Friday May 25, 2018

New Mediaweek Podcasts

It’s been a busy week in the podcast studio for Mediaweek’s James Manning, who speaks with Fairfax Traveller editor Anthony Dennis, CJZ’s Michael Cordell and Nick Murray, Nine director of sport Tom Malone, and, of course, Mediaweek’s TV guru Andrew Mercado. 

Mercado & Manning TV podcast

Andrew Mercado and James Manning on the good and bad from the royal wedding, the return of Talkin’ ’Bout Your Generation, a preview of ABC’s Mystery Road drama and whether Netflix will really release over 400 originals between now and Christmas. Plus loads more!

Nine director of sport Tom Malone

Meet the team that strategised Nine’s move from cricket to tennis and hear about Nine’s plans for a summer without cricket. Mediaweek editor James Manning also talks to Malone about the changing menu at Wide World of Sports – tennis and netball are the new arrivals alongside rugby league.

Making TV: CJZ’s Michael Cordell and Nick Murray

Mediaweek’s James Manning hosts the first of a new series where we meet the makers of some of Australia’s biggest TV shows. Our first interview is with the co-owners of Australia and New Zealand production company CJZ – Michael Cordell and Nick Murray – which is the home of Bondi Rescue and Gruen among others.

Mediaweek with Traveller editor Anthony Dennis

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age travel section Traveller has been a big success for Fairfax Media over the last decade. Telling people about the best airline, the best seat and the best hotels has helped drive revenue and readership. In this podcast, Traveller editor Anthony Dennis talks about travel writing and how Fairfax built the brand. He also previews a special glossy magazine issue they published on May 19.

Listen to the podcasts online here, on PodcastOne here, or subscribe here.

John Stensholt on his final AFR Rich List: 12 new arrivals for 2018

• Media no longer a key to wealth creation… it’s all about property
• As editor moves to The Australian, could it be mooting a wealth list?

By James Manning

This is the final edition of the Rich List to be edited by John Stensholt. The longtime Fairfax Media journalist first edited what was then the BRW Rich List in 2008. The BRW brand is nowhere to be seen this year after the list last year was branded The AFR Rich List for the first time, after 33 years under the BRW banner.

Stensholt hasn’t worked on the Rich List every year, but he has done eight of the last 11.

The AFR Magazine Rich List edition this year is also available on newsstands for a month as well as being part of today’s Australian Financial Review newspaper.

John Stensholt

Although collecting and analysing the data remains a daunting task, Stensholt told Mediaweek rich folk cooperate now more than they ever have in the past. “You might be surprised just how much cooperation we actually get. It’s all on background of course and off the record. About 85% of people on the list engage with us every year. We call them and talk to them, they send us emails and we exchange all sorts of information. They would never admit it publicly, but they do it.”

This is an excerpt from the full article, which appears on Mediaweek Premium. Read the full article hereor subscribe to Mediaweek Premium here.

The royals and The Australian Women’s Weekly: An 85-year-old relationship

Having celebrated every royal event that has taken place in the last 85 years, Bauer Media’s The Australian Women’s Weekly wasn’t going to stop now.

By Kruti Joshi

It marked Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle by producing a souvenir edition of the magazine and hosting a high tea for its readers.

The love for the British royal family is still strong among the consumers of The Australia Women’s Weekly. Editor-in-chief Nicole Byers told Mediaweek that Meghan Markle, who is now the Duchess of Sussex, would take the fanfare around the royal family to new heights. “Meghan brings a real modernity to the monarchy,” Byers said.

The Weekly editor-in-chief Nicole Byers

The staff behind the Bauer Media monthly title gathered in the office on Park St in Sydney on May 19 to witness the wedding broadcast together. The team then worked over the weekend to produce the magazine, which hit the stands on May 24.

“We owe it our readers to deliver something like this. There was never really a question about doing something special as this,” Byers said.

The souvenir edition of The Weekly has 50 pages dedicated to the royal wedding. A challenging part of producing it was selecting the images. “We looked at every photo thinking, ‘In 10, 20 or 30 years, would these still have the same impact? Will it conjure up the feelings of the day?’” This is important because readers of The Weekly collect special editions of the magazine.

Following the ceremony, the pictures from the royal wedding were plastered on the front pages and covers of many newspapers and magazines around the world. Australia was no exception, with many mainstream entertainment magazines like New Idea, Woman’s Day and Who publishing royal wedding covers. Vogue Australia printed a one-off special edition too.

“What The Weekly offers is reports from Australia’s best-connected royal journalists, which is a real signature of our coverage. The execution of the cover and the simple and refined design is something that people come to us for,” Byers said.

Continued at mediaweek.com.au.

Top photo: The cover and inside cover of The Weekly’s Royal Wedding edition

Spectator: Bauer’s Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards

Interior design firm Alexander & Co. took home the most accolades at the 2018 Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards this week.

The annual event hosted by Bauer Media’s Belle magazine took place at the Coco Republic showroom in Alexandria, Sydney. Categories for the awards span across residential, commercial and hospitality sectors.

Alexander & Co. won three awards for its work on Palm Beach House and restaurant Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera. Founder of the company, Jeremy Bull, was named Interior Designer of the year.

Belle editor Tanya Buchanan said: “We are incredibly proud to drive these awards each year and are delighted that the awards are in their eighth year. The entries in 2018 were of the highest calibre and it was an honour to see firsthand the expertise and imagination behind Australia’s most outstanding interiors.”

Full list of winners at mediaweek.com.au.

Bauer CEO Paul Dykzeul, Belle feature writer Harry Roberts and Belle editor Tanya Buchanan

Kat Vidovic [L] and SMH journalist Andrew Hornery

Woods and Warner Co-director Sonia Warner, interior designer and author Greg Natale and Belle style director-at-large Steve Cordony

Belle editor Tanya Buchanan announcing the award winners

Belle editor Tanya Buchanan, Interior Designer of the Year Jeremy Bull and Belle style-director at-large Steve Cordony

Top photo: Jeremy Bull flanked by Alexander & Co. Marketing and Communications Director Tess Glasson

Andrew Mercado on TV: My Ryan Murphy obsession

I watched all 100 episodes of Nip/Tuck, convinced with every riotous instalment that it could not possibly get more morally corrupt.

By Andrew Mercado

Every week I was proved wrong as the show always scraped new lows in reprehensible behaviour. And after six seasons of scandal and silliness, its producer Ryan Murphy proved he was only just getting started, with a prolific output ever since (and Netflix is his next home).

His dramas have sometimes been hit (Feud) and miss (Scream Queens) but they are impossible to ignore. And his incredible American Crime franchise, is unmissable, beginning with the multi-award winning The People v. O.J. Simpson and now on Foxtel’s showcase The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

Darren Criss in The Assassination of Gianni Versace

This is the international TV drama of the year so far for me. Over nine episodes, it effortlessly recreates the most opulent of worlds, with Versace’s over the top mansions, and serial killer Andrew Cunanan (played by an actor Ryan Murphy discovered for Glee, Darren Criss). And despite it covering some of the creepiest territory yet (and that’s saying a lot, given Murphy’s wildly uneven American Horror Story), this is totally mesmerising from start to finish. It opens with the gunning down of Versace and then bounces around in time but, by showing every murder first and then following it with Cunanan’s twisted machinations, it helps make the tale even more twisted.

Murphy is never afraid to cast the biggest of stars, all of whom make you forget who they are. OK, maybe Cuba Gooding Jr wasn’t a great OJ Simpson, but others (like Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange as Bette and Joan) were totally convincing.

This time round, you will believe that Penelope Cruz is Donatella Versace and Ricky Martin will break your heart as Gianni’s partner. Australian audiences, used to seeing him on The Voice, won’t see anything they recognise here – he will amaze those fans.

Which brings us to fellow Voice judge, Delta Goodrem, who nailed Olivia Newton-John’s singing voice but could not get the rest of the illusion. The second part of Olivia: Hopeless Devoted To You, which one wag on rightfully described as “Hopelessly Convoluted”, was a ratings disaster, leaving all to declare, yet again, that the Aussie biopic is over.

Continued at mediaweek.com.au.

Top photo: Ryan Murphy (credit: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock)

Asia Media News: Outdoor Channel launching in Oz, Aussie to head Reuters bureau in Shenzhen

Mediaweek’s Peter Olszewski rounds up the latest media news from the Asian market.

Outdoor Channel Asia to launch in Australia on Seven

Outdoor Channel Asia has announced landmark distribution gains and launches in multiple countries, including its first entry into Australia. The channel has signed distribution deals with Easy TV in the Philippines, Click TV in Papua New Guinea, Cookie TV in Myanmar, PEO TV in Sri Lanka, and Indonesia’s Oona TV.

Outdoor Channel also lands for the first time in Australia through a multimedia content agreement with Seven network and its OTT platform 7Plus. Outdoor Channel-branded premium original productions will initially be available on demand on 7Plus with an expanded offering to launch later in this year. Outdoor Channel Asia is part of Multi Channels Asia and MCA managing director Gregg Creevey said, “Outdoor Channel continues to grow and cut through with a carefully curated proposition around Real, Life, Adventure.”

Multi Channels Asia and MCA managing director Gregg Creevey

Former Sydneysider to head Reuters bureau in Shenzhen

Former Sydneysider Sue-Lin Wong, who began her education at Sydney Girls High School and began her career in 2009 as a parliamentary assistant in Canberra, and is now Reuters South China Correspondent, will head Reuters new bureau in Shenzhen, China, slated to open late this month. Sue-Lin worked as media liaison for Sky News Australia in Canberra for 10 months up to November 2014 before joining Reuters in 2014. She has been based in Beijing since late 2015, covering economics and general news. Reuters said its new bureau reflects its ongoing commitment to reporting on China thoroughly and the establishment of the Shenzhen bureau recognises the pivotal role of the Pearl River Delta region in the global technology industry.

New Phnom Penh Post owner blasts former journalists

In what the South China Morning Post described as “a fiery press conference”, Siva Kumar Ganapathy, the new Malaysian owner of the Phnom Penh Post blasted former Post journalists as “careless, malicious and defamatory” in their reporting of his purchase of the paper from Perth miner, Bill Clough. He also brushed off suggestions of a wide media crackdown in Cambodia and strongly denied links to Prime Minister Hun Sen.

This contrasts last week with Media Watch’s somewhat skewed alarmist report linking the sale to a press freedom crackdown. Meanwhile, back in Phnom Penh, the Post publishes on, with the Khmer staff (none of whom resigned) obviously taking up the slack left by the foreigners’ walkout, and covering stories such as large protests against land evictions for a sugar company owned by a government senator.

Major Malaysian company warns of loss

Media Chinese International (MCI), the Kuala Lumpur-based international Chinese language media company, has issued a profit warning and is expecting to record a loss for the financial year ended March 31, 2018, after a profit last year. The company said the expected loss was “mainly attributable to a provision for the impairment of goodwill in relation to a business unit of the group”. The company has five daily newspapers in 13 editions, and three newspapers with a total daily circulation of about 1 million copies. It also owns Life Magazines, the largest Chinese language magazine publisher in Malaysia, and is the major shareholder of the One Media Group.

New Philippines manager for Turner Asia Pacific

Turner Asia Pacific has appointed Jia Salindong-Du as country manager for the Philippines, and her job will be to work with Turner’s Kids and Entertainment business in the country, including developing local content, creating greater consumer experiences and expanding the brands’ fan base. She will also support ad sales, and operate in tandem with the consumer products and licensing team for Cartoon Network. In addition, she will be responsible for the channel distribution of Turner brands locally, including CNN International, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Warner TV. She previously worked at Procter & Gamble on the beauty and hair care products to launch and build brands such as Olay, Rejoice and Safeguard.

Turner Asia Pacific’s Jia Salindong-Du

Omni Channels partners with Indonesian OTT aggregator

Omni Channels Asia, a new joint venture between LA’s TV4 Entertainment and Multi Channels Asia in Singapore, has partnered with Indonesia’s mobile-centric OTT aggregator Oona to launch up to 30 new genre-focused channels in Indonesia in 2018-2019. Oona has already launched the first eight channels this month, and the Oona Indonesia rollout comes only two months after Omni Channels Asia launched in Asia. The new channels service a wide range of interests and include home-focused Inside-Outside House & Garden, fishing hub Gone Fishing, music destination All Guitar Network and luxury aquatic channel Nautical Mile.

Controversy over sacking of Bangkok Post editor

The editor of the Bangkok Post, Umesh Pandey, was dismissed last week, but there is dissension among media outlets about reason for the exit. The Guardian said Umesh, who became editor in July 2017, was axed because he refused to tone down coverage of the actions of the military government. The Guardian quoted a written statement by Umesh that read, “When asked to tone down I did not budge and was blunt in letting those who make decisions know that I would rather lose my position than bow my head.” But Khaosod English ran a headline saying Umesh was dismissed for mismanagement, not Junta pressure. Bangkok Post deputy CEO Nha-Kran Loahavilai said, “In November, I personally proposed removing him because his behaviour was unfit to be the Bangkok Post editor. But the board gave him a second chance, so I let him stay.”

Former Bangkok Post editor Umesh Pandey

Mediacorp optimises video buys

Singapore’s Mediacorp has introduced a new way of optimising video buys based on blended cost-per-viewer across screens. The company says the blended model provides optimal reach at the most cost-effective rate for its TV channels and OTT platform Toggle, and said the solution was developed with Mindshare and Unilever. The company can now unify linear and non-linear media buying by leveraging its media data points. Javed Jafri, channel communication manager of Unilever, said, “While TV remains a credible source of advertising, we need to adapt our multivideo solution to meet the changing consumer habits.” Melissa Tang, managing director of Mindshare Singapore, said, “Consumers are multiscreening, so the industry needs to adapt its approach to TV and digital video planning.”

Unilever’s Javed Jafri

Mediacorp creates new marketing group

Mediacorp has appointed media veteran Debra Soon as chief marketing officer and Irene Lim as chief customer officer, effective June 1.The company said it is creating an integrated marketing organisation that brings together the majority of its marketing and communications personnel under the leadership of Debra Soon. Karen Yew, head of brand and communications, and Christina Chua, head of partnerships and marketing, will report to Soon, whose career at Mediacorp spans over 20 years, after a start as a broadcast journalist. Soon oversaw an initiative to reengage radio listeners and keep Mediacorp radio stations in pole position through successive Nielsen radio listening surveys.

Pictured top: Debra Soon and Debra Soon

Continued at mediaweek.com.au.

Aussies In Asia: Craig Galvin – digital trailblazer and iflix short-form content global director

In March, iflix launched Studio 2:15, its all-new creative production business for short-form video content, noting that the studio would be headed by a new global director, “digital trailblazer” Craig Galvin.

By Peter Olszewski

• Mediaweek Asia profile: iflix CEO Mark Britt

Former Wollongong boy Galvin certainly is one of the original digital implementation dudes, right down to his bootstrapping prowess, pointing out that his first job – which ran for two years – was as online sales director for Ozemail’s search engine, Anzwers.

“I started at Ozemail in late 1995, in the relative infancy of the internet, when many thought it was a fad with no practical application,” he told Mediaweek. “My time at Ozemail gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation for what the internet could do.

“Its potential as a business and marketing platform was very exciting and, coupled with my own penchant for disruption, challenged me to navigate a new uncharted territory.

“The tiny internet advertising community that existed at the time was passionate about building and growing the industry. It was dedicated to making the internet central to any company’s marketing and business plans.”

His next career step, two years later in 1997, was to join a funky little Californian company with a funny name.

This is an excerpt from the full article, which appears on Mediaweek Premium. Read the full article hereor subscribe to Mediaweek Premium here.

TV Ratings Analysis: Thursday May 24

• TEN wraps Nigella Week with double serve: MasterChef & Masterclass
• Seven’s The Front Bar opens gap ahead of Nine’s AFL Footy Show

By James Manning

Seven

Home and Away spent the first three nights of the week between 660,000 and 700,000 and went out with 549,000 for a triple play Thursday.

The channel had a Gordon Ramsay double as some sort of tribute to Gordon Ramsay Week elsewhere. Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares did 251,000 followed by Ramsay’s Hotel Hell on 185,000.

The Front Bar did 292,000 across three AFL markets with 204,000 in Melbourne.

Nine

Leila McKinnon was on duty hosting A Current Affair with the first story looking at how much speed and red light cameras are raking in around Australia. The program also spoke with Sophie Monk ahead of the launch of Love Island next Sunday. The Thursday episode did 741,000.

NRL markets then had the clash between the Broncos and Parramatta with 418,000 across two markets – 193,000 in Sydney and 194,000 in Brisbane.

The Footy Shows did a combined 387,000 with 75,000 in Sydney and 172,000 in Melbourne.

TEN

Ice Cube was the special guest toward the end of The Project with 503,000 watching the Thursday edition after 7pm.

Nigella fans got a sweet treat last night as she featured in over two hours of primetime. The losing blue team from the midweek team challenge faced an elimination battle that started with a taste test. The team had three minutes to sample a wonderful Nigella trifle and write down as many ingredients as possible. The top five were safe and the remaining five had to cook using the trifle ingredients. Tim had a major fail trying to organise a bombe Alaska and was subsequently sent home. Nigella then joined the judges and remaining contestants at Jackalope on the Mornington Peninsula, where she put on a food masterclass with help from George working as her assistant while Matt and Gary also contributed recipes. The regular Thursday episode last night did 781,000 after 792,000 a week ago. The Nigella Masterclass then did 558,000. The two episodes were #1and #3 in 25-54 for Thursday.

ABC

Much celebration on the third evening of Stargazing Live with a Guinness World Record for the most people stargazing at the night sky across multiple locations. The three episodes on successive nights starting with Tuesday did 463,000, 497,000 and 379,000.

QI then did 242,000 at 9pm followed by Wentworth on 95,000.

SBS

A fresh episode of Great British Railway Journeys is a special event and season nine started last night with the first of 15 episodes. These were all broadcast in the UK on successive nights across the first three weeks of January this year. Host Michael Portillo’s trip from Cromer to Cambridge did 265,000. There were 239,000 watching a repeat episode on the previous Thursday.

Luke Nguyen’s Food Trail then visited Hong Kong with a guide to food spots. The episode did 138,000.

Episode six of The Handmaid’s Tale did 205,000.

Week 21 TV: Thursday
THURSDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 9.6% 7 17.2% 9 20.4% TEN 16.6% SBS One 4.9%
ABC 2 3.0% 7TWO 4.3% GO! 2.5% ONE 2.4% VICELAND 0.8%
ABC ME 1.0% 7mate 4.0% GEM 2.5% ELEVEN 2.8% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.8% 7flix 3.1% 9Life 2.1% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 15.4% 28.7% 27.4% 21.7% 6.8%
THURSDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates Ten Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.8% 7 17.2% 9 18.2% WIN 13.9% SBS One 3.8%
ABC 2 3.7% 7TWO 7.3% GO! 2.9% ONE 2.0% VICELAND 0.6%
ABC ME 1.5% 7mate 5.4% GEM 3.3% ELEVEN 2.4% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 3.1% 9Life 2.2% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 16.5% 33.0% 26.6% 18.3% 5.1%
THURSDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
82.6% 17.4%
Thursday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 930,000
  2. Nine News Nine 894,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 875,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 853,000
  5. MasterChef Australia Ten 781,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 741,000
  7. ABC News ABC 641,000
  8. The Chase Australia Seven 578,000
  9. MasterChef Australia – Masterclass Ten 558,000
  10. Home And Away Seven 549,000
  11. The Project 7pm Ten 503,000
  12. Hot Seat Nine 501,000
  13. Ten Eyewitness News First At Five Ten 425,000
  14. 7.30-Ev ABC 401,000
  15. Thursday Night NRL Live Nine 388,000
  16. The Footy Show Nine 387,000
  17. Stargazing Live ABC 379,000
  18. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 356,000
  19. The Project 6.30pm Ten 339,000
  20. Family Feud Ten 326,000
Demo Top Fives

16-39 Top 5

  1. MasterChef Australia Ten 236,000
  2. MasterChef Australia – Masterclass Ten 158,000
  3. The Project 7pm Ten 135,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 121,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 116,000

 

18-49 Top 5

  1. MasterChef Australia Ten 377,000
  2. MasterChef Australia – Masterclass Ten 246,000
  3. Nine News Nine 236,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 235,000
  5. The Project 7pm Ten 219,000

 

25-54 Top 5

  1. MasterChef Australia Ten 422,000
  2. Nine News Nine 294,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 291,000
  4. MasterChef Australia – Masterclass Ten 285,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 267,000
Thursday Multichannel
  1. Peppa Pig-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 221,000
  2. Hey Duggee-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 204,000
  3. Fireman Sam-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 197,000
  4. PJ Masks-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 188,000
  5. Father Brown-PM 7TWO 182,000
  6. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 174,000
  7. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 169,000
  8. Peppa Pig-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 168,000
  9. Kazoops!-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 165,000
  10. Thomas And Friends-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 163,000
  11. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 163,000
  12. Andy’s Baby Animals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 161,000
  13. Murdoch Mysteries-PM 7TWO 160,000
  14. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 160,000
  15. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 156,000
  16. Teacup Travels-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 155,000
  17. The Justine Clarke Show! ABCKIDS/COMEDY 151,000
  18. Olobob Top-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  19. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  20. Neighbours ELEVEN 141,000
Thursday Subscription TV
  1. Live: NRL Broncos v Eels FOX LEAGUE 236,000
  2. Live: NRL Thursday Night League FOX LEAGUE 91,000
  3. Live: The Late Show With Matty Johns FOX LEAGUE 80,000
  4. Selling Houses Australia LifeStyle Channel 74,000
  5. Wayne Bennett 800 FOX LEAGUE 70,000
  6. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 67,000
  7. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 61,000
  8. Gold Rush Discovery Channel 56,000
  9. Family Guy FOX8 51,000
  10. NCIS TVH!TS 49,000
  11. The Bolt Report SKY NEWS LIVE 46,000
  12. Paul Murray Live SKY NEWS LIVE 44,000
  13. Family Guy FOX8 41,000
  14. Gold Rush Discovery Channel 39,000
  15. Inside Bentley: A Great British Motorcar LifeStyle Channel 39,000
  16. Grand Designs New Zealand LifeStyle Channel 39,000
  17. Bones TVH!TS 38,000
  18. The Simpsons FOX8 38,000
  19. Puppy Dog Pals Disney Junior 36,000
  20. Credlin SKY NEWS LIVE 35,000

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

21st Century Fox investor urges Murdoch “to immediately engage” with Comcast

Christopher Hohn, the activist investor behind the TCI fund, has built a 7.4% stake in Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and has urged the mogul “to immediately engage” with Comcast when the US cable operator makes a formal offer for Fox’s entertainment assets, reports the Financial Times.

TCI has steadily built a stake in Fox, which is controlled by Murdoch through dual class shares. In a letter to Murdoch, Sir Christopher called on Murdoch to welcome any proposal from Comcast.

“We are aware that the Murdoch family has a potential conflict of interest because of capital gains tax, which could lead them to preferring a lower-priced Disney stock offer, to a higher-priced offer from Comcast,” the letter said.

[Read the original]

ABC reveals it spends almost $2m a year with Google and Facebook

The ABC has revealed it spends almost $2 million a year promoting its content on Google and Facebook, while denying that it uses public funds to compete with commercial networks, reports The Australian’s Dana McCauley.

ABC chief financial officer Louise Higgins told a Senate estimates committee hearing the public broadcaster would spend about $1.4m on Facebook advertising and $500,000 on Google AdWords this year, totalling almost half of its $4m annual marketing budget.

The ABC’s spending on Google AdWords was expected to rise to about $500,000 from $440,000 last year, Higgins said, adding that the corporation’s digital audience was growing.

[Read the original]

Welcome to Marvel Stadium: Eight-year Docklands deal starts September 1

Melbourne’s Docklands Stadium – currently known as “Etihad Stadium” – will soon be renamed “Marvel Stadium”, in a partnership between Disney and Melbourne Stadiums Limited (MSL) announced yesterday.

The new Marvel Stadium will launch on September 1.

The eight-year agreement includes complete rebranding and renaming of the stadium, a premium Marvel retail store, as well as a host of other activations that will bring much-loved Marvel stories and characters to life.

Senior Vice President and Managing Director of The Walt Disney Company Australia Kylie Watson-Wheeler said: “Australian fans are amongst the most passionate in the world and through our partnership with MSL, we hope to bring people together, and provide them with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the Marvel brand.

MSL’s Michael Green and Disney’s Kylie Watson-Wheeler

“Marvel is known for epic storytelling with heart, action, humour and relatability. MSL’s Docklands Stadium has told its own compelling stories over time, via a vast array of sport and entertainment. It’s why this partnership is such a great fit.”

MSL CEO Michael Green said: “Marvel is a powerhouse in the entertainment industry and one of the most recognised brand names in the world. It is a brand dedicated to audience experiences, which firmly aligns with our vision to create incredible experiences for fans.”

More at mediaweek.com.au.

News Brands

Sky News political reporter Samantha Maiden on leave pending an inquiry

Sky News federal political reporter Samantha Maiden is on leave pending an internal inquiry, reports The Australian.

Maiden has been a member of the Canberra press gallery for 20 years and joined Sky in 2017 after a lengthy stint writing for News Corp newspapers.

A spokesman for News Corp declined to comment on the matter, saying: “We do not comment on internal staff matters.” Maiden could not be reached for comment.

Freelance entertainment reporter Peter Ford broke the story on 3AW this morning. Maiden was hired by Sky to bolster its political coverage.

She has also worked for ABC News, Ten News, Seven News, AAP, The Adelaide Advertiser and The Australian.

[Read the original]

Publishing

News Corp’s Stellar joins the royal wedding hype with a special

News Corp’s newspaper-inserted magazine Stellar is joining the royal wedding bandwagon with its upcoming issue.

The magazine, which is circulated inside News Corp’s metro papers along the eastern seaboard, has published a special edition to mark the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Ita Buttrose has penned a piece about what impact the addition of Markle to the royal family will have on a generation of young women. “She presents the royal family (notably referred to as ‘The Firm’) with an opportunity to embrace changing social norms,” Buttrose writes.

Stellar also has an exclusive from former royal bridesmaid Amber Petty. She opened up about what it felt like to stand beside her best friend, fellow Australian Mary Donaldson, when she married Frederik, the Crown Prince of Denmark in 2004. “My biggest advice I would give to Meghan’s closest friends is, do not trust anybody. Do not try to be nice and ‘non-elitist’ by being too open to people,” Petty said.

Rich List edition of AFR Magazine also on sale as stand-alone edition

For the first time, the Rich List issue of The Australian Financial Review Magazine will be available as a stand-alone magazine on news stands from Monday May 28, as well as being distributed via The Australian Financial Review newspaper on Friday May 25.

The AFR Magazine is first and foremost a newspaper-inserted magazine and will always be inserted in the Financial Review newspaper,” said Michael Stutchbury, Editor-in-Chief of The Australian Financial Review.

“This special newsstand version of the Rich List issue of AFR Magazine follows demand from readers who’ve asked us how they can get the Rich List if they miss it in Friday’s newspaper. Our new micro-site also allows the brilliant portrait photography of our wealthiest people to be better displayed online.”

See also our interview today with Rich List editor John Stensholt.

Television

ABC TV smashes Guinness World Record for the most people stargazing

The ABC in partnership with the Australian National University (ANU) and Australians across the nation have smashed the Guinness World Record for the most people stargazing at the night sky across multiple locations, connecting communities in every corner of the country in the successful record bid.

Hosts Professor Brian Cox and Julia Zemiro stargazing with other Guinness World Record participants at Siding Springs Observatory Photo: Luke Wong

The Guinness World Records title for the most people stargazing across multiple venues at the same time was won during the broadcast of ABC’s Stargazing Live on Wednesday May 23.

Due to the number of participants involved, the exact number of people that helped to win this record is still being counted. However, the ABC confirms that the history-making achievement easily eclipsed the previous record set by the ANU in 2015 of 7,960 people observing across 37 locations, with over 40,000 people across Australia simultaneously observing the moon through a telescope for 10 minutes last night.

ABC director of entertainment & specialist David Anderson said, “Stargazing Live made science accessible and entertaining for Australians of all ages, across multiple platforms and services.

Stargazing Live exemplifies the ABC’s unrivalled commitment to high-quality and distinctive Australian content that always aspires to inform, to educate and to entertain, and no one but the ABC delivers such indispensable content and services to the Australian community,” he said.

“Through our world record attempt, we brought communities together in different locations across the country and inspired them to look to the moon and the stars beyond.”

Queer Eye’s Fab Five coming to Australia ahead of season 2 premiere

The cast of Netflix’s Queer Eye will be travelling to Australia ahead of the show’s season 2 premiere on the SVOD service.

The second season of the show will launch globally on June 15. Cast members Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness and Tan France – collectively known as the Fab Five – will be in Sydney for a promotional tour from June 6-9.

The first season of Queer Eye was released on Netflix on February 7. The show is a reboot of the Bravo series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, which was aired in 2003. The creator of the original, David Collins (Scout Productions), serves as executive producer on the rebooted version, along with producing partners Michael Williams and Rob Eric. David Eilenberg, Adam Sher, Jennifer Lane and Jordana Hochman are also executive producers of the program in association with ITV Entertainment.

Madonna King on 13 Reasons Why: “It should be yanked from the screen”

Journalist and commentator Madonna King writes about Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why for Fairfax Media:

If you haven’t seen it, don’t. If your teen is watching, please watch it with them. Don’t let them view this in a vacuum.

It is gratuitous, violent, and utterly sickening. It covers important topics but not in the way our teens need. And it should be yanked from the screen.

Now saying that will bring opposition and abuse. My email in-tray is empty and ready.

Indeed, when the Parents Television Council suggested that this week, they were immediately derided as conservative and pro-censorship.

They might be both but they might also consider anal rape and execrable violence as inappropriate topics for 14-year-olds, or 10-year-olds – and both those groups are watching this.

Our teens need to understand these issues but they need to understand them in a context that involves support and understanding and context. And none of those are offered by a quick reference to a couple of resources either side of an assault.

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Radio

Hot Breakfast co-hosts ask Wil Anderson to explain podcast criticisms

Wil Anderson was asked to “please explain” by his Triple M co-hosts this morning after bagging out their show in a recent podcast, reports news.com.au’s Andrew Bucklow.

Anderson, who hosts Triple M’s Hot Breakfast with Eddie McGuire and Luke Darcy, also hosts a podcast called Wilosophy.

In last week’s episode he interviewed 2Day FM radio host Em Rusciano.

At the very start of the podcast, Anderson was chatting to Rusciano about his Triple M radio show, which he joined late last year, replacing Mick Molloy.

And the comedian made it clear he has a few grievances with the way the radio show is run.

“We have about half a meeting for every show,” he told Rusciano.

“I reckon we could do with another half a meeting. The half of a meeting that I’ve put in place is still at least double what they used to have.”

He went on to explain to Rusciano that before he joined the show “they used to do nine-minute breaks and do two banks of ads next to each other because they’d have to drop the song that was meant to go between”.

“So people would hear f***ing 10 mins of content but then they’d hear f***ing eight mins of ads,” Anderson said. “It was a f***ing mess.”

Hot Breakfast co-host Luke Darcy raised Anderson’s less than flattering comments on air this morning but the Gruen host refused to back down.

“To be honest, I stand by all that,” he said after they replayed the podcast audio.

“I must admit that’s the first time I’ve heard it – sounds a bit worse than what I remembered,” he told Darcy and McGuire.

It appears the comments Anderson made about The Hot Breakfast have since been edited out of the Wilosophy podcast.

[Read the original]

Sports Media

Paul “Fatty” Vautin returns to The Footy Show to give a proper farewell to viewers

Longtime host of Nine’s The Footy Show Paul “Fatty” Vautin returned to the program last night to give a proper farewell to its viewers.

The NRL player turned media commentator had been sitting behind the desk on The Footy Show since 1994. Nine relieved Vautin of his duties on the program in October 2017, which came as “a bit of a shock and disappointment”, he said. Erin Molan was named the new host.

“In this world you’ve got to put the big boy pants on and move on,” Vautin told viewers. “I am not here to whine and whinge about getting punted. I am actually here to express my gratification.”

The dismissal has given him to the opportunity to get back to the grassroots of rugby league. “I’m extremely happy now being back in the commentary box and doing a bit of work with Rabs, Ray, Joey, Sterlo and all the boys.”

After 24 years of hosting the Thursday night program, Vautin called it, “one of the greatest television shows in the history of television”.

He took viewers back to its early days by talking about the origin of The Footy Show. “Sterlo and I started working in 1992. We started the Sunday Footy Show in 93. Gary Burns, our sports boss, came to us and said, ‘I think there’s a primetime television show in you two.’ We said, ‘What does primetime mean?’ We had no idea. He said, ‘I’m going to put you on at 9.30pm on a Thursday night. We’re going to do a show.’

“Can you imagine the pitch he made on the third floor? He would’ve said, ‘Tell you what I am going to do, boys. I am going to put a short, fat, redhead, who can hardly string three words together, alongside a balding ex-legend halfback with a massive nose and we are going to make gold television.’

“I don’t know if it was gold, but we got there and the show started.”

An evidently emotional Vautin thanked producers and staff behind the scenes, as well as the people he’d worked with in front of the camera.

To the fans, he said, “I have had a lot of laughs and I hoped you laughed with me.”

Patrick Delany rejects claims Fox Sports should be doing more for rugby

Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany has rejected claims that Fox Sports should be doing more to develop rugby in Australia, saying it was not a broadcaster’s role to oversee administration of the game.

Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany

Delany released a statement via Fox Sports yesterday:

The Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday published claims by consultant Colin Smith, of Global Media & Sports, that Foxtel had “its hands off the tiller” when it came to rugby, suggesting Fox Sports should accept more responsibility for problems facing the game.

Smith’s headline-grabbing assertion was met with a swift rebuttal by Delany.

“Fox Sports has broadcast every game of Super Rugby live from the inception of the competition, bringing rugby to millions of fans across the country,” Delany said.

“We have invested millions of dollars into the game and without our continued support, the competition would not exist as it does today and the rugby landscape in Australia would be vastly different.

“The issues that rugby faces are issues for those who run the game, and that is not us. Fox Sports is a broadcaster. We do not run sports. To suggest we should grab anyone else’s tiller is inappropriate. We are here to support our partners and will, of course, respond if asked for advice.”

In addition to the cutting-edge live coverage Fox Sports provides every week, Delany pointed to the broadcaster’s panel shows, where expert commentators dissect the best match highlights and issues facing the game for all rugby fans.

“We provide the platform and the megaphone for the game. The level of expertise of our commentary and our magazine shows, combined with our innovations in how the game is broadcast, reinforces our commitment to sport.

“The game has to perform in the sporting field to keep fans engaged with the sport they love.”

AFL’s new competition committee approaching media people to take part

AFL football boss Steve Hocking has revealed a new element of the competition committee will not just include former players, with several media personalities set to be asked to join a one-off meeting, reports Fox Sports’ Ben Waterworth.

Hocking revealed to Fox Footy’s On The Mark on Wednesday night that he plans to introduce a new competition committee component, which has been unofficially dubbed the “look of the game” group.

Hall of Fame legend Malcolm Blight confirmed on Wednesday night that he’d been contacted by Hocking, while it’s understood Leigh Matthews also took a phone call.

Former Herald Sun chief football writer and Open Mike host Mike Sheahan was one of the names flagged by Hocking during the interview.

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