So Hilary doesn’t want to spend more time with family then?

The rumour mill has gone into overdrive

Star news anchor Hilary Barry is expected to join TVNZ’s Breakfast show after her shock defection from TV3 – and the state broadcaster is reportedly writing a half-million dollar cheque for her.
The Weekend Herald broke the news Barry had quit TV3, the latest high-profile casualty after 18 months of drama at the network. Sources said her departure to arch-rival TVNZ was a double whammy from which TV3 would struggle to recover.

Barry is a linchpin at both ends of the day for MediaWorks – on the Paul Henry Show in the morning and as 6pm news co-host.

TVNZ is said to be eager to get Barry on board at Breakfast. Sources told the Herald on Sunday it had been rattled at how quickly Henry’s show had eaten into its audience.

In February, Paul Henry edged ahead of Breakfast for the first time, attracting the majority of viewers in the 25-54 age bracket.

One source said: “TV3 is looking fresher with its Newshub overhaul, and TVNZ is under pressure to do something, particularly with Breakfast, which is really not doing well. It’s amazing how quickly the Paul Henry Show has caught them.”

Another source said Barry was “very comfortable” in the morning slot. She would give Breakfast a much-needed boost.

Barry is reportedly on close to $500,000 at TV3, and a source told the Herald on Sunday TVNZ would need to match that.

I’m surprised there isn’t a restraint of trade clause in Barry’s contract that stops her from continuing at a competitor a day after she’s left her current position.

Barry’s TV3 co-host Mike McRoberts is also said to be unhappy at the network, but sources told the Herald on Sunday he was now in prime position.

McRoberts told Newshub he was saddened her departure meant the end of his television marriage but he had loved every minute.

“She is a world class, without peer, newsreader. She is very, very good and she does it so effortlessly.”

He said he had no intention of quitting the network.

Barry’s departure puts further pressure on MediaWorks’ boss Mark Weldon, who has overseen a tumultuous year. Several shows have been canned and other high-profile departures include John Campbell, news boss Mark Jennings and 3D’s Paula Penfold, who is married to McRoberts.

McRoberts will be next.

Mediaworks was a company run by prima donna ‘talent’ who were beyond the control of management. Weldon is slowly edging them all out. I can think of some others who are unlikely to be there a year from now.


– NZ Herald via ODT