In November and December, we ran a readers poll to decide the winners of the 2019 Mediaweek Industry Awards. Over the last few weeks, we have announced the winners and runner-ups for each category.
Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Podcast
The first winner announcement for the reader-voted 2019 Mediaweek Industry Awards is for Best Podcast. Fittingly it goes to Australia’s #1 podcast by any measure – Hamish Blake and Andy Lee who show up every week for 40 weeks of the year with the best sidekick in the business, Jack Post.
Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Podcast
Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Print Magazine
Who magazine has delivered premium celebrity news and entertainment to Australian women since 1992. The weekly magazine is edited by Stacey Hicks, who has been at Pacific Magazines for over eight years working across a number of titles; currently editor of Who and Girlfriend.
Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Australian Sports Broadcaster
Network Seven veteran Bruce McAvaney has won the Mediaweek Industry Award for Best Sports Broadcaster for a second consecutive year with double the votes of the next best in the category. While there was a clear preference for the broadcaster at #2, there was a four-way tie for the four people in third spot.
Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Drama
Last year Wentworth was the first-ever recipient of a Mediaweek Industry Award when it won the 2018 Best Drama Award, and it has followed it up with another victory for its seventh season in perhaps the closet vote in this year’s awards.
After being renewed in December last year for two more seasons, the Fremantle-produced Wentworth has continued its momentum with both fans and critics after the release of its latest season.
Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Drama
Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Television Comedy
Have You Been Paying Attention? has gone from missing out on the top three last year to winning the Mediaweek Industry Award for Best Television series by a comfortable margin.
The series has been a ratings success since it launched toward the end of 2013 with just eight 30-minute episodes with subsequent years delivering close to 30 episodes a year with season seven airing in 2019 where it was the most watched non-news program several times and regularly out rating shows in the coveted 7:30 pm slot.
Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Reality TV
After winning 2018 Mediaweek Industry Award for Best Television reality, Gogglebox Australia has followed it up again with another win in the same category. Its been a good year for the show also being crowned the Most Popular Entertainment program at the 61st TV Week Logie Awards.
Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Television Production Company
The Melbourne-based production company Working Dog Productions has continued where it left off last year once again winning the Mediaweek Industry Award for Best Television Production Company.
The company was founded by the multi-talented Santo Cilauro, Rob Sitch, Jane Kennedy, Tom Gleisner, and production guru Michael Hirsh.
The company’s biggest success and biggest commission is the Network 10 Monday night comedy quiz format Have You Been Paying Attention? Hosted by Working Dog co-founder Tom Gleisner. The format has also won a Mediaweek Industry Award this year for Best Television Comedy.
Along with Have You Been Paying Attention? the biggest hits amongst a diverse Working Dog catalogue include Frontline, The Panel, and Utopia.
Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Breakfast Radio Show Sydney
The reigning Sydney FM breakfast champs had another good year however you measure it. The show was #1 FM in Sydney breakfast for all of the eight 2019 surveys, ending the year with its biggest audience ever.
That continued ratings success was one of the reasons that ARN re-signed Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson to a new contract two years before their current deal expired. There was a fair bit of hysteria about the amount they are being paid, but even if the deal was a simple contract roll-over on the current terms it means a large amount of money will be changing hands for the life of the new contract.
Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Breakfast Radio Show Melbourne
The first thing to say about this result (for those who are not sure) is that it is based on readers’ votes and not ratings. The Triple M Hot Breakfast trio of Eddie McGuire, Luke Darcy and Wil Anderson have their fans out there, but the show had a tough year in the ratings and Wil Anderson stood down at the end of the year.
Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Breakfast Radio Show Brisbane
Like voters in Melbourne, our Brisbane audience also enjoys listening to the breakfast show at Triple M. In this case The Big Breakfast with Marto, Margaux and Nick Cody. The line-up changed late in the year when Robin Bailey stepped down to care for husband Sean Pickwell and was replaced by Margaux Parker. The breakfast show ended the year up 0.5 to 11.0% where it was the equal #2 breakfast show in a very tight market where there are six breakfast shows locked in a band that goes from 9.1% to 11.2%. The Triple M breakfast show started 2019 strongly on 11.7%, but wasn’t able to replicate the result again after recording it in the first two surveys.
Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Breakfast Radio Show Adelaide
Ratings-wise this has been a challenging year for the very well-connected Adelaide breakfast hosts and sporting greats Mark Ricciuto (Roo) and Chris Dittmar (Ditts). The best year for the duo was 2017 when all but one survey was over 10% and they peaked mid-year with a breakfast share of 13.5%, outrating Mix 102.3 and just 0.1 behind Fiveaa. In 2018 they had two surveys under 10% and peaked on 11.6% while in 2019 there were five surveys in single figures and the year ended on 8.7%, the lowest breakfast share in a long time.
Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Breakfast Radio Show Perth
It has been a rollercoaster year for the Perth outpost that forms part of the Triple M network without being branded with network signage.
For some time Perth breakfast has been a tussle between Mix’s Clairsy, Matt & Kymba and Nova’s Nathan, Nat & Shaun.
However the year ended with Clairsy, Matt & Kymba lifting their share to 12.6% off a year low of 10.5% to be a little more competitive with Nova who was still #1.
Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best FTA TV Channel
The winner of the first Mediaweek Industry Award for FTA TV channel is the primary channel from the ABC.
This comes off the success that the channel has had this year from producing a Gold Logie winner in Tom Gleeson from the hit TV quiz show Hard Quiz, to the critical success of new dramas like The Cry and Total Control.
Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Multichannel
This is a new award that wasn’t featured in last year’s Mediaweek Industry Awards – the award for Best Multichannel and the winner of the inaugural award is 7mate. It was a good year for the male-focused multichannel. Not just for winning our popular vote but also 2019 saw the channel achieve:
• It’s 4th consecutive year of leadership in People 25-54
• It’s 8th consecutive year of leadership in Men 16-54
• It’s 8th consecutive year of leadership in Men 25-54
• It’s 2nd consecutive year of leadership in Men Under 50
• It’s 2nd consecutive year of leadership in Total People
• A commercial shares of over 8% for all male demos
• 7mate reached over 1 million Men 16-54 nationally every week
• 7mate had nine of the top 10 shows for Men 16-54
Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Multichannel
Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best TV Sports Show
The Thursday night AFL football show The Front Bar has built a big audience and helped kill off Nine’s long-term franchise The Footy Show which now exists as a Sunday morning program with possible other special events.
The Front Bar features hosts Mick Molloy, Sam Pang and Andy Maher on three bar stools each with a glass of the sponsor’s product in front of them.
The format couldn’t be simpler as they joke with each other and then with one or two guests who either stand at an adjacent bar or sit with them at the front bar!
Media Industry Awards: Best Sports Event Coverage
Pulling the biggest metro TV audience of 2019 was the AFL Grand Final on Seven. However the audience numbers were down year-on-year and the match was narrowly beaten by State of Origin #1 for the biggest national TV audience of the year.
Seven’s AFL Grand Final audience for 2019 was 2,939,000 national (metro 2,197,000, regional 742,000).
Because of a bigger regional crowd, the first State of Origin clash has bragging rights for the biggest 2019 audience with 3,090,000 (metro 2,060,000, regional 1,030,000).
Despite the size of the audience, it was the first time an AFL Grand Final TV audience had fallen below 3,000,000 national viewers.
Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best AM Breakfast Radio Show
This will be a reasonably controversial choice from our readers as the Alan Jones breakfast show has gone through a tumultuous 12 months. The polarising breakfast show host is due back on air next week for his 2020 program.
During 2019 former 2GB management signed Jones two a new two-year contract with what was then Macquarie Media (now Nine Radio).
Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Drive Radio Show
The show hosted by Jane Kennedy and Mick Molloy trails some of its FM competitors in the metro markets but to the Triple M audience it is a must-listen.
Ratings at the end of 2019 were mixed with the show perhaps most competitive all people in Brisbane and Perth with good core demo numbers elsewhere. The program has good enough numbers to be the #1 drive show for men 25-54.
Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Streaming Platform
Mediaweek revealed that our readers voted Netflix as their favorite streaming service. The sheer volume of content on the Netflix platform makes it a must-have for many consumers. The seemingly never-ending stream of TV programming has been added to with an increased number of major movies over the past year.
Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Australian News Brand
ABC News has won this category for the second consecutive year.
Again our readers have indicated by a big margin that they value the biggest news gathering organisation in Australia and one that is free of many commercial pressures.
Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Australian Journalist/Columnist
As David Speers prepares to host his first edition of Insiders on ABC TV next week, the recently arrived ABC presenter has won this category for 2019 after being the runner up in 2018.
Speers flagged his intention to quit Sky News Australia for the ABC mid-year, but the News Corp news channel kept him on until late in the year.
His departure from Sky News was a blow, but the channel did well to keep him for two decades after he first joined in 2000, soon making his mark covering politics in Canberra.
Media Industry Awards: Best Digital News Platform
It has been another exceptional year for News.com.au with the platform reporting significant audience gains and introducing content initiatives.
Mediaweek readers have voted the platform #1 for news coverage, also appreciating the fact it remains a free site. All three placegetters this year didn’t have a paywall.
The most recent was the announcement this week of a new daily podcast presented by news.com.au journalists Andrew Bucklow (Bucky) and Bronte Coy.
Mediaweek Industry Awards: CEO of the Year
It wasn’t easy being a media company CEO in 2019, if it ever is.
The continued fragmentation of audiences across a diverse market of options is a challenge for all media businesses. This puts pressure on revenues as marketers chase the biggest crowd. Also putting pressure on revenue has been the economy and the lack of confidence in where Australia might be headed.
The main broadcast media chiefs all faced challenging years. Seven flipped Tim Worner for James Warburton mid-year, new 10 owner ViacomCBS promoted Paul Anderson to run the combined business, while Hugh Marks had the challenge of bolting on the Macquarie Radio business to his already-bulging cupboard of assets.
Foxtel’s Patrick Delany continues to find ways to keep customers subscribing in a market being flooded with free and low-cost streaming options.
The radio chiefs have had it relatively easier in recent times. But by the end of the year they too were buffeted by revenue challenges as retailers in particular held back.
This had implications for leaders including ARN’s Ciaran Davies and Nova’s Cathy O’Connor.
Mediaweek readers voted for Southern Cross Austereo’s Grant Blackley as CEO of the Year perhaps in part because he has to manage his revenue across two main platforms – radio with Australia’s biggest radio network (now rebranded nationally as Triple and Hit) plus TV via affiliation deals with various broadcasters, but mainly with his former business partner Hugh Marks at Nine.
Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards: CEO of the Year