TVNZ7's last days are fast approaching, but its beloved Media7 got a reprieve yesterday when its move to TV3 was confirmed.
Thanks to NZ On Air funding and support from MediaWorks, the new show – to be known as Media3 – is getting a Saturday morning slot, with an encore screening late on Sunday evenings. It will also be available on demand online.
NZ On Air has doled out nearly $500,000 for 20 half-hour episodes, according to the NBR.
“We are thrilled to support this excellent programme,” said NZ On Air Chief executive Jane Wrightson.
“Host Russell Brown and the team already enjoy a dedicated following and we are delighted that TV3 has chosen to extend their schedules even further by adding this series”.
On his blog, Brown wrote: "Obviously, the whole team is extremely pleased, not just for the obvious reason – it's good to have a job – but also because this is a validation of what we've done these past five years."
He thanked TVNZ execs for being "hugely supportive" of Media7, as well as saying, "I think we're going to fit in well at TV3."
MediaWorks acting director of programming Mark Caulton had this to say: "It is an ideal addition to the thought-provoking programming we have developed for our weekend schedule, such as The Nation, Three60 and Think Tank."
As for TVNZ7, its fate looks to be sealed come June 30 when the channel is switched off.
"Media7 becoming Media3 is brilliant news," said Myles Thomas of Save TVNZ 7.
"Non-commercial and public service television channels make ideal breeding grounds for innovative programmes like Media7. It's great to see the programme continue beyond the impending death of TVNZ 7.
"We just hope that the shows reborn out of TVNZ 7's unfortunate demise get aired in primetime where audiences can enjoy them."