Popular presenter is blitzing her rival, but she’s taking time out.
Plans are being formulated at TVNZ on what to do about "the Toni factor" when popular presenter Toni Street goes on maternity leave early next year.
The Diary has learned Pippa Wetzell is the number one choice to replace Street when she leaves in March to have her second baby.
Wetzell, Nadine Chalmers-Ross and Heather du Plessis-Allen would be my picks for frontrunners - and the Diary has learned co-host Mike Hosking also has views about who's alongside him.
A source told The Diary "there is a general acceptance [by Mike] that the combination of him and Heather doesn't work."
Street is expected to work up to her due date and will take about three months' maternity leave. She is enormously popular at the network and TVNZ will want to minimise the disruption.
Seven Sharp consistently wins the ratings war each night over TV3's Campbell Live. A MediaWorks board member and senior executives have expressed a wish to revamp Campbell Live, or change it completely, to compete with its rivals at TVNZ. There is pressure to increase ratings and advertising in that primetime slot.
Suggestions have included bringing in a female co-host alongside John Campbell, or replacing him with a presenter who might draw more viewers and headlines, such as Paul Henry or Duncan Garner.
But if TV3 really wants to revitalise its 7pm offering and compete with TVNZ's secret weapon, Toni Street, then in my opinion changing the current format with another polarising male figure is not the answer.
There's no denying Campbell, Henry and Garner are brilliant broadcasters, but viewers evidently want more each night at 7pm than a strong male personality able to conduct a hard-hitting interview. Ratings prove that.
To fight fire with fire, TV3 should implement their secret weapon - Hilary Barry.
Like Street, Barry has warmth, good humour and an empathetic intellect, and doesn't polarise large chunks of the population. She is a formidable journalist, but also has a fun, impulsive and self-deprecating wit. She could take on Seven Sharp.
Playing the game
It's a hard life being an All Black. There's the beloved fans, the enormous pay cheques ... that hedonistic night on the turps involving selfies with pretty waitresses.
But while Aaron Cruden suffers the shame at home, spare a thought for his teammates who did catch the 12-hour flight to Buenos Aires.
Cory Jane, Israel Dagg and Julian Savea took to Twitter to complain about jetlag.
Jerome Kaino posed with a collection of dogs on Instagram, apparently taking up dog-walking "to earn my lunch money". And Owen Franks has been tasting the dark brew of Argentine coffee.
Jerome Kaino ... going to the dogs to earn his lunch-money.
Behind closed doors
Ever been locked in your bathroom while renovating with no tools and only a phone, a hairclip and Twitter for company? Breakfast host Rawdon Christie found himself in such a pickle on Monday, and his hilarious Twitter commentary drew a widespread audience and the hashtag #pray4rawdon.
Christie, a self-confessed DIY dunce, found himself trapped inside his bathroom after hanging the door on its hinges and closing it.
"I couldn't get out," he told The Diary yesterday. "I was stuck in the bathroom. The door had closed and locked and the knob fell off on the other side. I had no tools. Luckily I had my phone so I asked for some help on Twitter.
"There was endless advice, some of it completely pointless, like 'turn the knob'. Mitre 10 tweeted saying I should have looked at their how-to guide before embarking on the project, but that's like telling a man to read the map before setting out on the journey."
Christie, being resourceful, found his daughter's hairclip in the drawer and channelled his inner MacGyver to try to jemmy the door free. That didn't work. He then constructed a loo roll rope out the window, but the roof was wet and the paper disintegrated. So he took a nap in the bath and waited for his wife.
"I called my wife to free me from my long incarceration [about 90 minutes], and she eventually came home. She just rolled her eyes and left me there for a bit. She's well aware of my DIY incompetence."
So, Jason Ede has resigned. The man dubbed National's black ops servant has quit his role after 11 years with the party. What next for the friend of curls?
1. Tag team into Rachel MacGregor's vacated seat as press secretary for the Conservative Party.
2. Run a man-perm salon where clients could include the Tory tresses of Aaron Gilmore and Cameron Slater.
3. Conduct the secret inquiry into Labour's plight.
4. Join a band called The Misfits. There's a lot of politcos with time on their hands. Hone Harawira could be on drums, Tamati Coffey on vocals, Laila Harre on keyboards, Jamie Whyte on bass. Self-professed muso Kim Dotcom could play manager. He knows how to put out rubbish CDs. Maybe they should save a spot for David Cunliffe.
Simon tweets up
The most popular news anchor in the country, Simon Dallow, is on Twitter. Hooray! It's been so long in coming even co-host Wendy Petrie gave the newsman some ribbing. Maybe even Peter Williams can be coaxed to bring his famous off-camera criticisms to social media. Anything's possible.