By Trent Thomas
The Amazing Race Australia will kick-off its second season when it premieres on Monday, 1 February at 7.30 pm on 10 and 10 Play.
This season has a special twist to it with it taking place entirely down under due to Covid restrictions.
Racing during Covid
Mogford said that while this race presented more challenges than a normal season, it presented a special opportunity to film in our own backyard.
“The extra layer of joy that we dealt with was doing it during Covid which meant that right up until the second week on the road we were still reacting to border closures.
“It was an interesting experience and was like nothing else we had done before. Everyone knew that Australia was amazing and could deliver every possible landscape and adventure under the sun but in this case, it did it in spades.
And while the production team was thrown a lot of curveballs Mogford admits that they also got lucky with being able to film more episodes than they expected.
“A couple of late border changes like Tasmania meant we could go to more places and were able to film a lot of episodes.”
Making the most of a different season
The teams at Eureka and 10 both wanted to make the most of the rare opportunity that they got to do a different type of race.
The team also wanted to take this opportunity to embrace Australian culture and to showcase the country.
“Over the last few years people have gone overseas for their adventures, and it enabled us to shine a spotlight on Australia and look for places and people that were so exotic and unusual.”
“When you travel internationally you tend to parachute in and only see the culture in that area, where in Australia we had to look, but we didn’t have to look far to find the most amazing experiences and people.”
“We were able to have more fun with Australia and we were able to lean into things like travelling by tinnie which is a touchstone for Australian culture which I think people will find really fun.
When asked if the gameplay of the race would be affected Mogford said that the change gave them the opportunity to delve deeper into that element of the show.
“We were able to explore this vast country and put a few more twists and turns into gameplay than we would be able to do if we were overseas. The added gameplay affects the alliances and decision making between the teams in a way we haven’t seen before and is exciting to watch.”
Lessons from season one
Season one of The Amazing Race Australia had a short turnaround time between announcing the show and airing its first episode and Mogford said that while there was more pre-production time that did not make it any easier.
“It was much harder to make than season one, but on the other hand, it was more fulfilling than any other episode we made last year. This was due to being so nimble and having to deal with amazing Aussies that helped us find the route that we needed to take.”
Biggest surprise making The Amazing Race
This season takes contestants all over Australia including urban areas, far north Queensland, Tasmania, and the remote outback, and Mogford says that this shows the diversity of Australia.
“I have lived here for 17 years and I would say most of the production staff who were born and bred Australians were as surprised as I was at the people and places that we found.
“In South Australia, we went from sea lions to gospel music in one fell swoop, it is so diverse.
“In inner-city Adelaide, there was gospel choir singing in Swahili and you think we would have done that in Africa but it was the middle of Adelaide.”
Takeaways from Amazing Race Australia
When asked what she thinks viewers should take from the show Mogford said inspiration.
“The patience it takes to reach those out of reach places or talk to people you meet at a local shop or seek out local music or adrenaline is worth it. It might take a long time to scratch below the surface in Australia, but it pays off.”
Top Photo: Network 10’s Cathie Scott and Eureka’s Sophia Mogford
Just two media brands made the Top 100, but neither made the Top 50.
Brand Finance Australia has released its latest ranking of the Most Valuable Brands in Australia.
This year, the retail sector has overtaken banking in terms of overall brand value, accounting for 25% of total brand value in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2021 ranking.
Supermarket brands such as most valuable, Woolworths (brand value up 6% to AU$12.6 billion) and competitor, Coles (up 4% to AU$7.9 billion), which is in 4th position, have been leading the charge by ensuring that grocery supply was not disrupted by COVID-19.
In contrast, the Australian banking sector has suffered an overall 11% drop in brand value due to weaker performance forecasts and unfavourable financial conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 5 banking brands in the top 10, only Macquarie has managed to keep a steady brand value year-on-year, while Commonwealth Bank (down 11% to AU$9.1 billion), ANZ (down 5% to AU$6.4 billion), nab (down 20% to AU$5.5 billion), and Westpac (down 15% to AU$4.9 billion) have all suffered losses.
As increasing competition puts pressure on all telecoms brands, the value of the Telstra brand dropped by 18% to AU$9.5 billion, reaching its lowest point since 2014. The story is similar for Optus which decreased by 19% to AU$3.8 billion due to a drop in forecast revenue and external economic factors.
There are just two media brands in the top 100, yet neither of them was able to crack the Top 50. Nine and Seven both made the chart. Nine climbed 9 spots to #57 this year. Seven however dropped 8 places to #82.
“Despite the precarious financial conditions created by the pandemic, the Australian retail sector has benefitted considerably from the boom in spending on essential items such as food, medicine, and other household goods,” said Mark Crowe, managing director, Brand Finance Australia.
“While strong Australian supermarket brands such as Woolworths and Coles have been instrumental in driving up this brand value, the sector is not void of vulnerability to disruption, especially from tech-led challengers.”
Birdwatch allows people to identify information in Tweets they believe is misleading and write notes that provide context. Twitter believes this approach has the potential to respond quickly when misleading information spreads, adding context that people trust and find valuable. Eventually Twitter aims to make notes visible directly on Tweets for the global Twitter audience, when there is consensus from a broad and diverse set of contributors.
In this first phase of the pilot, notes will only be visible on a separate Birdwatch site. On this site, pilot participants can also rate the helpfulness of notes added by other contributors. These notes are being intentionally kept separate from Twitter for now, while the platform build Birdwatch and gains confidence that it produces context people find helpful and appropriate. Additionally, notes will not have an effect on the way people see Tweets or system recommendations.
Meanwhile Twitter has announced the acquisition of Revue, a service that makes it free and easy for anyone to start and publish editorial newsletters. Revue will accelerate Twitter’s work to help people stay informed about their interests while giving all types of writers a way to monetize their audience – whether it’s through the one they built at a publication, their website, on Twitter, or elsewhere.
For those looking to generate revenue, Revue is creating a durable incentive model through paid newsletters. Bringing Revue to Twitter will supercharge the offering, helping writers grow their paid subscribers while also incentivising them to produce engaging and relevant content that drives conversations on Twitter.
The company said users can expect audience-based monetisation to be an area that Twitter continues to develop new ways to support, whether it’s helping broaden revenue streams or serving as a cornerstone of someone’s business.
Carat took stock of 2020, looked for patterns amidst all the rapid change and disruptions.
Carat has released its annual 2021 Carat Trends Report focussing on Societal, Tech and Media trends. To look ahead to 2021, the agency took stock of 2020, looked for patterns amidst all the rapid change and disruptions, and uncovered technologies and behaviours that are becoming a part of life for more people.
“2020 was a year that we certainly won’t forget, and its lasting impact will continue to be felt in all areas of business and society. It made our 2021 Carat Trends Report this year even more critical to help our clients understand how to navigate these changes and pinpoint the trends that we believe will be here to stay,” said Linda Fagerlund, Chief Strategy Officer, Carat Australia.
Danni Wright, National Head of Strategy & Connections Planning at Carat Australia added, “For the first time in our history of releasing the Carat Trends Report, we have looked at societal trends in addition to the more traditional media led trends.
“This is reflective of Carat’s focus on understanding the ‘consumers’ we are solving for as real people under our new ‘Designing For People’ positioning.
“It’s also reflective of the reality that media exists at the heart of culture today and that understanding this intersection is essential to unleash the power and potential of media.”
COVID Editions = Life Additions.
Many new behaviours, such as BOPIS (buy online pickup in store), are here to stay.
Brands must have both a robust virtual and physical offering with a focus on delivering both with flexibility and convenience.
COVID is the now proven case study for flexible working, disrupting the traditional ‘metro-based nine to five’ and opening up new opportunities for consumers and brands alike. Brands must consider their mental availability to ensure that people continue to shop the brand even if physical availability has shifted. Local area marketing will also rise in importance as part of the comms mix.
Wellness to Wellbeing.
With the world experiencing a heightened sense of anxiety from bushfires, global pandemics and social justice movements, we saw an accelerated focus on wellbeing which manifested in a myriad of ways – mindfulness became mainstream. We gave ourselves permission to treat ourselves without the feeling of guilt, and wellbeing at work became a must-have as opposed to a nice-to-have.
Supporting people with their wellbeing goals is a prime route for brands to tap into, however, companies must be mindful that their internal policies and practices hold up to the standards the brand is setting.
Where overseas activism has split along partisan lines, younger generations in Australia are uniting in collective allyship. Driving social, governmental and business change on the issues most urgent to their generation – such as climate change and racial injustices.
Brands can expect to be part of the change and the conversation, and are not immune to criticism. Therefore, the emotional intelligence, transparency and societal actions of a brand has never been more pertinent.
Once a dormant fad, the time is right for augmented reality and QR codes. These functional technologies helped us to live more remotely in the COVID era, and with usage behaviours now ingrained in our everyday, we expect AR and QR are here to stay.
With the rapid growth in e-commerce, brands have been experimenting with ways of bringing in-store experiences into the virtual world, and we’re beginning to see brands move beyond novelty when using AR/QR, and starting to use it as a value add.
Exciting things are happening with audio. Smart speakers are reaching saturation point, music-first companies are rotating to audio-first and voice-led utility is becoming more ingrained in our everyday.
Brands must ensure that they are shoppable within audio enabled buying platforms, and also that they have distinctive brand codes for this medium. Look out for the resurgence of the jingle!
Brand Safety to Societal Safety.
There is a greater emphasis on brand safety in all its forms. Advertisers and agencies are moving from brand safety to societal safety – looking to not only ensure their advertising does not appear in inappropriate content, but to ensure that it does not fund inappropriate content or publishers.
State of Subscription.
We have seen the explosion and diversification of new paid content services launching in Australia, with entertainment and media becoming more virtual, streamed, personal and – at least for the time being – more centred on the home than anyone could have anticipated.
With the influx, more questions are being raised around existing ad-funded models, with consumer revenue now overtaking advertising revenue, and the sustainability of these subscriptions as financial strain and fatigue kicks in.
One Stop Shops.
As the big technology companies consolidate their power, they are building synergies between their different services, making life easier, quicker and more seamless for consumers – and in turn shortening the traditional consumer purchase funnel. Integrating their services means that these companies are becoming ‘one stop shops’ for all of your needs, rather than a disparate group of apps and sites – which will continue to impact the smaller players with more specific specialties.
Virtual in Person (VIP) Access.
As COVID put an abrupt end to in-person events and live entertainment, new spaces and venues were created through virtual experiences. We became privy to artists live-streaming intimate acoustic sets, were welcomed into chefs’ home kitchens, and elite fitness trainers’ backyards.
This presents new opportunities for brands to play a role in providing access to, or enhancing, such content with the added benefit of a level of scale not afforded by physical events.
Danni Wright added, “For the first time in our history of releasing the Carat Trends Report, we have looked at societal trends in addition to the more traditional media led trends.
“This is reflective of Carat’s focus on understanding the ‘consumers’ we are solving for as real people under our new ‘Designing For People’ positioning.
“It’s also reflective of the reality that media exists at the heart of culture today and that understanding this intersection is essential to unleash the power and potential of media.”
The full Carat Trends Report can be found here.
With the Australian Open delayed until February 8, host broadcaster Nine Network has confirmed the times of Tennis on Nine with its coverage of lead-up events in Melbourne and Adelaide.
Twelve countries, featuring the world’s best tennis players, will compete in the second edition of the ATP Cup, to be broadcast live on Nine, 9Gem and 9Now on Tuesday, February 2, from 11.30am AEDT.
The tournament will be hosted by Nine’s Nick McArdle and Erin Molan with the tennis on Nine preceding the Australian Open.
The competition sees the sport’s best players putting their individual rivalries to one side as they compete for their country in the quest to triumph in the ATP Cup.
Top seed Serbia, headlined by world No.1 Novak Djokovic, will lead Group A, which also includes Germany and Canada. At the inaugural tournament last year, Serbia won the ATP Cup in Sydney.
Second seed Spain, runner-up to Serbia in 2020, has drawn Group B, which includes Greece and host country Australia. World No.2 Rafael Nadal again leads the way for his country.
Austria, headed by world No.3 Dominic Thiem, will have to advance through Group C against Italy and France. And in Group D, fourth seed Russia, headlined by reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Daniil Medvedev, face Argentina and Japan.
Alex de Minaur has once again been named to lead Team Australia. He will be joined by John Millman, John Peers and Luke Saville.
De Minaur last year famously took Nadal to three sets in a thrilling match before Australia bowed out to Spain in the semi-finals.
The Aussies will face Spain in the round-robin stage this time around, along with Greece who have world No.6 Stefanos Tsitsipas leading the way.
This year’s five-day event will be played at Melbourne Park alongside two ATP 250 events, the Great Ocean Road Open and the Murray River Open. Following the group stage, the four group winners will advance to the knockout semi-finals to continue battling for the prestigious title.
The 2021 ATP Cup will feature 12 of the Top 13 players in the ATP Rankings. Each country is represented by four players, with each tie comprising two singles matches and one doubles match.
Serbia: Novak Djokovic, Dusan Lajovic, Filip Krajinovic, Nikola Cacic
Germany: Alexander Zverev, Jan-Lennard Struff, Kevin Krawietz, Andreas Mies
Canada: Denis Shapovalov, Milos Raonic, Peter Polansky, Steven Diez
Spain: Rafael Nadal, Roberto Bautista Agut, Marcel Granollers, Pablo Carreno Busta
Greece: Stefanos Tsitsipas, Michail Pervolarakis, Markos Kalovelonis, Petros Tsitsipas
Australia: Alex de Minaur, John Millman, John Peers, Luke Saville
Austria: Dominic Thiem, Dennis Novak, Philipp Oswald, Tristan-Samuel Weissborn
Italy: Matteo Berrettini, Fabio Fognini, Simone Bolelli, Andrea Vavassori
France: Gael Monfils, Benoit Paire, Nicolas Mahut, Edouard Roger-Vasselin
Russia: Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Aslan Karatsev, Evgeny Dosnkoy
Argentina: Diego Schwartzman, Guido Pella, Horacio Zeballos, Maximo Gonzalez
Japan: Kei Nishikori, Yoshihito Nishioka, Ben McLachlan, Toshihide Matsui
Tennis on Nine: Adelaide Superslam
Australia’s world No.1 Ash Barty, will play in A Day at the Drive, the official curtain-raiser to the long-awaited 2021 Summer of Tennis featuring the Australian Open.
Hosted by Todd Woodbridge, A Day at the Drive – the “Adelaide Superslam” – is a one-off event to be held at Memorial Drive Tennis Centre in Adelaide on Friday, January 29, and broadcast live on Nine and 9Now from 1.30pm AEDT.
A Day at the Drive will feature a total of eight players, including Serena Williams (USA), Rafael Nadal (ESP), Novak Djokovic (SRB), Dominic Thiem (AUT), Simona Halep (ROU), Naomi Osaka (JPN) and 19-year-old world No.36 Jannik Sinner (ITA).
Collectively, the field boasts the winners of 67 Grand Slam men’s and women’s singles titles.
A Day at the Drive starts the summer of tennis on Nine and will be staged over two sessions with reduced venue capacity in line with government requirements to ensure the safety of all patrons.
Each session will consist of two singles matches. The schedule of play will be announced in the coming days.
“I am looking forward to playing my first match for the 2021 season in Adelaide,” Barty said.
“I have fond memories from the Adelaide International last year and it will be great to get back on court here for A Day at the Drive.”
The group of international players arrived in Adelaide earlier this month and have undertaken mandatory 14-day quarantine. All players and their support teams arriving for the Summer of Tennis are over and above the numbers of Australians returning to the country during the pandemic.
An Australian-produced series which mixed an epic railway journey through Vietnam with culinary delights has won an award at the 25th Asian Television Awards.
Luke Nguyen’s Railway Vietnam, broadcast on SBS in 2020, was named Best Lifestyle Program, beating off nominees from some of Asian’s biggest markets.
Other Australian winners this year were Foxtel and Lingo Pictures for Upright and IMG for its coverage of the NBL Grand Final.
Luke Nguyen’s Railway Vietnam was produced by Melbourne-based Creative Media Productions, which has produced a host of lifestyle series which have been broadcast locally and to more than 150 countries including the US and the UK.
Hosted by Luke Nguyen (pictured), the 10-part series took viewers on a sweeping 2,000km culinary journey on the Reunification Express from Ho Chi Minh City (the former Saigon) in the south to the majestic mountains of Sa Pa in the north, combining the celebrated chef’s love of food, travel and the Vietnamese people.
The series was the ninth production in the series hosted by Nguyen, with Creative Media having also produced season’s in Europe as well as Asia, again mixing food and travel.
Creative Media Productions head John Hatcher paid tribute to Luke, and his wife Lynne, who was heavily involved in pre-production, and the crew that helped bring Vietnam to life.
“We had a wonderfully dedicated crew, working in challenging conditions against a tough production time-line where Luke and the crew were basically on and off the train for 35 days in 10 locations,” Hatcher said. “We are incredibly grateful for the award and it’s wonderful recognition for the work Luke and the crew put into the project.”
This year’s awards attracted more than 1,300 entries in over 50 categories from a wide range of broadcasters, including free-to-air television networks and pay-TV platforms, as well as many independent production houses in Asia.
Creative Media Productions was established in 2000, mainly producing programs in the lifestyle genre, including A Taste of Travel, Huey’s Cooking Adventures, Ben’s Menu, The Cook’s Pantry and My Market Kitchen.
Apart from the Railway series, the company has also produced eight other series with Nguyen, including Luke Nguyen’s Greater Mekong and Luke Nguyen’s Food Trail which followed the chef’s journey from Cabramatta in Sydney to the opening of his restaurant empire in Australia and Asia.
The full list of winners can be found here.
By Tess Connery
After spending two weeks at the top of the Box Office charts, The Dry has been bumped back down to second place.
It’s not all bad news for The Dry though, this week the film crossed the $10m threshold, having made a total of $12,092,455.
The #1 position has been taken by another Australian film. Starring Naomi Watts, Penguin Bloom is a new release about a baby magpie that helps save a young mother and her family after a devastating accident. In its first week, Penguin Bloom has shot to the top of the box office and made over $1m.
The other new entry to the top five this week is The Marksman, starring Liam Neeson. The Marksman has taken the fourth spot, pushing Wonder Woman 1984 down to the fifth position, and knocking Promising Young Woman and The War With Grandpa out of the top five.
Overall, the Box Office is down 5% this week, a fall less steep than last week’s drop of 8%. The top 20 films of the week collected a total of $7.72m over the weekend.
Shooting to #1 in its first week of release, Penguin Bloom has already crossed the $1m threshold.
Despite moving down to second place this week The Dry averaged $3,929 across 367 screens, the highest average of the week.
Moving from #2 last week to #3 this week, the animated film has made a total of $18,074,178 to date.
The second new entry into the top five, The Marksman averaged $3,036 across 279 screens.
The superhero flick is in its fifth week since release, having made an impressive total of $22,787,797.
By James Manning
• Celebrity final week: Alli Simpson toilet visit her last, still many to be eliminated
• Byron Bay proves to be a draw for Nine viewers as Travel Guides stays domestic
• Final regular season game of BBL on Seven ahead of final series starting Friday
Nine returned to first place Tuesday night with the biggest primary and network shares. A big contributor to the Nine win, as always, was Nine News and then A Current Affair. A new edition to the schedule, and appearing for the first time since 2019, was Travel Guides. The teams visited Byron Bay with 584,000 watching. An audience of 390,000 stayed on to watch The Castle.
Winning the 7.30pm timeslot again all people and in key demos was 10’s I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! Symon Lovett was the latest celebrity to depart. With only days left to run though, there are still plenty of competitors to be evicted. The program also ensured 10 was again #1 primary and #1 network in key demos and under 50 for the night.
Seven broadcast the final Big Bash League regular season game which saw the Sydney Sixers finish top of the tale and secure choice of venue for its finals. The audience watching the first session was over 400,000 thanks to a powerful display of batting again from Glenn Maxwell. The numbers dropped to 341,000 though for the Sixers winning innings.
The ABC gave 7.30 a second consecutive night off with Australia Day Live attracting 306,000.
Great Continental Railway Journeys saw host Michael Portillo in his traditional Tuesday slot. The episode was SBS’s most watched for the night with 219,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS||2.4%||7TWO||4.3%||GO!||3.0%||10 Bold||4.7%||VICELAND||1.0%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||3.5%||GEM||2.5%||10 Peach||2.5%||Food Net||1.1%|
|ABC NEWS||2.0%||7flix||1.3%||9Life||2.8%||10 Shake||0.5%||NITV||0.2%|
|9Rush||1.2%||SBS World Movies||0.8%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS||2.2%||7TWO||3.7%||GO!||2.5%||10 Bold||3.6%||VICELAND||1.1%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||3.4%||GEM||1.8%||10 Peach||3.1%||Food Net||1.2%|
|ABC NEWS||2.0%||7flix||1.2%||9Life||2.3%||10 Shake||0.8%||NITV||0.4%|
|9Rush||1.4%||SBS World Movies||0.4%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS||2.1%||7TWO||5.0%||GO!||5.5%||WIN Bold||4.6%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||5.9%||GEM||4.0%||WIN Peach||3.0%||Food Net||0.7%|
|ABC NEWS||1.8%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.1%||9Life||2.6%||Sky News on WIN||1.0%||NITV||0.3%|
|TUESDAY 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
Google has backflipped on plans to halt the local launch of its news product in an attempt to prove to the federal government it is a better way of paying media companies than newly proposed laws, report The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios and Lisa Visentin.
The change of heart by the $US1.8 trillion ($2.3 trillion) search advertising giant to roll out Google News Showcase as early as February comes as competition tsar Rod Sims said the tech giant only did deals with news outlets in France after intervention from the regulator.
Google first announced plans to launch News Showcase in Australia last June and signed deals with small local outlets such as Crikey, The Saturday Paper, The Conversation and regional newspaper business Australian Community Media. But it delayed its plans when the local competition regulator revealed a draft version of a news media bargaining code, telling news outlets it would not launch until it had a better idea of how the proposed laws would affect it financially.
Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire mogul behind Fox News, took issue with the silencing of debate on social media, saying “awful woke orthodoxy” was hobbling public discourse, reports Bloomberg.
Murdoch, 89, made the rare public remarks during a brief video to accept a lifetime achievement award from the Australia Day Foundation. The clip was posted online by the Herald Sun, a Melbourne newspaper owned by Murdoch’s News Corp.
“For those of us in media, there is a real challenge to confront,” he said. “A wave of censorship that seeks to silence conversation, to stifle debate and ultimately stop individuals and societies from realizing their potential.”
Netflix Australia paid less than $500,000 in tax for the 2019 calendar year despite more than an estimated 5 million subscribers paying at least $9.99 a month, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
That is because the revenue from Australian subscribers – estimated between $670 million and $1.2 billion – flows to a Netflix company resident in the Netherlands.
In the 2019 calendar year, Netflix Australia paid income tax of $485,371, up from $341,793 in the 2018 year, according to Australian Securities and Investments Commission filings.
In February 2020, AMPD Research, a subsidiary of Media Partners Asia, estimated Netflix had 5.6 million Australian subscribers.
Rough calculations based on these subscriber estimates and applied to the 2019 calendar year suggest Netflix could have made between roughly $670 million and more than $1.2 billion.
“We comply with all Australian and international tax law. In addition, we continue to invest aggressively in local content,” a Netflix spokesman said.
Low interest rates and a property market recovery have coincided with a rebound in the share prices of real estate listing groups Domain and REA as the two players look for opportunities to grow their businesses, reports The SMH’s Zoe Samios.
In the last few weeks Domain’s shares have climbed to a record high of $4.65 and News Corp-owned REA’s hit $154.30 in early January.
As half-year results approach and property listings continue to improve, Domain and REA Group will look at ways to grow their businesses and alternative revenue streams could be key.
Media industry sources familiar with Domain’s strategy have said the company is about to make a $100 million strategic investment in a sign it is looking to diversify its revenue. It is unclear which company it is looking to buy a stake in but industry sources have suggested it could be surveying business GlobalX or home loan broker Lendi (Domain has a joint venture with Lendi).
Veteran stars, presenters and media execs have been recognised in the annual Australia Day Honours, reports TV Tonight.
Former A Country Practice star Lorrae Desmond and former Prisoner star Val Lehman both become a Member of the Order of Australia along with Graham Ross from Better Homes & Gardens.
But veteran broadcaster Kerry O’Brien who was given an Officer of the Order of Australia declined after word that tennis champion Margaret Court was honoured.
Also recognised are former segment presenter for The Morning Show, Glenn Wheeler, and former SBS presenter, Craig Foster.
Made a Member AM in the General Division of the Order of Australia was the late Mrs Maureen Anne Kerridge (formerly Plavsic), who was Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director and Executive Director of Seven from 2000-2003.
For significant service to the television industry, to the arts, and to charitable organisations.
Given a Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division was Vicki Maree Tiegs, former National Promotions and Publicity Director, WIN Corp 1996-2002. Tiegs continued to work with WIN as a client of her PR firm for many years.
For service to the community of the Illawarra.
Stories from news outlets including the Guardian, the Daily Mail and the Financial Times will appear in a dedicated Facebook feed from today, reports The Guardian.
The UK launch of the Facebook News service is the first outside the US. In addition to already-inked deals involving the Guardian, the Economist and hundreds of local sites, Facebook on Tuesday announced new partnerships with Channel 4 News, Daily Mail Group, DC Thomson, Financial Times, Sky News and Telegraph Media Group.
The deal, which will earn leading publishers millions, will be a financial boost as they face a bleak economic landscape, in part because such a large proportion of the ad market is now controlled by the social network.
Meanwhile, the EU copyright directive threatens a similar scenario across Europe. Last week Google agreed a deal to pay news publishers for online content in France, the first such deal on the continent.
Of the UK’s national news publishers, News UK – which publishes the Times, the Sunday Times, and the Sun – is the most significant holdout. It already has a deal with Apple News.
Angelos Frangopoulos’ GB News has launched a recruitment drive for 140 jobs, calling for “disruptors and innovators” who want to help “reshape television and digital news”, reports Press Gazette.
Chairman and ex-BBC presenter Andrew Neil has said GB News will target “the vast number of British people who feel under served and unheard by their media”.
But chief executive Angelos Frangopoulos said “we are committed to impartial journalism”.
Available roles on the 24-hour TV and online news channel, expected to launch later this year, include producers of all levels, video journalists and reporters, technical production journalists, creative journalists and executive assistants.
The job adverts describe GB News’ plans to be “refreshingly different”, calling for staff who can “tap into what the country is talking about” and do “not want to make traditional news or follow what everyone else is doing”.
One of the first hires is Lucinda Duckett who has been named director of corporate affairs and editorial advocacy.
Duckett most notably spent 13 years at News Corp Australia where she was group editorial development manager and editorial communications manager and managed Australia’s Right to Know campaign which led to a reform of Freedom of Information laws.
An “embarrassed and ashamed” former Channel 7 News reporter has revealed he quit his job after being busted with two bags of cocaine after his work Christmas party, reports News.com.au’s Steve Zemek.
Peter Fegan walked out of Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Monday vowing to get his career back on track after being sentenced to an 18-month conditional release order.
Fegan, 38, pleaded guilty to one count of drug possession with Deputy Chief Magistrate Jane Mottley not recording a conviction.
Fegan was suspended from duty before he resigned from his role as a crime reporter with Seven News over the incident which happened on the night of his Christmas work drinks last year.
The acclaimed artist Peter Kingston will return his Australia Day award, joining notable recipients who say the elevation of former tennis champion Margaret Court to the country’s highest honour undermined the award’s intention to foster community unity, reports The SMH’s Linda Morris.
Kingston called on Court, a Pentecostal preacher who has attracted criticism for her views on same-sex marriage and homosexuality, to reconsider her words and actions and acknowledge the pain they caused.
Journalist Kerry O’Brien also refused to accept the Australia Day honour he was due to receive Tuesday citing the “deeply insensitive and divisive decision”. O’Brien expressed his support for Canberra medico Clara Tuck Meng Soo who will also return the Order of Australia she received in 2016 for her work with the LGBTQI + community and HIV sufferers.
Having separated more than 20 years ago, former golden couple of Australian radio Phil O’Neil and Jackie O are back working out of the same Sydney office, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.
O’Neil, also known as Ugly Phil, landed a job on ARN’s WSFM 101.7 at the end of last year.
WSFM is the sister station to ARN’s KIIS 106.5, on which Jackie O co-hosts the market leading FM breakfast show with Kyle Sandilands.
“There is no problem at all there,” O’Neill told Confidential.
“It is funny because a lot of people say that but we worked together 20 years ago. It was a long time ago. We are still mates, nothing has changed.”
Expat Brit O’Neil returned to Australia last year after a stint working in the UK for stations Planet Rock and Fix Radio.
He and partner Samantha had intended on staying longer but with COVID crippling the industry decided to return home after just over a year on ground.
“It was been a while but not as long as we’d hoped obviously,” the broadcaster said.
I have a healthy tolerance for junk TV, writes The Age’s Debi Enker.
Yes, OK, sometimes even an appetite for it. I can admit, with only a twinge of embarrassment, that I’ve watched all of Emily in Paris. Just as there are times when fast food hits the spot, there are times when a serve of trashy TV is just right.
Which is why my escalating antipathy as I ploughed through Bridgerton (Netflix) surprised me. By halfway through its eight-part first season – a second has recently been announced – I was thoroughly sick of the Bridgertons, their nasty neighbours, the Featheringtons, and most of London’s Regency-era high society. Even with the elaborate costumes, the lavish balls, the spirited sniping and the ostensibly steamy romance and hot sex. Even with its megaphone-blasted theme of female empowerment wrapped in a bodice-ripping yarn.
The Sydney Sixers, Sydney Thunder, and Brisbane Heat will host matches in week one of the KFC BBL|10 Finals series with the schedule for matches on January 29, 30, and 31 revealed.
The Perth Scorchers and Adelaide Strikers will join them in the Finals series after also finishing in the top five positions on the KFC BBL|10 ladder.
The first three KFC BBL|10 Finals series matches are:
Friday, January 29: ‘The Eliminator’, Brisbane Heat v Adelaide Strikers, the Gabba, 6:15pm AEST / 7:15pm AEDT
Saturday, January 30: ‘The Qualifier’, Sydney Sixers v Perth Scorchers, Manuka Oval, 7:15pm AEDT
Sunday, January 31: ‘The Knockout’, Sydney Thunder v winner of The Eliminator, Manuka Oval, 7:15pm AEDT
The winner of The Qualifier will earn the right to host the KFC BBL|10 Final on Saturday, February 6.
The loser of The Qualifier will receive a second chance to make the Final, taking on the winner of The Knockout on Thursday, February 4. This match is known as The Challenger.
All Finals matches will be broadcast live on Seven, Foxtel, Kayo and SEN Radio.
Manuka Oval has been nominated by the Sixers and Thunder as the venue for their home finals this weekend due to the limitations around travel for teams in and out of Sydney due to current state border restrictions. This decision gives fans of both Sydney-based clubs the best chance to attend and see their teams live.
Decisions regarding the locations for matches in week two of the KFC BBL|10 Finals series will be made in due course.
Alistair Dobson, Cricket Australia’s Head of Big Bash Leagues, said:
“The KFC BBL|10 Finals series is the crescendo of an extraordinary summer of Big Bash, with 115 matches (56 KFC BBL|10 to date and 59 rebel WBBL|06 matches) played so far across seven states and territories.
“Our thanks once again go out to all state and territory governments, our KFC BBL clubs and their players and staff, broadcast partners Seven, Foxtel, Kayo and SEN, commercial partners KFC, BKT, Toyota, Sanitarium, Rexona and all club partners and venues who has made this season possible. We also acknowledge the work of our own staff in getting us to the Finals, particularly the medical and biosecurity staff who have safely navigated us through the challenges of the current health situation. We look forward to a big Finals series beginning Friday night.”