Mediaweek Roundup: James Murdoch, Kev Kavanagh, Nova, MAFS + more

• MAFS, ACMA, Fiveaa, Matt Campbell, SeaChange, NRL Hall of Fame, and Super Netball

Business of Media

James Murdoch’s investment firm gets into film festival business

Lupa Systems – the new venture company led by former 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch – has partnered with investor Joe Marchese‘s Attention Capital to acquire a majority stake in Tribeca Enterprises, which puts on the annual festival, the companies said Monday, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The Lupa-led group acquired the stake from the Madison Square Garden Company, Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Craig Hatkoff and other prior investors. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. When MSG acquired a 50 percent stake in Tribeca in 2014 it valued the company, co-founded by Robert De Niro in 2003, at about US$45 million.

“We are excited about working with Jane and Bob to help grow the unique Tribeca brand,” stated Murdoch. “When Tribeca was founded after 9/11, they brought together a tremendous creative community to embark on mission-driven business with civic impact and support for storytellers at its core. It is a real privilege to partner with this talented team to enhance and grow that mission.”

Following the US$71.3 billion Disney acquisition of the majority of the Murdoch-owned Fox empire, James Murdoch, 46, founded Lupa Systems in March with what was speculated to be an eye toward media and tech investments.

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ACMA issues $88,200 in infringement notices under NBN rules

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued its first infringement notices under rules designed to ensure telcos provide consumers with adequate information about their National Broadband Network (NBN) services.

Following investigations, Activ8me, Aussie Broadband, Flip TV, Hello Broadband, Mate Communicate, My Net Fone and Telechoice paid a total of $88,200 for failing to comply with the Telecommunications (NBN Consumer Information) Industry Standard 2018 which came into effect in September 2018.

ACMA authority member Fiona Cameron said: “Our Standard requires telcos to provide clear and meaningful information about their NBN plans in one-page key facts sheet and in their advertising.

“Failing to give consumers clear and honest information about NBN plans is unacceptable and can lead to misleading conduct as recently highlighted by the recent Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s report.

“Telcos need to provide information that will assist consumers to choose an NBN plan that suits their needs and if they don’t they will be held to account.”

News Brands

Former Brisbane Courier-Mail editor Kev Kavanagh dies at 93

A former editor of The Courier-Mail has died, aged 93, reports News Corp’s Sarah Matthews.

Kev Kavanagh worked as the paper’s seventh editor from 1979-84 as a part of a 61-year career in journalism.

Kavanagh started as a cadet in The Courier-Mail’s Brisbane newsroom before serving in the RAAF during World War II, and then returning to Australia to work as the newspaper’s first Canberra correspondent in 1947.

During his time in Canberra, Kavanagh attended one of then prime minister Ben Chifley’s daily press conferences, which was delayed to honour the presence of the first female journalist.

He also set up The Courier-Mail’s first Canberra bureau before going on tour with Robert Menzies during his December 1949 election campaign.

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Nova 106.9’s Ash Bradnam speaks about reaching a personal milestone

After celebrating four years sober on Sunday, breakfast radio presenter Ash Bradnam has opened up about how overcoming his damaging and lengthy battle with alcohol addiction had changed his life, reports News Corp’s Amy Price.

Speaking on Nova 106.9’s Ash, Kip, Luttsy and Susie Monday morning, Bradnam shared his disbelief at the personal milestone.

“You guys saw I was in a bad place four years ago,” he told his co-hosts.

“I actually can’t believe it. I’ve gone four years without having a drink. I couldn’t go a day for years, years, rehabs, this that everything else. And I’ve gone four years.”

Bradnam quit drinking in 2015, the year he plead guilty to a second drink-driving charge in the space of six years, disclosing he took a medication designed to make him sick if he consumed alcohol and also spent one month in a rehabilitation facility.

In 2017, marking his two years of sobriety, Bradnam launched his podcast series, Addicted, during which he spoke with his wife Jodie, who is also a clinical psychologist, about his alcoholism.

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Producer Tammii Caught celebrates 25 years at Adelaide’s Fiveaa

Nova Entertainment is celebrating a special milestone for program producer Tammi Caught (pictured) after 25 years with Fiveaa.

Caught commenced with Fiveaa in July 1994 and the first program she worked on at Fiveaa was the Psychic Saturday night show. When Caught started at Fiveaa, the on-air line up featured announcers such as Bazz & Pilko, Ken Dicken & Sonya Feldhoff, Ken Cunningham & David Hookes as well as the legendary Bob Francis.

Today, Caught is Leon Byner’s morning show executive producer, a role she has held for the past 20 years. Some of her most memorable radio days have been after major events such as 9/11 and the death of Princess Diana gave the radio audience a chance to voice their passion, opinions and emotions.

“Radio is a fantastic medium to work in and I’m grateful to Nova Entertainment for the opportunity to cover news, help people and try to make a difference everyday,” said Caught.

Fiveaa station manager Craig Munn said, “As someone who was working here at Fiveaa when Tammii commenced with the station in July 1994, it has both been a pleasure to work with Tammii as a colleague and to also see her develop into an exceptional program producer. Tammii has been an essential and significant contributor to the great success of the station throughout the past 25 years.”


Matt Campbell: Streaming services a “godsend” for drama producers

Free to air networks might not be the #1 fans of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon but producers see things much differently, reports TV Tonight.

As drama budgets become tighter with Australian broadcasters, streaming services represent new opportunities.

“It’s an extremely crowded market and there are few clients,” Matt Campbell, group CEO of CJZ, says of Australian broadcasters.

“The streamers are a godsend and we are talking to them, whether it’s Amazon, Netflix, Apple. I assume everyone is talking to them.

“Having them in the mix is very important for us. Networks might not think they are a great idea, but certainly for content producers it’s a godsend.”

CJZ principal Michael Cordell has previously called for local content minimums on streaming services. But while the new-look Morrison government is yet to set content rules for streaming services, drama quotas have ensured free to air broadcasters are still doing the heavy lifting.

“Drama is expensive. Networks in the current situation are wanting to spend less and less money. So drama will always be difficult for them. But the quota means they have to do it. There are opportunities, as we’ve seen with 800 Words (co-produced by Seven), where drama is made in New Zealand and brought across here to qualify as first-run drama with drama points,” Campbell continues.

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Married At First Sight producers buy wedding dresses from op shop

Despite record ratings in their most recent season, Married At First Sight producers have been busted sourcing wedding dresses from a Sydney op shop, reports News Corp’s Sally Coates.

Casting for the next season of the car crash reality show is currently underway after the scandalous sixth season finished airing late March.

However shooting for the pre-season promotional videos may have already commenced, hence production company Endemol Shine need to nab some bargain bridal gear.

An employee at a Kings Cross second hand shop told a Daily Telegraph journalist that staff had been in last week buying dresses and saying they were for the show.

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SeaChange star reveals why he returned to acting and the Gold Coast

A leading role in the SeaChange reboot was the perfect serendipitous opportunity for Darren McMullen, reports News Corp’s Amy Price.

Feeling for the last few years that the US was “going in a pretty nasty direction”, the 37-year-old left Los Angeles in March for a month’s holiday in Sydney, during which he auditioned for the role of hunky marine biologist Findlay Knox in Channel 9’s new fourth season of the series, which is set 20 years after the first three seasons on the ABC.

“Off the back of that another couple of projects came up and I was like ‘oh OK, now I’ve got a bunch of work lined up here until September’, so I figure all signs seem to be pointing to me being here at the moment,” McMullen told Confidential.

The role is the Glasgow-born identity’s first acting gig since he left Channel 9’s House Husbands in 2015, while also hosting The Voice, followed by Channel 7’s Behave Yourself and recently NFL Football Fanatic in the US.

While the rest of the cast lived nearby to the Northern Rivers filming location, McMullen chose to base himself at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast during the three-month shoot.

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Sports Media

Administrators and media to be inducted into NRL Hall of Fame

A rugby league administrator and member of both print and broadcast media will be inducted into the NRL Hall of Fame alongside as many as four players for the very first time this year, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Sam Phillips.

While which members of the media have been nominated remains under wraps until Wednesday and the 25 players considered for induction won’t be revealed until Thursday, the 11 administrators short-listed for the honour were named on Monday evening.

“The formal induction of our players and our contributors will be an extremely special and memorable night,” NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said.

“For the first time, we will acknowledge a representative from administration, from print media and from broadcast media.

“That is an incredibly important element of what we have done in recent years – reshape our Hall of Fame process to appropriately acknowledge the people who have made significant contributions to the game.

The names on the administrators short-list were determined by the game’s History Committee, which comprises of Roy Masters, Steve Ricketts, Geoff Armstrong and David Middleton.

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‘A 60-minute wrestling match’: But game not over-rough, say coaches

Sydney’s Super Netball coaches don’t think there’s a need for the disciplinary mechanisms used by the football codes after a fierce game last weekend, but the ladder leaders have discussed what might happen if a player does step out of line, reports AAP’s Adrian Warren.

Sunday’s game between the Giants and Firebirds in Sydney was an especially physical contest, described in the competition’s official match report as a “60-minute wrestling match”.

Firebirds’ shooter Gretel Tippett had a bloody nose, tended to for several minutes after she was accidentally stuck by an elbow from Giants’ defender Kristiana Manu’a.

The match contained an extraordinary tally of 159 penalties, 90 of them against Firebirds with their defender Kim Jenner racking up a league season-high individual tally of 32.

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Nine has released details of its netball audiences across the weekend.

VIXENS v FEVER on Saturday, August 3:
National peak audience: 223,000 (5 City: 137,000 / Regional: 86,000).
National average audience: 122,000 (5 City: 81,000 / Regional: 41,000).

GIANTS v FIREBIRDS on Sunday, August 4:
National peak audience: 229,000 (5 City: 137,000 / Regional: 92,000).
National average audience: 144,000 (5 City: 100,000 / Regional: 44,000).
Nine noted the five city average audience across Round 11 of the 2019 season is tracking 16.4% higher than the same round from 2018.

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