Friday Flashback: Paul Henry at Breakfast

When Lachlan Murdoch was running Network 10, the network made a big push into Breakfast TV.

With news that Lachlan Murdoch will become Chairman of Fox and News Corp I am reminded of the era when he stepped in as CEO at Network 10.

Shows commissioned around the time included a Young Talent Time, The Shire, I Will Survive, Being Lara Bingle, Everybody Dance Now (hosted by Sarah Murdoch) but also the excellent Puberty Blues and the show which enjoyed the longest run, The Living Room.

Under Murdoch, 10 declined to pay the rights for The Voice which went on to become a big hit for Nine, lost AFL rights and was unsuccessful in a big pitch for NRL. Multichannel ONE also switched from sports to general entertainment, possibly to protect the interests of FOX Sport?

A big push into Breakfast television with outspoken New Zealand host Paul Henry, joined by Kathryn Robinson, lasted for 9 months before its successor The Circle.

But if you cut your teeth on media moves then no doubt it was a time for wise lessons learned.

7 Responses

  1. The initial idea and execution of Breakfast wasn’t bad. Henry was perhaps a poor choice of host, designed to drum up headlines with his hot takes that never quite resonated. But the rest of the show was relaxed, informative and different to Sunrise and Today. But not enough people sampled, so they shook it up to basically become S & T’s poor cousin, and it just couldn’t compete as a carbon copy. But they didn’t learn their lesson, and tried again with the ill-conceived and expensively executed Wake Up. Once again, different at the start but ultimately moulded into a carbon copy of S & T that couldn’t compete.

  2. I was one of its 13 viewers LOL, actually enjoyed it, thought its set was solid and liked its direction and segments, seemed fresh (minority maybe but prefered it to “Wake Up” – lasted less! And preferred “The Circle” to “Studio 10”) Dr Rochford (from 7pm Project) was also good on it, as was former Weather Channel meteorologist Magdalena Roze, who perhaps had the better stint (lasting from late 2011 with the re-vamped Weekend News – which launched after the AFL GF and Ten’s last ever telecast – with Natarsha Belling continuing since 2000s and adding Matt Doran – also not reunited on Weekend Sunrise!) to about 2013 with her excellent 5pm news weather reports – the other talent I’ve seen to match the great Jane Bunn.
    As for Kath Robinson (Chris Reason’s wife who was angry when Ten identities partied on one of their many axing days), she’d been a Ten News star for years, was sad to see her go, but later returned in a revamped Meet The Press and then and currently ABC News channel.

    1. I thought Breakfast was a good show although I was not in the target market at the time only being a teenager. I was shocked that they had a proper meteorologist in Magdalena Rose. Her weather reports were very informative and I thought the big wall she used at the time was pretty neat.

  3. Nicely said, David. I still remembered that time when Lachlan ran Channel 10 he was worried about some of the shows that competed with Fox. And sadly he removed Video Hits and Sports Tonight as both shows are a competitor with Fox. I was very sad that Video Hits got the axe in 2011 — it was a good music program on TV.
    When Lachlan was in charge of 10 during 2011-13, he made a good decision to remove a lot of good programs and cut staff members.

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