Thursday August 29, 2019

Gaven Morris
ABC news boss Gaven Morris: We knew the AFP were coming

• How journalists have altered work practices since cops visited + News budget, David Speers, Four Corners, Q&A & more

By James Manning

The ABC always rates well when it comes to surveys of trust in the media. The latest survey results, released by Roy Morgan this week, again have the ABC ranking #1.

Roy Morgan’s CEO Michele Levine noted the research ranked ABC as the clear leader as both Most Trusted Media Corporation and Most Trust Media Brand.

While many of the millions of Australians who consume ABC content on its various platforms every month seem happy with the product, the Australian Federal Police have been suspicious and last month raided the ABC head office in Sydney.

Mediaweek visited the Ultimo HQ recently and spent time with the ABC director of news Gaven Morris. We started our discussion talking about that first Wednesday in July.

“I was in the building, and around. We obviously had some warning that [the AFP] may pay us a visit on that day,” Morris told Mediaweek.

“They were certainly in touch. There’d been some discussion leading up to that period, and they were keen to talk to us. We knew that they were arriving. We had cameras at the ready and we were ready to welcome them. A bizarre day nonetheless, even with some notice and warning. A day I’ve ever experienced before in a news organisation – having a small coterie of police officers turn up on your door and want to fossick through your files and things.”

This is the transcript of a Mediaweek podcast
Listen to the complete unedited Gaven Morris audio here.

The AFP was armed with a search warrant with three names on it.

“The two journalists directly involved in the particular story they were interested in [Dan Oakes and Sam Clark], and I was on it as well.

Because I was the only one in the building, I was advised by some of our people to, not be in the building for a while, which was a bit strange as well.”

“We weren’t really, fully in the loop on what exactly it was that they were looking for. We tried to work it out from there, really. Thankfully, the erstwhile correspondent John Lyons live-tweeted the whole event, which kept us all in touch with where it was going. What a brilliant job he did across the course of that day. They came on to our premises and we’re a media organisation, so we thought it best that we report the news as it was unfolding.”

Morris said what he worries about most following the AFP raid is the potential impact on the journalism process.

“I worry, first and foremost about Dan and Sam. I hope that they come out of this without a trial and without charges being laid. Beyond that, I think what I really worry about is, the effect that this has on whistle-blowers who are the lifeblood of our democracy and the way journalism works.

The raid has immediately impacted the way many journalists work, said Morris.

“We’ve done extensive training, even since the raids, with journalists who are involved in investigative or research-based journalism. We are looking at our technology and the way we use it, making sure that we have ways for people to provide us with information that is beyond searches and email checks.”

Gaven Morris Q&A

His journalism background

I worked overseas for about 11 or 12 years. I worked for CNN and helped start Al Jazeera English, as a channel. I came home to Australia, fundamentally thinking that international journalism is as important as anything else that the ABC can accomplish and contribute in the public’s interest. That was why I came back to the ABC after doing some time here very early in my career.

Since then, I’ve worked my way through various projects and launched, what’s now the ABC News channel. Worked on many of our digital services, to try to bring them up to contemporary audience standards. Then stepped into this role almost four years ago.

News brands: From Facebook to Four Corners

I work on many platforms and with news services from Facebook to Four Corners, and everything in-between. It’s more complicated than it’s ever been as audience habits have changed vastly.

News personnel: The Big Australian

We’ve got about 1300 people across the board. That would include full-time equivalents, so some casual roles and things like that in there. It’s a lot of people, and we take the responsibility of the taxpayer’s money that we’re granted, to provide such comprehensive services, really seriously.

How much does the news cost?

About $200 million. Of the billion dollars the ABC gets, we get about 20%.

Certainly, since 2008, we’ve never been far away from a budget reduction target that we’ve had to try to meet, whether that be through reductions in money from the government, or whether that be through trying to provide services and strike the right balance between being in the right places with fixed or falling resources. We’re really grateful for every dollar that the tax payers award us. We try to spend it as efficiently as we can.

Television home to the biggest news audiences

TV is still the main way audiences come into the ABC. A big broadcast on television can bring in a million viewers. It’s very hard to do that with the array of radio services that we have, or on digital. Obviously, that relationship is changing, and television audiences are declining pretty quickly, for all companies, not just the ABC. Radio audiences remain incredibly static. When you consider the change that we see in the industry, radio audiences are very loyal. Digital audiences have been rapidly on the rise.

ABC hosts in period of transition

There is a generational change moving through the ABC at the moment, which both allows us to reflect on incredible people that have made an amazing contribution to our audiences over many years. People like Barrie Cassidy and Tony Jones. A great part of this job is trying to bring through the next generation of on-air stars, but also the next generation of great producers and executive producers and editors behind the scenes as well.

Waiting for David Speers

[We asked Morris if he was surprised Sky News wouldn’t let go of their biggest star.]

Not really. He had a contract and we were certainly not wanting to do anything to dishonour his contractual arrangements. We knew that we may have to wait a little while, but he’s an incredible talent. He’s going to have a great time at the ABC. The ABC will embrace David Speers and our audiences will really enjoy what he can bring to Insiders, but also I think you’ll see him contributing in other ways across the ABC.

Anyone that knows David, knows that he’s an incredibly productive person. Wherever we can find opportunities for David to contribute, we will. Remember, he’s got a great heritage in radio that he hasn’t stretched his legs in for a while.

See also:
As Sky News loses it’s biggest star, the ABC’s week just gets better

ABC plans for Q&A with host & EP leaving

We’ve got an opportunity to really look to refresh and revive the program. We’ll get to work in the months ahead on what Q&A will look like next year. Whether there’s a single presenter or whether we’ll look at a combination of people.

A new presenter is an opportunity to really think about all of the ways that show connects with people. After 11 years, give it a spruce up.

Will Four Corners get a new host?

We’ve done it over the years, both ways – with a host, without a host.

What [EP] Sally Neighbours has built is a really formidable group of reporters now, who are just as great faces of that program as Sarah Ferguson was. I don’t think there’s a natural emerging host for Four Corners, so we’re happy to continue with that format for the time being.

Difference between ABC News and Sky News

The strategy around the ABC News channel was always to be seen in living rooms, and not necessarily in airport lobbies and hotel rooms and offices in Parliament House. The commentary brand that Sky News does, appeals to a particular audience who are after that. That’s a perfectly valid path for them to go down. We want our News channel to be seen in everyone’s living room, and to provide an essential service that goes to the core of what we do here, and that’s journalism, and news coverage, and bringing the world into people’s homes.

ABC News Radio

News Radio has the leanest and most efficient live news team I’ve ever seen. What that team have done for 25 years, in putting together a service that goes across the day and is constantly reflecting the changing nature of events and things that are going on. It was the pioneer of the ABC being a continuous news service, and it does it without much fanfare and with many fewer resources than its contemporaries overseas. News Radio often gets overlooked, but it’s something we should be very proud of.

Our new chairperson is a very big fan of it as well, which is great. I know, Ita Buttrose is absolutely, a fan and a regular listener to News Radio.

ABC’s international reporting team

We’ve got about 13 bureaus at the moment, and in those bureaus, we’d have around 20 people. These are the hardest working people in the industry, in my view, particularly at times when big stories break. I am very proud of the work that our foreign correspondents and our teams do, because the work’s relentless. The conditions are difficult. Sometimes the stories are incredibly hard and yet, the enthusiasm and the professionalism that all of our people that are posted in our foreign bureaus brings, is amazing.

Non-negotiable areas for budget cuts

My passion is for international news and ensuring the ABC has that front and centre as one of its core services. For me, international reporting – understanding China at the moment, understanding the Asia-Pacific around us, working out what’s going on in the US and Europe – is crucial to us understanding where we’re going as an economy, as a country.

To me that is a not-negotiable part of our service.

Podcast Week

• The Squiz, Sanspants Radio, Gilead Live, NT crime

By James Manning

Short is beautiful for The Squiz

Keeping the daily morning podcast The Squiz to under 10 minutes has been key to its success, say the team at the daily news digest. A second spin-off called The Squiz Shortcuts, also under 10 minutes, was released this week.

In March 2017, Claire Kimball gave up her career at Woolworths as communications director to launch an early morning newsletter, The Squiz. It was a brave call to leave corporate life. Kimball had also worked as a press secretary for Tony Abbott.

Just over 12 months later, Kimball oversaw the launch of a daily podcast, also called The Squiz. Joining Kimball on the podcast was Kate Watson who is the co-host and producer. She also doubles as the commercial officer for the business.

The two had worked together previously in politics. Watson left her job at Sky News to work at The Squiz.

The two record their daily 10-minute podcast from their homes at 5am each day. Kimball told Mediaweek they use the Australian software product Zencastr to bring them together.

The Commonwealth Bank currently sponsor the podcast. The bank was actually the first ever sponsor of the newsletter too. “Most of the commercial support we attract now goes to the podcast,” Kimball told Mediaweek. “Other advertisers have included BP, Qantas and Woolworths.”

The Squiz podcast distribution platform is Whooshkaa.

The business now has a team of three with Larrisa Moore looking after digital. She is also doubling this week as guest co-host on the podcast with Watson away.

Kimball told us the email has over 30,000 subscribers with high open rates. For the podcast, she told Mediaweek listens have increased 20% a month since the start of 2019.

After working without pay for the first 12 months, Kimball said the business is now paying her and her two colleagues a salary. “We are also looking at adding another person later this year so I can work on more initiatives.”

Listen to The Squiz here.

Audible podcast explores murder in the Northern Territory recently launched a free true crime Audible Original Podcast, Blood Territory, by Walkley Award winning Australian journalist and author, Mark Whittaker. The 10-episode podcast delves into the murder of 22-year-old Jimmy O’Connell, whose mummified body was found, mutilated and missing clothes, on a sweltering Northern Territory property in 2006.

Mark Whittaker.

A dubious manslaughter plea deal put O’Connell’s best mate and fishing companion, Philip Mather, behind bars for the crime. However, in a strange twist, O’Connell’s parents believe Mather is innocent, visiting him in jail and fighting to unravel the truth of their murdered son. Now, Mather is out to clear his name after being released from jail on parole after nine years.

Whittaker leaves no stone unturned in the search for answers, drawing upon family members, witnesses and professionals involved in the original case to unlock crucial new public evidence. His investigation also brings to light confronting expert opinions on alleged Indigenous prejudices within the NT’s judicial and police systems.

Mark Whittaker has worked on similar stories of murder in the past including Sins of the Brother about serial killer, Ivan Milat, and Love and Death in Kathmandu, about the massacre of the Nepalese royal family.

Blood Territory joins the growing collection of Australian Audible Originals, including: It Burns by Mark Fennell, Ghosthunter by Ben Lawrence, Zero Day Code by John Birmingham and Beautiful by Juliet Marillier.

Eyes On Gilead Live

Fiona Williams, managing editor at SBS TV and Online, has provided Podcast Week with details of the live event held by the SBS podcast Eyes On Gilead earlier this month.

“The podcast was launched as a way to deepen our engagement with audiences around our premium content,” said Williams. “The Handmaid’s Tale is a classic example of a show that generates discussion, and audience feedback indicates that our listeners respond to the group dynamic, and our conversational, sometimes irreverent take on the show.”

Williams added listener feedback indicates that Eyes On Gilead drives repeat viewing of The Handmaid’s Tale.

The creators of The Handmaid’s Tale are amongst the listeners to the award-winning podcast (writer Yahlin Chang reached out to thank the team for the analysis of her episode).

For the live event, the Eyes On Gilead live show booked out Sydney’s Factory Theatre in three days, selling 500 tickets.

Panellists on stage, from left: Haidee Ireland, Sana Qadar, Natalie Hambly and Fiona Williams

Photos by Ash Mar

Listen to Eyes On Gilead here

Sanspants Radio adds new titles

Melbourne-based podcast network Sanspants Radio has added two new shows to its line up.

The network, which began its life at LaTrobe University in 2012, boasts 11 regular programs and over 600,000 downloads per month. Recently the network has begun to open its doors to podcasts made outside of the core group.

Popular Sanspants Radio titles include Plumbing the Death Star and D&D is for Nerds.

Two new podcasts look at the world of indie gaming and cartoons.

All the Small Games is an Australian podcast hosted by Andrew Levins and Jon Valenzuela and in each episode they explore the latest indie games titles.

Sanspants Radio has gone international to secure the podcast Cynical Cartoons. Every week an episode looks at a weird piece of animation history. Most recently they’ve looked at the original and rebooted Lion King, explored the He Man and She-Ra Christmas Special and analysed the forgotten “classic” Rubik the Amazing Cube.

Network founder Joel Zammitt said: “Since we began almost all of our shows have been created by a core group of people. It’s been fun to keep it like that while we’ve grown. But now, with the success we’ve had, we wanted the opportunity to work with some of our favourite podcasts and help them grow as well.”

The comedy podcast network was founded by Zammit with Jackson Baly, Joel Duscher and Zoe Bilotta in 2012 out of LaTrobe University. What started as a student project, evolved into a multi programmed, podcast network – one of the first of its kind in Australia.

Investigate the Sanspants Radio podcasts here.

Radio departure lounge: Tony Thomas off air at Nova Entertainment

Nova Entertainment announced Wednesday afternoon that after nine years chief marketing officer Tony Thomas has resigned.

“Since 2010, Tony has played a critical role in the development, growth and success of Nova. We are incredibly grateful for the contribution he has made. His achievements include rebranding dmg Radio to Nova Entertainment, helping take Nova to the number one national network and developing an outstanding team of marketing professionals,” said Cathy O’Connor, Nova Entertainment chief executive officer.

Tony Thomas said that he was proud to be part of the leadership team that helped build Nova Entertainment into the Australian media success story that it is.

Thomas added, “There are so many highlights of my time at Nova Entertainment such as launching the hugely successful smoothfm radio brand, the invention of Nova’s Red Room, leading the launch and importantly building a team of marketing professionals who are the best in the media business.”

See also:
Tony time: Tony Thomas in Mediaweek

With an extensive career in media, advertising and marketing, Thomas joined Nova Entertainment in August 2010. During his nine years with the company, he has been involved in the growth and diversification of Nova Entertainment into a successful media and entertainment brand. Thomas previously worked for companies including the Coles Group, ninemsn, Diego and PepsiCo.

Tony Thomas’ resignation is effective 30 August.

ARIA signs with YouTube for 2019 Awards partnership

• ARIA YouTube channel turned on, Awards gets global stream

ARIA and YouTube Music have launched a partnership to celebrate Australian music, culminating in the 2019 ARIA Awards to be held in Sydney on Wednesday, 27th November 2019. 

YouTube Music will support ARIA and the 2019 ARIA Awards, with activity planned across the upcoming ARIA Awards season, through public voting, ARIA Nominations, ARIA Week and the ARIA Awards.

This year, the ARIA Awards for Best Video and Song of the Year will be presented by YouTube Music. The winners of both of these Awards are chosen by the public and fans will get to vote for their favourites.

Mel Silva with ARIA board

From today and in the weeks leading up to the Awards, hundreds of classic moments and performances from over three decades of the ARIA Awards will be exclusively released on the ARIA YouTube channel and available through the YouTube Music app, adding to the thousands of official songs, remixes, live performances, covers and music videos already available.

This is the first year the ARIA Awards will also be shared with international audiences through a global live stream, replays and best of performances, on YouTube.

Watch the ARIA channel on YouTube here.

Denis Handlin, ARIA chairman and chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand and President, Asia, said: “On behalf of the ARIA Board, I am very excited to welcome YouTube Music as our presenting partner for this year’s ARIA Awards. It has been another very special and significant year of Australian music and we are looking forward to celebrating the brilliant talent over the last twelve months. We are delighted to have YouTube joining us to help take the ARIA Awards to a new level this year.”

Mel Silva, VP & managing director of Google Australia and New Zealand, said: “Working with our partners, clients and the industry to help them innovate, grow and succeed is a key priority for Google Australia. This partnership between YouTube Music and ARIA exemplifies this and underscores a common goal between our organisations – to support and spotlight the Australian music industry and amazing local artists.”

Dan Rosen, ARIA chief executive, said: “ARIA is very excited to enter into this partnership with YouTube Music. It provides an incredibly powerful platform to showcase Australian music here and around the world. YouTube has a unique ability to be both the home for our historical content, and the engine for our international growth. I cannot wait to celebrate the last year in Australian music at the 2019 ARIA Awards in partnership with YouTube Music.”

There have been a host of Australian success stories on the ARIA Charts over the last 12 months from artists including 5 Seconds Of Summer, Amy Shark, Conrad Sewell, Dean Lewis, Guy Sebastian, Hilltop Hoods, Jimmy Barnes, Kian and Tones And I.

Top Photo: Dan Rosen, Mel Silva and Denis Handlin

Sony Music Entertainment China unveils new headquarters in Beijing

• Opening ceremony and artist showcase celebrates Sony Music’s continued commitment to the growth of the China music market

Sony Music Entertainment China has unveiled its new premises for its China headquarters in Beijing.

Located in the thriving hub of Langyuan Vintage in Chaoyang District, the converted factory features a new state-of-the-art recording studio, a multifunctional amphitheatre-style conference hall, performance space and inspiring break-out areas.

The official opening of the premises was celebrated with a Traditional Chinese opening ceremony in the morning, followed by an evening cocktail party and artist showcase, which was held onsite at the new workplace.

The evening event and showcase was attended by Sony Music artists, business partners and executives from across the Asia Pacific region. The proceedings were hosted by Andrew Chan, Managing Director of Sony Music Entertainment China; and attended by Sony Music Entertainment Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Kelleher; and Sony Music Entertainment Chairman and CEO of Australia and New Zealand and President, Asia, Denis Handlin.

During the official proceedings, Andrew Chan welcomed Sony Music’s global and regional management team as well as the company’s long-term business partners and thanked them for their support of Sony Music China.

As part of the event, Chan commented: “We are completely dedicated to A&R in China and we are committed to uncovering, discovering and fostering local talent. Sony Music is devoted to the cultural development of music in China by providing new creative opportunities to our ever-growing roster of artists.”

Denis Handlin added: “Our new home in Beijing reinforces Sony Music’s investment in the fast-paced China market and our goal to take our local artists beyond China and place them on a regional and world stage. At the same time, we are so pleased to have this special environment in Beijing for our domestic and international artists to utilise and we are excited to see the opportunities that come from the studio and this new creative space.”

The showcase featured performances from a diverse group of Sony Music artists from the Greater China region. Liquid State electronic artist CORSAK opened the showcase with a DJ set and collaboration with Sony Music artist, Joannne, which was followed by performances from Cath Wong, Tian Yi, Deng Dian and J.Sheon. The showcase closed with a final performance by Greater China star, Nick Chou.

TV Ratings Analysis: August 28

• The Block wraps fourth week as #1 ahead of bathroom reveals
• Best of the rest: The Bachelor, Micallef’s Mad As Hell & Utopia

Wednesday Week 35 2019

By James Manning

• Seven News 1,034,000/967,000
• Nine News 870,000/915,000
• A Current Affair 771,000
• ABC News 655,000
• 7.30 551,000
• The Project 286,000/504,000
• 10 News First 364,000
• The Drum 177,000
• SBS World News 136,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 260,000
• Today 208,000


Home and Away was on 645,000 with Sydney delivering the biggest audience – 203,000.

The Celebrity Chase then did 572,000 after launching last week with 628,000. Contestants in the second episode included WSFM’s Jonesy, Lisa Curry and Ricki-Lee.

Two episodes of the British drama Cheat followed with audiences of 231,000 and 183,000.


After two nights over 800,000, A Current Affair dipped to 771,000. Leila McKinnon was hosting last night and the episode started with Nine US reporter Alexis Daish doing some great work tracking down a creepy Aussie conman who seems to have moved operations to Hollywood. Later in the episode Reid Butler was reporting on Uber and its competitors.

There was more tension on The Block between Jesse and foreman Keith, but the fourth week of the series ended on a relaxing note as some Blockheads had a beer and surveyed their work so far in main bathroom week. The episode audience was just over 800,000, but that was still enough to win the timeslot and rank #1 for the night non-news.

The premiere of US drama Grand Hotel featuring Aussie Lincoln Younes followed with 359,000. Eva Longoria is an executive producer and has a guest role in the series.


Long-time former Saturday Night Live cast member Fred Armisen was a guest on The Project after 7pm with 504,000 watching. His first Australian show is in Melbourne tonight.

The Bachelor then jumped dramatically week-on-week going from 654,000 to 744,000. That was enough to make the episode #1 under 50 for the night and help Channel 10 and Network 10 to rank #1 under 50 for the night.

My Life Is Murder then did 391,000 to win its timeslot and demos after 378,000 last week.


Hard Quiz was the first of four Aussie-produced programs screening back-to-back from some of Australia’s newest, biggest, smallest and most-successful production companies.

Hard Quiz (Thinkative Television) did 616,000 after Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell (ITV Studios) looked at Daily Telegraph front page puns during the episode with 686,000 which was enough for a top 10 midweek ranking. The series did 682,000 last week.

The second week of Utopia (Working Dog) was on 660,000 after launching with 717,000.

The third episode of Diary Of An Uber Drive (Revlover) was on 288,000 after 333,000 a week ago.


Tony Robinson’s Coast To Coast did 215,000 and this week outrated the final episode of Untold Australia on 124,000 after last week’s episode managed 229,000.

Week 35 TV: Wednesday
ABC13.6%717.2%919.3%10 14.1%SBS One3.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY2.5%7TWO3.4%GO!2.6%10 Bold5.5%VICELAND1.5%
ABC ME0.6%7mate2.9%GEM2.1%10 Peach2.7%Food Net1.0%
ABC NEWS1.6%7flix2.0%9Life2.1%  NITV0.1%
  7Food0.8%    SBS World Movies0.5%
TOTAL18.3% 26.3% 26.2% 22.3% 6.9%


ABCSeven AffiliatesNine Affiliates10 AffiliatesSBS
ABC11.2%718.6%915.2%WIN11.1%SBS One3.7%
ABC ME1.0%7mate4.2%GEM4.5%WIN Peach2.3%Food Net1.1%
ABC NEWS1.2%7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)2.6%9Life2.6%Sky News  on WIN2.3%NITV0.1%
  7food (QLD only)0.2%      
TOTAL15.7% 30.5% 26.8% 20.4% 6.6%


  1. Seven News Seven 1,034,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 967,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 915,000
  4. Nine News Nine 870,000
  5. The Block Nine 828,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 771,000
  7. The Bachelor Australia 10 744,000
  8. Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell S10 ABC 686,000
  9. Utopia ABC 660,000
  10.  ABC News ABC 655,000
  11. Home And Away Seven 645,000
  12. Hard Quiz S4 ABC 616,000
  13. The Chase Australia Seven 578,000
  14. The Celebrity Chase Seven 572,000
  15. 7.30 ABC 551,000
  16. The Project 7pm 10 504,000
  17. Hot Seat Nine 475,000
  18. My Life Is Murder 10 406,000
  19. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 369,000
  20. 10 News First 10 364,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia 10 285,000
  2. The Block Nine 197,000
  3. The Project 7pm 10 147,000
  4. Utopia ABC 130,000
  5. Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell S10 ABC 122,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia 10 407,000
  2. The Block Nine 371,000
  3. The Project 7pm 10 238,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 236,000
  5. Utopia ABC 217,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia 10 421,000
  2. The Block Nine 405,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 292,000
  4. Seven News Seven 280,000
  5. Utopia ABC 270,000
WEDNESDAY Multichannel
  1. NCIS: Los Angeles (R) 10 Bold 198,000
  2.  NCIS (R) 10 Bold 187,000
  3. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 187,000
  4.  NCIS: Los Angeles Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 175,000
  5. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 156,000
  6. Dinosaur Train ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  7. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  8. Kiddets AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  9. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  10. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  11. Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  12. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  13. PJ Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  14. Go Jetters ABCKIDS/COMEDY 126,000
  15. Charlie And Lola ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  16. Bondi Rescue Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 124,000
  17. Neighbours 10 Peach 124,000
  18. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  19. Fireman Sam AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  20. Kiri And Lou PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 118,000
  1. Gogglebox Australia Lifestyle Channel 168,000
  2. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 69,000
  3. Grand Designs Australia Lifestyle Channel 68,000
  4. Live: All Australian Awards FOX FOOTY 66,000
  5. Richo & Jones Sky News Live 66,000
  6. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 57,000
  7. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 57,000
  8. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 56,000
  9. Credlin Sky News Live 50,000
  10. Blue Bloods TVH!TS 46,000
  11. Family Guy FOX8 45,000
  12. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 45,000
  13. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation TVH!TS 40,000
  14.  NCIS TVH!TS 36,000
  15. Nella The Princess Knight Nick Jr. 35,000
  16. Live: Sportscenter ESPN 35,000
  17. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels FOX Classics 33,000
  18. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 32,000
  19. Border Security: International FOX8 30,000
  20. Play Along With Sam Nick Jr. 30,000

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

Tubi launches premium ad-supported VOD service in Australia

• Nearly 7,000 free movies and TV series will be available September 1

Tubi (, the world’s largest ad-supported video on demand (VOD) service, has announced plans to expand its free, premium service to Australia. Launching on September 1, customers in Australia can watch the largest free library in the country with an initial offering of nearly 7,000 movies and television series which will rapidly expand in the near future.

Titles immediately available on the service will include 3:10 to Yuma, The Blair Witch Project, Kickboxer and Stranger Than Fiction, with additional titles to be made available over the next six months, including Dirty Dancing, The Grudge, Requiem for a Dream, Reservoir Dogs, Saw, Traffic and Young Guns.

“We’re excited to offer Tubi in Australia, as the first of many launch initiatives to advance our global footprint,” said Farhad Massoudi, CEO of Tubi. “Our library size in Australia will expand rapidly in the coming months and eventually grow to our current library size in the US of 15,000 titles – and beyond. We look forward to further activating new audiences who will discover the growing value of free video on demand.”

Farhad Massoudi

Customers in Australia can access Tubi via Telstra TV, Tubi.TV, or through nearly any internet-connected screen including Samsung TV’s, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast and Apple iOS, as well as Android tablets and smartphones. The service will also be available via game consoles, including PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Tubi recently announced record growth in the first half of 2019 with customers watching over 94 million hours of content in May alone. Tubi’s library in the US now has over 15,000 movies and television series – more than 44,000 hours of content available completely free from over 200 content partners including major studios such as Warner Bros., NBCUniversal, MGM, Lionsgate, and others.

TVNZ reports stable earnings, strong local content & on demand growth

TVNZ has reported stable operating earnings, continued market leadership of TV audiences off the back of strengthened local content performance and accelerated TVNZ OnDemand growth for the financial year ending 30 June 2019.

Total revenue declined NZ$7.8 million (-2.5%) to $310.7 million, with single digit declines in TV advertising partially offset by double digit growth in online advertising revenue.

Operating expenditure improved by $7.8 million (2.7%) to $286.1 million due to a year-on-year reduction in programming costs.

Net profit after tax was $2.9 million, down $2.2 million (-44%) on the prior year due to a $2.9 million unfavourable movement in unrealised foreign exchange. TVNZ CEO Kevin Kenrick says the company’s financial results are reflective of challenging market conditions.

Kevin Kenrick

“In the context of this environment, stable year-on-year earnings is a pleasing result.” Kevin says “the standout achievements for the year have been the stellar ratings performance of our local news and entertainment content, and the growth in TVNZ OnDemand.”

TVNZ screened 19 of the top 20 TV programs for the year including New Zealand’s most watched news and current affairs shows.

TVNZ OnDemand achieved 80% year on year growth in viewership to record 184 million video streams for the period and delivered year-on-year increases in weekly audience reach (+38%) and advertising revenue (+31%). “We have definitely seen the benefits from our investments to enhance user experiences and device availability, and to bolster our breadth and depth of must watch content for online viewers.”

In the lead up to Rugby World Cup 2019 coverage in partnership with Spark Sport, TVNZ has upgraded studio facilities with state of the art augmented reality and video wall capabilities and has fully trialled and tested this new sports production capability.

“New Zealanders have responded positively to the availability of live sport back on free-to-air television. TVNZ’s coverage of the T20 Black Clash was the most watched live cricket event in the last 10 years, reaching more than a million viewers over the course of the match.”

News Brands

Nine criticised over newspaper price rise and newsagent’s share

Nine has announced to retailers a 20 cent (6%) cover price increase for The Sydney Morning Herald yet only a 1 cent, or 1.6% increase in margin for the retailer, reports Mark Fletcher on his Newsagency Blog.

“In my opinion, this further downgrade of margin for newsagents is disrespectful and offers retail newsagents encouragement to ditch the product category,” he writes.

The new prices, to take effect from next Sunday September 2, see the weekday Sydney Morning Herald newspaper rising to $3.40 (from $3.20), Saturday will jump to $4.40 ($4.20) and Sunday Sun-Herald will cost $3.90 ($3.70).

Fletcher notes the percentage retailers receive will drop:

“They will get 31.5 cents from a $3.40 item sold. That is 9.26%, down from 9.68% on the current price.

“The massive Nine corporation is showing what it thinks of small business newsagents in this move.

“What Nine is doing here, in my opinion, is like the federal government move to cut penalty rates. It is shameful, disrespectful and preys on the weak and vulnerable.

“The question newsagents have to ask is: Is it worth stocking Fairfax titles or newspapers more broadly? The trajectory of margin is clear. The latest decline in real terms continues the trend.

“For me, this Nine announcement encourages the decision to quit the category.”

[Read the Newsagency Blog here]

News Corp rural titles to shine a light on women around Australia

News Corp Australia has launched the 2019 Shine Awards – a partnership between The Weekly Times and Harvey Norman – with a four-page wrap of the paper.

Now in its third year, the Shine Awards celebrates the achievements and contribution of women across rural and regional Australia.

The Awards will run for 12 weeks in paper and online at, as well as Rural Weekly, Tasmanian Country, and other News Corp print and digital titles and marketed by an extensive print and digital execution and social media strategy.

The campaign will highlight the outstanding work being done by women on farms and off them, in rural towns across Australia, in community groups and sporting clubs, in businesses, schools and homes. Audiences will be encouraged to share stories and nominate women through print, digital and social.

Shine awards will culminate with a special 32-page magazine in The Weekly Times on November 20 to announce award winners in six categories: Dedication, Spirit, Belief, Grace, Passion and Courage; plus an overall winner.

Penny Fowler, Herald and Weekly Times chairman and News Corp Australia Community Ambassador said: “I am thrilled the Shine Awards will continue to recognise so many inspirational women from across Australia’s regional and rural communities.

“The awards concept originated from a conversation with Harvey Norman chief executive, Katie Page, on how we could lift the profile of rural women in this country, and the past two years’ nominees exceeded all expectations.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Harvey Norman on the Shine Awards again this year to celebrate and recognise women across rural and regional Australia who are making a real difference in their communities.

“It is through the Shine Awards, we also hope to increase engagement with the Country Women’s Association, an organisation which works extremely hard to enhance the value of living in the country for women and their families, especially those in remote Australia.”

Harvey Norman CEO, Katie Page said: “The Shine Awards are doing exactly what we set out to achieve – raising the profiles of exceptional women from rural and regional areas in every state and territory.

“We know from our work in regional and rural Australia, there are so many more women whose contribution is yet to be recognised and their community story remains untold.

“The Shine Awards goes beyond delivering deserved recognition. It creates a forum. A platform to share the innovations, developments and expertise pioneered by these women. Successful leaders and entrepreneurs understand the importance of shared experience.

“If you have ever looked at your mother, sister, classmate or colleague and thought – ‘you are extraordinary’ – please nominate her for the Shine Awards.”

Geoffrey Rush bid to stop media repeating allegations rejected

Geoffrey Rush has failed in his bid to permanently stop The Daily Telegraph and The Australian from republishing allegations at the heart of the high-profile defamation case the actor won earlier this year, reports The Australian’s Rosemary Neill.

In the Federal Court yesterday, judge Michael Wigney dismissed the Oscar winner’s application for a permanent injunction, which would have prevented all Nationwide News publications from repeating or republishing the allegations, which have been found to be defamatory and untrue.

Rush successfully sued The Daily Telegraph after it published defamatory allegations accusing him of behaving inappropriately towards a younger co-star, later revealed to be Eryn Jean Norvill, during a Sydney Theatre Company production of King Lear.

The Daily Telegraph is appealing against that verdict, claiming that Justice Wigney’s conduct of the case had given rise to “apprehension of bias’’ and also that the judge had awarded excessive damages.

An appeal date has yet to be confirmed.

[Read the original]

ABC staff reject 1.7pc pay rise offer, negotiations to continue

ABC staff have rejected a 1.7% pay increase as the broadcaster weighs up its “financial challenges”, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

Of the 3600-plus staff who voted, 66.7% were against the offer at the close of voting on Monday, with the remaining voting in favour. Managing director David Anderson said the ABC would return to the negotiating table “shortly”.

[Read the original]


Alan Jones has made a rare public comment about the radio ratings.

Alan remained on top in Sydney breakfast with a 17.1% share of the listening audience, well clear of his nearest rival, reports 2GB.

He made a rare comment about the ratings, thanking his loyal listeners.

“I’m a bit loathe to say this but the team here tell me I must,” Jones said.
“I rarely talk about myself here… nor do we talk about ratings but there are plenty of people who report on radio ratings that don’t know a thing about it.

“I suppose given some of the headlines over the last few weeks, this may be worth mentioning.
“There are only eight radio ratings a year in Sydney and this breakfast program has now won 221, which is over 30 years.

“My thanks to listeners who are very loyal. They’ve been with me a long time.”

Jones paid tribute to his team who he said collectively had worked with him for 135 years. He then read out some of the congratulatory messages on Facebook from listeners.

One of his listeners celebrated his dress sense and wanted to know where he shops for his jackets.

[Listen to Alan Jones on his ratings here]


Sunrise host Mark Beretta named Father of the Year for 2019

Mark Beretta admits to feeling out of his league after being named the 2019 Father of the Year, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

With previous recipients including former Prime Minister John Howard, acclaimed artist Ken Done and scientist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, the Sunrise sports presenter said he was humbled by the honour.

“I feel very out of my league,” Beretta tells the latest issue of Stellar magazine, available in The Sunday Telegraph this weekend.
“I’d like to think I’m just a normal dad. But look, if it’s something that makes people think about the roles dads play, it’s a good thing.”

The annual Father of the Year title is handed out by The Shepherd Centre, a charity for deaf and hearing-impaired children.

Other previous recipients include Beretta’s fellow Sunrise staffer David Koch, entrepreneur Dick Smith, former NSW Premier Mike Baird, Governor General David Hurley and basketball great Andrew Gaze.

Photo: Mark Beretta, wife Rachel and kids Ava and Dan for Stellar magazine Father’s Day issue to appear in The Sunday Telegraph. Picture: Mick Bruzzese

[Read the original]

Sports Media

Hamish McLachlan on replacing Bruce McAvaney on Brownlow night

Broadcaster Hamish McLachlan says he will apply the advice of sports oracle Bruce McAvaney when he takes over hosting the Brownlow Medal, reports News Corp’s Nui Te Koha.

“I know it’s a highly analysed night,” Channel 7 commentator McLachlan told Confidential. “When you’re taking over from Frank Sinatra, it’s hard. Bruce is the best there’s ever been, and I know there will be a lot of criticism with whatever I do.

“But I’ll work very hard to do my best. I’m daunted and anxious, as well as being excited.”

Earlier this month, Channel 7 announced McAvaney would pass the Brownlow-hosting baton to McLachlan.

“The best advice Bruce ever gave to me was, ‘Don’t ever try to be someone else; you’ll always be a bad version of them. Be the best version of you you can be’,” McLachlan said.

[Read the original]

To Top