In our series of interviews with the controllers of what Australians get to watch on television, Mediaweek’s James Manning speaks to Network Ten’s chief content officer Beverley McGarvey.
When Mediaweek suggested recently to Network Ten chief content officer Beverley McGarvey we were days away from the start of survey, she replied it is always game on at Network Ten.
Although we have started the year again with I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!, we have tried to strengthen the schedule with even more domestic content – Hughesy, We Have A Problem, for example. We will enhance the 8.30pm slot with more local content.
We have two parts to Q1 – Celebrity and then something else before MasterChef. Instead of The Biggest Loser this year in that gap, we have Bachelor In Paradise, which is the big difference for the early part of the year.
We have continued with Big Bash into Celebrity this year because it has been a successful strategy for us.
We obviously look at the effect as we want the best opportunities for our shows to do well. Sometimes it works well for us when there is a big event on and we offer something different.
We tend to launch our entertainment schedule, as we did this year, when the tennis and cricket are on. Those events are very important and do great audiences, but if a viewer is looking for an entertainment alternative it is a good opportunity for us.
Different sorts of sporting events attract different audiences and we look at everything on a case-by-case basis. All I will say is we will be programming aggressively throughout the year.
We will always have a demo focus, but we do have an ambition to grow our audience in under-performing timeslots. It is not our intention to give up certain timeslots.
We do talk to CBS about tenplay. In terms of how we program for tenplay, there are certain types of genres that work best for just straight catch-up, while others have an audience craving additional content.
You will see some additional content coming on, particularly at ONE. A lot of the content that works best are things the audience is familiar with. For example people are likely to watch something like Will & Grace if they are channel hopping. Familiar quality content is the key – what rates is older, good content, maybe five or 10 years old, but it is well-written and well-performed. We do have plans to enhance our multichannels this year and it is something we are looking closely at now. We have always had good access to the CBS library and now we have even better access to the CBS library.
We have never played MasterChef against the end of My Kitchen Rules and we certainly don’t intend to. That is to protect MasterChef and I also think it’s respectful for the audience – if they like both shows we don’t want to force them to make a choice.
It is sensible for the FTA industry to maximise the audiences across the platform as much as possible. We certainly don’t intend to do anything radical this year in terms of playing MasterChef earlier.
The shoot is all over and it’s been in post-production. We haven’t seen any finished episodes yet, but from the bits we have seen it looks very exciting. Because there are more people in the show it is a different dynamic to The Bachelor and The Bachelorette because they each feature a principal cast member. Paradise is more balanced between the sexes and there is plenty of comedy and romance. Lots of romance because there are more participants.
The series will have a very, very exciting end and it is very well worth investing in for the audience. It has a short, sharp run with a big payoff and we are very excited about getting it on air.
Yes, it might. [Laughs] Paradise is constructed differently and we are about four weeks away from announcing what it will look like.
Sony Music Entertainment Australia is entering a partnership with multifaceted music company, Cooking Vinyl Australia.
The partnership includes a significant investment from Sony Music in Cooking Vinyl Australia to strengthen and grow the brand while maintaining its independent ethos. As part of the arrangement, Cooking Vinyl Australia’s recordings will be distributed on a worldwide basis by The Orchard, a leading independent music distributor and label services company wholly owned by Sony Music. Cooking Vinyl Australia will continue to operate as an autonomous and stand-alone company.
Denis Handlin, chairman & CEO, Australia & New Zealand and president, Asia, Sony Music Entertainment, commented: “Cooking Vinyl Australia is an incredibly talented team and we are delighted to be starting 2018 with this dynamic partnership. This venture will further expand Sony Music’s diverse roster of local and international artists and releases and we are looking forward to an exciting future with Leigh, Stu and the team.”
Leigh Gruppetta, co-managing director, Cooking Vinyl Australia, commented, “We are thrilled about what the future holds as we enter this next phase of the business. The opportunity to further grow and develop the careers of our artists and partner labels has just received a massive shot in the arm. The faith shown in us by Denis and his team is humbling. Stu and I look forward to a long and prosperous partnership.”
Cooking Vinyl Australia is a Melbourne-based operation that launched in 2013 as a partnership between Leigh Gruppetta, Stu Harvey and Martin Goldschmidt. Cooking Vinyl Australia works with a variety of international and domestic label partners in addition to signing artists directly.
Cooking Vinyl Australia proudly represents a variety of labels including Cooking Vinyl UK, Dine Alone, Fat Cat, Epitaph/Anti, Greyscale, Resist, Run For Cover, SideOneDummy, Thirty Tigers and Triple Crown Records for Australia and New Zealand.
Cooking Vinyl Australia boasts a diverse rosters of artists, representing a wide range of genres. The 2017 release schedule included new music from Against Me, At The Drive In, Belle Haven, Billy Bragg, Ceres, Citizen, Converge, Endless Heights, Food Court, Justice For The Damned, Luca Brasi, Lucinda Williams, Mavis Staples, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Polaris, Propagandhi, Slaughter Beach, Dog, Son Little, Sorority Noise, The Bronx, The Darkness, Turnover, Wheeler Walker Jr and much more.
The label has enjoyed significant chart success, including an ARIA #1 debut for Parkway Drive and Top 10 debuts for Polaris, Kate Miller-Heidke, City and Colour, Marilyn Manson and The Prodigy.
Photo: Parkway Drive
News Corp Australia chief digital officer Nicole Sheffield has resigned after a decade with the company.
“I’ve loved my time with News through a period of extraordinary change with so many opportunities – it has been an incredible experience,” Sheffield said, “but with the business soaring I’m ready to pass the baton to an exceptional team and pursue my entrepreneurial spirit.”
In her time with News Corp, and Foxtel before that, Sheffield held several senior roles including managing director of News Digital Networks Australia, CEO of NewsLifeMedia and general manager of the Lifestyle Channels group.
Executive chairman of News Corp Australasia, Michael Miller, said Sheffield’s time at News Corp was marked by significant achievements.
“Under Nicole’s leadership news.com.au has gone to number one in the online news category and she drove leading commercial and innovation partnerships for brands as diverse as taste.com.au and Vogue Australia,” he said.
“Nicole launched and chaired the joint venture Medium Rare Content Agency, created new products and services, and launched a series of leading digital networks including Food Corp, the News Prestige Network and the women’s network under WHIMN.
“With those achievements in place I understand her desire to explore her own opportunities and I wish her well.”
Sheffield will assist with the transition to new digital leadership between now and April.
Reporter Laura Tingle is joining the ABC as chief political correspondent for the nightly current affairs flagship 7.30.
A journalist, author and essayist, Laura Tingle has spent most of her 35-year career in journalism reporting on Australian federal politics and the country’s major policy debates.
Currently political editor of The Australian Financial Review, Tingle will provide expert reporting and in-depth analysis of Australian federal politics and the country’s major policy debates. She will also write a weekly column for the ABC website.
“Laura is one of the great political journalists of her generation,” said ABC director, news Gaven Morris. “More than ever, audiences want political analysis that clearly explains what is unfolding in the political arena, provides analysis of the why, and puts it all into context – and no one does that better than Laura Tingle.
“Laura joins Australia’s strongest political journalism team, alongside Andrew Probyn, Sabra Lane, Antony Green, Annabel Crabb and the best Canberra bureau.”
Tingle said: “After 35 years as a print reporter, I am looking forward to exploring the very different opportunities that television provides to report on, and shine a light on, the workings of Australian politics and policy.”
She added on social media yesterday: “A big wrench to leave my dear, dear colleagues at the Financial Review but very excited about what lies ahead.”
ABC head, investigative and in-depth journalism John Lyons said: “Boosting 7.30’s editorial firepower is one of ABC News’s priorities this year and Laura is a crucial part of that. Laura brings a depth, sharpness and perspective which helps viewers make sense of these extraordinary times we are living in.”
7.30 executive producer Justin Stevens said: “Laura will continue 7.30’s long tradition of covering federal politics and national affairs with original analysis. This year we want to confirm 7.30 as the unmissable daily destination for current affairs. Laura joins Leigh Sales and our award-winning team for the best nightly analysis and news-breaking.”
Currently the political editor of The Australian Financial Review, Laura Tingle has also written on economics and politics for The Australian, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald and is a regular guest on the ABC’s Insiders program and Late Night Live on Radio National.
She has won two Walkley Awards, the Paul Lyneham Award for Press Gallery Journalism and the 2017 Qantas European Union Journalism Award.
Tingle is the author of “Chasing the Future” (1994); two Quarterly Essays – “Great Expectations: Government, entitlement and an angry nation” (2012) and “Political Amnesia: How we forgot how to govern” (2015); and “In Search of Good Government” (2017). She is currently writing a third Quarterly Essay on Australian politics, which is due for release in September 2018.
Just earlier this month, the Rear Window column at Tingle’s newspaper reported:
And so we reveal our political editor Laura Tingle’s latest beau, who is none other than Kiwi actor-cum-winemaker Sam Neill, famous for his roles in Jurassic Park, The Piano and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. It’s understood Tingle met Neill through mutual friends late last year, and the pair of them have been seen out and about during January. Including by this column at Potts Point’s Fratelli Paradiso last Thursday with actors Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward.
• Bulletproof franchise Fifty Shades ranks #1 with $4.6m
After the heady days of January, the second weekend in February has seen the second successive weekend close to $13m.
The good news is total takings were up, but by a modest 3% to $13.08m.
Two new releases made the top five, one of them with the best weekend takings this year apart from Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle.
The latest in the Fifty Shades franchise has received some shocking reviews (just 11% on Rotten Tomatoes) yet it managed to top the chart this week. The film opened on 551 screens, which is the most screens hosting a movie since weekend three of Star Wars: The Last Jedi was on 597.The Fifty Shades screen average was $8,460, which is the best since Maze Runner: The Death Cure’s January opening.
Seven weeks on the chart and sitting at #1 for just one week – in its sixth week! The Hugh Jackman triumph added seven screens for an average of $4,037 on 288 screens. Earnings to-date are just short of $28m.
Takings narrowly above $1m for its third weekend with screens up 14 to 225 with a screen average of $4,233. Total earn ticked over $6m on the weekend.
Another horror movie makes the chart with the latest project from the pen of the prolific Aussie horror specialist Leigh Whannell. Starring alongside Whannell in the film are his Aussie acting colleague Angus Sampson and US scream queen Lin Shaye. The film opened on just 140 screens with a strong screen average of $5,863.
The second weekend of the Gerard Butler heist movie did under $700,000, but that was enough to make the top five. It wouldn’t have got close any other weekend this year. The film has grossed $2.34m so far.
#6 Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle slips out of the top five on its seventh weekend. The film has taken $47.27m, which puts it just $2m away from making the all-time top 10 chart for Australia – The Return Of The King is the most vulnerable at #10 on $49.37m.
#8 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has had a slowly, slowly approach. It has now taken close to $9m without ever making the top five. Could Oscar victory push this higher past $10m?
We have an immediate vacancy for an experienced journalist based in Sydney to work part-time over the next few months.
Expected time involved would be 20-25 hours a week.
There is also the possibility of extending the agreement beyond that.
We are looking for someone comfortable reporting about the business sector.
You will have plenty of guidance as to what we are after and the work will include speaking with executives and content creators in television, radio, news industry and publishing.
By James Manning
• Married At First Sight again delivers Nine the biggest audience
• Seven wins the night with MKR twist and Night 3 Winter Olympics
• Plus: No royal bump yet for Celebrity, ABC Monday regulars down
Alf was in recovery on Home and Away with a Monday audience of 707,000 after a week 6 average of 620,000.
An elimination twist! Colin Fassnidge returned to My Kitchen Rules as the two bottom teams of group 1 faced off in the kitchen. The twist – they were judged by the new teams in group 2 and they had Colin Fassnidge guiding them in the kitchen. Stella and Jazzey managed to stay in the competition while Ash and Matty were eliminated with no scores over five for any course. After Monday of last week did 1.10m, episode 9 was on 1.09m.
After a long MKR episode taking over two hours to complete, it was time for night 3 of the Winter Olympics. The night 3 audience was 922,000.
A Current Affair started the week with 877,000 after a week 6 average of 735,000.
Back from honeymoon, and after a dinner party and a commitment ceremony in the past couple of episodes, the couples moved in together on Married At First Sight. The show did 876,000 a week ago on Monday and a much-improved 1.15m last night.
After a part one audience of 903,000, episode 2 of Underbelly Files: Chopper slipped significantly to 696,000.
The Project 7pm was on 544,000 with Kevin Rudd and Tom Gleeson among the guests last night. Steve Price also previewed a new segment called Price Check, which didn’t start well! The 7pm half hour had a week 6 average audience of 515,000.
I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! welcomed two “royal” intruders – one a little more well-known than the other – Geordie Shore’s Vicky Pattison (a “reality queen” and former UK Celebrity winner) and royal butler Paul Burrell. Two episodes just made it over 700,000 last week after a strong Sunday over 800,000. Monday this week was on 621,000.
Two episodes of Law & Order: SVU followed with 259,000 for the new ep and then 156,000 for the repeat.
Australian Story reported on an ancient skeleton from outback NSW and the fight over the bones. The episode did 501,000 after 667,000 for the season return last week.
Four Corners looked at domestic workers being treated like slaves in Australia. The episode did 511,000 after 634,000 last week.
Media Watch then did 500,000 followed by Q&A on 397,000 with Chris Kenny among the guests.
River Cottage did 179,000 at 7.30pm followed by Trust Me, I’m A Doctor on 197,000.
24 Hours In Emergency was on 178,000 after 9.30pm.
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||8.0%||GEM||1.4%||ELEVEN||2.1%||Food Net||0.6%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||Ten Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC ME||0.9%||7mate||6.3%||GEM||2.2%||ELEVEN||2.2%||Food Net||0.6%|
|MONDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top 5
18-49 Top 5
25-54 Top 5
Cable giant Comcast is contemplating reviving its pursuit of 21st Century Fox, after its bid for the company’s entertainment assets was turned down despite being over 15% higher than that of eventual buyer Walt Disney Co, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Disney struck a deal with Fox in December, agreeing to pay $US52.4 billion ($67bn) in stock. Fox turned down a Comcast offer that was in the low-$US60bn range. The assets on the table in both offers were essentially the same, including the Twentieth Century Fox movie and TV studio, international pay-TV properties and some US cable networks.
Fox’s primary concern about the Comcast bid was that a tie-up between the companies would face significant antitrust risks.
Stuart Camp – manager of the world’s biggest current star, Ed Sheeran – is to take his management operation fully independent after a decade with Sir Elton John’s Rocket Music, reports Music Week UK.
The amicable split will see Camp operate his Grumpy Old Management operation independently. For the last three years, it has been run as a JV with Rocket. Camp originally joined Rocket in 2007, having previously been a label executive at Atlantic Records, and signed Sheeran in 2011.
“Rocket was a great home to me for 10 years,” said Camp, “with invaluable support and care from Elton and everyone there, which I will always be grateful for.
“After many incredible years of working together I would like to wish a heartfelt and fond farewell to Ed, Stuart and his team, with whom we have shared some amazing moments over nearly a decade-long relationship,” said Sir Elton. “It has been a very rewarding and exciting experience supporting them through their fantastic journey. We are immensely proud of all our achievements together and look forward to seeing Stu’s company and Ed’s success go from strength to strength.”
Mediaweek spoke with Stuart Camp during the 2015 Nova Red Room Global Tour at the small Dublin pub where Ed Sheeran performed.
21st Century Fox has offered to strengthen the editorial independence of Sky News in a bid to ease the company’s proposed US$15-billion takeover of Sky past Britain’s competition watchdog, reports Variety.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority warned in a preliminary finding last month that a Fox takeover of satcaster Sky would not be in the public interest because too much media power would rest in the hands of Rupert Murdoch and his family, who also own the newspapers The Times of London and The Sun. To alleviate those fears, Fox has proposed further “firewall remedies” that include a commitment to set up an independent editorial board for Sky News, a well-respected news outlet. The board would act free from any influence by Fox.
The proposed concessions were submitted to the Competition and Markets Authority last week. Officials made the 59-page document public Monday.
Endemol Shine Group has announced a series of global deals to air the US’s first ever celebrity version of Big Brother.
Endemol Shine International has signed deals with Corus in Canada and Nine Network in Australia to air Big Brother: Celebrity Edition. Corus’s Global TV will simulcast the series in Canada, and Nine Network’s multichannel GO! will be broadcasting the show for Australian audiences. The series started on GO! on Sunday evening with an audience of 52,000.
In some territories outside of the US, full episodes will also be screened on YouTube channel Big Brother Universe, marking the first time that full episodes of Big Brother will be available via the newly created hub channel. Big Brother Universe has already amassed 20 million video views and 55,000 subscribers in the three months since launch.
Cathy Payne, CEO of Endemol Shine International, said, “We are delighted that our partners are bringing the first ever US Big Brother: Celebrity Edition to audiences around the world. The huge appetite to watch the event series across a variety of platforms is testament to the show’s enduring appeal.”
Daily Telegraph blogger Tim Blair posts:
The press release for tonight’s Q&A reads like beat poetry composed by a teenage stroke victim.
Marvel at the first line, especially, which might be the most confounding combination of words ever offered in promotion of a talk show:
“Barnaby Joyce is very Australian, but he’s still in trouble. The stock market has been in free fall. Noam Chomsky says Trump is leading the world to destruction.”
Readers are invited to come up with their own ABC-standard current affairs non sequiturs. Bonus points for mentioning any 89-year-old commie linguistics academics who talk about Mars a lot.
Star Trek has continued its growth on the Digital Originals chart in Australia.
The CBS All Access production, screened on Netflix down under, has topped the chart this week after hovering close by for the past few weeks. The series has been a chart-topper in New Zealand for a couple of weeks.
New to the chart this week in both markets is the much-anticipated second season from Netflix of Marvel’s Jessica Jones. Fans have been waiting two and a half years for the shows, which arrive in early March.
The major change to the Overall TV charts is the arrival of Keeping Up With The Kardashians in the top 10 in both markets. Season 14 of the series wraps next week.
Despite the start of the Winter Olympics last week, one sporting event overshadowed anything else last week – Super Bowl.
The Winter Olympics filled up three spots on the top five, with T20 cricket taking the other spot.
Away from sport, TEN’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! dominated, well ahead of the other major reality franchises on social, Married At First Sight and My Kitchen Rules. Nine News and Today Extra took the other spots in the top five.