More changes at The Canberra Times. Changes are certainly afoot at Rural Press’s Canberra Times. Hot on the
heels of the announcement of Mark Baker’s appointment as editor, Lloyd Whish-Wilson, the
General Manager, has announced his retirement to take effect in July. In a message to staff today Whish-Wilson
said: “ The industry has been my
life for the past 45 years. My four
years in Canberra have had a number of ups and downs but
particularly in the last few years I have got to know better the people and the
place and have thoroughly enjoyed my time. However, I have promises to family
and friends to keep that forced the issue and I will be returning to Tasmania.” The ups and downs in Canberra are not only a matter of
declining circulation. The Canberra Times might well qualify for
the most factionalised newspaper in Australia, and that’s certainly
saying something. It seems the newspaper
is now about to enter a period of change.
Will it be an Australian version of the Washington Post,
or will it remain a parish pump news sheet? If the former, then Rural
Press will have to overcome its aversion to spending big money on
editorial. Whish-Wilson
was previously Chief of Staff, Editorial Manager, Operations Manager and Chief
Executive at TheExaminer in Launceston. In
July, 2002, he joined Rural Press Limited as General Manager-Metropolitan and
Southern, with responsibility for all publishing operations in the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania. – Margaret Simons

Nine News and ACA bask in the miners afterglow.
Thanks
to the afterglow of the miners special, TV viewers stayed with Nine News last
night in larger than normal numbers. It was the first time since the tsunami in early 2005 that this was
noticeable. Viewers didn’t flock to Nine during the Beaconsfield
rescue, except on the Sunday when Richard Carleton died. Last
night Nine News was the most watched program nationally with 1.615 million
viewers, 63,000 ahead of Seven News with 1.552 million. That’s the first time
that had happened on a weeknight for months. Nine
News won Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and
Adelaide with sufficient margin to offset the
usual slump in Perth where the poorly-run STW 9 lost to Seven
by 124,000 people. But for A Current Affair it was the same old story.
Despite
running three stories including recut parts of the interview from Sunday night
and boosting its audience by 200,000 on a week ago (1.578 million), it was still beaten by Today Tonight with 1.610 million viewers which is around what
it normally gets. Strangely the ACA report included a graphic of the cage depicting the way the miners were in it and partially buried by
the rock fall. Why that didn’t make Sunday night’s special is a mystery. It was
a major omission and poor producing. And still no joy
for Nine in the morning where the Today show’s extensive milking of the miners just didn’t click. Seven’s Sunrise averaged 423,000 people and 34th spot; Today failed to make the top 50 most watched shows. That is where Eddie McGuire will now have to
concentrate his attentions to get some improvement. But
watch the ratings for Nine News and ACA over the rest of this week, if they fade
and Seven wins again, then you know he has two other problems to contend
with. – Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: A win for Nine
thanks to a good performance in the early evening and the doubling up
of repeats of Cold Case (who can tell anyway, so formulaic are it and
CSI type programs) Nine Newswith 1.615 million, from Today Tonight
with 1.610 million, Desperate Housewives with 1.600 million, ACA with
1.578 million, 20 to 1 with 1.564 million. That was a repeat. Seven
Newswas 6th with 1.552 million, Home and Away was 7th with 1.360
million, repeats of Cold Case averaged 1.331 million from 8.35 pm to
10.35 pm. Temptation averaged 1.323 million, Big Brother 1.215 million,
the Live Nomination, 1.173 million, Seven’s The Great Outdoors with
1.157 million, Ten News with 1.02 million and Deal or No Deal
was the 14th and last program with a million or more viewers.

The Losers:Bert’s Family Feud up to 738,000 in the now familiar Monday evening
surge, but that also applies to Deal or No Deal which jumped above a
million again to average 1.010 million. But that didn’t help Seven News
which lost in Sydney and Melbourne in particular. Seven’s Commander in
Chief
with 939,000 is a pale imitation of its starting promise. The Big
Brother Live Nomination
with 1.173 million was low and it was well
beaten by the 7pm nightly report with 1.215 million. A small turn off
from the mostly ho-hum nightly stuff to the usually more exciting
nomination episode is interesting. This group of housemates is not
very exciting. Perhaps a mass nomination, clean the joint out and get
some real Aussie miners in there!

News & CA:
A rare
win for Nine News nationally and everywhere bar Perth. For ACA, a lift
in audience, but not enough. Perth was the achilles heel but the miners
turned off viewers in Brisbane and Adelaide as well, allowing Today
Tonight
to scamper past. Melbourne was the only market where there was
a turn-on to ACA from Nine News.The concentration on the miners on ACA
was understandable, but if they are on again tonight, watch the remotes
go into action. ABC News averaged 977,000 and The 7.30 Report, 821,000.
Four Corners, 862,000 (beating Red Kerry’s mob with a foreign yarn on
US jails) and Media Watch averaged 775,000. Four Corners beat Andrew
Denton’s Enough Rope with 854,000 people. Ten News at Five did well
with 1.028 million viewers from 5 pm to 6 pm.

The Stats:
Nine won with a share of 30.5% (27.4% last week) to Seven with 28.3%
(27.8%), Ten was third with 20.6% (32.0%) the ABC with 15.1% (17.4%)
and SBS with 5.5% (5.4%). Nine won Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and
Adelaide, Seven took Perth. The miners just don’t rate as a big story
now in Adelaide and Perth and less so in Brisbane.

Glenn Dyer’s comments:

Both Nine and Seven lifted share from last Monday night. But Nine looks
a little light on. It used repeats of 20 to 1 and Cold Case between
7.30 pm and 9.30 pm. Nine had scheduled a new series called Shock Docs
in at 9.35pm but elected to go with another repeat of Cold Case. It
also showed a program called The A to Z of Sexual Practice at 10.35pm.
It averaged just 603,000. The second Cold Case had more than a million
viewers, so that probably won Nine the night. But it must be a little
draughty in Nine’s store room of new programs. Although if the
promotions on Sunday night are to be believed there’s a flood of new
material coming. Nine will be flicking CSI from Sunday nights soon to
run five weeks of odds and sods. That way CSI will last well into the
second half of the year (its why repeats of Cold Case were run last
night).Tonight a repeat of CSI and Nine’s doughty Survivor Panama
continues battling, up against Thank God You’re Here on Ten at 7.30pm,
shifted to prevent it from being crushed by the Rugby League State of
Origin on Nine tomorrow night. Seven has Border Security and Medical
Emergency
and then All Saints: a close night, can’t call it.

Peter Fray

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