Nine – no humanity. You have to wonder about the humanity of the people running the Nine
Network at the moment.
Last Friday, Eddie McGuire put on a lunch in the boardroom for the Sunday program: only those staying on in the new revamped, shorter Sunday
(incorporating Business Sunday) were invited – host Jana Wendt, EP John Lyons, a researcher and a
producer. Not invited were those who have taken
redundancy or who were made redundant. Yet those people were asked to stay on at Sunday until September when the revamped program
is due to be premiered. Meanwhile reports that Jana Wendt has been offered a
new, late Sunday night version of Sunday are a little
odd. The idea isn’t new. It actually started with the late Bruce Gyngell, when
he returned to oversee the network back in the early 90s. But it couldn’t be
done because Nine was broadcasting the F1 cars
and bikes late on Sunday nights. – Glenn Dyer

PBL confirms – Eddie not really Nine CEO. Doubts about whether Eddie
All-over-the-place is really CEO of the Nine Network appear to be confirmed by
this morning’s SMHCBD column.
It details no less than three PBL
executives – two of them board members – taking time to meddle directly
in the
relatively minor budgetary matter of how many reporters Nine had
covering the
Academy Awards. All three of them – executive deputy
chairman Chris Anderson, chief executive officer John Alexander and
chief
operating officer Pat O’Sullivan – had time to swap emails with each
other and
the then head of news and current affairs, Mark Llewellyn. No prize for
guessing the tone of the missives. It might be a bit of a worry for PBL
shareholders that three of PBL’s top four suits had nothing better to
do than
to count bodies at the Oscars and wonder why they came to four. It’s
the sort
of down-the-line operational matter that you’d think someone running
Nine
itself would handle. (There’s another whole discussion about
what those particular three might know about making commercial
television
anyway, but we don’t need to go there now.) The Academy Awards were
held on 25 February. It was reported Eddie McGuire would take over as
CEO on 13 February – but
there seems to be no mention of Eddie in the emails. Could it be that
he’s not
really CEO after all?

Saving Today. Today Show people are wondering about
the thinking behind the appointment of Tom Malone as the new EP –
especially considering his lack of TV experience (and his youth: he’s
27). He was hired from 2UE earlier this year so has only had three
months TV experience. But then that’s more than Garry Linnell, the head
of News and Current Affairs. Eddie McGuire, though, has had considerable experience, so
hopefully he will use that to help Tom Malone reshape
Today. The
thinking is that a young producer at Seven called Adam
Boland helped bring a younger and fresher approach to Sunrise at Seven and
led its turnaround. But it
also has to do with the on-screen chemistry between hosts David Koch (who was
originally a replacement for Chris Reason when he was ill) and Mel
Doyle. There
is no chemistry between Today hosts, Jessica Rowe or Karl
Stefanovic. – Glenn Dyer

Clarification. Re 2UE staff cuts (yesterday, item 21).Ian Sheppard of 2UE
says rather than the 20 people who went from 2UE, eight permanent full time staff
lost their jobs – two of them were offered other roles at the same or better
pay. There were no single mums among those. Two permanent part-timers also lost their jobs – one of these was a single
mum. – Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings

The winners: A close win to Seven, thanks to it being more serious
about its programming than Nine. With the Rugby League State of Origin on
Wednesday night and Nine confident that will win the week with it (which it
will), Nine has gone all repeat, so last night’s episode of the high rating Cold
Case

was a repeat, and down went the size of its audience and Nine lost the
night. As simple as that. Sixteen programs with a million or more
viewers – it’s school holidays in some states. Seven News was the most
watched program with 1.636 million, followed by A Current Affair with a rare win over TT with 1.587
million. Nine News was third with 1.577 million, followed by What’s Good For You
on Nine at 7.30pm with 1.574 million. Desperate Housewives averaged 1.566
million, Today Tonight 1.534 million, Grey’s Anatomy 1.447 million (It easily
won the 9.30pm timeslot, beating Nine’s Close To Home and that also helped
Seven over the line). Temptation won the 7pm battle with 1.372 million, the Big
Brother
Live Nomination averaged 1.352 million, the repeat of Cold Case 1.315
million, Home and Away averaged 1.268 million. The normal Big Brother at 7pm
averaged 1.242 million, Seven’s The Great Outdoors 1.164 million, Australian
Story
1.083 million (and a great episode it was last night), the 7pm ABC news,1.019 million and Deal or No Deal on Seven at 5.30pm 1.011
million.

The Losers:
Losers? Bert’s Family Feud back up to 781,000 and coming
close to beating Deal or No Deal in Melbourne. Nine’s Close To Home. Not helped
by the repeat of Cold Case last night, so its audience fell to 907,000. But it
has been fading in the past couple of weeks: the next two Mondays will tell
whether Nine has a problem here but it didn’t help last night. Today averaged 225,000 from 7am, Sunrise 452,000, Early Sunrise 222,000, Early
Today
104,000.

News & CA:Seven News may have been the top program on the night
but it was a close run thing: The national margin was 59,000, the Perth margin
in favour of Seven was 128,000. Lucky Seven. Seven won Sydney, Adelaide and
Perth, but lost in Melbourne and by just 1,000 viewers in Brisbane. The most
interesting result was the surge by A Current Affair to number two on the most
watched list with good wins in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Today Tonight won
Adelaide and Perth by ACA won by 543,000 (TT won by 90,000 in Perth). The 7pm ABC News averaged.019 million, The 7.30 Report, 919,000. Andrew Denton’s Enough
Rope
averaged 912,000 (and beat Close to Home but not Grey’s on Seven). Four
Corner
s, 687,000 and Media Watch (720,000) were low to middling on the
night.

The stats: Seven won with a share of 29.7% (28.9%), from Nine with
27.9% (26.7%), Ten with 20.6% (20.0%), the ABC with 14.8% (and SBS with 6.6%
(9.7%). Seven won Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Nine won Melbourne
because of the solid performance of Nine News and ACA laid a platform for the
night.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: While Nine repeated Cold Case last night, tonight
it’s even more blase about what viewers want. It’s repeating both CSI and CSI New
York
. People will still watch these popular programs, but viewers shouldn’t
really complain about networks using repeats. You can switch channels. Seven has
Border Security and Medical Emergency and All Saints and will probably win the
night. Nine also has Hey Hey By Request at 7.30pm (although some guides are
showing Olivia Newton John in a special?) Nine’s use of repeats is
understandable. It doesn’t want to waste rare fresh episodes of popular programs
in a week when one event will win it for them like the State of Origin. The cost,
though, is a small dip in its share in All People and all the demographics.

Peter Fray

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