Mediaweek roundup: Mike van Acker, Grant Goldman, Gordon Ramsay + more

• The Trade Desk, Foxtel, Basil Zempilas, Bluey + Tennis

Business of Media

Digital ad firm The Trade Desk takes on Google, Facebook

A US-based digital advertising company is ramping up operations in Australia to take on tech giants Google and Facebook amid calls for greater scrutiny and diversity across the media landscape, reports The Australian’s Geoff Chambers.

The Trade Desk, which has a $US10bn ($14.5bn) market cap value and a $US658m turnover, has recruited former Seven West Media network and digital sales director James Bayes to lead its expansion in Australia.

Bayes, who will be announced as The Trade Desk’s Australia and New Zealand general manager on Monday, told The Australian it wanted to “fuel a broad diversity of media, voices and content on the open internet — including great journalism”.

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See separate announcement about Bayes’ appointment

Foxtel eyes April-May launch for entertainment streaming service

Foxtel’s long-awaited drama and entertainment streaming service is understood to be gearing up for an April or May launch, as the pay television provider looks to bed down a new content deal with Viacom, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Foxtel’s new service, with the internal working name of Project Ares, has been in the workings for well over a year.

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News Brands

Seven’s Basil Zempilas keen to be Perth’s next Lord Mayor

AFL commentator Basil Zempilas is mounting a genuine bid to become Perth’s lord mayor, reports Perth Now’s Kate Emery.

The Channel 7 media personality says he is a “live chance” to take the WA capital’s top office, with elections due to be held in October.

Zempilas used his breakfast radio slot to confirm that the biggest gig in Perth local government was in his sights and the delayed mayoral election had opened the door to him running.

“If the election were prior to the Tokyo Olympics – I’m doing opening and closing ceremony and calling the swimming for Seven – I was no chance. But with the election likely to be late October at the earliest, the door has opened.”

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Radio

Grant Goldman tributes: Legendary radio broadcaster dies aged 69

The microphones fell silent on Friday when Grant Goldman died after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 69, reports News Corp’s Matt Logue.

From radio to CityRail voiceovers and ground announcer stints at the Sydney Kings and the Manly Sea Eagles, Goldman was gifted with one of the most memorable tones.

His radio career spanned more than 50 years.

Goldman grew up in Tamworth and leaves behind a wife, six children and three grandchildren. He is the father of Australian TV and radio personality Mike Goldman (pictured with his dad).

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Radioinfo reported:

Grant Goldman has passed away just shy of his 70th birthday.

The Australian radio and TV personality has had a long battle with cancer, being finally diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2017.

Perhaps one of the most recognised voices in Australia it is hard to find somewhere Grant hasn’t been involved.  Hundreds of thousands of Sydney-siders would know his voice as their train arrived to take them to work or home, or to hear all too often a service disruption message on the Sydney trains network.

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Former broadcaster and VP RCS Asia Pacific Keith Williams:

Grant Goldman was instrumental in getting me my first job in radio in 1970. I was 16. He was at 6KY in Perth and I was hired to do Breakfast and Drive on 6NA Narrogin ‘relayed’ from the 6KY Studios in James St Perth. We were part of the Sunday Times newspaper group. He taught me how to be a jock. Later after moving to 4IP in Brisbane we ended up there together too. Last time I saw him was at lunch in Sydney some 12 months ago. He was ailing but still with that sharp wit and sparkling outlook. A true broadcaster. Rest in Peace dear friend.

ARN national content director Duncan Campbell:

Before I met Grant Goldman I used to listen to him with that unique voice and welcoming, friendly style on 2Day FM when it was an adult contemporary station. He was one of the very best. I got to meet him and got to know him when I joined Lite&Easy 1269 as music director in 1988. He was very generous to me, always happy to talk in fact he was always happy, always optimistic, friendly and genuine.

Radio host to debut comedy show about his sacking from #1 show

Booted 97.3FM presenter Mike van Acker has announced a new comedy show called Sacked that will detail his sudden shafting from the Brisbane breakfast radio show, reports News Corp’s Amy Price.

The broadcaster was cut from the show alongside Bianca Dye in early December, despite having one year left on his contract, with 97.3FM announcing on Saturday that they were reinstating Robin Bailey and Terry Hansen, who van Acker initially replaced in mid-2018.

Van Acker said he was in talks with two different radio networks and he felt there was “a very good chance I might have something soon”.

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Television

Disney has high hopes for Bluey as Heeler family rates well in US

Bluey fever is catching in the United States with entertainment giant Disney saying it is pleased with how American families are embracing the Australian children’s animation, reports The SMH’s Aja Styles.

Bluey has reached 16 million viewers in the last quarter of 2019 since its launch on Disney Junior in October, according to data provided by the US broadcaster. That includes the audience for live broadcasts and replays within seven days. An average US audience of between 8 and 25 million viewers is deemed a success.

Bluey is set to launch globally on its new streaming platform Disney+ on January 22, and there are coming plans according to Bluey‘s international distributor, BBC Studios, for multiple European and Asian territories once Disney has held an exclusive window for the show.

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Gordon Ramsay dials up the heat on TV cooking challenge

Gordon Ramsay has secretly filmed a multi-episode guest appearance on the new season of MasterChef Australia, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.

Production of the 12th season of MasterChef got under way last Monday with Channel 10 kicking off with the world’s biggest celebrity chef straight out of the barriers.

It is understood Ramsay filmed four episodes at MasterChef’s Ascot Vale studios while in Melbourne.

For 10, this is arguably the most crucial series in the show’s history with the introduction of three new hosts, Jock Zonfrillo, Andy Allen and Melissa Leong, following the sudden and unexpected departure of Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan last year.

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Sports Media

There is no sport like tennis for selling its soul

Rafael Nadal might be a good bloke. Or not. I’ve never met him face-to-face. I had the chance this week. Ahead of the Australian Open, I was offered a one-on-one interview, reports The Age’s Greg Baum.

But there were strings attached. In tennis, there are always strings. The interview would last 10 minutes, 15 max. The questions to be asked would have to be submitted in advance. And one would have to be about a travel insurance agency that is sponsoring Nadal.

The subsequent story would have to carry a tagline at the end noting Nadal’s involvement with the sponsor. A tagline is not so unusual, and normally is just that, a line. But this one was 50 words. Any wordier and it would be called a section.

After a little back-and-forth between The Ageand the PR company, we declined the interview.

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