Sky News satin watch. Thank you to the ladies of Sky News for continuing to provide joy to Crikey staff and viewers everywhere. When the cry of “Satin!” goes up in the office, we know that one of the presenters is blessing us with sartorial splendour. This morning, it was Tracey Spicer in a matt satin (is this possible?) blouse, its subdued dove grey colour (cleverly referenced in Spicer’s eyeshadow) offset by a jaunty pirate frill. Ahoy thar.

Fans of Anne of Green Gables meanwhile might sense a homage to Anne’s coveted “puffed sleeves”. (Read here, if you’re wondering what we’re banging on about). 

Ah yes, even bad news looks good on Sky. — Jane Nethercote

Speaking of talking turkey. You’d think you’d get the spelling of your own columnist correct when highlighting something in a “bloopers” column – no? Incorrect spelling of Janet Albrechtsen… (read the full article here)

Goss becomes commercial TV lobby group boss. Former Queensland Premier, Wayne Goss, has been appointed the Chair of Free TV Australia, the commercial TV industry’s peak lobby group. His appointment replaces the previous system of rotating chairs from each of the networks: Seven’s David Leckie is currently the incumbent Chair of FTA. Leckie said, “I have strongly encouraged an independent and dedicated Chair of Free TV because of the expansion of the role due to the introduction of digital terrestrial television, multichannelling and the many changes that will come with them. We are fortunate in having been able to secure Wayne Goss who will bring a wealth of experience to the role.” — Glenn Dyer

The stupidest person in New York. Speaking at Harvard yesterday during a discussion with literary critic James Wood, Jonathan Franzen said that “the stupidest person in New York City is currently the lead reviewer of fiction for the New York Times.” He was referring, of course, to Michiko Kakutani, who presumably got on Mr. Franzen’s bad side with her brutal review of his recent memoir, The Discomfort Zone. In that review, Ms. Kakutani wrote: “there is something oddly preening about [Franzen’s] self-inventory of sins, as though he actually reveled in being so disagreeable.” Also: “Just why anyone would be interested in pages and pages about [Franzen’s unhappy marriage] or the self-important and self-promoting contents of Mr. Franzen’s mind remains something of a mystery.” — The New York Observer

Another one bites the dust. The Capital Times, an afternoon daily in Madison, Wisconsin, folded its print edition on the weekend and became an online-only newspaper. “Today marks our last edition as a traditional daily newspaper of the sort Americans knew in the 19th and 20th centuries,” the paper announced Saturday in an editorial. “Starting tomorrow, The Capital Times will be a daily newspaper of the sort Americans will know in the 21st century. — Media Post

Can Oprah save the Tom Cruise brand? When news broke that Cruise will not only return to television but to Oprah’s couch, some began to wonder if Cruise was orchestrating a comeback. “Going back on Oprah – going back to the scene of the crime – is a brilliant thing to do,” said Howard Bragman, founder of public relations firm Fifteen Minutes, who is certain Cruise can make a comeback. “[Cruise] is a really smart guy and will go on [the show] and I bet you will make fun of himself.” — ABC News (US)

Radio with a bang. Yesterday, Sydney radio station 2UE took a call from “Harry” who wanted somebody to pass a “no confidence” motion against NSW Premier Morris Iemma. The show’s host Tim Webster suggested to Harry that he did not expect that this would work. Harry then said he wants to take out a contract on Iemma’s life. Only in the world of Sydney talkback radio. Listen to it here .

Let Murdoch be Murdoch: The “Special Committee” assigned to shield the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial independence from the meddling of new owner Rupert Murdoch was reduced to a set of high-paid flunkies last week as the media mogul squeezed Journal Managing Editor Marcus Brauchli out of his job without consulting them. The committee – composed of Louis Boccardi, Thomas Bray, Jennifer Dunn, Jack Fuller, and Nicholas Negroponte – was created as a condition of the sale of the Journal’s parent company, Dow Jones & Co., to Murdoch’s News Corp. — Jack Shafer, Press Box, Slate

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
Seven News was tops with 1.639 million, with Today Tonight next with 1.490 million. RSPCA Animal Rescue averaged 1.382 million for Seven at 7.30pm for its final episode of this series. Underbelly‘s second last episode averaged 1.344 million without Melbourne (and would have cracked 2 million with it). Seven’s final episode of The Real Seachange averaged 1.318 million at 8pm. Hell’s Kitchen at 9.30pm Nine averaged 1.275 million and pushed Nine home. Nine News was 7th with 1.262 million, The 7pm ABC News was 8th with 1.237 million and the fresh episodes of Two And A Half Men at 7.30pm averaged 1.236 million. Home and Away was 10th with 1.236 million and Big Brother was 11th with 1.198 million. A Current Affair averaged 1.165 million, Spicks and Specks on the ABC at 8.30pm, 1.165 million and the 7pm episode of Two And A Half Men averaged 1.028 million. The New Inventors on the ABC at 8pm averaged 1.013 million and rounded out the million viewer club. Ten’s repeat of House at 8.30pm averaged 986,000 and Seven’s movie, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, averaged 986,000 from 8.30pm.

The Losers: The losers were Nine viewers for an hour and a half of Two And A Half Men, even though the fresh episodess from 7.30pm had solid viewer numbers. Big Brother at 7pm: for an hour; 1.198 million. Not a loser in strict terms, but to lose over 100,000 viewers from Tuesday night means the steady drain away of viewers we saw last year could be repeating itself. If it is, the program is in trouble. So standby for more stunts to get viewers back. You have been warned. Canal Road tumbled to just 433,000 at 10.30pm. It averaged 811,000 last week at 9.30pm. All that money down the drain for Nine and the private equity bean counters who must be wondering about this TV caper. Numb3rs on Ten at 9.30pm, 749,000. Back To You on Ten at 8pm, 838,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally as did Today Tonight, and both won all five metro markets. The 7pm ABC News beat Nine in Melbourne into second behind Seven in the rankings. Seven had 435,000, the ABC, 410,000, Nine 378,000. Ten News averaged 902,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, 400,000. The 7.30 Report, 874,000, Lateline, 257,000, Lateline Business, 135,000. Nine’s Nightline 210,000. SBS News at 6.30pm 178,000, at 9.30pm 192,000, Dateline at 8.30pm 188,000. 7am Sunrise, 409,000, 7am Today up to a strong 333,000.

The Stats: Seven won 6pm to midnight with a share of 29.6% (31.3% last week). Nine was next with 28.8% (24.5%), and Ten fell to 20.7% (22.6%). The ABC was on 16.6% (16.5%) and SBS 4.3% (5.1%). Seven won Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Underbelly got Nine home in Sydney. No regional figures in time. in the 6pm to 10.30 battle, Fusion Strategy said Nine won with 25.42% (22.87% a year ago) from Seven with 24.35% (22.73%), Ten on 17.87% (20.15%), The ABC on 14.89% (16.91%), Pay TV with 13.79% (13.41%), and SBS with 3.71% (3.92%).

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Underbelly was a tough watch last night but it was worth it. It wraps up next week, and Nine will miss it. Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen was more formula driven. It’s been on Pay TV, but that didn’t stop the good audience numbers at 9.30pm. Spicks and Specks was funny, Newstopia was its usual irreverent self and the best news broadcast of the night and I noticed Seven had Raiders Of The Lost Ark on, again, and it did far better than the old James Bond movies that were filling the 8.30pm timeslot. Tonight it’s Ramsay at 8.30pm, then The Footy Shows at 9.30pm. For those interested, its the finale of The Biggest Loser tonight on Ten for just over two hours from 7.30pm, then Twenty20 cricket from India to compete against The Footy Shows, which will be interesting. Underbelly had the biggest audience in the country in Sydney: 669,000. That’s why it would have topped two million easily if Melbourne had been available for it.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks, Fusion Strategy reports