warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home3/brettdeb/public_html/showbritz/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.module on line 1418.

More radio rumours

A source tells me that former 4BC stalwart and genuinely nice guy Danny Hoyland is in talks with an FM station about a comeback. There are also plans, I'm told, for changes at BC in early 2009 involving two senior positions.

Second time lucky

The ABC in Brisbane is moving to South Bank. I imagine its commercial rivals are envious.

Clowning around

One reason to see Cirque du Soleil's Dralion? It stars one of my favourite Brisbane actors, Hayden Spencer, as a clown. Spencer follows in the big footsteps of Queenslander Stephen Bishop, who appeared in Cirque's Varekai. More here.

Jillian Whiting ousted

Jillian Whiting has quit Channel 9 (choosing her family, of course, as they always do). When asked why she was leaving, Whiting told The Courier-Mail:

"You'll have to ask Channel 9. All I can say is it was a surprise to me but I'm happy with my decision and I'm so ready for a holiday."

News boss Lee Anderson said Whiting had been offered another role in the newsroom (but she presumably declined it).
This keeps the door open for Heather Foord to host Extra next year. But with Andrew Lofthouse also hovering around the corridors of Nine next year, I think there are more announcements to come.
PS: There was also a rumour that Talitha Cummins would leave Seven for Nine. I can't see that being the case, because Seven seems a more stable place to be right now, but anything can happen in tellyland.
PPS: I'm just wondering where all the money is coming from to pay these people (or pay them out) since Nine is supposedly cash-strapped. Maybe that's why Bruce Paige is still there - they can't afford to retire him! (That's a joke, OK?)

Ratings: Dick's revenge?

4BC's breakfast show has surged 3.8 percentage points to take second place in the eight and final 2008 radio ratings survey - a fitting finale for veteran early morning man Peter Dick (pictured), who will retreat to the afternoon shift to make way for Jamie Dunn next year. In fact, BC made good gains across the board - arguably in part due to the publicity it received in the aftermath of the Dunn appointment. (Maybe long-term listeners remembered to mark it in their survey diaries this time around.) Nova 106.9 still leads overall and in breakfast, where it is followed by BC, 612 ABC Triple M, B105, 97.3FM (just a non-significant whisker behind) and then daylight before 4BH and 4KQ. B105's overall result was helped by Hamish and Andy's massive 22.7 share in the drive session (which help-ed lift the station's average). Overall, the leader board goes: Nova, B105, Triple M, 97.3FM (again only 0.1 point behind), 4BC, 612ABC, 4BH and 4KQ (which had a shocker). In Sydney, 2GB, 702ABC, 2Day and Nova are at the top; Mix 106.5 made a small gains, but Triple M's now-disbanded Shebang breakfast team tanked even further in its dying days. In Melbourne, 3AW, 774ABC and Fox FM are fighting it out. Stay tuned for an analysis of the year in radio, and some bold/foolish predictions for 2009.
PS: See disclosures.

Another Extra helping

Confirmation that Extra will be returning to Brisbane TV screens in 2009 is contained in a Channel 9 media release that also announces that the station won the year in south-east Queensland. It quote station managing director Les Hart as saying:

"In 2009 we will be working to consolidate these results through the production of local programs Extra and Gold Coast News ..."

According to the release, Nine won SEQ in its 25-54 target demographic, as well as in the 18-29 demographic, and among all people. Nationally, it is also doing well among the "advertiser preferred" 25-54 age group.
PS: Seven still won the overall ratings nationally. There's a good summation of it all here.

Media movements

Karl Stefanovic and Leila McKinnon have reportedly recorded a pilot for a new 5.30pm show for the Nine network. If it goes ahead, will it be screened at 5pm in Brisbane, or is Extra finally in for the chop? Meanwhile, Emily Jade O'Keeffe is said (by her colleagues at, where O'Keeffe has a blog) to be one of 10 women in the running for Sami Lukis's job at Brisbane's Triple M. As I've said before, Triple M will want to choose carefully because breakfast radio will be a whole new ballgame next year. It would be a shame for the station to squander the ratings gains it has made in recent surveys by choosing the wrong person.
Update: The Sunday reports that Heather Foord may host Extra next year. Interestingly, Nine news boss Lee Anderson doesn't commit to anything in the story. In fact, he doesn't even say that Extra will be returning next year.

Bruce is back - with Melissa

Channel 9 Brisbane has issued another press release, announcing Melissa Downes will present the 6p-m news with Bruce Paige in 2009. The release follows - note the nice words from Paige and Heather Foord about Downes, and the interesting fact that Andrew Lofthouse is not mentioned (but the need to find a replacement for Downes on the weekends is). Am I a drama queen, or am I right to expect another twist in the tale?

Nine Queensland is pleased to announce the appointment of Melissa Downes to the weeknight News desk.
Melissa has been Channel Nine Queensland’s weekend news presenter for the past two years and has established herself as one of Queensland leading news presenters.
Since joining Channel Nine Queensland in December 2001, Melissa has proven her versatility by reporting and hosting a raft of local programs.
On promoting his Weekend Newsreader, Lee Anderson said “Melissa is a committed journalist and wonderful presenter. Her work on Nine News weekends, EXTRA and on location for the Newsroom has endeared her to viewers and team members alike. It was a pleasure to promote Melissa to the 6pm News alongside veteran presenter Bruce Paige. It will be a new look Nine in 2009.”
Downes said “Being asked to step into Heather’s position is incredibly exciting. Heather has been a wonderful mentor and friend to me, and I am thrilled to have her blessing. It’s a real privilege to be offered this job, and I can’t wait to join Paigey each night as we present News for Nine.
Of his new on-air partner, Bruce Paige said “I have known Melissa for many years and watched her flourish into a great journalist and a professional presenter. Whilst I will lose my long time presenting partner Heather, I look forward to sharing the News desk with Melissa next year.
Heather said of her replacement “Melissa is a sheer delight both personally and professionally. I am so excited that she is taking over – she is not only talented, but most importantly – compassionate. I am leaving the News Desk in safe hands.”
Melissa Downes will join Bruce Paige at the News desk in the New Year. A replacement for Melissa’s weekend position will be announced in the coming weeks.

Have you seen Frank today?

... in the 1980s, that was a jingle used on the telly to promote Frank Warrick when he jumoed ship between Brisbane's Channels 7 and 9. Now, Nine has confirmed that Warrick has retired (again) of his own volition. However, like Heather Foord, we are told, he will be involved with the network in some way next year. Given the current state of the television biz, and the fortunes of Nine in particular, I wouldn't be holding my breath until we see either of their faces on the small screen again.

Circus of the stars

As reality television has taught us, the definition of "celebrity" can be fairly loose at times. Here's a list of the "names" who will be attending the official op-ening of Cirque du Soleil's Dralion in Brisbane on Thursday night:

Some of the VIPs attending the premiere event include Mick Doohan; Wayne Grady; Craig Lowndes; Australian Kangaroos Captain Darren Lockyer; The Veronicas’ Jess Origlasso; Gold medal diver Matthew Helm; Olympic medalist Sam Riley; The Grates’ Patience Hodgson and John Patterson; Powerfinger’s Ian Haug, John Coghill; Brisbane musical royalty, Katie Noonan and Maggie Noonan; legendary didgeridoo player William Barton; Brisbane Lions players Simon Black, Clarke Keating, Beau McDonald, Jarrod Molloy, Luke Power and outgoing coach Leigh Matthews; Brisbane Broncos’ Corey Parker and former great Shane Webke; Australian rugby greats Tim Horan, Tony Shaw and Chris Handy; iconic fashion designers Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson from Easton Pearson; Project Runway Runner-Up, fashion designer Leigh Buchanan; Lisa and Grant Curry-Kenny; Tania Zaetta; political and business leaders, television and radio stars….. and Warwick Capper

PS: The media release failed to mention that this will be the first Cirque opening in many years without me.

Syndicate content