Monday February 17, 2020

Woman’s Day readers have insatiable appetite for royal news

By Claudia Siron

Bauer Media’s Woman’s Day has entertained multigenerational readers for well over 50 years. Now living on a variety of platforms, the brand continues to grow its reach and share the latest trends, royal family news and stories of tragedy turned to triumph with their engaged audience.

Lisa Sinclair, who was recently appointed the editorial director of Bauer Media, shared with Mediaweek the brand’s most popular celebrities, important campaigns, and plans for 2020.

Woman’s Day is primarily an Australian entertainment magazine for women. “Last year, we combined our weekly titles into one category, so that explains my new role,” said Sinclair. “We put a lot of thought into the titles and their positioning and what the USPs are, so we’re really clear on who and what Woman’s Day is. We know what stories are for us, and we know what isn’t. It’s all about getting the mix right, and in that we are quite unique. 

Lisa Sinclair

“If you look at the UK and US markets they have entertainment magazines and they have lifestyle magazines. People come to us for entertainment, real life, lifestyle; it’s a broad mix in one brand and it works really well. We’ll have royal news, a cracking Australian gossip story, and then we might have a tribute to someone well-known by all Australians alongside that. It’s diverse and compelling.”

Woman’s Day recently led a campaign called #RebuildOurTowns that was spearheaded by Woman’s Day editor, Erin Holohan. “It’s a really great example of the power of the Woman’s Day brand because the media response has been incredible.”

The brand has 860,000 readers. Grandma reads it, mum reads it, daughters read it; but their core readers are over 50, and they’re very engaged. “They spend a lot of time reading the magazine – over an hour. They’re completely immersed with the magazine. We give them ‘me-time’ and a multitude of content. The magazine is very trends-driven and that’s very important to them. They don’t want to feel out of the loop.”

Imagery is so important in media and publishing, and it can get quite expensive to produce print offerings. Sinclair said it’s quite fortunate though that there’s so much available now. “We’re not just limited to Getty Images. People are their own photographers now on Instagram, so that’s becoming more and more of a content source. We obviously do our own shoots as well, so It’s a real combination.”

When asked which celebrities have been featured the most on the cover of Woman’s Day, Sinclair quickly replied without hesitation: “The royals!” Sinclair said they’ve been popular for a long time but in the past 18 months Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, was introduced. “Then we also have Kate Middleton and Princess Mary – our own royal – who have always been widely fascinating to our readers. In terms of popular reads, again, royals. The appetite for royal news is just insatiable, and that’s not really surprising. Readers also love tales of real seguedtriumph over adversity and stories involving courageous children – they really touch hearts.

When it comes to advertising, Sinclair mentioned they’d try not to go above 20% for the best user experience. “We’re really mindful of user experience and also balancing business needs. Advertising really varies depending on client’s campaigns and the seasonal shifts as well. Christmas and Summer is a big push.”

Sinclair said social media has been a great platform for the brand and their readers are highly engaged and the numbers are big. She said there’s always a strong focus on social and they work very closely with all platforms – print, social and digital – to see what works for their audience and what works for them. “Sometimes it’s very distinct readers for both groups that don’t cross over, so our reach is getting bigger and bigger.”

In terms of plans for the new year, Sinclair said they are definitely going to continue their focus on rural Australia. “We started it last year around the drought and supporting the farmers. Then we segued into the #RebuildOurTowns campaign after the bushfires. The focus will be ongoing; it’s very important.

We also received an announcement recently about the royals coming to visit places affected by the bushfires, and that really combines both the rural and the royals. Royal tours in Australia are always hugely exciting for us and for our readers, so we’re really looking forward to that.

TEG reports Fire Fight Australia raises $9.5m for bushfire relief

TEG Dainty and TEG Live announced Sunday night that Fire Fight Australia has so far raised more than $9.5 million towards bushfire relief, with more donations expected when the show is televised in the United States and the United Kingdom in the coming days.

A passionate sold-out audience of 75,000 fans at ANZ Stadium in Sydney’s Olympic Park enjoyed 9.5 hours of performances from international and Australian superstars who donated their time and talent to the concert, hosted by writer, actor and comedian Celeste Barber.

Australians watched the concert live on the Seven Network and on Foxtel, which partnered with TEG to broadcast the full concert right across Australia. The viewing audience will grow in the coming days when highlights of the concert are broadcast internationally together with the call to action to donate.

The $9.5 million raised so far will go to assist Australian communities with short, medium and long-term recovery from the devastating bushfire season of 2019/2020.

Geoff Jones, CEO of TEG, said: “What a day and what a night it has been. Our huge thanks are owed to the 23 artists and bands and to the many companies and people who donated their time and services to make Fire Fight Australia happen. It has been an enormous effort from the music industry to pull this concert together in five weeks and we are just so proud of what has been achieved through our collective effort.

“Thank you too to the fans, whose generosity in buying tickets, merchandise, food and drink and donating through has helped Fire Fight Australia raise $9.5 million so far to support Australia’s short, medium and long-term recovery from the bushfires. Fans and everybody involved can rest assured that we will provide a full breakdown of the final amounts raised as soon as possible.

“We are extremely grateful to the over 1500 suppliers and volunteers that helped ensure we were able to achieve this amazing result by providing services at cost or free of charge. Thank you again to everyone has made this very special day possible, and a special thanks to the entire TEG Team who have worked night and day, we could not be more proud and grateful.”

Paul Dainty, President and CEO of TEG Dainty, said: “We are overjoyed at the response from all of the fans here tonight at ANZ Stadium in Sydney and around the world. From the first conversation with Queen’s manager, Jim Beach, the band’s immediate response to support this amazing event was what set everything in motion.

“We want to give a special shout out to Celeste Barber for hosting this historic event, she has been one of the greatest supporters and we thank her.

“People can continue to donate and purchase the official Fire Fight Australia T-Shirt online with 100% of proceeds going to the fundraising efforts.”

British media industry rocked by death of reality TV presenter Caroline Flack

The death of the former host of ITV’s UK edition of Love Island, Caroline Flack, has shocked both the British television industry and television fans. Her death was reported on Saturday with her management revealing she had taken her own life.

Flack’s death comes three weeks before she was due in court for an alleged assault on her boyfriend.

Flack stepped down as the host of Love Island late last year following the assault charge. The current Love Island series screening on ITV in the UK and on Nine in Australia is being hosted by Laura Whitmore. ITV revealed late on Sunday UK time that it would not be screening the Sunday episode out of respect for Flack’s family. The Monday episode is believed to running a special tribute to Flack.

Flack’s death follows earlier tragedies after two former contestants both took their lives.

Some colleagues and commentators are claiming the pressure Flack has been under from social media users contributed to her fragile mental state. Others have been cautioning about rushing to judgement on just what might have caused her to end her life.

Following her death, ITV released this short statement:

“Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news. Caroline was a much-loved member of the Love Island team and our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends.”

On Sunday night on the ITV live episode of Dancing On Ice, hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby said they were many of their colleagues at ITV who were hurting following the news of Flack’s death.

Flack was well known to British TV viewers after she started in the industry as an actor and then moved onto hosting on the children’s channel CBBC. She hosted spin-off series for both I’m A Celebrity and The X Factor, later being promoted to host for one season of The X Factor.

Flack was a contestant in the 12th season of the UK’s Strictly Come Dancing which she managed to win with her dance partner. She later moved to ITV’s Love Island where she hosted four seasons.

Love Island’s current host Whitmore spoke about her colleague on Whitmore’s Sunday Radio 5 program. Whitmore appealed to listeners to “be kind” to others, adding that she wanted to use the radio show to “call people out”.

“To paparazzi and tabloids looking for a cheap sell, to trolls hiding behind a keyboard – enough,” she said.

“I’m not going to pretend she was perfect, but is anyone? She lived every mistake publicly, under the scrutiny of the media.

“Caroline loved to love. That’s all she wanted. Which is why a show like Love Island was important to her, because the show is about finding love, friendship, having a laugh. The problem wasn’t the show. The show…is loving and caring and safe and protected.

“The problem is, the outside world is not. Anyone who has ever compared one woman against another on Twitter, knocked someone because of their appearance, invaded someone else’s privacy, who have made mean, unnecessary comments on an online forum – they need to look at themselves,” she said.

Whitmore added on her BBC radio show she had been debating if she “should, would or could come on air today” and ultimately decided she would give Flack the respect she deserves.

MAFS recap & ratings: All pairs pick 'stay' at first commitment ceremony

The ninth episode of Nine’s Married at First Sight featured the first commitment ceremony where couples chose to either stay or leave after a jam-packed week of wedding celebrations, honeymooning and drunken dinner party drama.

Each couple spoke to the experts about their highs and lows of the first week. The first couple to sit and chat were Cathy and Josh. All loved up with no worries in the world, Josh explained to the experts they are most definitely attracted to the other, and their intimacy levels are through the roof.

Same-sex couple Tash and Amanda were the opposite. Amanda revealed they haven’t been romantic, and if she had it her way they would have had sex by now – which seemed like a stramge comment to make when she knows Tash isn’t sexually attracted to her. “This is Married at First Sight, not friends at first sight.” 

Tash and Amanda

Stacey and Michael explained how they went from cold at the wedding to hot on their honeymoon, and were the first to consummate their marriage.

When it was Connie and Jonethen‘s couch time, Connie explained how she’s not a huge fan of her new hubby who spends too much time on his phone rather than paying her attention.

Natasha and Mikey said they’re content with each other, and appeared to be genuinely happy with how they’re going so far, and both chose ‘stay’ to give their arranged relationship a good crack.

Chris and Vanessa – who’ve definitely had the least amount of air time – explained they are taking things slow and they are on a good page after the first week of the experiment.

Poppy and Luke sat down, and Poppy (again) cried as she explained she’s missed her babies and doesn’t think she was ever ready for this TV chapter of hers. Poor Luke explained to the experts he really wants to give this a shot, and Poppy revealed although she misses ger boys, she would like to give it another shot next week as well. They’re safe, for now.

When Aleks and Ivan were up on the couch, Alyks told the experts she was definitely embarrassed with her new husband’s behaviour at the dinner party where he caused a scene with Hayley which ended up with Hayley calling Ivan a c***.

Although she was cranky with his boyish ways, they kissed and made up and chose to stay.

Steve and Mishel told the experts they are more than happy to continue in the crazy TV experiment. With both choosing to stay, they awkwardly kissed before they rejoined the group.

Hayley and David

Last up were Hayley and David, who appear to always be at the centre of the drama. With David repeating that same story we’ve heard perhaps around 10 times about Hayley having a dig about his hourly wage, he then proceeded to make her cry when he brought up her past behaviours and called her a ‘recovering drug addict’. 

Everyone paused while Hayley cried, and David sheepishly apologised. Then they laughed and chose ‘stay’. God, what a night. Half of them choosing to stay made zero sense, but it will be interesting to see how they go this week when living under the same roof as man and wife.

Week 7 TV ratings: Week one of official survey 2020

By James Manning

Nine has stormed home in first place thanks to continued blockbuster ratings for Married At First Sight. Nine won the first four nights of the week by a big margin and then also took Saturday narrowly ahead of Seven.

Married At First Sight episodes were the four most-watched programs of the week and all were over 1m. The only other program to hit 1m was the first half of Seven News Sunday a week ago.

MAFS hit a series high with its first dinner party episode on Wednesday night, drawing a national average audience of 1.583m (Metro: 1.178m Reg: 405,000) and winning all key demographics.

Nine won both primary and combined channel shares.

Nine also continued to dominate the OzTAM rolling 28 day report, with MAFS taking out the top eight spots consecutively. All eight episodes have a VOD VPM in excess of 200,000 of which four are already over 300,000.

Seven was 4.5 points behind Nine. The failure of My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals to be competitive has been well documented. The best the reality show could manage last week was 516,000 for its Thursday screening. Helping the remainder of the Seven schedule to compete has been the channel’s 6pm news hour and the 7pm soap Home and Away. The daily drama was Seven’s best show after the News with a 7pm average of 604,000 across the week.

Outside of primetime Sunrise is charging into the new year with more of the leadership it has shown for a long time. The week 7 weekend episodes of Sunrise both pushed above 300,000 while the weekday average was 290,000. The competition was still well behind with Today’s weekday average of 208,000.

Network 10 competed in the key demos at 7.30pm for much of the week but it will be disappointed with shares under 10% on Friday and Saturday nights. The Tuesday episode of Australian Survivor: All Stars was best with 612,000 while the Monday episode was also over 600,000.

Dancing with the Stars launched with 585,000 on Sunday and Ambulance Australia was on 486,000 on Thursday.

The broadcaster has reported 10 was up 15% for the same week year-on-year while the combined channel share was also up 15%. The network was also home to the #1 multichannel last week – 10 Bold on 3.9%.

The channel is continuing to monitor its 6pm News performance and reported that last week the timeslot was up 26% compared with the same week last year.

The ABC’s non-news best was the return of Doc Martin on 673,000. Back Roads was also over 600,000. Just under 600,000, and above 590,000, were Grand Designs, Hard Quiz and Media Watch.

Leading the ratings at SBS was the second episode of Great Australian Railway Journeys on 376,000, close to the debut episode numbers just over 400,000.

ARIA Chart: Green Day back with third #1 for 13th album

By James Manning

• Singles: The Weeknd #1 again, Justin Bieber highest debut


The Weeknd took seven weeks to climb to the top of the ARIA singles chart and he has now stayed there across the past four. Blinding Lights is a track from his forthcoming album After Hours.

The only change in the top 10 was Tones and I again being able to boast two tunes top 10 as Never Seen The Rain edges back up from #11 to #10. It has previously peaked at #7. And the song that fans won’t let get away – Dance Monkey – sits at #3 after 36 weeks on the chart.

Highest new entry on the chart and just missing the top 10 was Justin Bieber with Intentions featuring Quavo. The track is charting ahead of the release of his fifth album, Changes, being released later this month.

Other new releases landing in the top 50 on debut:

#31 Khalid with Disclosure on Know Your Worth
#33 OneFour with Welcome To Prison. The western Sydney hip hop collective score their highest chart entry.
#39 Joji with Run. Former YouTube comedian and rapper, the Japanese-born Australian picks up his second and highest ever chart entry.
#49 Ali Gatie with What If I Told You That I Love You.


The godfathers (grandfathers?) of punk claim their third #1 album with Father Of All… which is the band’s 13th album. Their previous album release Revolution Radio just missed top spot in 2016 when it peaked at #2.

Making a return to the top 10 with Love is Michael Bublé who was one of the stars at the Sunday night Fire Fight Australian concert. The album peaked at #2 last year and this is its ninth weak on the chart.

New to the top 10 this week was also the soundtrack to the movie Birds of Prey, the DC superhero movie featuring Margot Robbie reprising her Suicide Squad character Harley Quinn. Artists featured on the soundtrack include Doja Cat, Halsey and Sofi Tukker.

Also making a substantial move this week was another featured at the Fire Fight Australia concert – Queen with Adam Lambert. The soundtrack to Bohemian Rhapsody jumped from #36 to #15 with the former #1 album now racking up 69 weeks on the ARIA chart.

Also new to the albums top 50 this week:

#33 Rapper Denzel Curry with producer/songwriter Kenny Beats with the EP Unlocked.

TV Ratings: February 16

By James Manning

• Seven beats Nine with Queen, Bublé & Australia’s finest
• Fire Fight Australia climbs to over 1m after MAFS ends
• Nine reality juggernaut still tops rankings with 1.10m
• 10 caught in the Sunday crossfire as Dancing falls over

The first commitment ceremony on Married At First Sight didn’t lead Nine to victory for the first time since it launched two weeks ago. However the show did win its timeslot with just over 1.1m.

60 Minutes held up well later in the night with close to 800,000, although it trailed the benefit concert audience on Nine. A late doco on Jeffrey Epstein did 267,000.

Seven’s one-off bushfire benefit concert was a ratings winner with the channel’s primary share over 30%. Fire Fight Australia started to generate serious TV numbers from when it started on Sunday afternoon. After 1pm the first part of the day at the Sydney stadium started with 543,000 and then later rose to 828,000. When Seven News screened from 6pm to 979,000 the concert moved to 7TWO where 284,000 continued watching where the treats included Alice Cooper.

After 7pm and back on the primary channel the artists included Amy Shark, Queen + Adam Lambert and Michael Bublé. The audience started at 953,000 in primetime and then grew to 1.006m later in the night with some of the MAFS audience making the switch and swelling the numbers until the climax with John Farnham, Olivia Newton-John and friends.

10 was caught in the crossfire between two massive Sunday programs and its primary share dropped to 7.2%. Dancing with the Stars found it difficult to find a crowd with 348,000 watching. If you are going to lose audience, it may as well be to a good cause like Fire Fight Australia.

Elsewhere on 10 The Sunday Project was on 280,000 after 7pm.

ABC News did 665,000 which turned into 510,000 for Grand Designs.

After 8.30pm Midsomer Murders did 491,000.

At SBS the 6.30pm World News had the biggest audience with 148,000. A repeat of Australia in Colour later did 131,000.

Week 7-8 TV: Friday-Monday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 15.1% 7 17.5% 9 17.4% 10  9.1% SBS One 4.1%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.6% 7TWO 4.7% GO! 2.7% 10 Bold 4.0% VICELAND 1.6%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 4.3% GEM 2.8% 10 Peach 2.6% Food Net 1.5%
ABC NEWS 2.0% 7flix 3.3% 9Life 2.9%     NITV 0.2%
                SBS World Movies 0.9%
TOTAL 20.5%   29.8%   25.7%   15.7%   8.3%


ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 12.6% 7 16.7% 9 17.9% 10  6.7% SBS One 6.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.4% 7TWO 3.9% GO! 3.6% 10 Bold 4.1% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 3.4% GEM 5.1% 10 Peach 2.6% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 2.2% 7flix 4.0% 9Life 2.6%     NITV 0.6%
                SBS World Movies 1.2%
TOTAL 18.9%   27.9%   29.2%   13.4%   10.6%


ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.8% 7 31.0% 9 24.1% 10  7.2% SBS One 3.4%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 1.8% 7TWO 3.6% GO! 2.9% 10 Bold 2.8% VICELAND 0.8%
ABC ME 0.3% 7mate 2.3% GEM 2.2% 10 Peach 1.7% Food Net 0.7%
ABC NEWS 1.1% 7flix 1.1% 9Life 1.6%     NITV 0.1%
                SBS World Movies 0.6%
TOTAL 14.0%   38.0%   30.8%   11.7%   5.5%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.2% 7 33.9% 9 17.5% WIN 6.6% SBS One 3.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.1% 7TWO 4.5% GO! 3.5% WIN Bold 3.4% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 2.8% GEM 3.7% WIN Peach 0.9% Food Net 0.5%
ABC NEWS 1.1% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.1% 9Life 1.5% Sky News  on WIN 1.0% NITV 0.0%
                SBS Movies 0.6
TOTAL 14.0%   42.3%   26.3%   11.9%   5.6%


87.3% 12.7%
All People Ratings

Friday Top 10

  1. Nine News Nine 805,000
  2. Seven News Seven 789,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 765,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 755,000
  5. ABC News ABC 579,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 540,000
  7. Endeavour (R) ABC 476,000
  8. Better Homes And Gardens Seven 473,000
  9. The Chase Australia Seven 473,000
  10. Gardening Australia ABC 471,000


Saturday Top 10

  1. ABC News ABC 694,000
  2. Seven News Seven 673,000
  3. Doc Martin ABC 673,000
  4. Nine News Nine 650,000
  5. Taronga: Who’s Who In The Zoo Nine 402,000
  6. The Martian Seven 327,000
  7. Agatha Raisin ABC 327,000
  8. Weekend Sunrise Seven 302,000
  9. Crocodile Dundee Nine 301,000
  10. Getaway Nine 260,000
Sunday FTA
  1. Married At First Sight Nine 1,103,000
  2. Fire Fight Australia Concert Late Seven Network 1,006,000
  3. Seven News Sun Seven Network 979,000
  4. Fire Fight Australia Concert Seven Network 953,000
  5. The Latest: Seven News Seven Network 918,000
  6. Nine News Sunday Nine 855,000
  7. Fire Fight Australia Concert Afternoon Seven Network 828,000
  8. 60 Minutes Nine 772,000
  9. ABC News Sunday Ev ABC 665,000
  10. Fire Fight Australia Concert Day Seven Network 543,000
  11. Grand Designs Ev ABC 510,000
  12. Midsomer Murders Ev ABC 491,000
  13. Dancing With The Stars Network 10 348,000
  14. Dancing With The Stars Elimination Network 10 327,000
  15. Insiders AM ABC 292,000
  16. Fire Fight Australia Concert Multi Seven Network 284,000
  17. The Sunday Project 7pm Network 10 280,000
  18. Weekend Sunrise Sun Seven Network 270,000
  19. Truth And Lies: Jeffrey Epstein Nine 267,000
  20. 9 1 1 Encore Seven Network 262,000
Sunday Multichannel
  1. Fire Fight Australia Concert 7TWO 284,000
  2. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 179,000
  3. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 153,000
  4. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  5. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 143,000
  6. Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  7. Kiri And Lou AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  8. Insiders AM ABC NEWS 116,000
  9. Despicable Me 3 9GO! 110,000
  10. Floogals AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 105,000
  11. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 104,000
  12. Play School Nursery Rhyme News Time ABCKIDS/COMEDY 98,000
  13. Border Security Australia’s Front Line 7TWO 95,000
  14. Bondi Rescue Ep 3 (R) 10 Bold 94,000
  15. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 91,000
  16. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 90,000
  17. Border Security Australia’s Front Line 7TWO 90,000
  18. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 89,000
  19. Border Security Australia’s Front Line 7TWO 88,000
  20. Law & Order: SVU Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 87,000
Sunday STV
  1. Live: Fire Fight Australia FOX8 138,000
  2. Make You Laugh Out Loud FOX8 105,000
  3. Outsiders Sky News Live 67,000
  4. Outsiders Sky News Live 66,000
  5. Fresh [V]Id: Justin Bieber Ft. Quavo [V] 56,000
  6. Live: Fire Fight Australia Pre Show FOX8 55,000
  7. Fire Fight Australia [V] 45,000
  8. The Trial Of Christine Keeler BBC First 41,000
  9. Live: NBA All Star Saturday Night ESPN 39,000
  10. Midsomer Murders UKTV 33,000
  11. Live: AFLW: Adelaide V St Kilda FOX FOOTY 33,000
  12. Live: AFLW: Carlton V Collingwood FOX FOOTY 31,000
  13. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 30,000
  14. Yesterday Movies Premiere 30,000
  15. The Simpsons FOX8 30,000
  16. Mixed Hits [V] 29,000
  17. Live: AFLW: Geelong V Brisbane FOX FOOTY 29,000
  18. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 29,000
  19. Teen Mom: Young & Pregnant MTV 28,000
  20. Death In Paradise BBC First 26,000

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

Google faces class action suit over incognito reviews

Google will face a new class action for the damage its malicious anonymous reviews have done to individuals and their businesses, according to the lawyer behind a landmark court ruling that will force the digital giant to hand over the identity of reviewers, reports The Australian’s Leo Shanahan.

Following a direction by the Federal Court on Friday, Google will be compelled to hand over the details of potentially defamatory reviews in a streamlined process that will no longer allow the digital giant to obstruct potential lawsuits.

Only last week an Adelaide barrister won $750,000 over a malicious review that took five different pseudonyms.

In another defamation case brought by a Sydney plastic surgeon, a NSW Supreme Court judge found Google to be in contempt for refusing to remove reviews.

[Read more]

Social media monitor Dataminr expands with new customers

Dataminr is in talks to sign up more Australian media organisations, as the US-based social media monitoring service promises to help find the next big news story with its artificial intelligence technology, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

Dataminr also has three major local banks on its books, plus NBN Co, which is responsible for the national broadband network.

As part of Dataminr’s expansion, it opened its ANZ headquarters in Melbourne at the end of last year, with about 20 to 25 staff. That number was expected to double to about 50 people by year’s end.

[Read more]

Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook must accept some state regulation

Facebook must accept some form of state regulation, acknowledging its status as a content provider somewhere between a newspaper and a telephone company, its co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has said, reports The Guardian

He also claimed an era of clean democratic elections, free of interference by foreign governments, is closer due to Facebook now employing 35,000 staff working on monitoring content and security.

He admitted Facebook had been slow to understand the scale of the problem of foreign interference. He also defended his company from claims that it is leading to political polarisation, saying its purpose is to bring communities together.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, an annual high-level gathering of politicians, diplomats and security specialists, Zuckerberg sought to dispel the notion that his company had undermined democracy, weakened the social fabric or contributed to the weakening of the west through spreading distrust.

[Read more]

BBC licence fee could be axed and replaced with 'subscription model'

The British Government has signalled a new onslaught on the BBC – with a threat to scrap the television licence fee and turn it into a subscription service, reports the UK Mirror.

The Sunday Times quoted a senior source as saying there would be a consultation on replacing the licence fee with a subscription model, adding: “We will whack it.”

The broadcaster could be forced to sell off most of its radio stations in a “massive pruning back” of its activities.

The source told the paper that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was “really strident” on the need for serious reform.

The paper said that the number of BBC television channels could also be reduced, the website scaled back and stars banned from cashing in on well-paid second jobs.

[Read more]

News Brands

Chris Mitchell: Trump-hating journos blind on impeachment

Having misunderstood the process when US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched her impeachment inquiry on September 24, much of the Australian media has resorted to post-facto justification of reporting that often implied President Trump could seriously have faced removal from office, comments The Australian’s Chris Mitchell.

It could not have ended better for Trump.

Yet on the ABC and in the Nine Entertainment papers Trump’s critics have had to content themselves that failed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney broke with his party on one of the charges Trump faced.

Why aren’t journalists being punished for such misreading of politics? Yet readers and viewers seem to stick with the media they agree with even when those media get the politics wrong.

[Read more]

Nine reporter criticises SMH for publishing Chinese propaganda

Nine Entertainment has come under heavy criticism from one of its most senior journalists and government MPs concerned about the growing role of Chinese influence for continuing to publish Chinese Communist Party “propaganda” in The Sydney Morning Herald, report The Australian’s Joe Kelly and Max Maddison.

The masthead inserted the China Dailysupplement last Friday, which praises the Chinese government and its response to the coronavirus outbreak, despite several of the organisation’s most senior journalists reporting extensively about the issue of Chinese influence.

Chris Uhlmann, political editor of Nine News, who has written extensively about the creeping influence of the CCP in Australia, told The Australian the China Daily insert was “extremely disturbing”. “Since the moment the decision was made (in 2016) to have the China Daily insert in The Sydney Morning Herald, I’ve made it clear that I’ve found it an extremely disturbing development that Communist Party propaganda has the apparent endorsement of an Australian media organisation,” he said. “I said that before I joined Nine and I haven’t changed my opinion.”

[Read more]

Seven’s news team under pressure after MKR disappoints

With Seven Network’s ratings year off to a shaky start with its primetime television show My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals floundering, news and public affairs boss Craig McPherson knows Seven needs to hold onto the top TV news spot for a fifth straight year, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

But McPherson isn’t complacent, fully aware that they are up against Nine, whose has access to parent company’s Nine Entertainment’s stable of newspapers.

“Very confident, very confident but it’s TV. We’re up against a very, dare I say, well-resourced competitor that has got tentacles outside of where we are. That no doubt, can and will help I would expect in their audience,” McPherson told The Australian.

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Times Radio offering big money in effort to lure BBC presenters

New UK audio brand Times Radio is making lucrative offers to hire leading BBC presenters, with Radio 4 Any Questions host Chris Mason in discussions to join the new radio station and leading names such as the Today program host Nick Robinson being approached about roles, reports The Guardian.

Times Radio, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News UK, will launch later this year and is designed to take on traditional speech radio outlets such as Radio 4. The station will not have any adverts and will instead be designed to drive awareness to the paywalled news outlet, promising a more upmarket take on speech radio.

Sources said Times Radio was promising potential recruits higher salaries, editorial freedom and the chance to build a national talk radio station from the ground up at a time of potential job cuts at the BBC and enormous scrutiny of the corporation’s output.

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Seven confirms Julia Lefort director of Corporate Affairs & Publicity

Seven West Media chief marketing officer Charlotte Valente has announced the appointment of Julia Lefort (pictured) as director of corporate affairs and publicity. Lefort commences in the role immediately.

Commenting on the appointment, Valente said: “I’m thrilled to welcome Julia to the team. Her experience in shaping and leading communication strategies across both corporate and consumer stakeholders will be key as we continue to transform Seven West Media into an audience-centric business.

“Julia is perfectly suited to lead both our corporate affairs and publicity teams, driving strategy and ensuring synergistic messaging across both functions.”

Lefort joins SWM with over two decades of experience in stakeholder communications and engagement, most recently as director communications at the department of premier and cabinet, New South Wales. Prior to this, she led corporate affairs at Scentre Group and held senior corporate affairs and public relations roles at Westfield Group, as well as consumer-facing publicity roles at Pacific Magazines and Opera Australia, where she started her career.

Lefort said: “I’m delighted to be joining Seven West Media at such an exciting moment. The Seven brand is a tremendously powerful one, reaching 18 million Australians each month and I am looking forward to shaping and driving the way with communicate with our audiences into the future.

“I’m excited to be working as part of the SWM team as we continue to transform the business.”

MAFS stars turn fleeting fame into big bucks on Instagram

Married At First Sight contestants are turning their 15 minutes of fame into a $300,000 windfall, reports News Corp’s Briana Domjen.

But that means get ready to see more of them – both in appearances and quite probably in nude scandals.

After years of cast members breaking rules and contract clauses, Channel 9 and production company Endemol Shine have given up and allowed their participants to enlist an agent for the first time.

And most have wasted no time in doing so, with almost half the cast employing celebrity agent Max Markson to make them some quick cash.

One of the highest earners from the MAFS stable is Martha Kalifatidis who, along with her TV husband and real-life boyfriend Michael Brunelli, has a smorgasbord of Instagram clients.

It is estimated she has earned about $300,000 from her account.

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Most Popular TV Commercial returns to TV Week Logie Awards

The 62nd TV Week Logie Awards will once again recognise the Most Popular Television Commercial, with the winner taking home a coveted Logie statue and a $100,000 Bauer Media advertising package.

The award recognises excellence in television advertising and is open to advertisers, as well as creative, media and content agencies.

The three finalists will have the chance to rub shoulders with the stars of the small screen, with each finalist receiving two tickets to television’s night of nights on the Gold Coast in June. The winning commercial will also be announced during the 2020 TV Week Logie Awards telecast.

The 15 finalists will be selected by a 10-strong panel of leading industry peers, including Russel Howcroft, partner and chief creative officer, PWC; Kim Portrate, CEO of Think TV; and Dee Madigan, ECD at Campaign Edge. The winner will then be decided by the ultimate arbiters of TV advertising, the general public.

Thomas Woodgate, editor of TV Week, said: “We had a great response last year from agencies and advertisers across the country when we introduced the Most Popular Television Commercial to the TV Week Logie Awards, so we’re delighted to be bringing it back in 2020. This is an award that agencies and advertisers are desperate to win – and the fact that the winner is determined by the public means that much more. On top of that, it is a great opportunity for the winner to be recognised on the biggest night in Australian television. We can’t wait to see who the public picks as the winner and to present the TV Week Logie Award to the winning agency on June 28 at The Star Gold Coast.”

Entries are now open and will close on March 31.

Fetch RFS ticket purchase donates $100,000 to Bushfire Relief

Fetch TV partnered with Fire Fight Australia promoters TEG Live and TEG Dainty last week so 1,000 NSW Rural Fire Service volunteers could attend Sunday’s concert for National Bushfire Relief at ANZ Stadium for free.

Fetch TV bought 1,000 tickets which were distributed by the NSW Rural Fire Service to volunteers and their families in appreciation of their incredible effort and sacrifice during the recent bushfire crisis.

The $100,000 proceeds from the ticket purchase will go to Fire Fight Australia, with funds to be distributed to organisations providing vital support services to people and communities impacted by the bushfires.

Scott Lorson, CEO of Fetch TV said: “Fetch TV is proud to support the Fire Fight Australia concert, and delighted to recognise the amazing efforts of our RFS heroes. The funds raised will help support impacted communities on the long road ahead. We hope that the RFS team and their families are able to relax and enjoy a great show.”

Sports Media

Larry Kestelman reveals Hungry Jack’s to extend its NBL deal

Billionaire Jack Cowin will on Monday agree to a three-year extension for his Hungry Jack’s chain to sponsor Larry Kestelman’s National Basketball League, in a sign of confidence in one of the country’s fastest-growing sports leagues, reports The Australian’s John Stensholt.

The deal will see Hungry Jack’s retained at a more lucrative amount than its current contract, which Kestelman clinched with Cowin on the eve of the 2017-18 season and continues through to mid-2023.

There is a possibility of a further extension to at least 2025. Basketball is enjoying a renaissance in Australia and the major sponsor extension for the NBL comes at a time when other sports have been struggling to attract retail or commercial partners.

Kestelman will in May celebrate the fifth anniversary of his $7m takeover of the NBL in a unique deal that resulted in a rare privatisation of an entire league.

Crowds since then have risen 50 per cent and the NBL this season has sold out about 85 per cent of its tickets this year. The league will begin its finals series late this week.

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Lions 2025 Australian tour to be included in next rugby TV deal

Rugby Australia is believed to have secured the 2025 British and Irish Lions tour to help boost the value of its next broadcast deal for the struggling code, as Foxtel and Optus get set to battle for a rights package that for the first time will incorporate club rugby through to the Wallabies, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Optus, Foxtel and Network Ten are understood to have signed non-disclosure agreements for the process and RA will send out tender documents this week with the hope of wrapping up a new broadcast deal by early April. Foxtel, Ten and RA declined to comment. Optus said it would not provide ongoing commentary after CEO Allen Lew confirmed the telecommunications giant’s interest last Thursday.

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