Quadrant reaches new heights of denial. Quadrant has historically been the magazine for deniers — holocaust deniers, climate change deniers, Aboriginal massacre deniers, and HIV/AIDS deniers. In fact, Quadrant’s first editor admitted the magazine’s receipt of CIA funding was “a well-intentioned blunder”, but after historian Cassandra Pybus found conclusive evidence that “without CIA funding the magazine would never have existed,” its website now states: “If so, none of its editors ever knew of or were influenced in any way by such funding.” Now, in the latest issue, alongside a timely piece by Cardinal George Pell arguing against a bill of rights, is an article by Simon Caterson arguing that literary hoaxes are unethical. The article cites many famous examples, but conspicuously absent is Australia’s most famous literary hoax, the Ern Malley Hoax, co-authored by none other than Quadrant’s first editor, James McAuley. — Katherine Wilson
BB Billionaire looking to buy British broadcaster. Judging from reports in the British business media, Big Brother creator, John de Mol isn’t heartbroken by the imminent demise of the program he started in Holland a decade ago and then brought to the world via UK TV. Mr de Mol is said to be eying off the struggling ITV commercial network in Britain as a destination for the billions he has made from selling his production company, Endemol, to a Spanish phone company for 5.5 billion euros and buying it back for 2.4 billion euros less last year, with Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset company and Goldman Sachs Private Equity.
ITV is struggling, there are reports it is facing a sharp drop in advertising revenues in the current, and especially in the usual rich December quarter because of the downturn in the UK economy, especially among the financial and home builders and property groups which were big advertisers in Britain. Mr de Mol told the Financial Times last week that TV production companies should go private rather than suffer “the listed disease” of being misunderstood by investors. That’s effectively what the Nine Network has done here and what has partly happened with Seven. Ten is controlled by the CanWest Group of Canada, which continues to lose money because of rising finance costs, and other charges are eating into higher revenues and pre-tax earnings. The FT said Mr de Mol “refused to rule out a bid for ITV…” He did say Endermol would probably buy smaller producers but, commenting on ITV, added: “This one is an example of a combination that could make sense, depending on the numbers.” The ITV share price has fallen sharply this year and lost more than 7% last week on the expectations of poor ad revenues for the rest of 2008.
BSkyB, the 38% owned News Corp associate, has to sell down its 17.9% stake under a ruling from British regulators. BSkyB is resisting, but will probably have to comply. It will book a loss of over 50% on its holding, which it bought 20 months ago to frustrate a merger between ITV and Richard Branson’s Virgin Media cable and phone company. Other UK media reports claim that besides Endemol, NBC of the US, and RTL of Europe (owned by the Bertelsmann Group of Germany, which also owns Channel 5 in the UK) and a group called Saban Capital, might be bidders for ITV. Endemol and Saban are seen as logical partners, but how the British media and public would view part ownership of the country’s major commercial TV network by a company owned by Mr Berlusconi, is quite problematic. The Italian PM is known as an interferer and his media empire has grown in importance and in wealth since his two previous terms as Italian PM. Conflict of interest is a term unknown to him and his business and political interests. The British media and politicians would love that! — Glenn Dyer
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Guardian‘s circle of media influence. Now in its eighth year, the MediaGuardian 100 is our annual guide to the most powerful people in the industry. Candidates are judged on three criteria – their cultural, economic and political influence in the UK.The list was takes in all sectors of the media, including broadcasting, publishing, digital media, advertising, marketing and PR. Our ambition is to take a snapshot of the individuals who run or influence the UK media in 2008. More than half of last year’s MediaGuardian 100 fails to make it into this year’s list, with a total of 51 new entries for 2008. — Guardian
Awaiting the African-American dollar. Mr Obama might want to move beyond race, but African-American media outlets are hoping he remembers his roots. Not only would it benefit their particular media sector, it could also have an impact on congressional and local races. “We are very optimistic,” said Sherman K. Kizart, senior VP-director of urban marketing for Interep, which as the country’s biggest independent radio rep firm represents more than 100 urban-format stations. He said his company is in talks with Fuse Advertising, the St. Louis agency that handles the Obama campaign’s African-American efforts. — AdAge
Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: City Homicide was the winner with 1.603 million. Seven News was second with 1.570 million and Border Security was next with 1.475 million at 7.30pm. Criminal Minds at 9.30pm with 1.454 million delivered Seven a big winning margin on the night. Today Tonight was 5th with 1.407 million. Nine’s Farmer Wants A Wife averaged 1.373 million at 7.30pm and the repeat of Two And A Half Men at 7pm, 1.328 million. Nine News averaged 1.277 million in 8th spot and A Current Affair was next with 1.265 million people. Home And Away averaged 1.243 million at 7pm for Seven and the 7pm ABC News was 11th with 1.201 million people. Nine’s David Attenborough’s The Life of Mammals repeat at 7.30pm averaged 1.197 million and Seven’s 8pm Surf Patrol averaged 1.167 million and was the 13th and final program with a million or more viewers. Big Brother Nomination averaged 997,000 and the 7pm program, 982,000. Couldn’t quite top the million mark, despite all the publicity yesterday. Good News Week on Ten at 8.30pm, 889,000.
The Losers: The F Word on Nine at 9.30pm. Gordon Ramsay isn’t cutting it any more for Nine. The 858,000 viewers last night were nowhere near what his Kitchen Nightmares was pulling in the same timeslot when it started there this year. New episodes of Nightmares are coming to Nine. Gordie and his swearing will blip higher and then sag if the reception to The F Word is any guide. Tonight viewers will give the old Boiling Point on Seven the thumbs down as well. Andrew Denton chatting to Bob Hawke averaged 951,000 and beat The F Word. Denton’s program was a winner on content last night. Mark Loves Sharon on Ten at 9.30pm, 635,000. Like The Wedge, it’s Melbourne Bogan comedy and not very funny. Likewise Big Brother Big Mouth: 538,000 at 10pm for the final episode. Goodbye!
News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Today Tonight won everywhere and lost Sydney to ACA. The 7pm ABC News finished second in Melbourne behind Seven (405,000 for Seven, 404,000 for the ABC, Nine News on 374,000). Ten News, 847,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, 243,000. The 7.30 Report, 730,000, Lateline, 396,000, Lateline Business, 189,000. Nine’s Nightline, 221,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 274,000, the late News, 163,000. Seven’s Sunrise dipped under 300,000 viewers for the first time in ages to average 285,000, Nine’s Today was also down at 255,000 but the gasp continues to narrow ever so slightly.
The Stats: Seven won All People 6pm from midnight with 30.9% (31.8%) from Nine with 25.7% (25.9%), Ten on 18.0% 918.1%), the ABC on 15.6% (16.2%) and SBS on 9.8% (8.0%). Seven won all five metro markets but Nine still leads the week 29.0% to 26.8%. In regional areas a win for Seven as well with Prime/7Qld on 30.0% from WIN/NBN for Nine with 27.6%, Ten’s Southern Cross on 18.7%, the ABC with 14.4% and SBS with 9.2%.
Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven’s best night of the week, but also a good one for Nine and its nice The Farmer Wants A Wife which topped or dominated most, if not all demographics last night. Why Nine has chosen to stick McLeod’s Daughters on Wednesdays at 8.30pm is still beyond me. It skews the same way as TFWAW and would be as good counter to the male dominated Top Gear at 7.30pm on SBS and Seven’s line up. It’s also nicely shot with good characters. A message to the Ten Network and Big Brother producers there, I would think. Ten and the ABC had nights to ignore and Top Gear did the numbers for SBS at 7.30pm. It’s good entertainment but still dominated by expensive cars that go fast. Boyz Toyz. One day the dinosaurs will emerge from their studio and discover that the car world has changed and continues to change. General Motors will confirm that tonight. But don’t tell Top Gear. Realism might be too much for their escapist program. It’s a sort of Big Brother for revheads, if you think about it. Tonight: Psychos, sorry Psychics on Seven. All Saints. Ten has NCIS, and a fresh episode of The Simpsons. Nine has Wipeout if you like it odd and meaningless and three episodes of Two And A Half Men, again if you like meaningless TV. The ABC has the news and The 7.30 Report, then bed. It’s a rest day in the Tour.
Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports