Monday February 26, 2018

News Corp creates News Prestige Network publishing division

• Publishing dream team: Andrew Cook returning to print
• Additional roles for Nicholas Gray, Edwina McCann & Fiona Nilsson
• Nick Smith and Vaughan Cottier leaving News for UK and US

News Corp Australia is launching a new publishing division, the News Prestige Network.

The new division will bring together the company’s prestige mastheads into a single division, which will operate The Australian and the Condé Nast International titles Vogue Australia, Vogue Living and GQ Australia.

Last year, the News Prestige Network was launched as an advertising proposition for prestige and luxury brands. The creation of the new publishing division is designed to further align and develop the News Prestige Network.

News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller said: “We are proud of the commercial results driven since the launch of the Prestige Network to the luxury brands market last year. With this new publishing division, we will now leverage our prestige editorial talent, harness our commercial strengths and marketing capabilities to continue to deliver the best content and commercial solutions to Australia’s largest AB audience.”

The offer

The News Prestige Network will now offer advertisers access to an unrivalled stable of high-end magazine brands with Vogue Australia, Vogue Living and GQ Australia and The Australian’s luxury inserted magazines Wish, Mansion, The Deal and The Weekend Australian Magazine.

Dream team creation

The new division will result in several key executive changes:

• Nicholas Gray, current CEO of The Australian, will take on the additional role of News Prestige Network publisher with responsibility across commercial, product and marketing.

• Edwina McCann, current editor-in-chief of Vogue Australia, will take on the additional role of editorial director across Vogue Australia, Vogue Living and GQ Australia.

• Fiona Nilsson, current director of Food Corp, will move to the role of Lifestyle Director for News Corp Australia responsible for the Food and Homes portfolios.

• Andrew Cook, formerly director of media sales at SBS, has been appointed general manager of advertising for The Australian and the News Prestige Network. Andrew replaces Vaughan Cottier, who is moving to the US. He will begin his new role on April 30.

• Nick Smith, current Prestige and Lifestyle director, has resigned from News Corp to take on a new career opportunity in the UK.

The Australian’s editor-in-chief Paul Whittaker and McCann will work together developing the editorial strategy across the network, while Gray, Whittaker and McCann will focus on new commercial opportunities for the combined luxury mastheads.

Gray said: “The News Prestige Network is Australia’s largest and best portfolio of media properties for reaching and engaging with Australia’s AB audience. I am pleased to be given the opportunity to lead this division of the company and work with Paul, Edwina, Andrew and the teams to help the News Prestige Network grow further.

“I also want to thank both Vaughan Cottier and Nick Smith for their outstanding careers with News Corp Australia. Both are moving overseas for further career development. We are sad to lose them, and they leave with our best wishes.”

McCann said: “This furthers our commitment to the beautiful Condé Nast brands in Australia, and I’m thrilled to take on this new role as editorial director.”

Cook said: “I’m looking forward to joining The Australian and the News Prestige Network. The Australian has a proven history in contributing to making a better Australia. The distinctive brand proposition offers advertisers the ability to connect with the nation’s influencers in a premium environment. I believe it’s the perfect time to take on this opportunity to help build on The Australian’s success.

Vogue Australia, Vogue Living and GQ Australia are truly global influencers, synonymous with fashion, style and design. Each brand is a leading authority in its category, defining cultural movements for sophisticated readers.

“The three brands in combination with The Australian newspaper are the best combined prestige offering for advertisers in both environment and readers.”

Top photo: Fiona Nilsson, Andrew Cook, Edwina McCann & Nicholas Gray

Pacific Magazines delivers agencies Re-Tale insights

• Pacific announces new division – reveals big investment in trusted brands
• “We have been re-engineering our company, creating a business that is built on data and insights”

Pacific Magazines CEO Gereurd Roberts and Pacific’s general manager – homes and food Wendy Moore welcomed guests to their Sydney HQ recently to share insights from research they have done into the retail landscape.

Pacific attracted an audience of advertisers and media agency buyers.

“At Pacific, we are retailers ourselves,” Roberts told his guests. “We are observing and taking part in the shifts taking place and we are also navigating the shifts taking place. We realise the competitive and rapidly changing retail sphere and the need to respond quickly and intelligently to consumer trends. We are interested and invested as you are.

“As a business, Pacific has long had consumer understanding at its core. Customer intimacy has been fundamental to what we do. Today it’s not just part of our business – it is at the forefront of our business.

“For the past year we have been re-engineering our company, creating a business that is built on data and insights. It is our front line, not a supporting structure – a company where an understanding of consumer behaviour permeates every area, department and every action. Today it not only drives our retail strategy and our commercial strategy, but our audience, marketing and loyalty strategies… and importantly our product strategy.

“We are re-imagining our trusted brands. We no longer want to be just in front of our consumers as magazines, mobile sites or social feeds, or even just on the TV screen. We want to surround our consumers to re-imagine the role we play in their lives.

“We are basing what we build today on what we know they want.”

Roberts used what he called the Pacific “superbrand” Women’s Health as an example of the new Pacific. The company held a Women’s Health mentoring event last week with experienced sportswomen, businesswomen and other experts meeting up-and-coming female athletes to help them on their journey. “Soon you are likely to see those athletes wearing Women’s Health active wear, eating Women’s Health meals and leading Women’s Health weekends away.”

Amongst the investment in the future of Pacific is a spend on new technology.

“To refocus the entire business is not easy. It takes time and it costs a lot of money.

“Fuelling the change is a purpose-built data and insights engine which has powered our ability to capture, organise, analyse and action data. It not only services our loyal audiences with new products and service opportunities, but our commercial partners as well.”

Pacific commercial director Nicole Bence with Dr Ross Honeywill

Roberts flagged that under the new commercial leadership of Nicole Bence, Pacific will be presenting a series of signature research studies.

Pacific commercial director Bence then presented some of the highlights of the retail trends research, which the company has branded “Re-Tale: A new story”.

Bence told her agency and client guests: “Today’s connected shopper no longer thinks in terms of physical, online or mobile. They simply want to shop with their preferred store or brand how and when they want.

“They want the best possible experience when they do. They want curated, personalised experiences. Fast.

“Blended retail is a single channel vision that mixes real world experience with dynamic data to allow retailers and brand to connect with the needs of the customer – and it will ultimately drive sales.”

Bence added that to support Pacific’s investment in supercharging its data capabilities it was launching a new division – Seventh Sense.

“A consumer insight division, Seventh Sense’s core purpose is to unlock the value of data to drive business growth.”

Pacific also engaged Dr Ross Honeywill as a keynote speaker at the event and he was followed by a panel that featured The Daily Edited co-founder Alyce Tran, Officeworks marketing chief Karl Winther, Stylerunner co-founder Julie Stevanja and L’Oréal media director Lyndall Campher.

Pacific Magazines has also revealed that future research studies include The Future Shapers (a study about influencers) and Culinary Compass (exploring grocery shopping and cooking behaviours).

Top photo: Pacific CEO Gereurd Roberts

Australia's oldest and largest commercial recording studio Studios 301 relaunches in Sydney

Australia’s oldest and largest commercial recording studio, Studios 301, was relaunched at an exclusive event in Sydney on Thursday night.

Industry guests were welcomed by 301 founder and owner Dr Tom Misner (pictured above) and six-time Grammy Award-winning UK producer Steve Lillywhite (U2, The Rolling Stones, Peter Gabriel).

The design of the new complex is a further collaboration between Misner – a music industry icon and audio education pioneer – and master acoustician Jochen Veith. The new world-class Studios 301 come following a number of successful joint ventures from the pair. It will be the only tier-one recording studio in Australia.

VIP guests, recording artists and music industry executives in attendance included Peter Karpin, Sony Music Head of A&R Paul Harris, Universal Music Australia MD Michael Taylor, APRA’s Milly PetriellaIsabella Manfredi (The Preatures), Rai Thistlethwayte (Thirsty Merc) actor Kirby Burgess and many more.

Photo credit: Ben Symons

ARIA Chart Report: Ball Park Music hot, Delta returns and Ed Sheeran milestones

• Singles: Drake rules on top, Sheeran milestone close & Delta back on chart
• Albums: Ball Park Music & Marlon Williams new… oh, and Showman still #1

Singles

Drake is again rock solid on top with “God’s Plan” hanging at #1 for a fourth week.

The biggest mover inside the top 10 was Kendrick Lamar & SZA’s “All The Stars”, which lifted from #5 to #2.

The only new arrival in the top 10 was The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar with “Pray For Me” at #10 in its third week on the chart.

Three new singles managed to debut inside the top 50. We are most interested in the return of Delta Goodrem to the chart with “Think About You” at #32, which is her 23rd time in the singles chart. The song is from her forthcoming album and is her first new music since the album “Wings Of The Wild” in 2016. It promises to be a big year for Delta with new single, new album, new season of Nine’s The Voice after Easter and then the Seven telemovie where she portrays Olivia Newton-John.

This week’s other two new arrivals:

#29Khalid & Normani with “Love Lies”
#43: Hailee Steinfeld & BloodPop with “Capital Letters”

Finally this week, a milestone for Ed Sheeran is just around the corner as “Perfect” is just days away from spending a year on the chart – and it is still in the top 10!

Albums

Ball Park Music’s “Good Mood”

It has always been hard to get to the top of the chart – it looks like it might be just as hard to lose that spot this year.

The Greatest Showman soundtrack (and Drake on the singles chart) have dominated the ARIA chart stats this year. Showman has now been #1 for eight weeks.

There were only two new releases debuting in the top 50 – and they both managed to crack the top 10:

#5: Ball Park Music with “Good Mood”. The Brisbane band’s fifth album is their fourth time in the top 10.

#8: Marlon Williams with “Make Way For Love” – the second album from the New Zealand singer-songwriter is his first time in the top 10.

Ed Sheeran’s “Divide” is a week away from 12 months on the chart and he will be in Australia to celebrate his chart success with live shows next week. Meanwhile “Multiply” is again top 10 at #10 after 192 weeks! To make it a trifecta, “Plus” is back inside the top 20 this week after 299 weeks and it will celebrate a rare milestone next week too.

TV Ratings Analysis: Sunday February 25

Mediaweek editor James Manning looks at last night’s TV ratings.

 

Week 8 summary

Seven again took the points in combined channel share and primary share. However, its lead was cut back by Nine in the second week of survey.

Nine’s Married At First Sight episodes were ranked the top four shows of the week, both all people and 25-54.

Seven’s victory was secured by its combo of My Kitchen Rules and the Winter Olympics as the latter continued to keep big audiences watching late into the night, boosting Seven’s share.

Married at First Sight managed to consistently beat MKR as the controversy around Dean and Davina’s affair drove media discussion around the country on all platforms.

Married was well ahead of MKR in the key demo 25-54 with a lead of 200,000+ some nights.

Ironically it was a week where there was some discussion about the value of demo obsession in the ratings.

In digital, Married at First Sight is dominating the OzTAM VPM rankings and it fills 16 out of the top 20 spots. The good thing about this for all broadcasters is that it will make even more advertisers sit up and take notice of the streaming numbers and the options networks are now offering across different platforms.

TEN also lifted marginally week-on-week, getting into double figures.

Week 9 TV: Sunday

• Nine wins first night of survey year – primary, combined – as Married takes flight
• Seven share drops, loses first night, with Spartan revealed as no Ninja… yet
• TEN’s Sunday share lifts, no celebrity leaves the camp, just David Oldfield

Seven

The Viking Sisters were the first competitors on the first episode of Australian Spartan and they came undone on just the second obstacle – the swinging donut (also referred to as a tyre swing). It was a big night for hosts Edwina Bartholomew and Hamish McLachlan who steered Seven from 7pm until past midnight with coverage from the Spartan course before they hosted much of the final night of the Winter Olympics from South Korea. It was 30 minutes before a Spartan team, Two And A Half Men, made it to the end of the Spartan course. Before the episode ended, another four teams managed to complete the circuit. The first episode of Spartan did 816,000 with close to 250,000 watching in both Sydney and Melbourne.

The show is no Australian Ninja Warrior yet, with the first episode almost exactly half of the 1.67m watching Ninja’s debut on Nine last year.

The closing ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics followed with plenty of colour on a clear night and the music including traditional Korean through to to a lengthy heavy metal guitar solo. With the ceremony not starting until 10pm eastern though, 580,000 viewers had to sit through Games highlights first and then 528,000 stayed for the ceremony.

Nine

The channel was calling Sunday the biggest night of the year thanks to a hyped-more-than-normal episode of Married At First Sight with a commitment ceremony and much more. But the series is certainly living up to any hype and last night the audience was a format record 1.53m after 1.35m a week ago, which made it week 8’s most-watched program. Guess what will be #1 for week 9?

60 Minutes then featured Tara Brown catching a con man, Charles Wooley visiting NZ PM Jacinda Ardern while Liam Bartlett was with Robbie Williams. After 796,000 a week ago, 60 Minutes did 846,000 last night.

TEN

Steve Price arrived in the jungle on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! and started his Jungle Radio program – first guest was Danny Green. Price is reportedly only doing a few interviews before heading back to his Macquarie Media nightly radio show. The audience spoke in two ways last night – both parts of the Sunday episode were up week-on-week and then viewers chose not to send any of the celebrities home, but disruptor David Oldfield was let go at the first opportunity after his arrival six days ago.

A new episode of NCIS then did 388,000 (296,000 a week ago) followed by SEAL Team on 189,000.

ABC

A new FTA series of Grand Designs started at 7.40pm with 615,000.

The well-reviewed Riot followed with its look at the 70s gay and lesbian rights movement. The Sunday drama did 207,000 across its 100+ minutes. That was well down on what UK dramas pull on Sundays – Shetland did over 500,000 a week ago.

SBS

Episode 4 of Eight Days That Made Rome did 175,000 at 7.30pm.

The 8.30pm doco Easter Island: The Truth Revealed then saw the audience lift to 236,000.

Week 9 TV: Sunday
SUNDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 8.6% 7 21.7% 9 27.0% TEN 11.2% SBS One 4.9%
ABC 2 2.3% 7TWO 3.2% GO! 3.5% ONE 1.8% VICELAND 0.6%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.0% GEM 3.3% ELEVEN 2.4% Food Net 0.5%
ABC News 1.3% 7flix 1.8% 9Life 2.1% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 12.8% 29.8% 35.9% 15.4% 6.2%
SUNDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates Ten Affiliates SBS
ABC 8.7% 7 20.7% 9 25.1% WIN 10.2% SBS One 5.3%
ABC 2 2.2% 7TWO 3.9% GO! 3.4% ONE 1.8% VICELAND 0.5%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 3.3% GEM 6.0% ELEVEN 2.1% Food Net 0.6%
NEWS 24 1.6% 7flix 1.7% 9Life 2.1% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 13.3% 29.6% 36.6% 14.1% 6.5%
SUNDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
87.4% 12.6%
All people rankings

Friday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 847,000
  2. Nine News Nine 846,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 800,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 760,000
  5. ABC News ABC 596,000
  6. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Night 14 Seven 593,000
  7. Better Homes And Gardens Seven 575,000
  8. A Current Affair Nine 573,000
  9. The Chase Australia Seven 491,000
  10. Vera (R) ABC 467,000

 

Saturday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 823,000
  2. Nine News Nine 804,000
  3. Death In Paradise ABC 753,000
  4. ABC News ABC 688,000
  5. David Attenborough’s-Blue Planet II Nine 686,000
  6. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Night 15 Seven 465,000
  7. Delicious ABC 464,000
  8. The Front Bar Seven 456,000
  9. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Day 15 Seven 352,000
  10. Getaway Nine 343,000
Sunday FTA
  1. Married At First Sight Nine 1,536,000
  2. Nine News Nine 1,084,000
  3. Seven News Seven 1,015,000
  4. 60 Minutes Nine 846,000
  5. Australian Spartan Seven 816,000
  6. ABC News ABC 714,000
  7. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Elimination Ten 707,000
  8. Grand Designs ABC 615,000
  9. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Ten 607,000
  10. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Countdown Seven 580,000
  11. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Closing Ceremony Seven 528,000
  12. Born To Kill? Class Of Evil Nine 427,000
  13. The Sunday Project 7pm Ten 404,000
  14. NCIS Ten 388,000
  15. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Day 16 Seven 368,000
  16. Ten Eyewitness News Ten 348,000
  17. Nine News: First At Five Nine 323,000
  18. The Sunday Project 6.30pm Ten 296,000
  19. Insiders-AM ABC 269,000
  20. Weekend Sunrise Seven 269,000
Sunday multichannel
  1. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line E2-PM 7TWO 183,000
  2. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line-PM 7TWO 166,000
  3. Midsomer Murders 9Gem 162,000
  4. Bananas In Pyjamas-AM ABC2 162,000
  5. Peppa Pig-AM ABC2 154,000
  6. Peg + Cat-AM ABC2 148,000
  7. Hey Duggee-AM ABC2 146,000
  8. Noddy Toyland Detective-AM ABC2 145,000
  9. PJ Masks-AM ABC2 144,000
  10. Sarah & Duck-AM ABC2 142,000
  11. Man Of Steel 9GO! 141,000
  12. Charlie And Lola-PM ABC2 141,000
  13. Border Security: International E2-PM 7TWO 137,000
  14. Play School-AM ABC2 134,000
  15. Go Jetters ABC2 134,000
  16. Fixer Upp 9Life 130,000
  17. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom-AM ABC2 129,000
  18. Wildwoods ABC2 126,000
  19. Octonauts ABC2 126,000
  20. Peppa Pig-PM ABC2 123,000
Sunday subscription tv
  1. Live: JLT Series: Adelaide v Fremantle FOX FOOTY 84,000
  2. Live: JLT Series: West Coast v Port Adel FOX FOOTY 75,000
  3. John Wick: Chapter 2 Foxtel Movies Premiere 65,000
  4. Live: AFLW: GWS v Adelaide FOX FOOTY 62,000
  5. Live: Football: A-League Sydney v WSW FOX SPORTS 501 61,000
  6. S.W.A.T. FOX8 54,000
  7. Call The Midwife BBC First 50,000
  8. Crimes That Shook Australia crime + investigation 50,000
  9. Live: Cricket: ODI NZ v Eng Game 1 FOX SPORTS 50 5 48,000
  10. 24 Hours In Emergency LifeStyle Channel 42,000
  11. Mickey And The Roadster Racers Disney Junior 41,000
  12. NCIS TVH!TS 41,000
  13. NCIS TVH!TS 39,000
  14. Live: Cricket: ODI NZ v Eng Game 1 FOX SPORTS 505 38,000
  15. PJ Masks Disney Junior 38,000
  16. The Simpsons FOX8 35,000
  17. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 34,000
  18. The Lion Guard Disney Junior 34,000
  19. Vampirina Disney Junior 34,000
  20. Sunny Day Nick Jr. 34,000

Media News Roundup

Business Of Media

Will News Corp allow Sky News Live be sampled on a FTA channel?

Sky News Australia is weighing up a proposal that could see its content broadcast into every home in Australia, report The Australian’s Dana McCauley and Darren Davidson.

The television station, which currently airs only on Foxtel, is understood to be in talks with Seven and Nine over a potential, non-exclusive syndication deal.

If pursued, the strategy would allow Foxtel to give viewers a taste of its premium content and promote the Sky News brand to a new audience.

[Read the original]

Jules Lund boosts influencer marketplace Tribe's commercial team

Jules Lund’s influencer marketing marketplace Tribe has boosted its team with two senior hires – Nick Randall as chief revenue officer and Sammy Lewis as AU sales director.

Jules Lund with Sammy Lewis and Nick Randall

Randall joins Tribe from Whooshkaa, where he was the commercial director. He has also held executive sales and marketing roles at Fairfax and SCA. In the new role Randall will report to Tribe CEO Anthony Svirskis.

Sammy Lewis was most recently HuffPost Australia’s commercial director, and was previously group sales manager at REA Group. She will be based at Tribe’s Sydney office.

Svirskis commented: “Nick’s commencement at Tribe couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Over two-and-a-half years, the growth in our core Australia and UK markets has been beyond expectation and we now require additional layers of maturity to transition from a fast growth startup into a sophisticated mar-tech solution.

“Nick’s senior experience will see us build greater efficiencies into our existing sales processes as we embark on further regional expansion. With Sammy also joining us, we have the opportunity to deepen our Australian presence and drive high-level commercial conversations with our local brand and agency partners.”

Mediaweek’s Kruti Joshi caught up with Tribe founder Jules Lund last year. Read more.

George and Paul move to 2GB as Macquarie considers Talking Lifestyle future

2UE morning hosts who more recently became Talking Lifestyle network morning hosts George and Paul are taking their program to sister station 2GB.

The veteran radio hosts (one more of a veteran than the other) have long been the backbone of 2UE on weekends despite their timeslot moving around over the years.

Now listeners in Sydney only (or elsewhere via the internet) will hear George Moore and Paul B Kidd from 9am on Saturdays and Sundays on Sydney’s #1 radio station – 2GB. This timeslot change though comes with a number of advantages – bigger audience, a weekend sleep-in and fewer hours on air.

They told their listeners of the move on Saturday and, for the smallish Talking Lifestyle audience that may not have heard the news, Ray Hadley repeated it during his #1 morning show.

Both stations are owned by Macquarie Media, which only a week ago revealed a review of the Talking Lifestyle strategy after continued soft ratings.

Taking over the weekend breakfast show slot will be Mieke Buchan and Rob Duckworth who recently hosted summer breakfast in place of John Stanley and Garry Linnell.

Like the new Macquarie Media CEO Adam Lang, both Buchan and Duckworth spent time at SCA and Triple M. Buchan was part of the original lineup when Eddie McGuire first arrived at Triple M breakfast in Melbourne.

The strategies Macquarie Media is looking at include returning the network to easy listening music or perhaps moving to a sports format. Both options come with considerable challenges. Whatever plan is adopted, it is expected that the network would keep the John and Garry breakfast show. Both broadcasters have strong sports credentials if that skill is needed. Stanley is a regular on ABC TV’s The Offsiders while Linnell is a former sports editor of The Age.

The Courts

News, Fairfax, Seven, Nine, Macquarie and ABC support Bauer’s Rebel appeal

We know Rebel Wilson succeeded in her defamation claim against Woman’s Day last year. But today Wilson has succeeded in something else that many thought impossible. She has united the media, writes Melbourne media lawyer Justin Quill.

News Corp – publisher of the Herald Sun – is standing united with Fairfax Media, Seven and Nine. Macquarie Media and the ABC are also on board. The six unlikely bedfellows have combined against Wilson, not because they have a problem with her but because, on one crucial point, they believe the decision of the Supreme Court in Wilson’s case was wrong.

All six media organisations will, this morning, file documents with the Victorian Court of Appeal seeking leave to intervene in the appeal brought by Bauer Media – publisher of Woman’s Day – against the award of damages given to Wilson.

To be clear, I am representing all six of those media organisations in the case.

The fact six media companies have combined demonstrates how serious this issue is.

To understand it, you have to get into the detail of the case – and the appeal point.

Last September, Wilson was awarded $4.5 million by Supreme Court judge Justice John Dixon. The payout was the highest in Australian history, by a long way.

I imagine the costs of the two parties totalled about $4 million. So it probably cost Bauer between $8 million and $9 million.

Bauer is appealing against how much Wilson received and its arguments are decent. But facing a bill of up to $9 million, it’s no wonder Bauer appealed. In for a penny, in for a pound.

[Read the original]

The Bauer Media appeal date is now set for April 18.

Commenting on the media coalition supporting the publisher, Adrian Goss, general counsel, Bauer Media said:

“Bauer isn’t surprised to see Australia’s largest media organisations supporting its position in relation to the cap on defamation damages. That aspect of the court’s decision has significant consequences for all media.”

News Brands

Fairfax east coast web refresh complete as SMH editor unveils new look

Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald Lisa Davies welcomed readers to the new-look website at 9pm Sunday night:

The Sydney Morning Herald has been producing quality, independent journalism for almost 187 years and today we reaffirm those principles with the relaunch of our digital experience. Our fresh, new-look design delivers a faster, cleaner and more immersive website however – and wherever – you read us.

The story selections are easier to navigate, whether it’s the latest breaking news stories, local topics or global interests. We’ve created distinct sections to highlight the most important information first, plus redesigned the experience to showcase the depth and breadth of our coverage you’d expect: to educate, to challenge, and entertain. We strive to hold the powerful to account and add new perspectives to the biggest issues in our city, state, nation and around the globe. Now you can be more engaged than ever with the world around you.

Our subscribers will now be treated to even more exclusive stories and features, so keep an eye out for the new “subscribers” tag to take you behind the stories, and alongside our award-winning journalists.

Thank you for your ongoing support of this great masthead. It is the most extraordinary privilege to be the Herald’s editor, and an honour to lead such a dedicated team.

Read her full letter to readers here.

Stage 2 of News Corp’s "We’re For You" campaign begins with five TVCs

News Corp Australia’s new TV commercials for the We’re For You campaign aired on Sunday night in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Hobart.

The 15 TVCs (5x15sec, 5x30sec, 5x60sec) promoting The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, The Courier-Mail, The Advertiser and The Mercury, take News Corp’s We’re For You brand positioning into its second stage.

The first stage of the campaign featured seven days of newspaper spreads across the network of News Corp Australia metro brands that climaxed with columns in the Saturday and Sunday editions of the newspapers.

In Sydney for The Daily Telegraph that meant a column from celebrity reporter Jonathon Moran on Saturday and editor Mick Carroll in The Sunday Telegraph.

Tony Phillips, chief marketing officer of News Corp Australia, said about the TVCs: “The ‘We’re For You’ tagline embodies how we wish to connect with our readers. It’s a statement of commitment that we’re for the things that matter to our readers and their communities.

“These commercials, tailored for each city, tap into the places, moments, and methods in which people consume our content, using a universally recognised song.

“The TVCs show consumers in various situations in any given day, and how they’re connecting with reading the news. It evokes a sense of belonging to a community of people who know, share and discuss what’s going on in the world around them.”

The TV commercials aired during Seven’s Australian Spartan and Nine’s Married at First Sight and 60 Minutes.

Supporting the campaign over the coming weeks will be evolving print and digital ads, outdoor advertising across the transit network in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, as well as an extensive radio and cinema campaign.

Television

Network Ten and CJZ announce new comedy with Fat Pizza stars Tahir & Rob

TEN and WIN Network have announced a new comedy Street Smart goes into production today in Sydney, starring Fat Pizza’s Tahir Bilgiç and Rob Shehadie and co-starring I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!’s Casey Donovan in her first television acting role.

Tahir Bilgiç

Street Smart follows the trials of the country’s most inept criminal gang as they attempt to make their fortune.

Created by Bilgiç, Shehadie and CJZ’s Damian Davis, Street Smart will be filmed in various locations across Sydney’s west and is coming to the TEN and WIN Network in 2018.

Network Ten executive producer Paul Leadon said: “Network Ten is excited to announce commencement of principal photography on Street Smart, one of our exciting new narrative comedies for 2018. Street Smart is broad, accessible and very, very funny. Sitcom has been the missing ingredient in Australian commercial television for too long, but Street Smart is about to change all that.”

Street Smart has received principal production investment from Screen Australia. It is produced by CJZ with the assistance of Screen Australia and Create NSW.

Revealed: Former executive producer of A Current Affair Grant Williams gone

Grant Williams, Nine’s former deputy director of news and current affairs and executive producer of A Current Affair, quietly packed his bags and left Nine two weeks ago – five months after being initially stood down from his job following a staff mutiny, reports News Corp’s Annette Sharp.

A former cop, Williams’s eight-year-long tenure at the helm of the program came to a shuddering halt in September after producers and reporters at A Current Affair made formal complaints to Nine’s HR department about Williams’s verbal treatment of them.

In November, Nine bosses reassigned Williams to a newly created role as manager of news content development.

He was replaced in December by a former chief of staff of 60 Minutes and A Current Affair, Steven Burling.

[Read the original]

Seven bringing TV’s hottest property down under: Dr Shaun Murphy on tour

Seven is bringing TV’s hottest property to Australia on a media tour.

Freddie Highmore in The Good Doctor

Actor Freddie Highmore – better known to Australia’s biggest TV audiences as Dr Shaun Murphy – is on leave from San Jose St Bonaventure Hospital after finishing work on the first season of the hit medical drama and will arrive in Australia on Friday March 9.

This is a first-time visit to our shores for the highly regarded actor, who will visit Australia before travelling to New Zealand for further media commitments.

“With this being my first trip to Australia, I’m very much looking forward to exploring a country that I have always dreamed of visiting,” said Highmore.

“I am likewise excited to meet all those who have so warmly embraced The Good Doctor. Thanks for having me!”

The 26-year-old British actor recently received a Golden Globe nomination for his work in the series.

Seven has just a handful of episodes of the first season left to screen.

Rove McManus returning to TEN hosting movie quiz format from Paul Clarke

Network Ten has commissioned a new studio-based series, Show Me The Movie!, to be hosted by Australia’s triple TV Week Gold Logie award-winning presenter and movie tragic, Rove McManus.

Show Me The Movie! features two competing teams captained by actor Jane Harber and comedy star Joel Creasey.

Each week, Rove, Jane and Joel will be joined by a cast of actors, comedians and visiting international stars who will do battle in the movie quiz format.

Network Ten chief content officer Beverley McGarvey said: “We are so pleased to have Rove back on TEN. Show Me The Movie! is a brilliant mix of movies, comedy and trivia – and Rove, Jane and Joel are the perfect people to lead this engaging and funny new show.”

Show Me The Movie! is a co-production between Ronde Media and Blink TV. The series has been created by Ben Davies (Bondi Rescue, Here Come The Habibs) and Spicks and Specks creator Paul Clarke (Blood and Thunder, Eurovision).

Network Ten’s executive producer for Show Me The Movie! is Paul Leadon.

Davies said: “Spicks and Specks is the most successful comedy panel show in Australian history, so there’s no better person than Paul to be making Show Me The Movie! with.”

Clarke said: “Since Spicks and Specks, we’ve always thought that Australia needs a comedy panel show about movies. It just makes sense. Expect a lot of movie mash-ups, surprise guests and a great, irreverent show. Talking about movies is something everyone does, whether you’re teenagers in the suburbs or Rebel Wilson and her A-List besties in Hollywood.”

The Block not ever filming again in Sydney, but Nine’s new reno show will be

Nine may never bring The Block back to Sydney, but it is producing a new renovation show that will feature Sydney property.

The Manly Daily reports new series Buying Blind follows six couples, including one on Sydney’s northern beaches, who want a new home and who are prepared to entrust their money to others to find them one (plus be filmed through the process), reports Kathryn Welling.

One of the couples wants a house on the northern beaches and scouts have been attending auctions and trying to buy an old house either in Dee Why, Frenchs Forest or Allambie Heights that can be renovated for the new Nine reality show.

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Sports Media

The media partners that could have deep enough pockets to secure cricket

Nine Entertainment and News Corporation are in discussions for a joint bid for cricket broadcast rights that would see the sport split across free-to-air and subscription television channel Fox Sports, a move that could lock out Big Bash League broadcaster Network Ten, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Sources said Nine and News Corp have discussed taking a package to Cricket Australia worth between $130 million and $150 million per year – it’s believed contract lengths of between five and seven years have been considered.

Fox Sports is also thought to be planning a dedicated cricket channel, like those it has launched for its NRL and AFL coverage.

Nine would keep international Test cricket, 50-over day internationals, Twenty20 internationals and split the BBL tournament, the value of which is expected to carry the biggest share of inflation, with Fox Sports, which could potentially simulcast the BBL games on free-to-air.

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