John Drinnan rounds up the last fortnight in NZ media news.
More funding for Radio NZ
A new Labour-led government is set to develop a TV operation at Radio New Zealand. The policy was been announced but it has not been discussed with the broadcaster. Newly appointed broadcasting minister Clare Curran has indicated a fund to create a public television channel and give RNZ multimedia capability. RNZ has already been dabbling in video. Chief executive Paul Thompson says it was unclear whether Labour policy translates into a fully fledged, old-style linear channel. “I probably think it is not, given where the market and technology are going,” he says. The election of the new Labour-led government ends a torrid relationship with the National Party, which froze RNZ funding for nine years.
End the “Hobbit Law”?
Labour has set the cat amongst the pigeons with the film industry saying
it will reverse the controversial “Hobbit Law” that de-unionised the New Zealand film industry seven years ago. Warner Bros and Peter Jackson threatened Hobbit movies would be taken offshore unless the government changed industrial law. The government accede to Warner Bros and Peter Jackson’s demands caused deep rifts inside the production industry.
Sky Sports move
Sky Sports presenter Melodie Robinson has moved off-camera to be communications manager for the pay operator. Robinson, who has been on screen 14 years, turned up on coverage of rugby and netball on Fox Sports in Australia. She replaces Kirsty Way who stepped down earlier this year.
The Edge’s Jay Jay
The Edge Breakfast co-host Jay Jay Harvey is taking time out after talking publicly about being accosted by a taxi driver outside her home. MediaWorks, owner of the Edge, said that Jay Jay Harvey had been suffering vertigo in the aftermath of the incident. Her co-hosts, recently estranged husband Dom Harvey and co-host Clinton Randell, have carried on with the top rating show without her. MediaWorks said Jay Jay Harvey would advise later when she would return. It has been a difficult 12 months for Jay Jay. She disappeared in November last year after a much-publicised depressive incident. She and Dom Harvey also broke up and posted a Facebook video which explained the circumstances and their ongoing partnership on breakfast radio.
Porter Novelli changes
PR agency Porter Novelli has appointed Jane Luscombe as one of two executive directors. She replaces Sarah Williams, who was promoted to managing director in July following the departure of Strahan Wallis, who has moved to the the American arm of the PR firm. The other executive director is Louise Wright-Bush. Before working in PR, Lusccmbe was a senior reporter and producer for eight years at MediaWorks.
Only one in five connected consumers in New Zealand trust global brands, according to Kantar TNS’s latest Connected Life research. While New Zealanders spend 4.7 hours online every day, the opportunity for brands to engage with them is under threat as consumers are failing to see the value exchange from sharing personal data and are sceptical of brand motivations, the research found.
Set-top box upgrade
Freeview has unveiled plans for its upgraded Freeview Plus, integrating the user interface for live broadcast and on demand. Newly appointed CEO Jason Foden says the relaunch in December will create a more seamless experience for on-demand users, and diminishes the channel branding for on-demand content. Earlier last week,Vodafone launched its own new service, Vodafone TV, which delivers free TV and access to Sky online. The main feature appears to be the ability to move seamlessly between devices, such as a smartphone, tablet and television. Both the Freeview and Vodafone services require set top boxes.