TVNZ’s head of news and current affairs Anthony Flannery has said in the past that Breakfast’s popularity comes down to a good combination of “light and shade”. And the balance will be tipped in favour of light come September 3 when a new Saturday edition of the show co-presented by Rawdon Christie and Toni Street is launched.
The show, which will be broadcast between 7-9am, will be an extension of the regular Monday to Friday Breakfast format and will replace the Best of Breakfast highlights programme that currently airs on Saturday mornings.
“Underpinned by a strong news focus, the show will also cover lifestyle, entertainment and sports, topics of special interest after the working week is over,” Flannery said. “It will be a great start to the weekend for viewers, before they get on with their shopping or kids’ sport.”
Since the new team took over, TVNZ has pushed the fact that ratings for the show have remained stable and in some cases exceeded the Paul and Pippa years. But in the past year Breakfast has slipped from 194,690 all people 5+ last August, to 154,950 in February, to 137,570 in July. Of course, TV3′s morning news show Firstline came along in March and its ratings for this July were 31,500.
In April, there was a bit of argy bargy between the two duelling broadcasters about the success or otherwise of the two morning shows.
MediaWorks said Firstline was off to an outstanding start since launching on March 7, with an average 12.1 percent share in 25-54s and 900,000 people aged 5+ tuning in to watch the show so far. It claimed Breakfast’s share was down 11 percent compared to the previous four weeks since Firstline launched.
Not content to sit back and have tomatoes hurled, however, TVNZ responded to MediaWorks’ claims with a swift ratings rebuttal, questioning the use of reach in its Firstline numbers and claiming a decrease in viewers for Breakfast was within the margin of error.