6 episodes

The Fold is hosted by the Spinoff's managing editor Duncan Greive, and features conversations which assess the latest developments in New Zealand's extremely hectic media industry.

The Fold The Spinoff

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The Fold is hosted by the Spinoff's managing editor Duncan Greive, and features conversations which assess the latest developments in New Zealand's extremely hectic media industry.

    The Fold podcast: Stuff’s CEO and owner Sinead Boucher on how she bought it for $1

    The Fold podcast: Stuff’s CEO and owner Sinead Boucher on how she bought it for $1

    It will justifiably be lost in the tumult of Covid-19, but the chaotic couple of weeks which finally saw the end of the Stuff-NZME saga were riveting and strange, replete with stock exchange announcements, legal challenges and finally the acquisition of New Zealand’s most-viewed news platform by its CEO for just $1.


    Six months after she appeared on the very first episode of The Spinoff’s media podcast, The Fold, I had Stuff CEO – and now Stuff’s sole owner – Sinead Boucher back to the show. She recounts those extraordinary few weeks, from the collapse of Bauer NZ, to just how brutalised ad revenues got in lockdown, the bailout package and the strange forces impacting journalism during level four.


    Sinead casually reveals what happened behind the scenes during those hectic times, and plots out the future for Stuff – New Zealand’s biggest employer of journalists, and the closest thing to a truly national news network that exists in this country. For those in and around the media, who watched the maneuvering of our two print media giants with awe and popcorn, it’s a pretty fascinating hour. 
     
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    The Fold podcast: Bailey Mackey takes Māori storytelling to the world

    The Fold podcast: Bailey Mackey takes Māori storytelling to the world

    He started as a journalist, became a producer, and is now one of NZ’s most successful TV creators. Bailey Mackey joins Duncan Greive on The Fold.


    This month’s episode of The Fold, The Spinoff’s media podcast, features host Duncan Greive in conversation with Bailey Mackey, a TV producer with one of the most interesting CVs in the entertainment industry. Mackey grew up in and around Gisborne, and got his start in broadcasting on Radio Ngāti Porou, before hitching to Auckland to audition for Te Karere. When he arrived he wore a suit two sizes too small, and saw Julian Wilcox auditioning for the same job. They both got the job, with Wilcox becoming an on-screen legend, while Mackey gravitated towards production, and eventually to reality TV, where he learned from the master – Julie Christie.


    Mackey was then a highly successful head of sport at Māori TV before launching his own businesses, first Black Inc and latterly Pango, which aims to take Māori storytelling to the world. His career has been stunningly successful, with the creation of hit shows in New Zealand like the huge but unjustly maligned The GC and Sidewalk Karaoke, a format sold to Fremantle, along with a slew of other shows created here and watched globally. Greive spoke with him about how you sell a show, what New Zealand does right and wrong in the screen trade, and the business as it is right now, decimated by Covid-19, but boiling with opportunity too.
     
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    • 1 hr 4 min
    The Fold: How will Covid-19 impact NZ's TV, radio and online news?

    The Fold: How will Covid-19 impact NZ's TV, radio and online news?

    The Fold podcast returns for March into a media world transformed by the impact of Covid-19. Host Duncan Greive records a monopod to assess its impact.


    In last month's edition of this podcast, The Spinoff editor Toby Manhire and I discussed RNZ's Concert debacle. At the time, it was the biggest story in media; now it seems, like so many things, a quaint concern from a different time. The impact of Covid-19 has been so vast that there is no other news agenda – simply 'how the virus is impacting X'. Even Thursday's decision by the Christchurch mosque terrorist to change his plea to guilty had a notable Covid-19 dimension, as his victims were largely unable to face him in court – and thus what would have been the biggest story of any other month felt like it flashed by.


    Yet for all the global pandemic's power as an engulfing news story, it's the impact on the media business I discuss on March's The Fold. There's a huge paradox in its relationship to the media, in that all of us are seeing record ratings, which in normal times would lead to big revenue spikes – but because almost no client is advertising, the opposite is happening. Journalists are working harder than ever, serving bigger audiences than ever, but the bottom is falling out of the business in a completely unprecedented way.
    It's also making our work different: instead of being in our podcast studio in Morningside, I recorded it under a towel at home. And instead of a guest, I simply relayed my own thoughts. Literally everything has changed in our society now, and the media has had a supply, demand and operational shock up there with the best of them.
     
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    • 30 min
    RNZ special: Toby Manhire on the Concert fiasco, the case for a youth channel and the TVNZ maybe-merger

    RNZ special: Toby Manhire on the Concert fiasco, the case for a youth channel and the TVNZ maybe-merger

    In episode three of The Spinoff's media podcast The Fold, host Duncan Greive speaks with Toby Manhire about the RNZ Concert fiasco and whether there's space for another youth-focused media brand in New Zealand.
     
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    • 59 min
    Exit interview: Newshub's Hal Crawford on Weldon, Paul Henry and the truth about TV ratings

    Exit interview: Newshub's Hal Crawford on Weldon, Paul Henry and the truth about TV ratings

    In episode two of The Spinoff newish media podcast The Fold, host Duncan Greive conducts an exit interview with Hal Crawford, the departing head of Newshub. 


    Hal Crawford landed into a TV3 newsroom in crisis in 2016, just after Campbell Live had been axed, and Hilary Barry had resigned. He had been hired by Mark Weldon, the much-maligned CEO who oversaw a transformation at MediaWorks, from a news-first organisation, to one whose schedule was increasingly dominated by reality TV – but Weldon himself resigned before Crawford even started.
    He was born and raised in Perth, cutting his teeth in print before going on to lead 9MSN, at onc ethe most-read news site in Australia, and one away from the swaggering centre of Australia news media. At TV3 he had a brutal learning curve, coming from a purely digital newsroom out of the public eye, to lead a TV-centred team with big stars and personalities. He oversaw the creation of the Newshub brand, the launch of The Project and The AM Show and an increasingly desperate atmosphere as he and his CEO Michael Anderson pleaded for government intervention to save the channel and newsroom.


    So far, no dice – the channel is officially for sale, and while there are rumoured to be a number of strong bidders, no announcement has been forthcoming. Crawford describes his time there was essentially a long series of crises, but almost grew to enjoy the adrenalin of it.
    Beyond MediaWorks, we discuss the rise and evolution of Facebook, whether ad-funded media has a future and what has happened to TV ratings over the past ten years. Few people in our media are smarter, or speak more freely – listen below or through your favourite podcast provider.
     
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    • 1 hr 10 min
    The Fold: Sinead Boucher on reinventing Stuff – and why they are conscientious objectors to Facebook

    The Fold: Sinead Boucher on reinventing Stuff – and why they are conscientious objectors to Facebook

    Host Duncan Greive is joined by Stuff CEO Sinead Boucher to discuss the media monster's growth from an experimental website, to its queasy peak and the current more purpose-driven iteration. Along the way she revealed a number of fascinating insights into the reality of running a news organisation at scale in 2019, including the fact that of the 150,000 comments readers attempt to post each month, a full third are rejected for violations. This brutal task is accomplished by human moderators – in striking contrast to the laissez faire attitude of Facebook. Plus her thoughts on the sale of Three, the ComCom decisions and the proposed RNZ/TVNZ merger.
     
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    • 1 hr 2 min

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