Brian Edwards Media

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Footie!

Mark Weldon - MediaWorks CEO      (Photo: Stuff)

Mark Weldon – MediaWorks CEO (Photo: Stuff)

This year I added a second string to my bow of media appearances. In addition to appearing with my good friend and mortal radio enemy Michelle Boag on Jim Mora’s Afternoons programme, I became a regular panellist on Paul Henry’s morning TV/radio show.

The downside to these appearances was that I had to get up at sparrow-fart to be there on time, I didn’t get paid, and people kept bailing me up in the street to talk about it.

Well, “downside” is really not the appropriate word for people taking the time to tell you how much fun the Henry/Edwards exchanges were and how much they enjoyed the badinage between us.

The last of these appearances was on 29 June. During our conversation I revealed to Paul that I’d never in my life been to a rugby game or even bothered to watch one on television. I found the sport utterly tedious. Give me soccer or netball or limited-over cricket any day.

Paul was astonished and offered  on air to take me as his guest to a big rugby match so that I could see how marvellously exciting it was. He’d even arrange a corporate box. I accepted this generous invitation. As I was leaving TV3 a member of Paul’s production team rushed past me and breathlessly called out, “Got to arrange those footie tickets, Brian!”

Well, Paul and I never got to the footie. Not only that, I never heard from the programme or TV3 again. That appearance on 29 June on the Paul Henry Show was my last. Buy why?

Well, that’s a total mystery to me – a conundrum, a puzzle. It just doesn’t make sense. Unless perhaps you have a look at There’s Always More Room At The Bottom Of The Barrel, posted by me on this site on June 18, and Good News From Mediaworks. Story! posted one week later on June 25. That’s four days before my last ever appearance on the Paul Henry Show.

What have these two posts got in common? They’re both highly critical of remarks made by Mediaworks CEO Mark Weldon. TV3 is part of the Mediaworks stable.

Paranoia? Maybe. But just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

Cheers Paul! Still love the show.

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  1. As long as the NZ Nanny state in all its various forms (both political and financial), holds the purse strings of the NZ media and arts, then freedom of speech and any level of real professionalism, will forever remain just a wishful dream. See NZ on Airs endless Nannying death grip on the purse strings of any and all cultural expression nowadays.
    As I recently posted re the NZ music industry (same story, different page). As long as Nanny holds the purse strings, NZ will never Rock and Roll! She will stop any expression that she doesn’t agree with, by restricting funding and support.
    “Put these ear plugs in now dear, … and be home by ten, or I’ll come down there and box your ears in front of all your friends”. “Ohhh mum!
    Such manipulative pat/matriarchal nonsense by grown human beings in this day and age, … simply beggers belief!

    • Your comments have ‘how much’ to do with Media Works?

      • 1.1.1

        Everything Lynnette. Political and corporate manipulation are the hallmarks of all modern media. That much is self evident.

      • 1.1.2

        Perhaps Paul thinks that Media Works is part of the government or that the government is part of Media Works. Either could be possible, these days.


          John. I’m a TV veteran of 30 + yrs John (Did Brian and Simon Walkers I/vs with Mudloon and all state TV’s pollie shows tween 89 and 07. Plus was the Wine Box Vid crew and much more). So I am perfectly aware of what I am saying, and for you to negate out of hand the influence of politics or money in the media, simply shows me that you are far from experienced in this field.

          • Paul, the only way I could tie your “nanny state” theory up with Mark Weldon’s supposed actions was to conclude that Mark Weldon was somehow on John Key’s payroll.

            That’s preposterous.
            Oh, wait a minute…


            I suggested you may think that Media Works is part of the government or that the government is part of Media Works. That is hardly negating out of hand the influence of politics or money in the media. I am, indeed, far from experienced in the field of media but I am experienced in writing and logical thinking.

    • Using the term “nanny state” is more or less openly advertising one’s folly.

    • As far as I can tell, there is huge (mostly unwilling) tax-payer support for just about any non-pakeha culturall expression. But you’re hardly barred from freedom of speech: say anything you like (bar hate speech) to anyone….the world’s your lobster. But if you expect to get PAID by some third party (viz. the taxpayer) you’d best stick to saying something they want to hear.

    • Whoops! You’re showing your misogynist zeal. Ugly and sad.

  2. Thus has it always been in the halls of broadcasting, certainly in a small town like New Zealand.

    But even in Australia I’ve heard stories of petty backbiting… like the poor announcer who once slighted one of his colleagues. Years later, said colleague had moved on and become Program Director at a station on the other side of the country. Out of the blue, the announcer gets a call. “Insult, what insult? All is forgiven. I’ve always admired your professional style, come work for me, I’ll even throw in a small raise”.

    So the announcer quits his job, sells what he can’t fit in his car and begins the long, long journey to his new job. Arrives dog tired and covered in red dust to be told “There is no job, I’m still peeved about what you said, so that’ll teach you”.

    A person’s entire livelihood… nay their life… wrecked over some small slight.

    I’d share some personal stories, because I’m past caring about those they’d offend… but the other thing to watch for is intense, deep-seated personal alliances within the industry that make NZ gang culture look like the Girl Guides. So I’ve upset people I’ve never even met by upsetting someone I have.

    Actually, I’ve never seen an episode (which is a bit like admitting you’ve never been to a rugby game… which I haven’t either) but isn’t this what Game of Thrones is like? So that. That is NZ broadcasting.

    • Aren’t these just cliques of sociopaths / trolls / bullies / narcissists … and dammit, they are everywhere. I’ve encountered more than my fair share and had my life kicked-over too. It makes you unforgiving and forever vigilant, and all the hallmarks of post traumatic stress disorder.
      While all these words have been bandied about and often diminished by repetition, the pack mentality of brutes is real.

  3. Well let me say it, to me, you are not witty or knowledgeable but you do have a faint Irish accent which has probably, with a bit of the blarney opened a few doors. You are like Wellington on a rainy day, dull and uninteresting. Many of Paul Henrys guests have similar character but they get away with it because of age and vibrancy. For the record I am neither witty or knowledgeable but then again I do not pretend to be.

  4. Your case seems to be different in that it involves a childish response to criticism, but in the last year or so there appears to have been a soft purge of critical pundits across several media organisations, including Mediaworks and if rumours are to be believed, at Maori television.

    I’ve only been back in NZ five years, but even in that short time the mediascape appears to have changed a great deal. Anyone else remember TVNZ 7?

  5. Unfortunately the world is full of broken promises with just as many excuses.I would hope that Mark Weldon isnt guilty as charged but it wouldnt suprise me either .I would contact Paul Henry and give him a reminder.Nothing like using a stick in a circular motion to see what appears.

  6. The answer to the conundrum?

    Psychopaths/sociopaths can’t take criticism Brian.

  7. 7

    NOT PAID!! I’m astonished, Brian. Is Mediaworks a charity? For that matter – are you?

    • Hi Aline. I’ve made dozens of appearances on morning TV3 programmes in a commentator role and not been paid. I suspect they regard it as publicity for the commentator. The exception was The Nation on which I appeared with Bill Ralston. The fee was pretty good and was actually increased by producer Richard Harman to reflect the success of the 10-minute segment. The point here is that this was an independent production, not aN in-house TV3 production. People appearing for three and a quarter hours on Radio New Zealand’s Afternoons programme which can require quite a bit of preparation, are paid $100. Most of us accept this, I suppose, because it’s public radio.

      • So for the princely sum of $30.77/hour you get a media profile that geniuses like Bill Murray get to take pot-shots at?!

        You need a new agent…or a new vocation. You must do it for love.

        • Sorry, for the sake of clarity, I should have typed ‘genius’ in inverted commas.

          Maybe you’ve been here long enough for the New Zealand immunity to irony to rub off.


          Kimbo – I suspect Brian may be a bit like me in that being a relatively comfortably well off ‘pensioner’ the hourly rate hardly comes into the equation. I do much for free and probably earn about $10 to $15 an hour doing what I passionately enjoy. That’s just a bonus as I’d do it for nothing anyway. Money is not the only incentive to do something. Mind you – I don’t get people taking pot shots at me for doing what I do, like Brian seems to.
          Good on you, Brian, for coping with the crap that comes flying your way and still saying what you think. I enjoy every one of your posts.

          • Yes – sorry, I should have also made clear, my subsequent comments were also ironic.

            And good on you, also, for keeping up with your passion for a pittance compared to what your skill and experience would otherwise dictate. I do likewise for something I love, and the reward is something money cannot buy.

      • Do you mean three quarters of an hour, Brian?

        • No. My mistake. That should have been an hour and a quarter, plus preparation time. So not such a bad rate after all.

  8. This government has pretty much taken control of nearly all major main stream media platforms. As a friend pointed out recently, choosing not to present the news is as much a form of censorship as banning it.

    Luckily, the Internet provides a vital alternative but it is not healthy for society for there to be no neutral mainstream news sources.

  9. Thankfully, the paths of Bill Murray and I have never crossed.

  10. Not sure that the government has to much content control over Radio nz ….although Bomber Bradburys permanant removal was a bit of a surprise

    • The producers and host of the programme took offence at Bomber’s rhetoric, so he was removed. Nothing to do with Govt.

  11. Listened to you this PM with Michelle Boag on the panel. The interaction between you was as always delightful; you were both witty and knowledgeable. I love it that two people from opposite ends of the political spectrum can behave like civilised human being together. Some of our more tribal members of the right and the left should listen and learn.

    Did I hear right; your 80th birthday approaching? You have worn well; congratulations.

    Incidentally if you ever decide to sell tickets to one of your dinner parties do let me know. They sound fantastic.

    As for Paul Henry; that’s his and Media Works’ loss. However,is the apostrophe in the correct place?

  12. Paul Henry is not an honourable man. To behave in such a juvenile manner, manipulate you by posing as the ‘good guy/mate’ but not keep his word is just a form of sly bullying. You were just dissed by a narcissist Brian, he’s not even given you an apology and he won’t, it was no doubt all about him looking good on screen.

    • Actually that’s a very good point – the sheer discourtesy and bad manners in Henry’s, his producers’ and TV3’s handling of this.

  13. (You all think I’m paranoid…..don’t you!)