The Diary
Rachel Glucina looks at the top events and newsmakers of the day.

The Diary - part two: Seven Sharp host 'a dictator'

Former Seven Sharp host Alison Mau says Mike Hosking is running the show.
Jesse Mulligan is leaving Seven Sharp at the end of the week. Toni Street and Mike Hosking will host the show on their own.
Jesse Mulligan is leaving Seven Sharp at the end of the week. Toni Street and Mike Hosking will host the show on their own.

Ali Mau is not surprised former colleague Jesse Mulligan has left Seven Sharp, where Mike Hosking, she says, is running "a dictatorship".

Mau has sympathy for her friend Mulligan, who this week confirmed his departure, one of New Zealand broadcasting's worst-kept secrets.

Read part one of today's Diary here.

That means the original three presenters - Mau, Mulligan and Greg Boyed - have all gone, replaced by Hosking and Toni Street.

Mau is catching up with Mulligan next week to share war stories.

"I will not be surprised by what he will have to say. It won't be news."

Rumours that Hosking refused to share the desk with Mulligan circulated widely.

A TVNZ publicist tried to rebut them yesterday.

"No, as far as I know Mike and Jesse got on well ... But it became clear that Toni and Mike were a better fit."

Mau says otherwise.

"I heard Mike Hosking was adamant he wanted Jesse gone from the show and he was surprised when he came back from summer holidays that Jesse was still there.

"Fact is, whether you liked Seven Sharp or not, it was a team effort. There was equal input by everyone. It's plainly a dictatorship now. It's Hosking's show."

Mau has moved on to rival MediaWorks and is reluctant to reminisce. But there remains a level of resentment towards TVNZ, whose secret plans to dump her were leaked to this column.

She has found contentment at RadioLive alongside Willie Jackson, for whom she has a genuine fondness.

"MediaWorks have made a commitment to me on paper that TVNZ would never do. I have their confidence and backing."

The company is thrilled with her progress.

"Ali and Willie are working well as a team," a rep said. "Ali has proven to be a natural on radio and it's great to see this paying off with a 10 per cent lift in audience for the show in last week's survey."

Mau is particularly proud of a rise in the number of female listeners.

"I went in with optimism and determination, but now I don't need optimism because it's working beautifully."

She says she has more time for her teenage kids - and fiancee Karleen Edmonds.

Asked if they've set a wedding date, Mau says there'll be no fuss because neither is a Bridezilla. "We just want to be married. We're not brides. It will be a small wedding, and any weekend will do."

- NZ Herald

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