MediaWorks cancels Three show New Zealand Today, cuts back 7 Days

Guy Williams in the New Zealand Today episode on 'Flat Earth' believers.
Guy Williams in New Zealand Today. Photo credit: MediaWorks

Three's comedy show New Zealand Today with Guy Williams has been cancelled, while 7 Days is being significantly cut back in 2020.

The shows, which are owned by Newshub parent MediaWorks, have been cut as the TV industry in Aotearoa faces pressure in the form of audience migration and revenue decline.

"7 Days is an integral and much valued part of the Three brand and for New Zealand, it is a local comedy institution. The talent both behind and in front of the camera are simply best in class," a MediaWorks spokesperson said.

"Unfortunately, like all free to air content, it is not immune to the pressure we all face as industry in protecting and enhancing New Zealand and New Zealand stories on screen.

"For next year, we have decided to rest the show for the first part of the year returning it in the back half of 2020 for a 12 episode run - timed around the NZ and US elections."

Williams' new show is said to be regarded as "a huge success", particularly online where its clips are widely shared - but it is facing the same industry pressure.

"NZ Today has been a great performer for Three and we have been thrilled with the response to it," a MediaWorks spokesperson said.

"However, in the same vein as our decision with 7 Days, we have had to make a tough call. Unfortunately this means we will not be renewing it for next year."

Williams provided a statement to The Spinoff, described by the website as "funny and sad".

"With New Zealand Today, I finally think: 'Man this is actually really good!' And I'm cancelled!? I owe a lot to TV3 and this was kind of my chance to pay them back," he said.

Mediaworks is not the only media company coming under pressure. TVNZ, which is wholly owned by the Government, earlier this year announced it would no longer return a dividend, and is forecasting a $17m loss next year.

Digital and print giant Stuff has not been able to find a buyer and NZME is currently facing a newsroom restructure designed to improve efficiency and reduce cost.