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Crossing The Rubicon

By Janet Wilson February 15th, 2013

To: Kevin Kenrick, CEO TVNZ

Jeff Latch, Head of TVOne and TV2,

Andy Shaw, GM, Acquisitions, Production and Commissioning.

Dear Kevin, Andy and Jeff,

It’s been two weeks now since your baby “Seven Sharp” hit our screens and there’s a lot of people who feel they have a lot to say about it. And no wonder!

But it’s not the programme I’m writing to you about but your part in it.

Is it true that all of you were involved in every aspect of the programme from inception, including deciding which stories went where in the first week? I’m wondering what “Seven Sharp’s” Executive Producer, Raewyn Rasch had to say about that? I hope plenty, but I’m guessing not a lot.

Was it easy to breach the divide between sales and marketing (isn’t that what you guys do after all?) and start making editorial decisions, given that SS (now that’s got a ring to it!) didn’t know what it was or where it was going?

Now you’ve crossed that Rubicon – and started dabbling in making news decisions (it’ll be good for you Jeff, you’ll be able to add news producer onto your Skill Set on Linkedin… at the moment you only have strategic partnerships and content acquisition), will you be the guys to fall on your swords when the programme is quietly re-launched later in the year (go on! Don’t tell me that’s not going to happen… )?

Kevin, I know phones and television are very similar but you’ve only had to deal with handset products and prices up until now.  Still it’s good to see you are taking your Editor-in-Chief title so seriously… a bit like Captain Mainwaring when he joined the home-guard.

And the ratings! Well, ratings, schmatings who cares about those?  I know, I know, there was a big hue and cry when “Campbell Live” beat you in age 5 plus for the first time since it went to air in 2005 but it was a one-off, right? And who cares about 5 plus anyway? Only the bloody newspapers and what would they know? Oh, Campbell beat SS in all the younger age demographics, too. Weren’t those the ones you were aiming to win?

Its interesting to see though that “Seven Sharp” and “Campbell Live” is now getting neck and neck in that decried 5 plus demographic with Campbell gaining 1 % and “Seven Sharp” losing about 3%, with Prime”s “The Crowd Goes Wild” picking up viewers.

Kevin, if there’s one thing you need to know its networks don’t need to give viewers any excuse to shop around – and it looks like “Seven Sharp” is doing that in spades.

But hey, why don’t you have a chat with that nice new Programmer from Channel Nine you’ve hired in on contract?  Apparently they think the programme is past redemption.

And if it is, we know that it won’t be you who’ll take the rap.

Your favourite former telly gal,

Janet

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