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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.

 

A press release was issued but Palmer refused to comment further on her reasons for leaving.

MediaWorks Radio CEO, Wendy Palmer has decided to step down. Wendy has been with MediaWorks Radio almost 12 years – the last three of which have been as CEO Radio where she has led the business to its number one position in the market – with its highest ever ratings achieved last year.Wendy Palmer said: “It has been an absolute privilege to be part of such a brilliant team of people – I cannot thank them enough. I am so proud of everything we have achieved together and in particular over the last year – our great content team for our best ever ratings and the radio business overall for delivering our best ever financial performance. I wish them all the very best for the future.”Michael Anderson, MediaWorks CEO said: “We are really sad to lose Wendy but understand her decision to move on. She leaves our radio business in strong shape – and poised to move forward and capitalise on its leading position – thanks to her brilliant leadership and work with her teams and with clients. She has been a great support to me in my time at MediaWorks and I know I speak on behalf of the many, many people Wendy has worked with when I say she will be greatly missed.”David Gibbs, who has been assisting the radio team since the beginning of the year, will act as Head of Radio where he will lead the Regional Managers and branch operations working closely with Group Content Director – Music, Leon Wratt and Chief Commercial Officer, Glen Kyne.

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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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Who Goes There? – Holt Opinion

Caption: Hayley and the Greens

The United States will soon be run by reality TV star Donald Trump. And in little old New Zealand, we’ve seen wannabe politicians who happen to have been on the telly.

The latest “star” political wannabe is Hayley Holt, a talented snowboarder and a presenter of two niche TV shows “The Crowd Goes Wild” and “Back Benches. Name recognition matters for a party like the Greens and you wonder if there are any more media people waiting in the wings.

But Holt does not have the celebrity power of Tamati Coffey who fronted the weather forecasts for many years and who will be standing for Labour in the Waiariki seat in 2017.

Holt is said to be an environmentalist and have a degree in politics and that means a lot for some Green voters.

She may well be be a brilliant advocate for the Party. Holt had indicated that she was interested in winning the candidacy for the Helensville electorate. Maybe that will be less attractive now that John Key is no longer standing and there would be fewer promotional opportunities.

The Greens insist they will follow their normal practices is selecting her place on the List, . But announcements of star candidates like Holt raise the question whether high profile people have a place ahead non- celebrity candidates,

 

images-35
Tamati Coffey has genuine star appear and is standing for Labour in Wairariki

Holt told the NZ Herald she is not yet sure how many votes her star power could be worth.”I don’t want politics to be boring. It looks boring at the moment and we’ve got some really fresh, exciting faces with the Greens coming through …” she said.

Another recent recruit looking for a place on the Greens list is high profile politician Chloe Swarbrick who had worked with alternative radio station Bfm.

Chloe Swarbrick
Chloe Swarbrick

She has been backed by media on the Left in Auckland and would likely draw votes in the city. Indeed when she recently announced her intentions to stand for Parliament it seemed like the Greens were joining Swarbrick, not vice – versa.

 

 

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Early Outing For Jennings-Murphy Newsroom

Caption.Tim Murphy and Mark Jennings aim for their new wesbsite called Newsroom to be up and running in mid-February.

Plans for an ambitious news and current affairs website were forced out into the open yesterday, after Fairfax and NZME used them to show the Commerce Commission there was competition coming in the news market. Former high-profile news bosses for MediaWorks and the New Zealand Herald – Mark Jennings and Tim Murphy – were caught short when marketing material their new website, Newsroom, unexpectedly went public. According to Jennings, Fairfax and NZME got wind of plans and delivered them to the Commerce Commission. Jennings said that the project was going well – but negotiations had not been completed and were continuing,  Journalists whose names are attached to the marketing proposal include Bernard Hickey and his Hivenews.co,nz website, business writer Rod Oram, sports writer Steve Deane, and Eloise Gibson.

Tim Murphy said the new venture would start as a subscription service in mid-February with the free website set to start in March. According to promotional material for the newsroom site (see below). Negotiations are under way for backing from Allied Press, the owner of the Otago Daily Times. Selwyn and Craig Pellett are involved. Newsroom will be funded by subscriptions, sponsorship and advertising. Murphy said subscriptions were hoped to be equal to sponsorship and advertising revenue by Year 3. The marketing document is attacjed below.

marketing-literature-in-relation-to-jennings-murphys-new-news-website-to-be-called-newsroom-co-nz-november-2016

 

 

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Next Drama Needs to Be Good Dirty, Filthy TV

The recent ratings failure of the TVNZ 1 series “Dirty Laundry” leaves TVNZ and New Zealand On Air with a dilemma over the future of New Zealand drama. TVNZ needs a hit. Zagzigger.com pointed out on October 14 that the show was in trouble (Dirty Laundry On Line), and it never really found an audience. The TVNZ2 predecessor, “Filthy Rich” also did not rate very well, and had mixed reviews. But Filthy Rich viewership held up on TVNZ On Demand. NZ On Air says it had a loyal audience. As a result, it agreed to fund a second series.

Filthy Rich has been given funding for a second series.
Filthy Rich has been given funding for a second series.

I saw some of the same faults in Dirty Laundry that were apparent in Filthy Rich. They seemed like same old, same old. It would be easy to get despondent There is nothing sillier than making the same mistake over and over again. But unlike some media folk I’m not keen on walking away from TV drama altogether, Making drama is hard work. And many in the TV world believe that the problem is that TVNZ commissioners are caught up in an eighties time warp. The bulk of the money for kiwi dramas comes from taxpayers, but the networks are nervous about trying things that are new.Maybe so. But f they continue to play it too safe -and it creates a third underwhelming series in a row – people may start giving up.

Grubby Feet
Grubby Feet

I hear  TVNZ has a promising new drama in development that is expected to be quite different to Filthy Rich and Dirty Laundry. Fingers crossed it is not  called Grubby Feet.

 

 

 

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Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

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?

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

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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