8 Apr 2010

TV3 pulls plug on breakfast shows

7:05 pm on 8 April 2010

TV3 has ended its early morning news programmes Sunrise and ASB Business.

The programmes began in 2007 but have failed to compete with state broadcaster TVNZ's ratings for its early morning show Breakfast which screens on TV1.

Mediaworks says the decision is based purely on financial reasons and the cost of producing the programmes has proven to be unsustainable, particularly in the current economic environment.

The final editions of ASB Business and Sunrise were broadcast on Thursday. At least 20 people are set to lose their jobs, however redeployment will be offered in some cases.

Mediaworks says new programme schedules will be confirmed shortly.

A media commentator says the move reflects the fact the network is no longer owned by a media company.

The head of the Canterbury University journalism school, Jim Tully, says Australian company Ironbridge Capital, which now owns Mediaworks, will be looking to maximise revenue.

Mr Tully says having an owner whose primary focus is not media makes it is hard for editorial staff in newsrooms to fight for resources.

No plans to cut show, says TVNZ

Television New Zealand says it has no plans to cut Breakfast.

Spokesperson Megan Richards says despite Sunrise trailing Breakfast in viewer numbers, she believes the move to axe the show is due to the recession, not ratings.

TVNZ says no one likes to see a programme bite the dust and having a second breakfast show expanded the advertising market for morning television.

TVNZ is also vulnerable to the advertising downturn, Ms Richards says.