Mediaweek Roundup: Disney+, Macquarie Media bid, Triple M, Survivor + more

• Triple M, 2GB, Jane Doyle, ABC and Seven

Business of Media

Singleton, Carnegie set to back Nine bid for Macquarie Media

Macquarie Media’s major shareholders Mark Carnegie and John Singleton are preparing to accept a bid from Nine Entertainment Co to take full ownership of the radio network should an independent report recommend the offer, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.

The deal would likely require the support of both advertising mogul Singleton, who owns 32.4 per cent of the business, and Carnegie who has a 3.6 per cent stake.

Sources close to the major shareholders have now confirmed they are expecting to agree with the offer, which has been described by some investors as “disappointing”, should an independent report from PwC recommend it be accepted.

Macquarie Media chief executive Adam Lang declined to comment on what the major shareholders would do, but confirmed the PwC report was due within two weeks. Nine declined to comment.

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The Disney+ discounts: Two killer deals that will quickly build scale

In addition to the recent announcements about Disney originals that are coming to the company’s new streaming service, Disney has also revealed two subscription deals, which will appeal to potential customers.

The offers, which will only be available in the US, give Disney+ customers extra content and a cheaper monthly spend.
The first deal involves a Disney group bundle, which will give a bundle of Disney product for one low price.

The US-only offer is offering three subscription products – Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ – for the price of US$12.99. That is coincidentally the same cost as a single subscription to Netflix.

The Hollywood Reporter has commissioned research into the bundling offer and found that 42% of millennials are likely to take up that offer. Bundling sports at a low cost is a silver bullet for building streaming audiences, something News Corp’s Foxtel recently confirmed with the success of its $25 monthly Kayo product.

The other Disney+ offer unveiled this week involves a price break for customers committing for three years. The deal is only open for D23 members, but there is no cost to join the official Disney Fan Club. You can bet membership could soar off the back of this offer.

The cost of a US Disney+ subscription is only US$6.99 monthly, but this new offer drops the monthly charge to just $3.92 a month. The catch, in addition to having to join D23, subscribers must commit to three years with Disney+ and pay for that subscription upfront – $141.

News Brands

Milestone for Adelaide’s most experienced and respected news reader

Seven’s Jane Doyle (pictured) this week celebrates 30 years at the news desk.

Doyle has nearly 40 years’ experience as a print, radio and television journalist, with her media career starting with a cadetship at a newspaper in far north Queensland in 1980.

In 1981 Doyle moved with her husband Ian to SA where she worked for The Recorder newspaper in Port Pirie and ABC Radio station 5CK as a casual announcer until 1983 when the couple moved to Adelaide.

Doyle returned to print journalism with a two-and-a-half-year stint as TV Week’s Adelaide bureau chief before joining ABC Adelaide in 1986 where she worked in radio and television until 1989.

Doyle joined 7News in 1989 and has continued in that role while undertaking a wide range of other broadcast duties for Seven Adelaide.

She read her first 7News bulletin on August 28, 1989.

7News Adelaide news director Chris Salter said: “Not a day goes by when Jane doesn’t bring her A game, her professionalism is second to none.

“Jane is far more than newsreader, she’s the matriarch of the newsroom – a friend and mentor to so many.

“To be welcomed into the homes of South Australians for three decades is an incredible achievement. At a time when news comes from more sources than ever, Jane and John bring experience, trust and credibility. It’s why more people are switching to 7News.”

Last year 7NEWS with Jane Doyle and John Riddell was the #1 regular program on television in SA – out ranking every other regular entertainment or sporting program on offer across all networks.

In March this year 7News clocked up 500 successive weeks at #1 in survey – a record landmark moment for television in South Australia, cementing the longest running victory on record of any news bulletin in Adelaide.

The winning sequence started in August 2006.

This year will mark 7News Adelaide’s 19th consecutive year at #1.

Research: ABC & newspapers most trusted, social media not so much

The media landscape in Australia is in an unprecedented state of disruption and change as digital media continues to upend established norms and business practices at a level we’ve never seen before, comments Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine as the research company releases its 2019 State of the Nation media report.

However, there is a “hard” currency that remains constant that drives consumers to return to, or reject, brands and channels and that is Trust and Distrust.

For media channels and brands to survive and thrive they must build Trust and crucially, minimise Distrust. While a high level of Trust will keep audiences engaged and coming back, a high, or increasing, level of Distrust will drive audiences (consumers) away – perhaps never to return.

Trust and Distrust of Media Channels

• More Australians Trust ‘newspapers’ than any other channel – but down from 2018, ahead of Television, News & Newspaper Websites, Social Media, Radio and Magazines
• Social Media is the most Distrusted media channel – but down from a year ago, followed by Print, Newspapers, Television, Magazines, News & Newspaper Websites and Radio

Trust and Distrust of Media Corporations

• ABC is by far the most Trusted media corporation followed by Nine Entertainment, SBS, Newscorp, Facebook, Seven West Media, Google/Alphabet Group and Schwartz Media
• The most Distrusted media corporation is Facebook, although its Distrust has improved significantly since 2018, ahead of Newscorp, Nine Entertainment, Seven West Media, ABC and Fox

Trust and Distrust of Media Brands

• On a Net Trust Score basis the ABC is a clear leader ahead of SBS, The Guardian, BBC, SMH, Schwartz Media, NY Times, AFR, The Age and Al Jazeera
• Facebook is at the bottom with the lowest Net Trust Score: Facebook followed by Nine Network, Twitter, Instagram, Seven Network, Foxtel, The Daily Telegraph, Ten Network and Herald Sun
• In a fake-news world impartiality, balance & accuracy remain key drivers of TRUST in media
• Whereas bias, poor journalism & data privacy concerns are key drivers of DISTRUST

Where do Australians get their news?

• TV is the preferred news channel for Australians ahead of Newspapers, Radio, Social Media and Newsfeed sites
• Now 60% of people mainly get their news via the Internet in some form – up from 58% a year ago
• Radio has dipped slightly in recent years but still reaches nearly four-fifths of Australians with Commercial Radio easily the preferred channel however there is strong growth for the downloading of Radio & Music Apps and for use of Spotify over the last few years


2GB’s message: “Attractive commercial proposition for any advertiser”

Macquarie Media’s Sydney station 2GB has been attracting attention for all the wrong reasons for the past few weeks.

Off the back of continuing strong ratings in GfK Survey 5 yesterday, the station has taken the unusual step of releasing a public message to clients.

The message, from Macquarie Media head of commercial Mark Noakes (pictured), comes after unconfirmed claims that as many as 70 advertisers have now stopped advertising in the Alan Jones breakfast show.

The message from Noakes reads:

“For 122 consecutive surveys, spanning more than 15 years, Sydney listeners have voted 2GB as their favourite radio station. Our audiences have proven to be not only substantial in number, but also incredibly loyal to our stations and presenters.

“In a challenging and results-driven commercial environment, advertisers are searching for the most successful ways to connect their brand with their target audience. There is no denying Macquarie Media’s track record of success and these latest audience figures solidify Macquarie Media’s standing as an attractive commercial proposition for any advertiser.

We remain grateful to our commercial partners for continuing to choose Macquarie Media’s channels to connect with their customers.

Although not referring directly to the controversy surrounding the 2GB breakfast show, Macquarie Media CEO Adam Lang also commented yesterday:

“Our entire team – on-air and off – remains focussed on delivering the best possible programs for our loyal audiences, and strong results for our clients and shareholders.”

Commenting on the ratings result, Lang added:

“We are absolutely delighted that News Talk 2GB873 has again been recognised as the number one radio station in Sydney.

“The 2GB success can be attributed to the strength of our line-up, led by Alan Jones, Ray Hadley, Steve Price, Ben Fordham, Ross Greenwood, John Stanley, Michael McLaren, George and Paul, and The Continuous Call Team. We pride ourselves on providing a forum where audiences can be informed, engaged and express themselves.

“It is also pleasing to see the continued growth of our national sports network, Macquarie Sports Radio, which is clearly resonating with listeners, right across the country.

“We remain conscious of the fact that listeners have a choice – a choice of which stations they listen to and a choice of which programs they tune in for. It is gratifying to know that so many people continue to choose to listen to News Talk 2GB 873 and Macquarie Sports Radio and our experienced broadcasters.”

Triple M Brisbane Lends a Hand for the Land on epic road trip out west

Whilst they don’t have the power to make it rain, Triple M’s Big Breakfast with Marto, Robin, Nick Cody and sports all-rounder (and former western Queensland local) Ben ‘Dobbo’ Dobbin, are on an epic radio road trip out west to Lend a Hand for the Land for Rural Aid.

The team are broadcasting from Charleville, St George and Roma, sharing the locals’ stories on-air, raising much-needed funds and giving people some well-deserved laughs when Nick Cody puts on a free comedy show for the community each night.

Road trip schedule

Monday: The hosts spoke with Kylee from Gidgees Bush Camp about her farm stay, café, mental health and drought in the community, to Charleville Mayor Annie Liston and to other locals before Nick Cody and Mel Buttle put on a cracking comedy night at the Charleville RSL.

Tuesday: The team broadcast live from the Charleville RSL and travelled to St George, chatting to St George Mayor Richard Marsh before Nick and Mel performed again at The Australian Hotel.

Wednesday: The Triple M breakfast show broadcast from The Australian Hotel in St George, visited a property near Roma, chatted to the owner of Royal on 99 at Roma (the pub) and Nick and Mel will perform at the pub as well.

Thursday: Breakfast will broadcast live from Royal on 99 in Roma, Dobbo will head to the Roma Cattle Yards for Prime sales and the crew all head home, coverage in dust and full of stories.

Marto said: “For those of us who live in Brisbane it’s sometimes easy to forget the devastating impact the sustained drought is having on our rural and regional towns. For those drought-declared communities (who represent 65% of the state), the lack of rain over several years has resulted in failed crops, poor pasture growth and significant concerns about stock, irrigation and rural domestic water supplies. Not to mention the impact it has had on the mental health of those people trying to survive the harsh and stressful conditions. That’s why this radio road trip is important. It’s important we head out west, to the homes of our fellow Queenslanders and share their stories with their city friends, because we are all in this together.”

Triple M’s Dobbo knows firsthand the impact of drought having worked on rural properties for much of his life including as a jackeroo, stock and station agent and meat wholesaler:

“Folks on the land are doing it tough and it’s important that those of us who are in a privileged position do everything we can to make sure their voices are heard. We all need to dig deep and help our rural brothers and sisters because the fact is, without farmers, none of us eat.”


Colin Vickery: Seven won’t find success in the same bag of tricks

Think outside the box. That is the advice I’m hoping Kerry Stokes told new Seven West Media chief executive James Warburton, writes News Corp’s Colin Vickery.

Seven desperately needs to refresh its television program offering if it is to avoid ratings declines in 2020.

The yearly kickstart from the Australian Open tennis is gone. My Kitchen Rules’ glory days are over. House Rules is also on the wane and host Johanna Griggs recently quit the program. Relationship show The Super Switch was a monumental flop, quickly dispatched to digital channel 7flix.

Now Seven has to endure three months of pain against The Block, which has been a thorn in its side for years.

Seven is convinced that light entertainment is the way to combat Nine’s renovation show but I have my doubts.

Last year it tried and failed with Dance Boss, Take Me Out and All Together Now. This year it has had slightly better luck with Australia’s Got Talent but at what cost? The format rights and production costs are enormous.

I can’t think of a single Seven show this year that has created any buzz and Warburton would know that Seven’s audience skews so old.

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Australian Survivor’s David Genat on what happens after Tribal Council

Australian Survivor’s sneaky supermodel David Genat was finally eliminated from the game during Monday’s episode, suffering a “massive blindside” so severe he even left with an unplayed immunity idol in his pocket, report’s Nick Bond and Hannah Paine.

He couldn’t be too upset, though: “To be honest, I’m pretty happy I went out like that – it really is the most humane way to put someone down. To be blindsided means that you’re a massive player and people recognise that,” he said.

David’s elimination on Monday made him the second member of the jury this season – joining his biggest nemesis in the game, former AFL player Shaun Hampson.

The pair had been gunning for each other since David gave Shaun a false idol early in the season, and Shaun couldn’t contain his glee as David was sent packing.

But their eliminations as the first and second jury members presented them with an awkward situation: stuck alone together at jury villa for several days, waiting to be joined by another contestant.

Shaun told they had a surprisingly great time together back at jury villa.

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