Thursday January 30, 2020

Podcast Week: Greg Rust in NZ, Whateley in Miami, Group M podcasts with CEO

By James Manning

• PodcastOne Australia podcasts also now on world’s #1 audio platform

Greg Rust on how podcasting from NZ works

Motoring journalist and broadcaster Greg Rust is coming to the end of his second year with PodcastOne.

His podcast Rusty’s Garage launched in the days leading up to the 2018 Melbourne Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Prior to the PodcastOne partnership, Rust made what he calls a “significant lifestyle decision” at the end of 2017.

“My wife grew up where I live now – at Hawke’s Bay on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand,” Rust told Mediaweek. “At the time I ended the second of two great stints working with Supercars – the first as part of 10’s coverage where I got to work with Barry Sheene and others. The second saw me working on Supercars coverage that saw me both onscreen at Fox Sports and 10.”

Along with the move with his family to New Zealand, Rust became a freelance journalist and broadcaster with podcasting a significant part of his business model. “I have absolutely loved it and it is an important part of what gives me a big buzz.”

Rust is something of a long-form specialist with most recent interviews packaged as two, or even three-part, podcasts. “These people have great stories to tell and the feedback we get seems to indicate that many are listening to the whole interview.”

Although home is in NZ, many recent interviews have included podcasts recorded in Australia and Singapore.

Meanwhile Rust’s Chad Reed podcast runs across two parts recorded 12 months apart.

For 2020, Rust is hoping to have a new release every three weeks. “Although there isn’t any racing across much of the summer, people still have a thirst for motorsport content. Recent interviews have included Casey Stoner who revealed he has been suffering from chronic fatigue. Another summer podcast was an interview with a former colleague and friend Bill Woods [formerly at 10 Sport and now with Fox Sports].”

A year ago in January Rust released his Mark Skaife podcast which has turned out to be one of his most-listened to episodes.

Coming soon from Rusty’s Garage is mega-successful businessman Tony Quinn who is also a car racing fan and owner.

Plans for 2020 include a visit to Europe where Rust has a wish list of legendary motorsport figures he is hoping to secure for podcasts.

On the move to New Zealand, Rust told Mediaweek: “It’s been absolutely fantastic. We are on two acres in wine country and it’s so nice to have a bit of space. The podcasts are now the highlight of this part of my career and I didn’t realise when I embarked on the journey just how satisfying they would be. I am very proud of the rapport I have had with the various guests.”

Rust didn’t rule out leaving New Zealand for the right job in sports broadcasting, but it would have to be pretty tempting to drag him away from what sounds like an idyllic lifestyle. “Australia is still my home and that will never change, but this is lovely for my kids and the foreseeable future.

Listen to Rusty’s Garage here.

Group M’s Mark Lollback leads ‘Bitesize’ push

GroupM’s has announced a podcast series Media Landscapes The Podcast hosted by GroupM Australia & New Zealand CEO, Mark Lollback; Head of Trading Intelligence, Liesa Newland; and Group Communications Director, Rosie Baker.

Each episode of Media Landscapes The Podcast is based on a trends piece written by GroupM’s Global President of Business Intelligence, Brian Wieser, and published at the tail end of 2019 in a report of the same name.

As podcast hosts, Lollback and Newland offer their local analysis and reflection on the global topics explored in depth within the report.

Mark Lollback said: “We are constantly looking for better ways to communicate with our clients, people and partners to share information and insights. Podcasts are an effective, innovative audio channel that works for many of our advertising clients, so it makes sense to explore it as a B2B channel.

“Whether listeners are media and marketing experts themselves or new to the subjects, these short, snackable episodes are designed to offer a bitesize overview of a major topic in media and marketing. The episodes standalone but if listeners want to know more, they can download the full GroupM Global publication Media Landscapes for free and go deeper into the subject, or get in touch with us for more info.”

The first episodes were launched in late December and GroupM will distribute new episodes weekly throughout January on Apple Podcasts. GroupM is also distributing the episodes directly to clients and its staff across Australia & New Zealand.

Media Landscapes The Podcast was developed and produced in collaboration PodcastOne Australia and recorded in their state of the art Sydney podcast studio.

Listen to Media Landscapes here.

Whateley at Radio Row in Miami during Super Bowl week

Radio shows from SEN 1116, the Melbourne sports radio station now part of the Crocmedia empire, have been one of the beneficiaries on the new Podcast Ranker chart.

For several months now that AM sports station has had two of its programs in the top 10 – SEN Breakfast and Whateley.

We covered the return on the breakfast show hosted by Garry Lyon and Tim Watson in Mediaweek yesterday.

The Whateley program is also back on air this year and host Gerard Whateley is spending the week broadcasting from Radio Row in Miami ahead of the Super Bowl LIV clash to be played Monday morning Australian time.

In addition to his regular guests from Australia this week, Whateley has also spoken to US sports journalists in Miami for the big game and players including Broncos star Justin Simmons.

Whateley will broadcast the Super Bowl on Monday on SEN from Miami’s Hard Rock stadium. He will continue broadcasting from Miami on SEN until Wednesday next week.

Listen to the Whateley podcast episodes of his radio show here.

PodcastOne Australia partners with Spotify

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has announced a partnership with Spotify to include PodcastOne’s Australian podcasts on the Spotify platform as part of its broader distribution strategy in 2020.

Spotify is the most popular global audio streaming subscription service with more than 248 million users, including 113 million subscribers, across 79 markets. Spotify provides access to over 50 million songs and more than half a million podcasts across the world.

SCA and PodcastOne Australia have entered into a distribution agreement with Spotify to make available all of PodcastOne Australia’s podcasts, including Hamish and Andy, Mark Howard’s The Howie Games, The Mentor with Mark Bouris, Rosie Waterland’s Just the Gist and My Mum Says My Memoir Is A Lie, Greg Rust’s Rusty’s Garage, Mark Pesce’s Next Billion Seconds, Adam Shand’s Understate and At Large crime series, Amelia Phillips’ Healthy Her, Katie Williams’ Better For It, David Koch’s Kochie’s Easy Steps to Financial Success and Kochie’s Guide to Starting your own Business and Sarah Grynberg’s A Life of Greatness, among others.

More than 70 PodcastOne series will initially be available on Spotify this month with more to follow.

SCA CEO Grant Blackley (pictured) said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Spotify to expand the distribution of PodcastOne’s Australian titles – ensuring stronger reach, accessibility and discovery for both our podcast creators and consumers alike. We recognise Spotify’s reach and value and look forward to working closely with their Australian team. SCA will continue to look at additional future platforms to improve PodcastOne’s distribution where commercial terms are appropriate.”

Spotify Australia & New Zealand managing director Karen Lawson said: “Spotify’s goal is to continue leading the streaming revolution by providing the best in audio content, customised for our listeners and accessible on-demand, on any device, everywhere. That revolution started with music and continues with podcasts, and we could not be happier to welcome PodcastOne’s amazing line-up of audio content to our platform in 2020.”

Mediaweek Industry Awards: Complete winners list

In November and December, we ran a readers poll to decide the winners of the 2019 Mediaweek Industry Awards. Over the last few weeks, we have announced the winners and runner-ups for each category.

Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Podcast

The first winner announcement for the reader-voted 2019 Mediaweek Industry Awards is for Best Podcast. Fittingly it goes to Australia’s #1 podcast by any measure – Hamish Blake and Andy Lee who show up every week for 40 weeks of the year with the best sidekick in the business, Jack Post.

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Podcast

Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Print Magazine

Who magazine has delivered premium celebrity news and entertainment to Australian women since 1992. The weekly magazine is edited by Stacey Hicks, who has been at Pacific Magazines for over eight years working across a number of titles; currently editor of Who and Girlfriend. 

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Print Magazine

Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Australian Sports Broadcaster

Bruce McAvaney

Network Seven veteran Bruce McAvaney has won the Mediaweek Industry Award for Best Sports Broadcaster for a second consecutive year with double the votes of the next best in the category. While there was a clear preference for the broadcaster at #2, there was a four-way tie for the four people in third spot.

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Australian Sports Broadcaster

Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Drama

Last year Wentworth was the first-ever recipient of a Mediaweek Industry Award when it won the 2018 Best Drama Award, and it has followed it up with another victory for its seventh season in perhaps the closet vote in this year’s awards.

After being renewed in December last year for two more seasons, the Fremantle-produced Wentworth has continued its momentum with both fans and critics after the release of its latest season. 

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Drama

Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Television Comedy

Have You Been Paying Attention? has gone from missing out on the top three last year to winning the Mediaweek Industry Award for Best Television series by a comfortable margin.

The series has been a ratings success since it launched toward the end of 2013 with just eight 30-minute episodes with subsequent years delivering close to 30 episodes a year with season seven airing in 2019 where it was the most watched non-news program several times and regularly out rating shows in the coveted 7:30 pm slot.

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Television Comedy

Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Reality TV

After winning 2018 Mediaweek Industry Award for Best Television reality, Gogglebox Australia has followed it up again with another win in the same category. Its been a good year for the show also being crowned the Most Popular Entertainment program at the 61st TV Week Logie Awards.

The Australian version of the UK format has been a big hit in Australia ever since Endemol Shine Australia launched the series on both Foxtel and Network 10.

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Reality TV

Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Television Production Company

The Melbourne-based production company Working Dog Productions has continued where it left off last year once again winning the Mediaweek Industry Award for Best Television Production Company.

The company was founded by the multi-talented Santo Cilauro, Rob Sitch, Jane Kennedy, Tom Gleisner, and production guru Michael Hirsh.

The company’s biggest success and biggest commission is the Network 10 Monday night comedy quiz format Have You Been Paying Attention? Hosted by Working Dog co-founder Tom Gleisner. The format has also won a Mediaweek Industry Award this year for Best Television Comedy.

Along with Have You Been Paying Attention? the biggest hits amongst a diverse Working Dog catalogue include Frontline, The Panel, and Utopia.

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Television Production Company

Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Breakfast Radio Show Sydney

The reigning Sydney FM breakfast champs had another good year however you measure it. The show was #1 FM in Sydney breakfast for all of the eight 2019 surveys, ending the year with its biggest audience ever.

That continued ratings success was one of the reasons that ARN re-signed Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson to a new contract two years before their current deal expired. There was a fair bit of hysteria about the amount they are being paid, but even if the deal was a simple contract roll-over on the current terms it means a large amount of money will be changing hands for the life of the new contract.

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Breakfast Radio Show Sydney

Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Breakfast Radio Show Melbourne

The first thing to say about this result (for those who are not sure) is that it is based on readers’ votes and not ratings. The Triple M Hot Breakfast trio of Eddie McGuire, Luke Darcy and Wil Anderson have their fans out there, but the show had a tough year in the ratings and Wil Anderson stood down at the end of the year.

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Breakfast Radio Show Melbourne

Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Breakfast Radio Show Brisbane

Like voters in Melbourne, our Brisbane audience also enjoys listening to the breakfast show at Triple M. In this case The Big Breakfast with Marto, Margaux and Nick Cody. The line-up changed late in the year when Robin Bailey stepped down to care for husband Sean Pickwell and was replaced by Margaux Parker. The breakfast show ended the year up 0.5 to 11.0% where it was the equal #2 breakfast show in a very tight market where there are six breakfast shows locked in a band that goes from 9.1% to 11.2%. The Triple M breakfast show started 2019 strongly on 11.7%, but wasn’t able to replicate the result again after recording it in the first two surveys.

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Breakfast Radio Show Brisbane

Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Breakfast Radio Show Adelaide

Roo and Ditts

Ratings-wise this has been a challenging year for the very well-connected Adelaide breakfast hosts and sporting greats Mark Ricciuto (Roo) and Chris Dittmar (Ditts). The best year for the duo was 2017 when all but one survey was over 10% and they peaked mid-year with a breakfast share of 13.5%, outrating Mix 102.3 and just 0.1 behind Fiveaa. In 2018 they had two surveys under 10% and peaked on 11.6% while in 2019 there were five surveys in single figures and the year ended on 8.7%, the lowest breakfast share in a long time.

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Breakfast Radio Show Adelaide

Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Breakfast Radio Show Perth

It has been a rollercoaster year for the Perth outpost that forms part of the Triple M network without being branded with network signage.

For some time Perth breakfast has been a tussle between Mix’s Clairsy, Matt & Kymba and Nova’s Nathan, Nat & Shaun.

In 2019 both Mix and its breakfast show started strongly with both ranked #1 for the first two surveys. However Nova breakfast then streaked away winning the remaining six surveys of the year.

However the year ended with Clairsy, Matt & Kymba lifting their share to 12.6% off a year low of 10.5% to be a little more competitive with Nova who was still #1.

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Breakfast Radio Show Perth

Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best FTA TV Channel

The winner of the first Mediaweek Industry Award for FTA TV channel is the primary channel from the ABC. 

This comes off the success that the channel has had this year from producing a Gold Logie winner in Tom Gleeson from the hit TV quiz show Hard Quiz, to the critical success of new dramas like The Cry and Total Control.

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best FTA TV Channel

Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Multichannel

This is a new award that wasn’t featured in last year’s Mediaweek Industry Awards – the award for Best Multichannel and the winner of the inaugural award is 7mate. It was a good year for the male-focused multichannel. Not just for winning our popular vote but also 2019 saw the channel achieve:

• It’s 4th consecutive year of leadership in People 25-54
• It’s 8th consecutive year of leadership in Men 16-54
• It’s 8th consecutive year of leadership in Men 25-54
• It’s 2nd consecutive year of leadership in Men Under 50
• It’s 2nd consecutive year of leadership in Total People
• A commercial shares of over 8% for all male demos
• 7mate reached over 1 million Men 16-54 nationally every week
• 7mate had nine of the top 10 shows for Men 16-54

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Multichannel

Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best TV Sports Show

The Thursday night AFL football show The Front Bar has built a big audience and helped kill off Nine’s long-term franchise The Footy Show which now exists as a Sunday morning program with possible other special events.

The Front Bar features hosts Mick Molloy, Sam Pang and Andy Maher on three bar stools each with a glass of the sponsor’s product in front of them.

The format couldn’t be simpler as they joke with each other and then with one or two guests who either stand at an adjacent bar or sit with them at the front bar!

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best TV Sports Show

Media Industry Awards: Best Sports Event Coverage

Pulling the biggest metro TV audience of 2019 was the AFL Grand Final on Seven. However the audience numbers were down year-on-year and the match was narrowly beaten by State of Origin #1 for the biggest national TV audience of the year.

Seven’s AFL Grand Final audience for 2019 was 2,939,000 national (metro 2,197,000, regional 742,000).

Because of a bigger regional crowd, the first State of Origin clash has bragging rights for the biggest 2019 audience with 3,090,000 (metro 2,060,000, regional 1,030,000).

Despite the size of the audience, it was the first time an AFL Grand Final TV audience had fallen below 3,000,000 national viewers.

Read more: Media Industry Awards: Best Sports Event Coverage

Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best AM Breakfast Radio Show

This will be a reasonably controversial choice from our readers as the Alan Jones breakfast show has gone through a tumultuous 12 months. The polarising breakfast show host is due back on air next week for his 2020 program.

During 2019 former 2GB management signed Jones two a new two-year contract with what was then Macquarie Media (now Nine Radio).

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best AM Breakfast Radio Show

Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Drive Radio Show

The Triple M army have also come out in force this award’s season for the SCA network’s drive show Kennedy Molloy.

The show hosted by Jane Kennedy and Mick Molloy trails some of its FM competitors in the metro markets but to the Triple M audience it is a must-listen.

Ratings at the end of 2019 were mixed with the show perhaps most competitive all people in Brisbane and Perth with good core demo numbers elsewhere. The program has good enough numbers to be the #1 drive show for men 25-54.

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Drive Radio Show

Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Streaming Platform

Mediaweek revealed that our readers voted Netflix as their favorite streaming service. The sheer volume of content on the Netflix platform makes it a must-have for many consumers. The seemingly never-ending stream of TV programming has been added to with an increased number of major movies over the past year.

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Streaming Platform

Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Australian News Brand

ABC News has won this category for the second consecutive year.

Again our readers have indicated by a big margin that they value the biggest news gathering organisation in Australia and one that is free of many commercial pressures.

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Australian News Brand

Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Australian Journalist/Columnist

As David Speers prepares to host his first edition of Insiders on ABC TV next week, the recently arrived ABC presenter has won this category for 2019 after being the runner up in 2018.

Speers flagged his intention to quit Sky News Australia for the ABC mid-year, but the News Corp news channel kept him on until late in the year.

See also:
As Sky News loses it’s biggest star, the ABC’s week just gets better

His departure from Sky News was a blow, but the channel did well to keep him for two decades after he first joined in 2000, soon making his mark covering politics in Canberra.

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards: Best Australian Journalist/Columnist

Media Industry Awards: Best Digital News Platform

It has been another exceptional year for News.com.au with the platform reporting significant audience gains and introducing content initiatives.

Mediaweek readers have voted the platform #1 for news coverage, also appreciating the fact it remains a free site. All three placegetters this year didn’t have a paywall.

The most recent was the announcement this week of a new daily podcast presented by news.com.au journalists Andrew Bucklow (Bucky) and Bronte Coy.

Read more: Media Industry Awards: Best Digital News Platform

Mediaweek Industry Awards: CEO of the Year

It wasn’t easy being a media company CEO in 2019, if it ever is.

The continued fragmentation of audiences across a diverse market of options is a challenge for all media businesses. This puts pressure on revenues as marketers chase the biggest crowd. Also putting pressure on revenue has been the economy and the lack of confidence in where Australia might be headed.

The main broadcast media chiefs all faced challenging years. Seven flipped Tim Worner for James Warburton mid-year, new 10 owner ViacomCBS promoted Paul Anderson to run the combined business, while Hugh Marks had the challenge of bolting on the Macquarie Radio business to his already-bulging cupboard of assets.

Foxtel’s Patrick Delany continues to find ways to keep customers subscribing in a market being flooded with free and low-cost streaming options.

The radio chiefs have had it relatively easier in recent times. But by the end of the year they too were buffeted by revenue challenges as retailers in particular held back.

This had implications for leaders including ARN’s Ciaran Davies and Nova’s Cathy O’Connor.

Mediaweek readers voted for Southern Cross Austereo’s Grant Blackley as CEO of the Year perhaps in part because he has to manage his revenue across two main platforms – radio with Australia’s biggest radio network (now rebranded nationally as Triple and Hit) plus TV via affiliation deals with various broadcasters, but mainly with his former business partner Hugh Marks at Nine.

Read more: Mediaweek Industry Awards: CEO of the Year

Discovery’s #1 US cable channel ID launches in Australia

It has taken a while, but Discovery this week are celebrating the launch of its Investigation Discovery channel (also known as ID) in Australia on the Foxtel platform. The channel first launched in the US in 2008.

Foxtel and Discovery held a launch event at Foxtel on Oxford last night with a law officer shepherding in invited guests who had a mug shot taken as a security clearance before they were allowed to continue into the subscription TV platform’s lavish event centre.

The event was hosted by Rebecca Kent – Discovery general manager Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands.

Derrick Levasseur and Rebecca Kent

Kent introduced a sizzle reel showing programming highlights for the new channel which launches on Saturday.

“The true crime genre has become a juggernaut in Australia and there’s a huge demand for content,” said Kent.

“Discovery is proud to be bringing the number one true crime network to passionate Australian audiences. When it comes to true crime, Investigation Discovery’s globally renowned programming is unrivalled. From headline crimes and cold cases, to exploring the dark side of human nature and more, ID super-serves viewers with engaging real life stories. We’re excited to see the channel grow in its new home, Australia, in 2020.”

Kent added that not only is ID the #1 true crime, it is also the #1 US cable channel overall in time spent watching.

Also speaking at the event was Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany who indicated how good it was that Foxtel was able to launch a new channel. Delany also spoke about Foxtel’s long partnership with Discovery and how, as a young lawyer, he remembered signing the original Foxtel deal with Discovery and faxing over the documents for them to sign.

Team Discovery [L-R]: Adam Knight, Jeanneane McKay, Gab Ayoub, Derrick Levasseur, Rebecca Kent, David Gwynne, Darren Chau and Amanda Herbert

Discovery’s ad sales director Adam Knight then spoke about commercial opportunities and how he and Foxtel Media will take the new channel to market.

Other guests at the function included Foxtel’s Stephen Baldwin, Amanda Laing, Alison Burns and Jim Buchan.

Also on hand were many from Foxtel Media including CEO Mark Frain.

If Discovery ever decides to commission locally it could already have an in-house host – director of lifestyle content and channels, Jeanneane McKay– who did a great job co-hosting with Kent. McKay hosted a second ID highlights reel and then interviewed visiting ID host Derrick Levasseur from US series Breaking Homicide.

Top photo: Amanda Laing (Foxtel) with Derrrick Levasseur and Alison Hurburt-Burns (Foxtel)

Hawthorn man appointed to AFL role to grow Footy on Nine brand

Nine’s director of sport Brent Williams has interrupted a busy two weeks overseeing Nine’s Australian Open coverage to reveal two new roles as Nine seeks to increase its coverage of AFL despite not being a rights holder.

The first appointment is promoting Matt Conway (pictured) to Nine’s AFL executive producer.

Williams said: “Matt has been an integral member of the Nine News team since 2010 as the producer of our nightly 6pm News bulletin in Melbourne. He’s also been involved in Nine’s election coverages and produced the Nine News digital program The Rundown.”

Conway is a Hawthorn supporter and sports lover whose roles at Nine have included news coverage of the World Cup in Brazil and an important role in Nine’s Australian Open coverage over the last two years.

Williams added: “Matt’s new role will see him work closely with Nine’s print, radio and digital platforms to drive our Footy on Nine brand. He will take responsibility for all of our AFL productions and content including The Sunday Footy Show and Footy Classified, along with a suite of additional digital programming to be launched this season.”

That additional programming is expected to include an extra episode of Footy Classified on Wednesday nights that will be hosted by Eddie McGuire and feature the first media role for long-time AFL coach Ross Lyon.

See also:
SEN Breakfast back as Tim Watson reveals next footy media star

Williams also announced the appointment of Mitchell Jones to the role of AFL Digital Producer. Jones has previously been involved with the AFL Footy Show as social producer and has worked at the North Melbourne football club in its digital department.

TV Guide: Bathurst 12 Hour on Fox Sports across weekend

Ferraris, Porsches, Lamborghinis, McLarens, Mercedes, Aston Martins, Bentleys and BMWs piloted by the best drivers in the world, on the toughest track there is – Mount Panorama, will battle it out when the Bathurst 12 Hour is live on Fox Sports on Sunday at 5.45am.

Getting underway in the dark on Sunday morning, 40 of the most exotic car brands in the world will light up the mountain with local legends Craig Lowndes, Jamie Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen, David Reynolds, Garth Tander, Chaz Mostert, Rick Kelly and multiple IndyCar World Champion Scott Dixon taking on the best GT drivers from across the world in their own backyard.

Fox Sports will be ad-break free during racing from Saturday, with the fastest laps you will see at Mt Panorama this year in Qualifying at 12.40pm followed by the Top 10 Shootout at 5.05pm – live and exclusive to Fox Sports.

Fox Sports head of television Steve Crawley said: “Our car racing continues to deliver in a big way with record ratings and stimulating competition, so we continue to build it. The Bathurst 12 Hour is a most welcome addition for our customers.”

Chris Stubbs and Neil Crompton will host Fox Sports’ Bathurst 12 Hour coverage with live race commentary from Radio Le Mans experts John Hindhaugh and Richard Craill.

Two-time Bathurst 12 Hour winner and Fox Sports Supercars expert Craig Lowndes said: “This is one of the toughest races anywhere in the world to win. Mt Panorama is challenging enough in normal conditions so racing it in the dark is a whole new challenge all together, as are the GT cars we jump aboard for 12 hours.

“Over the top of the mountain we go faster than a Supercar and with a lot more cars and drivers of mixed experience you really have to be on your game all day long.

“It’s a great way to start the year and as usual I’m expecting one hell of a race.”

Matt Scriven quits TV after 15 years with the Nine Network

The managing director of Nine Melbourne Matt Scriven has shared with staff a decision he made at the end of 2019 to quit the business.

In an email to colleagues yesterday, Scriven said:

“It is with both sadness and excitement that I advise you of my decision late last year to step down as Managing Director of Nine Melbourne. I have thoroughly enjoyed the last two years in this role and my previous six years in the Director of Sales Melbourne role. This, combined with a prior seven-year stint culminates in 15 wonderful years with this extraordinary business.”

Scriven’s time at Nine since December 2000 was only interrupted by a stint as head of marketing at Crazy Johns for four years starting in 2007.

Married to the CEO of Zenith Nickie Scriven, Matt cited family commitments as one of the reasons for his departure. “The decision to step down from a role I love has not been an easy one to make, but it is the right one, and the right timing for our family,” he said. Matt added he wanted to ensure he could support his children more through their teenage years.

Nine has undergone a massive transformation in the past 18 month and in Melbourne that has included the relocation of The Age and The Australian Financial Review into the Nine building in Docklands. Nine Radio has recently been added to the group with 3AW to relocate into Nine Melbourne too.

Scriven’s last day at Nine will be St Valentine’s Day – Friday February 14.

TV Demand: Sex Education and Star Trek join the charts

By Trent Thomas

The Mandalorian has now made it double digits with its 10th straight week in a row on top of the TV Demand charts in both Australia and New Zealand, with The Witcher continuing to be in second place.

While there was no movement up the top of the charts there are some exciting new entries joining this week in Grace and Frankie in Australia and Sex Education and Star Trek: Picard in NZ.

Netflix classic Grace and Frankie released its sixth season on January 15. The series revolves around two women who’s husbands announced that they are in love with each other and are leaving their wives. As a result, the titular characters are forced to live together and learn to unite and cope with their difficulties, despite never being the best of friends. On September 4, 2019, Netflix announced that a 16 episode seventh and final season.

Sex Education launched its second season on Netflix on January 17, and has made it on the TV Demand charts for the first time in 2019. The first season followed the story of a socially awkward teenager who is ambivalent about sex and whose mother is a sex therapist who is open about all aspects of sexuality and sets up a sex advice business.

The eighth series in the Star Trek franchise features the return of one of its most famous captains in Jean-Luc Picard who has not appeared since Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002. The series is set 18 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis as the now-retired Picard revisits the death of Commander Data, as well as the destruction of the planet Romulus.

Time will tell but shows tend to appear on the NZ charts before Australia so we could see both Sex Education and Star Trek: Picard on the Australian charts soon.

Summer TV Ratings: January 29

• Nine slams the ratings again as Thiem slams Nadal

The Australian Open is delivering Nine what will prove to be its strongest 14 consecutive days of 2020 ratings dominance this year.

The tennis coverage last night was the only game in town with Nine’s primary share on 35.0% as 10 and Seven were way back close to 13% each.

The match between Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem had a metro average audience of 1.075m and was followed by Stan Wawrinka and Alexander Zverev on 747,000.

The two men’s quarter finals matches helped Nine to a combined channel primetime share of 41.5%.

Nine doesn’t manage to get Ash Barty in primetime tonight (is it a men only slot still?), as she and Halep play their semi-finals this afternoon. Nine does have Federer v Djokovic tonight.

Seven’s share was well behind the leaders with Home and Away its best after the news on 646,000 with the soapie creeping higher each night this week.

The best First Dates Australia could then do was 348,000.

On 10, Charlotte Crosby did well to get this far in I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! The UK reality TV star and content queen machine was eliminated leaving the top four to battle it out tonight ahead of the series final on Sunday night.

The episode started last night with 718,000 before it climbed to 780,000 for the elimination.

10’s survey year has been underway across four weeks since February 5 and the channel reports Celebrity episode 19 was up 32% year-on-year.

The ABC schedule was repeats after 8pm with Sherlock on 205,000 and The Last Leg (no, Adam Hills hasn’t shaved his beard) on 147,000.

A Tony Robinson Down Under repeat on SBS outrated Sherlock with 224,000 watching.

Week 5 TV: Wednesday
WEDNESDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 7.5% 7 12.6% 9 35.0% 10  13.1% SBS One 4.1%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.4% 7TWO 2.3% GO! 2.0% 10 Bold 5.0% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 2.7% GEM 2.6% 10 Peach 1.9% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix 1.8% 9Life 1.8%     NITV 0.1%
                SBS World Movies 0.6%
TOTAL 11.8%   19.5%   41.5%   20.00%   7.3%

 

WEDNESDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 7.2% 7 12.7% 9 27.9% WIN 12.2% SBS One 5.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.1% 7TWO 3.9% GO! 2.9% WIN Bold 5.2% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 3.2% GEM 4.2% WIN Peach 2.1% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.3% 9Life 2.7% Sky News  on WIN 1.4% NITV 0.1%
                   
TOTAL 11.3%   22.2%   37.8%   20.9%   7.9%

 

WEDNESDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
88.5% 11.5%
WEDNESDAY FTA
  1. 2020 Australian Open D10 PM Nine 1,051,000
  2. Seven News Seven 1,022,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,006,000
  4. 2020 Australian Open D10 Late Nine 948,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 879,000
  6. Nine News Nine 864,000
  7. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Elimination 10 782,000
  8. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! 10 717,000
  9. Home And Away Seven 646,000
  10. ABC News ABC 616,000
  11. The Chase Australia Seven 600,000
  12. The Project 7pm 10 503,000
  13. 7.30 Summer ABC 475,000
  14. 10 News First 10 418,000
  15. 2020 Australian Open D10 PM Pre Match Nine 402,000
  16. First Dates Australia Seven 348,000
  17. The Chase Australia 5pm Seven 339,000
  18. 2020 Australian Open D10 Day Nine 298,000
  19. Bull 10 285,000
  20. The Project 6.30pm 10 282,000
Demo Top 5

16 – 39

  1. 2020 Australian Open D10 PM Nine 266,000
  2. 2020 Australian Open D10 Late Nine 230,000
  3. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Elimination 10 190,000
  4. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! 10 166,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 128,000

 

18 – 49

  1. 2020 Australian Open D10 PM Nine 411,000
  2. 2020 Australian Open D10 Late Nine 349,000
  3. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Elimination 10 340,000
  4. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! 10 314,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 247,000

 

25 – 54

  1. 2020 Australian Open D10 PM Nine 460,000
  2. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Elimination 10 406,000
  3. 2020 Australian Open D10 Late Nine 388,000
  4. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! 10 367,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 296,000
WEDNESDAY Multichannel
  1. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 217,000
  2. NCIS: Los Angeles (R) 10 Bold 196,000
  3. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 163,000
  4. NCIS: Los Angeles Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 161,000
  5. Olobob Top PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  6. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  7. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  8. Go Jetters PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  9. Noddy Toyland Detective PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 142,000
  10. School Of Roars ABCKIDS/COMEDY 142,000
  11. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  12. Andy’s Safari Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 138,000
  13. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  14. Dot. PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  15. Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  16. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  17. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  18. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  19. Play School Art Time PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  20. Neighbours 10 Peach 120,000
WEDNESDAY STV
  1. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 58,000
  2. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 57,000
  3. Richo & Jones Sky News Live 51,000
  4. Live: T20: Nzl V Ind Game 3 FOX CRICKET 51,000
  5. Credlin Sky News Live 44,000
  6. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 39,000
  7. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 39,000
  8. New Tricks UKTV 36,000
  9. Location, Location, Location Lifestyle Channel 35,000
  10. PML Later Sky News Live 35,000
  11. The Simpsons FOX8 34,000
  12. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 34,000
  13. Family Guy FOX8 33,000
  14. Mickey Mouse Mixed Up Adventures Disney Junior 32,000
  15. The Simpsons FOX8 31,000
  16. Border Security: America’s Front Line FOX8 30,000
  17. Avenue 5 FOX SHOWCASE 29,000
  18. The Alamo FOX Classics 29,000
  19. Escape To The Country Lifestyle Channel 28,000
  20. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 27,000

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

News Xtend’s A-Team Wins Global Customer Service Award

News Corp Australia’s digital marketing agency News Xtend has won the 2019 International Service Excellence Award in the Customer Service Team of the Year category, reports News Corp Australia.

The award, presented by the Customer Service Institute of America, goes to the business that displays the highest standard of customer service. News Xtend was considered for the award after winning the Customer Service of Australia’s 2019 Customer Service Team of the Year – Medium, last November.

The Customer Service Institute of America’s chief executive officer Christine Churchill said: “The judges were impressed with your team’s dedication to customers, focus on problem solving and accountability, and demonstrated consistent application of best practice in customer management and outcome delivery.”

Emma Fawcett, managing director of News Corp Australia’s SMB division, which includes the News Xtend business, said the award was humbling and testimony to News Xtend’s results-driven, customer-first approach.

“We don’t just see customers as numbers,” Fawcett said.“It’s mums and dads running a small business for whom every cent spent could have been money to put food on the table, or to spend on their kids. We remind ourselves of that every day, and know they’re entrusting us with their livelihood. It clearly resonates with our team and they take it very seriously.”

“We set out with an ambitious goal to become the best customer service team in Australia and our customers can now know that they’re dealing with the best in the world,” Ms Fawcett said. 

The recognition tops off a big 2019 for News Xtend. In May Microsoft awarded News Xtend the Breakout Star of the Year APAC award, which recognised “inspired thinking, innovative business solutions, customer focus” and delivering top client results.

In addition News Xtend also won global awards from Google and the education technology business Learnix.

News Corp appoints Michael Ford as its new chief financial officer

News Corp Australia has appointed Michael Ford as its new chief financial officer and will join Foxtel’s board as the media group’s representative, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

Executive chairman Michael Miller said Ford is a “well-respected executive and director with more than 30 years’ experience in strategy and finance roles”.

Ford will join News Corp, which publishes The Australian and owns 65 per cent of Foxtel, on February 17. He will formally take over from CFO Stacey Brown, who will prepare the 2021 budget, in April.

[Read more]

Police obtained six warrants to hunt down journalists’ sources in 2018-19

Australian federal police accessed the metadata of journalists 20 times and obtained six journalist information warrants to identify those journalists’ sources in the last financial year, reports Guardian Australia’s Josh Taylor.

The data is contained in the federal government’s report on law enforcement agencies’ use of telecommunications data for investigating crimes and surveillance for the 2018-19 financial year.

Under the mandatory data retention legislation, law enforcement must get a warrant to access a journalist’s historical telecommunications metadata – including information on who they called, when they called or their location information.

The journalist subject to the warrant has no knowledge that a warrant has been sought or issued, but a prime minister appointed public interest advocate can make submissions about whether to issue or refuse the warrant.

[Read more]

News Brands

BBC to axe 450 newsroom jobs in cost-cutting drive

Britain’s BBC says it will axe 450 jobs from its news division in a restructuring designed to cut costs and change the way it produces news to reach a younger audience, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

The 98-year-old corporation, locked in a battle with the government over its future, said fewer viewers were watching its scheduled news programs and it needed to invest in new formats on its digital platforms.

To save money, it will cover fewer stories and journalists will work in centralised teams rather than for specific programs, helping to cut duplication.

[Read more]

Entertainment

The Voice 2019 contestant Natasha Stuart loses battle with cancer aged 43

The 43 year old was a contestant on the reality singing show last year, mentored by Delta Goodrem. Stuart is understood to have lost her battle with cancer at around 5pm at St Vincent’s hospital, surrounded by loved ones, reports The Daily Telegraph’s Jonathon Moran.

Stuart was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018 before undergoing chemotherapy treatment and competing on The Voice last year while in remission to raise awareness of the cancer. She was well known and highly regarded in the live music scene. She performed as a backup singer for many high profile Australian artists including her coach Goodrem and Jessica Mauboy.

[Read more]

Sound Relief bushfire charity concerts axed

Promoters today announced the string of concerts, due to take place in March, will now not proceed, reports The Herald Sun’s Cameron Adams.

“Since announcing our intention to undertake Sound Relief 2020 the offer of assistance from International and Domestic artists, industry, media and suppliers has been second to none,” a statement read.

“However Sound Relief is a series of concert events that we don’t wish to stage lightly and after careful consideration, we believe proceeding with the concerts in March won’t produce the impactful result that we believe these events can – and should – have.”

The vision for Sound Relief 2020 was to potentially run in five states, across two weekends. Names approached for the shows included Elton JohnPink, Ed Sheeran and Kylie Minogue.

The event was announced a few days after another local promoter, Paul Dainty, announced plans for Fire Fight Australia.

The original Sound Relief took place in Melbourne and Sydney in March 2009 and raised over eight million dollars, and featured Midnight Oil, Split Enz, Hunters and Collectors, Kylie Minogue, Kings of Leon, Jack Johnson and more.

[Read more]

Television

Game on: Eurovision veteran says Australian win is possible

Jon Ola Sand is not a man who minces his words. The veteran Eurovision Song Contest producer pulls no punches when it comes to Australia’s chances in the iconic European song competition, reports Nine Publishing’s Michael Idato. “You can win, of course you can win,” he says.

“We have already seen that you’ve been very well placed on the scoreboard almost every year and I’m confident that for the viewers and the juries, when they cast their votes, it’s not a population behind it. It’s really what they like and what they hear and what they see,” Sand says.

Australia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest five times since 2015, landing in second, fifth, ninth (twice) and 20th place out of some 40-odd competing countries each year. Our best performance was Dami Im‘s Sound of Silence in 2016.

[Read more]

MKR revamp: new ingredients don't make for a better reality TV recipe

Channel Seven had a problem. My Kitchen Rules, once an unassailable powerhouse that could be relied upon to kick off the ratings year strongly for the network, was fading, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Debi Enker.

For nearly a decade, MKR had defied the dire predictions about the death of free-to-air television, drawing viewer numbers well over the “magic million” mark, night after night, week after week, for months.

But the cooking contest’s domination had crumbled. Last year’s 10th season average slumped below a million viewers, as did the finale. And for the past couple of years, it’s been out-rated by Nine’s Married at First Sight.

Perhaps it’s predictable that an ageing reality TV show declines and that something new comes along and steals its crown. But some reality shows, like The Block and MasterChef, suffer a slump, reboot and revive to thrive. Maybe MKR was stale and needed freshening up.

[Read more]

A kinder, gentler MAFS? We'll believe it when we see it

There is only question more perplexing than why would someone go on Married at First Sight and that is, why would someone go on it again?

“Contrary to what people might believe I actually enjoyed the experience last year,” says Elizabeth Sobinoff, who has signed up for another blind match in the seventh season of TV’s most dubious “social experiment” despite seeming to have had a torrid time of it – and her groom running away the day after their wedding – last year, reports Nine Publishing’s Karl Quinn.

We saw her 2019 match, Sam, make comments about her weight and strike up a romance with another bride, Ines, in a plotline that shocked viewers and participants alike.

[Read more]

Sport Media

NRL keeps door shut on Folau, but some think he'll try open it

The NRL has no appetite to welcome back Israel Folau, despite some club officials tipping the sacked Wallaby will try to return in the next two years after his shock Catalans Dragons deal, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Christian Nicolussi.

The France-based Super League club ignored the wishes of the Rugby Football League to sign Folau to a one-year deal reportedly worth $400,000.

“I bet you all money Israel will try to get back into the NRL in the next two years. He won’t want to keep living in France,” one NRL club boss told the Herald.

During Folau’s lengthy court battle with Rugby Australia over his homophobic comments on social media last year, at least one Sydney NRL club was approached by the 30-year-old’s camp.
Folau is likely to get a chance to feature in a planned opposed session against the Sydney Roosters in a couple of weeks as the NRL premiers tune up for their World Club Challenge.

[Read more]

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