Seven News Melbourne boss Simon Pristel has given an interview to The Age -an interesting move given he is a former editor for the Herald Sun.
In it he acknowledges struggling ratings against Nine News in Melbourne, and his inexperience in working in television.
But he defends his nose for a story.
”I’d never been in a television newsroom before. There’s a lot I had to learn and I continue to learn every day about the way the television business operates,” he says.
“The newsroom out there looks like the Herald Sun … the news judgment is the same. I’ve been an editor out there for seven years, I know what a story is.
”If you want to judge a bulletin purely on ratings, then, sure, we’ve got a long way to go,” he says. ”I’m confident with the team that we’ve got and that we’re recruiting, that we’ll get there. It takes a while … and getting back to lead position will take a little bit of time as well.”
Last week Seven News averaged 279,000 to Nine’s 427,000 in Melbourne. Nine has also beaten Seven nationally for both of the official ratings weeks so far.
In addition to dumping David Brown from weeknight weather, replaced with newcomer Giaan Rooney, Seven also had to face questions of Sandy Roberts exiting for FOX Sports.
The Age says Seven’s reporters are also “chafing at this insistence on stories that can be slapped with an ‘exclusive” tag.”
But Melbourne has long been considered a volatile landscape in evening News, with audiences frequently shifting between the two rivals, including mid-season.
”Clearly what was here last year wasn’t working, we were losing by a long way, so changes had to be made. I was given a remit to come in, make changes, and that’s what I’ve been doing,” he said.
Photo: The Australian