PM confirms Govt frustrations over RNZ's plans to gut Concert FM

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 10 Feb 2020, 9:13AM
Jacinda Ardern is expected to further comment on it today. (Photo / NZ Herald)

PM confirms Govt frustrations over RNZ's plans to gut Concert FM

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 10 Feb 2020, 9:13AM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she has been left frustrated by RNZ's proposal to gut Concert FM.

"To say I've been a little bit miffed by the situation would be an understatement," she told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking today.

"We're pretty frustrated by this situation."

While Ardern conceded it was important for RNZ to make its own programming decisions, she noted that this extended beyond a programming issue.

The arts community, in particular, has been outraged by the move, given the station's role in playing and promoting classical music. Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has been among the most vocal critics of the RNZ move.

RNZ plans to replace Concert's FM slot with a youth-based station - which critics say would serve an audience already well covered by the commercial stations.

Ardern also hinted at tensions between the Government and RNZ management over the issue.

"When the minister was briefed on [the move] recently, he expressed serious concerns. He asked for a bit of time to find an alternative, but RNZ went ahead anyway," she said.

Ardern is set to make further comments on the move later today.

 

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