'Heartbreaking': Mike McRoberts reacts to Newshub axing, comforts colleagues outside newsroom

'Heartbreaking': Mike McRoberts reacts to Newshub axing, comforts colleagues outside newsroom

He and up to 200 others are set to lose their jobs.

Mike McRoberts has reacted after it was announced that Newshub will close down in just a few months. 

The NZ Herald reports that staff were called into a meeting at 11 AM today and were told the news division, including their website, will shut down at the end of June. 

Around 200 people are expected to lose their jobs, including McRoberts and Samantha Hayes, who host the 6 PM bulletin, as well as Ryan Bridge, host of the new 7 PM show. 

"It's heartbreaking," he told Stuff. "We’re a pretty good newsroom. If we can’t make it work, who can?”

“People are obviously upset," a camera operator said. "There are people who have worked here for decades."

 “It’s a bit f*cking sh*t, isn’t it,” another employee told reporters. 

Newshub is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery and their NZ boss Glen Kyne told employees at the meeting that "this is awful."

Employees are obviously shattered by the news, with one saying: "These are staff who care very much about news and this is devastating.”

Staff were also told that ThreeNow, the online streaming service, will now be the company's focus. 

Kyne said staff gave it everything they had, but it just wasn't enough.

“Everybody who works for Warner Bros. Discovery ANZ has done everything we could have asked," he said. "This proposal is not a reflection of these efforts."

“Every time we think we’ve landed on stable footing, something comes along and makes it unstable again, forcing us to look at ways of further reducing costs. We’ve now reached a stage where any further reduction in costs means proposing major changes."

"This is why we are proposing to shut down the newsroom. This would mean stopping all news production including the Newshub website from June 30.”

”We know that Newshub has been such an important and central part of TV3 since day one, and is a crucial part of a functioning media sector in New Zealand," he continued. 

”We also know that New Zealanders have come to love our local shows, from 'Dancing with the Stars', to 'The Block NZ', to 'Black Coast Vanishings'

“Free-to-air and news are expensive businesses to run. Put simply, the economic headwinds means the returns are not there. These proposed changes will be hard if they are implemented, but we think they are necessary, which is why we have commenced consultation."