Friday February 23, 2018

Seven’s Tim Worner on taking back #1, contract talks and AFLX future

• Seven ready to do battle – first half of TV year should be strong
• “We have taken a far more strategic approach to our second half”

By James Manning

Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner presented the first-half results this week as the channel faced life as #2 in commercial revenue share for the first time since 2005.

He told Mediaweek the network is keen to get back on top and be a clear #1 in ratings and ad share.

“We didn’t do our best in the first half just reported in either ratings or revenue – our programming and sales teams and I think we can do better. We have a group of people here who are very fired up about proving they can do better.

“We have been in this situation before where we have been challenged and we have been able to respond. Now we are building our response again and I have to say we are really pleased with the way we have started. Now we just need to maximise that momentum.”

Seven will milk that momentum on Sunday night when it launches its much-anticipated Australian Spartan followed by the Winter Games closing ceremony.

With a mix of sporting events, reality and drama, Seven should dominate much of the first half of calendar 2018. However there seem to be still some question marks about how Seven might go July 2018 onwards.

“There will be questions marks until such time that we roll the shows out and we see how they go,” responded Worner.

“We have taken a far more strategic approach to our second half, which is something that we noted at our allfronts. We are very happy with the progress we have made on those shows.”

Seven is using the Commonwealth Games as a launching pad for some of its new shows, some of which run into Q3 as well.

As to quarantining the audience from another round of cost cutting, Worner said he didn’t think that would be a problem.

“There are a couple of things we need to preserve. This gets to the art of managing a modern media company – trimming your costs for your sales to match what is going on in the market, but preserving the quality of your storytelling and preserving your capacity to service your customers.”

Is Worner staying with Seven?

“My contract is a rolling contract and as I understand it there is 12 months’ notice on either side. There is lot more interest in my contract out there than there is in here,” said Worner when we asked about his future with the media company.

“I am very fired up about the future and I am firing up the team around me. We do have a challenge and we have made a good start.”

Asked again if he expected to be staying with Seven, Worner replied: “I certainly haven’t been given any indication to the contrary. I am on a rolling contract so I will be around in one form or another for the next little while.

“I don’t allow that to characterise the way that we work here. We know what we have to do.”

AFLX: Something to build on

Although Worner thought there were a few issues around the colour of the ball and the time of year the new AFL spinoff occupies, he thought there was certainly something to build on.

“Some of the venues could have been better. But I really enjoyed it and I think it has enormous potential.

“I loved the BT and James Brayshaw commentary combination. There is a chance they will work together again this year.”

Worner admitted the timing last weekend didn’t suit Seven. “With a better time it will get a much higher profile and a bigger audience.”

News Corp’s We’re For You: How the publisher will measure campaign success

As we finish our marathon look at News Corp’s We’re For You campaign, chief marketing officer Tony Phillips tells Mediaweek’s James Manning how the publisher will judge success of the campaign.

• News Corp launches biggest-ever consumer campaign: We’re For You
• News Corp’s We’re For You: Campaign plan + Christopher Dore letter extract
• News Corp’s We’re For You: Securing the editors’ support for the campaign
• News Corp’s We’re For You: Securing Lennon & McCartney’s “A Day In The Life”

By James Manning

Measuring success

Brand awareness will be an important measure of how the ad worked, but the cash register will be important too, Phillips told Mediaweek.

“This campaign is two things – we have to build our brand. We probably don’t suffer from a brand awareness problem though. Most people know who we are and what we do.

“We have to absolutely maintain and ensure our brands our relevant. We track that to make sure we still engage with our customer base.

“But absolutely we have to make certain this drives sales. We are in the business of selling what we produce, which pays for all our wonderful journalists… and people like me!”

The campaign goes wide from Sunday February 25 with a new We’re For You television commercial, which has a tailored version created for each state’s news brand.

There will also be an outdoor advertising campaign across the transit network in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane as well as a radio and cinema campaign.

“It was very appropriate that we would launch the campaign for our business within our own mastheads,” said Phillips.

“Big companies like ours can launch great brands in print. We have started off with the editors committing to our customers, telling them what we are doing for them.”

Phillips this week noted that, in his current role and in previous marketing positions, price is only one factor when it comes to a buying decision. “It is all about emotional drivers,” he told Mediaweek.

“More people make a decision to go to a supermarket based on the emotional proposition than they do on the price proposition.”

We’re For You campaign credits:

Client: News Corp Australia
Chief Marketing Officer: Tony Phillips
General Manager Metro & Regional Marketing: Bettina Brown
Head of Brand and Media Services
: Louise Davis
: Big Red
Print and Digital Production: News Corp Australia Creative Services

Images: Further executions of the News Corp print ads across Australia this week telling readers about their products

News Corp’s Peter Zavecz and Penny Fowler host Herald Sun Classic golf day

The Herald Sun has hosted its inaugural Herald Sun Classic golf day in Melbourne, with 100 News Corp Australia clients, advertisers, partners and executives rubbing shoulders with high-profile sporting identities, journalists and celebrity talent.

Held at the Commonwealth Golf Club, the Herald Sun Classic supported the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal through a “Notables in the Field” Playing Partner Auction, where guests bid to tee off with former Australian professional tennis player Sam Groth or putt up a storm with former AFL player David King.

Over $160k worth of prizes were presented from event sponsors TaylorMade, Mercedes-Benz, X-Golf, NewsVideo, Herald Sun and the Commonwealth Golf Club. Unfortunately no-one managed to score a hole-in-one on the seventh hole, as they would have received a Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe to the value of $75,000. Players won TaylorMade Golf Clubs, a Herald Sun advertising package valued at $50,000 and a News Video production package valued at $5,000.

News Corp Australia managing director Victoria & Tasmania publishing Peter Zavecz said: “We were proud to have hosted the inaugural Herald Sun Classic. It was a great way for us to say thank you to our valued clients who are passionate about their golf, and with the incredible support of our sponsors we raised some much-needed funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.”

The Herald & Weekly Times and Good Friday Appeal Chairman Penny Fowler said: “The Good Friday Appeal has been part of the Herald Sun for the past 86 years. Our association with the GFA stretches back to 1931 when a group of journalists organised a sporting carnival fundraiser, supported by then HWT managing director, Sir Keith Murdoch.

“Reflecting that spirit with a new sporting initiative, we were delighted to invite our corporate partners to support us in fundraising for this important Victorian cause.”

The Herald Sun Classic concluded in style with a luncheon, prize presentation and, with the 2018 AFL season approaching, a special AFL discussion panel featuring Mick Malthouse, Matthew Lloyd and David King.

Industry executives commended the event. Sean Salem, client operations director at Carat Melbourne, said: “It was a great opportunity to network with our industry peers in a relaxed environment. Thanks to News Corp Australia, Commonwealth Golf Club, the sponsors who gave us some incredible prizes to play for, and the journos and footy experts who put on a great discussion panel after the round.”

Rush HQ director Trevine Ludowyke said: “The Herald Sun Classic was the most well-organised Corporate Golf Day that I have ever had in my 22 years of work experience both locally and internationally, from organising golf professional Mark Allen, who I had the privilege to play with, through to the generosity of time given to the event (in support of the Good Friday Appeal) by Mick Malthouse, Matthew Lloyd and David King with a live footy panel. Herald Sun, you have a great team that your executive team should be extremely proud of.”

Tom Heddon, digital director at Spark Foundry, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to be invited to play in the Herald Sun Classic for a charity close to all Victorians’ hearts, the Good Friday Appeal. The event was impressively run from start to finish on a magnificent course.”

Cbac Media director Caroline Burrowes said: “The Herald Sun Classic was thoroughly enjoyable, a great opportunity to network and was run by an enthusiastic and professional team. The opportunity to contribute to the Good Friday Appeal capped off a stellar day.”

Jennifer Carroll, investment director at Mindshare, said: It was lovely to be able to spend a morning raising much-needed funds for the Good Friday Appeal, with great company, all on one of Melbourne’s most spectacular courses. A huge thank you to the Herald Sun for hosting such a successful event.”


News Corp’s Peter Zavecz on his way to the 19th hole

The Winning Team Jon Ralph (Herald Sun), Dexter Prack (Harcourts Glen Waverley), Brad Granger (Leader), Thomas Sorenson (Melbourne City Football Club).

HS Classic Mick Malthouse, Matthew Lloyd from the Herald Sun Classic AFL Panel

HS Classic Ben Hall (LK Property Group), Penny Fowler (HWT Chairman), Simon Kelly (News Corp Australia), Justin Kestelman (NBL)

HS Classic Patrick Byrne (Herald Sun), Darren Mehl (Resimax), Nic Cuni & Daniel Jabornik (Est8 Agency)

HS Classic Michael Hauser (Visit Victoria), Caroline Burrowes (Cbac Media), Tonia Duggan (Herald Sun)

Turner and Peter Alexander celebrate Powerpuff Girls 20th Anniversary with PJs

Media, executives and swathes of enthusiastic teenaged girls shuffled in to the Peter Alexander World Square store on Wednesday evening for the global launch of the new Powerpuff Girls sleepwear range.

The exclusive unveiling was a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the iconic Cartoon Network show in Australia, and part of Peter Alexander’s Wanna Play collection.

Media and executives in attendance included Turner’s GM Robi Stanton and ad sales director Melissa Fitzgerald, Foxtel’s Marianna Sarkis and Sabina Guzel, Lego’s Ashlee Stojcevski and Kaete Gardener, and K-Zone / Total Girl’s Aaron Streatfeild.

“We are so excited to be working with Peter Alexander to highlight the enduring legacy of the show and the girlpower it embodies,” said Robi Stanton, General Manager of Turner Australia. “This colourful pop-culture collection highlights both the incredible bond between sisters, and just like The Powerpuff Girls, the PJ’s are completely super-cute and super-fierce!”

With more than A$3 billion in retail sales generated globally since its original debut, The Powerpuff Girls is one of the most enduring and top-grossing Cartoon Network brands of all time. Over the years, Cartoon Network has teamed with a roster of more than 150 global licensing partners across toys, apparel, publishing and themed entertainment, among others.

Ursula and Aspen Sneesby, wife and daughter of Stan CEO Mike Sneesby

Lego’s Ashlee Stojcevski and Kaete Gardener + Turner’s Ad Sales Director Melissa Fitzgerald

Turner’s GM Robi Stanton with daughters Coco and Harper + Marquee’s Andrew Brentnall and Nate Branley

Andrew Mercado on TV: ABC’s Riot telemovie

In the lead-up to the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, ABC has commissioned a local telemovie Riot about the first parade back in 1978.

By Andrew Mercado

The story actually starts six years earlier to explain what a long fight it was for recognition, not to mention lesbians and gay men in-fighting with each other.

TV history gets a look in here too, with mentions of Chequerboard and Number 96, and a sequence that will hopefully clear up once and for all which Australian show featured TV’s first gay kiss (hint: it wasn’t 96). The script can be fascinating and funny but quickly turn shocking whenever it shows police brutality and discrimination of the day, which was once considered the norm.

The cast of Riot is headed by Damon Herriman and Kate Box, and what a joy it is to finally see these two in leading roles, given both so regularly play supporting characters. A hospital bedside scene between them should be used to highlight both performances when it comes time to hand out awards in acting excellence this year.

All of this serves as a warm-up to SBS’s coverage of this year’s parade, which will air on Sunday March 4. While it is sad not to see former host Julie McCrossin in the mix, given she was one of the original 78ers, let’s hope she was at least asked and perhaps has chosen to be in the parade, alongside the other 78ers.

Instead, the gravitas will be supplied by host Magda Szubanski after her popular and leading role in last year’s same-sex marriage campaign. She will be joined by Urzila Carlson, Joel Creasey and The Feed’s Patrick Abboud, whose pre-recorded packages have always been excellent. Breaking from the parade for Abboud’s poignant stories has often made up for previous hosts, some of whom have been over-excited and not really qualified. Last year, Em Rusciano was there because she was a “gay man trapped in a straight woman’s body who looked like a lesbian”. Um, that’s as big a stretch as much of the lycra parading past so hopefully this year’s hosting lineup is more authentic.

Urzila Carlson has been killing it on TV recently with some hilarious appearances on Have You Been Paying Attention? and Hughesy, We Have A Problem. But can we pay attention to a problem in that she appears to be Melbourne-based? Has she ever attended the Sydney event before? There is nothing worse than a commentator squealing about being a “Mardi Gras virgin”.

Then again, everyone is an expert on TV these days and experience is rarely a requirement. But at least TV gays are no longer restricted to just being Hollywood gossip queens. Will & Grace is back on Stan, Queer Eye has been re-booted for Netflix and Family Guy’s Stewie could be about to come out in a special two-parter featuring Sir Ian McKellan. There is also – finally – going to be a gay in Summer Bay and even Alf is flamin’ happy about welcoming a flamer into the show. So let’s hope The Daily Telgeraph, which famously torpedoed a H&A gay kiss back in 2009, might be too busy this time being “shocked” about a one-year-old gay baby on Family Guy. Sounds like it could be time for another Riot.

Photo: Damon Herriman and Kate Box

Asia Media News: February 23, 2018

Mediaweek’s Peter Olszewski rounds up the latest media news from the Asian market.


Aussie comedian’s iflix special

Australian comedian Jon Atherton will deliver laughs for iflix’s first original comedy special, titled Jon Atherton: Disoriental. The 60-minute special follows Atherton’s misadventures in Asia, where he’s lived and worked for close on 20 years. Atherton is fluent in multiple Asian languages and iflix bills him as “one of Australia’s most successful comedy exports, with an illustrious career in television and theatre across Australia, Asia and Africa”. Atherton appeared in iflix’s first Malaysian original series, Oi! Jaga Mulut. Disoriental was filmed in Kuala Lumpur, and produced by Double Vision, a provider of new media content, applications and services with production hubs in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Aussie editor-in-chief quits Khmer Times

Long-term Aussie expat Alan Parkhouse has quit as editor- in-chief of the Phnom Penh-based Khmer Times English language daily, effective at the end of this month. He says he is returning to Sydney for family reasons. Parkhouse’s first taste of working in Southeast Asia was in 1974 when he finished his apprenticeship as a compositor, and travelled and filed features on Laos and for the Sydney Daily Telegraph, where his father was news editor.

In 1991 he returned to the region, signing on as a sports section senior sub-editor for The Nation in Bangkok, and in 1994 he worked as a sports sub on the Eastern Express in Hong Kong. In 1995 he joined the Asia Times in Bangkok, which went spectacularly bust in 1997. In 2002, returned to The Nation in Bangkok as sports editor, then became chief sub-editor of the Sunday Bangkok Post in 2007. In 2011 he joined the Phnom Penh Post, rising to editor-in-chief, then in 2014 it was back Sunday Bangkok Post as senior editor, and finally in 2016 he joined the Khmer Times as editor-in-chief.

Pictured top: Alan Parkhouse with Hun Many, the PM’s youngest son and a member of parliament

Hong Kong broadcaster premiere Luke Fiascos’ Chinese docuseries

Hong Kong’s Celestial Tiger Entertainment announced that the highly anticipated docuseries Beat N Path will world premiere on March 8 on Celestial’s action entertainment channels KIX and KIX HD. The docuseries follows US Grammy award-winning hip hop artist Lupe Fiasco as he embarks on a cross-cultural journey of epic proportion across China. In the pilot series, he lives out his other passion – martial arts – practising with Kung Fu Masters throughout China, while also taking the opportunity to explore China’s burgeoning hip hop scene.

Singapore Airlines inflight magazine moves

Ink Singapore has been given the contract by Singapore Airlines to relaunch its inflight magazine, SilverKris, wresting the business from Singapore Press Holdings, which had worked with the airline for 15 years. Ink said it will relaunch SilverKris as an “inspiring, globally minded publication” in May 2018.

About 55,000 copies of SilverKris magazine will be produced monthly, with a minimum profit guarantee to the airline at the end of the contract term. In addition, Ink will revamp the airline’s travel inspiration website and app,

Asian deals signed at BBC Worldwide Showcase

BBC Worldwide has made a series of announcements from its Showcase 18 TV market in Liverpool, including news that an Indian version of the popular sitcom The Office is to be made in New Delhi. BBC Worldwide also said that leading South Korean broadcaster MBC (Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation) will be making a local version of the multi-award winning series Luther, starring Idris Elba, to premiere in late October.

Idris Elba in Luther

In addition to a South Korean version of Luther, local versions of hit BBC series Mistresses and Life on Mars will also premiere on South Korean TV this year. BBC Worldwide also signed a deal with MIGU Video, China Mobile’s video platform, that will see more than 2,200 hours of BBC content from factual, lifestyle and preschool genres available to more than 856 million China Mobile subscribers.

BBC strengthens its Myanmar presence

BBC Worldwide Asia has signed a deal with CANAL+ Myanmar FG to see four BBC channels launch on CANAL’S new pay-TV platform. The BBC channels are BBC World News, BBC Earth, CBeebies and BBC Lifestyle, which is making its Myanmar debut. CANAL+ Group, in collaboration with Myanmar’s FOREVER media group launched the new pay-TV platform on January 29.

More funding for Myanmar’s ShweProperty

An unnamed London-based existing investor has led a seven-figure funding round for Myanmar property classifieds site ShweProperty to enable it to increase its local operations. The funding round was joined by Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures and Kevin Goos, ShweProperty managing director and previously CEO of Century 21 Cambodia.

New Straits Times company restructures management

Media Prima’s New Straits Times Press has restructured its senior management lineup, as it steps up its digital transformation push. Heading the list of senior personnel changes is Yushaimi Maulud Yahaya, who is the new editor-in-chief of the company’s three titles, New Straits Times, Berita Harian, Harian Metro, and other digital titles. Yushaimi has been the group editor of New Straits Times since March 2017. Before that he was editor-in-chief of the Malay Mail and group editorial adviser of the Redberry Group.

Baidu to list video streamer iQiyi in the US

China’s big tech Baidu plans to list its video streaming service iQiyi on a US exchange, and the company has submitted draft registration documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The planned listing will give Netflix-like iQiyi vital funding to fend off competition from larger rivals Tencent and Alibaba, and to fund more video acquisitions and productions.

Chinese media gaining foothold in Cambodia

Canada’s The Globe and Mail reports that Chinese media is firmly entrenching itself in Cambodia, noting that in early 2017 a memorandum of understanding on information cooperation was signed, resulting in Cambodians being granted scholarships to study journalism in China. September last year also saw the launch of NICE TV in Cambodia, a result of a partnering between Cambodia’s Interior Ministry and Chinese firm NICE Culture Investment Group, based in the southern Chinese province of Guangxi.

Mediaweek Asia: In brief

• French-headquartered music streamer Deezer has upped its presence in Southeast Asia, announcing on Wednesday that it had struck a partnership deal with Singtel in Singapore. On February 1 it announced an exclusive partnership with Hutchison 3 Indonesia (Tri) which claims 59.2 million subscribers, 80% of whom are millennials.

• Czech-headquartered social media marketing platform Socialbakers will again host Engage, a summit for social media and digital marketing professionals in Bali, in partnership with Indonesia’s leading telecom provider Telkomsel. Engage will be held on March 1-3 at the Grand Hyatt Bali resort. Tina Moore from New Zealand Media and Entertainment will be one of many speakers.

• The Washington Post is opening a bureau in Hong Kong, which appears to be home to only one journalist. Foreign editor Douglas Jehl said, “The Hong Kong-based correspondent will allow us to turn a closer eye to Southeast Asia.”

• News and entertainment aggregator NewsDog – owned by Hong Kong-based Hacker Interstellar – is in talks to raise US$35-40 million from Tencent, though neither party has commented. NewsDog has 40 employees in offices in Hong Kong and India, where it is now one of India’s top three news and entertainment apps, competing with UC News, owned by Tencent rival Alibaba Group.

• Thai pay-TV broadcaster TrueVisions plans to broadcast in 4K this year, starting with World Cup 2018 in June and July. The Olympic Games 2020 will also be broadcast in 4K.

• Cambodian journalists have launched an online campaign and petition calling on the courts to drop charges against two former Radio Free Asia journalists, Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin, who were arrested in November for allegedly secretly producing news for RFA.

• Malaysia’s Redberry Media Group has appointed Tho Tuck Who as its new CEO. He will be responsible for the overall management and operations of the companies within the Redberry Media Group, which include Focus Media Network, Point Cast Media, Redberry Ambient, Meru Utama, Redberry Outdoors, Redberry Retail, Ten Plus and Titanium Compass.

• Turner has hired two new execs for its Asia-Pacific finance team under CFO, Clement Schwebig. David Liu, formerly finance head for NBA Asia and India, has been appointed senior finance director at regional headquarters in Hong Kong, and Joseph Tan, formerly finance director of Publicis Communications Singapore, joins as finance director for Southeast Asia operations based in Singapore.

David Liu and Joseph Tan

• Singapore-based HRM Asia has been sold by American company Diversified Communications to Florida-based LRP Publications, and Human Resource Executive Magazine. HRM Asia targets the APAC HR sector with a multiplatform network including digital content, events and a print publication, HRM Asia Magazine. Diversified Communications is the company that recently purchased Mumbrella.

• US-based mobile studio app will merge with its Chinese counterpart Tik Tok. This follows full acquisition by Tik Tok’s parent company ByteDance at the end of 2017.

• iflix has collaborated with one of Vietnam’s largest mobile network operators, Viettel Telecom. All prepaid and postpaid Viettel subscribers will gain three months’ unlimited access to iflix. The deal is sponsored by Viettel, which has almost 70 million subscribers in Vietnam. iflix this week also premiered its first two original programs in Bangladesh – a 40-minute telefilm Madventure and five-part web series Half.

Asia Media Profile: Sydney-based Minh Bui Jones

Sydney-sider Minh Bui Jones is an innovative regional Asian publisher, and his latest creation, the Mekong Review, is a quality quarterly English-language regional magazine presented in a boutique-style tabloid newspaper format, printed on discreet ivory-colored woodfree stock, all delivered with quiet panache.

By Peter Olszewski

Minh Bui Jones’s Mekong Review eschews the modern notion of multiplatform publishing, embracing print as the major medium in the way that, say, Tyler Brûlé’s Monocle rejoices in the medium at the other end of the economic scale.

Print is Bui Jones’s thing, and in December he told The New York Times, “There is something, for me anyway, rather magisterial about this tactile form.”

With the stock alone, Bui Jones tells Mediaweek that he spent a lot of time with his initial printer in Phnom Penh to get it right.

“It’s immensely important: the colour, the feel,” he says, “Initially the paper was sourced from Vietnam and that proved tricky on one occasion.”

Last year Bui Jones switched to a Malaysian printer and says, “The new printer in Penang, Phoenix Press, is fantastic. Hon, who is the manager there, has worked with the same company for more than 30 years and he knows his stuff. He has two old Heidelbergs at the entrance to the printing floor. Almost cried when I saw them, gorgeous machines and kept in good nick, too.”

But for Bui Jones, print presents problems that have bedeviled and defeated many publishers who have tried to penetrate the assorted countries and markets that comprise the region.

A top problem is the physical distribution, as attested by bugs that beset Bui Jones’s most recent edition.

“The wheels have come off our delivery operation, literally,” Bui Jones reported on Facebook. A delivery truck’s pallet carrying fresh copies overturned on the highway between Penang and Kuala Lumpur.

The print copies were repacked and reloaded but the delivery schedule was shot.

“All of which means our finely calibrated delivery schedule is now in disarray,” wrote Bui Jones. “A friend, who has kindly flown to KL to take copies to Phnom Penh, will leave empty-handed later today. My flight to PP is scheduled for Monday morning, too early for the truck delivery, which in turn means the bus leaving from PP to Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday morning will arrive sans Mekong Review, ditto the flight from HCMC to Los Angeles.”

Bui Jones was born in Vietnam and came to Australia in 1978 as a boat refugee. He began his media career in TV as a researcher and producer for SBS. He worked as a journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald, then later founded or co-founded four magazines focusing on Asian current affairs, including The Diplomat in 2001.

He moved to Cambodia with his family in 2009, but in January 2016 he returned to Australia, shortly after launching the Mekong Review at the Kampot Writers and Readers Festival in Cambodia on November 7 2015.

Originally, the Review’s market was the five Mekong countries but Bui Jones says that, as interesting as they are, these countries cannot sustain an English-language magazine for long.

“The trap was that we’d be recycling stories and ideas within a couple of years,” he says. “For instance, how many times can you handle reading about Hun Sen? Or on street food in Vietnam?”

Expansion was inevitable and Bui Jones says, “In the middle of 2017 we started sending copies to Malaysia and Singapore. They are now our second and third largest market. In Singapore we are in all the Kinokuniya stores, the WHSmith outlets at Changi International Airport, and a handful of independent bookshops.”

Continued at

Top photo: Minh Bui Jones (Creditr: Jim Mizerski)

TV Ratings Analysis: Thursday February 22

• My Kitchen Rules pushes back above 1m with no Married At First Sight
• TEN has its best share in a fortnight with Gogglebox inside top 10
• Festival of Michael Portillo back in a big way: SBS audiences happy

By James Manning

With no Married At First Sight to contend with last night, Seven ran away with the night with a big lead.

TEN had its best survey night in the past two weeks with Gogglebox and I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! both close to 600,000.


Just one episode again this week of Home and Away to let Seven’s cooking show screen for another night. Home and Away ended its week on 646,000 after 645,000 on Wednesday.

The final instant restaurant for My Kitchen Rules group 2 was Sonya and Hadil. The girls performed brilliantly, scoring perfects 10s from both judges with entrée and mains. Dessert of knafeh saw judges’ scores of seven and eight, but it was still enough for them to finish on top of group 2. The episode posted the program’s biggest audience for the week – 1.11m – up on 947,000 from Thursday last week.

Night 13 of the Winter Olympics did 723,000 after 891,000 a week ago.


Nine programmed reality and a movie after A Current Affair with RBT and then the 2015 movie Jurassic World.

A Current Affair did 791,000.

RBT was up against MKR and did 545,000 followed by the movie on 354,000.


Steve Price announced on The Project that he is South Africa-bound tomorrow to again enter the jungle on I’m A Celebrity. One of the most successful and more popular stars of 2017 will be back on screen this Sunday night. Meanwhile last night The Project 7pm was on 460,000.

I’m A Celebrity without Steve Price continued last night with KFC getting its share of publicity as they gobbled it up. The episode did 595,000 after 579,000 a week ago.

The Gogglebox critics were on just after 9pm. Among the shows on offer were Nine’s MAFS and Blue Planet II plus Lifestyle’s 24 Hours In Emergency. The audience was 629,000 after 651,000 last week. Gogglebox was the channel’s most-watched program last week.


Call The Midwife had the early 8pm slot with 431,000.

The 90-minute factual drama Against The Law told the story of gay British journalist Peter Wildeblood who fought against legislation which made homosexuality a crime and did 160,000.


After a shortish period out of the schedule, Michael Portillo is back in a big way with 254,000 watching two episodes of Great British Railway Journeys. There are another two episodes tonight making it three successive nights of the format at 7.30pm.

The final part of Muslims Like Us Australia did 185,000 with a trip to Manly and much debate in the house about the various branches of Islam. The show did 185,000.

Week 8 TV: Thursday
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 8.8% 7 26.2% 9 17.0% TEN 14.5% SBS One 4.8%
ABC 2 2.6% 7TWO 3.4% GO! 2.1% ONE 3.5% VICELAND 0.7%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 4.9% GEM 1.8% ELEVEN 2.6% Food Net 1.1%
ABC News 1.4% 7flix 2.0% 9Life 1.6% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 13.5% 36.6% 22.6% 20.6% 6.8%
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates Ten Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.2% 7 26.5% 9 13.8% WIN 13.4% SBS One 4.3%
ABC 2 3.2% 7TWO 6.4% GO! 3.6% ONE 3.8% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 3.5% GEM 2.6% ELEVEN 2.2% Food Net 1.0%
NEWS 24 1.3% 7flix 2.3% 9Life 1.2% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 14.4% 38.7% 21.2% 19.4% 6.4%
87.3% 12.7%
Thusday fta
  1. My Kitchen Rules Seven 1,118,000
  2. Nine News Nine 928,000
  3. Seven News Seven 900,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 880,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 865,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 791,000
  7. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Night 13 Seven 723,000
  8. Home And Away Seven 646,000
  9. ABC News ABC 633,000
  10. Gogglebox Ten 629,000
  11. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Ten 595,000
  12. RBT Nine 545,000
  13. The Chase Australia Seven 500,000
  14. Hot Seat Nine 499,000
  15. 7.30 ABC 491,000
  16. The Project 7pm Ten 460,000
  17. Call The Midwife ABC 431,000
  18. Ten Eyewitness News First At Five Ten 421,000
  19. Jurassic World Nine 354,000
  20. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 326,000
Demo top fives

16-39 Top 5

  1. My Kitchen Rules Seven 271,000
  2. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Night 13 Seven 175,000
  3. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Ten 167,000
  4. Gogglebox Ten 163,000
  5. Seven News Seven 134,000


18-49 Top 5

  1. My Kitchen Rules Seven 433,000
  2. Gogglebox Ten 292,000
  3. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Ten 287,000
  4. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Night 13 Seven 278,000
  5. Nine News Nine 221,000


25-54 Top 5

  1. My Kitchen Rules Seven 487,000
  2. Gogglebox Ten 329,000
  3. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Night 13 Seven 320,000
  4. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Ten 316,000
  5. Nine News Nine 282,000
Thursday multichannel
  1. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Night 13 Feed 2 7mate 218,000
  2. Peppa Pig-AM ABC2 184,000
  3. Under Siege (R) ONE 182,000
  4. Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures ABC2 181,000
  5. Hey Duggee-AM ABC2 176,000
  6. Go Jetters ABC2 174,000
  7. PJ Masks-AM ABC2 167,000
  8. Fireman Sam-PM ABC2 166,000
  9. Dot. ABC2 164,000
  10. The Hive-PM ABC2 162,000
  11. Kazoops!-PM ABC2 162,000
  12. Peppa Pig-PM ABC2 162,000
  13. Octonauts ABC2 161,000
  14. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABC2 160,000
  15. Thomas And Friends-PM ABC2 158,000
  16. Floogals-PM ABC2 153,000
  17. Peter Rabbit ABC2 153,000
  18. Noddy Toyland Detective-AM ABC2 148,000
  19. Neighbours ELEVEN 146,000
  20. Shaun The Sheep ABC2 146,000
Thursday subscription tv
  1. The Great Australian Bake Off LifeStyle Channel 89,000
  2. Outback Opal Hunters Discovery Channel 69,000
  3. Paul Murray Live SKY NEWS LIVE 63,000
  4. Gold Rush Discovery Channel 58,000
  5. Grand Designs Australia LifeStyle Channel 50,000
  6. The Simpsons FOX8 48,000
  7. Family Guy FOX8 48,000
  8. The Bolt Report SKY NEWS LIVE 46,000
  9. Family Guy FOX8 46,000
  10. Outsiders SKY NEWS LIVE 44,000
  11. American Dad! FOX8 43,000
  12. The Brokenwood Mysteries 13TH STREET 42,000
  13. Maigret In Montmartre BBC First 41,000
  14. Melbourne: Real Housewives Of… ARENA 40,000
  15. NCIS TVH!TS 38,000
  16. Selling Houses Australia LifeStyle Channel 35,000
  17. House TVH!TS 35,000
  18. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation TVH!TS 34,000
  19. New Tricks UKTV 33,000
  20. Bob’s Burgers FOX8 33,000

Mediaweek housekeeping

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Media News Roundup

News Brands

The Australian sees opportunity to grow as Fairfax dailies exit North Queensland

Fairfax Media is halting print distribution of key mastheads in far north Queensland, as chief executive Greg Hywood continues to slash costs in the publisher’s newspaper division, reports The Australian’s Dana McCauley.

The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and Australian Financial Review will no longer be sold throughout the region from March 26, as Fairfax seeks further efficiencies amid declining print revenues.

The Australian’s editor-in-chief, Paul Whittaker, said The Australian remained committed to Far North Queensland despite Fairfax titles deciding to abandon the region.

“We have been printing The Australian and The Weekend Australian at our modern plant in Townsville for many years, and more recently in Rockhampton as well, and residents of the far north will be able to continue to buy the nation’s best newspaper, which includes the country’s most comprehensive business and political coverage, at newsagents or they can have it home delivered,” Whittaker said.

“You can buy The Australian and The Weekend Australian in Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns for the same price, and with the most up-to-date news, as you can in Sydney and Melbourne.”

A Fairfax Media spokesperson said:

“We will continue to serve our readers in far north Queensland via our leading digital news sites. Unfortunately, the distribution of the AFR, SMH and The Age to these regions is not – and has not been for some time – commercially viable. The commercial realities of supplying small volumes of newspapers to this market cannot be ignored.”

[Read the original]

Business Of Media

Regional star performer for SCA, drive shows the hope for metro radio rebound

Southern Cross Austereo has announced its financial results for the half year to December 31 2017.

Highlights included:

• Group revenue was 1.3% higher than prior year, when the recently divested Northern NSW TV business is excluded

• Regional Media assets performed well with revenues growing by 4.6% (excluding Northern NSW TV)

• Metro revenue was back 3% in the period after improved revenue performance in Q2 following a 6% decline in Q1

Southern Cross Austereo CEO Grant Blackley said:

“These results reflect the culmination of two consecutive years of heavy lifting to improve SCA’s balance sheet. With the systematic divestment of non-core assets including the Northern NSW TV licence and 45 transmission towers, the company has successfully reduced debt and leverage to improve the company’s financial health, laying the foundation for a successful refinancing of our debt facilities and accompanying reduction in finance costs.

“Our investment in rebranding regional radio stations, increasing the number of regional radio surveys and educating media and advertisers about the benefits of regional audiences has paid off with revenue from national advertisers in regional markets rising sharply by 12.8%.

“We reiterate our commitment to improving 2Day FM breakfast. Most recently we expanded the lineup and broadened the 2Day FM music format. The seamless transition from Hamish & Andy to Hughesy & Kate on the Hit Network and the addition of Kennedy Molloy on the Triple M Network has strengthened our national drive formats.

“Digital radio is coming of age and, in a first in the Australian radio industry, SCA has aligned each of its digital stations with the Hit or Triple M networks, enabling us to aggregate our collective audiences. This will provide advertisers with 6.5% greater reach or 300,000 additional listeners, opening opportunities for our teams to effectively monetise our strengthening radio audiences from Survey 1 in March.”

Southern Cross Austereo’s outlook for H2 FY18 includes:

• Group revenues will be up circa 5% year-on-year for January-February 2018 (excluding NNSW TV)

• New drive show revenues up after initial seven weeks – with advertiser interest growing

• Regional markets continue to benefit from strengthening national advertising

Anthony Fitzgerald’s plan to keep TV king: Overhaul ratings, play fewer ads

MCN chief executive Anthony Fitzgerald was among the speakers at the Future of TV Advertising Forum in Sydney yesterday.

“Lots of other mediums work but TV remains the king,” Fitzgerald told delegates.

“If we allow the television advertising experience to wither, through ambivalence or negligence, there will not be another of its equivalent power and stature that will deliver the impact and business growth that television has done for decades.

“We too easily forget that fact, in a sometimes misguided agenda for relentless innovation and disruption, and the daily hustle for cheaper commoditised pricing. To all our advertisers, the science is in.”

Fitzgerald then laid out what he called action points for the industry to act on to keep TV king.

“To take what TV already does brilliantly and make it better, I am convinced we must take action on these points as this will create the foundation to allow us not just to adapt to the changing market but to lead it, and prosper in the face of great change.

“I truly do remain as optimistic as ever that television, in all its forms, can prosper and grow if we just get out shit together and make a start.”

His action points included:

• We must reinvent and expand the television measurement system. It is simply no longer adequate in the digital age to be relying on a 5,000-person home panel and a bunch of demos to trade on.

• We need to also finally recognise and agree that demographics are, for the most part, losing relevance. The reality is that the role of age and gender as the currency authority for media value is declining rapidly.

• We must surprise and delight the TV viewer, we must look to create a better viewer experience through reduced interruption and by extension create a better advertising experience.

Simply put, that means fewer ads in breaks and fewer ad breaks per program to keep people inside advertising-supported environments and improve the viewer experience.

Screen Australia’s $600,000 for development of 18 features and 5 online series

Screen Australia has announced Story Development funding for 18 features and five online series, as well as one supported talent development placement, totalling almost $600,000.

The slate includes a drama project for acclaimed documentary filmmaker Jennifer Peedom (Sherpa); a feature film adaptation of award-winning writer Hannah Kent’s novel “The Good People”; a coming-of-age story from renowned visual artist Del Kathryn Barton; and debut feature projects from Sundance-winning writer/director Goran Stolevski (Would You Look At Her) and writer Michelle Law (Homecoming Queens).

Among the projects funded for development are:

Aquarius Films’ How (Not) To Start An Orphanage based on the novel of the same name about the true story of Tara Winkler.

Handmaid Media’s comedy Laurinda – a coming-of-age story about Chinese/Vietnamese teenager Lucy Linh Lam who is thrust from her familiar working-class immigrant family background to a prestigious private school when she wins a scholarship.

Causeway Films’ drama Puff – an experimental feature-length project combining both live action and animation, led by two-time Archibald-winning artist Del Kathryn Barton.

Aquarius Films producers Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford have optioned Hannah Kent’s novel “The Good People”, a period drama/thriller set in 19th Century Ireland about three women who attempt to rescue a child from a superstitious community.

The Dollhouse Pictures’ drama You’ll Love Me from emerging producer Jessica Carrera and writer/director Goran Stolevski, is about a 50-something part-time actor and full-time cleaning lady who finally gets a break in love and career.


Aussie K-Pop star named Cosmopolitan + Tinder 2018 Bachelor of the Year

Australian K-Pop sensation and host of SBS PopAsia, Kevin Kim, has been named Cosmopolitan + Tinder 2018 Bachelor of the Year at an event at Sydney’s Coogee Pavilion.

Kevin Kim

Cosmopolitan readers were asked to cast their vote for Australia’s Bachelor of the Year. Kevin was voted #1 from a field of 30 finalists, including 15 of the country’s hottest actors, influencers and performers, and 15 everyday Aussies that were all Tinder users nominated or self-nominated through the Tinder app.

Cosmopolitan editor Keshnee Kemp said, “This year we celebrated an incredibly diverse group of men ranging from firefighters and real estate agents to a coal miner, rigger, chef and doctor. We also had finalists with cultural backgrounds from China, Japan, New Zealand, Jordan and Nigeria. It’s a great representation of our diverse readers and of the millennial generation.

“Kevin Kim is a great homegrown talent with a heart of gold, so we’re not surprised our readers fell for him. We’re thrilled to have Kevin as our 2018 Bachelor of the Year.”


Network Ten secures remake of classic sitcom Roseanne with original stars

Network Ten is the new home for the Roseanne remake.

Back after an 11-year break, the new season of Roseanne stars original cast members Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson, Sarah Chalke and Michael Fishman, plus newcomers Emma Kenney, Jayden Rey and Ames McNamara.

The new season will also feature guest appearances by stars from the original series including Johnny Galecki, Estelle Parsons and Sandra Bernhard.

The new US episodes launch on March 27 in the US and are expected to screen on TEN soon after.

Greg Grainger’s Futuristic China series screening on Sky News Business

Sydney-based TV production company Grainger TV has been producing a seven-part TV series with the Chinese government’s international web outlet

Producer/presenter Greg Grainger has been filming across China since December, with the series screening tonight on Sky News Business (Friday February 23 at 8pm).

The series – Futuristic China – has taken Grainger and team from Beijing to the Great Wall of China, Tianjin, Qingdao, Chengdu, Baoding, Shenzhen and the resort island of Hainan.

A former FTA TV presenter, reporter and executive, Grainger runs his Sydney-based production company. Included amongst its output is a 90-minute weekly series Travel Oz shown on the Seven Network.

ABC and SundanceTV commission third series Guesswork Television’s Rosehaven

ABC and SundanceTV (USA) have ordered a third series of the comedy Rosehaven.

The small-town comedy series is set in Tasmania. Series three finds best mates Daniel (Luke McGregor) and Emma (Celia Pacquola) now firmly ensconced as bona fide real estate agents, weathering the storm of recalcitrant landlords, anxiety-inducing tenants, an overbearing boss (Daniel’s mum) and a town where a 24-hour emergency butcher is considered a normal part of life.

ABC Head of Comedy Rick Kalowski said, “It’s a thrill to have one of ABC’s true jewels back for more laughs, charm and lump-in-the-throat moments in later 2018.”

Rosehaven will air on ABC later in the year.

Production Credits: A What Horse? / Guesswork Television production presented by Screen Tasmania, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and SundanceTV.

Created and Written by Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor.

Produced by Andrew Walker. Co-Producer Fiona McConaghy.

Executive Producer Kevin Whyte. ABC Executive Producers Rick Kalowski and Brett Sleigh.

Sports Media

After Winter Games, Seven’s Basil Zempilas and team head to Swimming Champs

All of the big names of Australian swimming including Cameron McEvoy, Mack Horton, Cate and Bronte Campbell, Kyle Chalmers, Emma McKeon and James Magnussen line up behind the blocks at the Australian Swimming Championships aiming to qualify for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, while para stars Ellie Cole and Blake Cochrane also headline the action.

Basil Zempilas

From February 28 to March 3 the action will be covered on Channel 7, 7TWO and the 7plus app.

With the fastest textile time in the world in the men’s 100m freestyle (47.04), Cameron McEvoy will be hoping to get back to his best as he comes up against 2016 Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers, dual world champion James Magnussen, fellow Gold Coaster James Roberts and rising star Jack Cartwright all looking for a top three spot and an A qualifying time for an individual swim in one of the fans’ favourite events at the Commonwealth Games.

In the corresponding women’s event, all eyes will be on Cate Campbell, who has come back firing after a year away from competition. The current short course world record holder and fastest Australian of all time in the event will need to get the better of younger sister and dual world champion Bronte Campbell, their training partner Shayna Jack, plus the versatile Emma McKeon and world short course champion Brittany Elmslie to retain her sprint title in 2018.

Basil Zempilas leads the call with expert commentary from Olympic gold medalists Ian Thorpe, Giaan Rooney and paralympian Annabelle Williams, along with poolside interviews from Nathan Templeton.

Manchester United launching official YouTube channel after 13-year wait

Manchester United is to launch an official YouTube channel after a 13-year absence as it looks to build its brand and commercial income in a deal with the world’s biggest video-sharing site, reports The Guardian.

Manchester United is the only Premier League team and the only one of the top clubs globally not to create an official channel since YouTube launched in 2005.

The world’s biggest club has relied until now on distributing its pay-TV channel, MUTV, its own online presence and a Facebook page with 72 million followers as the main means of continuing to build, and make money out of, its global fan base.

The lure, however, of YouTube’s 1.3 billion users and a slice of its US$11bn (£8bn) in annual revenue has galvanised Manchester United into playing catch-up with its rivals.

[Read the original]

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