Junglist, Or; How Not To Fire An Under-Performing Employee

From the Departments of While You’re Reading This Children Are Starving & Sh*t Just Got Real comes:

    Good Game presenter claims ABC gender bias after axing
    Asher Moses
    [Fairfax]
    October 30, 2009

An evil pixie at the ABC has decided to sabotage the ratings success of Good Game by ordering management to sack, without warning or explanation, one of its presenters — ‘Junglist’ (Jeremy Ray) — and to replace him with a virtual unknown: the poisoned chalice in this instance going to someone called ‘Hex’ (Stephanie Bendixsen).

This sounds like a job for Profile Talent Management!

Personally, I’d like to see both presenters (including ‘Bajo’ / Steven O’Donnell) axed and replaced with B-grade TV celebrities ABC management’s children inform them are like, totally hot right now. But like, only after a private consultancy firm has been hired to do some hideously-overpriced market research on what the yoof are like, really watching on TV.

And stuff.

One extremely-talented performer that immediately springs to mind — to be precise: cartwheels, fire-breathes and juggles his way into my consciousness — is Dylan Lewis. He’s crazy, funny, wacky and zany — and The Kids love him!

Mad skillz!

Anyway, there’s been plenty of online back-and-forth in the meantime, both about the decision to sack Junglist, and the future of the show. The actual decision to sack Junglist appears to have taken place on or about October 23 (according to David Wildgoose @ Kotaku), but the shit has really only hit the fans this week, after the first episode featuring Bajo and Hex went to air (October 26).

Here’s what ‘Bajo’ had to say after having completed his first show with ‘Hex’ (Stephanie Bendixsen):

Author Bajo (Presenter)
Date/Time 29 Oct 2009 8:10:07pm
Subject Re: Statement from the team…

I would very much like to do that again, one of the best days I’ve ever had on this show!

If you’ve ever worked in any sort of organization you’ll know that as much as it sucks, work related issues cannot be discussed outside the work place, it’s just as simple as that, and I wish we could tell you more – but we can’t and that can’t change and it’s not going to. It feels unfair to us that we can’t say our side of the story, but that’s the position we’re in and we understand and respect why these rules are in place in our workplace, or any.

[NB. When Bajo writes “I would very much like to do that again, one of the best days I’ve ever had on this show!”, he is not referring to shooting the show with Hex, but to an ‘Open Day’ GG had previously arranged. See this comment for further clarification.]

Well actually, exactly who is responsible for ‘Junglist’ being removed from the show is slightly unclear. ABC management reckons they took the decision and it was because Junglist was a slack bastard behind the scenes — an under-performer. But the remaining cast and crew — possibly as a result of the laws which govern how the script unfolds on that long-running soap opera Workplace Relations — also appear to be completely supportive of Junglist’s sacking. Here’s the Good Game statement:

Dear GG’ers

You can’t help but have noticed we’ve been quiet regarding Junglist’s departure from the show which has really sucked because we’re used to having such an honest and open relationship with you.

For all sorts of reasons we are unable to tell you things that have happened over many months inside Team Good Game which have impacted on the production. That’s just real life folks. We know it leaves many questions unanswered but we have reached that point where we really can’t say any more than that.

But we can tell you this much…

The decision to take Junglist off air was not forced upon us by ABC Management and it’s one that is fully supported by all the GG team. We are gutted that it has come to this but in our opinion it absolutely had to happen.

It’s strange for us to read that so many of you think this is because we have suffered a raging case of political correctness gone mad or a wish to dumb the show down. That’s absolutely not right. We, as ever, will continue our quest to bring you the show for gamers by gamers but this has to be our last word on this – we have shows to make!

Finally, we genuinely wish Junglist all the best, and we hope he finds a medium for his awesome analysis and presenting skills that works for him.

Team Good Game Out
(Syd, Bajo, Moe, Tuk, Gog, Mafia, Jeremy Pencil, Palindrome)

And here’s how Junglist responded:

Author Junglist (Reviewer)
Date/Time 29 Oct 2009 4:48:18pm
Subject Re: Statement from the team…

I can tell you that this is a lie. There was no vote taken, no consensus reached. In fact, the GG team was completely unaware of the change until the same day I found out. The same confidentiality clause that prevented me from saying anything publicly, prevented management from telling them anything.

I have spoken to members of the GG team who clearly DON’T support this, but can’t say anything publicly. Of course they’ll tow the party line. They have to.

Up until now the situation has just been poorly handled. But to now LIE to your own audience, in an effort to save face for replacing an experienced reviewer/presenter with an inexperienced one, is quite simply the lowest thing I’ve ever seen ABC management do.

I feel now as if I’m being professionally attacked, so here’s a truth bomb. In the meeting where I was told I would be replaced, the reason given was they wanted a girl on the show. “Mass appeal” was a direct quote from that meeting. After a half-hour of explaining how they’ll lose their hardcore following, they responded that yes, they knew this, but expected to make up the numbers with a new following. “A show can grow beyond its hardcore base”, is another direct quote.

The decision was forced by ABC management, for a mass appeal direction, and will naturally be dumbed down for the loss of experience. Case in point: Monday night’s show. Both Forza 3 and Kingdom Hearts clearly written by people with no idea about those franchises. Hell, no one on the team even thought to correct the presenters on how to pronounce “Forza” correctly? Expect a lot more of that…

And so on…

one

Author Junglist (Reviewer)
Date/Time 29 Oct 2009 5:16:31pm
Subject Re: Statement from the team…

“We have felt personally attacked by some of the posts by Jung, and others, with the inability to reply due to confidentiality.”

Actually, I’ve been very supportive of Hex, and pointed out that all she ever did was accept a cool job. What possible truth bomb could YOU drop? I’m not trying to be a White Knight, I’ve made mistakes too. I’ve disagreed with the ABC on reviewing policies, which sometimes resulted in footage being handed in late. And it’s a shame that the Christmas special was decided on around the same time I booked an overseas trip, and neither party were flexible enough to change plans.

But at the very, very least, I want to be honest with the community. Realise it or not, Good Game has a responsibility to show younger Australian viewers what the ABC is about. I think the appropriate term here is, “epic fail”.

two

Author Syd (Series Producer)
Date/Time 29 Oct 2009 5:35:21pm
Subject Re: Statement from the team…

This could easily degenerate into a he said she said we said… none of us were in that meeting after all… BUT the GG team is here with me in the office right now…

Jung mate, I’m sorry to say it but you are wrong… no one on the team feels we have to tow the party line here – no one has been coerced into doing or saying anything they don’t want to. Sure we didn’t all find out till you did – but that does not mean we don’t feel it’s the right thing to do for the show. That’s the truth we need to swallow here… as bitter a taste as it might leave in our mouths.

Regardless of what Jung might say GG will NOT be dumbed down and I state again, the decision was nothing to do with bringing in a girl… FFS – I’m a girl and I started this show – I don’t care about the gender of the presenters – I just care about having the best ppl working on it.

Guys… I totally acknowledge Jung[‘]s contribution to GG – and yeah I can see how it feels like we’ve stabbed a mate – and what’s the Aussie thing to do? Stand up for a mate in a fight right? But this show is more than just one person – is and always has been.

GG has been my life for the last nearly four years… why on earth would I want anything to hurt it?

Syd

three

Author Junglist (Reviewer)
Date/Time 29 Oct 2009 5:43:42pm
Subject Re: Statement from the team…

GG has been my life for the last nearly four years… why on earth would I want anything to hurt it?”

I completely believe that you have the best of intentions, Syd. It’s you that holds this show together. And I likewise believe you when you say it has nothing to do with bringing in a girl.

But it’s not up to you, is it? This change comes from higher up.

As I said, I’ve spoken to team members who contradict what you say about “supporting the ABC’s decision”, so this is damage control, pure & simple.

four

Author Bajo (Presenter)
Date/Time 29 Oct 2009 7:42:17pm
Subject Re: Statement from the team…

Hi guys,

I can’t stress enough to scrub ‘mass appeal’ from your minds. The words are ridiculous to me, and the team and no one has ever felt that it’s even remotely where we are heading. If you find you can’t scrub it than at least take a look at the show over the next few weeks and you’ll see that we’re not changing focus/direction at all. Yes there is some change obviously, but not to the content and definitely not to our attitude to how we present gaming information. No one is understating the loss we’ll feel without Junglist[‘]s excellent reviews and input to the show, but we will find our groove again, with your help and the help of our very hardworking team who have come from so many different places from magazines to other shows to freelance game journos to just plain gamers that we thought were awesome and needed to work on the show. No one has any interest in dumbing anything down, the thought of it makes me vomit on Gog’s keyboard. Amongst other people keyboards and chairs.

From outside looking in it’s easy to jump to conclusions and assume lots of things, so try to trust that we really do care about you, we troll every day, and we feel your words. We are going to deal with this change in the best possible way we can with the tools we have, with the best possible team we can find. We are still filling our team up behind and in front of the scenes, and it’s only growing as the year turns into the next. Like Syd said, we have two shows next year, and GGSP is focused on tween, which allows us to put MORE adult content in the regular GG, something we have always wanted to do and have always fought to do.

Despite all this hate and flame, just take a deep breath. Now, exhale, and think about games for a moment, which is why we are all here. I’m not trying to make light of an obviously hard and awful conversation we’re having, but games are awesome.

Their awesome juice will seep into our souls, and we’ll be awesome again, and show you this juice as it transforms into words. The juice will then flow out of our pores, into our actual drink of juice (possibly pineapple) and then that juice will be drunk again, only doubling the effect of awesome juice which is all from games in the first place.

I very much wish I could be next to you all to talk about this in person. It’s hard to express my frustration about the misconceptions I keep seeing here. I would like to give you all a real hug… please accept this internet hug ‘O’ for now.

Those of you whom are doubtful, I do hope you choose to stay, and at least give us a chance. The show is really important to me, and us, and we just want it to be epic as it once was, with all the tools we have.

five

Author Junglist (Reviewer)
Date/Time 29 Oct 2009 8:43:18pm
Subject Re: Statement from the team…

“I can’t stress enough to scrub ‘mass appeal’ from your minds.”

That’s because “mass appeal” is the truth. You’re asking for a lot of trust in that statement when trust is clearly an issue right now. I actually believe that you believe what you’re saying, but you weren’t the one who talked to upper management for 30 minutes about their new mass appeal plan.

“Yes there is some change obviously, but not to the content.”

Explain then why I’m only contributing 1 token review a week? And quite possibly those reviews won’t even make it into the show? A proven reviewer over 3 years has been replaced with a less experienced one. The content HAS changed, already.

As ever Baj it seems like you couldn’t wait to just get on with things… fair enough if you don’t care about this whole thing, but asking everyone to just forget about it by promising fruit hats and horse heads is insulting peoples’ intelligence.

For my part, I’ve been honest about my own weaknesses in my role. There is no more “we can’t say anything”. I’ve said it. So have at me bro, if that’s what you feel like.

Bonus TISM!

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2018 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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44 Responses to Junglist, Or; How Not To Fire An Under-Performing Employee

  1. Lumpen says:

    Finally, we get to the real issues. Baj is an unfunny tosser and Junglist was carrying the show. The last episode of Good Game was terrible. They actually sat there and said (more-or-less) “Oh, we don’t really get this game. Oh well.” So. Shit.

  2. Robert says:

    Explain then why I’m only contributing 1 token review a week?

    Maybe because you had the chance to contribute more but couldn’t meet your deadlines?

    For my part, I’ve been honest about my own weaknesses in my role.

    Not so much. You’ve claimed you’re the victim of a feminazi conspiracy aimed at — shock, horror — improving the appeal of the show.

    ——

    I don’t really see what the fuss is about. But then I always preferred Bajo’s reviews to Junglist’s.

  3. Ben says:

    Bajo,

    You’re making me a little bit sick mate, I really enjoyed watching you and Junglist present the show with good humour and genuine reviews, but this is a little too much to take.

    Either treat your audience with some respect now, when they are asking for it, or this show (which has been great until now) will sink into the abyss.

    This show had a really big potential, but all this situation stinks of is commercialism.

  4. Duchamps_Mutt says:

    What disappoints me is the way the Fairfax and News Ltd online services (particularly the latter bunch of Nazis) spun it as a “gender bias” issue. It obscures the real issue that ABC management probably don’t watch their own network’s shows.

    As far as I can see, the real reason for his dismissal was that they saw Good Game, with its rising ratings and committed audience, as a vehicle for cross-promotion of ABC3 and its dead-eyed hosts. Massive Egos overruled objections from Junglist, who, knowing the relationship the programme had with the viewers, could anticipate all of this.

    It’s tragic, but fascinating at the same time … because normally such managerial thuggery is hidden from view.

  5. @ndy says:

    Oops.

    Apparently Bajo reckons I misquoted him:

    Author Bajo (Presenter)
    Date/Time 31 Oct 2009 5:08:22pm
    Subject Re: Statement from the team…

    “http://slackbastard.anarchobase.com/?p=9648”

    for the record, the above blog misquotes me at the top saying “”I would very much like to do that again, one of the best days I’ve ever had on this show!”” which is in regards to having a good game open day again, and how much fun the last one was – not about anything else.

    And Bajo is right. Apologies to Bajo — here’s the full quote:

    Author Bajo (Presenter)
    Date/Time 29 Oct 2009 8:10:07pm
    Subject Re: Statement from the team…

    “Another open day? smile”

    I would very much like to do that again, one of the best days I’ve ever had on this show!

    If you’ve ever worked in any sort of organization you’ll know that as much as it sucks, work related issues cannot be discussed outside the work place, it’s just as simple as that, and I wish we could tell you more – but we can’t and that can’t change and it’s not going to. It feels unfair to us that we can’t say our side of the story, but that’s the position we’re in and we understand and respect why these rules are in place in our workplace, or any.

    So I guess it’s your call whether that’s what is important to you, or whether you’d rather give us a chance to keep you entertained, and we’d very much appreciate your help and continued feedback in each weeks feedback thread to do so. Especially because [I] wear a horse head in Monday’s episode coming, and [I] want to know if you were all as creeped out as [I] was.

  6. @ndy says:

    Yeah well anyway, leaving aside the issue of Junglist vs. Bajo vs. Hex for a moment, I reckon the real issue is control. Let’s assume, for another moment, that Junglist was a reasonably competent reviewer, but one whose work practices in some way failed to meet the standards set by management, either that involved in the production of GG, or that of the ABC ‘light entertainment’ division (or its equivalent).

    As it stands, GG is expanding, producing a spin-off, Good Game: Spawn Point, aimed at tweenage gamers (as opposed to the ‘hardcore’ gamers who are believed to constitute GG‘s core audience). In fact, Bajo and Hex will be hosting both GG on ABC2 and GG:SP on ABC3 (launching into space on December 4, 2009):

    Stephanie ‘Hex’ Bendixsen, a 24-year-old Sydneysider, will co-host Good Game SP. Offering all the latest gaming news, views and reviews, this specially created show is the younger sibling to ABC2’s highly successful Good Game program. Joining Steph in the ABC3 studio will be regular Good Game host, Steve ‘Bajo’ O’Donnell.

    ABC3 is based on a premise – that Australian kids deserve better. Better quality content, that speaks with an Australian voice. A better variety of programs, that caters to different interests and tastes. Better scheduling and timing, so that when they want to watch TV, there’s something on for them. And better ways to interact and be part of ABC3 and influence what it is.

    Director of Television, Kim Dalton, says the launch of ABC3 will usher in a new era of television in Australia. “Australian kids will get an innovative, new entertainment experience; one which is designed to challenge and excite them. It’s the television of the new century – accessible on many platforms, interactive and customisable. ABC3 is something we’re extremely proud of, and I’m confident it will become an important part of Australian kids’ lives.”

    Like deforestation, desertification, ethnic and racial hatred, global warming, intractable and radioactive waste, not-quite-natural disasters, political corruption, social inequality, species extinction, soil erosion, Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em, terrorism and war.

    Where was I?

    Oh yeah.

    I think it’s called ‘brand re-positioning’.

  7. Manik Magik says:

    No! No no no no no no no!

    The show IMO has been changing, but all that was forgiven because of the awesome rapport that had developed between the hosts.

    For a hardcore fan Bajo is replaceable. Sure he’s the energy, the melody, but Junglist is the bassline, the pulse of this show.

    Without him I’m watching something I don’t fully understand, or not watching, as I think the case will be.

  8. @ndy says:

    If what Junglist claims he was informed of at his 30-minute meeting with ABC management — during which he was effectively sacked from GG — is correct, then the loss of some fans is likely to have been expected by the brains trust at the ABC. On the other hand, there also appears to be an expectation that more and different consumers will be enticed by the new format (- 1 Junglist; + 1 Hex). So in terms of market positioning, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to lose some audience, provided that the target audience is kept and even expanded upon. It may be that, given that Bajo and Hex have already been earmarked for the role of presenters on GG:SP, and that there were some ‘performance’ issues surrounding Junglist’s contribution to GG, it was thought that jettisoning Junglist and thereby allowing Hex a few opportunities to host the final episodes of the latest season of GG would be a good test run, as well as establish her as a new face in the brave new world of ABC2 and 3. What seems to have gone unnoticed by ABC management (to be precise: those members of ABC management responsible for overseeing ABC yoof programing) is that GG has developed a reasonably large audience, and Junglist has been positioned as representing the voice of the average gamer; further, the ABC has chosen to promote the show as being ‘by gamers and for gamers’. Their heavy-handed intervention has come as a reminder that the show, while regularly ‘consulting’ with its audience, is produced by a corporation, and that corporation, despite investing large sums of money into market research on precisely such matters, acts more-or-less precisely as a corporation is generally expected to.

  9. @ndy says:

    PS.

    Bad Game – Junglist replaced
    News from Yug
    October 24th @ 11:14am

    Regardless of your opinion of Good Game, it has been the ONLY decent national TV show about video games in Australia for many years now (I say national so I don’t have to include Level3 in that list, and I say decent so as not to include Cyber Shack).

    Recently a press release was sent out from the ABC that is as follows:

      ABC TV’s Good Game Levels UP with a New Presenter and an additional New Show!

      Joining Bajo (Steven O’Donnell) in the Den of Gaming from Monday 26th October will be new Good Game host, Hex (Stephanie Bendixsen).

      Born to non gaming parents who had a strict “no console” policy in the family home, Hex was forced to take up an outdoors hobby, bike riding.. straight around the corner to the neighbours and their Sega Megadrive.

      In her teenage years Hex discovered “Lensmoor” a Multi User Dungeon (MUD) game that is completely text based and looked to her unsuspecting parents just like her homework.

      When her habit of swapping sleep for gaming caught up with her she was sent off to see a counsellor to attempt to cure her of her gaming obsession possibly making her the only Aussie Gamer to be treated before ever actually owning a game.

      Now after studying drama and performance at university Hex will combine her two great loves, acting and gaming, when she joins ABC TV’s show for gamers by gamers, Good Game, to present the program alongside Bajo.

      But that’s not all… From February 2010 Good Game will be expanding onto ABC3, the new digital channel for young Australian’s [sic] when it launches Good Game: Spawn Point (GG:SP).

      Good Game: SP will be the show for younger gamers by gamers. With 95% of young Australians aged 6 to 15 calling themselves gamers and the launch of ABC3, a channel dedicated to them, it was time for Good Game to spawn a new program with the needs of young gamers firmly in its sights. GG:SP will feature a family friendly mix of gamer reviews, stories about gaming culture and plenty of audience interaction.

      Good Game will continue throughout 2010 on ABC2 returning to a screen near you next February on Monday nights at 8.30pm.

      Some Facts about ABC TV’s Good Game

      Good Game is now the #1 downloaded ABC-TV program with well over 800,000 d/l this year to date.

      Good Game’s Forums are the most active across ABC-TV with well over a million posts.

      Good Game will present a one hour Christmas special featuring all the top festive season game releases on Monday 14th December at 8.30pm on ABC2.

      “The Good Game Gamers Guide to Good Gaming”, our first book, will be published by Harper Collins in December 2009 and will be available from all good book shops.

      Catch Good Game Monday nights on ABC2 @ 8:30pm, or late Friday nights on ABC1, just before rage.

    […continued…]

  10. David says:

    Why keep an underperforming host around for 3 years and *then* sack him? It makes no sense.

  11. Calvin says:

    Exactly, this is total non-sense. Bajo’s been hosting with Jun for how long now? And to see him backing out and telling everyone to forget it after Jun was sacked, is just disgraceful. I never thought you’d fall this low Bajo (backstabber, abandoning your mate) and to be honest many people I know liked Junglist way better.

    There is no reason for Junglist to be sacked, there never was. (Apart from money-hungry ABC managers.) No one is perfect, but Junglist had the intellect, skill, knowledge, experience and ability to create a sense of belonging with the GG community [and that] is irreplaceable.

  12. muzz says:

    nobody likes change.

    to tell you the truth, i didnt mind at all looking at hex. but thats all i was doing. just perving on her the whole time.

    junglist WAS the backbone of the show. when he reviewed, i listened to what he had to say.

    Bajo on the other hand is… really wet. uno? i just never had the same respect for him or what he said, like i did junglist.

    the reason why the show became so popular was because it was simple, with your two types of gamers presenting. your average joe and your geek.

    im not a geek or a girl so its drastically lost its appeal for me.

    it seems like its getting a bit gayer now anyway. its certainly not like i remember it used to be, and if it aint broke, why fix it??? oh yeah money.

    commercialization is shithouse.

  13. Dr. Cam says:

    Who cares?

    Nerds, that’s who.

    I thought we were jocks, Andy.

  14. HAL says:

    Whatever REALLY happened behind the cameras, one thing is certain – there definitely is an underperformance issue. And it’s the underperformance of whoever on ABC management is responsible for this PR meltdown. Regardless of whether the change was needed or not, the handling of the change has been about as effective as gaming in boxing gloves.

  15. @ndy says:

    “Who cares?

    Nerds, that’s who.

    I thought we were jocks, Andy.”

    Jews Cam.

    Jews.

    Also DATA.

    Dorks Against The Authorities / Dorks Advocating Total Anarchy.

    Products of a hellish high skool experience…

    PS.

    “…and early 7 Seconds…”

  16. Lumpen says:

    I’m slightly mortified that Bajo might have read my comment calling him an unfunny tosser. OH SNAP, ANOTHER TRUTH BOMB. I’m resigned to the fact that Junglist won’t be coming back to GG and I probably won’t be watching it.
    BTW, I’m told that GG is the most downloaded show on the ABC.

  17. @ndy says:

    “I’m slightly mortified that Bajo might have read my comment calling him an unfunny tosser.”

    Yeah. It’s a pretty mean comment Lumpen. But I imagine that he may be subjected to not one several unkind comments as a result of this latest farce; created by ABC management, it seems, but still being given the complete support of the remaining employees at GG (Syd, Bajo, Moe, Tuk, Gog, Mafia, Jeremy Pencil, Palindrome).

    “Junglist won’t be coming back to GG.”

    No. While technically possible, it’s extremely unlikely. But if, as it appears, he has more than a few fans, it’s quite possible that he’ll pop up somewhere else. After all, when David and Margaret left SBS, they got a gig at the ABC, so maybe Junglist will be sacked by the ABC only to find a job at SBS? Stranger things have happened.

    “I’m told that GG is the most downloaded show on the ABC.”

    Yes it is. I don’t imagine that this will last a great deal longer, however. Then again, who knows? Maybe Hex and Bajo will absolutely sparkle as co-hosts of both GG and GG:SP, and Junglist will be confined to the dustbin of history.

  18. @ndy says:

    PS.

    [Angry wave of the fist in the general direction of Save Junglist!]

    PPS.

    Save Junglist! on Facebook has over 5,000 members.

  19. @ndy says:

    Odd. Junglist has been sacked for over a week now, and yet John Mangan…

    Keeping ahead of the game
    John Mangan
    The Age
    November 1, 2009

    …Jeremy Ray, presenter of ABC-TV’s cult show Good Game, says that while the Australian development scene has had its ups and downs in the past few years, digital distribution opens exciting new doors. ”The greatest recent success story in my eyes comes out of Melbourne in the form of [video game developer] Infinite Interactive,” he says. ”Steve Fawkner’s team created the worldwide hit Puzzle Quest, and it’s with these smaller, casual games that there’s massive potential”…

  20. Robdog says:

    I’m with Calvin on this one. I would have expected junglist to get more support from bajo considering they both worked ‘together’ to get where they are. They could have done a ‘Movie Show’ manouvre where they could swap stations and trounce the revamped show. Bajo already does advertisements on the side so I don’t think he needed to sell junglist out.

  21. @ndy says:

    Sauce : Discussion: FYI here’s the press release

    Author TheGog (Production Co-Ordinator)
    Date/Time 23 Oct 2009 4:13:01pm
    Subject Re: FYI here’s the press release

    “it feels like the higher ups are trying their hardest to make GG approach cybershack in it’s style and so forth.”

    Let’s just put it this way, you should all scrub the term “mass appeal” from your minds. That’s just a bad phrase which doesn’t apply to the changes happening.

    We’re still GG, by gamers for gamers and we’re not going to be turning into anything even closely resembling Cybershack, we’ll always be GG, it’s that simple.

    We’re just taking on a slightly different point of view, but when I say slightly I mean that. We aren’t noobifying things, we aren’t cybershacking ourselves, we’re just taking on a new team member. The change will be no more dramatic than when we brought Bajo on. And that didn’t destroy the show now did it?

    I don’t expect that to make the pill any easier for you guys to swallow as I know lack of information breeds speculation but it’s really just not my place to talk about such personnel matters.

    You’re all smart enough and have heard enough to know that it wasn’t Jung’s choice BUT having personally seen Hex in action I can see why such a decision was made, so I’m very excited for our future and I would hope you all are rational and reasonable enough people to give her a fair go as some of you clearly are but clearly some of you would rather just over-react and attack a person you’ve never met and barely know while claiming our doom… embarrassed[.]

    ~versus~

    You’re all smart enough and have heard enough to know that it wasn’t Jung’s choice and I can tell you it wasn’t anything I personally had a say in, so it is a decision made from above which certainly had a lot of us behind the scenes worried BUT having personally seen Hex in action I can see why such a decision was made…

    In other words: it appears that, on (Friday) October 23, prior to the release of the ‘Statement from the team’ on (Thursday) October 29 — but following on from the ‘press release’ of October 23 — ‘Gog’, one of the producers of GG, contradicted the official line on Junglist’s sacking. That is, the line which sustains the group statement: “The decision to take Junglist off air was not forced upon us by ABC Management and it’s one that is fully supported by all the GG team. We are gutted that it has come to this but in our opinion it absolutely had to happen.” Or: ABC management decided to sack Junglist — according to Junglist because they wished to re-position the GG brand in the market — and the happy team at GG then produced a statement which contradicted this and assumed the responsibility for Junglist’s sacking on behalf of this same team. Subsequently, the moderator of the ABC forum has re-edited Gog’s original post to remove any suggestion that this might have been untrue.

  22. Stephen says:

    Great chemistry between the both of you!

    Sounds like something to definitely work on!

  23. @ndy says:

    Ah… would I be right in thinking that the above comment is a ref to Bajo and Hex’s performance on GG tonight? If so, yeah: they were fine.

  24. @ndy says:

    Oh yeah. Two small additional comments: no ref to Junglist’s sacking during the course of the show (obviously); no trace of Jeremy’s name in the credits. So no ‘behind-the-scenes’ role for J either.

  25. @ndy says:

    Author Junglist (Reviewer)
    Date/Time 03 Nov 2009 1:48:15pm
    Subject Re: Comments and feedback here…

    “Side question for the GG team – in some other thread I saw something about Junglist still being on the team till the season’s end, as a reviewer.

    Which review/s on the 2/11 show did he play a part in, be it writing, advice, editing, etc.?”

    Nothing of mine made it into this ep or the last.

  26. Mick says:

    Last night’s abysmal episode was both depressing to watch, and sweet in its failure. ‘Sweet’ in that Duthie’s uniformed and idiotic decision to sack Jung has culminated in last night’s disaster. Eat dick, ABC – you really have reaped what you sowed.

  27. @ndy says:

    Facebook wars!

    Good Game 7,187 fans
    Save Junglist! 6,393 members

  28. Steve says:

    The ABC, like a lot of other Australian companies who have made bad management decisions, will be disposing of those clueless luckies [?] who executed this dumb idea.

    Junglist is gone, Bajo has had his career trashed and Hex is hated. The ABC have reached new levels of middle management dysfunction. After the stall is the fall.

  29. @ndy says:

    Hmmm.

    Maybe.

    I expect there’ll be a re-assessment on the part of the GG production team and the ABC at the end of the current series, but as to what is concluded at the end of this process… who knows? It seems to me that the ABC is committed to launching GG:SP (at the very least), so Bajo and Hex should continue to have a job. As for job losses among management — it’s unlikely. A failed TV show is a failed TV show — not a reason for axing a manager. That said, if — assuming GG‘s not cancelled, which again seems unlikely — the next series is not considerably better than the current one, it — in addition to the already well-documented failure of the ABC to oversee a forced change in line-up — would presumably place some pressure on employees — but at the lower end of the corporate food-chain, not the highest (shit flows downhill, not up). And Amanda Duthie (just) survived The Chaser blah blah, so…

      Good Game 7,318 fans
      Save Junglist! 6,696 members
  30. @ndy says:

    PS.

    It’s a new frontier, they say. It’s wide open, anything can happen…

  31. @ndy says:

    Author Jonathan Holmes (Presenter)
    Date/Time 06 Nov 2009 8:21:00pm
    Subject Re: Junglist demoted from ABC’s Good Game

    Ok gamers. Think about this.

    If the ABC had decided it wanted to change the host of The Good Game [sic] to appeal to a different audience, or because it wanted a woman instead of a man (though both of those things MAY be true) would it really have done so a few weeks before the end of the Good Game’s run? Wouldn’t it have waited until the end of the season? Would it have courted the reaction it’s got from its hard core fans by just dumping Junglist without even a chance to say goodbye, without explanation etc?

    We have looked into this. If we thought there had been a gross and high-handed management intervention we’d happily have said so. But we don’t. And like the team at The Good Game, we can’t say why without making matters worse.

    Frustrating, I know. But there it is. Calling me a coward won’t change anything, or make Junglist feel better either.

    Author Junglist (Reviewer)
    Date/Time 07 Nov 2009 2:25:21pm
    Subject Re: Media Watch findings –

    Personally, I would’ve thought the ABC forcing that “team post” on the team, and being caught out in a lie to the audience would be reason enough to be covered. But 2 people from Media Watch have contacted me and after talking for a while, they told me they probably wouldn’t cover it due to it being a staffing issue rather than an editorial one. I half agreed with that point, as there’s lots of internal politicking, and the editorial side issue of reviewing policies. But even so, the reviewing policies aren’t so much a matter of journalistic ethics as what direction they want GG to have.

    Anyone else have Jon Holmes’ voice in their heads while reading his post?

    Social media: The policy gives four standards which staff and contractors must follow
    ABC
    November 5, 2009

    ABC managing director Mark Scott has announced new social media guidelines, which the national broadcaster’s journalists and staff must abide by.

    Speaking at the Media 140 conference on the future of journalism in the social networking age, Mr Scott outlined standards ABC journalists are expected to adhere to when using media platforms like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and You Tube.

    Fairfax and overseas media outlets announced similar guidelines recently to keep a leash on their staff, in a bid to pre-empt permanent online bungles which may bring employers into disrepute.

    In September, a sub-editor for Brisbane’s Courier-Mail newspaper was sacked after ranting about work on a personal blog during his shift.

    In an email sent to ABC staff this morning, the new Use of Social Media policy gives four standards which staff and contractors must follow when using both work and personal social media interaction:

    1. Do not mix the professional and the personal in ways likely to bring the ABC into disrepute.
    2. Do not undermine your effectiveness at work.
    3. Do not imply ABC endorsement of your personal views.
    4. Do not disclose confidential information obtained through work…

    Good Game 7,403 fans
    Save Junglist! 6,820 members

  32. Disappointed at GG says:

    Hahahahah went to the good game website to see if they had somehow delivered on their promises of a better show. OMG it still sucks. Hex and Bajo ALWAYS post the same scores!! GOD!! Makes me mad just watching.

    Junglist was the man. Anyways thought I’d revive this thread by posting here all these months later.

    Cheers

  33. @ndy says:

    Good Game : 10,658 fans
    Back to the Junglist: Junglist Appreciation and Gaming Discussion Group : 7,209 fans

  34. @netwurker says:

    i’m actually surprised no1 pointed out that Hex *sounds* *acts* like Bajo has from the get-go…which annoys the crud outta me. i’m all 4 gamer gal input [being 1 myself] but ffs, at least express your opinion based on ur own idiosyncrasies/body language don’t just emulate ur co-hosts?

  35. Statsman says:

    Thought you may like to look at the recent facebook stats:

    Back to the junglist: 6,945 members.
    Good Game: 29,598 members.
    5 Inch Floppy: 201 members.

    The show went through a changing period with Jung leaving, it’s meant to be a show about games that’s entertaining, not some dull boring review show like 5 inch floppy is turning out to be. Jung is a great reviewer, but he’s not a comedian, and when he starts trying to do funny “skits” like in his first floppy and the ninja face slap, I just think to myself “mass appeal”, and “trying to appeal to the casual gamer”, because let’s face it, he’s singled himself out as being the “hardcore” reviewer yet he’s pandering to the casual audience. He’s becoming the very thing he was against at GG, which makes me think his dismissal argument was total bollocks and made up, a last ditch effort at trying to bring down the show in a national arena so he could try and salvage some pride.

    A line from his facebook page for the next 5 inch floppy ep:

    “The coming week’s episode looks at Monday Night Combat on XBLA, and a game set in one of the Floppy’s favourite places: a vagina.”

    Real hardcore Jung, real hardcore. Thought you were going to be a mature serious reviewing show, that’s what it sounded like, instead you’ve hit the guttertrash jokes. Pity the fool.

  36. zuki says:

    Re: The Statsman and Jung’s ‘hardcore’ cred.

    Having an offbeat or ‘immature’ sense of humour does not make you any less of a xhardxcorex L33T gamer or competent games reviewer for that matter, they are virtually independent of each other.
    In fact I’d put my money there are a greater number ‘hardcore’ gamers bearing a sense of humour more akin to Jung’s unpolished boisterous kind than Bajo’s contrived and flustered attempts at off-the-wall asides.
    What’s more Jung’s humour does not in anyway impinge on his critical skills of game review; lately (for nostalgia’s sake) I have been watching the 4am replays on ABC1 (ironically the reruns with Jung are the only presence GG has on the main channel albeit in the graveyard shift) and for all of Jung’s maraca-playing Arnie-impersonating antics when it comes to the verdict and evaluating critical aspects of a particular game he was thorough and well-referenced with the in-game footage verifying the qualms or kudos he was giving to a particular title, in no way was he pandering to a casual audience when, say, bringing up the amount of frame rate issues and jaggies on a particular version of a multi-platform game, or latency issues with certain online-based titles.
    Issues which aren’t often brought up by Bajo or Hex when discussing games; the only negative technical aspects that really get a mention now are the amount of bugs and glitches that will *hopefully* be cleared by the ‘next’ software update.
    I don’t want to get on Jungs dick… but yeah, I find that those old GG shows rendered much more assistance to me in purchasing expensive triple A releases than the Hex episodes, which often have each reviewer agreeing over pretty much everything in the game then delivering a near identical rating.
    I’ve missed Jungs insight, Hex is not *unintelligent* she isn’t just a piece of eye candy that initial naysayers were anxious she was, but in hindsight Jung was better.
    And who’s to say it GG wouldn’t of done better with him? Considering the opening up of SP after he left… expanding the saturation of GG across the ABC channels.
    And of course GG numbers are going to be larger than the ‘Back to the junglist’ numbers on facebook; as Jung becomes more back of mind over a year since the sacking and new followers through SP (who are on facebook) get into Good Game.
    It’s sad for Jung, I don’t believe he was really in a position to shop around the networks.
    Due to his valiant defence of his position (which was in refreshingly honest contrast to the sickening PR attempts ABC coughed up on the Good Game boards) other networks might of looked at Jung as a presenter they couldn’t simply fuck up the ass…

  37. debaser says:

    Yeah well Hex is hot, so it’s kinda hard to care that much about Junglist’s demise.

  38. Dune says:

    thread dig i know. But i’ve been living with Hex alongside Bajo on GG for sometime now. I liked the Jung. But the dynamic between Bajo and Hex is more entertaining. I can read a dull ‘serious’ review anywhere on the nets. Hex and Bajo offer differing reasons and perspectives of their likes and dislikes on the games they review and they don’t always agree or rate the same. Jung’s greatest fan may have been Jung and his belief in his own abilities and naivety that he was not a disposable and replaceable commodity of the ABC.

  39. Lumpen says:

    I take it back (from 2009); Hex is great, GG is still a good show. Ugh, thanks for reminding me I made dickhead posts. I thought Junglist was the proletariat, workers rights, etc.

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