Feb 25, 2013

Another revamp won’t save Murdoch’s Ten debacle

Hamish McLennan, the new CEO of Ten, has promised the network's third revamp in two years. But until its deals with the Murdoch-owned Shine and Fox are reworked, an improvement in ratings seems unlikely

Glenn Dyer — <em>Crikey</em> business and media commentator

Glenn Dyer

Crikey business and media commentator

Did we see yet another suicide note from a senior manager at Ten when the latest CEO, former News Corporation executive Hamish McLennan, promised to move away from the focus on younger audiences? It was a line he repeated in interviews with The Australian Financial Review and The Australian this morning, with the added news he is going to do a strategic review (yes, another one) on the network and its future direction.

Changing the network’s audience focus was tried (and failed) by the bloke before him, James Warburton, who was “terminated” by the Ten board late Friday. He was effectively sacked by Lachlan Murdoch, James Packer, Gina Rinehart and Bruce Gordon (owner of WIN), who collectively own more than 40% of the shares and completely dominate the board. The same group supported the sacking of Grant Blackley and Nick Falloon as chairman and CEO of Ten in 2010.

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13 thoughts on “Another revamp won’t save Murdoch’s Ten debacle

  1. Edward James

    We are not well represented by the new management of Ten or the Australian Government for that matter! No one who is able to afford several digital recorders watches ads. TV stations who continue to sell advertising space must be aware. Serious consumers record in 12 hour blocks and do not watch ads! We then FF through them. In fact I expect the homes of advertising executives FF through intrusive ads. If it is true and why would it not be these people are selling advertising space under false pretense. Because they themselves do not watch intrusive advertising. Channel ten needs to first revise their weekly TV guide and make it accurate to the second. But seriously I have several recorders and record in bulk and don’t watch garbage ads. Catch up advertisers! Edward James

  2. Savonrepus

    Channel 10’s The Project is potentially the best current affairs show on TV with a refreshing lighthearted approach showing a different side to our pollies however they never seem to have sufficient material to run for an hour and interposing The Simpsons between the news and current affairs programs shows a total misunderstanding of audience ambiance.

  3. Venise Alstergren

    GLENN DYER says it all. “”Another revamp of Ten will mean widening the ratings focus back to the 18-to-49 demographic as well as the 16-to-39 block, which is what the management before…….”” Except that I thought the demographic to be nine months to nine years.

    To think that adult viewers have to be bound to the whims of sixteen-year-old children with acne-scarred faces is unacceptable. Daily we are told by the MSM that we are an ageing population. Yet we have to suffer the indignities of multiple bleeps to cover the ‘F’ word, and the only acceptable behaviour is violence, in order to attract the teen-age viewer. FFS, the “ageing population’ have probably spent all their spare cash investing in computers, multiple screens, and pre-recorded programs which have the advertising removed from them.

    The Board of Channel Ten sound like rich amateurs. Worse, their product reflects the tastes of the Board.

  4. Edward James

    Similar to the Simpson’s lead in. I too used to rush home to line up and watch “the project” now I notice it is “encored” later at night. So I record elsewhere. The Project, Ten News and then Lettermen are a reasonable line up for later in my following morning. I do not let its schedule time interfere with other better things to record on seven and nine As for Letterman I skim through most of it. Going straight to The Top Ten and then the interviewee. It is yank and only of vague interest. One or the other TV stations should work to find something new and of substance for us Australians. They wont find it in old archives of decades gone by ! Edward James

  5. zut alors

    Ditto to what Venise wrote.

    If TEN merely replaced the Fox and Shine productions with decade-plus replays of ‘Frasier’ they’d probably increase ratings as well as raise the quality of their woeful programming.

  6. dunph

    Well at least McLennan is putting his money up and taking a punt on the miserable TEN share-price- better than the Board at APN and other featherbedders!

    While I agree with the commentary, we should all remember that bailing out LachTEN is a chickenfeed exercise to Murdoch – whether it takes execs, cash or content …

  7. Edward James

    How about the new digital TV reception is everyone happy? Edward James

  8. Merve

    Do the people who also own Fox care a fig what happens to TEN? That was the whole point of this exercise, to protect Fox Sport. The ‘friends’ along for the ride may not realise what they had actually signed up for, a guarantee of losing money on their shares.

  9. bjb

    Does anyone know why the “owners” of the TV (and radio for that matter) licences seem to have these in perpetuity ? Since the spectrum is finite, I wonder why it isn’t re-auctioned every 5 years or so. Why is that Governments of all stripes seem to be happy to give public assets to rich people ?

  10. Venise Alstergren

    BJB: I’m tempted to reply…Because poor people can’t afford them.

    However, why has Rupert Murdoch got such a stranglehold over Oz media; how was he allowed to have this concentration of media; why do his editors practice self-censorship; why are they, to a man/woman, so hostile towards a non-Liberal/Country Party government; why have the Australian people so supinely accepted Murdoch’s right to own seventy-five to eighty percent of our media; why do the Murdoch family continue to allow the demonstrably incapable Lachlan Murdoch to be in a position of CEO of the local flower stall, let alone a public company?

    Quite frankly, I think if your five year system came into being, you would find the same people being the successful bidders. Democracy means everyone is equal. Capitalism means one person in fifty thousand gets the lot. Democracy and capitalism are mutually exclusive terms. But, politicians work their hearts out trying to build a bridge between these two states of being. It’s all a thankless task, by a thankless group of people for a thankless audience.

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