Nine has now changed its mind five times about what to put in the 4:30pm to 5:30pm
timeslot. Yesterday, the slot was supposed to be filled
with either Dr Phil or two episodes of Frasier, but it ended up being a double episode of Friends. Nine
now says the 4:30pm news will be back today.

claimed all the changes were necessary because of the repeat of the faltering
series, The Alice,
at 12 noon – Dr Phil’s usual timeslot. But Nine was also saying there
would be a double episode of Frasier, but at 3:30pm TCN 9 and GTV 9
were told by programming in Sydney that two Friends episodes would go
to air from 4:30pm Tuesday instead.

So it will be something of a lottery this afternoon for viewers.
Hopefully they will see Mike Munro, or someone else, back reading the
news that Nine didn’t want. What’s interesting in all of this is the
ease with which Nine overrode a news broadcast. So much for the
assertion by interim CEO, Sam Chisholm, that news and current affairs
are Nine’s strength.

And it shows the lack of clout of new Sydney news director, Tony Ritchie. But then
he’s never been a believer in afternoon news broadcasts, especially at 4:30pm.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey