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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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?
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).”
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 Enthusiasm. Adlon 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.