Friday February 12, 2021

Jess Eva
Jess Eva: From starving in the jungle to the magnificent bucking bull

By Trent Thomas

“If you asked to get bitten by a snake or be hungry, I would say take me to the snake pit.”

It has been a busy few months for Jess Eva with the co-host of Sydney’s Triple M breakfast show Moonman in the Morning recently competing on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! while also celebrating the release of her first book, Why Wouldn’t Ya?.

Mediaweek spoke with the two-time national lawn bowls champion about life in the jungle, Moonman in 2021, and what motivated her to write her first book.

I’m a Celebrity

When asked about the experience of entering the jungle (in northern NSW) Eva admitted that it was nerve wracking beforehand.

I will be honest I was shitting myself. I have always been a part of a team. In radio I have always been a team and on The Block, I was Norm and Jess, and I have always attributed any of my success to the people around me, so I was really nervous going in as just Jess.”

When asked what the biggest highlight was of being on the show Eva said that she was surprised by the quality of character of her fellow celebrities.

“I was really nervous about walking into egos and feeling bad about having a moment on camera and taking time away from somebody else, but I was really humbled by the generosity of spirit by everybody. If you were having a moment that was likely to end up on TV, no one was snarling at you, but were your biggest cheerleaders.”

Jess Eva

When asked for a low light of being on the show Eva said that she struggled with the lack of snacking in the jungle.

“I love a good snack so if you asked to get bitten by a snake or be hungry, I would say take me to the snake pit.

“Mumma has about 13 meals a day so my lowlight was only eating rice and beans three times a day. If you skip breakfast and your hunger is all you can think about all day till you can get to the closet Maccas, that was our life.”

Jess Eva’s future on TV

Eva admitted that she would pay to be a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race Downunder. Outside of that, she thinks she may be out of options on reality TV.

“I have exhausted all the reality shows. I am engaged so The Bachelor is off, and I don’t know if I am glamourous enough for that anyway. I can’t bake or cook so Bake Off and MasterChef would be an automatic fail. I would have to see what else I could munger up, but my reality TV run might have ended.”

Moonman in the Morning in 2021

Eva said that she is grateful that the Triple M team was happy for her to go on I’m a Celebrity and would be laughing at her antics the morning after an episode aired.

My program director Rex Morris is the world’s greatest cheerleader for progression and is a beautiful man. And being on a team with Moonman and Pagey who embraced it as content, I felt really humbled.”

While Eva admitted that she has been a bit too busy to be in all the meetings she is predicting big things for the team in 2021.

“Like any radio show, we have done our two-year honeymoon period so we now go from getting to know each other to trying to make an impact in the Sydney radio market. We know exactly what we stand for and it’s time to giddy-up.

Eva described working with Lawrence Mooney like being on a magnificent bucking bull.

“Lawrence, who in my opinion is Australia’s Ricky Gervais, is an absolute genius, I just enjoy being part of his ride. You don’t know what is going to happen, but you know it will be good to listen to.”

Why Wouldn’t Jess Eva Write a Book?

Eva was inspired to write her book by her own experiences of struggling with self-doubt.

“Throughout my radio jobs when I was slogging my guts out for $1.50 an hour I thought once I got to Sydney, I would be happy. And when I got to Sydney, I was professionally happy, but I thought achieving my dream would solve all my problems, but I still felt the same type of self-doubt.

“It turned out that just achieving something didn’t solve my problems, so I started studying the power of positive thought. You can be addicted to doubting yourself and it’s all about your neurological pathways and creating new habits and creating a foundation of confidence and not ego.”

Eva said this realisation about the power of positive thought saved her life emotionally.

“It was about creating a holistic positive mindset in yourself, freeing up emotional energy by not double thinking things so you have emotional freedom and availability for your family and other projects.”

“I realised I was repeating cycles. In your twenties, you try and find happiness in the magical penis and it turns out not even penis makes you happy. If it did instead of having rock carvings of Buddhas in Nepal, they would just have penises.”

Jess Eva

When asked if she would write another book, Eva joked that she wouldn’t because writing a book was harder than she realised.

“I really enjoyed the process, and if they offer me another one, I would take it.”

Jess Eva’s future Projects 

Eva said that her next TV project will be with her partner Norm Hogan as the former Block contestants return to the home renovation genre. However, this time around the show titled Renovate or Rebuild will be about eco-renovation and will be funded by the CSIRO. Filming will be over Easter for an airdate later in 2021.

“I love it because it gets the message out that there is sustainable living. We go to different properties around NSW and work with the CSIRO on how to create a completely green build.”

men's health
Men’s Health editor Scott Henderson on Chris Hemsworth and the comeback issue

By Tess Connery

“What’s going to be different now is that you’re going to see the brand grow beyond the pages”

It’s been a tumultuous year for Men’s Health Australia, after Are Media (at the time still called Bauer Media) listed them alongside Women’s Health Australia as one of eight titles that they were cutting last July. In a stroke of luck, the license was picked up by the former publisher of Men’s Fitness, Sydney-based boutique publishing house Paragon Media. This week marks the jubilant return of both Men’s Health and Women’s Health, with the comeback issues released on Australian newsstands yesterday.

See Also: 2021 Reset: Jacqui Mooney on the comeback issue of Women’s Health Magazine

Mediaweek spoke to Scott Henderson, editor of Men’s Health, about how they’re coming back to the market stronger than ever.

Working with Paragon

Henderson says that while the road to Paragon has been rough, Men’s Health has found its feet with a publishing house that recognises the values of the iconic brand.

“What I’m happiest about is that he’s [Ian Brooks, CEO of Paragon] very audience-first, which as we can see with media organisations that are really thriving right now, that’s the way to go. It’s a great place to be, we’re really, really fortunate. It was a horrible way to get here but we are incredibly grateful that we are here.”

The change of publishing house has presented a fresh start for Men’s Health, and while the magazine will still largely be what audiences know and love, there will be a couple of changes.

“What’s going to be different now is that you’re going to see the brand grow beyond the pages,” Henderson said.

“Now we’re able to really focus on how men consume media, and expanding our brand in ways that are going to connect with more men and resonate with our specific audience.”

Going Digital

In an increasingly digital world, more and more publishers are opting to go 100% online. Henderson says that while it was an option, they were always going to return with physical copies.

“I definitely see the value in digital, and it’s something that we want to grow, but it also didn’t make sense with our audience. When the pandemic hit in march last year and lockdown hit, our physical sales of actual magazines went up by 40%, so there’s still a demand for the physical product. It’s also our anchor.

“We’re in a better position to create holistic content, so every time we do a cover story now, we can now create a video to go with that. We can have the QR code to shop Chris Hemsworth’s look so you can look like how he does in the photoshoot, you can scan the QR code that will link back to his workout on our website. When we do events, we don’t just want them to be events, we want them to be panel discussions that are then turned into podcasts, that are turned into video series. We want that 360 approach. However our audience are consuming their media, they’ll be able to connect with us. 

“We basically want to create the Men’s Health ecosystem. It’s not going to happen overnight, but I’m extremely grateful that we’re under ownership that’s putting that infrastructure there for us to build on that.”

Creating a health magazine in a pandemic

Health is an important thing for people to focus on at the best of times, but during a global pandemic it becomes paramount. Henderson says that the COVID-19 pandemic was something that had to be taken into careful consideration when creating the magazine.

“The challenge we face is that things can happen by the minute. Especially with print, there could be a breakout tomorrow, Australia could go into lockdown, and all our gym content becomes irrelevant. So what we try and do is what we always have done and give information that can be taken and applied to most contexts, for most men no matter where they’re at on their health journey. 

“For us, a huge focus has been on mental health because lockdown or not, the last year has taken a toll on everyone.”

The Comeback Issue

“I would have loved to have done a documentary on the behind the scenes of putting this first issue together,” said Henderson.

“Our first day back on the job – it was the week before Christmas – and I was driving to the office. We all got there at 9am, and at quarter to nine I get a text from Chris Hemsworth’s agent saying ‘he can’t do the interview later this week, can you do it this morning?’. I asked, ‘when this morning?’ and they said ’10 o’clock’, so it was the most Men’s Health comeback you could ever imagine. One hour in we’re on the phone with Chris Hemsworth and we started pulling this issue together.”

After a bumpy ride and a lot of hard work, Henderson says that Men’s Health is ready to make the most of the opportunity that comes with this comeback.

“What’s exciting that we’re going to have a lot more local content which is great. Without giving too much away, people can just expect bigger. Bigger and a lot more brand extensions.”

Mediaweek’s Magazine Rack: Welcome back Men’s Health

Men’s Health released their comeback issue yesterday.

Title: Men’s Health
Cover price: $9.50 ($1.70 more than the Women’s Health we bought yesterday)
Value: Not as strong as Women’s Health, but under $10 is good.
Editor: Scott Henderson
Publisher: Paragon Media, Ian Brooks, CEO
Commercial Director: Ann-Maree Mulders
Ad pages: 17 – slightly higher than new Women’s Health
Edition: March 2021, 130 pages (same as Women’s Health)
Cover: Chris Hemsworth with eight-page feature inside.
Cover lines: 10. Best – Hugh Sheridan fitness feature: “Jacked to the Rafters”


Editor’s letter: Longish with no photo of the editor.
“We never stopped believing Men’s Health would regain its place in the Australian media landscape. We return under new ownership, into a world where health dominates the news cycle.
“As a team, we are reinvigorated. As a magazine, we are better positioned than ever to help you become the best man you can be.
“When all’s said and done, where would we be without belief? The belief that all will be okay? That we will get through this? That better things are coming? We need to believe in all these things. Otherwise, what would be the point of it all?”
Giveaways: No major reader competition.
Men’s Health Subscription offer: $79 for 12 – save 31%. No bonus gift like Women’s Health offered.
Socials: Using Instagram as key platform for engaging with audience it seems. Plenty of Facebook posts too though.
Facebook: 1,262,846 followers
Twitter: 34,100 followers
Instagram: 106,000 followers
Summary: Paragon Media has managed to pull off two major magazine launches on the same day. Now the Men’s Health and Women’s Health brands are up and running it will make the task of attracting new readers and commercial partners easier by being able to put the product in their hands. It’s been a landmark week for magazines, let’s hope the momentum can continue in the sector and it gets the support it deserves.

See also: Mediaweek’s Magazine Rack: Welcome back Women’s Health

OMD’s Katy Eng: Podcast investment, best ad formats and power of the host

By James Manning

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

During the Covid-19 lockdown audiences turned to podcasts. The challenge for 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.”

Brand created podcasts

It would be rare for me to recommend something like that for a brand. It is a huge investment, you start from an audience of zero, it takes time to build the audience and you need a very good marketing strategy to get the awareness out there for them.

What ads work?

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 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.

Programmatic buying

It can be a good awareness-building move as you can get high frequency and target shows that are contextually perfect for the audience. That is really for a frequency awareness play. When we want to get deeper with messaging or influence people more, I like to add in-show integration.

Naming rights

A ‘brought to you by’ is nice to have if the brand has a real role to play in the content. If the host was an ambassador for the brand and could speak on its behalf it would make more sense. As something on its own I would not put a lot of value on it unless it comes with a bigger strategy.

Audience data, better, not perfect

We were not happy originally with how we were being presented with podcast 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.

We are doing that more with some of our Estée Lauder clients. It’s nice because it personalises it for the podcast audience as they feel they are getting a code only for them. We can track redemption and see the amount of dollars driven by the integration which becomes a real measure of success.

Ad rates and value

There can be good value if you negotiate it well. I am happy to integrate and partner with a podcast with 5,000 downloads a week if it is priced right. I will pay more for a podcast partnership if the numbers are there and I can also do an extension of the podcast with the host. Maybe a video and a written article and the host becomes a broader ambassador for the podcast and the advertiser.

Mamamia’s You Beauty podcast

Don’t underestimate the power of the host

At the beginning of podcasting people underestimated the influence of the host and the fact they eventually become the brand ambassador for you. A lot of people listening to podcasts feel very strongly about the personality. As long as they are relevant for your brand, that personality can be a real connection point for the brand.

A good example of that is the Mamamia podcast You Beauty where Leigh Campbell was the main host originally. She is a big fan of one of our clients, Estée Lauder, and she uses one of their products. We know she is a fan and most of the popularity for that podcast was her influence which was backed up by the Mamamia network. She did a host read for us where she was trialling a new formulation of a product. She did posts on Instagram about using the new product and then revealed the result in a podcast read.

Audio opportunities

We are getting a healthy amount of podcasts and ideas being pitched to us. Because we have such a great relationship with all of our partners, they know when we have a brief that would be perfect for podcasting and a valuable channel for the audience. They know we will come to them when we have something perfect for the podcast world. We hear regularly about new shows and new talent. It seems to be a very healthy, thriving space at present.

See also: Podcast Week
Katy Eng on what advertisers want, Adam Shand’s DNA mystery, Gold’s Patsy
Courtney and Vanity at Nova, Keeping Calm with Meshel Laurie, Neil Finn
Listening highlight with Joe Lunn, Wil Anderson with Chris Walker

News Corp announces new property platform for Saturday state-based mastheads

News Corp Australia will unveil an all-new property platform this weekend for its home and real estate sections in the company’s state-based mastheads.

From Saturday 13 February, a new-look property lift-out will be published in the Saturday editions of The Daily Telegraph (NSW), Herald Sun (VIC), The Courier-Mail (QLD), and The Advertiser (SA), which collectively reach an audience of more than 1.7 million Australians.

The new national section At Home, joins realestate as a flip cover magazine, delivering property news and inspiration to build your dream life. At Home and realestate will be complemented with digital platforms on each masthead website.

National weekend editor Mick Carroll said: “Our expanded weekend property platform forms a key part of an ongoing national program of product evolution to deliver the best offering for today’s consumer. Home aspirations go hand in hand with real estate and this new offering has been designed to deliver our readers a one-stop shop for all of their property needs.”

Led by national At Home magazine editor, Kelly Baker, readers can find a holistic approach to home improvement from everyday maintenance to realising dream-home aspirations. 

Ms Baker said: “Our homes have become very much a retreat and a resort, but also a place where we can go about our working lives. It’s been a dramatic realignment for many over the past year and it presents incredible opportunities. Improving our home isn’t just about improving our lifestyle, it can also add considerable value to our most important asset.

“That’s what At Home is all about: bringing you everything you need to know, and the inspiration and motivation, to reinvent, reimagine or to simply just tweak your home.

“We’ll have insights from the experts, such as our new weekly column The Fixer, news on the latest trends, styles and in-depth ‘How to’ guides. We’ll also let you in on what celebrities are doing with their homes and where they’re buying and selling. This will all be balanced with real life stories from those who have been on the home transformation journey, experienced the ups and downs and come out the other side.

“We’re making a big splash in our launch issue with star-powered help from landscape designer Charlie Albone – former host of Selling Houses Australia – and his role as a judge in our exclusive list of Australia’s 100 Cool Pools.

“Covid-19 has changed the way we live and the way we want to live, and though life won’t be ‘back to normal’ for quite a while, that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of it.”

Driven by a national content program with localised case studies, this unified strategy will also provide advertisers with scalable solutions and mass reach across NSW, VIC, QLD and SA. The streamlined approach enables seamless integration for clients across the platforms to effectively engage with potential customers.

At Home features expert talent from around the country who will help inspire and inform readers on core themes; building, renovating, gardening and decorating. realestate will feature auction previews, new listings, personal finance advice, newsworthy market updates and national and local trends, support by REA Group market data. 

The magazine format will be new for the Saturday Herald Sun and The AdvertiserThe Saturday Courier-Mail and The Saturday Telegraph have been producing their property sections this way during Covid. 

Supercars Championship: Seven unveils commentary team for 2021

The Seven Network today unveiled a new commentary team for this year’s Supercars Championship.

Mark Beretta will headline Seven’s live and free motorsport coverage this year, as the network makes its return to Supercars, starting with the Mount Panorama 500 at Bathurst on 27-28 February.

Co-hosting Seven’s coverage at Bathurst will be Abbey Gelmi, making her Supercars debut after playing a key role in the network’s sport coverage in recent years.

The other fresh faces Seven will unveil at Bathurst include:

• Australian Rally Champion Molly Taylor, who will work alongside fan favourite Mark Larkham in pit lane
• Long-time Supercars driver Jack Perkins – son of motorsport legend Larry Perkins – who will provide expert commentary
• Australian cricket great and motorsport lover Brad Hodge, who will bring fans all the colour, excitement and characters at Mount Panorama

Neil CromptonMark SkaifeCraig Lowndes and Garth Tander will also be part of the coverage, along with Charli Robinson.

Managing director Seven Melbourne and head of network sport, Lewis Martin, said: “We’re counting down the days until the world’s greatest touring car championship returns to where it belongs, on Seven and 7plus.

“We are rapt to bring all Australians the passion, intensity, chaos and sheer excitement of V8 racing, with a fresh new commentary team that will give our new era of motorsport coverage a dynamic edge.

“There’s no better way to get things started than at Bathurst, the spiritual home of Australian motorsport,” he said.

The Mount Panorama 500 is the first of six races in 2021 that will be broadcast live and free on Seven and live-streamed on 7plus. The season’s highlight comes in October when Supercars returns to Mount Panorama for the iconic Bathurst 1000.

Highlights from the other races of the Supercars Championship will be replayed on Seven and 7plus the same day of the race.

Screentime making Tayla Harris AFLW documentary for Amazon Prime Video

The documentary offers unprecedented access to football and boxing star Tayla Harris.

Amazon Prime Video has commenced production with the Australian Football League (AFL) and Screentime, to produce a new Australian Amazon Original documentary that offers unprecedented access to football and boxing star, Tayla HarrisKick Like Tayla is the second series to be produced by Amazon Prime Video and the AFL, following the upcoming docu-series Making Their Mark, and will launch exclusively in over 240 countries and territories in 2021.

See also: Amazon reveals details of AFL doco from Eddie McGuire’s Jam TV

Kick Like Tayla will give Prime members globally an exclusive insight into an incredible athlete, who balances a successful boxing career alongside playing in the NAB AFL Women’s Competition for the Carlton Football Club.

The series will explore what makes Tayla tick, her love of all sports including boxing and football, the impacts of social media, cyber-bullying, and sexism. Kick Like Tayla is the celebration of a once-in-a-generation talent on the rise, and will follow Harris during the 2021 season, on field and behind the scenes, and include interviews with prominent figures both inside and outside the AFLW, as well as national and international fans.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this new Amazon Prime Video documentary where I can show what is a usually very private side to myself. You will see what makes me tick, how I go about game day, cutting weight for fights and plenty more,” said Harris.

“We are pleased to be adding another Australian Amazon Original sports documentary to our growing lineup for Prime members in Australia and around the world,” said Tyler Bern, head of content, Prime Video Australia. “Sport is so intrinsic to the Australian way of life, and Tayla Harris is one of the world’s most exciting and inspirational athletes of our generation. Tayla’s grit and unflinching determination make her an inspiration to many, and the documentary will provide a unique perspective on what drives her success.”

Kick Like Tayla is a world-class documentary focused on one of the most-exciting athletes in sport today. Every time the ball goes in her direction you sit up to see what happens next,” added Andrew Garrick, executive producer and director of Kick Like Tayla for Screentime.

“This new documentary will enable audiences to connect with Tayla, who is not only a sporting legend with a long career ahead of her, but who is also an unapologetic pioneer and a fierce fighter for women’s rights. We are delighted to be working alongside Amazon Prime Video and the AFL to share this story of strength in the face of adversity, and delve into the world and mind of this immense talent.”

“We are thrilled to be extending our partnership with Amazon Prime Video and Screentime, which is centred around sharing the unique stories from within the AFL community told by our incredible talent. Kick Like Tayla provides both footy fans and supporters of women in sport with the ability to get up close and personal with one of the most recognisable women in our game,” said AFL general manager of digital, Sarah Wyse.

Kick Like Tayla is currently in production with the Australian Football League and Screentime, and will be directed by Andrew Garrick.

bondi rescue
Series 16 of Bondi Rescue to premiere February 25 on 10

This series, ten fresh-faced recruits join the Bondi Lifeguards.

Home of the weird, wonderful, beautiful, deadly and dangerous, 10’s favourite lifeguards are joined by some new faces for a season-filled with thrills, spills and revelers. On Thursday, February 25 at 7.30pm, the 16th series of the long-running and well-loved Aussie show, Bondi Rescue, will be making its return.

Once again Bondi Beach is the place to spend the summer, as the world’s most famous lifeguards return for a new season. Even in a summer unlike any they’ve ever faced before, the Waverley Council lifeguards are back with just as much of a grin as ever. Diving into its 16th series, Bondi Rescue remains staple viewing for audiences in Australian and around the world.

This series, ten fresh-faced recruits join the Bondi Lifeguards, trading their training to brave the regular rips, sharks, andbag thieves as they keep beachgoers safe at Australia’s most spectacular and unpredictable natural arena. For the first time, viewers will also see how the Bondi Lifeguards dealt with a global pandemic. 

Even though global tourism numbers have plummeted over the last 12 months, there are still a lot of people visiting the beach who have managed to get themselves into all sorts of strange – and sometimes very dangerous – situations. The lockdown may have affected how we move around, but it certainly hasn’t affected the need for Bondi’s lifeguards.

Bondi Rescue won the Logie Awards Most Popular Factual Program in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 and also scored a nomination for the Most Outstanding Factual Series at the 2010 and 2011 ceremonies.

Produced by Cordell JigsawBondi Rescue was first broadcast in 2006, and is also broadcast internationally throughout 100 countries. The show was created and produced by part-time lifeguard Ben Davies, and is narrated by Osher Günsberg.

Bondi Rescue premieres Thursday, 25 February At 7.30pm, only on 10 and WIN Network. 

Mercado on TV: Clarice and WandaVision keeping streamers on cutting edge

By Andrew Mercardo

WandaVision blends Marvel superheroes with meticulously recreated homages to classic sitcoms.

The TV year is off to a worrying start with poor results last Tuesday. Holey Moley (Seven) continued its downward spiral with just 469,000 viewers, beaten by The Amazing Race Australia (10) which, although going up in viewership, is not quite a smash hit. Meanwhile, the Australian Open (Nine) could only average 464,000 viewers that night, although the numbers are creeping higher for big games.

None of this should be surprising, considering free-to-air TV just took a two month summer holiday apart from big ticket sport. Programs like Code Red (Wednesday on Seven), Ambulance Australia (Thursday on 10) and Paramedics (9Now) have fans, but the copycat programming might push others to BVOD options or streaming services.

At least 10 tried and performed well with I’m a Celebrity, screening all-new episodes five nights a week (Sundays to Thursdays). Some episodes seemed too long and it would be interesting to see them try what ITV does in the UK – shorter episodes seven nights a week.

Commercial TV often only screens their big guns from Sunday to Tuesday, leaving the other four nights of the week to sport or less than fresh content. There are brave exceptions of course like the gardening/lifestyle big guns and the wonderful Gogglebox (10).

Clarice (screening on CBS in America and available here on Stan) is about the heroine from The Silence Of The Lambs chasing more “serial murderers and sexual predators”. There is no need for another violent show like this, but thanks to creators Jenny Lumet and Alex Kurtzman, they are trying to change the narrative.

I can’t word it better than The Guardian which says Clarice has “a keen awareness of how exploitative and misogynistic the genre can be. The fetishisation of dead, mostly naked women, is tackled head-on in the pilot episode with the loss of three victims given an unusual gravity.”

Now that is about time, especially given the bizarre loophole that forbids naked women being shown on American network TV, unless they are dead and lying on a slab. Aussie actress Rebecca Breeds does a wonderful job playing Clarice, especially given she is taking over from Jodie Foster.

WandaVision (Disney+) blends Marvel superheroes with meticulously recreated homages to classic sitcoms like The Dick Van Dyke ShowBewitched and The Brady Bunch, complete with corny laugh tracks. The first three episodes move through the 1950s to the 1970s, then a standalone episode tries to explain what’s going on, before episode five is set in the 1980s with a Family Ties vibe.

This is the strangest thing on TV right now, although US pop culture channel E! comes close this Saturday when they screen an Aussie bushranger movie (Ned Kelly) in between marathons of Botched and The Kardashians!

For more from Mercado read here.

Alex De Minaur
TV Ratings Survey: Thursday week 7

By Trent Thomas

• Nine wins the night as Alex De Minaur goes through to the third round
• Back Roads top primetime entertainment show
• Wife Swap Australia returns on Seven following production delay

Primetime News
Seven News 899,000 (6:00 pm)/875,000 (6:30 pm)
Nine News 892,000 (6:00 pm)/845,000 (6:30 pm)
ABC News 688,000
10 News First 340,000 (5:00 pm)/201,000 (6:30 pm)
SBS World News 159,000 (6:30)/ 138,000 (7:00 pm)

Daily current affairs
7.30 522,000
The Project 237,000 (6:30 pm)/407,000 (7:00 pm)
The Drum 157,000

Breakfast TV
Sunrise 247,000
Today 197,000
News Breakfast 187,000

Late Night News
ABC Late News 58,000
SBS World News Late 43,000

Nine has won its third weeknight in a row as the Australian Open continues to heat up off the back of Aussie talent performing well. This time it was Alex De Minaur winning in primetime to help Nine to a 23.0% primary share and a 32.1% network share.

The De Minaur victory over Pablo Cuevas in straight sets saw an average audience of 640,000 on Nine.

Seven aired its Thursday triple-header of Home and Away with the episodes getting an average of 442,000.

Following Home and Away the network aired the return of Wife Swap Australia. After a two year delay, Seven’s take on the original format – which aired in 2012 on Foxtel – was scheduled to air in 2019. The first delay pushed the series back to 2020 and a second delay pushed it further back to 2021, but now Wife Swap Australia finally aired last night to 346,000 viewers.

In the series premiere, a fashion-conscious, fitness-obsessed mum of six straight-A students and a bus-dwelling, free-range mum of eight unschooled kids swap lives.

The top multichannel for the night was 7Two with a 3.9% share. The top programs on the channel were Father Brown and three episodes of Murdoch Mysteries.

The Project had 407,000 after 7:00 pm as the panel discussed if new footage from inside the Capitol siege will see Trump convicted and Debra Lawrance chatted about Harry Potter.

In the 7:30 slot, 10 aired a repeat of Ambulance Australia which garnered 268,000 viewers.

On ABC Back Roads was the top entertainment show in primetime with the season seven episode in Kyogle having 454,000 viewers.

Back Roads was followed by Q+A which failed again to crack 300,000 after debuting for 2021 last week with 284,000 as the show adjusts to its move from Monday to Thursday nights. 

SBS’s top-rated show was World’s Greatest Palaces with 207,000.

WeeK 7: Thursday
THURSDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 11.3% 7 16.8% 9 23.0% 10  9.4% SBS One 5.1%
ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS 2.5% 7TWO 3.9% GO! 3.4% 10 Bold 3.5% VICELAND 1.9%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 3.0% GEM 2.1% 10 Peach 3.0% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 2.2% 7flix 1.7% 9Life 2.6% 10 Shake 1.0% NITV 0.2%
        9Rush 1.0%     SBS World Movies 0.9%
TOTAL 16.4%   25.4%   32.1%   16.8%   9.2%

 

THURSDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 11.4% 7 18.8% 9 17.2% WIN 9.2% SBS One 4.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS 2.9% 7TWO 6.0% GO! 3.4% WIN Bold 5.0% VICELAND 1.9%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 4.4% GEM 2.8% WIN Peach 3.0% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.1% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.4% 9Life 2.7% Sky News  on WIN 1.2% NITV 0.2%
                SBS Movies 1.1%
TOTAL 16.3%   31.6%   26.2%   18.4%   8.6%

 

THURSDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
88.2% 11.8.%
Thursday FTA
  1. Seven News  Seven 899,000
  2. Nine News  Nine  892,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30  Seven 875,000
  4. Nine News 6:30  Nine  845,000
  5. ABC News  ABC TV  688,000
  6. 2021 Australian Open D4 -Night  Nine  633,000
  7. 7.30  ABC TV  522,000
  8. 2021 Australian Open D4 -Night Session 2  Nine  463,000
  9. The Chase Australia  Seven 461,000
  10. Back Roads S7  ABC TV  454,000
  11. 2021 Australian Open D4 -Night Pre Match  Nine  442,000
  12. Home And Away  Seven 442,000
  13. The Project 7pm   10  407,000
  14. Wife Swap Australia  Seven 346,000
  15. 10 News First   10  340,000
  16. 2021 Australian Open D4 -Day  Nine  318,000
  17. The Chase Australia-5pm  Seven 300,000
  18. Q+A  ABC TV  294,000
  19. Seven News At 4.30  Seven 275,000
  20. Ambulance Australia (R)   10  268,000
Demo Top Five

16-39 Top Five

  1. 2021 Australian Open D4 -Night  Nine  160,000
  2. Nine News  Nine  138,000
  3. Nine News 6:30  Nine  136,000
  4. 2021 Australian Open D4 -Night Session 2  Nine  121,000
  5. 2021 Australian Open D4 -Night Pre Match  Nine  118,000

 

18-49 Top Five

  1. Nine News  Nine  247,000
  2. Nine News 6:30  Nine  243,000
  3. 2021 Australian Open D4 -Night  Nine  238,000
  4. 2021 Australian Open D4 -Night Session 2  Nine  181,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30  Seven 178,000

 

25-54 Top Five

  1. Nine News  Nine  281,000
  2. Nine News 6:30  Nine  263,000
  3. 2021 Australian Open D4 -Night  Nine  251,000
  4. Seven News At 6.30  Seven 219,000
  5. Seven News  Seven 207,000
Thursday Multichannel 
  1. Bluey  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  189,000
  2. NCIS (R)  10 Bold  153,000
  3. 2021 Australian Open D4 -Day  9GO!  138,000
  4. Bluey  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  136,000
  5. Father Brown  7TWO  134,000
  6. Murdoch Mysteries  7TWO  127,000
  7. The Adventures Of Paddington  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  121,000
  8. Brave Bunnies  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  117,000
  9. Hawaii Five-O (R)  10 Bold  115,000
  10. Peppa Pig  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  115,000
  11. Kiri And Lou  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  111,000
  12. The Big Bang Theory Ep 2 (R)  10 Peach  111,000
  13. Neighbours  10 Peach  109,000
  14. Kangaroo Beach  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  109,000
  15. Andy’s Safari Adventures  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  108,000
  16. The Big Bang Theory Ep 3 (R)  10 Peach  108,000
  17. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  104,000
  18. Dino Dana  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  99,000
  19. 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown (R)  SBS VICELAND  97,000
  20. Bananas In Pyjamas  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  96,000
Thursday STV
  1. Credlin  Sky News Live  63,000
  2. The Bolt Report  Sky News Live  59,000
  3. Paul Murray Live  Sky News Live  57,000
  4. Outback Opal Hunters  Discovery Channel  56,000
  5. Alan Jones  Sky News Live  51,000
  6. Gold Rush  Discovery Channel  43,000
  7. The Big Bang Theory  FOX Funny  36,000
  8. The Kenny Report  Sky News Live  32,000
  9. The Big Bang Theory  FOX Funny  30,000
  10. NCIS: Los Angeles  FOX Crime  29,000
  11. Blue Bloods  FOX One  29,000
  12. The Big Bang Theory  FOX Funny  28,000
  13. AM Agenda  Sky News Live  28,000
  14. Peppa Pig  Nick Jr.  28,000
  15. PML Later  Sky News Live  28,000
  16. Abby Hatcher  Nick Jr.  27,000
  17. Highway Patrol  FOX8  27,000
  18. Blue Bloods  FOX One  27,000
  19. The Simpsons  FOX8  26,000
  20. The Great Pottery Throwdown  Lifestyle Channel  26,000

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

News media code to be rubber stamped by Senate inquiry

A Senate committee will rubber stamp the government’s proposed news media bargaining code legislation in a report to be released on Friday, returning the issue to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to consider making amendments to placate Facebook and Google which have threatened to pull out of Australia, reports AFR‘s Miranda Ward and John Kehoe.

The Senate committee grilled the digital giants alongside news publishers in two separate hearings, one at the end of January and one earlier this month, on how the code is expected to impact both the digital companies and news media businesses.

Designed to level the playing field between traditional news media publishers and digital companies, the proposed legislation presses Google and Facebook to strike deals with publishers that would ensure news creators are paid fairly by the digital platforms for the value of journalism on their services, in line with a recommendation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Parliament will sit for the next two weeks, meaning the legislation may become law by the end of the month. Labor is offering bipartisan support for the code.

[Read More]

Microsoft calls on Joe Biden to follow Australia's lead on Media Code

This morning, Microsoft President Brad Smith posted a blog calling for the United States to consider adopting proposals like the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code laws currently under consideration in Australia. The laws, often just referred to as the Media Code laws, aim to level the playing field between digital platforms and news publishers and seek to ensure a bigger and fairer share of online revenue for news organisations.

This follows on from a statement Smith made last week making it clear that Microsoft and Bing would never pull out of the Australian markets after Google threatened to leave  Australia if the Media Code laws went through without amendments. 

Writing about the importance of social media in democracy, Smith wrote:

“Perhaps the most remarkable development in recent political history is not that Americans disagreed in 2020 about who to elect as president; it’s the fact that, after the election, so many disagreed about who had actually won.

“As in so many other instances, technology has been both a positive and negative force for democracy. It has created unprecedented opportunities for people to learn about events, share their views and even organize their efforts. It was only a decade ago that technology created optimism about democracy amid an Arab Spring. And, in 2015, when two extremist brothers in France brutally killed a dozen journalists at Charlie Hebdo, almost two million people in Paris used social media to organize a peaceful Sunday march to support democracy and a free press everywhere.

“But the last five years have also seen this tool become a weapon, and January 2021 unfortunately saw this come home to roost. Democracy’s cornerstone has always been the peaceful transition of power.”

Smith also asks readers to consider who both players in this debate should be serving.

“The ultimate question is what values we want the tech sector and independent journalism to serve. Yes, Australia’s proposal will reduce the bargaining imbalance that currently favors tech gatekeepers and will help increase opportunities for independent journalism. But this a defining issue of our time that goes to the heart of our democratic freedoms.”

The full blog post can be read here.

News Brands

BBC News banned in China over claims of bias

BBC World News has been banned from airing in China, according to the country’s main broadcasting regulator, reports the Hollywood Reporter’s Alex Ritman.

In a statement given to the official Xinhua news channel, the National Radio and TV Administration said that BBC World News had “undermined China’s national interests and ethnic solidarity” and accused its China reports of having “infringed the principles of truthfulness and impartiality in journalism.”

In response, a BBC spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that the Chinese authorities have decided to take this course of action. The BBC is the world’s most trusted international news broadcaster and reports on stories from around the world fairly, impartially and without fear or favour.”

The seemingly tit-for-tat decision comes exactly a week after British media regulator Ofcom announced that it had withdrawn a license for China Global Television Network to air in the U.K.

[Read More]

Mamamia, 2GB failed to get legal advice for Pell reports, court told

A news website and a Sydney radio station failed to get legal advice before publishing reports that breached a suppression order about George Pell’s sex abuse conviction, a court has heard, reports SMH‘s Adam Cooper.

Fourteen news outlets, including The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, have admitted to a combined 21 charges of contempt of court for breaching a suppression order over reports published or broadcast in December 2018, in the days after Cardinal Pell was found guilty.

Representatives for four media outlets told the Victorian Supreme Court on Thursday their reports – on news websites Mamamia and Business Insider, 2GB and Channel Nine’s Today program – followed those in some of the nation’s leading newspapers, which on December 13, 2018 ran front-page articles and online stories that said a high-profile person had been found guilty.

But while newspaper editors discussed the suppression order with in-house lawyers before publishing, the court heard on Thursday that senior staff who approved the Mamamia and 2GB reports hadn’t seen Judge Kidd’s order and didn’t seek legal advice.

[Read More]

Big Tech defamation law push

Defamation laws applied to Google, Facebook and Twitter should be as similar as possible to those that apply to traditional news outlets, Attorney-General Christian Porter says, reports News Corp’s Nicola Berkovic.

Porter said the business models of the social media giants were very similar to that of the traditional news media, in that they sold advertising to customers attracted to content.

“Yet the rules that apply to traditional news media, print and television are very different, more prescriptive — and safer, I would argue — than those that apply to digital platforms,” he said.

Porter said the laws that applied to digital platforms and traditional news publishers “should be as similar as reasonably possible”.

“Otherwise one business type is held to a higher standard and to a commercial disadvantage, and it’s just not fair,” he said.

[Read More]

Meghan Markle wins in privacy claim against UK tabloid

Meghan Markle has convinced a UK judge Mail on Sunday violated her privacy by publishing parts of a letter she wrote to her estranged father in 2018 and that the tabloid is liable for copyright infringement, reports the Hollywood Reporter‘s Ashley Cullins.

The Duchess of Sussex in September 2019 sued Associated Newspapers, owner of the tabloid, for misuse of private information and copyright infringement after it selectively published portions of what she had written. The letter was first referenced in People and after that story was published, according to court documents, Thomas Markle gave Mail on Sunday a copy.

When the suit was filed, Markle’s husband Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, wrote a lengthy statement about why he was fed up with the British press bullying his wife. The couple also pledged to donate any damages they receive from the litigation to an anti-bullying charity.

In response the tabloid had argued Markle had no reasonable expectation of privacy with regard to the contents of the letter (in part, because she’s a member of the royal family), that there was a public interest in publishing it because the People article was misleading and denied that it had infringed any copyright by reproducing parts of it. Justice Mark Warby wasn’t convinced.

[Read More]

Publishing

Larry Flynt, who built a porn empire with Hustler, dies at 78

Larry Flynt, a ninth-grade dropout who built a $US400 million ($518 million) empire of raunchy publications, strip clubs and “adult” shops around his sexually explicit magazine Hustler, and spent decades battling obscenity and libel charges as a self-promoting champion of freedom of the press, died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 78, reports AFR’s Robert D. McFadden.

The cause was heart failure, said his brother, Jimmy Flynt.

In the 1970s, Larry Flynt was at the nexus of a cultural and legal war in America: an unpopular hero to civil libertarians, the devil incarnate to feminists and morality preachers, a conundrum to judges and juries and a purveyor of guilty secrets to men slinking off from porn shops or the mailbox with brown paper parcels.

Starting with its first issue, in July 1974, and continuing for four decades, Hustler displayed glossy, full-color photos of female genitalia, pictured naked women in demeaning poses and often depicted group sex and sex-toy fetishes.

[Read More]

Radio

David Hua takes charge at SBS Radio

More than three decades before David Hua joined SBS’s leadership team, taking over as director of audio and language content last December, he found the multicultural broadcaster to be a daily source of annoyance, reports SMH’s Michael Lallo.

“As a small child, I was very active and I just wanted to play with my parents,” says the veteran media executive, who spent 15 years in various roles at the ABC. “But at 3 o’clock every afternoon, they would stop to listen to the Vietnamese news on SBS Radio, which was a real frustration to me.”

Born in Vietnam, Hua and his family came to Australia via Hong Kong as refugees, living in the small NSW town of Temora before settling in Sydney. Thanks to his father’s Chinese heritage, Hua is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese as well as English and Vietnamese. As he matured, he became an ardent listener of SBS Radio – which he is now in charge of.

Hua is also overseeing the launch of SBS Chinese, a new digital offering that incorporates and builds upon SBS’s existing Mandarin and Cantonese language services. (The sbs.com.au/chinese website goes live on Friday, to coincide with the start of the Lunar New Year.) Supported by an additional $2 million in annual funding, it features a mix of written articles, audio and short-form video, with content spanning breaking news and COVID-19 updates, to profiles and stories about food.

[Read More]

Television

Pete Evans announces Senate run as a Great Australia Party candidate

Pete Evans has announced he will join politics and run for the Senate with former One Nation senator Rod Culleton’s The Great Australian Party, reports News Corp’s Evin Priest.

Controversial celebrity chef and known anti-vaxxer Evans was announced as a candidate for the upcoming federal election in a statement from the party about 1am on Friday.

Friday’s confirmation comes about a month after Evans first teased the news on Instagram.

[Read More]

Today show’s Tom Nicol charged with sex assault at Bondi home

A senior producer of Channel 9’s Today show has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman at his Bondi home, report News Corp’s Perry Duffin, Mark Morri and Emily Macdonald.

Police allege the attack, which Tom Nicol “strongly’’ denies, occurred after the pair had been out on the night of January 29 and returned to his home.

The woman was taken by a friend to Royal North Shore Hospital in the early hours of the morning and police were contacted.

The court heard the pair, who had a common group of friends, were drunk and drugs could have been involved.

Nicol, 32, was arrested at his home on Tuesday night and appeared in Waverley Local Court on Wednesday where he was granted bail.

[Read More]

I’m a Celebrity Australia winner Abbie Chatfield says ‘I think I’m just gay’

Reality star Abbie Chatfield has declared she is bisexual and may be gay, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

The I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! winner and former Bachelor and Bachelor In Paradise contestant said it had taken some time to work out her sexuality.

“I am bisexual,” she said.

“I didn’t come out but have been saying I am bi for a year. I have been with women and I feel like sexuality is fluid. I don’t know either way. Some days you feel like you are gay.

Some days you feel like you are straight. I am most comfortable saying I am bi.”

Earlier this week on her It’s A Lot podcast, Chatfield told guest PeachPRC: “I think I am just gay”.

[Read More]

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