By James Manning
• Hughes is moving into Sydney to help his shot at the troubled FM station
The 2Day FM Morning Crew
“Getting my head around the hours,” is how Dave Hughes answered a question from Mediaweek about his biggest challenge for his return to breakfast radio, this time at 2Day FM. “This is where my new mastery of Zen is going to come in.” [Laughs]
Helping the early rise will be his passion for working with long-time radio collaborator Ed Kavalee and his excitement about working with FM newcomer Erin Molan.
After an unsuccessful SCA attempt at using a Melbourne host on Sydney breakfast a couple of years ago, Hughes is moving into Sydney to help his shot at 2Day. He had hoped to be there by Australia Day, but border closures haven’t helped the process.
“I have always wanted to live in Sydney and to be able to work and live there will be an absolute treat,” he said.
So much did Dave Hughes want to live in Sydney that he suggested he be given a crack at 2Day FM breakfast. Wife Holly was keen on the change too, “She’s got a hankering for an adventure,” said Hughes.
After noting he initially suggested the move from national drive to 2Day breakfast, Hughes said SCA head of content Dave Cameron then helped it come to fruition.
“I love radio and the network gave me a long-term deal and said they’d back us for as long as it takes.”
Doing breakfast and being based out of Sydney doesn’t mean complications for Hughes’ other media commitments. “I am going to be doing a lot of stand-up gigs out of Sydney. I’m going to be hitting every club in Sydney. The TV shows I am doing at present are in Sydney. Hughesy, We Have a Problem is shooting in February and March and The Masked Singer will be returning to Sydney this year.”
One of the Sydney FM breakfast shows Hughesy will be competing against will be KIIS’s Kyle and Jackie O. These days he gets on well with both of them – Kyle has guested on Hughesy and the two talk on the phone, while Jackie is a fellow judge on The Masked Singer.
“I’m sure there will still be some theatre coming from Kyle. Although any differences we had were fixed some time ago, I’m sure he will be slagging me off sometime over the next few months.”
As to what might make listeners return to Dave Hughes’ Hit Network Sydney breakfast show, Hughes thinks the program he did with Kavalee in drive is a good place to start. “I think a show like that in the breakfast slot with the addition of Erin can grow.”
The EP of the new 2Day breakfast show will be Hughesy’s long-time producer Sacha French. Hughesy said all the drive team were given the chance to work on the Sydney show, including Kate Langbroek. “But Kate now has a sweet gig at ARN on afternoons,” he noted.
By James Manning
• Southern Cross Austereo said ‘Yes’ to Marty before their competitors did
Marty Sheargold last year pitched the idea of him hosting a solo show to the FM networks. SCA liked what they heard and moved first to secure his return to the company. Sheargold speaks to Mediaweek about the new show and busts a few Sheargold myths along the way.
Sheargold: “It is a myth [that I couldn’t get up early]. Sometimes when you are in a drive shift for as long as I was, and having done both ends of the day, there is a perception that you don’t want to ever do anything else. But that is certainly not the case.”
“I started in Adelaide doing breakfast radio at SAFM with Amanda Blair, James Brayshaw and Richard Marsland. I also spent time in Brisbane at Nova [with Meshel Laurie] and also in Sydney at Triple M [with Fifi Box and for a while Paul Murray].
“Of my 17-year journey in radio I have done about five of those years on breakfast.”
Sheargold told listeners he was stuck in the lift on his first day at Triple M Sydney in 2007 co-hosting breakfast with Fifi Box. Was that a true story or just a gag for the launch?
“A true story. On the next day I was so frightened to catch the lift, at a serviced apartment in the city, I used the stairs to descend the 25 floors. Subsequently, I couldn’t walk for three days.”
“It’s not true, but I have always been happy for that myth to be perpetuated. It adds to the knockabout persona that I have tried to carry through life. In truth you wouldn’t last as long as I have if you were doing fuck all.”
“This is the first time I have ever hosted my own solo radio show. Obviously I have done stand-up over the journey, but this is definitely my first own FM radio gig.”
“I was working out of home for Nova during what were some hardcore pandemic months.”
Sheargold said he had yet to calculate the exact time he needs to leave home every morning for the commute to SCA in central Melbourne. “I just hope it doesn’t have a 3 at the front of it,” he confided. “One thing I don’t have to do is hair and makeup which saves me some time in the morning.”
“Troy Ellis [anchor] and I have talked much over the years, but without working on air together. However we have both worked in the same building before when I was on Triple M drive [with Fifi and Byron Cooke] and Troy was working with Matt and Jo on Fox breakfast.”
The show will feature all the producers working in the studio alongside Sheargold. The team includes executive producer Matt Thomson ex-Nova, a former Nova drive producer Loren Barry, and former Hot Breakfast team members – producer Will Ralston and audio producer David “DC” Collins.
When asked if breakfast radio dollars were better than national drive dollars, Sheargold wouldn’t be drawn. “People are always intrigued by that question. I wouldn’t want to allude to the earning power of people in the business at either end of the day.
“It is fair enough to say, as you get longer in the tooth in this business, your value should increase, but it may well decrease.”
At this stage of his career, Sheargold said the financial attraction doesn’t outweigh the pull of a creative challenge. “This decision [to move from Nova to Triple M] is all about the opportunity from SCA to do a one man show. As you get older you realise you are running out of opportunities to do something for yourself.
“For me it was a really important time in my life personally to take on a challenge like this shift. I’ll get one shot at it and hopefully I can make it work.”
Sheargold grinned when he told Mediaweek he had signed a 10-year deal with SCA. “I’m the Buddy Franklin of Melbourne radio,” said Sheargold, referring to Franklin’s historic 10-year he signed when moving from Hawthorn to the Sydney Swans.
“If I am removed from here within 10 years you will know someone has white-anted me.” Sheargold said he will have to be paid out for the remainder of the 10 years. “The Rove McManus clause,” he added with a cheeky smile.
Triple M announced on Friday that Jane Kennedy will be stepping away from her role on Triple M’s national drive show, Kennedy Molloy, which she has co-hosted with Mick Molloy for the past three and a half years.
Despite having a brother-in-law who is one of Australia’s best media lawyers and contract negotiators, Greg Sitch, Kennedy and SCA were unable to agree on a figure that would keep her away from her preferred 2021 outcome – looking after five teenagers at home.
For more of Greg Sitch, who also advises and negotiates for Kyle Sandilands on contracts, listen to the December 2020 Mediaweek podcast with Sandilands.
Jane Kennedy said: “When I first accepted this amazing job I joked about leaving my kids at home to go and have a bit of fun for a couple of hours a day at work. The truth is doing a show like Kennedy Molloy is so much more than that. It’s a show I cared about 24/7.
“This year marks my third VCE/HSC student in a row and I think most parents will understand what that means, particularly during a COVID lockdown bubble. I tried to make both work but it’s just become too hard to keep that balance in check so I’m waving the white flag.
“Mick Molloy is the funniest person in Australia and it has been a joy and privilege to work with him. We are great friends. I want to thank the incredible team from KM for their dedication and talent. I love them all and I’m so sad to leave but I will listen every day to what will continue to be the best drive show in the country.”
The move means Triple M Melbourne will feature new solo breakfast and drive shows from Monday hosted by Marty Sheargold and Molloy.
Molloy said: “Jane Kennedy is the funniest, smartest, toughest chick I know. If she says she’s got too much on her plate, then that’s the end of the argument. Jane will be missed by me, our team and anyone who enjoys listening to cracking radio. I guess I will have to chalk this up as yet another significant relationship with a woman that didn’t last as long as I would have liked.”
Head of the Triple M Network Mike Fitzpatrick said “The past year has created an opportunity for many of us to reassess our lifestyle priorities and I think there’s a lot of people going into 2021 with a renewed focus on what’s most important in our lives. It’s been so wonderful having Jane on Triple M, she will be missed by us all.
“Triple M’s national drive home will now be hosted by Mick Molloy and the brains trust has worked overtime to come up with a new show name. Molloy will commence Monday afternoon at 4pm across the Triple M network.
“As for Mick punching on with his own show. He’s got more than a few runs on the board. If anyone can go out and deliver a captain’s knock for the drive home, it’s him,” Fitzpatrick added.
Molloy added: “Jane is irreplaceable so we will bat on without her. It will be all hands on deck from our team and the wonderful and funny friends of the show we have collected over the last three years. Sadly for Dave he will still not be on the poster.”
By James Manning
• A number wanted to get a head start on the year and came back during various stages from January 11
Radio ratings survey 1, 2021 got underway on the weekend signalling the return of broadcasters from their summer breaks. Not all radio shows returned to the airwaves on January 18. A number wanted to get a head start on the year and came back during various stages from January 11, a week before survey.
Among them were ARN’s Jase and PJ, Will and Woody, Erin and Soda and Botica’s Bunch.
Also testing the water for two days last week for SCA were Triple M Perth’s new Basil, Xavier and Jenna.
Most interest centres around SCA and their new breakfast shows at Triple M in Melbourne and 2Day FM in Melbourne.
First shows back today in the major markets were Ross and Russel at 3AW and Ben Fordham Live on 2GB. The 3AW duo started with the quirky program discussing The Sound of Music and a missing Italian greyhound. 2GB’s #1 rating program had the host updating the audience on his growing family. Ben Fordham must be the only breakfast host in Australia where his partner starts work before him – Jodie Speers reads the early morning news at Seven on weekdays.
At Triple M, Marty Sheargold was steering his first solo radio show and introduced listeners to his production team as they attempted impersonations. His first guest was Fox Cricket’s Adam Gilchrist and the show featured plenty of listener calls.
The new 2Day FM breakfast is looking for people that don’t listen to Kyle and Jackie O. Just as well, the market leader starts before and end well after the new Morning Crew with Hughesy, Ed and Erin Molan. Molan was the first voice heard as she did the 6am weather and then she was also the newsreader for the program. The show’s big guest on day one was NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
The other major market change to monitor this year is the arrival of Nick Cody at The Fox, taking over from Byron Cooke.
Amid much change around the Triple M network this year, potentially the most successful of the breakfast shows could be Basil, Xavier and Jenna in Perth. The Perth Lord Mayor has been everywhere for the past few months which can only help the new program. He uses social media with great impact and getting The West’s Jenna Clarke on radio is recognition of how far she has come in the media in the past few years.
On the ABC, Triple j introduced a new breakfast duo with Bryce Mills and Ebony Boadu today – just before the Hottest 100 of 2020 countdown on Saturday 23 January and the Hottest 200 on 24 January.
Meanwhile in Sydney at ABC Radio breakfast Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck returned, while Sammy J is in the driver’s seat at ABC Radio Melbourne breakfast.
Stay tuned for Mediaweek for comprehensive radio coverage across 2021.
• 16 Australian albums topped the ARIA Chart in 2020
The Weeknd and Harry Styles, multiple ARIA Award winner Tones And I and ARIA Hall Of Fame legends AC/DC are amongst the acts who dominated the ARIA Charts in 2020. Luke Combs, Post Malone and SAINt JHN lead the end of year genre charts whilst winner of the ARIA Award for Album Of The Year Tame Impala tops the vinyl charts.
The Weeknd tops the 2020 Singles chart with his #1 single ‘Blinding Lights’. Taken from the Canadian’s fourth album After Hours, it first charted in Australia in November 2019 and hit #1 for the first time in January 2020, and held that position for 10 weeks. It held #1 for longer than any other single in 2020. Follow up single ‘In Your Eyes’ makes the chart at #92. After Hours sits at #9 in the 2020 ARIA Albums Charts.
Tones And I takes out four spots in the 2020 Australian Artists Singles Chart, including the top two. The multiple ARIA Award Winner tops the chart with ‘Dance Monkey’ (#1) and ‘Never Seen The Rain’ (#2), and is also in the chart with ‘Bad Child’ (#8) and ‘Johnny Run Away’ (#43). ‘Dance Monkey’ hit #1 on the singles chart for three weeks in January 2020, and a record breaking 21 weeks in 2019. Three songs also make the 2020 Singles Chart (‘Dance Monkey’ – #4, ‘Never Seen The Rain’ – #24 and ‘Bad Child’ – #85). The last time there was a double at the top of an End of Year Australian Artist Singles Chart was Savage Garden in 1997 with ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply’ and ‘To The Moon And Back’.
Topping the 2020 ARIA Albums Charts is Harry Styles with his second album Fine Line. First released in December 2019, it debuted at #1 and spent only one week at #1 in 2020. Yet the album held its popularity, and it remained in the Top Ten for 48 weeks in 2020. Styles popularity also saw him win the fan voted 2020 ARIA Award for Best International Artist. In the 2020 Singles Chart, Styles has two entries – ‘Watermelon Sugar’ (#6), ‘Adore You’ (#11) and ‘Falling’ (#78). Fine Line is also #7 in the 2020 Vinyl Albums Chart.
At the top of the 2020 Australian Artists Albums Chart is AC/DC with their seventeenth studio album PWRϟUP. It tops the chart even though it was released in mid November, with just six chart eligible weeks. It spent four of those six weeks at #1, a record for the legendary rock group. It is the second year end chart topper for AC/DC, who previously topped the End Of Year Australian Artists Album Chart in 2008 with Black Ice. PWRϟUP also sits at #4 in the 2020 Vinyl Albums Chart.
Tame Impala tops the first End Of Year Vinyl Albums Chart with their fourth album The Slow Rush. It debuted at #1 in the Albums Chart in February when it was released and went on to win the 2020 ARIA Award for Album Of The Year. The Slow Rush also makes #19 on the 2020 Albums Chart whilst their 2015 album Currents lands at #91. Tame Impala makes one appearance in the 2020 Singles Chart with ‘The Less I Know The Better’ (taken from Currents) at #88.
Luke Combs tops the country album releases for 2020, taking out the top two spots. What You See Is What You Get debuted at #1 on the ARIA Albums chart in November 2019, with a deluxe edition released in 2020. ARIA Award winner Keith Urban is the highest charting Australian artist on the list with his 11th album The Speed Of Now Part 1.
In dance, SAINt JHN tops the singles with ‘Roses’. The song was first released in 2016 but a remix became a hit in 2019, hitting #1 in Australia for two weeks in April. ‘Rushing Back’, Flume’s collaboration with Vera Blue, is the highest charting Australian single on the list. The song was nominated for the 2020 ARIA Award for Song Of The Year.
World War Joy, the third album from American DJ duo The Chainsmokers was released in December 2019 and tops the dance albums list. Sydney DJ Hayden James is the highest charting Australian with his debut album Between Us.
Post Malone dominated the year end Hip Hop & R&B Albums charts, topping albums with 2019’s Hollywood’s Bleeding and his 2018 album Beerbongs & Bentlys lands at #6. Malone also has three songs on the 2020 Hip Hop And R&B Singles chart with ‘Circles’ (#3), ‘I Fall Apart’ (#45) and Wow (#46). The Kid Laroi has the highest charting Australian album with F*ck Love, which was later re-released as deluxe edition called F*ck Love (Savage). Hilltop Hoods have the highest charting single with their 2020 release ‘I’m Good’.
Find the full list of all the 2020 ARIA Charts at http://www.aria.com.au
• Test Cricket and Big Bash combo a winner for Seven
Seven ranked #1 Sunday with the most-watched primary channel and network as the fourth week of summer survey got underway.
The final session of the third day of the Fourth test ensured a big audience was fed into Seven’s primetime. Between 6-7pm Seven had nearly 200,000 more viewers than Nine.
After 7pm 10 was #1 commercial with the last half of The Sunday Project and then the first elimination episode of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! The elimination of Jack Vidgen from the Australian jungle pushed over 800,000 with the start of the episode not far behind on 780,000.
Seven’s Big Bash League held above 400,000 for both innings of the T20 clash at the MCG which secured Seven’s win.
10 Bold was again #1 multichannel as the NCIS franchise delivered across four episodes of NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.6%||7TWO||3.7%||GO!||3.2%||10 Bold||4.2%||VICELAND||1.8%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||3.8%||GEM||2.6%||10 Peach||2.5%||Food Net||1.6%|
|ABC NEWS||2.0%||7flix||2.9%||9Life||2.3%||10 Shake||0.4%||NITV||0.2%|
|9Rush||1.3%||SBS World Movies||1.3%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.9%||7TWO||3.5%||GO!||1.7%||10 Bold||4.2%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||4.1%||GEM||3.3%||10 Peach||2.7%||Food Net||1.2%|
|ABC NEWS||2.4%||7flix||2.4%||9Life||2.4%||10 Shake||0.7%||NITV||0.4%|
|9Rush||1.2%||SBS World Movies||1.2%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.3%||7TWO||2.0%||GO!||2.3%||10 Bold||4.4%||VICELAND||0.8%|
|ABC ME||0.3%||7mate||3.0%||GEM||3.0%||10 Peach||2.1%||Food Net||1.0%|
|ABC NEWS||2.1%||7flix||1.8%||9Life||2.1%||10 Shake||0.4%||NITV||0.2%|
|9Rush||1.2%||SBS World Movies||0.8%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||1.8%||7TWO||3.6%||GO!||2.4%||WIN Bold||5.2%||VICELAND||0.9%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||4.1%||GEM||5.0%||WIN Peach||2.4%||Food Net||0.8%|
|ABC NEWS||2.3%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||2.0%||9Life||2.7%||Sky News on WIN||0.4%||NITV||0.3%|
|SUNDAY METRO ALL TV|
Friday Top 10
Saturday Top 10
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
James Murdoch has castigated the US media for the “toxic politics” threatening American democracy, saying proprietors are as culpable as politicians who “know the truth but choose instead to propagate lies”, reports The FT’s Alex Barker.
The remarks by Rupert Murdoch’s youngest son, made in an interview with the Financial Times and a further joint statement with his wife Kathryn, are his strongest public rebuke of America’s news industry since he parted ways with the family business built by his father.
Asked whether America’s dominant conservative news network Fox News had played a role in the riot that rocked Washington last week, James Murdoch said media groups had amplified election disinformation, leaving “a substantial portion” of the public believing “a falsehood”.
“The damage is profound,” Murdoch said. “The sacking of the Capitol is proof positive that what we thought was dangerous is indeed very, very much so. Those outlets that propagate lies to their audience have unleashed insidious and uncontrollable forces that will be with us for years.”
During the interview set up to discuss his latest digital venture in India, Murdoch did not directly mention Fox News, his father, who founded it, or his brother Lachlan, the chief executive of the Fox Corporation.
ABC apologists often point to survey results showing how many Australians “trust” the ABC as an organisation, commented AFR contributor and RMIT academic Sinclair Davidson on Saturday.
Yet media rating data suggests few of those very same Australians actually consume their product. Australians “trust” and value the ABC because they are in the habit of doing so, not because they are overly familiar with ABC offerings.
Sinclair’s comments however coincided with the ABC again being ranked as Australia’s #1 digital news brand by a considerable margin, something that happened in every month of 2020.
Legendary Australian music entrepreneur Chris Murphy, who steered INXS to global success and resurrected their chart fortunes in recent years, died suddenly on Saturday, reports News Corp’s Kathy McCabe.
The 66-year-old manager, record label owner and television producer was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer before Christmas and died surrounded by his family at his Sugar Bay Ranch property in Ballina.
“It is with great sadness that the remaining members of INXS mourn the passing of our brother, Chris Murphy. Without Chris’s vision, passion and hard work, the INXS story would be totally different,” band members Tim, Jon and Andrew Farriss, Kirk Pengilly and Garry Beers said in a statement on Saturday.
Adam Creighton, The Australian’s economics editor since 2018, has been appointed as the paper’s Washington correspondent, replacing Cameron Stewart who will return to Australia after four years in the US.
Creighton joined The Australian as economics correspondent in 2012, having worked for the Reserve Bank and The Economist in London. He was a journalist in residence at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in 2019 and spent six months at The Wall Street Journal in 2016.
Stewart, who has been The Australian’s Washington correspondent since January 2017, is returning to Australia as an associate editor, combining investigative reporting with feature writing for The Weekend Australian Magazine. Stewart was previously an associate editor focusing on foreign affairs, defence and national security. He is a former winner of the Graham Perkin Award for Australian Journalist of the Year.
Cameron Stewart penned a long piece recalling his years in the USA for the newspaper on the weekend:
As I watched the jaw-dropping sight of Donald Trump’s supporters smashing their way into congress last week, I tried to recall the last time that America felt normal. Was there a single day in the past four years when the world was not fixated by this out-of-the-box president? Was there a fleeting moment when I did not have a major, if not a global, news story to cover as The Australian’s Washington correspondent?
But despite America’s current problems, we will miss it greatly. The friendly nature, the can-do spirit and the relentless optimism of Americans is infectious. The head-snapping contrasts between its urban ghettos and Silicon Valley, between God-fearing farmers and big city liberals, between the north and the south are endlessly confounding and fascinating.
The sun is now setting on the Trump era. But it was the greatest news story in the world. It has been a wild ride and an exhilarating one to chronicle from the front row of history.
At 8.31am on a Thursday April 2, the editor of Bauer NZ’s Metro magazine, Henry Oliver. received a text message from his employer, alerting him to a company-wide Zoom call in 29 minutes’ time, reports Guardian Australia’s Elle Hunt.
Within an hour of that text, Oliver and the 300-odd other employees of Bauer Media New Zealand were told they were being made redundant, the titles they worked on would be put up for sale, and the entire company was to close.
Yet less than a year later, not only have Bauer magazines been brought back to life under new ownership, but also new titles have been launched – reflecting a flurry of investment and innovation in New Zealand media precipitated by the pandemic.
Metro and North & South were both acquired by independent investors seeking to preserve New Zealand’s tradition of long-form features journalism.
Meanwhile, four entirely new monthly titles – staffed by former Bauer editors and writers, with former CEO Paul Dykzeul advising – were launched by School Road Publishing in November.
Cancel culture and a fear of pushing boundaries has changed the comedy scene for the worse since US funnyman Rob Riggle first took to the stage more than 20 years ago, reports News Corp’s David Meddows.
Riggle, who along with Matt Shirvington is a ‘commentator’ on Channel 7’s new extreme mini-golf series Holey Moley, believes there is now a real danger of comedians losing their livelihood if they make the mistake of upsetting the angry mob.
“Throughout my lifetime, comedy has always pushed people’s buttons, it always challenged people and always said the politically incorrect thing — that’s what made it so taboo, and that’s what made it so fun,” he says. “The most that would happen to a comedian is they get labelled a ‘bad girl’ or a ‘bad boy’, you know ‘ooh, they’re dangerous’.”
Basketball could emerge with a broadcast deal worth $20m annually with Larry Kestelman’s National Basketball League targeted by Nine Entertainment and its streaming service Stan to add to its collection of sports rights, reports The Australian’s John Stensholt.
Having already won rugby union rights in a $100m deal late last year, Nine and Stan would also add the NBL to tennis as it seeks to build out its fledgling Stan Sports service.
The NBL, which begins its delayed 2021 season on Friday night, is set to benefit from Stan’s entry to the sports market and jump from its current deal with SBS and ESPN, an advertising revenue sharing contract only, to potentially the most lucrative contract in the league’s 42-year history.