Even if that were so, they’re not high enough and he gets comprehensively beaten by TV One every night. Meaning TV One gets first pick of the high paying advertisers and TV3 must take second place.
TV3 management have every right to try and change this circumstance around by doing whatever they think is necessary to attract viewer numbers equal to or higher than TV One. In fact they have an urgent need to do this when their parent company is in receivership.
However, even if they acknowledge the right to sack Campbell for low ratings, one point his leftist defenders appear reluctant to acknowledge is that the management of TV3 have an equal right to sack John Campbell if they don’t agree with his politics or even if they just don’t like him.
Campbell is not just a reporter of the news. He describes himself as an “advocacy journalist’, he runs a program where he frequently expresses his personal views on matters political and he has admitted his personal political sympathies lie with the extreme left. He has openly supported the Alliance Party and also Jim Anderton’s Progressive Party. (when they existed) He openly associates with an environmental movement many regard as strongly anti-capitalist.
TV3 is a commercial entity and its existence with whatever flaws it may have is still underpinned by principles of free enterprise. Its management too have a right to hold political opinions, and they might well have opinions that are at variance with John Campbell’s extreme left stance. Given it is their right to run the station as they wish, and given they might not want to give air time to an advocate who wants to undermine the every principle that keeps their station alive, and given they might not want to personally contribute to increasing the political power of far left groups, they have every right to decide they would rather not employ John Campbell.
The most compelling point is that TV3 is owned by someone. Shareholders, private investors, whoever. Its management have a right to do what is right by its owners, and that includes making it run at a profit. However if they don’t want to employ an advocate for ideas that undermine the political system they support, they should not be forced to do so. If they do not agree with John Campbell’s proselytizing and see it has having a detrimental effect upon their business model, they are under no compulsion to provide him with a megaphone. Not in any free country anyway.
Footnote: Even if the left wanted to argue on ratings, the facts are that year on year, Campbell Live was down 26% on 2014 and 41% on 2013. Meanwhile, TV One’s Seven Sharp continues to go from strength to strength, up 13% on last year and 24% on 2013. When Campbell’s show was replaced by “Road Cops” for each Friday for a month, the audience numbers rose by an average of 44%.