Plus: Adam Shand’s latest crime, Tom Ballard goes from ABC to Audible, New audio from 10 Speaks with Georgia and Barry
By James Manning
Sydney based digital publisher Pinstripe Media specialises in creating inspirational small business and personal finance visual and editorial content.
Pinstripe Media, founded by David and Libby Koch, is partnering with PodcastOne Australia to offer complete bespoke audio and visual solutions for brands as well as creating 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 released on Thursday August 8.
“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.
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.
Audible.com.au, the Australian arm of the world’s biggest provider and producer of audiobooks and spoken word entertainment, has announced changes to its membership plan and a new key podcast signing.
Audible members will continue to get a monthly credit to use on any audiobook of their choice. Plus, they’ll now get a bonus audiobook each month called the Editors’ Extra.
Audible members can also listen to hundreds of hours of audio entertainment with unlimited access to Audible Original Podcasts.
The podcasts range from feature series like Marc Fennell’s It Burns, Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secrets, and Esther Perel’s Where Should We Begin?
To coincide with the changes Audible has partnered with comedian Tom Ballard to host a new podcast, What’s the Story? Ballard will be joined by a revolving panel of fellow audiobook-worms, experts and comedians, to discuss the latest Editors’ Extra each month. There will also be a dedicated Facebook group.
The new series will launch on August 20 with satirist Dan Ilic and true-crime expert Meshel Laurie who join Ballard to discuss Audible’s first Editors’ Extra, The Dry, by Australian author Jane Harper.
Tom Ballard said: “I’ve always loved listening to audiobooks and podcasts, but there’s a lot out there to listen to. What’s the Story? brings together all the best bits, like a book club for your ears. We hear the moments that made us laugh and that made us cry, and basically discuss a lot of great audiobooks.”
Adam Shand is releasing a new PodcastOne true crime podcast in which police need the assistance of the public to catch an alleged killer. Jonathan Dick, known as Jono, has evaded capture in Melbourne for more than two years and how he’s done it is a mystery. Reporter Adam Shand goes in search of the answers in his exclusive investigation.
Shand told Mediaweek there had been a sighting of the elusive Jono, with details to be revealed in the podcast. Shand came across the crime via a friend who new one of the alleged killer’s victims. “When I first learned of it I assumed it had been solved. But upon investigation I was shocked to learn it remained unsolved.”
With $100,000 reward on offer to help solve this case, Shand is hoping the podcast will encourage a member of the public to come forward with information. “In the previous Understate series on Lucille Butterworth we received two or three very significant pieces of evidence.”
With many authors, podcasters and TV producers looking for unsolved crimes, Shand said there were plenty to go around: “It’s a fertile ground that includes everything from organised crime, mafia stuff right down to domestic mysteries. There is also a remarkable appetite for these stories.”
Earlier this week Mediaweek detailed two new podcasts from 10 Speaks:
• 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!
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.”
ThinkTV has announced the Total TV advertising revenue figures for the six months to June 30, 2019, and the 12 months to June 30, 2019.
The total TV market, which includes metropolitan free-to-air, regional free-to-air, subscription TV and Broadcaster Video on Demand (BVOD), recorded combined revenues of $4.1 billion for the year to June 2019, which was down 4.1% compared to the same period to June 2018.
In the June half, TV advertising revenues were $1.9 billion, a decrease of 3.6% when compared to the same period ending June 2018.
Mediaweek spoke to two networks sales chiefs – Seven’s Kurt Burnette and 10’s Rod Prosser – who said, while admitting the figures weren’t great, there was much to be optimistic about for the remainder of the calendar year.
Performance by sector is provided in the following table:
The record-breaking performance of BVOD platforms 7Plus, 9Now, 10 Play and Foxtel Now continues, translating into record revenue growth with BVOD revenues up 34.2% to $67.1 million for the six months to June 30, 2019. BVOD revenue for the total financial year was $128.3 million, up 32.2% year-on-year.
ThinkTV CEO Kim Portrate said: “The advertising market is feeling the effect of decreased consumer and business confidence as well as global political uncertainty and these results reflect this. Yet, despite a dip in revenues in-line with broader market performance, TV saw an investment of almost $2 billion for the past six months and more than $4 billion for the full year. And what an impressive result for BVOD which continues to attract advertisers as well as audiences hungry to consume high-quality content on the device of their choosing.
“These figures confirm TV’s continued effectiveness for Australian marketers, and the industry is committed to further enhancing this performance. The growth of BVOD and the forthcoming launch of Virtual Australia (VOZ) are two such examples of this commitment.”
Network 10’s chief sales officer Rod Prosser said: “There’s no doubt that the advertising market is challenged at the moment, but TV has proven its resilience time and time again. It continues to be the most effective medium out there, providing the broadest reach.
“We’re looking at a stronger second half with some of Australia’s biggest shows. Australian Survivor is having its best season ever and The Bachelor Australia is continuing to deliver the goods. Gogglebox and The Bachelorette are still to come as well as two of the biggest new shows of the year – The Masked Singer Australia and The Amazing Race Australia. Not to mention, our biggest run home in sport ever with the Rugby World Cup 2019, the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival plus the Australian MotoGP and our Supercars coverage.
“We’re also seeing incredible audience growth in BVOD which is having its biggest year ever, opening up more opportunities for advertisers to creatively engage audiences. TV has become an ecosystem of platforms now and looking at it holistically, we’re optimistic about the market for the rest of the year.”
Seven chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette told Mediaweek:
“Nobody is particularly happy about the overall result, but in the context of the rest of the market we are relatively pleased. However the phenomenal growth of BVOD is some good news.
“We could be in for a tough quarter ahead, but it certainly feels like there could be a lot of activity from September onwards this year.”
Burnette said Seven was able to grow its revenue share during the financial year. “And with no Commonwealth Games or Winter Olympics that is a good result.”
When mentioning key growth areas, Burnette pointed to pharmaceuticals, travel and automotive. “The tech companies are also very active at present – Google and Amazon and the like.”
Burnette said there will continue to be enormous upside for BVOD. “The growth in viewing is still in the order of 30-40% and that is not stopping anytime soon. Our data indicates we are getting some new viewers who are watching BVOD only.”
Top Photo: ThinkTV CEO Kim Portrate with TV chiefs at a recent function – Tim Worner, Paul Anderson, Hugh Marks and Patrick Delany
Nine Publishing’s Good Food brand is set to celebrate the 40th year of the Good Food Guide Awards with the launch of a new glossy magazine.
Good Food magazine will be inserted into The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on the first Friday of every month, beginning October 4, 2019. Tuesday’s newsprint section will remain.
“Good Food is the most revered food brand in Australia, with an extremely loyal and engaged readership, and we are thrilled to expand it further across news and magazine print, digital, events, The Good Food Guide and cookbooks,” said Nine Publishing director, food and travel, Trudi Jenkins.
“The magazine will focus on our key content pillars, with recipes from renowned chefs and food writers, restaurant reviews and food-focused travel features. Our editorial team is the most knowledgeable and independent in the country and will continue to share its unrivalled expertise on everything from the latest places to eat and drink to the food trends readers want to know about.”
A new food magazine couldn’t be in better hands than Jenkins’. She is a former editor-in-chief of delicious. magazine and for a time also ran Vogue Entertaining & Travel and MasterChef magazine.
Nine’s new magazine will be edited by national Good Food editor Ardyn Bernoth, who says the addition of the glossy publication builds on the fact that the Tuesday newspaper section is a very popular lift out in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and will entice even more readers to engage with the brand.
“With goodfood.com.au the most popular premium food website in Australia and the publication of our second cookbook in the works [following the success of Favourite Recipes, published in April with Simon & Schuster] we are of course also looking at further cross-platform opportunities,” said Jenkins.
Nine director of sales – publishing, Chris Nardi, said the launch of the new magazine presented an excellent opportunity for clients wanting to target a highly savvy, food-loving audience keen to be “in the know” about the latest food trends and openings across the nation.
“More than two million Australians read Good Food in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and on goodfood.com.au each month. To extend such a strong brand into a glossy format is exciting and offers so many more opportunities for advertisers to reach this highly engaged audience,” Nardi said.
“Good Food magazine will be the best way to reach Australia’s food lovers in a beautiful content environment.”
The 40th anniversary of the Good Food Guide Awards will also see the Australian food industry’s annual night of nights held in Brisbane for the first time. The interstate move follows the highly successful launch of the national Good Food Guide Awards in Sydney in 2017, and hosting by Melbourne in 2018.
The awards will be held at one of Brisbane’s newest and most stunning venues, Howard’s Hall at Howard Smith Wharves, located beneath the Story Bridge with panoramic views of the city skyline, on Monday, September 30.
Edited by Myffy Rigby for the fifth year, the Good Food Guide includes almost 500 reviews overseen by a senior reviewing panel. The panel includes Rigby, veteran Sydney Morning Herald restaurant reviewers Terry Durack and Jill Dupleix, The Age restaurant reviewer Gemima Cody, and senior members of the Good Food editorial team including editor Ardyn Bernoth, deputy Roslyn Grundy and writer/reviewer Callan Boys.
The Good Food Guide 2020 will be published on October 1, 2019, by Simon & Schuster, priced at $29.99, in association with Citi and Vittoria Coffee.
• 5 TV series, 6 online projects, 6 films share $675k development funding
• Projects include new movie from Jane Campion, Emile Sherman and Iain Canning
Screen Australia has announced five television series, six online projects and six feature films that will share in over $675,000 of Story Development funding.
The slate is the final funding awarded in the 2018/19 financial year and marks 12 months since the Premium and Generate Funds were introduced. The agency has also announced the return of its Developing the Developer program.
The funded projects include Musquito, an adventure film about an Aboriginal warrior from director Dylan River; Jeremy The Dud, a TV comedy exploring the moments of challenge and levity when living with a disability; and Afro Sistahs, an online series about a group of twenty-somethings who connect at an Afro hair salon.
Nerida Moore, Head of Development at Screen Australia said, “We are pleased to see that our revised Story Development programs are supporting a new wave of Australian storytellers while also supporting mid-career and experienced creators. In 2018/19, 59% of successful applicants* for the Generate Fund had never received Screen Australia Story Development funding before. This is an extraordinary outcome and way beyond our expectations.”
“We’re also pleased to see a much more even spread of our development funding across film, television and online, better reflecting the screen market.”
“The Premium Fund is also proving fit for purpose, with experienced creators taking creative risks and dreaming big in terms of story, audience and potential production values.”
In 2018/19 Screen Australia received 378 Story Development applications across the Premium and Generate Funds, up nearly 76% from 215 applications in 2017/18. In the last 12 months, Screen Australia has provided Story Development funds to a total of 80 projects out of a pool of 296 projects that were creatively assessed during the financial year. This included 48 through the Generate Fund and 32 through the Premium Fund.
*An applicant is the person who submits an application for funding and can be a producer, writer or director.
THE LATEST PROJECTS FUNDED FOR DEVELOPMENT INCLUDE
Afro Sistahs: An eight-part online series from the Afro Sistahs Collective centred on an eclectic group of four sistahs whose lives intersect at an Afro hair salon in Western Sydney. The dramedy follows Kabusha, Ayo, Akilah and Trisha as they weave around nosey Aunties and woke baes, and they realise that some knots will take more than coconut oil to untangle. This project is helmed by an all-female team including producers Safia Amadou and Mumbi Hinga (Survive or Die), director Hawanatu Bangura (Inner Demons) and executive producer Rosie Lourde (Skin Deep). Writers Moreblessing Maturure and Rebekah Robertson, performer Ebube Uba and script editor Louise Gough are also attached. This project is co-produced by I.C.E.
Jeremy The Dud: An eight-part television series based on the 2017 short film of the same name, which follows two brothers who live in a world where everyone has a disability, and those who don’t are treated with the same prejudice and condescending attitudes people with disabilities face in our own society. This comedy will be directed by Ryan Chamley (Rostered On) and produced by Mike Cowap of Princess Pictures. It will be written by Chamley, in close collaboration with Nick Boshier (Beached Az) who will reprise the lead role of Jeremy. Daniel Monks whose feature Pulse won the Busan Bank Award at the Busan International Film Festival in 2017 and Sam Humphrey (The Greatest Showman) join as creative consultants.
Musquito: The first feature film from director Dylan River, whose credits include critically-acclaimed teen television drama Robbie Hood. Inspired by true events, Musquito tells the story of an Aboriginal warrior fighting against colonialism during the Tasmanian Black War. The project will be written by Nathan Maynard (Little J & Big Cuz), Jonathon auf der Heide (Hell’s Gates) and Raimondo Cortese, and produced by Tanith Glynn-Maloney (She Who Must Be Loved) and Chris Brown (The Railway Man).
Over and Out: A 10-part television series about two parents, Lewis and Freya, who are struggling to survive the trials and tribulations of raising toddlers while being smack bang in the middle of the post-apocalypse. This project sees writers Christian Van Vuuren and Adele Vuko and producer Bridget Callow-Wright building on their online series of the same name which won Best Short Form at Cannes Series 2019, and was funded through Screen Australia and Google’s Skip Ahead initiative. It will be co-produced by Abi Tabone and Gemma Knight.
The Power Of The Dog: A feature film adaptation of the 1967 novel of the same name by Thomas Savage. This project is presented by an Academy Award-winning team including writer, director and producer Jane Campion (Top of the Lake, The Piano), and producers Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The King’s Speech, Lion). Tanya Seghatchian (Cold War) and Roger Frappier (Indian Horse) are also on board as producers. This drama centres on two brothers, Phil and George, who co-own the biggest ranch in Montana valley. When George secretly marries Rose, a local widow, Phil is overcome with anger and wages a war to destroy her.
Top Photos: Sam Humphrey and Nick Boshier in Jeremy The Dud
• The Block delivers more rooms and ratings in first week
• 7pm shows tug at the heart strings with moving reports
• The Bachelor ranks #1 under 50 as first ep surges in BVOD
By James Manning
• Seven News 1,037,000/1,001,000
• Nine News 92,000/883,000
• A Current Affair 784,000
• ABC News 621,000
• 7.30 567,000
• The Project 309,000/533,000
• 10 News First 386,000
• The Drum 179,000
• SBS World News 123,000
• Sunrise 287,000
• Today 222,000
The channel’s 7pm drama Home And Away was steady on 656,000 after 660,000 on Tuesday and 676,000 on Monday.
Another Highway Patrol special did 439,000 after 7.30pm.
Seven’s midweek movie was The Martian with 330,000 watching.
A Current Affair was all over the latest in the amazing life of Roberta Williams. Later in the episode Sylvia Jeffreys presented the heartbreaking tale of Levi Wheeler who was a very brave youngster who left and amazing legacy. The midweek episode lifted to 784,000 after 726,000 on Tuesday and 849,000 on Monday.
The Block saw the remaining bedrooms from week one delivered in front of 886,000. At the end of the series’ first week for 2019 the audience numbers from Sunday have been 991,000; 859,000; 876,000 and then 886,000 last night.
Nine’s midweek movie was Bad Moms on 309,000.
The Project did over 500,000 yet again in a good week. It too had an amazing tale of courage with an interview with the widow of golfer Jarrod Lyle from Carrie Bickmore, which had the host and much of the audience in tears.
The Bachelor was then back for its second week with a midweek audience of 735,000, ranking #1 under 50 for the night. 10 calculated that the first episode last week has grown from its metro overnight audience of 828,000 to 1.26m with timeshift, BVOD and encore viewing.
10’s crime drama My Life Is Murder was then on 392,000. The channel also reports last week’s audience of 417,000 grew to 697,000.
Both Mad As Hell (611,000) and Hard Quiz (590,000) didn’t quite match the size of the ABC News audience (621,000).
Put together Tony Robinson and Egyptian history and you should have a winner. That’s what happened here with the 7.30pm screening of Egyptian Tomb Hunting pulling the channel’s biggest audience – 230,000.
Untold Australia then did 176,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.4%||7TWO||2.2%||GO!||3.3%||10 Bold||4.9%||VICELAND||0.8%|
|ABC ME||0.9%||7mate||2.4%||GEM||2.4%||10 Peach||2.3%||Food Net||1.6%|
|7Food||0.5%||SBS World Movies||0.8%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.8%||7TWO||3.2%||GO!||4.9%||WIN Bold||6.2%||VICELAND||1.4%|
|ABC ME||0.9%||7mate||3.2%||GEM||3.6%||WIN Peach||2.3%||Food Net||1.9%|
|ABC NEWS||1.1%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||2.5%||9Life||2.2%||Sky News on WIN||1.7%||NITV||0.2%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.2%|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
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
The media reporting season is underway with Macquarie Media reporting a drop in net profit of 33% – from $14.4m in FY2018 to $7.1m FY2019. Group revenues were down 3.3% from $136.3m to $131.8m.
The business has been plagued by legal claims and internal unrest across the year and its financial report includes details of the impact of those claims.
CEO Adam Lang has re-signed both Alan Jones and Ray Hadley in recent months and the business has been unable to significantly grow the audience for the Macquarie Sports Radio stations.
Lang commented: “We recognise that this outcome is disappointing for our shareholders.
“The Macquarie Media strategy is to leverage our market leading audience into a greater financial return. We have executed significant changes to improve customer service to our audience and clients and, ultimately, deliver a better return for our shareholders. This strategy continues to be the primary focus of our daily operations.
“News Talk is the foundation of our strength. The twelve months to 30 June 2019 featured the delivery of sustained audience leadership by our top rating News Talk stations 2GB in Sydney and 3AW in Melbourne. 4BC has earned its best audience results since 2011 and 6PR has proven to be capable of leading the Talk radio audience in Perth. Compared to the previous financial year, the average audience for our News Talk network has grown over 5%.
“Our Macquarie Sports Radio network has evolved continually throughout the financial year to earn the engagement of a new audience of sports fans. In calendar 2019 we have grown the cumulative audience by 64%.” (Survey 1, 2019 v Survey 4, 2019)
Lang paid tribute to the real engine that drives the stations, its sales team, and commented on the outlook: “While advertising conditions remain subdued, we are encouraged by our audience growth, our improving capacity to engage advertisers and our continued drive for efficiencies to deliver a strong return for shareholders in the financial year 2020.”
Disney has lifted the lid on its highly anticipated bundle offering for streaming services Disney+, ESPN+ and ad-supported Hulu, and confirmed that Disney+ will launch in two markets outside the US in November, reports TBI.
Disney boss Bob Iger revealed during the company’s earnings call following the release of its fiscal Q3 results that all three streaming services will be on offer in the US for $12.99 per month.
The exec said the bundle – which has been the subject of much speculation since Disney+ was first announced – will be available from 12 November, when Disney+ is set to launch.
The business revealed earlier this summer that the standalone price for Disney+ is $6.99, while ad-supported Hulu on its own is $5.99 and ESPN+ is $4.99.
“Obviously, we have designs on growing Hulu outside of the United States but no update on that right now,” he said.
Similarly, plans for the international roll-out of Disney+ also remain minimal, though Iger pointed out that the service will launch in two markets in November, when the platform debuts.
Iger said: “I think two actually are going to launch when we launch Disney+ around the same time, and then over the next two to three years, we’re going to roll out a number of other markets.
“A number of those markets are different than the United States. But what they do share – which is very, very important – is an interest in Marvel, Pixar, Disney, National Geographic and Star Wars. So, the product that’s being made for the platforms travels globally, and that’s a big deal.”
As digital revenue becomes more central to the newspaper business – and with a small boost from the launch of The Weekly, a television show on FX and Hulu – The New York Times Company on Wednesday reported second-quarter revenue growth of 5.2% compared with the same quarter last year.
Operating profit declined by the same proportion, to US$37.9 million from $40 million a year earlier. Adjusted operating profit, the company’s preferred measure of performance, fell 6.4%, to $55.6 million.
In a statement, Mark Thompson, the company’s chief executive, said the dip in profit was “in large part a result of continued investment into growing our subscription business.”
The number of paid subscriptions, digital and print, reached 4.7 million, a high. Nearly 3.8 million people pay for the publisher’s online products, with the company adding a net total of 197,000 customers for its news, crossword and cooking apps during the quarter, a sharp increase from the 109,000 subscriptions added in the same period in 2018. Of those subscribers, 131,000 came for the digital news product.
In advertising, past trends held. Digital advertising revenue rose 13.7% year over year, while print advertising dropped 8%. Even so, in absolute terms, print ads brought in slightly more money than digital ads during the second quarter, $62.7 million versus $58 million – a sign that ads on paper remain lucrative.
The Australian Banking Association (ABA) is joining forces with Bauer Media to expand its campaign to tackle elder financial abuse – which disproportionately impacts women.
The campaign, Stop Elder Financial Abuse, has been launched in Sydney as newly released research reveals almost 6 in 10 Australians are worried that someone they know will be the victim of this abuse.
The campaign specifically calls on governments across Australia to act and establish:
• Power of Attorney laws, which are the same across the country and protect people from this kind of abuse.
• A National Power of Attorney (POA) register to check if POA documents are legitimate and current.
• Somewhere to report abuse in each state that can investigate and act.
All of Bauer Media’s brands have united and are supporting the push to stop the abuse through a $1 million advertising campaign – Australian Women’s Weekly, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Woman’s Day, Bauer’s homes titles, such as Australian House and Garden, through to its motoring titles plus Take 5 and TV Week.
Photo: ABA chief executive Anna Blight with Bauer Media’s finance ambassador Effie Zahos
Sarah Maree Cameron (pictured) is joining join Triple M Melbourne as the station’s new mornings announcer.
Sarah Maree, born and raised in Melbourne, returns to her hometown to join Triple M. Currently she co-hosts the breakfast show on K-Rock Geelong, and prior to that was on-air at Fox and Nova.
Sarah Maree said: “To be joining the legendary Triple M, the station I grew up listening to, feels surreal. I can’t wait to be closer to family and friends and my beloved Richmond Tigers.”
Triple M Melbourne content director Dan Bradley said: “Sarah Maree was the stand-out option, in a huge field, for Triple M and we’re excited that she’ll be joining our awesome team.”
Sarah Maree will commence with Triple M in early September.
How long will it be until an Aussie reality show ends in tragedy? Asks News Corp’s Colin Vickery.
Aussie networks and producers insist they take their duty of care seriously and that counselling is available for reality TV participants.
But the real pressure comes when filming has finished and the show airs. By then it usually publicists who are left to deal with the emotional fallout on contestants.
The networks will also say that they are just giving viewers what they want. The more hyped-up the drama is, the more people want to watch.
With so much fierce competition between the networks in the 7.30pm reality show space, ethics are likely to get blurred and lines are bound to get crossed.
Now is the time for members of the Aussie television industry as well as viewers to ask themselves whether reality shows have gone too far.
We need to think deeply about the mental health impact on those taking part. If we don’t and tragedy strikes we will all have blood on our hands.
The Block is one of Australia’s most enduring reality TV franchises, with its first ever blockbuster series launching back in 2003, writes news.com.au’s Alex Carlton.
It was and remains a huge hit. The show’s debut on Sunday was the number one non-news program in Australia this week.
But by the time you’re kicking off season 15, which is what we’re watching now, the pressure is on to switch things up to keep your audience interested.
Unfortunately, this year it looks like the trick producers have chosen to keep viewers invested in the veteran format is that reality TV stalwart that almost every show resorts to eventually: outright sadism.
The Block isn’t meant to be the kind of entertainment that panders to our sick primal desire to revel in the suffering and humiliation of strangers. That’s why we have Married At First Sight.
A reality show contestant broke down on radio as he described how appearing on the TV program ruined his life, reports news.com.au’s Andrew Bucklow.
The show the man appeared on wasn’t revealed during the interview on Adelaide Mix 102.3’s Jodie & Soda, but news.com.au understands it’s a reality show that ran for more than eight years on Australian TV.
During the explosive interview, the former contestant detailed his horrific experience on the reality show and compared it to being in prison.
“We were unable to listen to any radio or TV or talk to anyone,” he said.
He added that he was allowed to make one phone call on Christmas Day to his family but said that a producer listened in on the conversation.
The former contestant told the radio hosts that he had access to a psychologist while he was on the show but suspects that confidential details from his sessions were passed onto producers.
“I really do think that the main part of the psychologist on the show was to talk to the producers to get what they wanted and reactions out of us, rather than supporting us,” he said.
Under normal circumstances, this would simply be seen as the return of a show that was a success first time around. In 2017, when the feelgood interview program That Time Next Year, about people pledging to transform their lives premiered, it was greeted with enthusiasm, writes The Age’s Debi Enker.
But these are not normal circumstances and the second season could be viewed as one of the biggest risks of the year. When this local version of an English format debuted, its host, Karl Stefanovic, was one of Nine’s shiniest stars and the long-time co-host of the Today show had well-known aspirations towards prime-time.
But Stefanovic’s circumstances changed dramatically and very publicly. His Today show co-host, Lisa Wilkinson, departed amid a blaze of publicity in 2017. His 21-year marriage disintegrated and he was soon photographed enjoying the good life on a yacht with his new girlfriend. This was followed by their engagement and a big fat Mexican wedding, after which Stefanovic’s position at Today was terminated.
Through 2018, the morning show’s ratings slumped, with audience ambivalence about Stefanovic cited as a contributing factor. In the midst of all that came “Ubergate”, when he was recorded in a private conversation with his brother, sniping at his colleagues and bosses.
Macquarie Media has congratulated David Morrow, the 2GB/4BC Continuous Call Team member and Macquarie Sports Radio mornings host, on his nomination for the National Rugby League (NRL) Hall of Fame.
The NRL has announced a list of nominees for the newly-created Broadcast Media and Print Media categories of their Hall of Fame.
Five Broadcast Media nominees were announced – Frank Hyde, Ray Warren, Rex Mossop, George Lovejoy and Macquarie Media’s David Morrow.
Morrow’s career has spanned almost five decades, including coverage of eight Olympic Games and six Commonwealth Games, as well as cricket, rugby union, soccer, horse racing and general broadcasting.
His passion has always been rugby league – covering the game on radio and television for 30 years, with Macquarie Media since 2015.
MML chief executive Adam Lang said: “We are delighted that David Morrow has been recognised in such a way by the NRL History Committee. David is an extraordinary broadcast talent. His knowledge of all sports – big and small, regional and rural, local and international – is second-to-none. His live sports coverage is exemplary, providing listeners with exciting and accurate descriptions of ball-by-ball action, whatever the sport. He is loved and respected by our listeners and clients, right across Australia. In radio, as in sport, you always want to pick your strongest players – and in our team, David Morrow would always be among the first picked.”
David Morrow said: “When I received a message last night, I dead-set thought it was a gee-up! I have been around the game of rugby league for a while, but never, ever, did I think that I would be nominated for something like this, especially in the company of Ray Warren, Frank Hyde, Rex Mossop and the great George Lovejoy. It is a very humbling experience.”
Top Photo: An emotional David Morrow on learning of his nomination