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Max Bostock Remembers 50 Years of Television

Posted by ken On August - 19 - 2009

TVW veterans Richard Ashton, Gordon McColl and Ken McKay had an enjoyable meeting with former TVW Chief Executive Officer Max Bostock, on Tuesday July 21st, 2009. During this time, Max kindly agreed to a video recording of his reminiscences.

Max became a professional musician at the age of 15 in 1942. He played Piano and Vibes in many nightclubs, and in the late 1940’s created the big stage band that became well known on radio and stage shows in the major ballrooms in Melbourne and Sydney.

In the early 50’s he did a weekly national program on radio 3DB called ‘The Happy Gang’.

At the commencement of television in 1956, He did musical arrangements for many stage performers, and TV shows, including the LATE, LATE SHOW with Bert Newton on HSV7, and later for GTV9’s IN MELBOURNE TONIGHT with Graham Kennedy.

After visiting Perth in early 1960 to work in a show produced by Brian Williams, He accepted an offer from Brian Treasure to join the staff of TVW. He considered this a decision that shaped the rest of his working life. As TVW was a new station, in an isolated state, everyone was on a learning curve and it created a family atmosphere. Many of the formats that shaped TVW’s production direction into the future originated in this period.

After joining TVW in 1960, Max progressed from Musical Director, through Producer/Director, Production manager, Station Manager, General Manager, and in 1977 was appointed CEO of TVW Enterprises Ltd.

He was awarded the MBE in 1980 and was always a bit embarrassed by this. He considered production to be a team job, and this award should have included many of his skilled and dedicated staff.

He left TVW in 1981, and after producing the NATIONAL OLYMPATHON for the Olympic Federation and Network 10, he was sent to L.A. to produce the Australian opening program to the 1984 OLYMPIC GAMES from Los Angeles. However this was interrupted when he was sent an airline ticket and asked to attend a meeting with Rupert Murdoch on a flight between San Francisco and Boston.

He accepted Rupert’s offer of the position of Executive Director of Network 10, responsible for Melbourne and Sydney TV Stations, several radio stations and a production company. Later this was upgraded to CEO. He retired in 1986 to become ‘National Fundraising Director’ for the Australian Olympic Federation until 1988.


2 Responses to “Max Bostock Remembers 50 Years of Television”

  1. Thank you for this gem of an article.

    So good to hear Max’s reminiscences. I knew Max as the father of 2 of my best friends. Gary and Ross Bostock. I was with Gary through primary school, high school and later art school at Perth Tech. We are still friends.
    I played music with Ross through the 70’s, 80’s ane part of the 90’s.
    Ross certainly inherited Max’s musical genius. He died tragically in ’95 aged 43.
    I have very fond memories of being a welcome guest in the Bostock family home at Floreat and later at City Beach from the age of 11.
    These days, among many other things I paint portraits and have been a finalist in the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture twice. Some time ago I had the idea to paint Max’s portrait. I conveyed this idea to Gary Bostock who mentioned it to Max. Of course Max refused. I thought this was true to form for Max. I had been very aware of his humility the whole time I knew him as a kid and later into adulthood. I kind of expected his refusal really and was not offended. I am sure it is common knowledge to everyone that knows Max that he was (is) a total ‘team player’ and even though he was often the team leader I believe he never counted himself as any more important than any other team member (something that is so obvious whilst listening to him here). Therefore he never (in my observation) sort the limelight and was a total ‘behind the scenes’ man. Which is, of course, why he refused to have his portrait painted.
    It is a real achievement, I must say, to those that got him to contribute so valuably in this ‘interview’.
    Congratulations on your wonderful website and keep the stories coming. Very important.

    Howie (Howard) Smallman.

  2. Frank Hubble says:

    I’m not sure if you remember me… I’m not sure if I remember my 60’s self either! I was a member of the ‘Crawdaddy Blues’ band and although I never really got to know Max, he was kind enough to let me play his Vibes’ on stage (a strange addition for a blues band). Anyway, I remember you, and it’s great to reminisce (reminiscing is not what it used to be is it?)
    It’s a long time ago, but what memories I have are precious to me.
    Cheers,

    Frank

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