Thursday February 18, 2021

Podcast Week
Podcast Week: Healthy Her Amelia returns, Diamantina’s growing portfolio

Compiled by James Manning

Podcast Week welcome Mikey Robins: podcaster, Hot genre – money climbs the chart
Toon talks: Is Clubhouse audio app a threat to podcasters? Maybe!

Healthy Her’s Amelia Phillips talks with Pete Murray

PodcastOne’s Amelia Phillips (pictured above) this week released a new series of Healthy Her. Philips had previously released 30 episodes on the PodcastOne platform. Her new season of eight episodes delivers guests discussing everything from sun care for families to boosting confidence at work, perimenopause, reclaiming sensuality and parenting from a dad’s perspective. Phillips has a well-known guest to share some insights on that episode – singer/songwriter Pete Murray.

There is a real contrast of emotional and functional episodes this season,” Phillips told Mediaweek. She noted she continues to get great feedback from her continually growing audiences.

My audience is specifically mums so everything is run through a mum filter. One of the emotional episodes features Pete Murray and we had a great chat about parenting and creativity. He was so generous with his personal information and gave a real insight into how he unlocks his creativity with his music and how also parenting has changed his music career. It’s a fascinating perspective from such an iconic Aussie,” said Phillips about the father of three.

Phillips also wanted to highlight two other episodes for Mediaweek readers. “I spoke to author and The Briefing co-host Jamila Rizvi and her sharp mind gave me a new angle and a new take about women’s confidence deficit at work and why it happens and how to get back control. It will be quite an eye opener and I expect a lot of feedback.

“I also did an episode with Margret Fulton’s grand-daughter Louise Keats. Her mother and grandmother were both amazing cooks. The way she spoke and talked about her upbringing and how she has brought it into the modern world inspired me to fall in love with cooking rather than dread it. She had some fascinating stats about the benefits of home cooking and its benefits too.”

See also: More Healthy Her – When she first started podcasting Amelia Phillips was passing on news from the frontline as a busy mum as well as sharing the learning of experts in different fields.

Listen to Healthy Her here.

Diamantina Media builds podcast portfolio: Two more this week

Antony Stockdale is the founder of Diamantina Media (DM) and currently looks after strategy and partnerships. DM linked up with iHeartPodcast Network in 2020 after running a ruler over what other major platforms could offer his growing podcast network.

The key property within Diamantina is The Betoota Advocate. Diamantina has two Betoota podcasts The Betoota Advocate and Betoota Daily News Bulletin. Stockdale was involved with Betoota and after Australia’s oldest newspaper started its podcast, Stockdale decided to launch their own podcast company. In total Diamantina now has 25 podcasts with two of them being launched just this week. (See below)

“We have about 10 new titles in development,” Stockdale told Mediaweek.

Stockdale can also be heard hosting the Behind the Podcast series which is done in conjunction with the Australian Podcast Awards. “The aim is to keep the Podcast Awards more front of mind all year round. It’s also a great excuse to talk with people I want to meet and learn more from those doing a great job in podcasting.”

DM will soon be announcing its second Spotify Original, after the six-episode Generation Betoota. This new one will be a weekly show. With seven Betoota podcast episodes weekly, Stockdale said DM is careful not to exploit the brand too much. However he admitted, “A lot of people don’t know we do Betoota podcasts. Many just relate to the brand as an Instagram page [700,000+ followers]. Some of those people don’t even know we have a website.”

Diamantina’s Antony Stockdale (right) with Have a Go podcasters Dane Eldridge (left) and Dave Edwards

Have an existing audience is the first thing that attracts DM to a new podscast opportunity. “Discoverability is the biggest challenge for any podcast.” The attraction of joining iHeartPodcast Network started with the personnel, explained Stockdale. “We were previously with Whooshkaa which is where Corey Layton [ARN head of digital audio] worked and we had a great experience with him. When Covid happened we looked at every podcast platform and the best one we found was Megaphone. It is what iHeartMedia and Spotify sits on.” Spotify bought Megaphone for close to $300m last November. “Megaphone is home to the most podcasts and they are investing the most in technology. It is also doing good work with the big social media companies which helps with discoverability.

The ARN/iHeartPodcast Network also bring us opportunities. They can bring us sponsorship opportunities, but we don’t have to take them as we also sell our own via existing relationships. Some other platforms wanted a percentage when we sold sponsorship, but we don’t think that is a smart business model.”

Stockdale said DM is ambitious about growing its portfolio. “But not at the expense of quality,” he added. “We are in a golden era for podcasting. We are also big on independent media, and we think we have a model that works. If we partner with a show and we don’t develop it we won’t take any IP in it. If we don’t do a good job, people are free to leave.”

DM has its own studio which helps with the quality of the audio being distributed. “Good sound quality doesn’t ensure you will do well, but bad sound quality will ensure you don’t do well. We also think a podcast needs to be weekly, you need to own a part of a person’s week.”

Diamantina’s latest launches: Mikey and Dave

New podcasts from Mikey Robins and Dave Edwards were launched by Diamantina this week.

Radio and TV legend turned author Mikey Robins’ much-anticipated podcast debut is here with Heroes and Howlers. The comedian is joined each week by historian Paul Wilson as they take listeners on a raucous tour of history’s strangest turning points.

The Heroes and Howlers podcast promises to look into how key events in history have been shaped by serendipity, moments of madness and even the downright banal. The podcast revels in such circumstances: the cock-ups, the mishaps, and the bizarre twists of fate that have changed the course of mankind- sometimes tragic, sometimes comical, sometimes just plain rude.

The other DM launch this week is Have a Go from Dave Edwards who started The Grade Cricket podcast.

Edwards is joined by Dane Eldridge in addition to regular appearances from award-winning Australian comedian Luke Heggie and a range of other guests.

“There’s a lot to be concerned about these days,” Edwards said. “What are we going to do about China? Is the ‘Great Australian Dream’ dead? Has cancel culture killed the ‘larrikin’? Will our treasured ABC survive these endless ‘culture wars’?

These are the types of questions that keep us up at night, but we’re fairly confident of solving each burning issue within the space of a tightly produced 30-minute weekly comedy podcast.

Listen to Heroes and Howlers and also Have a Go

Podcast Week hot genre: Money heats up as economy recovers

One of the takeaways from the January Podcast Ranker charts from Triton are the number of podcasts on money that are performing well. iHeartPodcast Network’s She’s on the Money crashed its way into the top 10 some 20 months after it launched, and a number of others were on the move too. We will take a look at She’s on the Money next week, but meantime here are the best performers from January’s Australian chart. Unless otherwise mentioned, these are podcast native series, with ranking position from the Australian Podcast Ranker January 2021 chart.

6    She’s on the Money (iHeartPodcast Network)
22  Motley Fool Money (PodcastOne)
25  Equity Mates Investing Podcast (iHeartPodcast Network)
42  Money News with Brooke Corte (Nine Radio)
52  The Mentor with Mark Bouris (PodcastOne)
64  Get Started Investing with Equity Mates (iHeartPodcast Network)
70  The Money Café with Kirby and Kohler (News Corp/Nova)
74  Fear and Greed (Fear and Greed)
80  Small Business Big Marketing with Timbo Reid (PodcastOne)

We have also split the January Ranker into other genres.

True Crime
1    Casefile True Crime (Audioboom/iHeartPodcast Network)
12  Life and Crimes with Andrew Rule (News Corp/Nova)
15  The Night Driver (News Corp/Nova)
18  I Catch Killers with Gary Jubelin (News Corp/Nova)
58  Claremont: The Trial (News Corp/Nova)

Sports
9    The Howie Games (PodcastOne)
20  Fox Sports Audio Bulletin (News Corp/Nova)
54  Cricket Et Cetera (News Corp/Nova)
62  The Matty Johns Podcast (News Corp/Nova)
85  Hello Sport Podcast (Diamantina/iHeartPodcast Network)

Entertainment
2    Life Uncut with Brittany Hockley and Laura Byrne (iHeartPodcast Network)
3    Hamish & Andy (PodcastOne)
17  Betoota Daily News Bulletin (Diamantina/iHeartPodcast Network)
19  Wilosophy with Wil Anderson (TOFOP/Whooshkaa)
24  Matt & Alex: All Day Breakfast (PodcastOne)
26  It’s a Lot with Abbie Chatfield (Nova)
27  Hamish & Andy’s Remembering Project (PodcastOne)
31  The Betoota Advocate Podcast (Diamantina/iHeartPodcast Network)
32  Chat 10 Looks 3 (Diamantina/iHeartPodcast Network)
36  Just the Gist (PodcastOne)

News (Radio and native podcast)
5    The Update (Nova)
7    Sky News News Bulletin (News Corp/Nova)
8.   From the Newsroom (News Corp/Nova)
10  7am (Schwartz Media)
14  The National Briefing (SCA)
21  The Briefing (PodcastOne)

Radio shows
4    The Kyle and Jackie O Show (ARN/iHeartPodcast Network)
11  Jase & PJ (ARN/iHeartMedia Network)
13  Kate Tim and Joel (Nova)
23  Ben Fordham Live (Nine Radio)
28  SEN Breakfast (SEN)
30  Whateley (SEN)
34  Chrissie, Sam and Browny (34)
35  Molloy (SCA)
37  Moonman in the Morning (SCA)
39  Rush Hour with JB and Billy (SCA)
43  3AW Breakfast with Ross and Russel (Nine Radio)
46  Fitzy and Wippa (Nova)
47  The Ray Hadley Morning Show (Nine Radio)
48  Morning with Neil Mitchell (Nine Radio)
49  Jonesy and Amanda’s JAMcast! (ARN/iHeartPodcast Network)
50  The Marty Sheargold Show (SCA)

Is Clubhouse a threat to podcasting? Maybe!

Kate Toon is an award-winning entrepreneur, who works with small businesses and big brands to transform their online presence through what she labels powerful SEO, captivating content and making the right digital marketing moves.

As a digital marketing and SEO educator, straight-talking copywriting coach, author, educator, speaker and podcaster, Toon has helped more than 10,000 other businesses demystify digital marketing, grapple the Google “beast”, and grow their success.

Toon hosts three podcast series, the biggest of which is Recipe for SEO Success Show. The others are The Kate Toon Podcast and Hot Copy Podcast. “I started my podcasts to drive audience for my business. I get them to join my email list and once they are in my funnel, they can’t escape!” Toon told Mediaweek.

She has jumped onto the latest social media platform Clubhouse. Part social networking app based on audio-chat and part podcast, Toon has published a guide for newcomers, if you can get on the still invite-only platform, called Your First 7 Days on Clubhouse.

Kate Toon

As to whether Clubhouse could be a threat to podcasters, Toon said perhaps. “Maybe some of the podcasts with smaller audiences. As soon as I got on Clubhouse I saw the potential for it. It feels like a bit of a land grab at present. It’s still invite-only, only for iOS users. We all want to be a member of a club we can’t join. We know how powerful podcasts are, but imagine in a podcast being able to have a two-way discussion part-way through. Clubhouse turns one-way broadcasting into a two-way conversation. It won’t threaten some podcasts, especially those with big audiences. I am an avid podcast listener, but I have stopped listening to some since Clubhouse came along. I’m not sure how long that interest will hold. At present the Clubhouse ‘rooms’ are limited to 5,000.”

Toon noted like podcasting, anyone can start a room on the Clubhouse platform. “It is the great leveller. Another threat perhaps to mainstream media as it is yet another way anyone can broadcast easily.”

Toon into Recipe for SEO Success Show here.

jackie o
KIIS FM’s Jackie O on FM radio’s most successful breakfast show

By James Manning

Sharing her private life, Kyle’s sex obsession, will she stay in radio?

Mediaweek has been tracking the media careers of Jackie Henderson and Kyle Sandilands since 2000 when they first appeared on our radar hosting the successful Today Network evening show. As the duo quickly built a loyal following, Austereo swiftly moved them into drive and then later into 2Day FM breakfast where The Kyle and Jackie O Show became the most successful FM show in Australia’s biggest radio market. The show later successfully moved to ARN and the rebranded KIIS FM Sydney.

Mediaweek has conducted a number of podcasts over the past decade with both hosts. This week we revisited the ARN HQ and the KIIS FM 106.5 breakfast studio to speak with Jackie O. Here are some of the highlights from the Mediaweek podcast. Now available also on the new SCA LiSTNR app.

How much of your life do you share on air?

Everything. I would say there’s like 1% that might stay off air and eventually I will end up sharing that too. You kind of get beyond the point of caring if I’m honest. I mean, the beauty of doing this show for so long is that I genuinely don’t care anymore what the headlines are. And I think it’s so important if you want to be on breakfast radio to not care. The minute you care and you’re worried about, ‘Oh, that’s going to make a headline and they’ll read it this way or that way’, you will stop yourself from truly being you. The audience appreciates that honesty.

Jackie O on building breakfast show chemistry

It takes time to get a show like this, because it is about the chemistry. It is about knowing one another. It is about being really comfortable and allowing the other person to say whatever they want knowing it’s a joke, it’s like water off a duck’s back. It’s about not being precious with one another. That does take time to build And to get where we are now has taken a long time. So it’s hard.

Kyle’s not-so-secret radio ingredient

Every segment has some way got to involve sex. Somehow. I don’t know how he does it, but it has to be about sex at some point. He’s obsessed. I just don’t know if he’s getting a lot of it or none of it. [Laughs]

See also: Kyle Sandilands and Bruno Bouchet on the Mediaweek podcast. Complete and unedited. December 2020.

Involving your partners on air

Kyle can be quite private when it comes to his partners. It all depends on the partner. When I was with Lee he just knew I was going to talk about him. And that’s just who I am and his way of dealing with it was just never listen. It takes a strong partner to put up with us doing this job because sometimes we’ll tell a story that’s embarrassing to them, not us.

If I were to ever be in another relationship, they’d have to be accepting of that’s how it is. You don’t like it? That’s just too bad. I do share my life and I’m respectful. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to say everything. I am respectful of [peoples’] privacy to an extent, but if it’s a really good story, then it’s going on! I can’t help myself when I have a good story. I need to tell it.

Why Jackie O is staying single…for now

I am definitely not ready [for another relationship]. I do worry I may never be ready. Why am I not ready? Why after two and a half, three years, am I not even contemplating it? Maybe the answer to that is because I’ve been in relationships my whole life and I reckon I’ve been single from the age of 18 through to now for six months. My daughter is my number one priority. And to be honest, between this radio show and her, there’s not much room at the moment for anything else. I’m not really putting myself out there. I really am happy. This year is the first time I have felt that happiness come through. Last year was probably my worst, the year before that was tumultuous, more than ever. Last year was just sad because of everything COVID and it was hard.

The Kyle and Jackie O team with Jackie (top right) and Mediaweek’s radio writer (left)

What happens if KIIS is no longer #1 FM in Sydney?

God. I don’t even know what that would do to us. That would be hard because you’d start to second guess what you’re doing. And that is your biggest enemy. Don’t second guess yourself. The minute you do that, well, it’s over.

If we lost the number one spot, we’d talk about it. We wouldn’t be talking about it every day, but it would be brought up that’s for sure. The way I would handle that is just to forget it. You know, you’ve got to do your best. Don’t listen to the competition. It’s always been, my biggest thing – forget about what everyone else is doing. It doesn’t matter what they’re doing. You can only do what you do and do the best you can. Once you start listening to somebody else that maybe has nabbed your number one spot, it goes back to what I said James, second-guessing is the enemy. Just be yourself. It’s all you can do.

How much longer is Jackie O prepared to co-host breakfast radio?

It’s a hard job to walk away from. It would be like losing my left arm. I’d be so lost without this job. I remember watching SAS Australia with Merrick [Watts] and it really rang true what he said. ‘You’ve got this show and it’s a successful show and then it stops. And for the first year, it’s all fun because you’ve got your mornings back.’ And then after that he fell into a bit of a depression because he felt lost.

That’s what would happen to me. I would be lost without this show and I need to have some sort of backup plan ready to go because I need to keep busy. I could just not work. I would have to remain in the industry somehow. I couldn’t walk away from it. I’m enjoying this every day. It’s my little happy pill.

Listen to the complete and unedited Mediaweek Jackie O podcast here.

Subscribe to the Mediaweek podcast on your favourite podcast platform to get automatic notifications when new episode available.

LiSTNR
SCA launches new audio destination LiSTNR

SCA has launched LiSTNR – a curated and personalised, free app offering radio, podcasts, music, and news.

SCA has launched LiSTNR – a curated and personalised, free app offering radio, podcasts, music, and news.

Three years in development and following extensive research into consumers’ evolving audio habits and needs, LiSTNR consolidates all of SCA’s existing digital audio content plus new premium content.

As part of the LiSTNR launch, SCA is also rebranding its on-demand audio platform PodcastOne as LiSTNR. The PodcastOne app will be updated to the LiSTNR app from today where all podcasts and live streaming radio will be available. SCA will continue its partnership with PodcastOne in the US, sharing content both ways.

LiSTNR delivers an audio destination that is built for individual listeners’ routines and preferences. Highly personalised, it provides listeners with their own daily feed of audio and easy discovery of new content through curated recommendations.

The app will be available across an array of devices including both iOS and Android, CarPlay and Android Auto, Google Assistant and Alexa and Android TV, LiSTNR enables a fantastic listening experience, anytime and anywhere.

Signed in users allow LiSTNR to provide a large scale known audience, enabling dynamic ad targeting, based on demographics and behaviour, offering brands unique audio advertising and partnership opportunities.

“The number of Australians accessing digital audio has doubled since 2016 and is projected to reach 80% of Australians by 2024*. LiSTNR will provide a personalised listening experience that easily enables consumers to discover a new world of premium, relevant audio that is live and on demand,” SCA CEO, Grant Blackley, said.

“LiSTNR will be a primary generator of listening data, allowing SCA to provide an unrivalled, deep understanding of our audience. We now have the ability to deliver a valuable, targeted audience at scale for advertisers. And this is just the start. LiSTNR will continue to expand its content offering with the development of new and original premium content, along with exciting partnerships to be announced soon, making LiSTNR the new audio destination for all Australians.”

LiSTNR will house more than 100 premium original local, national and global podcasts. This podcast suite features content from trusted Aussie household names such as Hamish Blake, Andy Lee, Mark Howard, Gary Mehigan, Tom Tilley, Adam Shand, Cass Dunn, Dylan Alcott, Christopher Pyne, Rosie Waterland, Sarah Wilson and more. This content portfolio will continue to expand over the coming months. A selection of premium PodcastOne US titles will also be available on LiSTNR and promoted on SCA’s media assets, as SCA continues its agreement PodcastOne US.

LiSTNR will feature live radio streams, radio podcasts and digital music stations via its Hit and Triple M networks. Featuring some of Australia’s highest profile and most loved talent including Carrie Bickmore, Tommy Little, Dave ‘Hughesy’ Hughes,  Ed Kavalee, Erin Molan, Mick Molloy, Marty Sheargold, Fifi Box, Brendan Fevola, Lawrence Mooney, Jess Eva, Basil Zempilas, Rebecca Morse, Anthony ‘Lehmo’ Lehmann, Andrew ‘Cosi’ Costello, Stav Davidson, Abby Coleman, Matty Acton and more.

LiSTNR will also include must-listen radio sports shows such as the Triple M Saturday Rub (AFL), the Rush Hours and the Triple M Sunday Sin Bin (NRL) – all featuring super stars of their games.

Exclusive to LiSTNR, SCA is introducing an expanded music offering with 15 all-new linear music live streaming channels, catering for a diverse array of moods and genres.  In addition, LiSTNR will feature four new weekly music podcasts that are available on demand with full music tracks.  Leading the line-up will be musician Linda Marigliano, who will create a brand new music show called ‘The Spin’ featuring the best newly released music from around the world.

Finally, LiSTNR will provide a new on demand audio News and Info service. Initially it will include hyper local News and Sport reports across 15 regions and 34 towns in Australia, a new CrimeWatch weekly report in four key markets and The Locals’ Guide – a purpose built events guide to help locals and visitors to know what’s on and enjoy their community. 

Extensive external research by SCA iQ of 2,500 Australians over three years focused on user experience and audio consumption, has identified a number of key consumer personas, known as ‘LiSTNR Vibes’, that enable a targeted buying and marketing approach for LiSTNR.

A comprehensive marketing campaign, using the theme “Open Your Ears” on owned and digital media will drive consumer adoption, and launches nationally next week.

Open your Ears to a new world of audio – download the free LiSTNR app today.

Facebook
Facebook bans news: Publishers and users blocked from sharing and viewing news

Platform makes good on threat to hurt Australian publishers over Media Bargaining law.

In August 2020 Facebook threatened it would reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia to share local and international news on Facebook and Instagram if proposals to introduce the Media Bargaining law continued.

Overnight Will Eastman, managing director of Facebook Australia and New Zealand, explained how that threat is now a reality as Facebook has now restricted publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content.

Eastman explained: “The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content. It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship, or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia. With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter.”

The move comes on the same day that the biggest publishers in Australia, Nine Entertainment and News Corp Australia, revealed they had come to terms with Google about receiving payment for sharing content via the Google News Showcase. The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the move today: “It’s raining Google dollars in Australian media land.” There is certainly no sign of a Facebook downpour to further fill media coffers.”

Why Facebook is reacting differently to Google

Easton referred to why Facebook is acting differently to its tech counterpart.

“We understand many will ask why the platforms may respond differently. The answer is because our platforms have fundamentally different relationships with news. Google Search is inextricably intertwined with news and publishers do not voluntarily provide their content. On the other hand, publishers willingly choose to post news on Facebook, as it allows them to sell more subscriptions, grow their audiences and increase advertising revenue.

“In fact, and as we have made clear to the Australian government for many months, the value exchange between Facebook and publishers runs in favour of the publishers — which is the reverse of what the legislation would require the arbitrator to assume. Last year Facebook generated approximately 5.1 billion free referrals to Australian publishers worth an estimated AU$407 million.

In continuing to explain the Facebook ban, Easton added: “For Facebook, the business gain from news is minimal. News makes up less than 4% of the content people see in their News Feed. Journalism is important to a democratic society, which is why we build dedicated, free tools to support news organisations around the world in innovating their content for online audiences.

“Over the last three years we’ve worked with the Australian Government to find a solution that recognises the realities of how our services work. We’ve long worked toward rules that would encourage innovation and collaboration between digital platforms and news organisations. Unfortunately, this legislation does not do that. Instead it seeks to penalise Facebook for content it didn’t take or ask for.”

Facebook summarises its news ban

For Australian publishers this means:

Publishers are restricted from sharing or posting any content on Facebook Pages
Admins will still be able to access other features from their Facebook Page, including Page insights and Creator Studio
Facebook will continue to provide access to all other standard Facebook services, including data tools and CrowdTangle

For international publishers this means:

They can continue to publish news content on Facebook, but links and posts can’t be viewed or shared by Australian audiences

For our Australian community this means:

They cannot view or share Australian or international news content on Facebook or content from Australian and international news Pages\

For our international community this means:

They cannot view or share Australian news content on Facebook or content from Australian news Pages

What happens next?

Easton explained what the platform hopes will happen after further discussions with publishers and the government.

“Our global commitment to invest in quality news also has not changed. We recognise that news provides a vitally important role in society and democracy, which is why we recently expanded Facebook News to hundreds of publications in the UK.

“We hope that in the future the Australian government will recognise the value we already provide and work with us to strengthen, rather than limit, our partnerships with publishers.”

See also: Media Industry responds to Facebook’s threat to pull news content

Nine responds to Facebook’s ban of Australian news publishers

“Nobody benefits from this decision as Facebook will now be a platform for misinformation”

In August 2020 Facebook threatened it would reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia to share local and international news on Facebook and Instagram if proposals to introduce the Media Bargaining law continued.

Overnight Will Eastman, managing director of Facebook Australia and New Zealand, explained how that threat is now a reality as Facebook has now restricted publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content.

Eastman explained: “The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content. It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship, or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia. With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter.”

A Nine spokesperson has responded to the decision from Facebook restrict publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing news content. : “It is unfortunate Facebook have taken this position and it will indeed inhibit us from sharing our quality news and information with Australians. Nobody benefits from this decision as Facebook will now be a platform for misinformation to rapidly spread without balance. This action proves again their monopoly position and unreasonable behaviour. 

“But today’s statement does not mean Facebook will not have to abide by the Federal Governments proposed code. Value has already been transferred and Facebook has benefited from our content for many years. We should be able to access their monopoly platform and have the right to monetise our content as a result. 

“We have been negotiating with Facebook in good faith and we remain willing to do a deal with them that provides a mutually beneficial outcome and ensures quality information is available to all Australia.”

News Corp signs with Google News Showcase

Google and News Corp have signed a multi-year partnership that will see the digital giant pay the Murdoch owned media company for premium news services.

News Corp is reported to be receiving  “significant payments” for its content to be used on the Google News Showcase product and will last for three years

Robert Thomson, the chief executive of News Corp, said: “A positive impact on journalism around the globe as we have firmly established that there should be a premium for premium journalism.”

“I would like to thank [Google CEO] Sundar Pichai and his team at Google, who have shown a thoughtful commitment to journalism that will resonate in every country. This has been a passionate cause for our company for well over a decade and I am gratified that the terms of trade are changing, not just for News Corp, but for every publisher.”

In a statement, Google’s Don Harrison, its president of global partnerships, said: “Today’s agreement with News Corp covers a wide range of our products such as News Showcase, YouTube, Web Stories, Audio and our ad technology. News Showcase has partnerships with over 500 publications around the world, demonstrating the value this product can bring to our news partners and readers everywhere. We hope to announce even more partnerships soon.”

This comes after companies like Seven West Media and Junkee have confirmed that they signed a letter of intent to sign up to Google New Showcase.

Shortly after this announcement by Will Eastman, managing director of Facebook Australia and New Zealand, explained how that threat is now a reality as Facebook has now restricted publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content.

Eastman explained: “The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content. It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship, or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia. With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter.”

See more: Facebook bans news: Publishers and users blocked from sharing and viewing news

junkee google news showcase
Junkee Media announces it has signed on to be a part of Google News Showcase

“This investment will allow Junkee to create more public interest journalism”

Junkee Media has announced that it has signed a letter of intent to curate news content for Google’s News Showcase product, Google’s much-debated Media Code law solution, which launched in Australia earlier this month.

The deal will significantly boost Junkee’s investment in public interest journalism and cement its status as Australia’s premier youth publisher. 

Junkee Media CEO Neil Ackland (pictured) praised Google for its proactive attitude during the negotiations.

“We’re extremely pleased with the outcome of this deal. We’ve said throughout the News Bargaining Code debate that we’ve always valued our relationship with Google, and we’re very happy that it will continue,” he said.

“This is a significant investment that will allow us to set up a content infrastructure that will ensure Junkee’s sustainability well into the future.”

Junkee Media’s Editorial Director, Rob Stott, said the deal was a reflection of Junkee’s unique place in the Australian news media landscape. 

“This investment will allow Junkee to create more public interest journalism that speaks to and for young Australians – for more than a decade, Junkee has been a crucial voice in the Australian media landscape, and this investment will help that voice to grow stronger and louder in the years ahead.”

Mel Silva, Managing Director, Google Australia and New Zealand, said: “We’re pleased to welcome Junkee Media to Google News Showcase, an innovative digital media company covering the news that interests and impacts the lives of young Australians.” 

“This will build on our Australian partnerships which include Seven NewsThe Newcastle HeraldThe Saturday PaperCrikey, and The New Daily.

“There are now almost 50 Australian media titles signed onto Showcase, with a total of 500 worldwide.

“We’re excited about the early performance of Showcase with Australian partners receiving a million views on their content in just over a week, and we look forward to building on that in the months ahead,” Ms Silva said.

The announcement comes after Google and Seven West Media struck a deal earlier this week.

Nine
Nine returns to event space with State of the Nation Travel livestream

The event was held in the Yallamundi Room at the Sydney Opera House.

Nine held its first event since COVID-19 locked down the nation by hosting its inaugural State of the Nation event on Wednesday, focusing on the travel industry.

The event was held in the Yallamundi Room at the Sydney Opera House with people also tuning in from a live stream. The day featured a panel of key representatives from the travel sector, as well as speeches from members of Nine’s C-suite.

At the event Nine revealed research in partnership with Kantar that showed robust purchasing intent, particularly for domestic travel, with around two-thirds of respondents considering interstate travel and around half actively looking at travel within their own state.

See More: Nine’s State of the Nation event shows that Australians are still keen to travel

Nine’s chief sales officer Michael Stephenson welcomed people back to being at a physical event before giving a small speech about Nine’s State of the Nation as well as the companies offerings before introducing host Amber Sherlock.

Sherlock was filling in for Today show host Allison Langdon, who injured herself while filming a segment for the breakfast show.

See more: Today Show host Allison Langdon to undergo surgery after falling while filming a segment

The panel featured Tourism Australia’s Phillipa Harrison, Ponant’s Sarina Bratton, Australian Pacific Travel Group’s Chris Hall, and Qantas Chief Marketing Officer Jo Boundy

Caption State of the Nation travel symposium with Nine’s Amber Sherlock mcing, Tourism Australia’s Phillipa Harrison, Ponant’s Sarina Bratton and Qantas Chief Marketing Officer Jo Boundy. Sydney Opera House, February 17, 2021. Photo: Rhett Wyman/SMH

The panel discussed the changing challenges of the travel industry during COVID-19 but also the strong positives that they are seeing, which was reflected in the research by Nine.

Nine’s director of strategy, insights & effectiveness Toby Boon presented the data from Nine and Kantar and highlighted how there are two key barriers that travel brands must first address if they want people to get travelling again: fear and uncertainty. Boon said the concerns could best be managed by addressing the community’s need for a feeling of safety and clarity around travel, and by clearly explaining to travellers what would happen if their trip had to be cancelled.

The data showed that people are also being more pragmatic about their travel, with the report showing that more than half of respondents are currently comfortable with short flights, while 87 per cent are comfortable with travelling by private car. 

The research also highlighted that as people continue to navigate through uncertainty, they are becoming more flexible and open around their travel plans, while still ensuring they put aside money for travel.

Next up was Nine’s group business director for luxury Amanda Upton who turned off the teleprompter and went old school with some printed notes. 

Upton touched on Nine’s travel brands and said that she will work closely with clients to navigate Nine’s offering of products and to help produce rich travel content to keep Australians travel dream alive.

Director of Powered Liana Dubois was up next and talked about previous successful campaigns using tourism NT and top-end wedding as an example.

Director of sales – digital & publishing Nick Young made the closing remarks for the day.

Nine’s State of the Nation event shows that Australians are still keen to travel

Around two-thirds of respondents were considering interstate travel and around half looking at travel within their state.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every industry in some way, but the travel and tourism industries have been some of the hardest hit. However, new research – released today at Nine’s State of the Nation travel event – shows that just because international travel is off the table doesn’t mean that Australians are giving up on getting out and about. 

State of the Nation was held at the Sydney Opera House, and revealed research that shows robust purchasing intent, particularly for domestic travel, with around two-thirds of respondents considering interstate travel and around half actively looking at travel within their own state.

“This research clearly shows the appetite for travel among Nine’s audiences is absolutely there,” said Michael Stephenson, Nine’s chief sales officer. “There is an opportunity from travel brands to tap into an openness, optimism and desire to travel, but it will require travel marketers to recognise that consumers now have a different set of needs that have to be addressed in order to convert intent into action.

“Many in the travel industry have already put in place key changes to booking policies and protocols to protect travellers and provide reassurance. Our research provides further reassurance to the sector of the opportunity before it.”

The research highlighted how there are two key barriers that travel brands must first address if they want people to get travelling again: fear and uncertainty. These concerns could best be managed by addressing the community’s need for a feeling of safety and clarity around travel, and by clearly explaining to travellers what would happen if their trip had to be cancelled.

People are also being more pragmatic about their travel, with the report showing that more than half of respondents are currently comfortable with short flights, while 87 per cent are comfortable with travelling by private car. This opens up huge opportunities for local/short-haul weekend-stay providers, in particular.

state of the nation

The research also highlighted that as people continue to navigate through uncertainty, they are becoming more flexible and open around their travel plans, while still ensuring they put aside money for travel.

Kirsty Macmillan, national director of Kantar, said: “What is interesting about this research is evidence of resultant travel behaviour change from situational factors. As consumers continue to adapt, remaining agile, building trust and helping consumers resolve tensions is key for brands.”

The research also gives an insight into consumer spending expectations, with around 22 per cent of respondents planning to “spend more than usual” on travel within Australia while 38 per cent would spend their normal travel budget on “more short/frequent trips within Australia”, highlighting the opportunity for conversion among domestic travel brands.

state of the nation

“The ‘new normal’ might have become a bit of a cliché,” said Stephenson, “But it’s a real thing when it comes to travel. Consumers understand and accept that there are new things to consider when planning a trip, and in return they are looking for flexibility and adaptiveness on the part of brands. Providing this will be key to conversion as the travel industry returns to growth.”

Stephenson also noted that Nine was uniquely positioned to help travel marketers stimulate demand as the industry moves into this recovery phase. As part of the State of the Nation travel event, he announced that the company was making a number of key initiatives to help the industry grow and reach consumers looking to travel.

These initiatives include the launch of nine newly designated Travel tribes, part of Nine’s 9Tribes data product – segments created specifically to help travel marketers target audiences across Nine’s network of assets, with an emphasis on domestic travel. This includes segments like “fly and relax travellers” and “wine region explorers”.

“At Nine we are committed to helping the travel sector as it looks to find new growth opportunities,” said Stephenson. “We know we are an important partner as brands tap into the underlying desire of Aussies to adventure and see this great country.”

state of the nation

girlfriend
Are Media relaunches Girlfriend and announces return of Dolly Doctor

Now in its 33rd year, Girlfriend has partnered with Pandora and John Frieda.

Are Media has relaunched Girlfriend as a modern destination for Australian teens, with the iconic health and sexual advice column Dolly Doctor set to return on the new refreshed digital platform.

Now in its 33rd year, Girlfriend has partnered with Pandora and John Frieda for the website revamp, which includes a new identity and a content direction that speaks to and inspires today’s generation Z audience. 

Are Media have also announced that a reimagined Dolly Doctor is coming back as a standalone vertical on the new Girlfriend site. The sexual and health advice column, which became a trusted authority for teens navigating adolescence for over 40 years, is due to return next month after a five-year absence.

A new modern visual direction for Girlfriend reflects a young, cool and fashionable era while remaining fun, feminine, and fresh for which the brand is known for. While the new Girlfriend branding gives it a cleaner, more polished look, it remains instantly recognisable and approachable to its audience today.

Girlfriend’s refreshed editorial strategy will have a focus on inclusivity and diversity while continuing to address its core content pillars of fashion, beauty, health, entertainment, trends, education, and advice.

Fiona Baker, digital director, entertainment, fashion, parenting, and youth at Are Media said: “For more than 30 years, Girlfriend has informed, entertained and supported millions of teens. But the reader of 30 years ago is not the same as the audience today, and Girlfriend is being enjoyed by a new generation who consume media very differently. Teens are still hungry for information and advice, eager to know trends and to engage with news, they are just not using traditional media platforms. Girlfriend will be meeting its teen audience at the places and platforms where they are today.

“The revival of Dolly Doctor is certainly very exciting – there would be barely a woman in Australia under the age of 60 who doesn’t remember hungrily reading every piece of advice in that iconic column.

“This relaunch could not have happened without the support of our brilliant commercial partners Pandora and John Frieda. Their support enabled Girlfriend to rebrand not just in look and feel, but through a launch video and photography that represents the new brand direction.”

In addition to the always-on website, the new Girlfriend will connect to its audience through email and via social platforms including TikTok and Instagram. It will also be looking at ways to listen to its audience and hear what today’s teen in Australia has to say.

In 2021 Girlfriend will also launch a digital-first ‘Girlfriend Role Model Search’ focusing on young women who inspire their generation and use their voice to empower and lead others. The campaign will include virtual competitions, commissioned content from Gen Z creatives, a mentorship series and an Instagram cover series.

Hard Quiz
TV Ratings Survey: Wednesday Week 8

By Trent Thomas

• Nine wins for the 10th day in a row with Nadal in primetime
• Hard Quiz top non-news show 

Primetime News
Seven News 996,000 (6:00 pm)/930,000 (6:30)
Nine News 875,000 (6:00 pm)/882,000 (6:30 pm)
ABC News 710,000
10 News First 370,000 (5:00 pm)/242,000 (6:00 pm)
SBS World News 171,000 (6:30 pm)/157,000 (7:00 pm)

Daily current affairs
7.30 590,000
The Project 272,000 (6:30 pm)/437,000 (7:00 pm)
The Drum 201,000

Breakfast TV
Sunrise 274,000
Today 198,000
News Breakfast 187,000

Nine has won its 10th day in a row thanks again to the Australian Open with a 26.2% primary share 10 points higher than any other primary channel, it also had the #1 network share with 34.6%.

The Australian Open’s night sessions averaged 616,000 and 655,000 with the highlight of the night being Stefanos Tsitsipas facing Rafael Nadal in front of an average audience of 613,000.

Seven had no Holey Moley last night so instead aired Ambulance: Code Red with 348,000 viewers and back to back episodes of The Bay which had 242,000 and 196,000.

Seven’s top shows were The Chase Australia with 569,000 and Home and Away with 537,000.

On 10, The Project had 272,000 and 437,000 tune in as questions were raised about how much the Prime Minister’s office knew about the alleged assault at Parliament House and a look at why the mural of Shane Fitzsimmons keeps getting defaced.

This was followed by a double-double of Jamie’s Easy Meals for Every Day (271,000 and 233,000) and Bull (179,000 and 198,000).

10 Bold was the #1 multichannel with 3.7% off the back of NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles.

ABC had a strong performance with its comedy lineup last night with Hard Quiz leading the way as the top non-news show with 684,000. Hard Quiz was followed by The Weekly with Charlie Pickering with 554,000 and then the third episode of the comedy Aftertaste with 314,000 which was down on last weeks 352,000.

On SBS the top rating show was Michael Palin: Travels of a Lifetime with 191,000.

WeeK 8: Wednesday
WEDNESDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 12.8% 7 15.5% 9 26.2% 10  8.8% SBS One 5.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS 2.1% 7TWO 3.0% GO! 3.1% 10 Bold 3.7% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 2.3% GEM 2.0% 10 Peach 3.3% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 2.0% 7flix 2.4% 9Life 2.0% 10 Shake 0.7% NITV 0.3%
        9Rush 1.4%     SBS World Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 17.4%   23.2%   34.6%   16.5%   8.3%

 

WEDNESDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.8% 7 18.2% 9 18.2% WIN 7.8% SBS One 5.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS 2.0% 7TWO 6.2% GO! 3.7% WIN Bold 5.2% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 3.5% GEM 3.8% WIN Peach 4.1% Food Net 0.7%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.5% 9Life 2.6% Sky News  on WIN 1.7% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 0.9%
TOTAL 15.0%   30.4%   28.4%   18.9%   8.1%

 

WEDNESDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
87.4% 12.6.%
Wednesday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 996,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 930,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 882,000
  4. Nine News Nine 875,000
  5. ABC News ABC TV 710,000
  6. Hard Quiz S6 ABC TV 684,000
  7. 2021 Australian Open D10 -Night Session 2 Nine 655,000
  8. 2021 Australian Open D10 -Night Nine 616,000
  9. 7.30 ABC TV 590,000
  10. The Chase Australia Seven 569,000
  11. The Weekly With Charlie Pickering ABC TV 554,000
  12. Home And Away Seven 537,000
  13. 2021 Australian Open D10 -Late Nine 502,000
  14. The Project 7pm 10 437,000
  15. 10 News First 10 370,000
  16. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 363,000
  17. 2021 Australian Open D10 -Night Pre Match Nine 351,000
  18. Ambulance: Code Red Seven 348,000
  19. 2021 Australian Open D10 -Day Nine 315,000
  20. Aftertaste ABC TV 314,000
Demo Top Five

16-39 Top Five

  1. 2021 Australian Open D10 -Night Session 2 Nine 160,000
  2. 2021 Australian Open D10 -Night Nine 153,000
  3. Nine News Nine 140,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 137,000
  5. 2021 Australian Open D10 -Late Nine 105,000

 

18-49 Top Five

  1. 2021 Australian Open D10 -Night Session 2 Nine 243,000
  2. Nine News Nine 242,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 233,000
  4. 2021 Australian Open D10 -Night Nine 228,000
  5. Seven News Seven 194,000

 

25-54 Top Five

  1. Nine News Nine 283,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 277,000
  3. 2021 Australian Open D10 -Night Session 2 Nine 269,000
  4. 2021 Australian Open D10 -Night Nine 250,000
  5. Seven News Seven 248,000
Wednesday Multichannel 
  1. Bluey AM ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 215,000
  2. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 160,000
  3. ABC News Mornings AM ABC NEWS 159,000
  4. Bluey ABC Kids/ABC T 147,000
  5. The Adventures Of Paddington ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 141,000
  6. Brave Bunnies ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 137,000
  7. Neighbours 10 Peach 136,000
  8. Kiri And Lou ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 131,000
  9. Peppa Pig AM ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 125,000
  10. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom PM ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 116,000
  11. NCIS: Los Angeles (R) 10 Bold 116,000
  12. The Big Bang Theory Ep 3 (R) 10 Peach 115,000
  13. Raiders Of The Lost Ark 9GO! 113,000
  14. Andy’s Safari Adventures ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 111,000
  15. Kangaroo Beach AM ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 110,000
  16. Peppa Pig PM ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus 107,000
  17. The Big Bang Theory Ep 2 (R) 10 Peach 104,000
  18. NCIS: Los Angeles Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 100,000
  19. A Touch Of Frost PM 7TWO 94,000
  20. 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown (R) SBS VICELAND 94,000
Wednesday STV
  1. Gogglebox Australia Lifestyle Channel 183,000
  2. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 87,000
  3. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 78,000
  4. Credlin Sky News Live 76,000
  5. Alan Jones Sky News Live 75,000
  6. Love It Or List It Australia Lifestyle Channel 49,000
  7. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 46,000
  8. PML Later Sky News Live 43,000
  9. AM Agenda Sky News Live 42,000
  10. Abby Hatcher Nick Jr. 40,000
  11. Bones FOX Crime 35,000
  12. Battle Of Britain FOX Classics 35,000
  13. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 33,000
  14. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 32,000
  15. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 32,000
  16. Newsday Sky News Live 31,000
  17. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 30,000
  18. Without A Trace FOX Crime 29,000
  19. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 29,000
  20. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 29,000

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

Facebook bans news: Publishers and users blocked from sharing and viewing news

In August 2020 Facebook threatened it would reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia to share local and international news on Facebook and Instagram if proposals to introduce the Media Bargaining law continued.

Overnight Will Eastman, managing director of Facebook Australia and New Zealand, explained how that threat is now a reality as Facebook has now restricted publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content.

Eastman explained: “The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content. It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship, or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia. With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter.”

[Read More]

Nine signs Google deal, Guardian and ABC near completion

Google could have news deals worth more than $100 million with the majority of Australian media largely tied up by the end of the week, heaping pressure on Facebook to move quickly or be the only technology platform designated under the government’s impending code of conduct legislation, reports AFR‘s Max Mason and John Kehoe.

Google and Nine struck a five-year $30 million-a-year cash deal on Wednesday, youth-focused publisher Junkee Media inked a smaller agreement, and Guardian Australia and the ABC could have agreements wrapped up by the end of the week. Sources cautioned the finalising of those deals could push into next week.

News Corp is negotiating with Google but looking to sign a global deal that would include titles such as The Wall Street Journal and The Times of London as well as its Australian newspapers, sources say.

[Read More]

News Corp signs global deal with Google News Showcase

News Corp struck a global news deal with Alphabet’s Google, the Rupert Murdoch-controlled media company said, in one of the most extensive deals of its kind with big tech, reports AFR‘s Helen Coster.

The companies will develop a subscription platform, share advertising revenue through Google’s ad technology services, build out audio journalism and develop video journalism by YouTube.

The deal comes after years of public feuding between Murdoch and Google, most recently in Australia, where Google has threatened to shut down its search engine to avoid “unworkable” content laws.

It is a capstone for the 89-year-old media mogul, his son Lachlan and News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson to seek compensation for premium content from platforms. Murdoch previously secured payments from Apple and Facebook for their Apple News and Facebook News products.

[Read More]

Business of Media

Why Google is finally striking meaningful Australian news deals

Australia may end up being Google’s most expensive per-capita market, with north of $100 million per year being paid to local media businesses when all its news deals are done, reports AFR‘s Max Mason.

But Google’s rush and apparent success in closing the deals to pay for news content is a win for the search giant. Seven and now Nine, the country’s largest Australian-owned media company and publisher of The Australian Financial Review, have both signed letters of intent for commercial deals with Google.

This is because it is striking those deals outside of the upcoming code of conduct legislation, which has an element of unpredictability in how much Google would be forced to pay Australian news media due to the inclusion of the value of journalism to their core search product.

Private commercial deals, struck behind closed doors, attributing payments to different areas, with non-disclosure agreements tying up any sharing of the details mean Google can, for at least partly, stop the uniformity of deals that would have been forced under arbitration spreading to much larger markets such as the US and in Europe.

[Read More]

Payday: How Australia tamed the Google gorilla

It’s raining Google dollars in Australian media land. Whether it’s a drenching or a light shower depends on who you talk to, but it’s way more generous than publishers overseas have managed to negotiate with the gorilla of digital platforms, reports SMH’Elizabeth Knight.

For this, Australia’s media can thank the government and the crusading skills of Rod Sims from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The threat of legislating a code that could force an independent arbiter to decide what Google pays publishers for a content deal provided the media with leverage that was wildly disproportionate to their real negotiating power.

[Read More]

Celebrity chef Pete Evans’ Instagram account deleted for ‘repeatedly sharing’ Covid misinformation

Controversial celebrity chef and conspiracy theorist Pete Evans has been permanently booted off Instagram for sharing misinformation about the coronavirus and vaccines, reports Guardian Australia.

Facebook confirmed on Wednesday it had deleted Evans’ account on the popular picture-sharing platform. The account had hundreds of thousands of followers.

“We removed Pete Evans’ account for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines,” the company said in a statement.

“We don’t allow anyone to share misinformation about Covid-19 that could lead to imminent physical harm or about Covid-19 vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts.”

[Read More]

Television

Game show in box seat: Andy Lee fronts Ten’s shot at event TV glory

I’m standing inside an imposing 4m x 4m x 4m perspex box in the middle of Sydney’s Acer Arena, the set of Network Ten’s new game show The Cube, and I’m starting to sweat, reports SMH‘s Robert Moran.

The floor’s just flashed a random pattern of arrows pointing this way and that, and with an ominous voice the cube is telling me I need to recall the steps and get to the end of the path without taking a wrong turn. That’s 20-something steps; who am I, Rainman? Even before starting, I’ve already forgotten where I’m supposed to go.

I step to the right. The square flashes red. Wrong, I’ve already failed. I try again, fail again. I’m suddenly aware of the camera crew, the production assistants watching on. The cube takes pity. “I’ll show you the pathway one more time,” the woman’s voice says generously.

[Read More]

Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson reveals why he thinks the Australian Idol reboot will fail

Ian “Dicko” Dickson has revealed why he doesn’t think the upcoming Australian Idol reboot will work, reports News Corp’s Andrew Bucklow.

Channel 7 announced in October last year that it is bringing back the reality show in 2022.

But Dicko, who was a judge on all seven seasons between 2003-2009, told the TV Reload podcast that he doubts the show will be a hit.

“I don’t even know if it is coming back,” Dicko told podcast host Benjamin Norris. “It certainly seems to have dropped off all of the Upfronts [a presentation TV networks put on each year to showcase their upcoming shows], so I don’t know if they’ve had second thoughts.

[Read More]

New burly contestants Stan and Wayne join The Amazing Race Australia

Something big is coming to The Amazing Race. If hot air balloon crashes and underwater panic attacks weren’t enough excitement for you, the show is bringing in two bodybuilders to shake things up a bit, reports News Corp’s Bianca Mastroianni.

Stan and Wayne, from NSW, originally started training to grow their confidence. Since then, they have become workmates and friends, through working at Stan’s supplement stores. No strangers to competition, both have won numerous bodybuilding titles, with Stan even being named Mr. Australia in 2017.

Strong, confident and a lot smarter than they’d like people to think, everything is a contest for these buff mates. Both are fathers and want to win the Race to make their sons proud, and prove they have the brains to match their brawn.

[Read More]

Disney+ Star Launch Will Boost Choice for Adults’ “Me Time,” Executive Says

Walt Disney streamer Disney+, which ended 2020 with nearly 95 million subscribers worldwide, launched in Europe in late March 2020 where it will next week add general entertainment content brand Star, which one top executive says will bring more choice for parents’ “me time,” reports The Hollywood Reporter‘s Georg Szalai.

Star, which uses the name of the Indian TV giant Disney acquired when it bought large parts of 21st Century Fox and will debut in Europe and some other international markets on Feb. 23, will offer exclusive and non-exclusive content from ABC Studios, Fox Television, FX and 20th Century Studios and become the six content brand within Disney+ in the markets it reaches (in addition to Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars/Lucasfilm, and National Geographic). The strategy for Star has drawn comparisons to the focus of Hulu in the U.S.

[Read More]

Radio

Rush Limbaugh, conservative radio titan, dies of lung cancer at age 70

Rush Limbaugh, the talk titan who made right-wing radio financially viable in American media and himself a Republican kingmaker years before Fox News, died Wednesday after he revealed in 2020 that his lung cancer was terminal. He was 70, reports USA Today’Maria Puente.

His death was confirmed by his wife, Kathryn, at the beginning of Limbaugh’s radio show, from which he’s been absent for almost two weeks.

A longtime cigar smoker who stocked the humidors in his homes and studios with the finest, Limbaugh succumbed to cancer after battling drug addiction and loss of hearing earlier in his career (he was deaf by the end and broadcast his daily show in spite of it).

[Read More]

‘A true American legend’: Donald Trump, Bill O’Reilly, more mourn Rush Limbaugh’s death

Celebrities, media pundits and politicians alike are paying tribute to Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio talk titan who died Wednesday, reports USA Today‘s Rasha Ali.

In a phone interview with Fox News’ Harris Faulkner and Bill Hemmer, former President Donald Trump said Wednesday he last talked to Limbaugh “three or four days ago. His fight was very, very courageous and he was very, very sick.”

“In theory, he could have been gone four months ago, really. He was fighting to the end. He was a fighter,” Trump said. “He was just a great gentleman.”

[Read More]

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