MediaWorks news and current affairs boss Mark Jennings has to replace Campbell Live, end a ratings slump on 3 News and jump start the under-achieving Paul Henry in the mornings.

It would be a daunting task at any time. But it's doubly so with a chief executive and board that have only grudging respect for journalism.

Jennings has been caught between a rock and a hard place with the decision to can Campbell Live.

He is the last executive survivor, helping to hold TV3 together through two spells in receivership and financial woes caused by its owners.


Several others were pushed at the end of last year. The most recent was TV3 and Four marketing boss Amanda Wilson, who leaves this week.

A MediaWorks source said Jennings had come under pressure to act on concerns about Campbell Live's ratings.

Some critics are dissatisfied with his role in the canning of Campbell Live.

Others see his promise of a new current affairs show to replace Campbell Live as a bid to cling to daily prime time current affairs.

Even if the new show retains its integrity, it will have less autonomy than Campbell Live.

And Mark Weldon will not want his station to be hijacked by a star - as it was this week.

Previously, Campbell was able to have direct wrangles with board member Julie Christie, who made her thoughts on Campbell well known.

This resulted in an intractable clash of personalities between a star and a director, albeit one who took on a dual role as an executive.


TV3 will reach a new milestone on Monday.

More than 200,000 Campbell Live viewers will be looking for a replacement and they are being offered a Road Cops. There is other speculation around TV3 plans for 7pm, including a sports magazine show hosted by Dai Henwood and Ben Hurley.

The New Zealand version of the Come Dine with Me reality show could work as a five days a week show.

The fact is that the programming pantry is bare at TV3, at least until a new 5.30pm drama is completed to replace Home and Away - the departure of which led to a big drop in audience for 3 News.

A decision was made earlier this year was to cancel the straight news show Firstline and pump resources to the joint TV3/RadioLive breakfast show, which has been drawing an audience of less than 40,000 viewers.

In the latest results it drew 14,100 viewers for its target age group, people aged 25-54.

The numbers for radio will not be available till the third quarter of 2015.

These are daunting days for Jennings and TV3.