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Big Bang at Logies

Posted April 12th, 2010 by debritz

Channel 9 has confirmed that Johnny Galecki, the star of The Big Bang Theory, will present a Gong at the 2010 TV Week Logie Awards. Galecki plays geeky scientist Leonard. In a Nine media release, Galecki is quoted as saying: “I am very excited. Australia is one of the places I wanted to visit since I was maybe 10 years old, yet this will be my first time, so I'm not quite sure what to expect. Nine's director of programming, Michael Healy, says: "The Big Bang Theory is one our most popular shows and we are thrilled to have Johnny Galecki with us for The TV Week Logie Awards this year, he will bring that trademark humour to the night for our audience and the thousands of fans around Australia." The ceremony, on May 2, will be hosted by Bert Newton and will feature a performance by the Rogue Traders, with new vocalist Mindi Jackson. Already confirmed to appear are Susan Boyle, John Mayer and Gabriella Cilmi.

Poll axed

Posted April 12th, 2010 by debritz

Apparently the great Australian public has no opinion at all on the subject of how our politicians travel. This poll, with its revealing insights, is from a website.
PS: On a not totally unrelated issue, The Australian's Media section has just caught up with changes at Queensland Newspapers first reported here on March 19.

Radio activity

Posted April 11th, 2010 by debritz

A reader of this blog asks why the 4BC radio newsreaders no longer refer to the Fairfax network, and asks if the station has been sold. I'm pretty sure it hasn't been sold but don't know why the change was made. Can anybody answer? Also, a shoutout to whoever manages the radio widget on the Brisbane Times website. I'm pretty sure Alex Bernard is not part of the 4BC (2GB) Continuous Call team, as suggested by the photo:

Will the iPad save newspapers?

Posted April 10th, 2010 by debritz

Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes has his say on the issue of whether tablet computers like the iPad will "save" traditional newspapers. He draws on his interview with Chris Mitchell, the editor in chief of The Australian, which hopes the new technology will help his paper charge for its online content. As Holmes points out, its success is really dependent on how many people want to buy the Oz's news agenda, rather than do as most people do online now -- switch from site to site searching for the news that interests them. You may care to read just one thing -- a favourite columnist or a quirky story -- from each site you visit. It pains me to say it, but I think tablets will just delay the death of newspapers as we know them rather than be their saviour. It could well be that it's the concept of a newspaper -- paying to read somebody else's selection of news and opinion -- that is dying, not just the idea of it being printed on paper.

Danny's back on the air

Posted April 9th, 2010 by debritz

Danny Hoyland, for many years regarded as the heart and soul - and visible presence - of Brisbane's 4BC, has been quietly toiling away in Ipswich these past few months presenting a program for River949 FM. Hoyland, who is also well-known in surf lifesaving circles, says the program, Great Weekender, on Saturdays from 6am to 9am, is "radio the way it should be - fun". "It's just me being myself," he adds. If you're not in the Ipswich, Logan or the southwest Brisbane area, you can hear the station online here.
Update Danny writes:

It is a lifestyle programme with a difference, lots of good music with interviews about boating safety, fishing, camping, gardening, quirky interviews, interviews that you probably wouldn’t hear on mainstream radio. It’s like a chat between two mates, laid back, nothing political, no crudeness, nothing contravercial. I try to get them to talk about themselves, what they like, why they do what they do. I have a quickie recipe segment with the International Chef Glenn Austin (this weekend it’s Drunken Prawns), food history with Sizzlers food scientist Jeremy Ryland, and I talk to veteran Channel Nine cameraman Peter Collins about what he has seen behind the camera lens the previous week, I chat to the Voice of the Outback Neale Stuart, who reports in from various outback (Western) locations with deadset Queensland characters, and I have a segment at 7.15am called 60 seconds with Dano that goes for 949 seconds. I talk to well known people, unusual people, people with a different story eg: Wendell Sailor, Wally Lewis, Susie O’Neill, Ray Martin, The Planet worker, the original surfing Gidget, Bepo the Clown (50 years as a clown entertaining kiddies), Tommy Radonikis, Elvis the concierge at Sofitel, horticulturist Graham Ross, Laurie Lawrence, the man who invented a shoe phone that really does work ... anything, or anyone that has a different story to tell, has a message. I keep it clean, non political, happy, unusual, quirky, different, hopefully different to any other radio programme. I call myself Danny Hoyland, the Little Queenslander banana bender from the Great Weekender in the great Southern Land on the hill at North Ipswich.

One for the pedants

Posted April 7th, 2010 by debritz

This clip is from the news on Brisbane's Radio 4BC.

How come I didn't hear about the major sex scandal at the US Masters?
If player does not work, click here to hear audio.

Stav gets the chop

Posted April 7th, 2010 by debritz

Stav Davidson from B105 websiteFor four years, Stewart Davidson has been a member of Richard Fidler's "panel of experts" on Brisbane's 612ABC. For almost as long, he's been one of the stars of B105's breakfast show under his nickname Stav. (You must have heard of him; Labby, Camilla and Stav are pictured on every second billboard in Brisbane.) Now, according to my sources, B105 (which this year is No.1 in breakfast) has told Davidson he can't be on Aunty as well. Such a shame, considering even a cursory glance at the ratings stats will show that 612 and B105 have totally different audiences.
Update: One ABC Radio executive's comment on Twitter: "What a joke considering b105 found stuart via @612brisbane."
Disclosure: Brett Debritz is heard weekly on 612ABC's Spencer Howson program

The future of news

Posted April 7th, 2010 by debritz

If newspapers are to survive, they should stop playing catch-up with news on the internet. So says Peter Preston in this Guardian column.

Throwing out the script

Posted April 6th, 2010 by debritz

TV Tonight reports that Australian David Lyle has been named head of Fox LOOK, a unit of the News Corp that will oversee the production of unscripted shows (i.e. "reality" TV). On Twitter, The Scrivener's Fancy (a website that features writers including comedian-author-broadcaster Tony Martin) notes that Lyle was the executive who knocked back the concept for The Late Show (eventually screened to great success by the ABC in the 1990s), saying it would never work. A lot of time has passed since then, of course.

Courier becomes more social

Posted April 6th, 2010 by debritz

Maybe, despite what some newspaper stories tell us, Facebook isn't the work of the devil after all. Fresh from putting a Twitter stream on its front page, is now displaying pictures and links to a changing random selection of its Facebook fans. I wonder what, if any, liability the paper has for the profile pictures these fans might post or the content of the Facebook pages they link to. Perhaps a disclaimer is warranted.
PS: Every time I load the page, I've known at least two of the eight people displayed. It's still a small town ...

On the air

Posted April 6th, 2010 by debritz

If you missed me on 612ABC with Spencer Howson this morning, you can catchup here now. We spoke about the money celebrities earn on the speaking circuit and the upcoming Regent Film Festival. The Regent tenants, Birch, Carroll and Coyle, are sponsoring a film festival and competition before they move out in June. A percentage of proceeds from ticket sales will go to the contest prize pools. Enjoy the Regent while you can - and keep up the fight to save the Showcase Cinema and ornate bar area!

Digital isn't perfect

Posted April 4th, 2010 by debritz

As people who have already bought DAB+ radios know, the reception can be brilliant - especially when it comes to listening to music on the AM stations. But digital radio isn't flawless. If you're not in the reception zone, or you're on the edges of it, the signal will be murky. And in the UK, the Guardian reports that an advertisement from the Digital Radio Development Bureau has been has been banned for "misleadingly implying that, unlike analogue radio, there would never be interruptions in the signal". Here in Australia, you can only currently receive digital signals in the metropolitan area, and only on commercial stations, the ABC and SBS, plus their digital-only stations. Many city community broadcasters will switch on to digital soon, but it could be a while before folks in the regions get to sample DAB's delights.

A bunch of tweets

Posted April 1st, 2010 by debritz

Brisbane's daily newspaper has introduced a Twitter scroll on its front page, aggregating tweets from several staff members. A good idea - as long as the staff involved realise that tweets hitherto seen only by their followers are now open to all readers of the website. So far, we have one staff member talking about going to a gig and getting drunk, and another bidding us all good night. Not exactly the stuff of a great metropolitan newspaper.
PS: The rest of the tweets tend to point to stories on the website. But, of course, anybody reading the feed is already there.

Good career move?

Posted April 1st, 2010 by debritz

Channel 10's The 7PM Project has had perhaps more than its fair share of critics, but it seems it's not going anywhere (except, if some rumours are to be believed, to a different timeslot). Either that or whoever successfully applies for the advertised position of Senior News Editor for the program (it's on if you're qualified and interested) could have a very short tenure.

Sorry, wrong shift

Posted March 31st, 2010 by debritz

Who do you call on talkback radio in the Drive shift? Well, if you're in Brisbane, it's either Michael "Smithy" Smith on 4BC or Kelly Higgins-Devine on 612ABC. But, for some reason, Smithy seemed to be in another time zone when he took this call:

Perhaps, after the Jamie Dunn debacle, the believed he was fronting the BC breakfast show and up against 612's Spencer Howson.
If player does not work, click here to hear audio.

Jamie Dunn: I've had a gutful!

Posted March 31st, 2010 by debritz

Jamie Dunn has said he is staying with the station and is now convinced that comments about him attributed to station manager David McDonald were not malicious. Dunn's spray [the audio is at the end of this story] followed an item in the Confidential column of The Courier-Mail that quotes the 4BC management as saying Dunn is "still learning talk radio". When he went on air, Dunn challenged management: "Either you want me here or you don't." Saying he had "had a gutful", Dunn added that he had been at the station for two years, the ratings were on the up and he was ready to confront management over his future. It came a day after the second ratings survey figures were released, showing a marginal improvement in audience share for the 4BC breakfast show hosted by Dunn and Ian Calder - but they are still a long way from the No.1 spot held by B105's Labby, Camilla and Stav. Dunn's talk rival, 612ABC's Spencer Howson, also has about twice Dunn's audience share while they are head-to-head. As I have reported previously, Dunn is contracted to increase the station's ratings. If he does quit, Drive host Michael Smith is a likely replacement. My sources say he is keen to take on the breakfast show. However, there have been suggestions that Dunn's outburst was an early April Fool's Day prank.
Audio: The audio in which Dunn says he wants to look at his life and spend more time with his kids is here:

If player does not work, click here to hear audio.
His earlier spray is here:

If player does not work, click here to hear audio.
Disclosure: Brett Debritz is heard on the Spencer Howson show on 612ABC.

Question for the day

Posted March 31st, 2010 by debritz

What exactly is Brisbane's community TV station called? Its website has logos identifying it as 31 and QCTV, and on a promotional video for the new digital service it's also called Briz 31 (its original name). I would have thought that clear branding was the No.1 priority when marketing a product.
PS: Oh, and the videos page doesn't work properly in the Firefox browser, which has 42 per cent market share in Europe and is growing elsewhere.

Mayman's big day is in August

Posted March 31st, 2010 by debritz

Alan Jones isn't the only radio star celebrating 25 years on air. Scott Mayman, of the ABC's Coast FM, is also marking the milestone this year. Mayman, who worked in America for many years (and is pictured in the NFL press box at a US football game), writes:
"Pamela Anderson, Sharon Stone, Jack Nicholson have all been invited to a big bash I’m planning later in the year…. They have already replied – saying “We’re not coming. Stop contacting us. We don’t know you!” My wife and I are headed back to the US but when I return, planning for the big silver celebrations has begun, with a function to be held closer to the actual anniversary date in August. My broadcast career actually started in community radio. I was picked-up by 4KQ, followed by the ABC, Sydney radio in the early ’90s then a return to Queensland before jetting-off to the United States and working with CBS News. In 2005, I returned home to Australia with my wife and doggy – and last year we welcomed young Mitchell Mark Mayman into the world."

Congratulations, Scott - and to his ABC colleague Trevor Jackson, who is also celebrating a quarter century this year.

Keeping up with Kip

Posted March 31st, 2010 by debritz

In case you're wondering about the whereabouts of former Nova 106.9 breakfast anchor Kip Wightman, he's been spotted in Bangkok. My spy in Thailand says Wightman, who has been travelling the world for the best part of a year, has just been in Cambodia, where he helped build a dormitory for homeless children. Good on him!

Bruce Paige - he's back!

Posted March 30th, 2010 by debritz

Bruce Paige may have retired from reading the news five nights a week, but Channel Nine Brisbane isn't about to let the popular star disappear from our screens completely. News director Lee Anderson has announced that the station has "finalised a new agreement with Bruce Paige that will continue his involvement with the network until at least 2013". Anderson added: "Bruce will continue as our back-up reader as well as undertaking a number of weekly features which will be unveiled by the network over coming months."
Update: A Nine press release has just confirmed this report, quoting Paige as saying: "I am a News man from way back and I have missed the people at Nine and the energy of the newsroom. Working part-time I still get to spend time with my family. I feel very lucky to have the best of both worlds." (March 31, 9.35am)

Oops, wrong code

Posted March 30th, 2010 by debritz

Memo if Allan "Alfie" Langer is a legend, why don't you know which sport he played? As everybody in NSW and Queensland knows (even if we're not huge NRL fans) he was a league star, not a rugby (union) player.

And the winners are ...

Posted March 30th, 2010 by debritz

The second survey results are in, and B105 is again No.1 in Brisbane both overall in breakfast. B105's Labby, Camilla and Stav narrowly beat 612ABC's Spencer Howson and Nova 106.9's Tim and Meshel, with Triple M's The Cage not far behind the pack. Overall, little separates B105, Nova and Triple M. There's some good news at last for 4BC's Jamie Dunn, who added some listeners in breakfast, but is in sixth place just ahead of commercial wooden-spooners 4BH. 97.3FM had some gains overall, but slipped behind Triple M among the much-prized grocery buyers. Nova is also competitive in that demographic. As usual, the biggest slice of the pie in drive, and at any time, belongs to Hamish and Andy with a handy 18.3 per cent of available listeners. In Sydney, 2GB still leads in breakfast and overall, although it has lost some share, and 702ABC remains in front of 2Day to take second place. Nova added 1.1 points in breakfast as its new breakfast team of Merrick, Dools and Rickie-Lee gels - but there's a long way to go before they catch up the FM leaders, Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O on 2Day. Mix 106.5 is still struggling near the bottom of the pack, but it added some listeners. In Melbourne, 3AW leads the way, with 774ABC in a close second place in breakfast but third overall to 2GB and Fox. Triple M's breakfast show, starring the well-known Eddie McGuire, slipped a little and has a long way to go to reach the leaders. The continued success of the talk format must be encouraging to 2GB boss John Singleton, who is about to launch a talk station in the Melbourne market. Classic Rock, which replaced Vega, has so far failed to register a strong presence in either the Sydney or Melbourne markets but the survey only takes into account eight days of the new format.
Disclosure: Brett Debritz is now on the 612ABC Breakfast with Spencer Howson program on Tuesdays about 6.50am.

Editor under the influence

Posted March 30th, 2010 by debritz

The former editor of The Sun has admitted he was drunk every night for 24 years, including the five years he edited the influential British tabloid. David Yelland admits he was the wrong choice for the job, not least because he didn't agree with the title's rightwing politics, didn't want the popular Page 3 girls in the paper, and even once turned up for a meeting with boss Rupert Murdoch wearing two shirts and ties. Roy Greenslade has his take on it here, and the orignal story, from The Mail on Sunday, is here.

Network relations go stale

Posted March 29th, 2010 by debritz

In The Australian, Channel 10 is accusing Channel 7 of copying its successful MasterChef format with My Kitchen Rules (winner Veronica and Shadi pictured). But to what extent can a cooking competition be an original idea? I'm sure there are some new ideas around (in fact, I have a few myself which I might fire off to Endemol or Shine) but much of what we see on reality TV shows is just a clever tweak of something we've seen before. For example, it's not hard to trace the Idol franchise's lineage back through Popstars, Star Search, New Faces, Opportunity Knocks and probably quite a few shows I've never heard of. Even Big Brother, often mentioned as the "father" of reality shows, came After Andrew Denton's The House from Hell. Of course, the reason many shows succeed is exactly because they remind us of something else.

Leckie denies Hey Dad pay claim

Posted March 28th, 2010 by debritz

Channel Seven CEO David Leckie has issued a media statement denying claims in The Sunday Telegraph that he offered a "six-figure sun" to former Hey Dad actress Simone Buchanan to appear on Today Tonight. The statement says: "Today's reports that I - or Seven - offered money to anyone in relation to claims surrounding 'Hey Dad' are completely wrong. They are incorrect. It did not happen. Seven should have been asked before the claims were published."

A bit Brough

Posted March 28th, 2010 by debritz

An on-air slip of the tongue by an ABC reporter in Brisbane resulted in former Howard Government heavyweight Mal Brough being referred to as Rob Brough, the Sunshine Coast-based newsreader and former TV game-show host.

Times announces online price

Posted March 26th, 2010 by debritz

From early May, The Times and Sunday Times will launch new, separate websites and charge users £1 a day or £2 a week for access. The Independent has the details here. How long before News Corporations's Australian titles follow suit, and how much will they charge?

If the shoe fits ...

Posted March 26th, 2010 by debritz

An online contact writes:

Computer control is out of hand. I was looking at a story on Peter Slipper, the snoozing pollie, on the Courier [Mail] site and under "related coverage'' found a Golden Slipper* yarn. Does anyone pay attention?

* It's a horse race.

Not so fast

Posted March 26th, 2010 by debritz

Radio can make or break reputations in seconds, but broadcasters are not so quick to respond when it comes to corrections and apologies. For example, here's a letter from Nova 106.9 general manager Sean Ryan, dated March 16, 2010 and published in the most recent Australian Transgender Support Association of Queensland newsletter:

On 3rd November 2009 a number of comments were broadcast on Nova 106.9 involving transgender people, which some members of ATSAQ may have found offensive. Nova 106.9 and Ben Te’o regret this and apologise for any offence caused.

How come it took four and half months for them to decide they were sorry?

On the air

Posted March 26th, 2010 by debritz

On 612ABC this morning, Spencer Howson and I spoke about the case of the 1980s sitcom star accused of abuse, and how it's now time for the media to be quite and let justice take its course; a quick review of Wild World; why it doesn't matter whether Wayne Swan and Kevin Rudd are "real Queenslanders"; and the inside gossip on lingerie parties. The audio is here.

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