• How Nine’s talk radio assets could help lift its TV news audiences
By James Manning
One of the big TV ratings battles every year is Nine v Seven for news supremacy. Or as Nine’s national director of news and current affairs Darren Wick explained it to Mediaweek: “Good versus evil.
“We would say good is Nine. Although I’m sure my counterpart, Seven’s Craig McPherson, would argue otherwise.
“We are both playing in the same commercial space, and both after the same audience.”
Wick has claimed victory for the year in the 6pm Sydney news battle, but Nine is not across the line yet in Melbourne.
“At any given time about 40% of the audience is wedded onto Seven News and Sunrise no matter what. And about 40% of the audience is welded onto Nine News and Today. It’s those remaining 20% of the audience we are both after with tricks, promos, competitions and stunts to bring them over.
“With the 6pm news battle it comes down to what moves audiences – and that is breaking stories.”
Wick learnt early in his career that the one thing that always sells newspapers is breaking stories. “And one thing that always brings television ratings is a good exclusive story. It’s always been critical and important, but is now reinforced more than ever when we live in a 24/7 cycle with news on every platform. And not all those platforms are trusted.
“The more exclusive stories we can deliver, the more we can reinforce that Nine news and current affairs are a trusted, verifiable source of good journalism, is what it’s all about.”
Nine’s TV news ratings could be impacted with what happens with Nine’s Macquarie Media radio investment.
Although admitting he doesn’t decide what happens regarding Nine’s radio shareholding, Wick said “aligning AM news/talk radio with our TV news product will help quite a lot.”
Perth has always been a tough market for Nine, but Wick explained they have had a good year so far with the 6pm Nine News. “Michael Best [new director of news Nine Perth] has been a breathe of fresh air. Seven is still dominant, but the gap and the margin is not as big as it once was.
“In Adelaide it has been a wrestle and we have been consistently #2 where not to long ago we were generally #3 and the ABC was generally #2. Seven has a pairing that has been together a long time, we have a new generation of presenters in Kate Collins and Brenton Ragless and our research shows we are building a younger audience. It’s a parochial market that doesn’t change for the sake of change, it will just take some time.”
The digital news battleground has changed with Seven launching 7news.com.au after ending its partnership with Yahoo! Seven has been impressed with its early numbers and is expecting continued growth.
Commenting on the changing digital marketplace, Wick said: “Any digital news needs to be a part of a bigger, broader news family, it can’t be doing its own thing.
“Seven has been late entering the space and our challenge is to maintain the margin we had by launching first. Competition is good because it forces you to think harder and have a good look at what your team is doing.”
Part of the unreported story about the breakfast TV battle is how well the much-maligned Today show is performing in Sydney and Melbourne. Wick was happy to point out on the day we spoke the latest ratings had Today ahead of Sunrise by 20,000 in Sydney and the shows are pretty close on the east coast.
[The final major market numbers for week 31 saw Today win in Sydney, while it trailed Sunrise by 7,000 in Melbourne.]
“We made the changes to Today at the end of last year and we knew we wouldn’t lift our ratings overnight. One of the challenges has been the market, which has been impacted by the growth of ABC News Breakfast. We have won back some of that audience, and another unwritten story is that Sunrise’s numbers are way down.
“While stories about Karl Stefanovic and our Today changes continue to appear, I just tell the team it is a long war and it won’t just change overnight.
“When Karl and Lisa were first paired together it took two years before they gained any reasonable traction.
“Sunrise is a very strong, very disciplined program with a good production team who have all worked together for a long time.
“Our strength is still strong, breaking news and that is what gives us a ratings spike. We need to continue to build trust and familiarity with the audience. We need to get back some of the ones we have lost.
“Today is a much better show this year than it was last year, but breakfast is not just about content, it is also about the personalities.
“We have two traditional newsreaders in Georgie and Deb, and Tom who was fantastic field reporter. We have put them all in different roles and television audiences tend to be conservative. They just need time to get to know these people.”
Foxtel and BBC Studios have reached an agreement on a long-term extension of their partnership securing premium British drama, entertainment, documentaries, natural history, children’s programming and news for Foxtel’s broadcast and on demand platforms.
The deal includes the launch of a new channel, BBC Earth with the channel replacing BBC Knowledge later this year.
Foxtel’s Multi Channel Network has also renewed its sales advertising agreement with BBC Studios. The partnership sees MCN represent BBC Studios television and on-demand properties for BBC First, BBC UKTV, and the new BBC Earth Channel.
MCN CEO Mark Frain commented: “MCN has had a strong and rewarding partnership with BBC Studios for many years, and I am thrilled we will continue to represent this powerhouse of content. BBC Studios collection includes some of the world’s best drama, entertainment and factual programming, providing our advertising partners with premium content opportunities.”
As part of the content agreement, BBC Studios will provide thousands of additional hours of on demand content a year, available to viewers through the New Foxtel Experience user interface.
Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany said: “We know how much Foxtel customers love the BBC’s fabulous shows and we are incredibly pleased to put in place a new agreement providing a long-term extension to our 24-year relationship.
“For Foxtel, the new agreement is another step in ensuring we are future fit. Our integration of Netflix into the New Foxtel Experience dramatically increased on demand content available through Foxtel.
“This agreement provides a five-fold increase in BBC programming available on demand. It helps ensure we continue to deliver on our promise to provide customers with the best TV and on demand content, all in one place.”
Jon Penn, Managing Director for BBC Studios said: “We’re delighted to be continuing our successful partnership with Foxtel, bringing Australian viewers the BBC channels and programs they love, and giving them the opportunity to consume them in the way they want to.
“As an added bonus, viewers will be getting a new channel dedicated to the BBC’s premium documentaries, offering some of the greatest natural history series ever produced.”
Jamie Chambers, Regional Director ANZ, BBC World News & BBC.com said: “In a world where media diversity and access to a range of viewpoints is more important than ever, as the leaders in global breaking news we are pleased the partnership continues to offer Foxtel’s audiences access to BBC World News’ independent, impartial and trusted journalism.”
The content agreement will see the following channels on Foxtel:
• BBC First: The go-to channel for premium British drama including on demand access to boxsets of the BBC’s top franchises. BBC First on Foxtel includes Australian premiere rights to Call the Midwife, Death in Paradise and Silent Witness, plus new dramas including World on Fire starring Helen Hunt and Stephen Poliakoff’s Summer of Rockets, starring Keeley Hawes.
• BBC UKTV: Watched by 1.4 million Foxtel households each month, UKTV is the home of British continuing dramas including Australian premiere episodes of EastEnders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale, plus chat-shows, celebrity specials, quiz and variety shows and classic British comedy.
• BBC Earth: The new BBC channel connecting viewers with the world, through documentaries from the world’s most inspiring and passionate experts. This includes the best of Sir David Attenborough from BBC Studio’s acclaimed Natural History production unit, alongside science programming, adventure series and human stories from experts including Louis Theroux, Michael Mosley, Kate Humble and Professor Brian Cox.
• BBC CBeebies: The BBC’s best-loved British children’s programming including Hey Duggee, Thomas & Friends and Sarah & Duck.
• BBC World News: Under the agreement with BBC World News, Foxtel will continue to deliver the BBC’s impartial, in-depth analysis of international news including sport, weather, business, current affairs and documentaries.
The Foxtel-BBC agreement also provides first-run territory premiere rights for BBC lifestyle programming for viewing on Foxtel network channels and on demand offerings.
Network 10 has launched two more 10 Speaks podcasts, aligned to its shows and talent.
• The Reality Bite: Cocktails and Roses is co-hosted by former Bachelorette and 10 News First reporter Georgia Love and TV presenter Shura Taft. The weekly Bachelor podcast, released each Friday, delves deep into the action of what has happened in the Bachelor mansion during the week from an insider and outsider’s perspective.
• Hammer it Home is a lifestyle podcast hosted by builder, developer, entrepreneur and host of The Living Room, Barry Du Bois. Each week, Barry speaks to special guests about modern living, design innovations, gadgets, sustainability and offers tips on how to improve your home from the inside out.
Georgia Love said: “I’m so excited to be hosting 10’s first reality TV podcast, The Reality Bite: Cocktails and Roses. I love The Bachelor and I love talking so it’s a perfect fit!
“I’ve been a Bachelor tragic since the very first season. I love the show, characters and stories that come from it and get so excited by the buzz it creates every year. I’m looking forward to take that office water cooler chat into the podcast booth with my friend and fellow presenter, Shura Taft.
“I’m also keen to delve deeper into each episode, lifting the curtain on certain aspects. Having been on The Bachelorette myself, there are certain parts I am privy to behind the scenes that I think other super fans will be interested to hear.”
Barry Du Bois said: “If you know me, you’ll know I’m a big fan of having a chat. I’ve always been passionate about sharing knowledge and learning from others and I think a podcast is a pretty great way to do that on a large scale. I hope that people who give Hammer It Home a listen will learn about all things homes and families and have a bit of a laugh with me along the way. I have some pretty amazing people lined up for the show. There’s a lot to be excited about.”
Network 10’s chief content officer Beverley McGarvey said: “We know our shows have high-talkability and our talent are some of Australia’s most loved. It’s always been our strategy to own the conversation around our shows through our own channels and to give audiences more access to our talent across more platforms.
“The Reality Bite: Cocktails and Roses and Hammer It Home are must-listens for any Bachie or home design fan. They add to our diverse audio library on content and continue our momentum in the podcast space.”
New column published every Thursday.
Top Photo: 10’s Georgia Love during her time on The Bachelorette
The recent ratings pattern was disrupted this week as Nine started the week strongly with the final episodes of Australian Ninja Warrior. Instead of crumbling in some markets later in the week and letting Seven run over the top, Nine moved up a gear thanks to Ashes test cricket from the UK.
Australian Ninja Warrior and the associated Ninja Warrior Australia v The World were Nine’s non-news entries in the top 20 this week.
Nine had winning shares of primary 24.6% and network 34.6% for the week. Drill down into the demos and it looks even better 25-54 with primary 24.6% and network 34.6%.
Network 10 might have trailed in third place all people with a share of 11.8 all people, but drill down in the demos here and the change is dramatic. That all primary share lifts from 11.8% to 16.2% while the network share lifts from 17.1% to 22.4%.
In the top shows all people 10 only had one entry in the top 20 – the launch episode of The Bachelor.
But re-do that list for 25-54 and all of a sudden 10 has five of the top 10 – two episodes of The Bachelor, Have You Been Paying Attention? and two episodes of Australian Survivor.
10 has also noted that with seven day catch-up numbers, Australian Survivor’s first two eps increased 40% and 55% respectively, tipping over 1.1 million in seven day total audiences. The first two eps of Australian Survivor this season also recorded the series highest ever seven day BVOD audiences on 10 Play. Have You Been Paying Attention? increased 62% on its 22 July overnight audience to 1.08 million viewers and My Life Is Murder more than doubled (121%) its 24 July overnight audience in 7 day catch-up audiences. MasterChef Australia – The Winner Announced increased to 1.17 million viewers with seven day catch-up while the Grand Finale Part 2 lifted to 993,000.
Seven ranked #2 all people and #2 primary behind Nine this week.
The channel’s best were it programs between 5-7pm with The Chase and Seven News still ruling the two hours.
It’s other regular timeslot winner of course was Sunrise.
In the top 20 all people rankings Seven had six of the top 10 with four entries for its news bulletins and Today Tonight while the launch of Australia’s Got Talent and The All New Monty.
Re-run the data 25-54 though and Seven is largely missing from the top 10 with just one entry – Seven News Sunday. It is well-represented further down those rankings with six entries 11-20.
The ABC’s Gold Logie-winning TV terror Tom Gleeson returned to the schedule with the channel’s most-watched show – Hard Quiz with 668,000. Not far behind was another midweek hit for the channel, Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell with 650,000.
Also continuing to perform well in the top five were ABC News, Back Roads and 7.30.
The new Australian drama The Hunting launched on Thursday night and it was the most-watched show on SBS last week with 279,000.
Just short of that figure was King Arthur’s Britain with 278,000 on Wednesday knight.
• Singles: Patience pays off for Tones & I and Blanco Brown
By James Manning
A third #1 ARIA single in three weeks doesn’t happen much these days. Tones And I (Toni Watson) has become an “overnight success” after going from busking in Bourke Street and Byron to the top of the chart with her second single Dance Monkey. Watson has worked her way to the top slowly after first entering the chart 11 weeks ago. Music fans can’t get enough of heart present with her first single Johnny Run Away at #14 after charting for 19 weeks. A third single Never Seen The Rain is already on release too and it sits at #32 in its second week.
ARIA notes this is the first Australia single to top the chart in 12 months when Dean Lewis last achieved that distinction with Be Alright. And get this, Tones And I is the first female Australian to top the chart in four years since Delta Goodrem ruled in 2015 with Wings.
Also playing a waiting game for top 10 success is raper and producer Blanco Brown with The Git Up sneaking into the top 10 after seven weeks on the chart.
Taylor Swift has crashed into the top 50 with The Archer three weeks ahead of the release of her album Lover. The Archer moves up in its second week after a debuting at #55. Two other tracks from the album were released earlier this year and peaked at #2 (Me!) and #3 (You Need To Calm Down).
The highest new entry, and the only top 50 debut this week, is Takeaway from The Chainsmokers and Illenium (US DJ and producer Nick Miller) with Canadian singer-songwriter Lennon Stella which landed at #34. Takeaway is the fifth single from The Chainsmokers’ forthcoming album World War Joy.
Time from American rapper NF moved into the 50 at #39 in its second week.
No change at the top with Ed Sheeran making it three weeks in a row at #1 with his fourth album No.6 Collaborations Project.
NF not only made a mark on the singles chart this week, he also saw his fourth album The Search debut at #3.
Melbourne singer-songwriter Angie McMahon has cracked the top 10 on debut with first album Salt. Fans have had to be patient as it comes two years after her debut single Slow Mover which is also included on Salt. Hipsters love this set in vinyl as it tops the vinyl chart this week.
The third of three new releases, and second debut album, to enter the top 10 on a busy week for albums is Chance The Rapper with The Big Day. To this point fans have been enjoying his music via a number of mixtapes.
Just missing the top 10 was Sydney deathcore band Thy Art Is Murder with their fifth album Human Target. Their previous chart appearance was with their album Dear Desolation two years ago, which peaked at #5.
Also new this week:
#21 Of Monsters And Men with Fever Dream. Third album from Iceland’s finest.
#27 YBN Cordae with The Lost Boy. First album from the US rapper.
Screen Australia has announced the final slate of titles funded in the 2018/19 financial year with documentary funding for five Commissioned and 13 Producer projects.
The funded projects include a series from Blackfella Films that explores the topic of addiction, a feature from Kriv Stenders about country music icon Joy McKean, as well as a feature centred on the trailblazing women who fought for women’s surfing to become an international sport.
Screen Australia’s Head of Documentary, Bernadine Lim said, “We’re delighted to fund a wide range of projects that explore unique aspects of Australian history and put a spotlight on contemporary issues including addiction and migration. It’s also exciting to support so many projects that celebrate stories of powerful Australian women and recognise their achievements in sport, music, agriculture as well as building communities among new Australians. I’m confident these projects will not only entertain but also spark conversations.”
Projects through the Producer Program include:
• Rosemary’s Way (working title): A feature documentary about community leader Rosemary Kariuki and her work in drawing migrant women out of their suburban isolation to connect with other cultures, so they can better participate in Australian life. Following Kariuki over the course of a year, this film will be written and directed by Ros Horin whose documentary The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe premiered at the Sydney Film Festival in 2016. Horin teams up with producer Pat Fiske (Oyster) and executive producer Joe Skrzynski AO (The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe).
• Slim & I: A feature documentary about Australian country music legend Joy McKean, from writer/director Kriv Stenders (Red Dog, The Go Betweens: Right Here). The film will take viewers into McKean’s life, offering insight into her career, her marriage of more than 50 years to Slim Dusty, and her determination to be recognised as a performer and songwriter in her own right. This project will be produced by Chris Brown (The Railway Man), Aline Jacques (Living Universe) and McKean’s grandson James Arneman. It will be executive produced by Joy McKean. Financed with support from Screen Queensland.
• The Kids: A feature documentary about the real-life individuals who inspired Larry Clark’s 1995 cult classic film Kids, 25 years on from the film’s premiere at Cannes Film Festival. The film centred on a group of young people from broken homes in New York who united on the streets and built a unique family. This documentary uncovers the impact on the real kids who were thrust into the limelight, with some thriving and others struggling to cope with the fame. Writer/director Eddie Martin (Have You Seen The Listers?) is joined by producer Shannon Swan (Gurrumul) on this project.
• The Side Show: A feature documentary presenting the untold story of a band of surfer girls who fought to turn women’s surfing into a professional sport in the 1980s. Women including Australian Pam Burridge, South African Wendy Botha and American Frieda Zamba carved a name for themselves in a male-dominated industry, paving the way for future generations and changing the face of international surf culture forever. This film will be written and directed by Christopher Nelius, co-creator of series Storm Surfers, and produced by Michaela Perske (Black Divaz). It will be executive produced by Rob Galluzo and Michael Hilliard who previously worked together on Machine, as well as Paul Wiegard (2040). Financed with support from Create NSW.
• Visible Farmer: A 15-part online series revealing stories of Australia’s female farmers, who often go unrecognised despite the vital roles they play across different types of agriculture. Each episode will give insights into the lives of different farmers, from remote outback stations to urban market gardens. This project is presented by writer/director Gisela Kaufmann and producer Carsten Orlt who previously worked together on Shark Girl.
The Projects through the Commissioned Program include:
• Addicted (working title): A three-part observational documentary series from Blackfella Films for SBS exploring addiction in Australia. It will be produced by Darren Dale and written by series producer Jacob Hickey, who previously teamed up on Filthy Rich and Homeless and First Contact. Financed with support from Film Victoria.
• Killer Snake Island: A one-hour wildlife documentary from Western Australian Sea Dog TV International, revealing how a population of tiger snakes on a small island off the coast of Perth came to evolve very differently from their mainland counterparts. Documenting the snakes over one summer, the project will be presented by writer/director/supervising producer Leighton De Barros, producer Jodie De Barros and writer/director Jonathan Rowdon, who together have a proven track record of delivering stunning natural history documentaries including Dolphin Dynasty and Birthplace of Giants. Financed with support from Screenwest.
• Come Fly With Me (working title): A three-part series from WildBear Entertainment for SBS about the hidden history of the aviation industry and how it has changed, ahead of Australia’s Centenary of Civil Aviation in 2020. The series will showcase the flight crews, planes and destinations, revealing surprising struggles for equality and acceptance that transformed Australian life, in the air and on the ground. The creative team includes writer and series producer Prudence Black, writer/director Greg Appel (Bombora), writer Bernice Toni (The Crown and Us: The Story of Royals in Australia) and writer/executive producer Alan Erson (Barrenjoey Road).
• Australia in Colour series 2: A second season of SBS’s critically acclaimed series presenting Australia’s history through black and white archival footage that has been transformed into vibrant colour. Directors Lisa Matthews and Rose Hesp, producer Jo-anne McGowan and executive producer Jennifer Peedom will return to work on the second series.
Top Image: Rosemary’s Way
• The Block: Five bedrooms, five bathrooms, one week…it’s big!
• Nine owns Sunday with The Block, 60 Minutes & Steve Smith Show
• Plus: Olivia, Mack Horton, Les Norton launch, ET goes home
By James Manning
• Seven News 1,059,000
• Nine News 993,000
• ABC News 642,000
• The Project 225,000/350,000
• Insiders 275,000
• 10 News First 272,000
• Offsiders 158,000
• SBS World News 144,000
• Sunrise 253,000
• Today 216,000
The second Sunday of Australia’s Got Talent was on 819,000 after launching on 814,000.
Great get for Sunday Night with Australian swimmer Mack Horton speaking: “In the last week there’s been a lot of, I guess, talk in the media and I don’t think it’s been as clear as it could be or should be,” Horton told Seven’s Melissa Doyle. The audience of 559,000 (up from 486,000 a week ago) also saw Pete Evans reporting on cannabis.
The return of The Block for 2019 was the #1 non-news program, although it didn’t quite crack 1m, with an audience of 991,000 getting to understand just how big a challenge the contestants are facing in St Kilda. At the start of the 2018 season at The Gatwick, also in St Kilda, the audience was 1.16m.
Nine’s Liz Hayes then reported on Olivia Newton-John in an episode that filled the hour and included interviews with not just Olivia, but her daughter and husband and even her doctor who talked frankly about her stage four cancer. The audience was 673,000.
9Gem did good business as the home of day four of the first Ashes Test. The audience watching the first session was 566,000 and it dropped to 399,000 after lunch.
The trend on Australia Survivor continued last night with yet another athlete from the Champions getting sent home. This time it was the much-loved ET. The episode did 630,000.
The final episode of The Planets did 489,000.
The premiere of Les Norton faced some tough competition with three major reality franchises overlapping its start and then the Ashes Test too was drawing a crowd. Nonetheless the Roadshow Rough Diamond series from producers John and Dan Edwards drew a very respectable 525,000.
A repeat of Natalie Imbruglia’s Who Do You Think You Are? did 136,000 at 7.30pm.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.5%||7TWO||3.2%||GO!||2.8%||10 Bold||2.7%||VICELAND||0.9%|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||4.3%||GEM||6.9%||10 Peach||2.5%||Food Net||1.3%|
|7Food||0.4%||SBS World Movies||0.9%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.7%||7TWO||3.4%||GO!||5.6%||10 Bold||2.1%||VICELAND||0.6%|
|ABC ME||0.8%||7mate||3.2%||GEM||4.1%||10 Peach||2.7%||Food Net||0.9%|
|7Food||0.7%||SBS World Movies||0.6%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.1%||7TWO||1.9%||GO!||3.7%||10 Bold||2.9%||VICELAND||0.5%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||3.0%||GEM||12.9%||10 Peach||2.1%||Food Net||1.1%|
|7Food||0.5%||SBS World Movies||0.6%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.1%||7TWO||2.9%||GO!||4.8%||WIN Bold||3.5%||VICELAND||0.9%|
|ABC ME||1.0%||7mate||3.6%||GEM||10.8%||WIN Peach||2.3%||Food Net||1.0%|
|ABC NEWS||1.1%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.9%||9Life||2.3%||Sky News on WIN||0.6%||NITV||0.3%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.2%|
Friday Top 10
Saturday Top 10
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
Facebook is looking to make peace with Australian media companies and get high-quality news content for its video service Watch, signing a range of experimental 12-month deals for exclusive news programming, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
The US-based social media giant has inked deals with Nine, publisher of The Australian Financial Review, Seven West Media, Network 10, Sky News, which is owned by News Corp, Junkee Media and Pedestrian.TV, which is also owned by Nine.
The agreements with Facebook are to create a series of original news-related programming for Facebook Watch as well as uploading clips from their broadcast news and current affairs shows. A deal has also be done with SBS for non-exclusive clips.
Former News Corp Australia digital revenue managing director Cameron King has joined GroupM as the media buying agency’s first chief technology and transformation officer, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
King joined News Corp in 2008 and held a number of roles until leaving the company in December 2018.
He was also the chairman of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the peak industry body for digital advertising, whose board includes News Corp, Nine, The Guardian, REA, Seven West Media, Facebook and Google.
King will work across GroupM’s agencies MediaCom, Wavemaker, Mindshare and Essence and have oversight over the group’s propriety technology.
With Alan Jones languishing in a hospital bed last week, stricken with a debilitating case of flu, his radio bosses at 2GB – or 9GB, as radio staff have now caustically dubbed the station – offered little resistance when the instruction came down the line from new owner Nine to fill the void with a roster of its TV talent, reports News Corp’s Annette Sharp.
Afternoon show host Steve Price was shunted into Jones’s breakfast slot and into Price’s show stepped the hardest working woman on television (a term she apparently hates), Today show host Deb Knight.
Knight proved herself a dab hand – making three hours of live chat sound so easy Nine bosses figured anyone could do the job – and sent Karl Stefanovic in to bat the next day.
He was soon laughing heartily at his own tired jokes (“they call me the Steven Bradbury of 2GB”), unconvincingly serving up an attack on Greens protesters, chatting to his Nine colleague Simon “my man” Bouda on the anniversary of the Thredbo disaster (Stefanovic seemingly missing the sober tone of the segment and offered as his great insight into the disaster that survivor Stuart Diver “doesn’t mind a Schnapps …”), repeatedly plugging XXXX beer – and supplicating 2GB regulars Price and Hadley with nicknames “Stevie” and “Raymondo”.
Bauer Media is considering closing its up-market women’s magazines, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar, which could be the first big move by new local boss Brendon Hill, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.
Senior company executives have held meetings about the mastheads, including considering closure, amid declining revenue in a tough advertising market.
It is also understood that there have been strained negotiations with US-based media group Hearst Magazines, which owns the licence of Harper’s Bazaar, who are not happy with its performance in Australia.
Sarah-Belle Murphy, executive general manager of publishing and digital, is sticking by the magazines, saying there is “no substance in rumours of closing either Elle or Harper’s Bazaar brands – that includes both print and online”.
“The brands are key in our portfolio for our consumers and clients alike, and are performing extremely well across all channels,” Murphy said, adding the magazines were “significantly” up year-on-year in the latest readership results and its digital audiences are in “steady growth”.
In his first interview since 10’s shock announcement, former MasterChef judge Gary Mehigan wants to set a few things straight. “There’s the ‘three greedy judges’ narrative, then there’s reality,” he says, denying claims the trio were demanding huge pay rises, reports The Age’s Michael Lallo.
In February, the men formed a company called GaryGeorge&Matt. Books, podcasts, cooking festivals, a new TV series: all ideas were on the table. But when 10 insisted on contracting them until the end of 2020 – while they wanted to finish earlier in the year, after MasterChef’s 12th season wrapped – negotiations stalled.
“It would have limited our ability to do other things,” Mehigan says. “All the financial terms had been agreed; it was purely about the length of the new contract. We wanted to keep making MasterChef, but we needed space to stretch our legs and do our own thing.”
Despite a few red herrings and some wild theories, it seems the shortlist for MasterChef’s new hosts is tightening up, with 10 soon to announce its replacements for Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan, reports News Corp reporter and food critic Amy Harris.
Bosses at production company Shine had hoped to lure Gordon Ramsay to the gig but were hamstrung by the fact that Ramsay – who has appeared on the show several times as a guest judge – is just too damn expensive.
In fact Ramsay’s fee of about $3 million for his four-episode stint on the recent season of the amateur cook-off allegedly cost more than the annual salaries of Calombaris, Preston and Mehigan combined.
That leaves their number-two pick, Marco Pierre White, as the frontrunner for a spot on the show.
The second spot which is rumoured to be headed in the direction of 10 personalities and MasterChef alumni Poh Ling Yeow or Justine Schofield.
Shine is likely to round out the hosting panel with a well-known food critic.
Saturdays on Macquarie Sports Radio have been overhauled with the Nine Network lending some of its talent.
Nine’s NRL veteran Gus Gould is now hosting a 9am program for one hour on Saturdays called, simply, The Gus Gould Show.
Also now part of the Saturday morning programming schedule is long time Nine cricket commentator Ian Chappell with an hour at 8am called The Cricket Show: Ashes Edition.
The radio station has also now signed Roy and HG to a regular Saturday morning program from 10am until noon after a limited edition series during the World Cup called Just Short Of A Length.
Macquarie Media chief executive Adam Lang said: “Roy & HG are an iconic duo, and we are delighted to have them entertaining the growing Macquarie Sports Radio audience, live every Saturday morning. And for those who can’t hear it live, Just Short of a Length is also available as a podcast, which reached the position of #1 sports podcast on the Apple podcast charts shortly after launch.
“We are also proud to be the home of The Gus Gould Show, and to give sports fans the opportunity to speak with one of the most respected figures in rugby league. Phil Gould’s insight into the game is unparalleled, and now those views and opinions are being shared with our audience every Saturday morning.
“Macquarie Sports Radio has already developed a reputation as the home of the best radio cricket commentary in Australia, through our coverage of the summer of cricket and the ICC World Cup. Having Ian Chappell sharing his views on Australia’s Ashes campaign every Saturday morning is very exciting for our team, our clients and our audience.”
• The Cricket Show: Ashes Edition with Ian Chappell can be heard on Macquarie Sports Radio every Saturday morning between 8am and 9am (AEST).
• The Gus Gould Show can be heard on Macquarie Sports Radio every Saturday morning between 9am and 10am (AEST).
• Roy & HG can be heard on Macquarie Sports Radio every Saturday morning between 10am and midday (AEST).
Given the uniqueness of what tennis can offer, it appears there is little doubt that it is the Australian sport that will appeal to the global online streaming giants – with the French Open being the latest prime, so to speak, example of what could soon take place, reports The Australian’s John Stensholt.
French tennis authorities last week struck a groundbreaking broadcast deal with Amazon for its Amazon Prime streaming service to have exclusive rights to show matches in the local French market of the new night-time sessions that will take place at a revamped Roland Garros – with an upgraded flagship Court Philippe-Chatrier and a new show court – from 2021 to 2023.
It would not be a shock if a deal with the same broadcaster happened at the same time for the Australian Open, with Tennis Australia having strategically lined up the biggest of its global rights to expire in less than 18 months, or after the 2021 Open.
North American rights are held by ESPN and Eurosport shows the Open across Europe. Both are lucrative markets and Tennis Australia will soon go to market with a sport that already is attractive to a deep-pocketed streamer like Amazon and incumbent so-called traditional broadcasters that will be extremely keen to maintain their rights. ESPN, for example, will be coming to the end of a marathon 10-year contract with Tennis Australia by then.
Nine is paying $60 million annually for its domestic rights. But Tennis Australia is already getting more from international sources with 85 per cent of its viewers now overseas. The gap – and therefore importance – could soon be even greater.
Bruce McAvaney is handing over the Brownlow-hosting baton to Hamish McLachlan, reports News Corp’s Nui Te Koha.
McLachlan, one of Channel 7’s top-tier AFL broadcasters, will take the reins from the network’s sports oracle McAvaney to helm the event in September.
McAvaney, who has hosted Seven’s Brownlow Medal coverage since 1998, told Confidential:
“With great excitement and confidence, I’m looking forward to Hamish making Brownlow night his own.”
He added: “Hame’s love for the game, and everything about the game, well qualify him for this task. He’ll do a great job.”
McAvaney has one of the most demanding schedules and the country, and it’s getting busier.
He will bow out of the Brownlow to prepare for other broadcasting duties for Seven, including heading up the network’s horse racing coverage, and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.