TVNZ is proposing to end weeknight current affairs show ‘Close Up’ as this year winds down.
If the proposal is confirmed, a new daily current affairs show with a distinctively different format would launch in the 7pm slot in the new year.
TVNZ Head of News and Current Affairs, Ross Dagan, says the proposed closure of the show is a pro-active response to feedback that television viewers are looking for something fresh and quite different in early evening current affairs.
“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. 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.”
TVNZ will not be releasing details of the proposed new show at this stage.
Close Up has been running for nearly eight years, and the current host, Mark Sainsbury has held the job since 2006.
Ross Dagan offered praise and thanks to the 16 member Close Up team:
“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.
“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.”
A period of consultation with affected staff begins today and an outcome is expected by mid-October.