Friday February 14, 2020

Podcast Week: Helen Dalley, Osher, Dating podcasts, Forever New

• The Pineapple Project returned this week with its fourth season

Helen Dalley builds it…will they come?

Long-time Nine Network and then Sky News journalist and news anchor Helen Dalley has dipped her toe into the podcast world with Build It. They’ll Come.

Launched earlier this month, Dalley puts her years of journalistic and television experience into candid and revealing interviews with innovative visionaries who bet big, backed themselves and built something extraordinary.

The host told Mediaweek she is promising to uncover step-by-step what it takes to build an empire, from concept to execution.

Series 1 looks at how a humble idea went from a start-up, to a billion-dollar empire; how a small charity became a substantial organisation improving the lives of thousands; how an entirely new sporting code branch was built; and more. Initial guests include billionaire retailer Gerry Harvey.

Dalley explained: “Anyone can have an idea, but what distinguishes the interview subjects on Build It. They’ll Comeis the building process – how they nurtured, persevered, got lucky, fell down and got back up again. How they turned a lightbulb moment into a success, through hard slog and unwavering belief in themselves and in their idea. It’s gritty and messy, but truly inspiring stuff.”

Listen to Build It. They’ll Come here.

Jan Fran on death on The Pineapple Project

The award-winning ABC podcast The Pineapple Project returned this week with its fourth season, a new host and a prickly new topic. Walkley award-winning journalist Jan Fran (creator, writer and presenter of The Frant, guest presenter on Network 10’s The Project and previously co-host for SBS’s The Feed) is taking on the tricky topic of death.

The podcast features a special guest appearance from comedian Rhys Nicholson in his most dramatic role to-date as the Grim Reaper.

In Jan Fran’s words, “If I could dish out one piece of unsolicited advice, it would be to talk to your fam about death and ask your loved ones what they’d like at their funerals because – and trust me on this – it’s very hard to get answers from a dead person!!!

“After death comes admin, and while we can’t stop the former from happening, we can at least make the latter more manageable.”

Listen to The Pineapple Project here.

Love guru’s busy Valentine’s Day

Prolific podcaster and reality TV love guru Osher Günsberg has had (another) busy week. In addition to his three podcasts he releases weekly, Günsberg is hosting two shows with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as it plays music from romantic movies on February 14 and 15 as the Sydney Town Hall.

If all that wasn’t enough, Günsberg also guested on Q&A earlier in the week in an episode with new host Hamish Macdonald. On his Better Than Yesterday podcast this week Günsberg talks about the social media insults he got after his ABC TV appearance.

Listen to Better Than Yesterday here.

Two dating podcasts for Valentine’s Day

Mamamia and Nova have dating podcasts that, not surprisingly, are being promoted in time for Valentine’s Day.

The Mamamia podcast Eligible is hosted by Rachel Corbett and was promised at its 2020 Upfront event.

Series one, which consists of 12 weekly episodes, is sponsored by Fantastic Furniture and is dropping Friday 14th February at 3pm.

The Nova podcast is Finding a Unicorn (returning this week) which is being described as combining a Married at First Sight over-sharer with a no-filter commitment phobe.

Hosting the podcast are serial dater Carly Bowyer and unlucky-in-love fusspot Eliza Paschke who go on a journey to find out if the perfect match is actually out there or if they are searching for a mythical creature that doesn’t exist – the elusive unicorn!

Bowyer said, “We want people to know that they’re not alone…it’s hard out there and the dating game can totally suck. I’d just ended a relationship, started dating again and quickly realised how cutthroat the dating game was. There were so many bad dates and dating fails, that I needed an outlet to spill all the juicy details so Finding a Unicorn was born!”

A marketing manager with experience in events, content development and digital marketing, she’s been through it all in the dating world, from long term relationships to serial dating – and even appeared on Married at First Sight.

Paschke added, “I make no secret of the fact I have zero success when it comes to love and relationships. Which is why you won’t find a better person to talk about the minefield that is dating. I’ve met a million donkeys on my unsuccessful quest to find a unicorn and instead of being defeated and depressed, I decided venting publicly on a podcast was the answer.

Paschke studied journalism and worked as a radio producer and is now a public speaker who talks about mental health to high school students.

Listen to Eligible here.

Listen to Finding a Unicorn here.

Forever New podcasts direct to customers

Melbourne fashion retailer Forever New has launched its own podcast Unforgettable Moments, a series about the defining moments in a woman’s life.

Produced by The Peers Project and hosted by its founder Michelle Akhidenor, the series will feature several inspirational women sharing their stories. The first episode is with Little Dreamers chief executive officer Maddy Buchner.

Carolyn Mackenzie, Forever New manager director said, “We are proud to be one of the first Australian fashion retailers to launch a podcast series and we hope that the Forever New woman will relate, find inspiration and enjoy listening to each episode.”

Listen to Forever New here.

Robbie Williams the new face of smoothfm in radio brand refresh

By James Manning

• New TVCs, new logo for the FM brand that dominates major markets

Nova Entertainment’s smoothfm proposition to its audience has always been simple. A mix of favourite songs presented in a low-key hype-free environment.

And it has worked. The Melbourne and Sydney FM stations originally launched with a commercial featuring Michael Bublé endorsing the brand. The ratings climbed steadily and soon passed the expectations from then marketing chief Tony Thomas and programming boss Paul Jackson.

Last year smoothfm ranked #1 for the whole year in Sydney and was one of the stations sharing top spot across 2019 in Melbourne and ended the year #2 FM.

Thomas has since left the company and Jackson now runs marketing and programming. The company doesn’t spend continually on marketing smoothfm, it hasn’t had too, but Nova Entertainment CEO Cathy O’Connor has greenlit a brand overhaul and Jackson and his team have engaged with another major star to help market the stations.

Robbie Williams now joins Bublé as the new smoothfm brand ambassador at the start of a year that will be big for Williams. Off the back of a recent album he is touring the world including dates in Australia and a residency in Las Vegas. Nova Entertainment has managed to have Williams endorse the brand without any cash changing hands. It is a win-win for both parties.

The new smoothfm marketing campaign spend helps promote Williams as much as it markets the smoothfm brand.

While Michael Bublé and his music are still integral to the smoothfm brand, Jackson said they didn’t want to go to market again with the same campaign and same smoothfm logo.

Paul Jackson

Williams will initially be featured in four different TVCs as the campaign launches – a 30 second version and then three 15 second edits.

“The commercials were filmed in October 2019,” Jackson told Mediaweek. “Over the years we have featured a number of different artists in smooth marketing campaigns. We started with Michael Bublé and later used Spandau Ballet and then Sam Smith. We then went back to Bublé again.”

Jackson added that Nova Entertainment made the initial approach to Williams’ management.

“Things moved very quickly and from initially having the idea to the shoot was only about three or four weeks.”

Jackson said the smoothfm creative execution is something of a hybrid of where the station once was. “We started the station with the original proposition which was an easy place to relax with ballads. Over the years we became more bright and breezy as we upped the tempo a bit. Now it’s about a feel-good radio station which we unashamedly are.

We have all been guilty in radio of muddled thinking sometimes, but with smooth we want to be clear and concise about what it really is. It is fun, upbeat and will put a smile on your face.

Jackson agreed the musical space that smoothfm now occupies is super crowded. “You can now go up and down the dial in Sydney and here stations playing music they would never have played in a million years. Lots of people talk about variety, but we are not a variety format. All of the music on smooth fits together really well. It’s unlikely the audience is going to hear many songs they don’t like across the course of a day.

“One misnomer about the brand is that ‘it is all just slow music’. It was never all just slow music.”

Jackson is very hands on, along with music director Kate Mason and the smooth team, about what goes to air. “It is important to change the catalogue of music frequently. We have been pretty good at keeping things fresh for the audience. We tweak it weekly and then do a big refresh every month.”

All of the team go into the music meeting armed with tunes they think could be added to the playlist. “We rely on both gut instinct and audience research.”

Jackson used as an example Take That, an artist that didn’t always research well because people didn’t know them, but one listeners liked when they heard it on air. “Because listeners trust the radio stations, they tend to like what we play.”

smoothfm has been successful without adding “celebrities” to their breakfast shows. Breakfast ratings are competitive, and Jackson said they don’t lose revenue from advertisers wanting celebrity integration.

“We do integrations, but just different types. The beauty of smooth is that the messages are still there and cut through, but they are not in your face.

smooth runs most of its commercial load at the top of the hour or on the half hour to give it a good flow of music in between. “We try to stay true to the ‘more music, less talk’ promise,” said Jackson.

“We are probably the only stations in the country that have never talked over the music. We announce at the end of the music, and talk to the audience, not at them.”

The FM stations that now offer a wide variety of tunes across the day are keen to lure away some of smoothfm listeners. Does Jackson have a message for them?

“Please don’t!” [Laughs]

That plea is unlikely to make competitors back off, but having Robbie Williams on side is a persuasive weapon to have in a marketing battle.

Behind the scenes of smooth’s marketing campaign

smoothfm’s refreshed brand will be supported by a marketing and media campaign in Sydney and Melbourne across TV, OOH, cinema, digital and socials from February 16. The TVC was shot in London and was directed by Vaughan Arnell, a British music videos and television commercials director. The creative features Robbie Williams enjoying the feel-good sounds of smoothfm and is set to three iconic tracks, Williams’ Feel, September by Earth, Wind & Fire and Billy Ocean’s Get Out of my Dreams.

Robbie Williams will take the stage later this year for smoothfm’s Feel Good Night With.

smoothfm’s revenue success story

Peter Charlton, Nova Entertainment’s chief commercial officer, said: “smooth is one of the most uniquely effective FM offerings out there, in terms of both its ‘feel good’ format and its landmark success to date. Last year, we saw double-digit revenue growth in an undeniably tough market and spent a year as Sydney’s #1 FM station and secured consistently strong results in Melbourne. That kind of success comes down to being able to connect with and engage listeners in a way no other station can, in turn, opening the door for advertisers to do the same. We’re incredibly proud of what smooth represents, both commercially and creatively, and recognise its enormous potential into the future.”

Top photo: smoothfm announcers Richard Wilkins, Mel Doyle, David Campbell & Cameron Daddo

ABC’s Karen Tighe receives Lifetime Achievement Award

• All 14 winners from the 18th annual Sport Australia Media Awards

ABC broadcaster Karen Tighe said she hopes to see the continued rise of female sport commentators and Paralympic sport, accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 18th annual Sport Australia Media Awards in Sydney last night.

Tighe accepted the award at a gala ceremony attended by the best in Australian sports media, and her family, recognition for a career spanning more than 30 years. Tighe recalled phoning her father, Mike, the day she got her first job with ABC Sport in 1989.

“My mum had died three years earlier so times had been tough and I remember getting off the train at Gordon Station, finding a phone booth and ringing him to say I got a job at ABC sport,” Tighe said.

“There were few other women in sports media when I started so to see now the increasing number of passionate intelligent women part of the mainstream sports broadcasting mix and without constant reference of being a woman in a man’s world is a significant, overdue shift.

“What I would love to see now is more women in our broadcast teams in the play-by-play all round commentator role to build on the fine work of a very small number of women at the moment in that space. They are pioneers.”

Joining the ABC in 1989, she was an anchor for golf, tennis and other major sporting broadcasts, including 16 years hosting the Hopman Cup. She forged a national profile in the early 1990s as part of the Friday night television show Live and Sweaty and in 1997 became anchor for ABC Grandstand, where she remains a staple of weekend sport.

Of her sporting highlights, Tighe focused attention on her coverage of six Paralympic Games.

 “I felt a connection with the Paralympic movement from the very first Games I attended in Barcelona 1992, where I was introduced to two athletes in particular who would go on to become synonymous with the Paralympics and transcend their sports, wheelchair racer Louise Sauvage and swimmer Priya Cooper, both multiple gold medallists,” Tighe said.

Fittingly, ABC received the award for Best Coverage of Sport for People with Disability, recognition for its broadcast of the Invictus Games in Sydney.

Sport Australia Media Awards winners

Lifetime achievement award for sports journalism: Karen Tighe

Best reporting of an issue in sport: Shark Island Productions, ‘The Final Quarter’; Highly Commended: Jamie Pandaram, ‘Israel’s holy war’, News Corp Australia

Best sport coverage by an individual – broadcast: Gerard Whateley, SEN Radio and Fox Footy

Best sport coverage by an individual – written: Konrad Marshall, Good Weekend

Best sport coverage by an individual – digital: Mary Konstantopoulos, Ladies Who League

Best coverage of a sporting event: The Age & The Sydney Morning Herald, The Ashes

Best sport profile – broadcast: Josh Cable, Marcus Cobbledick, ‘Collingwood: From the Inside Out’, Good Thing Productions

Best sport profile – written: Samantha Lane, ‘Adam Goodes’, The Sydney Morning Herald & The Age

Best coverage of sport for people with disability: ABC, ‘Invictus Games 2018’; Highly Commended: Catherine Marciniak, ‘Leagueability’, ABC

Best regional, rural and suburban sport coverage: Stuart Walmsley,

Best depiction of inclusive sport: Media Stockade, ‘Power Meri’

Best contribution to sport via digital media: The Herald Sun, ‘Sacked’

Best analysis of sport business: Tracey Holmes, The Ticket, ABC

Best sports photography: Michael Willson, ‘The Kick’, AFL Photos

New features for Facebook and Instagram for Sydney Mardi Gras

Facebook and Instagram users can celebrate their Pride with exclusive new Mardi Gras features available today. Launched in partnership with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Facebook and Instagram’s “Your Voice Matters” campaign celebrates LGBTQ+ stories and communities, empowering queer expression, and fostering safety across the platforms.

Instagram will also return to the Parade with a show-stopping float, showcasing how our platforms enable Australians to use their voice and share ‘what matters’ to them and the people they care about.

After the overwhelming popularity of rainbow hashtags, launched for Mardi Gras last year, Instagram is bringing this Pride feature back to the platform. There are over 50 LGBTQ+ hashtags available in collaboration with Sydney Mardi Gras and ACON – including #MardiGras2020, #WhatMatters, and #LoveWins.

On Facebook there is a special Mardi Gras animation, exclusively in Australia, which will play every time someone shares ‘Happy Mardi Gras’ in a post. This new animation features a rainbow heart to represent the LGBTQ+ community, and a celebration of the flags and icons that are unique to Sydney Mardi Gras.

All new features will begin rolling out today, and should be available to all Australians in the coming days.

“We’re celebrating the vibrant LGBTQ+ communities that call Facebook and Instagram home, and who use our platforms everyday to connect with their communities and support one another,” said Mia Garlick, head of policy, Facebook Australia. “As part of our ongoing partnership with Sydney Mardi Gras, we’re launching our Your Voice Matters campaign to empower LGBTQ+ expression, highlight the inspiring stories of our local community, and foster safety across the platform.”

Mercado on TV: BBC dramas Christine Keeler & Dublin Murders

By Andrew Mercado

Scandal, a 1989 movie about the shocking Profumo Affair, is one of the most underrated movies of its era. It never screens on TV, has not been released on DVD and nor is it streaming anywhere in Australia. And that’s a shame, because it is a historically correct romp with a twinkle in its eye.

Now we have a BBC remake, The Trial of Christine Keeler (Sunday on BBC First), with Grantchester’s James Norton replacing John Hurt as social climbing osteopath Stephen Ward, The Crown’s Ben Miles replacing Ian McKellan as the sleazy Tory War Secretary John Profumo and Les Miserable’s Ellie Bamber replacing Bridget Fonda as the delightfully amusing Mandy Rice-Davies (famous for saying “well he would say that, wouldn’t he” even though that’s not what she really said).

Kingsman’s Sophie Cookson doesn’t make you feel sorry for Christine Keeler like Joanne Whalley did in the movie. In this version, the title character comes across as stupid and selfish, and maybe that’s closer to who she was in real life. If, however, you want to expand a story from two hours to six, there has to be at least one likeable character, and a bit more fun would have been useful.

The other new BBC drama is Dublin Murders (Wednesday on SBS) and what a pleasant surprise to see something set in Ireland. Obviously, there is a gruesome murder, but the lead detectives are not your usual TV cops. Rob (Killian Scott) and Cassie (Sarah Greene) are best friends and the twist at the end of its first episode should hook you for all eight episodes. Be warned though, some loose ends are left dangling at the end. Expect a second series, but nothing is greenlit just yet.

Here’s hoping it doesn’t rain at the bushfire fundraiser Fire Fight Australia Concert (Sunday on Seven and Fox 8). Will you pick your network to watch depending on its hosts? Seven doesn’t stray far from morning show personalities Kochie and Sam and Kylie and Larry, while Foxtel has Shaynna Blaze, Deborah Hutton, Jason Dundas and Rove.

Finally, there have not been enough well-made documentaries about television that remind you how important and life-changing the medium can be. Visible (streaming now on Apple TV+), a new five-part docuseries about the history of LGBTQIA+ representation on TV, is fascinating and only made me cry in every single episode.

But while The Celluloid Cinema acknowledged gay cinema from all over the world, Visibledoesn’t look outside of America when it comes to TV. Visible is beautifully made, but as good as it is, Australian TV is invisible, despite it having gay milestones about 20 years before the rest off the world.

TV ratings Thursday Week 7 2020: First survey week of 2020

• With the competition off air, MKR wins its Thursday slot
• Olivia & Chloe on The Project, Panel shows outrate Doctor Who 

A Current Affair featured a horrifying look at the world of ice addiction with 630,000 watching at 7am.

An hour RBT did 442,000.

After 8.30pm Married At First Sight was replaced in the schedule with the 2017 movie Transformers: The Last Knight with 231,000 watching.

Seven’s My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals got some clearer air last night with no MAFS or Survivor All Stars up against it. The numbers climbed a little to just over 500,000 which was enough to win the slot.

An hour of Modern Family followed with 255,000 and 185,000 for the two episodes.

The Project featured Olivia Newton-John and her daughter and Dancing with the Stars contestant Chloe Lattanzi in an episode that did 433,000 after 7pm.

Ambulance Australia pushed the numbers a little higher to 485,000 which ranked it between MKRand RBT.

Law & Order: SVUrated 286,000 after 8.30pm.

At 8pm Doctor Who was on 212,000 which must make it hard to maintain an 8pm ABC timeslot.

British panel shows followed and lifted the audience with Would I Lie to You on 265,000 followed by QI on 264,000.

Britain’s most Viking town – York – was featured in an SBS repeat of Britain’s Most Historic Towns with 214,000.

Two episodes of Little Drummer Girl followed with an average of 103,000 across the two hours.

Week 7 TV: Thursday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.3% 7 18.5% 9 17.8% 10  13.0% SBS One 4.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 4.4% GO! 3.2% 10 Bold 4.3% VICELAND 1.3%
ABC ME 0.9% 7mate 4.1% GEM 3.0% 10 Peach 2.7% Food Net 1.5%
ABC NEWS 2.3% 7flix 2.2% 9Life 2.3%     NITV 0.2%
                SBS World Movies 0.6%
TOTAL 16.2%   29.3%   26.3%   20.0%   8.2%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 8.8% 7 18.0% 9 17.6% WIN 12.8% SBS One 3.9%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.1% 7TWO 5.0% GO! 2.1% WIN Bold 4.1% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 1.2% 7mate 4.4% GEM 5.2% WIN Peach 2.7% Food Net 1.3%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.2% 9Life 1.6% Sky News  on WIN 2.3% NITV 0.3%
TOTAL 14.7%   29.7%   26.5%   22.0%   7.1%


85.6% 14.4%
  1. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 929,000
  2. Seven News Seven 910,000
  3. Nine News Nine 798,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 796,000
  5. ABC News ABC 681,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 630,000
  7. Home And Away Seven 587,000
  8. My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals Seven 517,000
  9. The Chase Australia Seven 507,000
  10. 7.30 ABC 504,000
  11. Ambulance Australia 10 485,000
  12. RBT Nine 442,000
  13. The Project 7pm 10 433,000
  14. Hot Seat Nine 418,000
  15. 10 News First 10 372,000
  16. The Chase Australia 5pm Seven 326,000
  17. Sunrise Seven 295,000
  18. Law & Order: SVU 10 286,000
  19. The Project 6.30pm 10 274,000
  20. Would I Lie To You? (R) ABC 265,000
Demo Top 5

16 – 39

  1. Ambulance Australia 10 132,000
  2. The Project 7pm 10 110,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 92,000
  4. Home And Away Seven 88,000
  5. RBT Nine 86,000


18 – 49

  1. Ambulance Australia 10 214,000
  2. The Project 7pm 10 204,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 198,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 175,000
  5. Seven News Seven 172,000


25 – 54

  1. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 242,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 233,000
  3. Ambulance Australia 10 229,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 221,000
  5. Seven News Seven 215,000
THURSDAY Multichannel
  1. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 153,000
  2. Dot PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 142,000
  3. Judge John Deed PM7TWO 142,000
  4. School Of Roars ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  5. Father Brown PM7TWO 129,000
  6. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  7. Peppa Pig PMABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  8. Olobob Top PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 126,000
  9. Noddy Toyland Detective PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  10. Go Jetters PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  11. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  12. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  13. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 118,000
  14. Death In Paradise 9Gem 118,000
  15. Hawaii Five O (R) 10 Bold 117,000
  16. M X Men: First Class PM 7mate 116,000
  17. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 115,000
  18. Andy’s Safari Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  19. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 112,000
  20. Survivor: Winners At War 9GO! 112,000
  1. Outback Opal Hunters Discovery Channel 56,000
  2. Gold Rush Discovery Channel 55,000
  3. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 52,000
  4. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 51,000
  5. Live: Football: Matildas V China FOX SPORTS 505 51,000
  6. Credlin Sky News Live 43,000
  7. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 40,000
  8. PML Later Sky News Live 33,000
  9. Chris Smith Tonight Sky News Live 32,000
  10. American Dad! FOX8 28,000
  11. Heathrow Lifestyle Channel 28,000
  12. Heathrow Lifestyle Channel 28,000
  13. Undercover Billionaire Discovery Channel 27,000
  14. Counting On TLC 26,000
  15. The SimpsonsFOX8 26,000
  16. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 25,000
  17. American Dad! FOX8 25,000
  18. Blue Bloods FOX One 24,000
  19. Two And A Half Men FOX Funny 24,000
  20. Better Homes & Gardens Lifestyle Channel 24,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

Mediacom appoints chief growth officer for Australia & NZ

MediaCom Australia has appointed Matthew Vogts (pictured) to the newly created role of chief growth officer AUNZ, responsible for client and agency business development across its Australian and New Zealand businesses.

Vogts is a strategic media professional with a track-record in building strong, results-oriented client partnerships and teams. Currently the managing director for MediaCom New Zealand, Vogts will step into his new role in April 2020 reporting to WilliePang, MediaCom AUNZ CEO.

“Our success will always be determined by our ability to help clients grow. Matt is a world-class talent and I’m humbled that he has chosen to take on this critical responsibility. He will serve as an incredible advocate for clients and help us to lead the market with transformational ideas and solutions,” said Pang.

Commenting on his appointment, Vogts said: “Marketing now delivers more enterprise value than any other business function, but remains the least measurable part of the business. I’m excited to help our partners unlock this opportunity and identify new ways for marketing to drive meaningful business impact. MediaCom has some of the best minds in the industry and I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue my career with the company.”

Vogts will relocate to Sydney for an April start date. MediaCom has commenced the search for his replacement as managing director.

News Media

Significant new investment to fund additional arts journalism

The Copyright Agency, in partnership with the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas, this week announced funding of $150,000 to support the publication of more arts reviews and criticism in The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Brisbane Times and WA Today.

The $150,000 granted to the media companies will enhance and be in addition to the considerable spending by News Corp and Nine on arts and review coverage.

The project will significantly increase the number and range of nationally published reviews and criticism of new Australian books and writing, plays, and art exhibitions.

The Sydney Morning Herald is now looking for fresh voices to add to its existing team of reviewers to work on a freelance basis covering theatre and visual arts.

Prospective writers should submit a short resume and links to three recent pieces of critical writing to arts editor Nick Galvin via by February 28.

“It’s important for any serious newsroom to cover the arts properly and this includes criticism,” said the Herald and The Age‘s group executive editor James Chessell.

Prosecutors drop more George Pell contempt charges against media

The Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions has now dropped more than half of the original 205 charges filed against journalists and media outlets alleging contempt of court over reporting on the George Pell case, reports The Australian’s Tessa Akerman.

In total, 105 charges have now been dropped and 100 are continuing.

Thirty-six journalists, editors and media organisations were charged in March last year over contempt relating to alleged breaches of the George Pell suppression order.

Charges were recently dropped in relation to individuals connected to WA Today, Brisbane Times and Canberra Times.

Supreme Court judge John Dixon chastised prosecutors over the slow progress of the case in Thursday’s directions hearing.

[Read more]

McClatchy, major US local news publisher, files for bankruptcy

McClatchy, the publisher that operates The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee and other newspapers, filed for bankruptcy protection on Thursday, another sign of a collapsing local news industry, reports The New York Times.

In a Chapter 11 filing in New York, the company, one of the largest news publishers in the United States, said it planned to restructure its pension obligations and the more than $700 million in debt it has struggled with for years as it tried to strengthen its digital business. It said its 30 newsrooms in 14 states would continue operating as usual during the case.

If the plan is approved by the court, McClatchy would become the latest in a string of local news brands propped up by hedge funds, an unlikely relationship that has become the norm as the finance industry swoops in to wring profits from an ailing industry.

[Read more]


Michael Clarke confirms breakfast radio gig in wake of divorce

Former Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke hopes the general public will get to know him better in a new role on breakfast radio that was confirmed on the same day his divorce with wife Kyly Boldy was made public, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Tom Decent.


Clarke, who played 115 Tests and 245 one-day internationals for Australia before retiring in 2015, has accepted a job on the Big Sports Breakfast program on Sky Sports Radio alongside rugby league great Laurie Daley.

“It’s a show that I have always listened to growing up,” said Clarke in a statement. “My father listens every morning. I always stayed across it during my playing days and I love the fact I have the opportunity to talk about all racing and sports, not just cricket.”

[Read more]



Fire Fight Australia concert to be televised internationally

Fire Fight Australia is going global, with Foxtel feeding the broadcast of the historic bushfire relief concert to a potential audience of millions on Sunday, reports News Corp’s Kathy McCabe.

The Australian network has teamed up with Fox networks in the US, Sky in the UK and TVNZ in New Zealand, vastly boosting the fundraising potential of the star-studded concert.

The pulling power of international guests including Queen and Adam Lambert, k.d. lang, Alice Cooper, Michael Bublé and Ronan Keating fuelled interest from international broadcasters in taking a feed of the concert.

The vast global fan bases of homegrown pop stars including OliviaNewton-John, 5 Seconds of Summer and Amy Shark should also bring in viewers and more donations to bolster the recovery effort.

MTV will also be airing music highlights to its channels around the world.

[Read more]

Gogglebox Australia welcomes three new households

Foxtel and Network 10 have revealed the three new households set to join the hit local-production,Gogglebox Australia, when season 11 premieres on Foxtel’s LifeStyle Channel on Wednesday, February 26 at 7.30pm and the following day at 8.30pm on 10.

Flatmates and best mates Milo and Nic met 10 years ago working in a retail surf store. Now in their early 30s, these boys are Gold Coast down to a tee.

After a surf you can find the pair relaxing on the couch with their cat Mars watching live sport, American Pickers, Seinfeld or Arrested Development. Having similar TV tastes, Milo and Nick also won’t say no to Love Island or The Bachelor, loving nothing more than TV roasting reality “stars”.

You couldn’t pick two more modern-day Aussie gals than Kaday and Chantel. Both in their early 20s, the pair have plenty of sass and the brains to match.

In their downtime you’ll find them both at the beach where Chantel is trying to teach Kaday to swim – an experience Chantel describes as re-enactment of one of their favourite shows, Bondi Rescue.

The Elias family (pictured) are a suburban Sydney clan of five – Dad Les, Mum Danielle, eldest son Jacob, daughter Lily Rose and youngest daughter Ivy. Les owns a car dealership but also has a sideline business growing micro-greens and thinks he’s got what it takes to put the cool back into gardening. Photographer Danielle is in charge of running the busy household with Jacob, Lily Rose and Ivy being outgoing kids that love dancing, swimming, and soccer.

At the end of the day you can find them on the couch; mum with a cup of tea, dad with a wine and the kids with chocolate watching their favourite shows I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, Australian Survivor and The Good Place.

Produced by EndemolShine Australia, executive producer David McDonald said: “We’re extremely excited to have three new households joining Goggleboxthis season. All three are incredibly different and I for one can’t wait to hear their take on TV.”

Sports Rights

Optus enters rugby maul in bid to grow subscribers

Optus chief executive Allen Lew says the telecommunications giant will run the rule over Rugby Australia’s broadcast rights package to see if it might convince more customers to take up mobile and broadband services, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Rugby Australia is due to send out the tender documents for its rights deal from 2021 to 2025 in the coming days and Lew confirmed Optus’ interest in the sport, which has been broadcast on Foxtel for the last 25 years.

“We’ve got some very strong traction already with the soccer base in Australia and we’ll look at this in the light of how does that enhance Optus Sports’ position in the minds of consumers and how does that help us achieve our overarching goal, which is to grow our mobile market share in this market.”

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Shute Shield deal signed off after marathon negotiations

Rugby Australia, broadcaster Seven and Club Rugby TV have agreed to a deal to transfer the Shute Shield broadcast rights back to the Sydney clubs, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Tom Decent, Georgina Robinson and Zoe Samios.

Club Rugby TV partner Nick Fordham and RA sources confirmed to The Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday afternoon that his company had reached an agreement on RA’s buyback of the competition broadcast rights after three days of negotiations.

The structure of the deal, signed in 2015, meant there were two components to resolve: a $250,000 per year commitment to Channel Seven and a $50,000 per year commitment to Club Rugby TV.

Both competitions, and a proposal for a national club championship, will be shopped to likely suitors Optus and Foxtel as part of RA’s club-to-Wallabies package for 2021 to 2025.

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