Stuff will produce a nightly television bulletin from July, airing on TV3, which will replace Newshub Live at 6pm.

Staff from Stuff and the soon-to-be-shuttered Newshub were called into a joint meeting this morning and told that the news on Three would be continuing.

The first hour-long show produced by Stuff will air on July 6, the day after the final Newshub bulletin airs. On weekends, the programme will run for 30 minutes.

However, the move from the country’s largest news publisher does not reverse last week’s decision by Three-owner Warner Bros. Discovery to shutter Newshub and downsize local production, with the loss of close to 300 jobs.

Journalists at the closing news operation have said the move is “bittersweet” and that they hope Stuff will help to save the jobs of editors, camera people, and reporters.

Stuff publisher Sinead Boucher said in a media release: “We will look to innovate not replicate the 6 o’clock news, building on our expertise in digital audiences and engagement and our ability to deliver live and lively news 24/7 all over Aotearoa.”

Newshub’s website will also be transferred to Stuff as part of the deal, RNZ reports.

Boucher’s company operates the country’s largest news website and newspaper mastheads like The Post, The Press, and the Waikato Times.

She continued: “Newshub and Three, over an incredible 35 years of journalism, has been known for gutsy, independent, non-partisan reporting, values that we share and will proudly continue to uphold.

“Today’s announcement will see us working closely with Warner Bros Discovery in a transition period as we create the new bulletin for them and will also support a longer-term partnership seeking broader news opportunities together.”

During the morning meeting, Newshub reporter Michael Morrah wrote in a tweet that there would be, “‘limited’ roles for ex-Newshub staff.”

Before heading off on an assignment to Morrinsville, Newshub presenter Amanda Gillies told reporters gathered outside her office: “I’m happy for those who will hopefully go across to Stuff and keep telling good stories.”

Warner Bros Discovery NZ boss Glen Kyne said: “This agreement also gives all New Zealanders confidence that there won’t just be one broadcast news option on TV.

Stuff signage (file image).

“It’s critical for democracy that we have a strong fourth estate to hold the powerful to account and that there are different voices asking different questions.

“We were deeply aware of the dampening effect the Newshub closure would have on media plurality and we’re very pleased that New Zealanders will be able to have a choice about what news they watch at 6pm.”

The media executive said Stuff “offered the most compelling option for the daily bulletin as well as strong editorial and cultural alignment”.

NZME, the proprietor of the NZ Herald and Newstalk ZB, had also been in the running to become Three’s news provider but has proven to be unsuccessful.

Kyne added: “Quite simply, I see this as the future of news. Today’s announcement is undoubtedly the beginning of a strong, future-focused partnership between Warner Bros Discovery and Stuff — a model which will thrive in the modern media era.”

‘Bittersweet’: Newshub journalists react

While the news on Three will continue, it’s unclear how many — if any — Newshub staff will keep their jobs as a result of the new bulletin.

Newshub’s Wellington bureau chief Caitlin Cherry said in a tweet that there were “some enormous advantages in having the country’s biggest newsroom.

“Stuff has journalists in areas like Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Nelson, Southland and Waikato. It has an excellent political team and the number-one news website in New Zealand. There are, however, some big challenges ahead.

“Broadcast news requires specific technical and presentation skills. I’m hopeful Stuff will retain some of the incredible expertise at Newshub — editors, camera operators, news producers etc. But many will still lose their jobs.”

A journalist for the Newshub website, Darren Bevan, said today’s news was bittersweet.

“[The] Newshub-Stuff news is bittersweet — so many talented people will still lose their jobs, both in front and behind the camera,” he wrote in a tweet.

“It’s a start of a change admittedly, but the landscape is rapidly changing, and feels like the industry is scrabbling desperately to keep up.”

Today’s announcement comes amid cost-cutting in the industry as television advertising shrinks — there are widespread changes at TVNZ including the ending of Sunday and the broadcast of Fair Go.

Members of the Newshub team had put together their own proposals to save news at Three, while after last week’s closure announcement, presenter and reporter Paddy Gower called on others in the industry to work out a plan to save a television alternative to state-owned TVNZ.

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