Radio NZ well off compared to the ABC

May 20th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The (aka the Coalition for higher taxation) has said:

The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is disappointed at the lack of recognition for Radio NZ in the 2014 Budget. In fact the Budget represents a drop in funding for the public broadcasting sector in general, delivering gains to Sky TV in the process.

Radio NZ must survive another year on 2008 budget levels.

Sure budget restraint is tough. But look at what has happened in Australia with the ABC losing $120 million of funding. Now’s that worth whining about. And there is a link – if you don’t get spending under control, then you eventually do have to do major spending cuts to balance the budget.

Who does this favour? Commercial radio networks such as , the company partly established by Cabinet Minister Steven Joyce. 

This shows the leanings of the CBB, which recently defended the right of TVNZ staff to be Labour Party activists. First of all, so what if Steven Joyce founded Mediaworks. He sold it years ago in a hostile takeover. But the CBB shows their total lack of understanding how hard it is for broadcasters who do not get funded by the taxpayer.

Mediaworks made a loss of $318 million two years ago and $90 million last year. And the CBB has the audacity to complain commercial broadcasters are being favoured.

Mediaworks would love a sugar daddy that can guarantee them the same income as 2008.

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45 Responses to “Radio NZ well off compared to the ABC”

  1. mjw (352 comments) says:

    I’m getting to the point where I sometimes enjoy sitting placidly listening to National Radio. Suspect I should be worried about that.

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  2. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    About three years ago I started putting together a list of Radio NZ reporters, presenters, newsreaders and producers whenever I heard a new name on the radio. My list quickly got close to 200 people, and that doesn’t include the editors, other producers, managers etc.

    Now sure, Radio NZ has a much wider brief than most private radio companies, but even taking that into account it has a MASSIVE staff.

    And, as was touched on, extremely briefly, in a recent Media Watch discussion with new Radio NZ CEO Paul Thompson, the average age of Radio NZ staff is surely a huge problem for the organisation. From memory it was around 55 or 60. Which suggests there’s huge numbers of low productivity lifers eating up a lot of Radio NZ’s budget.

    Slash and burn time Paul. You’ll be surprised how many more interesting programmes you can produce by culling the New Zealand chapter of the Communist Party off your payroll.

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  3. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,834 comments) says:

    Get real David. The ABC has lost just one percent of its budget over FOUR years. Just 0.25% per year over four years.

    This after actively campaigning after the election to undermine Australia’s relationship with Indonesia in an attempt to stop Abbott from stopping the boats and before the election operating as a Labor Party mouthpiece. Gillard conveniently gave them an extra ten million to cover the campaign. Their journalists boasted on email about campaigning for Labor.

    The ABC is damned lucky it’s budget of $1.2 billion per year – yes, that’s right – was not cut by 20% and its chairman sacked.

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  4. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Such Coalition is just another group of leftists wanting more funds. They and RNZ deserve none!

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  5. deadrightkev (341 comments) says:

    There shouldn’t be a state funded radio or TV channel full stop. If they were any good they would bear scrutiny by being privately owned.

    There most certainly should not be a state funded RACE BASED television network getting $45M per annum. That is blatant separatism and a gross abuse of the taxpayer.

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  6. srylands (392 comments) says:

    “You’ll be surprised how many more interesting programmes you can produce by culling the New Zealand chapter of the Communist Party off your payroll.”

    I find myself in a quandary because it is either Radio NZ or commercial crap or nothing. I usually end up choosing the nothing..

    I was driving this morning and listening to Morning Report bang on about how bad it is that the GCSB intelligence supported drone strikes on bad folk. I was thinking .. I don’t care.

    Then there was a story on cricket spot fixing. Then a story on Rolf Harris. There is no serious business or economics news, or international news. It is mostly left tabloid stuff.

    But.. to be honest I can’t stand commercial radio with all the crap ad breaks and drivel..

    So I usually just end up listening to music.

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  7. Nick R (500 comments) says:

    The sad part about RNZ is that next to the coprolitic fare served up by Newstalk ZB etc, it seems utterly profound.

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  8. georgebolwing (686 comments) says:

    I struggle to see any valid public policy reason for the state to fund radio in New Zealand in 2014.

    I would sell it to the highest bidder.

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  9. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,834 comments) says:

    srylands

    That’s exactly why over thirty percent of the population NEVER listens to radio.

    The programmes simply are crap. Across the board, with the exception of ABC Classics and Concert FM.

    Young Mums in Australia tell me they don’t listen to commercial radio because much of the content is obscenities to which they don’t want thir kids exposed. Bloody amazing.

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  10. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (839 comments) says:

    Time to shut this Labour party mouth piece once for all…..

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  11. freemark (519 comments) says:

    Listen to George FM, or BFM. Although they do tend to be a bit lefty/Gween it’s easy to txt in and tell them to STFU!

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  12. nasska (10,912 comments) says:

    Someone may have better data to hand but it would seem that our government squanders $31.86million of our hard earned money to keep the commies at Red Radio from their rightful place in the dole queue at WINZ. Ref: http://www.betterbroadcasting.co.nz/defrost-rnz-funding-freeze

    Are we so rich as a nation that we can throw away this amount of money for shit? Close the rat’s nest & invest the savings in something worthwhile like health or education.

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  13. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    “I’m getting to the point where I sometimes enjoy sitting placidly listening to National Radio. Suspect I should be worried about that.”

    There’s no immorality in listening to it or liking it. Its in forcing other people to pay for your entertainment that the moral vacuity comes in to play. Entertainment is not a government responsibility.

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  14. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    It’s not just entertainment. I think the role of the state can validly include support for our culture and identity. I think we would be worse off as a nation without Radio NZ and Maori TV. They cost peanuts for what they deliver.

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  15. nasska (10,912 comments) says:

    ….” They cost peanuts for what they deliver.”….

    Then let those who want to listen to the mindwash take out a subscription to access it.

    The taxpayer should not be asked to pay for one sided political indoctrination.

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  16. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    But it isn’t so. Like most media outlets, National Radio is reflective of its audience.

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  17. nasska (10,912 comments) says:

    ….”, National Radio is reflective of its audience”….

    So why would your thinking taxpayer want to subsidise the dodgy political tastes of the few? If everyone is forced to pay then the programming should cater for everyone.

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  18. duggledog (1,439 comments) says:

    They (RNZ) have a drama department. It says so whenever they broadcast one of their ‘radio plays’ on Sunday afternoons.

    I would dearly love to know how many people work in that department, how much they produce in a week, and whether they do anything else in their working day.

    I would love to know how many people work in there, and how much they get paid, full stop. Radio can be a pretty straight forward business, apart from journalists all over the place and paying for international content, music copyright etc at the end of the day it’s just a mic and a network. It can be cheap to make.

    Being a govt. department you can’t help but wonder what the waste would be. It is a quality product though (if you’re into some of it)

    Someone tell me how many people work for the organisation

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  19. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Radio NZ had 273 full-time equivalent staff at 30 June 2013. Its income was about $38 million, of which about $22 million was spent on personnel.

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  20. Fentex (909 comments) says:

    CBB has the audacity to complain commercial broadcasters are being favoured.

    They wrote of Mediaworks, which was given a $43 million loan guarantee by the Government while Steven Joyce was the Communications Minister, with a clear conflict of interest.

    So it isn’t so audacious to refer to past and possible present favouring of that company.

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  21. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    That would make the average salary about $140,000, which seems excessive.

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  22. nasska (10,912 comments) says:

    You’re in the wrong department Mike. :)

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  23. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    This table shows the humber of staff who earn over $100,000
    $100,000 – 109,999 4
    $110,000 – 119,999 8
    $120,000 – 129,999 5
    $130,000 – 139,999 2
    $140,000 – 149,999 2
    $170,000 – 179,999 0
    $180,000 – 189,999 1
    $190,000 – 199,999 1
    $340,000 – 349,999 1

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  24. nasska (10,912 comments) says:

    Apply for a top job at RNZ….you can use your comments here as testimony to your ability to push socialist crap.

    You’ll be in like a rat up a drainpipe. :)

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  25. stephieboy (2,540 comments) says:

    Is there a sample comparison of earnings with Radio Live and ZB News talk back.?

    nassk, “socialist crap. ” .? In other words views you happen to disagree with c.f say Leighton Smith.?

    ” Entertainment is not a government responsibility.”

    Nor Education and Health .?

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  26. nasska (10,912 comments) says:

    ….” In other words views you happen to disagree with”…..

    It’s the purposeful slant the majority of the presenters push that nauseates stephieboy. If their intention is to keep Red Radio purely as a propaganda unit for the Left & drive away anyone who disagrees then they’ve been highly successful.

    I haven’t listened to the crap for years & it’s unlikely I ever will again.

    But note that I’m still paying for it.

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  27. duggledog (1,439 comments) says:

    Thanks Mikenmild. So they pay shit money. Well probably good for Wellington

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  28. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    “Nor Education and Health .?”

    None of them actually, but anyone guilty of suggesting that there is a some kind of comparison between a govt providing education and health and providing radio entertainment is so far detached from rationality no sane person would waste time arguing with them.

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  29. stephieboy (2,540 comments) says:

    nasska,

    But what do you listen to these days as matter of interest.?

    Redbaiter,

    I was suggesting that RNZ provides rather more than just the kind of entertainment that you might interested in
    like probably e.g Emmerdale or Coro St.

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  30. nasska (10,912 comments) says:

    ….”what do you listen to these days”…..

    Very little nowadays. I’ve got a MP3 & on the odd occasions I do listen to radio it’s usually ‘The Rock’.

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  31. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Do you really think all RNZ programmes will push some kind of leftist agenda?

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  32. stephieboy (2,540 comments) says:

    As nassaka is rather paranoid the likely answer will be yes.!

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  33. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    I think my car stereo has a radio but have never tuned it in.
    400 rasta reggae songs on a thumb drive someone gave me is all I listen to since my cd stacker karked it.
    Haven’t bothered sourcing anything else.. to lazy to work out how to load songs onto a drive.

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  34. duggledog (1,439 comments) says:

    Actually DPF I have a feeling there might be a story in this? A rather large, uncomfortable one for the Better Broadcasting folk.

    273 staff full time last year, a few on twice the median wage (thanks Mikenmild). There’s no advertising. So, no sales teams, no copy writers, no promo chicks in leotards that make up a fair proportion of a commercial station’s staff. Quite a bit of international material too which wouldn’t cost that much surely.

    276 staff.

    WTF does everyone do? This would be fascinating to see how it all broke down. You would be unlikely to find this out however as the media are unlikely to want to score points off each other like this, they’d close ranks.

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  35. nasska (10,912 comments) says:

    ….”Do you really think all RNZ programmes will push some kind of leftist agenda?”….

    Only the news, interviews & commentary Mike. Things like the Concert Programme are beyond the best spinner’s ability to influence.

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  36. Johnboy (15,586 comments) says:

    I just listen to the Coast. They play my darling Agnetha a lot!!! :)

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  37. adze (2,005 comments) says:

    Nasska
    It’s the news desk and some of the “features” that are left-wing, mostly – Jim Mora’s show is usually pretty balanced, even though at least half of the panelists are lefties. Although, I’m pleased that Guyon Espiner and Susie Ferguson don’t take any shit from the left parties than they do the right.

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  38. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    I think accusations of media bias are usually pretty well overblown.

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  39. adze (2,005 comments) says:

    Mikemild – really? You don’t think John Campbell or Paul Henry are biased, politically? The former has a prime time slot.

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  40. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Here is Radio NZ’s programme for tomorrow

    All Night Programme
    Including: 12:05 Music After Midnight; 12:30Spectrum (RNZ); 1:05 From the World (RNZ); 2:05 Jazz-O-Rama – Teddy With & Without Billie (1 of 13, PRX); 3:05 The Vintner’s Luck, by Elizabeth Knox (7 of 15, RNZ); 3:30 An Author’s View (RNZ); 5:10 Witness (BBC)

    6:00 AM Morning Report
    Radio New Zealand’s three-hour breakfast news show with news and interviews, bulletins on the hour and half-hour, including:
    6:18 Pacific News
    6:22 Rural News
    6:27 and 8:45 Te Manu Korihi News
    6:44 and 7:41 NZ Newspapers
    6:47 Business News
    7:42 and 8:34 Sports News
    6:46 and 7:24 Traffic

    9:06 AM Nine to Noon with Kathryn Ryan
    Current affairs and topics of interest, including:
    10:45The Reading: The Virgin and the Whale, by Carl Nixon, read by Deana Elvins (7 of 10, RNZ)

    Noon Midday Report
    12.00 Radio New Zealand news, followed by updates and reports until 1.00pm, including:
    12:16 Business News
    12:26 Sport
    12:34 Rural News
    12:43 Worldwatch

    1:06 PM Afternoons with Simon Mercep
    Information and debate, people and places around NZ

    4:06 PM The Panel with Jim Mora
    An hour of discussion featuring a range of panelists from right along the opinion spectrum (RNZ)

    5:00 PM Checkpoint
    Radio New Zealand’s two-hour news and current affairs programme

    7:06 PM Nights with Bryan Crump
    Entertainment and information, including:
    7:30The Sampler: A weekly review and analysis show of new CD releases
    8:13Windows On The World: International public radio features and documentaries
    9:06 The Tuesday Feature: The TED Radio Hour – Unstoppable Learning

    10:00 PM News and Late Edition
    Radio New Zealand news, including Dateline Pacific and the day’s best interviews from Radio New Zealand National

    11:06 PM Global Village
    Finnish world chamber folk ensemble Narinnka; Italian neo-folk pioneer Riccardo Tesi; the ‘Jimi Hendrix of the kora’ – Sekou Kouyate – with Joe Driscoll; a two disc compilation of Latin Psychedelia; and some remarkable’60s psychedelic sitar from Tehran’s Abbas Mehrpouya

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  41. Tauhei Notts (1,650 comments) says:

    Mikenmild likes National Socialist Radio.
    Can he tell me one government funded organisation that when seeking more of the taxpayers’ hard earned, was not given air time on that network.
    Their bludging is relentless, and hearing about it is sickening.

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  42. gump (1,553 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter

    “Its in forcing other people to pay for your entertainment that the moral vacuity comes in to play.”

    ———————-

    So you don’t think the state has any role in bringing joy to its citizens?

    It’s not surprising that you like Singapore so much.

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  43. itstricky (1,699 comments) says:

    So you don’t think the state has any role in bringing joy to its citizens?

    I suppose we could dump it and then just drown in sh*ty pop songs on commercial radio, ad infintum, for the rest of our natural borns, because, well, The Free Market knows best and The State doesn’t.

    I think accusations of media bias are usually pretty well overblown.

    I imagine they’re all opposed to it because National Radio (of all things!) has actually moved with the times faster than the dinosaurs have – hence it’s labelled as leftist liberal propoganda.

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  44. Myles Thomas (2 comments) says:

    Radio NZ well-off compared to ABC? I beg your pardon? RNZ gets $7.19 per person from govt while ABC radio $13.90AUD per person. Yes, Abbott’s cuts to the ABC (which he gave repeated assurances would NOT happen) will reduce ABC radio funding and those cuts ARE significant when you include the loss of Australia’s international broadcasting service, Australia Network worth $220m. Yes, this is something the CBB has been ‘whining’ about.

    “This shows the leanings of the CBB, which recently defended the right of TVNZ staff to be Labour Party activists.”

    I’m sorry to disappoint you but we never defended such a thing. We pointed out the media uproar when a journalist is discovered to be left-wing while their right-wing counterparts keep their jobs, without complaint and are then free to put their personal views on-air! When was the last time any TV presenter or journalist personally recommended on-air a left-wing party, politician or policy like Paul Henry and Mike Hosking do?

    Any left or right leanings we have are a result of certain parties having policies that create better broadcasting. Hence if UF, NZFirst, ACT or National come out with policies we agree with, we’ll back them to the hilt. As we did with improved funding for Iwi Radio in the latest budget.

    The CBB press release noted that cuts to Radio NZ favour commercial radio, I’m sorry but that is a fact as is Steven Joyce’s link to Mediaworks. You made the connection between the two and it’s an obvious one. Joyce’s antipathy to RNZ and public service broadcasting in general has been explained to me by several people who have worked with him and Cabinet. Of course that’s his right but it would be great if Cabinet came clean on this instead of issuing false facts and ludicrous statements about lack of funds. We’re talking just $10m for RNZ.

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  45. duggledog (1,439 comments) says:

    Myles Thomas:

    “Radio NZ well-off compared to ABC? I beg your pardon? RNZ gets $7.19 per person from govt while ABC radio $13.90AUD per person.”

    And look at their economy now Myles. Shattered. These costs, like the subsidies above are the thousand cuts that destroy economies, and people’s livelihoods, mortgages etc

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