Brian Edwards Media

Posts Tagged 'Breakfast'

Now come on, admit it, you’re missing him, aren’t you? You know who I mean. And it’s just not the same, is it?

Herald on Sunday

I see that TVNZ spokesperson Megan Richards has denied reports that viewers have deserted the channel’s Breakfast show since Paul Henry left the programme. Richards said that a report in the Herald on Sunday headed ‘Audience dives since Henry’s departure’ was simply ‘wrong’. Viewership ratings had ‘held steady’. 

Interpretation of television ratings to suit one’s own purposes has become something of a PR art form. There’s bound to be a demographic somewhere where your channel is ahead, if only among insomniac devotees of geriatric movies. 

But I suspect Richards is correct. Leaving aside the fact that there is no competing programme on TV3 for viewers to defect to, weekday early morning TV shows are rarely appointment viewing. 

I became particularly aware of this when staying with relatives in Britain. As mum bustled around making breakfast, getting the kids ready for school, finding dad’s cufflinks and generally transforming chaos into some semblance of order, television sets in the living room, kitchen, master and teenagers’ bedrooms sprayed news, weather, traffic information and chat to anyone who cared to listen and watch. 

Breakfast is a chaotic time for most families, making concentrated viewing of anything on TV difficult. So, other than for the unemployed or  retired, breakfast viewing is distracted viewing. Audiences do not so much ‘watch’ the programme, as ‘catch’ snatches of information relevant to their areas of interest or to the forthcoming day. The often complained of cyclical repetition of news headlines, weather forecasts and traffic reports makes absolute sense since it increases the chances that an individual member of the household will get the information they want while commuting from bedroom to bathroom or kitchen to living room. Weather forecasts are worldwide the highest rating programmes on television, a sobering thought perhaps for programme makers and the stars who appear on the programmes. 

All of this may mean that the hosts of breakfast TV programmes play a somewhat less significant role in attracting and retaining viewers than they would in prime time. There is, after all, very little difference between breakfast television formats world wide: attractive female presenter and (at least passable) male presenter chat, make jokes, occasionally flirt, do serious and not-so-serious short interviews on topical issues, read emails and texts, throw to news headlines, weather and traffic reports and cross live to hyperactive field reporters with the latest quirky, offbeat, sad/happy human interest story in town.  Read the rest of this entry »


Time for Paul Henry to Go



Someone recently accused me of being judgmental and cruel in comments I had made about some of the leading lights in the recent ‘march for democracy’. I took the criticism  to heart. I abhor cruelty to anyone or anything. If I make an exception it is to be strident in my criticism of those whom I see as advocating or practising cruelty themselves. I can appreciate that there’s a contradiction in that, but I’ve not yet reached that Christian or Buddhist state of consciousness where I can readily  extend compassion to those lacking in compassion.

I’m about to criticise Paul Henry whom I defended in the very first blog which I published on this site. My thesis was that, despite his occasional gratuitous, offensive and personally hurtful comments about other people, his exceptional talents as a broadcaster justified his continued employment by Television New Zealand. That is no longer my view. Henry is a bully who is abusing his position as a public broadcaster. He should be sacked. Read the rest of this entry »