Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A cog in the Mediaworks machine

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  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Alfie,

    ross platform media hotdesking across the continuum of diminishing eyeballs. Welcome to TV3 Newshrub

    soon a burning bush in the wilderness will have more viewers...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Stuff is running a story on TVNZ "ruing the day" they got rid of Paul Henry. It makes no mention of his short-lived attempt to conquer Aussie breakfast tele which ended in disaster.

    If you're wondering which TVNZ exec is being quoted, lamenting the loss of a pathetic 15,000 or so viewers in the mornings, don't bother.

    The quote comes from the egotistical front man himself.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    There doesn’t seem to have been much media reaction to TV3’s Newshrub launch, so I thought I’d jot down my thoughts after two nights of watching the new 6pm bulletin.


    1. Same old, same old
    It’s still Mike & Hillary with the same contributing team and the overall format hasn’t changed much, if at all. Remind me again what all the fanfare was about?


    2. We changed the colours
    Big deal. The rebrand colour scheme is fine, although I’m not sure about that graphic of a real newsroom in the background. The people in the graphic never move, but if you look closely a couple of the monitors change slightly, sometimes. I suspect it’s a looped background.

    The BBC and others have long used real newsrooms as a background for their newsreaders. Mind you, if TV3 tried this, at least half the little people would need to be walking out to reflect the reality.


    3. Mysterious letters in a circle
    Most stories have a single letter in a coloured circle at the top. While this was never explained, it seems to be a device to inform viewers which category of story they’re watching. So the big S at the begining of a tennis story advises punters that they’re watching a sports story. Wow! Who would have known.

    And the W on a story about Syria might have stood for War, though it’s probably a more generic World symbol – for those viewers prone to mistaking Damascus for Dannevirke. Coloured letters? Meh!


    4. More RVOs
    There seems to be a higher incidence of reader voiceovers than usual. They’re the bits where the newsreader reads a short script while some B-roll pix are played over the top. That leaves the impression you’ve watched more news, but with far less of the boring detail than you’d get from full stories. That fits nicely with the more entertainment / less news philosophy the current management is pursuing.


    5. Weather
    New graphics with a bigger screen and full-length presenters. That’s right… the weather presenters appear smaller and have legs now. And the new forecast starts in Auckland, rather than moving up the islands from the bottom. Again, cosmetic changes only with the substance unchanged.


    Like me, a lot of people would have tuned in on the first night to see what was up. I expect most won’t hang about very long and ratings should return to 3News levels shortly.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Alfie,

    There doesn’t seem to have been much media reaction to TV3’s Newshrub launch,

    Mediawatch covered it a few days ago (lots of summary on that page).

    They included a lengthy interview with Jeff Hampton, who left Mediaworks. Much of his concern about the change in format seemed to be introspective in the sense that it was no longer possible for him to “own” his stories despite doing lots of work on them, though he also noted other issues with management not understanding much outside of Auckland and particularly not in the South Island. He also got in a jab at the finding of Scout instead of real news in a place like Dunedin.

    That’s one of the few Mediawatch episodes I’ve seen covered on Stuff, albeit under its entertainment heading!

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to izogi,

    Mediawatch covered it a few days ago

    Yep… I listened to that episode and appreciated Jeff’s thoughts. Having worked in Christchurch newsrooms for both TV3 and TVNZ, his story about Auckland news editors making ridiculous and geographically-challenged requests rang a bell with me.

    But that Mediawatch episode was broadcast the day before Mediahub launched… thus my comment about the lack of any actual reviews since.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Alfie,

    And the new forecast starts in Auckland, rather than moving up the islands from the bottom

    Something we don’t have is location customised weather in NZ. (Overseas, TV stations work on a regional/network model and they cut to regional weather and news during a national news show. We’ve never had this, right – or was it ditched to cut costs or because it doesn’t work well on satellite unless you have BBC type money).

    But with digital, you should be able to do this – although you’d then need to either have regional presenters or have the national presenters spend time recording each of the inserts.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    We’ve never had this, right

    Actually we did, back in the 70s and probably even the early 80s. There used to be four regional news bulletins, Akl, Wgtn, ChCh, and Dn, each with local weather forecasts.

    These days it wouldn't be too difficult. Our major broadcasters already have regional breakouts for ads, and you could pre-record three or four weather segments and play them using the same system. The increase in cost wouldn't be huge, although it's hard to see either major channel doing this as they've moved away from the regions and a centralised feed suite is obviously cheaper.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Alfie,

    The increase in cost wouldn’t be huge, although it’s hard to see either major channel doing this as they’ve moved away from the regions and a centralised feed suite is obviously cheaper.

    News bulletins, maybe. Would local weather forecasts be so useful?

    TV news bulletins add value with stuff like journalism or (these days) entertainment. If they're focusing mostly on entertainment for generating the added value which makes it worth something for their viewers, then I guess it's also consistent with not being too bothered with reducing the quality of the news which the entertainment pretends to be.

    Local weather forecasts might have been useful in the past, but TV studios have normally presented the same information which, these days, can easily be gotten either as good or better direct from the MetService or its competitors via internet, frequently on connected devices that many people keep within arms reach 24-7. The main point of difference on modern TV is having banter from someone with a personality presenting it.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to izogi,

    Would local weather forecasts be so useful?

    Probably not. I was just responding to Rich's question about whether it was technically possible. I get my daily local forecasts from MetService and Tidespy and occasionally MetVUW.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    While it hasn’t made the masthead on the Herald front page yet, we’re told that John Key’s wastrel son has scored a job as a DJ on Mediaworks’ George FM. I seem to recall that he’d found a job last year advising businesses, or something equally unlikely. Maybe that didn’t work out so well.

    The new appointment has upset one current DJ who’s worked for George since 1998. The station has since warned its staff not to say bad things about young Max.

    The Herald informs us that Key the younger will unveil his “new single” on the show next week. Surely to have a “new” single, you need to have had others in the past? I know a lot of musos who’d throw up at the mere implication that Key Jnr has somehow joined their ranks.

    Nepotism aside, I’m sure we can be confident that daddy’s friendship with Mediaworks CEO Mark Weldon played no part at all in the decision making process. None, nada, ziltch.

    Yeah right!

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Speaking of talent-free zones, has anyone else noticed that those annoying 30 sec Glucina promos disappeared from TV3 the day Newshub launched?

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Alfie,

    Some of their previous DJs got abruptly bounced apparently. Doesn't sound like a good lot to work for.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Julie Christie reacted to NZOA's rejection of Mediawork's proposed $10m Trinity Point daily soap as an attack on her integrity.

    Do I hear cries of "Don't you know who I am?" in the background?

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Alfie,

    Reality TV queen Julie Christie told NZ on Air bosses she would consider resigning from the MediaWorks board over perceived attacks from the funding body on her integrity.

    Good on her, resignation letter on desk by Monday…
    That would illustrate her integrity, wouldn't it.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Andrew Szusterman, group entertainment content director for MediaWorks,
    "Our combined efforts to keep this project confidential is paramount and until this point I believe we've all done an extraordinary job in doing so as the project is commercially sensitive," he wrote.

    Yeah, right, copying an Australian "Soap" would be "commercially sensitive" for Warner Bros. eh?. Copyright dispute anyone?.
    Who would have thought an "insider" at "Media Works" would bite the hand that slaps them... sorry, feeds them.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    The first-draft text would have been “reality TV drama queen”. And as for the intersection of “reality TV” and “integrity” … minimal at best, ne. In the unlikely event a resignation results, it’d be hard not to see this as a manufactured excuse to leave the ship before it reaches the seafloor.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Alfie,

    Do I hear cries of “Don’t you know who I am?” in the background?

    All I know is she wasn't the Julie Christie in Fahrenheit 451 - but she does 'smell' like a book burner....

    also another sad indictment on our times:
    a link on that Herald story took me to a story about Malakai Fekitoa's relationship break up (seemingly linked to his 'outing' his anger problems) - how are anger management and relationship breakdowns sold as 'Entertainment'??

    see:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11589262

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Christchurch radio station RDU has banned Max Key's single via a press release on their Facebook page.

    "This is an Anti-TPPA zone (Tune's Piss Poor Aye) and anyone caught playing the single will be pulled out of the studio by the ponytail and their show will be cancelled."

    "We have the upmost respect for real musicians and artists," responded the station. "However, having suffered through listening to this song we can guarantee this does not meet the RDU standard."

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Alfie,

    That is more a response to George’s memo telling DJs that they must give Max the love and if not they are “outa tha door” and “Bangin’ it” behind them no doubt….
    Scuze tha DJ speak but one must be groovy these days eh?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Another one bites the dust. So long Mark Jennings.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    MediaWorks chief executive Mark Weldon said the timing of Jennings' departure, after 25 years leading TV3's news output, "works best for the company and for Mark personally".

    "Works best for the company". Right!

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Another one bites the dust.

    Shame the other rumour of the day wasn't true...
    http://thespinoff.co.nz/24-02-2016/the-spinoff-apologises-to-julie-christie/

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Bloody hell. Surprised he held on for so long. But still. 80% of (the remaining) 3News' mana just walked out the door.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    David Farrier's tribute to Mark Jennings.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Oaktree Capital have thrown another $10m at Mediaworks.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

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