John Campbell

The luvvies couldn’t sustain their support for John Campbell for even a week

The luvvies who came out in support of Campbell Live managed to sustain their enthusiasm for the show for … oh…about 3 days.

Throng reports:

This won’t make pleasant reading for some but the ratings for Campbell Live have fallen away since the initial panic at the potential departure of the show from TV3.  Viewers tuned in en masse and gave the early evening current affairs program the boost in the arm that it desperately needed but last night’s episode failed to rise above Friday’s low.

With Monday traditionally being the highest night of the week and Friday the lowest, this doesn’t bode well for the rest of the week as the Mediaworks executives complete their review of the show.



Read more »

Glucina calls it on Campbell Live

Rachel Glucina tells a few home truths about Campbell Live, John Campbell and those seeking to beatify him.

Campbell can evidently see the writing on the wall. He has engaged media lawyer Linda Clark to fight his cause. And supporters have launched a PR campaign taking to Twitter with a barrage of hyperbole and excuses.

Here are a few of the over-reactions:

• John Campbell is irreplaceable.
• John Key is in MediaWorks’ ear and behind the show’s demise because it holds the government to account.
• Campbell Live is the only one doing serious journalism.
• Its exit will signal the death of hard-hitting news, public interest and political accountability.

No. No. No. And no.

There are 20 quality current affairs shows out there, not including Seven Sharp. John Campbell is not the be all and end all…actually he will probably be the end all.

The truth, of course, can be a bitter pill to swallow. Low ratings and commercial reality is what’s at stake. Retaining viewers and growing advertising revenue is core.

The show has been hemorrhaging viewers and ratings for years. Addressing why audiences are tuning out may be difficult for Campbell when his name is on the door. No one likes to lose a popularity competition, and let’s face it, that’s what prime time is.

He’s had ten years of coming second…let’s face it isn’t going to change.

Campbell, I understand, has refused to accept internal suggestions that the show needs to adapt and develop to meet the changing face of media.

Suggestions that he should have a female co-host were strongly rebuffed.

Word has it he rejected a 3 year deal, preferring martyrdom and possible saint-hood instead.

Superficial alterations were made to the programme earlier this year. Campbell Live got a new logo; its host a three-piece suit and gimmicky facial hair.

But that didn’t put a band-aid over the sore, let alone find a legitimate solution to a systemic problem. Viewers are fleeing and how do we keep them? Grow a goatee.

If the behemoth that is TVNZ could adapt and meet the challenges of retaining viewers at 7 o’clock, then what’s stopping TV3?

Campbell Live, which recently celebrated 10 years on air, has long struggled in the ratings competition against counterpart Seven Sharp. And TV3 knows if it’s not winning at 7pm, viewing numbers for the rest of the night will be affected.

The bottom line is people are digesting news differently. No longer are audiences prepared to sit down for a 90-minute hard news marathon. News divisions around the world have had to repackage content in a more engaging way at prime time.

Since news the television current affairs show may be axed, ratings have jumped for Campbell Live.

A crueler tongue than mine likened it to knowing that you are dying and having your funeral early to see who will turn out. Of course it’s a capacity crowd. How long that crowd gathers at the wake and sheds a tear is another thing.

Campbell, a former share trader, was little amused at comments made by John Key, a former broker, who declared last week he has little sympathy for a programme on a private station that needs to net commercial returns for shareholders.

Key branded it an “entertainment” show which got Campbell’s Y-fronts in a knot.

Campbell retaliated on air like an insolent child – he played Robbie Williams’ Let Me Entertain You in the opening credits of his show, and signed off: “I hope we entertained you”.

Let’s hope the Campbell Live fracas has not turned into an ego platform for a man who couldn’t see the writing on the wall early enough.

The ratings boost won’t last…the luvvies will have moved on to rage about something as equally insignificant as a pompous, sanctimonious twat called John Campbell.


– NZ Herald

Face of the day

Today’s face of the day is going to lose his job. The fuss and outrage in the Media because of this fact is ridiculous. Most people get 90 days to prove themselves before they can even call the job their own. John Campbell has been given ten years. Ten years to improve ratings and he hasn’t.

Media studies lecturer Peter Thompson says a finite pot of advertising revenue has made it less attractive to produce local content, particularly in genres that do not optimise ratings and revenue.

So in lay men’s terms it has low ratings and low revenue because no one watches it.

MediaWorks’ concern is not primarily Campbell Live’s rating lower than Seven Sharp but its marginal returns and capacity to deliver audience flow to subsequent programmes.

Sooooo it is not making money and no one is watching it. Got it.

- NZ Herald


Campbell Live “consultation process” mere window dressing

MediaWorks management cut a key Campbell Live sponsorship deal, smoothing the path for the show’s axing, months before the company told staff it was conducting a formal review of the flagship current affairs programme.

Citing declining ratings and a need to improve financial performance, TV3 owner MediaWorks announced on April 9 Campbell Live‘s future was up in the air.

The news led to an outpouring of public support for the programme, including nearly 75,000 signing an online petition calling for the show to be saved, with the attendant publicity contributing to a 40 per cent spike in ratings this week.

Last night, in an open dig at network bosses who have suggested replacing the show with a soap opera, Campbell Live opened to the theme tune Let Me Entertain You.

The terms of the review initially called for consultation with affected staff, understood to number about 25, to end yesterday with a decision on the show’s future to follow shortly after.

But MediaWorks confirmed yesterday that the consultation process had been extended into next week.

However, a Weekend Herald investigation can reveal that earlier this year MediaWorks, in an unusual move, secretly trimmed the length of the show’s cornerstone sponsorship. Read more »

Quote of the Day

It is not often you will find me agreeing with Hamas hugging Rachel Smalley, but today is a red letter day.

She tells it how it is for Campbell Live.

I don’t want to see it go. no journalist would ever want to see a current affairs show axed – but if it is axed, there is no-one to blame except the public. New Zealanders killed Campbell Live, because New Zealanders stopped watching.

It might be brutal but that is reality, not the lala land that Smalley usually inhabits along with her other pinko mates. But then again she is a “serious” journalist don’t you know.

She makes other pertinent points.   Read more »

Comment of the Day

There is a lot of fuss about the demise of Campbell Live, mostly from the wailing left wing.

They claim that it is the death of current affairs.

Unfortunately they are wrong, there are plenty more current affairs shows as one commenter, GregM, this morning pointed out.

Yep says it all. The other thing that cracks me up is the lefty whingers going on that this is the end of current affairs programs on free to air TV. Hardly. We still have:
The Nation
Native Affairs
3rd Degree (changed name to 3D)
60 Minutes
Attitude   Read more »

NZ On Air to pay for John Campbell’s next gig?

Last week MediaWorks announced that TV3’s nightly current affairs programme Campbell Live was under review, and some media commentators have said the show will be axed.

But New Zealand on Air chief executive Jane Wrightson said it would not be racing to fill the gap left by the 7pm show.

She said there were questions that had to be answered before it would consider funding a programme, including finding out if there was a gap in the market and the time slot it would fill.

“Is there a gap in the overall television schedules of a programme of that type? Would we support it? Which broadcaster would we support it for? Would we be in the highly competitive scheduling zone for it? It’s a big debate to be had.” Read more »

“I Want That Left Wing Bastard Gone”

The tinfoil hat wearers at Mana News have concocted a story based on innuendo and gossip with no documentary proof, kind of like the Herald does as well. Joe Trinder, the union hack who wrote the article gets slammed in the comments.

Last year Prime Minister John Key and Mark Weldon had a phone conversation in regards to John Campbell.  Mr Key was overheard saying “I want that left wing bastard gone”. The prime minister had insidiously conspired with Mark Weldon to end John Campbell’s broadcasting career and have Campbell live taken off the air. Campbell Live is not biased against the National government it investigates poor government, remember when former Prime minister Helen Clark stormed off after calling John Campbell a “sanctimonious little creep“

Well, that was one instance when Helen Clark was right.

The conspiracy is apparently that John Key masterminded the demise of Campbell Live and ordered the hit to take him out. If only John Key really was that evil.

I do not understand what the fuss is about in a clearly fabricated story from a low-rent union bully-boy.

Cactus Kate used to send me numerous emails with those precise words (with more invective) from 2008 to around late 2013.    Read more »

An email from a reader

A reader emails:

Hi Cam,

I can’t help but notice the very recent hypocrisy by a number of media people, commentators and left leaning people regarding the media and in particular the possibility of the Campbell Live program closing down.

First of all I think that it is generally accepted in the wider community  that John  Campbell is a champion for the rights of less fortunate  and for people who may be suffering through a crisis, like the victims of the earthquake in Christchurch. He typically takes their side and champions their issues. As a consequence he is often attacking Government policy, Government politicians and employers. He has hard luck stories on his program and exploits them to demonstrate in many cases the failings of the current Government. He never appears to promote the  good things that have been achieved and quite deliberately likes stories that show up employers, corporates or the Government. It is fair to say that he has strong left leaning tendencies. This is evidenced by his soft handling of Len Brown during the affair controversy , his promotion of Kim Dotcom in the media and his scorn of Government public agencies like the GCSB and the support of Nicky Hager and his book.   Read more »

Sledge of the Year? Key labels John Campbell an entertainer with bad ratings

Prime Minister John Key says Campbell Live’s primary role is to entertain rather than hold the Government to account and viewers are more interested in “light entertainment” such as rival show Seven Sharp.Mr Key was asked on Newstalk ZB this morning whether it was bad for democracy if there were fewer commercial television shows holding the Government to account.

He replied: “Its role in life isn’t the hold the Government to account, it is to entertain its viewers and follow news stories. A great many of those don’t involve the Government, some do.”

Campbell Live is under review by TV3’s owner MediaWorks as it revisits the 7pm time slot to try to improve ratings.

Mr Key said he had no inside knowledge about the review and any decision on its future was solely that of MediaWorks. Media reports indicated its possible demise was driven by commercial reality and low ratings.

A low rating entertainment show.    Read more »