Key Points:

Television New Zealand has renewed Mark Sainsbury's contract as host of the 7pm weeknights show Close Up, leaving rival Paul Henry waiting in the wings for another two years.

Henry hosts TV One's Breakfast Show but has made it clear he would like to take over the 7pm, show prompting off-screen rivalry between the two broadcasters.

"It is no secret I have ambitions," [to present Close Up] he told the Herald on August 22.

The programme - whose end-of-year show last night included a tribute to its forerunner Paul Holmes - has been riding high with TVNZ.

Sainsbury's renewal is amidst end-of-year contract negotiations in the broadcasting world, with Radio New Zealand National Morning Report co-host Sean Plunket considering staying on public radio.

Earlier this year Plunket planned to step down.

Asked yesterday if he would be on the programme with Geoff Robinson next year he said he intended on taking a long break.

He rejected a rumour he had signed a two-year contract with RNZ.