Posted by BE on October 3rd, 2015
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.
Posted by BE on June 25th, 2015
Good news from MediaWorks – their new current affairs programme at 7pm, Monday to Thursday, is to be hosted by Duncan Garner and Heather du Plessis-Allan.
It’s good news because these are, in my estimation, two of the most professional and accomplished reporter/interviewers in the county. And, if we have to make the comparison, both could hold their own anywhere in the broadcasting world.
So what could possibly go wrong?
Well, there are some hints in MediaWorks’ news release about the new show:
First the title: Story. Well yes, journalists do refer to items as ‘news stories‘ and maybe I’m being picky. But when you take the word by itself, it does rather suggest that 7pm Monday to Thursday on TV3 will be story-telling time. Are we all sitting comfortably? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by BE on June 18th, 2015
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.