By Michael Roberts, Nick Place
An exploration of television year-by-year from 1956, reporting in time-capsule mode on celebrities and exhibits as they occurred, from satisfied Hammond and Skippy to the dwell telecast of the terrorist assault on New York's global alternate Centre.
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Extra resources for 50 Years of Television in Australia
A lot of executives with financial backgrounds were brought in to run Nine, but it didn’t work out. ’ Right throughout the process, there were instant winners and then there were those who would look back at opportunities lost. There was the potential bidder for a Sydney TV licence in 1954 – Bruce Gyngell remembered him hazily as Mr Scrimenger – who was somehow alleged to have connections to the Australian Communist Party or maybe China at a time when Prime Minister Menzies was deep in a ‘reds under the beds’ campaign.
It was a ridiculous deadline, a crazy timeline to set themselves given how green they still were about how television even worked. But this was a time for confidence, and maybe a time for cowboys. Even the Control Board was making it up as they went along, admitting that their demand that overseas shareholders in the commercial licences be limited to 15 per cent was made despite suggestions at the public hearings that the Board had no right to make such claims. As for choosing which station would carry which number, well, the Control Board decided that time-honoured methods would suffice.
It would take until 1963 for the combined rest of the world to have more television sets than America. Nevertheless, in Australia, TV was coming. By the start of 1953, when regular television broadcasts were unveiled in Japan, Australians would have heard of television being available everywhere from the USSR (1946), Canada (1947) and France (1949) to Mexico (1950), Brazil, Argentina, Holland (all 1951), Germany, Italy, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela (1952). In the life of the Australian Royal Commission, television had also been introduced in the Philippines, Switzerland and Belgium.