Media Releases

Changes in the air for RNZ National

Released at 9:24 am on 14 December 2018

Change is in the air for RNZ National in the New Year with presentation roles to change and the proposed launch of a new 5am programme on weekday mornings.

Guyon Espiner will be ending a five-year run on Morning Report to take up a new role focussed on long form investigative reporting across RNZ platforms while Jim Mora and Wallace Chapman are swapping their on-air presentation roles on The Panel and Sunday Morning.

RNZ Head of News and Digital, Glen Scanlon, said Espiner had done a superb job on Morning Report, helping the audience to understand the biggest stories affecting New Zealand.

“Guyon has mixed his natural tenacity with his passion for journalism to help Morning Report reveal the truth behind stories. By doing so he and the team have reached more people than before – on-air and online.

“The great thing is we’ll continue to work with Guyon as he joins our long-form journalism team – you can expect to hear, see and read a lot more high-quality journalism from him in the future.”

Guyon Espiner will remain as co-presenter of Morning Report with Susie Ferguson until a replacement is found – a process that will commence with the position being advertised before Christmas.

Morning Report is a flagship part of RNZ’s news and current affairs programming and we’re expecting a lot of interest,” Mr Scanlon said.

Guyon Espiner said he is excited by the prospect of a new RNZ role.

“I’m looking forward to moving out of the studio and into the field again with an opportunity to break some big multimedia stories. I’ll be popping up across RNZ platforms providing in depth coverage of stories that affect us all and help inform our important national conversations”

RNZ Head of Radio and Music, David Allan, said presentation changes to The Panel and Sunday Morning have been discussed for some time and audience growth over the past twelve months has provided a great platform for new programming to be introduced in 2019, including a 5am news and current affairs show which will provide a strong lead-in to Morning Report.

Wallace Chapman will start hosting The Panel from Monday 14th January and Jim Mora will move to Sunday Morning from Sunday, 27th January.

David Allan said the role swap has been in the wings for about 18 months after Jim Mora had expressed a desire to return to ‘long form’ interviewing and wanted a new challenge.

“Running alongside this was our plan to take The Panel on the road to small town New Zealand and this became a real opportunity. We’ve tested the audience reaction to Jim and Wallace filling in for each other over the last year or so, and the reaction has been very positive. “

“Jim created The Panel about 15 years ago, taking it to the top market position, growing listenership significantly, and Wallace has also done a fine job on Sunday Morning, maintaining the top market position for the programme over the last two years.

“It’s an exciting time as we also move to launch the new 5am show in 2019 on RNZ National.”

Jim Mora said he was looking forward to the new challenge:

“These days Albert Einstein seems to have said many more things than he ever did say, but one of the things I think he said was that life is like riding a bicycle – to keep your balance you must keep moving. I will always look back with gratitude to the audience that stuck with The Panel and made it grow.”

And Wallace Chapman said he was eager to make the change:

“I’m hugely excited to host what I consider to be a landmark New Zealand radio show. As the originator of The Panel, Jim Mora has left a big legacy. But with 10 years of Backbenches TV, The Panel format almost seems like coming home to me. I’m sure I’ll be adding a little something of my own into the mix. “

Morning Report on RNZ National (Mon-Fri 6am-9am) reaches 457,800 different people aged 10+ across New Zealand. This is a market share of 15.4% of the total radio listening audience at that time of day. The Panel (4pm-5pm weekdays) has an audience of 233,600 listeners and Sunday Morning (Sunday 7am-12pm) has an audience of 280,100 listeners.

*Source: GfK Radio Audience Measurement, All Radio Stations, Total New Zealand - RNZ – S4 2018 (NB Waikato S3 2017), All 10+, Mon-Sun 12mn-12mn, Cume (‘000’s) unless otherwise stated.

ENDS

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