Brisbane

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Nine a winner

Despite its many reported off-screen woes, and the ongoing guessing game as to who will be reading the Monday to Friday news next year*, the Nine network is leading the Brisbane TV ratings and looks like winning the year (excluding the Olympics, of course). The big winner last week was the rugby league World Cup final.
* Sorry Bruce, but my money is on Andrew Lofthouse.

Nine signs Andrew Lofthouse

Channel 9 Brisbane has just announced that it's signed the ABC's Andrew Lofthouse. Accrding to a media release, he will read the weekend news from the new year. “Andrew is a wonderful talent. He is an impressive broadcaster and very passionate about Queensland. We are very excited he has chosen to join Nine,” Lee Anderson, Nine Queensland Station Manager/ Director of News, says in the release. Lofthouse is quoted as saying: “I’ve been really fortunate to have had a long and rewarding career at the ABC now I’m excited about the change and about the opportunities and challenges ahead at Nine.”
The question is: Will Lofthouse - the latest in a line of ABC newsreaders to defect to the commercial networks - really be restricted to weekend reading duties, or will the next announcement from Nine concern Bruce Paige?

It's goodnight from Heather Foord

While there has been speculation about the future of Channel 9 Brisbane newsreader Bruce Paige of late, it's his colleague Heather Foord who has announced her resignation from newsreading duties (but apparently not the station). Is this the beginning of several changes on the Mountain? Here's the Nine media release (which, as usual in these cases, cites family reasons):

Nine News presenter, Heather Foord, announced in tonight’s bulletin that she has decided to leave her position as Nine News presenter for the 6pm bulletin.
After 21 years with Nine News, this was a difficult decision which Heather has made to allow her to more time to spend with her husband Tony and four daughters; India, twins Grace and Riley and Maya.
Heather’s statement from the Nine News 6pm Bulletin;
“Before we go, I have some news of my own. After 21 years with the Newsroom, I have decided that this year will be my last. While I love bringing you the news every evening, I would love even more to be home, watching it, with my girls. So this time in a fortnight it'll be goodnight, and goodbye. It's been an absolute privilege being in your lounge rooms for two decades.”
Whilst Heather will not present the 6pm weeknight news bulletin, she will remain contracted to Channel Nine and we look forward to developing opportunities for Heather to remain on air in 2009.
Nine Director of News, Lee Anderson says “Channel Nine understands Heather's decision. There's only one thing that would stop Heather reading the news and that's her commitment to her family. We'll be looking at other ways Heather can contribute which enable her to keep a balance between work and family life.”
Over Heather’s twenty-one years she has seen many changes. Prime ministers and (even more) Premiers have come and gone and she has shared the news desk with several leading men. One career highlight was reporting live from Buckingham Palace for Princess Diana's funeral. Heather says “I have enjoyed every day of my twenty-one years with the newsroom and will miss everyone enormously.”
Nine News co-presenter Bruce Paige says “It has been wonderful working with Heather. She’s a consummate professional and she’s more than a colleague, she’s a valued friend. I will miss sharing the News desk with her.”

Sami sequel

From a Triple M media release:

Yep, the rumours* are true. Sami Lukis is moving to Sydney and will host Triple M’s breakfast with Phil O'Neil in 2009.
Announced on air this morning, Sami told her listeners and her co-hosts Ian Skippen, Greg Martin and Greg Sullivan that they would have to find a replacement for her, and be nice! Sami’s last day on air in Brisbane will be tomorrow, Friday November 21 because she and Phil will be launching their new show in Sydney on the first day of Summer - Monday, December 1.
Austereo Brisbane General Manager Richard Barker said it was an excellent opportunity for Sami, and while the station was sad to see her leave, it does certainly create an exciting opportunity for a new voice to join Skip, Marto and Sully on air.
Stay tuned for further developments!

* That would be the rumours first published here at Showbritz (thanks, of course, to one of my radio contacts).
And, of course, the release doesn't mention that the move is making the Brisbane station vulnerable at an important time ...

The show goes on

The secret to success in showbusiness is timing. Thus, the Cirque du Soleil folks must be pleased that they have only just arrived in Brisbane and are pitching their grand chapiteau (enormous tent) after the huge storms. Dralion opens on November 27.

Time for a telethon?

Thanks to Kuttsywood for this idea: How about the Brisbane TV stations get together for a telethon to raise funds for those affected by the devastating storms? It would be an opportunity for all media to get together and support a cause that is very close to home.

Sami Lukis heads south

You read it here first! On October 30, I blogged that Brisbane-based Sami Lukis was rumoured to be heading south with the Triple M network. Now it has been reported that Lukis will join Phil O'Neill (a.k.a. Ugly Phil) in a bid to revive the Sydney station's flagging fortunes. My understanding was that they'd be doing a networked night show, but it seems now that they'll be tackling the all-important breakfast gig that fell vacant when The Shebang imploded. The move presents a challenge for Triple M Brisbane's Ian Skippen and The Cage program, which has gained ratings recently and will face a threat next year from 4BC recruit (and former Skippen colleague) Jamie Dunn, and for Brisbane's Channel 9, which employed Lukis as its weather presenter.

Festival fever

Brisbane is to get a super festival when the Brisbane Festival and the River Festival merge. About time, too. I don't think anybody actually knew what the River Festival was all about ...

Spelling it out

They say there's no such thing as bad publicity, as long as they spell your name right. So where does that leave Kip Wightman from Nova 106.9 in Brisbane in regards to this brisbanetimes.com.au story? In case they fix it, here's how the caption (and story) renders his name:



Oh, and is that how you really spell the plural of pony?
Disclosure from the glasshouse: There are many errors on this website too, but it's a one-man band.

Happy brithday, Bruce

Bruce Paige, the veteran QTQ Channel 9 newsreader, turns 60 on Monday. I wonder whether he might be considering early retirement ...

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