All entries for Tuesday 14 November 2006

November 14, 2006


How do you waste millions on a news programme?

Hire Katie Couric.

Once the darling of American News when she hosted NBC’s Today, she’s now moved to CBSEvening News, and has spectacularly killed the ratings.

According to Drudge Report, the ratings for her new show are 4% down on where it was a year ago, and it’s lost 9% of its adult viewers.

Her annual salary?


Peter Hain makes a mockery of devolution

Peter Hain is reported to have come out with a ludicrous statement today, which would mean devolution in Wales is only allowed while Labour govern the Assembly.

From this article:

The Welsh Secretary indicated that if the present opposition parties formed a coalition administration after next May’s election, MPs at Westminster would not necessarily agree to their legislative plans, which might include Proportional Representation voting.

At the moment, any legislation made in Cardiff has to be ratified – or agreed – in Westminster. And so far it’s not caused any problems.

But this signal from Hain is hypocrisy and unnecessary party politics in the extreme. It’s unfair on Wales and it makes devolution look pointless. Ironically it’s forced the Welsh Conservatives – who opposed devolution – to defend the Assembly. I hope Hain will be forced into a retraction before any more damage is done.

If it wasn’t for the Wales v Liechtenstein game, I think Blamerbell would be spitting on his cornflakes (or whatever he eats at night).

Al Jazeera looks West

Al Jazeera LogoTomorrow sees the launch of “Al Jazeera English”, the international offshoot of the best known Middle Eastern broadcaster.

It’s been a rocky launch and has taken them a year longer than planned, causing untold costs as many of their staff were hired back in 2005. They’ve lost their distributor in the United States and today they announced a last-minute rebrand. They were originally to be known as Al Jazeera International, but it was noted the Arabic version isn’t exactly domestic in its outlook.

I’m looking forward to the channel launching though. AJE, as I’m sure it will be known, could well get similar viewers to CNN, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it beating BBC World fairly soon. Their only problem might be distribution in hotels where CNN and the BBC have a long history of dominance. But they’re well resourced and have poached a number of well-known faces from the BBC and elsewhere – most notably the Beeb’s Darren Jordon and Rageh Omaar.

Al Jazeera’s been criticised many times in the past for being too close to terrorism, but much of the time it’s little more than a caricature. All I can suggest is that people turn to Sky channel 514 tomorrow or watch online, and see for themselves.

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