Wednesday February 5, 2020

Sally & Erica: fearless first female pairing host triple j Breakfast

By Claudia Siron

Radio presenters Sally Coleman and Erica Mallett took the reigns of triple j’s Breakfast earlier this month, replacing Ben & Liam.

The new dynamic duo are bringing a fresh twist to the popular radio station with their flair for unique humour and storytelling to entertain triple j listeners’ on their morning commutes. Coleman and Mallett shared with Mediaweek their history as a female pairing at the station, what they’re hoping to bring to the timeslot, and the direction they’re hoping to take the breakfast show as new hosts.

Mallett told Mediaweek the two actually first met each other properly while backpacking with some mates through India a few years ago. We both went to the same schools in Canberra, but were a year apart so hadn’t really talked,” said Mallett. “But we quickly realised we both loved hip hop and decided we wanted to learn to rap. From then on it’s been a wild ride – our rap duo, Coda Conduct, was asked to host the community hip hop show on FBi Radio, we started doing a hip hop segment on triple j Breakfast, and then we started picking up the odd shift at triple j. Next minute, we’re on brekkie!” 

Being a female pairing in radio is quite rare; Coleman mentioned there have been a few female duos in the past like Judith Lucy and Helen Razer for a stint in the 90s, but to their knowledge they are the first female duo to become permanent Breakfast hosts. “It’s a rare combo in Australian radio but hopefully that will change!” said Coleman.

Mallett said they both grew up listening to triple j. “The station has had a huge impact on the entire music landscape in Australia. Our first shifts were doing mid-dawns (1am to 6am) then we graduated to Weekend Arvos and now we’re at Breakfast.

Coleman added: “With Breakfast, waking up isn’t the hard part for me, it’s that 11am crash that’s really hard to push through when you’re trying to plan the show for the next day! You just get used to being a bit sleep deprived I guess. But at least we have our weekends back which is amazing.”  

Working as friends, the two have had plenty of favourite on-air moments. Coleman said she loves the moments where they get to have a debate about something, and then rope a caller in to pick sides. “We’re both one of three siblings so there’s something really primal about trying to gang up on each other. But whatever the topic, it’s always fun just hearing each other’s ridiculous stories, like that time Erica got her hair stuck in a Roomba.

 The breakfast slot comes with a lot of prestige. When asked what types of things they are hoping to bring to the time slot, Mallett said they want to bring heaps of variety. “Like one moment you’ll hear a dumb story about toenails and the next we’re with a journalist breaking down Iranian politics. Our audience is smart, funny, compassionate and often totally cooked, so we want to tap into all of that.”

The girls have filled in for the major shows before, so we asked them if they are planning on doing something similar with Breakfast or take it into a whole other direction as the new hosts. Coleman said: “We’ve got our own brand of humour and storytelling, but it’s also going to be a very audience-driven show. We love triple j listeners and we want to put them at the centre of the show – they’re essentially our co-hosts and partners in crime every morning, and we’re so stoked to join them on air.

MAFS recap & ratings: Love child of David Bowie and a vampire star of Ep 2

The second episode of Nine’s Married at First Sight featured the marriage of same-sex couple Amanda and Tash, plus young couple Natasha and Mikey. 

The 34-year-old strength coach, Amanda, has a big personality and “would take a bullet for anyone” she loves. With European background and growing up in a very traditional household, Amanda has always struggled with full acceptance from her family in terms of her sexuality.

Amanda was matched with 31-year-old bartender, Tash, who described herself as “the love child of David Bowie and a vampire” and was told she physically “looks like a cross between Sophie Monk and Ruby Rose“. The full-tatted romantic goth who receives more attention from men than women, is ready to find love and not be seen as a party girl at the club. The relationship experts believe Amanda and Tash would be a great balance for each other.

After tears were shed when Amanda asked her mum for approval before going ahead with the experiment – and her mum giving her that support – her dad, unfortunately, doesn’t attend the wedding. The MAFS‘ same-sex couple marry in Melbourne sharing passionate vows to one another.

After a very strong start, there was just one hiccup during the reception where Amanda revealed to Tash’s bridesmaids that she was ‘going to get back with her ex’ when applying for the show. After the brides shared a quick chat outside, sour thoughts and feelings soon turned sweet after they shared a long kiss and told each other they’re serious about being together and are in it for the long haul.

Over in Stanwell Tops, NSW, dominant alpha-female Natasha and softie beta-male Mikey meet for the first time at their stunning ceremony.

The 26-year-old financial analysist, Natasha, has had a history of dating (much) older men – revealing that when she was 25 she dated someone just shy of three decades older. 

Mikey, the 29-year-old operations manager – who only lives a few suburbs away from his new bride – was described by a friend of Natasha’s as ‘someone she will eat alive’. 

As the ceremony seems promising with jokes brought out by Natasha to break the ice, Mikey appears nervous – and frankly quite awkward – during their wedding photos.

After a cringe-worthy dance routine performed by Mikey, Natasha told producers she believes he actually may be perfect for her. She also learned that Mikey is incredibly family-oriented and even took his disabled aunty to his high school formal. I think it’s safe to say that it wasn’t just Natasha’s heart that melted last night.

Tonight, we’ll encounter two more weddings; with hints that one of them will have high tensions, thanks to the actions of the bride. 

MAFS ratings: Episode 2, 2020

Second episode builds year-on-year audience with demos + all people

National audiences:

Episode 1: 1,492,000 (Metro 1,154,000 Regional 338,000)
Episode 2: 1,412,000 (Metro 1,067,000 Regional 345,000)

VPM ratings for streaming and on-demand:

#1 Married AT First Sight Episode 1 158,000

MAFS launch audiences (metro):

2015: 1,143,000
2016: 769,000 (First series that year)
2016: 769,000 (Second series that year)
2017: 826,000
2018: 914,000
2019: 1,006,000
2020: 1,154,000

A big Neighbours celebration delivers a double dose of drama

Fans of Australia’s longest running drama will get more of what they love when Neighbours celebrates its 35th birthday with more drama cross one week in March.

In celebration of the big birthday, Network 10 is presenting a week of special anniversary episodes from Monday, 16 March at 6:30pm, plus an additional five explosive episodes at 7:00pm on 10 Peach.

The explosive anniversary week kicks off with Chloe Brennan’s (April Rose Pengilly) genius idea to stage a wedding expo. This evolves into five unique weddings, which reunites couples from different decades on Ramsay Street that didn’t quite make it down the aisle.

But, in stark contrast to the romance and love of the weddings, the 7:00pm episodes exude a darker, grittier and drama-filled plot that includes the death of three Erinsborough favourites!

The drama of the additional five episodes centres around Elly Conway (Jodi Anasta) being whisked away to Pierce Greyson’s (Tim Robards) remote island glamping resort to celebrate her 35th birthday with a key group of her Ramsay Street friends.

What the holiday makers don’t know is that Finn Kelly’s evil side has been unmasked and he’s hatched his ultimate deadly revenge plan that will deliver severe consequences.

With some of the favourite neighbours on the island and three deaths on the horizon, these are episodes fans won’t want to miss.

Neighbours patriarch, Stefan Dennis said: “Who would have thought hey? I remember nearly 35 years ago I said it would last about six months, well who is eating their words now! I’m incredibly proud to be a part of Neighbours reaching this milestone, it’s a fabulous celebration for everyone involved, cast and crew, to mark this moment with an awesome week of episodes planned for our viewers. A touch of nostalgia mixed in with some edge of your seat drama – something for everyone.”

Executive producer of Neighbours Jason Herbison said: “We have a reputation for going big with our milestones – and this is our biggest yet. We’re excited to deliver our viewers a double dose of Neighbours which will lead to three deaths and five weddings. There’s warmth and nostalgia as well as high drama and – for the first time ever – we’ll have a week-long narrative taking place separate to the happenings in Erinsborough. Neighbours is 35 years young and we are celebrating with a bang!”

Top Photo: Neighbours stars Stefan Dennis, Alan Fletcher, Jackie Woodburne and Ryan Moloney

2020 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras will be live on SBS

For the first time, SBS will bring 2020 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade live with a special broadcast airing on Saturday 29th February at 7.30pm.

The broadcast will also stream live via SBS On Demand with the geo-block removed, making it available to watch around the world.

Joining comedian Joel Creasey and Studio 10 Presenter Narelda Jacobs is drag icon Courtney Act and comedian Zoë Coombs Marr to host coverage of the event. The broadcast will feature interviews with celebrity guests Sam Smith, Dua Lipa and Kesha as well as a special performance from Courtney Act.

Creasey said: “I am equal parts thrilled and astounded that SBS are allowing me to broadcast live on the gayest night of the year (after my birthday, of course). What could possibly go wrong? All jokes aside, I could not be more excited to be hosting again alongside the sensational Narelda Jacobs. Plus Zoe Coombs-Marr is back to bring us all the color and camper-y from the streets. And, I am of course thrilled to welcome the incredible Courtney Act to our glittery team. What a treat! Dust off your hot pants and crack out the (biodegradable) confetti, it’s time to celebrate!”

Courtney Act said: “My first time hosting Mardi Gras on SBS and they raise the stakes by making it live! I promise to securely fasten all wigs and dresses to ensure there are no live TV wardrobe malfunctions (again)! Mardi Gras is a celebration for the queer community where we invite the world to come and watch our radical self expression, to share our stories, and amplify the voices of our siblings whose stories need to be heard. “

This year the festival is themed ‘What Matters?’, to acknowledge how far the LGBTIQ+ community have come, and how much further there is still to go.

Jacobs said: “Mardi Gras is so much more than an incredible party. It brings people from all walks of life together to celebrate diversity and sends a message to the world that being LGBTIQ+ isn’t just normal – it’s fabulous! My first Mardi Gras experience was in 1998 as a 21-year-old, who’d just come out. I was brought up in a fundamentalist Christian family where it was an accepted belief that being homosexual was a sin and gays were damned to hell.

“The pilgrimage to Sydney all those years ago allowed me to stand proud as a lesbian. I felt a strong sense of belonging and identity. The same arms that welcomed me over two decades ago, have welcomed countless others. This Mardi Gras, “What Matters”, is at the core of the party, and what matters most is each other. In 2020 I’m looking forward to giving all my love to this beautiful and generous community. Let’s celebrate together!”

Zoë Coombs Marr said: “I’m absolutely bloody stoked to be back on-board for another year of sideline mischief at the Mardi Gras broadcast. Last year I talked to bears and pop-stars and baby- dykes and even tourists! In face paint! Our community never ceases to delight me, so who knows what treasures this parade will hold. You bring the party poppers, and I’ll do my best to contain my excitement on the night.”

SBS Director of Television and Online Content, Marshall Heald said: “We are delighted and honoured to be broadcasting the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade LIVE across Australia and around the world on SBS On Demand. “What Matters” to SBS is giving a voice to underrepresented communities and promoting social inclusion and acceptance through ourcontent. We can’t wait to share another amazing evening of love with our audience.”

 

TV Demand: Sabrina, Star Wars and Vikings enter the charts

By Trent Thomas

The Mandalorian has now topped the TV Demand charts in Australia and New Zealand for 11 weeks in a row with the Disney+ platform continuing its strong start to 2020.

In second place is The Witcher, followed by Star Trek: Picard which joined the charts last week and is continuing its upward trajectory.

The most noteworthy new entry is Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina which released part one of its second season on January 24. The series is based on the Archie comic book series of the same name centers on the half-witch, half-mortal character Sabrina Spellman who is played by Madmen’s Kiernan Shipka.

Disney+ has another new entry to the chart this week as the platform’s slow and steady approach of releasing content is bearing fruit with the seventh and final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on February 21, 2020. The series is set during the three years between the prequel films Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Over in NZ Vikings has joined the Overall TV charts after releasing its sixth season on December 4. The show is based on the sagas of Viking Norse hero Ragnar Lothbrok a farmer who rises to fame, as well as covering the adventures of his sons.

TV Ratings: February 4

By James Manning

• Married At First Sight second ep holds 1m+, Nine holds #1
• My Kitchen no longer Rules for Seven as foodies depart
• All aboard: Big audiences for both Tuesday train travellers

The second episode of Married At First Sight has delivered Nine another big audience and a clear ratings victory. Weddings three and four went off with the requisite hitches and enough hooks to keep viewers glued to the series. The episode was again up year-on-year and MAFS has quickly taken top spot on the VPM rankings, pushing aside Love Island UK and Home and Away.

“We are delighted that audiences have embraced the new season of MAFS,” said Hamish Turner Nine’s program director after the launch episode ratings yesterday. “The numbers across both linear and digital have delivered above expectation particularly in the key demos we focus on 25-54s, 16-39s and GS+Child.”

Elsewhere on the channel A Current Affair had a second night above 700,000 with 732,000.

The much-hyped interview with Thomas Markle screened after MAFS with 611,000 watching.

Week One: Married At First Sight

Monday 1,154,000
Tuesday 1,067,000

Seven again started the night well with News and then Home and Away.

However things have taken a bad turn on My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals with a third night audience of 402,000 again ranking the episode #4 in the timeslot. Viewers aren’t buying what Seven is selling and the idea of Manu v Colin isn’t working and perhaps a little confusing. It is hard to see the series recovering much from here and it raises big questions about the future of one of Seven’s most successful formats in Australia and around the world.

A real viewing highlight though on the channel was the doco from Denham Hitchcock, Hellfire: The Battle for Cobargo. Hitchcock was reporter and producer of the special and had some horrifying vision and a series of insightful interviews including putting PM Scott Morrison on the spot. The special did 302,000 and was not helped by the lead-in.

My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals Week 1

Sunday 498,000
Monday: 517,000
Tuesday: 402,000

Episode two of Australian Survivor: All Stars backed off from its launch numbers too, but it is not losing viewers year-on-year. The numbers for 10 last night, 562,000, were up significantly on the night year-on-year. Twelve months ago 10 was still deep in the jungle with I’m A Celebrity. Last night another former winner was voted out at Tribal Council on Survivor All Stars.

The Project did 443,000 with Waleed back in the studio.

Later in the night 10 rolled out its traditional Tuesday US dramas – NCIS on 266,000 and then NCIS: Los Angeles on 172,000.

Australian Survivor: All Stars Week 1

Monday 624,000
Tuesday 562,000

For the ABC, Nigella At My Table was on 262,000 at 8pm.

The 8.30pm doco series from Essential Media – Griff’s Great Australian Rail Trip – went close to doubling that audience with 484,000.

Rick Stein’s Road to Mexico then launched with 263,000.

Michael Portillo in Australia was always going to do good things for SBS. He certainly delivered on that anticipation with 404,000 tuning in at 7.30pm for the launch of Great Australian Railway Journeys. It is a little strange perhaps to have two older British travellers delivering Australian viewers features on our rail systems (on the same night). However both Portillo and Griff Rhys Jones are so entertaining and passionate about our country it makes for wonderful TV. Particularly Portillo’s journey off rail last night to uncover wonderful stories about our past.

Week 5 TV: Tuesday
TUESDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.9% 7 16.1% 9 24.9% 10  12.8% SBS One 5.7%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.2% 7TWO 2.5% GO! 2.7% 10 Bold 3.4% VICELAND 1.3%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.6% GEM 3.0% 10 Peach 2.5% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix 1.4% 9Life 1.8%     NITV 0.1%
                SBS World Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 16.3%   23.6%   32.4%   18.7%   9.0%

 

TUESDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.3% 7 18.7% 9 18.5% WIN 10.1% SBS One 5.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 3.8% GO! 3.4% WIN Bold 3.7% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 1.0% 7mate 6.3% GEM 4.4% WIN Peach 1.7% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.4% 9Life 2.1% Sky News  on WIN 2.2% NITV 0.1%
                   
TOTAL 15.3%   30.3%   28.5%   17.7%   8.2%

 

TUESDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
88.2% 11.8%
Tuesday FTA
  1. Married At First Sight Nine 1,067,000
  2. Seven News Seven 984,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 972,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 825,000
  5. Nine News Nine 797,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 732,000
  7. ABC News ABC 701,000
  8. Home And Away Seven 626,000
  9. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 562,000
  10. The Chase Australia Seven 542,000
  11. Griff’s Great Australian Rail Trip ABC 484,000
  12. 7.30 ABC 460,000
  13. Thomas Markle My Story Nine 448,000
  14. The Project 7pm 10 443,000
  15. Hot Seat Nine 421,000
  16. Great Australian Railway Journeys SBS 404,000
  17. My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals Seven 402,000
  18. 10 News First 10 378,000
  19. The Chase Australia 5pm Seven 339,000
  20. 7news: Hellfire The Battle Of Cobargo Seven 302,000
Demo Top 5

16 – 39

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 332,000
  2. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 187,000
  3. A Current Affair Nine 104,000
  4. Home And Away Seven 99,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 96,000

 

18 – 49

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 512,000
  2. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 310,000
  3. A Current Affair Nine 188,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 187,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 181,000

 

25 – 54

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 573,000
  2. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 328,000
  3. A Current Affair Nine 242,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 238,000
  5. Seven News Seven 232,000
Tuesday Multichannel
  1. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 171,000
  2. Dot. PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 164,000
  3. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 159,000
  4. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 157,000
  5. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 150,000
  6. Adam Hills: The Last Leg ABCKIDS/COMEDY 148,000
  7. Olobob Top PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  8. Noddy Toyland Detective PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  9. School Of Roars ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  10. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  11. Go Jetters PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  12. Outback Opal Hunters PM 7mate 129,000
  13. Highway Patrol Ep.2 PM 7mate 129,000
  14. Waffle The Wonder Dog PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  15. Neighbours 10 Peach 125,000
  16. Play School Art Time PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  17. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  18. Yukon Gold PM 7mate 121,000
  19. CSI: Miami 10 Bold 120,000
  20. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 115,000
Tuesday STV
  1. The Bolt Report Sky News Liv 63,000
  2. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 56,000
  3. Jones & Credlin Sky News Live 53,000
  4. Credlin Sky News Live 47,000
  5. The Great British Bake Off Lifestyle FOOD 45,000
  6. The Battle Of The River Plate FOX Classics 37,000
  7. PML Later Sky News Live 36,000
  8. The Simpsons FOX8 34,000
  9. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 34,000
  10. Family Guy FOX8 31,000
  11. Keeping Up Appearances FOX Classics 30,000
  12. The Simpsons FOX8 30,000
  13. Below Deck ARENA 30,000
  14. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 29,000
  15. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 29,000
  16. Family Guy FOX8 28,000
  17. Grand Designs Lifestyle Channel 27,000
  18. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 27,000
  19. Are You Being Served? FOX Classics 27,000
  20. Coronation Street UKTV 26,000

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

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

Nicole Sheffield gets part-time role leading ABC Advisory Council

ABC Chair Ita Buttrose has announced former media executive Nicole Sheffield (pictured) has been appointed to lead the ABC Advisory Council. Sheffield is executive general manager, community & consumer at Australia Post and will chair the ABC Advisory Council in a part-time capacity.

 

Buttrose said, “As the national broadcaster, it is vital that the ABC reflects and listens to the Australian public. Nicole’s passion for consumer interests will ensure that the Advisory Council is an effective advocate for the ABC’s diverse audiences. Under her leadership the Council will serve as an important conduit between the ABC Board and the Australian community.

“Nicole’s extensive knowledge of the media and digital technologies, most recently at News Corp, and her experience at Australia Post building strong connections with regional communities will stand her in good stead understanding the needs and expectations of the ABC audience.”

Sheffield is accountable for delivering key customer channels at Australia Post, including Australia’s largest retail network with over 4,300 post offices, the customer contact centre and digital channels. She is also responsible for brand, marketing, community and corporate responsibility. Prior to joining Australia Post, Sheffield held a number of influential leadership roles in print, broadcast and digital media. Most recently, she was the chief digital officer for News Corp Australia.

Right to know: media’s pitch for overhaul of defamation law

The public interest in freedom of expression would be a factor courts have to consider as part of a defence to defamation claims, under changes being pushed by Australia’s media industry, reports The Australian’s Nicola Berkovic.

Politicians, celebrities and other public figures would also have to show publications were false and motivated by malice before they could sue for defamation, as part of the industry’s proposed changes – reflecting the law in the US.

The proposals are outlined in a submission by Australia’s Right to Know coalition of leading media outlets, including News Corp Australia, Nine, the ABC and SBS, to a review of uniform defamation laws by the nation’s attorneys-general.

The submission also argues the law should be further clarified to ensure the current cap of $407,500 should apply to payouts for non-economic loss, regardless of whether aggravated damages are awarded.

[Read more]

Google reveals YouTube revenues and subscriber numbers

For the first time, Google on Monday revealed just how big of an advertising machine YouTube is. The company said that YouTube generated US$15.1 billion in ad revenue in fiscal 2019, including $4.7 billion in the fourth quarter, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Google disclosed the numbers in its quarterly earnings report, which also included fiscal 2019. Until now, it and parent company Alphabet had folded YouTube’s revenue in with Google.

Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai told analysts Monday on the company’s quarterly earnings call that its YouTube TV streaming bundle now has more than two million subscribers, and that YouTube Music and YouTube Premium now have more than 20 million paid subscribers. The unit’s subscription revenue now has a $3 billion annual run rate, the exec said.

The disclosure reveals just how big of a business YouTube is. The ad-supported video site, which was founded in 2005 and sold to Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion, has long been viewed as one of Google’s crown jewels, with an enormous share of the ad-supported streaming video market. Netflix, for comparison, had $20.1 billion in revenue in fiscal 2019, almost entirely from subscriptions.

[Read more]

News Brands

News Corp columnist accuses News director of trashing brands

The ABC’s Media Watch is run by religious maniacs, hunting heretics. Last night’s show was one of the most crazed yet from host Paul Barry. [Comments News Corp’s Andrew Bolt in a column responding to Monday night’s Media Watch and its claims about News Corp’s coverage of the bushfires and climate change.]

Paul Barry suggests I should be impressed by the comments of one of Rupert Murdoch’s sons (although not, apparently, by the other):

Actually, what’s extraordinary is that a board member public trashes his own product. An employee would be sacked for that.

All this, remember, is from the national broadcaster, on a program meant to improve journalism, not debase it and abuse those still practicing it.

Reason is dead at the ABC, and hysterics are in charge.

[Read more]

Tracy Grimshaw calls cameo of Ben McCormack ‘an embarrassment’

A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw has unloaded on one of the program’s former reporters, calling his previous involvement in the show an “embarrassment”, reports news.com.au’s Natalie Wolfe.

 

The current affairs program included a brief snippet of former senior reporter Ben McCormack, who pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in 2017.

During A Current Affair’s story on Tuesday on convicted sex offender and former Hey Dad star Robert Hughes being up for parole, McCormack appeared on screen for a few seconds.

“You may have noticed our former reporter Ben McCormack in that story,” said Grimshaw last night.

“McCormack left this show in disgrace two years ago after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.”

[Read more]

Publishing

Cosmopolitan pulls 'Bachelor' cover over contestant's past

Monday night’s US episode of The Bachelor featured a group date competition where the winner was offered the chance to appear on a future cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. Victoria Fuller ended up winning the Costa Rica fashion shoot competition, which was filmed months ago, and the ABC series showed her and Bachelor Peter Weber posing for Cosmo‘s cameras for an upcoming issue, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

On Tuesday, however, Cosmo‘s editor in chief Jessica Pels, who appeared on the episode, announced that the magazine would not be running the digital cover as planned. (The magazine had already printed the fashion shoot in its March issue along with a cover inset, but would not be publishing the digital cover on its website or social feeds.)

In an editor’s letter titled “Why We’re Not Publishing the Cosmo ‘Bachelor’ Cover,” Pels explained that they pulled the digital cover because Fuller had previously modelled for a “white lives matter”-themed ad campaign.

[Read more]

Radio

US talk show host Rush Limbaugh reveals advanced lung cancer

The conservative US radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh said on his live show on Monday that he had advanced lung cancer, reports The New York Times.

He told listeners that he had noticed some shortness of breath but was not experiencing symptoms at the moment, and that he would continue working but would be absent from the show for a couple of days to undergo testing and determine a treatment plan.

“I can’t help but feel that I’m letting everybody down with this, but the upshot is that I have been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer,” Limbaugh, 69, said during his broadcast. He added that he first realised something was wrong on January 12 and that the diagnosis had been confirmed by two medical institutions on January 20.

In a statement on Monday, Bob Pittman, the chairman of iHeartMedia, and Rich Bressler, the president, called Limbaugh “a colleague and a dear friend.”

“He has developed a deeply personal relationship with his listeners and he intends to remain on the air, being there with his audience,” they said. “We know millions of people nationwide join me and all of iHeart in wishing him a full recovery.”

[Read the original]

Television

Hans makes history: Star in grand final of America’s Got Talent

An Australian performer has made history on America’s Got Talent: The Champions, reports news.com.au’s Andrew Bucklow.

Hans, a self-proclaimed international superstar, sex symbol, accordionist and Berlin boy wonder, has become the first Aussie to make it through to the show’s grand final.

More than seven million viewers in the US tuned in to see Hans perform Bang Bangby Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj in the semi-final show.

Hans told Bucklow what’s next for him in 2020:

“Straight after AGT I start my brand new show Haus Of Hans: Disco Spektakulär, which is premiering at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in February before heading to the Melbourne Comedy Festival in March with tickets available at www.hansofficial.com (thanks for asking). And there’s also a few big surprises coming up. So it’s safe to say, you won’t be getting rid of me in a hurry. I am like cabaret’s answer to the coronavirus.”

[Read more]

Eurovision looks for “innovation, power & passion” from Australia

“It was a little unfortunate that Kate came 9th last year in Tel Aviv,” Blink TV producer Paul Clarke admits, talking to TV Tonight about Australia at Eurovision 2019.

“We were always really cognisant that we were taking an operatic song to Europe. I don’t think that’s what I look for from Australia. They look for innovation, power and passion.

“They associate us with very good singers like Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy and Dami Im. Isaiah came fourth in the jury.

“So we just really wanted to push into a commercial place, but also a place where we could bring a Triple J audience into Eurovision a bit more.”

Winning Eurovision entails all kinds of strategy on top of a killer song. Before they can take on Europe, acts have to win over the Australian audience – both public vote and jury.

“There’s a certain set of requirements to win the Australian audience,” says Clarke, who is Head of the Australian Delegation.

[Read more]

Sports Media

FFA faces $15m shortfall but experts say it's not panic stations

Football Federation Australia is staring at a $15 million black hole if Hyundai joins a growing number of sponsors in severing ties with Australian soccer – but a sports marketing expert does not believe the situation represents an existential threat to the code, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Vince Rugari.

As new chief executive James Johnson prepares to hit the marketplace, FFA is facing the prospect of losing one of its biggest corporate backers, with the Korean car manufacturer baulking at an extension to their current deal, which expires in June and encompasses the naming rights to the A-League.

It comes after the expiry of deals with NAB, Caltex, Aldi and Harvey Norman, while bet365 is also yet to commit to FFA beyond this season.

It paints a bleak financial picture for the round-ball game, which also faces uncertainty on the broadcast front, with no guarantees that Fox Sports will renew the current $58m per annum deal due to end in 2023.

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Why A-League sponsor shake-up is ‘no surprise’ to Bosnich

Australian soccer is bracing for the prospect of losing its biggest sponsor, with Hyundai reportedly set to walk away from a 15-year affiliation with Football Federation Australia, reports 3AW.

But one of Australia’s greatest ever players isn’t panicking about the news.

Mark Bosnich told 3AW Drive he felt it was inevitable on the back of the Lowy family finishing their reign in charge of the A-League.

“I think it was inevitable that sponsors associated with that past would pull the plug,” he said.

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Rex Hunt buries hatchet with Mike Sheahan on Sam Newman podcast

AFL media figures Rex Hunt and Mike Sheahan have buried the hatchet on a feud based on a six-year grudge harboured by Hunt, reports News Corp’s Nui Te Koha.

But after the olive branch was extended and accepted, Hunt said: “Having buried the hatchet today, Michael will be at Tobin Brothers making sure I go into the furnace”.

The bizarre peace talks came during an unexpected phone call from Hunt to broadcaster Sam Newman as he taped his podcast, You Can’t Be Serious, with Sheahan and Don Scott.

Hunt’s feud with respected AFL journalist Sheahan exploded last November when he unpacked a six-year-old grudge with Sheahan and unleashed.

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