The stingray’s 15 minutes of infamy continues. Here’s a question. If you are doing on-air promotions for a TV program about Australia’s deadliest sea creatures, wouldn’t you feature the shark? After all most people fear sharks, especially after the various attacks around Australia in recent years. So you’d expect Seven to use the music from Jaws and lots of shark footage to promote this Saturday evening’s program called Australia’s Deadliest Sea Creatures. Well, there are shark shots, but another deadly sea creature is also highlighted. The killer ray with its deadly barb (and I don’t mean Ray Martin with a killer quip!). Now I wonder why the ray was singled out – could it have anything to do with the recent death of a high profile crocodile chaser? Cute, Seven, cute. Everyone, including the stingray, has to have their 15 minutes of infamy!! — Glenn Dyer

Naomi will be back in 2007. Seven Network news and Current Affairs boss, Peter Meakin, says Today Tonight host, Naomi Robson will be back at the helm in 2007. He has made it clear to anyone asking that there is no fallout from her abortive flit to West Papua to try and save Wa-Wa. He told News Ltd papers: “Naomi is due for holidays at the end of November, like she has every year. Anna will fill in and that was locked in months ago. She’ll fill in for a few weeks, then she’ll go mountain climbing in Africa for a charity and then she’s going back to LA,” he said. Well, he had to say that because in the end it was his idea and his decision to send Naomi Robson and the crew to save Wa-Wa. It wasn’t a decision of Today Tonight management alone. There were the expectations of a big coup, ratings success and putting one over the Nine Network and 60 Minutes. All that came to nought and Naomi was left carrying the can. So Meakin had to bring her back in 2007; it was the only honourable thing to do given his role in the story. But who will she be facing on Nine’s A Current Affair? Karl Stefanovic or the incumbent, Tracy Grimshaw? — Glenn Dyer

Is Vega going to get Vaguer? There are whispers in and around the Sydney radio industry that Vega, DMG’s failed boomer/talk/rock station, might not be with us much longer. Some claim DMG could sell the licence and take a huge hit, or it could revamp the station completely and continue with a different approach. DMG paid $106 million for the Vega licence in Sydney and $52 million for the Melbourne licence. With that sort of money at stake, DMG Radio has to make it work or take an enormous haircut. Both stations have been revamped twice since launching in the middle of 2005. In the current weak ad market, especially in Sydney, Vega is doing it hard. The demographic identified by DMG, boomers who want a bit of talk and music – an FM version of ABC local radio – has stayed with the ABC in Sydney and Melbourne while the commercial talk stations – 2GB and 2UE in Sydney and 3AW in Melbourne – haven’t been hurt by Vega. Vega’s expensive Sydney breakfast host, Angela Catterns, is reportedly not a happy camper. Watch this space, or as they say in radio, don’t touch that dial! — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings

The Winners: Thursday night and it was Nine, thanks to the Footy Show finals fever and good finishes in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Showing what a low viewing night it was, the most watched program was Seven News at 6pm with just 1.323 million people. Seven’s My Name Is Earl (8 pm) averaged 1.313 million, Home and Away at 7pm, 1.266 million and Ten’s newcomer, Jericho, 1.241 million (it lost me with the music in the opening shots, don’t know why, but it seemed inappropriate). Today Tonight was fifth with 1.232 million, Nine’s Getaway lifted to average 1.221 million (a lot better than down around 1.1 million) and A Current Affair was next with 1.220 million. Two and A Half Men on Nine from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm averaged 1.197 million footy show fans, Nine News was ninth with 1.187 million (down because of a low audience in Sydney). Jamie’s Kitchen was tenth with 1.158 million, Seven’s 7.30pm program, How I Met Your Mother, 1.150 million and The Footy Shows was 12 and last with 1.109 million.

The Losers: Well, Jamie’s Kitchen Australia on Ten lost around 170,000 viewers compared to its opening a week earlier. It was too slow last night, it needed to be through the choosing of staff and have the kitchen and eatery on the verge of a trial run. The 15 are not attractive people at this stage. Ten duo David Tench 659,000, Ronnie Johns, 468,000: not down and not out because they are on an hour later. Family Feud down to 484,000, a rare number and lowest for months for Bert. Celebrity Survivor on Ten at 8.30 pm, 874,000. (Never again, I hear Seven management say, stick to the Foxtrotters and Dazza Somers). Temptation was also sharply down on previous nights, slumping to under a million for the first time since The Biggest Loser with an average 977,000. Seven’s 9.30 effort, Bones, meandered along watched by 914,000,

News & CA: Seven News won big nationally: its biggest margin for weeks. Nine Sydney was under 300,000 in a low night for them. Seven won Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Nine won Brisbane. Today Tonight won by just 12,000 nationally and 110,000 in Perth. A Current Affair won Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. TT won Sydney and Perth. Ten News At Five averaged 815,000, the 7 pm ABC News, 914,000 and there was a sharp turn-off from The 7.30 Report: it only averaged 597,000. In the morning battle, Seven doubled Nine’s audience from 6 am to 9 am. That’s the lowest for a long time. Sunrise averaged 534,000, Today 255,000 from 7 am. Early Sunrise averaged a very high 312,000, Early Today, 117,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a share of 31.4% (30.9%) from Seven with 27.5% (28.4%), Ten with 21.5% (20.6%), the ABC with 14.2% (14.9%) and SBS with 5.5% (5.4%). Nine won all markets bar Perth. Seven though leads 29.8% to 26.8%. In regional areas, Nine won with WIN/NBN having a share of 32.7% from Prime/7Qld with 28.1%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 20.3%, the ABC with 12.9% and SBS with 5.9%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: A low viewing night last night with some programs (Temptation, The 7.30 Report) having audiences much lower than normal. Bert’s Family Feud was also down on normal, Celebrity Survivor on Seven though, it was about right. Tonight it’s the AFL, Ten, 7.30pm Swans vs. Freo, against the NRL on Nine, Dogs Vs Broncs. May the best … AFL will have the bigger audience. What is interesting is the way the AFL Footy Show on Nine (Eddie’s old alma mater) continues to do very well. If Seven is to have any chance on a Thursday night next year it needs to program a “me too” program using the AFL coverage it will have to go right against the Nine show in southern markets and be prepared to shed blood and lose money but to neuter Eddie’s creation. If Seven doesn’t do that, its not serious. Not much point plonking an AFL program on a Monday night and talking about the games just played and wondering about the next weekend when the teams and Tribunal matters aren’t finished.

Peter Fray

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