SABC: THIRD OF OUTSIDE BROADCAST TRUCKS NOT USABLE

Friday, November 30, 2012

Jeff Zucker appointed as president of CNN Worldwide to help try and pull CNN in America out of the ratings gutter.


Jeff Zucker under whose leadership the NBC network in America suffered a dysmal implosion of its primetime programming and ratings, has been appointed as the president of CNN Worldwide to help try and get CNN, the CNN seen in just America as opposed to CNN International seen worldwide, out of the ratings gutter.

"In January 2013, Jeff Zucker will assume executive oversight of a portfolio of 23 branded news and information businesses that includes CNN/U.S., CNN International, CNN.com and HLN and reaches more than 2 billion people in some 200 countries around the world. Zucker will report to Phil Kent, chairman and CEO of CNN parent company Turner Broadcasting System Inc., and will be based at CNN in New York," says CNN in a statement.

"As a programmer, a brand-builder and a leader, he will bring energy and new thinking to CNN. I couldn't be happier to welcome him or more excited about what he’ll accomplish here," says Phil Kent in the statement.

"I am thrilled to join the distinguished team of journalists across the worldwide platforms of CNN," says Jeff Zucker in the statement. " The global reach and scale of the CNN brand is unparalleled in all of news."

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The SABC loves few things more than a rerun: New SABC board member Noluthando Gosa already part of a new joke.

The big joke being told and circulating in South Africa's TV industry today is this one: "The SABC loves nothing more than a rerun. Look at Noluthando Gosa."

Within hours of her official appointment as the SABC's latest board member, Noluthando Gosa is the butt of jokes already.

Why the instant sniggering? The industry in-joke actually combines the SABC's fondness for too many rebroadcasts and repeats - also called reruns - and Noluthando Gosa who used to be a SABC board member, left, and then came back.

Noluthando Gosa resigned and left the SABC in December 2005. Almost embarrassingly, this year she wanted back with observers wondering why someone would return to a place you've accused of corruption. Even more embarrassingly, the SABC took her back.

Noluthando Gosa's will serve as a SABC board member until January 2015 - or until she resigns (again). Whichever comes first.

Joanne Joseph suddenly anchoring NewsNight on eNCA solo; of course not a word about it in advance to the press in a programming note.


Joanne Joseph is suddenly anchoring NewsNight, the flagship daily news broadcast of the eNCA (DStv 403) solo, with no trace or any word about where the regular co-anchors Jeremy Maggs and Iman Rappetti are.

Anchor substitution isn't a problem and a regular occurence on 24 hour news channels, but if, as a media platform you make something out to be important - for instance the gravitas and prestige awarded to those people anchoring your main flagship bulletin a day - and then make no attempt to communicate when there are changes with that programme, nobody else will ever believe in the importance a flagship show is internally imbued with.

Unlike other 24 hour news channels which can be seen in South Africa, e.tv and the eNCA hardly does any programming publicity for the eNCA.

e.tv's publicity department where people presumably get money monthly to give the press information about a TV channel such as the eNCA, never issued any publicity materials for the eNCA such as schedules, monthly and weekly highlights. 

There never any synopses for any of its weekly shows like Tech Report, Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola, Judge for Yourself, Africa360 or any of the others, although information exists to help alert viewers and possibly make better then tune into shows.

e.tv does mostly regularly issue 3rd Degree synopsis, although that is a coshare programme between e.tv and the eNCA.

TOLDJA! Noluthando Gosa appointed as the latest new SABC board member - a position she knows since she did it until she resigned in December 2005.


Two months ago, way back in September, I reported that Noluthando Primrose Gosa will become the new SABC board member.

It was made official today, two months later by president Jacob Zuma who once again rubber-stamped the "new" old SABC board member when he signed the papers to make Noluthando Gosa the latest SABC board member of the beleaguered South African public broadcaster.

Noluthando Gosa resigned in December 2005 as an SABC board member but now wanted back in at the struggling SABC. She's replacing Clifford Motsepe who resigned in April.

Noluthando Gosa previously accused her fellow SABC board members of tolerating corruption within the SABC. Noluthando Gosa was herself under investigation at the time.

Noluthando Gosa's appointed as an SABC board member (again) is a very au courant deja vu situation: the current SABC board member Cawe Mahlati is also accusing the SABC board and SABC chairperson dr Ben Ngubane of tolerating corruption and Cawe Mahlati is herself under investigation.

"I wish Ms Gosa well in the execution of this important function in the country's public broadcaster," said the office of president Jacob Zuma said in a statement. Noluthando Gosa's appointment was based on a recommendation by the National Assembly and the portfolio committee on communications.

Noluthando Gosa's appointment and termf of office will be until January 2015 - unless of course she resigns before that period ends as she did in December 2005.

Naspers plans to roll out a new pay TV decoder every 18 months to increase video-on-demand (VOD) capacity says CEO Koos Bekker.

Naspers CEO Koos Bekker says the media conglomerate plans to roll out a new pay-TV decoder about every 18 months to keep increasing capacity on the box with more space for movies through the video-on-demand (VOD) service it is offering with movies through DStv BoxOffice as well as the DStv On Demand service.

Earlier in the month I reported that MultiChoice said that a new "connected box" will be launched as a new decoder during the first quarter in 2013. MultiChoice explained that a new DStv decoder would increase the capacity from 20 hours to 175 hours of catch-up content.

A day later MultiChoice said that the timing of a new connected DStv decoder has not been determined yet and that it is speculation that a connected box is coming in the first quarter of 2013.

Naspers, which owns MultiChoice which runs the DStv pay-TV service, announced its half-year financial results on Tuesday.

Naspers reported that its DStv subscribers grew by an additional 187 000 subscribers in South Africa between March 2012 and September 2012. DStv now reaches 4,2 million households in South Africa.

The sale of personal video recorders (PVRs) grew by 90 000, with 747 000 PVR households now existing in South Africa. The DStv BoxOffice service through which DStv Premium subscribers can watch VOD titles, has now reached 400 000 per month.

Naspers CEO Koos Bekker said "we need more and more capacity, so every 18 months we'll double the capacity and with that the number of movies we can bring you".

BREAKING. M-Net says sorry after a fine of R40 000 from the BCCSA for two massive movie mistakes.



M-Net says its sorry and accepts without any reservations the ruling, after a massive fine of R40 000 was levelled against the South African pay TV broadcaster by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) for movie mistakes.

DStv subscribers complained after M-Net showed a movie with extreme adult content in October during the day. In a second case a mother recorded a Barbie Mermaid movie on DStv for her daughter, only to find her two and a half year old screaming in terror. M-Net wrongly showed the extreme horror miniseries Bag of Bones before the Barbie Mermaid movie which also continued 13 minutes into the children's movie.

"The screening of inappropriate content on any of our channels before the watershed is an anomaly and serious offense within the company, which always necessitates immediate internal investigations," says M-Net.

"M-Net apologises for broadcasting Hollywood's Best Directors. The same applies to screening Bag of Bones on M-Net Movies 1 a month earlier, on the morning of Thursday 20 September," says the broadcaster.

"M-Net accepts, without any reservations, the ruling of the BCCSA in both cases as well as the sanctions imposed".

According to M-Net, even before the BCCSA tribunal decided on the judgement, M-Net investigated the reasons behind the scheduling errors in detail and took disciplinary action against the schedulers and employees concerned. "The stringent internal systems that M-Net has in place to avoid such errors have been re-emphasised to all staff."

Hollywood's Best Directors shown on a Sunday morning contained female nudity (breasts), implied sex as well as female genitalia although M-Net gave it a rating of PG13 only. MultiChoice told the DStv subscriber that DStv cannot be held responsible, after which the subscriber took the case to the BCCSA.

M-Net told the BCCSA that "standard procedures were not followed by the staff member responsible for scheduling". The staff member failed to submit the programme to the programme acceptance department.

M-Net said it was never the pay TV broadcaster’s intention to broadcast the programme during the day. "We are doing our utmost to ensure that an incident like this is not repeated."

In the second instance a mother said her five year old son and two and a half year old daughter is traumatised after she took careful steps about what her children are exposed to and not and had them watch a family movie channel.

"I am appaled and furious at the blunder which occurred today on DStv. I selected the Barbie programme for her to watch this afternoon and walked out only to hear my daughter scream and being inconsolable with the terrible show which involved a little girl before her. My son who is five is completely traumatised."

"As a trusted brand, we expect DStv not to be so careless and irresponsible," she said. "How do I ever remove such disturbing images from my children's young, innocent and carefree minds? This is not fair. I am seething."

M-Net says a scheduler took a "unilateral decision" and scheduled the Stephen King miniseries with an age restriction of 16 when she had a gap on the schedule to fill.

M-Net has to pay the two fines of R20 000 each before the end of December.

Programming note: The 2012 Miss South Africa pageant will be broadcast live on Mzansi Magic on DStv channel 161 on 9 December at 17:30.

TIME magazine's compelling new cover story 'Bad news at the BBC' rings extremely true for the similarly battered and wayward SABC.


The latest issue of TIME magazine for 26 November which I bought and which will cost you R35 in South Africa at the newsstand unless you're a subscriber, is well worth the price for the fascinating and insightful cover story by journalist Catherine Mayer with the main barker: "Bad News at the BBC" and then the second heading: "Mired in scandals and circled by critics, can the beloved British broadcaster be saved from itself?"

The 6 page TIME article is fascinating on two accounts. Firstly it details in intriguing detail how the British Broadcasting Corporation is locked in an epic crisis of its own making. It shows how even venerable broadcasters - as big and as credible as the BBC - are being undone and besieged by and within a new world media order.

And what happens or can happen at the international role model for public broadcasters, can happen at any TV station or broadcaster around the world.

There's a second reason the TIME cover article of the current issue is utterly fascinating and is a must-read for every single TV executive in South Africa working in our local TV industry.

Substitute the word BBC for SABC, remove every time you see the words "beloved", "credible", "storied" and "objective" and the eye-opening report could to a large degree be an insider's tell-all about the struggling South African Broadcasting Corporation.

The latest crisis afflicting the BBC is very much something of a much larger, massive erosion of accountability, public trust, actual management and executives who can read, TV executives who actually studied and know television and radio, and actual wisdom and expertise which has been systematically dismantled and broken down at the SABC over the past two decades.

Here's some quotes from inside the TIME magazine article, about the BBC. See how arrestingly applicable it is to the SABC:

"There used to be a sense of people with wisdom and experience to make judgement calls."

"The BBC expanded rapidly and often incoherently, adding staff, channels and layers of management with impenetrable titles."

"Management has compounded these historical failures with a spectacular volley of mistakes and misjudgements that has raised elemental questions not just about how the BBC is funded but about whether it has entirely lost its way."

"...its existential struggle could be dismissed as a case study in management bloat and the scleroris of large organisations."

"...an organisation that got into trouble at least in part because of a lack of direction from the top."

"...a staff demoralised not only by several years of restructuring..."

"Two factors will determine the shape in which the BBC emerges. The first is the changing nature of the environment in which it operates. And the second is the extent to which the battered giant can overcome its cumbersome management processes and institutional smugness to effect reforms from within."

"A larger problem is a management culture that a former senior executive describes as 'basically a fuedal kingdom. There was a king, the director general, and there were barons, but the barons never really respected the king. All they would do is fight for their particular corner, and they would bypass the king and do what they wanted until they were brought into line."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A stunned Megyn Kelly calls the Fox News Channel's new Fox News Alert animation 'terrifying'.


Megyn Kelly on the Fox News Channel (TopTV 405) who wasn't told beforehand, was stunned and unnerved by the new "Fox News Alert" animation which came into use today on the American 24 hour news channel for the first time and which freaked her out.

"It's terrifying," said Megyn Kelly, laughing somewhat anxiously.

#HASH AWAY#. #M-Net now follows #Top Billing, #Discovery - primetime M-Net shows will now all get #hashtags SA as the TV conversation grows.


Hail the hastag which is coming to South African television is a big way with M-Net which has finally seen the light after a bit of experimental testing and is now ready to fully embrace the new social TV revolution.

#Top Billing on SABC3 has been first in South Africa and very consistent in cultivating and coalescing viewers and followers on screen during episodes to make episodes interactive on a whole new level as viewers excitedly chat and share opinions.

Top Billing has the biggest "presence" in terms of energy and effort devoted to this (in my opinion), followed by Discovery for it's shows and TV channels seen in South Africa.

On American television the initially humble, now brash hastag has fully intruded on screens, hanging, dangling and propping up from below on TV screens during episodes of daytime and primetime programming.

South African television has been a bit slow, even reluctant to embrace the latest new addition to on-screen clutter but after M-Net mostly used the past year and a half with a wait-and-see and tentative approach in which it tested the water, the Twitter hastag is now definitely here to stay.

From now on M-Net will make as full use as possible, especially during its primetime schedule for primetime shows, of the hallowed hashtag. The # of course provides TV channels and shows with additional information and feedback on how viewers perceive and view their shows, line-ups and channels.

M-Net is now encouraging subscribers to "find and tweet" about their favourite M-net programming with specialised hastags. "All international primetime programming on M-Net will have specific hashtags to allow our loyal Twitter family to search for what M-Net, or other viewers are saying about shows on the channel," says the pay TV operator.

Because of M-Net's great new strategy to acquire and roll-out American shows much closer to their overseas broadcasting dates, M-Net is now creating - and want to bring under viewers and the Twitterati's attention - that hashtags of shows on or for M-Net will mostly contain the suffix "SA" in capital letters to distinguish the broadcast or temporal place during a season for South African viewers.

"Because M-Net brings viewers many of their favourite shows hot-on-the-heels of the American release, tag your comments with an SA, for example #DexterSA," says M-Net. The hashtags will not only encourage awareness of the activity around our shows, but will also help to ally confusion with the same shows airing in the US or other countries at concurrent times," says the broadcaster.

Exciting new drama series Last Resort would have been on M-Net and would have started in January. Now the show might be cancelled and now it's not.


You're reading it here first. 

Bummer: The exciting new drama series Last Resort about the crew of an American nuclear submarine who goes rogue and ends up at their own island would have started on M-Net on 2 January, but will now not be seen on the channel at all.

Two weeks ago Last Resort was not picked up for any further additional shows; Last Resort has not been cancelled outright technically yet, but the production was informed that there won't be any additional episode orders for now.

The cast and production all remain under contract and the actors have not been let out of their contract options and Last Resort will definitely see at least 13 episodes in America.

M-Net moved, and moved Last Resort off of the channel. The show is actually good, exciting and has great visual effects - especially the pilot episode plays like a riveting movie.

I asked M-Net whether Last Resort might just have been moved to later in the year and another month, or whether the show is off of the channel permanently. I'm told that Last Resort, as it stands, will not be airing at all on the channel.

Brooke Runnette named the new president of National Geographic Television.

A meteoric rise for Brooke Runnette who, a month after she joined National Geographic Channels as the vice president for development and special projects, have now been named president of National Geographic Television, the studio and documentary arm of the venerable National Geographic Society.

As president Brooke Runnette will oversee the development and production of series, special events and live programming and will be reporting directly to John Fahey, the National Geographic Society chairman and CEO.

"Our top priority at National Geographic Television is finding and producing the best content and original programming to support the international growth and influence of our cable channels around the world," says John Fahey in a statement.

"Brooke Runnette joined the National Geographic Channels just as we were searching for the right executive to lead our television production group, and we quickly realized that she was the perfect fit for that key role – with the passion, drive, experience and industry knowledge that can continue and build the National Geographic Television franchise. Brooke's track record speaks for itself, and we are excited to have her on our team."

"We were thrilled to have Brooke join National Geographic Channels, and this next step will further our important partnership with National Geographic Television," says David Lyle, National Geographic Channels CEO.

"The role of National Geographic Television in expanding upon our recent success will be critical, and Brooke is exactly the partner we will need to make this happen."

Brooke Runnette says: "The power of the National Geographic brand is unparalleled, and I look forward to working with the team at National Geographic Television in producing relevant, entertaining and powerful programming that becomes part of the television zeitgeist."

Paul Dempsey named the new interim CEO of BBC Worldwide until Tim Davie can fulfill the position permanently in 2013.


Domino effect: Paul Dempsey has been named the new interim CEO of BBC Worldwide - having to step in to replace Tim Davie who is actually the new CEO of BBC Worldwide, but had to suddenly fill in at the scandal-ridden BBC as the new acting director general after the resignation of George Entwistle.

BBC Worldwide Channels runs the TV channels BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle and CBeebies on MultiChoice's DStv in South Africa.

In a statement BBC Worldwide says that Paul Dempsey will be the interim CEO of BBC Worldwide from December until Tim Davie becomes available again in 2013.

Paul Dempsey, currently the managing director for consumer products at BBC Worldwide, will oversee the BBC's commercial arm from December. "I am proud and privileged to have been asked by Tim to take on these responsibilities as an interim measure until he arrives early next year. BBC Worldwide is a dynamic company with exciting times ahead of it. My immediate priority will be to provide the company with leadership and direction so it can keep on delivering great returns to the BBC."

Tim Davie says that Paul Dempsey has "a great track record at BBC Worldwide and a sound understanding of the commercial imperatives that have made it an international success. I have every faith that he is the right person to lead BBC Worldwide over the coming months and make sure it carries on supporting the BBC brand around the world."

Merlin cancelled, the fantasy youth drama will end after the conclusion of its 5th season.


The Adventures of Merlin, the BBC youth fantasy drama about the young wizard of the would-one-day-be-the-wizard of King Arthur's court, has been cancelled.

The Adventures of Merlin, also known as simply Merlin, which has been shown in South Africa on M-Net and Top One (TopTV 150) will conclude at the end of the current fifth season.

In a statement the production says the decision to end Merlin was made by the co-creators and the executive producers, Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy.

"We always felt the story of the legend was best told across five series, leading to a spectacular finale that draws on the best known elements of this much-loved story and brings to a conclusion the battle for Camelot."

"We'd like to thank the amazing cast and crew for their professionalism and dedication," they say in the statement, adding, "chiefly, our thanks go to Merlin's remarkable and loyal audience around the world for their enthusiasm for the characters and Camelot universe."

Below is statements from the Merlin cast:

Colin Morgan (Merlin): "From the beginning this was always going to be a five year journey that we embarked on and I think the show has run its natural course. The show has grown and grown each year and now we've arrived at its strongest point and we've achieved what we set out to do... I know this is the end, and I know this is goodbye, but thank you for being there on the journey with us because it has been a lot of fun!"

Bradley James (King Arthur): "The Merlin years have provided me with fond memories, great experiences and beloved friends and all the while we were supported by a devoted fan base who made the show a unique, surreal and special experience. My words won't do justice to the honour of being King Arthur so I shall just say that it has been an exceptional one and that knowing the show has been a part of so many people's lives, has been humbling."

Katie McGrath (Morgana): "I have always said the success of the show has stemmed from our audience being able to relate to the characters on different levels - being based on the universally loved Arthurian legend is only a tiny part of its success - it's a story about acceptance and growing up. The breathtaking finale of this series leaves you with no doubt that characters have been on their journeys and had their stories told - it's completely the right time to draw our telling of the story to a close."

Angel Coulby (Guinevere): "It has been a very special and memorable five years making Merlin. I feel extremely proud to have been part of such a brilliant show and such a great team. I think we've told the story we set out to tell, which ends with the fantastic two-part finale by the way! I believe the key to any successful show is making sure you leave people wanting more!"

Richard Wilson (Gaius): "Firstly, I would like to say that I'm extremely sad that Merlin has come to an end. Speaking as Gaius, I feel I have mentored the young wizard as far as I can - he is much smarter and greater than me now and I am simply exhausted."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

e.tv grabs The 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show; will show it in South Africa on 14 December just 10 days after America.


You're reading it here first. 

The world's most beautiful models will strut their stuff in barely there lingerie with e.tv which has secured the broadcasting rights to The 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - what's more e.tv will be showing it on 14 December, a mere 10 days after it's broadcast in America on CBS.

e.tv broadcast The 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show earlier this year, and has now snapped up the very latest broadcast of this special annual TV show as well. The broadcaster will bring The 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show to South African viewers on Friday 14 December at 22:10 - just 10 days after it's shown in America.

The beautiful bevy of beauties with all kinds of angel wings and which will include South Africa's own Candice Swanepoel, recently did the show in New York with artists such as Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Bruno Mars performing.

BBC Lifestyle goes Parisian petite with Rachel Khoo's new cooking show, The Little Paris Kitchen starting on 4 December at 20:00.


Some French flair was hand-delivered by courier to my door today, courtesy of BBC Lifestyle (DStv 174) which will soon start to broadcast The Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo from Tuesday 4 December at 20:00.

I have to mention this dispatch I received today; this little marketing bon mot from the PR of BBC Worldwide Channels which runs BBC Lifestyle in South Africa on DStv was one of those perfect press packs which does exactly what both TV channel and TV critic want.

BBC Lifestyle wants publicity for The Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo (which it will definitely get). The TV critic - like a hamster spinning in a wheel - wants to be amused, needs its interest piqued as a curious animal, and most of all need all of the information and to see your show.

Well, open any side of the beautiful BBC bonbon, and out tumbles a didactic deliciousness to amuse and delight little children and TV critics.


Inside, BBC Lifestyle has foursquare multicoloured cakes (delightful!) and all the information about the show extremely nicely packaged in brightly coloured pastel packages and wrapped with a little orange bow, with all the information printed in a simple two page booklet, ready to easily consume and know what the show is about.

There was also a beautiful (and I mean it) folded A3 size paper map of Paris depicting "Rachel Khoo's little map of Paris". Use it as wrapping paper for a gift, frame it as a kitchen picture, use it to eat the cakes on - whatever the purpose it's wonderfully whispey, playfully pedantic and instantly imbues a feeling of what the show is about.

You will know and feel as if you know The Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo before you've even read a single word - which is what you want to give TV critics: a feeling of what your show is about and to make it stand out.

The other great thing is the press screening disk. Yes, BBC Lifestyle knows that in a 170 TV channel environment in South Africa that if you want your TV show to stand out amidst the noise and thousands of programming choices and for it be noticed by TV critics, you have to actually let them see it.

It also serves another purpose: If you let a TV critic like me see it (yes, there is the chance that I might not like it), you're already telling me before I've even watched it that you think it's quality, you think it's worthwhile, you're proud of it, and you're not scared to let its quality and charm and great production values speak for itself so that I as a journalist can in turn hopefully speak to potential viewers who might also be interested in it.


What a refreshing press box with all the right ingredients for the TV critic. Thank you BBC Worldwide for the press screening disk showing TV critics The Little Paris Kitcken: Cooking with Rachel Khoo.

Another thing: every single thing, from the press screener sleeve, every page of this entire "presentation", and the outside box had the name of the show, the starting date, day and time and channel printed on it. That's what matters; that's what sells and keeps your show top of mind and make it unmissable in the brain of the short-term memory loss attention deficit hamsters known as the TV critic.

Monday, November 26, 2012

BREAKING. Riaan Cruywagen signs off with a simple goodbye and hand salute after 37 years on TV: 'For me it was an exceptional privilege.'


With a simple hand salute and goodbye wave, a visibly slightly emotional Riaan Cruywagen - after 37 years the longest continuing presence on South African television and on TV news - signed off and said goodbye to millions of viewers on SABC2 at 19:00 during the Nuus om 7.

"My task is completed. Tonight, exactly 37 years after reading my first TV news bulletin, I'm retiring," said the dapper newsman, dressed in a black pinstripe suit with a red-and-white striped tie and matching red hankerchief; his hair as perfectly coiffed as ever.

"My heartfelt  appreciation goes to the Afrikaans news editorial staffs whom, over the decades, I've been privileged to work with - in the most recent times my bulletin editors Sandy Macdonald and Monica Ribbons, my executive director Kenneth Makatees and my pillar-of-support boss, Jimi Matthews."

"You know, TV news is a massive team effort, and I was just the ears of the hippo which stuck out. To you, the TV news viewers, thank you that you, over so many years, allowed me into your homes. For me it was an exceptional privilege."

"And when I look back, it was all just grace. For the very last time, goodbye. Good day," he said as the venerable newsman lifted his right hand and made a goodbye wave and hand salute to viewers."


BREAKING. SABC executives, news and channel bosses and colleagues honour Riaan Cruywagen and bid him farewell.


SABC executives, SABC news bosses, channel bosses and colleagues honoured the venerable SABC news reader Riaan Cruywagen today.

Riaan Cruywagen attended a special brunch this morning in Sandton to thank him for this decades long contribution and to bid him farewell.

Riaan Cruywagen read his final news bulletin this evening on SABC2 in the Nuus om 7, ending his illustrious career as the person holding an unequaled and unrivaled record as the South African TV personality who've been on television the longest.

He read his last bulletin exactly 37 years after he first started in 1976 with the advent of television news in South Africa.

At the farewell brunch (which South Africa's national TV critics and journalists who cover television based outside of Johannesburg were not bothered to be told of, nor been invited to) the SABC presented Riaan Cruywagen with a special plaque.

Prof. Pippa Green, SABC board member said: "Riaan thank you for all of your years of loyalty, support and service to a public broadcaster which is not always the easiest place to be but is probably one of the most important places."

Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the SABC's acting chief operating officer (COO) said: "I think you have done a wonderful job for the SABC. The way you dress, the way you talk to people - you're a human being. You lead by example."

Jimi Matthews, the acting head of news and current affairs at the SABC said: "I think the Afrikaans community must be quite 'change fatigued'. If you think of how the country has changed in the last 20 years. But the one thing which has remained constant - one thing significant thing that's remained constant in their lives is Riaan Cruywagen. They know that when they switch on the TV to watch the news, there is Riaan Cruywagen to assure them that everything is fine. And now we're going to have to get used to South African television news without Riaan Cruywagen. And it's quite a strange notion; quite a strange feeling actually."

"His contribution to broadcasting, not only to the SABC, but to broadcasting in general has been immense. Riaan's legacy is the news room will always be his commitment to his craft, his dedication, his professionalism. And for me I think it was a huge honour to work alongside someone like Riaan," said Jimi Matthews.

Kenneth Makatees, the executive director for Afrikaans TV news on SABC2 said: "Riaan is one of those South Africans who really crossed borders in this country."

Sandy Macdonald, the editor for Afrikaans TV news on SABC2 said: "I think he played an enormous role to make Afrikaans cool again."

Peet van Staden, the executive producer for Afrikaans TV news on SABC2 said: "He has the exceptional capacity to remain calm under pressure, maybe more so than anybody else. He also has the ability to laugh and to be freaked out."

Bessie Tugwana, SABC2 channel head, said: "For SABC2 I want to express our pride and profound gratitude that he has stayed this long. And not just staying long, he has brought professionalism to the news reading and some kind of believability."

"As you know there are three bulletins at 19:00, every day except weekends. Those bulletins are English on SABC3, English on e.tv, but the Afrikaans bulletin has always attracted more audiences. That for us is testimony that he sustained that in his community. I think as a channel he has also given the channel, the brand SABC2, credibility," said Bessie Tugwana.

Chriselda Lewis, SABC TV reporter said: "Riaan keeps looking the same way that he did so many yers ago. I still need to find out how he achieved that. He doesn't have any gray hair. When you try and look for wrinkles on his face you can barely find them."

"He appeals to so many people across the colour line," said Chriselda Lewis. "That is just amazing."

"I always remained a career broadcaster," said Riaan Cruywagen at the brunch. "No matter who was in charge of government or at the SABC, I remained true to my profession and nothing else. I never became involved in politics - neither external nor internal - and I made it my duty to present the news in an unbiased, non-partisan and objective, credible and authoritative way."

"Tonight, after 37 years, I say goodbye to South Africa. I have really mixed feelings. I'll miss the news reader  role I've fulfilled for so many years, very much. But I have the greatest and indescribable appreciation for the kindness so many viewers allowed me to bring the news every evening into their living rooms. Over the past few weeks I have received hundreds of emails from viewers wishing me the very best with my retirement."

I want to remind viewers that nobody's perfect; nobody's irreplaceable. I'd appreciate it immensely if you'd give my successors and my colleagues who are currently still there, Karlien and Terence, all the support you gave me. Let's work together as South Africa's to make this beautiful country of ours the best in the world," said Riaan Cruywagen.



FUNNY. Is Riaan Cruywagen's next chapter to drop trou and read the news for Naked News on television?


All TV personalities have a next chapter when they finish one thing and move on to the next - just ask Oprah.

So, where will Riaan Cruywagen pop up next after the venerable news man signed off earlier this evening on SABC2 reading his very last news bulletin exactly 37 years after he started on South African television?

Well, since e.tv introduced South Africa to Naked News - news readers who drop the clothes as they bring you breaking news about conflict in Iraq - could be an option. Riaan Cruywagen, always impeccably groomed and coiffed might consider showing South African TV viewers now a whole other side to him.


ALSO READ: Riaan Cruywagen, in cartoon form, signing off after 37 years as a news reader on South African television.

Riaan Cruywagen in cartoon form, signing off after 37 years on South African television.


The South African cartoonist Jerm (Jeremy) (check out his work at http://jerm.co.za) drew this beautifully poignant cartoon about the iconic South African TV news reader Riaan Cruywagen who signed off this evening and read his very last news bulletin on SABC2 exactly 37 years to the day after he started.

Jerm cleverly incorporated the (old) television test pattern into the cartoon to signify the legacy and historical aspect of it all (and of television in South Africa).

He also added another of Riaan Cruywagen's indelible characteristics: his rusty brown hair which in nearly four decades on television never changed.

TERRIBLE! How bad is SABC2? So bad that it can't communicate a word in advance about a sudden hour long Riaan Cruywagen tribute special.


This is terribly bad: SABC2's lack of communication is shockingly abysmal about a special hour long TV tribute to Riaan Cruywagen which is suddenly following the legendary SABC news readers final bulletin on SABC2 on Monday night.

Fluit Fluit My Storie is Uit, an hour long retrospective TV documentary about Riaan Cruywagen is on SABC2 - but viewers won't know it because nobody was even told.

SABC2 didn't make any attempt to communicate a single word about the reflective and beautiful documentary with Tshegofatso Selahle as director and producer.

"I feel like viewers have been robbed," a furious South African TV critic immediately messaged me who is also flabbergasted to discover the sudden TV special. This TV critic is definitely not the only one.

Riaan Cruywagen read his final TV news bulletin on SABC2 this evening at 19:00 after exactly 27 years - with the news bulletin suddenly and inexplicably followed by the hour long Fluit Fluit My Storie is Uit special.

What a massive failure on the part of SABC2. Hopefully the special will be rebroadcast at some stage, and hopefully SABC2 will communicate that ahead of time.

Maria Wallis did a sterling job putting together a retrospective news story at the tail end of the Nuus om 7 this evening on SABC2 which media observers would have expected to be in, and make the bulletin this evening. It was thoughtful, comprehensive without being boring, and extremely well edited and encapsulated a fitting "farewell" news story from the SABC about Riaan Cruywagen.

 Likewise the SABC2 special hour long documentary Fluit Fluit My Storie is Uit was also must-see television. If only somebody - anybody - at the SABC actually bothered to tell TV critics to tell people to watch that as well.

GOODBYE.


In what will surely deliver massive ratings and viewership for SABC2 tonight, Riaan Cruywagen, the longest serving face of television news in South Africa - in fact the longest continous presence and presenter in all of South African television - will be taking his bow and sign off when he reads his very last news bulletin this evening at 19:00 on SABC2 in the Nuus om 7 after exactly 37 years.

It's not impossibly, but extremely unlikely that his incredibly impressive feat will ever be matched again in South African television.

Riaan Cruywagen has been on South African television for 37 years, reading news for 37 years and has been a consistent presence in South African TV households - unlikely to ever be duplicated by anyone else in an ever-incresingly fragmented TV channelverse and where one-day fly TV faces and personalities have a sell-by date which incrementally keeps shrinking year by year.

Goodbye, Riaan Cruywagen. Thank you for being an anchor South Africa turned to during highly tumultuous decades of South Africa's modern history - when during periods of massive political upheaval and changes, viewers felt a sense of assurance that even though the world was fast-changing, everything would seem to be alright because the news reader remain stoically solid and the same.

And even as South Africa's public broadcaster swept through various regime changes, crises bringing it to the brink of financial collapse and scandal after scandal as years roll by, Riaan Cruywagen's ever-present presence as a TV news monolith made even the SABC seem more unshakeable that what it maybe is.

The news will carry on as sure as calendar pages and news diaries turn the page to forever plan for tomorrow. But there will never again be a Riaan Cruywagen on the SABC or in all of South African television for that matter.

As a newsman for all seasons sets sail into the TV sunset, South Africa and the local TV biz looks on in thankfulness, with a smile, and with wonder.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

BREAKING. Larry Hagman, JR Ewing from Dallas, dies aged 81 from complications due to throat cancer.


Larry Hagman, known for his iconic portrayal of JR Ewing in Dallas, has died. He was 81.

Larry Hagman died from complications due to throat cancer, Reuters reports.

The actor who's iconic role of the unscrupulous and power hungry Dallas oil baron JR Ewing in a cowboy hat enthralled generations of TV viewers - in an original series which ran for decades, followed by several made-for-TV movies, as well as a new TV series which started this year - suffered from liver cancer and cirrhosis of the liver in the nineties after decades of drinking.

Reuters reports that Larry Hagman died on Friday in hospital. His co-star Linda Gray who played his long-suffering wife Sue-Ellen was at his bedside. Patrick Duffy who played his TV brother Bobby was also present.

Dallas came along in 1978 just after the start of television in South Africa in 1976. The advent of television and the growth in sales of TV sets - a new a buzzworthy technology for South Africans who up until that time were only used to radio, drive-in cinema and movie theatres, were enthralled by the glitzy and outrageous primetime soap broadcast on TV on Tuesday nights.

So big was the appeal, that restaurants and other public establishments in South Africa started to close on Tuesday nights when Dallas was on. South Africans stayed home en masse and watched or watched with neighbours who had television to follow the outrageous and terrible actions of JR Ewing from the Southfork Ranch in Texas who wheeled and dealed to get his way along with characters such as Miss Ellie, Bobby and Pamela.

When the conniving and villaineous JR Ewing got shot in the final episode of the second season, it was a hot on television that rang out across the world. Viewers across the globe were shocked and enthralled. The plot and last seconds moment not only gave rise to the coined-phrased "Who shot JR?" but essentially created the modern TV trope: to end a TV season of a massive cliffhanger which will keep viewers buzzing and guessing about a sudden, shocking plot point until the start of a new season.

An updated version of Dallas started earlier this year with the first season shown in South Africa on M-Net. And again, in a homage to the iconic show with its iconic theme music, on a Tuesday. Although South Africans will never stay home again for a TV show - any TV show - and restaurants will never empty again for television, Dallas recaptured viewers attention again to a degree with the new show which reunited several members from the original cast and introducing a whole new generation.

Larry Hagman has already filmed part of the second season of the new Dallas. Six of the second season's 15 episodes had already been filmed by Larry Hagman at the time of his death.

A statement released by the actors family: "Larry's family and close friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday. When he passed, he was surrounded by loved ones. It was a peaceful passing, just as he had wished for. The family requests privacy at this time."

Warner Bros. Television and the new Dallas' executive producers Cynthia Cidre and Michael Robin, says in a jointly released statement: "Larry Hagman was a giant, a larger-than-life personality whose iconic performance as J.R. Ewing will endure as one of the most indelible in entertainment history. He truly loved portraying this globally recognized character, and he leaves a legacy of entertainment, generosity and grace. Everyone at Warner Bros. and in the Dallas family is deeply saddened by Larry's passing, and our thoughts are with his family and dear friends during this difficult time."

The TNT TV channel which is showing the new Dallas in the US says in a statement: "All of us at TNT are deeply saddened at the news of Larry Hagman's passing. He was a wonderful human being and an extremely gifted actor. We will be forever thankful that a whole new generation of people got to know and appreciate Larry through his performance as J.R. Ewing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time."

Says Linda Gray in a statement: "Larry Hagman was my best friend for 35 years. He was the Pied Piper of life and brought joy to everyone he knew. He was creative, generous, funny, loving and talented, and I will miss him enormously. He was an original and lived life to the fullest ... The world was a brighter place because of Larry Hagman."

Says M-Net in a statement which is showing Dallas in South Africa: "Larry Hagman was a legendary actor who, with his passionate portrayal of JR Ewing, created the benchmark for TV villains. We salute him for the way in which he captured the imagination of millions of people around the world and turned fictional television story lines into newsworthy events. We're glad that he was a part of the recent new installment of Dallas and that M-Net on channel 101 could bring the series to our South African viewers. Larry Hagman and ol' JR will live on in television memory, but it's sad to know that the real man won't be there any more."

Friday, November 23, 2012

Downton Abbey renewed for a 4th season as seen on BBC Entertainment on DStv in South Africa.


Downton Abbey, the sterling British drama captivating the world and shown in South Africa on BBC Entertainment (DStv 120) on DStv, has been renewed for a 4th season in the United Kingdom by ITV on which it's shown.

ITV announced the recommission today.

South Africans will only start to see the third season of Downton Abbey in April 2013 on BBC Entertainment and which just almost concluded it's latest third season besides another special episode of Christmas.

The production of another eight further episodes for a 4th season and a Christmas special for 2013 will start in February 2013 at Highclere Castle and Ealing Studios. "Viewers can look forward to more drama, comedy, love, hatred, jealousy, rivalry, ambition, despair and romance," said Gareth Neame, Downton Abbey executive producer in a statement.

Well-loved characters from above and below stairs will return along with the arrival of some new faces for the 4th season. The opening and closing episodes will again be feature length with series four continuing the story of the Crawley family and their servants in the early 1920s.

"We're thrilled to welcome back a drama series that has become a much anticipated part of all our lives every autumn and achieved success around the globe," says Laura Mackie, the director of drama at ITV in the statement.

TOLDJA! Redi Tlhabi back on TV as global talk show host with new show South 2 North starting on Al Jazeera on 30 November at 21:30.


You're reading it here first. 

TV with Thinus exclusively broke the news way back in June that Redi Tlhabi is readying a TV comeback with her own new global TV talkshow on Al Jazeera - 5 months later everything I reported is happening exactly as I said in June and I can be first to reveal that Redi Tlhabi's new global talk show on Al Jazeera (DStv 406 / TopTV 401) will be titled South 2 North and will start on 30 November at 21:30.

Redi Tlhabi (formerly Redi Direko) made a splash first on South African television - first on SABC3, then on the eNews Channel, now eNCA (DStv 403) where she was the co-anchor of the news channel's flagship weekday news show News Night with Jeremy Maggs.

She bowed out of television citing tiredness and work pressure and has since been an influential radio talk show host and also did a local profile interview and talk show series on the Mzansi Magic channel.

The past few months Redi Tlhabi and Al Jazeera has been working on her TV comeback and this time on a global scale.

Here is what I can reveal: South 2 North with Redi Tlhabi will be a weekly talkshow presented from South Africa, and with Redi Tlhabi focusing on "inspiring and intriguing guests" from across the world.

South 2 North will be done from a specially built brand-new studio right above the Wits Arts Museum from where Redi Tlhabi in her new perch with bring a mix of current affairs and intelligent conversation to viewers. "No subject will be off limits,"

The Hour is moved from M-Net Series to M-Net; the 6 part British period drama will now start on M-Net on 25 December at 20:30.


The sterling British drama The Hour which would have been on M-Net Series (DStv 114) and would have started on 18 December has now suddenly been moved to M-Net, where The Hour will now start on Tuesday 25 December at 20:30.

(Hit and Miss will now start on M-Net Series on 18 December at 22:30 in the place of The Hour).

The channel change actually does make sense and is actually a better fit on M-Net than M-Net Series.

M-Net - which lost out on actually getting Downton Abbey which is the year's best drama series and which BBC Entertainment (DStv 120) suddenly brought to South African viewers in 2012 by showing the first and second series - has been short of a good British period drama or two. The Hour will fill that void.

In addition, M-Net has secured and showed the first season of The Newsroom, the new American HBO drama set inside a fictional TV news channel. The Hour, which details British political intrigue and the inside workings of a British investigative TV news show at the BBC and the people who work there, is a logical and perfect fit therefore to both The Newsroom and on the M-Net schedule.

And there's a third reason: The Hour takes place in London in 1956 - it also fits nicely with Mad Men, the 1960's advertising drama which is also a prestige M-Net drama.

So there's actually three very good reasons as to why M-Net likely decided to remove The Hour from M-Net Series and rather place this six episode British drama on M-Net.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

REVIEW. The Link on SABC1 with Lerato Kganyago on Thursdays at 18:30 is sparkling pink, frothy filler - and surprisingly filling.


The biggest surprise, and may one add a pleasant one at that, is that The Link on SABC1 which started on Thursday at 18:30 with presenter Lerato Kganyago is of such (surprising) quality that the frothy pink entertainment magazine show would actually fit well and belong seamlessly on more upmarket channels such as SABC3 or even M-Net.

Kudos therefore to SABC1 for bringing to air a brand-new show with not just an actual modicum of quality in terms of production values, but a show that will help to lift the channel's early primetime line-up to more respectability within South Africa's TV industry.

The Link produced by BonNgoe Productions is above average well (already a huge plus in the constant and large cestpool of "failure television" on South African TV) in terms of watchability, and Lerato Kganyago, formerly from SowetoTV, comes across as remarkably natural, grounded and really interested in her guests.

Lerato Kganyago is too obviously reading her script from the teleprompter (look more generally up, girl) if you closely follow her eyes, although in time and with experience she'll hopefully improve with this aspect.


Otherwise she's definitely on the right track - calm, friendly (without being overly emotive) and not (and this is a huge positive) sassy. Too many presenters overact and try to be fake-friendly. Lerato Kganyago gets it right because she's just herself.

There is a little bit too much talking with the hands (Nonhle Thema was never a role model to be emulated people), but hopefully some floor manager can eventually help Lerato Kganyago to tone this down a little. Otherwise, she's marvelous, making only small technical mistakes, and feels genuine.

The Link as a pink magazine show, bubbling like a pleasant glass of rose champagne, is filled with froth but doesn't come across as overly carbonated - and even to get that half-right is a difficult thing to achieve.

 The Link shows what SABC3's dismally plastic Flash! could and should have been and that it is indeed possible to make entertainment magazine shows which don't overhype and underdeliver. The Link's DNA is Flash! done right.

The Link feels like a video version of the female-skewed magazine Cleo and now Grazia - light and fluffy, yet topical pop culture packets neatly stacked in easily digestible video snippets. You won't remember them tomorrow, but you're not supposed to.

From micro studio interviews, to event vox pops, local and international gossip with snide commentary, glam event coverage and an obligatory "hunk of the week" insert blatantly pandering to a female viewership by having a man strip to show some muscle for perving female eyes, The Link is a sweet television treat - filler that's filling.

When a show loses its creative force, planned presenter or showrunner - The Link was Bonang Matheba's baby - it often goes pear shaped. Quickly.

Yet despite frantically looking for a replacement presenter as late as last week, The Link is actually interesting and above average television. Now we'll never know: Would The Link have been even better with Bonang Matheba, or is the show actually luckily that she's gone clashing with choirs and is actually good because she's not the presenter?

The Link's biggest drawback is the histrionic Sinazo Yolwa doing the gossip titbits and who appeared in a what resembled a white tennis bra and halfcut black leather bodice. When the lecturer talked about not wailing and flailing with your hands and arms in the middle third of what is a TV screen because sudden quick and constant movements distract the viewer and your presentation, Sinazo Yolwa was asleep or skipped class.

The erratic head turns to non-verbally emphasise what is being said is too distractingly much; the shiny patches on the neck, cheekbones and face because of too much make-up and too little powder under the lights are too distractingly little.

The Link is clearly geared to a young hip female audience, yet Sinazo Yolwa seems to think she'a kindergarten teacher talking down to toddlers who needs to be overly-animatic, instructed to go make a poopey.

Otherwise The Link is sparkling, clean, clear (although there's a bit of a video compression problem but not so technically distracting that ordinary viewers will notice) and fun to watch. It's not the best champagne out there but when you just want a party and a bit of fun, the bubbly doesn't need to be. The Link on SABC1 neatly manages to do the trick.

BREAKING. Tony Hall appointed as the new director-general of the BBC; replacing George Entwistle from March 2013.


Tony Hall (61) has been appointed the new director-general of the BBC, charged to steer the venerable British Broadcasting Corporation back from scandal and repairing the damage that multiple scandals the past few months have inflicted on the BBC's sterling reputation and credibility.

In April 2001 Tony Hall, who made editor of the BBC's 9 o' clock news at age 24, became the CEO of the Royal Opera House.

Tony Hall will take up his position March 2013, replacing George Entwistle who left the BBC under a cloud of scandal at the British broadcaster after having served only 54 days.

Lord Patten, chairperson of the BBC Trust, said that Tony Hall's appointment will "prove invaluable as the BBC looks to rebuild both its reputation in this area and the trust of audiences".

Lord Patten wrote to BBC staff saying that Tony Hall was "an insider and is currently an outsider. As an ex-BBC man he understands how the corporation's culture and behaviour make it, at its best, the greatest broadcaster in the world."

"And from his vantage point outside the BBC, he understands the criticisms that are levelled at the corporation – both those that are justified and those that are not. But perhaps most importantly, given where we now find ourselves, his experience as a former BBC journalist will prove invaluable as the BBC looks to rebuild its reputation in this area."

In a statement Tony Hall says " I believe passionately in the BBC and that's why I have accepted Lord Patten's invitation to become director general. This organisation is an incredibly important part of what makes the United Kingdom what it is. And of course it matters not just to people in this country – but to tens of millions around the world too."

"It's been a difficult few weeks – but together we'll get through it. I'm committed to ensuring our news services are the best in the world."

"I'm committed to making this a place where creative people, the best and the brightest, want to work. And I know from my first days here as a news trainee, to my time as head of news and current affairs, to my time now at the Royal Opera House, that I can't do it on my own. Having the right teams working together, sparking off each other, is key. And I want to build a world class team to lead a world class BBC."

BREAKING. Why the SABC can never stop The Bold and the Beautiful - public broadcaster locked into 'forever' contracts.


The Bold and the Forever Beautiful: Viewers don't have to fret about at least some shows on the SABC - there are a few programmes - American shows and soaps which will simply never go away - well, at least not until they get cancelled in America.

You have to hand it to those Forresters: The SABC simply won't - simply can't ever get rid of, or cancel some shows like the SABC1 soap The Bold and the Beautiful - the SABC is locked into a lifelong contract and is forced to keep showing The Beautiful and the Beautiful as well as some other shows until those shows one day end. If they ever end.

Dr Ben Ngubane, the SABC chairperson, revealed to parliament when he appeared for a grilling before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) tha the SABC is locked into lifelong contracts for certain American shows which the South African public broadcaster simply can't get out of. The Bold and the Beautiful is one of them.

The SABC is locked into a tight "evergreen" contract for the American soap which is binding until the series eventually ends. The SABC will have to keep showing The Bold and the Beautiful, irrespective of ratings, viewership or whether it fits with one of the SABC TV channel's demographics, until the soap goes off the air in America.

Once incredibly popular in South Africa, The Bold and the Beautiful on SABC1 has seen its viewership tumble in South Africa the past decade. Although still widely watched, the viewership of the show is nowhere near its heydey numbers of the nineties.

With lower viewership comes lower advertising rates, which means the SABC earns less from the show and from keeping it on the schedule. However, the SABC which could move Bold to another channel, will never be able to move it off of the SABC.

The SABC plans to move The Bold and the Beautiful from SABC1 to SABC2 in January 2013 to make space on SABC1 for Afcon 2013 soccer matches - deemed more desirable than the Forrester fashion froth soap.

In May the SABC CEO Lulama Mokhobo shockingly said Bold is old. Lulama Mokhobo told parliament in May that programming like The Bold and the Beautiful on the SABC is "outdated" but that the SABC needs to keep showing it.

BREAKING. SABC senior managers receive a fuel allowance of R10 000 per month; SABC News division, OB vehicles still use petrol cards.


Senior managers at the struggling public broadcaster receive fuel allowances of R10 000 per month at the SABC despite massive controversy which saw the broadcaster phase out the use of petrol cards and a system which had been widely abused.

The SABC News division as well as the SABC's outside broadcasting (OB) vehicles are still using petrol cards. The SABC chairperson, dr Ben Ngubane told parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) that the public broadcaster has been phasing out the use of petrol cards but that the new system is actually costing the SABC more.

Senior management now get a massive monthly fuel allowance of up to R10 000.

Dr Ben Ngubane told SCOPA that the SABC will likely again not get a clean audit in 2013.

Dr Ben Ngubane and the SABC board were blasted by SCOPA and members of parliament over the lack of controls at the SABC. A visibly irritated dr Ben Ngubane had to endure the scathing wrath of members of parliament and also revealed that the SABC has no internal audit committee.

The SABC's supply chain management policy has also not yet been approved besides having had no internal audit committee.

"In the meantime, the organisation procures billions and billions of [TV content] – based on what? On no policy. It's mind-boggling. It's unacceptable," said Roy Ainslie, the ANC MP.


ALSO READ: SABC called "a circus" and "like Hollywood: SABC and its chairperson dr Ben Ngubane blasted in parliament over lack of controls.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

BREAKING. Lance Witten back on the air on the eNCA from Thursday following 'hurtful and inappropriate' tweets.


The twit could have lost his job over this but eNCA sports anchor Lance Witten will be back tomorrow on the eNCA (DStv 403) after livid news bosses at South Africa's 24 hour news channel suspended him with immediate effect 13 days ago, following out-of-line and insensitive death tweet jokes after the Linkin Park concert structure collapse tragedy in Cape Town.

Lance Witten's irresponsible tweets damaged not only his own credibility as a TV reporter and the public perception of him, but also the credibility, image, brand and integrity of the news platform he represents.

The eNCA says Lance Witten will resume his on-air work on Thursday, follwing a 13 day suspension and a disciplinary hearing during which Lance Witten acknowledged that the tweets "were hurtful and inappropriate".

While dismissal was an option on the table, the chairperson of the disciplinary committee felt that dismissal would be excessive.

"We took the matter seriously and dealth with it speedily," says Patrick Conroy, the group head of news at the eNCA. "We are satisfied with the internal disciplinary process, he has been sanctioned and we now consider this matter closed."

I asked the eNCA about the news channel's policy for social media use by reporters. Patrick Conroy tells me that the eNCA have had a social media policy for quite some time.

"This incident does not require us to revisit that policy as it comprehensively covered the issues at hand. Lance Witten accepts he failed to live up to this policy."

"Essentially the policy makes it clear that social media platforms are not private, but public, and all statements made should be considered as such."


ALSO READ: Global TV news channels have good advice for the eNCA and its suspended twit reporter Lance Witten.

BREAKING. The Discovery Channel cancels Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe after 9 years; 'it was as they say, a very good run'.


The Discovery Channel (DStv 121) has cancelled Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe.

The cancellation of the longrunning show by Discovery Channel which started in 2003, follows within days on the heels of the cancellation of American Chopper which was also on The Discovery Channel.

Mike Rowe announced the cancellation of Dirty Jobs in a blog post today, saying "Dirty Jobs is a very personal show and it's difficult for me to imagine a future that does not involve exploding toilets, venomous snakes, misadventures in animal husbandry and feces from every species."

"The last episode looked pretty much like the first. We didn't become something we weren't. We never shared the sewer with Paris Hilton, and we never invited you to "tune in next week for a very special Dirty Jobs."

"We stuck to the mission statement. We stayed small. We worked hard. And we had a hell of a good time. It was as they say, a very good run."

BREAKING. Bold and the Beautiful and Generations moving to SABC2 in 2013 the tip of the iceberg of massive SABC schedule confusing coming.



With severe schedule disruption and massive programming upheaval on all three of the SABC's TV channels coming in 2013, how viewers are going to make sense of the coming mess is anyone's guess: The SABC plans to dump some SABC1 shows on SABC2, and even have some soccer matches on SABC3 - the broadcaster's commercial lifestyle TV channel - for Afcon 2013 happening in January 2013.

Last week TV critics rolled eyes at each other when word leaked in the biz that the SABC plans to repurpose several SABC1 shows come January 2013 to SABC2 in order to accomodate the Afcon 2013. Even SABC3 won't be spared with that channel which will have to carry the soccer load and screen some of the matches.

The Afcon 2013 mixey-matchey shows how indistinguishable the SABC's three TV channels have become, although they're supposed to have and serve very separate demographic markets. If shows and programming can be willy-nilly moved around, seemingly indistinguishable between channels, are those channel's really all that different? Already all of them repeat each other's soaps and other programming from news bulletins and movies to sitcoms and dramas.

From 19 January huge programming disruption will hit viewers of SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 on the day-to-day schedules between 16:30 and midnight - affecting some of the SABC's biggest advertising revenue earners such as The Bold and the Beautiful, MontanaGenerations, Zone 14, RGB and Friends Like These.

With SABC1 broadcasting 29 Afcon 2013 matches, The Bold and the Beautiful is suddenly moving to SABC2 at 18:00 from January. So not only is SABC1's schedule disrupted and the Afcon 2013 soccer matches contained there, it's also impacting SABC2 which will only maintain its current normal schedule from 21:00 at night.

SABC2 will now carry SABC1's Xhosa/Zulu news at 19:30 and the Siswati/Ndebele news is also moving from SABC1 to SABC2 and to a new time of 17:30. Generations also moves from SABC1 to SABC2 but luckily remains in its current 20:00 timeslot. SABC1 dramas such as Montana, Zone 14, and Tshisa all move to SABC2 in January 2013. Real Goboza also moving to SABC2 also gets a new timeslot at 17:30; Friends Like These move to SABC2 and a new timeslot fo 18:30.

This all means that The Bold and the Beautiful will now be on SABC2 starting at 18:00, followed by 7de Laan, then the Afrikaans news at 19:30 and then Generations at 20:00 - a haphazard non-flow schedule harking back to the 12 languages in bit-pieces the SABC unsuccessfully introduced in 1994.

How viewers are going to react to the massive scheduling reaction is anybody's guess.

Not known for its sports coverage besides cricket and the odd overhyped Venus and Serena Williams tennis match, SABC3 will suddenly dump Afcon 2013 soccer matches on viewers. SABC3 will have at least 4 Afcon 2013 soccer matches. Of course the soccer on SABC3 will impact the broadcaster's biggest single TV production - its daily soap Isidingo.

Isidingo will be moving to the far too late timeslot of 21:30 from 28 January.