Monday January 14, 2019

I’m A Celebrity contestants revealed: 2019’s most dysfunctional family

The first episode of the new season of 10’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! revealed the diverse group of contestants entering the jungle this year.

Stepping out of the safari car first were gossip guru Richard Reid and former Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie. Their welcoming party was cut short when the dynamic duo were whisked offsite to compete in the season’s first epic challenge, Bombs Away.

Arriving at a demolition site, jungle style, Richard and Jacqui were met by hosts Julia Morris and Dr Chris Brown who informed them that they would be competing team captains, fighting it out for a worthwhile advantage. Sitting in the firing line of air cannons filled with paints and powders, the duo each had to answer a series of questions. An incorrect answer saw the cannons deliver a spectacular explosion of colour to the face, and while Richard confidently wore a pair of white skinny jeans, Jacqui narrowly defeated him.

Back at celebrity HQ, the remaining contestants made their way up the jungle red carpet.

Australian host, actor and reality television winner Luke Jacobz was joined by controversial host Ajay Rochester, who shamelessly confessed to him that she liked to fart in bed. Classy!

Joining the television twosome was footy legend, and all around top Aussie bloke, Dermott Brereton, who left Ajay flustered and lost for words.

Award-winning journalist Natasha Exelby, international model Justin Lacko, celebrity cook Justine Schofield (or “Simone” according to Justin), comedian Tahir Bilgiç and disgraced politician Sam Dastyari rounded out the list of 10’s most dysfunctional group of celebrities yet.

The 10 celebrities were later told they would be split into two teams, with captains Richard and Jacqui at the helm.

Having won the challenge earlier, Jacqui’s advantage was to have first pick of her team.

Dermott, Sam, Justin and Ajay formed Team Lambie, while Richard chose Justine, Natasha, Tahir and Luke.

The contestants also found out there would be a split camp. One side of the camp boasting five star accommodation, while the other side a place no reputable online booking site would list.

After the first trial, Team Lambie (or The Campers) were delighted to find they would be living in camp luxury, while Team Reid (The Caretakers) weren’t as thrilled to discover they would be living on the rough side of camp.

People looking carefully at the supplied photo will note we have listed 10 contestants so far and there are 12 in the photo.

The second episode will reveal Gogglebox armchair critics Angie Kent and Yvie Jones crash camp, while Ajay and Richard take to the skies in an epic helicopter trial.

Kia, ANZ, AGL & Uber Eats major sponsors of Nine’s Australian Open

Nine has unveiled the major partners and sponsors for its inaugural Australian Open broadcast, with Kia, ANZ, AGL and Uber Eats taking the four top-tier partnerships for the Grand Slam tournament coverage which commences today.

Major brands Mastercard, Bunnings, Chemist Warehouse, Stan, Industry SuperFunds, Peters, Blackmores and APT have all taken out key integrated sponsorship packages around Nine’s coverage of the Summer of Tennis.

Nine’s First Serve packages have been oversubscribed, with the broadcaster claiming significant demand to be part of the broadcast.

Nine’s partnership and sponsorship positions gave its partners the opportunity to leverage the four pillars of the Australian Open using all of Nine’s key properties and platforms, such as Wide World of Sport, Today and 9Honey.

“We are very excited about the Australian Open, with demand for sponsorship tiers – Partner, Sponsor and First Serve – all oversubscribed,” said Matthew Granger, Nine’s director of sales – Sport.

“Our partners have recognised the power of the strategic new approach taken by Nine. We are thrilled to have a number of previous partners returning, and a number of exciting new brands who have accessed Nine’s Summer of Tennis for the first time.”

Nine’s broadcast of the Australian Open has begun with the Today show broadcasting live from Melbourne Park, with content over a range of platforms including television, digital, live streaming and video on demand.

“Our cross-platform strategy, including Today going live from the tennis precinct, will provide a fantastic platform for brands, showing how Nine can use all its assets to deliver real results for marketers,” said Michael Stephenson, Nine’s chief sales officer.

“It has been fantastic to work so closely with Tennis Australia. Our partnership and alignment is paying real dividends for existing and new partners alike. There is no greater aggregator of eyeballs on consecutive nights than tennis and there is no greater marketing platform for brands over summer than the Australian Open.”

Rod Prosser finally confirms Network 10’s national sales director

Network 10’s new sales leadership team is complete with the appointment of Lisa Squillace as national sales director.

In this role, Squillace will be responsible for leading national sales activity, including overall sales responsibility over market regions. She will report to Network 10’s chief sales officer Rod Prosser and start at 10 on 11 February 2019.

Squillace joins 10 from Seven West Media where she was most recently director of program partnerships, responsible for the monetisation across all platforms of the Network’s shows and content extensions.

Her February 11 start date was agreed during a legal brawl with her former employer who was accused of overlooking her for a promotion because she was pregnant. The settlement also included a payment from Seven West Media of $70,000 to Squillace.

Rod Prosser said: “It’s brilliant to be introducing someone of Lisa’s calibre to the team. The national sales director role is a significant one as we take control of our sales function once again. Lisa is a proven leader with extensive sales experience across all broadcast platforms. Her knowledge of the national market and enthusiasm for the industry makes her the ideal person to lead the national team.

“I can’t wait for her to join the Network and elevate 10’s commercial proposition in market. Along with Paul and the leadership team at 10, we look forward to welcoming Lisa back to where her career began.”

Squillace was with Seven West Media for nine years. She joined Seven in 2009 as sales operations manager and was promoted to sales director, sponsorships and multi-channels in 2011. She was appointed director of program partnerships in September 2016.

Prior to Seven, Squillace spent almost four years at the Nine Network as group sales manager. She started her career at Network 10 where she spent five years in various sales roles.

Squillace said: “I am so excited to be re-joining Network 10. Not only is this a once in a lifetime opportunity to build and relaunch a sales team, but to do this where I first started my career is very special. I’m really looking forward to working with Rod, the market sales directors and the rest of the team to deliver first class results for our clients and the business.”

Squillace’s appointment completes 10’s sales leadership team. Reporting into Prosser will be Squillace as national sales director and the directors of 10’s specialist sales teams:

Tamar Hovagimian as director of 10 Effect (commercial partnerships), Grant Madigan as director of 10 Exchange (commerce and revenue), Christian Williams as director of 10 Interactive (digital) and Michael Stanford as nation

Four TV series amongst latest Screen Australia round of funding

Screen Australia has announced $7.5 million in production funding for two feature film projects, four television series and one web series.

The slate includes a new comedy feature film starring Jacki Weaver and Jack Thompson called The Chain Breakers, a crime drama series for Network 10 adapted from Michael Robotham’s acclaimed novel The Secrets She Keeps, and an online series from comedy group Aunty Donna based on their award-winning live show Glennridge Secondary College.

“2018 was a remarkable year for Australian television with series including Mystery Road and Mr Inbetween proving popular with audiences here and overseas.” said Sally Caplan, head of content at Screen Australia. “In an increasingly busy marketplace it’s great to see that three of the four funded television projects are new concepts, and the majority of them have female central characters.”

“Australian films took over $55m at the box office last year, and we already have a very strong pipeline of titles scheduled for production or release in 2019. The Chain Breakers is a notable addition to the slate, led by a cast of Australian screen luminaries, and I’m confident the themes of mateship and the challenges of growing old will resonate with audiences. Whilst political thriller Lone Wolf will captivate viewers with its strong script and innovative storytelling techniques.”

Funded television drama projects include:

Halifax Retribution: An eight-part series from Beyond Lonehand for the Nine Network that will star Rebecca Gibney as she reprises her role of forensic psychiatrist Jane Halifax. When Jane Halifax receives a letter threatening a terrible retribution against her family, she finds herself back in a world she thought she had left behind – profiling a diabolical killer. Writers include Roger Simpson (Brothers in Arms), Oscar nominee Jan Sardi (Shine), and Mac Gudgeon (The Secret River) – all of whom worked on the original series.

Hungry Ghosts: A four-part drama series from Matchbox Pictures for SBS that explores the lives of three generations of Vietnamese Australian families dealing with the aftermath of war. The story begins on the eve of the Hungry Ghost Festival in Melbourne, when a powerful amulet is broken and a vengeful spirit is unleashed bringing the dead with him. The series will be directed by Shawn Seet (Deep Water) and produced by Stephen Corvini (Safe Harbour), Timothy Hobart (Wanted) and Debbie Lee (Please Like Me) and written by Timothy Hobart, Michelle Lee, Alan Nguyen, Jeremy Nguyen and John Ridley. This project was financed with support from Film Victoria.

The Secrets She Keeps: A six-part noir series by Lingo Pictures for Network 10 adapted from author Michael Robotham’s acclaimed novel of the same name. Written by acclaimed television writers Sarah Walker (All Saints, Bad Mothers, The Wrong Girl) and Jonathan Gavin (Offspring, Puberty Blues, Rush) the series follows two women from vastly different walks of life with one thing in common – explosive secrets that could destroy everything they hold dear. Their worlds collide in one shocking act that cannot be undone.

The funded children’s drama television project is:

Itch: A 10-part children’s live action-adventure series from Komixx that follows Itchingham Lofte, known as Itch, a science obsessed teenager who pursues an unusual and sometimes dangerous hobby of collecting all the elements on the periodic table. When Itch discovers a new element with extraordinary powers he is forced to go on the run to protect it from sinister organisations who want it for their own ends. The series is produced by Amanda Morrison (The Art of Ian Strange) and Tania Chambers (A Few Less Men) and is written by Ron Elliott, Heather Wilson, Roger Monk, Jessica Brookman, Melanie Halsall and Dan Berlinka. The series was financed with support from Screenwest, Lotterywest and the West Australian Regional Film Fund.

The funded online project is:

Glennridge Secondary College: A 14-part sketch comedy series for YouTube based on Aunty Donna’s award-winning live show of the same name. The new series will be a mix of absurd, wild, filmic and animated sketches that lampoon the everyday happenings of a suburban high school. Mark Bonanno, Broden Kelly, Sam Lingham, Zachary Ruane, Max Miller and Tom Armstrong have created the series. This will be the first series made by Aunty Donna’s new production company Haven’t You Done Well Productions.

Top 10 Game Charts: No one manages to knock Smash Bros. off

Essentially no movement on the retail video game charts this week, with an identical top three: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Red Dead Redemption II and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

All three of these games were highly anticipated, but Smash Bros.’ ability to hold the number one spot is impressive, given that it’s only available on Switch, as opposed to the other two titles, which are multi-format. On the one hand, it shows how much weight Nintendo’s franchises and wealth of characters carry. On the other, there aren’t that many other must-have new games for Switch right now.

The charts likely won’t shift a great deal for another week, but by the end of the month high profile titles like Resident Evil 2 Remake and Kingdom Hearts III will liven things up again. February is looking massive too, with Crackdown 3 finally seeing the light of day, not to mention Far Cry: New Dawn, Metro Exodus, Anthem and others.

ARIA Chart Report: Swift back to top 10, Mary Poppins lifts off

• Singles: Quiet chart week good news for Kian, Hilltop Hoods & Guy
• Albums: Netflix pushes Taylor back to top 10, Mary Poppins lifts off

Singles

Very little movement on the chart this week with no new release making the top 50. There was however several artists who pushed their tunes into the top 50 from lower down the chart.

Stable at the top for another week are Post Malone and Swae Lee with Sunflower.

There were modest moves higher from both Kian with Waiting up from #20 to #17 in its 21st week, while Hilltop Hoods saw Leave Me Lonely creep from #19 to #18 after seven weeks.

Among the artists climbing into the top 50 from lower down the chart was Guy Sebastian with Before I Go up to #43 after nine weeks hovering outside the top 50.

Albums

Another week at the top for the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack after 12 weeks on the chart.

The only “newcomer” to the top 10 was Taylor Swift with her former #1 album Reputation up from #17 to #10 after 61 weeks on the chart. The album has new momentum off the back of the Netflix concert special released late last year.

One of the biggest movers on the chart this week was the soundtrack to Mary Poppins Returns, which flew from #48 to #15 in its second week.

Two significant artists had compilations stride back up the chart:

#19 Guns N’ Roses saw Greatest Hits back in the top 50 after 447 weeks on the chart.
#28 Cat Stevens saw his The Very Best Of Cat Stevens moving up again after 129 weeks on the chart. Not sure if this had much to do with the momentum, but he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame this week.

TV Ratings Analysis January 13

• 10 starts very early warm-up week with a win in the jungle
• I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! launches over 1m
• Best of the rest: Big Bash double, 60 Minutes, Slow TV Cruise

Week 3 2019 – Summer schedule – Sunday

By James Manning

Seven

The Big Bash League took second place to the reality TV on 10 last night.

Seven had two games to cover – one from Geelong and another from Perth.

Three of the four innings had metro audiences over 400,000, but for the second innings from Perth the number dropped just below 300,000.

Nine

The channel was a clear winner between 6pm and 7pm with National Nine News over 800,000.

The next best was a summer edition of 60 Minutes on 447,000 with another episode of Blue Planet II just under 300,000.

10

The channel’s decision to go early with season five of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! pushed 10 to a primary channel win. Both parts of the opening night episode pulled a metro audience over 1m.

As 10 executive Stephen Tate told Mediaweek late last week, the first episode is usually the series’ biggest audience. His colleagues will be hoping he could be wrong this year!

Network 10’s chief content officer Beverley McGarvey said:

“We’re really happy with how I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! launched last night. A big thanks to the whole team, to Chris and Julia and to our brave celebs for bringing us all the jungle fun so early. We really had to re-define landscape for summer viewing this year and early indications show there is a market for first-run entertainment now most of the country is back at work. We know it is early days but we have lots more twists and turns, fun and frightening challenges and a few brilliant surprises coming in the next few weeks.”

The numbers were down year-on-year, but the series has launched two weeks earlier:

• 2018: 1.274m and 1.108m
• 2019: 1.098m and 1.014m.

Although early in the year, the two halves last night were the first programs over 1m in 2019.

Both parts last night – Welcome to the Jungle and Opening Night – achieved their highest ever commercial share among all key demos since the series commenced in 2015.

And compared to the same night last year when 10 had an entertainment offering as well, the channel was up over 300%.

Elsewhere on the channel, The Sunday Project had a stronger night with just under half a million watching before the channel crossed live to South Africa.

ABC

Apart from the reality TV launch, just three programs made it over half a million – and the ABC Sunday news was the third of those programs.

Also performing well for the channel was a repeat of Vera on 435,000 (on the same night a new season launched on the BBC in the UK).

A repeat of Grand Designs: House Of The Year was on 359,000.

SBS

Another night of slow TV was good news for the channel.

After and 8.2% share on a less competitive evening a week ago, SBS started week 3 on 5.6%.

The channel doesn’t often split up its ratings when screening two or three part programs, but it is for its slow TV programming.

It’s numbers last night for The Kimberley Cruise were:

• First leg: 239,000
• Second leg: 197,000
• Third leg: 179,000

Week 2-3 TV: Friday-Sunday
FRIDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 13.8% 7 18.3% 9 16.9% 10  9.3% SBS One 7.4%
ABC 2 2.7% 7TWO 2.9% GO! 2.9% 10 Bold 2.9% VICELAND 2.5%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 5.8% GEM 2.8% 10 Peach 2.4% Food Net 1.3%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix 2.6% 9Life 2.4%     NITV 0.2%
    7Food 0.6%            
TOTAL 18.9%   30.2%   25.0%   14.5%   11.3%
SATURDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 12.0% 7 15.7% 9 20.5% 10  5.8% SBS One 4.0%
ABC 2 3.5% 7TWO 4.8% GO! 5.5% 10 Bold 2.1% VICELAND 2.1%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 4.6% GEM 4.3% 10 Peach 3.3% Food Net 1.2%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix 3.2% 9Life 3.9%     NITV 0.4%
    7Food 0.9%            
TOTAL 17.7%   29.2%   34.1%   11.3%   7.6%
SUNDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.9% 7 18.4% 9 14.9% 10  20.8% SBS One 5.6%
ABC 2 2.4% 7TWO 2.9% GO! 3.5% 10 Bold 2.1% VICELAND 0.9%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 3.3% GEM 3.2% 10 Peach 2.6% Food Net 1.4%
ABC NEWS 1.0% 7flix 1.5% 9Life 3.0%     NITV 0.2%
    7Food 0.6%            
TOTAL 15.0%   26.7%   24.6%   25.6%   8.1%
SUNDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
83.7% 16.3%

 

All People Rankings

Friday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 882,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 833,000
  3. Nine News Nine 800,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 757,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 588,000
  6. ABC News ABC 575,000
  7. Death In Paradise (R) ABC 512,000
  8. The Chase Australia Seven 472,000
  9. Father Brown (R) ABC 443,000
  10. Better Homes And Gardens Summer Seven 442,000

 

Saturday Top 10

  1. Seven News – Sat Seven 676,000
  2. Nine News Saturday Nine 587,000
  3. ABC News-Sa ABC 563,000
  4. Matilda Nine 460,000
  5. Little Women   ABC 418,000
  6. Garda Down Under Nine 325,000
  7. Mona Lisa Smile Nine 324,000
  8. 10 News First Sat 10 287,000
  9. Nine News: First At Five Nine 280,000
  10. Agatha Christie’s Ordeal By Innocence (R) ABC 277,000
SUNDAY FTA
  1. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! – Opening Night 10 1,098,000
  2. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! – Welcome To The Ju 10 1,014,000
  3. Nine News Sunday Nine 822,000
  4. Seven News – Sun Seven 778,000
  5. ABC News Sunday   ABC 614,000
  6. The Sunday Project 7pm 10 479,000
  7. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Melb Ren V Bris S2 Seven 476,000
  8. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Perth V Syd Sixers S1 Seven 463,000
  9. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Perth V Syd Sixers Pre Seven 448,000
  10. 60 Minutes Nine 447,000
  11. Vera (R) ABC 435,000
  12. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Melb Ren V Bris Seven 421,000
  13. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Melb Ren V Bris S1 Seven 409,000
  14. Grand Designs: House Of The Year (R) ABC 359,000
  15. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Melb Ren V Bris Pre Seven 339,000
  16. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Perth V Syd Sixers Seven 323,000
  17. NCIS Sun (R) 10 296,000
  18. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Perth V Syd Sixers S2 Seven 294,000
  19. David Attenborough’s-Blue Planet Ii – (R) Nine 291,000
  20. 10 News First Sun 10 277,000
SUNDAY MULTICHANNEL
  1. Fixer Upper   9Life 134,000
  2. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  3. Hey Duggee AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  4. Liar, Liar   9GO! 117,000
  5. Dot. AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 114,000
  6. Ready, Steady, Wiggle! AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  7. Luo Bao Bei AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 110,000
  8. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Melb 7mate 104,000
  9. Dino Dana   ABCKIDS/COMEDY 102,000
  10. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom   ABCKIDS/COMEDY 101,000
  11. Midsomer Murders   9Gem 100,000
  12. Coastwatch Oz PM 7TWO 99,000
  13. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 99,000
  14. The Addams Family   9GO! 96,000
  15. Shaun The Sheep   ABCKIDS/COMEDY 96,000
  16. Motorway Patrol-Ep.2 Pm 7TWO 95,000
  17. You Can’t Turn That Into A House!   9Life 94,000
  18. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 94,000
  19. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line 7TWO 94,000
  20. Rita And Crocodile AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 92,000
SUNDAY  STV
  1. Live: BBL: Renegades V Heat FOX CRICKET 245,000
  2. Live: Between The Innings FOX CRICKET 239,000
  3. Live: BBL: Thunder V Strikers FOX CRICKET 234,000
  4. Live: BBL: Renegades V Heat FOX CRICKET 222,000
  5. Live: Between The Innings FOX CRICKET 215,000
  6. Live: BBL Post Game FOX CRICKET 202,000
  7. Live: BBL: Thunder V Strikers FOX CRICKET 196,000
  8. Live: BBL: Scorchers V Sixers FOX CRICKET 162,000
  9. Live: B4 The Bash! FOX CRICKET 137,000
  10. Live: Between The Innings FOX CRICKET 126,000
  11. Live: BBL: Scorchers V Sixers FOX CRICKET 94,000
  12. Live: B4 The Bash! FOX CRICKET 70,000
  13. Live: BBL Post Game FOX CRICKET 57,000
  14. NCIS TVH!TS 51,000
  15. Live: NFL: Rams V Cowboys ESPN 45,000
  16. NCIS TVH!TS 43,000
  17. Live: A-League Rnd 13 Perth V WSW FOX SPORTS 505 42,000
  18. Live: A-League Rnd 13 Sydney V Adelaide FOX SPORTS 505 39,000
  19. The Simpsons FOX8 39,000
  20. S.W.A.T. FOX8 38,000

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

Hugh Marks: Advertisers responding to Nine-Fairfax merger

A month into the merger of Nine and Fairfax Media, advertisers are already setting up campaigns across television, print and digital and the advertising market looks to be improving so far in 2019, Nine chief executive Hugh Marks says, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Marks, who estimated Nine would write about $45 million in revenue from its first broadcast of the Australian Open, said the integration and set-up of a new sales structure in the recently merged business had happened swiftly and lined up with a strong result in negotiations with media agencies booking advertising.

The Nine boss singled out a bumper Christmas period for subscription video on-demand service Stan – which he said would end 2018-19 on a profitable run rate – earnings momentum in Fairfax’s former Metro Media assets including The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, and the hold-up of prime-time TV ratings despite Nine’s no longer having the cricket.

[Read the original]

Nine’s asset sales plans taking shape: Events, Regional & Stuff

Hugh Marks plans to move quickly on plans to sell off the regional and New Zealand assets of Fairfax with a sales process due to commence this quarter, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.

Marks has spent the last month running the expanded company and hopes to complete a purchase of the remaining shares in Macquarie Media, and complete the sale of the events arm of the business – known for City2Surf – by the end of March.

“The events business has a quick timeline. We’re pretty close with a couple of key bidders,” he said.

For the regional publications (including The Canberra Times) and New Zealand publishing division Stuff he said there was a “really broad group of companies interested” and a formal sale process would begin in the next few months.

One part of the business Marks is particularly confident about is Stan, which has just had its strongest subscription growth period since launch on the back of a content deal with Disney for the rights to its movies and shows ahead of the Christmas period.

“Stan’s had a phenomenal summer period in terms of subscriber acquisitions,” he said.

Marks said he hoped Stan could be the “home of Disney in Australia”.

[Read the original]

First days of February see Craig McLachlan in two courts in two states

Actor Craig McLachlan was charged with assault and sex offences by Victoria Police late last week, reports ABC News’ Mazoe Ford and Lorna Knowles.

Victoria Police confirmed to the ABC that sex crime detectives charged a 53-year-old NSW man with one count of common law assault, eight counts of indecent assault, and one count of attempted indecent assault.

Last year, a joint ABC/Fairfax investigation revealed three of McLachlan’s female co-stars accused him of bullying and sexual misconduct during the 2014 tour of The Rocky Horror Show.

He denies the allegations and is suing the ABC, Fairfax and one of the actresses for defamation in the NSW Supreme Court.

The civil court hearing is listed to start on February 4.

[Read the original]

ABC issues clarification regarding casual employees on flat rates

There has been some confusion and misreporting of the situation regarding casual employees at the ABC, the broadcaster claimed on Sunday.

As stated on 10 January, the ABC recently identified that some casual employees may have been underpaid. As a result, it is currently reviewing the cases of all casual employees paid on a “flat rate” basis over the past six years.

This does not mean all of those employees have been affected.

Current and former casual employees who might be affected are being notified and the ABC is reviewing its processes to address the issue for the future.

The ABC notified the Fair Work Ombudsman of the issue and is liaising with them.

The corporation is also having discussions with the CPSU, which brought the matter to the attention of management.

It is also working with affected staff, the CPSU and the MEAA to address their concerns.

The ABC noted the error should not have occurred, and the ABC apologises to any casual employee who has been underpaid.

Television

As week 3 starts, network executives talk up their 2019 outlook

The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich has been speaking with FTA and subscription TV executives about 2019 as 10’s Celebrity launched last night, and the Australian Open launches today.

10 chief content officer Beverley McGarvey says the company knows that “Aussies love their sport but there is a lot more to TV this summer”.

“We are focusing on first-run premium shows and providing audiences with fun, escapist family entertainment.

“We’ve seen many of our entertainment franchises perform well against big sporting events, so we know there is always appetite for a premium entertainment alternative,” McGarvey said.

Seven head of network programming Angus Ross is confident the network will continue to dominate the ratings after finishing 2018 in No 1 spot for the 12th consecutive year.

“Building off this great result in 2018, we’ve come into summer with our first summer of cricket, Australia’s No 1 summer sport, which has delivered outstanding ratings for us across both Test matches and the Big Bash League,” Ross said.

Nine chief sales officer Michael Stephenson is confident about its show line-up, singling out Married At First Sight, plus The Voice, Ninja Warrior and The Block.

“Married surpasses expectations every year and has done for a number of years now. Of course, this year it has the great benefit of the promotional platform that is the Australian Open,” he said.

“I’m incredibly confident that we’ll continue to grow the demographics that we focus on, which is 16-39 and 25-54 and grocery buyers and children.”

Pete Campbell, head of Fox Sports at Foxtel, said the company was “extremely pleased with the audience for our first Test series”.

“This new content, plus our sophisticated integration solutions, have meant we can continue to deliver our partners exciting opportunities and deeper, richer partnerships.”

[Read the original]

Georgie Gardner says Today show pick ‘about time for women’

Georgie Gardner has spoken of her delight at the appointment of Deborah Knight as her Today co-host, saying it was “about time” women were leading the show, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.

And she confirmed she had been consulted about who she would be comfortable working with following the departure of Karl Stefanovic.

“It is about time, don’t you think?” Gardner said on Saturday of the move to have two women fronting the show.

“The fact that Deb is female is just a coincidence.

“The decision-makers were looking for someone with the right credentials and, the fact that she is female, I think, is an added bonus. But make no mistake, there is nothing tokenistic about this appointment. It was the right person for the job and I am thrilled.”

Gardner, who returned from a two-week family holiday in Japan on Friday, said she did offer her opinion on who should replace Stefanovic.

“I was consulted, without question. After all it is a very unique relationship to be sharing a desk with someone for three-and-a-half hours from 5.30 in the morning,” Gardner said.

“You can understand that out of respect I was brought into the consultation.”

[Read the original]

Report that Nine might drop Karl after This Time Next Year wraps

Nine could part company with Karl Stefanovic as early as Easter, reports News Corp’s Amy Harris:

Stefanovic could potentially stand to lose the $6 million salary for his final two years at Channel 9, which would make his wedding to shoe designer Jasmine Yarbrough a very costly one indeed.

Our strategically placed insider also revealed that Nine bosses were less than pleased at Stefanovic’s bizarre airport meltdown on Christmas Day.

Nor did they appreciate his claim that his Instagram account was hacked after he “liked” several posts criticising the new Today show line-up.

Simply put, they “didn’t buy it for a second”.

“Karl has to film the final segments for his show This Time Next Year at the end of February and that goes into most of March and after that … they want him gone,” said the source.

Nine’s media spokeswoman, however, said the claim is “just not true” and insisted Nine was hoping to continue working with Stefanovic throughout the year.

[Read the original]

Sports Media

Anthony Hudson leads radio team for SEN’s Australian Open partnership

SEN is the official domestic radio broadcast partner for Australian Open which commences today.

SEN will create a new broadcast product, KIA Presents AO Live, for the Grand Slam event from 14-27 January, broadcasting during selected windows of the tournament on 1116 SEN, SEN+, SEN 2 and SEN SA.

The SEN tennis team will include SEN callers Anthony Hudson, Jack Heverin and Brett Phillips – tennis commentator and host of 1116 SEN’s The First Serve – the only dedicated weekly tennis program on Australian commercial radio.

The team will be joined by a line-up of experts including Australian tennis greats Nicole Bradtke, Jelena Dokic and the record holder of the world’s fastest serve, Sam Groth.

SEN’s DAB channel, SEN 2, will become a dedicated tennis channel for two weeks during the tournament. It will also feature some simulcast of AO Radio (the Australian Open’s broadcast product), ensuring every minute of play each day is covered.

Crocmedia chief executive officer and managing director Craig Hutchison said sports fans would be well served over summer on SEN.

“We are thrilled to add the Australian Open to our summer sports line-up and, together with AO partner KIA, innovate across multiple channels,” Hutchison said.

“Tennis fans will be spoilt for choice across the SEN channels, and 1116 SEN will lob everything at making it the best covered Open on radio ever.

“The Australian Open is iconic, and fits perfectly into our whole of sport and live play by play agenda.

“And more broadly, nationally, Crocmedia will ensure its sports programs have the latest news, scores and stories as they happen,” Hutchison added.

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