The attack on Campbell Live appears to be political:
The future of Campbell Live has been in doubt since the arrival of Julie Christie and Mark Weldon at MediaWorks in the middle of last year, as it came out of receivership. … Some Campbell Live staff believe that is because the show’s liberal focus – and Campbell’s heroic status among some on the left – clashes with its bosses’ political outlook.
That may be overstated, but many TV3 staff – and not just journalists – have felt a marked change in the channel’s culture under the new management.
According to Bill Ralston:
“The most senior management of TV3 have been gunning for John Campbell for a long while. He has been under enormous pressure and it has been lawyers, I understand, at forty paces as they fight this one through.”
MediaWorks has links to Steven Joyce and the National Party. Adding to the appearance of a political attack:
Todd Barclay MP on Facebook: “No surprises that it’s only Labour Party MPs scrambling to keep Campbell Live running… #goodjobmikehosking"
— Bryce Edwards (@bryce_edwards) April 9, 2015
Last night on Facebook there was a comment claiming Key’s involvement, but as of this morning the discussion no longer exists.
The other excuse for the attack on Campbell live is falling ratings. Since TV is nothing but a ratings game now, falling ratings are a problem, but there has been no attempt to fix the problem, no attempt to save what is clearly (from the public response so far) a very popular and significant show. John Campbell is NZ’s most preferred current affairs presenter:
The news comes as MediaWorks’ own research commissioned from an external company showed Campbell is the nation’s most preferred current affairs broadcaster, receiving approval ratings twice that of Mike Hosking and Paul Henry.
It is Campbell’s show that is under attack, not those of the idiotic, but slavishly right-wing Hosking and Henry.
Update: See also this guest post at TDB.