More Herald journalists sacked

Written By: - Date published: 3:39 pm, September 18th, 2015 - 67 comments
Categories: business, journalism, newspapers - Tags: ,

Twitter rumours seem to be true. The NBR reports:

Experienced journos excluded from NZME integration

On Wednesday, media company NZME trumpeted plans to bring its “print, digital and radio news teams … together in one integrated, multi-platform, 24/7 operation” that will be lead by managing editor Shayne Currie … The purpose of the exercise, according to Mr Currie, is to “leverage NZME’s unique mix of print, digital and radio” and is “about being totally focused on our audience and delivering even better journalism and content wherever they are.”

“It will unlock the talent and energy of separated news teams to more efficiently contribute news reporting, feature writing, video, photography, design and production to wherever it is needed,” enthused Ms Hastings of the integration, and “will strengthen the quality of our news and information products.”

Blah blah marketing drivel blah blah. Here’s the real part:

NBR’s sources suggest that up to 40% of the company’s sales staff could receive their marching orders in the restructure, and the first news of how it will impact on editorial personnel has begun leaking out of the NZ Herald today.

NBR understands that, among other changes, feature writer and columnist Brian Rudman (a 19-year NZH veteran), Michele Hewitson (judged best general and best overall columnist at this year’s Canon Media Awards) and business/media journalist John Drinnan are being made redundant.

Very bad news for all those losing their jobs, commiserations to you. It’s a pretty heartless economy out there, and pretty soon there won’t be anyone left to comment on it. Consumers of celebrity gossip will still have it good I guess, so that’s something.

67 comments on “More Herald journalists sacked”

  1. AB 1

    Why not Roughan and O’Sullivan?

    • Morrissey 1.1

      Same reason that Hosking is on Television One and Henry is on TV3.

    • Clemgeopin 1.2

      O’Sullivan may be right wing, but I think she often does make intelligent, insightful, objective and clued on comments, unlike the blatantly one eyed F-wit poodles of key such as Hosking, Henry and Henare.

      • lprent 1.2.1

        That is my view as well. I may have been known to call her O’Shillivan once or twice. But at least I have to think before I disagree with her. Some of the others I don’t have to, they repeat well worn inaccurate rubbish like whetstone holds its grooves. About 20% of the time I agree with her, so I guess her brain hasn’t ossified. A couple of times she has changed my views. A useful person to read.

        The only really useful part of the Herald for me these days is the business section. There is information in there.

        • mickysavage 1.2.1.1

          Agreed. I do not mind critical right as long as they are capable of thinking and reasoning. As for Hosking …

    • Sacha 1.3

      “Why not Roughan”

      see #8 below – one silver lining.

    • Saarbo 1.4

      Why not Roughan and Armstrong. O Sullivan has right wing views but aint no puppet like the other two.

  2. Morrissey 2

    Brian Rudman is one of the few decent journalists at the Herald. Of course that means he had to go.

    I see that their useless rugby writers are still there.

    • Keith 2.1

      Totally agree, in fact possibly THE last Herald journalist who actually seems to reveal things hither to unknown to the reader and one that does not agree with the right wing. I guess the writing was on the wall for him after his scathing article about the Slaters in the aftermath of their smear on Len Brown.

      The Herald is now beyond saving!

  3. dukeofurl 3

    I understand those mentioned are contract columnists ?

    But Armstrong has been missing from their political pages for about a month ?

  4. Anne 4

    And what about the biased, ignorant, crass ‘pseudo’ journalists like Mike Hoskings, Deborah Hill-Cone (the me, me, look at me one), Claire Trevett (bias pours from her words), Paul Little (usually a mediocre read) and others of similar ilk? Why is it always the professional journos with genuine cognitive ability who get the boot? Well, we know why. Their contributions invariably show this government up in a very poor light.

    I don’t include Fran O’Sullivan in the former camp even though she’s well to the right of most of us because her contributions are thoughtful and well expressed.

    • Clemgeopin 4.1

      touché!

    • Morrissey 4.2

      Paul Little (usually a mediocre read)….

      CORRECTION: Paul Little (always a mediocre read)….

    • Ch-ch Chiquita 4.3

      Can the Herald now be declared as NZ’s Pravda?

    • Steve Withers 4.4

      I have a lot of time for Deborah Hill-Cone these days. Her kids and her marriage break-up seem to have softened the hard edge she used to have. She’s found some compassion…..and that would have been completely unknown in her 10 years ago.

      • Anne 4.4.1

        I thought that for a while too Steve Withers but changed my mind again. Her pieces are all about herself and don’t seem to bear much relevance to others in a similar situation.

        Also, she’s apparently great mates with Cathy Odgers. Doesn’t help my perception of her.

      • Morrissey 4.4.2

        Deborah Hill Cone is shallow, which in itself is no great sin. But she’s also nasty and judgemental, which puts her into the company of such reptiles as Mike Hosking, Paul Henry, Leighton Smith and Kerre McIvor. A few years ago she was memorably gazzumped on Jim Mora’s light chat show….

        DEBORAH HILL CONE: [indignant] I’m perfectly entitled to speak out against dole bludgers and welfare fraudsters. I know some lower socio-economic sector people, you know.

        BRIAN EDWARDS: You mean you drive past their houses when you’re on the motorway.

        Open mike 24/05/2013

    • Barbara matthews 4.5

      Hill- Cone is totally annoying, she uses the Herald as her personal therapy session.

  5. Tracey 5

    Interestng contrast with the advertorials run by SST for Rachel Glucina … funny who and what we reward these days.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/celebrities/71878739/rachel-glucina-the-queen-of-gossip

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/celebrities/71915324/rachel-glucina-the-queen-of-the-underworld

    Brian Rudman might have had to go to remove any balance in the Auckland Mayoralty race next year

    • Sacha 5.1

      Yet his factually-challenged colleague Orsman remains.

    • dukeofurl 5.2

      Scout Association of NZ Act 1956

      “Except with the consent of the Governor-General in Council and subject to the provisions of this section, no association of persons, whether incorporated or not, shall exercise the functions for which it is formed under the name “Scout Association” or under a name that contains those words or the words “Scout” or “Boy Scout”.

      • McFlock 5.2.1

        a mate at the pub mentioned that a few days ago – I suspect that mediaworks did a basic trademark search and missed that little gem. Serves them right.

  6. Ad 6

    If The Standard, Scoop, and the Fabians got together and did monthly events, Podcasted, plus a printed monthly mag of the best articles, we’d have an alternative.

    So we could stop complaining, and start unifying.

  7. Ad 7

    If The Standard, Scoop, and the Fabians got together and did monthly events, Podcasted, plus a printed monthly mag of the best articles, we’d have an alternative.

    So we could stop complaining, and start unifying.

  8. Sacha 8

    NBR has added some names:

    UPDATE 4.20PM

    It’s now understood that other senior staff at the NZ Herald being ‘consulted’ about the proposed plans to facilitate the creation of NZME’s “world-class integrated newsroom” (ie, more than likely being made redundant) also include Canvas* deputy editor Greg Dixon, feature writer Alan Perrot and columnist John Roughan.

    Noted one NZ Herald staff member, “It’s a bloodbath.”

    Other columnists whose services were recently deemed to surplus to requirements are Paul Casserly, James Griffin, Dita De Boni, Jock Anderson and Peter Calder.

    • rhinocrates 8.1

      ‘Consult’ = ‘con’ and ‘insult’.

    • mickysavage 8.2

      Alan Perrot is one of the most underrated yet funny and analytical writers they have.

      I wonder where all this talent will go?

    • Steve Withers 8.3

      Dita de Boni?

      That’s very sad. She was another of the voices that did something other than pander to the Key-man.

  9. Sacha 9

    Are they just getting rid of their most expensive employees (long service, generous employment conditions)?

  10. johnm 10

    Never read this right wing rag, so I couldn’t care less! Brain Dead national sycophants! Bye!

    • Sacha 10.1

      It is part of a bigger problem. Same happening in other media organisations. Our current political system relies on actual journalism to help inform citizens.

      • Jan Rivers 10.1.1

        Yes – all media outlets are struggling now. There is “market failure” as the advertising revenue to newspapers and broadcast journalism has been lost to google and facebook as well as pay TV like Sky.

        In fulfilling its part of the social contract you could argue that a good government – one that recognised citizen’s need to find, access and use information – would move to address that market failure.

        There is plenty of money in the advertising system to address the problem but without a legislative will to direct some of it to public interest journalism the quality of reporting, analysis and information available to citizens will continue to fall. (Of course the TPPA would prevent such a course of action as overseas owned media could threaten an ISDS if a law change we.re mooted)

        We can draw our own conclusions about politicians who have taken no action to address the growing gap. Meanwhile TV – TVNZ,Tv3, SKy’s and commercial radio’s ‘right’ to use OUR broadcasting spectrum comes with no corresponding responsibilities.

        Actually the NZHerald is curate’s eggish. The loss of good journalists is a tragedy of course but the recent investment in initiatives like data journalism and support to FYI.org.nz are amongst some of the bright areas in the NZ media lanscape.

    • Anne 11.1

      Quote from link:

      Yesterday, Herald owner New Zealand Media and Entertainment, which also owns Newstalk ZB…

      Need one say any more?

  11. Blue 12

    John Drinnan will be missed. Can’t understand why the Herald would choose to cut him, unless it’s because they don’t want anyone commenting on their own actions.

    • Ergo Robertina 12.1

      I like Drinnan too, but the Herald’s curate’s egg of quality/trash has now been dumped in favour of click-driven ”integrated” content.
      Paying someone to work contacts in an industry field and find out what’s going on to tell readers is finished. Stories about the media (Drinnan’s beat) are of course bigger than ever, but it’s all about what’s happening that day, not analysis or hints as to what may be to come, which is why I read Drinnan’s media column every week.
      While not ideal I could live with the model; I used to think Glucina was the price we paid for Fisher.
      I quite liked the fact the Herald still nurtured a few egos and prefer that to the smoothed out content creation mill that is Stuff.
      They were I think trying to follow the Guardian’s digital model of providing reader resource (like longer reads, industry analysis) along with lighter fare.
      I also noticed a couple of months ago a big shift in Herald website to much less promotion of NZ content.

  12. The lost sheep 13

    My understanding is that the Herald readership is currently down to 6, all of whom are Left Wing media conspiracy theorist’s who only follow the Herald in order to be able to alert the readers of obscure social media blogs of the latest outrages to public intelligence and political neutrality.

    Thanks to those dedicated souls for their tireless efforts, but the reality is that the traditional newspaper model is fucked. There will be no more than 2 printed newspapers in NZ 5 years from now.

  13. Steve Withers 14

    I have refused to buy the Herald, or subscribe, because I feel uncomfortable *paying* for propaganda.

    Bad enough I waste my time on it when its free.

  14. Ad 15

    Only a very few of those writers will we ever hear from again, and on the whole they are no great loss. Plenty on this site kvetch and moan about the NZHerald and its apparent bias, but when it comes to a good old clean out, it’s like they just bayoneted Mother Teresa while she fedmilk with an eye dropper to a baby lamb.

    Maybe a few of the good ones will go to Scoop.
    A few others will go to public relations firms, consult to government departments, and spend time on their family property trusts (since they are all longstanding Aucklanders).
    Most of them will retire as they should have done two decades ago.

    The leftie media will figure it out how to pool their resources and compete as a collective against the (splintering and weakening) MSM, or they will continue to joyfully drink the urine of their own bitterness, while calling it beer.

    • mickysavage 15.1

      The leftie media will figure it out how to pool their resources and compete as a collective against the (splintering and weakening) MSM, or they will continue to joyfully drink the urine of their own bitterness, while calling it beer.

      That is the problem. The leftie media is not even talking about how to respond …

  15. Ad 16

    Mickey, maybe it’s something to raise as a seminar – or just lunch – with the Fabian people.

    If Laila Harre can do it as a casual panel at dinner, who knows where the will to Leftie conspiracy could lead?

    I think you already know a good magazine publisher.
    Plus lots of bloggers who are also good writers.
    And people who are Comms for unions.
    And there are squads of liberal restaurant owners.
    There are dots to be joined into actual shapes ready.

    Happy to help with this.

  16. alex 17

    I would often buy the paper just to read Michele Hewitson’s interviews. Won’t be doing that anymore.

  17. Vaughan Little 18

    Paul little can be weak sometimes but I find him.interesting. his editorials at the listener were really engaging, back in the day.

    Herald sports writers are strong as a rule.

    news media, losing money faster than a lottery winning gambler.

    • Olwyn 18.1

      I agree. And Paul Little is an actual journalist, having been the editor of The Listener back in the day – he is not just another shill.

    • greywarshark 18.2

      news media, losing money faster than a lottery winning gambler.
      That’s life today in NZ, in a nutshell. Hello fellow nut.

  18. Peter 19

    …… does the Otago Uni guy still do his weekly NZ political round up for the Herald?

  19. Tanz 20

    Hosking does a good job, he is as left as they come.

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