It was a mixed Sunday for the business and political chat shows.

Sunday saw a sharp fall in its audience compared to a year ago with the cover story on the Redeemer Baptist Church and School in Sydney’s Western suburbs and an interview with Deputy Federal Opposition leader, Jenny Macklin, proving not to be attractive. Why did they interview swimmer Grant Hackett who has been appointed Australian swimming captain? It looked like nothing more than a cross-promotion with Nine’s swimming telecasts during the week and not worthy of Sunday’s standards.

Business Sunday had a good interview with John Fletcher, as did Inside Businesson the ABC (see more in our business section). Alan Kohler’s program also crossed into politics with a good interview with Malcolm Turnbull which would have further aggravated Peter Costello and John Howard as he pointed out changes such as equating the company and personal tax rates was “not rocket science”. Malcolm admitted that he didn’t have a family trust and said our capital gains tax rates remain close to the highest in the world – something he personally experienced when paying 36 per cent on the $60 million he made out of Ozemail.

Seven’s Sunday Sunrisehad Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson, and Michael Pascoe also provided this strong finance editorial on the controversial ALH float as he flogged Macquarie Bank and the lack of action from ASIC.

Barrie Cassidy backed up well from the Quills on Friday night and the Insiders couch provided a lively discussion with Glenn Milne assuming the right wing spot normally occupied by Andrew Bolt or Piers Akerman. Milne’s column in The Australian today saying that Labor was back in town after Werriwa completely contradicted Dennis Shanahan who toldInsiders at the top of the program that an increase in Labor’s vote was still a poor result. It looked like Shanahan was pushing the Howard line as Milne remains firmly in camp Costello.

Here are the Sunday morning ratings figures with the 2004 figures in brackets.

302,319 (353,368)
Sunday Sunrise 163,273 (160,961)
Business Sunday 162,585 (135,524)
Insiders 132,876 (136,321)
Meet The Press 103,934 (74,962)
Inside Business 100,680 (76,187)

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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