Throwing Stones

Just yesterday I was musing on how our national broadcaster was kicking commercial ass. The latest radio survey was released, showing several ABC programs, like Richard Glover’s Drive winning its slot, and Adam Spencer’s Breakfast closing in on Alan Jones in terms of ratings, and eclipsing the Parrot as measured by total listeners (the Parrot’s listeners, being of the blue rinse set, tune in for longer, whereas Grandmaster Spencer’s audience have more active lifestyles and fewer will listen to his broadcasts in their entirity).

My current favourite TV shows are all ABC: Enough Rope, Media Watch, Spicks and Specks, and the one I write today about: The Glass House. News today is that it’s just been axed. 

Usually programs are ditched because no-one’s listening/watching. however ratings for the Glass House are higher than ever, at around 800,000 nationally (for some perspective on ratings, 1 million is the magic figure for commerical networks in terms of primetime viability). The program remains relevant and popular.

Courtney Gibson, head of ABC Arts & Entertainment, explains: “We’re not axing the show but we’re not going to commission it next year.” She went on to explain that “we’ve done … 5 years … and we feel like … the show’s had a fantastic run … but one of the things the ABC must do is be developing new shows, new comedy formats, new comedic performers, it’s what we do, it’s what people expect of us.” By this logic they’d be decommissioning their their newsreaders too. Twat. The irony is that Glass House features two guests each week, often showcasing new comedic talent, and different perspectives.

So we can shelve Miss Gibson’s lame politspeak and look to ABC’s recent right-wing blowjob, otherwise known as the new editorial guidelines, outlined by head honcho Mark Scott last week. The main thrust of the guidelines is a fresh drive to provide balance in  broadcast. However comedy programs are not supposed to be affected by these new guidelines. On the hot topic of bias, host Wil Anderson remarked on air last week that “if  Mark Latham had won the election, how much time do you think we’d have done on the Liberals? It would be The Mental Mark Hour. Tune in this week and see what Mad Mark’s been up to!”

I hope something can be done to save the show. That we the people can demonstrate the value of the program and reverse the decision of the bureaucrats. It is, after all, our ABC.

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