Stokes speaks out on WA Newspapers. Seven network boss, Kerry Stokes has gone public for the first time in his campaign to spill the board of West Australian newspapers at a shareholders meeting in Perth later this month. Speaking at a business breakfast in Perth, Stokes said the WAN board was only interested in cutting costs and borrowing to pay dividends, not creating value. He said the company had a non-existent digital policy, couldn’t deliver the West Australian on time and had needlessly alienated newsagents. Stokes also said the Seven Network’s only one non-performing asset was its $480 million investment in WAN: “I have a strong desire to turn this around and to align the interests of Seven shareholders with those of WAN shareholders. However, I hope you understand it is about more than money. It is about returning this newspaper to its rightful place.” — Glenn Dyer

What makes for winning covers? A study of Esquire, GQ, W and National Geographic: Angelina Jolie (July 2007) was the “woman Esquire loved” and Esquire readers love, as proven by her being the Hearst monthly’s best-seller … Showcasing beauteous and smart women is great p.r. for both magazines. That sexagenarian Robert DeNiro sold worst for GQ (January) and unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards was Esquire‘s poorest (August) is not bad p.r. As respected and honored as DeNiro is, he is old for GQ‘s circa 30-year-old audience, and Edwards not getting the “votes” of Esquire buyers was subsequently reflected in the early-2008 primaries, which resulted in his dropping out. — Read more at MinOnline

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
Ten’s NCIS was tops at 8.30pm with 1.470 million. Bondi Rescue was second with 1.450 million and Seven News was 3rd with 1.366 million. Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares was next with 1.323 million and Ten’s 7pm program, The Biggest Loser, ran for an hour from 7pm with and average 1.311 million viewers and won. It beat Home And Away which was next with 1.288 million. Seven’s Today Tonight was 7th with 1.284 million with Seven’s It Takes Two 8th with 1.204 million from 7.30pm to 9pm. A Current Affair was 9th with 1.179 million and National Nine News was 10th with 1.117 million. Seven’s All Saints averaged 1.074 million from 9pm and the 7pm ABC news averaged 1.060 million. Women’s Murder Club on Ten at 9.30pm averaged 1.045 million.

The Losers: Moment of Truth, 873,000. The audience was barely there for 9.30pm but the program is a nasty class-ridden effort from the UK, like so many British reality programs (it’s why Big Brother is still very popular). The condescension was hard to take. Two And A Half Men again, 949,000 at 7pm for a repeat. 4th again.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Today Tonight weakened against ACA which won Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne. TT won nationally because of the usual big win in Perth. ACA had 45,000 more viewers in Sydney than Nine News (322,000 to 277,000). That was almost as many viewers Seven news had (325,000) in Sydney. The 7pm ABC News ran second in Melbourne with 354,000 behind Seven with 373,000 and Nine with 346,000. The Carl Williams “letters” scoop by Norm Bearman pushed Seven to the front. Ten News At Five averaged 764,000, The Late News/Sports Tonight, 481,000. The 7.30 Report, 884,000, Lateline, 225,000, Lateline Business, 114,000. World News Australia at 6.30pm, 192,000, the late, 172,000 at 9.30pm, Insight, 284,000. Nine’s Nightline, 211,000. 7am Sunrise down to 356,000, 7am Today down to 262,000.

The Stats: Seven won the 6pm to midnight battle in all people with 27.9% (31.3%) from Ten with 27.7% (26.2%), Nine was third with 25.5% (22.5%), the ABC was on 14.2% (14.8%) and SBS was on 4.7% (5.2%). Seven won Sydney, tied Melbourne with Nine, and won Perth. Ten won Brisbane and Adelaide (and was 0.1% behind Seven and Nine in Melbourne and 0.3% behind Seven in Perth). Seven leads the week 28.1% to 26.5% for Nine and 23.8% for Ten. In regional areas a win for Prime/7Qld with 31.9%, from Southern Cross (Ten) on 26.4%, WIN/NBN on 23.4%, the ABC on 13.0% and SBS on 5.2% in the 6pm to 10.30pm battle, Fusion Strategy reports that Ten won with 23.91% (20.13% a year ago) from Seven with 23.79% (27.95%) , Nine with 21.90% (19.45%), Pay TV with 12.51% (12.68%), the ABC with 13.82% (15.46%) and SBS with 4.06% (4.37%).

Glenn Dyer’s comments: An average night with Seven’s It Takes Two looking more average as each week goes on. If this one returns for another go next year it will have to be in a different form and with a new host. These celeb-based programs are now dull. The trouble is that there’s no knockout like Jolene Anderson in last series. Apart from that, a night to ignore. Gordon Ramsay was the highlight for Nine at 8.30pm. It’s the only successful new program this year, sorry it’s not really new because it was used as a ratings filler late last year. Ten actually won the commercial battle between the three networks between 6pm and 10.30pm and won the major demos, 16 to 39, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54. Seven won all people 6pm to midnight. Nine was third in both cases. Is 2009 the year of the comeback? Tonight sees Underbelly, House (A repeat on Ten), Spicks And Specks and Seven seems to be starting a season of James Bond Movies at 8.30pm. It has Animal Rescue at 7.30pm and The Real Seachange at 8pm, up against the last Chopping Block on Nine.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks, Fusion Strategy reports

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey