Thursday February 20, 2020

Network 10 launches new MasterChef: Back to Win

By James Manning

Network 10’s recently promoted chief executive Paul Anderson (now executive vice president, ViacomCBS Networks Australia and New Zealand) and the broadcaster’s chief content officer Bevery McGarvey last night hosted 200+ guests at an earlier-than-usual MasterChef season launch.

Both TV executives were just back off a plane on the weekend from London where they attended several studio screenings in addition to meetings with the global ViacomCBS heads.

Anderson didn’t speak onstage at the MasterChef kitchen at the Melbourne Showgrounds, but McGarvey did, alongside Endemol Shine Australia chief content officer Peter Newman. Event MC Angela Bishop asked them both about the new season and McGarvey explained about the momentum the channels have after a strong season of I’m A Celebrity which has now carried into Australian Survivor: All Stars.

With the first MasterChef launch event in two years, 10 seems to be intent in bottling that momentum to push over the edge any brands that have yet to sign on alongside Coles and others.

Bishop also got to introduce the first promo for the new season featuring the three new judges – Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen and the contestants. The Studio 10 co-host and network entertainment editor also got to introduce each of the 24 new contestants who are back to win with this new chance they have been given to be crowned MasterChef.

The launch formalities were kept to a minimum with the guests then let loose on the food, which as you’d expect, was up to MasterChef standard. One TV executive said: “If you can’t get a good feed here you’ll never get one.”

Visting ViacomCBS Networks president Maria Kyriacou (left) with Mark Fennessy, Andy Allen, Carl Fennessy, Melissa Leong, Jock Zonfrillo, Daniel Monaghan, Beverley McGarvey and Paul Anderson

Paul Anderson’s special guest for the night was recently promoted ViacomCBS executive Maria Kyriacou who is now president of ViacomCBS Networks UK and Australia. Also on hand from 10 were the all stars from the sales team – Rod Prosser, Lisa Squillace Michael Standford and Tamar Hovagimian. Also amongst the 10 team was head of programming Daniel Monaghan.

10 sales all stars: Michael Standford, National Creative Director; Lisa Squillace, National Sales Director; Tamar Hovagimian, Head of 10 Effect and Rod Prosser, Chief Sales Officer

While Peter Newman shined onstage, keeping a lower profile at the back of the MasterChef kitchen were Endemol Shine Australia co-CEOs Carl and Mark Fennessy and their MasterChef executive producer Marty Benson.

Beverley McGarvey and Marty Benson

After working across most of the 15 editions of the cooking format over the past 12 years, could this be a farewell to the format for the production brothers ahead of the merging of Screentime and ESA?

Consumer media at the launch included some of News Corp’s finest including Holly Byrnes and Nui Te Koha with News contributor Colin Vickery plus the people’s champion, TV Tonight founder David Knox.

Business journalists making the trip from Sydney included The Australian’s Leo Shanahan and Mumbrella’s Vivienne Kelly.

Top Photo: MasterChef: Back To Win – All 24 contestants with the new judges

Audiences still love the best of British: BBC Studios’ Fiona Lang

Just back at work at BBC Studios ANZ this week is recently promoted general manager, Australia & New Zealand, Fiona Lang.

She was back in Sydney after a trip to the annual sales event BBC Showcase alongside others from the region that included Jon Penn, executive vice president APAC, Deborah Tod, head of content sales and co-production, Australia and New Zealand and Tim Christlieb, director of branded services, Australia and New Zealand.

Buyers from the region looking over the BBC catalogue in Liverpool included Stan’s Les Sampson, Foxtel’s Alison Hurbert-Burns, SBS’s Marshall Heald and UK-based reps from the FTA networks.

Laing explained to Mediaweek the scope of the content on offer to the Australian market:

“What BBC Studios can offer to our Australian and New Zealand business partners is the best British content across a huge breadth of programming – from premium and popular drama to blue chip natural history, science, factual entertainment, lifestyle, comedy and entertainment – and there is something very powerful about seeing it all together in one place. It’s also a chance hear from some of the best talent in the business, both on and off screen, who really bring these titles alive for our customers.”

Despite an explosion of content available to channels and platforms, Australian audiences continue to love British-produced content which BBC Studios offers from a number of sources.

“British drama of all stripes remains of strong interest in Australia and New Zealand,” said Laing. “BBC Studios has stakes in a number of premium independent production companies as well as titles which are produced in-house.

“Some of the dramas that attracted attention were Small Axe, a series from Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen, adaptations of critically-acclaimed novels like Us from David Nicholls and A Suitable Boy adapted by Andrew Davies, as well as a second series of The Split, psychological thriller We Hunt Together and the latest title from See-Saw Films, The North Water starring Colin Farrell.

Natural history has had a huge resurgence lately and is incredibly popular in Australia and New Zealand, as seen with our recent deals with Nine and TVNZ as well as the launch of BBC Earth on Foxtel earlier this year. Again BBC Studios can deliver real breadth in this genre from the next blue-chip title Perfect Planet to Animal Impossible which tests some of the myths associated with certain animals.”

Amongst the content in the Nine deal are new seasons of Top Gear which is again getting big audiences in be UK with new presenters Paddy Guinness and Freddie Flintoff joining Chris Harris and will hopefully be released soon in Australia.

Podcast Week: Sarah Grynberg, A Cuppa and a Yarn, Deloitte forecasts

By James Manning

• A Life of Greatness shares messages, strategies & inspiration

When Podcast Week first encountered Sarah Grynberg and her PodcastOne series A Life of Greatness we mentioned the former radio producer Grynberg has been a great listener.

“I have been fortunate in meeting some wonderful people and I have been fascinated about how some people achieve greatness and some don’t,” she told Mediaweek last year. “I have been lucky enough to see a side of Hamish Blake for example that no one else sees. Behind the humour and the glitter is an empathetic soul who is so grateful and one of the most beautiful people I have worked with.”

While Grynberg had Blake as a guest last season, she completes the set this season with an Andy Lee episode.

Sarah Grynberg with Andy Lee

The latest Podcast Ranker chart sees A Life of Greatness lift 21 places. Grynberg also has a bit to do with another PodcastOne series that does well on that chart – she is executive producer of the Hamish & Andy podcast.

This week Grynberg told Mediaweek when her series launched she had no doubt she would find an audience: “Since the very beginning there has never been any doubt in my mind that A Life of Greatness would do really well. The messages, strategies and inspiration my guests share have had ripple effects with our listeners who in such a short time have experienced immense personal growth from the stories we’ve shared.”

The mix of guests seems to resonate with the audience too.

“My audience loves the diversity of guests I choose for each series, all of them adding their own take on how they have achieved greatness in their lives and giving tips and advice on how my audience can too. Marisa Peer who is known as Britain’s best psychologist has been a personal favourite of many, she speaks about how to master your thoughts so you can master your world and create the best environment for our children so they thrive.

Kate Langbroek’s vulnerability and wisdom was an interview that touched the heartstrings of many. Gabby Bernstein’s raw and honest conversation about mental health, the stigma around taking anti-depressants and how to attract your dream life was a definite favourite.”

The host has been on a learning journey too along with her audience: “There is not one interview I have done where I haven’t taken away a piece of useful information that has changed the way I conduct my life. The wisdom my guests have shared has had such a positive impact on me, I feel truly grateful to be able to have evolved so much.”

Sarah Grynberg and Turia Pitt

It was hard to pin down Grynberg for a particular favourite: “All of the interviews are interesting. Vishen is a fascinating man who shares a lot of wisdom in the interview about his life’s journey and how he went from humble beginnings to owning Mindvalley, the biggest online university in the world, that is changing millions of people’s lives. My interview with Andy Lee is honest and vulnerable, Andy shares stories of his childhood, what it’s like being in the public eye and the importance of family. Turia Pitt is also fascinating she talks about the power of gratitude, strategies on shifting negative thought patterns and how after everything she has gone though she couldn’t be happier.”

Listen to A Life Of Greatness here.

Introducing A Cuppa and a Yarn

The bi-weekly podcast A Cuppa and A Yarn, hosted by Michelle Aleksandrovics-Lovegrove, is presented by the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council. Aleksandrovics-Lovegrove is a broadcaster and journalist now running media and communications for NSWALC.

Each episode sees NSWALC sit down for a cuppa and a yarn with members of the Land Rights network, its supporters and contributors to Australia’s rich cultural history. The producers promise “you’ll laugh, cry and be inspired by each individual tale as we delve into the big issues, history and the personal journeys of our incredible guests”.

The most recent guest is a woman who’s dedicated her life to reconciliation and social inclusion. Shelley Reys has more than 25 years’ experience in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and reconciliation landscape, was named an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2012 for her distinguished service to Indigenous communities and was named in The Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence.

Shelley talks with Aleksandrovics-Lovegrove about her company Arrilla, her partnership with KPMG and her poignant memories of her father Frank Reys, who became world famous when he won the 1973 Melbourne Cup.

Listen to A Cuppa and a Yarn here.

Deloitte on the rise of podcasting: Markey to be worth US$1b+

For its latest Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Predictions report, Deloitte predicts the global audiobook market will grow by 25 percent to US$3.5 billion. And audiobooks aren’t the only audio format gaining in popularity. Deloitte also predicts the global podcasting market will increase by 30 percent to reach US$1.1 billion in 2020, surpassing the US$1 billion mark for the first time.

The report continues:

These numbers may not look like much next to radio’s US$42 billion and music’s (recorded and live) US$51 billion global annual revenues. But in a world where overall media and entertainment growth stands at just 4 percent,25 to 30 percent annual growth is impressive, even considering the low absolute base.

The signal is clear: Audiobooks and podcasts are outgrowing their “niche” status to emerge as substantive markets in their own right. With anticipated revenues of just over US$1 billion in 2020, podcasts barely make enough money today to rate a slot on the media formats list. But if future growth remains as high as in the past few years, podcasts could be a US$3.3 billion–plus business by 2025.

For this to happen, however, the podcast industry should further expand globally, add new listeners, and – most crucially – get better at monetising (at least to some extent) its large listener base. Podcasts, on the other hand, have multiple revenue streams: advertising and sponsorships, subscriptions, events, merchandise, content marketing, contracts for branded podcasts, and individual listener donations. Of these, advertising and sponsorships are by far the largest, although exact splits by revenue stream do not seem to be publicly available. Because the barriers to podcasting are low, anyone can (and a great many do) make them: As of 2019, more than 700,000 podcast series encompassing 29 million episodes were active, and most were basically free for the listening.

Access the complete Deloitte report here.

Gus Worland on his return to Triple M with Dead Set Legends

By Trent Thomas

2020 has been a year of change for radio personality Gus Worland who was a breakfast radio fixture for over 10 years with Triple M Sydney but stepped down at the end of 2019 to focus on his charity Gotcha4Life.

However, he hasn’t stayed off the radio waves for long having returned earlier this year with the revival of the Saturday sports show The Dead Set Legends featuring Wendell Sailor and Jude Bolton, and he tells Mediaweek that this is a return to something that is near and dear to his heart- talking sport.

Read More: Turning off the Grill: Gus Worland on life after breakfast radio

This is nothing new for Worland who got his start with the cricket show An Aussie Goes Barmy which was followed by an Aussie Goes Bolly, and An Aussie Goes Calypso which aired between 2006 to 2008.

The series was produced by Worland’s close friend Hugh Jackman’s production company and was the first time that Worland had ever produced any content. The show ended up taking him from a computer salesman in England to a breakfast radio host in Sydney.

Since then Worland has continued to make content for Foxtel including the Cricket Tragic on Fox Cricket which just wrapped up its second season, but he says that he is still keen to see more possible iterations of the Aussie Goes series.

“Working with Fox Cricket has made me think that we can do Aussie Goes Barmy again, but over in England and I think South Africa and Sri Lanka would be two countries. I also have the idea for an Aussie goes Aussie that looks at all the countries living in Australia and the world of cricket that exists in our country.”

While Worland always has an eye on TV he tells Mediaweek that his current focus is his new radio show Dead Set Legends which launched earlier this year and is scheduled for 42 weeks, and he is looking forward to starting the show in an Olympic year,

“Everyone loves talking about the Olympics and they fall in love with sport every four years, so its the perfect time to bring back a show like this.”

After 10 years at Triple M Worland said that he jumped at the opportunity to stay with the station, especially if it meant that he could  get paid to talk about sport. 

“They asked me what would you like to do? I said well what about Dead Set Legends? I never understood why the show was taken off in the first place since it was such a great show, and they said that’s perfect.”

“I knew I had to do doing something for my own mental fitness I couldn’t just do Gotcha4Life, I needed another outlet and weekend radio was perfect.”

When asked about whether we would see The Grill Team again Worland said never say never but he is extremely happy with his new co-hosts and says it feels like it did when he was on The Grill Team,

“They asked me who I wanted to work with and I asked if we could get Dell from the afternoon show, and Jude Bolton is one of my ambassadors and one of the blokes that I truly adore and together they provide the type of balance that we needed. So those where the blokes I wanted and within a week they were signed and I was like it sounds like we have a show, let’s do it.

“It feels like we are building another mini Grill Team again.”

Top Photo: Wendell Sailor, Gus Worland, and Jude Botlon

Independent media agencies launch IMAA, Dominic Pearman chair

• Group invests $2.5b+ between them in advertising expenditure

The week sees the launch of Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA), a new national not-for-profit industry association that gives the independent media agency industry a collaborative voice and supports Australian owned businesses.

Twenty independent media agencies will become founding members of the IMAA, with many more expected.

The IMAA’s purpose is to:

• Promote the benefits of working with independent media agencies, including the benefit of working directly with the owners of these agencies and their staff
• Build further respect for independent media agencies by promoting the experience, care and flexibility that they provide
• Educate advertisers about the value independent media agencies can bring to their business
• Promote collaboration between independent media agencies as a forum to share knowledge
• Create a verified platform for reputable and established independent media agencies
• Build the Australian economy through supporting 100% Australian owned independent media agencies, meaning that money stays in Australia

The founding IMAA members, Dominic Pearman from Pearman Media; Ant Colreavy from Sandbox Media; Dan O’Brien from Frontier Australia; Nick Behr from Kaimera and Sam Buchanan from McKenzie Partners, will comprise a five-member management committee for the first year. The management committee will rotate with other members annually. Dominic Pearman is the chairman of the IMAA.

“One quarter, or more than $2.5 billion in advertising expenditure, is represented by Australia’s independent media agencies. Collectively, we act for some of Australia’s best-known brands and our agencies are led by industry experts and leaders,” Pearman said.

“There are many benefits for advertisers to work with independent media agencies, one of the most important being the depth and longevity of experience they provide and staff consistency and stability. We are business owners working within the business. The IMAA will provide the independent sector with a louder, unified voice to educate the industry and demonstrate the great work we do and help grow the Australian economy.”

To be eligible to join the IMAA, independent media agencies must be 100% Australian owned, be in business for more than two years or must be in the industry for more than 10 years, and show evidence of respect for Australia’s media owners. Members receive a range of benefits including a formalised network of industry leaders, a code of conduct, staff training, pitch support and IMAA certification.

Thirteen of Australia’s media owners have pledged their support for the IMAA and will be involved in learning sessions, insights briefings and management meetings.

“Independent media agencies pride themselves on strong, respectful and open and transparent relationships with media owners. We work collaboratively and are strong supporters of the local media market. We are delighted that 13 media owners will support the IMAA and its charter,” Pearman said.

The IMAA will be actively involved in the industry and has several initiatives planned which will be announced shortly.


Foundation member agencies:

Above Trading –

Avenue C –

Benedictus Media –

Blue Sky Media –

BRMM (Co.Gency Group) –

Communicate Australia –

Customedia –

Enigma Communications –

Frontier –

Hyland Agency –

Joy –

Kaimera –

Love Media –

McKenzie Partners –

Mediasmiths –

Multi Media –

Pearman Media –

Sandbox Media –

Sweeney Advertising –

The Media Store –

Top Photo: IMAA committee members (L-R): Dan O’Brien, Sam Buchanan, Dominic Pearman (Chairman), Nick Behr and Ant Colreavy

MAFS recap & ratings: Michael stirs the pot at second dinner party

In the 12th episode of Nine’s Married at First Sight, the nine couples entered their second dinner party – a weekly tradition in the experiment that never disappoints viewers. 

Amanda and Tash walked in separately. After another week of zero connection and no effort on Tash’s end, Amanda decided it was best they didn’t ‘fake it anymore’, therefore walking in hand-in-hand to the event was off the table.

Tash. Credit: 9Now

Hayley and David came and left strong. It’s funny to think back to last Wednesday night when notorious TV star Hayley was the centre of attention at the party, and for all the wrong reasons. After a complete 180, Hayley was on her best behaviour and actually lectured couples on how to improve their own relationships since hers is ‘so successful now’ – which didn’t really sit well with them, actually.

Michael. Credit: 9Now

After a few drinks in, it was three versus one: Steve and Michael had a screaming match which ended with Steve’s new bride Mishel teaming with Michael and Stacey. This was due to Steve publicly shutting Mishel down which utterly infuriated her – and she was already deeply upset with him.

Steve. Credit: 9Now

Michael, who waved the bait at Steve, decided one fight wasn’t enough for the evening. The second enemy he made last night was Natasha

Natasha joked with Ken and Barbie couple Michael and Stacey earlier in the evening that she and Mikey had consummated their marriage during intimacy week, and that it was the best 10 seconds of her life and she can’t wait to make it 20.

Mikey. Credit: 9Now

Michael snitched to Mikey, which left Mikey almost in tears due to his new wife’s betrayal of trust and so he walked away from the party. Michael and Natasha had their screamfest, and then Natasha and Mikey headed home separately.

Married at First Sight returns on Sunday at 7pm on Nine and 9Now.

Top photo credit: 9Now

JCDecaux logos will change to rainbow flag for Mardi Gras sponsorship

Australia’s leading outdoor advertising company JCDecaux has thrown its support behind the 42nd Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras by adding a splash of rainbow to its advertising panels along the parade route and becoming media partner for the event.

This year, JCDecaux is also an official media partner for the event and will feature advertising for the Sydney Mardi Gras festival on other street furniture, rail and transit signage across the city.

JCDecaux ANZ CEO, Steve O’Connor, said: “The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of the oldest, continuously operating LGBTQI organisations in Australia.

“Last year was our first time converting our parade route signage to rainbow colours, and we received such great feedback on this global-first initiative that we decided continue this tribute to equality. We are thrilled to be able to again participate in both the lead-up to Mardi Gras and the event itself, where more than 300,000 people join the celebrations along the parade route, in a unique, interesting way.”

The JCDecaux rainbow logo will feature on all 20 of its advertising panels, including bus stops and phone bollards, along the parade route throughout the Mardi Gras festival from 16th February until 2nd March.

TV Ratings: February 19

By James Manning

• Nine’s winning mix: MAFS dinner party to Robyn Nevin
• Best of the rest: Shaun Micallef and Johnny’s Survivor exit

Dinner party time on Married At First Sight kept the audience enthralled and the numbers over 1m. There was quite a bit of chat about handprints on an ass amongst other things. Nine’s primary share was over 24% and its network share close to 31%.
Also working well for Nine was A Current Affair on 681,000.
Doctor Doctor followed MAFS with 540,000 and a special appearance from guest star Robyn Nevin.

Seven trailed the leader by a considerable margin.
Home and Away again was best after the News but the audience was just over 5000,000.
The numbers then dropped to just over 400,000 for My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals on 416,000.

Johnny’s truth bombs at tribal council couldn’t save him on Australian Survivor All Stars where 10 was again competitive in the demos with an all people metro audience of 584,000.

Earlier in the night The Project featured Ryan Fitzgerald at the desk and included a cross to the MasterChef launch as the hosts talked to Poh and Hayden about returning to the kitchen. The show did 445,000 after 7pm.

Mad As Hell was again close to 600,000 with Shaun Micallef holding the biggest audience on ABC after the News. Hard Quiz was not far behind on 588,000.

Two shows averaged 228,000 for SBS – Tony Robinson’s Hidden Britain By Drone at 7.30pm and then the new drama Dublin Murders at 8.30pm.

Week 8 TV: Wednesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 12.3% 7 16.6% 9 24.3% 10  12.4% SBS One 4.9%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.1% 7TWO 3.3% GO! 2.3% 10 Bold 5.1% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 2.9% GEM 2.5% 10 Peach 2.4% Food Net 1.2%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix 1.6% 9Life 1.7%     NITV 0.1%
                SBS World Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 16.7%   24.4%   30.9%   20.0%   8.0%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.4% 7 17.5% 9 21.7% WIN 8.8% SBS One 5.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 1.9% 7TWO 4.3% GO! 3.0% WIN Bold 5.9% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 1.0% 7mate 3.2% GEM 4.2% WIN Peach 1.7% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.3% 9Life 2.5% Sky News  on WIN 2.8% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 0.9%
TOTAL 14.8%   26.4%   31.5%   19.2%   8.3%


87.9% 12.1%
  1. Married At First Sight Nine 1,058,000
  2. Seven News Seven 892,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 892,000
  4. Nine News Nine 818,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 802,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 681,000
  7. ABC News ABC 674,000
  8. Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell S11 ABC 592,000
  9. Hard Quiz S5 ABC 588,000
  10. 7.30 ABC 585,000
  11. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 584,000
  12. Home And Away Seven 540,000
  13. Doctor Doctor Nine 540,000
  14. The Chase Australia Seven 497,000
  15. The Project 7pm 10 445,000
  16. Hot Seat Nine 419,000
  17. My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals Seven 416,000
  18. 10 News First 10 336,000
  19. First Dates Australia Seven 290,000
  20. The Chase Australia 5pm Seven 290,000
Demo Top 5

16 – 39

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 317,000
  2. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 190,000
  3. Doctor Doctor Nine 126,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 107,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 105,000


18 – 49

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 513,000
  2. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 303,000
  3. Doctor Doctor Nine 212,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 202,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 179,000


25 – 54

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 557,000
  2. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 326,000
  3. Doctor Doctor Nine 242,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 225,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 222,000
WEDNESDAY Multichannel
  1. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 193,000
  2. NCIS: Los Angeles Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 166,000
  3. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  4. NCIS: Los Angeles (R) 10 Bold 155,000
  5. School Of Roars ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  6. Neighbours 10 Peach 130,000
  7. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  8. Thomas And Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  9. Noddy Toyland Detective PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  10. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  11. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  12. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  13. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 116,000
  14. Dot. PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 116,000
  15. Bondi Rescue Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 115,000
  16. Floogals AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  17. Olobob Top PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 109,000
  18. Border Security Australia’s Front Line 7TWO 107,000
  19. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 106,000
  20. The Simpsons Ep.2 PM 7mate 106,000
  1. MH370: The Untold Story Sky News Live 162,000
  2. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 60,000
  3. Paul Murray Live: Our Town Sky News Live 48,000
  4. Credlin Sky News Live 39,000
  5. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 39,000
  6. The Simpsons FOX8 36,000
  7. Family Guy FOX8 34,000
  8. Force 10 From Navarone FOX Classics 30,000
  9. Family Guy FOX8 28,000
  10. Grand Designs Australia Lifestyle Channel 28,000
  11. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 28,000
  12. The Simpsons FOX8 28,000
  13. NCIS FOX Crime 28,000
  14. Paul Murray Live: Our Town Sky News Live 28,000
  15. River Of No Return Discovery Channel 27,000
  16. Midsomer Murders UKTV 27,000
  17. Better Homes & Gardens Lifestyle Channel 27,000
  18. American Dad! FOX8 26,000
  19. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 25,000
  20. Two And A Half Men FOX Funny 25,000

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

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

Ryan Stokes open to media mergers: “Consolidation a logical step”

Seven Group will consider providing money to Seven West Media for any future deals, arguing the media company needs to consider consolidation to strengthen its market position, reports The Australian’s Perry Williams.

Stokes’ industrial, mining and energy conglomerate, which owns a 41 per cent stake in Seven West Media, was disappointed by the television network’s half-year performance and backed the company to pursue an industry tie-up.

“I think consolidation is a logical step for the industry and I think that’s going to enable a better leverage of assets through the audience we have and others,” Seven chief executive Ryan Stokes told The Australian.

“That’s where we see a logical opportunity. It’s a situation we’ve seen for a while but it’s a matter of how that’s executed. But we certainly see potential for something to occur.”

[Read more]

Stokes backs James Warburton despite media drag on record result

Seven Group chief executive Ryan Stokes says the industrial and energy-focused conglomerate still sees value in media despite its ailing television and publishing businesses weighing on a record half-year result, reports The Age’s Nick Toscano.

The Stokes-family controlled Seven Group Holdings on Wednesday reported a significant uplift in half-year revenue and underlying earnings to record levels, driven by strong results in the conglomerate’s industrial services and energy segments including WesTrac, Coates Hire and Beach Energy.

While underlying net profit after tax was up 3 per cent to $255.7 million, its statutory profit fell 26 per cent, dragged down by a $112 million writedown of its 40 per cent stake in the struggling Seven West Media.

Ryan Stokes said: “The decline in the metro TV ad markets is a challenge for the business, a challenge for the sector.”

But Stokes expressed confidence in Seven Media CEO James Warburton‘s leadership and support his team’s “very clear plan” which was focused on content-led growth, transformation and simplification of the business.

“James is relatively new in the role, six months in,” Stokes said. “I think the team has got a very clear focus and we support them on what they need to do.”

[Read more]

Asset sell-off could ease Seven West's debt burden: UBS

Investment bank UBS reckons Seven West Media could deliver around $600 million to help the under-pressure broadcaster deal with its debt problems, as Ryan Stokes pours cold water on the idea of Seven Group Holdings tipping more money into media, report The AFR’s Max Mason and Brad Thompson.

Seven West’s shares plunged more than 20 per cent on Tuesday following a downgrade to full-year guidance and write-downs which swung the Kerry Stokes-controlled media business to a $67 million loss.

Warburton flagged at Seven’s results on Tuesday that all assets are under review as the broadcaster looks to materially reduce its debt. This includes Seven Studios and its ventures portfolio, which includes investments in Airtasker and SocietyOne.

[Read more]

First sales announced for George Calombaris’ failed hospitality empire

One of Melbourne’s top American-style barbecue experts will take over George Calombaris’s original Hellenic Republic site in one of three lease deals struck yesterday by administrators of the chef’s collapsed food empire, reports News Corp’s Jeff Whalley.

KordaMentha Restructuring yesterday announced the first asset sales in the administration of Calombaris’s MAdE Establishment group.

Administrators Craig Shepard and Leanne Chesser said they had agreed on terms for the sale of assets and the assignment of leases for the restaurants in Brunswick, Kew and Brighton.

KordaMentha are not expected to drag out the sales process for too long a time as the business is without funds – so cannot accrue more debt.

Administrators have said up to 15 parties were interested in the leases and other assets such as fittings and furniture.

Calombaris has put his Toorak mansion on the market.

It is believed Calombaris and major investor Radek Sali are expecting to get nothing back from the administration fire sale.

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Stateless explores the human cost of Australia's immigration regime

When Cate Blanchett began working on what would become the six-part ABC drama Stateless, one story in particular compelled her: that of Cornelia Rau, a German citizen and Australian permanent resident who was unlawfully detained for a period of 10 months between 2004 and 2005, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Idato.

The series knots together a handful of character stories: an airline stewardess Sofie Werner (Yvonne Strahovski), who has escaped a cult run by Pat (Blanchett) and Gordon (Dominic West); a young father-of-two Cam Sandford (Jai Courtney), who takes a job as a detention centre guard; the centre’s new general manager Claire Kowitz (Asher Keddie), and an Afghan refugee Ameer (FayssalBazzi), fleeing persecution with his family.

The result is stunning. Statelessis compelling not just in its larger, political notes, but in its minutiae. It is beautifully cast: Ameer’s indefatigable friend Farid (Claude Jabbour), the centre’s optimistic chief officer Brian (Darren Gilshenan), and senior officers Harriet (Rachel House) and Sully (Clarence Ryan). In one touching scene, which seems to get to the heart of the story, Ameer tells his daughter Mina that “in Australia you can be anything you want to be”.

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Will viewers ever get to see a Eurovision Asia Song Contest?

In March 2016 SBS announced it had won the rights to stage an Asia Pacific event for Eurovision, featuring up to 20 countries, reports TV Tonight.

Everything from Bollywood to K-pop was due to head to Sydney in 2017 for a regional battle on a pop-tastic scale.

But 2017, 2018 and 2019 came and went and in 2020 there is still no confirmation of it being realised anytime soon.

Broadcasting sources have suggested without China on board, some other nations have been reluctant to come to the party.

Blink TV director Paul Clarke, who has just completed a successful staging of Eurovision: Australia Decides, shed some light into the challenges of bringing together regional partners.

“All the SBS executives have taken Eurovision Asia really seriously. We were in Japan in December but ultimately it doesn’t come down to just SBS being interested. It has to be some major partners as well… and Northern Asian partners. It’s just still in development,” he told TV Tonight.

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MAFS and Love Island need a reality check over contestant safety

Trashy reality TV shows such as Married At First Sight and Love Island are ratings winners, reaping in millions in ad revenue for the networks airing them, comments News Corp’s Kim Wilson.

But at what cost to the ‘stars’ of the shows?

How much more tawdry and toxic do these shows have to get before people start switching off and recognising how traumatic they can be to the people involved? And at what point do reality show producers recognise they have more than just a token duty of care to these people?

The revelations this week by outgoing MAFS participant Poppy Jenningst hat staff manipulated her into saying things on camera by threatening her that if she didn’t “Australia will f … ing hate me”, are further confirmation that these ‘reality’ shows are completely contrived and more concerned with ratings than the welfare of participants.

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David Schwarz and Mark Allen find new home with 3AW

Popular radio hosts David Schwar zand Mark Allen have found a new home on 3AW’s Saturday night football coverage, reports News Corp’s Scott Gullan.

The pair will return to the airwaves from 5pm on Saturday’s for a two-and-a-half hour talkback show which will take the audience through to the start of the night game.

Schwarz and Allen found themselves on the scrapheap after the collapse of Macquarie Sports Radio last year.

The introduction of Schwarz and Allen is one of a number of changes to 3AW’s line-up for this season.

Brownlow Medallist Gerard Healy is set to have a more prominent role in the special comments chair for all Thursday night games in Melbourne.

Veteran caller Tim Lane will replace Dwayne Russell, who has shifted to SEN, on the Friday night call team alongside Bruce Eva.

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Sports Media

Erin Molan to host Channel 9’s Women’s World Cup coverage

Channel 9 has bumped Todd Woodbridge from its cricket coverage, with network star Erin Molan to replace him as host of the Women’s World Cup, reports News Corp’s Ben Horne.

Last year Nine put Woodbridge at the helm of its men’s Ashes coverage, sparking outrage on social media from fans who couldn’t understand how a tennis grand slam great could head up the broadcast of cricket’s biggest stage.

Nine defended its decision to put Woodbridge in the hot seat by arguing he wasn’t there to provide expert opinion, but simply use his hosting skills to compere a panel featured pre-game, post-game and during breaks in play during Ashes.

However, the network’s new head of sport Brent Williams has decided to make the change and replace the nine-time Wimbledon doubles champion Woodbridge with NRL hosts Molan and James Bracey for the women’s World Cup starting on Friday night.

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