New host for Sunday. There will be a new host on Sunday this weekend. According to Nine insiders this morning Jana Wendt won’t be there, Ross Greenwood, the talk under wet cement host of the dying Business Sunday, will be. Greenwood will host both the final episode of Business Sunday and then stay in the studio to host Sunday. Greenwood is the choice of Nine management, program EP, John Lyons, Nine News and Current Affairs boss, Garry Linnell and the head of Nine, Eddie McGuire. The change comes only two days after McGuire and Linnell issued a statement sort of affirming their support for Wendt. “Sort of” being the operative phrase. It read:

…Reports that Jana had been forced to leave the hosting role on Sunday were unfounded. Further, press reports to the effect that Jana had been the subject of official complaints from Sunday staff – or anyone else at the Network — were untrue.

Nine Network CEO, Mr Eddie McGuire, said: “Jana is one of Australia’s most respected television journalists and the Network holds her in the highest esteem. I am determined to see her remain in a prominent role with Nine…”

Nine Network’s head of news and current affairs, Garry Linnell, said: “Since she first began with 60 Minutes in 1982 Jana has become one of the most accomplished and admired journalists in Australian television – and we wish to ensure that relationship continues and develops at Nine.

It now seems it was released on Wednesday night by Nine after Eddie, PBL CEO John Alexander and chairman James Packer refused to answer any questions about Wendt at a profit briefing in Sydney. And strangely, Lyons’s name was absent from the statement. The above statement does confirm, without saying so, that Jana has been replaced on Sunday as host. So now we have to once again tune in this Sunday to witness the end of an era. — Glenn Dyer

Local debutantes still struggling. The second week for new shows, David Tench Tonight on Ten and Celebrity Survivor on Seven were worse that the debuts. Tench sank under the million viewer mark to average 872,000, a loss of around 275,000 people. At the new level it’s around where Ten programmers thought it might debut. Last night’s program wasn’t as good as the first: interviews with Nellie Furtado and Nick Lachey were OK — Bert Newton or Don Lane quality. Tench has to do better. Over on Seven there’d be some glum faces this morning at the figures for the second ep of Celebrity Survivor: down 184,000 to 1.129 million from 1.313 million for the opening program. That’s still OK but it’s the sort of performance than crippled Nine’s Dancing On Ice early on. Celebrity Survivor and Tench will have to show some spark next week, otherwise it will be grim pickings. At least no more sharp falls. — Glenn Dyer

BRW’s birthday flop. This week’s 25th Special Anniversary Issue of the fading business magazine BRW said it all. Almost hidden between a raft of meaty stories about business issues and personalities over the past quarter century, were seven pages of paid advertising. Seven pages. Nothing says more about the decline of a magazine than the ad page count — one of the most embarrassing “lists” ever published in BRW
Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Nine’s veteran Getaway was tops with 1.499 million over 90 minutes (because it doesn’t have anything strong enough for 8.30 to take on Celebrity Survivor and it is cheaper extending Getaway by 30 minutes than getting a new program made). Home and Away was second with 1.431 million, then Seven News (1.429 million) and Today Tonight (1.425 million) and both clearly in front of Nine News and ACA. Seven’s My Name Is Earl (8pm) rose to 1.346 million after last week’s slump. Nine News with 1.346 million and ACA with 1.242 million were 6th and 7th respectively. Nine’s Two and A Half Men was up to 1.207 million and that’s why the Footy Show on Nine at 9.30pm did well with 1.134 million. Celebrity Survivor fell to 1.129 million, Seven’s How I Met You’re Mother averaged 1.056 million (it deserves more) and Bones at 9.30pm averaged 1.010 million which wasn’t bad. Thirteen programs in all with a million or more viewers.
The Losers: Well David Tench lost viewers to average 872,000, that’s down 275,000 and while Celebrity Survivor finished with more than a million viewers, it was still down 184,000. Bert’s Family Feud fell in its usual Thursday drop to 566,000, Deal Or No Deal though was steadyish on 836,000 and Ten News at Five finished with 851,000. Ronnie Johns (Ten) lost audience because Tench lost. Johns averaged 808,000 compared to 927,000 a week ago. Still, it was funnier than Tench in places, or rather, more direct!
News & CA: Seven News and Today Tonight won nationally: Seven news won Sydney, Adelaide and Perth where the margin was 129,000. Seven’s national margin was 158,000. Nine News won Melbourne and Brisbane. Today Tonight won Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, Nine’s ACA won Brisbane. Seven’s national margin was 183,000, the Perth margin was 73,000. The ABC News at 7pm averaged 954,000, The 7.30 Report 823.000. Sunrise won both time slots against Today, 6am to 7am and 7am to 9am.
The Stats: Nine won with a share of 33.2% (33.8% a week ago) from Seven with 29.0% (unchanged) from Ten down to 18.3% (21.1%), the ABC on 12.7% (12.2%) and SBS on 6.8% (unchanged). Nine won Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide. In Brisbane it drew with Seven and Seven won Perth. In regional areas, WIN/NBN (9) won with a share of 33.0% from Prime/7Qld with 26.9%, Sthn Cross (10) with 20.3%, the ABC with 11.5% and SBS with 6.3%.
Glenn Dyer’s comments: Another one of those nights where the networks will be glad its over. We’re at the back end of the ratings year and every night is a hard slog. Nine showed the commercial side of commercial TV again with the extending of Getaway by 30 minutes to take on Celebrity Survivor on Seven and David Tench on Ten. This will only continue until The Footy Shows end because Nine will have to rebuild its Thursday night programming and it will probably bring RPA back at 9.30pm like it did last year. Nine leads the week by 3 per centage points so the football tonight and whatever is on tomorrow night is sort of irrelevant. Actually the football tonight and tomorrow night stand out as the programs to watch, even if you don’t like footy.