Friday July 26, 2019

Chris Smith on what’s next: 2GB host and his “hair-raising month”

After reaching a settlement with Macquarie Media and hosting a 17-day New York-London-Paris tour, former Sydney and Brisbane 2GB-4BC afternoon host Chris Smith is thinking about what’s next.

By James Manning

“I am taking an extensive break now after a hair-raising ride in the past month,” he told Mediaweek.

Smith was at war with Macquarie Media after it tried to move him from drive to evenings on the station – effectively a job swap with Steve Price. Smith was having none of it, and after a very public battle, he made peace with the broadcaster as he departed after 18 years.

In the end, the Macquarie chiefs were very understanding and generous to me,” Smith said.

Despite the recent disappointment, he is not about to give up the media.

“I still have a spot at Sky News on Peta Credlin’s show every week and I am still doing Sunrise twice a week.

“I am also sitting down with a television network next week and I have a radio meeting planned.” If that’s not enough to keep him occupied, Smith revealed he’s also speaking with an online publisher about an opportunity.

“I am also a quarter of the way through writing a book.” No, it’s not a tell-all about his at times controversial career, nor will it tip a bucket on Macquarie Media. “It will focus on all the great interviews that I was able to secure during the past 18 years.

Chris Smith on the road with listeners and daughter Ashley

Smith feels his experience will be put to good use.

“I have been working in the media for almost 40 years and writing and ad-libbing editorials throughout those years. That develops a skillset in both TV and radio that has got to be handy. I am very positive about finding the right challenge. But I need to be careful about jumping into something too quickly. Lots of people have contacted me, but I need to take my time to choose where I go next.”

Smith was an angry man a month ago when he was first approached at 2GB about leaving drive for evenings.

He’s calmed down during what was his last 2GB-connected role. A trip across the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2. A trip he shared with 100 travellers as they moved from ship to hotel to planes with a mountain of luggage.

The trip helped me a great deal. It distracted me from any anger and any disagreement with 2GB.

“I miss not doing my program after 18 years. I loved it to death. I am still sad and upset about not doing it, but any anger that I may have had from having it handed to someone else [Steve Price], has almost dissipated.

“I have been remembering the positives we did during my time at 2GB, rather than dwelling on how the last few weeks went.

“My family is the same. Susie was riding this with me and she has also moved onto the next stage with me as well and we are looking at the great opportunities being discussed.”

Chris Smith on the road with listeners and daughter Ashley

While many people know Chris Smith from the radio, he previously spent many years in TV. “When I was on TV before I was reporting. I have since developed the ability to analyse and commentate what I feel about what is happening in our country and around the world. I can offer TV a stack more than when I did when I was in it previously.

Smith has a few format ideas too to share with interested parties. “I have always dreamt of doing the next thing, but I was waylaid over the past 18 years! I have a few formats and some ideas from previous programs and ideas triggered by what I have seen on TV and radio around the world.”

Hosting a networked afternoon radio news show meant Smith was compiling content from the moment he woke each day until his show started. Then once the evening news and current affairs show started he needed to be on top of that content too. “Each night after those programs finished I’d be thinking about how to get the edge for my next show.

Radio was all consuming and I never had time to think about other projects.

Smith wanted to thank all the listeners who supported him during the recent upheaval – including the ones who demonstrated outside 2GB.

“On radio you develop a close personal relationship with the audience which you don’t get on other mediums.”

Many of the people who made a statement outside the station had worked with Smith when 2GB supported the Carbon Tax rallies in 2009. “They decided to support me at a time when they thought I needed it.”

Top Photo Smith with his sons Gus and Harry at Sunrise

The New Daily’s Bruce Guthrie promotes internally for new editor

Neil Frankland has been named as the incoming editor of The New Daily. He starts in his new role on Monday 29th July, moving across from his current position as the publication’s AM editor.

Frankland joined The New Daily three years ago, after more than 14 years as an international editor and reporter, covering major events for Associated Press. He has also worked on various publications in Australia and throughout Asia Pacific, with stints in both Hong Kong and Thailand.

The internal promotion comes after a national recruitment process which saw a pool of experienced editors apply for the role.

The New Daily’s editorial director Bruce Guthrie says, “We have absolute confidence that Neil will continue to build the site’s journalism, reputation and audience.”

Frankland says it’s a terrific time to be stepping into the role.

“The quality of our overall team and the work they are producing has never been higher. And their stories are being read by more people than ever before,” he said.

“It’s an exciting prospect to be able to have a hand in continuing this growth.”

Frankland’s appointment follows a series of recent hires, including high-profile editor Garry Linnell joining the team as a weekly columnist and political contributor Samantha Maiden joining the staff in a full-time capacity. Basil Hegazi has been appointed homepage editor, joining the team from The Age, and Euan Black is the new property writer, joining The New Daily from

The New Daily has a daily audience of 2.8m and a subscription base of more than 500,000. Frankland will replace current editor Patrick Elligett, who is moving to Nine.

The Bridge’s Sofia Helin to star in Mystery Road series 2

ABC and Screen Australia, in association with Create NSW and Screenwest have announced that The Bridge’s Sofia Helin will star alongside Aaron Pedersen in the second series of Bunya Productions’ multi award-winning Mystery Road.

Following series one being voted Most Popular Drama at last month’s TV Week Logie Awards, filming for Mystery Road series two is underway in Western Australia’s picturesque Dampier Peninsular and Broome. Internationally celebrated and multi award-winning directors Warwick Thornton (Sweet Country, Samson & Delilah) and Wayne Blair (Top End Wedding, The Sapphires) are helming the six-episode series, with Thornton as director of photography.

The ensemble cast also includes Jada Alberts, Callan Mulvey, Tasma Walton, Rob Collins, Ngaire Pigram, Mark Mitchinson, Ursula Yovich, Rhimi Johnson, Gary Sweet, Fletcher Humphrys, Joel Jackson, John Brumpton, Eve Morey and Tasia Zalar who was nominated for the TV Week Logie Graham Kennedy Award for her performance in the first season.

Series two sees Detective Jay Swan (Pedersen) take on a grisly case in a new town in order to be closer to his family, but has he left it too late? Set in a small coastal community where the desert meets the ocean, secrets past and present run deep and dark. Jay must reconcile the law and deep lore and confront a dangerous enemy in a world where deception is king.

Bunya Productions’ Greer Simpkin and David Jowsey said, “It’s very special to be back in the beautiful Kimberley to shoot the second series, with our brilliant collaborators and good friends, Wayne Blair and Warwick Thornton, vowing to serve up a brew of tropic gothic outback noir. A brilliant cast, led by Aaron Pedersen and Sofia Helin, will again entertain and inspire audiences driving down that Mystery Road to seek our nation’s true identity.”

ABC’s Head of Scripted Content, Sally Riley said: “The overwhelmingly positive response to series one of Mystery Road, from both critics and viewers, has been extraordinary. Australians have gravitated to this unique home-grown story and we know that series two, with its exceptional cast and crew, will be no different. Taking home the award for Most Popular Drama Program at the recent TV Week Logie Awards has underscored that Australia is behind this series and the ABC looks forward to sharing the next instalment with them.”

Screen Australia’s Head of Indigenous Penny Smallacombe said: “Mystery Road was the critical and ratings hit of 2018, garnering fans at home, in the UK and the US. After Rachel Perkins’ extraordinary work in season one, and with Wayne Blair and Warwick Thornton joining for season two, Mystery Road is the definition of powerhouse Indigenous-led TV drama.”

Screenwest’s Head of Strategic Projects & Screen Investment Matthew Horrocks said: “The first season of Mystery Road set a benchmark for quality Australian television drama and showcased the Kimberley region to the world. The producers also set the standard in terms of community engagement, not least with the superb Indigenous storylines, cast and crew. Screenwest and the Western Australian Regional Film Fund are delighted to have series two shooting in another equally spectacular part of our state in the Dampier Peninsular and Broome.”

Create NSW Acting Executive Director Investment and Engagement Grainne Brunsdon said, “We were as pleased as anyone about the terrific success of series one and delighted that in series two we can once again bring post-production for the show back to NSW where it will be completed.”

All3media International’s CEO Louise Pedersen said, “The first season of Mystery Road is proving to be hugely popular with our global broadcast clients and audiences. With Sofia Helin joining a wonderful cast, Aaron Pedersen reprising his role as Detective Jay Swan and Warwick Thornton and Wayne Blair directing an intriguing new mystery story, we’re confident the second season will be equally as successful, and we are thrilled to be partnering with ABC and Bunya Productions again.”

Produced by David Jowsey and Greer Simpkin, Mystery Road is being script produced by Blake Ayshford and written by Steven McGregor, Blake Ayshford, Kodie Bedford, Timothy Lee and Danielle MacLean, with Ivan Sen and the ABC’s Sally Riley and Rebecca Anderson as executive producers.

In addition to series one’s TV Week Logies success, series one of Mystery Road has been a magnet for awards, taking home accolades and nominations at the 2018 AACTAs (including winning Most Outstanding Drama), the Equity Ensemble Awards, the Australian Writers Guild Awards, the Location Managers Guild International Awards, and the Screen Producers Australia Awards.

Mystery Road series two is produced by Bunya Productions and Dark Matter Media for the ABC, with funding support from Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department, Screenwest, the Western Australian Regional Film Fund supported by Royalties for Regions and Create NSW, in association with all3media International who will handle the international sales. The series will air on the ABC in 2020.

Top Photo: Asron Pederson with Jada Alberts in Mystery Road

TV Guide: Plan your summer now – BBL releases schedule

Foxtel will broadcast all 61 matches, 16 exclusively, Seven will broadcast 45
• Shorter regular season, improved final series format

The ninth KFC Big Bash League (BBL) fixture has been released today, unveiling an exciting home-and-away season that will build into a new and improved finals series format.

BBL|09 will feature a shorter regular season compared to last season, with most matches falling within the school holidays as the competition promises to provide more family-friendly entertainment than ever before.

The new finals structure will create a new crescendo to the competition, rewarding the top two teams with a double chance, along with the opportunity for the fifth placed side to have an impact in the finals series.


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• All Big Bash teams will again play a total of 14 home-and-away encounters to tally 56 matches in the regular season played over 42 days.
• The BBL season will be shorter this year, building into an epic end to the season across the January long-weekend and finals.
• The new finals format will provide a better reward to the top two teams from throughout the season and bring greater integrity to the competition.
• Five teams will play off in the finals which will now extend the series across two weeks, including the winner of The Qualifier getting a week to prepare for hosting The Final on Saturday February 8.

Head of Big Bash Leagues Alistair Dobson commented on the fixture in what will be his first season at the helm.

“The off-season has provided the Big Bash team time to assess research and fan feedback, helping us identify some key opportunities to give our fans an improved BBL|09 fixture.

“This is a great fixture for the league, our clubs and most importantly our fans. We’ve listened and now have a shortened fixture, more consistent timeslots, a continued regional footprint and a stronger finals format which will give fans the best opportunity to experience the BBL.

“The finals format has been set to make it the best possible end to the season, rewarding the top two teams with a double chance and giving the winner hosting rights of The Final. At the same time, it’s a more challenging and entertaining prospect for fourth and fifth to go on and win the competition.

“Our previous finals model didn’t do that, with fourth winning the competition twice and reaching four grand finals, compared to the top team which has made just two grand finals, winning just one of them,” he said.

The new system benefits fans by having the finals played across two weekends. The host of The Final will be locked in a week in advance, giving fans the best chance to plan and experience finals cricket.

The finals will be the end of the ninth Big Bash season which will be played in more than 12 venues around the country.


The Gabba will add the BBL to its list of season-openers alongside the first Domain Test earlier in December when the Brisbane Heat and Sydney Thunder kick off BBL|09 on December 17.

The Christmas Eve (Hurricanes v Renegades), Boxing Day (Scorchers v Sixers), New Year’s Eve (Strikers v Thunder) and New Year’s Day (Heat v Scorchers) blockbuster fixtures return right across the country.

The Sydney and Melbourne Derbies return, highlighted by the BBL|08 Final rematch between the Stars and Renegades at the MCG on January 4, along with the Sixers and Thunder at the SCG on December 28.

Geelong will again host BBL cricket at GMHBA Stadium, while Hobart will host a match in Alice Springs for the first time as the League continues its commitment to taking the Big Bash to regional fan bases with more fixtures set to be announced.

The Big Bash is going to end with a bang with seven matches in four days across the January long-weekend.

The season will reach its crescendo on the Monday public holiday with the reigning champions, Melbourne Renegades, taking on the Brisbane Heat at Marvel Stadium in the final game of the regular season.

KFC BBL|09 will continue to reach fans far and wide, with Foxtel and Seven covering the Big Bash action. Foxtel will broadcast all 61 matches, including 16 matches exclusively, Seven will broadcast 45 matches across the season, including the finals series.

General Manager of Fox Cricket, Matt Weiss, said:

“At Fox Cricket we’re over the moon about being the only place to televise every game of BBL|09 – Gilly, Warnie, BJ, Kerry O’Keeffe, Isa Guha, Mark Waugh and the rest of our crew are counting the days to summer.”

Seven’s Executive Producer – Cricket Chris Jones commented:

“The compacted BBL|09 Fixture is a winner for fans and our viewers, offering matches almost every night of the season through the school holidays live and free on Seven,” he said.

“The expanded finals series will deliver five matches all in prime time, while giving those who finish higher on the ladder a better chance of winning the title.

“And with five teams now battling it out for the finals, we are more likely to see competition for those finals spots go right down to the wire.

“We also can’t wait for the ‘Mega Days’, where fans will enjoy the Melbourne and Sydney Tests from morning to afternoon, followed by Big Bash at night. Bring it on!”

Fans can follow BBL action across Macquarie Sports Radio in Brisbane 882AM, Sydney 954AM, Melbourne 1278AM, and Perth DAB+ and SEN1116 Radio in Melbourne, while 6PR in Perth will broadcast all Perth Scorchers matches. BBL|09 match broadcasts will also be available nationally via Macquarie Sports Radio, SEN1116, and Cricket Australia’s digital channels.

Mercado on TV: From SBS delights to Seven’s raunchy new AGT

Sexting is a very hot topic on TV right now. Already a current plot in The Heights (ABC), Euphoria (Foxtel) and the upcoming HBO movie Share (August on FoxShowcase), it is also at the core of The Hunting (Thursday on SBS), a new Aussie drama with a top notch cast.

By Andrew Mercado

Richard Roxburgh (Nick) and Asher Keddie (Simone) play a married couples, Pamela Rabe (Ada) is their son’s school headmistress, and Sam Reid (Lamb Of God) an idealistic teacher. But it’s the young newcomers, some making impressive debuts, that drive the action, like Nassim (Yazeed Daher, who is also a standout on The Heights), Dip (Kavitha Anandasivam), Zoe (Luca Sardelus) and odious alpha male Andy (Alex Cusack).

It’s just four episodes long, but SBS have maddeningly only made the first three available for preview, so how it all ends is still a mystery. Certainly it is the best thing director Ana Kokkinos has done since Head On (1998), and is important and topical, although it could have benefitted from a few more lighter moments to make it less bleak.

One show that discovers humour in darkness is Waltzing The Dragon with Benjamin Law (Tuesdau on ABC). After his biographical sitcom The Family Law, this is a chance to meet his real-life parents, who are hilarious, and join him on a road trip to explore the Chinese migration history to Australia. The result is absolutely delightful.

You won’t learn much from the all new (yet again) Australia’s Got Talent (Sunday on Seven), except what not to try at home. With 59 international adaptations of the show now running, international acts travel the world like a circuit, as do some judges. Another reality show hopper is The Bachelorette’s Apollo, who proves there is no PTSD from wooing Sophie Monk by setting himself on fire.

It may still be positioned as a family franchise, but it has gotten a lot more raunchy. One act gives out gifts to the judges, with “Chef and Entertainer” Manu getting a penis pump before the talent then drinks Nicole Sherzinger’s “urine”. The former Pussycat Doll isn’t offended, but how could she when she has already described a previous act as being so funny it caused her to “nearly shit” her “pants”. And the closing act is then an old bloke who paints portraits with his “willy”.

Seven are a bit obsessed with men’s bits next week, what with The All New Monty (Tuesday on Seven), and the original movie and The Real Full Monty UK (Sunday on 7flix). No word on whether Manu might be the next to strip next, but at least he has proved there is life beyond MKR, which is good news for those former MasterChef judges. Maybe all three could be judges on a reboot of Australian Idol? Just kidding, I meant everyone except George Colambaris.

TV Ratings Analysis: July 25

• Seven’s The Front Bar helps conquer Thursday ratings
• Survivor Australia #1 non-news as Contender goes home

Thursday Week 30 2019

By James Manning 

• Seven News 976,000/916,000
• Nine News 909,000/881,000
• A Current Affair 691,000
• ABC News 611,000
• 7.30 513,000
• The Project 305,000/497,000
• 10 News First 411,000
• The Drum 165,000
• SBS World News 128,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 268,000
• Today 206,000


Home and Away ended the week on 569,000 after 652,000 on Wednesday.

The Front Bar featured guests Sean Wren and Travis Cloke and a wonderfully awkward interview Mike Williamson conducted with Gary Ablett senior. The episode did 446,000 with 269,000 in Melbourne.


It was showbiz night on A Current Affair with stories on Conrad Sewell and then a report on Hollywood stars and their “side hustles”. The episode was on 691,000 after the previous two nights were on 760,000.

Thursday NRL featured Cronulla taking the points over North Queensland. The match had a metro audience of 343,000 with 206,000 in Sydney and 116,000 in Brisbane.


Rachel Corbett was promoted to the co-hosting chair alongside Waleed Aly last night on The Project with 497,000 watching after 7pm. Guests on the episode included Luke McGregor and from New York, Eddie Perfect.

Survivor Australia saw Laura from The Contenders sent home at the second tribal council after her tribe lost a very muddy challenge. The audience of 712,000 followed the launch crowd of 807,000. Last night Survivor Australia was #1 non-news show and it won its timeslot and was #1 under 50.

Law & Order: SVU then did 216,000.


Escape From The City was on a home hunt with a single mum with two young daughters in Byron Bay. The episode was on 453,000.

The UK drama No Offence then did 172,000.


The Great House Revival was in Country Cork with 188,000 watching.

Next was The Handmaid’s Tale, which again had the channel’s biggest audience – 230,000.

Stage 18 of the Tour de France did 188,000.

Week 29 TV: Thursday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 9.5% 7 19.2% 9 17.5% 10  13.9% SBS One 7.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.8% 7TWO 4.2% GO! 2.8% 10 Bold 3.7% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 0.9% 7mate 3.6% GEM 1.7% 10 Peach 2.1% Food Net 1.5%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 2.4% 9Life 2.2%     NITV 0.6%
    7Food 1.0%         SBS World Movies 0.5%
TOTAL 14.7%   30.4%   24.2%   19.7%   10.9%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 8.2% 7 18.4% 9 17.0% WIN 9.2% SBS One 5.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.2% 7TWO 6.7% GO! 3.9% WIN Bold 4.9% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 1.3% 7mate 4.9% GEM 2.7% WIN Peach 1.8% Food Net 1.6%
ABC NEWS 1.1% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 3.7% 9Life 2.4% Sky News  on WIN 1.5% NITV 0.7%
    7food (QLD only) 0.6%            
TOTAL 13.8%   34.2%   26.0%   17.3%   8.6%


  1. Seven News  Seven   976,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight  Seven   916,000
  3. Nine News  Nine  909,000
  4. Nine News 6:30  Nine  881,000
  5. Australian Survivor   10  712,000
  6. A Current Affair  Nine  691,000
  7. ABC News  ABC  611,000
  8. Home And Away  Seven   569,000
  9. The Chase Australia  Seven   561,000
  10. Hot Seat  Nine  536,000
  11. 7.30  ABC  513,000
  12. The Project 7pm   10  497,000
  13. Escape From The City  ABC  453,000
  14. The Front Bar  Seven   446,000
  15. 10 News First   10  411,000
  16. The Latest: Seven News  Seven   404,000
  17. The Chase Australia-5pm  Seven   357,000
  18. Thursday Night NRL Live  Nine  322,000
  19. Hot Seat -5pm  Nine  312,000
  20. The Project 6.30pm   10  305,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. Australian Survivor   10  235,000
  2. The Project 7pm   10  128,000
  3. Seven News  Seven   114,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight  Seven   107,000
  5. Nine News  Nine  98,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. Australian Survivor   10  370,000
  2. The Project 7pm   10  220,000
  3. Nine News 6:30  Nine  219,000
  4. Nine News  Nine  216,000
  5. Seven News  Seven   201,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Australian Survivor   10  401,000
  2. Nine News  Nine  277,000
  3. Nine News 6:30  Nine  273,000
  4. Seven News  Seven   251,000
  5. The Project 7pm   10  242,000
THURSDAY Multichannel
  1. Floogals  ABCKIDS/COMEDY  183,000
  2. PJ Masks PM  ABCKIDS/COMEDY  177,000
  3. Go Jetters PM  ABCKIDS/COMEDY  175,000
  4. Father Brown PM  7TWO  164,000
  5. Peppa Pig PM  ABCKIDS/COMEDY  162,000
  6. Kiri And Lou PM  ABCKIDS/COMEDY  162,000
  7. Dinosaur Train  ABCKIDS/COMEDY  161,000
  8. Rusty Rivets  ABCKIDS/COMEDY  160,000
  9. NCIS (R)  10 Bold  158,000
  10. Bluey AM  ABCKIDS/COMEDY  148,000
  11. Octonauts PM  ABCKIDS/COMEDY  136,000
  12. A Touch Of Frost PM  7TWO  130,000
  13. Spicks And Specks  ABCKIDS/COMEDY  127,000
  14. Peppa Pig AM  ABCKIDS/COMEDY  126,000
  15. Andy’s Safari Adventures  ABCKIDS/COMEDY  126,000
  16. Kiddets AM  ABCKIDS/COMEDY  125,000
  17. M- I, Robot PM
  18. 7mate  121,000
  19. Bing AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY  120,000
  20. Hawaii Five-O (R)  10 Bold  120,000 \The Justine Clarke Show! PM  ABCKIDS/COMEDY  120,000
  1. Live: NRL Sharks V Cowboys  FOX LEAGUE  191,000
  2. Aussie Gold Hunters  Discovery Channel  113,000
  3. Live: The Late Show With Matty Johns  FOX LEAGUE  66,000
  4. Live: AFL 360  FOX FOOTY  57,000
  5. Live: NRL Thursday Night League  FOX LEAGUE  51,000
  6. The Bolt Report  Sky News Live  48,000
  7. Gold Rush: White Water  Discovery Channel  47,000
  8. Credlin  Sky News Live  46,000
  9. Grand Designs Australia  Lifestyle Channel  37,000
  10. NCIS  TVH!TS  36,000
  11. Bones  TVH!TS  36,000
  12. Blue Bloods  TVH!TS  34,000
  13. Who Do You Think You Are? Aus  UKTV  33,000
  14. Nella The Princess Knight  Nick Jr.  33,000
  15. Big Little Lies  FOX SHOWCASE  32,000
  16. Family Guy  FOX8  31,000
  17. American Dad!  FOX8  30,000
  18. Shimmer And Shine  Nick Jr.  30,000
  19. Cricket Legends: Ian Chappell  FOX CRICKET  30,000
  20. Live: England V Ireland 1st Test Day 2  FOX CRICKET  29,000

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

Google owes internet users $1000 each over privacy breaches: Oracle

Google should pay all internet users $1000 to compensate them for breaches of their privacy through the sale of their personal data to advertisers, says Oracle, reports The Australian’s John Durie.

In a submission to the Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk, Oracle has pushed for an inquiry into Google over alleged privacy breaches.

The submission comes on the eve of the government’s release of the ACCC report into digital platforms, which will be released on Friday.

Google aggregates all data collected from use of its Android phones, browsers, YouTube and other services and then sells these in real time auctions to the highest bidder, according to Oracle.

[Read the original]

'Sad and concerned': Damages sought in Ray Hadley bullying claim

Sydney shock jock Ray Hadley has revealed he is being taken to court over highly-publicised bullying accusations, report The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke and Broede Carmody.

The legal action has been brought against Hadley by former 2GB producer Chris “The Bowen” Bowen who criticised the radio veteran’s “vile” behaviour in a lengthy Facebook post earlier this year. Hadley apologised on-air for any hurt caused to his long-time colleague, but the ex-producer described the statement as “gaslighting and I reject it”.

A month later, three former staff members and a political adviser told the ABC they had experienced bullying and intimidation by Hadley. On Thursday, Hadley told listeners that one of his former longtime staff members had now decided to take legal action against him.

“Obviously, because this is now the subject of legal proceedings, there is not much that I am able to say at this stage,” he said. “But I would like to say this. In recent months I’ve been the subject of intense public scrutiny over allegations regarding my behaviour earlier in my career.”

Hadley added that it was “one of the saddest days” in his career when his professional relationship ended with the complainant, who has since issued civil proceedings in the NSW District Court and is seeking financial damages.

[Read the original]

ABC News’ Nour Haydar reported:

Lawyer John Laxon, who is representing Chris Bowen, confirmed a statement of claim had been lodged.

“We have commenced a legal case for wilful injury arising out of the deliberate infliction of mental harm on Mr Bowen, including workplace bullying, over many years,” he told ABC News.

[Read the original]

Read Ray Hadley’s statement regarding the case here.

PwC under fire after Facebook’s My Screen: Video Consumption report

The credibility of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ advisory service aimed at chief marketing officers is under a cloud after the release and subsequent withdrawal of Facebook-commissioned video research alleged to have serious flaws, reports The AFR’s Max Mason and Edmund Tadros.

The retraction comes amid a growing list of high-profile exits from the firm’s CMO Advisory business, which was only launched at the start of 2017.

The firm has admitted it is redoing its calculations on a report commissioned by Facebook, My Screen: Video Consumption in Australia, which used a range of non-standard metrics to compare digital audiences relative to those of more traditional competitors.

[Read the original]

Former Seven exec John Fitzgerald on bail, posting $70,000 surety

Former Seven West Media executive John Fitzgerald will continue working as a bookkeeper and living at his Sydney home after he was granted bail by a Sydney court, over charges he allegedly misappropriated more than $8 million from the television network while he was an employee, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Lucy Cormack.

The 57-year-old had spent the night in police custody, following his arrest at the home he shares with his wife in Breakfast Point, in Sydney’s inner west, shortly before 8am on Wednesday.

Fitzgerald appeared to show no emotion as he was brought into the dock at Burwood Local Court on Thursday, wearing the same dark blue Kathmandu jacket he was arrested in on Wednesday.

Supporting Fitzgerald in court was his wife Michelle, from whose “offset account” $70,000 cash will be used to ensure his release, the court heard.

Fitzgerald worked for Seven West Media for more than 15 years, eventually leading the group’s finance and television programming with a budget worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Around 2016 an audit by the television network detected suspicious transactions, triggering an internal investigation, which was then referred to police.

Fitzgerald is next scheduled to appear before Burwood Local Court on August 14.

[Read the original]


The Block 2020 to feature homes from multiple decades in Brighton

The Block’s 2020 season, which will be shot in Melbourne’s bayside at Brighton, looks set to be a battle of the decades, reports News Corp’s Jonathan Chancellor.

There will be five relocated homes, one from every decade between the 1920s and the 1960s.

Two season’s ago five weatherboard homes facing the wrecking ball were relocated under host Scott Cam’s watch.

This time they will be installed on a 2770sq m holding being bought by Channel 9 for around $15 million.

It was once a nursing home which was bought for $5 million in 2013 by Nick Williams, the son of horse trainer, Lloyd Williams, after its closure. The parcel was onsold by another developer who proposed 13 townhouses.

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Has 10 made a mistake? MasterChef judges worth more money

A week after George Calombaris got fined for underpaying staff at his restaurants, Channel 10 has dumped him, along with his fellow MasterChef judges Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan, after they had the temerity to ask for a big pay rise, writes News Corp’s David Mills.

Already on an estimated million each per year, the trio reportedly asked for a pay jump of some 40 per cent – but after 11 years they’ve been thrown out like last night’s leftovers.

But really, why shouldn’t the public faces of such a successful franchise get a decent part of the program’s profits? Why is it OK for producers and network executives to quietly rake in the megabucks, but not the stars of the show, who must contend with their every move and utterance being analysed and judged by the public?

Calombaris, Mehigan and Preston may have misjudged the depth of Network 10’s pockets, but one wonders if the network has made a misjudgement here too.

In saving themselves a packet of money now, the network could be cooking the goose that laid the golden egg. Oddly fitting for a show like MasterChef.

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Sports Media

NBC Olympics and Twitter partner on coverage of Tokyo 2020

With one year until the Games of the XXXII Olympiad from Tokyo, Japan, NBC Olympics and Twitter have revealed a partnership in which both parties will work together to amplify NBC Olympics’ coverage of the Games by creating a daily, original studio program live from Tokyo, a daily poll that will allow fans on Twitter to choose one live look-in to NBC’s Primetime or Primetime Plus broadcasts each night, and video highlights throughout each competition day.


Through these initiatives, NBC Olympics and Twitter will connect Twitter’s audience in the United States to the Olympic athletes, the host city, and the Games’ most unforgettable moments while simultaneously driving them to NBC Olympics’ massive multi-platform presentation of Tokyo 2020. NBC Olympics will lead the sales process for this unique content, with Twitter providing sales resources, giving advertisers another avenue to connect to its coverage of the Games and to Twitter’s valuable audience. All content will live on the @NBCOlympics handle, sold as Twitter in-stream sponsorships by NBC Olympics.

Highlights of the agreement include:

• Original Live Studio Program: Every morning of the Games, NBC Olympics will produce a 20-minute original studio program live from Tokyo, exclusively on Twitter, that will focus on highlights, athlete interviews, and the happenings in and around the host city, as well as some of the best reactions to the Games on Twitter.
• Daily Live Look–Ins Powered by Twitter Vote: For the first time, Olympic fans will have the opportunity to watch a daily live look-in of NBC Olympics’ Primetime or Primetime Plus coverage on Twitter — and even decide which athlete, sport, or moment they’d like to watch by voting in a daily Twitter poll announced during the morning’s live show.
• Real-Time Highlights: During the Games, NBC Olympics will clip many of the most memorable and engaging moments of the day and publish them on Twitter throughout each competition day. Highlights will include medal-winning moments as well those from the Opening and Closing Ceremony.

Goodes story to go global with NBA’s Ben Simmons an exec producer

Australian NBA superstar Ben Simmons has jumped on board with a new documentary about Adam Goodes to ensure the story of the AFL great’s battle with racism will be spread around the world, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Vince Rugari.

Simmons has become an executive producer of The Australian Dream, which will premiere next week at the Melbourne International Film Festival and includes fresh interviews with Goodes about the sad end to his career with the Sydney Swans.

A passionate AFL fan and Essendon diehard, Simmons has chosen to lend the heft of his international profile to the film after discussions between producer John Battsek and Uninterrupted – a multimedia company founded by LeBron James which he is associated with – brought it to his attention.

“We were talking about projects we might collaborate on. When I mentioned this to them they immediately identified it as one they thought would appeal to Ben,” Battsek told the Herald.

“The film already has a UK theatrical deal, there’s all sorts of interest in America – having Ben on board just elevates the level that interest might reach,” Battsek said. “And truth be told, and I can only hint at it, there will be some big international news on this project coming up relatively soon.”

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SA sports media host Ken ‘KG’ Cunningham celebrates 80th birthday

Ken “KG” Cunningham has enjoyed a long innings – and there’s plenty more to come, reports The Advertiser’s Antimo Iannella.

The SA sports media icon and former state cricketer will celebrate his 80th birthday on Friday at home with close family and friends, including daughter Sally and granddaughters Hunter, 15, and Dakota, 13.

“It’s amazing, I have to pinch myself … in some ways it’s frightening – where have those 80 years gone?” says Cunningham, who also has a son, Scott, and a third granddaughter, Shahtia, 17.

Cunningham pioneered sports talkback radio in SA after making his name on the cricket field and as a SANFL grand final umpire.

He also hosted his own TV footy show, presented Channel 9’s weekend sport for 17 years, and has been inducted into the AFL Media Hall of Fame.

Still on air as co-host of Fiveaa’s weekend sports show with Graham Cornes, KG’s focus is now firmly on his family.

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