New Year’s resolution: make a fun and ethical career change. That’s right, Channel Seven is looking for an “energetic and keen” researcher to join the Today Tonight team. Seems they’ve been looking for a while, as it’s been re-advertised on Seek.com.au and “previous applicants need not apply”. The ad reads in part: “To succeed in this role, you will need to be a confident and persistent researcher, comfortable calling whomever it takes to search or verify information and ensure accurate information, plus someone who enjoys contributing ideas and working in a team environment. In order to suit the needs of the business, there is a requirement to be fully flexible with working hours seven days a week.” Translation: “Ruthless, pushy workaholic wanted. No conscience necessary.” It might also help to have chunky shoes for foot-in-the-door interviewing, plus the ability to run really fast. Hurry – applications close next Wednesday! – Mel Campbell.

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Wednesday night and yet again all viewers seem to be really interested is news and a bit of current affairs and then they drift, tune out, turn off, channel hop or do something else. Summer has arrived really early on our sets. Seven News was the most watched program with 1.301 million viewers followed by the ABC News with 1.203 million, Today Tonight, 1.175 million, Nine News, 1.077 million, the Seven program at 7.30 pm Disorderly Conduct Caught on Tape with 1.045 million, A Current Affair, 1.020 million and The 7.30 Report with 1.005 million. An average night. Even the ABC struggled last night with new ideas after 7.30 pm. My Family, 835,000. It’s as bad as Nine’s Two and A Half Men for obvious jokes, tired punchlines and comedic touches applied with pancake batter.

The Losers: It’s summer. With that in mind Nine premiered a well-promoted new US series called Men In Trees last night at 9.30 pm. It did OK with 888,000 and certainly belted Seven’s old JAG (630,000) and Ten’s Numb3rs (718,000). So there is hope. The New Adventures of Old Christine, a bomb, a repeat of Two and A Half Men a bomb, both on Nine from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. Tiresome. Close To Home on Nine at 8.30pm 796,000, beaten by Seven’s The Unit, 921,000. Australian Princess, Ten 7.30pm for an hour, 752,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Brisbane where Nine News won. Seven News won nationally by 224,000 people and just 74,000 in Perth. It again won big in Sydney, 386,000 people to just 282,000. Seven News Sydney audience was the largest in the country for a single program for the second night this week. Today Tonight won by 155,000 and 70,000 in Perth. TT won Sydney Adelaide and Perth. ACA won Melbourne and Brisbane. The strength of the ABC News and The 7.30 Report continues to surprise some in commercial TV. In the morning Today’s audience lifted 20,000 to 269,000, a small plus for Sarah Murdoch whose voice is still thin. She looks well, but…not strong enough yet. Early Sunrise averaged 277,000, 7am Sunrise 451,000, down 7,000 from Tuesday.

The Stats: Seven with a share of 27.6% (25.3% a week earlier) from Nine with 26.5% (25.2%), Ten with 21.6% (20.2%), the ABC with 17.9% (23.4% ) and SBS with 6.4% (5.8%). Seven won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Nine won Sydney and Brisbane and lost the night because Nine Perth did so poorly: it finished third on 20.6%; Seven was on 33.6% and that’s what got Seven over the line nationally. Seven leads the week 27.4%, 26.8%. In regional areas Prime/7Qld won with 28.5% from WIN/NBN with 28.2%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 22.4%, the ABC with 15.3% and SBS with 5.6%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: From 8.30pm last night Nine did well, and better from 9.30pm. But Nine News and A Current Affair have slumped. ACA with Tracy Grimshaw in the chair has promoted itself heavily, milked Bindi Irwin to the last drop, used Delta Goodrem and god knows what else and for very little success. A win or two in Sydney and a night after night drubbing at the hands of Today Tonight and summer host Anna Coren, who is settling into the chair. Nine News isn’t setting the world on fire either with its summer reading teams, especially in Sydney. Seven doing much better and still getting ratings week figures. There’s the third Ashes test on Nine this afternoon and evening and for non-fanatics there’s not much else. To show how uninterested Nine is in non-cricket programming it repeats after the test at 9pm that tired UK cop show, Midsomer Murders. Someone is killing church bellringers In Midsomer Mellow. Obviously the real story is someone has topped the programmers at Nine: as a cost saving?

Peter Fray

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