Disgraced former TVNZ broadcaster Kamahl Santamaria has revealed he is starting a news podcast and website nearly a year after he resigned after just 32 days in the job.
On Wednesday, he uploaded a trailer for the podcast entitled RE:Balance, in which he references the resignation and the multiple accusations of sexual harassment made against him regarding his time working at Al Jazeera in Qatar.
“You might know me as a broadcaster and journalist who spent 16 years reading the news at Al Jazeera.
“Or you’ll know me as the guy who resigned in controversial circumstances only a month into a new job in New Zealand and hasn’t been seen since.
“Either way, after all those years asking the questions, I now know what it’s like to be the story and to be the subject of today’s clickbaity, controversy-first media landscape.”
The podcast has only set a “coming soon” date, but Santamaria also revealed he’s starting his own news website where he says “context is key”.
“So I’ve launched my own website The Balance where context is key, where we report what we know, not what we think we know and bring you journalism without agenda.”
On the podcast’s website, the synopsis also said he knew “a thing or two about ‘being the story’.” Despite its title, it is not associated with TVNZ’s youth-focussed Re: news brand.
Santamaria has never directly addressed the allegations about his actions while he was at Al Jazeera, which included accounts of him kissing colleagues without consent, touching them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable and sending inappropriate messages.
However, in October, he released a statement about allegations about to emerge via the BBC, in which he apologised for “any and all behaviour that may have made anyone feel uncomfortable at any time”.
Santamaria resigned from his role as TVNZ Breakfast presenter in May 2022, just 32 days after he started.
In his statement, he said: “It has been mortifying to discover my actions have caused people to feel uncomfortable around me.
“What I’ve come to understand is that what I previously considered to be flirtatious, over-friendly, ‘just a bit of banter’, or simply within the bounds of acceptable in the prevailing newsroom culture was, in fact, not. As a journalist, and a person, I should have done better. I should have been better,” Santamaria said on his official website.
The date for the launch of the podcast and website were not announced.