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Newshub staff sent email inviting them to Tuesday meeting for update on business

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Newshub staff have been summoned to attend a meeting on Tuesday for an “important business update”.

Newhub reported tonight that staff were sent an email this evening asking them to gather in the newsroom tomorrow for an announcement from senior vice president and head of networks at Warner Bros. Discovery ANZ, Glen Kyne.

It comes after Warner Bros. Discovery confirmed in a meeting last week it still couldn’t make Newshub work.

The final Newshub at 6pm bulletin is scheduled for Friday, July 5. The closure includes the Newshub website and up to 300 job losses.

A Newshub worker said confirmation of the closure, made at the Dalmation Hall meeting in Auckland’s Eden Terrace and via Zoom, had been met with silence initially. “Inevitable but gutting,” they said.

Newshub staffers head to last week's meeting at Dalmation Hall. Photo / Alex Burton
Newshub staffers head to last week’s meeting at Dalmation Hall. Photo / Alex Burton

The meeting lasted about 20 minutes.

Speaking after the 11am meeting where Newshub’s closure and other production cuts at Three were confirmed, host Mike McRoberts said companies come and go but he will miss the people who created the broadcaster’s legacy.

“I really feel for everyone today, past and present who have given so much for 35 years to the news service,” McRoberts said.

Warner Bros. Discovery has been in a five-week consultation period with staff after announcing the proposed closure of Newshub – including its 6pm news bulletin, website and entire newsroom – originally planned for late June. The American media giant has also proposed production cutbacks which will affect many popular local shows, including The Traitors, The Block NZ and Married at First Sight NZ.

Newshub's Patrick Gower speaks to media following the confirmation of the broadcaster's closure. Photo / Alex Burton
Newshub’s Patrick Gower speaks to media following the confirmation of the broadcaster’s closure. Photo / Alex Burton

There has been a glimmer of hope that news content might remain on Warner Bros. Discovery’s Three channel – either in the form of a pared-back news service offered by a rival media organisation or if the company adopts any part of at least two staff proposals, including one led by senior investigations reporter Michael Morrah.

A few hours after Newshub’s meeting, Television New Zealand (TVNZ) announced its current affairs show, Sunday, had been cancelled and will end mid-May, along with TVNZ 1′s Midday and Tonight bulletins and the terrestrial broadcast version of consumer affairs show Fair Go. The latter will continue digitally in a reduced format.

It means around 350 jobs will be cut across both broadcasters, in what Broadcasting Minister Melissa Lee described as a “terrible day” for news.

TVNZ CEO Jodie O’Donnell. Photo / Dean Purcell
TVNZ CEO Jodie O’Donnell. Photo / Dean Purcell

TVNZ proposed to cut up to 68 roles and four programmes on March 7, eliciting disappointment from staff, their union and the public.

The loss of news and current affairs shows concerned many, with some worrying about how it would affect wider society – particularly given TVNZ’s announcement came a week after its only competitor, Newshub, revealed it would close by the end of June.

TVNZ chief executive Jodi O’Donnell couldn’t rule out cutting other shows like Shortland Street either, saying during the initial announcement that the broadcaster was “looking at everything”.

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