This Afternoon axed by Nine Network

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The Nine Network has swung the axe on its news and current affairs show, This Afternoon, hosted by Andrew Daddo and Katrina Blowers.

It follows disappointing ratings for the show with little more than two weeks on air. Yesterday just 219,000 were watching around the country, thrashed by The Bold and the Beautiful's 533,000 and TEN News at Five's 929,000.

The show will be replaced from today with a 4:30pm News edition followed by Antiques Roadshow.

Nine Network director of News, Mark Calvert said: "While this is regrettable, our attitude is that it is better to have given it a shot. In the short time it was on air the team worked hard, but it was clear the program was struggling to attract a sizeable audience. It is vital that we recognise this and act swiftly."

In its short life the program attracted most of its news with the defection of news presenter Mark Ferguson signing with the Seven Network. Even host Andrew Daddo tried to joust with him on air about the switch, the day that he made headlines.

It also saw its executive producer step aside after just one week of shows, replaced by a producer from the Today show.

The axing of the show also comes on the back of a troubled year for Nine News, especially in Sydney, where Ferguson was demoted in favour of Peter Overton. It has struggled to come close to Seven ever since.

"Nine News is a great brand, much loved and trusted by Australian viewers," defends Mark Calvert. "As they’ve seen recently with our coverage of big news events, such as the death of Michael Jackson and the Victorian bush fires, the experience and authority of our journalists and news-gathering teams is second to none."

Meanwhile, Brisbane's long-running Extra program also had to make way for This Afternoon, a show that had been a good winner in that market with almost 18 years of service. That said, there was also a widely-held view that Extra did not have enough contemporary edge to lead into its 6pm News.

Nine says it will discuss options with its team contracted for This Afternoon about other opportunities within the network.

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