Matt Hicks throws some questions the way of the ever opinionated, always entertaining Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury.
MH: The Listener once described you as the “most opinionated man in New Zealand”. Do you agree?
MB: No. Matt Nippert wrote that interview and I think he was wrong, forget NZ, I’m the most opinionated man in Christendom.
MH: How does a typical day look for a fulltime blogger/tv producer/media professional like yourself?
MB: Hi, I’m Martyn Bradbury, and I’m a news junkie. I spend most of my time writing, reading and filming. I am about to launch a new media project involving 30 others on March 1st, I blog every day, script and film my show for Sky TV. I have 3 international news channels playing at all times and National Radio in the background. I live in Grey Lynn cafes most of my life. I really need a holiday.
MH: What’s your favourite medium? TV, Radio or print?
MB: They are all fun in very different ways. I consider myself pretty lucky to be able to bounce from one to the other. Blogging is my passion these days.
MH: Last year you where controversially banned from Radio NZ for ‘attacking’ John Key. You where obviously disappointed with how RNZ treated you. Have you had much contact with them since? Have they ever offered an explanation?
MB: Well, I’m aware of the real reason I was banned for life and it had little to do with my supposedly defaming the Prime Minister. I’ve had contact with RNZ and hopefully they will be taking on board some of my ideas soon.
MH: You and Cameron Slater(The Whale Oil blog/Truth editor) are ideologically opposed but seemed to be amicable (he would appear on your shows quite regularly). What ended your friendship/association?
MB: Dear old Cam, he fires up from time to time and takes offense at things and then ends up regretting his temper. I wouldn’t ever regard us as friends however; the manner in which he undermined the old editor of The Truth was the final straw on that front. The dirty tactics he employs on his blog are sewer level stuff; I think Cam just needs a hug and a cup of tea.
MH: Did he set up the Martyn Bradbury real estate site?
MB: That site is too clever for Cam to have put together.
MH: Many still remember you fondly doing talkback on Channel Z. Would you like to get back into radio at some stage?
MB: GRIN – If RNZ listen to my ideas, maybe.
MH: You were very vocal in your disgust when Mediaworks changed Channel Z into Kiwi FM. Have you taken pleasure in watching Kiwi underperform?
MB: Its always underperformed. Its creation was to deny an advert free youth channel from being launched, which in turn would have damaged the Edge and the Rock ratings. Why the bloody hell the Labour Party just handed $6million worth of asset over to a foreign owned media company without so much as an explanation always bewildered me. I’ve hit up Labour Party MPs about it, and none of them can explain it, to be honest, they didn’t seem to be aware they even owned Kiwi FM.
As Channel Z, other radio stations felt they had to compete with our playlist, so that when we pushed a NZ track, a month later other stations would pick it up. It created a massive leap in NZ music being played, but when it became Kiwi it simply became a ghetto for NZ music with a playlist no other commercial playlist competed against. It’s been a total failure, and no amount of ‘I told you so’ can make up for the inadvertent damage Mediaworks caused the NZ music industry.
MH: When the powers at be told you Z was becoming Kiwi what was your initial thoughts? Did you hear rumblings of the change or was it a complete surprise?
MB: It was announced and at the time I argued it could work if they made it about the way Kiwi’s saw the world around them and only if it wasn’t 100% NZ music. I even applied for Breakfast but when the narrowness of what they wanted to do became apparent to me, I opted for redundancy instead.
MH: What do you think of the current state of Kiwi? (Now playing 40% international content). Is it right or should the station be scrapped?
MB: Of course it should be scrapped. I wrote a column for Metro last year arguing about what should happen. RNZ can’t sell advertising or sponsorship on their station or all hell will break loose. I’ve argued that the Government should take Kiwi back from Mediaworks and shut it down and relaunch it as RNZ2 using a liberal talkback format with Gen X broadcasters and sponsorship. This way RNZ2 could generate the funding RNZ so desperately need.
MH: Would you like to be involved in a possible RNZ run Youth Radio Network?
MB: The reason I’ve promoted RNZ2 over YRN is because the YRN couldn’t carry sponsorship. In a time where there is no money for public broadcasting, we have to come up with smarter ways to generate revenue or Seven Sharp becomes the new dumbed down standard for critical media in this country.
MH: You are a massive advocate for public service television. Why does National not believe Public Service TV is important?
MB: They ideologically believe the free market can solve everything. Unfortunately in NZ the market is simply too small to have just advertising support public broadcasting. The gulf between their free market beliefs and reality are simply too wide for them to do what is necessary to properly fund advert free public broadcasting. A fully funded public broadcaster that is critical of their policy is about as high on National’s agenda as a 40-foot statue of Helen Clark.
MH: Why is regional TV important and do you see it surviving?
MB: Regional TV is dying before our eyes. They were supposed to have channels made available to them when the analogue switch over occurred, however to my utter amazement, Kordia, the state owned enterprise responsible for frequencies has broken their own rules by selling those frequencies off to Chinese media interests. That’s why Freeview has so many Chinese stations. That Kordia have not been taken to task for killing off regional Television is an indictment to the lack of investigative journalism in the mainstream media.
MH: You where the Programme Director at Alt TV. Looking back could you see the writing on the wall before its eventual demise?
MB: LOLZ HARD – yes the writing was on the wall about 1 day after being there. The directors of Alt TV were the most incompetent people I think I’ve ever met.
MH: What are some of your highlights from your time presenting and programme producing at Alt TV?
MB: The minor party leaders debate and The Sunday Newspaper Brunch Club where Wallace Chapman got his first TV break.
MH: We have now seen Max TV and Alt TV both fall by the wayside. Do you think NZ can sustain a max/alt style channel or is it simply too hard?
MB: It’s cost. The cost of getting frequency is so high compared to how much advertising revenue you can generate from that frequency.
MH: What do you think of the current state of mainstream NZ television?
MB: Seven Sharp is a hate crime against public broadcasting. What more can be said? We are a nation of sleepy hobbits fed idiocy and nonsense to depoliticize the public sphere so that we forget about being citizens and are brainwashed into becoming consumers.
MH: Who are some broadcasters (television and radio) you respect?
MB: John Campbell is simply one of the best broadcasters we’ve ever had in NZ. Wallace Chapman is great on Backbenchers and Kim Hill of course is the undisputed champion of Radio.
MH: Which local blogs do you respect and admire?
MH: When did you first start taking a keen interest in politics?
MB: I grew up in poverty. I remember listening to a politician saying no NZer should ever go hungry. Naively at the time I thought it was because those on the top had no idea how bad it was for us on the bottom. I decided to get to University so that I could articulate it to them. Of course, once I got to Uni, I realized those in power were well aware of how screwed it is for those on the bottom, they just didn’t give a fuck.
MH: Bomber in parliament! Have you ever thought about a career in politics?
MB: Well I am very closely associated with the MANA party and have worked to get them set up so that a real left wing alternative is possible in the NZ political spectrum, but I loath most politicians and prefer to fight outside Parliament than inside it.
MH: Is it something you might consider in the future? Have you ever been offered a role with any of the parties?
MB: Let’s see what 2014 turns up.
MH: And finally who are some of Bombers favourite bands?
MB: Rage Against the Machine, Green Day and System of a Down.
He blogs here http://www.tumeke.blogspot.com
Episodes of his shows can be found on youtube here
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