7 May 2024

Stuff announces staff for new 6pm news bulletin

From Mediawatch, 10:43 am on 7 May 2024
Samantha Hayes, current co-host of Newshub at 6, will be the presenter of the bulletin replacing it produced by Stuff.

Photo: Supplied / Lee Howell IDC

The first details about the TV news bulletin that will replace Newshub at 6 from July have been revealed. The producer - Stuff - has hired several senior reporters and producers from Newshub and will also use Stuff journalists around the country for the new daily programme.

Last month Newshub’s owners Warner Brothers Discovery (WBD) announced it had done a deal with Stuff, New Zealand’s biggest publisher of news, to create a replacement 6pm news bulletin. 

WBD had announced the closure of Newshub in March to curb losses it described as unsustainable.   

A current host of Newshub at 6, Samantha Hayes, will present the new bulletin - which will be hour-long on weekdays and half an hour in weekends - on TV channel Three and the 3 Now app when it begins on 6 July. 

Long-serving co-host Mike McRoberts announced his retirement from newsreading earlier last month.   

Other Newshub journalists hired by Stuff include Newshub’s current political editor Jenna Lynch, reporters Laura Tupou, Juliet Speedy, Zane Small, sports reporter Ollie Ritchie and weather presenter Heather Keats.  

Stuff has also recruited Claire Watson to be executive producer and Steve Gore-Smith, currently Newshub’s senior manager of operations, will be Stuff’s director of video operations and technology.

Today's Stuff statement does not reveal the name of the new bulletin, but last month the New Zealand Herald reported WBD had applied to register ‘Three News’ and ‘ThreeNews’ as a trademark. 

Elsewhere former Newshub presenter Ryan Bridge - who had been picked to present a 7pm show on Three that was subsequently scrapped by WBD - will join Newstalk ZB to present the 5am news show Early Edition.

“It’s an honour to be anchoring this new iteration of the 6pm news and I’m grateful it will keep Newshub’s legacy alive,” Samantha Hayes said in a Stuff statement. 

“This is the most exciting news project in the country and I hope our viewers will trust us and come along for the ride.” 

But the staff of the new show will be a fraction of the current headcount at Newshub. The value of the contract between WBD and Stuff for the new bulletin is not known, but it is certain to be a fraction of the current budget of Newshub.   

Stuff already has ‘camera ready’ senior staff such as former Newshub political editor Tova O’Brien, former TV3 current affairs journalist Paula Penfold and senior correspondent Andrea Vance is a former TVNZ political reporter.   

Stuff’s managing director of digital Nadia Tolich said the new team hired from Newshub will “add additional firepower and specialist skills to complement Stuff’s large national newsroom”. 

“We’ll be reporting on all the major events in news, sport and business. We’ve said right from the start that we are innovating not replicating, and that will be in the way we commission and tell stories, the technology we use and our ability to get to the news first ... through our large team of Stuff journalists.” 

WBD’s New Zealand and Australia boss Glen Kyne will step down on 5 July, the day Newshub is due to close. 

“As we said on the day we announced this bulletin, this is the future of news,” Kyne’s replacement Juliet Peterson said in Stuff’s statement today.