Your national broadcaster…No, not the ABC, the other one

Well it had to happen, the ABC’s been losing its grip for some time, now, like a staggering drunk who doesn’t realise they are sick with alcoholism, the ABC’s finally crossed over.

No, not to the spiritual plane, but to the very earthly plane of commercial broadcasting. How did this happen? Well, it seems that a cosy deal between the two national brooadcasters – the ABC and Channel Nine – is allowing ABC radio “stars” to also front programs on the Nine Network.
Thankfully, the ABC has not gone completely down to the bottom of the barrel, The Media Report, on ABC Radio National, has exposed the rort.

The transcript and the audio/podcast are here. But to whet your appetite, here’s a little teaser:

Media Watch presenter, Anthony Funnell: But let’s start in Brisbane. And have a listen to this:

Spencer Howson: Hello, Spencer Howson here; tonight on Extra, the best garden-friendly laundry detergents, so you can use grey water safely. Also shopping online for bonus rewards and discounts. Plus a family desperately needing grandparents. See you at 5.30.

TV advertisement voiceover: Did someone say pizza?

Antony Funnell: That’s 612 ABC Brisbane’s breakfast presenter, Spencer Howson. And if that all sounded a little commercial to you, well that’s because it was.

Mr Howson wasn’t speaking there on the ABC, but on the Nine network. No, he hasn’t left the national broadcaster, ABC management entered into a special arrangement with Channel Nine whereby Mr Howson was allowed to fill in for a week as the presenter of their infotainment program, Extra.

During his time at Nine, Howson also continued to do his regular breakfast shift at the ABC. Now not only did he fill the position, while compering the Channel Nine show, he wore an ABC shirt complete with ABC logo, and opened the program each night by saying he was from the national broadcaster.

On top of that, the program also featured other staff members of 612 ABC Brisbane.

Extra reporter: It’s been a few years, a few kids and a few kilos since ABC Radio’s Kerry Higgins-Divine and Madonna King’s wedding days, but they’re determined to fit back into those dresses once again.

Woman: So ladies, we know what the goal is, let’s have a look at those dresses.

Kelly Higgins-Devine: Look at that teeny tiny waist. That is so pre-baby, you are never getting back into that.

Madonna King: Do you really think so?

Kelly Higgins-Devine: Yes, absolutely. Look at this!


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