Wednesday March 6, 2019

Making TV: Anh to Hughesy to Kyle – Screentime EP Johnny Lowry

One of Australia’s best makers of factual TV has been with Screentime for three years and before that he was with Endemol for about nine years.

By James Manning

Executive producer Johnny Lowry has worked for most of that time under Rory Callaghan who was running the production houses during those years.

“I have actually been with Rory pretty much since I’ve been in Australia,” Lowry told Mediaweek. “Since about 2003.” He had a break for a couple of years when Callaghan was at Endemol Shine.

Lowry’s first show at Screentime is arguably one of his most successful – Anh’s Brush With Fame for ABC.

“When we shot the pilot for that we filmed three guests being painted in three days and two of them ended up being used as episodes.” Those guests on the pilots were breakfast radio stars Amanda Keller and Kyle Sandilands.

The ABC commissioned the show and its been so successful the audience can hardly get enough.

Screentime delivered season four at the end of 2018 with 14 episodes. There has been no official announcement of a commission for season five, yet, but it would be hard to image the broadcaster not wanting to go again.

Lowry explained how Anh’s Brush With Fame has grown since launch:

Series 1 – 8 episodes
Series 2 – 10 episodes
Series 3 – 10 episodes
Series 4 – 14 episodes

That’s a pretty big ask for the artist the series revolves around agreed Lowry. “That is a lot of prep for Ahn who looks at photos and researches his subject as he gets ready for the record day. Although there is lots of prep, when we start recording it is actually a quick show to shoot.

“The guests have to give up just a half day – a four hour commitment from start to finish including makeup etc.”

Lowry is very prolific, and multi-talented, which must be an attraction for his employers. “I create, develop, produce and deliver,” he said with a grin. Comedy, entertainment and factual is his beat.

Another show that could be set for a long run is Hughesy, We Have A Problem which is already into series three. “We have done 14 episodes in series three and just came out of studio on Friday.” Season three of Hughesy featured Kate Langbroek before she moved to Italy and her problem involved the decision about whether to go or stay.

10 is moving Hughesy around the schedule a little and as we write this it goes to air after the new Sunday Night Take Away series.

Lowry is also working on one of the hits from 10’s 2018 Pilot Week – Trial By Kyle.

10 has commissioned a short season of one hour episodes which will shoot in April and May. “Kyle Sandilands spends his whole life judging people which is where the idea came from. He has the ability of getting to the core of what is actually happening.

Screentime has created a large courtroom set at an inner-Sydney studio.

Lowry and his Screentime colleagues have recently had another commission, but he’s unable to share that information just yet.

Lowry has worked with Nazeem Hussain for several years and he was EP on Hussain’s Orange Is The New Brown series for Seven last year.

“I first met Nazeem doing Balls Of Steel. He was cast in that as a character called Calvin Khan Foreign Correspondent and we realised just how talented he was. He was very good with a hidden camera, which is where Legally Brown came from, and it also included sketch comedy.

Nazeem is a lot of fun on set and one of the best people you will ever work with.

Hussain’s recent show is one that didn’t really connect with its potential audience as broadcasters strategise how best to distribute their content in an ever-changing TV world.

Lowry is more than happy with the slate of shows he has and there are a numbers of projects he is excited about that could be commissioned very shortly.

Any tips for time management? “It’s all a juggle.”

As to budgets for TV these days: “You do have to work a bit smarter, but it is all about getting the right people. The good thing for the shows I work on is they are largely built around the talent.

“With Hughesy it taps into his comedy. With Kyle it is what he is already doing on the radio. And Anh likes painting and chatting to people. They are all very invested in their projects which makes it a little bit easier for me.

Top Photo:  Johnny Lowry with Anh Do

Publicis Media wraps Blue 449 into Spark Foundry as global brand

Publicis Media has consolidated two of its global networks – Blue 449 and Spark Foundry – to create one global proposition.

For the local market Spark Foundry’s current CEO Sue Squillace will lead the merged brands in Australia.

Publicis has released these details about the consolidation:

With this move the new network deepens its presence in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, MENA, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Singapore and Spain, as well as other markets around the world, accelerated through realigning Blue 449 talent and clients to the Spark Foundry brand.

Due to the unique nature of the France, US and UK markets, both Spark Foundry and the Blue 449 brands will be retained and co-operate closely in these markets, with Blue 449 predominantly servicing domestic clients and Spark Foundry focusing on global clients.

“As a brand-led organisation, we are committed to our strong agency brands as transformation partners for clients,” says Steve King, CEO, Publicis Media. “Guided by this commitment, we are further scaling Spark Foundry as a global network.”

Spark Foundry’s global evolution through this strategic alliance, builds on notable momentum over the past year, including substantial new business wins such as Marriott and Lenovo (global), Mondelez (multi-market), Macy’s, Audible, and Southwest Airlines in the US, Savola in UAE, and Campbell Arnott’s in Australia.

In Australia, John Preston (pictured), chairman of Publicis Media ANZ, previously CEO of Blue 449 (formerly Match Media) has announced that leading the new Australian entity will be Spark Foundry’s current CEO Sue Squillace (pictured) supported by Duncan Parfitt as COO, who moves from his role as MD of Blue 449, and Blue 449’s CFO Jeff Ewing completing the executive leadership team.

Preston will work closely with the executive leadership team to ensure a smooth integration of the businesses. He said: “Here in Australia we are bringing together two successful businesses, both with enviable culture scores. The beauty is that their DNA of being born a start-up; one an independent, the other a multinational start-up, are strongly aligned.

“This is a very exciting step change for the team at Spark Foundry and provides the team at Blue 449 with a truly global family to work with.”

Sue Squillace, CEO, Spark Foundry Australia added: “I am really excited to have the opportunity to lead this newly formed strategic alignment. This evolution of Spark Foundry will deliver our people and clients a brand with greater scale, greater market impact and a greater connected global network.”

The new Spark Foundry Australia will have 185 people working across its three existing offices in Sydney and Melbourne; and in Sydney will come together in one location with Publicis Groupe’s move to Pyrmont in early 2020.

Meanwhile, Phil Georgiadis, global chairman of Blue 449 and Publicis Media UK, has decided to leave the company, having co-founded Blue 449 (formerly Walker Media) in the UK in 1998.

“Now is the right time for me to move on, I have been fully involved and supportive of the new network strategy and I am obviously delighted that Blue 449 will retain its distinctive position in the UK market. This is testament to the whole team under the strong leadership of Simon and in truth they are doing a brilliant job without me,” says Georgiadis. “More recently I have enjoyed my role as Chairman of Publicis Media UK. Having been heavily involved in the decision to move to Television Centre and in the fit out itself I can see it will be a catalyst for even more transformative behaviours and I wish Steve, Sue and everyone based there every success in the future.”

Hit & Triple M networks: SCA reveals national content team restructure

As forecast by Southern Cross Austereo chief executive Grant Blackley to Mediaweek a week ago, the broadcaster has used its existing content teams in a major restructure that follows the departure of Guy Dobson in January.

The restructure for its Triple M and Hit Networks will be a radio first.

Gemma Fordham

The role of Network Heads, Gemma Fordham (Hit) and Mike Fitzpatrick (Triple M) will extend to all metro and regional stations. This will include the management of all shows and on-air talent. Fordham and Fitzpatrick will expand their current remit of five metro stations to 42 Hit and 36 Triple M stations respectively.

Mike Fitzpatrick

Irene Hulme and Mickey Maher have been appointed heads of music for the Hit and Triple M Networks. Hulme will expand her remit from metro only stations to the 42 Hit and 4 Hit digital stations, and Maher, who is currently head of content for regional radio, will now work across the 36 Triple M and 4 Triple M digital stations nationally.

Irene Hulme

SCA commented as experienced, passionate and talented music strategists Hulme and Maher will implement an even stronger and sharper focus on music across both networks.

Mickey Maher

News & current affairs will be headed up by Natasha Jobson, who is currently national head of audio news & information. Jobson will continue to oversee the execution of news creation across multiple metro and regional newsrooms servicing SCA’s national AM, FM and DAB+ radio network & apps as well as bespoke news for on demand services – including Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and other B2B news opportunities.

Natasha Jobson

To further mature and validate SCA’s investment in first-class events – national events director Jacqui Hoban will now report to chief operating officer, John Kelly.

Jacqui Hoban

In line with the new national management structure, head of marketing and communication Nikki Clarkson will oversee national marketing of all metro markets as well as an expanded regional remit – including SCA’s TV assets and PodcastOne.

The network heads, heads of music, head of news & current affairs and head of marketing and communication will all report directly to the CEO.

Nikki Clarkson

SCA’s CEO Grant Blackley said, “It is critical that SCA has a strong and diverse group of executives in the right roles with the right skills to meet the challenges and opportunities of our ever improving and vibrant audio sector.

“This structure will further enhance our laser focus on entertainment, music and news & current affairs. In a Radio first – our new Network Heads will have direct oversight and management of an expanded national asset base.

“SCA remains committed to developing and deploying the best entertainment, information and music in the business. Combined with our considerable TV assets, PodcastOne and broadening digital presence – SCA is unique in reaching over 95% of Australians each and every week with live and local content like no other.”

The Weekly asks: Has advertising to women really moved on?

Ahead of 2019 International Women’s Day, The Australian Women’s Weekly reveals the results of a new data driven project and asks, has advertising to Australian women really moved on?

Bauer Media has released these findings from its research:

The Weekly partnered with M&C Saatchi and data specialists LIDA, to examine the way brands have advertised to Australian women over the past eighty years. A purpose-built AI bot scanned and analysed over 20,000 advertisements from the pages of The Weekly. The results revealed the categories, brands, language and images used to advertise to women over the decades.

At a breakfast in Sydney to present the findings, editor-in-chief of The Weekly Nicole Byers challenged marketers to better answer the needs of Australian women.

“Advertising has come a long way but the findings present a great opportunity for reflection and conversation by the marketers of today. Particularly alarming is the omission of wealth, work, and technology from the lives of Australian women represented in advertising – with less than 4% of the ads measured categorised in these fields. We know how important these topics are for women and our content reflects that.”

Key take outs from the research include:

1. Up until the 1980s, the word ‘man’ appeared more often in ads to women, than the word ‘woman’ did.
2. The word ‘career’ didn’t feature in advertising to women until the 1990s, significantly lagging behind women’s actual participation in the workforce.
3. Since the 1980s, car advertising to women has dropped 85%, even though women today influence over 80% of car purchases.
4. While Australia has become increasingly multicultural, the first ad to feature a non-white Australian appeared in 1994 – just 25 years ago.
5. As soon as Australian women were allowed into pubs in 1961, alcohol advertising to women doubled.
6. While female incomes have increased dramatically since the 1970s, and they are fast becoming the major breadwinners in Australia, financial services advertising to women has remained notably absent.

With its eight-decade heritage as the voice of Australian women, The Weekly was the ideal platform with the ability to showcase how marketers have represented the female consumer and the cultural changes over this time. LIDA’s “Minnie” AI bot has become the largest database of advertising to women in the world.

Victoria Curro, managing director of LIDA, said: “If the consumer economy had a sex, it would be female. Women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing through a combination of their buying power and influence, and women are the fastest growing global consumer economy. Understanding what really matters to women and staying in step with the changes in their lives does pay dividends – for both marketers and society as a whole.”

New stars, new programs: 7 sleeps until Nine’s NRL season blasts off

Next Thursday March 14, NRL on Nine returns with what the broadcaster is calling the biggest year of rugby league coverage yet, taking viewers closer to the action than ever.

Nine has released these details about season 2019:

Joining the commentary team in 2019 are three former superstar players: Billy Slater, arguably the greatest fullback of all time; the man widely considered to be a future Immortal, Johnathan Thurston and premiership winner, Origin and Kangaroos representative, Sam Thaiday.

Nine is unveiling three new rugby league programs in 2019. The first two, Thursday Night Golden Point and Friday Night Knock Off, are the post-game shows that will follow Macca’s Thursday Night Footy and VB Friday Night Footy.

Each week these two programs will explore the biggest stories from the biggest games, with insight from some of the best brains in rugby league, delivered with entertainment and humour. Viewers will get unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access to players and coaches around the grounds and in the sheds, offering an inside look at the pain and glory that comes with the toughest game of all.

The third new program, Sunday Kick Off, will give viewers all the last-minute news and updates they need every Sunday afternoon at 3pm AEDT ahead of Sunday Footy at 4pm AEDT – part of seven hours of straight NRL coverage every Sunday. This includes the returning Sunday Footy Show, along with the Canterbury Cup NSW and Intrust Super Cup (shown in NSW and Queensland respectively), which will showcase the next generation of NRL stars.

Also returning to get every week off to the right start is the round-table panel show, 100% Footy, where the experts debate the hottest topics in the game from every angle.

The 2019 season will kick off with the 2018 Grand Finalists, Melbourne Storm, playing the Brisbane Broncos at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Macca’s Thursday Night Footy, live on Thursday, March 14, from 7.30pm AEDT.

The next night, the Sydney Roosters, reigning premiers, take on their arch rivals, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, when rugby league returns to the Sydney Cricket Ground for VB Friday Night Footy.

The State of Origin juggernaut returns exclusively to Nine this year, bringing all the heart-stopping action of state against state, mate versus mate.

And a brand new programming concept will debut this season: Magic Round in round nine, when all 16 NRL teams converge on Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane to do battle over four exhilarating days.

NRL on Nine: Weekly Programming in 2019

100% Footy
Mondays from 10.00pm AEDT on Nine
Panel members: James Bracey, Phil Gould, Paul Gallen, plus weekly guests and the best rugby league journalists.

• Sydney 10.00pm on Nine
• Brisbane 9.00pm on Nine
• Melbourne 10.00pm on 9GEM
• Adelaide 9.30pm on 9GEM
• Perth 7.00pm on 9GEM

Macca’s Thursday Night Footy

Thursdays from 7.30pm AEDT on Nine
Host and commentators: James Bracey, Andrew Johns, Paul Vautin, Billy Slater, Ruan Sims, Johnathan Thurston, Danika Mason, Brad Fittler, Mat Thompson

• Sydney 7.30pm on Nine
• Brisbane 6.30pm on Nine
• Melbourne 7.30pm on 9GEM
• Adelaide 7.00pm on 9GEM
• Perth 4.30pm on 9GEM

Thursday Night Golden Point
Thursdays following Macca’s Thursday Night Footy on Nine
Host and commentators: James Bracey, Johnathan Thurston, Billy Slater, Paul Vautin

VB Friday Night Footy
Fridays from 7.30pm AEDT on Nine
Host and commentators: Erin Molan, Ray Warren, Phil Gould, Andrew Johns, Brad Fittler, Billy Slater, Sam Thaiday

• Sydney 7.30pm on Nine
• Brisbane 6.30pm on Nine
• Melbourne 7.30pm on 9GEM
• Adelaide 7.00pm on 9GEM
• Perth 4.30pm on 9GEM

Friday Night Knock Off
Fridays following VB Friday Night Footy on Nine
Host and commentators: Erin Molan, Billy Slater, Sam Thaiday, Brad Fittler

The Sunday Footy Show
Sundays from 11.00pm AEDT on Nine
Panel members: Erin Molan, Peter Sterling, Brad Fittler, plus weekly guests

• Sydney 11.00am on Nine
• Brisbane 10.00am on Nine
• Melbourne 11.00am on 9GEM
• Adelaide 10.30am on 9GEM
• Perth 8.00am on 9GEM

Canterbury Cup NSW/Intrust Super Cup QLD
Sundays from 1.00pm AEDT on Nine
Host and commentators: Peter Psaltis (NSW), Jamie Soward (NSW), Danika Mason (NSW), Scott Sattler (QLD), Mark Braybrook (QLD)

• Sydney 1.00pm on Nine
• Brisbane 12.00pm on Nine
• Melbourne 1.00pm on 9GEM
• Adelaide 12:30pm on 9GEM
• Perth 10.00am on 9GEM

Sunday Kick Off
Sundays from 3.00pm AEDT on Nine
Host and commentators: James Bracey, Andrew Johns, Allana Ferguson, Darren Lockyer, Ruan Sims

• Sydney 3.00pm on Nine
• Brisbane 2.00pm on Nine
• Melbourne 3.00pm on 9GEM
• Adelaide 2:30pm on 9GEM
• Perth 12.00pm on 9GEM

Sunday Footy

Sundays from 4.00pm AEDT on Nine
Host and commentators: James Bracey, Andrew Johns, Allana Ferguson, Peter Sterling, Darren Lockyer, Ruan Sims, Brad Fittler, Mat Thompson

• Sydney 4.00pm on Nine
• Brisbane 3.00pm on Nine
• Melbourne 4.00pm on 9GEM
• Adelaide 3:30pm on 9GEM
• Perth 1.00pm on 9GEM

TV Ratings Analysis: March 5

• MAFS feuds on homestays: “You’re f***ing rank” is TV gold
• More golden moments on Nine: Travel Guides teams visit India
• Best of the rest: Seven’s My Kitchen Rules & The Good Doctor

Tuesday: Week 10 2019

By  James Manning

• Seven News 949,000/913,000
• Nine News 852,000/869,000
• A Current Affair 775,000
• ABC News 727,000
• 7.30 529,000
• The Project 250,000/434,000
• 10 News First 390,000
• SBS World News 125,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 291,000
• Today 187,000


Share jumped back above 21% as viewers moved away from 10 and ABC last night.

After 7pm Home And Away was on 585,000.

My Kitchen Rules got a modest boost after 700,000 on Monday became 753,000 last night.

The Good Doctor then did 563,000 after 543,000 a week ago.


Some more memorable moments for Married At First Sight with the audience ringside at another big blue. The Tuesday crowd was 1.282m after 1.261m a week ago. Audiences watching BVOD continue to lift too with episode eight of MAFS now with a VPM audience of 459,000 with a total of six episodes now over 400,000.

The Fren family and the rest of their Travel Guides colleagues had fun in India last night with the show hitting a new series high on 758,000.


Share was back below 10% with Ambulance Australia unable to reconnect with the audience who enjoyed the first season of the show last year. Ambulance Australia was on 366,000 last night. The first two episodes in its launch season had an average audience of 650,000.

The channel’s biggest audience was for The Project after 7pm with Jimeon one of the guests and another of the annual parade of Melbourne International Comedy Festival stars which pass through the show this month every year. The episode was on 434,000.

Later in the night NCIS did 239,000.


Foreign Correspondent had 380,000 watching Yaara Bou Melhem report from former ISIS territory.

A doco on Ruth Bader Ginsburg then did 316,000.


An abandoned cinema in Bradford was the destination on Michael Portillo’s Abandoned Britain with 185,000 the channel’s biggest audience.

Insight then did 128,000.

Week 10 TV: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.9% 7 21.3% 9 27.3% 10  8.8% SBS One 4.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.0% 7TWO 3.0% GO! 3.3% 10 Bold 3.2% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 2.6% GEM 2.6% 10 Peach 2.0% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix 1.6% 9Life 1.9%     NITV 0.1%
    7Food 0.7%            
TOTAL 15.9%   29.1%   35.0%   14.0%   6.0%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.8% 7 23.5% 9 20.2% WIN 9.2% SBS One 3.9%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.3% 7TWO 4.4% GO! 4.3% WIN Bold 2.5% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 3.8% GEM 3.8% WIN Peach 1.9% Food Net 1.2%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix 2.0% 9Life 1.4% Sky News  on WIN 1.2% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 15.3%   33.7%   29.7%   14.8%   6.3%


86.0% 14.0%
  1. Married At First Sight Nine 1,282,000
  2. Seven News Seven 949,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 913,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 869,000
  5. Nine News Nine 852,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 775,000
  7. Travel Guides Nine 758,000
  8. My Kitchen Rules Seven 753,000
  9. ABC News ABC 727,000
  10. Home And Away Seven 585,000
  11. The Good Doctor Seven 563,000
  12. 7.30 ABC 529,000
  13. The Chase Australia Seven 501,000
  14. Hot Seat Nine 437,000
  15. The Project 7pm 10 434,000
  16. 10 News First 10 390,000
  17. Foreign Correspondent ABC 380,000
  18. Ambulance Australia 10 366,000
  19. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 328,000
  20. RBG ABC 316,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 353,000
  2. Travel Guides Nine 187,000
  3. My Kitchen Rules Seven 152,000
  4. Seven News Seven 113,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 111,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 614,000
  2. Travel Guides Nine 346,000
  3. My Kitchen Rules Seven 269,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 210,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 210,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 681,000
  2. Travel Guides Nine 402,000
  3. My Kitchen Rules Seven 311,000
  4. Seven News Seven 275,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 267,000
TUESDAY Multichannel
  1. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 199,000
  2. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 190,000
  3. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 174,000
  4. Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 170,000
  5. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 155,000
  6. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 153,000
  7. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  8. Wanda And The Alien PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  9. Thomas And Friends PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  10. Kazoops! PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  11. Pj Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 133,000
  12. Noddy Toyland Detective PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  13. Rusty Rivets PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  14. Neighbours 10 Peach 126,000
  15. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 118,000
  16. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 114,000
  17. Highway Patrol-Ep.2 Pm 7mate 113,000
  18. Ready, Jet, Go! PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  19. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  20. New Tricks 9Gem 110,000
  1. Live: ODI India V Australia Game 2 FOX CRICKET 139,000
  2. Live: Innings Break FOX CRICKET 69,000
  3. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 54,000
  4. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 54,000
  5. Live: ODI India V Australia Game 2 FOX CRICKET 53,000
  6. Jones & Co Sky News Live 51,000
  7. Family Guy FOX8 48,000
  8. Family Guy FOX8 48,000
  9. The Great British Bake Off Lifestyle FOOD 47,000
  10. Bones TVH!TS 47,000
  11. American Dad! FOX8 41,000
  12. The Simpsons FOX8 40,000
  13. The Simpsons FOX8 35,000
  14. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 34,000
  15. PML Later Sky News Live 33,000
  16. Live: WWE Raw FOX8 33,000
  17. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 32,000
  18. American Dad! FOX8 31,000
  19. Nella The Princess Knight Nick Jr. 31,000
  20. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 31,000

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

Facebook argues ‘no imbalance’ in publisher relationships

Facebook denies there is an imbalance of bargaining power between the social media giant and Australian publishers, saying there is no evidence for the competition regulator’s claim to the contrary, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

In Facebook’s response to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s draft recommendations in its digital platforms inquiry handed down in December, the social media company said publishers controlled whether and how their content was accessed on Facebook.

Responding to the ACCC’s claim there is an imbalance of power, Facebook pointed to publishers controlling how their news was accessed on Facebook and the number of products it provides to monetise, increase audiences and distribute content at no cost, saying this indicated there was no imbalance in bargaining power.

[Read the original]

Nine-Fairfax merger gives clarity to the publishing business model

The $4 billion merger of Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media has given “absolute clarity” to the editorial brands and their business models inside a combined business, Nine’s managing director of publishing Chris Janz said.

Speaking at The Australian Financial Review Business Summit on Tuesday, Janz said his enlarged portfolio of editorial brands, including the The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald and had a clear diversity of business models and audiences, which it could target.

“The beauty of the merger is it’s providing absolute clarity to each of the brands as to where they sit. I think in the old world, we tried to balance the scale of advertising with the simplicity of subscriptions for a brand like the Herald and The Age,” Janz said.

The addition of, which includes 9Honey, (Wide World of Sports online) and, means it is clear the Herald and The Age are there for subscribers, along with the Financial Review, while the Nine suite of websites hits the mass market, Janz said.

[Read the original]

Acting ABC chief defends Michelle Guthrie settlement

ABC acting managing director David Anderson has defended the public broadcaster’s confidential settlement with his predecessor, Michelle Guthrie, whose sacking drew intense board scrutiny, report The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich and Zoe Samios.

Anderson said he was “very pleased” that a resolution between the parties, which was reported to have cost the ABC about $500,000, was reached last week.

“It is not unusual for the commonwealth to settle such complex cases, and the ABC has been conscious of its obligations as a model litigant and as a custodian of public money,” he told a government inquiry into allegations of political interference yesterday.

[Read the original]

NSW Labor leader v Alan Jones in stadium row power play

The NSW Opposition Leader Michael Daley ignited a confrontation yesterday in an appearance on Alan Jones’s 2GB radio program, telling the veteran broadcaster his 30-year tenure on the SCG Trust board would be over if Labor won office, report The Australian’s Andrew Clennell and Deborah Cornwall.

The board is one of the nation’s most prestigious and includes former Business Council of Australia president Tony Shepherd; Maurice Newman, a former Australian Stock Exchange chairman; Harvey Norman chief executive Katie Page; Sydney Olympics bid mastermind Rod McGeoch; former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell; and former News Limited chairman John Hartigan.

[Read the original]

Efficiency review questions ABC and SBS on lifestyle and food content

The ABC and SBS are gearing up to defend their programming in light of a new review that has suggested some content is not “core” to the charter responsibilities of the public broadcasters, report The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke and Fergus Hunter.

The 100-plus page outcome of an efficiency review, headed by former Foxtel boss Peter Tonagh and former media regulator Richard Bean, was handed to management teams of the ABC and SBS on Monday evening.

Sources said the review suggests the public broadcasters refocus activities to ensure they are more aligned to their charter obligations. In particular, ABC Life and SBS Food were referenced as being “further away” from the core duties of the two broadcasters.

The declaration has already frustrated some public broadcasting executives who believe considering whether content is “charter-aligned” falls outside the scope of the review, which was ordered by the Turnbull government in 2018.

Other recommendations of the efficiency review include more back-office collaboration between the ABC and SBS, which is not seen as a controversial suggestion given the two already share some operations. The review was not allowed under its terms of reference to suggest merging the two broadcasters.

[Read the original]

News Brands

Tributes for author, journalist Les Carlyon – dead at 76

Les Carlyon, one of the greats of Australian journalism, a writer of peerless prose and author of the monumental work, Gallipoli, died on Tuesday afternoon from complications resulting from a long struggle with cancer. He was 76.

A former editor of The Age and editor-in-chief of the Melbourne Herald, Carlyon was a racing journalist, financial editor, editorial writer, political commentator, outstanding teacher of journalism, informal mentor to many and a remarkable military historian.

He chronicled not just the Gallipoli campaign but also the history of World War l on the Western Front.

“It’s always going to be awful losing a man like Les,” remarked Andrew Rule, a long-time journalistic colleague and close friend of Carlyon. “He was a kind man.”

[Read the original]

A nation loses its voice: Garry Linnell on the life of Les Carlyon

This obituary might have to be written with a bloody big lump in the throat knowing your voice will never be on the phone again, giving advice when it is desperately needed, perspective when it has been lost and inspiration when the well has run dry, writes Garry Linnell in The Australian.

After a lifetime in journalism – editor of The Age, editor-in-chief of The Herald and Weekly Times, columnist for The Bulletin and Business Review Weekly – it pained you to watch the decline of newspapers.

It was hard to figure out what annoyed you more – that moment when reporters began to wear expensive suits and worry about their “personal brand” or when management types started issuing memos about the need to mobilise external and internal support to achieve corporate objectives.

What was it you said a decade ago?

“The main troubles with journalism are sloppy writing and sloppy editing, advocacy masquerading as reporting, gossip masquerading as reporting, stories that abound in loose ends and cliches, stories that are half-right, stories that insult the reader’s intelligence.

“In other words, most of the problems of journalism are our fault. They’re matters of craft, not ethics. Why…do we talk about everything but the words? The words are the only thing the readers judge us by.”

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The 3AW breakfast show began this morning with Neil Mitchell joining Ross Stevenson and John Burns in the studio at 5.30am. Together they paid tribute to Les Carlyon with Mitchell calling him Australia’s best journalist of the last 50 years.

They noted his range of subjects including horse racing.

“A purist when it came to racing because he didn’t bet,” said Ross Stevenson.

“A superb author and unmatched as a journalist,” said Mitchell. “There was nothing he couldn’t do in the newsroom and as an editor he helped a lot of people win awards.”

Chip Le Grand in The Australian:

Vale Les Carlyon: a nation lost for words

John Howard, who considered Carlyon a friend, and his book The Great War the best he has read about World War I, said Australia had lost one of our finest wordsmiths and a journalist of extraordinary integrity.

“He was a gem of a writer,” Howard told The Australian.

Patrick Carlyon, who followed his dad into newspapers, said his father grew up in a small town north of Bendigo surrounded by horses and rogues. Both fascinated him and shaped the way he told stories; spare with words but rich in detail.

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Les Carlyon: A great life writes Andrew Rule in Herald Sun

Les Carlyon, giant of Australian journalism, liked to quote Red Smith, giant of American sports journalism.

“Dying is no big deal,” Smith once told mourners at a friend’s funeral. “The least of us will manage that. Living is the trick.”

Carlyon fetched that line from his prodigious memory in honour of his contemporary, Peter McFarline, sports writer and once Washington correspondent for this company.

But the sentiment – about living with purpose, rather than making a grand exit – fits Carlyon himself.

Right up to the final weeks of the illness that ended his life today when Les worked at the craft that made his name, his soaring intellect anchored by homespun wisdom.

He was always on the reader’s side.

Les Carlyon spoke all over the world in the last 25 years but never more movingly than at the memorial service for Roy Higgins in 2014.

Everyone liked the great jockey, he said, “because he was so easy to like. He was the benign presence, he was humble, he was generous, he was courteous, he didn’t carry grudges, he didn’t look back, he wasn’t sour or cynical. He had time for everyone, be they the prime minister or a down-at-heel punter cadging for a tip.

“He was a great human being and that might be the biggest story, because it’s harder to be a great human being.”

All words that fit the man who wrote them.

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See also Tony Wright in The Age:

Former Age editor and ‘man of words’ Les Carlyon dies at 76

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France Is In The Air not a copy of Love Is In The Air, court told

An electro-pop song used in a three-year advertising campaign by Air France did not infringe the copyright on the Australian hit Love Is In The Air, a judge has been told, reports AAP.

Chris Dimitriadis, for the airline, said its advertising signature, France Is In The Air, was developed some time before the decision was made to use Glass Candy’s song Warm In The Winter in the campaign.

He was opening the airline’s defence on Tuesday in the Federal Court copyright infringement case relating to the Australian pop song written in 1977 by Harry Vanda and George Young, who died in 2017.

Vanda, Young’s estate, Boomerang Investments and two Australian copyright bodies are suing American duo Glass Candy, its songwriters Johnny Padgett and Lori Monahan, Kobalt Music Publishing and Air France.

The hearing continues before Justice Nye Perram.

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‘Too much risk’: Shareholders cool on Nine’s 2GB/3AW radio push

Nine Entertainment Co’s top institutional shareholder has cautioned the diversified media company against buying ad-man John Singleton’s shares in radio group Macquarie Media, as contract talks with presenter Alan Jones remain ongoing, report The Sydney Morning Herald’s John McDuling and Jennifer Duke.

Nine, the owner of this newspaper, also controls 54.5% of Macquarie Media following its merger with Fairfax Media last year. Macquarie Media in turn owns AM radio stations including Melbourne’s 3AW and Sydney’s 2GB, the home of Alan Jones.

Macquarie Media management is keen to re-sign Jones, sources have indicated, and Nine is supportive of that approach. Jones continues to comfortably win ratings in his breakfast radio timeslot.

One well-placed source said the contract talks could be completed by April. Jones is believed to be on a salary north of $4 million a year.

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Grant Denyer on 2Day FM: ‘I lost a sex tape I made aged 18’

Grant Denyer lives in fear a sex tape he made and lost could resurface and ruin his career, reports’s Andrew Bucklow.

The 2Day FM breakfast host admitted to his co-stars Ash London and Ed Kavalee that he made an “intimate video” back in 1994.

“I had just turned 18, and I had an older girlfriend, and I didn’t have a camera,” Denyer said. “I borrowed a Sony Handycam from the media department at high school.

“It had a tripod, that’s why I wanted it, so I didn’t have to hold it.

“It felt naughty, it felt a bit spicy and we were comfortable with each other,” he said talking about the tape. “I look amazing in it, and I put in an A-grade performance…I was really happy with the angles.”

When it came time to return the camera to school, Denyer said he forgot to remove the tape and is paranoid the footage is still floating around somewhere today.

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Katie Carlin joins Australian Traveller Media as digital editor-in-chief

Australian Traveller Media, publisher of Australian Traveller, International Traveller and US-distributed Australia Magazine has appointed Katie Carlin digital editor-in-chief.

Carlin comes to the role with a wealth of experience in digital and lifestyle media, having previously worked for Bauer Media, Fairfax Media and The Parent Brand in managing editor and editor roles over the past seven years. Carlin has lead a number of high-performing digital teams over this time and is skilled at developing and implementing editorial and SEO strategies.

“It is an exciting time to be joining the team at Australian Traveller Media,” said Carlin. “We are in a period of incredible growth, both in terms of team expansion and website traffic across our sites and

“The latter is due in part to a robust SEO strategy that continues to deliver consistent month-on-month traffic growth, but this is only the beginning. We have big plans for 2019 and we look forward to bringing you along on the journey.”

Quentin Long, managing director of Australian Traveller Media, said: “Katie is joining the digital team at a great moment for the digital business. Our shift to being a serious digital publisher with fantastic print brands is gaining unprecedented momentum…and we are forecasting this growth to continue. Katie is a key appointment in accelerating this growth and overachieving on our forecast.”

Dennis Publishing acquires US financial publisher Kiplinger

Dennis Publishing, publisher of The Week in the US and the UK, has acquired Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc..

Kiplinger, founded in 1920 in Washington, DC and run by three generations of the Kiplinger family, publishes the largest paid-subscription publications in several financial fields: business forecasting (the weekly Kiplinger Letter); taxes (the biweekly Kiplinger Tax Letter); retirement living (the monthly Kiplinger’s Retirement Report) and yield-oriented investing (the monthly Kiplinger’s Investing for Income).

Its most widely read products are Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, the 600,000-circulation monthly magazine which pioneered personal finance journalism in 1947, and, its website with four million unique visitors and more than 30 million page views per month.

Dennis currently owns The Week based in New York, which boasts over 550,000 paid-for print subscribers and 5.8 million monthly unique users to its award-winning current affairs website

Dennis was acquired by UK private equity firms Exponent in October 2018. Washington-based Kiplinger is the first acquisition that Dennis has made in the US since it changed ownership.


ABC Commercial signs new deal with TVNZ for The Wiggles

ABC Commercial has reached a new agreement with free-to-air television network TVNZ to bring a variety of The Wiggles’ pre-school programming to New Zealand.

The agreement will see The Wiggles’ brand new television series Emma! series 2 receive a linear broadcast on TVNZ later this year, in addition to a number of standalone specials from the group, including Dial E For Emma!, The Wiggles Meet the Orchestra, Apples and Bananas and The Emma and Lachy Show! – with all programmes available to stream on TVNZ’s AVOD platform TVNZ OnDemand.

The Wiggles’ popularity in New Zealand has grown rapidly since the group relaunched with their new look line up of Emma, Lachy, Simon and Anthony in 2013. Since then, The Wiggles have embarked on numerous tours throughout New Zealand, entertaining families at sold out shows across Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and more – with ticket sales continuing to climb with each successive visit.

“ABC Commercial is pleased to partner with TVNZ to bring The Wiggles’ award-winning programming to New Zealand families everywhere,” said Jessica Ellis, head of content sales & distribution at ABC Commercial. “We’re excited for what the future holds for The Wiggles in the territory.”

Game of Thrones final season trailer: 7 Key Reveals

“Everything you did brought you where you are now, where you belong: home.”

Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) utters these words early on in the Game of Thrones final season trailer, which HBO has officially dropped in anticipation of the April 14 premiere, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The young Stark speaks wisely, as is his wont as the Three-Eyed Raven. All events from the past seven seasons are set to collide in the eighth and final ride. Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) – literally every single character still alive and on the board – will see their disparate journeys unite as one, for better and quite likely for worse, in the six remaining episodes, with so much of it ending where the action first began: Winterfell.

Not unlike Tyrion’s introduction to the Mother of Dragons in season six, HBO delivered an unexpected gift to the Game of Thrones fandom with this massive trailer. Given the hype surrounding the series’ final episodes, HBO could have gotten away with revealing a whole lot less, ala the clever Crypts of Winterfell teaser. Instead, the full final season trailer contains a lot of helpful information for the speculating masses, as well as some outright confirmations of character fates. Read on for the trailer’s seven biggest reveals.

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Sports Media

Ferrari to drop Mission Winnow branding at Australian Grand Prix

Ferrari will race in Formula One’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix next week without branding for Philip Morris’s Mission Winnow initiative amid concern about tobacco advertising.

The team’s official name has also changed from Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow to Scuderia Ferrari, according to an updated entry list published by the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

Italian media quoted Ferrari chief executive Louis Camilleri confirming the move at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday.

“There were problems with the Department of Health and Philip Morris did not have time to find a solution,” he told reporters.

“Winnow is not a brand, however. It has nothing to do with tobacco but is about the transition from cigarettes to electronic (products).

“In Australia, we will still have a surprise on the car for the fans.”

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