Radio New Zealand bosses did not even bother asking the government to give them extra money in the May 26 Budget. National has said “No” to the Oliver Twist approach for eight years, so why go through the farce of asking again? Now petitioners are pleading for politicians to relent. But we are beyond non-commercial purity. We need to welcome sponsorship on National Radio and Concert FM as a means to its survival.
The alternative is that RNZ will trim more and more from quality radio shows like the science programme “Our Changing World,” so RNZ can make ends meet. I know, I know. We’ve been told for decades that sponsorship NatRad or Concert FM would be a travesty. It would be symbolically sad to lose RNZ as a non-commercial haven. Jesse Mulligan’s afternoons show would not be the most lucrative. But commercial sponsorship would be an easy fit. Jesse’s Afternoon is lightand he has a commercial profile outside RNZ. It would still need to be carefully managed by RNZ. Morning Report and Nine to Noon would be the most valuable to RNZ being the most popular But sponsored news programmes undermines their integrity Saturday Morning with Kim Hill? It would be a brilliant choice for a top end brand. And Kim Hill could make it work … with Cartier, but not with Kmart.