IN THE final lead up to the Melbourne Cup, Ten is hoping for a winner with its new morning TV line-up.
The broadcaster has enlisted former Sunrise producer Adam Boland to helm its new breakfast show Wake Up and morning show Studio 10.
It's a much more strategic attempt to gain a foothold in the morning TV market, currently dominated by Seven and Nine, than last year's failed Breakfast show hosted by Paul Henry and Kathryn Robinson.
"A breakfast TV show should provide a front door to the network," Boland said.
"When you see a breakfast TV show you should see what a network is all about."
The young and fresh Wake Up is hosted by James Mathison, Natasha Exelby and Natarsha Belling and broadcast from a purpose-built studio at Manly's Queenscliff Surf Lifesaving Club.
The surf-and-sand backdrop is one of several key differences Boland hopes will set Wake Up apart from Sunrise and Today.
Wake Up will also feature local news bulletins presented by Nuala Hafner from Federation Square in Melbourne. Hafner will record at least 20 bulletins each morning, so that the news is not only local but continually updated, something that will be particularly appealing to Western Australian viewers.
The show has no weather presenter, or the travelling "weather circus" as Boland likes to call it. The weather will be included in the local news bulletins, with roving reporter Sam McMillan covering various events as needed.
Brisbane's Maude Garrett, already based in LA for her radio show The Hot Hits, will provide entertainment reports and celebrity interviews.
Significantly, Wake Up will finish at 8.30am each morning, a move inspired by viewer behaviour data.
Ten's new morning lifestyle show, Studio 10, takes over from 8.30am with hosts Joe Hildebrand, Ita Buttrose, Jessica Rowe and Sarah Harris discussing the day's news and current events. Hildebrand is the yin to the ladies' yang. As a journo he's well-informed, but he also appears to say whatever's on his mind.
"I think he's a really funny guy," said Studio 10's executive producer Rob McKnight.
"Every panel show wants him on their panel."
Chemistry is crucial to the success of both shows, says Boland.
"These shows live or die on the chemistry of the hosts," he said.
But patience is also key to growing a loyal audience.
"We want to own mornings, that's a long journey," he said.
"I was there when we launched Sunrise in 2001. We took leadership in 2004. Everyone here at Ten is aware of what's needed and how long it will take.
"Changing viewer behaviour in the morning is not an easy task... but it's possible if you provide something new and real."
So it will be a marathon, rather than a sprint to the finish line, in Ten's quest for a piece of the brekky TV pie.
Wake Up - Ten - Monday at 6.30am
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