I know many of my fellow comrades on the Left view Paul Henry the way they view cancer, and I am certainly someone who has been critical of him in the past and I utterly disagree with his right wing economic perspective.
I also appreciate he is probably one of the best broadcasters in New Zealand.
His weeknight Current Affairs show ‘Rebuilding Paradise’ is redefining TV current affairs in a way only Henry can pull off.
With Mediaworks cutting back, the future is Paul Henry-esk broadcasters with the talent to pull off an entire show because it is 100 times cheaper than a hot mess like The Project.
Most NZ broadcasters have the saccharine charisma of a private school glee club in that you wouldn’t mind beating half of them to death with a fur seal cub, Henry however is fast on his feet, knows how to spin a narrative and is one of the best counter question broadcasters in the game.
Here’s what is most important about it, Henry has understood that after this shared sacrifice, NZers desperately feel like they need a sense of solidarity. Henry’s right wing politics are always at the surface, but his attempt to reach out and bring in people from across the spectrum over the first week of his 4 week show is evidence of how he gets what the audience are yearning for.
The economic fallout from this unprecedented moment is the second tsunami of this pandemic and how that is handled is as important as the public health threat.
Henry has shrewdly understood the market before anyone else has, expect this show to build and become a future format of MediaWorks as we move from expensive news production to cheaper in studio talent.
The struggle for Broadcasters will be finding talent who have the ability to carry a show for 30minutes so as to avoid making Spinoff TV.