Wellington, Oct 11 (ANI): TVNZ TV host Paul Henry's 'racial' comments against New Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and his insult to the Indian-origin Governor-General in New Zealand, Sir Anand Satyanand, appears to be few examples of how the state owned channel is gradually focussing on becoming a commercially successful multimedia company, forgetting the real essence of the current affairs programme.
According to the New Zealand Herald, the TVNZ management and the government-appointed board of governors' lack of ability to control such acts on the television had led to the current crisis.
Henry was encouraged to say what he wanted with few attempts to rein him in, the paper said.
The board, headed by Sir John Anderson, raised his concern about the management's slow reaction last week to the unfolding crisis. Many TVNZ staff members were infact furious with Henry's comments.
However, there are many fans of Henry in the wider community and also in the media circle, who believe that he was suddenly punished for political reasons.
Paul Holmes, a radio and television broadcaster in New Zealand, said that the trouble occurred because he offended the commentarial and opinion makers. But he also managed to offend a large section of New Zealanders, including Indians in Auckland. TVNZ chose to ignore those people and focus on the market of New Zealanders impressed with Henry's naughty comments, the paper said.
Although the state broadcaster claims to represent "One New Zealand," it had offended a segment of viewers of breakfast TV in the recent past. The recent public reactions regarding the 'racist' comments against Dikshit has frightened advertisers like Progressive Enterprises who are the true arbiters of TVNZ standards.
Henry resigned on Sunday after meeting the state broadcaster's chief executive, Rick Ellis.
It is estimated that TVNZ had agreed to pay six months' salary to Henry, about 150,000 dollars to 500,000 dollars for his resignation. (ANI)