WIN commences the STW 9 shake-up. WIN Corporation has started shaking up Perth’s Nine Network station, STW 9, after settling its $163 million purchase. For the first time, a regional TV program will be networked into metro markets with the new daytime chat show, Susie (with Susie Elelman) going into Perth and Adelaide at midday. The PBL Media-owned stations will continue to broadcast a midday movie in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. There might also be a change in STW newsreaders, but that hasn’t been determined according to WIN management. And STW’s news helicopter is likely to be junked, if the local management thinks it’s not being used efficiently. The problem WIN has found in Perth, and will find in Adelaide, is that the station was run leanly by its former owners. The main game for WIN is to try and network as much of its WIN generated content into Perth and Adelaide as possible, but that will be very hard with the news and current affairs programs where the networked stories from the east coast stations are essential to the main 6pm bulletins. WIN has around 23 or 24 newsrooms across the country. That makes it second only to ABC-TV in its coverage. — Glenn Dyer

Packers won’t give up Nine’s fabled Wimbledon marquee. For years one of the perks of being a poor gofer at Nine was to be sent to London to help handle the coverage of Wimbledon and Nine’s fabled marquee at with flowing champers, other goodies and a long list of big names. Nine used it to sell to advertisers, US and British TV production companies and the big media buying groups. It was Nine’s tent, but amid all the selling of equity in Nine and ACP Magazines, the tent seems to have been commandeered by the Packers and is now the PBL tent. PBL CEO John Alexander and his wife are due to hold court, along with several PBL directors, including Chris Anderson, and Alan Jones is due to visit. Ros Packer and her followers may also be there. It’s Eddie McGuire’s last week as CEO and those rumours about him eyeing Karl Stefanovic’s chair at Today won’t go away. Karl was back in Melbourne with Lisa Wilkinson today, starting a week of celebrations for Today‘s 25 birthday. In all the hoopla about Today, it’s always forgotten that Ten’s Good Morning Australia was first on air and the market leader for years. In fact, Today is used to running second! — Glenn Dyer

Can we blacklist the word “institution” already? The word “institution” was getting more of a workout than Olivia Newton-John’s legwarmers in Physical this morning as politicians scrambled to register their sadness at John Laws’s retirement in November. “Nobody has become such an institution on Australian radio like you”, said John Howard. “You can’t retire. Institutions don’t retire, they go on forever”, lamented Kevin Rudd, doing nothing to dispel the idea that he’s Labor’s answer to John Howard. And don’t get us started on the cricket metaphors. Rudd was all over them: “Fifty-five years. That’s an extraordinary innings”. So, too, the PM: 

Laws: Out of all of the [PMs I’ve interviewed], you’ve been one of the most enjoyable, and certainly one of the trickiest … you have the cleverest sidestep.”

Howard: You bowl a pretty deceptive in-swinger too.

Cash for comment, anyone? Meh, that’s all in the past. “You’ve been the subject of controversy over the years, but who in public life hasn’t been”, said Rudd. Perhaps Tony Abbott asked the day’s most pertinent question: “The one thing I thought was ‘John Laws is retiring, I wonder who’s next’?” — Jane Nethercote

Schadenfreude: a definition. “The ABC’s Media Watch is fighting claims of hypocrisy after its website published anti-Semitic comments mocking the Holocaust and claiming a Jewish conspiracy. The comments were published a day after the taxpayer-funded media watchdog accused news outlets, including The Daily Telegraph, of publishing racist reader comments on their websites. In a major embarrassment, the program is accused of the same conduct and faces attack from Jewish leaders and federal Labor MP Michael Danby after its viewers suggested “Zionist groups” had taken over the ABC.” — The Daily Telegraph reports today.

The world according to CNN. According to CNN, Afghanistan is located…

… in Syria.

Afghanistan would be three countries to the east, about where the right column is on this page probably is for you. Just past Iraq and Iran. I guess there’s a point where US foreign policy is a near-total failure in so many countries, aggravating extremism in the name of fighting it, that even the media starts to lose track. BobHarris.com

Is Paris turning? At last some sense in the media world. The move by NBC to pay Paris Hilton US$1 million for her first post-jail interview has been dropped. Hilton will now be interviewed by CNN’s Larry King on Wednesday night. Hilton had reportedly wanted Barbara Walters to interview her but the veteran ABC Network journalist said no after Hilton had rejected her for NBC’s Meredith Vieria. NBC decided to junk the interview offer because they suddenly became scared of the backlash and poor publicity it would generate. NBC has denied it had ever offered money for the interview and sources said the network tried to get around its own policy of not paying for news interviews by saying the $1 million was for video footage of Hilton. In the end NBC wouldn’t even do it for nothing. — Glenn Dyer

A prime romp for Seven. A poor Friday night cost the Nine Network any chance of winning the latest week of prime time ratings. Seven’s combination of strong news and Today Tonight, Better Homes and Gardens, and the AFL night game in Southern markets, gave it a surprisingly big win over Nine. Seven even won Sydney and Brisbane, beating Nine with its two NRL games: the first involving two Sydney teams (Canterbury and Manly); the second the less attractive Auckland playing Penrith. Seven won Friday night 31.7% to 24.0% for Nine. On Saturday night, Nine reversed the result, winning 29.0% to 24.4% for Seven but it wasn’t enough. Seven won the week 28.7% to 27.9% to give itself all but one of the ratings week’s so far this year. Ten finished with 21.3%, the ABC was on 16.8% and SBS was on 5.2%. After Thursday night, Nine was in with a chance. Seven led by the narrow margin of 0.4%, 28.9% to 28.5%. Nine had won Sunday night strongly, 33.1% to Seven’s 27.6%, but it gradually lost the lead over the week to end with a share lower than it started with. The ABC, Seven and Ten all built on their Sunday night shares. Ten’s jumped from 18.3% to 21.3%. Seven won Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Nine won Brisbane. Nine’s 60 Minutes was the week’s most watched program. — Glenn Dyer

News Limited making its own news on climate change. The greenification of News Limited continues apace with the announcement today that the organisation will be carbon neutral within three years. According to a press release circulated this morning: “The News Limited commitment follows the announcement by News Corporation last month of a global initiative that commits all parts of the company to become carbon neutral by 2010.” News Limited chairman and chief executive John Hartigan said the greenhouse gas savings would be “equivalent to taking about 7,500 cars permanently off the road.” Crikey understands the same savings could be made by limiting Andrew Bolt to only 15 blog posts before lunchtime, but chose against that option. Crikey contacted News for information on how the company planned to achieve the targets, but Mr Hartigan was unavailable for comment prior to publication. — Thomas Hunter

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Sunday night and another good win for Nine, but it was a narrower margin than the week before. 60 Minutes was tops with 1.707 million viewers, Grey’s Anatomy was second with 1.594 million, Seven News was third, narrowly, with 1.546 million, just in front of Nine News with 1.493 million. CSI was 5th with 1.461 million. CSI Miami was 6th with 1.396 million, Seven’s Where Are They Now averaged 1.332 million at 6.30 pm and beat Backyard Blitz on Nine on 1.308 million. Ugly Betty was 9th for Seven with 1.278 million; Ten’s Big Brother live double eviction averaged 1.126 million from 7.30 pm to 9 pm and the 7 pm ABC News was 11th and the last show with a million or more viewers with an average 1.118 million. Robin Hood was next with 960,000 at 7.30 pm; Rove on Ten at 9 pm averaged 915,000. SBS has a small ratings revival with The Roman Empire at 7.30 pm with 463,000 viewers.
 
The Losers: Well, What About Brian on Seven at 9.30 pm: 844,000 and the difference last night between winning and losing. Survivor Fiji at 10.30 with 556,000, also helped add to Nine’s win.
 
News & CA: Seven News won nationally by 53,000 people and needed a big margin in Perth of 127,000 viewers. The margin was that big because Seven broadcast the St Kilda-Eagles game into Perth alone. It averaged 192,000 and started late (in east Coast time). Ten News at Five averaged 892,000 for the quick half hour broadcast. in the Sunday morning chat shows, Weekend Sunrise again was well ahead with 430,000 and didn’t lose anything at all with Sam Armytage, the 4.30 pm newsreader, moving in to replace Lisa Wilkinson at Today. She was solid in her first  gig, but she has also impressed filling in on Today Tonight. The ABC’s Landline was second with 336,000 viewers at noon to 1 pm. Nine’s Sunday shed last week’s gain to return to a 206,000 average. The ABC’s Insiders averaged 153,000 at 9 am, Offsiders, 131,000 at 10.30 am and Inside Business 113,000 at 10 am. Ten’s Meet The Press averaged 56,000 at 8 am.
 
The Stats: Nine won with a share of 31.2% (33.1%) from Seven with 27.1% (27.6%), Ten with 20.4% (18.3%), the ABC with 15.7% (15.8), and SBS with 5.6% (6.1%). Nine won all five metro markets. And Nine won regional Australia with WIN/NBN getting 33.3% from 24.9% for Prime/7Qld, Southern Cross on 19.3% for Ten, the ABC with 15.3% and SBS with 6.8%.
 
Glenn Dyer’s comments: Backyard Blitz built on its start last week, Seven’s Where Are They Now did a bit better. But Nine is ruing the decision to Blitz off last year. It is making the network’s decision look churlish and short sighted. It could have limited this year’s season to smaller runs, like the current and last one, and preserved a real ratings performer, and replaced Jamie Durie with someone else if need be. Grey’s Anatomy is finally working for Seven in the 8.30 pm timeslot up against Nine’s best performing drama, CSI. Only 60 Minutes is doing better. Grey’s Anatomy  started well at the beginning of the ratings year, then fell, but has now picked up viewers for the past six weeks, culminating in last night’s win. The difference though was at 9.30 pm and the way CSI Miami beat Seven, Ten and the rest. Seven’s What About Brian is fairly lacklustre in comparison and is on the way out in the US. This highlights the current difference between Seven and the rest. Seven has troublesome timeslots (9.30 pm Sundays for instance), Nine and Ten have troublesome nights. Tonight is an example of the latter for Ten, tomorrow night for Nine.  Seven used to have one big troublespot last year and that was Sunday nights. That has now gone. Tonight its Seven ahead of a close up Nine. Talking Heads on the ABC tonight at 6.30 pm interviews Bob Rogers, the continuing star of Sydney radio (he’s older than the retiring John Laws. It’s a pity this was pre-recorded before Laws made his announcement. Rogers’ perspective on Laws would have made for great TV. What’s Good For You finishes up on Nine tonight. The tennis starts from Wimbledon (and Fox Sports).

Peter Fray

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