MediaWorks’ banks Westpac, RaboBank and RBS Group have seized ownership of veteran broadcaster and host of TV3’s Campbell Live John Campbell, in an effort to help pay down the company’s debt after it was put into receivership early this morning.
The banks, who have previously been unable to reach a deal with MediaWorks over its debt, believe that Campbell is worth between $50-100 million.
Sources report that Campbell went happily and peacefully this morning, when he was physically removed from his cryogenic freezing chamber at TV3 studios in downtown Auckland. The men who seized him told him that he would be going on a “fun new adventure,” and with a beaming smile, Campbell told them that sounded “marvelous.”
“Would you like to buy a Mazda?” he asked as they left.
Campbell Live is to be replaced by a new show called The Gower Hour with Patrick Gower, which will be half an hour, and feature 3 News political editor Patrick Gower profiling politicians he believes should resign in shame over a thing he just found.
The seizure of John Campbell has already helped pay down a significant portion of MediaWorks’ debt, but the company’s receivers, KordaMentha, say that additional measures will still need to be taken. These measures will include corporate sponsorship of each of the eight remaining X Factor contestants, as well as the replacement of newsreaders Hilary Barry and Mike McRoberts with an alpaca and a potato.
Concerned by the banks’ seizure, the Labour Party has suggested that the Government put Campbell into public ownership, so that he “can be used by everyone.”
This notion was flatly rejected by Prime Minister John Key, who said that the Government could not afford to nationalise John Campbell, but that he would be encouraging the banks to use him “responsibly.”
The banks have yet to say what they’ll do with the popular broadcaster, but sources close to the situation expect that he’ll be put in charge of managing home loans, or contracted out as a car salesman.