Friday August 24, 2018

SCA’s Grant Blackley: 2018 year of transition and investment for future

Southern Cross Austereo has reported a drop in revenue and net profit for the year ending June 30, 2018.

Revenue was down 5.3% to $654m while net profit after tax was down 20% to $75.3m.

Chief executive officer Grant Blackley said 2018 has been a year of transition and investment for the future.

Highlights of the results include:

• Revenue contracted 5.3% and EBITDA by 12.8%. Like-for-like revenues were up 0.6% on FY2017 and EBITDA was relatively flat after accounting for non-recurring items – sale of NNSW TV ($10m), FY17 profit on disposal of assets ($3m), Spectrum tax ($3m), FY17 H1 credits – ACMA and copyright dispute ($5m).
• NPAT contracted, principally due to an impairment (net of tax) of $73.9M, which was booked to regional television licences. Underlying NPAT was $75.3m.
• The regional business performed well, producing 3.2% revenue growth on a like-for-like basis. Regional radio revenue was up 4.6%, led by national regional revenue up 15.3%.
• Metro revenues improved in the second half, benefiting from better survey results and launch of the digital radio monetisation strategy. SCA’s investment in digital radio provides a sustainable advantage over commercial radio competitors.

Southern Cross Austereo CEO Grant Blackley said:

“Driven by stronger metro ratings and launch of the digital radio monetisation strategy, SCA has taken positive momentum into the new financial year. For the full year, group revenue was up 0.6% on a like-for-like basis.

“SCA’s unique strategy for monetising its digital radio assets provides a sustainable competitive advantage. Aggregation of SCA’s FM and digital radio audiences in the five metro markets has added over 300,000 listeners to SCA’s audience, providing meaningful additional reach and value for advertisers.

“SCA’s regional business continues to perform. Regional radio revenues grew by 4.5%, marking a seventh consecutive year of growth. This growth was supported by the continued education of national advertisers about our large and growing regional communities and a resulting improvement in their investment in regional markets. National revenues were up 15.3% on the prior year.

“SCA’s regional television assets also performed well, with revenues up 3.6% on a like-for-like basis. A significant aspect of this performance was SCA’s premium selling strategy. SCA’s power ratio (ratings to revenue conversion) in the three aggregated markets grew from 1.03 to 1.09 in the first half and remained steady at 1.06 in the second half (despite competing against the Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games).

“We are excited by the emergence of PodcastOne as the pre-eminent commercial podcast business in Australia, achieving 45 million downloads since launch in August 2017. Our premium curated original content is engaging new audiences and creating increased commercial interest.

“We maintain a close focus on the efficiency of our operations. Under a new structure implemented from July 1, 2018, our core business functions of operations, content, sales, finance and corporate affairs, and technology have been aligned nationwide. This will enable us to further improve and streamline processes, communication flows and decision-making. We have also upgraded many of our back office support systems over the past three years. These investments will lead to better workplace planning, decision-making and effectiveness.”

Outlook for FY2019

Blackley reported SCA had begun FY2019 with positive momentum. Group revenues for July and August are 5% ahead of the prior year, while expenses are growing more slowly.

James Warburton reports APN Outdoor turnaround ahead of sale

APN Outdoor this week announced its results for the half year ended June 30, 2018 (1H18). Pending the acquisition of the business by JCDecaux, this will be the final results for the company as a standalone business.

Financial highlights:

• Revenue of $168.4 million was up 4%
• Digital revenue 42% of total revenue, up from 37% in 1H17
• Underlying EBITDA up 7% to $39.7 million, reflecting continued EBITDA margin improvement
• Statutory net profit after tax up 13% to $17.8 million (including $2.1 million of non-recurring items, net of tax)

APN Outdoor detailed its contact wins:

• Roads and Maritime Services: contract renewal and extension, adding 34 panels to APN Outdoor
• VicRoads: covering the Princes and Western Freeways in Melbourne
• Queensland Fire and Emergency Services: five new digital opportunities
• Queenstown Airport: significant asset upgrade program, including new external locations
• Sydney Airport Terminal 3: Adding to T1, T2 and external assets

APN Outdoor chief executive officer and managing director, James Warburton, said: “We have acted quickly to effect a significant turnaround of APN Outdoor and there is clear momentum across all parts of our business.

“Today we have reported strong earnings growth, underpinned by solid revenue growth and a prudent cost management program. We have achieved a 100% strike rate in terms of contract renewals and we have also secured several significant new contracts. At the same time, we have invested in our people and in leading innovations such as Dn’A.

“The turnaround has culminated in the proposed JCDecaux transaction, which is a major success for all APN Outdoor shareholders,” he said.

“The team remains focused and will continue to drive the results for the coming half.”

The move by JCDecaux to acquire APN Outdoor was cleared this week by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). It still requires approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) in Australia and the New Zealand Overseas Investment Office (OIO).

Warburton said: “We are very pleased to acknowledge the announcement by the ACCC clearing the JCD transaction. This means one of the key hurdles to the highly attractive takeover of APN Outdoor at $6.70 a share has now been cleared. We expect FIRB and OIO approval to follow ahead of a shareholder vote in October and implementation before the end of the year.

“The APN Outdoor directors have unanimously concluded that the scheme is compelling for APN Outdoor shareholders as it provides an attractive share price premium over APN Outdoor’s recent share price performance and the realisation of immediate value through the certainty of an all cash consideration.”


Mercado on TV: The final word on Australian politics and Pilot Week

Andrew Mercado rounds up Ten’s Pilot Week, and also takes a look at Aussie politics.

Skit Happens – Sketch comedy shows need time to find their feet (see Kinne Tonight below) but this was a disappointing way to start Ten’s Pilot Week. It did, however, make every show that has followed it look better.

Verdict: It’s as dead man walking as Malcolm Turnbull.

Disgrace – The makers of Gruen have another winning concept thanks to panellists and a host who can speak from real experience on these topics.

Verdict: Bring it back so Sam Dastyari can break down the disgraceful week in Canberra.

Drunk History –Yet another take on Ned Kelly, plus Fitzy playing Phar Lap in a horse head, and Stephen Curry and Rhys Darby sinking beers. Well made but bizarre.

Verdict: Drunk History is probably preferable to present events.

Kinne Tonight – Not a Tonight Show but more a sketch comedy show. Luckily, it was consistently funny with Troy Kinne benefitting from a practice run on 7mate a few years back. Give him a go, Ten.

Verdict: If Ten really wants a Tonight Show, grab the young talent who have been smashing it all week on the just-axed Tonightly.

Trial By Kyle – He’s not an actual judge and the questionable cases (think boob jobs and porn stars) don’t seem real either, with even Kyle himself calling “bullshit” at one point. Actual lawyer Anna Heinrich provides some much-needed class amidst some of the dumbest desperados yet. In other words, it’s a hit.

Verdict: Will Kyle sneak up from behind as skilfully as Julie Bishop could?

Dave – If Kyle is ripping off Judge Judy, then Dave O’Neil is definitely finding inspiration from Curb Your Enthusiasm, albeit with a family-friendly take on Larry David and his celebrity friends. It’s much more laidback, of course, and very Melbourne-centric, but never underestimate the appeal of Glenn Robbins playing Glenn Robbins.

Verdict: Save.

Bring Back Saturday Night – Ten is promising this live event will have “young performers bringing back the best of the past and old-school entertainers challenged with reinvention”… like host Rove McManus, you mean?

Verdict: Fingers crossed.

Taboo – This was moving and inspiring stuff, along with some clever stand-up from host Harley Breen. The format is from Belgium, and so is Mathias Cormann, but don’t let that put you off.

Verdict: Harley Breen for Prime Minister!

Top Photo: Paul Anderson, Beverley McGarvey, Troy Kinne

The rise of Rotten Tomatoes with co-founder Patrick Lee

This month marks 20 years of Rotten Tomatoes, the review-aggregation website for film and television. It has now become the go-to destination for many movie and TV viewers for reviews of programs or films they are thinking about watching.

Co-founder Patrick Lee never imagined it would reach this height of success when Rotten Tomatoes first launched. Timing has a lot to do with this.

“It’d be a lot harder for a website like Rotten Tomatoes to grow in the climate now with little to no funding,” Lee told Mediaweek. “When we started it was web-focused. Now it’s about mobile. The way we got a lot of our traffic was through search. The younger generation now doesn’t use the web that much. It’s more about apps.”

Lee was recently in Australia to promote #GoldOpen, a social change movement that started in the US, which saw Asian industry leaders buy out whole cinemas to ensure the success of Crazy Rich Asians. The movie, which is the first Hollywood film in 25 years to have an entirely Asian cast, will be released in Australia on August 30. It currently has 93% fresh ratings on Rotten Tomatoes.

The idea for a website came about in 1990s when Jackie Chan’s Rush Hour was released. Lee and his Rotten Tomatoes co-founders Senh Duong and Stephen Wang ran a design agency at the time. Lee described Duong as a movie buff.

“When Jackie Chan’s Rush Hour came out, he wanted to know what everyone was saying about it.

“Back then when you opened a newspaper it would often have a full-page movie ad with good quotes about it, regardless of whether the movie was actually good or not. He [Duong] thought, why not put all the good and bad reviews about a movie into one place and have a score for it?

“We started hosting Rotten Tomatoes at our design firm. Then over the course of the year, we realised that it was the actual business.”

They sold the design firm and saved money to operate Rotten Tomatoes.

Lee and his partners sold the website in 2004 after the US market crashed in 2000. “It was like the bubble bursting – tons of tech startups went out of business,” he said. “We had to go from about 25 people to seven within the course of a year. Even at seven, everyone had to take a 30% pay cut. The company’s marketing person and I went to zero. The only way I could do that was by getting rid of my biggest fixed cost, which was my apartment. I moved everything into the office, got a sleeping bag and slept under my desk in the evenings.”

By the time Lee, Duong and Wang sold the company in 2004, things were starting to get better thanks to advertising and affiliation deals.

IGN Entertainment purchased Rotten Tomatoes for $10 million. This amount, “compared to most tech startups these days, is very low”, Lee said.

The website has since passed between a number of hands such as News Corp, Flixster, Warner Bros and Fandango.

While Lee hasn’t been involved with Rotten Tomatoes in an operating capacity since 2004, he makes it a point to maintain contact with people who are working on the website. He has also kept an eye on the changes that Rotten Tomatoes has been through over time.

“Every owner always goes in and does a refresh of the website,” he said.

Fandango recently changed the look and the logo of the website drastically to what it’d previously looked like. This was the first time in its 20-year history that the logo of Rotten Tomatoes had changed. Lee isn’t a fan.

“Looks wise, I am super biassed. I think when we were running it, it had more personality to the site and more colour. Every change seems to have removed more colour, to the point where it’s now just red and white,” he said.

However, Lee recognised that the purpose of the website – to provide reviews – hasn’t changed significantly. It has simply evolved.

“When it was with Warner Bros, it started covering TV shows, which we didn’t do when we ran it,” he said. “Fandango and Warner Bros also started hosting events called Your Opinion Sucks that bring in actual critics to debate with fans about different movies in a funny way.

“As far as the brand, it is bigger than ever.”

Looking at the success of Rotten Tomatoes now, would Lee have retained ownership of the website had there not been a market crash in 2000?

“We didn’t have enough vision,” he said. “We had been running the website for about five years, and we started adding some features to it. But we weren’t really thinking out of the box.

“Looking back now, it is easy to think, ‘We should have gone into selling tickets or streaming videos ourselves.’

“It’s hard to say if Rotten Tomatoes would have been as big as it is today had we kept on running it.”

Grin Creative founder Justin Jamieson: ‘Print can still breathe in travel’

In a time when everyone is talking about the demise of print, Grin Creative is choosing to go against the trend and invest money in the launch of new glossy title.

By Kruti Joshi

The 21-year-old Melbourne-based creative agency has partnered with Luxury Escapes to launch a quarterly, consumer-facing magazine in mid-November 2018. It will be called Luxury Escapes and will cost $9.95.

The setup between Luxury Escapes and Grin Creative may make it seem like the new title is a custom publication. However, this is far from the case, said the latter’s founder and director Justin Jamieson.

Justin Jamieson

“It’s definitely not that. We have full independence in the content and we have made sure of it,” he told Mediaweek.

“This will be an independent magazine, but it will be in line with the Luxury Escapes brand. We will be using its database and brand integrity to deliver a print publication.

“One of the things all publishers try to do is build a credible brand and a community around it.”

This process has been made easy by Luxury Escapes’ existing database of three million people. “We are almost reverse engineering,” Jamieson said.

Why launch a new magazine now?

This is an excerpt from the full article, which appears on Mediaweek Premium. Read the full article here or subscribe to Mediaweek Premium here.

Adelaide’s hit107 breakfast to change lineup

The hit107 Adelaide breakfast show with Amos, Cat and Angus will finish up next month.

A new lineup will be announced in coming weeks.

Cat Lynch will use the opportunity to travel, Angus O’Loughlin will stay within the Hit Network and Amos Gill will pursue his stand-up comedy career in the US.

The Hit Network head of content Gemma Fordham said, “Amos, Cat and Angus have been an incredible asset to our network. However, with the shift in our target audience we’re excited to deliver a local show in Adelaide that will line up with our variety music strategy and that will also complement our two existing drive shows.”

Gill said, “It’s the right time. I helped launch hit107 when I was 22 and have been very lucky to be here for four years. It’s a big part of my life, but I’ve always wanted to live in America and do stand-up. I will also never wake up at 4am again. Ever!”

O’Loughlin said, “I’ll be staying within the Hit Network and I’m extremely excited for the role 2019 has for me. Until December, I’ll be sticking around Adelaide to develop a house at Christies Beach and drinking copious amounts of Tomfoolery Shiraz. I’ll be melancholy at leaving what I call home.”

Lynch added, “I’m sad but looking forward to what’s next. Adelaide has been great to me and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I may never get this chance to travel to South America for an extended period ever again.”

Amos, Cat & Angus will finish up on September 21.

New Zealand media profile: NewstalkZB political editor Barry Soper

NewstalkZB political editor Barry Soper has taken on a venerable title at the parliamentary press gallery. Ian Templeton was a member for 60 years and retired in 2017. That left Soper, with 38 years in the gallery, as the longest-serving reporter.

By John Drinnan

When he began in 1980 he was the youngest player in a mostly male institution. “Back then it was people mostly from the returned serviceman generation,” he told Mediaweek.

Now in his 60s, Soper still stands out, but not just for his age. He is one of only a few political editors in the Wellington gallery who are males. The big news media offices – TVNZ, RNZ, NZ Herald, Stuff and Newshub – are all headed by women.

As the longtime political editor of NewstalkZB, Soper has a reputation for a commercial radio perspective on news. His profile has increased recently with more content on NZME’s digital operation and

Soper said journalists face more challenges nowadays because they need to be multi-skilled in video, audio and digital.

This is an excerpt from the full article, which appears on Mediaweek Premium. Read the full article here or subscribe to Mediaweek Premium here.

NZ Media News: NZME paywall, Remembering Greg Boyed & Warwick Roger, NZ ON Air, TVNZ

Mediaweek’s John Drinnan rounds up the latest media news from the NZ market.

NZME paywall

NZME is pushing ahead with proposals for a paywall on, as it waits for an Appeal Court decision over its stymied merger with Stuff. The court decision is expected at the end of the year. The paywall was announced in February and executive Michael Boggs gave some details this week. He said day-to-day news would remain free but subscriptions would be up on sites by the end of the analysis and opinion requiring a paid digital subscription. NZME previously withdrew advanced plans for the paywall, when it became apparent Fairfax-owned Stuff would not go ahead. The concern was that consumers would stick to the free service rather than pay.

Tributes for Greg Boyed

Tributes flowed for Greg Boyed, a primetime broadcaster, whose parents announced he had died suddenly after a period battling depression. Boyed has been a foundation for the TVNZ news and current affairs programs, but had taken a lower profile. Boyed, aged 48, recently retired from the weekend political program Q&A. He presented news programs and sometimes anchored the 6pm bulletin. He also filled in on NewstalkZB sometimes. Prime minister Jacinda Ardern tweeted that she had sat opposite Boyed over the years. She said he had been a thoughtful interviewer and quick to share a laugh. Boyed started in radio in 1992, followed by business reporting at the National Business Review. He was about to take another on-air role in the fledgling TV operation at NBR.

Farewelling Metro founder

New Zealand media have farewelled Warwick Roger, a founder and editor for Metro, New Zealand’s glossy city magazine. Roger was a leading light for magazine current affairs and for journalism in New Zealand. He died on August 17 after a long illness. He is credited with bringing a new bold approach and confidence to a current affairs magazine. Roger started the magazine in 1981 and was editor for 13 years. He is survived by his wife, Robyn Langwell, a former editor of North And South magazine. Roger worked on North and South as editor-at large.

NZ On Air funding

TV Networks and producers are wary of a private member’s bill that would force the funding agency NZ On Air to publicly detail ratings results for shows that it funds. Currently, under the direction of networks, NZ On Air says that ratings are commercially sensitive. The timing bill is accidental, but it coincides with poor ratings results released for a show – Spinoff TV – given $700,000 of public money. The show was made by Australian-owned Great Southern Television. Production companies have long supported the retention of NZ On Air as the main source of funding for local content. Beyond the publication of ratings, producers are wary that politicians will introduce more changes during the legislative process.

TVNZ’s controversial doco

TVNZ On Demand has removed a controversial two-part “documentary” that claims Celts settled New Zealand thousands of years before the arrival of Māori.

Called New Zealand: Skeletons in the Cupboard, the show claimed that the Polynesian demigod Maui was a real-life explorer who not only discovered New Zealand but claimed much of South America for Egypt and that Australian Aborigines arrived in New Zealand tens of thousands of years before Māori. TVNZ said: “We accept that we should have taken more care in how we signposted this series to our viewers.

“On reflection, we don’t think it’s robust enough to stay in our factual lineup. Partly the issue is over it being categorised as a documentary.”

Radio departure

Another senior journalist and business analyst, Patrick O’ Meara, is leaving Radio New Zealand. O’Meara was a longtime regular on Morning Report and is leaving for a role in communications for infrastructure company Transpower. The high-profile journalist and Checkpoint host, John Campbell, also recently resigned to be a roving reporter at TVNZ. Campbell has been replaced by Lisa Owen, who worked on MediaWorks’ platforms.

Top Photo: Greg Boyed

TV Ratings Analysis: August 24

• Seven & Nine tie for primary share, Seven #1 combined channels
• Pilot Week Day 5: Trial By Kyle trailing Kinne Tonight in ratings

By James Manning


Home And Away held just over 600,000 for its fourth episode this week.

Border Security then did 426,000 in four markets followed by Beach Cops on 373,000 in four markets.

The Front Bar had another good night in its markets with 370,000 – 264,000 in Melbourne. Former player and coach David Parkin was the special guest last night. Head-to-head with The AFL Footy Show, The Front Bar had well over double the audience.


A Current Affair dropped below 700,000.

The live NRL did 354,000 with 202,000 in Sydney and 122,000 in Brisbane.

The Footy Shows had a combined audience of 285,000 – 70,000 in Sydney and 120,000 in Melbourne.


The Project was just under 500,000 with Kyle Sandilands telling viewers about his Pilot Week project.

The Bachelor ended its second week on 807,000 after 822,000 on Thursday last week.

Trial By Kyle had a smaller audience than many expected, yet it still ranks second on the chart after six of the eight programs have screened.

The Pilot Week numbers for far:

• Kinne Tonight 404,000
• Trial By Kyle 385,000
• Skit Happens 350,000
• Drunk History 367,000
• Taboo 277,000
• Disgrace 229,000


7.30 pushed close to 700,000 and was the sixth most-watched show as it covered the turmoil in Canberra.

Grand Designs Australia followed with 449,000.


A repeat of Tony Robinson Down Under did 265,000 for the channel’s biggest audience.

Week 34 TV: Thursday
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 11.6% 7 17.2% 9 17.2% TEN 14.1% SBS One 5.3%
ABC 2 2.7% 7TWO 4.5% GO! 3.6% ONE 2.9% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 3.6% GEM 1.9% ELEVEN 2.5% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 4.6% 7flix 2.9% 9Life 2.3% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 19.7% 28.2% 25.0% 19.5% 7.7%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates Ten Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.5% 7 16.0% 9 17.2% WIN 12.0% SBS One 4.2%
ABC 2 2.7% 7TWO 7.3% GO! 3.8% ONE 3.2% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 1.0% 7mate 5.1% GEM 2.5% ELEVEN 1.8% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 4.9% 7flix 2.9% 9Life 2.6% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 19.1% 31.3% 26.1% 17.0% 6.5%


83.6% 16.4%


  1. Seven News Seven 960,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 952,000
  3. Nine News Nine 888,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 838,000
  5. The Bachelor Australia Thurs Ten 807,000
  6. ABC News ABC 734,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 687,000
  8. 7.30 ABC 681,000
  9. Home And Away Seven 604,000
  10. The Chase Australia Seven 564,000
  11. The Project 7pm Ten 483,000
  12. Hot Seat Nine 451,000
  13. Grand Designs Australia ABC 449,000
  14. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line Seven 426,000
  15. Ten Eyewitness News First At Five Ten 414,000
  16. Trial By Kyle Ten 385,000
  17. Beach Cops Seven 373,000
  18. The Front Bar Seven 370,000
  19. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 340,000
  20. Thursday Night NRL Live Nine 324,000
Demo Top Fives

16-39 Top 5

  1. The Bachelor Australia Ten 337,000
  2. Trial By Kyle Ten 141,000
  3. The Project 7pm Ten 136,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 125,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 110,000


18-49 Top 5

  1. The Bachelor Australia Ten 478,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 222,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 215,000
  4. The Project 7pm Ten 215,000
  5. Nine News Nine 213,000


25-54 Top 5

  1. The Bachelor Australia Ten 474,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 295,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 278,000
  4. Nine News Nine 277,000
  5. Seven News Seven 272,000
THURSDAY Multichannel
  1. Father Brown-PM 7TWO 211,000
  2. The Big Bang Theory TX2 9GO! 177,000
  3. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 169,000
  4. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 168,000
  5. Andy’s Wild Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 167,000
  6. Murdoch Mysteries-PM 7TWO 163,000
  7. The Big Bang Theory TX1 9GO! 159,000
  8. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  9. Peppa Pig-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 156,000
  10. ABC News Live: Liberal Leadership Challenge ABC NEWS 154,000
  11. Noddy Toyland Detective-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 154,000
  12. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 152,000
  13. Dot.-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 149,000
  14. Little Roy-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 148,000
  15. Go Jetters-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  16. Becca’s Bunch-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  17. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  18. Pingu In The City-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  19. PJ Masks-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  20. Peppa Pig-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 138,000
THURSDAY Subscription TV
  1. Live: NRL Wests Tigers V Sea Eagles FOX LEAGUE 206,000
  2. The Bolt Report SKY NEWS LIVE 101,000
  3. Credlin SKY NEWS LIVE 97,000
  4. Paul Murray Live SKY NEWS LIVE 93,000
  5. Live: The Late Show With Matty Johns FOX LEAGUE 88,000
  6. Aussie Gold Hunters Discovery Channel 82,000
  7. Liberal Leadership SKY NEWS LIVE 77,000
  8. Liberal Leadership SKY NEWS LIVE 76,000
  9. Speers: Liberal Leadership SKY NEWS LIVE 66,000
  10. PML Overtime SKY NEWS LIVE 65,000
  11. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 58,000
  12. Speers: Liberal Leadership SKY NEWS LIVE 57,000
  13. Liberal Leadership SKY NEWS LIVE 55,000
  14. Live: NRL Thursday Night League FOX LEAGUE 55,000
  15. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 52,000
  16. Live Now: Liberal Leadership SKY NEWS LIVE 48,000
  17. NCIS TVH!TS 47,000
  18. Liberal Leadership SKY NEWS LIVE 47,000
  19. Live Now SKY NEWS LIVE 46,000
  20. AM Agenda SKY NEWS LIVE 45,000

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

News Brands

Nine’s Chris Uhlmann on TV campaign against Malcolm Turnbull

• Sky after dark, 2GB accused – Hadley responds, News Corp editorials

Nine’s political editor Chris Uhlmann has questioned News Corporation over its coverage of the leadership crisis in Canberra, reports

Speaking on the Today show on Thursday, Uhlmann said certain sections of the media were playing a role in destabilising the government and “waging a war against the prime minister of Australia”.

Many journalists and commentators had crossed the line to become players and Australians were being caught in the crossfire, Uhlmann said.

“If they are making phone calls to people, trying to push people over the line, they’re part of this story,” he said.

Uhlmann targeted The Australian and Daily Telegraph newspapers as well as 2GB hosts Alan Jones and Ray Hadley for their conduct, but singled out Sky News in particular.

“Sky after dark has been running a campaign against Malcolm Turnbull. Sky after dark at the moment is turning Liberal National Party voters into One Nation voters and they are not coming back,” he said.

“I mean, with friends like Sky News, Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t really need many other enemies.”

Nine’s national director of news & current affairs Darren Wick said: “We value independence in our commentators and journalists and respect their right to express opinions in a fast-moving news environment.”

[Read the original]

Stephen Brook in The Australian:

Uhlmann’s comments were strongly rejected by The Daily Telegraph’s national political editor Sharri Markson, who labelled the suggestion of a News Corp Australia campaign against Malcolm Turnbull as “disgusting and outrageous”.

“Can I just also make a remark about my newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, about what Chris Uhlmann said earlier. I’m not defending anyone, but I am strongly defending my newspaper, The Daily Telegraph in response to Chris Uhlmann’s quite disgusting and outrageous attack that we were in any way players in this,” Markson said.

[Read the original]

The Friday editorial in The Australian responds to criticism of media coverage surrounding Malcolm Turnbull:

The Prime Minister has had harsh and persistent critics in the media but they have been far fewer than those who lined up against Tony Abbott or even John Howard before him. They also have been frank about their loyalties and objectives. Mr Turnbull received enormous support and encouragement from the public and the media even after he stalked and knifed Mr Abbott. Right to this day most of the Canberra press gallery along with the public broadcasters, Fairfax Media and a raft of online publications have barracked openly for his success. Perhaps this has been a large part of his problem, allowing him to ignore or deny looming threats, especially over climate and energy policy.

True to our mission of backing national and economic development, The Australian has argued strongly in this editorial column for the Turnbull government to succeed in its task of fiscal repair and reform. We have been constructively critical, urging the Coalition on its low-tax agenda aimed at delivering growth. We warned repeatedly about dangers, particularly regarding energy policy, but, in the end, it was a slavish commitment to Paris obligations over economic priorities that saw the party room lose its nerve.

[Read the original]

An editorial in The Daily Telegraph is headlined: Free press still prevails

The media does not exist to make politicians happy. On this point, even some within the media seem unclear.

It is a central role of the press to present criticism and analysis of politics and politicians from a variety of perspectives.

The Australian media covers the entire political spectrum. Readers and viewers may draw on opinions published in any number of newspapers, aired on radio and television and presented by websites.

Those opinions best argued and most cogently expressed will invariably prove more influential than others.

If those arguments are in opposition to the government of the day, so be it.

If they are precise and persuasive, they will prevail.

[Read the original]

Ray Hadley didn’t hesitate to bring Uhlmann’s wife into the fight, Labor Senator Gai Brodtmann. “You are a suck and sycophant of the Labor party because of your well-known Labor party connections,” Hadley said on air. “You would be better off creeping back to the ABC and staying there.”

[Read the original]

An editorial in The AFR is headlined:

ScoMo is the clear choice for Australia’s prosperity.

Editorials in The Australian Financial Review don’t ordinarily feel compelled to choose sides in inner-party contests. But the party political process isn’t bringing stable leadership and government. It needs to correct itself.

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Broede Carmody in The SMH:

Sydney radio listeners have been subjected to a racial slur after Alan Jones once again dropped the N-word as part of a foul-mouthed rant.

The veteran broadcaster was discussing the leadership rumblings in Canberra when he turned his attention to outgoing finance minister Mathias Cormann. The 77-year-old said the finance minister needed to reveal his hand.

“Anyone can stand… but they are mobilising to block Dutton,” he said.

“The n—– in the woodpile here, if one can use that expression – and I’m not going to yield to people who tell us that certain words in the language are forbidden – the person who’s playing hard to get is Mathias Cormann.”

Jones later apologised to listeners.

“We all make mistakes,” he wrote on social media. “This morning on 2GB and 4BC I spoke about the covert actions of some political operatives.

“I used an old and offensive figure of speech that I regret saying. People should be honest and forthright in their actions and that is not happening in the Liberal Party right now.”

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Rove McManus on his Saturday night pilot: TV ringmaster and his friends

Rove McManus has pulled favours from his powerful friends to give his Saturday night variety show the best shot at survival, reports News Corp’s Colin Vickery.

Delta Goodrem will be on Rove’s Bring Back… Saturday Night, part of Channel 10’s Pilot Week, as it bids to secure a full season.

“It’s nothing more than me saying, ‘Can you do me a solid?’” Rove said of getting star power for his show.

Pop star Conrad Sewell, comedian and broadcaster Tom Gleeson, and actor Miranda Tapsell will also feature in the pilot episode.

McManus said he wanted to bring fun back to weekend TV.

“It feels like Saturday night has been forgotten. It is a bit of a television wasteland,” he said.

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TV Tonight reports:

The one-hour show will be staged in TEN’s Pyrmont studio with a small audience. But while it does include traditional elements including a band, comedy act, sketches, interview guest and live crosses, some of them will be turned on their head.

“There is no desk, so I wouldn’t label it a Talk show,” Rove explains.

“I like the idea of being free-standing, I’m more of a ringmaster. I remember The Big Gig had a party atmosphere, which was midweek, but it was like you’re going out to watch a band or a stand-up performance.

“But how we are going to be doing it is hopefully different. We also have a lot of new faces that are involved, in terms of contributors, including a young performer named Alex Jae who has never done television before. I think she’s a fabulous talent.”

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“I’ve no income”: Sacked Triple M commentator Barry Hall on 60 Minutes

Former AFL player Barry Hall has spoken about how he and his partner have been left struggling to make ends meet after he was sacked for an offensive comment he made on radio, report Daily Mail Australia’s Sahar Mourad and Kylie Stevens.

“The thing is, we’ve got no income now,” he told 60 Minutes in an interview due to be aired on Sunday.

The 41-year-old said times are proving to be difficult for him and his partner, former Hi-5 star Lauren Brant, 29, with them struggling to know when their next pay cheque will come through.

“There’s no real light at the end of the tunnel of when that will change or when that will be,” he stressed.

It comes two months after his vulgar comments on Triple M about a former AFL player’s pregnant wife.

Hall was commentating during the station’s pre-game show with St Kilda legend Leigh Montagna, when he made an offensive comment regarding Montagna’s wife Erinn.

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Sports Media

Macquarie Sports Radio adds Alan Jones to Bledisloe team at Eden Park

Alan Jones will join the Macquarie Sports Radio commentary team for the second Bledisloe Cup game from Eden Park, Auckland this Saturday.

Jones will be joined in commentary by Mark Braybrook and James Willis, in what that station is labelling the most comprehensive and colourful analysis of this Trans-Tasman Test.

Macquarie Sports Radio is Australia’s only national sports network, and is broadcast on Sydney 954AM, Melbourne 1278AM, Brisbane 882AM, Perth on DAB+, online at and via mobile app. It is the new home for live sport on radio, with 13 live games across the network this weekend, including NRL, AFL, EPL and the Bledisloe Cup.

Alan Jones coached the Australian Rugby Team from 1984-1988, winning 102 matches, making him the most successful Wallabies coach of all time. His teams won 23 Tests out of 30, with four losses by a single point.

“This Saturday’s game is critical beyond evaluation for the health of Australian Rugby”, said Jones.

“The Wallabies will be up against it, but Michael Cheika is a red-blooded fighter and I’m sure he will send out a red-blooded Australian team.”

Significantly, in 1986, Alan coached the Wallabies to a history-making Bledisloe Cup victory in New Zealand – the first time such a victory had been achieved in 39 years.

Thirty-two years later, Jones’s team remains the last Australian Rugby side to win at Eden Park.

“I am looking forward to returning to Eden Park as part of Macquarie Sports Radio’s commentary team. It is an arena that holds very special memories for me and so many Australian Rugby supporters,” said Jones.

Coverage begins from 5pm AEST Saturday on Macquarie Sports Radio.

ESPN Australia’s US Open tennis: 130 hours TV + WatchESPN streaming

ESPN Australia will have two weeks of exclusive live coverage from tennis’s fourth and final major of the year, the 50th Anniversary US Open, beginning Tuesday August 28.

For the first time, all 16 courts will be covered, with 130 hours on television and 1,300 more streaming live on WatchESPN. The daily action from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center will culminate with the Women’s Championship on Sunday September 9, and the Men’s Championship on Monday September 10, both at 6am.

Cover highlights include the daily show US Open Primetime hosted by Stephanie Brantz and Mark Donaldson airing nightly at 8.30pm. Produced for an Australian audience of fans daily from Flushing Meadows, it will feature highlights, updates, previews and interviews.

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