When the Seven Network goes on the ‘selling’ campaign over its huge legal action against PBL, Ten News, Telstra, the Nine Network and others in a couple of months time, where will chairman Kerry Stokes appear to make his pitch? On the Network in which he has a 44% stake perhaps? But where? Three minutes on Today Tonight fielding hard-hitting questions from that noted interrogator Naomi Robson? Or perhaps a quiet chat on Sunrise with that daffy duo, Mel and Kochie? Again in a four minutes or so, or maybe six or seven, seeing it’s the chairman?

Or perhaps it’ll be Sunday Sunrise? Well that would have been the solution up to the coup last week that will see the program go light bright and soft from Sunday 10 April. Since the change even the chairman of the Seven Network might be considered too dry and boring by the powers that be at Seven.

If Stokes wants time to make his case, develop his argument and seem credible, he would have to then approach Nine for Sunday or Business Sunday. But hold on, aren’t they a) the opposition and b) defendants in the court case? What about Ten? They don’t have a vehicle apart from Meet The Press on Sunday mornings. Now that’s an idea, but no – Seven and Ten may be new AFL buddies but they are also on the opposite sides in The Big Case.

Well, that leaves the ABC. It’s where the hard-edged questioning remains in programs like Lateline, Four Corners and of course, The 7.30 Report,The Insiders or even Inside Business.

The fact that Seven and to an increasing extent Nine are taking their current affairs programs, even the flagships, downmarket towards a softer lifestyle approach has become a factor in commercial TV. Glenn Dyer, the former supervising producer of Business Sunday on the Nine Network looks at this trend in an Easter special which you can read on our website here.

Peter Fray

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