So who’s the boofhead now, Ray Hadley? It’s OK for you to take cheap shots at people on your 2GB morning program in Sydney but you do have to watch where your mouth leads you. The Australian Communications and Media Authority yesterday said in a press release that “Sydney’s 2GB will issue a clarification regarding comments made on its Mornings with Ray Hadley program last year, following an investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority that found the program misrepresented viewpoints expressed to it for broadcast and presented material in a misleading manner.” ACMA said that “In addition to making a clarification, the licensee has undertaken to issue a notice to the station’s presenters and producers emphasising the code’s requirements, while highlighting compliance with clause 2.2(d) as part of its internal code compliance training program in 2007.” Does that mean Hadley will have to go back to announcer school for some remedial training? – Glenn Dyer

Sarah Murdoch: one hit wonder? You won’t find anyone at a News Ltd paper describing Sarah Murdoch in the following way but the ratings for her second morning on the Today show suggest that she has been a “one hit wonder”. The Daily Telegraph gushed about her debut audience today in a career building move for the author. Today‘s ratings on Monday morning jumped to average 315,000 from 7am and as I observed yesterday the trick would be in keeping them. Sadly Tuesday’s ratings show no tricks. Today averaged 249,000 from 7am. That’s a touch under the 260,000-280,000 that the program has been averaging in recent weeks. And it’s a worrying loss of 66,000 viewers, or more than 20%. It’s only one day I know but viewers looked on Monday and didn’t bother returning on Tuesday. With 263,000 viewers, early Sunrise from 6am to 7am easily beat early Today with 137,000, and of course the regular Today from 7am. Sunrise is running on half a presenting team: Mel Doyle is there, David Koch is on leave. So how will the News Ltd papers handle this? Savage Ms Murdoch like they did Jessica Rowe? – Glenn Dyer

3AW’s arresting report. In all the mess, fuss and excitement of getting a Howard appointee, NSW Young Australian of the Year Iktimal Hage-Ali, on a cocaine bust it seems Melbourne radio station 3AW was a little hot on the trigger. In reporters this morning, they told listeners that she’d been arrested – but neglected to mention that she’d also been released without charge. As was broadcast on at least eight other channels, Hage-Ali was originally taken in to Bankstown Police station after a drugs bust in the Sydney suburb of Punchbowl. She was released very soon after without any charges being laid. Crikey got in contact with Rob Curtain, news director at 3AW who, after a quick check, admitted: “It should have been clarified and … broadcasts will now mention the full details.” – Hamish Townsend

Last night’s TV ratings

The Winners: Like Sunday nights are for Seven and Monday nights for Nine, Tuesdays remain a headache for Nine, in or out of ratings. Seven’s Kiwi import SCU (Serious Crash Unit) was the most watched program on the night with 1.392 million at 8pm. Seven News was next with 1.314 million then the 7pm ABC News with 1.234 million, Border Patrol (another Kiwi import on Seven) at 7.30pm, with 1.213 million, Today Tonight with 1.206 million, Nine News with 1.125 million, Life Begins (Seven at 8.30pm), 1.114 million, A Current Affair with 1.097 million and The 7.30 Report with 1.048 million. The best bits of Parkinson from 9.30pm to 10.10pm averaged 962,000, The Queen’s Cavalry at 8pm averaged 928, Seven’s 7pm program, That ’70s Show, averaged 857,000 and Nine’s The King of Queens at 7pm averaged 857,000.

The Losers: Remember, it’s summer, so by definition much that you see in prime time is considered to be not worthy of in-ratings use… Weeds on Nine at 9.30pm (see below), The New Adventures of Old Christine, 784,000 for Nine at 8pm (just doesn’t work anywhere), Third Watch, Nine 8.30pm, 784,000, a repeat of Two and A Half Men at 7.30pm, 760,000. In fact it would have had to be one of the worst nights of viewing this year on Nine last night. Ten’s The OC averaged 737,000 at 8.30pm, Charmed, 554,000 at 9.30pm. They are both fresh eps of the series. That’s how bad they must look to the 16-to-39-year-olds watching Ten.

News & CA: Seven News won nationally by 189,000 viewers and in Perth by 132,000. Nine won Sydney in a turnaround from Monday. Seven News, though, won Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. TT won by a smaller margin, 109,000 nationally and 127,000 in Perth. TT won Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. ACA won Sydney and Melbourne. ACA had another crack at milking Bindi Irwin again last night: over that. Ten News at Five averaged a still solid 847,000. The 7pm ABC News once again had more viewers, a lot more viewers than Nine News. I know the timeslots are difference and more people watch at 7pm onwards. But it usually doesn’t happen. Seven’s Chris Bath came back to the field last night in Sydney. Today was easily beaten by Sunrise and Early Sunrise. Nine should be lopping heads on that effort, starting with the gang clogging up the screen before 7am.

The Stats: Seven won with 29.6% (27.1%) from Nine with 24.3% (35.1% a week ago when it was the last thrilling day of the Adelaide Test). The ABC was third with 21.4% (15.1%), Ten was fourth with 17.6% (18.3%) and SBS was on 7.0% (4.3%). Seven won all five metro markets and now leads the week 27.4% to 26.8%. Nine has the third Ashes test Thursday through Saturday for this week which will help close the gap. In regional areas (they are back!) Prime/7Qld averaged 28.5% and won from NBN/WIN with 26.6%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 19.7%, the ABC with 18.7% and SBS with 6.6%

Glenn Dyer’s comments: In fact apart from the Test cricket there’s a bit of a kiss of death about Nine at the moment. Seemingly everything they try turns to dust. Weeds was slotted into 9.30-10.30pm Tuesdays with some fanfare last week with an “encore” repeat later in the week of the first ep of the new program. No good. It didn’t do well this week, averaging just 733,000 viewers last night. It beat Seven and Ten but old Parkie beat part of it until 10.10pm on the ABC. When The Bill with 818,000 viewers from 8.30pm can beat what’s on Ten and Nine in the same slot, you’d better believe there’s rubbish on those two commercial channels. Seven at least is using a new UK show with promise and Carolyn Quentin called Life Begins. Tonight Nine starts Men In Trees at 9.30pm (it sounds like Sex and the City out of Northern Exposure) followed by a blast from the past, Survivor: Cook Islands, at 10.30pm. Ten has Australian Princess, Numb3rs and Medium, Seven has Disorderly Conduct on Video (true), The Unit and Jag which is going badly. The ABC has We Can be Heroes (again!) and Man Stroke Woman and that very boring My Family.

Get more Crikey, for less

It’s more than a newsletter. It’s where readers expect more – fearless journalism from a truly independent perspective. We don’t pander to anyone’s party biases. We question everything, explore the uncomfortable and dig deeper.

Join us this week for 50% off a year of Crikey.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
50% off