Save us from cute safety warnings

speedtargetDriving back to Auckland from Wellington yesterday I had nine hours behind the wheel in which to read roadside safety messages. Maybe reading all those billboards helps keep drivers awake, but some of the messages just don’t make a lot of sense to me.

Like the one pictured above. If you’ve spent 20 minutes following someone doing 74km/h in good visibility on a road that has a 100km/h limit but no opportunities for overtaking, then 100km/h starts to sound like a VERY GOOD target. And if everyone drove it, then there would be a lot less frustration and ill-considered attempts to overtake.

It’s about as absurd as the one that says “Slow Down!” – no matter how slowly you’re already driving.

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Hallowe’en not ready for prime time

Despite the efforts of some marketers to convince New Zealanders to adopt Hallowe’en (I hear that in the US there are even Hallowe’en greeting cards), the message isn’t getting through in my Auckland neighbourhood.

Again this year, there wasn’t a single knock on the door on Oct 31. Our emergency supply of muesli bars remains safe. (Based on previous years we knew there was no sense in buying lollies for the occasion, but the muesli bars are always on standby.)

Now, if only we could un-adopt Guy Fawkes Day – or at least the amateur pyrotechnics that see thousands of dollars go up in smoke while causing injuries, and terrifying pets and wildlife every November 5.

Thesaurus needed

Sunday View is the name of a magazine included with APN’s Herald on Sunday.

My Sunday ViewBut My Sunday View is a new website set up by rival publisher Fairfax to solicit opinions from the public to help improve its Sunday Star-Times (an initiative rather like the Herald’s long-running reader panel).

Is there a such a shortage of words in the English language that we now have to have two Sunday Views?

Falling house prices the key to new website

Taranaki web developer Kerry Riley wants to shake up online real estate sales.

He’s launched www.1bid.co.nz, a “Dutch auction” site where the price of a property drops each day until it hits the vendor’s reserve price. The first bid wins.

Simple really, but should Trade Me Property be worried? So far, Riley has only one property listed (a Whangarei Heads piece of waterfront which could be yours today for $750,000) and says he’ll see how this one goes before deciding whether to take the concept further.

Radio ratings out

Share of commercial radio listening, ages 10+, national
National audience share. Source: The Radio Bureau

The twice yearly radio ratings have been released, and all the details are available on The Radio Bureau website, including the following summary of national listening:

  • Overall, the number of listeners of Commercial Radio has gone up by 8,600 listeners nationally (All 10+). Cume Audiences for Main HHS has gone up by 39,000 listeners nationally while for AP 25-54, 13,800 new listeners are tuning in over the course of the week.
  • The introduction of “The Breeze” into Auckland has led to a huge increase in its national audience, a growth of 93,300 listeners and 1.8% market share growth among AP 10+.
  • Classic Hits has increased its cume audience by 3,800 listeners (AP 25-54), further consolidating its position as the No.1 station among this target.
  • The Rock has increased its cume audience among AP 10+ by 22,500 listeners. Among AP 18-34, it has retained its position as the top ranked station.
  • The Coast has had an increase of 17,800 listeners among AP 10+, helping it increase its share from 5% to 5.4% nationally.
  • Radio Live has increased its cume audience by 13,300 among All People 25-54, thus increasing its market share from 1.5% to 2.1%.
  • Nui FM has had an increase of 13,500 listeners among all listeners 10+.
  • ZM has increased its audience base amongst AP 10+ by 9,500 listeners.

Leaving the New Zealand Herald

Today marks a turning point for me as I leave nzherald.co.nz after almost seven years as editor. It’s been a great job, but it has really cut into my blogging time. 😉

Starting now, I’ll be updating this site much more frequently, including some of the online journalism issues that I’ve previously covered as part of my “official blog” at nzherald.

That blog is now closed [ but the archives remain at nzherald.co.nz/editor ] and I’ve taken the liberty of cross-posting the final entry below:

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O’Reilly aiming for all of APN?

And an update on the item below…

A report in the Australian says Sir Anthony O’Reilly’s Independent News & Media is aiming to take 100 per cent ownership of APN News & Media. APN owns nzherald.co.nz, the New Zealand Herald, and other media businesses in New Zealand and Australia. And INM owns 41 per cent of APN.

The Australian says:

INM is believed to have teamed up with private equity firms to bid for the outstanding shares in APN in a deal worth $3.8 billion. It is understood INM presented directors with a bid about  $6.00 a share, a sharp premium to yesterday’s $5.49 a share closing price.

The prices mentioned are Australian dollars.