Campbell’s TVNZ coup, the mutilation of RNZ and why Mediaworks are the biggest loser


John’s leaving RNZ!

It feels like it was only yesterday when RNZ Wellington were throwing a tantrum and threatening industrial action for a cis-white heteronormative male replacing Scary Mary.

Isn’t that funny? Those sanctimonious clowns had the audacity to throw a wobbly because Campbell would bring his brand of “advocacy journalism”.

Wellington eh?

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With Campbell leaving there’s no real reason to listen to RNZ, other than maybe Wallace and Kim Hill, I’ll make that concession, but Guyon is there for the self-assured smugness of Guyon (I’m sure he cries out his own name at the point of orgasm) and 9-to-noon’s interview this week with Tim Keating, (the head of the NZDF leaving under serious war crime allegations), was such a gentle cuddle it sounded less like a piercing interrogation of all his war crime manipulations and more like a humanitarian award ceremony.

Strategically this is a vicious knifing of RNZ by TVNZ. With Clare Curran on the sidelines begging to give away public money, Checkpoint with Campbell was the most obvious target, but TVNZ have taken that target and left RNZ with a mammoth hole to fill.

The biggest loser here however is Mediaworks and the Project.

Campbell Live was killed off for political reasons by John Key’s mate, Mark Jennings, oh the hilarity now that John will be back up against MediaWorks at 7pm.

Oh the deliciousness of it all.

Vengeance is a dish best served 3 years later.



    • Esoteric Pineapples: “Maybe they should bring back Mary Ryan”

      Mary Wilson, I think you mean. Unless you intended to conflate Mary Wilson and Kathryn Ryan.

      Wilson was indeed excellent. I’d very much like her to return to Checkpoint.

  1. An enormous loss for Checkpoint. I am gutted! He probed and probed on the issue of Dunedin hospital calling the Minister to account. No one on TV even touched this. This is just one example to me of how good RNZ can be!

    TV – in all its forms – seems pretty light in comparison frankly. They don’t seem to have the budget to allow for real investigative jouirnalism why the hell not doing crap like 7 sharp and the Project – do people really watch all that bullshit.

    • Michal: ” He probed and probed on the issue of Dunedin hospital calling the Minister to account.”

      That he did. Also the serious issues at Waikato DHB; it’s largely thanks to his perseverance that NZ knows as much as it now does about what’s gone wrong in both DHBs.

    • No MICHAL,

      I do not want my intellegence offended by watching ‘7 sharp’ or ‘The project’.

      We need to sack Clare Curran and Paul Tompson. as both are right wing pundits.

  2. A bit misleading Bomber, Guyon did not interview Keating and your comments about organism are just OTT! Your last article was brilliant, this one not so much!

    • Espiner wasn’t mentioned interviewing Keating, but 9-noon with the ephemeral blue party cheer leader Kathryn Ryan.

  3. It will be so wonderful to have the much adored and respected John Campbell back on our screens. And so well done TVNZ.
    I don’t listen to talkback radio as it rather bores me. And I have absolutely no time for the sanctimonious Mike Hosking(and his ilk)who seem to believe the sun shines out of the NZ National Party rectum and whatever National tells them(Hosking etc)MUST BE ABSOLUTE AND UNQUESTIONED GOSPEL ACCORDING TO St John(Key)and St Bill(English).
    At last, and thankyou John Campbell, we have a true professional journalist back on our screens. I so look forward to seeing you again on the television screens rather than a sweaty faced National Party Wannabe MP like Mike Hosking.
    I do hope we see more of the former Campbell Live team as they are also fantastic journos.

  4. Wallace is good but Kim Hill? She is ok for arty farty stuff. Has a wide general knowledge, but insists on only interviewing anti Russian MI6 trolls when it comes to Russia. She is so consistent on this issue it makes one wonder if she is not on the pay roll of the UK intelligence services. She interviewed Luke Harding some time ago and if it is still in the archives her interview should be compared with to get a picture of how she soft balls Harding the convicted plagarist who makes his living demonizing Russia for the UK government. Before Harding there was a number of disgruntled expat Russians interviewed by Hill who all sang from the same
    song sheet. How many New Zealanders have a distorted view of Putin and Russia thanks to the UK’s propaganda outlet the BBC and the diaspora of ungrateful Brits who disparage Russia despite having their asses saved for them by The Russians in WWII

    • Could not agree with you more IKE and yes that very good link is still up. Refreshing to listen to a real journalist ask the hard questions like where is the proof? compare that to the usual soft nine to noon interviews of retiring nato generals wanting to start ww3, retiring NZ generals wanting to cover up botched operations, and of course the lovely persons from the sis and gcsb telling us how they are protecting us from the evil doers and don’t worry about your privacy it’s all for your own good and we and our us buddies are not at all interested in your political persuasions etc.

    • Utterly unfair on Kim Hill. I’ve yet to find her partisan on any issue and criticism that she is pro-this, anti-that is a subjective view at best in the light of actual evidence.

      The fact is that Russia (like the US) is open to criticism for it’s domestic and foreign policies. Denying that opens up the denier to suspicion of partisanship.

      • Absolutely agree.
        But…..John Campbell, Simon Morten… Kim Hill next.
        And will they be replaced by up and coming contributors from the cosy little relationship with The Spinoff?

        I’m not a follower of NZ Ballet, but it’s hard not to think that there are similar forces at play within the RNZ hierarchy.

        Apparently, we can’t afford Public Service broadcasting because we’re only a population of 4.5 mill (whilst other countries seem to manage.

        I appreciate the efforts of the CBB (whose new name eludes me once again), but I am of the view that public funding should go to PSB.
        And I see no reason WHY we can’t have 3 FTE radio channels on the broadcast medium (National, Concert AND a broadcast of The Wireless’ content), and at least two FTE TV channels which would include Kids’ TV)

        We have
        1) NZ on AIr complete with CEO, Board and supporting administration
        2) TVNZ complete with CEO, Board and supporting administration
        3) RNZ complete with CEO Board and supporting administration
        4) The FIlm and TV/Radio Archive
        5)Kordia (a commercial enterprise that inherited the assets of the former NZBC – the public’s assets, and which is run to make a profit


        and then of course Parliament TV and MTS.

        Can anybody else see the opportunity to provide the (AT LEAST) 3 radio and 2 TV networks, PLUS provide the infrastructure for MTS/Iwi radio – albeit run on their own terms?

        As things stand, it’s a bit reminiscent of all that tried and failed funder/provider model that went tits up in the Health sector at the height of the neoliberal invasion.

        But, I guess we get what we deserve

      • Only Russia is open for criticism in her case Frank. So not unfair. It’s a realistic summation of Kim (CIA) Hill’s leanings as per her interviews with anyone who is anti Russian (fawning) or pro Russian (Kim at her most scathing) But you really need background knowledge on what is happening re Russia, to understand how bent she sounds – well to those of us who do understand what is going on.

        • Win: “….a realistic summation of Kim (CIA) Hill’s leanings as per her interviews with anyone who is anti Russian (fawning) or pro Russian (Kim at her most scathing). But you really need background knowledge on what is happening re Russia, to understand how bent she sounds – well to those of us who do understand what is going on.”

          Exactly so. We the public are so very poorly-served by the complete absence from NZ of specialist foreign affairs journalists.

        • Yeah Kim Hill regularly gets Robert (neocon-UK branch) Patman on to let him rant off as he pleases with his un-balanced Russia baiting.

          Nobody is perfect. We all have our weak points, and being Russia-baited is Kim Hill’s weak point. Patman is basically a geopolitical neocon thot. And he’s doing his job of convincing us to be one too.

      • Kim Hill has interviewed Luke Harding three times since 2010. Other interviewees include Peter Pomerantsev and Masha Gessen. All these people are anti Putin and highly critical of Russia, while ignoring the rape and pillage of Russia by the west, following the downfall of the Soviet Union. Where are the people like Professor Emeritus Russian History, Stephen Cohen, Dmitri Orlov or Andrei Raevsky to provide a bit of balance. Perhaps she would feel less comfortable calling Putin cold eyed and stoat like with these people.
        It is interesting to note that convicted plagiarist Luke Harding’s most recent interview was about his book ” How Russia helped Trump win the White House.” Surely it would have been a lot cheaper for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to just have read this book instead of wasting more than a year to come up with nothing.

      • Yes, Kim is pretty sharp when she has filled in a few times on Morning Report.
        But she is well worth listening to on the Saturday morning show too.
        Her oblique questions and the way she asks them often get me chuckling.

        • Seriously? The timer for TVNZ started when a petition was handed to the CEO asking him to replace Mike Hosking as host of the election debate. TVNZ like Media Works are in real danger of dying a death of a thousand cuts. The talent coming through is just terrible. There’s some good ones but the headlines are just delusional and no one can mention chemical weapons any more. So pouching John Campbell is a good start but I’d probably head hunt people like Carol Hirschfeld as a replacement CEO.

      • Oh, btw @ Frank, Colin Peacock probably nails ot in his latest:
        “”I’m here because RNZ is a public broadcaster that first and foremost does journalism. It’s not a ‘tricks’ place, there’s no juggling, no dumbing down. I’m here because the journalism matters. This is the place for me to do it. I’m absolutely certain.”

        John Campbell on Mediawatch – August 2015


        I’ll put money on that change being at management level – and amongst the neo-libs (including at presenter level) within that don’t/can’t and never will understand the concept of PSB.

        The fact that they even see a need to ‘compete’ for audience share in an environment (sorry – ‘space’) driven by the commercial imperatives measured by demographics, to me just proves that. But never mind, even Aunty BBC is suffering from the same affliction

    • Ike: “insists on only interviewing anti Russian MI6 trolls when it comes to Russia.”

      Yeah, I’d noticed this as well. Unfortunately, she isn’t a foreign affairs specialist: we don’t have any of that species among our journalists here in NZ.

      I’ve been listening to her since her first foray on Morning Report, when her holding of pollies’ feet to the fire caused said pollies and others to call her “the rottweiler”. As a political journalist, she was a class act, but of course being a political journo doesn’t entail any knowledge or understanding of foreign affairs. As we see every day. To the NZ public’s great disadvantage.

      “….UK’s propaganda outlet the BBC and the diaspora of ungrateful Brits who disparage Russia despite having their asses saved for them by The Russians in WWII.”

      Heh! yes indeed; that hasn’t gone unnoticed, either. In this household, we suspect that Pommie disparagement of Russia is because of – rather than in spite of – the Soviet Red Army’s comprehensive victory in the war in Europe. Ingrates….

      The outcome of various other conflicts – Crimean War, eg – may also have some bearing on old Blighty’s hostility toward Russia.

  5. Welcome back to the screen John. This is the best news for years!!!

    Now perhaps some real reporting rather than the puerile dribble from Hilary and Jerry

  6. A real pity for RNZ as I rather liked the Checkpoint segment, even though John Campbell can be a caricature of himself sometimes. The others I can’t abide, other than a few who come in as stands-ins for all-singing, all-dancing NZ cheerleader Kathryn Ryan or that appalling censorious woman in the pre-9 o’clock programme. As for Guyon – your orgasmic comment absolutely nails it; I though he was a woman for quite a while when I arrived here in Godzone [sic] 13 years ago. The rest are pretentious, ignorant, jingoistic and nastily anglophobic (Kim Hill, who was born and lived in England with English grandparents – even denies this in her little biog) but Jim Moira is the worst; everyone here is “Scots-Irish”.

    • till fighting all those really old liminal..?

      it all turned to hell with the fall of india..didn’t it..?

      and i know..!..the raial thing is all mixed up here..

      oh for the racial purity of old blighty..

      where you know a chap is really a chap..

      and not some bloody scots/irish mongrel..

      • Not at all, old chap. My last comment was only to highlight the fact that most people in the media, and those who are often interviewed, seem to go out of the way to avoid any connection with England/Englishness, rather than, as you rudely imply, that I am some died-in-the-wool racist/imperialist; and that Anglophobic schadenfreude is prevalent. You seem to be a rather unpleasant person with your own huge chip-on-the-shoulder. What happened to all those Scots and Irish? Did they stay at home, thinking themselves morally superior to their English neighbours and not wanting to get involved with the imperial/colonial project. Grow up. Oh, and learn how to write properly.

  7. Aunty John Campbell-Aunty Schmon Schamble. I don’t care. I think he’s a wind bag full of logical fallacies puffed up with his very own brain farts.” Oh dear! How sad! Here’s a tear, I’ve plenty more…now fuck off. ”
    He’s just a different kind of mike hoskings. That is all.
    Now, Kim Hill, on the other hand. Quadruple her salary and put her back to work on Nine till Noon RNZ? But of course you won’t. Because you’re too busy running a tag team, freak-out, damage-control, straw-grasp with TVNZ to try and camouflage the withered white Freak Show who $-tanked our country once they parasitised our MSM to head fuck us all as the spectre of the rising, unstoppable force of the internet closes around your greedy, scrawney, old necks like a noose. I want to be there, at the gallows, as your fucking eyes pop out of your skulls.
    Otherwise… lovely day. Might walk the dog.
    Lalalaala aala alalala a aa

    • @ COUNTRYBOY … Kim Hill is as sharp as a knife. I’d love to see her host the election debates before I turn my toes up. The politicians would have nightmares at the thought, particularly Natz!

      • Yeah for Kim Hill to host those debates Mark Jennings and some of the others would have to go first.

        If they reinstate Campbell to the 7pm slot he has to be able to have some autonomy and be free to push the line hard and be free from the current bias that is still the remaining force at TVNZ.

        Then current affairs and real journalism might flourish again.

  8. Huff Puff , Huff Puff ,Huff Puff ..Guyon !Guyon ! Guyon ! Oh yeah ….

    Bomber at his best …. , but lets not forgot the Kia Kaha ! before he shouts his own name….

    Brillant.A sat morning coffee with 3 teaspoons of satire.Love it .

    Good to see Cambo back on the box.

  9. John Campbell, the most professional broadcaster in NZ. Will be great to have some intelligent journalism back on television once again when he goes over to TV One.

  10. Can’t we have John on Checkpoint and TV1 at 7pm? We are in a digital age… Clone him and Kim…
    Definitely bring back Mary (Wilson?). She gave every politician a run for their money and gave Radio NZ some gravitas.

    P.S. Radio New Zealand – Please remove the silly ‘national’ nonsense after RNZ. It should be RNZ Regional or RNZ Country. And reflect all those regions. Nice.

    Radio is great; you can listen, learn, yell at, cook, clean, write, whatever all at once (at least the women can… 🙂

    • Lol, “Radio is great; you can listen, learn, yell at, cook, clean, write, whatever all at once (at least the women can… ” – loved it!

      And love your entire comment there, Jum. Can’t add any more to it!

      • And that was before my first martini, Frank. I do appreciate all you do to bring some gravitas to the world of politics.
        So many NZers need some backstory and future comment on the danger we face listening to the greedy in our country. Keep up the good work. I salute you!

  11. I regret John Campbell’s decision to leave Radio NZ. The ‘Checkpoint’ format – no advertisement breaks, long-form journalism, deeper scrutiny of issues – was made for his style.

    Hopefully his move to TVNZ will improve standards at the broadcaster, but I have yet to be convinced. The ghettoisation of Q+A (and ‘The Nation’ on TV3) on weekend mornings is a sad indictment of how both channels (de-)value serious current affairs.

    Instead we get The AM Show,The Project and TV1’s version (which I can’t remember its name and can’t be arsed wasting ten seconds to Google) clogging up our prime time.

    As a result of this, I now watch less TV than I ever have in my life.

    I will continue to watch/listen to Checkpoint, and will look forward to whatever John puts his name to. Even if it’s half as good as The Project and whats-its-name rival, it will still be light-years ahead.

    I wish John all the best for his career-move.

    • Hopefully his move to TVNZ will improve standards at the broadcaster, but I have yet to be convinced.

      Nor me, free to air TV is brain dead in NZ.

      Its programming and news services haven’t been worth watching for years and anybody relying on it for information is sure to only receive the most superficial treatment of the issues.

      Like them or not, call them out for being partisan if required, but RNZ remain the last bastion of half way decent journalism in NZ and Kim Hill still stands head and shoulders above all her colleagues.

      I preferred checkpoint under attack-dog Mary over Campbell and Hirschfeld’s version, so if they find a similar replacement to Wilson I don’t think RNZ will suffer from Campbell’s loss except for losing that section of his audience who enjoy being emotionally led the nose.

  12. TVNZ’s website is rubbish, loaded with adverts and demands personal information [registration & login). It’s not worth the trouble for a half-hour show.

    I watch/stream Checkpoint most nights via YouTube – RNZ seems pretty forward leaning concerning the future of media – they stream on social media platforms, including YouTube and their app is pretty good.

    John Campbell rejoining the dying-legacy-media strikes me as a step backwards for him. I guarantee his content will be reduced to cliche sound bites.

    Good luck John Campbell with your new career move – desperately trying to inform a bunch of brainwashed, stubborn Boomers.


    • Agree with you – not sure how long I’d be able to stick with TV news again (at least Checkpoint is quiet – no shouty ads, ugh). It’s says his position is going to be a roving one anyway – ie NOT Campbell Live – I think there’s going to be a few disappointed people who haven’t checked the whole story!

  13. Anybody who still watches TV , reads magazines , listens to Radio, is pretty much a moron trapped in a contrived reality.
    True journalism died many years ago.
    Campbell was only a last of some amateurs left.
    NZers are so naive & laid back that… “lately ” something
    seems “not right” .
    Most here still figure that “voting” in future will fix our disastrous ongoing decline. Lol Lol. So naive, like children.

    Btw NZME is just one arm of a giant World Media conglomerate!
    Wakey -wakey kids!

    • Ain’t that the truth. Sadly the news on TV1 TV3 Prime and RNZ is just propaganda and misinformation. For over a year these outlets have not let a day go by without some article disparaging Trump. They cover the Moscow based Russian World Cup carefully avoiding the words Moscow or Russia (Unless they are talking about the Russian football team when it is unavoidable) all the while hoping no-one gets a positive impression of Russia.
      They all fawn around Obama who armed the Syrian rebels and was at the helm while the most prosperous state in Africa, Libya was bombed back to the stone age. They worship Hilary Clinton the self revealed psychopath, (“We came We saw He died hee hee hee hee”) but they can’t let the current President of the USA, for all his faults, voted in by around half the population, have a day without criticism. Even the thinking Democrats in America (There are at least two Howard Kunstler and Alan Dershowitz) realize something is wrong here.
      They refuse to report on the war crimes, that the USA , NATO, UAE and Saudi Arabia are currently involved in in Yemen. We get heart breaking reports on some Thai teenagers lost in a cave while Palestinian children being shot by Israeli soldiers don’t rate a mention. And that folks is why Cassie is dead right.
      Anyone who thinks we are well served by the NZ news media is sadly out of touch

  14. Agreed cassie -although I believe people worldwide are waking up to the con. Once the numbers are there, what follows will be the interesting….

  15. Well, that leaves RNZ as nothing more than an echo chamber for mainstream media. Their complete lack of meaningful reporting of events in Yemen, Syria and the nonsensical “nerve agent” Skripal fiasco prove they are completely muzzled and nothing more than a US and UK propaganda outlet when it comes to international reporting.
    Cutting and pasting from the BBC is not journalism. Nor can they claim ignorance, you have to be a special kind of stupid to not be aware of the US and UK backed genocide being perpetrated by Saudi Arabia. To not even report on it is a disgrace.

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