In defence of Andrew Winter
The question is not "Who is Andrew Winter?" The audience already knows damn well.
“Gold Logie nominee you’ve never heard of.”
“The man is a real estate agent.”
“Who is Andrew Winter?”
Wow. Media really took a harsh view of the Selling Houses Australia host Andrew Winter being nominated alongside the likes of Tracy Grimshaw, Grant Denyer and Jessica Marais for the Gold Logie.
How dare this rank outsider elbow out the likes of Carrie Bickmore, Karl Stefanovic, Manu Feildel. Surely they are more popular, right?
No question, they have bigger audiences. Foxtel is, after all, in around 30% of Australian homes. But does that make them the most liked on TV?
To win a Logie you have to emotionally move people to choose you to vote. Did those criticising the shortlist actually cast a vote?
But the question isn’t really “Who is Andrew Winter?” The question is “How the hell did he get so many people to connect with him with only 30% of the audience ….and how do we bottle that?”
As anyone who has seriously watched Selling Houses Australia knows, Winter is a brilliantly authentic communicator, showing an innate knack for storytelling, with an effusive style that invites you into the drama. Free to Air networks should be falling over themselves to sign him up.
Last year he added Love it or List it Australia to his portfolio, while Selling Houses Australia recently had reruns on Seven.
Winter’s popularity is no late run. He won Subscription TV’s ASTRA Award as Favourite Male Personality in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Selling Houses Australia, now in its 11th year, was at one stage pulling a bigger audience on Pay TV than Game of Thrones. Winter is coming, indeed….
But even if he got a boost from a social media campaign (as did several others) his nomination represents the fragmentation of Television.
In 2018 TV viewers watch Free to Air, Subscription TV and Streaming. The idea that “Most Popular” is tied to exclusively Free to Air will be increasingly diluted. The Logies must adapt if it is to continue its 60 year legacy and Winter’s nomination indicates it is doing just that.
Next year Tidelands on Netflix should be eligible for nominations, as a locally-produced streaming drama. If it’s well-received, we would expect it to be seen by a massive audience, and that may be the biggest disrupter so far.
The Logies may not be perfect, and bashing them is a bit of an Aussie tradition.
But Winter’s nomination is a sign of the changing landscape and evidence that the audience will gravitate to a storyteller time after time.
And that’s the message an industry in decline should be celebrating.