Today Tonight heads north as crisis breaks in the south

2013-03-07_2331When Seven rebooted Today Tonight it spoke about “meatier” stories and “a change of tone” with new host Helen Kapalos.

“There will be politics, absolutely,” she told 3AW last month.

So why, when the biggest political story in years breaks in Victoria, did it send her to Sydney?

Seven chose to extend its Melbourne bulletin to one hour to cover the news. This included 9 minutes of coverage from reporters Brendan Donahoe, Nick McCallum and Michael Scanlan at the top of the bulletin. Peter Mitchell interviewed new Premier Dennis Napthine live, but time only allowed 4 questions.

Just before 6:30pm Mitchell then introduced several stories from Today Tonight reporters including a drink driving story and a wedding scam. Meanwhile Helen Kapalos was in Sydney, presumably because the two shows in Melbourne use the same studio space and cannot broadcast simultaneously. There she introduced the same stories plus Jim Wilson covering an NRL drugs investigation story.

Extending the bulletin did allow Seven to feature more political content than the conventional 30 minute bulletin, although Nine News, which did not extend their bulletin, still managed 8 minutes on the crisis.

To be fair, Seven News provided on-going coverage on Wednesday night when the story was breaking with live updates from Peter Mitchell and reporter Brendan Donahoe on the Napthine swearing-in at Government House.

Sunrise also went to great lengths with Melissa Doyle, who had been cooking dinner in Sydney on Wednesday night dashing to the airport to front live coverage yesterday in Melbourne. It was a good response to breaking news with the Today hosts all stuck in Sydney.

So while Doyle flew to Melbourne where the action was, it’s bizarre that the new-look TT headed north when it would have been the perfect opportunity to land a punch on the competition.

It does beg the question: if a history-making crisis in Victoria isn’t the right time for TT to feature politics, when is?

For the record, A Current Affair also had nothing on the Victorian shake-up either.

But it did have the same wedding scam.


  1. @byeana- I find the Project interesting as it is the only commercial TV show covering politics in Prime Time. Not in the traditional way but in a serious/comedic way. Not sure how you see The Project as anti Gillard goverment. I vote Labor and see The show as more Labor. They put Steve Price on to balance it up a bit. Politics can become too heavy and serious and thats why i love the Project. Loving all your rants byeana,still trying to work them out though.

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