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Was Hilary Barry’s departure that much of a shock and what most analysis of TV3 has missed

By   /  April 30, 2016  /  29 Comments

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People need to believe that the journalist is on their side, not the side of the powerful. MediaWorks, being a former business once owned by Steven Joyce, simply became too close to the people they were supposed to be watching on our behalf for viewers to ever trust again.

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The state of shock many pundits seems to be in over TVNZ poaching one of the best remaining assets TV3 has seems more surprising than her leaving.

TVNZ and RNZ have been waiting like hungry wolves for broadcasters of the skill TV3 had built up and poaching Hilary as the network slowly bleeds to death was as obvious as a last minute twist in a Game of Thrones episode.

When your enemy is drowning, you throw the prick an anvil and that’s what TVNZ have done by stealing Hilary. The fact that Hilary only has to work out a month of her contract before she goes and only had a very light weight restriction of trade clause in her contract shows how blindsided TV3 management have been. They took Hilary for granted and TVNZ have seized the moment. All that is left to steal from TV3 is the incredibly talented Mike McRoberts and the rumours are already moving on his possible departure.

In short – TV3 are mutilated. After killing off Campbell Live for political reasons, Mark Weldon’s and Julie Christie’s massacre of of TV3s news credibility has poisoned viewers against the network.

When people switch on at 6pm each evening, they are inviting you into their living rooms, they form personal attachments, they want the truth and need the sense that the news is somehow holding the buggers to account and standing on the side of the viewer.

TV3 burnt that.


National Party editorial team

The thing missing from most analysis – and this one by Stuff is a classic example – is the political dimension of all of this.

People need to believe that the journalist is on their side, not the side of the powerful. MediaWorks, being a former business once owned by Steven Joyce, simply became too close to the people they were supposed to be watching on our behalf for viewers to ever trust again.

When the Government gave Mediaworks a sweetheart loan at a rate they couldn’t gain on the open market, their closeness started becoming untenable, but it was the mindless and politically motivated self mutilation of Campbell Live that really sunk their reputation.

Weldon is and always was a political stooge for Key and the moment he had a chance he killed Campbell Live off so that his mate Key wouldn’t have any trouble with that pesky John Campbell.


How much of a stooge is Weldon to Key?

1: He’s the man John Key picked to chair the “Summit on Employment” in 2009(1)

2:He’s also the man John Key picked to lead The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal(2)

3: He’s also the man who used that position to breach the Bill of Rights Act and force “the advancement of religion” into the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust’s constitution(3)

4: And he’s the man Cameron Slater (Whaleoil) characterises as “allegedly a friend of John Key”(4)

5: Slater also asked on October 15 last year “Who will be the first (of many) casualties under Mark “I’m the boss” Weldon at Mediaworks?” with one commenter on that story saying “The man is a tyrant who doesn’t play nicely with others. Frankly, I love the idea of Weldon and John Campbell having to work together …”(5)

6: he’s also the man whom insiders were picking as a potential National Party candidate for the safe seat of Tamaki(6)

7: And he’s a man who praised John Key’s program of asset sales announced in 2011 as “bold, it was clear, it was early – and very positive…” and called those who were cautious about it “fearmongering”. That’s the same assets sales program that had to be drastically cut back and became something of an embarrassment to the government(7)

8: He’s the man who made a substantial personal gain ($6 million) as a result of Key’s asset sales announcement(8)

9: He’s also the man who, as CEO of the NZX, characterised those who voiced concerns about aspects of the Exchange’s operations as mentally ill(9)

10: He’s the man who’s already got rid of two of Mediaworks’s main financial watchdogs – chief financial officer Peter Crossan and company secretary and lawyer Claire Bradley(10)

11: He’s the man of whom blogger Cactus Kate (business lawyer and commentator Cathy Odgers) noted “Mediaworks currently does not employ anyone on your television or radio with a larger ego than Weldon, even Willie Jackson, Sean Plunket and Duncan Garner combined can’t compete” and that “NZX was the greatest reality soap opera in town under Weldon’s leadership, the casting couch of characters was enormous as disgruntled staff left and new bright eyed disciples were employed”(11)

12: He’s the man Odgers also described (in a blog post now deleted by referenced by another, also right wing, blogger) as a “weasel word corporate-welfared CEO…” and a “shallow self-promoting tool”(12)

13: He’s the man who said there was no conflict of interest in allowing the NZX to be the provider of NZX services, the supervisor of its members, a listed participant on its own exchange and the market regulator… a statement one broker described as “utter balderdash”(13)

Weldon was also appointed by Key, or one of his Ministers, to the Capital Markets Development Taskforce in 2009/10; the Tax Working Group in 2009; and the Climate Change Leadership Forum in 2007. Key also  gave him a QSO in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.


The pay back was the elimination  of one of Key’s most powerful media critics, and the obviousness of the killing off of Campbell Live left a sore taste in the mouths of so many viewers, they never went back again.

TV3 is like your favourite fish n chip shop that gives you awful food poisoning, you never return.

Hilary Barry is merely the latest in a long list of self inflicted mutilations as the management team manage to destroy almost a quarter of a century’s worth of good will.

John Campbell,  Paula Penfold  David Farrier, Mark Jennings and now Hilary all deserved far better than this. To add insult to injury, Weldon appointed the female version of Cameron Slater, the exceptionally toxic Rachel Glucina after she had been caught out mis-representing herself as a PR person to get a scoop for the equally damaged NZ Herald.


A democracy needs watchdogs on power, TV3 stopped being a watch dog and became a lap dog the moment Weldon took over.



(1) http://pundit.co.nz/content/the-weldon-factor

(2) http://www.johnkey.co.nz/index.php…

(3) http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/…/against-government-prom…

(4) http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/…/what-the-national-party-needs-…/

(5) http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/…/earth-happening-inside-mediawo…/

(6) http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2011/10/weldon-for-tamaki/

(7) http://www.stuff.co.nz/…/45957…/Key-gambles-on-privatisation

(8) http://werewolf.co.nz/2011/09/ten-myths-about-asset-sales/

(9) http://www.odt.co.nz/…/575…/weldon-building-something-empire

(10) http://www.nzherald.co.nz/management/news/article.cfm…

(11) http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/…/08/mediaworks-chopped-sold-bits/

(12) http://pc.blogspot.co.nz/…/just-like-self-promoting-shallow…

(13) http://www.chrislee.co.nz/newsletter/display.php…

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  1. Stephen Dickson says:

    I think there is a typo here…”How much of a stooge was Weldon to Key?” How much of a stooge IS….

  2. Stephen Dickson says:

    I think there is a typo here…”How much of a stooge was Weldon to Key?” How much of a stooge IS….

  3. CLEANGREEN says:

    Weldon is just another stooge of many bought by Planet key to operate our once proud MSM Media which can only be called the “Lame stream media”.

  4. Mike in Auckland says:

    Once Mike McRoberts goes, it will be Paddy Gower reading the news, all by himself, doing the Nation, after Lisa may also skip off the boat, and then we have TV3 renamed into GowerTV, I suppose.

    Just imagine that, the not so pretty face having to do all the rest, well, there is his mate Garner, doing “Story” telling nonsense, with that lady, what is her name?

    Indeed, it seems TV3 are sinking into insignificance, Paul Henry will get himself a fancy young lady, in a swim suit, and with a blonde ponytail for his regular guest from the Beehive to fondle, when he calls in, I suppose.

    TV3 will be nothing more than night time horror with Paddy and with silly comedy by Paul in the early morning, a laughing stock of sorts.

  5. Mike in Auckland says:

    Steven Joyce may also come to the rescue, as fill-in late night newsreader, I suspect, first hand info from the “first” hand with a sweaty grip, that won’t let loose, like a mafia deal breaker, asking for the pawn.

    Grrhh, yuk, what have we got now?

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      Many say Steven Joyce is the most dangerous man in NZ today.

      I believe this as he is a back stabber and has his mega agency (MBIE) Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment, probing into every orifice of everyone’s business as a wannabe NAZI style Joseph Goebbels 1932 operation of the infamous Ministry of Public Enlightenment and propaganda that was used to terrorise all Germans during that era.

  6. JoJo says:

    What on earth is going on?

    And now I hear there’s some national security gag or a “D-Notice” out to all New Zealand media?

    Police state much?

  7. bernard says:

    the ships deserting the sinking rat

  8. XRAY says:

    This is what this story should be about, the self-inflicted implosion of a public broadcaster run by a well paid loyal National Party sycophant who ensures it promotes the National Party whilst at the same times keeps them from scrutiny.

    But it isn’t, it’s about “the mate of the nation”, Ms Hillary Barry, the fluffy giggly sidekick to Paul Henry, another National Party stooge. And this is what is so wrong with our commercial media nowadays and proves just how horribly out of touch they are. Stuff.co is running 6 out of 8 stories on their entertainment page on “The mate of the Nation”, it leads with it on its front page as does the equally awful Herald on Sunday. The media are rolling around in this non event like pigs in shit. I gave up on TV news several years ago after enduring years of these idiots deciding that their so-called stars were bigger than the news and after enduring a never-ending diet of click bait trash so their stars could become part of the narrative.

    But readers to this Shakespearean tragedy will be relieved to know Barry will still be hugely remunerated way above her calling, she will still be able to pay her bills, put a comfortable roof over her and her families heads, her kids will not have to change schools twice a term as a result and she will still be able to enjoy wonderful overseas holidays and in short live a lifestyle the rest of the working stiffs in this country can only dream about.

    And most important of all National can continue unquestioned knowing this is the kind of shit our media are obsessed about.

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      The “Mate of the Nation” is the kind of pet name they give to one of the fron-tline presenters in the TV and also radio media, who are instrumentalised and used to pamper the ones that are still bothering to follow their news and so-called (remnants of) current affairs programs. These are generally people well over their mid 30s or 40s, yes often in their 50s and much older. They still are so much locked into their mental silo where they think New Zealand is largely a white, middle class and a few minority groups kind of nation, where minorities do not matter much.

      They live in their own lala land much of the past kind of New Zealand, where the focus remains on what our mostly white overseas “friends” in the US, in the UK, Australia and perhaps Canada think and do. Hence the maintained attention to the Royals, the celebrities from such “friendly” countries with “similar culture”, and it gives the viewers of those age groups the idea, hey, we are still “in control”, we learn from our “media”, what really matters.

      What else goes on in the world is covered within one to two minutes, that is what happens in those few places just mentioned, plus a few seconds to cover the war in Syria, what the leader of China or India may do or say, and where a Panda bear has had a baby living in captivity.

      Do not forget Flipper the dolphin, the man who climbed a tree and fell down, or the naughty students that drank too much so the police had to come and clean up.

      Of course there is first attention always to the latest crime or court case, and weather and sports must not be forgotten.

      That is where those smiles and giggles fit in just so nicely, to sell this illusion to the ones that still watch the TV news, that live in the past, and that have no clue what really goes on in places outside their more leafy suburbs or in towns and settlements in rural areas, where the main event is where the milk tanker turns up in the morning or afternoon.

  9. PeterP says:

    I think she was fired by media works but was allowed to quit to save face. I don’t think she was any good. At the end of the day all she does is read news from the TelePrompter, anyone can do that, might as well get someone younger.

    • muzza says:

      Your comment PeterP is the only statement of substance in this whole article.Sorry Martyn

      • Gristle says:

        Agreed. Hillary Barry isn’t anything to hang your hat on.

        The person reading the prompter is only the person reading the prompter.

        The person setting the direction of the news and in charge of the resources is the editor.

        What you may have missed is that Weldon was only given a 12 month extension to his contract last year. My comment then was that the owners of MediaWorks don’t think he has done a good job otherwise he would have had a 3 year contract. Since the there has been no recovery in its ratings.

        I think you will find that some government post will come up that Weldon finds it necessary “leave” MediaWorks.

    • mpledger says:

      I’m just glad I don’t have to live in your head when such mean and nasty thoughts come out of it based on no evidence what so ever.

    • WILD KATIPO says:


      Tell you why. Ive said I worked as security at TV3 several years back, and as you do , … you get to know all the names and noter’s and , invariably , what goes on around a place your posted too. You have too … else you are not taking the job seriously.

      Hilary Barry, is ,…off screen as she is on screen. Shes genuine. Shes positive, engaging , sharp – and to keep things simple , – a good sort.

      Mike McRoberts is a total gentleman.

      John Campbell?… years ago I didn’t like his style…perhaps I wasn’t paying enough attention. But when he did that Campbell Live documentary (I call it) about the subterfuge surrounding the setting up of Kim Dotcom by this govt and James Clapper arriving in the late hours into this country and the clandestine meeting he attended with some of our top officials …. I realized then what an asset the NZ public had lost when he left TV3.

      Him and all his news crew and supporting people. And that took guts. As did his coverage of the TTPA marches. He brought the human element to the coverage,… he was polite, courteous, and without political bias.

      The fact that the change in management – ( from a business that once was owned by Stephen Joyce) – shattered that ability of holding the powerful to account was not lost on its viewers. And that Joyce had the benefit of ‘contacts’ within the media industry …should anything arise that was embarrassing to the govt … was also not lost on its viewers.

      TV3 management has paid a huge price for political interference and involvement. That much we know. We do not need to spell it out . The fruits of its labors are all there to see today as it all unfolds.

      There is a huge amount of truth and wisdom about the psychology of TV viewership or media in general and how that can and does shape public opinion. They can make or break govts. As such they hold a unique and powerful place for positive or negative change. And that position should never be abused.

      Think back to the days of Walter Cronkite in America, or even Philip Sherry in NZ… rightly or wrongly … there was none ( or very little ) of the sort of shallow tinsel edged shenanigans we see today. And , people listened up when they came on air … and why?… because they were indeed invited into peoples homes to listen to what they had to report on important and serious contemporary issues affecting their listeners of the time.

      People like the familiar.

      Why is that ?…. because part of that answer is that ‘ credibility’ is partially built around familiarity. And the credibility that familiarity engenders starts to develop trust.

      It is far harder for someone who is regularly recognized to represent telling or reporting the truth to suddenly do a complete about face and start reporting events that just don’t ring true particularly after disclosures that prove the exact opposite.

      Lies have a certain shelf life – yet all it takes to topple that lie is truthful disclosure backed by evidence that contradicts the lie , – and this is why in so many endeavors it is so hard to get the truth out. The liar willfully uses obfuscation and obstacles of all description to cast doubt and discourage further inquiring minds. The Panama papers are evidence of just this situation.

      So TV3 are simply paying the price by having to rapidly change the furniture and have a revolving door policy of employees – which – goes directly against the whole principle of familiarity , credibility and trust.

      Which always makes for poor public relations in any business operation.

  10. Marcus says:

    I have a relative high up in the Mediaworks organisation. For his own privacy I won’t say who he is (for obvious reasons) but he is in a senior management role.
    He confirms what we think about Wealdon. The man is basically a prick, takes his staff for granted and has totally no regard for anyone’s position except his own.
    If Wealdon goes down the gurgler, then good job. I hope he takes the great Shon Key with him.

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      Perfect Marcus, and chief propagandist Joyce/Goebbels is captain of this sip and national Party strategist remember?

      He runs a Government agecy and media board position and he isn’t fired as a Maori leader who was running a Maori TV had Labour leanings was fired for it??? but Joyce/Goebbels keeps his job????
      W*T*F)I^G# on here.

  11. Steve King says:

    I disagree with your use of the word”stooge”. To borrow from Corruptjohn’s own extensive lexicon of pejoratives, I think the word you are looking for is “henchman”.

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      Steve King is right ,

      When we refer to Weldon we should call him Joyce/key ‘s “henchman” as it is a more accurate depiction than “stooge”.

      Good suggestion Steve.

  12. saveNZ says:

    Great analysis. Don’t forget Julie Christie is also a friend of John Key and just as toxic. I heard it was she, that hated John Campbell the most.

    How about we turn TV3 executive and senior management team into a survivor/hunger games episode and they all fight each other out. Whoever wins gets to get the dried out husk of TV3 to gnaw on.

    The presenters like Gower can win a prize for who can fawn over National, lie the most and look believable at the same time. Their prize is a golf game with our the ‘most popular leader of all time’ John Key and a bottle of wine from his vineyard’s blind trust (that he knows nothing about).

  13. Rae says:

    Hilary Barry was reduced to, alternatively, giggly schoolgirl over Henry’s crude jokes or rebuking matron over same.
    She was doing split shifts and I was wondering how long that could last.
    She was the main reason I used to watch TV3 news but if she turns up on Breakfast, as a non morning TV watcher I won’t judging the outcome.
    If TVNZ want to compete with the awful Henry they could take a leaf out of their book and simulcast on radio, that would rid us of Hosking as well, win, win, surely. Oh god, or not

    • GettingOn says:

      Often split shifts is how you manage out a member of staff. Makes you wonder.

    • Mara says:

      It’s evident that the Paul Henry assignment sucked all the pleasure out of Hilary’s job. Working with that misogynist would be soul destroying for any female, and that much more for a woman of her stature, having to submit to the daily torture of Henry’s on- and off-screen antics. Just watching her facial expressions told the story. It was painful every day for her.

  14. Mike in Auckland says:

    Oh Martyn, you may have gone too far, to disclose all this about Mark Weldon, the man, who gets on so well with John the Key to a “Brighter Future (For Some)”.

    Prepare for a visit by the police, to do a check on what “records” TDB holds on certain people and those “leaking” stuff that should be kept tugged away under the carpet.

    They must surely have their focus on TDB and readers and commentators here, as this is just too much “bias” against the government that is doing all these “good things” for us.

  15. higherstandard says:

    [Comment deleted. Higherstandard, if you’re going to post silly one-liners like that, you will find your welcome here at an end. – ScarletMod]

  16. King Oath says:

    Sums it all up pretty nicely, Martyn. I’m one of those who for years TV3 was my MSM go-to for news and commentary. Mike Campbell was my nightly viewing. I thought the News hour had an edge over TV1, too, not that that meant much. But with Mike Campbell gone, I can’t be bothered. The silly relabelling the news hour ‘News hub’ is I guess to mimic the style of the internet ‘Porn hub’. I can think of no other reason for that appellation.

    But the coverage is piss haggard anyway. These days I look elsewhere for my news intake.

    • Steve King says:

      Mike Campbell is a great guitarist but I haven’t seen him regularly on TV3. I’d watch it a lot more if he was on.

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