Dita De Boni can usually be relied upon for some liberal elite waffle or inane fluff in the Herald, but today she comes good talking about TVNZ:
So, TVNZ is a reasonably profitable operation, and returns a bit of dosh to the Government. The disaster that was TiVO and its champion Rick Ellis are gone. Plenty of money-conscious journeymen people its management ranks.
It’s a different organisation altogether from the days I was working there, when big spending, risky hiring and a kind of Sodom and Gomorrah attitude pervaded the place. From the austere strictures of theHerald newsroom, where a coffee charged to the company would have you explaining yourself to the finance department in perpetuity, to TVNZ, where you got handed a company credit card with your welcome pack – way-hay!
But as TVNZ has become more corporatised, the case for government owning this resource has become even thinner. There is nothing “public service” about it, particularly. It turns a profit, but not one that makes a huge difference to the public coffers. It runs local content, but only in primetime if is guaranteed to get an audience (and drive advertising revenue).
It is unshackled from the demands of the waffly Charter. And perhaps, most importantly, the underlying fundamentals of the business are good, which means it might attract a buyer.