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The Conversation ends with a swansong at Auckland Zoo

The Conversation ends with a swansong at Auckland Zoo

After a seven-year run and 290 interviews, In Conversation with Noel Cheer on Face Television comes to the end of production this week. It was not through lack of guests: the "Prospects" file is still healthy. It was not through lack of enthusiasm: both the presenter and Face Television remain dedicated to showing life in New Zealand as it is, through courteous and intelligent interviews.

It was the Digital Switch Over that got it. Face Television needed to get on to Freeview but could not do so because the frequency allocated to it has been sold to someone else and because the cost of this government-sponsored service proved exhorbitant. It is after all Freeview and not Freeshow.

The guest this week, the final, is Jonathan Wilken, director of the Auckland Zoo, a zoo which must rate as one of the finest in the world and a source of pride to all Aucklanders.

Face Television, the home of public broadcasting, is found on Sky Television Channel 083. It will continue broadcasting its usual programmes but without the half-dozen or so locally produced programmes of which In Conversation was one. Some past episodes of In Conversation can be viewed at www.youtube.com/user/NoelCheer

We acknowledge with gratitude that In Conversation received funding from New Zealand on Air. This enabled us to introduce viewers to more than 280 New Zealanders on Air (as well as a few visitors to New Zealand) during nearly seven years of unique unbroken weekly public-interest broadcasting.

But, owing to ongoing funding and spectrum allocation issues, the last "Conversation" will be screened on December 9th.

ENDS

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