It's said she came to television journalism dreaming of being the next Judy Bailey, but for Kate Lynch that dream is now a distant possibility.

She has been unceremoniously demoted from a senior reporting role on award-winning, primetime Close Up to TVNZ's off-peak, late-night news show Tonight.

"It's like being dumped from Cabinet to the electorate office as secretary," said one inside mole. "It's effectively the most junior role you can get. All new reporters cut their teeth on the late-night news shows. It's a start-in position."

Lynch, whose article about foreign goods in a Kiwi family household became the subject of ridicule after it was exposed as being identical to one an American affiliate network showed earlier this year, faced serious questions from her bosses.


A thorough investigation was conducted by the network's HR department.

Lynch insisted that producers at Close Up knew what she was doing and approved it. However, I understand the findings of the investigation suggest Lynch was found to have acted alone. No one else has lost their job or been demoted.

TVNZ's news boss, Anthony Flannery, would only say on the subject, "we never discuss staff issues".

Lynch's former position on Close Up will be advertised and she starts her new role in late-night news tomorrow.

Sources say Lynch will be expected to work on Tonight for a period of three to six months before her role is reviewed.

It is likely she will make her way back to primetime news, though it is understood she will not be offered another position at Close Up.

Lynch faced the wrath of colleagues and public flagellation for the item she copied. Her subsequent demotion shows how seriously TVNZ took the situation.

I hope she takes the downgrade with good grace and I look forward to seeing her back on primetime soon.