News

Anchor Jennifer Keyte praised for handling of Seven News technology failure

jennifer keyteSeven management has praised its Melbourne News anchor Jen Keyte for her handling of an on air technical disaster which temporarily took last night’s bulletin off air in Melbourne.

The brief problem – which undermined the network’s Melbourne ratings for the night – hit just as the 6pm bulletin began.

Keyte, who usually reads the weekend bulletins and was covering for Peter Mitchell who is on leave, was forced to throw to an unscheduled commercial break and apologise to viewers when the broadcast was restored.

According to a statement from Seven:

“At 6 o’clock yesterday evening, as Seven Melbourne crossed to the control room dedicated to the 6pm News Bulletin, a faulty cable connector linking the control room and presentation, failed.

“Video and audio crackling made the picture and sound of such poor quality, the control room decided to throw to a commercial break, so the problem could be rectified.

“After the commercial break, at 6:03pm the bulletin recommenced, this time with perfect vision and sound. Jen explained and apologised and pushed on with a perfect outcome.”

The Seven’s GM of broadcast operations Andrew Anderson said: “We take it for granted with live broadcasts, that every time we push a button we will get the response we expect.

“Every so often we get technical reminders, like we had last night, to be ready for a whole range of unplanned outcomes.

“At the end of the day though, it’s the News anchor who has the toughest ride, and Jen Keyte’s calm professionalism, under considerable pressure was faultless.”

Seven and Nine’s 6pm bulletins are seen as a key battleground in the peak schedule, delivering an audience for the rest of the evening.

Although the bulletin was only off air for a few minutes, Seven never recovered from most viewers switching over to Nine, with the channel finishing an unusual fourth for the night in Melbourne, well behind its performance in the other four metro markets.

Seven News rated just 141,000 for the night in Melbourne, compared to Nine News’ 517,000. By comparison, last Thursday Seven News rated 285,000 to Nine News’ 354,000.

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