Mediaweek Roundup: Next Nine CEO, The Sound, The Crown + more

Hugh Marks

Nine’s earning expectations, The Beach, and Brendan Fevola

Business of Media

‘Nine’s problem with senior women as executives vie to replace Hugh Marks

Six Nine Entertainment executives are jockeying to replace outgoing chief executive Hugh Marks amid rumblings that only one woman is in contention, reinforcing growing concern about the company’s “blokey” culture, reports The Australian’s James Madden.

A number of external media figures are also vying to replace Marks, who quit in November after board discomfort when he revealed his relationship with a subordinate.

Sources who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity said the company’s highly regarded marketing boss, Lizzie Young, was the only woman asked to present to the Nine board.

Other internal contenders include chief digital and publishing officer Chris Janz, Stan chief executive Mike Sneesby – both touted as frontrunners for the position – along with Nine radio managing director Tom Malone.

Nine’s director of television Michael Healy and the company’s chief sales officer, Michael Stephenson, are also understood to be under consideration.

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Nine upgrades earnings forecast as ad market rebounds

Australian media conglomerate Nine has upgraded its earnings expectations as the advertising market extends its strong rebound, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Nine said on Thursday that it expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation before specific items in the six months ending December 31 to climb 40 per cent from the $251 million it made in the year-earlier period.

That is an improvement on the 30 per cent increase that Nine forecast at its November annual general meeting.

“Of particular note, Nine’s December quarter is now expected to show growth in metro [free-to-air] advertising revenue of almost 20 per cent (previously [about] 15 per cent), meaning that the group’s metro TV ad revenues in the December half are now expected to be up by around 1 per cent on the prior corresponding period,” Nine said in a statement to the Australian stock exchange.

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Sounds fantastic: A new show marked a glorious return to music TV

Created by Melbourne outfit Mushroom Vision and licensed to the ABC, The Sound has quickly become the premiere platform for Australia’s best musicians to perform for a television audience, as well as online viewers once each performance is later uploaded to the artists’ YouTube channels, reports The Australian’s Andrew McMillen.

Hosted by journalist and broadcaster Jane Gazzo, The Sound is aimed at general interest viewers seeking to learn about the latest and greatest sounds in Australian music, both established and emerging.

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The Beach the only Australian series to make TV Tonight’s Best of 2020

TV Tonight was pretty excited when SBS previewed The Beach:

“Stop what you’re doing and watch The Beach,’ wrote David Knox. “Warwick Thornton’s solo series is an exquisite and mesmerising television experience. And you won’t see anything else like it this year.”

The TV series is the only Australian representative in the TV Tonight list of the best shows of 2020.

Six other Australian productions managed to make the runners-up list.

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The Crown sets single-week record in Nielsen streaming rankings

The Crown ascended to the throne in Nielsen’s streaming rankings for the week of November 16, setting a record in the process, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The Netflix series had the highest single-week total to date in the streaming rankings, with viewers watching 3.36 billion minutes of the show from November 16-22. The previous high was 3.01 billion minutes for The Umbrella Academy from August 3-9.

About two thirds of the total viewing time for The Crown was for season four, per Nielsen. The second highest share of minutes went to season one, suggesting that some viewers used the new season as a catalyst to rewatch or start watching. The ratings service also says that about two thirds of The Crown‘s viewers were over age 55.

After three straight weeks at No. 1, The Queen’s Gambit dropped one spot to second, though it still racked up more than a billion minutes of viewing. The Mandalorian spent its fourth consecutive week on the charts, and the Disney+ series accrued more viewing time than the prior week, rising to 939 million minutes from 873 million.

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See also: The Crown ranks #2 on Mediaweek’s Australian streaming chart from Parrot Analytics.


Fox early riser: Brendan Fevola grateful to have the best job in the world

Brendan Fevola has reflected with pride on his achievements in work and life since landing “the best job in the world”, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

Former AFL star Fevola says he used to get home at 3am but has loved waking up at that time each morning for breakfast radio for the past six years.

“The thing is you wake up at 3-3.30 every morning and I used to get home then but it’s a great job, great people, best job in the world,’’ Fevola said.

“The last ratings we had the most listeners out of any FM station in Melbourne.

Fevola said he’s looking forward to working again with Fifi Box, and new recruit Nick Cody, who is replacing Byron Cooke on FOX FM next year.

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