7:30 Report format up for grabs

Questions about the future of The 7:30 Report are back in the spotlight after ABC managing director Mark Scott has confirmed its format post-Kerry O’Brien will have “a strong state-based element” next year.

ABC is committed to maintaining the show but an internal review is looking at everything from its presentation style to who will replace O’Brien when he leaves at the end of the month.

With much of the content up for discussion, there are no guarantees it will remain a solo-hosting.

Some ABC news staff fear the success of TEN’s The 7PM Project, US news satire The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and, to a lesser extent, ABC News 24’s The Drum, may lead to a more casual, panel-heavy 7.30 Report next year. It is also said to be seeking a younger audience.

Questions also hover over the future for Stateline. News Director Kate Torney was a Producer for Stateline early in her career.

Scott will present the review’s findings to the ABC board in December.

TEN also plans to introduce state-based news at 6:30pm in 2011.

Source:  The Australian


  1. Surely there are enough panel shows; Q&A, Insiders, The Drum, etc. At least Q&A often includes te protagnisits and not just the commentators. Very few programs which actually examine issues and allow for lengthy interviews exist anywhere on Australan television. The 7:30 Report is in many ways only superficial examination but at least does do some. Only Lateline does similar; and its probably no coincidence Kerry has hosted both.

    The ABC is supposed to do in-depth journalism, even if its not high rating. It is the very point of news and current affairs, to go where the commercial networks can’t be bothered or don’t want to go. Yet another opinion based panel show is not the answer to anything, except how to pretend to do current affairs without investing any time in investigate journalism.

    Having more state based news could be a good thing, except that when the ABC says “state based” they usually mean more NSW specific programming being broadcast nationally. Whether they are considering going back to state based 7:30s, unlikely as it costs money; or just having more state based (undoubtedly 90% NSW) stories on a national program remains to be seen – if any changes occur at all.

  2. I agree with Steve Barra please keep it the way it is. If you want more State based stories then have Stateline on some other time that’s separate (with more shows). And as I mentioned earlier please don’t ruin it with panels. I really do love it in its current version. Why stuff it up?

  3. What the 7:30 report provides is an alternative to the heavily state-focused commercial news services in the sense that it is national and provides more in-depth coverage of issues. In this day and age, the role of the ABC should be to provide alternative to what we already receive in abundance on the other networks. I am not saying what is on commercial tv news and current affairs is worthless, but the ABC should be different.
    If the ABC wants more state-based coverage, it perhaps should turn Stateline into a daily or thrice weekly show on ABC News 24.

  4. armchair director

    State based 7.30 reports would be most welcome. Stateline just doesn’t cut it. With all the automated studios, the ABC could well afford to invest in the talent. 7.30 report five days a week, with national interviews and stories, but also state based stories. WA and SA will appreciate it.

  5. Secret Squïrrel

    I don’t know why they’re accounting for The Daily Show. It’s p!ss-funny but barely cracks 6 digits, plus only the very end of it coincides with The 7:30 Report. The Colbert Report, which does coincide, rates even lower than The Daily Show.

    I’d actually prefer if they were on later so that they didn’t clash with the “serious” news. The Daily Show is good enough for the main channel.

  6. Whilst the 7:30 report is good as it is, I think the idea of more state-based news is a great idea. Even if, for example, you have the first 20 minutes being “national” and then separating the states for the last 10 minutes for a report or interview on state issues.

  7. A tweaking of the format might be justified but not a complete revamp. It shouldn’t become another tabloid type, consumer based show. Would love Jana Wendt to host.

  8. Quote: “It is also said to be seeking a younger audience.”

    Uh-oh, I got a bad feeling about this. The ‘younger audience’ is already catered for by 7pm Project and Jon Stewart. Leave 7:30 Report for the Oldies!!

    Tart it up a little. Tinker around the edges maybe. But it doesn’t need strobing graphics and funky music. Can’t believe this is even being considered…

  9. Can’t they just leave it alone! I like the fact that it is a National show!! The 7pm project is a good show but we don’t need another panel based show. The ABC shouldn’t be about ratings, it should be about quality journalism, something that is now absent from the commercial networks.

  10. If they repeated The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (later the same night) I’d probably watch it live (The 7.30 Report). But they don’t so I watch the repeat at 11.30 pm. That said I don’t find much wrong with it with Kerry O-Brien.

    I’ll admit I don’t like the panel idea. As I’ve watched The Drum and I don’t care for it especially with the biased pundits. That’s why I mostly don’t watch that show. So if you want it to be a big turn-off have ridiculously biased commentary. Just what I don’t want and you’ll make me avoid it.

    By the way I watch it most nights and I especially watched it after the election. Mainly live too i.e. at 7.30 pm.

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