You’re watching Breakfast, with Virginia Trioli

May 4, 2008

whispers are that Virginia Trioli will host the new ABC Breakfast news programme on ABC2. If she does it will mean saying goodbye to Lateline (NO!) and possibly Sunday Arts (NOOOOO!) …as well as a return to Melbourne, from where the show will be produced.

If anyone can make it a success, VIrginia can. But how will she cope with the early starts?


ABC Online Relaunches

April 19, 2008

online

The ABC continues to relaunch it’s websites. Following on from the successful recent relaunches of ABC Television, ABC News and Triple J (and the appallingly bad relaunch of ‘ABC Local’, which continues to be very user unfriendly, gaudy and rushed), the ABC has relaunched it’s homepage.

Sporting a new green and grey look, which harks back to the look the homepage had in the early years of the decade, the homepage now is simplified, with less text and more links. Each section has it’s own ‘pod’ and flash is used generously.

Radio streaming from the homepage is also a priority, and local weather and radio remains on the right hand side of the page.

The only problem with the refresh is the lack of innovation it offers users. This was a fantastic opportunity for the ABC to create a homepage which was adaptable to the user. Looking at the recently relaunched BBC Homepage ( www.bbc.co.uk ) demonstrates the possibilities. on the BBC Homepage, users can decide what to display: don’t want the ‘Television pod’? click on ‘remove’ and it’s gone! You can customise the news sections displayed, and even what colour you want!

The ABC homepage, while visually an improvement on the past one, is none the less already outdated by not offering cusotmisation. A great opportunity missed.


ABC: 2020 Vision

April 19, 2008

ABC logo

On the eve of the 2020 summit in Canberra, the ABC’s Managing Director, Mark Scott, has unveiled his vision for the state of the National Broadcaster in 2020.

Mr Scott aims to have 6 television channels, including the previously announced ABC3 children’s channel, ABC4: a 24/7 News Channel, ABC5: an educational channel and ABC6: a ‘best of’ channel.

Expansion of the radio networks is also planned, with new stations focussing on Country, Jazz, Swing, Hip-Hop, Metal, Childrens, Rural, Sport and Health.

Further expansion of online services is also advocated.

The central aims of the Corporation will be under the following banners: Universal, Local, International, Quality and Diversity, Innovation and Australian.

Of course all this is only possible if the ABC funding is increased to an adequate level, with July 2009 the date of the next triennial funding agreement starting.  

The full vision is avaialble to read here: http://abc.net.au/corp/pubs/documents/2020_ABC_in_the_Digital_Age.pdf


“You’re watching ‘Breakfast’, on ABC2”

March 13, 2008

abc2logoblack 

Not quite, but as part of the previously mentionned ‘Continuous News Centre’, the ABC is planning to launch a breakfast news service on ABC2. This service, which will be quite distinct from ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Today’ will essentially use new means to deliver existing news content to the channel.

An example would be broadcasting an interview whcih aired on ABC Radio’s ‘AM’ programme. This type of delivery will be essential, as the ABC is funding all its new ventures from existing revenue.

Regardless, it will be an interesting development, and could be a stepping stone to a fuller service down the track. 


Channel explosion!

March 12, 2008

ABC Innovation 

The ABC today has begun the process of launching some brand new channels.

First was the launch of ‘ABC playback’. ‘ABC Playback’ allows internet users with fast (ADSL2) download speeds access to tv quality downloads of ABC programmes.

 Second is the ‘ABC Shop Player’, which allows internet users to purchase programmes which are on sale at ABC Shops. This service bridges the gap between the old style of retail, and genuine online trading. This service will expand in time and include many archived programmes.

Finally is ‘ABC Real’, which will allow users to watch the ABC’s huge natural history documentary archives, in all their glory.

A further, and some would argue more interesting development has also come to light – the ABC is launching a 24 hour news service….but only internally. Not in any way a traditional channel, more of a resource, however it lays the groundwork to enable a future news channel to operate. Something which would be most welcome by many people.

In addition, the local radio website relaunches, as mentionned in previous blog posts here has launched today, though with errors on most pages. Working to a deadline for a massive project can do that. No doubt the web development team will be hard at work over the coming weeks fixing the errors. Regardless, it is a fantastic addition to the ABC’s online presence. 


Coming Soon…

March 11, 2008

ABC Innovation 

Fresh from renaming ‘JTV’ to the cumbersome ‘Triple J TV’, Triple J have launched a brand new website. www.triplej.net.au now utilises far more flash animation, and integrates all of the Triple J operations.

A facelift for the ‘4 Corners’ website, which has a new producer, Sue Spencer, and has increased its viewers this year, is in the works. The model will be that of other news sites such as the ‘7.3O Report’ site, with greater emphasis on video.

By far, though, the biggest facelift will be for local radio. www.abc.net.au/local will be launch pad for the biggest web development task the ABC has undertaken. Each local radio station will get a new site (Perth being first) and each site will offer not only local radio details, but specialised local news and information pages. As well as a greater emphasis on podcasting and streaming. The red colour scheme will be retained for the radio stations, but the overall look of the local sites will be green and black.

The ABC is also close to launching a website where viewers can download or stream classic ABC programmes…for a fee. The need to raise revenue coupled with the demand for archival material is behind the move. New programmes will continue to be free to watch online, for the time being.

The ABC has received more than 2400 formal complaints since the introduction of the new ‘prominant’ watermark last month. Changes have already been made, and there are suggestions that more radical changes are on their way in response to the complaints.

The ABC has joined with a consortium which includes Deloitte, Intel and the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association in a bid to find new and unique digital content and concepts. The group sought and gained the input of the ABC, due to its unrivalled success in the digital and new media environment. More information is available at the group website www.aimia.com.au/innovatives 


ABC TELEVISION RELAUNCHES!

February 8, 2008

newtvlogos

ABC television has relaunched as ‘ABC1’ and ‘ABC2’ today, with brand new presentation graphics, designed by ‘Zspace’, and new programmes heralding the changes.

For viewers, the changes are all explained on a special website set up at: www.abc.net.au/tv/newtv 

ABC1 has the following logo:

abc1logoblack

The network idents match people giving short stories, with stylish animation, to give a surreal and magical story scene. 

identtagline

The new slogan for the channel is ‘It Begins With 1’

identlogo

ABC2 has been rebranded also.

abc2logoblack

It’s idents feature people often in eerily connected actions, with the colour yellow featured somewhere on the person, similar to the use of red by BBC ONE.

abc2ident

The new slogan for the channel is ‘It Connects To’ (which creates a continuity with the ABC1 slogan, resulting in the full slogan being: ‘It begins with 1, it connects to 2’  

channel locations

The channels are now also located at new positions on the digital platform, with ABC1 taking ABC2’s previous location.

new promo

And new promos have launched announcing not only the changes, but highlighting new drama and documentary programmes for the coming year. New promos use the coloured logo box on screen, as do the idents, in another element reminiscent of the BBC.

Finally, the ABC television website has relaunched, with new areas and a colour scheme identical to the on screen identity, although a full rollout of changes online is not expected for several months.

Overall, a very exciting and fresh new look for the National Broadcaster.

UPDATE: below are some videos of the new look (with thanks to John at idents.tv)

Above: an ABC1 ident featuring Collectors host, Andy Muirhead

Above: an ABC1 ident featuring a firefighter

Above: a collection of the new idents for ABC1

Above: a collection of the new ABC2 idents

UPDATE#2 – while overall the new package has been warmly received, there have been anrgy responses to the new watermarks on both channels. It will be interesting to see if changes are made, as has previously been the case to past unpopular ABC watermarks.