Public Statement about leaving Rhema

On Wednesday of last week I was informed that the Rhema Broadcasting Group would not be renewing Pat Brittenden Mornings for 2013. I was also informed that I personally would not be required for the new incarnation of the 9am to midday show.

From the outset I have always said that as a contractor to RBG that I may, or may not be required at the end of my current contract.

It has been clear since new radio management took over in the last few months that a talk product was not the desired direction in 2013 and last week the decision to move away from talk and back to a yet-to-be-finalised music product aimed at the Christian market was made official.

In the period leading up to that official decision I made it clear to management that I was prepared to look at working with RBG on a music format radio show as many of my 15,000 plus hours on New Zealand airwaves have been working in music along with, in later years, focusing on talk-radio but this offer was not accepted.

I want you to know that this is not a mutual decision, I made it clear that I was available in 2013 should RBG want to use me either in the current form, or in a new style show. They did not.

I hold no hard feelings about the decision, I made the offer to be a contractor at the start of the year, I negotiated the idea of being a contractor rather than an employee and this is one of the pitfalls of that decision.

I also want to state publicly that I am saddened that Rhema has decided to move away from the talk product, I think moving back towards a music product will make for a weaker overall station and will somewhat silence, good intelligent debate and challenging conversations and opinions that not only the church, but society needs to hear. The idea of steel sharpening steel has always been my desire no matter where I was working, it was no different at Rhema. In saying that I again acknowledge that it is RBG’s prerogative to do so, and accept the decision with no animosity and I do genuinely desire to see RBG succeed in everything she does.

I have potentially some very exciting opportunities lining up for 2013 including the television series I have been working on, elephantTV, the media and marketing business that my wife and I run and a couple of other things that need to remain a little more ‘under the radar’ at the moment. I will say as of today I have no other radio opportunities lined up and don’t know if you’ll hear me somewhere else in NZ…or not.

I wanted to put this in writing so as to dismiss any rumour or confusion as to why I have moved on from Rhema. There is nothing worse than the listener of a radio station not knowing what has happened to the host they built a relationship with over a period of time. You may hear rumours of survey results or money, I do not believe these are the main reason for the non-renewal. I believe it simply comes down to not fitting in with the picture or future direction of the station that the new radio management has, a bit of a square peg in a round hole, and that’s okay for those who haven’t worked in radio that’s what happens. A new style comes with a new management and you either fit, or you don’t.

I want to acknowledge the RBG Executive and Board for taking a risk on an announcer who was ‘the most complained about host on Newstalk ZB‘ and pay special credit to Terry Cobham who fought to have me in the building. Also to my executive producer, the back bone of the show, the woman whom I call the ‘CEO’ of Pat Brittenden Mornings, Nerida Ashcroft, what can I say other than “thanks…it’s been a blast!

My expectation as of today is to work out my contract which finishes on December 21st, I look forward to a fun three weeks of broadcasting as we lead up to Christmas and I wish New Zealand’s Rhema all the best for 2013 and hope that I can be involved with her at some stage again on some level.

I would very much like to hear from you if you are a listener of Rhema in the next three weeks, we will be doing a lot of Christmas talkback so hopefully you can join in.

If you would like to keep up with my exciting life in 2013 you can follow me here (I promise to get back into writing), or my facebook page, or twitter account.


UPDATE, Friday 30/11, 3.18pm

I am now at home after a brief chat with my boss. I need to amend part of the above post to say that I am now finished at Rhema. When I was told last week that the show would not be renewed I immediately asked for what the radio industry calls ‘gardening leave’ which basically means you wrap up on air immediately but are technically still employed by the business. I asked my immediate manager, and a manager higher up the food chain and was declined, but today I have been told that that option is where Rhema wants to go.

I am sorry to miss you people who listen to me and not to be able to wrap up the year together, but this is a standard way to finish a contract not being renewed and it means I can look to 2013 and figure out how to ‘pay the bills’ etc…

I have been told by a manager that there are some inaccuracies in the above post, and have offered to change those inaccuracies if they are pointed out to me. My offer was declined and when I asked what was wrong in the post I was told, “it doesn’t matter now, it’s done.” I still make the offer that if I have made an inaccurate statement in the above post, please let me know and I am happy to correct it.

Again let me finish by saying that I am not upset, angry or annoyed with this outcome. I accept that RBG has the right to change direction, and whilst mine, and many other opinions may not agree with the directional change, it’s the right of the group to do so.

Again I say all the best to my colleagues at Rhema, and I do wish all the best for 2013 and beyond.

27 thoughts on “Public Statement about leaving Rhema

  1. Andrea November 30, 2012 / 09:46

    That is sad to hear Pat. I will miss hearing you and those who “talk-back” to you. I feel that recently a great mix had been achieved with talk, music and interviews.
    All the best for you and your family for the future.

    • Pat Brittenden December 1, 2012 / 10:35

      Thanks Andrea, management has the right to choose the direction of the show for 2013, and I hope you get as much enjoyment about next years incarnation as well 🙂

  2. FionaH November 30, 2012 / 10:04

    I will miss your talkback. I never use to listen to their morning program as I have to say I don’t like their mixture of music often. I hope we hear you on talkback somewhere else. I hope all goes well with your next endeavour.

    • Pat Brittenden December 1, 2012 / 10:36

      Hey Fiona. I know the new Programme Director really well who begins in January, and I know one of his desires is to re-jig the music and hopefully make a product that is more palatable to you and others.

  3. Stephanie November 30, 2012 / 12:54

    I am extremely sad to hear of you leaving the morning program. I never listened to Rhema much in the mornings until you started your talkback show. As a stay at home mum I really enjoyed your company and it will not be the same without you. I also learned a lot from you, you have opened my eyes to being more opened minded about many different things. I actually have a tear in my eye, I will miss you. I wish you all the best for the future.

    • Pat Brittenden December 1, 2012 / 10:38

      Thanks for the kind words Stephanie. Not sure yet where 2013 will do for me other than trying our best to get elephantTV up an running. We can continue to ‘keep each other company’ by connection here or on my facebook page

  4. Sandra November 30, 2012 / 14:52

    Very sad you are going Pat. The talkback was always much more interesting than listening to music all the time. I much prefer to be engaged and listening to current topics that should be discussed in the Christian forum than having to turn my radio down in the car because of the music. I do think that the talkback provided balance and variety and Rhema will lose that reverting to music. Best wishes and thanks

    • Pat Brittenden December 1, 2012 / 10:40

      I guess the only thing to be wary of is that when the new style comes in next year we still give it a chance. When I say it’s going music that is the desire of current management, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any talk. Maybe there will still be engaging interviews about issues that interest you and others as well, amongst more music. Appreciate your thoughts Sandra

  5. Rich November 30, 2012 / 15:39

    Hey Pat, I myself have enjoyed your talk back and differing approaches on this radio station…..Ive listened to Rhema because of you actually..then once got the idea of the station listened to other material as well….however, I guess ill go back to mainstream talkback station listening …I do myself love a good debate….makes the day go food for thought…differing perspectives is in my opinion great. Management have made a dire mistake here….I hope I will hear you on another station in the future….its great to listen to you….good luck with regards to you and your family….happy holidays..:) regards Rich

    • Pat Brittenden December 1, 2012 / 10:43

      Thanks RIch. whether they have made a mistake or not it is still theirs to make. I was not an employee…just a humble contractor…and it is RBG prerogative to move in a different direction. Thanks for your kind words

  6. Marlene Philpott November 30, 2012 / 15:56

    good luck Pat we still miss you on zb shame you cant come back, have a happy and safe christmas with your girls

  7. Susan November 30, 2012 / 16:51

    Shame to see you go Pat. You’re the reason I’ve been listening to Rhema this year. Haven’t always agreed with everything you’ve said but that’s the whole point isn’t it? To get me thinking on why I believe things and hear what others are saying about it. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and all the very best for 2013. You’ll be missed.

    • Pat Brittenden November 30, 2012 / 20:06

      Cheers Susan 🙂 Wouldn’t life be boring if we always Merry Xmas to you as well.

  8. Jo November 30, 2012 / 17:07

    I feel like a light in my day is being snuffed out! It gave me such hope to hear real issues finally being debated and considered from many sides, where Christianity not only had a voice but also demonstrated they have ears to listen to others. Thank you Pat for the incredibly valuable job you did. I will miss you hugely. A poor decision that affects many.

    • Pat Brittenden November 30, 2012 / 20:05

      Thanks for the kind words Jo, the decision is their’s to make, I may not agree with it and feel sorry for people like yourself who will now miss out…but in the end it is there choice on the direction. Don’t give up you may find something you really like in the new format next year 🙂

  9. Anton Wolter November 30, 2012 / 19:07

    Sorry to hear you are leaving. I did not always agree with you but admire your honesty and insights in the many topics you covered.

    • Pat Brittenden November 30, 2012 / 20:04

      Thanks Anton. Onwards and upwards ah 😉

  10. Chris Bedford November 30, 2012 / 21:01

    This says a lot more about Rhema than about you, Pat – they want to shut themselves away in the ghetto of the ‘Christian market’, while you gave them the possibility of engaging with people outside that holy sphere ….and you do it so well. Even as an active Christian I rarely listen to Rhema, and I sure miss your nights on Newstalk ZB. Will await with interest news of where you go next.

  11. Robyn Hood December 1, 2012 / 02:08

    Gee, it’s hard to understand why they wouldn’t point to the inaccurate parts of your statement for you to amend- seems like they’d just prefer you to shut up completely if they won’t dialog over it. Surprised, saddened and WORRIED that this attitude is the new way forward on Rhema :-O

  12. Brigitte December 2, 2012 / 22:26

    Gutted. I never enjoyed talk back much until I heard your show. I am not keen on hearing every tom, dick & harry’s uneducated comments. Your show however was extremely informative & balanced. I loved how you had experts on both sides of a topic / debate. Such healthy mind food. I finally thought Rhema had struck the jackpot. This is a HUGE loss to Rhema and personally I think a very unwise decision on their part. Agree with Robyn Hood’s last statement – “Worried that this is the new way forward on Rhema”. I wish you and your family everything of God’s richest blessings for your future.

  13. Christine December 3, 2012 / 22:11

    I’m like everyone else, I was getting ready for that famous song that comes on after the news, then I know it’s time for Pat, so not only will I miss the song, I will miss your morning show, I have thoroughly enjoyed it, with lots of discussions and good debates with my family and friends, sad to hear your gone and wish you all the best in your next direction, may you and your family find a new happiness in 2013. hear you somewhere, or see you around, take care. I will have to find a new station now.

  14. Elizabeth Walker December 4, 2012 / 09:04

    I’m really going to miss your show Pat. It was cutting edge and I was impressed that Rhema had opened up this opportunity for challenging debate and exchange of views. I believe this is what is needed in Christian Radio. Thank you for a taste of exciting Christian Radio and I hope it won’t be the last we hear of you in this regard. Wishing you a blessed and relaxed Christmas with your family.

  15. Gary December 4, 2012 / 10:57

    Pat I only listened to Rhema for your show. They were always first rate. Topical, well reasearched and challenging. Compliments to yourself and Nerida for the guests and questions and I wish you well for the future.

  16. Rose December 4, 2012 / 23:06

    Hi Pat
    I too, like previous writers, am not a big fan of talkback radio, but have very much enjoyed your show when I have had the opportunity to tune in. Thought-provoking and honest, I greatly appreciated the exploration of ideas and willingness to tackle some big issues. I am disappointed about the change of focus – there is such a need for genuine, thoughtful conversation about things that really matter, rather than just being talked ‘at’ by others without the opportunity to engage with ideas and people. Please find ways to continue the conversation!

  17. Kate December 6, 2012 / 20:50

    Hi Pat – I got back from 5 weeks in Arizona on Monday and looked forward to your talk-back on Rhema so was puzzled to hear Andrew (much as I enjoy his programme later in the day!). I knew you were due to take time off during October and was wondering if you had extended that time. However, I checked on the internet today and am so disappointed to read you are no longer with Rhema – what a loss!! I really appreciated your style and you certainly kept up with what is happening in our world with some very topical issues and interesting guests. I’m one of Rhema’s supporters who feels we should be kept informed about issues and you did that very well. Will it help if we contact Rhema about inviting you back on air?? “Bring back Pat?!!!”
    God bless you and your family.

  18. Matt December 6, 2012 / 23:09

    Hi Pat, Its a damn shame whats happened! As a courier driver I would click over at 9 and sing to your intro song lol, always looking forward to what your topics are for the day. I realized something was a bit different this week (and then I stumble across this.) Rhema needs your programme, (where would you get interviews with the likes of POD’s Sonny, Pat Lam and others opening up on their Faith) I even told my wife to tune in to Dont take it for granted because I thought it was a fantastic parenting show. You will be hugely missed in my van every week day morning, all the best with your endeavours and many blessings to you and your family.

  19. Steve Hutt December 7, 2012 / 00:21

    I should have seen this coming when Rhema sent out that letter apologising for giving away ‘Bear’ Grylls book as it contained content that may have offended. I and my wife have been challenged by the topics you discussed & it has been good to see Christianity engaging in the market place. Rhema will be all the poorer & have misjudged the need for real dialogue by real people. Thanks for your quality work & presentations – wishing you and your family God’s richest blessings this Christmas.

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