Mediaweek Roundup: Nova’s drive show, The Bachelorette, Plate of Origin + more

Kadia Partners & Citadel-MAGNUS, Publicist, Colin Mason, Geoff Duncan, and Gary Mehigan

Business of Media

Communications collision: Kadia Partners merges with Citadel-MAGNUS

Only six months since setting up his new public relations shop, Brett Clegg‘s Kadia Partners is poised to merge with Perth and Sydney-based communications outfit Citadel-MAGNUS, reports The AFR’s Street Talk column.

Clegg will fold his business into Citadel, which was founded during the GFC by Peter Brookes, John Gardner and Helen McCombie and counts listed giants Amcor, Newcrest and WiseTech Global as clients.

Clegg is expected to come on board as a partner alongside the founders and James Strong who joined the business in 2016.

It’s a quick move for Clegg’s Kadia, which was established in December 2019 after the former CEO and publisher of The Australian Financial Review split from his previous firm, Cato & Clegg.

[Read more]

‘Perfect time’ to launch a start-up, says Publicist CEO Lara Vandenberg

A new online marketplace for the world’s top communications and marketing talent has launched this week, with Lara Vandenberg defying the COVID-19 pandemic to launch what she describes as the go-to platform for freelance media and marketing professionals, reports The Australian’s David Swan.

Speaking to The Australian, Vandenberg – who is based in New York and was born in Sydney – said that Publicist launched in the US earlier this year and was now ready to take on the Australian market.

She said despite what you may assume, now is the perfect time to launch a start-up.

“The future of work was always going to happen, but it‘s here now,” Vandenberg said. “Project-based work has now really picked up, particularly in the marketing industry where brands are downsizing their marketing teams and their retainers.”

According to the executive, about 2000 freelancers currently use Publicist and it’s being used by all sizes of companies, from large enterprises to small start-ups.

[Read more]

News Brands

Farewell Colin Mason, the ABC’s first man in Asia

Colin Mason, who has recently died aged 93, was the ABC’s first correspondent in Asia and pioneered ABC Radio in the region.

In 1956 he established an ABC office in Singapore at the behest of ABC Chair Sir Richard Boyer, who could see the importance for Australians of having a closer view of what was happening elsewhere in their region.

Colin Mason

It was a time of increasing turmoil in Asia: the Malayan Emergency guerrilla war was still underway, there was civil war in Indonesia, nationalist movements were asserting themselves across the region and conflict was intensifying between the North and South Vietnamese regimes.

After a 14-year career with the ABC Mason moved on to politics, becoming a NSW Senator with the Australian Democrats, elected to Parliament alongside Don Chipp.

Post-politics he became a full-time writer, with his books including A Short History of Asia and The 2030 Spike: Countdown to Global Catastrophe and novels Hostage, Copperhead Creek and Northern Approaches.

Tribute to Geoff Duncan, the ABC’s former State Director in WA

The ABC has paid tribute to Geoff Duncan after his death. Duncan was well-known across the corporation for his passion and advocacy of the ABC in WA. He was State Director for almost 16 years from 1998 until his retirement in 2013 and oversaw the move from the ABC’s former Adelaide Terrace studios to our current site in East Perth. Duncan’s first role in the ABC was as a radio current affairs reporter and he later headed the AM/PM’s Canberra bureau before moving into management.

Geoff Duncan

Duncan was the first manager to really bring the WA branch together, championing new local television productions such as How The Quest Was Won, Pet Show and Can We Help? and taking radio into the community, forging strong connections with local government and artistic and cultural organisations and sitting on the board of the Perth International Arts Festival.  He had an enthusiasm for the ABC and WA that was contagious and galvanized staff across the state.

Radio

Top contenders to replace Marty Sheargold in coveted Nova radio gig

Marty Sheargold’s departure from Nova’s top drive show, Kate, Tim and Marty has set industry chatter into overdrive, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

The big question is who will replace Sheargold when he steps away from the microphone in September.

It is a hotly contested job, considered one of the best in radio in Australia but there’s also huge pressure for Nova executives to get the right person for the job with the trio having notched up 26 consecutive radio survey’s as the top national afternoon show.

Confidential has comedian Joel Creasey at the top of our list, as well as Tom Gleeson and Merrick Watts with other names being suggested including Nazeem Hussein, Hamish Blake and Pete Helliar.

[Read more]

[A poll in The Daily Telegraph sees Hamish Blake the favourite with a third of all votes. No possible women contenders were listed.]

Radio host Craig ‘Huggy’ Huggins announces mother’s death on air

Gold FM host Craig “Huggy” Huggins yesterday revealed his mother passed away from COVID-19, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

Huggins, who has been with Gold 104.3 for 29 years, wanted to share the personal news with his audience as a warning to help stop the spread and keep each other safe.

“Through Gold 104.3 I’ve always felt that you and I have had that sort of relationship where we can tell each other anything,’’ said Huggins who presents weekday mornings.

“So I want to tell you that I’m finishing early today. In fact I’m going home right now.

“Sadly I’ve just received a call to let me know that my elderly mum Joyce has passed away at a nursing home with COVID-19.

“There’s no need to ring me, I know your thoughts are with me and my family.

“But I just want to ask you to be careful. Wear your mask, social distance and do the right thing. Many people don’t know anyone that’s had the virus, but now you do – Huggy’s mum. Stay safe and I’ll be back in a new few days.”

[Read more]

Television

The Bachelorette: Two sisters to look for love in world first for reality show

It is a case of sister act with not one, but two Bachelorettes in Elly and Becky Miles vying for love on the latest season of the reality dating show, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

In a surprise twist with a world first, the sisters from Parkes have been brought in to spice up the format, which is going into its sixth season.

Fans of the show will recognise 25-year-old registered nurse Elly from Matt Agnew’s series of The Bachelor while older sister Becky is new to reality TV.

Two other Bachelorettes internationally have starred two women – Sweden and New Zealand – but never before sisters.

The duo follow previous Australian Bachelorettes Angie Kent, Sam Frost, Sophie Monk, Georgia Love and Ali Oetjen.

[Read more]

Former MasterChef judge says he was looking for new opportunities

Gary Mehigan says he was ready for a fresh food challenge after feeling stale following an 11-year run on MasterChef, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

Mehigan and fellow judges Matt Preston and George Calombaris left the Network 10 show in July last year.

Mehigan is now working with Preston and My Kitchen Rules judge Manu Feildel on Channel 7’s upcoming series Plate of Origin.

“Both Matt and I were very nervous going into it but we also had a lot of input into how we thought the show should come across,’’ he said of the competition that pits the world’s best cuisines against each other.

“We want it to be full of fun and joy and it’s back to basics, back to home cooking. A proper celebration of our diversity.

“I think what the shock for everybody was with MasterChef was that it seemed very abrupt but we did that show for a long time.

“We were running into our 12th year and we were really begging them for change.”

Mehigan said he didn’t watch the new MasterChef series but had given new judge Jock Zonfrillo some advice.

[Read more]

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