NZ Media News: February 16, 2018

Mediaworks, Newshub, TVNZ, National Business Review, TV3

Mediaweek’s John Drinnan rounds up the latest media news from the NZ market.

Channel launch

At an Auckland media event this week, MediaWorks announced it will be launching a new lifestyle channel, ThreeLife.

Launching on April 15, ThreeLife is promising to take viewers to a lighter place with hit international shows including Married At First Sight USA, Restaurant Revolution and Bondi Vet.

Each night on ThreeLife will be themed – from all things food on Monday, to DIY Thursday, to romance reality on Friday.

MediaWorks’ chief content officer Andrew Szusterman (pictured above) said: “ThreeLife is where Kiwis will come to view programs that focus on their favourite pastimes. It’s a great opportunity for audiences to binge-watch television that they love, and for advertisers to meet Kiwis in their happy place.”

Press Gallery move

Newshub has promoted its Europe correspondent Tova O’Brien to political editor, replacing Paddy Gower. O’Brien is a popular choice having worked for MediaWorks since 2007 including a long and successful period in press gallery. Gower has stepped down to be editor-at-large working across the MediaWorks group.

Women’s Day

An announcement is expected soon that TVNZ political interviewer Jessica Mutch has replaced Corin Dann as political editor. The other two journalists in the TVNZ press gallery team are a both women.

RadioLive relaunch

MediaWorks is beefing up its drive show on RadioLive, countering speculation it will be re-focusing the talk network from news to lifestyle. Newshub boss Hal Crawford has appointed top news talent Lisa Owen with up-and-coming reporter Ryan Bridge. MediaWorks has said it plans to relaunch Radio Live. The MediaWorks board chairman chairman Jack Matthews said last year Radio Live had lots of talent. But he said it had under-achieved in ratings and not met its potential.

SMI reports NZ ad record

Data released from Standard Media Index (SMI) shows a record NZ$1.048 billion spent on major media across New Zealand media in 2017.

TV remained the top, increasing 1% to $389.6 million. Digital was second increasing 7.1% to $338.9. Outdoor was third, up18.6% on 2016 to $136.3 million. Radio was fourth increased 2.1% to $83.1 million, newspapers were fifth, down 6.9% to $56.8 million.

TV3 Spinoff

Online media website The Spinoff is moving into television with a new format starting on TV3 later this year, most likely in a Friday night slot. Taxpayer funding has been allocated to the liberal left-of-centre opinion website, but The Spinoff owner Duncan Greive has not detailed content yet.

Mt Smart naming rights

Auckland Council division Auckland Stadiums is selling naming rights to Mt Smart Stadium, the home of the Vodafone Warriors Rugby League Team. Auckland Stadiums director Paul Nisbet says it is the first time in more than a decade a naming rights sponsorship position has been offered at Mt Smart Stadium. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Mt Smart was known as Ericsson Stadium.

NBR departure

The National Business Review has parted company with Sir Robert Jones, its highest profile columnist, after staff and public reactions to racist comments he made. Sir Robert insists his comments were satirical. Sir Robert has been in trouble before at other media for his views. His column was culled due to a comment that the national day – marking the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi – should mark Maori “gratitude”. As a result Sir Robert announced he would no longer be writing for NBR. Though only online for a brief period, the gratitude comment caused an uproar on social media and has led to 50,000 people signing a petition for the government to strip him of his knighthood. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says that is not going to happen.

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