Multi Channel Network (MCN), in collaboration with Foxtel, has announced it is abolishing its traditional annual “UpFront” season – the annual showcase of upcoming TV programming – in favour of a new, interactive, year-long program of events at a landmark new space.
In July this year, MCN and Foxtel will officially open the doors to “Foxtel on Oxford”, an entertainment venue which has been custom built to better connect advertisers, agencies and subscribers with the Foxtel platform and its various content pillars.
Situated at the former Academy Twin cinema site at 1-11 Oxford Street in Paddington, Foxtel on Oxford will host a full program of content previews, technology demonstrations, and interactive workshops for advertising industry professionals, plus regular business and programming updates from MCN over the next 12-18 months. It will also connect Foxtel programming with subscribers through experiential activations and other special events.
Previously dormant for 10 years, the space has been revamped into a contemporary, connected entertainment hub that showcases the Foxtel iQ4 set-top box experience. Complete with a 250-seat state of the art cinema, the 1,800 square metre venue will house meetings, presentations, screenings and performances.
Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany said: “Foxtel on Oxford is a unique and exciting new concept for the Foxtel business. We have created a physical representation of the Foxtel brand to unite and delight all of our valued customers – from viewers to advertisers alike. Foxtel constantly strives to bring home Australia’s valued entertainment, and this new space will feature a program of events that brings to life our vast portfolio of sports, lifestyle and entertainment content for our community in new and exciting ways. Foxtel is the only entertainment and streaming company to boast its very own cinema and entertainment hub.”
MCN CEO Mark Frain commented: “Our constantly changing media landscape has shown us that we need to provide a deeper, richer ongoing conversation with both our agency and advertiser partners. As a result, we began looking at how we could adjust our approach to be more agile and reflect our clients’ day-to-day needs. We believe the answer is an “always-on” and personalised strategy, and so we are delighted to be launching Foxtel on Oxford as the new home of Australian advertising innovation.
“Our marketing program over the next 12-18 months will be an extension of the MCN advertising model; mass communication through targeted specialism, welcoming core groups of advertisers whether they be category based or genre based. This targeted approach will mean we can offer highly relevant information that helps advertisers deliver better advertising outcomes.”
MCN head of marketing and communications Sarah Tucker, who led the team responsible for the initial concept, added: “Following the highly successful Homefronts model MCN introduced five years ago, we are thrilled to once again offer the media and marketing industry a new and original UpFront concept. As our marketing home for the next year and a half, Foxtel on Oxford promises to provide our agency clients, marketers and partners with unique and dynamic ways to experience Foxtel content, more often. It’s extremely exciting to launch our very own entertainment space that allows us to showcase what Foxtel is really famous for: amazing content, and amazing viewing and advertiser experiences. I’d like to thank our incredible partners for their support.”
To transform the Academy Twin cinema site into Foxtel on Oxford, Foxtel and MCN have partnered with independent creative production company Alfred for the design, restoration and production of the space, Innovative Production Services for the technical services, and hospitality pioneer Merivale as the exclusive food and beverage provider.
Alfred founder and director Stuart Couzens said: “We are incredibly proud to have led a project that revives a historic entertainment site for Australia’s premium media network, Foxtel. For 100 years, this site was one of Australia’s most recognised cinemas, before closing its doors in 2010. Since then it has by and large remained empty – so it’s quite fitting it is being transformed into a resource for the media and entertainment industry. We’ve had a lot of fun re-inventing the space to allow people to touch and feel Foxtel’s world-class content, ensure Foxtel viewers can be invited to enjoy unique experiences, and the Foxtel community can connect with their favourite entertainment and sporting brands.”
As part of the partnership, Merivale will be promoting Made by Merivale – its new catering arm that provides clients with a great hospitality option for events that Merivale may not be able to accommodate at their own venues. Made by Merivale completes the Foxtel on Oxford experience, offering the personalised hospitality synonymous with Merivale’s portfolio of restaurants, bars and event spaces.
Merivale’s chief sales officer Kathy Savill said: “We’re thrilled to partner with Foxtel, MCN and Alfred on this exciting project and curate unique hospitality experiences that complement Foxtel’s diverse range of movie, sport and entertainment brands. Foxtel on Oxford screenings and events will have menus designed by the likes of Mr. Wong’s Dan Hong, Fred’s Danielle Alvarez or Bert’s Jordan Toft, perfectly paired with wine handpicked by master sommeliers and drinks created by award-winning cocktail gurus”.
Top Photo: Foxtel on Oxford exterior
• New CEO appointed to run houseandland.com.au and Joust
Proptech and fintech companies houseandland.com.au and Joust last week announced the appointment of digital executive Carl Hammerschmidt in the newly created role of chief executive officer.
Hammerschmidt is the second key media person helping to drive the growing businesses.
The other is Chris Taylor (pictured), chairman, who is better known in his other role as managing director, NBCUniversal International Networks and Television Distribution, Australia and New Zealand.
Hammerschmidt has over 15 years hands-on experience leading digital businesses and digital transformation in Australia, including roles in media with SBS, ACP, Nine, Bauer and with the NSW Government.
The appointment follows houseandland.com.au’s recent acquisition of a majority stake in online lending platform Joust.
Taylor has been with Houseandland.com.au for about four years after getting to know the founder, Dean Kyros, from Taylor’s time running Telstra Media and its digital publishing businesses.
Houseandland.com.au focuses in the growing house and land real estate sector, with Taylor telling Mediaweek that is not just vacant blocks of land. “There is an always expanding opportunity around the knockdown/rebuild sector too.”
Commenting on the appointment of Hammerschmidt, Taylor said: “We are excited to have Carl join as Houseandland.com.au’s CEO. He brings to the company extensive digital leadership experience, with a significant understanding of building businesses in complex environments, developing new income streams, and dealing with technological change and digital disruption.”
Taylor said a recent game-changer for the business was the acquisition of Joust late last year. “It is a real time auction system for home loans. There is a myriad of well-known participating banks. A customer goes online, gives details about the loan they are after and then watches the banks joust for the loan business in real time.
“The acquisition came about by us wanting a complete solution from wanting to create your dream home to financing it.
“After bringing together a proptech company with a fintech company we felt the company was ready for an experienced CEO.”
Hammerschmidt will be working across both products to scale the businesses and continue to grow their presence in the market.
He starts works in his new role on the two brands in mid-May.
Hammerschmidt said he was thrilled with the opportunity to further grow both houseandland.com.au and Joust.
“These two great products – with such strong alignment – present a unique opportunity, and I’m looking forward to building on the momentum and traction they’ve already been able to achieve.
“Innovation and digital disruption are driving an enormous amount of change in the real estate and personal finance markets – houseandland.com.au and Joust.com.au are well-placed to take advantage of that.”
Joust currently has 12 lenders taking part, including challenger brands owned by some of the major banks.
“It is still early days for the business. We have been marketing on radio across the past couple of months. In the near future we will also take it to television.
“The Joust opportunity is fascinating in the wake of the Hayne royal commission and revelations about trailing commissions. Joust gives the power back to the consumer as the world becomes a bit jaded with mortgage brokers. Joust brings absolute transparency to the process and it is the right product for the time.”
Taylor said the companies didn’t want to compete in the classified segment where people are well catered to by REA and Domain.
“We are free for people to list, like some of the major US real estate portals, and we derive income through upselling our software as a service which is the matching technology.”
The chair of the ABC Ita Buttrose has announced the appointment of David Anderson as the new managing director of the ABC.
Buttrose said, “Mr Anderson is an exceptional media professional with strong content, digital and strategic experience.
“The ABC board resolved unanimously to appoint David Anderson following a national and international search that produced many impressive candidates.
“With almost 30 years of service, David’s knowledge of the ABC is unsurpassed. He has a deep understanding of audience needs and the board is confident he has the skills and ability to respond to the challenges of a changing media environment.
“We believe he is the right person to lead the Corporation at this time. David already enjoys the trust and confidence of the ABC leadership team and staff and he is ideally placed to continue to provide strong leadership and direction,” Buttrose said.
Media reports said the other “impressive candidates” included TV producer Anita Jacoby and former SMH editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir. The Australian has reported the final two candidates left standing were Anderson and former Age editor-in-chief Paul Ramadge.
In accordance with the ABC Act, Anderson will be engaged for a term of five years and as managing director he has ultimate responsibility for all editorial content.
David Anderson said, “It is a privilege to be appointed to the role, overseeing one of Australia’s most loved and respected cultural institutions.
“I look forward to continuing to lead the ABC and allowing our talented teams to get on with what the ABC does best: serving the Australian people, delivering Australia’s finest agenda-setting news and current affairs, hosting conversations and telling stories that look and sound like Australia,” Anderson said.
Before stepping into the role of acting managing director in September last year, David Anderson was the director, entertainment & specialist, responsible for all ABC radio music networks (triple j, Double j, Classic, Country and Jazz), podcasts and specialist radio content (Radio National) as well as broadcast television networks (ABCTV, ABC Kids, ABC Comedy, ABC ME) and on-demand products and services (iview, ABC Listen, ABC Kids Listen, ABC Kids), and network websites and apps.
During his tenure Anderson has held several senior executive roles, including director of television, director of the ABC’s Digital Network and director of strategy & planning.
In his capacity as director of strategy & planning, Anderson worked to redeploy expenditure towards audience-focused content, products and services; and as director of digital network he led the corporation’s digital transformation by identifying ways to engage new audiences and creating a personalised and connected online network.
Top Photo: Ita Buttrose with David Anderson
Sigrid Thornton and John Howard are reprising their roles as Laura Gibson and Bob Jelly in Australia’s most treasured drama series, SeaChange, which commenced production today.
After the breakup of her marriage and then losing her job, Laura (Thornton) finds herself questioning her place in the world. But when she returns to the beachside paradise of Pearl Bay after 20 years, she learns that her family and her town need her as much as she needs them.
A stellar cast joins the multi-award-winning series: Brooke Satchwell (Wonderland, Packed to the Rafters), Dan Wyllie (Romper Stomper, No Activity, Gallipoli, Tangle), Darren McMullen (House Husbands, The Voice Australia), Katrina Milosevic (Wentworth, Winners & Losers, Offspring), Ella Newton (Playing for Keeps, Neighbours, Newton’s Law), Kate Lister (Bad Mothers, Neighbours) and Alex Tarrant (800 Words, Shortland Street).
Also returning to Pearl Bay is Heather Jelly, Bob’s estranged wife, played by Kerry Armstrong (The Wrong Girl, Halifax f.p., Blue Heelers), and local business owner Kev Findlay, played by Kevin Harrington (Underbelly, The Wrong Girl, The Dish).
Original creator and head writer, Deb Cox, returns as executive producer alongside Sigrid Thornton, Fiona Eager, ITV’s David Mott and Nine’s Andy Ryan and Jo Rooney. Lois Randall is producer with Wayne Blair as set up director.
SeaChange is an Every Cloud Productions and ITV Studios Australia production for Nine, with major production investment from Screen Australia and financed with support from Create NSW.
It is distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.
Top Photo: SeaChange stars Sigrid Thornton and John Howard at Nine’s Upfront in 2018
It was a mixed week that started with more triumph for Nine and the most successful new program launch of the year.
There was also cooking on two networks and a new judge joining the team on House Rules, which launched a new season.
Seven managed to win the week all people for the third week in a row with primary share and combined channel share.
Seven claimed leadership of the key demos with regard to combined channel share and 7mate was the most-watched multichannel.
Seven’s best was Seven News Sunday followed by the weekday bulletins. The My Kitchen Rules Grand Final was next. The series debut of House Rules did great business on 785,000, but it wasn’t a number any of the subsequent episodes could get close to. The short-run UK crime drama The Bay launched on Wednesday night at different times, following The Front Bar in some markets.
Nine’s week was all about Lego Masters with its three episodes in the top four places on the Week 18 rankings. With all episodes over 1m you don’t need too many other hits.
The channel’s next best after Lego Masters, News and A Current Affair was the return of season two of Talkin’ ’Bout Your Generation which did a slightly disappointing 630,000 midweek.
Nine managed to win the week 25-54 with the primary channel on 22.7% to Seven’s 20.2%.
10 had its equal-best all people share since week 4, 2019. Key to the turn-around was MasterChef, which peaked on 721,000 on Wednesday night with all four episodes in a narrow band between 721,000 and 678,000. The four episodes all made the top 10 under 50 programs for the week.
The primary channel was most competitive 16-39 with a share of 18.7%, with Nine #1 on 21.4% and Seven on 20.1%.
Bachelor In Paradise did well in its timeslots in key demos and 10 Play recorded its biggest week of the year in video segment views thanks to MasterChef, Bachelor In Paradise and Dancing With The Stars.
ABC’s best was Anh’s Brush With Fame with 687,000 watching, which was its only entry in the metro top 20 all people.
ABC News, Vera and then The Weekly didn’t miss that list by much though.
Four Corners was well down the rankings with an unusually smaller audience under 450,000.
SBS had a show close to 400,000 with the launch of Who Do You Think You Are? that featured Scott Cam in the first episode of the new season. It helped deliver the channel’s best Tuesday share in 16 weeks.
The next best was Insight on Tuesday with 259,000, followed by The Secrets Of Britain on 227,000.
MTV and Viacom Digital Studios International have announced a new reality show featuring Australian music act, The Veronicas.
Produced by MTV Australia and premiering later this year, Jess & Lisa: The Veronicas (working title) will give MTV’s global audience an all access pass to the raw and honest reality of their lives as Jess and Lisa Origliasso
The series is currently in production and will premiere across MTV global linear and digital platforms in 2019.
Bruce Gillmer, global head of music and talent, Viacom, and co-brand head, MTV International said: “We continue to invest in great content, and are committed to connecting audiences with the music and artists they love.
“The Veronicas were part of our first-ever MTV PUSH launch in 2009, and we are so excited to work with them again and give fans a new, behind the scenes look into their lives and music in a way only MTV can do.”
Jess and Lisa Origliasso said, “We grew up with MTV and to be able to create a show together, bringing people closer inside our lives of music and as sisters, is going to be a wild ride.”
Originally from Brisbane, the identical twin Origliasso sisters rose to stardom when they released their debut album The Secret Life Of… and achieved further success with singles 4Ever, Untouched, Hook Me Up, You Ruin Me, In My Blood and most recently Think Of Me.
With a career that spans over 15 years, The Veronicas were the first Australian artists ever to have a single certified Platinum in the US with over 1 million paid downloads of 2007’s Untouched. They have since amassed ten top 10 hits in Australia including three #1s, 500 million-plus streams, two ARIA Awards and over 175 million YouTube/vevo views.
The 17 year old took the stage at St Kilda’s Prince Bandroom performing for competition winners, celebrities, media and industry reps, showing off her vocal range, on-stage presence and standout fashion.
The show started with the tracks Bad Guy and You Should See Me in a Crown from her debut album ‘WHEN WE FALL ASLEEP WHERE DO WE GO?’ before performing Ocean Eyes, When the Party’s Over, My Strange Addiction, Idontwannabeyouanymore, All the Good Girls, Bellyache and she finished the show with Bury a Friend.
Hosted by Nova 100’s morning announcers Matt Tilley & Troy Ellis, guests included Nova’s Marty Sheargold, Nova 100’ Jonathan ‘Browny’ Brown and Mel Tracina, NOVA Entertainment CEO Cathy O’Connor, Group Program Director Paul Jackson, Chief Marketing Officer Tony Thomas, Nova Perth PD Dan Underhill, Brisbane Nova PD Jay Walkerden, smoothfm’s Ty Frost, Michael Gudinski, Universal’s Darren Aboud and Ben Facey, Neighbours actors Olympia Valance, Takaya Honda, Zima Anderson, Gemma Donovan, Ben Hall, Tim Kano, and Olivia Junkeer.
Singles: Taylor Swift debuts at #2, but can’t topple Lil Nas X
Albums: P!nk resumes her rightful place with sixth #1 album
Artists really lock into top of the singles chart. So much so that not even a musical force like Taylor Swift had the sonic power to push aside Lil Nax X and stop him from a third week at #1 with Old Town Road.
Although Taylor Swift had to settle for #2 on the ARIA Chart, she did set a new record this week for the fastest to 100m views on Vevo. Along the way she also set a YouTube record with 65m plays on the platform in 24 hours. Helping keep the video frenzy going is a second video for her single Me! in addition to a couple of behind-the-scenes clips. Swift and Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie opened the Billboard Music Awards during the week with the song. Get ready for plenty more chart action from the second highest paid woman in music* as Me! is the first track from her seventh album with no title or release date yet revealed.
Just one other track debuted inside the top 50 – P!nk featuring Khalid with her album title track Hurts 2B Human at #48. P!nk’s highest position on the singles chart belongs to Walk Me Home which climbed from #20 to #13 in the 10th week on the chart.
A big mover this week was Power Is Power from SZA, The Weeknd and Travi$ Scott. It moved to #30 from #54 in its second week.
The chart turns P!nk this week with the US hit machine cracking top spot with her eighth album Hurts 2B Human. This makes it six #1 albums for P!nk after her most recent chart-topper Beautiful Trauma in October 2017. Australia remains P!nk’s happiest hunting ground out of the major English-speaking markets with two #1 albums so far in the US and three in the UK (including Hurts 2B Human).
P!nk had plenty of chart competition this week too with four other albums also managing to rank in the top 10 on debut:
#3 Rob Thomas with Chip Tooth Smile. Fourth solo album – all have debuted top 5, with his first, …Something To Be, peaking at #1.
#4 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard with Fishing For Fishies. This might be the first album of new material in over 12 months, but they were no strangers to the charts in recent years with re-releases. The band is touring Australia in July then touring its music globally though much of the rest of 2019 from August.
#6 Hillsong United with People. No stranger to the charts either with both studio and live albums. This is one of over 10 live albums and the third in the past three years with all of them top 10.
#9 Catfish And The Bottlemen with The Balance. The Welsh indie rock band’s second top 10 entry with their third album.
Then another four artists managed to land debut albums lower down the top 50:
#11 ScHoolboy Q with Crash Talk. Remarkably consistent chart performance from the US rapper after two of his previous three albums peaked at #11.
#22 Marina with Love + Fear. A Welsh chart attack this week as this is the fourth album from Welsh singer Marina Diamandis, and her first not under the name of Marina and the Diamonds.
#28 The Cranberries with In The End. The final album from the Irish rock band using demos recorded by the late Dolores O’Riordan.
#33 David Campbell with Back In The Swing. (Also #1 on the ARIA Jazz & Blues Chart.) The multimedia star is back with a new album – his second in just on six months and his third album of Swing tunes. Campbell worked on this with arranger and producer Chong Lim, as well as his on-stage musical director Joe Accaria. Songs include Come Fly With Me, Stevie Wonder’s For Once In My Life, I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch), New York State Of Mind and Rhapsody In Blue.
*As ranked by Forbes in 2018. Katy Perry was #1 thanks in part to a concert tour.
As expected, PlayStation 4 exclusive Days Gone debuts at the top of the video game retail sales chart this week.
By Cam Shea, games editor, IGN Australia
The highly anticipated title puts an open-world spin on much of the formula established by The Last of Us, taking players into a post-apocalyptic game where they must scavenge to survive and face overwhelming odds. Unfortunately, the end result feels messy and repetitive, but that hasn’t stopped the massive PlayStation 4 install base from picking it up. The real test will be how it sells over the longer term.
In second place this week is Mortal Kombat 11; arguably the best game in the series’ 27 year history, and proof that behind its ridiculously gory Fatalities is a rock solid fighting game with enough depth to go the distance.
Curiously, last week’s top title, World War Z, is nowhere to be seen in these charts, with the rest of the top ten comprised of familiar faces from the last year… or two, in the case of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
• Lego Masters builders construct another Nine ratings win
• House Rules Sunday down week-on-week, but second best ep
• First MasterChef Sunday records smallest audience so far
• The Fifth Element movie marathon scores for Viceland
By James Manning
• Seven News 1,095,000
• Nine News 1,006,000
• ABC News 708,000
• The Sunday Project 234,000/420,000
• Insiders 300,000
• 10 News First 221,000
• SBS World News 152,000
• Sunrise 236,000
• Today 198,000
A bathroom and the walk-in wardrobe on the first renovated home on House Rules secured a win for Katie and Alex. They topped the leader board with 25 out of 30. The second Sunday episode was on 684,000 after launching with 785,000 a week ago. That number was better though than any of the Mon-Wed episodes screened last week.
Sunday Night then did 434,000 after a break last week.
Lego Masters was down over 250,000 week-on-week, but it remained over 1m and was the clear Sunday champion as it led Nine to start the week with another win.
60 Minutes was on 586,000 after 526,000 a week ago.
No Australian Crime Stories again this week, instead the timely Meghan And Harry: Baby Fever, special which did a modest 277,000.
The first Sunday outing for MasterChef Australia was also the first elimination episode after a surprise Black Mystery Box challenge. Huda was the first to depart after a challenging night in the kitchen. The Sunday audience of 638,000 was the smallest audience so far this season.
The Sunday Project was the next best on 420,000 at 7pm.
Later in the night the final episode of this season of Hughesy, We Have A Problem did 311,000. It was a Rove Live reunion with Rove McManus and Pete Helliar among the guests.
It was a Sunday crime night, which delivered the highest Sunday shares this year outside of the Easter fortnight.
The start of Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders did 602,000 at 7.30pm.
It was followed by the final of this season of Vera on 735,000.
Part two of David Baddiel On The Silk Road did 152,000.
Part one of Waco: Madman Or Messiah then did just 71,000.
However Viceland was doing good business with its screenings of The Fifth Element with two of the screenings on 80,000 each.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.4%||7TWO||3.8%||GO!||4.2%||10 Bold||2.1%||VICELAND||1.1%|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||5.6%||GEM||2.8%||10 Peach||2.5%||Food Net||0.6%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.6%||7TWO||3.7%||GO!||2.9%||10 Bold||3.5%||VICELAND||1.0%|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||8.9%||GEM||3.9%||10 Peach||1.9%||Food Net||1.1%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.3%||7TWO||2.7%||GO!||2.6%||10 Bold||2.4%||VICELAND||3.0%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||4.7%||GEM||2.4%||10 Peach||1.7%||Food Net||0.8%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.3%||7TWO||3.8%||GO!||3.1%||WIN Bold||1.9%||VICELAND||3.1%|
|ABC ME||0.9%||7mate||5.6%||GEM||5.5%||WIN Peach||1.6%||Food Net||1.0%|
|ABC NEWS||1.4%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.6%||9Life||2.0%||Sky News on WIN||1.0%||NITV||0.2%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.1%|
|SUNDAY METRO ALL TV|
Friday Top 10
Saturday Top 10
Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM
Seven West Media’s Kerry Stokes-led board is conducting a discreet search for a chief operating officer as the free-to-air business beefs up a digital strategy across its television and publishing divisions, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.
Media sources have speculated that the move to employ a new senior executive could be part of a plan to replace chief executive Tim Worner, who has been at Seven since 1995 and chief executive since 2013.
A Seven source disputed there was any suggestion Worner would leave the business but agreed the potential new hire could feature in succession planning in and said there was a need for “more digital skills around the management table”.
“I don’t need to prove myself,” Australia’s newest media mogul Antony Catalano tells The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke and John McDuling.
“I’ve turned Fairfax’s loss-making papers into $23 million profit centre when I ran MMP [Metro Media Publishing]. I turned Domain from a $200 million business to a $2.3 billion float.
“I don’t have a point to prove.”
Catalano admits that part of his plan is to return The Canberra Times to “its former strengths” as more of a national publication with a bigger influence in federal politics. “I think it was a much more authoritative voice on Australian politics and the national news than it currently is,” he says.
Reviving the daily newspaper in the national capital will bring its own set of challenges. “They make less money than they did so they’re unlikely to attract a Laura Tingle-type journo [ABC’s chief political correspondent] and getting some of the big name Canberra journos would be difficult without finding new revenue opportunities,” Catalano admits.
And what those revenue opportunities are, even he isn’t yet sure. “I don’t think we’re going to see significant print upticks in the years to come. That’s never going to happen.”
Australian Community Media’s new owner, Antony Catalano, is willing to consider consolidation among regional publishers but remains committed to trying to grow revenues and readership of his newspapers rather than cutting deeper into costs, reports The Australian’s Andrew White.
In an interview with The Australian, Catalano also outlined a three-pronged strategy to restore the papers after years of cost-cutting and underinvestment.
The new owners would need to invest in the sales team to generate higher advertising revenue, make a bigger commitment to technology and people to develop a digital strategy across the 160 mastheads and websites and consider opportunities to invest in content and hire more journalists.
Catalano said he had not had any discussions about consolidation with News Corp, which owns 12 regional daily newspapers and 60 community titles, but did not believe putting them together would cause competition concerns.
Only four of the 250 titles across the two groups overlap, Catalano added.
SBS has announced that it will be bringing a channel dedicated to international cinema to all Australians with the launch of SBS World Movies free-to-air and in HD, from 1 July 2019.
The dedicated 24-hour channel is promising a diverse range of movies reaching all corners of the globe, building on SBS’s long legacy as the home of distinctive and multilingual films, including almost 25 years of World Movies as an offering on subscription services.
Foxtel dropped the World Movies channel on January 31 last year. The channel was originally a JV between Kerry Stokes and APN News & Media when it first launched in 1995. SBS later bought out its partners in 2009.
SBS World Movies will be a celebration of the diversity of global cinema with at least half the titles on the channel in a language other than English, and featuring everything from European art-house films to the best of Bollywood cinema, romantic comedies to anime, award-winning favourites, acclaimed new releases, and much more.
The channel will broadcast more than 700 films each year, with international titles including recent award winning and critically acclaimed films such as Amanda (France), The 12th Man (Norway), Just A Breath Away (France, pictured second from left), Ash is the Purest White (China, pictured above left), Aligarh (India, pictured above, right), Girl (Belgium), Killing of a Sacred Deer (UK, pictured above second from right), and many more. Launch titles will be announced in the coming weeks.
SBS said its new World Movies channel will also feature curated seasons of special programming to mark cultural events, festivals and celebrations such as Diwali, Lunar New Year, International Women’s Day and Mardi Gras.
Each week, the schedule will feature a Women in Film double-bills, as well as Festival Favourites and a showcase of films from countries with emerging film industries.
SBS World Movies will broadcast in HD on channel 32 alongside SBS’s existing channels, SBS, SBS VICELAND, SBS Food and NITV. SBS World Movies will also be SBS’s third HD channel.
Taking over at MCN, chief executive Mark Frain was given the task of building up the sales side of the new 24-hour channel, Fox Cricket, following Foxtel’s more than $100 million per year splash on Cricket Australia’s broadcast rights last year to try to reduce subscriber churn over summer, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
He’s also been working closely with Foxtel boss Patrick Delany for a sales model for Kayo, the pay TV business’ sports streaming service launched in November last year. Foxtel is also plotting another entertainment-focused streaming service in its attempts to take on market dominant players Netflix and Stan.
“The advanced advertising team at MCN are going to go into FY20 with a whole new suite of products that 12 months ago we didn’t really know where going to exist,” Frain says, noting MCN will launch dynamic ad-insertion on Kayo, allowing different ads to be served to different people based on preferences and data collected even when they are watching the same stream.
Ratings Tuesday is usually a day of celebration around the corridors of 2GB, but not everyone was punching the air when Ray Hadley was invited by management to address the team on the back of his latest ratings triumph, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Andrew Hornery.
Hadley, who is currently the subject of three bullying complaints made by current 2GB staff stemming from alleged events in recent months, gave an emotional account of the difficult few months he has been through and talked about some of the problems his son, former policeman Daniel Hadley, had been experiencing.
Missing in the crowd was Hadley’s fellow star broadcaster Alan Jones, who insiders say is none too pleased about his negotiations for a new contract with Macquarie Media, which is majority owned by Nine.
As the cold war between Sydney talk radio’s biggest star and his bosses at 2GB enters its eighth month, Alan Jones has finally received an offer of a new two-year radio contract – one a proposing an almost 50% pay cut for AM radio’s highest paid star, reports News Corp’s Annette Sharp.
The new contract would see the broadcaster’s salary plummet from $4 million a year to $2 million.
Sources close to Jones believe the relationship between the veteran radio star and 2GB management is now irreparable and was further aggravated last week when CEO Adam Lang asked 2GB mornings host Ray Hadley to address staff, despite him being the subject of bullying claims by staff members who were in the audience.
For Jones, money is not the only sticking point.
In a meeting with Marks at the beginning of the year, Jones is said to have refused to re-sign unless 2GB CEO Lang, who has been instrumental in a grand plan to replace Jones at breakfast with Hadley from July 1, was moved on.
The Sky News/Courier-Mail People’s Forum was broadcast live at 6:30pm AEST on Sky News Live and reached 136,000 viewers on Foxtel, representing an average audience increase of 250% on the same timeslot for the month of April.
The Sky News /Courier-Mail People’s Forum was also broadcast live on Sky News on WIN, a dedicated free-to-air commercial news channel available in 30 markets across WIN’s regional network, and live streamed on CourierMail.com.au and SkyNews.com.au.
The average metro audience watching the coverage across the mainland capital cities was 50,000.
The mainstream media has called for changes to defamation law to restore the effectiveness of the statutory cap on damages and bring these payouts back into line with compensation for physical injuries, reports The Australian’s Chris Merritt.
The media industry’s Right to Know coalition has urged the states and territories to change the uniform Defamation Acts in a way that would overturn a judicial interpretation of the cap that has led to a series of record payouts.
The cap was introduced in 2005 and ostensibly limits payouts for harm to reputation to an amount that has grown with indexation to reach just under $400,000.
But the words of the Defamation Act have recently been interpreted by judges in a way that has enabled the cap to be exceeded by more than 100 per cent.
Actor Geoffrey Rush won $850,000 when the cap was just under $400,000; the four Wagner brothers each won $750,000 from Macquarie Radio when the cap was $398,500; and actor Rebel Wilson and barrister Lloyd Rayney each won $600,000 when the cap was $389,500.
Can lightning strike a third time for Nine in 2019? After impressive ratings performances on Sunday nights this year for both Married At First Sight and more recently Lego Masters, the channel has revealed the start date for its next primetime format.
The series Nine is calling Australia’s favourite entertainment sensation, The Voice, will return to the channel on Sunday, May 19, at 7.00pm, promising incredible talent and bringing world-first additions to the stage in the most explosive season yet.
In its eighth season, The Voice will premiere over three nights on Sunday, May 19, Monday, May 20 and Tuesday, May 21.
Reigning queen Kelly Rowland, supreme champion Delta Goodrem, warrior icon Boy George and the new force on the coaching panel, Guy Sebastian, are the four superstar coaches, with Sonia Kruger returning as host.
“I’m really pumped to be a coach on the new season of The Voice,” Sebastian said. “Being a musician over the last 15 years has been an extremely fulfilling time. I love that I can share my experience with new aspiring artists so we can inject some fresh talent into the music industry.”
In a Voice world first, the blind auditions welcome the All Stars, championed fan favourites who missed out on a chance to win in previous seasons who return in season eight for redemption.
THE VOICE FORMAT IN 2019
Blind Auditions: Meet the hopefuls who will audition for our coaches for the chance to turn a chair and secure a place on one of the four teams.
Knockouts: The top 48 artists go head-to-head in groups of three as they perform a song their coach has chosen within a theme. There are two exciting “saves” for each coach to add artists to their team.
Battles: In this stage of the competition artists perform in pairs. One artist wins the battle and each coach gets a wildcard to take through from the unsuccessful artists on their team, resulting in four artists per team moving into the finals.
Finals: The top 16 artists battle it out for a place in the Grand Final where the Top 4 will compete to win The Voice Australia 2019.
The winner of The Voice will receive the grand prize of a recording contracting with EMI and $100,000 in prize money.
The Voice Australia is filmed at Fox Studios in Sydney and produced by ITV studios for Nine.
A Labor government will consider tightening the anti-siphoning laws that keep live sport off pay television after some major cricket games were broadcast exclusively by News Corp’s Foxtel over the summer, reports Nine’s Jennifer Duke and Fergus Hunter.
In a warning to Foxtel, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and Telstra, Labor communications spokeswoman Michelle Rowland said the party would “examine” the anti-siphoning laws if her party win the May 18 election.
Rowland described the “great anger from consumers [of cricket] that was traditionally shown on free-to-air and then all of a sudden put behind a paywall” after Cricket Australia agreed to a $1.2 billion broadcast deal last year.
A 10 spokeswoman said the free-to-air broadcaster would support an anti-siphoning review, saying the rules exist “to give Australians access to free TV coverage of our most treasured national sports but at the moment you could drive a truck through them”.
A spokesman for Seven West Media said that without the anti-siphoning list, “far less, if any, cricket would currently be available on free to air television”.