Bad luck for the Ten Network. Life on Mars, the dying Thursday night 9.30pm program, has been given an early exit in the US by the ABC network. No talk of it returning in 2009-10 season. The series is a lift from the two series BBC production. ABC will run the program to its final episode next month. That means two of Ten’s US buy-ins this year have failed. The other was Lie To Me, which was booted from Tuesday nights after viewer numbers fell. It was replaced by doubled up eps of NCIS.

Still on Ten, the $20 million paid for the 2010 Commonwealth Games looks a bit shaky after the shootings in Lahore.

TVNZ buy a third of TiVo. Struggling TVNZ is believed to just outlaid $A15mill, in cash and airtime, to buy a third of TiVo from the Seven network. Seven owns the remaining two thirds and is looking to offload another one third share if a suitable investor can be found. Why not Prime Media, its non-Queensland regional affiliate, even though it’s struggling? NZ industry sources wonder how state-owned TVNZ can justify the TiVo investment at a time of falling revenues and staff layoffs.

Ninox Television in trouble? Still in New Zealand, the producer of the Ten network program Sensing Murder has collapsed and gone into receivership. Kiwi news reports said the Ninox Television, maker of shows including Location, Location, Location and Sensing Murder, had been placed in the hands of Receiver Stephen Lawrence of PKF Insolvency and Recovery.

A Ninox director, John McEwan, was quoted in NZ papers as saying the receivership was part of a restructuring exercise and did not affect the operations of the company. Managing Director David Baldock said Ninox was operating successfully, with Sensing Murder sold overseas. Sensing Murder was all about psychics trying to solve murders. It was pap.

Pac Mags pick up from ACP purge. What goes around, comes around. Late last year, in one of its now weekly staff clean-outs, ACP Magazines (led by Ian Law) cut the publicity department. This week, the Seven Network picked up two operatives from that purge to boost the publicity department for Pacific Magazines.

Pacific Magazines has announced the appointment of Hannah Devereux to the newly created role of Director of Corporate Communications, Pacific Magazines. This PR appointment will add a new depth to communications strategy for the corporate brand and portfolio of magazines, in addition to working with partners at the Seven Network and Yahoo7 on integrated projects.

Devereux most recently held the position of General Manager, Public Relations, ACP Magazines, having working at the publisher for 3 years developing PR initiatives across the portfolio of magazines, books and events. She previously worked in a PR capacity across a range of Pacific Magazines titles between 2004 and 2005 and at BBC Magazines, UK.

Rochelle Griggs also joins Pacific Magazines in the capacity of Publicist. Griggs worked in the PR division at ACP Magazines since 2005.

What will happen to Stenmark? And news that SBS is thinking of taking control of its advertising sales has got the TV industry wondering what will happen to the existing selling organisation, the Stenmark Organisation.

Reports were around late last week that SBS was thinking of taking its television and online sales in-house. Its long-term contract with The Stenmark Organisation is about to finish and taking the Stenmark group’s sales teams in-house would make sense (and keep a rising fee stream being paid to Stenmark in SBS’s hands.

The speculation forced SBS CEO, Shaun Brown to issue a statement saying no deal had been done as yet. “SBS and Stenmark have been considering a model that would result in Stenmark’s Sydney and Melbourne sales team moving in-house,” Brown said.

Stenmark has been the exclusive sales agent for SBS since 1990, when the Federal Government passed legislation enabling ads to be sold on SBS’ television network.

SBS’s ad revenues have risen with the popularity of its ad islands (which are ad breaks in programs). That has generated more than $10 million a year in extra income for the network. The popularity of programs like Top Gear, Mythbusters and some of its Australian productions has boosted audience levels in the past two years.

Stenmark takes a fee and commissions and other fees are paid to media buyers and ad agencies. Taking it in-house would allow SBS greater control over that income flow and over strategy. It would also avoid hiccups, such as the inadvertent sponsorship of an early series of Top Gear by a car company (Volkswagen) contrary to the rules set by BBC Worldwide. — Glenn Dyer

Hun commenters call for Pakistan to be wiped off the map. The Governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province is convinced the recent Lahore bombings were the work of the Lashkar-i-Tayyiba (LeT) terrorist group believed responsible for the Bombay attacks last November. At the time of writing, no-one has claimed responsibility for the attack that killed six Pakistani policemen and two passers-by.

Eight Pakistanis dead. And one Pakistani umpire in a critical condition in hospital. But that didn’t stop Andrew Bolt and his fellow moderators from allowing this comment to be posted on his Herald Sun blog:

Peter of Mt Eliza
replied to George P
Tue 03 Mar 09 (08:30pm)
Time for a Carthaginian solution. If you don’t understand, brush up on your history. It works. Brutal – yes. Effective – Yes.

Peter of Mt Eliza has posted a comment literally calling for the complete annihilation of Pakistan as a nation state; that the best way to deal with 200 million Pakistanis is to do to them what the Romans did to the people of Carthage in 146BC. He calls upon readers to brush up on their history. I’ve just brushed up on mine. The results are frightening.

The Romans sacked Carthage, massacred hundreds of thousands, enslaved tens of thousands and destroyed the city completely. Out of some 2-400,000 Carthaginians, around 150,000 perished. It’s the kind of stuff you learn in high school history lessons. According to Yale genocide historian Professor Ben Kiernan, the Roman strategy in Carthage “fits the modern legal definition of the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention: the intentional destruction ‘in whole or in part, [of] a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such’.”

And so the Herald Sun‘s blog moderators have out-done themselves. They have allowed a comment to be moderated on the blog of their star columnist which calls for a modern nation-state to be wiped off the map. — Irfan Yusef

Domain email generates interest. Fairfax’s Domain publication announced proudly and loudly “Reserve Bank Announce Interest Rate Cut” in the title banner of the email they sent out. Only the 250 words, most of which was a copy and paste job, then went on to tell everyone about how the rates had been left unchanged.

Good thing none of them are running for parliament, but I can’t wait to see them jump on the next interest rate faux pas made by a federal member for somewhere. Ouch!


Rowan Wilde

French films have gone downhill since they were made by Americans. It’s a rare thing that Australian hack Rebecca Weisser steps out from behind the op-ed page, which she edits for Captain Chris ‘Queeg’ Mitchell — indeed she’s usually supervising items for the page’s gotcha ‘Cut and Paste’ section, such as the recent startling news that Barack Obama said ‘Michelle and I’ where ‘Michelle and me’ would have been technically correct. You go, Woodstein!

Weisser got a chance to show her own commitment to accuracy with a piece for the paper’s awful ‘Wry Side’ column, in which she suggested that recent French films get good reviews because the critics like to annoy Americans: “Back in the 1980s, when things actually happened in French movies, Juliette Binoche made The Unbearable Lightness of Being. These days it is French films that have become unbearable” Weisser wailed in the piece’s opening para. Nice line, only marginally spoiled by the fact that Unbearable…Being wasn’t French. It was USA-produced, directed and co-written by an American, from a Czech novel, with a Swedish cinematographer, Irish and American co-stars, and dialogue in English (information courtesy of that obscure source Don’t expect to see it in ‘Cut and Paste’ anytime soon. Coming up, Weisser on the decline of Danish theatre since Hamlet. — Kim Serca

The Post newspaper goes digital. In a first for Newcastle and The Hunter Valley, The Post newspaper has launched an online version of their free weeklies. The Post Digital Edition has just launched, providing readers and advertisers with additional opportunities. Each new edition launches 9am each Tuesday. — Media Hunter

This is how they report serious financial news? News at News :

“Bugger”? On a top-of-site story about interest rates? Really? — An Onymous Lefty

Penthouse magazine closing? CEO says no, COO says yes. Two sources close to FriendFinder says that Anthony Previte, FriendFinder’s chief operating officer, “announced he is closing down Penthouse because it does not make any money and is in the red for production.” — Valleywag

Bloggers ‘killed the Rocky,’ Polis says. U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, who made his fortune selling greeting cards and flowers online, gave a shout out to the blogosphere Saturday, giving it — and himself — credit for the “demise” of traditional journalism. “Who killed the Rocky Mountain News? We’re all part of it, for better or worse, and I argue it’s mostly for the better … The media is dead and long live the new media.” — Denver Post

CBS’s Moonves rules out CNN/CBS news merger. CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves ruled out a merger of the company’s news operations with Time Warner’s CNN. Speaking at the Deutsche Bank media and telecommunications conference, Moonves was asked about a possible merger of CBS News and responded, “We’ve had five different discussions with CNN about doing something together, and it has appeared to be unmanageable.” — Broadcasting & Cable

Newspaper ads for newspapers accomplish nothing. The “Newspaper Project” is a private effort funded by newspaper execs to, you know, save newspapers. Noble, right? So they fund this ad campaign, which will, I don’t know, guilt millions of Americans into buying print papers once again? This is just futile. And we’re on your side! But spend this money on some reporter salaries or something. — Gawker

The March Elle: Pushing all kinds of crazy. Whether it’s the economic climate or anticipated change in weather that is driving the editors a little mad, this issue is full of interestingly insane fashion advice. For instance, it’s okay to look just like we did last year (or just use the same cover model). There is also handy chart filled with pricey and impractically high neon shoes, which will naturally appeal to this economy’s conscious consumer. — Jezebel

Why America needs a Jade Goody. Jade Goody seems to be some reverse Diana, embodying the British people’s worst fears and most depressed sense of self. Our reality people, those gigantic people on the weight loss show, barely have names… The bleak fact is that we need such a star to save the media — at least the old media. — Newser