This breakfast television thing is a cut-throat, presenter-eat-2kg-of-steak kinda game. The morning ratings aren’t equivalent to what you’ll get at night, but it’s still important. It establishes the network as one people first turn on in the morning with the hope they’ll not change the channel (or at least come back to it for the afternoon/evening news and stay on from there). To have Channel 7’s Sunrise “Oprah-spondent” Nuala Hafner as a part of the media pack initially looked like it would be a lot of “Oprah was here, she did this, then went here” kind of reporting, given Ms Winfrey’s show is broadcast on rival Channel 10 and Nuala was basically chasing Oprah around Australia.
Then, in a chance meeting as Oprah passed the media pack heading to her Sydney welcome reception, everything changed:
Bang. Unscripted, genuine, uncoerced. You can’t pay for that, at least not this trip. Then intrepid Sunrise weatherman-about-the-globe Grant Denyer had stationed himself to record some of the colour around the arrival of the first 6,000 Aussies for Oprah’s Ultimate Adventure (in Australia), and scored this:
Channel 10 screwed up any viewer goodwill it had with Oprah in town by offering it’s shambolic “Oprah: The Interview” (my thoughts on that here). Channel 7, and Sunrise specifically, have managed to get whatever money they spent on chasing Oprah back in seconds with these interactions. No wonder they are touting them all over the place. “Everyone watches Sunrise”. Congrats Michael Pell & team – and well done.