Radio NZ poll plunge only a surprise to Radio NZ



Ratings surprise for ‘disappointed’ Radio NZ

Radio New Zealand chief executive Paul Thompson says he won’t be making any big changes to programming after a poor ratings result.

The state broadcasting boss has confirmed that annualised ratings survey for ten week period from September to November last year was disappointing and “poor”.

The survey shows Radio New Zealand lost around 70,000 listeners or 13 per cent of the annualised audience for RNZ National and RNZ Concert combined.

Radio NZ seem to be the only ones surprised by this.

People listen to Radio NZ because they hate the full blown redneck rhetoric of ZB and Radio Live. When Radio NZ decide to employ a pillar of the new right broadcasting fraternity like Guyon Espiner as the Breakfast host and an increasingly right wing afternoon panel, then the market reacts by walking away.

(Yes Guyon did a great interview with Key. But one great interview doesn’t equal balance.)

There are options to wake Radio NZ up and tap into a younger demographic by picking up the RNZ2 idea, but that concept seems to have been killed off internally.

The Board may however look to breath life into it again if the ratings keep sliding.



  1. “Yes Guyon did a great interview with Key. But one great interview doesn’t equal balance ”

    I say

    “The candle blazed brightly before the winds of change extinguished our voice”

    RNZ is now considered another voice of the stable of the business interests & their corrupted bed fellows.

    Used to be the voice of the people and that is why the dramatic drop in popularity.

    Best they rediscover their voice for us all again or be threatened by closure by another Bolger cliché as they were in 1996.

    • But isn’t it Bolger’s old media guy, Richard Griffiths, in the Chairman’s position? Death by stealth?

      • I would say half the reason radionz is not shining the way it used to ….is the conservative right wing people at the top in management …they probably have the cleaver waiting to chop anyone who steps out of line…death by a thousand cuts

  2. Last year I tried to complain about how Kathryn Ryan treated Nicky Hager in an interview. The snailmail reply, which to RNZ’s credit I did at least get one of, excused her on the grounds that he was tough enough to take it, so my complaint was rejected.

    Dissatisfied with their reasoning, I tried to reply by email. Mysteriously it failed to be delivered, and I was reminded of a case years ago when I tried to send some emails to CYFS and they wouldn’t go through either.

    It seems that the inbox filter was set to reject emails that included the word ‘complaint’ as well as other words that could be associated with it.

    Then again this could be a plan to help keep NZ Post in business.

    • I heard that interview and seriously Nicky Hager washed up well…they were hard questions and he came through well…a good interview imo.

      …pity more Nacts like John Key dont go on radionz and get similiar treatment …especially from Morning Report

  3. Step # 1 Get rid of Kathryn Ryan

    Step # 2 Get rid of Kathryn Ryan

    Step # 3 Get rid of Kathryn Ryan

    Step # 4 Get rid of Kathryn Ryan

    Repeat until they get rid of Kathryn Ryan .

    • This is part of the problem, that we are all different – as a long timeNine-to-noon listener I find Kathryn the best since Kim Hill.

      I started listening less to Morning Report when Simon Mercep (who can’t even consistently pronounce his own name) came on. When he took over Afternoons I found I simply couldn’t listen; I’m sure he’s a nice chap, but he sounds uncomfortable talking to almost everyone.

      So I’m one of the 14% who listens much less. Sunday Morning is still good, as is Kim Hill, Music 101 does amazingly well on a tight budget, and Simon Morton’s This Way Up just keeps getting more fantastic.

      • I generally find Kathryn Ryan fairly neutral on most issues but she doesn’t ask the kind of hard questions that Kim Hill used to do. I reckon Kim could reduce Hitler to tears in half an hour. John Key couldn’t get away with half the crap he does now if she was let loose on him. But that is what happens to those radio hosts that don’t work for National – they end up on the weekend shows interviewing poets, authors and artists or they get dumped (Chris Laidlaw).

    • I like Kathryn Ryan very much!…she is far from being a right winger and some of her interviews are brilliant imo….Morning Report I find a right wing bias with some exceptions…some good interviews….Mora’s panel i try to avoid….although i think he has become better and more liberal as time has gone on

  4. Stupid fools – they’ve tried to lie in the National-made right wing side of the bed, and woke up to realise that more and more NZ’ers don’t want to sleep with them. And then believe nothing need change.

    As long as commentators like little-fascist boy Farrar, faux-leftie Josie, and other assorted right wing nutters like that odious former-actoid lawyer Franks are given pride of place, people like myself will tune out.

    This just shows there is a large, large audience for centrist/left wing views that is going unmet.

  5. … and what’s wrong with a steady , albeit arguably staid, format for RNZ ? Why must it conform with some type of ‘ youth’ market ? Fuck youth . Let them go off and be happy little hip-hopsters and hang with their Ho’s and Bro’s. God only knows , they have plenty of hyper gibber out there to plug their nano meter long concentration spans into .
    National Radio started dying the moment some twinkle sparkle, Uni educated idiot began tinkering with what wern’t done broke . And we all know why that was by now surely .
    I’d love Kim Hill to come back . As an example of how it’s done if nothing else . A sparkling wit , a razor sharp and frighteningly enquiring mind . Not a dull brain farter who’s only excuse is that she’s dismally poorly informed and can’t research for quids therefore ‘Duh’ ? ‘n stuff .
    The rest of the cold porridge crew are equally anaesthetic . Jim Mora is to my ears what ether is to my brain stem . I hear his voice and I want to go off and get an adrenalin injection . And who’s that new fucker ? The one who played Katie Perry ! Katie Perry ! On RNZ ! You have got to be fucking kidding me ! ?
    The reason people are turning off RNZ ( and I’m sure there are many who just can’t stop at simply switching off the radio . I bet they swat it off the kitchen table , kick the shit out of it then hurl it into the next door neighbours back yard. ) is because it’s boring in a special way . It’s become Nothing Radio . The music’s bland as shit , the interviews are like listening to worms dying , the DJ’s are a post-lobotomised , pro-Prozac lobby group of vest knitters and kitten strokers . No wonder people would prefer to listen to the toilet ball cock leak into the bowl .

    • lol…well country boy …maybe you need to go into radio and show us how it is done….get Kim Dotcom to fund you ….if he has any money left

    • COUNTRY BOY, Martyn,

      Brilliant post there boy, shit I laughed so much reading it, the wife thought I was having a fit or worse.

      All true, what you say.

      Kim Hill is legendary.

      I remember her when I was a stay at home Baby sitter and working out a small business in my workshop while looking after my 1yr old daughter in 1980’s and RNZ had lots of smart minds like Kim then.

      Pity now it’s just a dull uninspiring empty heads think tank.

    • Kim Hill still does Saturdays until lunchtime, but even she seems to have turned too much “lifestyle” and mellow, I must say. Yes otherwise I agree, it is the societal change behind it, the new generation that has never learned anything but neoliberalism and commercialism and consumerism, they see it as the new normal to bring some “hip” and a “kick” into everything, otherwise it is dull and too serious, even if it matters.

      RNZ need to adapt in a constructive, positive way, but this is hot easily done, unless quality is compromised. But overseas they may offer some alternatives to look at, it is worth some research, I am so far none the wiser.

      • I’ve said it before but RRR Melbourne’s philosophy is the way to go. Their audience is mainly in their 30 -40’s but they KEEP the smaller amount of young audience, while gaining new people looking for something different when they get older. I grew up in a house with National Radio on because my parents – in their 40s then – wanted to listen. I listened to comercial through my teens & early 20’s, then when I had kids & grew up a bit our house switched (after a month of talkback -what a bloody laugh!) to National, which it’s been on for the last 20 years…except in the last few months since last year’s ‘revamp’ it’s been being turned off, particularly during Morning Report, for obvious reasons. My son has his radio tuned to National. We ARE the target – if we turn off, don’t patronise – listen or die!

        • Beginning to sound like we are all being herded toward Paul Henry’s upcoming rise from the ashes on Radio Live and TV3 at the same time.

    • Very creative and imaginitive – an pulitzer for you. Can’t think of the many glaring examples now, but Kathryn Ryan is so ignorant she doesn’t know how to pronounce quite a lot of big words in common usage. No matter how many times her interviewee pronounced some technical term one way, she continued to pronounce it the wrong way repeatedly throughout the interview, very annoying if not all that important. I agree it’s all becoming very dumbed down and sickly – especially the music.
      However big ups to Nick Bolinger (helps me a lot in chosing music to send to my son in the UK, and I often buy for myself too and I’m 65!) and also Simon Morris who is quite witty with a very light touch.
      It’s probably a sad fact that the best and most original thing on Radio NZ is Matinee Idle.

  6. Kaloo Kalay! So finally my lost insignificant opinion has an effect. Well sort of.. the ratings show what’s happened. The next part is how to make RNZ believe it. I gave up on the National Party Radio after they made you walk the plank Martyn. Concert FM almost works for me but they seem to have this right to rule attitude that they need to educate us and educate us in authorised tastes. SIGH! There are actually times when I miss the old Soviet Union.

    • I say bring back Dick Weir and the Ears programme.
      Plus reruns of Frank Muir and also the Glums.

      Sharon Crosby has much to answer for.

  7. Sadly, I agree (not sad that I agree but it’s sad watching RNZ’s terminal decline). We know the decline is serious because National is losing listeners faster than Concert, and I would have thought Concert’s listeners were dying at a faster rate.
    At the other end of the day, whoever thought Jim Mora was a news host? He really should have stuck to gardening shows.
    And please, RNZ, stop patronising us by telling us we can’t stand the pace of the change. It’s the nature of the change, not the pace. The pace is fine, even for old fogeys like me.

    • It was a bad move to have Mora included into the Checkpoint team, now presenting alongside Mary. She is as good as she has always been, but Mora is a negative distraction, he is indeed more of an “entertainment” person, good for “chat shows”, certainly not for hard news.

      And Kathryn Ryan has dropped a lot too, she used to be presenting some good interviews on Nine to Noon, that is now a rare occasion, I must say. She has fallen for the general, lifestyle and other topics, the “middle class” seem to be preoccupied with, if that is at all true.

      It must have something to do with the editors and chiefs behind the scenes, even the Saturday programs until lunchtime are less interesting these days.

      Sundays they have rather good programs on, but only some within the brainwashed, commercially fine tuned brains in our society out there, will bother finding that interesting. The dumbing down has become the new normal, I fear.

  8. They have dropped Wayne Brittenden, one of their last independent voices.
    Have stopped listening thanks to Mora’s awful guests, Espiner and Ferguson’s clear right wing bias and the disappearance of Wayne B

  9. I used to like Kathryn Ryan but her expenses paid trip to USA and her subsequent lack of inquisitiveness into the real causes of middle east conflict and the Ukrainian Crisis have exposed her as just another microphone jockey. The Afternoon show is boring and the lack of balance in the late afternoon Jim Mora “Everything is beautiful” show is a disappointment. Who cares about National Radio I get my news from the internet now

  10. Guyon Espiner or not, I still listen to Radio NZ National. What is the problem with the ratings? It is due to societal, generational and media style changes, which have for two decades now been extremely commercialised. It is all ruled now by sensation and emotions.

    Bare news and information are not “exciting”, so the younger generation, that never learned much else, they are used to getting “excitement” and kicks out of media, the largely newer media. Radio N Z does not deliver what they have been brainwashed to enjoy.

    Commercial radio and television, now also the online services, have changed to sensationalising, to exciting reported news, turned it into infotainment and such, so the newer generations know little else. Radio NZ has stuck to the more traditional way of reporting and presenting information and entertainment, and it simply does not appeal to the younger generation, even not many in their middle ages.

    This is very worrying, I notice the trend on Radio Live to have turned the morning news program more into a chat and infotainment program. We get less and less valuable information of substance and not that much neutrally and objectively presented, it is more about what may “excite” and “stimulate” than what is of hard information quality.

    It is all about the continued dumbing down, so are you surprised that the increasingly dumbed down are not bothering with serious news and so? They are hormone driven, and that is in fashion, so we get consumerism, infotainment, recipes for cooking, chat about lifestyles, about celebs, about motoring, sports, holiday activities, weather and little else. Never mind the dry, serious news, nobody wants to hear them, it seems, but sadly they rule our every day life.

    So what is the solution, online petitions, again often driven by emotions, bits of news here and there, the main commercially driven services offer world wide? I object to be dumbed down and will prefer Radio NZ to the rest, as most of the rest are crap anyway.

    I wished Radio NZ was better, but when government cannot be bothered, we need to change go vernment. But if most do not bother doing that, what can we do?

    • this is why there needs to be a Left wing zippy commercial radio station…which gives the best of what the other commercial stations offer…eg. interactive talkback, music etc …but has some hard hitting Lefty interviewers … to counter and thrash the influence of right wingers eg Sean Plunkett who worked to relentlessly and stridently to destroy Kim Dotcom and Int/Mana

      How about Bomber to front it?…and Dotcom to fund it ( if he has any money left)

      • Chooky,

        Why dont we get Martyn to start a fund drive to start a left wing commercial station?

        I’ll commit a few hundred, and if some others can follow great, and get the fund raiser placed on the webpage somehow?.

        Martyn is at home with his past Radio career RNZ?

        How about it gals/guys?

        • it could be attached to this site…the ‘daily radio’…and this site has a stable of great contributors ready at the starting post…throw in some music to attract the target audience and you are off

  11. National radio has become so dull, so predictable and so smugly right wing it is unbearable. It is like being trapped at the most boring dinner party ever with non stop drongos wetting themselves with how clever and witty they are (clearly this is Moras panel here). Poor old duffers in brown cardis at night, dreadful stuff. Dull dull dull.

    What to do?

    Retire the duds, hire some more Wallace Chapmans, Kim Hills and Mary Wilsons and fire those National Party plants on the Board and in management.

    • I don’t mind the Dull, hard information and analysis is frequently dull.
      It’s the Stupid and the Superficial that I object too.

      Be careful of complaining about the content being dull, those currently in charge will probably respond to such a complaint by increasing the trivia and lifestyle magazine style content that is already being presented.

  12. NZ Radio, TV and Newspapers all need a jolly spring clean. But not going to get that with the current regime. So down the ratings/sales go! (Thanks, however to Countryboy, your ratings have gone up!)

  13. Wallace is great, standing room only is fantastic, and I’ve loved Nick Bollinger lately. Simon Mercer has too many silences and is hard to listen to plus he’s up against Ali and Willy and I like listening to them better.

    I like Jim Mora on Checkpoint. I used to switch to Duncan Garner after the panel. I wonder which shows have dropped off or is it across the board.
    I did find an issue with the signal quality when visiting Auckland recently.

  14. Looks like they are also having problems with National media in Ireland

    ‘Austerity Ireland: Thousands to protest national broadcaster’s ‘biased reporting’ ‘

    …”Campaigners say RTE’s representation is failing the wider Irish populace, and has concealed some of the darkest manifestations of austerity to have befallen the Irish state since 2008.

    They accuse the station of portraying Ireland as a nation in recovery when in reality unemployment remains stubbornly high, suicide rates are soaring, and families who have bailed out corrupt bankers are being evicted from their homes and forced onto the street…”

  15. I don’t have too much of a problem with Kathryn Ryan but the Susie and Guyon show in the morning is the most indigestible radio I’ve ever had to listen to. The constant attack questions and over talking even when the interviewee is genuinely attempting to answer the previous question has me turning off the radio. I have listened to Morning Report every morning since I returned from my OE in 1986 and even Mike (slimeball) Hoskings and Sean (Bully Boy) Plunket didn’t drive me to the sleep button the way these two do. Stupid offensive questions that are designed to get an angry response where a clever seemingly innocuous question that gets a real answer would be so much more entertaining and simply better journalism.

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