Caption of the day: Murdock?

More moves ahead at Nine? There are already rumours of moves at the Nine Network with tales that the position of news and current affairs director might be open to contest. Nine insiders claim that Gary Linnell’s position is safe. But there are stories that 60 Minutes executive producer John Westacott would be a player, if the job fell vacant. Another name mentioned is long-time former Nine Sydney news boss Ian Cook, now at Sky News. But he is considered a stayer at Sky, even though he has just changed jobs. — Glenn Dyer

The messiest desk in journalism? If an empty desk is an empty mind, then Piers Akerman’s mind is chockas. Today Tonight captured the footage on Monday night during a story about celebrities fighting for animal rights — The Daily Tele columnist criticised them for the way they take up the cause. But what about cruelty to an-l retentives?


Last night’s TV ratings

The Winners. Seven News was tops with 1.632 million viewers, ahead of It Takes Two with 1.596 million people. All Saints which followed It Takes Two just after 9pm, averaged a high 1.503 million and Today Tonight was next with 1.481 million people. Nine News had 1.362 million, ahead of A Current Affair with 1.325 million. Ten’s fresh NCIS ep at 8.30pm averaged 1.302 million people, followed by Home And Away (1.251 million), Temptation (1.232 million), the 7pm ABC News (1.213 million people), Nine’s Crime And Justice (1.189 million), the new Simpsons ep at 7.30pm (1.140 million) and Nine’s 8pm program, Neighbours at War (1.134 million). Seven’s one-off interview with Princes William and Harry followed All Saints and averaged 1.093 million, extending the network’s lead on the night. Deal or No Deal averaged 1.062 million, 7pm Big Brother averaged 980,000 and the ABC’s delightful oddball doco, The Chant of the Scrub Turkey, averaged 840,000 at 8pm.

The Losers. Nine. Third again when Seven and Ten have above-average-but-not-monster hits (Dancing With The Stars for example). The Nation turned up slightly to 626,000 — it would probably do over a million if it had a fresh CSI in front of it. It had CSI New York which averaged just 812,000. Not good enough (just in front of The Bill on the ABC with 805,000).

News & CA. Seven News again won nationally and in every market while Today Tonight won everywhere except Melbourne. The gap widened on Nine’s duo, but they still did OK. The solid figures for the ABC News at 7pm helped The 7.30 Report average 946,000, despite It Takes Two (ABC viewers might not be as into singing as they are into dancing). Lateline averaged 182,000; Lateline Business, 110,000. Nightline averaged 327,000. Ten News averaged 997,000; the Late News/Sports Tonight, 511,000. SBS News, 191,000 at 6.30pm. 7am Sunrise, 425,000; 7am Today, 273,000 (they seem to be going up and down together at the moment).

The Stats. Seven won with 33.4% (33.1% a week ago), from Ten with 23.6% (23.8%), Nine was third with 23.0% (21.1%), the ABC was next with 15.1% (16.0%) and SBS was on 4.8% (6.0%). Nine was a surprising third in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Seven won all five metro markets and now leads the week 30.0% to 28.1%. In regional areas a win to Seven with Prime/7Qld on 33.1%, Southern Cross (Ten) on 25.3%, WIN/NBN on 24.0 for Nine, the ABC on 12.9% and SBS on 4.7%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments. The most interesting development yesterday was in the morning, where, despite a sharp fall in its audience, Seven’s new Morning Show from 9am to 11am emphasised the damage it’s doing to Nine and Ten. The Morning Show opened Monday with 272,000 but fell to 223,000 yesterday. Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s program on Nine at 9am averaged 126,000 on Monday and just 111,000 yesterday, while Ten’s 9am with David and Kim averaged 147,000 viewers on Monday, but that fell to just 78,000 yesterday. Ten’s Monday figure was bolstered by the spillover of the US Open golf. Seven was still a clear winner yesterday, despite its audience loss, and seems to have stolen viewers from pay-TV. Viewing across the three networks 9am to 11am is up 15%. Tonight, it’s Spicks and Specks at 8.30pm on the ABC and then the last Chaser for a few weeks. Next week, it’s repeats of old Friday night shows.