It’s just after 4.30am on a cold Sydney winter morning.
By James Manning
Inside the Optus Sport bunker the pre-game show before the Australia v Norway round of 16 Women’s World Cup game is under way from the recently completed new studio set.
Recently arrived Optus vice president of product development, television and content Clive Dickens is in the complex early as he is when there is a major live event underway.
Dickens normally sits at a desk in the open-plan Optus Sport office, this Sunday morning though he is in the “war room” sitting alongside Corin Dimopoulos, Optus’ head of TV and content, as they monitor the feeds from France and watch just how many Optus Sport subscribers are logging on for the early start. If fans sleep in, no worry. Customers can watch on demand from the start whenever they wish, or watch the compressed mini-match after Optus Sport post the edited highlights soon after the final whistle.
But first, let’s write about the end at the beginning.
The day didn’t go as the former players and staff at Optus Sport would have hoped. After a gruelling 120 minutes match, Australia and Norway are still locked at 1-1. It’s left to a penalty shoot-out to decide the game and it all goes horribly wrong for Australia.
What should have been a win for the Matildas turns into their poorest Women’s World Cup performance since 2003.
The result dampens the confident vibe at the Optus Sport offices until that point. Even the staffer who was exposed for supporting a Norway win looks gutted.
When I first arrive at the Optus Sport complex, former Socceroo-turned-Optus Sport pundit Heather Garriock asks, “Are you nervous?” Turns out I should have been.
The Optus Sport team spread across a floor in one of the group of buildings making up the Optus complex on the edge of Sydney’s lower north shore.
Football coverage executive producer Richard Bayliss wanders the floor looking slightly more pensive as the match progresses. He also appears on air each game day, hosting a review show of the overnight action after the live coverage ends.
The Optus Sport coverage is powered by former greats of the game. Hosting coverage on the day I visit is Amy Duggan, who is joined on the couch by Heather Garriock, Cheryl Salisbury and Amy Chapman.
Optus has also invested in basing a team in France who cover the matches – Alicia Ferguson, Mark Schwarzer, Jules Breach and Niav Owens. Although as Dickens explains, the tech needed for live crosses now anywhere in the world is considerably cheaper than it once was.
The busiest room during the match is where rows of content specialists sit filing stories, social media pieces and video clips before, during and after. Dickens explains this has been one of the recent changes at the business, growing the online content. Optus Sport editor David Weiner watches the game on a big screen adjacent to the TV studio, trying to manage both messages on his laptop and the match.
The Sunday result aside, Optus Sport has been riding a football wave since the Premier League got underway in August 2018 after the bungled World Cup coverage this time last year.
Since then the sports streaming service has sorted out its issues and has had a good year of presenting many games of football – including just under 400 Premier League clashes.
In the short time since the EPL season finished in May, Optus Sport has also covered UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Nations League and now the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019.
Optus holds the master rights for the Premier League and UEFA competitions and its sub-licences FIFA World Cup games from SBS.
Optus Sport doesn’t have a need to reveal viewer numbers, yet, but after the European action in early May it reported Optus Sport’s activated customer numbers soar 50% year-on-year. Optus Sport also reported its biggest ever week, with unique weekly viewers up +130% in a recent week compared to the same week last season.
That growth is coming partly from customers signing up to mobile or internet plans with a bonus Optus Sport subscription a key attraction.
Optus reported 11.2m mobile and broadband customers in Australia earlier this year. That’s an impressive number, but the total customer base of parent company Singtel is over 600m, with just under 400m of them in India.
While Australia being drummed out of the Women’s World Cup won’t boost audiences, people taking the Optus Sport feed (the only place to see every match of the tournament) will be interested in the thrilling football still to come from the remaining countries.
Dickens is guarded about what might be next for Optus Sport. He admits the telco-turned sports broadcaster is talking to everyone about possible rights acquisitions. Expect things other than football to be on the menu, eventually.
10 Speaks has released its first true crime podcast Where’s William Tyrrell?. The podcast, featuring 10 News First journalist Lia Harris in conversation with Natarsha Belling, investigates the mysterious disappearance of three-year-old William Tyrell from his foster grandmother’s house in Kendall, New South Wales, on 12 September 2014.
It is produced in consultation with William’s foster parents, who also feature exclusively in the podcast. It is the first time his foster parents have given an interview about the case in four years.
Harris said: “I was one of the first journalists on the scene in Kendall when William disappeared and I’ve been following the case closely ever since. I’ve become determined to uncover the truth, particularly as I have come to know his foster family so well.
“This podcast will include an unprecedented in-depth interview with his foster parents as they speak about the devastating day William went missing, what life has been like for them over the past four and a half years and what they hope for the future of the investigation. They, like me, hope this podcast will shed new light on the case and help bring them some much-needed closure.”
Network 10’s director of news content Ross Dagan said: “We have a fantastic team of journalists here at 10 and now, with 10 Speaks, we’re able to extend their talents into the audio space.
“Where’s William Tyrrell? reflects Lia’s brilliant inquiring mind, hard work and unwavering dedication to the story. It delves deep into the baffling disappearance of William with the support of his foster parents – that is incredible access. For anyone who has followed the case, this is a must-listen fresh perspective. We all hope it helps us get closer to uncovering what happened to William, particularly in the lead-up to the August inquest.”
The podcast, researched, produced and presented by Lia Harris, is available from today on Acast, Apple Podcasts and Spotify, with new episodes dropping each Monday.
The launch of Where’s William Tyrrell? by 10 Speaks follows the debut of The Western Front, a weekly AFL podcast hosted by 10 News First Perth presenter Tim Gossage and reporter Lachy Reid, and The Professor and The Hack, a weekly podcast focused on politics hosted by 10’s network political editor Peter Van Onselen and national affairs editor Hugh Riminton.
With the flu season spiralling out of control, there have been increased calls from medical health professionals to stay at home if you think you may be sick.
To raise awareness for what they have labelled an important cause, Radio Chaser has declared next Friday 28th June National Sickie Day, and launched a website, NationalSickieDay.com where people can pledge to chuck a sickie to support the cause.
So 100,000 people have pledged to chuck a sickie next Friday.
There have been some questions raised about National Sickie Day however, after it was realised the date chosen for the national bludge was in fact the last day of rostered on work for many in the radio industry as it breaks for a two-week winter radio relax from Monday July 1.
“We are calling on all able-bodied Australians to join an important public health initiative, pledge their support and chuck a sickie next Friday,” said Charles Firth, the Executive Director of National Sickie Day.
“Who knows, there might be a new strain of Ebola that is symptomless until it’s too late. We just don’t know. So it’s best if everyone stays at home next Friday – just in case they’re sick.
“We have partnered with some of the best-looking stock-photo doctors in the world who probably would endorse this campaign if they knew their image was being used to promote it,” said Firth.
“Now pardon me, I think I might be coming down with something, so I think I might go home just in case.”
Firth added: “With the casualisation of the workforce, tons of Australians don’t get sickies anymore. Even though they’re proven to be important and safer for everyone. We want to raise awareness that sickies are good and should exist for everyone.”
Alex Parsons has been appointed CEO of CarAdvice after Nine’s recent announcement it would merge the brand with Drive.
Parsons previously led Nine’s digital business, as chief digital officer, for a number of years, including the launch of 9Now and rebranding of ninemsn to nine.com.au, plus the creation and implementation of Nine’s data strategy, before he moved on to become CEO of Adcorp.
Earlier this year he returned to Nine to oversee the sale of its events and entertainment division.
“Alex has a strong history at Nine, including leading Nine’s initial acquisition of CarAdvice, and it’s great to welcome him back,” said Greg Barnes, CFO of Nine and chairman of CarAdvice. “He is a proven leader and his experience in the digital, advertising and data space will be the key as we chart the next stage of growth for CarAdvice.”
The appointment sees Nine placing a new strategic focus on the automotive publishing business, which earlier this year merged with the Drive Network.
“I am thrilled to be taking on the role of CEO of CarAdvice and Drive after returning to Nine to oversee the sale of its events and entertainment division,” said Parsons.
“Having led the acquisition of CarAdvice I have a great appreciation for both the category and the opportunity ahead of us. I am looking forward to working with both the CarAdvice team and the wider team Nine to realise its full potential across the automotive vertical.
“Nine’s audience reach and data, combined with the strength of CarAdvice and Drive in the category, has tremendous potential that the team and I will be singularly focused on realising.”
Barnes added: “Alex’s appointment marks the next step in a renewed push by Nine in the automotive category. The opportunity for him and the team is really around how they can capitalise on the assets within the combined group and build on CarAdvice’s current growth trajectory.”
Parsons will commence in the role this week. He replaces Andrew Beecher who stepped down last week after more than five years in the role.
Sky News has announced Australian media commentator and broadcaster Derryn Hinch rejoins the channel from July 4 to host Hinch, Thursdays at 8pm AEST on Sky News Live and Sky News on WIN.
Hinch will broadcast the one-hour program live from the Sky News Melbourne studio each week, bringing his knowledge and contacts from over half a century in news and current affairs, plus his more recent experience as a federal senator.
Derryn Hinch said: “Hosting Hinch on Sky News, I feel like I am coming home. I loved my time at Sky before I ‘jumped the shark’ and became a senator. Now, I can bring you info from both outside and inside. Not just politics but the issues of the day. I can’t wait.”
Paul Whittaker, Sky News chief executive said: “As we continue to expand our programming offering, Hinch will be compelling viewing as he provides his unique take on events.”
Hinch returns to Sky News having previously hosted Hinch Live before launching his political career. He was elected to the senate representing Victoria for Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party at the 2016 federal election, before losing his seat at the 2019 federal election.
Hinch’s media career spans print, television and radio across a variety of roles, including that of former newspaper editor. He is currently working on his sixteenth book.
Seven won its second successive week in primary and combined channel primetime shares.
The channel’s key properties driving that success were Seven News, House Rules and Home And Away. The AFL was again a big contributor with Thursday and Friday games and The Front Bar on Wednesday.
Seven managed the win despite posting its second lowest primary channel share in 14 weeks.
The result keeps Seven narrowly ahead of Nine in survey year-to-date, combined channel shares.
Nine was not far behind on both counts.
Nine was the home of the most-watched show of the week – The Voice Sunday with 1.09m watching.
Also performing for Nine last week were Nine News, A Current Affair and 60 Minutes.
Nine noted coverage of the Cricket World Cup on 9Gem helped a win in the network primetime commercial shares across the key demographics people 25-54s (38.1%) and shopper with child (38.2%).
10 posted its best primary and combined channel shares since January.
It’s best properties delivering for advertisers were Have You Been Paying Attention? and MasterChef.
In the next rung of performers were The Project, Five Bedrooms, The Graham Norton Show and The Living Room.
The ABC’s biggest audiences tuned in for Anh’s Brush With Fame and then the Saturday and Sunday 7pm news bulletins.
SBS share was at the lower end of the range across the past 10 weeks. It’s biggest audience came for the final of Who Do You Think You Are? with 312,000. Next best were 63 Up and Insight.
On Thursday night, ARN celebrated the launch of Brisbane 97.3FM and 4KQ’s new industry-leading radio broadcast studios with an exclusive housewarming party.
Close to 120 guests were in attendance, including Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk who officially opened the new studios.
Below is a summary of the tech and design involved in the relocation.
In an Australian industry-first, ARN is the only commercial radio broadcaster ever to build audio production facilities that provide a perfect balance of Production and Broadcast technology – Dante digital audio integrated with Broadcast Livewire. The set-up allows for premium radio content creation, with producers having direct access to all live on-air audio sources, as well as being able to live mix straight to air, from the production studios.
ARN is also the first commercial radio network in the country to integrate new Axia Audio Over Internet Protocol (AOIP) technology across all of its on-air and production radio systems. The ARN Melbourne studios were first in January, with the new purpose-built 97.3FM and 4KQ Brisbane facility going live in mid-May.
ARN achieved a successful broadcast transition to the new studios in a record time of three and a half weeks. Through a combination of sourcing the right engineering talent by pulling resources from ARN’s Sydney, Melbourne and Perth offices to reduce interruptions to the Brisbane studios, to working effectively via a ‘plug and play’ project approach with their suppliers – the installation process was literally seamless.
To enhance efficiency and comfort of staff, throughout the new Brisbane offices motion sensors detect movement and light areas as required, and audio monitoring can be controlled by anyone sitting at their desk. The meeting rooms are all centrally managed by the Microsoft booking system with iPads mounted in each room, giving real-time information for room availability.
The views to the Brisbane River and city feature prominently in the studios, and even the blinds can be controlled via the radio panel.
Designed and project managed by strategic workplace design agency, Graham Nicholas, visually the studio incorporates some of the most beautiful aspects of Queensland and Brisbane through the use of the Queensland colours of white, blue, green and sand, and inspiration from the Story Bridge, Queensland beaches and Queensland architecture.
The exterior of the 97.3FM studio is themed around the iconic Queenslander home, while the 4KQ studio is clad in Spotted Gum timber battens, referencing a more contemporary Queensland architectural style.
It was important for ARN to develop studios that maximised space and natural light, encouraged airflow, and made a significant contribution to overall staff wellbeing, inspiration and productivity. The result is a spacious office with panoramic windows, beaming in natural light through the open plan layout, along with captivating river and city views.
Entertainment at the heart:
Entertainment options for guests, clients and listeners was also a large focus of the ARN Brisbane studio move – with a key appeal being an on-site entertainment area designed to fit 120 people comfortably, complete with stunning views of the river, city and Suncorp Stadium.
Additional benefits come in the form of the studio’s adjoining, heritage-listed Milton House – the original homestead for the area dating back to 1852. A rare example of 1950s Colonial Georgian architecture and one of the oldest surviving houses in Brisbane with a rich history, Milton House offers a swimming pool, tennis court and additional internal meeting spaces as extra offerings.
Foxtel has released the following statement as it reported the death of Mr Movies – Bill Collins:
It is with deep sorrow we share the sad news that Australian entertainment icon, “Mr Movies” Bill Collins passed away peacefully in his sleep yesterday, June 20, 2019.
Bill was 84 and lived a life filled with love and devotion for and from his family. It was also filled with passion for movies and Hollywood and all the adventures and opportunities associated with his 55-year career in the entertainment industry.
Bill introduced generations of Australians to the world of movies. His passion for filmmaking, his eye for detail and his knowledge of the work of the great screen talents, added with his natural charisma and spirited presentations, turned watching a movie presented by Bill into an “event”.
After starting his television career talking about film appreciation on the ABC’s Roundabout program in 1963, Bill went on to work as a movie presenter at the Nine, Seven and Ten Networks before signing with Foxtel for its launch in 1995 where he continued for the remainder of his career.
Over the years Bill’s dedication to sharing his love of movies earned him awards and accolades, including the Order of Australia Medal in 1987, the TV Week Hall of Fame Logie Award in 2009 and, in July 2013 he was presented with the inaugural ASTRA Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Joan Collins, Bill’s wife of 36 years, said: “Our hearts are broken by the loss of our dear Bill – he will never be forgotten. How fortunate we were to have him in our lives. On behalf of Bill’s family and myself, I would like to thank the public for the great support given to Bill over the years.
“Bill’s love of film was encouraged by you, his audience, and his love of sharing his passion, which increased over the five decades that he presented on every Australian television.
“Bill was always thrilled when he realised the joy and happiness he gave to his viewers. He never took them for granted, always wanting to please.
“Darling Bill you will be loved and missed always.”
Bill and Joan shared a love for books and animals, so in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Dymocks Children’s Charities or Monika’s Doggie Rescue.
The family will be holding a private service to remember Bill over the coming days.
Top Photo: Bill Collins with Roger Moore
Following the success of two previous Stargazing series, BBC Studios ANZ will produce the one-hour special in collaboration with experts from the BBC Studios Science Unit.
Filmed in front of a studio audience and hosted by Professor Brian Cox and Julia Zemiro (pictured), Stargazing sits at the heart of a season of programs marking the historic event on the ABC this July.
Stargazing: Moon and Beyond is BBC Studios’ third local production since its ANZ production arm was set up in September 2018. Headed by director of production Kylie Washington, the unit has produced 85 episodes of Mastermind, currently broadcasting on SBS, and was a co-producer on 10’s recent successful series of Dancing with the Stars, along with producers Warner Bros Entertainment Australia.
A BBC Studios format, Stargazing will be produced by the new production arm in Australia for the first time, with the majority of the crew drawn from the talented local production industry, working alongside experts from BBC Studios’ world-renowned Science Unit.
Kylie Washington said: “We’re delighted to be working with The Science Unit to produce this Stargazing special for ABC’s landmark season of moon landing programs and that BBC Studios ANZ’s crew will be delivering this premium show.”
Helen Thomas, executive producer BBC Studios Science Unit, said: “It is great to be collaborating with BBC Studios ANZ on this special production, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the amazing Apollo moon landing and looking ahead at the very exciting future of space exploration.”
Aidan Laverty, manager science, ABC, said: “We’re really excited to be working with the BBC to create a show that pushes the boundaries on what a factual studio show can look and feel like and to develop the Stargazing brand across our different platforms.”
The ABC’s season of programs marking the 50th anniversary of the moon landing also features BBC Studios’ new series, The Planets, showcasing the solar system like never before.
• Singles: Taylor Swift returns to top 10, Flume returns to top 50
Lil Nas X must be heading toward chart record territory with a ninth [non-consecutive) week at #1 for Old Town Road as he releases a debut EP 7.
As we end the first half of the year, just seven songs have made it to #1 in 25 weeks.
One of that exclusive club was I Don’t Care from Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber. It is almost an underachiever though after debuting at #1, it has spent its five successive chart weeks at #2. The pop duo did manage to stop Lil Nas X from claiming successive chart weeks on top.
Also missing top spot is Taylor Swift who marks her return to the top 10 with another track, You Need To Calm Down, form her forthcoming album Lover. The other track ME!, which charted in May, dropped out of the top 50 this week after peaking at #2 in its seven weeks.
Chris Brown is new to the top 10 at #7 after jumping 10 spots in the second week with No Guidance featuring Drake.
Four other tunes debuted top 50 this week:
#12 Drake with Money In The Grave featuring Rick Ross
#31 Flume with Let You Know featuring London Grammar
#42 Joji with Sanctuary
#45 Blanco Brown with The Git Up
Amazing to think that in his long and successful career Western Stars is just the fourth ARIA #1 album for Bruce Springsteen. His 19th studio album battled Madonna for top spot and Bruce was the winner. He most recently topped the chart with High Hopes in 2014 and before that with Born In The USA in 1984 and Greatest Hits in March 1995. He went close with Magic and Wrecking Ball which both peaked at #2.
Springsteen managed to rob Madonna (so far) of a 12th ARIA #1 album as Madame X landed at #2 in its first week. The album comes after appearances on Seven’s Andrew Denton’s Interview and 10’s The Graham Norton Show last week. Madame X is Madonna’s 20th top 10 ARIA album and charts four years after Rebel Heart hit the top in 2015.
The only other top 10 arrival was another chart debut – Sydney producer Hayden James with his debut album Between Us at #9.
Just two other albums this week managed to debut in the top 50:
#13 Amber Lawrence with Spark. Sixth studio album for the Australian country singer-songwriter and her highest chart peak.
#21 Bastille with Doom Days, the British band’s third album.
• Sunday night Origin dips again, still a massive crowd
• Seven’s House Rules and 10’s MasterChef go OK too
• ABC drama double Shetland & Harrow again top 10
• Matildas Sunday morning crowd disappoints as does result
By James Manning
• Seven News 1,137,000
• Nine News 1,020,000
• ABC News 703,000
• The Project 268,000/457,000
• 10 News First 286,000
• Insiders 275,000
• Offsiders 153,000
• SBS World News 112,000
• Sunrise 282,000
• Today 209,000
Despite the State of Origin game two, House Rules had a good night with the audience up from 723,000 to 743,000 week-on-week.
Sunday Night then did 422,000, down from 575,000 a week ago.
Courtesy of the State of Origin the channel posted another monster primary share – 34.2% with 47.9% in Sydney and 51.6% in Brisbane. The curious Perth TV audience in what was a very wet night in the host city recorded a share of 18.2% which couldn’t overtake Seven Perth’s 23.8%. The Perth audience of 167,000 was the biggest-ever though watching Origin in Perth.
The network primary share was down from 39.0% for Origin game one. The audience of 1.960m was of course a huge crowd, but was down from 2.181m watching game one.
Origin game two was also on a Sunday last year. It also dropped below game one last year, but still recorded a stronger 2.122m.
MasterChef Australia was unable to match the previous week’s numbers. The Origin clash and no guest chef contributed to a smaller audience of 619,000.
Earlier in the night The Sunday Project was on 457,000 after 7pm.
Two episodes of FBI filled the rest of the primetime evening with audiences of 237,000 and 151,000.
The Sunday drama double both managed to find a spot in the top 10.
Shetland did 507,000 (512,000 a week ago) and Harrow was on 466,000 (501,000).
Part two of Rise Of The Clans did 212,000.
Earlier in the day coverage of the Women’s World Cup match between Australia and Norway started on 166,000. As the match went into overtime and then a penalty shootout the audience grew to 270,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.6%||7TWO||3.5%||GO!||3.2%||10 Bold||3.0%||VICELAND||0.9%|
|ABC ME||0.8%||7mate||5.2%||GEM||2.1%||10 Peach||2.2%||Food Net||0.8%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.1%||7TWO||3.5%||GO!||4.5%||10 Bold||3.0%||VICELAND||0.6%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||5.1%||GEM||4.1%||10 Peach||2.5%||Food Net||1.3%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.4%||7TWO||2.5%||GO!||1.5%||10 Bold||2.8%||VICELAND||1.0%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||4.8%||GEM||2.1%||10 Peach||1.6%||Food Net||0.9%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.5%||7TWO||2.9%||GO!||2.0%||WIN Bold||2.2%||VICELAND||0.9%|
|ABC ME||0.9%||7mate||3.9%||GEM||3.4%||WIN Peach||1.7%||Food Net||0.8%|
|ABC NEWS||1.0%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.7%||9Life||1.8%||Sky News on WIN||0.7%||NITV||0.3%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.3%|
|SUNDAY METRO ALL TV|
Friday Top 10
Saturday Top 10
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
The ABC is negotiating with News Corp’s Foxtel to end a $4 million-a-year deal allowing Australians to watch the public broadcaster’s content on the pay TV platform, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.
ABC managing director David Anderson told staff this week he had been in talks with Foxtel for months about stopping the payment as one of several savings measures the taxpayer-funded network is considering after the Coalition government froze its $1 billion annual budget.
The Foxtel arrangement for satellite with the ABC is similar to payments made to the pay TV platform by free-to-air broadcasters Nine Entertainment Co (owner of this masthead), Seven West Media and Network Ten.
Anderson has been discussing how to reduce the cost with Foxtel since the end of 2018 and is looking to get rid of the fee entirely.
He is also looking at efficiencies by combining more back-end operations with SBS, he said at the meeting.
The chief executive of regional television broadcaster Prime Media has warned that newsroom cuts in country Australia have become an unfortunate reality as advertising revenue dwindles, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.
“Local news is an increasingly expensive endeavour when audiences and advertising revenues are declining,” Prime CEO Ian Audsley said. “It is an unfortunate reality that business decisions like this one are not always in the public interest, but there are no plaudits for failure either,” he said.
“I know the WIN guys well – this would have been a torturous decision for them,” Audsley said. “They’ve been tremendous supporters of local news”.
The fight over press freedom is not a fight to protect media organisations, writes News Corp Australia executive chairman Michael Miller in a column published in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.
It is a fight to protect the public’s right to be fully informed. The issue is not new, but AFP raids on both Annika Smethurst and the ABC newsroom have brought it to a head.
This week Hugh Marks, CEO of Nine Entertainment Company; David Anderson, managing director of the ABC and I will address the National Press Club in Canberra to raise our strong objection to the recent raids and demand immediate changes to Federal legislation that can put journalists in jail for doing their job.
We object to the way warrants to search journalists, their data and their activities are granted without any ability to contest them.
We object to the way public service whistleblowers face punishment rather than protection. We object to the regime that allows too many documents to be stamped secret. We object to the huge number of federal laws passed in the last decade that include measures that criminalise journalism.
Our governments must understand that journalism supported by strong companies serve a real need in democracy.
I hope that when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission inquiry into the impact of the digital platforms on media companies is handed to the Government on June 30 it contains recommendations to level the commercial playing field.
If it does, it is important that the government understands that commercial viability and press freedom are inextricably linked.
The incoming host of ABC’s Insiders David Speers says he has no plans to radically overhaul the popular Sunday morning politics program when he takes over from long-time host Barrie Cassidy next year, reports News Corp’s Claire Bickers.
In an exclusive interview with News Corp Australia this week, Speers flagged there would be some changes to the panel show in 2020.
But he vowed to respect the format Cassidy built over almost two decades.
“The Insiders show is obviously such a key political program, one that I’ve admired since its inception – so it is big shoes to fill,” the 44-year-old said.
“I would like to put my own mark on it in some way,” he added.
“We’re starting to think about how we do that and looking at some different ideas but nor do I want to make major changes to what’s a pretty successful format.
“I really want to respect the success it’s had and I really want to make sure we only build on that.”
He was reluctant to comment on the ABC’s direction but said: “It’s an organisation that I deeply respect and admire and I’m looking forward to being a part of.”
The New Daily’s editor, Patrick Elligett, is understood to have resigned from the business to join Nine Entertainment Co newspapers, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, reports The Australian’s Zoe Samios.
Elligett, who was appointed editor-in-chief of the Industry Super Holdings-owned publication in 2017 after the resignation of Thomas Hunter, will become world editor for the two mastheads.
A replacement for Elligett has not been announced.
The New Daily is an online newspaper set up by six super funds including AustralianSuper, Cbus and Industry Super Holdings as a commercial venture.
A luxury $12m Bellevue Hill trophy home will take a starring role in the next My Kitchen Rules, reports News Corp property columnist Jonathan Chancellor.
Seven has taken a three-month lease on the grand Mediterranean-inspired manor with Sydney Harbour views.
Seven advised neighbours the majority of filming will be conducted inside, although there is an amazing parterre garden with harbour views.
The property has five bedrooms, plus a library, which is likely as a sixth bedroom for the house co-ordinator.
The Australian’s Lisa Allen managed to reveal the exact location in her report:
Chosen for its high hedges and low-profile street frontage, a grand Mediterranean-inspired eastern suburbs villa once owned by the Paspaley family will be the TV set for the Seven Network’s popular My Kitchen Rules, which is fronted by Pete Evans and Manu Feildel. Filming starts at 68 Drumalbyn Road in Bellevue Hill, on July 1, according to a development application lodged with Woollahra Council. Ten contestants will be housed at the five-bedroom mansion, where Seven will film until September 29.
Veteran Aussie interviewer Andrew Denton was the cover feature in a Good Weekend profile by Konrad Marshall. Here is Marshall and Denton talking about his Seven series:
A team of eight staff scour the history of each interview subject, watching hours of footage, reading books, listening to radio interviews and scanning years’ worth of articles, all of which is gathered into a poorly-named “brief” that can be up to 30,000 words long, from which questions are drawn and debated, added and subtracted, tweaked and revised.
The ratings for Interview, now in its second season on the Seven Network, generally hover around or below half a million viewers, and fluctuate wildly based largely on the guest. It’s not yet part of the furniture. Should it fail, Denton won’t lose too much sleep.
The reality of television makes him think – somewhat grimly – of the 1991 Gulf War, and footage he once saw of “the highway of death”, a road lined with the bombed vehicles of retreating Iraqi military forces. “When you look at how many shows are released in any given year, most of them end up as charred corpses by the side of the road,” he says. “Only a few keep driving on to victory.”
Costa Georgiadis: Grow for Gold, Amanda Keller: Staying power
In 2017 Costa Georgiadis wasn’t sure if he would score an invitation to the Logie Awards, reports TV Tonight.
Two years later he is up for the Gold Logie and Most Popular Presenter while Gardening Australia is nominated for Most Popular Lifestyle.
“How classic is that?” he laughs.
“I suppose being out and about around the country, you meet a lot of people. I traverse a fair cross-section of this great big land we live in.
“When you get your head around how many people you rub shoulders with in transit, at destinations, schools, community gatherings – you suddenly take stock that you’re fortunate enough to have contact with a lot of people.
“But I might have to do a lot of ringing around to get the preference of some of these bigger names!”
Of all seven Gold Logie nominees, none comes close to the longevity of the crowd favourite, Amanda Keller, reports TV Tonight.
Since her research days on Wonder World in 1983, Keller has worked at every network (including Foxtel) in both presenting and acting roles. Whether in variety, light entertainment, factual or scripted comedy, she’s just about done it all.
But despite never winning a Logie Award, the 10 presenter hates having to campaign for votes.
“I would love to win a Gold Logie, but it’s so hard to say to people ‘Please vote for me!’” she tells TV Tonight.
“It’s a strange week because it’s not like the old days when Don Burke would get all his assistants to fill out the vouchers to TV Week. Now voting is open until the end of the red carpet so there’s this campaign feeling to it. I hope I’m not Hillary on the night.”
Seven West Media’s chief revenue officer and director of Olympics, Kurt Burnette, believes more Australians will watch the Tokyo 2020 Olympics than those in Sydney almost 20 years ago, reports The Australian’s Zoe Samios.
Burnette and his team are predicting more than 20 million Australians will watch the Tokyo Games from July 24 to August 9 on TV thanks to a convenient time difference, and five million will watch from digital devices.
“We know the time, the date and how many brands will be there,” Burnette tells The Australian. “There will not be another event generating an audience like it again in Australia in this or the next decade.”
But it hasn’t come cheap for Seven. In 2014, Seven obtained the rights to Rio 2016, Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018 and Tokyo 2020 for a rumoured $200 million. Seven declined to comment on ongoing talks about future rights, but Burnette says one-off events are worth the large investment.
Australia’s female athletes are getting more spotlight than ever before and rising to the top of the world, but it is only the beginning of a journey needed to build financially viable careers and inspire the next generation, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment managing director Jamie Gilbert-Smith said brands and sporting associations need to step up, invest in women’s sport to close to pay gap to ultimately grow long-term.
“The pay in women’s sport is despicable,” Gilbert-Smith said. “Yes, there is a greater focus on women’s sport and it’s a good thing, but it’s a start, there’s so much we need to do to develop women’s sport as a viable industry so we’ve got young women seeing opportunities in playing sport, in the media around sport.”
In the Forbes World’s Highest-Paid athletes list there is just one woman, Serena Williams, in the top 100.
Rugby Australia is exploring how it will make more of its sport available to viewers for free, in an effort to grow the audience, which has largely been locked up by pay TV business Foxtel, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
“Rugby Australia recognises that we need to do all that we can to be more accessible at more levels and with more products,” Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle said.
Rugby Australia is looking to battle an alarming fall in Super Rugby crowds and it is hoped that by making the broadcast more available to viewers than just pay TV, it could promote interest in the sport.
“The days of it being just a free-to-air and Fox Sports option is not the modern world that we live in,” Castle said.
Sources said Network 10 was weighing bidding for rights to live Super Rugby matches that line up with the 7.30pm timeslot on Friday or Saturday and involve at least one of the Australian teams.
Foxtel is understood to pay about $15 million in cash plus several million in contra advertising, and on-sells Wallabies matches and a Super Rugby replay match to 10 for $4 million.
10 has rights for a Sunday morning replay of a Saturday night Super Rugby match. Fox Sports has exclusive live rights to the Super Rugby competition. 10 also broadcasts the international Wallabies matches.