Blog description.

Accentuating the Liberal in Classical Liberal: Advocating Ascendency of the Individual & a Politick & Literature to Fight the Rise & Rise of the Tax Surveillance State. 'Illigitum non carborundum'.

Liberty and freedom are two proud words that have been executed from the political lexicon: they were frog marched and stood before a wall of blank minds, then forcibly blindfolded, and shot, with the whimpering staccato of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ resounding over and over. And not only did this atrocity go unreported by journalists in the mainstream media, they were in the firing squad.

The premise of this blog is simple: the Soviets thought they had equality, and welfare from cradle to grave, until the illusory free lunch of redistribution took its inevitable course, and cost them everything they had. First to go was their privacy, after that their freedom, then on being ground down to an equality of poverty only, for many of them their lives as they tried to escape a life behind the Iron Curtain. In the state-enforced common good, was found only slavery to the prison of each other's mind; instead of the caring state, they had imposed the surveillance state to keep them in line. So why are we accumulating a national debt to build the slave state again in the West? Where is the contrarian, uncomfortable literature to put the state experiment finally to rest?

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Market Rationale for Keeping Campbell Live Alive - Open Letter (Of Sorts) to Julie Christie and Mark Weldon

Written quickly ...

Mediaworks review of its 7.00pm mainstay current affairs program, Campbell Live, shows shallow reality-TV minds are sadly in ascendency at that company, with little understanding of markets and long term profitability.

Building a viable advertising base is not ‘only’ about ratings, surely, it’s about building diversity to reflect and keep a diverse audience, because not all advertisers want to advertise to Jono and Ben’s audience, whom are mooted to be the replacement show. To the programming architects of Mediaworks, Christie and Weldon: all TV has damn near lost our household, and thus so have TV advertisers. We watch the 6.00pm news, the two 7.00pm current affairs shows, Sunday, and oftentimes Native Affairs, also Graham Norton over a Friday night bottle of wine or three, but nothing else. Reality TV bores us witless and has taken our evenings back to books, Internet and DVDs. (Sometimes Mrs and H and I even talk to each other). I bet we are not alone: there will be a huge number of ‘us’ who are being switched off. I think Christie/Weldon are destroying Mediawork's future by taking the quick bucks from an immature reality TV, and forgetting we all grow up and want actual satisfying content that entertains and feeds our souls and intellects.

If I was an advertiser of anything other than junk food and Briscoes, I would be concerned about the mono-culture all TV now largely caters for (and has created by short term ratings-think). Personally I’m starved of arts and literature content, there is no longer a single show on the fine arts and the written arts, thus, and sorry, add to my evenings above, I get same now by listening to huge dollops of streaming BBC3 and BBC4. There is no reason for any New Zealand TV advertiser doing business in those fields - and that's a wide range of business from arts and entertainment to restaurants - to spend the marketing budget on TV. Say there is finally, again, a book show, then it may not get huge ratings, but it will get an audience that is different to the reality TV munters, which still won’t be ‘small’, and thus an opportunity for a different range of advertisers.

All businesspeople understand the strength of diversity, and the fallout of servicing a single client category when the model changes. But TV, both private and state, doesn’t seem to ‘get it’.

Also, given that ratings seem to be the main player here – I’ll deal with politics shortly - how do ratings work? Via MySky technology I watch both competing TV3 and TV1 shows in that 7.00pm timeslot: I watch Seven Sharp because I like Hoskings and that show’s lighter fare, and I watch Campbell because it tackles the more serious issues in depth and John is a likable guy, doing good works (eg, the current fund raising for Vanuatu). But how does ratings cover that? If I was one of the ones in the ratings mix – and I don’t know a single person who is: who are they? – then I suspect only the show I watch ‘live’ would count? If so, what poppycock. That would be a meaningless statistic.

Regardless, finally a personal note. It has also been suggested via the Herald that part of the problem is Christie and Weldon don’t like Campbell Live because of its anti-government slant: um, that’s not a criteria for programming. If this seriously is the case, then those two should be looking for new jobs tomorrow. John Campbell and I would largely be political adversaries – read my blog - but John’s show is class, depth television even if I don’t hold with some of its sometimes advocacy. Albeit noting that even political adversaries have commonalities: as a Christchurchian through the quakes thank God for Campbell Live which has been the only TV source rightly trying to foot trip the politicians with transparency, and John and I see eye to eye, exactly, on animal welfare. Because we are all different, there are many similarities across political identifications.

Plus another anomaly: unsurprisingly I’ve read Campbell Live is popular with the advertisers, so this review becomes more ‘worrisome’ indicating credence to the political motivations.

If Campbell Live is ditched then in my opinion Mediaworks deserves its often dalliances with bankruptcy; indeed, it probably explains them. Perhaps your past problems, Ms Christie and Mr Weldon, are because your programming is creating a mono-market of mainly teenagers – who don’t, incidentally, spend the ‘big’ money – and you are destroying a diverse market that represents a diverse content starved population, and thus are restricting yourselves to a narrowing range of advertisers who find TV relevant to them anymore.

To John Campbell and crew: keep your peckers up, I still believe intelligence and ‘actual content’ wins the long game, despite generation airhead in charge of your employer.


  1. ... class, depth television...

    That makes two things we disagree about. Like JK or not, I like the fact that the market's customers will dictate what they will pay for.


    1. I'm not saying otherwise.

      But the market, me, is also allowed to protest about 'what' we want.

      And also, as here, to point out a long term profitable approach is not to create a watching mono-culture, but to appeal to many different segments, thus advertisers.

  2. Hi Mark

    The truth is that in a population of just over 4M there may not be room for three profitable domestic TV channels that are also competing with SkyTV who claim 48% household penetration and an audience market share approaching 30%.

    In this competitive commercial environment, something has to give and I suspect it will eventually be TV3. And then who would even notice let alone lament its demise other than its shareholders at Mediaworks?

    We are moving from an environment where media companies dictate what we watch and when, to a consumer driven on-demand service environment that is delivered over a variety of meida, in which TV represents a declining market share.

    And then who of us with mySky even watches advertisements? Isn’t that what the FF button is for?

    John Campbell is one of many good broadcasters, and no doubt he will find a new home should his show be axed. That said, I probably have only ever watched him less than a dozen times ever, and that mainly when he was dealing with Christchurch earthquake issues.

    Eventually we reach an age where constant onscreen emoting and human angst ceases to pass for entertainment, news or current affairs, especially when it is there simply to fill the space between advertisements.

    We are all better off without it.

    1. Yes and no.

      As stated, I've largely stopped watching.

      Wish we did have some decent arts programming though.

      Back to my book.

  3. I didn't watch it but I'm sad to see it go. Says it all really.

    I'm sure some programs are kept on because of their niche market appeal, but probably not in the prime slots.

    1. News gets worse. It's looking to be replaced with yet another pointless soap opera.

    2. As someone who rarely watches any TV at all, I can't really comment. But it seems that all the channels are competing for the same market, which as you say may not be the best long term strategy. That said, increasing choice begets increased insularity-its the same with blogs, like minds tend to hang together and don't get exposed to contrary views.