MEDIAWATCH: Cam Wallace liking politics isn’t the problem with Today FM


The backlash within Mediaworks at how Today FM is becoming a black hole that will bring down the whole company has begun with allegations aimed at Cam Wallace…

MediaWorks paying price for chief exec’s interest in politics, says staffer

MediaWorks is proposing to cut the profitable parts of its business while largely sparing its weaker performing news and talkback radio channel Today FM, a source within the business says.

The employee said chief executive Cam Wallace was more interested in politics than the media and feared that had influenced the company’s approach to cutbacks announced this week.

…it’s not a bad thing that Cam Wallace is a politics geek and has an enormous interest in politics.

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Good for him.

We need more people passionate about politics, not less.

The problem would only be if Cam Wallace was interfering editorially in Today FM, and there’s just no way any of the current hosts or Producers would accept that type of interference and I just don’t believe for one second Cam would do that.

Cam’s interest in politics isn’t the problem with Today FM.

I’ve detailed how Today FM made predictable mistakes in previous blogs (allowing a woke cancel culture mob led by David Farrier and The Spinoff to spook you, lack of direction and very middle of the road content) but today I wanted to focus on solutions for Today FM.

If Today FM can not drum up ratings, it will damage the entire company and I have a soft spot for the company.

I’ve been in the media/broadcasting game for 30 years: Craccum Editor, Bfm commentator, ZM producer, Channel Z talkback host, Radio Live talkback host, Rip It Up Editor, RNZ commentator (until I was banned for life), Māori TV producer, Number 1 political podcast host, Stake Out TV show host, Citizen A TV Host, Waatea 5th Estate Current Affairs Show Host,  The Daily Blog Editor,  Waatea radio columnist and MagicTalk commentator, and if I had a dollar for every middle management clown who manages to fucks up current affairs in this country, I’d be able to buy Mediaworks myself!

Currently, The Daily Blog outrates Today FM!

You can’t change the branding, it’s cost $9million and you can’t sack all the hosts because that’s too damaging.

I’d keep the ‘Balanced Mic’ branding and most of the hosts, but where I would make radical changes is in the back room.

The hosts are only as good as what the researchers and producers bring them. I would clear out the entire back room and restructure it with an Executive Directer of Content who works each day with all of the shows producers and researchers to strictly lay out the days news and interviews while taking the highlights of the days content and making Facebook, Instagram and Tik Toc content to promote the station.

Currently there is no direction and the Producers are hit and miss.

You need a good sense of journalism and news and politics and know where the sizzle is in each of those topics.

You need regular guests who are talented opinion shapers and have the capacity to surprise.

The problem with bringing ZB Management over to work in Mediaworks is that ZB has been dominated for decades and you need to be hungry to win this game. ZB hasn’t felt hunger for 20 years. You can’t shrug at 1.4 share, which is the lowest Talkback Radio ratings ever, and just claim you are taking years to rebuild!

This is radio, you don’t have years to get it right!

If Mediaworks Management don’t take drastic action now, Today FM is doomed.


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  1. Martyn, I guess you would have listened to Tova? It’s a terrible show. She should go back to TV3 being the ‘gotcha’ journalist that she is. That’s her forté…trying to catch out politicians (like Zelensky!) with silly trick questions.

  2. Move all the middle managers on and get some new hosts who are allowed to discuss a range of topics. Hosking is popular because he is allowed by his producer’s to ask hard question s

    Will Hipkins be allowed to appear on Hosking show ? Jacinda wasn’t.

  3. Bringing Gurney on as head of the whole TodayFM rebrand isn’t a coup. He wasn’t behind any success at ZB, he just sat in the seat when Bill Francis left. And when TRN became NZME and he had to do some work he threw his toys and bailed. A complete no trick pony.

  4. Cheap lightweight political coverage, Sean Plunkett does it so much better. It’s also nice to watch no talent Tova collapse in a steaming heap. Gosh she’s crap.

  5. The issue with ‘balanced mic’ is that the station is all over the show. You have Mark Richardson and Leah Panapa absolutely gushing over Luxon and making cheap digs at Jacinda, like Leah saying Jacinda wouldn’t need the lotto as she already has millions of dollars from the WEF … vs Duncan Garner doing quite reasonable discussions about te reo in NZ and so on. The station just infuriates listeners from either side. a true ‘balanced mic’ would have presenters from different political stripes on the same show, having actual discussions.

  6. Agree with you Radio Thinker, which is why The Working Group with Plunky, Bomber and Damien worked so well on Radio Live. Legitimate fact based points of view from both sides. It’s no hard to do. The only thing that used to wind me up was Bomber calling everyone ‘comrade’

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