Compiled by James Manning
Kellie Riordan on ad take-up and Curveball, Deb and Tim on Trailblazers
“The new podcast Wild continues my 10-year journey where I have conversations around what makes us connect better and more vibrantly to life,” Sarah Wilson told Mediaweek about her audio adventure. PodcastOne’s newest host added: “The people I am talking to range from academics to poets to sports stars – people who have something to teach me. With them I take a deep dive into a single idea. I choose a Wild idea that has influenced me, hunt down that person and have a deep chat.”
Writer and broadcaster Wilson is releasing seven episodes each series, across three series, and the episodes will be dropped one week at a time. “My first guest is Sia which is awesome as she doesn’t do a lot of interviews.”
Coming soon after is retired rugby star David Pocock. “We met via Instagram through our activism work. I have no interest whatsoever in football, and we started sharing different books we were reading and developed a friendship.”
Another guest is a marketing guru who first influenced Wilson in her busines I Quit Sugar. “He later influenced me to shut it down and give everything to charity.”
Wilson’s connection to go with PodcastOne for this series was head of entertainment and news content Sam Cavanagh. “He reached out to me and asked if I had thought about a podcast. I said I’d do it if I could work with him and he’s worked on the episodes from beginning to end. I like working in the media with the good people, ones that are thorough who care about the right things. It has been a most lovely collaboration.”
The podcast is one of a number of projects Wilson has on the boil in 2021. Her speaking tour with Live Nation is still going head, albeit a little later in the year than originally planned. “My Jan-Feb tour is now June-July. We will keep pushing it back until we can do it.”
Wilson’s two most-recent books meanwhile continue to sell well – First we Make the Beast Beautiful and This One Wild and Precious Life. “The books are just the start of the conversation and the podcast now fits in really well,” she explained.
Marty Sheargold remains intrigued by the podcast world, but for the time being it is breakfast radio first.
“Once I get my head around what sort of time commitment this will take, and the stand-up will take, I’d like to move into podcasting and do some long form interviews with particular guests I am attracted to,” Sheargold told Mediaweek on the eve of his new Triple M Melbourne debut with The Marty Sheargold Show.
“The podcast wouldn’t be me just talking to the three most-recent people who have been kicked out of the jungle. It would be me talking to someone I have a genuine interest in spending a longer period of time chatting with.
“One thing you don’t get in this commercial radio world is the chance to sink your teeth into a chat. You are either going to an ad break or a song as you wonder if you might be able to extend them out to another three minutes of chat. There are a number of limitations around this medium that podcasting doesn’t have that make it attractive.”
Marty continued: “I don’t want to get on my podcasting high horse, but once publishers work out how to best monetise podcasts it could really ruin all of us old long-in-the-tooth radio guys.
“I can’t see in 10 years time that radio will look the way it looks now – having on demand will be too attractive. I hope there will always be a breakfast show in markets like Melbourne. But multi-team shows will eventually need to make way for just one or two people which will probably be the reality in the next few years.”
One of the key drivers in the podcast movement in Brisbane (“the international hub of podcasting”) is Kellie Riordan. She runs Deadset Studios, hosts the podcast Curveball and consults for a range of businesses. But people really take notice when they hear she put ABC Podcasts on the map, first dabbling in the format back in 2005 with the launch of Conversations.
“The consulting work I do advises on best practice podcasting for media organisations, both in Australia and globally,” Riordan told Mediaweek. “I also work with brands and organisations that want to get into podcasting as a form of communication. I also work with a number of independent podcasters who might be at the beginning of their journey or at mid-level.”
Riordan’s own podcast is Curveball. “It was something I always wanted to do – a show about business leaders and their warts and all experiences. The range of topics runs from start-ups that failed to business undergoing near-death experiences.”
Riordan said she was happy at the ABC for two decades during which time she established the podcast team. “We launched close to 40 shows over a couple of years, many critically acclaimed and very popular. I started my podcast journey in 2005, before the advent of the iPhone when I set up Conversations. At that time I had to get someone to teach me HTML code so I could post the MP3 file. It really was the wild west. I became increasingly more excited about the opportunity of on-demand audio and the idea people could opt-in to something that was tailored to their needs.”
Off her decision to leave the ABC and start her own business, Riordan explained: “The pandemic has made some of us feel like do we want to have a crack at something a little different or die wondering. In a lot of ways I felt like I had gone as far as I could at the ABC.”
There are a number of projects in development at Deadset Studios, but Riordan was understandably tight-lipped. “I am working in partnership with a number of people on projects that might have global appeal.”
Noting the podcast business model is still developing in Australia, Riordan said: “The sort of money that is flowing around amongst big podcasting companies is limited to the US. No one is rolling around in cash in Australia.”
What about support from advertisers? “Advertisers are perhaps a little slow to understand the real opportunity. Although general audiences might be a little smaller than other media sectors, something that is being underestimated is the deep interaction a podcast has with its audience. Of the people who are listening, they listen to about six podcasts a week. They are also listening to most of those episodes. The completion rate is very high – the audience is very engaged and can’t get enough of it. For certain brands and organisations, it should be part of their consideration. It is also a great way to reach the 20-30 demo which is undervalued in Australia.”
Curveball is represented by iHeartRadio in Australia, letting Riordan keep ownership of the product.
Others in the growing podcast sector in Brisbane include Jay Walkerden’s growing Podshape business, journalist and futurologist James Cridland and the ABC’s Andrew Davies (digital and engagement editor, ABC Audio Studios).
Riordan: “It’s interesting that both the former ABC and Nova national heads of podcasting were out of Brisbane.” Riordan also points to the health of the TV sector locally. In the next breath she agrees perhaps there should be a pitch to the Queensland Government about support for the podcasting sector as it has done for the TV/film production business.
Deborah Hutton is giving listeners a sneak peek into her extraordinary life, from her early days of her modelling career to her life today in an interview with journalist Tim Gilbert, on his new podcast Trailblazers. The podcast is sponsored by Verus Global.
Having experienced a nomadic childhood moving around, a modelling career, being the face of Myer and a successful television career, Hutton discusses the unique path that led her to where she is today. Addressing her challenges with skin cancer, she also talks about the eye-opening experience and how she felt empowered to share the ugly side of skin cancer with the world.
“There’s a lot of resilience I’ve learned along the way. I was never tall enough, and I was never thin enough,” said Hutton. “I wasn’t that serious, I was out there having a nice time, I wasn’t going to the gym six hours a day, I was living my life. I think that’s my motto, just go out there and live it.”
Endemol Shine Australia, a Banijay company, has announced a restructure within its executive management team, effective immediately.
The restructure follows Banijay’s recent acquisition of Endemol Shine Group and the 2020 departure of founding joint CEOs Mark and Carl Fennessy.
Award-winning executive producer Amelia Fisk will take on the position of director of content, Sydney.
MasterChef Australia executive producer Marty Benson will become director of content, Melbourne.
Current commercial director Scott Howard has been promoted to chief operating officer.
Jane Macaulay, currently director of production, has been promoted to director of production and post-production.
Elliot Spencer, director of development and creative services has been promoted to creative director. A newly created position which will see him working on the creative architecture of Endemol Shine Australia’s programs and its branding added to his current development duties.
Megan Rees joined the business last year and will continue to bring her extensive media, TV production and corporate finance expertise to Endemol Shine’s finance function in her current role as chief finance officer.
All executives will report to Endemol Shine Australia CEO Peter Newman in their new roles.
Peter Newman said: “These are richly-deserved promotions and I am deeply proud of the incredible executive management team we have at ESA. This restructure ensures our business is well positioned for continued growth while enhancing our ability to deliver world class content to our broadcast partners.”
Top Photo: Peter Newman
ARN has announced three internal promotions as part of changes to the content and commercial teams.
Corey Layton has been promoted to the newly created role of head of digital audio. He will head up ARN’s iHeartRadio and podcasting strategy. The new role will be part of ARN’s content function to create a holistic content development strategy across all of ARN’s digital audio platforms.
On his appointment, Layton said: “Digital audio continues to experience significant content and commercial growth, driving unprecedented audience engagement. I am looking forward to expanding on our iHeartPodcast Network #1 position, while bolstering our all-in-one radio, music and podcast platform, iHeartRadio.”
ARN’s chief content officer Duncan Campbell said: “This new role brings iHeartRadio and the iHeartPodcast Network under ARN’s content function which will allow us to be more holistic in our approach as market leaders in digital audio through innovation and investment. Corey has brought a wealth of strategic and creative expertise across commercial and audio partnerships, making him the best person to take on this newly created role and he will play a key part in driving ARN’s digital audio growth strategy.”
Adam Williams has been promoted to the newly created role of head of audio product & innovation within ARN’s commercial team. He will be responsible for developing and implementing audio product strategies that drive commercial return.
Michael Dargan has been promoted from his position as head of campaign Ideas to the new role of head of creative. He will lead ARN’s creative agenda, working with Integration, strategy, digital, sales and connections teams to deliver creative solutions for clients.
Both Williams and Dargan will report to ARN’s chief commercial officer Pete Whitehead.
Whitehead said, “It’s always rewarding to be able to promote from within as it highlights the depth of talent we have in the network. Both Adam and Michael have delivered exceptional results through their innovative and creative approach to commercial solutions for our clients. They will play a key role as ARN continue to strengthen our position as Australia’s leading audio company.”
All three will begin in their new roles from today (January 21).
Top Photo: Corey Layton
With a swarm of International tennis royalty quarantining in Adelaide, everyone is doing their best to catch a look at the stars.
First to nab a sports celebrity to take part in their program, albeit at a distance, was Nova Adelaide’s Ben & Liam. After jumping out of a plane and then working across part of their summer break in the name of ratings, the duo this week set out to secure a tennis great.
Off the back of a recent Nine News Adelaide story about a young boy (Christian, 15) who was lucky enough to get some tennis advice from World #1 Novak Djokovic, Ben & Liam decided that this was their opportunity to also rub shoulders with the tennis superstar.
In an attempt to attract the attention of Novak, Ben & Liam hatched a plan to play a game of tennis, right outside his hotel.
Ben & Liam said yesterday: “Today as soon as the show finishes, we’ll go down to Tynte Street… Stand out the front and play a full, life-size game of tennis and we’ll see if we can get him to come and say hello.”
True to their word, after their show the hosts donned their best tennis outfits and headed to Tynte Street, beginning to play a game of tennis. They soon spotted Novak Djokovic watching from his balcony. The World #1 laughed at the breakfast hosts’ “questionable” tennis skills before claiming: “No, no, wait…Now it’s our turn”, joining in on the game by sharing some volleys with his coach on the balcony.
In appreciation of Djokovic’s time Ben & Liam offered to change the name of the radio station to “NOVAK 919” for a day, with the offer greatly accepted.
Djokovic said: “Yes, I’m expecting to see the ‘K’ right there…!”
On the achievement Ben & Liam said: “Honestly this has been one of our favourite radio moments so far… No Djoke. Forget about Leyton Hewitt, our new favourite tennis player is Novak Djokovic (Unless Leyton plays some tennis with us anytime soon).”
Nova 919 has declared that the Adelaide station will today be re-branded as “NOVAK 919” in honour of its encounter with the tennis superstar.
It’s been a big week for Ben & Liam. The hosts secured the newsreading services of Jodie Oddy for a week as she replaces Taylee Jones who is on leave.
Also this week, Ben Harvey revealed on the Ben & Liam breakfast show he had proposed to his longtime partner Samantha Wallace. After “dating” for over five years, Ben told listeners he thought it about time to go the next step and asking Sam to marry him. The proposal came during a holiday in Port Douglas during the summer break.
Holiday goers leaving Melbourne are being reminded to check Fire Danger Ratings (FDRs) to ensure they are fire safe and ready as they head out of the city and into regional Victoria.
As part of the annual Victorian Fire Season campaign, the Victorian Government’s (Vic Gov) latest outdoor campaign harnesses the dynamic capability of digital outdoor exclusively across QMS’ high impact digital billboards.
Broadcasting live FDRs and corresponding safety messages, the campaign ensures holidaymakers are prepared for all situations as they travel to the popular beachside areas of the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas, and regional Victoria.
Mediacom’s planning director Fiona Williams said Vic Gov’s new outdoor campaign was designed to raise fire awareness for all Melbournians but to also specifically target those travelling to alert them to the need to check and monitor fire conditions daily over summer.
Williams said “The Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas are spectacular this time of year and attract thousands of holidaymakers during Summer. Using the dynamic capability of QMS’ digital billboards, we are able to maximise the reach of those travelling with relevant information to raise awareness of fire danger in holiday areas where tourists may not be as prepared as normal.”
QMS chief marketing officer Sara Lappage said the new Fire Danger Rating billboards by the Victorian Government is a simple but clever use of Digital Out of Home (DOOH) to act as intelligent notice boards delivering crucial information at scale.
“What Vic Gov has done with their creative agency Wunderman Thompson, is a clever but simple way to harness the dynamic capability of our digital locations to connect, engage and inform holiday makers with live fire danger ratings and advice. Not only does the campaign help to raise awareness of the fire danger rating, it also encourages regular checking of the warning to ultimately help minimise danger and prevent serious injury or harm from fires in the future.”
Lappage added: “This is a great example of client, creative, media agency and media provider working together to maximise the capabilities of the medium to deliver immediacy and relevancy of messaging.”
The Vic Gov Fire Danger Rating outdoor campaign will deliver multiple creatives including:
• Low / Moderate to High – “Check the Fire Danger Rating for your destination before travelling.”
• Very High to Severe – “Fires can spread quickly in today’s conditions. Check the Fire Danger Rating before travelling.”
• Extreme to Code Red – “If a fire starts today, it will be fast moving and unpredictable. Avoid bush and grassland areas.”
Vic Gov’s dynamic Fire Danger Rating Billboards locations include:
• Westgate Freeway – South Melbourne
• Tullamarine Freeway – Essendon Airport
• Peninsula Link – Carrum Downs
Screen Australia has released their 2020 year in review, compiling Australian box office data, television ratings, and online viewing figures to list the top Australian films of the year.
Creative industries, including the film industry, were one of the sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the circumstances they faced when they were released, titles like The Invisible Man, Rams, and Miss Fisher And The Crypt Of Tears all made upwards of $3 million each.
Australian films took a total of $22.6 million at the local box office in 2020, and while that number is down significantly compared to last year, cinemas were shut for extended periods of time due to the pandemic.
Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said, “It is difficult to assess the health of the industry based on box office, television ratings, and online viewership figures over the past year given the impact the pandemic had on society, our lifestyles, and the way we consume content. But it is important to view this data holistically with other industry trends to see what has resonated and admire the scope of content released during such a difficult year.”
“While 2020 will always be the year that COVID-19 hit us hard, 2020 was also a time that saw screen stories become more important, more sought after, and more innovative than they ever have been.”
The industry already looks like it’s beginning to recover after last year. While the top grossing film of 2020, The Invisible Man, made $9,088,367 at the box office, The Dry has already made $10 million, signaling a strong comeback for Australian film in 2021. Other releases scheduled for later this year include Penguin Bloom (21 Jan), High Ground (28 Jan) and Long Story Short (11 Feb).
The top ten grossing Australian films of 2020 can be seen below.
Despite contending with the COVID-19 pandemic’s particularly large impact on creative industries, Screen Australia’s year in review has shown that Australian shows are doing well not just here, but overseas as well.
Despite contending with the COVID-19 pandemic’s particularly large impact on creative industries, Screen Australia’s year in review has shown that Australian shows are doing well not just here, but overseas as well.
A continuing success story, Bluey continued to delight kids and adults alike all over the globe. The series about a young blue heeler and her family has reached more than 110 territories including the US, UK and China. Back home, Bluey is the most watched show, and the highest rated series ever on ABC iview.
Australian dramas also had a major impact.
“The quality of Australian television drama in 2020 was world class and should be celebrated. It’s no accident that Stateless and the second series of Mystery Road were selected to make their world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. Our television content continues to punch above its weight and resonate with audiences here and around the world,” said Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason.
“The Secrets She Keeps secured a prime time premiere on flagship channel BBC1 and was the sixth most watched series on BBCiplayer. Stateless reached a worldwide audience on Netflix following its successful premiere on ABC in Australia, and The New York Times included the second series of Mystery Road, which screened on Acorn in the US, in their top 20 Best International Shows of the year. The Chinese adaptation of ABC series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries created by Every Cloud Productions screened across Southeast Asia.”
Four of the top 10 Australian dramas in 2020 were broadcast on the ABC, with all the commercial free to air broadcasters also represented amongst the most popular shows.
Metropolitan data is copyright to OzTAM and Regional data is copyright to RegionalTAM and may not be reproduced, published or communicated in whole or part without the prior consent of OzTAM or RegionalTAM.
All ratings are courtesy of OzTAM and RegionalTAM, 5-city-metro, combined markets, total people, average audience, consolidated 28 day except where noted.
The Foxtel Group has confirmed India’s Tour of Australia has continued to break records with the Fourth Test average audience for Fox Cricket of 341,000, up 54% on the 2018/19 Fourth Test v India and the number one Brisbane Test ever on subscription television.
The audience averaged 407,000 for the gripping final session of the Fourth Test which saw India pull off a magnificent victory to win the Series and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
The India Test Series now ranks the most-watched Test Series ever on subscription television with an average audience of 371,000 over 100 hours of live play, up 43% vs the 2018/19 Test Series v India and up 33% vs 2019/20 Test Series v New Zealand
Steve Crawley, Executive Director Fox Sports, said: “India’s tour has been one for the ages. The quality of cricket has been outstanding, we have seen established stars at the top of their game, new heroes emerged, and our multi-cultural nation has loved it. We saw the ODI and T20 series break records, and after two months of cricket, it’s clear the nation could not get enough with new subscription television records set throughout the Test Series.
“At Fox Sports, we want to bring the best sports alive for fans with the best commentary and production. We have been blessed with a great summer of cricket, including the BBL, and these outstanding audience figures reflect record numbers of sports fans love what our team do and are choosing to watch on Foxtel and stream on Kayo.”
Are Media’s BEAUTY/crew has launched a digital issue, aiming to provide its audience with deeper, thought-provoking long form content on the latest beauty trends. Each quarterly edition will have a seasonal focus and include a cover star, curated interviews, and features, all through a beauty lens.
The inaugural summer Redefining Beauty issue features Australian beauty influencer Ash Paraskevas, who has almost 53,000 Instagram followers. In the digital issue, she speaks about her personal story of growth, self-love, and shelving the mainstream beauty standard. The issue also includes a guide to body self-care, summer makeup trends, celebrity news, easy how-tos, and an interview with MECCA brand manager Bridget Bond.
“The digital issue celebrates self-confidence and playing the beauty game by your own rules. Each edition will bring our audience an inspirational and seasonal edit that goes beyond the beauty surface,” said BEAUTY/crew editor Samantha McMeekin.
“For our commercial partners, it offers brands the opportunity to engage with our audience through extended, luxury, and thought-provoking content that has longevity in the market.”
In September 2020 Are Media released its Beauty Voices survey which found that 50 percent of women aged 18-24 years were influenced into making purchasing decisions based on online reviews and/or sampling. Whilst 88 percent of all women stated they are more likely to buy if they have sampled the product first.
McMeekin added: “The research shows that, following sampling and online reviews, Gen Z are most influenced in their beauty choices through social media, YouTube and influencers. Ash was a natural fit as our first cover feature as a down-to-earth beauty influencer that relates with our readers. There will be a strong focus this year across BEAUTY/crew to grow reviews from influencers and experts who share the same passions.”
The first issue of BEAUTY/crew’s digital issue is available online here.
IMG’S production of the NBL20 Grand Final Series has been awarded Best Live Sports Coverage at the 25th Asian Television Awards.
The 2019-20 Hungry Jack’s NBL Season was a record-breaking season for the league with the Perth Wildcats winning their second consecutive championship after a three-game series against the Sydney Kings.
NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said: “We’re delighted IMG’s production of the Hungry Jack’s NBL Finals has won such a prestigious award. The NBL enjoyed a record-breaking year culminating in an incredible Finals series and we were thrilled that IMG’s presentation of our product was fitting of the occasion.
“We take enormous pride in our broadcast; it is the public face of our commitment to quality entertainment driven by innovation. That commitment is a crucial element of our partnership with IMG, who continue to push boundaries that ensure that our product evolves in parallel with their capability.
“Their introduction of a new production and commentary hub last season has been transformative to the way we do business and saw us jointly lead the way for many sports as they dealt with the effects of COVID.”
IMG executive producer and head of TV & broadcast production Michael O’Dwyer said: “This is exciting and extremely rewarding for everyone involved in our first NBL production in what has been a challenging 2020 for many. Our 40-plus team were based across three venues, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne.”
IMG’s head of production for the NBL Fiona Smith said: “We’re thrilled to receive this recognition for our work last season on delivering a world class NBL broadcast product that went all around the world. Our work on the NBL has been a wonderful team effort and we are grateful to those we share the vision and this award with, especially our facilitation partner NEP.”
By James Manning
• 10’s I’m a Celebrity keeps tight grip on early prime audiences
• News and Big Bash League combo keeps Seven #1 channel/network
The Wednesday episode of 10’s I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! kept its tight grip on the 7.30pm audience last night with 685,000, close to the 678,000 watching the midweek episode a week ago. Celebrity wins its timeslot all people and in the key demos.
10 Bold also kept its place as the #1 multichannel with its diet of Bondi Rescue and then four hours of back-to-back shows from the NCIS universe.
Seven’s Big Bash League game saw both innings close to 370,000 which was enough to secure Seven a primary channel win when combined with the audience watching Seven News around Australia. It was a bulletin that featured Nine News chief Darren Wick last night who spoke to waiting reporters as he left the court following his conviction for drink driving.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS||2.8%||7TWO||3.4%||GO!||3.5%||10 Bold||4.2%||VICELAND||1.6%|
|ABC ME||0.3%||7mate||2.6%||GEM||3.2%||10 Peach||3.2%||Food Net||1.2%|
|ABC NEWS||4.6%||7flix||1.0%||9Life||1.9%||10 Shake||0.5%||NITV||0.2%|
|9Rush||1.1%||SBS World Movies||0.7%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS||2.2%||7TWO||4.8%||GO!||3.7%||WIN Bold||5.8%||VICELAND||1.0%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||3.3%||GEM||6.1%||WIN Peach||2.9%||Food Net||0.6%|
|ABC NEWS||3.3%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.1%||9Life||2.6%||Sky News on WIN||0.8%||NITV||0.2%|
|WEDNESDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
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
Netflix faced more competition than ever before in 2020, but the streamer is showing little sign of flagging, ending the year with an unprecedented nearly 204 million global subscribers, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
It turns out, the pandemic is a more powerful force than the threat of new rivals. Lockdowns around the world helped to significantly boost streaming sign-ups across the board, and Netflix benefitted from the industry’s overall boom, adding more than 36 million subscribers during the year. Though most of its new subscribers came during the first half of 2020, it added 8.51 million subscribers during the fourth quarter, more than the 6 million that Wall Street investors were expecting.
Netflix usually performs well during the final three months of the year, when it is known for unleashing some of its most-anticipated programming. The most recent quarter was no exception, ushering in the fourth season of The Crown and introducing viewers to new shows The Queen’s Gambit and Bridgerton. Netflix has said that both of the latter series were hits with its audience, becoming some of the most-watched titles in its history.
A Nine Network news chief who “drank and drank” at a company party before being caught behind the wheel almost five times over the legal alcohol limit has narrowly avoided a jail sentence, reports The Australian’s Kieran Gair.
Darren Wick, who admitted to being an alcoholic after he almost fell out of his Jeep drunk following a colleague’s going-away party in October last year, was sentenced to a nine-month intensive corrections order on Wednesday, meaning he will serve his sentence in the community.
The director of news and current affairs at Nine was also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service and disqualified for driving for nine months when he was sentenced in Sydney’s Hornsby Local Court.
Outside court, Wick said he would remain at the helm of Nine’s news and current affairs division and pledged to “not turn to alcohol” during stressful events. “When I’ve done this job and I’m at my best, it’s when I haven’t drunk,” he said.
Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie has revealed she is in a relationship with News Corp’s federal political journalist Simon Benson a day after the pair were photographed together shopping in a regional Victorian hardware store without masks, reports Nine CBD columnists Samantha Hutchinson and Stephen Brook.
The former sports minister and Benson seemed to be flouting a rule requiring shoppers to wear masks. The pair, photographed at the checkout of the Wodonga Bunnings store smiling and sharing a joke, appeared sans masks – despite a Victorian Health ruling requiring them to be worn inside.
“We are in a happy relationship and have been open about it,” McKenzie and Benson told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in a joint statement on Wednesday afternoon.
Shepard Smith has opened up about why he decided to leave Fox News in 2019 after 23 years at the network, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
The former Shepard Smith Reporting anchor and current CNBC host got candid about his tenure at the cable news network in an interview with journalist Christiane Amanpour that will air Tuesday night on PBS. “If you feel like the Fox viewers were getting mis or disinformation, I was there to make sure that they got it straight,” Smith said in the clip, which Amanpour tweeted on Tuesday. “I stuck with it for as long as I could. And at some point I realised I’ve reached a point of diminishing returns and I left.”
When Amanpour pressed Smith as to whether he “accept[s]” that Fox News “perpetuated so many of the divisions, the lies, the conspiracies” of the Trump presidency, Smith spoke abstractly about journalists who “lead people astray” and expressed his distaste for them.
Following on from the backlash surrounding Vogue’s February cover featuring Vice-President Kamala Harris in an overly relaxed portrait, which many, including The Washington Post’s Robin Givhan, deemed disrespectful, Conde Nast announced that it would release a limited edition print run featuring the more formal photograph that had graced Vogue’s digital cover, reports The Australian’s Glynis Traill-Nash.
During the backlash (but before the announcement of the second cover), US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour told The New York Times that there was no “formal agreement” over which images would grace the cover, but said that the team agreed unanimously that the chosen one was “accessible and approachable and real”, reflecting hallmarks of the Biden-Harris political campaign.
“Obviously we have heard and understood the reaction to the print cover,” said Wintour, “and I just want to reiterate that it was absolutely not our intention to, in any way, diminish the importance of the vice-president-elect’s incredible victory.”
The digital — and now limited edition — cover sees Harris in a much sleeker blue Michael Kors suit, with golden drapes behind her. She still appears approachable and relaxed, but also proud and ready to take on the job from early Thursday morning Australian time.
Actor Damon Herriman has remembered late INXS manager Chris Murphy as “such a positive guy” who would call him “CM Junior”, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.
Herriman famously played Murphy on the small screen in TV miniseries, INXS: Never Tear Us Apart.
In preparing for the role, the pair became firm friends.
“I am deeply shocked, he died way too young and it is a great loss,” Herriman, 50, told Confidential on the red carpet of the Australian premiere of Penguin Bloom in Sydney.
Murphy died in Ballina at the age of 66 at the weekend after a short battle with cancer.
“I asked him a million questions about anything and everything I could think of,” Herriman recalled. “Initially I was really intimidated by him because of who he was and his energy. He was such an alpha guy and I was also just a bit scared that he was going to go, ‘what are you doing playing me? You are not right’. But then we actually became mates.”
Kyle Sandilands sparked concerns this morning when he failed to show up for work, reports news.com.au’s Andrew Bucklow.
The KIIS FM host was nowhere to be seen when his radio show started at 6am.
“We don’t know where Kyle is,” co-host Jackie O said on air. “His phone is off which is very strange.”
Jackie O added that Kyle’s manager, Bruno Bouchet, was also uncharacteristically unavailable.
Producers were so concerned that they sent a Kyle and Jackie O team member to Kyle’s house to check on the radio star.
Once there, the team member knocked on the door which woke Kyle who had simply slept in.
Kyle rushed to the studio in North Ryde where he was greeted in the carpark by show producers including Peter Deppeler.
“Thank god you’re here, we’ve been worried sick,” Pete said to Kyle in an Instagram live as the star walked inside the building to the studio. “There was a lot of panic from management. Everyone’s been freaking out.”
“You all thought I was dead?” Kyle asked. “I’m not dead!”
Stan Sport has settled on a price for its sport package as the launch date for the new home of rugby nears, reports Nine’s Sam Phillips.
Sources with knowledge of Stan’s pricing discussions say the streaming company will charge a supplementary fee of about $10 a month for access to its sports package, which includes every Wallabies Test, Super Rugby, Shute Shield, the Hospital Cup, Mitre 10 and the Currie Cup, as well as tennis grand slams Wimbledon and the French Open.
To access the sports package, fans must also have a subscription to Stan’s main non-sport streaming service. Given the cheapest main-service subscription is $10, the total cost for access to Stan Sport will be about $20 per month.
The package is set to be launched near to the Super Rugby AU start date of February 19, when the Waratahs travel north to face the Reds before the Force host the Brumbies in Perth.