In what’s turning out to be the gift that just keeps on giving for National, the Recession Bogeyman is now being blamed for a need to axe 90 staff from TVNZ.
The Minister for Broadcasting reckons the cuts are necessary to make sure TVNZ keeps returing a fat dividend, even in these extraordinary times, even when media are chasing ever receding advertising revenue. Of course National don’t actually have to insist on TVNZ continuing to make the huge dividends it’s returned to Government as an SOE over the years.
So why insist on job losses to ensure better profits for the State (presumably to be spent of the effects of job losses)? It’s an entirely political decision, part of completing the unfinished business of selling TVNZ. What happens to a news organization when you cut out all the fat then keep cutting into its muscle is precisely what’s happened to our commercial print media – the quality drops and drops, and the audiences start moving elsewhere. From there advertising revenues drop, more cuts are made to revive profits, the quality drops even further, more audiences is shed, and so it goes…
Leaving TVNZ in a position where National can then say ‘well this asset just isn’t performing any more, better we sell it’.
One good thing that may come of all this is that we might finally start to see some tougher questioning of this Government if those who remain in front of the cameras at TVNZ have any respect for their departing colleagues.
A particularly brave leap backwards from National.