Paul Henry: Failure and fortune

Paul Henry is out of a job again at the end of the month with Australia’s Channel Ten deciding that 40,000 viewers each morning wasn’t enough to justify keeping Breakfast on the air.  For some, this will be viewed as an epic failure.

For the last 10 months there have been countless stories in the media which have relentlessly mocked the low ratings of Henry’s show.  It was always going to be a hard ask going up against two other already well-established early morning programmes.  It went further than that though: it seemed the media were intent on seeing him fail.  Unlike many other Kiwi TV stars who have been exported, Henry’s coverage has been exceedingly negative.  His ability to polarise people provides more than enough ammunition for those out to bring him down.

While they now celebrate his pending unemployment with a sense of pride and personal achievement, I expect Henry will still be smiling at his million dollar contract.

The funny thing about all this is that Henry is now more than likely going to return to New Zealand and be back on our screens again.  Speculation is rife that he’s the leading contender to host TVNZ’s revamp of their early evening current affairs show in 2013 only hours after the plug was pulled across the Tasman.  So much for Wetzel and Coffey I guess.

Out of the same shadows of dislike for Henry come the excited calls at the prospect of him taking on an audience that would undoubtedly be his biggest yet.  Oh the irony.

Before that can happen though, there is the small dilemma of his existing contract with Mediaworks who would be unlikely to release him to the competition.

Imagine how much less the demand would be for Henry if he wasn’t the disliked “failure” that he’s reported to be.

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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  • Sammie

    There’s no conspiracy. Henry’s “exceedingly negative” coverage was just the Australian media reporting his very real flaws. We know about them here too–the 33% in the Herald poll who voted “don’t let him back in New Zealand” have seen him behave like a cackling, childish egoist who publicly mocks others for sport. The real mystery is why there are Kiwis who defend him. It’s discouraging to know that so many people enjoy watching a bully at work.

    But even if you insist he was unfairly picked on–hey, turnabout is fair play. Picking on others is a major part of his schtick. He opens the door to getting the same treatment.

  • I think he’s hilarious.

  • David Finch

    What does it say about New Zealand television if the reward for failure on Australian breakfast TV is a prime time gig in NZ? And, love Paul Henry or hate him, what does it say about TVNZ that they would willingly choose someone so divisive for such a major role?

    • I don’t think any job Paul gets in NZ would be viewed as a reward for any “failure” on Australian Television.

      What I find interesting is that TVNZ would invite, if not beg, to have him back after they politely made him unemployed.

  • bobscoffee

    What were they expecting Paul Henry to achieve over there? To overtake two well-established breakfast shows in ratings within a year?

  • Julius Saxon

    Paul Henry would be the perfect judge to host The X Factor NZ. His quick wit, honesty and popularity would be sure to make the show a success. Hopefully we find out soon!

    • NZ X Factor is suppose to have judges who actually know about the music business, Paul Henry does not 🙁