We all knew it was coming. Most expected it sooner rather than later, and some even expected it before the first month was out. 6PM quickly became 6:30 and then, after just 200 episodes, 6:30 with George Negus was gone. The man himself summed it up best in his closing remarks: “Unfortuantely, not enough of you buggers watched us often enough.”
The critics and ratings have not been kind, yet three of the journalists working on the show have been nominated for Walkley Awards for stories filed for 6:30. It was a bold news experiment from Channel 10 that, to their credit, they allowed to have a red hot go to try and get it right. For whatever reason people weren’t drawn to it. Some say it was that audiences weren’t ready for a “high-brow” approach to current affairs. Others suggest it was a show more suited to ABC or SBS and that it had no place on a commercial channel, let alone the youth-skewed Ten.
Whatever the reason, the demise of this attempt at flagship current affairs exposed viewers to some amazing talent at the network. People like Hamish Macdonald, Danielle Isdale, Hugh Riminton, Eddie Meyer, Matt Moran and more. Thankfully all (for the moment) will continue with the network, including Negus who will take up his old seat on what is now an hour long The Project, enveloping the timeslot his show formerly occupied. The more things change, the more they stay the same.