Fred Barnes founded Country Calendar in 1966. The show would become one of the longest running on the planet; and as presenter, Barnes became one of New Zealand's most widely-known TV personalities. After commanding rural broadcasting for state television and radio, Barnes trained journalists in Malaysia and headed Radio New Zealand's overseas programming division. He died 13 March 1993, at 72.
For three decades Peter Sinclair was one of New Zealand’s leading TV presenters. A radio announcer by training, he was the face of music television, fronting Let’s Go, C’mon and Happen Inn from 1964 to 1973. He reinvented himself as a quiz show host with Mastermind — and hosted telethons and beauty contests until the mid 90s. Sinclair returned to radio and wrote an online column until his death in August 2001.
Best-known as an outspoken and award-winning columnist, Rosemary McLeod devised and was principal writer on iconic 80s TV soap Gloss, detailing the lives, loves and trades of Remuera's Redfern fashion magazine dynasty. She has also written scripts for Country GP and Bruno Lawrence/Ginette McDonald late 70s gender politics sitcom All Things Being Equal.
Though best known as a sports writer and radio DJ, Phil Gifford’s long career has also seen a number of noteworthy screen encounters — including top-selling rugby videos, an acclaimed feature film and sketch-writing for late legend Billy T James.
Jude Dobson became a familiar television presence in the 1990s presenting a run of lifestyle shows, and then her own five night a week series. After beginning on quiz show Sale of the Century, she went on to helm almost 1000 episodes of 5.30 with Jude and its follow-up. In 2002 she set up production company Homegrown Television to make documentaries and educational films exploring parenting and family.
Ian Cross trained as a journalist. His 1957 novel The God Boy has been hailed as a classic (and similar status afforded to the 1976 television adaptation). As Listener editor he doubled its circulation and reinvigorated its writing staff. As broadcasting chair and chief executive he had a turbulent relationship with the Muldoon government - and failed to stem what he saw as the over-commercialisation of television.
Television experience with the BBC helped David Pumphrey win a job in Kiwi television, soon after he returned to New Zealand in 1959. He went on to produce children's shows, live broadcasts, and Montage — forerunner to magazine show Town and Around. Pumphrey also worked on the first TV broadcasts by celebrity cook Graham Kerr, and directed for high profile current affairs shows Compass and Gallery.
Journalist and prolific author Gordon McLauchlan edited The New Zealand Encyclopedia for a decade. In 1976 his bestseller The Passionless People dissected the Kiwi psyche. In the 1980s McLauchlan presented Sunday morning magazine show Weekend for a six year run, aside from a few months in the United States while hosting series American Pie. In 1987 he was named Best Presenter at the GOFTA Awards. Later he resumed his partnership with Weekend's Kerry Smith on weekday show 5.30 Live. McLauchlan has also written TV columns for The Listener, and set questions for the first two seasons of Sale of the Century.
Taranaki-born Eric Young wrote the first of many articles and columns on sport in the 1980s, for The Auckland Star. Since moving to television for TV3's 1989 launch, he has co-presented TVNZ news show Tonight, reported for ESPN in Singapore, and since 2006 presented the news for Prime TV and Sky. In 2008 he won three awards, including Sportswriter of the Year; he hosted Prime's coverage of the 2012 Olympics.
Jon Bridges developed his stand-up comedy skills while studying English and Computer Science at Massey University. In the early 90s he moved into television with sketch show Away Laughing and drama Homeward Bound. In 1995 he joined the team of cult youth show Ice TV. By 2009 Bridges had become a producer, on the first of seven seasons of hit panel show 7 Days. The show won him two awards. In 2017 he oversaw the launch of Three's primetime show The Project. Bridges has written for kidult series Secret Agent Men and The Amazing Extraordinary Friends — plus a column for The Listener, from 2006 to 2011.