The State of Sydney: See Alan Kohler on ABC news 5/5/08 below. The title of the table says House Prices by State, whereas below they list the capital cities. Proves the old joke told by my country NSW relatives that NSW is an acronym for Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong. — Eagled eyed Crikey subscriber Mark Scott (no relation?)

NBC horsing around. Eight Belles’s death shortly after finishing second in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday raised anew a major question about how to cover parallel stories of elation and heartbreak: which one takes precedence when an athlete, human or equine, is seriously injured? — New York Times

Rupe’s funny bone. WSJ readers are having to look a little harder for their morning laugh these days. The NYT’s is reporting that the paper’s classic editorial page cartoon “Pepper…and Salt” has decamped to the Arts and Leisure section, under speculation that Rupert Murdoch may be getting ready to introduce a more “Murdochian brand of editorial cartoon”FishbowlNY

Death to nibs. Peter Robins points out in his Daily Telegraph blog that “the form of writing most likely to die with the printed newspaper is the single-paragraph news story [because] no one is forced into that sort of concision on the web”. So, come the end of ink-on-paper, it will be farewell to news in briefs, those columns of nibs which Robins argues – quite rightly – “frequently contain the most interesting reading in the paper.” — Roy Greenslade, The Guardian

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
Seven News was tops with 1.553 million, Border Security was second with 1.544 million, Today Tonight was third with 1.419 million and Nine News was on 1.333 million for a stronger start to the week than usual. Desperate Housewives was 5th with 1.291 million, Sea Patrol was 6th with 1.288 million and Life in Cold Blood on Nine at 7.30pm averaged 1.278 million. A Current Affair was 8th with 1.251 million, Big Brother was 9th with 1.233 million and How To Look Good Naked looked good with an average audience of 1.277 million from 8pm. Seven’s Serious Crash Unit averaged 1.222 million from 8pm to 8.30pm and Home and Away was 12th with 1.156 million. The 7pm ABC News was 13th with 1.135 million, Nine’s repeat of Two And A Half Men averaged 1.120 million at 7pm and the repeat of the Belinda Emmett story on Australian Story averaged 1.011 million and 15th spot.

The Losers: Boston Legal at 9.30pm: 838,000 on Seven isn’t the end of the world: it was better than Dirty Sexy Money, but this seems to be a cult program that does well at 10.30pm and not any earlier. Anything that is beaten by Nine’s CSI New York (939,000) does not have a big chance of winning the timeslot. CSI New York beat Andrew Denton’s latest episode of his More Than Enough Rope program with 884,000.

News & CA: Seven News and Today Tonight both won nationally and lost Melbourne to their Nine rivals. Ten News averaged 879,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, 344,000. The 7.30 Report averaged 830,000. Lateline, 293,000; Lateline Business 138,000. Nine’s Nightline 198,000. SBS News, 202,000 at 6.30pm, 123,000 for the 9.30pm edition. Four Corners, 862,000, Media Watch, 697,000. 7am Sunrise 417,000, 7am Today 309,000.

The Stats: Seven won the 6pm to midnight battle in All People with 29.1% (27.6% a week ago), from Nine with 21.3% (23.9%), the ABC with 17.2% (17.6%); SBS with 5.3% (5.4%). Seven won Sydney and Melbourne and Perth: Nine won Adelaide and Brisbane. Nine leads the week 31.7% to 25.9% for Seven. In regional areas a win to Nine through WIN/NBN with 32.5%, from Prime/7Qld with 27.4%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 18.4%, the ABC on 16.0% and SBS on 5.8%. Regional viewers ignored Big Brother and How To Look Good Naked, which were not in the top 10 most watched programs in the bush. They were 9 and 10 in metro markets.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: A win to Seven, and did better in the 16 to 39, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54 groups than it has done for some nights: It won 25 to 54s. Ten and Nine have been doing better in these demos than Seven for much of 2008 but last night Seven seemed to get more balance into its schedule, even though Big Brother did well. Pay TV’s prime time audience has stopped growing and indeed had been easing slowly over the last six weeks. But the night was shared: Ten’s new program about How To Look Good Naked featured women in the late 20s and 30s and got strong support from most female groups, but especially the 16 to 39-year-old females. Australian Story repeated its Logie winning episode with the late Belinda Emmett and eked out another million plus audience. So tonight – Australia’s Got Talent and All Saints on Seven; 20 to 1 and swearing Gordon Ramsay on Nine, the last Bondi Rescue on Ten at 8pm and there’s a fresh Simpsons at 7.30pm. NCIS is new at 8.30pm, old at 9.30pm.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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