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Back in fashion?

Posted April 10th, 2009 by debritz

Will Brad Coward, the prolific commenter who occasionally lurks here (as well as at many other blogs) become The Courier-Mail's new fashion guru? Perhaps this item at the Style Mistress blog is just a taste of things to come.
PS: This link was sent to me by email with the comment "What's the world coming to...?"

Double act

Posted April 6th, 2009 by debritz

A friend's take on the Brisbane radio ratings:

"When will Ian Skippen and Jamie Dunn realise that they need each other?"

Cloudland cuckoos

Posted April 5th, 2009 by debritz

Am I alone in thinking there's something a bit perverse about the State Government celebrating the long-demolished Cloudland when it is on the verge of allowing a similar fate for the Regent Theatre? The State Library of Queensland's 2009 awards in June will be themed around the popular dance hall which disappeared under cover of darkness under a previous state political regime. If there is a genuine fondness for the past among those in positions of power in Queensland, maybe it could be better invested in saving and restoring the Regent - the last of our capital's great entertainment venues - rather than having yet another staged bout of nostalgia for Cloudland (wonderful though it was).

Rulers of the radio ratings

Posted March 31st, 2009 by debritz

Nova 106.9 once again rules the roost in the second 2009 official radio ratings survey for Brisbane. In breakfast, it's Nova's Meshel, Ash, Kip and Luttsy (who added 2.2 percentage points); followed by 612ABC's Spencer Howson (who lost ground by 1.7 points); and the surging B105 team of Labrat, Camilla and Stav (who added 1.9). Triple M slipped a little in both breakfast and overall, and 4BC star recruit Jamie Dunn had a marginal increase in his audience but his show is second last among the commercial stations (ahead of stablemate 4BH).

Musical date

Posted March 16th, 2009 by debritz

Peter Pinne and Paul Dellit's musical, Suddenly Single, will have a workshop performance on March 20 at the Cremorne Theatre, QPAC. Details are here.

Marto's poll vault

Posted March 8th, 2009 by debritz

A cynical ratings-related radio stunt or a serious bid at the ballot box? Queensland voters - or specifically those in the South Brisbane electorate - will get the chance to decide when Triple M's Greg "Marto" Martin's name appears on the candidates' list in the March 21 election. Martin, a member of The Cage breakfast team, is launching his campaign on Tuesday at the Chalk hotel. From memory, former top-rating 4BC announcer Haydn Sargent made an unsuccessful tilt at state politics in the 1970s or early 80s, proving that media fame doesn't always translate into votes - although Channel 9's Chris "Bomber" Bombalas did win a seat at the last election, but is now retiring for health reasons. Even though the sitting member for South Brisbane - Premier Anna Bligh - has a commanding 18% lead, I wonder if Marto has a contingency plan for winning.

Why we should save the Regent

Posted March 8th, 2009 by debritz

I've been disturbed by some feedback I've received about the campaign to save the Regent theatre in Brisbane. According to the logic of Premier Anna Bligh, some of her party's candidates and others, preserving the Regent's marvellously ornate foyer equates with saving the theatre itself. What they are not saying is that even the developers concede that the demolition of the rest of the building, which includes removing load-bearing walls, may well impact on the foyer. Worst case scenario: the whole thing comes crashing down. My question to the developers, the building owners, Ms Bligh, the council committee currently considering the development proposals and the rest of the pro-development lobby is:

If you were scheduled to have a totally unnecessary operation and you were told there was a good chance you would die during the surgery, would you sign the consent form?

If your answer is no, then don't allow the Regent development.

Radio ratings results

Posted March 5th, 2009 by debritz

612ABC Brisbane, which has added audience numbers in every shift across the day and every age demographic, has been the big winner in the first 2009 radio ratings survey. And it seems Aunty's gain has been at 4BC's expense, with the much-heralded return of Jamie Dunn (above,left) proving a bit of a fizzer. Dunn lost 3.8 percentage points in the all-important breakfast shift (albeit compared to an extraordinarily good performance by Peter Dick in the last survey of last year), and the commercial talk station also lost audience in the drive and evening shifts. 612's Spencer Howson (above, right) - with whom I converse on air every Friday morning - is now equal No.1 in the breakfast shift with Nova 106.9's Meshel, Kip, Ash and Luttsy. In No.3 spot in breakfast is Triple M's The Cage with Ian Skippen, followed by B105, 97.3 and 4BH, with 4BC and 4KQ in equal last spot among the main local contenders. Overall (Monday to Friday, 5.30am to midnight, people 10+), the order was: Nova, B105, Triple M, 612ABC, 97.3, 4BC and then a tie for last between 4KQ and 4BH.
Some initial conclusions:
+ Dunn has lost some of 4BC's core audience to 612ABC and BC's sister station 4BH (which has a two-point lift in its audience numbers). It seems that he has also failed to bring in new, younger listeners. It's early days yet, but I doubt any turnaround will come in the next survey, which will include data for the build-up to the Queensland election. That could well polarise audiences between the ABC and music stations, and Dunn will be left out in the cold unless he can prove some serious political credentials.

Sharing the love

Posted March 4th, 2009 by debritz

Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman has been vocal about the need to restore City Hill - and rightly so. I hope his passion for heritage architecture also extends to the Regent theatre. Its fate lies, in a great part, with the decision of his council on a development proposal to replace the Brisbane CBD's last remaning early 20th Century grand picture palace with an ugly and unnecessary office tower. More on the fight to save the Regent here.

Nine's No. 1

Posted February 15th, 2009 by debritz

Channel 9 has won the first week of Australia's official TV ratings thanks, no doubt, to the drama Underbelly 2 and the bushfires telethon. The average total-audience share for the main five capital cities were: ABC 15.5%, Seven 27.5%, Nine 31.6%, Ten 20.4% and SBS 5.0%. In south-east Queensland, the figures were ABC 14.8%, Seven 28.7%, Nine 30.9%, Ten 20.4% and SBS 5.2%. Will these figures hold up for the rest of the year? My guess is that, among the commercial stations, Nine and Seven will remain neck and neck, and Ten will continue to trail. As I've said before, I think it'll be a tough year for the commercial channels and that the inevitable decline of free-to-air TV has already begun. The slices may remain similar but the cake will shrink.

Charity show

Posted February 10th, 2009 by debritz

In Brisbane, the cast and crew of StageDoor Dinner Theatre's Hunch will put on a special performance to raise funds for the Victorian bush fire victims. It will be on Monday, February 16 at 7.30pm. Phone 3216 1115 to book and your full $25 ticket price will go to the Red Cross Appeal. The musical comedy is described as “Young Frankenstein meets Rocky Horror” and it features hit songs from the 1980s.

Dunn his dash?

Posted January 21st, 2009 by debritz

Is Jamie Dunn doing well or not at 4BC in Brisbane? Comments on my old blog seem to indicate that he's bringing nothing new to the breakfast shift and not keeping the BC demographic happy. I guess the ratings will tell...

Train pain

Posted January 2nd, 2009 by debritz

In its unquestionable wisdom (and therefore, I understand, with little or no public consultation), Queensland Rail has renamed Brunswick Street Station "Fortitude Valley". At least that's what the signs on the platform say (with "Chinatown" in small print below). Just to confuse passengers, especially interstate and overseas visitors, the route maps inside the train, the prerecorded announcements and the ticket machines at other stations still refer to it as "Brunswick Street". In fact, the recorded announcement declares Brunswick Street is the stop for the "Valley Bingo Hall" which, I believe, disappeared at least six months ago.
On the subject of ticket machines, I had to help a fellow passenger purchase a ticket to the airport. The silly man was looking under the alphabetical listings for "A". Of course, the stop he was looking for was under "D" for "Dom Airport" ("Dom" presumably being an abbreviation for domestic.) It's good to know that, after six months way, the lack of common sense in high places in the Queensland Government remains a constant.

By another name ...

Posted December 5th, 2008 by debritz

Further, again, to the naming of Brisbane, according to the "True Names" rules, it would probably be "Place Shaped As A Spike", after the Aboriginal word Mian-jin. (Reference Wikipedia).

How times have changed

Posted December 1st, 2008 by debritz

From my, admittedly insular, perspective, the next Queensland state election is shaping up as a contest between the party that wants to demolish Brisbane's history (the Regent) and the one that's offering free trips on public transport. Amazingly, it's Labor doing the former and the NatLibs doing the latter.

And the showbiz blog is

Posted November 25th, 2008 by debritz

Regent: now or never

Posted October 21st, 2008 by debritz

The fate of Brisbane's Regent theatre could be sealed in just over two weeks. If you want to object to Brisbane City Council before the November 7 deadline, either as an individual or a group, there's now a complete guide at The direct link is here. Make sure your objection addresses the proposal directly, and includes as many facts as possible, plus a viable alternative (e.g. restoring the original auditorium). Even if you don't plan to make a formal objection, please consider writing to or emailing Premier Anna Bligh, deputy premier Paul Lucas, Lord Mayor Campbell Newman and the building's owners. Their contact details are on the STR website under "Links". This could be our last chance to stop the Regent going the way of the Her Majesty's, the Wintergarden, Festival Hall, the Forum, the Paris, the Metro, Cloudland and so many other of Brisbane's heritage venues.

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