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Hobbs plans out of step with BBC

Katherine Rich National Broadcasting Spokesperson

25 January 2002

Hobbs plans out of step with BBC

As the BBC plans to make its TV business more commercial, Marian Hobbs' plot to do the total opposite with TVNZ is proving to be a great leap backwards for public broadcasting in New Zealand, National's Broadcasting Spokesperson Katherine Rich said today

The BBC, which Marian Hobbs holds up as something TVNZ can aspire to, has announced it will create a second commercial division ' to raise more revenues from the broadcaster's assets which will be funneled back into programming'.

"The BBC has the right strategy - increasing local programming by making the broadcaster more self sufficient and able to generate more of its own programming income.

"Marian Hobbs is wrong to think that she can increase New Zealand programming by making TVNZ less commercial and more dependent on taxpayer subsidy. It will make it harder, not easier, to generate more local content," Mrs Rich said.

"With TVNZ facing increasing losses, lower advertising revenue and the Government's broken promise to allow greater dividend retention, Muggins the taxpayer will be increasingly forking out to pay for the effects of Ms Hobbs' disastrous restructuring.

"It is ironic that Marian Hobbs is embarking on a restructuring plan that is in the opposite direction to the BBC which she frequently holds up as something TVNZ can aspire to," Mrs Rich said.


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