Tuesday May 21, 2019

smoothfm anniversary: Melbourne’s Mike Perso on staying the course

• “Our listeners give us a lot more credit than many radio people have”

By James Manning

smoothfm Melbourne breakfast host Mike Perso has sampled success many times in his career. He and his breakfast co-host Jennifer Hansen are currently Melbourne FM radio’s hottest properties. They host the #1 FM breakfast show at Melbourne’s #1 FM station.

“It is good to be on the podium,” Perso told Mediaweek about their recent ratings success. “We have been second and third for much of last year, but to crack through to #1 was a fantastic thing.”

Perso has often enjoyed success across a long radio career. One of them came many years ago when he was hosting breakfast at Fox FM in 1990 in addition to being station PD. He’s also seen success as a radio programmer over the years.

Perso is a key player at smoothfm as the brand celebrates its seventh anniversary.

Perso moved from management back to on air at what was then Vega FM over a decade ago. He also helped program Vega for a time. Other programming gigs around the country included Triple M Brisbane, Gold and Fox in Melbourne. He also did time at TTFM (later Mix 101.1 and now KIIS 101.1, Perso was PD and breakfast host) and consulting for 4BC under previous owners.

“I’ve been on air as a plain old radio announcer since 2010.” Perso was one of the announcers hired by Nova Entertainment’s Paul Jackson and Rohan Brown before they revealed exactly what they were up to, in a transition between Classic Rock and smoothfm.

See also:
Sydney and Melbourne #1 FM stations celebrate seventh anniversary
• Nova’s Project Tattoo nearly became Easy FM, but then smoothfm

Perso also spent time in regional Australia, programming DMG Radio’s regional network out of Albury. When DMG sold the regional business he stayed in the area where his family had moved. He got out of radio and worked for a time in a factory. “That was a really, really good experience,” said Perso. “It gave me a fresh perspective on what the real world is like, which I think now helps me to be better at what I do on air.”

Perso said he was never cocky enough to assume he would eventually be #1 FM at his current home. “At smoothfm the idea is, it is good to be better, but it’s better to be different. There are lots of radio shows doing similar stuff, but ours is different and an alternative to what most of them do. In that way we stood out in the market.

“There is not just one thing that people want from breakfast radio shows. That has been a very narrow approach and you see that in markets now with several radio stations chasing the same audience in the same way doing versions of the same thing. Audiences have different needs.

“smoothfm still leans heavily on the ideas of escape and relax. There is a lot going on in peoples’ lives and sometimes they just don’t need to be overwhelmed by stuff. Sometimes they just need a friendly voice and a great song. That’s what we try and be.

Some people suggest smoothfm must be a really bland radio station. I don’t think they really listen to it properly. Our listeners certainly give us a lot more credit than many radio people have.”

The Melbourne set up is a little bit different to Sydney, with the newsroom and the studio not far apart. [In Sydney the smoothfm studio and newsroom are on separate floors.] Perso said for parts of the morning when he and news presenter Jennifer Hansen talk they are both in the studio together.

Perso said he’s never had too much trouble rising early. “I really value my job and I know every day how lucky I am to have it. I value our listeners and I never want to let them down. There is a great deal to be said for just sticking around, turning up and doing your job.”

He didn’t think it ideal that in some cases once a radio station is out of survey that its breakfast show disappears. “That’s not the way the real world works. I love holidays as much as everyone else, but you are short-changing your audience if you are not there for the greater part of the year.

Despite hosting what may seem a less complicated breakfast format than some, Perso explained: “I reflect very heavily and deeply in the stuff I do every day. I sometimes beat myself up when we don’t do a great job, and I celebrate when we do a great job. I am very aware of the need to do a really good job every day. Because I’ve been around so long I have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done and how it needs to be done well. There is no harsher critic than myself when things go wrong.

“I have some very good programming people who’ve worked with me at smoothfm – Rohan Brown, Peter Clay, Ben Latimer and now Georgie Page.

“Because I’ve been around for some time they might tend to think they don’t need to ride me all that hard. But what I have said to them is that Roger Federer has a coach. All people who are really good at what they do have someone who gives them a helping hand and points out when they make little errors so they don’t become big errors.”

Tomorrow: The key to success at smoothfm 95.3.

Podcast Week

• Award winners, 7News #1, Matty Johns, Nick Kyrgios + Marc Fennel’s Top Five

Australian Podcast Awards: Cream rises to the top

• The Age, SBS, Tony Martin, Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales among winners

The annual Australian Podcast Awards were held in Sydney on Saturday night and attracted a crowd of over 400.

Podcast hosts, producers, judges and fans were in attendance to network, and celebrate the local podcast industry, and see over $10,000 worth of prizes and trophies awarded.

Wrong Skin, a true crime podcast from The Age, about the 1994 disappearance and death of two Indigenous young adults in the Kimberley, took out the award for Investigative Journalism & True Crime, Presented by Stitcher.

Eyes on Gilead team: Producer Dan Barrett, hosts Fiona Williams, Sana Qadar, and Natalie Hambly and audio producer Jeremy Wilmot

Wrong Skin also won the inaugural Podcast of the Year award, beating out Annabel Crabb and Leigh SalesChat 10 Looks 3. Sales and Crabb received awards though for Literature, Arts & Music, as well as TV, Film & Pop Culture, via video, as their Federal Election broadcast commitments saw them otherwise engaged.

Sizzletown’s Tony Martin and Matt Dower

The third podcast to receive multiple accolades was Tony Martin’s Sizzletown, which won both Comedy and the Yamaha Prize for Outstanding Podcast Production.

Australian Podcast Awards: The winners

Podcast of the Year – Wrong Skin
Investigative Journalism & True Crime, Presented by Stitcher – Wrong Skin
Documentary & Storytelling, Presented by Zoom – Still Jill
Independent True Crime – Let’s Talk About Sects
Literature, Arts & Music – Chat 10 Looks 3
TV, Film & Pop Culture – Chat 10 Looks 3
Comedy – Tony Martin’s Sizzletown
Yamaha Prize for Outstanding Podcast Production – Tony Martin’s Sizzletown
Popular Vote – Shameless
Best Fancast – Eyes On Gilead: A Handmaid’s Tale Podcast (SBS)
Business & Marketing – Lady Startup
Best Interview Show – The Five of My Life
Lifestyle, Health & Wellness – The Pineapple Project
Branded Podcast – Tough Conversations with Henry Rollins
Technology – Download This Show
Political, Social & Cultural Affairs – Russia, If You’re Listening
Sport & Recreation – Zwift SBS Cycling Central Podcast
Best New Podcaster – Stages with Peter Eyers
Acast Award for Diversity & Inclusion in Podcasting – Queerstories
Family & Kids – Fierce Girls
Science & Medicine – Science Friction
Career & Industry – Teachers’ Education Review
Fiction – The Fitzroy Diaries
Gaming – Pixel Sift
Best Audiogram, Presented by Headliner – Across the Aisle

Seven’s The Lady Vanishes charts

Acast is celebrating local success with an Australian podcast phenomenon The Lady Vanishes hitting one million downloads in just six weeks.

The Lady Vanishes podcast produced by 7News focuses on the disappearance of Gold Coast resident Marion Barter, after the much-loved mother, teacher and friend stepped on a plane for an overseas adventure and was never seen again.

Marion Barter, the former wife of Australian soccer great, Johnny Warren, went missing in 1997. The circumstances surrounding her disappearance are bizarre but Marion’s daughter Sally Leydon has never given up hope of finding her. The Lady Vanishes podcast is her quest for answers and hitting the million listen milestone means she is getting closer to finding out what happened to Marion Barter.

Podcast executive producer Alison Sandy said: “We’re overwhelmed with the unprecedented success of the podcast. One million listens is a major milestone for us. With each new listener, we’re getting closer to finding out what happened all those years ago, as new evidence continues to come to light.”

The 7News podcast team also comprises investigative journalist and presenter Bryan Seymour, writer and producer Sally Eeles and sound design by Marc Wright.

Matty Johns turns podcast into TV show

The Matty Johns Podcast will this week become a television show of the same name, airing on Wednesday nights on Fox League at 8.30pm from May 22.

The Matty Johns Podcast is hosted by Fox League’s Matty Johns, who is joined by The Daily Telegraph’s Paul Kent and Fox League journalist James Hooper for an hour-long chat about rugby league, with the trio telling entertaining stories, always with a touch of wit and humour, about the game they love.

Nick Kyrgios podcast as wild as his tennis temper

If Nick Kyrgios ever really tires of travelling the world and playing tennis and making large sums of money, then surely the sweet science beckons for a man of his particular talents, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Phil Lutton.

Given his disdain for training, lacing up the gloves wouldn’t be his first choice. His natural habitat would be behind a microphone as a manager or a promoter, because if ever there was an athlete that belonged in a sport with zero filter, it’s the Australian tennis star.

In a podcast with New York Times tennis writer Ben Rothenberg, Kyrgios had paint peeling from the walls as he shredded some of the game’s iconic figures. It was raw, brutal, completely refreshing (if you aren’t one of the targets) and for Rothenberg, a dream interview where every question was greeted with an honest answer.

The tennis champ’s main targets were Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Fernando Verdasco, who chafes Kyrgios like corduroy pants in a Darwin summer.

[Read the original]

My Top 5 Podcasts: Marc Fennell

Host of The Feed on SBS TV, Audible original podcast It Burns, ABC podcast Download This Show, SBS podcast Few Who Do and, for this week and next, fill-in host on Mastermind Australia on SBS TV.

Bang On

• Zan Rowe and Myf Warhurst pull apart pop culture in a way that is effortless, empathetic and funny.

• Russia If You’re Listening
Matt Bevan’s unwrapping of the impact of Russian political interference is an actual thriller.

• The Business
The most important podcast in showbiz – hosted by award-winning journalist Kim Masters of The Hollywood Reporter and produced by KCRW.

• Running From Cops
An investigation into the ethics of making the TV show Cops. Was a huge fan of Dan Taberski’s last series Surviving Y2K.

• Wilosophy With Wil Anderson
Wil Anderson gets funny and interesting people to open up about the philosophy they live by. Sweet, hopeful, funny, raw. All the best ingredients right there.

Sports Week

• A-League, Optus WWC team, Crocmedia, French Open

Optus Sport reveals FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 broadcast team

Optus Sport has assembled its female-led broadcast team ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019, bringing together Australia’s best journalists and football talent.

Melanie McLaughlin will be joining Amy Duggan to host the overnight coverage of all 52 games of the tournament on Optus Sport, with presenter Richard Bayliss leading the live highlights show each morning.

In addition, an impressive group of former Matildas and Socceroos will provide expert analysis across the coverage, joining former Matildas Heather Garriock and Alicia Ferguson in this role.

This includes former captain and FFA Hall of Fame inductee Cheryl Salisbury, as well as current Western Sydney W-League assistant coach Catherine Cannuli, former Canberra united striker Ashley Sykes, former Brisbane Roar midfielder Amy Chapman, current Western Sydney Wanderers player Georgia Yeoman-Dale as well as former Melbourne Victory midfielder Tal Karp.

The former Socceroos joining the team are Mark Schwarzer, John Aloisi, current Western Sydney W-League coach Dean Heffernan and current Sydney FC W-League coach Ante Juric.

Optus Sport welcomes back Jules Breach, who after hosting coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, will join the crews in France alongside reporters Niav Owens and Michelle Escobar.

“It has been a spectacular year of football on Optus Sport. From the 2018 FIFA World Cup through to the UEFA Champions League, I still can’t quite believe what we witnessed in the semi-finals and we have still got an all-England final to go,” host Mel McLaughlin said.

“It sets things up perfectly for Optus Sport’s coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. I don’t think people realise just how exciting and how massive this tournament is going to be and how lucky we are to be seeing every single minute.

“Add to that, the Matildas are genuine contenders and the whole month is going to feel like Christmas for football fans.

“I’m in awe of the broadcast team that Optus Sport has put together, some of this team I have loved and idolised for years. I’m just so proud to be part of what will be the most comprehensive coverage this country has seen – and what the game and the Matildas deserve.”

Optus Sport is the only place to watch all 52 matches of the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament live, and the broadcast team will provide extensive match coverage, expert opinion, in-depth analysis and behind the scenes access from France.

“We have declared this FIFA Women’s World Cup will be the most comprehensive coverage Australia has seen, and it is this stellar broadcast team that will bring our coverage together for our viewers,” Optus’ head of TV and content Corin Dimopoulos said.


Amy Duggan, Melanie McLaughlin and Richard Bayliss.

Heather Garriock, Alicia Ferguson, Cheryl Salisbury, Mark Schwarzer, John Aloisi, Catherine Cannuli, Ashley Sykes, Georgia Yeoman-Dale, Amy Chapman, Tal Karp, Dean Heffernan and Ante Juric.


Jules Breach, Niav Owens and Michelle Escobar.

Optus Sport broadcast partners for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 include Nike, Powerade and Huawei.

Over 400,000 watching A-League Grand Final

The A-League Grand Final was carried on 10 Bold on Sunday night with the match pulling an audience of 215,000. The numbers swelled late in the game, which was eventually decided by a penalty shootout. The post-game audience watching Sydney FC get another A-League trophy was 162,000.

The final game of the A-League season averaged 137,000 on Fox Sports until it went into extra time. By then the crowd watching had swelled to 191,000.

The Grand Final audience watching on Fox Sports in 2018 was 217,000.

Crocmedia extends partnership with Golf Australia

Crocmedia has announced an expansion of its partnership with Golf Australia that will see key golf events broadcast on radio and on-course simultaneously over the next 12 months.

The news comes as Crocmedia and Golf Australia marked the 100th edition of their co-produced podcast and radio show Inside The Ropes with a video episode.

Hosted by Andrew Maher and Golf Australia’s Mark Hayes, Inside The Ropes has experienced great success – broadcasting on over 157 frequencies with 67,000 listeners since its inception.

The next instalment of the Emirates Australian Open and the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open will be broadcast across multiple platforms on the wider SEN network.

Sydney’s The Australian Golf Course will play host to The Emirates Men’s Australian Open in December 2019.

The 2020 ISPS Handa Women’s Open will also be available on 1377 SEN + while 1629 SEN SA’s Kymbo and the Rooch will broadcast on-site from the tournament at The Granges Golf Course in South Australia.

The partnership also includes live coverage on 1116 SEN of the ISPS Handa Victorian Open from the iconic 13th Beach Golf Course in Barwon Heads in February 2020.

A special outside broadcast will take place from the Victorian Open on 1116 SEN’s Afternoons with Andy Maher and Drive with KB and the Doc.

Tailored earpieces will also be available on-course for the three events so fans can listen remotely to all of the live commentary and analysis from each event.

Crocmedia chief executive officer Craig Hutchison announced the expansion.

“Golf Australia has worked tirelessly toward its ‘one golf’ strategy and it sits perfectly within our ‘whole of sport’ strategy.

“They are very active content creators and curators, and determined to drive greater value to existing players and find new fans of the sport. We’ll be chipping in with everything we do to help make that happen,” Hutchison said.

Fox Sports’ French Open: 200 hours+ live in HD, Sam Groth joins team

Fox Sports is promising the most comprehensive coverage of the year’s second grand slam, when Roland-Garros 2019 swings into action on Sunday, May 26.

Fox Sports will air over 200 hours of live coverage in HD of the tournament from the opening day through to the Men’s and Women’s Singles Finals.

The world’s most famous clay tournament will take place at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France from Sunday, May 26 to Sunday, June 9 and will feature the world’s best tennis players vying for the trophy.

Fox Sports’ daily coverage begins Sunday, May 26 at 6.50pm AEST on Fox Sports More 507.

Former Australian Davis Cup player Sam Groth will join the Fox Sports team to call the action throughout the two-week tournament.

Macquarie Sports Radio signs Roy & HG for Saturday mornings

Australian sports commentary duo Roy and HG have a new home on Macquarie Sports Radio.

Just Short of a Length with Roy and H.G. will pad up for one of the world’s most hotly anticipated sporting spectacles – the ICC Cricket World Cup.

Clocking in at 45 days, the ICC Cricket World Cup is coming off the long run and Roy and HG are on the front foot for the balls, bats, and bails.

“It’s been a dream to cover every ball of an ODI World Cup and Macquarie Sports Radio have gone above and beyond in making this happen.” Roy and HG said.

“Just Short of a Length with Roy and HG will cover every snick and flick of the most exciting sports event in 2019 – a year chockablock full of greatness.

“We are simply over the moon and promise to play every ball on its merit.”

Macquarie Sports Radio will broadcast exclusive coverage of the ICC Cricket World Cup, with Just Short of a Length with Roy and HG airing between 10am and 12pm AEST each Saturday, coinciding with the tournament which runs from May 30 to July 14.

Macquarie Media CEO Adam Lang said the network was delighted to secure the duo ahead of an exciting ICC Cricket World Cup.

“We are beyond thrilled to be welcoming Roy and HG to the Macquarie Sports Radio family. Their passion for sport and the irreverent nature in which they present are a perfect fit for a radio station dedicated to delivering more laughs and more live sport than ever before. This is a big win for our audience, our clients and ourselves.”

Just Short of a Length with Roy and HG premieres on Saturday, June 1, at 10am on Macquarie Sports Radio in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Ironman: Winning bidder paying $31m for Nine’s event business

• Redundancies for some as Nine keeps some events, ends others

Nine has today confirmed the sale of its major sports events to The Ironman Group for $31 million, with completion to occur on May 31, 2019.

The sale will see around half of the employees within the events and entertainment division (formerly Fairfax Events and Entertainment) moving across to The Ironman Group’s Oceania Division in order to run The Sun-Herald City2Surf presented by Westpac, The Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon, Carman’s Women’s Fun Run, Melbourne Corporate Triathlon and Spring Cycle.

Nine’s publications will continue to have an ongoing relationship with their respective events, continuing as naming partners.

“The Fairfax Media Events team are outstanding and have a reputation for delivering world-class events. Sydney and Melbourne are considered two of the world’s greatest cities and with the addition of these events, we now have a major presence in each with staff expertise that will allow for us to be forward thinking as we evolve and develop,” said Dave Beeche, managing director for The Ironman Group in Oceania.

“We look forward to integrating those involved with the events into our business as we continue to ensure our global community receives the life-changing race experiences that they have come to know and expect from us.”

Nine has also confirmed that its business and food assets, which include the Night Noodle Markets, Good Food Month, The Australian Financial Review Business Summit and Women of Influence Awards, will move into its publishing division to better align with their respective editorial brands.

“Today’s announcement sees iconic events like The Sun-Herald City2Surf and The Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon bought by an owner who is well placed to maximise the value of the business and help it grow into the future,” said Alex Parsons, acting managing director of Nine’s events and entertainment division.

“The decision to put food and business within publishing helps to ensure popular events like Good Food Month and The Australian Financial Review Business Summit continue to be well placed to leverage the power of their associated editorial brands.”

As part of these changes, Nine also confirmed it would no longer continue with some of its smaller sporting events, and also exit the parenting vertical. These changes have resulted in a limited number of redundancies within the business.

Alex Parsons, who was brought in to oversee the sale process, will complete the sale and related transactions in the coming weeks.

Game of Thrones breaks ratings as families break wheel of tyranny

• Series final another record for Foxtel and HBO

Another 1m+ crowd greeted the final episode in the final season Game of Thrones last night on Foxtel. Audiences watching one of the various linear TV broadcasts across the day from 11am onwards pushed just above 1m without counting any of the Foxtel Go or Foxtel Now audiences.

In the US the HBO megahit drew 13.6m viewers for its initial screening, but when replays and initial US streaming figures are added that number climbs to 19.3m. That is a record for both Game of Thrones and HBO overall.

The previous HBO record only lasted a week, which was the 18.4m watching the penultimate GoT episode.

The previous US high for Game of Thrones was set for the penultimate episode on May 12, which delivered 12.48 million viewers for its debut screening and a first-night total of 18.4 million.

Mediaweek will update the final episode numbers plus ratings highlights across the seasons of GoT later today.

TV Demand: Game of Thrones in cruise control + Titans join top five

Game of Thrones refuses to slow down posting another demand expressions score close to 20 million (Aus) and topping the Overall TV charts in both Aus and NZ.

By Trent Thomas

With the season finale falling into next week’s scoring period it will be interesting to see how high it can get, after already setting unmatched numbers throughout its final season.

Lucifer has extended its lead of the Digital Originals chart this week after making 2.82m (Aus) and 322,889 (NZ) demand expressions which were both increases on last week as it continues its momentum after releasing its fourth season two weeks ago

The biggest movement this week in the Australian Digital Originals chart is by DC’s Titans which features Australian actor Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson (AKA Batman’s sidekick Robin) who leads his own group of young superheroes. Anticipation for season two (due out later this year) has started to increase in the last few weeks as more information continues to come out about the production such as Robin’s new look and Game of Thrones Iain Glenbeing being cast as Bruce Wayne. Titans join its own spin-off Doom Patrol in the top five of the Digital Original Charts after dropping out earlier this year but has made a big return featuring at number three in Australia.

As predicted last week The Big Bang Theory moved up the chart in quick order after airing its last ever episode last week after 12 seasons. The surge saw the show move to fifth (Aus) and third (NZ) spots respectively on the Overall TV charts.

Although all eyes will be on the biggest finale of the year when Game of Thrones finally concludes, it has already gotten over 20 million demand expressions once this year, will it be able to do it for a second time?

Box Office: Avengers: Endgame falls to John Wick

Despite a very healthy total of over $3m, it was not enough for Avengers: Endgame to keep top spot at the Australian box office over the weekend.

By Trent Thomas

It was also not enough to get the second spot either as it had to settle for bronze sliding down to the third place behind John Wick: Chapter Three and Pokemon Detective Pikachu.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Endgame as it pushed its overall total to $78.66m as it edges closer to the $94.03m needed to be the second highest grossing movie ever in Australian cinemas. While cruising past Avengers: Infinity War in most areas with relative ease, it wasn’t able to match its five consecutive weeks at number one.

John Wick was the only new entry to the top five this week amongst a fairly stationary leaderboard with no movie declining over 44%, with Poms being the movie to make way, with the Diane Keaton vehicle unable to build momentum after its opening weekend.

The overall box office has declined for the third consecutive week after the release of Endgame, this time going down 13% for a total of $13.98m. 

#1 John Wick: Chapter Three $4.14m

John Wick has had a bit of an underdog victory claiming top spot after being shown on the least amount of screens (259) out of all the films in the top five this weekend. The film starring Keanu Reeves generated a very healthy average of $16,017 per screen, as it proves the movie franchise hasn’t lost any of its appeal with its third iteration. 


#2 Pokemon: Detective Pikachu

In second place for the second week in a row after debuting last week, the live action adaption of Pokemon was able to impressively get past Endgame but wasn’t able to hold off new entry John Wick. The film suffered a 34% decline in revenue and got past the $3m mark, averaging $11,235 across 295 screens brought its overall total to $9.41m.


#3 Avengers: Endgame $3.08m

Despite being the most screened film in the country (522), the record breaking Endgame slips to third spot after a decline of 44% (the largest fall in the top five) and takes an average of $5,903 per screen.


#4 The Hustle $1.39m

The buddy comedy has managed to hold on to its audience after a strong opening weekend, only declining 37% as it managed an average of $1,741 per screen.


#5 Top End Wedding $518,700

Impressively the Aussie rom-com stays in the top five for a third week in a row despite the big drop off between fourth and fifth spot of close to $1m. It has now grossed $3.83m in its homeland and this week averaged $1,741 on 288 screens.


TV Ratings Analysis: May 20

• The Voice helps Nine maintain primary & network Monday lead
• House Rules again #2 at 7.30pm, ahead of MasterChef legend
• Blokes dodge a TV bullet again as sixth woman departs MasterChef

Monday Week 21 2019

By James Manning

• Seven News 1,160,000/1,093,000
• Nine News 988,000/967,000
• A Current Affair 820,000
• ABC News 786,000
• 7.30 671,000
• The Project 281,000/486,000
• 10 News First 419,000
• SBS World News 128,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 277,000
• Today 202,000


Home And Away was up over 700,000 to start the week. Its week 20 average was 649,000, close to the previous week’s 643,000.

House Rules Monday was second in the timeslot on 668,000 after 669,000 a week ago.

9-1-1 then did 416,000 after 446,000 last week.

7mate’s Talking Footy was on 117,000.


Mediaweek contributor Andrew Mercado was a guest on A Current Affair last night, speaking with reporter Brady Hall about great TV series final episodes in the wake of the end of Game of Thrones. The show has started the week on 820,000. Its week 20 average was 735,000, up on the previous week of 724,000.

The second night of The Voice did 963,000 after launching on Sunday with 1.012m. Viewers wouldn’t have been surprised to learn that coach Boy George returned to his chair after he stormed off the set.

Ed Sheeran was then one of the guests on Nine’s Elvis All-Star Tribute Special, which did 382,000.

The late night AFL and NRL shows then followed in their respective markets – Footy Classified on 107,000 and 100% Footy on 55,000.


The second Legend in a special MasterChef week featured Clare Smyth who was rightly greeted like cooking royalty despite not quite being a household name here. She then took part in eliminating another female contestant – Jess Hall – who is the sixth woman to lose her spot. The Monday audience was 600,000 after 614,000 a week ago.

Have You Been Paying Attention? had Nova’s Marty Sheargold amongst the guests. The second episode this season was on 673,000, down from its 786,000 debut.


Australian Story was just over 600,000 at 8pm with a tribute to former PM Bob Hawke.

Four Corners was then on 517,000 with an episode tracking the movements of the candidates in Warringah on election day.

Media Watch did 527,000 followed by Q&A with Alan Jones among the guests. The episode did 520,000, just short of its best audience of 526,000 earlier this year.


The launch of Medicine Or Myth performed well, pulling the channel’s biggest audience of 330,000.

Great American Railroad Journeys was next best on 192,000.

Week 21 TV: Monday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 15.4% 7 18.6% 9 21.7% 10  13.2% SBS One 5.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.3% 7TWO 2.9% GO! 2.9% 10 Bold 3.2% VICELAND 0.8%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 3.3% GEM 2.4% 10 Peach 1.8% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix 1.2% 9Life 1.7%     NITV 0.1%
    7Food 0.4%            
TOTAL 19.4%   26.4%   28.7%   18.2%   7.3%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 13.2% 7 20.4% 9 16.9% WIN 9.9% SBS One 5.4%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.8% 7TWO 3.8% GO! 3.7% WIN Bold 3.5% VICELAND 0.9%
ABC ME 1.0% 7mate 4.6% GEM 4.2% WIN Peach 2.2% Food Net 0.7%
ABC NEWS 1.1% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.4% 9Life 1.6% Sky News  on WIN 2.4% NITV 0.1%
    7food (QLD only) 0.4%            
TOTAL 18.1%   30.5%   26.3%   18.0%   7.1%


Monday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,160,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 1,093,000
  3. Nine News Nine 988,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 967,000
  5. The Voice Nine 963,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 820,000
  7. ABC News ABC 786,000
  8. Home And Away Seven 727,000
  9. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 673,000
  10. 7.30 ABC 671,000
  11. House Rules – Seven 668,000
  12. The Chase Australia Seven 633,000
  13. Australian Story ABC 619,000
  14. Masterchef Australia 10 600,000
  15. Hot Seat Nine 549,000
  16. Media Watch ABC 527,000
  17. Q&A-Le ABC 520,000
  18. Four Corners ABC 517,000
  19. The Project 7pm 10 486,000
  20. 10 News First 10 419,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 241,000
  2. Masterchef Australia 10 176,000
  3. The Voice Nine 172,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 155,000
  5. Home And Away Seven 148,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. The Voice Nine 385,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 362,000
  3. Masterchef Australia 10 273,000
  4. Home And Away Seven 261,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 261,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. The Voice Nine 423,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 390,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 318,000
  4. Nine News Nine 310,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 306,000
Monday Multichannel
  1. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 173,000
  2. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 171,000
  3. School Of Roars PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 170,000
  4. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 162,000
  5. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 157,000
  6. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 156,000
  7. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  8. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 146,000
  9. Molly And Mack PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  10. Bondi Rescue Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 141,000
  11. Fireman Sam PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  12. Hey Duggee AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 138,000
  13. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  14. Nella The Princess Knight AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  15. PJ Masks AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  16. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  17. Neighbours 10 Peach 128,000
  18. Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  19. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  20. Rita And Crocodile AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
Monday STV
  1. Game Of Thrones FOX SHOWCASE 335,000
  2. Game Of Thrones FOX SHOWCASE 232,000
  3. Game Of Thrones FOX SHOWCASE 225,000
  4. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 110,000
  5. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 102,000
  6. Credlin Sky News Live 87,000
  7. Game Of Thrones FOX SHOWCASE 85,000
  8. Game Of Thrones FOX SHOWCASE 81,000
  9. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 81,000
  10. Speers Sky News Live 72,000
  11. Kenny On Media Sky News Live 72,000
  12. Game Of Thrones FOX SHOWCASE 68,000
  13. PML Later Sky News Live 67,000
  14. Live: On The Couch FOX FOOTY 65,000
  15. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 59,000
  16. Thrones 360: Live FOX SHOWCASE 56,000
  17. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 45,000
  18. Speers Sky News Live 45,000
  19. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 45,000
  20. The Simpsons FOX8 42,000

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

Election ramifications: ABC staff told to brace for cuts

ABC staff have been warned to brace for cuts following Scott Morrison’s shock election win, with the national broadcaster needing to find $14.6 million in savings in the next financial year, reports The Australian’s Andrew White.

Managing director David Anderson told staff yesterday a “budget challenge” was looming after his lobbying efforts in Canberra to reverse a freeze on indexation to its $1 billion budget were ignored.

The ABC will not receive $83.7m in budget increases over the next three years after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg last month confirmed a freeze on increases linked to inflation.

In an email to staff yesterday, Anderson said the ABC faced cuts to its budget of $14.6m from July as a result of the indexation freeze.

[Read the original]

The Age’s Michael Lallo quotes one senior ABC staff member saying Anderson may lobby the government to reverse the cuts:

“Nobody loves market research more than Scott Morrison,” the staff member said, referring to the prime minister’s previous career as head of Tourism Australia.

“He’d be well aware that most Australians are fond of the ABC and, apart from a vocal minority of reactionaries, most people don’t want to see it diminished.”

[Read the original]

News Brands

George Pell contempt charges against Ray Hadley and editor withdrawn

Contempt of court proceedings against broadcaster Ray Hadley and the editor of the Herald Sun newspaper have been withdrawn in relation to the conviction of Cardinal George Pell, reports ABC News’ Karen Percy.

The names of the editor of the Herald Sun newspaper, Damon Johnston, and Hadley, a 2GB radio broadcaster, have been struck out from updated documents filed in the Victorian Supreme Court on Monday by Victoria’s Office of Public Prosecution (OPP).

More than 30 journalists and news organisations are still facing contempt proceedings after allegedly breaching suppression orders related to the guilty verdict against Cardinal Pell over historic sexual offences.

When the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) first filed the proceedings, it contended many of the 36 named parties “had a tendency to interfere with the due administration of justice in the prosecution of Pell”.

In the updated statement of claim, Johnston and Hadley were not listed as defendants.

The documents show the publisher of the Herald Sun, the Herald and Weekly Times, is still facing possible sanctions over its online coverage.

Macquarie Media, which owns 2GB, is also still being pursued by the DPP.

[Read the original]

MP’s claim: Far-right and The Guardian created ‘fake’ story

Liberal MP Andrew Hastie says he is pursuing legal advice over articles published during the federal election campaign that reported he had met with far-right extremist and convicted criminal Neil Erikson at a white farmers’ rally in Perth in April last year, reports The Australian’s Victoria Laurie.

Hastie, who has regained his seat of Canning with a 4.6% swing to the Liberals, announced he had placed the matter with his lawyers after Erikson posted a video on Google saying that he had made it all up.

In the video titled “The Media are idiots – Sorry Hastie” and posted hours after the polls closed at the weekend, Erikson said he had been at the rally but had lied about meeting Hastie and another Liberal MP Ian Goodenough.

A spokesman for Guardian Australia said their reports were not based on Erikson’s claims, but on Goodenough saying he and Hastie had met Erikson at the rally. “We approached Mr Hastie before publishing that article and he did not provide comment.

“When Mr Hastie later denied meeting Mr Erikson, we reported that also, along with Mr Goodenough’s further description of the ‘brief encounter’.”

[Read the original]

Journalists slam membership tweet from MEAA regarding election result

A post-election “call to arms” tweet made from the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance account has sparked backlash online, with some saying the statement is at odds with the premise of journalistic impartiality, reports The Australian’s Elias Vistonay.

The tweet has since been deleted, and called for those “angry at the result of Saturday’s election” to join the union.

“Our strength comes from working together, even in moments of adversity. YOU are our strength and together we will overcome any challenge we meet in the next three years”.

John Lyons, head of investigative journalism at the ABC and three time Walkley Award winner, said it was “utter nonsense”.

“Our job as journalists is to report events, not to get ‘angry’ after the majority of Australians choose a Govt,” he tweeted.

After deleting the tweet, the MEAA reposted it without mention of the election.

An MEAA spokesman told The Australian the MEAA Twitter account is shared by its different wings, which cover journalists, actors, musicians and those in the entertainment industry.

He explained that the tweet was made with the hashtags #MEAAEquity and #MEAAECS, and that it was intended for members of its equity and crew sections, and not journalists.

[Read the original]

Pioneering editor and film critic Evan Williams dies aged 84

Pioneering editor of The Sunday Australian and longstanding film critic Evan Williams died at his home in Sydney last week, reports The Australian’s Matthew Westwood. He was 84.


Williams began his career as a cadet journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald in 1952 and in 1971 was appointed the inaugural editor of the Sunday edition of The Australian, published for just over a year before being merged with The Sunday Telegraph.

A decade later he returned to The Australian as a film critic – moonlighting from his job as an arts bureaucrat – and stayed for 33 years during which he shared his spot with David Stratton.

His son, author Roy Williams, described his father as a libertarian in matters of artistic ­expression. “He was a very moral person but he did not believe in censorship,” he said.

Williams and wife Janet celebrated 60 years of marriage in January.

[Read the original]

The Australian today publishes a tribute from his son Roy Williams:

With the death of Bob Hawke last Thursday and Saturday’s election result, the Australian Labor Party has endured a traumatic week.

Just a few days earlier it also lost one of its finest, if most humble, servants. Evan Williams neither sought nor attained political fame but for nearly 40 years he was a trusted confidant of some of the ALP’s titanic figures.

He used his talents to help them try to implement a shared vision of Australia: fair, humane, socially inclusive, intellectually and culturally enlightened.

Williams’s most lasting achievements were in the field of the arts, but the proudest period of his working life lasted from early 1973 to late 1977. He served as press secretary and speechwriter to Gough Whitlam, initially as prime minister, then from December 1975 leader of the federal opposition. While not blind to Whitlam’s flaws, Williams freely admitted that “Gough” was his hero. “I loved his vigour, his insouciance, his erudition, his candour, his eloquence, his daring,” he once said. “His chief attribute was a kind of innocence.”

[Read the original]


Women In Vogue: Gallery celebrating 60 Years of Vogue in Australia

Vogue Australia and the National Portrait Gallery have collaborated to produce a special exhibition, Women In Vogue: Celebrating 60 Years.

Opening on 11 October, 2019 the dynamic exhibition will showcase 60 years of the Vogue Australia archive, together with a special tribute to some of the remarkable Australian women who have featured in its pages. The show will include iconic portraits of Cate Blanchett, Kylie Minogue and Elle Macpherson, among others.

Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Edwina McCann said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with the Gallery on this very special exhibition. Vogue Australia has been a renowned and trusted source for fashion and beauty in this country for 60 years, something we are very proud of.

“The elegant and contemporary exhibition will draw on our archive and highlight Vogue Australia’s role in documenting the changing roles and diversity of Australian womanhood over two generations. I couldn’t think of a better way to start our 60th anniversary celebrations.”

The Gallery’s director Karen Quinlan said: “This exhibition will reveal stunning images of some of the nation’s leading cultural exports from the last 60 years, as seen in Vogue.

“Rare examples of archived magazines will be on show, from the early decades of publication through to bold photographs of icons of the 21st century. Here at the home of portraiture, this collaboration will present images of the vibrant, evolving identity of Australian women.”

Women In Vogue: Celebrating 60 Years in Australia will be on at the Portrait Gallery from 11 October to 24 November, 2019. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased via the Gallery’s website.

The exhibition is supported by the Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation.


Foxtel scrambles to keep subscribers after Game of Thrones finale

Embattled pay TV provider Foxtel has offered some customers aggressive discounts as it scrambles to halt an exodus of subscribers following the end of hit series Game of Thrones, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Josh Dye.

The pay TV provider emailed selected customers on Monday following the final episode of the show offering discounts of $10 a month for the next 12 months.

“There is life after Game of Thrones,” the email to customers of its Foxtel Now streaming service on Monday said.

The discount offer ends on May 31 and must be redeemed via a unique code, to avoid it being shared with more people.

Foxtel declined to say how many customers had signed up ahead of the cult series, or how many customers had cancelled.

“We’re proud to have had the privilege of bringing our customers one of the greatest TV events of all time and are equally thrilled with the subscription response to Foxtel Now that came with the lead up to Game of Thrones,” a Foxtel spokesman told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

“As part of this upcoming season of drama, we are sending a select group of customers a special offer to keep their subscriptions open so they can continue to enjoy a host of new drama and movies.”

[Read the original]

Final episode: Reign ends for flawed but fabulous Game of Thrones

Eight years ago, when HBO’s Game of Thrones made its modest debut, no one imagined a sex-drenched medieval fantasy featuring dragons and zombies would become the defining television phenomenon of the decade, reports The Australian’s Justin Burke.

And as of yesterday’s episode on Foxtel, it’s all over. Endings can be a raw and divisive experience for audiences; perhaps more so in this case for Australian ones, who could rightly conclude that the federal election last weekend delivered superior twists and turns.

The dramatic features of the finale, The Iron Throne, were deserved, if unsurprising. Daenerys Targaryen had been the show’s beloved dragon-riding heroine until she burned the inhabitants of an entire city, simultaneously winning the Iron Throne and forfeiting her moral claim to it with her ends-justified-the-means utopianism. Her lover (and nephew) Jon Snow chose duty over love and stabbed her during a passionate embrace in sight of the throne she had long coveted. And Bran Stark, the wheelchair-bound boy wizard, was crowned – as most bookmakers had predicted.

Did all of this unfold with panache, poignancy, suspense? No. Rather, it felt like the efforts of a creatively exhausted production.

[Read the original]

Why that rushed Game of Thrones finale made perfect sense

After all the bloodshed, butchery and burning, Game of Thrones ended not with a bang but with a ballot. Democracy trounced dragons, comments The Age’s Karl Quinn.

For 72 episodes spread over eight seasons, the world’s biggest television drama had been driven by one central question: who would sit on the Iron Throne? Would it be Daenerys Targaryen, the mother of dragons, who believed it was her destiny not only to rule the Seven Kingdoms but to “break the wheel” of tyranny that had kept the ordinary people repressed for, well, forever?

In dramatic terms, it may have resolved itself with something like indecent haste. But thematically, it made perfect sense.

Warfare and bloodshed may have provided many of the thrills across the 73 episodes of Game of Thrones, but there was never any real doubt that politics would win in the end.

[Read the original]

Sports Media

AFL’s push into China gathers momentum

The AFL will open a commercial office in Shanghai to try to sign more Chinese sponsors and help Australian companies break into the Chinese market, headlining a strategy of devoting more resources to one of the world’s fast-growing economies, reports The Australian’s John Stensholt.

The move will follow Port Adelaide’s upcoming match against St Kilda in Shanghai on June 2, which is set to be the South Australian side’s most profitable venture overseas yet. Port Adelaide will make $300-500,000 from the match, having clinched new sponsorship deals and sold corporate packages around the game, which will account for about 12 per cent of the club’s annual revenue this year.

Port Adelaide chairman David Koch told The Australian his club would make its first profit in the third edition of the China game after two previous matches against Gold Coast.

“The game is very expensive. It costs $4.5 million to put on but that is fully underwritten by our Chinese partner (Gui Guojie’s Shanghai CRED), who we have for another five years including this year,” Koch said.

“We’ve broken even for the first two years, but we will make money from the venture this year.”

The match will be broadcast on Guangzhou TV and Shanghai TV in China, and the AFL claims all 10,500 tickets to the game will be sold – about half to locals and the remainder to Australian tourists and corporate hospitality guests.

[Read the original]

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