Obituary: Ralph Baker

Ralph Baker, the TV producer and floor manager who became a late-night favourite as Melbourne’s Deadly Earnest, has died at the age of 80.

He was diagnosed with myeloma in 2014.

With an early interest in amateur theatre, Baker gained some experience appearing in sketches on GTV9‘s In Melbourne Tonight. He then gained a job in the props department and became a floor manager and producer at ATV0, working on shows including Go!!, Kommotion and Uptight.

Baker, who’d made some minor appearances on shows like The Magic Circle Club, then found himself in the unlikely on-air role of playing the ghoulish character Deadly Earnest, introducing late night B-grade and horror movies on Friday nights. The first film he presented was The Beast With A Million Eyes, on Friday 20 October 1967.

Although in a TV Times interview in November 1967, Baker feigned ignorance at any connection between him and the on-screen character: “I don’t know where people get the idea that I’m Earnest. The fact is that Earnest was born in Transylvania, the son of respectable werewolf parents, during the 15th century.”

“I began life in Lamington Street, Highett (Melbourne) in 1940.”

“I will sometimes admit that Earnest is sometimes seen emerging from the makeup room, an hour after I’ve gone in. But we won’t be sharing for long. He’ll soon have his own dressing room with a scar on the door.”

“It is true, also, that coffin from which he comperes the show fits me like a pinewood glove. But to accuse me of being Earnest would be as absurd as claiming that Mary Poppins is really Julie Andrews.”

Deadly Earnest — the character devised in Perth and adapted with different performers in each capital city — became a popular attraction, particularly for younger viewers.

Baker, who also produced sitcom Good Morning Mr Doubleday, continued to play Deadly Earnest on screen until 1973.

YouTube: RobertJ42

He then created the Pinnacle Puppet Theatre, which continued through to the 1980s.

Baker reprised the role of Deadly Earnest to present Horrorpalooza! at the St Kilda Film Festival in 2011.

Ralph Baker is survived by son Davin Baker, daughter Naomi Miller and second wife Mariam and her daughter Melina Macdonald.

YouTube: Lushscreamqueen — Schlock Treatment

Source: TV Tonight. Funeral Guide. The Professor’s SF & Horror Host Tome. The Age, 19 October 1967. TV Times, 15 November 1967


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Obituary: Quentin Fogarty

Quentin Fogarty, the Logie award-winning journalist who attracted international attention reporting on a UFO sighting in New Zealand, died suddenly earlier this month at the age of 73.

Born in New Zealand, he started his career at the Dunedin Evening Star newspaper. Coming to Australia, his career included working for ABC, Seven, Nine, Ten and SBS.

In December 1978 Fogarty, while employed by ATV0 (now Ten) in Melbourne, was holidaying in New Zealand with his family. His boss in Melbourne had heard reports of pilots witnessing strange lights over the skies in New Zealand, and summonsed Fogarty to cover the story.

Fogarty, accompanied by a New Zealand film crew, was then on board a freight aircraft which filmed several bright objects that were also tracked on radar.

The footage and Fogarty’s report was broadcast in Australia on New Year’s Day 1979, and made news around the world as a possible UFO sighting.

YouTube: Dumbbell Dumbbase

A dispute with ATV0 over copyright of the New Zealand footage saw him resign from the channel a few weeks later.

The report also went on to feature in the US science series, In Search Of.

In the early 1980s, Fogarty wrote about his experience in the book Let’s Hope They’re Friendly, and at the time of his death had been working on computer analysis of the footage with the hope of finding a definitive explanation for the sightings.

During his career he also made documentaries, provided media training to politicians and executives and worked in issues management, corporate and government communications.

In 1985, Fogarty won a TV Week Logie Award for Best Documentary for Frontline Afghanistan, produced for ABC. The program told the story of Raffaele Favero, from Victoria, who was killed when he visited Afghanistan in 1983 to film the war. At the time, Fogarty described the documentary as “the best thing I’ve ever worked on”.

Quentin Fogarty is survived by former wife, journalist Sue Ahearn (who wrote the tribute linked below for the Sydney Morning Herald), sons Daniel, Ben, Sam and Jason and seven grandchildren

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, TV Tonight, New Zealand Herald. The Canberra Times, 20 January 1979. TV Week, 4 May 1985. 

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Ten to launch new channel: 10 Shake

Network Ten has announced plans to launch a new multi-channel, 10 Shake.

The new channel will have a defined focus on children’s programming from 6.00am to 6.00pm, then the channel moves to adult programming aimed at the under-40s.

10 Shake will sit alongside existing channels 10 Bold and 10 Peach and will bring it closer in line with Seven‘s three multi-channels (7Two, 7mate, 7flix) and Nine‘s four (9Go, 9Gem, 9Life, 9Rush).

10 Shake’s children’s programming includes Bubble Guppies, Henry Danger and Ready Set Dance, SpongeBob SquarePants, iCarly, Breadwinners, Dora the Explorer, The Loud House, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn, Sam & Cat, Sanjay and Craig, Shimmer and Shine, Team Umizoomi, The Thundermans, Top Wing and PAW Patrol.

Australian-made shows include Totally Wild (now in its 28th year), Scope, Crocamole and children’s drama — moving across from 10 Peach.

PAW Patrol

Prime time programming for the bigger kids includes Ex On The Beach, Lip Sync Battle, South Park, Just Tattoo Of Us, The Charlotte Show, Catfish: The TV Show, Pimp My Ride, Bojack Horseman, Inside Amy Schumer,  The Daily Show With Trevor Noah and The Late Late Show With James Corden.

In a media release issued earlier, Ten’s Head of Programming, Daniel Monaghan, said: “We are thrilled to be adding 10 Shake to our family of channels. It is a fantastic proposition for Australian viewers and includes a great array of content from ViacomCBS, a lot of which has never aired on free to air television before.

“10 Shake daytime will boast over 84 hours a week of the biggest kids’ TV shows on the planet including SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol and Henry Danger. It will provide a wonderful world of entertainment just for kids.

“10 Shake prime time will be the destination for mischievous big kids who love escapism television with plenty of bite, comedy and fun. With shows like The Charlotte Show, Catfish: The TV Show and Lip Sync Battle forming part of the schedule, it will be self-indulgent TV at its best.”

10 Shake is set to debut in September. It is unclear if the new channel will also be carried on regional affiliates such as WIN, Ten Darwin and Ten Central.

YouTube: 10 Insider

Source: ViacomCBS (Ten)

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50 years since Project Australia

The launch of the microwave link network between the east and west coasts of Australia in 1970 marked the most significant development in Australian domestic communication since the launch of the coaxial cable between Sydney and Melbourne eight years earlier.

The network of microwave circuits formalised the facility for television programs to be relayed in an instant between the east and west coasts of Australia. Previous ventures to link Western Australia to the east coast included the infrequent, and expensive, use of circling aircraft to bounce long-range signals back to ground.

And a year before the microwave network launched, engineers from ABC, the Overseas Telecommunications Commission, the Postmaster-General Department and NASA worked together to provide a complex once-off link via international satellites to allow Western Australian viewers to see the Apollo 11 moon landing live. Had it not been for their efforts, Western Australia would likely to have been one of the few areas in the western world not to see the moon landing as it happened.

Like the coaxial cable between Sydney and Melbourne, the new microwave network that would span from Cairns right across to Carnarvon and eventually include Mount Isa and Darwin also improved national telecommunications, allowing telephone users in the eastern states to direct dial calls to the west and vice versa without going through an operator.

Project Australia, broadcast live on ABC on 9 July 1970, was the program designated to inaugurate the new communications network and the first TV program to be live across all states. Hosted by reporter Richard Oxenburgh in Sydney, Project Australia featured live segments from across the country — from points as far as Cairns, Hobart and Perth. Segment hosts included Earl Reeve in Carnarvon, Claire Dunne and Michael Brock in Kambalda, Patrick Amer (Melbourne), Bob Moore (Adelaide), Bill Brundle and Ken Short (Hobart), Keith Adam (Canberra), Garry Ord and Bruce Short (Brisbane) and John Marshall (Cairns).

Viewers became witness to various snapshots of Australia, including a live televised brain operation from a Melbourne hospital, an interview down a mine shaft in the Western Australian desert, a performance from Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet at the site of the Sydney Opera House, a visit to a Sydney nightclub, and a choir at St Peter’s Cathedral in Adelaide.

The telecast of the brain surgery proved to be too graphic for one outside broadcast engineer, who collapsed during the program. But as the old saying goes, the show must go on, and the fainthearted employee was calmly moved aside by his colleagues and the segment continued on air without missing a beat.

The ballet segment from the Sydney Opera House was also a challenge for ABC technicians having to prepare and rig up lighting from the building that was still under construction.

Logistically, the one-hour program involved thirteen large and small outside broadcast vans, 36 studio and outside broadcast cameras, 21 portable microwave link systems and also accessed the Pacific Ocean Satellite through the Moree and Carnarvon Earth Stations. Controlling the complex telecast were producers Humphrey Fisher and Bruce Buchanan and director Alan Bateman, based at ABN2‘s Gore Hill studios in Sydney.

So complex was Project Australia in linking so many parts of the country together in real time, it was almost twenty years later — and the advent of a domestic satellite — before a similar program, Australia Live, was made.

Source: TV Times, 8 July 1970, 22 July 1970. The Age, 2 July 1970. 39th Annual Report, Australian Broadcasting Commission, 1970-1971. Aunty’s Jubilee: Celebrating 50 Years Of ABC TV, Tim Bowden and Wendy Borchers, 2006.


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Community TV given a 12-month extension

The Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher MP has announced that community TV channels C31 in Melbourne and Channel 44 in Adelaide will be granted a 12-month extension in their free-to-air broadcast licences.

The Minister announced the extension during ABC‘s Q&A program ahead of an official announcement to come tomorrow.

The two channels were set to cease transmission on 30 June 2020, following a two-year extension to the Government’s demand that they go off air.

While a 12-month extension is great news for the sector — and no doubt a result from a groundswell of support — it seems cruel that the two channels were left to literally the last day of broadcast before getting this news, and as some programs and sponsorships were already being wound up amid uncertainty for the future.

There is also no valid reason why the operators can’t be granted an ongoing broadcast channel. There is no planned use for the UHF spectrum that these channels occupy, and there has been no replacement use for the frequencies that the Sydney, Brisbane and Perth channels used before going off-air.


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TV Week Logie Awards: 10 years ago

The 62nd annual TV Week Logie Awards were meant to happen today, Sunday 28 June. While the awards will not be taking place this year, we continue the annual rundown of past Logies presentations to coincide with what would have been Logies weekend. We wrap up the weekend with the Logies of 2010 — 10 years ago…

Home And Away actor Ray Meagher was awarded the TV Week Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television at the 52nd annual TV Week Logie Awards.

The awards, held at Melbourne’s Crown Casino on Sunday 2 May 2010, were hosted by Bert Newton, presenting the Logies for the 20th time, and broadcast on the Nine Network.

Despite Meagher’s 40-year career, including 22 years on Home And Away, it was his first Logie award. He beat fellow nominees Esther Anderson (Home And Away), Wil Anderson (The Gruen Transfer), Rebecca Gibney (Packed To The Rafters), Adam Hills (Spicks And Specks), Paul McDermott (Good News Week), Rove McManus (Rove and Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?) and Shaun Micallef (Talkin’ ’bout Your Generation).

Home And Away also won an award for actor Luke Mitchell as Most Popular New Male Talent. Seven’s other drama Packed To The Rafters also swept up several awards — Most Popular Drama Series, Most Popular Actress (Rebecca Gibney) and Most Popular Actor (Hugh Sheridan).

Seven also won Most Outstanding News Coverage for Seven News’ coverage of the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria and Most Outstanding Sports Coverage for the V8 Supercars: Supercheap Auto Bathurst.  Better Homes And Gardens won Most Popular Lifestyle Show.

The Ten Network was rewarded with two Logies for the first series of Masterchef Australia, including Matt Preston winning the Graham Kennedy Award for Outstanding New Talent. Celebrity game show Talkin’ ‘bout Your Generation won three Logies, including Shaun Micallef for Most Popular Presenter. The 7PM Project (as it was called then) scored a win with Carrie Bickmore winning Most Popular New Female Talent, and Bondi Rescue won Most Popular Factual Program.

The Nine Network came away with only one award from the night — for The Footy Show (NRL) as Most Popular Sports Program.

ABC won awards for Most Outstanding Children’s Program (My PlaceABC3) and for its Four Corners report, “Code Of Silence”. SBS drama series East West 101 won two Logies – Most Outstanding Drama and Most Outstanding Actor (Don Hany) – and the telemovie Saved won Most Outstanding Actress for Claudia Karvan.

The tribute to those in the industry that have passed away in the previous 12 months featured a performance by PJ Lane, the son of Don Lane, and stars from the earlier days of In Melbourne Tonight and The Don Lane Show, including Philip Brady, Toni Lamond, Patti Newton, John Michael Howson, Rhonda Burchmore, Maria Venuti, Debra Byrne and Geoff Harvey.

Newton, hosting the awards solo for the first time since 1993, did an admirable job for what had well become one of the toughest gigs in television – keeping up the tradition of topical humour as well as a candid interview with guest k.d. Lang. Restoring Newton to the hosting role could be regarded as a safe option after previous years’ instability in the Logies hosting, but he did well to restore some of the Logies’ sense of occasion.

Newton also presented an excellent introduction to the Hall of Fame presentation, with former Melbourne newsreader Brian Naylor posthumously inducted in the TV Week Logie Awards’ Hall of Fame. The tribute to the former TV host and newsreader included speeches by three of Naylor’s former colleagues, Mal Walden, Peter Hitchener and Peter Mitchell.

Musical performances came from Gabriella Cilmi, k.d. Lang, John Mayer and the Rogue Traders. Overseas guests included Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory), Walton Goggins (The Shield) and Australian actress Yvonne Strahovski, then starring in the US series Chuck.


Ray MeagherHome And Away

Hugh SheridanPacked to the Rafters
Rebecca GibneyPacked to the Rafters
Shaun MicallefTalkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation

Packed to the Rafters, Seven
MasterChef Australia, Ten
Luke MitchellHome And Away
Carrie BickmoreThe 7PM Project
Better Homes and Gardens, Seven
Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, Ten
The Footy Show NRL, Nine
Bondi Rescue, Ten


Brian Naylor

Don HanyEast West 101
Claudia KarvanSaved

East West 101, SBS One
Victorian Bushfires, Seven News
Code of Silence, Four Corners, ABC1
Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, Ten
V8 Supercars: Supercheap Auto Bathurst, Seven
My Place, ABC3
Law And Disorder, SBS One

Matt PrestonMasterChef Australia

Source: TV Week, 1 May 2010, 15 May 2010.

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TV Week Logie Awards: 25 years ago

The 62nd annual TV Week Logie Awards were meant to happen this Sunday 28 June. While the awards will not be taking place this year, we continue the annual rundown of past Logies presentations to coincide with what would have been Logies weekend. Today, it’s back to 1995 — 25 years ago…

A Current Affair host Ray Martin was awarded the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality On Australian Television at the 37th annual TV Week Logie Awards.

The awards were held for the first time at the Melbourne Concert Hall and broadcast on the Seven Network. It was the third, and final, time that the Logies were covered by Seven. The awards were held on Friday 28 April 1995, marking a return to Friday night after the previous year’s Sunday night presentation.

Martin’s Gold Logie win made him the first person to win three consecutive Gold Logies and brought his overall tally to four. His win comes after making the switch from hosting Midday to A Current Affair in 1994. And A Current Affair also won Most Popular Public Affairs Program.

Hosts for the night were Andrew Daddo and Noni Hazlehurst. Daddo became the youngest to have hosted the Logies, while Hazlehurst was the first female. “We were very glad we were there for each other,” Hazlehurst told TV Week. “My hat is off to Bert (Newton) and Ray (Martin) and all of those guys who have done it in the past, because on your own it’s scary.”

Seven’s Home And Away collected three Logies, with co-stars Dieter Brummer and Melissa George awarded Most Popular Actor and Actress, and Home And Away winning Most Popular Series.

Other publicly-voted winners for Seven included The Battlers for Most Popular Drama, Full Frontal for Most Popular Comedy Program, Agro’s Cartoon Connection for Most Popular Children’s Program (for the fourth year running), and Blue Heelers star Lisa McCune for Most Popular New Talent.

Nine’s Hey Hey It’s Saturday collected three Logies — with host Daryl Somers (pictured with wife Julie) winning Most Popular Light Entertainment Personality and Most Popular Comedy Personality. And Hey Hey It’s Saturday won Most Popular Light Entertainment Program.

Network Ten‘s only win was for its coverage of the 1994 Commonwealth Games for Most Popular Sports Program.

Leading the industry-voted categories is the Gold Logie for the TV Week Logie Awards Hall Of Fame — won by actor Jack Thompson (pictured). The award, presented to him by his brother, film critic Peter Thompson, recognised a career that began almost 30 years earlier — when he starred in the short-lived 1968 daytime soap, Motel. His career then led to a string of roles in film and television, in Australia and also overseas. At the time of his Hall of Fame win, Thompson was working on the Hollywood film Last Dance, co-starring with Sharon Stone and Rob Morrow.

ABC as usual dominated much of the other industry-voted categories, with wins for drama Janus (and actor Chris Haywood winning Most Outstanding Actor) and Monica Maughan (pictured) from The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh winning Most Outstanding Actress.

The current affairs satire Frontline won Most Outstanding Achievement In Comedy, while real current affairs show Four Corners won Most Outstanding Achievement In Public Affairs for its report “Inside A Holocaust”. ABC News won Most Outstanding Achievement In News for its report, “Rwanda Refugee Crisis”.

Fifty Years Of Silence won the Logie for Most Outstanding Documentary. The documentary told the story of Jan Ruff-O’Herne, one of thousands of girls forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. The documentary also won an AFI Award.

Newcastle-based regional network NBN won Most Outstanding Contribution By Regional Television for its documentary, Sandakan: The Untold Story. The program covered the story of the allied soldiers, many of whom were from northern New South Wales, who were imprisoned at Sandakan in Borneo during World War II by the Japanese. Only six of the 2,500 prisoners survived.

International guest stars included Dean Cain, Mark Curry, Holly Robinson and Big Bird. On stage the dance ensemble Hot Taps gave a musical tribute to 20 years of colour TV in Australia, while Big Bird was joined by Alyssa-Jane Cook and a group of talented kids to give a salute to children’s TV. The Logies after-party at Melbourne’s Grand Hyatt featured Mental As Anything while off-beat performance artists mingled with the stars.

TV Week Logie Winners 1995: Public Voting Categories:

Gold Logie — Most Popular Personality: Ray Martin

Silver Logie — Most Popular Actor: Dieter Brummer (Home And Away)
Silver Logie — Most Popular Actress: Melissa George (Home And Away)

Most Popular Series: Home And Away (Seven)
Most Popular Drama: The Battlers (Seven)
Most Popular Light Entertainment Program: Hey Hey It’s Saturday (Nine)
Most Popular Light Entertainment Personality: Daryl Somers (Hey Hey It’s Saturday)
Most Popular Comedy Program: Full Frontal (Seven)
Most Popular Comedy Personality: Daryl Somers (Hey Hey It’s Saturday)
Most Popular Public Affairs Program: A Current Affair (Nine)
Most Popular Lifestyle-Information Program: Burke’s Backyard (Nine)
Most Popular Sports Program: Commonwealth Games (Ten)
Most Popular Children’s Program: Agro’s Cartoon Connection (Seven)
Most Popular New Talent: Lisa McCune (Blue Heelers)

TV Week Logie Winners 1995: Industry Voted Categories:

Gold Logie — Hall of Fame: Jack Thompson

Silver Logie — Most Outstanding Actor: Chris Haywood (Janus)
Silver Logie — Most Outstanding Actress: Monica Maughan (The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh)

Most Outstanding Achievement In Drama Production: Janus (ABC)
Most Outstanding Documentary: Fifty Years Of Silence (ABC)
Most Outstanding Achievement In News: “Rwanda Refugee Crisis” (ABC News)
Most Outstanding Achievement In Public Affairs: “Inside A Holocaust”, Four Corners (ABC)
Most Outstanding Achievement In Comedy: Frontline (ABC)
Most Outstanding Achievement By A Regional Network: Sandakan: The Untold Story (NBN)

Source: TV Week, 29 April 1995, 6 May 1995.

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TV Week Logie Awards: 50 years ago

The 62nd annual TV Week Logie Awards were meant to happen this Sunday 28 June. While the awards will not be taking place this year, we continue the annual rundown of past Logies presentations to coincide with what would have been Logies weekend. Starting with the 1970 awards — 50 years ago. 

Sound Of Music host Barry Crocker and daytime TV presenter Maggie Tabberer were Gold Logie winners at the 12th annual TV Week Logie Awards.

The awards were held on Friday 20 March 1970, at the Southern Cross Hotel in Melbourne and hosted by Bert Newton. The presentation was broadcast live through the Nine Network in Sydney and Melbourne, and on relay to CTC7, Canberra.

Crocker’s Gold Logie for Best Male Personality comes a year after he left hosting the 0-10 Network‘s Say It With Music and took over at Nine’s Sound Of Music. Sound Of Music also won the Logie for Best Australian Musical/Variety Show.

A former model, Tabberer gained a national profile as a panellist on Beauty And The Beast before scoring her own afternoon show, Maggie, seen on the Seven Network. Her Gold Logie win as Best Female Personality came after Logie judges had opted not to award a Gold Logie in the female category for the previous two years.

The Nine Network drama series Division 4 won the Logie for Best Australian Drama. The series, which debuted in 1969, ended Homicide‘s five-year winning streak in the category.

Pop star Johnny Farnham won Best Australian Teenage Personality for the second year running. The 20-year-old chart topper was also on the verge of breaking into a TV career. Just months after this Logie win, he scored a presenting job on a school holiday series, Good Morning Melbourne.

ABC series Chequerboard won the Logie for Best Australian Documentary Series. Chequerboard took the emphasis away from the interviewer and let its subjects tell their story in their own words. The show was a pioneer in incorporating “fly on the wall” perspectives, showing its interview subjects going about their day-to-day activities. It was a filming technique that is very common today but was groundbreaking for the time.

Jeff Phillips, a contestant on New Faces who went on to host his own show, Sounds Like Us on ABC, won the George Wallace Memorial Logie For Best New Talent.

Steve Raymond, a journalist with Sydney’s TEN10, won Best News Reporting for two big news scoops during 1969. He scored an exclusive interview with English singer-actress Marianne Faithfull, who was in a Sydney hospital recovering from a drug overdose. The interview was sold overseas, including being published in full on the front page of a London newspaper. The other big news story was Raymond’s coverage of a funeral for seven teenagers killed in a high-speed car crash in the remote NSW farming town of Warren. His reporting of the funeral attracted the praise of NSW Premier Robert Askin.

A commercial for Coca-Cola won the Logie for Best Commercial. The commercial featured a filming process that gave it a unique appearance with dancers and surfers shown as silhouettes and light outlines against a dark background. Filmed on Palm Beach in Sydney, with a soundtrack recorded by Doug Parkinson and featuring choreography by Ronne Arnold, the commercial led a saturation campaign by the soft drink maker. A colour version of the commercial was also made for cinema screening and won the Silver Lion Award at the Cannes Film Festival as the best soft drink commercial.

YouTube: retrooldcommercials

As well as the publicly-voted awards, TV Week Logie Awards judges also awarded six special awards: To transport magnate and ATV0 owner Reg Ansett for staging a boxing title fight that broke TV ratings records; to producer Hector Crawford, maker of successful programs including Homicide, Division 4 and Showcase; to children’s program Here’s Humphrey; to compere Bert Newton for his hosting of special events; to ABC documentary Dig A Million, Make A Million, reporting on the increasing overseas interests in Australia’s mining boom; and to the Apollo 11 crew for creating “TV Greatest Moment” with their moon landing.

Peter Wyngarde, Rosemary Margan, Bert Newton

Included in the state-based awards, GTV9 presenters Mike Preston and Rosemary Margan won Best Male Personality and Best Female Personality in Victoria for the second year running. In Melbourne Tonight was voted Best Show in Victoria for the ninth time. Don Lane won Best Male Personality again for NSW, and his Tonight show again won Best Show in NSW.  Rosemary Eather, host of Ten’s Good Morning!, won Best Female Personality in NSW.

Peter Wyngarde, Rosemary Eather, Bert Newton

Ernie Sigley, Anne Wills and Adelaide Tonight again took out the South Australian awards. Joy Chambers again won Best Female Personality in Queensland, and Lindsay Edwards and Caroline Schmitt won the awards for Tasmania for another year.

Western Australia had not had a Logies appearance since 1964. With the state-based categories’ return to the state, Perth TV presenters Garry Meadows and Trina Brown, both from TVW7, won the Best Personality awards for Western Australia. Best Show was awarded to ABC’s Today Tonight, the local version of the national This Day Tonight.

Gerard Kennedy (centre) and Pat Smith (right) from Division 4 accepting the show’s Logie from Peter Graves

Special guests at the awards presentation included Robert Young (Marcus Welby MD), Peter Graves (Mission: Impossible), Peter Wyngarde (Department S) and Australia’s 1968 Miss World, Penny Plummer.

Peggy Lipton, from US series Mod Squad, which won the Logie for Best Overseas Show, was also set to appear as a special guest, but had to cancel due to illness. She did make it to the Logies stage over 20 years later, in 1991.

Maggie Tabberer, Robert Young, Barry Crocker

National Awards:

Gold Logie — Best Male Personality: Barry Crocker
Gold Logie — Best Female Personality: Maggie Tabberer

Best Teenage Personality: Johnny Farnham

Best Musical/Variety Show: Barry Crocker’s Sound Of Music

Best Drama: Division 4

Best Documentary Series: Chequerboard

Best Commercial: Coca-Cola

Best Overseas Show: Mod Squad

Best News Reporting: Steve Raymond

George Wallace Memorial Logie For Best New Talent: Jeff Phillips

Special Award — Pioneering Australia’s First Championship Boxing Telecast: Reg Ansett

Special Award — Contribution To Australian Television: Hector Crawford

Special Award — Best Children’s Show: Here’s Humphrey

Special Award — Best Compere: Bert Newton

Special Award — Best Documentary: Dig A Million, Make A Million (ABC)

Special Award — Gold Logie For Providing TV’s Greatest Moment: Apollo 11 crew Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins.

State-based awards (Best Male Personality, Best Female Personality, Best Show):

NSW: Don Lane, Rosemary Eather, Tonight
VIC: Mike Preston, Rosemary Margan, In Melbourne Tonight
QLD: Ron Cadee, Joy Chambers, The Dick McCann Show
SA: Ernie Sigley, Anne Wills, Adelaide Tonight
WA: Garry Meadows, Trina Brown, Today Tonight
TAS: Lindsay Edwards, Caroline Schmitt, It’s Just For Us

Mike Preston, Bert Newton

Source: TV Week, 28 March 1970, 4 April 1970

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TV Week publisher sold to investment firm

Bauer Media, the European-based publisher of magazine titles including TV Week, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day and recent additions New Idea and Better Homes And Gardens, has sold its Australian and New Zealand operation to an investment firm.

Mercury Capital is reported to have paid less than $50 million for the company’s Australian and New Zealand assets, which also includes Bauer’s recent $40 million acquisition, Pacific Magazines.

The sale price of the magazine business is a fraction of the $500 million that Bauer is said to have paid to take over the then ACP Magazines in 2012. At the time, ACP Magazines published 85 titles. Over the past eight years, Bauer Media has axed titles including women’s magazines Dolly, Cleo and Cosmopolitan and sacked hundreds of staff. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Bauer has also suspended print publication of Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, NW, OK!, Men’s Health and Women’s Health. The suspended titles are expected to be brought back into print, according to Bauer Media Australia and New Zealand chief Brendon Hill.

A new name for the Bauer Media Australian and New Zealand operation under new ownership is to be announced.

TV Week was founded by Southdown Press in 1957. In 1980, Southdown Press continued to publish the magazine on behalf of a partnership with Australian Consolidated Press (later ACP Magazines). In the process, TV Week was amalgamated with former rival titles TV Times and TV Guide.

In 2002, ACP exercised a clause in its joint agreement with Pacific Magazines (formerly Southdown Press) to secure full ownership of TV Week.

Source: The Australian Financial Review, The Age




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Classic TV Guides: SBS wins the World Cup

Since its inception in 1980, SBS has championed and promoted the world game of football, or soccer, to the domestic audience. The network covered local and overseas competitions and programs like World Soccer brought the game into the Australian mainstream. Before then, soccer was mostly allowed not much more than maybe an hour a week in obscure late-night timeslots not given much attention by ABC or commercial networks.

But for all of its commitment and passion for the game, the biggest competition of them all, the FIFA World Cup, was not to be seen on the network whose initials made it jokingly known as the “Soccer Broadcasting Service”. The global contest was barely covered on Australian TV except for limited coverage on ABC… if that.

The situation changed in some way in 1986, when SBS partnered with ABC to cover the FIFA World Cup from Mexico. ABC held on to the opening ceremony, play-offs and finals — some of which not broadcast live — leaving SBS with the earlier first round matches.

For the 1990 rights, SBS joined ABC’s bid. This was until SBS realised that the small print left SBS again as the “junior” partner and ABC keeping the higher profile matches to itself. It also learned that a New Zealand company was also bidding for Australian rights, intending to on sell to an Australian commercial network.

SBS sports chief Dominic Galati then went out on a limb to outbid the opposition, seeking to nail down exclusive rights for not just 1990 but also 1994 and 1998. Galati committed SBS at the last minute to a six-figure sum, hurriedly agreed to by managing director Brian Johns, who now had to justify the major expense at the next senate estimates meeting.

As it turned out, Johns’ concerns were alleviated when SBS was allowed to seek corporate sponsorship to pay for its World Cup coverage — in what would be a precursor to SBS starting to supplement its public funding with commercial advertising from 1991.

YouTube: Aussie VHS Archive

Although SBS was offering the most comprehensive World Cup coverage in Australian television history to date (with all 52 games broadcast live, or close to live due to some scheduling conflicts), it still had the challenge that it was only available in the capital cities (and excluding Darwin) and only a few regional centres — and all on the UHF band, when many viewers still had no idea what that was. ABC, despite losing the rights to the smaller network, then chipped in and relayed SBS’ coverage (headed by commentators Les Murray and Johnny Warren, pictured above) to areas that did not receive SBS and was also allowed to run a brief highlights package at night across the country.

The opening ceremony and first match (Argentina versus Cameroon) of the 1990 FIFA World Cup is among the latest addition of Classic TV Guides:

Source: TV Week, 2 June 1990. The Canberra Times, 20 May 1990.

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