Mark Sainsbury new Close Up host

Mark Sainsbury has been appointed as the new host for Close Up.

Mark was support host for the top rating Current Affairs programme with Susan Wood until her resignation on December 4th. Paul Henry will be the new support host for Close Up.

TVNZ Head of News and Current Affairs, Bill Ralston, says he is delighted to have a journalist of Mark’s ability and experience at the helm of Close Up.

“Mark is a consummate broadcaster with an outstanding News and Current Affairs pedigree. As Susan’s co-presenter, Mark has been an important part of the Close Up success story this year. It is fantastic to have him on board for 2007.”

Mark Sainsbury says he is excited by the opportunity to front Close Up fulltime.

“It’s one of the great jobs in Current Affairs. Close Up is a terrific show put together by a wonderful team. I enjoy working on the show immensely and I’m very much looking forward to putting my own stamp on it.”

Mark began as a reporter with TVNZ in 1981, working on a current affairs programme also called Close Up. He has been a network and feature reporter in Dunedin and Wellington as well as taking on national rounds such as industrial relations. He was part of the original line-up for Holmes, and has worked on Assignment. Mark was TVNZ’s European correspondent for three years, and TVNZ’s political editor between 1999 and 2006. This year he also hosted the weekly show About Now. As well as his senior reporting and presenting duties, Mark has made documentaries on Sir Edmund Hillary and his visits to Nepal.

Mark was named Best News and Current Affairs presenter at the 2005 Qantas TV Awards for his work on Close Up.

Close Up has had a stellar year, finishing up as the most watched Current Affairs programme in New Zealand. Close Up is well ahead of TV3 in the ratings for both the TV ONE target demographic of 25-54 year-olds and the TV3 target of 18-49 year-olds.

Close Up’s final programme for 2006 on Friday, December 22nd will be a one-hour special presented by Mark Sainsbury that looks back over the year’s memorable moments; a comprehensive wrap-up of the year that was in politics, sport, entertainment and the issues that touched the lives of New Zealanders.

Close Up returns on Monday, January 22nd 2007, 7pm on TV ONE.

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  • Rachel

    I preferred Paul Holmes to Susan Wood but I prefer Susan Wood to Mark Sainsbury.

  • regan

    I find this somewhat of a very strange decision. Mark Sainsbury up against John Campbell? Isn’t this supposed to be a fight for the 18 – 49 demographic? Wouldn’t Paul Henry have more suited this role? *scratches head*

  • campgrrls

    Well I prefer Sainsbury to Henry and Wood to Holmes. And lately really I prefer Sainsbury to Wood. But really I think they need someone new for that slot. Lately I’ve found I’ll watch CU when Sainsbury is fronting it and it has a more interesting story than Campbell.

    Sainsbury at least tries to be more balanced than Henry so I can find the stories worth watching – depends on the topic tho.

  • Tui

    Yeah I agree with Regan. I just don’t like this Mark guy, he looks out of place in the modern set.

  • bobscoffee

    i dont think looks should have anything to do with it

  • Max Rigg

    Hi Mark,
    Re fatal crashes and the use of headlights.. Why do we have to wait for the Government to enforce the use of headlights during the day.
    For goodness sake why cannot we as Kiwi drivers simply start using headlights during the day ? On long trip I do now and I notice other kiwis who are doing the same thing. How about if you through TV promote Kiwi drivers to switch on.