Among the media companies reporting last week was national radio and regional TV broadcaster Southern Cross Austereo.
By James Manning
Chief executive officer Grant Blackley spoke to Mediaweek about what was driving revenue, executive moves and the growth of their new podcasting platform, PodcastOne.
Metro radio revenue up with audience growth
Blackley: We have well and truly outperformed the market which has been driven by the stability of our schedule and an improvement in ratings with the FM + DAB plus audience coupled together.
There has been an 8.5% increase (367,000 people) in our reach because of our strategy of joining those audiences together.
You are having good performances from Fox breakfast, Triple M Brisbane and Hughesy & Kate’s national drive. What else would you list?
We saw a lift in Sydney, which we were pleased with, but the job is not done yet. At Triple M we are very confident about Moonman in the Morning and we think it will be broader and more appealing than The Grill Team. Mix in Perth had a wonderful year. Our Hit Network drive strategy is more than just Hughesy & Kate, don’t forget Carrie & Tommy. When we launched it people were asking why we had dual drive shows, they are no longer asking that question because of our dominant position in that longer drive slot. [From 3pm weekdays.]
There is also plenty of opportunity to grow to with Kennedy Molloy and the new Bec and Cosi show in Adelaide.
You no longer had cricket on radio or TV this summer
For radio, we advised Cricket Australia we wouldn’t bid for the rights. After two wonderful years of cricket we had to question the economic value and we made the call accordingly.
With regard to TV we didn’t have any choice with the move from cricket to tennis. I was one of the first people to congratulate Hugh Marks on that decision. The transition across has been seamless and there was a good result for Nine and for us. It did have a $4m impact to our television business in December. We will get a lift from the tennis though which will be included in our second half results.
Nine saved money by moving to tennis, but does it have any cost impact for SCA TV?
No. We have a fixed affiliation fee, which is a variable percentage. If they pay more or less for rights it doesn’t impact our agreement.
Is Guy Dobson proving to be irreplaceable?
At the moment what we are doing is doubling down on what is a very strong group of content executives. We are in a luxurious position of having very strong talent at the executive level and are examining how best we can use them. Our priority is to make sure whatever decision and changes we decide to make improves the content team. The furthest thing from our minds is replacing that role. We are about ensuring the right structure and the right people are in place. We are close to making a set of announcements with regard to that.
We have recently brought in some wonderful talent in Laura Bouchet and also Dan Bradley. They are adding further strength to the team.
When we finalise our content structures we will then know what may be required to lead that team. I think the skill sets needed to lead the team will be very different to the skillsets we’ve had in the past.
Is speculation about who might replace Guy Dobson premature?
If anyone is speculating and it’s not me it is very immature!
What is the timeline for PodcastOne profitability?
We have built what is now the preeminent premium podcast platform in Australia.
A year ago were had 35 authors and 50m downloads, now we have 60 authors and close to 100m downloads. We have educated the market well with what is an appealing product for listeners and investors via agencies and advertisers.
The market will continue to accelerate and we will tell more stories with more experts and authors over the next year or two.
It has become an investable media and it certainly wasn’t as recently as 12 months ago. Advertisers are recognising it is a very targetable media and a premium media that should be part of the their normal repertoire.
We said in the first two to three years we wanted to break even. We are now 18 months in and we would like to think we would reach profitability within that timeframe.
Mediaweek podcasts are available on the PodcastOne platform.
Top Photo: Grant Blackley (left) and Guy Dobson (right) at PodcastOne launch 18 months ago
Just weeks after finishing as the executive producer of The Kyle and Jackie O Show, long time radio producer Bruno Bouchet has taken on the role of managing director of the King Kyle business.
Bouchet’s departure in early November from KIIS 1065 was the first part of a major Sydney breakfast show shakeup at ARN in Sydney. The second of two Bouchet bombshells to rock Sydney radio was dropped when his wife Laura revealed just after the start of radio ratings this year she too was quitting as Jonesy and Amanda’s EP for a role at SCA’s Triple M.
After Kyle revealed on air last week he had a new manager, Bruno Bouchet told Mediaweek: “Over the past 10 years, Kyle and I have worked together on radio, TV and on his book – stepping into the role of managing director of King Kyle seems like the next logical step in our working relationship.
“The company’s expanding quickly into a variety of different sectors (alcohol and freight just to name a few) and I’m pumped to be at the helm of King Kyle’s next chapter.”
The move means Bruno returns to be involved with ARN much sooner than any of the executives might have expected. It also means a change to the boardroom table when it comes time for contract talks for the highest paid entertainers in Australia. Bruno will now have a seat at that table alongside former Austereo managing director Brad March who now manages Jackie Henderson who is part of his Marchmedia talent stable.
Bruno told Mediaweek about the change of role: “Having a background in business was definitely one of the reasons Kyle brought me on board, but – honestly – I think he liked the idea of having a cranky Frenchman with a gorgeous dad bod join his company.
“It was only in December that I left the executive producer gig of the radio show, I think that – coming back so soon – means I have to hand back my farewell present … so if anyone wants a diamante-encrusted pimp cup with the initials ‘BB’ engraved on it – feel free to hit up ARN management for it.”
About the management change within King Kyle, Sandilands said:
“Normally with former staff I have the same regard for them as used toilet paper, but in Bruno’s case he was too good to throw away. With Bruno running things for me in Australia, Andrew Hawkins will continue to represent my interests on the H2coco board and run the music company in Los Angeles. Tegan Kynaston will continue her incredible job as director of communications. With such a strong team, I’ll now be able to spend more time concentrating on watching Foxtel.”
Top Photo: Bruno Bouchet with Kyle Sandilands
Sitting within the MCN business, the new team will be focused on premium revenue opportunities and creating effective integrated campaigns for Australian advertisers.
In the last six months MCN has undergone a major transformation across the business, evolving the sales structure and brand proposition to a Foxtel first model. The new integrated partnerships team supercharges the strategy by amplifying the network’s assets to provide brands with a true Foxtel centric integration offering. It also ensures MCN continues to provide speed and agility on behalf of its agency and client partners.
The new, hybrid team, will be led by Martin Medcraf in the newly created role of Foxtel sales and brand partnerships director, and will incorporate three different functions:
• Foxtel Brand Sales, working side by side with MCN’s integrated TV and Digital salesforce, this function includes managing the sales teams at Foxtel and Fox Sports.
• FNA Brand Partnerships, responsible for developing and delivering premium partnership opportunities for FNA owned channels and websites, including content creation.
• Sport Brand Partnerships, responsible for developing and delivering premium partnership opportunities for Fox Sports channels and websites.
Each function will be led by heads of departments from within the MCN and Foxtel businesses. Medcraf, who has been national sports sales director for MCN for over 10 years, will continue to report to MCN chief executive Mark Frain.
Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany said: “Our new integrated partnership model is the latest example of how we continue to lead in the ad sales space and this role allows us to work smarter by encouraging even greater collaboration and co-ordination across our ad sales teams. It’s great to see an industry expert of Martin’s calibre take the helm of this exciting new program that will provide value to our advertising partners, while opening up new opportunities to drive commercial growth for Foxtel.”
MCN CEO Mark Frain said: “Over the last six months we have re-focused the business on two key traits that have always defined us: innovation and integration. This new team is the next step in this evolution and creates something truly unique in the market. By closely aligning sales and partnerships, we are creating new opportunities for advertisers to harness the power of the Foxtel platform. This new sales and partnerships model allows us to continue to lead the market by creating solutions that push the boundaries of what integrated campaigns can do for brands.”
Medcraf said: “I couldn’t be more honoured to lead the new combined Foxtel sales and brand partnerships team and begin building new, high value opportunities for the Foxtel business. This more effective structure means we can better share ideas, market experience and knowledge to develop stronger advertising solutions for our partners. With the ever-changing media landscape, it’s important we remain agile and responsive to our clients’ needs, so this team will be focused on ensuring a deep understanding of client, agency and Foxtel requirements that always deliver real business results.”
Nova Entertainment has announced the launch of a unique, voice-activated experience for the Nova audience, with the release of a Amazon Alexa skill.
With the availability of Nova on Alexa, listeners will be able to interact with a live radio broadcast via voice commands. Through Alexa, they will be able to ask Nova “Who sings this song?”, “What song is this?” and “What show am I listening to?” or tell Nova that they love a song or want to change the station.
Users will also be able to switch between live broadcast radio and on-demand (catch-up) audio, allowing them to browse through the network’s library of top-rated shows, and even tell Nova which shows they like or dislike.
Nova Entertainment said its vision is to transform the way people listen to radio, by delivering an interactive, connected and personalised experience that provides an easy way for the audience to listen to what they want, when they want.
In the coming months, Nova Entertainment is promising to release new capabilities to further enhance the user’s experience and introduce unique advertising propositions for clients.
With Google’s audio platform, Home, also part of their digital voice plans, Nova views interactive radio as a new way to engage with its audience, while providing a unique advertising platform for clients.
Fayad Tohme, Nova Entertainment’s chief digital officer said, “Smart speakers, voice UX and constantly-improving AI voice services are becoming increasingly important for audio publishers. The mass adoption of voice-enabled devices and conversational experiences is accelerating – with audio content consumption a key driver to its growth. Nova Entertainment’s ambition is to become the Australian market leader in conversational experiences.”
The relationship with Alexa is another addition to Nova Entertainment’s digital portfolio which includes GOAT, the mobile-only, millennial platform, as well as the company’s partnership with podcast platform Acast.
During the first incarnation of AFLX in 2018, the tournament was staged over three nights with matches in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. This year it was all kept to one evening of games at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium.
On TV in 2018 there was competition from the Winter Olympics and the three nights drew an average of 122,000 metro with an extra 75,000 national on Fox Footy.
The “one night only” approach this year seems to have paid off with 326,000 watching Seven and 7mate on Friday night with an extra 99,000 in regional markets pushing the FTA total to 425,000.
There was an extra 87,000 watching across the night on Fox Footy.
Some have called the Friday night crowd disappointing – 24,000 compared to 22,500 at the Melbourne event last year. The combined audience across the three days last year was 43,000.
Rugby Union in 4K Ultra HD was available for Foxtel customers for the first time ever on Saturday night with the Brumbies v Waratahs Super W match and then the Brumbies v Chiefs SuperRugby matches live and exclusive on Fox Sports from 5pm.
The Brumbies v Chiefs match was the most-watched program on the Foxtel platform Saturday with 77,000 watching. SuperRugby games were three of the four most-watched programs on Saturday with Sunwolves v Waratahs #2 with 65,000 and Crusaders v Hurricanes on 53,000 at #4.
Head of Fox Sports, Peter Campbell, said last week: “After broadcasting Bathurst and cricket in 4K Ultra HD across the summer I am very pleased Super Rugby is the first of our winter codes to be broadcast in 4K Ultra HD. Watching rugby in a resolution four times higher than HD adds value for our Foxtel subscribers who have the 4K channel included in the price of our HD offering within the sports package.
“Making the Brumbies vs Waratahs Super W match available in 4K Ultra HD further marks the steady the rise of the women’s competition and its place within the code as well as your home of Rugby in Australia on Fox Sports.”
Working on commentary for Fox Sports across the matches on Saturday were George Gregan, Greg Clark, Drew Mitchell, Tim Horan, Rod Kafer, Phil Kearns, Stephen Hoiles, Greg Martin, Sean Maloney, Nick McArdle, Andrew Swain, Lou Ransome and Natalie Yoannidis.
• Live World Golf Championships coverage to be available exclusively on GOLFTV in Australia
Coverage of this week’s World Golf Championships Mexico Championship was exclusive to GOLFTV.
Discovery’s live and on-demand video streaming service launched in January this year.
The new live and on-demand video streaming service is the exclusive home of live World Golf Championships (WGC) coverage for Australian golf fans.
Coverage of the WGC Mexico Championship started this weekend on GOLFTV and the channel is the only place to watch all four WGC events live in Australia this year.
A GOLFTV Live Pass gives golf fans access to all live coverage, plus additional on-demand content, on mobile, tablet and computer devices via GOLF.TV and the GOLFTV app. Fans can subscribe at GOLF.TV and choose between two packages – one at $10 monthly or a premium package costing $20.
Following its launch at the beginning of the year, GOLFTV will broadcast more than 2,000 hours of live golf action each year – including The Players Championship, the FedExCup Playoffs, PGA Tour, Web.com Tour, PGA Tourampions and the Presidents Cup in Melbourne – as well as a wide range of premium content on-demand.
Rebecca Kent (pictured), general manager Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands, Discovery, said: “We’re excited to be offering Australians exclusive, live coverage of premium PGA Tour events, including the WGC-Mexico Championship. With four Aussies competing this week, along with some of the biggest names in the sport, fans will be able to follow the action closely on GOLFTV. In addition to the four WCG events which are exclusive to the service in Australia, GOLFTV subscribers will be able to enjoy extensive coverage of more than 70 events throughout the year, along with unique content and 360 degree coverage of the sport.”
The remaining WGC events this year are the WGC-Dell Match Play (March 27-31), WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational (July 25-28) and WGC-HSBC Championships (October 31-November 3).
• Singles: Ariana #1, New music from Cardi B, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry
• Albums: Ariana #1, New albums from The Cat Empire, Avril Lavigne
Ariana Grande and her hit single 7 Rings remain at #1 for a fifth week which means that as summer ends only two songs have topped the chart so far in 2019 – Sunflower from Post Malone & Swae Lee and then 7 Rings. Sunflower continues to hover near the top of the chart – after 18 weeks it is still at #3. Ariana again holds the top two spots with Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored holding again at #2.
Khalid was the only new arrival in the top 10 this week with Talk lifting from #24 to #9 in its second week on the chart.
Three new tunes made it into the top 50 on debut:
#22 Please Me from Cardi B and Bruno Mars is their second pairing after Finesse 12 months ago.
#30 11 Minutes from Yungblud and Halsey featuring Travis Barker. Halsey has called herself a “cougar” for reaching out to the young UK artist three years her junior.
#39 365 from Zedd and Katy Perry is a collaboration from the US singer and European producer. Neither have had an album since 2017 and Zedd supported Perry on her 2018 Australian dates.
With a second week at #1 with Thank U, Next, Ariana Grande becomes the first artist not appearing on a soundtrack to hold down consecutive weeks on top since Eminem with Kamikaze was #1 for four consecutive weeks last September.
New music started to flow more liberally on the chart this week with seven new artists debuting inside the top 50, three of them hitting the top 10 in their first week:
#4 The Cat Empire with Stolen Diamonds. Seventh album from the Melbourne-based party band was recorded in their home town. As we publish this the band is making a longish trip from a Perth gig to Brooklyn where they start their North America East Coast dates on Thursday.
#7 Florida Georgia Line with Can’t Say It Ain’t Country. The fourth album from the country duo raced to #1 on the US country chart after an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show last week.
#9 Avril Lavigne with Head Above Water. The comeback sixth studio album has met with mixed reviews at best, but it still managed a top 10 debut here.
#11 Methyl Ethel with Triage. The Perth rockers signed to 4AD are also embarking on a marathon global trek to support their third album. They have a Launceston gig on March 10 then do dates in London and Los Angeles in the following nine days.
#32 Millencolin with SOS. The ninth album from the Swedish rockers who first strummed a guitar in anger back in 1992. They start an Australian tour in Fremantle next Saturday.
#34 Drake with So Far Gone. The album release of a mixtape Drake initially distributed for free in 2009. Drake’s previous two studio albums made it to #1 on the ARIA album chart while the previous three mixtape releases were all top five.
#45 Dear Seattle with Don’t Let Go. The debut album from the Sydney rock band, but fans must wait until mid-May for the start of their national tour.
As expected, a number of new titles debuted at the top of the charts this week, with fresh entries in the Far Cry and Metro series’ and the high-energy anime all-star fighting game Jump Force all performing well in their first couple of days on sale.
One title conspicuous by its absence, however, is Crackdown 3, which – like those other titles – also launched on February 15. Granted, Crackdown 3 is free for anyone with an Xbox Game Pass subscription, and it’s also only available on Windows and Xbox One, whereas the other three titles are also on the industry-leading PlayStation 4 console, but even so, it’s pretty incredible that it didn’t even crack the top 10, and was in fact outsold by Mario Kart 8 Deluxe; a game that was originally released in April 2017.
Crackdown 3 did manage to come in at number four (behind Far Cry New Dawn, Metro: Exodus and Jump Force) on the Xbox One chart, but that then simply indicates a low volume of retail sales on that platform as a whole. It must be a bitter disappointment for Microsoft given the lofty ambitions the company had early on in the development process for Crackdown 3. The promise was that cloud computing would power unrivalled real-time destruction in the game, but ultimate that amounted to nothing of consequence in a project that saw multiple developers and multiple delays. The end result proved to be as underwhelming as the sales.
• Nine re-writing the TV rule book as MAFS continues growth
• Nine’s primary share smashes 30% again with 60 Minutes MJ exposé
• Disappointing 10 debut for Sunday Night Takeaway with 400k
Sunday: Week 9 2019
By James Manning
FTA TV news/current affairs
• Seven News 892,000
• Nine News 965,000
• ABC News 661,000
• The Sunday Project 199,000/302,000
• Insiders 274,000
• 10 News First 262,000
• Offsiders 150,000
• SBS World News 137,000
• Sunrise 255,000
• Today 203,000
The gap between first and second widened last night, although Seven was able to marginally lift its Sunday primary share from 18.4% to 18.8%. With Nine able to claim its best start in a decade, Seven is recording its lowest shares in Q1 for close to a decade.
My Kitchen Rules did 751,000, which was well down on last Sunday’s 902,000. It was a disappointing result for beauty queens Veronica and Piper who botched their main course with Pete and Manu scoring them just 4 out of a possible 20.
Sunday Night then did 574,000 after 400,000 a week ago. The Seven show was covering Michael Jackson as was 60 Minutes.
A colossal 30% primary share wasn’t a huge deal in the past but it is a rarity these days as 20 separate channels jostle for OzTAM share on the FTA platform. Driving the Nine result of course was Married At First Sight, which did well after coverage was splashed across News Corp Sunday newspapers. The more Nine try to hose down the scandal elements (Are they? Really?) the more the public wants.
The audience of 1.659m last night pushes the episode into the ratings books. The best last year were the series final of MAFS on 1.90m while the biggest regular entertainment episode on any channel last year was the final dinner party on MAFS, which did 1.76m. The next best regular episode last year (not a series final) was the launch of The Block on 1.25m. (All those 2018 numbers are consolidated 28.)
After MAFS, 60 Minutes managed to creep just over the 1m mark as Michael Jackson’s latest accuser made allegations to reporter Liam Bartlett about what went on inside the Neverland Ranch.
The channel had its lowest Sunday primary share of the year with 9.0% (discounting Sunday of Week 1 which was technically the last Sunday of December).
The broadcaster has bet big on new 7.30pm franchises this year and so far the score before last night was 1 from 2. Meaning Dancing with the Stars was a keeper and Changing Rooms was not.
It might to too early to put the new Sunday Night Takeaway in the second category, but it was not a great launch result with 383,000. However going up against a show as hot as MAFS is not easy for anyone. The format screams Saturday Night to some, although the would be a massive roll of the dice given commercials broadcasters reluctance to program anything except sport and movies on the quietest TV night of the week.
The Project wasn’t able to provide much of a lead-in audience with 302,000.
Sunday Night Takeaway ran well over the advertised finishing time, which means the corrected number could be even lower.
The audience for NCIS in the data today is 201,000.
Network 10’s chief content officer Beverley McGarvey said this morning:
“Chris & Julia’s Sunday Night Takeaway was a big swing for 10 last night and while we’re disappointed it didn’t have a bigger impact, we’re happy to have offered fresh, family-friendly entertainment as an alternative on a Sunday evening. Chris and Julia pulled off a mammoth task and we’re so proud with how seamlessly they pulled the show together, mere moments after arriving back from Africa.
“The great thing about a live show is that we can listen to the feedback and tweak the show making it snappier as it builds over the coming weeks.
“We can now promote all of last night’s popular segments retrospectively and show a broader audience that next week you too could Win the Ads or become part of the Happiest Minute on television!”
The final of the three-part Magical Land Of Oz looked at human impact on wildlife with 538,000 watching after the first two episodes were also both over 500,000.
The final episode of The Cry then did 522,000, which is just below the launch episode on 574,000.
The final of Mrs Wilson then did 359,000 after 364,000 last week.
Part two of a repeat screening of Secrets Of The Pyramids attracted the biggest audience with 154,000 after 7.30pm.
A doco on the bombing of PanAm flight 103 released 30 years after the tragedy, Lockerbie: The Unheard Voices, did 132,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.4%||7TWO||5.1%||GO!||4.3%||10 Bold||3.6%||VICELAND||1.7%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||2.8%||GEM||3.3%||10 Peach||2.1%||Food Net||0.9%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.8%||7TWO||4.0%||GO!||5.5%||10 Bold||2.4%||VICELAND||1.4%|
|ABC ME||0.8%||7mate||3.5%||GEM||3.4%||10 Peach||2.3%||Food Net||1.2%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.3%||7TWO||2.2%||GO!||3.5%||10 Bold||1.5%||VICELAND||0.7%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||3.5%||GEM||2.8%||10 Peach||1.6%||Food Net||1.1%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.0%||7TWO||3.4%||GO!||3.6%||WIN Bold||1.2%||VICELAND||0.8%|
|ABC ME||1.0%||7mate||3.2%||GEM||4.9%||WIN Peach||1.4%||Food Net||1.2%|
|ABC NEWS||1.4%||7flix||2.8%||9Life||2.4%||Sky News on WIN||0.5%||NITV||0.2%|
|SUNDAY METRO ALL TV|
Friday Top 10
Saturday Top 10
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
Ita Buttrose is poised to become the next chair of the ABC, ending a tumultuous search for the public broadcaster’s next leader following the acrimonious departure of Justin Milne and managing director Michelle Guthrie nearly six months ago, reports Nine’s metro dailies.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield will take Buttrose’s nomination to cabinet this week, despite her name not being included in a shortlist compiled by an independent panel following an extensive search by global recruitment firm Korn Ferry.
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age reveal the final names provided by the panel for the prestigious position were all men: former Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood, former News Corp chief executive Kim Williams, Film Victoria president Ian Robertson, and Gilbert + Tobin managing partner Danny Gilbert.
Nine is facing a defamation payout of almost $800,000 for an article that was published online by Fairfax Media years before The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age were bought by the broadcaster.
Chinese-Australian businessman Chau Chak Wing won his long-running fight against Fairfax on Friday over a 2015 article that said he bribed the president of the UN General Assembly.
Dr Chau welcomed yesterday’s ruling that requires Fairfax, now owned by Nine, to pay $280,000 in damages as well as the businessman’s legal costs, which are estimated to be worth at least $500,000. “I put my faith in the Australian legal system and today that faith has been vindicated,” Dr Chau said.
A spokesman for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age said the newspapers would appeal and were disappointed that the judge did not uphold their public-interest defence, “which was the only one available to us under Australian defamation law”.
“John Garnaut is a careful, meticulous, Walkley Award-winning journalist who is globally recognised for his China expertise,’’ the spokesman said.
“We source and check all our stories vigorously and take great pride in our role to inform the community debate.”
Veteran Village Roadshow chief executive Graham Burke will retire at the end of the year, marking the end of an era in the entertainment industry but leaving the family who is behind the famed leisure and theme-park company divided over its future, report The Australian’s Ben Wilmot and Lisa Allen.
Burke was yesterday “a bit emotional” as he called time on his 63-year stint at the company, but had been targeted in a campaign led by a dissident branch of the Village Roadshow founding Kirby family.
With the company showing signs of a recovery he insisted he was going out on a high, saying he “paid absolutely zero attention” to the campaign to change the company’s direction, telling The Australian he was “focused on running the business”.
Burke, and the Kirby family, drove the development of Gold Coast theme park Movie World and also backed such high-profile Australian movies as Happy Feet and Mad Max, but he dismissed the need for a radical overhaul of the entertainment giant. “Bottom line, those that are calling for indiscriminate sales of assets, they’re coming at it from a simplistic point of view and they have their own agenda,” Burke said.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Coca-Cola, Optus, Woolworths and the Australian government have joined a global line-up of high-profile brands to freeze their advertising deals with YouTube after the Google-owned video site was found to be facilitating soft-core paedophilia rings in comment threads, reports The AFR’s Paul McIntyre and Max Mason.
The Australian Financial Review reveals at least two of the largest media buying groups here, IPG Mediabrands and Dentsu Aegis Network, have placed a blanket trading halt on YouTube until more details emerge. This means a whole host of major Australian brands will not be appearing on the video platform.
North American advertisers such as Nestle, AT&T and Disney have halted all their advertising on YouTube in recent days.
Private equity giant Apax Partners may look to combine Kiwi online marketplace Trade Me with Nine’s New Zealand business Stuff, but the British firm is mostly attracted to the digital properties over the regional and community newspapers in the division, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
Trade Me had preliminary talks with Fairfax Media, prior to its merger completing with Nine in December, about acquiring Stuff, the New Zealand publishing businesses, formerly known as Fairfax NZ.
Sources close to Apax said the private equity firm was informed about the discussions when it moved on Trade Me late in 2018.
Stuff owns a number of digital businesses and New Zealand’s most popular domestic website, news site Stuff.co.nz, which are the main attraction. However, sources close to Apax cautioned the private equity business is less interested in physical newspapers such as Sunday Star Times, The Dominion Post and Waikato Times.
Network 10 is betting on an improved performance by its sales team and new programs after starting the year with the lowest commercial free-to-air revenue share on record without cricket’s Big Bash League to bolster its bottom line, reports The SMH’s Jennifer Duke.
In January, amid a sluggish advertising market, 10 managed a market share of about 16% compared to Seven West Media’s 39% and Nine Entertainment Co’s 45%. Nine is the owner of this masthead.
10 secured a 23% market share across 2018 and has typically had a strong January share that sales sources say is 50% due to Big Bash advertising. Seven won the 2018 calendar year with a share of about 39%, with Nine at 38%.
10 chief sales officer Rod Prosser said there was “no question” January was the worst it would get for the network’s revenue.
While it was still early days for the network, Prosser said there would be a recovery from the next quarter onwards as the company’s programming strategy started to pay off with significant hopes to build on Dancing With The Stars and Sunday Night Takeaway with brand integrations.
Taxpayers have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the ABC and SBS to host lavish dinners and events as part of a government department’s $1.5 million hospitality bill in one year, reports News Corp’s Anthony Galloway.
Two ABC community forums costing more than $20,000 each – which the public broadcaster was required to host as part of a government deal with a crossbench senator – were among bills charged.
In total, the Department of Communications and Arts, including its various agencies, spent at least $1.57 million on functions and official receptions in 2017-18.
The SBS splurged $395,624 on its events, while the ABC spent $112,274.
Federal parliamentarians and their staff were treated to a “drama showcase” put on by SBS at Parliament House in Canberra, costing $17,158.
At an ABC “board industry event”, 45 attendees were treated to canapes and a selection of wines, including House of Arras Grand Vintage pinot noir, Pepperjack shiraz and Wynns Black Label cab sav. The event, at the broadcaster’s Ultimo headquarters, cost $6101.63.
It is with some pride that Justin Stevens, the executive producer of ABC’s 7.30, notes that the show’s recent episode about franking credits beat Network 10’s relaunch of the popular Dancing with the Stars in the overnight metro ratings, reports The Australian’s Justin Burke.
Since rejoining the current affairs program in late 2017, after working for several years on ABC’s Four Corners and the documentary series The Killing Season, Stevens said that evolution – not revolution – had been the team’s watchword.
“At the heart we are not doing anything 7.30 hasn’t done in the past,” he said.
Amid a string of high-profile interviews across 2018 between presenter Leigh Sales and guests including former FBI director James Comey, former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Shane Warne, actor Yael Stone, and then ABC chairman Justin Milne (who announced his resignation on air), among others, 7.30 managed to deliver a solid ratings performance.
In a separate item, The Australian also reports:
Broadcaster Leigh Sales has signed on for another three years as host of the ABC current affairs program 7.30, the role she has made her own since replacing Kerry O’Brien in 2011.
While it is understood Sales has been approached by commercial stations across the years, she said she still loves the job and hopes “the show, like me, will go on way beyond that”.
Australian staff at embattled online publication BuzzFeed have told how the digital native became a victim of its social media “friend”, Facebook, reports The Australian’s Chris Griffith.
Staff also remain unhappy at the redundancy process and say the company is ill-positioned for remaining a trailblazer for breaking local news stories, with only five of its 13 news staff remaining.
Insiders told The Australian that BuzzFeed’s main focus now was Donald Trump and, in Australia, running an advertising-focused operation.
In Australia redundancies were confirmed a week ago. Reports initially suggested 25 of 40 roles would be declared redundant, but a source said only five from 13 were left in the Sydney newsroom.
The Daily Telegraph has started to drip feed its list of the 100 Most Powerful People in Sydney.
Today the paper reveals those ranked between 81 and 100, with another 20 to follow each day until the top 20 are revealed in Friday’s newspaper.
The introduction from News Corp’s Jennifer Sexton says:
As Sydney-born former Prime Minister Paul Keating said, if you don’t live in Sydney, you’re just camping out. Canberra may be our political capital. Melbourne likes to brag it’s our sporting capital. But the power capital is unarguably Sydney.
It’s where the big deals are done, in politics, in business, in sport, in media, in entertainment, in property. It’s all big. Bigger egos. Bigger grudges. Bigger mansions.
Hence there’s more at stake. The urge to win is that much greater here.
As Sydney’s biggest and brightest newspaper, The Daily Telegraph has been chronicling this endless battle for nearly 140 years.
So, it’s perhaps overdue that we enshrine that contest into our inaugural Sydney Power 100.
Media people at the lower end of the scale include actor Deborah Mailman (#96), Film and fashion power couple Joel Edgerton and Christine Centenera (#82) plus actor and producer Nicole Kidman who was ranked #81.
Lisa Wilkinson has lashed out at her former employer, Channel 9, accusing the network of a “low act” over a misleading online article, reports News Corp’s Lydia Pedrana.
Wilkinson took to Twitter after the network’s digital arm, 9Honey, published an article titled How I Discovered My Step-Daughter Hates Me, with the first sentence making reference to “my husband Peter”, and an old video of former Today show hosts Wilkinson and Karl Stefanovic talking about parenting at the top of it.
Clearly concerned that the article appeared as if it were about her, The Project host took to Twitter, writing: “Come on @Channel9 this is a low act. I’m used to it from rotten online scammers & the weekly trash mags, but you should be better than this.”
HT&E boss Ciaran Davis has called on the radio industry to stick to the standard audience measurement for fast-growing digital audio broadcasting after questioning rival Southern Cross Media’s use of some figures in last week’s analyst briefing, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.
Davis said it was “a little bit cheeky and disingenuous” for Southern Cross to include only its DAB listener figures in a graph that displayed the industry’s overall audience numbers for 2018.
Southern Cross, which operates 80-plus radio stations across its Triple M and Hit Networks, didn’t include the DAB figures for rival networks, HT&E’s ARN network or rival network NOVA Entertainment in the interim financial results presentation to investors last Thursday.
“I think the investment market and advertising market see through it but it’s important for the industry to be consistent in how we report figures and compare apples with apples,” Davis told The Australian.
Radio Today’s most popular lists always stimulate plenty of debate and that could happen again today with its latest power rankings.
This time the list covers the 10 most powerful women on air in FM radio.
Radio Today explained: We spent considerable time talking to industry experts about who they consider should be in the top ten: women who are successful, have had great ratings success and longevity, those who have built a strong local and national profile and, most importantly, women who have a strong message.
Not represented in the top 10 are women on air at the #1 FM stations in the Sydney and Melbourne markets – smoothfm. Hosting breakfast in Sydney is Bogart Torelli, while in Melbourne Jennifer Hansen co-hosts the weekday breakfast show with Mike Perso. Also missing from the top 10 is smoothfm weekend breakfast host Melissa Doyle.
Here is Radio Today’s top five. For the complete list go to RadioToday.com.au.
1. Jackie Henderson – KIIS FM Sydney
KIIS FM’s Henderson is undoubtedly one of the most high-profile and successful media personalities in Australia. She started in radio in regional markets on the Gold Coast and Canberra.
Henderson was later on 2Day FM nights with co-host Kyle Sandilands, moving to breakfast in 2005. She and Sandilands moved to KIIS106.5 in 2013 and is one of the longest-serving women on-air in Australian radio.
Henderson is well known nationally via the ARN-syndicated Hour of Power and previously hosted Take 40 Australia, Hot Hits, The A-List and the Hot 30 Countdown.
She is also an accomplished television presenter. Henderson has hosted or appeared on numerous TV programs including Big Brother, Popstars, Australian Princess, The Nation, Surprise Gotcha, Robots and Ground Zero.
1 .Fifi Box – Fox FM Melbourne
2. Amanda Keller – WSFM Sydney
3. Kate Langbroek – Hit Network
4. Chrissie Swan – Nova Melbourne
The Saturday edition of The Daily Telegraph posted a prominent page 3 apology to Nine’s Georgie Gardner. The four-paragraph apology said:
The article “Frosty morning” (Page 7, 21/02/2019) contained various claims about audience responses to Georgie Gardner’s role as co-host of Today.
The Daily Telegraph withdraws the claims, which we accept were wrong.
The Telegraph has a commitment to accurate journalism and in this case we have let our readers and Ms Gardner down.
We apologise to our readers and to Ms Gardner for the hurt and embarrassment the article caused both her and her family.
The article follows a letter to readers last week from the editor of the newspaper, Ben English, that commented: “Our news will never be fake. It will never be insincere. And it will never be contrary to what we know to be the facts. Our news will always be from the heart and delivered with consideration and conscience.”
Mental health quiz used to vet wannabe MAFS contestants
Do you cry easily? Have you recently had temper outbursts you could not control? Ever think about ending your own life? ask News Corp’s Briana Domjen and Annette Sharp.
These are among the questions hopeful contestants for Married At First Sight were required to answer by producers Endemol Shine Australia before being chosen to participate in the show’s 2018 edition — as well as legal contracts lawyers say are “exploitative” and “shocking”.
The documents were revealed by several former MAFS participants who spoke to The Sunday Telegraph about the lingering psychological and financial damage they believe the show caused their lives.
Clare Verrall, a contestant in 2015, said she felt so desperate she attempted suicide twice after the show ended and warned: “They will keep making this show bigger and bigger, casting more and more vulnerable people until someone takes their life.”
Tracey Jewel, a 2018 contestant who also attempted self-harm after the show ended, said producers deliberately got her and other contestants drunk to precipitate conflict.
“Looking back on it I can’t believe how manipulated we were,” Jewel said.
Married At First Sight villain Sam Ball has taken out an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) against a former girlfriend after she allegedly confronted him inside his Sydney home, reports The Sunday Telegraph.
The 26-year-old reality TV contestant took out the AVO against his former partner, Akila Ahmunett, who also goes by the name Nadia Tabbaa.
A statement from NSW police read: “On Monday 4 February 2019, a 26-year-old man contacted police about alleged domestic incident involving a 30-year-old woman.”
After creating four weeks of non-stop dramatics and headlines (cheers!) the four most-featured contestants – Ines, Bronson, Sam and Elizabeth – all decided to leave Nine’s “social experiment” during Sunday night’s commitment ceremony, after Sam reluctantly revealed he had been seeing Ines behind wife Elizabeth’s back, reports The SMH’s Amy Croffey.
Unsure now of how to fill six hours of prime-time television a week, producers seemingly had no choice but to draft in four replacement participants – and future teeth-whitening ambassadors – to help fill the void.
In a world first for the reality television show, two intruder couples will say their “I dos” on Monday night’s show, but no amount of Big Fat MAFS Weddings will make up for a strong-willed Elizabeth, oblivious Bronson and deceitful Sam and Ines.
Three hundred die-hard fans gathered high above Melbourne on the weekend for a once-in-a-lifetime reunion of former Prisoner stars, reports TV Tonight’s David Knox.
The event, staged by star Val Lehman at Level 17 at the RACV City Club, was a sell-out at $300 a head with fans visiting from around Australia, Europe and the USA.
Forty years years after it first aired, Prisoner remains a show etched in their hearts – their detail for storylines and characters prompting Jane Clifton to concede: “You all know the show better than we do.”
It was veteran stars they were there for, and they were thrilled to see 90-year-old Patsy King, 80-year-old Betty Bobbitt, 70-year-old Anne Phelan plus Colette Mann, Fiona Spence, Amanda Muggleton, Paula Duncan, Maxine Klibingaitis, Jacqui Gordon and Jentah Sobott. Composer Alan Caswell sang On The Inside (twice) and several former crew were in attendance for the four-hour event.
Wednesday marks 40 years since the show’s premiere, with the National Film & Sound Archive also conducting an event in Canberra.
The Footy Show is not dead yet, and its new line-up can finally be revealed, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.
The fabled show will return with Hawks tragic Anthony “Lehmo” Lehmann as host in an effort to kick the iconic program into a new era.
Lehmann, a successful radio host and comedian, is expected to join footy great Brendan Fevola as the mainstays of the Channel 9 show, which will blend football, entertainment and comedy.
The pair is tipped to form a regular panel with tennis ace Dylan Alcott, a passionate footy fan, and an as-yet-unknown female sporting identity.
A fifth panel member is expected to rotate each week, with the focus on comedians or former footballers with a lighter side to fill the spot.
The focus of the show will be less about team lists and will have a funnier flavour than the original.
In a back-to-the-future twist, the program will hold onto the name The Footy Show despite a number of alternative names being tossed around in recent months.