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McKNIGHT ON MONDAY: The death of TV, sad goodbyes and a new project

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I’m worried about the state of the TV industry.

Welcome to another week of McKnight on Monday. A place where I can share my thoughts on some of the issues facing the industry we all love.


Remember in the ’80s when regional Australia only had 2 channels – a commercial broadcaster and the ABC?

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Well, it’s back to the future for residents in Mildura with news Network 10 will cease broadcasting in the area from the new financial year.

As we reported last week:

Mildura Digital Television Pty Ltd is a 50/50 venture within the Mildura area of Western Victoria, jointly owned by regional broadcaster WIN Television (majorly Nine Network affiliate) and Seven West Media, and began broadcasting on January 1 2006 to an audience of roughly 66,000 viewers.

The station has reportedly been a loss maker for both WIN & Seven for some time, with the recent weakening ad market, especially for regional broadcasters being the driver behind the decision to cease broadcasting in this area.

It really is the beginning of the end, isn’t it.

While some commentators have been writing off the TV industry for years, this is a true sign of things to come.

If anyone doubted 10 will be the first free-to-air broadcaster to go, this is the proof.

But it didn’t need to come to this.

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A bit of innovation, some good programming and 10 could be in a better position. The old theory is every network is just two shows away from success or failure. Unfortunately, 10 has relied on heritage brands and run them into the ground without providing new ideas.

And now it’s looking increasingly likely that whoever buys 10’s parent company – Paramount Global – will not be interested in keeping 10. The problem is there’s unlikely to be any potential buyers out there, so we could actually just see them turning off the signal and shutting up shop.

Will anyone take responsibility for the state of 10? Don’t hold your breath.


Speaking of which, we now have confirmation The Masked Singer and The Bachelor(s) will not be returning to the 10 network.

You might remember last week I told you that if The Masked Singer gets the chop, then The Bachelor would go too.

This is due to the fact The Bachelor was only renewed because Warner Bros (the production company behind both shows) would only do a deal for both, forcing 10 into renewing a series they didn’t want.

That strategy only works as long as the big show (in this case The Masked Singer) is delivering the goods. As we now know, it wasn’t in terms of ratings and revenue.

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So now Warner Bros has lost two shows at once.


A lot of people have been asking about the TV Blackbox Podcast. Unfortunately, the time has come to wind it up.

It’s been an amazing run since Molk and I launched it in 2018 and there have been a variety of amazing contributors.

My thanks to everyone who has shared their insights into the TV industry over the years.

We might return at a later date but life is busy and we just don’t have the time to continue at this point.


Last week became busier than expected with an appearance on The Morning Show and Canberra’s Mix 106.3. This week things get really interesting as a show I’ve been working on for a few months premieres on Ticker News.

The Big Picture – Australia China Beyond 2030 looks at the complicated relationship between our two countries. As host, I was able to speak to some fascinating people who have been affected by tariffs plus those who have business and political insights. The four-part series launches tonight at 8.30pm on Ticker, with a new episode airing each week and repeats throughout the schedule.

Rob McKnight - China Australia Beyond 2030
Rob McKnight hosts The Big Picture on Ticker News

Here’s what’s also on the schedule this week:


MONDAY 8.30pm – 9pm – THE BIG PICTURE: CHINA AUSTRALIA BEYOND 2030 – Episode 1 (Ticker)




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Know more about this or another Australian media story?

Contact the team anonymously at TV Blackbox

Robert McKnight
Robert McKnighthttps://tvblackbox.com.au/robert-mcknight/
"Leading TV commentator" - The Daily Telegraph | "Known for his impeccable sources in the TV industry" - The Daily Mail | "Always first with the correct info" - Beau Ryan | Robert McKnight is a highly regarded Australian Television Producer having worked at SEVEN, NINE and TEN during his 30 years in the industry. Currently Rob can be seen every fortnight on THE MORNING SHOW (7) and heard on NIGHTS WITH JOHN STANLEY (2GB/4BC). He is also a producer on 7 NEWS SPOTLIGHT.


  1. Rob complains about shows such as his beloved Studio 10 being wound up without an appropriate chance for the talent and audience to say goodbye – so what does he give us? Pulling the podcast a week after having a hissy-fit on air. Poor, poor form.

        • That’s not the point. Straw man argument; it’s not what the OP said at all. Read it again: “Studio 10 being wound up without an appropriate chance for the talent and audience to say goodbye – so what does he give us?”

          That is: no final podcast, even if it was just Molk and Robbo.

        • Come on Rob you more than anyone should know that just because a product is “free” – eg. free-to-air TV – doesn’t mean that there’s not a mutually beneficial transaction going on here.
          Advertising on the podcast and traffic to this very website (which has its own ads) are all measurable benefits of doing the pod. I’ll certainly be checking the website less – if at all – now I’m not being reminded to visit.

  2. Thanks for the last 6 years Rob…it’s been awesome and I’ve spoken to wonderful people and have learned a lot. Party is over. Good luck

    • Thanks Matthew. It’s been a rollercoaster ride but I have loved it. Things might change and Molk and I might be able to return. We’ll see how things go

    • BigBrotheroz BigBrotheroz I don’t understand why TVSN even exists. Who even actively watches it? That and Gecko, for that matter?

  3. But the podcast was hilarious with your hissy fits and then finally the big walk off, bit like studio ten lol.

  4. … “there’s unlikely to be any potential buyers out there”? nah, Lachlan still has a score to settle so watch the Fox Corp takeover of 10 …

  5. In the last 20 years, we’ve seen an increase in diversity of sources of media entertainment from FTA to expanding to online streaming and social media, paid or unpaid.

    Can what was then an FTA broadcaster be all things to all people? No. An FTA broadcaster cannot be all things to all people as it once was.

    At the same time, the FTA channels are paying millions of dollars on the rights for a reality show. That does not include the production costs.

    Yet one is curious as to whether programs that were very popular AND didn’t require paying rights to a program such as a night time variety program such as a “Don Lane Show” or “Graham Kennedy” would succeed AND whether such a program could be sustained and be profitable by advertising.

    I know this is out of the scope of this topic. But why are shows whether they are panel shows or game shows today are shot with dark sets? When you saw Blankety Blanks and Sale of the Century the sets were bright.

    But when you watch game shows such Tipping Point or Deal Or No Deal, the sets are all dark. The same goes for Dancing With The Stars. The background in all those shows are dark.

    Are dark sets a sign of the times or are they cost cutting?


  6. Oh that is a shame. I have listened to the podcast since its inception and like it a great deal. No chance that Molk, Robbo and maybe rotating guests could continue on with the podcast?

    • A fantastic idea given a number of supporters want to see a face they recognize from television and robbo being the only personality who’s actually fronted TV.

  7. Sad to hear that you’re pulling up stops. Molk always gave good recommendations – anything he liked to watch, I did too. Hope you’re able to come back in the future, even if it’s on a sporadic basis.

  8. Well that’s a bugger..& I’m glad I read it hear and didn’t wait for the next episode…I’m sure there are some listeners who won’t read this and will be wondering 🤔 thanks for all the news, goss, reviews and thoughts 🤞🏻 it’s not the end.

  9. Thanks for all your work Rob. It will be nice to have a break from Molk’s acknowledgment of country lol

    Looking forward to the podcast hopefully returning down the track.

  10. Can’t believe you’d stop the podcast and put your time into Ticker instead?
    At least put your show on YouTube so some people will see it.

  11. So we’re agreed. The CEO has got to go. Simply not turning into Channel 10 isn’t enough to prompt a dismissal. So what will it take?

  12. I’m not happy at all that it could be the end of the ok television in thim country we need to do something to stop it from happening

  13. I’m sorry to hear that the TV Blackbox podcast is ending. I’ve been listening to it since the begining, and have always enjoyed it. I hope it can eventually return.

  14. Typically petulant reaction to some benign criticism of how the podcast is ending from Rob. He seems utterly churlish & thin skinned – the podcast was a car crash. Good riddance.

  15. Love all the podcast chat / digs – It was a great listen & these comments will definitely hit home with the one who threw the baby out. 😛 – Take ur bat and ball.


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