From the New Zealand TV Weekly June 5, 1967.


Seems that announcers are either going overseas or going freelance these days. Merv Smith, undoubtedly the most popular local announcer, is doing famously as a contract man for the NZBC and is in keen demand for commercials but is tied up for one special job. Pity that we won't be seeing him any more as a news reader as he was one of the best, but he can be expected to pop up in news cuts and interviews. . . . . Mike Matthews has followed Margaret Moore, Eugene Fraser and Bill Young in the exodus to England. Mike is one man the NZBC never seemed to use properly. Although he was tagged for a Town and Around berth, it never eventuated and he was not even used much for news items. . . . . The NZBC is not alone in losing talent. Radio Hauraki announcer Paddy O'Donnell has picked up a land berth in Australia. . . . . Quite odd to see the NZBC including shots and a recording of the pirates in a Sunday pictorial item. . . . . Larry's Rebels departed for a Welter of TV and live appearances in Australia with some over-enthusiastic youngsters jumping the airport barriers for a last glimpse of their pop idols. . . . . Wonder how many teenagers flipped when their dads chuckled gleefully at the news that the C'mon! star Mr Lee Grant had lost a hunk of hair in a scuffle with fans. But it wasn't enough to show and the lanky lad's locks are still long . . . . . Wonder, too, what percentage of parents commented on the clean cut appearance of The Seekers in their Tonight in Person show and suggested that they could be an example for local popsters to follow. . . . . Barry Crump looking a right knightly nut in doublet and hose for a carpet commercial. . . . . Association of New Zealand Advertisers making sceptical noises about the NZBC's claim that the commercial station's audience has not been substantially whittled down by the pirates of Radio Hauraki. Anyone with half an ear knows full well that the kids have moved their allegiance to the Good Guys in the gulf. . . . . If the ABC buys a package of C'mon! shows, there will have to be some trimming of the New Zealand angle to make them acceptable. The currency squeeze has put the whammy on producer Kevan Moore's plans to fly in trans-Tasman talent for some shows. Exposure in Aussie could mean that a lot more of our pop people will have trans-Tasman contract offers and they have all fingers crossed that the deal will go through.


The present series of The Avengers, which started stiltedly, touched some of its old form later. It will be spelled for about two months until the next batch of 13 episodes are received. In the meantime its place will be taken by 12 episodes of The Mask of Janus, which is regarded as a more run-of-the-mill spy series . . . . The same night The Mask of Janus makes its first appearance, viewers will see the first of WNTV1's new quiz game, Prize Line, on which the NZBC is budgeting for about £1,200 in prize money alone. Chris Bourn who last year produced The Family Game-and admits he learned a lot from the experience-is in charge of the new series which will be shown initially only on the local channel. The new programme, to be introduced by Gary Chapman, is based on the formula from Britain's Criss-Cross Quiz, and takes the form of a game of noughts and crosses with two contestants answering questions on different subjects and coming up with an X or an O. The winner is the one who first establishes a row on the electronic board... Some MP's want Country Calender extended. Maybe it is of interest to farmers and, conceivably, some townspeople too, but it will need to be made a good deal more lively if it is to continue to occupy a key Sunday viewing time .,. NZBC has another Black and White Minstrel Show series lined up and is considering another series of Hogan's Heroes. Also being considered is I Spy which features Robert Culp..... The Compass programme which dissected the mini-budget seemed a bit inconsistent when it went on to discuss the shortage of new cars, and implied that what was needed was the importation of many more new cars. Who said the country has spent too much foreign exchange on importing new cars over the past five years? Incidentally, talking of the mini-budget, one is surprised that NZBC did not make an effort to have on-the-spot reports from its Parliamentary staff the same evening before waiting 24 hours for comment from its Parliamentary reporter. It's all very well to say that one cannot cut into programme schedules because of re-scheduling advertising spots, but if television claims to be a public service as well as providing entertainment it should have been on the job more quickly with topical reports and comments on the subject which was on everyone's lips. As it was television must have lost a sizeable part of its audience that night to radio.


Decline in revenue from sightseeing bus tours in recent weeks has been attributed by the Christchurch Transport Board to the introduction of afternoon television programmes. .... Formerly announcer in charge at New Plymouth, Murray Hewson moved to Christchurch on promotion and took up his new post as assistant district announcer in charge on May 22. Story has it that Hewson was dickering over taking up the appointment when it went out as a news item on the New Plymouth radio. But the item resulted in a call from a cash buyer for his home and that settled it ..... At the end of March there were 64,933 TV sets licensed in the Christchurch postal district- nearly 10,000 more than the previous year. Seems Christchurch folk, unlike North Islanders, still prefer to buy rather than hire their sets. There were only 5,475 on hire in the Garden City, compared with 27,840 in Auckland and 10,182 in Wellington.... Mods and Rockers have been making news-mostly unsavoury-here in recent times and Town and Around conducted its own mini-Compass inquiry into the attitudes of the cults on a recent Tuesday night. This was good realistic stuff and evidence of a more down-to-earth approach on the part of the T & A team. Interviewees were given free rein and came up with nothing that could be calculated to generate any sympathy among the viewers ..... Videotaping of the final batch of programmes in CHTV3's forthcoming panel show, Sixty Seconds Please, was completed in Christchurch at the beginning of May. We have been happy with the results, and I hope viewers, will be, too, commented producer David Pumphrey. At time of writing the half-hour programmes had not been scheduled, but it's common knowledge that this series is winter entertainment, so they can't be far away... Snap survey seems to indicate an awakening of interest among women in the afternoon programmes, but it could be simply because the days are getting colder.


The big talking point at DNTV2 these days has been the new women's programme which is featuring on all channels. Local hostess, Eileen Cook, recently returned from Wellington where she had joined other hostesses in discussing ideas for the programmes' content and presentation.... Finding a suitable person to undertake the demanding task of interviewing the programme's guests posed a problem. Interviews were held and the successful applicant was Frances Weston, who is already well-known to viewers for her appearances on Town and Around.... The latest word on the subject from producer, Ian Richards is that the programme will now be screened only twice weekly instead of the originally-planned three afternoons a week . . . . Lee Strong, who has been a technician at DNTV2 for two years, will be leaving Dunedin shortly to join her husband in Tokoroa. This will be DNTV2's third recent loss to Tokoroa-Ross Fenton and Dick Rayner were transferred there some time ago when a new radio station went into operation-just goes to prove radio hasn't lost its attraction after all!,.... An- other member of the technical staff who will be missed when she leaves in October, is assistant Lynda Ross. Lynda has been working at DNTV2 since the channel opened five years ago ..... Staff numbers evened out again, however, with the arrival of Mr and Mrs Martin Baine, from darkest Africa (Zambia to be precise!). Mr Baine will assist with production and Mrs Baine joins the staff as a technical assistant.

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