Newshub closure: 'Gutted' staff react to confirmation news operation will close July 5

The presenters of Newshub's TV programmes say they're "gutted" the news outlet will close in July.

Warner Bros. Discovery has confirmed it will close its Newshub news operation as part of a wider restructuring of its New Zealand free-to-air television business which will see nearly 300 roles disappear.

Newshub’s last day will be July 5.

Newshub Live at Six presenter Sam Hayes said she was devastated to be losing something she was passionate about.

"We all love doing the news, and I think all the Newshub staff in there would love to keep doing that."

Her co-host Mike McRoberts said even though the annoucement seemed inevitable there was a still a great sense of loss.

"It is ‘he tangata' the people, who have created and carried the culture of news here at TV3 for more than 35 years and made it the newsroom it is today. I feel so privileged to have worked with such wonderful colleagues.

"So even with an end date in sight I can only look back on my long time here at Three with the greatest aroha and pride,” said McRoberts.

Sports presenter Andrew Gourdie called the decision "sad and surreal."

“The Flower Street newsroom is a special place. For so many people, this place is a second home, a second family. We are all supporting our family today. Amazing people have done incredible work here over the last 35 years – it's incomprehensible to think that will end."

Heather Keats, who is Newshub's weather presenter, expressed her sadness that New Zealanders will lose a key source of information.

"I’m proud of the 5 years I’ve spend with Newshub, and the trust given to me by colleagues and viewers to help navigate big weather events. Media has often been referred to as a sunset industry over the last 2 decades.. it feels like the sun has finally set,” said Keats. 

In a statement, the company confirmed the restructure means the closure of all Newshub’s multi-platform news operations and output, including the Newshub website, AM, Late News as well.

AM presenter Mel Chan-Green paid tribute to the production team and thanked the people who watched the programme.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our AM and Newshub team and the work that we have done.  I am sorry to those loyal viewers who say AM is a reason to get up and out of bed in the morning.  Some very talented people are losing their jobs right across New Zealand in several industries – my heart goes out to everyone in that situation – but on a personal level I’m especially feeling for my friends and colleagues at TV3 and TVNZ today.”  

Lloyd Burr joined that show this year as her co-host and said he felt he had been "finally hitting my stride".

"I'm gutted. The AM programme is a lean, mean, morning telly machine and I feel like I'm finally hitting my stride. We are all gutted," he said.

Newshub Late host Rebecca Wright said it was a tough day for the newsroom and for New Zealand.

"What we do is walk alongside people in those big moments where they need a voice, or we try and get accountability from politicians or people in power. The value of what we do is in the peoples stories we can tell, and we’re losing a place and a platform where that can happen today” said Wright. 

Award-winning broadcaster Patrick Gower said the company needed "a lifeline" as 250 "amazing people" had lost their jobs.

"Newshub is full of amazing people and is capable of doing amazing things for New Zealand. New Zealand needs Newshub - it is a taonga," he said.

"We need a lifeline. We know there are talks going on with outside companies, we need the deal to be done and some of the magic of Newshub can be saved."

Reports emerged this week that WBD may consider outsourcing production of a 6pm news bulletin for Three and ThreeNow.

However, during Wednesday's meeting with impacted staff, Glen Kyne, Senior Vice President, Head of Networks, Warner Bros. Discovery ANZ said there was currently "no deal" on the cards.

"As we said from the beginning, our door has been open to listening to all internal and external feedback and ideas, and we will continue to do so. However, as of now, no deal regarding news output has been made," he said.

Reporter Michael Morrah, who helped lead a sub-committee that offered an alternative proposal to WBD, said "it was devastating to hear that none of that feedback carried weight".

"We worked extremely hard on the proposal, and tried to get as much information and make suitable cutbacks that we thought might pique their interest. And we're absolutely gutted that they've ultimately decided against adopting our proposal."