Mediaweek Roundup: David Gyngell, Susan Wood, Toasted TV + more

• Thinkerbell, The Daily Telegraph, James Bay, Hit105, Triple M, TLA Worldwide and Dylan Lewis

Business of Media

Former Nine boss David Gyngell suffers heart attack at Byron Bay

Former Channel 9 boss David Gyngell is recovering from a heart attack on Byron Bay beach, reports News Corp’s Phil Rothfield.

Doctors later found he had a 90 percent blockage in two of his arteries.

The 54-year-old TV legend was training on the beach last week with tennis superstar Pat Rafter when he experienced chest pain and a shortness in breath.

Although a fitness fanatic who regularly surfs on the north coast, Gyngell has a family history of high cholesterol.

“I’m OK now but it could have been a lot worse,” Gyngell said. “If I hadn’t been fit I could have died.

“I was training like I do most days. Then I felt tired and a bit weird but still went to breakfast with the boys.”

It wasn’t until he returned home that his wife, Channel 9 presenter Leila McKinnon, suggested he see a doctor.

ECG tests revealed Gyngell had suffered a heart attack and he was rushed into surgery at the John Flynn hospital on the Gold Coast.

[Read more]

TV legend has left the building: Susan Wood departs Seven Network

Longtime Seven publicist Susan Wood has departed the network after 17 years, reports TV Tonight.

From 2003 – 2020 she was network director of publicity, overseeing artist management, program launches, upfronts and even network crises.

This concludes her third term with Seven having first joined the network from regional TV and Crawford Productions.

For the past 17 years she has worked under four CEOs including David Leckie, Tim Worner and James Warburton.

Last year James Warburton restructured Seven management with Charlotte Valente as chief marketing officer and from February Julia Lefort as director of corporate affairs and publicity, when Wood returned to Melbourne.

Susan Wood told TV Tonight, “It’s been a conscious uncoupling. The time is right with the team in such good shape, to draw a line under the last 17 years, which have been tremendous fun.”

CEO James Warburton said in a statement, “Susan Wood has left the business after 17 incredible years, during which time she significantly contributed to the brand reputation of Seven, its successful programs and artists.

“Susan more recently moved into a part-time consulting role with Seven focused on a number of specific projects, for which she may provide periodic support in the future.”

[Read more]

Ben Shepherd joins Thinkerbell as General Manager, Media

Ben Shepherd (pictured) is joining Thinkerbell in the new role of general manager – media.

When he arrives at Thinkerbell he will be reunited with Margie Reid after the two worked together for several years at OMD.

Margie Reid, Thinkerbell CEO, said: “Ben is truly in the ‘beautiful mind’ class. An iconoclast thinker and communicator, he has the ability to cut through, and make the complicated simple. However, perhaps even more importantly he’s a transparent and honest operator. He’ll ensure our joined up and holistic approach to media is amplified as we grow our competencies in this space.”

Ben Shepherd commented: “You can’t ignore Thinkerbell, it’s a strong brand in the marketplace, with a model I fundamentally believe in and can help grow. Marketers have never had more options but less choice. Thinkerbell is a distinctive, ambitious and genuinely interesting collection of different people, talents and capabilities with an energy and curiosity that is really bloody appealing. I’m excited to play a role in creating really great, effective work.”

Thinkerbell has several clients it provides media and creative duties for including SsangYong, Journey Beyond, Bega, SsangYong and Sukin/BWX, MRC and Lifeline.

News Brands

The Press Council upholds complaint about The Daily Telegraph

The Press Council considered a complaint from Senator Richard Di Natale about a print article published in The Daily Telegraph on 22 July 2019, headed “Greens put wind up farm”, reports the News Corp Sydney daily newspaper.

The article reported on a proposed wind farm on Robbins Island in Tasmania. It began, “The Greens are opposing a proposed wind farm in Tasmania which would inject $5 billion into the economy and produce 100 megawatts of clean energy into the grid”. The article went on to include a quote from Australian Greens Party leader Senator Richard Di Natale and stated that he “supported Dr Bob Brown’s concerns” over the proposed wind farm.

The complainant said the article was inaccurate and misleading, as at no time has the Australian Green Party opposed the proposed wind farm. The complainant also said that Dr Brown was no longer in any position of leadership in the party, he had no authority over the party’s national position, nor did he represent the complainant’s position.

The Council considers that in the absence of verifying the position directly with the party, the publication failed to take reasonable steps to ensure accuracy.

Accordingly, the publication failed to take the reasonable steps appropriate to ensure that the statement was accurate, not misleading and fair and balanced. Accordingly, the Council concludes that the Publication breached General Principles 1 and 3.

As to remedial action, the Council accepts that after the article appeared the complainant contacted the publication to advise it of the inaccuracy and requested a correction. The Council considers that the inaccuracy in the report was substantial and that in failing to publish a correction the publication failed to take reasonable steps to provide appropriate remedial action. The Council notes that after a complaint was made to the Council, the publication offered publication of a response, however given the nature of the inaccuracy and the time which had elapsed, the publication also breached General Principle 4.

[Read more]


Australia’s first commercial FM station celebrates 40th birthday

Australia’s first commercial FM station began broadcasting on 92.3FM Melbourne on July 11 1980, first as EON-FM and later as Triple M on 105.1FM, reports Radio Today.

A consortium that included entrepreneur Bill Armstrong, band manager Glenn Wheatley and stockbroker Bill Conn successfully bid on one of two Melbourne FM licenses in 1979.

Armstrong headed the consortium, having seen the commercial opportunities of FM radio in the US and the UK and despite their application, had no blueprint from which to launch from.

They did, however, beat Fox FM to the airwaves by just two weeks.

Clyde Simpson was the station’s first general manager, Lee Simon the first program director and Billy Pinnell the Melbourne station’s first music programmer.

At first, EON played songs that “would not be played elsewhere”, having no playlist and avoiding Top 40 songs. “We thought we were going to be the beginning of a new era,” Armstrong admits. “It took us a while to realise we were wrong.”

EON finally topped Melbourne’s ratings in 1985 and sold to Hoyts one year later for $37.5 million. The deal was reportedly negotiated by Wheatley.

The station was rebranded 3MMM on November 27 in 1988 and moved to 105.1FM.

It launched the careers of some programming greats including Ian Grace, Brad March, Jeff Allis and the network’s current head of content Mike Fitzpatrick.

“We’re all honoured to be the custodians of this radio station, and the history of EON as Australia’s first commercial FM,” Fitzpatrick told Radio Today.

[Read more]

SCA’s Triple M brand ready to rock Dubbo and Gippsland

SCA has announced that from Monday July 20, Dubbo’s Hit93.5 and Gippsland’s Hit94.3 will now sit under the Triple M Network, becoming Triple M Dubbo and Triple M Gippsland.

As Triple M celebrates 40 years on the airwaves this year, Dubbo and Gippsland will join Australia’s second largest radio network with 46 stations across metro and regional markets plus five digital radio stations.

Triple M Dubbo and Triple M Gippsland will now provide the best of Rock’s Greatest Hits, as well as Sport and Comedy. Listeners will still wake up with Pippa & Alo for breakfast in Dubbo and Anna Dare in Gippsland, but there will be a new way to drive home each weekday afternoon with the popular show Kennedy Molloy, hosted by Jane Kennedy and Mick Molloy.

Head of Triple M Network, Mike Fitzpatrick, said: “We’re proud to be taking the Triple M brand into these growing markets.

“Triple M’s core content pillars of Rock, Sport and Comedy as well as hyper localism and community focus will resonate with the people of both Dubbo and Gippsland.”

Britain’s James Bay to perform for Nova Red Room Live Stream

British singer, songwriter and guitar phenomenon James Bay will be the latest artist to perform on the virtual stage for Nova’s Red Room Live Stream in late July.

Following the Nova and smoothfm Thank You Concert, an exclusive live streamed music event to recognise and say thank you to Australia’s front-line workers, the Nova Network is continuing to provide fans with the opportunity to connect with their favourite artists in intimate live streamed music events. 

James Bay burst on to the charts with his 2014 critically acclaimed debut album Chaos and the Calm. The album went straight to #1 in the UK and sold half a million copies in the US,  with the lead single Hold Back the River going platinum. In 2018 he released his second album Electric Light which peaked at #2 on the British charts. Bay found further success with hit singles Scars and Let it Go, with the latter amassing over 322 million views on YouTube.

The 29-year-old has a slew of coveted industry accolades including three Grammy nominations, two Brit Awards including Best Male Solo Artist and Critics Choice plus a GQ Man of The Year Award.

James Bay’s latest single Chew On My Heart was released last week.

Listeners have the chance to win their invite to an intimate live streamed performance and fan Q & A with James Bay, in the next Nova’s Red Room Live Stream, by listening to the Nova Network or entering online at

Hit105’s ‘Quarantine Cuisine’ & ‘Fake Away’ delivers client goals!

Taking client relations to a new and tasty level, Brisbane’s Hit105 has shone the spotlight on local farmers and flavour-makers over lockdown.

Example A: Take two nationally acclaimed chefs, add local produce from the Scenic Rim Farm Box and beam an exclusive cooking class direct to the homes of agency clients. The result: win win!

Example B: Take a local Brisbane gnocchi legend, share their recipe, create an audio how-to and invite agency clients to a completely unique Fake Away culinary experience. Same result!

“This is the recipe cooked up by Brisbane’s Hit105 to give agency clients authentic food experiences using hyper-local produce, starring chefs known for their championing of the ‘eat local’ mantra, a recently launched farm-to-front-gate business in South East Queensland and a gnocchi business that creates line-ups the envy of the city,” said Hamish Rose, SCA Brisbane head of sales.

“The program was a creative twist for us, allowing extended engagement with clients during lockdown, while celebrating the ‘Shop Local’ campaign that’s taken over our stations across the network.”

Brisbane’s Hit105 partnered with the Scenic Rim region to host two virtual cooking classes – called Quarantine Cuisine. The experience starred regional Ambassador Chefs, both multi-award winning and nationally acclaimed flavour makers: Richard Ousby of The Overflow Estate 1895 near Boonah (and former Executive Chef at Stokehouse), and Josh Lopez of The Wolfe, in Brisbane.

The chefs created their own recipes featuring local produce and guided clients through the cooking class live. Ingredients were delivered to each client via the Scenic Rim Farm Box and paired with local wines.

Dylan Lewis returns to ABC as Double J weekends presenter

Dylan Lewis (pictured) is taking over as host of Double J weekends from 9am – 12pm every Saturday and Sunday from 18 July until the end of the year.

Lewis was previously at the ABC when he hosted Recovery and The 10.30 Slot in the late 90s. Since then he’s hosted Video Hits, conquered Celebrity Big Brother, and is an ACRA awarded radio host for his work at Nova in Melbourne and Adelaide.

Lewis was on the Double J airwaves recently, filling in for Tim Shiel on afternoons, as well as hosting mornings over summer.

Excited to get stuck in, Dylan Lewis said: “I bloody love Double J. It feels like Aunty designed it just for me! It plays the music I love, and the presenters are all passionate about the music in the way I am. I feel very lucky and proud to be a part of the Double J family again. I’m home. I started out 25 years ago at the ABC doing a music show on a Saturday morning – and now I’m back on the weekends doing it again. Pretty neat huh?!”

As Double J welcomes Lewis, it waves a temporary farewell to music aficionado and host of both The J Files and the Inside The Big Day Out podcast, Gemma Pike who is taking a break to welcome a brand new music fan into the world, and will be back in 2021.

Stepping up to take over The J Files at 8pm every Thursday for the rest of 2020 will be Caz Tran, one of the country’s best music journos and historians of Australian music. Having been with the triple j family for almost 20 years, Tran hosted Super Request, Home & Hosed, lunch and weekend breakfast on triple j, before taking the reins as Double J weekends presenter since the station’s inception six years ago.


Axed: Network 10 ending Brisbane produced Toasted TV breakfast show

In a few short weeks a small, but dedicated, team will gather in Channel 10’s Brisbane studios to record the very last episode of Toasted TV, reports TV Blackbox’s Robert McKnight.

What started out as a replacement for Cheez TV in 2012 quickly established its own identity and became a favourite for children all around the country.

The show has changed over the years and is now hosted by Ollie McCormack and relative newcomer Lia Walsh. In fact, the timing couldn’t be worse for Walsh who only recently moved out of home into her own apartment. She is now locked into a contract without an income.

It’s understood the team of six had no idea the show would be finishing up until they were informed by management last week. The news came as a complete surprise.

[Read more]

Sports Media

TLA Worldwide secures contract extension with South Australian Tourism

Sports marketing agency TLA Worldwide has secured a two-year contract extension with the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) to provide PR services for the Superloop Adelaide 500.

The contract extension will see TLA’s experience with the largest domestic motorsport event in Australia extend to nine events, with the inclusion of 2021 and 2022.

TLA’s general manager – marketing & communications, Laura McLachlan, said TLA is thrilled to secure the contract extension after another successful campaign in 2020.

“The Superloop Adelaide 500 is a world class event that showcases the city to potential visitors all over the world. It is an important part of South Australia’s major events strategy and we are proud to play a part in this,” said McLachlan.

TLA’s national footprint allows the team to maximise results in key markets for South Australia, while the Adelaide office leverages strong relationships with news, sport and lifestyle media locally.

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