Network Ten has officially given the axe to its struggling breakfast show Wake Up, amid deep cuts that will see up to 150 jobs lost from the station. CEO Hamish McLennan broke the news to staff in an email earlier today, telling them that Wake Up, as well as the Early, Morning and Late News will cease production as of this Friday 23rd of May.
“We are in a constant, fierce battle for the attention of viewers and we need to ensure that we are investing in the areas that will deliver the greatest potential in terms of audiences and revenue,” he said. “The next few weeks will be a difficult and sad period, as colleagues leave the business.”
Wake Up premiered in November 2013, and was troubled from the outset. Midway through its first week, producer Adam Boland took an indefinite leave of absence, following the announcement of poor ratings numbers. The show pulled only 40,000 viewers in its first week, and although various attempts were made to streamline the format, numbers declined from there.
Boland was the creator driving force behind Channel 7’s phenomenally successful Sunrise, and was instrumental in pairing up hosts David Koch and Melissa Doyle. After a notoriously troubled exit from 7, Ten took Boland on, hoping that he would replicate some of his Sunrise success with Wake Up, but it was not to be.
This morning, Boland sent out a message of support to his colleagues on Twitter.
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.
— Adam Boland (@postboxadam) May 21, 2014
As we reported yesterday, it looks likely that Network Ten will also be making significant cuts to its news division. In response to the behind-the-scenes job losses, the usually-upbeat Dave Hughes Tweeted:
Some brilliant Ch10 staff are gonna be looking for work. An astute employer would snap em up quick smart.
— Dave Hughes (@DHughesy) May 21, 2014
Ten’s demise has been long and painful, and this may or may not be the first step to turning it around.
Image via YouTube