They say you should never skip breakfast, unless, of course, you’re Network Ten.
The beleaguered station has launched and axed two breakfast shows in the space of 27 months after announcing Wake Up will end on Friday.
Also given the chop on Wednesday were Ten’s early, morning and late news bulletins and 150 jobs.
Wake Up‘s predecessor, Breakfast, which started in February 2012, ran for just nine months and since its demise Ten has been idle in the breakfast-show market.
The network threw mountains of cash at the show, starting with the recruitment of Adam Boland, the creator of the Seven Network’s breakfast bonanza Sunrise.
Then came a purpose-built set at Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club, with Sydney’s Manly Beach providing a spectacular backdrop, which included cables between Ten’s studios at Pyrmont and Manly.
Ten boss Hamish McLennan declared back then that the show was “a two-year commitment at least for us”.
But no sooner had Wake Up gone to air on November 4, with the unlikely trio of James Matheson, Natarsha Belling and Natasha Exelby as a three-pronged hosting panel, problems surfaced.
The show was just four days old when Boland took indefinite leave because of health issues.
He returned two weeks later and on his first day back he axed Exelby, leaving Belling and Matheson to try and lift the ratings above 50,000 per day.
It never happened.
Even this week Wake Up was watched by 26,000 on Monday and 40,000 on Tuesday according to OzTAM’s overnight ratings.
Boland officially quit Wake Up in January because of health reasons.
On Wednesday, soon after the sackings were announced, he tweeted his disappointment at Wake Up‘s demise and for letting down the people he recruited and guided.
“I feel very sad for all my friends at Ten. Very good people, let down by many things, including my early exit. Thinking of them all today.”
Boland was also responsible for Ten’s morning show Studio 10 which was also launched on November 4 but it survived the axe.
Studio 10 has performed only slightly better than Wake Up in ratings but is seen as a slow burner for the station.
Studio 10’s ratings for the first two days of this week were 45,000 and 50,000 respectively.
For the time being, Studio 10 is safe, but given McLennan’s assurances about Wake Up last November when the ratings were dreadful, no one and no show is safe at Ten.