TV One's top-rating current affairs show Close Up is set
to be axed by the end of the year, and a "fresh" show is tipped
to replace it.
A press release issued this morning said TVNZ was "proposing"
to wind down Close Up, which has been hosted by Mark
Sainsbury in TV One's 7pm slot since 2006.
NZ Herald media commentator John Drinnan predicted the
changes in July, and TVNZ Head of News and Current Affairs
Ross Dagan said they were being made as a response to viewer
"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," he said.
"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."
Dagan said Close Up's format had "run its course".
"Everyone on the show is aware that traditional current
affairs formats are losing favour with audiences, and this
team has set the bar for what's possible. However despite the
efforts of a group of very talented people, and a degree of
success, the company's view is that this format has simply
run its course.
He praised Sainsbury's performance over the past few years.
"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."
Close Up has been running for nearly eight years and is in
direct competition to TV3's Campbell Live. Last night's
episode was the fourth most-watched show on TV with 474,000
viewers, Throng.co.nz reported. Campbell Live had 283,210
Details about the proposed revamp weren't released, but staff
were being consulted and an outcome was due in mid-October.
A Facebook post by TVNZ asked viewers what kind of current
affairs show they'd like to see in the 7pm slot.
The first reply suggested, "One with Paul Henry in it," while
the second said, "One without Mark Sainsbury".