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I'm James Cridland, the radio futurologist.
I’ve just been on holiday to New Zealand. MediaWorks operates the national newstalk
station Radio Live, and I tuned into the morning show, simply called Paul Henry.
With regular news bulletins, guests and interviews, Paul Henry presents the archetypal morning
radio program. He sounds warm and friendly, and has a good rapport with his guests, who
clearly know him well.
The program sounds great. While the station’s on FM throughout much of New Zealand, the
station almost sounds as if it’s on AM - with nice, beefy microphones that give a proper
punchy processed sound that’s warm and easy to listen to. The program has some tight imaging;
news and sports segments are enhanced by actuality and soundbites, and the whole thing sounds
like a really well-produced radio show.
But. I didn’t listen on the radio. I watched the whole thing on
the TV.
AMP also own the national television network TV3, which also takes the Paul Henry show.
This program, which sounds so good on the radio, actually comes from a television studio.
The guests sit round a table, with big chunky microphones in front of them. Those microphones
are the only real visual nod to radio - the studio is brightly lit, and Paul and his guests
mainly use autocue. The news or sports bulletins look, well, like you expect them to look on
the television. You can’t see any evidence of headphones or headsets; the program contains
none of the normal paraphenalia of radio studios.
It was an impressive experience. A telephone interview was excellently handled, with visuals
on the screen while the interview went on. A segment called “The Panel”, which contained
a, um, panel of three commentators, sounded great and looked fantastic. The sports headlines
were covered in a pacy style that worked well in visuals and audio alike. It was clearly
radio-led from an editorial standpoint, but that’s probably no bad thing.
Ultimately, this reflects that breakfast television is mostly listened-to, rather than watched.
Good Morning America or any other typical morning show on the television could make
for a great radio show too. Start watching on the television in the kitchen, and keep
listening on the way to work. It sounds pretty simple to me: so I wonder why it’s so comparatively
This was probably the first time I’ve watched a great radio programme - one that sounded
like a great radio programme, but was on the television. And what a shame that it’s only
available in a tiny country like New Zealand: because MediaWorks are really showing how
to make great use of the content they already have.
So if you ever fancy a holiday, you should probably come over to New Zealand. The beer’s
great, there’s lots to do, and the television has some great radio on it.
You can get my free weekly newsletter at james.crid.land and until next time, keep listening
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New Zealand's Paul Henry - radio on the TV

101 Folder Collection
852 published on December 17, 2017
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