Posts by Russell Brown

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  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon…,

    Drinnan rather embarrasses himself this morning by not being able to spell Carol Hirschfeld's name correctly, but it's good to be reminded of this:

    The losses started with the decision of former MediaWorks receivers Korda Mentha - in 2013 when they were receivers for the company - to turn down an offer for a long term contract for the Australian soap opera Home & Away, because the commitment was too long. The loss of the show - which delivered a big young audience to 3 News -is blamed for a big fall in ratings for 3 News in 2014 and 2015.

    Home & Away was later picked up by Television New Zealand.

    The receivership happened, as noted, because of the debt loaded onto Mediaworks by Ironbridge. And, because receivers are receivers and not executives, there was nobody with a mandate to think in the long term about retaining 3 News' vital lead-in programme. A lot of problems since stem from that simple fact.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19620 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon…,

    Wow.

    Hilary Barry loses it after the Campbell news item and has to leave the desk for a while during the bulletin.

    That's what this guy means to the people he works with.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19620 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon…, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    I could’ve listened to Phil’s rant all night :) And got the feeling he’d still be going strong come dawn.

    Delivered from his hospital bed, not very long after the second surgery on his troublesome infected foot.

    Let's just say that Phil was already seriously fucked off when the Campbell news came though :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19620 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon…, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    The reality is that selective viewers of broadcast TV don’t pay the bills. TV3 has been bailed out at least twice before and the last reorganisation saw something like $500m written off by a consortium of banks and other owners.

    That debt was almost entirely loaded on Mediaworks by Ironbridge, the basket-case private equity firm that bought Mediaworks – it was the consequence of the leverage Ironbridge took on to make the acquisition, just before the GFC.

    Under its former management, Mediaworks (and even TV3) was making an operating profit, even while it was in receivership. It just couldn’t service the debt Ironbridge inflicted on it.

    One of the lessons of this saga is about the insanity of the private equity model.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19620 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: 2015: The Budget of what?,

    Public Broadcasting Services funding cut for the seventh straight year. Down 1.3% to $129.5m. This after the NZ On Air board warned that it could not maintain services on this basis.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19620 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: First-person media and the…, in reply to Marcelo Rodriguez Ferrere,

    Seriously!? Am I to feel happy that I am part of the club that happily gets the reference to the amazing show or sad that it’s not universally known?

    It just means you're old, man.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19620 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: 2015: The Budget of what?,

    Hi guys – I’m busy with the day job today – and this year Keith’s doing his data thing for NBR, who will pay him with actual money. So consider this an open thread and make of it what you will.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19620 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: First-person media and the…, in reply to william blake,

    I really wish I had a v log and an audience when I was an adolescent but I’m really glad I didn’t.

    Oh man, I'd have been unstoppable with today's tools ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19620 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Synthetic cannabis: it just…,

    Here's quite a serve -- From Doctor Geoff Noller – in the comments under the Herald editorial:

    Dear Editor, you have misinterpreted Prof Glue's article. It reports on the "three months before and after implementation of the PSA on 18 July 2013". Thus the results, i.e. a 42% reduction in EPS contacts and 52% reduction in patient presentations, are compared with the three months pre-PSA. In other words the Act had the desired effect of reducing availability, e.g. down from approximately 5000 outlets to about 150 (Glue incorrectly reports 50) and thereby harms.

    It's erroneous to suggest that based on Glue's data prohibition is seen to be effective. Exactly the opposite in fact; it was regulation that produced the results he reports. Nonetheless problems clearly remained with both the Act and the products. These stem in part from poor implementation of regulations and lack of their enforcement.

    For example, many of those paraded by the media were underage users who had accessed synthetics illegally, often in collusion with unscrupulous retailers. Significant problems also resulted from the Ministry's failure to educate consumers. Why should we be surprised that following 90 years of prohibition cannabis analogs at 1/3 the price should be so popular?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19620 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Synthetic cannabis: it just…, in reply to Michael Savidge,

    Including this gem: “So much for the black market. So much for the claim that prohibition never works”.

    One pretty major thing that editorial leaves out is that the study it quotes says psychiatric presentations halved during regulation under the Psychoactive Substances Act.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19620 posts Report Reply

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