Tuesday February 5, 2019

KIIS 101.1 celebrates achievements of the LGBTIQIA+ community

ARN’s KIIS 101.1 has celebrated the diversity and achievement of the LGBTIQIA+ community, as part of its third year of partnership with Melbourne’s premier queer arts and cultural celebration, Midsumma Festival.

A release from the broadcaster added:

A major element of the partnership included participation in the 24th annual Midsumma Carnival, on Sunday 20 January, and the 2019 Midsumma Pride March, on February 3.

At the annual Midsumma Carnival, KIIS 101.1 created colourful and engaging activations including performances by performers Strangefruit in Alexandra Gardens.

ARN’s chief oarketing Officer Anthony Xydis said: “This is the third year we have partnered with the Midsumma Festival and KIIS 101.1 is proud to be part of the community that celebrates equality, diversity and inclusiveness as part of this iconic Melbourne event,” he said.

Melbourne’s Midsumma Festival features a program of more than 170 events including visual arts, performance, film, parties, sports, and talks. It is on now until Sunday, February 10.

ARN’s new campaigns for #1 FM stars Kyle & Jackie, Jodie & Soda

ARN has launched new KIIS 1065 The Kyle & Jackie O Show TVCs to showcase what it calls the energy and vitality of Sydney’s #1FM breakfast show.

There is also a new ad campaign this week for ARN’s Mix 102.3.

Both the KIIS network stations are the #1 FM stations in their respective markets.

The KIIS 1065 TVC release follows the January launch of KIIS 1065’s 2019 marketing campaign across outdoor, digital and social featuring Kyle and Jackie O and new campaign position: HEAR IT, LOVE IT, KIIS IT.

ARN said since it launched in January 2014, as the new home of Sydney’s #1FM breakfast The Kyle & Jackie O Show, the KIIS 1065 brand “has continued to evolve embodying the best of Sydney’s vibrant and energetic culture”.

This week ARN has also launched a new Mix102.3 campaign, featuring Adelaide’s #1FM breakfast show Jodie & Soda, branding the program as “Adelaide’s Fun Breakfast Show”.

As to marketing plans for other KIIS network stations in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, ARN chief marketing officer Anthony Xydis told Mediaweek:

“Investment in marketing for our portfolio of station brands across the KIIS and Pure Gold networks continues to be a priority for ARN.

“Campaigns will run at different times and while we started the year with the launch of the new KIIS 1065 campaign in Sydney, campaigns will roll out for the broader portfolio in the coming weeks as part of our tailored, multi-channel marketing strategies for each of these competitive markets.”

Watch the Kyle and Jackie O ad here:

Sarah Ferguson leaves Four Corners: TV special then China job

The host of ABC’s Four Corners, Sarah Ferguson, has stepped down from the weekly current affairs show and accepted the role of China bureau chief for the ABC as it expands its commitment to covering the powerful nation and the Asia-Pacific region.

Ferguson takes over the role later this year, joining fellow China correspondent Bill Birtles in Beijing, after completing her current project: a major three-part documentary series for ABC TV.

The forthcoming TV project is Revelation from Sydney-based In Films. The series received funding from Screen Australia last year when first details were released:

After years of resistance, the Royal Commission finally broke the silence of the Catholic Church and unveiled the legacy of abuse of those in its care. In Revelation, Sarah Ferguson will piece together the forces at play in one of the most profound stories in Australia’s history and the extraordinary drama that brought it to light.

A three-part documentary series that will unite an experienced, multi-award winning creative team including Gold Walkley-winning journalist Sarah Ferguson (Trump/Russia), director Deborah Masters (The Killing Season), producer Nial Fulton (Hitting Home) and executive producer Ivan O’Mahoney (The Queen & Zak Grieve).

Ferguson has stepped back from her Four Corner’s role immediately. Reporter Michael Brissenden hosted the first episode for 2019 last night.

“The China story is irresistible for a journalist,” Ferguson said. “It has become the story of our time – and one with immense implications for Australia. Understanding China and the Chinese perspective is vital.

“This is a unique opportunity to join the Beijing bureau and continue the first rate analysis and coverage my colleagues have produced.”

Gaven Morris, director ABC News, said: “Now more than ever Australians need quality, in-depth coverage of China through Australian eyes. Delivering that for our audiences will be a key element of the ABC’s international newsgathering in 2019, as well as an enhanced focus on the Asia-Pacific.

“Having journalists on the ground is essential. And having reporters of the calibre of Sarah Ferguson and Bill Birtles is a huge strength. They will tell the stories, explain the issues and analyse the impacts for our audiences across our programs and platforms.”

Ferguson is a multi-award winning journalist and one of the ABC’s editorial leaders. In addition to her documentary work, she has been a reporter with weekly investigative flagship Four Corners for a decade, as well as presenting the program for the past three years.

“Reporting at Four Corners has been rewarding and demanding – the program is a journalistic powerhouse,” Ferguson said. “In my 10 years many talented people have given me a huge breadth of knowledge and experience that I am grateful to take with me on this new adventure.”

APRA reveals Song of the Year shortlist ahead of Music Awards

The 2019 APRA Music Awards return to Melbourne this year with new musical director Kate Miller-Heidke at the helm.

Ahead of the April event the shortlisted challengers for the title of Peer-Voted APRA Song of the Year have been announced.

Dean Lewis, Courtney Barnett, A.B. Original’s Adam Briggs and Daniel Rankine, Amy Shark, Sarah Aarons – who is also nominated for the Grammy Song of the Year for her shortlisted work The Middle – and Young Australian of the Year Danzal Baker (Baker Boy) are among the songwriters shortlisted for the APRA Song of the Year.

This award is 100% determined by APRA songwriter and publisher members, and is the biggest peer-voted music award in Australia.

The list of contenders features songs by fresh faces including Mojo Juju, Kaiit, The Teskey Brothers and Ziggy Alberts, who appear on the list alongside experimental jazz legends The Necks plus Suze DeMarchi and Dave Leslie of Baby Animals, The Living End, John Butler and 2018 APRA Song of the Year co-winner Paul Kelly.

The final five nominees will be revealed in March and the winner announced at the 2019 APRA Music Awards when they return to Melbourne on Tuesday 30 April.

The 2019 awards will be the first to be staged under new APRA AMCOS chief executive Dean Ormston.

“The APRA Music Awards have evolved a great deal since we last held the event in Melbourne in 2013, so I’m thrilled that this year we’ll be presenting our very special night in such a fantastic music city and at the venerable Melbourne Town Hall. It will be a true celebration of our songwriter and publisher members, and of course, the songs,” said Ormston.


(Listed in alphabetical order of song title)

BE ALRIGHT (DEAN LEWIS) | Dean Lewis / Jon Hume

BLACCOUT (A.B. ORIGINAL) | Adam Briggs / Daniel Rankine

BODY (THE NECKS) | Chris Abrahams / Tony Buck / Lloyd Swanton

DON’T LOSE IT (THE LIVING END) | Chris Cheney / Scott Owen / Andy Strachan / Tobias Kuhn


FOREVER YOU AND ME (THE TESKEY BROTHERS) | Joshua Teskey / Samuel Teskey / Liam Gough / Brendon Love


HOME (JOHN BUTLER TRIO) | John Butler / Martin Brown / Thomas Crawford / Katy Steele



MARRYUNA (BAKER BOY FEATURING YIRRMAL) | Danzal Baker / Dion Brownfield / Jerome Farah / Yirrmal Marika


NATIVE TONGUE (MOJO JUJU) | Mojo Juju / Joel Ma / Rita Seumanuta

OG LUV KUSH PT.2 (KAIIT) | Kaiit Waup / Michael Chan / Anthony Douglas / Mohamed Komba / Jaydean Miranda / Damian Smith


SOCIETY (AINSLIE WILLS) | Ainslie Wills / Bram Inscore / Maureen McDonald

THE MIDDLE (ZEDD, MAREN MORRIS & GREY)| Sarah Aarons / Jordan Johnson / Stefan Johnson/ Marcus Lomax / Kyle Trewartha / Michael Trewartha / Anton Zaslavski

TONIGHT (BABY ANIMALS) | Suze DeMarchi / Dave Leslie




Tuesday 30 April Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne

Screen Australia announces over $300,000 in development funding

Screen Australia has announced story development funding for six feature films, four television dramas and two online series, totalling over $300,000.

The slate includes feature film Memoir of a Snail from Academy Award-winning animator Adam Elliot; Aleph, a science-fiction series about a mother who faces the unthinkable decision of saving her daughter or humanity and online dark comedy Plushed, which explores mental illness through the eyes of a toy.

Head of development at Screen Australia Nerida Moore said: “One of the aims of the guideline changes was to encourage a more platform-agnostic approach from creative teams – we wanted creators to think about their story and audience first, and then what medium would be best suited to tell it on. We’re beginning to see more of that thinking and I’m pleased that there is also a real mix of compelling stories from emerging writers coming through.”

Two TV projects to receive funding are Goolagong, a two-part event mini-series based on the inspiring true life story of world champion tennis player Evonne Goolagong, one of Australia’s best known and most loved sporting heroes. It comes from producer Joanna Werner with Wayne Blair to direct.

The Fairway is a comedy/crime series from CJZ and executive producers Nathan Earl and Damian Davis. Every Golfer has a “nearly made it” story. Cautionary tales of careers made, dreams destroyed and nerves put to the test. This is one such story.

Among the other projects funded for development are:

Aleph: An eight-part series from Porchlight Films created, written and directed by Miranda Nation whose credits include critically acclaimed feature Undertow. The all-female creative team includes producer Liz Watts (Mary Magdalene) with writers Tamara Asmar (On The Ropes), Anya Beyersdorf (How the Light Gets In) and Porchlight development executive Coeli Cutcliffe. The series follows a woman who is faced with the choice between saving her daughter or saving a humanity teetering on the brink of extinction.

Chen PM 3010: A 10-part online comedy series set in the distant future, when Australia has collapsed and the pressure to save the country falls on the extremely underqualified but very nice young man, Aaron Chen. This series is written and produced by comedian Aaron Chen (Back in Very Small Business), with Béatrice Barbeau-Scurla (Suburban Wildlife) producing and Alexei Toliopoulous (ABC’s Finding Drago) writing and directing.

Girls In Hotels: A film from Dollhouse Pictures, with Gracie Otto (The Last Impresario) directing and producing her first narrative feature. The story follows six women, in different time zones and hotels, each going through a definitive moment in their life. An all-female creative team will aim to bring these contemporary experiences of womanhood to the screen, with producer Jessica Carrera who produced alongside Otto in The Last Impresario, executive producer Robyn Kershaw (Bran Nue Dae), and renowned journalist and novelist Lee Tulloch attached as writer.

Memoir of a Snail: A stop-motion feature film from Academy Award-winning writer and director Adam Elliot (Mary and Max). Using his signature blobs of clay, Adam and his team of animators will bring to life the bittersweet remembrance of a melancholic woman addicted to sausage-rolls and romance novels. The project from Chunky Wonky Films will be produced by Liz Kearney (Paper Planes) and Adam Elliot.

Oddlands: A six-part science-fiction series about cleaners Des and Tam whose lives take an unexpected turn when they come into contact with The Animal, and they go from model citizens to renegade members of The Resistance. Oddlands picks up from the short film of the same name, which won Best Short Film at Adelaide Film Festival in 2017. It will be written and directed by Bruce Gladwin and produced by Alice Nash from Back to Back Theatre, a company known for its ensemble of actors with disabilities. Gladwin and Nash will again collaborate with producer Stephen Corvini (Safe Harbour) from Matchbox Productions and are joined by writers Chris Anastassiades (Yolngu Boy), Stuart Page (The Secret Daughter), Dannika Horvat (The Summer of ABC Burns) and Tim Williams.

Plushed: An eight-part online series that follows a plush toy T-Rex, Alan, who is assigned to care for a 27-year-old OCD sufferer. Exploring mental illness through dark comedy, the series brings a personal perspective from writer and creator Simon Taylor. It will be produced by Sam Weingott.

Seconds: A darkly comic horror from Headspace Entertainment set in Western Australia in the 1970’s, about a regular family who are vegetarians except for their yearly tradition of ritualised cannibalism. The six-part series will be directed by Tony Rogers, director and co-creator of AFI Award-winning comedy series Wilfred. Rogers is joined by executive producers Georgia Mappin (Kid vs Kid) and Darren McFarlane (Bruce) and writers Jaime Browne (The Mule) and Jub Clerc (Mystery Road).

Time Trap: A science-fiction adventure film about an intergalactic traveller who becomes stranded on the long-abandoned Earth, and must join forces with a teenage girl also lost in time, as they both try to return home. This is the first feature from writer and director Michael Shanks who has built success online with impressive productions like The Wizards of Aus. The producers are Andrew Mason and Troy Lum from Hopscotch Features (the team behind The Water Diviner and most recently Nekrotronic) together with Maeva Gatineau.

Top Image: Oddlands

Box Office: The Mule again #1, Bohemian Rhapsody Returns to the Top Five

In a quiet week in theatres, no new releases made the top five.

By Trent Thomas

However, there was one change to the top five as Bohemian Rhapsody returns in its fourteenth week increasing its total from $774,656 to $831,711 as it now sits comfortably in the top ten of the all-time Australian box office.

The movie to slip out of the top five this week was How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, which drops to seventh spot after five weeks in theatres making $664,230 this past weekend.

Other notable movies this past weekend include:

#6. Aquaman $756,926
#8. Mary Poppins Returns  $541,917
#9. Ben is Back  $456,215
# 10. Storm Boy  $405,592

#1  The Mule  $1.72m

Retaining the top spot in its second week of release after only suffering a 9.5% decrease on its previous weekends total, the Clint Eastwood vehicle has continued to generate interest from an Australian audience.



#2 Green Book  $1.43m

Moving up a spot in its second week of release the Golden Globe winner for ‘Best Musical or Comedy’ has continued to generate forward momentum, only suffering a decline of 11% from last weekend.



#3 Glass $1.14m

Dropping down from second spot after three weeks of release, the continuation of the story told in Split and Unbreakable declined 38%, but still managed to be one of only three films to each break the $1m mark this past weekend.



#4 Instant Family $902,245

The family comedy has moved up one spot in its fourth week of release despite sliding down 43% from the $1.58m it posted last weekend.



#5 Bohemian Rhapsody $831,711

Moving up an impressive six spots from eleventh place last weekend, the biopic based on Queen is the only movie in the top five to increase its revenue over the previous weekend, having an increase of 7%.


TV Ratings Analysts: February 4

• Married and Mark Llewellyn’s new crime series keep Nine #1
• Seven’s My Kitchen Rules lifts – but can’t catch MAFS
• Four Corners, Media Watch and Q&A return to ABC Mondays

Week 6 2019 – Summer schedule – Monday

By James Manning

FTA early evening TV news/current affairs

• Seven News 1,061,000/1,033,000
• Nine News 898,000/905,000
• A Current Affair 808,000
• ABC News 772,000
• 7.30 651,000
• 10 News First 423,000
• SBS World News 131,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 287,000
• Today 220,000
• News Breakfast 129,000

Week 6 Reality Battle

Married At First Sight
• Sunday 1,088,000
• Monday 1,117,000

My Kitchen Rules
• Sunday 808,000
• Monday 841,000

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here
• Sunday 591,000/662,000
• Monday 561,000/520,000


Although Nine was #1 primary channel, Seven drew level with Nine on combined channel share with both on 30.1%.

My Kitchen Rules lifted closer to 850,000 as Andy & Ruby took their guests on a “de leche” trip to Peru, llamas included. Some good cooking now sees the duo at the top of the leader board.

It was a rare night off in the Big Bash League with no game for either Seven or Fox Cricket.

After MKR Seven screened Billy Connolly’s Ultimate World Tour with the comedian sharing highlights from previous series and taking viewers through Florida where he now lives. The special did 463,000. It went to air in the UK late last year just days before the two-part spectacular doco Billy Connolly: Made In Scotland.

Seven did have cricket earlier in the day with the last day of the second test between Australia and Sri Lanka. The first session did 174,000 followed the second session, which is when Australia claimed victory, on 243,000.

Earlier in the day 7mate’s coverage of the Super Bowl did 234,000 with 209,000 watching the halftime show.


Nine’s A Current Affair started its new week on 808,000 and the news that former Today newsreader Sylvia Jeffreys will be joining the show.

Married At First Sight continues to kick ratings goals, with a Monday audience of 1.11m keeping it #1 all people and in key demos.

Another winner for Nine last night was news man Mark Llewellyn who took his crime reporting skills to Nine last year. His new series Murder, Lies & Alibis did 617,000 on debut as it won its timeslot.


Singer/songwriter Julia Michaels was a guest on The Project with 460,000 after 7pm.

The first of the daily eliminations on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! saw the star of The Bold and The Beautiful, Katherine Kelly Lang, depart just after one week in the jungle. The episode did 565,000 with 520,000 watching the elimination of the soap superstar.

Murphy Brown then did 312,000 followed by a Graham Norton repeat on 118,000.


No Sarah Ferguson on the first episode of Four Corners last night with reporter Michael Brissenden stepping into front the episode. It was a compelling piece of TV too, a report from Sophie McNeill about a Saudi teenager, trapped in transit, on the run from her family and the Saudi state, hoping to make it to Australia. McNeill flew to Bangkok, slipped past security and joined Rahaf Al Qunun as the young woman barricaded herself inside a hotel room. The episode was on 561,000.

Also were returning last night were Media Watch on 520,000 and Q&A on 384,000.

Earlier in the night Back Roads did 575,000.

Week 6 TV: Monday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 14.1% 7 21.7% 9 24.2% 10  10.4% SBS One 4.1%
ABC 2 2.1% 7TWO 3.4% GO! 2.9% 10 Bold 3.5% VICELAND 0.9%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 3.0% GEM 1.7% 10 Peach 2.0% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix 1.6% 9Life 1.3%     NITV 0.1%
    7Food 0.4%            
TOTAL 18.0%   30.1%   30.1%   15.9%   5.8%
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 13.5% 7 22.3% 9 21.1% WIN 10.2% SBS One 3.0%
ABC 2 2.3% 7TWO 4.3% GO! 3.7% WIN Bold 2.6% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 3.6% GEM 3.4% WIN Peach 1.7% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix 1.4% 9Life 2.0% Sky News  on WIN 0.8% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 17.9%   31.6%   30.2%   15.3%   5.3%


Monday FTA
  1. Married At First Sight – Nine 1,117,000
  2. Seven News Seven 1,061,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 1,033,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 905,000
  5. Nine News Nine 898,000
  6. My Kitchen Rules – Seven 841,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 808,000
  8. ABC News ABC 772,000
  9. 7.30 ABC 651,000
  10. Murder, Lies & Alibis Nine 617,000
  11. Back Roads S4 ABC 575,000
  12. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! 10 565,000
  13. The Chase Australia Seven 562,000
  14. Four Corners ABC 561,000
  15. Media Watch ABC 520,000
  16. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Elimination 10 520,000
  17. Billy Connolly: The Ultimate World Tour Seven 463,000
  18. The Project 7pm 10 460,000
  19. Hot Seat Nine 454,000
  20. 10 News First 10 423,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. Married At First Sight – Nine 338,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules – Seven 178,000
  3. Murder, Lies & Alibis Nine 144,000
  4. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! 10 130,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 123,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. Married At First Sight – Nine 540,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules – Seven 298,000
  3. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! 10 253,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 250,000
  5. Murder, Lies & Alibis Nine 246,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Married At First Sight – Nine 584,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules – Seven 339,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 302,000
  4. Murder, Lies & Alibis Nine 289,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 287,000
MONDAY Multichannel
  1. Super Bowl LIII: Patriots V Rams 7mate 234,000
  2. Super Bowl LIII: Patriots V Rams – Halftime Show 7mate 209,000
  3. Super Bowl LIII: Patriots V Rams – Post Game 7mate 166,000
  4. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 160,000
  5. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 154,000
  6. Bluey PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  7. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  8. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  9. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 140,000
  10. Neighbours 10 Peach 138,000
  11. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  12. Doc Martin PM 7TWO 129,000
  13. Law & Order: Svu Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 127,000
  14. Lewis PM 7TWO 127,000
  15. Pj Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  16. Floogals AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  17. Go Jetters PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  18. The Big Bang Theory Tx3 9GO! 120,000
  19. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  20. Hey Duggee AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  1. Live: NFL Super Bowl LIII ESPN 130,000
  2. Live: Aus V Sri 2nd Test Day 4 FOX CRICKET 116,000
  3. Live: Sportscenter ESPN 115,000
  4. Live: The Big Break FOX CRICKET 69,000
  5. Live: Aus V Sri 2nd Test Day 4 FOX CRICKET 67,000
  6. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 60,000
  7. Live: Tea For Two FOX CRICKET 58,000
  8. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 50,000
  9. Credlin Sky News Live 50,000
  10. Live: NFL Primetime ESPN 49,000
  11. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 43,000
  12. BBL: Hurricanes V Strikers FOX CRICKET 42,000
  13. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 38,000
  14. Banking Inquiry Report Sky News Live 37,000
  15. The Big Bang Theory COMEDY CHANNEL 36,000
  16. Death In Paradise BBC First 35,000
  17. Yes, Prime Minister FOX Classics 35,000
  18. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 35,000
  19. The Big Bang Theory COMEDY CHANNEL 34,000
  20. Kenny On Media Sky News Live 34,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

Global growth: QMS appoints US-based Ian Rowden to the board

QMS Media has appointed Ian Rowden (pictured) as an independent non-executive board director, effective 4th of February 2019.

QMS said this week:

US-based Rowden brings a wealth of international knowledge and marketing expertise to the board, having worked with some of the world’s most admired brands in a variety of commercial, operational and marketing leadership roles across four continents.

His appointment is pivotal as the company’s sports strategy continues to expand its significant global footprint.

Rowden began his career with The Coca-Cola Company in Sydney, Australia in 1980 and for over 20 years held numerous senior executive roles with the company worldwide. These included region president for the China division, based in Hong Kong and global head of consumer communications, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

From 2000 to 2004 he served as chief marketing officer for The Callaway Golf Company. In 2004 he joined Wendy’s International as chief marketing officer, a position Rowden held until 2007 when he was appointed chairman and CEO, Asia Pacific for Saatchi & Saatchi. From 2011 to 2015 he served as partner at The Virgin Group and concurrently as a board member of Virgin Galactic and Virgin Produced.

QMS Media chairman Wayne Stevenson said: “As a globally recognised business leader, Ian’s expertise across marketing, media and sport will prove to be an invaluable asset to our group, as we continue to position the business for future growth.”

Ian Rowden said: “I am delighted to be joining a truly dynamic and progressive business such as QMS Media, and to be able to share my marketing and commercial experience across global media and sports markets, as the company continues to shape its future growth profile. I am looking forward to working with shareholders, my fellow directors, and the executive management team to continue to realise the many strategic opportunities that lie ahead.”

Rowden is currently a member of the Investment Advisory Board of Innovate Partners LLC, a Los Angeles area based venture capital firm; he serves on the Board of Directors for Enero Group in addition to privately held companies BrightGuard (US) and Premier League Basketball (UK), as well as The Miami Ad School, a non-profit entity.

He is a former director of Country Outfitters (US) and Sydney FC in the A-League and is an inductee in The Advertising Hall of Achievement.

USA Today publisher says no to US$1.36b bid from hedge fund

The publisher of USA Today and dozens of other newspapers said no to a hedge-fund backed media group with a reputation for slashing jobs, but the buyout fight may not be over, reports Associated Press.

Gannett on Monday said its board has unanimously rejected an unsolicited US$1.36 billion buyout from MNG Enterprises , better known as Digital First Media. Digital First then said that it might nominate new Gannett board directors to consider its offer.

The board decided the US$12 per share offer was too low, and that it wasn’t in the interest of the company or its shareholders.

Digital First has a reputation for particularly stringent, painful cost-cutting.

It has become one of the biggest US newspaper chains, with about 200 papers and other publications, including The Denver Post and the Boston Herald. Its biggest shareholder is Alden Global Capital LLC, a New York hedge fund that invests in distressed companies.

[Read the original]

News Brands

Greste launching media freedom campaign ‘to protect our democracy’

The Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom is set to launch a campaign for a media freedom act to ensure politicians strike a better balance between laws that keep Australians safe and protecting the public’s right-to-know information that is critical to a healthy, functioning democracy, reports The Australian’s Nicola Berkovic.

The alliance’s founding director, Peter Greste, said national security laws in Australia had increasingly chipped away at journalists’ freedoms and new legislative protections were needed to protect the crucial role of the media.

The award-winning journalist was thrown into prison in Egypt in 2013 on trumped-up charges of aiding and financing a terrorist organisation and spreading “false news”. He spent 400 days behind bars with two Al Jazeera colleagues before finally being released from Cairo’s Tora prison. Greste, who holds the University of Queensland’s UNESCO Chair in Journalism and Communication, said governments had loosened legislative definitions relating to national security and had intruded on the work of ordinary journalism.

[Read the original]

Peter Greste in The Australian: Let’s not keep muzzling our watchdogs

One of the central tenets of a successful liberal democracy is press freedom. As voters, we employ our elected officials to run the government on our behalf and, as with all bosses, we have a right to know what they get up to.

In any democratic system worth the title, that happens through good, sceptical, independent and at times aggressive journalism.

My organisation, the Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom, is launching a campaign for a media freedom act. It would act as a yardstick to measure all our laws against, to protect the watchdog role that journalists play.

It isn’t intended to stop or repeal critical national security legislation; clearly, we need to update our laws to cope with a dangerous world. But the act would compel our politicians to strike a better balance between those two essential functions, making us all both safer and better informed.

[Read the original]

Press Council accused of censoring media over the word ‘transgender’

The Australian Press Council has ruled its standards of practice were breached by Nine.com.au and The Daily Mail referring to a woman’s transgender status, prompting an accusation the council was trying to “censor” the media’s use of the word, reports The Australian’s Nicola Berkovic.

The complaints against The Daily Mail and Nine.com.au related to reports that Jade Walker, sister of NRL star Dylan Walker, was on manslaughter charges over the death of her boyfriend, Gilbert Caetano, at his home in Sydney’s south. Jade Walker was later cleared of all charges related to the death of the 51-year-old. In two adjudications yesterday, the Press Council said Jade Walker’s transgender status was not relevant to the alleged criminality.

The Daily Mail and nine.com.au declined to comment yesterday. News.com.au editor-in-chief Kate de Brito said the Press Council seemed “determined to censor the media from using the word transgender”.

[Read the original]


Network 10 confirms Sunday Night Takeaway launch and “secret spice”

After rushing back from their duties in the South African jungle, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! hosts Julia Morris and Dr Chris Brown go straight into pre-production on Chris & Julia’s Sunday Night Takeaway which launches on Sunday February 24, just seven days after the grand final of Celebrity.

Joining the hosts on the show is what the network has branded “secret spice to give your Sunday night extra zing” – former Nine NRL Footy Show contributor Beau Ryan.

10 noted this morning:

Bursting out of the scrum and making a beeline for your Sunday nights, Beau will be pulling out all the strings when he hosts Chris Vs Julia each week.

In a head to head showdown, Chris and Julia lock horns in a test of mental and physical strength. The stakes are high, the consequences for the loser are dire. There’s no telling what will happen as they wrestle each other to the top of the podium. And, please note there may be wrestling involved.

Truly a man of the people, Beau will take some time away from shaking hands and kissing babies to host In For A Dollar. Creating mischief in cities around the country, he’ll invite unsuspecting punters to pay $1 for the chance to win a grand. If they’re “in for a dollar”, they must complete five rounds of crazy questions and hilarious tasks or walk away with nothing but a bruised ego.

Top Photo: Dr Chris and Julia with Beau Ryan

MKR clash: Ibby and Romel call out Josh and Austin as real villains

Glamorous Sydney socialites, Ibby Moubadder and Romel Kouyan, have hit back at their fellow My Kitchen Rules contestants, Josh and Austin, calling them “fame whores” and “delusional”.

Frustrated after the controversial Christian brothers accused them as being the real villains of the series during an interview for this column last week, restaurateur Moubadder said: “We can’t believe this.”

The two pairs are set to come face-to-face at an event on Tuesday, with Moubadder and Kouyan admitting they have mixed emotions about the impending rendezvous.

“We haven’t seen them since the show started, but we are going to see them and I’m actually quite excited, but at the same time quite nervous, after reading all their comments about us being the real villains, it’s going to be an interesting meet up, I would say,” Moubadder laughed.

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Gold Coast schoolboy to star in Nickelodeon’s Ready Set Dance

It’s the new TV gig that has Hunter Leitch crumping for joy, reports The Courier Mail’s Jeremy Pierce.

The Gold Coast 14-year-old has been hand-picked to star in the new Nickelodeon show Ready Set Dance.

Airing on the Nick Jr channel, Ready Set Dance is aimed at pre-school-aged children, encouraging them to jump and jive along as the performers break out new dance moves.

Hunter, who previously appeared on Nickelodeon’s Slime Cup TV series, said his latest gig was right up his alley.

“I love performing and entertaining people and bringing joy to people around me,” he said.

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Academy confirms no Oscars host, reveals Awards presenters

The first round of Oscars 2019 presenters was announced this morning by Oscars 2019 producer Donna Gigliotti and co-producer and director Glenn Weiss.

The awards will be carried live on the Nine Network on Monday February 25.

The Academy said to help honour the incredible slate of Oscars 2019 nominees – from blockbusters to independent films – and embrace the diversity of the global movie-going audience, 13 stars were added to the list of presenters. Awkwafina, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Brie Larson (pictured), Jennifer Lopez, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Amandla Stenberg, Charlize Theron, Tessa Thompson, and Constance Wu will be taking the Oscar stage as presenters.

Brie Larson

“The Oscar nominees have generated tremendous worldwide attention through their captivating stories, achievements and performances,” said Gigliotti and Weiss.

The producers will continue to announce talent joining the show in the coming weeks, and, as previously announced, the show will feature musical performances of the five Original Song nominees.

The list of musical performers:

Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson (pictured) will perform “I’ll Fight” from RBG (music and lyric by Diane Warren); nominees Gillian Welch and David Rawlings will be welcomed to the stage to sing “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” from The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs (music and lyric by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch); Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga are set to perform “Shallow” from A Star Is Born (music and lyric by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt) and a special surprise guest has been tapped to perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns (music by Marc Shaiman; lyric by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman).

Sports Media

AFLX draft televised by Seven ahead of first games at Marvel Stadium

After launching the AFLW last weekend, Seven is launching the second season of AFLX on Wednesday February 6.

AFLX in 2019 will feature four new teams, as well as the first ever AFLX Draft.

The teams will be selected on Wednesday February 6, with the four captains building their dream teams at a star-studded draft.

Team captains Jack Riewoldt, Patrick Dangerfield, Eddie Betts and Nat Fyfe will make their selections in a schoolyard-style format from a pool of 100 of their fellow elite players, with each captain allowed a limit of four players per AFL club as part of their 14-man squad.

The captains will be supported by their already appointed vice-captains, with Patrick Cripps suiting up for Riewoldt’s RAMPAGE, Luke Hodge supporting Dangerfield’s BOLTS, Shaun Burgoyne joining Betts’ DEADLY and Marcus Bontempelli pulling on the boots for Fyfe’s FLYERS.

AFLX 2019 will see four teams compete in a round-robin format culminating in a Grand Final between the top two teams.

Each match will consist of two 10-minute halves and include the 10-point super goal.

The draft and the tournament will be televised by Seven and Fox Footy.

Seven’s broadcast times for AFLX 2019

AFLX Draft

Wednesday February 6
• Sydney 7pm on 7mate and 7plus
• Melbourne 7pm on 7mate and 7plus
• Brisbane 7pm on 7mate and 7plus
• Adelaide 7pm on 7mate and 7plus
• Perth 7pm on 7mate and 7plus

AFLX 2019

Friday February 22
• Sydney 7pm LIVE on 7mate and 7plus
• Melbourne 7pm LIVE on Seven and 7plus
• Brisbane 6pm LIVE on 7mate and 7plus
• Adelaide 6.30pm LIVE on Seven and 7plus
• Perth 4pm LIVE on 7mate and 7plus

Low score, small audience: Super Bowl ratings drop with a boring game

It was the lowest scoring Super Bowl ever, a universally agreed upon snoozefest. The halftime show was forgettable. The commercials were tame, reports The New York Times.

The fans watching at home noticed, and Super Bowl broadcaster CBS paid the price.

The lacklustre viewership, which may have had something to do with aggrieved fans in New Orleans, ran counter to the success the NFL had on television this season. Every time slot for NFL game earned higher ratings during the 2018 regular season, a total gain of 5%.

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