Newshub decision to be announced today, TVNZ Sunday staff to learn results of consultation

Staff at Newshub will learn their fate on Wednesday at 11am after parent company Warner Bros. Discovery announced five weeks ago it was proposing to shut down all Newshub's operations on June 30.

That included the shuttering of its flagship 6pm bulletin presented by Samantha Hayes and Mike McRoberts.

It could result in the loss of 300 jobs across the company as part of a wider proposal that would dramatically reduce the amount of local content seen on Three and its streaming platform, ThreeNow.

If confirmed, the change would end nearly 35 years of news broadcasts on Three. It would also see the closure of Newshub's online operation, which is currently New Zealand's third-largest news website.

Head of WBD's Asia Pacific operations James Gibbons pointed to a dramatic and sustained fall in television advertising as the reason for the proposal when it was announced on February 28.

Newshub's meeting follows TVNZ on Tuesday confirming its long-running consumer affairs TV show Fair Go will be dumped as part of a cost-cutting proposal which would result in the loss of 68 jobs. 

The proposed cost-saving cuts at the state-owned broadcaster was first revealed last month, just days after Warner Bros. Discovery announced its own proposal.

TVNZ will also discontinue 1 News' Midday and Tonight bulletins, which will finish mid-May, the state broadcaster announced.

However, the company revealed on Tuesday that as part of the next stage of consultation it is "proposing a new team to be established as part of its News and Current Affairs function, with a specific focus on long-form consumer and current affairs for TVNZ’s digital platforms. If confirmed, this would result in the creation of four new roles."

The show's producers said it was "important Fair Go still be there to fight for New Zealanders, so keep writing in and we'll update you when we can".

"We've looked at a problem - and with TVNZ - we think we've found a solution," a post on Fair Go's Facebook page said. No further details have been revealed.

TVNZ also reported meetings were held with the youth-oriented news team Re: News on Tuesday afternoon.

On Wednesday at 1pm, it is believed the state broadcaster will meet with staff from the current affairs programme Sunday to discuss its fate. An all-staff meeting is to be held at 2.30pm where confirmation of the results of the consultation will be made public to the wider teams.

As for the future of Newshub, The Spinoff founder Duncan Greive told RNZ on Wednesday he deemed it "reasonably likely" that Stuff, NZME or Sky Television could produce a TV bulletin (using Newshub staff) and then sell it back to Warner Bros. Discovery.

"You'd expect them all to be looking pretty hard at but it will come down to probably who will give the sharpest price," Greive said.

However, he added he did not expect that resulting bulletin to resemble the current Newshub operation as a vastly scaled back service which would still result in major job losses.

"The current status is uneconomic for Warner Bros. Discovery and for anyone to take it over they're going to have to be delivering for a tiny fragment of the current cost," he said.