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Charter hits TV One’s viewing figures

World Brief

AUCKLAND — The government is to review broadcasting policy two months after launching a new charter for pubcaster TVNZ emphasizing its social and cultural obligations.

The charter changes have softened top rating channel TV One’s commercial edge and cost it auds.

Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey says the second half of 2003 will be dedicated to “a thorough look at where we go from here and that means comprehensively looking at the whole system starting off from first principles.”

Maharey is respected in the Labor government’s inner circle. But some players fear a more hands-on role in an industry that suffered from perpetual policy revamps in the 1970s and 1980s.

Indeed, Maharey says he is “looking at the capacity of the ministry to do a broader broadcasting job.”

Maharey is a former media academic who has been pro-active during his nine months in the job. He has set up a TV violence taskforce and wants “a mixed broadcasting economy” of commercial and public broadcasting.