Are the 60 Minutes’ cottages in Willoughby prone to cancer clusters?
Cancer clusters are an “in” thing these days thanks to the growing toll of women with breast cancer after working at the old ABC offices in Brisbane and suspicions about five women employees of Concord Hospital in Sydney, all of whom have contracted cancer while working in the same area at the facility. But what of the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes’ cottages in Willoughby in Sydney? Senior producer, Howard Sacre underwent an operation late last week for a cancerous growth in his neck, the latest of more than half a dozen Richard Carey, Ron Sinclair and Paul Lyneham have died. (Though Paul Lyneham was also a heavy smoker.) Producers and reporters, camera people and editors are among others who have had problems. Besides Howard Sacre, these have included: Cliff Neville, Richard Andrews, Ray Blair, Richard Carleton, Adrian Hobbs, Tom Pokorny and Sandra Cleary. They are the ones we know of. Before 1978-79 the main cottage housed other programs and people, including Bandstand. It is not known for certain if any of their staff have had cancer, but at least one is understood to have survived cancer. Years ago (maybe a decade?) the Nine Network did test the cottages for electromagnetic radiation and gave them a clean bill of health, but former 60 Minutes employees have always wondered if being located almost under the huge transmission mast at Willoughby, has had anything to do with the unusually high number of cancer attacks. Meanwhile staff at programs on the other side of the lot where the satellite receiving and transmitting dishes are located, have also wondered from time to time if there were problems being located so close. Over time these have included Midday, Today, Sunday, Business Sunday/Small Business Show and Burke’s Backyard. — Glenn Dyer Nine is still the one in breaching the ACMA’s voluntary code. Yet another pinging of the Nine Network by TV media regulator, ACMA. In a statement issued today ACMA details what it says is the 11th breach of the voluntary code which regulates the Tv industry since the middle of 2005. This complaint is against the Nine station in Brisbane, QTQ 9 and ACMA says it is the fourth such breach found against that station in the past two years. At the rate of 11 breaches in 24 months, Nine is clocking up the highest breach rate in the industry. In March in response to pressure from ACMA2007, the Nine Network started new procedures to meet its complaints handling obligations. ACMA said in a statement at the time that these included a new system of designated Code Complaint Officers; the specific attribution of responsibility for compliance by Code Complaint Officers, Executive Producers and Station Managers; and an updated complaints handling manual for stations across the Nine Network. In contrtast to some of the previous breaches, this is a minor one, but with the undetaking reached in march with the regulator, all potential breaches are a big problem for the network as it tries to improve its complaints handling procedures and get away from the constraints of supervisionj by ACMA. — Glenn Dyer

That’s puntastic! When it comes to punnery, Rupert’s papers have it all over the others. Thanks today to the Daily Tele  for this gem: “The new Qantas logo roo-vealed”. And we love’s ” Harry-kari fears” introducing the story that “call centres in London are bracing themselves for distress calls from teenagers as they finish the Harry Potter novel series”.

  The Oz’s headline Gaffe


     Last night’s TV ratings The Winners: A win for Seven, as usual. Nine didn’t try. Ten got right Neighbourly. Border Security was the top program with 1.898 million, Seven News was second with 1.679 million, Today Tonight was third with 1.586 million, Surf Patrol on Seven at 8pm averaged 1.476 million for 4th spot and 5th was Home And Away at 7pm with 1.426 million. The ABC’s Australian Story averaged 1.397 million (The Belinda Emmett story), Nine News was 7th with 1.394 million, 1 vs 100 was next at 8.30 for Nine with 1.299 million and A Current Affair was 9th with 1.228 million. Nine’s Temptation was 10th with 1.191 million and Seven brought back Criminal Minds at 8.30 pm for two hours and it averaged a solid 1.179 million for 11th spot. The 7pm ABC News averaged 1.127 million for 12th spot (and again beat Big Brother), Neighbours revamp worked and the audience topped the million mark with 1.048 million average at 6.30pm. The Big Brother Live Nomination at 7.30pm averaged 1.037 million, Seven’s Deal or No Deal at 5.30pm, 1.034 million and 7pm Big Brother, 1.031 million. Ten’s 8.30 Law And Order SVU ep averaged 977,000 and Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope averaged 968,000 (986,000 adjusted for the post 9.30pm start). Top Gear on SBS, 829,000. The Losers: Losers? Nine last night. The repeat of 20 to 1 at 7.30pm averaged 831,000. Doesn’t the network have anything stronger? The repeat of CSI at 9.30, 872,000. Makes all the hard work in producing the likes of the 6pm News, ACA, Temptation and 1 vs 100 at 8.30pm look wasted and a joke. Running dead is not good for network morale or revenues, as Nine knows and the rest of the industry will find out later today. News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Melbourne, Today Tonight won everywhere. Ten News at Five averaged 963,000, The Late News/Sports Tonight beat 416,000. Nine’s Nightline 272,000. The 7.30 Report, 838,000, Four Corners, 858,000; Media Watch, 807,000; Lateline, 330,000, Lateline Business, 118,000. World News Australia, 237,000 at 6.30pm, 126,000 at 9.30pm. 7am Sunrise 377,000, 7am Today, up to 265,000. The 9am Morning Show on Seven, 178,000, KAK at 9am on Nine, 115,000, 9am With David And Kim on Ten, 83,000. The Stats: Seven won with 30.7% (31.9% a week ago) from Nine back on 23.6% (25.1%), Ten on 19.5% (20.3%), the ABC on 17.2% (14.6%) and SBS on 9.0% (8.0%). Seven won all five metro markets and now leads the week 27.4% to 25.5%. In regional areas a win to Prime/7Qld with 28.7% from Nine through WIN/NBN with 27.8%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 19.0%, the ABC with 15.7% and SBS with 8.8%.  Glenn Dyer’s comments: An interesting night last night which showed the power of TV to tell stories, and what a long overdue makeover of an old favourite can do to audience numbers. Australian Story showed that allowing someone to tell their story without a reporter can be very powerful. Last night’s program on the late Belinda Emmett more than made up for the failures like last year’s Mark Bouris freebie and the recent show and tell on conman Peter Foster. Australian Story is the only program capable of understanding how to tackle and present a story like last night’s effort, and it was appreciated by the audience. Likewise Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope showed that a delicate story can be told in a conventional way, though a skilful interview and the willing participation of the interviewee and family (in this case Grinspoon frontman, Phil Jamieson and his wife). Just as the Belinda Emmett story was gripping and heart-wrenching without being mawkish, Phil Jamieson and his wife were pretty brutal about his story, his addiction to ice and what he did to the band and himself, and his family. Powerful and again instructive to the star based approach of 60 Minutes, Today Tonight and A Current Affair. And, the Ten Network’s shake up of venerable Neighbours worked last night. The biggest audience this year and there’s signs of life in a program that had become as boring as Coronation Street in many ways. Why Ten and Fremantle didn’t do this five years or more ago is baffling. Neighbours is a franchise for both and even they need refreshing from time to time. And finally the Seven Network once again recouped its loss on Sunday night with a fairly easy win last night, and will repeat the dose tonight. For all the sledging of Seven by Nine and its mates in the media at the moment, its clear Nine doesn’t have the programming to go head to head with Seven night after night. Seven won last night without Desperate Housewives. Even after the huge turnoff from Border Security/Surf Patrol to two hours of Criminal Minds, Nine couldn’t get close. Nine really expected to win with two prime time repeats? Tonight Seven has RSPCA Animal Rescue and All Saints, Nine has Thing To Do and CSI Miami in a repeat at 8.30pm followed by a fresh ep of the program it replaced, CSI New York at 9.30pm. Ten has a repeat of NCIS at 8.30pm after The Simpsons. The ABC has really nothing after 8pm except Foreign Correspondent at 9.20pm.