PM's hour not electioneering - Mediaworks

Mediaworks has said the Prime Minister's Hour show on RadioLive was not electioneering.

In a statement from Mediaworks TalkBrands general manager Jana Rangooni said the Prime Minister's Hour show, broadcast last Friday, was not electioneering and had nothing to do with radio spectrum licensing payments. 

Ms Rangooni said there had been some suggestion that the agreement between Radio Live’s owners and the Government regarding the staged payment for radio spectrum licensing played no part in the station's invitation to John Key to host The PM’s Hour

She said this was not true, but rather was loosely based on an overseas example she had heard about earlier in the year and developed with the RadioLive team.

"Once we had decided to go ahead, the idea was pitched to the PM and he accepted.   Friday’s show was the first broadcast of what we hope will become an annual event for Radio Live.   It has nothing to do with radio spectrum licensing payments."

Ms Rangooni said Mediaworks had thought the show through carefully and taken advice to ensure it was neither election advertising or programming.  She said it was a radio programme which the company hope encourage more listeners to the station, and featured interviews with personalities who rarely did one-on-one interviews.  

RadioLive retained editorial control of the programme, she said.

"We fully understand our responsibilities as a broadcaster and the rules around election advertising and programmes – our advice is that The PM’s Hour is neither, but we understand that a complaint has been made about the programme so we will not comment further on this aspect."

She said while the Prime Minister's Hour was not on offer to Phil Goff this year for obvious reasons, the company had been speaking with his office about having him on the station again.

"Phil is a regular guest on the station, and as of last week, we were standing by for his office to let us know which dates suit his schedule."

"The PM’s Hour is a radio show for the Prime Minister of New Zealand and will be for anyone in that role."

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