Ever wanted at job at Four Corners? One of the plum jobs in Australian journalism, the Executive Producer’s role at Four Corners, is up for grabs. The incumbent, Bruce Belsham, is moving in early July to become Editor of abc.net.au, which is run from ABC Innovation, headed up by Ian Carroll. Belsham has been at Four Corners since 2000 and his replacement is yet to be named — the ABC will go through its usual process of widely advertising, interviewing and then giving it to an insider. Belsham’s move highlights the oddities of ABC management structures. Carroll heads up Innovation, which was part of the area that Linley Marshall was responsible for until the recent management split-up put her in as head of ABC Commercial. Her area was cut in two: Innovation to Carroll and the online news sites to ABC News and Current Affairs, headed by John Cameron. So Carroll has head-hunted the most senior ABC current affairs EP to head up the main web business in another division. If Belsham is so good, why isn’t he running the ABC news websites? — Glenn Dyer
Ever wanted to buy a magazine company? A second major foreign publisher has put its Australian magazine titles up for review — Emap following Time Inc in testing the local market for interest. Yesterday Emap Australia revealed it is launching a review of its portfolio of 26 magazines and books, including New Woman, FHM and Zoo Weekly. The review might not necessarily lead to a sale but after the UK parent flicked its CEO Tom Moloney last week, anything is possible. Emap’s annual results for the financial year ending March 31, 2007 showed a small drop in earnings ($A488.39 million, down 1% on 2006). The company said it was undertaking the review in Australia to consider “scale and growth opportunities”. There’s no growth in the Australian magazine market at the moment with advertising revenue weak, readership figures very mixed and circulation figures uncertain after the revamp of the measurement process by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Possible buyers include News Ltd and the Seven network’s Pacific Magazines. ACP magazines, part of PBL Media, has the financial muscle to buy but would be constrained by competition limits as it has around 48% of the market. — Glenn Dyer
ABC gives climate sceptics a voice. Here’s a story to gladden the hearts of climate sceptics everywhere. The ABC yesterday issued this press release:
The Great Global Warming Swindle, written and directed by Martin Durkin, caused controversy in the UK when it screened on Channel 4 in March. The Great Global Warming Swindle features leading academics, scientists and journalists discussing the facts, myths and evidence surrounding one of the most contentious issues of our time…ABC TV has purchased the 60-minute international version of the program and will screen it in July.
Last week US entertainment bible Variety reported: “Brit docu The Great Global Warming Swindle has sold to Sweden’s TV4 and Australia’s Channel 9, while the US network ABC and France’s TF1 are among other broadcasters taking an interest.” But it looks like Variety got the channel wrong and the ABC will pick up some more publicity in July. Some green-headed people will be suspecting the ABC has been nobbled on climate change by the government but really it is just providing fodder for debate. — Glenn Dyer
Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Tuesday night and Seven won again, Ten was second and Nine third, beaten because it didn’t really try. A dozen programs with a million or more viewers. Seven News was again tops with 1.558 million people and Today Tonight followed with 1.428 million. Seven’s 7.30 program It Takes Two averaged 1.411 million viewers until 9.30 pm. Ten’s fresh NCIS had 1.403 million, Seven’s All Saints had 1.278 million and Nine News was next with 1.270 million, followed by A Current Affair with 1.255 million. Nine’s repeat of 20 to 1 at 7.30 averaged 1.222 million while the Big Brother intruder ep from 7 pm to 8.30 pm averaged 1.215 million. Home and Away got 1.181 million, Temptation, also at 7 pm on Nine, had 1.160 million and the 7 pm ABC News had 1.078 million viewers. And it was very competitive and congested at 7pm. Nine’s repeat of two eps of CSI from 8.35pm to 10.35pm averaged 980,000 for 9.35 pm and 873,000 for 8.35pm. Not good enough these days. Ten’s 9.30 program Numb3rs with 950,000 pushed the second CSI into third! At least Nine tried on Monday night, last night it treated viewers with contempt.
The Losers: Choir of Hard Knocks 8pm on the ABC, 790,000. More honest and touching, makes It Takes Took look portentous. Not a loser also, Crossing Jordan on Seven at 10.30, 683,000 (it hasn’t been renewed in the US), Nine’s Hell’s Kitchen, the UK chef Gordon Ramsay being foul tempered, 453,000. A pommy chef version of The Apprentice, which also hasn’t been renewed in the US.
News & CA: Seven News won nationally and in every market, Today Tonight won Sydney, lost Melbourne and Brisbane to ACA, won Adelaide and Perth and won nationally in absolute terms. The 7.30 Report on the ABC averaged 892,000 after the million-plus audience for the News. Lateline averaged 220,000, Lateline Business, 113,000. Ten News At Five, 932,000; the Late News/Sports Tonight, 424,000. SBS Insight, 295,000, World News Australia at 6.30 pm, 192,000, World News Australia late, 143,000. 7am Sunrise 421,000, 7am Today up to 271,000.
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The Stats: Seven won all five markets and averaged 32.3% (down on last week’s 35.0%). Ten was second with 25.0% (23.1%), Nine was third with 24.2% (22.0%), the ABC was on 13.9% (14.3%) and SBS was on 4.6% (5.6%). Seven leads the week 30.1% to 26.3% and even with the State of Origin tonight, Nine will find it hard to win the week. In regional areas a win to Prime/7Qld with 30.9% from WIN/NBN for Nine with 28.0%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 22.4%, the ABC on 13.8% and SBS on 4.9%.
Glenn Dyer’s comments: Tuesday nights are the nights Nine prefers to run dead and finish third, last night was no different to last week. Seven’s run of solid performing light entertainment programs, Dancing With The Stars and It Takes Two are too much for a weakened Nine to combat. but Ten has a go and has benefitted from the attack. Ten succeeded last night because the intruder ep of BB started at 7 pm and ran until 8.30 and averaged more than 1.2 million viewers, feeding into NCIS at 8.30 pm and providing a solid lead-in, and Nine was buried. Tonight it’s the Rugby League State of Origin versus the ABC duo, Spicks and Specks and The Chaser. Seven has an expendable movie, Ten has a repeat of House. Even Ten understand the futility of going up against a ratings super program like an Origin game. The ABC of course doesn’t worry about ratings, so will The Chaser make an impact on Nine’s younger male viewers who love both rugby league and The Chaser?