Nine News restores Darwin bulletin

Nine News has announced that it will reinstate its one-hour standalone news bulletin for Darwin.

In 2017, Nine ceased production of news from its Darwin studios and relocated the bulletin to Brisbane, adopting Darwin as part of its regional news output. The bulletin was suspended earlier this year amid the COVID-19 outbreak, replaced with a relay of Nine‘s Brisbane news which was supplemented by brief local updates for Darwin.

The restored Darwin bulletin, to commence on 5 October, will be presented by Paul Taylor in Brisbane but will feature stories filed by a team of reporters, camera operators and editors based in Darwin.

Nine News is Darwin’s only commercial TV news service, beginning as News At Seven in October 1982. The local Seven and Ten outlets relay interstate news bulletins.

Source: Nine News Darwin

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Ten News signs off from Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth

Rebecca Morse and Will Goodings at Ten News First, Adelaide

There were farewells earlier tonight from Ten News First bulletins being presented for the last time from Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

From Monday, Ten News First will be centralising news production to Sydney and Melbourne. Sandra Sully and Matt Burke in Sydney will present bulletins for Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, while Jennifer Keyte and Stephen Quartermain in Melbourne will now also cover Adelaide.

Brisbane weather presenter Josh Hunt moves to Sydney to cover Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, and Adelaide’s Kate Freebairn will now also cover Melbourne.

Among the on-air presenters to have left the network today are Georgina Lewis and Jonathan Williams from Brisbane, Rebecca Morse and Will Goodings from Adelaide, and Monika Kos, Tim Gossage and Michael Schultz in Perth.

Also finished up at Ten are weather presenters Mike Larkan, after 24 years at Ten in Melbourne, and Sydney’s Tim Bailey, leaving Ten after 29 years.

A number of production staff across the network were also being farewelled.

Studio 10 has also said farewell this week to presenters Joe Hildebrand, Natarsha Belling and Kerri-Anne Kennerley. The show’s Melbourne correspondent Denise Scott also quietly announced her exit from the show in an appearance earlier in the week on Have You Been Paying Attention?

Network Ten announced the restructure to its weekday news bulletins and Studio 10 last month. Weekend bulletins, which are already produced centrally from Sydney, and The Project remain unchanged.

Source: TV Blackbox, Ten News First Queensland, Ten News First Adelaide, Ten News First Perth

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Obituary: Geraldine Dillon

Geraldine Dillon, one of Australia’s first TV culinary experts, has died at the age of 84 after a long battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Born in Melbourne in 1936, Dillon first studied cooking in Melbourne before leaving for Europe to study at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in London. On her return to Australia, she was hired as an assistant on the Sydney-based series, Cordon Bleu Kitchen, hosted by Muriel Downes.

Dillon was then appointed Home Service Adviser for the Gas and Fuel Corporation of Victoria and presented cooking demonstrations for department store Myer.

From 1960, she presented a cooking segment on the daytime show Thursday At One. This segment then became a separate series, Fun With Food, which aired on Friday afternoons on Melbourne’s GTV9. She also wrote a weekly magazine column in TV Times magazine from November 1963.

Geraldine Dillon’s first column in TV Times. November 1963

She continued to travel extensively to experience food trends overseas and to bring her newfound knowledge back to share with viewers.

In 1971, she began hosting TV Kitchen, broadcast through the Nine Network. Recipes from the program were published in The Australian Women’s Weekly.

TV Kitchen continued through to 1976.

Dillon also wrote for The Herald and The Age newspapers and presented a cooking segment on radio 3AK. Her book, The Geraldine Dillon Cookbook, sold out on its first release.

She also ran cookery schools and continued to conduct food tours overseas.

Geraldine Dillon is survived by her three brothers, John and Reverend fathers Brendan and Kevin as well as her nieces, Marion and Christine and nephews, Andrew, Michael, Robert and John.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, Melbourne Catholic. The Australian Women’s Weekly, 25 September 1968, 24 February 1971. TV Times, 6 November 1963.

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Seven farewells Melissa Doyle

After 25 years at the Seven Network, presenter and reporter Melissa Doyle announced her departure from the network on Friday.

“I have some personal news to share…after twenty-five years I am leaving the Seven Network.

For half of my life I have called Channel Seven home and in that time I’ve had the privilege to share stories that mattered, meet incredible people and report on some of the greatest moments in history.

I am incredibly proud of the work I have done and so grateful to have worked with some of the very best in my industry.

And I am so appreciative of the trust and warmth our viewers have shown me. They have been part of my family – through Today Tonight, Sunrise, Seven News, Sunday Night and the multitude of programs I’ve been part of at Seven.

I want to thank the consummate professionals I have worked with along the way, and in particular our Chairman Kerry Stokes for his constant support.

Whilst I am sad to be leaving, I do so with a great deal of pride, satisfaction and gratitude.

Every ending is a beginning and I’m excited for what comes next.”

Doyle joined Seven’s Canberra bureau in 1995 after stints at the Canberra news rooms of WIN and Prime regional networks.

By 1997, she hosted the an early version of Sunrise — back then just an early morning news hour. A few years later, Sunrise developed into a breakfast television format, with Doyle accompanied by Chris Reason and then David Koch. The chemistry of the show’s presenting team, which later expanded to include Natalie Barr, Mark Beretta, Simon Reeve, Grant Denyer and Monique Wright, revitalised breakfast television and was soon to beat Nine‘s long-running rival, Today.

During her time on Sunrise, Doyle covered such significant events as the Beaconsfield mine disaster, the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, Olympic Games in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Queensland floods, Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires, multiple federal and state elections, the Inauguration of Barack Obama and the election of Pope Francis.

It was a shock to Sunrise viewers when Doyle announced she was stepping down from the show, and focusing on other projects for Seven. She presented national bulletins for Seven and became a host and reporter for Sunday Night.

After Sunday Night was axed last year, Doyle went on to Seven’s late news bulletin, The Latest.

YouTube: TelevisionAU

Over her years at the network, she also hosted Eleven AM, Where Are They Now?, TV Turns 50, The Zoo, Australia Unites: Reach Out To Asia and Today Tonight.

Seven News on Friday night broadcast a special farewell to Doyle:

It is now yet known what future ventures Doyle has in mind but she continues to present the weekend breakfast shift on Smooth FM. Since joining in 2013, she has won two Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRA) for her work on Smooth.

Source: Melissa Doyle

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What we watched: August 2003

Another random snapshot of what we were watching on TV. This time it’s the week ending 2 August 2003.

The new reality series The Block was the latest breakout hit, there was tragedy in Neighbours, and we were introduced to the first batch of budding pop stars in a new format called Australian Idol.

The Nine Network topped the prime time ratings (OzTAM, 5 cities, 6pm-12mn) for the week — scoring 30.6%, followed by Seven (25.8%), Ten (22.7%), ABC (16.5%) and SBS (4.4%). Digital TV was still in its infancy, with the only multi-channel being the SBS World News Channel, and ABC had not long shut down Fly TV and ABC Kids, amid budget cuts.

Nine won all nights, except Tuesday which went to Seven. Ten’s best night was Friday, where it just pipped Seven into second place. Ten was in third place every other night. ABC ranked fourth every night but its best night was Saturday. SBS was well down in fifth place each night, though its best night was Sunday, which included the final of the Tour de France.

Nine won the week comfortably in all cities except Perth, which was won by Seven.

In regional markets across Queensland, Northern NSW, Southern NSW/ACT and Victoria, the Nine Network affiliates (WIN/NBN) won with a market average of 33.4%, followed by Seven affiliates Prime/7Qld (26.3%), Southern Cross Ten (20.1%), ABC (15.5%) and SBS (4.7%).

In Tasmania, Southern Cross Television (representing both Seven and Ten networks) rated 40.7%, ahead of WIN (34.9%), ABC (20.0%) and SBS (4.3%).

The Top 20 shows for Week 31 (27 July-2 August, 2003):
Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers*
1 The Block Nine Sun 2417000
2 National Nine News Nine Sun 2143000
3 Room For Improvement Seven Tue 1759000
4 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Sat 1757000
5 Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Nine Mon 1694000
6 This Is Your Life Nine Thu 1692000
7 National Nine News Nine Sat 1680000
8 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1669000
9 Australian Idol (Premiere) Ten Sun 1639000
10 McLeod’s Daughters Nine Wed 1638000
11 National Nine News Nine M-F 1580000
12 CSI Miami Nine Wed 1573000
13 Hot Property Seven Wed 1555000
14 Getaway Nine Thu 1553000
15 CSI Crime Scene Investigation (Rpt) Nine Tue 1489000
16 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1480000
17 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1475000
18 Blue Heelers Seven Wed 1473000
19 Law And Order SVU Ten Thu 1464000
20 Friends Nine Mon 1462000
* Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth
Source: Mediaweek, as supplied by OzTAM.

The Nine Network dominated the national Top 20 with 18 shows. The Seven Network had four shows and Network Ten had two — including the premiere of the first season of Australian Idol, hosted by Osher Günsberg (then Andrew G) and James Mathison (pictured).

ABC’s highest ranked program was British drama The Bill on Saturday night, ranked at 34th spot with 1.332 million viewers.

SBS did not have any programs in the Top 100.

The weeknight 6.00pm timeslot was won by National Nine News (#11, 1.580m), followed by Seven News (#41, 1.276m) and The Simpsons (#69, 1.001m).

At 6.30pm, A Current Affair (#17, 1.475m) was ahead of Seven’s Today Tonight (#30, 1.363m) and Ten’s Neighbours (#52, 1.112m), the latter including the wedding of Dee and Toadie (Madeleine West and Ryan Moloney, pictured), which ended in tragedy with Dee presumed dead after the newlyweds’ car plunges off a cliff into water.

At 7.00pm, Seven took the lead with Home And Away (#23, 1.437m), followed by Frasier repeats on Nine (#37, 1.307m), ABC News (#43, 1.180m) and Seinfeld repeats on Ten (#95, 724,000).

The battle of the Sunday night movies was won by Seven’s Shaft (#68, 1.004m), followed by Nine’s The General’s Daughter (repeat) (#71, 977,000). Despite the huge lead-in from Australian Idol, Ten’s Sunday night movie, a repeat of the 1999 film Girl Interrupted, did not make the Top 100. Curiously, the highest ranked movie for the entire week was a repeat of the 1994 film True Lies on Ten on Friday night (#53, 1.102m)

Seven’s Wheel Of Fortune (#89, 745,000) ranked ahead of Nine’s The Price Is Right (#100, 689,000), but both were beaten by Ten News (#60, 1.057m).

Other notable rankings include All Saints (#28, 1.381m), Deal Or No Deal (#29, 1.363m), Rove Live (#48, 1.128m), Enough Rope With Andrew Denton (#51, 1.112m), Kath And Kim (#61, 1.043m), The Mole In Paradise (#70, 986m), The Panel (#84, 822,000), Micallef Tonight (pictured) (#90, 737,000) and Four Corners (#98, 719,000).

Sydney’s top shows for the week were The Block (768,000), National Nine News (Sunday, 631,000), Getaway (541,000), This Is Your Life (520,000) and Room For Improvement and Rugby Union Tri-Nations: Australia v South Africa (both 489,000).

In Melbourne, The Block (750,000) was followed by National Nine News (Sunday, 741,000), Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show (683,000), Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (629,000) and National Nine News (Saturday, 627,000).

In Brisbane, The Block (426,000) was followed by McLeod’s Daughters (364,000), National Nine News (Sunday, 353,000), National Nine News (weeknights, 350,000) and Room For Improvement (340,000)

In Adelaide, National Nine News (Sunday, 285,000) was followed by The Block (247,000), Sunday Afternoon AFL (225,000), Room For Improvement (210,000) and Better Homes And Gardens (207,000).

In Perth, Australian Idol (237,000) was followed by Seven News (Sunday, 234,000), Room For Improvement (228,000), The Block (226,000) and National Nine News (Saturday, 221,000).

Source: Mediaweek, 11 August 2003, with ratings data supplied by OzTAM (metro) and ATR Australia (regional). TV Week, 26 July 2003.

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The last TV Times

Cop Shop stars Peter Adams and Joanna Lockwood on the cover of the last TV Times. 16 August 1980

It is 40 years since the last TV Times rolled off the presses.

The final edition, with Cop Shop stars Peter Adams and Joanna Lockwood on the cover, featured a double-page article on the two actors leaving the series after nearly three years and their characters, ‘JJ’ and Valerie, getting engaged, leading to their exit from the series.

The magazine also previewed the upcoming wedding of characters Olivia Baxter (Zoe Bertram) and Dr Bruce Russell (Malcolm Thompson) in The Restless Years.

The front cover tease of ‘the documentary too good for you to see’ referred to Front Line, the story of ABC cameraman Neil Davis, who filmed the Vietnam War from 1963 to 1975. The documentary had won awards at the Sydney and Melbourne film festivals and at the American Film Festival in New York. It had also been broadcast in the United Kingdom, United States, France and Scandinavia, but was not picked up by any networks in Australia. Networks here cited that the asking price was too expensive and that “55 minutes of the Vietnam war are too hard to schedule in prime time”.

The final TV Times also reported:

  • Network Ten‘s commissioning of Punishment, a ‘male version’ of its top-rating women’s prison drama Prisoner. The new series, to be produced in Sydney, starred Mike Preston, Brian Wenzel, Michele Fawdon, Penne Hackforth-Jones and a young Mel Gibson.

Punishment: Ralph Cotterill, Brian Wenzel, Mel Gibson

  • The Federal Government is determined to have its new multicultural channel on air on United Nations Day, 24 October, although uncertainty continued over what authority would control the new channel. The Government’s Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) was almost set to be replaced by the Independent Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation (IMBC), but delays in passing the legislation put its future in doubt. As it turned out, the IMBC legislation failed to pass and SBS retained control of the new channel which launched as scheduled.
  • Features on American actor Greg Evigan, from the series BJ And The Bear, and English comedian Jasper Carrott, who had recently completed a tour of Australia.

TV Times, which was born in the late 1950s as TV News-Times out of an early merger of two titles — TV News and TV Times — had 20 years later become swallowed up by a merger with TV Week.

TV Times had long been published in a partnership between Australian Consolidated Press (ACP) and the ABC.

By May 1980, the ABC had assessed that falling circulation and an increase in competition had no longer rendered TV Times financially sustainable. ABC then sold its share of the magazine to ACP. The last issue to be published under the ABC/ACP partnership was dated 28 June 1980.

ACP then went and took TV Times to Southdown Press, publisher of TV Week, and entered into an agreement for Southdown Press to publish TV Week as an amalgamation of both titles on behalf of both owners.

At the same time Southdown Press, then owned by News Limited, had also taken control of the Australian version of TV Guide, which had commenced national publication a year earlier as an expansion of the long-running South Australian magazine of the same name.

The result was all three national magazines — TV Week, TV Times and TV Guide — being merged into a revamped TV Week, with the TV Week masthead incorporating the other two titles in its masthead:

TV Week’s editor Tony Johnston welcomed new readers in the first amalgamated issue — 23 August 1980:

While the amalgamation of three titles into one for TV Week was done on a national scale, the exit of TV Guide from the national market prompted South Australia publisher Messenger Press to launch a new local title — TV Radio Extra — incorporating a similar format and features of the former TV Guide for the local market. Many of the staff that produced the South Australian edition of TV Guide went on to TV Radio Extra.

TV Radio Extra continued publication in South Australia until 1988.

Source: TV Times, 28 June 1980. TV Week, 23 August 1980. TV Radio Extra, 16 August 1980. 48th Annual Report of the Australian Broadcasting Commission 1979-1980.


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Ten makes cuts to News, Studio 10

It seems an all too familiar headline, not just for Network Ten but for so many other media outlets.

Today, Ten has announced widespread cuts to its news portfolio, also impacting Studio 10.

From 14 September, presentation of Ten News First will be centralised to Melbourne and Sydney only, with Adelaide’s news presented by Melbourne newsreader Jennifer Keyte, and Brisbane’s news by Sandra Sully in Sydney.

New presenters for the Perth bulletin to be read from Sydney are to be announced.

Sport will be presented by Matt Burke in Sydney and Stephen Quartermain in Melbourne.

The change means that many Ten presenters, some who have been with the network for close to 30 years, will soon have to bid farewell.

Among the presenters to go include Georgina Lewis and Josh Holt from Brisbane, Rebecca Morse, Will Goodings and Kate Freebairn from Adelaide, Monika Kos and Michael Shultz from Perth, Tim Bailey from Sydney and Mike Larkan from Melbourne.

Studio 10 presenters Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Natarsha Belling are also to go, with further changes to the show still to be announced. There are reports that Joe Hildebrand is currently negotiating his future with the program.

A number of production staff are also affected by redundancies.

Ten News First‘s weekend bulletin and The Project appear to be left unchanged.

Despite the news bulletins now based in Sydney and Melbourne, local reporters, camera operators and operations staff will continue to file stories based in Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.

In centralising News presentation, Ten will soon appoint a national weather presenter for the network, rather than employing individual presenters in each city.

The move mirrors a similar change made by Ten almost twenty years ago, when it shifted presentation of its Adelaide news to Melbourne, and Perth news to Sydney. The cost of digital conversion was cited as the reason for the shift at the time. Ten eventually reinstated local presentation in Adelaide and Perth about a decade ago.

Source: The Age, TV Tonight, Mumbrella



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Seven Tasmania newsreader’s late farewell

Seven Tasmania newsreader Rachel Williams was meant to sign off from her final Nightly News bulletin on Sunday night — until a power failure saw the Launceston-based studio taken out of action halfway through the bulletin.

Tasmanian viewers were left to view a blank screen and some ads before Seven switched unannounced to a relay of the Melbourne-based Seven News in progress.

YouTube: TVTNT 69

The glitch meant that Williams did not get to bid farewell to viewers after ten years presenting weekend news for the station.

She was invited back to the news desk on Monday night to give a belated farewell to viewers and to share some highlights and bloopers from a decade at Seven Tasmania, formerly Southern Cross.

Williams announced her resignation from Seven Tasmania a few weeks ago, which came five months after her weeknight colleague Jo Palmer also left the top-rating bulletin.

YouTube: TVTNT 69

Source: Nightly News Seven Tasmania, Rachel Williams

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Nine News Regional returns with job cuts

Earlier this year, Nine News suspended production of its regional news bulletins due to the coronavirus pandemic. The regional bulletins, broadcast through Southern Cross Austereo‘s Nine Network affiliated stations in Southern NSW/ACT, Regional Queensland and Regional Victoria, were replaced by a relay of the 6.00pm Nine News from their capital city.

Nine, which produces the bulletins on behalf of Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), has announced that the bulletins are now set to return from 10 August, but in a reduced format.

Instead of each region receiving a one-hour bulletin of national news with local news inserts, Nine News Regional will return to cover only local news from 5.30pm, leading in to the relay of the 6.00pm capital city Nine News, as is now happening.

In an email circulated to affected staff, Nine’s managing director for Queensland and northern NSW, Kylie Blucher cited that ratings were not largely affected by Nine News replacing its regional bulletins with each state’s capital city bulletin, but is committed to maintaining SCA’s licence obligations in providing a local news service.

Around a dozen staff are reported to be let go, with Nine stating that the number would have been higher had it not been for the Federal Government’s $50 million assistance package to regional media.

Nine launched the regional bulletins in 2017 after it formed an affiliation with SCA. At the time it hired around 80 staff to resource the news gathering and production for bulletins covering 15 SCA regions across Queensland, Southern NSW/ACT and Victoria.

The shift of Nine News‘ regional news to 5.30pm may deliver a small benefit to the Ten-affiliated WIN News, which continues to present a half-hour regional news at 6.00pm across many of its eastern states regions.

Source: ABC, B&T

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Obituary: Rob Gaylard

Rob Gaylard, former TV and radio presenter and prominent racing identity, has died suddenly at the age of 70.

He had been a sports presenter at BTV6 in Ballarat in the 1980s, later moving to National Nine News in Melbourne.

YouTube: rubicon nz

He also worked as a newsreader at Bendigo-based Southern Cross Eyewitness News when it launched a statewide bulletin following aggregation in 1992.

When Channel 31 began in Melbourne in 1994, he hosted the channel’s Saturday night harness racing coverage. He continued in the role through to 2000.

YouTube: kylegalley

He worked extensively as a host, MC and race caller for various racing clubs and was also a media consultant to the racing industry.

Rob Gaylard is survived by wife Karen and daughter Casey.

Source: Bay 93.9, Racing Victoria,

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