How letters editors work:

Crikey reader Peter Vaughan writes:

Hi, maybe this is interesting to you, it’s the response I got from The Age Letters editor to a letter I sent them today regarding an article by the tabloid writer Jim Schembri on Australian film. I’m not sure why they forwarded their email to him to me…

Begin forwarded message:

From: “Letters”
Date: 16 April 2008 12:02:08 PM
To: “Peter Vaughan” Subject: RE: A Tough Lesson for Jim Schembri

Hi Jim,

I enjoyed your piece this morning and was hoping it would piss off a few film-makers enough to generate a good debate. I’d like to run this, just wanted to warn you. (I’ll tone down the insult at the start).




From: Peter Vaughan

Sent: Wednesday, 16 April 2008 11:03 AM
To: Letters
Subject: A Tough Lesson for Jim Schembri

A Tough Lesson for Jim Schembri

Jim Schembri is kindly described as a “film expert” in today’s Age. Poor old Jim may be a senior writer — but he is certainly no expert on film. If he were he wouldn’t be blaming Australian filmmakers for their failure to compete against foreign imports. It’s called globalisation Jim, when a Hollywood film is backed by a 10 million dollar global cross-promotion advertising budget, and a poor old Aussie “Art house” flick must compete to get some exposure on just one hundred thousand dollars or less. Marketing and access to cinemas are the problem, it is not a problem with creative talent as Jim claims. That is why in countries like France which still posses profitable film industries, quotas are imposed on TV and cinemas limiting the overwhelming competition of Hollywood imports and allowing local productions access to the viewer market.

Peter Vaughan
Documentary Director
Wait A While Films Pty Ltd.
Wombat Creek.

The Sky News shine department. Does the wardrobe department at Sky News have shares in a silk worm farm? How else to explain the continuous parade of sheeny tops — and perhaps bottoms — that they love to put the female presenters in (The men, as always, escape unharmed save for the occasional gaudy tie). Crikey watches Sky News throughout the day and we long ago put on shades to fend off the shiny disco ball glare of the ladies’ wear. But last Wednesday, Tracey Spicer’s lattice meringue whipped the office into a frenzy. What is that colour, boned? Has she stopped off from an ABBA-themed wedding to read the news? Is she the flake lady? Why do the women of Sky always look like they’re one step away from the boudoir?

Today, Sharon McKenzie was on air to show she too could shine on … in a chocolatey buttoned-up halter neck with a naughty but nice peekaboo plunge. Divine.

— Jane Nethercote

Celebrities who are fruit: The Daily Tele‘s website consistently comes up with a seemingly random photo gallery to tie in with almost every story for unsuspecting surfers to happily click through. The Tele will use any opportunity to upload a gallery of Heath Ledger’s life or the bikini clad Zoo girls. But the website really comes into its own when it brainstorms its Entertainment Galleries  — without pretending that they have anything to do with, well, anything.

This week, the Tele brings you the inexplicable “Celebrities who are fruit”:


Running alongside a gallery of Celebrity “Glamour Moles”:

Which was quickly replaced by ‘Dogs wearing sunglasses’:

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
On top last night was Bondi Rescue with 1.590 million. Seven News was second with 1.516 million viewers and 3rd was Today Tonight with 1.481 million. Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares averaged 1.440 million for Nine at 8.30pm and The Biggest Loser averaged 1.360 million across the hour from 7pm to 8pm. Seven’s It Takes Two lifted to average 1.355 million from 7.30pm to 9pm and Home And Away had a rare loss to The Biggest Loser with 1.317 million from 7pm to 7.30pm. Ten’s fresh NCIS episode averaged 1.278 million at 8.30pm and the 7pm ABC news with 1.247 million viewers, was ahead of Nine News in the rankings nationally with 1.213 million. A Current Affair followed the news in 11th spot with 1.196 million and All Saints averaged 1.178 million at 9.30pm and won the slot. Nine’s repeat of Two And A Half Men at 7pm averaged 1.055 million, but that was still fourth. The quick turnaround doco on the search and finding of the HMAS Sydney on the ABC averaged a very juicy 818,000: and showed the Seven and Nine networks what can be done in this area of TV.

The Losers: The Moment Of Truth, 741,000 for Nine at 7.30pm. Ladette to Lady at 9.30pm: 927,000: easily beaten by All Saints, which is looking a bit peaky for Seven. Women’s Murder Club on Ten finished third at 9.30pm with 921,000. Medical Emergency filled the 9pm to 9.30pm hole for Seven but only averaged 922,000 for the repeat. Seven is trying to protect All Saints from being monstered at 9pm by Gordon Ramsay which starts on Nine at 8.30pm and ends at 9.30pm.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market, as did Today Tonight. The 7pm ABC News in Sydney with 366,000 viewers easily beat Nine’s 6pm effort with 315,000. Seven was on 381,000. Ten News At Five averaged 866,000, the Late News/Sports Tonight, 445,000. The 7.30 Report averaged 925,000; Lateline, 164,000, Lateline Business , 98,000. 6.30pm World News Australia, 203,000, at 9.30pm, 170,000. Insight 369,000. Nine’s Nightline, 212,000. 7am Sunrise recovered to 397,000. 7am Today edged up to 296,000.

The Stats: Seven won with a 6pm to midnight share of 30.4% (29.5% a week ago) from Ten with 25.4% (26.7%), Nine with 24.2% (23.9%), the ABC with 14.7% (12.4) and SBS with 5.4% (6.5%). Seven won all five metro markets and now leads the week 28.2% to 27.3%. Ten won the 16 to 39 and 18 to 49 groups from 6pm to 10.30pm and Nine won 25 to 54. Seven had a lot of viewers over 50 last night. In regional areas a win to Prime/7Qld with 33.3% from Southern Cross (Ten) with 24.2%, WIN/NBN with 22.5%, the ABC with 13.9% and SBS with 6.1%. According to Fusion Strategy Seven won the 6pm to 10.30pm battle with 25.19% (down from last year’s 32.04%). Ten was next with 22.31% (18.94%), then Nine with 21.07% (19.32%), the ABC with 13.48% (11.83%), Pay TV, 13.48% (14.15%) and SBS with 4.38% (3.72%).

Glenn Dyer’s comments: The black hole at 7.30pm called The Moment Of Truth ate the Nine Network’s effort last night and allied with poor performances from the 6pm News, A Current Affair and at 9.30pm, it finished third overall between 6pm and midnight and 6pm and 10.30pm. That completely undone the solid efforts on Sunday and Monday nights. Tonight it’s Underbelly, sans Melbourne and then the new drama, Canal Road. Seven still has no idea and drops another James Bond movie into the 8.30pm timeslot. Spicks and Specks on the ABC at 8.30pm and a repeat for House on Ten in the same slot. Newstopia on SBS at 10pm. My Kids A Star should be avoided on Nine at 7.30pm as a program that doesn’t deserve to be on TV. Seven’s RSPCA Animal Rescue and then The Real Seachange are better entertainment options at 7.30pm to 8.30pm.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks, Fusion Strategy reports