Mediaweek Roundup: Barrie Cassidy, MasterChef, AFLW, NRL + more

BBC, CNN, Euronews, British newspapers, The Secrets She Keeps, and Formula 1

News Brands

BBC, CNN and Euronews donate airtime for messages to 800m

Three of the world’s biggest international broadcasters have come together to donate free airtime to public health bodies for the promotion of messages to combat the global coronavirus health crisis.

BBC Global News, CNN International and Euronews have committed combined inventory worth up to $50 million. This is available to major multilateral organisations and national health ministries whose aim is to communicate information to help protect citizens and stop the spread of the virus.

The three broadcasters reach over 800m people, ensuring that important public health advice can reach vast populations around the world at a time of global crisis.

They are encouraging other publishers and platforms to replicate the model in order to help spread the message even more widely.

The World Health Organization – the global leader in authoritative health information and guidance – is the first body to take up the offer.  Its initial campaign will focus on seven steps to prevent the spread of the virus and will run across all three broadcasters. Other public health bodies are invited to contact the broadcasters by emailing internationalsales@bbc.com, cnnicmarketing@turner.com and sales@euronews.com.

Jim Egan, CEO of BBC Global News, said: “Accurate information is one of the best weapons in our collective armoury for fighting this virus. We are telling the global story across our editorial output, but it also feels right to do whatever we can to help health agencies get their message out to the world as widely as possible.”

Rani Raad, president, CNN International Commercial, said: “Wherever you are in the world, this situation we find ourselves in is unprecedented. Whilst CNN’s editorial staff are working tirelessly to ensure people everywhere have the most up to date and accurate facts, it also makes sense to promote the public health agencies’ messaging. By working with our competitors, I hope this combined effort has a positive impact and our global footprint helps reach as many people as possible.”

Michael Peters, CEO of Euronews, said: “In these challenging times for the world, we have an even higher responsibility to bring our audiences accurate information in real-time, across our 12 language editions. Our newsroom has been working round-the-clock, including with major multilateral organisations like the WHO, to ensure that our audiences stay up to date with the latest recommendations to avoid the virus spreading. But we want to go one step further. We are proud to be launching this initiative with our long-time peers BBC Global News and CNN International: together, we want to help health authorities broadcast their vital messages more widely, and we hope many other media will follow suit.”

How British newspapers navigate pandemic business challenges

The UK publisher of the Daily Mirror, Daily Express and Daily Star newspapers is to furlough almost 1,000 employees, and its management, including the senior editorial team, will have pay slashed by a fifth, reports The Guardian.

Reach, formerly known as Trinity Mirror, also owns hundreds of regional titles including the Manchester Evening News, as well as the Scottish Daily Record and the celebrity magazine OK!

The company said it intended to furlough 20% of its 4,700 staff – 940 – during the coronavirus crisis. Reach’s top management, including the “most senior editorial team”, headed by the group editor-in-chief, Lloyd Embley, will take a 20% pay cut and all other employees will have their pay cut by 10%.

DMGT, the publisher of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Mail Online, the i and Metro, has taken a different, innovative approach to avoid furloughing staff or making redundancies.

The company, which has 2,400 staff working in its publishing arm, has asked employees to take a temporary pay cut in return for shares in the company.

[Read more]

Television

‘Dissatisfied’ with interviewing politicians, Cassidy changes tack

“I’ve walked away dissatisfied from too many interviews with politicians,” says Barrie Cassidy, who stepped down as host of ABC’s Insiders last June. “Whether that’s my fault or theirs, I’m not sure; I’ve just never got a great deal of satisfaction from it,” reports The Age’s Michael Lallo.

This Thursday, Cassidy’s first episode of One Plus One – the in-depth interview series previously anchored by Jane Hutcheon – debuts on ABC. For the veteran journalist, it’s a welcome change from grilling media-trained politicians.

“I want One Plus One to feel like a relaxed, fireside chat,” Cassidy says. “Of course, it takes a lot of effort for an interview to seem ‘naturally’ conversational and my researchers are terrific. They compile acres of material and by the time we do the interview, there’s not much I don’t know about the person.”

Cassidy recorded six episodes of an intended eight-part season, focusing on leadership in modern Australia, before the coronavirus pandemic halted filming. His guests include retired senior public servant Dennis Richardson (“he has respect for his political masters but fearlessly gives them the advice they need”), The Sydney Morning Herald‘s award-winning investigative reporter Kate McClymont (“she’s inspiring because she chose the toughest path”) and Charlie Magnuson, captain of the Bawley Point Rural Fire Brigade in south-eastern NSW.

[Read more]

TV Tonight gives new MasterChef Australia 4-star welcome

MasterChef Australia is starting a new era and the refresh may be just the ticket the show needed, reports TV Tonight.

10 has taken a strategic path in this “Back to Win” chapter, by smartly inviting back favourite faces, ready to settle unfinished business.

I may not know Jock Zonfrillo and Melissa Leong, but I sure know Poh, Callum, Hayden and Reynold like it was only yesterday (newsflash it was 11 years for some!).

And I sure as hell know Gordon Ramsay who faces the hopeful 24 when they first step into the kitchen. Whoa. If Ramsay is giving this his stamp of approval it must be good, right? He cleverly introduces our 3 new judges, which also includes former winner Andy Allen.

Sure the judges may not match the erudite theatrics of Matt Preston, but of the new trio Allen is the early standout, pointing to the emotion food can trigger, but I would expect all to find their groove in no time.

Step away from your benches. MasterChef is back.

[Read more]

10’s new drama The Secrets She Keeps released to 10Play

Everyone has their own secret in 10’s latest drama, The Secrets She Keeps, but none more so than disturbed supermarket stacker, Agatha (Laura Carmichael), reports TV Tonight in a review that gives the drama 3.5 out of 5.

Call it pre-natal depression, or call it being completely unhinged, she has her sights set on Meghan (Jessica de Gouw), an expectant mummy blogger whose upcoming pregnancy is going far more smoothly than her own.

On the outside Agatha is all smiles and supportive benevolence, yet on the inside she is a stone’s throw away from full bore bunny-boiler. She lives alone, working her dull retail job, whilst harbouring secret desires for the perfect family, as represented through the blogs of Meghan.

Laura Carmichael is a long way from Downton Abbey’s Lady Edith as the villain of this piece, based on a book by Michael Robothom. Jessica De Gouw is suitably endearing as the young mother unaware of impending dangers. The women, including a welcome appearance by Jenni Baird (A Place to Call Home), certainly have all the fun here. It’s all smiles until somebody gets hurt…

All six episodes, produced by Lingo Pictures, are now available for self-isolating binge watchers on 10 Play with a broadcast date expected shortly.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Get the NRL party started again – but don’t trash the brand

ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys’ haste in getting the NRL competition going again, in three or four “bubbles” in NSW and/or Queensland, is dividing opinion. He doesn’t care. He’s a divider, a disrupter, an agitator, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Andrew Webster.

His urgency reflects the need to get the money tap from the game’s broadcast partners flowing again. Both Fox Sports and Channel Nine didn’t make their quarterly repayments on April 1, as you would expect. No football, no pay.

The NRL wants to get the party going again as soon as possible, maybe as soon as the end of next month. But it needs to be wary about trashing the product.

There are certainly some funky ideas getting about.

The notion of a best-of-three grand final series is also getting a run. So, too, 20-minute quarters – something V’landys was actually looking at pre-coronavirus as a way of maximising advertising revenue for broadcasters in the next TV deal.

[Read more]

Emerging league in doubt: Players fear for future of AFLW

There are genuine fears within AFLW playing ranks that elite female footballers might not have a national competition to play in next year, reports AAP.

The women’s league is facing an uncertain future after four seasons in operation as the AFL tackles the biggest financial crisis in its history due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Some clubs that fielded AFLW teams during the incomplete 2020 season are questioning whether they can afford to continue doing so beyond this year.

The $600 million line of credit secured by the AFL last week could provide the lifeline the women’s competition needs. But there are many competing interests the AFL needs to prioritise as it navigates its way through the financial crisis, including keeping 18 clubs and the men’s competition viable.

[Read more]

F1 could disappear: McLaren boss, audience flocks to virtual GP

McLaren chief executive Zak Brown has warned Formula One is in a “very fragile state” due to coronavirus, reports PA.

The escalating COVID-19 pandemic has brought the sport to a halt with two races – including the showcase Monaco Grand Prix in May – cancelled and six postponed so far.

F1 is committed to eventually getting the 2020 campaign under way. However, Brown has warned about the potentially perilous state of the sport.

Meanwhile, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was a dominant winner on his Formula One esports debut on Sunday while World Cup-winning England cricketer Ben Stokes brought up the rear in a virtual Vietnam Grand Prix.

The 28-lap race was the second in a series organised to provide some entertainment for fans starved of real-life action with more than 190,000 watching Formula One’s official live stream on YouTube.

[Read more]

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