Current affairs show Close Up is likely to be scrapped by the end of the year.
TVNZ today said it was proposing to end the weeknight show, hosted by Mark Sainsbury since 2006, as the year ends.
If confirmed, a new programme with a "distinctively different format" would launch in the 7pm time slot in the new year, it said.
Head of news and current Affairs, Ross Dagan, said the proposed closure of the eight-year-old show was a pro-active response to feedback that television viewers were looking for something fresh and different in early evening current affairs.
"Close Up remains the number one daily current affairs show by a substantial margin, but ratings for us and for our competitors in this important time slot have diminished over time," he said.
"We’re committed to staying at the forefront of what New Zealanders want to see and we owe it to them and to ourselves to continually evolve and enhance television current affairs.
"We want to reinvent the early evening slot, to present the stories of the day in a way that is very different to what has gone before."
He would not release details of the proposed new show at this stage.
Dagan thanked the 16 member Close Up team, and said that everyone was aware that traditional current affairs shows were losing favour with audiences.
"This team has set the bar for what’s possible. However despite the efforts of a group of very talented people, and a degree of success, the company’s view is that this format has simply run its course.
"As presenter Mark Sainsbury has done a fine job and has earned a deserved place in television history through his coverage of some of the most significant issues in New Zealand’s recent past," he said.
A period of consultation with affected staff begins today and an outcome is expected by mid-October.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Have you read Kiwi author Eleanor Catton's Man Booker Prize-winning novel The Luminaries?Related story: What now for Eleanor Catton?