This week on Mediaweek TV James Manning speaks with NewsMediaWorks CEO Peter Miller. Tune in to Mediaweek TV at 2.30pm on Your Money (Foxtel 601 and 95 FTA).
This week saw Nine confirm it had sold the former Fairfax Media regional newspaper network to former Domain chief executive Antony Catalano.
To give us some insight into the print sector in Australia and how attractive it is to investors and advertisers, we are joined by NewsMediaWorks CEO Peter Miller.
+ Five podcasts recommendations from OMD’s Gemma Lasenby
Rosie Mansfield is a realistic, no-nonsense nutritionist. She grabs complicated and confusing nutrition questions and breaks them down for listeners quickly, with no heavy science or big words. She goes through the rumours and facts associated with nutritional trends and then gives hacks to help navigate through the nutritional minefield.
Although calling herself a “hacker”, Mansfield doesn’t present an unorthodox look at food. “Almost the opposite,” she told Mediaweek. “I have a broad view of food and don’t adhere to any strict views. I don’t do any fads.
“As a food hacker I hack things down. My job as a nutritionist is to look at the science, I am a bit of a digestive enzyme and then I spit it out on the podcast as simply as possible.
“The point of the podcast is to stop the confusion around nutrition and I speak simply to try and comfort people who are overwhelmed by information.”
Mansfield is a former personal trainer and has been a nutritionist for eight years. She is a TV cook as well working on 10’s Good Chef Bad Chef.
PodcastOne released the first season of 10 episodes of Food Hacker last year and there is another 10 episodes of season two available from today.
“This series features trending topics, things that many people are finding confusing. That includes soy and the arguments for and against, the keto diet, blue zone lifestyle, intermittent fasting, gluten free and more.”
A big attraction for the audience are the short episodes of just over and just under 10 minutes which let you binge quickly and get the information.
“Everything I do – from my book to TV and these podcasts – is delivered in bite-sized chunks. We are all very busy. With nutrition we also tend to overthink it, so we don’t need too much information. The last thing I want to do is bore people!”
Podcasters hosting on the Whooshkaa platform now have access to a new skill to make listening easier on Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices.
Whooshkaa and Amazon have enabled podcast listeners to request podcasts and episodes directly from voice-activated Alexa devices without the need for a third party service like Tune-in.
The skill will be available for podcasts hosted by Whooshkaa, including Australian True Crime, Chat 10 Looks 3, SEN, The Betoota Advocate, The Health Code and all official AFL and NRL podcasts. Listeners simply ask Alexa to play the podcast or episode they want to hear. They can also give voice instructions to ask for more information about episodes, play, skip and resume from previously-played points in the episode.
More than 100 million Alexa-enabled devices have been sold worldwide.
“Our software engineers worked closely with the Alexa team at Amazon to be able to achieve this functionality for podcasters and listeners,” said Whooshkaa founder and CEO Rob Loewenthal.
“We’re the first global podcast hosting platform to enable podcasters to deploy their own Alexa skill for their podcast.”
Instead of telling the smart speaker to use a third party skill to find and stream a podcast – the listener simply tells the device to play “the first episode of Australian True Crime” or “the most recent episode of The Health Code.”
News Fighters is a new fast-paced, irreverent 10 minute news summary podcast from one of the creatives behind Tonightly with Tom Ballard, A Rational Fear and The Chaser. And it’s really very funny.
“At News Fighters we aim to shove all the painful gaffes, hypocritical soundbites and wacky news clips into your earholes in every hilarious 10 minute episode!” said creator and presenter Dylan Behan.
Behan said he will avoid the usual lazy banter of most Australian political/comedy podcasts. Instead the podcast wants to emulate the feel of a late night comedy show monologue: meticulously analysing a single big news event in depth. Previous episodes have covered the first federal election leaders’ debate, the 2019 budget, NSW election night and Barnaby Joyce’s infamous Radio National “watergate” interview.
News Fighters is currently released weekly and is available on all major podcast apps Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts and Spotify. It’s also available for audio streaming on Soundcloud and in audiogram/video form (including all the TV news clips) on YouTube.
“After the cancellation of Tonightly I felt like Australia was missing an acerbic and silly summary of the day’s big news,” said Behan about why he started he podcast. “Also as an unemployed creative man in his thirties, it was legally mandatory I start a podcast.”
Yes, this is technically in the crime genre but it’s actually just great journalism and is often more about the people involved. Topics have spanned flashers, capital punishment and airplane hijackings. Plus Phoebe Judge has the best voice in the game.
Sh*tting With The Door Open
The only parenting podcast I can stand is put out by two male, Australian comedians. It’s very funny and often very wrongtown. But also refreshingly honest and thoughtful on tricky topics.
Disclaimer: yes this is US career coach Whitney Johnston’s podcast and she is relentlessly upbeat. But it usually feels less self-help and more DIY career. She starts every interview with “Where did you grow up and what did you want to be?” Then she maps people’s career paths and you realise how rarely they are linear.
Sometimes you just need to fill 7-10 minutes. These are bite-sized history lessons using the BBC’s archived interviews (going back as long as recording voice was possible). From the Nestle milk boycott to the invention of wingsuits. You’ll feel smarter afterwards I promise.
Women at Work
A spin off from the HBR ideacast and all summed up in the name really. Very honest conversations amongst real-life colleagues at HBR. They deliberately try to challenge themselves on intersectionality and not get too comfortable in their particular feminist bubble.
Radio has retained its place as the most used audio platform, while awareness and use of podcasts has increased steadily over the past year, and ownership of smart speakers has doubled, according to the findings of the 2019 Infinite Dial Australia Study.
The comprehensive study of audio and digital media behaviour by global firm Edison Research found that 83% of Australians are now aware of podcasts, up from 78% a year ago.
Fifteen percent of Australians listened to podcasts in the last week, up from 13% a year ago and 10% in 2017. More than half of those who have ever listened to a podcast have listened to a radio show podcast.
Use of radio remained strong across multiple platforms, with 83% of the population aged 12 and over listening in the last week, little changed from 85% when the research was first conducted in Australia in 2017.
“The study shows that audio in Australia is the same kind of dynamic space we see in America,” said Edison Research president Larry Rosin. “Australian radio retains a large audience while streaming and podcasting continue to grow and new devices create new opportunities.”
Ownership of smart speakers more than doubled to 13% of the population, from 5% in 2018, but has some way to catch up to the US, where 23% of people own a smart speaker.
Commercial Radio Australia chief executive office Joan Warner said: “Podcasting in Australia is still in the early stages of take-up, but we expect it will follow the trend in the US, where there has been a significant jump in weekly podcast listeners over the past year. Interestingly, the 15% of Australians who listen to podcasts weekly listened to an average of six in the last week.”
The radio industry has invested significantly in podcast development and last year set up a cross-industry Podcast Committee to spearhead the understanding and growth of podcasting in Australia.
The latest Edison research shows radio continues to be the most used audio source in the car, with 85% of Australians listening to radio and 12% listening to podcasts in the car in the last month. Listening to CDs and owned digital music in car declined.
The Infinite Dial Australia Study, commissioned by CRA, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) via their PodcastOne subsidiary, and Triton Digital, is based on the US Infinite Dial, which has been running since 1998 and is the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behaviour in the US.
Key Australian findings include:
• Radio is the most popular audio platform with 83% of Australians surveyed using AM/FM or DAB+ in the last week
• Radio dominates in the car, with 85% of those who have driven or ridden in a car in the last month listening to radio, while 38% listened to a CD player, 26% to online audio streaming services, 21% to owned digital music and 12% to podcasts
• 22% of Australians listened to a podcast in the last month (32% in the US)
• 52% of Australians who have ever listened to a podcast have listened to a radio show catch-up podcast
• Awareness of the Australian radio industry’s free mobile app Radioapp has increased to 19%, and is now nearly on par with the long-established international TuneIn app (20%)
• Overall 83% of Australians use social media, with a slight decline in Facebook use (71%) and an increase in Instagram (44%) and WhatsApp (31%)
• Smart speaker awareness has grown from 62% a year ago to 82% currently, while ownership has increased from 5% to 13%
• Brand awareness of smart speakers in Australia shows Google Home leading with 77% awareness, compared to Amazon Alexa at 45% and Apple HomePod 45%.
Findings from the study can be downloaded at www.radioalive.com.au.
If winners have parties there could have a few ARN celebrations around the country this week.
By James Manning
With FM and AM stations dotted around Australia, ARN highlights in GfK’s radio survey two for 2019 were a major improvement at KIIS 1065, Gold returning to 10%+ in Melbourne and another impressive survey from ARN’s two Adelaide stations.
Kyle and Jackie O have been the force driving KIIS in Sydney, but getting that audience to stay across the day has sometimes been a challenge, until now. Just three surveys from the last 16 were over 9%, but it did it again this week.
“It’s always ideal to have a strong radio station as well as a strong breakfast show,” ARN’s national content director Duncan Campbell told Mediaweek. “We have done a fair bit of work on the daytime music, simplifying the offer and making it more consistent.”
Like Nova’s Paul Jackson mentioned here yesterday, Campbell too noted the change in the current music cycle, which is impacting radio audiences.
Campbell noted various stations have reacted to changing tastes differently: “We researched the impact of that and KIIS was able to position itself the most contemporary CHR station in Sydney. Nova retreated from that, but is starting to come back a little now.”
“The even better KIIS ratings at breakfast have helped drop a lot of audience into the workday listening. Overall for KIIS it has been a perfect storm and it is now a very strong radio station off the back of a strong breakfast show.”
The ratings wave was also good news for the KIIS drive show hosted by Will and Woody. “New drive shows will always benefit from a strong breakfast show. The stronger the cume audience in breakfast the stronger the drive performance will be. We saw that in Adelaide. It is not taking anything away from the hosts, but it does help in creating familiarity.
“Will and Woody have also improved and they have had some good story arcs during the last survey. That highlights their personalities and the content is more on brand and resonates with listeners.”
Turning to Melbourne, Campbell thinks 2019 will be Gold. “Survey one results are always difficult to gauge in terms of where the networks are positioned. After survey two you start to see how the year might unfold. We are looking much stronger on Gold with Christian O’Connell in breakfast and the gains are all in the key demographics.
“The main difference between Gold and smoothfm in Melbourne, our main competitor in the market, is that smooth’s growth is in demos you wouldn’t expect. For example 10-17 and 18-24. They are not great commercial demos for a station like smooth.
“Gold has great strength 40-54 – we have an 18% share to smooth’s 10%. Christian has also grown very strongly in that demo.
“When breakfast share catches up with the rest of the station, which I think will happen this year, we will have a very strong #1 radio station, which is a prime objective.
“It is a longer game [for us] only because that breakfast show was unknown when it was launched, but it is gaining familiarity which just takes time.”
ARN’s two Adelaide stations have turned in another extraordinary performance. As well as Mix growing it’s already big lead, AM music station Cruise 1323 has outrated Fiveaa for the second time in three surveys.
Looking after breakfast is John Dean, but the rest of the day is voice-tracked by ARN talent from around the network. “It is a very strong performer for an AM station, there is no doubt about that. There is not a big team of people working on it so it punches well above its weight.”
Campbell said he was looking forward to working again with Gary Roberts as the two will be reunited at Perth’s 96FM where the two both toiled in the station’s glory days. “I was very supportive of that appointment,” said Campbell.
“The excitement around the announcement and the anticipation of what he brings has been amazing. He has just walked in the building last week and already we go up 0.5. Who knows what the future holds!
“It is just what that team needs. A strong leader who knows Perth and no one knows Perth radio and the market better than Gary. There is a lot of work to do and he is the right man for that job.”
In Brisbane 97.3 is having its slowest start to a new year for a long time. “We are doing a lot of work on the product there,” said Campbell.
“Breakfast is showing incremental improvement and we think that will continue. We will get 97.3 back into a stronger position as the year unfolds.
“We might see some of the listening around Hit 105 dim a little. Nova is still strong in Brisbane and that will continue.”
The BBC is the top online international news brand amongst all affluent audiences in Australia for the second year in a row, according to the latest Ipsos survey of affluent audiences in APAC.
Across APAC, the BBC has also been named the fastest growing international news brand, having grown 6.8% year-on-year, and its international news channel, BBC World News was the fastest growing international news channel.
Alistair McEwan, SVP commercial development, APAC said: “With a competitive and ever-changing global media landscape, the need for impartial journalism and trusted news sources is becoming ever more important. Consumers are turning towards brands they know they can trust in Australia and across the world and these latest results prove the importance of the BBC brand in this market. Couple this with our increased investments into content effectiveness research and exciting new products across the platforms and we are providing more and more reasons for brands to partner with BBC Global News.”
The research also revealed that the BBC is Australia’s number one online international news brand for a range of affluent groups including all top management, business decision makers, high income individuals, affluent millennials, and amongst frequent international travellers.
ARN has extended its iHeartRadio license in Australia, providing listeners with access to the free, all-in-one digital audio entertainment platform until 2036.
ARN said this positions it to uniquely deliver all forms of broadcast and on-demand audio content in one place.
The partnership will see ARN broaden its capability and innovation in smart speaker integration for radio, podcasting development, data profiling and targeting, as well as exclusive access to a global platform development team.
Following a launch in 2013, iHeartRadio Australia has over 1.34 million registered users, and offers Australia’s largest podcast library with nearly 3 million episodes available from 25,000 global podcasts, local live radio from ARN, SBS, ABC, ACE and Macquarie Radio networks, international radio from the US and New Zealand, as well as personalised artist radio stations and unlimited genre-based stations tailored to audience or commercial preferences.
iHeartRadio Australia is integrated into over 65 devices in Australia including Google Home, Amazon Echo & Alexa, Telstra TV and Sonos. Recent integrations including Waze and Android TV continue to enable iHeartRadio listeners to more easily access the audio content they want, wherever they are.
HT&E CEO and managing director Ciaran Davis said: “We’re excited to be able to lead the evolution of Australia’s digital audio landscape, working alongside our US partner, iHeartMedia.
“As we move towards becoming a digital and data-enabled audio business, ARN is focussed on creating an unrivalled experience where audiences can access their broadcast and on-demand audio content in one place, and at any time.
“This extension not only strengthens our core brands, but will also see us focus our investment in resources and capability to deliver the most comprehensive audio solutions by extending our content and audience-generating strategies, and delivering rich data sets for all-inclusive, targeted solutions for our clients.”
Darren Davis, president of iHeartMedia Networks Group & iHeartRadio said: “iHeartMedia has watched ARN strengthen the iHeartRadio Australia brand and platform over the past six years. During this time, the service has experienced impressive growth in usage and engagement, which is no small feat in such a competitive market.
“We are delighted to continue our partnership with ARN, working together to bring Australian audiences more of the music and audio entertainment content they love on the devices they use most.”
The latest incarnation of Australia’s Got Talent just got even bigger with the reveal of its all-star judging panel.
Seven has looked internally for two of the four roles, adding an international star plus an Aussie TV star. How good must Shane Jacobson’s agent be? The two make a powerful entertainment combo.
The return of AGT to Seven will feature these judges:
NICOLE SCHERZINGER – Grammy-nominated singer, dancer and TV personality.
MANU FEILDEL – Acclaimed chef, author and My Kitchen Rules judge.
SHANE JACOBSON – AFI winning actor, director, writer and comedian.
LUCY DURACK – Award-winning stage and screen star.
Watched by half a billion people worldwide in 2018 alone, the Got Talent format is called the world’s most successful talent search with 72 local versions across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle-East, Africa and the Americas.
With the show at its peak globally, it’s now Australia’s turn to again join the Got Talent revolution with a supercharged, event-scale series like you’ve never seen before.
AGT judging panel
Nicole Scherzinger, who has sold 60 million albums as the lead singer of The Pussycat Dolls and 16 million records as a solo artist, arrives in Australia this month to start filming.
“It’s really wonderful to see every day people come on a stage and show their talent,” Nicole said. “These contestants can be your next-door neighbour or your grade school teacher – it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. The show reminds everyone they too can follow their dreams and honour their gifts – even if they’ve kept them hidden.
“I love watching undiscovered talent come into their own. It takes a lot of courage to get up on a stage with millions watching, and I want to be that voice of encouragement to help these contestants ultimately become the best versions of themselves.”
Before finding fame as a chef and TV presenter, Manu Feildel mastered juggling, unicycling and acrobatics at a circus school as a teenager. He says he’s looking forward to dishing out his opinions on this year’s stars in the making.
“I’m super excited! I’m a huge fan of good old entertainment. It’s the kind of family show I’d like to watch myself. It’s simply entertaining for all ages. It just puts a smile on your face. Expect fun! Fun and a lot of laughs.”
Global hit format
Got Talent has over 24 billion hits on YouTube. 2017 Asia’s Got Talent winner The Sacred Riana has the number one all-time video on Facebook with almost 700 million views and counting.
America’s Got Talent ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer and magician Shin Lim both enjoy unparalleled success at home and abroad.
Britain’s Got Talent discovered tenor Paul Potts, whose debut album topped the charts in 13 countries, and Susan Boyle, who has had number one albums in over 40 countries.
In Australia, the show has unearthed opera star Mark Vincent, singer/dancer Timomatic, R&B sensation Andrew De Silva, magician extraordinaire Cosentino and dance troupe Justice Crew, who competed this year against the world’s best in America’s Got Talent: The Champions.
The show also continues to smash ratings records around the world. In the UK, series 13 launched to 8.1 million viewers making it the number one show of 2019 to date. Meanwhile, America’s Got Talent: The Champions was the number show of the season last year averaging 14 million viewers per episode.
In 2019, a showcase of mind blowing acts that need to be seen to be believed will perform in front of the judges and a massive live theatre audience to win $100,000 prize money.
The world’s biggest entertainment show is headed to Sydney (May 11-14) and Melbourne (May 22-23). Be part of the audience and witness history in the making. For free tickets and location details, go to australiasgottalent.com.au
Australia’s Got Talent will premiere on Seven later in 2019.
The show is a Fremantle production for Seven.
The Got Talent format was created by Simon Cowell and is co-owned by SYCO Entertainment and Fremantle.
• Seven wins Wednesday, but House Rules stuck below 600k
• MasterChef a timeslot winner, cooks up 10’s best midweek share
• Your Generation launch can’t maintain Nine’s winning streak
By James Manning
• Seven News 1,080,000/1,064,000
• Nine News 961,000/943,000
• A Current Affair 773,000
• ABC News 693,000
• 7.30 626,000
• The Project 262,000/456,000
• 10 News First 393,000
• SBS World News 143,000
• Sunrise 268,000
• Today 207,000
Home and Away had another 700,000+ audience after episode on 667,000 and 748,000 this week.
House Rules is stubbornly refusing to lift above 600,000 for the third successive night, despite a Lego-free Wednesday zone.
It’s first week back this year looks like this:
• Sunday 782,000
• Monday 561,000
• Tuesday 550,000
• Wednesday 589,000
The premiere of the short season of the UK crime drama The Bay did 470,000.
Not everything on Nine is going to launch with 1m+, although it was beginning to feel that way.
After three nights of Lego Masters, season two of Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation started with 632,000.
Working Dog’s 1997 classic The Castle then did 364,000.
MasterChef was back above 700,000 and actually managed to narrowly outrate Monday’s launch episode of 715,000.
The penultimate episode of Bachelor In Paradise then did 434,000 after 440,000 on Tuesday.
Earlier in the night The Project did 456,000 with Ava Max in the studio and an interview with Brisbane’s Hazem Hamouda who spent 400 days in an Egyptian prison.
Bill Shorten was grilled by Leigh Sales on 7.30 with 626,000 watching.
Tim Minchin was then the subject on Anh’s Brush With Fame, which did 687,000 after 665,000 a week ago.
The Weekly then did 617,000 after 532,000 a week ago. The highlight of the show was Briggs and his roadside billboard he bought from QMS.
An episode of 24 Hours In Emergency (192,000) pulled the same number of viewers as Great British Railway Journeys.
Going Places With Ernie Dingo did 165,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.6%||7TWO||2.5%||GO!||3.2%||10 Bold||5.6%||VICELAND||1.0%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||2.7%||GEM||2.3%||10 Peach||2.4%||Food Net||0.7%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.7%||7TWO||3.4%||GO!||4.0%||WIN Bold||5.2%||VICELAND||1.6%|
|ABC ME||0.9%||7mate||3.7%||GEM||4.2%||WIN Peach||2.5%||Food Net||0.8%|
|ABC NEWS||1.4%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||2.6%||9Life||1.9%||Sky News on WIN||1.8%||NITV||0.1%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.6%|
|WEDNESDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
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
Nine Entertainment Co chief executive Hugh Marks is confident of retaining both radio star Alan Jones and a content deal with Disney within the expanded media conglomerate, reports The Australian’s Andrew White.
But Marks was noncommittal on talk of Nine buying out the minority interests in Macquarie Media after inheriting a controlling stake in the takeover of Fairfax Media last year and said little had been done to integrate the radio business into the group.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Macquarie investment conference in Sydney yesterday, Marks said he still hoped to meet a goal of completing all asset sales by June 30, with a sale of the Fairfax events business that includes the City-to-Surf run entering the final stages. Marks said Nine had received final offers from three bidders and expected to sign a deal shortly.
But he said the sale of the New Zealand website Stuff could take longer because it was smaller business in a small market.
Hot on the heels of a $125 million regional newspapers deal, Nine Entertainment Co has received a pair of binding bids for what was Fairfax Media’s events division, reports The AFR’s Street Talk.
Nine has its sale adviser Jefferies sifting through two separate bids – both of which are private equity backed and involve numerous parts and parties.
The bids were received on Tuesday, sources said.
The first was from a consortium including American events business Motiv and its private equity backer Black Shamrock Partners, whose interest in the events business has been known since early in the process.
The other bid is understood to be from a group calling themselves “Impressive Entertainment” and made up of three main backers.
The backers include Sydney-based investment and advisory business Divergent Group, led by businessman Daniel Sekers, and investment firms Redwood North and Parc Capital.
The Guardian and the Observer have broken even for the first time in recent history aided by record online traffic, reduced costs and increased financial contributions from readers.
The company said revenues at Guardian US and Guardian Australia have increased substantially, with both outlets considered to be financially sustainable.
Guardian News & Media recorded an UK£800,000 operating profit for the 2018-19 financial year – compared with a £57m loss three years previously – ensuring the business is existing on a sustainable basis following the culmination of a turnaround programme put in place following years of substantial losses.
The company said it had 655,000 regular monthly supporters across both print and digital, with a further 300,000 people making one-off contributions in the last year alone.
Total revenues at Guardian News & Media grew 3% to £223m a year, at a time when many rival publishers are experiencing substantial declines, with 55% of the company’s income coming from digital activities – a higher proportion than most other British news outlets.
Print advertising – once the bedrock of all newspaper income – accounts for 8% of the company’s total revenue, although the business remains committed to producing a print newspaper and has 110,000 print subscribers across the Guardian, Observer and Guardian Weekly.
Hulu has topped 28 million total subscribers in the United States, continuing its breakneck pace of growth as it competes for a larger share of the crowded streaming market, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
The streaming service grew its base by 40%, or around 8 million members, over the last year. During that time, Hulu has sought to attract more subscribers by aggressively cutting the price of its base ad-supported plan to $6 per month and striking a deal to bundle its video service for free with Spotify’s premium music subscription.
Not including the 1.3 million people who are signed up for Hulu through promotions like free trials, the service has 26.8 million paid members, up from 23 million at the end of 2018.
Hulu, which is only available in the US, remains smaller than rival Netflix, which at the end of March had more than 60 million domestic paid members.
Congratulations to Al Jazeera, the Middle Eastern broadcaster owned by Qatar. Its plan to smash One Nation has succeeded, writes News Corp’s Andrew Bolt.
The party will be shattered by the film Al Jazeera secretly shot of One Nation’s Queensland leader Steve Dickson groping a stripper and discussing the sexual performance of Asian women he’d slept with.
In fact, to make sure of it, someone in Al Jazeera gave that footage to Channel 9 at no charge, to run on Tuesday on A Current Affair.
Just why the Muslim-owned Al Jazeera wanted the Muslim-hostile One Nation destroyed can only be guessed at.
But that it set out to destroy One Nation seems unarguable, given the amazing resources and time it devoted to nailing a small political party on the other side of the world.
Al Jazeera has since said the tape – two hours of it – was given to A Current Affair without its permission.
But how interesting that it was given to a reporter, Dan Nolan, who has himself worked for Al Jazeera and said “it was leaked to us from Al Jazeera”.
Something stinks and not just Steve Dickson’s morals.
Claire Lehmann, the Australian woman once described as “the voice of the intellectual darkweb”, has secured hundreds of thousands of dollars from global investors to support the website she founded from her home in northern Sydney, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennife Duke.
Lehmann launched her site Quillette in October 2015 from her home in the northern Sydney suburb of Lindfield after becoming frustrated with what she claims is left-wing groupthink among some journalists and academics in debates about gender, race and other aspects of identity politics.
Roughly half of Quillette’s audience lives in the US. Australian investment banker and venture capitalist Mark Carnegie is also a supporter and has poured money into a funding round scheduled to end this week.
Quillette’s operations have so far largely been financed from reader donations and some online advertising, but Lehmann recently sought more substantial funding as the site looks to grow. She says she has raised a “few-hundred-thousand” dollars and won’t name other investors.
“I haven’t seen as strong a brand since I invested in Lonely Planet,” Carnegie said. “I don’t know if it will be as big as [American commentary magazine] The Atlantic or TED, but it’ll be a social project success.”
ESPN is ending the print run of its eponymous magazine, a lush, large periodical that the sports media giant started more than two decades ago and is killing now because it is losing money, reports The New York Times.
The company said “the vast majority” of the magazine’s readers now consume its journalism digitally rather than through the print version.
Eliminating the printed ESPN the Magazine, which frequently features award-winning in-depth articles, “will maximize our reach and impact,” the company said.
There are no immediate plans for layoffs, said two ESPN employees knowledgeable about the decision who were not authorised to speak publicly, and the final regular print issue will appear later this year. Its print production already had been reduced over the years, to 12 issues a year down from its original 26.
Sports Illustrated’s owner, the Meredith Corporation, has been trying to sell it for more than a year, after purchasing Time Inc. for $2.8 billion.
It’s a small list at best, but if any factual Australian television show is actually going to prosper from the current federal election campaign it may well be The Drum. The ABC’s weeknight current affairs and news analysis hour is meant to bypass smack-down shouting matches and partisan braying, and at a time when divisive qualities are in overdrive it has the potential to be a genuine alternative. New viewers might be surprised by what they find, comments The Age’s Craig Mathieson.
For viewers that aren’t used to it, one of the oddest things is how quiet it is. The rotating list of hosts – headlined by Ellen Fanning and Julia Baird – and the nightly guests speak at a conversational level. They’re not carrying a brusque tone or raised volume to discourage interruptions because it’s rare that guests interrupt one another. People tend to finish their answers, even if that leeway allows for some slight rambling. I’ll take that over clichéd digs.
It helps that the show airs between 6pm and 7pm Monday to Friday, which for many years has been a Bermuda Triangle for the ABC where many shows have entered and none have returned.
Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett is heading to Adelaide to direct a television series about Cornelia Rau, the mentally-ill Australian woman wrongly detained as an illegal immigrant in South Australia’s Baxter detention centre, reports News Corp’s Penelope Debelle.
Blanchett, the winner of two Oscars during a two-decade Hollywood career, will be behind the camera for the first time and it is understood that she also will play a character, but not the main role of Cornelia Rau.
An announcement on casting is believed to be some time later this month.
Blanchett has been in talks with her support crew about the series, which has a working title of Stateless and recently scouted locations in South Australia, including along the south coast.
First announced in 2015, Blanchett’s high-end TV series is being produced by Matchbox Pictures.
TV Tonight recently reported:
Tony Ayres, Elise McCredie & Liz Watts also executive produce with Emma Freeman (Glitch, Offspring) & Jocelyn Moorhouse (The Dressmaker) directing. When the project received Screen Australia development funding, Blanchett was announced as making her TV directing debut.
Casting is currently underway for Afghan girls aged 7-13 who speak Dari and English for two roles.
In a disused wing of the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Stephen Curry is waddling across the room, a drip tethered to his arm, utterly unconcerned that his butt cheeks are clearly visible through the crack at the rear of his hospital gown, reports The Age’s Karl Quinn.
Glamorous it’s not, but it is a fitting introduction to Mr Black, the curmudgeonly, mystery illness-afflicted former sports journalist he plays in 10’s new comedy series of the same name.
“It’s a bit of a tribute to my dad,” says Adam Zwar, who created the show and co-wrote it with his wife Amanda Brotchie, who also directs four episodes.
Zwar – himself a former journalist – has an enviable track record of creating successful comedic series, both in the scripted and unscripted space. With Jason Gann, he created Wilfred for SBS. He also created Lowdown (with Brotchie) and Squinters (with Trent O’Donnell), and the talking-heads advice series Agony (Aunts, Uncles, Of Life and beyond). And he’s spent a good chunk of the past couple of years in the States, honing his craft even further in the writers room of the US version of No Activity.
A controversial national tour attempted to be held by Married At First Sight D-Listers has been cancelled, reports News Corp’s Sally Coates.
A Nine spokesperson released a statement regarding the tour:
“The event was unauthorised and at no point did the organisers consult Nine nor seek Nine’s permission as would have been required to stage such an event. Nine did not cancel the event, but Nine will take action as necessary to protect the Married At First Sight brand and its rights.”
The tour was announced last week, titled Still Looking For Love and featuring the likes of Cyrell Paule, Mick Gould, Melissa Lucarelli and Ning Surasiang from the last season and hanger-on Dean Wells from the season before.
News.com.au’s Andrew Bucklow reports:
The Married At First Sight stage shows have been cancelled and it’s not due to poor ticket sales … apparently.
Nicole Kidman and some key members of the Emmy-winning Big Little Lies team are reuniting at Hulu, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Kidman will star in and executive produce Nine Perfect Strangers, for which the streamer has given a straight-to-series order. The drama is based on Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty’s novel and will reteam Kidman with BLL showrunner David E. Kelley and executive producer Bruna Papandrea.
Kidman’s Blossom Films and Papandrea’s Made Up Stories acquired the rights to the book in a pre-emptive deal in July 2018. The series is expected to premiere in late 2020.
Former Tennis Australia director Harold Mitchell has hit back at allegations he improperly helped Seven West Media win the broadcast rights to the Australian Open in 2012, insisting the board of the peak tennis body knew of a rival bid, reports The Age’s Sarah Danckert.
In a court case launched earlier this year, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) alleges Mitchell passed confidential information to Seven during the sale of the multimillion-dollar rights to help it win the bidding war for the iconic tennis competition.
The regulator has also alleged Mitchell and then Tennis Australia director Steve Healy withheld from other directors information about rival bids from Network Ten and US media group IMG.
Tennis Australia awarded Seven the Australian Open domestic broadcast rights for five years in 2013 for $195 million.
At the same time Ten had indicated it was prepared to offer up to $250 million. IMG, which owns the world rights to the FA Cup and has a deal with Football Federation Australia, made two separate offers for the five-year broadcast rights deal.
The trial is expected to begin in 2020. The next hearing will be held on May 17.