CONCERT FOR DIANA WINS SUNDAY NIGHT
NBC's coverage of the Concert for Diana drew 8.73 million viewers Sunday and dominated the ratings at 8:00 p.m. It was preceded by a repeat of last week's Dateline featuring an interview with princes William and Harry, the sons of Diana. Surprisingly, given the number of top popular music acts in the lineup, the Diana concert drew mostly older viewers and placed third among adults 18-49. (More extensive coverage of the concert was provided earlier in the day by VH1). Meanwhile, the Concert for Diana, which aired on the BBC from Wembley Stadium in London for seven hours beginning a 3:30 p.m., local time, averaged 8.9 million throughout the day, representing 44.4 percent of the British audience. The telecast peaked at 10:00 p.m., when 14.8 million viewers -- 60.1 percent of the audience -- tuned in for Elton John's performance.
ABC-TV FILM CRITIC JOEL SIEGEL DIES OF COLON CANCER AT 63
ABC-TV film critic Joel Siegel died Friday, about a week shy of his 64th birthday (July 7), of colon cancer -- a disease that he had battled for more than ten years. Siegel's reviews had been regularly featured on ABC's Good Morning America. (and were frequently excerpted on Studio Briefing's weekly review digest).He last appeared on the show just two weeks ago. The network aired tributes to Siegel on its evening newscast and the magazine show 20/20 Friday. In one, anchor Charles Gibson said, "Joel's great passion was that people be entertained and that they be enriched by what they see and hear -- whether in a theater, at a concert, in an art gallery, on a television screen or even in their mind's eye."
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORP. CELEBRATES 75TH BIRTHDAY
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation threw open its doors to its audience on the publicly funded corporation's 75th birthday Sunday -- and more than 150,000 people turned out. Longtime ABC anchors, game-show hosts, and kid-show personalities mingled with the crowd, including James Dibble, the ABC's anchor from 1956 to 1982. In a report about the open-house celebration, the Sydney Morning Herald commented today (Monday), "The then-prime minister, Joseph Lyons, launched the ABC as a non-commercial, taxpayer-funded station during the Great Depression. Since then, it has defied government funding cuts, allegations of bias and a steady leaching of talent to the commercial networks. Today, it remains a cultural icon and a training ground for broadcasters and entertainers."
NETWORK REPORTERS OFFER DIVERGENT ACCOUNTS OF LONDON CAR BOMBS
While it is often said that the nightly network newscasts all seem to cover the same events and present similar information in a similar way, they each offered different accounts Friday about how two car bombs were discovered in London and who might have been responsible for putting them there. Andrew Tyndall, who critiques the nightly news shows for his The Tyndall Report, noted that on ABC, investigative reporter Brian Ross concluded his feature with a reprise of footage shown a week earlier of a "graduation ceremony for suicide bombers, whom he identified on the original show as members of the Taliban. "Now, without explanation, he has changed that to al-Qaeda," Tyndall observed. However, on CBS, counterterrorism expert John Brennan took note of the fact that no suicide bombers were involved in the aborted London attack, noting that the bombers had seemingly intended to set off the device with a mobile phone, but that the set-up had apparently failed to function as planned.