By Claudia Siron
From fine dining reviews and special recipes to the best food and wine regions around the world, the luxury title continues to flourish and feed Australia’s appetite for creative ways to enjoy food. New editor, Joanna Hunkin, dished out the hottest topics in Gourmet Traveller, the biggest food trend of the decade, and the thorough process of choosing the best restaurant of the year for its annual restaurant awards ceremony.
Hunkin told Mediaweek what makes Gourmet Traveller really special is that it’s respected by both the hospitality industry and restaurant industry as well as truly loved by its readers. “It does cater well to those industries – It’s almost like a trade magazine but not in any way, shape or form being a trade magazine. On the premium side, Gourmet Traveller has beautiful imagery and content, world-class writing and recipes; It’s something that inspires our readers with its strong legacy. People have grown up with the magazine, and it has inspired them to cook and travel for many years,” said Hunkin.
The Gourmet Traveller reader is someone with a great sense of adventure in the sense of cooking, eating and travel. “They’re curious, open-minded, and seeking out new experiences. We give them direction and guidance on what’s new, what’s interesting, what’s exciting; and they truly follow through on that guidance on what the best restaurants are, new ideas and cooking techniques, and new adventures overseas and domestically.”
Hunkin said they’ve had fantastic readership results in the latest Roy Morgan poll. Their readership was up 36% year on year, which has taken them up to a readership of over 225,000 per month in print. “It’s a really strong readership for what is essentially quite a niche magazine with a mainstream audience.”
When choosing content, the team is looking for what’s intriguing, new and inspiring. “It’s not all about being the latest and greatest. There’s plenty of things that are classics but they’re still exciting because either they’re exploring new avenues or territories, but it’s got to be exceptional, whatever it is – and we have to believe in it. We really stand behind everything we put forward.”
Every year, the magazine’s Italian issue delivers outstanding results. “Italy is such a huge part of the Australian story, particularly when it comes to food culture. It’s really having a resurgence at the moment. There are so many Italian restaurants and wine bars opening. Pasta went through a bit of a stage of being a ‘dirty word’ – particularly on a health front – and everyone’s just embracing it whole-heartedly again. Italian is a consistent, beloved hot topic for us.”
The magazine has also seen a huge growth in vegetarianism, veganism and flexitarianism; and anything that’s an extension of all things sustainable. “People are so conscious of locally-produced, ethically-sourced food, and taking great interest in what they’re cooking with – not even just on a food front, but also when it comes to travelling and consumer purchasing in general. This is something we are certainly aware of and focusing on a lot more in the coming 12 months.”
A highlight for the brand this year in terms of social media and the digital space is they’ve been making huge progress with IGTV (Instagram TV). “We’re really the first food magazine in Australia to start using the platform. We have our Meet the Chef series and we just launched a video on how XOPP make their XO PIPIS.”
A continious highlight for Gourmet Traveller is their annual awards night – which is Australia’s oldest restaurant awards – and it continues to be such a big part of their brand. Hunkin said that on a personal level, that was the first event she was involved in. She actually flew over to host the awards this year before she started the job as editor in September. “As an outsider coming in, it was just incredible to see what a prestigious event it was. You had every top chef from Australia in the The Sydney Opera House to celebrate the absolute best in the business. The event drives huge engagement and readership for us – both on digital and print.”
In every state, they have a state editor who really taps into the wining and dining scene. “We give them all an allocation for how many restaurants we are going to review in their state, and we review a total of 100 across all states. They go out and review, and from that we pull together our top 50, which is what we run in print for our September issue each year. From that list of 100, we also have special awards like Wine Bar of the Year and Best Regional Restaurant for people who put forward their nominations based on the restaurants they’ve been to review.”
The full list of all 100 goes online in a fully interactive guide which sits across the brand’s digital channels. Hunkin said that in March the reviews are handed in and then they start the very heated debate of who should be Restaurant of the Year. “Last year was Attica from Melbourne. Increasingly, we’re seeing Australian chefs embracing native ingredients and push their boundaries of what they’re using and just really experiment and explore, and that’s been a growing trend in fine dining in perhaps the last 10 years and I think that’s only going to continue.”
By James Manning
Democracy in action: Have your say before the poll closes
Mediaweek has recently opened the voting in our second annual Industry Awards as voted by our readers.
The poll will remain open until the end of Sunday December 8. The results will be released later this month via the Mediaweek website.
Again we have tried to limit the number of categories. In some we have suggested a range of nominees, while in others left it up to readers to nominate their favourites.
One of the categories that created much discussion last year was CEO of the Year. The award went to Nine Entertainment Co’s Hugh Marks as he and his team integrated the massive Fairfax Media group into the Nine TV and digital publishing businesses. He is more recently working on adding the Macquarie Media radio business.
One newcomer getting a few votes so far is Seven’s new CEO James Warburton.
All fields are very competitive, but never more so than in the television space where there is much on offer.
Last year’s winners were Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell (Comedy), Gogglebox (Reality), Wentworth (Drama) and Working Dog (Production).
The drama field had a number of new entrants including the already multi-award winning Lambs of God from Foxtel plus 10’s Five Bedrooms and ABC’s Total Control. Much was expected of the return of Nine’s SeaChange and SBS was pleased with the reception The Hunting received.
Also on the list is Ludo Studio, home to the much-loved and much-award kids’ series Bluey.
For radio we are trying something a little different this year. Completely open categories for each metro market breakfast show and then a separate category for AM breakfast and overall drive radio.
Radio winners last year were Jonesy and Amanda (Sydney), Fifi, Fev and Byron (Melbourne), Marto, Robin and Moonman (Brisbane), Jodie and Soda (Adelaide) and Nathan, Nat and Shaun (Perth).
Best AM breakfast went to 3AW’s Ross and John, while FM drive winner was Nova’s Kate, Tim and Marty.
The streaming categories include the major players Netflix, Stan and Amazon, plus the local BVOD players and the newcomers Apple TV+ and Disney+. Netflix is the incumbent and could be hard to beat.
In sport we haven’t gone for nominations as that could have been very contentious amongst sports fans.
Instead voters can choose their best commentator, however we have nominated a number of sports shows and major sporting events.
Bruce McAvaney won Best Sports Commentator in 2018, while The Matty Johns Show was best on TV.
The podcast field has been narrowed to nine series from media people. Last year’s winner was The Teacher’s Pet.
Australia’s Best Print Magazine category is again a wide-open field with initial votes seeing contenders from all categories. Although the sector continues to go through a transitional period, many strong titles are still thriving.
TV Week was the winner last year.
Best Australian News Brand is a difficult category for some to choose if they take their news from many places. ABC News took the honours in 2018.
The Best Australian Journalist/Columnist could work in any media discipline and again the list of possible contenders is a long one. ABC was a winner again here in 2018 with our readers choosing Leigh Sales.
This year’s AACTA Award winners in creative excellence were announced Monday in Sydney at the 2019 AACTA Awards Industry Luncheon presented by Foxtel, held at The Star Event Centre.
Thirty-two Awards were primarily honouring outstanding screen craft and technical achievement across industry sectors were presented.
In television, Foxtel’s Lambs of God led the way, sweeping seven out of a potential nine Awards with Jeffery Walker taking home Best Direction in a Television Drama or Comedy for the provocative series, marking his second AACTA Award win. Additional Awards received by Lambs of God included Best Cinematography in Television, Best Hair and Makeup, Best Production Design in Television, Best Original Score in Television, Best Sound in Television and Best Costume Design in Television. Lambs of God is still vying for a potential five Awards at the upcoming Ceremony, including the AACTA Award for Best Telefeature or Mini Series.
The inaugural AACTA Awards for Best Sports Entertainment Program and Best Sports Coverage went to The Front Bar from Seven Network and Foxtel’s Test Cricket – Live On Fox, respectively. Other inaugural Awards included the AACTA Award for Best Online Entertainment which went to Wengie who has accumulated over 1.5 billion views on her YouTube channel alone and the AACTA Award for Best Short Documentary which went to Home Front – Facing Australia’s Climate Emergency.
The luncheon was hosted by previous AACTA nominees and Australian comedians, Mel Buttle and Matt Okine, who were joined on stage by presenters including Damon Herriman, Jessica De Gow, Darren McMullen, Danielle Cormack and Shaynna Blaze.
Also announced during the luncheon was the extension of partnership between Foxtel and AACTA. “We are grateful for the opportunity to be part of the celebration of Australian content during the award season and all year long and today, I am delighted to announce that Foxtel is extending our partnership, with a new multi-year agreement to be the major sponsor of the annual AACTA Awards,” said Foxtel Executive Director of Television Brian Walsh.
AACTA Winners: Screen Craft and Technical Achievement
BEST CASTING PRESENTED BY CASTING NETWORKS
THE NIGHTINGALE Nikki Barrett – Causeway Films, Made Up Stories
BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP
LAMBS OF GOD Zeljka Stanin, Paul Pattison, Cheryl Williams, Anita Howell-Lowe – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
BEST SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM
THE FRONT BAR Adrian Brown, Richard Molloy, Mick Molloy, Greg Sitch, Adam Rowe – Front Bar Enterprises (Seven Network)
BEST SPORTS COVERAGE
TEST CRICKET – LIVE ON FOX – Foxtel – Fox Sports
THE KING Adam Arkapaw – Plan B Entertainment, Porchlight Films, A Yoki Inc, Blue-Tongue Films
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY IN A DOCUMENTARY
MAGICAL LAND OF OZ (Episode 1 – Oceans) Paul Bell, Dan Proud, Jon Shaw – Northern Pictures, Oxford Scientific Films (ABC)
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY IN TELEVISION
LAMBS OF GOD (Episode 1 – The Devil Into Paradise) Don McAlpine – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
HOTEL MUMBAI Peter McNulty, Anthony Maras – Hotel Mumbai Double Guess Productions
BEST EDITING IN TELEVISION
THE CRY (Episode 2) Alastair Reid – Synchronicity Films in association with December Media (ABC)
BEST EDITING IN A DOCUMENTARY
THE FINAL QUARTER Sally Fryer – Shark Island Productions
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
JUDY & PUNCH François Tétaz – Vice Media LLC, Blue-Tongue Films, Pariah Productions
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE IN A DOCUMENTARY
2040 Bryony Marks – GoodThing Productions
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE IN TELEVISION
LAMBS OF GOD (Episode 1 – The Devil Into Paradise) Bryony Marks – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
DANGER CLOSE: THE BATTLE OF LONG TAN Liam Egan, Craig Walmsley, Alicia Slusarski, Robert Sullivan, Tony Murtagh, Les Fiddess – Red Dune Films, Deeper Water Films
BEST SOUND IN TELEVISION
LAMBS OF GOD (Episode 1 – The Devil Into Paradise) Stephen R. Smith, Nick Emond, Paul Devescovi, Mia Stewart – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
BEST SOUND IN A DOCUMENTARY
100 DAYS TO VICTORY (Episode 1 – The Spring Offensive) Ric Curtin, Xoe Baird, Laurie Chlanda, Adrian Tucker – Electric Pictures (Foxtel – History)
BEST DIRECTION IN A TELEVISION DRAMA OR COMEDY
LAMBS OF GOD (Episode 1 – The Devil Into Paradise) Jeffrey Walker – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
BEST SCREENPLAY IN TELEVISION
THE HUNTING (Episode 3 – #shittyboys) Niki Aken, Matthew Cormack – Closer Productions (SBS)
BEST DIRECTION IN NONFICTION TELEVISION
DESTINATION FLAVOUR CHINA (Episode 1 – Beijing) Olivia Hoopmann – SBS (SBS)
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
THE KING Jane Petrie – Plan B Entertainment, Porchlight Films, A Yoki Inc, Blue-Tongue Films
BEST COSTUME DESIGN IN TELEVISION
LAMBS OF GOD (Episode 1 – The Devil Into Paradise) Xanthe Heubel – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
THE KING Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton – Plan B Entertainment, Porchlight Films, A Yoki Inc, Blue-Tongue Films
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN IN TELEVISION
LAMBS OF GOD (Episode 1 – The Devil Into Paradise) Chris Kennedy – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY
HOME FRONT – FACING AUSTRALIA’S CLIMATE EMERGENCY Luke Taylor
BEST SHORT ANIMATION
PINCHPOT Greg Holfeld
BEST SHORT FILM
THE EGG Jane Cho, Ilana Lazar – Good Egg Creative
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Joel Edgerton THE KING – Plan B Entertainment, Porchlight Films, A Yoki Inc, Blue-Tongue Films
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Magnolia Maymuru THE NIGHTINGALE – Causeway Films, Made Up Stories
SUBSCRIPTION TELEVISION AWARD FOR BEST MALE PRESENTER
Andrew Winter SELLING HOUSES AUSTRALIA & LOVE IT OR LIST IT AUSTRALIA – Beyond Productions (Foxtel – Lifestyle)
SUBSCRIPTION TELEVISION AWARD FOR BEST FEMALE PRESENTER
Yvonne Sampson – LEAGUE LIFE, FOX LEAGUE GAME DAY HOSTING – Fox Sports Australia (Foxtel – Fox Sports)
BEST ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT
BEST INDIE FILM PRESENTED BY EVENT CINEMAS
BUOYANCY Rodd Rathjen, Samantha Jennings, Kristina Ceyton, Rita Walsh – Causeway Films
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS OR ANIMATION
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME Janek Sirrs, Cyndi Ochs, Brendan Seals, Andrew Zink – Luma Pictures
BEST CHILDREN’S PROGRAM
BLUEY Joe Brumm, Charlie Aspinwall, Daley Pearson, Sam Moor – Ludo Studio (ABC Kids)
Top Photo: Lambs of God
Australian broadcasters have announced the selection of a technology platform to power a demand-side buying platform (DSP) for the television industry. The DSP will provide agencies with a single interface to buy television across platforms and broadcasters in the Australian market.
The platform will simplify the process for buying linear TV, live streaming and Broadcaster Video on Demand (BVOD). It will allow advertisers to optimise reach across platforms and inventory through a combination of data and operational excellence with the VOZ database the driving force of the initiative.
VOZ is a measurement database which combines OzTAM, RegTAM and Nielsen data to quantify audiences across linear television and BVOD. VOZ is scheduled to launch in early 2020.
Utilising the VOZ database, the DSP will enable advertisers to buy linear television and BVOD against audience segments such as new car buyers or home loan intenders as well as age and sex demographics. Commercial TV to use 9Galaxy technology to power industry DSP.
After an extensive vendor review process, 9Galaxy has been selected as the technology solution to power the platform. Galaxy represents the quickest and most efficient route to market and in addition to Galaxy, software firm Day8 will manage campaign optimisation as part of the overall solution.
The DSP is expected to be operational by mid-2021.
Media Federation of Australia chairman Peter Horgan said: “The combination of a unified purchasing platform and a cross screen audience currency will enhance how we plan, buy and measure across video and television. We commend all participants in coming together to create this solution. This initiative has our full support.”
ThinkTV CEO Kim Portrate said: “This is a red-letter day for the television industry and its agency partners. The collaboration of broadcasters to select the technology to allow for a single platform to purchase TV speaks to the power of the TV business. The incredible impact of this move will be felt for years to come.”
Following the selection of the technology platform, an independent entity with clear governance and procedures will be established to oversee the DSP with the commitment of the parties involved pending delivery of a fully costed business and operational plan.
The timeline to launch begins with a period of analysis followed by design, build, test and implementation. The analysis phase has already begun with the mobilisation of teams for a full assessment of agency workflows which is expected to be completed in early 2020.
Meanwhile industry body ThinkTV has released a summary of the upfronts held recently by its members Seven, Nine 10 and Foxtel.
By Trent Thomas
• The biggest opening weekend in nine weeks
It’s been six years since Frozen first hit cinemas and the follow up hasn’t lost any of its magic when it comes to Australian audiences with the opening weekend of its sequel making over $9m.
It wasn’t the only new release to avoid a frosty reception with Knives Out opening with over $2m in its first week of release behind an ensemble cast of Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, and Christopher Plummer.
The films that have gone cold this week and slipped out of the top five are 21 Bridges which has made $914,459 over two weeks and Joker which drops out of the top five for the first time after nine weeks making $39.77m and being one of the most successful films of 2019.
Overall, it was a fantastic week for the Australian box office which increased its total revenue by 118% making $15.90m with over half of that coming from Frozen II.
The film has had an ironically hot start to summer as it already sits on the precipice of the $10m mark, the follow up to the 2013 original made an average of $12,666 on 768 screens which were both weekend highs.
The modern take on the whodunit murder mystery trope had a solid opening weekend of its own where it worked around a relatively small opening weekend release of 276 screens by averaging $7,920.
Slipping to third after three weeks the film based on the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race has made $7.30m to date as it hopes to still have some gas in the tank after breaking the $1m barrier for the third week in a row. The film averaged $3,436 on 347 screens.
After four weeks Australia still has the Christmas spirit to the tune of $7.75m after making $2,946 on 271 this past weekend.
Despite the film being labeled a box office bomb by a lot of pundits, the film has managed three weeks in the top after averaging $1,639 on 314 screens bringing its total to $4.19m.
By James Manning
• 10 launches 90-minute summer news experiment
An early end to the cricket was not the news Seven wanted last night. Australian winning is always preferred, but taking their time over five days is better for ratings.
Nine won the evening with its ob-doc triple play of RBT, Paramedics and Kings Cross ER.
Most viewer interest at 10 was on The Amazing Race with 611,000 watching the final three being decided. The series final screens tonight with the only episode to be played out in Australia.
Most industry interest though at 10 was on its new 90-minute 10 News First bulletins at 5pm. The first hour last night did 354,000 with 103,000 in Sydney and 91,000 in Melbourne.
The refresh at 6pm was very lowkey in each local market, except for Sydney weatherman Tim Bailey making a crack about what viewers won’t see on Seven or Nine. He was midway through a weather update as 6pm ticked over. The 6pm 30 minutes rated 252,000 with 73,000 in Sydney and 61,000 in Melbourne.
Last week 10’s 5pm bulletin averaged 335,000 on weekdays, while the former owner of the 6pm slot, Celebrity Name Game, did 171,000.
10’s early evening already seems a more robust product with News going into The Project. But changing viewer habits will take time.
A brilliant story of courage and medical innovation drew 567,000 to the ABC’s Australian Story.
A fascinating episode of The Royal House of Windsor did 216,000 for SBS.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.4%||7TWO||3.9%||GO!||2.7%||10 Bold||4.1%||VICELAND||1.7%|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||4.2%||GEM||4.9%||10 Peach||2.7%||Food Net||1.4%|
|7Food||0.5%||SBS World Movies||1.6%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.7%||7TWO||5.9%||GO!||4.3%||WIN Bold||4.7%||VICELAND||1.5%|
|ABC ME||1.1%||7mate||5.3%||GEM||7.0%||WIN Peach||2.4%||Food Net||1.4%|
|ABC NEWS||1.3%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.7%||9Life||2.0%||Sky News on WIN||1.6%||NITV||0.1%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.7%|
|MONDAY METRO ALL TV|
16 – 39
18 – 49
25 – 54
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
Nine’s ratings year win is a nice feather in the cap after a strong year, but the company and the rest of the free-to-air sector are sharply focused on clawing back the estimated $700 million that has moved into social video in the past five years, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
Seven and Nine will each want the crown of free-to-air ratings in 2020. The metropolitan free-to-air television advertising market was still worth $2.7 billion in the year to June 30, and regional added a further $725.2 million. While the free-to-air market will be down in the first half of 2019-20, it remains a sizeable and important revenue stream for the networks.
Brett Poole, managing director of Finecast Australia, GroupM’s addressable TV technology (delivering personalised advertisements in real time), said consumers had already changed how they watch TV. Advertisers and agencies now needed to follow the shift.
“There’s been a lot of voices in the market saying TV is dying. It’s a misunderstanding of the evolution. It does take a lot of work to redefine the work around planning,” he said.
“It’s easy to say TV is dead, it’s hard to talk to TV planners and agencies about moving the model. It’s alive and well and still works.”
Australia’s biggest media union said it has secured a 2 per cent pay increase for ABC staff, amid a cost-cutting push by the public broadcaster, which is set to lead to job losses, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.
The Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance said the workers will get the pay rise after rejecting a 1.7 per cent offer in late August, and keep current conditions as well as “better access to voluntary redundancy”.
“ABC members win after standing together in solidarity, rejecting ABC management’s previous offer and securing a better deal on pay and conditions,” the MEAA said in a post on social media platform Twitter on Monday night.
The extra staffing costs will add to the ABC’s financial problems, as it looks to plug a budget hole of $84m after the federal government froze its indexation of funding, meaning legislated increases in the $1bn it receives annually from taxpayers would not occur.
The Australian‘s Media Diary reported on Monday that a redundancy round of upwards of 120 people is being considered internally after management consulting firm LEK was tapped to help resolve its budget shortfall.
ABC’s Victorian radio stations will continue broadcasting a local version of The Conversation Hour in 2020 – with two new hosts at the helm, reports The Age’s Michael Lallo.
Richelle Hunt and Warwick Long will co-anchor the 11am program from January 20 on local ABC stations across the state. Virginia Trioli, who recently succeeded Jon Faine as ABC Melbourne’s morning presenter, will continue hosting Victoria’s Conversation Hour until summer programming begins in mid-December.
Victoria is now the only state to retain a homegrown Conversation Hour. Elsewhere in Australia, local ABC stations air a national program called Conversations, hosted by Richard Fidler (Monday to Wednesday) and Sarah Kanowski (Thursday and Friday).
“The Conversation Hour has always been heard across the state so we have taken the opportunity next year to make it an hour of broadcast that reflects the conversations and issues that are of interest to all Victorians,” an ABC spokesman told The Age.
Red Symons has confirmed he’s ready to return to radio on a full-time basis, reports The Age’s Broede Carmody.
The former ABC Melbourne breakfast host, who resigned in 2017, will be making a summer appearance on 3AW and bosses have expressed an ongoing interest in keeping him at the station.
Symons will fill-in for regular 3AW mornings presenter Neil Mitchell over the summer holidays. The four-day stint will represent Symons’ first time behind the microphone as a standalone host since he left the ABC.
Asked whether he was being primed for a full-time gig on Melbourne’s top-rating radio station, Symons said he was “certainly open [to the idea]”.
3AW station manager Stephen Beers said he thought Symons would be “perfect” as a summer fill-in due to his signature wit.
“I’ll talk to him after he does the week to see how he feels about [further opportunities],” he said. “That’ll be a conversation we’ll have with him in the new year and we can go from there. There’s always opportunities, people moving around, even though we tend to stay pretty stable here.
“A lot of it’s going to depend on him. The first step is people wanting to do it rather than being told to do it. If you’re not having fun, neither is the audience.”
In a dark corner of Dubbo RSL, Alan Jones has set up a broadcast stage in front of several rows of mostly empty chairs. Outside, dawn is breaking over the central New South Wales town, and the week’s dust storm is still visible in the powdery brown coating on the cars that line the town’s wide streets, writes Else Kennedy for Guardian Australia.
A handful of locals, collared shirts tucked into jeans, are here to listen to the show.
Three months have passed since Alan Jones urged Scott Morrison to “shove a sock down [Jacinda Ardern’s] throat” and Macquarie Media chairman Russell Tate warned him he would be sacked if he made similar comments again.
I’ve been listening to the show since then to see how he is faring. When I learned Jones would be broadcasting live as I passed through Dubbo, I decided to stop by.
Jones has been promoting his tour of drought-affected towns for weeks, and to his radio listeners it might seem like he’s drawn a reasonable crowd.
“People here with me in this broadcast [are] nodding their heads. Dubbo people,” he said of an audience of about five watching his show at the local Harvey Norman on Wednesday.
At each live show, four staffers sit at a desk to the left of the stage, equipped with multiple printers. During the news and ad breaks, they hand Jones scripts that he highlights and practices reading, ignoring the computer screen in front of him.
As he reads through one script before the live broadcast of his Sky show on Wednesday night, Jones suddenly lashes out at an assistant: “Why are some of them statements, some of them aren’t? What in God’s name are you doing?”
If Netflix series The Crown were to past the pub test on accuracy, I wouldn’t need to warn you that this column will contain spoilers, comments freelance writer Gary Nunn in a column for News Corp.
They’d all already be a matter of public record.
But the recently released third series about the British royal family is so sensationalised, it insults us and demeans them.
I’m afraid I cannot join the chorus indoctrinated by its lusciousness.
Now let me start by saying, I know this is a work of TV fiction. It’s not a documentary. We’re expected to somewhat suspend our disbelief.
Talented fiction writers have often woven robust research with imaginative speculation on the British monarchy to form illuminating and dazzling stories: from Shakespeare to Hillary Mantel.
But The Crown, it seems, sits closer to fiction than fact, which poses the question: why not just make a drama which doesn’t defame or beatify real living people? The series greatly exaggerates the Royal Family’s power, wit and internal drama.
Banking giant HSBC will stop sponsoring the Wallabies as it looks to diversify its promotional spending outside rugby and build an image as a “challenger” in the local retail banking market, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Clancy Yeates.
HSBC Australia has been the “official banking partner” of the Wallabies for six years but has opted not to renew the deal with the national rugby team, instead announcing partnerships from 2020 with the Sydney Swans, Opera Australia and Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art.
Interim chief executive Noel McNamara said the sponsorship change reflected a move to “diversify” its promotional spending, as well as a commitment to the Australian market.
The bank will continue sponsoring rugby’s Sydney 7s and McNamara said the decision had “certainly nothing at all to do” with the controversy surrounding ex-Wallaby Israel Folau, who is in a legal battle with Rugby Australia.
Qantas is also in discussions over its naming rights sponsorship of the Wallabies, which expires at the end of this year. A source close to the talks who did not want to be named because they were not authorised to speak publicly said discussions were well-advanced.
Tennis Australia can’t have it both ways. It can’t host Margaret Court at the Australian Open and distance itself from her objectionable views, writes News Corp columnist Susie O’Brien.
Tennis’s peak body can’t claim to be a supporter of diversity and yet give the divisive former player a new pedestal.
Elevating Court during next year’s tournament sends the message that her hurtful and divisive views should be overlooked for the sake of her legacy.
In a statement, Tennis Australia acknowledges that Court’s views about homosexuality, transgender children and same-sex marriage have “demeaned and hurt many in our community”. Yet, it ignores these feelings in a bid to further commemorate Court herself.
Court has a stadium named after her at Melbourne Park – she’s gone beyond being a mere past player and is now a public icon. She shouldn’t be given further public recognition given her shameful views.
It is not possible, as Australian tennis great Todd Woodbridge has suggested, to separate the player and the person. Court’s views have currency because of her status as a well-known past tennis champion.