COMMENT Australian networks’ ‘cut and paste’ attitude toward programming has resulted in another expensive failure for a major TV network, and another major tourism opportunity missed.
Channel 10’s Breakfast has been axed today among painful cliches such as an Obnoxious International Host (too early in the day for that) and Outrageous Questions (Poll: Is it ok to have a baby via IVF without a second parent? Subtitle: Goodbye single mum viewers).
Why would Channel 10 ignore the obvious appeal of comedic interludes? Or actual journalism to invade those awkward silences? Is Australia not a big enough continent from which to draw content, creating a need for more dicky footage of TV hosts trying ‘Gangnam Style’?
Network Ten announced on Monday that their morning offerings Breakfast and Morning News would cease production.
The decision will also see controversial host Paul Henry, as well as co-host Kathryn Robinson, leave the network.
“It is proposed that Breakfast and Ten Morning News will cease production on November 30,” the network said in a statement. “Breakfast television still represents an opportunity for Ten and we will return to the breakfast TV market at some point next year.”
The show has suffered a number of body blows during its short existence, including the loss of co-host Andrew Rochford in June as well as the fall out from the axing of The Circle in July, which was viewed as a casualty of Breakfast‘s running costs.
Henry, a former New Zealand broadcaster, has also attracted his own share of controversy. Both he and the network were compelled to apologise in August for on-air remarks in which he suggested asylum seekers should starve to death.
Breakfast first went to air on February 23 to an audience of 51,000 viewers. Its numbers have generally held around the mid-40,000 mark, though often dipping below 30,000. In May, the show twice bottomed out at a mere 22,000 viewers.
Breakfast brought in 47,000 eyeballs on Friday, compared to 345,000 watching Today on Channel Nine and 370,000 watching Sunrise on Channel Seven.
Ten weilds the axe
The cancellation of Breakfast follows recent news that Ten’s Melbourne-based newsreader Helen Kapalos has been let go.
After signing off from the evening bulletin on Friday Kapalos was informed that her contract would not be renewed. Ten said it was moving to a single-presenter format with veteran broadcaster Mal Walden to be the face of the bulletin from December.
After six years with Ten Kapalos was unceremoniously dumped from the network and it is understood her computer access and security pass were cancelled by 6.30pm that night.
Rather than an acknowledgement of her achievements a Ten spokeswoman simply said: “We will not be renewing Helen’s contract, the details of which we will not discuss publicly.”