Rupert ringing the changes at WSJ. Rupert Murdoch spends $6 billion buying the Wall Street Journal and associated media properties which gives him control of the pre-eminent daily American business and financial paper and what does he do? He starts turning it into a clone of the New York Times, as shown by a study just released in the US. According to the study, business news and commentary is being deliberately downplayed and local and national politics and stories are being pushed to forefront. News of the radical change in the front page of the WSJ also comes as analysis appears of the departure of the Journal’s managing editor, Marcus Brachuli last week. If correct it seems Rupert is up to his old tricks of promising one thing and doing another: it’s his oldest trait. — Glenn Dyer
Bloodbath at the NY Times. The New York Times’ news room is bracing for a bloodbath in the next 10 days. The word from inside is that approximately 50 unionised journalists have accepted the buyout proposal, and only another 20 non-union editorial employees have gotten on board. That means the axe could fall on as many as 30 editorial people in the company’s first-ever mass firing of journalists in its 156-year history. — New York Post
ABC’s gold lust wins them more criticism. Crikey wrote on Thursday about ABC’s bizarre PR push to get a Gold Logie, and how it’s putting money in ACP Magazines’ pocket. South Australian Senator Simon Birmingham has complained about the campaign, demanding that Aunty withdraw one ad, the spoken text of which may be in breach of the ABC Act, he says. The relevant passage runs: “By the time this ad is finished, 854 million people will go hungry, one billion people will live under the poverty line and three ABC stars will be without a Gold Logie.” SMH has the story.
Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: So You think You Can Dance (the finale) averaged 1.847 million and was the top show, followed by the winners segment with 1.821 million. Seven News was third with a very high 1.774 million and the final weigh-in of The Biggest Loser on Ten from 6.30pm to 7.30pm with 1.561 million. Nine News with 1.504 million, 60 Minutes with 1.452 million and Gladiators was next at 6.30 for Seven with 1.366 million. Nine’s CSI at 8.30pm averaged 1.260 million, Seven’s Police Files Unlocked at 7.30pm averaged 1.184 million and Rove averaged 1.182 million. Nine’s Animal Emergency averaged 1.123 million at 6.30pm, RFDS at 7pm in Nine, 1.121 million and My Name Is Earl finished with 1.104 million for Seven at 8pm. Grey’s Anatomy averaged 1.088 million at 8.30pm for Seven and Without A Trace on Nine at 9.30pm averaged 1.035 million.
The Losers: Grey’s Anatomy was hit by the desertion of female viewers to the final of So You think You Can Dance. The ABC’s East of Everything averaged 655,000 at 8.30pm and cannot blame So You think You Can Dance on Ten because that’s about what it got a week ago. It’s odd seeing ABC on-air promos for Sea Change DVDs and then watching East of Everything and realising you found the Sea Change promo more interesting.
News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Melbourne. The 7pm ABC News averaged 989,000. Ten News averaged 803,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 252,000. Weekend Sunrise from 8am, 400,000, Landline at noon on the ABC, 249,000. Early Sunrise from 7.30am, 201,000. Insiders on the ABC at 9am, 167,000, Inside Business at 10am, 125,000, Offsiders at 10.30am, 117,000. Sunday on Nine at 7.30am, 103,000, its lowest ever. Meet The Press on Ten at 8am, 53,000.
The Stats: Ten won 6pm to midnight with 32.3% (24.1%) from Nine with 26.4% (28.2%), Seven with 24.2% (28.4%), the ABC with 12.1% (13.2%) and SBS with 5.1% (6.2%). Ten won all five markets and was a 10 point winner in Sydney! In regional areas a very different result; Nine won through WIN/NBN with 32.2% from Ten (Southern Cross) 25.3%, Prime/7Qld with 22.3%; The ABC with 14.0% and SBS with 5.8%. In the 6pm to 10.30pm battle Fusion Strategy says Ten won with 26.93% (17.73% a year ago, which was week two of Big Brother), Nine was second with 22.01% (27.15%), Seven was third with 20.92% (24.60%), Pay TV was on 15.25% (13.48%), the ABC was on 10.63% (12.43%) and SBS was on 4.27% (4.61%).
Glenn Dyer’s comments: Ten will go very close to winning this week. It scored a convincing victory last night with the finale of So You Think You Can Dance Australia, The Biggest Loser wraps up on Thursday, followed by an IPL Twenty20 cricket game up against The Footy Shows and of course Big Brother starts tonight for two hours from 7pm and then runs until Friday. Tomorrow and Wednesday nights sees an hour of BB, half hour on Thursday and then two and a half hours on Friday evening. The key for Ten is how quickly viewers go off BB this year. They deserted it from the start last year but so far the publicity and the promotion has looked a lot different than in previous years. The show itself will have to be different. The audience though still skews towards younger males in particular whereas So You Think You Can Dance Australia program had great figures for Ten from younger females, who will return for Idol). Tonight it will be safe to view other channels if there’s no interest in BB. I’d suggest Australian Story on the ABC at 8pm and then take it from here. Life In Cold Blood on Nine at 7.30pm, but it will clash with what will be a very good but tough Australian Story. Ten had the top three programs in most major demos last night with The Biggest Loser also scoring well. It was a rare demolition job of Nine and Seven by Ten.
Source: OzTAM, TV Networks, Fusion Strategy reports.