TEN Late News

“The grown-ups have gone home and they’ve left us the keys to the building,” Hamish Macdonald told viewers last night as TEN relaunched TEN Late News.

No longer a Sandra Sully-Brad McEwan combo, late night news is now the domain of TEN’s go-to investigative journo.

Macdonald opened the show perched on the end of the newsdesk, sporting red jeans and inexplicably cleanshaven. The set was equally perched in the middle of TEN’s Pyrmont HQ, deconstructed with a blinking cityskape backdrop.

But if you can’t have Sully, Macdonald is a good replacement. Last night he was confident and friendly, and will be even better when he relaxes into a mood befitting of the timeslot.

He was also stronger than the editorial that surrounded him in the first episode.

Hermoine Kitson played the straight newsreader at the top of the bulletin, with a Live cross to correspondent Brett Mason in London.

He told us Governor General Quentin Bryce had been meeting surf lifesavers, while at the same time we saw vision of her with Prince Phillip and Camilla. Maybe he’s been moonlighting.

There were also reports on the PM and Tony Abbott lighting a Diamond Jubilee flame in Canberra (it had been live on ABC News 24 earlier), tourism ads being made for China and a fluffy story about swans crossing the road in Canberra, which had been captured by a TEN crew. Not sure why….

Macdonald took charge with stories on the financial bloodbath of Monday, first with a chat to Eddie Meyer, then a pre-recorded interview with Pauline Chiou from CNN in Hong Kong and a Live chat with Scott Pape aka the Barefoot Investor.

Kitson introduced footage just in of the partial lunar eclipse before Macdonald’s feature story on foreign workers being allowed to work on mines in Australia.

Max Futcher introduced his story on Queensland mining before Macdonald interviewed Labor Senator Doug Cameron.

Predictably, Cameron defended the government’s decision to allow 1700 migrant workers to work on the mines.

Macdonald was keen, too keen, to land a punch -raising questions about fairness for Aussie workers and why Labor approved the deal.

“But it’s the prime minister’s fault?,” Macdonald pushed. “You acknowledge it is her fault?”

But he did reference the scoop broken last night by the ABC, questioning Cameron about a Four Corners investigation into people smugglers residing in Canberra. Points for playing fair. It’s just a shame that it was TEN that had hoped to set the agenda for the next day with its new show, when the ABC arguably has.

Brad McEwan also made a late night return with Sports Tonight, before Kitson gave us headlines again, weather and an ad with a corgi from Britain.

The last guest was Christiaan Van Vurren from the Bondi Hipsters whose videos have been a YouTube hit. McEwan asked him if red jeans were cool.

There was a cross to Breakfast (in the same building) to tease about tomorrow morning’s show, before a recommendation of hot links that didn’t work due to technical problems.

“Can I just say I got through the whole show without just calling you Sandra?” joked McEwan.

The show ended with a clip of the Diamond Jubilee song written by Gary Barlow.

The overall feel of the show was not dissimilar to The Project, a mix of live interviews, news and packages from reporters. The content on the first night weighed in with dry news about shares, stocks, and politics, which felt at odds with the introductory tease that “the grown-ups have gone home.” The reports were mostly formal and would arguably have fit TEN’s Morning or 5pm News. They don’t yet fulfil the the show’s more informal ambitions.

There are elements here that show promise but they need to be taken further, preferably straying away from a formal news show without treading on the toes of The Project. But first the show needs to decide if its News or Anti-News.

It’s early days. Hopefully the bosses will allow Macdonald time to find his feet. And his stubble.

TEN Late News airs 10:30pm (or thereabouts) on TEN.

22 Comments:

  1. Oh Hamish!! I watched your interview with Clive Palmer, how very embarrassing for you!! He answered your question re: Syria & quite sensibly to, I thought. But you just had to try and make him look silly! Guess what? It didn’t work, you just made yourself look silly!! Take it slowly, baby step Hamish, baby steps! It’s early days for you.
    jmc.

  2. I’ll never understand TENS decision to shift Sandra Sully from her previous gig (Late News), to the 5p.m News. And, don’t get me started on their treatment of Deborah Knight. Sandra appears uncomfortable at 5p.m. which is evident when she strays from the teleprompter.

  3. Agree @BrownC. I thought on Monday maybe he was just nervous so that’s why he was butting in etc. But if anything he got worse thoughout the week. The f****t interview on Wednesday was totally embarrassing. The ratings for the week were all over the place. Thursday it managed 219,000 but I can’t see it sustaining those numbers.

    There was mention on twitter that Sandra was offered the late gig but turned it down. Wonder if there’s any truth to that.

  4. Who except for those of us that can’t be home at 5.6 or 7pm actually watch the News anymore.We can access everything Online at any hour.Even Some Old Benny Hill or Reruns of the Comedy Company and the short lives Larger than Life from 1990 would be a lot better.

  5. Macdonald’s interviewing skills have a lots to be desired. He asks questions very quickly, doesn’t allow for a considered response then cuts people off before they answer – either with a new quickly worded question that they wont be allowed to answer or finishes the interview.
    Maybe he should let the grown-ups back in for a while to teach him a bit before he goes out on his own.

  6. no @george.

    Agree with you @ryan. I watched Late News with Sandra Sully religiously because of no other reason than Sandra.

    The new version, great graphics, great set etc, but there is zero chemistry betwwen Hamish, Hermimine & Brad. Any time they are around the table talking its nothing but awkward.

    But the biggest problem Ten appears to be encountering is the fact that the show hasnt caught the majority of the population – women. The #tenlate twitter stream is made up primarily of younger males. Unless this is rectified, the new news is going to struggle to get more than 150,000.

  7. TasTVcameraman

    I watched, I enjoyed, Will watch again. I always used to watch Nines Late News with Jim Waley, I now catch up with Newsbreak on the iPad

  8. “Macdonald was keen, too keen, to land a punch -raising questions”

    I completely agree with you about this, David! The interview was the only part I saw. I’m not averse to his appearances on the Project but during this interview, I couldn’t stop thinking “What are you doing Hamish?!” Hostility and constantly interrupting/talking over the guest does not make you Kerry O’Brien unless there’s a point to it. But it was hostility for the sake of it.

    Secondly, the whole reason there was a fuss about the deal in the first place was that it was sending jobs offshore, but he was giving Cameron grief over the government’s position of keeping jobs on shore, which I found quite odd. But then on Twitter, Michael Idato alluded to the fact that Gina Rinhehart’s position at Ten may or may not be related and then it all made sense.

  9. Well all i can say is i’m dissapointed! The show was just like different version of 7pm, news stories we have already heard and when you bring in stories that we have seen already what is the drawing card?? Sandra was the drawing card for me, the news could have been hell boring but i just loved watching her have a laugh and eventually a good story would come along and draw you in on that side of things aswell.
    Hamish deserves a better show than this, and to be honest he is way better than charlie on 7pm so maybe he should take over as host?

  10. If they want it to be like “The Project” and have hosts dressed stupidly then call it “The Project Late” or something. “Late News” should be a proper news bulletin and the idea of a hip show only for younger people is stupid. I’ll stick with Lateline.

  11. It’s good they have a late night news for those of US who work Mid Afternoons and can’t be home for the 5,6 or 7pm News Bulletins Elsewhere or watch other things at the same hour.I don’t have a TV that can access Jersey Shore or Gossip Girl or whatever it is under 50’s watch in this day and age.What I don’t get though is why Ten used to put on till not so long ago a Double Bulletin between 5 and 7pm when one is more than enough.

  12. As a viewer of Ten Late News since its inception I’m pleased to see it return. However, I would have much preferred to see Sandra Sully in my bedroom rather than Hamish sporting Willy Wonka’s pants.

    Having said that, Ten have obviously decided Sandra belongs at 5pm (I beg to differ), so I guess Hamish it is then. No arguing Hamish is a talented young journo and judging by his opening line Ten are trying to target a younger demographic. In my opinion, there lies their mistake. The young ‘hip’ crowd are hardly going to be watching Ten Late News at 10:30 – they’re busy watching Jersey Shore or the like. Their audience is more likely to be shift workers or night owls.

    The set and graphics were fabulous, but I found the show jumped all over the place.There were far too many crosses and as for the interviews, perhaps it was nerves, but Hamish barely gave his guests time to open their mouths before cutting them off.

    I was a loyal regular viewer when Sandra was behind the desk. At this stage the jury is well and truly out as to whether I’d even bother watching Hamish’s version Ten Late News tonight.

    Maybe I’m one of the adults he was referring to and should have gone to bed?

  13. Havn’t watched Brett Mason since he was in Melbourne, man got skinny!!
    Good on him. As for the show, the “newsroom” behind the set looks to fake, i liked the set before the revamp, with a window and the 5 or so monitors.

    The single monitor visible with ONE playing was oh so subtle. . .

  14. “The grown-ups have gone home and they’ve left us the keys to the building,”

    No, we are still watching Lateline, as we always have, and always will…

  15. Bummer, I missed most of it – I forgot. What I saw was fine and yes, Hamish looks better with stubble.

    I’d like to know why there was almost no promotion of this new program by TEN. I watch TEN a lot (and I’m in the much older age group – red jeans are fine by me!) and I saw no promotion at all. All they run is that incessant station break for Modern Family/New Girl, which is driving me insssaaaaaaane !! Is the Promo Department on leave en masse??

  16. I only watched it up until the first commercial break, had it started at 10.30, and not 10.42, I would have watched more. This is your own fault TEN, there is no need to start this late. Even the lead up commercial had Hamish say is starts at 10.40pm, yet EPG said 10.42pm.

    I wasn’t so keen on the red jeans and the suit top half, it didn’t look right, and carrying the iPad proved no benefit to McDonalds introduction. Yes, the stubble should come back, it suits him more than clean shaven. I am glad the twitter feeds were not on screen, I do not like on-screen clutter of peoples tweets.

    The opening titles, graphics and backdrop all remind me of The Project and Rove, although they look fine, it would be good if TEN reached out to other designers for their graphics.

    The solid TEN logo in the corner should have turned into a watermark like with any other program and news broadcast, yet it didn’t. No need for this solid logo.

    From what I saw in the show, I thought it was a good fresh return to late news, and if it starts at 10.30, I’ll keep watching it, any later and I’ll skip it.

  17. Not sure about that flash of red jeans or the intro. Were they trying to say that they don’t want older viewers to watch? Seemed like it might alienate some viewers by saying that when you’d want the maximum number of viewers watching.

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