Unfortunate headline/advertising of the day. With the tragic sinking of the Costa Concordia off the Italian coast, it is one of those days you want to make sure you get your accompanying advertising and stories right. Take today’s Guardian front page — perhaps Her Majesty can pick up the Costa Concordia for a bargain:

… and today’s Geelong Advertiser front page. Maybe not the best day to be running a competition to win a European cruise:

… and today’s Sydney Morning Herald front page. The Australian PM appears unmoved at the European tragedy (the headline looks bad but the story is actually about Europe’s economic climate):

Viewers swarm to Nine for winning Aussies. The Third cricket Test against India again confirmed that Australian sports fans like a winning team. The third session for each day (from Tea to stumps) of the first and second Test saw audiences of around a million viewers in metro markets. For the third Test in Perth, much bigger audiences, especially for the third sessions on Friday and Saturday (from 6.30pm) which averaged 1.251 million viewers in the metro markets and a further 599,000 in regional markets (excluding Tasmania). That made a total national audience (excluding Tasmania) of 1.860 million. That’s a larger figure than any NRL or AFL game, bar the finals.

The second session (4.10pm to around 6pm) averaged 1.128 million in metro markets and 1.594 million when regional viewers were added (excluding Tasmania). Yesterday’s first session (from 1.30pm to 3.30pm) averaged 922,000 in the metro markets and 512,000 in the regions, for a national total of 1.424 million. The second session (which was over in an over and a bit, then the presentations) averaged 776,000 in the metro markets and 398,000 in the regions, for more than 1.1 million viewers nationally.

Despite what some wishful thinkers in Seven and Ten have been whispering to credulous media writers in the last week, these are very good figures. Yes, they are lower than the five tests against England in the Ashes series in 2011, but any Test series against the old enemy is always a big drawcard for TV viewers and for Nine. But the Ashes Tests finished with the fifth Test in Sydney at New Year in 2011. A week later, the floods in Queensland and Brisbane happened, which was 52 weeks ago last week. Viewing levels last week were down on the same week in 2011, which saw the floods at their worst. Nine had brilliant figures for the flood coverage in 2011; few reports mentioned that comparison.

Nine will be pleased with these figures, and sorry the tests didn’t last longer, especially in Sydney and Perth. Now Nine has around six weeks of Twenty20 and One Day Cricket involving India and Sri Lanka. That will be a test for audiences, but if David Warner bats like he did in Perth and Australia keeps winning, the numbers should hold up, even as Ten and Seven start their 2012 ratings campaign with lots of noise and glitz. — Glenn Dyer

Jim Wilson marries up. Last Thursday Fox Sports’ Jim Wilson married Seven’s Chris Bath. Congratulations to the couple, but someone at Sky News thought Jim did very well for himself and let the world know on the eve of the nuptials … (photos via Brenden Wood’s Twitter)

Front page of the day. Sunday’s Italian newspaper il Giornale leads with the sinking of the Costa Concordia, its headline reading: “Giglio wreck: CAPTAIN CRIMINAL”

The Department of Corrections. A case of we’ll never sue alone perhaps for the UK Daily Star Weekend?

 Press gallery journalist, 27, dies

“Peter Veness, a 27-year-old journalist with the Canberra press gallery, died last night after a three year battle with brain cancer. Press Gallery president Phillip Hudson announced the news about the journalist for Australian Associated Press last night.” — The Australian

Jenny Craig to sponsor Kyle & Jackie O after ‘fat slag’ attack

“Weight loss brand Jenny Craig is the new sponsor of The Kyle & Jackie O Show, which returned to the air today. The company is the first to sponsor the show since Holden ended its sponsorship on November 23 after Kyle Sandilands launched an on air attack on News Limited journalist Alison Stephenson, who he labelled a ‘fat slag’.” — mUmBRELLA

Nearly half of NotW buyers give up on Sunday papers

“Nearly 50% of the News of the World’s 2.66 million buyers had given up on purchasing a Sunday paper by the end of 2011, nearly seven months after the title’s closure by News International at the height of the phone-hacking scandal, the latest circulation figures suggest.” — The Guardian

A new ladies’ Home Journal, written mostly by readers

“While women’s service magazines have long relied on readers to contribute content, from first-person accounts to recipes, Ladies’ Home Journal is taking that strategy to new lengths: beginning with the March issue, it will allow readers to produce the majority of its articles.” — New York Times

Somaliland authority arrests 13 journalists in Hargeisa

“13 Somali journalist were taken into jail by the conservation troops of Silanyo’s presidential building after they were preparing reports about students who were demonstrating the poor administration of Silanyo, president of Somaliland.” — Sunatimes

Peter Fray

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