Mar 28 2017

WIN buys Ten Northern NSW

WIN Corporation has purchased Northern Rivers Television (NRN), the Northern NSW-Gold Coast affiliate of the Ten Network currently owned by Southern Cross Austereo.

The deal, worth $45 million plus another $10 million to be paid in a year, will see WIN finally get a foot into the lucrative market of an estimated 2.163 million viewers. The company was unsuccessful in its bid to purchase the region’s top-rating Nine affiliate NBN in 2007 which sold for around $250 million.

In programming terms the change of ownership will see little change — as NRN has been a Network Ten affiliate in the region since aggregation in 1991, and WIN has been aligned to Ten in its other major regional markets since last year.

What viewers in the local area might not be as thrilled about is the prospect of the large blue WIN logo that appears on screen over the top of the Ten watermark on its programming.

And it is too early to tell yet if WIN plans to expand its local news format to the NRN coverage area. WIN currently produces half-hour local news bulletins for broadcast across much of its coverage areas in regional Queensland, Southern NSW/ACT, regional Victoria and Tasmania.

Ten (NRN) currently has an overall prime time market share of 17.8%, well behind Prime7 (27.6%) and NBN (32.8%) and not far above ABC (17.0%).

Source: Mumbrella, Regional TAM.



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Mar 26 2017

TV Week Logie Awards — Nominations

TV Week has announced its nominees for the upcoming 59th annual TV Week Logie Awards.

The nominees for the awards’ highest honour — the Gold Logie — are The Project‘s Waleed Aly and Peter Helliar,  actors Jessica Marais (The Wrong Girl, Love Child), Rodger Corser (Doctor Doctor and The Doctor Blake Mysteries) and Samuel Johnson (Molly), and host Grant Denyer (Family Feud, The Great Australia Spelling Bee).

Can Aly make it two in a row, or will Helliar take the Gold and make it three Gold Logies in a row for The Project?

Still to be announced is this year’s TV Week Logie Awards‘ Hall Of Fame recipient.

The 59th annual TV Week Logie Awards will be held at the Crown Entertainment Complex, Melbourne, on Sunday 23 April and broadcast on the Nine Network.

Public-voted Categories:

TV WEEK GOLD LOGIE – Best Personality On Australian TV
• Grant Denyer (All Star Family Feud/Family Feud/The Great Australian Spelling Bee) (Network Ten)
• Jessica Marais (Love Child/The Wrong Girl) (Nine Network/Network Ten)
• Peter Helliar (The Project) (Network Ten)
• Rodger Corser (Doctor Doctor/The Doctor Blake Mysteries) (Nine Network/ABC)
• Samuel Johnson (Molly) (Channel Seven)
• Waleed Aly (The Project) (Network Ten)

(Last year’s winner: Waleed Aly)

• Craig McLachlan (Deep Water/The Doctor Blake Mysteries/The Wrong Girl) (SBS/ABC/Network Ten)
• Erik Thomson (800 Words) (Channel Seven)
• Richard Roxburgh (Rake) (ABC)
• Rodger Corser (Doctor Doctor/The Doctor Blake Mysteries) (Nine Network/ABC)
• Samuel Johnson (Molly) (Channel Seven)

(Last year’s winner: Erik Thomson)

• Asher Keddie (Offspring) (Network Ten)
• Deborah Mailman (Cleverman/Jack Irish/Offspring/Wolf Creek) (ABC/Network Ten/Stan)
• Jessica Marais (Love Child/The Wrong Girl) (Nine Network/Network Ten)
• Jessica Mauboy (The Secret Daughter) (Channel Seven)
• Marta Dusseldorp (A Place To Call Home/Jack Irish/Janet King) (Foxtel – Showcase/ABC)

(Last year’s winner: Jessica Marais)

• Amanda Keller (The Living Room) (Network Ten)
• Carrie Bickmore (The Project) (Network Ten)
• Grant Denyer (All Star Family Feud/Family Feud/The Great Australian Spelling Bee) (Network Ten)
• Sarah Harris (Shark Tank/Studio 10) (Network Ten)
• Waleed Aly (The Project) (Network Ten)

(Last year’s winner: Waleed Aly)

• Hayley Magnus (The Wrong Girl) (Network Ten)
• Penny McNamee (Home And Away) (Channel Seven)
• Rob Collins (Cleverman/The Wrong Girl) (ABC/Network Ten)
• Shalom Brune-Franklin (Doctor Doctor) (Nine Network)
• Tiarnie Coupland (Love Child) (Nine Network)

(Last year’s winner: Adam Dovile)

800 Words (Channel Seven)
Doctor Doctor (Nine Network)
Home And Away (Channel Seven)
Molly (Channel Seven)
Offspring (Network Ten)
Wentworth (Foxtel – Showcase)

(Last year’s winner: Home And Away)

Anh’s Brush With Fame (ABC)
Family Feud (Network Ten)
Have You Been Paying Attention? (Network Ten)
The Voice Australia (Nine Network)
Upper Middle Bogan (ABC)

(Last year’s winner: Family Feud)

Four Corners (ABC)
Studio 10 (Network Ten)
Sunrise (Channel Seven)
The Project (Network Ten)
Today (Nine Network)

(Last year’s winner: The Project)

Australian Survivor (Network Ten)
I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! (Network Ten)
MasterChef Australia (Network Ten)
My Kitchen Rules (Channel Seven)
The Block (Nine Network)

(Last year’s winner: The Block)

In Rio Today (Channel Seven)
Monday Night With Matty Johns (Foxtel – FOX SPORTS)
The AFL Footy Show (Nine Network)
The NRL Footy Show (Nine Network)
Wide World Of Sports (Nine Network)

(Last year’s winner: The Footy Show (NRL))

Better Homes And Gardens (Channel Seven)
Gardening Australia (ABC)
Luke Warm Sex (ABC)
Selling Houses Australia (Foxtel – LifeStyle)
The Living Room (Network Ten)

(Last year’s winner: The Living Room)

Australian Story (ABC)
Bondi Rescue (Network Ten)
Bondi Vet (Network Ten)
Gogglebox Australia (Foxtel – LifeStyle/Network Ten)
Todd Sampson’s Body Hack (Network Ten)

(Last year’s winner: Gogglebox Australia)

Industry-voted Categories:

A Place To Call Home (Foxtel – Showcase)
Cleverman (ABC)
Rake (ABC)
The Code (ABC)
Wentworth (Foxtel – Showcase)

(Last year’s winner: Glitch)

Barracuda (ABC)
Deep Water (SBS)
Molly (Channel Seven)
Secret City (Foxtel – Showcase)
The Kettering Incident (Foxtel – Showcase)

(Last year’s winner: The Secret River)

• Henry Nixon (Fergus McFadden, The Kettering Incident, Foxtel – Showcase)
• Noah Taylor (Nick Manning, Deep Water, SBS)
• Richard Roxburgh (Cleaver Greene, Rake, ABC)
• Rodger Corser (Hugh Knight, Doctor Doctor, Nine Network)
• Samuel Johnson (Ian “Molly” Meldrum, Molly, Channel Seven)

(Last year’s winner: Alex Dimitriades)

• Anna Torv (Harriet Dunkley, Secret City, Foxtel – Showcase)
• Danielle Cormack (Bea Smith, Wentworth, Foxtel – Showcase)
• Elizabeth Debicki (Anna Macy, The Kettering Incident, Foxtel – Showcase)
• Jessica Marais (Joan Millar, Love Child, Nine Network)
• Marta Dusseldorp (Janet King, Janet King, ABC)
• Yael Stone (Tori Lustigman, Deep Water, SBS)

(Last year’s winner: Deborah Mailman)

• Ben Oxenbould (Chris Toohey, Deep Water, SBS)
• Damon Herriman (Kim Gordon, Secret City, Foxtel – Showcase)
• Matt Nable (Coach Frank Torma, Barracuda, ABC)
• Rick Donald (Woody, 800 Words, Channel Seven)
• Ryan Johnson (Matt Knight, Doctor Doctor, Nine Network)

(Last year’s winner: Tim Minchin)

• Debra Lawrance (Mum, Please Like Me, ABC)
• Deborah Mailman (Bernadette, Wolf Creek, Stan)
• Jenni Baird (Regina Bligh, A Place To Call Home, Foxtel – Showcase)
• Nicole da Silva (Franky Doyle, Wentworth, Foxtel – Showcase)
• Victoria Haralabidou (Stephanie Kelly, Barracuda, ABC)

(Last year’s winner: Celia Ireland)

• Elias Anton (Danny Kelly, Barracuda, ABC)
• Geraldine Hakewill (Chelsea Babbage, Wanted, Channel Seven)
• Hunter Page-Lochard (Koen West, Cleverman, ABC)
• Rob Collins (Waruu West, Cleverman, ABC)
• Tilda Cobham-Hervey (Eliza Grayson, The Kettering Incident, Foxtel – Showcase)

(Last year’s winner: Ky Baldwin)

Anh’s Brush With Fame (ABC)
Gruen (ABC)
Have You Been Paying Attention? (Network Ten)
The Voice Australia (Nine Network)
The Weekly With Charlie Pickering (ABC)

(Last year’s winner: Gruen)

Black Comedy (ABC)
Please Like Me (ABC)
Rosehaven (ABC)
Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell (ABC)
Upper Middle Bogan (ABC)

(Last year’s winner: Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell)

Beat Bugs (Channel Seven)
Bottersnikes & Gumbles (Channel Seven)
Little Lunch: The Nightmare Before Graduation (ABC ME)
Nowhere Boys: Two Moons Rising (ABC ME)
Tomorrow When The War Began (ABC ME)

(Last year’s winner: Ready For This)

2016 NRL Grand Final (Wide World Of Sports, Nine Network)
2016 Supercars Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 (Network Ten)
2016 AFL Grand Final (Channel Seven)
Cricket: KFC Big Bash League (Network Ten)
Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Channel Seven)

(Last year’s winner: KFC T20 Big Bash League)

• “Bankstown Hospital” (Nine News, Nine Network)
• “Federal Election 2016” (Seven News, Channel Seven)
• “Inside Syria” (SBS World News, SBS)
• “S.A. Waste Dump” (NITV News, NITV)
• “Sky News Election Coverage 2016” (Sky News, Sky News/Foxtel)

(Last year’s winner: “Parramatta Shooting”)

• “Anita Cobby: You Thought You Knew It All…” (Seven News Investigates, Channel Seven)
• “Australia’s Shame” (Four Corners, ABC)
• “George Pell Investigation” (7.30, ABC)
• “Good Cop, Bad Cop” (60 Minutes, Nine Network)
• “Money For Nothing” (Four Corners, ABC)

(Last year’s winner: The Killing Season)

Conviction (ABC)
Deep Water: The Real Story (SBS)
Gogglebox Australia (Foxtel – LifeStyle/Network Ten)
Keeping Australia Alive (ABC)
Todd Sampson’s Body Hack (Network Ten)

(New Category)

Source: TV Week




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Mar 22 2017

Obituary: Jaye Walton

Jaye Walton, longtime host of morning television in Adelaide, has died at the age of 88.

With a background in modelling, Walton hosted Touch Of Elegance from 1968 through to 1980. The show, screened each weekday morning on SAS10, was a first for Adelaide television with its mix of fashion and lifestyle segments, interviews and advertorials. Touch Of Elegance became the go-to place for any celebrity or performer visiting Adelaide.

Although the title always alluded to something classy the premise came undone on a few occasions. The guest appearance of Barry Humphries as the gross and ill-mannered Sir Les Patterson and the impromptu sight of Dame Edna Everage falling backwards off a couch no doubt gave Adelaide’s austere housewife audience more than they bargained for.

Walton left the show in 1980 and later presented a magazine program, Thai-Oz Talk, for Thailand’s national television. The show was also relayed via the Thai Global Network and shown on Adelaide’s community TV.

She also took on a role with the Thailand tourism authority, producing promotional films which led to her making a series of documentaries with the Thai royal family.

Walton was appointed Thai honorary consul-general for South Australian and the Northern Territory, a title she kept until her death, and was awarded with a medal of the Royal White Elephant for her services to charity in Thailand.

Source: The Advertiser



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Mar 20 2017

Neighbours at risk in the UK

For over 30 years it’s been one of Australia’s most successful cultural exports, but now Neighbours‘ future in its biggest overseas market is in a precarious situation.

The show’s UK broadcaster Channel 5 had been negotiating a contract renewal with production company FremantleMedia.

Those negotiations have stalled amid reports that Channel 5’s new owner, American company Viacom, is refusing to sign off on the finances — presumably “not understanding the cultural importance of the show in the UK,” according to the reports.

The United Kingdom represents Neighbours‘ largest fan base, much higher than in Australia. Any outcome — such as the series not being renewed by Channel 5 or picked up by another network — that would see it taken off screens in the UK could effect its sustainability in Australia, where it is showing to a fraction of the audience on secondary channel Eleven.

Neighbours made its UK debut in 1986 on BBC1. It was initially tucked away in a lunchtime slot but its eventual move to early evening saw it become one of the nation’s top rating shows — even knocking local favourites Coronation Street and EastEnders from top spot.

At its peak in popularity back in the days of teen sweethearts Scott and Charlene (pictured), it was watched by around 20 million Brits daily. Cast members became regulars on the Christmas pantomime circuit and also performed for royalty.

BBC ended up reluctantly letting the show go in 2008 after FremantleMedia demanded a significant increase to renew rights to the series. Channel 5, which at the time was owned by the same company as FremantleMedia, picked it up and paired Neighbours with fellow Aussie import Home And Away.

Neighbours currently airs around 4 times a day across Channel 5 and its associated multi-channels. Since last year, episodes have been screening in the UK on the same day as they air in Australia.

Fans have set up a petition at to help keep the show on UK screens.

Source: The Guardian,, Mirror


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Mar 13 2017

Obituary: Dan Webb

Dan Webb, one of the first personalities on Melbourne television, has died at the age of 92.

Webb was breakfast announcer at radio station 3DB before being picked up by its sister television station HSV7 as one of its star line-up, alongside Eric Pearce and actress Mary Parker.

He introduced HSV7’s test transmissions and was on-air on opening night, 4 November 1956.

Following the station’s official launch, Webb became one of its first newsreaders, sharing duties with Pearce, as well as hosting a game show, Paterson’s Family Quiz.

Webb’s fame was on the rise in the 1960s as host of HSV7’s popular game show Video Village. The daily half-hour program was a hit not just in Melbourne but across the country and ran for four years.

After Video Village wound up in 1966, Webb later hosted It’s Academic and continued in the news division, reporting and presenting the news. One report that many will remember was Webb’s “spag-worm” report that was an elaborate April Fool’s Day prank:

YouTube: Conniptions886

On a more serious note, Webb continued to report on state politics for Seven National News and was a host of local current affairs program Day By Day.

While at Seven and in retirement he was a devout contributor, supporter and ambassador to the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. 

A presenter on Seven’s first Good Friday Appeal telethon in 1957, Webb made his last TV appearance on last year’s appeal.




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Mar 12 2017

Obituary: John Forgeham

British actor John Forgeham, probably best known to Australians from UK drama Footballers’ Wives, has died.

The 75-year-old passed away after breaking his collarbone from falling out of bed.

The actor was well known in the UK, with numerous TV acting credits including No Hiding Place, The Sweeney, Crossroads, CATS Eyes, Prime Suspect, Birds Of A Feather and The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, but also appeared in Australian dramas in the 1970s.

Forgeham had come to Australia in 1970 for a season of Shakespeare plays and while he was here scored a guest role as magazine publisher Jason Werner in an episode of the ABC series Dynasty. This led to him playing the same role, re-named Saxon Wells, in a spin-off series, Catwalk, for the Seven Network.

Catwalk, set in the office of a fashion magazine of the same name, made its first appearance with a pilot going to air on Seven early in 1971. It was one of five pilots commissioned by the network and viewers were given the opportunity to vote for their favourite to be turned into a series.

Catwalk and a situation comedy called The Group topped the viewers’ poll.


Seven commissioned Catwalk for a 13-episode series to air in 1972. Starring with Forgeham (pictured above, second from left, in the series were John Wood, Cecily Polson, Cornelia Frances and June Salter.

The series was not renewed beyond its first year and Forgeham’s only other Australian TV role was a guest appearance in an episode of Homicide.

YouTube: Classic Australian TV

Source: Classic Australian Television, Evening Standard, IMDB



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Mar 10 2017

GWN7 turns 50

Today marks 50 years since the Western Australian network now known as GWN7 was officially opened.The station was originally BTW3, operated by South Western Telecasters Ltd and declared open by WA Governor Sir Douglas Kendrew at 7pm on Friday 10 March 1967. Based in Bunbury with a staff of 12, it was the first commercial television station in regional Western Australia, launching in the area two years after ABC‘s local station ABSW5.

The following year BTW launched a relay station, GSW9, covering Albany and the Southern Agricultural district of WA. The expansion increased BTW3’s audience to around 140,000.

Like most regional stations, BTW-GSW’s early local production included regional news, children’s programs and afternoon programs like Tea And Biscuits.

The station’s community involvement included an annual telethon, Telehelp, that ran for eight years and attracted stars from across Australia. The station now contributes to Seven’s Perth-based Telethon.

BTW-GSW were among the few stations in Australia to miss the changeover date to colour television on 1 March 1975. Colour transmission started in May 1975 but it was still a couple of years before the local studios were capable of colour production — with programs like local news continuing to go to air in black and white.

By the late 1970s BTW-GSW was bought out by businessman Jack Bendat, whose management rebadged the two channels as Golden West Network — or GWN.

The 1980s saw an era of expansion for GWN, taking over Kalgoorlie’s local station VEW8 in 1985 and GTW11 in Geraldton in 1987. These acquisitions, combined with GWN gaining the licence to operate the satellite-based commercial television service for remote WA, gave the network a total coverage of the entire state of Western Australia outside of Perth.

GWN continued to operate as a commercial monopoly in regional WA, featuring programming sourced from all three metropolitan networks and with its own locally-based evening hour of local and national news. The network, owned at this stage by Perth businessman Kerry Stokes, was sold to regional network Prime Television in 1996 for $71 million.

GWN got its first taste of competition in 1999 with the arrival of WIN, initially offering a range of Nine and Ten network programming. GWN, with a Seven Network schedule, reduced its hour-long news to a half-hour bulletin dedicated to local news followed by Seven News and Today Tonight on relay from Perth — a line-up that continues today with GWN7 (the ‘7’ was added to the network branding in 2011) providing the only local TV news service in the regional WA market, with news crews positioned around the state.

Almost a decade after digital TV began in Australia, digital transmission commenced for GWN in 2010 in selected parts of the state. The digital signal initially offered a limited service of just the primary standard definition channel before expanding to cover the rest of the state and to include additional channels 7TWO and 7mate. Analogue transmission came to a close in 2013.

GWN7 and WIN are also joint venture partners in West Digital Television, broadcasting a local Nine Network outlet to regional WA, with WIN presenting a Network Ten schedule since mid-2016.

Almost two decades after the introduction of commercial competition into the market, GWN7 is still dominant — rating well ahead of Nine West and WIN.

Source: Broadcasting & Television, 16 March 1967. 27th Annual Report, Australian Broadcasting And Control Board, 1974-75. Wikipedia. GWN7 News. GWN7 News.




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Mar 08 2017

Obituary: Frances Hargreaves

Frances Hargreaves, actress from the 1970s series Number 96, has died at the age of 62.

South African-born Hargreaves studied acting in London before settling in Sydney in 1973.

She had appeared in an ABC series, Behind The Legend, before scoring the part of Marilyn MacDonald in Number 96 in 1974.

The role of Marilyn, the daughter of Reg and Edie MacDonald (Mike Dorsey and Wendy Blacklock), was unexpected for Hargreaves as she had only been cast after Judy McBurney had to drop out after taping six episodes due to illness. The sudden change in casting required Marilyn’s early scenes to be re-recorded with Hargreaves.

“I can be diplomatic but things come out at the wrong time occasionally — and Marilyn is always doing it without realising,” Hargreaves told TV Times in 1974. “I’m a bright person like her. I giggle a lot and although I do have serious moments I enjoy myself, my work and meeting people.”

Marilyn became a pivotal character in the unveiling of the show’s infamous ‘pantyhose strangler’, a serial killer who had been keeping the residents of 96 on edge for weeks.

Hargreaves later left the series but returned for the show’s final year in 1977.

She later appeared in The Young Doctors and in the telemovie Who Killed Baby Azaria?

In 2007, Hargreaves was reunited with her former Number 96 cast mates on an episode of Where Are They Now?

Source: TV Tonight, IMDB. TV Times, 19 January 1974, 16 February 1974.






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Mar 02 2017

Brisbane’s 31 Digital goes off-air

Brisbane’s community TV channel 31 Digital is now off the air and has converted to online operation.

The station, which was operating on UHF Channel 28 from Mount Coot-tha, closed its free-to-air broadcast on 28 February at 11.59pm (AEST), even though the Federal Government had given the community TV sector a further six month reprieve after the previous December 2016 deadline for stations to convert to online broadcast.

The station debuted in 1994 as Briz31 (the number taken from the analogue broadcast frequency) and later identified as 31, QCTV and then 31 Digital. Digital transmission launched in 2010 following a campaign by the community TV stations to gain access to digital spectrum.

Some of the programs produced by the station were The Boat Show, Tamara Tonite, The Very Anne Show, Nicky Noo And The “oo” Crew, Meet The Ministers and The Late Nite Show.

YouTube: 31 Digital

31 Digital has re-launched as Q Online TV and can be found at

Now only C31 in Melbourne, 44 in Adelaide and WTV in Perth are still on free-to-air television. (Sydney’s TVS went off-air in December 2015). Unless the Government grants another extension these stations will be off-air in a few months time.

So far there has been no announcement as to what the Government intends to do with the broadcast spectrum being handed back by the community television stations.

YouTube: Australian TV Fan



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Feb 05 2017

Nine News Regional ready for launch

Nine News Regional, the joint venture between the Nine Network and regional Southern Cross, kicks off this Monday.

The first of 15 bulletins to roll out for the network is Nine News Canberra, debuting Monday 6 February at 6pm, presented by former ABC News Breakfast presenter Vanessa O’Hanlon (pictured)

The one-hour bulletin, presented from Nine’s Sydney studio, is a composite of national news with inserts of local news relevant to the Canberra market.

YouTube: Media and Transport Channel

The following Monday the format expands to Nine News Illawarra — with other regions in Southern NSW, regional Victoria and regional Queensland to be progressively rolled out.

O’Hanlon will present the NSW and Canberra bulletins, Jo Hall will present the Victorian editions from Melbourne, and Samantha Heathwood for regional Queensland from Nine’s Brisbane studios.

The format is largely based on the popular NBN News which is based in Newcastle but broadcasts to regions across Northern NSW. (NBN is owned by Nine)

The new-look bulletins have come about following Nine and Southern Cross forming an affiliation last year. As part of the deal Southern Cross pays Nine a significant portion of all revenue received for access to Nine’s programming.

Southern Cross was able to use this premium as leverage for Nine to provide a dedicated regional news service for relay across the Southern Cross Nine regions.

Nine has employed in excess of 80 staff spread across Queensland, New South Wales/ACT and Victoria to support this expanded news coverage.

It is a stark contrast to Southern Cross’ previous local news offerings when it was a Network Ten outlet in Queensland, Southern NSW, Canberra and Victoria — where news coverage was limited to brief two-minute updates inserted into commercial breaks over the course of the day, presented from centralised facilities in Canberra.

Rival regional network Prime7 is responding to Southern Cross’ news changes with its own revamp. From Monday 13 February Madelaine Collignon and Kenny Heatley will jointly present the various Prime7 local news bulletins for NSW and Victoria, which are produced from studios in Canberra.




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