The Production Experience
Ken G. Hall

The first Chief Executive of Channel 9 was Ken G. Hall a renowned film producer/director who had made many feature films from 1931 through to the early 1950s. Using his catch cry "Give the audience what they want" his films were about Australian characters  who were based upon the writings of Steele Rudd. The films, On Our Selection, Dad & Dave Come To Town, Gone to the Dogs established him as a creditable Director. He went on to greater films, Tall Timbers and Smithy. Known as K.G. he was astute in guiding Channel 9 into creating productions which had mass audience appeal.

Alec Kelloway

K.G.  engaged Alec Kellaway to assist in the development of live shows. The photo shows Alec and KG standing in the back row. Leaning over in front is Peter Bernados Ch 9 Producer/Director. The man kneeling is Albert Camp an advertising executive.
Kelloway was a South African born known for his work in Australian theatre and film. He also worked as a producer in vaudeville. Alec helped run the Talent school at Cinesound productions. Hall wrote in his memoirs that as an actor " he was never Alec Kellaway in any of them - a contrast to many actors, who play themselves in whatever part you give them. Alec always studied the part, got to really understand the person he was to play, then worried about how he would walk, talk, think." 
He was brother to Cecil Kelloway who had a long career as a Hollywood character actor,    

Bruce Gyngell

Without doubt one of the most influential men who contributed to the success of Channel 9 and Australian television.  Bruce is seen here, in dinner suit, discussing with the production crew the presentation of the opening night’s address of ‘ Welcome to Television.’ 

7.00 pm Sunday 16th September 1956

Bruce was a hugely talented Australian television executive, prominent for 50 years in both Australian and UK television. His media career began in the record industry, in the mid-1950s, when he was hired by Australian label Festival Records. He was soon poached by Mr Frank Packer, who hired him to assist in the establishment of TCN -9.
Apart from being the first person to be seen live on Australian television he also compered one of the first television shows 'Name That Tune.'
He quickly established himself as a gifted programmer and led Ch. 9 to years of rating successes. His ability to also choose live programmes to be produced by the channel was confirmed when he became the founder of the most popular music-variety show, the long running Bandstand, which he adapted from the American version. 





Unlimited talent

Bruce was like the genie in the bottle once the lid was opened. His magical talent was unstoppable. He left Ch. 9 in 1969 becoming the head of two networks in Australia, the Nine Network and then the Seven Network. At Seven he created the ' Seven Revolution'  programming. This pitted himself against himself.
He then went to the United Kingdom and became Deputy Chairman of ATV. Returning to Australia in 80s Bruce became the first Chief Executive of the SBS Network.     
Not stopping there he created the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal, the forerunner of the Australian Broadcasting Authority and was appointed its first Chairman.
Returning to the UK he continued to enjoy major positions  at televison networks. He returned once again in 1993 to take up the position of Executive Chairman at Channel 9.

"Would you prefer Mr Packer to stay as a major share-holder in the Nine Network?" he was asked.
"Mr Packer is my oldest friend. I'm happy with him here," he replied.
It has always been a mutual admiration society, Packer once said, "he's been my oldest friend for 50 years. I think I met Bruce when I was ten or eleven years of age. My old friend, I hope everything you want in life you get, and preferably from someone else."


  

Sam Chisholm

Sam Chisholm became the modern era champion of the Channel 9 success story. His commercial life commenced as a salesman in Melbourne having arrived from New Zealand where he was born. Joining GTV Channel 9's sales department in the 1960s he worked with the live variety shows on air talent. The biggest was Graham Kennedy. Sam progressed up the corporate ladder to become Sales Manager of TCN Sydney. Around 1973 he displaced the CEO George Chapman and started the Chisholm way to make the station great.
Whether he took a leaf out of the mighty film studios of MGM,Warner Bros and 20th Century-Fox or not Sam set about to create a stable of stars. Stars that would shine in any program. And shine they did. He also treated them as stars. Their loyalty was abounding. The happiness was evident in the onscreen product. The producers and directors had contented presenters willing to give their all. This rubbed off onto the production staff. Channel 9 bubbled from within into the viewer's homes. The popularity soared and remained for some years.
Sam was a gifted unique character.