Friday December 11, 2020

Ben and Liam
Ben & Liam: Nova duo in freefall in world first radio stunt

By James Manning 

• Commercial radio year one – skydivers discuss career change

Ben and Liam finished their first year on commercial radio today. And what a show it was – they jumped out of a plane high above Adelaide and broadcast on the way down before their parachutes opened. But open they did, and the two lived to finish the program as the radio stunt entered the record books.

Ben and Liam signed with Nova Entertainment to host Adelaide breakfast in 2019 and started on air in January 2020. Although the GfK survey year finished two weeks ago, Ben and Liam have hosted a Nova national summer breakfast since then.

After a career in community radio and then triple j, the duo has ticked off the first year in commercial radio with some success. They hit the core demo target immediately in Survey 1 and then held those listeners across the year, peaking in survey 6 when the show ranked #1 FM overall. In Survey 8 their breakfast show and the station ranked #1 under 50 in share and cume.

Part of Ben and Liam’s attraction for listeners is that they walk the tightrope between chilled out and overproduced.

“We try really hard to make a show that sounds like we are making it up as you go,” Ben Harvey told Mediaweek. “But really it is all planned.”

Liam Stapleton added: “Even though it might be planned, we realised when we have been national again after a year in Adelaide, some of the stuff we do is pretty weird.”

“After spending a year at Nova we have discovered what the show is and its strengths,” said Ben. “At the start of the year we were still figuring out what the show was, and it felt like the audience was learning with us.”

Meet team Ben & Liam

Nick Marwe (executive producer aka Wolf), Lachland Copeland (audio producer), some random blokes, Cam Doyle (digital content producer), Taylee Jones (newsreader) and Bottom (L-R) – Belle Jackson (producer), Macey Gibbs (promotions project manager) Missing Zac Taylor (producer)

Even though at triple j their show was national in metro and regional markets, Ben and Liam explained they are much better resourced at Nova Adelaide.

Liam: “For starters we have Jords [Jordan Marchall] who we are paying to sit in on this call to make sure we don’t say anything shit. Producer Belle came with us from triple j and that was the whole ABC team. Now we also have exec producer Wolf who has been at Adelaide for a decade and he has been a great asset. We have cameraman Cam who used to film our stuff at Fresh in the community radio days. We also have Zac on production from Perth. There is also Taylee who reads the news.”

The bounds of what they can and can’t do don’t seem to have changed too much.

Liam: “It feels like we can get away with less, but we do get away with more at Nova. It’s like ‘do whatever you want on air’, but if something is shit, we will find out about it pretty quickly. We kind of like that because it has helped us improve.”

Ben: “We are being held to a higher standard.”

With Nova head of programming Ben Latimer based in Melbourne there have been few in person meetings in the past nine months, but plenty of Zoom chats. Latimer returned this week and caught up with the team the day after the border restrictions eased.

Ben: “We have two proper one hour airchecks every week so there is always constant feedback. Ben Latimer is great at managing our morale and he looks after us very well.”

The duo has been working long hours for much of the year wanting the make the most of their first opportunity in commercial radio. They believe though what they have been doing is sustainable.

Liam: “We had some holidays earlier in the year in Covid times which was the right call. We felt a little burnout about a month ago, but when we feel we are broadcasting good content it makes it worth it. If we were getting pantsed in the ratings it would suck, but it has been a good year for us.

After survey six when the show went #1, congratulations came from announcers around the Nova network, former colleagues from triple j plus messages also from Mix 102.3 in Adelaide and Jase and PJ in Melbourne. “Now we have to get another #1 and hold onto it. One [win] is not going to cut it,” said Liam.

We had a wish to go #1 in the first year. Maybe we should have been more specific and asked to hold onto it!

Ben and Liam on the radar

Ben and Liam with head of programming Ben Latimer

Hiring Ben & Liam happened late in 2019, but they had been on Nova’s radar for a couple of years, Latimer told Mediaweek. Being also from Adelaide as well, Ben Latimer had crossed paths with them a number of times. They spent time at Adelaide community radio stations PBA FM and Fresh, and they used to holiday at the same SA caravan park!

“When Dylan Lewis told us he was leaving Nova Adelaide late last year, we swung into action and presented them with the opportunity,” Latimer told Mediaweek.

Nova has entrusted the breakfast shows in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth to Latimer. In Perth, Nathan, Nat and Shaun dominated the radio landscape again this year, while in Melbourne Chrissie, Sam and Browny ended the year #2 FM breakfast in cume in a market upended by Covid.

Latimer spent more time hands on with his newer Adelaide show this year. “We expected them to maybe take longer to find their way on commercial radio. The early success blindsided us a bit. We knew they had potential, but the fact it came so quickly was a bit of a surprise.

Latimer noted that one of the strategies this year was to highlight the individual traits of both hosts as most of the audience were more familiar with them as just a duo.

News Corp’s great Escape: New homepage, content & ad opportunities

News Corp’s travel media brand Escape, today unveiled an all-new homepage and launched new content and advertiser product suite.

The homepage redevelopment follows the revitalisation of the print liftout in July 2020, with plans to roll out continued updates across the site over the next six months to deliver the most compelling travel destination in the country for consumers and clients.

With a fresh design, new content and smart navigation the raft of improvements have been designed to create exciting new ways to connect with audiences.

Editorial director of premium food and travel, editor-in-chief of Escape Kerrie McCallum said: “The refresh is part of an ongoing product evolution program. We are building out our digital offering with more inspirational content, more ways to discover new experiences and more ways to engage our audiences. For our advertisers, we will offer seamless cross platform solutions with a range of improvements and new products.

“There is no doubt that travel still has a long road to recovery but there are positive signs. Our borders are opening, policy makers are turning their attention to international corridors and the Aussie appetite for travel remains undiminished. We know our readers want to dream, plan and book their next adventure.

“We are bringing new places, evocative images and expert voices to our digital platform. Add video, social, integration and data to that line up and you have a market leading travel ecosystem.

“I’m proud of what we are building digitally for Escape and thrilled to be working with American Express as a launch partner, encouraging Australians to be Going Places over summer.”

Kerrie McCallum

Kerrie McCallum

American Express has partnered with Escape to support the domestic tourism industry by promoting regional travel, in turn driving support of local businesses and offering value to consumers. Launching today on, Going Places is an initiative to keep Australians exploring over summer and highlighting the small businesses that can make their holiday special.

American Express’ vice president of brand, charge cards and member experience Naysla Edwards added: “Our new campaign, in partnership with Escape, will not only promote regional travel to Australians but will encourage them to spend in the local businesses we all love, which will be critical to the recovery of the domestic tourism industry.

“We’re backing our American Express Card Members to go out and explore their own backyards this summer, by rewarding them with bonus points^ when they spend at participating small businesses in regional NSW, Queensland and Victoria.”

Features of the refreshed include:

• New look – Clean and contemporary design using bold, impactful visuals
• New formats – Content to move consumers from inspiration to planning to purchase
• New discovery – Putting the world at consumers’ fingertips through market leading search and content recommendations

Escape Hot Lists

Lists make the consumption of information simpler, faster, and more memorable. Escape Hot Lists do all that and more for the travellers, explorers, adventurers, and holidaymakers of the world. The lists will inspire audiences with evocative and vivid imagery and inform them with expert advice and travel wisdom.

Escape Play

An engaging and functional video offering creates the perfect environment for any product or brand. Escape Play is an on and off-network solution that will launch viewers into far-flung destinations, surprise them with local secrets right on their doorstep and educate them on how to become a savvy traveller. Unique content and formats will showcase key destinations, activities, how-to’s and attractions to a relevant audience of travel dreamers, planners and enthusiasts. All video content includes a range of commercial integration opportunities and will be supported by a strategic amplification package.

Recommendation module

The new content recommendation module offers clients the ability to showcase their product or deal matched to relevant environments and content. Keyword and section targeting ensures this module is surfaced to readers who are only engaging with content related to the deal destination or product and service. The content relevancy of this placement will be powerful in moving customers from consideration to conversion.

News Corp Australia says Escape is Australia’s leading travel media brand with a monthly audience of 3.35 million* through The Sunday Telegraph (NSW), Sunday Herald Sun (VIC), The Sunday Mail (QLD), The Sunday Mail (SA) and Escape also releases a bi-monthly magazine with the latest Adventure Awaits edition available now at newsagents, Coles and Woolworths.

Source: *emmaTM conducted by Ipsos, 12 months ending September 2020, Fused Nielsen Digital Panel calibrated to Digital Content Ratings, September 2020. All people 14+ 7 caps.

ViacomCBS exec shuffle: Raffaele Annecchino now overseeing Network 10

ViacomCBS has announced that Raffaele Annecchino has been appointed President and CEO of ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI), effective immediately. He succeeds David Lynn, who is stepping down and will depart the company following a transition period.

In his new role, Annecchino will oversee all of ViacomCBS’s media networks and related businesses outside the US As part of this, he will be responsible for a portfolio of pay-TV entertainment brands and broadcast networks across six continents – including Channel 5 in the UK, Telefe in Argentina, Network 10 in Australia and Colors in India through a joint venture with Viacom18 – and work closely with ViacomCBS’s global streaming organisation to help guide the continued international rollout of Pluto TV and the launch of Paramount+ in 2021. He will report to Bob Bakish, President and CEO, ViacomCBS.

David Lynn

“Raffaele is an entrepreneurial, results-oriented leader with a proven ability to transform businesses and drive growth across diverse markets,” said Bakish. “In recent years, Raffaele has taken on increased responsibility, demonstrating strategic and operational expertise that extends across a wide variety of geographies and platforms. His experience in expanding ViacomCBS’s international footprint, forging key partnerships and accelerating our push into mobile and digital platforms will be critical to building on our leadership positions across Europe, Latin America and Asia and realizing our global ambitions.”

Bakish added, “I want to extend my deepest thanks to David for his many contributions over the past two decades, from integrating the international portfolios of CBS and Viacom to overseeing the launch of Viacom International Studios, including the acquisition of Ananey and repositioning the division to enable the continued expansion of our global streaming offerings. I’m grateful for his dedication and leadership and wish him the best as he starts this next chapter.”

“It’s an honour to step into this role and help continue ViacomCBS’s strong momentum around the world,” said Annecchino. “We have an exciting opportunity to broaden the company’s reach through new, innovative distribution channels and partnerships, and I look forward to working with Bob and the rest of the team to execute against our growth initiatives.”

Over the course of his 23-year tenure, Annecchino has held a number of positions across ViacomCBS Networks International, formerly Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN). Most recently, he served as President of ViacomCBS Networks Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia (EMEAA), during which time he oversaw operations across a range of markets and led and coordinated VCNI’s mobile strategy globally. Among his achievements were the launch and acquisition of free-to-air channels in the key markets of Italy, Spain and Germany, and the creation of a new business unit in September 2020 to help drive ViacomCBS’s digital businesses across the EMEAA region, including capturing opportunities across free and pay streaming, advanced advertising and ViacomCBS Digital Studios International. Annecchino also led the expansion of Pluto TV in Europe with the recent successful launch of the service in Spain and the upcoming roll out in France and Italy in 2021.

Lynn commented, “It’s been an honour and a privilege to spend the greatest part of my career at ViacomCBS. From my early days at Comedy Central and Nickelodeon to more recently managing teams across our global portfolio, I’ve benefitted from working with the most dynamic, talented team in the industry – who in this most challenging year succeeded in transforming the business for the next important phase of growth.”

Top Photos: Raffaele Annecchino

ABC announces New Years line-up with We Are One theme

The ABC will attempt to unite all Australians in saying goodbye to 2020 and celebrating across the country at the end of a challenging year for everyone.

The theme for the evening is We Are One and the ABC will broadcast the annual New Year’s Eve show live from the Opera House in Sydney and Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl, providing a night of music, fun and fireworks. 

Kicking off at 8:30pm is a special family-friendly variety show hosted by Rove McManusKiki Masella (Grace Beside Me) and Chenelle Carr featuring a fireworks display of highlights from years gone by. Later in the evening, hosts Zan Rowe (pictured) and Charlie Pickering will introduce a line-up of Aussie talent and musical performances.

Headlining the musical entertainment from Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne is music legend Paul Kelly performing a concert length set of songs from his beloved catalogue with some special guests.

From the Sydney Opera House, indie-pop singer-songwriter Amy Shark will take to the stage fresh from her ARIA win. Joining the night’s line-up after releasing one of the biggest albums of the year are indie rockers, the DMA’S and folk-electro singer Vera Blue will provide her graceful tones. Blues-rock band the Teskey Brothers will then perform for their hometown of Melbourne.

Reigning queen of New Year’s Eve Casey Donovan returns for what has become an annual tradition and there will be a heartfelt tribute to Helen Reddy from rising star Odette. Multi-instrumentalist Ben Lee will open the concert.

At midnight, and in collaboration with NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, the night sky will light up with a live firework display as Australia says goodbye to 2020 and welcomes in the New Year.  

A limited audience will join the ABC at the Sydney Opera House.  This “local hero” audience is made up of people nominated by their community as having made a real difference through these tough times.  Nominate your local hero here:

SBS appoints Anna Dancey NITV National Sales Manager

SBS has announced Anna Dancey as the National Sales Manager for National Indigenous Television (NITV), joining the SBS Media team in 2021. 

NITV is the free-to-air channel made by and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, bringing Indigenous perspectives and distinctive First Nations storytelling to all Australians as part of the SBS network. As the channel’s National Sales Manager, Dancey will lead the development and implementation of NITV’s television and digital advertising sales strategy, managing agency and client relationships, and driving continued growth in investment in the channel.

A proud Iningai woman, Dancey will bring a decade of experience working in media sales to the role, having worked in-house, as well as in agency. The appointment sees Dancey return to SBS Media, having previously worked as a Senior Sales Executive at SBS, before departing earlier this year for LinkedIn where she has been an Account Director within the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions team. Her earlier experience also includes roles at Seven West Media, Starcom, Multi Channel Network, Network Ten, and APN.

Announcing Dancey’s appointment, Adam Sadler, director SBS Media Sales, said: “We’re thrilled to have Anna back as a part of the SBS Media team, joining us to represent NITV in 2021. She not only brings strong sales knowledge and extensive experience in the media sector, she is passionate about the vital role of NITV in our media landscape as the home of First Nations voices and stories, and the unique opportunities that exist for clients to connect with audiences across the channel’s innovative TV and digital portfolio.”

“NITV continues to grow, reaching more audiences than ever before across its entertaining and inspiring mix of programming, celebrating the world’s oldest continuing culture and exploring issues with an Indigenous lens. It’s a really exciting time to have Anna join the team.”

On her appointment, Dancey said: “There is nothing else like NITV, a channel dedicated to, not only sharing the stories of the First Australians, but celebrating the diversity of Indigenous cultures around the world. The channel not only plays an essential role in serving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities across Australia, it brings such an incredible content offering to all Australians. I am thrilled and privileged to be coming on board to represent the brand across its platforms.” 

Dancey commences 1 February 2021.

Triple M
Triple M launches next phase of Sounds Like Triple M with Bruce the giraffe

Triple M has launched the next phase of its ‘Sounds Like Triple M’ advertising campaign with Bruce the giraffe who busts out of his living room and takes to the streets to share his enthusiasm for rock music.

In the next stage of the ‘Sounds Like’ campaign, created by Thinkerbell, veiwers see Bruce on the streets to the surprise of neighbours as he belts out The Choirboys’ Run to Paradise rock anthem.

Bruce encounters another giraffe, Babs – head out the sunroof of her red Toyota Supra – singing the same song with just as much enthusiasm, and both rock out to Triple M.

Bruce the animated giraffe was introduced in March this year thrashing around his 1970s style lounge room, singing along to Whitesnake’s iconic power ballad – Here I Go Again. Why? Because it’s too hard to describe what ‘Sounds Like Triple M’ with words, so instead the network decided to show it…and a singing giraffe thrashing around a lounge room gave the audience a pretty good idea.

Head of Triple M, Mike Fitzpatrick, said: “Bruce is just like every Triple M listener coming out of 2020 – excited to be out, with the world’s greatest rock station in their ears and wearing their inner rock star on their sleeve.”

SCA chief marketing and communications officer, Nikki Clarkson, said: “We are excited to be able to continue with this campaign, bringing Triple M to life in a memorable and never boring way, especially with an Aussie classic track such as The Choir Boys’ Run to Paradise.”

Thinkerbell Co-founder & chief creative Tinker, Jim Ingram, said: “In this latest iteration of Bruce we thought it was important to get him out of the house –  he’s been cooped up for a while and was going a bit stir crazy.  So, it’s good to see Bruce exploring his neighbourhood and rocking out to Triple M at the same time.”

Brian White Scholarship
Macquarie University student wins 2020 Brian White Scholarship

Macquarie University student Zac de Silva (pictured) has been named the winner of the 2020 Brian White Scholarship, Commercial Radio Australia announced today.

Zac, a final year journalism student from Mount Colah, was selected as the recipient of the award from among 12 finalists from six universities, following a workshop with leading radio news directors.

CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner congratulated Zac on winning the scholarship, which will see him undertake a paid eight-week internship, consisting of two weeks each at Nine Radio, Southern Cross Austereo, ARN and Nova Entertainment in 2021.

“We’re delighted we were able to proceed with the scholarship after such a challenging year, one that truly focused attention on the role and importance of live broadcast news,” she said.

The workshop was conducted online for the first time due to COVID and was led by commercial radio news leaders Deborah Clay (Australian Radio Network), Michelle Stephenson (Nova Entertainment), Natalie Peters (Nine Radio) and Amy Drew (Southern Cross Austereo).

The finalists took part in a series of newsroom exercises and were required to record a live cross about a current news event. They also had the opportunity to receive individual feedback and advice.

Deborah Clay said: “In 2020 the appetite for credible news and information has soared as bushfires, the coronavirus pandemic and the US election have changed the world. It’s more important than ever to inspire the brightest minds to pursue a career in radio journalism. Commercial Radio Australia’s Brian White Scholarship is a highly valued part of the industry’s commitment to developing emerging talent. This year’s finalists were of a high standard and we all look forward to Zac joining our metropolitan newsroom teams next year.”

Zac said he was honoured to have been selected for the scholarship. “I’ve always loved the immediacy of news radio and I’m so excited to take this next step in my career as a journalist.”

The scholarship is named after legendary radio broadcaster Brian White, who covered the wars in Vietnam and the Middle East, served as general manager of 3AW in Melbourne and was a role model and mentor to many radio journalists.

This is the fourth year that the scholarship has been facilitated by the commercial radio industry. The competition is open to recent graduates or students who are in their final year of study in a relevant course such as Communications, Media, Journalism and Radio.

Big Bash League
TV ratings: Summer survey, Thursday Week 50 2020

By James Manning

• Seven wins with its first night of the Big Bash League
• Just under 900,000 watch start of BBL season on FTA and STV

With a metro audience of close to 400,000 watching the first match of the Big Bash League, Seven has won Thursday night. The other winners were the Hobart Hurricanes who managed to defeat the Sydney Sixers, despite a horror start to the Hobart innings.

With another 280,000 in regional markets, and 190,000 on Fox Cricket, the total audience for the first Big Bash League match was around 870,000.

The cricket dominated last night with the next best entertainment offerings Nine’s Great Getaways and ABC’s Scottish Vets Down Under with both close to 300,000.

Week 49: Thursday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.8% 7 19.8% 9 14.7% 10  9.4% SBS One 5.6%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.6% 7TWO 3.8% GO! 3.6% 10 Bold 4.3% VICELAND 1.6%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.8% GEM 2.6% 10 Peach 3.9% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 2.1% 7flix 2.2% 9Life 3.2% 10 Shake 0.5% NITV 1.1%
        9Rush 1.0%     SBS World Movies 1.1%
TOTAL 17.1%   29.5%   25.0%   18.1%   10.3%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.9% 7 22.8% 9 11.8% WIN 8.3% SBS One 4.6%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.8% 7TWO 6.6% GO! 2.9% WIN Bold 5.0% VICELAND 1.6%
ABC ME 0.9% 7mate 4.6% GEM 4.5% WIN Peach 3.3% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.3% 9Life 2.3% Sky News  on WIN 1.6% NITV 1.4%
                SBS Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 15.3%   36.3%   21.6%   18.3%   9.3%


83.9% 16.1%
  1. Seven News Seven 802,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 795,000
  3. Nine News Nine 759,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 758,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 577,000
  6. ABC News ABC 569,000
  7. The Chase Australia Seven 437,000
  8. 7.30 ABC 430,000
  9. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Hobart V Syd Sixers S2 Seven 422,000
  10. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Hobart V Syd Sixers Inn Brk Seven 417,000
  11. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Hobart V Syd Sixers S1 Seven 394,000
  12. Hot Seat Nine 357,000
  13. The Project 7pm 10 344,000
  14. Great Getaways Nine 300,000
  15. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Hobart V Syd Sixers Post Game Seven 290,000
  16. 10 News First 10 289,000
  17. Scottish Vets Down Under ABC 283,000
  18. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 281,000
  19. Christmas With The Australian Women’s Weekly 10 264,000
  20. Hot Seat -5pm Nine 258,000
Demo Top Five

16-39 Top Five

  1. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Hobart V Syd Sixers S2 Seven 99,000
  2. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Hobart V Syd Sixers Inn Brk Seven 98,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 89,000
  4. Seven News Seven 82,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 81,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. Nine News 6:30 Nine 160,000
  2. Seven News Seven 158,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 155,000
  4. Nine News Nine 148,000
  5. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Hobart V Syd Sixers Inn Brk Seven 140,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Nine News 6:30 Nine 197,000
  2. Seven News Seven 190,000
  3. Nine News Nine 189,000
  4. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 186,000
  5. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Hobart V Syd Sixers Inn Brk Seven 160,000
Thursday Multichannel
  1. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 159,000
  2. Go Jetters PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  3. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  4. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 150,000
  5. PJ Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 148,000
  6. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  7. Dog Loves Books ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  8. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  9. Fireman Sam PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  10. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  11. The Big Bang Theory Ep 3 10 Peach 130,000
  12. Father Brown PM 7TWO 129,000
  13. Neighbours 10 Peach 127,000
  14. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  15. Happy Gilmore 9GO! 117,000
  16. Andy’s Wild Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 114,000
  17. Dinosaur Train PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  18. Fixer Upper 9Life 113,000
  19. The Big Bang Theory Ep 2 10 Peach 109,000
  20. Book Hungry Bears AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 106,000
Thursday STV
  1. Live: Between The Innings FOX CRICKET 192,000
  2. Live: BBL: Hurricanes V Sixers FOX CRICKET 189,000
  3. Live: BBL: Hurricanes V Sixers FOX CRICKET 187,000
  4. Live: BBL Post Game FOX CRICKET 146,000
  5. Live: B4 The Bash! FOX CRICKET 67,000
  6. Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail Discovery Channel 56,000
  7. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 50,000
  8. Credlin Sky News Live 43,000
  9. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 29,000
  10. Border Security: Australia’s Front Line FOX8 29,000
  11. Ready Set Dance Nick Jr. 29,000
  12. PML Later Sky News Live 28,000
  13. Inside The Ritz Hotel Lifestyle Channel 28,000
  14. Ricky Zoom Nick Jr. 28,000
  15. Ryan’s Mystery Playdate Nick Jr. 27,000
  16. Inside The Factory: Christmas Party Food Lifestyle Channel 26,000
  17. NCIS FOX Crime 26,000
  18. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 26,000
  19. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 26,000
  20. Blue Bloods FOX One 25,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

News Corp close to signing global content deals with tech giants

News Corp global chief executive Robert Thomson says the media conglomerate is in advanced negotiations with Google and Facebook to agree on global content licensing deals, as the two technology giants face regulation to pay for journalism in Australia, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

“The negotiations are ongoing,” Thomson told the UBS global TMT virtual conference on Thursday morning. “It’s fair to say they’re at an advanced stage and it’s not in one particular country at the moment, these are global negotiations because we’re a global company.”

[Read more]

Breaking up Facebook more complicated than it sounds

Facebook executives’ worst nightmare is upon them. The Federal Trade Commission has declared the social network an illegal monopoly, and said it should be broken up, reports Bloomberg.

On Wednesday, the FTC and more than 40 states called for the unwinding of the company’s Instagram and WhatsApp acquisitions, which have allowed it to achieve unprecedented power over global communication and culture.

Facebook protested, saying that these deals were sealed years ago, in 2012 and 2014. The acquisitions passed antitrust muster then, and Facebook argued the government doesn’t get to request a do-over now.

[Read more]

News Media

Much-loved journalist Mungo MacCallum was warm and witty to the end

Political journalist, author and commentator Mungo MacCallum has died, aged 78, reports The Australian’s Stephen Rice.

MacCallum was remembered on Thursday as a giant of Australian journalism, a larrikin spirit whose wit and irreverence punctured the hubris and pretence of the political establishment.

A veteran of the Canberra press gallery, MacCallum worked for The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald and the ABC in a career that spanned more than 50 years.

Laurie Oakes, one of his contemporaries, wrote in tribute: “A brilliant man. At uni switched ­effortlessly between studying ­English and mathematics. Could have done anything. We were lucky he opted for journalism where he was one of a kind; funny but always with serious purpose.”

[Read more]

Knowing and hilarious, Mungo sought to puncture the ego of the mighty

Mungo quit Canberra in 1988, his legend so established then that we don’t need to speak his surname even now, reports friend and colleague Tony Wright in Nine newspapers.

He declared he couldn’t bear the idea of leaving the dear little old Parliament House that he had inhabited for so many years just to move to the grand new building on the hill.

Mungo moved north, not far from Byron Bay, where the sun could penetrate his long, lean frame.

But he never stopped writing his knowing and wickedly hilarious columns – The Byron Shire Echo was one of those lucky enough to grab him – that usually sought to puncture the ego of the mighty.

Mungo arrived in the Canberra Press Gallery in 1969, writing for the pages of Rupert Murdoch’s broadsheet The Australian, determined, as he often said later, to “cut through the bullshit” of politics.

He wrote variously for The National Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, the ABC and others, but it was his work for the irreverent Nation Review that most earned him notoriety. To miss a madcap but insightful Nation Review column by Mungo MacCallum in the 1970s was to leave you out of contemporary history’s loop.

[Read more]

Vale Mungo Wentworth MacCallum: December 21, 1941 – December 9, 2020

With immaculate timing and a great work ethic until the end, Mungo has passed away a few days after announcing he would write no more. Here at The Echo we still cannot quite believe that he has gone, writes David Lovejoy in The Byron Shire Echo.

From shortly after the newspaper’s founding until just a week ago, Mungo produced for us a political column that was well-informed, often surprisingly clairvoyant and always written with elegance and wit.

Much as I treasure memories of Mungo I know they are only a fraction of his long and adventurous life. The Echo and the Byron Shire community were lucky to have him spend the last part of it with them.

Mungo MacCallum is survived by his partner Jenny Garrett, daughters Diana and Gail, and step-daughters Adrienne and Gillian.

[Read more]


ABC internal review finds two shows favoured Labor: The Drum, Insiders

An internal review has found two of the ABC’s flagship political discussion programs favoured Labor over the Coalition during the 2019 federal election campaign, with one at times showing a “marked enthusiasm” for a Labor victory, reports The Astralian’s Max Maddison.

The audit of 158 separate items and nine hours of live discussion singled out nightly current affairs program The Drum and political talk show Insiders as being significantly more positive towards Labor than the Coalition.

While the review, by former BBC adviser Kerry Blackburn, found overall the public broadcaster’s content met the impartiality standard, it recommended The Drum reconsider the composition of its panel to “achieve a ­better balance of voices from across the spectrum of ideas and politics”.

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See also: ABC statement on Editorial Review: Impartiality of the Federal Election 2019

Emma Alberici defends her appearance on Sunrise plugging insurance

Former ABC journalist Emma Alberici has defended her appearance on Sunrise this week, during which she plugged insurance company Compare The Market, reports’s Bella Fowler.

The respected former economics correspondent, who was embroiled in an ugly legal battle with the ABC earlier this year, was hired as the chief strategy officer for insurance comparison website Compare the Market (the one with the meerkats) in September.

Flocking to social media, viewers expressed their surprise to see the former Lateline host on commercial television in what appeared to be an infomercial for her company’s app.

Defending herself, the journalist lashed out at “trolls”, telling them to “lighten up” and “Get stuffed Twitter trolls”.

[Read more]


Rod Winner appointed GM for Hot 91.1 & Zinc 96 on Sunshine Coast

Grant Broadcasters this week appointed Rod Winner (pictured) as general manager of Hot 91.1 and Zinc 96 on the Sunshine Coast.

Winner will join the business with extensive radio & TV industry experience being previously employed by SCA for over 15 years. Starting in a promotional role he then moved into sales, general manager and then regional general manager for several markets including Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Southern NSW.

Winner is looking forward to relocating to the Sunshine Coast with his family and said: “We are thrilled to be continuing our media journey with such a well respected and progressive company as Grant Broadcasters in one of the most amazing locations in Australia. We just love the way radio stations and their people bring not just you in, but your whole family to be part of the community. Now we’re just looking forward to meeting the team at Hot 91.1 and Zinc 96 and ingratiating ourselves into the Sunshine Coast lifestyle”.

Grant Queensland and NT state manager Matt Chapman said: “Rod has great professional integrity and strong family values making him well suited to the Grant Broadcaster’s culture. The wealth of experience he brings to the Sunshine Coast is second to none and we look forward to Rod starting in his new role on the 1st February 2021.”


Disney to reveal plans to turbocharge streaming offerings

A significant expansion of the Star Wars universe. Tom Hanks as Geppetto in a live-action Pinocchio, and Yara Shahidi as Tinker Bell in a live-action Peter Pan & Wendy. Footage from new Marvel projects. A star-studded prequel to The Lion King.

On Thursday, as part of a four-hour investor presentation focused on streaming, the Walt Disney Company will discuss a Death Star-size trove of coming content – all of the above and more, said three people with knowledge of the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private planning, reports The New York Times.

Some big-budget Disney movies will continue to have exclusive runs in theatres. (The Lion King project, directed by Barry Jenkins and focused on Mufasa’s back story, is a good bet.) Others will debut online. (That is where Pinocchio is headed.) All will ultimately serve one goal, which is strengthening Disney+, the company’s flagship streaming service.

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Sports Media

AFL draft 2020 was the longest and most boring in history

It may have been a snooze fest, but a record number of footy fans still watched the longest AFL draft in history, reports News Corp’s Scott Gullan.

Fox Footy have reported that Wednesday night’s four-and-a-half hour marathon telecast was the highest rating national draft ever with an average audience of 132,000.

It was up 34 per cent on night one of the 2019 draft and was also the No.1 show on Foxtel for the evening.

The Fox Footy crew led by Sarah Jones and Brad Johnson did an impressive job of trying to keep fans engaged.

And while taking three-and-a-half hours to select 59 players is lunacy, the bonus of the virtual draft was the unprecedented access the network got to clubs, the draftees and their families.

[Read more]

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