TVNZ announces it may axe Close Up

23:04, Sep 26 2012

Television New Zealand will end its flagship current affairs show 'Close Up' by the end of the year.

TVNZ called the closure a "proposal" and said a period of consultation with the show's 16 staff would get underway today through until mid-October.

TVNZ head of news and current affairs Ross Dagan said a new daily current affairs show "with a distinctively different format" would launch in the 7pm slot in the New Year.

He would not release any further details of the proposed new show at this stage. TVNZ is asking viewers via its Facebook page what type of programme they would like to see.

The first post said "one with Paul Henry in it," while another said "one without Mark Sainsbury".

Dagan said the closure of Close Up was a response to feedback that television viewers were "looking for something fresh and quite different in early evening current affairs".

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He thanked the 16 member Close Up team, and said that everyone was aware that traditional current affairs shows were losing favour with audiences.

"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," said Dagan.

"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.

"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."

Taranaki Daily News