Media: Judges' decisions are final

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Partisan passions look set to flow alongside the champers at the Qantas Television Awards ceremony on November 24.

Viewers are turning off the news but competition between the TV One and TV3 newsrooms is turning up the heat as ratings rivalry turns into a kudos fest.

Last year one or two TVNZ award winners sniped about the lack of kudos given their programmes in awards dominated by TV3 shows such as Outrageous Fortune.

TVNZ seems better represented in drama and other entertainment categories this year. But sparks have been flying over the list of finalists in awards for news and current affairs programmes.

TVNZ produced much more news and current affairs than TV3 but was left out of three main news and current affairs categories.

All the more galling is that it's TVNZ's turn to screen the awards this year.

TVNZ chief executive Rick Ellis is understood to have made his view clear.

Broadcasting industry sources said that Ellis passed on his views - in heartfelt terms - to Brent Impey chief executive of MediaWorks and TV3.

The awards are an important part of the TV networks' marketing campaigns. There is the annual nonsense where One News and TV3 compete for the title best news show although to be fair Prime has its own low budget news bulletins now.

It is a bit like a Humanity Awards show with a prize for best gender.

Ellis was unavailable for comment and TVNZ declined to approach him for confirmation.

In best news reporting 3 News items had a clean sweep of three finalists, and 3's Campbell Live is a finalist for best daily current affairs reporting.

TVNZ also missed out as a finalist in nominations for best current affairs series against TV3's Campbell Live, 60 Minutes and Maori Television's Native Affairs.

Awards organisers say that judges were chosen because they were not connected to the networks and said they had heard no gripes about finalists.

There are some people's choice awards and organisers say the judges choices - on finalists and final winners - are final.

Nice promotion, but ...

Fuji-Xerox came up a clever promotional idea with posters personalised with the names of business journalists inserted as brand names. Posters featured their names as burger brands on doctored images on back of bus advertising, and advertising coffee on roadside boards. It was a smart idea appealing to print journos' desperate - or at least secret - wish to see their name in lights, and ensure a second glance. One thing though - and we are loathe to cast stones as typos do happen - it was a pity that two of the three Business Herald journos given posters had their names misspelled. Yours truly was dubbed John Drinan and Simon Hendery became Simon Henry.

DDB to Wedde new partner

DDB Australia and New Zealand chairman Marty O'Halloran yesterday named Simon Wedde as a "managing partner" in the company alongside Sandy Moore and Scott Wallace. Wedde moves from his own agency Zephyr WPD to take up the DDB role next Monday. The changes coincide with the departure last week of Sharon Henderson - one of a handful of women in top advertising jobs - who has left to spend more time with her family.

DDB said another managing partner was being recruited as the company returns to the structure it had when it was run by O'Halloran. Under the new set up O'Halloran remains in overall charge with veteran New Zealand executive Sandy Moore overseeing the Group agencies with Wedde and DDB Advertising adman Scott Wallace.

There have been idle tealeaf readings O'Halloran could break with tradition and appoint a creative executive to the top management of the company, speculation compounded by the fact that one of O'Halloran's favourite admen, Paul Catmur, recently resigned from his role as Australian and New Zealand executive creative director for Y&R.

Catmur is leaving after less than a year and is now between jobs and enjoying springtime fishing back in New Zealand.

O'Halloran discovered Catmur, nurturing him to a point where he oversaw some of DDB's most enduring creative content. But when O'Halloran was promoted to run Australia and New Zealand, Catmur had an uncomfortable rapport with Henderson.

Catmur left for Y&R and Sandy Moore was installed above Henderson.

Making Catmur a partner would be a brave move. Like a lot of creatives he has an individualistic streak. The role of creative executive and corporate partner are so different. DDB's current executive creative director is Toby Talbot, Catmur's equal, some say better.

Some wonder if Catmur could find a new role with Publicis Mojo, whose executive creative director Nick Worthington is moving to Colenso BBDO.

Slim holiday pickings

One of the joys of visiting Britain has always been the extraordinary quality of its media. However, during a recent holiday break there, I was underwhelmed.

The internet means easier access to overseas media but the overriding impression was that there were slim pickings - an awful lot of content but not much that stood out.

In newspapers the big scrap was the battle of the giveaways between Murdoch's London Paper and Associated Newspapers' London Lite, while the BBC debate had echoes of TVNZ. The Beeb is laying off news staff to supports its new digital channels on its expanding Freeview digital platform.

Jewels of original unique British programming were few and far between. The one standout was The Mighty Boosh.

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