60 Years of QLD TV

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Saturday, August 10, 2019

Kuttsy's Pitch XI: The Wake.

The hashtag is #kpitchXI

Welcome to the end of a era.
A epoch, a memory of the last decade: soon to be no longer, in the yearly sphere.

This is Kuttsy’s Pitch XI: The Wake.

I still remember, June 26, 2009 vividly… but not for the reasons people think of with that date: the death of Michael Jackson, and Farrah Fawcett. I remember it, for it being the date, a little bit of our lives for eighteen years was wrested away from us like it was candy from a baby. I still remember the ratings of the Extra finale: nearly a quarter of a million people watching what was “our” show saying goodbye and how that night (dead in the middle of a six year slump for QTQ’s weeknight news, which only ended through 7’s own hands) reminded us of what Nine’s news once was in Brisbane: omnipotent for twenty years prior to 7 wresting the lead in 2007, surviving Paigey being poached by 10 in 1990: only to return to Nine (after a stint in Townsville post 10) four years later, surviving tectonic shifts in news teams (first with Robin Parkin leaving, then the inevitable move of Paigey back to weeknights) and some stories which made the news: the news: (the luring of Melissa Downes to Nine in 2001 in the wake of Frank Warrick leaving 7: then getting Frank himself, and the departure of Mike London, under a cloud in 2003).

Who would have thought ten years on from the Extra finale, we would have predicted the following.

-A hour bulletin every night of the week all year round at 6pm on both 7 and 9: not just special occasions that warranted extended coverage.
-Local afternoon news on both 7/9 that enhanced their coverage at six.
-7 and 9 having hourlong gameshows at 5pm, and squeezing the base audience to half what it was when Extra was around: despite the growth of the SE corner and other factors taken into account.
-Ten in Brisbane promoting it had “something extra” in the weeks after Extra ended, thanks to a quick-witted news director: who’d later on, (after a sojourn overseas) cost Seven the news ratings lead in Brisbane, and then (after yet another sojourn overseas) come back to 10, this time as the head of news for the entire network: and couldn’t find “something extra” to counter the hour gameshow boom and launch of local news prior to 5pm by both 7 and 9 that decimated the network’s news ratings and credibility far more than any costcutting could.
-7 and 9 finally having a news war worth writing about on the Gold Coast, after so many false starts, as early on as October 2009.
-Max Futcher, becoming the leading name in television news in QLD: thanks to 10 missing the boat, and letting him leave on his own terms, instead of building their entire news brand in Queensland around him.
-The team that won BTQ’s news a Walkley in 2009 for investigative journalism, ending up producing two news directors in the time since: Neil Warren (BTQ news director since 2014) and Michael Best (STW news director since 2019).
-The fact that PR has become a bigger business than the news: Just ask anyone who got plucked from the QLD parliamentary press gallery into the Premiers Dept PR pool, only to see Seven and Nine go through George St reporters like underwear: the latest set being Nine bringing home Lane Calcutt from Canberra, and Seven poaching from the Courier-Mail, Patrick Lion.

And thus we are now where we are today: 10 years, and six weeks since the end of Extra, six days out from the sixtieth birthday of television in the Sunshine State, with very little to show this decade other than news bulletins and advertorials. How low have we fallen, but it makes me wonder: What exactly is the news we are watching these days, and how is it presented across network boundaries…

“Ladies and gentlemen: It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for, it’s the study that you thought couldn’t be done, a competition so fierce people go to Aldi to avoid it, the Thunderdome of comparisons, where one news service will bask in the glow of victory, while others will have their dreams crushed. It’s the “Great Local TV News Study”, and it doesn’t feature Richard Stubbs.”

John Farnham-The Last Time, from glennSuperdude on Youtube.

Welcome to the Great Local TV News Study.

Our farewell to counting content, and this time, it’s going big time.
Over the period of April 25-May 22 2019, we counted content from all four local TV news services, one week at a time, based on the following:
-Locally sourced stories: that is stories reported by local journos. Really big local stories with national impacts, also fit here.
-Live crosses: stuff that is used to embellish a story.
-Weather is not counted: Sorry Burty.
-Sport is not counted if it’s done by obviously freelance journos: you gotta have dedicated reporters there, with their mug at Broncos/Lions training for it to be counted.
And finally: Ten will have it’s Gold Coast content tracked during it’s week, something that will be utilized by the 10 News First exploration.

Survey periods:
7 News (6pm, 1hr):  25/4-1/5/2019.
9 News (6pm, 1hr):  2/5-8/5/2019.
10 News First (5pm, 1hr): 9/5-15/5/2019.
ABC News (7pm, 1/2hr): 16/5-22/5/2019.
(SBS is not counted, due to their news services being a 100% national product)

Let’s begin with Seven:
Over all, during the week of survey: 7’s bulletin was chock full of content and the numbers below do show.
Seven produced during the week of 25/4-1/5/2019:
-53 local stories: with a average of 7.5 local stories per night.
-28 live crosses: with a average of 2.5 live crosses per night: when Max Futcher’s blistering effort on Anzac Day at Anzac Square, of nine live crosses in one hour (almost one every seven minutes) is taken separately from the nineteen 7 had that week that weren’t at Anzac Square.
-A sports reporter was physically visible 10 times that week, and had me fearing that 7 knew this was coming and told the obvious freelancers to bugger off for the week.
-And finally, 47 reports sourced locally, that were voiced over by the anchor: a average of nearly 7 voiceovered local reports per night.
That week’s news highlights, included Anzac Day commemorations, the Adani convoy being not welcomed into Clermont, Issues at Brisbane airport, and a film about Elvis Presley being confirmed for QLD.
But one story by 7 has to be ranked the most disgusting promotional tactic of the whole run: airing a story on illegal locksmiths on the 29th of April: and having the gall to call it a exclusive… even though, Nine ran a similar piece on the same subject, on the same night, around five minutes earlier than 7.

Next, we go with Nine and the first unexplored territory for the master of the content survey:
Over all, during the week of 9’s survey, the bulletin actually seemed relatively more fluid than Seven’s the previous week: and knew actively the value of a good live cross: not just stick a reporter reading off a piece of paper with some file vision: something other news directors should indeed learn from: and hopefully bring across to their new job.
Nine produced during the week of 2/5-8/5/2019:
-41 local stories, with a average of nearly 6 local stories a night.
-A whopping 44 live crosses,  with a average of 6 live crosses a night: with some of these crosses being just as fleshed out as a produced story package.
-17 times a sports reporter was physically visible: something Nine can take to the bank, thanks to not just their NRL coverage but their move to deepen the sports reporting pool in the last few years: inc. potentially grooming Darren Lockyer and Jonathan Thurston as possible Wally Lewis replacements down the road: something Nine missed by not grabbing Shane Webcke in 2006.
-And, finally, 41 voiced over reports sourced locally, that were voiced over by the anchor: a average of nearly 6 voiceovered local reports per night.
At the half way point of 9’s week of survey, Nine launched a titanic $60k giveaway: given away $1000 at a time, until the end of July. Seven later threw their hat in the ring on this too: by throwing away $2000 a night, until late June. As I said personally, when this move by Seven to throw money away was announced (just after the federal election mind you):
“The problem is that people are too easily swayed by money, when they should be asking themselves what a television news service should be. Should it have more live crosses, should we show bulletins to focus groups etc.
Work on what your weaknesses are before handing out the cash.
A lesson worthy of both, politicians and news directors.”
Comment on 7’s giveaway, by me, 19/5/2019
Highlights of that week’s news include: the sacking of Logan City Council, the opening of Costco Ipswich, Jonathan Thurston getting his own rum named for him, the Federal Labor launch in Brisbane, a rally in Sunnybank over crime, the traditional Labour Day march in the CBD, the birth of Archie, Prince Harry’s firstborn son, and plenty in the back end of survey on Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium.

With the move on the 9th of May to the 5pm slot, we entered the 10 zone with some trepidation. I had anticipated that 10’s news would be far worse than either 7/9 at six as far back as March. It would only take the numbers itself to prove it: so I gave myself another challenge. Harking back to 2014, where the opening week of the G:link light rail system, dominated, and we evaluated the content that Seven were putting out concerning the GC, in the dying days of the Dagan era at BTQ, and published in Kuttsy’s Pitch VI (which I believe was the great wakeup call, for Seven to start taking the Gold Coast a lot more seriously), I decided to bring out the stopwatch and count how much 10 was actually airing: especially as it is up against both 7/9’s Gold Coast news services at 5:30. And as the figures showed: it was startling.
10 News Last First, produced, during the week of 9/5-15/5/2019:
-26 local stories, with a average of just over a pitiful 3.5 local stories per night: embarrassing as it’s a 1hr bulletin.
-15 live crosses: including seven from Jono Williams during a 10 minute bit, at the Mitchelton Tennis Club on 9/5. The average amount of live crosses was just over 2 per night, again: pitiful for a 1hr bulletin.
-2 times a sports reporter was visible: both of them to, again: Jono Williams at the Mitchelton Tennis Club on 9/5. Again pitiful, especially as Brisbane that week had the debut of the NRL’s Magic Round in our backyard, where was the reactions from the fans and the like on 10?
-And, finally, 18 voiced over reports sourced locally, that were voiced over by the anchor: a average of nearly 2.5 voiceovered local reports per night. Yet again pitiful, especially as 7/9 doubled this figure in their weeks, with room to spare!
And we musn’t forget the Gold Coast Stopwatch: which clocked up to 13 minutes and 25 seconds: not even equaling just one night (yes, one night) of GC news content on 7/9 without the ads.

In fact, just to make up this one week on 7/9’s GC news (around 120 minutes per week for each bulletin) 10 would need to be producing the same amount of news as the week of 9/5-15/5/2019 every week for nine weeks: to make up a full 52 week schedule however, it would take from today, August 10, 2019, until July 29 2028 (likely in the middle of the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles) just to match 7/9’s 2019 GC output.
Other factors in this review’s poor showing, include the fact 10 had no local bulletin on either Saturday or Sunday: with only three stories (both full and V/O’d) and a live cross from BNE, for the whole weekend, easily the worst result of all four networks over the entire survey.
The highlights of that week’s news: included a victim of a Lime Scooter incident who later died, a puff piece on Angela Bishop’s 30yrs on 10, which was 20secs longer than the sole GC news story that day (10/5), delays at Brisbane airport’s Virgin terminal, a story on a stabbing at Inala (on 12/5) that made 7/9’s 6pm news that night: 10 waited 24hrs to air their story on the same incident due to a likely lack of resources to allow for a live story.

And, so: we come to the ABC, the only 30 minute local news service on the box these days, and is a station known for making use of the lack of commercials for better quality reporting. I found, the heavy focus in the dying days of the federal election campaign on the actual campaign to be a major shock to someone so used to seeing complexly produced and tightly run packages on commercial television on a federal election: and usually only turning on the ABC during such a period just to see this guy who seems to know his numbers.

See, I’d tell you I’d get a Antony Green joke in here: From Skyhooks to Antony Green, how low have I fallen in just 12 months? But: at least he is far more reliable (calling the federal election at 9:45pm on 18/5) than Newspoll.

I jokingly made this statement right after the 10 week ended:
“What does a election blackout and #TGLTVNS have in common: Both are going commercial free tomorrow (with #TGLTVNS looking at ABC)
So, here we go, ABC News produced, between 16/5-22/5/2019:
-15 local stories: with a average of 2 local stories per night.
-14 live crosses, with a average of 2 live crosses per night: but would in reality be less because of the nine live crosses the ABC ran in a special 5pm bulletin before the polls closed on 18/5.
-2 times a sports reporter was visible: the striking difference between 10 and Aunty being, the ABC used two different reporters on two separate stories.
And, finally -12 voiced-over reports by the anchor, with a average of 1.5 voiced over reports per night.
A fair effort by the ABC, despite being in the final days of a election campaign, to make their 1/2hr news work, as well as a 1hr news service. In fact: if the ABC were a hour news, they’d likely push 10 out of the way in this list into 4th position in most cases. The highlight of the week, all circulated around the election: the final build, election night, and the washup: alongside one event that almost put a halt to the whole election train just 24hrs before polling day: the death of Bob Hawke.

Overall, the final rankings of the Great Local TV News Study are:
-The leader in local stories: Seven.
-The leader in live crosses: Nine.
-The leader in sports reporter visibility: Nine.
and finally –The leader in V/O’d reporting: Seven.

Thank you for enjoying this thrill ride: Now, we move onto something that is a little bit different: The return of the Lost Doug Murray Melbourne Cup Pick.

Well, here we are again, with the oddness of a Doug Murray Memorial Melbourne Cup pick in August… which is normally, near-impossible. But as (we stated last year) when, we shifted the numbering, in 2017, to mark what would have been Extra’s 25th year on air, we realised, that there was a gap of two Melbourne Cups, between the end of Extra in 2009, and resumption of the tradition, by Kuttsywood’s Couchcushion in 2011. Thus, like the Man Booker Prize of 1970 (retrospectively awarded in 2010: as the Lost Man Booker Prize), we now have to retrospectively tip another Melbourne Cup winner, that we already know of: although, there would be times Dougie would have picked a correct winner. 
I would pretty much expect that in 2010, he’d likely pick a winner correctly: but not repeat the bookie-busting effort of 1997.

And a reminder: if you are indeed a time traveller, and have stumbled on this site in your travels,  I’d direct you to the co-ordinates, 52° 12’ 21” N, 0° 7’ 4.7” E at 12pm GMT, 28 June 2009, to enjoy a barnstorming cocktail party with Stephen Hawking, who passed away last year. We have been advised to post this video, however, on how not to be seen, if you do intend to go.

H.M. Government Public Service Film No. 42: How Not To Be Seen. 
(from zombie_timelord on Youtube)

And now, for something completely different.

And now, we go into our feature piece: it’s literally a feature folks: It’s actually longer than last year’s edition of Kuttsy’s Pitch in it’s entirety, and it’s a piece that is aimed at one thing: being the wakeup call 10 deserves.

Ahh, 10 News First. First for what? First for becoming the butt of jokes: starting from the very night the new branding launched.

 It was so good, we recycled it, much like a Sunday flashback:

But seriously: a news service marketing itself as “first” in it’s branding, is more of a symptom of real problems than a news service trying to build credentials. Let’s take a journey back five years, to when 10 was cutting costs like it was going out of fashion. In 2013, Ten was producing five hours of local news a week in the capital cities, while 7/9 was only producing seven half hour local news bulletins a week (equaling 3 and a half hours a week, in all capital city markets outside Brisbane on Nine, and in all capital city markets on Seven: Nine Brisbane (then the sole commercial local news service on the Gold Coast) was producing 5 and a half hours a week.)

Times have dramatically changed. Seven and Nine now produce two hours of local news every weekday (inc. the TT rumps in Adelaide/Perth), and one hour of local news every weekend: while on the Gold Coast 7/9 are both producing half-hour news bulletins for the market five nights a week (bringing the Brisbane daily figure up to 2 and a half hours).

Meanwhile at Ten, they are still producing five hours of local news a week in every capital, zero dedicated local news on the Gold Coast outside token updates on WIN: while 7/9 have local news production of around fourteen hours a week in SEQ, twelve hours a week elsewhere, doubling what content 10 can scratch up.
It’s almost the sound of a comedy sketch.

Eyeball News promo, Fast Forward 1990. (from MissBeavis10 on Youtube)

Right program, wrong subject.

Ten Eyewitness News parody, Fast Forward 1991. (from the news is on Youtube)

And yes, that parody by Fast Forward, was of just one of 10’s rebranding attempts in the last thirty years.
In the time that has elapsed since 1991, we’ve seen the following:
-January 1992: 10’s main local news service moves to 5pm.
-August 1993: local weekend news axed in favour of a national weekend bulletin at 5pm a year afterward.
-2000: Production of Adelaide and Perth local news services relocated to Melbourne and Sydney respectively.
- June 2008: Production of Perth local news service returned to Perth from Sydney.
- August 2010: Announcement of a $20m expansion back into the 6-7pm slot, after Simpsons/Neighbours relocated to Eleven (now 10 Peach).
-January 2011: Launch of 10’s “news expansion”, inc. a new 6:30 bulletin in all markets, new 6pm news-based program, 6pm with George Negus, weekend news at six in all markets, as well as returning production of Adelaide local news service back to Adelaide from Melbourne.
-April 2011: 6:30 bulletin axed, Negus moved to 6:30.
-October 2011: local weekend news services axed, along with 6:30 with George Negus, in favour of 1hr version of The Project.
-December 2012: axing of national mid-morning news, anchors and reporters in the wake of Breakfast’s demise: event triggers the move of Helen Kapalos and Bill McDonald to Seven with little success.
-September 2013: revival of the “Eyewitness News” brand, in the lead up to the launch of Wake Up and Studio 10.
-May 2014: mass cull of news programming and staff in the wake of Wake Up’s demise. This event triggered the move of Max Futcher to Seven, who’d eventually give the 6pm football in Brisbane to Futcher (after years of fill-in work for Bill McDonald at both 10 and 7) and run with it: something 10 never did outside the Negus product.
-November 2018: bulletins rebrand as 10 News First.

The last 10 years, has been a major event in terms of how 10’s news should have been ready to counter 7/9 going 1hr, and then producing local news bulletins airing before 10’s but never really was ready to take the challenge up due to job cuts and bulletins being dumped.
 We now present a top 10 list, of things 10 must do to reverse it’s fortunes in news, and potentially challenge 7/9 once more.

1. More news is good news.

Ten needs to seriously think about expansion of news programming. You can invest heavily in the look of your news, but if it’s still stuck with five hours of local news a week, while the competition will outrate, outperform and outmaneuver you every step of the way, then nobody will be interested whether it’s called 10 News First, or not. My personal belief, is Ten needs to ramp up it’s local (yes, local) news presentation to be equal at least to 7/9. This means lifting 10’s news output to 12 hours a week, incorporating:
-5 new hourlong local news services in the late night time period Monday-Friday every week.
-2 new 1/2hr local news services in the 5pm slot Saturday-Sunday every week.
-2 new 1/2hr local weekend news services in the late night timeslot Saturday-Sunday every week.
In addition, Sports Tonight (currently a once a week shadow of it’s former self) would follow local news services on the weekend.

2. Investing in the night.
As the previous list entry mentioned, 10 in what we are requesting is launching local news bulletins en-masse at 10:30 every night of the week. This means a heavy investment in a newsroom that doesn’t shut down to a skeleton team after the 5pm news, that collates local stories that won’t even be reported on until 5pm the next day. The launch of late night local news means 10 needs to have a effective strategy to run news crews to file for a 10:30 bulletin, along with hiring more people. 10, with the right strategy and right teams, can own the night.

3. 10: No Gold (Coast) Left Behind.
Ahh, yes: the Gold Coast, a market that in the last five years has seen a hefty increase in attention by both 7/9, but for 10: has become the case of being the one left behind. As the content study showed (which 10’s week had a second goal: finding out how much Gold Coast news 10 actually aired: in the same fashion as the G.C. study of Seven’s news in 2014 (which we’d call a turning point/wakeup call for the network, which eventually led to BTQ’s GC news in 2016), the amount of GC stories on 10’s news every night was averaging 1min 55sec, and totaled up to 13min 25sec for the whole week.
At the very same time, 7/9 aired 24mins minimum a night Mon-Fri, adding up to 120mins minimum for the whole week.
To paraphrase this in another form, we will use the ACMA formula for local news in regional areas: which is 2pts for every minute of news directly relating to the local area, and 1pt for news/other material applicable to the licence area/other material directly applying to the local area.
What 10 turned up with, was a grand total of 26pts out of 90pts (90pts is the bare minimum for local news on regional stations like WIN), when averaged out over six weeks adds up to 158pts out of 720pts.
7/9, meanwhile each turned up with 240pts for the week (2 and a half times the minimum standard) and averaged out to 1440pts (double the minimum standard) over a six week period.

This is indeed not a good look for a station whose sole local news service in QLD is up against Nine and 7’s GC juggernauts. Thus, the move must be made by 10 to not just launch GC news, but make 7/9 rethink their strategy.

Our vision for GC news on 10, starts with the launch of a full comprehensive bulletin (a major point of difference from 7/9) in the late night slot (with GC news windows in the 5pm-5:30 segment of 10’s news bulletin) produced on the Gold Coast, before even thinking of expanding full GC news bulletins to 5-6pm.
In addition, news resources on the GC would be heavily increased, and worthwhile promotion of the move into GC news on 10.
Ex 1. (based off 1981 WPLG 90min news promos)
“Remember the 1980’s?
People only stayed on the Gold Coast for a holiday.
Pimpama was a great place to grow strawberries.
Land was cheap on Hope Island.
Commuting to Brisbane to work from Currumbin was rare.
Back then, 2mins in a half hour bulletin from Brisbane was enough.
Now, the Gold Coast is big news. 
10 News First at 10:30pm, the only comprehensive hour-long news bulletin for the Gold Coast, produced on the Gold Coast, by the Gold Coast.
Don’t settle for less. Times have changed.”

Ex. 2 (Based off CBS mid eighties promos for the CBS Evening News)
“The Gold Coast, Queensland.
Around here, late nights mean entertainment, dining and pleasure.
Preparing for tomorrow’s commute, whether it is up the road to the beach or up the M1 to Brisbane.
And people turn to the Gold Coast’s only comprehensive hour of locally produced news.
Fair. Accurate. Objective.
That’s 10 News First: Gold Coast at 10:30pm.
We keep the Gold Coast on top of the world.”

“Keeping the Gold Coast on top of the world” is something 10 must invest in on the Gold Coast, with a evangelical zeal. As we said last year, the need for 10 on the Coast concerning office space, would be to move towards a facility of between 500sqm and 2000sqm, inc. space for news bulletin production, at the same level as 7/9 do currently. There needs to be the will, by both execs and accountants, that a move to provide the Gold Coast with it’s own 10 News First bulletin, will indeed be viable in the long haul, especially as 7’s GC news has taken Nine on, with both hands on the wheel, and finally broke through a near 24 year streak in mid 2019.

4. Why Brisbane should not be Left Behind (on Mt Coot-tha).
As we said, again last year: 10’s news needs to relocate from Mt Coot-tha, if it wants to portray itself as a bulletin with a difference. It’s become less of a passing need, but one of long term urgency. In the last few months alone, Austereo has moved it’s radio newsroom (for Triple M and Hit105) to The Barracks, while ARN has moved their radio newsroom (serving 4KQ and 97.3) from a long term home at Stones Corner to Kings Row at Coronation Drive in Milton. It is simply a case, of now, or never for Ten. After all: visibility is a key factor for a brand. There’s a giant 10 logo on top of their Pyrmont building, that is visible to thousands of motorists a day. 10 in Melbourne is based a stones throw from The Jam Factory and Chapel St. To better explain, the need for Ten in Brisbane to be in the heart of the action, we prepared the following list of distances between news generators (in Australia, the biggest daily news generator is usually a downtown courthouse, something we will use in all AU comparisons, but not in US ones) in order of distance from the station building, that will consist of both 10 stations, and CBS O and O’s (and other stations with news, if co-located: e.g. KCBS/KCAL in Los Angeles) in the US.
CBS Television Stations:
-WCBS (CBS flagship, home to national news production): distance to NYPD HQ, 10.6km.
-KCBS/KCAL(West Coast CBS flagship/CBS owned news-intensive independent station based in Hollywood): distance to LAPD HQ, 20.7km
-KPIX (San Francisco CBS O and O, once part of Group W): distance to San Francisco City Hall (area also home to several legal institutions) 3.7km.
-KOVR (Sacramento CBS O and O) distance to California State Capital building, 5.7km.
-KCNC (Denver CBS O and O, acquired as part of a trade in 1995 involving Philadelphia): distance to Colorado State Capital building, 0.96km.
-WFOR (Miami CBS O and O): distance to Miami’s Government Center (home to some of South Florida’s civic/legal institutions), 17km.
-WBBM (Chicago CBS O and O): Based within Chicago Loop business district.
-WJZ (Baltimore CBS O and O, once part of Group W, only CBS O and O remotely similar to TVQ’s current setup(next to transmitters, and rival stations): Distance to Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles MLB home ground, at edge of downtown):  8.05km.
-WBZ (Boston CBS O and O, once part of Group W: due to have a new home in the early 2020’s near existing studios) Distance to Boston City Hall: 9.5km.
-WWJ (Detroit CBS O and O) doesn’t air a newscast: but is based 32km from Detroit’s heart.
-WCCO (Minneapolis CBS O and O): Distance to Minneapolis City Hall: 1.6km.
-KYW (Philadelphia CBS O and O, once part of Group W: move to CBS triggered “trade” of CBS’s original Philly O and O, WCAU, to NBC in exchange for KCNC Denver, Ch 4 facility in Miami in 1995) Based within downtown Philly.
-KDKA (Pittsburgh CBS O and O, once part of Group W) Based within downtown Pittsburgh.
-KTVT (Dallas CBS O and O) Based within downtown Dallas.

Network 10:
-TEN (Sydney 10 O and O, Relocated to Saunders St Pyrmont in 1997): Distance to Downing Centre courts: 2.3km.
-ATV (Melbourne 10 O and O, Relocated to Chapel St South Yarra from Nunawading in 1992): Distance to Victoria County Court in CBD: 5.6km.
-ADS (Adelaide 10 O and O, Relocated to Hutt St Adelaide, from North Adelaide in 2007): Distance to SA Supreme Court: 1.3km.
-NEW (Perth 10 O and O, Relocated to Hay St Subiaco from Tuart Hill in Dec. 2016): Distance to WA Supreme Court: 5km.
-TVQ (Brisbane 10 O and O, only 10 station still in original facilities) Distance to Brisbane legal precinct: 9.58km

If you ranked every CBS and 10 O and O in a list by distance from news generators from longest distance to shortest distance/in downtown, TVQ in Brisbane would be in between WCBS in New York and WBZ in Boston.

As Kylie Blucher, QTQ GM said in April this year, at a event prior to the axing of the Mt Coot-tha zipline:
“The stations were established during a time when the adjacency of broadcasting studios to their telecommunications towers was critical. Given the advances in technology and operations, this is no longer necessary; the three commercial networks and public broadcaster on Mt Coot-tha remain in place predominantly due to the currency of lease arrangements and the lack of immediately available alternatives.
There are opportunities on the horizon; News Corp Australia’s Millennium Square proposal for example, comprising a state-of-the-art media hub in Bowen Hills remains under consideration and would be a highly attractive proposition for the television networks in terms of modern construction and design, location and the opportunity to leverage allied co-locational economic opportunities for the city. 
Finance and tenure of course remain the key hurdles to overcome in such initiatives, however despite the challenges the opportunity is there for government at some point to make a “brave decision” to repurpose the three sites to contribute to the precinct in an active or passive fashion.”
Kylie Blucher, Committee for Brisbane breakfast, April 11, 2019.

Millennium Square at Bowen Hills will not be the get out clause from Mt Coot-tha for everyone, unless News Ltd is merely a tenant. If News Ltd decide to develop this project itself, you’d have petty issues (News Ltd having issues about CBS beating them to 10 in 2017, even Nine owning Fairfax) precluding TV stations about to enter the last 39 years of a 99 year lease on Mt Coot-tha from moving to Bowen Hills.

Not to mention the announcement, in late May, that TVQ’s transmission would be relocating to the Broadcast Australia tower on Mt Coot-tha from it’s own tower (which has grown to be the primary tower for commercial television in Brisbane after digital switchover in 2013, thanks to the decommissioning of the aging BTQ tower last year and is owned by TX Australia: a 7/9 J/V) which could potentially be yet another catalyst for relocation: especially if 10 (and for that matter CBS) sees very little value in the Brisbane station remaining on Mt Coot-tha if it’s own tower, connected to it’s own building, that was built nearly sixty years ago (and has been a great marketing tool for news promotion towards the limited amount of regular traffic on Samuel Griffith Drive) is no longer theirs to use for a primary broadcast site.

5. Local News is a 365 Day Business.
Ten’s attitude, towards local news on one key holiday every year, is another key dynamic of how 10’s news has a bad reputation…

Did I just say bad reputation? (from MrWWEUPSaint771 on Youtube)

Good Friday is the only day every year, 10 operates a national 5pm bulletin on a weeknight. And this year’s Good Friday “effort” is one to take note of, as it led with two QLD stories: Fraser Island, and a incident in Brisbane’s south, with only one journo reporting (covering Fraser Island).
At the same time, 7 and 9 ran local 1hr bulletins at six, with pretty much full staffing, and were able to have reporters cover both Fraser and south Brisbane incident, with fully reported stories in their bulletins.
Seven and Nine treat local news as a 365 day a year business. It is high time, Ten did the same, and reverse this policy from the Canwest era of the network, and commit to being open to airing local news 365 days a year. It will do far more for a network’s news credibility than some people think, trust us.

6. Redefine sports presentation: Sports 2.0.
The way our sports are reported during a news bulletin today, has barely changed from the latter half of the 20th century. Quite often these days, freelance reporters instead of paid staff, are used to V/O reports, and the live cross fiesta that is our news, is quite often lacking by the time one gets to the back end of the bulletin. It also doesn’t help, that our sports presenters today haven’t developed the “character”, that someone like Pat Welsh, as well as the late David Fordham and Billy J Smith all fostered in the minds of the audience, in no part thanks to 7/9 opting to go the way of recruiting ex-RL players as their main sports face in Brisbane: Wally Lewis simply grew into the role at Nine in the last 20yrs (after stints at both TVQ (while still playing) and BTQ (post-retirement) and has had the benefit of being able to work on game coverage, just as well as in a studio, while Shane Webcke, meanwhile lacks the adaptability of Wally Lewis, purely because he has been stuck at 7 for nearly fifteen years, with little experience calling games due to the lack of NRL rights on 7, and the one attempt 7 made to try and give something better to Webcke concerning league, (The Matty Johns Show, in 2010) it only lasted a season. (Hopefully, 7 learns from the AFL Front Bar product successful decimation of the AFL Footy Show, and gives us a Leyburn pub-themed product with Webcke sometime in the near future)
What 10 needs, is the following:
- a sports presenter in Brisbane (and the Gold Coast) to build as a character, not afraid to make waves, and can become iconic in his/her own right.
-Sports reporting radically changed, inc. possibly running live crosses from training sessions, and hiring more local reporters to be more visible on screen.
-Late night reports, would be given their own live link unit, whether it be at Suncorp or the Gabba, for their exclusive use, inc.
-Some sports reporting being done in the crowd for events (particularly stuff like local footy games in the afternoon) in addition to live reporting.
-Potentially revive a “Sports Machine”-style segment, where overseas highlights are in a neat package, as well as bringing back some quirks from the past: sports trivia leading into sport, even the “Play Of The Day”.

7. A roadmap to the future
The next big steps, would be to counter the decline of 10 in the 6-7 hour. This doesn’t just affect metro viewers, but regional ones too, as currently, 10’s “gameshow of the month” doesn’t air in around nine regional markets (all on the aggregated east coast), due to owner WIN airing local news in the 6pm slot.

WIN’s moves in it’s first three years as the lead 10 affiliate, are literally a microcosm of what 10’s done this decade (and likely far worse than what Southern Cross did in 2001) : usually known by,

-cuts to production: which has seen WIN’s production hubs progressively shifting to Wollongong.
-cuts to bulletins: most recently with the axing of newsrooms in Orange, Wagga Wagga, Dubbo and Albury in NSW, and Wide Bay (with offices in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay) in Queensland, leading to a issue where WIN’s heritage bulletins are now at serious risk, with the only non-heritage bulletins north of the Murray being Canberra in the ACT, as well as Townsville, Cairns and the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
-Not being able to adapt to the times: Try and find a online news story produced by WIN: you won’t find it without looking on social media. Meanwhile, Prime/GWN are constantly uploading online, and made the boldest move by any regional station since aggregation: funding it’s own national news service (cherrypicked from Seven) when 7/9 moved to a 1hr bulletin in 2014: as a alternative to 7 supplying Prime their 6pm bulletin in a similar format to what is supplied to regional QLD: a half-hour mess of news that somehow catches up to Brisbane by 7pm.
Win is simply producing 1990’s-style news (where WIN were constant leaders thanks to Nine’s news dominance) for a audience asking for more than just the 6pm news.
-and, in a attempt to answer the audience asking for more than the 6pm news, on September 2, 2018: a relay of Sky News Australia was launched. The less said about this move the better, I reckon.

However all this can change dramatically with the following:
-1. Ten choosing to acquire WIN, instead of renewing their affiliation agreement in 2021. This would also mean, a trigger event for the WIN owned licences in aggregated Australia (as stipulated by the ACMA), to have their minimum local content points change (from 90pts a week  to 150pts a week) and those outside aggregated Australia (WA/Griffith NSW/Mt Gambier/Riverland) have minimum local content points requirements for the first time.
-2. Ten also choosing to acquire The Project format as a whole, off Roving Enterprises, to simply move production of The Project into a sphere 10 can control (e.g. a format change to a 1/2hr local product at 6:30pm, just so 10 can say they have something relevant to local markets in the 6-7pm hour) along with 10 getting the format fees for The Project NZ on 3: which incidentally, airs up against the Ross Dagan-commissioned Seven Sharp.
-And finally 3. Ten spending big on local news in the WIN markets to meet new standards that any acquisition will likely impose (as well as a shift to 6:30 nightly), along with returning production to various centres via new regional news hubs (that will incidentally, believe it or not: generate employment opportunities):
-Gold Coast: would produce local news services for Richmond/Tweed, Gold Coast metro, Sunshine Coast regional, Toowoomba and Wide Bay.
-Rockhampton: would produce local news services for Capricornia and Whitsunday/Mackay (possible split advertising feed).
-Townsville: would produce local news services for Townsville and Cairns.
-Newcastle: would produce local news services for the Hunter/Newcastle and Central Coast.
-Coffs Harbour: would produce local news services for Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast (split into two markets with split ad feeds: Taree/Port Macquarie and Coffs/Grafton) and North West Slopes and Plains.
-Wollongong: Would produce local news services for Illawarra and South Coast (split advertising feed) and -VAST for east coast remote.
-Canberra: Would produce local news services for the rest of aggregated southern NSW/ACT.
-Melbourne: Produces Gippsland local news services from a new home for ATV10.
-Ballarat: Produces local news for majority of Victoria.
-Hobart: New hub for local news production in Tasmania as a whole.
-Adelaide: New facility for producing news for Central VAST (relayed also to Southern Cross’s 10s in Broken Hill/Port Pirie), and Mt Gambier/Riverland.
-Perth: new facility for producing news for WA VAST.
This would end up giving 10, the capability to be a truly national news service in it’s own right. In addition, it will lead onto the next big step.

8. 10 Evening News at 6pm.

10 News expansion promo 2011. (from our old Youtube home)

The long term solution for the 6pm slot, in this site’s honest opinion will not be a “gameshow of the month”: The attempts at Jeopardy (with a aging Tony Barber post-Sale of The Century hosting), Battle of The Sexes (with a young pre-Sale of The Century Ed Phillips hosting), Family Feud (with Grant Denyer), Pointless (without Grant Denyer) and Celebrity Name Game (with Grant Denyer) that 10 has tried and produced since the 1990s in that slot (along with US import Studs)... only to fail have become legendary. 
It will also not be another rerun to death program: much like what 10 did with M*A*S*H, The Simpsons etc. for many years.
And, no: it will not be a return to a drama at 6: the less said about Echo Point, the better.
This solution, would be to commit to a brand new news service, that if delivered right: would allow 10’s news to radically evolve to face the challenges of today and tomorrow.
“This is the 10 Evening News, with Hugh Riminton”.

CBS Evening News theme (from RYANBAXTER13 on Youtube)

What the return of 10 Evening News would mean, would be to simply allow, the current 5pm bulletins evolve into a local news-heavy format: while the new 10 Evening News would be where 10’s entire national and overseas news output would be presented, 7 nights a week in a half-hour package. This would be miles away from the last attempt made by 10 at news in that vital slot: 6pm with George Negus, which was more styled as a current affairs show than a traditional newscast.

9. Breakfast for 10, is not important… for now.
10 have tried twice in the last decade to reenter the breakfast news sphere, it helped innovate in the 1980’s with Good Morning Australia.
-First, was Breakfast: Launched in August 2011, premiering in Feburary 2012: with Andrew Rochford and NZ import Paul Henry. Axed swiftly in November (after taking morning program The Circle with it), just as 10 started massive rounds of staff sackings in it’s news division.
-The second, and most costly to 10: was the recruitment of Adam Boland (famous for spearheading Sunrise to the moon for 7), to create two products for the network: breakfast show, Wake Up (a venture that was bold and expensive: including a fibre optic link to a surf club on Sydney’s northern beaches), and morning show Studio 10. While Studio 10 has survived various trials and tribulations, Wake Up was axed in May 2014, months after the departure of Adam Boland: due to personal health issues. Wake Up’s fall also coincided with mass job cuts in 10’s news division.
As much people think, that 10 needs to be in breakfast, just to prove themselves as a strong news brand: I personally view breakfast television in the form that has dominated in this country since the rise of Sunrise (personality driven: as opposed to the content: thanks to Boland’s insistence on Kochie and Mel, and those Today Show Youtube clips that made Karl Stefanovic a Gold Logie winner) as tired and predictable.

Meanwhile, across the Pacific, locally produced morning newscasts have become big business: regardless of the lead-out (as usually, they lead-into network breakfast shows: although, with the rise of some Fox stations (e.g. former “Big 3” affiliates, who modelled their news output as Fox stations after WSVN in Miami, Florida: which airs around 10 and a half hours of local news (nearly half a broadcast day) on weekdays (and has transposed it's format to sister station WHDH in Boston, after the station famously lost it's NBC affiliation (and went independent) in late 2016) having a good old go, at local news against the network products airing on other stations: in stark comparison to WCBS (owned by Ten's corporate parent) in New York, airing five hours of local news on weekdays, with local news airing prior to network breakfast product CBS This Morning.

Thus, I am saying this: Breakfast news on 10 is not needed until the following is met.
-10’s overnight news capacity locally (opposed to national reporting) is at a decent level: enough, at minimum to cover 3-4 local stories that happen overnight.
-A move towards 10 and CBS sharing overseas bureaus: with 10 opening a east and west coast bureau in the US (based out of CBS facilities in Los Angeles and New York), sharing facilities with CBS in London, and most critically: joining CBS in their two major Asian bureaus, in Beijing and Tokyo. East/West Coast US bureaus alone would allow a newsday running from the start of local late news bulletins (as the US east coast wakes up), to the start of the 5pm news on the east coast of Australia (as the US west coast goes to sleep).
-A commitment to local news in the morning: that is not only financial, but also from management both in Australia and in the US.
-And finally, the move must be made, once the changes to 6-7pm are bedded in (and given all the worth in the world to succeed) for conceptual breakfast bulletins (planned by local newsrooms in concert with the increase of local news output at 5pm: to compensate for overseas/national stories shifting to 6pm), along with a locally produced 1/2hr edition of The Project at 6:30pm.

10. Rebranding the umbrella as 10 News.
The final step, is the most important: but can be done without the breakfast option. It can even be done as early as the launch of a national newscast at six. It is simply the rebrand, of the entire 10 news umbrella (inc. 10 Daily) as simply, 10 News: with the word “News” being in CBS-Didot: the same font CBS News has made iconic.
In addition, the reborn local news services, would adopt the same styling as the CBS O and O look, based particularly in metro areas on the WJZ/WBZ example (instead of using call letters, airport codes or abbreviations would be used.)
e.g: 10 News First Queensland, becomes 10 News BNE (the BNE read by VO as “Brisbane”.)
10 News First Gold Coast, becomes 10 News GC (the GC read by VO as “Gold Coast”.)
10 News First Sydney, becomes 10 News SYD (the Syd read by VO as “Sydney”)
Meanwhile in regional markets, a simple shift from WIN News to 10 News will suffice.

Let’s introduce what the first promo for the rebrand will be.
“News. It shapes our world, and like a river it always flows freely.
Here at 10, we are aiming to provide (insert market) the news service, you deserve.
We are reporting on your community, your nation and your world always.
Not to mention, being part and parcel of what makes (insert market) tick.
(GFX of 10 News First logo morphing into a CBS O and O-style 10 News opener for market (metro), WIN News and 10 News First logos morphing into a CBS O and O style 10 News opener for market (regional).
We are 10 News, and we are reaching out further than ever before.
(Metro) Local news, when you want it: 5, and 11, along with (Project team): The best look at your hometown happenings right here in (good old, (insert Syd/Melb/Bris/Adel/Perth)/The heart of the Gold Coast (for GC only) with The Project at 6:30.
(Regional) Local news, when you want it: 5, and 11, along with (local newsreaders) The best look at your hometown happenings with 10 News (insert regional market) at 6:30.
A clear and concise look at the stories that shape our nation and the world, with 10 Evening News at 6pm every single night of the week: not just Monday through Friday.
A commitment to local news that is always there, 7 days a week: every single day of the year: and soon, every hour of the day (shot of a 10N branded link truck, driving through (insert market here).
(Dan Rather, flown in to Australia especially for this promo) Alongside, the deepest reporting team in television and online: including a investment in not just traditional overseas bureaus like America and Europe, but the ones that matter in the Asian century: with the first full bureaus by a commercial network in Beijing and Tokyo, alongside the extensive resources of CBS News: America’s news leader.
V/O: 10 News is moving to a new beat. A beat that is pulsating harder and harder each day.
Because, 10 News is…
(Cap City anchor) keeping (market name(metro)/state(regional)…
(regional anchor only) keeping (market name)...
(Hugh Riminton) keeping Australia on top of the world.”
“Keeping Australia on top of the world” shouldn’t just be a spoonerism that journalists reviewing the rebuilt brand will see as a joke for the umpteenth time: after all, Australia is at the bottom of the world: it needs to be the slogan people should associate the most with 10’s news as a whole.

And, when we mean “Keeping Australia on top of the world”, it will also mean, following CBS down the road of something that could indeed make 10, Australia’s news leader overnight.

10N: The 24hr news evolution.
As mentioned in #10: 10 Daily, would be rebranded as part of this vital philosophy switch. The brand, would be: 10N, patterned off the CBSN streaming news channel in the US (and available to Australians via the 10 All Access streaming service) with a wideranging service, consisting of the following:
-10N website: the former 10 Daily, expanded to serve 10’s news as a whole.
-10N Local: initially would be six new city-based websites for 10 (serving Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide and Perth), with rapid access to news, as it breaks.
-10N Channel: six new city-based rolling news channels, available both online (free access to local 10N channel via 10N Local websites for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide and Perth, with the ability to watch all six ad-free via 10 All Access): and on terrestrial television (Channel 1, with 10 Bold moving to Channel 12 only) in their respective markets. These would be based on the CBSN local online rolling news channels, currently being rolled out for CBS’s OandO’s in the US (with WCBS, KCBS/KCAL, (and soon WBZ and KPIX), launching local rolling news channels online in the last twelve months. The 10N channel, would also replace Sky News on Win, either upon acquisition, or mandated as part of a updated affiliation agreement come 2021.

That is pretty much our opinion on what 10 needs to do to regain it’s position and redefine it’s news service for the next decade and beyond. It is now up to those in charge, to take these words and make them reality, or sit there twiddling thumbs, waiting and hoping something happens to 7/9 and they cave on their local news fight, and 10 gets it’s 5pm base back. Now is not the time for twiddling thumbs and hoping for change. It’s time for 10 to fight back, and go big, but not go home like the network has done so many times in the last thirty years.

As Glenn Taylor said a quarter of a century ago, on the occasion of TVQ’s thirtieth birthday in 1995...

“They call it the flagship of television stations. Many programmers believe, if you get people to watch the news, then they’ll stay with you throughout the night.”

And, I reckon the simple task of making a major improvement in the news 10 produces (not just nationally, but locally) will be the road to revival for the network as a whole.

“On this day, 10 years ago: 9 made the announcement that Brisbane Extra would be axed, in favour of Hot Seat at 5:30, and a 4:30 product that didn't even last eighteen days.
Brisbane viewers still haven't forgotten this, Eddie McGuire.

We haven't forgotten about Extra like you wanted us to, Eddie:
We showed that when we mourned Doug Murray's death in 2014.
All while Nine is sitting on a trademark that will nearly be 40yrs old when it's up for renewal next in 2029... that it won't use.

Maybe we should fight the good fight: maybe when Hot Seat is gone: maybe our landmark local program will do a Hey Hey and return to our screens.
It is time for us to hope, that the familiar tune can be hummed once more by Brisbanites at dinnertime.”
A powerful stanza, done as a Twitter thread on June 17, 2019.

How fitting, that the final words, from Kuttsy’s Pitch in a yearly format, before the hard goodbye is something Extra, loved so much to imbibe on viewers for eighteen years: a good tip or two, news you can use. I ain’t just giving the spiel Extra gave 10 years ago which is still as relevant as ever:
-Always check the fine print,
-Always have a working smoke alarm,
-And most importantly, if it is too good to be true, it most likely is.

Thus, we leave you with five tips, as a fitting mnemonic (P.I.T.C.H), to remember us by, and to keep at hand when the time comes, and Nine tires of Hot Seat.
P.I.T.C.H, stands for:
-Prepare to be proactive.
-Implement a strong social media campaign.
-Tell the world and most importantly Nine themselves, why we want Extra back.
-Campaign hard for Extra’s return even if it takes years.
-Hard work must equal success in the long run.

The tips themselves:
1. Prepare to be proactive.
What “preparing to be proactive” means is simple. Whenever Nine makes the decision, that Millionaire Hot Seat is no longer viable (e.g. the ubiquitous “Axed: show name” post by TV Tonight), the wheels need to be in motion within hours of any announcement, by Brisbane viewers to start to put the put the pressure on Nine to revive Extra in a way Nine never could have anticipated, something viewers never got the chance to do, when Extra was axed in 2009: we simply accepted Extra’s fate, and hoped for a miracle from Seven that never materialized.

2. Implement a strong social media campaign.
The hashtag is already there.  #BringBackExtra. The push we should undertake as viewers, should be that the “Bring Back Extra” social media campaign, should be as strong: but may be even stronger, than the one that brought Hey Hey It’s Saturday back in October 2009. Get a few people behind it, and it’ll rocket into the stratosphere.

3. Tell the world and most importantly Nine themselves, why we want Extra back.
The best way, to tell the world about the #bringbackextra cause, is simply to remind them of some of Extra’s great moments, over that eighteen year run: a Doug Murray classic story: of which there were many, maybe the time Rick rode a man’s back at Wet ‘N Wild down a waterslide, and with the magic of trick shooting, came out of the pool dry, the time Mt Coot-tha gained a temporary ski slope… only for a snowball fight at the end of the show, the moments that made us smile, or shed a tear, or changed our lives for the better.
And, of course, there is also reminding Nine every so often, that they are sitting on trademarks relating to Extra: particularly the words “Brisbane Extra” (listed here, and here), which have become the network’s few 1990’s hallmarks, to be retained by the network for IP purposes (while similar trademarks for the Extra’s in Sydney and Melbourne fell by the wayside). After all, it is possible for Nine to actually lose control of a trademark: or for that matter, anyone. Let’s furnish you with a throwback eleven years.
we💗TV promo, 2008 (from Gary86 on Youtube)
Nine went to the effort, of trademarking the words “welovetv” in addition to a representative symbol, in late 2007. In early 2015, however: Williams-Sonoma (a company, most known in Australia, for operating stores both under it’s own name and under the brands of West Elm, and Pottery Barn), succeeded in removing Nine’s “welovetv” word trademark for Nine’s non-use of the trademark. We can plan for a similar move to one day happen to “Brisbane Extra”, but only if we are proactive about planning for a trademark challenge, as a alternate way to pressure Nine into returning Extra to our screens: e.g. so a “non-use” trademark challenge case can fail on purpose at a legal hurdle, if Nine can prove that is actually using the trademark.

4. Campaign hard for Extra’s return even if it takes years.
When campaigning for the return of a program like Brisbane Extra, it makes sense to play the long game: especially if we are dealing with Nine, or a tricky trademark challenge, to achieve a result that benefits all. If we don’t get the answer we want straight away, keep putting the pressure on those decision makers, or possibly ramp up the non-use trademark challenge so we can achieve the result that is desired (which as mentioned previously, is a case that fails on purpose if Nine suddenly sees the challenge, and says it’s bringing Brisbane Extra back, to protect against a trademark challenge.)

And, finally:
5. Hard work must equal success in the long run.
What is the ultimate acceptable result? It is, with a lot of hard work and some iron will by people, the return to air at 5:30pm of the prodigal son, that is Brisbane Extra. Nothing less than a return to it’s old timeslot, will suffice.

But would a audience return to a product that has been dead for ten years? 

That is one question that would likely be answered by any outpouring of support during the campaign to bring it back.

Extra, unlike Hey Hey it’s Saturday, is a program that would be more inclined to move with the times instead of trying stuff that worked in the 1980s or 1990s as if it were fresh, purely because it’s format was one that could change day by day dependent on what was produced by it’s loyal, hardworking team, opposed to the variety formula that was HHIS: whose 2010 revival ultimately didn’t live up to the standard the two reunion specials the previous year set.
If we could successfully bring Extra back from the dead: who knows what could happen next?

We mentioned Hey Hey, for a very good reason. Five days after the second reunion special aired in October 2009 for Daryl and the gang, the Kuttsy’s Pitch brand was born. And now it comes full circle. From something that was five hundred words in 2009, is now a monster, that has produced eleven main series editions, three spinoffs: and a fourth spinoff in production for release later in 2019. The longest break this series has had between main series posts is 438 days between Kuttsy’s Pitch VI and VII: whose gap was filled by the first spinoff.

And, we have had a record of correct predictions:
-For starters, Kuttsy’s Pitch 4 not just predicted Nine’s resurgence in 2013, but the short lived QLD TT return by 7, the realization that digital switchover was a milestone and unexpectedly (and discovered in researching these): Seven phasing out the “Local” from their regional QLD news services.
-Kuttsy’s Pitch V: predicting a Toowoomba/Darling Downs news service on 7 (which materialized two years later)
-Kuttsy’s Pitch IX: predicting the departure of Bill McDonald (but in a complete different approach to how 7 did it)
-And, of course: our greatest prediction, from around the time of Kuttsy’s Pitch VII (but not posted in it): that 7 would gatecrash the QTQ GC news 20th anniversary year, with a launch of their own GC news.

This year’s edition has been a monstrosity to produce. So much so, that the 10 News First piece, and the local content study were produced separately, and brought together in this piece, so the focus would be on getting a fitting farewell written, to hug around both.

 Any wonder I said this on January 11: 
“After 10 years of posts, and three spinoffs to date, Kuttsy’s Pitch as a yearly mainline concept will be rested after 2019’s Pitch Weekend.”

I honestly don’t know when a TV-focused version of Kuttsy’s Pitch will return. I can say right now with confidence, it will not be in 2020. But let me say this, before we say goodbye, some thanks.

-Thanks to our media industry: that is, not just TV, but radio too, whose machinations over the last decade, has given us great fodder and plenty to chew the cud over.

-Thanks to the people who have enjoyed it, and those who thought that this concept was a dead duck on many occasions in the last five years of the yearly concept’s life: It was the dead duck comments, which led to the success of two spinoffs, when we took the format into strange new places.

-Thanks to the people who thought constantly reminding people about Extra, and Seven’s failings in the past was a poor idea: that led towards diversifying our content, and of course development of the content studies that have made major impacts in the last five years, and will likely do the same again in 2019.

And, finally: thank you to the people who have read this yearly, and realized how much our television industry in Queensland has changed in the decade since Extra’s end.

We now leave you, with something that has been promoted heavily in the lead in to today: that the party ends on August 10. It’s now time to say right now…

Turn out the lights,
The party’s over.
They say, that all good things must end.
Call it a night,
The party’s over.
And, tomorrow starts the same old thing again.

Hit it Willie.

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