Tears for Duncan

A number of people on twitter were upset yesterday that I had suggested the Duncan Garner should be replaced on Story. Damian Christie went as far as suggesting it was “the same gross thing” that the NZ Herald did to Seven Sharp when it first launched, and something he wrote about at the time around the bullying of Charlotte Dawson and her subsequent suicide.  History shows us, however, that Christie was out of touch and that the Herald, for a change, were onto something.



As it eventuated, Seven Sharp did go to a two presenter format and Jesse Mulligan went on to other gigs within TVNZ more suited to his style. No harm, no foul. Seven Sharp then proceeded to turn the ratings around.

Christie, among others, appear unable to separate calls for smart programming decisions with bullying. This is usually the case with people who are closely associated to people in the media who can’t, or won’t, give them the brutal, honest truth. Instead, they cry foul and call it bullying when in actual fact it’s simply calling a spade a spade.

There are plenty of people who audition for singing competitions because they believe they have some honest vocal ability because no one has told them otherwise. The same can be true with many hosting roles on TV. People who are liked within an office, often get promoted and given roles based on personal relationships over performance. The intention to see someone succeed as a host of a prime time TV show when they’re already performing in an on screen role isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes it works. Other times it doesn’t and it then becomes a case of either waiting for the wheels to fall off spectacularly or biting the bullet and realising that it just wasn’t the right call.

But make the call and move on. It’s not personal, it’s show business.

This doesn’t mean they’re not good at anything and should disappear from the face of the planet. Just the one thing that isn’t working. Duncan has plenty of things he’s good at as a journalist and I would love to see him to return to that very thing I’ve seen him thrive at in the past.

Duncan was a good political reporter, but his onscreen time was restricted to 2 minute segments of highly scripted and tightly preprepared content. There is a world of difference between that and hosting a half hour TV show four nights a week as well as his drive time radio show.

People get gunned after for many reasons. Their politics, their credibility, having an extracurricular office romance and knocking someone up. My recommendation that Garner be replaced is based purely on performance and I call it how I see it. It’s as simple as that.

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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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  • benpaul12

    Sounds like something to ignore, based on the response to yesterday’s article on here – most people are interested, and seem to agree!

  • bobscoffee

    So is being preprepared being prepared to prepare?

  • Me

    I like Duncan Garner. I like his style, his soothing and calming voice (I say that as someone who’s spent a great deal of time in hospital listening to him of late), and I wouldn’t like to see him replaced.