Fennell (second from left), best known as ‘that’ movie guy, was previously one of the Hungry Beast team on the ABC. Now at 7:30pm from Mondays – Thursdays he will host a 15 minute news show targeting viewers in their 20s and 30s.
“It’s a mixture of news of the day with feature stories that have a focus on technology and popular culture,” he said.
“So there’s a wrap-up of what’s going on in the world. The stuff that you need to know and then we have graphic features, not vastly dissimilar to the sort of stuff that was quite popular on shows like Hungry Beast and have since been on other programmes.
“We’re going to be experimenting with the viewer to make the show something they want to fold into their daily lives and make it a habit. I think the 15 minute thing falls into that.”
The show will be repeat at 10:30pm, plus be available via YouTube channel, SBS On Demand, Website, Facebook and Twitter.
Fennell says SBS did a lot of research on how younger viewers engage with News.
“People in their late 20s and early 30s were dipping into channels like ABC News 24 and Newsradio for about 15 minutes. That was as much as they wanted. So the goal with this is to become a show that does that but with an SBS 2 personality. It’s not the sort of thing we’re only expecting people will only watch Live on TV,” he observes.
“News bulletins do form the backbone of your nightly programming. So to take that logic and apply it to this seems somewhat sound. But there are a lot of elements where we still have to wait and see if they entirely work. I can only guarantee that we will try to make interesting, unusual, fun -with an emphasis on fun- television every night. But that’s the interesting thing about making daily television. If something’s not working, we change it. It will evolve and it will evolve fast.”
Fennell will be joined by SBS reporters Patrick Abboud, Jeannette Francis and Andy Park and share resources with World News Australia.
“Next week we have an amazing story that Patrick Abboud has put together which is about gay Muslim men and gay Muslim women in Sydney who are getting married to each other, literally to keep their families off their back. It’s a story that has a sense of humour and an amazing sense of pathos to it, and it’s the sort of story where SBS is the right broadcaster to tell that kind of story,” he says.
“We have a story on a hacker who has managed to shutdown a French hydro-electric plant using a new search engine for the internet and he can do it from a lounge room in Australia. And in pop culture we have one of the only interviews in Australia with Will Smith.”
But the purpose of the show is aligned with the rebranding of SBS 2 rather than taking on the competition.
“The goal of the show for SBS is to get more people to sample SBS 2 and have a daily driver. But my goal is to come up with something that starts a conversation with legitimately good TV that people want to watch.
“We don’t have any pretensions of knocking off The Voice!”
The Feed starts 7:30pm Monday on SBS 2
David Knox blogs Eurovision for SBS.