Peter Meakin puts Wake Up on notice

2014-02-16_0025TEN’s incoming News boss has put new breakfast show Wake Up on notice.

Peter Meakin, who begins formally at TEN tomorrow, has told the Sunday Telegraph the show has to improve.

“Any show that rates the way Wake Up does obviously does not have a long term future and that’s just a fact,” Meakin, said.

“It’s looking at maybe another six months unless it starts to do a lot better.”

That’s despite TEN’s own CEO Hamish McLennan repeatedly saying the network was committed to it for the long haul.

Wake Up has been averaging numbers of 30,000 – 40,000 against Sunrise and Today over 300,000.

So far Wake Up has has an uncanny history reflecting its predecessor, Breakfast, which lost a presenter followed by its producer. Eventually it was axed even though the network said it was a long term project.

Meakin, 72, begins at TEN after his contract ‘gardening leave’ with Seven expires. He replaces Anthony Flannery who resigned earlier this month.

51 Comments:

  1. @HardcorePrawn – I forgot about that with The Project, a bit like how Steve Price also has someone else to counter him on The Project, which has seen him soften on some things and a complete flip on others (like now being Pro Same Sex Marriage).

    A co-presenter would be the best option, could even get good ratings if things got fiery between them. Even though it was a Fox News show, Hannity & Colmes topped the ratings on that channel for that reason (balance and fiery debates).

  2. @Cam Reed – I totally agree in regards to Bolt appearing alongside someone with an opposing view. I remember his appearances on the Project, but there’d he have Charlie Pickering, or even on occasion Todd Sampson, to put forward views in conflict to his.
    Likewise, the Insiders usually has a number of guests with differing viewpoints.

    Where Ten have gone wrong is to give Bolt his own show, which many people think of as a news program, and rarely give airtime on it to any other viewpoints. Where guests of differing opinions to Bolt have been invited on (pro-Labor, supporters of asylum seekers rights, climate scientists etc) there have been allegations that they’ve been bullied and/or ridiculed by Bolt.

    If Ten want to generate trust in their news then they need to stop appearing so biased and maybe give Bolt a co-presenter to bounce off.

  3. @HardcorePrawn – Up until 2011 (when he went to TEN for The Bolt Report), Andrew Bolt used to be on Nines Today every Monday morning, the Insiders on the ABC Sundays and The Project on and off.

    As much as I dislike Bolt, I also don’t think he should be taken off the air for his views, rather I would like to see a show put on that is the opposite to his view. If TEN put in a counter balance show or a person on with Bolt (much like there was a balance on The Insiders with him there), then they would get more credibility for there news service in my humble opinion.

  4. Yes…..interesting the difference in the two articles….The Sunday article was not very favourable to Ten… Surly its a case of Ten going to the Australian to get a report out there that is a bit more positive.

  5. I had to chuckle when I heard Shaun Micallef, on Mad as Hell last week, refer to Wake Up as a “news parody show”.

    It’s interesting that the topic of Ten’s credibility has cropped up in these comments, I find it hard to take Ten’s news coverage seriously while the network still provides Andrew Bolt with airtime. Wasn’t he once employed as a political “journalist” on their late news too?

  6. Ten’s public relations department must have been in contact with Meakin as he has certainly changed his tune in today’s Australian saying he’s adding a new host and weather presenter and that it is stupid to think he will swing the axe. He also praised Studio10. Oh what a difference 24hrs makes.

  7. @jonno Kerri Anne and Ron Wilson are both in their 60s do you think they will really commit to breakfast TV now? I think Studio 10 should use Kerri Anne as a fill in for Ita though.

  8. The answer is so simple. Bring back Good Morning Australia. Kerrie-Anne, Ron Wilson are both free. Throw in Mike Monroe and away you go. Might not beat Sunrise but would give Today a run.

  9. I have to wonder what Today and Sunrise’s ratings were after their first 6 months or so.

    I quite like Wake Up and watch it on my daily commute via stream. Are any of those numbers in this digital age considered? They seem to have a solid social media following (not world beating but still loyal) and they have Youtube content of their segments.

    I like the idea of travelling to Melb around Grand Prix. Studio 10 went to Adel recently. Don’t see Wake Up being any less Sydney-centric than the other commercial options. At least ABC is in Melbourne. I think they missed the opportunity to set up fully in Melbourne and they’ve invested too much now to permanently back out of Sydney. Just because James isn’t a Kochie’s or Karl doesn’t mean he can’t establish his own style. Granted he needs to quickly. His strength is music and I liked the live sessions they used to do.

    Ten needs…

  10. I’ve said it oft before, there is just no room for four breakfast television programs. Ten, just find something else to play and save yourselves the hassle, money and embarrassment!

  11. I’m jut surprised that a network and other networks just can’t face the facts and ratings that if and when they have a show that doesn’t rate, don’t re-fresh it or create a new show for the same segment. TEN will never win in the mornings – so just don’t bother competing against well known shows in that segment. Stick with what you are strong with! The Project,….. wait… ummm what other shows are TEN or have TEN done well with… Talkin’ Bout Your Gen and the other type show…. well there you have it. Stick with sports and other shows that have done well, rather then flicking around and changing everything. Didn’t the TEN Late news rate well? Then a whole shuffle then axe? If 7 are pulling good numbers with their shows and they stick with them, it’s a sign!

  12. I said it before the show started that James Mathison is not the person to host this show, & after watching again this weekend nothing has changed. Getting rid of James & Sam Mack & bringing in Matt Doran will bring some credibility to the show. Also hiring a better newsreader will help.
    The Sydney beach landscape was also going to go against them.
    Peter Meakin has a good eye & I am sure his style will show through soon.

  13. Im actually suprised how bad Wake Up turned out to be – Breakfast was alot better even though there were a few awkward moments when Paul overstepped the line with Kath

  14. Yet more stupid decisions by Ten executives. They spent millions with the Paul Henry bloke and then decided to spend millions to poach Adam Boland and he barely lasted a few months.

    The show is too Sydney-centric – much like that rubbish Studio 10 that follows.

    Sunrise and Today are just as bad – thats why I am grateful we have ABC in the morning to report the actual news and other breaking stories… not promos about the latest MKR or Block contestant.

    Sadly the ABC will be gone by the end of the year and we will have wall to wall rightwing rubbish in the mornings.

  15. I said all along that TEN’s “wake up” won’t beat or get close to 7 or 9 and ratings have proved that.

    If TEN does axe Wake Up what can they put on in the mornings ? repeats of judge judy. Maybe some documentry’s could help.

  16. I think the only way to save the show is to do a complete relaunch around the middle of the year – new name, new male host, new graphics package, new focus on news rather than awkward “I think this” chats, move the newsreader into the studio, cut the local news element and grow up generally all round.

    The show tried to do all sorts of new things, but clearly the audience is very happy with the incumbent leaders so Ten needs to align themselves more closely with that format/style.

  17. In my book it’s all about credibility. Ten can only build its way back (especially in news and public affairs) If it gains credibility. Every on camera person and the content producers need to be aiming for this. Getting Munro and more screen time for Hugh R is the right way to go in news.

    There breakfast offering needs to have credibility too. Natasha has credibility as a news person She is excellent. James brings nothing. If it was a music show…maybe he would. Why is Ten not making more use of the weather presenter from the failed Breakfast….she had credibility…she knew her stuff and presented very well.

    The content has no credibility. The stories are boring. There must be news topics that can be spoken about. In fact….put Mike Munro in there to replace James….he has credibility and has opinion….and presents well.

    There is a need for this show to fit between…

  18. I’m not someone who watches breakfast television but I tried watching wake up a couple of times in the early days and it didn’t work for me. I think in morning television you need a strong news person and James just doesn’t have that background.

  19. Maybe TEN should actually promote it a bit. I have no interest in breakfast or daytime TV as I’m a radio person, but appreciate a lot of people do.

    I also watch TEN quite a bit, although not so much lately, but I don’t recall too much in the way of promotion for either breakfast or their morning programs. They go to ridiculous lengths flogging such events as the Winter Olympics to the point of fury (on my part), but ignore so much else they have to offer. If they spent more time promoting all their line-up rather than one or two programs incessantly, watching (any station) might be a bit more bearable.

  20. Yep, replace Mathison with someone that viewers can take seriously. Natarsha is arguably the best morning presenter across all channels but I can’t help but think James is a big negative for Wake Up.
    Studio 10 on the other hand is great. It provides insight, lots of humour, interesting topics and contrasting views. It rates higher than its breakfast counterpart, a feat neither of the other morning shows have ever achieved.
    If Wake Up ultimately gets the chop, perhaps run 1 hour bulletin at 7am ( anchored by Belling) and studio 10 from 8am?

  21. I’m sure Meakin will tweak the format before it is completely removed. It has potential as a brand but the content isn’t always strong, and Mathieson is the weak link. I’m also not sure what audience they are targeting – there is a gap in the breakfast market with Sunrise/Today being very similar (& Today weakening) and ABC breakfast at the other extreme of these two. Ten need to target that gap.

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