Tuesday March 20, 2018

Mediaweek profile: Perth radio exec Gina Hogan's new year got off to the best possible start

When SCA was looking to replace the former general manager of its Perth radio operation, Linda Wayman, it chose possibly its most qualified internal candidate, Gina Hogan.

Six months ago Hogan (pictured) arrived in Perth relocating her family from Cairns, about as far away you can get from Perth in Australia and still have an internet connection.

Hogan and her Perth SCA team couldn’t have had a much better start to the year with ratings growth in all the key dayparts in the first radio ratings survey of 2018.

• Radio Ratings 1 2018 – Perth: Strong start for Mix 94.5, #1 overall

Hogan has more than 17 years’ experience in management and content direction for media companies across radio and television. She had been general manager of SCA’s Cairns and Tablelands business with prior roles as a station manager at the Seven Network and Prime Radio.

Familiar with how SCA systems and management structure worked, Hogan told Mediaweek she had been focused on getting to know the SCA Perth team and the market. “We have a wonderful leadership team in Perth, we have a great new breakfast show at 92.9 and have had great results for a refreshed Mix lineup.”

Mix 94.5 breakfast hosts Clairsy, Matt and Kymba

In her Perth role Hogan said having a background in television and radio has been helpful. “It gives me a very rounded view on how the media works. It is also helpful as we partner with both Seven and Nine in the market and it’s great to have had experience with both networks in other roles.”

While Perth is clearly a critical part of national networks, there are elements about the market that are attractive to executives working there. “Perth is so much about relationships and we are able to offer high quality service to clients via the duopoly and our studio facilities.”

The improved results at both Mix 94.5 and 92.9 were headlined by Mix’s Clairsy, Matt and Kymba breakfast show back at #1.

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

Nickelodeon announces Slime Cup season 3, QICGRE deal and slimes agency execs

Returning for its third year, Nickelodeon Australia and New Zealand’s locally produced series Slime Cup will be heading to more audition locations than ever after announcing a new strategic partnership with retail centre manager QICGRE.

This year Slime Cup will visit new locations for the first time – Watergardens Town Centre in Victoria, Hyperdome in Queensland and Westpoint in New South Wales. The search for TV stars begins on April 7, 2018.

During the live audition periods, Nickelodeon will be taking over these three centres with two weeks of holiday activities for the whole family including craft villages, character meet and greets, and holiday activities for all.

Premiering on Friday June 29 at 5.30pm, the six-episode Slime Cup series will play host to a new competition format with 12 talented teams of two facing off against each other in challenging heats before the top teams meet in the finals. The 12 teams will be selected from the live auditions as well as from online video auditions.

To celebrate the announcement of season 3, Nickelodeon’s in-house commercial team, alongside MCN, visited OMD to present on what’s in store for the next season of this hit family favourite.

While they were there, they slimed Yvette Mayer, MD Sydney, and Daniel Tray, screen trading manager (pictured).

Over the next week Nickelodeon will also slime UM, Wavemaker, MCN, Ikon, DenstuX and Carat.

Sales leadership change at Seven: Adam Elliott out, Natalie Harvey promoted

Seven West Media’s chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette has announced that current network director of sales Adam Elliott has resigned and will leave the business in May.

Seven was at pains to point out that Elliott leaves of his own accord with a desire to start his own business. The network denies the departure of its TV sales director is linked to Seven moving to second place behind Nine in ad share for the first time in 13 years.

Burnette meanwhile has appointed Natalie Harvey as Elliott’s replacement.

Burnette said: “For some time now Adam has talked about his ambition of running his own business, and now is the time for him to pursue that dream.

“Adam’s career at Seven spans some 21 years, including leadership positions in Melbourne and Sydney. During that time he’s played a key role in the strategy and selling of the world’s biggest sporting events, delivering record results from the Beijing and Rio Olympics and the recent Winter Olympics, along with the tennis and AFL. Over the past six years as network director of sales he’s been instrumental in our hugely successful revenue performance.

“I want to sincerely thank Adam for his incredible passion, professionalism, dedication and commitment to the business, and his personal friendship over two decades of working together.

“Adam leaves the business and the team in great shape for the future and we all wish him and his family the very best in their new chapter in business and in life.”

Seven West Media’s CEO Tim Worner added: “Adam’s results over so many seasons speak for themselves, and will be his legacy to Seven.

“He has been a spiritual leader, and by that I mean he has been the keeper and nurturer of the best team spirit in the business. That has been a huge part of him being able to build a crack team and deliver outstanding results.

“On a personal note, I will miss him a lot for all the great things that he brought to Seven in spirit and performance and I wish him nothing but greatest success for the future.”

Elliott said: “Half of my life has been working at this great organization, a time that has been a journey full of learning, challenges and exciting opportunities.

“One of my favourite parts, aside from being able to play a role in building and growing a very dynamic business, has been the absolute privilege of working with so many amazing people, both within Seven West Media and our clients and agencies. I am lucky to be able to call so many of you my friends. After 21 years this will be a tough thing to let go of. However, I know that I will see you on the other side for the next chapter.

“I am extremely grateful and cannot thank Seven West Media enough, and particularly Kurt, for all the incredible opportunities that have been afforded me over this time.”

In announcing Natalie Harvey as Elliott’s replacement, Burnette said: “Nat proved herself as a highly successful GM of UM in Brisbane and then as Seven Brisbane sales director, where she redesigned the structure and approach, turning the office into a high-performance team selling across Seven, Pacific and WAN.

“Nat has built upon that success as Sydney sales director, and is now perfectly placed to provide a seamless transition from Adam, and continue to lead our teams to go above and beyond to meet the current and future needs of the business and our customers.”

Harvey said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be leading the sales team as we enter a new era of Total Video, with premium content being more highly valued than ever and increased positivity about the effectiveness and power of broadcast and long-form video.

“We have an amazing team across the country and I’m looking forward to what the future holds… or better still, the future we are going to create!”

Elliott added: “I am really excited that Nat will take over the reins when I leave. I employed her from UM in Brisbane to lead our Brisbane team just over three years ago, before she moved to Sydney last year.

“She did a brilliant job for us in Brisbane in a short space of time, building a best-in-class team and delivering outstanding outcomes for our clients and agencies. I have no doubt that she will bring her own unique, energetic and driven approach to the role, and I wish her all the success she deserves.”

Read more about Elliott’s career at mediaweek.com.au.

Magazine insider insights: Nicky Briger’s Ten Commandments of working with Jackie Frank

Taking part in last Friday’s Festival of (Jackie) Frank was the person who succeeded her as the editor of marie claire magazine – Nicky Briger.

After a video of Briger’s speech found its way to Mediaweek, we are able to present a (slightly edited) version of her memorable insights gleaned from years of working alongside Jackie Frank.

Ten Magazine Commandments (you need to adhere to if you want to work with Jackie Frank)

1. Thou shalt not mistake your new boss for a homeless person.

This related to my first interview with Jackie where she was sitting in an empty office with no shoes, no makeup, crazy hair. I thought I should call security ’cos a homeless woman had killed Jackie and taken over her office!

2. Thou shalt not say no to being humiliated in the pages of marie claire!

The staff quickly became Jackie’s lackeys.

Look what she made us do (in the name of journalism):

• Scour Sydney’s nudist beaches to find men who’d be happy for us to photograph their penises.

• Go to orgasm school and appear sweaty in lycra in the pages of the magazine.

3. Thou shalt NEVER get between Jackie and a camera.

Or you’ll be mowed down. When Sunrise, Daily Edition, Today Tonight and The Morning Show weren’t enough, she masterminded her OWN show, à la Oprah, called Under The Covers, which was a Frank-a-thon on steroids. She loves the camera!

4. Thou shalt NEVER get between Jackie and a famous person.

If there’s a celebrity in the room, Jackie would’ve befriended them and taken several photos for her social media feed – all within 10 minutes.

5. Thou shalt never leave food on one’s desk.

She is the food forager. Anything edible will disappear by the bottom feeder that is Frank.

6. Thou shalt not do a subtle cover.

You can do any masthead colour you want – as long as it’s fluoro! It’s got to be orange, green, yellow or pink ’cos, in the words of Ms Frank, “subtle doesn’t sell”.

7. Thou shalt never take on Jackie when she’s passionate about something.

Jackie took on the Christian right to campaign for same-sex marriage, she took on the PM John Howard over paid maternity leave and she took on Malcolm Turnbull over refugees. No-one stands in her way when she believes in a cause.

8. Thou shalt never be single in her presence.

Jackie is the eternal match-maker. If she has a friend or family member with a single son, she’ll set you up on a date with them! It’s a marie claire initiation.

9. Thou shalt not organise a meeting on a Jewish holiday.

We call Jackie “the convenient Jew”. She’ll take all the Jewish holidays, but when it comes to ham and bacon, all religious bets are off!

10. Thou shalt shield one’s eyes when she’s changing clothes.

You can’t unsee the stuff we’ve seen. Jackie has no shame when it comes to getting changed in her office for all the world to see!

But, above all, she’s been an amazing mentor, loyal friend and hilariously offbeat boss. We’ll miss the freaky, Frank-i-fied fun.

Photo: Jackie Frank and Nicky Briger celebrating 20 years of marie claire in 2015

Radio broadcaster Ryan Jon shares latest chapter of search for birth parents

After posting a Mothers Day video in May 2017 about the search for his birth mother – a video which now has over 200 million views – Ryan Jon has shared a remarkable reunion story.

Listeners to his new home at Hit 92.9 on the Xavier, Heidi and Ryan Perth breakfast show heard the story yesterday and Ryan appeared on The Project last night too.

The news is Jon recently met his birth father and his two half-brothers for the first time ever.

Unfortunately so far he has not met his birth mother but is still looking.

Ryan Jon with his birth father and newfound half-brothers

In a story about the family reunion, Jon posted:

I met my biological father for the first time after finding him with an Ancestry DNA Test.

I’d never seen a biological relative of mine in my 30 years on this planet.

I’d never heard the saying “like father like son”. No one ever asked, “Do you look more like your mother or your father?” I often felt sheepish when a doctor asked about my medical history and I couldn’t answer.

But Ancestry’s DNA tests changed that for me.

Knowing nothing about my family roots, it was fun to find out I’m 62% Irish, 11% Italian and 10% Greek. But it was a random potential fourth cousin that led to me meeting my birth father.

He’s an American man and was backpacking around the world when he was 23 years old and it was during this trip he met my biological mother.

They didn’t know each other for long, but it was long enough for me to be conceived and be brought into this world. My birth father continued his travels and for 30 years had no idea that he had a long lost biological Australia son. Without that Ancestry DNA test, we wouldn’t have known each other for the rest of our lives.

My birth father welcomed me with open arms. “What’s mine is yours,” he said many times, telling me that with his web of friends, colleagues and cousins that “you’ve got a place to stay in almost every city in the USA” and invited me to family fishing trips, Thanksgiving, Christmas and any other event I wanted to attend.

I flew to London where he now works and lives. We hung out and went out for dinner and drinks for the week I was there. I met his wife and his two sons and after growing up as an adoptee and only child, having half-brothers that look like me was incredible.

Jon has posted his video, which he has produced himself, on Sunday night/Monday morning on his Facebook page.

BBC and MSN News best performers year-on-year in Nielsen Digital News Rankings

• 17.4 million Aussies 18+ accessed online content in February


Time spent online

During February 2018, time spent by Australians 18+ on mobile devices grew when compared with year prior. Smartphones had more than double the amount of time spent per person 18+ (51 hours, 10 minutes, +12% versus a year ago) compared to desktop (24 hours, 33 minutes, -19% versus a year ago). Tablet devices also saw strong audience usage at 32 hours, 43 minutes, +10% versus a year ago.

In February 2018, 17.4 million Australians 18+ accessed online content, with smartphones as the device of choice at 15 million. This was followed by desktop audiences 18+ at 14.9 million and tablet audiences at 8.3 million. When compared with the year prior, desktop audiences have increased by 2% and smartphone and tablet audiences have individually increased by 9%.

BBC and MSN News improve rankings

Nielsen digital news rankings for February 2018 revealed that news.com.au (5.7 million) remained the top news entity and increased 1% when compared with the prior year.

In comparison with February 2017, there were changes in the ranking order for the next nine news entity rankings.

In second place were ABC News Websites (4.8 million, +1%), which moved up from fourth place. In third place was nine.com.au (4.6 million, 0%), which fell from second place.

Smh.com.au (3.9 million, -9%) moved from third place to fourth place.

Next were Yahoo7 News Websites (3.1 million, +25% year on year), which moved from seventh to fifth place, followed by Daily Mail (2.8 million, -5%), which dropped from fifth place to sixth place. The Guardian (2.6 million, -4%), which had previously held sixth place in February 2017, moved back to seventh place.

Next was BBC (2.4 million, +8%), which jumped up from eleventh to eighth place.

In ninth place was MSN News (2.1 million, +19%), which jumped up into the top 10 from fourteenth place.

Last was The Age (2.0 million, -14%), which fell from eighth place.

Note that Fairfax Metropolitan sites, including Metropolitan mastheads, do not include any census data for their volumetrics including time per person and sessions per person. Unique audience uses the same methodology as previous months and is consistent with all sites in the rankings.

Box Office Report: Tomb Raider outperforms Black Panther to open at #1

• Tomb Raider pulls off what it couldn’t achieve in US – opening at #1


By James Manning

The Australian box chart as compiled by the MPDAA has a new #1 movie for the first time since mid-February.

A new chart champ, however, wasn’t able to stop the weekend return from the top 20 movies dropping 9% week-on-week to under $10m for the first time this year.

#1 Tomb Raider $2.78m

Mixed reviews, to say the least, probably harmed a better opening weekend. The new reboot of the franchise, with Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, follows the earlier two movies that featured Angelina Jolie in the lead role. The new movie opened on 559 screens with a screen average of $4,987, which is the lowest screen average of any #1 movie this year.

#2 Black Panther $1.93m

After four weeks at #1, the movie has slipped one spot. Its screen average was the best in the top five though with $5,072 from 381 screens. Black Panther is now just short of $36m in total. In the US it continues to rank #1 at the box office and it is predicted the film could eventually rank #10 in all-time global box office rankings.

#3 Red Sparrow $1.14m

Just under 300 screens are still showing the Jennifer Lawrence spy thriller with a total to-date of $7.65m.

#4 Game Night $626,000

A fourth week in the top five with the total earn so far sitting on $6.12m and the movie still on 245 screens.

#5 Peter Rabbit $457,000 (Previews)

Ahead of its official release this week, the mix of computer animation and live action from Animal Logic went out early to 151 screens with a screen average of $3,028.

Outside the top 5

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle dropped off the chart this week after 12 weeks and a gross of $48.42m, which means it might just end up short of making the all-time top 10 for Australia, where The Return Of The King is at #10 on $49.37m.

TV Ratings Analysis: Monday March 19

• As Troy and Ashley’s Married At First Sight journey ends, audience lifts
• Nine records its best share of survey year 2018 – primary 28.7%
• My Kitchen Rules close to 1m with Manu running kitchen on group challenge
• News & The Project TEN’s best, All Star Family Feud not the answer

By James Manning


Home and Away started its week again in the 600,000s – with 684,000 to be exact, after a week 11 average of 634,000.

On My Kitchen Rules group 1 was tasked with creating dishes from the heart, serving up a romantic dinner to 30 loved-up couples. Dressed in their chef whites with Manu running the kitchen, three teams were in charge of main and two teams were on dessert. Alex and Emily won the people’s choice with a duck main course while Kim and Suong’s dessert was judged the weakest dish. The Monday episode did 996,000 after 1.06m on Sunday and 926,000 on Monday last week.

Two episodes of The Resident then did 402,000 and 324,000.


A Current Affair started its new week with 943,000 watching stories including a live cross from reporter Steve Marshall covering the bushfires in Tathra and then Australia’s Bonnie and Clyde. ACA’s week 11 average was 807,000.

Married At First Sight did good business again, which is no surprise. The surprise perhaps was the couples who are deciding to stay or go. Last night John and Melissa plus Sarah and Telv decided to stay together while Troy and Ashley (or TrAshley as they have been tagged) dumped each other on the show. The episode did 1.52m, which is the best Monday episode this season and the third-biggest episode across all series.

Meanwhile Nine has reported episode 16 of Married this season has become the first program to hit a VPM (video player measurement) of 300,000 within 28 days (excluding content shorter than 15 minutes).

Travel Guides let loose the tourists in Sri Lanka, which attracted the format’s biggest audience ever of 811,000 after 666,000 last week.

In Sydney 100% Footy returned with 82,000 in Sydney and Brisbane for episode 2 after launching with 86,000 a week ago.

In Melbourne, Footy Classified, with Chris Judd joining Hutchy, Caroline Wilson and Matthew Lloyd, launched its year with an AFL preview ahead of the season launch on Thursday. The AFL show returned with 108,000 in Melbourne.


After a Sunday share it won’t want to see again this year, TEN had a slightly better Monday, but it is still missing a major 7.30pm franchise. After just 165,000 on Sunday, All Star Family Feud backed up again with a better audience of 204,000 for its Commonwealth Games sporting legends episode.

Two episodes of Law & Order: SVU followed with 158,000 and then 159,000.


Australian Story featured an update on Eddie Woo and his YouTube maths channel just a year after the original episode screened. The show did 652,000 after 510,000 a week ago.

Four Corners featured the UK Channel 4 doco on Harvey Weinstein, which did 588,000.

Media Watch was on 588,000 too followed by Q&A with 452,000.


Great British Royal Ships has taken over the Monday 7.30pm slot from River Cottage Australia with the first episode on 229,000.

Trust Me, I’m A Doctor followed on 204,000 with 24 Hours In Emergency later doing 170,000.

Week 12 TV: Monday
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 13.6% 7 21.4% 9 28.7% TEN 6.5% SBS One 4.7%
ABC 2 2.2% 7TWO 3.6% GO! 2.4% ONE 2.8% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.6% GEM 1.9% ELEVEN 2.1% Food Net 0.6%
ABC News 0.9% 7flix 2.0% 9Life 1.3% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 17.4% 30.7% 34.2% 11.3% 6.4%
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates Ten Affiliates SBS
ABC 13.1% 7 23.7% 9 22.1% WIN 6.2% SBS One 3.8%
ABC 2 2.6% 7TWO 6.5% GO! 3.0% ONE 3.2% VICELAND 0.8%
ABC ME 0.9% 7mate 4.7% GEM 2.5% ELEVEN 2.2% Food Net 0.5%
NEWS 24 1.4% 7flix 1.8% 9Life 1.0% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 18.0% 36.7% 28.6% 11.6% 5.3%
87.8% 12.2%
Monday fta
  1. Married At First Sight Nine 1,525,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 1,009,000
  3. My Kitchen Rules Seven996,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven985,000
  5. Seven News Seven976,000
  6. Nine News Nine 963,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 943,000
  8. Travel Guides Nine 811,000
  9. ABC News ABC 747,000
  10. Home And Away Seven684,000
  11. Australian Story ABC 652,000
  12. 7.30 ABC 602,000
  13. Media Watch ABC 588,000
  14. Four Corners ABC 588,000
  15. The Chase Australia Seven573,000
  16. Hot Seat Nine 484,000
  17. The Project 7pm Ten 479,000
  18. Q&A ABC 452,000
  19. Ten Eyewitness News First At Five Ten 412,000
  20. The Resident Seven 402,000
demo top fives

16-39 Top 5

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 468,000
  2. Travel Guides Nine 240,000
  3. My Kitchen Rules Seven 224,000
  4. A Current Affair Nine 171,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 161,000


18-49 Top 5

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 760,000
  2. Travel Guides Nine 421,000
  3. My Kitchen Rules Seven 386,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 285,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 283,000


25-54 Top 5

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 830,000
  2. Travel Guides Nine 454,000
  3. My Kitchen Rules Seven 412,000
  4. A Current Affair Nine 339,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 334,000
monday multichannel
  1. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 180,000
  2. Go Jetters ABCKIDS/COMEDY 167,000
  3. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 167,000
  4. Rosemary & Thyme-PM 7TWO 165,000
  5. Hey Duggee-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 151,000
  6. Floogals-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 149,000
  7. Peppa Pig-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 148,000
  8. Peppa Pig-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 148,000
  9. The Hive-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 148,000
  10. Lewis-PM 7TWO 144,000
  11. Dot. ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  12. Pj Masks-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  13. Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  14. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  15. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  16. The Grand Tour-PM 7mate 128,000
  17. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  18. Kazoops!-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  19. Luo Bao Bei-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  20. Neighbours ELEVEN 127,000
monday subscription tv
  1. The Walking Dead showcase 71,000
  2. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 63,000
  3. Live: Big League Wrap FOX LEAGUE 51,000
  4. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver COMEDY CHA 50,000
  5. The Big Bang Theory COMEDY CHANNEL 47,000
  6. Family Guy FOX8 46,000
  7. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 46,000
  8. Live: On The Couch FOX FOOTY 43,000
  9. The Walking Dead showcase 43,000
  10. Paul Murray Live SKY NEWS LIVE 43,000
  11. American Dad! FOX8 41,000
  12. NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 40,000
  13. The Big Bang Theory COMEDY CHANNEL 40,000
  14. Family Guy FOX8 38,000
  15. The Bolt Report SKY NEWS LIVE 37,000
  16. NCIS TVH!TS 37,000
  17. Britannia showcase 37,000
  18. The Simpsons FOX8 35,000
  19. Crimes That Shook Australia crime + investigation 34,000
  20. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation TVH!TS 32,000

Business Of Media

Chris Oliver-Taylor named CEO of FremantleMedia Australia

Chris Oliver-Taylor has been announced as the new chief executive officer of FremantleMedia Australia (FMA).

Chris Oliver-Taylor

Oliver-Taylor replaces Ian Hogg, who left the company in January 2018 after nearly a decade. Oliver-Taylor is currently the Managing Director of NBCUniversal-owned Matchbox Pictures. He will commence in his new role later this year.

Reporting to FremantleMedia Group CEO Cécile Frot-Coutaz, Oliver-Taylor will join the company’s operating board and will assume full responsibility for its overall management and business performance across Australia and New Zealand, leading the development and production of its scripted and unscripted programming.

Frot-Coutaz said: “Chris is one of Australia’s most admired and dynamic television executives, with an outstanding reputation for delivering impactful scripted and unscripted entertainment that plays brilliantly in Australia and around the world. I am delighted to have attracted someone of his calibre and passion to lead our Australian operation and I can’t wait to welcome him to the global Fremantle family.”

Oliver-Taylor said: “Leading Matchbox Pictures has been the most creatively rewarding chapter of my career so far, but the opportunity to lead FremantleMedia Australia and join the outstanding global team is one I couldn’t resist. From the world’s biggest entertainment formats to some of the most ambitious dramas on television, Fremantle is an absolute powerhouse – I couldn’t be more excited about the many creative partnerships and possibilities that lie ahead across Australia, New Zealand and internationally.”

Oliver-Taylor has led Matchbox Pictures since 2011. He has led the company through a sustained period of growth, generating significant production output across all Australian networks as well as a number of international co-productions.

Under his leadership, Matchbox won 20 AACTA awards, an International Emmy, three Kidscreen Awards, nine Logies, four Australian Directors’ Guild Awards, six Australian Writers’ Guild Awards, and nine Screen Producers of Australia Awards, including Production Company of the Year three times, most recently last year.

Oliver-Taylor began his career at the BBC in London, where he worked on shows ranging from Top of the Pops and The Generation Game to Match of the Day and Westminster Live. He emigrated to Australia in 2000, working at the ABC in a number of roles across drama, entertainment and comedy. In 2005 he became ABC’s head of production, with overall responsibility for the production and delivery of the entire ABC TV slate as well as the financial management, business affairs, scheduling and broadcast operations of ABC TV. He is a board director of Screenrights and the former president and board director of Screen Producers Australia.

FMA is the home of Family Feud, The Great Australian Bake Off, Grand Designs Australia, Escape from the City, The X Factor, Australia’s Got Talent and Australian Idol. It is also the company behind original dramas such as Wentworth, Neighbours and the upcoming Picnic at Hanging Rock, which has sold around the world.

Sony Music Australia signs a new distribution deal with UNIFIED Music Group

Sony Music Entertainment Australia has signed a new global distribution deal with UNIFIED Music Group that commenced on March 1, 2018.

[L-R] Denis Handlin, Rob Stringer (CEO, Sony Music Entertainment) and Jaddan Comerford

The deal sees Sony Music Entertainment, in partnership with its distribution arm The Orchard, provide UNIFIED’s Recorded Music division with a market-leading worldwide solution to support its continued growth across the globe.

Denis Handlin, chairman & CEO, Australia & New Zealand and president, Asia, said: “I am thrilled to announce the launch of this very special global distribution deal with UNIFIED. I have tremendous respect for Jaddan and the team at UNIFIED, and we have already celebrated some incredible achievements together. We look forward to furthering our partnership under this deal to a new level of success and growth by working with UNIFIED’s brilliant roster of artists and taking them to the next level in Australia and the world.”

Sony Music Entertainment Australia has a partnership with UNIFIED specifically through its artist management division that represents Sony Music Entertainment signed artists Amy Shark and Tash Sultana (in conjunction with Lemon Tree Music). A new global distribution deal will see the alliance between Sony Music Entertainment and UNIFIED continue for further success in 2018 and beyond.

Jaddan Comerford, CEO & founder of UNIFIED Music Group, said: “UNIFIED could not be happier to be embarking on this new relationship with Denis Handlin, Rob Stringer, Brad Navin and the entire Sony Music and Orchard team worldwide. We’ve been desperate for a global solution so we can continue to scale and provide opportunities to our artists in the ever-changing landscape that is recorded music.”

Universal Music Australia promotes Ben Facey to GM media & strategy

Universal Music Australia (UMA) managing directors Mike Taylor and Darren Aboud have promoted Ben Facey to general manager, media & strategy UMA.

In this new role, Facey will develop and execute promotional strategy for Universal Music Australia international and local repertoire and responsible for directing the UMA media team. He will focus on streaming strategy, artist relations, radio, press, digital, TV & lifestyle across artist releases in Australia.

Facey has previously worked for Foxtel and Warner Music.


Foxtel and FMA’s Wentworth & Grand Designs Australia coming to ABC & iview

Foxtel’s local drama Wentworth is to make its Australian free-to-air television debut when series one begins screening on the ABC on Thursday April 12 at 9pm.

Wentworth season 5

The move marks a change of strategy for Foxtel, which previously kept its key local productions for only Foxtel subscribers to view across various Foxtel platforms.

The new deal with Foxtel also means episodes of Grand Designs Australia will also be available for FTA ABC audiences. The series is a local adaptation of the British series of the same name, and features host and architect Peter Maddison chronicling the construction of grand and unusual houses.

The original Grand Designs, hosted by Kevin McLeod, has been one of ABC’s most popular programs since it first appeared.

Both series were made by FremantleMedia Australia for Foxtel.

Nine packaging Young Sheldon & new Big Bang eps in primetime comedy hour

Nine will launch America’s number one comedy, Young Sheldon, in Australia on Monday March 26 at 7.30pm on Nine and 9Now, which falls during the Easter ratings break.

New episodes of The Big Bang Theory will screen at 8pm giving Nine an hour of popular US sitcoms in the timeslot.

Young Sheldon follows Big Bang Theory character Sheldon Cooper’s innocent, awkward and hopeful journey toward manhood.

In the Young Sheldon premiere episode, viewers meet nine-year-old Sheldon and his family for the first time. It isn’t easy growing up in East Texas when you are a once-in-a-generation mind capable of advanced mathematics – and science isn’t always helpful in a land where church and football are king. And while the vulnerable, gifted and somewhat naïve Sheldon deals with the world, his very normal family must find a way to deal with him.

Foxtel’s Brian Walsh and creator Bevan Lee on final A Place To Call Home series

Foxtel has announced the sixth season of the Australian drama A Place To Call Home will be the final chapter of the Australian period drama with the 10-episode season taking the characters into 1960.

Series creator Bevan Lee said: “Season six truly completes my vision for the series. I promise to bring the show to its finale on a wave of tears, laughter and most importantly, closure.”

Foxtel’s executive director of television Brian Walsh said: “Simply put, A Place to Call Home is one of the finest pieces of drama ever produced for Australian television. The series will be long remembered for its captivating narrative, outstanding performances and world class production values. Foxtel is proud to have been its home for the past four seasons and there is no doubt that it will be missed.

A Place to Call Home was a series that was saved by its fans and so the journey of this, the final chapter, is a very important one. It was imperative for us that the series retain its integrity and that we would bring the series to a close at its natural story point and that is what everyone who loves the show can expect,” he said.

Foxtel’s head of drama Penny Win added: “At Foxtel we have loved bringing this series to audiences and we know that it will be a beautiful closing chapter created by Bevan Lee, and the amazing cast and crew.”

Seven’s head of drama Julie McGauran said: “Seven Studios is once again delighted to partner with Foxtel to bring this stunning series to a defining and memorable ending.”

The Final Chapter production is led by producer Chris Martin-Jones, written by Bevan Lee and Katherine Thomson, with directors Jeremy Sims, Catherine Millar, and Amanda Brotchie. Director of photography is 2017 ACS Winner Henry Pierce. Production Design is led by 2017 AACTA winner Fiona Donovan. Hair and makeup are led by Wizzy Molineaux. Costume is led by 2017 APDG winner Lisa Meagher.

A Place to Call Home: The Final Chapter will air from August 2018 on Foxtel’s showcase and streamed on Foxtel Now.

Today show in a bad place as controversy swirls around Karl & Pete Stefanovic

Nine’s Today show has been fraught with one drama after another affecting its popular, high-profile co-hosts, reports News Corp.

A shake-up involving Lisa Wilkinson’s exit after a contract dispute and her replacement of Georgie Gardner have left the breakfast TV show in a rocky spot.

The publishers have a detailed chronology of what it reports those dramas are dating back to September 2016.

[Read the original]

Karl Stefanovic was a late withdrawal from a planned appearance on Triple M’s Kennedy Molloy show yesterday. Mick Molloy teased the Today show host about his non-appearance, linking it directly to the latest controversy. The program did note however Stefanovic has re-scheduled for Monday next week.

Will Karl Stefanovic finally get the sack? asks News Corp’s Colin Vickery.

That is what people have been asking in the midst of the fallout from the Uber ride scandal.

His criticism of Nine executives and newsroom colleagues, including senior reporter Mark Burrows, is a potential career killer.

[Read the original]

Karl Stefanovic is an engaging, warm, witty bloke who oozes charisma, and, when he turns it on, total charm, comments News Corp’s Debbie Schipp.

But over the past two years, his much-vaunted and carefully honed public image has cracked. The highest-paid man in Australian television now comes across as arrogant, and his nine lives with Nine must surely be stacking up.

Stefanovic’s wholesome, professional and family man image has been tarnished. He’s looking like a liability.

[Read the original]

Sports Media

New NRL season continues to set new ratings records for Fox League channel

On just the second weekend of the new 2018 NRL season, MCN has reported Fox League has set another ratings record.

On Saturday night the channel recorded a share over 9%, which is the channel’s best ever in its short life.

Meanwhile the clash between Melbourne Storm and West Tigers drew an average subscription TV audience of 349,000, which was up 27% on the timeslot average on the channel for the 2017 regular season.

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