New Zealand First leader Winston Peters did not mince his words today at the Party's annual conference in Christchurch, telling his audience it's "good riddance" to some Mediaworks staff.
Mediaworks yesterday announced that it is putting TV channel Three up for sale.
The sale will include Three's headquarters on Flower Street, in Auckland's Eden Terrace.
The channel, a major arm of MediaWorks' TV business, includes Bravo and Newshub. MediaWorks will retain its radio network and outdoor advertising company QMS.
Staff were reportedly in shock yesterday following the news which Mr Peters appeared to relish as he spoke to party members in his opening speech.
"I've got a message for my friends in the media, and it's all bad," he said.
"It was announced yesterday certain sections of them are going and are they shocked?" he asked rhetorically, which drew cheers and laughs from the audience.
"Now I'm sorry for some of them, because they deserve to stay, but for some of them, good riddance."
Later, Mr Peters was challenged by media about his comments when a reporter asked him if he was making light of Mediaworks' situation.
"No, I'm not" he said. "How do you mean?"
When further quizzed about if he thought it was good some people lost their jobs, he conceded "well, that's a fact - yes".
"I'm not making light of the situation, all I'm saying is that when you are in a position of Mediaworks, maybe you should have had a better understanding of the economic environment in which you are operating."
"It suggests to me they they didn't," he said.
He finished by saying there are some "superb" people who work for Mediaworks.
"I won't tell you who they are," he said.
He said NZ First needed to “get on top” of social media.
“That’s why I say we are so forward in our planning than ever before, that I am delighted.”
Mr Peters also took aim at broader New Zealand media saying it should “not dare write this party off”.
“We are not going to be ruled out. Our job is to come into the next election as strong as we ever have,” he said.