The Catch-Up. Our regular media briefs and TV ratings section didn’t appear in yesterday’s edition due to a technical glitch. Apologies for the omission – you can read yesterday’s Media Briefs on our website here. The latest Nine Network cleanout continues. In his book, Who Killed Channel 9?, Gerald Stone details the way that John Alexander and the Packers purged the Nine Network of the old guard and anyone Alexander didn’t like. And now a similar process is well underway with the Packer-Alexander appoints being turfed out. The first to go was Alan Jones — a long time friend of the Packers and Alexander — who lost his editorial spot on the Today show. Eddie McGuire has gone as CEO, but stays as host of 1 vs 100 and as a putative producer. Eddie’s mate, Cos Cardone, the former head of light entertainment, has left the network, and now John Lyons is moving from the Sunday program to The Australian as a senior reporter. It’s a bit ironic because back in the late 90s when Lyons was editing the Sydney Morning Herald, he was sacked by Fairfax for being photographed lunching with News Ltd executives who were trying to get him to defect to The Australian. He was then hired by his mate John Alexander for The Bulletin before moving to Sunday as a reporter and then replacing Stephen Rice as EP. Sunday is rumoured to be facing another revamp with hosts Ross Greenwood and Ellen Fanning being replaced by Kelli Connolly and perhaps another person. The program would be turned into more of a Today/Sunrise type program to counter the ratings success of Seven’s Weekend Sunrise. News and current affairs boss Garry Linnell says the program is not threatened, but will he be around to ensure that happens? There are continuing rumours that Linnell wants to return to Melbourne and the editorship of The Age. Linnell is well credentialed to edit The Age. He’s from Melbourne, understands the importance of sport and football (AFL), which still escapes Andrew Jaspan, and has been a senior editor. And if Linnell goes, John Westacott, the EP of 60 Minutes, wants the top newscaf job at Nine. He’s already made a move on Linnell but failed. — Glenn Dyer Channel Ten “News” gets serious. Saturday’s Channel Ten news bulletin featured a showbiz report peppered with more disclaimers than the scuttlebutt generally posted on showbiz gossip websites (watch it here — try to find the news; Crikey couldn’t). Newsreader George Donikian, backed by an attention-grabbing “Star Hurt” headline, reported that former Neighbours starlet and Rogue Traders singer Natalie Bassingthwaite had “a close call” while “apparently shooting a scene” on the set of Australian movie, Prey. A minor incident is supposed to have occurred but “no injuries are reported”. Right … Coincidentally, former Channel Ten newsreader Jennifer Hansen has a small cameo in Prey. Seriously, Ten. Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Seven had the top six most watched programs on the night. Border Security averaged 1.830 million, followed by Seven News (1.664 million), Today Tonight (1.554 million), Surf Patrol (1.512 million), Desperate Housewives (1.507 million) and Home And Away (1.405 million). A Current Affair was next with 1.345 million, then Nine News (1.312 million), Temptation (1.260 million) and Law And Order SVU (1.212 million) at 8.30pm for Ten. 1 vs 100 averaged 1.152 million, the 7pm ABC News was next with 1.118 million, Nine’s repeat of CSI averaged 1.094 million, Brothers and Sisters had 1.088 million and 7pm Big Brother, 1.029 million. The 7.30pm Live Nomination on BB averaged 975,000: not good. Neighbours up to 906,000 a week out from its relaunch. Deal or No Deal averaged 998,000 at 5.30pm for Seven.

The Losers: Nine just didn’t try. A winner was SBS’s Top Gear, which had a top audience of 900,000, beating The 7.30 Report and Australian Story. No wonder Nine is sniffing around the show. Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope had 705,000 — barely OK — Tony Blair’s PR, Alastair Campbell, and Crowded House just not interesting enough for viewers. The ABC had one of its weakest Monday nights for weeks.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market and Today Tonight won nationally but lost Brisbane to ACA. The 7.30 Report averaged 827,000. No return bounce for Kerry O’Brien with Border Security dragging them in on Seven. Lateline averaged 299,000 and Lateline Business, 160,000. Ten News, 949,000; the Late News/Sports Tonight, 305,000. Nightline, 255,000. Four Corners low on 746,000; Media Watch, 669,000. SBS News, 270,000 at 6.30pm; 171,000 at 9.30pm. 7am Sunrise 355,000 (a bit low); 7am Today, 239,000. The 9am Morning Show on Seven, 190,000; KAK, 126,000; 9am With David and Kim, 92,000.

The Stats: Seven won with a share of 31.9% (31.5% last Monday), from Nine with 25.1% (24.8%), Ten with 20.3% (19.7%), the ABC, 14.6% (15.9%) and SBS was unchanged on 8 per cent. Seven won all five metro markets. Seven now leads the week 28.0% to 26.7%. on regional areas, a won to Prime/7Qld with 30.4% from WIN/NBN for Nine with 26.8%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 19.9%, the ABC with 13.4% and SBS on 9.4%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Last night the Seven Network blitzed Nine and Ten. Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters left in style, Border Security ensured that. Next Monday Seven brings back Criminal Minds in a two hour ep. Coming out of Border Security/Surf Patrol, that will be enough to boost its reintroduction. Tonight Seven’s new program RSPCA Animal Rescue is up against Nine’s new program, Things To Do Before You Die. Medical Emergency follows Animal Rescue at 8pm. There’s a fresh and old Simpsons from 7.30pm on Ten. Later in the night Nine brings us, hot from the US, a special doco on Posh (AKA Victoria Beckham) Coming To America. Who cares? Seven has All Saints at 8.30pm. Ten has a fresh NCIS and Big Brother. Foreign Correspondent on the ABC at 9.30pm looms as the viewing in that timeslot. 

Peter Fray

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