Yesterday Shaun Levin, Steve
Vizard’s long-time business partner, criticised Crikey for suggesting
that Steve Vizard had an interest in the advertorial TV show Bread.

He claimed that he was not the “nominal head of Vizard’s raft of
companies,” but the sole director and secretary of Communicate Pty Ltd,
the Trustee of The Communicate Trust … that “Steve Vizard has never
had a legal or beneficial interest in The Communicate Trust … that
“Communicate Productions Pty Ltd is and has always been wholly owned by
The Communicate Trust. As such Steve Vizard has no legal or beneficial
interest in it. To refer to this company as a “Vizard vehicle” is
wrong” … that “Bread
is produced by Communicate Productions Pty Ltd for Sensis Pty Ltd.
Sensis licenses the program for broadcast to Network Ten” … and to
suggest that Bread is ”a television show aimed at cross-promoting Steve Vizard’s business interests” is “simply incorrect.”

Well, we can’t fault Levin on the facts he chose to present. But what
about those he omits? For example, what are we to make of this press release in August 2003 announcing that Sensis (owned by Telstra) would own Bread?

While Sensis has had experience in small business programs
aired on free-to-air television this will be the first time that the
company has owned and produced a television program. As a result,
Sensis has established partnerships with third parties to gain the
strategic expertise necessary to produce a high calibre program.
Leading businessman and TV personality, Mr Steve Vizard, through Communicate Productions, will produce the series in association with WTFN entertainment.

And what are we to make of this media release from WTFN Entertainment?

When the syndicate of Sensis and Steve Vizard’s Communicate company
set out to produce a ground-breaking small business series, they turned
to WTFN to make it happen. With just eight weeks lead time, WTFN pulled
together the production team and developed a business program format
that wasn’t dry and predictable. Instead, Bread focused on the
men and women who commit themselves to a life in small business. The
series captured their daily toils in an informative and entertaining
way.

Like so much in the messy Vizard saga, there’s more spin here than meets the eye.

Peter Fray

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