3 News has already had a swipe at TVNZ's poor coverage of the Christchurch and Japanese earthquakes with some comparative advertising earlier this year. And it's keeping the pressure on the national broadcaster with a new campaign to promote the variety of news offerings available throughout the day.
Youtube Video The focus is still on 'leading news journalism', but up until now the campaigns have focused primarily on the network's biggest names, with Mike McRoberts, Hillary Barry and John Campbell shown working on stories in the field (the 'Six billion stories and counting' tagline landed the network in some hot water with Aussie broadcaster SBS last year). This time it's shot all its hosts for a billboard to show New Zealanders the chronology of its news offerings (they were all shot individually, so the shows can be promoted separately).
Despite TVNZ's larger total viewer numbers for the 6pm bulletin, with the monthly average for ONE News at 740,260 (it passed the 900,000 viewer mark on 25 July) and 3 News at 385,490, head of marketing for TV3 and FOUR Amanda Wilson says 3 News, which launched its new livery a few weeks back, has increased its share every month in the last four months in both the 18-49 and 25-54 demographics, "so it's a great time to be celebrating the service".
Away from the news and current affairs department, MediaWorks recently made the difficult decision to shift one of its big hopes Underbelly NZ: Land of the Long Green Cloud from its Wednesday 8:30pm slot.
"It is disappointing to be making these changes so close to the original broadcast dates, but for a broad range of reasons we feel that this is the right decision," director of programming Kelly Martin said in a statement. "I am also extremely aware that these changes have a very negative impact for many of our key media, and apologise for putting you in this position. We have not taken this decision lightly."
The Herald claimed the decision to shift the programme to 9:30pm and replace Sons of Anarchy was due partly to concerns over the fact that both shows had been given New Zealand On Air funding ($6.9 million for Nothing Trivial, and around $4 million for Underbelly NZ) and, after Nothing Trivial pulled in some big audiences in its Wednesday timeslot, didn't want to compete for eyeballs.
The Borgias, TV3’s new international drama series, which was to screen Wednesdays at 9.30 pm from August 17 will now screen at a later date.
It's been a mixed bag for MediaWorks of late, with the massive debt issues currently faced by its owners IronBridge, the surprise departure of Jason Paris and this recent programming reshuffle. But it's certainly not all bad news. It's successfully launched FOUR (and its classy 'home of not rugby' campaign) and morning news show Firstline; New Zealand's Next Top Model has delivered the goods in the media integration stakes; and ad revenue is up.
Still, there's no doubt things are pretty tight and the Herald on Sunday recently speculated that Sky, subject to Commerce Commission approval, could be one of the interested parties hoping to snap up MediaWorks if the banks have to step in.