Thursday August 22, 2019

Nine has released its FY19 results for the 12 months to June 2019

• Digital & Publishing, 9Now and Stan driving group earnings
• MAFS and Lego Masters help offset TV revenue decline in first half

On a Statutory basis, Nine has reported a net profit after tax of $234m, up 12% on the previous corresponding 12 months.

On a Pro Forma, Continuing Business and pre Specific Item basis, Nine reported Group EBITDA growth of 10% to $424m, on Revenue of $2.3b (-1%) and Net Profit After Tax and Minority Interests of $198m (+16%). 

Highlights include:

• Strong FTA revenue share (+1.0pts) coupled with lower costs (-4%), partially offsetting weakness in the FTA market
• 56% growth in Digital & Publishing EBITDA underpinned by >60% growth in both Metro Media and 9Now
• More than 1.7m active subscribers at Stan, and cash flow and EBITDA positive in H2
• Solid contribution from Domain in a cyclically challenging housing market

Chief executive’s commentary

Hugh Marks, CEO of Nine said: “To achieve 10% EBITDA growth in this cyclically challenging FTA and housing market was a very strong result. It’s a validation of our strategy, the success of the investments we have made, and the efforts of our people.

“Nine has real operating momentum in each of our divisions, with an earnings composition increasingly weighted to high growth businesses. In particular, we are well placed to further expand our share of the rapidly growing digital video market. Not only through 9Now and Stan but also more broadly across our digital assets. We will continue to draw on the strength of our traditional media assets to help us successfully build complementary, high growth, digital media businesses of the future. A strategy that has, of course, been greatly enhanced by the merger with Fairfax.

“Growth in Digital & Publishing and the move to profitability through the second half at Stan enabled us to grow Nine’s EBITDA year on year, giving us further confidence that we are investing in the right content and technology for the future of our business.”

Broadcasting results, ratings and ad share 

Nine’s Broadcasting division, which comprises Nine Network as well as the consolidated results of Macquarie Media (of which Nine owns a 54.4% stake), reported EBITDA of $241m on revenues of $1,222m for the year.

Nine Network reported a revenue decline from $1,154m to $1,090m for the year. The decline however, was confined to the first half – second half revenues grew by 2%, as share gains more than offset the impact of a difficult FTA market (-5.1%1 for the year and -5.2%2 in H2). After a first half Metro FTA share 39.3%, Nine’s H2 share of 39.9% was up 2.9 pts on pcp and resulted in a full year #1 revenue share of 39.6%.

On a ratings basis, for the year, Nine attracted a #1 commercial network share of 38.3% of the 25- 54 demographic, up 1.3 pts on pcp. For the primary channel, Nine’s share of the 25-54s was 39.3%, up 1.6 points, and 5.7 share points ahead of its nearest competitor.

Reported FTA costs improved by 4% or $40m for the year – the phasing first half to second half reflecting both the move from cricket to tennis as well as the conscious decision by Nine to further strengthen its first half CY19 programming schedule.

Nine’s Digital & Publishing division

Nine’s Digital & Publishing division includes Metro Media and 9Now, as well as Nine’s other Digital Publishing titles including Pedestrian, CarAdvice and

Together, Digital & Publishing reported revenue of $637m, up 3% on pcp. Within Digital and Publishing, total print revenues were broadly flat year on year. Print now represents less than half D&P revenues, while print advertising contributes around 20% of total Digital and Publishing revenues.

Digital and Publishing reported a combined EBITDA of $130m, up 56% for the year, and growth of more than 60% in the second half.

Stan into profit with 1.7m subs

Stan grew its active subscriber numbers to 1.7m currently, with the strong summer period continuing through the second half. Stan’s consistent roll-out of exclusives like Billions and Who Is America? and local content like Bloom complemented the addition of Disney from mid-December. Usage per subscriber continues to increase, with daily total hours streamed now reaching 1.5m.

The combination of the strong subscriber build, and the $2 price rise from March increased Stan’s revenue by 62% across the year and resulted in the Group’s first EBITDA positive result in the second half.

Current trading environment and outlook

FTA market conditions remained weak in July. Nine has seen some improvement in August, and currently sees further improvement from September onwards. As a result, while Nine expects its FTA revenue in the current quarter to be down by ~4%, conditions are expected to improve into Q2.

Over the year, Nine expects the FTA market to decline by low single digits, partially offset by growth of at least 1 revenue share point.

In FY20, costs in FTA are expected to increase by ~4% driven by factors including contracted sports rights inflation of ~$27m, and incremental costs of ~$15m associated with The Ashes and World Cup Cricket. Overall, non-sports FTA costs are expected to be no worse than flat in FY20, notwithstanding the maintenance of a relatively high level of investment in local content, allowing Nine to capitalize further on current ratings and revenue share momentum.

Digital and Publishing is expected to continue to grow in FY20, driven both by top line growth and further cost efficiency gains in Metro Media, and continuing strong growth at 9Now.

As Domain commented with its result last week, the short term outlook remains defined by growth in yield and lower listing volumes, albeit there have been some encouraging signs of activity in the first weeks of FY20. Continued investment in growth initiatives is being supported by ongoing cost discipline.

On the back of the increasing subscriber numbers, and the recent price increase, Stan expects to move strongly into profitability in FY20.

In terms of the FY20 result, assuming the market conditions above and incorporating previously detailed merger synergies, Nine is expecting to report Pro Forma Group EBITDA growth on a continuing business basis of around 10%.

Podcast Week

• Kochie’s next series, Peacock Politics, Sylvia Jeffreys

By James Manning

Kochie arrives at PodcastOne

David Koch’s digital publishing company Pinstripe Media has recently signed a deal with PodcastOne for audio recordings. Pinstripe founder and executive chairman Koch told Mediaweek some of their content verticals had done podcasts with their editors before, but none of the recordings had involved him.

The new deal with PodcastOne will cover all of Pinstripe’s future podcasts, with Koch hosting the first series – Kochie’s Easy Steps to Financial Success Podcast and How To Start Your Own Business.

Koch: “We started talking with PodcastOne who pointed out there isn’t a lot of Australian business and finance original podcast content. They suggested we do a venture together and we jumped at the chance because they are professionals in the sector.

“We learnt a lot very quickly – podcasts aren’t as simple as we might have first thought. I do three hours on TV every day, and I have done radio, and I thought it would be just like that. No, it’s a different medium that requires detailed preparation and commitment.

Podcasts are a natural extension for Pinstripe Media which already has TV shows and radio.

Podcast sponsorship deals will be sold jointly by Pinstripe and PodcastOne. Part of Pinstripe’s success has been its collaboration with corporate companies. One recent partnership is Bricks and Clicks as Koch explained.

“The greatest threat to bricks and mortar businesses is not having a digital footprint. Bricks and Clicks is a multi-tiered program that involved different businesses going online with mentors and we have turned it into a documentary series. Xero and Netregistry have been our partners in this. We developed an online course and have now started a road show show through regional Australia and capital cities. That’s a classic example of how we work with corporate partners.”

Koch said he has also been learning about the size of the podcast audience and the investment that Southern Cross Austereo has made in the sector. Pinstripe is using the PodcastOne Sydney facility to record their podcasts. PodcastOne’s Jennifer Goggin is producing the podcasts.

Kochie is a busy person with TV, Pinstripe and Port Adelaide (he is chairman of the AFL team), but he still manages to squeeze in some podcasts too. “I am a fan of the TEDx podcasts,” he said.

He spends time walking between his Sydney offices each day and that is his podcast time.

Pinstripe Media’s general manager is David’s son AJ Koch. “It is one of the great joys of my life to work with one of my kids. He runs the day-to-day operations and we have 14 people working in the business, plus a number of freelancers.”

David’s wife Libby is on the Pinstripe board.

Pinstripe Media’s biggest verticals are Business Builders, Startup Daily and Flying Solo.

Listen to Kochie’s Guide to Starting Your Own Business podcast here.

Peacock Politics returns

He’s a Fox Sports senior anchor…and he also podcasts about politics!

Adam Peacock released the second series of Peacock Politics. The first episode was published this week and it covers the first 100 days in Parliament after winning an election. The guest is Senator Arthur Sinodinos.

Future episodes will be released weekly on a Wednesday and will include:

Being in Opposition

The election is lost – now what? Former leader of the opposition, John Hewson, on how the Labor Party would be picking up the pieces following their unexpected election loss.

Managing a crisis

Michael Smith is an expert in crisis management. He’s seen political crisis unfold in a previous life as a newspaper editor and now he helps manage them with his own company Inside PR.

Listen to Peacock Politics here.

Future Women launches Innovators with Sylvia Jeffreys

Future Women is expanding its podcast titles with Next Generation Innovators, a new series for women who dream of carving out their own paths, hosted by Nine journalist Sylvia Jeffreys.

The podcast, which launched this week, features Jeffreys interviewing female game-changers who have smashed ceilings in the fields of fashion, tech, beauty, health and artificial intelligence. She shares with listeners the keys to a successful start-up and the secrets to finding professional and personal fulfilment.

The first episode has Jeffreys interviewing Pip Edwards, the founder of street-meets-sportswear offering P.E Nation.

Jeffreys said: “Pip Edwards leads the series with insights into the ‘Kardashian effect’. Plann App CEO, Christy Laurence, shares some jaw-dropping experiences as a woman in the male-heavy world of tech and Meggie Palmer from PepTalkHer teaches us how to get a raise.

Kate Morris of Adore Beauty explains how she transformed her start-up from a tiny operation in a Melbourne garage to a multi-million-dollar online retailer. Every woman I spoke to was extremely generous with their stories and the lessons they’ve learned along the way.”

Preview: Howie Games makes an impact

The first episode of Mark Howard’s #1 sports podcast The Howie Games to be recorded with an audience drew a good crowd in Sydney last night. Howie’s guest at the PodcastOne event was Sam Willoughby who shared his amazing story from his first BMX racing events in Adelaide to turning pro, moving to the US, becoming World Champion and winning an Olympic silver medal. He currently coaches the women’s BMX world champion Alise Willoughby, who is also his wife. They both joined Howie onstage to talk about the accident during training that left Willoughby wheelchair bound. No more podcast spoilers though – don’t miss the interview when it’s released by PodcastOne next month.

Photo: Howie and Sam onstage in Sydney

Australian health and fitness podcast hits #1 on iTunes

Australia’s ATP Science has hit number one in its category on iTunes with its podcast, The ATP Project.

More than 250,000 people listen to the podcast each month making it the most popular nutrition podcast in the world under the health and fitness category.

ATP Science’s lead scientist Matt Legge said the podcast, which launched four years ago has just released its 216th episode.

“We pull apart scientific studies and break them down so everyday people can understand the information and make informed decisions about their health and fitness,” Legge said.

He said ATP Science based their products on scientific research including their top-selling GutRight, AMP-V and Cort RX.

ATP Science was founded by husband and wife team, Toni and Jeff Doidge along with scientist and naturopath Matt Legge more than nine years ago. Jeff and Matt host the podcast along with scientists, Steve Eddey and Elizma Lambert.

The ATP Project discusses subjects like intermittent fasting, health industry trends and often features guest health and nutrition experts.

Episodes are released fortnightly and the podcast and is recorded in-house at ATP Science headquarters in Logan, Queensland.

Listen to the Next Generation Innovators podcast here.

Gourmet Traveller names Attica as Australia best restaurant

The nation’s best place to eat was revealed last night at what Bauer Media calls “the Oscars of the Australian food world”, the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards.

Taking out the top spot, Melbourne’s Attica has been named Australia’s Restaurant of the Year in the country’s longest-standing national restaurant awards.

(The awards come just days after The Australian revealed its list of Australia’s hottest 50 restaurants in a special edition of The Weekend Australian Magazine. Attica didn’t make the hottest list, which was headed by Sydney’s Quay.)

Australia’s leading chefs and restaurateurs gathered at Bennelong in the Sydney Opera House to attend the Gourmet Traveller awards and launch the country’s national restaurant guide at a glam VIP event hosted by Gourmet Traveller’s general manager, publishing, Sally Eagle, and Bauer Media’s new chief executive officer, Brendon Hill.

Chef Paul Carmichael of Sydney’s Momofuko Seiobo took out the peer-voted Chef of the Year. Barbados-born Carmichael produces a cuisine that’s delves deep into the cuisines of the Caribbean in a fine-dining setting. The fresh, flavourful approach led the team to winning the 2017 Restaurant of the Year, this award recognises the continued evolution.

Joanna Smith, co-owner and wine guru at Igni, is a hospitality natural and took out the win for Maître d’ of the Year.

On top of her game, Leanne Altmann, who’s official title is “beverage director” for all the McConnell restaurants in Melbourne won Sommelier of the Year.

Wine List of the Year was won by new Sydney restaurant Mary’s Underground.

Alanna Sapwell, of Arc Dining and Wine Bar in Brisbane won Best New Talent. Sapwell has crammed in plenty to get to this point, a stint as head chef at Sydney’s Saint Peter, and spells in Japan and Italy as well as senior roles in Brisbane at Urbane and GOMA. At Arc she’s showing off her talent in a whole new setting.

Di Stasio Città in Melbourne was awarded New Restaurant of the Year as well as the awards’ first ever award for Best Design.

Perth’s Wines of While was the deserved winner of Bar of the Year.

Brae in Birregurra in Victoria won Regional Restaurant of the Year for the second year running.

Kylie Kwong won this year’s Outstanding Contribution to Hospitality. With her restaurant, Billy Kwong, which closed this year, Kwong reminded us that a restaurant can be much more than a place to have dinner.  For her it was a hub bringing together collaborators each with an interest in improving the world around them, and to establish a new model for Australian cuisine.

The award for Sustainability and Innovation, another new award, was won by Orana in Adelaide.

“This year’s finalists highlight the depth of talent and innovation that exists in the Australian hospitality industry,” said new Gourmet Traveller editor Joanna Hunkin. “The pressure to deliver excellence is immense and each and every one of our winners has done so consistently.

“Our readers trust us to find and share the very best Australia has to offer and we are delighted to celebrate tonight’s winners, who are truly world-class.”

Details of the winners are in the September issue of Gourmet Traveller, on newsstands Thursday 22 August.

The issue includes a guide to the top 50 restaurants in the country, which make up part of a larger national restaurant guide, available in full on the GT website (

The Awards and Guide are presented in association with Vittoria Coffee, Santa Vittoria, Ilve, Mutti and Waterford Wedgewood.

Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards Winners

Attica, Melbourne

Di Stasio Città, Melbourne

Paul Carmichael – Momofuku Seiobo, Sydney

Kylie Kwong, Sydney

Wines of While, Perth

Alanna Sapwell – Arc Dining & Wine Bar, Brisbane

Mary’s Underground, Sydney

Joanna Smith – Igni, Geelong, Victoria

Leanne Altmann – McConnell Group, Melbourne

Brae, Birregurra, Vic

Di Stasio Città, Melbourne

Orana, Adelaide

TV Ratings Analysis: August 21

• Programs about construction (or lack of) win midweek ratings:
• The Block just over 800,000 with master Bedroom Week
• Utopia’s National Building Authority returns with 700,000+ 

Wednesday Week 34 2019

By James Manning

• Seven News 1,029,000/1,008,000
• Nine News 838,000/875,000
• A Current Affair 777,000
• ABC News 632,000
• 7.30 504,000
• The Project 262,000/440,000
• 10 News First 372,000
• The Drum 148,000
• SBS World News 155,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 268,000
• Today 209,000


Home and Away was on 651,000 after two nights closer to 700,000.

The Chase Australia went primetime last night with Sunrise presenters guesting on the show. The episode did 628,000 to rank third in the slot while the 5.30pm segment was on 594,000.

The channel then screened the first two episodes of the four-part ITV drama Cheat starring Katherine Kelly and Molly Windsor. The first ep was on 258,000, the second was on 200,000.


A Current Affair was up marginally from Tuesday’s 759,000 to 777,000.

On The Block master bedroom week continued for most Blockheads with an audience of 803,000 after last week’s 765,000.

The 2016 movie London Has Fallen then did 334,000.


The Project dropped well below half a million to 440,000 after 7pm.

How much is a four-letter word worth to The Bachelor? About 100,000 viewers it seems. The Wednesday numbers week-on-week went down from 783,000 to 653,000.

My Life Is Murder then did 382,000.


The channel’s share surged to 14.1% thanks to a magnet attracting audience at 9pm. The return of Utopia was the broadcaster’s #1 midweek show. All programs before and after gained some momentum.

Hard Quiz was up from 619,000 to 641,000.

Mad As Hell moved the most, up from 585,000 to 683,000.

The return of Utopia was on 711,000 after a media blitz from Rob Sitch. The first episode looked at tackling high-level company fraud. It’s been two years since series three which averaged just over 700,000.

The second episode of Diary of an Uber Driver did a much better 330,000 after launching with 266,000.


Tony Robinson was on the River Thames in Coast To Coast at 7.30pm with 219,000 watching.

Episode three of Untold Australia drew the biggest SBS audience with 229,000.

Week 34 TV: Wednesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 14.1% 7 18.2% 9 20.2% 10  12.7% SBS One 5.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.8% 7TWO 2.7% GO! 2.6% 10 Bold 4.4% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 2.2% GEM 2.0% 10 Peach 2.5% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix 2.3% 9Life 1.9%     NITV 0.1%
    7Food 0.5%         SBS World Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 19.3%   25.9%   26.7%   19.7%   8.4%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 11.8% 7 19.3% 9 16.9% WIN 11.0% SBS One 4.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.4% 7TWO 4.1% GO! 3.1% WIN Bold 4.9% VICELAND 2.0%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 3.6% GEM 3.8% WIN Peach 2.3% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 3.0% 9Life 2.4% Sky News  on WIN 2.2% NITV 0.3%
    7food (QLD only) 0.3%            
TOTAL 16.2%   30.2%   26.1%   20.4%   7.1%


  1. Seven News Seven 1,029,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 1,008,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 875,000
  4. Nine News Nine 838,000
  5. The Block Nine 803,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 777,000
  7. Utopia ABC 711,000
  8. Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell S10 ABC 683,000
  9. The Bachelor Australia 10 653,000
  10. Home And Away Seven 651,000
  11. Hard Quiz ABC 641,000
  12. ABC News ABC 632,000
  13. The Celebrity Chase Seven 628,000
  14. The Chase Australia Seven 594,000
  15. 7.30 ABC 504,000
  16. Hot Seat Nine 450,000
  17. The Project 7pm 10 440,000
  18. My Life Is Murder 10 382,000
  19. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 380,000
  20. 10 News First 10 372,000
Demo Top Five


  1. The Bachelor Australia 10 226,000
  2. The Block Nine 185,000
  3. Utopia ABC 167,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 129,000
  5. Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell S10 ABC 120,000



  1. The Block Nine 346,000
  2. The Bachelor Australia 10 344,000
  3. Utopia ABC 248,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 233,000
  5. Seven News Seven 224,000



  1. The Block Nine 401,000
  2. The Bachelor Australia 10 360,000
  3. Utopia ABC 301,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 285,000
  5. Seven News Seven 282,000
WEDNESDAY Multichannel
  1. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 179,000
  2. Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 175,000
  3. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 174,000
  4. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 171,000
  5. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  6. Go Jetters ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  7. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 153,000
  8. Charlie And Lola ABCKIDS/COMEDY 152,000
  9. Dinosaur Train ABCKIDS/COMEDY 151,000
  10. Kiddets AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 149,000
  11. NCIS: Los Angeles (R) 10 Bold 149,000
  12. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  13. PJ Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  14. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  15. Kiri And Lou PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  16. NCIS: Los Angeles Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 138,000
  17. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  18. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  19. Fireman Sam AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 126,000
  20. Play School Art Time PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 126,000
  1. Gogglebox Australia Lifestyle Channel 205,000
  2. Grand Designs Australia Lifestyle Channel 77,000
  3. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 70,000
  4. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 59,000
  5. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 58,000
  6. Richo & Jones Sky News Live 50,000
  7. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 49,000
  8. Credlin Sky News Live 45,000
  9. Grand Designs: The Street Lifestyle Channel 41,000
  10. The Simpsons FOX8 39,000
  11. NRL Tonight FOX LEAGUE 38,000
  12. PML Later Sky News Live 36,000
  13. Family Guy FOX8 35,000
  14. Blue Bloods TVH!TS 33,000
  15. Highway Patrol FOX8 33,000
  16. The Simpsons FOX8 33,000
  17. On The Mark FOX FOOTY 32,000
  18. Blue Bloods TVH!TS 32,000
  19. Border Security: International FOX8 30,000
  20. Border Security: Australia’s Front Line FOX8 29,000

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

Giannopoulos & Pickering deal: Bravo acquires Precision Talent

Bravo Management has acquired Precision Sports and Entertainment Group bringing together two major talent management agencies.

The announcement comes just days after QMS Media revealed it had acquired sports management companies TLA and Stride Sports Management for $33m.

See also: QMS spending $37m to acquire sport businesses TLA and Stride

Bravo managing director Chris Giannopoulos and Precision managing director Liam Pickering are long-time associates, having first worked together at IMG where Giannopoulos was the director of client management and new business development for over 14 years. Pickering joined Giannopoulos in 2001 to drive IMG’s AFL player management before establishing Precision in 2014.

Chris Giannopoulos

Between them, they have guided the careers of some of Australia’s biggest names in sport and entertainment.

Bravo represents some of the most recognisable names in Australian television and radio including Scott Cam, Shaynna Blaze, Jamie Durie, Steve Price, Ross Greenwood, Shane Crawford, Merv Hughes and many others.

Precision represents 80+ past and present AFL and AFLW players, coaches, cricketers and media talent including Gary Ablett Jnr, Jack Riewoldt, Darcy Moore, Jordan Lewis, Josh Dunkley Isaac Smith, Jacob Weitering, John Longmire, David Teague and Dane Swan.

Giannopoulos said he was excited to combine the respective sports and entertainment specialities of the two businesses.

“Bravo has been considering getting back into representing current athletes for some time after merging in with Pacific Star Network and the broader Crocmedia business which have a ‘whole of sport’ focus, so the opportunity to acquire an existing business with a great track record and with terrific leaders in Liam and James Pitcher was really appealing,” Giannopoulos said.

“Liam is one of the best sports managers in Australia and has been responsible for some of the biggest deals in AFL over the past 10 years and is already a part of the family – having shared offices with us for the past five years.”

Pickering said he was excited about the possibilities ahead.

“I’m rapt to be working with Chris again – we have a great working relationship and this move will give our respective clients access to greater opportunities, support and services,” Pickering said.

Precision will retain its name and the two businesses will operate as usual with Precision continuing to represent the best athletes in sport and Bravo its influential stable of broadcast media and entertainment clients.

Michael Carrington appointed ABC director entertainment & specialist

The ABC confirms Michael Carrington (pictured) as director of its entertainment & specialist (E&S) content division.

With a 30-year media career, Carrington has worked across content development, commissioning and production for commercial and public service broadcasters around the world. He has been acting director E&S since September 2018.

ABC managing director David Anderson said: “Michael brings a track record of outstanding content and creativity to the leadership team and entertainment & specialist, which he has managed with great success over the past year. He is a talented and accomplished individual who has shown the ability to innovate and grow audiences through diverse content across multiple platforms. He is a champion of Australian stories and I am confident he will lead our world-class content team well into the future.”

Michael Carrington said: “I am happy and proud to have been appointed director E&S and am committed to unlocking creativity inside and outside the ABC. I’m determined to maintain the range and ambition of our Australian content and our commitment to the highest production and editorial standards. The ABC represents the diversity and richness of Australian culture across radio, television and online and I’m thrilled to be part of its future.”

As director E&S, Carrington will manage the ABC’s drama, comedy, Indigenous, music, children’s, entertainment and factual content across its TV and national radio networks, plus digital services such as iview. E&S also includes the specialist genres of arts, science, education, religion & ethics and society & culture.

Carrington joined the ABC in 2016 as head of children’s content, where he championed programs underpinned by themes such as diversity, disability and gender equality. In 2018, he was appointed head of distribution for E&S.

He previously worked at the BBC as channel controller and creative cirector of the CBeebies preschool channel and at Turner Broadcasting as chief content officer, where he won an International Emmy for The Amazing World of Gumball. Carrington was also a founding member of LEGO Media, Film & TV and CEO of Zodiak Kids Studios.

Cost cutting on the agenda at Thursday ABC board meeting

The board of the public broadcaster ABC will meet to discuss a range of cost cutting measures on Thursday, including negotiations over a staff pay deal and plans to remove content from News Corp’s Foxtel, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.

Chair Ita Buttrose and managing director David Anderson have been wrestling with how to handle a freeze on the ABC’s $1 billion budget that has come into effect this year.

The ABC is facing $84 million less in funding over three years than previously expected as part of an indexation pause introduced by the Turnbull government in the 2018 Federal budget. The ABC has argued this amounts to a budget cut and could cause it to make tough decisions around staff and programming.

Under current arrangements the ABC pays $4 million to Foxtel and its satellite providers to air its shows on the platform.

[Read the original]

Seven Group won’t splash its cash on TV network to fund growth

Seven Group Holdings has endorsed the growth strategy of the television network it controls but will resist injecting further funds to help drive acquisitions, reports The Australian’s Perry Williams.

The industrial, mining and energy conglomerate – which owns a 41 per cent stake in Seven West Media – has backed new boss James Warburton to revive the free-to-air television broadcaster and publisher but says he shouldn’t need any shareholder funds to pull off a turnaround.

“We support what they want to do but that doesn’t mean we need to underwrite or finance to support that,” Seven Group Holdings chief executive Ryan Stokes told The Australian after delivering annual earnings yesterday. “We have a view and I’m sure shareholders have their own view that the business has the opportunity to grow from this point and do things that can be interesting without necessarily relying on shareholders. I just don’t think there’s any requirement for it.

“We see an opportunity in the Seven West business and think the market value is not representative of what we think fair value is. We’d like to see that realised and are certainly supportive of James’ aims and aspirations around how he can grow the business. But I don’t necessarily think the business requires a capital investment from shareholders,” Stokes said. “James’ mandate is around (how) he grows the share price and share value ultimately.”

[Read the original]

News Brands

Global media pursue Keating's daughter over Epstein sex ring

Former prime minister Paul Keating‘s daughter, 37-year-old Katherine Keating, is being pursued by some of the world’s biggest media outlets over her connection to Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy sexual predator who died in a Manhattan jail 11 days ago.

Ms Keating, a socialite and media-industry manager, was identified by the Daily Mail overnight as a woman videotaped leaving Epstein’s Manhattan house in 2010. In the video, which was published on Sunday, she is seen waving goodbye to Prince Andrew, who was a friend of Epstein’s.

Australian media outlets, led by The Australian Financial Review‘s Rear Window column, on Tuesday reported on the physical similarity between the then un-identified woman in the video and Ms Keating, who was hired as the “chief sustainability officer” at Maverick, a Beverly Hills entertainment-management company, in November.

The reports were followed up in The New York Post, New York Daily News, the British Daily Telegraph and others.

[Read the original]


Rebel Wilson to host Australia's first Amazon Original series

Amazon Prime Video has secured Australian actress, writer and producer Rebel Wilson to host and executive produce the first Australian Amazon Original series, LOL: Last One Laughing.

The comedy-variety series, produced with Endemol Shine Australia, will feature a cast of 10 Australian comedic actors and stand-ups competing to make each other laugh first. The final comedian left standing will win the grand prize of AUD$ 100,000.

This first Australian Amazon Original series will premiere exclusively on Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories in 2020.

The six-part Amazon Original series will film nonstop to catch all of the action, and follow the select group of talented comics who bring various styles to the table, including stand-up, character, improvisational and physical comedy, among others.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Prime Video family of creators and talent,” said Wilson. “I’ve already had the chance to work with Alexa – she’s great – and on Audible, so working with Prime Video seemed like an obvious choice. I can’t wait to see what these talented Australian comedians come up with and how far they’ll go to take home the prize.”

“We’re excited to bring LOL: Last One Laughing to our Prime members in Australia and around the world,” said James Farrell, head of international originals for Amazon Studios. “Rebel Wilson was at the top of our list to host and star. We think our Prime members are going to love it.”

Over the coming weeks, Prime Video will announce more leading Australian comedians who will participate in the series. LOL: Last One Laughing is executive produced by Endemol Shine Australia’s Marty Benson and David McDonald. Production will take place this spring in Sydney.


AFL boss reveals #1 choice for AFL Grand Final entertainment

AFL boss Gill McLachlan has revealed the top pick on his wishlist to perform at the AFL Grand Final, reports News Corp’s Nui Te Koha.

He’s keen for another boss to be the headline act.

“I’m very keen on Bruce Springsteen to play at the Grand Final,” McLachlan told Confidential at the AFL Cape York House fundraising dinner at the MCG.

“He’s my number one choice, if we could ever get him. But he’s a very big star and he’s very expensive.”

Promoter Michael Gudinski, who alongside AFL commercial manager Kylie Rogers, programs the AFL Grand Final pre-match and halftime entertainment, is expected to announce the 2019 headliners soon.

Asked if he has influence on which acts perform on the big day, McLachlan laughed: “I have very limited influence. I might be able to say ‘no,’ but Michael Gudinski and Kylie Rogers are the ones who make the magic happen.”

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Sports Media

10 Perth’s Tim Gossage celebrates 30 years at the network

10 News First director of sport and sport presenter Tim Gossage celebrated his 30th anniversary at the network on Wednesday, reports 10 Daily.

The veteran sports reporter’s loyalty to his workplace and hometown of Perth has seen him become synonymous with sport in Western Australia.

“It’s a bit cliché – but I’m like footballers, they want to be a one-team player,” he said when he sat down with 10 Daily in the lead up to his anniversary celebrations.

Gossage started at the network on August 21, 1989, as a casual reporter, but had second thoughts about working in the industry when he was sent to cover a cat rescue.

“They (Network 10) were keen for me to do news… I didn’t want to do news,” he said.

“They sent me on some sort of a rescue – I remember looking at the camera and saying ‘if these cats are alive I’ll quit journalism’ – and the next shot was a ‘meow’.

“That was one of the first stories I ever did and I thought if this is what it’s going to be like, maybe not, so I steered my way to sport.”

In 1983 Gossage took his first job at the West Australian as a cadet journalist, and playing sport took a backseat.

“I got a job as a cadet journo at The West Australian through my dad who was working there as an accountant and that led to giving up sport full time. I played a bit of lower grade cricket and amateur football, but my career was never based on being a really good sportsman.”

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Top Photo: Tim Gossage

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