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Restructuring of the TEN television network is imminent following continued financial losses.

KERRY O'BRIEN: The countdown for the TEN TV Network is on again. Every week it's losing $2 million - the banks, the Government, the Broadcasting Tribunal must soon decide its future.

Every week Channel TEN stays on air, it loses about $2 million.

ALEX HAMILL: They clearly can't continue with ratings falling, because if they do, then revenue will also fall.

KERRY O'BRIEN: In the next few weeks, the banks, the Government and the Broadcasting Tribunal must decide whether we'll have three commercial networks or have something completely different. Countdown for TEN; that's our story tonight.

Just over three weeks ago, we reported on the financial plight of the TEN Television Network. We revealed a plan by the Westpac bank to move into TEN, remove current boss, Steve Cosser, and put in new managers. That plan came to an abrupt halt following the intervention of the Minister for Communications, Kim Beazley. As a result, Westpac held back. Instead, a receiver was put in to run TEN in cooporation with Steve Cosser. The situation now is that that arrangement is about to end. TEN is bleeding money too fast, and the banks are still actively pursuing their original plan.

Later in the program, we'll explore some options if Channel TEN was to collapse, but first, reporter Andrew Fowler has the latest information.

ANDREW FOWLER: The fate of the beleaguered Channel TEN will be decided a lot sooner than was expected. The team of receivers drafted in by the banks, had hoped to knock the company into shape by next year, ready for a sale.

JAMES MILLAR: There is no intention to not have a third network, and it will be a viable third network.

ANDREW FOWLER: But events have overtaken them. They will now be reporting to the banks in three weeks time, on a strategy to save what's left of their investment, to divulge some savage cutbacks on programs and staff levels. Forcing the pace is TEN's debt, it's growing at $2 million a week, in a company which already owes $450 million to the banks. What makes matters worse, industry sources estimate Channel TEN to be worth just $200 million. On top of the debt crisis, the station's revenue, the money it raises from advertising, has slumped dramatically. Lateline understands that just three months ago, the station was expecting to rake in $280 million from advertising this year, but already, industry observers say that figure is too high; it'll be closer to $250 million - a $30 million shortfall. What's frightening the advertisers away is TEN's disastrous ratings. The station has just suffered its worst ratings performance in 20 years.

ALEX HAMILL: Advertising revenue and ratings are directly related; I mean, obviously the higher the ratings, the more revenue you deserve and you do get. The latest figures on TEN are not terrific. They've got an 18th share of the market, and that suggests, therefore, that their revenue is going to also be decreasing and they clearly can't continue with ratings falling because if they do, then revenue will also fall.

ANDREW FOWLER: The biggest loser so far has been the Westpac Bank; it carries half of TEN's debt. Last month it moved to oust TEN's boss, Steve Cosser. Cosser survived but the station was placed in receivership. Now Lateline understands Westpac is preparing to move again; it could come as early as three weeks time when it gets the receiver's report detailing TEN's financial plight. Again, there's no room for Cosser. Westpac believes his production company, Broadcom, which provides programs and production facilities for the channel, has been doing well. They cite the fact that Broadcom charged $8 million to cover the New South Wales Rugby League for TEN, which some industry sources say an independent production house could have done it for $4 million. To protect its interests, Westpac will make a takeover bid for the network. Its offer will be the same as its debt, and much too high for anyone else to compete.

Even though former Channel NINE board member, Malcolm Turnbull, has been barred from taking part in the running of the station, he's a key adviser to Westpac, and if the Westpac plan comes off, Channel TEN will be run by Gary Rice(?), a former executive of Channel NINE.

Cosser also has a plan that involves him remaining as the head of TEN and bringing in a foreign partner, US film distributors MCA; but Cosser is unlikely to be successful. The Westpac and Cosser plans agree on one thing - for TEN to survive, there must be huge staff cuts, with half the newsroom to go and the end of programs like Good Morning Australia, and TEN's current affairs program, The Walsh Report. TEN's overseas programs, like Rosanne and Cheers may also get the axe. There'll also be massive pay cuts for those who stay. Mike Gibson on $800,000....

REPORTER: Mike Gibson, would you mind if I asked you just quickly, what you think the future at Channel TEN is.

MIKE GIBSON: No comment. I'm not the boss.

ANDREW FOWLER: News director, Tom Barnett, on $600,000 and news presenter Eric Walters on $500,000 will be among the first to be targetted.

Whatever happens, Channel TEN will be a slimmed down service, cutting costs and programs, programs we've got used to just won't be there any more. But will a slimmed down Channel TEN be acceptable to the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal? Last month, acting Chairman, Peter Westerway, indicated that receiver or not, Channel TEN would still be expected to provide a comprehensive service, and that means children's television, Australian content and news and current affairs to an acceptable standard.

And Minister Beazley on Lateline, reinforced the Government's commitment to the three-station policy.

KIM BEAZLEY: We believe there should be three commercial services in every region. There should be broadly-based services provided by those three commercial services and, above all, there should be one proprietor, one person in a situation of ownership and control, in each of those three individual commercial services.

ANDREW FOWLER: Before long, the Government will have to decide. Will it allow a drastically trimmed down TEN, or will it risk TEN going off air altogether.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Let's get an expert assessment now of the likely TEN outcome. Nigel Dick is one of Australia's most experienced television executives. At various stages he's been the senior executive of Channels NINE and SEVEN in Melbourne, and NINE in Sydney. He's run his own rural televison network in Victoria and was chief executive of New Zealand's equivalent of the ABC. Today he runs a media consultancy in Melbourne.

Nigel Dick, in what form can Channel TEN survive?

NIGEL DICK: Channel TEN can survive as an alternative network. Unless they pull a real rabbit out the hat, which I think at the moment seems to be somewhat unlikely, at least in my opinion, but the simple facts are that Australia, and it's not just the present level of debt, we really can't afford three commercial networks. We've only really ever been able to afford two and a half commercial networks - the debt just accentuates the problem.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But there was a period there, and if you go back, I suppose to the early seventies, take it from the Number 96 period and the period of The Box at Channel TEN, from the early seventies right through until the point where this government changed its policy on broadcasting, three commercial networks seemed to be able to operate quite healthily.

NIGEL DICK: Three commercial networks operated healthily in Sydney and Melbourne. They didn't operate healthily in Adelaide and Brisbane. The top one made money, the second one made a living, and the third one basically lost money. And I think it's important to recognise that from the day Bob Menzies, back in about 1962, agreed to the overtures of the late Sir Frank Packer, late Rupert Henderson, of Sydney Morning Herald fame and Sir John Williams, to provide a third station in Adelaide and Brisbane in order to have equality of services in the four eastern seaboard cities, that's when this sort of philosophy that we should have three stations everywhere ,first occurred. And in fact, it's wrong, and it's particularly wrong now because with the advent of the satellite, in five years time to use a period of time, the foreign programs on which we rely at this moment to the extent of over 50 per cent on commercial television, will be beamed into Australia by international satellite operators who are buying world rights and putting those programs into small dishes in people's windowsill recievers. Now research shows that the 45 per cent of programs, approximately, that are Australian made, and are telecast between 6 o'clock and midnight, that those 45 per cent of programs attract about 60 per cent, nearly 60 per cent of the viewing. The corollary of that is the 55 per cent that are foreign, attract only 40 per cent of the viewing.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Most Australians actually do want to watch more Australian television, is that what you're saying?

NIGEL DICK: They do indeed. It's not just the importance of Australian television reflecting our identity, the mores of this country, but it's also the preferred option. Now when these satellite operators start buying the rights of LA Law, MacGyver and programs of that ilk, the popular overseas programs, the only defence against that is more Australian programs. Now if we had two stations, I call them perhaps the glamour network stations, who were allowed to be exactly that and were receiving about 80 per cent of the revenue, within about five years they could be presenting 70 to 75 per cent Australian content, which in fact would be about equal to the Australian content being screened over three commercial networks right now.

KERRY O'BRIEN: I'll now introduce our next guest who's a man seeking to replace Channel TEN with a new type of televison station. Phillip Adams for many years, ran a very successful advertising agency. He was instrumental as a producer, in relaunching the Australian Film Industry in the seventies and he's been chairman of the Australian Film Commission for the past decade. Today, he still dabbles in advertising as well as working in radio in Sydney. Phillip Adams, what do you say to what Nigel Dick has just been saying.

PHILLIP ADAMS: I'm astonished by Nigel's change of heart and very encouraged by it. I think we should see the potential darkening of the TEN screen as a window of opportunity. Now's the chance to do something I've been yearning for, for at least 10 years, to have an electric gallery or what the British call Channel 4.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Well, before you go on to Channel 4, when you say the darkening of TEN's screen, what are the chances of reviving TEN, using the standard formula, if you like. I mean, what are the chances of reviving TEN and it coming back within the old format of three commercial networks?

PHILLIP ADAMS: Well, I suppose you might get a Number 96 galloping out of left field which could do something to sustain it for a while, or you might get another renaissance, as we had with Roadshow Coote and Carol, with bringing in the mini-series. But of course, they were subsidised by the 10BA tax concessions which have now gone. I think in the long haul, it's on the iron lung and it should be put out of its misery and something new should be created in its place. I agree with Nigel, there's no point in having networks that replicate each other. It's like the two airline policy; let's do something new. Let's have a collaboration between the most talented creative people and the more intelligent viewers.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Okay, well, you're talking about Channel 4, let's hold you there and introduce to the audience the way in which Channel 4 works in Britain. Our reporter in London is Tony Jones.

TONY JONES: Channel 4 news, like all its programs, is made by an outside organisation. It may seem strange, but the channel buys its news output from another commercial network, ITV.

ITV tendered for and won a contract to produce the sort of news service that Channel 4 wanted. But then from its inception, virtually everything about Channel 4 has been different to what we've come to expect from commercial television.

MICHAEL GRADE: Well, the aim of the station was really to add to the viewers' choice. The idea was that we had BBC 1, which was well established - a big popular channel. BBC 2 was the second channel on stream which was a kind of slightly more up market to BBC 1. Then commercial television came along with ITV as a big, broad, brash populist channel. Then the opportunity to release another frequency for a fourth channel was mooted, and the debate centred on, really quite rightly on trying to add to viewers' choice, and the notion of a channel which by statute is required to cater for tastes and interests not catered for on other channels.

CHARLES DENTON: The basic aim was to provide a new reviving force within British television which had got locked at three channels for some time, but to take a new model for running that channel, which is a commissioner broadcaster model, where Channel 4 would not under any circumstances, attempt to make its own material, but would have a series of commissioning editors who would work outwards to what was hoped to be a growing independent production business and shows put in by the existing channels, the existing commercial channels, on a commercial bought-in basis to the channel.

TONY JONES: This is where Channel 4's production work happens. There are only 400 permanent staff in the station itself. The crew here are shooting an episode of the detective drama, `Inspector Morse'. Charles Denton's Zenith Productions have had a hit with `Morse', as with a number of feature films, including `Wish you were here', produced for Channel 4.

CHARLES DENTON: It's another model. It's another model which, I think, has refreshed British television enormously. It's only too easy when you're working for 2,000-person broadcasting organisations, and the major ITB companies are 2,000-person broadcasting organisations or were at that time, and the BBC is, of course, many times that scale. If you're working for independent production companies, the biggest in this country might at this stage even be 30, 35 people, and they are by necessity, much more focused on the job that they're doing and much closer concerned, I think, with the idea and its execution than most people are when they're working in a bureaucracy of a broadcaster.

TONY JONES: The critical factor for Channel 4 has been its funding arrangements. These have tidied in to the existing commercial system. At present, ITV produces not only the news but also sells the advertising on Channel 4, and then provides 17 per cent of the joint advertising revenue back to 4, to fund its operation. This funding arrangement was written into the Broadcasting Act, but the Act itself is due to change in 1993, and one option for Channel 4 was to privatise what is now a non-profit making statutory body.

MICAHEL GRADE: Certainly, we could have been privatised and gone into the commercial world. We'd have been very successful. We'd all probably have made a lot of money, but the channel would have .. the channel's program policy would have changed dramatically. We would have started to compete rather than to complement, which is what we do at the moment, and that hangs always on the funding arrangements.

TONY JONES: Could you explain for us what the new arrangements are going to be?

MICHAEL GRADE: Channel 4 for the first time, is going to have to sell its own air time in competition with Channel 3. But in order to give us a bit of security, there is a safety net funding arrangement in place where, if our revenue drops below a certain point, we get topped up by the ITV companies. If our revenue goes over a certain point, they get a share in the surplus. So, it's a classic British political compromise, but we think it's workable. We don't think we're ever going to fall below the safety net.

TONY JONES: So as the famous Inspector Morse prepares to pack his bags to film the rest of this episode in Australia, there are a few ideas he should perhaps take with him to help out our own beleaguered commercial television industry. Although it came about by accident, the Channel 4 model has revolutionised British television. It's produced a wider range of programs and created hundreds of jobs in the industry.

Do you think the industry in Australia could, if it was rationalised, support a Channel 4?

CHARLES DENTON: Yes, of course it could. There's no reason why in a country as developed as Australia and with the traditions Australia has, that a Channel 4 Australia couldn't work in precisely the same way as a Channel 4 UK. What it couldn't do, though, is to come in on top of the existing broadcasting system and hope to compete for revenue where that system already looks overcrowded and desperately overextended.

TONY JONES: It would have to be a pruned down.....

CHARLES DENTON: It would have to be rethought from the word go, if it's believed that a Channel 4 model would be in the broadest sense, of value to the audience, not of value to those people who might want to invest in it and take out the maximum return for their dollar, but value to the most important thing for all of television - the audience.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Phillip Adams, Australia is not Britain, and the BBC is not the ABC: how do you translate Channel 4 in Britain to Channel TEN Australia?

PHILLIP ADAMS: It's an idea that's been kicking around here for a long time; in fact, it was a part of ALP media policy before Channel 4 existed. Robert Holmes a Court and I used to talk about it often. He was a great supporter of it. It would seem to me that the major players wouldn't be too thrilled to have their advertising revenue garnisheed for the purpose, but it might be the least unpalatable of alternatives. And then I would have thought operations like the Australian Film Commission, like the Film Finance Corp, could fold in much of their activity and investment to support it. I think there's certainly enough creative vitality around. Channel 4 are under selling themselves there. They haven't just been a ginger group in British television, they're a major force in the world, and it's hard to see, even on SBS or the ABC, anything from Britain that doesn't make the hair curl on the back of the neck, that isn't coming from Channel 4 rather than the BBC. Why can't we do it? The advertising people are looking forward to it. The AAA, oddly enough, the organisation that represents the major advertisers, sees it as very exciting because it means they could get the demographics that are denied to them because they can't buy advertising time on the ABC.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But why doesn't it simply duplicate some of the things on the ABC. I mean, what does it do, as a means of serving an Australian audience, that the ABC doesn't do?

PHILLIP ADAMS: I can't answer that because no one can tell. It simply changes the ground rules and says we are going to be minority broadcasters, we are going to be radical in form or in theme, we're going to try things that no one has ever tried before. Sadly, the ABC has been pursuing ratings almost as ardently as the commercial networks.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Not on Lateline, I must say.

PHILLIP ADAMS: Oh Kerry, that's very self-effacing. But it has. And this is the truth, the ABC has been yet another commercial broadcaster without commercials. SBS has perhaps been trying to do a little more of this material but they've got no audience basically, because they're on the wrong sort of television signal, as you know.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Well, we'll give you a test here, Phillip. I'll introduce our final guest: Ian Kennon was for many years chief executive at Channel TEN, including the Number 96 era. Today he runs his own advertising agency, and Ian Kennon, you don't much like the idea of Channel 4, is that right? You think that TEN can actually be revived and can run as a totally viable third commercial network?

IAN KENNON: Well, I don't know that I don't like the idea of a Channel 4 or if Australia needs a Channel 4 ... an ABC number two or an SBS number two or whatever, but just because commercial networks are in financial trouble, doesn't mean to say that the solution for the viewer - as Nigel Dick said, the viewer is the most important thing. Well, in the late '70s and the early '80s, and in fact until Fairfax and Packer and Murdoch sold the commercial networks for horrific prices, there were three viable networks. In the main, they were basically equal rating - 27, 29, 30 per cent share of audience, give or take five per cent, which the surveys say, so they all were viable and provided the viewer with a very good service. They were not clones of each other. Channel TEN had an hour service, a news service; it was a parish pump news service; they didn't make any apologies for it. Channel NINE was up market. Channel SEVEN was middle of the road, and viewers had the choice of what news service they wanted to watch. They were not clones of each other. Channel TEN had Number 96; Channel NINE had `The Sullivans'. The viewer had a variety of different sort of Australian productions that they wanted to watch, and they remained on air because they were successful, not because they were unsuccessful.

KERRY O'BRIEN: How about: that was then, this is now? Given Australia going into the '90s, can we afford the kinds of drama, for example, I mean can we afford .. can the commercial networks afford to commission The Sullivans, can they afford to continue the kinds of drama?

IAN KENNON: I mean, we're all getting carried away about staff. I mean, Nigel Dick said before .. I'm sorry he didn't .. my apologies Nigel. Your lead-in report said: big staff cuts. Right, you get rid of 50 people - that's $5 million. Channel TEN are paying $40 million for the football. They owe MCA Universal $60 million. That's where the money is, not in staff cuts or in Australian drama. I mean, an Australian drama on this network now, you have GP and The Sullivans .. I'm sorry, Embassy - two very good Australian productions. They're not expensive; they're produced on video tape; the audience liked them; they are both getting very good ratings for the ABC. They don't have to be madly expensive to get ratings. I mean, the fact of the matter is that television spent more money than it earned as did a lot of other industries in this country, and that's why they're in trouble.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Tell me the great things that Channel TEN in the past, has contributed to Australia's culture?

IAN KENNON: Balance.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Balance?

IAN KENNON: Yes. You know, you see that's in the eye in the holder.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Well, let's try your eye.

IAN KENNON: Number 96 helped a lot of people accept the fact of homosexuality.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Okay. Phillip Adams.

PHILLIP ADAMS: He keeps adding up Number 96, Number 96 over and over again as though it's going to come up with the answer.

IAN KENNON: I didn't bring it up. Kerry brought it up. I didn't mention it.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Phillip.

PHILLIP ADAMS: Look, to hell with the past. We've got an opportunity to look at the future of television.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But what's been wrong? I mean, in your view, what's been wrong. Why can't we have three viable commercial networks? Let's say two years from now, TEN regroups, a lot of people go by the wayside, but they gradually build back; they do reruns; and two years from now, they do strike another Number 96. Why is that wrong for Australia?

PHILLIP ADAMS: Adams' first law of television is that we haven't had 35 years of it - we've have one year 35 times. If you extrapolate into the future with the same theories and the same formulas, we'll simply lose the audience, they'll get more and more bored. There's an opportunity to be innovative, to be exciting, to imagine programs we can't even think of tonight; that's the challenge of television. It shouldn't just ossify.

KERRY O'BRIEN: All right. But I mean the ABC is under attack year after year, it has to come down here to Canberra and justify an ever increasing budget. What you're suggesting is another channel which is kind of....

PHILLIP ADAMS: Yes, but not publicly funded. I'm suggesting it has to be carried by advertising.

KERRY O'BRIEN: You talked to Kerry Packer about this?

PHILLIP ADAMS: Well, shortly before his heart attack. I hope it didn't play a role in it.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Well, perhaps it did.

PHILLIP ADAMS: He certainly wasn't too thrilled. But as I said, Robert Holmes a Court, when he was a licence holder....

KERRY O'BRIEN: And he had a heart attack too.

PHILLIP ADAMS: Well, perhaps it's a bad idea. I withdraw. No, look, it's crazy not to try this. It's the best opportunity we'll ever have. Why should bankers, why should lawyers be telling us what sort of television we should have in the future. Let's take televison out of the hands of the receivers and put it in the hands of our best and brightest people and there are many documentary makers and many film makers whose material is too radical, is too disturbing for the ABC, and even for SBS.

KERRY O'BRIEN: So who's going to watch it?

PHILLIP ADAMS: A small minority of people.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Well, then how's it going to pay?

PHILLIP ADAMS: Yes but you see, the AAA are interesting on this. They make the point that they don't like the way television stations replicate each other. They're not getting the As and Bs - that demographic is missing for them. They would like to see an experimental station like this because it is likely to get viewers who perhaps are the ones that read quality journals - different people with different educational backgrounds, and they are a very important advertising market. It would be new revenue to the industry. It wouldn't simply split the existing advertising budgets three ways; you'd actually get new money in because you'd get a new audience.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Ian Kennon, one point that Phillip Adams makes, I mean, he talks about being in the hands of the receivers, once the receivers have gone, it does seem we're in for a new era in television now, where there is every likelihood that a Westpac Bank or some other financial house ends up running a television network. Now what do they know about it?

IAN KENNON: Well, they don't know anything.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Does that matter?

IAN KENNON: I mean, if they knew anything about it, they wouldn't have lent the money in the first place.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Well, that's a good point.

IAN KENNON: The interesting point that Phillip makes is, all right, make Channel TEN, Channel 4 and cater for the minorities to all these geniuses that are being hidden at the moment and can't produce television programs or these way-out radical programs for another network, so who's going to give .. is the Westpac, and Citibank and Commonwealth Bank going to say: That's a good idea Phillip, we're owed $450 million, but here it is, we'll give it to you.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But they're going to write a great deal of that off, anyway. They have to, don't they?

IAN KENNON: Well, I think they plan to trade out of it, they would hope to trade out of it.

KERRY O'BRIEN: They're not going to trade out to the extent of $450 million, surely.

IAN KENNON: Well, it might take a long time.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Aren't they going to write a great deal of that off, in the process.

IAN KENNON: But it's better than giving it back.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Phillip.

PHILLIP ADAMS: Look, to hell with the banks. They made some very, very serious errors. The banks should not be dictating the future of Australian television. This is a chance to rethink the whole scenario. We've got to face the fact that we're going to have some sort of pay television shortly, even more commercial viewing options. Let's also go up market instead of making Channel TEN into a bloodhouse. I mean, the bloody video stores do that already. Let's be radical in the best sense - not politically so much as aesthetically radical. Let's find new ways of talking to each other on television; let's find new formats for drama; let's find new formats for public affairs television. Channel 4 has done this.

KERRY O'BRIEN: To the extent that you've been knocking on government doors, have you found a hearing?

PHILLIP ADAMS: Yes, there's a lot of people who are quite intrigued by this. I won't embarrass too many Ministers in Canberra, by naming them; however, yes, there is a response - they think it's interesting. But how do we get there from here - is the political question. There's certainly a huge number of allies in the production industry - the writers, the directors, the producers. I've had fascinating chats with Bill Kelty. I've had talks with a number of major players who see the Channel 4 model as the most exciting option that's available to us.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Nigel Dick, you've been in commercial television just about all your life, with the exception of your brief stint in New Zealand.

NIGEL DICK: That was commercial too, actually.

KERRY O'BRIEN: This is almost anathema to a commercial man.

NIGEL DICK: No, it's not. You see, there's a reality in all of this. It's tomorrow we're talking about and the simple facts are that regardless of what Ian Kennon has to say, and we did have some great days when the three stations were competing with each other, even though I contend they weren't totally viable. The simple facts are that tomorrow the overseas programs are going to be owned by international satellite operators who will buy world rights. Our only chance of defending ourselves and retaining an Australian system that is alive and flourishing, is to increase the Australian content on two of the channels. We can't do it on three - we can't afford it.

KERRY O'BRIEN: So, briefly, you like the Channel 4 option?

NIGEL DICK: Well, I like the Channel 4 option because it starts to get us to think laterally. It might not be an exact English Channel 4 option....

KERRY O'BRIEN: But it's a starting point?

NIGEL DICK: But as a starting point, and I believe, I mean, my message to the Minister, and we've had 10 of them in a little over 15 years, it sounds like the closing words of `Goodbye Mr Chips', if you yell them off one after the other. I mean, 10 Ministers - it shows what scant regard governments of both persuasions have given to broadcasting.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Maybe it shows something about the instability of government in Australia, as a whole.

NIGEL DICK: Maybe it does too, but what we really want is this Minister not to listen to bureaucrats, but to listen to those who know something about the business, to set up a task force to plan it for the next 20 years. We want him to recognise that you can't create bureaucratic solutions for entrepreneurial problems. We want him to realise that all this business about whether Channel TEN will go or whether it won't, or whether Channel SEVEN can fulfil its obligations to its receivers, even Channel NINE might fall over

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