Close Down

September 28th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

From Close Up to closed down, it’s the end of an era for a New Zealand television staple and its current frontman, Mark Sainsbury.

announced a proposal yesterday to switch off the programme by the end of the year, with 16 staff going through a consultation period until mid next month.

Sainsbury said he would have preferred the programme and his role to continue but ultimately he accepted the broadcaster’s decision.

“I’d love to keep going until I drop dead. But let’s be real, it is the end of an era,” he said yesterday after six years with the show and 31 years at the network.

“They’ve been looking at the programme for most of the year – we’d made a huge effort – but they want to make changes.”

Last night, on signing off for the night on his programme, Sainsbury said the Close Up format “as we know it” was ending after 23 years.

“But a new different programme will emerge next year.

“It’s an exciting time in this business when change happens, whether you want that change to occur or not, and the feeling is that it’s time for change,” he said.

Sainsbury stopped short of saying he was leaving TVNZ but said he had no regrets over his 31-year career.

A long-time commuter to Auckland, he is expected to return to his Wellington home when the curtain falls.

Former TVNZ broadcasters said they had concerns the proposal to pull the plug on Close Up was another step towards dumbing down content.

Former TVNZ news and current affairs executives Bill Ralston and Paul Norris said they had fears the programme might be replaced with an even more lightweight “info-tainment” show designed to draw in larger audiences while neglecting serious analytical stories.

I may be wrong but I suspect it will head to more info-tainment. My guess is a couple of stories per show, with a panel talking about them, and soliciting viewer feedback through social media.

The big question is will this see the return of Paul Henry? He’s guaranteed to see huge interest, initially anyway.

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32 Responses to “Close Down”

  1. Manolo (13,518 comments) says:

    I’m glad to confess I have’nt wasted 30 minutes of my life watching this Close Up crap.

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  2. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    I will continue to not watch TV1 or TV3 (or TV2!) at 7:00pm.

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  3. graham (2,332 comments) says:

    I very rarely watch Close Up – but will NEVER EVER watch Campbell. His smug attitude just puts me off too much.

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  4. Flyingkiwi9 (54 comments) says:

    Both programs aim to go out and build to the media hysteria.

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  5. Redbaiter (8,371 comments) says:

    It was never anything but mind rotting communist propaganda, duplicitous and misleading crap produced and presented by statists and progressives.

    A TV version of Pravda.

    Clear your mind.

    Don’t watch socialist television.

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  6. Paulus (2,603 comments) says:

    I see that Sainsbury will get a decent payout from TVNZ – nice bloke but time is up for falling role programme.
    TV3 next with little twit going soon.

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  7. 3-coil (1,215 comments) says:

    Red (10:20am) – I think you flatter the Walrus and his dud show. His natural opposition is more like Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Day and New Idea.

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  8. Philonz (88 comments) says:

    They need to see if they can lure Kent Brockman away from Eye on Springfield.

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  9. tom1980 (41 comments) says:

    Eagerly anticipating his interview with Booberella

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  10. Lance (2,629 comments) says:

    Maybe TVNZ can replace it with yet another cooking contest reality TV show

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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  11. Chris2 (761 comments) says:

    I gave up on Close Up and Campbell Live when I learnt how to receive via satellite, Australia’s SBS channel, and The Australia Network. Also Australia Channel 7 has a reasonably mature current affairs show weekdays at 8:30pm NZ time.

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  12. Cunningham (837 comments) says:

    The show and Campbell live suck. They run to many stories about meaningless things that have no affect on ordinary peoples lives. I would love to see something that goes over issues that actually matter to people and a panel would also be good. Also something with balance rather then always showing just one side of the story (I know, I know I am talking BS if I think the media would ever do that). It is prime time tv and they should be trying to educate kiwis about what is going on rather then run a story about someones cat (or something similiar). It doesn’t have to bo boring if done the right way.

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  13. Philonz (88 comments) says:

    Kent: Booberella, should Mr Banks remain as a Minister of the Crown?
    Booberella: Boooooooooooooooobs!

    Not too far removed from what they have now.

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  14. labrator (1,844 comments) says:

    TV3 seem to do well with their info-tainment show in the 7 o’clock slot. I hear it is well watched.

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  15. davidp (3,578 comments) says:

    Here are some television opportunities that are currently not been addressed by anyone and that TVNZ may want to consider:

    1. A talent show with celebrity judges. One of the judges could be a bit nasty.
    2. A cookery competition.
    3. A show with Gordon Ramsey, who is a man with a ton of potential but who receives little television coverage.
    4. A show about vampires.
    5. A show about really fat people.

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  16. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    FFS , 7.00pm cant be dumbed down any further surely…whats next , big bird, bert and ernie discussing the letter H ?

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  17. Redbaiter (8,371 comments) says:

    Televison is dead, killed by the left.

    The left wing broadcasting model is long past its use by date.

    FOX News is pissing all over its competitors in the US.

    If TV in NZ wasn’t the haven of communists like Ralston and Campbell et al, it could be as successful as FOX.

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  18. BeaB (2,108 comments) says:

    I take a quick look at their headlines and then look for a good cooking show to watch (or even a mediocre one) as I can’t bear Sainsbury bellowing at me or Campbell’s smug and saintly crusading. All his polls show we mostly think child hunger (vastly exaggerated) is mostly child neglect yet we have had to endure nights and nights of school lunch boxes.

    Very few interviews or programmes explaining what is happening, what it means and what is likely to happen next and this year there have been heaps of issues the public deserved more background to. I don’t want more adversarial interveiws with a cabbage class Shane Taurima interrupting every third word but a sensible examination of the day’s issues. Dream on.

    Sigh. Back to the Food Channel.

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  19. Peter (1,690 comments) says:

    It’s hard to imagine these shows could get more idiotic.

    It frightens me the producers think they are still to “highbrow”. What form of pondlife are they pitching to?

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  20. DRHILL (121 comments) says:

    The return of Hard Copy????

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  21. Ryan Sproull (7,095 comments) says:

    I may be wrong but I suspect it will head to more info-tainment.

    Or maybe he feels like doing something new.

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  22. Tautaioleua (296 comments) says:

    I couldn’t stand his tv persona, saw one or two episodes in its shelf life, and even then only glimpses at the stories I was most interested in.

    Good riddance.

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  23. Redbaiter (8,371 comments) says:

    “What form of pondlife are they pitching to?”

    The generations “educated” in Labour’s public school system.

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  24. Elaycee (4,356 comments) says:

    liarbors a joke:

    FFS , 7.00pm cant be dumbed down any further surely…whats next , big bird, bert and ernie discussing the letter H ?

    Actually, I think you’re being harsh on bert and ernie. Watching them would be an improvement on the dross that is currently being served up as ‘current affairs’ at 7pm.

    Fortunately, the Sky remote provides 100+ alternatives….

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  25. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,872 comments) says:

    Just can’t resist!

    “The time has come, the Walrus said, to think of other things.”

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  26. Viking2 (11,370 comments) says:

    Heh. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Best you’ve ever done Adolf.

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  27. DJP6-25 (1,363 comments) says:

    What is this ‘Close Up’ of which the other contributors speak?

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  28. David Garrett (7,001 comments) says:

    LaJ and others: Lindsay Perigo’s “brain dead” comment was almost 15 years ago…and it got steadily worse from that point. That said, Sainsbury was marginally better than the the other leftie clown with the great line in earnest concern…

    But isn’t it scary that dumber still is what “the average viewer” apparently wants?

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  29. transmogrifier (522 comments) says:

    I couldn’t take anyone seriously who on one hand decries the slow devolution of the news into infotainment sound bites, while at the same time hopes bloody Paul Henry comes back to host a current affairs show. He is the very epitome of a shallow, sound bite obsessed circus clown.

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  30. Redbaiter (8,371 comments) says:

    “But isn’t it scary that dumber still is what “the average viewer” apparently wants?”

    Don’t tell me i t surprises you. It’s the outcome the leftists who control the education system have been working towards for decades.

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  31. Rex Widerstrom (5,349 comments) says:

    David Garrett says:

    But isn’t it scary that dumber still is what “the average viewer” apparently wants?

    Yes, and that’s why we should care (indirectly) about this. In the short time I’ve been back in NZ I’ve watched both current affairs shows pursue advocacy journalism at the expense of a better informed audience, cursing them all the while. But if the audience don’t want to be better informed… if indeed they want to be less informed than they are at present… then that should concern anyone, left right or centre, who gives a damn about this country.

    Because these people outnumber us (the sad policywonks who inhabit the murky backwaters of political blogs) and they all, every last man jack of them, have a vote. As the years pass I become more convinced that there needs to be some basic non-partisan general knowledge test passed before exercising a vote.

    And a multitude of +1s to transmogrifier. To bemoan the encroachment of stupidity and then in the same breath advocate the return of a shallow giggling jackanape takes oxymoronism to new heights.

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  32. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    Nice Adolf! But who is the Carpenter?

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