It didn’t pass unnoticed that Tony Abbott gave yet another radio interview about his departure on the very day his replacement Malcolm Turnbull was holding a mini-summit on national reform in Canberra. Unluckily for Turnbull, any chances to look important and prime ministerial were dashed somewhat on the evening news, where Abbott got prime billing on most of the commercial bulletins.

Media intelligence company Isentia’s Sydney news bulletin summaries show only Channel Ten gave the reform summit good billing. While its segment, the third in the bulletin, did tease the Abbott interview, it led on the Turnbull government’s first policy change on higher education reform. It then aired clips from the Abbott interview towards the end of the bulletin. ABC News Sydney did the same — a political wrap was the fourth item in the bulletin, but the news led on the government’s policy and economic goals before mentioning the Abbott interview.

No such luck on Nine and Seven — both took the admittedly sexier angle of simmering bitterness within the Liberal Party, leading their political news roundup with coverage of Abbott’s claims. Nine and Seven have the most-watched bulletins in the country.

In terms of total media coverage, Isentia’s index published in Crikey on Wednesday found Turnbull was trumping Abbott — he had 38,667total mentions across all media between September 24 and 30, to Abbott’s 20,523.

Peter Fray

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