Weldon and Ralston on Barry’s resignation

The official word from MediaWorks boss Mark Weldon on Hillary Barry’s resignation:

“On behalf of MediaWorks, I want to thank and pay tribute to Hilary. She is a brilliant broadcaster, highly respected journalist and much-loved personality, who will be missed by myself, colleagues and audiences.

“She started with TV3 as a news reporter in Christchurch in 1993 and has become one of New Zealand’s favourite personalities on television and radio.
“This was a personal decision made by Hilary. We are disappointed to lose her but also acknowledge that, after 23 years, it’s very reasonable she might wish to make a change. So, we respect her decision, thank her for her enormous contribution, and wish her the very best.

“She leaves the company on a high, with Paul Henry and Newshub Live at 6pm both performing extremely well.”

Time will tell whether they continue to perform as well without Hilary.

NBR quotes Bill Ralston on the resignation:

Former TVNZ head of news and current affairs Bill Ralston tells NBR that Ms Barry’s departure “Is going to have a huge impact. She’s a superb talent. Probably one of the best newsreaders in the country if not the best and it’s a massive blow.”

He adds, “She’s the old TV3. She’s lost Mark Jennings who was her boss and a mentor. She’s lost a lot of friends from the current affairs show [3D] that basically got sacked. John Campbell, she was cut up about that when he went; I think she’d just had enough.”

This is from Speculation over Hilary Barry’s next move

Could Ms Barry turn up at TVNZ?

“I wouldn’t be surprised, but it’s a matter of where they put her,” Mr Ralston says.

“If they put her into the six o’clock news, that means they have to move Wendy Petrie and we could have a replay of the John Hawkesby thing. They could have her on the weekends as a way of easing her in.”

Who could replace Ms Barry on TV3 and RadioLive?

“Only Heather du Plessis-Allan,” Mr Ralson says.

“And that would leave a big hole in their seven o’clock show. So they’ve got a real problem there. They’ve got other news readers, but no one of her stature — and I mean that kindly, because they’ve got some good young news readers – but there’s no one of her stature to replace her from within.

“From without, I’m scratching my head to think who they could bring in.”

Why is news presentation apparently so reliant on the newsreaders? Should a change of newsreader matter?

The thing I liked about Barry was she was relatively unobtrusive and didn’t appear ego driven or self opinionated.

It shouldn’t matter that Barry is going from Newshub and from the Paul Henry Show.

What will matter (for Newshub) is who she is replaced with.

du Plessis-Allan is someone who likes to be more prominent in her presentations, she would have to learn to not be the focus of the news, as would anyone who replaces Hilary.

UPDATE: Duncan Grieve at The Spinoff on Why Hilary Barry’s resignation is the climax of TV3’s red wedding

The shock resignation of Hilary Barry from Mediaworks represents a bigger blow than any of the other high profile TV3 newsroom departures, says Duncan Greive.

Last night, just before 9pm, news broke that Hilary Barry had become the latest and biggest casualty of the Mark Weldon era at Mediaworks. It’s a cataclysmic event for the organisation, a multi-pronged nightmare with implications stretching from dawn to dusk and across all platforms.

Barry is the most universally beloved figure in New Zealand television, a woman who managed to embody everything TV3’s brand once stood for – smart, funny and relatable in a way that TVNZ’s slightly aloof figures have struggled to match.

Yet if the rumours of her recruitment to One are true – and it seems near-certain – then this is one of the most audacious and admirably ruthless coups in recent broadcast history.

12 Comments

  1. Zedd

     /  30th April 2016

    maybe she has seen the ‘smoke from a distant fire’ ?

  2. jamie

     /  30th April 2016

    “Why is news presentation apparently so reliant on the newsreaders? Should a change of newsreader matter?”

    It really shouldn’t, and as Paul Holmes discovered to his embarrassment (when he assumed “his” viewers would follow him to Prime news) it really doesn’t.

    However too many people have too much invested in pretending it does matter, and as it happens they are the ones telling the story.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  30th April 2016

      There is a distinction between the news and programs that are more personal and individual interpretation of it. In the latter it does matter. Not sure Barry is in that category.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  30th April 2016

        I’m not, either. The problem with such programmes is that the presenters tend to think that they are the programme-which is why, apart from Antiques Roadshow, I only watch the news (and an odd nature programme)

  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  30th April 2016

    Reading the news is not as easy as it looks; I remember when Lorelei Mason did it and made an embarrassing hash of it.I have done it on a radio station and was surprised to find that it was harder than I thought it would be,although I was all right at it as I am used to reading aloud in front of people. But the news is the news. As long as the person is competent, it doesn’t matter much who they are. A week is an awfully long time in television. Remember when One cut the ridiculously high salaries of people like Paul Holmes andJudy Bailey ? Paul Holmes stamped his wee feet and threatened to go to Australia if his wasn’t restored-it wasn’t and he didn’t. I’d forgotten his Prime debacle 🙂 I rememberSimon wossname also threatening to leave if his pay was cut; it was and he didn’t.

    • Gezza

       /  30th April 2016

      The Dallow fellow? He’s been a stalwart for a long time. His ex Alison Mau reckons he’s highly intelligent. Fluent in te reo as well so I give him full marks for that.

      • Nelly Smickers

         /  30th April 2016

        All very well for his ex Alison Mau to say, “how intelligent he was…….blah blah blah”

        Wayne still reckons he needs to hand in his man-card 😛

  4. David

     /  30th April 2016

    She is a very good news reader but she hasn’t just been diagnosed with something terminal, media people are forever swapping around and she will easily be replaced by someone else and not missed, lets face it she had an ever dwindling audience.

  5. Therese

     /  30th April 2016

    Pls dont replace her with du plessis allen. That would not be right. DPA needs some growing up before she can do big shows like Paul Henry or the news at any hour. For goodness’ sake she struggles with Story – making it her own little story every nite. News is not about you but about … well… news!

  6. patupaiarehe

     /  30th April 2016

    I’m sure the irony of this isn’t lost on anyone…
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11631558
    The Herald hassling others about poor spelling? Oh Puhleez!!! 😀

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  30th April 2016

      “Spelt her name wrong in the subject line.” Naturally the Herald sees no problem with that grammatical blunder.

      Nor need to note the correct spelling in the text as quoted in both the Herald and NBR:

      “After a distinguished career with MediaWorks spanning 23 years, Newshub at 6pm and Paul Henry Presenter Hilary Barry has decided to leave the company. On behalf of MediaWorks, I want to thank and pay tribute to Hilary.”

      • patupaiarehe

         /  30th April 2016

        Exactly Alan. If I could be bothered wasting a few bucks on tomorrows Herald, I suspect I would have something to chuckle over before getting to page 4. If their past efforts are anything to go by…..