Thursday February 11, 2021

Podcast Week: What advertisers want, Adam Shand’s DNA mystery, Gold’s Pats

Compiled by James Manning

Courtney and Vanity at Nova, Keeping calm with Meshel Laurie, Neil Finn, Listening highlight with Joe Lunn, Wil Anderson with Chris Walker.

What advertisers want from podcasters: OMD’s Katy Eng

During Covid-19 lockdown audiences turned to podcasting. The challenge with the podcast sector is to maintain that momentum, keep the new audience and build on it.

One important part of the podcast puzzle is commercialising the audio sector. People like OMD director of content marketing Katy Eng and her agency counterparts play a critical role. Eng is a podcast advocate and sees the opportunities they present to her clients.

Here Eng speaks to Mediaweek sharing some insights into the state of on demand audio as we fast forward into 2021.

“In content marketing, podcasts are always on the consideration list from the very beginning,” Eng told Mediaweek. “Every channel and medium is on that list which we scrutinise and run through our filters. We consider podcasting to be mainstream now and it is growing in importance.”

What ads work best?

The OMD Soundscape research found mid-roll host reads the most influential with podcast listeners. A great host read on a successful, established podcast with a popular host who has a relevance with your brand is very strong. It isn’t too hard to do or too high cost and is something I would be recommending for clients.

Audience data, better, not perfect

We were not happy originally with how we were being presented with audience data. We are still a bit light on audience data in podcasting compared to other types of media. One thing I like doing with clients is to integrate something into the podcast like a unique offer. It might be an offer code or a unique URL which allows us to very directly track how many people were inspired to take an action after listening to the integration.

See our complete interview with Katy Eng in Friday’s Mediaweek Morning Report. (Subscribe here.)

Adam Shand’s DNA mystery

It is a PodcastOne series we have covered before, but the NSW Police State Crime Command podcast has returned with a four-part series ‘Lost at Sea’ with investigative journalist Adam Shand revealing an incredible case.

State Crime Command is a unique collaboration between PodcastOne Australia and the NSW Police Force.

Lost at Sea begins with a human jawbone found on a Northern NSW beach in 2011. For nine years, police were unable to identify to whom the bone belonged. However, in 2020 the mystery was solved through familial DNA technology when a family member gave DNA while serving a prison sentence. He told police of losing an uncle decades before in a boating accident.

In 1979, William John Moran, his wife Pip and three others were travelling on a cabin cruiser called the Nocturn from Moreton Bay, Queensland to Nelson Bay in NSW when the vessel sank in atrocious weather conditions.

PodcastOne’s Adam Shand

Shand explained: “What emerged was an incredible sliding doors story. An avoidable tragedy that should have claimed the lives of everybody on board. That anyone survived that day was down to the heroism of Bill Moran, who lost his life trying to save others.

“Lost at Sea begins with a tragedy but has a happy ending in a way that offers hope to families who have lost a loved one without a trace.”

Listen to NSW Police State Crime Command here.

Courtney Act and Vanity join Nova Podcast Network


Brenda, Call Me! is the newest series form the Nova Podcast Network featuring best friends, drag superstars and sisters in crime, Courtney Act and Vanity.

Courtney Act explained, “’Brenda, call me’ is the text Vanity and I send to each other when we want to chat. We have been friends for 20 years, lived all around the world, in different time zones, and we are super excited to be able to share our best friend conversations, we’re just glad they are not live and the legal department will be reviewing them before they hit your eardrums.”

Vanity and Courtney Act

Vanity added, “We thought we were going to be recording this podcast on opposite sides of the world, but Ms. Rona has reunited us and we’re super excited to be sitting face-to-face giving our unsolicited Australian drag opinions on all sorts of topics. Courtney doesn’t actually know why we call each other Brenda so make sure you tune in when I explain its origins.”

Rachel Corbett, Nova Entertainment’s head of podcasts and digital content, said: “A show hosted by best friends who have conquered the world of drag, built a business together and can run for a cab in 12-inch heels? What’s not to love?”

Behind the scenes Andrew Brentnall is managing producer and Lem Zakharia is the series producer.

Kane Reiken, Nova Entertainment’s digital commercial director said, “The all-star combination of Courtney Act and Vanity Fair coming together for Nova’s Brenda, Call Me! podcast creates a compelling environment for brands to authentically engage with their audiences through powerful commercial integration opportunities.”

This original podcast allows the right brands to connect with these highly influential communities, to deliver strong talent alignment and campaign messaging cut through.”

Listen to Brenda, Call Me! here.

Keeping calm with Meshel Laurie

Meshel Laurie’s new daily podcast launched last month and aims to uncover how well-known Australians keep their wellbeing on the straight and narrow. Guests on Calm Ya Farm so far include Kyle Sandilands, Urzila Carlson, Uncle Jack Charles, Lehmo and Lynne McGranger who have been delivered (mostly) in very digestible 10-minute bursts. The series comes from Laurie’s new production company Smart Fella, launched with Matthew Hardy.

Earlier this month Laurie seemed to be busier than ever, even busier than when she was a breakfast radio host. Then just last week she added a weekday breakfast radio gig to her workload. Laurie explained to Mediaweek that she only took the job at Wave FM because it was a maternity leave gig, perhaps requiring her to be on duty for maybe three months. And because she was asked by her favourite radio boss – Grant Broadcasters’ head of content Ryan Rathbone.

Laurie continues to set a furious pace in the podcast world with two regular series with big audiences – Australian True Crime and Calm Ya Farm – and a third that “just won’t die”. “Every time I look at our stats for The Nitty Gritty Committee, I realise it is still getting significant downloads every month despite me not recording anything in months.”

Laurie added: “I have realised we are after similar guests for Calm Ya Farm as Nitty Gritty.”

Last year Laurie was part of livestream podcast events for Australian True Crime with promoter Paul Dainty. “We did two livestreams and the first one crashed the server because we underestimated how many people would jump on at the last minute.

The popularity of true crime podcasts has been good for the podcast community and the true crime genre, said Laurie. “Every time there is a Teacher’s Pet or a Chasing Charlie it brings a whole new audience to podcasting in general and they can discover all of us. Australian True Crime podcast averages 1.5m downloads a month and it has grown steadily over the years.”

Working with Acast is something that Laurie enjoys and she loves the creative freedom and encouragement.

When asked about what she has learned from her years in podcasting, she replies: “What I love about podcasting is that it is still the wild west. [Laughs] That’s very cool. I know podcasting will eventually be tamed, but at the moment we are making it up as we go along.”

Being regular about when you publish is one of her learnings. “Consistency was also something I was taught very early on in radio. Something I learnt at Nova was be different, sound different.

After years in radio, Laurie splits her listening between live and on-demand. “Christian O’Connell is such a great talent. I flick between his breakfast show and his podcasts. As a former radio person, when I hear him I think, ‘Yes, that’s how you do it.’ Every programmer in the country should be playing Christian O’Connell to their talent.

For the future Laurie will focus on writing (she’s got another book coming out this year), podcasting and fill-in radio. She also guested on ABC Radio recently. “I love a short stint.” Why no fulltime contract? “I got tired and burned out! I see Marty Sheargold starting a new show and I just don’t know how he is doing it. I couldn’t think of anything more daunting at my age. No, god no.”

Laurie will share her audio skills soon in producing other podcast shows that won’t feature her behind the microphone. “I am excited about helping others and not hosting.”

She also slipped in a tease about a TV project in development. “There are lots of exciting things that don’t involve me being at the front of them.”

Listen to Calm Ya Farm here.

Listen to Australian True Crime.

Patrina Jones joins Kate Meades’s All Stars

Kate Meade’s Women of Influence podcast has just featured Gold 104.3 breakfast news reader and Christian O’Connell Show team member Patrina Jones (aka Pats). She comes to podcasting after her Gold breakfast colleagues Christian O’Connell and Jack Post last year launch their own podcasts. Jones alerted Gold listeners to the new podcast on one of the best segments on Melbourne radio, the Friday segment on The Christian O’Connell Show called Double Thumbs Up where the breakfast team give their listening, watching and reading recommendations for the weekend.

Meade, who also co-hosts ACE Radio’s The Morning Rush, speaks to incredible women from all works of life on the podcast. Other broadcasters who have featured include Erin Molan, Amanda Keller, Mia Freedman, Jackie O, Joan Warner, Shelly Horton, Sarah Jones and Heidi Anderson.

Meade is presenting at the Podfest Online Global Summit in the first week of March. An event that has secured the Guinness World Record for the largest attendance for a virtual podcasting conference in one week!

Listen to Women of Influence here.

Fangradio. Not really a podcast, but close

Neil Finn of Crowded House this week announced that he is embarking on a series of radio shows for his lockdown online community, Fangradio, which will be hosted on the Mixlr platform. For each show he will revisit a different Crowded House album and render new acoustic versions of the songs, beginning on February 11th with the band’s second album Temple Of Low Men.

Along the way he will engage with guests and bandmates to remember and discuss the making of each record. The first session was broadcast live on Thursday February 11 at 9am AEDT. Episodes are available on-demand here.

Wil Anderson and Chris Walker

A new episode of Wil Anderson’s Wilosophy this week features TV producer and podcaster Chris Walker. One third of the team behind Thinkative TV – the other partners are Charlie Pickering and Kevin Whyte – Walker recorded the two hours plus episode over the summer break. He is one of the guests who Anderson has recorded in his new studio as his adopted home in Northern New South Wales. One of the few podcasts Anderson has been able to record in person in the past 12 months.

The discussion includes how Walker started in the media, eventually giving up a dream job of travelling the country working on Seven’s AFL coverage for a role producing on The Project. They also discuss Walker’s fantastically successful series Hard Quiz and The Weekly, plus his recent PodcastOne series Brains Trust. When asked to describe himself at the start of the podcast, Walker jokes he is often collateral in paparazzi shots of Carrie Bickmore. (Walker is Bickmore’s partner.)

Podcast recommendations: Mindshare’s Joe Lunn on Pivot

This week we restart a former Podcast Week feature – audio recommendations from people in the media sector. We start with Joe Lunn, Mindshare chief strategy officer.

Pivot: Hosted by Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway

If you’re looking for razor-sharp insights and provocative predictions into the world of big tech, then Pivot is for you. Kara Swisher is widely regarded as the most powerful – and feared – tech journalist in Silicon Valley, while Scott Galloway is a serial entrepreneur, bestselling author and Professor at the NYU Stern School of Business. They’re the odd couple of podcasting, keeping things lively with plenty of banter and bickering, while delivering brutally frank analysis and pithy punchlines. They’re a truly formidable duo, doing their bit to keep big tech honest and accountable. Out twice a week, it’s my go-to listen for early morning walks with the dog!

Listen to Pivot here.

Jacqui Mooney women's health
2021 Reset: Jacqui Mooney on the comeback issue of Women’s Health Magazine

By Tess Connery

“I’ve never seen such a genuine love and loyalty for a brand such as I have for Women’s Health”

It’s been a bumpy 12 months for almost everybody, but the teams behind Women’s Health Australia and Men’s Health Australia have had a more turbulent ride than most after the titles were axed by Are Media – then still known as Bauer Media – back in July 2020. The licenses have since been picked up by Sydney-based boutique publishing house, Paragon Media, former publisher of Men’s Fitness Magazine.

The first issues to be released since the change of publishing house are out on February 11.

Mediaweek caught up with Jacqui Mooney, editor of Women’s Health Australia, to talk about switching publishers and their triumphant return to Australian newsstands.

The move to Paragon

Mooney said that despite the tough road, the Women’s Health team has settled into their new home.

“As you can imagine, it’s been a fairly wild year in media land, and I guess when Women’s Health was closed by Are Media in July last year, multiple boutique publishers expressed interest. All of them were extremely keen to secure these licenses in Australia, which to me I think is really a testament to the strength of these two incredible brands.

“I guess what’s so gratifying is to be in a new media home that really recognised the value of Women’s Health and Men’s Health as a force for positive change. Especially at this moment in time for the world, when physical and mental health has never been more important, it’s a great time to be back.”

Advertisers respond to the return

Despite the break, advertisers haven’t been shy to return to Women’s Health, with brands like LandRover, Under Armour, Almond Breeze, Toyota, and Nude by Nature all signing on.

“It has been an extremely strong response, and I think the reaction from the market and advertisers – also from consumers – when the news was announced late last year that Women’s Health and Men’s Health would be returning has actually been one of the most positive parts of this whole experience, and one the most gratifying parts,” said Mooney.

“I’ve never seen such a genuine love and loyalty for a brand such as I have for Women’s Health.

“I think these innovative content-lead partnerships that fit across print, digital, social events, and events are going to be a really key focus for Women’s Health in 2021 along with those really high profile shoots and covers, which is something that Women’s Health has always done really well.”

women's health

Going digital

When asked about whether or not the team had considered re-launching Women’s Health as a digital-only platform, Mooney says it had been on the table.

“Of course we considered every single option, but for us, the true 360-degree content approach, with that really strong combination of print, digital, social, and events really was by far the strongest model, and it’s what’s proven to be hugely successful as a brand over the past few years.”

Coming back strong

For such a significant edition, the comeback issue cover star was going to need to have an impact. There was a clear choice for Mooney. 

“It’s a really huge issue and the cover is one of the things we’re proudest of, because we were lucky enough to score an exclusive shoot with one of Australia’s most successful athletes, Sally Fitzgibbons, who is somebody that I’ve wanted on the cover for many years,” she said.

“When the happy news came that we would be returning to the Australian market, I thought long and hard about the cover and I just really wanted it to make a big statement about what our brand stands for. And so who better than such an incredible role model for a brand that really is all about the spirit of female empowerment? There really couldn’t have been a better choice than one of the world’s most successful surfers.”

Mooney says that all the hard work has paid off though, with the first issue of Women’s Health under Paragon launching today.

“I really could not be prouder of the Women’s Health team or the result, and I really can’t wait to see this incredible brand back with the audience that loves it.”

The return of Mediaweek’s Magazine Rack: Welcome back Women’s Health

Celebrate the return of an iconic magazine.

Title: Women’s Health
Cover price: $7.80
Value: Extreme
Editor: Jacqui Mooney
Publisher: Paragon Media, Ian Brooks, CEO
Commercial Director: Ann-Maree Mulders
Ad pages: 15 plus editorial integrations
Edition: March 2021, 130 pages

Women’s Health Cover: Sally Fitzgibbons with seven-page feature inside.
Cover lines: Nine. Best – “Score a hot core”
Editor’s letter: Longish. But Mooney has surely earned a page to tell readers about the title’s return after sitting out much of the past 12 months. She tells the incredible story of the cover shoot which survived the shutdown.
Women’s Health Giveaways: Win Sally Fitzgibbon’s surfboard
Subscription offer: $69 for 12 issues + free “booty bands” and $40 gift voucher for Bodies by Rachel.
Socials: Several posts today as title returns to newsstands. Also plenty in the last few days whipping up excitement. Brand has a lot of followers, should ask them for direct action to actively support the band as some of them might have been dormant since the title’s 2020 shutdown.
Facebook: 228,497 followers
Twitter: 54,000 followers
Instagram: 283,000 followers
Pinterest: 13,500 followers
Summary: Women’s Health is great brand and in great hands with magazine specialists Mooney, Mulders and Brooks. What could possibly go wrong? Title needs to be aggressive in calling for support from brands and consumers, and it deserves it too. Advertisers should check out the product and check in some ads across its various platforms.

Australian Podcast Ranker
Podcast Ranker: Biggest movers and new arrivals inc Betoota, Marty and Molloy

Triton Digital has released its Australian Podcast Ranker charts for January 2021.

A number of new entities appear in the Top 100 Podcast Ranker this reporting period, including Betoota Daily News Bulletin (Diamantina), It’s A Lot with Abbie Chatfield (Nova), and The Minds of Madness – True Crime Stories (Wondery). Additionally, Stuff You Should Know (ARN/iHeartMedia) reclaimed the #1 spot as the most downloaded podcast in the country the reporting period.

As for the All-Australian Top 100 Ranker, new entities this reporting period include The Betoota Advocate Podcast (Diamantina), The Marty Sheargold Show – Triple M Melbourne (SCA), Triple M’s new solo drive show Molloy and On Guard – Stories From Inside Australia’s Toughest Prisons (News Corp Australia). Casefile True Crime (Audioboom) remained in the #1 spot as the most downloaded Australian podcast in the country. 

Total downloads of all shows by all participating publishers in the month of January is 40.2m, compared to 15.4m in January 2020 when there were fewer publishers.

Participating publishers in the Australian Ranker include ARN/iHeartMedia, Audioboom, Babyology, Diamantina, Fear and Greed, Kinderling Kids Radio, NBC News, News Corp Australia, Nine, Nova, Podshape, Schwartz Media, Southern Cross Austereo, Sports Entertainment Network, Stitcher Media, TOFOP Productions, Wavelength Creative, West Australian Newspapers, and Wondery.

ARN/iHeartMedia had the most downloads for the month with 11.40m, while Sticker/Whooskaa has the most podcasts titles with 384, just ahead of SCA/PodcastOne and ARN/iHeartMedia.


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australian survivor
Australian Survivor moves 400km inland to film in outback Queensland

The show will inject an estimated $14.6 million into the state’s economy.

With COVID-19 meaning that Australian Survivor can’t return to its regular homes of Samoa or Fiji, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced that the hugely popular reality TV show will be filmed in Cloncurry, 1,700 km north-west of Brisbane in outback Queensland.

Season 6 of the TV Week Logie and ACCTA Award-winning format, produced by Endemol Shine Australia for Network 10 and hosted by Jonathan LaPaglia, will inject an estimated $14.6 million into the state’s economy and create approximately 150 jobs for Queensland crew.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said today’s announcement was more good news at a time of extraordinary demand from both domestic and international productions to take advantage of all Queensland offers as a global screen destination.

“We’ve got a winning combination in terms of competitive incentives, fantastically diverse locations, best-in-the-business local crew, and one of the world’s most COVID-safe environments,” the Premier said.

“Queensland is the place to film right now; the positive impacts flowing from our production boom are vast and varied, and my Government is doing everything in its power to maximise these benefits for all Queenslanders.

“From big-budget feature films to hit TV series, and now one of Australia’s best-loved reality shows, there really is no limit to the scope, scale and volume of what’s coming through our door.”

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said it was positive news for the remote township of Cloncurry, which will benefit from jobs for local crew and be showcased nationally and internationally on the program.

“It’s rewarding to see such a big show as Australian Survivor heading to outback Queensland—a region that knows adversity and hardship first-hand, and whose people, I expect, share those human qualities celebrated in the show: courage, endurance and strength,” Ms Munnich said.

“From urban centres and coastal ranges to sweeping outback plains, Queensland has enormous capacity to cater for a wide range of screen productions—from international features through to reality juggernauts like Australian Survivor.”

Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President, ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand, Beverley McGarvey said, “We are thrilled that our new Australian Survivor castaways will have the chance to outwit, outplay and outlast each in other, right here in Queensland, Australia. Outback Queensland’s harsh climate and challenging weather conditions will turn the game on its head. 

“Moving from the beaches of Fiji to the outback of North Queensland will shift the game in a way we haven’t seen before. If the castaways think they know how to play the game, they will need to think again.”

Endemol Shine Australia CEO, Peter Newman said, “We are absolutely delighted to be working with Screen Queensland to bring our critically acclaimed Survivor to Queensland, we look forward to showcasing Cloncurry’s unique beauty to audiences both in Australia and around the world. 

“Importantly, the production acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Land, the Mitakoodi People, and are consulting with the local Aboriginal community to gain a deeper understanding of the country on which the series will be filmed,” Mr Newman said.

Watch all seasons of Australian Survivor on demand at

Australian Survivor. Coming Soon. Only On 10 And WIN Network.  

now we collide
Now We Collide bolsters team with new promotions and hires

The hires follow a steady year of growth.

Independent creative agency Now We Collide has announced a string of new promotions and hires after a steady year of growth following new business wins and expanding remits with existing clients.

Current Senior Creative Producer & Strategist Naomi Young (pictured) has been promoted to Client Services Director and will work alongside CEO and Managing Partner Keir Maher in managing client relationships and steering positive business outcomes for Now We Collide clients.

Of her promotion, Young said: “What has continued to excite me about Now We Collide is that we are an agency with a clear and unique proposition, combining the smarts and clever thinking of a digitally-minded creative agency with production mastery. I am excited to be taking on this newly created role which enables us to maintain the forward-thinking and strategy-led approach that serves our clients in the best way possible.”

Young is a multi-disciplined advertising account director and producer with over 10 years experience in strategy, coordinating integrated campaigns and achieving outstanding business outcomes for clients such as Facebook and Goodman Group.  

Young will be supported by a new producer and account management team featuring new hires Sally Muul and Amy Watson. Muul joins from DDB where she was account manager and Watson joins from Chello where she was leading production as a producer and account manager. 

The agency has also invested in new creative roles with current Senior Art Director Kurt Toohey being promoted to Creative Director with ongoing support from Chief Creative Officer and Managing Partner Ryan Bodger. Over the last 18 months, Kurt has successfully led design, art and creative direction on a number of campaigns and projects including above the line campaigns for ESPN, Facebook, Universal Pictures, and Obela.

The creative team also expands with the addition of Art Director Kate O’Donnell who previously worked as art director and designer at Archibald Williams.

CEO Keir Maher commented on the new hires and promotions: “While 2020 threw up unexpected challenges for everyone in the industry, we achieved solid growth because we were able to adapt quickly, transform strategies and deepen client relationships. Diversifying and strengthening our creative and client management teams gives us the perfect platform to continue achieving the best outcomes for our clients in 2021.  

“I believe we’ve truly rounded out our incredibly talented leadership team with the promotions of both Naomi and Kurt, and the addition of Kate, and look forward to working with this great group of creatives on many exciting projects to come.”

mardi gras sbs
SBS to broadcast 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on March 6

This year the festival theme is RISE.

As the official broadcast partner of the 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, SBS is proud to bring to life the colour and magic live and exclusively on Saturday, March 6.

Proving nothing – not even a pandemic – is going to rain on this parade, Mardi Gras has found a temporary new home in 2021: the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground, to ensure the safety of participants, spectators, and the community at large. Bringing the world together each year in a celebration of diversity and inclusion, the event is also an opportunity to reflect on the history of activism and protest that started the movement in 1978.

SBS will be bringing the coverage to audiences across Australia and around the world, live and free from 6pm AEDT on SBS On Demand (geo-block removed for viewers internationally), or tune in for the full parade on SBS and NITV at 7:30pm.

This year, the event is rising to new heights with the fab four – drag icon Courtney Act, comedian Joel Creasey, Network 10 Presenter Narelda Jacobs, and stand-up comedian Zoë Coombs Marr – returning to host this year’s coverage. 

Courtney Act said: “I can’t wait to get my heels on the pitch, wearing a lace-front in place of a baggy green, to celebrate this unique and vibrant Mardi Gras parade with my Indigenous, black, brown, trans, bisexual, asexual, intersex, lesbian, gay and queer siblings. We’re going to bring all of the fun, glamour, heart, diversity, and storytelling from the SCG and shout it loud and proud across Australia and around the world.” 

Joel Creasey said: “I can’t wait to be back with my Mardi Gras besties Narelda, Courtney and Zoë to be hosting the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras for my fifth time! It’s a wild ride hosting Mardi Gras, so many elements and moving parts have to come together live on the night to make it all work… so often we are flying by the seat of our pants (assless chaps) but I couldn’t be doing it with a better crew. And, after the year we’ve had, we truly need the love, light and bio-degradable glitter that is Mardi Gras. I’ve never been to a cricket ground before so I hope my Uber driver knows where to drop me. I cannot wait!”

Narelda Jacobs said: “Rise and shine! The world’s biggest party since last Mardi Gras is on March 6 and we’re asking Australia to rise to the occasion. We’re spreading our wings and love from the SCG into lounge rooms, pubs and clubs around the country. I’m thrilled to be reunited with the rainbow dream team of the ridiculously good-looking Joel Creasey, the unpredictable Zoë Coombs Marr and the queen with the highest hair Courtney Act. Together, the queer community has supported each other through the pandemic, now let’s rise like a phoenix to celebrate Mardi Gras 2021.”

Zoë Coombs Marr said: “It’s going to be a totally different Mardi Gras this year. I’m really excited to see the different ways that our community interprets the struggles and the magnitude of the past year, in ways that only our community can… with leather, cardboard, and eco-friendly glitter! And last year’s Mardi Gras was one of the last big events before certain viruses that shall not be named. The event has a special kind of energy that can only be rivalled by a sugar-free kid at a birthday party who’s just had red cordial for the first time. Magic!”

SBS Director of Television and Online Content, Marshall Heald said: “SBS is proud to be the official broadcast partner for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras for the eighth year running. Mardi Gras is a celebration of diversity, inclusion and acceptance, which is at the core of what we do at SBS with our programming. This year’s history-making event promises to be like no other and will certainly be a night to remember.”

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras remains one of the world’s largest and most loved LGBTIQ+ celebrations. This year the festival is themed RISE, a call to action that now is the time to rise again through love, compassion, respect and understanding, and to work to make the world a better place for all. The theme is a poignant message following the challenge and hardship of 2020.

Follow the conversation on SBS Australia social #MardiGras2021 and #WeRiseFor and via

The 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras live Saturday 6 March 6pmAEDT on SBS On Demand, or catch the full parade at 7:30pm on SBS and NITV.

kidscreen awards
ABC wins seven trophies at International Kidscreen Awards

The list included four prizes for Bluey.

The ABC has won seven trophies at the international Kidscreen Awards, including four prizes for Australia’s most popular children’s television show Bluey.

ABC programs and Australian producers and creators were honored across the preschool, kids, and tweens/teens programming categories at the awards on February 9, which celebrate the world’s best children’s television and digital entertainment.

Bluey, produced by Ludo Studio, led the way for outstanding Australian children’s content, winning Best Animated Series for preschoolers, plus three Creative Talent Awards for Best Directing, Best Writing, and Best Music.

ABC Children’s was also recognised on the world stage for the diversity and inclusivity of its content and talent. ABC ME series First Day, produced by Epic Films, won the Best Live-Action Series Award in the Kids Programming category for its powerful story about a transgender girl starting high school and finding the courage to live as her most authentic self.

ABC ME series The Unlisted, produced by Aquarius Films, won the Best Inclusivity Award for its exploration of multicultural characters and themes. Much-loved Play School presenter Kiruna Stamell won the Kidscreen Award for Best On-Air Host.

Libbie Doherty, ABC Head of Children’s Production, said the award wins demonstrated the strength of local creative talent on the international stage. “Time and again, we see that distinctively Australian content, faces, and voices strike a chord with audiences and judges the world over.

“Congratulations to the Australian producers and creators, the ABC Children’s team, and all our production and funding partners, for bringing such outstanding programs to young viewers. Diversity and inclusivity are at the heart of what we do. Children engage with authentic stories and people, giving them the chance to see themselves reflected and represented on screen.”

The ABC’s haul of seven Kidscreen Awards was its most successful to date and behind only US network PBS. The trophies extend a stellar international run for ABC Children’s, including last year’s Rose d’Or Award for First DayInternational Emmy Awards for Bluey and Hardball, and Prix Jeunesse International Awards for Hardball and The Unlisted.

Nick Kyrgios
TV Ratings Survey: Wednesday Week 7

By Trent Thomas

• Nine dominates TV shares as Nick Kyrgios scrapes by
• Hard Quiz top entertainment show beating Jamie Oliver and Ambos

Primetime News
Seven News 994,000 (6:00 pm)/939,000 (6:30)
Nine News 829,000 (6:00 pm)/841,000 (6:30 pm)
ABC News 633,000
10 News First 359,000 (5:00 pm)/239,000 (6:00 pm)
SBS World News 168,000 (6:30 pm)/152,000 (7:00 pm)

Daily current affairs
7.30 495,000
The Project 251,000 (6:30 pm)/429,000 (7:00 pm)
The Drum 144,000

Breakfast TV
Sunrise 249,000
Today 189,000
News Breakfast 187,000

Late Night News
ABC Late News 99,000
SBS World News Late 55,000

Nine easily won the TV shares battle last night with a 26.2% primary and 34.0% network share off the back of Nick Kyrgios‘s five-set heroics.

Kyrgios defeated Ugo Humbert in front of an average audience of 690,000 viewers as the second session of Australian Open’s evening coverage averaged a total of 704,000. The match was also #1 in the key demographics of 16-39 and 18-49.

On Seven Home and Away was the networks most watched non-news show with 510,000 which was followed by Ambulance: Code Red with 366,000

On 10 The Project had 429,000 with the episode covering the botched performance from Trump’s impeachment lawyer plus a conversation with comedian Russell Howard. 10 then followed The Project with a double-double with two episodes each of Jamie’s Easy Meals (268,000 & 217,000) and Bull (163,000 & 145,000).

10 Bold was the most-watched multichannel of the evening with a 4.3% share, with its top shows being NCISNCIS: Los Angeles, and Bondi Rescue.

On the ABC Hard Quiz was the top entertainment program of the night with 598,000, and was followed by The Weekly with Charlie Pickering with 507,000 and then ABC’s new comedy Aftertaste had 352,000 for its second episode down from the 479,000 viewers it had last week.

On SBS Britain’s Most Historic Towns had 239,000 while Micheal Palin: Travels of a Lifetime had 226,000.

WeeK 7: Wednesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 12.5% 7 16.5% 9 26.2% 10  8.2% SBS One 5.6%
ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS 2.3% 7TWO 3.2% GO! 2.2% 10 Bold 4.3% VICELAND 1.3%
ABC ME 0.3% 7mate 2.5% GEM 2.5% 10 Peach 2.9% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 2.2% 7flix 1.8% 9Life 1.8% 10 Shake 0.6% NITV 0.2%
        9Rush 1.3%     SBS World Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 17.3%   24.0%   34.0%   15.9%   8.7%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 11.2% 7 19.6% 9 19.2% WIN 6.5% SBS One 5.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS 2.0% 7TWO 6.3% GO! 2.5% WIN Bold 5.7% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 2.9% GEM 3.9% WIN Peach 4.5% Food Net 0.7%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.4% 9Life 2.6% Sky News  on WIN 1.3% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 15.3%   31.3%   28.2%   18.1%   7.8%


88.8% 11.2.%
Wednesday FTA
  1. Seven News  Seven  994,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30  Seven  939,000
  3. Nine News 6:30  Nine  841,000
  4. Nine News  Nine  829,000
  5. 2021 Australian Open D3 -Night Session 2  Nine  704,000
  6. ABC News  ABC TV  633,000
  7. 2021 Australian Open D3 -Night  Nine  625,000
  8. Hard Quiz S5  ABC TV  598,000
  9. The Chase Australia  Seven  530,000
  10. Home And Away  Seven  510,000
  11. The Weekly With Charlie Pickering  ABC TV  507,000
  12. 7.30  ABC TV  495,000
  13. The Project 7pm   10  429,000
  14. 2021 Australian Open D3 -Late  Nine  420,000
  15. Ambulance: Code Red  Seven  366,000
  16. 10 News First   10  359,000
  17. Aftertaste  ABC TV  352,000
  18. 2021 Australian Open D3 -Night Pre Match  Nine  311,000
  19. The Chase Australia-5pm  Seven  309,000
  20. Jamie’s Easy Meals For Every Day   10  268,000
Demo Top Five

16-39 Top Five

  1. 2021 Australian Open D3 -Night Session 2  Nine  162,000
  2. 2021 Australian Open D3 -Night  Nine  137,000
  3. Nine News 6:30  Nine  114,000
  4. Nine News  Nine  105,000
  5. Seven News  Seven  103,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. 2021 Australian Open D3 -Night Session 2  Nine  242,000
  2. Nine News  Nine  218,000
  3. 2021 Australian Open D3 -Night  Nine  212,000
  4. Nine News 6:30  Nine  210,000
  5. Seven News  Seven  180,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Nine News 6:30  Nine  262,000
  2. 2021 Australian Open D3 -Night Session 2  Nine  262,000
  3. Nine News  Nine  260,000
  4. Seven News  Seven  235,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30  Seven  234,000
Wednesday Multichannel 
  1. Bluey  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 231,000
  2. NCIS (R)  10 Bold  170,000
  3. NCIS: Los Angeles (R)  10 Bold  133,000
  4. Bluey  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 130,000
  5. Neighbours  10 Peach  129,000
  6. Kiri And Lou  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 126,000
  7. Peppa Pig  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 122,000
  8. NCIS: Los Angeles Ep 2 (R)  10 Bold  120,000
  9. The Adventures Of Paddington  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 119,000
  10. Brave Bunnies  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 118,000
  11. Kangaroo Beach  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 112,000
  12. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 98,000
  13. A Touch Of Frost  7TWO  98,000
  14. Bananas In Pyjamas  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 96,000
  15. Peppa Pig  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 94,000
  16. Andy’s Safari Adventures  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 94,000
  17. The Big Bang Theory Ep 2 (R)  10 Peach  93,000
  18. Fireman Sam  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 93,000
  19. Peter Rabbit  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 92,000
  20. Go Jetters  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 92,000
Wednesday STV
  1. Paul Murray Live  Sky News Live  65,000
  2. The Bolt Report  Sky News Live  61,000
  3. Credlin  Sky News Live  58,000
  4. Alan Jones  Sky News Live  51,000
  5. PML Later  Sky News Live  44,000
  6. Love It Or List It Australia  Lifestyle Channel  28,000
  7. Blue Bloods  FOX One  28,000
  8. Escape To The Chateau: DIY  Lifestyle Channel  28,000
  9. The Kenny Report  Sky News Live  27,000
  10. Coronation Street  UKTV  27,000
  11. Family Guy  FOX8  26,000
  12. Family Guy  FOX8  26,000
  13. NCIS  FOX Crime  25,000
  14. Blue Bloods  FOX One  25,000
  15. Deer Squad  Nick Jr.  25,000
  16. Rusty Rivets  Nick Jr.  25,000
  17. Escape To The Country  Lifestyle Channel  25,000
  18. Paw Patrol  Nick Jr.  25,000
  19. The Adventures Of Paddington  Nick Jr.  23,000
  20. Location, Location, Location  Lifestyle Channel  23,000

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

Media News Roundup

Media Code

Doubt cast on Google’s $14bn claims

New analysis has cast doubt on Google’s claims that it delivers $14 billion in value to Australia, with critics contesting the tech giant’s statistics asserting that local users save five days a year using Google, that they would have instead spent at the library, reports News Corp’s David Swan.

In its submission to the Senate Committee examining looming media bargaining code legislation, the tech giant said it delivers $14bn worth of benefit to Australian consumers, as well as $39bn to Australian businesses.

The Australia Institute, which is advocating in favour of the new regulation that would force Google and Facebook to pay for news, said in its own report replying to Google‘s analysis that the tech giant has misrepresented its benefits.

“The report falls into the trap of comparing Google with the absence of any realistic alternative at all,” The Australia Institute’s report says.

“The same can be said of the willingness-to-pay study that asks people to put a price on the value of Google. This quite different to asking how much people value Google’s offerings relative to other specific searches, applications, maps and so on. Asking Volkswagen owners to put a value on their Volkswagen is different to asking how much extra they value Volkswagen compared with their next preferred option.”

[Read More]

‘Too much power’: Aussie media code backed by Britain’s regulators

UK competition regulator Andrea Coscelli has strongly backed the Australian Government’s media bargaining code, saying “the digital platforms have too much power and are under-regulated.” reports News Corp’s John Durie.

Dr Coscelli was speaking to The Australian ahead of his speech in the annual Bannerman lecture.

Dr Coscelli noted that between 2008 and 2018, of the 400 acquisitions made globally by the five largest digital firms, including include Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple, none has been blocked by competition authorities.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority is adapting to a new regime post-Brexit which means there will be some overlap in its work with the powerful EC competition policy.

The CMA, which has just established a digital markets unit, which like the ACCC is seeking to impose a legally binding code of conduct for the platforms and more power to force “interoperability” which means different computer devices systems can use the same systems.

[Read More]

Business of Media

TEG acquires Handsome Tours

TEG has acquired Handsome Tours, the Sydney-based boutique promoter and events company founded by the team behind Inertia Group of Companies, reports The Industry Observer‘s Lars Brandle.

Announced on the 10th February, TEG snaps up a majority stake in Handsome, which boasts over 20 years’ experience in the live business.

Handsome produced Gang Of Youths’ Say Yes To Life 2018 tour and 2020’s Down To Earth – A Bushfire and Climate Fundraiser at Sidney Myer Music Bowl, which featured Gang Of Youths, Tash SultanaAngus & Julia Stone and Thelma Plum and raised more than $1.4 million for good causes.

[Read More]

News Brands

News Corp editors and execs met UK ministers 40 times in just over 12 months

News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch and his top executives in the UK and US met Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other high-level Government politicians seven times between them in seven weeks last summer, reports Press Gazette.

Murdoch met with Johnson, paid for lunch with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, ate a private dinner with Michael Gove and had an “informal lunch between friends” with Jacob Rees-Mogg between 8 August and 25 September last year.

News UK chief executive Rebekah Brooks met with both Johnson and Sunak within one week in September, and News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson each met Johnson held a meeting with Gove at the start of the month.

In total Murdoch has met with Johnson three times since the latter became PM: once in a social setting in September 2019, another at a social event in December that year and once at a “general discussion” meeting in September last year.

In total representatives of News UK/News Corp met with Johnson and other high-level ministers on 40 occasions since 24 July 2019.

Press Gazette details all meetings with UK editorial executives, including three meetings The Guardian’s Katherine Viner attended.

[Read more]

Lachlan Murdoch defends Fox News, says it won’t be changing its ‘centre-right’ strategy

Lachlan Murdoch, facing criticism from both sides of the political spectrum for Fox News’s handling of the election, defended the network’s “centre-right” programming and said its decline in viewers since the end of campaign season was expected, reports SMH‘s Christopher Palmeri.

The chief executive officer of Fox Corp and son of founder Rupert Murdoch also announced a multi-year contract extension for the head of Fox News, Suzanne Scott, a sign of faith in the network’s strategy.

“Fox News, throughout its entire history, has provided the absolute best news and opinion for a market that we believe is firmly centre right,” Murdoch told investors on a conference call on Tuesday (US time). “We don’t need to go further right. We don’t believe America is further right, and we’re obviously not going to pivot left.”

The flagship news network for the Murdoch empire has come under fire recently for its role in promoting stories about alleged widespread election fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The network was sued by voting-technology provider Smartmatic last week, a complaint Fox asked the court to dismiss on Monday.

[Read More]

Kevin Rudd says Sky News is using Fox model to radicalise politics in Australia

Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News will radicalise politics in Australia within a decade just as Fox News has undermined democracy in the United States, Kevin Rudd has told a parliamentary inquiry into media diversity, reports Guardian Australia’s Amanda Meade.

“For those concerned about the cumulative impact of Fox News in America on the radicalisation of US politics, the same template is being followed with Sky News in Australia,” Rudd told the Senate in a written submission. “We will see its full impact in a decade’s time.”

The former Labor prime minister and his Liberal counterpart, Malcolm Turnbull, will be called to give evidence at the Senate inquiry into media diversity set up last year. The inquiry will examine the dominance of News Corp Australia and its impact on democracy.

The Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young won support for the inquiry following the popularity of Rudd’s petition for a royal commission into the Murdoch media, which was unsuccessful but garnered more than half a million signatures.

[Read More]

Hunt accuses ABC presenter of left-wing bias on live TV

Health Minister Greg Hunt got into an argument with an ABC presenter over a Liberal Party post featuring a government vaccine announcement, reports AFR‘s Aaron Patrick.

On Wednesday News Breakfast co-host Michael Rowland complained to Hunt about a social media post that featured the Liberal Party logo with news that the federal government had secured access to more doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Hunt responded by accusing the journalist of political bias, leading both men into an on-air tiff.

“I know this is an issue for you,” Hunt said. “In many ways you identify with the left, you do this a lot and I respect that.”

“No minister, no no no, I find that offensive,” Rowland replied. “I’m asking you; I’m exercised about what is right and wrong.”

[Read More]


Oscars: plans underway for show with in-person components at multiple locations

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is offering up a few more details about its intentions for April 25, reports the Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Feinberg.

The Academy tells The Hollywood Reporter that the health and safety of participants remains its primary concern and will ultimately dictate what happens on April 25 — but that it is moving forward with plans to conduct a ceremony with in-person components “from multiple locations, including the landmark Dolby Theatre.”

For several years in the 1950s, starting in 1952, Oscar night featured simultaneous gatherings in Los Angeles and New York. One can imagine something similar happening this year — maybe even including cities outside of the U.S. like London, Paris and Seoul, since the Academy’s membership is now truly international — to spare people from having to undertake long-distance travel and to allow for greater social distancing at each venue.

This is not to say that there will not also be a significant virtual component to the ceremony, as there was for the Emmys last September. It is perhaps more so a reflection of the Academy’s need to hold its annual Oscars ceremony — in partnership with ABC — that is the organization’s primary generator of revenue to cover its year-round costs.

[Read More]


Paul Malone tribute: Sports journalism mourns top Queensland reporter

Queensland has lost one of its most respected sports journalists with the death of former The Courier-Mail sports editor Paul Malone, reports News Corp’s Robert Craddock.

“Scobie’’ Malone, 59, died at St Andrews War Memorial Hospital hospital at 7.30pm on Tuesday night, 19 months after a fall in another hospital left him a quadriplegic.

He had initially entered hospital in May, 2019, for tests just weeks before he was scheduled to take off for a dream family holiday to Wimbledon but the accident during that hospital visit meant the holiday never eventuated.

Malone displayed incredible courage, tackling many major physical and mental challenges with a spirit that had long-serving doctors and nurses expressing deep-seated admiration for the man and his equally inspiring wife Sharon.

Tennis great Rafael Nadal signed a shirt gifted to Malone, adding the message “keeping fighting.’’

Malone adopted those words and used them over and over as a rallying call to himself during demanding treatment sessions when pain levels soared.

[Read More]

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