Expectations were high. Negus recounted to the team on the 7PM Project afterwards that he was was not so much nervous as “appropriately anxious”. Qld’s Ten Evening News Anchor Bill McDonald was optimistically hopeful, if his early morning tweet today was anything to go by:

Importantly, both shows did not suck. I liked the casually serious approach of Negus, and I really enjoyed the depth of the stories. I also liked his intro and outro to the show, too…

I was seriously impressed with the story Hamish Macdonald filed on the Palestinian fundamentalists and their enlisting of children into the ranks of the PFLP. Chilling, amazing and heartbreaking. Those that tuned in expecting to see a News program will have been disappointed. It was much deeper than that, and possibly a little too heavy for some at 6pm. It was serious from the get go – it took 15 minutes to get to the first ad break (a change Messers Packer, Murdoch & Reinhardt will be seeking to change quite promptly, I’d imagine).

There was a good spread of stories from the team, and a couple of interviews to top and tail the show (1st one was an OK on with PM Julia Gillard; 2nd with latest Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith was much better). A couple of throws to the local Ten Evening News presenters before each ad break to list their stories coming up.

The Qld edition of the Ten Evening News was also pretty good. Bill McDonald acquitted himself well, and while it doesn’t look like it will cover much National News (unless from a local angle) for those arriving home late from work or choosing not to watch the “current affairs” alternative dross, the 6:30pm News bulletin should be something that will provide deeper coverage of local issues. I counted 1 story lifted and edited down from the 5pm New bulletin, but not bad considering. Impressively, Ch10 had the first half of this bulletin up on their YouTube channel pretty quickly:

Some of my random thoughts while watching the two new programs:

  • Is the countdown in the opening titles to help the Ch10 market know how to count to #6PM?
  • You’d never get an interview with the PM like this in a normal News program – mainly because they don’t have the time. #6PM
  • All @Hamish6PM needs is a safari suit & a mo, and he’s the @Negus6PM we all expect him to become… #6PM
  • I will offer I’m an unashamed optimist – I really want to see #6PM work…
  • Joolia paraphrases Mark Twain? She is teh smartz. #6PM
  • At the risk of sounding glib (only two stories in) – this is what current affairs television should be. #6PM
  • *Great* story @hamish6PM – holy crap. #6PM
  • That @latikambourke, she just pops up everywhere. Like on #6PM!
  • Good work by @BillMcDonald1 & the team. Good, local content, solid stories. A good alternative at 6:30pm.
  • Is Lara Giddings wearing an #Oprah pearl? #TenEveNews
  • Wow, didn’t expect a sport segment, but probably should have! #TenEveNews
  • Is that why everyone is so up in arms about Michael Clarke? His searching for a date for Stephen Smith? #Sheesh #TenEveNews

Both shows delivered more than most will have expected, but no “big bang”. Some will not connect with the format (and that’s their loss). 6PM will build with more momentum than a slow burn, where as I see the Ten Evening News maintaining a solid 7pm-esque style ratings corner. I sadly don’t think the Australian population are ready to let go of their boobs/burquas/bashful tradies just yet. For first eps: 6PM with George Negus – 7/10; Ten Evening News (with Bill McDonald) – 6/10. Both to improve, given their head.


6PM with George Negus – 6pm weeknights, Ch10
Ten Evening News (state-based presenter) – 6:30pm weeknights, Ch10