Thursday February 7, 2019

Podcast Week: Barb’s new scammer, Mentor and the PM, Mamamia

The wonderful Barb made a triumphant return to the Hit Network drive show this week. She seems to have found a potential new scammer.

Kate Langbroek’s friend Barb on her new podcast

By James Manning

For overs six months now Barb has looked for love online, luring scammers into a long relationship that ends before she hands over any of her wealth.

PodcastOne has packaged up the various online “relationships” into a compelling series of episodes branded Scamming The Scammer.

“She is always out there looking for love,” her friend Kate Langbroek told Mediaweek.

Working with Langbroek on the latest Barb instalment from her new Italian base has been producer Sasha French and drive show tech Andrea. Another SCA tech visited Italy last November to look for a suitable space for Kate to broadcast from when she and her family arrived for their Italian adventure.

[See other Kate Langbroek interview published on Mediaweek today.]

Barb said the Hit Network makes sure she never touches a button on the broadcast equipment.

The Hit Network has briefed a local in Bologna about the tech setup, but Barb explained most of the recording can be handled from the Melbourne Hit Network studios.

Langbroek added that in the past much of the Hughesy & Kate show is recorded on Skype, particularly when Hughesy is travelling for his comedy commitments, and they are old hands at it.

Barb and her co-conspirators have a great strike rate when it comes to hooking an online love scammer. When asked if they have ever had to dump a potential fraudster because he smelled something amiss, Langbroek said: “Never. None of them have ever cottoned on. They are so audacious. Greed is blind. Once they get a whiff that Barb is such a willing participant in their scams they go right along with it.”

The scammer on the hook this week is Fred who sounds almost too good to be true. Without wanting to reveal too much, Barb admitted she and Fred make the ultimate commitment to each other!

As to whether Kate ever feels any sorrow for the fraudsters after they are exposed on air, she explained: “Sometimes I feel a bit sorry for them. But as Hughesy always says to me. ‘When they are busy on the line with me, they are not scamming someone else.’

“You always have to remember how cruel these men are and what their end game is. They try to make people fall in love with them so they can commit a crime on a massive scale.

Listen to Scamming The Scammer here.

Spotify growing its podcast offering with acquisitions

Spotify is growing its already significant podcast offering through acquisition. Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek explains his latest moves:

More than 10 years ago we founded Spotify to give consumers something they couldn’t get – music any time, anywhere, and at the right price.

Along the way, we broke the grip piracy had on our industry and restored the growth of global music through paid on-demand streaming. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished, but what I didn’t know when we launched to consumers in 2008 was that audio – not just music – would be the future of Spotify.

With more than 200 million users around the globe, Spotify is already one of the world’s most-used apps, but we see an opportunity apart from where we sit today. An opportunity that will allow us to reach beyond music to engage users in entirely new ways.

This opportunity starts with the next phase of growth in audio – podcasting. There are endless ways to tell stories that serve to entertain, to educate, to challenge, to inspire, or to bring us together and break down cultural barriers.

The format is really evolving and while podcasting is still a relatively small business today, I see incredible growth potential for the space and for Spotify in particular.

In just shy of two years, we have become the second-biggest podcasting platform. And, more importantly, users love having podcasts as a part of their Spotify experience. Our podcast users spend almost twice the time on the platform, and spend even more time listening to music. We have also seen that by having unique programming, people who previously thought Spotify was not right for them will give it a try.

That’s why we announced today the strategic acquisitions of two podcasting companies, Gimlet and Anchor. These companies serve two different, distinct roles in the industry. Gimlet is one of the best content creators in the world, with unique, celebrated podcast shows like Homecoming, which was recently adapted into a critically acclaimed show on Amazon Prime, and the internet culture hit Reply All. And Anchor has completely reimagined the path to audio creation, enabling creation for the next generation of podcasters worldwide — 15 billion hours of content on the platform during Q4. These companies are best-in-class and together we will offer differentiated and original content. Gimlet and Anchor will position us to become the leading platform for podcast creators around the world and the leading producer of podcasts.

Read Ek’s complete blog about the podcast acquisitions here.

The Mentor meets ScoMo

PodcastOne has just published an episode of The Mentor podcast with Mark Bouris in which Bouris speaks to Prime Minister Scott Morrison about small businesses and their importance for the Australian economy.

Listen to the new episode of The Mentor here.


ABC True Crime podcast unravels 20-year-old mountains mystery

In December 2018, the suspicious unsolved disappearance of a missing Blue Mountains mum made headlines when NSW Police announced they had found items of clothing buried underneath her former home during a forensic dig at the property.

19-year-old single mum Belinda Peisley was last seen in Katoomba in September 1998.

Reporter Gina McKeon (pictured) was at the dramatic scene at Belinda’s home alongside Belinda’s father, Mark Wearne. She was already six months into a deep dive into this case for the latest season of the ABC’s Walkley Award-winning podcast Unravel True Crime.

Scenes detailed in last year’s ABC TV + iview special, Who Killed Belinda Peisley covering an inquest into Belinda’s disappearance and suspected death, pointed to a probable homicide.

Episode 1 of Unravel: Last Seen Katoomba was released on February 5, then weekly every Tuesday for five episodes.

Listen to ABC True Crime podcasts here.

Big W sponsors Mamamia’s new podcast for parents

Mamamia has launched a new podcast for parents who are inside The Baby Bubble, or are curious about what new parenthood is really like.

Hosted by writer and broadcaster Zoe Marshall and self-described social media maven and gay father Sean Szeps, the weekly series pulls no punches. With launch partner Big W, the hosts are promising it’s what you’d expect from a friend in your ear: no judgement, plenty of laughs.

“Parenting can be lonely, overwhelming and isolating,” said Marshall. “The Baby Bubble is somewhere to come when you can’t handle another witching hour or just don’t know if you’re doing it right.”

“I signed on to do the podcast because I wanted to have an honest conversation about being a first-time parent,” said co-host and new father of twins Szeps.

“As beautiful as the parenting experience can be, it’s equal parts isolation and monotony. This show embraces that contrast. After teaching my son to say ‘please’ and my daughter to do a fist bump, this podcast launching is the third most exciting thing to happen to me this week!”

Episodes drop on Thursdays, with each running for about 30 minutes.

Listen to The Baby Bubble here.

Kate Langbroek’s Italian radio folly: Hosting drive show from Bologna

Kate Langbroek didn’t think she would be doing radio this year. She had planned to take a year off for her family and was ready to resign from her hit drive show she co-hosts with Dave Hughes.

Instead she now finds herself hosting the Hit Network program daily from the Italian city of Bologna.

So far, so good, she told Mediaweek.

“I am thrilled how much everyone has gotten on board with it including messages from listeners. I didn’t think anyone would find it that interesting. It is a fabulous folly of mine that has captured the attention of many. It is a dream or a fantasy that many people have, but they can enjoy mine without having to do the fucking reality of it. [Laughs] That is moving six people to the other side of the world.”

Langbroek first alerted radio bosses about a desire to head to Italy when she told ARN that she would only re-sign for one year when her then KIIS drive contract came up for renewal. “I assumed I would have to resign. I told them that my husband and I wanted to take the children to Italy for a year. That set a cat among the pigeons.

“At the Hit Network though it was Gemma [Fordham] and Grant [Blackley] who said they would be rapt to have me for a year. Then Hughesy got out his not inconsiderable powers of persuasion and said why don’t we keep doing the show.”

Although co-hosting from Italy for 12 months poses a few challenges, what the Hughesy and Kate drive program has done in terms of ratings across the Hit Network should make it all worthwhile.

The great thing about Langbroek in Italy is that they are not downplaying her absence.

“Hughesy and I have the ethos that we never have any secrets from our listeners. When stuff goes wrong we admit it and we don’t hide things. The truth is easier!”

Langbroek realised there will be one judge of how exciting it is having her in Europe. “The proof will be in the pudding,” she said, alluding to what the ratings will show this year.

The drive duo are now in their second year at their new home after successful years with Nova and then ARN. “It has been so glorious,” said Kate referring her time with Southern Cross Austereo.

“A lot of companies, and not just in media, talk about culture, and all around the country where we go we meet great people – we are very happy here.

Kate Langbroek’s Italian radio studio

This past fortnight the ACRA producer of the year, and Hughesy and Kate’s longtime EP, Sacha French, has been in Bologna with Kate. French sounded a little down when she revealed that by the time we publish this she will be packing for home. Could her reluctance to leave have something to do with the Italian boyfriend she has connected with during her short visit? The show has been updating their relationship each day.

It’s not quite as spicy as a Married At First Sight episode recap, but it is always fun when a member of a show’s team is part of the program.

As to whether Hughesy might make it to Italy, Langbroek told Mediaweek: “There has to be a listener trip to Italy doesn’t there? What sort of hosts would we be if we didn’t take listeners over to Italy? Plus I’ll be lonely.” As to whether that was a dream or reality for the show,” Langbroek said: “It will happen.”

See also Podcast Week for more about Kate in Italy and her new podcast.

Top Photo: Kate Langbroek does the school pick-up in Bologna

Nine publishing chasing more subscribers for The Age & The SMH

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have unveiled a new brand and subscriber marketing campaign showcasing their breaking-news and agenda-setting journalism.

The new owner of the former Fairfax Media brands, Nine Entertainment Co, released these details today:

“You Deserve to Know” is a campaign that builds on their “Independent Always” ethos by highlighting cases of public-interest journalism where the Herald and The Age have led debate.

Issues covered include banking misconduct that resulted in the Hayne Royal Commission, mistreatment of elderly residents that led to the Aged Care Royal Commission, the Informer 3838 scandal that has led to this year’s Royal Commission into the Victoria Police, and reporting on Eddie Obeid that prompted an ICAC investigation and his subsequent imprisonment.

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have broken countless important stories that have not only shaped the news agenda but created wider discussion and directly led to change,” said Chris Janz, Nine’s managing director of publishing.

“We are proud of what The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have achieved and will continue to achieve, and think it’s important to highlight the value to readers and society that comes from the pursuit of the truth.

“‘Independent Always’ is part of the DNA of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. This new campaign is about demonstrating to our subscribers and readers what that philosophy looks like in practice.”

“You Deserve To Know” will run across print, digital display, outdoor, broadcast video on demand and social media, with the campaign pointing to a hub that highlights The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age’s public-interest journalism and gives audiences an insight into the processes behind the important stories they already know and the impact they’ve had.

James Chessell, group executive editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, said:

The Herald and The Age have a highly engaged, loyal audience and ‘You Deserve To Know’ is about connecting them further with our journalism and what happens as a consequence of the news-breaking the editorial team does daily.

“‘You Deserve To Know’ is the perfect platform for us to speak and connect with our readers at every part of the subscription journey, and to remind them that our journalism is for them.”

The campaign was created by the WiTH Collective, linked by Isobar in partnership with The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age subscription team. Digital agency Slik brought the campaign to life on digital display and social channels.

The “You Deserve To Know” campaign sees the blue and red colour palette associated with The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age made more bold and striking to reflect the strong impact of their journalism.

“This is our proudest campaign in our five-year relationship with The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age,” Justin Hind, WiTH Collective CEO, said. “‘You Deserve To Know’ positions the mastheads front and centre of why quality journalism matters in today’s uncertain times.

“Our team couldn’t have created this without the collaboration and support of everyone at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age from the top down, and we’re proud to have had the chance to craft such an important message.”

Steve Coll, WiTH Collective’s chief creative officer, said: “It was a real privilege to work on this campaign. We spoke to some of Australia’s most respected writers, photographers and editors, hearing incredible stories from people who have worked in war zones or disaster situations.

“But it was the bravery of the whole news organisation that struck us most. Just imagine how it must be to take on the most powerful individuals and institutions in this country, and for everyone in the organisation to back the story, whatever the pressure, whatever the cost to the business because we, the public, deserve to know.

“It felt like a compelling truth for a truly independent news organisation, and a powerful brand platform for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age moving forward.”

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Foxtel Movies’ Oscar Winners pop-up Channel 410 launching  February 17

With the 91st Academy Awards around the corner, Foxtel Movies is set to showcase the best Oscar winning films including those that have taken out the Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Supporting awards over the years.

Foxtel Movies’ Oscar Winners pop-up Channel 410, will be available to Foxtel Movies and Platinum subscribers in HD – all titles will be available to stream On Demand via FoxFlicks on internet connected iQ3 and iQ4 boxes, on devices with Foxtel Go, and via Foxtel Now. It will  screen back to back for nine days from 6.00am Sunday 17th February to Monday 25th February 2019 including La La Land, The Shape of Water, I, Tonya, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Titanic, Forest Gump, Good Will Hunting, The Departed, Saving Private Ryan, Erin Brockovich, The Dark Night, Million Dollar Baby, Chicago, Darkest Hour, The Godfather, Jerry Maguire and Rocky with all titles available to stream on Demand.

The 91st Academy Awards will be held at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday February 24.

Jonesy & Amanda’s Guinness World Record for Yum Cha feast

WSFM’s Jonesy & Amanda are making Sydney’s Lunar Festival celebrations one to remember with a successful attempt to claim the Guinness World Records title for the Largest Dim Sum (Yum Cha) meal.

To celebrate the Year of the Pig, Jonesy & Amanda partnered with the City of Sydney and Channel 7’s My Kitchen Rules and hundreds of WSFM listeners to attempt to break the record on Tuesday, February 5 at Darling Harbour.

Also joining in the fun on Tuesday were MKR contestants Ibby & Romel, Josh & Austin and Veronica & Piper.

Ahead of the Guinness World Records attempt Amanda Keller said: “This is going to be one of the tastiest challenges we’ve ever done. I can’t wait to tuck into some delicious yum cha with hundreds of our listeners to celebrate the Sydney Lunar Festival.”

“Growing up, I was always told ‘there was no such thing as a free lunch’ and what better way to prove those naysayers wrong than with a world record free lunch. The more the merrier!” Brendan Jones added.

The Sydney Lunar Festival runs from 1 to 10 February.

For more details on the program go to

TV ratings Analysis: February 6

• Married At First Sight dinner party takes off with 1.28m
• Sunrise cracks 300,000 metro as Today audience drops
• + MKR 816k, Celebrity 537k, Undercurrent 466k, Get Krackin 261k

Week 6 2019 – Summer schedule – Wednesday

By James Manning

FTA early evening TV news/current affairs

• Seven News 943,000/894,000
• Nine News 889,000/889,000
• A Current Affair 726,000
• ABC News 618,000
• 7.30 495,000
• 10 News First 388,000
• SBS World News 120,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 300,000
• Get Krackin 261,000
• Today 177,000
• News Breakfast 108,000

Week 6 Reality Battle

Married At First Sight

• Sunday 1,088,000
• Monday 1,117,000
• Tuesday 1,167,000
• Wednesday 1,282,000

My Kitchen Rules

• Sunday 808,000
• Monday 841,000
• Tuesday 799,000
• Wednesday 816,000

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here

• Sunday 591,000/662,000
• Monday 561,000/520,000
• Tuesday 545,000/555,000
• Wednesday 527,000/537,000


My Kitchen Rules has ended its week just over 800,000, which is also its average for the four episodes of week two. No Thursday episode as the Big Bash returns to Seven. 10 will be the sole reality format in the early evening as Nine goes with US sitcoms at 7.30pm.

After the instant restaurant, Seven’s second episode of Undercurrent: Real Murder Investigation did 466,000, which narrowly trailed Nine’s New Amsterdam.


A Current Affair won its timeslot on 726,000 which was up marginally on Tuesday’s 715,000.

“A massive sex party” may not be the most accurate description of last night’s Married At First Sight, but with headlines like that the audiences should keep flocking to the show. Breakfast and drive radio seem to be talking about nothing but the Nine format this week. The show again set new 2019 records last night with 1.28m watching the first of the popular dinner party episodes.

New Amsterdam followed with 489,000, which won the timeslot.


The departure-a-day continues in the penultimate week of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! with comedian Tahir Bilgiç leaving the camp last night. Channel 10 noted after the he left: “We haven’t seen this many celebrity culls since the recent the Today show announcement”.

It then used that as a segue into Richard Reid’s comments about his former breakfast colleague Karl Stefanovic and his hair! Celebrity started on 527,000 and lifted to 537,000 for the elimination.

Law & Order: SVU followed with 238,000.


The channel’s new primetime breakfast show Get Krackin’ launched with 261,000 which is only an OK umber after 9pm, but spectacular if you rank it with the other breakfast shows.

The channel’s best last night after the news was Hard Quiz on 572,000.

Week 6 TV: Wednesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.7% 7 21.3% 9 25.6% 10  11.0% SBS One 4.1%
ABC 2 2.5% 7TWO 2.7% GO! 3.3% 10 Bold 4.0% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 2.1% GEM 1.8% 10 Peach 2.1% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix 1.5% 9Life 2.2%     NITV 0.2%
    7Food 1.0%            
TOTAL 14.8%   28.6%   32.9%   17.2%   6.5%
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.8% 7 21.4% 9 20.6% WIN 10.6% SBS One 4.1%
ABC 2 3.2% 7TWO 4.5% GO! 4.0% WIN Bold 3.1% VICELAND 1.7%
ABC ME 1.2% 7mate 2.7% GEM 3.1% WIN Peach 2.1% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix 2.6% 9Life 2.0% Sky News  on WIN 0.7% NITV 0.3%
TOTAL 15.6%   31.2%   29.7%   16.5%   7.2%


87.5% 12.5%
  1. Married At First Sight – Nine 1,282,000
  2. Seven News Seven 943,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 894,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 889,000
  5. Nine News Nine 889,000
  6. My Kitchen Rules – Seven 816,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 726,000
  8. ABC News ABC 618,000
  9. Hard Quiz S4 ABC 572,000
  10. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Elimination 10 537,000
  11. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! 10 527,000
  12. The Chase Australia Seven 516,000
  13. 7.30 ABC 495,000
  14. New Amsterdam Nine 489,000
  15. Undercurrent: Real Murder Investigation Seven 466,000
  16. Hot Seat Nine 448,000
  17. Rosehaven ABC 447,000
  18. The Project 7pm 10 403,000
  19. 10 News First 10 388,000
  20. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 340,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. Married At First Sight – Nine 390,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules – Seven 177,000
  3. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! 10 126,000
  4. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Elimination 10 121,000
  5. Seven News Seven 115,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. Married At First Sight – Nine 619,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules – Seven 279,000
  3. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! 10 231,000
  4. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Elimination 10 225,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 211,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Married At First Sight – Nine 670,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules – Seven 312,000
  3. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Elimination 10 266,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 266,000
  5. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! 10 259,000
WEDNESDAY Multichannel
  1. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 156,000
  2. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 152,000
  3. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  4. Talking Married 9Life 135,000
  5. NCIS: Los Angeles (R) 10 Bold 132,000
  6. NCIS: Los Angeles Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 130,000
  7. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  8. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  9. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 126,000
  10. Thomas And Friends: Big World! Big Adventure ABCKIDS/COMEDY 126,000
  11. Bluey PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  12. Noddy Toyland Detective PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 124,000
  13. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 121,000
  14. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  15. Andy’s Wild Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  16. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  17. Hey Duggee AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 116,000
  18. Neighbours 10 Peach 116,000
  19. Pj Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 115,000
  20. Bondi Rescue Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 115,000
  1. Gogglebox Australia LifeStyle Channel 139,000
  2. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 55,000
  3. PML Later Sky News Live 44,000
  4. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 43,000
  5. Live: Twenty20: Nzl V Ind Game 1 FOX CRICKET 43,000
  6. The Night Watchmen FOX CRICKET 41,000
  7. The Simpsons FOX8 40,000
  8. Kirstie And Phil’s Love It Or List It LifeStyle Channel 35,000
  9. Gogglebox Australia LifeStyle Channel+2 35,000
  10. Mrs. Brown’s Boys UKTV 35,000
  11. Family Guy FOX8 34,000
  12. American Dad! FOX8 34,000
  13. Roswell, New Mexico FOX8 33,000
  14. Credlin Sky News Live 31,000
  15. American Dad! FOX8 30,000
  16. The Simpsons FOX8 30,000
  17. Family Guy FOX8 29,000
  18. Grand Designs Australia LifeStyle Channel 28,000
  19. Location, Location, Location LifeStyle Channel 28,000
  20. Live: WWe Smackdown FOX8 26,000

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

Nine’s Lizzie Young now managing director – commercial partnerships

Nine Entertainment Co’s Lizzie Young has held a number of senior roles across sales, trade marketing and content distribution strategy in recent years.

Nine CEO Hugh Marks yesterday revealed that Young’s role is being expanded to be managing director – commercial partnerships.

In a note to staff, Marks said: “Her new role will see her take responsibility for managing key partnerships across the group, including Domain and Stan, as we seek to capitalise on the power of the newly combined Nine across television, publishing and digital. Lizzie will also take on executive responsibility for co-ordinating all marketing activity (across both consumer and trade marketing) and retains oversight over content distribution strategy and execution.”

As part of the changes, Powered will move under the watch of Liana Dubois (pictured), who has been promoted to director of Powered.

Marks said Young is tasked with building on the work of Young and her team in cementing Powered as the market leader in the client solutions space.

Nine’s chief sales officer Michael Stephenson added: “Liana has been at Nine for six years and has an unbelievable commercial record. She has the unique combination of being both creative and analytical and she will continue to position Powered as the market leader. I can’t wait to see us create even bigger creative ideas for our advertisers that will engage consumers like no one else can and deliver real results for brands.

“Powered is a critical component of Nine’s newly aligned sales structure, as we focus on creating ‘big ideas’ for brands around our content across platform. Powered is the glue that brings together our unique assets and gives us the ability to create marketing platforms for brands across TV, digital platforms, print and magazines.

“A replacement for Liana as director of sales – Sydney will be made soon.”

PMP Group reborn as Ovato as print & distribution business rebrands

PMP Group, Australia’s largest printing company, is consolidating more than a dozen businesses and rebranding as Ovato today, in a bid to compete more aggressively in the digital age, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

After spending more than a year bedding down its merger with IPMG Group, chief executive Kevin Slaven has consolidated under one roof 21 printing, distribution and marketing businesses, including PMP Print, Gordon and Gotch, Traction Digital and Griffin Press.

Ovato will consist of four divisions – print, distribution, agency and production – serving hundreds of clients, including publishers News Corp, Penguin Random House and Seven West Media’s Pacific Magazines division and retailers Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and Coles.

Ovato will roll out its new branding across all of its sites today, and host some of its customers at an event in Sydney to explain its look and strategy.

The group has a long history and owns Australia’s oldest publication distributor, Gordon and Gotch, book printer Griffin Press and printer Hannan Print. It was once part of News Corp, with the group listing on the ASX in 1991 as Pacific Magazines and Printing.

[Read the original]

The Cat pounces: Buys $30m penthouse in St Kilda Saint Moritz project

Former Domain boss Antony Catalano has purchased a 650-square-metre penthouse in developer Tim Gurner’s St Moritz Melbourne project for a price of about $30 million.

The two-level apartment that father-of-eight Catalano this week contracted to buy will sit atop St Kilda’s eight-level Pacific Grand building, and have two pools, seven bedrooms and four living rooms over 650 square metres internally and an additional 150 square metres externally.

A 1000-bottle, temperature-controlled wine cellar in the David Hicks-designed penthouse will be accessible via a sculptural spiral staircase. A solid Nero Marquina bathtub will offer 180-degree water views. There will be an in-home sauna, gymnasium and a cascading two-storey water feature surrounded by marble-clad walls.

Rich Lister Tim Gurner said the penthouse sale, ahead of the public launch in June, achieved a rate of $40,000 per square metre, although he declined to confirm the exact figure.

“We had an asking price of $30 million and it’s fair to say I am extremely happy with the result,” he said.

[Read the original]

ACCC asks for information about rebates and discounts in outdoor

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has launched an initial investigation into the outdoor advertising sector, to assess whether the use of rebates and discounts are in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act, reports Mumbrella.

A number of operators were contacted with a request to provide information to help form a view as to whether advertising packages that heavily discount or provide particular geographical regions for free are in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act.

[Read the original]

Following the report yesterday, oOh!media released a short statement to the ASX saying only it “corresponds with regulators including the ACCC from time to time”.

The company added: “oOh!media understands its legal obligations and respects the ACCC’s processes. oOh!media’s practice is to engage with regulators to assist with any questions regarding the industry

Disney sheds light on plans for digital future ahead of Disney+

Walt Disney has less than year to go before it finds itself operating three separate videostreaming services, and chief executive Robert Iger offered fresh details Tuesday on how that new strategy will affect the world’s largest entertainment company, reports The Wall Street Journal.

For the first time, Disney reported quarterly earnings under a new company organisation that introduces a direct-to-consumer segment – which comprises its streaming services – alongside traditional divisions like studio entertainment and theme parks. The direct-to-consumer segment, including a Disney-branded streaming service called Disney+ set to launch late this year, posted a quarterly loss of $US136 million.

That loss is largely due to preparing for what is to come: an increased investment in Disney’s ESPN-branded streaming service, whose subscriber count has doubled to two million in the past five months, and costs associated with preparing for the launch of Disney+.

At Disney, having a streaming service in-house will force executives to decide where to open a particular movie or television show. Some movies that were slated to premiere in theatres have been moved to the streaming service, which is expected to debut with new programming based on Disney’s signature brands, including Star Wars and Pixar Animation Studios.

Iger said Tuesday he has no plans to shorten the length of time major releases stay in theatres, but said the company may consider shortening the length of time between when a movie is in theatres and when it is available on its streaming service.

[Read the original]

Spotify buys podcast firms Gimlet and Anchor, reveals profit

Spotify has bought two podcast firms and plans to spend up to US$500m on further acquisitions in an attempt to move beyond its music streaming roots for new growth, reports The Guardian.

The Swedish company has acquired Gimlet, the firm behind a string of popular podcasts including Homecoming, which was adapted into an Amazon TV series starring Julia Roberts.

It has also acquired Anchor, a platform that allows individuals and companies to create, publish and monetise podcasts. No price was disclosed for either deal, but Gimlet reportedly cost Spotify US$230m.

Daniel Ek, the founder and chief executive of Spotify, said his company needed to break into the small, but fast-growing podcasting market in order to tap revenue streams beyond its core music service.

News of the deals came as Spotify revealed its first ever quarterly profit. Operating profit for the final three months of 2018 was €94m, but it expects to slip back into the red this year.

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See more about the Spotify acquisitions in Podcast Week today.


Julia Davis is about to discover how far is too far in comedy

Julia Davis is best known for writing and starring in Nighty Night and, more recently, writing, directing and appearing in another comedy, Camping, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Idato.

Her new series, Sally4Ever, is by a long measure the most discomforting work she has produced. It is brilliantly dark and disturbing, shocking at times and – once you’re past the episode three threshold – properly off the scale.

A brief summary of the jumping off point: Sally (Catherine Shepherd) is withering inside, trapped in an unhappy relationship with verging-on-pathetic David (Alex Macqueen). Enter Emma (Davis), a manipulative woman who seems to trap Sally in her emotional maw.

“I don’t want it to be as uncomfortable as it is,” Davis says. “I just write stuff that I think is funny or situations that I think are funny or interesting. But what happens is that I make it with these friends and we’ve all got similar senses of humour.

“When you’re filming it, it’s like you’re just playing dressing up or something, you’re in this tiny world,” she says. “When I go to a press screening and sit with people, that is when I go, ‘oh my God’, and that’s when I am honestly swearing, literally sweating when I watch because it’s so uncomfortable.”

The second half of the series is profoundly more confronting that the first, and that’s coming off an already high bar of discomfort. Navigating those moments when the elastic band of discomfort comes close to snapping, Davis says, is difficult to measure.

“Certainly when you start filming a scene you can usually feel if it’s just not funny for those kind of reasons,” she says. “When I’m actually writing I don’t hold back at all because you don’t really need to, it might never hit the screen.”

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GoT fans can prep for series 8 with #bingeforthethrone recaps

The first episode of the much-anticipated Season 8 of the HBO smash fantasy series Game Of Thrones will stream in Australia express from the US on Monday, April 15 at 11am AEDT on Foxtel, reports News Corp’s Zoe Smith.

For fans who want to renew themselves with the mythology of Westeros and get a refresher on the densely layered plot lines, you have 67 days to immerse yourself in the hit series.

If GoT fans commit to watching one episode per day, starting from February 7, they will have viewed every single previous episode (67 in total) of the multi-award winning epic by the time Season 8 kicks off on April 15.

Fans – both old and new to the series – can join the catch-up journey and share the fun on social with #bingeforthethrone.

The recap journey is the perfect way to prepare for what is certain to be an epic and action-packed finale that will have the world talking.

The first seven seasons of Game of Thrones are available to view on demand on Foxtel Now.

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67 years in TV hasn’t dampened Sir David Attenborough’s curiosity

It is the greatest dilemma of the natural history filmmaker: to intervene, or to stand by and watch nature take its course, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Idato.

For the highly emotional humans watching the cinematic masterpieces of the BBC’s natural history unit, it seems unfathomable that anyone could stand idly by.

But for natural historian and filmmaker David Attenborough, there is only one answer.

“You are at risk if you interfere, and you almost certainly make it worse, much worse,” Attenborough says. “You can’t do it. You’re not a human being if you don’t feel emotionally disturbed by seeing [animals] at risk, of course you do, but it’s no good [to interfere]. It’s not what your job is.”

But there are exceptions to that broad rule.

During filming of Planet Earth II, for example, there was a famous sequence in which baby turtles, disoriented by nearby city lights, headed to a nearby road instead of the ocean. Once the sequence was filmed, executive producer Mike Gunton says, the crew put down their cameras and got as many turtles as they could to the water.

“The second they stepped onto the pavement and cars were going to drive over them, the rules kind of changed,” Gunton says.

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US sitcom Modern Family renewed for 11th and final season

It’s official: ABC America’s Modern Family is returning for an 11th and final season, reports The Hollywood Reporter

The Disney-owned network on Tuesday announced at the Television Critics Association’s press tour that it has handed out a formal renewal for the Emmy-winning comedy after its adult stars inked rich new deals to return. The decision to bring back the Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd-created single-camera comedy comes as the series is poised to become owned in-house as studio 20th Century Fox Television is included in the assets moving to Disney as part of Fox’s US$72 billion sale.

Modern Family’s adult stars — Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O’Neill, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara – each inked new deals with 20th TV to return for an 11th run for the 2019-20 broadcast season. The renewal hinged on the studio signing new pacts with young stars Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould and Rico Rodriguez.

“Chris and Steve have created one of the most seminal and iconic comedies in television history,” said ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke. “In its final season, there will be more milestone events that anyone who has been a fan of the series won’t want to miss.”

Modern Family has been a major hit for 20th TV, having tied a TV record in winning five straight best comedy series Emmys. The show is currently ABC’s longest-running comedy. (Grey’s Anatomy is its oldest drama at 15 seasons and is expected to return for its 16th.)

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