Battle of the new media heavyweights. It’s now one month since the launch of News Ltd’s news-aggregation/blog/online-media-something site The Punch and a few months since we relaunched our very own Crikey website with added news aggregation, more blogs, and extra online content, and the Australian media commentariat are now dutifully weighing in on who is winning the readership wars from the frontlines of the new media battlefield.*

mUmBRELLA
has looked to online audience measurement service Alexa for answers:

The Punch has so far failed to overhaul its biggest commentry rival Crikey. However, it appears to have already moved past New Matilda .

Crikey has stayed consistently on top, with both sites showing a surge late last week coinciding with the death of Michael Jackson.

(This is true, although we recorded a bigger surge earlier in the week in response to Utegate, and we’d hazard a guess that The Punch — who were very well across the scandal and even scored a mention or two in Parliament in relation to it — saw a similar response).

On talking digital, Ben Shepherd looks at the Nielsen figures:

In terms of PR and bluster thepunch.com.au has succeeded … Unfortunately, the numbers aren’t that great.

I can already see the boasting now — The Punch beats Crikey in month 1 (for unique browsers) … and this is true. The Punch has more users than Crikey.

However in the key metrics and the metrics which indicate user interest and engagement Crikey is belting them.

In a totally unrelated but eerily apt event this morning (and I realise that sounds like absolute BS and no-one is going to believe this, but I put this poll up at 10:26am and didn’t see either article until after 11), we ran a very silly Twitter poll via @crikey_news on who would win in a fist fight between Crikey editor Jonathan Green, The Punch editor David Penberthy and New Matilda editor Marni Cordell, following a genuine newsroom discussion on the matter.

Penbo took an early lead, but as of publishing, the results were sitting at:

* Not that it’s a contest or anything; we’re all special in our own way. Journalism is the real winner. (But also us).

— Crikey web-monkey Ruth Brown

Nine gets behind Little Britain — but not too much, and about five years too late. It was a slightly prissy press release from the Nine Network that trumpeted that Little Britain was being shown on Nine from 7 July, after it has been to air at least twice on the ABC and countless times on Foxtel:

“Little Britain, written and performed by Matt Lucas and David Walliams, is a small and surreal parallel universe peopled by gloriously over-the-top eccentrics, lunatics and social misfits who live in towns with strange names like Flange and Scoffage.

“Featuring an array of characters, including Vicky Pollard, the incoherent trailer-trash teenager. Marjorie Dawes, the tubby, tyrannical leader of her Fat Fighters class. Emily Howard, the world’s least convincing transvestite. Daffyd Thomas, who insists he is the only homosexual in his village…

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve always heard Daffyd exclaim that he was “The only gay in the village”. There was no mention in the release of the great line “The computer says no”, which is perhaps the most long-lasting contribution of the program to the modern lexicon.

The irony is that Nine and the rest of the commercials wouldn’t go near Little Britain when it was new because of the content. The 10.30pm timeslot tells us just how confident Nine remains of its audience attraction even after millions of people have seen it on the ABC and Foxtel. — Glenn Dyer

ABC heads East into TV’s Death Valley. Later this month, East of Everything returns to ABC TV, not on Sundays at 8.30pm where it debuted just over a year ago, but on Saturday nights at 7.30pm, replacing New Tricks.

Now, the ABC claims not to be interested in ratings, but to push the second series of a program, which cost a lot of money and PR effort in series one, into Saturday nights, is an acknowledgement that the second series of East of Everything is less than gripping TV.

Saturday night is the death valley of the TV week. It’s the lowest viewing night of the year and since Hey Hey It’s Saturday died a few years ago, there’s no reason to watch. The second series of East of Everythingis being quietly tucked away on a Saturday night, with the sincere hope in the ABC that no one will notice it. — Glenn Dyer

Hot tip from the BoM: it’s wet. Weather warning from ABC online today:

Harper’s BAZAAR Australia’s resignation-cum-firing. The apparently affable British editor of the embattled BAZAAR bid adieu to ACP’s Park Street headquarters on Friday, after news that former BAZAAR editor, and current Grazia headmistress, Alison Veness-McGourty, is returning to the fashion glossy in the capacity of editorial director hit the glossy scene. — Girl With a Satchel

No more Rudd on Rove, please. Memo to Kevin Rudd’s minders, and Rove‘s producers too: If he’s going to appear on the show again can we please ban the political agenda? — TV Tonight

Australia Post’s price increases will lead to more magazine job cuts. Publishers Australia has upped its attack on Australia Post, warning that “hundreds of jobs” could be at lost because of this week’s rise in magazine delivery prices. — mUmBRELLA

Australian consumers feel overwhelmed by ads. The latest Ipsos Mackay Advertising report found that many consumers considered that advertising was infiltrating their culture and everyday life, with some restrictions needed. Respondents also noted the push to sell products at a time of financial uncertainty for many Australians. — B&T

The recession saves ad networks. The recession — which has depressed demand for display ads — has had the opposite effect on ad networks many had expected; hundreds are still in business, and some are actually thriving. — Mediaweek

Journalism rules are bent in news coverage from Iran. “Check the source” may be the first rule of journalism. But in the coverage of the protests in Iran this month, some news organizations have adopted a different stance: publish first, ask questions later. If you still don’t know the answer, ask your readers. — New York Times

I studied print journalism: Now what? Dear Cary, I spent the last four and a half years studying print journalism in college and watching vacantly as the newspaper/magazine industry crumbled before my eyes … Now, six months after graduating, my parents still pay my cellphone bill and I am working full-time making ice cream. — Salon

Condé Nast’s East Coast-West Coast feud. Big Ideas Author Malcolm Gladwell, a Manhattanite of the New Yorker, has issued a smackdown review of Free, Big Ideas Author Chris Anderson, a Berkeleyan of San Francisco’s Wired. — Gawker

Why CEOs are avoiding social networking. CEOs will never come to the social networks in any numbers. Most have enough reputation problems and they do not need those magnified by people who have nothing better to do than go online and insult one another. — Newsweek

Americans get a dose of reality with more shows about fat people. TV’s latest heavyweight genre? Shows that focus on the larger-than-life lives of portly everyday folks. Off the success of The Biggest Loser … three shows are set to debut or return in the next few weeks. — USA Today