Monday May 27, 2019

The TV doctor is back: David Castran and the return of Q-scores

• Initial research indicates prescription needed to overhaul news

By James Manning

David Castran has sometimes been called the TV doctor. The audience researcher has a long background in the industry working for a number of companies before launching his business Audience Development Australia (ADA) in 1993.

ADA successfully launched Q-scores, which ranked TV personalities according to how focus groups engaged with them. The first Q-scores were released in 1998.

“In 1993 I realised there was a gap in the market for non-ratings TV research,” Castran told Mediaweek. “We were researching the audience attitudes that drove the ratings.”

This time ADA will also be researching Netflix and Stan and online news services in addition to FTA TV.

Early in his career Castran worked for AGB Brandscan, later to become Homescan. The company was run by researcher Bill Pulver who sold it to Nielsen for $23m as part of a deal that wound up AGB, formerly owned by British media mogul Robert Maxwell.

Castran was later at Nielsen running the people meters before moving to Prime Television.

In the 1990s ADA did a lot of work on the evening news bulletins, key programming that locks in an audience early in the night.

ADA identified dissatisfaction with Nine’s Sydney news presenter Brian Henderson as his ratings dropped. Seven’s Sydney news presenter Roger Climpson soon found himself winning the ratings.

To help get the lead back, Nine introduced Bingo and a new promo called “Who’s who of news”, which eventually saw them claw back the lead over Seven.

In an industry not always known for straight talking, people hiring ADA won’t always like what they hear.

“The thing about journalism and research is, people are sometimes afraid of the truth,” said Castran. “I am not a sugar-coater. The great David Leckie told me to never be a sugar-coater.”

Castran used to pass on learnings from one of his early mentors: “Don’t bother buying research if you are going to let it collect dust in the draw. It’s a waste of money,” he would tell clients. “The truth hurts. Move past that, don’t assign blame and act to shore up your audience. This is what ADA Q-scores does so well. Clients missed it, which is why it’s coming back.

Australian TV has enormous potential, but needs a tune up. Social media and Google ads don’t engage viewers nearly as well as TV and Australian TV is the gold.

One of the big successes at Seven that ADA was involved with was the launch of one of its most successful dramas. “In 2008 I tested programs Seven wanted to launch after the Beijing Olympics. One was Packed To The Rafters and we tested the program with the show’s creator Bevan Lee and Seven’s head of drama John Holmes. The audience reaction was off the scale. It was one of the top three pilots I have ever tested from 500 shows since 1993 – the others were Desperate Housewives and Always Greener.

“Leckie was hoping Seven could maintain its audience after Beijing.”

After presenting the research, Castran later shared a lift with the TV boss one day. “Leckie said to me: ‘Your research was spot on.’ I said it was viewers, not me. Leckie insisted that it was our analysis.”

Holmes later told Castran: “It confirms 90% of what I already know and that’s helpful. The gold is the 10% where I’m 100% wrong.”

Castran said after that business pick up, soon doubling its annual revenues. Clients then included Seven, Nine and Ten and subscription TV channels.

Q-scores were seen by many as an essential part of a network’s research. The first Q-scores client was Nine Adelaide, then owned by John Lamb. Castran: “The data helped explain the ratings. The Q-scores were an overlay to the very important ratings data. It was never meant to be an alternative.”

In 2010 Castran took a gap year and suspended Q-scores and later signed an exclusive agreement with James Warburton when he was running Network Ten in 2012.

“It took years to train people to a level that networks expected and my staff were being poached at their peak leaving me high and dry,” said Castran. “It was a case of the birds leaving the nest and I’m proud of what they have gone on to achieve.”

ADA is bringing back the Q-scores in addition to its qualitative research. “Every month we will be qualitatively researching, primarily focusing on the Sydney market. The Q-scores will have an on-going sample of 2,000 every four weeks available only to subscribers.”

Q-scores customers included broadcasters, other media companies, ad agencies and major advertisers.

Castran: “Research is not something you just blindly follow. It is an overlay to your gut feel to be used judiciously.

“Engagement is the key. What I am excited about is the focus groups telling me is that TV is not dead. The networks in Australia need to stick to what they do best. That is making programming that engages audiences that in turn helps sells product and builds brands.”

Castran refers to his research as “TV Tupperware”, hosting groups of people right across Sydney.

TV is not dead, but there are problems. Action needs to be taken and there is a lack of innovation.

So confident is Castran in the medium, he said he would invest tomorrow if he had the funds to acquire a FTA broadcaster.

The medium is not without its challenges.

One of the problems according to ADA focus groups is the news. “It needs a heap of work. The weather is as flat as a pancake according to audiences. The whole news hour is too long and too dull.”

Castran’s advice is to cut back the news bulletins to 30 minutes again.

“Audiences still love Tracy Grimshaw on A Current Affair. You know who else they love – Jana Wendt. Viewers love a mature, aggressive presenter.”

Other opinions from recent research identified Have You Been Paying Attention? as one of the most-loved programs. Although some people winced at the canned laugh track.

“All of the networks are also using over-the-top voice over promos. People don’t like it.”

Hoping for something different at 7.30pm? Forget it. “People love all the big reality formats. People are obsessed with Married At First Sight. They don’t worry that it is contrived reality and they enjoy the conflict.”

The return of Q-scores might worry some celebrities. Castran said the rankings will again guide network executives to up-and-comers, overpaid people not engaging with audiences and also TV fringe dwellers who deserve a pay-rise and a more prominent role.

To spend a session with Castran is eye-opening and certainly he doesn’t sugar coat. He referred to one high profile sort after TV host as “not worth the money” and “very dull” on camera.

Sky News Announces new programs and boosts on-air team

• David Speers not leaving yet – hosting role on major new doco
• Ticky Fullerton, Chris Kohler, Leo Shanahan join from Your Money
• Peter Stefanovic & Tim Gilbert on weekday & weekend breakfast

Sky News has announced it will boost its investment in exclusive locally produced news and national affairs content with a raft of new programming initiatives rolling out across the second half of the year.

In a channel first, Sky News has commissioned two documentaries providing a never-before-seen look behind the headlines of two of the biggest stories to have gripped the nation in recent times.

Sky News also today announced it has signed Peter Stefanovic and Ticky Fullerton as it boosts its on-air anchor line-up and expands its political and business news coverage.

Paul Whittaker, Sky News chief executive said: “We are really proud to be investing in, and strengthening, our news and national affairs coverage across our platforms. Today’s announcements reflect our commitment to bringing viewers quality, comprehensive and unrivalled analysis of the issues affecting the nation, with Australia’s best team of journalists and anchors.”


Bad Blood: Toppling Turnbull and New Blood: Morrison’s Miracle – Two-part documentary launching June

Following the extraordinary result in the federal election, a new major documentary, hosted by award-winning Sky News political editor David Speers, takes viewers inside Scott Morrison’s “miracle” win.

In a special two-night TV event, Speers explores how the Coalition went from being supposedly unelectable, to a stunning victory. Bad Blood: Toppling Turnbull is the first of two must-see political blockbusters. Key figures reveal, for the first time, what really happened in the spill, which cost Malcolm Turnbull the top job. The documentary exposes shocking enmities and reveals the unlikely alliances, which led the Liberals to such a brutal and dramatic change of leadership.

Then in part two, New Blood: Morrison’s Miracle viewers will see how Scott Morrison rebuilt his party, won the “unwinnable” election, and secured his place in political history.

Lawyer X: The Untold Story – Two-part documentary coming soon

Lawyer X: The Untold Story will lift the lid on one of the most explosive chapters in Australian criminal and legal history. Presented by Peter Stefanovic in a new major reporting role for the leading current affairs journalist, Lawyer X will reveal how a brilliant barrister from one of Victoria’s most respected families became a double-agent and police informer, handing over secret information on her high-profile gangster clients.

If you thought you already knew the story of Lawyer X, you will be shocked at just how far Nicola Gobbo went to impress both the cops and the crooks. Working alongside the Herald Sun’s award-winning team of reporters who broke the story and have covered it every step of the way, this exclusive true crime documentary is set against the backdrop of Melbourne’s bloody gangland war. Peter Stefanovic speaks to key insiders to reveal new information into events, which shook Victoria’s justice system and are right now being examined by the Royal Commission.


Sky News has announced Peter Stefanovic will also join the channel’s weekday breakfast line-up as co-anchor of flagship breakfast program First Edition, from Monday 1 July.

During a decade as a foreign correspondent and 60 Minutes reporter, Stefanovic has covered some of the biggest stories of recent times, across the US, Europe, Middle East and in Australia. He also hosted Weekend Today and Nine News bulletins.

Each Monday to Friday from 5:00am AEST, Stefanovic will team-up with Sky News anchor and political reporter Laura Jayes to deliver Australian viewers unrivalled breaking news and national affairs coverage first.

On weekends, former Today show sports presenter and anchor of Racing Dreams on Sky News, Tim Gilbert will co-anchor the weekend breakfast programs Saturday and Sunday Edition alongside Sky News anchor Jaynie Seal, beginning Saturday 6 July.


Australia’s only regular morning news program devoted to politics AM Agenda, anchored by award-winning chief political reporter and leading political news breaker Kieran Gilbert, will expand to three hours each weekday from Monday 1 July at 9:00am AEST.

Gilbert will be joined each weekday by political reporter Annelise Nielsen as they host the program live from the Sky News Canberra studio in Parliament House.


Ticky Fullerton

Australian business journalist and interviewer Ticky Fullerton has been appointed to the role of Sky News business editor. Fullerton will lead the channel’s business coverage and contribute insights and analysis to Sky News programs.

Sky News also welcomes Chris Kohler to the team in the role of business reporter. Kohler will provide analysis and reporting on breaking business news and market movements throughout the week across Sky News Live.

Business Weekend – Premieres Sunday 2 June at 11:00am AEST

Joining the channel’s weekend programming, a new Sunday program, Business Weekend will launch on 2 June hosted by Ticky Fullerton. Broadcasting live from the Sky News Sydney Centre, Business Weekend will provide viewers with comprehensive business and consumer finance news.

Each week Fullerton will be joined by Leo Shanahan, award-winning business reporter and media editor at The Australian, to co-host the program. The hosts will speak with top floor CEO’s, regulators, politicians and business influencers, and provide viewers with market updates and the latest news on deals around town.

Chris Kohler will also join Fullerton and Shanahan during Business Weekend to provide real estate highlights, including Saturday auction results, growth and investment opportunities around the country as well as updates on the rates impacting the market.

Top Photo: Peter Stefanovic and Laura Jayes

MCN to launch linear TV first: six-second ads trialling on Fox Sports

Multi Channel Network (MCN) has announced a media innovation first for linear television, creating a new advertising break structure that will house six-second ads across selected broadcast assets.

Six-second ads have been powerful tools for advertisers on digital media, in particular on YouTube.

A new 12-second break structure allows brands to run two six-second ads during Foxtel’s news content segments. It’s the first time an advertiser can run the short-length format within a custom made ad structure for linear television.

To launch the new spot format, MCN will conduct a trial with two advertising partners, Jaguar Land Rover and Rebel Sport, which will go live this week on the Fox Sports news channel. Viewer experience during the two brand campaigns will be monitored via the Foxtel set-top box, with MCN collating feedback.

Following the trial, MCN will expand the new format to other channel partners. It will also continue to develop additional ad formats and loads across the entire Foxtel platform as part of its advanced advertising proposition. New formats will include different ad lengths across different content genres, and diverse break structures.

MCN CEO, Mark Frain, said MCN was proud to be back innovating advertising solutions for brands and launching first to market opportunities.

“This is just one of the ways we are partnering with advertisers to reinvent the advertising market,” he said. “We are laser focused on matching brands with the events and series that best meet their marketing objectives – and providing them with the best formats to create lasting impact, while still giving viewers a superior experience. In essence, it’s about pairing best content in the world with the most appropriate ad format for that content.

“Additionally, thanks to our unique access to viewing data through Foxtel technology, we can also trial, review and improve how we deliver advertising. This new ad format is one we are excited to test and learn from, as it will ultimately help us build new solus models that will have an even bigger impact for brands.”

MCN’s director of advanced advertising, Nev Hasan, said the new break structure is about providing smarter, not additional ad breaks for viewers.

“Rather than running six-second ads within a standard two and a half minute ad break, which gives viewers the perception there are more ads or longer ads, we’ve created something bespoke that better engages the user,” he said. “For brands, this means a more meaningful way to stand out from the crowd and get better cut-through by enhancing, and not interrupting, the viewer experience.”

Hasan added the six-second ad break initiative was part of MCN’s mission to build attention capturing solutions that resulted in more efficient trading and effective use of creative.

“Clients are already creating six-second ads and viewers are increasingly used to short, snappy creative, so we decided to take the success of these digital creative formats and extend them to linear broadcast to provide a true, alternative advertising option for brands,” he said. “It’s the perfect opportunity for advertisers who are already investing in producing the creative to now also utilise the digital assets for our linear broadcast channels, and then ultimately all of MCN’s multi-screen network, including out of home assets.”

Media agency shutdown for MFA Awards and Effectiveness Expo

Sydney media agencies will participate in an agency shutdown on October 17 to attend MFA EX: Media For All, an all-day Effectiveness Expo that culminates in the new-look MFA Awards night.

Media agencies, marketers, publishers and tech partners will participate in 20+ sessions at MFA EX, curated to highlight ground-breaking media thinking, innovation, people development and best practice in driving marketing effectiveness.

Content submissions are open to all, with streams for MFA member agencies, media partners and up-and-coming media talent with less than 15 years’ experience; all designed to educate and inspire the industry to continue pushing to greater heights in delivering effectiveness for client partners.

The expo will kick off at 9am on Thursday 17 October, followed by the MFA Awards gala dinner in the evening.

The revamped MFA Awards return in 2019 with a similar focus on effectiveness; recognising and rewarding work that has delivered tangible brand and business results for clients in the short and long term.

The MFA Awards feature a more focused list of categories, with 19 awards to be handed out on the night – consisting of 17 entered categories and the Grand Prix and Hall of Fame – down from 26 categories in previous years. Categories will be split into three new pillars: ‘Outcomes’ (4 categories), ‘Execution’ (7) and ‘People and Community’ (6). Industry verticals have been removed altogether, replaced by categories including Brand Impact, Commercial Impact, Behaviour Change, Bravery and Long-Term Transformation.

Sophie Madden, CEO of the MFA, said: “The MFA Awards have a long history of celebrating the most creative, effective media thinking in Australia. But after two decades, we felt it was important to reset our objectives and create an entirely new awards program and event that shifted our focus to media effectiveness and business outcomes for clients.

“The revamped MFA Awards incorporate feedback from over 800 individuals across media agencies, media owners and advertisers – making the MFA awards a true industry awards program, designed by the people whose work we are celebrating.”

Peter Horgan, CEO of Omnicom MediaGroup and MFA chair, added: “The MFA board is excited to be launching the revamped MFA Awards and the accompanying event, MFA EX: Media For All. This initiative will demonstrate media agencies’ contribution to achieving tangible, long-lasting results for clients. This is an important event for our industry, which is why we’ve agreed on an agency shutdown to ensure everyone is there to learn from best practice and to celebrate the most creative, effective media thinking in Australia.”

Joe Lunn, chief strategy officer of Mindshare and MFA Awards chair, said: “By creating and combining these two events, we now have a platform to showcase the work and the value we bring to our client partners. We’re giving everyone a voice to educate and inspire our industry to deliver world-class effectiveness; and then celebrating the very best work that has done exactly that.”

Joe Lunn

The MFA Awards are open for entries until 30 July. Download the entry criteria on the MFA website.

WPP AUNZ appoints Jens Monsees as chief executive officer and MD

The directors of WPP AUNZ have appointed Jens Monsees as chief executive officer and managing director effective October 1, 2019.

Monsees will join WPP AUNZ from the BMW Group, where he was most recently corporate vice president leading Global Digital Strategy, Corporate Planning and Product Strategy.

Prior to BMW, Monsees held a range of senior executive positions in digital marketing and branding, including: Global CEO, digital marketing at Arvato AG (part of the Bertelsmann Group); branding director for Automotive, Consumer Goods, Food Retail and Health Care at Google Germany and various other marketing and branding roles at Mondelez and Schwarzkopf & Henkel.

Rob Mactier, chairman of WPP AUNZ, said: “The board conducted an extensive global search to identify the best leader for the company. This appointment underlines our new positioning as a leader not only in creative advertising, branding, communications and media, but in technology, data and business transformation. Jens has a strong reputation for building brands and leading change in several industries. He brings rich experience and client-side insights to the role, at a time when the changing needs of our clients are paramount.

“The board also had a strong focus on the right cultural fit. Jens has built strong, diverse teams with a focus on collaborative culture creation. I have no doubt that he will inspire and lead the tremendous talent around him,” he said.

Monsees said: “I’m impressed by the creativity, dedication and drive for performance of the WPP AUNZ team and their clear ambition to be the “go to” partner for clients as we all take on the challenges of a rapidly changing digital world. In this dynamic environment, the potential for WPP AUNZ, as well as for our partners and clients is tremendous. I’m absolutely convinced that together, we will be able to build stronger business models and stimulate growth by harnessing our deep creative and digital expertise,” he said.

“I am looking forward to working with John Steedman and the executive leadership team to keep developing and empowering our talent. I’m excited to build on Mark Read’s global strategy for a new era of creative transformation and to support the translation of that strategy into outcomes that build long-term profitable growth for the company, and for our shareholders.”

“Importantly, I am also looking forward to moving to Sydney with my family. We have spent time in Australia over the years and what strikes me is the openness of the people, the frankness in the conversation and the ambition in business,” Monsees concluded.

Monsees will take over from John Steedman, who stepped in as interim CEO in October 2018. Steedman will continue to lead WPP AUNZ with the executive leadership team until Monsees takes up his position. Steedman will also work closely with Monsees to ensure a smooth handover.

Upon Monsees commencement, Steedman will continue in his role as Executive Director and Chairman, Media Investment Management, WPP AUNZ.

TV Week reveals nominees for 2019 Logie Awards

The nominees for the 2019 TV Week Logie Awards were announced at The Star Gold Coast on Sunday ahead of the Australian television industry’s annual celebration of excellence on Sunday, June 30.

The nominees in the Most Popular and Most Outstanding categories showcase talent and diversity in entertainment, drama, comedy, reality, lifestyle, current affairs, factual and sport.

There are seven nominees for the TV Week Gold Logie Award for Most Popular Personality On Australian Television, as voted by the public:

• Network 10 host Amanda Keller
• ABC gardening guru Costa Georgiadis
Long-time Neighbours favourite Eve Morey
• Doctor Doctor heart-throb Rodger Corser
• Sunrise weather presenter Sam Mac
• Former Hard Chat host Tom Gleeson
• Former Gold Logie winner Waleed Aly

Missing from the nominations this year is the 2018 Gold Logie winner Grant Denyer. There are four new Gold nominees while Keller, Corser and Aly have been here before. Aly won Gold in 2016.

In the week leading up to the awards night, live voting gives the public the opportunity to have their say about who should win the Gold Logie, as well as the other Most Popular categories.

Fans can vote for their favourites from the shortlisted nominees at when voting reopens on Monday, June 24, until the end of the red-carpet telecast on June 30.

TV Week editor Thomas Woodgate said: “I am thrilled by this year’s list of TV Week Logie Award nominees. Once again, the public have voted for their favourite TV shows and artists and made their voices heard – I’d like thank everyone for getting involved in choosing this year’s shortlist. And congratulations to everyone nominated; this has been another stellar year of television in this country and I can’t wait to see who takes home a shiny TV Week Logie on June 30 – good luck to everyone in the running.”

The 61st TV Week Logie Awards will take place on Sunday, June 30, at The Star Gold Coast in Queensland. All the action from the red-carpet arrivals and awards-show celebrations will be telecast on the Nine Network and 9Now.

Nominations for the 2019 TV Week Logie Awards


Amanda Keller (The Living Room/Dancing With The Stars, 10)
Costa Georgiadis (Gardening Australia, ABC)
Eve Morey (Neighbours, 10)
Rodger Corser (Doctor Doctor, Nine Network)
Sam Mac (Sunrise, Channel Seven)
Tom Gleeson (Hard Quiz, ABC)
Waleed Aly (The Project, 10)


Aaron Pedersen (Mystery Road, ABC)
Guy Pearce (Jack Irish, ABC)
Luke McGregor (Rosehaven, ABC)
Ray Meagher (Home And Away, Channel Seven)
Rodger Corser (Doctor Doctor, Nine Network)
Ryan Moloney (Neighbours, 10)


Asher Keddie (The Cry, ABC)
Celia Pacquola (Rosehaven, ABC)
Deborah Mailman (Bite Club/Mystery Road, Nine Network/ABC)
Eve Morey (Neighbours, 10)
Jenna Coleman (The Cry, ABC)
Marta Dusseldorp (A Place To Call Home/Jack Irish, Foxtel/ABC)


Amanda Keller (The Living Room/Dancing With The Stars, 10)
Carrie Bickmore (The Project, 10)
Costa Georgiadis (Gardening Australia, ABC)
Julia Morris (Blind Date/I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here/Chris & Julia’s Sunday Night Takeaway, 10)
Tom Gleeson (Hard Quiz, ABC)
Waleed Aly (The Project, 10)


Bonnie Anderson (Neighbours, 10)
Courtney Miller (Home And Away, Channel Seven)
Dylan Alcott (The Set, ABC)
Eddie Woo (Teenage Boss, ABC)
Joe Jonas (The Voice Australia, Nine Network)
Tasia Zalar (Mystery Road, ABC)


Doctor Doctor (Nine Network)
Home And Away (Channel Seven)
Mystery Road (ABC)
Neighbours (10)
The Cry (ABC)
Wentworth (Foxtel)


Anh’s Brush With Fame (ABC)
Dancing With The Stars (10)
Gogglebox Australia (Foxtel/10)
Gruen (ABC)
Hard Quiz (ABC)
The Voice Australia (Nine Network)


Have You Been Paying Attention? (10)
Hughesy, We Have A Problem (10)
Rosehaven (ABC)
Russell Coight’s All Aussie Adventures (10)
Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell (ABC)
True Story With Hamish & Andy (Nine Network)


Australian Survivor: Champions Vs Contenders (10)
I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! (10)
Married At First Sight (Nine Network)
MasterChef Australia (10)
My Kitchen Rules (Channel Seven)
The Block (Nine Network)


Back In Time For Dinner (ABC)
Better Homes And Gardens (Channel Seven)
Gardening Australia (ABC)
Selling Houses Australia (Foxtel)
The Living Room (10)
Travel Guides (Nine Network)


7.30 (ABC)
60 Minutes (Nine Network)
A Current Affair (Nine Network)
Australian Story (ABC)
Four Corners (ABC)
The Project (10)


Dundee: Australia’s Tourism Ad In Disguise – Tourism Australia
Frank – Westpac
I Am The Captain Of My Own Soul – Invictus Games
Naked Wrestling – KFC
Santa Crashes Christmas – Aldi
Serena Project: I Touch Myself – Berlei


Doctor Doctor (Nine Network)
Mystery Road (ABC)
Neighbours (10)
Secret City: Under The Eagle (Foxtel)
Wentworth (Foxtel)


Bloom (Stan)
Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted To You (Channel Seven)
On The Ropes (SBS)
Pine Gap (ABC)
The Cry (ABC)


Aaron Pedersen (Mystery Road, ABC)
Bryan Brown (Bloom, Stan)
Jay Ryan (Fighting Season, Foxtel)
Robbie Magasiva (Wentworth, Foxtel)
Scott Ryan (Mr Inbetween, Foxtel)


Danielle Cormack (Secret City: Under The Eagle, Foxtel)
Jenna Coleman (The Cry, ABC)
Judy Davis (Mystery Road, ABC)
Leah Purcell (Wentworth, Foxtel)
Nicole Chamoun (On The Ropes, SBS)


Bernard Curry (Wentworth, Foxtel)
Ewen Leslie (Fighting Season, Foxtel)
Frankie J Holden (A Place To Call Home, Foxtel)
Ian Meadows (Dead Lucky, SBS)
Wayne Blair (Mystery Road, ABC)


Asher Keddie (The Cry, ABC)
Celia Ireland (Wentworth, Foxtel)
Jacki Weaver (Bloom, Stan)
Keisha Castle-Hughes (On The Ropes, SBS)
Susie Porter (The Second, Stan)


Australian Ninja Warrior (Nine Network)
Eurovision – Australia Decides 2018 (SBS)
Gogglebox Australia (Foxtel/10)
Have You Been Paying Attention? (10)
True Story With Hamish & Andy (Nine Network)


Bluey (ABC)
Grace Beside Me (SBS/NITV)
Mustangs FC (ABC)
Teenage Boss (ABC)
The Bureau Of Magical Things (10)


Australia Vs India, Second Test In Perth (Foxtel)
Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (Channel Seven)
Invictus Games Sydney 2018 (ABC)
Supercars Championship: Bathurst (10)
The 2018 FIFA World Cup (SBS)


“James Comey Interview” (7.30, ABC)
“Leadership Spill” (Sky News, Foxtel)
“Out Of The Dark” (Four Corners, ABC)
“Townsville Flood Disaster” (7 News, Channel Seven)
“Who Cares?” (Four Corners, ABC)


Employable Me (ABC)
Exposed: The Case Of Keli Lane (ABC)
Ron Iddles: The Good Cop (Foxtel)
Taboo (10)
The Pacific – In The Wake Of Captain Cook With Sam Neil (Foxtel)


Australian Survivor: Champions Vs Contenders (10)
House Rules (Channel Seven)
Married At First Sight (Nine Network)
MasterChef Australia (10)
The Block (Nine Network)

Bauer Media reveals Most Popular TV Commercial Logie nominees

Bauer Media has announced the six finalists for the Most Popular Television Commercial category at the nominations event yesterday held at The Star Gold Coast in Queensland for the 61st annual TV Week Logie Awards.

See also:
TV Week reveals nominees for 2019 Logie Awards

The public was invited to cast their votes for their favourite TV commercials from the 12 that were shortlisted by the judging panel in March. It was a huge year of voting for the 2019 TV Week Logie Awards, especially for the Most Popular Television Commercial category.

The six finalists for the Most Popular Television Commercial award for 2019 are:
• Dundee: Australia’s Tourism Ad in Disguise – Tourism Australia, created by UM and Droga5
• Frank – Westpac, created by DDB Sydney
• I am the Captain of my Soul – The Invictus Games, created by Edge
• Naked Wrestling – KFC, created by Ogilvy Australia
• Santa Crashes Christmas – Aldi, created by BMF
• Serena Project: I Touch Myself by Berlei J. Walter Thompson Sydney

TV Week editor Thomas Woodgate said: “The Most Popular Television Commercial category received an overwhelming number of votes in its very first year and we are thrilled to unveil Australia’s favourite TV ads.

“It’s great to see how passionate and highly engaged our audiences are about TV commercials. We are extremely proud to give them the opportunity to make their voices heard on what their favourite ads are and give Australia’s creative agencies the recognition they deserve.”

Paul Gardiner, commercial director at Bauer Media Australia added: “The TV Week Logies is one of Australia’s most high profile events and we are so pleased that Australia’s marketing and advertising industry gets to be a part of it. The quality of the top six commercials that Australia has chosen as their favourites is superb.”

The winner for the Most Popular Television Commercial will be announced on Tuesday, June 11, and the winners will be attending The 61st TV Week Logie Awards at The Star Gold Coast in Queensland on Sunday, June 30.

Women’s network launches second series of Doco180

News Digital Networks Australia’s (News DNA) has launched the second series of Doco180, an original documentary series aimed at making the viewer “do a 180” on a topic relevant to Australian women, in 180 seconds.

Designed to explain, provoke and entertain, emerging filmmakers share their unique stories, all with one objective, to change your mind.

The Doco180 series will roll out daily on from today. The four-part series will be supported with analysis and discussion around the topics on and the platform’s social media channels. editor Melissa Shedden said: “We’re proud to continue our collaboration with Screen Australia and champion women’s voices through Doco180. Now in its second series, our short-form documentary initiative gives a platform to female filmmakers along with the opportunity to reach new audiences through powerful storytelling.

“This year’s documentary makers delve into the nuanced daily issues that women face locally and globally: unrealistic beauty standards, body image battles, workplace stress and success, and changing self-image through motherhood. The stories might make you feel uncomfortable, inspired, frustrated, reflective or hopeful. That’s the point. But can they change your mind in 180 seconds?”

Screen Australia and partnered to produce and fund the four selected projects for the Doco180 initiative.

Screen Australia head of documentary Bernadine Lim said: “We are thrilled to support these talented female storytellers and partner with to make their projects so accessible. These four documentaries offer a unique insight into a range of topics relevant to Australian women and help us explore complex and challenging subject matter.”

The Doco180 series will go live daily on from Monday 27 May.

DOCO180 – New series


Premieres Monday 27 May
Producer: Sam Weingott
Director: Laura Clelland

Synopsis: The fight for gender parity has seen the rise of a ‘girls club’, where women support other women but is there a darker reality to acknowledge?


Premieres Tuesday 28 May
Producer: Taylor Litton-Strain
Director: Hawanatu Bangura

Synopsis: In this intimate portrait, an African-Australian woman shares her near-death experience triggered by a cultural tug-of-war between the beauty standards of her African culture and the narrow, western ideals of body size.


Premieres Wednesday 29 May
Producer/Director: Erin McBean

Synopsis: Both a meditation on the intersections of motherhood and sexuality, and a “How To” guide to dating as a single parent, Mother//Lover explores the unexpected issues that face women who are changing the face of motherhood, from a regional (and humorous) perspective.


Premieres Thursday 30 May
Producer/Director: Rebecca Thomson

Synopsis: Women’s body hair is still a topic of much public discussion, judgment and shaming. But why is it anyone else’s business whether a woman chooses to mow or to grow?! Diverse women take a seat in the hairy chair to relate personal experiences around body hair and their relationship to it.

Watch Warnie and his kids Booke and Jackson in a TVC for Kayo

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is less than a week away and there is a Warne coming to Australian TV screens, but it’s not who people would expect.

Kayo is launching its third major marketing campaign in six months, led by a TVC that begins Sunday, 26 May. Guest directed by Aussie cricket legend Shane Warne and starring his two eldest children, Brooke and Jackson Warne, in their first television commercial.

After quickly growing to 100,000 subscribers not long after launch, the Kayo audience has more recently doubled to 200,000. The new TVC should help push that number higher.

Kayo released these details about the new campaign:

Kayo Sports chief marketing officer Carly Loder said: “The campaign not only highlights the features that will make watching the ICC Cricket World Cup on Kayo even better. It also educates the market on Kayo’s user-friendly interface and the breadth of content, with more than 50 sports available to stream on the big screen TV and viewers’ favourite devices.”

The TVC focuses on Brooke and Jackson being “Warne” out by seeing their dad everywhere they look and while every child is a little embarrassed of their dad, when you’re Shane Warne’s kids there is no escape.

Open the newspaper? He’s all over it. Jump on social media? He’s there too. Turn on some sport? He’s commentating the big game. Lucky for Brooke and Jackson, they have Kayo which not only lets them watch every match live of the Cricket World Cup Live, but it also lets them watch over 50 other sports; so they can escape their famous dad.

Warne, the 1999 World Cup Final Player of the Match, said while neither Brooke or Jackson had a lot of experience in front of the camera, when it came to poking fun at their dad it came naturally.

“As with all kids, having a laugh at dad’s expense comes pretty easy so once they were comfortable in front of the camera we got some really funny takes,” Warne said.

“It was a different experience being behind the camera this time, but they both did an amazing job. Brooke is very confident and outgoing and Jackson has had some experience with content creation so they picked it up very quickly.

“It was a great experience to do something fun and different with my kids before I get stuck into the World Cup coverage. Whilst they may not be diehard cricket fans, they’ve said they enjoy listening to my commentary which is nice to hear.”

While filming was a new experience for the young Warnes, both agreed it was a lot easier than expected.

“I wasn’t that nervous, it was fun and definitely something I enjoyed and would be interested in doing more,” Brooke said.

Helping them feel at home in front of the camera was their famous father offering some candid bits of advice throughout the shoot.

“He said the mic is always on, so whenever you’re walking off everyone can hear everything, so be careful what you say,” said Jackson.

For all the embarrassing moments, growing up with one of Australia’s greatest ever cricketers for a father had its perks, including meet and greets with Ed Sheeran and drinking champagne from the Melbourne Cup, but both said home life was very normal.

“I only see him as my dad,” said Jackson. “When we go out in public people go ‘oh that’s Shane Warne’, they love to do the double look. But I don’t see him like that, I just see him as dad.”

“Even though his work took him away, if he could be here even if it was just for two days he would fly back and see us,” added Brooke.

Kayo partnered with Host/Havas and Airbag Production on the TVC, which will run heavily on free-to-air television and digital video throughout the ICC Cricket World Cup.

The TVC is part of Kayo’s ICC Cricket World Cup campaign, which also includes radio, press and digital.



Creative Agency: Host/Havas

Jon Austin, Executive Creative Director

Hadleigh Sinclair, Senior Copywriter

Jack Delmonte, Senior Art Director

Naren Sanghrajka, Managing Partner

Max Bennett, Senior Account Manager

Stephanie Cameron, Senior Broadcast Producer

Phil Pickering, Senior Planner

Media Agency: Havas Media

Damien Terakes, Client Services Director

Catherine Edghill, Account Director

Kirsty Marriott, Investment Director

Fraser Johnston, Investment Executive

Production company: Airbag

Ariel Martin, Director

Shane Warne, Guest Director

Alex Tizzard, Executive Producer

Shelley Farthing-Dawe, DOP

Post production: Alt VFX

Client: Kayo Sports

Carly Loder, CMO

Joel Moran, Head of Marketing

Stephanie Lukin, Senior Brand Manager

Tom Gleeson steps down from Hard Quiz and discontinues production

Tom Gleeson has announced that he is stepping down as the host of Hard Quiz and discontinuing production on the show.

Announced in a media statement via Twitter, he said this was due to time constraints and a desire to perform more stand up.

” I’ve decided to step down as the host of Hard Quiz and discontinue production of the show. This was not an easy decision to make and I appreciate there are many fans of the show for which I will always be grateful. The demands of hosting a show has meant I was unable to spend as much time as I would like to performing stand up. I’ve loved making Hard Quiz and I will miss it. I’d like to thank everyone who worked on the show, Thinkative TV and the ABC for their support. I’d especially like to thank all the contestants who were such great sports.

Thanks for playing HARD!”

TV Week 21: Seven overcomes slow start again to win week

• The Voice keeps Nine in front early, 10’s second best survey share

Seven has won the week all people in primary and combined channel share. This came despite Nine starting the week in front and leading after the first five nights.

AFL football on Friday and Saturday night again was the deciding factor that pushed Seven in front.

Seven News was the home of the channel’s biggest audiences.

Nothing else made it over 700,000 all week, but both Home And Away and House Rules had audiences over 600,000.

Seven was able to claim #1 network performance in all key demos with 7mate the #1 multichannel. Other highlights included the biggest breakfast TV, news and sports audiences. The Front Bar also recorded its biggest ever audience – 659,000 national and 512,000 metro.

Nine performed strongly early in the week thanks to the return of The Voice with its biggest audience for the launch episode on Sunday with 1.012m. Subsequent episodes dropped to 962,000 and 856,000.

Nine reported the program has posted year-on-year growth in key demographics during the first week of the 2019 series.

Nine also reported a win in primary channel commercial share 25-54.

Nine’s biggest audiences were for its 6pm Nine News and A Current Affair.

60 Minutes was down the rankings this week with under 600,000.

Network 10 was celebrating the return of Have You Been Paying Attention? The Working Dog format was the #1show for the week 16-39, and top five 18-19 and under 50.

HYBPA? also was key to 10 recording its second best weekly share since January.

MasterChef delivered the channel’s biggest audience of 680,000 on Thursday. 10 reported the program grew week-on-week despite week 20 being Nigella Week.

These two shows gave 10 six of the top spots in entertainment programs under 50 during the week.

ARIA Chart Report: Lil Nas X returns to #1 after Ed & Justin surrender top spot

• Albums: Conrad Sewell at #1, best of six new albums to go top 10

By James Manning


Lil Nas X has spent a fifth week at #1 with Old Town Road. The double platinum tune has been on the chart for nine weeks. It spent four weeks on top before Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber pushed it aside last week.

However the star duo’s I Don’t Care lasted one week on top before it swapped spots with Old Town Road this week to sit at #2 in its second week on the chart.

Returning to the top 10 this week was Khalid with Talk at #10, after previously peaking at #4 during its 15 weeks on the chart.

The highest new entry was Earfquake from Tyler, The Creator. The song was one of four from his new album to debut in the top 50 this week. He also has tracks at #30, #45 and #48,

Just two other singles were new to the top 50 this week:

#13 Halsey with Nightmare
#32 DJ Khaled with Just Us


The chart was awash with new arrivals near the top this week. Six newcomers debuted in the top 10 and then a further two cracked the top 50.

Conrad Sewell is the new #1 with Life, taking over from P!nk as her album Hurts 2B Human shuffles to #4 after three weeks at #1. After winning the ARIA for Song of the Year in 2015, it’s taken some time for Sewell’s debut album to arrive. He’s overcome a few hurdles, some self-inflicted. He seems to have the right team with him now including his music label.

The other top 10 arrivals this week are:

#3 Tyler, The Creator with Igor. The US rappers five albums have successively charted here with Igor the best yet after his previous peaked at #8,
#5 Rammstein with Rammstein. This is their seventh album, which celebrates 25 years for the German hard rockers. This is their best performance on the album chart here.
#6 The National with I Am Easy To Find. The eighth album from the Ohio indie rockers. Their previous two releases peaked at #2 here.
#7 DJ Khaled with Father Of Asahd. The 11th album from the prolific hip-hop producer.
#10 Lewis Capaldi with Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent. Debut album from the Scottish singer-songwriter.

One of the albums dropping out of the top 10 this week was Bohemian Rhapsody. The original soundtrack from Queen has been on the chart for 31 weeks and now sits at #14.

A further two albums debuted further down the chart:

#30 Alex Lahey with The Best Of Luck Club. The second album from the Aussie singer-songwriter after her first peaked at #15.
#33 Carly Rae Jepson with Dedicated. The fourth album from the Canadian singer-songwriter. He best chart peak here was album two, which reached #8. This has already outperformed her previous release however which peaked at #37.

Top 10 Game Charts: Rage 2 surges in first week of release

Mention the name “id Software” to a gamer and they’ll likely think of Doom, Quake and Wolfenstein.

By Cam Shea, editor-in-chief, IGN Australia

The illustrious developer gave birth to the first person shooter genre, and has created some of the most iconic franchises in the world of gaming. There have been more modest successes too, of course. This hypothetical gamer, for instance, is probably less likely to mention Rage, id’s 2011 post-apocalyptic first person shooter/driver. Nonetheless, it was a solid game and has now received a sequel, co-developed with a seemingly perfect fit, Avalanche Studios (the guys behind the freewheeling Just Cause series, not to mention Mad Max). The upshot is a game with excellent moment to moment combat in a massive open-world that’s fun to explore but isn’t quite as interesting as it could be. Even so, it’s well worth checking out, as many people evidently did, pushing it to debut at number one this week.

The other new game among a sea of familiar faces is A Plague Tale: Innocence; a story of two orphans fighting to survive in a gritty, disease-ridden, rat-infested world. Its story is excellent, but the stealth gameplay doesn’t quite reach the same heights. Even so, it’s great to see people embracing something so different to the standard fare.

TV Ratings Analysis: May 26

• The Voice cracks 1m again and leads Nine to victory
• 60 Minutes recovers, adds close to 200,000 week-on-week
• Arrival of Shetland gives ABC three programs in top 10

Sunday Week 22 2019

By James Manning

• Seven News 1,123,000
• Nine News 1,045,000
• ABC News 685,000
• The Project 254,000/435,000
• Insiders 301,000
• 10 News First 280,000
• SBS World News 154,000
• Offsiders 141,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 257,000
• Today 188,000


House Rules was unable to match its Sunday audience of 790,000 watching a week ago with 740,000 tuned in last night. The episode featured some low scores for the reno work, but Sunshine Coast couple Shayn and Carly were clear leaders.

Sunday Night then did 561,000 after 608,000 last week. The episode featured host Melissa Doyle speaking to victims of the Casanova Conman.


The Voice kept Nine on top with its second consecutive 1m+ Sunday with 1.090m last night. Former contestants trying out for this series include former contestants Lee Harding and The Koi Boys.

60 Minutes recovered big time, climbing from 572,000 last week to 756,000 last night. Liz Hayes was reporting on a special edition of the program and the amazing story of Jeni Haynes.

Suburban Gangsters then featured the nasty Tilly Devine and Chow Hayes with 301,000 watching.


Secrets Week kicked off on MasterChef with 644,000 watching after 630,000 on Sunday last week.

The Project featured a cross to 10 Network Gold Logie nominees Amanda Keller and Waleed Aly with 435,000 tuned in.

Later in the night FBI returned after MasterChef and did 238,000.


The broadcaster had three shows in the top 10 last night. Joining ABC News were Shetland on 561,000 and then Harrow on 486,000.


SBS News had the biggest audience with 154,000

The start of Epic Warrior Women did 139,000, followed by Sunday night regular That Sugar Film on 133,000.

Week 21-22 TV: Friday-Monday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 9.5% 7 24.2% 9 16.0% 10  11.2% SBS One 4.1%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 3.7% GO! 5.9% 10 Bold 3.1% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 7.0% GEM 1.8% 10 Peach 1.3% Food Net 0.7%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix 2.8% 9Life 2.3%     NITV 0.0%
    7Food 0.4%            
TOTAL 14.5%   38.1%   26.0%   15.6%   5.8%


ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 12.4% 7 23.9% 9 13.0% 10  6.0% SBS One 4.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.2% 7TWO 3.5% GO! 5.9% 10 Bold 2.8% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 5.0% GEM 5.7% 10 Peach 2.7% Food Net 1.2%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix 3.9% 9Life 2.6%     NITV 0.3%
    7Food 0.6%            
TOTAL 17.8%   36.8%   27.2%   11.5%   6.6%


ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 11.4% 7 20.0% 9 24.6% 10  11.5% SBS One 4.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.5% 7TWO 2.7% GO! 3.1% 10 Bold 2.3% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 5.1% GEM 2.6% 10 Peach 1.6% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix 2.0% 9Life 2.0%     NITV 0.2%
    7Food 0.4%            
TOTAL 15.9%   30.2%   32.2%   15.4%   6.3%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.6% 7 21.9% 9 19.5% WIN 9.4% SBS One 4.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.0% 7TWO 3.6% GO! 4.1% WIN Bold 2.5% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 0.9% 7mate 5.0% GEM 4.8% WIN Peach 1.8% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.0% 9Life 1.9% Sky News  on WIN 1.0% NITV 0.1%
    7food (QLD only) 0.3%            
TOTAL 15.7%   32.8%   30.3%   14.7%   6.6%


85.4% 14.6%
All People Ratings

Friday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 933,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 829,000
  3. Nine News Nine 772,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 763,000
  5. Seven’s AFL: Friday Night Football Seven 602,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 600,000
  7. The Chase Australia Seven 551,000
  8. ABC News ABC 543,000
  9. Better Homes And Gardens Seven 519,000
  10. Hot Seat Nine 461,000


Saturday Top 10

Seven News – Sat Seven 916,000

Nine News Saturday Nine 655,000

ABC News-Sa ABC 619,000

Seven’s AFL: Saturday Night Football Seven 583,000

Call The Midwife ABC 398,000

The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco ABC 396,000

M- Men In Black Seven 381,000

Seven’s AFL: Saturday Night Football – Post Match Seven 361,000

Seven’s AFL: Saturday Night Football – Pre Match Seven 340,000

Getaway Nine 299,000

Sunday FTA
  1. Seven News – Sun Seven 1,123,000
  2. The Voice -Sun Nine 1,090,000
  3. Nine News Sunday Nine 1,045,000
  4. 60 Minutes Nine 756,000
  5. House Rules – Sun Seven 740,000
  6. ABC News Sunday ABC 685,000
  7. Masterchef Australia Sun 10 644,000
  8. Sunday Night Seven 561,000
  9. Shetland ABC 561,000
  10. Harrow ABC 486,000
  11. The Sunday Project 7pm 10 435,000
  12. Seven’s AFL: Sunday Afternoon Football Seven 407,000
  13. Suburban Gangsters Nine 306,000
  14. Insiders AM ABC 301,000
  15. Sunday Afternoon NRL Live Nine 294,000
  16. 10 News First Sun 10 280,000
  17. Weekend Sunrise – Sun Seven 257,000
  18. The Sunday Project 6.30pm 10 254,000
  19. FBI 10 238,000
  20. M- Taken Seven 226,000
Sunday Multichannel
  1. Thor PM (R) 7mate 186,000
  2. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 171,000
  3. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 146,000
  4. Nella The Princess Knight AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000
  5. Olobob Top AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  6. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line 7TWO 140,000
  7. Insiders AM ABC NEWS 138,000
  8. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  9. Fireman Sam PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  10. Midsomer Murders   9Gem 129,000
  11. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  12. PJ Masks AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  13. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line 7TWO 125,000
  14. Bob The Builder PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  15. Bing AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  16. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line 7TWO 121,000
  17. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  18. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  19. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 116,000
  20. Molly And Mack PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 114,000
Sunday STV
  1. Live: NRL Dragons V Sharks FOX LEAGUE 227,000
  2. Live: NRL Bulldogs V Storm FOX LEAGUE 169,000
  3. Live: AFL Fremantle V Brisbane FOX FOOTY 166,000
  4. Live: AFL St Kilda V Carlton FOX SPORTS 503 146,000
  5. Live: Supercars Winton Race 14 FOX SPORTS 506 135,000
  6. Live: AFL Melbourne V Gws FOX FOOTY 126,000
  7. Live: Motorsport: F1: Monaco Race FOX SPORTS 506 113,000
  8. Live: Sunday Night With Matty Johns FOX LEAGUE 110,000
  9. Live: Supercars The Grid FOX SPORTS 506 96,000
  10. Live: Supercars Winton Qualifying 14 FOX SPORTS 506 85,000
  11. Live: Supercars Live FOX SPORTS 506 79,000
  12. Live: Supercars Winton Supports FOX SPORTS 506 77,000
  13. Bounce FOX FOOTY 76,000
  14. Live: Bounce FOX FOOTY 72,000
  15. Live: F1: Monaco Pit Lane Race Day FOX SPORTS 506 66,000
  16. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 63,000
  17. Outsiders Sky News Live 58,000
  18. Live: Supercars Live FOX SPORTS 506 55,000
  19. Live: NBA: Raptors V Bucks ESPN 55,000
  20. Outsiders Sky News Live 54,000

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

Outgoing Communications Minister Mitch Fifield heading to UN role

Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday revealed his new look ministry following his recent election victory.

Paul Fletcher (pictured) has been named the new Minister for Communications, Cybersafety and the Arts.

[Read reaction from media organisations to his new appointment elsewhere here today.]

The outgoing comms minister, Senator Mitch Fifield, looks to be headed to New York. Morrison said Fifield should become Australia’s next ambassador to the United Nations.

“It was Mitch’s call about what he wanted to do. I would have been very happy for Mitch to continue to serve in communications and arts,” Morrison said yesterday.

Meanwhile Fletcher said yesterday:

“I am deeply honoured to be appointed as Minister for Communications, Cybersafety and the Arts.

“I have worked extensively in the communications sector since the mid-nineties – as a policy adviser, as a senior executive at Optus for eight years, as a consultant serving the sector, and more recently as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications from 2013 to 2015.

“The communications sector serves a vital human need – for people to communicate with each other – and makes a critical economic and social contribution to our nation. As Minister I will aim to take forward policy settings, which maximise this contribution.

“With many parts of the communications sector facing profound and continuing change, sound policy settings will be more important than ever.

“A key priority will be completing the rollout of the NBN. In 2013 we inherited a shambles from Labor with barely 50,000 premises connected to the fixed network.

“Today 9.28 million premises around Australia are able to connect to the NBN and almost 5.3 million premises are connected.

“Another priority will be to continue the Morrison Government’s work to make the internet a safer place for the millions of Australians who use it every day.

“I am also delighted that the portfolio includes responsibility for Australia’s vibrant and critically important arts sector. Australia’s performers and creative artists are world renowned – and make a profound contribution to our national identity.

“Our Liberal National Coalition has a strong track record in the Communications portfolio under my distinguished predecessor Ministers Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield and the Hon Malcolm Turnbull – and in the Howard Government years Senator the Hon Richard Alston, in whose office I served. I hope to be able to build on their achievements.”

Top image: CRA chair Grant Blackley with Mitch Fifield and Eddie McGuire

A to-do list for Paul Fletcher, Australia’s new communications minister

Appointing Paul Fletcher to the communications portfolio would have been among the easiest decisions Prime Minister Scott Morrison had to make with his latest cabinet reshuffle, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s John McDuling.

It was an obvious choice – before entering parliament Fletcher ran regulatory affairs at Optus – but despite being well qualified he will still face plenty of challenges in the new role.

First up, the competition regulator is expected to next month release its final report into digital platforms – Google and Facebook – and their impact on the media business.

The government also has to decide whether to proceed with cuts to the ABC budget and also sitting on a screen content review that could recommend the likes of Netflix face local content quotas.

If the media industry had one request of its new minister, it would likely be for a review into Australia’s defamation laws, following a string of troubling judgments.

[Read the original]

Foxtel has its newspaper moment: Can Kayo sustain TV giant?

Pay TV operator Foxtel is in the fight of its life in a world that has rapidly shifted from under its feet, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Foxtel is having its classifieds newspaper moment.

Much like Fairfax Media’s newspapers before digital upstarts SEEK and Carsales upended its rivers of gold, Foxtel had a near-monopoly on paid content.

But the paid television market has shifted dramatically in the past five years and like Fairfax before it, Foxtel profits are under extreme pressure from digital.

According to News Corp’s accounts, at the end of the 2013-14 financial year, Foxtel’s average revenue per user (ARPU) on its broadcast cable and satellite service was $96 and it had 2.6 million subscribers.

By comparison, News Corp reported earlier in May that Foxtel’s ARPU for broadcast subscribers was down to $79, and there are now 2.4 million broadcast and commercial subscribers.

It has however locked in 505,000 paying subscribers for Foxtel Now – the streaming equivalent of broadcast Foxtel – and 209,000 paying customers to sports streaming service Kayo Sports.

[Read the original]

Isentia taps machine learning as it targets $11m in cost cuts

Media monitoring incumbent Isentia is banking on machine learning to hit its cost-cutting target, with the company looking to automate the way it digests broadcast content, reports The Australian’s Supratim Adhikari.

Having already automated the processing of newspaper content, Isentia boss Ed Harrison said that it was looking to replicate the move in the broadcast space, as the business looks to hit its $11m cost-cutting target by the end of the 2020 financial year.

Harrison, who joined Isentia a year ago from Yahoo Australia, told The Australian that the efficiencies delivered by the company’s investment in technology is not only helping it combat the threat posed by rivals Meltwater and Streem but also deliver insights to customers faster.

[Read the original]

News Brands

Peter Stefanovic to co-anchor breakfast show on Sky News

Former Channel 9 star Peter Stefanovic will co-anchor Sky News’s flagship breakfast show First Edition alongside Laura Jayes and said he was “thrilled” to take on the “great challenge”, reports News Corp’s Fiona Wingett.

After 15 years with Nine, Stefanovic, 37, had his contract suddenly ripped up last December while in Mexico celebrating the wedding of his brother, former Today show host Karl Stefanovic, to Jasmine Yarborough.

“New gig, new year, new me,” the former foreign correspondent and experienced host laughed. “I’m excited. Thrilled about it, actually. It’s a great challenge, a wonderful opportunity and a fantastic privilege to be asked to be part of the Sky News team.

“I’ve been watching with great admiration, not just for Laura, but for all of the reporters and hosts on Sky, especially during the election campaign. I hope, with my experience, I will be able to add to that.”

Stefanovic will also front a new documentary series unravelling one of the most extraordinary stories in criminal history: Sky News Australia’s probe into the infamous gangland figure Lawyer X.

[Read the original]


Gold Logie nominees have Confidential feeling underwhelmed

Confidential hates to be negative, especially when addressing the time of the year that recognises the people who keep us so entertained, but this year’s Gold Logie nominees have left us feeling underwhelmed, comments the News Corp entertainment column.

The 61st TV Week Logie Awards nominees were announced on Sunday, hosted by Sarah Harris and Richard Wilkins at The Star, Gold Coast, where the awards night will be held for the second year.

But a gardener, a weatherman, a comedian who was blamed for rigging the top-gong last year, an already-winner and two losers from last year don’t exactly incite excitement. Oh, and a Neighbours actor.

Even Confidential had to resort to a Google search for a couple of names, and delving deeper:

• Corser does have a following, but his latest show Doctor Doctor averaged little more than half a million metro views per episode in its third season (and this is his third go at the gold).
• Morey’s reason for nomination isn’t even on a main channel anymore.
• Mac is a weatherman.
• Gleeson’s Hard Quiz has been discontinued and last year he successfully campaigned for Grant Denyer to win the gold, saying: “Because the Logies are an absolute joke, how good would it be if you won the gold for a show that wasn’t on air?”

[Read the original]

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