Rachel Smalley


If you didn’t hear yesterday in the news, or on Newstalk ZB, Host of ZB’s Early Edition Rachel Smalley made comments calling New Zealand women “heifers” and “a bunch of lardos”.

Smalley made these comments shortly before 6am yesterday, when she thought her microphone was switched off and in a conversation intended for off-air.

This morning she issued a tearful apology on air, retracting her comments.

I can’t embed the audio from TVNZ, but perhaps Regan is able to do this or get a sound clip from the .MP3’s available on the Newstalk ZB website.

This from ONE News:

Rachel Smalley has made a tearful apology on-air this morning after referring to women weighing 72kgs as “heifers” and “a bunch of lardos” when she thought her microphone was switched off.

Ms Smalley made the comments, which she admits were “hurtful”, during an ad break before 6am yesterday after discussing a story that said an emergency contraceptive pill was less effective in women weighing more than 70 kilograms. The story said the average Kiwi woman weighs 72kgs.

Ms Smalley ended her show today with an emotional apology, saying that the comments went on air “in an environment where it was out of context and was hurtful”.

“It was stupid, it was judgmental and offensive. It was not made as a statement of fact and it was in no way representative of any opinion I have ever held, ever. And I’m sorry, I truly am.

“My role as a journalist has always been to inform and not to offend and yesterday I crossed that line.

“I’m so very sorry that I said what I did and I’m very sorry for the hurt that I caused and the many people that I let down, not least my self, my friends and my family.”

The show ended with a song and not the usual crossover to breakfast host Mike Hosking.

The comments created a stir on Twitter, with ZM host Polly Gillespie tweeting: “I’m a ‘lardo’ and Im owning it…”

Ms Smalley is host of Newstalk ZB’s Early Edition and the co-host on TVNZ’s Q+A programme.

rachel_smalleyWhenever I read the words “candid interview” I wonder if that means the reporter was just having a friendly chat and then all of a sudden a comment became newsworthy and a story was born.  This is the case with a story this morning where Rachel Smalley is said to “blast ‘Ken and Barbie’ TV”.

“I didn’t feel that there was any desire to invest in women in senior primetime roles and I knew I couldn’t keep doing those hours. So I was at a real crossroads. I was frustrated.

“I didn’t feel either programme had the support of senior management, the top levels of management of MediaWorks, so there was only so far I could take both programmes.”

She was realistic about the amount of resources and marketing that could be pumped into non-primetime shows. “But that didn’t help the programmes I was on.” Continue reading »

Are TV3  in shell shock or denial?  Their web site still proudly claims Rachel Smalley as anchoring Firstline, even though she’s been warming a seat at Newstalk ZB for a while now.


Smalley’s departure has left TV3 in a bit of a pickle.

Never having had the audience figures, nor the respect that TVNZ’s Breakfast enjoys, at least Smalley had made serious inroads into the company’s breakfast TV ambitions.

Hard working, smart and ambitious, her departure is a huge loss to Mediaworks.

Continue reading »