Ben Hill is a reporter for The New Zealand Herald

Former MediaWorks news chief, expert weigh up Paul Henry's chances for another comeback

Former MediaWorks news chief Mark Jennings has given his take on rumours that Paul Henry will quit TV3.

Henry is set to leave his eponymous breakfast show at the end of the year, according to sources, with Duncan Garner taking over his morning hosting duties.

In a post on The Spinoff, Jennings said the host of the TV3's breakfast show performed a "career kamikaze act".

• READ MORE: Henry quitting breakfast show and TV3

"If he does any TV work in the future it will almost certainly be limited to the stuff that really interests him," Jennings wrote.

"He is over doing the hard yards."

Former MediaWorks head of news, Mark Jennings. Photo / Supplied
Former MediaWorks head of news, Mark Jennings. Photo / Supplied

Henry's exit was "bad news for MediaWorks", according to Jennings.

"Paul Henry - the breakfast show - had become an essential catalyst in MediaWorks' revival, or at least its attempts at one. Not just because it was one of the few TV programmes that could take on and beat its direct competitor on TV1, but because it was vital to the fortunes of its battling talk station, RadioLIVE."

Meanwhile, a media expert has cast doubts on Henry's ability to make a comeback after stepping down from TV3.

Auckland University professor Mishka Kavka said Henry had been "on the line for quite some time".

Duncan Garner is touted to take over Paul Henry's morning hosting duties. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Duncan Garner is touted to take over Paul Henry's morning hosting duties. Photo / Jason Oxenham

"It's a difficult line to toe ... his entire career has been built on saying controversial things, saying what he thinks and stirring up the pot, and refusing to be politically correct and all that kind of stuff.

"There's a few occasions you can do that and then it catches up with you."

Kavka said she expected Henry to take some time out before attempting another role in the media, but she was unsure as to what that could be.

"It's hard to imagine [a future in New Zealand].

"I think he's going to go into quiet time again, it's hard to see where he goes to stage a comeback unless he tries via some new media platforms but it's such a small country it's hard to see how that's possible."

Kavka was disappointed that the breakfast show "formula" would be repeated with Garner stepping into Henry's shoes.

"It's always offset with a nice blonde woman who makes everything good again, it's the formula that I have the biggest problem with."

- NZ Herald

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