Friday April 3, 2020

Media agency owner Dominic Pearman on COVID-19 impact

By James Manning

When the Independent Media Association of Australia (IMAA) was launched in mid-February this year little did the board expect the challenges its members would be facing just a few weeks later.

Co-founder and IMAA inaugural chairman Dominic Pearman said at the time: “There are many benefits for advertisers to work with independent media agencies, one of the most important being the depth and longevity of experience they provide and staff consistency and stability. We are business owners working within the business. The IMAA will provide the independent sector with a louder, unified voice to educate the industry and demonstrate the great work we do and help grow the Australian economy.”

This week the IMAA held its first member event – experts from financial, legal and economic professions helped members on how to navigate and survive the COVID-19 crisis.

Pearman, who is also the MD of his media agency Pearman Media, said the new organisation had a calendar of events planned across the year. “The included events for the training of staff from April and we have now had to postpone that,” Pearman told Mediaweek after the first IMAA webinar. “Our leadership team is still meeting every two weeks and we will in the future be running further webinars.”

Like all businesses impacted by COVID-19, the focus is keeping staff safe and employed.

Since the Job Keeper announcement, it has made a massive difference for our members,” Pearman said. “If you have a staff of 20 people, you could qualify for a significant monthly payment from the government.”

Pearman explained the initial reaction to the IMAA launch has been fantastic with more businesses wanting to join. The organisation workload has meant it is looking to take on an administrator as the five-person board also need to be running their own businesses.

If anybody in media agency land is prepared to deal with the current market turmoil, it should be the owners of smaller independent media agencies. Pearman said 75% of his members have been running their businesses for over a decade and over half for close to 20 years.

“We have a lot of stability among the ranks. But these are certainly strange times for all of us as well are working from home.”

The combined staff numbers from companies in the IMAA runs into the hundreds – some with less than 10 to others with over 50. The exact total billings of members is hard to gauge exactly. Around $3b is perhaps close, meaning it is a very significant part of the total market. “It is about 20-25% of all billings,” said Pearman. “Some media companies tell us their independent media agency income has gone from 15% about four to five years ago to 30% currently.

Cashflow can be a challenge at the best of times for agencies as they juggle bills from media companies and wait for advertisers paying for bought media. “The media has been fantastic to deal with,” said Pearman. “They are hurting as much as everyone else, yet they are helping as much as they can. They would be facing some clients who are unable to pay their bills for now.”

As to how confident Pearman is about adspend returning when the pandemic passes, he said: “I’ve been around long enough to know that advertising works. I am very confident that things will get back to normal. There could be more changes to media consumption habits and working from home could be more accepted.

“The thing about this is that media consumption is up – television and digital in particular. At the same time rates are down massively. If you’ve got distribution and the budget, now is such a good time to buy media.

Pearman noted clients have pulled media spends for different reasons. “Some have had to cancel because they are in events or travel. On the other hand we have some clients whose sales have never been as good. Anybody in FMCG is booming. Some clients have products that have sold out and therefore no need to advertise. Others are not advertising because their products are moving off the shelf without any support.”

Pearman Media has yet to let any staff go. “I made the deliberate decision that I would let myself go into debt if necessary. The Job Keeper package makes me feel a lot more confident that we probably won’t have to.”

The business is adapting well to working from home. One media industry regular event has continued – “We had virtual drinks from home last Friday and will do it again this Friday.”

Pearman added: “There has been some talk that work is getting done more efficiently at home because there are less distractions and starting early or working later are more easily managed because of no commute times. The phone doesn’t seem to ring as much and people aren’t walking into my office.” He noted the experience can vary depending on the various living conditions.

Top Photo:  IMAA members at the February launch event

10’s Beverley McGarvey on new measures to sustain TV business

The chief content officer & EVP, ViacomCBS Australia & New Zealand, Beverley McGarvey, has written to all staff today regarding measures the business is taking to sustain it through what she called unchartered waters.

She has told staff she wants the business to emerge from the industry downturn “a stronger, more innovative and more agile organisation”.

McGarvey’s email said in part:

Despite more viewers turning to television for the latest news, information and entertainment that we provide, our business has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. It has clearly affected our day-to-day operations, at least temporarily.

During this time, we must continue to work together to maintain our news functions and broadcast operations, not only for us as a business but for the greater community.

Today we are announcing a suite of measures to support the needs of our employees while we adapt to changing workloads and operational needs. Our aim is to minimise both the temporary and permanent workforce impacts we are seeing at other companies in Australia and internationally. We are focused on positioning the business for resilience and growth as the social and economic impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic start to ease.

Please note the below measures do not relate to 10 Daily, 10 News, Studio 10, The Project, Broadcast Operations and Engineering.

The measures Network 10 will be implementing include:

Easter Shutdown (14 to 17 April 2020)

Enlisting the support of managers to implement an Easter Shutdown period following Easter Monday (i.e., 14 – 17 April 2020) for all employees and maintaining only a skeleton staff guided by the following:

Only employees with sufficient balances will be asked to take leave during the four days (e.g., an employee with two days may be asked to work half days for the four days of the shutdown).
Employees with high leave balances and/or whose workloads have been impacted will be asked to continue to take a longer period of leave after the Easter shutdown.

Nine day fortnight April to June

Commencing 20 April, 2020 employees will be encouraged to work a 9 day fortnight for April, May and June. If an employee has appropriate leave balances they may supplement the 10th day with annual leave or potentially long service leave.

Temporary requests for part time and increased flexibility

Enhanced opportunities are available for employees to request a temporary change to part-time work during the months of April, May and June 2020.

Change of work hours: Managers and employees can also consider split shifts wherever viable. This measure is for those who are working from home and require assistance in managing their workload with school-aged children (e.g., two hours before 8:00am, four hours during the period of 9:00am – 5:00pm and 1.6 hours after 8:00pm).

TV Guide: 9Rush launch makes it 21 free FTA channels

Successive Foxtel chief executives over the years have strategised how to build subscription TV penetration into Australian homes. As if the current team doesn’t have enough problems keeping existing customers at present, now a new 21st FTA channel is presenting viewers with much content formerly only available for a cost.

Nine will launch 9Rush, which it is calling the new home of high adventure, high octane and high adrenaline reality programming, in partnership with Discovery on Sunday April 5 at 7pm.

9Rush, Australia’s latest multi-channel, will be designated as Channel 96. It won’t be available on the Foxtel platform, something that Foxtel iQ4 satellite subscribers will find frustrating as neither is Nine’s Gem or 9Life.

9Rush will commence at 7.00pm on Sunday, April 5 with the exclusive premiere of the new series of Top Gear UK, featuring Australia’s favourite British import, Freddie Flintoff (who is part of the commentary team on Australian Ninja Warrior).

See also:
Nine’s adrenaline injection: Behind the launch of 9Rush channel
• Theme nights revealed, new Top Gear at last, more for 9Now too

For anyone with a taste for adventure, a need for speed or who enjoys the thrill of the chase, with Discovery’s extensive back catalogue of globally renowned, premium real-life entertainment content, this is the channel for you.

All titles are brand new, free-to-air-first programs that feature characters who must be seen to be believed.

Whether it’s digging for riches in Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail, street racing in Oklahoma with Street Outlaws, kicking in doors with the police in the USA on Live PD, transforming rusty wrecks into one-of-a-kind rides with Kindig Customs, or extreme survival off the grid in the wilderness with Alaskan Bush People, 9Rush will be your 24-hour male reality obsession.

It will also include free-to-air, premiere episodes of Running Wild with Bear Grylls, which documents the survival instructor’s return to the wilderness, battling the elements with a host of Hollywood celebrities, and Man vs Wild, Grylls’ breakout show – where he tackles seemingly impossible challenges in the most remote parts of the globe.

See also:
New Top Gear episodes should attract launch crowd to 9Rush
• Chris Harris: “The brand will survive beyond the presenters”

“At Discovery, we’re dedicated to powering the passions of our audiences with the best in real-life entertainment,” Rebecca Kent, general manager, Discovery Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands, says of the extension of Nine and Discovery’s existing partnership.

“Action and adventure is a huge part of our DNA and we’re proud to be bringing our globally renowned and loved programming to 9Rush. We look forward to strengthening our partnership with Nine and connecting new viewers to Discovery’s powerhouse programs.”

“Nine are thrilled to partner with Discovery to deliver premium, free to air first content. As a global leader in real-life entertainment, Discovery’s dedication to serving audiences with content which inspires, informs and entertains is second to none,” said Nine’s program director, Hamish Turner.

“The deal will deliver Nine and 9Now thousands of free to air premiere episodes. 9Rush audiences will be spoilt for choice, with an extensive range of high action and adventure programming, available on Australia’s latest channel and available free on 9Now.”

Elise Strachan on the sweet two-part special coming to SBS Food

By Claudia Siron

As the host of one of the largest baking and decorating communities on the internet, Elise Strachan has been empowering novice bakers with clever tips and relatable techniques since 2011.

Strachan is hosting a two-part special of The Sweet Life with Elise Strachan which goes on a flavour-filled exploration of the international desserts trending online, made right here in Australia by a diverse array of multicultural experts on SBS Food.

Strachan spoke to Mediaweek about the influence social media has on food, her background with guest bakers and chefs on the show, and how COVID-19 may affect future production and the industry.

Strachan explained how this show is quite interesting because it meshes what she’s been successful with in an online capacity to what SBS has been successful with in a traditional food TV capacity. “It’s slightly different to your normal cooking show because I really am engaging with the audience through their television screens and then also using social media to use a multifaceted approach so that as they’re watching the episodes and also connecting with me about it on my Instagram and Facebook. It’s a really nice blend of traditional and digital coming together.

Phi Nguyen and Elise Strachan

In the colourful two-part special, Strachan reveals the most drooled over desserts on social media from #JellyArt to #GiantBrioche and shows the audience how to recreate them at home with the help of talented local innovators who are reinventing the classics from their home countries.

Food is one of the biggest genres on social media,” said Strachan. “It’s universal. It connects us globally and individually and it also teaches skill sets that have kind of been lost in the last 20 years. Our mums used to teach us how to bake, and they’re all so busy and we’re all so busy that now in our downtime the internet teaches us how to bake.

Strachan met a lot of the people on the show on social media through different hashtags. “When I discovered them on social media, I thought ‘oh my god, this is crazy talent! How does this person not have more followers?’. For this particular production, I think social media played a massive part by using some of those hashtags. Social media can seem so large and so vast but when you really drill down you can use those hashtags to find people in your area that like what you like and do what you do, and you can connect with them in a way that wouldn’t have been possible 10 years ago.”

Episode one features My Kitchen Rules 2016 winners Tasia and Gracia Seger putting a unique Indonesian spin on brûlée, culinary artist Siew Heng Boon’s epic Malaysian three-dimensional jelly cakes, chef Phi Nguyen serving up Japanese frosty favourite, Kakigōri, and Yasoda Welsh’s Indian-inspired hand-painted Mandala Cheesecakes.

Elise Strachan with Tasia and Gracia

Strachan told Mediaweek that the Seger sisters from MKR are passionate about their Indonesian cooking and their restaurant. “They’re fun personalities so it was a joy to be able to work with them in this capacity,” she said. “Yasoda from Yasodalicious makes the most fantastic mandala patterns on top of cheesecake. They’re super intricate and amazingly colourful designs on the top of vegan cheesecake.”

In episode two, Melbourne’s Nick Makrides (founder of YouTube sensation The Scran Line) whips up loukoumades cupcakes; bearded baker Ameer El-Issa’s presents his famous Middle-Eastern treat knafeh, acclaimed French pastry chef Vincent Gadan showcases chocolate spheres three ways, and Sydney-based Italian chef Paolo Gatto makes a giant Sicilian brioche bursting with home-made gelato and granita.

Makrides approached Strachan at an event eight years ago with cupcakes that he had made. Since that first meeting, the two have formed a strong friendship. “Now we are like cake wives,” laughed Strachan. “I think it’s a really lovely story because what started as a fan/influencer relationship has actually expanded into a genuine friendship and a great collaboration where we can combine our love of sweets with a unique viewpoint from being food social media influencers in Australia, and there’s not that many of us. Working with him on TV was just so much fun.”

Elise Strachan and Yasoda Welsh

SBS and SBS Food are known for their diversity and multiculturalism. “Here I’ve met a tonne of talented chefs from different cultural backgrounds who opened my eyes to techniques and flavour combinations and tips that I never would’ve encountered in my little western bubble. This show is perfect for the SBS brand because that’s what the network is all about: showing us what else is out there aside from what we know and really sharing the cultural diversity and the magic that can add to everyday lives.”

In regards to the COVID-19 crisis, Strachan said: “I think production is going to change in that potentially the amount of people required for an individual production may become less and we may streamline the way that we connect a lot of the productions.

As a digital influencer, Strachan is in a very unique and fortunate space to be able to work from home and continue producing high-quality content and connect with her audience as well as support them at a time when there’s so much uncertainty. “As someone with an online platform and voice, it’s a responsibility to continue to provide a sense of normalcy and continue to entertain people in a way that’s relatable to right now. 

“One of the great things about digital is I can change my concept very quickly from ‘everything is amazing, let’s make a cheesecake’ to ‘oh my god, the world is ending, here’s how we plant a veggie patch”, she laughed. “It’s about making that content relatable and enjoyable.

The Sweet Life with Elise Strachan premieres on SBS Food Thursday April 2 at 8.30pm. The series will also be available to catch up anywhere, anytime after broadcast on SBS On Demand.

The Australian Women’s Weekly brings a taste of Easter to 10

By Claudia Siron

As Bauer Media plans the future of the business in Australia, Easter with The Australian Women’s Weekly is coming to Network 10 for the first time following the success of the Christmas with The Weekly special in December last year.

The new show will be part of an integrated multi-platform event across Bauer Media’s print, digital and social channels. 

Studio 10’s Sarah Harris will return to host the festive one-hour Easter special where she will be joined by editors from The Australian Women’s Weekly, together with Australian celebrities and other well-known talent from 10. 

Following the format of the successful Christmas special, which reached more than 1.15 million viewers nationally and debuted to a national audience of more than 430,000 viewers, the Easter special will feature all the familiar favourites from The Weekly with a special festive twist. 

Nicole Byers

Editor-in-chief Nicole Byers told Mediaweek the proof in the pudding with food shows and lifestyle programs is people do love to have them in their homes. “When it comes to the lead up to holidays like Christmas and Easter, it’s a beautiful celebration of food and fashion. The reason our Christmas special was so successful was that we worked closely with 10. It was important to make the show reflect the quality and integrity of the Women’s Weekly brand and we really brought that to life.

The show will include delicious Easter recipes, family-friendly craft ideas, the latest seasonal fashion looks, party styling tips and more. “Being Easter, It’s a big focus on food,” said Byers. “As well as our Women’s Weekly chef, we’ve been joined by a few celebrity chefs including Miguel Mastre and MasterChef’s Hayden Quinn. Viewers can expect a lot of family-favorite recipes and hot tips for making life easier when entertaining.

With home living suddenly so important for us all, Byers said: “We’re trying to be quite broad, but a lot of it is shot within our home environment because we really wanted to bring to life that feeling of being home at the holidays.

Byers revealed they have some great creative segments lined up as children love getting crafty in the holidays. “I’ll be featured on the show along with my daughter. A lot of the talent coming on the show have kids of similar ages. Miguel brought along his two kids and Barry Du Bois who we’re going to get crafty with has also brought along his kids on the show.”

Although Easter is a time for joy and celebration, the holiday can also be tough for some families, more so now than ever. “We have a charity element in the show – It’s important in the holidays for us to take a moment to think about those who are doing it a bit tougher. We teamed up with The Smith family for this show to tell a really important story. Sarah Harris is actually an ambassador for the Smith family so it was beautiful that all those desires came together really well.

Byers also went out to Melbourne and had a chat with Samuel Johnson and his daughter. “I had an authentic and heartwarming chat with them talking about loss and grief, and they reiterated the importance of following your dreams. It was great to get together at their family home and chat with them.”

Integrated brand sponsorship opportunities will span The Weekly’s April edition, TV broadcast, Now to Love, 10 Play and Bauer’s social channels. Byers revealed their fashion sponsor is affordable women’s label Black Pepper. “We worked with them on a gorgeous shoot. We’ve been on the road for our fashion trip to Kangaroo Valley and the cameras came along with us. It was great to get back into one of those communities that are rebuilding after the fires.

Byers mentioned that everyone was a lot more comfortable working with channel 10 a second time around. “The first time when we did the Christmas show with them, and we knew we really aligned on the quality we wanted to achieve. It was also quite an interesting mix because our team and creative director was very involved in the styling so there was a lot of back and forth of feeling a bit greener in terms of bringing it to life for the TV. It’s been a great learning for our team but we have worked really well with 10 and it was definitely a bit smoother the second time around,” she said.

7News.com.au closes in on news.com.au as #1 commercial news site

Nielsen has released the February data for publishers of news and current affairs sites and 7News.com.au continues to move up the ranks. The main points concerning the top 5 ranking are:

• ABC News websites held top spot for second consecutive month
• 7News moved from rank #4 to #3
• Daily Mail Australia moved from rank #5 to #4

Nielsen Digital Content Ratings data for February 2020 – a month that traditionally sees lower audiences due to fewer days in the month – ranked ABC News websites first for the second consecutive month, with a unique audience of 9.9m. News.com.au also held its position in second, with a unique audience of 9.3m.

7News moved up to third position with a unique audience of 8.4m, followed by Daily Mail Australia (7.9m) ranked fourth – up from fifth position in comparison to last month.

The executive producer 7News.com.au, Phil Goyen, said: “We’re grateful for every single Australian who clicks, reads, scrolls and watches. We are here to provide a service to our audience 24/7 – it’s that simple. Our focus will continue to be building connection, conversation and community.”

The February data is almost old news given that we are now in April and two weeks ago Nielsen released details showcasing a week of online news traffic which had the ABC ranking #1 and 7News.com.au trailing news.com.au by just 145,000 users in the week of March 16. In that March data Guardian Australia was the other big mover, ranking #4, ahead of both nine.com.au and smh.com.au.

See also: Online audiences turn to ABC, news.com.au & 7NEWS

Fox Footy’s Easter gift: Fans can vote for greatest blockbusters

Fox Footy will present The 50-50 over five massive days of AFL this Easter. Fans now have the opportunity to vote for their top five favourite games of all time from an exhaustive list of 100 of the best from the last 50 years.

Among the 100 blockbusters to choose from is arguably the greatest ever Grand Final – Hawthorn’s win over Geelong in 1989. Hawthorn superstars and Fox Footy’s very own Jason Dunstall and Dermott Brereton did not disappoint, nor did Cats star forward, Gary Ablett senior, who bagged nine to take home the Norm Smith Medal.

(This was game that Triple M’s football team called again just last weekend.)

Fans have the opportunity to vote for their five favourite of the 100 greatest games at foxfooty.com.au. The games will be previewed on the new talk show Fox Footy Live all week leading up to the first game next Wednesday 8th April at 8pm.

Fox Footy experts will also continue to entertain fans with live recalls of four of the top 50. Voting opened at 5pm Thursday 2nd April and closes at 8pm on Tuesday 7th April.

The games will air right across the Easter long weekend counting down to the fan favourite and number one game on Monday 13th April at 7pm.

Review a list of the Top 100 Blockbusters here.

Then vote for your favourites here.

Nine launching The Greatest for best NRL and Aus Open clashes

In a time when most of the world’s biggest sporting leagues and competitions have called a time out on their seasons, Nine’s Wide World of Sports will bring fans some unforgettable moments from the worlds of rugby league and tennis with two new programs.

Beginning this Friday night, April 3rd at 7:30pm AEDT, The Greatest NRL Grand Finals debuts on Nine for viewers in Sydney and Brisbane, available to watch later on 9Now for all viewers. Each week hosted by James Bracey, Nine’s panel of NRL experts including Brad Fittler, Andrew Johns and Phil Gould will break down the greatest moments from NRL history which have become legend, along with the greatest matches, the greatest tries, and the greatest Grand Final pre-game entertainment – plus the moments which didn’t quite go to plan!

They will be joined each week by players and celebrity fans who will re-live their favourite Grand Final memories, along with other members of Nine’s unrivalled commentary team, including ‘The Voice of Rugby League’ Ray Warren, Paul ‘Fatty’ Vautin and Peter ‘Sterlo’ Sterling. They will all be at their entertaining best as they uncover the stories behind the stories, the hits and misses of NRL in the 80s, and much, much more.

Viewers at home will also be able to weigh in and have their say on social media to share their thoughts and greatest memories.

The Greatest continues at 3:30pm AEDT every Saturday afternoon with The Greatest Australian Open Matches, airing nationally on Nine, as former tennis stars and members of Nine’s tennis commentary team Todd Woodbridge and Sam Groth analyse some of the most memorable Australian Open matches in the history of our grand slam.

From every gruelling rally, to every lightning ace and passionate point, the duo will pull apart the greatest moments of some of the best tennis players in the world.

This week – the tightly-fought struggle between Aussie star Nick Kyrgios and Russian Karen Khachanov which ended in the tightest of margins from this year’s Australian Open, and the gripping 2005 women’s semi-final between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova which went on to become an instant classic.

Mercado on TV: House Rules confusion, Party of Five worthy remake

By Andrew Mercado

Everyone, from A-list superstars to DJs spinning tunes, is now broadcasting from their lounge rooms to keep us entertained through the coronavirus crisis. They are upbeat, funny and innovative, so what are Australian networks doing to keep up?

Let’s start with the ABC who will offer School on TV from mid-April, absolutely brilliant. Kudos to Fox League for asking viewers to vote on which classic footy games they want replayed. And love your work 10, for continuing to stream all-new content (Drunk History Australia) and more classic local drama (Police Rescue) on 10Play.

Seven and Nine, however, are trapped in what they’ve always done … trying to one-up each other. Nine infuriated fans by dropping the MAFS finale this week, because they wanted to move it to Sunday where it would smash House Rules: Sky High. Undeterred, Seven bumped their premiere to Monday.

So, great tit-for-tatting, but why can’t either ever try something different? If Sydney drag queen Minnie Cooper can throw together a Tonight-style show from a deserted nightclub with a stack of celebrity guests, why can’t one of our networks think up something cheap and cheerful too?

As for House Rules: Sky High, the promos suggest this is now about renovating a Gold Coast high rise, and I was so on board with that. Sadly, having now watched the first two episodes, I am more confused than a Scott Morrison press conference.

That’s because the penthouse reno is just a ruse to siphon out contestants before heading back to suburbia to fix up their homes. Why call it Sky High then? And why does judge Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen say they’re “remaking The Golden Girls” when there is not one wisecracking woman in sight, let alone four?

What is being remade is Dutch cop series Van Der Valk (Saturday on ABC) and weepy teen drama Party of Five (Good Friday on SBS Viceland). Van Der Valk had 32 episodes over 20 years from 1972, but now he no longer has a wife. Played by Hustle’s Marc Warren, this Van Der Talk sleeps with witnesses and enjoys unresolved sexual tension with his too-cool-for-school female partner.

Party Of Five (1994 – 2000) made instant stars of Matthew Fox, Neve Campbell, Scott Wolf and Lacey Chabert all playing orphaned siblings. This remake goes for a Latino spin, a la One Day At A Time (Netflix) but instead of killing the parents in a car crash, this version deports them back to Mexico for being illegal aliens. Party Of Five is a powerful and timely remake that is worth a look.

Next week, it’s the second season of Bloom on Stan for Easter.

TV ratings Thursday April 2 Week 14 2020

By James Manning

• 10’s Gogglebox #1 non-news as home critics social distance
• 6pm Seven and Nine News record 2020 Thursday highs

Thursday news bulletins
Seven News 1,317,000/1,203,00
Nine News 1,160,000/1,160,000 (Highest Thursday of 2020)
ABC News 912,000
7.30 703,000
A Current Affair 851,000 (Highest Thursday of 2020)
The Latest 737,000/490,000
Nine News special COVID-19 368,000
The Project 437,000/584,000
10 News First 553,000/353,000
Sunrise 353,000
Seven News at 4 320,000/343,000
Nine’s Afternoon News 254,000
Today 255,000
News Breakfast 243,000
The Drum 259,000
The Morning Show 225,000
SBS World News 173,000
ABC Late News 167,000
Today Extra 169,000

Nine: The News had a record Thursday for the year and so did ACA and then RBT. The ob doc was on 599,000 to win the hour timeslot. Later in the evening the compelling Packer’s Gold episode of Great Australian Crime Stories did 220,000.

Seven: After the early edition of The Latest an episode of Pooch Perfect went out with 299,000 watching. Another episode of The Latest was followed by the movie Wrath of the Titans with 117,000 watching.

10: A repeat episode of Ambulance Australia did 493,000. The audience then jumped to 787,000 for Gogglebox Australia, up on last week’s 738,000. A repeat episode of Hughesy, We Have A Problem then did 247,000.

ABC: The Heights did 291,000 screening after 7.30. The final instalment of Revelation went out at 8.30pm to 415,000.

Week 14 TV: Thursday
THURSDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 12.5% 7 16.0% 9 17.3% 10  14.9% SBS One 6.1%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.8% 7TWO 3.1% GO! 2.8% 10 Bold 3.6% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 2.9% GEM 5.5% 10 Peach 2.9% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 2.5% 7flix 1.5% 9Life 2.3%     NITV 0.1%
                SBS World Movies 0.5%
TOTAL 18.5%   23.4%   27.9%   21.3%   8.9%

 

THURSDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 11.4% 7 17.0% 9 14.6% WIN 13.0% SBS One 6.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.6% 7TWO 4.8% GO! 2.2% WIN Bold 4.9% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.0% GEM 6.3% WIN Peach 2.5% Food Net 0.6%
ABC NEWS 2.2% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.6% 9Life 2.4% Sky News  on WIN 2.4% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 0.5%
TOTAL 16.8%   26.4%   25.5%   22.8%   8.4%

 

THURSDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
87.2% 12.8%

THURSDAY FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,317,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,203,000
  3. Nine News Nine 1,160,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 1,140,000
  5. ABC News ABC 912,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 851,000
  7. Gogglebox 10 787,000
  8. The Latest: Seven News Seven 737,000
  9. The Chase Australia Seven 706,000
  10. 7.30 ABC 703,000
  11. Hot Seat Nine 610,000
  12. RBT Nine 599,000
  13. The Project 7pm 10 584,000
  14. 10 News First 10 553,000
  15. Ambulance Australia (R) 10 493,000
  16. The Latest: Seven News Seven 490,000
  17. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 451,000
  18. The Project 6.30pm 10 437,000
  19. Revelation ABC 415,000
  20. Hot Seat -5pm Nine 376,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. Gogglebox 10 226,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 166,000
  3. Seven News Seven 163,000
  4. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 163,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 150,000

 

18-49 Top Five

  1. Gogglebox 10 382,000
  2. Seven News Seven 309,000
  3. Nine News Nine 293,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 288,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 285,000

 

25-54 Top Five

  1. Gogglebox 10 409,000
  2. Seven News Seven 386,000
  3. Nine News Nine 366,000
  4. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 364,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 348,000
THURSDAY Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 356,000
  2. Tomorrow Never Dies 9Gem 244,000
  3. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 218,000
  4. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 197,000
  5. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 196,000
  6. Shaun The Sheep AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 194,000
  7. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 191,000
  8. Dot. PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 180,000
  9. Noddy Toyland Detective PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 177,000
  10. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 175,000
  11. Neighbours 10 Peach 175,000
  12. Death In Paradise 9Gem 170,000
  13. Olobob Top PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 163,000
  14. Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 161,000
  15. School Of Roars ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  16. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 157,000
  17. Friends Ep 3 (R) 10 Peach 150,000
  18. Survivor: Winners At War 9GO! 148,000
  19. Hawaii Five-O (R) 10 Bold 140,000
  20. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
THURSDAY STV
  1. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 74,000
  2. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 70,000
  3. Credlin Sky News Live 68,000
  4. Chris Smith Tonight Sky News Live 66,000
  5. Outback Opal Hunters Discovery Channel 62,000
  6. Newsday Sky News Live 60,000
  7. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 59,000
  8. Deadwater Fell BBC First 57,000
  9. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 48,000
  10. PML Later Sky News Live 46,000
  11. Newsday Sky News Live 46,000
  12. Afternoon Agenda Sky News Live 46,000
  13. Family Guy FOX8 45,000
  14. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 44,000
  15. Family Guy FOX8 43,000
  16. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 41,000
  17. American Dad! FOX8 39,000
  18. Afternoon Agenda Sky News Live 37,000
  19. The Expendables Movies Action 36,000
  20. Highway Patrol FOX8 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

Jacinda Ardern says Bauer rejected wage subsidy ahead of NZ closure

Major media publisher Bauer NZ is shutting its doors, but the NZ Prime Minister says she doesn’t think it’s because of the coronavirus outbreak, reports 1News.

Under the Alert Level 4 lockdown, it hasn’t been able to publish its magazines, which CEO Brendon Hill told staff “put our business in an untenable position”.

Bauer has told its 237 staff funding will be provided to enable everyone to be paid their full redundancy and leave entitlements.

However, Jacinda Ardern rejects Bauer’s claim that the shutdown was because of the coronavirus outbreak and Government restrictions.

“They didn’t want to use the Government support to keep their doors open. In my view, they should’ve taken it up and they should’ve kept going,” she told media.

Ardern says she’s “extraordinarily disappointed” in the closure, adding that the Government “actively sought to assist Bauer during this time”.

“We asked if they could take up the wage subsidy, they refused. In my view this appears to have been a decision that has been made at the same time as Covid-19, but not because of it,” Ardern says.

“The wage subsidy could and should have made a difference…and we were very keen that Bauer take it up.

[Read more]

Southern Cross rebuffs private equity approaches

Southern Cross Media is understood to have rebuffed private equity funds making approaches to recapitalise the business, as its earnings outlook as a broadcaster remains uncertain amid disruptions linked to COVID-19, reports The Australian’s Bridget Carter.

Now the expectation is that the regional radio and television business will tap the market for a small amount of equity and lobby its lenders for a reprieve from paying its loans back until normal trading conditions resume.

Various other companies in distress, including Webjet and oOh!media are understood to have received opportunistic private equity approaches, but have rebuffed the offers after finding support from their investors that are providing the funds they need to weather the current financial storm.

Southern Cross has been among the listed media groups hardest hit by investors, with its market value last worth about $127m, down from its 2020 high of about $726.7m.

[Read more]

Murdochs support crucial vaccine trials to protect health workers

Hundreds of medical workers in hospitals across the country have received doses of the BCG vaccine as part of a multi-centre clinical trial targeting the deadly coronavirus pandemic, reports The Australian’s Steve Jackson.

The BRACE trial, announced last week, is designed to test whether the vaccine – originally developed to beat tuberculosis, and still given to more than 130 million babies annually – can safeguard healthcare workers exposed to SARS-CoV-2 against developing severe symptoms.

More than 300 selected medical staff at hospitals, including the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, have been vaccinated with BCG this week as part of the study, which will eventually extend to 4000 workers nationally.

Sarah and Lachlan Murdoch, who donated $700,000 to the trial, said it was vital to support both the frontline staff tasked with caring for infected patients and those trying to develop a vaccine to beat the deadly pathogen.

[Read more]

News Corp journalist tells of family’s COVID-19 hell

After being diagnosed with coronavirus in New York, News Corp’s US correspondent Sarah Blake has revealed how unreliable testing has left her family fearful and uncertain:

When suddenly I couldn’t smell the Vicks VapoRub and Tiger Balm I was using to help myself get a deep breath last week, I lost my last doubts about what was going on.

I had coronavirus.

After experiencing every published symptom apart from a dry cough, it was confirmation that we had done the right thing to lock ourselves down and act as though we were all infected.

The problem is, we still have no way of really knowing.

Our doctor says he has no doubt the virus washed through my family over the past few weeks, but the test, when I finally had it after seven days of being knocked down by what felt like the worst flu I have ever had, was inconclusive.

[Read more]

Radio

Dogs, kids, lawnmowers: noisy new reality as hosts work at home

“You can often tell from a politician’s facial reaction if they’re uncomfortable with a question,” says 2GB morning host Ray Hadley, reports The Age’s Michael Lallo. “If they bring an adviser into the studio and the politician says something they weren’t supposed to, you can practically see the colour draining from the adviser’s face.”

Like many broadcasters, Hadley is now working remotely and conducting all interviews over the phone as the population acts to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

“I’ve been doing outside broadcasts [as a live sports caller] for 35 years, so it’s not foreign to me,” says Hadley, who is operating from a suburban Sydney hotel until necessary equipment is installed inside his house. “I miss having guests in the studio and even though we tell our listeners we’re in another location, they probably can’t hear the difference.”

Most presenters at ABC Radio Melbourne, in contrast, are still working from the broadcaster’s Southbank headquarters.

“Because ABC is officially deemed an essential service, we knew we’d have to keep doing our jobs no matter what,” says station manager Dina Rosendorff. “We’ve had an unprecedented volume of talkback calls which [requires studio facilities] to keep the quality high.”

All programs now alternate between two studios, allowing cleaners to disinfect each one between shifts. External guests are banned and meetings can only be held on phone or video platforms.

[Read more]

Television

Bloom creator ups the stakes in S2 as Bella Heathcote joins cast

It was one of the first original series commissioned by Australian streamer Stan, attracting a stellar cast – including Aussie acting royalty Jackie Weaver and Bryan Brown – and wide-spread critical praise.

Now the Logie Award-winning Bloom is back for season two, picking up three months on from the events of the first series, which saw a number of inhabitants of the small town of Mullan in rural Victoria, mysteriously regain their youth. They morphed into younger versions of themselves after consuming berries from a plant that grew after a devastating inland flood killed five of the town’s inhabitants.

“Season One was a gothic fairy tale about an inexplicable miracle in the wake of a natural tragedy,” says the show’s creator, Glen Dolman. “It offered a taste of youth; a return to your physical prime (or – arguably – the age when a deep regret was formed) for a few days.

“This season we offer an even bigger ‘gift’ – the promise of eternal life from our ‘second-generation’ berries – but it soon appears like a greater ‘curse’.”

[Read more]

Sports Media

End of mega TV deals leaves footy codes facing a reset for fans

Coronavirus may have signalled the death of the multi-billion-dollar TV sports rights deal, reports Jessica Halloran in The Australian.

As sporting codes deal with enormous financial losses because of the pandemic, with little to no TV rights money coming in without games being played, Global Media & Sports director Colin Smith said the AFL and NRL should not expect a bigger deal from Australian broad­casters in the future.

Smith also said all the football codes needed to up their fan engagement, noting the industry before COVID-19 already needed to “adapt and create” its products to attract and keep the next generation of supporters.

Smith said the coronavirus pandemic had triggered a “reset button”.

“It’s going to be a complete reset,” he said. “It puts into question the multi-billion-dollar deals. Future deals have got to come back to true economics either of subscribers or TV viewership.

“Those deals are going to have to stand on what will provide a commercial return for the broadcaster.

In 2015, the AFL struck a huge six-year, $2.508bn broadcast rights agreement with the Seven Network, Foxtel and Telstra. The deal runs from 2017 to 2022.

The NRL secured a $1.8bn deal with the Nine Network, News Corp Australia, Foxtel and Telstra for five years from 2018.

[Read more]

NRL’s secret mission for early season re-launch date

Project Apollo – headed by ARL commissioner Wayne Pearce – was launched on Wednesday with the instruction to do what seems impossible. That is get the competition going earlier than anyone had anticipated.

Part of the romance behind channelling US president John F Kennedy’s ambition to get a man of the moon is the timeframe.

There have been countless suggestions bandied about on how best to start the competition. Conferences are high on the agenda with teams divided into four pools. While resuming the season with State of Origin has also been floated.

“The concepts they are coming up with including the word bubble will ensure the players and the communities safety will be accommodated,” said ARLC chairman Peter V’landys.

“(A return on) July 1 is more than achievable. There is a chance it will be earlier.”

[Read more]

Adelaide wrestler Rhea Ripley to compete at WrestleMania

When she signed her WWE contract in July 2017, all Glenelg-born athlete Rhea Ripley was promised was a wage, a place to train and a chance to make herself famous, reports News Corp’s Sean Fewster.

Less than three years have passed and, in that time, Ripley has made professional wrestling history time and time again, and is now poised to appear on the grandest stage of them all.

This weekend, the 23-year-old will defend her NXT Women’s Championship at WrestleMania – the $1.5 billion industry’s premier event.

In doing so, Ripley will become the first Australian in the event’s 36-year history to compete in a one-on-one match for a championship.

Thanks to COVID-19, WrestleMania will be broadcast not from the 65,000-seat Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida but from WWE’s 7925sq m training facility in Orlando.

WrestleMania screens on Foxtel’s Main Event channel and the WWE Network – available online – on Sunday, April 5 and Monday, April 6, 8.30am SA time/9am AEST.

[Read more]

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