Monday December 7, 2020

Kyle Sandilands
Kyle Sandilands and Bruno Bouchet podcast: Uncensored, unedited

By James Manning

• Inside King Kyle Group – Nueva Sangria, investment strategy, cartoon series

A new Mediaweek podcast published today celebrates one of the most successful partnerships in Australia radio – Kyle and Jackie O. After coming together on the Today Network in 2000 for The Hot 30, the duo were later moved to drive and then quickly into breakfast at 2Day FM. They jumped ship to ARN’s KIIS 106.5 (formerly Mix) where they have been a regular fixture as Sydney’s #1 FM breakfast show.

The third Mediaweek podcast with one half of the breakfast team, broadcaster Kyle Sandilands, was recorded in the Sydney offices of the King Kyle Group. It has been close to eight years since Sandilands was last on a Mediaweek podcast, way back when his book Scandalands was published. Back then Bruno Bouchet, who co-authored the book, was also a guest on the podcast.

These days Bouchet is managing director of the King Kyle group of companies and he again joins this podcast. We were keen to speak with Bouchet and Sandilands about the business empire they are building. As you will hear the conversation often wandered off-topic. The recording took place in the Sydney HQ of the King Kyle group. We also got to meet Coffee John (who Kyle talks about in one memorable segment) while we also met with the co-founder of the Neuva Drinks Co, Tegan Kynaston.

When you walk in the main entrance of King Kyle Group you enter a bar set up to promote the Nueva Sangria wine brand. Up a few more stairs and then there is an open plan workspace with an adjacent office and studio.

“We can do everything here,” said Sandilands showing us around. “Podcasting, live to air, TV production, film editing, recording studio. We are pumping out lots of content from here including on a real estate show we are working on for Amazon Prime.”

What follows are some of the highlights from the 90-minute interview. Unlike the podcast, these highlights have been edited and censored!

Listen to the unedited and uncensored Kyle and Bruno podcast
Hit subscribe on your podcast player so you don’t miss a Mediaweek episode

Jackie O with Santa and the KIIS 106.5 breakfast team on the penultimate show of 2020

Kyle and his managers

Bruno Bouchet is running the Sandilands business and managing the radio star. Sandilands explained: “Bruno had enough of radio and wanted to move onto something else. He now runs all my companies – King Kyle Group. He’s doing well here.”

BB: [On his transition from radio to corporate Australia working for Casio.] “One minute I was working in radio, making dick jokes and having a laugh, then a few weeks later I’m in a board room in Tokyo, negotiating the prices of wristwatches for the Australian market. Kyle has taught me to calm down a lot – I have taken a lot of hints from Kyle. He’s my guru.”

Is there a different dynamic between Sandilands and Bouchet who have gone from work colleagues, to authors of Kyle’s autobiography to now business manager and talent?

KS: “I look at him as the same slave as I have always seen him. He gets paid more now though.”

BB: “When I was a kid listening to Kyle and The Hot 30. [KS interjects: ‘How dare you. There is hardly any age difference.’] I used to think that  Ugly Phil was great hosting that show. But when Kyle took over, all of a sudden I was thinking there was a mad man on the radio. I thought they had let a crazy person on air and he’s talking about things like how to get good blow jobs. It was outrageous.”

KS: “That’s how Bruno learnt to blow a bloke.”

BB: “I had decided I wanted to work in radio for either one of two people –Kyle or John Laws. I worked my ass off and the opportunity came up to work for Kyle and be the guest booker. I was probably trying too hard to be liked by Kyle and he despised me and I thought I would be gone after my second week.”

KS: “That’s right. Didn’t Jackie ban you from coming into the studio we broadcast from?”

BB: “Yes. For a guest booker it was very difficult that I couldn’t take the guest into the studio. I opened the door for them and just pushed them in.

“Over the 10 years I have known Kyle he has become not only a mentor but a close friend who I think knows more about me than my wife does.”

Kyle and Bruno

The King Kyle Group

KS: “We have the coconut water company H2coco and that’s going very well. Myself and three others have put together the Nueva Sangria business. Tegan Kynaston has worked with me for ages and we’ve been best friends for about 10 years. She and her family are in the alcohol industry and have been doing it for ages.

“Tegan, her brother David, and Sam, the other wine guy, got together and said they could do a high-end Sangria and it was a surprise hit. We were just selling it online at first and now it is in BWS, Dan Murphy, Liquorland…they are all jumping on board.

It was a side gig for us that has taken on a whole life of its own. We have a Prosecco coming out this month and then a beer is being launched in January.”

A third launch is also pending after Kyle spotted a business opportunity early in 2020.

“All those grapes that got affected by the bushfires, I bought them all from the farmers instead of letting them be used as pig food. I asked the winemakers if they could do anything with a smoky grape. The only thing we could do was a smoky gin, so I said, ‘Fuck it, let’s do it’.”

Asked what he’d do if the gin takes off, Sandilands replied: “I’ll start another fire, I’ll burn the whole country to the ground.

“We have also gone into a business that does live pets for children and we are doing a cartoon based on that. Zac Efron is doing one of the voices and so will Dannii Minogue. I will also do a voice and I have music guys working on kids’ songs and we are also developing live shows, merchandise and toys.

“There is a lot going on. I am a bit annoyed it is coming into Christmas because I am just getting ramped up when everybody else wants to lay on the beach or visit their families.”

What Sandilands has built over the past couple of years is the biggest crack he’s had at a business group. “I have dipped my toe into a few things in the past. It’s mainly Tegan, Dave and Sam who have done all the hard work for the Nueva Sangria. I have pulled out of a lot of business ventures over the years – none of them failed, but I pulled out because it didn’t feel right. If something doesn’t feel right I will be a person who does a U-turn and waits for something else.”

Investment strategy

KS: “I will roll the dice on something. I don’t know a lot outside of radio and TV. Anything outside of that I will have a look at, but I want to get experts in that industry around me. When they are nodding yes, yes, yes, I will bring them on board and give them some skin in the game. We will then slowly launch the boat out into the ocean, hoping it doesn’t sink.”

How hands on are you? Do you look at the bank accounts etc?

“Yes. I never used to. I would blindly trust everybody around me in the early years and a few people made some mistakes which led to huge losses. Those days are gone. I have great accountants, great lawyers, and managers of different departments. I look at the P&Ls every month and they have to come to me if there are any purchases that aren’t budgeted for.”

Listen to the unedited and uncensored Kyle and Bruno podcast

Top Photo: Kyle with a bottle of Neuva Sangria

Christmas with The Australian Women’s Weekly
Are Media’s sponsors of Australian Women’s Weekly Christmas TV show

Are Media has revealed an all-star line-up of partners including Goodman Fielder’s baking brands White Wings and CSR Sugar, Kenwood, Sunbeam, Borrowdale Pork and the Girl Guides who have signed on to help celebrate Christmas with The Australian Women’s Weekly.

Each of the five brands will be integrated in segments during the Network 10 program in addition to The Australian Women’s Weekly print, social and digital channels across Now to Love.

Goodman Fielder senior brand manager Nikoleta Kastanias said: “The Australian Women’s Weekly and Christmas with the Weekly have long and rich histories, as do our iconic baking brands White Wings and CSR sugar, which have been making Christmas moments more magical for generations. We’re delighted to be working with Are Media and 10 to share the magic of baking this Christmas with Aussie families.”

Studio 10’s Sarah Harris, The Australian Women’s Weekly’s editor-in-chief Nicole Byers and 10 of The Weekly’s favourite personalities will share Christmas recipes, tips and tricks for the perfect festive celebrations.

From a fail-safe pork crackling to a show-stopping ice cream dessert, The Australian Women’s Weekly’s food team, alongside MasterChef Australia alumni Amina Elshafel and Sarah Tiong, have the Chrissie Day menu covered with their easy take on your festive favourites.

The Living Room’s Barry Du Bois creates Christmas craft with his children, and Studio 10’s Tristan MacManus does his best to impress the toughest food critic of all, his daughter Echo.

Byers said: “Never has there been a more important year to gather with family or friends and celebrate the festive season. And, as always, The Weekly is on hand to make sure it goes off with a bang. We’re delighted to welcome our five sponsors across Christmas with The Weekly on 10 and across our print, social and digital channels. The Weekly’s Christmas issue is always our most anticipated and popular of the year, and we have made 2020’s our most special yet.”

The Christmas issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly features Sarah Harris on the cover and includes a special gold foil treatment from top to bottom. The vintage inspired yet thoroughly modern cover makes this 220-page issue a true collector’s edition. The magazine is packed with over 150 tips and ideas on how to make this Christmas the best ever, as well as The Weekly’s usual mix of inspiring features and celebrities.

Tamara Simoneau, executive producer of Studio 10 and Christmas with The Australian Women’s Weekly said: “10 and The Weekly have teamed up to deliver exactly the kind of feel-good content we all need after a year most would rather forget. It’s a timely reminder of all the wonderful things we still have to celebrate as 2020 prepares to exit stage right, and how Aussies know more than a thing or two about how to have a cracking Christmas – no matter what.”

Rachael Brand, head of brand entertainment production at 10 said: “10 Imagine have loved collaborating with Nicole and her talented team again this year for Christmas with The Australian Women’s Weekly, on 10. Bringing the Christmas edition of the magazine to life on screen gives our audience unique behind the scenes access to The Weekly’s iconic celebrity photo shoots, simple tips and tricks from their expert food and design team and so much more festive fun.”

Christmas with The Australian Women’s Weekly airs on Thursday, 10 December at 7.30pm on 10. The Christmas edition of The Australian Women’s Weekly is on sale now.

Heartbreak High
Fremantle to reboot Heartbreak High: Eight episodes for Netflix in 2022

Netflix has commissioned a reboot of the Australian young adult series Heartbreak High.

Inspired by the original 90s series, but reimagined for a new generation, Heartbreak High will make its global debut on Netflix in 2022. The original series ran for seven seasons on Network 10 and then the ABC for a total of 210 episodes. All of the original episodes are currently available on Netflix.

Fremantle Australia will produce the eight-episode series for Netflix in Sydney with Dutch production company NewBe, which acquired the rights from Brian Abel, partner of the late Ben Gannon, who created and produced the original.

The new episodes are being developed with the assistance of Screen NSW.

Que Minh Luu, Netflix’s director of originals in Australia, said: “We haven’t had a rebellious Australian YA series on screen since the original Heartbreak High, so this is well overdue. The new Heartbreak High is for young people in Australia today to feel seen – showcasing their stories, senses of humour and aesthetics to the world, and reminding everyone that they are much, much cooler than us. It’s also for the 90s kids, fans of the original series who remember what it’s like to feel understood by a TV show, then racking off. This Netflix show will be ours, and we can’t wait to get started.”

Fremantle Australia executive producers Chris Oliver-Taylor (CEO Asia Pacific) and Carly Heaton said: “We are delighted to work with our partners NewBe and Netflix to bring back such an iconic Australian series and take it global. We cannot wait to bring to Netflix audiences, young and old, a truly brilliant and unashamedly Australian reimagining of Heartbreak High.”

NewBe’s executive producers, Jeroen Koopman (founder and CEO) and Tarik Traidia: “It’s been a thrilling ride from the start; from the first idea of bringing this childhood gem back to the screen to actually acquiring the remake rights from Brian Abel. It’s now up to us to determine how the story continues for the next gen, some 25 years later. We’re beyond excited and proud to have partnered with Fremantle Australia to make this reboot come to life on Netflix, and give young adults the same joy of watching as we had back in the day when we were kids.”

Miley Cyrus
ARIA Charts: Powderfinger & Miley top 5, Christmas singles return

By James Manning

• The only arrival into the top 10 was Midnight Sky from Miley Cyrusxf

Singles

No change at the top again with Mood from 24kGoldn featuring Iann Dior at #1 for an eighth week. That is now the second most weeks topping the chart in 2020 after The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights spent 11 weeks at #1 to start the year.

The only arrival into the top 10 was Midnight Sky from Miley Cyrus which jumped from #13 to #7 after 16 weeks. The move coincides with the arrival of her new album Plastic Hearts in the top 10.

There was just one new entry into the top 50 this week:

#32 Jam Mountain Music with Light a Candle. The Christmas song comes from the Tasmanian independent label and publishing house Jam Mountain Music with studios and affiliates in Australia, Denmark and England. The Christmas song has been released to raise money for the charity Act For Kids.

Plenty of chart re-entries this week though as Christmas fever grips the nation!

#16: Mariah Carey with All I Want For Christmas Is You. The song has charted for a total of 35 weeks since its original release in 1994, finally peaking at #1 last year.
#40 Wham! With Last Christmas. Andrew and George light up the chart for a 28th week (on ARIA charts) since the original release in 1984.
#41 Michael Bublé with It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas. A fifth week on the chart for this Bublé track after this recording was first released as a single in 2012, a year after the track first appeared on his Christmas album.

Albums

A third week at #1 for AC/DC with PWR/UP. The longest run at #1 this year was Taylor Swift with Folklore topping the charts over four weeks. Also spending three weeks at #1 was Music from the Home Front. A number of artists did two weeks at #1 including Harry Styles, Lady Gaga, Drake and BTS.

A total of five albums made their debut in the top 50 this week:

#2 Powderfinger with Unreleased (1998-2010). A ninth time in the top 10 albums for the Brisbane band. A second time on the chart this year after the band re-entered at #2 with the 20th Anniversary Edition of Odyssey Number Five.
#3 Miley Cyrus with Plastic Hearts. A sixth time in the top 10 with her seventh album.
#23 Spacey Jane with No Way to Treat an Animal. The Fremantle band score a second top 50 appearance this year after charting with their debut album Sunlight which peaked at #2 in June.
#26 Steps with What the Future Holds. The sixth album for the British pop act and the first since 2017.
#36 The Smashing Pumpkins with CYR. The 11th album from the US rockers comes after 10 tracks were first released as singles. Their previous album Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun didn’t make the top 50 here. The band last cracked this top 50 chart in 2012 with Oceania.

 

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T20
TV ratings: Summer survey, Sunday Week 50 2020

By James Manning

• Fox Cricket T20 International breaks into Sunday top 10
• ABC and Foxtel have six of Sunday’s top 12 programs

Commercial networks talk about programming for 52 weeks of the year, however Covid has impacted their 2020 plans and left the December schedules paper thin.

Nine won the second Sunday of summer survey with the biggest primary and network shares. Nine News narrowly ranked #1 at 6pm while 60 Minutes was only one of four programs over 500,000.

The ABC and Fox Cricket invaded the OzTAM top 20 and in fact managed to score six of the top 12 programs.

The most-watched entertainment programs (if 60 Minutes is counted as news and current affairs) were 10’s The Sunday Project and Nine’s RBT.

Week 49: Friday-Sunday
FRIDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 14.8% 7 19.8% 9 14.3% 10  9.3% SBS One 4.4%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.5% 7TWO 3.2% GO! 3.6% 10 Bold 5.3% VICELAND 1.6%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 2.1% GEM 2.5% 10 Peach 2.8% Food Net 1.2%
ABC NEWS 2.2% 7flix 2.1% 9Life 2.4% 10 Shake 0.5% NITV 0.2%
        9Rush 1.8%     SBS World Movies 1.7%
TOTAL 21.1%   27.1%   24.6%   18.0%   9.2%

 

SATURDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 13.7% 7 13.7% 9 15.8% 10  8.3% SBS One 5.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.6% 7TWO 4.6% GO! 6.2% 10 Bold 4.0% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 2.8% GEM 3.5% 10 Peach 3.4% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 2.3% 7flix 3.4% 9Life 2.3% 10 Shake 0.6% NITV 0.3%
        9Rush 2.1%     SBS World Movies 1.4%
TOTAL 20.1%   24.5%   29.9%   16.4%   9.1%

 

SUNDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 11.9% 7 14.6% 9 18.8% 10  9.7% SBS One 7.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.8% 7TWO 2.4% GO! 3.3% 10 Bold 5.5% VICELAND 0.9%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 3.2% GEM 2.8% 10 Peach 3.2% Food Net 1.3%
ABC NEWS 2.4% 7flix 2.0% 9Life 2.8% 10 Shake 0.6% NITV 0.5%
        9Rush 1.3%     SBS World Movies 1.6%
TOTAL 18.6%   22.2%   29.0%   19.0%   11.2%

 

SUNDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 11.7% 7 14.7% 9 18.3% WIN 7.2% SBS One 6.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.5% 7TWO 3.5% GO! 3.6% WIN Bold 4.7% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.9% 7mate 4.0% GEM 6.2% WIN Peach 2.6% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 2.6% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.0% 9Life 3.4% Sky News  on WIN 2.0% NITV 0.7%
                SBS Movies 1.6%
TOTAL 18.7%   24.2%   31.4%   16.6%   10.7%

 

SUNDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
80.4% 19.6%
All People Ratings

Friday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 764,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 733,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 641,000
  4. Nine News Nine 640,000
  5. ABC News ABC 551,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 507,000
  7. Gardening Australia ABC 464,000
  8. Reef Live ABC 392,000
  9. Better Homes And Gardens Summer Seven 382,000
  10. The Chase Australia Seven 381,000

 

Saturday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 728,000
  2. Nine News Saturday Nine 684,000
  3. ABC News ABC 494,000
  4. A Current Affair Nine 406,000
  5. Victoria ABC 354,000
  6. Call The Midwife: Christmas Special (2018) (R) ABC 332,000
  7. Rugby: 2020 Wallabies V Argentina Live 10 288,000
  8. Daddy’s Home 2 Nine 260,000
  9. Weekend Sunrise Seven 259,000
  10. RBT Nine 250,000
Sunday FTA
  1. Nine News Sunday Nine 851,000
  2. Seven News Seven 848,000
  3. ABC News Sunday ABC 573,000
  4. 60 Minutes Nine 512,000
  5. Extinction With David Attenborough ABC 387,000
  6. Reef Live ABC 371,000
  7. The Sunday Project 7pm 10 363,000
  8. The Graham Norton Show 10 345,000
  9. RBT Nine 339,000
  10. 7news Spotlight: In The Blink Of An Eye Seven 306,000
  11. 10 News First 10 291,000
  12. Insiders AM ABC 269,000
  13. The Sunday Project 6.30pm 10 250,000
  14. Edge Of Tomorrow Nine 247,000
  15. Nine News: First At Five Nine 241,000
  16. Territory Cops Nine 236,000
  17. Weekend Sunrise Seven 231,000
  18. 10 News First 6pm 10 220,000
  19. Seven News At 5 Seven 218,000
  20. Weekend Sunrise – Early Seven 209,000
Sunday Multichannel
  1. NCIS Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 189,000
  2. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 169,000
  3. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 152,000
  4. ABC News AM ABC NEWS 150,000
  5. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 150,000
  6. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  7. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 142,000
  8. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  9. NCIS: Los Angeles (R) 10 Bold 136,000
  10. Andy’s Baby Animals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 133,000
  11. Weekend Breakfast: 10am AM ABC NEWS 130,000
  12. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  13. Love Monster AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 124,000
  14. Dog Loves Books ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  15. Insiders AM ABC NEWS 121,000
  16. Book Hungry Bears AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  17. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  18. Death In Paradise 9Gem 118,000
  19. Go Jetters PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  20. PJ Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 112,000
Sunday STV
  1. Live: T20 Innings Break FOX CRICKET 509,000
  2. Live: T20: AUSV IND Game 2 FOX CRICKET 454,000
  3. Live: T20: AUSV IND Game 2 FOX CRICKET 441,000
  4. Live: T20 Post Game FOX CRICKET 429,000
  5. T20 Mini AUSV IND FOX CRICKET 206,000
  6. Live: T20 Pre Game FOX CRICKET 122,000
  7. Live: AUSV IND Tour FOX CRICKET 76,000
  8. Outsiders Sky News Live 66,000
  9. T20 Mini AUSV IND FOX CRICKET 62,000
  10. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 61,000
  11. Outsiders Sky News Live 59,000
  12. Live: F1: Sakhir Qualifying FOX SPORTS 506 57,000
  13. Bolly Week: Superstar: Kl Rahul FOX CRICKET 43,000
  14. Live: AUSV IND Tour FOX CRICKET 36,000
  15. Live: F1: Sakhir Pit Lane Qualifying FOX SPORTS 506 33,000
  16. MH370: The Untold Story Sky News Live 31,000
  17. Midsomer Murders UKTV 31,000
  18. Midsomer Murders UKTV 30,000
  19. Helicopter Er Lifestyle Channel 30,000
  20. NCIS FOX Crime 30,000

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

Nine Entertainment Co officially opens North Sydney campus

Nine Entertainment Co has opened the doors to its new offices at 1 Denison Street in North Sydney, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.

The television, publishing and radio company, which owns The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, hosted politicians, business executives and shareholders at an event on Friday evening to mark the official opening of the new campus which will be home to most of the $4.1 billion company.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Communications Minister Paul Fletcher, NRL boss Andrew Abdo, Rugby Australia executives Hamish McLennan, Rob Clarke and former Fairfax Media boss Greg Hywood were among the attendees hosted at the new campus by Nine chairman Peter Costello and outgoing chief executive Hugh Marks.

“From a board’s point of view an investment like this doesn’t come cheap. Willoughby was a grand dame in her day but she has faded and this was a huge investment in our future. It’s coming together and as long as we stay focused it’ll be a great future. With that I say we open the new era and I formally open 1 Denison Street,” Costello said.

[Read more]

Does TV behemoth Banijay/Endemol Shine want Hugh Marks on board?

Outgoing Nine boss Hugh Marks has been mooted as a possible future chief of the newly forged production giant Banijay/Endemol Shine, reports News Corp’s Annette Sharp.

The media company executive – who resigned from his post as Nine CEO on November 14 after confirming he was in a relationship with a newly departed subordinate – is said to be among short-listed candidates for the job of overseeing the newly-merged entity created earlier this year when French TV production company Banijay acquired one of Australia’s biggest production companies, Endemol Shine.

According to industry sources, Marks’ name was first talked about as being on the wishlist for the role months ago. He was asked for comment last night and his spokeswoman at Nine said that “it was absolutely not happening”.

French-headquartered Banijay has been busy recruiting Australian executives for the production giant, with Endemol Shine International CEO Cathy Payne signing on as CEO of Banijay Rights Ltd in April.

[Read more]

Labor MP Jim Chalmers flew to Lachlan Murdoch’s Christmas drinks

Opposition Treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers charged taxpayers more than $800 to travel to Sydney and attend Christmas drinks held by News Corp’s co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch and his wife, Sarah, reports The Australian’s Richard Ferguson.

Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg have faced criticism in recent days for taking a $5000 publicly funded jet to the exclusive Christmas drinks in December last year and returning to Canberra the next morning.

Dr Chalmers’ parliamentarians’ expenditure records show he charged taxpayers $827 to fly from Canberra to Sydney on December 5, where he attended Murdoch’s drinks, and left for his home city of Brisbane for an undisclosed amount on the same night.

[Read more]

Seven could cash in its Airtasker stake in float in early 2021

Online jobs outsourcing company Airtasker is believed to be lining up a public listing for February, a move that will allow investor Seven West Media to exit and extract cash to pay down its debt pile, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Seven owns more than 18 per cent of Airtasker and, based on the 2019 valuation, could secure more than $45 million if it completely divested. However, the listing could go at a higher valuation.

Seven is selling its studio business and broadcast towers business TX Australia, which is 50-50 owned by Seven and Nine, owner of the Financial Review.

The price for Seven Studios several prospective buyers are looking at is believed to be between $170 million and $200 million. Before the pandemic, Seven said it was also considering a float for its investment in SocietyOne.

[Read more]

News Brands

The Australian promotes editors Jennifer Campbell and Alan Howe

Award-winning editor Jennifer Campbell has been appointed The Australian commentary editor, as part of a move to broaden the masthead’s national coverage. She has edited a range of sections during her 28-year career at The Australian, including Inquirer and features.

Alan Howe, who has a long association with The Australian, will take up a new role as history and obituaries editor. “It is so important in this 24/7 media environment that mastheads like ours bring depth and context to current debates,” The Australian editor Michelle Gunn said. “This new role will also enhance our obituaries coverage, making sure we properly honour the contributions of those who have gone before us.”

Howe, who first worked on The Australian in 1985, takes on the new role after serving as opinion editor for the past four years. He edited the Sunday Herald Sun in Victoria for 12 years and has worked as a senior journalist on London’s The Times and Sunday Times and the New York Post.

Nine dumps its China bureaus as relations hit historic low

As relations between Australia and China reach a historic low after last week’s “fake tweet” saga, some media organisations are resigned to relations not improving any time soon, reports The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff.

Nine’s major newspapers, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Australian Financial Review, have decided in quick succession to shut down their operations in China altogether.

As we know, there are already no correspondents for Australian media outlets on the ground in China, after the AFR’s Mike Smith was, along with the ABC’s Bill Birtles, forced to hurriedly return to Australia in September amid deteriorating relations. But when they came home, Nine’s various China bureaus were initially kept open.

Three months later, there’s been a marked change of stance. The SMH, Age and AFR have now all closed offices and residences in China, and paid out news assistants they had been employing on the ground.

[Read more]

ABC, New Daily deal faces fresh scrutiny over industry super investments

The ABC could be forced to hand over details of its commercial agreement with a news website that is bankrolled by industry superannuation funds, amid fresh questions over the national broadcaster’s independence, reports Nine’s Rob Harris and Zoe Samios.

Liberal senator Andrew Bragg, a fierce critic of industry super, will attempt to gain Senate support to demand the ABC provide more details of its content-sharing agreement in which The New Daily pays to use its content.

In a brief written answer to the Senate on Friday afternoon, ABC managing director David Anderson said The New Daily agreement was contracted with Motion Publishing, a subsidiary company of Solstice Media, which had been a client for the past seven years.

“They license non-exclusive online rights to ABC News content, including that published to www.thenewdaily.com.au,” he said.

Industry sources familiar with the commercial agreement said The New Daily paid the national broadcaster less than $50,000 a year for use of its articles and videos.

[Read more]

Who’s next in Nine axing after publicity queen shown the door?

The axe is swinging at Channel 9 Melbourne as the Sydney bean counters swoop, reports News Corp’s Alice Coster.

Two high-profile casualties got the chop this week and who knows who’s next.

But if anyone knows where the bodies are buried in Melbourne or which skeletons are still rattling in the closet, it’s Michelle Stamper.

After more than 14 years keeping the tales locked in the Channel 9 Melbourne crypt, Stamper was unceremoniously shown the door.

On the same day Stamper received the call an email was circulated to 3AW staff announcing the departure of stalwart entertainment reporter Donna Demaio after almost 30 years in the job.

“It is with sadness we inform you Donna Demaio is leaving the business today following changes to the structure of our news department,” the email read.

“Donna has been a highly valued journalist and program reporter for almost 30 years.

“Her news and entertainment reporting has always been widely respected.”

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Sports Media

Sports Power 100: Peter V’landys ranks #1 on News Corp list

News Corp metro dailies on the weekend published a list of the 100 most powerful people in sport. Topping the list was Australian Rugby League chairman Peter V’Landys.

Peter V’landys credits legendary commentator Bruce McAvaney for his success in sports administration, reports News Corp’s Phil Rothfield.

The most powerful man in Australian sport tells a story from 30 years when they first met in a terminal at Sydney Airport on a Sunday afternoon.

V’landys was CEO of Harold Park harness racing and had to pick up his star guest speaker from Melbourne for a Miracle Mile function.

“I have this philosophy that you can learn something new every day,” V’landys says. “And this day all those years ago was no different. It was a fascinating car ride.

“Bruce taught me a lot that day about preparation, about research, about being on top of your game. That he’d spend three to four hours on a race if he had to.

“A 100m final at the Olympics might be over in less than 10 seconds, but he’d work for hours and hours on it. That just hit the mark with me.”

Sports Power 100: News Corp’s Top 10

1. Peter V’landys
2. John Coates
3. Tim Paine
4. Gillon McLachlan
5. Sam Kerr
6. Dustin Martin
7. Michael Miller
8. Patrick Delany
9. Wayne Bennett
10. James Warburton

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Nine to ask TA for rights discount due to Australian Open delay

Nine Entertainment Co is expected to demand a discount from Tennis Australia for the delay of next year’s Australian Open tournament on the grounds it has defaulted on its broadcast rights agreement, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.

Industry sources briefed on Nine’s strategy said the broadcaster will seek a reduction on its $300 million five-year deal with Tennis Australia, which includes events in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Hobart, once the final date of the tennis grand slam is confirmed.

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