Opinion: Why won't MediaWorks let Paul Henry go?

Are Paul Henry highlights really the best way to prepare people for The AM Show?
CHRIS SKELTON

Are Paul Henry highlights really the best way to prepare people for The AM Show?

OPINION: My family has a secret.

We're not descendants of a tyrant, but in some circles our secret could be just as bad.

The secret is that members of my family, to varying degrees, are long time fans of Paul Henry.

Paul Henry leaves the building - but not, it seems, the airwaves.
BEVAN READ/FAIRFAX NZ

Paul Henry leaves the building - but not, it seems, the airwaves.

It started back when he was on TVNZ's Breakfast that we got hooked, somewhere between the spray-cheese and rat urine segments.

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We don't wear Paul Henry t-shirts. But we do have the mugs though.

Let's just say, Henry became the topic of several family Viber group bonding sessions last year.

We certainly didn't agree with everything Henry said or did, but there was something about his ability to make you laugh in the morning that made him annoyingly forgivable.

On December 16, we watched as a watery-eyed Henry gave his last sign-off. It was sad, but it was a while coming.

It was uncertain times for our family, we'd have to find another topic to digitally bond over in the morning. But we mourned, and moved on.

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Now, with all the charm of a zombie emerging from its grave wearing a New Zealand flag blazer, The Best of Paul Henry has crawled onto next week's morning schedule.

Indeed, Paul Henry highlights will run for two hours a day, every weekday, until the (still unconfirmed) date on which Duncan Garner's The AM Show debuts.

It is understood the two weeks of Paul Henry "best of" will be comprised of memorable moments such as interviews, viewer's feedback, and 9 in 10s.

My family should be stoked, and yet, it feels more like MediaWorks is digging up the bones of an old relative.

It doesn't bode well for how non-fans of Paul Henry will react when they turn on the telly next week, wondering if they're in a time warp or their own personal version of hell.

This bizarre move to squeeze out every last drop of the Paul Henry appeal certainly gives off a whiff of desperation.

When asked for the reason behind the rather puzzling schedule choice, a Mediaworks spokesperson said the following:

"The Paul Henry show was a massive success. What better way to get our morning news audience ready for the next phase in our programming schedule?"

I would have thought there would be several better ways to get viewers excited about a brand new show then to fill them up with reruns of the one it's replacing.

It will certainly make it a lot easier for viewers to make direct comparisons about the two hosts, rather than encourage an open mind about the new show.

Paul Henry fans' mourning period is over, sometimes you just need to know when to let a good thing go.

If MediaWorks ever wants viewers to climb onto the Garner bandwagon, it should be doing all it can to blow away the last of the smoke from the Paul Henry candle. 

Mind you, it will at least beat the infomercials.

 - Stuff

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