By James Manning
“50% of the viewing on 7plus comes from non-broadcast content”
With many Australians forced to spend more time at home this year streaming services have been experiencing huge growth. When it comes to free streaming platforms attached to commercial television broadcasters, Seven is leading the field.
A change of strategy at Seven West Media in the wake of the arrival of James Warburton as CEO a year ago has helped build audience and overhauled the busines model.
“7plus is totally dominant as a FTA streaming service,” Seven’s head of digital Gereurd Roberts explained to Mediaweek. “We are #1 survey year-to-date with a 41% share [commercial streaming platforms] off the back of 49% share in July. Across that period we have had 10 of the top 20 shows [ranked across all five FTA streaming platforms].
Roberts took over digital duties at Seven after segueing from running Pacific Magazines before it was sold to Bauer and then Mercury Capital. Along with Seven’s director of scheduling Brook Hall, the two look after strategy and content at 7plus.
Roberts continued: “Big Brother was a leader across June and July and we have been #1 commercial streaming platform for 18 consecutive weeks – some of those weeks we had more than a 50% share. There have been weeks where 7plus was bigger than 9now and 10play combined.”
Roberts said unlike their competitors, Seven was not reliant on single shows for big spikes.
Hall explained Seven had been on quite a journey to get to a dominant position, learning much along the way.
“For the year we are now #1 live, #1 VOD and #1 combined in the commercial streaming space.”
Hall noted 7plus is run as being largely independent from broadcast. “The BVOD market is not about broadcast catch-up only. Our numbers show that. Despite both Big Brother and Farmer Wants a Wife achieving record numbers on 7plus, and being our two biggest streaming shows ever, 50% of the viewing on 7plus comes from non-broadcast content. That’s a big shift from the number just 12 months ago.”
The TV executives told Mediaweek how Seven has often reminded advertisers about the importance of its spine – news, sport and Home and Away.
Hall: “When James Warburton arrived 12 months ago he was open about our shortcomings in the 7.30pm timeslot. It was our missing link on broadcast and it needed to be addressed. That posed an even greater problem for 7plus because traditionally the 7.30pm drivers were the tentpoles for all BVOD players.
“7plus couldn’t rely on our spine because 7plus didn’t have streaming rights for sport and news is not a big VOD player.
“7plus had to innovate and content was realigned under [director of programming] Angus Ross in content and digital product and operations under Gereurd as chief digital officer.”
Hall said the new streaming vision was to be aligned with the broadcast vision, but not dependent on it.
“Home and Away was our way in and our biggest advantage. There are millions of Australians watching and streaming nightly drama all year round. We made Home and Away our gateway program on 7plus with the aim of becoming the home of drama for free.”
The strategy at 7plus is not about using the BVOD platform to help build broadcast audiences. Hall: “The aim is to get our content viewed, it doesn’t matter where it is. We let the viewer make a choice where they want to view it.”
That strategy seems to be paying off. Roberts: “In July, Big Brother was as big as The Voice and MasterChef combined [on BVOD].”
Seven is selling program sponsorships that are integrated across broadcast and BVOD. Roberts: “That’s how we achieve the greatest audience scale for our partners.”
When it comes to content acquisitions for 7plus, Hall said they are careful to stay in their lane which is drama. “Twelve months ago we added other favourite Australian dramas to sit alongside Home and Away. Programs like Blue Heelers, A Country Practice, All Saints and Packed to the Rafters. They have a TV broadcast legacy, but they now sit only on 7plus. We also leverage our overseas dramas from broadcast like The Good Doctor, 9-1-1, Criminal Minds. We saw the audience really respond to these programs over summer and using our relationships with all the major US studios we started adding titles that were exclusive to 7plus which were outside our traditional IP.
“There are now many series on 7plus that have never aired on our broadcast including Dawson’s Creek, Smallville and Beverly Hills, 90210.”
One of the secrets of 7plus success is the cost. Hall: “We still think free is a big advantage and point of difference from our competitors.”
• The majority of 7plus viewing comes from connected TVs.
• 7plus offers programming content in HD 1080p.
• Most content is available immediately on 7plus after it has been broadcast.
• Hall said he estimates there are many viewers who now only engage with Seven via 7plus. “We have no problem with that. Ten years ago we wanted to also engage more with male viewers and we launched 7mate. We now see there is a big chunk of broadcast linear viewers that only watch 7mate and we are totally fine with that because they are part of our overall audience.”
• Live channel bonus: 7plus boasts 12 live channels – Seven’s four channels through to extras like Fuel, Outdoor Channel, iwonder, racing.com and David Koch’s ausbiz.
Although 50% of the viewing is for non-broadcast content, the single biggest shows on 7plus are still 7.30pm broadcast hits. Roberts: “You can’t underestimate the importance of those big broadcast tentpoles. Big Brother and Farmers Wants a Wife are important, but 7plus is not dependent on them for success. Driving our growth and consistency is our programming mix Brook has been explaining.”
Top Photo: Seven’s Brook Hall and Gereurd Roberts
Network 10 has announced the screening of the documentary A Dingo’s Got My Baby: The Lindy Chamberlain Story. The announcement came during an interview with Lindy Chamberlain on The Sunday Project.
The documentary comes from Ian Collie’s Easy Tiger and Mark Joffe’s Empress Road.
Not only is the story one of Australia’s most publicised murder trials and one that divided the nation for decades, it’s also one of the country’s most infamous cases of miscarried justice. A Dingo’s Got My Baby: The Lindy Chamberlain Story is the Chamberlain family’s story of love, loss and redemption, told exclusively by them.
On 17 August, 1980, Lindy and Michael Chamberlain and their three children including nine-week old baby Azaria, were enjoying a family camping trip in Central Australia, blissfully unaware that their lives were about to change forever.
Just hours later, baby Azaria is missing and in the dim evening light, a dingo is seen coming out of the tent she was sleeping in.
Forty years on and using never-before-seen footage, A Dingo’s Got My Baby: The Lindy Chamberlain Story follows the investigation of Azaria’s death and her mother Lindy’s prosecution, conviction, imprisonment, and eventual exoneration, for her murder.
For the first time in eight years, Lindy and her children speak exclusively and in detail, about the harrowing night and the devastating years that followed.
Through the family’s personal archives including Lindy and Michael’s wedding day, family albums and audio of baby Azaria’s voice, they candidly share how this traumatic event impacted their lives forever.
Adding to their story through exclusive interviewees that encompass eyewitnesses, family friends, high court judges, forensic experts, lawyers, high profile media, professors of history, novelists, film makers and their church, this original and all-encompassing documentary, tells a compelling story that still resonates today.
Screen Australia provided principal production investment for the documentary and head of documentary Bernadine Lim said: “The Chamberlain’s story has remained at the forefront of Australia’s consciousness for the last 40 years and this documentary will explore themes that still intrigue audiences today. With an impressive creative team including Ian Collie and Rob Gibson from Easy Tiger producing alongside Francine Finnane and Mark Joffe, who will be writing and directing respectively, we believe this story will be told with the care it deserves.”
A Dingo’s Got My Baby: The Lindy Chamberlain Story is an Easy Tiger and Empress Road production for Network 10. Principal production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Screen NSW and Screen Queensland.
International sales by Fremantle International.
Watch a preview here.
The Seven Network has today announced the first five celebrities who will take on one of the toughest tests of their lives in SAS Australia.
Former Bali inmate Schapelle Corby, comedian Merrick Watts, retired ironwoman Candice Warner, rugby star Nick Cummins and PR queen Roxy Jacenko will endure an extraordinary series of physical and psychological tests from the real SAS selection process.
These star recruits, plus more to be announced including a leading actor, a gold medallist, a model and one of Australia’s best sportsmen, will be cut off from the outside world at a secret base in spectacular terrain where they will eat, sleep and train together in punishing conditions, with no allowances or exceptions made for their celebrity status or gender.
As they’re subjected to extreme physical endurance, sleep deprivation, interrogation and psychological testing, these men and women will be pushed beyond their limits.
Some will reach breaking point and withdraw. Who will have the mental strength to tough it out to the end?
Putting the celebrity recruits through the gruelling SAS course is an elite team of ex-Special Forces soldiers – Chief Instructor Ant Middleton and his Directing Staff (DS) Jason “Foxy” Fox, Ollie Ollerton and Mark “Billy” Billingham from the hit UK version of the series.
Seven’s director of programming Angus Ross said: “We have an absolutely killer celebrity cast who are all in for a shock. SAS Australia is no game – it is the toughest test. The course is brutal, and it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do there is no special treatment which makes for utterly engrossing television.”
Chief Instructor Ant Middleton said: “There is no set mould for passing SAS selection. You need courage, determination, that never give up attitude but ultimately the strength of mind to carry on, even when faced with your demons and biggest fears.”
SAS Australia will premiere on Channel 7 in October. The series is produced by Screentime, a Banijay Group company, based on a Minnow Films format.
To date, SCA has provided more than $64 million in community service announcement (CSA) airtime across its television, radio and digital suite of assets to the charities, as well as providing brand research, creative brainstorming sessions, promotional experiences and on-air content support across the Hit and Triple M networks.
SCA team members from around the country have shared their skills and time to implement activations, creating CSAs, participating in work experience programs and fundraising activities.
SCA CEO Grant Blackley said: “SCA has built very strong relationships with both charities during this time and have had a major impact on the awareness and support of Beyond Blue and The Smith Family. Due to COVID-19, we have made the decision to extend both partnerships for a further six months. We are committed to our corporate social responsibility and look forward to continuing our relationship with both charities as they navigate through the pandemic and beyond.”
Beyond Blue Chief Community Officer Patrice O’Brien said: “Our partnership with SCA has exceeded all expectations over the past 18 months. Not only has it been critical in amplifying Beyond Blue’s key behavioural change campaign and support services, in this time SCA has created its own mental health and wellbeing initiatives, such as the Wellness Connection and Triple M’s ‘No Talk Day’, which demonstrate the genuine passion and commitment SCA has to supporting its staff, listeners and broader community.
“The partnership could not have been in place at a more crucial time as the Australian community has been faced with immense challenges, including drought, bushfires and a global pandemic. We are very proud of our partnership and everything we have achieved together so far.”
The Smith Family CEO Dr Lisa O’Brien said: “Since we joined forces with SCA in January 2019, they have generously provided us with more than $30 million worth of in-kind media support across their radio, TV and digital networks. This has enabled us to deepen the public’s knowledge and awareness of poverty in Australia and its direct impact on a child’s schooling.
“SCA has also helped more Australians understand how they can be part of the solution by sponsoring the education of a child in need. We are so grateful for SCA’s invaluable support and strategic input. Together, we are helping thousands of Australian children improve their educational outcomes, so they can create a better future for themselves.”
By James Manning
• Albums: Luke Bryan, In Hearts Wake, Glass Animals…and Deep Purple!
As Savage Love from Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo sits at #1 for a sixth week it becomes the longest time at #1 by a New Zealand artist (Jawsh 685 – real name Joshua Nanai), breaking a record set by OMC with How Bizarre in 1996. Nanai revealed recently he only had the Tik Top app for about a month before the platform helped Savage Love achieve global success.
Four new tracks debuted in the top 50, two in the top 10 and two just scraping onto the chart.
Highest debut belongs to Cardi B with WAP featuring US rapper Megan Thee Stallion, a track from her forthcoming second album. Surprisingly this is Cardi B’s first time in the top 10 with her own track and WAP is now her highest-charting single after I Like It made it to #14 in July 2018.
Juice WRLD continues to enjoy success in the year following his death with a third track in the top 50. Smile features The Weeknd and is a track on a re-released version of the #1 album Legends Never Die.
Amy Shark’s Everybody Rise is still bubbling away on the chart six weeks after arriving. It climbs six places this week to #34.
The 17-year-old Canadian singer and dancer Tate McRae is also new this week at #47 with You Broke Me First. The first Canadian finalist on the US version of the TV series So You Think You Can Dance, McRae’s song has been helped along by Tik Tok and is her first music release.
At #48 Sia’s Together just made it on the top 50 this week with her first single to chart in two years. The tune is from the soundtrack to Sia’s forthcoming film Music which she wrote and directed.
Artists have not been hanging around the top of the album chart this year, unlike artists who top the singles chart. In fact Taylor Swift’s Folklore becomes the first album to top the chart for three weeks this year. Our sketchy record keeping indicates the last time anyone did any better was Post Malone with Hollywood’s Bleeding which resided at #1 for six weeks during 2019. A chart run that interestingly kept Taylor Swift’s Love from top spot for several weeks after it debuted at #1.
This week’s eight chart debuts are:
#2 Luke Bryan with Born Here Live Here Die Here. The third top 10 album for the US country star’s seventh album is also his highest-charting.
#3 In Heart’s Wake with Kaliyuga. The fourth top 10 album from Byron Bay’s loudest is the metalcore act’s fifth album. The band’s chart high is 2015’s Skydancer which peaked at #2.
#6 Glass Animals with Dreamland. The first album in fours year from the British psychedelic pop act is their first time in the top 10.
#13 Deep Purple with Whoosh! Classic British hard rockers are still going after forming in 1968. Three of the current five members – Ian Paice, Roger Glover and Ian Gillan – have been with the band since 1969 with the “newcomers” only on board for the past 20 years or so. The band’s 21st album has generally been favourably reviewed and features some familiar Deep Purple trademarks like advancing walls of music and guitar licks from Steve Morse who had to fill the big shoes of Ritchie Blackmore and (briefly) Tommy Bolin.
#22 Bronson with Bronson. The debut release from Australian DJ/producer Golden Features and US electronic music duo Odesza.
#23 Stand Atlantic with Pink Elephant. Chart debut from Sydney pop punk band with their second album
#25: sleepmakeswaves with These Are Not Your Dreams. A collection of EPs from the Sydney post-rock trio effectively becomes their fourth album and their first time on the chart since the third album Made of Breath peaked at #15 in 2017.
#33: Teeny Tiny Stevies with Thoughtful Songs for Little People. The third album from the Melbourne children’s music duo.
By James Manning
Nine has recorded its third consecutive primary channel win.
But Seven was the winner of combined channel share – for the ninth time in the past 10 weeks.
It was a different week with Nine dominating Sunday and Monday primary share, winning again on Thursday, 10 winning Tuesday and then Seven winning Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
10 might be disappointed with what they were calling its biggest week of the year. Share was up week-on-week, but the primary channel recorded its third-lowest performance since Easter.
Nine Week 33
Primary share: 19.6% (19.9%)
Network share: 27.8 (28.7)%
Multichannels: GO! 2.4% (2.9%) Gem 2.4% (2.5%) 9Life 2.2% (2.2%) 9Rush 1.2% (1.2%)
Just two episodes of Australian Ninja Warrior, but it was enough to build up a lead on Sunday and Monday that held for the rest of the week. Helping the channel stay ahead was News, A Current Affair, NRL, 60 Minutes, Emergency and Paramedics.
Seven Week 33
Primary share: 18.9% (18.7%)
Network share: 28.7% (28.5%)
Multichannels: 7TWO 3.7% (3.7%) 7mate 4.1% (3.9%) 7flix 2.1% (2.2%)
Seven News again delivered for the channel with Farmer Wants a Wife the second choice for viewers at 7.30pm with audiences of 814,000 Sunday and 696,000 Monday. Home and Away, Better Homes and Gardens and AFL were the other shows over 500,000.
7mate was again the top ranked multichannel thanks in part to a big Perth AFL audience on Saturday.
ABC Week 33
Primary share: 12.7% (12.8%)
Network share: 17.3% (17.6%)
Multichannels: Kids/Comedy 2.5% (2.4%) ME 0.4% (0.5%) News 1.7% (2.0%)
Hard Quiz and Anh’s Brush with Fame led the charge with both episodes over 700,000 this week. Vera got close with 696,000.
10 Week 33
Primary share 11.6% (10.0%)
Network share: 17.7% (16.0%)
Multichannels: Bold 3.8% (3.8%) Peach 2.2% (2.2%)
While all people share didn’t set any highs, the audience did tune in under 50 allowing the broadcaster to claim six of the top 10 under 50 and seven of the top 10 16-39. The Masked Singer Australia was down year-on-year as it debuted its second season. The second episode performed best with 820,000 as it was free of major franchise competition on either Seven or Nine on Tuesday.
It was a tough week for news staff at the channel, and the fact that the 5pm and 6pm bulletins continue to grow year-on-year might have made those facing redundancy all the more puzzled.
SBS Week 33
Primary share: 5.0% (5.6%)
Network share: 8.5% (9.2%)
Multichannels: Viceland 1.5% (1.4%) Food 0.9% (0.9%) NITV 0.1% (0.2%) World Movies 1.0% (1.0%)
Great Asian Railways Journeys was again by far the best performer with 298,000. Next on the ratings radar was a replay of Tony Robinson: Britain’s Ancient Tracks on 227,000.
By James Manning
• Ninja Warriors and four Farmers battle it out at 7.30pm
• Seven wins network share after close primary contest
• Best of the rest: Lindy and Lisa, Vera, Princess Anne
Seven News 1,156,000
Nine News 1,0060,000
ABC News 770,000
The Project 315,000/471,000
10 News 296,000/229,000
Nine News Late Edition 257,000
SBS World News 214,000
Seven: Seven led the night in network share with 29.6% and only trailed Nine in primary share by the smallest possible margin – 0.1.
Farmer Wants a Wife was up week-on-week from 814,000 to 853,000. One of the Farmers had to pull out last night which immediately ditched a handful of potential wives as well. The episode narrowly trailed Ninja Warrior across the network and drew level with it in Sydney.
Seven then had a handy Lindy Chamberlain news special to coincide with the 40th anniversary to the day of the disappearance of Azaria and the announcement of a feature doco coming to Network 10. Seven’s special did 574,000, outrating 60 Minutes.
Between Two Worlds then did 171,000.
Nine: The start of Australian Ninja Warrior – State of Origin helped Nine to a narrow Sunday primary win with 877,000 which is not a bad number for the franchise spin-off.
60 Minutes dropped though after the Warriors departed with 486,000 after 599,000 a week ago.
10: The Sunday Project was close to 500,000 after 442,000 a week ago. The modest growth was due to the promoted Lisa Wilkinson with Lindy Chamberlain interview which turned out to be a live interview with all the hosts last night. 10 used it to announce the doco it had acquired from Easy Tiger about Lindy and the disappearance of her daughter. (See separate item today.)
The first of the Family Feud primetime specials ran fourth in the timeslot with 330,000 watching.
The Sunday line-up delivered 10 its fourth consecutive single figure Sunday primary share and its second lowest Sunday primary share of the survey tear.
ABC: Vera easily won its timeslot for the channel with 658,000 and it has now secured the three biggest Sunday shares of the year in the past three weeks.
The combo of Shetland as a lead-in is also a good performer with 624,000 last night also securing the crime drama a top 10 finish.
SBS: The channel enjoyed its best Sunday primary share since February with a popular combo of Egyptian pyramids and royalty.
At 7.30pm Egypt’s Lost Pyramid did 231,000 and then the audience climbed to 239,000 for Anne: The Princess Royal at 70, which aired just recently in the UK ahead of her birthday on Saturday.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.5%||7TWO||4.1%||GO!||3.3%||10 Bold||3.2%||VICELAND||1.8%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||3.8%||GEM||2.2%||10 Peach||2.5%||Food Net||0.9%|
|9Rush||1.4%||SBS World Movies||1.2%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.3%||7TWO||4.5%||GO!||3.4%||10 Bold||4.2%||VICELAND||1.0%|
|ABC ME||0.3%||7mate||6.1%||GEM||3.4%||10 Peach||2.4%||Food Net||1.1%|
|9Rush||1.7%||SBS World Movies||1.7%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.5%||7TWO||2.5%||GO!||2.3%||10 Bold||3.8%||VICELAND||1.8%|
|ABC ME||0.3%||7mate||4.6%||GEM||2.2%||10 Peach||2.0%||Food Net||1.1%|
|9Rush||0.6%||SBS World Movies||0.7%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.2%||7TWO||4.0%||GO!||3.3%||WIN Bold||4.4%||VICELAND||1.5%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||4.2%||GEM||3.5%||WIN Peach||1.1%||Food Net||0.7%|
|ABC NEWS||1.8%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.1%||9Life||1.8%||Sky News on WIN||1.4%||NITV||0.1%|
|SUNDAY METRO ALL TV|
Friday Top 10
Saturday Top 10
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
Could Tim Worner be heading to the racing world? His year-long gardening leave that followed his departure from Seven West Media last August is up any day now, reports The Australian’s Jonathan Chancellor.
The odds are shortening for Worner to end up in the sport of kings. Sure the racing world is awash with rumours, but racing has been one of Worner’s passions away from the office.
Indeed he had a Darwin Cup entrant earlier this month, the six-year-old galloper Live And Free, which he co-owns alongside Seven presenter Hamish McLachlan, his brother Gillon, the AFL chief, and cricket legend Michael Slater.
Worner could potentially be a candidate to replace David Attenborough who recently announced he will be stepping down as the wagering giant Tabcorp chief. There’s also a board seat vacancy at Tabcorp since its chairman Paula Dwyer retires later this year, to be replaced by board member Steven Gregg.
Former Foxtel and News Corp Australia chief executive Peter Tonagh has invested in media-focused investment manager ACT Capital Partners, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
The media executive and company director for AAP and Village Roadshow will also become chairman of ACT, after buying roughly a third of the investor manager business, which was founded by media executive and adviser Adam Schoff in August 2018.
“For me the simple premise is I spend a lot of my time looking at new media organisations. I’ve learnt I’d rather focus my time on those areas because I know them well,” Tonagh told The Australian Financial Review.
Tonagh said he and ACT under Schoff had been looking at a number of start-ups in common and found similar investment focuses.
“It hasn’t changed what I look at. I’m in a position now where we can do things on larger scale,” Tonagh said.
Tonagh now owns a third of ACT, Schoff about 25 per cent, former Sony and Warner Bros executive Sander Schwartz owns 5 per cent, and Wolf Capital, the family office of the Wilson family, owns 40 per cent, as well as being early investors in the fund which the investment manager runs.
Tonagh has already invested in a number of media start-ups, including The Squiz, a daily digital update of Australian politics, news and current affairs, and Inkl, which compiles news from different publishers across the world under one subscription plan.
oOh! Media has asked staff to take a smaller pay cheque until the end of the year as the billboard company tries to cope with low demand from advertisers, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.
Employees at oOh! Media have been working reduced hours with lower salaries since April and were expected to return to full time work in the next few weeks. However, continued weakness in advertising spending caused by economic factors related to the coronavirus pandemic is continuing to put financial pressure on the business.
oOh! Media and rival billboard companies including JC Decaux and QMS Media have been significantly impacted by the advertising downturn because they are heavily reliant on the money as a source of revenue. While other local media businesses have withdrawn earnings guidance, renegotiated broadcast deals and shut newspapers, oOh! Media launched a capital raise and cut staff hours and pay by 20 per cent.
“Readers may be aware The Australian’s cartoon has today caused some controversy. I want to explain to you its context in this statement,” wrote the paper’s editor-in-chief Chris Dore in response to plenty of anger on social media to the cartoon.
“The words ‘little black and brown girls’ belong to US presidential candidate Joe Biden, not The Australian’s cartoonist Johannes Leak.
“When Johannes used those words, expressed in a tweet by Biden yesterday, he was highlighting Biden’s language and apparent attitudes, not his own.
“The intention of the commentary in the cartoon was to ridicule racism, not perpetuate it.
“In the context of Biden’s words, this is evident. Clearly some, including those without that context, have wrongly attributed Biden’s words to Johannes, and in doing so have attributed abhorrent and inaccurate motives to him.
“The Australian, and Johannes, opposes racism in all of its guises.”
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has complained to the press regulator about a controversial cartoon in The Australian newspaper of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris, days after its editor-in-chief Chris Dore was forced to defend its publication, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.
Rudd and Labor MPs Andrew Leigh, Mark Dreyfus and Andrew Giles have all publicly criticised the News Corp-owned masthead for inciting racism and causing offence late last week after it published a cartoon by Johannes Leak that described Senator Harris as a “little brown girl”.
In a letter to Australian Press Council (APC) chair Neville Stevens on Sunday, Rudd described the cartoon as an example of a newspaper “fuelling racist and sexist prejudice in our society beneath the fig leaf of press freedom”. He warned the regulator not to be a “toothless tiger” and uphold his complaint.
The Kamala Harris ‘cartoon’ in The Australian a few days ago was racist and grossly offensive, writes Melbourne newsagent Mark Fletcher.
On seeing it, I asked the staff at my own shops to remove it from sale. While I agree we should not act as censors, sometimes we have to take a stand. What The Australian published went too far in my view. I felt better not selling it. I don’t care what others think, this was the right decision for me.
Six journalists at The Australian have been nominated as finalists for Queensland’s media awards, The Clarions, reports the paper.
Reporter Michael McKenna and photographer John Wilson have been nominated for the top award for investigative journalism over their series of reports about state government inaction and secrecy over the defective Paradise Dam, near Bundaberg, which led to a commission of inquiry being established.
National crime correspondent David Murray, audio producer and editor Chris Bosley and multimedia editor Eric George have been nominated as finalists in the radio, documentary and podcast category for The Lighthouse series, which investigated the disappearance of Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez last year.
Queensland political reporter Sarah Elks has been nominated for rural journalism over her expose on safety issues in Queensland’s coalmines.
Lisa Wilkinson is secretly working furiously on a tell-all autobiography, The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff reports, using the extra time she has from not shuttling between Sydney and Melbourne for 10’s The Project because of COVID-19.
And from what we’re told, no juicy detail will be off limits. Readers can expect Wilkinson to reveal the ups and downs of her relationship with former co-host Karl Stefanovic and her 27-year marriage to bandana-fancier Peter FitzSimons, as well as her time back in the 1980s and 1990s as one of Kerry Packer’s most celebrated magazine editors.
But there’s no doubting the memoir’s most anticipated detail: a full account of Wilkinson’s workplace break-up with Nine and the Today show.
It’s been almost two months since ABC chief economics reporter Emma Alberici – for now, at least – filed action in the Fair Work Commission against her employer after learning her position was likely to be axed in a round of belt-tightening, report Nine newspapers’ Samantha Hutchinson and Stephen Brook.
Alberici squared off against Aunty management in an FWC telephone hearing on Friday. There’s another scheduled for Tuesday, again taking place in front of Fair Work deputy president Val Gostencnik. But it’s not the biggest event in the journalist’s diary this week.
Alberici has also written a book. Her publisher Hardie Grant, is doing the big reveal on the manuscript on Monday, including the title and content. It’s been variously described as a memoir and reflection on the life of a journalist working in a tough environment.
Elizabeth Debicki has been cast as the late royal in the fifth and sixth seasons of the series, Netflix announced Sunday, reports The Hollywood Reporter
“Princess Diana’s spirit, her words and her actions live in the hearts of so many. It is my true privilege and honour to be joining this masterful series, which has had me absolutely hooked from episode one,” Debicki said in the Twitter announcement.
The actress, who is also set to appear in Christopher Nolan‘s anticipated release Tenet, is joining the Netflix series for its final two seasons.
The Crown creator Peter Morgan announced in January that his series about the British monarchy would end after five seasons but later announced that he’d changed his mind and would carry on with six seasons.
The filming of the series’ fourth season wrapped in London at the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic. A premiere date has yet to be announced.
A week before the return of The Block, host Scott Cam speaks to News Corp’s Adrienne Tam in Stellar magazine.
Late last year you were named Australia’s first National Careers Ambassador by the federal government, an appointment that attracted criticism for the taxpayer-funded salary.
Look, I did get some negativity with the NCA. You know, I’ve never had an aggressive interview before. [Cam was interviewed on Sky News in March about the role]. And all I was trying to do was get a message across about people trying to hire apprentices and people trying to become apprentices. It was a genuine message I’m really passionate about and have been for 20 years.
So I was just taken aback and I handled it really badly and learnt a lesson. Because we were getting off-topic and we were talking about something everybody knew about already. Anyway, I regret it and it won’t happen again.
I’m still pushing for apprentices, but I wasn’t going to be able to fulfil the second part of the requirements [in his NCA role], so I gave the money back, which I would have done anyway regardless of publicity. But I’m still on the job on social media, and I’m still going to continue [advocating for apprentices]. I’ve been doing that for over 10 years, for nothing, which no-one knows about, but that’s beside the point. I’ll still continue to do that, regardless of what people say.
Nine newspaper have previewed the return of The Block:
This year’s Block concept is “5 Houses, 5 Decades”, which is a great excuse for getting Scott Cam into a one-piece bathing suit for promos, but when you get down to the nitty-gritty it’s still about fixing up old houses: these are just a bit older than usual. Houses from the 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s have been plonked down on a plot in Brighton, and five teams of people desperate for a bit of sleep deprivation have been brought in to bang away at them until they’re vaguely liveable. Like most reality gimmicks, the whole “journey into the past” concept is vaguely diverting for the first five minutes, but to sustain interest The Block will need to do what it’s always done: show us ordinary people having nervous breakdowns while operating power tools.
Celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge says he is not banking on TV for his future, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.
Fassnidge, who is part of Channel 7’s My Kitchen Rules family, said he was yet to hear what was happening with the show next year owing to the impact of COVID-19.
“I think it is all up in the air no one knows what is happening. TV is a little bit like Melbourne at the moment, they are in a world of pain,” Fassnidge said.
“I never banked on TV. That is why we always had our restaurants going and other stuff like catering.
“I am 47, I know exactly what TV is. I don’t trust anyone in TV. If I was 27 I would have believed everything they say.”
MKR underperformed in the ratings this year and co-host Pete Evans has since departed the network.
If audiences want to see new faces in their local dramas, they need look no further than Hungry Ghosts, the new SBS drama set in Melbourne’s Vietnamese community, reports TV Tonight.
Producer Stephen Corvini, who previously made Better Man in 2013, says much has changed in casting options in the intervening seven years. Casting agents Maura Fay & Associates searched comprehensively to fulfil 30 Asian-Australian actors and 325 Asian-Australian extras.
“When you look there are many,” he tells TV Tonight.
“If people are complaining about often seeing the same sorts of faces, we’ve got some extraordinary talent that has had very little film or TV exposure, led by Catherine Van-Davies, who’s quite a well-known theatre actor. She will be absolutely loved by our audience.”
The Matchbox Pictures series, directed by Shawn Seet, is written by Timothy Hobart, Michelle Lee, Alan Nguyen, Jeremy Nguyen and John Ridley.
In addition to new television faces, there are others more familiar: Ryan Corr, Clare Bowen, Bryan Brown, Justine Clark, Susie Porter and Gary Sweet.
Hungry Ghosts screens 9:30pm Monday 24 – Thursday 27 August on SBS.
W magazine, the oversize fashion magazine whose 450,000-person circulation belies an outsize influence, is changing hands again, reports The New York Times.
Now to be known as W Media, its new operating partner will be Bustle Digital Group, a web company whose properties include Bustle, an online magazine for women, and Mic, the social justice-focused website, along with a group of investors that includes the movie and television producer Jason Blum, the racecar driver Lewis Hamilton and the model Kaia Gerber, Cindy Crawford’s daughter, who is just 18.
“We did it all over Zoom,” said W’s editor, Sara Moonves, who will remain. “None of us even met in person.”
Moonves, 35, got help putting together the group from the model Karlie Kloss, who is also investing. Moonves met her in 2009 during a Vogue shoot, Kloss’s first, with Annie Leibovitz.
Moonves is the daughter of Les Moonves, the former head of CBS.
Publishing brand Robb Report Australia & New Zealand is launching a new luxury awards program.
Robb Report’s inaugural Property, Finance and Investment Awards will highlight and herald the Top 5 individuals, businesses and properties across 10 local luxury sectors – the prestigious collection of winners to be announced as part of Robb Report’s dedicated Property, Finance and Investment (PFI) issue, on sale November 5, and further supported and promoted across the brand’s targeted channels.
PFI Award categories cover luxury property, agents and advisors, architects, interior designers, wealth advisors as well as highlighting necessary moves in sustainability and innovation, among others.
“Against the ongoing backdrop of COVID – and we in no way look to diminish the arduous effects it has had on so many – the PFI Awards are acknowledgement of the stoicism, determination and achievement of many of the industries and individuals we work with closely at Robb Report,” said Richard Clune, editor-in-chief.
“Perseverance is invaluable and central to driving a sense of normality – and right now it’s very much necessary. It’s why I’m proud to push forward with all that we’re doing at Robb Report and as part of that, to officially launch the 2020 PFI Awards and the associated positivity they’re set to deliver.”
An award-winning luxury title, Robb Report this month unveiled its design issue, featuring lauded Australian industrial designer Marc Newson in a rare interview, alongside architects Chris Wilkinson and Achille Salvagni, digital artist Chris Labrooy, menswear’s Nicolas Gabard and acclaimed motoring designer, Ian Callum, among others.
“There is no shame in saying this was a tricky issue to pull together – we’re in publishing, after all,” Clune explained. “But we rallied, firmed our support amongst our friends, embraced digital opportunities and found creative ways to engage new revenue. The result is an exemplary issue and I’m chuffed about what this small, dedicated and passionate team has managed the past few months, just as I’m excited about the various initiates, such as the 2020 PFI Awards, we’re set to unveil before the close of the year.”