Thursday June 21, 2018

Mediaweek TV: 2.30pm today on Sky News Business

Joining James Manning and James Daggar-Nickson on Mediaweek TV today is Wendy Moore, editor-in-chief of Home Beautiful and judge on Seven’s hit series House Rules.

One of the more successful lifestyle brands in Australian media is Pacific’s Home Beautiful. In simpler days it was just a monthly magazine. It still does that very well, but it also lives now on multiple platforms – as does editor-in-chief and TV judge Wendy Moore who joins us today to talk about the brand and it Cooks Co-Op initiative.

Tune in at 2.30pm today on Sky News Business (Foxtel 602).

Outdoor action: JCDecaux wants to acquire 100% of APN Outdoor

A team from APN Outdoor is in France this week. As the official Cannes Lions festival representative in Australia, APN Outdoor executives are in the south of France with guests attending the five-day gathering that celebrates advertising creativity.

Meanwhile a takeover for their company from a Paris-based global outdoor player was revealed overnight.

APN Outdoor chief executive James Warburton is not part of the Cannes trip – he stayed home with a number of things bubbling away here that needed his attention. One was the company’s bid for Adshel. Another was JCDecaux’s bid for APN Outdoor.

JCDecaux has submitted an indicative and non-binding proposal to acquire 100% of APN Outdoor Group Limited share capital based on its current business assets, via a scheme of arrangement, for A$6.52 per share in cash.

APN Outdoor CEO James Warburton

After listing in late 2014, APN Outdoor shares closed yesterday at $5.85. The stock peaked at over $8 nearly two years ago.

The APN Outdoor board is expected to meet on Thursday in response to the offer. The board includes non-executive chairman Doug Flynn and director Jack Matthews.

APN Outdoor primarily operates in the large-format billboard segment, as well as in the transit, rail and airport segments. Its reason for wanting to acquire Adshel was to expand into street furniture.

JCDecaux said yesterday that acquiring APN Outdoor would complement its existing out-of-home media assets in Australia, which are primarily in the street furniture segment. JCDecaux recently won the advertising rights for Yarra Trams in Melbourne and Telstra under long-term contracts.

JCDecaux entered the Australian market with the street furniture contract of Sydney before the Olympic Games in 2000 and since then has been developing a strong outdoor advertising franchise in Australia on an organic basis. Today, JCDecaux has a large portfolio of premium assets in Australia’s largest metropolitan areas that would significantly enhance APN Outdoor’s existing network.

The JCDecaux proposal is subject to due diligence, applicable regulatory approvals (e.g. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Foreign Investment Review Board) and other customary conditions.

JCDecaux said at this early stage no agreement has been reached between the parties, and there is no certainty that the proposal will result in any transaction.

Goldman Sachs is acting as JCDecaux’s financial advisor in relation to the proposal.

Top photo: Jevanto Productions / Shutterstock

SBS to air all World Cup group matches, Optus Sport now free to all

SBS has announced it will simulcast all the 2018 FIFA World Cup games until the end of the group stage on Friday June 29.

Michael Ebeid, CEO and Managing Director, SBS, said, “The FIFA World Cup is the absolute pinnacle of football, a sport that Australians are deeply passionate about. SBS looks forward to continuing to simulcast the games, together with Optus over the next ten days.”

After recent problems with its World Cup streaming service, Optus gave SBS four additional games to show on FTA TV as it worked on repairing its service.

Following the hiccup, Optus CEO Allen Lew apologised to all of its customers impacted by the interruptions.

He said: “I apologise unreservedly to all Australians. We should have done better, we can do better and we will do better.”

Tech guru Trevor Long’s prediction made on Twitter earlier today, before the SBS announcement was made, has come true to some extent. Long tweeted, “I hope for the Optus engineers’ sake they’ve got it worked out, but the realist in me knows that 48 hours is a very short time – so as I’ve said all week, I think the World Cup will have to stay on SBS – we find out at 4.30pm.”

In a bid to get back on the Australian fans’ good books, Optus has opened its streaming service, Optus Sport, to everyone for free until August 31.

See the new live match broadcast schedule here.

Walt Disney offers Fox shareholders cash or stock in merged company

Disney has signed an amended acquisition agreement with 21st Century Fox.

Highlights from the Walt Disney Company’s revised Fox offer:

The Walt Disney Company has announced that it has signed an amended acquisition agreement with Twenty-First Century Fox for US$38 per share in cash and stock. Disney will acquire 21st Century Fox immediately following the spinoff of the businesses comprising “New Fox” as previously announced.

Under the amended agreement, 21st Century Fox shareholders may elect to receive, for each share of 21st Century Fox common stock, $38 in either cash or shares of Disney common stock (subject to adjustment for certain tax liabilities as described in the original acquisition announcement). The overall mix of consideration paid to 21st Century Fox shareholders will be approximately 50% cash and 50% stock. The stock consideration is subject to a collar (described below under “Transaction Details”) and is expected to be tax-free to 21st Century Fox shareholders.

21st Century Fox’s Q3 results: Strong revenues ahead of Disney deal
21st Century Fox reveals leadership plans for new Fox
Mickey, meet Homer: Disney acquires 21st Century Fox key assets

The 21st Century Fox businesses to be acquired by Disney remain the same as under the original agreement. Since the original agreement was announced, the intrinsic value of these assets has increased, notably due to tax reform and operating improvements.

“The acquisition of 21st Century Fox will bring significant financial value to the shareholders of both companies, and after six months of integration planning we’re even more enthusiastic and confident in the strategic fit of the assets and the talent at Fox,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “At a time of dynamic change in the entertainment industry, the combination of Disney’s and Fox’s unparalleled collection of businesses and franchises will allow us to create more appealing high-quality content, expand our direct-to-consumer offerings and international presence, and deliver more personalised and compelling entertainment experiences to meet growing consumer demand around the world.”

The acquisition will significantly increase Disney’s international footprint and expand the content and distribution for its direct-to-consumer (DTC) offerings, which include ESPN+ for sports fans; a Disney-branded streaming video-on-demand service launching in late 2019 that will feature Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars films along with a host of exclusive original content and library titles; and its ownership stake in Hulu. As a result of the acquisition, Disney will hold a controlling stake in Hulu.

Top photo: JpegPhotographer / Shutterstock

21st Century Fox agrees to new merger agreement with Walt Disney

Highlights from the Fox statement agreeing to continue to plan to merge with Walt Disney:

Twenty-First Century Fox has entered into an amended and restated merger agreement with The Walt Disney Company pursuant to which Disney has agreed to acquire for a price of US$38 per 21CF share the same businesses Disney agreed to acquire under the previously announced merger agreement between 21CF and Disney.

This price represents a significant increase over the purchase price of approximately $28 per share included in the Disney Merger Agreement when it was announced in December 2017. The amended and restated Disney Merger Agreement offers a package of consideration, flexibility and deal certainty enhancements that is superior to the proposal made by the Comcast Corporation on June 13, 2018.

Under the amended and restated Disney Merger Agreement, Disney would acquire those businesses on substantially the same terms, except that, among other things, Disney’s offer allows 21CF stockholders to elect to receive their consideration, on a value equalised basis, in the form of cash or stock, subject to 50/50 proration.

“We are extremely proud of the businesses we have built at 21st Century Fox, and firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace at a dynamic time for our industry,” said Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox. “We remain convinced that the combination of 21CF’s iconic assets, brands and franchises with Disney’s will create one of the greatest, most innovative companies in the world.”

The 21CF board, after consultation with its outside legal counsel and financial advisors, has not concluded that the unsolicited proposal it received on June 13, 2018 from Comcast could reasonably be expected to result in a “Company Superior Proposal” under the Disney Merger Agreement.

As announced on May 30, 2018, 21CF has established a record date of May 29, 2018 and a meeting date of July 10, 2018 for a special meeting of its stockholders to, among other things, consider and vote on a proposal to adopt the Disney Merger Agreement. 21CF has determined to postpone its special meeting of stockholders to a future date in order to provide stockholders the opportunity to evaluate the terms of Disney’s revised proposal and other developments to date. Once 21CF determines the new date for 21CF’s special meeting of stockholders, the date will be communicated to 21CF stockholders.

Top photo: Bob Iger and Rupert Murdoch

TV Ratings Analysis: Wednesday June 20

• MasterChef fire challenge burns up the ratings at 7.30pm
• House Rules not far behind as Seven schedule wins the night
• FIFA World Cup Portugal v Morocco delivers SBS 550,000
• Midweek Front Bar edition again has edge over The Footy Show

By James Manning


Home and Away had a second successive audience of 695,000 after 723,000 on Monday.

House Rules continued on the farm with 806,000 after a midweek audience of 732,000 last week. Although it narrowly trailed MasterChef in metro overnights, the regional audience allows Seven to market the program as Australia’s #1 entertainment show.

Two episodes of Modern Family then did 327,000 and 207,000 followed by the second week of Splitting Up Together on 120,000.

The Front Bar screened after House Rules in AFL markets with 276,000 – and 191,000 in Melbourne.

House Rules last night


It wasn’t quite MasterChef, but A Current Affair reporter Reid Butler was cooking in a kitchen last night, giving viewers a guide to the best pots and pans to buy. The program launched though with some shocking advice bankers have been giving customers. The midweek episode did 792,000 – close to Tuesday’s 796,000.

Two episodes of Young Sheldon followed with audiences of 596,000 and 582,000.

Britain’s Got Talent then did 244,000 in Sydney and Brisbane followed by an encore screening of Talkin’ ’Bout Your Generation on 68,000, also only in those two markets.

The AFL Footy Show had a five market audience of 209,000 with 134,000 in Melbourne.

Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation last night


Quite liking Hamish Macdonald’s week filling in for Waleed Aly on The Project. Last night he conducted an hilarious discussion with Steve Price about plastic bags in supermarkets. It is almost as if the series has a new EP this week with some very different story mixes. Last night the show ended with a lengthy Hamish Macdonald piece on facial recognition technology. The episode did 511,000, which was down on both Monday and Tuesday.

MasterChef was in the Dandenong Ranges outside Melbourne cooking for firemen. The team challenge meant the competitors could only cook with fire in outdoor ovens. The program ranked #1 in all people and demos with an all people audience of 810,000 after 860,000 last week.

The US drama triple play followed: Instinct on 490,000, Madam Secretary on 207,000 and Hawaii Five-O on 129,000.

MasterChef last night


Catherine McGregor was the guest on Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery with 576,000.

Gruen featured a newcomer to the panel – Nitsa Lotus from TBWA. The show had plenty of pointed comments about Optus and featured a pitch for New Zealand trying to land the 2030 FIFA World Cup. The episode was on 758,000 after 746,000 last week.

The Weekly then featured Guy Pearce with 659,000 watching after 643,000 last week.

Corey White’s Roadmap To Paradise then did 289,000.

The second season of Tonightly launched on Monday this week on ABC Comedy. (Or the last season of Tonightly as host Tom Ballard joked on Monday.) The midweek episode that also screens on the primary channel did 130,000.


The channel’s biggest audience was for its 10pm FIFA World Cup match between Portugal and Morocco with 549,000 watching.

The Russia v Egypt game at 4am Wednesday did 148,000.

The audience watching the second half of Poland v Senegal after 2am Wednesday was 79,000.

Week 25 TV: Wednesday
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates Ten Affiliates SBS
ABC 12.7% 7 18.0% 9 16.1% WIN 13.7% SBS One 10.8%
ABC 2 2.3% 7TWO 4.0% GO! 3.9% ONE 2.7% VICELAND 0.8%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.1% GEM 2.4% ELEVEN 2.3% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix 2.6% 9Life 1.6% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 16.7% 27.7% 24.1% 18.8% 12.7%
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 11.5% 7 20.3% 9 15.3% TEN 12.3% SBS One 6.9%
ABC 2 3.7% 7TWO 5.4% GO! 4.5% ONE 2.9% VICELAND 0.8%
ABC ME 1.2% 7mate 3.0% GEM 3.1% ELEVEN 2.8% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix 2.1% 9Life 1.6% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 18.0% 30.8% 24.5% 18.0% 8.7%
86.5% 13.5%
Wednesday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,076,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 1,018,000
  3. Nine News Nine 942,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 922,000
  5. MasterChef Australia Ten 810,000
  6. House Rules Seven 806,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 792,000
  8. Gruen ABC 758,000
  9. ABC News ABC 696,000
  10. Home And Away Seven 695,000
  11. The Weekly With Charlie Pickering ABC 659,000
  12. The Chase Australia Seven 651,000
  13. Young Sheldon E1 Nine 596,000
  14. Young Sheldon E2 Nine 582,000
  15. Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery ABC 576,000
  16. 7.30 ABC 554,000
  17. 2018 FIFA World Cup: Por v Mar Live SBS 549,000
  18. Hot Seat Nine 521,000
  19. The Project 7pm Ten 511,000
  20. Instinct Ten 490,000
Demo Top Fives

16-39 Top 5

  1. MasterChef Australia Ten 252,000
  2. 2018 FIFA World Cup: Por v Mar Live SBS 217,000
  3. House Rules Seven 190,000
  4. The Project 7pm Ten 159,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 143,000


18-49 Top 5

  1. MasterChef Australia Ten 378,000
  2. House Rules Seven 318,000
  3. 2018 FIFA World Cup: Por v Mar Live SBS 305,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 242,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 240,000


25-54 Top 5

  1. MasterChef Australia Ten 419,000
  2. House Rules Seven 348,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 307,000
  4. Seven News Seven 296,000
  5. 2018 FIFA World Cup: Por v Mar Live SBS 296,000
Wednesday Multichannel
  1. Love Island Australia 9GO! 188,000
  2. PJ Masks-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 178,000
  3. Pie In The Sky-PM 7TWO 176,000
  4. Peppa Pig-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 175,000
  5. Thomas And Friends-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 172,000
  6. Peppa Pig-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 166,000
  7. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 166,000
  8. Hey Duggee-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 164,000
  9. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 156,000
  10. Teacup Travels-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 152,000
  11. Dot.-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  12. Kazoops!-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  13. Floogal ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  14. Fireman Sam-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  15. Play School-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  16. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 133,000
  17. The Big Bang Theory TX1 9GO! 132,000
  18. Jonathan Creek-PM 7TWO 131,000
  19. Andy’s Baby Animals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  20. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
Wednesday subscription tv
  1. Selling Houses Australia LifeStyle Channel 81,000
  2. Selling Houses Australia LifeStyle Channel 68,000
  3. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 66,000
  4. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 60,000
  5. The Bolt Report SKY NEWS LIVE 55,000
  6. Nella The Princess Knight Nick Jr. 55,000
  7. Grand Designs Australia LifeStyle Channel 50,000
  8. The Fourth Protocol FOX Classics 50,000
  9. Family Guy FOX8 49,000
  10. Wentworth showcase 49,000
  11. Bones TVH!TS 46,000
  12. Top Wing Nick Jr. 46,000
  13. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 46,000
  14. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 46,000
  15. American Dad! FOX8 46,000
  16. Sunny Day Nick Jr. 44,000
  17. Deadliest Catch Discovery Channel 44,000
  18. Top Wing Nick Jr. 44,000
  19. Family Guy FOX8 44,000
  20. Credlin SKY NEWS LIVE 42,000

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

Walt Disney increases offer for 21st Century Fox – US$20 billion higher bid

Rupert Murdoch is set to cash in on an intensifying bidding war for 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets after Walt Disney significantly upped its original offer to $US71.3 billion ($96.6 billion), reports The AFR’s John Kehoe.

Disney’s second-round bid for the Murdoch family-led Fox is almost $US20 billion higher than its December proposal and trumps rival Comcast’s $US65 billion counter bid last week.

Murdoch, executive chairman of Fox, confirmed Fox’s preferred takeover partner was Disney. Fox said in a statement the proposal was “superior” to Comcast’s bid due to the “consideration, flexibility and deal certainty”.

[Read the original]

AAP reports:

Disney’s new offer of $38 per share is half cash and half stock.

In a statement Wednesday, Disney said it is raising its offer because Fox’s value increased due to “tax reform and operating improvements”. It did not mention Comcast’s bid.

“After six months of integration planning, we’re even more enthusiastic and confident in the strategic fit of the assets and the talent at Fox,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger in a statement.

[Read the original]

Endemol Shine Group owners Fox & Apollo looking for buyer for TV producer

Endemol Shine Group, the Netherlands-based TV producer of shows including Black Mirror and MasterChef, has hired Deutsche Bank and Liontree to seek a sale, according to people familiar with the matter, reports CNBC.

Endemol is co-owned by 21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management, each of which owns 50% of the company. Finding a buyer for the entire entity could simplify ownership and marry Endemol’s content portfolio, which also includes Big Brother and Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, with a larger library.

Both Fox and Apollo have agreed to sell their takes if a buyer is found. Fox has already passed up the right to buy all of Endemol, and in fact agreed to sell its 50% stake to Disney in December as part of its $52 billion (at the time) sale. Fox is supportive of the business but chose not to acquire it given its deal with Disney, one of the people said.

Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, founded Shine and sold it to News Corp in 2011. In 2014, Endemol agreed to merge with Shine Group and Core Media Group with Apollo taking half of the combined company.

[Read the original]

Endemol Shine Australia is run by joint CEOs, brothers Carl and Mark Fennessy. They launched Shine Australia in 2010 for Elisabeth Murdoch as part of what became a global network. Both Fennessys have held global roles with Carl previously CEO of Shine America and Mark was president of Shine Network.

Kerry Stokes on the ABC: How come they don’t have more viewers?

Kerry Stokes has little sympathy for the put-upon ABC, saying the public broadcaster would have a “soft bite” if it were a punching bag, reports The Australian’s Matthew Westwood.

The Seven West Media chairman says the ABC should step up and be more competitive, in the same spirit as commercial media operations.

“I don’t know that privatisation is the real issue,” Stokes said yesterday. “Everyone just wants to get value for money from the ABC… They seem to run on their own agendas. I can see why people get upset and say they should be privatised.”

Stokes said he was taken aback by Guthrie’s remarks.

“They beat SBS but it’s all they beat,” he said. “As for a quality service, if they had that much quality, they would certainly have a lot more viewers than they have.”

[Read the original]

The West’s Paul Murray on ABC: “Has a clear and persistent political bias”

The West Australian’s columnist Paul Murray on the ABC:

If anything good comes out of the Liberal Party’s haphazard weekend brain fade over privatising the Australian Broadcasting Corporation it will be a genuine debate about the media giant’s proper role.

But don’t hold your breath. In Australian politics, a good scare campaign is always far preferable to a sensible discussion and that’s probably all we’ll get.

Those at the ABC seem to have little comprehension of their peculiar place in the news and entertainment market. They are a government-funded disrupter in what is a free enterprise construct.

And they can’t accept that public broadcasting only had a rationale when the ABC was formed, specifically because many people didn’t have access to news and information services, but everyone is drowning in them in the digital age.

The reason the ABC is facing this crisis in confidence from anyone not on the Left of Australian politics is its own reckless behaviour. Since the election of the Abbott government, it has wilfully rejected widespread objections to its clear and persistent political bias.

There are two logical options to privatisation: fiscal strangulation or dismemberment, leaving behind only the bits relevant in the digital age that others do not or cannot provide.

Personally, I favour a combination of the two.

[Read the original]

Fox TV producers speak out against Fox News’s commentary on the Trump

Two of 21st Century Fox’s top television producers spoke out against Fox News’s commentary on the Trump administration policy of separating children from their parents at the border, saying they were embarrassed to work at the company that owns the cable news channel, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Steve Levitan, the creator of Modern Family, and Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy, criticised Fox News commentators over support for the policy. Fox anchor Laura Ingraham compared detention centres where children are housed to “summer camp”.

“I’m disgusted to work at a company that has anything whatsoever to do with Fox News,” Levitan tweeted yesterday.

MacFarlane, responding to Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson’s call for viewers to ignore what they hear on rival news outlets regarding the immigration situation, said: “It’s business like this that makes me embarrassed to work for this company.”

[Read the original]

Outdoor Media

APN Outdoor drops two out of seven of the provocative billboards from client

The Victorian Andrews government has dumped a major billboard company from taking part in a high-profile campaign posing questions including “Why can’t Aboriginal people just get over the past?” after the advertiser raised concerns the billboards could be discriminatory, reports The Australian’s Samantha Hutchinson.

Less than two weeks into the government’s Deadly Questions campaign to raise awareness of the Victorian treaty process, the government confirmed it had signed a new billboard company to post deliberately provocative questions designed to stoke debate. The decision came after billboard giant APN Outdoor Media ruled out running two out of seven of the deliberately provocative billboards, citing advice it received that the messages could breach an industry code of conduct.

According to APN, the company received advice from the Outdoor Media Association, which found two billboards could breach the industry code.

While sources within the company were privately fuming over losing the $1.3 million campaign, APN Outdoor chief executive James Warburton said the company had simply followed standard practice by submitting the billboards for review.

[Read the original]

News Brands

Magazine great turned online retail guru to guide Fairfax travel and food editorial

Fairfax Media’s lifestyle editor across print and digital Monique Farmer has announced the appointment of Trudi Jenkins as publishing director, Travel and Food, responsible for the Traveller, Good Food and The Good Food Guide brands.

Trudi Jenkins and Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood (credit: Anna Kucera)

Jenkins has much experience working across travel and food publishing across platforms. She was editor-in-chief of delicious magazine for 11 years, during which time she also edited Vogue Entertaining + Travel, and then MasterChef magazine.

Jenkins launched delicious’s successful reader events, developed the Produce Awards, edited several cookbooks and dealt with licence partners including the ABC, Condé Nast and Shine Australia.

Prior to that, Jenkins was arts editor of The Sun-Herald and had two years editing Sunday Life.

She co-founded in 2008 and was executive director for seven years until selling her shares in 2015. Jenkins then consulted to Red Balloon before rejoining Fairfax Media and launching The Store (

In the past year, Jenkins has also been running Traveller Tours with Anthony Dennis and his team, and has initiated sales of The Good Food Guide and Good Food gift cards on The Store.

In her new role Jenkins’s direct reports will be the print and digital editors of Traveller and Good Food.


TV series to be filmed in Brisbane featuring Sheppard singer George Sheppard

A new paranormal comedy series will be filmed in Brisbane featuring Sheppard singer George Sheppard, reports The Courier-Mail’s Amy Price.

A pilot episode of Cursed, from Brisbane production company Continuance Pictures, has got the green light from Screen Queensland, with filming to begin in Brisbane next week.

It is understood producer Tristan Barr, of Watch the Sunset, will then pitch the series of six 20-minute episodes to distributors, including streaming companies Netflix, Stan and Amazon.

The series is already fielding interest from Australian networks, including the ABC and Comedy Central.

Created by Head Above Water’s Connor Fairclough, Cursed is pitched as a horror comedy that, inspired by Shaun of the Dead, will parody the clichés of the horror genre, drawing influence from films such as The Conjuring and The Evil Dead.

[Read the original]

Karl Stefanovic hammers award critics on behalf of Nine’s Logies broadcast

Nine host Karl Stefanovic has come out firing on behalf of his network’s Logies broadcast, lashing out at local TV personalities who are snubbing the awards, reports Fairfax Media’s Robert Moran.

Playing the heel on Wednesday morning’s Today, Stefanovic took aim at actor Hugo Weaving and Today’s breakfast competitors on Seven, Sunrise.

“He’s a disgrace,” Stefanovic said of Weaving. In an interview this week, the actor labelled the Logies “a promotional tool for the TV channels themselves” and said he wouldn’t be attending, despite being nominated for Most Outstanding Actor for his performance in the ABC’s Seven Types of Ambiguity.

“The Logies are recognition for the hard work of those who work in a great industry, an industry that entertains all Australians… It survives and thrives on people like you promoting it. People’s jobs depend on it,” Stefanovic told Weaving, assuming he was at home watching.

[Read the original]

Michael Lallo on Lifestyle’s Andrew Winter and FTA TV’s declining influence

Fairfax Media’s Michael Lallo visits Gold Logie nominee and host of Foxtel’s Selling Houses Australia Andrew Winter:

• 2018 TV Week Logie Awards nominees announced

We’re on the deck of Winter’s newly renovated Gold Coast home, overlooking the Coomera River. As befitting a real estate obsessive, it’s a magazine-ready masterpiece. The bathroom tap – a black stalk suspended from the ceiling – resembles a sculpture, while the toilets are governed by electronic touch pads. Its best feature, though, is its waterfront location.

To be clear, commercial networks aren’t too worried about who claims the gold statue. They’re more perturbed by what Winter’s nomination represents: their declining influence. After all, it’s the Australian public who put him in the race – ahead of many (higher-profile) broadcast stars.

The Logies are not a weighted survey of our viewing habits; they reflect the preferences of TV Week readers and anyone motivated enough to vote online. These voters are old-school fans, unabashed in their enthusiasm for their favourite shows.

In 2005, Winter and his wife Caroline emigrated to Australia with their three children, seeking respite from England’s relentless “cold and grey”. Still hosting the original UK version of Selling Houses, he returned to Europe 15 times in two-and-a-half years. When that series was cancelled, he figured his TV career was over.

Two weeks later, Foxtel commissioned an Australian adaptation. It was an instant hit.

[Read the original]

Sports Media

Tributes for champion golfer and columnist for The Age Peter Thomson

Peter Thomson has died. Eighty-eight is a great innings, to reference another sport he loved. Bradman, he once said, “was a god when I was growing up”, reports Michael Clayton in a piece for Golf Australia also published by Fairfax Media.

To Australian golfers of his time, Thomson was a god, although it wouldn’t be right to describe him as the Father of Australian Golf. He would have conceded that title to Norman Von Nida, the little Queenslander who mentored the young Victorian, to the extent even of sharing their prize money on Thomson’s first trip to Britain.

Thomson’s other great contribution to the game was his writing. For years, he penned his must-read and fearless columns for The Age. After the 1977 Australian Open on the newly redesigned Jack Nicklaus course at the Australian in Sydney, the headline on his column said it all: “Packer money wasted”. He likened the new ponds as being as American “as fins on Cadillacs”. It didn’t endear him to the media mogul who had financed the alterations, but he was absolutely right.

[Read the original]

Longtime News Corp Australia sports reporter Ron Reed said:

Golf legend and media colleague Peter Thomson’s death follows immediately after popular Olympic swim coach Ken Wood and bookmaker Eric Tymms, all prominent and valued names in my old contact book for very good reasons – a most melancholy week.

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