“Jew”: suburban home of billionaire Richard Pratt. Apparently the proof reader at the Herald Sun nearly choked on his beer on Wednesday April 22 when he came across this typo.

They had to pulp a lot of printed papers. Typo of the year?

Sunrise nicks The Gruen Transfer. Sunrise on the Seven Network is a program under pressure, darting from fad to fad as the revitalised Today Show on Nine attempts a comeback. After spending the best part of a year away from his baby, executive producer Adam Boland has been told to go back and fight off the David Gyngell hordes. Boland is desperate, his reputation as a wunderkind is on the line. He came up with the idea “Reject the Recession”, which was launched to fanfare on Monday morning and continued this morning.

One of the Reject the Recession segments on Monday morning featured a direct steal of talent and ideas from the Gruen Transfer on the ABC on Wednesday nights. Boland pinched three of the talent of Gruen (when the two stars were not available) and then got them to come up with marketing campaigns and slogans for rejecting the Recession. And look at the rip off video.

Boland tried to get Russel Howcroft and Tod Sampson, the two main talent of Gruen, but they were on an ABC table at The Logies, so they went for the three other regulars, Jane Caro, Matt Eastwood and Dan Gregory.

There’s nothing new under the sun in TV (except original programs like Gruen), so imitation is to be expected. It’s part and parcel of a still competitive industry, especially as the Seven Network has turned Sunrise into one of its most profitable programs.

Laziness also comes to mind and that’s what Sunrise has become in recent months, as well as complacent in the face of Today‘s steady climb back up the ratings ladder.

The Gruen Transfer averaged around 1.2 million viewers last week, Sunrise is averaging just under 400,000 a morning, down to around 320,000 on a quite morning. Today is back over the 300,000 mark consistently. — Glenn Dyer

APN cuts profit forecast: The Australian arm of London-based Independent News & Media, APN News and Media, has cut its 2009 profit forecast for a second time in three months, as the impact of the recession increases. The company’s AGM was told today by new chairman, Gavin O’Reilly (son of founder, Sir Tony O’Reilly who is planning to step down from INM later in the year) that the new profit range would be $100 to $110 million, compared with the 2008 result of $140 million:

When releasing the 2008 full year results in February, the Board indicated that Net Profit After Tax (pre-Non Recurring Items) for 2009 was expected to be around $20m lower than the 2008 result of $140m, with the majority of the shortfall occurring in the first half.

Whilst it is difficult to forecast with confidence due to the current market conditions, Directors now expect that, assuming advertising and credit markets do not deteriorate further, the full year NPAT (pre-NRI) to be in the range of $100 million to $110 million. Consistent with previous comments, the majority of the shortfall will occur in the first half of 2009 when results are being compared with a near record 2008 performance, with NPAT (pre-NRI) expected to be around $40 million.

In terms of the second half, it is important to remember that profit for the second half of 2008, unlike the first, was severely impacted by the Global Financial Crisis and was well down on 2007. As a result, we do not expect to see similar year-on-year declines in our H2 results.

In 2008, APN reduced its full year dividend payout by 29% to 22.5 cents, which means lower income for INM for its 39.1% stake. Every buck helps, and even though INM tried to sell its APN stake last year (and got no real bites), Mr O’Reilly expressed continuing support for APN. The earnings downgrade is important because for quite a while some analysts believed that regional media were better placed than metro media. APN is very strong in Queensland where the resources boom (especially coal mining and and base metals) have been hit by production cuts, mine closures and rising job losses). — Glenn Dyer

Sweethearts and a-seholes of Darwin media. Pete Davies, local Darwin shock jock, last week referred to former ABC journalist and now childrens’ Services minister, Malarndirri McCarthy as “sweetheart”. Here’s what he had to say this morning on 104.9 MIX FM:

In Saturday’s paper there was a piece in NT & Beyond with regards to me calling Malarndirri McCarthy “sweetheart”. I’d just like to clarify something. I have a lot of friends on both sides of politics; I have a lot of friends in the media even though we are competitors, we also are friendly to each other. And I have known Malarndirri McCarthy for a long time, we first met when she was with the ABC and it goes back a long way and I class her as a very dear friend, whenever I see her I refer to her as sweetheart. And the fact that someone got out of shape over that, excuse me, for crying out loud get a life. I called her sweetheart because she is an absolute sweetheart. What do you want me to call her — an a-sehole?

Bikini line up for female executives at Stuff.co.nz. Fairfax business journalists in New Zealand appear to have channelled the editorial values of Zoo Weekly. Today they produced this tabloid shocker:

Bugger how successful they are, how important their business innovations. Some questions: What does Michael Gill think? Is Brian McCarthy proud of this sort of journalism? What about board directors: chairman Ron Walker and the longest serving director Julia King?

Media Watchdog needs media watching. Gerard Henderson’s online pamphlet  Media Watchdog, this week is headlined “SALLY’S IN THE (EXIT) ALLEY — AND NANCY’S ON THE GAME“. Given that Nancy is Henderson’s dog, it is more than troubling that said mastiff is “on the game”; hopefully Gerard is not living off the immoral earnings. More amusingly, Henderson scolds Bob Ellis for writing (a mere seven years ago) that Churchill was alive in 1974 when in fact he died in 1965.

The egregiousness of Ellis’ error is moderated somewhat when Henderson writes about former Monthly editor Sally Warhaft appearing on “Jon Faine’s ABC Radio 702 program in Melbourne”. There is no such station. The ABC frequency in Melbourne is 774 and has been since 1978. From 1935-78 (a period during which the young Gerard grew up in Melbourne) it was 770 kHz. Presumably the error is not evidence of Henderson’s Sydneycentrism but due to something misleading Robert Manne may or may not have said to him in the University of Melbourne Union Building in 1968.

Will (or should?) compassion save the newspaper industry? Was the collapse of newspaper business model inevitable? No, it wasn’t. They owe it to themselves. They didn’t cause their own demise but stood by, ignorant, arrogant and too proud to do anything about it, as the world changed. These newspapers refused to evolve. They refused to acknowledge the fact that the world is changing. They thought they were big, powerful and strong enough to stay relevant. Unfortunately for the newspaper industry survival of the fittest isn’t about strength but about who is most adaptable to change. — The Next Web

The coming end of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook socialism. Last week, according to the Times of London, Cardinal Sean Brady of Ireland told the country’s Catholics to “Make someone the gift of a prayer through text, Twitter or e-mail every day. Such a sea of prayer is sure to strengthen our sense of solidarity with one another.” Oh, my. That’s a nice sentiment, but Twitter really doesn’t need more users around the world tweeting in ways that can never be monetized. The Vatican counts more than a billion baptized Catholics worldwide. If the pope endorsed tweeting prayer, Twitter could be out of business by the end of the year! — Advertising Age

Media growing tired of this swine flu panic they started. After more than a week of Swine Flu panic, the very media outlets that help fuel the panic are starting to agree with our original assessment: this whole thing is kind of a farce. Now newspapers are in the position of simultaneously reporting that the deadly Swine Flu is actually “mild,” but officials are still very concerned, so stay tuned to our live breaking updates on the outbreak. — Gawker

Portfolio : what went wrong? On Monday, Condé Nast Portfolio became one of more than 140 magazines to fold so far this year. But not since Talk Magazine was silenced in 2002 has a magazine’s rise and fall been so much the object of media gossip — and venom. Newsweek‘s Johnnie L. Roberts spoke to editor Joanne Lipman about its 24-month run, her reported $100 million budget, the future of magazines and what she plans on doing next. — Newsweek

WSJ ’s free iPhone app: Rupert “displeased”. Is The Wall Street Journal was screwing up by not charging for its swell new iPhone application and its somewhat-older BlackBerry one, despite charging good money for its website and for a paper subscription? Rupert Murdoch himself said he was “displeased” that his company’s valuable content is being given away free on the iPhone and BlackBerry and that his displeasure has been made clear more than once to those responsible for mobile. — Columbia Journalism Review

Worst countries to be a blogger. Relying on a mix of detentions, regulations, and intimidation, authorities in Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Egypt have emerged as the leading online oppressors in the Middle East and North Africa. China and Vietnam, where burgeoning blogging cultures have encountered extensive monitoring and restriction, are among Asia’s worst blogging nations. Cuba and Turkmenistan, nations where Internet access is heavily restricted, round out the dishonor roll. — Committee to Protect Journalists

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW