Hard News by Russell Brown


Media3 Nights

I'm very pleased to say that Media3 will soon be back on the television -- at night! You'll be able to see Media3 on TV3 at 11.20pm on Wednesday February 20, right after Nightline, and every Wednesday thereafter.

I've been aware of the move from Saturday mornings as a possibility since late last year, but nothing's sure until the listings are sent out, and today's the day the embargo comes off forward listings.

Clearly, I'm not a programmer and I had no part in the decision, but my impression is that the shift to nights is a result of something we noticed quite early on in Media3's maiden season on TV3.

Unpromoted and all over the schedule -- from 11.30pm to 1.30am or not on at all if there was motorsport -- our late Sunday night repeat screening, originally a condition of NZ On Air funding, was attracting many more viewers than the Saturday morning first run. Sometimes nearly three times as many viewers, 65,000 or so. Sometimes we would beat the drama on TV One.

More to the point, we were attracting viewers in TV3's target demographic: young men especially. I have met some of these young men. They were indeed watching us after midnight.

Happily, the shift to a commercial timeslot will not cost us any programme time. Nightline (as it has been all this year) is 40 minutes and we're 35, which looks to more than make up for additional advertising. We'll record much as we have before, but on Tuesday evenings at the Villa Dalmacija. Clearly, being on at grown-up time gives us some more flexibility as regards content.

It's basically good news for everyone apart from my mum and other people who don't watch TV until midnight (which, as she reminded me yesterday, includes everyone in her retirement village). I'll get her a PVR. But there will be a repeat screening, at 10.25am on Saturdays.

There have been some other changes. Our ace researcher, Sarah Daniell, is now the talent wrangler at Seven Sharp, and our ever-surprising junior, Sam Mulgrew, has gone off to find himself in Sydney and beyond. Karen McCarthy has replaced Sarah and I'm more than happy with who we're looking at to replace Sam.

As ever, we're a very tightly-budgeted show, but after a good break, I'm honestly quite excited about where we're at this year with Media3. See you soon.

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