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Radio New Zealand to fund a Television Project

Radio New Zealand’s CEO Paul Thompson has told his commercial rival they have no need to fear RNZ, writes Mark Jennings. Thompson sent out his message after Mediaworks’ boss Michael Anderson called on the government to re-think its plans to fund a new TV channel called RNZ+.  

Anderson is worried that another free to air TV channel will negatively impact the current players (Three, Bravo, Prime, TV1, TV2 and Duke) in an already over serviced market. He has begun lobbying Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran to drop the RNZ+ plan and instead turn TV1 into a public service non-commercial channel. 

He has driven major editorial changes at RNZ since arriving from Fairfax, including a major push into digital content and video, but he has also been adroit at handling the politics that surround the state broadcaster. A big part of his strategy has been to move closer to the commercial broadcasters and not alienate them as his predecessor did.