Anyone in Teleland doubting the impact on chequebook journalism of the Doug Wood deal with the Ten Network should read this story from today’s OzMedia section.

Wood’s agent, Melbourne lawyer, Mark Klemens says:

Rather than just being paid a fee in return for telling his story, Wood will feature in a one-hour prime-time special co-produced by the network and Profile, giving him an unusual level of control over what goes to air.

“I don’t want to go into all the details, but it gives the family substantial input into the production,” Klemens said. He said Ten’s co-pro deal “fit the family’s brief for Douglas to be able to tell his story fully and fairly. It’s a one-hour special, it’s not slotted into a 60 Minutes format or a Today Tonight format… It was the vehicle that was important.”

The length of the “special” at an hour (around 44 minutes of actual content time) is more than double 60 Minutes, A Current Affair or Today Tonight would allow. Plus there’s that control element.

Ten strenuously says it will have “editorial control,” and so it will. But there’s that old adage in the media and movies: “He who controls the talent controls the project.”