The Ten Network is reported to be looking at reworking its early morning timeslot with plans to launch a breakfast news program.
Just a week ago the network announced it was cutting its workforce by around 100 while it continues to undertake a strategic review of its on-air offerings. It has axed weekend stalwart Video Hits and, while nothing has been formally announced, is believed to have also cut Sports Tonight. The network has also recently walked away from AFL coverage beyond the end of this season and has been re-working its high-definition channel One away from a purely sports-oriented format. But despite the cuts there is hope that a revitalised early morning timeslot will tap into additional advertising revenue while utilising news resources already in place at the network.
Ten currently presents one-hour bulletins at 6.00am and 9.00am each weekday but the proposed new program – tentatively titled AM – appears set to replace them both and may provide an improved lead-in to talk show The Circle.
But Ten’s planned new venture is entering into what is already a crowded marketplace – with Sunrise and Today leading the morning ratings and ABC News Breakfast and Sky News’ First Edition and AM Agenda providing an alternative.
The network is believed to have Today co-host and TV Week Gold Logie winner Karl Stefanovic (pictured) at the top of its wish list for hosting the new program, though this is unlikely to come to fruition given his apparent desire to move away from breakfast television and the prime-time exposure he has gained at Nine – through A Current Affair, 60 Minutes and Nine News coverage.
Breakfast news television is not exactly new at Ten. In 1981 the network launched Good Morning Australia, a program that re-ignited the format in Australia several years after the Seven Network had axed its Today show in the mid-1970s. The launch of Good Morning Australia was later followed by Nine launching The National Today Show (now Today) in 1982, with Seven launching TVAM in the late ‘80s and then Sunrise which has continued in various formats since the late ‘90s.
Good Morning Australia continued until it was axed at the end of 1992 and the name was then re-assigned to Bert Newton’s mid-morning chat show.
Source: The Australian