Friday August 14, 2020

Pivotus founder promises ‘absolute honesty and superior customer service’

By James Manning

• Brisbane-based independent agency navigates 2020, plans for big 2021

Although Brisbane-based independent agency Pivotus is best known for its digital skills, the agency started in old media.

In 2008 founder Michael Petersen (pictured) bought the representation business Jane Fewings Media (JFMedia) that dates back to 1979. Petersen’s wife Kate worked for Fewings, eventually becoming a shareholder and director after Fewings sadly passed away from cancer.

After spending time in the recruitment industry, Petersen bought JFMedia from Fewings’ husband who was then running the business.

Petersen then ran the repping business with The West Australian and Fairfax as its core clients. In 2012 he launched the JFMedia Digital brand as he watched the growth of digital ad spend, eventually moving into programmatic and offering a service to independent media buyers in Brisbane.

Working remotely is nothing new to Petersen and his team. Several years ago he spent 18 months in Europe running the business from there. “My staff have been working from home when since we shut down our office at the end of 2014,” he explained to Mediaweek.

He then launched the brand My Media Trading Desk with the aim of streamlining digital marketing with a centralised spend covering programmatic, social, native, paid search and more. “We started working with creative agencies because they tend to give you more access to the client, giving you more control and ability to influence meaning greater success for advertisers.”

The business model these days is partnering with creative agencies and winning accounts directly. Current retained clients include University of Tasmania, commercial real estate firm JLL and human capital assessment business, Revelian.

Petersen utilised one of his creative agency partners to rebrand the business as Pivotus 12 months ago and has since become a member of the Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA).

Although the agency has been impacted by Covid-related slowdowns, Petersen said: “We didn’t have any travel or entertainment clients as we are more active in the B2B space and now the University sector. Media spend did drop from some clients, but we were encouraged by all retainer clients keeping to their existing agreement. We have been running live training sessions and I have an educational portal where I host digital advertising training videos.”

An indication of how the business is performing is that Pivotus has added five new roles in the past two months.

With the addition of the new Tasmanian client, Petersen estimates their revenue will now be split equally between Queensland, Tasmania and elsewhere.

While planning for growth, Petersen wants to still be referred to as a boutique business. “We like being thought of still being boutique because it goes with our more personalised service offering. Growth is definitely on the cards though.”

He says the Pivotus promise to clients is “absolute honesty and superior customer service”. He added: “It is hard to grow too quickly and keep those two things in check. We are closing the books a little bit at the moment as we onboard University of Tasmania.”

Petersen said the business is anticipating a big 2021 after hiring some great new talent. “We have secured the former MD of Mediacom Vietnam, Lam Le, who joins this week and will be based in Hobart serving the University of Tasmania account which is led by account director Audrey Fitte-Umark, who has previously with Havas and Admatic.”

See also: University of Tasmania appoints independent digital media agency Pivotus

Farmer wants a wife
Seven orders more Farmer Wants a Wife for 2021 from Fremantle/Eureka

The Seven Network has renewed its prime-time tentpole program Farmer Wants a Wife for its second season on Channel 7 in 2021.

The second show to launch under Seven’s content-led growth strategy, the network reports Farmer Wants a Wife has delivered big ratings since its premiere, regularly proving to be the most popular entertainment show in Australia on Sunday and Monday nights.

Angus Ross, Seven’s network programming director, said: “We knew Farmer Wants a Wife had its heart in the right place and this has resonated with viewers across Australia – with huge numbers on 7 and 7Plus.

“This is just the beginning: we’re excited to build on this year’s momentum by delivering a scaled-up season with even more of Farmer Wants a Wife for 2021. It continues the successful reinvention of Seven’s content slate in 2020 using proven, power formats.”

Host Natalie Gruzlewski with four of the Farmers

Host Natalie Gruzlewski with four of the Farmers

The network is promising the 2021 season will be even more romantic with dream overnight dates, luxury country getaways and spectacular group get togethers that will set the stage for true love to blossom.

Thrilled with the chance to play Cupid again, returning host Natalie Gruzlewski will throw in a few new surprises to help the hopeful farmers find the one.

“I’m so excited to guide another crop of hard-working Aussie farmers in their search for true love. As Australia has seen, our farmers and ladies wear their hearts on their sleeves and it’s a privilege to be a part of their life-changing love stories.”

With 99 marriages and 225 beautiful farmer babies worldwide, Farmer Wants a Wife is the most successful dating show on the planet. In Australia alone, the series has resulted in nine marriages and 20 babies.

Farmer Wants a Wife is a Fremantle and Eureka co-production for Channel 7.

Commenting on the 2021 season, Fremantle director of unscripted Jonathon Summerhayes said: “Everyone loves a love story, so it’s great to be teaming up with Eureka and Seven again to help our Aussie Farmers find true love on the land.”

Chris Culvenor, Eureka Productions co-CEO, added: “Australian audiences have fallen in love with Farmer Wants a Wife and we’re thrilled to be working with Seven and Fremantle to ramp up the romance in an even bigger and bolder season next year.”

Casting is now open for Farmer Wants a Wife 2021 www.farmerwantsawife.com.au

 —

Top Photos: Farmer Sam, Seven Chief Marketing Officer Charlotte Valente, Farmer Harry and Angus Ross, Seven Director of Network Programming

Tony Ayres
From the devastation comes The Fires, new Tony Ayres drama

ABC has announced development is underway on a new six-part drama series The Fires. Developed in conjunction with Tony Ayres Productions (TAP) The Fires, will draw on the experiences of those directly affected by the megafires of last summer that devastated Australia and captured the world’s attention.

The Fires is a serialised anthology inspired by the extraordinary stories of the people who survived last summer’s catastrophic fire season and continue to endure their aftermath even today. Each episode is based around character studies of ordinary people caught in the unimaginable and the impossible choices they were forced to make.

Characters include volunteer firefighters; families who lost homes, livelihoods and loved ones; people who had to make agonising decisions about whether to stay or flee; and others who found themselves responsible for the lives of friends and strangers. The Fires puts viewers at the centre of an experience which most people watched from a distance.

The creative team is headed by drama creators Tony Ayres (pictured –Stateless, The Slap) along with Andrea Denholm (Wrong Kind of Black, It’s A Date) and Liz Watts (The King, True History of the Kelly Gang).

The writing team is led by International Emmy Award-winning showrunner/writer Belinda Chayko (Safe Harbour, Stateless) and includes Jacquelin Perske (The Cry), Mirrah Foulkes (Judy and Punch), Steven McGregor (Mystery Road) and new talent, Anya Beyersdorf.

ABC head of drama, entertainment and Indigenous Sally Riley said, “The ABC is delighted to be partnering with Tony Ayres and the team at TAP to bring these true stories to life. Even though the challenges and tests of endurance continue, this is an opportunity to celebrate and to remind ourselves of the strength, bravery and communal spirit that will carry us through, no matter what we face. The joy lies in our drive to give voice to the brave and fearless people whose lives and livelihoods have been irrevocably changed by this catastrophic event.”

Executive producer Tony Ayres said, “Like the rest of the world, I watched in horror last summer as I saw the devastation caused by the mega-fires. I wondered, “What can we do as artists?” For me, the answer was to tell the stories of some of the people who lived through this, so that we never forget what they went through, and always remember our responsibility for change.”

The Fires is currently in development, with filming planned for next year.

Studio 10
Mercado on TV: 10 News & Studio 10 turmoil, return of Sarah Lancashire

By Andrew Mercado

“History repeats itself so often at Channel 10,” former newsreader Mal Walden told TV Tonight this week, and he wasn’t wrong there.

Newsrooms were slashed yet again this week at 10, and it was shocking to see how many readers of Daily Mail Australia and News Corp jumped to the nutty conclusion that “anti-Trump CBS” was “silencing” Kerrie-Anne Kennerley, when they should have been axing the “lefties” on The Project!

Christ, where do we start? Firstly, The Project is an independent production and not really part of 10 News. Secondly, if KAK is being “silenced”, why is 10 keeping on Angela Bishop and Sarah Harris who, for anyone who actually watches Studio 10, share similar political leanings.

It is of course awful for everyone who has lost their job, but spare a thought for those left behind, now having to do more work with less resources. 10 News now runs for 90 minutes, while Studio 10 goes for a mind-numbing four hours.

Studio 10 used to be a fantastic show when it only ran for two and a half hours, and included a revolving fifth panellist that allowed for a wide range of opinions. Now it is rumoured to become more like The Morning Show (Seven) and Today Extra (Nine). Good luck, although will anyone ever top KAK’s record of being the woman who has done the most live hours of Australian TV?

If Studio 10 is to become a two-header, let’s hope they have those vital ingredients my acupuncturist always talks about, yin and yang. Sometimes it got boring when Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton were on the same page on At the Movies, and it was much more memorable when they passionately disagreed with each other (e.g. any Lars Von Triers movie: Margaret 5 stars, David zero).

Yin and yang makes TV interesting, but sometimes those niggling disagreements can also fester. In the new series of Last Tango in Halifax (Saturday on ABC), Alan (Derek Jacobi) and Celia’s (Anne Reid) seven-year marriage is looking shaky because they couldn’t agree on Brexit.

Last Tango in Halifax

This beautiful, non-ageist drama also stars Sarah Lancashire as a lesbian, and she is also the star of creator Sally Wainwright’s Happy Valley (iview), which is “in development” for a third series.

You can also see Sarah Lancashire in Coronation Street: Memorable Moments (Foxtel), where she once played the delightful Raquel. The compilation specials were cobbled together (get it?) during the show’s pandemic shutdown, and look back over the show’s amazing 60 year history.

Aussie viewers are now seeing episodes of Coronation Street (UKTV) that acknowledge coronavirus is happening all around them, and it’s one of the few soaps in the world to acknowledge that reality. Fans may also notice that the costumes are a bit more crumpled than usual, not to mention which actors are better at doing their own hair and make-up.

The Bachelor
TV ratings Thursday, August 13, Week 33 2020

By James Manning

• NRL pushes Nine to a narrow primary channel Thursday win
• The Front Bar & Father Brown help Seven to a network win

Seven News 1,117,000/1,040,000
Nine News 1,037,000/959,000
ABC News 807,000
A Current Affair 652,000
7.30 538,000
The Project 308,000/511,000
10 News 377,000/245,000
Sunrise 264,000
The Latest 248,000
Today 221,000
News Breakfast 212,000
SBS World News 190,000
The Drum 185,000
Nine News Late Edition 151,000

Thursday TV

Seven: Home and Away ended the week on 523,000 for three episodes  after audiences of 660,000 on Monday and then two nights close to 600,000.
Later in the night The Front Bar was on 294,000 with 185,000 in Melbourne.
Seven ranked #1 network with the Father Brown audience on 7TWO helping build multichannel share. 

Nine: A Current Affair was on 652,000.
Thursday night NRL helped guide Nine to a Thursday victory with 318,000 in Sydney and Brisbane. The crowds in those markets were respectively 197,000 and 121,000. The metro network audience was 364,000.

10: The Project 7pm managed to make it back above 500,000.
The second night of The Bachelor was on 604,000 after the series launched with 681,000 on Wednesday. The Bachelor audience was enough to rank 10 #1 under 50 for the night. The episode didn’t set any records though with the smallest national crowd ever and the lowest metro audience for a long time.
Celebrity Gogglebox then did 301,000. 

ABC: Escape from the City made the top 20 with 314,000.
Not quite in the top 20 was The Heights at 8pm with 204,000.

SBS: After 190,000 watching World News, the biggest audiences were 173,000 for Dog Tales and then 169,000 for War of the Worlds.

Week 33 TV: Thursday
THURSDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 11.0% 7 18.1% 9 19.1% 10  12.3% SBS One 5.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 4.4% GO! 1.7% 10 Bold 4.6% VICELAND 1.9%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 3.9% GEM 2.0% 10 Peach 2.5% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 2.0% 7flix 2.1% 9Life 2.3%     NITV 0.2%
        9Rush 1.3%     SBS World Movies 1.5%
TOTAL 16.2%   28.5%   26.4%   19.3%   9.6%

 

THURSDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.5% 7 18.8% 9 17.8% WIN 8.9% SBS One 4.6%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.2% 7TWO 7.0% GO! 1.4% WIN Bold 4.8% VICELAND 2.2%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 5.1% GEM 3.6% WIN Peach 2.3% Food Net 0.7%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.3% 9Life 2.4% Sky News  on WIN 2.2% NITV 0.2%
                SBS Movies 1.3%
TOTAL 15.6%   33.2%   25.3%   18.2%   9.0%

 

THURSDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
84.4% 15.6%
THURSDAY FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,117,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,040,000
  3. Nine News Nine 1,037,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 959,000
  5. ABC News ABC 807,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 652,000
  7. The Chase Australia Seven 624,000
  8. The Bachelor Australia 10 604,000
  9. 7.30 ABC 538,000
  10. Home And Away Seven 523,000
  11. The Project 7pm 10 511,000
  12. Hot Seat Nine 510,000
  13. 10 News First 10 377,000
  14. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 364,000
  15. Thursday Night NRL Live Nine 318,000
  16. Escape From The City ABC 314,000
  17. The Project 6.30pm 10 308,000
  18. Celebrity Gogglebox USA 10 301,000
  19. Hot Seat -5pm Nine 299,000
  20. The Front Bar Seven 294,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia 10 238,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 141,000
  3. Nine News Nine 138,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 122,000
  5. Seven News Seven 101,000

 

18-49 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia 10 346,000
  2. Nine News Nine 248,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 242,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 222,000
  5. Seven News Seven 218,000

 

25-54 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia 10 352,000
  2. Nine News Nine 305,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 302,000
  4. Seven News Seven 273,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 259,000
THURSDAY Multichannel
  1. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 183,000
  2. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 177,000
  3. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 175,000
  4. Father Brown PM 7TWO 165,000
  5. Little J And Big Cuz ABCKIDS/COMEDY 142,000
  6. Kiri And Lou ABCKIDS/COMEDY 138,000
  7. Murdoch Mysteries PM 7TWO 135,000
  8. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  9. Hawaii Five-O 10 Bold 133,000
  10. Bondi Rescue Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 129,000
  11. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  12. Bargain Hunt PM 7TWO 123,000
  13. Neighbours 10 Peach 122,000
  14. Little J And Big Cuz AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  15. Spicks And Specks Ep 2 ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  16. Noddy Toyland Detective PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  17. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  18. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 118,000
  19. Hawaii Five-O (R) 10 Bold 114,000
  20. Fireman Sam PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
THURSDAY STV
  1. Live: NRL: Roosters V Storm FOX LEAGUE 227,000
  2. Live: AFL Sydney V GWS FOX FOOTY 194,000
  3. Live: The Late Show With Matty Johns FOX LEAGUE 95,000
  4. Aussie Gold Hunters Discovery Channel 76,000
  5. Live: AFL Post Game Thursday FOX FOOTY 70,000
  6. Live: NRL Pre Game Thursday FOX LEAGUE 69,000
  7. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 65,000
  8. Live: AFL Pre Game Thursday FOX FOOTY 65,000
  9. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 62,000
  10. Alan Jones Sky News Live 59,000
  11. Credlin Sky News Live 57,000
  12. PML Later Sky News Live 42,000
  13. Escape To The Chateau: DIY Lifestyle Channel 38,000
  14. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 35,000
  15. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 35,000
  16. The Simpsons FOX8 34,000
  17. Newsday Sky News Live 34,000
  18. Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost Mine Discovery Channel 32,000
  19. AM Agenda Sky News Live 32,000
  20. Live: AFL Tonight FOX FOOTY 32,000

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

Lizzo contract breaches ‘partly to blame’ for event downfall, report claims

Pop powerhouse Lizzo has been accused of contributing to the downfall of music festival FOMO and the subsequent $6.2 million owed to creditors, reports News Corp’s Sally Coates.

FOMO entered liquidation owing hundreds of creditors money.

The Daily Telegraph understands that of the $6.2 million owed, the ATO, Facebook and another performer from the 2020 line-up are owed the greatest amounts.

Three-time Grammy winner Lizzo headlined the festival’s 2020 dates in January this year, performing at the Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide legs of the four-year-old festival.

But despite her popularity, a report from liquidators Hall and Chadwick state that FOMO director Anand Krishnaswamy claimed Lizzo made multiple breaches of her contract.

[Read more]

Daily Mail publisher to cut up to 100 jobs as revenues fall

The British publisher of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, the i and Metro is to cut up to 100 roles as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hammer the newspaper and magazine industry, reports The Guardian.

Daily Mail and General Trust, which also owns MailOnline, is making cuts across the editorial and commercial operations at its publishing arm DMG Media. The company has started a consultation with staff.

One hundred roles have been put at risk, although it is not clear ultimately how many people will be made redundant. The majority of the cuts will come from the commercial side of the business.

DMGT said print advertising across its portfolio of titles fell by 69% in the three months to the end of June. The publishing arm recorded a 17% reduction in digital revenues, despite an impressive increase of well over a third in traffic to its main digital property, MailOnline.

[Read more]

News Brands

Annastacia Palaszczuk to gag media reporting on corruption probes

Media will be banned from reporting on corruption complaints and investigations into politicians in the lead-up to the October 31 state election, under surprise laws introduced by the Palaszczuk government, report The Australian’s Charlie Peel and Sarah Elks.

After high-profile corruption investigations this year into its top ranks — including former deputy premier Jackie Trad and Annastacia Palaszczuk’s former chief-of-staff David Barbagallo — the government is threatening a possible six-month jail term over publication of complaints to the state’s corruption watchdog during the election campaign.

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath introduced the legislation — opposed by media companies, the journalists’ union and the Liberal­National Party opposition — on Thursday, saying the new laws targeted the politicisation of “baseless” claims being made to the Crime and Corruption Commission.

[Read more]

Journalist not entitled to protect murder investigation source, court rules

A Queensland court has found a journalist is not entitled to protect a source who provided information linked to a murder investigation and terrorism raids, reports The Age’s Tammy Mills.

Media lawyers say the decision highlights the urgent need for laws that better protect confidential sources.

The journalist, who has not been identified, works at a television news station.

In 2018, he received information from an unnamed source and directed a reporter and cameraman to knock on the door of a home. A few days later, the crew went back to the address to film an arrest taking place, according to the recent Queensland Supreme Court judgment.

The journalist refused to answer the questions on the grounds of public interest immunity and took the case to the Supreme Court to decide whether he had the legal basis to refuse to reveal his source.

His lawyers also asked for an injunction so he didn’t have to be questioned further and argued that the provision under the Crime and Corruption Act was invalid as it “impermissibly burdens” the constitutional freedom of communication about matters of government and politics.

Media lawyer Matthew Collins, QC, said journalists did not have adequate legal protection to refuse to identify sources, and faced criminal charges.

[Read more]

Radio

Ray Hadley agrees to settle court action brought by former staffer

Ray Hadley and 2GB have quietly reached an out-of-court settlement with the talkback star’s former staffer and friend Chris Bowen, just weeks after claims were aired in court alleging Hadley had called Bowen’s former girlfriend a “curry muncher”, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Andrew Hornery.

After accusing Hadley of bullying in a Facebook post that ignited a series of internal investigations at 2GB, Bowen launched legal action in the District Court, accusing Hadley of negligence and breaching his duty of care. His claim alleged the racial slur was one of “no less than 1000” attacks Bowen said he sustained over a 16-year period.

He also accused Hadley of calling him a “f—ing poof”, a “f—ing spastic” and a “poor simpleton”.

Bowen left 2GB in 2017, two years before the station was fully acquired by Nine Entertainment Co.

The settlement between the former workmates was agreed to 10 days ago.

[Read more]

News Corp’s Matthew Benns also reports:

Sources from 2GB owner Nine confirmed the matter had been settled out of court following mediation. Hadley was off air last Monday when the mediation is understood to have taken place.

Both parties have been muzzled from saying anything further about the case, which is understood to have been settled for a substantial financial sum.

Bowen’s barrister Shaun McCarthy told the court in June that his client was making 175 separate allegations of intimidation, bullying and harassment against Hadley.

“Mr Bowen is alleging Mr Hadley bullied, harassed, intimidated him on no less than 1,000 occasions when the pair worked shoulder to shoulder,” McCarthy said.

At an earlier hearing he said: “On 20 occasions Mr Hadley called my client a bald, fat c***”.

[Read more]

Television

Grant Denyer hasn’t wasted time during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Gold Logie winner, who is expecting his third child with wife Chezzi, learned to become a pilot and hosted special return episodes of Family Feud featuring frontline workers which will air from Sunday, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

“I didn’t want to get to the end of the COVID period and go, ‘I really should have done something with all that time’,” Grant Denyer said.

“So I hit the books and studied and learned a completely skill that wasn’t television. I taught myself to fly.

“You’ve got to try to look for a silver lining in a time of darkness and I thought I’d use that period to become the domestic goddess I probably always should have been at home.

“I learnt to cook, learnt to fly and learnt to have more fun with the kids than I’ve been able to in a couple of years. There have been some good aspects.”

[Read more]

Jamie Doran says legal issue with reality show not just about his ‘edit’

Bachelor in Paradise alum Jamie Doran has issued a follow-up statement to his bombshell announcement last month that he intends to sue Channel 10 and Warner Bros Australia, reports news.com.au’s Bella Fowler.

Doran, 40, revealed on Wednesday that his legal issue with the show’s creators was not just about a “bad edit” but would be “in-depth”.

It comes after Channel 10 released a brutal response to Doran’s first public claim, declaring that they had not received any paperwork regarding the matter.

Posting to his Instagram stories this week, the reality star, originally from Angie Kent’s season of The Bachelorette, wrote: “I know I said I wouldn’t comment any further but the ‘wolves’ in the media have forced my hand.

“Don’t assume that my legal case against Network 10 and Warner Bros is built around an ‘edit’. It’s a lot more in-depth and there’s a lot more in play here,” he said, adding: “A ‘bad edit’ should be the least of their problems moving forward.”

[Read more]

“We want Halifax”: how Nine rebooted a favourite drama

Rebecca Gibney’s Jane Halifax saw the light of day as an Australian drama through the collapse of an earlier drama, Snowy, reports TV Tonight.

Snowy, which was set around the building of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme, ran for one season on Nine in 1993. But it was not renewed for Simpson Le Mesurier Films.

When Snowy was axed, Nine management asked producer Roger Simpson, if they had any other project that would suit star, Rebecca Gibney?

“We said, ‘We will have next week!’ We came up with Halifax f.p. and pitched it to them. And they said ‘Fantastic. We love it!’ and they ordered six telemovies,” Simpson told TV Tonight.

David Leckie was Nine CEO. John Stephens ran programming and Kris Noble was head of drama.

“They were an amazing team. They said, ‘Go and make it’ and they hardly interfered at all. But they’d cut our legs off at the knees if we failed! Classic Leckie!”

Those six telemovies would run to a massive 21, sold to 60 countries around the world with Gibney as a young forensic psychologist in stand-alone stories.

Fast-forward to 2019 and Nine again came calling to reprise the character with its leading lady, through Simpson’s production company Lone Hand. This time they wanted a series arc.

In the seven part Halifax: Retribution Jane is an internationally renowned professor in forensics, but when a sniper begins to terrorise the CBD, Inspector Tom Saracen (Anthony LaPaglia) persuades her to join his Task Force.

Gibney and LaPaglia are matched by a formidable cast including Claudia Karvan, Mandy McElhinney, Craig Hall, Mavournee Hazel, Rick Donald, Ming-Zhu Hii, Ben O’Toole, Mark Coles Smith, Hannah Monson and Michala Banas. Guest stars include Jacqueline McKenzie, Louisa Mignone, Stephen Curry, John Waters and Luke Ford.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Racing.com a blueprint for other sports, says Seven boss

Seven’s head of sport Lewis Martin believes industry-owned Racing.com can become “a real template” for other sports to adopt as he prepares to step down from its board, reports The Age’s Damien Ractliffe.

Martin flicked the switch on the free-to-air station in 2015 and has played a major role in its operation over the past six years as well as the deal with Racing Victoria for Seven to broadcast 21 feature Victorian race days.

But Martin will step down from Racing.com’s board this month as the media company switches from a joint venture between Racing Victoria and Seven to a commercial partnership. Documents were lodged with ASIC on Tuesday to cease Seven’s direct involvement with Racing.com.

Martin said the media company was in a position to flourish under Racing Victoria’s full control.

“I’m a big believer in free-to-air television and what it does for sports and brands and Racing.com has achieved every milestone we ever asked of it and it’s done everything Racing Victoria ever asked of it,” he said.

“We [Seven] build brands and we like to build brands to last and Racing.com is in really good shape.

As Racing Victoria assumes full control of the station, which was a key piece in the negotiations that secured Seven a five-year extension on its media rights deal with RV, Martin said other sports could look at Racing.com as a blueprint for the future.

[Read more]

Hosting bid: Australia in prime-time zone for 2027 Rugby World Cup

The Asian time zone could prove Australia’s trump card in winning a third Rugby World Cup after Japan delivered a cash bonanza to World Rugby last year, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Georgina Robinson.

Australia is bidding for the hosting rights to the 2027 tournament but will come up against stiff competition, potentially including Russia, the United States and England.

Convention suggests there will be an appetite to bring the tournament to the southern hemisphere after three consecutive World Cups in the north (England 2015, Japan 2019 and France in 2023).

But World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper said the runaway success of the Japan tournament could bolster Australia’s case as much as any geographic re-balancing. The first Asian World Cup delivered World Rugby a $246 million surplus, a $79.5m surplus for the Japan organising committee and an overall $7.8 billion “total economic impact” for the country. It set records for attendance and was the most-watched World Cup in history on social media views and television audiences.

[Read more]

AFL fixture 2020: Rounds 14-17 will be played in just 18 days

The AFL is unleashing a second compressed Footy Frenzy that will see matches played on 17 of 18 days across Rounds 14-17, reports News Corp’s Jon Ralph.

The league is in the midst of 20 consecutive days of football as part of its original frenzy – Rounds 9-12 – and will on Friday unveil a fixture beginning on Thursday August 27 after a three-day break from Round 13.

The AFL will compress those three rounds but have a conventional Thursday-Sunday round 18 that will not have official days or times for games until later in the home-and-away season.

The AFL has announced Hawthorn-Essendon will be played on Thursday August 27, with 10 of the 18 teams to be handed a bye in that block.

Melbourne and Essendon will play their catch-up game in that block, and are among the teams with a gruelling schedule ahead.

[Read more]

Channel 10’s Tim Gossage made redundant as part of network’s latest cuts

Channel 10 sports presenter Tim Gossage has emerged as the latest veteran journalist to get the chop as part of the network’s sweeping cost cuts, reports PerthNow.

Following days of speculation that his job was on the line, the Perth-based journalist confirmed the news on Twitter this afternoon.

“It’s official I am leaving [10] in a month. Been the best 31 years & I depart having had the best time.

“I grew up wanting to talk sport and I was lucky enough to get paid for it. I leave sad but not bitter. Much love for everyone past and present at 10. Best job ever,” he wrote.

Gossage, who has been with 10 since 1990, is best known for hosting footy show The Western Front. His former co-host Lachy Reid offered his support on Twitter.

“You took a punt on me, challenged me, corrected my spelling, you even took the mickey out of me and I appreciate it,” he wrote.

Channel Seven sports presenter Basil Zempilas also paid tribute to Gossage’s long career writing: “Best of luck mate. Congratulations on a stellar TV career. Bravo.”

[Read more]

To Top