We name wildcard up for top TV job

Television New Zealand has advertised for a head of news and current affairs.

Veteran journalist Jock Anderson reckons he’s the man who’s got what it takes.

Want to turn the show around, save money, dump dross, can the marketing department, put the public first and do a good job? Hire me.

I will make news and current affairs newsy and current.

This will appeal to viewers older than ten.

TVOne will abandon it’s “All you need to know” slogan.

Words such as “emotional” and “passionate” will be banned – as will the expression “loved ones.”

Items about cats up trees, punchups in foreign parliaments and shameless promotions for singers and bands no-one has heard of will not be broadcast.

One of my first jobs will be to sever connections with the marketing department. It can promote entertainment but will not be involved in news and current affairs.

Advertisements and programme promotions will be dropped from news and current affairs.

At the same time I will put an end to the cult of personality.

Newsreaders and on-air presenters, who must be at least 35, will no longer be celebrities.

They will stop MC-ing the opening of nail boutiques, shoe shops, charity snail racing, appearing in gossip pages or selling their “stories” to women’s magazines.

In conjunction with the end of the cult of celebrity, drinking and drug-taking will also be banned.

Anyone using pot, cocaine, E, P, GBH, LSD or any other mind-altering drugs will be fired.

Real reporters will put real stories on air. There will be no “crosses” to presenters and presenters will no longer interview reporters on air.

Overseas branch offices will be closed.

Presenters, news readers and reporters will cease to be the story. Reporters will go out, get the story, and report it.

I expect these initial changes will be implemented within 10 days, followed by one month to ensure news and current affairs content gets up to scratch.

These changes should bring about an early voluntary exodus of time-serving pretty-boys with resulting cost savings.

In Month Two I will initiate an across-the-board wage cut for everyone on more than $80,000 a year, to apply forthwith.

This will coincide with the removal of expenses such as clothing, haircut and makeup allowances, free car parking, credit cards and gym and tanning studio memberships.

Journalists will have their wages reviewed on performance. Wages for presenters and newsreaders will be fixed.

Based on current spending in the news and current affairs area I expect these budgetary moves will save a minimum of $20 million a year.

I will report directly to the board of TVNZ.

To achieve these and other content improvements I will model much news and current affairs on Maori Television’s most excellent Native Affairs.

All of this I will do on a salary cap of $250,000, a free carpark and $100 a week beer allowance.

Look no further than janderson@nbr.co.nz

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