John Campbell (broadcaster)

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John Campbell
Born (1964-02-10) 10 February 1964 (age 55)
Wellington, New Zealand
Alma materVictoria University
CountryNew Zealand

John Campbell (born 10 February 1964) is a New Zealand journalist and radio and television personality. He is currently a roving reporter at TVNZ; before that, he presented Checkpoint, Radio New Zealand's drive time show, from 2016 to 2018. For ten years prior to that (ending May 2015), he presented Campbell Live, a 7 p.m. current affairs programme on TV3. He was a rugby commentator for Sky Sports during the All Blacks' test against Samoa in early 2015 — a fixture he had vocally campaigned for while hosting Campbell Live.

Early career[edit]

Campbell was born in 1964; his parents are Jim and Wendy Campbell.[1] He graduated from Wellington College and then from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours. Campbell got his first taste of broadcasting at Victoria University's Radio Active as a student where, as "Sparky Plug", he provided humorous "alternative rugby commentaries" during All Black games which he now describes as "unbelievably rude" and "grossly defamatory".[2] He then worked as a share trader, providing a share report to Radio New Zealand's Midday Report. In 1989, Radio New Zealand (RNZ) offered him a job as a business reporter. He had no journalism training, but RNZ ran a cadetship system which provided him with the experience he needed. He read the three-minute news bulletins on the hour for RNZ, and then moved to TV3 in 1991 as a general reporter in their Wellington newsroom. He moved to their political press gallery a year later.

Television and later radio career[edit]

In 1994 he moved to the current affairs programme 20/20, and later presented an interview/current events segment of 3 News (now Newshub). After John Hawkesby left 3 News in 1998, Campbell was asked to fill in, and he remained as the main 3 News weekday newsreader along with Carol Hirschfeld until 2005. He began Campbell Live with Hirschfeld in March 2005. On 21 May 2015, TV3 announced that Campbell Live would soon cease to air, and Campbell had decided to leave MediaWorks, despite having been offered a position co-hosting a replacement current affairs programme.[3] Only one year of the offered three-year extension was to have been presenting Campbell Live, and the network was insisting the programme become more entertainment driven and reduce its concentration on core Campbell Live subjects, such as Christchurch after the earthquakes, child poverty, Pike River, and so on. [4] The final programme aired on 29 May 2015.

Campbell's second Executive Producer on Campbell Live, Pip Keane, is now the Executive Producer of Checkpoint on RNZ.

Campbell and Carol Hirschfeld made two series of the interview programme Home Truths, and in 2004 they made a 12-part series touring New Zealand called A Queen's Tour, following the route of Queen Elizabeth's visit in 1953–1954. Campbell also hosted the Saturday Morning programme on Radio New Zealand for two years, from 2000 to 2002.

Campbell appeared in the sixth series of the successful New Zealand TV series Outrageous Fortune and frequently appeared in the animated series bro'Town.

Campbell took over as host of the Radio New Zealand current affairs programme Checkpoint in January 2016. His final appearance for Checkpoint was broadcast on 14 September 2018[5]. He subsequently moved to TVNZ, becoming a roving reporter across the company's news and current affairs output, as well as an occasional fill-in presenter on 1 News.[6][7] Campbell made a cameo appearance in the 2016 New Zealand film Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

In April 2019, he joined Breakfast replacing Jack Tame who moved to Q+A.[8]


Campbell has won the Qantas Media Award for Best Investigative Current Affairs and for Best Presenter (twice), and the Best Presenter category for the New Zealand Film and Television Awards (twice).

In 2013, Campbell was named a Distinguished Alumni of Victoria University.

Campbell was named Presenter of the Year 2017 in the Association for International Broadcasting's 13th annual global awards.[9] And in the 2017 New York Festivals World's Best Radio Programs Awards, Campbell won a Bronze Award in the category of Best News Anchor/Reporter.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Harris, Caleb (23 May 2015). "Campbell's parents still proud of journalist". The Press. p. A12. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  2. ^ John Campbell profile at NZOnScreen
  3. ^ Nippert, Matt (21 May 2015). "John Campbell leaves Campbell Live". The New Zealand Herald.
  4. ^ Nippert, Matt (23 May 2015). "Campbell's crusades irked TV3 bosses". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Goodbye John Campbell – thank you for being so marvellous". RNZ/YouTube. 14 September 2018.
  6. ^ "John Campbell resigns from RNZ, moves to TVNZ". 29 June 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  7. ^ "TVNZ's roving reporter John Campbell called in to read the 6pm news". 8 February 2019. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  8. ^ "John Campbell to present Breakfast show as Jack Tame moves to Q+A". 18 April 2019. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  9. ^ "John Campbell named top presenter at global radio awards". Radio New Zealand. 2 November 2017.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
John Hawkesby
Newsreader of 3 News
(with Carol Hirschfeld)

Succeeded by
Hilary Barry and Mike McRoberts
New television show Presenter of Campbell Live
Show cancelled