Thursday May 16, 2019

Mediaweek TV

This week on Mediaweek TV James Manning speaks withco-founder of SMI, Jane Ractliffe. Tune in to Mediaweek TV at 2.30pm on Your Money (Foxtel 601 and 95 FTA).

Mediaweek started interviewing business executives on TV back in 2009, the same year that Standard Media Index, now better known as SMI, started tracking media agency ad spend in detail. Joining us to talk about how the different sectors have fared attracting agency ad spend in the past 10 years is the co-founder of SMI, Jane Ractliffe.

Mediaweek TV: 10 years on Sky News Business & Your Money

Landmark day in broadcasting with the end of the Nine and News Corp JV channel Your Money which will run its last programming this evening. The Sky News Business channel was rebranded as Your Money only late last year.

Mediaweek’s weekly TV segment started life in 2009 at 2.30pm Thursdays on what was then the Sky News Business channel.

The idea for the show was hatched by then Sky News CEO Angelos Frangopoulos and Mediaweek editor James Manning.

Sky News Business was then just a year old, launching smack bang in the middle of the GFC in January 2008. Its first channel manager Kylie Merritt was also the first channel manager of Your Money. In between those jobs she worked for Sky News and News Corp in various roles.

After the GFC, Sky News Business then covered the property boom and the mining boom and then bust.

Guests in its first few weeks of Mediaweek TV included media agency CEOs John Sintras and Peter Horgan and also then Network Ten boss Grant Blackley.

Over the following 10 years the program featured one or two industry guests and a co-host from Sky News Business.

Those co-hosts over the years included Kylie Merritt, Bridie Barry, Brooke Corte, Ingrid Willinge, Nadine Blayney and James Daggar-Nickson.

The show regularly spoke to the CEO’s of all the major media companies and often included talent – from Grand Designs UK host Kevin McCloud to Nine’s Eddie McGuire and 10’s Matt Preston.

The program even managed a quick TV interview with News Corp’s Robert Thomson at the first News Corp Australia Come Together event.

Two of our biggest supporters in recent years were Nine’s Hugh Marks and News Corp’s Michael Miller. Seven’s Tim Worner and 10’s Paul Anderson were also regular guests.

Worner once said on air his experience of being interview by Manning and Bridie Barry was like “having my teeth pulled”!

The program reported on location from all the FTA TV Upfront events and filed from London, New York, Dublin, Los Angeles, China and Bangkok over the years. The China adventure included a special episode from a luxury resort hosted by Manning and Brooke Corte.

Sky News Business morphed into the Your Money channel late last year in a partnership with News Corp and Nine. However it announced the closure of the channel recently and May 15 is the last day on air.

Sadly it’s too early to pass judgement on Your Money, but Sky News Business had a loyal following and you couldn’t enter a major financial trading room or office without it flickering away on multiple screens. It’s just a pity those eyeballs weren’t counted in the ratings.

The final guest on Mediaweek TV is SMI co-founder Jane Ractliffe who has appeared regularly over the decade. Her company tracks media ad spend and she will reveal how that has fluctuated between media platforms in that time.

Some of the talented production team powering the Your Money channel have already found new roles at the two shareholders or other broadcasters.

Sandra Sully: Network anchor on 10 Daily, elections & new podcast

The longtime Network 10 Sydney news anchor Sandra Sully is keeping busy at the broadcaster as she hosts 10 News First each weekday at 5pm in addition to spending some of her workday as a 10 Daily contributing editor.

She takes on extra duties this weekend and she revealed she is about to launch a 10 Speaks podcast too.

10’s digital news and entertainment brand 10 Daily launched in May 2018 and this week has been celebrating its growth over 12 months. The site will soon release its first Nielsen audience data.

Sully will be hosting 10’s election results coverage on Saturday night along with Chris Bath and Hamish Macdonald. “We have got a good team,” Sully told Mediaweek. “We will try and cover the results a little differently, which is our trademark.

The news anchor has been involved with previous Federal Election results coverage, but this is the first time for a few years that 10 is suspending Saturday night programming for rolling coverage.

While Angela Bishop last week celebrated 30 years with 10, Sully celebrates three decades with the broadcaster in January 2020.

Sully was originally managing news editor at 10 Daily, but now she is contributing news editor. “In the planning stages of 10 Daily my role was about making sure that it reflected what we were doing as a broadcaster, but also helping it find its own voice and making sure we imbed what we did in broadcasting with the new digital team we were building.”

Sully has been contributing the occasional feature piece for the site too. “When you are doing two jobs it’s hard to find the time to write a lot of features. The big one for me was breaking the Lee Lin Chin story about her leaving SBS, which we reported first on 10 Daily. We announced it before SBS.”

Sully also praised the work of one of her 10 colleagues: “Lisa Wilkinson’s feature items have been terrific too.”

[Wilkinson talks to Mediaweek tomorrow, revealing why she won’t be part of 10’s election night coverage.]

Sully, who has strong digital credentials after being an early social media adopter, had been working with the morning staff at 10 Daily to ensure it had good coverage across the board at the start of the day. “We have a good team now so I am not hands-on as much now.

Chris Harrison, our editor, is doing a marvellous job. Mel Cornford [managing editor] comes with digital expertise and she has been excellent.”

The 10 Daily strategy was planned before CBS took over Network 10, said Sully. “CBS has a global footprint and it has been great to be able to work with them.”

10 Daily is able to access content that CBS publishes on its digital platforms.

Like 10 Daily editor Harrison will also explain to Mediaweek tomorrow, younger audiences do hanker for hard news.

Sully: “They like it served in a different way. Years ago another news director used to tell us that people on social media were not our audience. I told him that they would be one day. Everybody grows old. You have to be on all platforms to get all the viewers.”

10 Daily launched the weekend of the Royal Wedding back in 2018, with Sully admitting it took the platform a little time to find its feet.

Sully won’t be slowing down any time soon. “Once the election is over I will be launching a podcast series called Agenda through 10 Speaks.” It will be another audio series in addition to The Professor And The Hack from 10 Speaks with Hugh Riminton and Peter Van Onselen.

As to her longevity at 10 and how she feels about the future, Sully said: “I don’t think you stay unless you are challenged and enjoying yourself.”

Sandy Sully on 2019 campaign coverage

“I would never criticise the coverage because you can only report on what is available. Compared to a number of other elections it has been quite bland, led by the personalities of the two leaders.

After making clear she wasn’t advocating betting, Sully noted the bookies have Labor a firm favourite. “When people put their hard-earned dollars on the line it is a very genuine reflection of what they think.”

At to claims of media bias either at the ABC or News Corp, Sully agreed the power of media to change a vote might be over estimated.

“The electorate is far more sophisticated than people give them credit for. People use the media to give them information and then they make up their own minds. I’m not convinced either that any of the debates might have changed anyone’s vote.”

Australia Votes: TV election guide – Will it be Shorten or Morrison?

Here is Mediaweek’s round-up of the channel devoting time to covering the Federal Election winners and losers.

What time is the coverage starting?

ABC: From 7am (AEST) Weekend Breakfast hosts Josh Szeps and Johanna Nicholson look back over the campaign and forward to what lies in store for Australians as they cast their vote.

At 5pm (AEST) Jeremy Fernandez and Tamara Oudyn host a special one-hour edition of ABC News on ABC TV and ABC News channel.

From 6pm (AEST) Australia Votes: Election Night Live is on ABC TV, ABC News channel and iview.

Seven: 2019 Federal Election coverage with a 7News pre-show live from Election Central in Martin Place at 5.00pm AEST.

Election coverage will break on Seven at 6.00pm AEST for a special 45-minute edition of 7News hosted by senior anchor Mark Ferguson.

From 6.45pm, 7News anchor Michael Usher and political editor Mark Riley are hosting coverage and up-to-the-minute results on 7News: Decision Night in Australia 2019.

Nine: Promising comprehensive coverage rom 7.00am with Weekend Today, which will provide a breakdown of the key election issues and policies that each party is hoping will secure votes.

A special election-day edition of Nine News will be broadcast at 4.00pm.

Then at 5.00pm Nine’s election-evening coverage begins, including early results from its exclusive Nine-Galaxy exit poll.

Viewers in all capital cities will hear the very latest from reporters on the ground in electorates right around the country in their local editions of Nine News at 6.00pm.

Rolling coverage hosted by Peter Overton and Deb Knight, begins at 7.00pm, delivering live results with analysis from some of the biggest political names in the country.

Channel 10: The day starts with a special Studio 10: Aussie Poll Party on Saturday at 3pm.

10 News First Your Vote will then kick off from 5pm.

SBS:  SBS World News will be live on election night Saturday 18 May in a Vote 2019 special from 10.10pm AEST on SBS.

Sky News: Kieran Gilbert and Laura Jayes start at 7:00am as they spearhead early morning coverage of Australia Decides as candidates conduct last minute campaigning and Australians cast their votes.

From 11:00am, Tom Connell will take viewers live across the country as he speaks with Sky News reporters on the latest breaking news and final developments of the campaign trail as they unfold.

Broadcasting from the Sky News Canberra studio in Parliament House, political editor David Speers will anchor Australia Decides: Election Night Live from 5:00pm.

Which other network talent will be involved?

ABC: Leigh Sales, Annabel Crabb, Andrew Probyn, Laura Tingle, Barrie Cassidy and Michael Rowland.

ABC’s chief elections analyst Antony Green will also add his insights to his 11th Federal Election.

Seven: 7News senior political correspondent Tim Lester will be with Bill Shorten at Labor headquarters in Melbourne. And at Liberal HQ with Scott Morrison will be 7News chief correspondent Chris Reason.

Nine: Political editor Chris Uhlmann will spearhead the in-depth assessment as the votes are tallied. Joining him will be Chris O’Keefe, Nine political reporter, and Ross Greenwood, Nine finance editor who will be crunching numbers and breaking down the key election battlegrounds at the Election Mega Wall.

Nine will cross regularly to Ben Fordham for updates from Liberal HQ, while Leila McKinnon will be with the Labor Party faithful.

Channel 10: From 5pm, 10 News First Your Vote will be hosted by Sandra Sully, Hamish Macdonald and Chris Bath, with key insights from Waleed Aly and Peter van Onselen.

Sarah Harris, Joe Hildebrand and Angela Bishop will throw a snag on the barbie as they check in with how Australians are voting from the city to the heart of the country. Plus John Williamson and Missy Higgins will perform while I’m A Celebrity winner Richard Reid will be bringing the party to the Apple Isle when he is reunited with Jacqui Lambie.

SBS: Janice Petersen and Brett Mason will present latest results and analysis from the studio and will cross to reporters in key electorates and party HQs throughout Australia.

Sky News: Sky News political editor David Speers will host election night coverage with a panel of political experts and Sky News anchors Alan Jones, Paul Murray, Andrew Bolt, Chris Kenny, Laura Jayes, Kieran Gilbert and Michael Kroger.

David Speers

Which pundits will be doing their best and where?

ABC: Later in the evening Ellen Fanning hosts a special edition of The Drum, reviewing the events of the day with guests: actor and writer Magda Szubanski, SBS chief football analyst, presenter and human rights campaigner Craig Foster, author, podcaster and editor at large of Future Women Jamila Rizvi, and political journalist and Professor of Global Affairs at Griffith University, Stan Grant.

Seven: Radio broadcaster Alan Jones and former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett.

Channel 10: Christopher Pyne, Kristina Keneally, Sam Dastyari and Trent Zimmerman will bring political firepower to a coverage that also includes exclusive predictions, supported by the latest immersive graphics technology.

Sky News: Peta Credlin, Graham Richardson and Stephen Conroy.

Plenty of politicians will be on air too

ABC: Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos and Labor senator Penny Wong.

Seven: Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen and NSW ALP senator Jenny McAllister. Plus coalition heavyweights senator Michaelia Cash and former MP Craig Laundy.

Nine: Julie Bishop, former deputy leader of the Liberal Party, Tanya Plibersek, deputy opposition leader, Anthony Albanese – Labor shadow minister and Bridget McKenzie, Nationals deputy leader.

Sky News: Leader of the Government in the senate and minister for Finance, Mathias Cormann, and shadow Defence minister, Richard Marles.

What is the pitch to viewers from the networks? 

ABC: As Australians head to the polls this Saturday 18 May the ABC’s unrivalled team of experts will bring you the nation’s most authoritative coverage in a day of dedicated programming on television, on radio and online.

Seven: Seven delivers unrivalled Federal Election coverage. Channel 7’s team of experts will deliver results to you in an instant with analysis you won’t want to miss.

Nine: Nine has assembled the most experienced panel of political minds for its coverage of the 2019 Federal election on Saturday: Australia Decides.

Channel 10: 10’s extensive, multi-program, multi-platform election coverage will deliver the most up-to-date information from around the country, direct to you on election night.

SBS: SBS is your one stop shop for balanced news coverage and insight across multiple platforms in these important final campaign days.

Sky News: Sky News will deliver the most comprehensive coverage and analysis of the 2019 Federal Election.

With so many independent candidates contesting the election and margins ever so slight, Sky News will broadcast live coverage crossing to reporters around the country as contenders’ campaign until the very last minute.

News Corp Australia joins Boomtown regional media revolution

News Corp Australia has joined Boomtown, the industry initiative to showcase the value and influence of advertising to consumers in regional Australia.

In an Australian first, the country’s leading media companies have united in their support of a million-dollar campaign to reimagine the opportunities for brands and businesses to reach the 8.8 million people living in regional Australia.

Announcing News Corp’s support for Boomtown, News Corp’s managing director national sales Lou Barrett (pictured) said regional Australia was a market too big to ignore.

“Many brands underestimate how huge the regional market is as an advertising and marketing opportunity,” Barrett said. “Think about it – almost 40% of the population live outside our capital cities. These people are deeply connected with their local communities, retailers and service providers. This campaign will show just how important this audience is for brands, and how effective regional advertising can be.”

See also:
Boomtown: Media agency execs ready to review regional spend

News Corp joins fellow media partners, Southern Cross Austereo, WIN Network, Prime Media Group, Australian Community Media, Imparja and Grant Broadcasters in the campaign, which will be celebrated at a trade event in Melbourne on Thursday morning.

Brian Gallagher, chair of the Boomtown committee and Southern Cross Austereo’s chief sales officer said: “We are thrilled to have News Corp Australia join Boomtown’s history-making collective, encouraging marketers to rethink advertising in regional Australia. Regional consumers want inspiration, information and entertainment from sources they know and trust. This campaign will highlight the scale and the opportunities for regional advertising.”

See also:
Boomtown partners reveal investment opportunities in regional: “Spend that bit of extra money and get more bang for your buck”

Barrett said News Corp – publisher of more than 140 regional and community titles – was proud to be part of this revolutionary campaign.

“Boomtown will educate businesses and brands about the most effective, creative and innovative ways they can talk to regional communities – and achieve real outcomes.”

See also:
Boomtown architects on strategy: “A soft sell is not going to get it done”

Research conducted for News Regional Media highlights the influence of advertising in trusted regional mastheads, with 57% of readers saying ads published in NRM mastheads influenced their brand preferences; 63% said they are likely to consider buying the product and 77% will act after seeing an ad in the paper.

News Regional Media has a significant print and digital footprint throughout Queensland, northern New South Wales, Northern Territory, Victoria and Tasmania with a total audience of more than 4.7 million or 83% of the population in its footprint, across all major audience segments.

TV Ratings Analysis: May 15

• Seven records midweek win: #1 primary, #1 network
• The Chase and Home And Away most-watched non-news
• Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation drops, Five Bedrooms debuts

Wednesday Week 20 2019

James Manning

• Seven News 1,071,000/1,014,000
• Nine News 977,000/933,000
• A Current Affair 768,000
• ABC News 710,000
• 7.30 610,000
• The Project 292,000/485,000
• 10 News First 424,000
• SBS World News 142,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 286,000
• Today 185,000

6pm audience

• 7News 1,071,000
• 9News 977,000
• Celebrity Name Game 248,000 (Mon: 314,000, Tue: 248,000)
• The Drum 215,000
• Mastermind 98,000


After a flat Tuesday, Seven moved into first place last night with the leading primary and combined channel shares.

At 5.30pm The Chase became the fourth most-watched show across metro and regional markets behind only the 6pm news bulletins and A Current Affair. In metro markets it ranked #6.

Home And Away was on 669,000 after recording audiences of 699,000 and 638,000 earlier in the week.

House Rules was on 597,000, its best audience this week after two nights just under 550,000.

The third week of The Bay then did 341,000.


The night after its Lego Masters’ triumph saw Nine drop to 17.5% to take second spot behind Seven.

A Current Affair was on 768,000, down after two previous nights just over and just under 800,000.

Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation had a rough night with the audience below 600,000 for the first time – 540,000 tuned in for guests Michala Banas and Brendan Fevola.


Share was up week-on-week with its midweek 14.0% its second best Wednesday share of the year.

The MasterChef team challenge led the way with 642,000 after 664,000 were watching a week ago. The episode ranked #1 under 50 and other key demos and it ranked #1 in its timeslot.

The launch episode of its new drama Five Bedrooms did 507,000 which is a good number now for a drama series with catchup viewing sure to bump that number over the next few weeks. The drama ranked #2 for the night with women 25-54, and gave 10 the top three shows in that demo – the others were MasterChef and The Project.

Earlier in the night The Project 7pm was on 485,000 where Waleed Aly gave Bill Shorten as good a grilling as he’s probably had in any interview this campaign.

The third night of Celebrity Name Game as on 248,000 for a second successive night.


Laura Tingle was reporting from the seat of Wentworth last night including chatting to people at Easts Rugby in Rose Bay. She also called it a very grubby election campaign on 7.30 with 610,000 watching.

Anh’s Brush With Fame then did 555,000 with Walter Mikac sitting for the artist.

The Weekly was making most of the last days of the campaign with 510,000. Stephen Curry got a real work over on Hard Chat.

You Can’t Ask That then did 359,000.


24 Hours In Emergency pulled the biggest audience with 204,000 after 8.30pm.

Great British Railway Journeys was on 176,000 while Going Places With Ernie Dingo did 159,000.

Week 20 TV: Wednesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 12.4% 7 19.6% 9 17.5% 10  14.0% SBS One 4.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.6% 7TWO 3.4% GO! 3.8% 10 Bold 5.2% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.3% GEM 2.0% 10 Peach 2.1% Food Net 1.3%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix 1.5% 9Life 2.3%     NITV 0.2%
    7Food 0.6%            
TOTAL 17.3%   28.3%   25.7%   21.3%   7.4%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 12.1% 7 20.2% 9 13.0% WIN 11.5% SBS One 4.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.5% 7TWO 4.5% GO! 3.6% WIN Bold 5.0% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 1.1% 7mate 4.0% GEM 3.8% WIN Peach 2.0% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.9% 9Life 2.8% Sky News  on WIN 2.0% NITV 0.2%
    7food (QLD only) 0.4%            
TOTAL 18.0%   32.0%   23.1%   20.4%   6.4%


85.6% 14.4%
  1. Seven News Seven 1,071,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 1,014,000
  3. Nine News Nine 977,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 933,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 768,000
  6. ABC News ABC 710,000
  7. Home And Away Seven 669,000
  8. The Chase Australia Seven 663,000
  9. Masterchef Australia 10 642,000
  10. 7.30 ABC 610,000
  11. House Rules Seven 597,000
  12. Hot Seat Nine 567,000
  13. Anh’s Brush With Fame ABC 555,000
  14. Talkin Bout Your Generation Nine 540,000
  15. The Weekly With Charlie Pickering ABC 510,000
  16. Five Bedrooms 10 507,000
  17. The Project 7pm 10 485,000
  18. 10 News First 10 424,000
  19. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 401,000
  20. You Can’t Ask That ABC 359,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. Masterchef Australia 10 195,000
  2. The Project 7pm 10 135,000
  3. Seven News Seven 134,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 129,000
  5. Five Bedrooms 10 127,000

18-49 Top Five

  1. Masterchef Australia 10 312,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 234,000
  3. Talkin Bout Your Generation Nine 228,000
  4. Five Bedrooms 10 226,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 225,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Masterchef Australia 10 340,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 301,000
  3. Nine News Nine 292,000
  4. Talkin Bout Your Generation Nine 280,000
  5. Seven News Seven 271,000
WEDNESDAY Multichannel
  1. NCIS: Los Angeles (R) 10 Bold 203,000
  2. NCIS: Los Angeles Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 195,000
  3. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 175,000
  4. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 169,000
  5. PJ Masks AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 164,000
  6. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 163,000
  7. Fireman Sam PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 154,000
  8. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 151,000
  9. Nella The Princess Knight AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 149,000
  10. Neighbours 10 Peach 147,000
  11. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 146,000
  12. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  13. Molly And Mack PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  14. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  15. Thomas And Friends PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  16. Bob The Builder PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  17. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  18. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 133,000
  19. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  20. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  1. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 127,000
  2. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 72,000
  3. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 66,000
  4. Richo Sky News Live 63,000
  5. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 58,000
  6. Family Guy FOX8 57,000
  7. The Simpsons FOX8 54,000
  8. PML Later Sky News Live 51,000
  9. Credlin Sky News Live 51,000
  10. The Simpsons FOX8 44,000
  11. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 44,000
  12. Beverly Hills: Real Housewives Of… ARENA 42,000
  13. Curious George Nick Jr. 40,000
  14. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 39,000
  15. Shimmer And Shine Nick Jr. 38,000
  16. Homestead Rescue Discovery Channel 37,000
  17. Storage Wars A&E 35,000
  18. Thronecast FOX SHOWCASE 34,000
  19. Game Of Thrones FOX SHOWCASE 33,000
  20. Speers Sky News Live 33,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

Campaign ad spend: Election had good and bad news for agencies

The latest election ad spend by political as monitored by Nielsen helps explain why many marketers are keeping away from media until after the 2019 Federal Election campaign ends, thankfully in just two days.

Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party is making big waves with the size of his spend. While that is good news for some, including the media getting the lion’s share of the investment, it is drawing negative comments from many and making many brands wary of a noisy marketplace.

Earlier this month SMI reported on the March media agency revenue numbers:

Australia’s media agency market continues to be hobbled by lower business confidence ahead of the Federal election, reporting its sixth consecutive month of lower demand in March with total bookings back 4.7% on an underlying basis to $583.6 million from last year’s record high.

SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said it was now unlikely the market will start to pick up until well after the Federal election.

“We already know this year’s April data has been negatively impacted by the extended Easter and ANZAC Day break in April this year compared to the smaller timing impact in April last year when Easter started at the end of March,” she said.

“The downturn in media investment is not going to start to pick up until after the election when hopefully the new Government will be able to restore business confidence and therefore inspire businesses to start reinvesting in advertising.

The good news for major media is that SMI has always seen large upticks in advertising expenditure following periods of lower growth…the only question is when that growth will start to kick in.”

SMI’s Jane Ractliffe will be talking to Mediaweek on Your Money today at 2.30pm.

Nielsen said that in the last week alone, United Australia Party spent $5.3m, more than what the Liberal and Labor party combined tipped into media.

Since September, UAP has spent $44.4m with messages for Australian voters. That is more than double the combined spend of Liberal and Labor ($11.5m each).

Here is a graphic showing election ad spend for last week (6/5 – 12/5).

Adelaide Festival sets new box office record with $6m

This year’s record smashing $6 million Adelaide Festival box office result helped generate an estimated $76.8 million in associated spending for the state, a new economic assessment report has found, reports The Advertiser’s Patrick McDonald.

The report, by Barry Burgan of Economic Research Consultants, also revealed that 19,046 visitors came from interstate or overseas for the Festival with visitor bed nights increasing to 141,258 from 138,021 in 2018.

Artistic directors Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy’s third annual program was the most successful in the Festival’s 59-year history.

Total new expenditure related to the Festival was $20 million (up 11 per cent) while net impact or newly created incomes on the Gross State Product was estimated at $23 million (up 10 per cent), creating the equivalent of 216 full time jobs.

[Read the original]

Walt Disney battles Netflix: Will control Hulu, Disney Plus, ESPN+

As it rolled out its TV years for advertisers in New York this week, The Walt Disney Company and Comcast have announced Disney will assume full operational control of Hulu, effective immediately, in return for Disney and Comcast entering into a “put/call” agreement regarding NBCUniversal’s 33% ownership interest in Hulu.

Under agreement, as early as January 2024, Comcast can require Disney to buy NBCUniversal’s interest in Hulu and Disney can require NBCUniversal to sell that interest to Disney for its fair market value at that future time. Hulu’s fair market value will be assessed by independent experts but Disney has guaranteed a sale price for Comcast that represents a minimum total equity value of Hulu at that time of US$27.5 billion.

The deal means Disney will continue running Hulu in addition to launching its own Disney Plus streaming platform launching later this year and the one-year-old ESPN+ sports offering.

“Hulu represents the best of television, with its incredible array of award-winning original content, rich library of popular series and movies, and live TV offerings. We are now able to completely integrate Hulu into our direct-to-consumer business and leverage the full power of The Walt Disney Company’s brands and creative engines to make the service even more compelling and a greater value for consumers,” said Robert A. Iger, The Walt Disney CompanyCEO.

Comcast has agreed with Hulu to extend the Hulu license of NBCUniversal content and the Hulu Live carriage agreement for NBCUniversal channels until late 2024 and to distribute Hulu on its Xfinity X1 platform.

All details of the deal have not yet been finalised, but it is expected Hulu will be aimed more at adults, while Disney Plus will focus on the big family franchises.

Social Media

Facebook joins tech companies supporting Christchurch Call to Action

Facebook’s vice president for Global Affairs and Communications Nick Clegg has joined G7 government and industry leaders for a meeting in Paris on how to curb the spread of terrorism and extremism online.

At the meeting, hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Facebook along with Microsoft, Twitter, Google and Amazon signed up to the Christchurch Call to Action. The technology companies also committed to a nine-point plan that sets out concrete steps the industry will take to address the abuse of technology to spread terrorist content. The following is a statement from all five companies:

The terrorist attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March were a horrifying tragedy. And so it is right that we come together, resolute in our commitment to ensure we are doing all we can to fight the hatred and extremism that lead to terrorist violence.

The Christchurch Call announced today expands on the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), and builds on our other initiatives with government and civil society to prevent the dissemination of terrorist and violent extremist content. Additionally, we are sharing concrete steps we will take that address the abuse of technology to spread terrorist content, including continued investment in technology that improves our capability to detect and remove this content from our services, updates to our individual terms of use, and more transparency for content policies and removals.

Regarding Livestreaming, the statement said:

We commit to identifying appropriate checks on livestreaming, aimed at reducing the risk of disseminating terrorist and violent extremist content online. These may include enhanced vetting measures (such as streamer ratings or scores, account activity, or validation processes) and moderation of certain livestreaming events where appropriate. Checks on livestreaming necessarily will be tailored to the context of specific livestreaming services, including the type of audience, the nature or character of the livestreaming service, and the likelihood of exploitation.

Photo: Jacinda Adern (left) in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau


Conde Nast marketplace: Sells Brides & Golf Digest titles

• Australian publisher of Golf Digest welcomes Discovery acquisition

US magazine giant Conde Nast is a little bit smaller this week after revealing it has sold two of its magazine brand.

First title to find a new home was the Golf Digest brand, which also has an impact on the licence for the title in Australia.

Discovery is the new home for the brand and it plans to combine the title with its GolfTV channel, which is available to subscribers globally, including Australia.

Golf Digest is a world-class brand that has become the ‘go-to’ authority for millions of golf enthusiasts, professional players and global advertisers,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery, Inc. “It’s a natural strategic fit with Discovery’s goal to be the leading golf media platform in the world. Through our investments with the PGA Tour, the European Tour and our partnership with Tiger Woods, we wanted to bolster GolfTV’s international offerings with Golf Digest’s award-winning journalism, broad consumer reach and deep content library while also creating the largest US digital golf business. Jay Monahan and the PGA Tour have been great partners and we are excited to expand our mutual vision to bring these amazing players and all of their terrific play to more people on more devices in every market in the world.”

Nick Cutler, managing director of CMMA Digital & Print Pty Ltd – publishers of Australian Golf Digest and New Zealand Golf Digest – said the deal reinforces where both titles stand in their respective markets.

“Since we acquired Australian Golf Digest in July 2015, we have set about building the brand beyond print to encompass a full suite of digital assets,” Cutler said. “With only a third of our monthly reach now coming from the print magazine, the rest of the 450,000 golfers engage with us across our digital, social and web broadcast assets. More recently we have mirrored this investment in launching New Zealand Golf Digest with great success. With this Discovery acquisition of Golf Digest, this takes us to a whole new level.

“The Discovery – Golf Digest deal is brilliant for golf, particularly in Australia and New Zealand. The investment in the broadcast alone (GolfTV) across the range of tours will simply mean golfers will be able to see more golf than ever before.”

“The content and marketing potential for combining the resources of Discovery, the PGA Tour, Tiger Woods, GolfTV and Australian Golf Digest is the stuff that dreams are made of in our industry,” says Australian Golf Digest editor-in-chief Brad Clifton. “Except now it’s a reality for us here in Australia.”

Owner of Tinder is also now the owner of Brides magazine

• Conde Nast sells Brides brand, new owner closing print edition

It has been revealed this week that Conde Nast is also selling its Brides brand. The magazine used to be thick with advertisers wishing to reach a lucrative market. However the new owner has revealed they will be closing the print edition.

The magazine has been one of several Conde Nast has been offering for sale.

Brides, founded 85 years ago, has been the leading authority in the wedding space that inspires, encourages, and guides from a proposal through engagement, to the wedding and honeymoon. The property is a cornerstone brand in the wedding category with a strong reputation among consumers and advertisers, said its new owner, online publisher Dotdash.

“We’re excited to build on the historical excellence and incredible reputation of the Brides brand,” said Neil Vogel, CEO, Dotdash. “Adding Brides to our portfolio of brands gives us a powerful platform to take on the wedding space and extends our ability to reach young women at key moments in their lives.”

The Brides print magazine will be discontinued after the August/September issue in the US and the September/October issue in the UK.

Dotdash is among the largest publishers online, and its brands include Verywell, The Spruce, The Balance, Investopedia, Lifewire, TripSavvy, Byrdie, MyDomaine, Brides and ThoughtCo.

Dotdash is controlled by IAC, which is chaired by US investor Barry Diller. IAC is also the owner of the dating app Tinder.


UK broadcaster ITV cancels long-running reality show after death

ITV has explained why it cancelled its long-running daily reality show:

As we have said, everyone at ITV and The Jeremy Kyle Show is shocked and saddened at the news of the death of a participant in the show a week after the recording of the episode they featured in and our thoughts are with their family and friends. We will not screen the episode in which they featured.

Given the seriousness of this event, ITV has also decided to suspend both filming and broadcasting of The Jeremy Kyle Show with immediate effect in order to give it time to conduct a review of this episode of the show, and we cannot comment further until this review is completed.”

Carolyn McCall, ITV’s CEO, aid: “Given the gravity of recent events we have decided to end production of The Jeremy Kyle Show.

The Jeremy Kyle Show has had a loyal audience and has been made by a dedicated production team for 14 years, but now is the right time for the show to end.

“Everyone at ITV’s thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of Steve Dymond.”

ITV said it will continue to work with host Jeremy Kyle on other projects.

The broadcaster also explained the safeguards it has when dealing guests on its various programs:

“ITV has many years experience of broadcasting and creating programs featuring members of the public and each of our productions has duty of care measures in place for contributors. These will be dependent on the type of show and will be proportionate for the level of activity of each contributor and upon the individual. All of our processes are regularly reviewed to ensure that they are fit for purpose in an ever changing landscape.

“In the case of The Jeremy Kyle Show, the programme has significant and detailed duty of care processes in place for contributors pre, during and post show which have been built up over 14 years, and there have been numerous positive outcomes from this, including people who have resolved complex and long-standing personal problems.

“Prior to the show a comprehensive assessment is carried out by the guest welfare team on all potential contributors. The guest welfare team consists of four members of staff, one consultant psychotherapist and three mental health nurses.”

George Clooney previews Catch-22, how he avoided journalism career

In bringing Joseph Heller’s iconic novel Catch-22 to the screen almost six decades after it was published, director, producer and actor George Clooney says the passage of time has given it new meaning, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Idato.

Sensibilities change, says Clooney. “Sometimes that’s what dates films and television shows. And sometimes it makes them more prescient.

“This is one where, I think, the reason the book is a classic is because the basic standard tenets really sort of remain,” Clooney adds. “Which is, shit rolls downhill, authority is to be made fun of, red tape and bureaucracy particularly, and war is insane. All those things.”

The series, like the book, follows the exploits of the fictional 256th Squadron, based on the island of Pianosa in the Tuscan Archipelago, off the west coast of Italy.

Clooney, whose production company made the series, plays the parade-obsessed training officer Scheisskopf. The series launches on Stan on May 18.

For many people, Clooney included, Catch-22 is remembered as a book that was read in their youth, typically off a high school required reading list.

“It’s hard reading, it took a while,” Clooney says. “But at the time it felt like the kind of writing, the style of writing that we hadn’t seen much of. We’ve seen some of that style copied since then. But it’s nice when you go back and read a book 40 years later and it doesn’t let you down.”

When Clooney first read the book, he had no idea he would ever be in a position to bring it to the screen, he says.

At the time his ambition was to go into broadcast journalism, following in the footsteps of his father, Nick Clooney, who had been a news presenter on regional US television and later hosted a morning news magazine program.

“That was what my father was doing and that’s what I wanted to do, and I studied that at school and paid attention to that,” Clooney says. “I only lacked talent,” he adds, laughing. “That’s the thing that kept me out of it.”

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10’s new dramas a welcome break from the onslaught of reality TV

In the battle for ratings what’s left for Australia’s commercial television networks after the last few years of reality television excess? Asks The Age’s Craig Mathieson.

We’ve had cooking shows where both the food and the contestant comments were tasteless, while romance competitions and marriage quests have become so malignant that even cancer cells are offended. In an era of staged kisses, sabotage scoring, and drink throwing, the bottom of the barrel is scraped clean.

The most radical response belongs to Network 10, which this month has debuted a pair of scripted local series that reveal a strange and conflicted place called Australia. While Mr Black and Five Bedrooms are respectively a succinctly farcical comedy and a communal drama with a hefty haul of pathos, their attitudes and even antics reflect the country we actually live in, instead of a giant Instagram follow button. That’s hugely refreshing.

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Medicine or Myth? Home remedies put to the test on SBS series

Suffering from cold sores and desperate for a cure? How about smearing a little ear wax on your lip? Unconventional, sure, but apparently it works. And don’t worry if you haven’t enough of your own wax to do the job – you can use anyone’s. At least according to one home remedy pitched on Medicine or Myth?, SBS’s new reality TV program, reports The Age’s Kerrie ‘Brien.

Hundreds of people applied to appear, all keen to share their passion for home-grown treatments, including using sauerkraut for acne, sage tea for hot flushes and even a beer that cures a cough.

Assessing the wild and sometimes wacky home treatments is a panel of three health professionals. Neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo leads the group, alongside family and women’s health expert Dr Ginni Mansberg and associate professor in immunology Ashraful Haque.

Medicine or Myth? is Teo’s first television role. His presence lends credibility to the show and he saw it as a chance to allow people a voice; it underlines his thinking that sometimes the unorthodox is worth considering. “I’ve always thought that the medical fraternity suffered from closed-mindedness.”

Produced by Warner Bros International, the eight-week series was filmed over five days, starting at 5.30am and finishing at 10.30pm. As an in-demand brain surgeon, Teo has a fairly hellish schedule; to enable him to participate in the program, filming was organised around his availability.

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Game of Thrones breaking TV records, but finals eps dividing fans

Game of Thrones’ final season may be smashing Australian pay TV records, but its standing among online critics is a completely different story, reports The Age’s Broede Carmody.

In recent weeks the fantasy blockbuster’s Rotten Tomatoes rating has nosedived. So much so that the online review aggregator claims season eight of HBO’s critically acclaimed drama is the least popular in the show’s history.

The season kicked off with an approval rating above 90 per cent, according to the site. The second episode, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, netted an 88 per cent approval rating while its successor – The Long Night – continued the downward trend.

Monday’s controversial instalment, The Bells, saw a Game of Thrones episode snare an approval rating below 50 per cent for the first time. The show’s penultimate episode dragged season eight’s overall approval rating down to 73 per cent, which is also an all-time low. (Every other season of Game of Thrones has an average approval rating of 91 per cent or higher on Rotten Tomatoes.)

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