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.
By James Manning
• CEO Julian Ogrin talks about learnings as it built streaming service
After growing its customer base to over 400,000 and generating revenue over $120m annually, the focus at Kayo in 2020 will be to continue to build the brand.
Kayo chief executive Julian Ogrin told Mediaweek: “Our agency partners have said we are one of the fastest brand builds for awareness in the country. That has been a success.”
When launching a new brand it certainly helps being part of the News Corp family with your brand being attached anything to do with sport on News Corp Australia platforms.
The streaming platform has only just completed its first 12-month cycle through all the sports it offers.
“We have learnt a lot in that 12 months. We found when it comes to a call to action it is all about timing. If you have a big game coming up on a Friday night, you really need to leverage that on a Thursday or Friday. If you go as much as a day earlier it could be a day too soon. We have really focused on how to get maximum take up by managing the calendar.”
People rushing to subscribe to Kayo just before a big match is something it can handle. “We have built a platform that can handle tens of thousands of sign-ups in minutes,” said Ogrin. “Not every game drives that, but we have gone through a couple of different World Cups and have experienced high volumes of sign-ups prior to an event and our system has managed it beautifully.”
Ogrin said he thought Kayo had done well to retain a lot of the customers who came on board for either AFL or NRL this year. “On average our customers are watching seven sports and watching on average five and a half hours a week.
“The calendar has worked well. After the end of the AFL we went into the Rugby World Cup and the crossover of the fanbase was high.
“We are a very data-driven organisation and what we have is a very good understanding of what our users like and what they engage with and we make sure we communicate with them on a regular basis.”
Kayo is finding users who come in for one sport will start browsing other codes. “For example you think geographically the synergy between AFL and rugby would be minimal. But the engagement of AFL fans with the Rugby World Cup was fantastic.”
Such is the dedication of sports fans, some subscribe to both Foxtel with the sports package and Kayo. “Foxtel has been very successful in 30% of Australian households. What Kayo is now doing is going for the other 70% who are considering a streaming service. We get many people of course who are not Foxtel customers, but we also get [Foxtel] households using Kayo as a secondary screen for sports lovers when the main screen is being used by someone else.”
With year one ticked off, Ogrin said there is also now a focus on working with Foxtel Media on commercial opportunities. “We have built the capabilities for leveraging commercial partners. To date there has been a real focus on the Kayo experience. As we look forward to next year we will start to leverage that. What Kayo isn’t is an AVOD service. We will remain first and foremost giving people the best experience possible of watching the sport they love.”
Foxtel has indicated recently it will not pay what Rugby Australia wants for future TV rights. The streaming TV boss didn’t want to engage with speculation about how big a loss Australian Rugby would be to Kayo. “It’s not for me to comment on that one,” said Ogrin.
More sport is better though, right? “Our job is to use the sport portfolio [available] and look after those fans.”
Lower profile sports broadcasters in Australia on the Foxtel platform like ESPN and beIN Sports should be happy with the exposure they are now getting on Kayo. “They are really excited about the product,” confirmed Ogrin. “It is an easier way for those broadcasters to market their product in Australia.”
An added bonus for sports fans is that Kayo can offer extra matches when it comes to certain big tournaments where Fox Sports cannot broadcast every single game. “We can also show up to four screens at once for one event – at Bathurst for example people can choose between Fordcam, Holdencam, Pitcam, Helicam or Racecam. That is something only we can do.”
Kayo’s most recent subscriber numbers
450,000+ active customers (including users on trials)
400,000+ paying customers
By Claudia Siron
For over three decades, Jackie Frank has established herself in various spaces including fashion, publishing, retail and brand building.
As the founding editor of iconic women’s lifestyle magazine, marie claire Australia, as well as the founder of Be Frank Group – a platform (business) designed to build brands and to connect them with their powerful female audience – Frank’s work has always had meaning and purpose. Frank spoke to Mediaweek on her history in publishing and women’s rights advocacy, the growth of Be Frank Group, and her plans for the coming decade.
Frank launched marie claire in 1995. She said that was when she really became involved in women’s issues. Frank stayed at the magazine for 20 years as editor and publisher, and was later appointed general manager across fashion, beauty, health and customer publishing for a couple of years. Just 18 months ago, Frank left Pacific Magazines.
“Back in the day, the magazines really were the voice for Australian women and we were able to raise awareness and instigate change. I don’t think that has changed, but in my time we would put petitions in the magazines and people would fill them out and then post them back to us. Now, of course, it’s all digital – and it’s fantastic. It’s got a wider reach and it’s seamless,” said Frank.
“One of the social campaigns from marie claire that I’m particularly proud of was paid maternity leave – we campaigned for eight years on that. We were the only country outside of the OECD along with America that didn’t have Government funded leave.”
When asked if she misses publishing, Frank said she thinks what she misses doesn’t exist anymore. “I know, that’s a sweeping statement, but when I started in 1995, there was a lot of support around publishing. There was a huge infrastructure, there was money being put behind it, and we were generating a lot of revenue too. The industry has gone through massive disruption, and the last couple of years the focus has been on cost-cutting as opposed to building.
“I feel like I was very fortunate to be in the heyday, but I still think brands like marie claire are vital. Brands that have purpose which still resonates with women – marie claire still has a really strong place in the current climate.”
Frank founded Be Frank Group just over one and a half years ago. As a brand strategist, Frank knows how to build, develop and maintain brands, and she’s been an advocate for women and her whole life has been spent talking to and engaging with women. “If you look at the consumer spending, women are in the driver’s seat. I use my experience from media – having sat on both sides of the corporate and creative – to help brands engage more effectively and productively with their consumer. The whole landscape has changed, and the landscape has been disrupted by technology. Brands now have direct access to their consumer.
“What they may or may not know is how to build, engage, and amplify that, which in turn converts into money. I work with retail brands to generate revenue for them, whether it be content, digital marketing, strategy, campaign work or creating new verticles for existing retail businesses. I think of Be Frank Group as an innovation studio and what I do – depending on the client’s needs – is pull in the best people to create a team to work on whatever their brief may be.”
Frank is also proud to be a patron of Thread Together – the extraordinary non-for-profit organisation started by Andie Hallas which has a double benefit of saving the environment and giving people in need new clothes. “She takes end of season stock and distributes the clothes to multiple charities, giving people back their dignity and stopping the clothes from going into landfill. It has been a real honour to be involved with them.”
Earlier in the year, Frank joined Noni B Group – online shopping store – as a non-executive director on their board. “Noni B started off as a small business and has just grown and grown, and is currently in negotiations to take over EziBuy. It’s huge. The CEO, Scott Evans, is an amazing trader and it’s wonderful to see how he pivots and moves according to what’s going on in the market, and it’s a fabulous board who are all supportive of each other.”
Next year, Frank is excited about upcoming opportunities across the sporting landscape. “I’ve primarily worked in the fashion and beauty area but I really loved the work we all did at Women’s Health with women in sport. The growth in support for women in sport has been unparalleled over the past few years, but there’s a lot more work to be done and there’s a lot of companies who want to engage and take on that mantra.
“I’ve got a wonderful team being put in place. I want to work with some like-minded partners who want to make a change but have a commercial bent to it.”
Frank said she’s been asked to endorse a few things, which she’s never had the time to do. “Next year I am working on a couple of exciting brand launches which will keep me very busy but I’d love to fit in a couple more speaking and hosting gigs too, I love MC-ing. 2020 is shaping up to be an exciting time!”
Guesswork Television’s founder Kevin Whyte has hired TV executive Jon Casimir who will join the company in 2020 in the new role of managing director.
Casimir, best known as the co-creator of Gruen and You Can’t Ask That, will lead the Guesswork team from its Surry Hills office and give the Melbourne-based Guesswork business a full-time presence in Sydney.
Guesswork is part of the Token Group, which includes Token Artists, Token Events and Creative Representation. It has offices in Melbourne and Sydney.
Casimir will work alongside the team of creative director Todd Abbott, head of production Frank Bruzzese and general manager Heather Pritchard. Guesswork Television is the company behind the programs Rosehaven, Get Krack!n, Nanette, Please Like Me, Frayed, Hard Quiz and The Weekly. Most recently Guesswork produced a series of 10 stand-up comedy specials for Amazon Prime Video.
Token Group managing director Kevin Whyte said, “We have worked with Jon in many guises for many years and admired his smarts, taste and faith in artists. I can’t imagine anyone better to take on this new role and spearhead this next phase at Guesswork.”
Jon Casimir said, “Guesswork is a nimble, flexible production house, well placed to thrive in the changing media environment. It’s a thrill to join a company with great people and a great track record. I sincerely hope I don’t break all the toys.”
Casimir will start in February 2020.
His last role was as CEO of Legacy Media, which produced two seasons of Andrew Denton’s Interview for Seven.
Before that, from 2014-2017, he was the head of entertainment at ABC TV. During that time he commissioned new programs including The Weekly, Luke Warm Sex, Hard Quiz, Dream Gardens, The House with Annabel Crabb, Growing Up Gracefully, Whovians, Shortcuts To Glory, Sammy J’s Playground Politics, When I Get A Minute, Fancy Boy, Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am and When TV Was Awesome.
Prior to the ABC, he worked at Zapruder’s/CJZ on Enough Rope With Andrew Denton, Hungry Beast, Randling, Elders, The Joy Of Sets, Can Of Worms and Reality Check.
Casimir’s career began in print journalism at music magazine RAM. He spent 17 years as a writer and editor at The Sydney Morning Herald where he was, among other things, instrumental in the creation of the smh.com.au news site. He has written four books and edited six others.
Liverpool FC will be chasing its first ever FIFA Club World Cup title this December, with Optus Sport the only place to watch the 11-day tournament live.
The tournament is Optus Sport’s latest acquisition after coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup earlier this year, and Optus has secured the Australian rights to the FIFA Club World Cup for 2019 and 2020.
Optus Sport is also the home of the English Premier League in Australia. It also recently acquired rights to the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.
The FIFA Club World Cup is an international club football tournament between the winners of the six continental confederations, as well as the host nation’s league champions. For the next two years, the tournament will be hosted by Qatar.
“We are extremely pleased to add this tournament to our football schedule and we’re confident our 700,000 plus Optus Sport active subscribers will enjoy the format,” Optus’ director of sport, Richard Bayliss, said.
“Broadcasting Liverpool’s sixth Champions League triumph was a massive moment for Optus Sport, and it will be a privilege for us to show the Reds’ attempt to overcome the best of South America, Asia, North America and Africa. Brazil’s Flamengo had a stunning Copa Libertadores win in November, so they too will enter the World Cup in ominous form.
“These new rights show our commitment to showing Australians the best clubs from around the world on Optus Sport.”
Real Madrid are the current FIFA Club World Cup champions and are the most successful club in the tournament’s history with four titles, while this year’s UEFA Champion Liverpool will appear at its second FIFA Club World Cup, after losing the final in 2005.
Optus Sport will provide every match exclusively live, on-demand, as a mini-match as well as creating various highlight packages across the tournament. The all new in-house, live 90-minute football show, Scores on Sunday, hosted on rotation by Mel McLaughlin, Richard Bayliss and Niav Owens and featuring some of Australia’s best pundits including Heather Garriock, Mark Schwarzer, John Aloisi and Alicia Ferguson will also provide analysis and opinion on the tournament.
ABOUT FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP 2019
The FIFA Club World Cup commences on December 11 in Qatar, with the champion to be crowned on December 21.
Teams competing in the upcoming tournament:
Host country – Al-Sadd Sports Club
Europe – Liverpool
Africa – Esperance Sportive de Tunis
Asia – Al Hilal FC
North, Central America and Caribbean – Monterrey
Oceania – Hienghene Sport
South America – CR Flamengo
2018: Real Madrid
2017: Real Madrid
2016: Real Madrid
2014: Real Madrid
2013: Bayern Munich
2010: Inter Milan
2008: Manchester United
2007: AC Milan
2006: Sport Club Internacional
2005: Sao Paulo
Brigitte Duclos and Anthony ‘Lehmo’ Lehmann (pictured during their heyday at Gold 1043), alongside Billy Brownless, will host Triple M Melbourne’s summer breakfast slot, covering for The Hot Breakfast, from Monday 9 December to Friday 20 December 20.
The Hot Breakfast held its live Xmas Party show this morning with a big show at The Pub at Crown.
Brig & Lehmo are both well-known to Triple M audiences, having been part of the Triple M family over many years, and Billy Brownless is a “fan favourite” at Triple M with his role on The Rush Hour and Triple M Football.
Brig & Lehmo hosted breakfast together at Gold 104.3 across four years from 2012 until 2015. Lehmo then continued at the station co-hosting breakfast with Jo Stanley for 2016 and 2017, before their show was cancelled at the beginning of 2018.
About his new breakfast duties, Triple M’s Billy Brownless said: “Summer is where I come into my own, I was a very handy cricketer, and I love to get the guns out on the beach.”
Brigitte Duclos said: “Despite their countless and adorable flaws, I love Lehmo and Billy to bits and can’t wait to spend my mornings with them on Triple M.”
Lehmo added: “Brig and I had so much fun on breakfast radio for six years, arguing like an old married couple and singing along to Chisel. And as a Hawks fan, I have a negative reaction to most things related to the Geelong Cats, but I’ve always made an exception for Billy, he really helped us win that ‘89 flag.”
Triple M’s Summer Breakfast will feature Brig & Lehmo with Billy Brownless the week commencing 9 December and Brig & Lehmo the week commencing 16 December.
By Trent Thomas
Disney+ continues its hot start on the TV Demand charts since its launch with The Mandalorian once again topping every chart for the second week in a row.
However, it’s not the only new platform to be having success with its original content with Apple TV+ having a second entry on the Digital Original charts with Morning Wars.
Morning Wars, known as The Morning Show in territories outside of Australia and Indonesia stars Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell, that premiered on Apple TV+ on November 1, 2019 the same day as the launch of the platform. The show is inspired by journalist Brian Stelter’s book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.
The plot of the show revolves around Alex Levy (Aniston) who hosts a popular news program broadcast from Manhattan on the UBA network, after her on-air partner of 15 years, Mitch Kessler (Carell), is fired amidst a sexual misconduct scandal, Alex fights to retain her job as top news anchor while sparking a rivalry with field reporter Bradley Jackson (Witherspoon).
The new platforms aren’t having all the fun though with Netflix having two new entries of their own on the digital original charts. The first show Anne with an E charted in Australia after releasing its third and final season on Netflix on September 22. The show is based on the 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery and adapted by Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Moira Walley-Beckett about 19th-century girl Anne Shirley.
Netflix’s second new show is The Dragon Prince which has entered the charts in NZ after releasing its third season on November 22. The show is set in a vast magical world and revolves around the use of primal magic which is derived from the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth, the sky and the Ocean. The show is created by Aaron Ehasz and Justin Richmond.
The Presidents Cup returns to Australia and Wide World of Sports brings fans all the action when the world’s best golfers descend on Royal Melbourne Golf Club from December 12 to 15, live on Nine, 9Gem and 9Now.
International Team Captain Ernie Els and United States Team Playing Captain Tiger Woods will bring the unique 12-man team competition to the renowned Sandbelt course for the third time in its 25-year history.
The broadcast will see Nine airing 32 hours of live competition across Nine, 9Gem and 9Now as the tournament pits the top 12 players from the United States against the top 12 from across the globe, excluding Europe.
United States Team features 10 players in the top 20 world rankings with Woods making make his ninth Presidents Cup appearance as a player and his third at Royal Melbourne. Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele and Rickie Fowler have also been selected for the US side.
Golfers from nine nations have made the International Team, including four Australians. Adam Scott is the top-ranked player on the International team. Australian viewers will also get to watch local heroes Marc Leishman, Jason Day and Cameron Smith vying to claim the International Team’s second Presidents Cup victory.
The broadcast will be headed by James Bracey, with Wayne Grady, Alison Whitaker and Stuart Appleby commentating on play and Todd Woodbridge roaming the fairways to bring viewers all the big stories from the tournament.
Nine’s Director of Sport, Brent Williams, says sports fans will be in the box seat to watch one of golf’s ultimate tests.
“The Presidents Cup is so much more than just a golf tournament – this is a global event. Viewers are in for a treat with Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and some of the best players in the world going head-to-head in this unique team format,” he said.
Day 1 of competition commences on Thursday, December 12, from 9.00am AEST.
• Newlyweds Tim and Rod win The Amazing Race Australia
Network 10’s last major franchise of the year wrapped last night. Indeed, it was the last 7.30pm franchise on any of the commercial networks for 2019.
The final episode of The Amazing Race helped lift 10’s share and it finished a winner in the key demos and a competitive third all people.
After 23 days of racing around the globe, Newcastle newlyweds Tim and Rod were crowned the winners of The Amazing Race Australia, beating 10 other teams and taking home $250,000 prize money.
When The Amazing Race Australia began, 11 teams started in South Korea and then visited Vietnam, Mongolia, Africa and Thailand. The final three teams eventually returned to Australia in the last episode, visiting the Northern Territory. Also featured in the final episode was News Corp’s NT News with the teams looking through copies for an Amazing Race headline.
The teams then flew to Katherine and had to parachute out of the plane. Viv and Joey avoided the jump though because of changing weather conditions.
At the end of the episode Tim and Rod were the first to cross the finish line ahead of Jasmin and Jerome while the other eliminated couples watched on.
10 split the final in two for the ratings with 620,000 watching the start of the episode and then 739,000 watching the winner check in.
Nine’s best was News, A Current Affair, Hot Seat and then Young Sheldon on 408,000 and 403,000.
Seven News was Tuesday’s #1 but Seven’s next best in primetime was the ob docs Border Security: International on 341,000 and Border Patrol on 322,000.
The third episode of Love on the Spectrum for the ABC did 459,000 at 8.30pm. Dream Gardens preceded it on 383,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.7%||7TWO||3.2%||GO!||2.0%||10 Bold||4.7%||VICELAND||1.7%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||3.5%||GEM||4.9%||10 Peach||2.8%||Food Net||1.3%|
|7Food||0.8%||SBS World Movies||0.8%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.4%||7TWO||4.8%||GO!||2.4%||WIN Bold||5.2%||VICELAND||1.5%|
|ABC ME||0.9%||7mate||6.5%||GEM||6.9%||WIN Peach||2.1%||Food Net||1.6%|
|ABC NEWS||1.6%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.8%||9Life||3.2%||Sky News on WIN||2.5%||NITV||0.1%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.6%|
|TUESDAY 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
oOh!media has provided a further update to the company’s expected earnings for the year ended 31 December 2019 (FY19). It released a statement to the ASX after the market closed on Tuesday.
The company confirmed that it expects FY19 underlying EBITDA to exceed its earlier forecast and has issued revised FY19 underlying EBITDA guidance of between $138 million to $143 million.
On 16 August 2019, oOh! announced revised FY19 earnings guidance with underlying EBITDA expected to be in the range of $125 million to $135 million.
Advertising bookings declined in the third quarter versus the prior year, but improved bookings for September and the fourth quarter have resulted in an upgrade.
Financial results for the year ended 31 December 2019 are expected to be released by the company on 24 February 2020.
The Morrison government is concerned about forcing digital giants to pay media companies for using their journalism out of fear they could be interpreted as new taxes, as it moves to respond to the ACCC’s landmark report into digital platforms’ impact on journalism, report The Australian’s Leo Shanahan and David Swan.
As well as a perception of a Liberal government placing new taxes on digital companies, there is also concern that companies such as Facebook and Google could relocate their activities offshore, resulting in a loss of local revenues and jobs. The government has a preference for any new revenue sharing to be done at a global level to prevent loss of revenue or jobs locally.
Wednesday marks the two year anniversary of the federal government asking the ACCC to prepare a report on digital platforms, reports The Australian’s John Durie.
After the report was completed in July, decisions are still pending.
That is part of the curse of being a regulator – waiting for others to make decisions.
A spokesman for Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the decision was yet to be made on the ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry, but said he hoped a decision would be out, as promised, before years’ end.
The reality facing the platform powers Google and Facebook is they have moved from being innovators to acquirers and their march through the industry has done little to help consumers, but plenty to boost their own powers to gather data which they can monetise.
Facebook has opened up the prospect of paying for the use of media content, which is a big step in the right direction if it follows through.
An actor on stage when Craig McLachlan allegedly inappropriately kissed a female performer during a Melbourne stage show has told a court there was “absolutely not” an indecent assault, reports The Age’s Adam Cooper.
McLachlan is accused of indecently assaulting four female actors during a 2014 run of a theatre production and one of them alleges he put his tongue in her mouth during an unscripted kiss.
But Brendan Irving, who also starred in the scene, told Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday it was part of his role to watch McLachlan closely, and that he never saw the star put his tongue in the woman’s mouth.
He said he was “horrified” when he learned of the allegations the women made and found them “impossible to reconcile” to memories of his involvement.
Director Christopher Luscombe told the court no one had raised with him any concern about the kiss.
“I assume if it wasn’t raised then it was deemed to be keeping with the spirit of the scene,” he said.
The hearing, before magistrate Belinda Wallington, continues.
Actor John Jarratt has launched a second defamation lawsuit against the Sunday Telegraph over its reporting of rape allegations against him, reports Guardian Australia’s Ben Butler.
Jarratt originally sued the Telegraph in the NSW supreme court over a front-page story detailing allegations by a former housemate, but dropped the lawsuit in August after he was found not guilty of rape.
However, on 22 November he filed a fresh lawsuit in the federal court – a jurisdiction that has several advantages to plaintiffs including speed and the lack of a jury.
In a statement of claim filed with the court, Jarratt says a separate article the Telegraph published on 7 July reporting the reaction of his accuser to the not guilty verdict conveyed imputations including that he “is a rapist” and “got away with rape”.
Tony Jones bows out as the permanent and founding host of Q&A next Monday night, ending 12 seasons on the ABC, reports TV Tonight.
Relocating to China in January with Sarah Ferguson, who becomes ABC’s bureau chief in Beijing, he will maintain links with the broadcaster that he has called home for 33 years including as an occasion fill-in host.
But if he has a parting wish to ABC management, it is that his successor Hamish Macdonald and the team are given a better timeslot. Much has changed since the show premiered in 2008, including audience habits.
“I certainly hope, as we’ve asked for a long time, that the ABC gives us a better timeslot, because of the rise of streamers and watching TV dramas, which I do myself at that time of the evening,” he tells TV Tonight.
“The pressure on free to air television has become greater and greater to attract new audiences. I do think we’re on a little bit too late in the evening and often not on at the time we’re scheduled to be on.”
Also departing with Jones is founding producer Peter McEvoy with former News Breakfast producer Erin Vincent to lead a new era with host Hamish Macdonald. Jones looks forward to them evolving the show with their own style and talks down any notion of a legacy.
Of all the performers to have found themselves caught in the spotlight of popular Australian music, few seemed to have enjoyed themselves more than Andrew “Greedy” Smith, the singer, songwriter and keyboardist of Sydney band Mental As Anything.
Yet on Monday evening, Smith’s 43 years of smiling in the spotlight came to a sudden, tragic end when he suffered a heart attack while driving in Sydney in the midst of moving into a new home with his fiancée. The prompt arrival of an ambulance could not save him, and Smith died at the age of 63.
“Our grief and confusion at this time are little compared to what Andrew’s family will be feeling – our hearts and prayers go out to them”, wrote band manager Grant Bartlett on the Mental As Anything Facebook page on Tuesday.
According to his long-time bandmate Reg Mombassa, Smith’s ebullience was no act – it was just who he was.
Smith wrote many of Mental As Anything’s best-known songs, including the standout 1985 single Live It Up, which reached No 2 in Australia before becoming a hit overseas, including No 2 in Britain, after the track was used in the 1986 film Crocodile Dundee.
Its other songs to reach the top 10 in Australia included If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too? and Too Many Times– both from 1981 – as well as 1988’s Rock and Roll Music.
A rush of memories have flooded the hearts of Mentals’ bandmates Pete O’Doherty and Reg Mombassa and thousands of fans as they remembered the beloved musician who died suddenly of a heart attack on Monday night, reports News Corp’s Kathy McCabe.
The 63-year-old singer, songwriter, fierce harmonica player, keyboardist and artist was moving house with his fiancé Fiona Docker when he stopped his car and complained of chest pains. He died later in the evening at hospital.
Smith, who was the only founding member of the band still touring and due to perform in Melbourne this week, has been hailed as one of the nicest men in Australian rock, a gregarious presence who continued to thrill fans with the Mentals’ raft of hits ingrained in the Australian songbook.
Radio network Southern Cross Austereo will axe up to 90 positions as the company feels the impact of declining revenue, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.
The parent company of 2Day FM Sydney, Fox FM Melbourne and Triple M confirmed meetings were being held with staff members from today with redundancies offered across several departments nationally.
It is unclear whether the move will impact on air talent, nor would SCA comment on specific numbers.
“The entire advertising and media sector is operating in a challenging and difficult market and Southern Cross Austereo has and is being equally affected,” SCA said in a statement. “Management, with the support of the board, have conducted a comprehensive review of our workforce structure to provide an effective and efficient organisation for now and into the future.
“These proposed changes will impact some of our people. These decisions have not been taken lightly and we are committed to supporting our people as we work through this process.”
Sacked Today show hosts Deborah Knight and Georgie Gardner have snubbed their work Christmas party, reports news.com.au’s Stephanie Bedo.
The duo were noticeably absent from the event held at Altum Restaurant in Milsons Point, Sydney, on Saturday.
In a massive group photo posted from the party, Knight and Gardner were nowhere to be seen, but fellow hosts, newsreader Tom Steinfort and entertainment reporter Brooke Boney, were in the snap.
Knight and Gardner hosted Today from January until November before being sacked.
Colleagues posted photos alongside Sydney Harbour at the swish event.
Channel 9 told news.com.au it would not comment on the stars’ absence because it was a private event.
Former Tennis Australia president Steve Healy said he worried that if controversial director Harold Mitchell was kicked off the Tennis Australia board it could hurt relations with the Victorian government and upcoming development plans for Melbourne Park, reports News Corp’s Jeff Whalley.
And he revealed the Victorian Premier’s office called Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley to ask “what was going on” when Mitchell quit his position amid a bitter boardroom stoush, the Federal Court heard.
Mitchell quit the board amid a boardroom battle that erupted over concerns by some directors he may have a conflict of interest with the Seven Network.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is taking civil action against former Tennis Australia directors Mitchell and Healy, saying they improperly helped Seven win the broadcast rights in 2013.
Healy also revealed if he knew Mitchell had been making secret calls to the Seven Network he would have raised it with fellow directors.
“I would have dealt with it at board level. I would have discussed it with the board and said ‘are those things appropriate et cetera?’. And (I would have) asked him to step away from negotiations or possibly resign from the board.”