Radio ratings report cards are in. ABC local radio stations in Sydney and Melbourne have picked up some of the losses incurred in early ratings surveys, according to the seventh survey results for 2008, released today. But it wasn’t such a good survey for Fairfax Radio in Sydney and Melbourne as their AM talk stations, 2UE and 3AW lost ground. Thanks to solid gains in breakfast and in drive, 702 in Sydney lifted to a share of 10.0 from 9.0 in the previous survey. Adam Spencer in breakfast (and a couple of fill-ins) boosted the share to 11.9 from 10.2, one of the biggest gains for the week. That was second only to Alan Jones on 2GB, whose share dipped to 15.3 from 15.7 and helped pull 2GB’s share down to 13.0 from 13.4 in the previous survey.

702’s Deb Cameron improved from the previous loss, rising to 8.9 from 8.7, but Richard Glover (offset by the test cricket) saw his share jump to 11.8 from 9.9, the same 1.7 gain as enjoyed in breakfast by Adam Spencer. 2 Day FM, which was the big gainer over the past two surveys, lost heavily, falling to a Monday to Friday share of 10.3 from 12.1 as Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O lost listeners. Their breakfast share fell 1.5, to 10.6 from 12.1 and they slipped behind Adam Spencer and third from the second slot in the previous survey.

They are being pushed by Nova, which rose 0.4 to 10.1 in breakfast and 0.8 to 9.4 overall. It’s sister station, Vega rose 0.1 to 4.5. WSFM added 1.4 to 8.1 share in the latest survey.
Fairfax’s 2UE saw its Monday to Friday share fall to 6.7 from 7.3 in survey six. The breakfast duo of Mike Carlton (sacked by Fairfax’s Sydney Snoring Herald during survey) and Sandi Aloisi, saw their share dip 0.2 to 7.1 in survey 7. But 2UE lost ground in mornings and afternoons, but added ground in drive.

In Melbourne, FoxFM still rules the roost, even though its share fell to 15.5 from 16.1; 3AW fell to 13.9 from 14.5 and the ABC’s 774 rose 0.5 to 10.1 Monday to Friday with a solid gain in breakfast to 13.3 from 12.3. 3AW breakfast lost 2 points to 18.3 in the latest survey and mornings with Neil Mitchell added 0.3 to a 15.4 share. 774 mornings fell to 9.5 from 9.7. — Glenn Dyer

Sunday nights are turning into the ultimate current affairs destination for viewers. SBS said yesterday that Dateline, (Australia’s longest-running international current affairs program, according to the SBS blurb), is moving to a new timeslot next year:”From February 8, 2009 the program will screen on Sunday nights at 8.30pm on SBS.”

That will put it on an hour after 60 Minutes, which is a light entertainment program, masquerading as current affairs, and two hours after the mooted Seven program Sunday Night goes to air at 6.30pm. So there will be one hardcore, old fashioned program in Dateline (with George Negus talking loudly to viewers), one lightweight ratings puller and one mid brow program from Seven that will probably end up doing the sort of stories at times that Nine’s Sunday did, and 60 Minutes did before John Westacott took it down market.

The ABC’s Insiders, Inside Business and Offsiders, from 9am to 11am beats Nine’s morning news ratings every week. Ten has Meet the Press from 8 am for 30 minutes, which gets 60,00-80,— most mornings. In the dim dark history of TV, Sunday morning was the place to be: now Sunday evenings.

It is noticeable that Seven has dropped three half hour programs on the financial crisis into the 6.30 pm timeslot as trial runs for next year’s program since mid-September. One included that ‘town hall meeting’ thingy with Kevvie Rudd (thanks Sunrise!), but they each averaged over 1 million viewers with little promotion. — Glenn Dyer

Surely this is gutter sub-editing at its worst? Two people die falling from a balcony while trying to escape an intruder in their home, so the Daily Telegraph is sure to include the word ‘nude’ in the headline, as well as publishing a picture of the survivor returning to the scene. These guys really are the lowest of the low. It may not plumb UK tabloid standards, but by Australian standards its pretty ordinary.

 — Crikey Reader Walt Hawtin

Austria in disbelief after Haider outed as gay. While his country has been clearly gripped by a somewhat un-Austrian outpouring of emotions, commentators there said the effective outing of Haider had been underplayed or largely ignored in the Austrian media, which tend to shy away from the private lives of politicians and other national figures. While Vienna has an active, obvious gay community, homosexuality remains a taboo in some more conservative parts of the society, and Haider’s supporters are intent on preserving his legacy as a traditional family man. — International Herald Tribune

Too Big To Fail. Before you throw this letter into the proverbial round file, let’s be clear: this is the first time I have ever asked for a bailout from the Federal Reserve. — The New Yorker

Hillary lost the race but women are running the election show. Hillary Clinton is long gone from the presidential race, but the women of US TV news are still leaving an indelible mark on the campaign scene this year. From MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, whose new programme has doubled its primetime ratings in one month, to CBS’s Katie Couric, who has buried her critics with tough interviews of Sarah Palin, female presenters are increasingly prominent. — Guardian Media

China Blocks Blogs, Search Results on Tainted Milk Scandal. The evidence is accumulating. The censorship imposed on the Chinese media about the contaminated milk scandal has had disastrous consequences according to Reporters Without Borders. — Media Shift

New McKinney anti-pot ads get it half right. McKinney and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America have released the latest ad strike in the “Above the Influence” campaign. The campaign consists of a series of fake ads recruiting teens for jobs as burrito tasters, couch security guards and TV remote-control operators. — AdFreak

Peter Fray

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