The future of John Campbell's current affairs show is up in the air as TV3 refuses to guarantee that it will survive the year.

Campbell was called back from holiday to a secret lunch with the newly-appointed Australian head of Mediaworks TV, Ian Audsley.

Campbell and TV3's head of news, Mark Jennings were told to outline how they would improve ratings and, afterwards, the show's staff were given a rark-up.

Yesterday, Audsley would give only a "95 per cent guarantee" that the show would last out the year.

He did praise Campbell Live's ratings this week after the show ranked first on several occasions in its target demographic of 18-49 year-olds - on a diet of bare breasts and big American cars.

"On the wins they've created this week ... the team will be enjoying a beer or three at our Christmas party," Audsley said.

A TV3 source confirmed that the network had last year considered cancelling Campbell Live but the poor ratings of possible replacement @Seven had forestalled the axe.

Campbell said yesterday he appreciated Audsley's candour.

"We have a boss who has a high opinion of us, and high expectations of us - and in the most adult way he is communicating that.

"He wants us to work at 7 o'clock, and if we do well we're there for the long term."