Brisbane

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Who's rating and who's not

The Australian metropolitan cities radio ratings are out, and in Brisbane it's good news for B105 and 97.3FM, but bad news for 4BC which has slipped to last place among the commercial stations overall and second-last in the all-important breakfast shift. The overall top five were Nova 106.9, Triple M FM104, B105, 97.3FM and 612 ABC; in breakfast, it was Nova's Meshel, Ash, Kip and Luttsy; 612's Spencer Howson (pictured)*; 97.3's Robin, Bob and Terry; Triple M's Ian Skippen and the Cage; and B105's Labrat, Camilla and Stav. The poor performance at 4BC can only fuel rumours (started on this blog, I believe) that former B105 kingpin Jamie Dunn is set to make a Brisbane comeback on the commercial talk station. Before the talk was about him doing drive, but maybe now the station's greatest need is in breakfast to set a higher-rating pace for the whole day. On the other hand, these sixth-survey figures may provide a lifeline for B105's breakfast team. Certainly now is the time that station owners and program directors are making their big decisions about next year's line-ups. One interesting result of the survey is the fact that 612ABC's night-time show, which Katrina Davidson has just handed back to regular host Steve Austin, is No.1 in its timeslot. Also of note is the fact that Nova, although still leading the pack, has taken some big falls across the day, making the whole scene much more competitive. That's a very healthy sign (although the Nova folk may disagree).
Meanwhile, in Sydney, commercial talk station 2GB still leads the pack (despite the absence of Alan Jones, who is recovering from cancer surgery) from 2Day and 702 ABC, both overall and in breakfast,

* Yes, I'm a semi-regular guest on Spencer Howson's show - which is obviously why he is doing so well. For other disclosures, click here.

Busting Out (almost) all over

Congratulations to the creators, cast and crew of Busting Out!, which is finishing up at the Twelfth Night Theatre in Brisbane's Bowen Hills on September 20 after a 16-week run. The show, which has been sen by 50,000 people in Brisbane, is now heading overseas. "This season has been nothing short of extraordinary," says producer Simon Bryce. "From what began as a four week run quickly gained momentum and extended to 16 wonderful, wonderful weeks. The reaction to Busting Out! at Brisbane’s Twelfth Night Theatre, has set this new Australian show on a trajectory for international success. No other Australian show in recent memory has achieved such a run for its inaugural season." Buy tickets here.

High praise for Mavis

"I never knew Steven Tandy was so funny. He reminds me of Gordon Chater, only Steven didn't get a pie in the face, or a soda syphon, but he did everything else."

That was small screen legend Noeline Brown's take on Mavis Bramston Reloaded, Paul Dellit and Peter Pinne's stage reworking of the classic TV satire show, now playing at Brisbane's StageDoor Dinner Theatre. Details here.

Country Carpenters caper

"When they talk, they're from Kempsey, but when they sing they sound exactly like The Carpenters." That's part of the dificult-to-resist blurb for The Carpenters from Kempsey, which plays at QUT Gardens Theatre on September 18 and 19. Details here.
PS: Having stayed in Kempsey, which is about half-way between Brisbane and Sydney, I suggest this is as close as you get to it.

Absolutely Stavulous

Brisbane radio station B105's breakfast team of Labrat, Camilla, Stav and Tash (the newsreader) have formed a band called Stavulous, and they will be performing Green Day's When I Come Around at the Ekka on Wednesday, August 13. You have been warned.
PS: Here's something else of interest on the airwaves.

Wolfmother: three now one

What's a trio after two members leave? A solo act? Well, the immediate departure of bass and keyboard player Chris Ross and drummer Myles Heskett from Wolfmother leaves just Brisbane boy Andrew Stockdale in the Grammy-winning band. However, he is apparently looking for other musicians - so whip out your CVs and soundchecks, folks. The departing duo have issued a statement to fans asking them "to please understand that in spite of their best efforts over a long period of time, they just could not find a harmonious way to work together and that has lead [sic] to the decisions announced today". I assume we will be hearing more of this story.
PS: There's more here.

We come not to praise him ...

Brisbane 612ABC's Spencer Howson* was playing around on the internet a few days ago and designed this charming gravestone. I can happily report that, after he again pulled in the No.2 spot in the important breakfast shift in the ratings survey released this week, it's unlikely he'll be needing it anytime soon.


* Usual disclosure applies

Is no news good news?

I had a look at the Week 31 ratings for South East Queensland, and I was going to make some comment about how Nine needs to pull its socks up when it comes to news. Then it occurred to me that maybe the Channel 9 honchos no longer care that their news is being outgunned by Channel 7. Maybe they've moved on and decided that, since people can get news on demand from the internet, they are going to concentrate on something else and do the bare minimum in the news arena. This certainly explains the axing of Sunday and Nightline. With all the speculation in Brisbane being about whether Bruce Paige will continue as Nine's lead anchorman next year, maybe the real question should be whether the 6pm news will even survive in its current form. Maybe Nine could think outside the box and put, say, Gordon Ramsay, on at 6 o'clock instead, and punt the news bulletin backwards or forwards in the schedule.

BIFF bonanza

A former colleague and I used to joke that each year the Brisbane International Film Festival would put out a media release saying that ticket sales were "up 17 per cent". Not this year. They're apparently up 18 per cent. By my reckoning, after years of this kind of growth, everybody in Australia will be going to a BIFF screening this year.

Elvis calling

It's probably no coincidence that another batch of radio ratings are out next week. In Brisbane, Elvis and Priscilla made a comeback for 4BH's Loretta Ryan and Moyd Kay breakfast show, visiting listeners Jim and Sue Kerry and giving them a trip to Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Triple M's Greg "Marto" Martin is spearheading an Olympics-themed campaign titled "Bring Back Budgie Smugglers for Beijing". In Sydney, Mix 106.5's Sonia Kruger, Andy Grace and Todd McKenney celebrated their 150th show. Here are the happy snaps:



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