Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gone in 30 seconds

Sean Plunket’s farewell to Morning Report this morning
was a slightly cloying affair; many a listener will have
been close to wincing at the syrupiness of it. Fact is,
Sean was never the most-loved guy on the RNZ block,
and it’s hard to get warm and fuzzy about him at the best
of times. They got it right in the last 30 seconds, though,
with a great quick-cut montage of the Plunket interview
style (‘Just answer the question!’), and hit the 9 o’clock
pips with a voice purring ‘Radio New Zealand National’
just as it does after each bird call. So the booming hoot
of the Plunketbird will be heard no more on Radio NZ,
and Morning Report will be the poorer for it. I know
many people don’t like him (a fellow journalist whose
views I respect simply despises him) but for some years
now he has been possibly the only journalist in New
Zealand capable of making politicians nervous and
flustered when being interviewed. They all have far too
soft a ride, controlling the news agenda with ease, so
any journalist who can discomfort them is pure gold in
my book. Newstalk ZB have already snapped Plunket
up as their morning talkback host but it wouldn’t surprise
to see him turn that show into more of a challenger to
to Noon, with less talkback and more interviews.
Radio New Zealand, in the meantime, needs to let us
know soon who his replacement will be—and it must be
someone with a sharp edge and a highly developed shit

1 comment:

Mary McCallum said...

I remember Sean's first week at Radio NZ - it was in the network newsroom - he was fresh from journalism school - Day One went fine (he was a little shy but then it was his first day) - Day Two, he turned up with a black eye and split lip from a fight he'd managed to get himself into - he was teased mercilessly and was a rather quiet for a day or two - didn't take long for him to get in his stride, though - but that Day Two: a sign (in hindsight) of the on-air pugilist to come...