Thursday April 30, 2020

Podcast Week: Silvester’s Naked City, Jay Walkerden’s new adventure

By James Manning

• Plus: Howie with Isa Guha, Jan Fran’s Fail, Crompton in Rusty’s Garage
• How to find time for Wil Anderson, Trevor Long tells it like it is

Sly of the Underworld turns to podcasting

Australia’s longest-serving crime reporter, John Silvester, is taking listeners on a deep dive through his 40 years of dealing with the nation’s most dangerous criminals in Naked City, a new eight-episode podcast for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, which launched this week.

Naked City sees Silvester, Walkley Award-winning crime writer, columnist and co-author of the best-selling books that formed the basis of the hit Nine/Screentime series Underbelly, returning to the gangland wars and delving into the huge archive of tapes and interviews spanning his four decades of outstanding crime reporting.

Silvester, better known to an army of listeners to 3AW’s #1 Melbourne breakfast show as Sly of the underworld, said: “I have been covering crime in Australia since 1978 and in the Naked City podcast I will take you deep into my world, where you will hear from the key players in some of our most notorious and infamous cases.

“We will go inside the world of bikies and hitmen, expose the case where the convicted killer was not the one who launched the fatal attack, and reveal the hidden twist in the case of Great Train Robber Ronald Biggs.”

Listen to Naked City here.

Jay Walkerden doing what he knows best – podcasting

Nova’s former head of podcasting, and GM and PD at Brisbane’s Nova 106.9, Jay Walkerden left the business suddenly earlier this year. Since then he has been growing his own podcasting business. The boutique audio business is called Podshape and has launched with two podcasts with Walkerden both hosting and steering the company.

After working in Australian and UK radio for close to 30 years, Walkerden is telling potential clients: “Private podcasts are a way to share business news and company goals, inductions or they could be used as a culture building exercise. We have tailored packages to suit your needs from small scale start-ups to large scale brands.”

Podshape launched with a short five-minute podcast called Corona Crazy hosted by Walkerden. A more recent release is called My Dad and Son are Missing and tells the story of two members of the same family who disappear within nine days of each other in Australia in 2016. In June 2016, 71-year-old Robert Dickie disappeared from his home near Dubbo under suspicious circumstances. Just nine days later Dylan Dickie, Robert’s grandson also disappeared.

Over six episodes Damien Dickie who is Robert’s son and Dylan’s father recounts the horrible moment that he learned that his dad was missing and then just nine days later his only son also went missing.

Walkerden, who narrates the podcast, said: “Our aim with this podcast is to shine a light on this heartbreaking story and hopefully raise awareness of Robert and Dylan’s disappearance and maybe one day get some closure for Damien and his family.”

Listen to My Dad and Son are Missing here.

Crocmedia growing its podcast library

Dale Vine

Crocmedia is adding two new podcasts and a radio show to its stable – the first is The Sport of Gardening hosted by Dale Vine and SEN’s Jane Nield.

In-keeping with its title, each week will feature an interview with a sporting legend – episode 1 will feature a chat with AFL legend Terry Wallace – discussing his driveway paved with bricks he managed to “acquire” when old buildings at the Whitten Oval were demolished. On episode two, Vine chats with broadcaster Sandy Roberts.

The show will be delivered as a podcast every Friday and will follow as a radio show across eight SEN or SENTrack stations on Sunday mornings from 8- 9am.

The Sport of Gardening will have an initial 8 week run – commencing with the first podcast drop this Friday 24th April and is aimed at connecting with and inspiring listeners as they face more time in their own homes to get out into the garden and take on simple, DIY projects.

A former contestant on The Block with wife Sophie, Vine runs his own landscape business called Dvine Scapes. In 2019 he released his first book, Outdoor Reno Guide which features DIY Garden renovations on any budget.

Nield is Crocmedia’s partnerships manager and producer of their podcasts Don’t Shoot the Messenger and The Sounding Board.

The second new release is from SEN’s Sam Edmund who hosts the AFL podcast series Uncovered, going behind the scenes of the biggest stories and scandals in VFL/AFL history. Edmund is chief sports reporter for Crocmedia and writes for the company’s weekly publication AFL Record. He can also be heard on SEN 1116 and he hosts the weekly TV show The Oval Office on Nine.

Listen to The Sport of Gardening here.
Listen to Uncovered here.

Robin Bailey and Monique Dews keep up with corona

Brisbane 97.3 FM’s newsreader Monique Dews and breakfast co-host Robin Bailey are the hosts of a new iHeartPodcast Network series Keeping Up With Corona. The short regularly podcast covers the latest family-related Corona news, expert discussions covering a range of subjects, and real-life listener experiences, as Australia continues in lockdown.

Monique Dews said, “As both mums and broadcasters, Robin and I have a unique take on the corona madness. We’re covering off on all the corona news you need to know, but also getting into the nitty-gritty of family life in iso, and how to manage it. We want to deliver a positive spin on the daily challenges, and a few laughs. I call it ‘isolation appreciation’.”

Robin Bailey added, “Many people will be feeling out of control during these uncertain times, and we’ll be sharing tips and tools, based on our experiences.  Monique and I will also offer advice on beating the boredom during lock-down, which will be invaluable to any parent! We’re looking forward to sharing our journey with families across Australia.”

ARN’s commercial product and audio partnerships director Corey Layton said, “Podcast consumption for coronavirus content has increased alongside a demand for light entertainment, and this new podcast delivers both. ARN continues to curate and create the most informative and entertaining podcast offering through the iHeartPodcast Network Australia. The new Keeping Up With Corona podcast will provide a much-needed space to discuss the topics that matter to families during these uncertain times.”

Listen to Keeping up with Corona here.

Listening guide: Episode updates
PodcastOne latest from surfing to safe social distancing

• The new episode of the Hamish & Andy podcast this week was recorded in the house of Hamish with the extra-safe distance of 2.5m between the hosts.
• The Howie Games season 7 has had some cracking episodes including a three-part (!) interview Howie had with international cricketer, academic and now broadcaster Isa Guha.
• The most recent episode of Greta Lee Jackson’s Fail podcasts features the very busy broadcaster, and new member of the PodcastOne family (via The Briefing), Jan Fran on her most embarrassing professional fail.
• Another good listen is the Rusty’s Garage episode that features host Greg Rust speaking with racer and broadcaster Neil Crompton.

Wil Anderson unemployed but busy

After stints living in Sydney and then Melbourne more recently, Wil Anderson recently relocated to regional NSW near Byron Bay. He told his podcast listeners recently though he has never been busier keeping his four regular podcasts pumping out new episodes. After ending his Triple M Melbourne gig and having his 2020 live shows cancelled, Anderson is telling listeners to Wilosophy now would be a good time to donate via Patreon where he currently has 436 patrons. You would need some serious time on your hands to keep up with Anderson’s output.

Wilosophy released five episodes in April with a total running time of close to eight hours including multi-episode interviews with Neroli Meadows, Em Rusciano and Briggs. Don’t miss his March interview with Melbourne breakfast host Christian O’Connell, but set aside just over two hours for the chat.

Tofop with Anderson and Charlie Clausen meanwhile sticks to a regular weekly cycle too with most episodes close to 60 minutes.

Meanwhile Fofop, the alternative Tofop with guest Charlies, is less regular with two episodes in April.

The AFL lock down is giving Anderson and Clausen a break from their weekly sports podcast 2 Guys 1 Cup, however they managed to get up one episode in April – The boys discuss the absence of the 2020 AFL season and the lack of football in general due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and read listener mail to keep themselves entertained.

Listen to Wilosophy
Listen to Tofop
Listen to Fofop
Listen to Two Guys One Cup

Trevor Long telling it like it is

Tech guru Trevor Long has built a significant podcast following for always telling it like it is. Take for example his title for episode 432 of the weekly podcast he records with Tech Guide’s Stephen Fenech – Long Boring Discussion.

Meanwhile the regular EFTM podcast featuring Long and his colleague Chris Bowen is on hiatus. Expect it back perhaps when Bowen finishes his legal action against 2GB’s Ray Hadley. With the matter not due back in court until June it could be a while before the hilarious podcast returns.

ARN announces growth-driving commercial restructure

ARN has announced a commercial restructure across the business designed to drive growth for its broadcast, on-demand and digital platforms.

This is a result of a recent strategic review which includes a new streamlined implementation method across all aspects of integrated campaigns, delivering a more efficient offering for clients.

ARN Chief Commercial Officer Pete Whitehead said: “ARN is committed to offering the best commercial partnership opportunities to both agencies and clients, and this means being nimble and responsive. This restructure reflects ARN’s ability to be agile, strategic and streamlined. Not only do we offer the best integrated campaigns, but we are committed to offering the most efficient and effective client experience.”

 ARN’s commercial teams have made the below changes:

Angus Leech has been appointed national agency sales director and will be responsible for the development and implementation of ARN’s agency strategy. Leech has been ARN’s Sydney agency sales director for almost four years. Angus will continue to lead the Sydney agency sales team along with national responsibilities. 

Kate Blakeley has been appointed Sydney sales director – independent agencies. With over 12 years of experience from media agency, direct and agency sales and management Blakeley will help develop the independent agency team, and implement a new, targeted strategy and approach to the market.

ARN’s Sydney and Brisbane integration manager, Andy Procopis has been appointed national integration director. Procopis will oversee integrated commercial responses nationally, developing new opportunities and working closely with ARN’s national content director, Duncan Campbell to create results-driven integrated campaigns for clients.

ARN’s head of client solutions – Melbourne, Adelaide & Perth, Lena Rapley has been appointed to commercial partnerships director. The role has been established to lead the commercialisation of ARN sponsorship and partnership opportunities nationally.

Corey Layton is head of commercial audio and podcasts with his key responsibilities being across integration, partnerships and ARN’s audio offering. This includes the growth of ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network Australia.

Senior integration specialists Laura Stewart and Ally Leiba will each move to new roles of Sydney integration manager and Melbourne integration manager. Each will oversee the creation of integrated commercial responses alongside Sophie Thomason in Brisbane and Wendy Allen in Perth who will continue leading their markets.

All of these new roles will begin in May.

Home Alone: Ray Martin returns in ABC comedy lockdown series

ABC has partnered with Screen Australia on a joint initiative in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic which will culminate in a new eight-part comedy series At Home Alone Together, starting on ABC and ABC iview on Wednesday.

Hosted by Ray Martin, each half-hour episode will feature regular contributors, including comedians Anne Edmonds, Ryan Shelton, Becky Lucas, Christiaan Van Vuuren and Adele Vuko, who will share their knowledge, inspirations and advice on how to achieve self-improvement during the corona crisis, covering a range of topics, including D.I.Y, wellness, parenting and personal finances. Each week they’ll be joined by a variety of Australia’s funniest comedians and favourite actors who will assist them by providing handy hints, clever hacks and entrepreneurial know-how to help everyday Australians optimise their time in isolation. At Home Alone Together will show us how the Coronavirus isn’t just a pandemic – it’s an opportunity.

Host Ray Martin said, “I’ve worked in journalism for over 50 years, but it’s always been my dream to front a lifestyle show. 60 Minutes was all well and good, but it never gave me an opportunity to build a pergola. Australians are experiencing a difficult time and I believe I’m the right person to step up to hold the country’s hand through it – just so long as that hand has been thoroughly sanitised.”

ABC’s head of entertainment and factual Josie Mason-Campbell said,” We recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the comedy industry into crisis, so as well as making a great show that will encourage Australians to do what they do best in a crisis – laugh – the ABC also wants to support the writers, performers, producers and technicians who are the life blood our of industry. We’ll commission ideas from teams across the country who will write, produce, edit and deliver sketches and bring them to a mass audience. It’s no mean feat to go from concept to screen so quickly – At Home Alone Together is an extraordinary project for this unprecedented time.”

Online investment manager at Screen Australia Lee Naimo said, “The entire comedy industry has been impacted by COVID-19, but it’s emerging writers and performers who have been the hardest hit. This project presents an opportunity to give these creatives experience with a broadcaster and help them develop their careers during this time. At Home Alone Together will entertain a nation hungry for relevant content while employing a sector of the industry hungry to flex their comedy muscles. I can’t wait to see what these teams bring together in these unique circumstances.”

At Home Alone Together will be produced following strict COVID-19 OHS guidelines, using modern production techniques requiring minimal crew for broadcast standard results. Much of the series will be recorded in the contributor’s homes, either using their own equipment or a single person crew.

Chemist Warehouse trial to sell News Corp metro dailies in four states

News Corp Australia and Chemist Warehouse have joined forces to make newspapers available to customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

From this week, 100 Chemist Warehouse stores across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia will become a point of sale for News Corp’s metro mastheads, The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, The Courier-Mail and The Advertiser.

Pharmacies as well as news brands have both seen consumer demand surge in the past two months, as Australians stock up on wellbeing products and turn to trusted sources for information and analysis on the crisis.

Lou Barrett, managing director of national sales for News Corp Australia said: “We’re always looking for new ways to assist our clients and their customers and given we’ve seen a spike in audience demand for our products, it makes perfect sense to have them available for sale in Chemist Warehouse stores.”

Lia Heim, group marketing manager at Chemist Warehouse said: “As an essential service ourselves, the ability to provide our customers with another essential service within our stores, that being trusted newspapers, means that shoppers can minimise their travel within the local community whilst remaining updated and informed.”

The initiative will operate on a trial basis until July and, pending the result, may be extended to 400 stores nationwide.

TV Guide: Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards goes virtual

Nickelodeon is set to premiere Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards 2020: Celebrate Together, a show packed with stars, surprises and slime– hosted by Victoria Justice (Victorious)–on Monday, May 11, at 6 p.m.

With the show going ahead in the wake of Bauer Media announcing on Tuesday night the cancellation of the TV Week Logie Awards.

Read more: Axed! Bauer Media cancels 2020 TV Week Logie AwardsBauer Media suspends titles due to COVID-19 as 140 staff impacted

Celebrities scheduled to appear on Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards 2020: Celebrate Together include: Dwayne Johnson, Ariana Grande, Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Camila Cabello, Millie Bobby Brown, Ellen DeGeneres, BTS, Shawn Mendes, Lil Nas X, Dove Cameron, Tom Holland, David Dobrik, Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, SSSniperWolf, and more.

The show will also feature appearances from cast members of The Avengers: Endgame (Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner), and a sneak peek of Nickelodeon’s new live-action series The Astronauts, from Imagine Entertainment. The show will include segments such as JoJo Siwa discovering slime secretly placed in every area of her home; a performance by recording artist and actor Asher Angel of his chart-topping single “All Day”; and an exclusive look at Nick’s Slime in Space voyage.

During this year’s show Australian’s 12-year-old Molly Steer (Cairns) and 11-year-old Jack Berne (Sydney), will receive the inaugural Honorary Local Legend Award.

Molly is being recognised for her conservation campaign, Straw No More which resulted in over 17,000 schools around the country getting rid of single-use plastic straws. In May 2020, the young Queenslander was invited to attend the 2020 Single Use Plastic summit to share her campaign with Australia’s leading politicians. 

While Jack is being recognised for his support of Australia’s drought-stricken farmers, launching  a fundraising campaign from his classroom with the goal to reach $100,000. After asking classmates to dress up as farmers and donate $5 Jacks’ Fiver for a Farmer initiative has raised $1.6 million since it began in 2018.

The show will also reveal who kids across Australia and New Zealand have chosen as their favourite local celebrities in categories such as; Favourite Sports Star, which includes Australian born NBA player Ben Simmons, tennis star Ash Barty, Olympic swimmer Mack Horton, Australian cricketer Ellyse Perry and New Zealand rugby player TJ Perenara, Favourite Music Maker, with Tones and I, Benee, Dean Lewis, Six60 and 5 Seconds of Summer all nominated and finally, online gamer EyStreem will be up against YouTube personality Georgia Productions and Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck, Tik Tok star Mariam Star and Instagrammer Harvey Petito, for the title of Favourite Content Creator. 

Amazon announces launch of Prime Video Store today in Australia

Amazon Prime Video has announced the launch of the Prime Video Store n Australia, giving customers the opportunity to rent or buy new movie releases on the platform.

This is in addition to the large selection of popular and exclusive movies and TV shows available to stream on Prime Video at no extra cost to a Prime membership.

Movies in the Prime Video Store will be available to rent or buy from major US studios, including Disney, Warner Bros., NBCUniversal, Sony, Paramount and Lionsgate, with recent new titles such as Avengers: End Game, Avengers: Infinity War, and Bohemian Rhapsody all available to watch now. Local movie studios, including, Transmission and Madman in Australia, will also be available with local titles like Mystify Michael Hutchence available. All customers can rent or buy titles in the Prime Video Store through and the Prime Video app on Smart TVs, Android mobile devices and game consoles. 

Mike Hopkins, SVP Amazon Prime Video & Amazon Studios said: “We’ve seen how much our customers enjoy the large selection of new release movies available to rent or buy on the Prime Video Store in the US, UK, Germany and Japan, so we’re delighted to roll this service out in France, Italy, Spain, Canada and Australia today.”

 “The Prime Video Store brings all Amazon customers the newest releases and blockbuster movies available to rent or buy from top US and local studios, adding to the great range of entertainment already available through Prime Video with a Prime membership.”

Customers can browse and view movies via the new ‘Store’ tab on the navigation menu across web, Smart TVs and Android. Previous rent and buy movies will be available to watch in the ‘My Stuff’ tab on iOS. 

TV Ratings Wednesday April 29 Week 18 2020

By James Manning

• MasterChef mystery box delivers better food and ratings
• Best of the rest: Hard Quiz, The Weekly, Doctor Doctor

Wednesday news highlights
Seven News 1,266,000/1,151,000
Nine News 1,177,000/1,126,000
ABC News 843,000
A Current Affair 791,000
7.30 682,000
The Project 440,000/657,000
10 News 501,000/352,000
Sunrise 325,000
ABC News Breakfast 249,000
The Drum 247,000
Today 225,000
SBS World News 224,000
The Latest 166,000

Nine: Doctor Doctor has held the 7.30pm slot again with 507,000 after 450,000 last week.
Paramedics followed with 475,000 and then New Amsterdam did 244,000.
The late edition of Footy Classified was on 68,000 with 49,000 in Melbourne.

Seven: Home and Away was again top 10 and again over 600,000 with 627,000
Britain’s Got Talent did 434,000 after 569,000 last week.

10: Another night of exceptional dishes on MasterChef featured a mystery box challenge. Each cook had different ingredients and there was a barter period before the clock started to let them trade items. The episode was on 1,014,00 that was double the audience watching either of the commercial offerings elsewhere and up on 994,000 last week.
The Secrets She Keeps followed with 422,000 after launching a week ago with 399,000.

ABC: The Kevin Whyte, Chris Walker and Charlie Pickering production company Thinkative Television filled the 8pm hour last night. One of the best of recent Hard Quiz episodes at 8pm was The Battle of the Duds featuring former losing contestants. One was wearing a Gold Logie kaftan and another nominated Australian reality TV as a special subject. The audience was 711,000 after 724,000 last week.
The new season of The Weekly with Charlie Pickering then started with new regular Luke McGregor. There was no Tom Gleeson last night, with Pickering saying he will return next week. Highlight was perhaps Judith Lucy’s lockdown photo album. The audience was 611,000.

SBS: Britain’s Cathedrals saw host Tony Robinson at Salisbury Cathedral with 292,000 watching.
The first episode of My Grandparents’ War featured Helena Bonham Carter in the first episode with 231,000 watching.

Week 18 TV: Wednesday

ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 13.6% 7 16.7% 9 17.7% 10  17.9% SBS One 5.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.1% 7TWO 2.8% GO! 1.9% 10 Bold 4.7% VICELAND 1.3%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 2.6% GEM 2.3% 10 Peach 2.5% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 1.8% 9Life 1.6%     NITV 0.2%
        9Rush 1.1%     SBS World Movies 0.6%
TOTAL 17.7%   23.9%   24.6%   25.1%   8.7%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 11.8% 7 19.5% 9 15.7% WIN 12.8% SBS One 5.1%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.4% 7TWO 4.3% GO! 1.8% WIN Bold 6.0% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.5% GEM 3.4% WIN Peach 2.2% Food Net 0.6%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.9% 9Life 2.2% Sky News  on WIN 2.7% NITV 0.3%
                SBS Movies 1.0%
TOTAL 16.3%   29.3%   23.2%   23.8%   8.5%


87.1% 12.9%
  1. Seven News Seven 1,266,000
  2. Nine News Nine 1,177,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,151,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 1,126,000
  5. MasterChef Australia 10 1,014,000
  6. ABC News ABC 843,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 791,000
  8. Hard Quiz S5 ABC 711,000
  9. The Chase Australia Seven 684,000
  10. 7.30 ABC 682,000
  11. Hot Seat Nine 670,000
  12. The Project 7pm 10 657,000
  13. Home And Away Seven 627,000
  14. The Weekly With Charlie Pickering ABC 611,000
  15. Doctor Doctor Nine 507,000
  16. 10 News First 10 501,000
  17. Paramedics Nine 475,000
  18. The Project 6.30pm 10 440,000
  19. Britain’s Got Talent Seven 434,000
  20. Hot Seat -5pm Nine 426,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 339,000
  2. The Project 7pm 10 183,000
  3. Nine News Nine 163,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 157,000
  5. Seven News Seven 133,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 515,000
  2. The Project 7pm 10 305,000
  3. Nine News Nine 300,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 284,000
  5. Seven News Seven 276,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 536,000
  2. Nine News Nine 367,000
  3. Seven News Seven 356,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 342,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 340,000
WEDNESDAY Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 191,000
  2. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 188,000
  3. NCIS: Los Angeles (R) 10 Bold 181,000
  4. NCIS: Los Angeles Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 175,000
  5. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 170,000
  6. Shaun The Sheep AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 164,000
  7. Neighbours 10 Peach 156,000
  8. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 148,000
  9. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 148,000
  10. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  11. Dog Loves Books ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  12. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  13. Floogals AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  14. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 133,000
  15. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 133,000
  16. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line -7PTMWO(R) 133,000
  17. Olobob Top PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  18. Bob The Builder PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  19. Luo Bao Bei ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  20. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  1. Gogglebox Australia Lifestyle Channel 184,000
  2. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 140,000
  3. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 73,000
  4. Paul Murray Live: Our Town Sky News Live 69,000
  5. Richo & Jones Sky News Live 68,000
  6. Credlin Sky News Live 53,000
  7. Ugly House To Lovely House Lifestyle Channel 51,000
  8. Live: Supercars All Stars E-Series FOX SPORTS 506 44,000
  9. Calvin & Kaison’s Play Power Nick Jr. 41,000
  10. Paul Murray Live: Our Town Sky News Live 38,000
  11. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 38,000
  12. Vanderpump Rules ARENA 37,000
  13. Escape To The Country Lifestyle Channel 37,000
  14. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 37,000
  15. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 36,000
  16. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 36,000
  17. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 35,000
  18. The Simpsons FOX8 34,000
  19. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 34,000
  20. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 33,000

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

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

Radio industry urges action over Facebook & Google’s control of data

The commercial radio industry has raised concerns about Google and Facebook’s increasing monopolisation of the collection and control of customer data harvested from ads and content on digital platforms operated by radio stations.

In its submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Ad Tech Inquiry, Commercial Radio Australia urged the ACCC to look closely at any attempts by Google and Facebook to limit access to data in the ad tech chain, which would result in a concentration of data in the hands of the digital giants.

“The collection and use of consumer data by Google and Facebook makes it hard for traditional media platforms to compete on commercially equal terms, both in terms of competing for the advertising dollar and establishing new business models,” the submission said.

The Ad Tech Inquiry flows on from the ACCC’s report on digital platforms and is looking into competition and transparency issues in the digital advertising market.

CRA said radio, as a publisher, should receive more information about the pricing of services in the ad tech supply chain. Digital platforms should be required to disclose elements of commission or referral arrangements that could distort pricing structures.

“CRA urges the ACCC to investigate closely whether Google and Facebook are using their monopoly positions to distort the ad tech chain by using pricing, commission, referrals or bundling structures that unfairly favour certain parties over others,” the submission said.

“It is vital that any such practices are exposed, to ensure that all media players operate on a level playing field in terms of attracting advertising revenue.

“Increased advertising revenue enables digital platforms to continue to invest, market more widely, buy up competitors and expand their monopolies and influence. In the long term, this is likely to be at the expense of Australian local media platforms and the provision of quality content.”

Google and Facebook should be forced to use independent third parties to verify their audience reach claims in order to remove the potential for data distortion and create more transparency for advertisers.

The digital platforms sell advertising based on metrics that are “distorted, misleading and poorly understood”, CRA said.

Digital impressions can be created automatically when content is sent from a server and no human has seen the content, there were instances of double counting and a lack of transparency and consistency in methodology.

“This practice must be stopped, as it unfairly disadvantages those players who have audited, standardised audience measurement processes,” the submission said.

“The ‘walled garden’ approach to advertising metrics particularly impacts on clients likely to advertise on commercial radio, as the digital platforms’ techniques tend to be effective in persuading small to medium sized businesses, such as local tradespeople and shops. These are businesses that provide the backbone of commercial radio advertising, particularly in regional areas.”

SCA to stand down multiple staffers across its radio business

Southern Cross Austereo will stand down multiple staffers this week, Radio Today’s Jake Challenor reports.

In an email sent to all employees on Tuesday by CEO Grant Blackley, SCA detailed its plans to reduce payroll liability in a bid to survive the economic impact of the pandemic.

In the email, obtained by Radio Today, Blackley outlined a number of new measures the business was implementing, including “full” and “partial” stand-downs for non-essential workers.

“You can expect an email from your manager today,” wrote Blackley, “who will speak with you about how these measures may impact you individually.”

“Unfortunately, there are a small number of employees for whom there is no available work at all,” Blackley said in the email, with some staffers to be “fully stood down”.

In a statement sent to Radio Today on Wednesday, Blackley confirmed an assessment of workload requirements had led to a temporary reduction in work hours for some of our employees.

“Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult for everyone – including for our business and our people,” Blackley told Radio Today. “I have every faith in the strength and tenacity of our people and business and I know we will come through this together, prouder and stronger.”

[Read more]

The Wiggles need new driver of Big Red Car as Paul Field quits

Children’s entertainment giants The Wiggles are searching for a new driver of their Big Red Car, after long-serving managing director Paul Field quietly exited the company, reports The AFR’s Peter Ker.

Field ceased being a director of The Wiggles’ Group on March 16, almost 24 years after he became its manager and less than two weeks before the group released its latest album Fun and Games.

The album was meant to launch a lucrative 17-week national tour of 47 concerts, all of which have been cancelled or deferred because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Asked whether Field had stepped down, the group confirmed it was going through a phase of “organisational change”. Field is the brother of Blue Wiggle Anthony Field.

Corporate filings suggest Anthony Field owns about 36 per cent of the business, while companies linked to Jeff Fatt and Murray Cook own 24 per cent each.

[Read more]

Seven and Nine enlist Goldman Sachs for TX Australia towers sale

Investment bank Goldman Sachs is spearheading the potential sale of a Seven West Media and Nine joint-venture that owns the towers that broadcast their free-to-air television signals, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

TX Australia was being positioned as an infrastructure asset that could provide steady, consistent and low-risk returns. It has 67 sites across the country and its infrastructure providers broadcast in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

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News Brands

Australians help Guardian’s second year of “financial sustainability”

The Guardian has recorded a substantial increase in the number of readers providing financial support to it over the last year, although the coronavirus pandemic has led to warnings that tough times are ahead for the business, reports the London-based news brand.

Guardian Media Group’s preliminary financial results, unveiled to staff on Wednesday, led the company to state that it “achieved its goal of financial sustainability for a second consecutive year”.

There were 821,000 readers making regular monthly contributions at the end of March, up a quarter over the last year, driven by new subscribers to the company’s apps and continuing financial contributions from readers.

There were notable increases in the number of people subscribing to the premium version of the Guardian’s mobile phone and tablet app, plus people subscribing to the daily edition and the new Guardian Puzzles app. About half of the regular contributors are from outside the UK, aided by growing numbers of readers in Australia, the US and across Europe.

GMG said that when one-off donations were included, at least 1.16 million people around the world financially supported the Guardian in some way during the last financial year, in addition to the British readers who support it by buying the Guardian and Observer print editions.

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Politics hits prime time as we all become political junkies

Remember when the family used to gather around a bowl of microwaved popcorn to watch the Sunday night movie? Asks The Australian’s Caroline Overington.

Well, there’s a new show in town, and it’s basically all of us, watching state and federal politics. Press conferences and media briefings, TikToks and trending tweets, some of them hosted by the Prime Minister, or our state premiers, or even the Treasurer.

We cannot get enough, and why? Because we’re all political junkies now.

Press conferences featuring the Prime Minister and the nation’s Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, instantly become trending topics across social media platforms.

And it often becomes fun. Morrison’s interaction with the ABC’s Andrew Probyn – “You don’t run the press conference, Andrew’’ – became a smash hit on TikTok, connecting a new audience to federal politics (it’s the funkification of news, apparently).

West Australian Labor Premier Mark McGowan woke on Tuesday to the news that his Newspoll approval rating is a staggering 89 per cent. How can that be? Clearly, the public thinks he’s handling this crisis with aplomb, and they’ve come to that conclusion at least in part by watching his live press conferences.

Sky News Australia chief executive Paul Whittaker says there is an “immense hunger” from viewers to “hear the news first-hand, from state and federal governments, and medical authorities”. They are seeing record ratings – up 85 per cent in some cases – with every major announcement covered live.

Network director of news and public affairs at Seven, Craig McPherson, said the network jumped willingly into around-the-clock coverage during the peak of the crisis, which has included “watch live” press conferences.

“With so much at stake, it was these moments that became significant TV events,” he said. “Fear can be a great driver of an audience and as a nation we were locked in fear for several weeks.”

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Contact traced: 3AW host has to stay home after COVID-19 test

Three days in to his triumphant return to the 3AW mid-dawn show, Tony Moclair had to broadcast from home this morning.

Nine Radio announced on the weekend that Moclair would resume his Melbourne shift and then he started on air on Monday morning from the 3AW studios.

Moclair was this week contacted by health officials as he had attended a venue at which it was later discovered that someone had coronavirus. After being test for the virus Moclair is awaiting test results and is not allowed to leave the house.

Most of 3AW’s broadcasters continue to operate under lockdown conditions – breakfast with Ross and John, mornings with Neil Mitchell, afternoons with Dee Dee, drive with Tom Elliott and evenings with Denis Walter.

Tones And I tells Carrie & Tommy global success means less freedom

Melbourne singer Tones And I says global success has given her less freedom, reports News Corp’s Nui Te Koha.

“I miss the freedom,” Tones – born Toni Watson – a former busker who lived in a van, said today.

“People think once you become successful in the music industry, you’re free to do whatever you want. It’s almost the opposite,” Watson told Carrie Bickmore and Tommy Little on Fox FM.

“Everything I’m doing is for myself and my career and for my happiness … but feeling more free is living in your van, and driving wherever you want … making music … and making enough money just to get by – it felt really free.”

Watson became a global phenomenon after her debut single, Dance Monkey, shot to No. 1 in 30 countries.

Dance Monkey has been named the most streamed song ever by a solo female artist on Spotify, with 1.4 billion streams.

The song has also gleaned seven billions streams across all streaming platforms.

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Billy Connolly's latest travelogue reveals he has plenty of life left

Sensationalist articles about Billy Connolly “nearing the end” have been clogging tabloid-minded news feeds for some time – the legendary Scottish stand-up comedian is suffering Parkinson’s disease, among other ailments – but his grandiloquent introduction “It is I, Billy,” is enough to cancel the wake and settle into a three-part travelogue showing there’s plenty of life left in the Big Yin, reports The Age’s Larissa Dubecki.

Answering one of the most pressing questions of the modern televisual age (namely, do we need yet another celebrity-driven travelogue?) with an emphatic “Aye”, Great American Trail follows Connolly as he traces 1000 years of Scottish history in the United States, plotting a line from Massachusetts to Nashville, travelling 3000 miles through 10 states in the nation’s east. About 27 million Americans claim to have come from Scotland, he says, without elaborating on whether that means they’re Scottish-born or simply have a predilection for tartan. But we’re not here for Connolly’s flair for statistics. At the age of 77 the firebrand has inevitably mellowed, distilling his manic energy into the kind of algorithms that see the best in everything, making him the perfect companion on this little jaunt.

The first two episodes stream on 7Plus.

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Sports Media

NRL braces for $60m shortfall as broadcasters eye discount

The NRL is facing the prospect of almost a $60 million drop in broadcast revenue as part of negotiations with its television partners, as Nine Entertainment Co attempts to secure a substantial discount for the shortened season, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Chammas.

With clubs and players waiting anxiously for the NRL to sort out its financial distribution model in 2020, the Herald has learnt that Nine is trying to pay at least 24 per cent less than the terms of the original contract.

Sources close to negotiations have also told the Herald that the Nine Network wants to pay less for the State of Origin series – which has been moved to after the grand final in November – arguing that it will not be able to write the advertising revenue that it would have in the middle of the year.

Nine was due to pay $118m in 2020 for the broadcast rights, although the network has now indicated to ARLC chairman Peter V’landys that it wants to pay only about $90m.

Media sources say Foxtel, which was due to pay about $190m this year, is willing to only deduct the value of the four rounds lost at a saving of about $30m.

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