Friday May 19 2017
Mediaweek’s James Manning and Kruti Joshi discuss this week’s media headlines, including the Fairfax bidding war, Nova’s Red Room Global Tour, the Cassie Sainsbury story and the TV brawl for rights, Ten’s new commercial boss and more.
Joining James Manning and James Daggar-Nickson on the show this weekend:
• Nicolas Chu, CEO, Sinorbis
• Kerrie McCallum, editor-in-chief, delicious.
Sky News Business Channel
Channel 602: Foxtel
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||3.5%||GEM||2.3%||ELEVEN||2.7%||Food Net||1.0%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||Ten Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC||9.0%||7||21.1%||9||19.2%||10 NNSW||3.9%||SBS One||3.4%|
|ABC ME||0.9%||7mate||3.8%||GEM||3.7%||ONE||3.4%||Food Net||1.2%|
|THURSDAY METRO ALL TV|
Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2017. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM
16-39 Top 5
18-49 Top 5
25-54 Top 5
With a win last night, Nine has won five of the last six Thursdays thanks largely to the power of live NRL coverage in Brisbane and Sydney.
TEN and MasterChef have been Nine’s biggest competitors in the past few weeks with TEN last night proving you can still find a big national audience for a non-sport program this late in the week.
Multiple Home and Away episodes tonight on Seven’s ever-changing Thursday night schedule. The soapie ended the week with an average Thursday audience of 635,000.
Holiday Horrors Caught On Camera actually had some amazing footage but could only attract 339,000.
There were plenty of The Big Bang Theory episodes on offer last night with multiple episodes on both 7mate (early) and Seven (later).
There were plenty of laughs in AFL markets from The Front Bar. The low budget sports comedy show attracted just 77,000 though, 59,000 of them in Melbourne.
A Current Affair covered the breaking news about the big tax scam, also a dodgy real estate agent charging big commissions and as promised it was all over the Kelly Landry application for an AVO against Anthony Bell. The Thursday episode manage to post a crowd over 800,000.
Southern markets saw RBT at 7.30pm while northern markets got live NRL. The football delivered an audience of 383,000 – 208,000 in Sydney and 175,000 in Brisbane.
The Footy Shows had a metro network audience of 449,000 – 104,000 in Sydney and 192,000 in Melbourne.
Casey Donovan was a guest on The Project with a 7pm audience of 669,000.
MasterChef said goodbye to its oldest contestant – Benita Orwell – with a very strong 935,000 watching the Thursday episode.
A new episode of Law & Order: SVU pushed close to 500,000 after MasterChef, the US drama’s biggest audience since August last year, while a second repeat episode did 388,000.
The Checkout was just short of half a million after 8pm.
The final episode of Seven Types Of Ambiguity did 355,000. (It was only part-way through the final episode that I realised there would not be seven eps!) The consolidated numbers have lifted the audience slightly across the weeks, but without knowing the iview audience results it is hard to get a feel for how the program really performed.
Great British Railway Journeys dominated again with 284,000 watching the 30-minute episode at 7.30pm.
Italy Unpacked managed 203,000 and then Medici: Master Of Florence was on 114,000.
It is a challenge tracking the ratings for The Chefs’ Line with three episodes screened yesterday. The biggest audience was 105,000, which must have been for the 8pm episode. Others went to air at 2pm and 6pm.
APN Outdoor and oOh!media have scrapped their proposed merger after the competition watchdog flagged concerns the deal could increase prices and lower service in the outdoor advertising market, reports AAP.
The companies say they disagree with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s view but that the concessions necessary to address the issues would make the deal unviable.
“Both parties maintain that the commercial reality is that out-of-home advertising competes extensively and directly with other media channels and as such, a narrow market definition is inappropriate,” APN Outdoor and oOh!media said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
The statement added:
“After detailed consideration, the parties’ view is that the nature and extent of ACCC’s indicative intervention now represents an unacceptable risk to a successful merger. Furthermore, it is the parties’ view that offering the material concessions to the ACCC which are likely to be required to ultimately allow the proposed merger to proceed would adversely compromise the overall merits of the transaction.”
Brian Powers, a former Fairfax Media chairman, has returned in the form of a white knight for his old mate Nick Falloon with a rival $2.9 billion bid for the media company, reports The AFR’s Michael Smith.
Not only that, he has brought Greg Ellis – the man who used to run Fairfax’s biggest competitor in the online real estate market, REA Group – with him.
The sudden appearance of San Francisco-based Hellman & Friedman this week has changed the game for Fairfax Media, which has been playing hard to get with rival suitor, US private equity firm TPG Capital.
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The battle for the future of Fairfax Media has turned into a private equity head-to-head involving two of the world’s best-regarded private equity firms, reports The AFR’s Jemima Whyte.
Within minutes of the bid being made on Thursday morning, questions were raised about San Francisco-based Hellman & Friedman’s credibility and real commitment to the offer.
This is part of the information war. In reality, there’s no doubt Hellman & Friedman is a serious buyer.
In private equity circles, Hellman & Friedman is considered a purist. Unlike the other big private equity players – Carlyle, TPG, KKR and Blackstone – they haven’t morphed into asset gatherers of hedge funds, debt funds and property funds.
Rather, they’ve stuck to pure private equity investments and garnered a reputation for writing big equity cheques (a minimum of $500 million) and aim to at least earn three times their money in five or six years.
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A four-week campaign by the board of Fairfax Media to find a second bidder has sparked a potential bidding war for the group, with US private equity firm Hellman & Friedman offering as much as $2.87 billion for the whole company, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
The Fairfax board and its advisors, Macquarie Capital, spoke to a number of parties with a known interest in the 176-year-old publisher, including Hellman & Friedman. But the board was not aware a bid was coming until Wednesday night.
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TPG Capital will today vow to protect editorial independence at Fairfax Media after its takeover proposal was trumped by Hellman & Friedman’s $2.87 billion bid, setting off a takeover battle that will pit two of the world’s largest private equity players against each other, reports The Australian‘s Darren Davidson.
TPG country head Joel Thickins yesterday made an 11th-hour decision to appear today before a Senate inquiry into public interest journalism.
Thickins will break his silence at the Melbourne inquiry about the US consortium’s bid, and make his case by claiming the suitor will adhere to the Fairfax Media Charter of Editorial Independence. The charter was adopted by The Age in 1988, and now covers The Sydney Morning Herald, Sun-Herald and The Australian Financial Review.
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The bid by San Francisco’s Hellman & Friedman for Fairfax Media revives memories of the bitter clash 26 years ago between the private equity firm’s now chairman and an ambitious young investment banker, Malcolm Turnbull, reports The Australian’s Glenda Korporaal.
It was in the heat of corporate battle when media baron Kerry Packer – part of the Tourang syndicate then bidding to take control of Fairfax – fell out badly with Turnbull, his former adviser.
The man who would become Prime Minister allegedly told the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal that he feared for his life and that of his family.
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The Special Broadcasting Service will miss out on $27 million in potential advertising revenue over the next four years after the government withdrew legislative amendments that would have allowed SBS to double primetime ads it shows on television, reports The Australian’s Mitchell Bingemann.
The government decided to bin the bill following pressure from the commercial television networks who had argued that the publicly funded broadcaster should not be taking a slice of the shrinking advertising pie.
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Veteran TV producer Steve Barrett has been accused by police of being involved in a $5 million extortion attempt related to Australia’s biggest tax fraud investigation that has so far led to charges against at least nine people, reports The Australian’s Brad Norrington.
Barrett and a former lawyer for jailed NSW Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid are among those named on long lists of people that the accused in the $165m fraud case cannot contact following a hearing in Sydney’s Central Local Court.
The accused given bail were also told that they could not associate with a large group of people including Barrett, who has worked for the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes as well as Seven current affairs programs and newspapers.
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“Cocaine Cassie” Sainsbury, still languishing in a Colombian prison on cocaine trafficking charges, is expected to admit to acting as drug mule – based on the shock TV confessions of her fiancé and family, report News Corp’s Holly Byrnes and Shoba Rao.
In startling admissions made to Seven’s Sunday Night, the 22-year-old’s partner Scott Broadbridge appears to have conceded his bride-to-be will confess to her part in a mystery international drugs syndicate – even before her case is brought before a Bogota court next month.
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Roger E. Ailes, who shaped the images that helped elect three Republican presidents and then became a dominant, often intimidating force in American conservative politics at the helm of Fox News until he was forced out in a sexual predation scandal, died on Thursday morning. He was 77, reports The New York Times.
Ailes’s wife, Elizabeth, announced his death in a statement, which did not give a cause or say where he had died. Ailes was a haemophiliac long plagued by obesity and arthritis.
Without identifying him, the police in Palm Beach, Fla., said a 77-year-old man had fallen and struck his head in a bathroom at Ailes’s home in Palm Beach, Fla., on May 10 and was bleeding heavily when paramedics arrived in response to an emergency call and found him “not completely alert” and still on the floor. He was then taken to a hospital.
In a statement on Thursday morning, Rupert Murdoch said Ailes “will be remembered by the many people on both sides of the camera that he discovered, nurtured and promoted”.
“Roger and I shared a big idea, which he executed in a way no one else could have,” he added. “In addition, Roger was a great patriot who never ceased fighting for his beliefs.”
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Bingham, who was previously head of publisher services at AOL, takes the newly created position of director of sales – programmatic and will head up both Nine Digital’s trading desks relationships and continue to develop the publisher’s programmatic offering to agencies and their clients.
“Programmatic is a major focus and a significant growth opportunity,” said Michael Stephenson, chief sales officer at Nine. “Grant has a rare background in that he has both a deep technical knowledge of programmatic and also frontline sales management experience.
“He will be charged with making sure we continue to build out our programmatic offering and are well placed to serve the trading desks as the market evolves from a handheld sales model towards a greater focus on the automation of the sales process.”
KIIS 1065 Sydney was besieged with more phone calls than normal during the breakfast show this morning. Several weeks ago Kyle and Jackie O announced that every caller who was put to air today would receive a new Hyundai i30.
Kyle Sandilands asked for the first calls at 6am to play the Bullshit Bruno game after their first song.
Jackie O revealed there was a listener dressed up in a box outside the building hoping to attract their attention. Kyle was having none of that: “We clearly stated cars would be given away to people who ring up, not those who dress up outside our building.”
The first winner was Jay from Blacktown. He also managed to win tickets to Ariana Grande. The second winner was for the Kyle and Jackie O Birthday Wheel.
There were also two opportunities to win cars during two games of Pop Quiz after 7am and 8am. Angela was the first Pop Quiz car caller.
Sandilands took a random caller off the switchboard just before 8am.
The hosts revealed there was network mayhem today as callers around Australia flooded ARN switchboards. ARN stations share the same phone number and callers in other states thought they could get through to KIIS FM on the number.
A total of 12 Hyundai i30s were given away across these hours.
Merrick Watts has announced he will be leaving Triple M when the year is out, reports Fairfax Media’s Broede Carmody.
The comedian, who hosts the network’s drive program in Sydney, will not attempt to renew his three-year contract when it expires at the end of 2017.
Watts’ departure will be the second big loss for Southern Cross Austereo, with Hamish and Andy also set to hang up their headphones at the end of the year.
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Laurel Edwards, host of the Laurel, Gary & Mark show on Brisbane’s #1 commercial AM radio station 4KQ, this week celebrated her 25th anniversary on-air. Commencing her career at 4KQ on May 18, 1992, Edwards has held the same role in the leading breakfast slot this entire time.
To mark the occasion, a special segment was broadcast on this Thursday’s show including highlights of Laurel’s time with 4KQ, along with interviews with her husband, country musician Troy Cassar-Daly, their children Clay and Jem, and Mark Spurway, the original program director who employed Edwards back in 1992. Keith Urban also shared a special video message for Edwards.
ARN’s national content director Duncan Campbell congratulated Edwards on the celebration, saying: “We are honoured to have spent the past 25 years with Laurel – she’s an integral part of the 4KQ team. During this time she has earned respect from everyone who works alongside her, and also from Brisbane listeners who love her as one of their own and look forward to the unwavering wit, wisdom and laughter she brings each morning.”
Photo: 4KQ breakfast hosts Mark Hine, Laurel Edwards & Gary Clare celebrate Laurel’s 25th anniversary with the Brisbane station.
Less than 24 hours after the United States season launches, the new US season of The Bachelorette will launch at 7.30pm next Tuesday, May 23, on 9Life.
Rachel Lindsay, a fan favourite on the US romance-reality series The Bachelor, is the next woman to hand out the roses and attempt to find her own happily-ever-after.
Hosted by Chris Harrison, The Bachelorette US is a production of Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. Mike Fleiss, Martin Hilton, Elan Gale, Bennett Graebner and Nicole Woods are the executive producers.
Optus chief executive Allen Lew has backed the telco’s big money acquisition of English Premier League football rights and played down the threat of new mobile competition from TPG, despite costs dragging down its annual numbers, reports The AFR’s Paul Smith.
Annual net profit at Optus was down 11.8% to $794 million on revenue that was down 7.6% to $8.4 billion.
Lew told The Australian Financial Review that, despite the $189 million three-year deal to acquire English football rights having an impact on its financial returns, the benefits in terms of customer acquisition and retention meant its controversial strategy was considered a success.
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• smoothfm celebrates its fifth birthday, as the #1 FM radio station in Sydney and Melbourne, on Sunday 21 May
smoothfm has released a special song today, featuring the vocals of Australian rock and pop singer Rick Price.
Nova Entertainment’s smoothfm launched in May 2012 with a unique music position and the mantra to create an easy place to relax. Launching with a 4.1% share in both Sydney and Melbourne, both stations are now #1 FM with a 9.9%+ share and have increased by over 1.1 million listeners to their current combined audience of 1.7 million.
Nova Entertainment group program director Paul Jackson said, “We are so proud of smoothfm and the passion our listeners and team have for the station. smoothfm’s success can be attributed to the music and easy-listening format which has resonated with listeners of all ages. A carefully crafted playlist featuring some of the greatest songs and most respected artists from a range of eras is complemented by our talented presenters who have been handpicked to reflect smoothfm’s music position.”
To celebrate the milestone, smoothfm has partnered with Sony to record an original song inspired by Tony Power’s hit, “Keith 98.6”, featuring the vocals of Australian singer Rick Price.
Price has worked with numerous artists including smoothfm favourite Tina Arena. His debut single reached #3 on the ARIA charts, he produced two top 10 singles and won Song of the Year at the APRA Music Awards. His second album “Tamborine Mountain” reached number 11 on the charts and achieved gold status.
Paul Jackson recently spoke to Mediaweek about the ratings success at the Sydney and Melbourne stations.
As part of the executive team that launched smoothfm, getting both stations to #1 in Sydney and Melbourne was as good as it gets. “It was the best day ever,” Jackson confirmed to Mediaweek after a pause to consider how good the news was, “because smoothfm is the dearest thing to my heart.”
Photo: smoothfm announcers Richard Wilkins, Melissa Doyle, Cameron Daddo and Byron Webb
Malaysian media giant Media Prima, through its wholly owned subsidiary Media Prima Digital, will buy digital media company Rev Asia from Youth Asia and Patrick Grove’s Catcha Group – the owner of iflix – for RM105 million (A$33m). The acquisition will boost the company’s digital content creation business considerably. Rev Asia has 12 media sites targeting Malay, Chinese, and English-speaking audiences, running news, and entertainment and lifestyle stories.
Hong Kong broadcaster TVB is in a potential regulatory breach following a disclosure from Hong Kong’s securities regulator that Chinese tycoon Li Ruigang, owner of China Media Capital, is the actual owner of TVB.
Reports suggest the information was seemingly hidden from the regulator.
Free-to-air TVB was controlled by its largest shareholder, Young Lion Holdings, which directly owns a 26% stake.
Li, often referred to as China’s Rupert Murdoch, was appointed as vice-chairman of TVB’s board in October last year.
Malaysian-based SVOD platform iflix has signed a deal with Samsung Electronics Southeast Asia and Oceania for pre-installed iflix apps on Samsung Smart TV users in several Southeast Asian countries. Some Samsung Smart TV models in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Thailand will come pre-installed with the app, which gives a complimentary 12-month iflix subscription, sponsored by Samsung.
Singapore news portal Rice has received an undisclosed six-figure amount of seed funding from an individual investor to expand in Southeast Asia, DealStreetAsia reports. Mark Tan, co-founder and editor-in-chief, said Rice produces culture journalism with an Asian focus and with attitude. The company began publishing in September 2016 and now claims over 100,000 unique visitors a month.
The Walt Disney Company South East Asia this month appointed country managers in Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand. The company regards these countries as high growth markets in which it aims to strengthen its presence.
Herry Salim has been appointed country manager for Indonesia, Veronica Espinosa-Cabalinan for the Philippines and Subha-Orn Rathanamongkolmas (Soupy) for Thailand.
They will all report to Robert Gilby, managing director of the Walt Disney Company South East Asia.
China’s Tencent Holdings has signed a licensing agreement with the Universal Music Group. The multiyear deal will enable Tencent’s Music Entertainment Group to distribute
Universal’s record labels and recording artists on its streaming platforms QQ Music, KuGou and Kuwo. Universal and Tencent Music will also develop Abbey Road Studios China, inspired by Universal’s iconic London studio.
Singapore-based video on demand streaming service HOOQ has launched the HOOQ Filmmakers Guild, a contest for Southeast Asian TV series filmmakers.
From June 1 to August 1, directors, scriptwriters, and producers can submit proposed scripts and treatments for a TV series with a maximum of 13 episodes.
Five of the best submitted scripts will receive US$30,000 (A$40,600) to produce a pilot episode to be shown on HOOQ.
Singing competition The Voice is soon to make its debut simultaneously in Singapore and Malaysia. This is the first time the format is produced and broadcast for two territories in one version. A call for auditions for The Voice Singapore and Malaysia this month on StarHub said The Voice is open to all participants regardless of race and nationality, but stipulated that candidates also had to be “fluent in Mandarin and able to perform songs in Mandarin”.
The Voice Singapore and Malaysia is co-produced by mm2 Entertainment, StarHub and Astro.
Singapore Press Holdings will sell its stake in media firm 701Search to Norway’s Telenor ASA for US$109 million (A$147m). 701Search operates the online classified sites: Chotot.vn in Vietnam, OneKyat.com in Myanmar, Mudah.my in Malaysia and ImSold, an online classifieds mobile app.
Thai media ad spend fell by almost 4.5% to 26 billion baht (A$998.1m) in the first quarter of this year, according to Nielsen Thailand. Magazines had the biggest decline at 36%, newspaper ad decline was 18.8%, radio was down 17.3% and online advertising contracted 10.6%. In-store media saw the biggest rise in ad spend of 56%, followed by cinemas at 35% and outdoor media at 22.3%. A surprise was the continuing increase of ad spend on digital TV, up 7% in the first quarter, a boon to the struggling digital TV sector.
• Malaysia’s Astro is providing free access to on-demand entertainment via its internet-based video streaming mobile app, NJOI Now. The free service includes access to over 2,200 titles of movie and drama box sets and is part of the pay-TV operator’s digital push.
• Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority fined Mediacorp SG$5,500 (A$5,300) breaching the video-on-demand program code. The company’s VOD service Toggle ran an episode of its I Want to be a Star series which included a Chinese actor in blackface makeup portraying an Afro-American. A comment was also made that was deemed racist.
• South Korean film production company Spackman Entertainment Group, also listed on the Catalist board of the Singapore Exchange Securities, reported a net profit of US$4.7 million (A$6.3m) for its first quarter ended March 31, compared to a net loss of US$0.9 million for the same period last year.
• GroupM’s new This Year, Next Year: China Media Industry Forecast predicts that China’s TV ad spend will drop by 5.2% while internet media spending will account for 57.2% of total ad spend.
• Philippines broadcaster ABS-CBN held its leadership in nationwide TV viewing among urban and rural homes in April, excluding the Holy Week. It recorded an average audience share of 43%, or nine points higher than rival broadcaster GMA’s 34%, according to Kantar Media.
• Facebook said will consider blocking illegal content on Facebook in Thailand on a case by case basis after receiving government requests to do so.
• Singapore’s mm2 Entertainment has signed an agreement with Turner Asia Pacific to co-produce five movies over the next three years with a multimillion-dollar budget. This is Turner’s first entry into Southeast Asia.
The Australian-owned-and-managed Class Act Media company, which operates a mini media empire on Thailand’s resort island Phuket, follows a strategy of print-first to ensure its future sustainability.
Class Act is led by its flagship English language newspaper, The Phuket News, and the company’s general manager, former Sydneysider Jason Beavan (pictured), talks enthusiastically about the advantages of print.
“We get better ad revenue with print. And with our publications being ‘local’ publications, readership is very high,” he said.
“Sure you can get your news online, but there is nothing like turning the pages with a coffee on a weekend morning and seeing who is on the social pages this week.
“Or sitting in immigration and your battery runs out on your phone – there are always copies of our papers to read while you wait.”
Coincidentally, shortly after Beavan extolled the virtues of his company’s print products to Mediaweek, an opposition newspaper, the Phuket Gazette, backed by the powerful Nation Multimedia Group in Bangkok, axed its weekly 20 baht print edition and announced it will now run a Phuket-dedicated supplement, Gazette Lite, in The Nation newspaper every weekend.
The Phuket Gazette had been continuously published for 23 years since May 1994 and Jason Beavan noted that for the last few months the Gazette was a 12-page publication, B5 size. He added, “Sorry to see them go – competition is a good thing to have. We are going to work even harder to stay on track.”
Class Act publishes four paid-for newspapers on lively Phuket island – the English language The Phuket News and its Thai-language counterpart Khao Phuket are both published weekly on Fridays and both sell for 20 baht (A$0.80).
The Chinese-language Puji Dao Xinwen (60 baht) and the Russian-language Novosti Phuketa (40 baht) are published fortnightly.
The company also of course has websites, and operates a radio station Live 89.5 and Phuket News TV.
In 2009 Beavan, who had been working in sales and for resorts in Thailand since 2000, teamed up with publisher Simon Samaan, an accountant also from Sydney, and sold advertising for Samaan’s monthly magazine, The Phuketian.
Beavan was subsequently appointed general manager of Class Act Media and on March 4, 2011, The Phuket News was launched.
In October 2014, publisher and owner Simon Samaan returned to Australia leaving Beavan in Phuket to run the operation. Beavan said he didn’t encounter difficulties in running a media operation for the first time in his life.
“The experiences in my earlier jobs, from selling shoes part-time on a Saturday morning while at high school to heading up a customer service team for an international freight company, all helped, that is for sure.
“Create a fun work environment, staff will be happy and loyal, provide your clients the same easy going experience and you can’t go wrong.”
To some media observers, the notion back in 2011 of setting up a newspaper in competition with a long-running and well established paper operated by a leading Bangkok media conglomerate was a gutsy move.
Beavan disagrees. “Not sure if it was gutsy, just good observation,” he said. “Looking at the local market in Phuket it was clear that there was room for another weekly English newspaper.”
Part of the publication’s success is looking after the advertisers. “We try to bend over backwards to help our advertisers get results,” he said. “When it works, we know they will come back time and time again.
Beaven also noted that growth is important to survival. This year on January 6 the company launched the Thai-language paper Khao Phuket and for now it is focusing on that publication.
But Beavan added, “Still on the drawing board for us is expanding out of Phuket. We’re looking at Chiang Mai and Samui in the next few years.”