Seven News Spotlight

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Mark Llewellyn, former Nine News creative director and executive producer of Sunday Night, has rejoined Seven to head up its new look investigative reporting specials that will air in prime time under the Seven News Spotlight banner.

According to The Australian, Spotlight will be a “free range show” that will investigate breaking news and cover more traditional long form current affairs stories.

The next show, The Lindy Tapes, will air on August 16. It is yet another investigation into the disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain in 1980.

Source: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/mark-llewellyn-hired-as-executive-producer-of-7news-spotlight/news-story/289365986bbca7603c61e02934e630c0

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It’s being dubbed “new show for new age” and “carving fresh tracks”, but I don’t see how. Because it doesn’t have a dedicated timeslot? Obviously a lot cheaper than Sunday Night, but isn’t the concept the same?

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Sounds similar to Dateline NBC that often plugs holes in the schedule but focuses more on true crime.

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A good direction for 7 I think. Let’s hope it is hard-hitting journalism. The past few one off specials have been fantastic.

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7NEWS announces Spotlight investigations team

Sunday 16 August at 8.30pm

Series premieres with explosive new evidence in Azaria Chamberlain case

7NEWS today unveiled its newly-formed Spotlight investigations division set to deliver a series of investigative specials in prime-time for Seven.

The small, crack team of award-winning journalists and producers led by Mark Llewellyn and Denham Hitchcock will focus on major breaking news events as well as long-form investigations of national significance.

The series, which by design will have no permanent timeslot, premieres with The Lindy Tapes – a documentary six-months in the making that uncovers stunning new evidence in the now infamous Chamberlain case.

‘A dingo’s got my baby’. Five words that will forever divide a nation. The tragic death of a baby girl in outback Australia that at one point in time became a T-Shirt slogan, a punchline.

The trial one of the most publicised in our history.

Ask most Australians and they’ll tell you they know everything there is to about the Azaria Chamberlain case.

They don’t.

Incredibly, crucial parts of this story remain untold.

Now, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of baby Azaria’s disappearance and the greatest miscarriage of justice in Australian criminal history, a major investigation from the 7NEWS Spotlight team unearths the secret police tape recordings never broadcast.

Hours upon hours of interviews and conversations that detail the elaborate plot by police to find an innocent, grieving mother guilty of murder.

And for the first time we hear from multiple key witnesses who came forward at the time but were turned away by police – their testimony ignored.

Award-winning investigative journalist Denham Hitchcock , who leads this investigation, said: “It may be late, but the truth always finds its way out. Finally, broadcast for the first time, the hard evidence the police at the centre of this original investigation were hell bent on locking up Lindy Chamberlain for life. Over a period of months our 7NEWS Spotlight team has tracked down the witnesses who have stayed silent for all these years, and uncovered shocking unseen camera tapes buried deep in the Channel Seven vault.”

Network Director of News and Public Affairs Craig McPherson added: “What Denham brings to the screen is an in-depth investigation into the Chamberlain injustice that has never been uncovered until now. Pouring over 80 hours of tapes from the time. The police interviews, secret recordings. News strands of evidence from all over Australia and more significantly the Spotlight is told through the eyes of the police as tainted as they were.”

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Sunday Night’s facebook page has been updated with these images.


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Seven can’t use the name Dateline which is taken by SBS but Spotlight follows a similar format to the long-running NBC program

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Sunday Night twitter has also changed

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What does Seven mean by “unseen camera tapes”? They would have been seen at the time.

Where is this Channel Seven vault? Are they using one of the old State Bank of New South Wales vaults in the Martin Place building? Was everything covered in dust? Will we see Denham Hitchcock carrying a flashlight on a search of the vault then blowing dust off a U-matic case?

Or is it just another Channel Seven and Seven News beat up.

Raiders of the Lost Vault.

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Now Hitchcock thinks he’s Geraldo Rivera unearthing secrets in vaults. Those of us of a certain age will remember Geraldo’s two hour live special in 1986 that saw him break into Al Capone’s secret vaults only to discover dirt.

Elements of his reports often feel very fake and staged. That Family of Secrets investigation he did earlier this year was particularly cringeworthy as he stalked family members and had the camera rolling as he went to his researcher’s hotel room to discover some explosive new piece of information. I really dislike how he feels the need to put himself at the centre of the story.

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Something something, Burt Ward…

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@Bort, always Be Sharp.

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Shame they couldn’t utilise Melissa Doyle on this new show.

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Promo on the Lindy Tapes episode

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Screenshot_20200813-113635~2 Screenshot_20200813-113648~2

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“Finish the story” :man_facepalming:t2:

The Facebook page has been officially converted.

Denham Hitchcock has written on 7news website why he made the Lindy Tapes documentary. He also reveals that his father Kevin did a controversial documentary on Lindy Chamberlain in the 1980s.

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Denham Hitchcock interviews his father.

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