Mediaweek Roundup: Sean Pickwell, Attenborough, Ita Buttrose + more

Pickwell

• Robert Thomson, NRL and AFL + Steve Smith

Business of Media

Big Digital shift under way slowly says News, says Robert Thomson

News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson has said there has been a “fundamental shift” in the way journalism is valued by big digital platforms, resulting in a gradual revenue transfer back to media companies responsible for creating original news stories, reports The Australian’s Leo Shanahan.

Commenting in News Corp’s annual report, published on Tuesday, Thomson remarked on the ongoing global regulatory crackdown against “Big Digital” and the struggle the media company had to get compensation for news stories used by the likes of Google and Facebook.

Thomson said the “terms of trade and the tenor of our talks are now vastly different to even a year ago”.

“There is clearly a fundamental shift under way in the content landscape, and one consequence, along with intensifying regulatory scrutiny of Big Digital, is a gradual transference of value to content creators,” he said.

“With (executive chairman and co-chairman) Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch’s encouragement, News Corp has been advocating vigorously on behalf of journalists and the protection of intellectual property, and that intense, sometimes solitary, advocacy has begun to pay dividends.”

[Read the original]

News Brands

Political correctness has gone too far in Australia, says Ita Buttrose

Australia has become too politically correct and we are far too sensitive now, according to ABC chair Ita Buttrose. She was talking on ABC News Breakfast to co-host Michael Rowland.

Australia also needs to bring back the larrikin spirit and display it proudly, she said.

The ABC has this week launched the Australia Talks national survey, which includes responses from 54,000 people about their attitudes, behaviours and experiences.

It includes a question about whether Australia has become too politically correct, and Buttrose is adamant it has.

“I agree 100 per cent. I agree 100 per cent, that we don’t talk to each other the way we used to,” she said.

Buttrose

“When I think of some of the conversations I used to have with Sir Frank Packer, for instance, they simply wouldn’t happen today.”

Buttrose said this took the “spontaneity” out of the workplace, and in her experience Australians liked to “josh” with each other at work.

“We should be able to do that without anyone being offended or sensitive about it,” she said.

Buttrose said this took the “spontaneity” out of the workplace; and in her experience, Australians liked to “josh” with each other at work.

“We should be able to do that without anyone being offended or sensitive about it,” she said.

The media veteran also reiterated previous comments that Australia had lost some of its larrikin spirit.

“There are very few larrikins … we’ve sort of suppressed that side of our character,” she said.

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Radio

Robin Bailey, family, friends & colleagues farewell Sean Pickwell

Former 97.3 and Triple M breakfast host Robin Bailey joined family, friends and former colleagues of her husband Sean Pickwell at his farewell yesterday.

Pickwell, only just 56, passed away at his Brisbane home just a few days ago.

“He went out his way … no funeral, just one big kick ass party at The Outpost Bar in The Fortitude Music Hall,” Bailey said after the event on Monday.

“We had his dearest friends and father plus his kids and mine, give speeches. It was raw, real and very rock n roll. Instead of an order of service we had Triple A passes. Rather than a condolence book people signed white guitars. Instead of flowers, people gave money to Karuna Hospice Services.

“My big beautiful panda had his paw prints all over it. And then when we dried our eyes we danced. Adam from Chocolate Starfish, who played at our wedding, flew up to do a couple of his favourite songs and with AC/DC’s Highway to Hell ringing in our ears we partied hard … just as he wanted.”

Following the celebration, Bailey added: “I struggle to fathom what my life will be without him but all of us left knowing that Sean Pickwell is now holding us in our hearts.”

MC at the Sean Pickwell celebration was talkforce founder Chris Whitnall and speakers included his former Austereo boss Michael Anderson, 2UE colleagues Simon Ruhfus and Pete Brennan and his Waterfront business partner David Borean.

SCA continues Triple M/Hit Network radio station rebrand rollout

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) is continuing the rollout of its rebrand strategy with three more stations to carry the Triple M and Hit Network names from Friday, 8 November 2019.

Gold 92.5 will become Goldie’s 92.5 Triple M and 107.7 2GO becomes Central Coast’s 107.7 Triple M. The Central Coast’s 101.3 Sea FM will take on the full name of the Hit Network and become Central Coast’s Hit101.3.

In December 2016, SCA rebranded 66 stations across its national radio portfolio to align with either the Triple M or Hit Networks. These rebrands have continued to roll out nationally with now 86 stations aligned to either Hit or Triple M across the FM and DAB radio network.

Since the rebrands took place, there has been audience growth across many of the Triple M and Hit Network platforms, including an increase in digital radio streaming, which is up by 78.0%.

Head of Triple M Network Mike Fitzpatrick said: “It’s great to see our stations continually evolve. As a company, we are fiercely local and proudly national which is what we aim to deliver daily for our loyal listeners. This change will bring the Gold and the Central Coast listeners more access to our unique combination of rock, sport and comedy.”

Head of Hit Network Gemma Fordham said: “It’s fantastic to see the Central Coast become part of the Hit network as we bring listeners the latest hit music, old-school favourites and RNB Fridays. Hit101.3 will have strong appeal to our under 40 audience who love music and our fun, engaging shows.”

Television

David Attenborough at world premiere of Seven Worlds, One Planet

Sir David Attenborough has joined a packed premiere in London’s Leicester Square for his landmark natural history series Seven Worlds, One Planet, which makes its UK debut on Sunday October 27th on BBC One.

The exclusive screening, which was introduced by BBC Director General Tony Hall, also featured a live satellite link-up with India and South Africa, where 400 schoolchildren simultaneously watched the opening Antarctica episode from Mumbai’s Royal Opera House and Johannesburg’s Cradle of Humankind, before joining a Q&A to quiz Sir David and the production team about the challenges involved in making the series.

Seven Worlds, One Planet, from BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit, marks the first time it has explored all the planet’s continents in a single series.

Seven Worlds, One Planet has already been acquired by broadcasters in China, the US, Australia and across all of Latin America and is set to emulate the tally of Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II, both of which were sold to over 235 territories around the world. The BBC’s Planet titles have been seen by over a billion people in the last three years.

The BBC launches its BBC Earth channel in Australia on Foxtel and Fetch tomorrow and the complete Blue Planet II and Planet Earth II series will be shown in their entirety during the channel’s first four days.

Tony Hall told the invited audience: “Seven Worlds, One Planet embodies the qualities that have become synonymous with the work of our Natural History Unit in Bristol. The team there are true pioneers – they have an insatiable curiosity to discover new things. And that sense of adventure is why we’ve already committed to a pipeline of natural history landmarks. Since Planet Earth II we’ve been doing one a year – and we’ll continue to do that running up to 2023. We’ve never had that scale of ambition before and no other broadcaster in the world comes close to that kind of commitment to the natural world.”

Seven Worlds, One Planet is a BBC Studios Natural History Unit production, co-produced with BBC America, Tencent Penguin Pictures, ZDF, France Télévisions and China Media Group CCTV9.

Sports Media

Making runs and money: Resurrection rolls on as sponsors return

Steve Smith’s cricketing redemption was apparent when he was awarded player of the Ashes and applauded from The Oval last month – England’s crowds converted from their belligerence by his brilliance on return to the game, reports The Australian’s Peter Lalor.

A double century that ensured the retention of the historic urn will be remembered forever, alongside his other extraordinary efforts in that series, but the second – and more lucrative – part of Smith’s comeback to cricket has fallen into place since he returned home.

The former captain is once again being embraced by commercial sponsors after they deserted him with unseemly haste in the wake of the sandpaper scandal that led to his ban.

Smith shot a television commercial for Alinta Energy in Sydney late last week and will be included in campaigns for Gillette and Domain.

It is a radical change of fortunes for a cricketer cast out into the cold 18 months ago. Speculation is also rising he may get the captaincy back as soon as the end of summer – when his leadership ban is lifted – should Tim Paine fail or choose to move on.

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TV sport downturn? AFL, NRL at a loss as fans turn off grand finals

‘Should alarm bells be going off at AFL and NRL headquarters?’ asks News Corp’s Colin Vickery.

Both football codes just experienced their worst grand final television ratings in two decades. The AFL Grand Final between Richmond and Greater Western Sydney averaged 2.19 million across the five capital cities – a 20 per cent drop compared with last year.

The Sydney Roosters versus Canberra Raiders clash did even worse with 1.866 million. That is the first time an NRL Grand Final has rated below two million viewers since the OzTAM system was introduced in 2003.

The big question for AFL and NRL chiefs is whether those results are a one-off aberration or signs of a long-term downward trend.

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan will surely be disappointed. In August figures showed ratings for home and away games were up about 7 per cent compared with last year. One of the reasons for the rise was better matches on Channel 7 on Friday nights.

But the Ashes cricket, on Nine from August 1 to September 16 – Round 20 through to the semi-finals – halted that momentum.

Steve Smith’s heroics and David Warner’s dismal form kept Aussie viewers glued to their screens.

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