The battle has been joined. After ignoring Seven's news and current
affairs challenge, first detailed by Crikey in April, Nine has reacted
and Terry Television explains why.
The Seven Network's 6pm news reader, Ian Ross was planning a two
week break in the middle of June. A short rest was needed after
what's been a tough year so far since joining Seven from the out to
pasture team of Nine where they like to 'warehouse' unused talent. And
it has been an exhausting, but satisfying experience as slowly but
surely Seven, with a gang of recycled Nine people, has slowly closed
the gap on the market-leading Nine News in Sydney.
And elsewhere in the vital 6 to 7pm slot, it had been a similar
story, small gains in the news, even in Melbourne and Brisbane where
Nine does very well and supporting the national performance against the
underperforming head office in Sydney.
And at 6.30pm, with a more local approach to current affairs Today
Tonight has made bigger and more rapid gains as the program caught and
then surpassed the once dominant A Current Affair on Nine. But for Ian
Ross, the break was much anticipated. Anna Coren, another Nine refugee,
was slated to fill in for the two weeks and raise her profile.