Nine spinner boned in PR restructure. Former Nine Communications director, Stephen Woodhill seems to have been squeezed out in a restructure engineered by Ian Law, the head of PBL media. That’s the reading from a statement sent to all Nine staff yesterday which announced a new head of publicity, a new director of corporate communications, and included Woodhill’s departure as an after thought. It brought to mind that now infamous “boning” announcement from Eddie McGuire in June of last year when he announced the appointment of Gary Linnell as News and Current Affairs director of Nine and then revealed at the bottom of the statement that up to 100 staff would be retrenched: mostly from the newsroom and current affairs areas in Sydney.

Today, the Nine Network announced the appointment of Heidi Virtue as Director of Publicity & Talent Relations… In streamlining its corporate communications, Ian Law today announced the appointment of Arabella Gibson as Director of Communications, PBL Media which will encompass direct responsibility for the Nine Network’s corporate enquiries. Arabella will report to Nine Network CEO Eddie McGuire and PBL Media Director of Sales & Marketing, Joe Pollard. Today the Nine Network also announced the resignation of its Director of Communications & Marketing, Stephen Woodhill. Due to the PBL Media and Nine Network communications restructure, Stephen’s position will not be replaced.

Boned!

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Another win Nine, thanks to the strength of RPA and Missing Persons Unit which were first and second on the list of most watched programs. Seven News was next with 1.306 million, followed by My Name Is Earl at 8pm on Seven (1.256 million) and Lost (1.231 million and fading). Today Tonight had 1.211 million and rival A Current Affair was the closest its been for a while in 7th with 1.175 million, ahead of a still weak Nine News with 1.126 million. Ten’s Law and Order SVU at 8.30pm averaged 1.095 million and The Biggest Loser at 7pm on Ten averaged 1.076 million. Getaway had 994,000, weaker than the weeks before and another sign that it’s ageing. Home and Away was also under a million viewers with 963,000.

The Losers: Bert’s Family Feud under half a million viewers at 484,000, Deal or No Deal on Seven, 734,000. Not losers but both showing a lack of traction this year. Bones on Seven at 9.30pm, 764,000 viewers. And there were quite a few (usually) highly watched programs that weren’t last night, as we can see from that list above. Not losers but certainly eyebrow raising.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but the key market, Sydney. Today Tonight won by 36,000 nationally over ACA and by 75,000 in Perth. A close finish. Will TT be hurt by the chains story? ACA won Sydney and Brisbane. TT won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. The 7pm ABC News averaged 942,000; The 7.30 Report, 797,000; Lateline, 185,000. Ten News, 796,000; the Late News/Sports Tonight, 464,000. Nightline averaged 378,000. SBS News averaged 167,000 at 6.30pm and 122,000 at 9.30pm. 7am Sunrise averaged 415,00, 7am Today, 265,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a share of 32.9% (32.4% a week earlier) from Seven with 26.8% (26.6%), Ten with 23.3% (22.8%), the ABC with 12.8% (14.4%) and SBS with 4.3% (3.8%). Seven still leads the week 31.8% to 27.0%. Nine won all five metro markets and in regional areas it also won through WIN/NBN with a 33.5% share, from Prime/7Qld with 27.9%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 21.6%, the ABC on 12.4% and SBS with 4.6%..

Glenn Dyer’s comments: A feature of Thursday nights now is the slow fade of a number of programs. Tonight its Better Homes and Gardens on Seven at 7.30pm that will dominate: Dalziel and Pascoe on the ABC at 8.30pm will also do well (even though it is very disappointing compared to the originals). Nine has a Charlie’s Angels movie on repeat at 8.30pm, and Seven has a James Bond repeat. Dalziel and Pascoe look good in comparison! Ten has the Hugh Grant, Toni Collete movie, About A Boy (book by Nick Hornby). Hugh Grant could be in any one of the three movies on the commercials tonight and who would notice? Nine’s Kings Of Comedy emerges again tonight — it didn’t star first up last week. Tomorrow night it’s movies everywhere and West Wing on a good night to go out and Sunday its stay in for Ugly Betty, Grey’s, CSI, The Biggest Loser, Foyle’s War and a good night of choice.

Peter Fray

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