By Trent Thomas
A fixture of the SBS schedule for a long time has been its Tuesday night current affairs line up which has featured content pillars such as Insight and Dateline sandwiched between the 6:30 pm and 10:30 pm news bulletins. The biggest shake-up to the Tuesday night line up this year is the addition of digital platform darling and long time SBSViceland hit, The Feed.
SBS director of news and current affairs Jim Carroll spoke with Mediaweek about why they brought The Feed over to the primary channel, and what to expect from SBS in a major news cycle in 2020.
When asked why The Feed was added to the 10 pm timeslot after previously airing on SBSViceland, Carroll said the show has performed well when aired on SBS and will bring a fresh approach to their lineup.
“No one produces a program like The Feed and that’s the cold hard reality whether it’s the digital content or the TV programs – it is starkly different from anything you will see from digital platforms or linear platforms.”
“We have found over the last 12 to 18 months where The Feed has done half-hour specials on single topics at 10 pm they have done quite well and that has encouraged us to do that on a more regular basis.”
Carroll says that the series’ core challenge is navigating the distinctly different audiences that the show finds on digital platforms and traditional TV formats.
“The real challenge for The Feed is engaging with an audience that doesn’t watch a lot of linear TV these days, and it is about finding the right shape for that content.”
“Even on SBSViceland the audiences for The Feed tend to be 40+, there are not a lot of 20-year-olds engaging with current affairs, where we do find them is online platforms.”
Outside of The Feed, Carroll discussed the continuing evolution of SBS’s news coverage as it has continued to invest more into domestic news alongside its international coverage.
“We have always had the best international coverage and now we have outstanding domestic coverage as well, and this is seen in an increase in domestic coverage on our online platforms.”
While a lot has been said about the impact of new digital content, Carroll said that the key difference between SBS and its competitors is the first person storytelling which can be seen on Insight and Dateline.
“The difference between us and other media organisations is first-person storytelling like on Insight. We don’t have a politician on the show unless they have a particularly interesting personal story or have a story that relates to the issues we are covering.
“Dateline as well is very much first-person story-driven – while it looks at the big stories it looks at it through the eyes of the people impacted by those issues.”
A more specific example of this is the new Dateline series with Adam Liaw which sees the chef/lawyer look at a cooking school that is giving disadvantaged kids the hope of a brighter future.
“The series with Adam Liaw is quite a left-field move for us, but we know Adam has a real interest in the region and human rights and with his background in cooking and being a lawyer the stars kind of aligned.”
2020 is already a year chock full of stories and it is only February with Carroll expecting a large number of major stories to develop such as:
• The fall out of Brexit
• The US election
• The Olympic Games in Tokyo with the Coronavirus potentially being a significant issue
• The 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War
• The 250th anniversary of James Cooks arrival
With such a major slate of stories ahead of SBS, Carroll indicated the public broadcaster is more prepared than ever to deliver the major local and international events.
“There is our a lot on our plate this year, but we think we are more prepared for it than ever. We have great talent in front and behind the camera and I think it’s going to be a very strong year.”
oOh!media has released its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2019.
• Revenue increased to $649.6 million (up 1% on prior year)
• Commute business continues to deliver strong contribution; revenue growth of 5% (ahead of the broader out of home market)
• Underlying net profit after tax (NPAT) $37.9 million (down 23% on prior year)
FY19 results commentary
Chief executive officer Brendon Cook said while the media market was challenging in 2019, oOh! delivered revenue growth in line with the broader Out Of Home (OOH) market, maintained market share in both Australia/New Zealand and continued its successful integration of the Commute business.
“In a tough year for media, the overall market declined by an estimated 5% however, OOH continued to out-perform the broader market and grew by 1% in Australia.
“Following the difficult second and third quarters, we delivered a stronger performance and recovered share in the fourth quarter to deliver revenue growth in line with the OOH market and earnings within our guidance range.
“We continued to successfully integrate Commute into the wider business. Commute revenue grew ahead of the OOH market and we delivered our target of $16m in run rate synergies for the year.
“Commute is now our largest division by revenue and its strong performance in FY19 demonstrates its significant contribution to enhancing our diversified asset portfolio and supporting our acquisition business case.
“We remained disciplined on operating and capital expenditure to ensure the company is appropriately positioned to manage through the short term challenging environment while continuing our investment in people, data and systems to deliver sustainable revenue and earnings growth over the medium to longer term.
“Despite a difficult media market, the fundamentals for OOH remain positive. The sector continues to benefit from structural changes in the media market including the ability to make ‘one to many’ advertising geographically and contextually relevant, further enabled by data and digitisation.”
• Commute continued to grow revenues greater than the broader OOH sector, up 5% on a pro forma basis. The rail assets benefitted from the Melbourne / Sydney package offering subsequent to the Metro Trains Melbourne contract win effective April 2018 which generated the strong first half growth.
• Road revenue declined by 5% for the full year. The first half was impacted by the Federal election in May which caused a reduction in big-brand advertising while the third quarter was adversely impacted by the weaker macro environment and unprecedented reduction in advertising spend. However, an improvement in bookings in the fourth quarter resulted in positive pacing for that quarter with the second half pacing down by 2% versus 9% in the first half.
• Retail revenue grew by 5%, consistent with the improved performance from the prior year despite a challenging retail environment.
• Fly revenue declined by 3% and was impacted by the reversion of the Sydney Airport Qantas Terminal to the Sydney Airport Corporation Limited, after growing by 12% in the first half following the introduction of In Flight in the latter half of 2018.
• Locate by oOh! grew revenues by 3% for the full year.
Outlook and guidance for FY20
oOh! expects the out of home sector to continue to gain market share across media formats in FY20. The company takes the opportunity to provide guidance for the year ending 31 December 2020 of an underlying EBITDA pre AASB16 range of $140 million – $155 million. The Company continues its disciplined approach to capital expenditure with a forecast capital expenditure range of $60 million – $70 million for FY20.
The Outdoor Media Association (OMA) is taking an active role in limiting the public’s exposure to discretionary food and drinks. The industry will also donate up to $3m worth of advertising space each year to promote healthy diets and lifestyle choices on its signs.
The new national OMA Health and Wellbeing policy restricts the advertising of discretionary food and drink products on out of home signs within a 150 metre sightline of a school. The policy aims to meet community expectations and support government efforts to tackle overweight and obesity in Australia.
The OMA has consulted with industry, food groups, advertisers, health promotion experts and government and conducted extensive research on Australian and international best practice to inform this world-first policy.
The Policy features include:
• Discretionary food and drink product advertising to be restricted from areas within 150 metres of a primary of secondary school in Australia. Food and drink advertising to be based on Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Australian Health Star Rating system.
• $3 million of advertising space across Australia every year donated to feature targeted advertising campaigns supporting healthy diet and lifestyle choices.
• Compliance monitoring of the national restrictions with annual reports provided to state and federal governments.
“The Health and Wellbeing policy reflects the fact that the out of home industry has listened to the community and government and pro-actively introduced a new voluntary self-regulating code to address what has become a critical issue in Australian society. Almost one in four children is overweight or obese and this complex problem requires a comprehensive set of policies and programs to help Australians lead healthier lives,” OMA CEO Charmaine Moldrich said.
“We are concurrently placing a strong emphasis on education with $3 million of advertising available for health promotion campaigns every year.
“The out of home industry is proud to take a leadership position with the world’s first industry-backed, national restriction policy for discretionary food on outdoor advertising. As experts in advertising, we want to use the power of out of home to make a real difference.”
The OMA has consulted with the Australian Food & Grocery Council (AFGC), the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA), the Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia and the Heart Foundation on the new policy.
The OMA National Health and Wellbeing Policy will come to effect on 1 July 2020.
OMA board members [L-R]: Chair Charles Parry-Okeden, QMS Media’s John O’Neill, Outdoor System’s Andrew Tyquin, TorchMedia’s Kirsty Dollisson, JCDecaux’s Steve O’Connor, OMA CEO Charmaine Moldrich and oOh!media’s Brendon Cook
• New MFA directors come from Carat, OMD and This Is Flow
The Media Federation of Australia (MFA) board has appointed three new directors and unanimously voted to re-appoint chair Peter Horgan and deputy chair Megan Brownlow, at its first meeting for 2020 held yesterday in Sydney.
The three directors joining the board are Sue Squillace, CEO Australia & New Zealand at Carat; Aimee Buchanan, CEO of OMD; and Jimmy Hyett, managing director & founder of This Is Flow.
Hyett takes over the local media agency director post vacated by Virginia Hyland, founder and principal of Hyland. The position is elected by local media agency members to represent the local sector.
At yesterday’s meeting the board also voted to re-appoint Omnicom Media Group ANZ CEO Peter Horgan as chair and independent non-executive director Megan Brownlow as deputy chair for an additional two-year term each.
Mark Coad retains his position on the board, now representing IPG Mediabrands, a post previously held by IPG Mediabrands APAC CEO Leigh Terry.
MFA CEO Sophie Madden said: “We are delighted to welcome the new directors to the MFA board, and to welcome back Peter Horgan and Megan Brownlow, who were unanimously re-appointed by the board.
“I’m proud of the diversity of the MFA board, including an equal split of men and women, reflecting our industry’s strong gender equality scorecard.
“This team places the MFA in an exceptional position to continue to advance our industry, its people, tools and processes, and in being able to address today’s challenges. The role of MFA board director requires time away from businesses and families, and a significant amount of after-hours work. I would like to acknowledge the contribution and commitment of all our board directors, and particularly the outgoing directors, Virginia Hyland and Leigh Terry.”
Jimmy Hyett said of his appointment: “I’m extremely proud to have been elected by my peers to be the voice for the independent agency community. Throughout my career, NGEN to now, the MFA has been the consistent thread fuelling my career, and I look forward to paying that back, by leading industry change and innovation that will guide us well into an ever-evolving future.”
The full board of the MFA now comprises:
Sophie Madden, CEO, MFA
Peter Horgan, CEO, Omnicom Media Group ANZ – Chair
Megan Brownlow, Non-executive Director – Deputy Chair
Mark Coad, CEO, IPG Mediabrands Australia
Mark Lollback, CEO, GroupM ANZ
Toby Barbour, CEO, Publicis Media ANZ
Katie Rigg-Smith, CEO, Mindshare Australia
Mel Fein, CEO, Initiative Australia
Brett Dawson, Founder &CEO, Bohemia Group
Sue Squillace, CEO, Carat ANZ
Aimee Buchanan, CEO, OMD
Jimmy Hyett, Managing Director & Founder, This Is Flow
Top photo: MFA board 2020 [L-R] Sophie Madden, Jimmy Hyett, Sue Squillace, Peter Horgan and Aimee Buchanan
Call My Name, a six part interview series with some of Australia’s biggest female athletes, will have its world premiere on Monday March 2 at 8pm on the special pop-up channel FOXW, headlining a week-long showcase of women’s sports programming to mark International Women’s Day.
The series features candid interviews with current athletes, cricketer Ellyse Perry, Matilda Sam Kerr, basketballer Liz Cambage, AFLW star and boxer Tayla Harris, major golf champion Hannah Green and professional rugby league player Tiana Penitani.
The interviews were conducted by Fox Sports female presenters, including Yvonne Sampson, Tara Ruston, Mel Jones, Kelli Underwood, Sarah Jones and Hannah Hollis with each episode dedicated to a particular athlete talking about their trail blazing career and their positive impact on the growth and popularity of women’s sport in Australia.
Call My Name will hero a week-long schedule of women’s sports programming on FOXW (Channel 507) from Monday, March 2 to Sunday, March 8 which will focus a spotlight on women’s sports, showing and celebrating the skill, excitement, courage and tenacity of our female athletes and how #herostartswithher.
FOXW will simulcast Fox Cricket’s broadcasts of the semi-finals and Final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 on Thursday, March 5 and Sunday, March 8 as well as game 2 of the WNBL Grand Final Series, six games of round 5 of AFLW and game 1 of the Hockeyroos in their series against Argentina.
The channel will also include a special women’s edition of The Back Page on Tuesday, March 3 at 6pm, which will be hosted by Tony Squires alongside Kelli Underwood, Australian netball captain Caitlin Bassett, Fox Cricket commentator Mel Jones, broadcaster Adam Spencer and special guest, Opals star Liz Cambage.
The first three episodes of Call My Name will air on Monday, March 2 from 8pm. Episode one will feature dual international footballer and cricketer Ellyse Perry, a key member of the Australian team hoping to win the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup on soil when the final is played on International Women’s Day.
Episode Guide: Call My Name documentary series
Episode One: Ellyse Perry (Monday, March 2 at 8.00pm)
Ellyse Perry’s on field performance demands our attention. The energy this record breaking, dual athlete puts into training is key to the results. She constantly works on improving, a trait she developed at the nets with her father. This strong base has fostered the rise of one of Australia’s most celebrated athletes – male or female.
Episode Two: Sam Kerr (Monday, March 2 at 8.30pm)
Is there a name more recognizable in Women’s Football than superstar, Sam Kerr? The Western Australian, juggles her commitments as Matilda’s Captain striving for Gold in Tokyo and as newly signed striker for English powerhouse Chelsea in the Super League.
Episode Three: Tayla Harris (Monday, March 2 at 9.00pm)
In Federation Square, there’s a statue of Tayla Harris celebrating a turning point in the representation of our female athletes. Dual athlete Tayla Harris (AFLW & Boxing) has embraced the recent increased support of women’s sport, and become by default a spokesperson for women who just want to compete on an equal playing field.
Episode Four: Hannah Green (Wednesday, March 4 at 6.00pm)
Mental toughness – for a golfer this could be one of the most valued attributes and Hannah Green has it in spades. Watch this and you’ll understand how in just her 2nd LPGA season, the Western Australian won a major championship and backed that up with a further tour win, before completing 2019 as the recipient of the prestigious Greg Norman medal.
Episode Five: Tiana Penitani (Wednesday, March 4 at 6.30pm)
If you’re looking for a warrior who embodies resilience through adversity then Tiana Penitani is that warrior… overcoming childhood tragedy and relentless injuries early in her career, Penitani has risen to the challenge and continues to make her mark on the rugby field.
Episode Six: Liz Cambage (Wednesday, March 4 at 7.00pm)
Authentic – is the best way to describe, all 6 foot 8 inches of Liz Cambage, the often-divisive athlete who does it her way: as an Olympian, breaking records in the WNBA and posing nude for ESPN’s annual body Issue.
All Episodes of CALL MY NAME will also be available on demand and can be streamed on Foxtel Now and Foxtel Go.
The FOXW (Channel 507) will be available from 12.01am on Monday, March 2 and will run through to midnight on Sunday, March 8 to all Foxtel sports subscribers.
Nova Entertainment’s Luke Kevin and Harry Fitzgerald have been named Initiative Perth’s Media Partner of the Year for 2019.
The Media Partner award program, created by Initiative and now in its seventh year, culminates in a fun event for the industry where the agency recognises exceptional efforts and services provided by media representatives in WA.
“We truly value the exceptional work our media partners do for us and our clients and we are unwavering in our commitment to being the best media agency they collaborate with,” said Luke O’Sullivan, managing director of Initiative Perth. “The Media Partner Award, and the larger function itself, is a thank you from the entire Initiative team to show our gratitude to the smart, challenging, market-leading work that the media industry does.”
O’Sullivan said Luke and Harry’s collaborative and forward thinking approach plus a willingness to go above-and-beyond saw them take out the award for 2019. “Luke and Harry are top rate media operators and a pleasure to work with. Their proactivity and positivity have led to some of the agency’s proudest work this year and their continued commitment to go the extra mile (literally) has produced some fantastic campaign results for our clients.”
On accepting the award, Luke Kevin from Nova Entertainment said “Harry and I are incredibly humbled by this award. It’s easy to do great work when you partner with such an amazing team at Initiative, and we love collaborating with them each and every day. Thanks again to Luke, Judi and the whole team and we look forward to continuing the great relationship together in 2020 and beyond.”
The 12 monthly winners were treated to a Hip Hop Masterclass accumulating in a dance off that’ll go down in WA media industry folklore – watch out OASIS Ball dance floor. They then joined over 130 of West Australia’s key media partners as the team at Initiative expressed their thanks for another successful year.
Initiative’s Media Partner nominees for 2019 were:
January: John Dawson – Nine
February: Aaron Bryant – ARN
March: Annette Herbert & Luke Hendricks – Seven West Media
April: Elaine & Zane Barry – Evoke Media
May: Savannah Lorenzin – JC Decaux
June: Sarah Moon & Som Viswanath – Indeed
July: Natasha Twentymen & Lucy Belbin – Nine
August: Anna Wyatt-Spratt – oOh!
September: Tom Bajrovic – Nine
October: Chris Eyres – SBS
November: Luke Kevin & Harry Fitzgerald – Nova
December: Nick Prosser – Go Outdoor
Top Photo: Luke Kevin & Harry Fitzgerald with their Initiative Media award
3AW has appointed AFL legend Rex Hunt to lead the radio call in the commentary box for the State of Origin for Bushfire Relief match this Friday, February 28.
Hunt, who played 202 VFL matches between 1968 and 1978 with Richmond, Geelong and St Kilda, will bring his inimitable style to the fundraising special event to be played at Marvel Stadium.
After a playing career that included two VFL premierships with Richmond in 1969 and 1973, Hunt forged a highly successful role as a football commentator, including more than 20 years with 3AW.
Rex Hunt said: “What we’ve seen throughout Australia this summer has been heartbreaking. What a wonderful idea to call on the great names of the AFL and have the State of Origin return. The night is going to be full of emotion for many who have had their lives affected by the bushfires. I know it’s going to be a really special occasion and I can’t wait to be part of it, calling the action for 3AW.”
Calling alongside Hunt will be 3AW regulars Shane McInnes, Matthew Lloyd, who played State of Origin for Victoria, and Brad Hardie, who represented Western Australia.
State of Origin for Bushfire Relief will be the first time an AFL state-versus-state match has been played since 1999.
The match will also be covered by other AFL radio rights holders.
Calling the match for Melbourne’s SEN 1116 will be morning host Gerard Whateley, new afternoon host Dwayne Russell with special comments from Nick Dal Santo.
By Trent Thomas
Sonic the Hedgehog has made it two weeks in a row on top of the Australian box office as it has raced to a total of $7.13m. For the second week in a row, it has held off Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) which made $1.18m in its third week of release bringing its total to $9.08m.
The only new entry to the top five this week is The Call of the Wild which opened its first weekend in theatres with $843,040. The film pushed out of the top five was Fantasy Island which made $464,206 in its second week of release bringing its total to $1.67m.
Overall it was a down weekend for the box office with a decline of 32% after making a total of $10.02m.
A strong second week saw the video game icon cruise into pole position for the second week in a row on the back of a very low 28% decline on its opening weekend total. The film averaged $7,615 on 365 screens.
The DC film has continued its slow and steady pace as it spends its third week in the top two as it edges towards breaking the $10 threshold after averaging $3,947 on 299 screens.
Based on the 1903 novel of the same name the film starring Harrison Ford made an average of $3,099 on 272 screens.
Based on the novel by Jane Austen the English flick was shown on 302 screens making an average of $2,487 bringing the films total to $2.37m.
The war epic has made it seven weeks in the top five as its total currently sits at $21.68m after making an average of $2,563 on 291 screens.
By James Manning
• Quarantined MAFS groom, but not because of coronavirus
• Nine reality series again holds audience over 1m
• Coronavirus night a must-watch with ABC share over 18%
After a massive 1.2m Sunday, Married At First Sight featured four of the remaining eight couples last night. Steve had gastro and Mishel had eight pages of notes about their relationship! The Monday episode did 1.091m.
Earlier in the night A Current Affair started its new week on 749,000 with an interview with a Dreamworld disaster first responder.
The Monday movie on Nine was 2017’s Bad Moms 2 with 269,000 watching.
It was the second elimination cook-off of the season on My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals, but the episode was again stuck on 500,000.
Earlier Home and Away started its new week on 600,000.
Two US dramas filled much of the remainder of Monday – 9-1-1 on 386,000 and then S.W.A.T. on 203,000.
The Project was savaged in a couple of press commentaries yesterday as it started its weekday run on 466,000 after 7pm. Guests included Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert.
Australian Survivor: All Stars saw the dramatic exit of Mat Rogers who got much further this season than his first time on the format. The audience was 647,000.
Hughesy, We Have A Problem then did 275,000 with guests Tommy Little, Ross Noble, Denise Scott, and Geraldine Hickey.
It was coronavirus night on ABC with the deadly illness under the microscope on both Four Corners and Q&A. The schedule drew a close to best-ever Monday share of 18.3%. Four Corners did 784,000 with dramatic footage tracking the spread of the virus. Q&A then did a close-to-best 566,000 with Hamish Macdonald hosting a long discussion about how China is dealing with the health challenge.
Earlier in the evening Australian Story presented the second part of The Only Witness which was a forensic examination of two murders near Toowoomba with a common denominator. The episode did 723,000.
Media Watch continued its strong run of ratings this year with 812,000 watching episode that started with a look at Andrew Bolt’s bad week.
If you are not using the word “planet” in a doco then you are not in the game. SBS screened Planet Expedition which looked at a mountain climb in Greenland. The episode did 115,000 which is down on the channel’s average for the timeslot.
That lead-in didn’t help Trust Me, I’m A Doctor where Michael Mosley asked the sensible question about how hard one needs to train to improve your health. The episode was on 111,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.2%||7TWO||3.2%||GO!||3.1%||10 Bold||3.8%||VICELAND||1.1%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||3.5%||GEM||3.1%||10 Peach||2.3%||Food Net||1.0%|
|SBS World Movies||0.5%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.5%||7TWO||4.3%||GO!||4.1%||WIN Bold||3.8%||VICELAND||1.2%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||4.8%||GEM||4.1%||WIN Peach||2.0%||Food Net||0.7%|
|ABC NEWS||0.9%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.2%||9Life||1.6%||Sky News on WIN||1.7%||NITV||0.2%|
|MONDAY METRO ALL TV|
16 – 39
18 – 49
25 – 54
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
TEG has announced the Van Egmond Group, which has presented and produced some of the world’s largest entertainment events, has joined the fast-growing TEG family.
Led by Garry Van Egmond and Christo Van Egmond, the business has more than 45 years’ experience in touring, special events, event merchandising, marketing, ticketing and promotion. Including record breaking tours with Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms Tour, Jesus Christ Superstar’s Arena Tour, Riverdance’s The Show and AC/DC’s Black Ice Tour.
The new touring business has been renamed TEG Van Egmond and forms part of TEG’s integrated entertainment offering.
TEG CEO Geoff Jones welcomed Garry and Christo to the TEG family, saying: “The Van Egmond Group has a long pedigree of delivering blockbuster tours with huge acts such as Dire Straits, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, INXS, Riverdance, Prince, Bette Midler, Dolly Parton and the great AC/DC.
“Garry has sold well in excess of 30 million tickets across contemporary concerts and theatre productions in the Australasian marketplace and we are delighted to have him and Christo on board as part of the TEG family.”
Garry Van Egmond added: “We have seen TEG’s phenomenal growth over the last few years under Geoff’s leadership and we are very excited about joining TEG and look forward to delivering some big tours and events under TEG Van Egmond. TEG Van Egmond will be active in both the North America and UK/Europe for top tier touring opportunities for Australia and South East Asia.”
Cindy Wilson, previously managing director of BASE Entertainment Asia and a 20-year veteran of the music and live entertainment industries, will be representing TEG Van Egmond in North America, based in Los Angeles.
News Corp Australia has underpaid current and former staff superannuation totalling about $1.5m as a result of payroll system errors, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.
The media company has notified the Australian Taxation Office about the underpayment, which was discovered during a review of the media group’s superannuation contributions.
“The majority of impacted employees had total underpaid super of less than $250. The total shortfall is about $1.5m and about 2500 past and present employees are affected,” a spokesman said on Monday.
Conservative commentator Gerard Henderson has been dropped as a panellist from ABC’s top-rating Sunday morning political program Insiders, reports The Age’s Michael Lallo.
ABC sources confirmed a Guardian report claiming Henderson would make way for other conservative voices. The sources say this decision was made a few weeks ago and is unrelated to Henderson’s recent defence of a Catholic school accused of mishandling a “child grooming” case.
Henderson, the executive director of the Sydney Institute think tank, was not available for an interview but provided a copy of a letter he had submitted to The Australian newspaper.
In his letter, Henderson said he had emailed Insiders executive producer Sam Clark on February 4 to confirm his continued appearances on the panel – and that Clark “phoned me the next day and advised that he had not made up his mind as to whether I would be asked on the program this year”.
“In a subsequent conversation on February 7, Sam Clark declined to guarantee me any appearances in the future,” Henderson wrote. “I understood the message and sent Insiders an ‘au revoir’ response on February 11. All this had nothing to do with what I may or may not have said on The Bolt Report many days later.”
News Corp Australia has launched the country’s richest sports tipping game, tips.com.au, with competitions for the NRL and AFL. More than $2 million in cash prizes are on offer. The game is free so everyone can play and anyone can win.
The move further strengthens News Corp’s digital subscription strategy by harnessing premium sport content to drive audience growth as players unlock expert tips and analysis from News Corp’s sports journalists.
Kayo and BetEasy are the inaugural commercial partners for the launch of tips.com.au across News Corp’s metro and regional news brands and news.com.au. Fox Sports will also be supporting the game.
Michael Wilkins, managing director of sport, wagering & gaming at News Corp Australia said: “Our aim is to find Australia’s best tipster – but also be an inclusive game that can be played by families, at offices, pubs and clubs.”
KFC SuperCoach launched in 2009 and engages 625,000 players across AFL, NRL, BBL and horse racing. Each SuperCoach game attracts a larger registered audience than the official sporting bodies’ fantasy games, with players averaging eight hours a week with the game.
Tips.com.au offers a cash prize of $50k for the winner of each code’s tipping comp (you can enter one or both) plus a $1m prize in each code if you can achieve the streak – picking the winner and margin of a chosen marquee game each week.
Caroline Laws, the wife of legendary Australian broadcaster John Laws, has died following a long battle with cancer, reports The Australian’s Lachlan Moffet Gray.
“I am lost,” Laws said through a spokeswoman.
Mrs Laws – who was called “The Princess” by loving husband John – was diagnosed with ovarian cancer during a routine check-up in June 2016.
John and Caroline have been married since 1976 – but their romantic history goes back much further with a 14-year-old Caroline catching a 16-year-old John’s eye at a dance at a mutual friend’s home in Sydney in 1951.
Laws’s passing was announced by radio network 2SM on Monday morning through a statement.
“It is with a heavy heart, we announce this morning the sad passing of Caroline Laws – beloved wife of legendary Australian broadcaster John Laws,” it said.
“Together John and Caroline lived a life that revolved around their consuming love for one-another.
“This love and life extended to their nine children who added a beautiful joy within their blended extended family.
“John referred to Caroline as his greatest confidant – doting upon her to his devoted listeners across Australia.”
ABC’s new drama Stateless has been a passion project for co-creator and co-executive producer Cate Blanchett, reports TV Tonight.
But even for Marta Dusseldorp, who has a supporting role in the miniseries, it’s been a long time coming.
“Cate’s a really dear friend of mine and we’d been talking about it for close on seven years,” she tells TV Tonight.
“I also went to Villawood when I was younger, and supported, as much as I could with (author) Linda Jaiven, who was doing a lot of work there at the time.
“In my role as a goodwill ambassador for UNHCR I’ve been to Uganda, Jordan, Lebanon, mainly visiting Syrian refugees, but also Congolese refugees. It’s something I’m really passionate about.”
Stateless is described as a series about four strangers whose lives collide at an immigration detention centre in the middle of the Australian desert. It is inspired – in part – by the true story of Cornelia Rau, a German citizen and Australian permanent resident who was unlawfully detained for a period of ten months in 2004 as part of the Australian Government’s mandatory detention program.
The AFL’s television landscape is set for a shake-up after global streaming giant Amazon agreed to a $10 million deal with Collingwood president Eddie McGuire’s media company, reports The Age’s Sam McClure.
Football industry sources have confirmed that Amazon is purchasing the rights for a series of football club documentaries, to be produced by Jam TV – the television arm of McGuire Media – and shown on Amazon Prime in Australia.
Collingwood and Sydney are among the clubs approached to feature in the series, but the project hit an early snag when the football department of McGuire’s own club, the Magpies, indicated they were not keen on taking part.
The deal, which has been in the pipeline for months, initially angered subscription rights-holder Foxtel, who demanded a meeting with AFL executives. Fox Footy, which employs McGuire as a host and commentator and paid $1.3 billion over six years for a share of the broadcast rights, felt it had been sidelined by the deal.