TV3 is to chop its Sunday night news bulletin to 30 minutes, in the latest dramatic move to turn its news department into a “news, commentary and conversation” team.
MediaWorks chief executive Mark Weldon is at odds with many among his 200-strong news staff after announcing “bubbles and bagels” to celebrate the launch of Paul Henry – at the same time as Campbell Live staff were being told their programme faced the axe.
“It was just insensitive and inappropriate,” a TV3 news staffer said.
The reduced Sunday news bulletin, starting on May 24, allows TV3 to move its former hour-long mid-week 3rd Degree current affairs programme to early Sunday evening. It is being renamed 3D and will be shortened to 30 minutes.
Duncan Garner and Samantha Hayes remain the presenters. Hayes will also, with David Farrier, present Newsworthy, the renamed TV3 late news programme that will include a significant “digital element”.
In his first major interview since taking the job, Weldon tells the Star-Times Sunday Business today that he was attracted to the MediaWorks position because he found journalists “very real, gritty, honest and dynamic”.
The Campbell Live review, however, was necessary “to improve commercial performance of the 7pm time-slot, after a consistent 10-year trend of ratings decline, with no reversal in the trend.”
The days where we all came home after a hard slog at work to sit down and eat dinner in front of the telly watching the news are long gone. Yet TV programming has steadfastly refused to admit this.
Sure, we’ve had people nibbling at the edges with a news bulletin and 5:30pm, and then time-shifting for those that don’t get home until after 6pm, but in the end it hasn’t recogised that we all consume news all day long.
TV “news” is rarely anything we haven’t heard or read about earlier in the day.
Print media are equally constrained by having to hold back their content most of today, so it can all be released in the print edition tomorrow. Not doing so would mean people refuse to buy the paper as it is full of “old news”.
Weldon is being criticised by media dinosaurs and sleepy journos unable or unwilling to change.
But change is coming, and although I’m not entirely on board with Weldon’s ideas, at least he’s showing the courage to try and make the future his own, rather than have it arrive and drag him along kicking and screaming.
– David Lomas, Stuff