It’s now understood that other senior staff at the NZ Herald being ‘consulted’ about the proposed plans to facilitate the creation of NZME’s “world-class integrated newsroom” (ie, more than likely being made redundant) also include Canvas deputy editor Greg Dixon, feature writer Alan Perrot and columnist John Roughan.
They seem set to join veterans John Drinnan, Brian Rudman and Michele Hewitson (see below) on today’s casualty list.
Must be tough times for those at the Herald.
If John Drinnan goes, it will be a pity. As a writer who focuses on the media, I read all his columns religiously and often learn stuff I didn’t know. I didn’t agree with everything he wrote (of course) but found him far more balanced that Mediawatch on Radio NZ (which I also listen to always, but find it has such an anti-commercial flavour). He also engages regularly on Twitter, in a useful way.
I’ve never understood why anyone ever agrees to be interviewed by Michelle Hewitson, as she generally skewers them not so gently. But I almost without fail read her interviews as they can be insightful in a way few are.
Rudman’s views are always pretty predictable, but his focus on Auckland issues was good. We need more scrutiny of local government.
John Roughan writes far less than he used to, but I like his columns as he would often go against the prevailing mood, and argue something unpopular.
One NZ Herald staff member says, “It’s a bloodbath.” Another tells NBR that 30% of editorial staff are getting the chop. The number is unconfirmed, but would still mean editorial is getting off more lightly than sales where sources suggest that up to 40% of staff could receive their marching orders.
The print media commercial model is failing, and online media revenue is not in the same league. Eventually business models that work will come through, but until they do it’s a hard time for those in the media.