Vega has a pulse but 2GB still dominates. Signs of life for Vega
and ABC 702 in the latest Sydney radio ratings, but the big story from
the second survey of the year is how 2GB continues to dominate the
country’s largest radio market. Apart from Alan Jones (17.4 down from
17.5) 2GB enjoyed a rise in share across the rest of the day with Ray
Hadley (up to 14.7 from 12.2) belting John Law on 2UE (8.1 down from
9.3). 2GB’s share jumped to 13.4 from 12.4 overall, a very solid
result. The survey was conducted from 29 January to 18 March and
includes three days of the Commonwealth Games, which might explain the
boost to some timeslots on ABC local radio 702. Evenings jumped to 9.1
from 6.4, drive 9.5 from 8.0 and afternoons, 6.1 from 5.2. ABC 702’s
overall share rose to 7.7 from 6.9. Vega was the best improver, from a
minuscule base, increasing its overall share from 1.7 to 2.1. The Vega
result will provide some solace to the DMG owners, but its other Sydney
station, Nova, which is aimed at young males in particular, is losing
share, led by breakfast announcers, Merrick and Rosso. Their share
fell to 8.0 from 9.0 and Nova’s overall share eased to 7.8 from 8.1. In
Melbourne, ABC 774 up from 12.4 to 13.0, while talk rival 3AW was up
from 12.9 to 14.5. – Glenn Dyer

A tale
of two current affairs shows.
With the Games out of the way, it was back
to hostilities for A Current Affair and Today Tonight last night.

And in
a major surprise, TT went down the responsible “news” route while ACA continued
with its lightweight consumer driven approach. As a
result, Today Tonight won easily with an audience of 1.544 million to 1.216
million for ACA. TT won all five metro markets. TT
surprised by starting with a look at the new Industrial Relations laws and then
ran a very nice story about a young Australian woman living with a Muslim woman
of the same age for a day. Nice and informative: just the sort of story these
programs can do well if they have a mind to. ACA led
with yet another story (TT has run them as well) about takeaway food being
kept too hot or too cold, featuring an expert making all sorts of dire warnings
and a hectoring reporter. So will
TT continue with its responsible approach and actually try and follow current
affairs? Don’t count on it, the lure to go ultra tabloid is too
much. On ACA
the only thing of interest was Tracy Grimshaw’s
interview with professional havachat, Kathy Lette.
Glenn Dyer

The Tele rewrites history. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the back page of the Daily Tele this morning:

Australian athletics legend Ron Clarke has launched a stunning attack on
the women’s 4x400m relay team, telling it to “give back their
Commonwealth Games gold medals”. Clarke is revered for one of Australia’s most famous displays of
sportsmanship when, in the 1956 Australian 1500m final, he stopped to
help fallen rival John Landy, then went on to win the race.

I’ve just checked and thankfully they’ve now reverted to
the normal version of history: “Clarke, who lit the Olympic Cauldron at
the Melbourne Cricket Ground
in 1956, was part of one of the great moments in sportsmanship when
John Landy picked him up after he fell in the national 1500m in the
same year.” Whoops! – A subscriber

Support for increased ABC funding.
A petition calling for increased funding for the ABC has achieved an astonishing 35,959
signatures in just under a week, according to the organisers. Brett Solomon, executive director of GetUp, said that
15,000 people had signed within 24 hours of the petition being launched last
Thursday, and the numbers are rising fast. The target is 50,000 signatures
before Cabinet’s Expenditure Review Committee meets again next Tuesday. – Margaret Simons

Last night’s TV

The Winners Normal transmission resumed and it’s as though the 11
days of the Commonwealth Games didn’t happen for the Nine Network. It lost last
night by more than four points in a result that was slightly worse than Monday
night prime time a fortnight ago, the last Monday before the games. Nine
received no “halo” effect from the Games and it doesn’t bode well for the slew
of new and returning programs heavily promoted during the games. Desperate
averaged 1.921 million last night, and was the most watched program
everywhere bar Perth where Seven News was Number One. Today Tonight was second
with 1.544 million, Seven News was third with 1.542 million, Ten’s elimination
episode of The Biggest Loser was next with 1.405 million (and doing figures
around what elimination episodes of Big Brother did last year). 20 to 1 was
Nine’s best with 1.360 million, while Who Wants To Be A Millionaire with Eddie’s
second last hosting was 7th with 1.339 million. Nine News (1.312 million) and A
Current Affair
(1.312 million) and Seven’s Commander in Chief (1.176 million)
was 10th. It just beat Nine’s Cold Case in the same timeslot (9.30pm) with
1.166 million. Seven’s Home and Away beat The Biggest Loser in Sydney and
Melbourne but Loser won big in Brisbane, Adelaide and
The Losers Losers? Family Feud with Bert Newton: 470,000 people and
done and dusted by Deal or No Deal with 869,000. Bert’s audience was 38,000 down
on the Monday two weeks ago (508,000). Bondi Rescue on Ten at 8pm: the 855,000
was around 200,000 down on what it was getting on Wednesdays at 8pm. Not such
a loser, but a tougher night. Temptation, 904,000 and the quiz champions
special didn’t quite work. Temptation was fourth, squashed by Loser, Home and
and ABC 7pm News with 1.014 million.
News & CA No Games, no boost, Family Feud is a failure, that much
is clear. So Nine News runs a clear second nationally and in Sydney and
Melbourne to Seven, wins Brisbane and loses Adelaide and Perth. Nine News (and
ACA) averaged 99,000 and ACA, 92,000. Just appalling. The figures during the
games were proportionally better when shown at non usual times! ACA won
everywhere: the margin was back to normal levels. Nine’s biggest problem is the
immediate rebound in Seven News in Melbourne when Nine had moved back in front
during the Games. Bert! ABC News averaged just over a million viewers, 7.30
recovered to 889,000. Four Corners 726,000 and Media Watch, 694,000. Sort
of OK. Ten News at Five averaged 892,000 and won the 5 to 6pm
The Stats Seven with 31.8% (31.1% Monday two weeks ago), Nine
27.4% (27.2%), Ten, 20.1% (19.9%), the ABC 14.4%, 15.1% and SBS 6.3% (6.2%). Seven
won all five metro markets but Nine leads the week because of Sunday
Glenn Dyer’s comments No Games and back to the trench warfare we’ve come
to expect. This result won’t make Nine happy. The spin will be “We are still
competitive”. The reality is that 24 hours after the Commonwealth Games ended on
Nine, no lift, halo effect or afterglow with viewers. It’s as though the past
11 days of big audiences for Nine didn’t happen. Viewers were not persuaded to
stay with Nine, the network’s share was down a touch from a fortnight earlier,
News and A Current Affair were done over (in Melbourne!). Bert Newton bombed at 5.30pm but did OK hosting 20 to 1 at 7.30pm (I still reckon he’s the unknown
competitor every night in this nostalgia show). Viewers resumed normal viewing
patterns from Survey One and switched to Seven (and Ten and SBS and the ABC) at
key times and stayed there. With this sort of result, Nine’s $70 million plus
spend on the Games was a waste. Spending money on regular Australian programming
is far more productive. Tonight more of the same with Dancing With The Stars
burying the return of Survivor, seven weeks late in Panama and who cares, except
the loyal core of fans who’ve been peeking online