Mediaweek Roundup: Google, Celebrity Apprentice, Bianca Dye+ more

Village Roadshow, Banijay, Foxtel, Peter V’landys, and SAFM

Business of Media

ACCC alleges Google misled consumers about expanded use of personal data

The ACCC has launched Federal Court proceedings against Google LLC (Google), alleging Google misled Australian consumers to obtain their consent to expand the scope of personal information that Google could collect and combine about consumers’ internet activity, for use by Google, including for targeted advertising.

The ACCC alleges Google misled consumers when it failed to properly inform consumers, and did not gain their explicit informed consent, about its move in 2016 to start combining personal information in consumers’ Google accounts with information about those individuals’ activities on non-Google sites that used Google technology, formerly DoubleClick technology, to display ads.

This meant this data about users’ non-Google online activity became linked to their names and other identifying information held by Google. Previously, this information had been kept separately from users’ Google accounts, meaning the data was not linked to an individual user.

Google then used this newly combined information to improve the commercial performance of its advertising businesses.

The ACCC also alleges that Google misled consumers about a related change to its privacy policy.

“We are taking this action because we consider Google misled Australian consumers about what it planned to do with large amounts of their personal information, including internet activity on websites not connected to Google,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

“Google significantly increased the scope of information it collected about consumers on a personally identifiable basis. This included potentially very sensitive and private information about their activities on third party websites. It then used this information to serve up highly targeted advertisements without consumers’ express informed consent,” Sims said.

“We allege that Google did not obtain explicit consent from consumers to take this step.”

[Read the full statement from the ACCC]

Village Roadshow’s never-ending takeover story almost done

Every good movie needs a cliffhanger or two, so it’s no surprise that the battle for Village Roadshow is heading for another such moment, reports The AFR’s Street Talk.

Exclusivity for takeover bidder BGH Capital officially ends on Tuesday. And while the deadline is not such a big issue – the exclusivity period has been extended a number of times throughout this process and will be again – it is understood the deal is right on the edge of completion.

BGH got close to wrapping things up on Monday, and is expected to sign on the dotted line in the coming days, sources said.

That could bring to an end an epic story that is, at its heart, the tale of a fallen star with family problems.

BGH and Village have been in exclusive discussions since mid-May, when the private equity outfit lobbed a $2.40 non-binding proposal at Village’s board. BGH had put a $4.00 a share bid to the company in January before COVID-19 struck and revenue from Village’s theme parks and cinemas ground to halt.

[Read more]

Cathy Payne to lead Banijay’s merged distribution engine

Following her appointment as chief executive officer of Banijay Rights back in April, Banijay has confirmed Cathy Payne (pictured) remains in post following the recent acquisition of the Endemol Shine Group. Overseeing the scaled-up distribution arm, she will now execute the integration of the two offerings and guide all exploitation across the portfolio of commercial finished tape.

Encompassing linear and non-linear exploitation, including VOD and self-publishing relationships, Payne will be at the forefront of Banijay Rights’ commercial drive. With a multitude of brands under one roof, her remit will span the 88,000+ hour catalogue, which includes Survivor, MasterChef, Temptation Island, Mr Bean, Peaky Blinders and Big Brother to name a few.

Continuing to report to Banijay’s chief executive officer, Marco Bassetti, Payne is already underway on bringing the two catalogues under one roof, with a new website and app planned for roll-out in September. The ambition is also to have the teams combined by autumn, with the integration process commencing this month.

Bassetti said: “Cathy is without doubt one of the industry’s strongest commercial champions and just what we need in the ‘new world’ of content. Consistently driving value and opportunity, she is the prime voice to have at the helm of the business as we start the combined roll-out and exploitation of all 88,000 hours of catalogue.”

Cathy Payne comments: “In an increasingly integrated production and exploitation business environment, it is critical that we have all finished tape efforts under a combined strategy. Banijay Rights has a tremendous offering for our clients and plenty of valuable opportunities for prospective brand partners worldwide.”

Foxtel channel executive departs for Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

This week Fraser Stark (pictured), group general manager, Entertainment & Music, departs Foxtel following the closure of its owned and operated music channels [V], MAX, CMC and Foxtel Smooth last month.

Stark commented: “What a ride it has been. I owe Brian Walsh and everyone at Foxtel a huge debt of thanks for entrusting me with such a wide and stimulating range of functions over the years. It is heartening to see how effectively the business is evolving in these ever-changing times, and I have no doubt that it will continue to deliver the best TV offering available to Australians.”

Stark has recently taken up a new position at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra – to reimagine its online video and audio offering and its distribution to new and established audiences.

“Even during the difficult impasse of Covid the allure of the MSO shimmers. Australia’s oldest Orchestra has invited me to help realise the opportunity that lies online and I couldn’t be happier – nor receive a more welcome compliment than a gig like this.”

During a 12-year history at Foxtel, Stark has led teams in Factual Entertainment, Drama, Comedy and, most recently, General Entertainment, Arts & Music.

He was the executive producer for Foxtel on Fire Fight Australia and Screen with Margaret Pomeranz and Graeme Blundell. He was also co-executive producer of the documentary history of Australian protest, The People Speak.

He launched Foxtel’s recently enlarged slate of New FOX-Branded Channels: FOX H!TS, FOX FUNNY, FOX SLEUTH, FOX SCI-FI.

During his time at Foxtel Stark also worked on CMC Rocks, Studio Max, CMC Awards, The Helpmann Awards and a range of special event programming.

News Brand

Peter V’landys accuses ABC of ‘ambush’ in defamation case

Racing NSW boss Peter V’landys was “ambushed” by an ABC 7.30 segment which he claims was edited to portray him as a person who “callously permitted the wholesale slaughter” of horses, a court has heard, reports The Australian’s Kieran Gair.

V’landys, the chief executive of Racing NSW and Australian Rugby League Commission chairman, is suing the ABC and journalist Caro Meldrum-Hanna for defamation in the Federal Court over an exposé aired on 7.30 last year.

V’landys is seeking aggravated damages over the segment ‘The Final Race’, which exposed disturbing details of thoroughbred racehorses being violently killed in knackeries in NSW and Queensland.

Barrister Bruce McClintock SC, appearing for V’landys, told the court on Monday that the racing chief would seek aggravated damages on the basis that the ABC had “ambushed” V’landys.

Barrister Clarrisa Amato, appearing for the ABC, said the “bigger problem” in V’landys’s defamation case was that he had never seen the episode of 7.30 he is suing over.

“He’s claiming damages for hurt feelings when he’s never seen the program,” she said.

The matter will return to court on September 23.

[Read more]


Bianca Dye opens up about accepting her ‘devastating’ axing from 97.3FM

Bianca Dye has opened up about her blindside axing from 97.3FM’s breakfast show, as she makes a return to radio in her dream job, reports News Corp’s Amy Price.

The broadcaster has returned home to the Gold Coast to join Hit 90.9’s breakfast show with Dan Anstey and Ben Hannant in a last-minute reshuffle after she finally parted ways amicably with her former employer, ARN, on July 1.

Dye had been in discussions to join Triple M’s Gold Coast drive show until she received the call up from Hit 90.9 after Lise Carlaw and Sarah Wills decided to leave the show this month.

“This breakfast show was on my vision board. It is my dream gig since I was 13 years old. To get this gig after everything that happened last year I’m pinching myself.”

Dye left the Gold Coast’s 92.5FM in 2016 to replace Robin Bailey on 97.3 in Brisbane, but late last year she and co-host Mike van Acker were dumped from the breakfast show following poor ratings results.

Dye admits she was blindsided by the decision, with ARN choosing to reinstate Terry Hansen and Bailey, who they had brought her in to replace.

“It’s not easy. It’s so public and your ego gets bruised,” she said. “Although I was kind of devastated by the decision, I didn’t see it coming, there were no hard feelings for me really because this is showbiz.”

[Read more]

The Advertiser celebrates how SAFM rocked in the 1980s

SAFM yesterday announced the return of the SAFM brand to Adelaide. Today The Advertiser is celebrating the return.

See also: Local heritage brands are back at SCA: Hello again B105 and SAFM


Originally known as 5SSA, with the on-air call sign Double SAFM, the station delivered Adelaide’s first FM station on September 12, 1980 to the strains of Sultans of Swing. Nine months later the station was in dire straits when a major shareholder pulled out of the company, but founder radio executive Paul Thompson refused to throw the baby out with the bathwater.


Double SAFM became SAFM in 1982. By the late 80s Paul Thompson’s little baby had grown into a giant – the national Austereo empire. It was run out of the Greenhill Rd offices which housed SAFM. In 1995 it was the third largest radio company in the world before it merged with Triple M’s Village Roadshow.


“We will not play and don’t play the Kylie (Minogue) and Jason (Donovan) records and the things that have very strong junior teen and subteen appeal,’’ Paul Thompson told The Tiser in 1989.


In 1984 SAFM was the first FM station to go to No 1 in the ratings and four years later in survey four it registered the highest-ever capital city ratings figure in Aussie radio history with 36.6 per cent.


SAFM can take credit for kickstarting the career of many a radio star such as Grant Cameron and Andrew Peters in the 80s. Nineties’ names included comic Adam Hills, cricketer James Brayshaw and Amanda Blair. Funnyman Anthony “Lehmo” Lehmann also got his big break at the station. He’s back to co-host the now Bec, Cosi & Lehmo show in the crucial breakfast timeslot.


Photo: Jeff Allis with a competition winner. (Source: The Advertiser)

Photo: Jeff Allis with a competition winner. (Source: The Advertiser)

David “Daisy” Day, Grant Cameron, Andrew Peters and mid-dawn announcer Jeff Allis, were all big fans of the business-at-the-front-party-at-the-back iconic 80s hairstyle.

[Read more]


Which billionaire will rule Australia’s new Celebrity Apprentice?

The franchise that started Donald Trump’s rise to the US presidency, The Apprentice, is to return to Australian screens, reports The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff.

Nine has commissioned Warner Brothers to make a season of The Celebrity Apprentice to screen in 2021. The network is whittling down a short-list of charismatic billionaires for the gig, with up to four on the shortlist.

An earlier Nine wishlist for the role included mining billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest and retail king Solomon Lew.

One definitely not in contention is Wizard Home Loans founder Mark Bouris, who was host of the previous Australian incarnation of the show. Nine apparently wants fresh blood.

[Read more]

To Top