Edited by James Manning
• Coach Cheika, Sarah meets Matthew, Lindsay Webb live, Kate Gudinski, Adam Shand double, J&A Book Club, Red Hot Australian Christmas
PodcastOne Australia has announced a number of new series this week, including Brains Trust, produced and hosted by Chris Walker, co-creator and executive producer of ABC’s The Weekly with Charlie Pickering and Hard Quiz.
Brains Trust’s first season, 2020 – The Year We Can’t Forget, is a long form interview series which will see Walker speaking with well-known personalities. Featuring the likes of Hamish Blake, Dr Chris Brown, Waleed Aly, Ronny Chieng, Adam Briggs, Annabel Crabb and Kitty Flanagan, his guests reflect on their experience throughout the unusual year of 2020. The series will be narrated by Gold Logie winner, The Project’s co-host and Hit Network co-host, Carrie Bickmore.
Walker is a partner in Thinkative Television, with Kevin Whyte and Charlie Pickering. The production company keeps Walker pretty busy. “I did a lot of interviews after hours and on weekends, which worked really well with the talent,” Walker told Mediaweek.
As to continuing the series into the future, Walker said: “I would love to do it again, but I guess that is up to the listeners! We may do the next one on something else rather than just ‘a year’ – 2020 just felt like the right thing to talk about this time. In reality, through the prism of 2020, we actually talked about each individual’s psychology, philosophy, fears, loves, hates….all the good stuff.”
Walker worked on the series with Sam Cavanagh and Chris Marsh for PodcastOne. “Carrie was kind enough to lend her dulcet tones to tying it all together for me. I could have done the narration myself, I guess, but the way I saw it was if I had to hit a golf ball, but had Tiger Woods standing next to me on the fairway willing to do it, you’d probably get him to hit.” As to working with his partner and former TV colleague Bickmore, Walker said: “Raising the kids is a project we do together! We may do something for TV down the road.”
Walker didn’t want to pick a favourite interview out of the series, but he did say: “Hamish perhaps was the most affecting in re-framing my view on 2020. Chris Brown is a close friend, but I feel like I learned so much more about him. Waleed is great because he tests you intellectually in almost every sentence. There is perhaps no one in the world that makes me laugh like Kitty. Ronny Chieng had the most unique perspective and I was perhaps the most moved by Adam Briggs. I’ve known him a long time, but I was able to ask him questions I’ve never had the courage to before. Annabel Crabb is like listening to Bill Bryson book – she just knows everything.”
Thinkative has a lot on its plate for 2021 – 60 separate TV episodes made up of 36 Hard Quiz, 16 The Weekly and eight of Tomorrow Tonight.
One of the busiest independent podcast publishers in the market is Kevin Hillier’s Howdy Partners. The seven regular titles include its flagship Life of Brian…Mannix that is. A special Christmas episode is coming mid-December from the podcast which has topped the iTunes chart several times during 2020. Mannix has featured an impressive list of guests this year including Alice Cooper, Dawn Fraser, John Wood, Steve Waugh, Sam Newman, Frankie J Holden, Dick Smith, Myf Warhurst, Peter Hitchener, Dennis Cometti, Wilbur Wilde, Casey Donovan and Richard Wilkins.
Mannix is also a member of the team on the weekly podcast Ruck ‘N’ Roll where he is joined by Mark Fine and Kevin Hillier. Other regular podcasts from Howdy Partners are Authorised, The Two Dogs Podcast, Talking Wyndham, Living Well with Diabetes and Food Bytes with Sarah Patterson.
PodcastOne Australia has signed one of Australia’s leading chefs, Adrian ‘Richo’ Richardson for a series coming in 2021 – Cooking with Richo.
Focusing on mastering essential cooking techniques like pan-frying, roasting and braising, Richo begins each series with a theory episode about different cooking techniques. He will also make sure you have the essential utensils to be a culinary success, with each episode focused on serving up an exceptional dish, becoming an expert in the kitchen to create the ultimate fish, meat or veggie meal.
Richo is an award-winning Australian chef and owner of Melbourne restaurants, La Luna Bistro and Bouvier Bar. His career has seen him work on television screens alongside Jamie Oliver, Gary Mehigan, Miguel Maestre and a guest appearance on Network 10’s MasterChef Australia.
SCA head of podcasting, PodcastOne Australia, Grant Tothill, said: “Cookbooks, cooking videos and TV programs tend to be highly-stylised and edited, leaving out a lot of the practical techniques of what it takes to master a dish. Often it’s all the little tips and tricks that are the difference between success and failure in the kitchen.
“We saw an opportunity to take an audio-first approach to have Richo teach people how to cook in a new fun way. It’s a cooking master class just for listeners and the great thing is they don’t have to say, Yes Chef!”
Cooking With Richo will be available from January 2021.
Capping the 2020 Tri Nations campaign which saw him coach the Argentinian National team to win a historic victory over the All Blacks and draw with the Wallabies, Michael Cheika has launched his first podcast series Michael Cheika: On the Record. One of the few sports coaches who has also achieved success in the business arena, Cheika’s guests include high-profile men and women from the worlds of elite sport, business, fashion, media and philanthropy.
“I never thought I’d be hosting a podcast but then I’ve always loved to go a little against the grain,” said Cheika. “I really like the idea of stripping away the barriers between the different tribes in life and focussing on what unites us. Hosting this podcast has been a great way of talking to people who I identify with, people who like to challenge the status quo.”
In the first episode Cheika talks to his great mate, former Irish rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll, about life after sport, the politics of Covid-19 and how to be a respected leader. Oher guests appearing include Sarah Wilson, John Symond, Dr Michael Gervais, Nicky Zimmermann, Lisa Alexander and Alan Jones.
In a recent episode of A Life of Greatness Sarah Grynberg spoke to Academy award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey.
Revealing some of his personal lows and professional highs in his new book, Green Lights, Sarah and Matthew spoke deeper about how these moments shaped him to lead a life of greatness.
Together, they discuss his moral philosophies on life, his family struggles growing up and why they’ve made him the father he is today, to the importance of living with meaning and having respect for yourself and others.
Live at the Podosseum is a new live comedy podcast from Podshape hosted by Australian comedian Lindsay Webb.
Webb hosted the podcast Quizzical and has appeared on many other popular podcasts including Wil Anderson’s Fofop and Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds’ The Dollop.
He has also supported Jim Jeffries and more recently Marty Sheargold on his tour. Webb is a regular on the Australian comedy circuit.
Live at the Podosseum is a weekly podcast which is performed in front of a live audience at Brisbane’s Sit-down Comedy Club.
Webb said: “The opportunity to work with Podshape was too good to go past. They were already kicking major goals early, so when Jay Walkerden approached me, I was well keen to get involved. Jay really knows podcasts and is a delight to work with, so the process has been fun and productive. I was fortunate enough to have an idea I was holding for the right time when Jay asked. So, boom, here we are in the Podosseum.”
We have mentioned Adam Shand’s new State Crime Command series here previously. The first three cases of the series have now been published, including the story of Year 12 student Passy Reyes who disappeared from her family home in 2001, never to return. New cases will be regularly published across a wide variety of crime themes but always with a view to bringing closure, the same focus that Shand has brought to true crime investigations for PodcastOne since 2017.
“This podcast with NSW Police is a world-first and harnesses the power of podcasting to achieve outcomes in these cases and shows the determination of investigators to get results in cases even decades old,” Shand said.
Shand is also at work on a second season of the Great Covid Reset where he continues his exploration of Australia’s ‘new normal’ under the Covid-19 pandemic. The new episodes include insightful conversations with SEEK.com Managing Director, Kendra Banks on employment trends, Nobel prize winner Professor Peter Doherty on vaccines, futurist Dr Keith Suter, ANZ Bank senior economist Cherelle Murphy and Australian entrepreneurs developing new drugs to help life return to normal.
Brendan ‘Jonesy’ Jones and Amanda Keller have wrapped up their radio show for the year but will be returning to listeners over the summer in the form of a new podcast Jonesy & Amanda’s Holiday Book Club.
In the podcast, Jonesy and Amanda will read sections of their memoirs and discuss the juicy details that didn’t make it into the book. Nothing is off limits as they each reveal some of the most defining moments of their life, from the first time they fell in love through to the moment their friendship was almost ruined forever.
Hosts of the Loose Units podcast Paul Verhoeven and his ex-cop dad, John, have launched Red Hot Australian Christmas. An hour-long comedy audio play set in rural Australia during the fire season, Red Hot Australian Christmas is available on Acast.
After the horrors of last summer’s bushfires, the Christmas special will deal head on with the devastating impacts of the fire season on rural communities.
Written by comedian Tegan Higginbotham, Red Hot Australian Christmas won’t shy away from the heavy subject matter, it is at its heart a feel-good Christmas comedy.
Red Hot Australian Christmas cast:
Michaela Banas (Upper Middle Bogan, Scooby Doo)
Eddie Baroo (The Dry, Australia)
Michelle Brassier (Aunty Donna’s House of Fun)
Bev Killick (Preacher, Kinne Tonight)
Jackson Tozer (The Ex-PM, This is Littleton)
Paul Verhoeven (Loose Units, ABC’s Steam Punks)
Kirsty Webeck (How to Stay Married)
With special guests Georgia Love and John Verhoeven
Lifelong friends Kate Gudinski (pictured right) and Sophie Panton (left) have launched Talking In Common, a podcast about family, motherhood, relationships, wellbeing, kids and culture.
Over the course of 12-episodes, guests including Clare Bowditch, Missy Higgins, Mahalia Barnes, Midwife Cathryn Curtin and Mosey Me designer Eliza O’Sullivan share stories, insights, tips, tricks, life hacks and more.
Talking In Common’s first three episodes navigate topics such as mastering the juggle of career and raising kids, the importance of community in early parenthood, harnessing your anxiety and creativity, parenting stigmas and what it’s like testing positive to coronavirus with a baby.
In an Australian first, Kate and Sophie have worked with Auslan Stage Left, a national organisation specialising in the arts and performance interpreting, to make all episodes of Talking In Common available to the Deaf community via translated videos.
News Corp Australia’s podcasting arm NewsCast has launched News Feed, a network of daily news podcasts for the company’s state-based mastheads.
Each masthead now has their own daily headline news podcast, published from 5.00am every morning, delivering listeners the local and national news headlines from the front and back pages, plus the key stories of the day.
Adding to the company’s growing suite of audio content, the News Feed network of podcasts are available on the homepage or app of each masthead – The Daily Telegraph (NSW), Herald Sun (VIC), The Courier-Mail (QLD) and The Advertiser (SA), or via partner platforms and smart speakers.
A co-production between NewsCast and Nova Entertainment, the short-form podcasts have been created to target a busy audience looking for the headlines from their trusted provider each morning.
News Corp Australia’s head of audio Del Fordham said: “We are really pleased to team up with Nova Entertainment to produce News Feed. The collaboration sees our state-based newsrooms supply the copy for each update, and the talented line-up of Nova newsreaders present each episode, 365 days a year.
“Daily news and sport delivered through on-demand audio is a growing habit for our listeners, whether they are consuming on partner platforms, through smart speakers or on our own platforms.
“The News Feed network of podcasts has been designed to deliver listeners in each state a daily fix of the latest headlines that matter most to them, while respecting their time during the busy morning period.”
Nova Entertainment digital commercial director Kane Reiken said: “We are proud to launch News Feed in co-production with News Corp Australia, which will allow us to build further opportunities for our clients to reach these engaged audiences, as listening behaviours shift towards on-demand daily news content.
“These podcasts are a great addition to the News Corp Australia network, kicking off an exciting 2021 and extending on our strategic plan to build Australia’s best podcast offering for listeners and advertisers.”
See also: Mediaweek’s new Podcast Week column
• Endemol Shine executive joins Network 10 as head of development
Yeesum Lo will join 10 ViacomCBS in the newly created role of head of development.
Reporting directly to head of programming, Daniel Monaghan, Lo will be responsible for identifying and developing locally produced Australian content across all channels and platforms in conjunction with the wider Network 10 team.
Monaghan said: “As we continue to lead the way in showcasing the most talked about shows on Australian television, it is equally important to keep a firm focus on developing new and creative home-grown content that will engage and delight our audiences.
“Yeesum’s extensive experience in content both here and overseas, as well as her incredible passion for this industry, makes her an invaluable new member of our programming team.”
Lo commenced her career in entertainment at NBC Universal in New York City, before being appointed manager of business development for Endemol Shine Group in Los Angeles.
On her appointment, Lo said: “I am thrilled to be joining the 10 ViacomCBS content team after working closely with Network 10 for so many years.
“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity to build on 10’s strong slate of diverse and joyful Australian stories and discover new must-watch content that will strategically appeal to vital viewers across all screens.”
Lo will commence as Head of Development in early December 2020.
Andy Lee will host The Cube Australia when it premieres in early 2021 on Network 10. The series order goes to ITV Australia. Lee has been a semi-regular this year on Seven’s The Front Bar. Lee and ITV Australia previously worked together on Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation.
The premise is simple – players are placed in a small, enclosed 4m x 4m x 4m Perspex cube, to take on deceivingly simple tasks.
From throwing to catching, estimating to balancing, memorising to reacting, contestants have nowhere to go and nowhere to hide once inside The Cube.
Who will channel their nerves and frustrations to ultimately beat the mighty Cube and take home the $250,000 in prize money?
Andy Lee said: “Things get tense with me and my mates when we play skill games to determine who’s going to get the next round of beers at the pub, imagine doing it for a quarter of million dollars. I can’t wait!”
Head of programming, 10 ViacomCBS, Daniel Monaghan, said: “Andy Lee is one of the most popular and talented comedians in Australia, and we are thrilled he will host this brilliant series.
“The Cube has been a huge success in the UK for years, and to bring this edge-of-your-seat game show to Australia for a local prime time version, with Andy Lee no less, is a fantastic addition to our 2021 schedule.”
CEO and managing director ITV Studios Australia, David Mott, said: “We are delighted Network 10 is bringing The Cube to the Australian market. This fantastic family-entertainment game show had a stellar run on ITV UK recently, achieving over 4m viewers and dominating all demos.
“ITV Studios Australia recently partnered with format rights holders of The Cube, all3media International to bring this hit format to the Australian market. And who better to host this brand new format than Andy Lee who will bring his own unique style and tone that is perfectly suited to this format. We can’t wait to get started on the production.”
Sabrina Duguet, EVP APAC at all3media International, said “We are delighted that Network 10, a great home for TV entertainment, has commissioned The Cube. The show – originally produced by Objective Media Group for ITV – has proven its credentials in finding family viewers across several years, in several countries. We are confident that the Australian version, produced by the very capable ITV Studios Australia, will engage and enthral Network 10’s audiences.”
The Cube was originally produced by Objective Media Group, an all3mediacompany, for ITV in the UK.
The Cube Australia is an ITV Studios production for Network 10. Andy Lee will also serve as an executive producer.
TEDxMelbourne is holding a virtual event next week aimed at sharing ideas through the power of music. Participants are being promised an online, immersive experience like no other.
The special event will showcase four diverse artists who are all delivering important messages to audiences in their own unique way.
The Music Salon event will be hosted by Lisa Leong, ABC broadcaster, radio and podcast host.
Featured Artists (pictured above, left to right)
Kaitlyn Hova – violinist, software engineer, co-founder of Hova Labs, and neuroscientist.
Little Green – singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer with a childlike sense of storytelling and serene musicality inspired by the nature around her.
Uncanny Valley – Australian music-tech collective and winners of Eurovision AI Song Contest 2020.
Philly – Indigenous Australian Hip Hop artist using his voice to make a change and inspire young people.
The 10-part original series centres around Oly (played by Nathalie Morris), an ambitious and high-achieving teenage girl who has a surprise baby; and the complications that ensue for two families. Set in and around a high school in contemporary inner Sydney and following the main characters home, Bump explores unexpected motherhood, unwelcome new relatives, and unintended consequences with humour and emotional honesty.
The drama series stars Claudia Karvan (Stan’s The Other Guy), who leads as Oly’s mother and also acts as a producer of the series. Karvan is joined by Angus Sampson (Fargo), along with a diverse cast including, Nathalie Morris, Carlos Sanson Jnr, Catalina Palma, Safia Arain, Paula Garcia, Ioane Saula, Peter Thurnwald and Ricardo Scheihing Vasquez.
The Stan Original Series is produced by Roadshow Rough Diamond (Stan’s Romper Stomper, Australian Gangster) and reunites Claudia Karvan with her fellow Love My Way producer John Edwards (Stan’s Romper Stomper, The Secret Life of Us). The series is also produced by Dan Edwards (Stan’s Romper Stomper).
The relationship drama is directed by Geoff Bennett (Stan’s Wolf Creek), Gracie Otto (Stan’s The Other Guy) and Leticia Caceres (The True History of Billie the Kid). The series is created and co-written by Kelsey Munro; with the writing team also consisting of Jessica Tuckwell, Timothy Lee, Mithila Gupta and Steven Arriagada.
Stan Original Series Bump is produced by Roadshow Productions. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Stan. Financed with support from Screen NSW. ITV Studios will manage international sales.
Top Photo: Angie Chalmers (Claudia Karvan) and Dom Chalmers (Angus Sampson) at hospital with Oly’s new baby and hospital counsellor (Ana Maria Belo)
Seven and Cricket Australia are feuding over the summer schedule, but Seven is continuing to build its commentary team for when its international coverage finally commences.
Seven is adding two of the game’s all-time greats – Sunil Gavaskar and Brian Lara – to its star-studded line-up for its 2020-21 season.
Gavaskar, a fearless opener who averaged 51.22 in 125 Tests for India, will join Seven for all four Tests in Australia’s blockbuster series against India, when the world’s two best teams compete for the coveted prize that bears his name – the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
From the opening day of the first Test at Adelaide Oval on 17 December, Gavaskar will be part of Seven’s team that will again be led by cricket’s most astute commentator, former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting.
Former Aussie stars Michael Slater, Damien Fleming and Simon Katich will also return as expert commentators, along with Greg Blewett in the Adelaide Test, while Mel McLaughlin, James Brayshaw, Tim Lane, Alison Mitchell and analyst Trent Copeland round out Seven’s Test commentary team.
Across 131 Tests and 299 One-Day Internationals for the West Indies, Lara was one of the most destructive batsmen cricket has seen. He will be a key member of Seven’s BBL coverage, which kicks off 10 December.
The swashbuckling left-hander, who still holds the record Test score of 400 not out, never got to play T20 cricket at international level, but no batsmen before or since has been more naturally suited to the game’s shortest format.
Lara will be in illustrious company in the commentary box, with Seven’s BBL team including Ponting, Slater, Fleming, Brayshaw, McLaughlin, Blewett, Copeland, Brad Hodge, Lisa Sthalekar, Abbey Gelmi, Jason Richardson, Andy Maher, Alister Nicholson and Erin Holland.
In another addition to Seven’s coverage this summer, five-time ICC Umpire of the Year, Simon Taufel, will join the Test team to give his expert analysis.
By James Manning
• ABC and Seven tied on 15.8% primary share, Seven #1 network
• Gruen and Hard Quiz blitz the ratings and finish in top 5
Gruen and Hard Quiz were key destinations for viewers last night with the ABC shows finishing top five for Wednesday, outrated only by the 6pm Seven and Nine news bulletins.
ABC News, A Current Affair and 7.30 were the only other programs over half a million.
10’s best last night were The Project 7pm and then the special The Royals Revealed: Diana, Camilla and The Crown with audiences of close to 350,000 for both.
Those hoping to see highlights of Monday night’s AACTA Awards on Seven might have been disappointed with Seven’s AACTA’s Best of the Decade special which was like a 20 to One episode on Australian cinema. Highlights for the audience of 203,000 watching would have included the insights from Mediaweek’s Andrew Mercado.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.1%||7TWO||4.7%||GO!||2.3%||10 Bold||4.7%||VICELAND||1.7%|
|ABC ME||0.8%||7mate||2.7%||GEM||2.7%||10 Peach||3.5%||Food Net||1.2%|
|ABC NEWS||2.3%||7flix||1.8%||9Life||2.4%||10 Shake||0.8%||NITV||0.3%|
|9Rush||1.5%||SBS World Movies||1.5%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||1.9%||7TWO||7.4%||GO!||3.9%||WIN Bold||6.7%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||1.1%||7mate||2.9%||GEM||6.6%||WIN Peach||3.7%||Food Net||0.8%|
|ABC NEWS||1.5%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.4%||9Life||2.5%||Sky News on WIN||2.4%||NITV||0.3%|
|WEDNESDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM
When cricket officials are comparing broadcasters to Donald Trump it is a clear sign the war between the two parties has moved beyond civil, reports The Australian’s Peter Lalor.
Tasmanian cricket boss Andrew Gaggin has launched a scathing attack on Channel 7 boss Lewis Martin in response to an affidavit filed with the Federal Court as part of the ongoing dispute between the two parties.
Gaggin hit back at suggestions from Martin that there may have been a financial inducement to move the start of the BBL season to Tasmania – something which has upset the rights holder.
“The Trump-like allegations concerning the Tasmanian state government are patently absurd and untrue. The Tasmanian government has certainly provided an incentive,” Gaggin said.
Gaggin added: let it be clear that no financial incentive was provided by the Tasmanian government to Cricket Australia for BBL matches to be played in Tasmania. The Tasmanian government continues to be a great supporter of all cricket in Tasmania.”
Gaggin is a senior litigation partner of Tasmanian law firm Murdoch Clarke Lawyers and has been in the role of chairman at Cricket Tasmania since 2015.
The ABC’s flagship current affairs program is facing questions from the Morrison government over whether a private investigator conducted covert surveillance on senior ministers at taxpayer expense during the compilation of its report exposing the private lives of politicians, reports The Australian’s Sharri Markson.
Since the ABC program aired, several whistleblowers have come forward to inform senior figures in the Morrison government that a freelance investigator was used for the Four Corners program.
News Corp’s The Australian has today published a series of questions it says are being put by “the government” to the ABC’s Managing Director, David Anderson, regarding the Four Corners episode “Inside the Canberra Bubble”, comments the ABC in response to the News Corp newspaper’s story.
These questions have not yet been received by the ABC; they appear to have been sent to The Australian first.
The ABC did receive some questions yesterday from The Australian’s Sharri Markson, which we answered in full.
The Australian’s questions:
• Did Four Corners use the services of private investigators for its “Inside the Canberra Bubble” story on November 9?• Was any surveillance via an investigator or freelance cameraman conducted on Christian Porter, Alan Tudge or Canberra bars?
• If so, who paid for these activities?
• When did Four Corners commence work on this story?
• What is the Four Corners’ policy on the use of surveillance techniques and private investigators?
The ABC’s answers:
• Mid 2020
• We do not use private investigators
Elaine Stead had “suicidal thoughts” and took a month off to get psychological help after her mental health was “obliterated” by a column by Financial Review journalist Joe Aston, the former Blue Sky director told the Federal Court, reports The Australian’s Cameron England.
On the second day of her defamation trial against Aston, Dr Stead told the court that she took time off to get “intensive therapy” in the wake of a column published in February 2019. She felt that a later column published in October entitled “Fox in Steven Marshall’s burning henhouse”, was “calling for my sacking”.
Chinese-language media outlets in Australia have ridiculed Prime Minister Scott Morrison over his reaction to a fabricated image tweeted this week by Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry official Zhao Lijian, reports Kate Wong in The Sydney Morning Herald.
“What a shame! The Australian PM was mocked by netizens around the world for demanding that China apologise!” said a headline on New Impression Media’s Sydney Impressions WeChat account.
The online article, aimed at Chinese-Australian residents in Sydney, went on to say Morrison had been “laughed at by the whole world for two days” as a result of his call for China to apologise over the fabricated image of an Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child.
Australia’s peak intelligence agency has warned the federal government that the Chinese Communist Party covertly controls sections of Chinese-language media in Australia as part of its foreign interference and influence operation, report Nine’s Nick McKenzie, Charlotte Grieve and Kate Wong.
The Office of National Intelligence has confidentially briefed the government that many of Australia’s most popular Chinese-language news outlets have been co-opted by Beijing to advance China’s strategic interests.
The analysis had found that online news media platform the Southeast Net Australia was fully and openly controlled by the Communist Party but Beijing’s sway over other domestic outlets was, while more subtle, still evident.
The program launched on 3 December 1945 – just months after the end of the Second World War – with these words: “Hello everyone, this is Dick Sneddon of The Country Hour, with a program for the farm families of Australia.” And so began an Australian rural tradition that has been covering the people and events that have shaped rural Australia for the past 75 years.
The ABC’s managing director, David Anderson, said there was no other ABC program that has had such an impact on Australian life over such a long time. “The story of life on the land is in many ways the story of Australia itself. The Country Hour and ABC Rural have covered every aspect of everyday country life since 1945 – from droughts and floods to cyclones and bushfires, from locust plagues to cycles of boom and bust.
The director of ABC’s regional & local services, Judith Whelan, said The Country Hour and the ABC’s rural programming had successfully moved with the times, expanding its coverage of regional and rural events onto digital and social media platforms from the mid-2000s.
“Today The Country Hour and ABC Rural bring their audiences stories on multiple platforms. Our producers and reporters are creating daily content for radio, audio-on-demand, online, social media and video for digital and television.”
The Country Hour will broadcast the following 75th anniversary editions on Thursday 3 December from midday local times:
The Queensland Country Hour will dig into the archives and explore the state’s rich agricultural history with a broadcast from the John Oxley Library in Brisbane.
The New South Wales Country Hour returns to the site of its 60th anniversary celebrations when it broadcasts from Cumnock in the central west.
Picking will be underway when the Tasmanian Country Hour broadcasts from a cherry orchard in the Derwent Valley, west of Hobart.
The Victorian Country Hour will celebrate the state’s cropping history broadcasting from Birchip in the Mallee.
The NT Country Hour will be coming from the Noonamah Tavern in Darwin, located between a mango farm and a live export facility.
The South Australian Country Hour will broadcast from the University of Adelaide’s Waite campus, home to the largest concentration of agriculture and wine research in the country.
The Western Australian Country Hour will be treated to a week of mini anniversary broadcasts.
How to listen:
The Country Hour is broadcast on all regional ABC Radio stations from noon local time in all states and territories except the ACT. Respective state programs can also be heard in metropolitan Adelaide, Darwin and Hobart.
You can listen to your state edition of The Country Hour on your AM/FM or digital radio receiver; on the ABC listen app; or online via your local ABC regional station’s website.
Mick Molloy, who was sacked twice by Channel 9, has opened up about his hilarious encounters with the network’s former owners, Kerry and James Packer, report News Corp’s Nui Te Koha and Jackie Epstein.
Molloy came into their multi-billion dollar orbit as Nine schmoozed the comedian and broadcaster, who became a hot property after his hit radio show with Tony Martin.
In 1999, Nine commissioned Molloy’s eponymous sketch comedy show.
“I got called into the (Channel 9) office in Melbourne,” Molloy told the Herald Sun’s Sacked: Showbiz podcast.
“It was James Packer on a conference call, and he goes, ‘Mick, I’ve got the old man here, and I go, ‘G’day boys!’
On Monday Angela Bishop was back where she belongs, on a showbiz red carpet at the AACTA Awards – her first in 9 months.
It was a pared down event on Monday with select press, limited invitees and zero ‘plus ones.’
“It’s great to be back on a red carpet and I like this new idea of having some space! The last red carpet I was on before this was the Oscars in March, just before shutdown,” she told TV Tonight.
“It’s great to see everyone so excited to be here and celebrating after such a rotten year for the arts, in particular.
“Dan Andrews’ press conference became a TV show – I’m surprised it’s not nominated!”
The Australian Open will start on February 8 under strict COVID testing procedures for the world’s best tennis players, reports News Corp’s Scott Gullan.
Superstars Roger Federer and Serena Williams, plus their entourages, will begin arriving from January 15 and go into a two-week quarantine where they will be able to train as long as they provide a negative test result upon arrival in Melbourne.
After weeks of negotiations with the Victorian State Government, Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley confirmed via e-mail on Wednesday afternoon that the opening Grand Slam of 2021 had been given the green light.
“It’s taken a while, but the great news is it looks like we are going to be able to hold the AO on 8 February,” Tiley said.
See also: Nine sales chief’s outlook: ‘Next year we will be even stronger’
Nine’s Michael Stephenson told Mediaweek: “We are working closely with Tennis Australia and the Victorian Government to finalise the start date of the Australian Open. Craig Tiley from Tennis Australia will help us navigate through this. We are well progressed in conversations with ad partners and sponsors for the Australian Open and the tennis and Married at First Sight will be the two events that kick off the year.”