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John Campbell to leave MediaWorks

TV3 announces new 7pm Current Affairs show, John Campbell to leave MediaWorks

MediaWorks is launching a new current affairs show to be broadcast in the 7pm slot, Mondays-Thursdays on TV3.

Group Head of News, Mark Jennings says John Campbell was asked to co-host the show, which will have two presenters, but has decided to leave the company.

“John has decided he wants to take a break from the job and we respect his decision,” Jennings said.

The news brings to an end a six-week review of Campbell Live, which has generated high levels of public interest and speculation.

Group CEO, Mark Weldon and Mark Jennings told MediaWorks staff today. They said the review was a thorough process that assessed a wide range of options, and an evolution of current affairs at 7pm emerged as the best option for improving commercial performance of the prime time 7pm slot on TV3.

“As much as anything, this was a review of the viability of current affairs at 7pm,” says Mark Jennings. “We went in without any preconceived idea of the outcome, but with a clear goal to turnaround the ratings decline.

“The review has clearly shown us what’s most relevant to our audience at 7pm is current affairs, but not Campbell Live as we know it.

“We will be bringing the best of Campbell Live over to the new show, but will be looking at a wider mix of stories.”

A new entertainment show will be developed to screen at 7pm on Fridays, as part of TV3’s high-rating comedy and entertainment line-up, but no details are currently available.

MediaWorks expects the new current affairs show to launch in 6-8 weeks, and recruiting for the hosts will begin immediately.

Mark Weldon said the senior management team were unanimous in their decision, and believed the new show was the most relevant option for audiences and advertisers.

“Mark Jennings recommended we review Campbell Live because, despite the quality of the show, Campbell Live had lost viewers every year for 10 years, to the point where the show was unsustainable.

“Mark has conducted an extremely rigorous review, and the analysis clearly shows current affairs is our best option at 7pm.

“MediaWorks is 100% behind the new current affairs show, and we are determined to make the programme a success.

“I want to pay tribute to John Campbell. He has made a huge contribution to TV3 and MediaWorks over the years, and I was hoping this would continue – which is why last November I offered John a three year contract, which he did not sign. I respect John’s decision not to continue at MediaWorks and wish him well.

“The presenter roles for the new show will be sought after, both by our own highly talented staff, and by external candidates.; There’s no question Mark Jennings and his team will create a top quality, high performing current affairs programme for 7pm.

5 things you need to know about TV3’s new current affairs show:

1. Screens Mondays-Thursdays from 7-7.30pm on TV3

2. Presented by two hosts – yet to be named.

3. Starts in 6-8 weeks

4. An evolution of Campbell Live with some format changes.

5. Most current Campbell Live staff expected to work on the new show.

John Campbell and MediaWorks:

• 1991: John Campbell joins TV3 as a reporter in the Wellington newsroom

• 1998: John Campbell and Carol Hirschfeld become the 3News 6pm presenters

• 2005: Campbell Live launches with John as the host.

• 2014: John Campbell turns down a three-year contract with MediaWorks

• 2015: MediaWorks begins a review of Campbell Live to improve the performance of the 7pm timeslot.


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