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Labour TV turns viewers off in droves

Labour TV turns viewers off in droves

The Government must pull the plug on charter TV following a slump in ratings, a drastic dip in the annual dividend and yet another scandal surrounding Brian Edwards, according to National Party Broadcasting spokeswoman Katherine Rich.

"TVNZ is in real trouble. The dividend's fallen drastically and Government meddling is only serving to make things worse," says Mrs Rich.

She's commenting in the wake of figures that show there's been a 31% slump in the TVNZ audience between 930pm and 1030pm on Thursdays and Saturdays.

"There's no coincidence that they're the slots occupied by 'Charter' flagships including Face to Face with Kim Hill and Edwards at Large.

"Labour's ideology is eroding the value of a key Government asset, as viewer numbers die away so too will advertising revenue," says Mrs Rich.

"The New Zealand public have voted against the charter with their remote controls, and it's time Labour abandoned this experiment in social engineering," she says.

Mrs Rich is also questioning the actions of the Broadcasting Minister during the Paul Holmes, Kofi Annan affair. Steve Maharey's since said 'it might not have happened on our television station - but I can tell you very clearly that the charter means that we represent everybody in this country, and we would not tolerate anybody being marked out in a way that would be derogatory'.

"Mr Maharey has clearly applied political pressure on Television New Zealand management - and that is inappropriate.

"If the Minister's to be consistent, he must now call for the head of Dr Brian Edwards, who has clearly stepped over the line between political activist and TVNZ broadcaster," says Mrs Rich.

Dr Edwards has used a speech to attack ACT MP Rodney Hide as a 'venomous gutless little man' and Parliament's Speaker who 'tends to say whatever the minister says' is an answer at Parliamentary question time.

"What are his comments about Mr Hide if not 'derogatory'? Clearly the Minister has said that this sort of comment will not be tolerated at TVNZ.

"The writing should now be on the wall for Edwards at Large with the rest of Labour's 'Charter' initiatives following soon after," says Mrs Rich.

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