Nine has exposed the cynicism of feeding Darryl Somers’ limelight deprivation syndrome. For the past decade, Somers has moaned mightily to Nine and Seven managements about the inequity of David Leckie axing Hey Hey It’s Saturday (even to Leckie at Seven).  Every year there would emerge a story about how Somers was pushing for Hey Hey‘s return, and how it was ‘key’ to Somers remaining at Seven when he was hosting Dancing with the Stars. Eventually Somers wasn’t hosting Dancing, and he left Seven. But the stories about Somers and Hey Hey‘s return continued, with Nine now mentioned.

Nine’s David Gyngell bit and Somers landed the show’s return earlier this year as Nine, desperate for new or even new again old product, decided that going back to the future wasn’t such a strange idea at all.  But now we know how strange. Hey Hey went to air most Saturday nights (and mornings of its life at Nine from the 1970’s). There may have been an odd Friday night broadcast for programming reasons, but it appeared on the day in the name.  Now Nine is scheduling it on Tuesday September 26 and Tuesday October 6. It’s still called Hey Hey It’s Saturday. Somehow Hey Hey Its Tuesday is a bit limp. The program starts at 7.30 pm and was originally programmed for two hours. The same press release added, in a final paragraph:

STOP PRESS: Due to overwhelming public response to news of the reunion the programs have been extended past their originally scheduled timeslots and will now run for 2½ hours.

Excuse my cynicism please, but this takes the cake — in the space of a few paragraphs the length of the program goes from two hours to two and a half hours. Puhleese. — Glenn Dyer

Reality, alternate reality and tea parties. “We create our own reality,” an un-named official in Dubya’s service famously said in 2004 (no, not that unnamed official). Now they’re out of office they have to photoshop it. Thus the plaintive cries from the organisers of the 12.9 tea party march on Washington DC that they said had fielded 1.5 million attendees. Oh no they dint. Attendance was estimated at 70,000, for a march that had been on the cards for months, organised by Glenn Beck, a FOX news crazy with about 5-6 million viewers over any given week.

To rebut the official figures, conservatives circulated a photo of marchers stretching all the way up The Mall — marchers in 1997, the truth easily checkable by the absence of a museum built in 2004. The march in the photo seems to be from a march by “The Promise Keepers”, a right-wing whiny white man movement that went nowhere also. Who’s to blame? The left, to make the right look stupid, say the right, apparently angry at someone muscling in on their territory. — Guy Rundle

Kyle & Jackie O ratings die. The Kyle & Jackie O show has lost nearly one in five of its listeners in the wake of the lie detector scandal, new figures reveal. According to ratings published today by Nielsen, the show’s audience share has dropped from 12% to 9.8%. This represents a drop of more than 18% of its listeners. The last ratings period — which covers June 28 to September 5 — included the turbulent period of the infamous Kyle & Jackie O lie detector incident.

Kyle & Jackie O show asked a 14-year-old girl about her sexual experiences and she blurted out that she had been raped. The show – which goes out in 2Day FM’s Sydney breakfast slot – was also syndicated as an hour-long show across Austereo’s national network. The following week, on August 2, amid a continuing media storm and growing pressure from advertisers, the show was taken off the air . It came back on August 18.

But on September 8, just after the end of the ratings period, Sandilands made his comments about Magda Szubanski losing weight in a concentration camp. The next day Austereo suspended him, drafting in Dannii Minogue and Andrew G as stand-ins. The network has not yet made a comment on when, or if, Sandilands will return. Because of school holidays, the current ratings period does not resume until this Sunday. — Mumbrella

Observer closure now “unlikely”. According to senior sources, the Observer, Britain’s oldest Sunday newspaper looks unlikely, with a move towards cost savings through full integration of The Guardian and The Observer now the favoured option. The proposal, which would extend the integration plan already adopted at GNM’s news operations, has the backing of a number of board members. If such a strategy is adopted, there could be significant redundancies.

A Guardian Media Group spokesman said: “It is not accurate to characterise GNM’s review of operations as a plan to shut The Observer. The review is an ongoing examination of all GNM’s operations, ruling nothing in and nothing out, with the full endorsement at all stages of the group board and The Scott Trust.” — Daily Telegraph

Rescue plan sees O’Reilly on the outer. Anthony O’Reilly is close to an agreement that will see him give up his controlling stake in the stricken publishing company behind The Independent newspaper. Desperate to pull off a financial rescue of his debt-laden Independent News & Media, Sir Anthony has embraced a plan under which his near-30 per cent shareholding would be halved. The proposal has been accepted by the company’s lending banks, who are understood to be days away from signing up to the rescue plan, in return for which they will extend their €1.3 billion ($2.2bn) of loans until 2014 at the earliest. — The Australian

Greenslade: 10 ugly truths about modern journalism. Another entertaining list of home truths from an American source, a mixture of the breathtakingly naive, the well-meaning and the bloody obvious. But its overall idealism, especially during this period of newspaper industry crisis, has a refreshing relevance. Do we think some of these observations (which I have edited slightly) also apply to British journalism? — Guardian

Why alt media beat the MSM to the mortgage crisis. The fact is, and as immodest as it may seem to say, independents were repeatedly ahead of the curve on covering the mortgage and real estate bubble and in connecting the dots between vital elements of the bigger story—especially the links between predatory and lending and the metastasizing mortgage-backed securities market. — Columbia Journalism Review

News sites need to scroll. First, a story. A few weeks back this blog site was loading slowly and although it turned out to be one of those temporary things, I experimented and changed the site’s first page. One thing I did was reduce the number of posts there from 25 to 10. Because of that, after a year of being an issue, several people emailed me to say that the “previous page” link at the bottom of the site was broken. The reason I figured that this had come to the fore had been because there were readers who liked to read more than 10 posts and now were missing them.

Sadly, I haven’t been able to work out a fix for that (it is a code error too deep inside WordPress). But today, I moved back to the 25 post model. This got me thinking about how people are reading news and news-like stuff like this blog. Half of regular readers of this site, use a feed reader. That allows you to skip annoying site glitches and put all your content on a big page and scroll through them. I, personally, scroll through a thousand posts a day.

The same principle guides twitter, friend feed and now Facebook. You read by scrolling. And there is some evidence that this is the case. — Joshua Gans at Core Economics