Thursday August 13, 2020

Podcast Week: Tim Reid, New Adam Shand, Podcast Ranker best

By James Manning

• SEN’s big score, New at iHeartPodcast, Childers joins Acast, Podshape goes vanning

Nothing Small about this Big podcast: Tim Reid

One new entry on Podcast Ranker July was The Small Business Big Marketing Show hosted by Timbo Reid. He’s been podcasting for over a decade and has over 500 episodes, the last 60 of them released in partnership with PodcastOne.

Why should people listen to Tim Reid about marketing? “I had the first business marketing podcast in Australia,” he told Mediaweek. “There have since been a lot of marketing podcasts and a lot of business podcasts. What sets mine apart is I have found the intersection of educating my business-owning audience and engaging them. I want see my listeners walk away with business insights and marketing ideas they can apply immediately, but also a smile on their faces.

Reid studied marketing at university and then worked in marketing and advertising for close to 20 years. “I have a passion and admiration for the small business owner. My podcast is one way to support them.”

Reid seems to operate like a successful small business himself – always turning up. He’s there every week with a new episode. “One of the secrets to podcasting success, or any content creation, is to set an expectation with your audience. I set an expectation early on this would be a weekly podcast.”

Reid is also open about how he is able to make a living from podcasting. “I cracked that nut a few years ago. It was never a means to an end. It is an end. There is nothing wrong with creating a podcast as a marketing channel, but for me it is now my day job.” Reid monetises his podcast via sponsorship and for many years has been booked for events because he hosts the podcast.

In over 500 episodes, Reid said the best reactions from listeners are for case studies. “An interesting small business owner who has a story of growth using some form of marketing to get there. When there is a topic that I know is frustrating business owners, I will go out and find an expert on that topic and ask for listener questions.

Ask about his best guest and Reid has a surprising answer from six years ago and it’s certainly not a big name in marketing. “Joshua Nicholls from Platinum Electricians shared a 21-step process that every single one of his sparkies must adhere to whenever they go onsite into a home or an office. It got so much traction and people still talk about it.”

If asking him about podcasting tips, don’t ask him about microphone brand. “It’s a nonsense question. It’s like asking a journalist what pen you use. It doesn’t matter – just get one.” He has plenty to say about editorial mission though: “There are three simple questions for potential podcasters. What have you got to offer? To whom? What outcome can they expect?”

Adam Shand’s State Crime Command

One of PodcastOne’s most prolific podcasters is crime reporter and broadcaster Adam Shand. He was there at the launch of the platform with The Trials of the Vampire and subsequent series have included Understate, Adam Shand at Large and The Great Covid Reset.

He has a new series launching any day called State Crime Command that sees Shand working in partnership with detectives from NSW Police working to solve live cases.

Podcast Ranker: The bonus charts

It seems every few days there is another Podcast Ranker chart. It’s just an indication of how fast this strange year is flying by. We have looked at Podcast Ranker July to examine the top 10 most popular podcast, radio podcasts and some of the new arrivals.

See also: Podcast Ranker July

Triton Digital’s Australian Podcast Ranker provides insight into the Top 100 Podcasts as well as the Top 10 Publishers in Australia from 1 July through 31 July, 2020, as measured by Triton’s Podcast Metrics measurement service.

July Top 10 Original podcasts

1. Stuff You Should Know (ARN/iHeartMedia)
2. Casefile True Crime (Audioboom)
3. Hamish & Andy (PodcastOne)
4. From the Newsroom (News Corp Australia)
5. 7am (Schwartz Media)
6. My Favourite Murder (Stitcher)
7. The Howie Games (PodcastOne)
8. No Such Thing As A Fish (Audioboom)
9. The Matty Johns Podcast (Fox Sports)
10. Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations (Stitcher)

July Top 10 Radio podcasts

1. The Kyle and Jackie O Show
2. Kate, Tim and Marty (Nova)
3. Whateley (SEN/Crocmedia)
4. Triple M Footy AFL (SCA)
5. SEN Breakfast (SEN/Crocmedia)
6. Rush Hour Melbourne (SCA)
7. Ben Fordham Live (Nine Radio)
8. Triple M Rocks Footy NRL (SCA)
9. Moonman in the Morning (SCA)
10. Chrissie, Sam and Browny (Nova)

New entries on the Podcast Ranker in July included:

Guru: The Dark Side of Enlightenment (Wondery)
WTF with Marc Maron (Stitcher)
Dying for Sex (Wondery)
Somehow Related with Dave O’Neil and Glenn Robbins (ARN/iHeartMedia)
She’s on the Money (ARN/iHeartMedia)
The Small Business Big Marketing Podcast (PodcastOne Australia)
A Life of Greatness (PodcastOne Australia)
Herald Sun Coronavirus Update (News Corp Australia)
Confessions of a Twenty Something Train Wreck (Nova)

Big month for SEN podcasts

SEN podcast downloads topped 1.93 million in July and live streaming hit 1.25 million – up 20.5% month-on-month.

SEN’s Breakfast with Garry Lyon & Tim Watson was the #1 AM radio breakfast show podcast in the country and remained the #1 breakfast show in Melbourne in the July Australian Podcast Ranker. The show was twice the size of its nearest competitor in Melbourne in terms of monthly downloads from the same number of clips.

The podcast of SEN’s morning program Whateley hosted by Gerard Whateley remained the number one sports radio show in Australia in the July Ranker.

In South Australia, SEN’s Breakfast with Kane and Hayesy was the number one radio breakfast show podcast – recording 43,445 downloads – 16.6% up on June.

SEN general manager: digital and growth Emily McGrath said footy fans relished the opportunity to get their sports-fix on-demand.

“More than 200,000 unique listeners downloaded one of our show podcasts in July – with a 7.2% increase on downloads compared to June,” McGrath said. 

“Sports fans have craved all the latest news, debate and opinion surrounding the long-awaited return of the AFL, A-League and NRL seasons and the extraordinary lengths that the codes have gone to in order to keep their seasons alive.

“Sport is one of the most popular podcast genres globally, and for brands, sport represents and incredible opportunity to connect with fans – both live and on-demand,” she added.

Listen to SEN podcasts here.

New podcasts join iHeartPodcast Network

ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network Australia has partnered with local podcasts She’s on the Money, Somehow Related and The Imperfects.

ARN’s head of commercial audio & podcasts Corey Layton said: “I am excited to partner with these shows as part of our ongoing commitment to supporting great Australian podcasts. She’s on the Money, Somehow Related and The Imperfects provide compelling local content for our audiences, as we continue to diversify our offering, giving brands access to the best local and global shows.”

She’s on the Money features award-winning Millennial money expert Victoria Devine who shares easy to understand and fool proof tips for financial freedom.

Devine said: “I am passionate about empowering women to make smart money decisions by giving them the tools and confidence they need to change their financial situation. I am excited to be joining the iHeartPodcast Network to share my knowledge and easy to follow tips with a growing audience.”

The Imperfects is all about exploring and celebrating perfectly imperfect lives. Hosts Hugh van Cuylenburg, founder of The Resilience Project, and comedian Ryan Shelton chat to a variety of interesting and successful people who share their own struggles and imperfections. Series two launches on August 17.

Host Hugh van Cuylenburg said: “We know that comparing our lives to others can be harmful to our mental health, but when we share our experience of struggles it’s really empowering. We are so grateful to have guests who are willing to be vulnerable and share their personal stories to help others understand that everyone, regardless of their success, has things they are battling with.”

Nearly Media’s Somehow Related with Dave O’Neil and Glenn Robbins gives insight into the minds of two of Australia’s great comedians. In each episode, Dave and Glenn are given two seemingly random topics and together work out how these two things are somehow related.

Dave O’Neil said: “Every episode is a fun, sometimes odd, but always interesting journey between two random topics and if we can bring some light to people’s day that’s a bonus.”

The announcement comes as ARN released new podcast listener data for July with leading podcast technology provider Megaphone. The data captured from over 800,000 Australian devices, shows listening on the iHeartPodcast Network is up 31% since before the pandemic (Jan-mid-March v mid-March to July).

Listening across Business and Finance and Health categories also experienced strong growth in July, up 48% and 10% respectively.

Corey Layton noted: “July has been another excellent month of growth for the iHeartPodcast Network as more Australians are listening to podcasts that provide practical advice around finance and health. We’ve seen a consistency to comedy consumption too, demonstrating that Australians are still seeking escapism during these times.”

Chart-topping Childers partners with Acast

Chart-topping digital audio production Childers – The Full Story has joined Acast. Released as an independent true crime podcast series through June and July this year, Childers soared to #1 on the Australian charts.

It has currently clocked more than 300,000 downloads and has charted in more than 40 countries worldwide.

Researched, written and produced by award-winning journalist Paul Cochrane over nine months, Childers is the story of the Palace Backpacker Hostel fire which killed 15 young men and women in the small highway town in Queensland on 23 June, 2000. Cochrane was the first television reporter on scene at the fire.

Cochrane said: “Childers was a long time in the making, but it started as an idea which turned into a concept and ultimately a story which continued to grow and evolve as the investigation developed. It was literally written on the couch in my lounge room so to see it now being signed up by the world’s biggest podcast platform is both humbling and rewarding.

More than 50 interviews were collected for Childers, with the final product handed over to primary supporter the Bundaberg Regional Council to use in the Memorial to the victims.

Listen to Childers here.

Podshape goes vanning with Augie Sundays

Camille Cannings, who is the creator of Augie Sundays and the host of The Van Life Series had entered a partnership with Jay Walkerden’s Podshape. Cannings said: “The idea behind the The Van Life Series is to chat to people living on the road around the world who are challenging the ‘norm’, ditching the 9 to 5 and switching to this simple way of living. I want to know if you strip away the day to day stresses, give up most of your material items and convert to this simple life does it make you happier?”

Walkerden and Cannings are no strangers, they have worked together before at Nova where Camille did a multitude of roles which included a stint as breakfast EP on Nova breakfast in Brisbane last year where the show was #1 for most of the year.

Listen to The Van Life Series here

Amanda Laing
Foxtel’s Amanda Laing, Peter Campbell & Brian Walsh roles expand

Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany has unveiled a number of strategic changes to the executive ranks. In a note to staff yesterday, Delany explained:

“We have repositioned Foxtel as Australia’s premium aggregator of content and entertainment services ‘all in one place’ and made progress in maintaining Foxtel’s customer base with the lowest retail churn in two years. For those that want Foxtel without a set-top, we have Foxtel Now. And customer engagement with our entertainment and sports content has been a highlight in recent months.”

Delany added that together Kayo and Binge have grown the streaming numbers to those products to over 800,000.

We’ve created a leaner, more efficient company by right-sizing our cost-base and by doing smart content deals in entertainment and sports,” he added.

There are a number of significant changes including a new leader at Fox Sports and expanded roles for Amanda Laing and Brian Walsh.

Key roles in the changes are:

Kieren Cooney: Chief Customer, Marketing and Sales Officer, Foxtel. Cooney will have end-to-end responsibility for all customer interactions including service and loyalty, marketing and publicity, creative services as well as residential and commercial sales.

Julian Ogrin continues as CEO, Kayo and Binge responsible for the group’s new streaming business. It is his responsibility to rapidly grow these streaming businesses and maximise their contribution to Group EBITDA. To ensure Kayo and Binge develop as distinctive customer propositions, each business will have a leader responsible for brand and growth momentum.

New appointments in Ogrin’s team are Ant Hearne as Executive Director, Kayo  and Alison Hurbert-Burns as Executive Director, Binge.

Amanda Laing‘s role has been broadened as Chief Commercial and Content Officer. Laing will take Group-wide responsibility for entertainment and sports including Entertainment and Sports divisions (including Fox Sports) together with wholesale partnerships and the legal services team led by Chief General Counsel, Lynette Ireland, given the commercial importance of deal-making excellence. Rebecca McCloy, Director of Acquisitions and Sports Partnerships and Stephen Baldwin, Director of Entertainment, will now report to Laing.

Peter Campbell is moving from Fox Sports to a new role within Product & Strategy as Executive Director, Transformation Implementation. This role builds on Campbell’s track-record of transformation and delivery at Fox Sports, by providing additional executive leadership to drive the next phase of performance improvement across the Foxtel Group, including the introduction of new ways of working.

Steve Crawley has been promoted to the role of Executive Director, Fox Sports. Crawley will lead Fox Sports and its brands nationwide including Fox Footy Melbourne. He will be responsible for the running of Fox Sports including all sports production, programming, budgets, logistics, and editorial for Fox Sports channels and digital which together have experienced record ratings for the NRL and AFL 2020 season.

Steve Crawley

Brian Walsh takes on a group-wide responsibility, leading a newly created Foxtel Originals division, spearheading all local production commissions across Australian drama, lifestyle, factual and entertainment production. This new role highlights the increasing importance of Foxtel’s Australian-produced entertainment content in the group’s strategy, building on the success of series such as Wentworth, Upright, Gogglebox, Selling Houses Australia and Real Housewives of Melbourne.

Brian Walsh

After more than two years in Australia, Alice Mascia Foxtel’s Chief Product and Strategy Officer and her partner Mauro di Pietro Paolo, Chief Information Officer, are returning to Italy. There is no immediate change in Product and Strategy as Mascia has agreed to stay at Foxtel until around the end of the year to continue her leadership of Strategy and Transformation which has been fundamental to our success during this COVID-19 period.

As Tony Gillies leaves AAP, colleague Mike Osborne pays tribute

Departing editor-in-chief Tony Gillies drove the transformation of AAP from a traditional wire service into a cutting-edge, multimedia news agency.

His boundless energy and constant stream of ideas over 16 years at the helm ensured AAP was always at the forefront of industry innovation.

Gillies leaves the 85-year-old Newswire – that once delivered a traditional text service to Australia’s print and broadcast outlets – as a digital operation that provided auto-published words, images, graphics and videos for websites and publishing platforms.

AAP’s outgoing chief executive Bruce Davidson said Gillies instinctively understood what content was critical to inform Australians.

“For a CEO it was invaluable to have such a professional running editorial,” he said.

“It meant I never had to worry about that side of the business – it was always taken care of to the highest level.”

The biggest legacy Gillies leaves when he exits AAP at the end of July 2020 is the survival of the Newswire, after shareholders News Corp and Nine Entertainment decided to initially close and then sell the business.

AAP’s new CEO Emma Cowdroy said Gillies left no stone unturned in trying to keep the Newswire alive. “Tony was absolutely committed to assisting the process to find a buyer,” she said.

Gillies takes great pride knowing the AAP name and business lives on.

“The thought of Australian life without a news agency was unbearable. If the new owners have the financial stamina and patience to grow it again, then this will be the greatest gift to the country’s media landscape,” he said.

AAP’s survival is just one of Gillies’ personal highlights over 16 years as editor-in-chief. But he considers all of his highlights an editorial “team effort”.

They include the supportive team-first AAP culture; training and nurturing cadets and young journalists; the newsrooms’ digital transformation; creating an effective news planning workflow; growing the award-winning photo business and criminal courts content; pioneering big-event coverage of Olympics, elections and budgets; launching New Zealand Newswire; and establishing the FactCheck unit.

The former Rural Press newspaper editor said he was captivated from the first day he started at AAP in January 2004.

“The first week in the business has stayed with me,” he said.

“The complexity of the operation, the moving parts and the vagaries of content syndication rights.

“Publishing has its challenges but that was no comparison to the 24-7 and 360- degree nature of the agency business.

“The quiet calm of the newsroom operating at high speed was astonishing.

“It didn’t take long to fully appreciate the skill and care of the people around me. I have been hooked ever since.”

Kylie and Tony Gillies with their sons Archie and Gus

Close friend Brian McCarthy, who was Gillies’ CEO during his time at Rural Press, said he was very disappointed when his mate left the regional publisher.

“Tony filled a number of roles at Rural Press as an editor, creating and launching several titles and taking responsibility for quality and standards across a number of publications,” he said.

“He also trained editors and journalists, becoming a confidante to many as a trusted set of ears.

“But Rural Press could not provide what he wanted to achieve in the industry.

“On reflection I saw the logic of the move to AAP and wished him well.”

Former AAP CEO Clive Marshall, now CEO at the UK’s Press Association, said Gillies was an outstanding hiring who exceeded expectations.

“Tony grew the reputation of the AAP not only in Australia but also among the community of world news agencies. His contribution to our industry will be hugely missed,” he said.

Those sentiments are echoed by Peter Kropsch, German news agency DPA’s CEO, who said Gillies was one of the “outstanding experts in the business of independent newswires”.

He said Gillies played an important role within the global MINDS group of news agencies and paid tribute to his thirst for new ideas and strategies gained from visiting news agencies around the world.

“He has a deep understanding of the structural and economic challenges to our changing business and has always been a strong defender of journalism’s independence,” he said.

Gillies toured like-minded news agencies throughout Europe soon after starting at AAP, absorbing the good ideas and how to deal with the similar challenges they all faced.

He became an active MINDS board member, taking over as president from Sweden’s TT agency CEO Jonas Eriksson, who described Gillies as a “can-do” guy.

“No matter how hard, how tough the challenge Tony always faced everything with a ‘yes’ and a positive attitude,” he said.

Tony Gillies in the press room at the Northern Daily Leader

Tony Gillies in the press room at the Northern Daily Leader

Gillies’ desire to take on a challenge was obvious from early in his career according to Richard Lawson, who hired him as Tamworth’s Northern Daily Leader newspaper editor in 1989 and who later came to work as AAP’s Canberra bureau chief.

“In 1991, the Northern Daily Leader was named best regional daily newspaper in Australia,” he said.

“It was an enthralling ride as Tony threw himself into the job, showing the energy, enthusiasm, drive, initiative and creativity we’ve all seen at AAP.”

But the more recent devolution and downsizing of the media industry took its toll.

“Having to lose staff has always hurt most,” Gillies said.

“No media organisation has been immune to the tough times.

“Watching very good people who had been part of the news agency for years leave the business never sits well.

“I have enormous respect for our shareholders but I am most disappointed we couldn’t convince them that AAP was worth holding on to. They had a great asset.”

But Gillies prefers to accentuate the many positives that include launching the New Zealand Newswire in 2011 within five weeks; creating AAP’s Awards and the Walkley Awards won by AAP photographers Dean Lewins, Lukas Coch, Mick Tsikas and Craig Golding; and the pioneering development of FactCheck and Constructive News.

“I am genuinely proud we were prepared to back ourselves, muck in and have a go,” he said.

“Some ideas have not lasted. But they felt right at the time. You have to back yourself and I was grateful for the latitude we were given.

“The image service and FactCheck elevated AAP’s profile and FactCheck reinforced AAP’s role as a trusted guardian of the truth.”

Gillies said the thing he will miss most about AAP is the people.

“It has been a privilege to have led the newsroom for the past 16 years, helping to develop that supportive, inclusive AAP culture,” he said.

“If anyone was doing it tough personally, we’d go over and above to help. There’s been times when I have experienced that myself.

“AAP has a unique group of people and I will not let go of the pride they have given me.

“We all invest a lot of our time and emotional energy at work – so you would bloody well want to enjoy it and enjoy the people you are with.

“I have done that, no doubt. For me that’s ‘job done’.”

A former colleague of Tony Gillies’, Mike Osborne retired from AAP late in 2019 after 35 years with the business.

Photos AAP/Kylie Gillies

What happens when magazine is promoted, priced competitively

• Australian Traveller to reprint collector’s edition after selling out

• 100 Ways to Holiday Here This Year so successful reprint ordered
• Retailers asking for more copies to keep up with demand
Woolworths distribution added to increase footprint

While magazines are being closed and withdrawn from circulation, Australian Traveller magazine has achieved the impossible – a reprint of its 100 Ways to Holiday Here This Year collector’s edition.

Australian Traveller Media has released the following details:

The original distribution of the 100 Ways to Holiday Here This Year went on sale June 25 and sold out in more than 250 newsagents in three days. A day later more than 50% of the allocation had flown off the shelves.

Supported by a PR and TV campaign, the special issue also included an exclusive oversized wall map.

“The cover, the wall map, the content, the TVC and PR all proved so successful that I actually didn’t believe it until our distributor confirmed the extent of the sell-outs,” said Australian Traveller co-founder Quentin Long.

“We really haven’t been able to keep up with demand. We were selling an issue every 10 seconds from 7.45am until about 11am on June 25 through our website. Newsagents have been calling us for the last four weeks asking for more copies,” he continued.

The magazine cover price was reduced to cost, $3.95 from $9.95, to assist the local tourism industry suffering from the effects of bushfires and COVID-19.

“I didn’t want to profit from Australians finding their next amazing Aussie experience and putting much needed money into the tills of Aussie tourism businesses.” Long said.

The reprint was made possible by Woolworths offering to stock the special edition for four weeks from mid-August.

“When Woolworths offered us the chance to be in 650-plus stores we wanted to jump at it and thankfully managed to find the additional funds to make it happen.” Long continued.

“I am just happy that all those people who emailed and called and missed out will now be able to get a copy and find their next Aussie holiday,” he added.

Tim Robards and Don Hany
Ramsay Street replacement: Don Hany steps in for Tim Robards on Neighbours

In a turn of events no one would not have expected, real life 2020 is rivalling a regular year for the drama plagued residents of Ramsay Street. But with twists, turns, zigs, zags and pandemic pivots aplenty, it would not be the year that was without a bitter-sweet announcement from Neighbours.

For the past two years, Tim Robards has played billionaire businessman Pierce Greyson on Neighbours and was scheduled to finish filming with the show in Melbourne next month. But due to COVID-19 regulations and travel restrictions, Robards has wrapped early to return to Sydney to be with his wife, Anna Heinrich, as they prepare for the exciting arrival of their first child.

Don Hany will step into the expensive shoes of Pierce Greyson to film the character’s final scenes over the coming weeks. Hany is known for his roles in former 10 dramas Offspring, White Collar Blue and SBS drama East West 101.

Tim Robards’ final episode on Neighbours will air on Monday, 19 October and Don Hany will assume the role of Pierce from Friday, 23 October at 6.30pm on 10 Peach.

Don Hany

Don Hany

Tim Robards said: “I would like to thank the amazing cast, crew, Fremantle and Network 10 for the incredible opportunity to play Pierce Greyson. I have absolutely loved my time on the show and will miss it immensely.

“I made the gut wrenching decision to depart Neighbours early as my responsibilities as a husband and father have to take precedence. If I’ve learnt anything in this pandemic it’s that the health and wellbeing of my family has to come first.”

Don Hany said: “I’m thrilled to have been invited to be part of a show that is part of Australian television history. I’ve never done the show before, so it’s all new and I’m so happy to be here.

“It’s a testament to the resilience of Neighbours that it’s still running at a time like this.”

Neighbours’ executive producer Jason Herbison said: “With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to limit movement and with the risk of Tim potentially not being able to travel, we all felt that in these astonishing times, Tim should return home to Sydney to be with his wife Anna ahead of the impending birth of their first child.

“We thank Tim for his passion for Neighbours and wish him and Anna every happiness as they embark on parenthood.”

Top Photo: Don Hany and Tim Robards

Screen Queensland recipients share $1m COVID-19 Support Package

Eleven Queensland-based screen businesses have been awarded a share of just under $1 million in Screen Queensland support, to allow them to navigate through the challenges and opportunities presented by the global pandemic.

SQ Enterprise, a Queensland Government initiative through Screen Queensland, was announced in April as a key component of the $3.3 million COVID-19 Support Package, specifically aimed at boosting screen business resilience.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that the objective of the fund is to keep local film and TV production continuing to provide career opportunities and economic growth for the state.

“My Government is committed to the sustainability of the screen industry, as part of our strategy to unite and recover by backing Queensland businesses and jobs,” said the Premier.

“Fortifying our state’s reputation as a world-class screen industry hub is vital, as it directly injects millions of dollars and thousands of jobs into the local economy, with ongoing benefits for other industries such as logistics, transport and hospitality, worth billions.”

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said the diverse range of recipients is testament to the strength and skill of Queensland production and post-production talent and entrepreneurship.

“Recipients have come from the breadth of our sector, representing new and established businesses in production, cinematography, audio, visual effects, screenwriting and location scouting,” said Munnich.

“These eleven companies were selected on the basis of their ability to significantly pivot and innovate, and we are excited to see the impactful and creative outcomes that will emerge from this support.”

One of the selected businesses, Cairns-based underwater and nature filming specialists Biopixel, will build its competitiveness through the growth of their team and cutting-edge camera equipment.

“The SQ Enterprise initiative could not have come at a better time for our business,“ said Biopixel’s Director of Photography, Richard Fitzpatrick.

“With Screen Queensland’s support we are able to purchase the ultimate long lens that will see Biopixel become a fierce competitor in the natural history industry, among other things that ultimately will allow us to take on contract filming work that we would have previously missed out on.”

Mark Millar, Head of Business Development at Alt.vfx, said receiving the support will enable them to gain Trusted Partner Network accreditation, to attract more productions to their post-production visual effects facility, situated in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.

“Alt.vfx is delighted to receive this grant, which will assist our ongoing efforts to grow and maintain a creative workforce here in Queensland and help bring premium projects to the state.

“Screen Queensland has really mobilised resources to help support the screen industries during these trying times, with the SQ Enterprise initiative just one part of a wider framework of efforts,” said Millar.

Inkey Media, led by Queensland producer, writer and director Dena Curtis, will use the Screen Queensland investment to develop a slate of Aboriginal and female-led content for Australian overseas markets.

“Being a recipient of Screen Queensland Enterprise allows Inkey Media to drive forward our slate of compelling projects that feature Aboriginal and/or strong female lead characters for a local and international audience.

“Receiving this support from SQ as a response to COVID-19 offers Inkey Media stability as we seek creative solutions for collaboration and allows us to continue to develop unique and entertaining programs during this period of uncertainty and change.”

For more information about Screen Queensland and to apply for opportunities in Film, TV online and games production, visit




Alt.vfx will secure Trusted Partner Network (TPN) accreditation to grow their ability to attract high profile PDV work



Biopixel, specialists in underwater and nature filming, will build its competitiveness through the growth of their team and cutting-edge camera equipment.

Folklore Sound

Folklore Sound will upgrade their Dolby sound suite, employ a Business Development Manager to attract international blue-chip projects to the company.

Inkey Media

Dena Curtis’ Inkey Media will develop a slate of Aboriginal and female-led series for the international market.

John Cox’s Creature Workshop

John Cox’s Creature Workshop will acquire new body scan technology that will transform the business and increase its competitiveness in pitching for work.

Kiosk Films

Traditionally working in the television commercial space, Kiosk Films will transition into content creation with a portfolio of digital-first content in collaboration with Queensland arts organisations.

Moving Floor

Stephen Irwin & Leigh McGrath from Moving Floor

Leigh McGrath and Stephen M. Irwin (Harrow, Tidelands) will develop a slate of internationally focused series and features on a fast-track to production.

Myriad Studios

Myriad Studios, led by internationally renowned location manager Duncan Jones, will expand their team to meet demand for their unique location attraction services and will launch their Virtual Location Scout App to the international market.

Orange Entertainment

Orange Entertainment, the sister company of The Post Lounge, will grow their team including hiring a Queensland-based Director of Content, assistant and engaging the expertise of a specialised advisory board.

Unless Pictures

Meg O’Connell’s newly formed company Unless Pictures will grow its team, hiring experts in creative and business to drive the production of their slated projects and grow the business.

Tahlee Productions

A newly formed partnership between Taxi Productions and Oombarra Productions led by Bain Stewart and Leah Purcell, will develop and produce content locally and to nurture early-mid career Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queensland storytellers.

Top Photos:  Leah Purcell and Bain Stewart– Oombarra Productions

TV ratings: Wednesday, August 12, Week 33 2020

By James Manning

• The Bachelor wins demos despite smaller launch audience
• Best of the rest: Hard Quiz, Highway Patrol, Emergency & Sydney’s Super Tunnel

Seven News 1,152,000/1,055,000
Nine News 1,055,000/1.019,000
ABC News 760,000
A Current Affair 692,000
7.30 626,000
The Project 336,000/557,000
10 News 390,000/228,000
Sunrise 289,000
News Breakfast 234,000
Today 208,000
The Drum 205,000
SBS World News 202,000
Nine News Late Edition 195,000

Wednesday TV

Seven: Home and Away slipped just under 600,000 after opening the week on 660,000 and then dropping to just over 600,000 on Tuesday.
Another Highway Patrol Special did 421,000 after 407,000 a week ago.
An old standby movie The Shawshank Redemption was slipped into the 8.30pm slot and did 282,000, running until after 11pm.

Nine: A Current Affair was just below 700,000 for a second night after 819,000 on Monday.
An hour of RBT did 327,000, down from 472,000 a week ago.
New Emergency then did 419,000 after 507,000 last week.

10: The Project 7pm pushed just over 550,000 with a preview of the new season of The Bachelor with Bachelor Locky.
The premier of the new season then had close to its smallest launch audience ever with 681,000. The Bachelor still managed to win its commercial timeslot and beat all-comers in the key demos. 10 has noted that amongst viewers 16-39, the new series had a bigger launch audience than the launch episodes of Ninja, Voice and Farmer this year. And in another indication of how consumption patterns are changing, Network 10’s head of programming Daniel Monaghan pointed out the episode last night was 10’s biggest ever entertainment live stream audience. 

ABC: Gold Logie winner Tom Gleeson again delivered for the channel with 733,000 placing him as the fourth most-watched show of the night and #1 non-news, close to last week’s 747,000.
Mad as Hell was on 598,000 and then Rosehaven did 441,000.
The final of Retrograde was then on 144,000 before the numbers climbed significantly to 236,000 for Planet America.

SBS: It’s unusual for Tony Robinson to be outrated on a Wednesday night. He wasn’t last night – but he went close. A repeat of Britain’s Ancient Tracks did 225,000 at 7.30pm. It was followed by Sydney’s Super Tunnel from Sydney corporate production house Rogue Creative on 223,000 at 8.30pm.

Week 33 TV: Wednesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 13.5% 7 18.1% 9 17.3% 10  14.0% SBS One 5.7%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.4% 7TWO 4.1% GO! 1.5% 10 Bold 5.1% VICELAND 1.6%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 2.8% GEM 2.5% 10 Peach 2.5% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix 1.5% 9Life 2.1%     NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.1%     SBS World Movies 1.1%
TOTAL 18.1%   26.5%   24.5%   21.5%   9.4%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 12.4% 7 20.0% 9 16.4% WIN 10.6% SBS One 5.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.3% 7TWO 5.2% GO! 1.4% WIN Bold 6.0% VICELAND 1.8%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 2.6% GEM 4.9% WIN Peach 2.9% Food Net 0.6%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.6% 9Life 2.0% Sky News  on WIN 1.7% NITV 0.2%
                SBS Movies 1.0%
TOTAL 16.7%   29.4%   24.7%   21.3%   8.9%


86.2% 13.8%
  1. Seven News Seven 1,152,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,055,000
  3. Nine News Nine 1,055,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 1,019,000
  5. ABC News ABC 760,000
  6. Hard Quiz S5 ABC 733,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 692,000
  8. The Bachelor Australia – Launch 10 681,000
  9. The Chase Australia Seven 651,000
  10. 7.30 ABC 626,000
  11. Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell S12 ABC 598,000
  12. Home And Away Seven 596,000
  13. The Project 7pm 10 557,000
  14. Hot Seat Nine 546,000
  15. Rosehaven ABC 441,000
  16. Highway Patrol Special Seven 421,000
  17. Emergency Nine 419,000
  18. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 395,000
  19. 10 News First 10 390,000
  20. The Project 6.30pm 10 336,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia – Launch 10 251,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 148,000
  3. Nine News Nine 146,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 133,000
  5. Seven News Seven 110,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia – Launch 10 388,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 274,000
  3. Nine News Nine 269,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 245,000
  5. Seven News Seven 223,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia – Launch 10 396,000
  2. Nine News Nine 328,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 326,000
  4. Seven News Seven 290,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 285,000
WEDNESDAY Multichannel
  1. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 219,000
  2. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 217,000
  3. NCIS: Los Angeles (R) 10 Bold 178,000
  4. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 162,000
  5. Dog Loves Books AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 161,000
  6. NCIS: Los Angeles Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 160,000
  7. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  8. Little J And Big Cuz AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  9. The Coroner PM 7TWO 156,000
  10. Neighbours 10 Peach 145,000
  11. Little J And Big Cuz ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  12. Peter Rabbit PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  13. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 138,000
  14. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  15. Book Hungry Bears AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  16. Noddy Toyland Detective PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  17. Lewis PM 7TWO 131,000
  18. 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown (R) SBS VICELAND 128,000
  19. Kiddets AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 126,000
  20. School Of Roars AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  1. Live: AFL Gold Coast V Essendon FOX FOOTY 226,000
  2. Live: AFL Post Game FOX FOOTY 135,000
  3. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 85,000
  4. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 84,000
  5. Alan Jones Sky News Live 83,000
  6. Credlin Sky News Live 61,000
  7. PML Later Sky News Live 49,000
  8. Family Guy FOX8 47,000
  9. The Windsors: Inside The Royal Dynasty UKTV 44,000
  10. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 42,000
  11. Family Guy FOX8 39,000
  12. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 38,000
  13. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 38,000
  14. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 36,000
  15. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 36,000
  16. The Simpsons FOX8 36,000
  17. Afternoon Agenda Sky News Live 36,000
  18. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 35,000
  19. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 35,000
  20. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 34,000

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

Universal Music creative agency strengthens team with Brooke Pilton

Adam Ireland, general manager, Universal Music Australia’s agency Bring, has announced that Brooke Pilton (pictured) has joined the company as music partnerships director, based in Sydney and reporting to Ireland.

Joining from Octagon where she held the position of group account director, Pilton’s new role strengthens Bring’s support for their growing roster of clients activating campaigns with Universal Music’s creative agency.

Employing her experience and skills across brand endorsements, activations, media partnerships, music video integration and other music-led activities, Pilton will also hold responsibility for new campaign delivery and music client retention. She will be assisted by newcomer account manager, Alexia Tomshin.

Brooke Pilton said: “I’ve spent a good portion of my career helping brands understand and activate the great Aussie passion point that is sport. Now, I’m so excited to join Adam and the team in the cultural pillar that truly connects with all Australians – music.”

Adam Ireland added: “With music consumption booming, we’re seeing more Australian brands turn to music as their primarily cultural channel to connect with consumers. To meet this demand and create unique campaigns for a raft of clients new to the agency, we have taken steps to bolster our team. To attract someone of Brooke’s experience and calibre is reflective of the growth and appetite from brands to get into music.”

Bring clients include American Express and the recently announced American Express Music Backer’s campaign, mobile telecommunications Oppo, Powerball (for Tattersal Group), KFC and finance shopping app Klarna.

ViacomCBS statement on the passing of Sumner M. Redstone

ViacomCBS is mourning the passing of Sumner M. Redstone, its Chairman Emeritus, and Chairman and CEO of National Amusements, the controlling shareholder of ViacomCBS.

Bob Bakish, President and CEO of ViacomCBS, said: “Sumner Redstone was a brilliant visionary, operator and dealmaker, who single-handedly transformed a family-owned drive-in theatre company into a global media portfolio. He was a force of nature and fierce competitor, who leaves behind a profound legacy in both business and philanthropy. ViacomCBS will remember Sumner for his unparalleled passion to win, his endless intellectual curiosity, and his complete dedication to the company. We extend our deepest sympathies to the Redstone family today.”

For nearly 30 years, Redstone led Viacom as Executive Chairman of the Board following National Amusements Inc.’s acquisition of a controlling stake in the company in 1987. He also held the position of CEO from 1996 until 2005, during which time Viacom merged with CBS Corporation in 2000. Upon the separation of the two companies in December 2005, Redstone served as Executive Chairman of the Boards of CBS and Viacom. In February 2016, Redstone assumed the role of Chairman Emeritus for both companies.

Sumner Redstone: Empire builder for the MTV Generation

Sumner M. Redstone belonged to the Age of the Media Mogul, a time before Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google, when street-smart executives like Rupert Murdoch, Barry Diller and John Malone brawled in a bid to dominate the world’s screen time, reports The New York Times.

That era is all but done. The swashbucklers have essentially ceded the Hollywood stage to a group of coolheaded executives who like to give the impression that they earn their billions more through their knowledge of algorithms than with the brutal tactics of corporate warfare.

But the executives who run the digital businesses that have come to dominate the entertainment world would not have gotten very far without the programs and films that were brought to market by ferocious moguls like Redstone, who died on Tuesday at age 97.

He wasn’t so much an innovator as he was a maximum opportunist. He didn’t invent new forms of entertainment; he used cagey maneuvers to build an empire. He had the gall to borrow ungodly sums to close a deal. He loved to buy things. He loved to sue his rivals.

[Read more]

The New York Times has also published a separate obituary.

Sumner Redstone dies at 97, built media empire and long reigned over it

Promoter Phil Rankine fraud charges – case delayed for 11 months

Former high-flying Adelaide concert promoter Phil Rankine will face court again in July next year on 20 counts of theft after a prosecutor asked for an extended adjournment to prepare the “complex” case, reports News Corp’s Cameron England.

Rankine, 51, was arrested in June on 20 counts of theft relating to $5.5 million allegedly owed to local and overseas victims.

He is yet to enter a plea but his lawyer Greg Griffin said at the time “the proceedings will be vehemently defended”.

The police prosecutor told the Adelaide Magistrates Court that several months were needed to prepare for the case, because there were “very complex matters” to work through.

The court heard numerous victims were allegedly involved, as was electronic crime and a sum of more than $5 million.

The matter is scheduled to return to court on July 13 next year.

A creditor’s report into three of Rankine’s companies, released in August last year, estimated as much as $20 million could be owed to investors and trade creditors.

[Read more]

News Brands

Media rejects AFP, Home Affairs proposal for sensitive documents

Australia’s biggest media companies have rejected an Australian Federal Police and Home Affairs proposal to introduce a new scheme requesting journalists voluntarily produce sensitive documents, warning police will continue conducting raids that impact press freedom, reports The Australian’s Rosie Lewis.

Appearing before a Senate committee, News Corp labelled the notice to produce scheme “a little farcical” and the ABC said it offered little comfort because the AFP “would still take the easier path of obtaining a search warrant anyway”.

The AFP and Department of Home Affairs in February proposed an “alternative” to executing search warrants through a notice to produce framework, with an independent body overseeing security agency requests for evidence from journalists and media companies.

Under the proposal, journalists and media organisations could put forward counter arguments as to why material should not be produced.

Nine’s political editor Chris Uhlmann said if the media waited for the government’s permission on what was or was not in the national interest to publish, “we’d never publish anything except minister’s press conferences”.

The ABC’s director of news Gaven Morris said press freedom should be enshrined in search warrant laws and other laws “which can effectively make journalism a crime” as he noted it had been more than a year since the AFP raided the ABC’s Ultimo headquarters “hunting” for journalist Dan Oakes’ confidential sources in The Afghan Files.

[Read more]

ABC Falun Gong story ‘unethical, defamatory’ says Vision Times

Australia’s independent Chinese language media has made a formal complaint to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation over what it said was unethical behaviour and defamatory reports linking the company to spiritual group Falun Gong, reports The Australian’s Graham Lloyd.

Vision Times Media Australia said the ABC had wrongly tied the company to a US publisher of a similar name and secretly recorded conversations.

It said reports had endangered the safety of local staff and family members still in China.

“The physical safety of individuals living under an authoritarian regime must be taken seriously and never be sacrificed at the expense of sensationalist ‘public interest’ journalism,” the Vision Times Media Australia complaint said.

It said ABC journalists had acted “carelessly, recklessly and unethically and severely breached the ABC editorial polices and code of practice.”

[Read more]

Raid won’t be last assault on press, says news editor Jane Poon

When Hong Kong police officers swarmed the headquarters of the Apple Daily newspaper on Monday, veteran news editor Jane Poon knew the brazen attack would not be Beijing’s last, reports The Australian’s Kieran Gair.

Ms Poon, 55, worked for Apple Daily’s billionaire owner, Jimmy Lai, for nearly three decades as the head of digital news at the newspaper’s parent company, Next Media.

“He was my boss for a long time and now he is facing very, very serious charges,” Ms Poon told The Australian on Tuesday.

Ms Poon, who now lives in Geelong with her husband, said Mr Lai’s arrest served as an ominous sign about the future of press freedom in Hong Kong.

“It was a big shock to see police search through journalists’ desks, read their notes and take their notebooks away,” she said.

[Read more]

Father of COVID woman claims TV crews ‘intimidating’ family

The father of a young woman who allegedly lied on her border pass after visiting Melbourne has shared a fiery exchange with TV reporters outside their Logan home, reports News Corp’s Shiloh Payne.

Haja Timbo, the third member of a trio of women who allegedly lied to avoid quarantine did not contract the virus, but her travel companions Olivia Winnie Muranga and Diana Lasu brought COVID-19 back into Queensland, causing fears of a widespread outbreak.

Timbo’s father told television crews that she had felt intimidated by the media and was “not in the mood” to talk.

“She made a mistake, is that why the media and everybody is intimidating her?” he said.

When asked by a Channel 7 reporter asked if the 21-year-old was sorry for her actions, the man refused to comment.

“I’m not going to talk to you anymore, like I said, you are intimidating us, I won’t take it.”

[Read more]

Sports Media

Why mid-week AFL matches should be the new normal

The fallout of COVID-19 has thrown up all manner of “learnings”, as Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin would say, in AFL land. Some helpful, some not so, and some, well, perplexing, as we saw with the Tigers on Friday. But this much is clear – mid-week football should become the new normal, reports The Age’s Jon Pierik.

Standalone games on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights have been well received by viewers during this unprecedented footy frenzy and Wednesday games certainly should be reprised next season when the virus is hopefully under control.

Ratings for the matches have been strong, according to OzTAM. The Wednesday clash between Richmond and the Western Bulldogs had 482,000 viewers on Channel Seven, and 184,000 on Fox Footy, with similar figures the following night when Port Adelaide and Melbourne met.

Supporters may be the lifeblood of AFL and there are few greater experiences in world sport than taking a seat at a packed MCG. But the bottom line is this – it’s the broadcasters who pay a key chunk of the league’s bills, including players’ wages. This season went ahead completely without fans in Melbourne, as the broadcast deal was so important.

The AFL wants to recoup the millions of dollars lost through COVID-19 as quickly as possible. Players want their pay cheques to remain bountiful. Networks want more content. Sponsors want bang for their buck. And all know there is nothing better than prime time content at a time when live sport remains one of the few non-streaming “shows” that attracts widespread eyeballs.

[Read more]

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