Yet more spinners for Nine
Not content with hiring
Stephen Woodhill, ex Optus and Transfield spinner, as head of corporate
communications and director of marketing, Nine has hired another PR firm with a delicious irony. Woodhill was suggested by his close
mates at PBL, Chris Anderson (an executive director and deputy
chairman) and Pat O Sullivan (the chief operating officer of PBL), but now I
hear Sydney corporate PR firm, Cannings, is to handle the corporate
side for Nine. The irony is that Cannings will replace another Sydney
firm called Third Person, which is a
break away from Cannings, with its principals, Mark Gold and Ross
Thornton leaving several years ago to strike out on their own. For a network slashing spending
on jobs (and getting rid of business cards for the like of Kerri
Anne-Kennerley), music for TV programs and travel for its current
affairs programs, spending tens of thousands of dollars a month on PR
is quite strange. Especially for the likes of Chris Anderson, Pat
O’Sullivan and John Alexander who famously moaned, in emails leaked
with the Mark Llewellyn affidavit, about the number of reporters Nine
sent to cover the Oscars earlier this year. It
would now seems that in PBL-speak, four Nine TV reporters at the Oscars is bad,
and six or seven PR firms or operatives for Nine and PBL over the past 18 months
is good? It’s 1984 at 54 Park
Street! – Glenn Dyer

Email blackout at Seven’s Sydney HQ. It’s been an email-free diet for most of the week at the Seven Network’s network HQ in Sydney where the email
server crashed meaning the was cut off from both the outside world and the
rest of the network. There
was no impact on broadcast or production
(obviously). Monday
and Tuesday were total blackouts, Wednesday and today have seen communications
restored slowly. Chairman Kerry Stokes hasn’t been
happy. – Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Wednesday night
and, in a surprise, Seven pipped Ten despite House (in a new ep) being
the most watched program with a very strong 1.719 million viewers. In
another surprise Seven’s Home and Away climbed to second with 1.525
million, its best result for ages (No ‘fat’ or BB competition on Ten).
Seven News was third with 1.469 million, Today Tonight was next with
1.460 million (and both seem to have shaken off Nine News and ACA).
Ten’s NCIS was 5th with 1.460 million, Nine’s stalwart McLeod’s
averaged 1.367 million. Nine News was 7th with 1.309 million,
A Current Affair was next with 1.304 million and Temptation was 9th
with 1.261 million and a surprisingly long way behind Home and Away.
Spicks and Specks (ABC, 8.30pm) was 10th with 1.199 million (its
highest) and Seven’s Beyond Tomorrow averaged 1.190 million. Forensic
returned for Seven and averaged a solid 1.108 million
just ahead of Without A Trace (1.104 million ).Ten’s Honey We’re
Shrinking the Kids
averaged 1.102 million (is the program shrinking as
well?) The 7pm ABC News averaged 1.013 million and was the 15th and
final program with a million or more viewers on the night.

The Losers:
Ten’s 7pm Yasmin replacement Futurama is down to 783,000 and weakening by the
day: the network needs an emergency fix in the timeslot and fast.
Nine’s Without A Trace was again under 1.2 million for the 8.30
timeslot: yes a fresh House was back…but. Nine’s 9.30 program, Shock
only 805,000 (Without A Trace used to top 1.1 million in this
slot). Ten won 9.30 easy with NCIS. Bert’s Family Feud a solid 641,000,
Deal Or No Deal on Seven, 853,000.

News & CA: Seven
News and Today Tonight had big wins nationally over Nine News and A
Current Affair and didn’t have to reply on the Perth margin to get them
home. Seven news beat Nine by 160,000 viewers (76,000 in Perth ) and
Today Tonight won by 156,000 nationally (64,000 in Perth). Seven news
won Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, Nine News won Melbourne and Adelaide,
Today Tonight won Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, A Current Affair won
Brisbane and Adelaide. The ABC News at 7pm had another night with over a
million viewers while Ten News At Five averaged 895,000.. The 7.30
averaged 830,000.

The Stats: Seven won with a
share of 27.6% (26.5% a week ago) from Ten with 26.7% (25.5%), Nine
with 25.6% (26.9%), the ABC with 15.8% (16.6%) and SBS with 4.3%
(4.5%). Seven won Sydney and Perth, Ten won Melbourne and Adelaide,
Nine won Brisbane: a very even night. Seven has lengthened its lead for
the week to 29.3% to 27.4% for Nine.

Glenn Dyer’s comments:
So by some measures Spicks and Specks on the ABC beat everyone bar
in the 8.30pm to 9pm timeslot last night. Certainly on the
averages. It was its highest audience and looked the goods (only
Absolute Power was better with its last ep which featured “How to Sell
an National ID card, why, hold a National ID Card Lottery!”). But its no
wonder Nine and Seven are trying to imitate Spicks and Specks in some
way without breaching the copyright held by the ABC for the format. No
doubt the BBC will also take a close look at the imitators when they
arrive on screen in different timeslots during the week. Apart from
that Ten would have woken up this morning expecting a win and
discovered they hadn’t. Seven had snuck home on the rails. Nine would
have done as well as they had hoped. Ten had five programs in the top
20 including 1 and 5; that usually means a win. Seven had six, Nine had
5 and the ABC had 4. Tonight, Seven debuts Bones at 9.30pm after the
last Lost for the year. Seven’s night (Earl at 8pm as well). Nine’s
best will be Getaway. Ten? Still wondering about last night and its 7pm chasm!