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MediaWorks cans morning news … again

Those are not quite the terms that MediaWorks’ release uses, but that’s the effect. Having farewelled Carly Flynn and co’s Sunrise, MediaWorks replaced it with Rachel Smalley on Firstline … and then replaced Smalley … the broadcaster is at it again.

Having shifted from TVNZ to MediaWorks Michael Wilson had already lost his standalone business programme to the vicissitudes of sparrowfart ratings. Wilson now loses his second bite at the morning cherry, Firstline, which he co-hosts with Sacha McNeil – herself no stranger to being shunted around the TV3 schedule.

In their place will be the face of radio, Paul Henry, in a new cross-platform offering to air on TV3, RadioLive and on the interweb simultaneously, all together and at the same time. Or, if you prefer, there’s no escape.

It’s not MediaWorks’ first venture into multi-platform after the network launched The Edge TV in late June.

MediaWorks will announce more details about the new morning show at its 2015 season launch at the end of the month, when it tries to convince advertisers to come on board so the broadaster can avoid having to ditch three morning concepts in a row.

Media watchers will also recall that Henry’s two previous forays into breakfast entertainment have not ended well. Henry resigned from TVNZ’s Breakfast ahead of a likely firing, and was so successful in Australia that his Network Ten show (also called Breakfast) was taken off air after nine months of ratings that only troubled media commentators and comedians.

The full MediaWorks release follows:

MediaWorks is planning the first truly cross-platform programme in New Zealand, a new breakfast show that will broadcast simultaneously on TV3 and RadioLIVE in 2015, and have a significant digital component.
Paul Henry will host the new show, which is designed to work equally well on television, radio and digital, leveraging the unique assets that give the MediaWorks a combined reach of 3.8 million New Zealanders.
MediaWorks Group CEO Mark Weldon says:  “This is a significant move for MediaWorks and a major shift in the delivery of news and entertainment in the New Zealand market.
“The new show will integrate our capabilities in radio, TV and digital, creating a unique product with a unique audience proposition.
“Hosted by one of the country’s most talented and popular broadcasters, Paul Henry, the format will allow viewers/listeners to move effortlessly between their bedrooms, living rooms and cars in the morning, with uninterrupted access to news, information and entertainment wherever they are.
“No other media company can offer this type of seamless experience, organised around the audience rather than the platform.”
The new breakfast show will be broadcast LIVE from a purpose-built hybrid radio/television studio at MediaWorks’ Flower Street offices. The new show will replace both Firstline on TV3 and the breakfast show on RadioLIVE.
Weldon says:  “I would like to acknowledge and thank Marcus Lush, Sacha McNeil, Michael Wilson and the entire Firstline and RadioLIVE breakfast teams, for their valuable contributions to our current breakfast shows.”
Further details of the new show will be revealed by Paul Henry at the MediaWorks TV new season launch event, held on October 30.

About MediaWorks
MediaWorks is New Zealand’s largest independent broadcaster, reaching 3.8 million Kiwis through its TV, Radio and Digital platforms.   The company owns and operates television channels TV3, FOUR and The Edge TV; radio brands The Edge, The Rock, More FM, The Breeze, The Sound, Mai FM, George FM, Kiwi FM, LiveSPORT and RadioLIVE; a network of websites including 3news.co.nz and 3NOW, and a family of mobile and tablet apps.  MediaWorks’ entertainment and news brands and people are household names, with loyal, highly engaged audiences. www.mediaworks.co.nz