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Hosking joins Seven Sharp - Brian Edwards' verdict

Dec 19: Brian Edwards says Mike Hosking's move to Seven Sharp could boost the show in its ratings war with Campbell Live.

"It might well help," the veteran broadcaster and media trainer tells NBR. 

"The loss of ratings after Mark Sainsbury - never a great interviewer - left makes it clear that viewers expect some serious content at 7pm, following up on the day's news."

Campbell Live has tended to bag marquee interviews this year, including Auckland Mayor Len Brown's two will he/won't he resign appearances. Its mostly serious, single-presenter format is a more natural fit for a big interview.

Dr Edwards says Mike Hosking's arrival could help close this gap, but "The current Seven Sharp set doesn't lend itself to extended interviews and would have to be changed. I'm interested in how this is going to work out. A compromise between the present and future Seven Sharp format would be a disaster."

He adds, "And, unless I've missed something, Hosking has no great sense of humour, on television at least."

But he does concede, "It's worth remembering that Hosking was Mark Sainsbury's regular stand-in [on Seven Sharp predecessor Close Up] and the programme was invariably better when he was on."

Three's a crowd
The real problem is multiple presenters, the commentator says. 

"It's difficult enough to pull it off with two, but bloody near impossible with three. It can work in Breakfast with a male and female presenter (Henry/Wetzell) but doesn't seem appropriate in primetime. Witness the embarrassing exchanges between Garner and  Espiner on Third Degree."

On the musical chairs that has seen NewsTalk ZB host Mr Hosking join Seven Sharp; Seven Sharp presenter Alison Mau depart for RadioLive (where she will replace John Tamihere as Willie Jackson's copresenter), and Breakfast co-host Toni Street move to Seven Sharp, Dr Edwards says:

"My reaction is twofold: that this is a bit like rearranging the chairs on the Titanic; and that we must be woefully short of fresh talent in New Zealand broadcasting if having the same old faces swapping places on radio and television is regarded as reinvigoration.

"Or maybe we need some new old faces. Ralston, Boag and Edwards, to name but three, could have made a better fist of Seven Sharp than virtually any of the presenters who appeared on it. But then again, as my mother so often said, 'You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear!'"

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Alison Mau leaves TVNZ for RadioLive; Mike Hosking joins Seven Sharp

Dec 18: Seven Sharp presenter Alison Mau is leaving TVNZ for MediaWorks.

MediaWorks says Ms Mau will join RadioLive, copresenting an afternoon show with Willie Jackson.

RadioLive presenters Willie Jackson and John Tamihere have been off air since November 11 following a controversial interview with an alleged Roastbusters victim, followed by a mid-interview blowup with lobbyiest and commentator Matthew Hooton.

A MediaWorks statement makes no mention of Mr Tamihere's return.

Spokeswoman Rachel Lorimer tells NBR ONLINE, "John won’t be returning in 2014."

Hosking, Street join Seven Sharp
The musical chairs continued with TVNZ announcing NewstalkZB Breakfast host Mike Hosking and TVNZ Breakfast cohost Toni Street are joining Steven Sharp, where they will copresent with Jesse Mulligan - the only remainder of the show's three original hosts.

Mr Hosking and Ms Street will replace Greg Boyed who left Seven Sharp on September 4, and Ms Mau.

Ms Street's departure from Breakfast mean TVNZ is now looking for a new cohost for Rawdon Christie.

John Tamihere is available.

ckeall@nbr.co.nz

More by Chris Keall

Comments and questions
10

Mike Hosking could do a great job on a current affairs (with humour) program in this time slot all on his own. Toni Street, yep. Jesse is fine but are three necessary?
Alison Mau, well from my perspective, joining WJ as a radio co-host is going to be a challenge for her. Good luck with that, seriously...she can maybe make that program work.

All I see from Alison is liberal, leftist bias. Just look at how she treated Colin Craig.

Agree. Jessie Mulgan too.He should be dropped. he certainly is not a journalist.

Why not give Ali Mau the Breakfast gig? Much more her style, in my opinion. As one of our very few media personalities who consistently pronounces the names of overseas people and places correctly she deserves better than co-hosting with the embarrassing Jackson.

I have not been impressed with Seven Sharp. A complete change of name and they ALL should go, including Jesse Mulligan. After a year of shoddy presenting, the put down of Colin Craig was the last straw for me - Mulligan has no right to treat a new politician in this way on a state funded broadcasting channel. Very poor presentation and journalistic skills - he may be a comedian but in this role he should have some basic training on how to treat people.

For the first time ever I am in agreement one Mr Edwards, it just shows you sooner or later the tunnel vision gets wider, Gee Mr Edwards recognizing humor, if we could get him more to the right like center right, we might agree on a few more things.

Where is the fresh talent - Mike Hosking is good choice, Seven Sharp is a waste. Toni Street needs to learn not to interrupt her co hosts and lose her ego and as long as Seven Sharp does not become a breakfast show reincarnated! and Mike Hosking can excel....

I am all for Mike Hosking, great choice, but not under the current Seven Sharp format, he should go it alone not as a threesome.
And Christie should be replaced on breakfast and go back to news, and Street stay on with a better co host maybe Mulligan best suited to this spot.

No net improvement for me, introducing an intellectual heavyweight (Hosking) simultaneously with an intellectual flyweight (Street) will just ensure more of the same inane infotainment drivel.

Mike Hosking isn't going to save Seven Sharp, trust me. This is a programme where content is always going to be trumped by the presenters' personas, especially, when there's three of 'em.
It's a microcosm of TVNZ's mindset: define what the viewers should want as opposed to mirroring what they want.