• Highlights from CBS and Viacom merger announcement
Creates a leading global, multiplatform, premium content company, positioned to be one of the most important content producers and providers in the world
• Portfolio of powerful consumer brands spanning all content categories and demographics
• Iconic library of 140,000+ premium TV episodes and 3,600+ film titles
• Production capabilities across five continents, including more than 750 series ordered to or in production
• One of a few major film studios operating on a global basis
• Among the biggest content spenders in the industry, with more than $13 billion spent in the last 12 months
• Diverse and fast-growing portfolio of direct-to-consumer offerings
• Global reach of more than 4.3 billion cumulative TV subscribers in 180+ countries
• #1 share of broadcast and cable viewing across all key demographics in the U.S.
• First-choice distribution and advertising partner with industry-leading reach and capabilities
• Premium content at scale. The combined company will possess a portfolio of powerful consumer brands, including CBS, Showtime, Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central and Paramount Network, as well as one of the largest libraries of iconic intellectual property, spanning every key genre and addressing consumers of all ages and demographics. This library comprises 140,000+ TV episodes and 3,600+ film titles, and reunites fan-favourite franchises such as Star Trek and Mission: Impossible. The combined company will also have more than 750 series currently ordered to or in production. In addition, it will include a major Hollywood film studio, Paramount Pictures, which creates and distributes feature-length entertainment around the world. The combined company will also be one of the largest content spenders, with more than $13 billion spent in the last 12 months.
• Global leadership positions. The combined company will be a broadcast and cable leader in key markets around the world, reaching more than 4.3 billion cumulative TV subscribers. In the U.S., the combined company’s portfolio of broadcast, premium and cable networks will have the highest share of viewing on television among key audiences, including Kids, African Americans and Hispanic viewers. In addition, the combined company will operate strong broadcast networks in the UK, Argentina and Australia, as well as pay-TV networks across more than 180 countries. It will also have significant global production capabilities across five continents – creating content in 45 languages.
Bob Bakish, President and Chief Executive Officer, Viacom, will become President and Chief Executive Officer of the combined company.
Bakish said: “Today marks an important day for CBS and Viacom, as we unite our complementary assets and capabilities and become one of only a few companies with the breadth and depth of content and reach to shape the future of our industry. Our unique ability to produce premium and popular content for global audiences at scale – for our own platforms and for our partners around the world – will enable us to maximize our business for today, while positioning us to lead for years to come. As we look to the future, I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities ahead for the combined company and all of our stakeholders – including consumers, the creative community, commercial partners, employees and, of course, our shareholders.”
Joe Ianniello, President and Acting Chief Executive Officer, CBS, will become Chairman and CEO of CBS.
Ianniello, who will oversee all CBS-branded assets in his new role, said: “This merger brings an exciting new set of opportunities to both companies. At CBS, we have outstanding momentum right now – creatively and operationally – and Viacom’s portfolio will help accelerate that progress. I look forward to all we will do together as we build on our ongoing success. And personally, I am pleased to remain focused on CBS’s top priority – continuing our transformation into a global, multiplatform, premium content company.”
Shari Redstone, Vice Chair of the Boards of Directors, CBS and Viacom, said: “I am really excited to see these two great companies come together so that they can realize the incredible power of their combined assets. My father once said ‘content is king,’ and never has that been more true than today. Through CBS and Viacom’s shared passion for premium content and innovation, we will establish a world-class, multiplatform media organization that is well-positioned for growth in a rapidly transforming industry. Led by a talented leadership team that is excited by the future, ViacomCBS’s success will be underpinned by a commitment to strong values and a culture that empowers our exceptional people at all levels of the organisation.”
Powerful, three-part strategy for growth
In a quickly evolving media landscape, the combined company will benefit from its distinct competitive position as one of the most important global content providers – for its own platforms as well as for third parties. This will enable the combined company to accelerate the growth of its direct-to-consumer strategy, enhance distribution and advertising opportunities and create a leading producer and licensor of premium content to third-party platforms globally.
• Accelerate direct-to-consumer strategy. Together, the combined company will be positioned to accelerate and expand its direct-to-consumer strategy through its proven and diverse portfolio of both subscription and ad- supported offerings. These include CBS All Access and Showtime, which deliver premium, branded content live and on demand to millions of subscribers; Pluto TV, the leading free streaming TV service in the U.S.; and niche products such as CBSN, ET Live and Noggin. It also has an opportunity to expand globally by leveraging its existing strength in both subscription and ad-supported offerings, combined library, content production capabilities and international infrastructure.
• Enhance distribution and advertising opportunities. The breadth and depth of the combined company’s reach across both traditional and new platforms – including 22% of U.S. TV viewership – will drive important new distribution and advertising opportunities. For distributors, this includes forming more expansive and multifaceted relationships, and applying the benefit of retransmission consent across a combined portfolio. For advertisers and agencies, the combined company will provide industry-leading reach through a variety of formats, including a portfolio of differentiated advanced advertising and marketing solutions, such as CBS Interactive, Viacom Vantage and Viacom Velocity, which will be applied against significant, expanded inventory across the portfolio.
• Create a leading producer and licensor of premium content to third-party platforms globally. As one of the biggest premium content providers in the world, the combined company is positioned to deliver content to a diverse global customer base that includes MVPDs, broadcast and cable networks, subscription and ad- supported streaming services, mobile providers and social platforms. Notably, in addition to content licensing, CBS and Viacom are developing must-watch programming for a broad range of third-party networks and platforms to feed significant demand for original, premium content.
• The next big indie: Bumper slate with 5 movies, 7 TV series
By James Manning
The ambitious new Australia production company Revlover is linked to one of the world’s top five commercial production companies, Revolver (Revlover is Revolver backwards!).
The first of a long list of projects Revlover has in development goes to air this week on ABC TV – Diary Of An Uber Driver.
The three partners in the new venture are Revolver owners Michael Ritchie and Steve Rogers, plus producer Martha Coleman.
Coleman used to produce TV commercials to help finance her first film Praise, which is where she met the Revolver partners.
Coleman later worked in London for eight years and then worked as head of development for Screen Australia for five years after she returned.
“After that I knew it was time to leave the cushy job and get to the core roots of producing instead of financing other people,” Coleman told Mediaweek.
She crossed paths again with Ritchie and Rogers who expressed a desire to get into long form. “We subsequently set up Revlover which the three of us own.
“After starting with nothing we now have a slate of 12 projects with our first series on the ABC this week.”
Although the two companies operate separately, there are benefits like working out of the same space and being able to access Revolver’s infrastructure.
People on the Revlover team alongside Coleman include producer Lauren Edwards and an emerging writer/director Madeleine Gottlieb.
The other 11 projects at Revlover are in various stages of development and/or out for investment and partners on the other films and series include eOne, Transmission Films, ABC, Porchlight, Easy Tiger, Stan and All3Media.
Diary Of An Uber Driver is based on a blog by Sydney writer, and Uber driver, Ben Phillips. Even though the series has been fictionalised, Coleman said, the blog “showed us how being an Uber driver can be almost therapy and give you insights into ways to fix things in your own life.”
Coleman said when they first started shopping Revlover projects, they didn’t have an existing track record, so broadcasters might have been wary. “The ABC never doubted that we could deliver something that was stylish and smart. It didn’t make any difference on an international level.
“Locally it is one of the reasons we have a TV show [Traces] in partnership with Porchlight. It was based on an article we’d optioned just as Porchlight were putting The Kettering Incident to air.
“Scrublands came to me from a contact in the UK and it was an expensive option and done before the book was published. I took it to Ian Collie knowing he was a little better resourced with Easy Tiger and we will be producing that together.
“You don’t have to do everything on your own. Sometimes it make sense to partner with people so you can pool resources and experience.”
All3Media are a partner on Uber Driver and will sell it internationally. “They have been brilliant and absolutely love the show,” said Coleman.
The series was directed by Matthew Moore and shot by Hollywood cinematographer, Aussie Stephen F Windon. He is perhaps best know for shooting five of the Fast & Furious movies, including The Fate of the Furious and he will also work on the next two – number 9 and 10 in the franchise.
Coleman explained that Moore had worked with Windon in the past and took a chance that he might be interested in Uber Driver. “Stephen read the scripts, absolutely loved them, and he was in. Despite being a Hollywood director of photography who is used to all the bells and whistles, he embraced the lo-fi nature of this series.”
Part of Findon’s creative expertise meant the crew had three cameras rigged up on a low loader for much of the five week shoot to ensure the driving scenes looked authentic.
The executive producer for the ABC on the series was Que Minh Luu. Coleman’s first contact when initially pitching Uber Driver was Alastair McKinnon who now runs Matchbox Pictures. ABC head of drama, comedy and indigenous Sally Riley then appointed Que Minh Luu.
As to what might next go into production, Coleman said it could perhaps be Traces (a Porchlight JV) or Scrublands, which is being developed with Easy Tiger for Stan. “Both of these shows are ready to go when somebody jumps on board.”
Coleman could be very busy, very soon. See the attached list for details of the impressive Revlover slate.
Of the ambition to be bigger than a boutique production company, Coleman told Mediaweek: “The goal is to make movies and TV shows that people will want to see. We are very audience focused, without wanting to make fluff. We want people to see the things we make.”
• Sheila: Period romance developed with Transmission Films, a JV with Goalpost Pictures.
• The Wedding Officer: Romantic comedy developed with eOne, written by Andrew Knight.
• Panyee: Coming of age drama developed with Transmission Films.
• Pig Wing Pie: Animated family film.
• Horrie: Family film. Written by Mac Gudgeon and developed with eOne.
• Diary Of An Uber Drive: 6 x 30 comedy series. Adapted by Tom Ward and produced in partnership with ABC and All3Media.
• Scrublands: 6 x 1 hour drama based on Chris Hammer novel. Written by Felicity Packard, produced with Easy Tiger, developed with Stan.
• Traces: 8 x 1 hour drama written by Sarah Lambert, JV with Porchlight Films.
• Public Relations: 6 x 30 comedy. Developed with All3Media.
• After: 10 x 30 drama. Based on Nikki Gemmell’s memoir.
• Plus Ones: 7 x 7 minute web series, developed with ABC.
• The Upside Of Over: 10 x 30 comedy series from screenwriter JD Barrett.
Audience Development Australia founder David Castran (aka the TV doctor) has purchased a home on Sydney’s northern beaches.
Sydney property reporter Jonathan Chancellor revealed on the weekend in The Sunday Telegraph that Castran’s acquisition was the famed Wedge House overlooking Whale Beach.
The new owner has paid the original owners of the house $2.92m for the property that was designed by architects Peter Stutchbury and Marika Jarv.
Castran told Mediaweek the home could be used for research, in particular home groups he regularly conducts. Castran also holds home groups in the Horizon building in Darlinghurst and in western Sydney. Other groups are also hosted in Melbourne and Geelong.
ADA Q-scores has just piloted a 1000 strong survey focussing on the important sales demographic of 25 to 54 with results out this week.
“Some 22% of Australians in the two main capitals were born in Asia, mainly China, and their spending potential is encouraging from home loans to cars and big ticket items. Is anyone taking care of them or are we ignoring them,” said Castran.
“ADA home groups compliment the online quant surveys with rich qualitative insights on programming and we now have 11 concepts that are showing some potential to be researched and developed.”
ADA is bringing back the Q-scores in addition to its qualitative research. “Every month we will be qualitatively researching, primarily focusing on the Sydney market. The Q-scores will have an on-going sample of 2,000 every four weeks available only to subscribers.”
In 2010 Castran took a gap year and suspended Q-scores and later signed an exclusive agreement with James Warburton when he was running Network 10 in 2012.
“It took years to train people to a level that networks expected and my staff were being poached at their peak leaving me high and dry,” said Castran. “It was a case of the birds leaving the nest and I’m proud of what they have gone on to achieve.”
• Coverage of the second Ashes cricket test commences Wednesday August 14 from the home of cricket – Lords.
The game was broadcast across both Nine and 9GEM in different states, and those totals have been combined below
A total of 4.244 million viewers (Metro: 2.343m / Regional: 1.901m) tuned into Nine’s broadcast of the First Test between Australia and England (National cume reach), live from Edgbaston, England.
The highest rating session of the First Test was Session One on Day Five (Monday, August 8th) with a national average audience of 1.064 million viewers, as the Australians bowled out England to clinch victory.
SESSION ONE (average timeslot – 8:00 pm – 10:00pm AEST)
Each of the first sessions of play achieved an average national audience of 853,000 across the five sessions (Thursday to Monday).
SESSION TWO (average timeslot – 10:40pm – 12:40am AEST)
Each of the second sessions of play achieved an average national audience of 615,000 across the five sessions (Thursday to Monday).
DIGITAL VIEWING ON 9NOW
Live Average VPM of 30,000 during live play
Live VPM Streams of 3 million
Live VPM minutes of 52 million
Day Five was the biggest day with 12 million minutes streamed.
Day Five – Session One of the First Test achieved the highest Live VPM of 47,000 and is the 4th highest Live VPM for a sporting event to date for 2019 (behind State of Origin Games I, II and III)
300,000 Australians watched some part of the First Test on 9NOW
31,500 new sign ups to 9NOW had the First Test as the first content they watched
Nine’s director of sport Tom Malone said:
“These are fantastic results across our linear and digital platforms which further vindicates Nine’s strategy to pursue premium sport on an exclusive basis, so we can aggregate big audiences for advertisers to engage with.”
“Of course, the players deserve all the credit for putting on a gripping five-day Test match. Bring on Lords!”
Nine’s director of sales, sport, Matthew Granger said:
“We have seen a fantastic response from advertisers for Nine’s exclusive coverage of the Ashes series. The First test delivered an amazing audience platform for our national partners Ford, McDonalds, Chemist Warehouse, REA and TAB. Like the Aussie cricket team, Nine and our partners can’t wait for the second test in Lords to begin on Wednesday.”
Nine Ashes Tour coverage
Hosting Nine’s coverage is Australian sporting legend Todd Woodbridge, alongside former Australian men’s captain Mark Taylor, former Australian women’s captains Melanie Jones and Lisa Sthalekar, and Aussie wicket-keeping great, Ian Healy.
“Like most Australians, I grew up watching the cricket on our screens every year”, said Woodbridge. “Hosting something as iconic as The Ashes is a real privilege, and I can’t wait to work with some of the legends of Aussie cricket.”
Commentary will be provided by a collection of heavyweights of world cricket, such as Aussie and English stars Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting, Michael Atherton, David Lloyd, Isa Guha and more.
Mark Taylor, an Ashes-winning former captain of the Australian side, feels the series will be tight in 2019. “Both sides are filled with match winners, but I think the Aussies could have enough firepower to get them over the line this year and retain The Urn”, said Taylor. “It’s shaping up to be a brilliant series.”
Former Australian women’s captain Mel Jones – also no stranger to Ashes success – said, “Justin Langer’s first Ashes series as coach, Tim Paine’s as captain. Fresh, new faces for the oldest of competitions. This series will uncover new Australian heroes and reaffirm old ones as they take on the old foe on away soil.”
In an interview in Mediaweek last week, Nine’s national director of news and current affairs Darren Wick talked about the challenges Nine’s program Today has had trying to win back its audience: “We have won back some of that audience, [but an] unwritten story is that Sunrise’s numbers are way down.”
Mediaweek should have clarified what Wick was referring to with that claim. It was the long term averages for the commercial TV breakfast shows.
While Sunrise is clearly on top now and over the past few years, both the Nine and Seven breakfast programs have been steadily losing viewers over five years. Sunrise has managed to reverse the trend this year.
Sunrise had an average metro network all people audience of 329,000 in 2015 and that dropped to 267,000 in 2018. So far this year the numbers have climbed to 273,000.
Today had a peak audience in 2016 over the last five years with 309,000, but that number has dropped to 197,000 so far this year.
Nine has had a glimmer of improvement in the major markets recently, but last week across the network Sunrise was ahead 271,000 versus 209,000. The two shows were tied on 57,000 in Melbourne, and Sunrise had a lead of 4,000 in Sydney.
But while Today is close to Sunrise in Sydney and Melbourne, the 2019 scoreboard at the end of week 32 (24 survey weeks) looks like this:
Sydney: Sunrise has won 22 survey weeks, Today has won 1 with 1 draw.
Melbourne: Sunrise has won 23 survey weeks with 1 draw.
Also during that Darren Wick Mediaweek interview he gave his view as to why Seven’s breakfast show is performing well: “Sunrise is a very strong, very disciplined program with a good production team who have all worked together for a long time.”
Stranger Things is top of the charts for an eighth week and it’s only one of three shows to occupy the number one spot of the Australian and New Zealand Overall TV charts this year along with Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Game of Thrones.
By Trent Thomas
The top five of the Digital Original charts and the top three of Overall TV charts have stayed fairly consistent apart from some internal shifting with the most notable movements being the return of a Netflix favourite 13 Reasons Why and some upwards movement from chart regular The 100 following its series finale.
Earlier this month Netflix released the first trailer for the third season of 13 Reasons Why as well as announcing the show has been renewed for a fourth and final season. The new series follows on from the original story established in the novel by Jay Asher – high school student Clay Jensen and his deceased friend Hannah Baker who commits suicide after having to face a culture of gossip and sexual assault at her high school. Season three moves away from the Hannah Baker story as it covers the mystery of the murder of Bryce Walker as well as the cover-up of Tyler’s attempted massacre at the Spring Fling. The new season will drop on Netflix on August 23 and star Dylan Minnette, Christian Navarro, Brandon Flynn, Justin Prentice, and Alisha Boe.
Last week The 100 concluded its sixth season and announced that a 16 episode seventh season airing in 2020 will be the conclusion of the post-apocalyptic science fiction drama which has seen the show move into the top five of the Overall TV Charts in both Australia and New Zealand.
The show is loosely based on the novel series of the same name by Kass Morgan with the series airing 84 episodes to date about the criminal adolescents sent to live on Earth 97 years after a nuclear apocalypse to deem if the planet is now inhabitable. The series initially premiered on American network the CW on March 19, 2014 and is available to watch on Netflix in Australia.
• Andrew Denton Interview helps Seven to first place
• How did Denton and Dogs beat The Block & SeaChange?
• Australian Survivor ranks #1 under 50, but David still there
By James Manning
• Seven News 1,079,000
• Nine News 1,044,000
• A Current Affair 761,000
• ABC News 654,000
• 7.30 494,000
• The Project 285,000/477,000
• 10 News First 377,000,000
• The Drum 186,000
• SBS World News 147,000
• Sunrise 269,000
• Today 183,000
It was not a night Seven was supposed to win all people. Up against the combo of The Block and SeaChange in only their second week, Seven’s combo of Dogs and Denton has proven a winner.
Home And Away went from 686,000 on Monday to 635,000 Tuesday.
You could almost say Seven won the night despite Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly. The episode only managed 521,000, not far from last week’s 558,000. Where Seven would win with the UK import though is cost per viewer.
Seven’s hit of the night was Andrew Denton’s Interview with 634,000 watching, putting it on par with Home And Away as the channel’s best after 7pm. Denton’s special guest was former foreign minister and media magnet Julie Bishop who helped the program to its biggest audience this season, despite another lacklustre lead-in.
The channel may have ranked #2 all people, but it did lead in the younger demos.
A Current Affair dropped from 821,000 Monday to 761,000 last night.
The Block was on 851,000, winning its timeslot, down slightly though on 876,000 watching a week ago.
SeaChange was also down week-on-week. After the audience gave the new Brunswick Heads location a big tick with 787,000 a week ago, the second episode dropped to 533,000.
While 10 trailed Seven and Nine all people, the network is able to report it ranked #2 under 50, overtaking Seven which was #3 in that measure after winning all people.
The Project was on 477,000 Tuesday after 472,000 on Monday.
Australian Survivor did 739,000, its biggest audience since the season launch and the #1 show under 50 for the night. The Champions got a break from tribal council with the Contenders all going “not me” as accusations about leaked information flew around the campfire before the vote. The ex-Champions in the Contenders team lost the immunity challenge on purpose, but it didn’t go exactly according to plan. Let’s hope David or Luke face the music when the series resumes next Sunday.
Foreign Correspondent did 417,000 with insights into what the Hong Kong unrest could mean for Taiwan.
It was then all systems go for seniors with former newsreader Ian Henderson returning to the channel with a look at the lifestyles keeping a group of Australians nearing 100 fit and healthy. The episode of Catalyst did 377,000.
Miriam’s Deathly Adventure followed with the actress Miriam Margolyes testing an aged care home and the Californian lifestyle with 222,000 watching.
London, 200 Years Of History was the channel’s most-watched show last week and it ranked #1 last night with 296,000.
An Insight repeat followed with 128,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.4%||7TWO||2.1%||GO!||2.9%||10 Bold||3.3%||VICELAND||1.5%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||4.0%||GEM||3.3%||10 Peach||2.5%||Food Net||1.1%|
|7Food||0.5%||SBS World Movies||1.1%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.9%||7TWO||4.0%||GO!||4.3%||WIN Bold||4.1%||VICELAND||1.4%|
|ABC ME||0.8%||7mate||6.4%||GEM||4.7%||WIN Peach||2.0%||Food Net||1.5%|
|ABC NEWS||0.7%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||3.1%||9Life||1.4%||Sky News on WIN||1.9%||NITV||0.1%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.5%|
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
After more than a decade apart, CBS and Viacom, both under Shari Redstone’s control, agreed to merge on Tuesday in a deal that will reunite a roster of once-mighty media businesses, reports The New York Times.
Viacom’s Paramount film studio and MTV and Nickelodeon cable networks will be added to the broadcast giant CBS and the book publisher Simon & Schuster.
The combination of CBS and Viacom is a victory for Shari Redstone, the leader of a family business that has led the two media giants for two decades. Their reunification (the two companies were once a single entity, called Viacom, until they were split up in 2006) was seen as necessary at a time when television audiences have eroded. Tech platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Netflix have chipped away at big media, eating into the once-fat profits that companies like CBS and Viacom reaped.
Redstone had pushed for a deal for at least three years but faced fierce opposition from CBS’s board, including its former chief executive, Leslie Moonves. Moonves was pushed out last September after several women accused him of sexual assault. He has denied the charges. Redstone will be chairwoman of the combined company.
In emails to their respective employees sent after the Viacom-CBS merger announcement, CBS CEO Joe Ianniello and Viacom CEO Bob Bakish touted the potential of the combined companies, while acknowledging that the move will result in staff changes, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Bob Bakish will be president and CEO of the combined company, to be called ViacomCBS, while Ianniello will be chairman and CEO of CBS after the merger is completed, reporting to Bakish. Viacom’s brands include MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures, while CBS also owns CBS TV Studios and Showtime.
“As we all know, there is a race to create more of the best content. We are already leaders in this regard, and today’s news will accelerate our global ambitions,” Ianniello wrote in his memo to CBS staff.
“This merger comes with a lot of expectation, but it also comes with what I believe is a rare and exciting opportunity,” Bakish wrote in his memo to Viacom employees. “Together, we have the opportunity to be one of the few companies positioned to shape the future of the entertainment industry.”
The memo from Viacom CEO Bob Bakish included:
Our combined company – which will be called ViacomCBS – will have a library of content with incredible breadth and depth, and a reinforced capability to produce premium and popular content at scale. We’ll have greater reach, strengthening our position with advertising and distribution partners. We will have an extended portfolio of direct-to-consumer products – both ad-supported and subscription-based – that will accelerate our growth. And we’ll be able to build on our leadership positions in the US, UK, Australia, Argentina and India for continued global expansion.
Australia’s competition boss Rod Sims has warned tech giants Google and Facebook to either abide by our laws or leave our shores, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.
Sims, who led a landmark regulatory investigation into digital platforms over 19 months that uncovered many “adverse effects” associated with the tech giants, said “Australia can, if necessary, act alone” with its crackdown.
“Facebook and Google are clearly subject to our laws. They either comply or do not do business in Australia,” Sims said in a speech to the Melbourne Press Club.
In the past, the tech giants have threatened to withdraw services from a country in response to local laws, but Sims does not think that will happen here.
“Not only are our measures carefully calibrated, but we are closely in touch with our overseas counterparts who are sympathetic to both the issues we have raised, and our solutions,” he said.
Photo Guests at the Melbourne Press Club: Nine’s Hugh Marks, ABC’s Michael Rowland, ACCC’s Rod Sims and AAP’s Bruce Davidson (via @MichaelRowland)
Nine Entertainment is believed to have launched a search for a new chief financial officer, reports The Australian’s Bridget Carter.
The move puts focus on whether current CFO Greg Barnes is about to depart the media company or shift to another role.
It is understood that two short-listed candidates are now said to be in the final running for the CFO role at the broadcaster and publisher.
It is understood that Nine (NEC) has hired recruitment firm Spencer Stuart to find a replacement and an announcement on the successful candidate could be imminent.
International live entertainment producer Michael Cassel Group has hired Joanna McEwan as director, tourism and Remy Chancerel as director, publicity.
“We’re thrilled to welcome both Joanna and Remy to the team. Their combined wealth of knowledge and experience will prove invaluable to the success of our productions” said Michael Cassel, CEO/producer, Michael Cassel Group.
Michael Cassel Group has seen rapid expansion since it opened its doors in 2013, most recently executive producing and general managing the Australasian premiere of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child in Melbourne, launching the first international tour of Disney’s The Lion King and announcing the Australian premiere of Hamilton, opening in Sydney in March 2021. Forthcoming tours include Celeste Barber (in partnership with Live Nation), Lea Salonga and Tina Arena as well as producing the opening celebration of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Sydney, to be watched by a live television audience of 1.5 billion people.
Joanna McEwan will lead the company’s tourism and marketing initiatives.
Previously Visit Victoria’s head of major events marketing & relationships, McEwan was responsible for marketing Melbourne as a global events city, which included major sporting and cultural events such as the Australian Open Tennis, Formula 1 Grand Prix, the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards and numerous theatrical productions including Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.
Remy Chancerel will lead all production-based PR strategies.
Prior to joining the Michael Cassel Group, Chancerel was responsible for delivering visitation-led international and domestic press campaigns for The National Gallery of Victoria. Previously, he served as national publicist for leading arts & entertainment PR agency BridgesPR, on Australian tours of Disney’s Aladdin and The Lion King, as well as Michael Cassel Group’s productions of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Kinky Boots.
Photo: Joanna McEwan and Remy Chancerel
Journalists who publish stories based on leaked Government documents are being treated as though they have received “stolen goods”, an inquiry into press freedom has heard, reports ABC News’ Paige Cockburn.
ABC managing director David Anderson told a parliamentary inquiry the world’s attention was on Australian media following the AFP’s raid on the national broadcaster’s headquarters in June.
He said the warrant on the ABC was issued with a “patchwork of laws” which relied on the criminal offence of “receipt of stolen goods”.
“Immediate and tangible reforms to legislation that inhibits the ABC’s ability to do its job are required,” he said.
Executive chair of News Corp, Michael Miller, told the inquiry the Government talked about the value of a robust and free media, but legislative changes were needed to ensure Australians did not lose their democratic freedoms.
“[We’re] a fundamental pillar, they say, keeping the public informed, they say … the rhetoric plays to the right tune but we have many laws that criminalise journalism,” he said.
“They are creating a secret society that most Australians would not recognise as our own.”
Miller said the media industry was not seeking to place journalists above the law, but simply demanding a whistleblower privilege, in the same form as patient-doctor and lawyer-client relationships.
Nine CEO Hugh Marks said the onus was on journalists to argue a public-interest defence, which worked on the premise that “we could be criminals”.
“[Whereas] an exemption is a mark of respect.”
Journalist sources have “freaked out” and in some cases withdrawn from participating in stories following the Australian Federal Police’s high-profile raids, ABC and Nine executives say, reports The Australian’s Zoe Samios.
At a public hearing on press freedom in Sydney, ABC news director Gaven Morris said while the broadcaster was “assiduous” on working thoroughly on stories involving national security, the raids have meant it can no longer “absolutely” guarantee a source would be protected. Some sources had since withdrawn from participating in stories, he said.
“Sources have withdrawn from the story and said, ‘I’m not going to be involved anymore. This is not worth the risk to me anymore’,” Morris said.
“And sometimes I think that might be what the authorities here want: fewer whistleblowers and fewer revelations, and less information coming out from behind a curtain of confidentiality within government and within the bureaucracy. I don’t think this is healthy for our democracy.”
Group executive editor of Australia Metro Publishing at Nine James Chessell said that as a result of the raids, a whistleblower had almost pulled from an investigative story being written by Adele Ferguson.
“To give you a concrete example … when the (AFP) raids occurred, Adele Ferguson – one of our better known investigative reporters – was dealing with a whistleblower who wanted to expose the cosy relationship between the auditor EY and National Australia Bank; a story that has already now resulted in a parliamentary inquiry,” Chessell said.
“Adele said, quote, ‘The whistleblower freaked out after the raids happened’ and almost decided not to go ahead with working with her on that story.
“Similarly Nick McKenzie, another one of our reporters, describes an atmosphere of huge anxiety in dealing with his whistleblowers and confidential sources after the AFP raids occurred.”
Nova radio host, former Sydney Swan and Big Brother housemate Ryan Fitzgerald this week announced he is joining Raise, The Youth Mentoring Foundation as an ambassador. Raise Foundation is committed to impacting the wellbeing of young people through its early intervention, best practice in school mentoring programs.
Fitzy was introduced to Raise when he chose to be a part of Raise’s new, national creative campaign.
Letters To My Mentor has been developed by creative agency Channelzero on behalf of Raise to broaden awareness and drive mentor recruitment. Alongside other much-loved, authentic Australians,
the campaign features Fitzy sharing his own letter to his mentor in a heart-felt piece designed to engage and connect on an emotional level.
In the role of ambassador, Fitzy will help spread word of the important work Raise does and grow appreciation for the mentoring movement.
Fitzy said, “You underestimate how important having a mentor is in your adolescence. It’s very hard to comprehend how many children don’t have anyone that they can trust and talk to. Raise is a saviour, the volunteers that mentor these children are heroes.”
Raise is looking to recruit thousands of adult volunteers from around the country to become mentors to young people in its programs.
Iconic commentator Ray Warren, pioneering administrator James Joseph Giltinan and revered journalist Peter Frilingos are the first contributors to join the NRL Hall of Fame.
The NRL reports the trio will be formally inducted into the prestigious club alongside former players Danny Buderus, Craig Young, Ruben Wiki and Stacey Jones during a ceremony at Carriageworks in Sydney on Wednesday evening.
Warren, the only living Hall of Fame contributor, began calling the game with the Young radio station 2LF in 1966. He rose to prominence at Channel Ten in the 70s before moving to Channel Nine in 1988.
Dubbed “the voice of rugby league”, Warren has added to footy’s theatre like no other; his dulcet tones the soundtrack of many unforgettable moments over an illustrious career.
“Rabbits” was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2014 for his outstanding contributions to broadcast media. Now in his 53rd season at age 76, Warren continues to lead Nine’s call team with aplomb.
Frilingos was one of the most influential league journalists, breaking news and spinning yarns across print, television and radio.
Starting as a cadet with the Daily Mirror in 1962, “Chippy” became the outlet’s deputy sports editor and eventually chief rugby league writer in 1980. He continued in the esteemed position when the Mirror merged with The Daily Telegraph a decade later.
After his tragic death from a heart attack in 2004, Frilingos was tributed with the naming of the Peter Frilingos Headline Moment Award – presented at the Dally M Medal – and the Peter Frilingos Media Centre at the new Bankwest Stadium.