Only at Our ABC. Roger Summerill, the manager of the ABC’s successful Sydney radio station 702, is about to retire. He steps down next month and true to form, the ABC can’t quite decide on his successor. So the Melbourne-based head of ABC Radio, Sue Howard, has okayed a three-way trial to find a replacement. The three candidates — James O’Brien, program director at 702; Mike McCluskey, manager of the ABC local radio station in Newcastle, and the program director at 774 in Melbourne — will all get the chance to manage 702 for a month each and the choice will then be made. O’Brien has been as much responsible for the success of 702 as Summerill, so insiders think he should get a chance to show if he can make the next step up. At least the ABC has candidates — over at SBS Radio I hear the selection process for the new senior executive team is running very late, with a shortage of candidates. — Glenn Dyer
Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Wednesday nights are now probably the most competitive of the week for TV networks. Nine again won narrowly from Seven but Ten and the ABC were both in the hunt. As usual Seven News, 1.641 million and Today Tonight, 1.468 million, were one and two but The Chaser (1.443 million) and Spicks and Specks (1.442 million) won the 8.30 to 9.30pm slot for the ABC, just in front of a fresh ep of House on Ten which averaged 1.409 million viewers. Nine News was next with 1.339 million; Police Files Unlocked on Seven had its highest audience so far, 1.304 million, and A Current Affair finished with 1.294 million. McLeod’s Daughters averaged 1.289 million at 7.30pm, followed by Home And Away (1.278 million), Temptation (1.202 million), The ABC’s New Inventors (1.158 million), Cold Case (1.109 million — it’s a cold show, like CSI New York) and the 7pm ABC news (1.104 million people). Seven’s Last Chance Learners fell back to 1.097 million, Big Brother averaged 1.084 million at 7pm and The 7.30 Report made into the “club” with 1.064 million. Seven’s Deal Or No Deal averaged 1.008 million.
The Losers: Seven is splitting its schedule between Wednesdays and Thursdays because of the State of Origin in NSW and Qld markets. The second game is next Wednesday. That’s why Heroes is on Wednesdays in the south and on Thursdays in Sydney and Brisbane, and why Lost has been bumped to 9.30pm in some markets. But if Seven had left Heroes on Wednesdays at 8.30pm, Spicks and Specks and The Chaser would have kicked it to death anyway, along with House.
News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market and Today Tonight won every market, bar Brisbane where ACA won. Lateline averaged 299,000; Lateline Business, 155,000. Ten News, 901,000; the Late News/Sports Tonight, 408,000. Nightline, 270,000. SBS News, 179,000 at 6.30pm; 228,000 at 9.30pm; Dateline, 212,000. 7am Sunrise under 400,000 at 397,000; 7am Today, 272,000 — the biggest audience since Lisa Wilkinson started.
The Stats: Nine won with a share of 26.5% (26.8% last week) from Seven with 26.1% (26.7%), Ten with 23.0% (21.5%), the ABC on 19.6% (20.8%) and SBS on 4.8% (4.2%). Nine won Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. Seven won Melbourne and Perth. Seven finished third in Adelaide and that probably cost it the national win.Seven leads the week 29.2% to 27.6% for Nine. In regional areas a big win to WIN/NBN for Nine with 31.5%; to 24.0% for Prime/7Qld; Southern Cross (Ten) was on 21.7%, the ABC on 17.3% and SBS on 5.5%.
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Glenn Dyer’s comments: The Chaser and Spicks are the big destabilising influence on Wednesday night, but The Chaser is only around for two more weeks before taking a holiday. After last night it will be a pity — it was a top quality bit of satire and commentary. Tonight more mixed programming from Seven. Can Lost hold it at 9.30pm against the NRL Footy Show? RPA: Where Are They Now is the highlight on Nine. Getaway celebrates 15 years on TV tonight: time to cut it? Also tonight is the premiere of Ralph TV on Nine after the Footy Shows at 11pm. Another condescending piece of cross-promotional rubbish involving Nine and ACP magazines. A TV program that will pander to the lowest common denominator amongst men and completely offend women.