Wednesday July 18, 2018

New Mediaweek Podcasts

It’s been a busy week in the Mediaweek Podcast studio, with recent guests including Ian Collie, Terry Durack and Jill Dupleix and more. Subscribe here.

Top 100 Restaurants: Terry Durack and Jill Dupleix

The food writers and restaurants critics talk to Mediaweek’s James Manning about the process to select the top 100. They also talk about their careers in food media in Australia and the UK and the secrets of how they review and rate restaurants for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Listen here or on iTunes executive editor Luke McIlveen

Mediaweek visits the Fox Sports HQ in Sydney to talk to Luke McIlveen, executive editor of He discusses his return to News Corp after a controversial parting with the company five years ago to work for Daily Mail Australia, how Fox Sports’ digital home could be leveraging from its TV business better, and plans for its upcoming cricket coverage.

Listen here or on iTunes

Jack Irish producer Ian Collie

The new season of Jack Irish has launched with strong ratings on the ABC and producer Ian Collie talks to Mediaweek’s James Manning about working with Guy Pearce, the future of TV and what we can expect from the next season of Rake.

Listen here or on iTunes

Mercado & Manning: Mediaweek TV podcast

This edition Andrew Mercado and James Manning talk about the TV Week Logie Awards and review all the winners and the highlights and lowlights from the Awards night. Network Ten was the big TV Week Logie winner followed by ABC and Foxtel. Andrew and James also talk about the new series of Jack Irish, which has launched with big ratings on ABC.

Listen here or on iTunes

Broadcasting trailblazer Michael Ebeid quitting SBS for new challenge

SBS chief Michael Ebeid has revealed he is leaving the broadcaster in early October.

The news was announced to staff at a briefing in Sydney today, sources told Mediaweek. Ebeid said he made the “difficult decision” on a recent holiday.

Ebeid first joined the company in June 2011 from the ABC, where he was director of corporate strategy and marketing.

Key initiatives under Ebeid include the launch of SBS On Demand, Australia at Eurovision, the SBS World News refresh, launch of Food Network and more.

SBS released the following statement on Ebeid’s departure:

Michael Ebeid will step down as Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director after 7.5 years at the helm of Australia’s most unique and distinctive national media organisation and the world’s most linguistically diverse broadcaster.

Since joining SBS as its Managing Director in June 2011, Ebeid has led the organisation through a period of immense transformation, growth and achievement. He has led organisational strategies and introduced new initiatives which have led to more Australians engaging with SBS than ever before. These strategies ensure the organisation is well-equipped to deliver on the responsibilities of the SBS Charter, with programs and services which are relevant to an increasingly diverse Australian society, in a tough environment for media operators.

Continued at

Meanwhile, the Turnbull Government released a statement yesterday thanking Michael Ebeid for his exceptional leadership of the SBS over the past seven years.

Michael Ebeid was appointed to the role of CEO and managing director in June 2011 and has been a great steward of the organisation during a time of tremendous change in the media.

Ebeid has been a strong leader with a clear vision for SBS and the role it plays in supporting social cohesion and fostering a greater understanding of difference.

Under Ebeid’s leadership, SBS has undertaken a deep commitment to indigenous Australians and their stories through the launch of National Indigenous Television (NITV) as a national free-to-air television channel. This will be one of Ebeid’s abiding legacies.

Ebeid has demonstrated a profound commitment to public broadcasting and the contribution it makes to media diversity and civic journalism.

The SBS Board will undertake a thorough search for Ebeid’s successor, and facilitate a smooth transition within the SBS executive leadership team.

The Government thanks Ebeid for his service to the nation and wishes him well for his future endeavours.

Fitzy Out, Frainy In: Anthony Fitzgerald quits MCN, Mark Frain new CEO

Multi Channel Network (MCN) has announced the appointment of Mark Frain as the company’s new chief executive officer, effective immediately.

Frain, currently MCN’s chief sales and marketing officer, replaces outgoing CEO Anthony Fitzgerald.

After 15 years as CEO leading MCN, Fitzgerald has decided to take a break before deciding on any new future opportunities.

MCN chair and News Corp Australia CFO Stacey Brown congratulated Frain and thanked Fitzgerald for his contribution to MCN.

Brown said Frain’s appointment heralded a new era for MCN, Australia’s leading multiscreen media network, as it continues to strengthen its market leading position.

“Mark has diverse global experience across sales, strategic planning and commercial development and is ideally suited to lead the next generation for MCN,” Brown said.

“He is widely regarded as one of Australia’s most respected sales executives and has the vision, expertise and leadership skills to drive MCN’s future growth as it remains at the forefront of multiscreen trading.

“On behalf of MCN’s shareholders, Foxtel, Fox Sports Australia and Network Ten, I’d like to thank Anthony for his contribution as CEO for the last 15 years and wish him well for the future.”

In the 15 years that Fitzgerald has led the business, MCN has grown to a $1.2 billion operation representing a 45% commercial audience share of television and the largest broadcast-quality digital video network in Australia.

Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany acknowledged Fitzgerald’s achievements and welcomed Frain to the new role.

“I’ve worked with Fitzy for 15 years and respect the enormous passion he has for television and redefining the TV advertising model. He has embedded a culture of innovation within the company and built a great team of committed and talented sales executives. I look forward to working more closely with Frainy as he drives continued and enhanced outcomes for MCN, Foxtel and Fox Sports and Network Ten,” Delany said.

Network Ten CEO Paul Anderson said: “I’d like to thank Anthony for his contribution not only to MCN but to the overall television industry. He has driven key initiatives, fostered innovation and been a genuine leader of change. On behalf of Network Ten, we wish him well. I’d also like to congratulate Mark on his new appointment. It’s a demonstration of his commitment and expertise in shaping the television landscape that sees him assume this new role.”

Frain said he was thrilled to take on the new challenge.

“I’m proud to be offered this opportunity and have absolute confidence in the MCN team and the strong future we can build together for this business.”

Fitzgerald congratulated Frain on his appointment and wished him every success for the future. He also well praised the MCN staff for their loyalty, commitment and professionalism: “A passion for television has guided all my career choices to date. Leaving MCN is bittersweet – it is a business I’m passionate about and have been so proud to lead for the last 15 years. The success of MCN to date has been the result of concerted team effort by people who love television and I know the business is in good hands for the future. Mark has the confidence, respect and trust of the industry and will be a tremendous leader. He is both colleague and good friend and I wish him the very best.”

Frain joined MCN in 2005, heading up the strategic & brand integration team for several years before taking on the role of Sydney sales director in 2010, then moving to national sales & marketing director in 2011 taking on responsibility for sales and revenue growth across all MCN divisions: TV, digital, mobile and sport.

Top Photo: Anthony Fitzgerald (L) and Mark Frain (R)

Girlfriend editor Stacey Hicks challenges misconceptions about Pacific brand

There is a misconception about the readers of Girlfriend and new editor Stacey Hicks would like to clear it up.

By Kruti Joshi

“A big perception is that our audience is quite young, but 54% of our online audience is 18-24 – they are slightly older than our mag audience,” she told Mediaweek. “Our average print reader is 16.

“There is no doubt that we do have 13- and 14-year-old readers too.”

This is an excerpt from the full article, which appears on Mediaweek Premium. Read the full article hereor subscribe to Mediaweek Premium here.

NBCUniversal Int Studios backing launch of Tony Ayres Productions

• Award-winning writer/director/producer to focus on international drama in television and film

Nowhere Boys

NBCUniversal International Studios and Matchbox Pictures have announced they are backing Tony Ayres’ brand new production company. The award-winning writer, director and producer has launched Tony Ayres Productions (TAP) to specialise in high-end scripted drama and feature films for both Australian and international audiences.

Headquartered in Australia, TAP will operate as an independent company, creating its own slate of television programs and feature films. It will exclusively work in partnership with NBCUniversal International Studios and Matchbox to foster creative and commercial opportunities across international markets, growing the company’s global footprint. NBCUniversal will also have a first look over feature film projects developed and/or produced by Tony Ayres through TAP.

Continuing his longstanding creative collaboration with Matchbox, Ayres will remain as executive producer on a number of Matchbox projects, including season four of Matchbox’s Emmy award-winning children’s drama Nowhere Boys (ABC/Netflix).

Tony Ayres said: “For the past few years, I’ve been keen to focus on more international-facing drama in television and film. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with NBCU International Studios to develop a new slate of global projects with my key collaborators. I’m also very pleased to continue working with the super-talented people at Matchbox.”

Matt Vitins, interim managing director for Matchbox, added: “Tony has been so integral to Matchbox’s success since the start. So we are thrilled that he will set up his new company alongside Matchbox. We are really excited to embark on this new chapter with him and extend our partnership further.”

Jeff Wachtel, president of NBCUniversal International Studios, also added: “Tony is one of the most inspirational and talented creatives this industry has to offer. His commitment and dedication to Matchbox over the past decade has been invaluable. We’re delighted to be able to support him on his new venture and to work with him to bring his vision directly to the global market.”

Ayres has created, produced or executive produced a number of Matchbox’s award-winning shows including The Slap (ABC), Glitch (ABC/Netflix), Barracuda (ABC), Seven Types of Ambiguity (ABC), Nowhere Boys (ABC/Netflix), The Family Law (SBS), Underground (TEN) and Wanted (Seven).

He served as executive producer for Matchbox’s feature film Ali’s Wedding, which won an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Award for Best Screenplay in 2017. He has also directed three multi-award winning feature films: Cut Snake, The Home Song Stories and Walking on Water.

Matchbox Pictures was originally formed in 2008 by Tony Ayres, Penny Chapman, Helen Bowden, Michael McMahon and Helen Panckhurst. In May 2011, NBCUniversal International Studios took a majority stake in the company and acquired full ownership in January 2014.

Matchbox Pictures recently appointed South Australian producer Kirsty Stark to head up its new office in Adelaide and drive its local scripted development slate.

cricket biggest bash
Cricket Australia unveils massive 2018/19 Big Bash League fixture

• KFC Big Bash League 08: 50 matches, Xmas Eve/New Year’s Eve clashes

Cricket Australia head of Big Bash League Kim McConnie, local and state government representatives plus representatives from Queensland Cricket, Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Stars BBL clubs will be part of a cast of thousands today for the launch of the fixture for the KFC Big Bash League 08 season. The event is taking place on the Gold Coast.

The other guests include Queensland Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni MP, assistant State Minister for Tourism Industry Development Meaghan Scanlan MP, City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate, Queensland Cricket CEO Max Walters, Brisbane Heat General Manager Andrew McShae, Melbourne Stars CEO Clint Cooper, Gold Coast Suns Chairman Tony Cochrane plus Brisbane Heat BBL players Ben Cutting and Matthew Renshaw, Melbourne Stars BBL player Glenn Maxwell and Brisbane Heat WBBL players Jess Jonassen and Sammy-Jo Johnson.

Early details released by Cricket Australia include confirmation of a December 24 double-header to kick-start the festive season with matches in Hobart and Sydney.

There will also be a blockbuster Melbourne derby on New Year’s Day that could see more than 80,000 fans at the MCG.

The eighth season of the BBL will expand to a full home-and-away season with 59 games, including finals.

Pacific supercharges insights and strategy with two key appointments

Pacific has appointed Rebecca Alexander-Head (pictured) to the role of head of insights and strategy.

Alexander-Head began her career with a series of brand and strategy roles in both the Netherlands and UK before joining Millward Brown’s strategic insights team.

In 2013, she moved across to Diageo Australia to lead the insights and planning division working across all brand, shopper and innovation strategies including the launch of Smirnoff Double Black and Bundaberg Rum’s new premix offering. Most recently, she was GM at startup research agency PLAY during which time she helped significantly grow the team, client base and service offering.

Nicole Bence, Pacific commercial director, said: “Data and insights are fast becoming Pacific’s front line guiding our retail, commercial, audience, marketing, loyalty and product strategies. Rebecca will play a lead role in driving this as we continue to reengineer the business.

“A key part of her remit will involve embedding our new consumer insight approach and data proposition, Seventh Sense. She is experienced at driving advanced outcomes for clients and will deliver critical thinking around how we help the brands we work with unlock consumer behaviour change and drive growth.”

Alexander-Head said: “Pacific’s brands and culture of entrepreneurship attracted me to this role. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of a transformative business as we redefine our commercial strategy and the role insights play in the industry moving forward.”

Earlier this year, Pacific launched Seventh Sense, a proprietary customer data platform that marries brand interactions, shoppers’ transactional, location and social data. The platform enables clients and agencies to plan and target with greater accuracy, activate against and measure campaign performance.

Also joining the team is Eddie Liu, who comes on board as insights manager. Liu will lead the quantitative research offering and his background includes stints at Millward Brown Sydney, Optus and most recently Virgin Media London.

Two Fairfax printing centres to close following new publishing arrangement with News Corp

News Corp Australia and Fairfax Media have entered into a commercial printing arrangement that will see the latter transition work from its print centres in Beresfield (NSW) and Ormiston (Queensland).

News Corp Australia and Fairfax Media have entered into a commercial printing arrangement that will see the latter transition work from its print centres in Beresfield (NSW) and Ormiston (Queensland).

Under the agreements, News Corp Australia will provide seven-day printing services to Fairfax in NSW and Queensland. Fairfax will print some publications for News Corp out of its North Richmond plant. Once these changes have been completed, Fairfax’s printing centres in Beresfield and Ormiston will close.

Fairfax Media CEO Greg Hywood said: “The agreements deliver greater cost variabilisation, enabling us to produce newspapers well into the future.

“Our decision to rationalise some printing assets reduces capital intensity. We expect the combination of the new arrangements and the changes to Fairfax’s printing network to result in an annualised full-year benefit of approximately $15 million. The financial benefits are expected to begin towards the end of FY19 H1.

“From today we are consulting with staff at our printing centres affected by the new arrangements. Fairfax is committed to providing comprehensive assistance and support and will meet all our employment obligations.”

News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller said: “As a publisher, we have absolute confidence in the ongoing significance of newspapers. Within this framework, we need to continue to look at the most effective and efficient ways to produce newspapers.

“This is a commercial deal that makes commercial sense by enabling better use of our existing print facilities.”

In addition to this arrangement, News Corp and Fairfax have both announced that they are continuing talks to identify further opportunities.

Miller noted that the arrangement has no crossover or impact on content from either publisher.

The new agreement mirrors arrangements made by HT&E Media (formerly APN Media) in New Zealand, where it prints certain Fairfax newspaper titles. Meanwhile, News UK in Britain also prints its competitors’ newspapers such as Daily Mail, Evening Standard, The Daily Telegraph (UK) and the Daily Express.

The new printing arrangement between News Corp Australia and Fairfax will commence this month.

TV Ratings Analysis: Tuesday July 17

• TEN’s MasterChef stars return – and win – finals week challenge
• 30th Anniversary: Home And Away fans less interested in nostalgia
• Final heat of Ninja Warrior before finals: Week 2 year-on-year

By James Manning


Home And Away again had an audience just under 700,000.

The anniversary Home And Away special – Endless Summer: 30 Years Of Home And Away – saw that audience drop for 605,000. That contributed to Seven’s lowest Tuesday survey share this year – 17.5%

Interview subsequently didn’t have a great lead-in audience with 448,000. It was easy to pay attention when it came on though with Dylan Alcott talking about losing his virginity and then porn star Angela White detailing one of the things she had learnt during her career. The audience was on 448,000 after 481,000 last week.

Dylan Alcott on Interview with Andrew Denton


A Current Affair featured energy bills and Amazon’s Prime Day among other stories with 860,000 watching after 858,000 Monday.

The final of the heats on Australian Ninja Warrior ended the second week of the series. Here are the year-on-year stats for the show, which is failing to grow yet as Nine had hoped after the first week this year.

Australian Ninja Warrior: Week 2

• 2017: 1.75m – 1.54m – 1.58m
• 2018: 967,000 – 838,000 – 817,000

The 2014 Denzel Washington movie The Equalizer then did 357,000.


A long Peter Helliar interview with Hannah Gadsby was the star attraction on The Project with 506,000 watching after 586,000 Monday. For people wanting more of Gadsby, a long 30-minute version of Helliar’s interview is available on Ten Daily.

MasterChef featured the return of previous competitors Matt Sinclair and Reynold Poernomo with Sinclair cooking against Khan. Sinclair, who was the runner-up on a previous season, wowed the judges, who all gave him 10 out of 10, with Gary claiming it was the best dish served up by anyone this season. The episode did 821,000 after 822,000 a week ago.

Two of the four entrepreneurs on Shark Tank managed to attract an investment with baby product distribution and an in-store photo booth securing interest. The show did 480,000 after 486,000 a week ago.


Foreign Correspondent did 500,000 at 8pm.

Michael Mosley’s The Truth About Getting Fit then did 487,000.

A repeat of the second episode of Joanna Lumley’s Japan was on 292,000,


The return of the Tour de France after a rest day did 182,000.

Earlier in the night Insight examined attention spans with 143,000 having the attention span to last the hour.

At 7.30pm a repeat of the Mal Meninga Who Do You Think You Are? was on 176,000.

Week 29 TV: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 11.8% 7 17.5% 9 22.5% TEN 14.2% SBS One 5.5%
ABC 2 2.4% 7TWO 3.1% GO! 3.7% ONE 2.6% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 4.4% GEM 3.7% ELEVEN 2.0% Food Net 0.5%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix 2.0% 9Life 1.1% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 16.1% 27.0% 31.0% 18.8% 7.1%
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates Ten Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.6% 7 17.2% 9 20.4% WIN 11.5% SBS One 4.9%
ABC 2 2.8% 7TWO 3.8% GO! 4.0% ONE 2.9% VICELAND 0.6%
ABC ME 1.2% 7mate 6.6% GEM 6.8% ELEVEN 2.1% Food Net 0.5%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix 1.2% 9Life 1.5% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 16.0% 28.8% 32.7% 16.5% 6.1%
86.7% 14.3%
Tuesday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,122,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 1,074,000
  3. Nine News Nine 992,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 958,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 860,000
  6. Masterchef Australia Ten 821,000
  7. Australian Ninja Warrior Nine 817,000
  8. ABC News ABC 758,000
  9. Home And Away Seven 690,000
  10. The Chase Australia Seven 685,000
  11. Endless Summer: 30 Years Of Home And Away Seven 605,000
  12. Hot Seat Nine 563,000
  13. 7.30 ABC 558,000
  14. The Project 7pm Ten 506,000
  15. Foreign Correspondent ABC 500,000
  16. The Truth About Getting Fit ABC 487,000
  17. Shark Tank Ten 480,000
  18. Interview Seven 448,000
  19. Ten Eyewitness News First At Five Ten 427,000
  20. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 407,000
Demo Top Fives

16-39 Top 5

  1. Masterchef Australia Ten 246,000
  2. Australian Ninja Warrior Nine 215,000
  3. Seven News Seven 179,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 162,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 150,000


18-49 Top 5

  1. Masterchef Australia Ten 383,000
  2. Australian Ninja Warrior Nine 363,000
  3. Seven News Seven 276,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 255,000
  5. Nine News Nine 244,000


25-54 Top 5

  1. Masterchef Australia Ten 424,000
  2. Australian Ninja Warrior Nine 383,000
  3. Seven News Seven 340,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 324,000
  5. Nine News Nine 285,000
Tuesday Multichannel
  1. Outback Truckers-PM 7mate 204,000
  2. The Big Bang Theory TX2 9GO! 174,000
  3. The Big Bang Theory TX1 9GO! 171,000
  4. Highway Patrol E2-PM 7mate 169,000
  5. The Big Bang Theory TX3 9GO! 166,000
  6. Pj Masks-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 165,000
  7. Noddy Toyland Detective-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 165,000
  8. Peppa Pig-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 164,000
  9. Peppa Pig-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 159,000
  10. New Tricks 9Gem 155,000
  11. Kazoops!-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 155,000
  12. Midsomer Murders 9Gem 154,000
  13. Hey Duggee-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 154,000
  14. Neighbours ELEVEN 150,000
  15. Fireman Sam-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 150,000
  16. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 149,000
  17. Full Custom Garage-PM 7mate 149,000
  18. Teacup Travels-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 148,000
  19. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 142,000
  20. Pawn Stars-PM 7mate 140,000
Tuesday Subscription TV
  1. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 73,000
  2. Wentworth showcase 71,000
  3. Live: Back Page FOX SPORTS 501 62,000
  4. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 56,000
  5. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 55,000
  6. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 54,000
  7. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 51,000
  8. The Bolt Report SKY NEWS LIVE 44,000
  9. Bob FOX FOOTY 42,000
  10. NCIS TVH!TS 41,000
  11. Escape To The Country LifeStyle Channel 41,000
  12. American Dad! FOX8 40,000
  13. Credlin SKY NEWS LIVE 40,000
  14. Kid-E-Cats Nick Jr. 40,000
  15. Selling Houses Australia LifeStyle Channel 39,000
  16. Kiva Can Do! Nick Jr. 38,000
  17. Family Guy FOX8 38,000
  18. Paul Murray Live SKY NEWS LIVE 38,000
  19. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 37,000
  20. Bones TVH!TS 37,000

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 Media

Southern Cross Austereo appoints Will McMichael to key sales role

Southern Cross Austereo has announced the appointment of Will McMichael to head of regional media sales.

McMichael was previously SCA’s group sales manager in Sydney office. Prior to joining SCA, he was head of advertising for UAE-based company Gulf News.

In the new role, McMichael will be responsible for SCA’s TV and radio sales strategy across its regional markets.

SCA chief sales officer Brian Gallagher said, “Will’s exemplary performance, global experience and outstanding leadership have had an enormous impact on the Sydney team over the past 12 months.

“I am thrilled to appoint Will as head of regional media sales and see him continue to strengthen SCA’s sales teams, and deliver more exceptional outcomes for clients.”

moshtix details new partnerships and new head of marketing

Australian ticketing agent moshtix has announced key signings and new management hires.

The past six months have seen the company secure the ticketing rights for the Australian Turf Club, Taronga Zoo, Laneway Festival, CMC Rocks, and Melbourne’s iconic The Espy, which is due to reopen later in 2018.

Recent appointments include Kevin Cooper to the newly created role of head of marketing and innovation. Cooper was formerly group marketing and customer technology manager at ALH Group, Australia’s largest pub group and Woolworths subsidiary.

Chief executive officer of moshtix Harley Evans said: “Moshtix has been through a significant investment phase over the past 12 months with an emphasis on harnessing new technologies, building out our marketing capabilities, and attracting exceptional operators to the team. Our mission is to make life easy and there is more to come in the coming months that demonstrates our commitment to making this real.”

Kevin Cooper said of his appointment: “I was very drawn to the energy and passion that moshtix has for what it does, and was extremely excited about the prospect of working with it. Moving from a large enterprise such as ALH was a big step, but the opportunity I see for moshtix to really push the local ticketing industry forward made it an easy decision for me.”

Former Foxtel executive heading to Sydney agency The Pulse

Sydney-based agency The Pulse has appointed Dillon Hicks to the newly created role of head of production.

Dillon Hicks

Sydney-based agency The Pulse has appointed Dillon Hicks to the newly created role of head of production.

Hicks joins The Pulse from Foxtel, where he was head of production. He was also a founding member of Foxtel’s full-service creative production hub, Felix.

In his new role, Hicks will lead The Pulse’s team of developers, 3D artists, motion designers, creatives and producers to deliver cutting edge communication across education, corporate training, health and entertainment.

At Foxtel, Hicks oversaw the internationally awarded “Make It Yours” campaign, played key roles in the launch of the company’s SVOD service Foxtel Now and broadband offering and produced a series of television and online advertisements featuring Aussie A-lister Chris Hemsworth for the relaunch of Foxtel’s iQ3 set-top boxes and Foxtel Movies offerings.


Another former Foxtel executive on the move, this time to Freeview

Freeview has appointed Cameron Crain as its new of head of marketing.

Cameron Crain

Crain brings more than 10 years’ experience in the marketing sector. He joins Freeview from Foxtel, where he was the Store TV and Main Event Manager.

Freeview CEO Liz Ross said: “Cameron brings invaluable industry experience, and he joins the team in what will be a landmark year for Freeview – our 10-year anniversary.

“We welcome Cameron’s unique skills in an exciting time for Freeview, as we continue to promote free-to-air content wherever, whenever and on whichever platform users choose.”

Cameron Crain said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the Freeview team and to be working on such innovative and successful products with more to come. Having a passion for the television industry, I am excited to be bringing my expertise to this role.”

Crain’s appointment is effective immediately. He replaces Jennifer Lee, who left Freeview in May.

News Brands

Remembering one of Australia’s outstanding journalists: Evan Whitton

Evan Whitton, whose trailblazing reporting helped uncover some of the country’s most notorious corruption scandals, has died, reports The Australian’s Deborah Cornwall.

Whitton, who died in hospital on Monday night aged 90, is survived by his wife, Noela, 88.

He leaves a remarkable legacy as one of the country’s most outstanding journalists: a pioneer of investigative reporting, essayist, editor and prolific author.

“He was a unique combination of teacher, journalist and priest,” journalist David Marr, a former colleague and protégé of Whitton at the National Times in the 1970s, said. “The priestly part was a depthless moral rage about corruption. He hammered issues nobody had ever thought of before, like tax evasion and bottom of the harbour schemes. They were core Evan Whitton things.”

It was at the Truth – the Melbourne scandal sheet – that Whitton started to hone his signature writing style: part New Journalism, part gentleman essayist. Mark Day, a columnist for The Australian and former part-owner of Truth, said Whitton regarded the tabloid as a place where he could do “something noble in the art of muckraking and shedding light”.

[Read the original]

How US network news anchors reacted on air after Trump-Putin presser

The New York Times has reported on how US news anchors reacted after the TrumpPutin press conference in Helsinki this week:

“You have been watching,” said the disembodied voice of Anderson Cooper, “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president at a summit in front of a Russian leader that I’ve ever seen.”

Perhaps Mr Cooper had briefly forgotten the mores of his profession – stolidity and a Cronkite-ian cool – in the heat of a surreal live event: a public pas de deux on Monday between President Trump and President Vladimir V Putin of Russia, in which the president criticised United States intelligence agencies and declined multiple opportunities to blame Mr Putin for interfering in American elections.

But Mr Cooper’s remark, though pointed, was not far removed from the nonplussed reactions of his fellow network stars, who seemed to channel a level of genuine shock rare even in the chaotic Trump era.

“All of you who are watching today will be able to tell your friends, family, your children, your grandchildren, you were watching a moment of history,” said George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, adding: “It may not be for the right reasons.”

“They were almost chummy, as if they were allies,” said a dumbfounded Norah O’Donnell of CBS News. “The way they talked about one another and how they wanted to move forward together in the future.”

[Read the original]


After previously selling for £1, UK Reader’s Digest changes hands again

Mike Luckwell has this week sold Reader’s Digest UK. It has been acquired by Gary Hopkins, who was until October 2016 the CEO of Reader’s Digest, reports InPublishing.

Mike Luckwell said: “The company required an immediate ‘Turnaround’ and many changes were made in the weeks following the acquisition and Gary Hopkins worked closely with me on that. On day one, the company required me to provide significant working capital but this was recouped within 70 days. From that point onwards, Reader’s Digest was profitable and strongly cash generative. It has been an excellent investment but the company is now smaller and this is a good moment for a change of control.”

Reader’s Digest UK continues to be profitable, albeit the company is not immune to the decline in the publishing sector, says Mike Luckwell. Greater emphasis has recently been put on the development of the digital side of Reader’s Digest and exploitation of partnerships.

[Read the original]


Eureka commissioned to make second season of The Chefs’ Line for SBS

Eureka’s reality cooking TV show for SBS, The Chefs’ Line, will return for a second season on August 6.

Dan Hong, Melissa Leong, Mark Olive_The Chefs’ Line

The show sees participants and chefs from different backgrounds showcasing their skills every week, with 10 different cuisines explored over 10 weeks.

Executive chef Dan Hong, chef Mark Olive and food writer Melissa Leong will be the three judges this season. Each night, one judge will blind taste the dishes and ultimately decide which is the best plate on the pass.

SBS director of television and online content Marshall Heald said: “Effortlessly diverse with different restaurants, cuisines and home cooks each week, The Chefs’ Line challenges our belief of what makes a great cook – passion or experience?

“Educating and enticing viewers with its exploration of multicultural food, it’s amazing and refreshing to see how much passion and raw talent there is from home cooks across Australia. We are meeting passionate people from all walks of life who are catering to our limitless desire for new tastes and flavours.”


News Corp’s Cameron Adams asks where have all the TV viewers gone?

Where have all the TV viewers gone? asked News Corp’s Cameron Adams earlier this week.

It is now two months since a program that wasn’t news, sport or the royal wedding cracked the magic million mark when it comes to big city ratings on Australian TV.

So where are the viewers going after 7.30pm?

It must be baffling for networks – people will tune in for news, and the occasional TV “event”, but then tune out to get their nightly entertainment fix elsewhere in the competitive new media environment.

Both Nine and Seven’s news broadcasts usually get around a million viewers each, each night. That’s two million people switching on. Some viewers hang on for some neighbour from hell or bogan love rat action on A Current Affair.

The news can’t be streamed on Netflix and people still watch it over dinner – it’s comfort (or discomfort) TV for families.

But once that’s over, the TV landscape has all changed.

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Sports Media

Bolt Report: Mariners about $750k short of $3m needed for superstar

Sponsors and fans are charged up about the prospect of Usain Bolt turning out for A-League club the Central Coast Mariners, saying it would electrify interest in the game, reports News Corp’s Edward Boyd.

A-League partner Hyundai, Mariners partner Masterfoods, mobile streaming partner Telstra and telco Optus – for which Bolt is brand ambassador – are just a few companies lauding his decision to spend six weeks auditioning for a roster spot with the club, revealed by The Daily Telegraph yesterday.

But it’s understood the Mariners are about $750,000 short of the $3 million asking fee.

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