Cue TV to close after 19 years on air

One of the country's longest-running regional TV broadcasters is going off the air for good.

Invercargill-based Cue TV will cease transmission in 10 days' time after 19 years of reporting the news.

It has long been a training ground for young crews, but there is still a future for some staff.

Cue TV says a lack of support from Southland businesses has forced it to pull the plug on its broadcast operations.

"Sentiment doesn't pay invoices, and unfortunately it had to be a pragmatic approach," says Cue TV managing director Tom Conroy. "If there is a regret, it is that Southland will lose this facility."

The station launched in 1996 as Mercury Television, broadcasting local news and other programming to the Invercargill market.

It was also a television training ground and 3 News sports reporter Shaun Summerfield was among the channel's early stars.

In 2003 it was rebranded as Southland TV, going nationwide on the Sky platform, with educational programming added to the schedule in a joint venture with the Southern Institute of Technology.

"I think there's been some fantastic highlights," says Mr Conroy. "I think telling Southland stories beyond the region rebounds to the rest of the nation."

Mr Conroy and Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt also talked their way to a Guinness world record, thanks to a 26-hour nonstop TV interview.

Mr Shadbolt says he is disappointed to lose the local voice.

"They've been a great asset to the city. They make elections around here very exciting and of course we've got our own City Talk programme," he says.

Mr Conroy won't say how many jobs will be lost, but the business will continue as a production house, making shows for the national broadcasters along with doing corporate work.

3 News

source: newshub archive