Breakfast TV battle back on

By Bevan Hurley

Rachel Smalley. Photo / Robert Trathen
Rachel Smalley. Photo / Robert Trathen

The TV breakfast war is back on - TV3 is resurrecting its morning news show with a hard-hitting 2 hour bulletin every week day.

The Rachel Smalley-fronted Firstline, which starts tomorrow, will be modelled on rolling 24-hour news channels such as CNN and BBC World.

TV3 head of news and current affairs Mark Jennings fired the first potshot at TVOne rival Breakfast when he said his channel had identified a gap in the market for "serious news viewers".

"You are not going to see the fluff that other early morning offerings have."

Jennings said the show would have 10 fulltime journalists and producers.

The show was to start in April - a year after the demise of predecessor Sunrise - but has been brought forward after TV3 began broadcasting morning bulletins during the Christchurch earthquake.

It will be a combination of live interviews, overnight news from around the world, and a preview of the day's events.

Former Nightline host Smalley was confident Firstline would hold its own against Breakfast.

TVNZ news chief Anthony Flannery said they welcomed the competition.

- Herald on Sunday

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