Michelle Guthrie threatens to sue ABC

Sacked ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has threatened to sue the national broadcaster after the ABC board dismissed her only two years into a five-year term.

Guthrie has publicly responded to her dismissal with a statement: “I am devastated by the board’s decision to terminate my employment despite no claim of wrongdoing on my part.  When I joined ABC in 2016, I knew I had an enormous challenge in front of me to break down some of the internal barriers to progress as well as continuing to deliver quality programming for all Australians. As the first female Managing Director of the ABC, I felt a tremendous responsibility and unique privilege to lead Australia’s most important cultural institution.”

“While my contract permits the board to terminate my employment without cause and with immediate effect, I believe there is no justification for the Board to trigger the termination clause. I am considering my legal options.”

In ABC’s statement to announce Guthrie’s departure, Chairman Justin Milne said the Board believed that new leadership would benefit the organisation, its dedicated employees, and the ABC’s audiences:

“In resolving to seek fresh leadership, the Board’s foremost consideration was the long-term interests of our own people and the millions of Australians who engage with ABC content every week. This decision has been driven by our commitment to deliver the best possible outcomes for our loyal audiences and the best possible experience for our own people.

“We understand that transitions can be disruptive in the short-term. However, the ABC is fortunate to have an experienced and capable executive team that will provide continuity in the months ahead.

“The board wishes to thank Michelle for her contribution to the ABC. We are very grateful for all her hard work.”

ABC executive David Anderson has been appointed Acting Managing Director. Anderson has almost 30 years experience in television and the broadcast industry.

Guthrie’s departure has sparked some rather blunt reactions from those within the broadcaster. Four Corners executive producer Sally Neighbour tweeted “Excellent decision”, while Melbourne radio host Jon Faine slammed Guthrie’s tenure as an “astonishing fail”.

Media Watch host Paul Barry said, “Are the staff going to mourn her passing? I think the answer’s ‘no’…  Are we losing a passionate advocate for public broadcasting? Again the answer’s ‘no’, I think.”

Sydney-born Guthrie came to the ABC role after executive positions at News Corporation, including as CEO of Asian broadcaster Star TV, and Google. It was this background that led to many to criticise her for being a “Murdoch plant” at the broadcaster, while at the same time others criticised her emphasis on diversity within the organisation and for not aggressively advocating for the broadcaster at the federal government level.

Source: ABC, SBS, The Age


Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2018/09/michelle-guthrie-threatens-to-sue-abc.html

Classic TV Guides: The winner is… Sydney!

It is 25 years since the Monte Carlo announcement of Sydney as the host city of the 2000 Olympic Games.

Sydney won the vote of International Olympic Committee (IOC) members against competing bids by Beijing, Berlin, Istanbul and Manchester. Speeches by the Prime Minister Paul Keating and his wife Annita, New South Wales Premier John Fahey, Olympic champion Kieren Perkins and bid chief Rod McKeogh were overshadowed by that of 11-year-old schoolgirl Tanya Blencowe, who won the crowd over with her impassioned plea for the world to come to Sydney in the year 2000.

YouTube: jmoul59

The day was also the beginning of a long-running TV tradition. Sydney’s The Footy Show, a Sunday afternoon program, was presenting a Grand Final eve special edition in prime time.  Like the Melbourne show of the same name, The Footy Show would go on to become a regular prime time fixture from 1994 onwards.

The TV guide for the day is among the latest additions to Classic TV Guides:


Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2018/09/classic-tv-guides-the-winner-is-sydney.html

New channel Your Money coming soon

The Nine Network has announced 1 October as the launch date for its new channel, Your Money.

Presented from Sydney as a joint venture with Australian News Channel (operator of Sky News), Your Money will broadcast on Nine’s channel 95, replacing infomercial channel Extra, and Foxtel channel 601.

Your Money will feature business journalists Ticky Fullerton, James Daggar-Nickson, Ingrid Willinge, Leo Shanahan, Leanne Jones and Adam Creighton with real estate presenters Sophie Hull and James Treble.

Your Money will include Your Money Live, a business program airing live each weeknight from 6pm to 8.30pm, hosted by Brooke Corte and Chris Kohler (pictured), followed by specialist finance programs from 8.30pm.

As well as broadcast via Nine and Foxtel, Your Money will be available online at Foxtel Now, 9Now and at yourmoney.com.au.

· Business Breakfast – Weekdays live at 6:00am
· Trading Day: The Countdown – Weekdays live at 9:00am
· Trading Day: The Open – Weekdays live at 10:00am
· Trading Day Live – Weekdays live from 11:00am
· Trading Day: The Final Count – Weekdays live at 4:00pm
· TICKY – Weeknights live at 5:00pm
· Your Money Live – Weeknights live at 6:00pm
· Money Talks with Peter Switzer – Mondays live at 8:30pm
· Swipe with James Daggar-Nickson – Tuesdays live at 8:30pm
· CarAdvice – Wednesdays live at 8:30pm
· Entrepreneurs – Thursdays live at 8:30pm
· Business Class – Fridays live at 8:30pm
· Real Estate – Saturdays live from 8.30am
· FOX Business Live – Monday – Saturday from 11:30pm

*Times in AEST

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2018/09/new-channel-your-money-coming-soon.html

Former Nine Adelaide studios being demolished

The building that was home to NWS9, Adelaide’s first TV station, is being demolished.

Former Nine presenters Michael Smyth and Keith Conlon have this week both tweeted images of the building being knocked down.

The NWS9 studios on Tynte Street, North Adelaide, were opened in September 1959. The station’s launch was delayed as a fire had destroyed major sections of the construction only a couple of months earlier.

The demolition, which is also to include the station’s former antenna tower, is set to make way for a multi-storey apartment complex.

The former studios hosted many programs for Nine not just for Adelaide but for national audiences: Adelaide Tonight, The Country And Western Hour, The Jackpot Game, The Channel Niners, Here’s Humphrey, The Curiosity Show, C’mon Kids, Postcards, Christmas pantomimes, 30 years of telethons and over 50 years of news broadcasts.

Nine moved to its new premises on Pirie Street, in Adelaide’s CBD, in 2015.

Source: Michael Smyth, Keith Conlon. Miracle On Tynte Street: The Channel Nine Story, Wakefield Press, 1996.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2018/09/former-nine-adelaide-studios-being-demolished.html

Network Ten confirms Melbourne Cup rights

Network Ten and the Victorian Racing Club (VRC) have confirmed media reports from last week that they have signed an agreement that will see the Melbourne Cup Carnival live broadcast on Ten for five years from 2019.

It marks the return of the Melbourne Cup Carnival to Ten, which was previously telecast rights holder from 1978 to 2001 — and Ten’s interest and involvement in racing coverage dates back to its early days in the 1960s.

The deal, worth $100 million, gives Network Ten rights to broadcast live the four days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival — AAMI Victoria Derby Day, Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, Kennedy Oaks Day and Seppelt Wines Stakes Day.

The agreement comprises a suite of Melbourne Cup Carnival media rights, including free to air TV, internet, social media, mobile, OTT (Over-The-Top) and HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) within Australia.

Network Ten has also agreed terms with Racing.com to provide live coverage of all races across the Melbourne Cup Carnival on its channels and the Racing.com app. The live vision streaming rights for Wagering Service Providers are excluded from the deal with Network Ten.

VRC Chief Executive Officer Neil Wilson welcomed the Cup’s move back to Ten: “During the comprehensive tender process Network Ten proved themselves to be the best partner to take us into the future. This partnership will extend the Melbourne Cup Carnival to be visible across the network, across platforms and across the full year. In addition, it gives us the opportunity to engage new and growing audiences to our Carnival and to the sport of racing.”

VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott acknowledged the contribution made to the Melbourne Cup by current rights holder Seven Network: “While we are excited about this new stage for the Club, our heartfelt thanks go to the Seven Network, a valued and close Cup Week partner of ours for 16 years. Seven has broadcast the Melbourne Cup Carnival to millions of Australians and has played a pivotal role in assisting in growing the event into the global phenomenon it is today,” Mrs Elliott said.

“We look forward to working with Seven on another outstanding Melbourne Cup Carnival in 2018.”

Network Ten CEO Paul Anderson (pictured far right with Neil Wilson) said in a media statement: “We are extremely excited that the Melbourne Cup Carnival is coming home to Network Ten. Our Network has a rich history with this world-class event having been the broadcaster of the race that stops a nation for over two decades. The Melbourne Cup Carnival is one of the most prestigious horseracing events in the world, and Cup Day is iconic, not just in the sporting calendar, but for all Australians.”

“Ten is home to some of Australia’s most loved programming and talent. As part of this landmark media rights partnership, all the thrill and excitement of the Melbourne Cup Carnival story will live on Network Ten across the entire year, and be showcased in new ways across our various platforms, including those of our parent company CBS.”

Source: VRC, Network Ten, Ten Eyewitness News


Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2018/09/network-ten-confirms-melbourne-cup-rights.html

From 96 to Neighbours, TV’s long walk to marriage equality

Matt Wilson, Magda Szubanski, Takaya Honda in Neighbours

This week Neighbours (6.30pm weeknights, Eleven) makes Australian television history with its first same-sex wedding.

Aaron Brennan (Matt Wilson) and David Tanaka (Takaya Honda) will be wed by celebrant Jemima Davies-Smythe, played by Magda Szubanski. Actor, comedian and writer Szubanski was a prominent spokesperson in the marriage equality campaign which culminated in same sex marriage becoming legal in Australia in November last year.

The Neighbours wedding shows that we have come a long way not just as a society but as far as gay people are depicted on television.

It is a journey that began back in 1972 in the 0-10 Network series Number 96 and two of the show’s original characters, law student Don Finlayson (Joe Hasham, pictured) who was having a relationship with photographer Bruce Taylor (Paul Weingott). But it was Don’s later relationship with movie buff Dudley Butterfield (Chard Hayward) that was the series’ most enduring and popular with viewers. Number 96 creator David Sale was clear from the outset that he wanted to have gay characters when developing the series. In 1974 he told Woman’s Day, “I wanted to put in a couple of homosexuals. But I did want to get away from the concept of homosexuals being all flapping and effeminacy – the homosexuals in 96 are nice people. They don’t wear eye-shadow, carry handbags, or hang about public toilets. I do think the characters of Don  and Dudley have done more to put homosexuals in some sort of reasonable light than the whole of the Gay Lib movement.”

Despite writing gay characters into the series, Sale later wrote in his biography Number 96, Mavis Bramston And Me that network executives were pressuring the show’s producer Bill Harmon to turn the characters straight — despite their immense popularity with viewers. Hasham was receiving more fan mail than any other actor in the series, sometimes from dazed young females determined to turn Don “straight” but more significantly from gay men, sometimes being very isolated in country areas, who were finally seeing someone that represented their reality on television without any sense of gossip or derision.

In 1974, Hasham told TV Times: “Almost a quarter of all the letters I get is the male mail. They say they’re homosexuals and they’re writing to thank me for portraying a homosexual character who isn’t a limp-wristed screaming queen. There are others that are terrifying and tragic; heart-rending letters from young men who pour out their souls to me because apparently in their loneliness they have no one else who will listen.”

The portrayals of Don Finlayson and Dudley Butterfield were written and performed with utmost normalcy, and with producer Harmon threatening to take the top-rating series to a rival network, 0-10 executives eventually stepped back in pushing the characters to become straight.

Finlayson in particular was often the sole voice of reason and sensibility amongst a series of characters that sometimes, deliberately, was anything but with its mix of melodramatic and comedic tales.  The biggest joke to come from the show’s gay characters was that neighbourhood gossip Dorrie Evans (Pat McDonald) remained delightfully oblivious of their situation for the entirety of the series even though everyone else around them just calmly knew and accepted it.

Joe Hasham and John Orcsik in Number 96 The Movie

But despite how groundbreaking Number 96 was with its depictions of characters like Don and Dudley, there were still some limitations. Any form of physical contact between the characters was strictly off limits — not even so much as holding hands or an innocent kiss was allowed. With more generous rules surrounding censorship in films, it was a restriction that was able to be lifted somewhat when Number 96 The Movie went into production in 1973, with Don ending up in bed with Simon Carr (John Orcsik), although even then the couple’s kiss was cut from the final product.

The character of Don Finlayson was one of only three from Number 96‘s first episode to be seen through to the end of the series in 1977.

Joe Hasham (Number 96) and Paul Karo (The Box) on the cover of TV Times in 1974

The success of Number 96 led the same network in 1973 to commission The Box, set in a television station but like 96 featured adults-only storylines. As far as depiction of gay characters, The Box stepped up on the foundations laid by 96, with bisexual reporter Vicki Stafford (Judy Nunn, pictured) having a kiss with Felicity Baker (Helen Hemingway) in the show’s opening episode. The series also featured the character of producer Lee Whiteman (Paul Karo), who was definitely portrayed as camp but often with the purpose of providing some balance to the show’s heavily dramatic situations. Karo told TV Times that he had originally intended to portray Whiteman as a more sophisticated character. “I think it would have been more authentic, but the role calls for me to play it camp and that’s the way it is.”

From Number 96 and The Box there have varying degrees of gay characters featured in Australian dramas. Prisoner, set in a women’s prison, had an emphasis on lesbian characters including prison inmates Franky Doyle (Carol Burns) and Judy Bryant (Betty Bobbitt) — though not with each other — and prison officer Joan Ferguson (Maggie Kirkpatrick), though very little was actually portrayed on screen. However it is a theme that is also portrayed, sometimes rather graphically, in the Prisoner-inspired series Wentworth.

Gay characters in shows like Skyways and Cop Shop were probably more of an incidental feature, although an early storyline in Cop Shop had Gary Foster (Andrew McKaige) in conflict with his father, police detective Tom (Peter Sumner), over revelations that Gary had been in a relationship with another man. Meanwhile, Tom is revealed to be involved in a series of gay bashings around the area.

The ABC drama GP featured Dr Martin Dempsey (Damian Rice) coming out as gay to his medic colleagues, and later having a relationship with Patrick Walsh (Lochie Daddo), the brother of one of his patients.

There have also been significant “coming out” storylines in Breakers and The Secret Life Of Us, and the more recent series House Husbands featured a male couple bringing up a daughter.

Neighbours, while hosting this week’s same sex wedding, has also not been shy in portraying gay characters and relationships in the past, including teen Chris Pappas (James Mason) coming to terms with his sexuality and later forming a relationship with Aidan Foster (Bobby Morley), and a short-lived relationship between Sky Mangel (Stephanie McIntosh) and Lana Crawford (Bridget Neval). There have also been other incidental characters along the way, such as builder Andrew ‘Macca’ McKenzie (John Morris) back in 1994.

Fellow soap Home And Away has had a somewhat more reluctant approach to featuring sexually diverse characters, despite it carrying the more mature “PG” rating to Neighbours, which up until recently was rated G. Several years ago, a relationship between two females was met with criticism from conservative groups, resulting in a kiss being edited out before going to air. The plot later saw one of the pair enter into a relationship with a man.

However, more recently, the series has featured the storyline of Ty Anderson (Darius Williams) coming out.

Source: Aussie Soap Archive. Super Aussie Soaps, Andrew Mercado. Number 96, Mavis Bramston And Me, David Sale. TV Times, 29 June 1974.




Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2018/09/from-96-to-neighbours-tvs-long-walk-to-marriage-equality.html

Melbourne Cup returns to Network Ten

Network Ten is set to take over as the TV broadcast partner of the Melbourne Cup Carnival from 2019.

Media reports have stated that Ten is the preferred bidder for the four-day racing carnival, outbidding the Seven Network which has been telecast partner for the event since 2002. Reports suggest that Ten has offered up to $10 million for rights to the racing carnival and other events on the Victorian Racing Club (VRC) calendar.

Ten was previously the rights holder to the Melbourne Cup Carnival from 1978 to 2001. The network was the first to gain exclusive rights to the event for Australia-wide coverage and the first to telecast the races live into Victoria.

Melbourne Cup, 1980. Source: TV Week (Click to enlarge)

The new deal is a small win for the network given that they have recently lost the rights to the summer Big Bash League cricket competition.

Although the VRC and Ten have yet to formally announce any deal, Seven has admitted that it has been outbid — all of a sudden downplaying the loss as “four afternoons of television”:

“While another party has placed a far higher valuation on these four afternoons of television, we will do what is financially responsible and right for our shareholders.”

The Melbourne Cup deal is the third major sporting rights contract to change broadcasters this year. Earlier this year Seven and Foxtel had announced they had secured cricket rights from the Nine Network, while Nine has taken over the Australian Open tennis from Seven.

Source: Mumbrella, Racing.com, Sydney Morning Herald

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2018/09/melbourne-cup-returns-to-network-ten.html

WIN moves Tasmania news to NSW

WIN Television has announced that it will be shifting presentation of its evening WIN News for Tasmania to centralised facilities on the mainland.

The final WIN News to be presented from the Hobart studios will go to air on Friday 17 August.

From the following day, WIN in Tasmania will broadcast Ten Eyewitness News‘ national Sydney-based bulletin on weekends, and from Monday 20 August the weeknight WIN News bulletin will be presented from WIN’s Wollongong headquarters.

The move further centralises WIN News presentation, with regional Victorian and Queensland and Canberra news bulletins also hosted from Wollongong.

While reporters and camera crews will still be on the ground in Tasmania, some jobs cuts are inevitable as the studios will no longer be in use.

The move, which mirrors a similar production model employed by other regional networks, brings an end to 58 years of production from the station that originally began as TVT6 in Hobart. TVT6 (later Tas TV) was Hobart’s only commercial station for almost 35 years before aggregation saw Launceston-based Southern Cross move in as a competitor.

Tas TV became part of the WIN regional network in October 1994. Two years ago the network changed its affiliation partner from Nine to Ten, and ratings have not been kind to WIN under the new arrangement. In the ratings year to date, Southern Cross (aligned to the Seven Network) rates higher than WIN (Ten) and TDT (Nine) combined. Both WIN and TDT also rate behind ABC (6pm-12mn, Regional TAM).

Southern Cross News, which produces a Tasmanian-based bulletin seven nights a week, is already a ratings leader with Tasmanian viewers.

ABC News also presents a Hobart-based bulletin seven nights a week.

From 2 September, WIN will commence a free-to-air relay of Sky News as a new multi-channel.

Source: ABC, The Examiner, Regional TAM


Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2018/08/win-moves-tasmania-news-to-nsw.html

Sky News On WIN announces launch date

Sky News Australia has announced the launch date for its entry into the free-to-air market.

From 6.00am (AEST) on Sunday 2 September, Sky News On WIN will present a 24-hour channel via the WIN network consisting of programming from Sky News Australia including Credlin, The Bolt Report, Outsiders, Jones & Co, Richo, Politics HQ, Paul Murray Live, Kenny On Sunday, Speers, Speers On Sunday and AM Agenda. The channel will also include content from Fox Sports and Sky News Weather channels.

Headline News, currently appearing on Sky News Weather (Channel 603 on Foxtel) and hosted by Jaynie Seal, will also be carried on Sky News On WIN as well as simulcast on WIN’s own main channel — replacing programming currently available in the timeslot from WIN’s network partner, Ten.

The new channel is the first of two Sky News channels to launch on free-to-air. The Nine Network and Sky News have announced that they will soon launch Your Money, a re-branding of the Sky News Business channel, to broadcast on free to air channel 95.

Sky News On WIN will be broadcast in regional markets currently covered by WIN on channel 83 (53 in Northern NSW/Gold Coast).

Sky News Australia is operated by Australian News Channel, a wholly owned subsidiary of News Corp Australia.


  • Sky News Weather (Every day LIVE at 5:00am)
  • FOX SPORTS News (Every day at LIVE 5:30am)
  • Headline News with Jaynie Seal (Weekdays LIVE at 6:00am)
  • AM Agenda with Kieran Gilbert (Weekdays LIVE at 8:30am)
  • Live Now with Ashleigh Gillon (Monday – Wednesdays LIVE at 10:00am); with Tom Connell (Thursday and Fridays LIVE at 10:00am)
  • All Australian News (Weekdays at 11:00am)
  • FOX SPORTS News (Every day LIVE at 12:00pm)
  • SPEERS with David Speers (Monday – Thursdays LIVE at 4:00pm)
  • The Friday Show with Rita Panahi (Fridays LIVE at 4:00pm)
  • FOX SPORTS News (Monday- Fridays LIVE at 5:00pm)
  • Credlin with Peta Credlin (Weeknights LIVE at 6:00pm)
  • The Bolt Report with Andrew Bolt (Weeknights LIVE at 7:00pm)
  • Outsiders with Ross Cameron and Rowan Dean (Monday and Thursdays LIVE at 8:00pm, Sundays LIVE at 9:00am)
  • Jones & Co with Alan Jones and Peta Credlin (Tuesdays LIVE at 8:00pm)
  • Richo with Graham Richardson (Wednesdays LIVE at 8:00pm)
  • Politics HQ with Nicholas Reece (Fridays LIVE at 8:00pm)
  • Paul Murray LIVE with Paul Murray (Sunday – Thursdays LIVE from 9:00pm – 10:00pm)
  • Hardgrave with Gary Hardgrave (Fridays LIVE at 9:00pm)
  • FOX SPORTS News LIVE rolling coverage (Saturdays from 5:30am)
  • SPEERS on Sunday with David Speers (Sundays LIVE at 8:00am)
  • Mundine Means Business with Warren Mundine (Sundays at 5:00pm)
  • The Adam Giles Show with Adam Giles (Sundays LIVE at 6:00pm)
  • Kenny on Sunday with Chris Kenny (Sundays LIVE at 7:00pm)
  • Heads Up with Janine Perrett (Monday – Thursdays LIVE at 11:00pm) and Peter Gleeson (Fridays LIVE at 11:00pm)

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2018/08/sky-news-on-win-announces-launch-date.html

Lee Lin Chin signs off from SBS

The Queen has left the building!

SBS newsreader and fashion icon Lee Lin Chin gave a dignified sign off from her last SBS World News bulletin earlier this evening.

Ending almost 30 years at the SBS news desk, Chin once again impressed with her eccentric fashion that has become her trademark. She also received tributes from co-presenters Craig Foster and Mike Tomalaris and incoming replacement Anton Enus, returning to SBS after a two year absence.

In the video package that followed there were snippets of changing hairstyles, fashions, news sets, her viral self-parodies at The Feed including the all-network “Broadcast Battleground” plus a greeting from English  reporter Dan Rivers, who Chin complemented in a candid off-camera moment that was caught by the microphones.

YouTube: Australian TV Fan

Starting her media career in Singapore, Chin came to Australia in 1980 to join the new SBS television network as a subtitler. She then went to ABC radio in Newcastle and Darwin, later returning to SBS in the early 1990s as weekend newsreader.

In the years since she has also hosted her own series, Fashionista, has twice been Australia’s national spokesperson in the Eurovision Song Contest, and in 2016 was the first SBS personality to be nominated for a Gold Logie.

In an interview for Ten Daily, Chin said that there are various reasons for her leaving SBS but did not wish to elaborate further. However she is currently involved in a production company, All The Chin’s Men, with The Feed colleagues Chris Leben and Daniel Hartley-Allen, pitching ideas to networks.

She also said, on brand with her The Feed persona, that “working two days a week didn’t give me enough time to devote to the pub and re-reading the complete works of Shakespeare. So now that I work zero days that issue has been addressed.”

Source: Ten Daily, Wikipedia

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2018/07/lee-lin-chin-signs-off-from-sbs.html