By James Manning
Angus Ross on 2021: ‘I am predicting a much bigger share for Seven’
With no My Kitchen Rules this year, the responsibility of launching Seven’s survey year has fallen to Eureka Productions and its new format Holey Moley.
The extreme mini golf series was planned to launch against Nine’s Married at First Sight after the Australian Open. With the tennis moving into February, Seven is sticking with its original launch date as it brings out its big guns post-cricket season. Eureka also has another launch on Monday February 1, its new season of Amazing Race Australia on 10.
“We are locked and loaded for 2021 and we are feeling very confident we will have a bigger year,” Seven’s director of network programming Angus Ross told Mediaweek. How much bigger? “We will have more consistency with proven tentpole formats and a Covid-proof schedule. We have banked all our shows up until the Olympics already and we are well underway with production of shows post-Olympics.”
Since the 2021 Upfront event late last year, Seven has added another format for 2021, Dancing with the Stars Allstars. “We are making it in a way that we think will invigorate the format in this market,” explained Ross (pictured above).
“We should have one more format to announce this year and that will be post-Olympics. We are bringing back the three hit formats from last year – Big Brother, Farmer Wants a Wife and SAS Australia. Joining them will be Holey Moley, Ultimate Tag, The Voice, a proven format on a competitor, Australia’s Got Talent and more of The Real Full Monty.”
Most of Seven’s 7.30pm formats run Sunday to Tuesday. There are a few more episodes of a couple of them this year – Farmer Wants a Wife and Big Brother will run a little longer with extra episodes.
Despite the delay of the Australia Open, Seven is maintaining its existing schedule, with Holey Moley launching in what would have been the first night after the Men’s Final. It now launches a week before the tennis starts and a week before survey.
Ross: “It is not ideal, but it’s not ideal for Nine either, having to move sport from its traditional home and away from school holidays. That means it probably won’t get the same result it would have in January.”
Holey Moley has big shoes to fill as it goes to air in the place of a format that held its place for a decade – My Kitchen Rules.
Ross: “Although MKR didn’t perform as we’d hoped last year, that doesn’t take anything away from what it achieved over the preceding 10 years or the people who worked on it and the great jobs they did. It will be rested, but it is still a great format.”
Seven CEO James Warburton and Ross are very confident about the schedule they have signed off on. “We are primed for growth in Q1 and Q2,” said Ross. “I am predicting a much bigger share for Seven in Q1,” he enthused.
One thing Ross did want to emphasise, picking tested formats off the shelf isn’t an easy or cheap option. “We are looking to invest in our program schedule. The great thing about James is he has given us the freedom to commission those proven international formats.”
Ross didn’t want to single out any show as costing the most to produce: “The production values across all our series are excellent. You can’t get away with making things cheaply, when you do that they very rarely work out. All of our shows are expensive and they look it. We want the audience to recognise they are watching a great looking show.”
Seven reminded Mediaweek again it is three from three with its new formats. “Versus our competitors this year we are going to be looking far fresher.”
If there is a single question mark about any lingering Covid impact it rests above Australia’s Got Talent. “We are hoping we can make it,” Ross said. “It will be dependent on us being able to get in the number of international acts that make that format fly.
“If a show might look like it has been impacted by Covid, whether it means we can’t have crowds or can’t get acts, we won’t make it.
“We are only going to make a show if it can be of the standard we require. In the US and the UK last year Covid impacted shows and they didn’t look great and the audience responded.”
There will be no impact on Dancing with the Stars which will be pre-recorded soon. It will feature former contestants with several new couples with judge’s scores eliminating contestants.
Seven remains confident Tokyo 2021 will happen, but Ross said even if the Olympics faced another delay, Seven has enough content to power through the year without disruption.
Sony Music’s Denis Handlin has announced four appointments in the Australian company.
Sony Music Australia Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Denis Handlin has announced four appointments in the Australian company regarding new leadership roles across A&R, promotions, brand partnerships and sync/licensing. These appointments are effective immediately.
Marietta Ouzas (above) has been promoted to Senior Director, A&R. Ouzas will continue to be based in Melbourne and will report to Pat Handlin.
Together with Ouzas’s promotion that sees her responsible for A&R in Victoria, Sony Music will be expanding its Melbourne A&R and marketing team that will report to her, which complements the Sydney based team.
Ouzas’s significant contribution to Australian artists is well-known, especially through the signing and A&R of Tones And I and Tash Sultana. In recent times, she has helped expand and diversify Sony Music’s artist roster by working with the team that has brought artists to the company including MAY-A, Jerome Farah, Forest Claudette, Billy Davis, mvlholland and KYE, as well as JV labels Arcadia Records with Christian Lo Russo, and Seven Seven Records with Jon Halstead and Zach Hamilton-Reaves.
Ouzas commenced with the company as an intern in 2013 and progressed through publicity, promotions and sales roles until she joined the Australian artists marketing and artist development divisions in 2016. In 2019, she was promoted to Senior Manager, Marketing and A&R, and last year, began to hold a co-management role for Tones And I with Lemon Tree Music and Artists Only.
Fenella Wagener and Tammy Hofbauer have been promoted to Senior Directors, National Promotions. Wagener based in Melbourne and Hofbauer based in Sydney, will report to Wayne Ringrow and Grant Donges for Australian and international repertoire respectively.
Both Wagener and Hofbauer will be jointly responsible for the National Promotions division. They will have crucial media facing roles for the strategically important radio networks, whilst leading the promotions team across the country. In their responsibility for promotions, Wagener and Hofbauer will be involved with broader business partners and events that allows Sony Music to further increase the promotion of its artists.
Wagener joined Sony Music in 2019 as Director, Promotions & Media, Victoria. She joined from Universal Music where she held the role of PR & Media Manager in Melbourne from 2017. Prior to this, she also held the roles of Senior Producer for the Today show, journalist & online content producer for 3AW, and producer for Triple M and Fox FM.
Hofbauer commenced with the company in the A&R division in 2008, before moving through the company in various communications and artist relations roles. She joined the promotions team in 2018 and was promoted to the role of Director, National Promotions in April 2019.
Sophie McArthur, in her role as Vice President, Streaming Strategy and Partner Development, ANZ, will now be responsible for the brand partnerships and the sync/licensing teams. This responsibility is in addition to her role leading the digital business. McArthur will continue to be based in Sydney and will report to Denis Handlin.
McArthur joined Sony Music in 2013 as Manager, Business Development. In 2014, she joined the digital team and subsequently held senior manager and director roles of that division, which also included involvement in the company’s Asia region. In 2018, she was promoted to the executive leadership role of General Manager of Digital and Business Development for Australia and New Zealand. Prior to Sony Music, McArthur worked in brand partnerships roles at SBS and SMGRED.
2DayFM has announced a partnership with the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras which will be extended across the whole Hit Network.
Head of the Hit Network, Gemma Fordham said “We are very excited about this returning relationship with Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is Sydney on show to the world and we feel incredibly passionate at 2DayFM about putting what resources we can behind shining a light on important LGBTQIA+ issues and uniting all communities. Our on air and behind the scenes teams are synonymous with creating fun so I know we are going to have the best time bringing it all to life”
Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger said “With a rich history of supporting diverse organisations and delivering meaningful work, we are proud to announce our partnership with 2DayFM. Throughout the years, 2DayFM, together with the broader Hit Network, has played an active and visible role in supporting our community, amplifying messages of equality through action. It’s strong equality, diversity and inclusion policies mean that all employees are encouraged to bring their authentic selves to work. This national partnership will allow Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras the opportunity to uplift the voices of our communities, even those in the most regional parts of the country.”
As part of the 12-month partnership there will be initiatives and executions across the Hit Network’s 50 stations and digital assets and the Hit Network’s national drive show, Carrie & Tommy, will join forces with listeners to create their own costumes and float and join them for the always fabulous parade with some help from 2Day’s The Morning Crew with Hughesy, Ed & Erin.
As members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community Tom & Olly are passionate about bringing conversations of diversity to the airwaves. Once a month, Tom & Olly will highlight a LGBTQIA+ artist, comedian or actor to celebrate their achievements.
2Day will provide ongoing support of the LGBTQIA+ community on key dates across the year such as International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, International Transgender Day of Visibility, National Coming Out Day and World AIDS Day. The Hit Network will create the Hit Helpdesk – a dedicated hub with resources for old and young, who they can talk to and how they get in touch with them.
Once a month, the Hit Network Entertainment reporter (and Australia’s Mr Gay Pride 2019 finalist) Justin Hill will interview a community ally to highlight who they are and what they have done to support the LGBTQIA+ community for his The Ally Podcast.
The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras kicks off 19 February – 7 March.
Despite COVID-19 the show managed to have a full cast and a studio audience for the finale.
Former Bachelor Australia contestant Abbie Chatfield has won season seven of I’m a Celebrity Get Me… Out of Here after defeating Grant Denyer and winning $100,000 for her charity.
The finale was broadcast live on channel 10 from Sydney. Despite COVID-19 the show managed to have a full cast and a studio audience for the finale.
In a season set on home soil where everyday tasks whittled the celebrity numbers down before the Hell Holes of Destiny sealed their massive ejection fate, the public then spoke and crowned Abbie, Queen of the Aussie jungle.
On winning $100,000 for her chosen charity, Dementia Australia, Abbie said: “I can’t believe it, me doing this, everything was for Grandma. I’m so so happy and really grateful I could do it for her.”
This season was pre-recorded after filming was moved from the South African jungle to the bush of Australia with the show using the same set as the UK and German iterations of the show.
When asked about the cast of this season head of entertainment and factual programs at Network 10 Stephen Tate said that asking him which is his favourite celebrity on the show is like asking which is his favourite child and he wouldn’t answer either question in this interview.
“When we are casting the show, we are looking for people who are naturally funny and will embrace the experience and I think we really struck gold this year.
“No one disappeared this year, normally someone will go into the jungle and just go quiet but this year they are all really holding their own.”
I’m a Celebrity has had a successful year both in the tv rating and commercially, the show achieved its highest ever commercial shares with an average of 853,000 national viewers and was #1 in all key demographics.
This year the show sported a robust sponsor list which includes BCF, McDonald’s (2nd year), Plush, Mitsubishi, Oz Lotto, Youfoodz, Origin (3rd year), Bedshed (2nd year), Carnival (2nd year) and Youi.
Australia’s ultimate skill test The Cube, may look easy, but with a shot at a whopping $250,000 on the line, it’s anything but.
Premiering on 10 Wednesday, 24 February at 7.30pm, Andy Lee hosts the edge-of-your-seat, family-entertainment game show putting everyday Aussies’ back in their boxes.
The format comes from the British series The Million Pound Cube (known as The Cube from 2009–2015), which has run for 10 seasons and 85 episodes.
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.
The show was announced in December last year, with Lee commenting “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.”
Below is a view inside The Cube And where Lee points out, every single game is doable. It just comes down to: can you do it?
The Cube Australia is an ITV Studios production for Network 10. Andy Lee will also serve as an executive producer. Lee and ITV Australia previously worked together on Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation.
The Cube was originally produced by Objective Media Group, an all3mediacompany, for ITV in the UK.
Married at First Sight is set to return Monday, February 22, at 7.30pm on Nine and 9Now.
Coming into its eighth season, Married at First Sight is adding a new face to its panel of experts. Alessandra Rampolla is a certified clinical sexologist from Puerto Rico with over 20 years’ experience, who will bring her expertise in sexology to the experiment. She joins experts John Aiken and Mel Schilling to pair brave singles from across Australia with the goal of creating perfect matches and strong relationships.
“I am thrilled to be joining John and Mel in Australia’s biggest social experiment,” says Alessandra. “With my particular expertise, I hope to contribute to the complex mix of components that ensure marriages not only work but thrive in the long haul.
“One of my strongest core beliefs is that sexual expression and compatibility are vital in building, nourishing, and maintaining healthy romantic relationships, and it is my pleasure to help guide our participants in balancing this important factor in their brave quest for love.”
The brides and grooms’ relationships will be fast-tracked through challenges and romantic hurdles that haven’t been seen before on Married at First Sight as the three experts introduce new elements to the experiment.
Each couple will meet each other for the very first time when they walk down the aisle on their wedding day, and from this moment onwards every aspect of their emerging relationship will go under the microscope as they encounter the highs and lows of marriage at full speed.
Couples will have the chance to compare their relationships, ask for advice, and controversially at times give their own advice to others at the explosive dinner parties. And this season, more than ever before, the experts will hold the couples accountable for their actions at the weekly commitment ceremonies where secrets will be revealed, and bombshells dropped.
Married at First Sight is produced by Endemol Shine Australia for Nine.
By James Manning
• With no Australian Open, Nine still wins primary & network in last week January
Nine should have been riding on the back of the Australia Open during TV ratings Week 5, 2021. However, the tennis is delayed a fortnight and Seven and 10 had the chance to shine.
With the start of official survey still one week away, media agencies are closely watching the start of this unsettled January ratings period.
“All quarters are important to our clients depending upon when their activity is running,” Katie Rigg-Smith (pictured), Mindshare CEO, told Mediaweek.
Nine picked up Week 5, yet there is much on offer in Week 6. “All the networks are putting a strong foot forward to kick start the TV ratings year and there is a strong buzz around both Holey Moley and The Amazing Race,” Rigg-Smith added.
“Given the backdrop of the past 12 months I think advertisers are becoming increasingly more used to the volatility of the world around us and the fact there are things like live sport being pushed back or cancelled.”
The Mindshare boss is as confident as Nine as to the lure of tennis in February. “Naturally that brings nerves about delivery, but we do know there is a strong audience and appetite for the Australian Open, despite the delay on normal scheduling, as there is with any live sport programming.
“Aussies love live sport and understand the need for changes given the global circumstances, and so we are confident the Australian Open will see strong audiences. I can’t help but think that some of the attention the quarantining of the players has garnered could increase the interest from Australians to see how the players end up playing post that two-week quarantine.”
In Week 5, Seven had the Big Bash League final regular season games and the first two finals. 10 had the biggest entertainment series with the final week of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!
Yet Nine managed to secure a win with its replacement programming.
Nine’s News Monday to Friday was the week’s #1 metro program, with an average metro audience of 903,000.
New episodes of Travel Guides aired this week, with Wednesday’s episode Nine’s #1 program for the week with People 16-39. Travel Guides on Wednesday achieved a national average audience of 912,000 (Metro: 657,000 / Regional: 255,000).
A Current Affair dominated the 7pm timeslot across the metro markets every night this week.
In commercial network shares, Nine had the following for the key demographics:
Grocery Shopper + Child (35.4%)
In Total People, Nine had a share of 37.2%, ranking it #1.
In primary channel shares, Nine had the following for the key demographics:
Grocery Shopper + Child (23.0%).
In Total People, Nine had a commercial share of 24.3%, making it No. 1 for the week with Total People.
10 manage to rank #1 in the 7.30pm timeslot from Sunday through to Thursday inclusive with five episodes of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! With the show split in two each night that gave the broadcaster 10 separate entries in the top 21 programs all people. And even a much better representation in the key demos.
10 Bold manage to rank as #1 multichannel all people on five nights and was not far off the pace on the other two.
Big Bash League cricket saw Seven win on Friday and Saturday after Big Bash League finals drew strong audiences. The biggest cricket audience was for the second session watching Friday’s Eliminator – 451,000.
Seven News narrowly trailed Nine News across metro markets, but Seven News was a Sunday winner.
ABC News managed to sneak into the top 20 for the week at #20 with an average audience of 608,000.
During the week the only other programs to crack 500,000 were 7.30 (which only screened on Wednesday and Thursday) and a Hard Quiz repeat.
The best from SBS, and its only program to reach 200,000, was Great Continental Railway Journeys with 219,000.
By James Manning
• MAFS reunion and 60 Minutes lead Nine to primary/network win
• I’m a Celebrity winner announcement wins key demos, #1 entertainment
The Men’s Final of the Australian Open should have been played last night. With the tennis delayed until next week, Nine had to find replacements. Nine and Endemol Shine Australia created a reunion episode of Married at First Sight and it rated well and pushed Nine to a Sunday ratings win. The MAFS special did 866,000 and got plenty of help from Nine News and New News: Late Edition. Also performing well for Nine was the return of 60 Minutes. The current affairs show was called ‘The devil wears Dior’ with reporter Tom Steinfort on duty in Sydney’s eastern suburbs investigating the disappearance of Melissa Caddick. Steinfort was helped about by the NSW police and former detective Gary Jubelin who strolled around The Gap with the reporter explaining he was ruling out suicide and murder, working on the theory she was on the run. 60 Minutes was on 701,000.
Nine’s primary share of 24.5% and the network share of 32.6% where the highest for any network so far this year.
10 was competitive with the Grand Finale of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! drawing a crowd of 896,000 for the announcement of Abbie Chatfield as the winner and 784,000 for the start of the live final from Sydney. In 2020 the Winner Announcement was on 887,000 and the Finale did 810,000. 10 noted this morning the 2021 finale has delivered the highest commercial shares ever and the biggest final night shares ever for the format. The episode was also the most-streamed Celebrity episode ever.
Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President, ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand Beverley McGarvey said: “The unbridled success of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! reiterated that the landscape of summer viewing has changed forever.
“Its dominance across all platforms, in its timeslot in total people, under 50s and in all key demographics, night after night proved unrivalled. Achieving its highest ever commercial shares and achieving its biggest total audience since 2017, it cemented itself as the #1 summer entertainment television event.
“It has been wonderful to see how viewers reacted and engaged with our celebrities. It provided much needed laughter, warmth and family fun in these tougher times. It was escapism at its best.”
Chief Sales Officer, ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand Rod Prosser added: “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! has proved, yet again, that it is a lucrative summer entertainment alternative for brands and advertisers.
“No other show can deliver the scale and creativity of integration that I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! has delivered this season. It is one of the most malleable formats on Australian television for sponsors to work with devoid of the constraints associated with some sporting codes.”
10 also did well with the Sunday edition of The Project recording one of its biggest audiences – 502,000 – after 7pm.
In the Big Bash League on Seven it was The Knockout last night with Sydney Thunder going down to Brisbane Heat who got the runs without contributions from its biggest stars. The first session was on 488,000 and the second did 496,000. The next final is on Thursday night this week ahead of the final on Saturday.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS||2.4%||7TWO||3.3%||GO!||3.6%||10 Bold||4.2%||VICELAND||1.9%|
|ABC ME||0.3%||7mate||3.3%||GEM||3.0%||10 Peach||2.9%||Food Net||1.4%|
|ABC NEWS||2.3%||7flix||2.0%||9Life||2.2%||10 Shake||0.8%||NITV||0.1%|
|9Rush||1.0%||SBS World Movies||1.8%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS||3.3%||7TWO||3.6%||GO!||4.8%||10 Bold||4.3%||VICELAND||1.0%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||3.7%||GEM||3.9%||10 Peach||3.5%||Food Net||0.9%|
|ABC NEWS||1.7%||7flix||1.7%||9Life||2.5%||10 Shake||0.7%||NITV||0.3%|
|9Rush||1.3%||SBS World Movies||1.2%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS||2.3%||7TWO||2.5%||GO!||3.1%||10 Bold||3.9%||VICELAND||0.5%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||2.8%||GEM||2.2%||10 Peach||1.9%||Food Net||0.8%|
|ABC NEWS||1.8%||7flix||1.1%||9Life||1.6%||10 Shake||0.4%||NITV||0.1%|
|9Rush||1.2%||SBS World Movies||0.6%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS||2.4%||7TWO||4.0%||GO!||4.4%||WIN Bold||4.7%||VICELAND||0.6%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||3.7%||GEM||3.4%||WIN Peach||2.6%||Food Net||0.8%|
|ABC NEWS||1.5%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.6%||9Life||2.1%||Sky News on WIN||0.9%||NITV||0.3%|
|SUNDAY METRO ALL TV|
Friday Top 10
Saturday Top 10
Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2021. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM
Four media executives will appear in front of Nine Entertainment Co’s board of directors this week as the search to replace outgoing chief executive Hugh Marks nears its end, reports SMH‘s Zoe Samios.
Industry sources familiar with the hiring process said Stan boss Mike Sneesby and Nine publishing and chief digital officer Chris Janz were the two internal candidates in the running to replace Marks.
Two external media executives are also in contention for the role to lead Nine, which owns television, radio, online streaming, real estate and publishing assets, including The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
The sources said the two other candidates are Carl Fennessy, the former joint-CEO of major production house Endemol Shine Australia, and David Lynn, the former president and CEO of ViacomCBS Networks, who left the company late last year after 24 years.
Two well-known media identities are among the candidates being considered for the ABC’s board, reports SMH‘s Zoe Samios and Lisa Visentin.
Media industry sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said former Foxtel boss Peter Tonagh and former broadcaster Anita Jacoby have been approached to take on non-executive director positions following the departure of Kristin Ferguson and Donny Walford last November.
Jacoby is a highly regarded broadcast executive and journalist who has held roles with at Nine Entertainment (owner of this masthead), Seven West Media, Network Ten, ABC, SBS and Foxtel. She made the shortlist for the SBS board role last year, before Warren Mundine was selected.
Tonagh, who led the effort to save Australian Associated Press last year, spent a large part of his career at News Corp as both co-chief executive and later Foxtel boss. He has held several board roles including lead independent director of Village Roadshow and chairman of Quantium.
The ABC’s board has had two members leave since November. Peter Lewis was appointed interim deputy chair while it looks for replacements. It’s unclear if Lewis will stay in that position. If not, one of the selected candidates can take the deputy chair role.
Google has agreed to pay 120 French media companies €90 million ($142 million) over three years to participate in its new journalism product, in a sign its proposal to sidestep new Australian regulations may fall short of publisher expectations, reports SMH‘s Zoe Samios.
Industry sources told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age Google would pay some of France’s biggest publishers between €25 million and €30 million a year to participate in its soon-to-launch Google News Showcase product.
The revelation comes as Google attempts to convince the federal government the Showcase product would be a better way to pay media companies for news in Australia, as it fights back against tough new government proposals to regulate its relationships with publishers.
The government’s new media bargaining code, deemed “unworkable” by Google and Facebook, would force the two digital giants into binding commercial agreements to pay Australian news businesses or risk steep fines of up to 10 per cent of their annual revenues. It will be debated again by a Senate committee next week.
Nine, owner of this masthead, has said it thinks the two digital giants should be forced to pay Australian media companies up to $600 million annually, while Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has said they should pay $1 billion.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft chief Satya Nadella have reached out directly to Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg over the proposed media bargaining code this week, as the government refuses to bow to Google’s attempts to scuttle the reforms, reports News Corp’s Richard Ferguson.
Social media and search engine giants continue to resist key elements of the federal government’s proposed media code, which would see them pay local publishers for the use of their content.
The Treasurer revealed on Sunday that he and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher spoke to Zuckerberg this week about the impact the reforms may have on his company.
“It was a very constructive discussion,” Frydenberg told ABC News.
“Mark Zuckerberg didn’t convince me to back down if that’s what you’re asking.”
The Prime Minister also spoke to Nadella – Bill Gates’ successor at the computer software giant – this week. Microsoft’s Bing search engine is a rival to Google.
“They’re watching this very closely, and no doubt, see opportunities here in Australia to expand, too. So this is world leading,” Frydenberg said.
The US government’s trade office has been urged to retract its objections to the mandatory news media bargaining code in Australia, amid accusations that its public stance against the Morrison government’s legislation was a threat to high-quality journalism and stained America’s global reputation, reports News Corp’s James Madden.
A fortnight ago, in the dying days of the Trump administration, the Office of the United States Trade Representative wrote a letter to Labor senator Alex Gallacher — who was chairing the forthcoming Senate hearing into the media code — to push for a voluntary code of conduct for the tech giants, rather than a mandatory one.
But just 24 hours after the inauguration of President Joe Biden, the News Media Alliance — which represents more than 2000 publishers in the US, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times — began a campaign for a retraction of the letter that had been sent by members of the previous members of the Trade Office.
In a letter obtained by The Australian, the peak body tells Katherine Tai — who was last month appointed the new US Trade Representative by Biden — that the intervention by the trade office just before her nomination was “inappropriate”.
“We believe such a request fails to represent wider US trade and business interests, undermines the sustainability of high-quality journalism back home and abroad, and threatens the reputation of the United States internationally,” reads the letter, signed by NMA president and chief executive David Chavern.
Google and Facebook have both threatened to withdraw some of their services from Australia if a new code forcing them to negotiate with media companies to pay for content goes ahead, writes Guardian Australia’s Josh Taylor.
If Google pulls its search engine in Australia, it would mean you would probably hit a landing page instead of Google search when you go to the Google homepage. Your browser on your desktop and mobile phone would need to be switched to another search engine in order to continue working.
You might be able to get around the block by using a virtual private network (VPN) to make it appear as though you are visiting Google from another country, but part of the success of Google search is providing results relevant to where you are in the world.
For businesses in Australia, it would mean having to switch ads that would normally appear in search results on Google to another service such as Bing or DuckDuckGo.
It won’t mean you’ll be unable to use Gmail, or Google Maps, or your Android phone, or any of Google’s other products, although how the lack of search function might affect these other products is unclear.
Critics of the ABC, including the Federal Communications Minister Paul Fletcher, have attacked the headline (since amended) of an online article detailing Australia Day events. The article included events marking what for many has become known as “Invasion Day”, writes AFR‘s Joseph Gersh.
Do these critics suggest that the ABC ignores such events or a debate that has been conducted across the entire community, and about which opinions widely differ?
No inappropriate instructions appear to have been issued to staff, and no political position has been adopted by the ABC. Yet critics were quick to hit their keyboards. Curiously, some who argue the ABC ought to be privatised on principle now say it ought to be privatised as “punishment” for perceived sins. Both reasons are wrong.
The Australian Associated Press has hired journalists to reopen bureaus in Darwin and Townsville to meet a government funding requirement, reports AFR‘s Miranda Ward.
A $5 million government grant provided to the AAP newswire was given in the understanding the organisation would reopen regional bureaus and hire freelance reporters.
The news organisation was given the grant in September last year after the government tweaked guidelines of its Public Interest News Gathering Program, which was designed to support regional news outlets.
Outlined in government cabinet papers, seen by The Australian Financial Review, AAP was required to “maintain or increase” its level of public interest journalism in regional areas which the papers said it would achieve in two major ways:
• Providing direct support in regional news-gathering via funding of local journalists
• Providing critical indirect support through provision of newswire services to regional publishers which allows them to focus on their own investment solely on local reporting.
The document outlined the funding would allow AAP to reopen its Darwin, Cairns and Townsville bureaus and also support the use of regional journalism freelancers.
Alan Jones was forced to publish a correction to his August 2020 editorial railing against Covid-19 restrictions in Victoria after the broadcasting watchdog found he had “misrepresented the research” on the effectiveness of masks and lockdowns, reports Guardian Australia.
Alan Jones was forced to publish a correction to his August 2020 editorial railing against Covid-19 restrictions in Victoria after the broadcasting watchdog found he had “misrepresented the research” on the effectiveness of masks and lockdowns.
The original six-minute video, “This is not a pandemic it is a catastrophic state government failure”, itself remains uncorrected on the Sky News website and YouTube, a situation the Australian Communications and Media Authority (Acma) does not object to and says “constitutes a correction in an appropriate manner”.
After Victoria went into stage-four lockdown, Jones told viewers the science did not back up the premier’s decision to introduce tougher rules.
“I’d suggest [Andrews is] fighting a virus with the wrong response,” Jones said. “Listening to the wrong experts and trashing everything in our wake.”
In September Acma received a complaint about the episode of Jones’ broadcast on Sky on WIN and assessed the complaint against the provisions of the Commercial Television Industry Code.
The investigation found Jones had “misrepresented the research” but said if he corrected the editorial within 30 days the program he would not be in breach of the commercial TV code.
A senior editor at The Australian Financial Review has said he believed any journalist publishing a sensitive story without legal advice and consultation with the editors would face the sack and there was no way a journalist would have gone rogue and put a story online, that was related to a suppression order, on their own accord, reports AFR‘s Max Mason.
The Financial Review, its Melbourne bureau chief Patrick Durkin and editor-in-chief Michael Stutchbury, along with more than 20 media outlets and journalists, are charged with contempt of court over stories published in December 2018, which came out of the now-quashed conviction of Cardinal George Pell on child sex abuse charges.
Senior news editor Mark Coultan gave testimony on Friday relating to two online stories, and one print story that was a copy of an online story.
Durkin, the author of the stories, did not name Cardinal Pell. Instead, the stories focused on the media’s coverage of the issue and County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd’s anger at other publications’ coverage despite a suppression order.
“In the theoretical, if Patrick had decided off his own bat to publish this story, it would certainly be a matter of serious reprimand, or even dismissal,” Coultan said.
Channel Seven star Andrew O’Keefe has been charged with allegedly assaulting haematologist Orly Lavee on Sunday, reports News Corp’s Liam Mendes.
Police also applied for a provisional apprehended violence order to protect Dr Lavee, his rumoured girlfriend, following an alleged incident at a Randwick unit just before 1am.
“Just before 1am Sunday 31 January 2021 officers from Eastern Beaches Area Command attended a Randwick unit after reports a 41-year-old woman had allegedly been assaulted in a domestic violence incident,” a NSW Police spokeswoman told The Australian.
O’Keefe, who hosts Channel 7’s quiz program The Chase, was arrested 2½ hours later and taken to Maroubra police station, where he was charged with common assault (DV).
The former Weekend Sunrise host was released on police bail, with conditions preventing him from contacting Dr Lavee, except through legal representation. He must also not assault, molest, harass or intimidate her.
Conditions of the provisional apprehended violence order also prevent O’Keefe from approaching or contacting Dr Lavee. He is prohibited from attending her workplace and her $2m apartment.
The apprehended violence order also states he must not assault or threaten, stalk, harass or intimidate, and intentionally or recklessly destroy or damage any property that belongs to or is in the possession of Dr Lavee.
Game show host Andrew O’Keefe’s charmed run at the Seven Network could be at an
end, with network bosses in talks to potentially replace the troubled presenter of The Chase, reports News Corp’s Annette Sharp.
Seven refused to be drawn on the industry talk with a spokesman on Saturday issuing a statement: “Andrew O’Keefe has been a valued member of the Seven on-air family for many years and he continues to appear as host of The Chase Australia.”
This contradicted well-placed talk claiming O’Keefe could leave and suggesting network bosses have drawn up a wishlist of replacement hosts, among whom is Rove McManus.
O’Keefe’s contract with the television network is understood to have lapsed at the end of 2020 giving TV executives the opportunity to move in a different direction after its 17-year relationship with a star who has been battling mental health issues and scandal for a decade.
It also puts Seven in the box seat to draft a new tougher short-term contract that gives the network greater power.
Georgie Gardner fought but ultimately lost the Today hosting wars and since then she has been reading the Friday and Saturday evening news in Sydney, reports News Corp’s Amy Harris.
Spies around Nine’s swish new North Sydney studios say Gardner — with a lawyer in tow — sat down with director of television Michael Healy recently to thrash out a new deal and even lobbied for an increase on her rumoured in the neighbourhood of $800,000 annual salary.
However, it’s understood Healy issued a “take-it-or-leave-it” package that one insider claimed was for a new figure of around $300,000 — a massive decrease per year.
It’s believed Gardner ultimately agreed to the reduced salary, which was attributed by Healy to her reduction in on-air duties.
It’s understood she will remain on as host of her two weekly news bulletins as well as occasional fill-in spells for Peter Overton.
A spokeswoman for Nine said: “Georgie renewed her contract last year and everyone at Nine is extremely proud to have her as an important member of the Nine News team. Her deal with Nine is on mutually agreeable terms that both are extremely happy with.”