Shaun Brown: trash the ABC just like SBS
Tuesday November 27th 2007, 8:48 pm

Shaun Brown putting the BS in SBS

SBS has been broken down into a cheap, tawdry, run-of-the-mill commercial TV station and has lost one of the finest newscasters Australia has known in Mary Kostakidis, all out of greed and the fact that the HoWARd government made the commercialisation of SBS possible.

SBS managing director Shaun Brown not only thinks this is just peachy-keen, but also wants to spread the rot to the ABC:

ABC should run ads: SBS boss

The ABC should be forced to run advertisements, the head of SBS says.

The Special Broadcasting Services’ managing director Shaun Brown has also mounted a spirited defence of his channel, biting back at allegations he had “dumbed down” the home of foreign films and documentaries.

“I don’t believe that public broadcasting ideology has to be non-commercial,” Mr Brown told The Bulletin magazine.

“It’s a distinctly Australian view, that.

“If you travelled the world and asked about other public broadcasters, with the exception of the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), you would not find adherence to the concept that unless you are commercial-free, you’re somehow corrupted.”

2 words, Mr Brown: You’re wrong.

I have travelled the world, even worked as on-air talent and as a broadcast engineer, in both public and commercial broadcasting in the USA.

Everywhere I find advertising supported broadcasting, particularly in news broadcasting, I find intrinsic bias (ever see McNeil on PBS bag out Archer Daniels Midland? Hen’s teeth, baby…) and marketing ‘maximisations’ (i.e. dumbing down) designed to attract advertisers and thus enrichen the shareholders, not improve the quality of the service.

Not only should ABC never consider accepting advertising, wresting SBS from the commercial basis it was shoved on under HoWARd should be one of Rudd’s first ‘100 days’ action items. GetUp, if you ever wanted a campaign suggestion, there’s one for ya.

Shaun Brown ought to be updating his CV.


8 Comments so far
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I’m with you 100% on this. I’d sign a petition to get SBS back on track.

BTW, you’ve won quote of the week over on my blog for this one.

Comment by Bruce 11.30.07 @ 8:33 pm

Thanks for that, Bruce.

There’s been some discussion on the Friends of the ABC mailing list about broadening their scope to include de-commercialisation of SBS, up to and including renaming the group ‘Friends of Public Broadcasting,’ but there was resistance and inertia to even supporting SBS by some factions within FABC. One or two members struck me as downright racist. I’m disinclined to participate much with FABC.

One FABC person, however, came up with the Save Our SBS group and website. It’s not seen a lot of activity, but given the change of govt, may well be worth supporting.

Stephen Conroy is now in the Communications portfolio- I’ll canvas him for the Rudd plan for SBS.

I put in a suggestion for a campaign to GetUp… and got a pro-forma response… Perhaps more than one person has to petition GetUp so they’ll put together a petition… 😆

Comment by weez 12.01.07 @ 10:22 am

Popped in to check this out from the Podium, and I entirely agree. SBS is now a de-facto commercial channel with all that entails.

As an aside, it’s interesting your response to Bruce is dated 12.01.07 🙂

Comment by John Morales 12.01.07 @ 11:02 am

John, what’s odd about the datestamps, aside from the US convention mm/dd/yyyy notation?

Comment by weez 12.01.07 @ 6:47 pm


Nothing. 🙂

Comment by John Morales 12.01.07 @ 7:11 pm

What I find especially dissapointing is that around the time that SBS expanded their advertising beyond the slots between programs to interupt viewing, I’m pretty sure that I recall the particular justification that this would help SBS fund new locally made drama. Now with reluctance, this was an excuse I found myself going along with – cos we bloody hell do we need more quality local drama… a culture that stops telling stories to itself is in a sorry state indeed.

Now its been, what, about a year??? Where the fucks my drama?

Anyhow, to quote the mob at
“Prior to SBS running ads, the customers of SBS were the viewers. Clearly the customers or clients of SBS are now the advertisers, and, the advertisers customer is the viewer.”

Comment by Marcus 12.05.07 @ 9:35 am

Marcus, you’ve astutely described the typical effect of privatising a public asset. The public are promised the moon and receive not so much as moon dust… but the shareholders enjoy their steak dinners, don’t they?

Comment by weez 12.10.07 @ 9:02 am

Now here’s an interesting development…

Grant quits SBS after Kostakidis stoush

Alex Tibbitts
December 13, 2007

SBS newsreader Stan Grant will leave the multicultural broadcaster on Friday to pursue an unspecified “new challenge”, the station announced this afternoon.

That leaves SBS’s main news program, World News Australia, without its two high-profile hosts after Mary Kostakidis quit the station in August after accusing management of being sidelined by Grant, whom she said bullied her.

Grant will be replaced in the 6.30pm one-hour news program by Anton Enus.

Comment by weez 12.12.07 @ 5:05 pm

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