Wednesday April 8, 2020

The heat is on: MasterChef judges Andy, Melissa & Jock

By James Manning

• Keep it simple: Be yourself, we judge the food, not the people

Mediaweek goes inside the MasterChef Australia kitchen to talk with the three new MasterChef judges Jock Zonfrillo, Andy Allen and Melissa Leong. Just how will the audience welcome the replacements for Matt, Gary and George?

How long did it take to say ‘yes’ to join the show?

Andy: Absolute no brainer for me. Coming from the show originally I wanted to do it as much as I possibly could. I have got six business partners who all work very hard in our business which allows me to go off and do something amazing like this. It was an easy decision.

Jock: It was a harder decision for me because I have a lot going on with multiple businesses including a three-hat restaurant in Adelaide. It was tough. But because of what we do with indigenous acknowledgement and engagement [via The Orana Foundation] this is a great platform to spread that message. I will try and bring indigenous ingredients into the MasterChef kitchen on a daily basis instead of just on a special episode.

Melissa: I am a freelance journalist, so it was a bit easier for me. The opportunity to come on to a show like this – such a high calibre and such a loved show – is the opportunity of a lifetime.

Matt, Gary and George all sent their best

Jock: I know all three of them as friends and when we spoke they wished us all individually the best.

Andy: It’s a tight knit community the food industry – there’s still lots of love between us and Gary, Matt and George – maybe even more now to be honest!

It’s the food, not the people, but when your time’s up…

Andy said he didn’t feel any pressure from having to pass judgement on former friends and colleagues returning to the show to compete.

“No at all – I have worked with most of them since the show and earned their respect. I am very comfortable passing judgement on what is a plate of food.”

Jock: “And that’s important. All we are doing is judging on the plate of food that is put in front of us, not the person who gave it to us. That can be a tough call and after just a few weeks of filming there were already some very emotional moments.”

Melissa: “We never want to send anybody home, but that is the nature of the show. All we can do is critique the food on the day and then be really honest and heartfelt about that.”

How prepared were you for the first elimination?

Andy: “Not at all. I thought it was part of the process of the show, but it is hard when the contestants all care so much, no just about the competition, but every plate of food they put up, whether it be to their family, friends or at work. To tell them that it is not good enough is really emotional.”

Jock: “It is hard because we really care about them –we want them to succeed, we want them to win and put up great dishes day after day. It is very hard to deliver the bad news and criticism, no matter how constructive it is.”

Testing the judges’ chemistry

If MasterChef makers Endemol Shine Australia and Network 10 tested the chemistry between the judges, they did it in a clever way. “No, they didn’t,” said Andy when asked. “It proves how well they do their job because we all got along immediately like a house on fire. We had a lovely dinner not long ago at Mel’s house one evening and all our partners came. We hang out at work and outside work. We have a great friendship.”

How tough is it in the food business now?

Gordon Ramsay with Andy, Mel and Jock in week one of MasterChef Australia 2020

Andy: “People still have a strong desire to be part of the industry, despite the current challenges. The former contestants in this series really want to win this series because it gives them a platform and a big old chunk of cash to go out and build their dreams. There is lots of hard work, determination and passion going into every day in this competition because they really want to win.”

Jock: “No matter how hard it is in the industry now, food continues to be something that connects everyone every day. There is going to be no shortage of career opportunities or avenues to pursue in food.”

Melissa: “When you work in the food space you love it fiercely. Nobody who works in food wants anything else but to be here. That bonds us all very much. This is the second time these contestants have been here. When they go back out into the world they have a renewed vigour and love for it.”

Advice from EP Marty Benson

Jock: “We get on well because we are both Scotsmen. Between Pete Newman (Endemol Shine Australia chief content officer) and Marty they knew a lot about us, and they have seen the individual TV projects we had done over the years.

“The advice we have all had individually is, ‘Be yourselves. We employed you for what you are, not some other character.’ People that know me get that I am very black and white. What you see is what you get. And if you don’t like that you can f-off!” [Laughs]

Has the show and the team changed much?

Andy: “It is a big beast and there’s many people here that I worked with on my previous visit. Benny the cameraman has been on all seasons and there are many others still here from my season. That is reassuring because it is such a great thing to work on.”

Melissa: “There are lots of new structural elements that people won’t have seen before. That is keeping us on our toes and certainly the contestants as well. Every day we walk onto set there is something new and exciting for us and them.”

Top Photo: Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo

Radio’s #WFH challenge: How Nova Entertainment adapted

By James Manning

Showing the way forward in the early days of working from home (#WFH) were on-air teams from Nova’s Fitzy and Wippa to KIIS FM’s Kyle and Jackie O to 3AW’s Ross and John.

Mediaweek, under #WFH conditions of course, spoke to Nova Entertainment chief technology officer Matt Steadman about how the company had adapted to the new normal.

“Previous to this crisis we have always had plans in place should announcers become ill,” Steadman told Mediaweek. “We have always understood we have had the tools and the talent to deal with whatever eventuates. But this situation has impacted an entire industry that has had to pivot very quickly to operate differently.

“Getting announcers to work from home on very short notice plus general office and admin staff also working from home, something that was organised in a 72-hour period, was quite a ride.”

Despite the technical and logistical challenges, Steadman noted “it all went reasonably well”.

Some Nova Entertainment staff have had a few tech challenges, but Steadman said they weren’t necessarily NBN-related, noting the broadband service had held up well for them. “We have been pleasantly surprised by the ability to carry out work from home, even when much of the country is online working from home.”

Nova 96.9’s Fitzy & Wippa with Sarah, Tom and Matt

When it comes to broadcast kit that announcers need to work from home, Steadman said that can depend on the announcer. “Nowadays it can be just as simple as someone’s mobile phone. We do have announcers on air now from home where all we have done is ship them a microphone and headphones that plug straight into their mobile phone and the Nova technology allows us to connect them from there.”

Nova 96.9’s Sarah McGilvray

He noted that most shows across the Nova and smoothfm networks continue to operate with at least one person still in the studio. “We still really need someone to push the buttons. We can offer more sophisticated kit for announcers at home who might want to do things like sound effects etc. There is a sliding scale of equipment we can deploy.”

smoothfm evening announcer Cameron Daddo

There has been a run on audio equipment and suppliers have been out of stock of some items. Nova has been using microphones from its on-air studios as there has been less demand for their use. “In times like this we are not too fussy – as long as the audio quality sounds acceptable, we will use it.

Steadman said a good rule of thumb when it comes to microphones is the more you spend, the better the quality. “A couple of hundred dollars will get you something that sounds really, really good. Listeners understand if people aren’t in studios it will sound a little different.”

smoothfm 91.5 More Music Breakfast host Mike Perso

Nova Entertainment’s primary remote communication tool is Microsoft Teams. “We were very well set up for people to join meetings from wherever they may be. Zoom also works well for others, but we haven’t had a need for it.”

It is expected that crisis management plans will be very different in the future. “All broadcasters will take a lot of learnings from this,” said Steadman. “Most of them will be quite positive when we all review what we have been able to achieve at very short notice. Over time we will detail what worked and what didn’t work which will put us in better shape than we have ever been.”

smoothfm afternoon announcer Simon Diaz – outside and inside his caravan solution

Steadman listed Tom Ivey, breakfast EP for Sydney breakfast show Fitzy and Wippa, when it comes to those most enthusiastically grasping the remote broadcasting opportunity. “Tom had to broadcast out of the back seat of his car because he didn’t want to wake up the small children sleeping in the house. It was a challenge for him, but the creative solution actually worked very well.”

smoothfm’s Ty Frost has also risen to the #WFH challenge: “Ty has equipped himself with a good set up, claiming there a few things he can do from his home studio that he would like to be able to mimic in the main on-air studio. A lot of announcers are audio nerds.

smoothfm morning announcer Ty Frost

Steadman said the nerds didn’t always need to clear their home solutions with the chief technology officer first. “We trust our good staff and give them some leeway.”

Top Photo: Mel Doyle in her home studio

SCA has record breaking March on digital audio on demand platforms

Southern Cross Austereo’s (SCA) audio on demand platforms are breaking listener and download records during the COVID-19 pandemic as audience search for news and information along with social connection during the crisis.

Radio is the most consumed platform according to SCA with 66% of listeners working from home during March and listening on-demand through live radio streaming on mobile, smart speakers and podcasts. Which has seen SCA improve its results such as:

• Weekday listeners up 15% in the past 14 days to the end of March
• Total live radio streaming listening hours consumed is up 12.4% to 9.11 million, compared to February
• Smart speaker live radio streaming is up 9.8% to 1.7 million listening hours; listening sessions are 2+ hours and 19% of all SCA live radio streaming occurs on a smart speaker
• SCA podcasting downloads are up 55% over the same period with catch Up Radio podcasts up 66% and original podcasts up 43%
• More than 460,000 news on demand listens for March, a month on month increase of 130%, and more than double the increases during the Summer bushfires.

SCA’s research team also found these insights: 

• One in four (24%) of SCA’s audience is consuming more radio than they did prior to the COVID-19 outbreak
• More than a quarter (26%) of SCA’s audience expects to consume more radio in the next month
• 66% of SCA’s audience who are working from home will be listening to radio 
• 40% of SCA’s audience expects to consume the same amount or more podcasts in the next month
• 64% of SCA’s audience expects to consume the same amount or more music streaming in the next month.


SCA Chief Content Officer, Dave Cameron, said: “We have now comfortably eclipsed the previous all-time monthly streaming record to reach 9.11 million and it’s unprecedented that news makes up 10% of that figure, It’s also great to see podcasting has grown 55% month on month.”

“Our current listener behaviour is showing that our audiences are already, and will continue to, rely on audio to stay updated, informed, connected and comforted. SCA’s content teams have also pivoted to produce some fantastic content to keep listeners happy and to enjoy music or a laugh in these anxious times, as well as a series of random acts of kindness. I’m incredibly proud of our team who are working really diligently to keep listeners informed and entertained.”

SCA Head of News & Current Affairs, Natasha Jobson, said:  “Since early March we have gone with a ‘COVID-19 facts first’ approach, carefully avoiding  the hype and scaremongering and offering only the most legitimate information possible.

“A revised rostering system now allows our journalists to focus on writing, audio editing, interviewing and reading roles – with a large portion now doing that from their ‘home newsroom’ set ups. We are mobilised to deliver news from anywhere, for anywhere. We are sharing findings from SCA’s research team with listeners, such as their biggest concerns around COVID-19 and also some lighter information, such as the most popular board game to play whilst at home – Monopoly for the win!” 

SCA Chief Sales Officer, Brian Gallagher, said: “Radio has a unique ability to reach and connect with communities  and is an essential platform in emergency situations, such as our recent bushfires, floods and now COVID-19. As a broadcast and streaming business, we have the technology and systems in place to broadcast through these challenging times without interruption to our services.

“People turn to radio as a companion and for social connection with trusted and much-loved voices. We continue to listen to our audience via our research panels to gain insights into their listening and purchasing behaviour, attitudes towards COVID-19 and to the new world of working from home. As a result of this ongoing research, our advertising partners are able to pivot their messages to ensure they cut through in challenging times.”

Network 10 to screen One World Together at Home global special

Building on the success of the digital series “One World: Together at Home,” Global Citizen and the World Health Organization (WHO) are partnering for a special one-night event of the same name to air across NBC, ABC, CBS and other global networks including 10 in Australia and digital platforms on Sunday morning 10am April 19 on the east coast of Australia (Saturday night in the US).

“One World: Together at Home” is not a telethon, but rather a global broad entertainment special to celebrate the heroic efforts of community health workers and support the World Health Organisation and the global fight to end COVID-19.

The event is curated by Lady Gaga and will feature exclusive appearances by Alanis Morissette, Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Burna Boy, Chris Martin, David Beckham, Eddie Vedder, Elton John, FINNEAS, Idris and Sabrina Elba, J Balvin, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kerry Washington, Lang Lang, Lizzo, Maluma, Paul McCartney, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Shah Rukh Khan and Stevie Wonder. Friends of Sesame Street will also be on hand to help unify and inspire people around the world.

The two-hour program will be hosted by a trio of US network late night hosts: Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert and will include performances from the world’s biggest artists with multimillion-dollar pledges to the WHO’s Solidarity Response Fund. Audrey Morrissey (“The Voice,” “Songland”) and production company Live Animals will produce the special in partnership with Global Citizen.

The special will connect artists with audiences on a global scale, also airing on BBC ONE as well as the following networks and platforms:

• NBCUniversal: NBC, Bravo, E!, MSNBC,, NBCSN, NBC News,, NBC News on YouTube, Peacock, SYFY and USA.
• Walt Disney Television: ABC, ABC News, ABC News Live, Freeform and Nat Geo.
• ViacomCBS: CBS, Channel 5 in the UK, Network 10 in Australia, and Telefe in Argentina; BET and MTV globally across 180+ countries; and CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV2, Paramount Network, Pop, TV Land and VH1 in the US.
• Bell Media platforms in Canada, MultiChoice and RTE.
• BBC One will broadcast an edited version of the event for UK audiences on April 19.

“One World: Together at Home” will also be a multi-hour digital broadcast streaming online on multiple global platforms, including Alibaba, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Facebook, Hulu, Instagram, LiveXLive, Tencent, Tencent Music Entertainment Group, TIDAL, TuneIn, Twitch, Twitter, Yahoo and YouTube. This digital special will include additional artists and performances from all over the globe as well as unique stories from the world’s healthcare heroes.

For information about how to tune in and take action, visit

ACM’s Tony Kendall: Don’t ignore record regional audiences

Too many national advertisers with important messages and operating updates affecting all Australians are overlooking key regional audiences hungry for information through the coronavirus crisis.

That’s the message from Australia’s largest independent news publisher ACM as new audience data shows ACM’s trusted voice delivering readers at record levels.

A statement from the regional publisher release this week said:

With a network of newspapers and news sites across the country, including 14 daily titles such as The Canberra Times, Newcastle Herald and Illawarra Mercury, ACM is playing a vital role as the primary source of COVID-19-related breaking news and essential information in Australia’s largest non- metropolitan population centres.

ACM chief revenue officer Tony Kendall thanked leading national advertisers who are continuing to reach out to regional consumers however pointed out that many advertisers are missing a very large engaged audience; “if businesses only advertised in the metro newspapers they would miss out on up to 2 million* Australians who read ACM publications across the country”.

“Our trusted environments and audience volumes provide the perfect opportunity for message cut- through,” he said.

“But many important messages and operating updates from advertisers are not reaching much of the 36 per cent of Australians** who live outside the 5 major capitals due to their ongoing focus on metropolitan publications.”

ACM chief marketing officer Paul Tyrrell said ACM’s internal audience data showed “web sessions for March were up by 99 per cent year on year to just under 50 million for the month.***”

“We’ve certainly hit the mark with what readers are looking for,” Tyrrell said.

“As well as free rolling coverage of essential COVID-19 news updates, we’re focused on finding the good news stories from around the country as well as offering readers stuck at home our Living in Lockdown pages to beat the boredom”

The Living in Lockdown pages include puzzles, recipes and fitness advice, as well a weekly history column by Australia’s premier national institutions, such as the National Gallery of Australia, the Australian War Memorial and the National Film and Sound Archive, celebrating treasured items in their respective collections that help tell the Australian story.

“Across our digital assets we’ve seen incredible audience growth across the board,” Tyrrell said.

“Even with the amount of free digital content available, our online subscriptions continue to grow with a jump of 13 per cent in new digital subscriptions in March.

“As more and more readers self-isolate or work from home we’ve also seen a spike in new home delivery subscriptions of our printed daily publications with March new delivery subscriptions up 195 per cent from February.”

To make it even easier for advertising clients to reach ACM’s 7.7 million-strong**** audience we have changed the way we are doing business including:

• Daily mastheads supplied material deadline has been extended to 6pm on day of print.
• Non-daily supplied material deadline has been extended to two hours before print
• Our design resources can assist on the day of print should you need help.

Sky News ratings
IMAA webinars to feature Paul Murray, Harry Lowes and Ashley Jenkins

The Independent Media Agencies of Australia’s (IMAA) next two free webinar series for its members will feature  Sky News commentator Paul Murray and Facebook ANZ Head of Independent Agencies, Harry Lowes and ANZ HR Lead, Ashley Jenkins.

The IMAA launched the series of free professional advice webinars to provide expert guidance and strategies to help its members navigate the financial, legal, economic and HR complexities as a result of COVID-19.

Presented by Foxtel Media, the Paul Murray webinar will be held on Wednesday 8 April at 12.00 pm exclusively for IMAA members. Murray who hosts Paul Murray Live on Sky News Australia will discuss the implications of COVID-19 on the Australian economy and our economic forecast.

The second webinar focuses on how Facebook is managing its people and remote teams through COVID-19. Harry Lowes and Ashley Jenkins will share Facebook’s experiences on this HR journey and the webinar will be held on Wednesday 15 April at 12.00pm.

The first webinar was held on 1 April and featured Marc Walsh, Principal Client Advisor at Altus Financial.

Further information is available at:

TV Demand: Ozark and Outlander go #1 as the charts continue to change

By Trent Thomas

After a 2019 defined by the lack of movement at the top of the TV Demand charts, 2020 has begun to shape up as much more fluid as this week has seen more changes to the number one spots.

There is a new Digital Original number one in Netflix’s Ozark, and Outlander is the new top show on top of the Overall TV chart in New Zeland. The only show still on top from last week is Brooklyn Nine-Nine which sits atop the Overall TV Demand charts in Australia for the third straight week.

The critically acclaimed Netflix Original Ozark released its third season on the platform on March 27 and it has quickly made its way to the top of the Digital Original charts. The show stars Jason Bateman (who also serves a director and executive producer) and Laura Linney (pictured) who play a married couple who have been forced launder money for a Mexican drug cartel after relocating to the Ozarks. The show has been compared to Breaking Bad and has currently released 30 episodes over three seasons.

Outlander has captured the top spot on the Overall TV chart in New Zealand after narrowly missing out on the number one spot in Australia. The show released the first of its 13 episodes of its fifth season on February 16. The series is created by Starz and is based on a book series of the same name by Diana Gabaldon and can be seen on Foxtel in Australia. The series follows Caitriona Balfe who plays a married former World War II nurse who is transported back to Scotland in 1743 and is caught up in the Jacobite risings.

TV ratings Tuesday April 7 Week 15 2020 (Easter survey break)

By James Manning

• Seven’s House Rules #1 non-news as audience sticks around
• Will first mover advantage help Seven against Lego & MasterChef?

Tuesday news highlights
Seven News 1,306,000/1,215,000
Nine News 1,182,000/1,1047,000
ABC News 1,012,000
7.30 801,000
A Current Affair 749,000/562,000 (7pm & 7.30pm)
The Project 423,000/562,000
10 News First 524,000/319,000
The Latest 412,000
Sunrise 348,000
The Drum 313,000
Insight 294,000
Nine News special: COVID-19 267,000
News Breakfast 265,000
Today 246,000
SBS World News 195,000

Nine: An encore screening of David Attenborough Seven World One Planet did 303,000. Nine’s COVID-19 late news then did 267,000 indicating the lead-in is critical to the late news numbers and perhaps interest is waning.

Seven: House Rules did well again the 7pm timeslot. Could this have ramifications for the return of Home and Away? The channel has first mover advantage with House Rules building an audience this week ahead of the launch of MasterChef and Lego Masters later this month. The second night of House Rules was on 643,000 after launching with 679,000 and 600,000 on Monday.

The Latest then did 412,000 followed by The Good Doctor on 318,000.

10: The channel screened Coronavirus Australia: Our Story after 7.30pm with 385,000 watching.

The usual Tuesday line-up followed with NCIS on 324,000 and then NCIS: Los Angeles on 231,000.

ABC: Foreign Correspondent did 515,000 followed by Easter in Australia with Jeremy Fernandez on 267,000.

SBS: Great Canadian Railway Journeys was the channel’s second most-watched show last week with 283,000. The audience last night was on 292,000. The channel’s biggest Tuesday audience was 294,000 watching an episode of Insight about age gap relationships.

Week 15 TV: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 13.2% 7 19.3% 9 15.9% 10  10.6% SBS One 6.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.6% 7TWO 3.1% GO! 2.6% 10 Bold 4.3% VICELAND 2.0%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 3.4% GEM 4.2% 10 Peach 2.5% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 2.1% 7flix 1.6% 9Life 2.2%     NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.2%     SBS World Movies 1.1%
TOTAL 18.6%   27.3%   26.1%   17.4%   10.6%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.2% 7 19.8% 9 13.1% WIN 10.0% SBS One 6.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 4.4% GO! 2.7% WIN Bold 4.6% VICELAND 1.8%
ABC ME 0.9% 7mate 5.4% GEM 5.9% WIN Peach 2.1% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 2.0% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.8% 9Life 2.3% Sky News  on WIN 2.8% NITV 0.2%
                SBS Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 15.8%   31.5%   24.1%   19.5%   9.8%


86.5% 13.5%
  1. Seven News Seven 1,306,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,215,000
  3. Nine News Nine 1,182,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 1,090,000
  5. ABC News ABC 1,047,000
  6. 7.30 ABC 801,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 749,000
  8. The Chase Australia Seven 705,000
  9. House Rules: High Stakes Seven 643,000
  10. Hot Seat Nine 612,000
  11. The Project 7pm 10 562,000
  12. A Current Affair 7:30 Nine 562,000
  13. 10 News First 10 524,000
  14. Foreign Correspondent ABC 515,000
  15. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 436,000
  16. The Project 6.30pm 10 423,000
  17. The Latest: Seven News Seven 412,000
  18. Hot Seat -5pm Nine 389,000
  19. Coronavirus Australia: Our Story 10 385,000
  20. Sunrise Seven 348,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. Seven News Seven 154,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 149,000
  3. The Project 7pm 10 147,000
  4. Nine News Nine 146,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 145,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. Nine News Nine 302,000
  2. Seven News Seven 297,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 287,000
  4. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 277,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 262,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Nine News Nine 377,000
  2. Seven News Seven 367,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 357,000
  4. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 345,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 301,000
TUESDAY Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 326,000
  2. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 222,000
  3. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 200,000
  4. Highway Patrol-Ep.2 Pm 7mate 196,000
  5. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 192,000
  6. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  7. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 157,000
  8. Bondi Rescue Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 153,000
  9. The Battle Of Britain 9Gem 152,000
  10. As Time Goes By Reunion Specials Tx1 9Gem 149,000
  11. Highway Patrol PM 7mate 148,000
  12. Shaun The Sheep AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  13. CSI: Miami 10 Bold 141,000
  14. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  15. Neighbours 10 Peach 130,000
  16. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  17. ABC News At Noon PM ABC NEWS 129,000
  18. Nella The Princess Knight PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  19. Kiri And Lou ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  20. PJ Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  1. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 116,000
  2. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 92,000
  3. Jones & Credlin Sky News Live 89,000
  4. Credlin Sky News Live 85,000
  5. The Great British Bake Off Lifestyle FOOD 72,000
  6. AM Agenda Sky News Live 64,000
  7. PML Later Sky News Live 62,000
  8. Afternoon Agenda Sky News Live 59,000
  9. Newsday Sky News Live 58,000
  10. AM Agenda Sky News Live 58,000
  11. Newsday Sky News Live 55,000
  12. Highway Patrol FOX8 55,000
  13. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 46,000
  14. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 42,000
  15. AM Agenda Sky News Live 41,000
  16. Family Guy FOX8 41,000
  17. Family Guy FOX8 39,000
  18. Afternoon Agenda Sky News Live 39,000
  19. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 38,000
  20. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 37,000

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

Southern Cross Media secures bulk of $169m capital raising

Southern Cross Media has secured the bulk of its proposed $169m capital raising to cut its $330.5m debt pile during the coronavirus crisis, as the media industry grapples with a big drop in advertising revenue, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

The group, which operates radio stations Triple M and Hit Network, announced on Tuesday it had raised $149m from institutional investors, as part of its fully underwritten placement and entitlement offer.

Southern Cross said on Tuesday the 9c a share placement attracted “strong demand” and the institutional entitlement offer had a take up rate by institutional shareholders of approximately 92 per cent.

The group, which hasn’t traded on the ASX since its request for a trading halt on March 23, saw its shares drop more than 27 per cent to 12c on Tuesday afternoon following the capital raising. It has a market capitalisation of $92.3m based on the current share price.

[Read more]

Seven West responds to interest in West Australian Newspapers

Seven West Media has provided detailed information about its West Australian Newspapers business to interested parties, including details about potential synergies available for a new owner, reported Talk in The AFR.

Seven West sent a document that pitched WAN as the dominant print and digital media business in Western Australia, printing more than 2.25 million papers and catalogues each year.

The document said WAN was on track to record $20 million in earnings in the 2020 financial year on $180.8 million revenue. It said costs were likely to be $157 million in the year to June 30, more than half of which was to pay the unit’s personnel.

Sources close to Seven West said WAN was not for sale – and the information was provided in response to inbound inquiries.

The document comes as Seven West seeks to finalise a deal to sell its magazines business, Pacific Magazines, to Bauer. Pacific Magazines and WAN together make up Seven West’s publishing business.

[Read more]

News Brands

George Pell case: Decision exposes ABC’s relentless prejudice

This is the ultimate expression of justice in Australia. The High Court has acted with a single purpose – to bring clarity, certainty and finality to this case, reports Paul Kelly in The Australian.

Cardinal George Pell is innocent of the sexual abuse convictions against him. He was wrongly convicted, jailed and vilified.

many opinion-makers made grievous mistakes. But none remotely has the culpability of the ABC in its relentless, biased and prejudiced campaign against Pell lasting for many years.

These institutions served neither justice nor the interests of victims of child sexual abuse. Putting up and campaigning for such a flawed case carried the high risk of this outcome – years of trials, appeals, personal aggravation and disputes that diminished everyone.

[Read more]

Shelved writer Louise Milligan won’t back down

ABC journalist Louise Milligan, who authored the book Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell, asked her Twitter followers to “Hug your children” when the High Court published its judgment on Tuesday.

As an investigative journalist for 7.30, Milligan ran allegations of abuse by George Pell and won two Quill awards from the Melbourne Press Club, including the Gold Quill for best story of the year.

An ABC spokesman said: ‘The ABC has – and will continue to – report accurately and without fear or favour on stories that are in the public interest, including this one,’ We stand by our reporters and our stories.”

[Read more]

Andrew Bolt: Shame on those who joined George Pell witch hunt

Cardinal George Pell is innocent. Shame on all those who persecuted him in one of this nation’s greatest miscarriages of justice, writes News Corp’s Andrew Bolt.

The High Court judges yesterday spokes with one voice – seven to zero – that Pell should never have been convicted of the improbable rape of two boys in his Cathedral.

Shame on the ABC, our national broadcaster, for hysterically pushing damaging claims against Pell that all turned out to be too absurd to lead to charges, or too flimsy to go to trial, or, now, too weak to survive an appeal.

Shame on Melbourne University Press for publishing a bestseller on Pell by ABC journalist Louise Milligan which wildly accused Pell of many horrible crimes against children, not one of which has stood up to legal scrutiny, but fed the get-Pell hysteria during his trial.

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No audience, no applause, no problem: show goes on for live TV

The gleeful grand finale of Dancing with the Stars was distinguished by good humour, genuinely affecting emotion and four finalists that scriptwriters might dream about, reports Debi Enker in The Age.

It was a winner, in spite of the unprecedented circumstances, because, in addition to the customary sparkles, coloured lights and eye-catching costumes, in these strange days of pandemic, there was no audience in the ballroom to cheer about the spectacle.

So the absence of an audience, especially for a show such as DWTS, which is all about colour, movement, music and family fun, could have a significant and detrimental effect. Yet it didn’t. It was actually stranger seeing the hosts standing apart from each other in a nod to social distancing. Otherwise, the show shone as brightly as its mirror-ball trophy.

In these pandemic-affected times, many productions that usually have studio audiences, such as The Project, Q&A, Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell and The Front Bar, have instead been playing to empty rooms – and even empty football grounds in the case of the first round of the AFL season.

A recent episode of Mad as Hell opened with a skit featuring the host going shopping for canned laughter, as notes he’d received from an ABC executive indicated that his show could use a boost in the absence of its audience.

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Early exit: Couple quits House Rules after format twist

House Rules contestants Carly and Andrew have quit the Seven show after one episode, incensed with a format twist that will eliminate two teams, reports TV Tonight.

The Queensland couple walked off the show last night telling producers they were unhappy with a first week challenge in which two teams will be eliminated after a Gold Coast penthouse renovation.

“This curve ball of two (teams) being eliminated has thrown me for six. I’m not a quitter, but this game has changed a lot,” said Carly.

“It’s no longer, ‘Get on House Rules, get your house renovated.’ It’s ‘House Rules-two-(teams) -get eliminated-and-then-the-rest-get-a-house-reno.’ It’s not what I expected at all.”

A producer was seen in the episode explaining the show’s new format twist.

“Do you understand that as part of a television process and making a show, shows change, shows evolve? Things change all the time?” the producer asked.

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