Chicken feed at the ABC. According to a Crikey tipster:

Staff at the ABC are less than amused at Kim Dalton’s latest job advertisment which is offering to pay around $43-$47k per annum to do three jobs in one – produce, present and then digitally edit the content at his groundbreaking CNC – which has been dubbed the Chicken Noodle Centre today – a la CNN in the 1980’s.  Here is the job advertisement, and the union response. As usual the big ideas are plentiful in Ultimo, but the big money ain’t. And unlike the Ted Turner’s CNN there is no clear revenue model available for the CNC – or is there a stream of online advertisers just lining up to have a crack at Aunty’s audience? The smart money says Dalton’s sweatshop is doomed.

Is NewsCorp scamming students? A Crikey subscriber sent us the following email:

I am a poor student at Adelaide University. During O’Week, I signed up for an unbeatable deal: for $20, I would be delivered the Weekend Australian every week for the academic year, and I would be able to pick up a copy each week day from one of several sites around campus. I remember reading in Crikey’s “Tips and rumours” various examples of newspapers inflating their circulation numbers by flogging them to students; and in this case The Australian shot itself in the foot twice — my mother gave me the $20, because for the rest of the year, she needn’t go and buy it from the local deli (SA term for milk bar).

What intrigues me this year is that last week, I received a bill from NewsCorp. Curious, I went to their office in Waymouth St to be informed the problem was known, it was a failure in the computer system and I should not have been sent a bill. The problem would be fixed. This week, the same happened again, but for $14. Clearly the computers are having real problems, and so is the customer service department… But I wonder if the company is returning the money some naive students are almost certainly paying?

Rupert Murdoch has finally been outfoxed. He has lost the internet domain name for the Fox Business Network to a Florida businessman called Derek Hodges. The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has ruled that Hodges is the rightful owner of the name FoxBusinessNetwork.com, which he registered in February 2007 just hours before Murdoch announced he was launching his new cable TV channel. Although he did not officially register the name until then, Hodges claimed he had used FoxBusinessNetwork.com for at least five years and produced promotional material to back up his claims. Murdoch argued that the last-minute registration of the name was an effort to create confusion and accused Hodges of trying to extract $50,000 from NewsCorp for the name last August. WIPO conceded that the timing of the domain name registration was “suspicious” but accepted Hodges’s claim. — The First Post

America’s best newspapers in circulation decline. In just four years the top newspapers in the U.S. have collectively lost about 1.4 million copies in daily circulation, E&P has found. But since the reported numbers come out every six months, the overall decline for individual papers may not hit home for many. Each fall off is usually in the low- to mid-single digits — but it sure adds up. Editor & Publisher

Letter of the Week: They’re having some fun at the Herald Sun’s TV Guide.

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: A baker’s dozen of 13 programs with a million or more viewers. Seven News was tops with 1.485 million, RSPCA Animal Rescue averaged 1.418 million in second and Today Tonight was third with 1.336 million. Underbelly was 4th with 1.233 million without Melbourne and Home And Away averaged 1.224 million for 5th spot and first at 7pm. Seven’s The Real Seachange won 8pm with 1.173 million and the 7pm ABC News was next with 1.152 million. Nine’s The Chopping Block averaged 1.062 million in 8th spot. Ten’s repeat of House averaged 1.060 million. A Current Affair was 10th with 1.058 million and Nine News was next with 1.034 million. The Biggest Loser averaged 1.020 million at 7pm for Ten and Lewis averaged 1.010 million for Seven from just after 8.30pm till just after 10.30pm. Spicks And Specks finished with 950,000 viewers and looked grey and old last night.

The Losers: Losers? Where To start? Ten: Rules of Engagement at 7.30pm, 843,000. Ba ck To You at 8pm, 944,000. Even the repeat of House at 8.30 did better. Nine’s Cashmere Mafia at 9.30pm: 851,000. Tired, false and just glam pap. Deserves to die slowly. Two And A Half Men, 830,000. ditto, but no glam, just rubbish!

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market as did Today Tonight. Both Nine News and ACA remained under 300,000 viewers in Sydney last night. The 7pm ABC News not only had more viewers nationally but beat Nine for second in Sydney and Melbourne. The 7.30 Report, 835,000, Lateline, 237,000, Lateline Business, 112,000. Ten News At Five, 798,000, 500,000 for the Late News / Sports Tonight. Nine’s Nightline, 212,000. 6.30pm World News Australia on SBS 127,000 and 215,000 at 9.30pm. Dateline, 164,000, Newstopia, 201,000. 7am Sunrise back over 400,000 with 431,000, 7am Today back under 300,000 with 287,000. Today is getting rid of the news ticker on the bottom of the screen to clear the clutter, or is it to cut costs?

The Stats: Seven won the 6pm to 12 midnight battle with 30.5% (30.0% a week ago), from Nine with 27.2% (26.9%), Ten with 22.4% (22.2%), the ABC with 15.8% (16.4%) and SBS with 4.0% (4.5%). Nine won Sydney, Seven won the rest of the metro markets. Underbelly was watched by 522,000 in Sydney, the single largest audience in the country. Seven leads the week 29.4% to 26.9%. In regional areas, a win to Prime/7Qld with 30.0% from WIN/NBN with 28/5%, Southern Cross on 20.9%, the ABC on 15.7% and SBS on 4.9%. Fusion Stategy said that in the 6pm to 10.30pm battle Seven won 25.71% (28.82% a year ago. Seven actually lifted its viewer numbers). Nine was next with a share of 21.50% (23.52%). Ten was next with 19.07% (20.76%, Pay TV was on 15.90% (13.60%), the ABC was on 14.25% (14.84%) and SBS was on 3.48% (3.46%).

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Once again Nine’s loss is everyone else’s gain. Underbelly was not on in Melbourne which was a pity because it was a pretty good episode. It was well directed and well acted. Lewis was also well done and is now moving to its real home on Saturday nights at 8.30pm up against Ten’s AFL football. It got a million viewers last night which, up against Underbelly, was pretty good. We can add Cashmere Mafia to Nine’s list of duds after last night. It’s not a good show. Bad in every way including being a lite derivative of Sex and The City. Ten has two duds: its 7.30pm duo. It must be hoping that the folks at Working Dog reach a decision about Thank God You’re Here, even if it’s for the 2009 season! Tonight the NRL and AFL Footy Shows return. The one to watch is the NRL one: there have been changes, more bodies and a claimed revamp in approach.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks, Fusion Strategy reports     

Peter Fray

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