Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi warned his Cabinet colleagues that without Government intervention "several" media companies were at risk of failure "within the coming weeks" during lockdown.
This is according to an April 22 Cabinet paper, which approved a $50 million rescue package for New Zealand's media industry.
It was one of hundreds of documents released today, as part of the latest Government Covid-19 document dump.
The paper noted that because of Google and Facebook's increasing market share in the advertising market, many media outlets were already on the ropes.
"Several entities are at serious risk of failure in the coming weeks and months," Faafoi warned almost two months ago.
Any information as to which media companies were believed to be on the brink of collapse has been redacted on the basis of commercial sensitivity.
But the likes of NZME, Stuff and MediaWorks all received the Government's wage subsidy scheme.
Employees of those media companies were also asked to take pay cuts.
The paper said it was important that the players in New Zealand's embattled media landscape remain viable.
"A healthy media sector is a central component of a functioning democracy, and there is a need to ensure that this function is not lost due to the severe impacts of Covid-19."
Faafoi noted that the risks of the Government bailout were low.
And he provided a hint of what's to come next – he had always maintained the initial $50 million media package was just the start.
"Broadcast media is likely to receive more support than print and online media in this first package as the cost funding measures are less relevant to print and online media."
He said he would report back to Cabinet in May when it came to the next tranche of the Government's support package.
Faafoi has yet to make a formal announcement on this.
When making the announcement of the $50 million in April, Faafoi said the plan was focused on freeing up cash in the short term to help the sector get through Covid-19.
That $50 million package included:
• $21.1 million to completely cut transmission fees for 6 months
• $16.5 million to cut by 80 per cent contribution for NZ On Air screen content in 2020/21
• $1.3 million for government departments to purchase organisation-wide news service subscriptions
"The proposals in this package were generated by the industry themselves in a recent series of workshops to identify means of delivering immediate support to the sector.
"We have chosen the proposals that have a relatively quick impact to get support out the door as fast as possible."