A royal debacle for Rupert’s tabloids. Not to be outdone by stablemate News of the World,whose royal correspondent was arrested recently for spying on Prince Charles, The Sun has
also been up to some right royal mischief. It published pics of Prince
Harry groping one Natalie Pinkham, suggesting that he would have “a
little
explaining to do” to his girlfriend Chelsy Davy, who’s away on holiday.
“The fun-loving shots were taken this summer in trendy London nightclub
Boujis – a favourite haunt of the princes”, according to the paper. Nope,
the photos are actually three years old, a fact that The Sun conceded in a reluctant apology. The Guardian reckons that if Sun journalists
had had their wits about them, they might have spotted an anomaly – The
length of the princes’ hair was “rather longer than they would be
allowed at Sandhurst military academy where both have trained in recent
years”. For the original story, head to The Sun
website. It’s still up, untainted by the follow-up apology but full of choice
quotes: Natalie was very shocked, says one observer, “but didn’t seem
to mind in
the slightest. I don’t suppose it’s every day an heir to the throne
feels you up.” – Jane Nethercote

Terry McCrann and the investment w-nkers. News Limited finance journalist Terry McCrann is a pretty feisty writer, but did he really say this during his Business Sunday editorial? “…the
best way to dispose of the government’s stake in Telstra is actually to
give the shares to the real owners — you. That would avoid having to
guess at a sale price and would also avoid handing half a billion
dollars of your money to investment w-nkers, sorry bankers, accountants and lawyers.” Er, no. The sledge at investment bankers is in the transcript but nowhere to be found in this video of his on-air editorial. So either Terry wimped it when the camera light flicked on or he added the sledge as an afterthought. – Misha Ketchell

Canberra Times: Australia’s paper of recording errors. It’s been a worrying start for new Canberra Times editor Mark Baker. More than six quick weeks into the job, he’s had to publish a string of remarkable corrections
in the ailing broadsheet during that time. Last week (9 August) saw a page two correction of the most factually basic
type: the word “not” had been omitted from a report the day before about the
National Gallery of Victoria’s confirmed fake Rembrandt self-portrait from 1660. The omission had suggested that the
painting was authentic. A week earlier (1 August), the paper had eaten big chunks of humble pie over
the biggest local story of the year in the ACT – the planned closure of 39
public schools by the Stanhope government. The Crimes, in its lengthy
correction, said it had reported that Deputy Chief Minister Katy Gallagher
“would have considered” voting against her Left faction (which opposes the
closures) at the local party conference that weekend. The report should have
read “would not have considered” voting against her faction. That pesky word not again. Also, the paper admitted, a detailed graphic it had published the day
before had incorrectly reversed the outcome of voting on the school closures at
the ACT Labor Party conference so that it had incorrectly suggested the
closures were to be delayed. Insiders at the Crimes say
Baker, with a distinguished reporting and editorial management record at The Age, warned staff in his first
fortnight in the capital about the errors in the paper, including a masthead
date that was a month old. But within a week of that warning, Crimes news editor Bruce Jones had to
issue the following wide-ranging email, which has not previously been published
outside the paper’s Fyshwick building:

From: Bruce Jones
[mailto:[email protected]
Sent: Friday, 21 July 2006
2:02 PM
To: [email protected];
Subject: careless
errors

More silly mistakes
are creeping into the paper. Today we had Ariel instead of Aerial cabs in a
heading, and the wrong people identified in a page 4 caption. On Wednesday we
had Kovko instead of Kovco in the page four lead heading, and calls to quizz
(quiz) the US ambassador downpage. This is
getting embarrassing.

More changes from Nine’s struggling programmers. Nine has thrown in the towel on two more of its 2006
offerings.

Suspicious Minds, which was going to air at 9.30pm on
Wednesdays, has been moved back to 10.30pm. Nine
has slotted in The Closer, the underperforming US crime drama that has popped up on Monday and
Tuesday nights. That makes two episodes of The Closer this week – it must be the filler of choice
for Nine until the episodes run out. Nine is also
running multiple episodes of CSI to fill gaps in its
schedule. The
rundown from 8.30pm tonight is now Without A Trace, The Closer and
Suspicious Minds. On
Thursday nights Nine has said goodbye to The New
Adventures Of Old Christine
at 9pm. Two and A Half Men is now at 9pm after a 90 minute
episode of Getaway. The
longer episode of Getaway is an attempt by Nine to counter the start of Seven’s
Celebrity Survivor at 8.30pm. Nine is hoping people will watch Getaway and not
switch to Seven at 8.30pm. But
Seven’s 7.30 to 8.30 programs of How I Met Your Mother and My Name Is Earl, are
building audience and Earl has won the 8pm to 8.30pm timeslot on
occasion. Tonight, Seven
premieres The Master, another quiz show where five contestants take on “The
Master” for a million dollar prize. It’s up against
Spicks and Specks and the first episode of the new Ricky Gervais comedy, Extras, on the ABC. Glenn Dyer

Another US network embraces the internet. US TV network CBS is
further reducing the value of its high rating TV series to countries like
Australia by planning to show prime
time programs, including the CSI series and Survivor, on the internet for free.
The network said yesterday the shows will
include “limited commercial interruption” and be made available on its high
speed internet channel, Innertube, the morning after they
air on the CBS broadcast network across the US. Last May, the ABC network began streaming
its top shows Lost and Desperate Housewives on the internet for free as part
of a test. CBS started its innertube channel the same
month to show new programs as well as its Free To Air
TV, supported by advertising. Starting in September, viewers will be able
to view the three CSI crime drama series online, as well as episodes of new series Jericho and Survivor. Ten says it is going to be showing Jericho at the same time as it goes to air in the
US. The way US networks are using the internet,
local TV networks (including Foxtel), might have to
start thinking about following Ten’s example. But they will be loath to do it because it will
drain them of new series for the ratings year which traditionally starts here in
early February. – Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Tuesday night
and another win to Seven but Nine’s Dancing On Ice had its best night
out since starting with a small but solid lift in audience numbers.
Border Security, though, was the top show with another strong effort: an
average 2.274 million people watching: Medical Emergency at 8pm
averaged 1.813 million, All Saints 1.523 million, Home and Away at 7pm 1.513 million, Seven News 1.438 million and Today Tonight 1.417
million. All top six programs from Seven. Nine’s Temptation was its
best at 7th with 1.366 million, with A Current Affair 1.334 million
and Nine News 1.319 million and then Dancing on Ice 1.283 million,
all from Nine. Nine’s repeat of CSI was 11th with 1.271 million, The all new Simpsons was 12th with 1.096 million, and that was all the
programs with a million or more viewers last night. Dancing on Ice
added 91,000 last night.

The Losers: Ten – it may have
won the night with the under 40s last night but a share of 19.8% on a
Tuesday night isn’t good. The most watched show for the network was The
Simpsons
. The Wedge averaged 905,000 and was beaten by Rolf Harris’s
painting show on the ABC (936,000) Bogan Humour AKA The Wedge doesn’t
play for long. The return of Crossing Jordan to Seven at 9.30pm was
also a ho-hum event for viewers: only 902,000 watched, 600,000 down on
the number that watched All Saints. Bert’s Family Feud averaged 611,000,
Seven’s Deal Or No Deal 872,000, Ten News At Five 894,000.

News & CA: Seven
News and Today Tonight had to rely on big winning margins in Perth to
once again finish ahead of Nine. Seven News won by 174,000 in Perth and
119,000 nationally. Today Tonight won by 142,000 in Perth and 83,000
nationally. Seven News won Perth and Adelaide, Nine won Sydney,
Melbourne and Brisbane: Today Tonight won Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth,
A Current Affair won Sydney and Melbourne (the markets that really
count). The ABC news at 7pm averaged 997,000, the 7.30 Report 645,000,
a victim of the battle between Seven and Nine at 7.30pm.

The Stats:
Seven won last night with a share of 32.3% (32.6%) to Nine with 28.2%
(25.8%), Ten with just 19.8% (21.9%), the ABC with 14.6% (14.4%) and
SBS with 5.1% (5.4%). Seven won all five metro markets. In regional
areas Prime/7Qld won with a share of 33.3% from WIN/NBN(9) with 28.2%,
Sth Cross (Ten ) with 20.2%, the ABC with 13.4% and SBS with 4.9%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments:

Nine will be a little happier about the lift in viewers for Dancing on
Ice
. But the program did lose its best “character” last night in Jules
Lund. But Nine will now be hoping for an 1.5 million average audience
for the final in a couple of weeks. Border Security, though, goes from
strength to strength: 947,000 people watched in regional markets last
night, meaning more than 3.2 million watched across the country.
That’s a big audience. (and doesn’t cover WA and the Northern Territory).
Ten is floundering at the moment with the departure of Yasmin at 7pm,
its got nothing to start the evening with. There’s a new comedy
starting tomorrow night that will be worth watching: David Tench
Tonight
(followed by another series of The Ronnie Johns Half Hour).
Tonight Ten should bounce back, though, with a new House and NCIS after
Honey We’re Killing The Kids. Ten’s night maybe.

Peter Fray

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