

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

RNZ Confirms Lloyd Scott Will Leave Soon

As announced in the column a week ago, eteran broadcaster Lloyd Scott has announced that he is leaving Radio New Zealand in August after a career spanning more than 53 years. He has spent the last 13 years as one of RNZ National’s regular overnight hosts. It is understood that RNZ will soon announcment a replacement for his overnight slot.  “I’ve been in broadcasting for more than 53 years after joining the old NZBC back in 1963 as a technician. Sometimes I’m excited about the freedom I’ll have, but it’s tinged with feelings of loss as well.Radio is a wonderful medium and RNZ has offered me lots of opportunities over the years to be part of it. I’ve been a commercial DJ, an actor in radio drama, news reader, hosted a programme called Lloyd Scott’s Family Holiday. (In fact the only things I haven’t done are RNZ Concert and sports commentaries). I have loved every minute of it.” Lloyd Scott will continue to host overnight programmes on RNZ National until mid-August.

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Kiwi Magazines Maestro To Run Bauer Australasian Empire

Bauer New Zealand chief executive Paul Dykzeul has been put in charge of Bauer Media Australia and New Zealand, the company has announced. He replaces Nick Chan who has left the company. Dykzeul has been CEO of Bauer Media New Zealand (formerly ACP Magazines) since 2007, returning home after spending 11 years in Sydney. During his time in Australia he held roles as director of international business and publisher for ACP.

Bauer NZ title NZ Woman’s Weekly

Prior to that he was managing director of Murdoch Magazines before moving to Pacific Magazines in 2000 where he held the position of director of international licensing and operations, and publisher. He starts in the New Australia NZ role immediately and will relocate to Sydney.

Dykzeul was recently profiled by the Australasian media publication Mediaweek, excerpts below.

Bauer New Zealand chief executive Paul Dykzeul has split his career evenly on both sides of the Tasman working around 14 years in NZ and Australia. He returned to New Zealand in 2009 as chief executive of ACP, which was subsequently bought by Bauer in 2012. Straight-talking Dykzeul has a unique perspective on the similarities and differences between the two markets. The smaller more intimate Kiwi market is dominated by Bauer. Meanwhile, Australia is far more intense.

“It would be quite a different media landscape if News were here,” he told Mediaweek.

Bauer NZ title The Listener has stood up well.

Dykzeul has a reputation as an old-style media manager in a local media scene mostly led by newcomers. When he returned he gained a reputation as a digital sceptic, closing a fashion website Runway Model which was popular in the fashion world but not a commercial success.

For the full Mediaweek profile:

http://www.mediaweek.com.au/mediaweek-nz-profile-paul-dykzeul

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The Edge FM: Cruise, Crotchgate And Cucumbers

The Edge breakfast crew  – Dom Harvey, Jay Jay Harvey and Chris Randell – are such a big revenue earners for MediaWorks they are even allowed to undermine colleagues at More FM. In case you missed it, last week, The Edge tricked More FM Christchurch breakfast co-host Simon Barnett into thinking he was interviewing Tom Cruise, when it was a Tom Cruise impersonator. Barnett looked silly and sounded devastated. He did not get the joke.

Simon Barnett – tricked.

His co-host, Gary McCormick, was furious and producer Samantha Baxter started sobbing and told her fellow The Edge hosts to “Get a life.  It’s embarrassing. But its hard to be upset for them. Fake celebrity calls are a standard for commercial breakfast radio. But it was surprising they were duped by their own colleagues. In the last survey The Edge had the country’s biggest weekly cumulative reach of 662,300 listeners, ahead of More FM om 517,000.

With The Edge ratings so high Dom, Jay Jay and Chris might feel unstoppable. But there is an old maxim in the media business – be nice to people on your way to the top, because you might meet them again on the way down. They are obliged to be outrageous but they are in the unusual role as husband and wife shock jocks.

Occasionally, the quest for outrage has seen the Edge Breakfast show lose the plot.

In August 2015 the Edge crew had contestants in the  Bachelor competition – women who under contract to Mediaworks – to swallow a cucumber. in my opinion it was demeaning and sleazy at a network that has a lot of kids and teen females innit audience. In April Dom Harvey had published a crotch shot of Bachelorette Chrystal Chenery with a lewd comment.

In October last year the NZ Herald’s Spy reported:

Jay-Jay Harvey disappeared from her morning radio show yesterday morning and hasn’t returned since.

This morning, co-hosts Clinton Randall Dom Harvey opened up about her mysterious disappearance.

“It’s probably time to address the elephant in the room, what is up with Jay-Jay… She was here with us yesterday morning and then mysteriously mid-show she just disappeared.

“It turns out Jay-Jay was in one of the toilet cubicles crying at the time,” the hosts explained.

“Jay-Jay is a sufferer of depression and exhaustion I guess as well. She takes a lot on and she gets to the point where things can get a little bit too much,” said Dom, who said there was “a lot of family stuff going on” in their lives.

Jay Jay cancelled a book tour at the time which described her battle with depression. Media have rightly g0ne out of their way to respect Harvey’s condition and its challenges. It can’t always be easy being a shock jock.

 

 

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News Director Exits RNZ Amid Angst

RNZ news boss Brent Edwards is leaving amidst tension in the Wellington newsroom.  Edwards is the news director and head of newsgathering at RNZ. He was formerly political editor, working from parliament. And he has also been a key player in E tu journalist union.

Barry ended funding freeze

His resignation was announced yesterday and it will be effective after the election. The move has shocked new staff and comes at the same time as a contentious restructuring with key news roles moved from Wellington to Auckland. RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson said Edwards’ resignation was a big loss. He did not know whether his news director role would stay in Wellington, or whether it will be moved to Auckland. RNZ has restructured the role of another senior executive Gael Woods.

RNZ CEO Paul Thompson

Her future is unclear. I am told Auckland chief executive Eileen Cameron is also stepping down soon. though this is not directly related to the restructuring. RNZ claims that a move to Auckland is necessary due to the high risk of an earthquake in Wellington. This view makes some sense. But staff said the implementation has been clumsy and harsh and appears to have “come from nowhere.”  Thompson had told staff that around 50 positions will move north over several years.

Richard Griffin: Journo turned RNZ chairman

Edwards did not return a call. But sources say that he – long with the director of news programmes – Mary Wilson –  questioned news restructuring plans. In the Budget the government rannounced an end to athe punishing funding freeze at RNZ. Negotiations were with Minister for Culture and Heritage, Maggie Barry, a former presenter on RNZ Morning Report. The RNZ negotiator was Richard Griffin, a former RNZ political editor.

 

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

Lloyd Scott: The Ultimate Broadcaster-Companion

Foreword: RNZ Overnights host Lloyd Scott is in negotiation to leave RNZ. His departure marks a milestone for RNZ radio that is losing brilliant companion for his audience.  Incidentally, he is a genuinely nice man.

A listener wrote in: “The other night there was a programme about cancer and a man who has it sent an email to Lloyd. Lloyd answered him brilliantly saying “I don’t know what I can say that would help. I am a cancer survivor and I found the programme thoughtful too”. He then played a very appropriate piece of music.

“The other night there was a programme about cancer and a man who has it sent an email to Lloyd. Lloyd answered him brilliantly saying “I don’t know what I can say that would help. I am a cancer survivor and I found the programme thoughtful too”. He then played a very appropriate piece of music.

“People ask Lloyd all sorts of questions and he is always very honest about them. He is specially empathetic to all ages. There just isn’t anyone else comparable except probably Jim Mora. The other “oldies” are gone.

“Lloyd acted in a show many years ago with (a woman) whose children went to school in Gisborne with my siblings. I sent him a link to the death notice a Lloyd didn’t know she had died. He replied saying “I always find it sad that you learn more about people at their funeral than when they are alive”. It was a thought-provoking comment… We also swapped memories of the old radio days back in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Lloyd had interesting memories and comments about those years too. I wondered at the time if moves were afoot to dump him and it was only when I saw the old info in today’s Herald (Google John Drinnan NZHerald) that it all fitted together. The bad cold weather in Wgtn has had Lloyd using his car a bit more lately – unusual – and if I lived in Wgtn I would have made him an apple crumble. Perhaps I should still do it, freeze it, put it in a courier package with a thankyou card. (abridged)

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Pre-election Job Cuts As RNZ Continues Move North

CAPTION RNZ is moving more jobs to Auckland.

Radio New Zealand is planning a small but significant shake-up of its news division, including key roles being moved from Wellington to Auckland. Only four roles will be affected,  including one on-air position. But my source says there may be a greater impact on staff being unable or unwilling to move north. Away from news, it is understood that longtime overnights announcer Lloyd Scott is moving on.

Lloyd Scott

RNZ is explaining the latest shakeup as an aftershock from the Kaikoura earthquake. It showed how the capital and the RNZ head office were vulnerable to natural disaster. RNZ has a legislated role for communications during a civil defence emergency. However, some Wellington staff believe there is a natural bias at the RNZ board of governors which sees Wellington as hidebound by past practices. The Auckland office is perceived as part of the new look RNZ. The image head of content Carol Hirschfeld appearing on an RNZ podcast dressed in gym gear for a promotion of a fitness programme is said to illustrate the change.  It includes a more relaxed approach to the depiction of brands. This new approach has been supported by chief executive Paul Thompson. As Auckland has grown, relations between the two offices have become strained. Thompson and key news management have been based in Wellington. Former Checkpoint host Mary Wilson is in a senior news role in Wellington, while John Campbell and the new Checkpoint team are in Auckland.

RNZ CEO Paul Thompson

So is Jesse Mulligan, and in some ways, the Auckland office has come to epitomise the new look RNZ. The specifics of changes are to be spelt out on Wednesday. RNZ stresses there are only a small number of changes. But the timing is significant given the impending general election. Thompson said any changes to the news would not affect election coverage, In the last budget, the government ended a punishing nine-year funding freeze. It allocated an annual $2.8 million increase on top of the $32 million it has been given since 2007.

 

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No sweat at RNZ over gym video plug

http://www.radionz.co.nz/programmes/healthy-or-hoax/story/201846298/is-high-intensity-exercise-too-much-of-a-good-thing

Once upon a time, RNZ was extraordinarily careful ensuring it did not promote brands in its content. It is understandable for an organisation whose main point of difference is that they have no ads. RNZ executives were once obsessively stayed clear of promoting brands. The world is changing. Last week the head of content at Radio New Zealand, Carol Hirschfeld, was decked out in gym gear at Les Mills for the latest episode for the “Healthy or Hoax” podcast series. The item was about the intensive Hiit workout programme offered by some gym firms. But in my opinion, the item came across as a promotion for the programme offered by Les Mills. RNZ wrote:

“As the Healthy or Hoax podcast team, led by host Carol Hirschfeld, found out HIIT definitely has some benefits. The most obvious is that you can finish a workout in 20 minutes instead of an hour… or more.

 

Senior public servant Carol Hirchfeld stands tall at Les Mills

By all accounts the item went across well public. I wonder if this is due to it starring former celebrity Hirschfeld fronting the programme. RNZ appears to be experimenting with its own image. The head of the podcast team Tim Watkin has had astonishing success recently for the political series The Ninth floor, with Guyon Espiner interviewing former Prime Ministers.

 

Does Radio New Zealand have a Radio NZ to spell out the promotion of brands, he said this came down to journalist oversight.

RNZ Auckland HQ: The Les Mills gym is just down the road.

I asked Carol Hirschfeld how she – a senior public servant with responsibility for content – had come to don her gym gear front the lifestyle series.

“Tim Watkin asked me. I was happy to do so at his request.”

Why was Les Mills chosen to take part in the recent podcast?

“RNZ  journalist/producer Kate Pereyra Garcia, who came up with the concept for Healthy or Hoax, had been looking to set up a session at a Les Mills gym in Wellington. She asked if I would be happy to be involved and do an exercise class. I thought it would fun and a good first person account for the podcast. I then recorded at a Hiit class at a Les Mills gym in Auckland.”

Was there any conflict of interest between RNZ and Les Mills?

“No.”

Was the fact that her Finlay Macdonald is attached to Les Mills a factor in the decision to feature Les Mills?

“No.  For the sake of transparency,  I mention in the podcast my husband does work for Les Mills.”

Do you believe the coverage promoted Les Mills and its service?

“The headline for the podcast episode which was in part recorded at Les Mills reads high intensity exercise too much of a good thing. The podcast is clear about the drawbacks of Hiit.”

Can you clarify the process at RNZ for handling exposure of brands and potential conflicts of interest?

“Like all media organisation, at times we feature different commercial organisations in our features content. Those editorial decisions are made by the producers of the content.  Conflicts of interest are dealt with by executive producers/editors and ultimately the editor-in-chief (CEO Paul Thompson).”

 

 

 

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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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