The Ten Network should not be allowed to escape unscathed from its dismissal of Kyle Sandilands from the judging panel of Australian Idol. They have as much form as he has. After all, why did the network have him there in the first place, then persist with him, even when there was poor publicity emanating from his antics on 2Day FM with sidekick Jackie O?
It’s not that his stunts and poor publicity are new — they were around when he was used in 2008 as the final hosts of Big Brother, and they helped send that pile of TV rubbish into oblivion.
Now the Ten Network goes all holy and washes its hands of him in a percurliarly Pontius Pilate way.
“We thank Kyle for his contribution to Australian Idol over the last four years but it has become increasingly clear that as Idol has remained a family focused show, even more so this year with the 6.30pm Sunday time slot, his radio persona has taken on a more controversial position over this period which is not in the interest of the show.”
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Gee, that’s a bit rich. His “radio persona” has been very controversial for longer than the past week. That’s why Ten hired him because it rated and made money for Austero. Does anyone think otherwise? Are we to take it that had Idol remained at 7.30pm on Sunday nights (it will be 7.30pm on Mondays), Sandilands would still have been there?
Ten is being cute to the extreme. Idol is going to 6.30pm on Sundays because Ten doesn’t have a strong enough program to provide a lead in to 7.30pm start, where it would struggle. And why would a lead-in struggle? Because the Seven Network has started Dancing With The Stars at 6.30pm for the current season, instead of 7.30pm as it did last year when it switched the program to Sunday nights.
Ten employed Sandilands and Ms O for just one reason: the ratings they attracted to their Sydney breakfast show on 2Day FM in Ten’s target 16 to 39 and 18 to 49 demographics.
That was a commercial decision, just as the sacking from Idol is a commercial decision. So don’t dress it up as anything else. In this case, there’s stark commercial reality for Ten. But if Kyle hadn’t screwed up with the stupid lie detector test, would Ten have made last night’s announcement?