Hosking joins Seven Sharp - Brian Edwards' verdict

PLUS: John Tamihere dropped from RadioLive.

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

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