Rumour mill in overdrive on TEN

Wake Up - Tarsh, Tony Abbott, JamesMedia reports on TEN’s state of play are a daily occurrence of late, with more speculation over its ownership as well as the fate of the beleaguered Wake Up.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports at least one of the three major US over-the-air television networks is believed to be exploring potential strategic options with Ten Network Holdings, but it is not known how advanced the talks are. Talks with ITV held earlier this year were understood to be ”preliminary” and had ”not gone anywhere”.

Crikey reminds us “TEN is virtually in the hands of the Commonwealth Bank, which has lent the network $200 million for the next four years. That loan has no restrictions because it is guaranteed by Murdoch, James Packer and Bruce Gordon. ”

The Age quotes unnamed sources on possible cuts to News: “There’ll be at least 50 staff going from the various programs that are being axed but that’s a very, very conservative estimate. It could be much higher.”

The Australian notes that TEN’s board is also poised to make a decision on Wake Up today: “TEN executives will discuss giving Wake Up another six months by moving it from Manly beach to a studio location, with new hosts; or they may decide to axe it altogether.”

Elsewhere it reports “TEN will confirm breakfast program Wake Up will be the major cas­ualty of the changes and the early morning and late night news bulletins will also close.

“TEN Eyewitness News will remain state-based with local content and a national news bulletin will not be introduced, as specu­lated. Initially, US content will replace Wake Up, which has performed poorly…”

Last week TV Tonight hinted that TEN was poised to abandon Wake Up and is considering a replacement breakfast show out of its Pyrmont studio.

Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club president Kevin Harris has also told News Corp, “We hope that if the Wake Up show does cease, then TEN will continue to use the space as a studio.

“After all, they’ve invested a lot of money in creating a working studio and it’s pretty special.”

Amid a backdrop of alarming courtroom revelations last week, it can’t be easy for staff to face multiple and speculative reports.

It’s time for leaders to lead.


  1. I think TEN needs a morning show and late news programs and really hope they stay, same goes for The Project. The less of these kinds of outlets TEN has the less people will watch which leads to less viewers on other show.

    That said something needs to to happen but maybe at the top level to get people watching again.

    FYI – I probably watch more on TEN than the other commercial networks combined.

  2. Maybe the leaders are leading. Leading Ten to the brink of financial ruin, at which point Murdoch can swoop in and buy the network for a nice little bargain. Well played, Lachlan (and other board members).

  3. ABC News posted on twitter that Wake Up, Early and Late News have all been axed. The didn’t mention a date, but wouldn’t be surprised if it was this Friday.

  4. @Bullswool – that would be excruciating radio.

    Back on topic – good riddance. Sub par product and a failure from day #1.
    Sorry about the ranks of 10 staff joining the unemployment conga line. Perhaps it’s time to consider another avenue of employment? AustralianTV really is in a downward spiral.

    Where will Tony Abbott go to reach 0 viewers now? SBS? GO?

  5. once-upon-a-time

    More staff cuts!, again in News, or Wake Up etc, seems much hasn’t changed at Network Ten to enable any sort of a recovery, and Ten probably never will recover till those who put these ‘to go’ lists together admit their own influences and under performance ( including those at the top and boardroom level) by putting their own names on such a list for the good of the network?

    I wonder if James ever thought of, or even offered to abandon the sinking Wake Up ship, or another good indicator of how fair dinkum they really are (or if their allowed to be?) will be, if they do a ‘Paul Henry on us again, and Joe Hilderbrand remains a protected species.

    Or could Mr Abbott or Mr Baird do a Cadbury’s type ‘donation’ to keep the beach front studio, otherwise they may have learn how to Wakeboard up to Pyrmont for those co-incidental appearances

  6. I really feel for the long-suffering and demoralised staff at Ten. While Hamish McLennan has been in court fighting for the right to pay John Stephens (in the range of $400K-$500K per year) for two years to not work, at the same time he contemplates another significant round of cost-cutting redundancies. How is Beverley McGarvie supposed to do her job after this botched attempt to change programmers? Perhaps it is time for new owners with a modicum of television expertise and a little bit of humanity.

  7. I don’t like Wake Up but I hope that Ten will at least make some changes that could lead to better things. The things that don’t work like James/Nuala/the miniscule studio have not been addressed & until they are the ratings will continue to stagnate.
    The few times I have watched recently I have not seen Sam Mac which is a great thing. Do you know if he is still involved with Wake Up?
    Maybe they can start to utilise both the Pyrmont & Queenscliff Studios to transition to a better (or newer) program.
    I think the GMA name has a lot of heritage & goodwill for Ten & I think it would be a smart move to revive it. Remember it predates Sunrise by about 2 decades. It would also allow for tie ins to the US GMA program as well.

  8. oztvheritage

    Sure wake ups ratings are well below acceptable. But very few considerable changes have been made in an effort to lift ratings. Time to lead. Make changes and make it work.

    I just hope they don’t move it back to the studios and stick it in the news set again. Surley there must be some window views from that building!! And only move it back if it means access to better guests.

  9. I think one of the problems is Wake Up and Studio don’t compliment each other that well. Wake Up was described as FM radio and to an extent it is, but opinionated Studio 10 reminds me very much of AM radio. It’s like having Kyle and Jackie O and then Alan Jones after that. They wouldn’t feed off each other and it wouldn’t work too well.

  10. David – you’re final comments ring true”It’s time for Leaders to Lead”.

    Let see if they have the ability, commercial judgement and common sense…that is the Board and Management.

    They have been lacking all these qualities on a consistent basis for a few years.

    I would hate to think what the staff must be enduring week after week.

  11. I do like Wake Up, it is less like Sunrise which turns into Talking Footy each Monday and Friday, and Today which seems to be endless repeats of YouTube clips and cross promo for their other shows,
    Wake Up does have something different to offer, and James, Natarsha and Nuala clearly get on well.

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