Job cuts at Newshub and TVNZ

In the last two weeks there have been major announcements about job losses at New Zealand’s two television stations – TV3 and TVNZ.

On 28 February the owners of TV3, Warner Brothers Discovery, announced that they planned to close their Newshub operations from 30 June. This would include all Newshub’s TV and online news. The company said that there has been a significant drop in TV advertising so they have to reduce their costs, and they believe that closing the newsroom is the only way to do that. The closure will lead to around 300 people, or 75% of the TV3 workforce, losing their jobs. Staff were told at a meeting and were shocked and upset at the news. There will now be a consultation process (when staff can suggest alternatives) and a final decision is expected in April.

Then on 1 March TVNZ announced a $16.8 million loss for the six months ended December. Six days later management met with staff and proposed cutting 68 jobs, which amounts to 9% of their total staff. TVNZ also blamed a fall in revenue from ads for the situation and said that they need to reduce their costs to match their revenue. Like the Newshub staff, the TVNZ staff were devastated by the proposals, which include axing the news at midday and later in the evening, and two programmes, Sunday and Fair Go. Sunday started in 2002 and won the award for Best Current Affairs Programme at the New Zealand Television Awards last year. Fair Go has been on TVNZ for 47 years. It’s a consumer affairs programme – that is, viewers who have problems with companies can contact Fair Go to help them find a solution.

Many journalists and commentators are concerned about the loss of news and current affairs programmes. They say that it is important to have many organisations providing news, so that people have a choice and also hear a range of perspectives on issues. They say it is not good for democracy if there are not enough journalists asking questions and holding the government and others in power to account.

The problems in the media in New Zealand are also happening around the world. The increased use of the internet, including social media and streaming services, means that people watch TV less often. As a result, companies spend less in advertising on TV, which then reduces the television companies’ revenue. However, unlike some countries, New Zealand does not have a fully funded public broadcaster for television.


workforce – staff

devastated – extremely shocked and sad

award – prize for something that someone has done

hold someone to account – to make someone responsible for their actions, and to explain their decisions broadcaster – a TV or radio company

Question for you: Do you watch TV news – live or later online? Do you follow the news? You can answer by commenting below.