After a quarter of a century working in radio, Tanya Simpson is taking a break. She announced this week she is stepping down from her role at Nova Entertainment where she has been brand partnerships director. The industry won’t quite be the same without her!
Tanya Simpson told Mediaweek: “After 16 amazing fun-filled years with Nova Entertainment, living my dream job every day, I’m excited/sad/ready (and 937 other emotions) to leave behind my stand up desk, cluttered office and brilliantly inspiring people…to find a new passion.
“Although it hurts a little, my heart is overflowing with love and gratitude for every person who has made this journey SO amazing. My passionate and hardworking promotions & marketing teams, event partners, on air talent and work buddies…so many of these I now also call friends.
“I am super excited about my new life which begins on Saturday, 9 February…but first, a few years of sleep to catch up on, some freelance work and then a short hike of 790kms along the Camino Trail in Spain.
“What a blast it’s been. I’ve loved (almost) every single minute. Thank you to everyone who supported me along the way.”
Tony Thomas, Nova Entertainment’s chief marketing officer said this week: “Tanya has had an extraordinary career with Nova Entertainment. Over her 16 years with the business she was worked across two markets (Perth and Melbourne), five stations and worked alongside multiple on air teams. Her role has extended across so many functions within Nova that I don’t think there is a single person in our company who hasn’t experienced her work ethic, her positivity, social conscience and most of her kindness.
“She has a passion for not only our business but the radio industry as a whole and her first thoughts are always the welfare of her team. She will leave a legacy that includes an incredible team, who she has coached and seen promoted through the ranks, as well as relationships she has formed within the business and with partners and clients. We wish her well with the next exciting stage of her life.”
Prior to her time with Nova, Simpson worked with the Australian Radio Network in Melbourne and Adelaide.
Top Photo: Simpson with Nova’s 100’s Ben McMillan and Sam Pang
Nova Entertainment has announced two specialist digital audio roles.
Andrew Will, Nova Entertainment’s Melbourne market lead & commercial sales director said, “We have recognised the growing demand for audio as a platform and will continue to invest in this space. Alongside our partnership with Acast, the introduction of these specialist roles will solidify Nova Entertainment’s leadership position in audio.”
With over 12 years media sales experience, Ben McMillan has been appointed to the newly created role of head of digital Audio. McMillan joined Nova Entertainment in 2013 as Melbourne senior sales executive before transitioning into his most recent role of Melbourne group sales manager in 2015.
McMillan has previously held senior sales roles at Pacific Magazines in Australia and the BBC London. He was recognised with two Media i awards, in 2012 winning Victoria Magazine Sales Person of the Year and in 2015 Victorian Radio Sales Person of the Year.
McMillan was appointed to the newly created role of head of digital audio in January 2019.
Elizabeth Maplestone will take up the newly created role of digital audio specialist, responsible for supporting and educating staff and clients on podcasting opportunities and developing strategic digital audio responses.
Maplestone has over 13 years experience in media, having joined Nova Entertainment in 2011. She has extensive sales and implementation experience across multiple platforms including seven years with Bauer and Pacific magazines and six years at Nova Entertainment in senior sales positions.
Andrew Will said, “Ben and Liz have relished the opportunity to engage with the market in the exciting and expanding world of audio. They were obvious candidates to provide leadership, ongoing education and progressive thinking in the audio space, to the broader market. We are genuinely looking forward to their immediate impact as we traverse the world of audio with our clients and partners.”
McMillan commenced in the new role of head of digital audio in January 2019 and Maplestone took up the digital audio specialist position in February 2019.
• Customers not ditching set top boxes said Robert Thomson – “The higher the iQ the better”
News Corp has reported its results for the second quarter of the financial year ending December 31, 2018.
Revenues were US$2.63 billion, a 21% increase compared to $2.18 billion in the prior year, reflecting the consolidation of Foxtel and continued strength at the book publishing and digital real estate services segments.
Commenting on the results, chief executive Robert Thomson said:
“News Corp has reported increased profitability and revenue growth during the first half of fiscal 2019, highlighting the power of premium content and authenticated audiences in a fact-challenged world that craves credibility.
“At news and information services, we saw a continuation of positive trends in paid digital subscriptions, including accelerating gains at The Wall Street Journal, and stronger digital advertising revenues in both the US and Australia.
“Although our teams have been diligent in pursuing revenue opportunities, the digital platforms, which arbitrage algorithmic ambiguity, remain dysfunctional. It is clear that there has been a regulatory awakening and the time has come for a regulatory reckoning.”
“Within our subscription video services segment, this quarter we launched Kayo Sports, a sports-only OTT product, to positive reviews, and we look forward, with confidence, to the peak selling season for the most popular winter sports in Australia.”
News and Information Services
Revenues in the quarter decreased $41 million, or 3%, as compared to the prior year, reflecting a $34 million, or 2%, negative impact from foreign currency fluctuations. Within the segment, Dow Jones revenues grew 4%, while revenues at News UK declined 10%, which includes the negative impact from the absence of Sun Bets revenues discussed below. News America Marketing and News Corp Australia revenues declined 7% and 5%, respectively.
Digital subscribers and users across key properties:
• The Wall Street Journal average daily digital subscribers in the three months ended December 31, 2018 were 1,709,000, compared to 1,389,000 in the prior year (Source: Internal data)
• Closing digital subscribers at News Corp Australia’s mastheads as of December 31, 2018 were 460,300, compared to 389,600 in the prior year (Source: Internal data)
• The Times and Sunday Times closing digital subscribers as of December 31, 2018 were 269,000, compared to 220,000 in the prior year (Source: Internal data)
• The Sun’s digital offering reached approximately 80 million global monthly unique users in December 2018, compared to 86 million in the prior year, based on ABCe (Source: Omniture)
Foxtel trading update
As of December 31, 2018, new Foxtel’s total closing subscribers were approximately 2.9 million, which was higher than the prior year, primarily due to Foxtel Now subscriber growth, the inclusion of commercial subscribers of Fox Sports Australia beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 and the launch of Kayo Sports, partially offset by lower broadcast subscribers. 2.5 million of the total closing subscribers were broadcast and commercial subscribers, and the remainder consisted of Foxtel Now and Kayo Sports subscribers.
As of February 5, 2019, there were 115,000 Kayo Sports subscribers, of which approximately 100,000 were paying subscribers. Broadcast subscriber churn in the quarter was 15.6% compared to 14.5% in the prior year, reflecting the impact of the price increase implemented in October. Broadcast ARPU for the quarter declined 3% compared to the prior year to A$78 (US$56), reflecting a 2% negative impact related to the adoption of the new revenue recognition standard.
News Corp commented this morning that the growth in Kayo did no correspond with a drop in premium Foxtel subscriptions. As to speculation Foxtel subscribers might be ditching their iQ boxes, Robert Thomson quipped: “The higher the iQ the better.”
News Corp also revealed that research into the 70% of Australians who do not subscribe to Foxtel indicated many would pay for a cheaper version of the subscription offering.
Roy Morgan has released its latest readership results for Australian newspapers for the 12 months to December 2018.
Over 15.7 million, or 76.9%, of Australians aged 14+ now read or access newspapers in an average seven day period via print or online (website or app) platforms, a fall of 1.3% from a year ago.
Although most leading newspapers had a decline in total cross-platform readership there were several bright spots. The Herald Sun grew its digital audience to over 2 million and The Australian Financial Review also increased its digital audience over the last year, up by 1.2% to 1,169,000.
In addition Western Australia’s leading newspaper the West Australian grew its print readership 7.3% to nearly 750,000 and The Saturday Paper had strong growth across print readership, digital audience and total cross-platform audience.
These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 50,853 Australians aged 14+ in the 12 months to December 2018.
Australia’s most widely read masthead continues to be The Sydney Morning Herald – with a cross-platform audience of 4,135,000, down 2.8% from a year ago. Despite this decrease in audience the SMH increased its lead over Sydney rival The Daily Telegraph, which now has a cross-platform audience of 2,989,000, down 13.3% in a year.
Melbourne daily the Herald Sun with a cross-platform audience of 2,984,000 (down 0.6%) has out-pointed local rival The Age with a cross-platform audience of 2,816,000 (down 8%).
Australia’s best read weekend newspaper is again Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph with an average issue print readership of 826,000 – down 6% over the past year – ahead of southern stablemate Melbourne’s Sunday Herald Sun which has a print readership of 737,000 (down 12.7%).
Other major titles to decline included the Saturday Herald Sun down 15% to a readership of 667,000, The Weekend Australian down 6.2% to a readership of 590,000, the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald down 5.2% to 588,000 readers and the Sunday Mail in Queensland down 9.4% to a readership of 586,000.
Defying the trend of many of its peers was the Saturday Daily Telegraph in Sydney which increased its readership by 1% to 529,000 and was Australia’s seventh most widely read weekend newspaper, up from eighth in the year to September 2018.
Another strong performer over the past year was Schwarz Media’s The Saturday Paper, which increased its readership by 3.2% to 119,000.
Back in 2005, the ABC screened an outrageous BBC sitcom called Nighty Night starring and created by Julia Davis. It was about a horrible hairdresser torturing her neighbour who suffered from multiple sclerosis and The Sydney Morning Herald correctly described it as “unhinged”.
By Andrew Mercado
When the second series descended into even darker territory, Aunty passed it onto SBS where The Age still thought it “terribly funny” despite some of the “most disgustingly revolting things ever seen on the telly outside a porno”.
Since then, Julia Davis has made several more black comedies but none have ever screened in Australia but now we have Sally4Ever on Fox Showcase. The HBO/Sky co-production sees her playing another sociopathic narcissist, this time a performance artist who seduces a shy suburban woman. And for those wondering if Davis gets more tasteless with each new series, rest assured that the lesbian sex scenes in Sally4Ever are so gobsmacking, The Age may have to re-define its definition of what screens now on “telly” compared to “porno”.
Sally4Ever screens in a one hour time slot alongside Camping, an American remake of Julia Davis’ 2016 sitcom of the same name. Why not just screen the original and make a Julia Davis comedy double bill? Well, probably because the American cast is more recognisable and promotable, like Jennifer Garner playing the overbearing wife of David Tennant. There is also Juliette Lewis playing another version of the same free spirited character she plays on The Connors, but although this series is now credited to Girls’ co-writers Lena Dunham and Jenni Konnor, Camping may have lost something in translation from the UK to US.
Elsewhere, it has been a sad week with the deaths of much-loved actors Carmen Duncan and Kristoff St. John. The stylish Carmen Duncan appeared on Aussie classics like Certain Women and A Country Practice, but she was best known for playing American superbitch Iris Carrington on Another World. Duncan appeared on the daytime soap for six years, while Kristoff St. John was still playing Neil Winters after 28 years on The Young and The Restless.
Despite his ongoing soap contract, CBS always allowed Kristoff St John to make guest appearances on competing network sitcoms like ABC’s Family Matters and The CW’s Everybody Hates Chris. Such friendliness amongst Australia networks though is discouraged, with Yvette and Angie now banned from Gogglebox because they are on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! “The issue that upsets Foxtel is the exploitation of the Gogglebox brand to market and sell another program,” said Foxtel, somehow missing that Gogglebox also screens on 10, the same network as I’m A Celeb. It’s a shame that audiences will miss out because of network politics that say “Nighty Night” to two gorgeous Goggleboxers because they dared to go “Camping”.
• 10 wins night with best share since I’m A Celebrity launch episode
• Return of Gogglebox helps channel to win key demos, all people
• Young Sheldon sitcom and Big Bash League trail jungle japes
Week 6 2019 – Summer schedule – Thursday
By James Manning
FTA early evening TV news/current affairs
• Seven News 926,000/840,000
• Nine News 798,000/821,000
• A Current Affair 683,000
• ABC News 637,000
• 7.30 562,000
• 10 News First 379,000
• SBS World News 107,000
• Sunrise 280,000
• Today 201,000
• News Breakfast 113,000
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
• Thursday 677,000/800,000
The Big Bash League returned to Seven last night with a match between Hobart and the Melbourne Renegades. The first session was on 393,000 followed by session two with…393,000.
A 17.0% share last night was the primary channel’s lowest share and first time under 20% since Thursday last week.
Seven managed to rank #1 on combined share though with contributions form its four multichannels.
A Current Affair won its timeslot on 683,000, which was its smallest audience of the week. The show remembered the Black Saturday tragedy and the loss of Nine Melbourne newsreader Brian Naylor and his wife.
An hour of Young Sheldon saw two episodes record audiences of 492,000 and 453,000.
The 2016 movie Doctor Strange then did 323,000.
The channel’s best night since the launch episode of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! and the second best night this year saw the 10 rank #1 all people and under 50. The episode started on 677,000 and then climbed to 800,000 for the elimination of Justine Schofield.
A big contributor to that winning share was the return of Gogglebox. It opened its new season on 715,000, which kept the channel well in front of its competition.
Earlier in the night The Project remembered Black Saturday and Tom Gleeson later joined the panel. The episode did 404,000 after 7pm.
The soon-to-depart NAB chair Ken Henry joined Leigh Sales on 7.30 with 562,000 watching.
Escape From The City was on the Sunshine Coast with the home hunter falling in love with a home that looked like it could have been in the city. The episode did 440,000.
|ABC 2||2.7%||7TWO||3.4%||GO!||3.3%||10 Bold||3.9%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||2.7%||GEM||2.5%||10 Peach||2.6%||Food Net||1.2%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC 2||2.9%||7TWO||5.5%||GO!||3.4%||WIN Bold||3.3%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||1.0%||7mate||3.0%||GEM||3.9%||WIN Peach||2.0%||Food Net||0.9%|
|ABC NEWS||1.2%||7flix||2.8%||9Life||2.0%||Sky News on WIN||0.9%||NITV||0.2%|
|THURSDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
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
ThinkTV has announced the total TV advertising revenue figures for the six months to December 31, 2018.
The Total TV market including metropolitan free-to-air, regional free-to-air and subscription TV recorded combined revenues of $2.08 billion, which was 4.56% lower than comparable revenues for the same six months a year earlier.
In the December half, the advertising market for metropolitan free-to-air and subscription-television fell by 3.97% to $1.70 billion versus the same period a year earlier.
Nine had the biggest metro share in the half with 39.3%, with Seven close behind on 38.4% with 10 getting 22.3%.
Broadcast video on demand (BVOD) advertising revenues – which include advertising revenues from online catch-up services and the live online streaming of TV over the internet – grew by 42.95% in the six months to December 2018 versus the same period a year earlier. This was aided by the prodigious growth of BVOD platforms such as Foxtel Now, 9Now, 7plus and 10 Play.
ThinkTV chief executive Kim Portrate said the performance of total TV revenues reflected the weaker overall advertising market versus the same period a year earlier due to cyclical factors such as the same-sex marriage plebiscite in 2017, the absence of the Ashes Test Series in 2018, and the Hayne Royal Commission throughout 2018.
“The Total TV figures represent a respectable performance in challenging market conditions for all media, particularly given the tougher comparisons in the last half due the return to growth of the free-to-air metropolitan market in the six months to December 2017,” said Portrate.
“TV is proven as the most effective advertising platform and is committed to becoming more effective by giving advertisers new ways to connect with customers. The remarkable growth in BVOD revenue – which doubled in pace versus the same period last year – and new addressable TV advertising products are just two examples of this commitment.”
Tarryn King and David Cordner have joined women’s media brand Mamamia as sales manager – Queensland and head of sales – Melbourne, respectively.
Tarryn King brings considerable media experience to the Brisbane office from the likes of Snakk Media and interactive video platform Innovid.
David Cordner initially came on board in November in 2018, contracting as acting head of sales – Melbourne, before being appointed full-time in January. Cordner brings a wealth of media sales experience in Victoria, with his previous 13 years spent at APN Outdoor.
Tony Prentice, Mamamia’s chief revenue & operations officer, said: ”These appointments strengthen our national sales and service solution, with experienced and talented executives. Tarryn and David are well-connected and respected leaders in their markets, they will be a great asset to us in telling our Super Channel for Women story.”
The New York Times Company generated more than US$709 million in digital revenue last year, growing at a pace that suggests it will meet its stated goal of $800 million in digital sales by the end of 2020, reports the publisher.
The results prompted the company to set another lofty target: “To grow our subscription business to more than 10 million subscriptions by 2025,” Mark Thompson, the chief executive, said in a statement announcing the company’s fourth-quarter financial results.
More than 3.3 million people pay for the company’s digital products, including its news, crossword and food apps, a 27% jump from 2017. The total number of paid subscriptions for digital and print reached 4.3 million, a high.
Online subscription revenue gained nearly 18% to reach $400 million in 2018, while digital advertising rose 8.6%, to $259 million.
The Times added 265,000 new digital subscribers in the fourth quarter, the biggest jump since the so-called Trump bump after the 2016 election. About 172,000 of those subscribers signed on for the core news product, while the rest were drawn by digital-only products like Crossword and Cooking.
The company hit another revenue milestone: Digital advertising surpassed print advertising for the first time in the fourth quarter, jumping 23% to $103 million. Print advertising fell 10%, to $88 million.
Twitter has announced financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2018.
2018 revenue exceeded US$3 billion, an increase of 25% year-over-year.
Q4 revenue totalled $909 million, an increase of 24% year-over-year.
Advertising revenue totalled $791 million, an increase of 23% year-over-year.
“2018 is proof that our long-term strategy is working. Our efforts to improve health have delivered important results, and new product features like a single switch to move between latest and most relevant Tweets have been embraced by the people who use Twitter,” said Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO. “We enter this year confident that we will continue to deliver strong performance by focusing on making Twitter a healthier and more conversational service.”
The social media company reported monthly active users dropped to 321 million in the fourth quarter from 326 million in the third quarter.
Twitter said that it would no longer break out monthly active users after the first quarter of 2019.
The Australian Women’s Weekly has taken the title of Australia’s most read magazine, as revealed in today’s release of Roy Morgan Readership Survey – December 2018, reports Bauer Media:
The Weekly is the most read magazine in the country, recording a cross platform audience of 2.49 million, up 9%. This sees the iconic magazine brand overtake Better Homes & Gardens to secure the coveted number one spot.
In print, the brand recorded a total audience of 1.57million, with a 17% increase in female readers under 40.
Australia’s biggest advertisers such as AGL, L’Oreal, Coles, Harvey Norman, Myer and Westpac recognise the value of the Weekly’s deeply engaged female audiences and premium environment signing on for ongoing campaigns.
Commenting on the Roy Morgan results, The Australian Women’s Weekly editor-in-chief Nicole Byers said: “We are thrilled to secure the number one most read magazine position.
“Our focus over the past 12 months has been to evolve The Weekly in such a way that we retain our core strengths while attracting and resonating with as many new readers as possible. To be reaching people from such a wide range of demographics is something we’re very proud of, and a testament to that fact that trusted brands and quality content remain strong drawcards for the Australian public.”
The Weekly’s digital home, Now To Love, along with sister site, Homes To Love, were another highlight in the Roy Morgan survey. These brand networks drive Bauer Media’s overall cross-platform strength and deliver competitive results for Bauer brands. These titles include Woman’s Day, NW and OK!, who lead their cross-platform categories, and Belle and Real Living, who achieved notable increases of 41% and 38% respectively.
When The Feed returns to the SBS schedule on February 14 it will be as a one-hour edition, which is replacing the daily half hour program.
The broadcaster says The Feed remains focused on issues-based reporting delivered from a younger perspective and presented by Australia’s most diverse prime time television news team: Marc Fennell, Jan Fran, Laura Murphy-Oates, Patrick Abboud, Michael Hing and Marty Smiley.
A daily reactive team of journalists, digital producers, presenters and comedians will also create content tailored to social platforms and digital audiences.
Reflecting on six years of The Feed, SBS director of news and current affairs, Jim Carroll, said:
“The Feed is always breaking new ground. Moving to a weekly one-hour television format on SBS Viceland and with an encore on SBS, the program is committing more resources to ensure its content reaches digital audiences with greater immediacy and when they most want it.
“The team is putting enormous time and energy into the relaunch, and we’re really excited about what they’ll be offering our television and digital audiences in 2019.”
The Walkley Award-winning program will also step up its investigative journalism game in 2019 with more in-depth investigations and stories highlighting Australia’s diversity than ever before, allowing the series to dig deeper and advance the news agenda.
Comedy segments from Michael Hing, Cameron James, Alex Lee plus Jenna Owen and Victoria Zerbst will remain part of the format.
The program is also adding musical performances to the one-hour weekly show.
The Feed is led by executive producer Mike Clay and supervising producer Claire Aird.
For Nine, it is the best of times, it is the worst of times, reports The Age’s Karl Quinn.
In the evening prime-time slot, its “social experiment” Married at First Sight has reached new heights, building on last year’s success and finding a major new audience in the streaming space too.
But at the other end of the schedule, morning show Today has plumbed ratings depths rarely before reached.
On Wednesday, Today recorded an average five-city audience of just 177,000 viewers, with another 92,000 tuning in in regional markets. The result was the worst in a decade for the show but not, as has been reported in some quarters, the worst since OzTAM began collecting ratings figures in 2001.
Meanwhile, the show’s main rival, Seven’s Sunrise, attracted 300,000 viewers on Wednesday in the capital cities alone – eclipsing Today’s national audience of 269,000 – and another 206,000 in regional markets.
“Today’s ratings have been between 200,000 and 230,000 for the last two weeks, which is in line with the end of 2018,” said Steven Burling, Nine’s director of morning television. “It’s very early days and rating figures will continue to fluctuate, but I’m absolutely thrilled with the dynamic between Georgie [Gardner], Deb [Knight], Tom [Steinfort] and the entire on-air team. And I’m confident that the audience will be turning to us in the weeks and months ahead.”
Richard Reid might have been a familiar face on TV for years but behind the scenes the entertainment reporter has been battling a years-long struggle with alcohol, reports news.com.au’s Hannah Paine.
On of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! this week, Reid opened up to Justin Lacko about his drinking troubles – and he didn’t hold back.
In an emotional chat, Reid revealed he hasn’t touched a drop of alcohol in seven years after multiple benders.
“I had several incidents back-to-back that I am not proud of,” Reid said, revealing he once had to be hospitalised in the US because he was “so dehydrated and drunk”.
“And then before that in Sydney, I was really hung over, after the Logies, and I wanted to take a quick nap, because I had a business meeting,” he recalled.
“I took a sleeping pill, I didn’t go to sleep, I fell into a trance, and then raided the mini bar, was like blacked out … went to the business meeting right? Grabbed a journalist’s breasts, was all over Napoleon Perdis and then they tell me I tried to urinate on a pot plant.”
More Hilltop Hoods and less Kendrick Lamar would feature on music-streaming services under a plan aimed at boosting the incomes of Aussie musos, reports The Advertiser’s Matt Smith.
The South Australian Music Industry Association wants curators of playlists on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music to be required to adhere to a quota of both old and new Australian artists.
It has spruiked the idea to a Federal Parliament committee looking into the state of the local music industry.
Music SA chief executive Lisa Bishop said making a living from music had become increasingly more difficult, with research showing for many musicians 40% of their income comes from non-music sources.
Sport Australia has presented broadcaster Dennis Cometti with the Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in sports journalism at the 17th annual Sport Australia Media Awards.
Almost 200 guests attended the Sport Australia Media Awards, with Cometti’s honour the culmination of 14 awards presented at the gala ceremony recognising the best in Australian sports media.
Sport Australia chair John Wylie presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Cometti, describing him as a “doyen of Australian sport broadcasting”.
“Dennis’ iconic voice has been the perfect match for so many unforgettable sporting moments – Olympic gold medals, Test match cricket and AFL grand finals,” Wylie said.
“During his career he has brought so many sporting moments to life with his insightful, quick-witted and confident commentary that has always been delivered with impeccable timing.”
Cometti’s media career has spanned almost 50 years. He became the youngest broadcaster to call Test cricket for the ABC in 1973, he was the voice of Australian Olympic swimming during a golden period from 1992-2000 and he called the AFL from its inception in 1990 until his full-time retirement at the end of 2016. He continues to call AFL matches in Perth on radio and work with Channel Seven.
But of all the great moments in an illustrious media career, Cometti recalls the greatest highlight occurred in his very early days, in 1968, when he was as a radio disc jockey at a Perth rock station 6KY.
“It was a job that offered no job security at all but it was a lot of fun. The career highlight for me has been meeting my wife Velia at 6KY. She was the boss’s secretary,” Cometti quipped.
Cometti last night paid tribute to some of the great names he worked alongside, in particular his Channel Seven commentator and friend Bruce McAvaney. McAvaney, a previous recipient of Sport Australia’s Lifetime Achievement Award, was in attendance at the ceremony.
“Trust is a big thing in broadcasting and I don’t think I trusted anyone more than I trusted Bruce,” Cometti said.
“I’m honoured to receive an award like this. Obviously its recognition for myself and my family but also my employers and all the people I worked with along the way.
“My first Test match broadcast for the ABC was in 1973. I was 24. I was broadcasting alongside the likes of Keith Miller, Lindsay Hassett and Alan McGilvray. I had to pinch myself.
“I think the only qualification I had for broadcasting the swimming at three Olympics was that I had a pool in the back yard. But I was lucky, it was a golden time for Australian swimming with greats like Susie O’Neill, Kieran Perkins and Ian Thorpe. I don’t think any Australian will forget what they did.”
2018 Sport Australia Media Awards winners
Lifetime Achievement Award
• Winner: Dennis Cometti
Best reporting of an issue in sport
• Winner: Leo Schlink, The Herald Sun
Best individual sport coverage – broadcast
• Winner: Lucy Zelic SBS
Best individual sport coverage – print
• Winner: Andrew Webster, The Sydney Morning Herald; Highly Commended: Will Swanton, The Australian
Best individual sport coverage – digital
• Winner: Michael Chammas, NRL.com; Highly Commended: Mary Konstantopoulos, Ladies Who League
Best coverage of a sporting event
• Winner: Seven Network, Commonwealth Games 2018
Best sport profile – print
• Winner: Will Swanton, The Australian; Highly Commended: Michael Chammas, NRL.com
Best sport profile – broadcast
• Winner: Andy Maher, SEN Afternoons
Best analysis of sport business
• Winner: John Stensholt, Max Mason, The Australian Financial Review
Best contribution to sport via digital media
• Winner: PlayersVoice; Highly Commended: Surfing Australia, mySURF.tv
Best coverage of sport for people with disability
• Winner: Matthew Carmichael, Seven Network
Best depiction of inclusive sport
• Winner: The Outer Sanctum Podcast, ABC
Best regional, rural and suburban sport coverage
• Winner: Mackenzie Colahan, Central and North Burnett Times
Best sports photography
• Winner: Ryan Pierse, Getty Images
Australian tennis champ Ashleigh Barty will lead Australia’s World Group charge when they face Fed Cup 2018 finalists USA in Asheville, North Carolina, live on 9Gem from 2am Sunday, February 10 and Monday, February 11.
Barty, now world No 13 after an impressive summer campaign where she became the first Australian female quarter-finalist at the Australian Open in 10 years, is sitting at a career-high ranking.
She will be joined by Daria Gavrilova (47), Priscilla Hon (143), Kimberly Birrell (157) and Astra Sharma (160) in the five-strong Australian team.
Gavrilova will aim to build on her Fed Cup form after sealing victory over the Netherlands in Wollongong last April. Priscilla Hon, Astra Sharma and Kimberly Birrell will all push for selection in the final four during the week leading into the tie.
Sharma has been named in the Fed Cup team for the first time following a breakout Australian Open where she earned her first ever main-draw Grand Slam win and reached the mixed doubles final as a wildcard pairing with fellow Aussie J.P. Smith. She too is currently sitting at a career-high world ranking.
Kimberly Birrell has also hit a career-high ranking following her incredible summer that culminated in a third round appearance at the Australian Open.
Priscilla Hon rounds out the team playing off for full selection.
Representing the US will be world No 17 Madison Keys , Danielle Collins (23), Sofia Kenin (37) and doubles No 13 Nicole Melichar.