Brian Edwards Media

There’s always more room at the bottom of the barrel.


The departure of “gossip columnist” Rachel Glucina from the pages of the New Zealand Herald will be warmly greeted by lovers of quality journalism across the country. Had Glucina’s role been restricted to showbiz gossip and the back pages of the paper, traditionally reserved for this sort of material, her influence on the general tone of the Herald might have been less malign. But the volume, scope and placement of her material over the past year or so have led to an exponential increase in that influence. Glucina has been a major player in the “tabloidisaton” of the Herald.

Her departure to join the ranks of MediaWorks, whose stable includes TV3, TV4 and a raft of radio stations across the country, was announced by Glucina herself on Twitter:

“I’ve resigned.  MediaWorks has headhunted me for a joint-venture partnership to create, run and co-own a new digital entertainment platform.”

Mediaworks CEO Mark Weldon, helpfully explained:

“Digital entertainment brands featuring snackable, shareable content [especially video] are the fastest growing part of the media landscape, and there is a gap in the New Zealand market in this area.”

“Snackable, shareable content” – interesting! A quarter of a century ago media guru Dr Joe Atkinson coined the term “morselisation” to describe what was happening in the field of television news and current affairs in New Zealand. The term referred to the view of television executives at the time (and ever since) that the viewing public was not interested in watching lengthy news or current affairs items or interviews. They wanted their information served up in “bite-sized chunks”. He could equally have said, “snackable, shareable content”.

I rang my friend Joe this morning to inform him of Glucina’s departure from the Herald.

“The trouble with this,” he said, “is that these people don’t realise that there’s no room left for them at the bottom of the barrel. TVNZ’s already taken the entire space!”

My personal view is that, with determined digging, New Zealand television executives will always be able to find more room at the bottom of the barrel.

Watch this space.

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  1. Kia Ora Brian, This all looks very sad when viewed from 10,000 miles away. Remembering the great days of NZ TV; the Telethons, thriving drama departments and music shows. This month the 40th anniversary of TV2 and no celebrations, incredible! Music is dear to my heart having devised and produced ‘Radio With Pictures’ 39 years ago and ‘Shazam!’ in ’82. Music has all but disappeared from NZ TV screens. My question; what do our kiwi music icons have to do to be inducted into the RMNZ / APRA NZ Music Hall Of Fame? Dozens need to be recognized in their lifetimes. It started in 2007, the committee induct only TWO annually, so only 16 are in…, the 1st inductee being the hubby of one of the organizers. A talented Canadian – born lad, Jordan Luck, whom I debuted on ‘Shazam!’ so no quibble, but those 16 must be lonely in the big ‘hall’ knowing so many of THEIR heroes are locked out. Brian, PLEASE take up this crusade, I started an unofficial NZMHOF Facebook page 4 years ago, 3000 members, several have contacted the organizers to no avail. We MUST honour the likes of Peter Posa, John Rowles, Dame Kiri, Midge, Max Merritt, Dinah Lee, Sharon O’Neill, Bill Sevesi and countless others, and include Sir Howie, Inia Ti Wiata, Mavis Rivers, Tex Morton, Prince Tui, Billy T and those who have passed. Music is a great healer and unifier, NZ would benefit from a strong NZMHOF with an annual TVNZ show featuring young stars performing iconic songs too, while inducting 15 to 20 kiwi icons annually, and a Music-eum in say, Dunedin or Christchurch as NZ’s City Of Song. We need Maggie Barry’s support on this, and for TVNZ to work with RMNZ and APRA to make it a reality. Have a quick word to our old mate Andy!! :-) Best to you! Peter Grattan ex Head Of Ent. TVNZ.

  2. This is indeed tragic news. I wonder if the Herald can still be considered the nation’s number one organ minus such erudite commentary. I used to look forward to the pages of vacuous ‘celebrities’ generously turning out again and again to the opening of a bottle. Now I’ll never know who’s up who and who hasn’t paid. Lucky I’ve got Facelift, Twatter and Instacrap to deliver quality journalism.

  3. Coming soon to TV3: News of the World at 7.

    • 3.1

      The NOW had its moments.

      “Son of Fascist Hitler Lover in Nazi Sex Shame” is perhaps the best headline in the last 30 years, for example.

      • I beg to differ: surely the best headline was in the Sun after the unfancied Caledonian Thistle (“Caley”) football club beat the mighty Glasgow Celtic 3-1 in the Scottish Cup: “Super Calety go Ballistic, Celtic Are Atrocious”.


          No, it was “Was Bhutto lazy, or was Bhutelezi?” in the Worker’s Daily in May 1997…


          Or how about the paper in Bath when Charles and Camilla announced their intended troth with the headline “Local Man to Wed.”

  4. It certainly is a race to the bottom of the barrel. I hardly know which way to turn. TVNZ? Media Works? Radio Network? Hell it has to be Radio NZ.

  5. There’s a hole in their phuck it, their lies there, there lies their.

  6. I seem to recall her poisoned pen stabbing any Labour person, at every opportunity, even back when she was just the gossip columnist. Now she’s swapped arch-Tory Currie with arch-Tory Weldon. Simply a platform change.

  7. Given that MediaWorks can barely scrape together an audience for Paul Henry’s snacks I wonder if adding Ms Glucina to the stable will be cutting the Herald’s lunch.
    My view is that she owed her audience to the Herald’s residual readership, rather than adding to it by her celebrity and fame.
    I suspect there will be a lot of heat and not much light generated by this gambit.
    Interesting to see journalists (and Ms Glucina) taking a stake in their platforms. I wonder what the long term effect of having skin in the game will be. My guess is it will have a chilling effect if the idea is to please advertisers with banal or sensational content – listicles and link-bait are heading your way…
    Can’t wait. No, …wait…I can.

  8. 8

    Amazing to see the term Morcellation being used in this as it seems to relate well….as it does in surgery it creates a spread of bad – in fact in surgery it is now being banned for use in Uterine fibroids due to the spread of cancer and death. Interesting analogy here as from my observation in “news” it spreads the cancer and death of intelligent transmission of information and analysis. I once respected the Journalists of NZ but to be honest it is now overrun with the banal and spineless spinners of rubbish. Our country is lead by someone who actively works to dumb us down through every action taken. Hopefully the intelligent will see through this and move to gain a strong hold again as I become so disillusioned with where we are heading. The lack of integrity that is apparent in the actions of Mediaworks and the pandering to the current government at each turn must surely end with a change in that government. Without this I feel we are heading into a sad and lonely place.

  9. I fear my education is sadly lacking. Until the ponytail pulling I had never even heard of this Glucina female. Even now I am in total ignorance as to any possible claim she has for ‘celebrity’ status.

    I fear in her new role she is likely to pass from my consciousness unless she falls off her digit entertainment platform and breaks her neck. Does the bottom of the barrel go any deeper than Hosking?

    • Don’t worry about it Ben. I’ve never come across her either. In fact the same goes for most of the people mentioned in this post so far. It’s probably some sort of Auckland thing and so can be safely ignored

  10. If the bottom of the barrel is full surely the only way is up.

  11. This is the sort of thing that would have caused my granny to purse her lips and mutter: “The Devil looks after his own…”

    At the bottom of the barrel are the dregs. Dregs sink, scum rises. GOK what the rest of the barrel is filled with.