Mediaweek New Zealand: News

Mediaweek’s NZ writer John Drinnan rounds up the media news in the NZ market

New roles for Slater & Shaw at TVNZ

Television New Zealand has promoted content rights manager Cate Slater to be director of content. She replaces Jeff Latch, who left in March after 23 years with TVNZ. Meantime, TVNZ has appointed the veteran commissioner and acquisitions executive Andrew Shaw as deputy director. Shaw has long been the face of TVNZ at programming markets, and has spent most of his career with TVNZ. He started out in the 1960s as a children’s host with his own show called Here’s Andy.

TVNZ Chief executive Kevin Kenrick said the appointment is part of the bid to transform TVNZ from a video producer. TVNZ is restructuring with job losses in news expected to be followed across the group.

Earthquake insurance

Reading Cinemas revealed it received an insurance payment of NZ$36.6 million for damage and loss of business from an earthquake in Wellington in November 2016. The entertainment centre in Courtenay Place was out of action for four months. The US firm reported that lost patronage and building related costs reduced total New Zealand revenue by NZ$1.3m to NZ$5.4m for the March quarter.

Sky drops short term access

Sky TV this week pulled back from online pay-per-view sports. Effective on May 24 it will end day and week Fan Passes, because they had not paid their way. The minimum term will now be one month and the price increased from NZ$60 to NZ$100. Sky TV CEO John Fellet said that longer-term online sports packages had been subsidising daily and weekly passes for NZ$15 and NZ$20 respectively. Fellet said the short-term Fan Pass packages might have contributed to falling subscriber numbers, but cannibalising of subscriptions had not been a big issue.

RNZ ratings gain

Public broadcaster RNZ enjoyed strong gains in results for the GfK first survey of 2017 issued this week. Its National Radio arm gained 44,200 in the 12-month period to April 8, up 8%. NatRad had a cumulative audience of 579,000 making it second only to MediaWorks’ The Edge on 662,000. The average time for people listening went from 12 hours, 28 minutes, to 12 hours 45 minutes. NatRad’s flagship breakfast news program Morning Report had a strong result, lifting its audience by 11.6% from 379,800 to 430,300.

Newstalk ZB drops

GfK results for commercial stations were released last week, and indicate that NatRad gains may have been at the expense of Newstalk ZB. The network has long been a dominant player, especially in Auckland. But its share of the Auckland market has fallen from 11.2% to 9.6%.

Breakfast host Mike Hosking dropped in the city from 14.2% to 13.7%. Leighton Smith’s 8.30am to noon show fell from a 12.8 share to 9.7%. The station also fell in weekends from a share of 10.3% to 7.9%.

Public TV

Maori Television chief executive Paora Maxwell has resigned three years into a four-year contract. Maxwell will remain until the end of August when the public broadcaster moves to new studios in Auckland’s southern suburbs. He will continue as a consultant for the end of the year. Maxwell has been a controversial figure at the public broadcaster since he was appointed in 2014.

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