By James Manning
• Tanya Hennessy signs with Spotify, All the 2020 Podcast of the Year categories
At the end of 2018, head of the SCA’s Hit Network Gemma Fordham mentioned to broadcaster Angus O’Loughlin she was interested in securing Dylan Alcott for a radio role. “I immediately had a good feeling about potentially working with him,” O’Loughlin told Mediaweek.
Fast forward 18 months and the two host the Hit Network’s weekend breakfast plus the PodcastOne series ListenABLE, a podcast about living with a disability.
“We have since become best mates, we hang out together and I have learnt much about the disabled community,” he continued.
Alcott continued the story for Mediaweek. “I had been doing radio for about nine months before we came up with the idea for ListenABLE. One cool thing about the concept is that a lot of people think it would have been my idea. But it was actually Gus’s idea after he started learning about the sort of things me and others experience out in the world. It was pretty cool for an able-bodied dude to come up with an idea for a show about disability.”
O’Loughlin pitched a number of ideas for podcasts to the company, but for this one he wrote a full presentation deck which he delivered with three finished episodes.
Alcott noted they aim to entertain and educate for what is a big target audience. “There is one in five Australians with some sort of disability – 4.5m people. There are absolutely no reasons people with a disability can’t be players in the economy, there is no reason they can’t get jobs, no reason they can’t be consumers and no reason they can’t listen to podcasts.”
One of the appeals of the podcast is the wide range of guests, all who have compelling stories to tell. Alcott: “Gus and I could have just got a bunch of famous people with a disability and tell their stories. We wanted to also give a voice to everyday people who have a disability who have incredible stories they want to share.
“We are learning so much together. I have no idea what’s like to have a high level disability like Natalie Wade who we had on. I have no idea what it’s like to have Tourette’s so we had someone on. This is not a podcast just for people with a disability. It’s a podcast for absolutely everybody – not only to learn, but it’s bloody entertaining.”
The Natalie Wade episode is a brilliant listen, especially where the lawyer tells about how it takes two hours to get ready to leave the house. Alcott said it takes him maybe 45 minutes, while O’Loughlin reckons in five minutes he can be ready. Alcott disagreed: “I have seen Gus in front of a mirror where he can put in some serious time.”
The podcast is making a difference too. O’Loughlin related a story about a coffee shop owner who just made his business wheelchair accessible after listening.
The podcasts vary in length, with Adam Hills a little longer than some. O’Loughlin does the edits: “I listened to Adam Hills twice and I couldn’t cut anything out. It has become our third most-listened to episode.” The series stats are off the chart with over 80% listening all the way through. Alcott: “My favourite thing about it is that able-bodied people are listening in huge numbers.”
Both hosts are in lockdown in Melbourne, but tennis champ Alcott is still in training and he departs for the US Open in the first week of September. Then it’s to Paris for the French Open.
O’Loughlin just recently revealed to listeners he will soon be a father, and Alcott put Mediaweek on the spot asking if he’d be a good godfather. “I’m not sure,” was my reply. “Me either, you and I both,” laughed O’Loughlin. “I guess we’ll find out soon.”
Both hosts have a wish list of guests – the one topping both is Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones.
Former 2GB evening host Steve Price started up his own weekly podcast last month. The longtime radio host launched his On the Record series with a former colleague from Price’s days at 3AW – Sam Newman. In the seven episodes since launch he’s had some great guests including News Corp podcast star Hedley Thomas, 3AW’s recently departed breakfast host John Burns and his former 2GB evening colleague Andrew Bolt. One of his next will be with The Australian’s must-read food critic John Lethlean.
Price said he was the second podcast to be launched by recent start-up Talent Corp and Nature Bee had signed on as a sponsor. Price told Mediaweek he has constructed a recording studio at his home in regional Victoria just outside of Melbourne. Talent Corp doesn’t manage Price, he is still looked after by Chris Giannopoulos at Bravo Management.
The Talent Corp business has been launched by former 2GB sales boss Mark Noakes in partnership with former 2GB colleagues Ruth Thompson, Ross Greenwood and Mike O’Regan. Greenwood also hosts a Talent Corp podcast The Money Minutes and the series are being hosted on the Whooshkaa platform, founded by, you guessed it, another 2GB alumni, Rob Lowenthal.
Price said the business is about making branded content, and not just podcasts. “Branded content is going to be very important in the future as we come out of Covid with media companies looking for ways to make their investment stretch further. A package that offers good content and revenue is going to be very appealing.”
Price has discovered podcasting in a big way since he has entered the space. His radio listening is limited to a few days of Ray Hadley or Neil Mitchell each week.
What did the former 3AW program manager make of the decision to drop John Burns from breakfast? “It was a crazy idea. Why would you change something that has been doing so well for so long?” As well as his regular gig on The Project, Price does his own breakfast spots a couple of days a week with Eddie McGuire and Luke Darcy on Triple M’s The Hot Breakfast.
The Australian Podcast Awards seem to have only started yesterday, but already they are about to open entries for their fourth year on September 1 which covers works of the previous 18 months January 2019 to July 2020. New categories this year are Sex & Relationships, Best Indigenous Podcast and Best Lockdown Podcasts.
Documentary maker Sophie Harper from Not by Accident is chairing the judges. This year a live online ceremony will be held in November 2020.
Australian Podcast Awards 2020 categories
Best True Crime Podcast
Best Family Podcast
Moment of The Year
Best Branded Podcast
Best Comedy Podcast
Best Arts & Culture Podcast
Best Documentary Podcast
Best Radio Podcast
Best Business Podcast
Best Network or Publisher
Best Wellbeing Podcast
Best Lockdown Podcast
Best New Podcast
Best Sports Podcast
Best Current Affairs Podcast
Best Entertainment Podcast
Best Sex & Relationships Podcast
The Creativity Award
Best Indigenous Podcast
The Spotlight Award
The Bullseye Award
Podcast of the Year
Spotify has announced the launch of the original podcast, I Can’t Stop, with Tanya Hennessy.
The series is promising listeners an inside look at the realities behind social media, television, and radio while bringing the trials and tribulations of Hennessy’s day-to-day in a frank and honest way. With conversational anecdotes and longer form storytelling at its heart, each episode of I Can’t Stop explores her idiosyncrasies, hang-ups and the ideas she can’t get out of her head.
Season one will run throughout 2020 with weekly 45 minute episodes.
Hennessy explained: “I wanted to create something that was honest, real and funny – so I Can’t Stop was born! I really found who I was when I was behind a microphone on the radio, but I wanted to go further, more in-depth and talk about the topics that I care about. I Can’t Stop is different to anything I’ve ever done before and will bring together all the ideas I have, combined with real honest conversation and absolute chaos.”
Aboriginal comedian and Ydinji woman Steph Tisdell will also feature on the podcast as a weekly guest, bringing a conversational element and sense of companionship to the show, asking questions on behalf of listeners to dig deeper into the topics Hennessy explores. Tisdell has been a guest in Channel 10’s Stand Up for Christchurch Benefit, Hughesy We Have A Problem, and as both an interviewee and presenter on The Project.
Southern Cross Media Group has announced its financial results for the year ended 30 June 2020.
The split of revenue across the year was audio $371m and television $170m. Revue for both was down 18.2%. PodcastOne revenues grew from $2.3m to $4.6m YOY, growth of 96%.
Headline achievements listed by SCA were:
• EBITDA of $108.2M for the year, representing an EBITDA margin of 20%. Despite the severe impact of COVID-19 since mid-March, SCA achieved a positive EBITDA contribution in all four quarters. This included EBITDA of $21M in the June quarter, compared to an average of $26M for the preceding three quarters of FY2020.
• Revenue declined by 18.2% in both audio and television. The impact of COVID-19 on SCA was mitigated by the geographic diversity of SCA’s radio portfolio comprising 10 commercial stations in metro markets and 78 in regional markets. COVID-19 has to date had a lower impact on less densely populated regional markets, while the Boomtown industry trade marketing initiative continues to encourage national advertisers to consider higher investment in regional areas.
• Now cashflow positive, PodcastOne Australia grew revenue by 96% to $4.6M and SCA’s instream (addressable) advertising revenue grew by 112% compared to FY2019. With the growth in digital audio accelerating during COVID-19 lockdowns, SCA is well-placed to benefit from increasing advertiser awareness of consumers’ deep engagement with digital audio products.
• Expenses (excluding AASB16) of $447.8M were down $65.8M or 12.8% on FY2019, driven by significant savings in discretionary spending and employee-related expenses. These reductions are in line with those forecast at the time of the equity raising, including support of $16M from the Federal Government’s JobKeeper wage subsidy.
The presentation this morning revealed revenues were hit hard in the June quarter with April advertising dollars down over 40% and then May falling 50% year-on-year.
Southern Cross Austereo CEO Grant Blackley said:
“SCA continues to be Australia’s largest audio group, owning and operating 98 FM, AM and DAB+ radio stations around Australia, together with PodcastOne Australia, Australia’s premium commercial podcast network. Next week, we’re excited to be launching SoundCloud Radio on DAB+ in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. SoundCloud Radio, which will available by live stream all around Australia, will attract a young, highly engaged and influential audience seeking access to new and emerging artists.
“Consumption of audio in Australia, including radio and podcasts, continues to grow. Audio has not only remained a popular companion for people working from home during the COVID-19 lockdowns but is also more accessible than ever through internet-enabled devices such as mobile phones, tablets, desktop computers and smart speakers. SCA’s suite of radio stations, radio and original podcasts and smart news updates is available on all these devices.
“Television remains an important part of our business, delivering EBITDA of $23.9M in FY2020. Under the streamlined operating structure of our Television unit, SCA leverages its core expertise in local and national sales where we maintained a market-leading power ratio – measuring conversion of ratings to revenue – of 1.09 in the four east coast aggregated markets.
“Strategic decisions taken in recent years will enable the business to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis with a lean and efficient operating model focused on recovering the earnings lost in the year just ended. We will continue to build the strength of our radio network by investing in key timeslots and markets. At the same time, we will grow our digital audio ecosystem with premium content, platforms and products attractive to our listeners and advertisers.”
HT&E Limited has released its results for the six months ending 30 June 2020.
Against the backdrop of a challenging period with widespread falls in global marketing and advertising activity across all sectors as advertisers withdrew due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, ARN reported it had cemented its position as the strongest metropolitan radio network in Australia, winning commercial market share and maintaining its position as the #1 metropolitan radio network during the first half.
However revenue for the six months crashed from $131m in the first half of 2019 to $93m for the first six months of 2020, a drop of 29%. Radio revenue was down 27%, slightly better than the average across the sector of 30.9%.
HT&E chairman, Hamish McLennan, said, “The fundamentals remain strong with the underlying business making a profit for the half and maintaining an industry leading balance sheet with $90 million of cash reserves and $251 million of undrawn debt, providing HT&E with flexibility and alternatives for growth.
“ARN is weathering the storm, with overall radio listenership increasing, and streaming and digital audio consumption growing. Our clear commercial strategy, together with great talent integration, is winning share and our Q3 and forward bookings are showing improved momentum.
“We made a strategic investment in oOh!media, providing us with optionality in what we believe will be a consolidating market that will require scale, deeper consumer engagement and multi-platform delivery in the future.
“Our 25% investment in Soprano has the potential to deliver significant value for shareholders. The company’s performance has gone from strength to strength, with EBITDA up 55% to $22.2 million, and all key metrics are trending positively for continued growth.
“The company moved early to deal with the impacts of COVID-19, implementing a range of cost control measures, including six-month salary reductions for executive management and the board, reduced work hours program for remaining staff and a freeze on marketing, travel, entertainment and discretionary costs. This helped to protect our earnings and cash reserves, with advertising spend significantly affected in both Australia and Hong Kong.”
HT&E CEO and managing director Ciaran Davis said, “ARN is the #1 commercial metro radio network, is the #1 podcast publisher, has one of the largest libraries of digital audio content in the world, and we have a clear strategy to transition from a linear radio business to an audience centric, digital audio and content business.
“Radio will continue to play a very important role in consumer consumption of audio, and maximising returns from our core business operations remains the priority. We are looking to build more engaged audiences through data and personalisation, using enhanced digital audio formats and delivering new products for advertisers with greater targeting capabilities.
“ARN is in a very strong position to utilise the power of its brands and personalities, as well as its exclusive iHeartRadio licence, to help make this transition. Our iHeartRadio registered users now stands at 1.7 million; listening to live radio on the platform grew 9%, podcasting increased 33% and music streaming was up 31%.
“Our focus for the next six months is building on our sector leadership position in audio entertainment and while remaining vigilant around costs, investing in the skills and capability we need to deliver on our strategy.
“COVID-19 has provided key insights around audio, and our audiences are now more engaged with audio than ever before. We are committed to growing market share and are incredibly well positioned to benefit as advertising markets recover.”
• No.1 metropolitan network
• No.1 podcast publisher
• Winning commercial share
• Launching new advertising products
• Record iHeartRadio numbers
• Digital audio revenues building
ARN’s strategy of recruiting and retaining the best on-air talent is not only paying off from a ratings perspective, but leading broadcasters, like Kyle & Jackie O, Christian O’Connell and Jonesy & Amanda are increasingly delivering more integrated client campaigns, going above and beyond to ensure these campaigns are as successful as possible by providing authentic and native content across broadcast, digital, video and social touchpoints.
A key growth driver is the potential of digital audio where there are new audiences and commercial opportunities. ARN is well placed given its unique audio and digital strategy, that is supported by our long-term iHeartRadio licence which extends out to 2036. We continue to drive usage of the platform through on-air content and integration.
iHeartPodcast Network Australia was launched during the period, and ARN is now the leading podcast publisher in the country with over 13 million downloads per month, and revenues are building.
Trading in July has improved and finished -27% for the month compared to -46% for the June quarter as certain categories of clients recommenced advertising as lockdown restrictions eased. At this stage, August and September are tracking similar to July. Early pacing suggests this trend could improve further into Q4 if current COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne moderate and are not tightened elsewhere.
Southern Cross Media Group has announced Peter Bush has stepped down as chairman of the group and will retire as a director at this year’s AGM on 30 October 2020. Earlier this year Leon Pasternak informed the board of his plans to retire as a director during his current term and will also retire at this year’s AGM.
The board has appointed Rob Murray to succeed Bush as chairman.
Rob Murray joined SCA as an independent non-executive director on 1 September 2014. SCA said with experience as the former CEO of Lion Nathan and as the current chair of Metcash, Murray has brought valuable strategic and commercial insight to the board and a deep understanding of the advertising landscape.
In acknowledgingBush’s contribution to SCA, Mr Murray said: “On behalf of SCA’s board and executive team, I thank Peter for his leadership during the past five years. During that time, he has built a cohesive and collaborative team with a suitable range of expertise and experience to help the company navigate the current challenges and rebound as the recovery phase begins.”
SCA also announced the board has appointed Carole Campbell as a non-executive director.
Campbell will join the board on 1 September 2020 and will be a member of the board’s audit & risk committee.
Carole Campbell has over 30 years’ financial executive experience in a range of industries including professional services, financial services, media, mining and industrial services. She started her career with KPMG and has held executive roles with Macquarie Group, Westpac Institutional Bank, Seven West Media, Bis Industries and Merivale. Campbell is a non-executive director of FlexiGroup where she chairs the audit committee and of IVE Group where she chairs the audit, risk and compliance committee. She is also deputy chair of council of the Australian Film Television and Radio School.
With Peter Bush and Leon Pasternak retiring at this year’s AGM, SCA expects to announce further updates on the board’s succession planning at or before the AGM.
The Foxtel Group has released viewer data highlighting the success of the 2020 NRL season with live NRL audiences on Fox League up 18% compared to the corresponding Rounds 1 to 14 of the 2019 season.
Released for the first time, the data covers Foxtel set-top boxes together with streaming platforms Foxtel Now, Foxtel Go and Kayo and confirms 2020 as the number one rating NRL season ever for the Foxtel Group.
The record-breaking season was driven by an increase in the average live audience for Foxtel Now, Foxtel GO and Kayo audiences, up over 150%.
With many fans unable to attend the footy in person because of COVID-19 restrictions, viewers have also sought out Fox League as the go-to destination for the best NRL action with Fox League exclusive matches up 19% across the Foxtel Group’s platforms.
The post-COVID season return saw Round 3 generate the biggest audience for an NRL round in Foxtel history, while the Round 6 clash between the Roosters and the Eels recorded the largest NRL audience of all-time with a cumulative average of 507,000.
Fox Sports executive director Steve Crawley said: “We’ve had some wonderful NRL seasons in recent times and just when a lot of people thought this year’s competition wouldn’t go ahead, WHAM, the season has the best ratings ever – the best of the best.
“Peter V’landys and Andrew Abdo have led the way at League Central, and we are proud to partner them at Fox League. This Thursday night it’s the Eels and the Storm. How about that! This game just keeps giving.”
Fox Sports sales and brand partnerships director Martin Medcraf added: “The record ratings for Fox League reflect the increasing appetite among Australian audiences for sport. Since the return of the NRL in May, we’ve seen no let-up in fans’ excitement to have sports back on their screens. With the codes attracting new followers, and footy proving itself as an important outlet in difficult times, the rise of multi-platform viewing is a watershed moment for sports broadcasting in Australia.”
Synchronicity Films is launching Synchronicity Australia, based in Melbourne and headed by former BBC drama development producer Ruth Underwood (pictured).
Following the success of The Cry, filmed in Australia, the production business is setting up shop in Melbourne to expand its focus on producing high-end drama for both the domestic and international markets.
Underwood will be tasked with sourcing local IP and producing scripted content for Synchronicity in Australia, and potential UK-Australia co-productions.
Underwood has been and will continue to be integral to all of Synchronicity Australia’s projects: the first of which is a TV adaptation of Helen FitzGerald’s novel Ash Mountain to be published on August 20th in the UK (Orenda Books) and March 2021 in Australia (Affirm Press).
Ash Mountain is simultaneously a warm, darkly funny portrait of small-town life in rural Victoria and a shocking and truly distressing account of a catastrophic event that changes things forever. The novel, which explores a woman and a land in crisis, is a heart-breaking slice of domestic noir, and a disturbing disaster thriller from the best-selling novelist of The Cry.
Claire Mundell, founder and creative director at Synchronicity Films says: “A key goal for Synchronicity is to expand our production reach so we can focus on truly universal stories with global appeal. Having spent a considerable amount of time in Australia filming The Cry we feel a real affinity with the country, so it’s a natural place for us to set up a new office to originate projects. We are thrilled that someone of Ruth’s calibre is helming this new venture and look forward to working on Ash Mountain and other upcoming projects which will have their genesis in Australia.”
Helen FitzGerald added: “Synchronicity Films has championed my writing since my first book was released nearly 15 years ago. Since then, Claire Mundell has been dedicated, tireless and brave in her vision and ambition, culminating in The Cry which, in my book, is the best TV adaptation ever made! I am so excited to be developing Ash Mountain with Claire and the team. This one is really special to me for a whole host of reasons, but mostly the setting. I’ve been away from Australia for so long, but the country is in my bones. I’m so excited about Synchronicity Australia and can’t wait to binge watch this show, and hopefully many more.”
Ruth Underwood has an established track record in scripted production and development, with credits including The Cry, Clique and Stonemouth. Prior to joining Synchronicity, Underwood was a story producer at Kudos Film & Television, development executive at the BBC and held script editor positions at Shed Media Group and STV.
Ruth Underwood comments: “I am so pleased to have the opportunity to develop the creative relationships I’ve already established in Australia, and further explore the great pool of talent here on Synchronicity’s behalf. I have a long-standing professional and personal relationship with Claire, and I love Synchronicity’s ethos of positivity and inclusion, coupled with their editorially-led approach to development. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be heading up their endeavours on this side of the world and to be working on another excellent Helen FitzGerald novel – Ash Mountain.”
NENT Studios UK represent the international distribution rights for Ash Mountain.
The ABC has released a fully rebuilt and redesigned ABC iview app for modern TVs and large screen devices.
The updated app provides a cleaner and more accessible interface, with login to bring rich personalisation features and program previews to help audiences find the latest releases of their favourite ABC content and discover new and original programming.
Alongside multiple platform improvements, the updated app has adaptive video streaming. This means higher quality streams are more reliable over slower network connections, resulting in a better, more consistent viewing experience and offering audiences across Australia access to the ABC iview app via a variety of ways – whenever and however they want, and wherever they are.
The updated app is available on:
Samsung Tizen (2016 and later)
Hisense (2017 and later)
LG WebOS (1.0 and above)
It will soon be coming to HbbTV/FreeviewPlus devices, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
In addition, 2020 Hisense Smart TV devices will now include a dedicated ABC iview remote control button, providing a fast and easy one-touch journey to the iview app.
Other key improvements include:
• High-definition streaming for selected programs
• Simplified program screens that make it easier to browse series and episodes as the ABC makes full programs available
• A navigation shortcut to ABC Kids for favourite children’s programs such as Bluey
• Access to all ABC TV live streams – ABC TV (including local state-based streams), ABC COMEDY, ABC Kids, ABC NEWS and ABC ME
Audiences can now link their TV to their ABC Account and have these features synchronised across multiple devices, including Smart TV, connected TV, desktops, smartphone and tablet devices.
ABC’s chief digital & information officer Helen Clifton said: “This is a fantastic piece of teamwork. We’re continuing to strengthen the foundations for ABC iview and enhance our audience’s experience. Out of this work has come a raft of exciting new functionality such as adaptive streaming, watchlists and login on any device so users can watch ABC content from where they left off – all made available to a large proportion of our ABC iview audience.
“It means another innovative step forward for the ABC and makes our outstanding and distinctive content even more accessible to audiences.”
Coming up, audiences can expect to see an improved search experience and personalised recommendations powered by ABC’s internally developed recommendations engine.
By James Manning
• Seven and Nine share #1 primary, Seven #1 network
• Hard Quiz again over 799k, #1 non-news show
• Gleeson, Micallef and Sales help ABC to Big Wednesday
Seven News 1,125,000/1,090,000
Nine News 1,012,000/958,000
ABC News 776,000
A Current Affair 687,000
The Project 332,000/571,000
10 News 415,000/286,000
News Breakfast 221,000
SBS World News 217,000
The Drum 195,000
Nine News Late Edition 114,000
The Latest 90,000
Seven: Although Seven and Nine tied on primary share, Seven managed to rank #1 in combined channel share.
Home and Away had a third night above 600,000 with 622,000.
An hour of Highway Patrol then did 372,000.
The 2017 movie Wonder Woman then ran until after 11pm with xxx.
Nine: A Current Affair dipped below 700,000 and after audiences of 777,000 and 780,000 to start the week.
Nine’s police patrolling our highways on RBT did 427,000.
An episode of Emergency followed on 513,000.
10: The channel’s best was the third episode of The Bachelor. The episode won its key demos and easily ranked #1 in all demos in the commercial timeslot. After launching with 681,000 a week ago, last night the audience nearly all returned with 672,000.
Earlier in the night kept its momentum with another 550,000+ audience.
ABC: Hard Quiz was the superstar in the schedule again last night, only being outrated by the news bulletins on Seven, Nine and the ABC. The quiz show was on 737,000 after 733,000 a week ago.
Together with Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell (649,000) and Leigh Sales hosting 7.30 (667,000) the channel posted its best Wednesday share since April.
Rosehaven was also a contributor too with 473,000.
SBS: Tony time again with his regular midweek outing, currently hosting a repeat of Britain’s Ancient Tracks was on xxx.
The second episode of Sydney’s Super Tunnel was on xxx after launching with xxx a week ago.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.3%||7TWO||4.1%||GO!||1.8%||10 Bold||4.6%||VICELAND||1.5%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||2.4%||GEM||2.0%||10 Peach||2.5%||Food Net||1.0%|
|9Rush||1.0%||SBS World Movies||1.0%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||1.9%||7TWO||6.4%||GO!||2.3%||WIN Bold||4.8%||VICELAND||1.8%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||3.2%||GEM||4.3%||WIN Peach||2.4%||Food Net||0.8%|
|ABC NEWS||1.2%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||2.4%||9Life||2.3%||Sky News on WIN||2.3%||NITV||0.2%|
|WEDNESDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
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
The ABC has appointed Roberta Allan (pictured) as head of content curation & distribution within its entertainment & specialist division, to manage the delivery of outstanding Australian content across multiple channels and platforms.
In her new role, Allan will be responsible for the distribution of all ABC non-news content and acquisitions to engage new and current audiences, on platforms such as ABC TV, ABC iview, ABC listen and on social media.
Michael Carrington, director entertainment & specialist, said Allan’s expertise will help guide the ABC’s transition towards digital services under its Five-Year Plan. “Roberta has an excellent track record of success over 15 years in the media industry, including a deep involvement with broadcasting across Australia and New Zealand,” he said.
“She has great expertise in innovative programming and multichannel management. I am particularly excited to work with Roberta in building on the success of ABC iview and ABC listen, and confident that she will lead our content curation and distribution teams with passion and verve, particularly for our digital audiences.”
Roberta Allan said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the ABC. It is a unique opportunity to be able to work across so many platforms and with such amazing content. I can’t wait to be part of the team.”
Allan joins the ABC from her Sydney-based role at BBC Studios as head of advertising & programming for factual and kids content in Australia and New Zealand, under which she oversaw BBC Earth, CBeebies and BBC Brit channels. She was also responsible in an acting capacity for the channels’ brand partnerships and commercial advertising.
Her other roles at BBC Studios included head of acquisitions in Australia and New Zealand and head of programming for BBC Studios’ Australian channels of UKTV, BBC First, BBC Knowledge and CBeebies. She was also part of the launch team for BBC First and has worked on many high-profile titles, such as The Night Manager and The Missing.
While at BBC Studios, she was selected as part of the first cohort of 20 people from around the world to take part in its Emerging Leaders program.
Allan previously worked as programming manager for the channels TV1 and SF Australia, with responsibility for programming, acquisitions and media planning.
The head of distribution role within ABC entertainment & specialist became vacant in late 2018 and has been filled since in an acting capacity.
Allan is expected to start at the ABC in November.
When she first appeared on our screens in 1994, Jane Halifax was a trailblazer, reports The Age’s Debi Enker.
Played by Rebecca Gibney in Halifax f.p., the coolly composed blonde was a rare female protagonist in a crime series. And she wasn’t a detective or a coroner; she was a forensic psychiatrist, the kind of character who was yet to become familiar as a profiler in TV crime stories.
“She was one of the first of the strong female lead characters on television,” Gibney says. “She was the first forensic psychiatrist portrayed on television, before we saw Cracker, before CSI.” Gibney says Roger Simpson, who created the character for her, was “ahead of his time”.
The eponymous heroine starred in 21 telemovies over eight years and then quietly disappeared. Now she’s back, changed in some ways and reluctantly becoming involved in another murder investigation.
But why, after a 20-year absence, has she returned to our screens? “I’d been looking for a project to come back to Channel Nine with,” says Gibney. “I started my career there back in the ’80s (with Zoo Family and The Flying Doctors) and I was with them for a long time.”
Rebecca Gibney tells TV Tonight:
“I was approached by Nine (asking me), what would I like to do? We talked about Flying Doctors, we talked about all sorts of shows, and Halifax was one that’s often been asked by lots of my followers. They always felt Halifax never got finished off properly. ‘You did 21 telemovies and then it stopped.’ The character didn’t have an ending. So it seemed logical to do a reboot.”
Halifax: Retribution kicks off with a telemovie-length instalment followed by 7 further episodes led by producer/creator Roger Simpson. Gibney notes that the character of the young forensics psychiatrist has matured significantly. She was just 29 when she was first cast in 1994.
Shifting from telemovies to series form, Retribution has a through-line story of a sniper on the rooftops of Melbourne. Gibney references shows like Killing Eve, Bodyguard, Broadchurch and Luther as inspiration.
Word from the set of Channel 7’s much anticipated new reality show, SAS Australia, is that convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby and publicist Roxy Jacenko are the first two contestants to leave, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.
Confidential understands Jacenko was fed up with the lack of creature comforts on set while Corby struggled with the fitness.
“It was too much for them,” a production source told Confidential. “They just walked. Roxy wasn’t happy and Schappelle couldn’t keep up with the fitness.”
SAS Australia is a new format to Australian viewers and will see a group of high-profile contestants “embark on the toughest test of their lives attempting to overcome the intensive SAS selection process”.
Their aim is to pass the selection process to join the Australian Army’s elite Special Air Service.
Production started in New Zealand earlier this year but was suspended due to coronavirus.
Filming began around Jindabyne in the NSW Snowy Mountains earlier this week.
The ABC has reacted to a complaint from a viewer in June about an episode of children’s TV show Bluey that included a term with racial connotations and a problematic history for Indigenous Australians.
The ABC’s Audience and Consumer Affairs division responded:
The ABC sincerely apologised to the complainant for any distress caused by the term used in the episode titled ‘Teasing’. The ABC has a strong record for giving voice to Indigenous Australians and an ongoing commitment to helping reduce discrimination and prejudice and in this case, the language used was inadvertent. The complainant was advised that neither the ABC nor the external producers were aware of the potentially derogatory meaning of the term, which was intended only as irreverent rhyming slang often made up by children. The episode was removed from iview as soon as ABC KIDS became aware of the complaint and the ABC undertook to change the dialogue prior to future broadcast or publication.
Matt Preston has not ruled out working with his former MasterChef Australia co-star George Calombaris on a TV cooking show in India, reports News Corp’s Nui Te Koha.
Former MasterChef judges Preston and Gary Mehigan, and Manu Feildel, of My Kitchen Rules, will co-host Channel 7’s Plate Of Origin, which premieres on August 30.
Preston and Mehigan defected to Seven last year. Calombaris stayed at 10, which broadcasts MasterChef, due to contract conditions.
His restaurant empire also crumbled after a wages scandal.
Preston said it felt “weird” to do a TV show without Calombaris, but added: “Going to another network and doing a new show makes it much easier to deal with because it’s not the same environment.”
Asked if he and Mehigan will work with Calombaris again, Preston said: “It all depends on what comes up. The prospect of doing a TV show out of India for all the George, Gary and Matt fans up there, is unlikely at the moment because of lockdown and being unable to travel.
“But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. You never count nothing out.”
Brisbane singer Katie Noonan has revealed she suffered “enormous financial loss” as a result of the global pandemic and relied on JobKeeper payments to stay afloat, reports News Corp’s Amy Price.
The four-time ARIA Award winner, whose 25-date national tour was shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions in March, criticised Australia’s commercial radio stations for not supporting struggling Australian artists by giving them more airplay – and therefore royalties – at a time when they can’t make an income from live shows.
“There’s an entire generation that believe that music is a free thing on the internet and unfortunately it is, so the only way to make a living is to play live to a large gathering of people which is precisely what we cannot do right now,” Noonan said following her elimination from Channel 10’s The Masked Singer on Tuesday night.
While Australian commercial radio stations are required to program a 25 per cent Australian content quota, Noonan said “no one adheres to them, there’s no reporting system or accountability”.
“Unfortunately when I listen to the radio I do not hear Australian music … and other than Kylie Minogue there are no women over 40 played on Australian radio,” she said.
Jack Post co-hosts The Christian O’Connell Show on Melbourne’s Gold 104.3. He also has a new podcast series called Jacky Road Studios where he interviews celebrities and then writes and performs a song at the end of each episode that is inspired by the interview.
But Jack revealed on radio that he will forever be scarred by his recent interview with Amy Shark after he forgot to hit record.
“I recorded my first guest that I went through official channels to secure,” he said. “I went through Sony Music to get an interview with Amy Shark.
“They gave me 45 minutes which was great. It was a great interview, I was so happy with it. But at the end of the interview when I went to say goodbye, I went to stop the recording … (I realised) I never pressed record on the whole interview.”
Christian O’Connell told Jack on Gold 104.3 that the interview incident will “scar you permanently” – and recalled when something similar happened to him 10 years ago with Ricky Gervais.
The A-League’s share of mainstream media space has shrunk by more than two thirds since the COVID-19 shutdown, according to an independent analysis that lays bare one of the major challenges in the competition’s pending shift to winter, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Vince Rugari.
Media monitoring firm Streem has compared the A-League’s “share of voice” among major print and online publishers during the past 12 months with five other major sporting competitions or tournaments: the AFL, NRL, Super Rugby, Big Bash League and Australian Open tennis, which traditionally dominates January.
Streem’s data underlines the difficulty the A-League will face in competing for mainstream attention in winter, particularly against the bigger football codes, which dominate the middle part of the year.
The company’s analysis shows the A-League’s share of voice was strongest from October, when the season usually starts, through to a peak of 16.9 per cent in December 2019.
Contraction in the media industry as a result of the pandemic is a contributing factor as to why the smaller football codes have struggled for space, and while the level of disruption makes interpreting the data difficult, Streem’s media and partnerships lead Conal Hanna said the conclusions were clear for the A-League.
“This is a very challenging year and it’s hard to know how much you can treat it as a base case for the future,” he said. “But the AFL and NRL are able to generate a lot of coverage, even off the field, and that’s something the A-League doesn’t have the presence to do in Australia as much.”
Rugby Australia has pitched four national club championship models to broadcasters, including a 32-team knockout competition in the mould of soccer’s FFA Cup, as well as an eight-team tournament held over six weeks with potential wildcards from Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Tom Decent.
RA last week outlined the content it would offer up in the new broadcast cycle beginning next year, with Bledisloe Tests, a new version of Super Rugby – either an Australian-based or trans-Tasman version – a state of origin series and super eight concept all put forward.
Also included was a national club championship, which, it is hoped, will be played after existing state-based competitions. The Herald has obtained a copy of the four models drawn up and an outline of what RA would like to see from the competition that will ultimately determine the best club side in the country.
RA is keen to formally begin broadcast negotiations by September 4.