TV3 is likely to replace Campbell Live with a new, long-running daily serial drama, going head-to-head with TV2's Shortland St.
Shocked staff at the TV3 current affairs show were told yesterday that it has been put "under review" by management, and human resources executives were on hand.
Mark Jennings, news chief of TV3 parent company MediaWorks, said: "Viewer expectations in 2015 are quite different from those of 2005 and we need to constantly review our programming to ensure we are meeting those expectations."
MediaWorks notes the review is being undertaken to improve commercial performance of the 7pm timeslot in a changing television market.
No specific timeframe can be given for the review, Jennings says, but a period of consultation with all staff has started.
It is expected that a daily drama will replace the news show. A production company has been selected to produce the five-day-a-week soap for TV3 targeting a 25-54 demographic.
It is understood that production company is Eyeworks, makers of The Bachelor NZ.
Campbell Live, which celebrates 10 years on air, has long struggled in ratings to compete against its counterpart, Seven Sharp.
"If you're not winning at 7pm and you're going head-to-head, then you have to change the dance because those ratings will affect the viewing for the rest of the night," said one source.
But scrapping the current affairs show will only hand rival TV One the audience Campbell Live has built.
Presumably, viewers who are looking for hard-hitting current affairs won't just roll over and switch to a soap opera.
To be fair, New Zealand is one of the only countries in the world with a 90-minute nightly primetime news slot. CBS America can tell the world what's happening in 30 minutes; why can't we?
In my view, losing a talent like Campbell and the journalists on Campbell Live would be a shame. Surely the show could be wound into the news hour.
Floss wears off for Candy
They tied the knot in an extravagant, theatrical wedding at the Civic Theatre in 2007 after a long-term relationship, but Dancing with the Stars judge Candy Lane has split from her businessman husband, Chris Jones.
Lane has asked for privacy following the breakup.
She confirmed the split to The Diary yesterday, but did not want to elaborate for the sake of her children. "It's not something I'm happy to talk about," Lane said. "It's personal, and I'd like to respect the privacy of my children."
The couple, who have been together for more than 20 years, have two children, Jaz, a midwife, and Zak, a builder's apprentice.
Lane and Jones wed in an extended three-hour ceremony in front of a star-studded guest list of 300, including best friend Julie Christie.
Media rights to the event were sold to a women's magazine for an undisclosed fee.
The separation has come as a surprise to some friends, who say the marriage appeared very happy. A playful photo of the pair snapped on Valentine's Day enjoying a romantic dinner at Baduzzi restaurant remains on Lane's Facebook page.
Lane, who was awarded the Queen's Service Medal in 2014 for services to dance, says she is focusing on her foray as the head judge on the new Dancing With the Stars to screen on TV3.
7 questions of the week
Tatau, an eight-part television drama series co-produced by South Pacific Pictures for the BBC, will premiere this weekend in the UK, and the following week in the US. Great news for John Barnett and Chris Bailey. Will more Kiwi production companies develop their shows with partnerships overseas?
2. Rocker Rod Stewart plays Dunedin tomorrow, followed by gigs in Auckland next week. Will he pop in for a cuppa and see his former mother-in-law Janine, or is he no longer on speaking terms?
3. Sam Tomkins was homesick for Wigan. Boo hoo. The Warriors star is leaving a year early. He was signed in 2013 for a world-record fee of about 700,000 ($1.37 million) . But the lure of Heinz baked beans and pies was evidently too much. Will the friend of tatts get an inking to remind him of his time here?
4. Blues by name; blues by nature. How long are we expected to put up with another humiliating loss from our team?
5. What do you say when two sports stars and one former footy legend parody Game of Thrones? Um, Sesame St did it better.
Has Hollywood hotshot James Cameron paid the ultimate compliment to Toa Fraser's labour of love,
The Dead Lands
"It's more than just a great action movie - it's great cinema," the Avatar director said. And last night, he opened a screening for the flick in Los Angeles.
Clearly Phil Goff is keen to run for the Auckland mayoralty but isn't prepared to say it - yet.
Why the delay, Phil?