Viewers on the east coast may have thought that Seven‘s Today Tonight ended years ago — but in Adelaide and Perth, local editions of the show have continued up until this week.
The Adelaide version, fronted by Rosanna Mangiarelli, wound up on Thursday night. The Perth edition, hosted by Monika Kos, finished on Friday.
It marks the end of a 25-year brand for the network. Seven launched Today Tonight in January 1995 as individual programs in each state, replacing the national Real Life. The early editions of Today Tonight aimed to tackle investigative journalism and more serious topics to reverse the trend set by A Current Affair to settle on more tabloid fare. But viewers didn’t easily flock to the new show and eventually Today Tonight plummeted to the same depths that it was trying to avoid.
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In its new guise Today Tonight (with Naomi Robson) picked up in the ratings — and won a Logie in 2002 for Most Popular Current Affairs Program — but also became a magnet for controversy, largely due to its sensationalist style of current affairs and had been hauled up to the broadcasting authority and taken to task by Media Watch on a number of occasions for misleading reporting.
Despite the east coast versions being axed in February 2014, Seven’s strength in Adelaide and Perth saw the current affairs format continue there until this week. Both editions will now be replaced by an extended Seven News bulletin as happened in the eastern states.
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Seven’s other current affairs brand, Sunday Night, also came to an end earlier this week after an 11-year run. This leaves Seven without any current affairs lineup, with the portfolio covered by news programs Seven News, The Latest and Sunrise.
The Nine Network has sought to capitalise on this lack of current affairs depth by running promos emphasising its range of news and current affairs titles including Nine News, Today, 60 Minutes and A Current Affair.