Category: Media

Can Morning Report Build From The Mike Hosking Fall? Breakfast of Champions

When the radio industry changed to new combined GfK ratings system at the start of his year, commercial radio bosses insisted that RNZ National results should be kept separate from their own. Despite collecting similar information, it is hard to compare commercial and public broadcasting figures. Maybe the commercial radio people saw trouble ahead. unknown-67In this, the third survey of the year, Morning Report appears to be holding up well and National Radio maintains a 10.5 per cent share of the total radio audience. Meanwhile, Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB has taken a big tumble. Lets wait until the next survey. Things could turn around. But it seems possible that Hosking is losing his tight grip on the breakfast talk audience. Are people falling out of love with The Hosk?

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

Comedy Will Run “Story” Replacement – Betcha.

Comedian Guy Williams is expected to have a major role
Comedian Guy Williams is expected to have a major role

MediaWorks insists its new comedy news show “The Project” replacing “Story” is a joint venture between the news and entertainment divisions.  But based on what my sources are saying, the kiwi version of the Australian format show will be entertainment pure and simple – with little involvement from news.

It seems the entertainment operation had always wanted to take over the 7pm slot from news. After the Campbell Live debacle and poor ratings for Story, content boss Andrew Szusterman had convinced management that news and current affairs would not work. The Project has won accolades and seven Logie awards in Australia.

The big question is how the New Zealand’s version will compare given it will have much lower budgets.

“The Project” is not a sure bet. There has big challenges getting it ready for the first quarter of 2017 next year. New Zealand has some talented comedians and writers.

But will the Seven Days team that will have a big role be up to the challenge for a daily prime time show that promises funny TV. The Seven Days crew will have a big role. The Friday night show about four hours to make a half hour programme. Tv3 deserves the best of luck with The Project. I was not a huge fan of Story, but they did try. The Project in Australia has been successful with generous budgets and top talent. But will that happen here?

Lazy journalist research: What Wikipedia says about the format for The Project:unknown-66

The main content of the show revolves around Aly, Bickmore and Helliar at the desk discussing some of the news events of the day as reported by Bickmore. This discussion often involves live crosses to reporters or guests via satellite. Special guests, often of a celebrity nature, also regularly appear in studio, usually during each show’s final segments. In addition, the show features pre-recorded interviews with celebrities, conducted by either one of the main cast or US correspondent Jonathan Hyla. Feature stories by the main cast, often of a humorous but insightful nature, are also prominent throughout each week.

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

No Shock. No Failure. This Time Henry Leaves On A High

CAPTION: The NZ Herald has reported Henry wants to move  to Palm Springs

MediaWorks and its owners at Oaktree Capital will know that Henry’s departure is a disaster and that it will make it even harder to find a buyer. MediaWorks is losing its only star at a time television faces a big challenge retaining advertising revenue. He has built up the TV audience for his TV3 breakfast show – and he has done that largely without turning to the shock jock tactics of the past ( The recent NZ Herald article excepted), It is true the rise for the Paul Henry show on RadioLive has been less dramatic. But In the latest radio survey, he increased his share of the audience, and the departure of his offsider Hillary Barry has made no impact.

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No Campbell, No Cry

CAPTION: Guy Williams is rumoured to be spearheading a new initiative at 7pm

Inevitably John Campbell fans will wish that the end of Story might mean a new beginning and John Campbell being brought  back to TV3. After all, Story was hastily installed to replace CampbellLive after a big falling out with management two years ago. But in my opinion MediaWorks management has never taken that idea seriously, and the new Aussie bosses hearts set on a humorous panel show. Lets face it, TV companies are marking away from journalism. not back towards it.

unknown-61The New Zealand Herald has suggested something like the Australian Ten Network show “The Project”, which explores some strong news angles. But If I were a betting man I would predict the replacement will be more about humour than the news. I have heard the comedy show “Seven Days” mentioned in despatches, as a template The NZ herald is speculating that Guy Williams will take a role. He has long been a part of MediaWorks initiatives.

Seven Days could offer a format for the new TV3 7pm show
Seven Days could offer a format for the new TV3 7pm show

But that is a big ask. It’s all very well to do a weekly show, but try translating that to daily shows and keeping up the laughs. It might work with someone like Paul Henry riffing off news topics, but it would be hard for Guy Williams to keep up. Campbell fans he clearly has his fans who would wish his style of campaigning journalism returned to TV at 7pm. But in my opinion TV3 is never going back to that, and MediaWorks was badly burnt when it was still on air. Fans launched a campaign to keep it on air, and it was embarrassing for MediaWorks. Former chief Mark Weldon played a big part. He may have gone. But the Campbell Live team clashed badly with company director Julie Christie – who had no great love for Campbell. Many of Campbell’s old fans have followed him the Radio New Zealand Checkpoint – where he has maintained somewhat cultish following. Indeed, Checkpoint has taken on some of the traits of Campbell Live.

 

 

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

End of Story, Morning Glory

An announcement is expected soon confirming that TV3 is to scrapped its weeknight magazine show Story.

The show had struggled in the ratings, and the NZ Herald reported this week that Story co-host Duncan Garner is to take over as host of the TV3 breakfast show, replacing Paul Henry. Garner’s Story co-host Heather du Plessis-Allan is expected to take a senior role at Newshub, possibly working alongside Paddy Gower in the parliamentary bureau, sources say. Henry – who embarked on a strange publicity interview with the Herald last week where he signalled he was unhappy. unknown-54He has separately insisted that he has no interest of going for the 7pm slot, and I am told he was scheduled to step down in April next year.  That may have been brought forward now. MediaWorks sources say that new Aussie management are having to get to grips with these latest upheavals after the departure of Hillary Barry to TVNZ. Former head of news and current affairs Mark Jennings – now a media consultant – said in an article in the pop culture website The Spinoff that he believes Henry will move on. Henry is said to be independently wealthy so does not need to work even though he earns a famously high salary providing the TV and radio show at MediaWorks. He is said to have been unhappy at MediaWorks since

PaulHenry felt less loved when Mark Weldon left.
PaulHenry felt less loved when Mark Weldon left.

Mark Weldon – a prime supporter for the show – stepped down from his job as CEO.  November and December are traditionally known in TV Land as the time for contract negotiations. At TVNZ this time of year was traditionally called “the clubbing of the seals. There will still be jobs around It seems likely that Story will be replaced by a humorous panel show with a comedy element. Maybe Henry might take part in that.

 

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

Celebrity Outrage: It’s Sad. So Sad

CAPTION: Last week’s Canvas story talked about Paul Henry “unleashed”.

The Radio New Zealand MediaWatch programme made some astute observations today about the state of New Zealand media; the hyping of studied outrage and the symbiotic relationship between TV and print. Last week the Weekend Herald’s quality liftout magazine promoted some typically inflammatory comments during a promotional interview.unknown-54

It seems clear to me that Henry and MediaWorks fed Canvas outrageous comments to drive publicity. It seems to have worked. With a senior feature writer and an enthusiastic publicist in tow.Henry referred to a fellow diner about her “perfect breasts” and referred to titties.

I have no gripe with the journalist  – Greg Bruce – who is a very good writer with a unique style. This is the commercial news or entertainment.  But in the past I believe a quality publication like Canvas would have tried to point out the story is artificial. He was not unleashed. Henry is allowed to roam free and extract rubbish from bins.

I can remember in 2009 when I interviewed Henry about his role promoting psychic Deb Webber to find a missing child, Aisling Syme, He gave me a back-handed complimen. He liked me because I said things I did not believe I don’t agree. But that is his take. It’s all a game.

The great thing about media is that it has a ready-made promotional machine and celebrity offensiveness is instantly familiar to the public.

Feminist pundit Lizzie Marvelly dropped her scheduled role on a Henry show panel.
Feminist pundit Lizzie Marvelly dropped her scheduled role on a Henry show panel.

That means media stories can quickly take off and they can be extended to increase the number of clicks.That is why there are so many media stories now that there is such a lot of online news content. To be honest I was a little disappointed in Henry.It seemed like he had moved beyond the shock jock persona where he needed to use words like titties to get attention. He is better than that. What is it that Donald Trump says?

Sad. So Sad.

 

 

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

Shhh … Secret Squirrel Thank heaven for unnamed sources

The Guardian wrote this week

“Deep antipathy to Hillary Clinton exists within the FBI, multiple bureau sources have told the Guardian, spurring a rapid series of leaks damaging to her campaign just days before the election.

Current and former FBI officials, none of whom were willing or cleared to speak on the record, have described a chaotic internal climate that resulted from outrage over director James Comey’s July decision not to recommend an indictment over Clinton’s maintenance of a private email server on which classified information transited.

“The FBI is Trumpland,” said one current agent.

This atmosphere raises major questions about how Comey and the bureau he is slated to run for the next seven years can work with Clinton should she win the White House.”

 

Secrecy has become entrenched in institutions while they promise transparency. We have come to rely on anonymous sources to tell us what is really going on. They can expose dysfunction at powerful institutions – as it did with the Guardian report (above) about FBI antipathy to Hillary Clinton.  It seems like personal views in influencing the use of state power right on the eve of an election. It could aid the election of a dangerous man, and that sense the secret policing agency is anti-democratic.

Shhh - Secret Squirrel
Shhh – Secret Squirrel

The use of anonymous sources look like increasing rather than shrinking, as institutions claim transparency while taking steps to shut the public out. We know that if people in the FBI and security agencies and big corporates people also leak – about one another and sometimes about private citizens. Media organisations can lap that up as well. It’s the new media world and it requires a lot of faith in journalists at a time the profession is in deep doo doo.

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

A Spoonful of Sugar Needed For The Fax-ME Merger

It might be overly optimistic. But I am hoping NZME and Fairfax might add a spoonful of sugar to make their merger just a tiny bit more palatable. The sweetener would be some competition to remain. Next week, the Commerce Commission is expected to announce its draft decision on the merger.  For hundreds of staff the draft will be an indication about the future should two of New Zealand’s biggest media firms be united into one local company.

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Bi-monthly Metro. New Auckland Weekly Soon

Bauer is turning Auckland city magazine Metro from a monthly to a bi-monthly publishing once every two months, it is understood. The change is believed to be linked to Bauer launching of a new weekly title that will be unveiled on Thursday. Metro has struggled a long time against shifts in the way people use media – all print publications have. Bauer has been ways for it to maintaining its share of advertising income. The end to publishing ten issues a year will be a loss for those of us who have seen it as at historical centre of Auckland’s media heritage. But many will be relieved the brand has survived to live again another form, albeit with fewer issues.

Simon Wilson and editor Susannah Walker
Simon Wilson and editor Susannah Walker

 

Nadia Lim will have her own magazine like Oprah
Nadia Lim will have her own magazine

But the focus on current affairs did not lessen the financial challenges on the magazine,

Bauer NZ chief executive Paul Dykzeul would not give details on a new weekly for the eastern suburbs but on September 23 the Herald reported him saying the new magazine would not not intrude on Bauer’s existing titles.

The Herald Media column wrote:

“Among … other projects  Bauer is developing a bi-monthly magazine based on the thoughts and celebrity of 2011 MasterChef winner Nadia Lim.

Lim is one of the founders and a shareholder in the food delivery firm My Food Bag. However the Nadia Lim magazine is a venture between her and Bauer, and does not involve My Food Bag.

Lim’s PR consultant, Deborah Pead, optimistically compared the magazine to O: The Oprah Magazine in the US.

The magazine would not be solely about food and would include travel and Lim’s stories about entrepreneurs,” Pead said.

Bauer New Zealand CEO Paul Dykzeul confirmed going bi-monthly was one of the options being considered and said details of a new weekly would likely be announced on Thursday.

 

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

Why Did The Human Rights Commission Back Tabloid TV?

The Human Rights Commission has been pumping up the”race row” in Real Housewives of Auckland. It reminds me of its unorthodox action back in 2012. Then Equal Opportunities Commissioner Judy McGregor, a former tabloid newspaper editor, went undercover as an aged care worker, and publicised how aged workers are underpaid. It was a worthy cause, but an unusual approach

Former EEO Commissioner Judy McGregor went undercover
Former EEO Commissioner Judy McGregor went undercover

I said in the NZ Herald media column:

The former Sunday News editor’s report comes across as a ripping yarn about the life and devotion of staff.

But did anybody else think it was a bit odd for a commissioner to go undercover like this? And would the elderly patients mind if they had known they had been showered by the EEO commissioner.

We asked the former editor and member of the Broadcasting Standards Authority if she had used a false name and whether she had access to personal medical records on her undercover stint. We asked what physical tasks she performed but got no answer.

We also wonder if the Privacy Commissioner was involved. After several attempts to get details of the undercover arrangement, the Human Rights Commission refused to comment.

That was four years ago. There seem to be similarities with Real Housewives of Auckland racial incident wherever Julia Sloane used the N word about Michelle Blanchard, who is black, and who was understandably furious. It seems like the Human Rights Commission was pre-warned by producers and knew there would be a broadcast of a bleeped racial comment. It does not appear to have tried to prevent the show going ahead, Instead it seems to have been taking the producers view that it would be helpful to race relations

 The Human Rights Commission was approached for comment but declined while it was awaiting legal advice.

unknown-54 The Commission was advised by RHOAKL broadcaster Bravo on June 23 about the incident but the Commission chose to say nothing about the broadcast until after it ran last Tuesday. On September 1 the Commission launched “Thats Us”  digital ad campaign against racism and in a tweet Race Relations conciliator Dame Susan Devoy singled out the use of the N word. The theme for Real Housewives is about bitchiness and meanness.

I’m not backing Sloane, whose comment was clearly foolish  and hurtful  to fellow housewife Michelle Blanchard. I question the Commission hyping a tabloid TV and contorted a foolish statement by an individual represents the state of race relations.

Julia Sloane: Screwed up and apologised. But still attacked by Human Rights Commission
Julia Sloane: Screwed up and apologised. But still attacked by Human Rights Commission

Why has a government agency aligned itself with tabloid “reality” TV channel?

Meanwhile, The Spinoff website had been giving extensive publicity to the reality series and heavily supporting Bravo and the RHOAKL production team from NBC Universal. A podcast published on September 21 examines that looks at the episode and makes it clear its supports the decision to highlight the slur and criticises people who do not hold that view. In my opinion More information needs to be made available by the Commission for its approach.   Turning on an individual three months after the event, does not seem to be more about publicity than fighting racism.

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ