John Campbell has finally spoken of the dramatic cancellation of his show Campbell Live and his subsequent departure from TV3, saying his axing came as a shock and left him grieving.

Campbell told Metro magazine his lawyer Linda Clark gave him some good advice: "You'll grieve," she said.

Campbell said he "absolutely did grieve" on leaving the station where he'd spent more than 20 years working - including the past eight where he said he hadn't received or sought a pay rise.

"I still feel sad about it," he said. "It wasn't about me or my career or anything, because what I believe we created was a model of constructive, illuminating, empathetic television that also had enough going for it to commercially be sustainable. And I was devastated by our inability to make that work."


On April 9, MediaWorks declared the show was under review. The announcement triggered controversy and social media activism, helping in part to boost the show's ratings to highs had not seen for years.

Campbell said he had believed, misguidedly it turned out, that this ratings boost would be enough to save the show. " ... But then it just didn't work out".

"I grieved for our friendships, I grieved for the beautiful solidarity of our team, I grieved for the kind of journalism...

Posted by Metro magazine NZ on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

In Metro's November issue, on sale from today, Campbell also outlines his thoughts on journalism and his plans as host of Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme.