The impact of 10’s budget cuts: 10 News and Studio 10 take massive hits


*This post has been updated

It’s been two weeks since Channel 10 introduced major changes to its news and Studio 10 programs after savage budget cuts. TV Blackbox examines the effect those cuts have had on ratings.

10 News Director Ross Dagan (who oversaw the budget cuts) with presenter Sandra Sully

There’s good and bad news for Channel 10 on the ratings front after the implementation of drastic budget cuts which saw a raft of on-air presenters sacked from the network in a dramatic overhaul of the way it produces news.

As previously reported, from September 14 the Network started airing its Brisbane 5pm News out of Sydney and its Adelaide news out of Melbourne. The format relies on pre-recorded segments integrated with combined live segments (although the 5-6pm hour in Adelaide is delayed due to time differences).

Overall 10’s news is down only slightly in the 5 cap cities year on year (YoY). While Melbourne and Sydney have actually increased audience, the lack of a truly local news service has hit ratings in Brisbane and Adelaide hard, with big falls experienced in those markets.

Brisbane has suffered a massive 30% drop YoY as viewers reject the Sydney edition. It’s a similar story in Adelaide which has experienced a 26% drop in viewers.

Despite a slick bulletin that integrates local content nicely, the publicity surrounding the axing of local news has affected viewing numbers.

Interestingly, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth all experienced gains which has offset the big falls in Adelaide and Brisbane. Sydney had an increase of 19%, Melbourne 13% and Perth 11%.

Studio 10 is really feeling the effect of losing Kerri-Anne Kennerly, Joe Hildebrand and Natarsha Belling though.

The revised format with Sarah Harris and Tristan MacManus is down 21% when compared to the same time last year for the section coded Studio 10 (i.e. 9.30am-11am). The show averaged 38,000 viewers last week, down from 48,000 the year before. In fact the show fell out of the top 250 shows last week a number of times.

OzTam ratings in Perth on Friday

The news was even worse for 10’s morning show in Perth on Friday when the last hour only managed 432 viewers averaged across the hour. Numbers were so low that from 10.30 the OzTam chart shows a string of zeros recorded against each quarter-hour, with a 15 minute block at 11am managing to register 1,000 viewers.

Robert McKnight
"Leading TV commentator" - The Daily Telegraph. "Known for his impeccable sources in the TV industry" - The Daily Mail. Robert McKnight is a highly regarded Australian Television Producer having worked at SEVEN, NINE and TEN during his 25 years in the industry. Publicly he is most well-known for creating and producing STUDIO 10 but has worked on SUNRISE, THE MORNING SHOW plus other prime time productions in addition to creating award-winning news campaigns for both 7NEWS and 9NEWS. Currently Rob is the host and producer of the TV BLACKBOX, MCKNIGHT TONIGHT and MONSTERS WHO MURDER podcasts plus host & executive producer of the video streaming show THE BEN, ROB & ROBBO SHOW.


  1. I really, really miss Sarah with Joe, Kerry anne and Angela bishop on the studio 10 Panel. I miss the hot topics, I miss their laughs. I just miss them being together. I want them all back. They were my day time friends. 😪

  2. Well I’m sorry but Kerrie Anne has had her time in the sun. Time for her to retire gracefully. She is a loose cannon and no longer spirals to the majority of viewers. The same can be said for Denise Drysdale

  3. The show needs good banter which was lost when Joe left – Tristan is too serious not a natural tongue in cheek guy like Joe. No disrespect for Tristan but humour can’t be forced. The show needs Joe and Sarah they have chemistry without it being “forced”. I watch 7 now but will change if u bring back Joe

    Michelle Tomaszewski

  4. Absolutely no appeal any more. No substance and very stilted. Can’t stomach Narelda at all. I switch to the ABC as soon as she comes on.

  5. I am surprised the bloke that made the cuts had the gall to have his photo taken with the sacked ppl… He no doubt kept hit lucrative job

  6. I don’t watch studio 10 it’s gone to dogs and down the sewage I rather watch channel 54 now it’s sucks if a show doing really well and bringing in the ratings cut your nose to spite your face,I use to love watching studio 10 it will axed by Christmas.

  7. I loved Mike’s Weather. Don’t like the new format. The same ads playing over & over has put me off watching these shows. E.G The mask singer, bachelor & bachelorette. Cooking shows. I’m one viewer that will not watch these self ads . Love the project. Except when Georgie is on. Love the rest of the cast. Enjoy watching than, so THAN back to the ABC.

  8. The Project should have gone as it’s more expensive to put on, Studio 10 had more chemistry between the presenters they were not afraid to answer curly questions going against PC!

  9. Get rid of Narelda. Can’t stand her. Bring back Joe,Kerri-Anne and Natarsha. The new look is all crap.Wont watch this show again until you change it back. NO NARELDA .


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