Thursday August 1, 2019

Podcast Week: Howie Games Live + the star Howie really wants

• The Wellness Collective, Seven’s The Lady Vanishes re-opens case

Howie Games: Australia’s biggest sports podcast goes live

Mark Howard’s hugely popular sports podcast The Howie Games is holding a live recording on August 21 in Sydney with Sam Willoughby, an Olympic silver medallist and two-time BMX World Champion.

At the top of his game, the athlete tragically suffered a horrific spinal injury, putting an end to his racing career. Through perseverance and determination, Willoughby was able to walk down the aisle to marry the love of his life and fellow Olympic BMX representative Alise just over one year after his accident.

The recording will take place at the Darling Quarter Theatre in Sydney.

Ticket details here.

Howard told Mediaweek he is part-way through releasing interviews recorded for The Howie Games season six. So far there have been two-part podcasts with Aussie swimmers Cate and Bronte Campbell and tennis champ-turned coach and broadcaster, Boris Becker. Recorded via Skype while Becker was at Wimbledon recently, Howard managed to get over an hour with the tennis legend.

Fox Cricket’s The Big Break

The Howie Games is far and away Australia’s #1 sports podcast with over 20m downloads so far. The rest of season six should help push that number much higher. Still to come was former English cricket captain Michael Vaughan (released today), Supercars current champ Scott McLaughlin, Winx jockey Hugh Bowman, basketball great Andrew Gaze and Pakistani Australia cricketer, most recently playing T20 in Canada, Fawad Ahmed.

Howard is continuing to chase one particular guest he’s been hunting for two years – champion surfer Kelly Slater. They exchanged text messages when Slater last passed through Australia and Howard got close. But some big waves dragged him away at the last moment.

Howie with Scott McLaughlin

The next evolution of the podcast could be to get a few more big name international sports stars,” Howard told Mediaweek. He finds that just doing audio and not filming his guests, makes them more comfortable and forthcoming.

During the AFL season Howard continues to work with Triple M football on Friday night and Sunday. We last spoke to him before last summer’s cricket season when he had a punishing schedule working for Fox Cricket. “I hosted the Big Break lunchtime show and then got to roam around with a microphone almost like they do on the Formula One grid. It was so much fun.” The program rated well for Fox Cricket too.

Michael Vaughan on The Howie Games

Howard’s first date for Fox Cricket next season is the T20 International Australia v Sri Lanka on October 27. “I am going on holidays the day after the AFL Grand Final until the day before that T20,” said Howard.

Listen to The Howie Games here.

The Wellness Collective releases very personal episode

Mediaweek has recommended PodcastOne’s The Wellness Collective before and hosts Nat Kringoudis and Cecelia Ramsdale hosted a special guest recently in reality TV star, writer and social media influencer (with over 200k followers on Instagram) Tully Smythe (pictured).

Smythe bravely shared the story of her mother’s 23-year battle with dementia (she recently passed away) and how important it is for people to know that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was the leading cause of death for females in Australia.

Speaking during the podcast, Smythe said: “For those who don’t know, my mum passed away last Monday after a 23 year-long battle with early-onset Alzheimers and I spent the last three days by her side. She was so thin, her eyes were sunken into her head, it was horrendous. That’s not a way to live, and she was like that for many, many, years, and it’s just not fair.”

Listen to The Wellness Collective episode here.

Seven podcast leads to missing persons case reopening

7News’ investigative journalism podcast, The Lady Vanishes, has prompted NSW police to reopen the investigation surrounding missing teacher, Marion Barter, who mysteriously vanished in 1997.

In a stunning vindication of the podcast’s investigation – and dedication of Marion’s daughter Sally Leydon – police say they will reopen the investigation, refer the case to the Coroner and put Marion on the Australian National Missing Persons Register.

The announcement comes as the podcast is set to hit four million listens and amasses a growing Facebook community of 9,000+ followers. It has also prompted a petition of 28,000 signatures campaigning to have Marion added to the Missing Persons List.

“This will actually be the first time in 22 years that mum will be on the national database… she’s never been on there,” Leydon said. “I’m so grateful for all of the support and public interest in the case.”

“This is a huge win for Australian podcast journalism, but more importantly it’s a win for Sally and the fight to find her mum,” added Alison Sandy, executive producer of The Lady Vanishes podcast. “We couldn’t have done this without the help of the Australian and global public following the case.”

The 7News podcast team behind The Lady Vanishes is investigative journalist and presenter Bryan Seymour and writer and producer Sally Eeles. Executive producer is Alison Sandy with sound design by Marc Wright.

Listen to The Lady Vanishes here.

Network 10 reveals racing talent to cover Melbourne Cup Carnival

Network 10 has announced its field of racing talent covering the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival this November.

Spearheading the coverage is racing host, renowned global racing expert Francesca Cumani.

Francesca Cumani

Packed with racing experience, insight and passion, former trainer and the man responsible for making Black Caviar a household name, Peter Moody, joins the 10 stable as expert commentator.

When it comes to analysing horse racing, there is no-one who understands the mechanics and intricacies of this great sport better than David “Gator” Gately. Gately will bring his wealth of knowledge to the screens as form expert.

10’s racing reporters covering all the latest news from the mounting yard, stables and around the track are award-winning journalist Michael Felgate and 10 News First senior sports reporter, aka “Princess of the Punt”, Caty Price.

Presenter and thoroughbred racing devotee Brittany Taylor saddles up as horseback interviewer to talk to all the winning jockeys on their return to the winner’s yard.

With a multi-studio set-up across Flemington Racecourse, viewers will get unprecedented access to jockeys, trainers, owners, celebrities and of course all the fashions on the field over the Carnivals’ four days.

Studio 10, The Project, 10 News First and The Loop will broadcast live from the track.

Network 10’s head of sport Matt White said: “We’ve locked in the best of the best racing experts to bring 10’s multi-platform coverage of the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival to life.

“With Francesca leading the way and Peter Moody, Gator and our new-look team of experienced reporters covering every move in The Mounting Yard and beyond, our racing coverage is in great hands. The punters won’t miss a thing!”

Back on 10 for the first time since 2001, this year’s live broadcast of the Melbourne Cup Carnival covers four huge days of racing – AAMI Victoria Derby Day, Kennedy Oaks Day, Seppelt Wines Stakes Day and of course the race that stops the nation, the Lexus Melbourne Cup Day.

Top Photo: 10’s team for the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival: Michael Felgate, Caty Price, Peter Moody, Brittany Taylor and David Gately

Boomtown giving $1m in regional ads to comp winning agency or brand

Boomtown – Australia’s history-making regional media collective – has announced a massive trade marketing competition, offering $1 million in regional advertising to one national agency or brand in Australia.

The competition is calling on submissions for a media strategy that speaks to 8.8 million regional Australians, and catches the eye of the Boomtown judges – Southern Cross Austereo, WIN Network, Prime Media Group, Australian Community Media, Imparja, Grand Broadcasters and News Corp Australia.

Brian Gallagher, chair of the Boomtown committee and Southern Cross Austereo’s chief sales officer said: “Competition submission needs to show how their brand would utilise $1 million in advertising across regional TV, radio, press and digital assets of Boomtown media owners.

“The winning submission will form the basis of the media campaign to be funded and executed to an audience which makes us almost 40 percent of Australia’s population, and which generally has a higher discretionary income.

“And with only 10 percent of national media budgets spent in Boomtown, it’s an uncluttered market with so much untapped potential for brands to leverage.

“People living in regional Australia are deeply connected to their local businesses and communities, and trust their local media brands, so this is a massive opportunity for the agency or brand that wins.”

Entrants for the chance to win $1 million in regional advertising, must either be an agency that enters on behalf of a national Australian brand that it officially represents or a national Australian brand.

The submission must focus on the consumer insight and strategic regional media approach. Entrants must identify the business challenge for the client or campaign, the insights that drive the business outcome and the strategy to reach the desired Boomtown target audience, and submit their proposal by midnight 9th September 2019.

Each submission requires detail on the strategic media channel approach, illustrating how the client or brand would utilise $1 million in advertising across TV, radio, press and digital assets courtesy of Boomtown media owners, and how success would be measured.

Five finalists will be chosen by the Boomtown judging panel made up of industry experts on 23 September 2019. Those five finalists will pitch their idea to the judging panel on October 8, and the winner will be announced mid-October.

“We hope this competition sparks ideas and inspiration about the huge potential and lucrative opportunities available in regional media and the people living and working in regional Australia. It’s time for our industry to rethink regional advertising,” Gallagher said.

The campaign will be promoted heavily across national industry media channels, and through an extensive PR and social media campaign, supported and amplified by all Boomtown media companies.   

For further information regarding Boomtown or to enter the competition, please visit Boomtown.Media/MillionDollarCompetition. For competition enquiries, please contact:

Nine secures 11 advertising partners for The Block at The Oslo

• IN: hipages, AGL, Lite n’ Easy OUT: Amazon, Clipsal, Youfoodz

Nine’s Powered client solutions division has named the major partners for the upcoming season of The Block, with brands hipages, AGL and Lite N’ Easy to join Australia’s longest running and most successful reality television franchise for its 15th season.

These three brands join returning major partners who include McCafé, Suncorp, Mitre 10, Domain, a2 Milk, BlueScope Steel and Canstar.

The Block is the epitome of the Great Australian Dream and remains one of the most prized pieces of Australian television real estate by brands,” said Liana Dubois, Nine’s director of Powered.

“The show delivers year after year for both brands and audiences because it is a brilliant combination of seamless integration of advertisers and inspiration for audiences.

“This year we are thrilled to welcome hipages, AGL and Lite N’ Easy to the family and see Suncorp, McCafé, Mitre 10, Domain, a2 Milk, BlueScope Steel and Canstar returning for some of the most effective opportunities on Australian television. The Block is a format that delivers genuine incremental ROI.”

Nine has detailed what its advertising partners receive?

• hipages join The Block family bringing trusted tradies to the intricate renovations via their innovative app. Our Blockheads have a unique opportunity to change the way they tradie, when they desperately need it, with hipages offering angel assistance.
• AGL will be powering The Block this season and we shine a light on their expertise with an in-show challenge.
• Lite n’ Easy will be fuelling the Blockheads throughout the series ensuring they have fresh, healthy, nutritious meals and snacks to get them through the mammoth renovation. Last year’s Block alumni, Jess will feature in their TVCs. Plus, Lite n’ Easy will also be sponsoring a weekly content series so viewers can devour the biggest moments of the week.

Season 15 will include eight client partners returning, with highlights to include:

• Mitre 10, The Block’s longest serving partner will be providing “Mighty Helpful” service and advice to contestants every step of the way thanks to a “Mighty Helpful” set of hands on site.
• Suncorp returns to The Block this year to help couples tackle their budgets and support good budget management. Suncorp will sponsor a competition giving viewers a chance to win $25,000 and has also worked with Powered to create TVCs featuring Shaynna Blaze.
• McCafé is returning with a coffee caravan on site to serve the Blockheads with delicious, barista-made coffee daily. McCafé will again be partnering with Dan Reilly to promote the Big Brekkie Burger and 24/7 McCafé coffee in two bespoke TVCs produced by Powered Studios.
• Domain, a major partner, owning key property moments in program. All Block properties will be exclusively listed on Domain.
• Volkswagen, the official automotive partner, with a portfolio of vehicles including commercial models such as a customised Foreman Amarok. They are again partnering with The Block’s Watch and Win promo to give away a Tiguan Allspace.
• BlueScope, returns as a sponsor for this series, showcasing the versatility of COLORBOND® steel’s range of colours & finishes, and the inner strength of house frames made from TRUECORE® steel. They will also be engaging audiences at home with our weekly Viewers’ Choice promo where viewers can WIN up to $50,000 worth of cash and COLORBOND® steel products.
• The a2 Milk Company will be providing The Blockheads with regular deliveries of natural, fresh a2 Milk, inspiring them to “Believe in better” and helping to keep their spirits up also with a few magical surprises along the competition journey.
• Canstar, continuing their partnership with host, Shelley Craft, in a bespoke TVC as well as an in-show challenge.

The Block returns on Sunday, August 4, at 7.00pm on Nine.

Ewen Leslie to star in new ABC series from the creator of Rake

ABC and Screen Australia, with Create NSW and the South Australian Film Corporation have announced production will soon commence on the exciting new six-part drama series Fallout (working title).

Australian actor Ewen Leslie (The Cry, Top of The Lake) will star alongside Jessica de Gouw (Riot, Dracula, The Hunting), Academy Award-nominated international actor James Cromwell (LA Confidential, The Green Mile, Babe), AACTA Award-nominated actress Ningali Lawford Wolf (Rabbit-Proof Fence, Mystery Road, Last Cab to Darwin) and Shaka Cook (Top End Wedding, Black Comedy, Cleverman). Inspired by true events, Fallout shines a spotlight on a controversial time in Australia’s modern history, the 1950s British nuclear testing in outback South Australia.

Written and directed by Australian filmmaker Peter Duncan (Rake, Children of the Revolution) and produced by Porchlight Films’ Vincent Sheehan (The Kettering Incident, Animal Kingdom, Jasper Jones) and Tanya Phegan who also co-created the series with Duncan. The nuclear bomb tests at Maralinga reflect a scandalous and yet unmined part of Australian history.

There is no more lethal cocktail than a combination of blind faith and paranoia. And it seems in 1956, everyone was drinking it. It’s the height of the Cold War. The Menzies Government has welcomed British atomic bomb testing at remote, ‘uninhabited’ Maralinga, in outback South Australia.

Charged with keeping the base functioning smoothly is Major Leo Carmichael (Leslie), an Australian Army Engineer and WWII hero. But testing the most dangerous weapon in the world is no easy task for Leo with a Commanding Officer (Cromwell) who is not fit for purpose; a new meteorologist, Dr Eva Lloyd-George (De Gouw) who starts asking questions; and the Government and press watching his every move. And as it turns out, the land of Maralinga may not be so uninhabited after all, when Leo’s faced with the arrival of a family of Indigenous Australians, curious about the giant clouds that explode occasionally…

ABC’s head of drama Sally Riley said: “The ABC is excited to bring the unique voice of Peter Duncan back to our audiences. His razor wit and satirical retelling of the Maralinga testing will challenge those who know the history, and be unbelievable for those who have little knowledge of what happened on Australian soil. This is a fictional story about true events.”

Head of content at Screen Australia Sally Caplan said: “Delving into a unique chapter of Australia’s history, this is an important and compelling Australian drama with local and international appeal. Peter Duncan, Vincent Sheehan and Tanya Phegan are creatives at the top of their game, and we’re thrilled to see this trio combining their talents for the first time. I can’t wait to see the team bring this exciting thriller to ABC prime-time audiences.”

Create NSW executive director, investment & engagement Elizabeth W. Scott said: “Blending thriller, political satire and biting black comedy with a star-studded cast Fallout is set to be one of the most memorable series we’ll see on TV next year. Writer/director Peter Duncan and producers Tanya Phegan and Vincent Sheehan will grip audiences at home and internationally with a story that ignites the unthinkable 1950s British nuclear testing in Maralinga, outback South Australia, in a new take on a disturbing historical event.”

Amanda Duthie, South Australian Film Corporation’s acting CEO said: “We thank and acknowledge the Maralinga Tjarutja community for welcoming this production into Country. Their collaboration with the creative team will enable a highly distinctive project.”

International distributor About Premium Content is coming on board in their first investment into an Australian series.

Fallout (working title) will air on the ABC in 2020.

Production credits: Fallout is a Porchlight Films production for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC and Create NSW. Financed with support from the South Australian Film Corporation and Head Gear Films. International Distributor About Premium Content. Created by Peter Duncan and Tanya Phegan. Written and Directed by Peter Duncan. Produced by Vincent Sheehan, Tanya Phegan and Peter Duncan. Executive Producers Anita Sheehan, Liz Watts, Phil Hunt and Compton Ross. ABC Executive Producers Sally Riley and Andrew Gregory.

TV Ratings Analysis: July 31

• Seven’s midweek winner: Soap, coppers & Wonder Woman
• The Bachelor launches with 800,000+, wins all key demos
• Troublesome Tom Gleeson returns with new Hard Quiz episodes
• Good Knight for SBS with King Arthur and new Knightfall

Wednesday Week 31 2019

By James Manning 

• Seven News 1,027,000/992,000
• Nine News 897,000/901,000
• A Current Affair 705,000
• ABC News 640,000
• 7.30 660,000
• The Project 300,000/511,000
• 10 News First 365,000
• The Drum 169,000
• SBS World News 155,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 276,000
• Today 214,000


Home and Away had its second night above 700,000 after slipping to 672,000 on Tuesday.

An hour of Highway Patrol then did 534,000.

The movie Wonder Woman then helped Seven win the night keeping 329,000 watching until 11.30pm.


A Current Affair has gone from 885,000 on Monday down to 705,000 Wednesday, trailing Home And Away narrowly in the timeslot.

An hour of Young Sheldon did 435,000 and 349,000.

The 2017 movie The Fate Of The Furious was on 267,000, running until just after 11pm.


The Bachelor’s Matt Agnew was a special guest on The Project 7pm which helped push the audience just over half a million after two nights just under that mark.

Agnew was then the star attraction on the launch episode of The Bachelor 2019 with 828,000 watching the first two contestants departing the mansion after a very short stay. The launch audience was well down on the crowd of 940,000 curious as to how The Honey Badger would go last year. The episode won the key demos of the night under 50.

An episode of My Life Is Murder followed with 416,000 watching Don Haney in lycra with long hair. It was a fun episode and the former detective played by Lucy Lawless displayed her liking for NZ pop hits when she turned on her smart speaker in the kitchen.


George Calombaris was the star on 7.30 with an exclusive interview from one of his restaurants with Leigh Sales. There was not too much we didn’t already know, but Sales managed to move Calombaris to reveal how much of an emotional toll the past couple of years has taken on him. The audience was on 660,000, close to the channel’s best for the night.

The audience lifted a little for the return of Gold Logie-winning devilish quizmaster Tom Gleeson and Hard Quiz at 8pm. Experts last night chose Joan Crawford, K-Pop group BTS, rugby hero John Eales and Jewish holidays (the winner) as their specialist subjects. The audience for episode 11 of season four was 667,000.

Mad As Hell then kept the channel’s momentum with 660,000 watching.

Squinters then did 348,000.


A big TV Knight for the channel started with King Arthur’s Britain with 277,000 watching.

Two episodes then started a new season of Knightfall and they averaged 105,000.

Week 31 TV: Wednesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 13.2% 7 20.2% 9 16.7% 10  17.2% SBS One 4.9%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.2% 7TWO 2.9% GO! 2.1% 10 Bold 5.1% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 2.0% GEM 2.2% 10 Peach 2.2% Food Net 1.6%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix 1.3% 9Life 2.0%     NITV 0.2%
    7Food 0.3%         SBS World Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 17.3%   26.7%   23.1%   24.5%   8.5%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 11.4% 7 22.8% 9 15.1% WIN 12.5% SBS One 4.6%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.8% 7TWO 3.3% GO! 3.0% WIN Bold 4.7% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 2.6% GEM 3.4% WIN Peach 1.9% Food Net 1.7%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.7% 9Life 3.1% Sky News  on WIN 1.7% NITV 0.2%
    7food (QLD only) 0.2%            
TOTAL 16.2%   30.5%   24.6%   20.8%   8.0%


  1. Seven News Seven 1,027,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 992,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 901,000
  4. Nine News Nine 897,000
  5. The Bachelor Australia – Launch 10 828,000
  6. Home And Away Seven 712,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 705,000
  8. Hard Quiz S4 ABC 667,000
  9. Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell S10 ABC 660,000
  10. 7.30 ABC 660,000
  11. ABC News ABC 640,000
  12. The Chase Australia Seven 625,000
  13. Highway Patrol Special Seven 534,000
  14. The Project 7pm 10 511,000
  15. Hot Seat Nine 498,000
  16. Young Sheldon Nine 435,000
  17. My Life Is Murder 10 416,000
  18. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 380,000
  19. 10 News First 10 365,000
  20. Young Sheldon – (R) Nine 349,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia – Launch 10 314,000
  2. Home And Away Seven 148,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 129,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 126,000
  5. Seven News Seven 120,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia – Launch 10 460,000
  2. Home And Away Seven 239,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 237,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 230,000
  5. Seven News Seven 225,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia – Launch 10 480,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 278,000
  3. Seven News Seven 270,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 270,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 261,000
WEDNESDAY Multichannel
  1. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 198,000
  2. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 176,000
  3. Go Jetters PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 166,000
  4. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 163,000
  5. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 162,000
  6. Kiri And Lou PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 159,000
  7. PJ Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 159,000
  8. NCIS: Los Angeles (R) 10 Bold 156,000
  9. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 142,000
  10. NCIS: Los Angeles Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 139,000
  11. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  12. Dinosaur Train ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  13. Bondi Rescue Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 137,000
  14. Nella The Princess Knight AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  15. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  16. Neighbours 10 Peach 128,000
  17. Kiddets AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  18. Fireman Sam AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  19. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  20. Air Crash Investigations-Ep.2 Pm 7TWO 119,000
  1. Grand Designs Australia Lifestyle Channel 102,000
  2. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 65,000
  3. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 63,000
  4. Family Guy FOX8 59,000
  5. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 57,000
  6. Credlin Sky News Live 54,000
  7. Kirstie And Phil’s Love It Or List It Lifestyle Channel 53,000
  8. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 50,000
  9. All Round To Mrs. Brown’s UKTV 48,000
  10. Blue Bloods TVH!TS 45,000
  11. Richo & Jones Sky News Live 43,000
  12. Abby Hatcher Nick Jr. 41,000
  13. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 41,000
  14. Family Guy FOX8 40,000
  15. Paul Murray Live: Our Town Sky News Live 40,000
  16. The Matty Johns Podcast: Cameron Smith FOX LEAGUE 40,000
  17. The Simpsons FOX8 40,000
  18. Top Wing Nick Jr. 39,000
  19. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 39,000
  20. NCIS TVH!TS 39,000

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

‘Trust us’ doesn’t cut it with tech titans: News Corp’s Michael Miller

Self-regulation by Google and Facebook has failed and the ACCC needs to follow through on recommendations to restore trust in the way news organisations and advertisers deal with the tech titans, News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller says, reports The Australian’s Leo Shanahan.

Speaking during a panel discussion in Sydney on trust in news and advertising, Miller said he agreed with Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims that it was no longer enough for digital platforms to work on the basis of “trust us”.

He added that the experience of media companies mirrored that of the regulator when dealing with Google and Facebook.

“In our experience, in servicing our own journalism, we sought a change from Google in their search algorithms on ‘one click free’ that took too many years,” he said. “We’ve had those conver­sations on trust, and they’ve taken too long.”

[Read the original]

ABC to increase rural, regional coverage under revived plan

The ABC will be forced to increase its coverage and involvement with rural and regional Australia under revived government plans to alter the national broadcaster’s charter, reports The Australian’s Zoe Samios.

In Parliament on Wednesday, Communications Minister Paul Fletcher re-introduced legislation, which would require two ABC board members to require links to, or experience in, regional areas.

The proposed legislation would also involve the creation of a regional advisory council, to reflect the views of local communities. The ABC board would be required to consult with the council on any change to its services, which would impact regional Australia.

Fletcher’s announcement comes two years after a plan was first introduced by Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie in a bid to focus the public broadcaster’s attention on rural areas.

[Read the original]

Future buys SmartBrief, US publisher of 250 digital newsletters

British based publishing group Future has acquired SmartBrief Inc, a US-based digital media publisher of targeted business news and information. 

SmartBrief is a leading US-based digital media publisher of targeted business news and information by industry and delivers relevant industry news in partnership with trade associations, professional societies and corporations.

SmartBrief owns a database of 5.8m+ subscribers made up of senior executives, thought leaders and industry professionals.

SmartBrief, founded in 1999 and based in Washington DC, allows advertisers to target and engage with decision-makers and influencers across multiple sectors including food & travel, business, education, finance, health care, retail, tech, marketing and advertising.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, said: “The acquisition of SmartBrief will substantially boost our presence and market position in the B2B sector and enhance our technology capabilities.

“SmartBrief is a leading, respected provider of sector-focused newsletters and daily email briefings covering a range of key verticals. The addition of SmartBrief’s must-read information products to our portfolio will further extend the reach of our B2B operations.”

News Brands

‘Deceitful’: Crown bid to set record straight after 60 Minutes report

The high-powered board of the James Packer-backed Crown Resorts says the casino company is facing a “deceitful campaign” aimed at damaging its reputation and that reports linking it to Chinese crime gangs are “misleading”, report The Australian’s Sarah-Jane Tasker and Olivia Casey.

Executive chairman John Alexander and the board, which includes former Liberal communications minister Helen Coonan, former AFL boss Andrew Demetriou, former Qantas boss Geoff Dixon and millionaire adman Harold Mitchell, have signed an open letter – published in a full-page advertisement in newspapers across Australia today – that they say sets the record straight on recent allegations made about the company.

“As a board, we are extremely concerned for our staff, shareholders and other stakeholders, as much as this unbalanced and sensationalised reporting is based on unsubstantiated allegations, exaggerations, unsupported connections and outright falsehoods,” the letter reads.

The claims made in a series of reports in Nine Entertainment Co’s newspapers and on 60 Minutes include allegations that Crown had a hotline to Australian consulates to fast-track visa applications for big-spending gamblers flying in from China. There were also allegations Crown laundered large sums of money through its Melbourne gaming venue and had connections to criminal organisations.

A Nine spokeswoman said last night that the company had declined to publish the Crown Resorts “setting the record straight” advertisement.

Instead it published online a detailed rebuttal of each of Crown’s defences.

“We reject Crown’s claims that the story was unbalanced and sensationalised,” the spokeswoman said.

“Nobody was paid to participate in the investigation. We stand by the accuracy of our multiple stories, the investigation and the hard work of our journalists. Crown was given the opportunity to provide comments in the stories but chose to give a single statement that we did publish.”

[Read the original]

Crime agency reveals investigation into organised crime at casinos

Australia’s peak criminal intelligence agency has announced a sweeping investigation into organised crime in Australian casinos amid revelations about Crown Resorts’ dealings with junket operators with links to suspected Chinese crime bosses and foreign influence agents, reports Nine newspaper reporters Nick McKenzie, Nick Toscano and Grace Tobin.

The chief of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Michael Phelan, told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday that investigators across state and federal police and intelligence agencies have uncovered damning “insights into vulnerabilities … within casinos located in Australia”.

The announcement comes as Crown Resorts’s 11-person board launched an attack on an investigation by The Herald, Age and 60 Minutes in recent days, saying in a widely circulated advertisement that it was “deceitful,” “unbalanced” and “sensationalised”.

[Read the original]

See also:
The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes respond to Crown Resorts

Federal Police push back at media bosses wanting greater press freedom

Evidence could be destroyed and suspects alerted if journalists contested covert search warrants before they were carried out, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) has warned in a submission to a press freedom inquiry, reports ABC News’ Tom Maddocks.

The ABC and News Corp are legally challenging the use of search warrants.

“Search warrants … are often the first point at which the investigation becomes overt, or public,” the submission states.

“However, it is often very important to the integrity of an investigation that persons of interest are not made aware of the investigation until such time as the warrant is executed.

“An opportunity to make representations or submissions at the time of issuance would undermine investigations by alerting suspects and providing opportunities to destroy evidence.”

[Read the original]

Seven apologises after Sunrise’s ‘dole bludger’ debate backlash

Channel 7’s Sunrise program copped a hammering on Wednesday over its treatment of the Newstart debate, thanks to a “badly phrased” segment, reports News Corp’s Sam Clench.

Sunrise co-host Natalie Barr introduced the segment by saying: “New figures have been released showing just how many dole bludgers are trying to take advantage of the welfare system.”

“An alarming number of people on Newstart are being penalised.”

Her use of the term “bludgers’’ sparked an immediate backlash.

Comedian and Triple M presenter Wil Anderson described it as “utter bullshit gutter journalism”.

Barr later said the show had “made a mistake” and the segment was “badly phrased”.

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Magazine publisher returns to profit in 2018 despite turnover decline

Condé Nast Britain, which manages British Vogue, GQ, Tatler and 10 other brands, swung back to profit in fiscal 2018, despite a 7.8% decline in turnover, reports WWD’s Samtha Conti.

Ahead of filing at Companies House, the official register of UK businesses, Condé Nast revealed that profit was about 2.7 million pounds, compared with a loss of 13.6 million pounds in the previous year, when restructuring costs weighed on the bottom line.

Profit was still lower than in 2016, when Condé Nast Britain reported takings of 4.3 million pounds, roughly the same as in 2015.

Revenue in 2018 fell 7.8% to 104.6 million pounds, due chiefly to the cut in Glamour’s print frequency from 12 to two issues a year.

During the period, oversight of the Condé Nast College of Fashion moved from the British arm to Condé Nast International Ltd., which is being merged with the publisher’s US parent.

Condé Nast Britain, which operates 13 magazine brands in the UK, described 2018 as “a strong year,” with positive performance across the business leading into 2019. In 2018, Condé Nast Britain said it sold nine million magazines in 60 countries, had 17 million followers globally and produced 60 events.

Albert Read, managing director of Condé Nast Britain, said: “We are pleased with our 2018 results – combining continued strength in print with an expanding remit to new digital and events platforms.” He added that the company was cautiously optimistic about the future, despite market uncertainty.

Top performers in the year included British Vogue, which posted an increase in its Audit Bureau of Circulation figure of 1.1% year-over-year under new editor Edward Enninful. Condé Nast Traveller saw an increased ABC figure of 3.7% year-over-year under global editor Melinda Stevens, while Tatler’s ABC figure was up 1.2% under new editor Richard Dennen.

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Leigh Sales asks George Calombaris about underpaying and MasterChef

In a 7.30 exclusive, Leigh Sales interviewed celebrity chef George Calombaris about underpaying his staff and leaving MasterChef.

LEIGH SALES: Can I ask what happened with MasterChef and with you with Channel 10 parting ways – Channel 10 suggested that it was because it couldn’t meet your demands and the other hosts’ demand for salary.

Is it accurate that you and the other hosts were demanding pay rises of up to 40 per cent?

GEORGE CALOMBARIS: What I can say is, that the sticking point that we got to with MasterChef and with Channel 10 was simply time.

The dollars were all signed off. That was all done and dusted. It was time.

And time for Gary to do more of his own stuff, Matt to do more of his stuff and for me to be in my restaurants more.

It takes up a long time. It takes, you know, six, seven months of our year and we just needed more time.

And that’s all it came down to.

[Read a transcript here]

Lightning strikes twice in Pearl Bay as Nine revives beloved SeaChange

When it landed on television screens in 1998, the ABC drama SeaChange promised its audience a glimpse into the fantasy of a simpler way of living. “You probably think I’m mad, but it feels good to me, ’cause from now on, I’ll live as close as I can to the sea,” sang Wendy Morrison in the show’s iconic theme song.

“I don’t know how much you can do it in the real world, but it’s a really attractive fantasy,” says Deb Cox, producer and, with Andrew Knight, co-creator of the original series. “And I think that’s why, with people going back to their first loves on Tinder, or on Facebook finding their lost love … there’s enough there for you to think fantasies can come true.”

A reboot or remake of SeaChange had been kicking around for the last half-dozen years with ITV, which owned the rights to the series, through successive management regimes.

The pitch which finally got a reboot over the line came from ITV and Nine in tandem, kicking off a conversation with Cox and her producing partner Fiona Eagger about why a renewed exploration of life in Pearl Bay would have meaning in 2019.

“Twenty years ago it was for me about a woman having a mid-life crisis, because why not?” Cox says. “Television had said [women] can be doctors, they can be lawyers and you know, and I thought, well, why can’t they make mistakes? Why can’t they crash and burn like men. I wanted to see women who were fallible.”

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Love affair with reality refuses to die, but some are better than others

It’s the reality-TV shuffle and it’s a game that’s played several times a year. One crop winds up on commercial free-to-air TV, amid on-screen tears and cheers, and a new batch begins. In recent weeks, MasterChef, The Voice and House Rules folded their tentpoles and Survivor, The Block, Australia’s Got Talent and The Bachelor cranked up theirs, reports The Age’s Debi Enker.

Not all reality-TV shows are created equal: some are better than others. Viewers who have an automatic aversion to the genre believe there’s no such thing as good reality-TV. But they’re wrong. Just as there are good and bad dramas and comedies, there are good and bad reality shows.

In the latest crop, Survivor gets many of the key elements right. Now into its fourth season, 10’s version has nailed the visual spectacle of the challenges and the crucial elements of casting and conflict. Again framed as a Champions vs Contenders face-off, the season sets up an opposition not only between the competing tribes but also between people who’ve proven their ability, and been rewarded for it, and those who haven’t yet had their time to shine.

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Melinda Houston: Confessions of a food-show junkie

There is something intrinsic to food shows – at least, to most of them – that lowers our blood pressure and soothes our souls, writes The Age’s Melinda Houston.

At its most basic, there is nothing more reassuring than having food in our bellies and that is surely part of the appeal. The sight of plentiful food strikes some atavistic evolutionary chord and lets us know that everything is OK.

The secret ingredient of the food channels: They all repeat the same shows over and over again across the day. Which is not, actually, a drawback.

Rather, it’s part of the genius of the food channels. Not only do they not suffer from a lack of original content, it’s how they work. It’s like catching up regularly with an old friend. After the first, say, decade, you rarely surprise each other. But there’s genuine comfort in working the same conversational ground over and over again.

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‘Get in touch with your audience’: Tom Gleeson to Tracy Grimshaw

Comedian Tom Gleeson has a strong message for those who criticised his controversial Gold Logie speech, reports 2GB.

After mercilessly mocking the TV awards show in his Gold Logie campaign, several media personalities ripped into the comedian for his so-called “lack of respect”.

But none more so than A Current Affair presenter Tracy Grimshaw, who called him “smug” and “graceless”.

But Tom Gleeson told 2GB’s Ben Fordham yesterday he’s got a message for the haters.

“There were various people who aired their views, and I know Tracy Grimshaw had a bit of a whinge on Channel 9, but I got nothing but non-stop praise from the people who watched it at home.

“So it’s hard for me to feel anything other than pride.

“Tracey, if you’re listening, I recommend you probably get in touch with your audience and what they do and don’t like, ‘cause they think I’m a hero.”

[Listen to Ben Fordham’s interview with Tom Gleeson]


Smallzy hosts Nova Red Room Sydney event with Warner’s Bazzi

LA based singer, songwriter and producer phenomena Bazzi performed for the first time in Australia for Nova’s Red Room at the Lair in Sydney’s Metro theatre this week.

With over three million global streams to date and three platinum Australian singles, Bazzi was accompanied onstage by his guitarists in an intimate performance for a crowd of over 300 people.

Nova’s busy Sydney morning host and national evening announcer Smallzy hosted the evening.

The audience helped Bazzi sing his new single Paradise and he also performed the top 10 singles, Mine, Beautiful and 3:15.

He promised to return back to Australia to do a full show for fans.

Guests included Francesca Hung, actress and model, DJ Tori Levett, singer Jacko Brazier and model and actress Alli Simpson and boyfriend Mitchell Bourke. Representing Bazzi’s music company were Billy MacLeod, Warner’s VP Publicity & Promotions and Beth Appleton, Warner’s GM Australia and SVP Marketing Australasia at Warner Music.

Sports Media

Adam Goodes: Football wasn’t “safe place” during booing controversy

AFL champion Adam Goodes says the booing controversy that killed his career turned his “safe place” on the football oval into a field of dread, reports News Corp’s Nui Te Koha.

“Football, for me, was a place where I got accepted for being a good footballer,” Goodes, a Sydney Swans superstar and dual Brownlow Medalist, says in the documentary The Australian Dream, which premieres at the Melbourne International Film Festival tonight.

“It didn’t matter where I came from, It was a safe place that helped me break down barriers.”

But he said the booing controversy changed his outlook on football, and the arena it was played on.

He says: “It actually became a place I hated to walk out onto.”

Football identities including Nathan Buckley, Eddie McGuire, Gilbert McAdam, Michael O’Loughlin, Paul Roos, John Longmire, Herald Sun commentator Andrew Bolt, and broadcaster Stan Grant are interviewed in the film.

The Australian Dream opens nationally in cinemas on August 22.

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