Wednesday February 17, 2021

Melissa Mason on digital future for Are Media’s fashion brands ELLE and marie claire

By Trent Thomas

In late January of this year, Are Media appointed Melissa Mason as digital editor of its heritage fashion brands ELLE and marie claire.

Mason has more than ten years of print and digital experience. Prior to joining Are Media, Mason worked at Broadsheet Media as content director, Pedestrian Group as managing editor and senior style and features editor, and was editor of News Corp’s

For more than two years she worked at Pacific Magazines as features and beauty editor for Girlfriend and Total Girl and began her career at Bauer Media (now Are Media) where she was a beauty writer.

Her career came full circle with her return to Are Media and Mason told Mediaweek it has been a whirlwind but a good one and described the role as her dream job.

“I always really wanted to work in women’s lifestyle exclusively. I came from a background of being a beauty editor and a fashion editor and had a foray in youth, but I never used all of my skills directly to just women’s lifestyle.

“These two jobs are amazing fashion legacy titles with international recognition of being at the front of the fashion game and for talking to women in a smart way, and I thought that is where I have to be.”

Digital focus

Mason said that while she wanted to work in magazines the fact that it was a digital-only role drew her to the job.

“I have a magazine background, but I think digital is where I have really grown and set my career. I wanted to bring my background and experience to these two titles.”

Managing ELLE and marie claire

Mason is splitting her time evenly between the two brands with both sharing the same team of writers, with Mason’s team completely separate from the magazine staff.

“I thought having the one team would be a confusing element, but it makes for great content. The team has worked on both brands since they became part of Are Media and they are able to differentiate between what feels like an ELLE story and what feels like a marie claire story. It is a case of day-to-day and ensuring that both sites are receiving equal love.”

Mason said she sees the two as sister sites, but both have their own distinctive and separate brands.

ELLE skews slightly younger and marie claire skews slightly older but both have a strong interest in style, curation and considered content. It is a case of ensuring I am not leaning too much one way or another.”

Working with the magazine team

While ELLE is digital-only marie claire has two separate teams – one for the website and one for the magazine. Mason said that while these are separate products she works closely with marie Claire editor Nicky Briger to make sure the site reflects the same core values as the magazine.

“There is definite synergy with marie claire digital and print but they are separate entities within the business, sometimes the print team will contribute to the website but that is not their main focus.”

ELLE’s transition to digital

With ELLE ceasing its print version in 2020 Mason said that the now digital-only product won’t change what the ELLE brand is.

“We still have a really good relationship with Lagardère, which is the international owner of ELLE, and are already discussing with them ways that we can tap into content from around the world that Australians love. We are still going to bring readers longer reads, articles that inspire the reader, and give them shopping intel.

“The digital space is so different now and there was the thought that everything digital had to be quick hit pieces, but more and more we are seeing readers want to engage with longer original content. We will continue to do what the magazine did, but this will be the digital version of that.”

Lessons from Pedestrian

Mason admits that her new crop of sites and Pedestrian TV could not be more different, and while people might ask if she is going turn the sites into another Pedestrian, she can confirm that’s not the case. Although Mason admits she will borrow some lessons from her time there.

“Pedestrian at its core does really well at engaging its readers. The reason for that is that we were doing conversational headlines and you wanted to tag your friends in those headlines and then read the article.

“I will be focusing on tone and using this team of writers and their writing skills to bring that tone out of the site. There is the opportunity to grab people with headlines and to give them content that they will read to the end because they love the voice of these sites.”

Goals for ELLE and marie claire

Mason acknowledged that both brands were doing well before she took her role, one of her goals for this year was to make a clearer distinction between ELLE and marie claire.

“With ELLE I would like to continue the great work but bring in longer conversational content. Examples could be Man RepELLEr and The Cut, sites where people love fashion and beauty but want to talk about it not just be delivered the trends. ELLE has an amazing international tone of being irreverent and that little bit cheeky but also premium and whip smart.

marie claire has already been doing this, so with its site I would like to do what ELLE has been really good at and bring in that curated style with how and where to shop for trends and how to incorporate them into your wardrobe.”

Mason said that she wants both sites to be considered go-to destinations for fashion shoppers.

“I want to make both sites shopping destinations. When you want to know what to buy’ these are the two sites you come to. You go to ELLE for that trend driven addition and you go to marie claire to understand how to make that capsule wardrobe for your work life.”

paul fletcher
Minister Fletcher at SPA Conference on legislating more Australian content for SVOD services

By James Manning

Government doesn’t have any news for producers about progress on timing of content rules.

The Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher needs to be across a lot in his portfolio. In the past few days he has been meeting with film director Ron Howard on the set of his movie Thirteen Lives in Queensland, helping celebrate World Radio Day and extolling the virtues of Sydney’s new Western Sydney Airport and the Ipswich Motorway Upgrade which he visited.

He has squeezed in a meeting with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and conducted a swag of interviews including CNBC and he will be on Q+A tomorrow.

Paul Fletcher also delivered a keynote one day one of SPA’s virtual Screen Forever conference yesterday.

The sector might have been hoping for news about mandating investment levels for SVOD and AVOD services operating in Australia, but there are no dates yet about legislative action.

The minister started reminding his audience of the changing patterns of video content consumption.

“We’ve seen challenges within our domestic market with advertising-based business models unable to deliver the returns necessary to justify investment in many genres of media content,” said Fletcher.

Minister Paul Fletcher with director Ron Howard in Queensland last week

“While free to air television maintains a strong hold on news and current affairs viewership, the overall audience for linear free to air television has declined at an annual rate of 6 per cent from 2014 to 2019. We’re now seeing people increasingly turning to online subscription services to access genres like drama, comedy, action and documentary. The shift is particularly stark in younger age groups.

“In the first quarter of 2020 almost 70 per cent of Australians aged over 14 used a description video on demand service, up from just over 20 per cent in the first quarter of 2016.”

The minister noted the FTA TV business model has been fundamentally challenged by the arrival of the streaming services with the flow-on consequences for the screen production sector.

Fletcher noted the Government understands action is needed. “Because the way that Australians consume screen content is changing we need to make sure that our incentives and our regulations are changing as well. As new ways of delivering content have continued to expand the market, the government has faced a choice – we could sit here and do nothing, but the prognosis for the screen sector in Australia would be quite grim.

“We could sit back and simply watch while the variety of Australian content declines, jobs are lost and fewer Australian voices and stories are heard. Alternatively, we could engage with the opportunities that change presents and set out to preserve the vibrancy and quality of the Australian screen sector.

“For me, the choice was very clear: we needed to lean in and take action rather than sitting back and doing nothing. The Australian screen sector, after all, plays an important role in creating jobs and stimulating the economy just as, and arguably even more importantly, it plays a vital role in shaping Australia’s national identity and in reflecting the diversity of our population.”

See also: Make It Australian: Screen creatives call for action on local content

For those who might think the government has been inactive, the minister reminded them: “In 2019-20, $439 million in funding was delivered, supporting content production, the promotion of Australia as a film destination and the training of screen practitioners.”

The minister then got around to recapping action the government has planned: “As part of the reform agenda we’re proposing to introduce a new class of commercial television broadcasting licence. The proposal is that this new licence would continue to be subject to the 55 per cent overall Australian content requirement and the new more flexible sub-quota arrangements for children’s drama and documentary content which took effect from 1 January this year. The system would be designed to encourage broadcasters to invest in the content that their audiences want while providing incentives for high-value production.

“The green paper also contains a proposal that large subscription video on demand services – or SVODS – and advertising video on demand services – or AVODS – which operate in Australia should be required to invest a proportion of their Australian revenues in Australian content. This proposal would support the continuing creation of Australian stories on our screens as SVOD and AVOD services grow in popularity with Australian consumers. At the moment SVODs and AVODs face no regulatory requirement to provide Australian content.”

Why the delay? “These reforms, as set out in the green paper, are significant and complex and there will be a development process, including interaction with the media sector, the broadcasting sector and the screen sector as we develop and refine these ideas before we are in a position to consider legislating them,” explained Paul Fletcher.

summer radio
GfK’s 2021 Summer Listening Report shows summer is prime time for Australian radio

72% percent of those aged 55 to 64 described radio as “like an old friend”.

Radio plays an important part of everyday life over the holiday season, with GfK’s 2021 Summer Listening Report showing that Australians are more likely to listen to media than watch it over summer.

Radio was particularly important to younger people, with nearly one in two listeners aged between 10 and 24 saying they would “feel lost” if they couldn’t listen to radio for a week.

Overall, nine out of 10 radio listeners said they listened to radio as much or more over summer, a figure that has held stable over the past four years of the survey.

“Radio serves a critical role during the summer months as a medium that listeners can turn to 24/7 to meet their needs for information, entertainment and companionship,” said Joan Warner, chief executive officer of industry body Commercial Radio Australia.

“For advertisers, radio reaches audiences while they are travelling or at their holiday destination, at a time when they have more time to consider purchases.”

The study, which was conducted nationally from January 12 to 28, found that 93% of listeners consider radio a valuable source of information over summer and nine out of 10 agreed that radio gives them ideas or inspiration about things to see and do.

Respondents also said radio made them feel happy while they were off work and enhanced time spent with family and friends.

Sixty-three percent of all people aged 10+ and almost three in four radio listeners said they are more likely to listen to media than watch it in summer.

With more people travelling over the period, 62% of radio listeners and 35% of people who don’t usually listen to radio, tuned in at their holiday destination.

For younger audiences aged 10 to 24, 29% said they spent more time listening to radio in the car and almost half listened to radio via smartphones.

Radio also fulfills an important role for those alone over the holiday period. The survey showed that 70% percent of listeners said radio is a “great companion”, 57% agreed radio makes them feel more connected to the local community, and 72% percent of those aged 55 to 64 described radio as “like an old friend”.

Netflix announces latest Aussie made series Surviving Summer

The series is supported by Film Victoria and will shoot in regional Victoria March through April 2021.

Netflix’s latest made in Australia title will be Surviving Summer, a 10 episode drama series being produced with Werner Film Productions and ZDF Enterprises.  

The show revolves around Summer Torres who is a fierce Brooklyn teen who’s just been sent to Australia to live with family friends the Gibsons, in a tiny coastal town on the Great Ocean Road. Ari Gibson is an introverted but ambitious young surfer returning to competitive surfing after a life-threatening injury. Summer’s about to spend the next three months falling in love with surfing, driving Ari crazy… and upending everyone’s lives.

Three-time Emmy nominated producer Joanna Werner will be the Executive Producer/Producer and has produced Dance AcademyH2O: Just Add Water, and Clickbait.

Werner said:  “I am so excited to start filming Surviving Summer all along the Great Ocean Road at some of the most stunning beach locations in the world.  We have assembled an amazing crew and cast who have been training hard to get ready for what will be an incredibly exciting and demanding shoot with drama, surfing, skating, stunts and more.  Fingers crossed for some great surf conditions and for a safe and fun shoot!”

The series is supported by Film Victoria and will shoot in regional Victoria March through April 2021. ZDF Enterprises are co-producers and will handle worldwide sales outside Netflix rights territories.

The Cast and Characters:

• SUMMER TORRES (Sky Katz, USA) (Raven’s Home) is a 15-year-old force of nature – expelled from school in New York and sent to the Australian coast, she finds herself giving up her skateboard and falling in love with surfing.

• ARI GIBSON (Kai Lewins, AUS) (Wild Boys, Carlotta) is completely obsessed with surfing, but a serious injury a year ago has shaken his confidence and put a dent in his dream to make the State team. His life is about to be changed again when rebellious Summer walks in.

• BODHI JOHNSON (Savannah La Rain, AUS) (Content, the soon to be released Bosch & Rockit) is the calming centre of the group. Since being picked up by a major sponsor, she’s been cultivating her social media profile – but that image is a cover for a lot of self-doubt.

• MARLON SOUSA (Joao Gabriel Marinho, BRA) (Malhação) has a wisecrack for every situation. Out in the water, he’s a showman, talented and flashy – but he’s got a strong competitive streak and when things don’t go his way, he tends to blame everyone but himself.

• POPPY TETANUI (Lilliana Bowrey, AUS) (5 X’s QLD Junior State Surf Champion) is chatty, funny, outgoing – and more determined than ever to achieve her dream of one day becoming world champion. But she’s carrying a heavy weight after the recent death of her mother and will have to rediscover what drew her to surfing in the first place, or she risks burning out completely.

claire butterworth
GroupM names Claire Butterworth as Interim General Manager of Investment

Butterworth was previously Chief Investment Officer at GroupM agency MediaCom.

GroupM has named Claire Butterworth as Interim General Manager of Investment.

Butterworth will take on key responsibilities to lead GroupM’s investment and partnerships function, following the departure of former Chief Investment Officer Nicola Lewis, who moved to a global role within GroupM’s Addressable TV business Finecast.

Butterworth was previously Chief Investment Officer at GroupM agency MediaCom and will transition into a group role and report to CEO Mark Lollback.

She will work closely with the CEOs and investment leads in GroupM’s agencies, Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker, and Essence, as well as the broader digital and investment community across the group, driving value for clients and ensuring GroupM clients continue to benefit from the very best, modern investment and partnership services.

Mark Lollback, GroupM Australia & New Zealand CEO says: “With more than 15 years’ experience in senior investment and trading, Claire is fantastically placed to lead investment as we build a new future fit structure across GroupM and I’m really excited to welcome her into this role. Claire previously worked at Wavemaker before joining MediaCom, and already works closely with the wider investment community across all GroupM agencies, and has strong relationships with our media vendors, so we know GroupM Investment is in good hands coming into 2021.” 

Butterworth will continue to work closely with the MediaCom investment team.

GroupM invests US$50 Billion each year on behalf of their clients, globally, and represents 1 in 3 ads in the global marketplace. Guided by brand safety, leading privacy principles and premium relationships with global and local media vendors, we put money against goals that move businesses forward.

Earlier this month, Finecast, GroupM’s addressable TV business, announced several senior appointments to strengthen its operations and client teams in line with its growth.

Matt Stephens wasappointed Head of Client Engagement. He has more than 13 years in advertising sales and leadership positions in Television and media. He joins from SBS where he spent the last 6 years leading the NSW Sales Team across TV and Digital, including its BVOD platform. Before that he spent 4.5 years with MCN/Foxtel Media. 

Georgina Fox was named as Head of Operations. She will be responsible for managing supply partnerships for Finecast and leading the operations team that implements all Addressable TV campaigns at GroupM.

David Campese and Michael Cheika join Stan Sport rugby commentary team

Experienced commentators Sean Maloney and Andrew Swain are also on board.

Stan Sport and Nine have announced former Wallabies great David Campese and former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika are joining its new Rugby commentary team. 

Michael Cheika was the World Rugby Coach of the Year in 2015 and remains the only coach in Rugby to have claimed major provincial titles in both the northern and southern hemispheres, coaching Leinster to the Heineken Cup title in 2009 and the Waratahs to the Super Rugby title in 2014.

David Campese, renowned as one of the greatest players to ever play the game, starred in 101 Test matches for Australia, and redefined the way Rugby was played. He remains one of the most recognised players in the world.

Led by distinguished Rugby hosts and journalists Roz Kelly and Nick McArdle, Stan Sport’s new commentary lineup also features former Wallabies Tim HoranMorgan TurinuiDrew Mitchell, and Justin Harrison, in addition to All Blacks legend Andrew Mehrtens and former dual-code international star Allana Ferguson.

Experienced commentators Sean Maloney and Andrew Swain are also on board to call every kick, try and tackle this year.

Campese and Cheika join the stacked commentary lineup as featured experts and will deliver analysis and insight into the game – drawn from their years of experience playing and coaching at Rugby’s highest level.

David Campese said: “I’m really looking forward to getting back into live Rugby commentary and to passing on my knowledge and analysis to the informed and passionate Australian Rugby community. It’s the start of a new era with Stan Sport and I’m grateful to be part of it”

Michael Cheika said: “I am excited about how Australians will be watching Rugby as the game moves into a new era with Stan Sport and Nine. I’m eager to get started with the new Stan commentary team and to share my passion for Rugby with loyal fans and newcomers alike. We’ll be bringing greater coverage to the game, with deeper insight into every match – from Rugby’s grassroots soul all the way to the brilliance of the international level.”

Stan recently announced its add-on Sport package will be available for $10 a month and is the only place to watch every match. Viewers can enjoy Rugby ad-free, live and on demand and can pre-activate the Sport package now to get a 30-day free trial for a limited time only. The 30-day free trial will start when Stan Sport launches. 

TV Demand: The reign of Marvel’s WandaVision continues

By Tess Connery

WandaVision sits at 51.8 points above market average this week.

Unsurprisingly, WandaVision continues to enjoy its time at the top of the charts this week, placing number one on all four charts across Australia and New Zealand. 

The series, which has released over half of the episodes that make up its first season now, is giving audiences more and more action by the week. It was arguably a risky move to release a series that started in the charming yet “weird” way WandaVision did, and hope that people will stick with it long enough to see the story unfold, but it’s a move that has paid off handsomely for Marvel. With The Falcon and the Winter Soldier to be released on March 19, Loki to be released in May, and Ms. Marvel scheduled for release in late 2021, it’s a good sign of things to come for Marvel and Disney+.

At 51.8 points above market average this week on the Australian overall charts, no other show is currently coming close to WandaVision.

The Mandalorian is still holding on to its second place position, despite the season finale of the most recent season airing in December of last year. Whilst the pre-production of a third season may have helped keep The Mandalorian at the pointy end of the charts, it’s also a testament to the immense popularity and staying power of the Star Wars franchise.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars took the tenth spot on the Australian digital originals list this week, in another win for Disney+. The next addition to the Star Wars universe, The Book of Boba Fett, is due for release in December this year. 

The Crown and The Flight Attendant have stayed in the top ten digital originals, seeing a boost from their nominations in The Golden Globes last week. While The Crown moved up a spot from seventh to sixth, The Flight Attendant dipped down a spot from eighth to ninth. 

amazing race
TV Ratings Survey: Tuesday Week 8

By Trent Thomas

• Nine wins Tuesday thanks to Novak and Aus Open
• Amazing Race #1 entertainment show as contestants race around Alice Springs

Primetime News
Seven News 1,057,000 (6:00 pm)/991,000 (6:30 pm)
Nine News 899,000 (6:00 pm)/882,000 (6:30 pm)
ABC News 696,000
10 News First 363,000 (5:00 pm)/249,000 (6:00 pm)
SBS World News 186,000

Daily current affairs
7.30 520,000
The Project 287,000 (6:30 pm)/496,000 (7:00 pm)
The Drum 173,000

Breakfast TV
Sunrise 254,000
Today 211,000
News Breakfast 195,000

Late Night News
ABC Late News 72,000

Nine has won its ninth day in a row thanks in large part to the performance of the Australian Open. The broadcaster had a primary share of 24.5% and a network share of 32.6% which were both comfortably #1.

The Australian Open’s first night session averaged 668,000 and was #1 in 16-39. The highlight of the night was Novak Djokovic defeating Alexander Zverev with a metro audience of 440,000.

On Seven, Holey Moley had 436,000 which was down on the 469,000 that the show had last Tuesday night, and was the lowest metro average the show has produced this year.

In the episode, police officer and dragon boat racer, Teresa Thoi, blitzed her opponents with an arresting display of golfing skills to take home the plaid jacket and golden putter locking in her spot in the Grand Final. 

Teresa Thoi

Following Holey Moley was The Good Doctor with the US drama receiving 300,000 viewers, which was up on last week’s 284,000.

On 10 The Amazing Race Australia had 554,000 which was an increase to the 510,000 from last Tuesday. The show was #1 in 18-49 and 25-54.

The Amazing Race was in Alice Springs and The Footy Mates had the power to dish out a Salvage and Sabotage. The Salvage was awarded to The Kimberley Cousins who scored their own driver for the duration of the leg, while The Super Sikhs, who got handed the Sabotage, were forced to carry a large stuffed kangaroo for the leg. Luckily for the underperforming teams, it was a non-elimination leg.

On The Project, the panel discussed Canberra’s toxic culture and met Tana the rock ‘n roll roadie. The 6:30 pm slot had 287, while 7:00 pm had 496,000.

On the ABC 7:30 had 520,000 as Leigh Sales interviewed Bill Gates. This was followed by Foreign Correspondent with 398,000, and then Catalyst with 296,000.

SBS aired Great Continental Railway Journeys with 205,000 viewers tuning in.

WeeK 8: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.6% 7 16.9% 9 24.5% 10  12.1% SBS One 4.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS 2.5% 7TWO 3.3% GO! 3.1% 10 Bold 3.3% VICELAND 2.0%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 3.1% GEM 1.8% 10 Peach 2.9% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.8% 7flix 1.3% 9Life 1.9% 10 Shake 0.5% NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.2%     SBS World Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 15.4%   24.6%   32.6%   18.8%   8.7%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.3% 7 21.1% 9 18.4% WIN 9.9% SBS One 4.6%
ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS 2.0% 7TWO 5.1% GO! 3.7% WIN Bold 3.8% VICELAND 1.7%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 5.3% GEM 3.0% WIN Peach 3.1% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.2% 9Life 2.1% Sky News  on WIN 1.7% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 0.9%
TOTAL 14.2%   32.6%   27.3%   18.6%   8.2%


88.1% 11.9.%
Tuesday FTA
  1. Seven News  Seven 1,057,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30  Seven 991,000
  3. Nine News  Nine  899,000
  4. Nine News 6:30  Nine  882,000
  5. ABC News  ABC TV  696,000
  6. 2021 Australian Open D9 -Night  Nine  668,000
  7. 2021 Australian Open D9 -Night Session 2  Nine  598,000
  8. The Chase Australia  Seven 584,000
  9. The Amazing Race Australia  10  554,000
  10. Home And Away  Seven 526,000
  11. 7.30  ABC TV  520,000
  12. The Project 7pm   10  496,000
  13. Holey Moley Australia Seven 436,000
  14. Foreign Correspondent  ABC TV  398,000
  15. 2021 Australian Open D9 -Late  Nine  383,000
  16. The Chase Australia-5pm  Seven 369,000
  17. 10 News First   10  363,000
  18. 2021 Australian Open D9 -Night Pre Match  Nine  324,000
  19. The Good Doctor  Seven 300,000
  20. Catalyst  ABC TV  296,000
Demo Top Five

16-39 Top Five

  1. 2021 Australian Open D9 -Night  Nine  154,000
  2. 2021 Australian Open D9 -Night Session 2  Nine  146,000
  3. Nine News 6:30  Nine  143,000
  4. The Amazing Race Australia  10  133,000
  5. Nine News  Nine  131,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. The Amazing Race Australia  10  255,000
  2. 2021 Australian Open D9 -Night  Nine  238,000
  3. Nine News 6:30  Nine  237,000
  4. Nine News  Nine  232,000
  5. Seven News  Seven 225,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. The Amazing Race Australia  10  286,000
  2. Nine News  Nine  279,000
  3. Nine News 6:30  Nine  278,000
  4. Seven News  Seven 274,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30  Seven 264,000
Tuesday Multichannel 
  1. Bluey  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  179,000
  2. NCIS Ep 2 (R)  10 Bold  164,000
  3. Bluey  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  163,000
  4. Brave Bunnies  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  135,000
  5. The Adventures Of Paddington  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  134,000
  6. Neighbours  10 Peach  132,000
  7. ABC News Mornings  ABC NEWS  126,000
  8. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  125,000
  9. Kiri And Lou  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  123,000
  10. Fireman Sam  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  119,000
  11. ABC News At Noon  ABC NEWS  119,000
  12. Peter Rabbit  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  117,000
  13. Peppa Pig  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  115,000
  14. Outback Opal Hunters  7mate  113,000
  15. Kangaroo Beach  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  112,000
  16. Andy’s Safari Adventures  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  111,000
  17. Peppa Pig  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  110,000
  18. The Italian Job 9GO!  108,000
  19. Inspector George Gently  7TWO  108,000
  20. Luo Bao Bei  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  104,000
Tuesday STV
  1. The Bolt Report  Sky News Live  75,000
  2. Alan Jones  Sky News Live  72,000
  3. Paul Murray Live  Sky News Live  69,000
  4. Credlin  Sky News Live  68,000
  5. Play Along With Sam  Nick Jr.  41,000
  6. The Kenny Report  Sky News Live  40,000
  7. Paw Patrol  Nick Jr.  40,000
  8. Peppa Pig  Nick Jr.  39,000
  9. Top Wing  Nick Jr.  38,000
  10. Peppa Pig  Nick Jr.  38,000
  11. Peppa Pig  Nick Jr.  38,000
  12. PML Later  Sky News Live  35,000
  13. Curious George  Nick Jr.  34,000
  14. NCIS  FOX Crime  33,000
  15. Newsday  Sky News Live  33,000
  16. Blaze And The Monster Machines  Nick Jr.  33,000
  17. Live: Ind V Eng 2nd Test Day 4  FOX CRICKET  32,000
  18. Blaze And The Monster Machines  Nick Jr.  32,000
  19. Below Deck  FOX Arena  32,000
  20. Curious George  Nick Jr.  31,000

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

Australia’s news media code reaches parliament with minor tweaks expected

The Morrison government will introduce minor amendments to the news media code this week as the landmark legislation that would require Google and Facebook to negotiate with news outlets for payment is finally debated in parliament, reports Guardian Australia’s Amanda Meade.

The technical changes are not seen as significant by supporters of the legislation, as the core intent of supporting Australian public interest journalism remains intact.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said she would push for amendments to ensure that money earned by media companies through the code was invested in journalism, and not handed out as profits to shareholders.

“It’s good news that with the threat of legislation hanging over their heads, Google have begun to make fair deals with media companies,” she told Guardian Australia.

“This shows that the code is necessary to bring big tech companies to the bargaining table, and it must be passed.

“The purpose of the code is to protect public interest journalism in Australia.”

[Read More]

Big Tech to pay annual charge to publishers

Tech giants Google and Facebook will have to pay an agreed annual lump sum to publishers for their news content, rather than per click or snippet, as part of a handful of minor changes to the government’s mandatory media bargaining code, reports News Corp’s Lilly Vitorovich.

The government will also simplify the requirements for Google and Facebook to give notice of algorithm changes, which had been a key sticking point of the tech giants over the code.

As Google continues crunch talks with a raft of publishers, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said the government would this week introduce five “technical” amendments to the landmark code.

The amendments will also clarify the information which the competition regulator, ACCC, can provide in the arbitration process, in a bid to give parties greater confidence.

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Business of Media

Rudd to appear at Senate inquiry on media diversity

At the Senate media diversity inquiry former prime minister Kevin Rudd gets star billing before morning tea, where he will have the chance to nurse a cuppa and a Scotch Finger while glowering at the inquiry’s next witnesses, News Corp’s mono-tonal executive chairman Michael Miller and his consigliere Campbell Reid, the group executive, corporate affairs, policy and government relations, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’Samantha Hutchinson and Stephen Brook.

Thankfully the committee will also have the pleasure of Guardian Australia’s editor Lenore Taylor talking down to them after lunch. Meanwhile, Rudd’s media guy Jared Owens has made a submission. He used to be a journalist at News Corp’s The Australian. That’s quite the leap.

Owens’ submission says it is made in a private capacity and that he is its “sole author”. In case anyone was wondering. Apart from musing about how to fix the broken media ecosystem, Owens recounts claims that The Courier-Mail failed to publish a story about Pauline Hanson’s controversial suggestion that autistic children be removed from mainstream classrooms.

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Domain delays dividend amid JobKeeper windfall

Property listings company ­Domain insisted it has no plans to return any of the Federal Government’s $8.3m in JobKeeper cashit received over the past year, even as it unveiled a surge in first-half profit, reports News Corp’s Ben Wilmot.

The property listings player was punished by investors worried about rising costs, with the benefit of the federal government’s JobKeeper scheme set to roll off in March.

Domain received a total of $8.3m in JobKeeper, with $1.8m relating to the last financial year, but gave no indication it would join the ranks of companies such as Super Retail Group or Nick Scali paying the government back despite earnings growth in the half.

Domain’s first-half earnings of $54.5m were 19 per cent up on a year earlier and came in 6 per cent ahead of market consensus, but the stock fall was attributed to concerns about costs. Shares slid by 6.8 per cent early Tuesday as it cited continued COVID-19 uncertainty for delaying its dividend until its full-year results.

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Screen Forever opens virtual conference

2020’s rescheduled Screen Forever Conference has opened online, having ‘pivoted’ from earlier plans to be staged on the Gold Coast, reports TV Tonight.

SPA CEO Matthew Deaner welcomed delegates online ahead of 3 days of networking, pitching and meeting opportunities on offer, plus 40 interactive sessions.

The Welcome also featured Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk who said, “This event is about showcasing the very best of our industry, over the next 3 days, you’ll get a taste of what makes Queensland one of the worlds sort after destinations for the screen industry,” and Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich. Delegates will watch sessions including TV executives, showrunners (including from The Handmaid’s Tale and The Queen’s Gambit) and funding bodies.

It also features 98 industry leaders from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, USA, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Singapore hearing pitches at Ready, Steady, Pitch!, Together with Screenrights Roundtables this represents over 1,400 opportunities for delegates to sell their content and production services.

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WGA Awards: ‘Judas and the Black Messiah,’ ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ among film screenplay nominees

The Writers Guild of America has announced its nominees in the categories of original, adapted and documentary screenplay for the 2021 WGA Awards, reports The Hollywood Reporter‘s Hilary Lewis and Borys Kit.

The original screenplay nominees are Judas and the Black MessiahPalm SpringsPromising Young WomanSound of Metal and The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Adapted nominees are Borat Subsequent MoviefilmMa Rainey’s Black BottomNews of the WorldOne Night in Miami and The White Tiger.

Doc nominees are All In: The Fight for DemocracyThe DissidentHerb Alpert IsRed Penguins and Totally Under Control.

None of the WGA’s documentary nominees, except for All In, landed on the Oscars’ best documentary feature shortlist, unveiled last week.

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Filming to start on The Voice 2021

Filming will begin on The Voice for Seven on Friday, reports TV Tonight.

Shooting by ITV Studios takes place at Carriageworks, Eveleigh, adjacent to Seven’s headquarters. Previous seasons were filmed at FOX Studios in Moore Park and last year at Moorebank.

Coaching this year are Guy SebastianKeith Urban, Jess Mauboy and UK singer Rita Ora who recently completed her mandatory quarantine. Sonia Kruger returns as host.

Blind Auditions begin on Friday and continue Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, when the 4 coaches will also record their group performance.

Filming will continue into March with the 13 part series expected post-Olympics.

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Disney+ unveils first slate of European originals

Disney+ has greenlit its first slate of European originals, including projects for its international brand Star, which launches in Europe later this month, reports The Hollywood Reporter’Alex Ritman.

The 10 new originals unveiled, with projects spanning the genres drama, comedy and documentary from France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, come from creators and producers such as Juliette Howell (Brexit: The Uncivil War), Stephen Butchard (Baghdad Central), Quoc Dang Tran (Marianne) and Jörg Winger (Deutschland 83).

The new titles — revealed almost a year after Disney+ officially launched in Europe — take Disney a fifth of the way to hitting its target of commissioning 50 productions on the continent by 2024, a goal that was announced at the studio’s investor day in December. The Hollywood Reporter understands that Disney+ is also readying a slate of U.K. originals.

“These first 10 projects embody our ambitious vision for local production,” said Disney EMEA’s vp of original content, Liam Keelan, who led the new commissions alongside Diego Londono, EVP, media networks and content. “Our initial European offering underscores Disney’s regional commitment to outstanding and diverse talent, reflecting our desire to work with the very best storytellers in the industry.”

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Missy Higgins, Midnight Oil and Bernard Fanning lobby for arts wage subsidy as live music struggles for survival

More than 3500 musicians and art workers have urgently petitioned the federal government to extend JobKeeper or introduce an industry specific wage subsidy package to save the live music industry from a “catastrophic” decline, reports News Corp’s Kathy McCabe.

Missy Higgins, Midnight Oil, Bernard Fanning, Lime Cordiale, Something for Kate, and The Avalanches are among those who have added their name to the open letter pleading with the Government to save the live events industry from falling off the COVID cliff.

The cycle of border closures and restrictions to mass gatherings – which aren’t sporting fixtures – have crippled the industry’s attempts to restart after 12 months of inaction.

The open letter sent to the Federal Government this week applauded the efforts of government to control local transmission of the virus and expressed gratitude for the $250 million grants package to stimulate the recovery of the sector.

But artists, promoters, venues, and crew can’t plan that restart.

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Cheika seeking to offer ‘different view’ for Nine and Stan Sport

Michael Cheika wants to offer valuable insights and analysis but says he will refrain from judging or criticising the game’s characters on or off the field during Nine and Stan Sport’s rugby coverage this year, reports The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Tom Decent.

After five years in charge of the Wallabies, one of Australian rugby’s most polarising and passionate figures has taken up a fresh commentary role alongside another highly opinionated figure in former Wallabies great David Campese.

See Also: David Campese and Michael Cheika join Stan Sport rugby commentary team

Cheika will continue his role as head coach of Lebanon’s rugby league team and feels he has plenty to offer behind the microphone, having made a handful of UK appearances in recent years for BT Sport and the BBC.

Few would have predicted Cheika to pop up in the media once his coaching days were over, however the man who helped the Wallabies to a World Cup final in 2015, assures his latest career move is driven by personal development and a desire to see the code flourish.

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