Tele v Packer spat explained by staff poaching? Some of the recent sniping between News Ltd’s Daily Telegraph and the Nine Network’s Sydney bunker can now be explained. Nine has hired Brooke Williamson from the Tele, after she rejoined the paper only a couple of months ago as the Tele‘s “Media” writer. The management of the Tele is said to be underwhelmed by her departure so soon after rejoining the paper, as you would be. She will be director of communications for News and Current Affairs at Nine where she will report to Stephen Woodhill who was hired from Transfield. — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings

The Winners: Another day and night without the Test cricket and Nine suffers. Nine will suffer a bit more perhaps when Shane Warne quits. That will make the Sydney and Melbourne Tests even more interesting but not having him on the field competing means bad news in future years. Seven News was tops with 1.343 million from Today Tonight (1.249 million viewers), A Current Affair (1.136 million), Seven’s Disorderly Conduct Caught on Tape (1.111 million), ABC News (1.084 million) and Nine’s Close to Home (1.033 million). Seven’s 8.30pm program The Unit averaged 957,000 and Nine’s Men in Trees had 922,000 at 9.30pm.
The Losers: It’s summer but The New Adventures of Old Christine continues to fade, down to 727,000 at 8pm. Ten’s Australian Princess from 7.30pm averaged 647,000. It won’t return next year at this rate. Medium on Ten at 8.30pm had 614,000 and the repeat of Numb3rs at 9.30pm had 694,000. Ultimate Force had 460,000 (Seven at 10.30pm). It made Survivor: Cook Islands look a winner with 602,000. 
News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market. Seven News still is getting almost normal numbers with the summer reading teams, Nine is off a couple of hundred thousand viewers most nights. Odd. Today Tonight beat ACA nationally by 113,000 nationally and 110,000 in Perth. TT won Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. ACA won Melbourne and Brisbane. ABC News was strong and so was The 7.30 Report with 925,000. Ten News was also solid with 902,000. Sunrise (453,000) beat Today (296,000),
The Stats: Seven won with a 30.4% share (27.6% a week earlier) from Nine with 28.6% (26.5%) Ten with 19.2% (21.6%), the ABC with 15.8% (17.9%) and SBS with 6.0% (6.4%). Nine leads the week 29.8% to 26.9%,  Seven won Sydney, Brisbane and Perth (where a big win almost 13 points put it over the line nationally). Nine won Melbourne and Adelaide. No figures from the bush today.
Glenn Dyer’s comments: Watch for the pushing and shoving over Shane Warne – he should do an exclusive with his new employers at Nine and ACA tonight but Seven, Ten and even the ABC will try and bring us as much coverage as possible and all sorts of spoilers. Great Stuff! Now Christmas Eve you can expect National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on Nine (as usual), Miracle on 34th Street on Seven (the remake, not the original). Hymns from St Peter’s Adelaide on the ABC and then the Opera Gala. Ten has ET the movie and then Bad Boys and the Christmas Eve service from the Crystal Cathedral in California. Not to be missed, that one! And of course Nine has the usual Carols by Candlelight from Melbourne. Will Our Ray be hosting? On the day it is even worse. The Queen’s Christmas Message stands out as a bit of original programming, as does the fourth Panel Christmas special on Ten at 8.30pm plus David Tench returns. Nine has The Man Who Saved Christmas and then Grumpy Old Men and a bit later Grumpier Old Men. The ABC has a drunk meeting a Salvation Army chap in a movie at 8.30pm (after Compass at 7.30 pm, the only night it gets a real prime time gig) and then a repeat Ab Fab Christmas (wasn’t that on not so long ago?). Seven has normal programming. ACA and TT appear at 6.30pm but not live, pre-recorded on Friday night.

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Peter Fray
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