Selling the BBC. There’s one government broadcaster that doesn’t mind flogging its advertising as baldly as any “commercial” channel:

Premature evaluation appears to be catching in the email/tail/gate gate thing. Take this example from 2002’s most interesting blog, Tim Blair:

Await the great tailgate debate.
Tim Blair — Monday, June 22, 09 (03:15 am)
Phil Coorey reports:

Godwin Grech, the public servant caught in the political maelstrom over OzCar, was being “looked after” over the weekend, Government sources say. “There were steps taken to make sure he was okay,” a source said. The Herald has been told Mr Grech was afforded Federal Police protection as well, in the event there were any threats against him.

The Feds know their lefties well.

By the time Blair’s blabs hit the airwaves, it wasn’t lefties Grech had to worry about, it was death threat aficionado Malcolm Turnbull, and the Feds had other duties concerning Grech in any case. What’s an obsessive insomniac blogger to do? — Guy Rundle

4.30pm? Beautiful. John Westacott is on his way out at Nine as head of current affairs, but is his ghost lingering on in the form of the man they call Little Britain, Mark Calvert, Nine’s head of Network News?

In a press release spruiking the start of the much hyped 4.30pm program, THIS afternoon Nine revealed the hosts:

THIS afternoon will feature three outstanding news presenters: Katrina Blowers, Andrew Daddo and Mark Ferguson. Katrina Blowers is a radio presenter, author of Tuning Out and Sunday Telegraph columnist who came to prominence working on the Merrick & Rosso breakfast radio show for five years. Andrew Daddo is a television presenter, children’s book author and radio host. Mark Ferguson is Nine’s weekend news presenter. They will be joined by a team of reporters who will file stories from around the nation.

(No mention of Leila McKinnon, wife of Nine boss, David Gyngell, who was offered the gig, but wasn’t interested.)

Mr Calvert said in the release: “Our hosts are great company and keen to try something different. They’ll be bold, and at least one of them is beautiful.”

What? Why should the appearance of the hosts be a major selling point? At least he didn’t say that one of them would be better off at SBS, as Mr Westacott said of former Nine reporter, Christine Spiteri.

Mark Ferguson isn’t beautiful, but he’s been without a full time gig since John Westacott punted him from the Sydney 6pm slot and dropped him to read at weekends. If Mr Ferguson is co-hosting (and not doing news updates) will he really be working seven days a week? — Glenn Dyer

Mental health jokes targeted by ad standards watchdog. The Advertising Standards Bureau has taken a stand against ads making light of people with mental health problems. The ASB found that a print ad for Rivers clothing which made fun of mood changes experienced by people with bipolar disorder breached its code of ethics, along with two TV ads for car insurance company Youi. The Youi ads touched on obsessive compulsive disorder. The ASB’s CEO Fiona Jolly said of the Rivers ad: “The intention for the advertisement to be humorous did not excuse the fact that it satirises and ridicules a feature of a mental illness over which sufferers have no control.” — Mumbrella

BBC is backing election riots, claims Iran. The Iranian foreign ministry has accused the BBC and Voice of America of being mouthpieces of their respective governments and seeking to engineer the ongoing riots that followed the presidential election. Another Iranian ministry also threatened to take “more stern action” against British radio and television networks if they “continued to interfere” in the country’s domestic affairs. The tough talking from the Iranian authorities comes after Jon Leyne, the BBC’s permanent correspondent in Iran, was expelled from the country yesterday and reports circulated that more journalists had been arrested. — Guardian

Gawker widens its withering gaze. Gawker became a strangely addictive force on the Internet by ridiculing all manner of media people, often in bitingly harsh terms. But the site has evolved into a broader, less Manhattan-obsessed gossip emporium that now includes original reporting. Creator Nick Denton says Gawker filled a vacuum left by “lazy” newspapers whose monopoly status gave them “the luxury of competing for Pulitzer Prizes instead of readers.” At the same time, Denton says: “I don’t want to fall into the trap that Arianna Huffington has fallen into, which is to proclaim oneself the savior of journalism. Then people are going to judge you by an impossible standard.” — Washington Post

Twitter on the barricades. Does the label Twitter Revolution oversell the technology? Skeptics note that only a small number of people used Twitter to organize protests in Iran and that other means — individual text messaging, old-fashioned word of mouth and Farsi-language Web sites — were more influential. But Twitter did prove to be a crucial tool in the cat-and-mouse game between the opposition and the government over enlisting world opinion. As the Iranian government restricts journalists’ access to events, the protesters have used Twitter’s agile communication system to direct the public and journalists alike to video, photographs and written material related to the protests. — New York Times

Nebraska police to distribute newspaper featuring fugitives and unsolved crimes. Omaha Police soon will be distributing a special newspaper that features felony fugitives and information about unsolved crimes. The most-wanted newspaper will be called The Crime Stopper. Police spokesman Jacob Bettin says The Crime Stopper will have eight pages, use full color photos and be distributed free throughout the Omaha metropolitan area. A department news release says the newspaper was created to put crime stories and fugitive photos in the hands of potential tipsters who could help get criminals off the streets. — Editor and Publisher

Australian wireless charts. Changes galore in the latest Sydney and Melbourne radio ratings with the results of survey four released today. Fairfax media’s radio stations were a winner in Melbourne with 3 AW back in the lead, but a loser in Sydney with 2UE again falling: Austero was a winner in Sydney with 2Day FM rising strongly and the struggling triple Ms doing well and adding share. But Austero’s Fox FM lost ground in Melbourne. Macquarie’s 2 GB lost share overall, especially in mornings where Ray Hadley lost ground with a thump. DMG’s Vega in Sydney lost share and was overtaken by the ABC FM classical music station, but in Melbourne ABC FM lost share and Vega rose strongly.

In Sydney 2GB still leads with a 14.8 share, but that was down 0.9 from 15.7% in the third survey; from 2Day up 1.1 to 11.9. ABC 702 slipped back to third from second in survey three with its share falling 0.5 to 10.9 from 11.4.. ABC FM rose 0.2 to 4.3%, overtaking Vega 95.3 which dropped 0.8 to 3.6%. ABC FM has had two good surveys in a row now, perhaps due to changes which some critics claim favour FM broadcasters over AM.

2UE lost 0.6 5.8% from 6.2 and MMM rose 0.7 to 4.5.. 2WSFM (part of the Australian radio network of APB), rose 0.9 to 7.4 from 6.5. ARN’s MIX106.5 rose 0.6 to 4.8 in Sydney.

Alan Jones (and Jason Morrison) grabbed back their top rung in Sydney with a share of 17.6 in Breakfast for 2GB, (17.7 in the third survey). Ray Hadley lost 1.9 to 17.2 for his 2GB Morning Shift. Kyle and Jackie O lifted their Breakfast share for 2Day in Sydney to 11.4, up 0.7. 2UE Breakfasts with Mike Carlton and Sandy Aloisi lost 0.5 to 6.1 in the latest survey.

For the ABC’s 70s station, breakfast with Adam Spencer slipped 0.8 to 12.9, but is still second in the slot and ahead to 2Day.

Deb Cameron in Mornings had a strong survey for 702, up 1.5 to 10.5, close to the highest share 702 has had in mornings for years. Richard Glover in Drive lost ground, shedding 0.5 to 10.9. But 702 is missing James O’ Loghlin in Evenings (despite the ABC website still having him doing the gig). The ABC replaced O’ Loghlin with Andrew Daddo, who defected to Nine for an afternoon news program which starts next Monday. ABC Evenings fell 3.4 to 8.8 in the latest share, the biggest fall in any timeslot for any station.

In Melbourne 3AW added 3.2 in the survey to move back top the top of the rankings with 16.7 (13.5 in the last survey). That will please the under pressure Fairfax radio management. Fox FM (part of Austero) shed 0.7 to 14.8, but ABC local radio’s 774 was steady on a share of 13.0. Vega 91.5 rose 1.1 to 5.1 and ABC FM fell 1.1 to 29, going the opposite way that its sister station in Sydney did.

Triple M in Melbourne went the other way to its Sydney station did, losing 0.8 to 4.0%.

3AW Breakfast with Ross Stevenson and John Burns added 4.3 to 21.6 (from 17.3) and that helped Neil Mitchell in Mornings add share, up 2.8 to 17.1.

774 Breakfast with Red Symons lost ground, down 0.7 to 15.7, but still second in the slot after 3AW. John Faine though added 1.7 in Mornings to 14.7 (from 13.0), giving the ABC two solid performances in Melbourne and Sydney for the survey in this shift. 774 Drive and Evenings shifts fell in the latest survey.

Nova eased 0.1 in Melbourne to 7.8 while its sister station in Sydney was steady on a 7.5 share, which would please DMG Australia. — Glenn Dyer