What’s a nice man like Harold Mitchell AO doing involved with a bunch of losers like TVS – Sydney’s channel 31.

The AGM agenda (meeting in 10 days) for this sick puppy proposes Mitchell as an Independent Director.

This is a man rumoured as destined for the board of the ABC.

Why then would he choose to involve himself in:

– a project hijacked by the University of Western Sydney (an institution with very shaky financials)

– a project David Hill jumped on and off within a six month period ‘owing to other commitments’

– Hill offered his services from the privileged position of ‘industry
expert’ on the TVS panel to select a general manager back in 2004
declaring himself to be a better bet (echoes of his appointment to the
ABC) and then jumped off having achieved zip unless you include his
tendency to hire board members, appoint key contracts without tendering
process and interesting discussions with likes of Fairfax about
purchasing substantial blocks of time on the channel (surely well
outside the limits of community TV
licences)

– TVS has committed all of the $2million borrowed from the bank and
guaranteed by UWS in addition to a bill from UWS for a percentage of
the amount the University has spent on facilities (the university
foolishly thinks the TVS facility will be a prestigous cash cow in
attracting media
students)

– in contrast to its expenditure TVS has earnings of slightly more than zip, no proof of audience and a poor programming line-up

– and funnily enough an exclusive contract with Stenmark to sell the
ads (Singleton is an owner and there was no tendering process in this
‘exclusive’ appointment – bit on the nose for a community licensee)

– Mates, the chairman of the board, parramatta solicitor and former
‘liberal’ councillor Geoffrey Roberson has in recent months involved
himself in a stoush with the community stakeholder SLICE TV refusing to
hold Board Meetings because he didn’t approve of their selection of
Board Representatives

– Roberson could be on shaky ground given the licence application
defined the stakeholder he is aligned with ETC as being a cohilition of
educational bodies. The membership of this cohilition has only ever
comprised UWS and video training outfit MetroScreen. And there appears
to have been no effort to engage other educational partners.

– Why Harold Why? No money, no glory. The dysfunctional puppies haven’t
even managed to secure any digital spectrum or trials as Australia
moves into the digital age.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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