LATELINE…With Tony, Virginia…and Leigh

March 9, 2008


Tony Jones has confirmed he is cutting back to just 2 nights a week on Lateline from June, as he concentrates on his new programme ‘Q&A’. The programme, modelled on the BBC’s highly successful ‘Question Time’ (and hopefully as far removed from ‘Difference of Opinion’ as possible, is expected to have participation not just from a panel, including politicians, but from audiences both at home and in the studio. To avoid the embarrassing hijacking of the audience which occurred during the ‘Great Global Warming Swindle’ programme, where the studio audience was stacked with supporters of certified loon Lyndon LaRouche, audience members will have to apply, and checks will be made to ensure a diversity of views.

Replacing Jones on Lateline will be ABC National Security Correspondent Leigh Sales. This decision comes in some ways as a surprise, as Virginia Trioli is now more available than ever, following her decision to leave 702 ABC Sydney radio last November. Speaking on Lateline at the time of her departure from radio, Virginia said she wanted to ‘concentrate more on this chair’. Seems News bosses don’t agree. This is a pity, as Virginia is a very talented interviewer. However, should Leigh not be available, Virginia is still listed as back up. It just seems odd that a permanent presenter should be the backup for a fill in presenter!



February 8, 2008


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: 

ABC1 has the following logo:


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


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


ABC2 has been rebranded also.


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.


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

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.

The shape of things to come…on ABC1

February 6, 2008


Reports are coming in from the press launch today of the ABC’s television relaunch, which will take place on Friday immediately before the start of The Midday Report.

Kim Dalton, the Head of ABC Television said: “We are helping to reshape the way people use and interact with television by giving them more programs, more ways to view them and more flexibility around when and how they watch them, we have deliberately chosen an alternative path to other Australian networks – embracing true multi-channelling. Increasingly much of this content will be available on demand, online, as downloads, and streamed.” 

The new onscreen identity has been developed by ZSPACE, an award winning design house, which has been responsible for many of the ABC’s on screen packages for a variety of programmes.
At the same time, new programmes for ABC1 have been announced. These include: 

The Cut – a 6 part drama series starring John Wood.

Dirt Game – a 6 part drama series set in a mining town.

The Gruen Transfer – a 10 part expose on the advertising industry, hosted by Wil Anderson.

Lawrence Leung’s Choose Your Own Adventure –  a new comedy series written by popular comic Lawrence Leung and produced by The Chaser team.  

The Howard Years – a 4 part documentary.

Q&A – a new current affairs programme hosted by Lateline presenter Tony Jones.  

The ABC also announced it will launch an internet TV platform later in the year, as well as a high speed online programme dowload site, called ABC Playback

Exciting times ahead, from 12pm tomorrow!

More returns

February 6, 2008


Tonight two of the ABC’s most popular tv programmes return. At 8:00pm we see the return of The New Inventors, with James O’Loghlin. And at 8:30pm Spicks and Specks returns with it’s unique brand of fun and whimsy.

 More programmes will return over the next few days, and on Friday we see the relaunching of ABCtv and ABC2. A momentous event.

Good news for News junkies!

February 2, 2008


From Monday the 4th, Australia’s best TV news programmes and presenters return to our screens.

 First, Kerry O’Brien makes a return to The 7.3O Report from Monday night, and Stateline returns from 7.30pm, on Friday the 8th.

Also on Monday, at 10:30pm, Tony Jones and Virginia Trioli return with Lateline. Followed at 11:00pm by the return of Ali Moore and Lateline Business.

On Tuesday, Foreign Correspondent returns at 9:25pm, with reporter Mark Corcoran taking on the role of presenter.

On Sunday the 10th Barrie Cassidy is back with Insiders at 9:00am. Following the odd decision to move both Channel 9’s Sunday and Channel 7’s Weekend Sunrise to 7:30am, Insiders will have the second half of the programme ‘rival free’. Insiders experienced a large increase in ratings last year, and by the end of the year was regularly beating Sunday. All signs point to Insiders increasing its dominance of political discussion in 2008.

Also returning on Sunday the 10th are Inside Business at 10:00am, Offsiders at 10:30am, Asia Pacific Focus (with new host, former Political Editor Jim Middleton) at 11:00am, Landline (with new host, former Australia Network anchor Anne Kruger) at 12:00pm and Sunday Arts at 5:00pm.

Lissajous stays! (was there ever any doubt?)

January 30, 2008

ABC Logo

The Director of ABC Television, Kim Dalton, has moved swiftly to refute a story on page 1 of today’s Australian, which suggested that when the new logo for ABC1 launches next week, it will see the end of the iconic Lissajous (known also as ‘the worm’). 

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Mr Dalton said: “We’re announcing next week a new look for both ABC television and what’s at the present known as ABC2.

“That’s going to involve a new onscreen look. But the worm will absolutely retained as part of the branding for both of our channels.”

“It will have the same sort of primacy as it has at the moment. It’s the most important logo for the ABC … and we will continue to use it.”

Crisis over!

The 4th? No, the 11th. NO, the 7th…or 8th?

January 30, 2008


Well, thanks to the ABC we now have 2 new dates for the relaunch. Speaking to ‘The Australian’ today, an ABC Spokesperson said the relaunch was confirmed for ‘the 7th or 8th of Feburary’.

So which is it? And is this the first time a channel has rebranded on a Thursday?

Given that the new schedules appear from Monday the 11th, it would seem that the ABC decided to launch a few days early, in order to show promos, but decided not to allow a week for this (which would have been the 4th).

 Still, one week to go, and the buzz only gets bigger.