News Corporation has released its financial results for the third quarter of its financial year.
Revenues were US$2.46 billion, a 17% increase compared to $2.09 billion in the prior year, reflecting the consolidation of Foxtel and continued strength at the Book Publishing segment
• Net income was $23 million compared to a net loss of ($1.1) billion, which included non-cash impairment charges and write-downs of $1.2 billion in the prior year
• Foxtel expanded its over-the-top services with 714,000 total paying OTT subscribers, which includes Kayo Sports and Foxtel Now, growing over 80% since the beginning of the calendar year
• Digital-only subscribers for The Wall Street Journal grew 19% in the quarter to a new record of approximately 1.8 million
• HarperCollins demonstrated another strong financial performance driven by new releases and backlist sales
Commenting on the results, chief executive Robert Thomson said:
“News Corp reaped rewards from our digital strategy this quarter, underscored by a robust rise in digital subscriptions across our media properties, a sharp increase in digital audio book sales and continued expansion at our digital real estate businesses despite volatile conditions in property markets.
“For the third quarter, the company saw 17% revenue growth and a 36% increase in profitability, reflecting the consolidation of Foxtel and the sterling performance overall at HarperCollins. And for the nine months, our revenues were 20% higher and profitability was 29% higher compared to the prior year.
“At the news and information services segment, digital paid subscriptions continued their ebullient expansion, with growth of over 19% to nearly 1.8 million at The Wall Street Journal.
“HarperCollins delivered a particularly strong result, with profitability increasing 29%, highlighted by 30% revenue growth in digital audio books and increased revenue from its comprehensive backlist and a strong suite of new releases, which are generating much momentum.
“Within our subscription video services segment, the recently launched over-the-top subscription service, Kayo Sports, showed much promise, gathering 239,000 subscribers since its launch late last year, 209,000 of which were paying, as of May 8. Since the beginning of this calendar year, the number of our total paying OTT subscribers has increased more than 80% to 714,000.”
In its news and information services, News Corp reported revenues in the quarter decreased $62 million, or 5%, as compared to the prior year, reflecting a $52 million, or 4%, negative impact from foreign currency fluctuations.
Within the segment, Dow Jones revenues grew 1%, while revenues at News UK and News America Marketing each declined 8% and News Corp Australia revenues declined 7%. Adjusted revenues for the segment decreased 1% compared to the prior year.
Digital revenues represented 31% of news and information services segment revenues in the quarter, compared to 29% in the prior year. For the quarter, digital revenues for Dow Jones and the newspaper mastheads represented 36% of their combined revenues, and at Dow Jones, digital accounted for 55% of its circulation revenues. Digital subscribers and users across key properties within the News and Information Services segment are summarised below:
• The Wall Street Journal average daily digital subscribers in the three months ended March 31, 2019 were 1,775,000, compared to 1,490,000 in the prior year (Source: Internal data)
• Closing digital subscribers at News Corp Australia’s mastheads as of March 31, 2019 were 493,200, compared to 409,000 in the prior year (Source: Internal data)
• The Times and Sunday Times closing digital subscribers as of March 31, 2019 were 286,000, compared to 230,000 in the prior year (Source: Internal data)
• The Sun’s digital offering reached more than 84 million global monthly unique users in March 2019, compared to 84 million in the prior year, based on ABCe (Source: Omniture)
As of March 31, 2019, new Foxtel’s total closing subscribers were 2.896 million, which was higher than the prior year, primarily due to the launch of Kayo Sports, subscriber growth at Foxtel Now and the inclusion of commercial subscribers of Fox Sports Australia beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, partially offset by lower broadcast subscribers.
2.4 million of the total closing subscribers were broadcast and commercial subscribers, and the remainder consisted of Foxtel Now and Kayo Sports subscribers.
As of May 8, 2019, there were 239,000 Kayo Sports subscribers, of which 209,000 were paying subscribers. For the same period, there were 567,000 Foxtel Now subscribers, of which 505,000 were paying subscribers. Broadcast subscriber churn in the quarter was 17.7% compared to 15.3% in the prior year, reflecting the impact of the price increase implemented in October.
Broadcast churn improved to 16.2% in March and 15.1% in April. Broadcast ARPU for the quarter declined 1% compared to the prior year to over A$79 (US$57), as the impact from the price increase was more than offset by a negative impact related to the adoption of the new revenue recognition standard.
The news comes as audiences have turned away from the cancelled Nine Footy Show, but they are still turning up in big numbers for live matches on Seven plus programming like The Front Bar.
After seven rounds, the 2019 AFL season has grown its audience by 16% compared to the same time last year, and in the process has reached almost 11 million Australians.
The growth in year-on-year AFL viewing peaked across round seven, the most recent completed round of the 2019 season, with 37% more people tuning in to Seven’s coverage of the AFL compared to the same round in 2018.
Seven’s AFL broadcasts are ratings juggernauts, securing enormous commercial broadcast television audience shares of 48.8% on Friday nights, 51.5% on Saturday nights, and 51.5% on Sunday nights.
The key demographic of males aged 16 to 54 years old is tuning into Seven’s coverage of the AFL in droves, with Sunday matches seeing 70% of M16-54 commercial free to air television viewers watching Seven’s coverage in Melbourne and Adelaide, as well as 63% in Perth. Friday nights see 58% of this same demographic watching Seven’s coverage in Melbourne, and 67% in Adelaide.
The success of the 2019 AFL Season hasn’t been confined to the field, with The Front Bar going from strength to strength on the screens of Seven. Armchair Experts, which returned for a second season on 7plus and Twitter after reaching 1.5 million viewers in 2018, is engaging new audiences and has this year secured new commercial partnerships, including with PointsBet.
Pat Moloughney (pictured), director – network sport sales, said: “We couldn’t be happier with how the 2019 AFL Premiership Season has kicked off, and we know our commercial partners are just as happy. This massive year-on-year growth shows just how much Australians loved footy and how important it is for brands.
“Our partners are reaching more of the people they want to reach, delivering them a better return on their investment and confirming that Seven’s AFL coverage is the best place to reach the key audiences that they are targeting.
“And of course, the action continues off the field with The Front Bar, which has cemented itself as the number-one footy show on television, and with Armchair Experts, which brings analysis and commentary to a new audience, providing new opportunities for our partners. We can’t wait to see what the rest of this season brings.”
A radio campaign by Clemenger BBDO Sydney for Dry July has won the Gold Siren Award for Australia’s best radio campaign at the 15th annual Siren Awards hosted by comedian and Triple M breakfast host Lawrence Mooney.
Mooney kept the audience of ad agency creatives entertained with a stand-up set before he got to the short presentation formalities where five Siren Awards were handed out. “If only the Logies was this short,” said Mooney.
The Triple M Sydney breakfast host, who is moving himself and his family to Sydney from Melbourne this weekend, said he was warned the audience last night was self-indulgent and cocaine addicted. “That is why I am doing this gig.”
The jokes flowed for some time and included a health warning about life expectancy for men and some more of his Malcolm Turnbull impersonation. “I have for along time made hay from Malcolm Turnbull. Unfortunately that gravy train is drying up.” He then gave it one more workout.
Mooney also explored marriage – “Marriages are like bushfires, you either get out early or stay and defend” – and living in Brighton before his move to Sydney, and the sort of people the Melbourne bayside suburb attracts.
2019 Siren Awards GOLD
• Ben Clare & Celia Mortlock Clemenger BBDO Sydney “Ducking Autocorrect” for Dry July
SILVER Radio Single
• Christie Luxton, Cristian Staal & Shaun Conroy Clemenger BBDO Brisbane “Barbershop” for Keno
SILVER Radio Campaign
• Ben Clare & Celia Mortlock Clemenger BBDO Sydney “Ducking Autocorrect” for Dry July
SILVER Radio Craft
• Mike Lange & Michael Thomas Cutting Edge “Barbershop” for Keno
• John Skaro, Phil van Bruchem, Rachel Blacklaws & Alex Walding BWM Dentsu & Cox Inall Change “Bill Bowelly” for Bowel Cancer Australia
Seven Studios has commenced principal photography on its female-driven romantic thriller Secret Bridesmaids’ Business starring Abbie Cornish (Jack Ryan, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Robocop), Katie McGrath (Supergirl, Merlin, Jurassic World) and Georgina Haig (Once Upon A Time, The Crossing, Limitless).
Seven Studios developed Secret Bridesmaids’ Business as a pivotal drama in its development strategy to produce high quality series for the Australian and international markets.
A bride’s perfect wedding turns deadly after one of her bridesmaids unknowingly invites a malevolent stranger into their lives, triggering a deadly chain reaction that blows open a hidden world of secrets. As the thriller series unfolds, the power of female friendship could be the difference between life and death.
Abbie Cornish plays Melanie. Mother, wife, with a successful career and a beautiful home…. To family and friends, it appears she has an idyllic life. However, when her life choices are put to the test by some harsh home truths, her ideal world starts to spiral out of control. “There is a sharp dichotomy between Melanie’s seemingly perfect suburban life with a happy marriage and wonderful children versus her increasing ventures into the unknown and often dangerous. From the first moment, I was drawn to Melanie’s complexities as a mid-30’s woman whose concerns, stresses, and priorities are eerily relevant to suburban life. Hers is a story begging to be told,” Abbie said.
Katie McGrath is Saskia. A fast-rising lawyer and an arresting, high-octane British truth-bomb. She is relentlessly intelligent and fiercely loyal. An assured, wildly-independent bisexual, Saskia defies pigeonholing and holds a secret that could mean the end of friendship with her best mate, Olivia. “I love the core friendship of the three very different women. Each woman is strong in her own way, but knows how to be vulnerable with their friends,” said Katie.
Georgina Haig plays Olivia. Her near-death experience with leukaemia has made her determined to follow her dreams. Olivia is vibrant, witty and an optimist. When she discovers something very dark about a loved one, it drives her to bury her own secret to protect those around her. “Olivia is a grounded optimist who tries to be less vulnerable than she is, because she wears her heart on her sleeve but wishes she didn’t so much. She’s tough one minute then crumbling the next,” said Georgina.
The cast also includes: Alexander England (Alien: Covenant, Offspring, The Beautiful Lie), Dan Spielman (Deep Water, The Code, Sisters), Oliver Ackland (The Originals, 100 Bloody Acres, Satisfaction), Annie Jones (Wentworth, Jack Irish) and Nicholas Bell (A Place To Call Home, Wentworth, Mad as Hell).
Seven Studios CEO Therese Hegarty said: “Securing such an outstanding cast is testament to the story-telling and craftsmanship of superb scripts that blend secrets, lies, wit and compelling friendships. We are truly delighted that our talented creative team will bring this drama to Australian and international audiences.”
Secret Bridesmaids’ Business is directed by Tori Garrett and Jennifer Perrott, executive producer/producer is MaryAnne Carroll, series producer is Amanda Crittenden, script producers/writers are Andrew Anastasios and David Hannam, with writers Alli Parker, Trent Roberts, Chelsea Cassio and Shanti Gudgeon. Based on the stage play written by Elizabeth Coleman, the drama is a Seven Studios production for Seven Network.
Principal production investment is from Film Victoria.
Film Victoria CEO Caroline Pitcher said: “Secret Bridesmaids’ Business is a Victorian Original production. We’re excited that Seven Studios Scripted are launching their exciting slate of projects with a Victorian-based story that will showcase our stunning Mornington Peninsula region and the incredible talents of our state’s creatives and crew.”
Filming locations span from the Mornington Peninsula wine region to distinctive locations in the heart of the City of Melbourne.
The Boomtown regional media committee this week hosted a breakfast in Sydney for media agencies and client partners to further highlight the gap in advertising spend in metro versus regional markets, despite the population of Boomtown exceeding 8.8 million people.
Boomtown chair Brian Gallagher called on one of his radio network’s finest to help spread the message – Hit Network drive co-host Dave Hughes.
Hughesy and Gallagher again reminded audiences that that despite 36% of the country living in Boomtown, only 10% of media budgets are spent regionally.
Hughesy, who hails from the regional Victorian coastal town of Warrnambool, entertained guests before Boomtown chair and Southern Cross Austereo chief sales officer Brian Gallagher hosted a panel which included Wavemaker CEO Peter Vogel to discuss the potential opportunities for media buyers and advertiser in Boomtown markets.
Boomtown is a joint initiative between regional media players Southern Cross Austereo, WIN, PRIME, Imparja, Grant Broadcasters and Australian Community Media.
The Boomtown committee is made up of Brian Gallagher (SCA), Matt Evans (Win), Jeremy Simpson (Grant Broadcasters/ TRSN), Penny Kaleta (Aust Community Media), Dave Walker (Prime Media Group), Alistair Feehan (Imparja).
Visit www.Boomtown.media to learn more about Boomtown – where businesses and brands boom.
Top Photo: Hughesy with Boomtown committee: Jeremy Simpson, Matt Evans, Penny Kaleta, Dave Walker and Brian Gallagher
A teenager navigating the trials of her tiger mum, a sexual health clinic on the brink of closure and a children’s club learning about music are among the latest stories to be supported by Screen Australia.
The five online projects will share in nearly $800,000 of production funding.
Screen Australia’s online investment manager Lee Naimo said: “I’m excited to support such a wide range of original ideas in this slate, including Cloudy River presenting a contemporary perspective on relationships and LGBTQI+ experiences, and Deadhouse Dark breaking the mould with a series of online horror films.”
THE FUNDED PROJECTS
Cloudy River: A six-part series about pansexual artist Emma (aka Cloudy) and her lover River, whose open relationship is put to the test when they move in together. Challenging ideas about love, sex and romance, this drama raises questions around whether you can truly be there for each other in an open relationship while pursuing the individual freedoms the relationship is founded on.
Writer/directors Charlie Ford and Sophie Hardcastle will team up with producer Belinda Dean (The Funny Ones). This project is financed with support from Queer Screen.
Deadhouse Dark: A series of six short horror films for YouTube and deadhouse.tv anchored by a woman who orders a “mystery box” from the dark web, and then discovers that each item is linked to a macabre real world headline. The stories all take place within the same world – one which is driven by online connections, constant surveillance and curated social media personas, much like our own.
Deadhouse Dark will be presented by an experienced team led by Enzo Tedeschi, who has built a name in the horror genre with projects such as Event Zero. He will be joined by Joshua Long (Post Mortem Mary), Kristy Best (How To Know If You’re Dating A Narcissist), Denai Gracie (Battle Ground) and Rachele Wiggins (Slice of Life) who will each write and direct an episode, with Rosie Lourde (Skin Deep) also directing. This project is also supported by Screen Queensland.
Metro Sexual: An eight-part series for 9Go! and 9Now about doctors Stephanie and Langdon who work at Metropolitan Sexual Health clinic. They have a tough enough job as it is dealing with odorous STIs and arduous colleagues, but when government cuts threaten to close them down they must do whatever it takes to save the clinic.
The series will be produced by Darren McFarlane (Bruce) and Riley Nottingham (Your Call Is Important To Us), who also stars alongside comedian Geraldine Hickey. The creative team also features writer/director Henry Boffin and writer Nicholas Kraak from Humdrum Comedy, and executive producer Julia Adams (The Bureau of Magical Things). Metro Sexual is produced in association with Film Victoria, Screen Queensland, the Department of Health and Human Services and Yarraville Club.
Phi and Me: A five-part series for YouTube about 16-year-old Phi Nguyen and her over-the-top tiger mum Kim, who is a constant source of embarrassment as she does everything she can to help her daughter have a better life. Originally a live act at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, this Vietnamese-Australian comedy will be brought to the screen by writers and creators Fiona Chau and Diana Nguyen, who also stars as Kim. Producers Serena Hunt (Swift and Shift Couriers) and Lucinda Bruce (Choir Girl), and emerging director Melanie Killingsworth are also on board.
Stripy Sock Club: An 18-part series that will premiere on ABC Kids starring popular children’s entertainment group Lah-Lah. Viewers will be invited to join Lah-Lah’s Big Live Band, a group of fun-loving musicians, as they work together to solve problems and learn about new musical instruments. The series will be produced by Lah-Lah creators Tina Harris and Mark Harris, along with Kristy Fuller (Heart and Soul) and Elaine Beckett (Back Of The Net). It will be directed by Mark Grentell (The Merger) and Ashley Koek (Heart and Soul). Stripy Sock Club is financed with support from the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.
Top Photo: Phi and M
There have been lots of TV shows about share households, but not that many where people buy properties together. There was The Brady Brides where wacky Marcia (Maureen McCormick) and uptight Jan (Eve Plumb) got hitched, and the four newlyweds bought a place together, on the advice of their real estate mom Carol (Florence Henderson).
Five Bedrooms (Wednesday on 10) doesn’t have two sitcom sisters, but it does have five strangers who meet at a wedding reception. Kat Stewart plays a neurotic lawyer who has a lot in common with Jan Brady, and that’s a nice change given the character of Billie Proudman in Offspring was definitely more Marcia Marcia Marcia.
TV Week must be thrilled that Stephen Peacocke is also in the cast, because that’s their front covers sorted for the next few months. He plays a happy-go-lucky tradie and if the show takes off, he might finally be able to leave the brooding Brax behind him.
It would be nice if 10 made an edgy Aussie drama one day but for now, Five Bedrooms is fresh, diverse and off to a sweet start. Ever since Offspring, 10 love setting their dramas in and around Melbourne and Five Bedrooms takes place in a leafy suburb that seems a world away from Brunswick Street (Offspring) and Toorak (Playing For Keeps).
Further north in Brisbane, Harrow (Sunday on ABC) is back for a second season. He has survived being shot in the first season cliffhanger, and given he was such an easy target living on a yacht riverside, one might assume he might move. But that’s not Harrow’s style, and neither does his gunshot wound stop him heading off to a bar in search of a quickie.
When Harrow’s (Ioan Gruffudd) one-night-stand turns out to be the new pathologist, it’s awkward but just for a little bit, because there’s always some new dead body to examine. His sexy co-worker is played by Jolene Anderson from All Saints, and that’s a good thing because she already knows how to speak medical jargon.
Harrow doesn’t mind showing a bit of gore but FatherMotherSon (Sunday on BBC First) takes it to a whole new level, with a skull-drilling brain operation in its first episode. This superb BBC drama stars Richard Gere as a powerful Rupert Murdoch-like publisher. There have now been several dramas supposedly inspired by the Murdoch family (and HBO’s Succession is coming back for a second season), but this one may be the scariest … and the best.
• Bad news for Footy Show team after they come off air
• The Front Bar pushes over 300,000 in Melbourne
• NRL wins for Nine in Brisbane and Sydney markets
By James Manning
• Seven News 1,028,000/1,005,000
• Nine News 890,000/866,000
• A Current Affair 682,000
• ABC News 691,000
• The Project 267,000/456,000
• 10 News First 400,000
• SBS World News 130,000
• Sunrise 282,000
• Today 199,000
Home And Away finished its week on 617,000 after a week high of 684,000 on Wednesday.
Melbourne audiences flocked to The Front Bar, which has played a big role in stealing away audiences from Nine’s former ratings-winning Thursday night line-up. The show featured Carlton great and TV analyst Mark Maclure with over 300,000 watching in Melbourne.
Britain’s Got Talent screened at different times around the network to 457,000.
A Current Affair was on 682,000 after audiences of 810,000, 769,000 and 768,000 earlier in the week.
The NRL match, and the first clash of the Magic Round from Brisbane, did 347,000 with 186,000 in Sydney and 132,000 in Brisbane.
Nine yesterday made a decision the gradual decline in AFL Footy Show audiences was no longer to be tolerated with the team advised of the decision to axe the program after they came off air last night. The last program did 78,000 in Melbourne, again well behind The Front Bar.
The Project was on 456,000 after 7pm, the same number as watching on Wednesday.
The end of the second week of MasterChef saw the third woman to be eliminated – Yossra. The regular episode did 640,000 and was followed by the first MasterChef Masterclass of the season with 419,000.
Castlemaine was the destination on Escape From The City with 442,000 watching.
Doctor Foster then did 235,000.
Secrets Of Britain ranked #1 with 256,000 followed by the final of Project Blue Book on 133,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.7%||7TWO||3.8%||GO!||2.5%||10 Bold||3.8%||VICELAND||0.9%|
|ABC ME||0.8%||7mate||4.2%||GEM||1.6%||10 Peach||2.2%||Food Net||0.7%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.3%||7TWO||6.3%||GO!||2.7%||WIN Bold||3.6%||VICELAND||1.1%|
|ABC ME||1.1%||7mate||4.5%||GEM||2.6%||WIN Peach||2.0%||Food Net||0.6%|
|ABC NEWS||1.4%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||2.8%||9Life||1.9%||Sky News on WIN||1.5%||NITV||0.2%|
|7food (QLD only)||1.3%|
|THURSDAY 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
The chief executive of HT&E, Ciaran Davis, has told shareholders the company is reviewing some of its digital investments.
The three investments highlighted were esport and video game business Gfinity, creative tech business un/bnd and cloud communication platform Soprano, in which HT&E holds 25%.
Davis shared a slide with shareholders at the HT&E annual general meeting, which showed the transformation of the company’s revenue mix.
The sale of its regional newspaper business to News Corp Australia has seen publishing revenue disappear off the radar after accounting for 61% of revenue in 2013. In the subsequent five year period radio revenue has increased from 31% to 87%.
HT&E’s remaining outdoor holdings account for 11% while digital investments contribute just 2%.
While the business is reliant on radio, Davis explained how the consumption of audio is changing. Live Australian radio listening in the marketplace accounts for 62% of audio, while streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify has grown to 15.3%. Podcasts account for just 3.8%, but is growing.
At the end of his presentation, Davis gave a trading update and noted a soft March was impacting Q1 with revenue down 5% year-on-year. There had been a slight uptick in April, with Davis confident enough to predict first half revenues to be down 2-3% on the previous tear, with cost savings mitigating the lower sales impact.
A Sydney Court has heard “vitally important” material relating to the case against former teacher Chris Dawson for the alleged murder of his wife 37 years ago may have been shredded, reports ABC News’ Michelle Brown.
Dawson’s lawyer, Greg Walsh, told Sydney’s Downing Centre Court the material believed to have been shredded was collected by journalist Hedley Thomas for The Teacher’s Pet podcast.
Thomas investigated the 1982 disappearance of Dawson’s wife Lyn in an award-winning podcast by The Australian.
Walsh told the court the material involved interviews with witnesses and potential witnesses.
The Australian issued a media statement, which said Walsh had “distorted” the truth by making claims of document destruction.
The Australian said they are continuing to respond to requests from prosecutors for documents relevant to Dawson’s trial and all downloads of the podcast had been suspended.
Online publisher Daily Mail Australia is attempting to halt defamation action brought by washing machine repairman Bill Spedding, after he was wrongly called a “convicted paedophile” in two of its news stories in 2016, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Georgina Mitchell.
Spedding, 68, has been the subject of media scrutiny after he was identified by police as one of hundreds of persons of interest in the 2014 disappearance of toddler William Tyrrell at Kendall on the NSW Mid North Coast.
Spedding has vehemently denied any involvement in William’s disappearance and has never been charged in relation to it.
In August and September 2016, Daily Mail Australia published two stories detailing developments in the case, both of which mistakenly referred to Spedding as a “convicted paedophile”.
In defamation law, plaintiffs can sue for defamation within a year after a story is published. However, cases can be brought up to three years after a story is published if the court is satisfied it was “not reasonable” for the case to have commenced within the original year.
Daily Mail Australia has applied for leave to appeal against the Supreme Court decision. The defamation case remains in its preliminary stages, with the publisher yet to file a defence.
Acting Justice Carolyn Simpson and Justice Mark Leeming have reserved their decision.
Spedding settled a previous defamation case, against The Daily Telegraph, out of court. He had alleged the newspaper wrongly portrayed him as a paedophile in two stories in March 2015.
A BBC radio broadcaster was fired on Thursday for using a picture of a chimpanzee in a tweet about the royal baby born to Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and her husband Prince Harry, reports Associated Press.
Danny Baker, who had a weekly show on BBC Radio 5 Live, tweeted that he had been fired after posting an image of a couple holding hands with a chimpanzee dressed in clothes and the caption: “Royal baby leaves hospital”.
The tweet came on Wednesday, the same day Harry and Meghan posed for photos with their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The tweet was seen as a racist reference to baby Archie’s heritage. His grandmother Doria Ragland is African American.
Baker, 61, said the posting the image to his 500,000 followers had been meant as a gag, tweeting late on Wednesday that it was “supposed to be [a] joke about royals vs circus animals in posh clothes but interpreted as about monkeys & race”. The post has since been deleted.
“Enormous mistake, for sure. Grotesque. Anyway, here’s to ya Archie, Sorry mate,” he tweeted.
Shortly after what was the final ever Thursday night edition of The AFL Footy Show, Nine released a statement saying they were stopping production of the program.
Nine’s release in full:
Nine’s Melbourne managing director Matt Scriven paid tribute to the program hosts and the crew following the show this evening.
“I want to thank the current hosts, Anthony Lehmann, Neroli Meadows, Dylan Alcott, Brendan Fevola and Shane Crawford, the former hosts of The Footy Show, and the hard working crew for their great contribution,” Scriven said.
“It is with regret that The Footy Show will no longer be produced. It has been a tough decision to end the program that has been such a trailblazer, but sadly the new show has not captured audiences in the way we had hoped.
“Over the past three decades Nine has led the way with AFL entertainment and news programs and we will continue to do so, with the production of the award-winning Footy Classified and the Sunday Footy Show.
“We remain committed to the AFL and creating great AFL content, and we will continue to focus on new ways to engage audiences who love the code.”
Since it premiered in 1994, The Footy Show has clocked up 735 episodes, making it the longest running sports entertainment program in the history of prime-time television in Australia.
Melbourne radio was flooded with callers celebrating the show’s best and worst moments over the past 25 years. Founding host Eddie McGuire, whose production company was producing the new program for Nine, said he watched both The Footy Show and The Front Bar last night. “They were both good shows,” said McGuire. He paid tribute to Sam Newman as the real star over the show over the program’s journey.
Former co-host Garry Lyon recalled how he had been called on to take over the show after formerly hosting the Sunday Footy Show. Lyon hosted with James Brayshaw who is now with Triple M and Seven. Lyon now co-hosts breakfast at SEN 1116.
Jonathan Brown recalled his time on the show at Nova 100, but wasn’t able to discuss the cancellation with Sam Pang, one of the hosts of Seven’s The Front Bar which is a key factor in audiences departing the Nine program. Pang was not on the show today, his spot filled today by Celia Pacquola.
The Fox Sports dedicated AFL channel Fox Footy has had a promotional spot chosen as “Week’s Best” by Best Ads On TV. The spot features a bobblehead of the AFL star, which travels around Melbourne before arriving on his doorstep.
The promo spot features Richmond star Jack Riewoldt and was made in-house for the sports channel.
Fox Footy shared top spot this week as Best Ads on TV with television ads from Portugal, France and the US.
• Damien Kelly, Director/Copywriter/Agency Producer
• Tim Buhagiar, Creative Lead
• Guy Sawrey-Cookson
• David Rose, DoP
• Grant Osborne & Paresh Patel, Post Production:
• Paul Baxter, Audio Post
Watch the ad here: