From Nightline to Firstline

sacha-mcneilSacha McNeil will be trading in late nights for early mornings in 2014 after being named the new anchor for Firstline after Nightline was shelved in favour of The Paul Henry Show.

Nightline anchor Sacha McNeil and 3 News Business Editor Michael Wilson will host Firstline in 2014.

Sacha will make the move from late nights to early mornings next year, when Nightline takes a break.  One of TV3’s most experienced news anchors; she will continue to be a backup anchor for the 6pm bulletin.  Michael brings a wealth of business knowledge and extensive interviewing experience to his new role on Firstline

TV3’s Director of News and Current Affairs, Mark Jennings says the duo’s experience and skill set will ensure Firstline is the must-watch early morning news programme for New Zealanders who want to start the day fully informed.

“Sacha memorably anchored our first breaking news coverage of the Christchurch Earthquakes in February 2011, and worked the early part of the day, handing over to Hilary Barry each afternoon.  When we launched Firstline shortly afterwards Sacha took over as Nightline anchor from Rachel Smalley, and has done a terrific job.  She is one of our most talented news anchors and I’m delighted to have her back in the early morning slot.

“Michael is acknowledged as one of the country’s leading business journalists and we are keen to make more use of his excellent interviewing skills.  The programme targets serious news viewers and we think the combination of Sacha and Michael will allow us to further expand our coverage of business, politics and breaking news.”

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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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  • Drew Horan

    I really wish they would push Firstline to 5am until 7am and bring in a relaunched Sunrise to run until 10am to compete with TVNZ’s Breakfast and Good Morning programme apart from that this is great news that TV3 are committed Firstline with two hosts instead of one.

    • Maggie

      That’s a really great suggestion but I doubt that they have the budget for something like that; also, I don’t think New Zealand has the population and content to sustain a ‘Good Morning’ type show in the long term – even GM seems to suffer to find interesting content at times and without the annoying advertorials probably wouldn’t amount to much at all. TV3 could copy what happens in the USA and have a couple of drunk people on in the final hour 😉 (Not sure if they’re drunk per se, but Kathy Lee and Hoda certainly don’t hold back).
      At the very least, TV3 should re-screen Paul Henry’s night-time show after Firstline finishes … if they end it at 8:30am as they have done (when really it should run though to 9am), they could steal TV1’s audience for that last half hour.
      A lot of people I know go to bed before the late night news so re-screening Henry’s show would mean more people get to see it (bearing in mind that TVs are often turned on in workplaces as well as public places at that time of day, not just in homes).

      • K

        I do like the idea of replaying Paul Henry’s show after Firstline, that would be quite a good idea if TV3 want to compete with Breakfast who a lot of watchers still wait for PH’s return!

      • Jeseta

        I’d love it if they tried a Kathie Lee and Hoda type situation here!

  • Maggie

    That’s great news – I think Sacha is one of TV3’s biggest assets.
    I hope they do something with the blonde man who has been hosting Firstline though – he is a really fantastic presenter and has done wonders for Firstline in making it a bit more ‘friendly’ (I’m really not a fan of Rachel Smalley’s presenting and interviewing style!).
    Maybe they could put the blonde man on as the host of the to-be-relaunched-The Nation?
    Michael Wilson is an interesting co-host choice … yes, he’s a respected business media person, but he’s not presentation material (by that, I mean he’s very reserved and doesn’t speak with authority as one in that role should) – I hope Sacha will take the lead and do most of the talking.

  • P.b.

    This is great news but Michael Wilson is a shocking presenter after all these years still?!
    I do think that first line does need more tweaks to the format, I’d recommend just having a different look for firstline but still along the lines of the look of the 3news theme, maybe just different colouring and a different desk for the mornings.
    Tv3 also could do a show that ran for even just an hour from 8.30am straight after firstline that could be similar to seven sharps formattt of having 3 personalities having fun and bouncing off each other in a natural way. It wouldn’t even need to be live