Stunt or genuine concern? There’s nothing like a good leak to whip up some extra publicity. Take this email from the Chief of Staff of the South Australia Sunday Mail:
Sent: Friday, May 23, 2008 7:39 AM
Subject: Urgent editorial decision required on South Australia’s 50 Most Powerful People Magazine for this Sunday
Need to talk to you urgently – we’ve got a few problems with the magazine for this Sunday’s paper. Someone has leaked out a few of the names who are on the list – we might be facing a possible court injunction from a politician. Also I’ve received a call from a major Adelaide real estate agent who is furious about not being included – he’s also a major advertiser with us.
It will be difficult to pull the mag now as marketing has started. I’ve put a call into our lawyers re what their advice is.
By the way, I’ve already received a call from one radio station.
If I was you I’d be turning off your mobile on Sunday.
Please call me urgently.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
Half an hour later …
Sent: Friday, May 23, 2008 8:12 AM
Subject: Recall: Urgent editorial decision required on South Australia’s 50 Most Powerful People Magazine for this Sunday
The perils of oversharing on Gawker. After the first night Josh and I spent together, I woke up as the sun rose and sat down at my desk to write a post that was nominally about a recent New York Times article about the shelf-life of romantic love. My boyfriend and I had just broken up, I revealed, and so I had been wondering whether love really exists. I wrote that I had concluded that it does. We can’t expect other people to make us happy, I informed my readers with total sincerity and earnestness, and we should live in the moment and stop obsessing about the future. I shudder involuntarily when I read this post now. It’s like stumbling across a diary I kept as a teenager. It’s probably one of the worst things that I’ve ever written. The commenters loved it. Gawker had recently added a counter beside each post that displayed how many views it received. Now it was easy to see exactly how many people cared about my feelings. The site’s owner didn’t like my “I believe in love” post, he told me, but he said he was O.K. with it because, as everyone could see, more than 10,000 people disagreed with him. Readers e-mailed me their own breakup horror stories and posted hundreds of comments, advising me about flavors of ice cream to eat, and I reveled in the attention. I had managed to turn my job into a group therapy session. “Emily, I don’t really know you any more than I know the people I see every morning walking the dogs,” one of them wrote. “It’s more of an imagined familiarity born out of reading your words for a year. But that took guts, all the way around. And I’m in your corner, inasmuch as a somewhat anonymous, faceless, nameless commenter can be.” — Emily Gould, former editor of Gawker.com, New York Times
P-rn mags doing badly? Start a Christian dating service. Christian dating web site BigChurch.com’s motto is “Bringing people together in love and faith.” A pointed quote from the Old Testament (“A man will leave his father and his mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Gen. 2:24) precedes the site’s Bible-verse search library. Further testimonial from a fresh-faced woman leaves little doubt as to the site’s higher purpose: “I feel like my prayers of finding a respectable man have been answered! Thanks BigChurch!!” So it may surprise users that BigChurch.com has a decidedly promiscuous corporate parent: Penthouse Media Group Inc. At a time when ever-raunchier Internet p-rn has made such mainstream mags as Penthouse and Playboy seem like throwbacks to more innocent times, these well-established brands have been trying to diversify and reinvent themselves. “If you’re looking for adult content today, there are so many more places and many other ways to do that,” says David Miller, an industry analyst and managing director at Los Angeles-based Sanders Morris Harris Group. “You can get it over the Internet for free.” Of that, adult media companies are painfully aware. In its first-quarter earnings report last week, Playboy Enterprises, Inc. reported declining revenue in nearly every division and an overall loss of $3.1 million. Betting on steady revenue from casinos, clothing and other products branded with its ubiquitous bunny icon, rather than from its media holdings, the company in recent years has recast itself as a lifestyle business. “Traditional print is a heritage business for us, and an important part of the brand. But realistically it’s not a business that we see growing,” says company spokesperson Martha Lindeman. “Today we are really a brand-management company.” — NewsWeek
A disgrace. What is it about the media and their obsessive use of the pejorative term “disgraced” to describe anyone who has had an allegation made against them. This morning The Age newspaper describes Dr Thomas Kossman, the former head of trauma medicine at the Alfred Hospital, and who is the subject of a number of inquiries about his professional competence and integrity, as “now disgraced”. Even though Dr Kossman is defending himself against the allegations, has issued legal proceedings which are yet to be dealt with and finalised by the courts, and has only had adverse findings made against him by a controversial process involving a panel of doctors. The media constantly refers to former AFL footballer Wayne Carey as “disgraced”, even though criminal proceedings against him in both the US and Australia is still ongoing and one assumes that he is entitled to the presumption of innocence. But its not just the Australian media that is guilty of the inappropriate use of the word “disgraced” to describe someone, it is common throughout the world. Go to Google News any day of the week, type in the word “disgraced” and you will find literally hundreds of stories where the word is used as an appendage to someone’s name. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines the word “disgraced” to mean variously, Loss of high favour or respect, downfall from a position of honour; the state of no longer being held in honour; Bring shame or discredit upon, and variations on these themes. In other words, to describe someone as “disgraced” is a serious matter and the media ought to use the word less liberally and more judiciously. When a person is in the position of Dr Kossman or Wayne Carey – that is, there have been allegations made against them but nothing has been proven by an independent and impartial process – then it is clearly unfair to describe them as “disgraced”. Or has the media now become so beastly careless about due process and the presumption of innocence these days? — Greg Barns
Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Seven News was tops with 1.4 million viewers, with Today Tonight second with 1,268 million. Home and Away was 3rd with 1.209 million and top in the 7pm battle while Nine News was 4th with 1.197 million people. Getaway was 5th with 1.181 million at 7.30pm for Nine and Seven’s 8pm program, How I Met Your Mother was 6th with 1.180 million. Hell’s Kitchen swore its way into 7th place with 1.150 million. That 70’s Show on Seven at 7.30pm averaged 1.121 million and the 7pm ABC News averaged 1.121 million. Nine’s repeat of Two And A Half Men averaged 1.070 million for 11th and Seven’s 8.30pm program, Bones, averaged 1.030 million. Ten’s Law And Order SVU averaged 999,000 at 8.30pm and The Footy Show averaged 929,000.
The Losers: Big Brother: 792,000. Its ruining Ten’s nights and week. Trinny and Susannah are now approaching lift off at 9.30pm with 880,000 viewers after being foolishly consigned to the loser list by myself. How naughty of me. It’s still an upmarket version of the appalling Ladette to Lady on Nine. Don’t Forget The Lyrics on Ten at 7.30pm: 769,000. Sad. The State Within on the ABC at 8.30pm: 462,000 for a nasty little show with no redeeming features except someone’s twisted view on modern political life. Q & A on the ABC at 9.35pm with Tony Jones and the PM: 509,000 viewers. Finally, the bad sports award goes to Brisbane viewers of the NRL Footy Show. Lost the State of Origin so they spat the dummy last night. Just 86,000 watched it in Brisbane.
News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Brisbane. Nine News and Seven news drew Melbourne. Today Tonight lost Melbourne and Brisbane to ACA.The 7pm ABC News beat Nine into second place in Sydney by just 1,000 viewers on the early figures. Ten News averaged 781,000 and 386,000 for the late News/Sports Tonight. The 7.30 Report averaged 921,000, Lateline, 297,000, Lateline Business, 144,000. SBS News: 172,000 at 6.30pm and 156,000 at 9.30pm. 7am Sunrise, 381,000, 7am Today, 300,000. If Sunrise hasn’t averaged more than 400,000 this morning from 7am, it will be first time for ages that it hasn’t had at least one audience at or above that level Monday to Friday. And that will be a significant development.
The Stats: Nine won with a share of 29.8% (31.5% last week) from Seven with 28.1 (27.0%), Ten with 20.4% (21/5%), the ABC with 16.3% (14.9%) and SBS, 5.4% (5.1%). Seven won Sydney, Brisbane and Perth (proving the combination of Gordon Ramsay and the NRL Footy Show is a bit weak at the moment) and Nine had a solid win in Melbourne by nearly 10 points and a win in Adelaide. In regional areas a win for Nine through WIN/NBN with 29.1% from Prime/7Qld with 28.8%, Southern cross (ten) with 22.2%, the ABC with 15.1% and SBS with 4.7%. Nine leads the metro week 30.2% to 26.6% for Seven.
Glenn Dyer’s comments: Both Footy Shows are needlessly weaker than they should be at the moment. There was no surge in viewer numbers for the NRL program last night in Sydney, while the loss of Queensland in the State Of Origin saw viewers all but boycott the program. That’s allowing Seven to get a bit closer. Coupled with a sliding Hell’s Kitchen, which was banal in the extreme last night, Nine’s rating strength was off piste last night. A Current Affair may have paid a reported $70,000 plus for Tania Zaetta’s version of the Middle East defence trip and what did and didn’t go on, but it didn’t help ratings. Today Tonight, which matched it with a story and interview with Angry Anderson who was claimed to be the complainant, beat ACA by 159,000 viewers nationally. Now, tonight there’s a bit of AFL, a bit of NRL, and some handy home hints on Better Homes. Tomorrow night’s there some footy in some areas and not much else. Bed of Roses is hardly blooming at 7.30pm on the ABC and Midsomer Murders is repeated at 10.10pm for the almost insomniacs. Of course there’s the kitsch show of the year: Eurovision Song Contest on SBS tonight, tomorrow night and Sunday.
Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports