From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Breakfast TV costly business at Ten. Channel Ten is preparing to launch its much-hyped new morning programs Wake Up and Studio 10, with both shows in full rehearsal mode. Getting the shows onto air is still proving a tricky process — Wake Up will be filmed from a specially-made beach house studio requiring cables to be run out from Ten’s Pyrmont HQ to Manly. So how many viewers does Ten expect from the expensive experiment? Crikey hears Ten executives have told staff they will be delighted if 100,000 viewers tune in. That’s far fewer than watch Sunrise or Today (around 350,000 and 300,000 viewers respectively) but more than the pitiful 40,000 Breakfast with Paul Henry managed on Ten.

Meanwhile, some Ten staff are unhappy about the money which mornings TV boss Adam Boland has been given to spend on the shows, and the rumoured $300,000 spent rebranding Ten’s news service as “Eyewitness News”. “They’re absolutely ripping resources out of on-the-ground newsgathering,” a Ten insider said. “The juniors, camera men, editors are being flogged.”

Greens shut down election debate? The mood inside the Greens is grim, according to one insider — nobody wants to talk about the poor federal election result. A member of the Tasmanian Greens and branch officer tells Crikey:

“It’s been nearly five weeks since the election where our vote dropped to half the level it was at in 2010. It was the worst result for the Greens in the country. Why? We still don’t know and nobody, it seems, wants to talk about it or really find out. It should be being treated as a crisis.

“Christine Milne and Peter Whish-Wilson said they would talk to voters to see what went wrong. They promised to look into it, but nothing has happened yet — not a thing and lots of members down here are wondering why. There has been no election review meeting, no research commissioned. I don’t think any voters have been polled or asked for their feedback. Even at the Tasmanian Greens State Conference a few weeks ago there was no proper discussion about the federal election. That was where we should have sorted out a plan to review the reasons for the result.

“Maybe the MPs might be talking behind closed doors? Don’t think so, they’ll just blame each other. I worry that they are just hoping to ignore the result and carry on. When something like this happens the Greens shouldn’t ignore it. The mood inside the party these days is one that does not tolerate discussion, everything is glossed over by the MPs’ office people.”

Are they right? Do party operatives have their heads in the sand? Tell us what you’ve heard — drop us an email or use the anonymous form on the website.

Spotted: Howes, Kroger lunching. According to a Crikey spy:

“Paul Howes and Michael Kroger seen lunching today at Toko restaurant in Surry Hills, Sydney. Kroger — noblesse oblige — was seen lending his lighter to a shirtless local in a sign that charity will be a hallmark of the new ‘weddings, parties, anything’ Abbotocracy.”

Who have you spotted out and about? We love a good sighting.

Students getting Fresh in Uni Qld poll. The University of Queensland has stayed true to its reputation again as this year’s election for undergraduate student representative on the university’s powerful senate fires up. The LNP-backed candidate is Elliot Johnson, an outgoing vice president of the Fresh team that came third in recent union elections but is yet to hand over power to the winners of that election. Utilising union resources, union branded marquees, barbecues and tables, Johnson has been dazzling prospective voters with his hot plate skills, holding two free BBQs this week.

When some Left-inclined students known to Fresh rocked up for a free snag, they were told that they’d have to vote for Elliott to get one. When advised of the spat, the university issued a directive prohibiting campaigners voting on behalf of students, but cautiously green-lighted the sausage set-up. One source on the ground was not amused: “This is the election of a person to the university’s chief governing body. If they are going to allow what seems like vote buying, it’s no wonder there have been successive scandals in the senior management of UQ.”

*Heard anything that might interest Crikey? Send your tips to [email protected] or use our guaranteed anonymous form

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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