Eddie Everything on the art of micro-management. We just
loved the Eddie McGuire profile in the Weekend Australian‘s magazine on
Saturday: it’s not online but Nine spinners will be
pleased. It was
all about Eddie, so no coverage of Nine’s problems, lack of talent and the tough
decisions Eddie has to make – such as what to do about the Today show and A
Current Affair
. Also
avoided was any discussion of Melbourne’s blokey,
AFL power network and how Eddie has made it his
path to fame and fortune. The feature also failed to make the quite telling point that Eddie is the only TV
executive since Bruce Gyngell to have significant
front of camera TV experience (and producing experience). With
that sort of experience it would have been a very interesting part of the story
to have him expand on – how he will apply
it as a manager. But it
was clear from the profile that Eddie is a micro-manager and leaves nothing to
chance, a task that will prove beyond him eventually in TV. We saw
that last week when he rushed to Beaconsfield to try and offset the Seven
influence, arranged the charity concert edition of the Footy Shows, did some
hosting and tried to get
the miners’ signatures. That he
could not trust anyone at Nine to organise it for him says a lot: either Nine’s very short on talent or Eddie
doesn’t trust other people and insists on managing everything himself. Either way, it’s
a very short path to failure. –Glenn Dyer

O’Dowd takes the fall at The Sunday Tele. The
announcement was brutally honest, at least on the News Ltd website yesterday: “The
editor of Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph Jeni O’Dowd is being replaced [yes, replaced was the word
used] in that role by Neil Breen, the editor of News Limited’s Alpha magazine. News
Limited chairman and chief executive officer, Mr John
Hartigan today announced the appointment.” But in The Sunday Tele,
there was the gush about how Ms O’Dowd (she of the Porsche Boxster
present from Lachlan Murdoch) was moving to a new role as a marketing
chief of the paper. The story was headlined “Editor Steps into new
senior role” and the first par started: “News Ltd chairman and chief
executive officer, John Hartigan yesterday announced the appointment of
Jeni O’Dowd to a new senior management role as editorial marketing
manager”. The spin brings to mind the similarities with the move at
Fairfax last year when Sydney Morning Herald editor Robert Whitehead promoted himself to a senior
marketing role (and appears to have had some success against News Ltd).
That
eventually saw Alan Oakley from Melbourne named as SMH editor whereupon he has
proceeded to make Granny more tabloid and populist. The
Sunday Tele
lost sales in the last audit period against the rival Sun
Herald
– those situations are not tolerated for long at
News. – Glenn Dyer

Another weekly ratings win for Nine. A win to Nine last week
thanks to the combination of The Logies on Sunday night and the
Beaconsfield miners’ story and the sad death of Richard Carleton on
Sunday afternoon (plus the Footy Shows on Thursday). Nine
recorded a 45.6% share last Sunday night with Seven on
21.6% and Ten on 19.3%. By the
close of play on Saturday, Nine’s share had fallen to 30.9%, Seven’s had
risen to 29.0% and Ten’s had edged up to 22.0%. The ABC finished with a share of
13.6% and SBS had 4.5%. Seven
came close thanks to the final of Dancing With The
Stars
on Tuesday night, but it wasn’t
enough. Despite
the football (both AFL and NRL) on Friday night, Nine only had a
narrow win – 29.5% to 29.2% for Seven. Saturday night was a much bigger win to Nine with 26.7% from Ten with 25.9% and Seven on
23.8%. Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV
ratings

The Winners:
A win for Nine, but Ten was again competitive, without the Logies and the madness of Beaconsfield a week ago, as was Seven. CSI
was the most watched program with 1.714 million, 60 Minutes was second with
1.696 million, then Nine News in third with 1.578 million, then Seven News with
1.504 million. Seven’s 6.30pm program Where Are They Now with 1.406 million won
that timeslot easily. Love Actually, Ten’s movie with 1.382 million, was the
best movie of the year so far. The Big Brother Live Eviction from 7.30pm
averaged 1.343 million, CSI Miami, 1.267 million, Nine’s Sunday AFL and NRL
games, 1.182 million, Big Brother (6.30 pm), 1.143 million was tenth. Then came
Seven’s Ghost Whisperer with 1.116 million and Backyard Blitz with 1.106 million
(it didn’t air in Adelaide).

The Losers: None really, it was a competitive Sunday night.
the ABC’s Peking to Paris averaged 873,000 people. It was “colourful” and
confused and flat. And awful lot of voice over and not many long bits of natural
sound. It was re-cut a number of times, expanded from three to four episodes and
unfortunately started out under Sandra Levy as head of ABC TV only to lose her
during the re-editing, hence the confusion. Let’s hope things improve this Sunday
in ep 2. Everybody involved should have been forced to watch the three parts
of The Alan Clark Diaries to learn how to make good TV. It finished last night
on the ABC at 8.30pm, with an average audience on the night of 436.000. Not
huge numbers but it was excellent television. The use of voiceover was
clever, John Hurt was gave a superior performance. A prime example of how to
take the written word and turn it into entertaining TV. That insiders view of
Clark made Commander In Chief and West Wing look like what they are: just TV
fiction and nothing more.

News & CA:
Nine News won Sunday night, Seven was more competitive
than the previous Sunday when Nine was boosted by the combination of the death
of Richard Carleton, the Logies turn-on and a Collingwood playing the lead-up
game in Melbourne. ABC News averaged 917,000, Ten news at Five averaged 698,000.
It was a much different Sunday than a week earlier. That extended to the morning
chat and sports shows. Seven won the 8am to 11am battle. Weekend Sunrise
averaged 353,000, Sunday on Nine, 298,000, Sportsworld on Seven from 9.30am ,
319,000. Nine’s Business Sunday had its best stand alone morning this year with
195,000 viewers. The Insiders on the ABC at 9am averaged 158,000, Inside
Business
, ABC at 10am, 99,000, Offsiders (Barrie Cassidy without a jacket),
91,000, Meet The Press on Ten, 55,000 at 8am. Business Success, Nine, 7.30am
averaged 85,000 for the infomercial style program. The David Koch My Business at
11am averaged 202,000. Landline on the ABC at noon, averaged
228,000.

The Stats:
Nine won with a share of 30.5% (45.6% a week earlier for
The Logies), Ten was second with 28.7% (19.3%), Seven was third with 25.0%
(21.6%) the ABC with 11.7% (10.2%) and SBS with 4.2% (3.3%). Nine won Sydney,
Melbourne and Brisbane. Ten won Adelaide and Seven won Perth
narrowly.


Glenn Dyer’s comments:

At last a Sunday night movie that people wanted to
watch, even though it was a big hit at the cinemas, on Pay TV and on DVD. Love
Actually
on Ten did the business. Perhaps its the fact that so many movies these
days are just plain boring and don’t entertain (as do the Harry Potters and The
Lords of the Rings
). Having a collection of stars led by Hugh Grant helps, and
Emma Thompson. Apart from that a very different night to a week earlier and CSI
again dominated. 60 Minutes did well, especially with its Richard Carleton
retrospective: nicely done. Tonight its an even battle, Desperate Housewives, 20
to 1
, Big Brother, Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope (a promo interview with David
Wenham from the new ABC mini series on East Timor next Sunday night), Cold Case,
Commander in Chief. A fair amount of choice. One program that won’t be on
everyone’s list is Hotel Babylon, the Pom hotel soap. The last episode tonight
looks a sudsing special. Commander in Chief‘s decline is steady and it is
becoming uninspiring.

Peter Fray

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