This week on Mediaweek TV James Manning speaks with SCA, Chief Sales Officer Brian Gallagher, and Australian Community Media, National Sales & Partnerships Director, Penny Kaleta. Tune in to Mediaweek TV at 2.30pm on Your Money (Foxtel 601 and 95 FTA).
Australia’s biggest publishers and broadcasters serving regional Australia have unveiled a campaign – called Boomtown – to make advertisers more aware of the the size of the audiences they reach across the country. At a function in Sydney last night they reminded guests that they can make their media investment work a lot harder for them by covering all of the population, just not the ones in capital cities.
• My Top 5: OMD senior trader Nicole Torossian selects her best
“A podcast series where I interview ordinary, everyday Australians, who have extraordinary stories,” is Wendy Searle’s modest description of her podcast Home Truths.
It is a brand new series with the first three episodes fresh off the PodcastOne production line this week.
And get this, it is a celebrity free zone! Searle speaks with everyday folk. “It might be the person on the bus or the person who makes your coffee. Average people – but behind every person there is a story. I go to their home and share a cuppa with them as they share their stories,” she explained to Mediaweek.
One story from the inaugural episodes is about Diane, a mother who’s marriage ended. “She became terribly ill and she realised after a long time that she had been infected by her second husband. The last thing the doctors tested her for was HIV, so by the time it was diagnosed it was full blown AIDS.”
Searle talks to people after they have dealt with dramatic situations and they reflect on what the learnings were. “What I find from people is that it’s not what happens to you that matters, it’s what you do with it. A lot of people find that they are given a purpose to share their stories because they find meaning in it.”
Each episode of Home Truths is a separate story. PodcastOne gave Searle just one microphone for her podcasts so she can’t interject too much! “The podcasts are about people telling their story and I ask just a few questions.”
Searle also runs the Conversation Club, which brings people together to share their stories. “I realised podcasts are a way of making those stories available to people on their terms,” Searle explained.
Searle worked in journalism and PR before she approached PodcastOne with this concept. “I was sick of hearing the same stories from the same 250 people. I did a podcast course and then pitched a podcast I did to PodcastOne and they saw something in me.
“The podcast is a wonderful opportunity for which I am so grateful for.”
For more information visit WendySearle.com.au.
Vice has launched its second new podcast series for 2019, with The Anxiety Hour, which meets and profiles people and discusses mental health. The series is hosted by Vice’s Wendy Syfret.
The new series has launched with Australian TV host Osher Günsberg who, in 2014, had a psychotic breakdown that left him wandering terrified and disorientated in Venice Beach, convinced the world was about to end. On the podcast he speaks about learning to trust your own brain after seeing how deeply it can betray you.
Wendy Syfret said, “Public discussion about anxiety has become so much more visible, but despite suffering from it myself since childhood it still often feels like this invisible presence between us that we pretended isn’t there. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve challenged myself to be open about my own mental health issues. Every time I’ve brought it up I’ve been shocked by how relieved the other person seems to be. This podcast came from those countless, quiet, private conversations and the comfort and clarity they offered me. I wanted to use the show as a space to focus on how despite feeling isolating, our mental health struggles bind us together.”
We reported on the new Mamamia podcast The Split earlier this week. Read the details here.
We can also report The Split will drop each Tuesday for eight weeks, and will be promoted across Mamamia’s owned assets including the 20+ show (60m+ downloads) podcast network, editorial, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
The show’s producer is Elissa Ratliff, who is also the producer of Mamamia’s flagship shows No Filter and Mamamia Out Loud. The project also includes Nama Winston, Mamamia’s commercial and parenting content producer, and the team is led by Rachel Corbett.
A new weekly feature with media people choosing their favourite recordings.
Chat 10, Looks 3
What could be better than Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales talking food, TV, books and movies. Their friendship really shines through as they bag each other out and Leigh breaks out into musical theatre at any moment. Shows another side to them that we don’t see on TV often.
I was only nine years old when Y2K was a thing and I didn’t really know much about it. Y2K brings stories about that uncertain time in history from different walks of life. It has detail on how this all came about and what happened to those who said “I told you so” when everything was fine. It blew my mind the lengths and lifestyle changes people went to for what they thought was the end. It also made me consider all the work that big business were required to complete before the looming deadline.
Mum Says My Memoir is a Lie
This podcast follows the story of writer Rosie Waterland, also known for her Bachelor recaps on Mamamia. She has had an eventful life to say the least but Rosie approaches it with humour as she discusses her childhood with her mum (even if they recall completely different versions).
Super interesting look at all that went on when Oprah was the best daytime talk show on air. Always wondered about the logistics of “You get a car!” and now I know!
An eye opening podcast about multi-level marketing. I’ve been to a few product parties in my time but after listening to this I won’t be attending any more. Goes into detail about the history of MLMs and the tactics these businesses employ to keep people hooked on their failing business model.
In what is being labelled an Australian first collaboration, six Australian media owners – Southern Cross Austereo, Win, Prime Media Group, Australian Community Media, Imparja and Grant Broadcasters – have united and launched Boomtown, a million-dollar regional trade marketing campaign that will shine a light on the benefits of advertising in regional Australia across multiple platforms and channels.
Chair of the Boomtown committee and Southern Cross Austereo’s chief sales officer, Brian Gallagher, said, “Regional Australia is home for 8.8 million Aussies who are tapped-in, on-trend, online and ready to engage. It’s one of the largest and fastest growing markets in the country.
“Regional Australia is a Boomtown for brands who have previously underinvested in this growing market.
“Only 10% of national media budgets are spent regionally, despite 36% of the country’s population living there. That’s 8.8 million Australians being ignored by advertising in an extraordinarily uncluttered environment.”
At a launch in Sydney last night, a small but influential group of media and media agency chiefs attended a campaign launch.
Among them listening to the message that they have been missing many Australians with their allocation of adspend were Amplifi’s Ashleigh Earnshaw, GroupM’s John Steadman, Wavemaker’s Peter Vogel and Mediabrand’s Victor Corones.
The executives watched a sizzle reel highlighting the power of the regional spend and heard from former minister for regional development and regional Australia advocate Fiona Nash.
Boomtown committee member and Australian Community Media’s national sales and partnerships director Penny Kaleta reinforced the Boomtown committee’s passion for changing perceptions of the regional landscape.
“Metropolitan markets are currently perceived to be more valuable due to misconceptions about regional Australia,” she said.
“We need to change these misconceptions or risk becoming redundant to this prosperous market, a market that can be accessed by advertisers 24 hours a day – half of Australia’s top 10 online shopping postcodes are in Boomtown.
“Boomtown’s uncrowded marketplace is a tremendous opportunity for brands looking to cut through and achieve results.”
Fellow Boomtown committee member and Prime Media Group’s general manager of sales and marketing Dave Walker said there is a suite of misconceptions about buying into regional markets.
Walker said that regional Australia is easier to buy than ever before and the consumers are valuable, and responsive to advertising, ideas and experiences.
“The combined reach of our media companies means that we can talk to regional Australia at any time across any platform. Reliance on metro spends in any campaign that targets people other than CBD dwellers is simply short-sighted,” he said.
“It’s time to think outside the metropolitan postcode and look beyond city streets. The media partners of the Boomtown collective inform and entertain the people of regional Australia with incredible content, and they respond. It’s time for media buys and industry leaders to tune in.”
The Boomtown Campaign:
• Boomtown will take centre stage from April 8, across multiple platforms and channels, and will be in-market for three months with events held in Sydney and Melbourne and via in-agency activity nationally.
• Media company collective: Southern Cross Austereo, Win, Prime Media Group, Australian Community Media, Imparja and Grant Broadcasters
• Committee chairman: Brian Gallagher
• Client Working Group: Francesca Ryan, Nikki Clarkson, Sam Woods, Martine McPhail
• Creative Agency: Eardrum
• Media Agency: Wavemaker
• Production Company: Fabric Films
• Exec Creative Director: Ralph Van Dijk
• Creative Director: Tristan Viney
• Production Manager: Emily Jones
• Director: Charlie Fergusson
• Executive Producer: Krista Fergusson
• Post Production: Fabric Films
Top Photo: Boomtown Committee at the launch [L to R]: Matt Evans (Win), Jeremy Simpson (Grant Broadcasters/ TRSN), Penny Kaleta (Aust Community Media), Dave Walker (Prime Media Group), Brian Gallagher (SCA)
ARIA has released its 2018 wholesale figures, which show a successful year for the Australian music industry with $526 million in revenue representing 12.26% annual growth.
The music industry body release details the highlights:
Music streaming revenue continues its explosive growth pattern to now account for over two thirds (71.4%) of overall market by value and growing by 41.2% over the year.
The streaming category includes revenues from subscription services (such as Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play and Spotify) and other non-subscription on-demand streaming services (such as YouTube and Vevo).
Revenues from shipments of physical products accounted for 15% of the total market, with sales from vinyl albums increasing for the eighth consecutive year, up by 15.2% in 2018. By value, vinyl made up just under 28% of revenues from physical formats.
Denis Handlin, ARIA chairman and chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand and president, Asia, was enthusiastic about the positive results:
“We are delighted to announce that for the fourth consecutive year, there has been growth for the Australian recorded music business.
“This result is a testament to the great music that is being produced by our outstanding local artists, as well as the tenacious approach that our local industry takes in marketing and delivering music from all around the world to fans across the country.
“It is now more important than ever that Australia also has the right legal framework in place to protect and promote the work of our Australian artists to ensure artists are adequately remunerated for the use of their valuable recordings.”
Dan Rosen, chief executive ARIA reiterated the industry’s optimism for the year ahead:
“The continued growth that we have seen in 2018 is strong recognition of the enduring creativity and resilience of our local industry.
“This success comes from hard work and commitment to the ongoing investment in our local artists.
“The opportunity for Australian artists to grow their careers on the global stage is immense. ARIA will continue to work with both Federal and State governments to establish the necessary policy settings to support and sustain our vibrant local music industry so we can ensure these unique Australian voices are heard around our country and around the world.”
News Corp Australia has unveiled an all-new look for Australia’s Best Recipes.
The online destination has a monthly unique audience of 1.1 million, making it the second biggest food site in Australia behind taste.com.au, and a social footprint of more than 1.4 million.
The website relaunches with an all-new look and feel along with the new value proposition of convenient and affordable home-grown recipes.
With a highly engaged audience of more than 8.7 million Australians News Corp Australia is the largest food publisher in this country, producing more than 20,600 pieces of food content each year.
News Corp Australia’s director of lifestyle Fiona Nilsson said: “Australia’s Best Recipes consumers are savvy supermarket shoppers who love convenient recipes that home cooks just like them have already tested.
“From our research we know that they are family cooks with two out of three wanting easy and convenient recipes. They are budget conscious, with 82% believing price is important when buying new products; and they are seeking home-grown, with 79% preferring to buy Australian made. Australians are more price sensitive than ever before yet don’t want to compromise on quality.
“This major investment in the website represents our commitment to the incredibly loyal Australia’s Best Recipes community by delivering them more of what’s important to them.
“For our advertisers, the changes on Australia’s Best Recipes deliver a suite of new products and partnership opportunities along with additional options for commercial content amplification.”
In line with the relaunched site, a number of new commercial offerings are now available.
• Supermarket Swapper: A first of its kind, this ingredients solution gives recipe base FMCG products, such as pasta and simmer sauces, integration at a recipe level matching their different product profiles with relevant recipes to deliver recipe shortcuts.
• Public publishers: Giving clients the opportunity to become a site publisher with a public profile for their supplied recipes, using Australia’s Best Recipes as a distribution tool.
• Budget Club: A weekly content series showcasing the best budget buys across food, everyday appliances and household items.
Top Cooks: Clients are able to tap into Australia’s Best Recipes Top Cooks network to create new branded content through an army of brand advocates.
The relaunched site includes:
A full site redesign with an intuitive UX, including a new logo, colours, fonts and iconography.
Enhanced search capability with the implementation of sophisticated tagging across more than 15,000 recipes making it even easier to discover recipes.
Content has been reorganised in four main editorial verticals – Baking, Easy Dinners, Budget and Easy Entertaining – based on top performing topics across the site.
The introduction of Top Cooks, a new section that highlights top contributors to the site and their recipes.
200+ recipe videos with an additional 110 how-to videos being added to the site.
Ratings and reviews have been enhanced as a feature on the site. With 15,000 recipes tried and tested by real home cooks, it is now easier to find and contribute to ratings and reviews on recipe content.
Content production company Essential Media Group (EMG) has announced the opening of a production base in New Zealand, alongside the commission of a second factual entertainment TV series starring British comedian and travel enthusiast Griff Rhys Jones (pictured).
Following the recently announced 6 x 1 hr series Griff Off the Rails: Down Under – in which Rhys Jones explores the Australian continent through its iconic railways – a second, four-part series called Griff’s Kiwi Adventures has been commissioned by Prime in New Zealand and will be produced by Essential Media Group NZ, a new Wellington-based joint venture with Libertine Pictures.
International sales of both titles are being handled by Kew Media Distribution.
In Griff’s Kiwi Adventures (4 x 1hrs), Rhys Jones explores modern day New Zealand: discovering what it means to be a New Zealander today, by meeting the locals, experiencing the epic landscapes and witnessing first-hand the impact and relevance of traditional Maori heritage. The journey starts in the Bay of Islands at the top of the North Island and travels all the way to Fiordland at the base of the South Island.
Griff Rhys Jones, who also writes a travel column for the UK’s Telegraph newspaper, is known for his love of trains, rivers and waterways through programs such as Slow Train Through Africa and Three Men in a Boat.
Essential Media’s general manager for ANZ Brendan Dahill said: “Essential Media has enjoyed a long and successful track record of producing top quality shows for the New Zealand market – and this has provided us with a platform to formalise our commitment to production in New Zealand. We are thrilled to be building on our relationship with Griff Rhys Jones to create two very distinctive series that will offer viewers around the world an entertaining outsider’s perspective on life Down Under.”
On the opening of Essential Media Group NZ, Libertine Picture’s managing director Richard Fletcher said: “Libertine Pictures is delighted to be joining forces with Essential Media to share expertise and build a new and exciting New Zealand production company. It is fitting to kick off the new venture with such an entertaining and distinctive take on New Zealand. We are looking forward to working with a partner with the depth of experience of Essential Media and such a recognised talent as Griff Rhys Jones.”
• Where did the MAFS audience go? Too see the home cooks
• My Kitchen Rules posts second best audience for 2019, Seven wins
• Nine slumps to rank #2 Wednesday after 11-week winning streak
By James Manning
• Seven News 974,000/1,020,000
• Nine News 868,000/896,000
• A Current Affair 776,000
• ABC News 683,000
• 7.30 657,000
• The Project 229,000/391,000
• 10 News First 371,000
• SBS World News 126,000
• Sunrise 287,000
• Today 202,000
Home And Away has managed a third consecutive night over 700,000 after a strong start to the week with 740,000 and 748,000.
With no Married At First Sight to compete with last night, the home cooks have posted the second biggest audience of the year as the crowd watching surged to 916,000. The best number was 1.046m in week seven.
The hosts of The Front Bar had some fun with the cooking show last night, noting it went so long that it meant they started late. (Nearly 45 minutes later than Nine’s The Footy Show.) It didn’t matter – The Front Bar still performed very well with 393,000 metro and 263,000 in Melbourne. Both numbers were close to last week’s result.
After starting the week above 900,000, A Current Affair has subsequently dipped to the 800,000s and last night was in the high 700,000s.
Paramedics and RBT screened in different markets after 7.30pm with no Married At First Sight. The combined Nine audience in the slot was 536,000.
Nine subsequently recorded its lowest share on any night for a month, its lowest Wednesday share this year and ended an 11-week Wednesday winning streak.
The poor lead-in should have hurt The Footy Show, but the early start overcame that handicap with the audience steady week-on-week from 155,000 to 160,000 while the Melbourne audience was unchanged on 92,000.
The channel’s primary share was the best for several weeks, yet was still in single figures. 10 Bold had its best share for the year with 5.1% and outperformed SBS.
An episode of Bondi Rescue was the channel’s best with 399,000 while another episode and The Project were both on 391,000.
Two episodes of Law & Order: SVU did 208,000 and 182,000.
A bumper audience of 728,000 pushed the broadcaster’s Wednesday primary share to a year high of 14.2%. That was up from 658,000 last week.
Also growing significantly was The Weekly With Charlie Pickering – from 518,000 to 610,000 week-on-week.
You Can’t Ask That returned with an episode about domestic and family violence with 433,000 watching.
Great British Railway Journeys did 184,000 at 8pm.
The launch of Christians Like Us was on 178,000 for an hour at 8.30pm.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.4%||7TWO||3.4%||GO!||3.2%||10 Bold||5.1%||VICELAND||1.1%|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||3.2%||GEM||2.2%||10 Peach||2.4%||Food Net||0.9%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.8%||7TWO||5.7%||GO!||4.3%||WIN Bold||4.4%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||1.1%||7mate||3.3%||GEM||4.0%||WIN Peach||3.1%||Food Net||1.0%|
|ABC NEWS||1.4%||7flix||2.6%||9Life||2.5%||Sky News on WIN||1.2%||NITV||0.3%|
|WEDNESDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM
Broadcasting industry body Free TV has rejected proposed legislation which could land social media business executives in jail, describing it has “flawed” and “rushed”, reports The Australian’s Zoe Samios.
While Free TV chief executive Bridget Fair supported the need for better regulation of digital platforms and removing live streamed footage of terrorist events, she said the proposed legislation would have an impact “legitimate” Australian news businesses.
“While the government has genuinely worked to limit the impact of the bill on Australian media companies, the legislation is flawed and has been rushed to parliament,” Fair said.
Under the Sharing Abhorrent Violent Material Bill, social media executives could be jailed or fined up to 10% of annual global turnover, if they fail to stop broadcasting terrorism-related content. But the legislation would apply to “designated internet services”, which includes digital mastheads and online news providers.
Australia’s media companies have warned that their journalism could be criminalised and news stories forcibly removed from websites and television broadcasts under the Morrison government’s legal crackdown on tech giants, which is set to become law today, report The Australian’s Rosie Lewis and Zoe Samios.
The Law Council of Australia also declared the legislation could have “serious unintended consequences” and should not be rushed through parliament on the final sitting day before the election, expected next month.
NewsMediaWorks chief executive Peter Miller, whose organisation represents the interests of News Corp Australia, Nine and Seven West Media, said freedom of speech and the independence of the media were at stake.
Attorney-General Christian Porter said the last thing the government wanted to do was prevent mainstream media reporting news, and companies would be targeted only if they carried audio or vision produced by the perpetrator or their associates. “The material (targeted in the bill) emanates from the perpetrator, so (there is) a very distinct difference between Channel 7 having a camera outside the Lindt cafe siege, which in every technical sense is the video recording of murder,” Porter said.
Rupert Murdoch, the founder of a global media empire that includes Fox News, has said he “never asked a prime minister for anything.”
But that empire has given him influence over world affairs in a way few private citizens ever have, granting the Murdoch family enormous sway over not just the United States, but English-speaking countries around the world, reports a three-part feature to be published in The New York Times Magazine which is now available online.
A six-month investigation by The New York Times covering three continents and including more than 150 interviews has described how Rupert Murdoch and his feuding sons turned their media outlets into right-wing political influence machines that have destabilised democracy in North America, Europe and Australia.
The Times commentary includes:
Fox News has long exerted a gravitational pull on the Republican Party in the United States, where it most recently amplified the nativist revolt that has fuelled the rise of the far right and the election of President Trump.
Murdoch’s newspaper The Sun spent years demonising the European Union to its readers in Britain, where it helped lead the Brexit campaign that persuaded a slim majority of voters in a 2016 referendum to endorse pulling out of the bloc. Political havoc has reigned in Britain ever since.
And in Australia, where his hold over the media is most extensive, Murdoch’s outlets pushed for the repeal of the country’s carbon tax and helped topple a series of prime ministers whose agenda he disliked, including Malcolm Turnbull last year.
The Murdoch family changed Australian politics in 2016 when it took control of Sky News Australia and imported the Fox News model. They quickly introduced a slate of right-wing opinion shows that often focused on race, immigration and climate change. The programming became known as Sky After Dark.
Last year, Turnbull and his staff accused Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch of using their media outlets to help foment the intraparty coup that thrust him from office in August. Turnbull, a moderate and longtime nemesis of his friend Tony Abbott, was replaced by the right-wing nationalist Scott Morrison.
The Murdochs have denied any role in Turnbull’s downfall.
Accenture is trying to add the kind of creative muscle not normally associated with giant consulting firms with its plans to buy Droga5, an independent ad agency. Now it needs to make sure the two cultures merge without squelching the energy that made the agency such a standout, reports The New York Times.
Accenture’s deeper push into advertising reflects the ad industry’s rapidly changing competitive landscape. The company’s marketing arm has grown significantly in recent years as broader shifts in consumer behaviour have reordered what advertising truly encompasses. In the past, it was about coming up with attention-grabbing ads. Now, it is also about providing broader consumer experiences.
That has made the fight for marketing dollars that much more fierce, with traditional ad agencies jostling with Silicon Valley firms, consultants and upstarts for business.
Terms of the deal, which was announced on Wednesday, were not disclosed. The acquisition was roughly a year in the making and is expected to close by the end of May.
Droga5, which employs more than 500 people, will become part of Accenture Interactive.
US radio company iHeartMedia Inc on Wednesday filed for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission to list its Class ‘A’ common shares, as it nears bankruptcy exit and bets on podcast to drive growth, reports Reuters.
The San Antonio, Texas-based company went belly up last March as it struggled with debt that was taken on by its private equity owners in 2008 to finance a $17.9 billion leveraged buyout of Clear Channel Communications Inc.
As the largest radio station owner charts a new path, it looks to podcast to drive growth. It has more than 800 live radio stations, a monthly reach of 275 million listeners and is the no. 1 commercial podcast publisher in the United States, according to podcast data company Podtrac.
The number of Americans listening to podcasts – portable and mostly free to download on smartphones – has surged 35% in the last three years as content on platforms expands beyond radio shows, according to a study by consumer data company statista.com.
The Willoughby headquarters of the Nine Network is about to hit the market, reports The Property Observer.
The LEPC9 joint venture which consists of Sydney-based property group and funds management company Lotus Group and Hong Kong-based global property group Euro Properties is behind the sale.
The three hectare, mixed-used development located on Artarmon Road in Sydney’s lower north shore has been Masterplan Approved.
Designed by architects CHROFI, the site currently includes approval for 460 apartments across nine buildings ranging in height from four to nine storeys, as well as public piazzas and open green space.
Channel Nine will remain the tenant until late 2020 [before moving to new office space in North Sydney].
The Guardian has set a target to attract 2 million paying supporters in the next three years, with the aim of securing the future of its journalism output in a tough media environment, reports the UK-based news brand.
After a three-year period during which costs have been reduced, revenues increased and the landmark of 1 million paying contributors across web and paper reached, the editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, and the Guardian Media group chief executive, David Pemsel, unveiled the next stage of their strategy.
“One of the great successes of the past three years has been the willingness of readers to support our journalism and our purpose,” they said in an email to staff on Wednesday. “As we look ahead, we are setting a new goal for the whole organisation: to attract 2 million people to support the Guardian financially by the end of our 200th anniversary year, in 2022.”
The memo highlighted the focus on building a core daily readership rather than chasing global reach at all costs, with 40% more regular readers than three years ago and a growing number of print subscribers. It also said Guardian US and Guardian Australia had each doubled their revenues since 2016, and were both financially sustainable in their own right.
The game is afoot on the ABC, and there are some hands involved, too, reports The Age’s Craig Mathieson.
Some of the best shows on the national broadcaster this year, which use sporting endeavour as a gateway, provide entertaining and authentic depictions of children and teenagers. The likes of Mustangs F.C. and the forthcoming Hardball are richly enjoyable tales of growing up, whether amusingly arch for primary school graduates or stacked with twists and solidarity for teenage girls.
It’s a welcome respite, because if it wasn’t for ABC ME, a channel and digital platform dedicated to providing new shows – and some tangy digital-only extras – to Australian children, there would be a dearth of choice for the next generation of viewers. The commercial networks have essentially given up on children’s programming, with Seven and Nine screening news between 4pm and 5pm, while the digital channels that do recognise kids are basically importing supernatural adventures, such as the ubiquitous Ben 10, that are heavy on merchandise lore and light on relatable storytelling.
Author Clementine Ford has gotten into a bitter Instagram spat with Married At First Sight star Mike Gunner, labelling the groom a “sleazy black hole” and slamming his treatment of “wife” Heidi Latcham, reports news.com.au.
Ford, a self-confessed MAFS fan, commented on one of Heidi’s Instagram posts from last night’s vow renewal ceremony.
Despite their many ups and downs, Heidi and Mike decided to stay together, a decision that baffled many fans watching at home – including Ford it seems.
“You are way too good for the sleazy black hole that is Mike,” Ford wrote on Heidi’s Instagram post.
But it didn’t take long for Mike to fire back at Ford, with the electrician writing: “I can see that charm isn’t your strong suit.”
“Maybe not, but honesty is! How’s your 25 year old girlfriend Mike?” Ford hit back, referencing magazine reports that the 44-year-old was now dating a much younger woman.
From the brink of oblivion to front and centre of Australian rugby’s future, Shute Shield officials have set themselves the ambitious new goal of getting a women’s team into every club, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Georgina Robisnon.
Sydney Rugby Union president David Begg told the Herald the Shute Shield, which kicks off this Saturday, was now a genuine pathway for professional rugby and would next focus on widening the reach of the women’s game beyond the existing handful of clubs.
Now, with a question mark over the future of the National Rugby Championship and RA looking to cultivate existing strongholds, the Sydney and Brisbane premier competitions could find themselves in the right shape at the right time.
Rugby Australia is believed to be in talks with broadcaster Fox Sports about potentially launching an expanded club competition as well as a national schools competition, with Fox Sports dipping its toes in with the Australian Club Challenge match last month and replaying the Shute Shield game of the week, which is broadcast live on 7TWO by Club Rugby TV.