Tuesday August 6, 2019

SeaChange star and EP Sigrid Thornton on Pearl Bay’s Laura Gibson

“Part of the fun of the character is that she is flawed, neurotic and far from perfect”

By James Manning

The first episode of the rebooted season of SeaChange starts a long way from Pearl Bay.

In the 20 years between the three seasons on the ABC and the revival on Nine, a lot has happened to the show’s main character Laura Gibson, played by Sigrid Thornton. Unpacking some of that journey will be part of the fun on the new season.

Nine first announced the return of the much-loved Australian drama at its 2019 Upfront held 10 months ago and the series is being produced by ITV Studios Australia and Every Cloud Productions. The series is the first scripted drama for ITV Studios in Australia.

ITV Studios has the rights due to its heritage through Granada Television and previously Artist Services (which originally produced the series co-created by Andrew Knight & Deb Cox).

It will produce the series with Every Cloud Productions, Cox’s production company co-owned with producer Fiona Eagger.

Nine and the producers were keen to secure the services of Sigrid Thornton and other original SeaChange cast members. Part of the lure for Thornton was being given production responsibilities.

Laura Gibson (Sigrid Thornton) with daughter Miranda (Brooke Satchwell)

Laura Gibson (Sigrid Thornton) with daughter Miranda (Brooke Satchwell)

Thornton told Mediaweek: “Executive producing is something I’ve been work towards for quite a long time and this was a great opportunity on a series that I feel deeply invested in.

“I have been involved with the reboot since the beginning and helped contribute to storylines, casting and putting the series together.”

The final pieces in the puzzle of returning to Pearl Bay were assembled not long before Nine made the 2018 announcement, with Thornton revealing it was not much more than a year ago she was first approached. “It’s been very exciting to be part of what has been a rollercoaster ride.”

Thornton does understand that some people think maybe the original series was so good that it should not be brought back. “I understand that there is a feeling we should have quit while we were ahead. But with interest from Nine, who have been very supportive of the project from the very start, we had to consider the options to leaving the original well alone. When we discussed it we realised there were many more stories that could be told and not just about the Pearl Bay originals, but a whole lot of new characters that we are introducing into the series.

“We thought it worthwhile doing if we could make it of a similar quality to the original and I think we have.

“It has been a wonderful reunion to be able to work with my former colleagues. It has been incredible fun – there were many smiles, a lot of laughter and gratitude that we were all able to be there together. The cast, old and new, and the crew as well.”

Thornton has had a prolific couple of years with roles also in Lambs Of God, Wentworth and even a guest spot on Orange Is The New Brown. “I have ben extremely fortunate to have had a career with real longevity and I proud to have worked hard to achieve that.”

She added that there had been stretches without a lot of work, or “times when the sun won’t shine. Luckily it has been shining a lot lately.”

There are a number of similarities between SeaChange’s Laura Gibson and the actress who portrays her, admitted Thornton: “The struggle for connection and meaning, the struggle to overcome pain that comes during a number of years on the planet. Laura is me and I am Laura, but she is not like me. She is from me and my imagination and we share a lot of attributes.”

She admitted the character of Laura Gibson hadn’t changed a lot in the two seasons. “Laura is not terribly self-aware and is constantly being reminded about that. Part of the fun of the character is that she is flawed, neurotic and far from perfect.

Will viewers be shocked this season about some of things that happen to Laura? “I hope so,” laughed Thornton. “Also surprised, saddened and moved. The show takes the audience on a ride that is a bit like life. Nothing is ever static, it always changes. People in sleepy Pearl Bay might imagine things don’t change much, but they actually do.

Thornton’s return to Pearl Bay has reminded other producers about her considerable screen presence and she told Mediaweek she has been cast and is being considered for a number of roles.

Zenith: Healthcare brands’ adspend growth held back by rising costs

• Healthcare advertisers forecast to move further into digital advertising

Global advertising expenditure by healthcare brands will grow 3.6% this year to reach US$36bn, according to Zenith’s Healthcare Advertising Expenditure Forecasts.

Zenith forecasts another year of 3.6% growth in 2020. This first exclusive survey of healthcare advertising in 13 key markets across the world* builds on Zenith’s authoritative Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, and is published in collaboration with Zenith’s sister agency Publicis Health Media.

Healthcare advertising is growing at a slower rate than advertising as a whole, which is expected to grow by 4.8% in 2019 and 4.3% in 2020 across the same 13 markets.

High research costs and persistent downward pressure on prices are hindering the prescription medicine business and restraining advertising spend by the big healthcare companies. However, this will begin to change as the ageing global population creates a higher demand for healthcare, combined with new over-the-counter products and services that will expand the supply, enabled by new technologies like personal data tracking, telemedicine and AI.

In Australia, advertising expenditure by healthcare brands is expected to see a slight 0.5% fall this year to AU$181.6m. This will be followed by limited growth of 0.5% to AU$182.5m in 2020.

Zenith Australia CEO, Nickie Scriven (pictured), said with the country recently entering a “pro-rata” recession and with consumer confidence at its lowest level in years, many businesses will find 2019 a difficult year.

“As consumers pull back on non-essential spending, we anticipate advertising spend to grow slightly in 2020 and beyond, as advertisers attempt to stay top of mind and stimulate spending against a backdrop of lower demand. Though the healthcare sector will be less affected than advertiser categories such as automotive or retail, we anticipate the rise of generics to impact branded product sales as consumers look for cost savings. This will likely continue to trouble the industry, leading to increased brand advertising as a key priority to counter the switching behaviour.”

Television budgets are shifting to out-of-home and online

Television is the most important medium for healthcare advertising, accounting for 54.7% of spend in 2018, far higher than television’s 30.8% share of the advertising market as a whole.

However, continued media inflation and declining ratings in key markets are pushing healthcare brands to build awareness in other media, notably out-of-home and online.

Healthcare adspend on television fell 3.1% in 2018 and is forecast to decline 4.6% in 2019 and 5.2% in both 2020 and 2021. This is faster than the decline in television adspend across the market as a whole, which is shrinking at about 1.0% a year.

The spread of digital display is making out-of-home a more effective substitute for television in awareness campaigns. Out-of-home is currently somewhat underused by healthcare advertisers – it will account for 4.0% of healthcare adspend this year, compared to 6.4% for adspend across the whole market. But that’s changing rapidly: out-of-home healthcare adspend grew 11% in 2018, and is forecast to grow 15% in 2019.

Television’s main competition is internet advertising, which accounted for 34% of healthcare adspend in 2018. Internet advertising allows healthcare brands to reach potential customers with discretion, often when they are actively searching for information about their health problems and are therefore receptive to the solutions on offer.

As healthcare adspend moves into more targeted and personalised social and digital channels, this will reduce exposure to consumer who are not potential customers and improve efficiency, pulling further spending from television – especially if US legislation successfully requires broadcast ads to carry pricing information.

Healthcare internet adspend grew 16% in 2018, and Zenith forecasts another year of 16% growth in 2019. In 2021, the internet will overtake television to become the biggest medium for healthcare advertising, attracting 46% of all healthcare adspend.

In Australia, internet adspend is forecast to grow by 10.9% to AU$47.3m in 2019, and continue to grow at a similar rate over the next two years. Television adspend on the other hand is forecast to fall by 3.6% to AU$99.2m this year, though the decline is expected to slow to 1.8% by 2021.

Scriven said: “We expect that healthcare advertisers will move further into digital advertising, mirroring the wider market. Advertisers in this sector tend to be some of the most sophisticated. Healthcare and pharmaceutical professionals are increasingly exploring innovative ways to utilise data and insights to drive strategy and consumer engagement. As such, we anticipate accelerated investment in data and advertising strategies to leverage and enhance owned first party data.”

*This research covers Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Russia, South Korea, Spain, the UK, and the USA. These markets account for 78% of global adspend across all categories and are representative of trends worldwide.

Pinstripe Media signs with PodcastOne for series with David Koch

Pinstripe Media and PodcastOne have announced a partnership agreement:

Pinstripe Media specialise in creating inspirational small business and personal finance visual and editorial content, while PodcastOne is Australia’s leading original podcast network, delivering premium and unique podcasts.

Between their audio and visual expertise, Pinstripe Media and PodcastOne Australia will now be in a position to offer complete bespoke audio and visual solutions for brands as well as their ability to create new original podcasts with Pinstripe Media’s stable of talent.

As part of the new partnership, PodcastOne will create and monetise a series of podcasts featuring David Koch focused on Finance and Business. The first of which, Kochie’s Easy Steps to Financial Success, is set to be released on Thursday 8 August.

“We are very excited about working with AJ Koch and the entire Pinstripe Media team to create and commercialise a highly informative series of podcasts with David Koch and work closely with brands to create not only audio, but visual content opportunities with one of the best in the business,” said head of PodcastOne, Grant Tothill.

AJ Koch

Pinstripe Media general manager AJ Koch is equally optimistic about the future possibilities that will come from partnering with PodcastOne.

“We’re thrilled to be working side-by-side with the premium podcast platform, PodcastOne, and look forward to delivering world-class content together that’s designed to genuinely help Australians become more successful in their businesses and their personal lives,” said Koch.

In the first podcast series, Kochie’s Easy Steps to Financial Success, financial journalist and commentator David Koch will provide small, measurable steps in each episode, that are easy to digest and easy to implement, from managing debts, to growing income and protecting assets.

Kochie’s Easy Steps to Financial Success is sponsored by Business NBN and will be available to download for free via the new PodcastOne app, PodcastOne Australia website and Apple Podcasts from Thursday 8 August.

Sky News Australia announces new technology partnerships

• Distribution deals signed With YouTube, Microsoft, Facebook and Taboola

Sky News has announced distribution deals with YouTube, Microsoft News, Facebook and Taboola, further extending its digital content creation and distribution capabilities to bring its news, analysis and commentary to more Australians than ever before.

The content partnerships follow an extensive period of record-breaking digital growth for the network, with Sky News now delivering more than 20 million video views each month across its digital platforms.

Paul Whittaker, chief executive of Sky News, said: “Our partnerships with YouTube, Microsoft News, Facebook and Taboola are an important first step, a long time in the making and with still a long way to go, to monetise our trusted news content on digital platforms ensuring continued investment and focus on local journalism.

“The digital content agreements will deliver increased reach for our premium news and introduce new audiences to the award-winning content available across the full suite of Sky News channels on Foxtel.”

Sky News content, including news and commentary from the channel’s leading programs, is now available across YouTube and Microsoft News including MSN.com.

Partnering with Facebook for a initiative Facebook Watch, Sky News will produce a bespoke program “Unpacked”.

The daily news show will take a deep-dive into a major news story each day, speaking with expert guests as well as reporting from the field to provide a unique point of view from everyday Australians.

Sky News has appointed Taboola as its content recommendation service on SkyNews.com.au. Taboola will provide on-site recommendations and advertising, and its engagement tools will be adopted across the Sky News newsroom. This follows a network-wide deal between Taboola and News Corp Australia.

Following an internal review of its platforms and partners, from this week Sky News will no longer make its video content available on Twitter.  Sky News will use Twitter primarily for breaking news and to post links back to SkyNews.com.au.

Sky News operates a national digital news network SkyNews.com.au. Its exclusive breaking news and audio-visual journalism delivers more than 20 million monthly video views on digital platforms and millions more across a syndicated news ecosystem including News Corp Australia masthead websites such as The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, The Courier-Mail, The Advertiser and news.com.au.

“Television without borders”: Free TV unveils new brand & website

Free TV Australia has unveiled a new brand image and website, the first change to the organisation’s brand since 2003.                 

Free TV Australia chief executive officer Bridget Fair said the new logo and brand identity reflect the modern media landscape and the strong future for commercial free-to-air television in the lives of all Australians.

“The way Australians consume content has changed significantly over the past decade and Free TV broadcasters have changed with them, delivering new channels, new on-demand services and continuing to evolve our content offering,” she said.

“We are at an inflection point for the future of our industry, both in terms of changing viewer behaviour and the resultant pressures on our regulatory framework. With these changes in mind, the time seemed right to revitalise our brand.

“The inspiration for our new logo is television without borders, which reflects the fact Free TV Australia is a modern, future-facing organisation. It also highlights the vibrant and innovative future of the commercial free-to-air television sector,” Fair said.

Today’s brand refresh follows the launch in June of ClearAds, the name and brand identity for Free TV Australia’s Commercial Advice division.

Fair said the changes to the Free TV Australia brand underlined the key role its members play in the Australian media sector and the broader economy.

“Commercial free-to-air television makes a valuable contribution to the Australian community, with Free TV members employing more than 15,000 people and contributing $2.8 billion to the Australian economy. Free TV Australia plays an important role in supporting and advancing that contribution,” she said.

Fair said: “In 2017-18, Free TV broadcasters spent $1.63 billion on Australian content, up from just under $1.1 billion in 2009-10 and representing more than 84% of their total content spend.

“Free TV broadcasters are proud of their role as the backbone of the local television production industry. We make great Australian programming. We fund production companies. We create jobs. We tell Australian stories. We give Australians a voice. The shows we fund are a breeding ground for local talent, in front of and behind the camera. Every day, we make a real and tangible contribution to the Australian economy and to Australian cultural life.”

Box Office: Fast & Furious doesn't run on Diesel as spin-off pulls away

The Fast and the Furious franchise has continued its history of grabbing pole position as Australian audiences have raced into theatres for another high octane installment with Fast & Furious Shaw and Hobbs.

By Trent Thomas

This time Vin Diesel tags out as the lead and is instead replaced by Fast and the Furious regulars Dwyane ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Jason Statham as they expand the franchises universe and introduce Idris Elba as a new villain.

Besides Shaw and Hobbs racing to the top of the Australian box office, other releases stayed fairly settled as they have for the last few weeks with mainstays Spider-Man: Far From Home (five weeks), Toy Story 4 ( seven weeks), and Yesterday (six weeks) all keeping their spots in the top five.

The only film to drop out of the top five this week was Andre Rieu’s 2019 Maastricht Concert – Shall We Dance? which took $1.23m in a special release last weekend.

Overall the Australian box office had a slight dip of 4% on last weekends total making $16.75m.

#1 Fast & Furious Shaw and Hobbs $7.23m

The ninth instalment in the Fast & The Furious franchise has continued to deliver in Australian theatres opening at number one this weekend. The film was only the third most screened film this weekend (296 screens) and still had a massive screen average of $24,457.



#2 The Lion King $6.32m

After having the fifth-best opening week and weekend in Australian box office history, the film is now tantalisingly close to being top 10 all-time with its total of $49.73m getting close to the $52.61m needed to knock off Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows: Part 2. Despite being the most shown movie in the country on 602 screens it still managed a massive average of $10,477 in its third week in theatres.



#3 Spider-Man: Far From Home $667,486

After five weeks the latest film from Disney’s MCU  has now got its total gross to $36.20m, after making an average this weekend of $1,969 on 339 screens.



#4 Toy Story 4 $510,083

The latest entry in the famed Pixar franchise is the fourth film to break the $40m barrier in 2019, after making an average this weekend of $2,180 on 234 screens.



#5 Yesterday $431,034

The rom-com inspired by the music of The Beatles has rounded out the top five for another week after making an average of $1,774 on 243 screens.


TV Ratings Analysis: August 5

• Nine records blockbuster winning Monday share of 37.8%
• Ashes audience pushes 9Gem share to 17.0%
• With Nine audience across 2 channels, Seven #1 primary

Monday Week 32 2019

By James Manning

• Seven News 1,031,000/984,000
• Nine News 945,000/892,000
• A Current Affair 849,000
• ABC News 599,000
• 7.30 545,000
• The Project 316,000/511,000
• 10 News First 399,000
• The Drum 188,000
• SBS World News 142,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 255,000
• Today 204,000


Home And Away started its week on 676,000.

Australia’s Got Talent drifted from 819,000 Sunday to 688,000 last night.

The US drama The Rookie then did 558,000.


Nine’s massive Monday network share of 37.8% was split across two channels with 9Gem attracting a bigger share than Nine – 17.0% to 16.2%.

A Current Affair started its week on 849,000.

The Block then did 859,000 as work progressed on the massive first week construction.

An episode of 20 To One then did 317,000.

The audience watching the first session on the final day of The Ashes first test was 760,000 as English wickets started to fall. The audience for the second session was 595,000.


The Project was on 511,000 at 7pm after starting its hour on 316,000 at 6.30pm.

After a bad run for the Champions, the producers intervened on Australian Survivor and mixed up the two tribes. The new-look Champions managed to keep David and Luke who struck again in yet another visit to tribal council and Sam Schoers was eliminated. Her colleagues all looked on nervously wondering who might be next. The episode did 713,000.

Tony Martin was then one of the guests on Have You Been Paying Attention? with 650,000 tuning in.


The final episode of this season of Back Roads was in Hay in the Riverina with 570,000 watching.

Four Corners then featured a report on Brexit with 513,000 watching.

Media Watch then did 457,000 followed by Q&A on 302,000.


Secrets Of The Queen’s Children had the biggest SBS audience with 186,000.

Week 32 TV: Monday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 11.2% 7 17.6% 9 16.2% 10  12.5% SBS One 3.6%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.1% 7TWO 2.5% GO! 3.3% 10 Bold 2.7% VICELAND 0.7%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 2.8% GEM 17.0% 10 Peach 1.5% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 0.8 7flix 1.3% 9Life 1.3%     NITV 0.1%
    7Food 0.4%         SBS World Movies 0.5%
TOTAL 14.7%   24.7%   37.8%   16.8%   6.0%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.8% 7 21.7% 9 13.7% WIN 9.1% SBS One 3.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.3% 7TWO 3.9% GO! 5.0% WIN Bold 3.2% VICELAND 0.9%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 3.3% GEM 12.8% WIN Peach 1.5% Food Net 1.7%
ABC NEWS 0.8% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.3% 9Life 1.6% Sky News  on WIN 1.2% NITV 0.1%
    7food (QLD only) 0.2%            
TOTAL 14.5%   31.4%   33.2%   14.9%   6.0%


Monday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,031,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 984,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 945,000
  4. Nine News Nine 892,000
  5. The Block Nine 859,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 849,000
  7. The Mid-Year Ashes: First Test -Eng V Aus -Session 1 -D5 9Gem 760,000
  8. Australian Survivor 10 713,000
  9. Australia’s Got Talent Seven 688,000
  10. Home And Away Seven 676,000
  11. ABC News ABC 667,000
  12. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 650,000
  13. The Chase Australia Seven 599,000
  14. The Mid-Year Ashes: First Test -Eng V Aus -Lunch -D5 9Gem 599,000
  15. The Mid-Year Ashes: First Test -Eng V Aus -S2 -D5 9Gem 592,000
  16. Back Roads S5 ABC 570,000
  17. The Rookie Seven 558,000
  18. 7.30 ABC 545,000
  19. Four Corners ABC 513,000
  20. The Project 7pm 10 511,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. Australian Survivor 10 232,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 219,000
  3. The Block Nine 217,000
  4. The Mid-Year Ashes: First Test -Eng V Aus -Session 1 -D5 9Gem 202,000
  5. The Mid-Year Ashes: First Test -Eng V Aus -Lunch -D5 9Gem 175,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. Australian Survivor 10 384,000
  2. The Block Nine 381,000
  3. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 358,000
  4. The Mid-Year Ashes: First Test -Eng V Aus -Session 1 -D5 9Gem 321,000
  5. The Mid-Year Ashes: First Test -Eng V Aus -Lunch -D5 9Gem 287,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. The Block Nine 441,000
  2. Australian Survivor 10 404,000
  3. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 396,000
  4. The Mid-Year Ashes: First Test -Eng V Aus -Session 1 -D5 9Gem 345,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 302,000
Monday Multichannel
  1. The Mid-Year Ashes: First Test -Eng V Aus 9Gem 760,000
  2. The Mid-Year Ashes: First Test -Eng V Aus 9Gem 599,000
  3. The Mid-Year Ashes: First Test -Eng V Aus 9Gem 592,000
  4. The Mid-Year Ashes: First Test -Eng V Aus 9Gem 221,000
  5. PJ Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 182,000
  6. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 180,000
  7. Dinosaur Train ABCKIDS/COMEDY 179,000
  8. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 171,000
  9. Kiri And Lou PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 170,000
  10. Go Jetters PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 165,000
  11. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 164,000
  12. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 161,000
  13. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 154,000
  14. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 151,000
  15. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 150,000
  16. Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  17. Play School Art Time PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  18. The Justine Clarke Show! PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  19. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  20. Lah-Lah’s Adventures PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 126,000
Monday STV
  1. Credlin Sky News Live 62,000
  2. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 54,000
  3. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 53,000
  4. Family Guy FOX8 52,000
  5. Family Guy FOX8 46,000
  6. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 46,000
  7. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 42,000
  8. The Simpsons FOX8 41,000
  9. The Simpsons FOX8 39,000
  10. Hogan’s Heroes FOX Classics 37,000
  11. American Dad! FOX8 36,000
  12. The Simpsons FOX8 34,000
  13. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 34,000
  14. NCIS TVH!TS 34,000
  15. The Simpsons FOX8 33,000
  16. Kenny On Media Sky News Live 32,000
  17. Live: Controversy Corner FOX LEAGUE 30,000
  18. American Dad! FOX8 30,000
  19. Father Brown UKTV 30,000
  20. Live: On The Couch FOX FOOTY 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

James Murdoch's investment firm gets into film festival business

Lupa Systems – the new venture company led by former 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch – has partnered with investor Joe Marchese‘s Attention Capital to acquire a majority stake in Tribeca Enterprises, which puts on the annual festival, the companies said Monday, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The Lupa-led group acquired the stake from the Madison Square Garden Company, Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Craig Hatkoff and other prior investors. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. When MSG acquired a 50 percent stake in Tribeca in 2014 it valued the company, co-founded by Robert De Niro in 2003, at about US$45 million.

“We are excited about working with Jane and Bob to help grow the unique Tribeca brand,” stated Murdoch. “When Tribeca was founded after 9/11, they brought together a tremendous creative community to embark on mission-driven business with civic impact and support for storytellers at its core. It is a real privilege to partner with this talented team to enhance and grow that mission.”

Following the US$71.3 billion Disney acquisition of the majority of the Murdoch-owned Fox empire, James Murdoch, 46, founded Lupa Systems in March with what was speculated to be an eye toward media and tech investments.

[Read the original]

ACMA issues $88,200 in infringement notices under NBN rules

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued its first infringement notices under rules designed to ensure telcos provide consumers with adequate information about their National Broadband Network (NBN) services.

Following investigations, Activ8me, Aussie Broadband, Flip TV, Hello Broadband, Mate Communicate, My Net Fone and Telechoice paid a total of $88,200 for failing to comply with the Telecommunications (NBN Consumer Information) Industry Standard 2018 which came into effect in September 2018.

ACMA authority member Fiona Cameron said: “Our Standard requires telcos to provide clear and meaningful information about their NBN plans in one-page key facts sheet and in their advertising.

“Failing to give consumers clear and honest information about NBN plans is unacceptable and can lead to misleading conduct as recently highlighted by the recent Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s report.

“Telcos need to provide information that will assist consumers to choose an NBN plan that suits their needs and if they don’t they will be held to account.”

News Brands

Former Brisbane Courier-Mail editor Kev Kavanagh dies at 93

A former editor of The Courier-Mail has died, aged 93, reports News Corp’s Sarah Matthews.

Kev Kavanagh worked as the paper’s seventh editor from 1979-84 as a part of a 61-year career in journalism.

Kavanagh started as a cadet in The Courier-Mail’s Brisbane newsroom before serving in the RAAF during World War II, and then returning to Australia to work as the newspaper’s first Canberra correspondent in 1947.

During his time in Canberra, Kavanagh attended one of then prime minister Ben Chifley’s daily press conferences, which was delayed to honour the presence of the first female journalist.

He also set up The Courier-Mail’s first Canberra bureau before going on tour with Robert Menzies during his December 1949 election campaign.

[Read the original]


Nova 106.9’s Ash Bradnam speaks about reaching a personal milestone

After celebrating four years sober on Sunday, breakfast radio presenter Ash Bradnam has opened up about how overcoming his damaging and lengthy battle with alcohol addiction had changed his life, reports News Corp’s Amy Price.

Speaking on Nova 106.9’s Ash, Kip, Luttsy and Susie Monday morning, Bradnam shared his disbelief at the personal milestone.

“You guys saw I was in a bad place four years ago,” he told his co-hosts.

“I actually can’t believe it. I’ve gone four years without having a drink. I couldn’t go a day for years, years, rehabs, this that everything else. And I’ve gone four years.”

Bradnam quit drinking in 2015, the year he plead guilty to a second drink-driving charge in the space of six years, disclosing he took a medication designed to make him sick if he consumed alcohol and also spent one month in a rehabilitation facility.

In 2017, marking his two years of sobriety, Bradnam launched his podcast series, Addicted, during which he spoke with his wife Jodie, who is also a clinical psychologist, about his alcoholism.

[Read the original]

Producer Tammii Caught celebrates 25 years at Adelaide’s Fiveaa

Nova Entertainment is celebrating a special milestone for program producer Tammii Caught (pictured) after 25 years with Fiveaa.

Caught commenced with Fiveaa in July 1994 and the first program she worked on at Fiveaa was the Psychic Saturday night show. When Caught started at Fiveaa, the on-air line up featured announcers such as Bazz & Pilko, Ken Dicken & Sonya Feldhoff, Ken Cunningham & David Hookes as well as the legendary Bob Francis.

Today, Caught is Leon Byner’s morning show executive producer, a role she has held for the past 20 years. Some of her most memorable radio days have been after major events such as 9/11 and the death of Princess Diana gave the radio audience a chance to voice their passion, opinions and emotions.

“Radio is a fantastic medium to work in and I’m grateful to Nova Entertainment for the opportunity to cover news, help people and try to make a difference everyday,” said Caught.

Fiveaa station manager Craig Munn said, “As someone who was working here at Fiveaa when Tammii commenced with the station in July 1994, it has both been a pleasure to work with Tammii as a colleague and to also see her develop into an exceptional program producer. Tammii has been an essential and significant contributor to the great success of the station throughout the past 25 years.”


Matt Campbell: Streaming services a “godsend” for drama producers

Free to air networks might not be the #1 fans of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon but producers see things much differently, reports TV Tonight.

As drama budgets become tighter with Australian broadcasters, streaming services represent new opportunities.

“It’s an extremely crowded market and there are few clients,” Matt Campbell, group CEO of CJZ, says of Australian broadcasters.

“The streamers are a godsend and we are talking to them, whether it’s Amazon, Netflix, Apple. I assume everyone is talking to them.

“Having them in the mix is very important for us. Networks might not think they are a great idea, but certainly for content producers it’s a godsend.”

CJZ principal Michael Cordell has previously called for local content minimums on streaming services. But while the new-look Morrison government is yet to set content rules for streaming services, drama quotas have ensured free to air broadcasters are still doing the heavy lifting.

“Drama is expensive. Networks in the current situation are wanting to spend less and less money. So drama will always be difficult for them. But the quota means they have to do it. There are opportunities, as we’ve seen with 800 Words (co-produced by Seven), where drama is made in New Zealand and brought across here to qualify as first-run drama with drama points,” Campbell continues.

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Married At First Sight producers buy wedding dresses from op shop

Despite record ratings in their most recent season, Married At First Sight producers have been busted sourcing wedding dresses from a Sydney op shop, reports News Corp’s Sally Coates.

Casting for the next season of the car crash reality show is currently underway after the scandalous sixth season finished airing late March.

However shooting for the pre-season promotional videos may have already commenced, hence production company Endemol Shine need to nab some bargain bridal gear.

An employee at a Kings Cross second hand shop told a Daily Telegraph journalist that staff had been in last week buying dresses and saying they were for the show.

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SeaChange star reveals why he returned to acting and the Gold Coast

A leading role in the SeaChange reboot was the perfect serendipitous opportunity for Darren McMullen, reports News Corp’s Amy Price.

Feeling for the last few years that the US was “going in a pretty nasty direction”, the 37-year-old left Los Angeles in March for a month’s holiday in Sydney, during which he auditioned for the role of hunky marine biologist Findlay Knox in Channel 9’s new fourth season of the series, which is set 20 years after the first three seasons on the ABC.

“Off the back of that another couple of projects came up and I was like ‘oh OK, now I’ve got a bunch of work lined up here until September’, so I figure all signs seem to be pointing to me being here at the moment,” McMullen told Confidential.

The role is the Glasgow-born identity’s first acting gig since he left Channel 9’s House Husbands in 2015, while also hosting The Voice, followed by Channel 7’s Behave Yourself and recently NFL Football Fanatic in the US.

While the rest of the cast lived nearby to the Northern Rivers filming location, McMullen chose to base himself at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast during the three-month shoot.

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Sports Media

Administrators and media to be inducted into NRL Hall of Fame

A rugby league administrator and member of both print and broadcast media will be inducted into the NRL Hall of Fame alongside as many as four players for the very first time this year, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Sam Phillips.

While which members of the media have been nominated remains under wraps until Wednesday and the 25 players considered for induction won’t be revealed until Thursday, the 11 administrators short-listed for the honour were named on Monday evening.

“The formal induction of our players and our contributors will be an extremely special and memorable night,” NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said.

“For the first time, we will acknowledge a representative from administration, from print media and from broadcast media.

“That is an incredibly important element of what we have done in recent years – reshape our Hall of Fame process to appropriately acknowledge the people who have made significant contributions to the game.

The names on the administrators short-list were determined by the game’s History Committee, which comprises of Roy Masters, Steve Ricketts, Geoff Armstrong and David Middleton.

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'A 60-minute wrestling match': But game not over-rough, say coaches

Sydney’s Super Netball coaches don’t think there’s a need for the disciplinary mechanisms used by the football codes after a fierce game last weekend, but the ladder leaders have discussed what might happen if a player does step out of line, reports AAP’s Adrian Warren.

Sunday’s game between the Giants and Firebirds in Sydney was an especially physical contest, described in the competition’s official match report as a “60-minute wrestling match”.

Firebirds’ shooter Gretel Tippett had a bloody nose, tended to for several minutes after she was accidentally stuck by an elbow from Giants’ defender Kristiana Manu’a.

The match contained an extraordinary tally of 159 penalties, 90 of them against Firebirds with their defender Kim Jenner racking up a league season-high individual tally of 32.

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Nine has released details of its netball audiences across the weekend.

VIXENS v FEVER on Saturday, August 3:
National peak audience: 223,000 (5 City: 137,000 / Regional: 86,000).
National average audience: 122,000 (5 City: 81,000 / Regional: 41,000).

GIANTS v FIREBIRDS on Sunday, August 4:
National peak audience: 229,000 (5 City: 137,000 / Regional: 92,000).
National average audience: 144,000 (5 City: 100,000 / Regional: 44,000).
Nine noted the five city average audience across Round 11 of the 2019 season is tracking 16.4% higher than the same round from 2018.

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