By James Manning
• Nova grows portfolio, Global Truths, Fox Cricket, Lady-Brains
Andrew Brentnall (pictured) is the managing editor of the Nova Network digital sites and he tells Mediaweek he is ready to oversee an expansion of the podcast portfolio after the recent launch of The Babble with Nat Bass and Matty J.
Brentnall was unable to put a number on just how many podcasts they will launch in 2020, but he did reveal they are looking at a number of new genres.
The media executive joined Nova Entertainment 12 months ago after arriving from the UK in 2013 and working for Endemol Shine Australia and then Universal Music and Marquee Studios.
In addition to looking after video generated by Nova radio shows across the network, his brief includes original audio series. “The recent launch of The Babble was the first and the flagship podcast for the Nova digital brand,” said Brentnall. “We will be expanding the portfolio in the new year with more original podcasts that will be completely produced in-house.”
There have been other Nova original podcasts previously, but they sit under the Nova partnership with Acast.
The Babble has already had seven episodes and immediately ranked #1 in the TV and Film category, according to Brentnall. “The listens have been increasing each week since launch.”
Now with a bigger audience, Nova will take the podcast to market looking for a commercial partner as season two gets underway in late January.
As to portfolio expansion, Brentnall said: “We are looking into the niche genres that the Nova audience consumes. The Babble is very complimentary to the Nova brand on-air. It is all about reality television and celebrity. But we are also looking into different areas linked to what is being consumed on our websites.”
When questioned about quantity, Brentnall did surrender some information: “There will definitely be more than one,” he laughed. He did hint at a couple of “ideas on the table” that might include a “Nova spin on fiction as well as something linked to dating”.
While Jay Walkerden remains Nova’s lead on podcasting, Brentnall works closely with him. “The teams work together on production and promotion.”
Amongst the growing army of talent at PodcastOne is Dr Keith Suter who hosts the series Global Truths. The Sunrise regular is a global futurist and media commentator on national and foreign affairs and is renowned for explaining complex global and business issues in a way his audiences can digest and understand.
The internationally recognised academic – three doctorates from Deakin and Sydney Uni – this week releases Global Truths episode 90 and looks at Democratic frontrunner Elizabeth Warren. The story of Elizabeth Warren’s rise to become the democratic front runner has been fascinating to follow. Dr Suter tells the history of candidate Warren’s lower middle-class upbringing, her academic leadership and how she made a name for herself fighting against the banks.
Amongst the growing portfolio of Fox Sports podcasts is their cricket series The Follow-On. With a library of 67 podcasts behind them, the podcast is sponsored by Toyota. The most recent episode was uploaded this week ahead of the start of the First Test against New Zealand from Perth today.
The podcast is hosted by Foxsports.com.au’s Tom Morris and his colleagues Jacob Kuriype and Brenton Cherry. The main focus is on the New Zealanders with the reminder their team is a formidable outfit. However, there is also talk about the pitch issues at the MCG with the Boxing Day Test only 14 days away.
What does it take to market a product to the millennial audience? One of our favourite podcasts helps answer that question this week. The latest episode from PodcastOne’s Lady-Land features Babba Rivera.
In the episode the hosts, Lady-Brains co-founders Caitlin Judd and Anna Mackenzie, speak with the Swedish-born brand marketing guru.
At 21 Rivera launched Uber into Sweden, making Stockholm the fastest growing launch city ever. At 25, she landed herself on the Forbes 30 under 30 list. She’s been the head of marketing at Away, the direct-to-consumer luggage start-up that was recently valued at over $1 billion. And as if that wasn’t enough, she founded her own brand and marketing agency ByBabba, and is the co-founder of HER Network, a global community that supports women in the workplace.
“Her insights are inspiring and are great food for thought,” said Lady-Brains. “We covered a lot in this chat, including: How she created the opportunity for herself at Uber at such a young age. How she built Uber in Sweden by targeting early adopters in the tech community. How she landed a role at Uber in NYC by pitching herself a new role to her boss. Working as head of fashion partnerships at Uber in NYC. Transitioning to Away at a time of insane growth, and how she coped working in such a chaotic environment. The decision to quit her full-time role and start her own brand marketing agency. How to market to millennials, and how to make it meaningful. Her experience working with huge brands like Bumble & Glossier. Co-founding the HER Global Network, and how she landed on the decision to introduce a paid membership model.”
Find out more about the show and join the team at www.ladybrains.com.au Follow Lady-Brains on Instagram at lady.brains
Next week in Podcast Week:
Mediaweek’s Podcast of the Year
We start our summer series of Podcast Superstars
By Claudia Siron
It’s been a year of many career highs for award-winning journalist Jeanette Francis (a.k.a Jan Fran). After saying goodbye to her six-year run at SBS’ The Feed and welcoming new chapters including her upcoming memoir and hosting an ABC podcast, it appears Francis hasn’t changed her wonderfully strong work ethic and desire for dipping her toes in multiple mediums.
Francis shared with Mediaweek her decade in the industry, winning a recent Walkley award, and her projects for 2020.
Francis began at SBS doing a cadetship in 2009, so it’s been a decade of her being in the industry. She then ended up working for a Living Black which was indigenous current affairs. “I went overseas for about a year and a half – I moved to Bangladesh in late 2010 and then moved to Uganda in 2012,” said Francis.
“I freelanced there, I bought a whole bunch of cameras and equipment and shot some stories. I then came back to Australia and sold them to SBS and they re-hired me. I started working in news and then Dateline. The Feed started in 2013 and I was there for six years until 2019.”
Francis and her former co-host Marc Fennell – who is still currently a host on The Feed – have been working together for many years now. “We obviously did The Feed together for a few years and we did The Few Who Do podcast; we just totally get each other. Working alongside Marc has been great. I said it once, twice, a hundred times, he is one of the most hard-working, talented people in the industry. It’s just really important to feel like the other person’s got your back, and he does.”
Francis presented for a campaign earlier this year for Kathmandu called ‘Helpful or Harmful’ which looked at tourism practices around the world and what it means to be an ethical tourist. “We filmed in Nepal, Bali, and Australia. It was looking at cultural sustainability and over-tourism in certain areas and the impact it can have on the environment. The crew was amazing to work with.”
Outside of TV presenting, Francis is doing a podcast with the ABC at the moment called The Pineapple Project, with season four launching next year. It was originally hosted by Claire Hooper who did the first three seasons, and Francis will be hosting four and five. “That’s the next project that I’m currently working on at the moment and into early next year.
“The Pineapple Project is predominately for women and the top line I would say is ‘get your shit together’. It takes the different aspects of our lives and tries to make the prickly bits a bit sweeter. The first season was about finances, the second season was about work – how to get a pay rise, how to navigate offices – and the third season surrounded tidying and order and looking at the psychology around that. My season will be themed as well and we’ll have to wait for next year to see what that will be.”
There’s also Francis’ book – Of Middle Eastern Appearance – which was announced recently for some point next year. The book is a memoir of growing up Lebanese in the lead up to the Cronulla riots. “It’s very much a reflection of a particular time and place in Australia and that is the Western Suburbs, South West Sydney in the late 1990s/early 2000s. It looks at what it was like to grow up as a young Lebanese-Australian and feeling conflicted about identity and belonging and feeling under pressure with a lot of the negative media coverage on the community.
“Then, of course, leading up to the Cronulla riots and what it meant to Australia as a whole. It’s essentially my life. It’s a memoir of that time and place that I lived and how it had a massive impact on me. Even though it doesn’t sound funny, I’d like to think that it is quite hilarious. It’s meant to be a comedic memoir.”
To finish the year with a bang, Francis won a Walkley Award for The Frant on The Feed at the recent Walkleys event; the category being ‘Commentary, Analysis, Opinion and Critique’. “It was a massive surprise, but a very delightful surprise. I didn’t really entertain the idea that I would possibly win because what I do is fairly unique and probably not something that has been seen in that category for a while.
“It was a bit uncertain really, it could have gone either way for me. I was pleased to win and it means a considerable amount that your peers recognise the work that you do. That’s a real honour.”
Francis said she’d like to get away in 2020 and have a little holiday somewhere, but she thinks the foreseeable future is work, more work, a bit more work, and also yoga. “That’s kind of where I’m at for 2020. If I could do work, work, work, and yoga for those 50 odd weeks, I think I’ll be okay,” she laughed.
Wil Anderson and Charlie Clausen, who produce the cult hit podcast series TOFOP, are among three new publishers that will have their shows included in the Australian Podcast Ranker, beginning January 2020.
Schwartz Media, publisher of The Saturday Paper and the 7am daily news podcast; and The Parent Brand, the media network behind the Babyology and Kinderling Kids Radio brands, have also signed up to be part of the monthly report on Australia’s top 100 podcasts.
“We’re pleased to welcome these very successful independent publishers to the Australian Podcast Ranker. Their participation further consolidates the ranker as a collaborative cross-industry initiative that reflects the growth and diversity of this exciting medium,” said Joan Warner, chief executive officer of industry body Commercial Radio Australia.
Comedian, TV and radio host Anderson, who began his weekly comedy podcast TOFOP (Thirty Odd Foot of Podcast) in 2010, said: “TOFOP Productions is a proudly independent Australian podcasting network. It’s important to us that independent creators are represented in the ranker alongside shows produced by media networks.
“When Charlie and I started our first podcast nearly 10 years ago, we had no idea podcasting would grow into the industry it has become. Our hope is the Australian Podcast Ranker helps raise the awareness of Australian shows, and attracts new advertisers, so more people can make an income talking about dumb shit with their best mate,” he said.
TOFOP also produces the podcasts Wilosophy, FOFOP and the AFL podcast 2 Guys 1 Cup.
The podcast ranker, which is powered by Triton Digital’s Podcast Metrics in accordance with IAB Tech Lab’s Podcast Measurement Guidelines, was launched in October with a foundation list of publishers including commercial radio networks and News Corp Australia.
The third Podcast Ranker chart has been released. The star performers in the November Top 100 include News Corp’s The Lighthouse and ARN’s Jonesy and Amanda.
The Ranker measures the top 100 most downloaded podcasts during the 28 October through 24 November 2019 reporting period.
The Lighthouse was the highest new entry at #7 on the chart and was the only new entry to debut in the top 50.
The six-part investigative podcast series about the mysterious disappearance of tourist Theo Hayez in beach side town Byron Bay has captured the attention and hearts of people around the country and Belgium.
The Australian‘s latest series has been downloaded more than one million times since its launch on November 1, News Corp reported this week.
The only other podcast new to the top 10 this month was Whatley from SEN/Crocmedia. The podcast is a daily recap of Gerard Whateley’s SEN morning show and it moved up 14 places to sit at #4, giving Crocmedia two podcasts in the top five. The other is SEN Breakfast which ranked #5 for a second consecutive month.
The biggest mover for any podcast already on the chart was Jonesy & Amanda’s JAMcast which leapt from #74 to #22 just as the WSFM breakfast announcers start their summer holidays.
The Australian Podcast Ranker provides accurate data surrounding the consumption of podcast content from participating podcast publishers across multiple hosting platforms. Current participating publishers include News Corp Australia, PodcastOne Australia, NOVA Entertainment, Southern Cross Austereo, Australian Radio Network, Macquarie Media and SEN/Crocmedia. Additional publishers will join the ranker in coming months.
See today’s Podcast Week:
Podcast Week: Nova grows portfolio, Global Truths, Fox Cricket, Lady-Brains
By James Manning
• News Corp’s Pride of Australia Awards honours firefighters
News Corp Australia and Australia Post have honoured the Editor’s Choice medallists in the 2019 National Pride of Australia Awards, and also celebrated the heroism and courage of the nation’s frontline firefighters.
The 15th year of the Pride of Australia Awards recognise ordinary Australians doing extraordinary things.
News Corp Australia’s community ambassador, Penny Fowler, announced that a special Pride of Australia Award had been created to honour fire services organisations from across the country.
“We want to acknowledge the extreme risk faced by our emergency services and the sacrifices they have made,” she said at a function in Sydney on Wednesday. The Awards were presented at a breakfast hosted by 7News Sydney anchor Mark Ferguson.
Fowler added: “It has already been a tough season across most of the country, and summer has only just begun. We thought it was timely and important to acknowledge the great service these organisations provide to help keep our communities safe.”
Several fire authorities and emergency services were represented at today’s award ceremony at Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf in Sydney, including:
• NSW Fire and Rescue Deputy Commissioner, Jim Hamilton
• NSW Office of Emergency Management Director of Recovery, Wendy Graham
• NSW Rural Fire Service Assistant Commissioner, Rebel Talbert
• NSW State Emergency Service Assistant Commissioner, Steven Hayes
• QLD Fire and Emergency Services Acting Deputy Commissioner, John Bolger
• SA Country Fire Service Commander, Ray Jackson
• VIC Country Fire Authority – South West Region Regional Commander, Peter Creak
News Corp Australia has pledged a $50,000 donation to assist people and communities in bushfire affected areas.
Alongside frontline firefighters, four Editor’s Choice medallists from NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland were also celebrated for their selflessness, courage and community spirit.
After the event, Fowler told Mediaweek:
“The Pride of Australia is a great community initiative. Other things News Corp Australia does includes supporting the Clontarf Foundation helping the education of young Indigenous boys, we are involved in the Ask Izzy homelessness initiative and we support the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. We also run editorial programs supporting drought relief and bushfires. We support the Shine Awards, supporting regional and rural women, plus Kids News Now as an online trusted news source. As a big corporate, we want to support the community we service and live in. Being a good corporate citizen is something we are very passionate about.”
In addition to her role as community ambassador, Fowler is also chairman of The Herald & Weekly Times and chairman of The Good Friday Appeal for the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. The latter is a year-round appeal and $18m was raised this year.
Fowler said she gets great support from News Corp Australia editors. “In my role I do get to travel around the country and meet with all the staff from editors to photographers and journalists.”
As chairman of the HWT, News Corp’s Victorian publishing business based around the Herald Sun, Fowler said it is in good hands with Peter Blunden [MD editorial] and Peter Zavecz [MD publishing]. “They are both really good executives – Peter Zavecz is very experienced and has great relationships. Peter Blunden is unbelievable and has been in Victoria for around 25 years and he knows everybody. I love working with both of them.”
Fowler told Mediaweek: “I have been given an amazing opportunity by Rupert as chairman, being able to follow in the footsteps of my grandfather and grandmother. From that opportunity I’ve been given a lot of other opportunities.” (Fowler is the daughter of Janet Calvert-Jones, a former HWT director who is the sister of Rupert Murdoch.)
Although Fowler doesn’t mind a day in her office at HWT in Melbourne, she doesn’t get too many uninterrupted days. Her other duties include the boards of the Australian Ballet, National Portrait Gallery, Royal Botanic Gardens of Victoria, Tourism Australia plus roles on advisory boards for Bank of Melbourne and Visy Industries and Pratt Industries USA.
Fowler’s uncle Geoff Handbury only recently passed away and all the Australian family attended the funeral last weekend.
“Because of my roles I do get to spend time with the wider family including time with Rupert, Lachlan and my cousins. Lachlan was just here last week which was lovely.”
Fowler is also on the board of Cruden Farm, the property her grandmother Dame Elizabeth Murdoch left in a charitable trust for public recreation when she dies seven years ago. “We are still working out how to best turn it into a public space. We already have lots of visitors via garden tours etc.”
Fowler has five children, and she explained to Mediaweek that none of them have gone into media. They work in law, the environment, food and real estate, plus one is still studying.
The Pride of Australia Awards were inspired by the New York Post’s Liberty Medal, established following the September 11 terror attacks.
Since News Corp Australia launched the awards in 2005 about 700 Australians, chosen from among tens of thousands of nominees, have been honoured.
Top Photo: News Corp’s Michael Miller and Penny Fowler with Australia Post’s Christine Holgate and Nicole Sheffield
The Fivex Foundation has joined forces with digital billboard operator QMS Media in calling for Australian artists from all fields to reimagine one of Melbourne’s most prestigious digital billboards as a giant art canvas, for the opportunity to win $30,000 and be showcased to over 250,000 Melbournians each day.
In its first year, the Fivex Art Prize will challenge Australian artists across the country to create conceptually and visually distinctive art that will see the billboard re-imagined into a giant digital street art canvas.
Fivex Art Prize creative producer Alessio Cavallaro said that advertising and art share a steeped history – most famously, the 1950’s commercial advertising art of Andy Warhol, and James Rosenquist’s Los Angeles billboards.
“The Fivex Art Prize challenges artists to expand the scope of public art by directly embedding their work within the urban media space”, said Cavallaro.
Entrants are asked to design artwork for the two billboards at Melbourne Square – a horizontal corner ‘wrap’, and an adjacent vertical ‘podium’ – that will be conceptually related across both sites.
The works will be displayed on QMS’ Melbourne Square digital billboard located at the corner of Flinders and Elizabeth streets.
QMS chief marketing officer Sara Lappage said the partnership with the Fivex Foundation provides an opportunity for the out of home industry to re-connect with the arts and engage with community.
“We are thrilled to be the major partner of the Fivex Foundation for this inaugural billboard art award, and we are keen to see what Australian artists nationally can create for such a powerful canvas in the heart of Melbourne,” said Lappage.
QMS will be running a national call for entries campaign across its national network of digital locations throughout December and January with entries closing 20th January 2020.
The finalists and winner will be announced in March 2020 and then displayed on QMS’ iconic Melbourne Square Digital Billboard location at the corner of Flinders and Elizabeth streets.
Full terms and conditions of entry to the Fivex Art Prize can be found here: www.fivexartprize.com.au
ABC head of comedy Rick Kalowski is departing the public broadcaster after more than six years working across programs such as Utopia, Rosehaven, The Letdown, Get Krack!n, Frayed, Please Like Me, Upper Middle Bogan, Ronny Chieng: International Student, The Moodys and The Katering Show.
Kalowski’s output since joining the ABC in 2013 has numbered some 80 titles across scripted comedy series, pilots, digital shorts and podcasts. His work culminated in a record 18 nominations for ABC scripted comedy at the 2019 AACTA Awards – including a first time clean sweep of all nominations in the Best Television Comedy Series and Best Television Comedy Performance categories.
Kalowski said he has chosen to leave the ABC in February 2020 to take on new career opportunities in the Australian and global screen industry. He said: “Being ABC head of comedy has been the great honour of my professional life. To work with some of the most brilliant comedy minds in the world, to help nurture the careers of new comedy talent of every background, has changed me not just as a creative but as a person.
“Departures are never easy. But after the banner year ABC scripted comedy has enjoyed with audiences and awards, the time felt right for new challenges (and some sleep). I will dearly miss my ABC colleagues and wish them every success.”
Kalowski has worked with producers and with media companies such as Netflix, Amazon, Sky (UK), Google, Comedy Central (US), Participant Media (US), NBCU, AMC/Sundance and the BBC, to greatly expand international investment in ABC scripted comedy.
He also drove significant growth in the development and production of ABC scripted comedies in regional areas outside Sydney and Melbourne, and helped foster the next generation of Australian comic talent through initiatives such as the ABC Comedy Showroom pilot season and the creation of a dedicated comedy podcast team with ABC Audio Studios.
The ABC will announce the appointment of a new head of comedy in 2020
• Final episode Seven Worlds, One Planet a winner for Nine
The final episode of David Attenborough Seven Worlds, One Planet looked at the challenges facing Africa. The audience of 503,000 saw the episode win its timeslot and help lead Nine to a midweek win. The second episode of Desert Vet followed on 324,000.
The final episode of season three of The Good Doctor only aired in the US a week ago and it wrapped the season on Seven here last night with 416,000 watching. As a lead-in Seven had 90 minutes of ob docs with Border Patrol on 320,000 from 7-8pm and then Motorbike Cops on 379,000 at 8pm.
An hour of Bondi Rescue again replaced The Unicorn on 10 with an audience of 320,000 after 7.30pm.
A screening of the Tommy Little-hosted 2018 Montreal Comedy Festival then did 195,000.
Earlier in the night 10’s 5pm News did 326,000 followed by the 6pm News on 201,000.
The final of this season of Home Delivery featured Adam Liaw with 399,000 watching. A Christmas edition of Would I Lie to You then did 390,000.
The final episode of Child Genius Australia was on 200,000 at SBS. It was preceded by Tony Robinson’s World by Rail visiting Japan on 245,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.2%||7TWO||3.2%||GO!||2.5%||10 Bold||5.5%||VICELAND||1.8%|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||2.6%||GEM||4.3%||10 Peach||2.9%||Food Net||1.3%|
|7Food||1.1%||SBS World Movies||0.7%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.0%||7TWO||4.1%||GO!||2.2%||WIN Bold||6.2%||VICELAND||1.5%|
|ABC ME||1.0%||7mate||3.5%||GEM||5.5%||WIN Peach||1.8%||Food Net||1.0%|
|ABC NEWS||1.6%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.8%||9Life||3.0%||Sky News on WIN||1.7%||NITV||0.4%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.5%|
|WEDNESDAY 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 resurrected star Karl Stefanovic has launched defamation action against a rival media company, in a sign he will not shy away from generating headlines despite being sacked from the Today show a year ago amid negative publicity about his personal life, reports The Australian’s Nicola Berkovic.
Stefanovic, only weeks after being reinstated to helm Nine’s struggling breakfast show in 2020, has filed court documents against The Sunday Telegraph and columnist Annette Sharp.
He claims his reputation has been “greatly injured” by a series of articles that suggested he would take a pay cut to return to the Today show.
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has shut the door on any immediate changes to media ownership laws, stymieing efforts by moguls Bruce Gordon and Antony Catalano to swoop on Prime Media, reports The AFR’s Andrew Tillett and Max Mason.
Appearing at the National Press Club, Fletcher said the government had already overhauled media ownership rules in 2017, which had made the proposed Seven-Prime marriage possible.
Catalano hit back on Wednesday, lashing the government for being out of touch with the communications industry if Mr Fletcher didn’t think media laws needed to change.
Two of Australia’s leading investigative journalists are fighting an attempt by Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith to force them to expose their sources, reports The Age’s Bianca Hall.
Multiple Walkley Award winners Nick McKenzie and Chris Masters are fighting the effort in the Federal Court, amid a defamation claim Roberts-Smith has launched against The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times.
The attempt to out journalists’ sources by Roberts-Smith – who is also general manager of Seven West Media Queensland – comes amid an industry-wide push for greater press freedom. Roberts-Smith is suing the mastheads after a series of reports accused the decorated soldier of committing war crimes during overseas missions.
The defamation case will go to trial in June but the parties are fighting an advance battle over whether McKenzie and Masters should be forced to produce 49 privileged documents to the court, other documents, names of witnesses and the names of sources they relied upon in preparing their reports.
The court has reserved its decision.
That Thunberg is the youngest individual ever named TIME’s Person of the Year says as much about the moment as it does about her, reports the weekly news magazine.
The 92-year-old franchise is rooted in the so-called Great Man theory of history, the notion that powerful individuals shape the world. Historically, that has meant people who worked their way up the ladders of major organisations and were at home in the corridors of power. But in this moment when so many traditional institutions seem to be failing us, amid staggering inequality and social upheaval and political paralysis, we are seeing new kinds of influence take hold. It is wielded by people like Thunberg, leaders with a cause and a phone who don’t fit the old rubrics but who connect with us in ways that institutions can’t and perhaps never could.
The ABC has finalised its investigation into Q&A and indicated last month’s controversial feminist episode won’t be returning to digital platforms, reports The Age’s Broede Carmody.
A summary of the ABC’s editorial review, published on Wednesday, said management took appropriate steps in acknowledging the confronting aspects of the program and pulling it from ABC iView and Q&A‘s website. An ABC spokesman said “sufficient action” had been taken.
Author Mona Eltahawy, who was a guest on the November 4 episode, described the ABC’s determination as “unbelievable”. She continues to argue that the public broadcaster shouldn’t have pulled the episode in the first place.
“The ABC has signalled it is privileging the fragile sensibilities of white men over the wellbeing and safety of women,” she said. “It is a reminder that imaginary violence against men upsets and disturbs more than actual violence against women.”
A decade of television viewing is almost over. Or did it never really begin? If you last watched free to air television in this country in 2009, when the previous decade was drawing to a close, what was on your screen? asks The Age’s Craig Mathieson.
Breakfast television had Sunrise on Seven, where David Koch was the co-host, while MasterChef had been a ratings bonanza for 10 in its debut season. On the ABC Q&A and host Tony Jones were about to move to a Monday night slot after two years on Thursday evenings, and Nine was preparing to reboot The Block.
The structure of television and the very way we watch it has evolved so swiftly and significantly over the last decade – streaming platforms, video on demand, niche viewing, diversity in on-air talent, bingeing seasons – that it’s easy to paint a then-and-now picture, as if television a decade ago was some sepia-stained image of an earlier era no longer accessible. For some of us that’s mostly true, but the industry in this country and many viewers readily make a case for the opposite.
Former Foxtel boss Kim Williams has launched a scathing attack on Australian rugby union, describing the struggling code as a “low-value sport” and criticising its administrators for “astonishing self-entitlement”, report The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke and John McDuling.
The comments from Williams, who was chief executive of News Corp’s pay-TV service for a decade until 2011, come amid pressure on the leadership of Rugby Australia as it prepares for critical talks with broadcasters over its next television rights deal.
“The issue with rugby that’s a challenge is the sense of self-entitlement from rugby itself,” Williams said in an interview on Wednesday. “Rugby seems to deem itself as inherently worthy and therefore deserving of mountains of money and that’s a major difference to the reality.”
SCG Trust chairman Tony Shepherd says Sydney will put its hand up for a day-night Test as competition intensifies for hosting rights to pink-ball games in Australia, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Andrew Wu.
For over 137 years, Test cricket at the famous ground has been played during the day, but that could change if the Trust can successfully lobby cricket authorities to allow the biggest city in Australia to be part of the pink-ball revolution sweeping the game.
The Trust made an audacious bid in 2016 to host a second Test in the summer, but those plans are now off the agenda with officials keen to limit the volume of traffic at the SCG until redevelopment of the adjacent football stadium is completed in 2022.
Cricket Australia has not held any more than two day-night Tests per season but the game’s free-to-air broadcaster, Channel Seven, has said it would consider a third.