Sunday, January 31, 2010

Survivor SA Santa Carolina: viewers will help choose the winner.

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The tribe has spoken - but VIEWERS WILL HAVE THE LAST SAY. Viewers will get to help choose the ultimate winner of Survivor SA Santa Carolina.

I've know for MONTHS that viewers are going to get to have a final say just before the live Survivor SA Santa Carolina finale on Wednesday, 21 April, but I decided not to spill that news . . . yet.

During this past week I became aware that other TV critics (who don't know and haven't written about this yet) were actually being told by M-Net that this is what will be happening. So I can't hold back on this news anymore.

Viewers of Survivor SA Santa Carolina ''will have a HUGE STAKE in the outcome'' a member of the production team told me in November 2009 already. ''Viewers will get a chance to help decide who the ultimate winner is going to be''. That means that you - the viewer - will become part of tribal council.

This will be the first time that viewers will get to have a vote in Survivor SA (just like Idols). What will happen is that the FINAL TWO celebrity contestants will be known to viewers just before the live finale get broadcast. BOTH of the final two will go on a nationwide campaign tour across South Africa just before the finale to canvass for votes. The viewers' vote will be crucial to which one wins in the live 2 hour Survivor SA Santa Carolina finale on 21 April.

It also seems that (unlike the previous 2 seasons) the Survivor SA Santa Carolina finale won't be held at Carnival City.

Friday, January 29, 2010

FIRST LOOK! Way of the Warrior's beautiful Thai inspired set.

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I'm just back from a great set visit in Cape Town earlier this afternoon at a top secret undisclosed location. This place serves as the headquarters of the brand-new local reality show Way of the Warrior that starts on M-Net Action (DStv 106) on Monday, 15 February at 18:00.

In Way of the Warrior, produced by Gathered Moss Productions, 16 overweight local guys gets instructed in the martial art of Muay Thai and then gets to slug it out until only one is left, while they battle to become fighting fit. Of course they get placed before gruelling physical and mental challenges.

For more wonderful and revealing Thai inspired set photos that I can reveal first and exclusively right here, click on READ MORE below to see a little bit of what you'll see next month on TV.  

EXIT INTERVIEW - Survivor SA Santa Carolina Cindy Nell: ''There's still going to be a lot of backstabbing''.

Earlier this week I spoke to Survivor SA Santa Carolina celeb contestant Cindy Nell who got voted out on Wednesday night's episode since the strong former Miss South Africa was seen as a huge threat mentally and physically by the rest of her tribe.

You will LAUGH so much at what she said she had to endure on the island, why she decided to be a part of the show, and I also asked her if she expected that she's going to be voted out, who she thinks viewers should keep an eye on and what was the most difficult thing for her to endure on the island.

For my full interview with Cindy Nell, click on READ MORE below!

BREAKING. The Simpsons 21st season on Vuzu.

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I can be first to tell you that the 21st and ground-breaking season of that yellow pop culture courant family, The Simpsons, will  start on Vuzu (DStv 123) on Monday, 12 April 2010. There will be 23 episodes.

This 21st season will mark The Simpsons as the longest running American primetime TV series. Cowabunga.

BREAKING. Isidingo Talent Search auditions info.

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Yesterday I broke the news first and exclusively RIGHT HERE about the Isidingo Talent Search that will be looking for a new Isidingo star and now I have all the audition information first to share.

''Isidingo is looking for a new star. He is charismatic, smart, sexy and provocative. He’s the new bad boy staking his claim in Horizon Deep. If he's not breaking the rules, he's breaking hearts. If you're a black male between the ages of 25 and 35, got the talent to bring this character to life and determined to win the votes of Isidingo fans, we want to see you.''

The Isidingo Talent Search will be rolled out in 5 cities and here's the complete auditions information and where you have to be, just as I told you yesterday:

Bloemfontein, 8 Feb
SABC Offices, 08:00

Port Elizabeth, 10 Feb
SABC Offices, 08:00

Durban, 12 Feb
SABC Offices, 08:00

Cape Town, 15 Feb
SABC Offices, 08:00

Johannesburg, 18 & 19 Feb
SABC Offices, 08:00

BREAKING. Survivor SA Santa Carolina finale scoop!

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The Survivor SA Santa Carolina finale on M-Net will take place on Wednesday 21 April 2010 and will be a live broadcast as in the past of the second half of the probably 2 hour show.

For that week Carte Blanche Consumer should be falling away so that the Survivor SA Santa Carolina finale can start at 19:00.

 I've known a few things about the planned finale since months ago already, but this week I heard other people from M-Net also blabbing blatantly to the press about it, so I can't keep it a secret anymore - since some of the stuff that I thought I'd still sit on has now and which I heard from reliable sources months ago (just like the contestants, locations etc.) has now become an OPEN SECRET in industry circles.

Mmm. Check back later today or otherwise tomorrow. I have to decide yet exactly when I'm spilling some awesome news about the finale and the week leading up to it.

BREAKING. SABC2's Morning Live Haiti telethon raises more than R750 000.

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Yesterday's telethon on SABC2's breakfast show Morning Live has raised over R750 000 for aid relief in Haiti.

My sources tell me that is JUST the pledges that came in during the 2 hour morning show on SABC2 (so it doesn't represent ''real'' money yet) and also excludes all other donations, sponsorships and other money that came in ouside of what was raised during Morning Live.

The R750 000 also EXCLUDES the money that came in on the special SMS line, which will also still have to be added, says my sources, and could make this number jump by another few thousand rand. The SMS line will also stay open for a duration of 6 WEEKS during which people would still be able to make a donation.

I also asked the SABC which told me they will only have a fixed money number later.

FIRST LOOK! BBC World News anchors.

I wrote about the new schedule of the BBC World News (DStv 400) RIGHT HERE yesterday and now I can show you all of the new anchors together in their first new publicity photo.

From February the BBC World News channel is changing their weekday line-up with new shows, and augmenting the weekend schedule as well.

The new shows include  GMT with George Alagiah (weekdays, 14:00), Impact Asia with Mishal Husain (Mondays to Thursdays, 15:00), The Hub with Nik Gowing (weekdays, 18:00), World News Today with Zeinab Badawi (weekdays, 21:00) and Business Edition with Tanya Beckett (weekdays, 00:00). Weekend World, presented by Paddy O'Connell starts on 5 February and is a new weekly interactive show on weekends.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

BREAKING. Top Billing looking for best married couple in South Africa.

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I can be first to tell you that Top Billing Thursdays on SABC3 at 19:30 will soon be looking for the best married couple in South Africa.

The competition will be announced on air in the episode of Thursday, 11 February. One lucky married couple will win an all-expenses paid ceremony to renew their vows, plus a romantic honeymoon to a 5 star destination. To win this however, couples will have to compete against other couples and with themselves.

Top Billing producers will be looking for 5 couples older than 30, and who have been married for at least 7 years. They will have to compete in a series of challenges that will be aired on Top Billing over a 5 week period. These tasks will include cooking challenges, serenading their spouses, decorating and more while they try and persuade the TV audience that they are the ultimate married couple.

The grand prize include a lavish ceremony where they will renewe their vows to each other with their 20 closest family and friends, followed by an all-expenses paid honeymoon.

BREAKING. Isidingo Talent Search wants a new ''major'' character - nationwide auditions coming for ''eye-candy soccer star''.

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I can exclusively and first break the news that SABC3 will launch an Isidingo Talent Search competition and a nationwide manhunt for a new ''major actor to join the show. Isidingo will be looking for a character to play an ex football star, he has to be between 25 and 32, he must be ''drop-dead gorgeous, and he '' must be eye-candy for the ladies''.

Isidingo and SABC3 will have nationwide talent auditions in Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and 2 days in Johannesburg. Isidingo will select 10 to 12 finalists with viewers getting a chance to vote with TV specials - the first episode airing on Thursday, 11 March at 21:00 on SABC3.

Viewers will see the contestants put through their paces, filmed doing a scripted scene and get to vote before the winner is announced in April and ''the major character'' has to start on the Isidingo set the next day, just in time for South Africa's Soccer World Cup tournament.

Audition info I will give you right here the moment SABC3 and Isidingo releases the news.

BREAKING. Isidingo to Parsons: Goodbye!

Now that he's shot his load in an emotional and controversial storyline it's shockingly bye-bye for Isidingo's Parsons.
Tshepo Maseko who played Parsons Matabane on SABC3's soapie Isidingo will soon be disappearing from the show! After the emotional trying-to-get-pregnant story has fully run its course, Isidingo producers have decided to basically retire the whole Matabane family.

Regarding the shocking development, SABC3's acting marketing manager Buli Siwana, could only tell me this morning: ''The character will still appear from time to time but will basically disappear for about at least a year. It's done because of financial considerations. Because the Matabanes won't have that much screen time, it doesn't make sense to pay actors that you won't be able to use fully. His [Tshepo Maseko] contract was converted from that of core actor to that of an on-call actor.''

BREAKING. On Digital Media (ODM) and Super5Media in court on 2 Feb.

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I wrote last week RIGHT HERE about On Digital Media's court interdict against Super5Media and now I can be first to tell you that the case will be heard in court for the first time on Tuesday, 2 February in the South Gauteng High Court.

On Digital Media (ODM) as a pay TV operator planning a May launch in South Africa, has sought an urgent interdict against Super5Media. ODM believes Super5Media has circumvented the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) in terms of the shareholder's composition and original licence requirements when Telkom Media (now Super5Media) was sold to Shenzhen and didn't go through/past Icasa approval first.

''Super5Media asked for a one week postponement, which ODM reluctantly acceded to,'' Dimitri Martinis, ODM's head of regulatory affairs told me earlier today.

BREAKING. BBC World News starts 6 new shows, new weekend schedule.

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BBC World News (DStv 400) is starting 6 brand-new regional TV shows as well as overhauling the 24 hour British news channel's weekend schedule.

From 1 February BBC World News will start GMT with George Alagiah (weekdays, 14:00), Impact Asia with Mishal Husain (Mondays to Thursdays, 15:00), The Hub with Nik Gowing (weekdays, 18:00), World News Today with Zeinab Badawi (weekdays, 21:00) and Business Edition with Tanya Beckett (weekdays, 00:00). Weekend World, presented by Paddy O'Connell starts on 5 February and is a new weekly interactive show on weekends. The weekend schedule also changes.

All of these new shows will be broadcast from BBC World News' redesigned studio based in London and Asia Today will broadcast from the Singapore news studio. A new show presented by Lyse Doucet is also in development and will join the BBC World News schedule later in February.

''The channel changes represent the next stage of our editorial development at BBC World News,'' says Richard Porter, BBC World News editorial director. ''We also understand that by realigning news for weekdays and topical programmes at the weekends, we can provide viewers with accessible and wide-ranging content.''

PHOTO SPECIAL: Survivor SA Santa Carolina island photos!

Photo: Andrew Katay
A reader of my blog has been so wonderful to send me a few photographs a while ago of their holiday on Santa Carolina, also known as - Paradise Island - off the coast of Mozambique. This is of course where Survivor SA Santa Carolina, Wednesdays at 19:30 on M-Net is taking place.

This great photo from a reader shows the derelict Santa Carolina Hotel which is of course the setting for Survivor SA Santa Carolina's tribal council.

If you want to see more wonderful photos from the island, click on READ MORE below!

BREAKING. mk Awards 2010.

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The annual mk Awards 2010 is taking place again this year on 28 February and will be broadcast on the Afrikaans music channel (DStv 324) on 4 March at 20:00.

The awards ceremony taking place at the Teatro at Montecasino will be broadcast right after a special red carpet episode of Studio1 at 19:30.

ADVISORY. Vuzu and SABC3 quarterly previews.

I've been doing an insane amount of travelling the past few days between Johannesburg and Cape Town but I spoke to a lot of people, did some interesting interviews and have some wonderful interviews from last week as well.

I attended the Vuzu (DStv 123) quarterly preview and doing the SABC3 quarterly preview today, watch out for rolling news, super scoop and must-know TV news you'll get here first coming during the course of today.

BREAKING. Survivor South Africa Santa Carolina in a charity scandal?

M-Net is apparently investigating whether the so-called charity of contestant Jub Jub really exists who left last night (claiming a burning penis). Jub Jub chose the Ithuteng trust as his charity of choice - a school that was run by his mother, Jacqueline Maaronhanye, also known as Mama Jackey.

Apparently M-Net is now investigating whether the Ithuteng trust is a legitimate charity organisation. Why didn't M-Net do this before the show started filming? What will happen if it turns out that the Ithuteng trust isn't a credible charity organisation?

When I get word I will report it here.

BREAKING. Ugly Betty cancelled.

"We've mutually come to the difficult decision to make this Ugly Betty's final season, and are announcing now as we want to allow the show ample time to write a satisfying conclusion. We are extremely proud of this groundbreaking series, and felt it was important to give the fans a proper farewell."

So says the ABC network in America that has just issued a joint press release with Ugly Betty's Silvio Horta who has been Ugly Betty's head writer and executive producer.

I can be first to tell you that the 4th and final season of Ugly Betty will start on M-Net in March. Of course the first season just started on SABC3. The 4th season will also no longer have 22 episodes, but just 20.

Supersterre III audition info.

On 22 December last year I broke the news first RIGHT HERE that Supersterre will be back for a third season in 2010, starting on Friday, 19 March on SABC2 at 19:30.

Now I have all the audition information for you about Patricia Lewis' local reality TV talent show starting THIS FRIDAY, 29 January.

For the COMPLETE AUDITION information, you can click on READ MORE below.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

SORE LOSER! Jub Jub has a massive penis . . .PROBLEM. ''I'd rather go home and NURSE it.''


This evening's reward challenge in Survivor South Africa: Santa Carolina on M-Net wasn't just about building a giant penis (uhm lighthouse) . . . musician Jub Jub was a tool too. He essentially blamed his penis and left the game. Can I say he didn't seem to have the balls to stay in the game.

Here's a few choice quotes from the pathetic Jub Jub who clearly wanted off the island as quickly as possible:
''Now I've got a rash just under my balls, between my thighs.''

''I have an infection on my inner genitals.''

''I can't lose my manhood. I can't sit here and let my penis rot.''

''Rather than stand here and let my penis fall off, I'd rather go home and nurse it.''

As Survivor South Africa: Santa Carolina host Nico Panagio said to Jub Jub: ''Walking away from this game is like cheating yourself.''

That means youre a cheat Jub Jub! And like GiGi said: ''I'm sick and tired of hearing about his penis.''

I hope by now you're penis feels better, Jub Jub. I hope you're nursing it well.

BREAKING. Celebs line up for Morning Live telethon.

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SABC2's Morning Live breakfast show is gearing up for the 2 hour telethon tomorrow morning between 06:00 and 08:00 on SABC2.

Late this afternoon SABC2 and Morning Live producers were still rounding up local celebs, artists and others to appear on the channel's telethon. I can first and exclusively confirm that 7de Laan actors Vuyelwa Booi (Alice) and Jo Da Silva (Gita) are under the group of local stars who will appear.

Programming note. More 'Blood' on M-Net.

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Last night M-Net botched the running order of the second season of the vampire drama True Blood. According to the pay TV broadcaster the tapes were labelled incorrectly by the distributor, which led to M-Net also playing the incorrect episode. (Heaven forbid that somebody at a TV channel in final control actually watch the episode or follow the show before a tape gets loaded. The same happened with Survivor: China on SABC3.)

Anyway, M-Net will now have TWO episodes of True Blood on Tuesday, 2 February at 22:00 and at 23:00 (episodes 9 and 10).

Here's the updated line-up for next Tuesday:
22:00 True Blood II 0009 ''I Will Rise Up''
23:00 True Blood II 0010 ''New View in the World''
00:00 The Game

BREAKING. Penny Lebyane joins Motswako on SABC2.

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Penny Lebyane is joing SABC2's women talk show Motswako from Monday, 1 February at 21:30.

In her first episode Penny Lebyane will interview the minister of education, Angie Motshekga about the education situation in South Africa.

Penny Lebyane is currently the DJ of Metro FM's daily midday show The Ultimate Midday Experience with Penny Lebyane.

Programming note. A penis alert!

You have to watch tonight's episode of Survivor SA Santa Carolina on M-Net at 19:30. One of the contestants develops a rash. An uncomfortable rash involving the person's nether regions. And it keeps getting worse.

Okay. It's a guy. And something happens to his penis. More I won't spill. And it's funny. And it makes for some funny one-liners. And his ''condition'' has an impact on the one immunity challenge.

Willy or won't he? You'll have to watch for youself and see. . .

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

DStv Compact subscribers got more channels. For a weekend.

Although MultiChoice chose not to say anything about it, subscribers to the cheaper DStv bouquet, DStv Compact, got access to the full range of DStv channels this past weekend, usually reserved for DStv Premium subscribers.

DStv Compact subscribers were able to see all 87 TV channels (usually 39) since Friday until Sunday at midnight without an additional charge. It's apparently part of MultiChoice's new ''Open Weekend'' promotion, to try and entice DStv Compact subscribers to upgrade to DStv Premium.

Monday, January 25, 2010

BREAKING. Gavin Hood to direct a TV pilot episode.

South Africa's very own director in Hollywood, Gavin Hood is going to direct a TV pilot episode.

Yep. And what will he be doing? We'll nothing less this a spectacular Prison Break-tye TV show! Gavin Hood who directed the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Tsotsi is on board to direct the first episode of a brand-new would-be drama called Breakout Kings from the same guys who did Prison Break.

In Breakout Kings that will be made for America's Fox Network, a team of marshalls recruit a group of ex convicts who then help to catch escaped criminals together.

BREAKING. 52nd Grammy Awards broadcast live on Channel O.

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The 52nd Grammy Awards will be broadcast live on Channel O (DStv 320).

Channel O will broadcast the 52nd Grammy Awards live at 03:00 on Monday, 1 February from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

M-Net will air the 52nd Grammy Awards on Monday night, 1 February at 21:30.

Oh. The hyperbole.

Survivor SA Santa Carolina contestant Craig Jacobs calls the show ''M-Net's biggest and most ambitious show for 2010''.


THAT would be something TOTALLY different.

Like something so much bigger, so much more long term and so much more expensive. Done in Cape Town. With opera written all over it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Programming note. Kebble interview Sunday on eNews Channel.

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The eNews Channel (DStv 403) has an exclusive ''Kebble interview'' tomorrow/Sunday at 18:00.

According to the eNews Channel the news channel scored an interview with Guy Kebble, the brother of the mining magnate Brett Kebble whose murder trial will start in a week's time.

The eNews Channel promises that viewers will get to see ''never before released images of the Kebble family'' and ''Guy Kebble discussing growing up with Brett''. He will also apparently talk about ''the murder of his brother and those accused of killing him'' and ''reveal reveal his family’s bitterness, how they believe police bungled the investigation and whether his family believes Brett Kebble orchestrated his own death''.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Programming note. Watch the stars in Hope for Haiti telethon and make a pledge.

Remember to tune in at 03:00 tomorrow/Saturday morning on CNN International (DStv 401), MTV (DStv 321), MTV Base (DStv 322) and VH1 (DStv 323) for the global Hope in Haiti 2 hour telethon.

Look out for Wyclef Jean, Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Shakira and Sting, while fans of Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Sheryl Crow and Keith Urban should definitely tune in.

Coldplay, Bono, Jay-Z, Rihanna and CNN International's Anderson Cooper will also be seen. You can also watch the global telethon on the internet where it will be live-streamed on YouTube and MySpace.

INTERVIEW. Henri Slier of MAN on SABC3 talks about searching for love, the male ego and what men really want.

Henri Slier hangs out in Cape Town in MAN as one of 4 guys in this thought-provoking new docu-reality show that starts tonight on SABC3 at 21:30.

I asked him why he decided to do the show and what he learned about himself by being in front of the camera. He talks about men being men, loving being in front of the camera, and where to find the only virgin that he knows of.

Click on READ MORE below for the interview!

INTERVIEW. Maurice Levin of MAN on SABC3 talks about true love being elusive, who he fell in love with and why men need women.

Maurice Levin from Cape Town is one of the 4 guys that TV viewers will get to know in the new eyebrow raising docu-reality show in 13 episodes, MAN, which starts tonight on SABC3 at 21:30.

I asked him about what people won't know about him and a moment in MAN that made him uncomfortable. He talks about how he sees true love, losing his virginity to a girl he met on a plane and that he's happy in his own skin.

Click on READ MORE below for the interview!

INTERVIEW. Trevor Gow of MAN on SABC3 talks about men, his hands and not putting himself out there enough.

Trevor Gow is one of the 4 men in in the new and intriguing 13 part docu-reality show MAN that starts tonight on SABC3 at 21:30 and was filmed in Cape Town.

I asked him about what women don't know about men and what he's learned about life. See what he says about his hands, losing his virginity and about not putting himself out there enough.

Click on READ MORE below for the interview!

INTERVIEW. Kaizer Tsosane of MAN on SABC3 talks about feelings, small things and liking his body.

Kaizer Tsosane is one of the 4 men in Cape Town that viewers will be introduced to in the new and racy 13 part docu-reality show MAN starting tonight on SABC3 at 21:30.
I asked him about what he learned about himself and what his best body part is. He reveals what TV viewers won't know about him and when he lost his virginity and became a man.

Click on READ MORE below for the interview!

BREAKING. SABC to host a Haiti telethon on Morning Live.

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The SABC is now also jumping on the bandwagon and is set to host a local South African telethon for Haiti.

The SABC is planning a telethon that will be broadcast this coming Thursday on SABC2's breakfast show, Morning Live between 06:00 and 08:00.
The SABC says the public broadcaster is ''deeply moved'' and has already opened an Absa Bank account for donations. The broadcaster has done telethons in the past to assist the tsunami victims in Thailand as well as after the massive flooding in Mozambique.

BREAKING. M-Net decides to repeat American Idol on M-Net Series.

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M-Net has just decided to repeat the latest season of American Idol on M-Net Series (DStv 110).

American Idol will start on M-Net Series at 11:00 tomorrow (Saturday). The second I hear from M-Net Series in terms of what the subsequent fixed weekly premiere broadcast on the channel will be, I will post it here.

So far as I understand it, the M-Net Series talkshows, The Doctors and Ellen will now fall away temporarily until the American Idol season is finished.

UPDATE Friday 22 Jan 15:47 - Tomorrow's (Saturday) episode at 11:00 will be the first marathon set of episodes that kicked off the new season on M-Net on Sunday. Then, on 30 January American Idol will be on M-Net Series from 11:00 to 13:00.
M-Net will continue to premiere American Idol episodes on a Sunday and then M-Net Series will follow with the same episode on every Saturday.

BREAKING. eNews Channel on Haiti TV coverage: ''We aim to stay on this story.''

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''We aim to stay on this story because we think it's going to be compelling for weeks to come.''

So says eNews group news editor Ben Said. I spoke with him early this morning about the excellent TV coverage of eNews and the eNews Channel (DStv 403) of Haiti where eNews now has their own cameraman, TV reporter Jody Jacobs and eNews Output Editor Louis Oelofse on the scene about which I wrote RIGHT HERE yesterday.

I asked Ben Said about eNews' logistical challenges of having a TV reporter in Haiti, what went into the decision to send someone, how they actually got there,  and the challenges of a South African TV news channel getting TV footage out of Haiti.

For my interview with Ben Said and his very interesting answers, you can click on READ MORE below!

BREAKING. SABC3 loves Chris.

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SABC3 has snagged the broadcasting rights for the first season of the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris. I will tell you next week when the show will start to air. Everybody Hates Chris has 4 seasons and is loosely based on the growing-up experiences in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhood of Brooklyn, New York of comedian Chris Rock.

The lead role of Chris is played by Tyler James Williams.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

BREAKING. eNews Channel using satellite phones in Haiti.

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A few hours ago I told you first that eNews has now sent eNews reporter Jody Jacobs to Haiti along with Louis Oelofse, eNews Output Editor. Now I can show you how Louis Oelofse looks.

I can now also tell you that the eNews Channel (DStv 403) is using satellite phones for the telephone interview updates between Haiti and the eNews Channel's main news studio in Hyde Park, Johannesburg.

Reception is spotty at best which is why the audio on your TV set isn't sounding that great.