What now for John Campbell? video

RORY O'SULLIVAN/Stuff.co.nz

Presenter Tristram Clayton admits he is devastated that TV3 have drawn a line under a decade of Campbell Live.

John Campbell's future could be back at Radio New Zealand (RNZ), while there are suspicions TV3's new evening current affairs programme won't last long.

Both veteran broadcaster Brian Edwards and Regan Cunliffe, from ratings website throng.co.nz, have raised the possibility RNZ could be the next home for Campbell, who had his first job as a reporter with the state broadcaster.

Edwards said Campbell could have options overseas, but thought he was unlikely to leave New Zealand.

"His options within New Zealand would have to be outside commercial broadcasting," Edwards said.

"He doesn't seem to me to have many other options, with the possible exception of Radio New Zealand. I think he would be a very fine radio broadcaster. I think he would command a significant audience," he said.

TV3

John Campbell thanks his viewers for sticking with him, after the announcement he was leaving TV3

"My overall guess is that John will take a break and look at his options, which might conceivably be outside broadcasting... If he stays in broadcasting I think he would end up in some sort of public broadcasting set-up, either in radio or TV."

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TV3's new current affairs show was likely to be similar to Seven Sharp on TV One, just "marginally more serious", Edwards said.

Cunliffe had no doubts Campbell would continue as a journalist.

"The question now is, where's his natural home going to be? Does he go back to Radio New Zealand? You've got Carol Hirschfeld who is there, do they team up again? Does he go to Maori Television and work with Native Affairs? 

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"This is certainly not the last we've heard of John."

Former TVNZ news boss and media commentator Bill Ralston questioned how long the show replacing Campbell Live would last. TV3's owner MediaWorks is looking for two co-presenters for the new show which will run in the 7-7.30pm slot four days a week. It will not screen on Fridays.

The new show would probably be "something light and frothy" to compete with TVNZ's Seven Sharp, Ralston said. The show would likely act as a place-holder until it could be replaced with something completely different that would attract an audience to carry over into the 7.30pm slot.

What chance John Campbell could end up working alongside Carol Hirschfeld - now head of content at Radio NZ - again? The ...
Chris Gorman/Fairfax NZ

What chance John Campbell could end up working alongside Carol Hirschfeld - now head of content at Radio NZ - again? The two were previously co-presenters of TV3 nightly news.

"My guess is it will die a natural death then they'll find something else they can run five nights a week that's not in the news and current affairs area."

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Media commentator Martin Gillman doubted Paul Henry - who started a morning show on MediaWorks last month - would be one of the presenters on the new show.

Henry's breakfast show was still a long way short of being a viable proposition, and without Henry there wouldn't be a show, Gillman said.

TV3

3 News presenter Hilary Barry breaks down after a story about outgoing colleague John Campbell.

"Breakfast is a long term investment and MediaWorks aren't going to make a knee-jerk reaction on something like that."

On his Hard News blog, Russell Brown said the only way the new show could be on air within six to eight weeks, as intended, would be to retain the Campbell Live staff, "even recruit the new co-hosts from the existing payroll".

Brown was confident Campbell would be in demand, and could do something different, possibly even outside linear (time and channel-based) TV.

 - Stuff

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