The 24-year relationship between TV3 and high-profile host John Campbell ended yesterday.
In a news release apparently timed to coincide with the lifting of the Government's Budget embargo, MediaWorks announced Campbell Live would be replaced and Campbell would soon leave the network.
Two new co-presenters will take on hosting duties and the show will continue under a new name but only air four nights a week with a new entertainment show to air on Fridays.
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Campbell confirmed it was not his last night. When the show was put under review the ratings numbers increased, he said.
"People started petitions, sent thousands of emails, tweeted, Facebooked and more. Seven o'clock is a brutal timeslot - Seven Sharp, Shortland Street, those lovely lunatics on The Crowd Goes Wild is tough competition." There were also dishes to be done, homework to be supervised and washing to be folded, he said. "But you make the effort to watch us and in doing so, you made our team feel very grateful and very proud. They are a great team. Thank you for watching us, all."
Mediaworks Group head of news Mark Jennings said Campbell was asked to co-host the new show but instead opted to leave and that Campbell had not been pushed.
Prime Minister John Key said he wished Campbell well in his next role, and rejected any suggestion they did not get along. "Despite what some people might think, I don't have an adversarial relationship with John."
Sources inside MediaWorks told the Herald the as-yet unnamed replacement programme would focus more heavily on entertainment stories and the 22 staff, including presenters, camera operators and producers, had until Monday to reapply for fewer jobs. A visibly upset Lachlan Forsyth, a reporter on Campbell Live, had tears in his eyes as he left the TV3 building last night.
He said this was not Campbell's last show. "We're still going, We're not over yet."