The last Four Corners of the year aired on November 21, and they’re not back till February 6. It’s the same story with much of the ABC’s Monday-night current affairs line-up — Australian Story, Media Watch and Q&A take the same, rather lengthy break.

The year’s last Insiders took place on December 4 — Barrie Cassidy and his guests return February 12. Foreign Correspondent last aired November 20. SBS’ Insight last aired November 15 — and its website says it’s back “early 2017”, whatever that means.

It’s not just the weekly shows — even the dailies have dropped like flies. Lateline finished up December 2 and returns February 6. On Radio National Breakfast, the dulcet tones of Fran Kelly haven’t been heard since December 9. She returns January 23. The Drum held out relatively long: it’s last show was the 16th and it’s back, shockingly, in January (the 30th, courtesy of those slave-masters at News24). Though we shouldn’t be snide about everyone who works at Aunty — the local radio teams are continuing all summer.

Over in the commercials, anything that can is being jettisoned for the holidays. 2GB’s biggest stars gave way to its summer lineup on December 19. Same story at 2UE, while 3AW went on summer programming on December 12th — it’s back to usual on January 6. Sky News’ regular shows have mostly finished up — The Bolt Report aired its last episode for 2016 last Friday (we don’t know how we’ll do without it). PM Agenda, The Latest, the Bolt Report and Credlin Keneally return from January 16.

The Saturday Paper is taking a four-week break over the New Year (last issue for a while out tomorrow), while The Monthly published a bumper issue on December 1 and won’t be heard from again until February.

Even the gossip scribes find the new year tricky. Fans of Darren Davidson and the Oz’s weekly Media Diary have to do without it for over a month. The year’s last edition ran December 12, and it ain’t back till January 23. The Guardian’s Weekly Beast finished up last Friday and isn’t back till February. Over at Media Watch Dog, Nancy took a WEB (as she refers to it) on Friday, December 16 — and isn’t coming back till the 3rd of February. The shit-stirrers at Rear Window also took off on December 16 — they’re back on January 16. The Fin as a whole has moved to publishing every five days or so. It had an issue out yesterday, will release another before the new year and then it’s zip til January 3.

The newspapers and TV/radio news are of course powering on, mostly on skeleton staffs. Poor things.

Today, meanwhile, is the last Crikey you will receive this year. We’re back on January 9. Which is a lot earlier than most of the slackers above. — Myriam Robin

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey