TVNZ to shut down youth channel

Last updated 16:41 29/07/2013
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TVNZ is planning to shut down youth channel TVNZ U, which failed to work financially.

The vacated frequency will be used to screen TV2 programmes an hour after they appear on the main channel.

TVNZ said it had made a commercial decision to take TVNZ U off air at the end of August, after the free-to-air channel had run at a loss for two years.

"Despite our best efforts, we've not been able to make it work financially," TVNZ chief executive Kevin Kenrick said.

"As it is, the channel is a very lean operation and no significant savings can be made to address the shortfall."

Some valuable expertise had been gained from the TVNZ U operation, particularly in the way live TV and social media were used to connect with audiences.

A consultation process was under way with affected staff.

Among those lamenting the end of the show were comedian Jaquie Brown and TVNZ reporter Jack Tame.

"So sorry for my mates at TVNZ U," Tame tweeted.  "Never had more fun on tele than on the couch with @Rose_Matafeo @ConnorNestor @timlambourne and @Matt_Gibb"

Brown said the show had been a hot bed of new talent.

"I'm just letting this @itstvnzu news sink in and yep, I'm still upset. I'd go as far as saying it's ruined my day. WHY GOD WHY?" she tweeted.

"Where are we going to see genuine new talent now? This is depressing."

Those on the show seemed to be taking a philosophical approach.

"Well it's been a brilliant 2 and a half years of @itstvnzu but its the end of the road. Thanks for everyone who helped make it rule," Connor Nestor said.

"It sucks but all good things must come to an end." He promised the next month would be "a full on party".

Rose Matafeo said it was "very very very sad".

"I really love the television we make on TVNZU."

"Not a great day for the @itstvnzu team but so proud of what we achieved in the time we had," Matt Gibb tweeted.

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