Friday August 9, 2019

AAP Photos hires former Getty Images Asia VP, new photographers

In a move to reinforce its position as Australia’s premier news and sports content provider, AAP has appointed two of Australia’s most respected photographic executives and recruited more multi-award winning photographers.

Former Getty Images Vice President (Asia) Stuart Davis (Hannagan) is AAP’s new director of strategic partnerships. He joins AAP Head of Photography, Neil Bennett, the recently hired former News Corp National Photo Manager.

See also:
Neil Bennet joins AAP as head of photography

With more than 50 years of top-level photographic experience between them, Bennett and Davis are planning sweeping changes to the national news agency’s growing image operation. AAP said their new recruits are committed to quality, creativity and speed of delivery: They plan to leverage the power of AAP’s trusted 24-7 breaking newswire.

Australian Associated Press has also announced the recruitment of multi-award winning sports photographer Michael Dodge, and the current Nikon-Walkley Sports Photographer of the Year Scott Barbour, plus horse-racing specialist Vince Caligiuri in Melbourne.

They join the ranks of AAP’s sports photographers, including Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year Dean Lewins, Dan Himbrechts, Lukas Coch, Darren England, Dan Peled, Dave Hunt, plus regular contributors Craig Golding, Brendan Thorne and Daniel Pocket.

AAP employs more than 100 photographers across the country and is also part of a global network boasting some of the world’s best.

As Australia’s largest provider of editorial images, AAP Photos distributes 4.9 million domestic and international images each year. It covers over 10,000 assignments around Australia annually.

AAP editor-in-chief Tony Gillies said AAP Photos had strong ambition to serve the media, sporting organisations and the corporate sector.

“The priority as of today is to assemble a ‘dream team’ of Australian and international sports photographic talent as we head into the finals of major competitions series and as national teams ramp up efforts for international events,” he said.

Head of Photography Neil Bennett said: “We have something special here; a team of talented professionals all very keen to make a difference. With the marriage of brilliant creative photography and dynamic breaking news, will mean so much to audiences on all platforms around the country.”

Director of Strategic Partnerships Stuart Davis said: “We have a plan to take something very strong and make it even stronger. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with AAP. It’s very exciting as AAP is investing heavily to grow and expand our service to deliver editorial and commercial clients an unrivalled photographic service.”

QMS spending $37m to acquire sport businesses TLA and Stride

QMS Media is to acquire a 100% interest in the TLA Worldwide (Aust) and TLA – ESP Limited (UK) (together, TLA) and, in turn, Stride Sports Management (Stride) businesses. 

QMS Media Group CEO and managing director Barclay Nettlefold said: “The TLA and Stride acquisitions represent the next step in the development of QMS Sport as a global integrated sports platform.

“These acquisitions provide QMS Sport with an enhanced service offering that together creates a unique vertically integrated sports advertising platform; leveraging the strength of their respective strategic relationships with both domestic and international clubs, agencies and rights holders to broaden client service offerings and grow collective revenue streams.”

Transaction overview

• QMS Sport will invest A$32.7 million to acquire 100% of both TLA and Stride.
• On a 12-month pro-forma basis, the acquisitions are expected to contribute CY2019 EBITDA of ~ A$6.0 million pre-synergies.
• Synergies of between $1-2 million per annum are expected to be realised by the end of CY2020.
• TLA and Stride acquisitions are expected to be EPS accretive in CY2019 at an EV/EBITDA multiple of 5.3x.
• TLA and Stride are talent representation and sports marketing groups with a diverse client base of sporting talent across AFL, cricket, netball, Olympic sports and media talent throughout Australia and the UK.
• Sports marketing competencies include PR, client activation, content creation, social media consultancy, graphic design, and sports consultancy.
• Dedicated sports merchandise business specialises in membership fulfilment for many of Australia’s leading sporting franchises, including a dedicated grass roots sports apparel business in partnership with global sports brand PUMA, an event merchandise business as well as a wholesale business.
• The transaction is subject to customary conditions, including financing conditions precedent and shareholder approval of the TLA parent company, and is expected to complete within 30 days.

Nettlefold added: “Our vision is to develop QMS Sport as a global integrated sports platform with digital sports technology, infrastructure, media rights, talent management and merchandise under one major sports offering, providing advertisers, sponsors and brands with a unique and powerful platform to engage with this highly valued sports audience. The relationships TLA and Stride have with key sporting codes, clubs and talent will be beneficial in delivering new revenue streams both locally and internationally.”

Craig Kelly, CEO of TLA said: “We are thrilled to become a part of the QMS group, a business that shares our passion for sport and has a vision for a global sports platform to capitalise on the continued growth of the sector. Our new combined offering will make it easier for clients to access the highly engaged sporting fan like never before.”

Transaction Funding

The acquisitions will be funded in part via a private placement of unlisted fully paid ordinary shares in QMS Sport to institutional and sophisticated investors to raise approximately A$12 million. E.L. & C. Baillieu Limited (EL&C Baillieu) are acting as lead managers to the private placement.

The balance of the purchase price will be funded via a short-term bank financing facility, which will be repaid in CY2020.

Premier League returns to Optus Sport with a 5G world first

Optus Sport begins what the telco’s broadcasting division is calling its biggest 12 months ever when the Premier League makes its return on Saturday 10 August with Liverpool v Norwich City.

Now in its fourth year of broadcasting the Premier League, for the first time Optus Sport is the exclusive home of every live match of the world’s most watched football league.

All live matches exclusive to Optus Sport

For the first time, every live match will be shown exclusively on Optus Sport.

In another first, Optus Sport is also making all 380 games available on-demand this season, including the popular mini matches, so fans never miss a moment of the action. 

“Having the Australian rights to show every single match of the Premier League exclusively live is an enormous opportunity for Optus Sport,” Optus’ head of TV and content, Corin Dimopoulos, said.

“Our suite of exclusively live premium sport content, which also includes the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, notably increases with the renewal of the Premier League this season.

“We are extending our production of mini-matches and highlights, giving our customers the ability to watch Premier League action when they want and how they want so they don’t miss a minute of their team’s action.

5G First on Optus Sport

This season’s Premier League on Optus Sport will be the first time globally that a 5G mobile network will be used to stream a live Premier League match to football fans.

Optus is starting to roll out its 5G mobile network and while 5G is currently only available in limited areas, it represents a step change in streaming technology as Optus accelerates its 5G roll out.

“Making the Premier League available on Optus Sport through 5G is a world first,” Optus VP, TV, content & product development, Clive Dickens said. “This will be the first of many 5G initiatives we will take at Optus.”

Optus reveals size of its streaming audience

Optus Sport had its biggest season ever across 2018-19 and broke many customer engagement and viewing records.

For the first time, Optus Sport has also revealed its subscribing account base is more than 700,000.

In addition, Optus is introducing a $10 Optus Sport Add On* for Optus prepaid mobile customers. This new offer provides Optus’ prepaid mobile customer base with access to the premium content available on Optus Sport for up to 28 days. This offer, alongside Optus’ extended football rights including the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Euro 2020 Championships and the Premier League, is expected to drive continued strong customer growth.

Premier League and Optus Sport’s big year ahead

As anticipation builds for the 2019/20 Premier League campaign, Manchester City and Liverpool are again expected to compete for the title, while Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea are again likely to lead the chasing pack, meaning the fight to qualify for European competition is fiercer than ever.

Norwich, Sheffield United and Aston Villa enter the competition after securing promotion, while Cardiff City, Fulham and Huddersfield were relegated.

All the on-field action will be complemented with a revamp of programming for matchday and beyond, which will include new content such as Scores on Sunday, Matchday Live Extra, The Weekend Review, The Headline Makers, The Watching World, The Big Interview, The Analysis Show and Inside the Premier League.

MATCHWEEK 1 ON OPTUS SPORT

Saturday August 10 – Liverpool v Norwich City (5am), West Ham v Manchester City (9.30pm)

Sunday August 11 – Bournemouth v Sheffield United (12am), Burnley v Southampton (12am), Crystal Palace v Everton (12am), Watford v Brighton (12am), Tottenham v Aston Villa (2.30am), Leicester v Wolverhampton (11pm), Newcastle v Arsenal (11pm)

Nova 100’s Deano adds TV and animation to his radio CV

• Chrissie, Sam & Browny anchor secures development funding

By James Manning

Dean “Deano” Thomas is more than just the anchor of Nova 100’s Chrissie, Sam and Browny Melbourne breakfast show. Now an integral part of the four-member team after being an original member when the show launched in 2016, Deano has his own segments on the show including the now famous Deano’s Footy Show feature.

The latest episode of Deano’s Footy Show has been released today – with Carlton AFL legend Anthony Koutoufides.

When he clocks off from breakfast show duties, Deano keeps himself busy working on new episodes of Deano’s Footy Show, which earlier this year went beyond the Nova breakfast show and its online home as a regular segment on Lawrence Mooney’s wild and loose late night Fox Footy show Up The Guts.

Deano’s Footy Show started as a radio project with Melbourne furniture retailer and TV cult figure, 76-year-old Franco Cozzo, last year.

Deano told Mediaweek: “My boss Rohan Brown [Nova 100 program director] asked if we could make it as a video. We found a brick background and some cheap imaging.”

Deano teamed up with Nova digital production guru Andy Zito for the video version. “The first episode we ever did featured Jack Riewoldt and Alan Fletcher – Dr Karl in Neighbours. It got a great response and we started making more.”

Now Deano has embarked on another media adventure, this week securing development funding from Screen Australia for Childish Deano, an animated short form comedy series.

“I just love writing and creating stuff,” Deano told Mediaweek. “Radio, and particularly the Chrissie, Sam and Browny breakfast show, has given me a great avenue to put it out there.

“I first met my animator pal Dave [David Ferrier] about 10 years ago in Perth. He has a great sense of humour and is a remarkable animator. That is how Childish Deano came about.”

Ferrier still works in Perth radio at Mix 94.5.

Deano and his team are developing six scripts for Childish Deano. “We have already had some writing sessions with a Melbourne comedian Michelle Brasier who is part of the Double Denim comedy duo.

“The episodes have a theme. One was about Deano having a meltdown about his dad not being around.” It never gets too serious though. Deano explained the episode ends with a gag about two dogs rooting!

“It’s going to be weird, but I think it will grab peoples’ attention.”

The episodes will run for between two and four minutes, content that can be consumed easily on mobile devices. It sounds like it could be perfect content for Nova’s GOAT platform or places likes Pedestrian.TV or even as interstitials on The Comedy Channel.

Deano’s breakfast show colleagues have been supportive of his exploits. “They couldn’t be lovelier,” he said. “Chrissie in particular – but all three of them in different ways. Browny reinforces in me the need to have structure in my life. Sam has told me not to worry about rejection, but to just keep trying if I am confident with the product.”

Childish Deano credits
Genre Comedy
Producer Amanda Reedy
Creators David Ferrier, Dean Thomas
Director David Ferrier
Contributing Writer Michelle Brasier
Synopsis Childish Deano is an animated comedy about an 8-year-old boy with a grown man’s voice and heart of gold, navigating the politics of a small town schoolyard.

Deano’s Footy Show credits

Deano’s Footy Show, the spiciest new footy show, launched last year (3 eps released in 2018), with the 10th episode released this week, is created and produced in house at Nova 100.

Deano is joined by Franco Cozzo and a cavalcade of guests including Richmond FC’s Jack Riewoldt and Alan Fletcher aka Dr Karl Kennedy (one of Deano’s favourite eps with Dr Karl returning for a new ep), Sharni Layton, Jonathan Brown, Sam Pang, Dipper (AFL legend Robert DiPierdomenico), Titus O’Reily, Melbourne FC legend Max Gawn and Tony Martin.

Creator, Producer and host Dean ‘Deano’ Thomas
Andy Zito Director, Editor & Producer (Digital producer Chrissie, Sam & Browny)
Oriel Guthrie – Executive Director (NOVA Entertainment Network Video Executive Producer)
Victoria Wall – Producer (Nova 100 Chrissie, Sam & Browny Producer & Talent Booker)
Tim Mountford – Audio (Nova 100 Breakfast Audio Producer)

Watch Deano’s Footy Shows here:

Deano's Footy Show: S02E07 – Anthony 'Kouta' Koutoufides

IT'S SPICE TIME, PEOPLE. Carlton Football Club legend Anthony Koutoufides drops by Deano's Footy Show, and Deano has something to ask him about a special day…

Posted by Chrissie, Sam & Browny on Thursday, 8 August 2019

Mercado on TV: Australian sitcoms are often risky propositions

• Special rant: How about less channels with better must-see shows?

By Andrew Mercado

Australian sitcoms are often risky propositions so it is no surprise that recent productions have revolved around concepts that are deceptively simple and relatively cheap to make. And the latest trend in local comedy is to set them in and around cars.

No Activity, which was Stan’s first local commission and led to an American remake, is about undercover cops sitting in cars doing stakeouts. Squinters, also made by Jungle Entertainment, is about commuters travelling to and from work. Its second season finale is the lead-in for another car comedy, Diary Of An Uber Driver (Wednesday on ABC).

The ABC must think that their audience will stay on board because they are already primed, but surely there is a bigger danger of them noticing similarities between the shows? Because, just like the others, Diary Of An Uber Driver is a series of skits and improv, with revolving guest stars and a continuing storyline or two to link it all together.

Diary Of An Uber Driver gets off to a promising start, but timing is everything in television. And wouldn’t you know it, there is also another car sitcom from the UK next week when Ricky Gervais regular Karl Pilkington gets his own show, Sick Of It (next Friday on Stan).

Here’s something I am sick of – more and more TV channels that seem to exist for no other reason than sucking every last dollar out of advertisers while they can. The same logic appears to apply to weekly tabloid magazines spinning off monthly titles because their “audience is asking for it”. Yeah, right. 

We may be living in an era of Peak TV, but that’s because of streaming and the uncomfortable truth is that there is just not enough content for Free TV and Foxtel to keep sustaining so many channels. For example, is it a misprint that 7fllix is screening the same movie (Oh God Part II) for two days running (Saturday and Sunday) while also replaying TV series Bones for nine hours one night (Sunday from 7.30pm) and then eight hours the next (Monday from 8.30pm)?

TV Tonight recently reported that Peach would be screening the fourth and final season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Monday mornings at 2.20am from August 4. It is not listed to air next week (so has either been pulled or already dropped) but seriously? That is the only timeslot that can be found for a first run series on a youth-oriented channel still repeating the same old, older-skewing US sitcoms for the past eight years?

Instead of so many TV channels, how about having less options but with better and must-see shows? Instead of TV Week having an extra “must-have monthly mag”, how about making sure the weekly edition has the best content possible in it? OK, rant over, I’m heading out to buy New Idea’s new monthly Royals mag, because there just isn’t enough (made-up) material about the Monarchy currently available.

Top Photo: Diary Of An Uber Driver

TV Ratings Analysis: August 8

• Seven takes top spot thanks to Summer Bay & Sam Pang
• The Bachelor’s first week drives 10 Play’s biggest week ever
• Other highlights: NRL Broncos victory, Perth Hills escape

Thursday Week 32 2019

By James Manning

• Seven News 1,017,000/960,000
• Nine News 883,000/866,000
• A Current Affair 695,000
• ABC News 637,000
• 7.30 523,000
• The Project 290,000/494,000
• 10 News First 357,000
• The Drum 185,000
• SBS World News 140,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 257,000
• Today 214,000

Seven

On its final night of the week Home And Away posted an audience of 594,000 after a week high of 676,000 on Monday.

The Front Bar had the next best non-news audience despite no significant contribution from Sydney or Brisbane. The network metro audience was 439,000 with 259,000 in Melbourne. Sam Pang was in great form and moved Mick Molloy to scold him with “you can’t say that” a couple of times.

Nine

A Current Affair Thursday uncovered an Uber thief and was on 695,000 after a week high of 849,000 on Monday.

The NRL featured the Broncos winning the Queensland derby against the Cowboys. Nine’s audience was 367,000 with 179,000 in Sydney and 169,000 in Brisbane.

10

The Project slipped below 500,000 for the first time this week, but not by much, with 494,000 watching. Guests included rockers Mark Seymour and James Reyne.

The second episode of The Bachelor this week did 680,000 after 735,000 on Wednesday. 10 reported that the first two episodes last week secured the biggest seven-day audience ever for its online BVOD and streaming platform 10 Play. The second episode last week grew its seven-day audience to 1.12m after 692,000 overnight on Thursday last week.

ABC

Escape From The City visited the Perth Hills with 419,000 watching.

No Offence then did 176,000.

SBS

The Australian drama The Hunting from Adelaide’s Closer Productions continued at 8.30pm with 222,000.

Next best was The Handmaid’s Tale on 169,000.

Earlier in the night Gourmet Farmer did 165,000.

Week 32 TV: Thursday
THURSDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 9.9% 7 19.1% 9 18.6% 10  13.8% SBS One 5.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.0% 7TWO 4.2% GO! 2.5% 10 Bold 3.7% VICELAND 0.9%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 4.4% GEM 1.6% 10 Peach 2.3% Food Net 1.8%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix 2.1% 9Life 2.2%     NITV 0.3%
    7Food 1.3%         SBS World Movies 0.5%
TOTAL 15.3%   31.1%   24.9%   19.7%   9.0%

 

 THURSDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.2% 7 17.6% 9 18.2% WIN 9.2% SBS One 4.4%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.0% 7TWO 6.0% GO! 3.4% WIN Bold 5.1% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 1.0% 7mate 5.7% GEM 3.0% WIN Peach 2.1% Food Net 2.3%
ABC NEWS 1.0% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 3.2% 9Life 2.3% Sky News  on WIN 1.3% NITV 0.2%
    7food (QLD only) 0.4%            
TOTAL 14.2%   32.9%   26.9%   17.6%   8.4%

 

THURSDAY  FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,017,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 960,000
  3. Nine News Nine 883,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 866,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 695,000
  6. The Bachelor Australia 10 680,000
  7. The Chase Australia Seven 640,000
  8. ABC News ABC 637,000
  9. Home And Away Seven 574,000
  10. 7.30 ABC 523,000
  11. The Project 7pm 10 494,000
  12. Hot Seat Nine 478,000
  13. The Front Bar Seven 439,000
  14. Escape From The City ABC 419,000
  15. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 366,000
  16. 10 News First 10 357,000
  17. Thursday Night NRL Live Nine 348,000
  18. The Latest: Seven News Seven 345,000
  19. Law & Order: Svu (R) 10 297,000
  20. The Project 6.30pm 10 290,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia 10 238,000
  2. The Project 7pm 10 133,000
  3. Seven News Seven 117,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 112,000
  5. Home And Away Seven 102,000

 

18-49 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia 10 373,000
  2. The Project 7pm 10 222,000
  3. Seven News Seven 218,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 210,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 201,000

 

25-54 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia 10 396,000
  2. Seven News Seven 276,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 264,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 256,000
  5. Nine News Nine 251,000
THURSDAY Multichannel
  1. M- Transporter 2 PM 7mate 176,000
  2. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 151,000
  3. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 148,000
  4. Father Brown PM 7TWO 140,000
  5. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 137,000
  6. Dinosaur Train ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  7. A Touch Of Frost PM 7TWO 135,000
  8. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 133,000
  9. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  10. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  11. Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  12. Hawaii Five-O 10 Bold 121,000
  13. Go Jetters ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  14. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  15. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  16. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 116,000
  17. Charlie And Lola ABCKIDS/COMEDY 115,000
  18. Neighbours 10 Peach 115,000
  19. Qi ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  20. Giggle And Hoot ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
THURSDAY  STV
  1. Live: NRL Cowboys V Broncos FOX LEAGUE 222,000
  2. Live: The Late Show With Matty Johns FOX LEAGUE 103,000
  3. Live: NRL Thursday Night League FOX LEAGUE 68,000
  4. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 65,000
  5. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 47,000
  6. Credlin Sky News Live 47,000
  7. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 44,000
  8. Grand Designs Australia Lifestyle Channel 40,000
  9. Family Guy FOX8 36,000
  10. Family Guy FOX8 35,000
  11. Gold Rush: White Water Discovery Channel 34,000
  12. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 34,000
  13. Mchale’s Navy FOX Classics 34,000
  14. NRL Tonight FOX LEAGUE 32,000
  15. Blue Bloods TVH!TS 32,000
  16. PML Later Sky News Live 32,000
  17. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 32,000
  18. Abandoned Engineering History Channel 32,000
  19. The Simpsons FOX8 31,000
  20. NCIS TVH!TS 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

Campaign to axe Alan Jones blamed for 2GB profit slump

The slump in profits at 2GB has been blamed on a campaign to axe Alan Jones that drove away advertisers, reports News Corp’s Matthew Benns.

Insiders claim live reads by Jones “dropped off a cliff” while bosses were trying to sack him and are only now beginning to return after new owners at Nine Media insisted he be re-hired.

2GB insiders say the long-running campaign to axe Jones from the breakfast slot is partially to blame, with advertisers unwilling to buy airtime until they knew who would be presenting.

“Commercials and live reads by Jones dropped off a cliff while those talks were on-going. There is a suspicion that there was a deliberate push away from his show,” the insider said.

[Read the original]

Inquiry’s push for changes to ABC act rejected

The federal government has rejected several recommendations proposed by a Senate inquiry into political interference at the ABC, describing the appointment process for board members at the broadcaster as “adequate”, reports The Australian’s Zoe Samios.

A government response released yesterday said it “did not support” four recommendations relating to changes to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983, but made note of the need for more funding certainty.

It comes four months after the environment and communications references committee, which was charged by the Senate last October to investigate alle­gations of political interference, first released the report.

The report recommended a review of the events leading up to the sacking of former managing director Michelle Guthrie last September.

[Read the original]

News Brands

Paul McGeough: award-winning correspondent who crossed boundaries

When Paul McGeough, a former editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, and photographer Kate Geraghty arrived in Afghanistan’s Oruzgan province in January 2013, they were met on the tarmac by Australian military officers who told them: ”You have no permission to be here,” reports Maher Mughrabi, The Age’s features editor.

That terse warning could be the motto of McGeough’s career as a foreign correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. That career began in 1991 when he talked his way into Iraq and Kuwait in the guise of an “Australian observer”, complete with a helmet supplied by a Saudi officer, and ended this week with his retirement from the two mastheads.

McGeough received eight Walkley Awards over a period of 27 years. He had been honoured for his work in war zones in 2003, and at the time the Walkley Foundation’s judges drew attention to something he rarely mentioned: the risks he had taken to bring us such news. In 2001, he was one of a group of journalists travelling through Takhar province in northern Afghanistan who came under Taliban attack. German journalist Volker Handloik and French journalists Johanne Sutton and Pierre Billaud were killed. In 2003, he reported from Baghdad as the US invasion began and was later partially deafened by a truck bomb driven into the ground floor of his hotel.

In recent years he was based in the United States, where his work ranged from the state of American democracy and the presidency of Donald Trump to an in-depth profile of Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen. But there was always the occasional reminder that McGeough’s best work crossed official boundaries. When the Turkish consulate asked what a journalist based in the US was doing writing less-than-complimentary pieces about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016, it was pointed out that our chief correspondent had done extensive work on Erdogan from Turkey years earlier.

[Read the original]

Australian operations revenue helps Guardian hit its break-even target

The Guardian’s parent company has confirmed it hit its financial break-even target, as revenue rose to £224.5m in the last financial year, aided by growth in digital revenues and increased contributions from readers, reports the UK-based news brand.

Guardian Media Group confirmed preliminary figures showing that its main Guardian News & Media subsidiary recorded an operational profit of £800,000 for the first time in many years.

The accounts also detail the success of the business’s overseas operations for the first time. Revenue from advertising and reader contributions at the online-only Guardian US and Guardian Australia operations grew to £30.8m in the last financial year, equivalent to 14% of Guardian Media Group’s global revenues.

Although income from the Guardian’s print operations remains a very significant part of the business, largely due to the cover price paid by readers, the majority of the company’s income now comes from its digital operations.

UK print advertising now accounts for just 8% of total income, in stark contrast to many rival British news organisations, which remain heavily wedded to revenue from newspaper advertising and as a result are being hit hard by the industry-wide decline in circulations.

[Read the original]

Television

The Block, we need to talk about product placement

On its surface, The Block exists to fill two gnawing gaps in the market: the need for more inner-city heritage residential conversions and to create a long-overdue platform for young, hot, white people to run around in short shorts, a demographic that is all too often cynically overlooked, writes news.com.au columnist Alex Carlton.

But both these things, though important, are nothing more than happy by-products of the show’s true purpose: making money for Channel 9.

Once upon a time this would have been done through traditional advertisements that would be scattered throughout the program.

These television commercials are still there, but the real cash cow comes from sponsors’ product placement. And this year The Block is embracing the delicate art of brand integration more than ever before.

A one-hour program this week featured no fewer than 111 instances of product placement, either through a shot of a brand’s logo or recognisable product or through a verbal mention.

Sometimes these sponsor nods were subtle, such as fleeting glimpses of the Kennards Hire logo on various bits of equipment around the worksites or the Volkswagen badge visible on the couples’ vans.

Sometimes they were sledgehammers, like the large, heart-shaped Freedom sticker left on Jesse and Mel’s walk-in wardrobe (“Freedom Robes do a really great job,” enthused judge Darren Palmer obediently as they inspected the couple’s renovation. “They sure do,” echoed fellow judge Neale Whittaker).

[Read the original]

Game of Thrones creators leave HBO for Netflix in exclusive deal

Netflix has won the battle for an overall deal with Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the streaming platform has confirmed, reports Reuters.

This follows a three-way bidding war that had recently narrowed from the six major studios to Netflix, Amazon and Disney.

The deal is a multi-year agreement to write, produce and direct new TV series and films exclusively at Netflix.

“We are thrilled to welcome master storytellers David Benioff and Dan Weiss to Netflix,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos in a statement on Wednesday.

Benioff and Weiss are currently occupied developing an untitled Star Wars movie for Disney that will premiere in theatres in 2022, the first of several new Star Wars films that the creative duo had signed on to write and produce with Disney-owned Lucasfilm.

[Read the original]

Shannon Bennett says George Calombaris ‘unfairly attacked’ over wages

Shannon Bennett has lent his support to under fire chef George Calombaris, saying the former MasterChef judge will bounce back from his latest crisis.

Bennett, who lives in Byron Bay, was yesterday at his Vue de Monde restaurant to launch an upcoming collaboration with the Caulfield Cup.

He said Calombaris, who was fined for underpaying staff, would learn from his mistakes.

“George is a mate and I really feel for him,’’ Bennett said.

“I’ve spoken to him and he’s an incredibly strong person and strong willed and has been unfairly attacked. A lot of the comments about him are sloppy and lazy.

“He’s a chef and an incredibly creative guy and incredible to his team. Everyone makes mistakes and you learn from them, and in the next couple of years he’ll get better and stronger than ever.

“The industry has learned a lot from this as well. It has changed a hell of a lot in 10 years. We all support each other now and it’s a great place to be.”

Bennett said he wouldn’t be involved in MasterChef again, focusing on his Burnham Beeches hotel development and raising his six children with Madeleine West.

[Read the original]

Sports Media

English Premier League exclusive deal with Macquarie Sports Radio

Macquarie Sports Radio has signed an exclusive agreement to broadcast the English Premier League in Australia for the next three years.

MML chief executive officer Adam Lang said: “We are excited to be announcing this three-year agreement with our broadcast partner talkSPORT in the UK.

“In just over a year since launch, Macquarie Sports Radio is now reaching almost 250,000 sports fans each week. We know our listeners love live sport, and we are exceptionally proud to be providing them with exclusive coverage of the EPL, alongside live AFL, NRL, and the best cricket commentary in Australia.”

The English Premier League kicks off on August 10 when Liverpool takes on Norwich City at Anfield and week one also features the blockbuster encounter between Manchester United and Chelsea. In total six games will be broadcast across the first weekend of the new Premier League season.

Macquarie Sports Radio airs across Sydney 954 AM, Melbourne 1278 AM, Brisbane 882 AM, Perth on DAB+, online at sportsradio.com.au and via mobile app.

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