Monday April 8, 2019

Boomtown: Media agency execs ready to review regional spend

The consortium of broadcasters and publishers behind the Boomtown regional media initiative are off to a good start. They are already making inroads into agency-land finding some very receptive agency executives.

By James Manning

Mediaweek last week spoke to four agency heads who commented on the likely outcome of the campaign and what needs to happen next.

The chairman of WPP Media Services AUNZ John Steadman was very definite about the regional adspend imbalance.

The regional markets have been underinvested in by national advertisers for some time. If you look at the disposable income out there, which is skewed to older demographics, they have lots of money to spend and that is what a lot of marketers are missing out on.”

WIN’s Andrew Gordon, Australian Community Media’s Scott Corcoran with WPP’s John Steadman (right)

Steadman said he hoped there would be a change in the way monies are allocated in future after the Boomtown campaign visits agencies to present its case. “It depends obviously how it is sold into agencies. We would certainly encourage our strategists and buyers to think more positively about the opportunities that exist in regional markets and on sell that to the clients.”

As to the CPM benefits to advertisers increasing their regional spend, Steadman noted: “It depends on how good a negotiator you are. GroupM is fantastic at that I understand.

Steadman is the past was a media planner buyer running the Kellogg’s account. “They valued the regional markets and spent significant amounts of money, and I’m sure that’s probably still the case,” he told Mediaweek.

When asked why advertisers were not spending enough in regional Australia, Wavemaker’s CEO Peter Vogel said, “We are on it!”

He added: “Boomtown is a great concept and a wonderful initiative. It really resonates with a lot of clients. Everyone is talking about going from macro to micro targeting, and the money is out there. Clients desperately need growth and they need to focus on more discreet areas to generate that growth.

The money is certainly in some of the regional towns and it is a good place to go looking.

As to where additional regional adspend could come from, Vogel said: “Firstly, and depending on what client it might be, you look at where you are under-indexing. And where the opportunity is for you. The good thing is you can target it quite specifically and in quite an addressable way so you don’t just have to go blanket regional.

“You can look where you need the uplift and that is what marketers are doing more and more. Even in metro areas they are also examining where they are under-indexing and where the opportunity is.”

Vogel agreed in part with Brian Gallagher’s comments in Mediaweek last week that maybe some digital adspend could be re-targeted to regional. “Unless you are using digital in a very targeted way, you can get a lot of wastage. There may well be some of that digital money redirected.

Wavemaker knows a thing or two about regional markets – as well as being SCA’s media agency, it also handles the New South Wales and South Australia government accounts. “We are very familiar with regional and we use a lot of it. We also look after Vodafone and as the NBN rolls out into regional areas there is a huge opportunity. We also work with Mitsubishi where SUVs and utes are very relevant in regional markets.”

“The data doesn’t lie,” responded Amplifi’s chief investment officer Ashley Earnshaw about the ad underspend on nearly nine million Australians. “Now we are getting a unified view of the benefits of the regional markets. For too long they have been undersold. Coming together like this is what the industry needs to give a counterpoint from some of the information we are getting through the national press.”

Earnshaw said the days of regional being harder to buy aren’t over yet. “There is still less automation in the regional space. There is a gap between the population and the investment and that is something that needs to be looked at.”

What about clients who instruct agencies for cap city media buys? “It is our job to educate clients and give them up-to-date information. It is the job of the team behind Boomtown to both work with agencies and go out and see clients. It is a competitive space and clients needs balanced information whether it comes from the agencies or from the team behind the initiative.”

Earnshaw spoke about the launch and the video sizzle reel. “I felt like I would go to the launch and not be too surprised, but you still take a step back when you see it visually with the data points. You can’t deny the opportunity and the amount of wealth in regional Australia. It is an impressive first start and I look forward to seeing more.”

The chief investment officer, Mediabrands, Victor Corones, told Mediaweek: “I do in part have some sympathy for what the media companies are telling us about regional, because I grew up in the country. I don’t want to overlook a significant part of the community and local media is pretty critical if you want to get full coverage. If you want that connection you do need to leverage local TV, radio and newspapers to get the connection with consumers in the regional market.”

As to why is there can be a smaller proportional regional media spend, Corones said: “It comes back to client’s priorities. A lot of it is driven by a client’s own objectives and their sales targets. A lot of their business and visibility is centred around metropolitan markets. The price of media is considerably cheaper in regional than it is in metro as well. TV could be as much as 20-30% cheaper than the metro markets.

“Some clients with limited budgets have to prioritise, so where can they get the biggest bang for their buck? There seems to be a big opportunity to look at that and go, ‘Actually, because your budget can go further in regional markets you could actually get a better result.’

“You need to look at that on a case-by-case basis as some clients don’t have distribution fully in regional areas. There are a multitude of considerations before you put regional on the schedule.

There is more work to be done to make regional media an easier buy to streamline and automate the processes. I do feel the industry is coming together and trying to pull in that direction. Everybody seems to recognise the importance of reducing friction and making it as easy as possible to execute. But we are still trading the same way as we have for ever and that is getting harder and harder.”

Top Photo: SCA’s Brian Gallager (left), Carla Vella and Amanda Unwin with Wavemaker’s Peter Vogel

Nine and job site Indeed sign major partnership across metro titles

Nine and Indeed on Friday announced a major partnership which will see the global job site leverage the audience of major titles, including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review.

The long-term partnership began Friday with wraparounds on all of Nine’s major newspapers and will extend across multiple platforms, with Indeed to take out key section sponsorships of both the MyCareer and Money websites and have in-article job listings across,, and

“This is a landmark partnership for both us and Indeed,” said Matt Rowley, Nine’s director of sales – publishing. “In choosing to partner in depth with powerful brands like The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review, Indeed is recognising the influential audience of businesses and jobseekers they can reach each and every day through our titles, both online and in print.”

The partnership will also include a branded content series, a dedicated jobs forecast distributed through Nine’s mastheads, and a weekly sponsored Ask the Expert section in My Career.

“Indeed’s mission is to help people get jobs. Every month more than four million job hunters in Australia come to Indeed to find jobs that can’t be found on any other site,” said Paul D’Arcy, senior vice president of marketing for Indeed.

“However, there are many more people we want to help. This partnership connects Indeed to communities all over Australia through Nine’s incredible national reach. We hope that this commitment to Australia takes us one step closer to achieving our mission.”

Survey says: News media has the most trusted content, most trusted ads

Printed newspapers are the most trusted medium for both content and advertising, according to the latest ADTRUST study* conducted by Ipsos Connect.


News media trade group NewsMediaWorks published the findings today:

The study surveyed more than 2,500 Australians and measures consumers’ trust in the content and advertising in the media they consume.

Results are represented as net figures, that is, the percentage of those that trust a medium minus the percentage of those that mistrust a medium.

Consumer trust in the content on social media channels is -22% and trust in ads is at -26%.

At the other end of the spectrum, trust in the content of printed newspapers is +27 and trust in ads is +23%.

News websites were the most trusted digital channel for content and ads at 21% and 11% respectively.

Trust was strong across all newspaper categories and led by regional newspapers at 53% trust in content and 46% trust in ads.

Importantly, the study found that trust drives purchase intent, with almost one in two respondents agreeing that the more they trust an ad, the more likely they are to buy a product or service.

Accountability is an important driver of trust in ads, with consumers recognising that regulation and reputation are key reasons why advertising in a media channel can be trusted.

Consumers consider social media to be unregulated and it was difficult to determine if its content was factual.

“This is the third study into ADTRUST and the findings are clear and consistent – news media dominates as the most trusted media channel for content and advertising. This is driven by the independence and editorial integrity of our news media brands,” NewsMediaWorks CEO, Peter Miller, said.

Peter Miller

“News media stands head and shoulders above all other media channels for trusted, authentic and credible news and information. This is why 94% of Australians^ continue to engage with news media.

“The halo effect to trusted advertising has been proven by the ADTRUST study – trust in content and trust in ads are intermutual in the eyes of consumers. Brands benefit from the company they keep.”

The study found that trust in advertising also changes with age and income, with respondents under the age of 35 having higher trust in all media channels than older users. Younger users, despite being heavier users of digital media, ranked ads in newspapers as the most trustworthy of all media. Those with a higher income were more trusting of ads in newspapers than lower income earners.

Sources: * AdTrust Wave 3 research IPSOS November 2018: Online questionnaire : n= 2503 Australians aged 18+ Nationally representative. Base for Trust metrics is Readers/Users of the respective media aged 18+ : Sample sizes : Search engines, TV, Social media n= 1185 to 987, Radio, Non-news websites, News websites, Outdoor, Mags, Cinema n=870 to 298. The first and second ADTRUST studies were conducted by Galaxy Research. Given the study is not longitudinal, comparison of results is not applicable. 

^ emma, 12 months to January 2019. Readership based on last four weeks. Trends compared with 1 month to January 2018. Survey conducted by Ipsos Connect, people 18+, Nielsen Digital Panel, January 2019, People 18+ calibrated to Nielsen Digital Content Ratings data for the equivalent period.

Week 14 TV ratings: Seven wins first week since early January

Seven broke Nine’s winning streak this week despite three nights of Married At First Sight with three consecutive audiences close to or over 1.4m.

By James Manning

After Nine won the first three nights of the week, Seven hit back and took the remaining four evenings. Seven can boast ranking #1 network, #1 primary, #1 multi, #1 sport, #1 news and #1 breakfast.

Seven’s combined channel network share of 32.4% was its best this year and gave Seven its first win since week two. Seven has now won three weeks of the year (1, 2 and 14) only one of them a survey week.

Seven’s primary channel share of 22.5% was just 0.3 ahead of Nine was also its best of the year.

7mate ranked #1 multichannel with 3.9%, just ahead of GO! on 3.8%.

Seven’s key programming and the metro numbers this week:

• Seven News Sunday 1.109m
• My Kitchen Rules (Wednesday) 916,000
• AFL Thursday 675,000 metro
• Home And Away weekly average 705,000 Best week of the year
• The Chase weekly average 536,000
• The Front Bar 381,000
• Sunrise weekly average 284,000

Nine managed to win the week in some key network and primary channel demos – #1 for 25-54 and 16-39.

The last time Nine had a primary share of 22.2% it managed to win the week (week 8), but not this time. It is Nine’s equal lowest all people share since week 2.

Nine’s combined channel network share of 30.7% is its lowest since week 6 (30.3%) which back then was also enough to win the week.

Married At First Sight continues to dominate digital streaming with MAFS having 15 of the top 20 shows in the rolling 28 day VPM ranking. The biggest MAFS digital audience is 480,000 which is a record.

Travel Guides continues as one of Nine’s best with 839,000 watching its Canberra episode on Budget night.

Other strong performers for the channel include:

• 60 Minutes 825,000 (Best since week 9)
• A Current Affair 780,000 (Second best this year)
• Australian Crime Stories 316,000

Network 10 had its lowest primary channel share since week 1 with 8.9%, which is only the second time under 9% this year. The combined channel share of 13.9% was the smallest share of any week this year.

There were some highlights though including 10 Bold posting its 10th consecutive week of growth year-on-year. It’s share of 3.1% was close to the best in 2019.

Gogglebox was 10’s star performer with 578,000 followed by Dancing With The Stars Elimination on 502,000. Both Gogglebox and Dancing With The Stars recorded 20%+ growth in catch-up audiences this week.

Bondi Rescue recorded its best audiences for the year with the double episodes screened on Wednesday.

The Project averaged just over 400,000 and the end of daylight saving just might help it regain some ratings momentum.

ARIA Chart: Billie Eilish #1 album and #1 single before tour

• Welcome to Billie Eilish world: #1 album and #1 single before tour
• Album action also for I Prevail, Devin Townsend & Black Sorrows

By James Manning


Just weeks before her Australian tour and a Nova Red Room performance, young US indie pop sensation Billie Eilish has taken over the charts this week off the back of the release of her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? The album release has helped push Bad Guy all the way the top for her first #1 single in Australia. Seven other album tracks managed to debut in the top 50 this week – All The Good Girls Go To Hell (#8), Xanny (#10), My Strange Addiction (#12), I Love You (#20), Ilomilo (#23), Listen Before I Go (#29) and 8 (#35). Four other Eilish tracks hits new chart peaks – Bury A Friend (#3), Wish You Were Gay (#5), When The Party’s Over (#7) and You Should See Me In A Crown (#16).

Eilish dislodged Jonas Brothers from the top of the charts and becomes only the fifth artist to top the singles chart this year after 14 weeks.

ARIA noted Eilish’s six tracks in the top 10 breaks the ARIA record for most tracks in the top 10 previously held by Ed Sheeran in March 2017 with five tracks in the top 10.

The only other artist to force their way into the top 50 was Birds Of Tokyo with Good Lord, which snuck into the 50 at #48 after three weeks on the chart. The band is the last act in this season of [V]’s Island Parties at the end of April.


Although her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? gives Billie Eilish her first #1 in Australia, she has appeared here previously with the EP Don’t Smile At Me, which climbed as high as #6 in February and remains on the chart at #12 this week.

The Hilltop Hoods have managed to roam the top 10 for eight weeks since their former #1 album The Great Expanse was released. This week it has returned to #2 on the chart with its vinyl release helping sales momentum. They haven’t toured since the end of Eminem’s visit here just over a month ago, but they are part of the Groovin The Moo tour which starts later this months where they share the bill with many artists including Billie Eilish.

Michigan’s meanest I Prevail are another of three new artists to debut in the top 10 and their second album Trauma lands at #6, improving on the peak of their debut album Lifelines at #8 in October 2016. The band is spending much of the northern summer on the road across the USA with a handful of European dates too.

Rock guitarist Devin Townsend is not yet 50, but he’s already up to album #18. His solo work dabbles in a number of music genres and the latest is Empath, which also cracks the top 10 at #10.

Speaking of music industry veterans, how good is it that Joe Camilleri can chart close to the top with a new album. His latest is Citizen John with his band The Black Sorrows, which is new at #11. This is the band’s 18th album, but get this, it’s the first to crack the ARIA top 50 since Lucky Charm peaked at #20 back in 1994. The band has dates in Sydney this week before appearing at Bluesfest at Easter. It’s then on the road across Europe for April and May.

Three other albums cracked the top 50 on debut:

#32 Ben Platt with Sing To Me Instead – the first album from the US actor, singer and songwriter.
#34 Yelawolf with Trunk Muzik 3 – the fifth album from the US rapper.
#49 Luke Dickens with After The Rain – third album for the country music performer who was an entrant on Australian Idol in 2008. The Nashville-recorded release has gone to #1 on the Australian Artist Country Album Chart and is at #5 on the ARIA Country Chart.

TV Ratings Analysis: April 7

• 37.0% – Nine starts final week before Easter with massive win
• Married At First Sight penultimate episode sets new record
• Nine also sets records for 60 Minutes & Australian Crime Stories

Sunday: Week 15 2019

By James Manning

• Nine News 1,104,000
• Seven News 1,096,000
• ABC News 634,000
• Insiders 290,000
• The Project 239,000/262,000
• 10 News First 239,000
• Offsiders 163,000
• SBS World News 137,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 280,000
• Today 207,000


Seven has recorded its eighth consecutive Sunday primary share under 20%. The good news is this is the last Sunday it goes head-to-head with Married At First Sight until February 2020.

Seven News Sunday made it to 1m.

It’s next best was My Kitchen Rules on 784,000, down from 801,000 a week ago.

Sunday Night managed a top 10 spot with 400,000, down from 445,000 last week. It was perhaps a poor return from a royal family special.


The broadcaster set a number of records last night with the year’s best primary share for any broadcaster – 37.0%. It didn’t quite record the highest combined channel network share though, but it went close. Last night Nine did 45.5%, just short of its 47.9% on the night of the Women’s Final at the Australian Open.

Nine also has set a new record for the biggest TV audience so far this year – 1,858,000 for the penultimate episode of Married At First Sight. (That translates to 2,448,000 national with a national peak audience over 2.9m.) It was the biggest ever MAFS audience across the six seasons of the show.

The crowd of viewers watching Nine was also good news for 60 Minutes which posted its biggest audience in over three years – with 1.083m watching the Liz Hayes story on pathological liar Sarah Jane Parkinson and the trail of destruction she left.

Australian Crime Stories also enjoyed a viewing boost with 437,000 well up on last week’s 316,000 and its best numbers this year. The episode started last night with host Adam Shand in a cemetery as he investigated a story he has come to know very well about the “vampire gigolo” Shane Chartres-Abbott.


The end of Married At First Sight will be welcome at 10 as the broadcaster recorded its lowest primary share this year and one of its smallest ever.

The channel’s best was The Sunday Project at 7pm with under 300,000 watching.

Sunday Night Takeaway was then down to 161,000.

Hughesy, We Have A Problem then managed to lift the audience significantly to 198,000.


The channel had two shows in the top 10 last night – ABC News on 634,000 and then Restoration Australia covered the loving rebuild of an 1840s homestead just outside Warwick on the edge of the Darling Downs with 498,000 watching.


Secrets Of The Bermuda Triangle did best at 7.30pm with 180,000.

Week 14-15 TV: Friday-Sunday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 8.6% 7 24.8% 9 17.5% 10  9.3% SBS One 5.4%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.8% 7TWO 3.2% GO! 6.0% 10 Bold 3.0% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 4.6% GEM 2.7% 10 Peach 2.2% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 2.5% 9Life 2.3%     NITV 0.2%
    7Food 0.4%            
TOTAL 13.7%   35.6%   28.4%   14.5%   7.8%


ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.7% 7 22.0% 9 19.3% 10  6.7% SBS One 4.6%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 4.2% 7TWO 3.8% GO! 4.2% 10 Bold 1.9% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 7.1% GEM 2.5% 10 Peach 1.8% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix 3.0% 9Life 2.8%     NITV 0.5%
    7Food 0.7%            
TOTAL 17.0%   36.6%   28.8%   10.4%   7.2%


ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.4% 7 17.5% 9 37.0% 10  5.6% SBS One 3.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.2% 7TWO 2.4% GO! 3.4% 10 Bold 1.9% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 3.9% GEM 3.0% 10 Peach 1.4% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix 1.5% 9Life 2.1%     NITV 0.1%
    7Food 0.4%            
TOTAL 14.2%   25.8%   45.5%   8.9%   5.6%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.1% 7 17.6% 9 30.7% WIN 6.4% SBS One 3.7%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.8% 7TWO 3.0% GO! 3.6% WIN Bold 1.9% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 0.9% 7mate 3.7% GEM 5.4% WIN Peach 1.4% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix 2.3% 9Life 1.9% Sky News  on WIN 0.5% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 15.0%   26.6%   41.6%   10.2%   6.4%


86.1% 13.9%
All People Rankings

Friday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 840,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 795,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 783,000
  4. Nine News Nine 761,000
  5. Seven’s AFL: Friday Night Football Seven 603,000
  6. ABC News ABC 558,000
  7. The Chase Australia Seven 466,000
  8. A Current Affair Nine 459,000
  9. Better Homes And Gardens Seven 452,000
  10. Gardening Australia ABC 402,000


Saturday Top 10

  1. Nine News Saturday Nine 670,000
  2. Seven News Seven 657,000
  3. Seven’s AFL: Saturday Night Football Seven 611,000
  4. ABC News-Sa ABC 581,000
  5. Moana Nine 540,000
  6. Seven’s AFL: Saturday Night Football – Post Match Seven 502,000
  7. The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco ABC 471,000
  8. Call The Midwife ABC 404,000
  9. Seven’s AFL: Saturday Night Football – Pre Mat Seven 343,000
  10. Weekend Sunrise Seven 294,000
  1. Married At First Sight Nine 1,858,000
  2. Nine News Sunday Nine 1,104,000
  3. Seven News Seven 1,096,000
  4. 60 Minutes Nine 1,083,000
  5. My Kitchen Rules Seven 784,000
  6. ABC News Sunday ABC 634,000
  7. Restoration Australia ABC 498,000
  8. Australian Crime Stories Nine 437,000
  9. Sunday Night Seven 400,000
  10. Seven’s AFL: Sunday Afternoon Football Seven 381,000
  11. Sunday Afternoon NRL Live Nine 316,000
  12. Melbourne Comedy Festival: All Stars Supershow ABC 308,000
  13. Insiders AM ABC 290,000
  14. Weekend Sunrise Seven 280,000
  15. The Sunday Project 7pm 10 262,000
  16. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COME DY 261,000
  17. The Sunday Project 6.30pm 10 239,000
  18. 10 News First Sun 10 239,000
  19. Landline PM ABC 231,000
  20. Weekend Sunrise – Early Seven 214,000
Sunday Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 261,000
  2. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 173,000
  3. M- Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them 7mate 168,000
  4. PJ Masks AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 166,000
  5. School Of Roars AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 166,000
  6. Olobob Top AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 154,000
  7. Skyfall 9GO! 147,000
  8. Kiddets AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  9. Midsomer Murders 9Gem 146,000
  10. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 146,000
  11. Little Princess AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  12. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  13. Insiders AM ABC NEWS 133,000
  14. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  15. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  16. Floogals PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  17. The Hive AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 126,000
  18. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  19. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  20. Kazoops! PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 118,000
  1. Live: NRL Knights V Dragons FOX LEAGUE 278,000
  2. Live: NRL Storm V Bulldogs FOX LEAGUE 258,000
  3. Live: Supercars Tasmania Race 8 FOX SPORTS 506 199,000
  4. Live: AFL Fremantle V St Kilda FOX FOOTY 166,000
  5. Live: Sunday Night With Matty Johns FOX LEAGUE 153,000
  6. Live: AFL Western Bulldogs V Gold Coast FOX FOOTY 141,000
  7. Live: Supercars The Grid FOX SPORTS 506 112,000
  8. Live: AFL Hawthorn V North Melbourne FOX SPORTS 503 109,000
  9. Live: Supercars Tasmania Qualifying 8 FOX SPORTS 506 98,000
  10. Live: Bounce FOX FOOTY 94,000
  11. Live: Supercars Live FOX SPORTS 506 91,000
  12. Live: NRL Pre Game Sunday Ticket FOX LEAGUE 81,000
  13. Live: Supercars Tasmania Supports FOX SPORTS 506 81,000
  14. Live: Controversy Corner FOX LEAGUE 66,000
  15. Live: Supercars Trackside FOX SPORTS 506 66,000
  16. Live: Supercars Live FOX SPORTS 506 65,000
  17. Live: Supercars Live FOX SPORTS 506 61,000
  18. Live: Supercars Tasmania Supports FOX SPORTS 506 54,000
  19. Live: Supercars Tasmania Practice 4 FOX SPORTS 506 52,000
  20. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 46,000

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

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

Ita makes her mark at ABC with one-on-one executive meetings

The first reviews of Ita Buttrose’s time as the chair of the ABC are in, report The Australian’s Margin Call columnists Will Glasgow and Christine Lacy.

The verdict?

Buttrose, the legendary 77-year-old magazine editor, has impressed her fellow Aunty directors in a series of one-on-one, getting-to-know-you meetings.

PM Scott Morrison’s pick is direct, warm and has a good understanding of the division of duties between the ABC board and its executives.

We also hear that Buttrose has begun forming a good working relationship with acting MD David Anderson, a public broadcasting veteran.

That’s good news for Aunty staff – many of whom are stuck in acting roles, waiting on a decision on the top job.

[Read the original]

Amazon eating into Google’s web ad dominance

Advertisers are starting to shift spending on search ads from Alphabet’s Google towards, a sign of how the online retailer is capitalising on becoming the top destination for consumers’ product searches, reports The Wall Street Journal.

WPP, the world’s largest ad buyer, spent about $US300 million ($421m) on behalf of its clients on Amazon search ads last year, and about 75% of that money came from Google search budgets, according to sources. It spent between $US100m and $US150m on Amazon search in 2017, the sources said.

WPP spent more than $US3 billion globally on Google search advertising last year, one of the sources said.

Amazon still has a long way to go to catch Google, which had 78% of the $US44.2bn US search-ad market in 2018, according to research firm eMarketer.

[Read the original]

Murdochs joined by colleagues in Sydney for News Corp board meeting

Hot on the heels of Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch’s 20th wedding anniversary celebrations at Icebergs and Cavan, News Corp’s directors have been trickling into the country in recent days ahead of the board’s meeting this week at the media company’s headquarters in Sydney, reports The AFR’s Joe Aston.

It should be quite the lovely junket for Spain’s former president José María Aznar, former Republican senator Kelly Ayotte and Natalie Bancroft of the Dow Jones dynasty. News Corp’s lead director is former Philip Morris executive (and Melburnian), Peter Barnes.

Chief executive Robert Thomson was a notable fixture at Holt Street (and at the Herald and Weekly Times’ Southbank tower) last week. Patriarch and co-chairman Rupert Murdoch was already in town for his eldest son’s festivities.

[Read the original]

Media veterans advising PE investors on regional paper bids

Anchorage Capital Partners and Allegro Funds have each turned to veteran media executives to advise on their bids for Nine’s regional newspaper business, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Former Australian Community Media director John Angilley is working with Anchorage Capital Partners, while former Seven West Media chief operating officer and Bauer Media Australia chief executive Nick Chan is advising Allegro Funds.

The two private equity funds are separately in the data room going over Australian Community Media’s financials. Former Domain chief executive Antony Catalano, who is backed by Thorney Asset Management billionaire and Rich Lister Alex Waislitz, is a third bidder who is also going over the regional publishing assets.

[Read the original]

Violent internet live-streaming video ban faces review

Rushed legislation to ban live-streaming of abhorrent violent material is headed for review whichever side wins the May election as legendary journalist Peter Greste warned it could have a “chilling effect” on newsrooms, reports The Australian’s Andrew White.

Greste, professor of Journalism at University of Queensland, said that despite defences provided in the legislation, it would catch legitimate journalism and could lead to self-censorship in cash-strapped newsrooms.

“There are always really good debates about what we should and should not be broadcasting,” Greste said.

“I think the right place for those debates is in the newsroom, not in the courts.”

[Read the original]

News Brands

Andrew Bolt: NYT story about Murdoch family is not worth spit

I was almost proud when America’s most famous newspaper last week said I was one of the plotters “destabilising democracy in North America, Europe and Australia”, writes News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt. Let my enemies tremble!

But The New York Times, instead, proved the surest way a newspaper destroys a reader’s faith is to write about something the reader knows.

And about this I know plenty.

Two months ago, the Times’s Jim Rutenberg asked to talk to me about “about the Murdoch empire at this time of transition” and about its Sky News, where I host The Bolt Report.

I said no, I’d be wasting my time, given he was certain to take a “hostile look at the Murdochs, one tailored to suit the prejudices of a New York Times audience”.

Rutenberg protested his series “will not be hostile”, but that wasn’t true.

It ran last week, claiming to describe “the Murdoch family’s role in destabilising democracy” on three continents.

But it’s not worth spit, to judge by its account of my role.

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Labor MP Emma Husar and BuzzFeed to enter mediation talks

The explosive “slut” shaming defamation action by Federal Labor MP Emma Husar against digital news outlet, Buzzfeed, will be set on pause for settlement talks in June when the two warring parties are due to meet for mediation, a Sydney court heard on Friday, reports The Australian’s Deborah Cornwall.

Last month the Labor MP had a major win against the media company after it abandoned its truth defence to imputations Emma Husar was a “slut”.

However, BuzzFeed has maintained a truth defence to other allegations including that Husar is “sexually perverted” and “engaged in inappropriate sexualised behaviour toward her staff”.

Husar, 38, is suing BuzzFeed and its former political reporter Alice Workman for defamation in the Federal Court over a story and social media posts on August 2 last year detailing allegations of bullying and misconduct made against her by staff members.

[Workman is now a political reporter for The Australian.]

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Blurred footage on Sunrise ‘made Aborigines targets of ridicule’

Channel 7 is being sued by an Aboriginal community, which claims it was defamed by TV breakfast show Sunrise during a panel debate over whether more white families should be allowed to adopt indigenous children who had been abused, reports The Australian’s Deborah Cornwall.

The lawsuit, filed in the Federal Court, alleges Sunrise defamed Yolngu woman Kathy Mununggurr and 14 others from the remote Yirrkala community when it aired blurred video footage of them during a panel discussion, hosted by Seven celebrity Samantha Armytage.

In the statement of claim, Mununggurr and the other applicants say, despite the “slight blurring” of their faces, they were “readily identifiable”, making them the target of “hatred, ridicule and contempt”.

Solicitor Stewart O’Connell, of O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors, said his clients felt “deeply distressed and hurt” by the Sunrise story.

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Teacher’s Pet podcast series to be temporarily unavailable in Australia

The Teacher’s Pet podcast will be temporarily unavailable in Australia, pending Chris Dawson’s trial for the murder of his wife, Lyn, reports The Australian’s David Murray.

The Australian has decided to take existing episodes offline in Australia from today in the interests of ensuring a fair trial, but the investigative series will still be available overseas.

It follows a recent letter from the Office of the New South Wales Director of Public Prosecutions to the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Christopher Dore, requesting the 16 episodes be taken down.

After obtaining expert legal advice, the paper’s editors and executives concluded that as police, prosecutors and Dawson’s defence team prepare for a trial which may be held some time next year, the best course was to restrict access to the podcast.

The Australian is committed to ensuring a fair trial for Mr Dawson,” Mr Dore said.

Releasing a special Teacher’s Pet update episode, national chief correspondent Hedley Thomas said the decision would inconvenience thousands of current listeners and those who intended to listen in the near future, and was not taken lightly.

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New York Times boss warns publishers could be hurt in crackdown

Global policymakers acting hastily in regulating to curb the influence of US-based digital giants could have unintended consequences for news publishers, warns The New York Times Co chief executive Mark Thompson, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke and John McDuling.

“Policymakers and political leaders find it very hard to keep up with what is going on in this world and you don’t want to end up with misguided regulation which is either economically damaging for publishers or … ends up damaging freedom of speech and plurality of opinion,” he said.

“With Facebook I’d want to say there seems to be a much stronger will to fix some of their issues and support journalism. I saw [Facebook founder] Mark Zuckerberg a few weeks ago and I got the sense they’re taking these issues more seriously,” Thompson said. “I think we’re yet to see the results of that.”

When asked about not taking part in Apple’s News+ platform, Thomson said: “We don’t like our content being jumbled up with content from multiple other sources. We think it’s confusing to the users, it’s potentially dangerous because people … miss brands, they miss the names of journalists.”

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Is Ray Hadley in danger of losing Macquarie Media radio contract?

• SMH journalist finds more accusers, details own spray from broadcaster

Earlier this year there was much speculation radio circles regarding whether Alan Jones would be re-signed by 2GB owner Macquarie Media at the end of his contract period. The expectation was that 2GB morning announcer Ray Hadley would move to breakfast if, for whatever reason, Jones and Macquarie Media didn’t agree to terms.

How things have changed – it now seems that Ray Hadley’s future with the broadcaster could be in question after continued allegations from within 2GB about “bullying and waging cruel and deeply personal campaigns”.

The Sydney Morning Herald’s Private Sydney columnist Andrew Hornery reported on Saturday about more accusers stepping forward:

Following Friday’s revelations that Hadley was now the subject of a new internal investigation, PS has learnt there are in fact two Hadley colleagues currently employed at 2GB who have filed separate complaints against him.

Hadley is accused of subjecting them to abusive and derogatory language and waging personal vendettas in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The latest complaint was made on Thursday, however there is also the prospect of a third person coming forward, who told PS on Friday they endured 18 months of “hell” working for Hadley and was reduced to tears on a daily basis.

Hornery then wrote about his own experience, telling his readers he “received first-hand experience of being on the receiving end of one of his on-air sprays”.

Hornery explained:

Without warning or a right of reply, [Hadley] told his listeners live-to-air on the morning of July 11, 2014: ‘You deal, Mr Hornery, in other people’s misery. That makes you a miserable person.

‘And don’t send me an email, Mr Hornery, because I don’t answer them from you. I don’t like you. I think you’re a nasty piece of work. Very bitchy, if you know what I mean.’

Following a brief musical interlude, Hadley came back for more: ‘And I’m not saying anything other than what Mr Hornery admits to being openly gay and from time to time he can be very, very bitchy when he writes his columns, very bitchy.’

Hornery then commented:

While I have never discussed my sexual orientation with Hadley, his comments led to a deluge of homophobic abuse on social media from his less eloquent listeners, while the impact of his invective was felt hardest by concerned friends and family.

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Meanwhile in the Media Diary in The Australian, columnist Nick Tabakoff reports contract talks with Alan Jones have been focusing on the length of contract Macquarie is willing to offer.

Jones reportedly wants a minimum two-year deal worth a total of $9 million including bonuses over the period, to see him through to his 80th birthday.

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ARN announces appointment of national digital commercial director

ARN has announced Rich Howells (pictured) has been appointed as national digital commercial director as part of a restructure of its national commercial leadership team.

Howells will lead the further development of ARN’s multi-platform commercial strategy across digital assets including all station sites, The Roar and iHeartRadio.

Howells brings more than 14 years’ experience in digital marketing to the role, and joins ARN from Amobee where he was group operations director APAC.

ARN’s chief commercial officer Pete Whitehead said: “We welcome Rich to ARN as part of our recent restructure of the national commercial leadership team. Rich’s appointment is a key part of ARN’s commercial strategy to continue to drive growth and leverage our digital assets nationally.”

Howells commences his role at ARN’s Melbourne office on April 8.

Triple M on the ropes: Launches new wrestling podcast

Triple M has launched right off the top rope with its new wrestling podcast – and they didn’t have to look far to find its hosts.

Top Rope sees Andrew Rose and Kris Gale (of Triple M Sydney’s Weekend Legends) and David Nash (Triple M Brisbane’s afternoons announcer) team up to create a podcast for the wrestling fanatics, the casual fans and those who fell out of love with wrestling and need a reason to reconnect.

Covering everything from the events of the past week to the greatest moments in history, Triple M’s Top Rope will also highlight what’s happening in our own backyard.

And what better time to start than that of WrestleMania 35? Top Rope’s first episode previewed a weekend that is sure to be chock full of iconic moments, including the first-ever women’s main event.

Roving reporter Seb Costello (Triple M Melbourne newsreader) will also be in New Jersey, interviewing some of WWE’s biggest names for a special follow-up podcast.

Rose and Gale also commentate for Pro Wrestling Australia, a wrestling company based in Sydney, while Nash is the ring announcer for Australian Wrestling Alliance in Brisbane and used to work for Melbourne City Wrestling many years ago.

Triple M’s Top Rope is available via the Triple M app now.

Photo: Triple M’s hosts of Top Rope.


Publishers and trade groups announce launch of David Lyle Foundation

The David Lyle Foundation, a non-profit organisation with the aim of helping young people develop careers in the entertainment business, has launched in memory of the television industry veteran.

The Australian TV executive passed away at the age of 67 in September of 2017. During his early years in the industry, Lyle (pictured) worked for the ABC, Channel 10 and later the Nine Network.

Lyle later moved from Australia to Pearson Television in the UK to be head of worldwide development and acquisitions.

Lyle moved to the US in 2001 as head of FremantleMedia North America where he helped launch American Idol on Fox. He most recently served as president of Pact US, an advocacy org for unscripted TV producers.

The successful David Lyle Foundation candidates, who will be chosen from submissions by a board of advisors, will receive a scholarship that includes an annual program to connect them with the global business. Support will be provided to travel to industry events, where they can network and build contacts and learn about the varied opportunities within the content industry.

Applications will open for the 2019 David Lyle Foundation Scholarship between June and August, and will be assessed during September and October. The scholarships will be granted in November, with the first full program to run between January and December in 2020.

Full plans for the initiative will be announced next month.

Janne Dennehy, David Lyle’s wife, said: “David would be thrilled to see the level of support that these fine organisations have given to the foundation that aims to continue on the Lyle tradition of mentorship in the global TV industry, to provide encouragement and opportunity to the young who demonstrate curiosity, who take initiative. To encourage and develop independent thinking, to maintain an adventurous outlook, to welcome and recognize success but to remain kind, inclusive and supportive of others post success. From my point of view, I appreciate the support these organizations have shown David personally and professionally in health and sickness, in life generally and now, sadly, in death. I am thankful that they are joining together to help keep his legacy alive.”

Founding partners include Realscreen, Broadcast, C21Media, EMC, FRAPA, NATPE, NPact, Pact, Reed Midem and TBI. Additional partners will be announced in due course.

Nine confirms Screentime TV adaptation of Nicola Gobbo scandal

Nine has confirmed it has commissioned a new drama, Informer 3838, based on the life of gangland lawyer-turned-police informer Nicola Gobbo, reports The Age’s Broede Carmody.

The announcement comes four months after it was revealed that Screentime, the production company behind the hit series Underbelly, was interested in dramatising the scandal that has engulfed Victoria’s justice system. However, it is understood the new show will not be an official instalment of the broader Underbelly franchise.

“Informer 3838 is the incredible gangland war story that has it all – a rollercoaster of ambition, love, delusion, murder and epic betrayal,” Nine’s director of television, Michael Healy, said.

“It promises to be an explosive series about a well-connected young lawyer who put her life on the line, representing Melbourne’s underworld in court, and giving information about their criminal exploits to the police.”

A source close to the show said it was in pre-production, with the script subject to major changes given a royal commission into Victoria Police’s use of informants is currently underway.

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