Brian Edwards Media

Posts Tagged 'TV3'

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.


Good news from MediaWorks. Story!


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 »


The Campbell Live Debate – A Considered View

Campbell Live

I’ve signed the on-line petition which effectively invites TV3 to abandon its intention to replace Campbell Live with what we now know will be a stripped soap-opera made by Julie Christie’s former company Eyeworks.

What has to be acknowledged straight away is that TV3 is a private company and under no obligation to continue producing a prime-time television programme that is losing ratings and therefore revenue. The channel cannot be asked to produce Campbell Live at a loss or to give it preference over a potentially higher rating programme in the same time-slot.

The dilemma here arises from the fact that Campbell is a public service broadcaster working for a private television network. The fault here lies not with TV3 but with the failure of successive governments to provide New Zealanders with a true public service television channel.  While Campbell continued to rate with TV3’s youngish target demographic, his position was relatively secure. The show, which the channel advertises as “New Zealand’s leading current affairs programme”, has been around for a decade. Not a bad run in anyone’s books. But, under the private broadcasting system, once viewers begin to turn off a programme, its host is likely to be shown the door.    Read the rest of this entry »


Why TV3 should hang its head in shame over ‘3rd Degree’ and why I suspect Duncan Garner and Guyon Espiner would agree with me.

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I got home rather late from dinner with friends tonight and tuned into TV3′ new hard-hitting current affairs show 3rd Degree. You’ve no doubt seen the preposterous promos for the show with Duncan Garner and Guyon Espener being the Batman and Robin of current affairs, fearlessly interrogating the bad guys. But their discomfort with the load of codswallop which they were compelled to front last night was as plain as the noses on their faces. Garner is brilliant and Espiner not quite as brilliant but together they should be a force for good. Instead they had the embarrassing task of having to appear enthusiastic about a disaffected car clamper and the beautiful but embarrassingly miscast Anna Guy. Good god, what an appalling waste of two of the most incisive political minds this country has ever seen. But hey, no doubt the execs at TV3 thought it would rate. And it just might. But the cost to your reputation and the reputation of Garner and Espiner may just be too high a price to pay. What is it they say about putting lipstick on a pig?  Let’s hope for better next week.


Good news for randy carpet layers? The BSA sets a worrying precedent for TV3’s Target programme


Among its most recent decisions the BSA upheld a complaint from an electrician who, along with a couple of his workmates, had been filmed at the ‘Target house’ installing a heated towel rail and changing a light fitting. Target identified a couple of safety issues, involving a potential hazard (to the electricians themselves rather than to the ‘home owner’), but overall the job was well done and the company was given a respectable score of 7 out of 10. No criticism was made of the complainant. The faces of the electricians were clearly visible in the item and not pixellated.

So what was the problem? Well, the BSA decided that the complainant’s privacy had been breached. He had been clearly identified on the programme which several hundred thousand viewers would have seen and his permission had not been given or sought to show the footage on television.

Your initial response to this might well be the same as mine: the guy should be pleased his outfit did so well; what’s he moaning about?  To get the answer to that question you could plough your way through  the BSA’s complex legal semantics or I could try to give you a layman’s, hopefully accurate, translation. Why don’t we go with option two:     Read the rest of this entry »


On awful female voices in television news and who’s really to blame.

I’m going to keep this reasonably brief. It’s a plea to the bosses at TVNZ and TV3 and to their Heads of News.

Do you watch your own news bulletins? If you do, do you watch with the sound turned off? That is the only possible reason I can think of why a majority of your female field reporters have such ghastly, such appalling, such unlistenable voices.

And no, I am not talking about their Kiwi accents. I think we should embrace that aspect of our culture. (Though I could do without ‘Wallington’ and ‘talyvision’.) No,  I’m talking about the fact that most of these young women sound as though they have permanent head colds, that the noise they produce is a high-pitched nasal whine that compares unfavourably with chalk squeaking on a blackboard. THEY ARE AWFUL!   Read the rest of this entry »


John Campbell, tonight you were a disgrace to the interviewer’s trade.

John, Your mindless, bullying, tirade against ‘moon man’ Ken Ring on tonight’s Campbell Live was perhaps the worst piece of egotistical, self-important, out of control, closed-minded, biased, unprofessional  non-interviewing I have seen in more than 40 years of New Zealand television.

I have no brief for Mr Ring or his theories, but after watching your treatment of him tonight, I have considerably more respect for him as the reasonable exponent of an admittedly controversial point of view than I have for you as an interviewer.

What mattered to you in this exchange was not what he had to say, but what you had to say. And since he thought the process was meant to involve his being critically questioned on statements he had made and being given reasonable opportunity to reply, he had every right to complain when you preferred to deny him that opportunity by shouting him down. It was, quite simply, appalling.

My advice to Mr Ring would be to immediately complain to Mark Jennings, the Head of News and Current Affairs at TV3 about your mistreatment on the programme tonight, and the breach of Broadcasting Standards of fairness and balance which it contained. And, when your complaint is almost certainly rejected, to take the matter to the Broadcasting Standards Authority for their deliberation and judgement.

The microphone is a potent tool in the bullying interviewer’s hand, especially when the interview is not face-to-face and the interviewee is isolated in a remote studio location. Fortunately most interviewers do not abuse that situation. Tonight we saw what has overall been excellent television coverage of the Christchurch earthquake on both TVNZ and TV3 marred by a descent to broadcasting at the level of Jerry Springer. I have seldom been so angry.


Campbell Live’s Tristram Clayton: Bloody Awful; Totally Superb!

Campbell Live team member Tristram Clayton has begun to make something of a name for himself as a slightly quirky, off-beat reporter. He’s very good at it, as a superb little television vignette he appeared in on Tuesday made abundantly clear. Sadly, there was Wednesday to come, bringing with it a lesson for Clayton and his producer – the cobbler should stick to his last.

So as not to finish on a sour note, I’ll start with last night’s appearance. 3 News had obviously got wind of the fact that Mark Hotchin was returning from overseas and had dispatched Clayton to meet him at Auckland airport. They no doubt expected two bites off this particular cherry, a clip for the 6pm bulletin and a longer piece for Campbell Live. The tone of the interview which Clayton was expected to deliver was made clear in a promo for Campbell Live by Rachel Smalley at the start of the bulletin:

‘And we’ve got him! Campbell Live speaks exclusively to Mark Hotchin about his extravagant holiday as he tries to slip back into the country.’

This is a disgraceful statement to appear at the front of a news bulletin. All pretence of objectivity is abandoned. A businessman returning home from overseas is effectively cast as a criminal, attempting to avoid the authorities: ‘And we’ve got him … as he tries to slip back into the country.’ Hotchin’s holiday, if it were indeed a holiday, is defined as ‘extravagant’, a largely irrelevant concept in the case of a multi-millionaire, but more importantly a matter for the viewer to decide, not the reporter to prejudge.

I don’t have much time for Hotchin myself, as a post I wrote in May makes clear. There are questions I’d like to see put to him, but not by a nervous reporter, clearly out of his depth, pursuing him through an airport arrival area. The outcome is an embarrassing mess, in which Clayton manages to look inept and wetly offensive while Hotchin keeps his cool, remains determinedly polite and comes across as remarkably forbearing in fending off this irritating gnat.

Clayton’s problem is that he isn’t sure of his ground. Hotchin corrects almost everything he says and he can’t come back. After Hotchin replies to an accusation that Hanover was over-valued at the time of sale to Allied Farmers, Clayton says, ‘Right, well that’s good to know.’ I think that’s called a retreat.

When he tackles Hotchin on the mansion at Paratai Drive, Hotchin matter-of-factly replies: ‘I can’t hide it. It’s there. It’s going to be finished and it’s going to be sold.’

Clayton: ‘That’s fair enough.’

I’ve got firsthand experience of Clayton’s difficulty, of being faced with a rather daunting interviewee, being expected to take a fairly aggressive line and knowing full well that you’re out of your depth. (The name Muldoon springs to mind) This accounts for Clayton stammering and stuttering his way through the interview and for those soothing verbal gestures he makes to Hotchin, who barely looks at him.

When Hotchin finally said, ‘Why do I keep talking to you?’ I thought this was the best question in the interview.    Read the rest of this entry »


Who gets the dough when you take part in a TVNZ/TV3 text-in poll? I find out and it ain’t pretty!

'How come there was no Guinness ads in the final? Sure it must be rigged.

You may have noticed that text-in polls are becoming increasingly popular with the major television networks. And you many have wondered just why it costs so much to text one of their programmes, why the charge varies substantially from channel to channel and programme to programme, and just where the money is going.

Leaving aside for the moment that these polls have zero statistical value, you might think that by getting free programme material, paid for by viewers,  they are on a much better deal than you and me. And it might occur to you that if there has to be a charge, that charge should be a) reasonable and b) consistent. So far as I can see, it’s neither.

In recent weeks I’ve seen ‘text-in’ charges of 50 cents, 75 cents and 99 cents.  This week, for example,  it would have cost you 50 cents to answer ‘Campbell Live’s question: ‘Who is to blame for The Hobbit fiasco –  a) the union or b) the film studio?’

But if you watched the Fair Go Ad Awards on Wednesday and wanted to vote for the worst and best television ads, you’d have had to pay 99 cents … twice!

So my first question is: Since the most you can pay to send  a text internally in New Zealand is 20 cents – and considerably less if you’re on a plan –  why does it cost two-and-a-half times that much to send a text to Campbell Live, and why does it cost five times that much to sent a text to Fair Go? Fair Go of all programmes!

My second question is: why should there be any difference in the cost of sending a text to different channels or different programmes?

And my third question is: how much money are we talking about and  where is it all going?    Read the rest of this entry »


TV3 News Returns to the Trough

Last Friday, in its regular segment featuring the on-line editor’s selection of items from the channel’s website,  TV3 returned to the topic of Chris Carter:

“How to have dinner with MP Chris Carter: Find out how you can have dinner with Labour MP Chris Carter. He’s promising lots of wine.”

Viewers who went to the site, could read the following post:

Dinner with Carter, Kaiser – BYO flowers, masseuse

Trade Me bidders can win dinner with troubled Labour MP Chris Carter and his partner Peter Kaiser, but they are adamant that gifts of flowers are at the public’s expense.   

 Mr Carter and Mr Kaiser will entertain the successful bidder at their home in Te Atatu South, providing food and a “generous amount” of wine. 

On the post the pair make fun of Mr Carter’s recent problem with inappropriate spending on his ministerial credit card.

“Chris and Peter accept flowers – at your expense,” they write.

 Massages and flights to and from Auckland are also at the bidder’s expense.

In the ‘Question and Answers’ section of the post one potential bidder asks whether Mr Carter would be paying for the dinner on his Government credit card.

The pair evade the question; writing: “It’s a charity auction. Feel happy to bid if you like.”

All funds from the auction, listed on Trade Me, will go to the GABA Charitable Trust – a fund set up to support the health and welfare of New Zealand’s gay community.

Bidding for the dinner – to be held on a date agreed between the two parties – is currently at $100.

The only problem with this story is  that the following statements are entirely untrue:

- they are adamant that gifts of flowers are at the public’s expense. 

 – On the post the pair make fun of Mr Carter’s recent problem with inappropriate spending on his ministerial credit card.

 – “Chris and Peter accept flowers – at your expense,” they write.

- The pair evade the question, writing, “It’s a charity auction. Feel happy to bid if you like.” Read the rest of this entry »