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Harvest Rain needs you

I was disappointed to read recently that Brisbane's Harvest Rain Theatre Company is facing some financial difficulties. The "little company that can", as I like to call it, creates an important bridge between Brisbane's professional and amateur theatre scenes, and it deserves arts lovers' support. You can help out by attending the Winter Carnivale, a free event at the company's training centre in 81 Mina St, Alderley on August 6. The event from 6-9pm is free, but you're encouraged to sling a donation their way, buy a raffle ticket or two and/or bid in the art auction at the end of the night. Hosts will be Picasso from TV's The Shak and the self-styled "Bert Newton from Hell", Paul Dellit. Details here.
PS: Mavis Bramston Reloaded, written by the aforementioned Paul Dellit with Peter Pinne, is playing at the StageDoor Dinner Theatre at Bowen Hills (in the basement of the Twelfth Night Theatre) from August 20 to October 18. Its stars Kym Ford, Kym Brown and Steven Tandy. Details here.

Back to the future

The Nine Network's axing of Sunday and Nightline (see here) has raised issues about local content on Australian TV and, in the broader sense, the very survival of free-to-air television. Just now a light-bulb lit up above my head. Like many other public companies, the networks have two choices when their revenues diminish: they cut costs or they sell assets. Well, they've already started on the first option, so the second may not be far away. Is it too far-fetched to think that the networks might one day (perhaps soon) reinvent themselves as content providers and sell-off at least some of their broadcasting stations - especially in relatively small markets like Brisbane? Could it be that one day, the Nine Network is producing content for a range of platforms (free TV, pay TV, the internet) and that locally owned stations will pick up only the "core product", complete with networked ads, and fill the rest of the schedule as best they can to suit their audiences? I'm not suggesting a return to the glory days of local programming, but there may be some programs local advertisers and local owners will support that the networks won't.

What's Dunn doing?

There's been a lot of speculation following my recent item about Jamie Dunn. One rumour has it that Dunn (right, guest-hosting Channel 9's Extra) has been having discussions with 4BC management with the view to an afternoon or drive-time show next year. Time will reveal all.
Disclosure: Usual disclosures apply

Great Aussie movie moments

An idea that originated in Shanghai, China has become a radio competition in Brisbane, Australia. I mentioned on my other blog how a colleague had purchased a DVD with an "Australian" language option. Well Daniel Viles, the consultant funnyman on Spencer Howson's 612ABC radio show, picked up the idea and ran with it. Listen to the result:

Over at there's my original discussion with Spencer.
Update: Apparently Spencer has also blogged about it here, but I can't read it because his blog is, for some inexplicable reason, not available in China.

On the air

All things being equal, I will be on the air with Spencer Howson on the 612ABC breakfast show on Tuesday, July 22. Here's a link to the live stream.

Dunn that, off elsewhere?

Jamie Dunn is fuelling rumours again, suggesting he may be leaving Zinc 96 on the Sunshine Coast despite having a contract until 2010. There's more here. Would it be too far fetched to suggest he's throwing a carrot to radio bosses in Brisbane? With his replacements at B105 way down in the ratings, and other stations looking for a killer punch, I would imagine he's a pretty attractive proposition in the big smoke right now. A re-teaming with Robin Bailey at 973FM perhaps, or with Ian Skippen at Triple M? A comeback at a slighter-older-pitched B105? A move to a newly digital 4KQ? Or even a gig on talk station 4BC? Still only in his 50s, Dunn - with the right team behind him - could easily reinvent himself as Queensland's answer to Alan Jones - with more laughs.

Rob's on the job

A reader of this blog wrote in a recent comment:

Hi, I notice that Rob Readings has disappeared from Channel 9 Gold Coast. Why? Where has he gone? The last time he read the news, he seemed to be having trouble with his vision.

I promised to pass the query on to my friends at Channel 9, and I did. Here's the reponse:

Rob is definitely still with Nine News and definitely hasn't disappeared. He does feature reports for us which do not run every day which is probably why the reader may think he is not on air anymore. I am sure they will be relieved to hear he has a story coming up this week. The night the reader is referring to we had an autocue problem in the live Gold Coast studio. Rob was the consummate professional even with a technical issue live on TV.

Anna and the Kong

Spencer Howson, the 612ABC Brisbane announcer who admits he's smitten with Today Tonight host Anna Coren, won't want to hear this. Coren is heading OS. She apparently aspires to join the many Australian faces and voices on CNN, which has its Asian HQ in Hong Kong.
Disclosure: Brett Debritz is an occasional guest on Howson's program, but has yet to be "stung" by Today Tonight

Maske on the move

In a week where there's been some negative press about Dubai, I'm happy to report that glamorous Brisbane trio Maske have come back from the mega Middle Eastern city with nothing but glowing reports. Next stop for the electronic violin trio is the States, where they play a truck show (no kidding), and then the Bahamas, where they'll support the wonderful British pop-opera star Paul Potts. These girls are the real deal and a huge hit on the international convention circuit, and they deserve more credit than they get in Queensland.

Home games

The opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics isn't the only big cultural event happening in the first week of August. It will also see the return of the hit comedy The Narcissist to Brisbane's Roundhouse Theatre. The Stephen Carelton play, directed by Ian Lawson, is also part of Sydney Theatre Company's 2008 season - an incredible coup for a Queensland play. Details here.

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