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Holmes Takes Prime New Role

2 November 2004

Holmes Takes Prime New Role

Prime Television today made New Zealand broadcasting history signing the country’s leading broadcaster, Paul Holmes, to host its new flagship current affairs programme.

Chief Executive Chris Taylor announced the 3-year deal in Auckland this morning saying the signing would see a significant shake-up in New Zealand television as Prime Television realises its goal of becoming a major force in the market.

“In the last 12-months we have built a foundation that we believe will launch Prime to a new level. Such initiatives include the signing of Andrew Shaw as Programme Manager, the re-engineering of our sales rate card, the development of local talent and localising product like the Getaway programme.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce that Prime Television has signed a three year deal with New Zealand’s leading broadcaster, Paul Holmes, to start with us once his current contract with TVNZ finishes at the end of this year.

“Paul will be joining Prime Television as the host of a new flagship current affairs programme to be broadcast weeknights at 7pm.

“As well as hosting the programme Paul will be the show’s co-executive producer.

Paul’s 30-year career in broadcasting is unparalleled in New Zealand. The Paul Holmes Breakfast on Newstalk ZB is the country’s dominant breakfast programme by far and has been confirmed as number one in the Auckland market in a remarkable 35 consecutive surveys.

Year on year the average prime time audience of the Holmes program on TV1 has grown 17.5% against people 25 – 54 and 10% against all people 5+.

The ratings this year are incredibly strong and on the back of the ratings boost, TVNZ have used this success alongside their news to predicate a 7% advertising rate increase for the first quarter of next year.

“Paul has always looked for challenges in his career and Prime is delighted to provide the next one. His move to Prime Television provides the opportunity not only to build a programme, but also to build a network.

“I wish to personally congratulate Paul on his decision to enter into this exciting partnership with Prime Television.

“A deal of this magnitude is not taken lightly and Prime is committed to a significant investment in resources to make sure that the expectations the viewing public have of Paul Holmes are met and exceeded. Those resources will include local production staff, which, as promised, will also allow us to develop and improve our news at 5:30.

“I have been very vocal about my desire to grow our local content to further cement Prime Television as a key player in New Zealand broadcasting.”

Continuing on from the tradition of Channel Nine, Prime sees a platform of a successful news and current affairs offering, as a necessary ingredient in building a stronger and more competitive Prime.

Prime Television has enjoyed well-documented growth in the two years since the Nine Network came on board as a joint venture partner in the company. Prime has continued on its path to evolve the network into a profitable mainstream player in the New Zealand television landscape and is making significant progress on this path.

“Prime now enjoys a great spread of entertaining product that is delivering us fantastic year on year growth against our core demographic of people 25 – 54.

“Come January next year, we will welcome Paul Holmes to a bold network full of passion, commitment and prospects due in no small part, to its latest recruit”, said Chris Taylor.

ENDS

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