MediaWorks Radio boss confident about Garner taking over Henry

Duncan Garner and Paul Henry

MediaWorks’ Leon Wratt is confident Garner can inherit Henry’s mantle

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The boss of MediaWorks Radio is upbeat about the prospects of Radio Live’s breakfast show despite the abrupt departure of the media company’s jack of all trades, Paul Henry.

Yesterday, MediaWorks confirmed the notorious broadcaster will leave in December and be replaced by Duncan Garner, who will head The AM Show. It will still be simulcast on TV3 and Radio Live.

As part of the move, Mr Garner will leave TV3’s 7pm news and current affairs show, Story, which is getting the axe in favour of a local version of Australia’s light-hearted panel show, The Project.

MediaWorks’ announcements coincided with the release of the latest commercial radio survey data, which reports how well (or badly) each radio station did from April to October. In short, MediaWorks’ radio stable (The Edge, More FM, The Breeze, among others) is still well ahead of NZME’s (Newstalk ZB, ZM, The Hits, among others) — 2.2 million listeners compared to 1.8 million.

Breakfast radio (6am-9am), especially in Auckland, is the most hotly contested timeslot because 2.4 million listeners tune in on weekdays, radio survey operator GfK says. Nationally, MediaWorks has a breakfast market share of 53.5% while NZME has 36.4%. In Auckland, MediaWorks has 48.4% and NZME has 37.7%

MediaWorks music content director Leon Wratt says the Paul Henry show’s radio performance matched the success it had on television.

“He’s grown a lot of listeners and he’s increased the share — the 6th most popular breakfast show and 5th in Auckland. Before that, Radio Live never got anywhere near that,” he says.

“Duncan has shown some real strength as well. He’s doing very well in breakfast and drive. If there was someone to come in and take over from Paul Henry then Duncan is definitely the guy I would choose.

“He’s got age on his side as well. Put him together with the great production team on the Paul Henry show and I believe Duncan will do very well.”

Since the last survey, Radio Live’s breakfast market share in Auckland increased from 5.6% to 6% and 5.9% to 6.3% nationally.

Is King Hosking being dethroned?
Meanwhile, the king of morning radio — Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking Breakfast — fell from a market share of 17.9% to 14.2% in Auckland and 14.8% to 12.7% nationally.

NZME managing editor Shayne Currie admits it was a “quieter” news period despite the Olympics happening during the survey.

Paul Henry’s departure could ease the pressure on the Mike Hosking Breakfast but Mr Currie says, “We’d never consider it a free run and we don’t take the No 1 position lightly.”

As for its other stations, NZME entertainment director Dean Buchanan says ZM has been revamped over the past couple of years so it’s reaching a “tipping point.

“[ZM breakfast hosts] Fletch, Vaughan and Megan grew 31,000 news listeners — the biggest of any breakfast show,” Mr Buchanan says.

“Significantly, in the advertising market, in 18-39 in Auckland, Fletch, Vaughan and Megan beat The Edge Breakfast show. That’s a significant win and really shows the momentum ZM is starting to build.”

MediaWorks’ Mr Wratt says The Rock was the “main mover” of the survey, increasing 1.4% in national share and the Breeze “came out of left field” into third place overall.

See the full survey here.


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13 Comments & Questions

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Playing musical chairs on the deck of the Titanic as she slowly sinks

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Mediaworks should always be ahead nationwide because they have more frequencies and cover more area of NZ! These numbers are so open to interpretation. They should be used very loosely as a guide to what is happening in the market place.

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Does anyone except Media Works give a monkeys, if it disappeared Im sure not many would notice.

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When the only other option was Breakfast on tvnz it wouldn't take long for viewers to lament the moving of Henry.

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For a population of 4.7m Breakfast TVNZ could go too. They keep quoting percentage terms but what are the real viewer numbers, very small I would suggest.

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Although, as I understand it, the number of viewers across 1 and 3 for their respective breakfast shows have grown slightly since the advent of the Paul Henry show, you're still only talking fractionally north of 100k at best. So it's really debatable whether it's a battle worth winning, let alone fighting. The real action for the MediaWorks programme lies in its radio iteration.

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Exactly, how can they actually know apart from a few random surveys how many watch breakfast tv, might find it is like some recent political polls, totally wrong.

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Is anyone doing a collection for Paul Henry?

Steady don't all rush at once.

Let us only hope that NZ media improves. Been tuning in to Al Jazeera heavily to see what they make of the US elections and the fight for Mosul very refreshing all in all.

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Any collection for Henry should be for a one way ticket to some far away place without a PR industry. I for one am fed up with all the PR B/S thrown at us every day. Please GO!

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If Media works thinks Garner can hold the Henry audience then they are drinking far too much wine at lunch time. Garner like his mate Gower spend too much time making themselves the story. They repeat themselves so often listening to them is like an echo chamber. Whilst Henry may not be everyone’s cup of tea you cannot fault his intelligence. Garner does not have the ability to run an AM show. It will become more like Hosking although to give Garner some credit he is not as self absorbed at Hosking

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The Commercial cut is not the complete audience picture, is it. What's happening with Total Radio? Last time we had RNZ measured for the first time at 11.something percent nationally.

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I look forward to the day when both Hosking and Henry...both prize idiots are long gone from any voice or image contact with the rest of the world.
They are an abusive contamination of both air and sound.
What a xmas it would be without either them ever again.

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Are these surveys even relevant? When I listen to the radio (which is not often) I switch between about 9 stations

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