As promised in the Nine News Regional thread, I'd like to comment about the direction Nine News Sydney has been going in lately. A long post I know, but it really needs to be to get to the point.
Before I go on, let me make it clear that I still think Nine News is for the most part, Sydney's best commercial TV news service as far as content and (most) presenters/reporters are concerned. IMO, Seven is far too sensationalist and tabloid while Ten is unfortunately too resource-starved to make it a viable viewing alternative to Seven/Nine here in Sydney these days.
But personally, I'm not particularly satisfied with the changes (or lack of them, as the case may be) that Nine News management has made to Sydney's #1 news service lately. This is without going through some of the other things that have really badly affected On-Air Presentation standards like the implementation of automated studio control.
Graphics/Set: I know many here like the newer look, but IMO it's far too flashy and Ten-esque for my tastes. Traditionally, Nine has had some solid On-Air Presentation packages for their news service but before the current look of Nine News, I don't think I'd say any of them have distracted from the content.
Personally, I feel that the current look of Nine News is actually a distraction from the content and have never quite felt comfortable watching Nine News with their current look. If a young enthusiast like me feels that way, you can just imagine how mainstream Sydney (especially older members of the population) feels about Nine News' current look.
In particular, I despise the Ten-inspired elements and the ridiculous red "Breaking News" mode for the set/plasma graphics. Can't we also just have the Information Super for a breaking news story on screen ASAP rather than having this large and distracting "Breaking News" super on? Seven and Nine didn't need to do this garbage pre-2016, so why have they started?
And what's with the need to have news/sport presenters standing for some segments? Aside from the biggest major news stories when you can justify doing something different from what you see every day, let the presenters take a seat for the full segment please!
Theme music: The version which Nine is currently using is almost a decade old. In contrast, Seven, Ten and the ABC have updated their themes at least once (and we'll soon be able to say at least twice, even taking into consideration Seven's failed 2014 theme) during this time.
The use of Nine's current theme on the new regional bulletins with heavy usage of that repetitive headline bed really shows that a new version of the theme (preferably with some sort of "story" to the headline bed like Ten has, if you know what I mean) is needed sooner rather than later.
Voiceovers: In about 2-3 weeks time it will be four years since Peter Harvey passed away yet Nine still uses his VO recordings to open Nine News Sydney, Nine News Queensland and Nine Gold Coast News on a nightly basis. There's absolutely no disputing that Peter Harvey was an iconic reporter for Nine and even though I personally disliked Nine using him for VOs while he was alive (Remembering the laughable "This is Nine New..." and "This is Nine News?" sounding intros!), I could understand them keeping those Opener recordings in use initially after his death.
But nearly four years on? Can't Nine just use Matthew O'Sullivan for the Openers to Nine News in every market already? Even better for the Sydney market would be trying to get Brian Henderson to record some Opener voiceovers for our 6pm bulletin, but that's probably unlikely to happen of course.
As always, I'd be rather interested to hear the agreements or disagreements of others on my personal opinion.