What’s up with Freed update

Last month I showed that Freed seemed to have stalled in What’s up with Freed? Since then nothing seems to have changed with no updates on their website and no further updates on their Facebook page.

And while Freed comes up in comments at Whale Oil there are no responses from Cameron Slater or Pete Belt. The WO plebs are whistling in the wind.

But there is one interesting piece of additional information, via a response to this comment here from Missy:

About three months ago, my sister applied for the job as Receptionist with Freed, and despite her impeccable credentials, she didn’t even get the courtesy of a reply.

Kim has just added here:

It must be a small world! I applied for a junior reporter job with Freed at the end of 2014. I did get a Skype interview with Cameron Slater and a man by the name of Regan Cunliffe. I had a Skype interview because I am based in Sydney.

After that I was much the same as your sister. I never heard anything further from them. My curiosity got the better of me today so I decided to look into what’s happened with Freed because I was unaware if they just didn’t hire me or what.

From what I’ve seen it seems like it didn’t go ahead. If they contact me again about a job I don’t know if I’ll take it. Sounds dodgy

Slater’s involvement on Freed is we’ll known. It’s also well known that Regan Cunliffe had an interest.

But this is the first time I’ve heard that Slater and Cunliffe were directly involved in the recruitment process.

I don’t know what Cunliffe would be like but Slater has proven to be very selective about who comments on Whale Oil, and has proven to protect his messages via censorship.

Cunliffe runs the very popular Throng television site.


Throng Media is a new media company based in New Zealand which operates online communities serving the production, broadcast and viewing of television in New ZealandAustraliaCanada and the UK.

Throng Media was established in December 2006, following on from the highly successful, award-winning Idolblog.com; a niche site dedicated to commentary on the Idol franchise.

Each website within the Throng Media network is a single, stand-alone site that provides producers and broadcasters of television in each territory with the opportunity to connect with viewers in a neutral social networking environment. Producers, broadcasters and their publicity and PR representatives either publish their own content or submit it to our team for publication. If you’re a production company or broadcaster and would like your press releases, news or weekly highlights published by us, pleasecontact us.

Readers are invited, and encouraged, to participate in conversation about television shows and general television industry news as well as become members and contribute their own commentary and opinion on their own Throng blog.

More than 350,000 people visit the Throng Media network every month.

Cunliffe got some profile (along with Slater) in NZ Herald’s In bed with the bloggers (in February last year, before Freed was announced):

The big fish in the very small pond of blog commerce is Regan Cunliffe, from the Throng television blog. He also brokers ad sales for Geekzone, Kiwiblog and Whale Oil. Most successfully, he ran one for a commercial cleaning company: “Whale Oil dishes the dirt, we clean it up.”

But let us be clear: for all their posturing, the bloggers have only a fraction of the readership of the “old media” they so disdain, and that is reflected in their revenue. Of an estimated $2.2 billion spent on advertising in New Zealand last year, Cunliffe says barely $500,000 would have been spent on blogs – about 0.02 per cent of the total.

It is also because advertisers don’t want their brand tainted by obnoxious negativity. After reading on Whale Oil last month that a West Coast car crash victim was “feral” and “deserved to die”, would consumers feel in the sort of warm, upbeat mood that sends them down to the nearest mall to do some shopping for barbecues and summer frocks? They’d be more likely to go shopping for a gun.

“The big agencies don’t book blogs,” says Cunliffe. “They’re terrified of having their brand associated with content that is often derogatory of politicians and people.”

The blogs’ time will come, he says, and advertisers will recognise they provide access to a small but important readership. “The type of people who are reading these blogs are incredibly influential, and have deep pockets. I mean, the Prime Minister has come out this month and said, ‘I read Whale Oil.’ These blogs are functioning on the smell of an oily rag.

Can you imagine how devastating Cameron Slater would be with a bit of money in his pocket?”

Not very devastating if that money burns a big hole in Slater’s pocket and his grand new media plan stalls.

Leave a comment


  1. Dogbreath

     /  15th April 2015

    Just picking up on the comment bloggers only have a fraction of the readership this is precisely why I thought Dirty Politics was a politically motivated piece of nonsense. The thought that somehow voters were being significantly influenced by WO was nonsense the vast majority of NZ’rs had never heard of WO until Nicky Hager’s book and even post the books release the WO readership was limited to a niche market, hardly a huge influence on the election outcome; hardly a conspiracy of the scale claimed in Dirty Politics. Of much greater concern was the media and those on the left who choose this insignificant book as a weapon to bring down one of the most successful governments this country has seen in a long long time, that was the scandal and I am sure there was a conspiracy in behind all of those efforts which appeared way to organised to be considered a random event.

  2. Missy

     /  15th April 2015

    Just one slight correction Pete, the first comment was from Miss Moneypenny. 😄

  3. Karen

     /  15th April 2015

    Freed is just the latest proclamation from whaleoil that has come to nought. When challenged in the past Pete arrogantly says they can change their minds without explanation if they choose. There have been heaps of claims and promises over the years including the fact that all those involved in Dirty Politics would be in jail. Yeah right. All the same I see that today Mr Slater is taking credit for John Campbell’s demise. A bit far fetched if you ask me but he’s put it out there.

    • Sponge

       /  15th April 2015

      “All the same I see that today Mr Slater is taking credit for John Campbell’s demise”

      I went and had a look at WO after seeing your comment above. The hubris is just breathtaking in that post.

      Even if what he says is true (and I have no idea on this – it could well be because as far as I know while he may exaggerate, he does not tell outright lies) to post about it like that is poisoning your own well.

      Who at Mediaworks (or anywhere else for that matter) would now be prepared to consult with him after he posts details about what was discussed in a presumably private meeting on his website?

  4. Mike C

     /  15th April 2015

    It’s quite clear that the Freed website had the kai-bosh put on it by one or more of Slaters fellow investors.

    The fact that Slater did not even have the decency and courtesy to reply to the job applicants, has confirmed what a rude fucking unprofessional disrespectful prick Slater is.

    • But Mike, remember that Cam does whatever he wants, whenever he wants to, and answers to no-one.

      All I can say is, good luck running a business with that attitude.


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