Tuesday July 14, 2020

Murder in the Outback
How Seven secured its Sunday night monster Murder in the Outback

By James Manning

• A police file convinced CJZ to proceed despite initial knockbacks

Seven this week had its first Sunday night ratings victory since February. The catalyst for the success was the locally-produced documentary Murder in the Outback. It was a show about the murder of British backpacker Peter Falconio that Seven secured from CJZ after all other networks had knocked it back. The first two episodes had a national average audience of 1.645m, with 1.03m in metro.

Matt Campbell, group chief executive at Sydney-based production group CJZ, told Mediaweek:

Andrew Fraser and Victor Susman contacted us a few years ago about the story. Andrew Farrell [CJZ’s head of factual] and I went down to Melbourne to meet them and look at what they had. I have to admit we were very sceptical as there had already been various books and investigations.”

Murder in the Outback

Andrew Fraser is the former lawyer who was portrayed by David Wenham in Jason Stephen’s true crime drama for Foxtel, Killing Time. Fraser has since had a falling out with Susman which spilled over into the Supreme Court.

Campbell continued: “The thing that really tipped us across the line was the police file on the Peter Falconio case which they had worked very hard to get. Everything they were saying about problems with the case came from the police file. We knew these were genuine issues, not made up things, and they were in the file we saw. From that point onwards we were engaged and then once in production we fact checked everything they were putting to us.

“Some of it didn’t stand up to scrutiny, but some of it did. We also uncovered different things as we went through an investigation.”

Murder in the Outback

So confident was CJZ about the project that Campbell pitched it to a room of commissioning editors in London on his way to MIP TV. “That was in October 2018. UK’s Channel 4 happened to be there and they picked it up as the commissioning broadcaster.”

On return to Australia Campbell went and saw Seven’s director of network programming Angus Ross. “He said ‘Yes’ straight away, becoming the investor we needed in Australia to make it happen. Fraser and Susman had pitched it to other networks and they had all turned it down.

“Seven and Angus stuck their necks out and the network and its programmer are very happy this week.

If you do crime properly, it works. That’s a big number for any documentary and the decision to screen it early was a clever move. This should reinforce to broadcasters the power of well-made Australian factual programs.

With Seven and Channel 4 securing the project’s funding, CJZ had rights for the rest of the world which were being sold through recent Beyond acquisition TCB Media Rights. “Enquires to TCB were coming in thick and fast after the Channel 4 screening. We expect even more interest after the audience figures on Seven for the first two parts of the production,” said Campbell.

Channel 4 screened the series as four one hours across four consecutive nights, but Seven chose to run the first two parts together this week and then the next two on the following Sunday.

Although the project in Australia is branded “7 News presents”, the reason is for classification, allowing the network to screen it earlier if it is a news product. It is a CJZ production, but an extra win for Seven in that it is also good branding for their already #1 news division.

Campbell noted it was a risk to go head-to-head against the penultimate Sundays for both The Voice and MasterChef. “But it was a risk that paid off,” he said.

As to whether former lawyer Andrew Fraser might have any other yarns for CJZ to investigate, all Campbell would say was, “stand by”!

CJZ has a history of successful doco sales to Seven. It’s series Undercurrent told the story of the Sue Neill-Fraser case in Tasmania and screened in 2019. Seven also acquired CJZ’s Jimmy Barnes feature-length doco Working Class Boy.

Campbell: “We also have an output deal with Seven for all our factual content out of New Zealand which has been in place for many years. They buy Border Patrol, Highway Cops and Highway Patrol.”

The only one of those series that has been impacted by Covid-19, so far, is Border Patrol which has a few eps to be produced before the new series can be delivered. “We shot about 60% of it, we had to stop when they closed the border! We think we can deliver by early 2021.”

Still to come from CJZ this year are a number of projects including Reputation Rehab and new Gruen for the ABC. The production house was also behind the recent SBS Saturday night success Life Drawing Live hosted by Rove.

Matty Johns
June Podcast Ranker: Big movers inc Matty Johns & The Briefing

Triton Digital‘s lastest Australian Podcast Ranker has been released with insight into the Top 100 Podcasts as well as the Top 10 Publishers in Australia from 1 June through 30 June, 2020, as measured by Triton’s Podcast Metrics measurement service.

Seven new entities appear in the Top 100 Podcast ranker this reporting period, including Nova National News Briefing (Nova), The Totally Football Show with James Richardson (Audioboom), and What The Flux (ARN/iHeartMedia).  Stuff You Should Know (ARN/iHeartMedia) remained in the #1 spot as the most downloaded podcast in the country in June. 

As for the All-Australian Top 100 Podcast Ranker, six new entities appear this reporting period, including Get Started Investing (ARN/iHeartMedia), 3AW is Football (Nine Radio), Official SuperCoach Podcast (News Corp Australia), and Below the Belt (ARN/iHeartMedia). Casefile True Crime (Audioboom) remained the #1 spot as the most downloaded podcast in the country.

Total downloads of all shows by all participating publishers in the month of June is 40.8m.

Participating publishers in the Australian Podcast Ranker include ARN/iHeartMedia, Southern Cross Austereo, News Corp Australia, Audioboom, Stitcher, Wondery, Nova, Nine Radio, SEN / Crocmedia, Schwartz Media, TOFOP Productions, Kinderling Kids Radio, Australian Radio Network, Wavelength Creative, Wondery, NBC News, and West Australian Newspapers.

Triton Digital’s Podcast Metrics measurement service is certified by the IAB Tech Lab as complying with Version 2.0 of the IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines. It provides accurate and insightful data around how, when, and where podcast content is being consumed across multiple hosting platforms, with the ability to view metrics by date range, location, device, podcast name, episode, title, and more.

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Helen Reddy
Stan acquires Helen Reddy biopic I Am Woman: Streaming in August

Streaming service Stan has acquired the movie I Am Woman which will premiere exclusively on 28 August.

The feature, which adds to an ever-growing slate of new theatrical and original productions from Stan, with further major announcements still to come in the weeks ahead, is based on the inspirational life of Helen Reddy, one of the most successful performing artists ever to emerge from Australia.

Following the recent announcement of the haunting Stan Original film Relic – which is available now on Stan – the new original film also comes after the record-breaking release of Justin Kurzel’s True History of The Kelly Gang – which premiered on Australia Day on Stan and formed part of Stan’s summer launch of Australia’s biggest ever lineup of originals, together with the recently launched second season of the Logie award-winning Bloom.

I am Woman

Told for the first time on screen, I Am Woman is an inspiring biopic of Australian singer-songwriter Helen Reddy – a Grammy-award winning artist responsible for co-writing and singing I Am Woman – a song that went on to become the anthem for the women’s movement in the 1970s.

Directed by Unjoo Moon (The Zen of Bennett), I Am Woman was written by Emma Jensen (Mary Shelley), produced by Rosemary Blight (The Sapphires, The Invisible Man) with Unjoo Moon, and stars Tilda Cobham-Hervey (Hotel Mumbai) as Helen Reddy, Danielle Macdonald (Dumplin’) as Lillian Roxon and Evan Peters (American Horror Story: Cult) as Jeff Wald. The film was shot in Sydney by Oscar-winning cinematographer Dion Beebe (Mary Poppins Returns, Memoirs of a Geisha).

I am Woman

Helen Reddy arrived in New York from Melbourne in 1966 with her three-year-old daughter, a suitcase and $230 in her pocket. Within weeks she was broke. Within months she was in love. Within five years she was one of the biggest superstars of her time, and an icon of the 1970s feminist movement, who wrote a song which galvanised a generation of women to fight for change.

I Am Woman had its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival where it opened the prestigious Special Presentations section. The film is a story of fearless ambition and passion, of a woman who smashed through the patriarchal norms of her time to become the international singing superstar she always dreamed of being.

Stan’s chief content officer Nick Forward said: “Having inspired generations, Unjoo Moon, Tilda Cobham-Hervey and the whole team have done such an incredible job bringing Helen Reddy’s inspirational story to life.”

I am Woman

Screen Australia’s head of content Sally Caplan said: “I Am Woman is a poignant and inspiring story that celebrates the life and legacy of iconic Australian Helen Reddy, portrayed on screen brilliantly by Tilda Cobham-Hervey. Director Unjoo Moon has made her mark with this powerful debut feature film which had its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival, and I can’t wait for local audiences to see it.”

Producer Rosemary Blight said: “We are thrilled that I Am Woman has found its home on Stan. With Stan’s incredible reach, so many Australians will be able to enjoy watching and singing along to I Am Woman in the comfort and safety of their homes. I’d also like to thank our amazing investors, including principal investor Screen Australia, who have supported Unjoo and I since we embarked on the journey of making this film.”

Director/producer Unjoo Moon said: “I am so thrilled that audiences in Australia will finally get to see our film. During these tough times it’s deeply meaningful to me that the release of Helen Reddy’s inspirational story I Am Woman will kick off with Stan in Australia. Not only did Helen’s story begin in Australia but so did our journey of making this movie.”

I Am Woman is a Goalpost Pictures production in association with Deep Blue Pacific with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with WestEnd Films, Screen NSW, Adelaide Film Festival and South Australian Film Corporation. Financed with support from the Goodship Women’s Fund.

The Stan Original Film I Am Woman will premiere exclusively on Stan on 28 August.


Photos by Lisa Tomasetti and Tony Mott

Scott Emerson named new 4BC drive host

Journalist and former MP Scott Emerson has been named the new host of 4BC’s new local Drive program.

Emerson is experienced in journalism having served as The Australian newspaper’s Queensland bureau chief and held senior journalism positions with the ABC. He has also served in the Queensland parliament and is a former Minister for Transport and Main Roads.

The Scott Emerson Drive Show will launch on 4BC on August 10.

“We’re delighted Scott is joining 4BC as we return to local programming in drive,” said Greg Byrnes Nine Radio’s Head of Content.

“As a journalist, broadcaster and former Minister he’s well credentialed for news talk, particularly with a state election in October, but Scott is also a proud Queenslander who lives and breathes Brisbane.”

Earlier this year, 4BC announced plans to expand local content in Brisbane, appointing respected editor/journalist Neil Breen as the station’s new Breakfast host. With COVID restrictions now easing, popular 2GB/4BC Mornings host Ray Hadley is returning to the Gold Coast from where he’ll regularly present his top-rating networked program.

“This is an exciting time to join 4BC as it goes even more local,” said Emerson. “I can’t wait to get back behind the microphone and talk about all the issues that really matter to Brisbane. We’ll be breaking news and debating the big stories of the day – local politics, local business, local sport – and hopefully having a laugh or two. If you listen to 4BC Drive, you’ll have the edge in Brisbane.”

Emerson began his career as a cadet journalist with ABC News. He went on to help launch Triple J radio in Queensland before taking on senior reporting and presenting roles with the AMPM and World Today programs.

He later joined News Corp as The Australian’s Queensland bureau chief and State political editor. More recently Emerson has been a regular Queensland contributor on Sky News.

He holds degrees in economics and the arts from the University of Queensland and is a Churchill Fellow, for undertaking research at Harvard and in Washington into political campaigning and communication.

Emerson has been married to his wife Robyn since 1991 after they met as students at the University of Queensland. They have two adult children.

Box Office: Sonic #1 after 22 weeks as slow cinema return continues

The slow burn of Australian cinemas has continued with no new releases making the top five of the Australian box office this past weekend. Instead, we saw the return of Sonic the Hedgehog to #1, 22 weeks after it was first released in cinemas.

The overall total saw a somewhat sideways move as movies generated $1.87m which was a 1% decline on last weekends total.

#1 Sonic the Hedgehog $298,400

Distributed by Paramount the big screen adaption of the Sega video game franchise was near the end of its run before the COVID-19 lockdown and seems to have received some level of reprieve with its re-emerging on the other side as one of the preferred choices of returning cinema-goers. The film averaged $1,538 on 194 screens bringing its total to $13.15m.


#2 The Personal History of David Copperfield $258,580 

After debuting at #1 last week the film has slipped one spot in its second week of release, despite being one of the few new releases since cinemas started to re-open. The movie was the most screened film in the country being shown on 221 screens averaging $1,170 with its total sitting at $827,414.


#3 Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs $239,797 

The South Korean animated film has seen its revenue shoot up 74% in its second week of release. With some controversy surrounding the release of the film, it appears to be building momentum after averaging $1,471 on 163 screens, with a total of $581,353.


#4 The Invisible Man $158,805 

The remake of the black and white classic starring Elisabeth Moss and directed by Australian Leigh Whannell is another one of the pre-lockdown films that finds itself in the top five more than 20 weeks removed from its release. The film’s total is now $8.80m after averaging $1,471 on 163 screens.


#5 Jumanji: The Next Level $131,943

29 weeks since its Boxing Day release the second sequel to Jumanji finds itself in the box office top five again. The film is the highest-grossing film of 2020 making $46.24m which is almost a quarter of the total box office for 2020. The film averaged 1,137 on 116 screens.


TV Ratings Monday July 13, Week 29, 2020

By James Manning

• Nine climbs back to #1, Seven and 10 fight for second place
• The Beatles still draw a crowd as they help Nine to #1
• Emilia smashes Gordon Ramsay Mystery Box, secures semi spot
• MasterChef finals week on 1.047m, 10’s best in 12 weeks
• Stan Grant on Four Corners, Michael Rowland in primetime

Seven News 1,264,000/1,235,000
Nine News 1,113,000/1,050,000
ABC News 865,000
A Current Affair 842,000
7.30 720,000
The Project 395,000/591,000
10 News 443,000/285,000
Sunrise 260,000
Today 218,000
The Drum 217,000
SBS World News 191,000
The Latest 154,000

Monday TV

Seven: Big Brother welcomed a contestant to the “secret” White Room as “cockroach” Kieran survived the elimination vote with a second chance in the game. The episode did an improved 723,000, after 664,000 a week ago.
Earlier in the night Home and Away was on 695,000 after a week 28 average of 643,000.
The 2014 movie Lucy then did 235,000.

Nine: The Voice was down just from 749,000 to 745,000 after 790,000 on Monday last week.
A Current Affair started its week on 842,000 after an average of 716,000 last week. The first episode for the week featured a troubling Steve Marshall story about quarantine fails in a NSW hotel.
Later in the night One Night Only – The Beatles in Oz did a very respectable 451,000 after 9.30pm with a remastered version of the group’s short Melbourne Festival Hall set in 1964.

10: The Project featured three significant interviews with Julia Gillard, Adam Hills and departed MasterChef contestant Reece. The episode did 591,000 at 7pm with a week 28 average of 530,000.
Another gripping episode of MasterChef saw Emilia secure immunity from the elimination tonight and a place in the semi-final where the top three will compete next Sunday. The challenge was a Gordon Ramsay mystery box with only the basics and no pantry. During the cook the judges again confronted the final four of Emilia, Reynold, Laura and Callum. Andy: “What is it fails, Is there a plan B?” Melissa: “Is fish and veg enough to get you to the semi-final.” Emilia’s pastry was so far ahead of the other dishes, and it looked like the judges and other cooks were doing their best to look apprehensive as Jock revealed the winner. The second-last Monday of the (adult) franchise this year moved back above 1m with 1.047m watching, the biggest audience since April. The result helped 10 record its best Wednesday share in 12 weeks and its best on any night in over a month. It also drove 10 to win key Monday demos for the primary channel and the network.
Later in the night Have You Been Paying Attention? moved way back above 800,000 to 853,000 with guests Denise, Celia and Tony on duty. For those keeping count, it was the biggest episode 11 audience ever.

ABC: Last week 7.30 was hosted by Virginia Trioli, this week it is the turn of her former breakfast co-host Michael Rowland to shine in primetime. The Monday episode had plenty to offer in terms of Covid news with 720,000 watching after an average of 622,000 last week.
Back Roads then visited the magical Victorian country town of Girgarre with an audience of 608,000.
Stan Grant then became the first indigenous Australian to report on an episode of Four Corners in what was a compelling 45 minutes of TV. The show deserved a bigger audience than the 437,000 watching.
Media Watch then did 504,000 followed by Hamish Macdonald with Julia Gillard on Q+A with 441,000.

SBS: The Windsor’s Lost Letters had 241,000 watching at 7.30pm.
24 Hours in Emergency followed with 193,000.

Week 29 TV: Monday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 13.5% 7 17.9% 9 20.5% 10  17.5% SBS One 4.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.3% 7TWO 2.6% GO! 2.0% 10 Bold 3.4% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 2.9% GEM 2.6% 10 Peach 1.9% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix 1.3% 9Life 1.6%     NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 0.9%     SBS World Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 17.5%   24.8%   27.7%   22.8%   7.2%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 14.1% 7 17.9% 9 17.8% WIN 13.1% SBS One 3.9%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.3% 7TWO 4.3% GO! 2.2% WIN Bold 4.4% VICELAND 1.6%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 4.1% GEM 4.4% WIN Peach 1.6% Food Net 0.6%
ABC NEWS 1.1% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.7% 9Life 2.0% Sky News  on WIN 1.6% NITV 0.2%
                SBS Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 18.2%   28.1%   26.5%   20.8%   7.2%


90.4% 9.6%
Monday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,264,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,235,000
  3. Nine News Nine 1,113,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 1,050,000
  5. MasterChef Australia 10 1,047,000
  6. ABC News ABC 865,000
  7. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 853,000
  8. A Current Affair Nine 842,000
  9. The Voice Nine 745,000
  10. Big Brother Seven 723,000
  11. 7.30 ABC 720,000
  12. Home And Away Seven 695,000
  13. The Chase Australia Seven 659,000
  14. Hot Seat Nine 610,000
  15. Back Roads S6 ABC 608,000
  16. The Project 7pm 10 591,000
  17. Media Watch ABC 504,000
  18. One Night Only – The Beatles In Oz – Live And Remastered Nine 451,000
  19. 10 News First 10 443,000
  20. Q+A-Le ABC 441,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 348,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 300,000
  3. Big Brother Seven 229,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 152,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 150,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 510,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 452,000
  3. Big Brother Seven 362,000
  4. Nine News Nine 300,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 286,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 531,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 481,000
  3. Nine News Nine 377,000
  4. Big Brother Seven 369,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 362,000
Monday Multichannel
  1. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 200,000
  2. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 188,000
  3. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 181,000
  4. NCIS Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 172,000
  5. Little J And Big Cuz ABCKIDS/COMEDY 171,000
  6. Noddy Toyland Detective PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 166,000
  7. Little J And Big Cuz AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 161,000
  8. Kiri And Lou ABCKIDS/COMEDY 161,000
  9. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 156,000
  10. Digby Dragon AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 151,000
  11. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 149,000
  12. Thomas And Friends PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  13. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  14. Peter Rabbit PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  15. Andy’s Safari Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  16. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  17. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  18. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  19. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  20. Doc Martin PM 7TWO 130,000
Monday STV
  1. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 85,000
  2. Alan Jones Sky News Live 76,000
  3. Credlin Sky News Live 72,000
  4. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 69,000
  5. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 60,000
  6. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 53,000
  7. Live: On The Couch FOX FOOTY 48,000
  8. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 45,000
  9. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 43,000
  10. PML Later Sky News Live 40,000
  11. Afternoon Agenda Sky News Live 35,000
  12. Perry Mason FOX SHOWCASE 35,000
  13. Newsday Sky News Live 34,000
  14. NCIS: Los Angeles FOX Crime 34,000
  15. Perry Mason FOX SHOWCASE 34,000
  16. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 33,000
  17. Calvin & Kaison’s Play Power Nick Jr. 33,000
  18. Afternoon Agenda Sky News Live 33,000
  19. The Adventures Of Paddington Nick Jr. 32,000
  20. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 32,000

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

Former Nine boss David Gyngell suffers heart attack at Byron Bay

Former Channel 9 boss David Gyngell is recovering from a heart attack on Byron Bay beach, reports News Corp’s Phil Rothfield.

Doctors later found he had a 90 percent blockage in two of his arteries.

The 54-year-old TV legend was training on the beach last week with tennis superstar Pat Rafter when he experienced chest pain and a shortness in breath.

Although a fitness fanatic who regularly surfs on the north coast, Gyngell has a family history of high cholesterol.

“I’m OK now but it could have been a lot worse,” Gyngell said. “If I hadn’t been fit I could have died.

“I was training like I do most days. Then I felt tired and a bit weird but still went to breakfast with the boys.”

It wasn’t until he returned home that his wife, Channel 9 presenter Leila McKinnon, suggested he see a doctor.

ECG tests revealed Gyngell had suffered a heart attack and he was rushed into surgery at the John Flynn hospital on the Gold Coast.

[Read more]

TV legend has left the building: Susan Wood departs Seven Network

Longtime Seven publicist Susan Wood has departed the network after 17 years, reports TV Tonight.

From 2003 – 2020 she was network director of publicity, overseeing artist management, program launches, upfronts and even network crises.

This concludes her third term with Seven having first joined the network from regional TV and Crawford Productions.

For the past 17 years she has worked under four CEOs including David Leckie, Tim Worner and James Warburton.

Last year James Warburton restructured Seven management with Charlotte Valente as chief marketing officer and from February Julia Lefort as director of corporate affairs and publicity, when Wood returned to Melbourne.

Susan Wood told TV Tonight, “It’s been a conscious uncoupling. The time is right with the team in such good shape, to draw a line under the last 17 years, which have been tremendous fun.”

CEO James Warburton said in a statement, “Susan Wood has left the business after 17 incredible years, during which time she significantly contributed to the brand reputation of Seven, its successful programs and artists.

“Susan more recently moved into a part-time consulting role with Seven focused on a number of specific projects, for which she may provide periodic support in the future.”

[Read more]

Ben Shepherd joins Thinkerbell as General Manager, Media

Ben Shepherd (pictured) is joining Thinkerbell in the new role of general manager – media.

When he arrives at Thinkerbell he will be reunited with Margie Reid after the two worked together for several years at OMD.

Margie Reid, Thinkerbell CEO, said: “Ben is truly in the ‘beautiful mind’ class. An iconoclast thinker and communicator, he has the ability to cut through, and make the complicated simple. However, perhaps even more importantly he’s a transparent and honest operator. He’ll ensure our joined up and holistic approach to media is amplified as we grow our competencies in this space.”

Ben Shepherd commented: “You can’t ignore Thinkerbell, it’s a strong brand in the marketplace, with a model I fundamentally believe in and can help grow. Marketers have never had more options but less choice. Thinkerbell is a distinctive, ambitious and genuinely interesting collection of different people, talents and capabilities with an energy and curiosity that is really bloody appealing. I’m excited to play a role in creating really great, effective work.”

Thinkerbell has several clients it provides media and creative duties for including SsangYong, Journey Beyond, Bega, SsangYong and Sukin/BWX, MRC and Lifeline.

News Brands

The Press Council upholds complaint about The Daily Telegraph

The Press Council considered a complaint from Senator Richard Di Natale about a print article published in The Daily Telegraph on 22 July 2019, headed “Greens put wind up farm”, reports the News Corp Sydney daily newspaper.

The article reported on a proposed wind farm on Robbins Island in Tasmania. It began, “The Greens are opposing a proposed wind farm in Tasmania which would inject $5 billion into the economy and produce 100 megawatts of clean energy into the grid”. The article went on to include a quote from Australian Greens Party leader Senator Richard Di Natale and stated that he “supported Dr Bob Brown’s concerns” over the proposed wind farm.

The complainant said the article was inaccurate and misleading, as at no time has the Australian Green Party opposed the proposed wind farm. The complainant also said that Dr Brown was no longer in any position of leadership in the party, he had no authority over the party’s national position, nor did he represent the complainant’s position.

The Council considers that in the absence of verifying the position directly with the party, the publication failed to take reasonable steps to ensure accuracy.

Accordingly, the publication failed to take the reasonable steps appropriate to ensure that the statement was accurate, not misleading and fair and balanced. Accordingly, the Council concludes that the Publication breached General Principles 1 and 3.

As to remedial action, the Council accepts that after the article appeared the complainant contacted the publication to advise it of the inaccuracy and requested a correction. The Council considers that the inaccuracy in the report was substantial and that in failing to publish a correction the publication failed to take reasonable steps to provide appropriate remedial action. The Council notes that after a complaint was made to the Council, the publication offered publication of a response, however given the nature of the inaccuracy and the time which had elapsed, the publication also breached General Principle 4.

[Read more]


Australia’s first commercial FM station celebrates 40th birthday

Australia’s first commercial FM station began broadcasting on 92.3FM Melbourne on July 11 1980, first as EON-FM and later as Triple M on 105.1FM, reports Radio Today.

A consortium that included entrepreneur Bill Armstrong, band manager Glenn Wheatley and stockbroker Bill Conn successfully bid on one of two Melbourne FM licenses in 1979.

Armstrong headed the consortium, having seen the commercial opportunities of FM radio in the US and the UK and despite their application, had no blueprint from which to launch from.

They did, however, beat Fox FM to the airwaves by just two weeks.

Clyde Simpson was the station’s first general manager, Lee Simon the first program director and Billy Pinnell the Melbourne station’s first music programmer.

At first, EON played songs that “would not be played elsewhere”, having no playlist and avoiding Top 40 songs. “We thought we were going to be the beginning of a new era,” Armstrong admits. “It took us a while to realise we were wrong.”

EON finally topped Melbourne’s ratings in 1985 and sold to Hoyts one year later for $37.5 million. The deal was reportedly negotiated by Wheatley.

The station was rebranded 3MMM on November 27 in 1988 and moved to 105.1FM.

It launched the careers of some programming greats including Ian Grace, Brad March, Jeff Allis and the network’s current head of content Mike Fitzpatrick.

“We’re all honoured to be the custodians of this radio station, and the history of EON as Australia’s first commercial FM,” Fitzpatrick told Radio Today.

[Read more]

SCA’s Triple M brand ready to rock Dubbo and Gippsland

SCA has announced that from Monday July 20, Dubbo’s Hit93.5 and Gippsland’s Hit94.3 will now sit under the Triple M Network, becoming Triple M Dubbo and Triple M Gippsland.

As Triple M celebrates 40 years on the airwaves this year, Dubbo and Gippsland will join Australia’s second largest radio network with 46 stations across metro and regional markets plus five digital radio stations.

Triple M Dubbo and Triple M Gippsland will now provide the best of Rock’s Greatest Hits, as well as Sport and Comedy. Listeners will still wake up with Pippa & Alo for breakfast in Dubbo and Anna Dare in Gippsland, but there will be a new way to drive home each weekday afternoon with the popular show Kennedy Molloy, hosted by Jane Kennedy and Mick Molloy.

Head of Triple M Network, Mike Fitzpatrick, said: “We’re proud to be taking the Triple M brand into these growing markets.

“Triple M’s core content pillars of Rock, Sport and Comedy as well as hyper localism and community focus will resonate with the people of both Dubbo and Gippsland.”

Britain’s James Bay to perform for Nova Red Room Live Stream

British singer, songwriter and guitar phenomenon James Bay will be the latest artist to perform on the virtual stage for Nova’s Red Room Live Stream in late July.

Following the Nova and smoothfm Thank You Concert, an exclusive live streamed music event to recognise and say thank you to Australia’s front-line workers, the Nova Network is continuing to provide fans with the opportunity to connect with their favourite artists in intimate live streamed music events. 

James Bay burst on to the charts with his 2014 critically acclaimed debut album Chaos and the Calm. The album went straight to #1 in the UK and sold half a million copies in the US,  with the lead single Hold Back the River going platinum. In 2018 he released his second album Electric Light which peaked at #2 on the British charts. Bay found further success with hit singles Scars and Let it Go, with the latter amassing over 322 million views on YouTube.

The 29-year-old has a slew of coveted industry accolades including three Grammy nominations, two Brit Awards including Best Male Solo Artist and Critics Choice plus a GQ Man of The Year Award.

James Bay’s latest single Chew On My Heart was released last week.

Listeners have the chance to win their invite to an intimate live streamed performance and fan Q & A with James Bay, in the next Nova’s Red Room Live Stream, by listening to the Nova Network or entering online at novafm.com.au.

Hit105’s ‘Quarantine Cuisine’ & ‘Fake Away’ delivers client goals!

Taking client relations to a new and tasty level, Brisbane’s Hit105 has shone the spotlight on local farmers and flavour-makers over lockdown.

Example A: Take two nationally acclaimed chefs, add local produce from the Scenic Rim Farm Box and beam an exclusive cooking class direct to the homes of agency clients. The result: win win!

Example B: Take a local Brisbane gnocchi legend, share their recipe, create an audio how-to and invite agency clients to a completely unique Fake Away culinary experience. Same result!

“This is the recipe cooked up by Brisbane’s Hit105 to give agency clients authentic food experiences using hyper-local produce, starring chefs known for their championing of the ‘eat local’ mantra, a recently launched farm-to-front-gate business in South East Queensland and a gnocchi business that creates line-ups the envy of the city,” said Hamish Rose, SCA Brisbane head of sales.

“The program was a creative twist for us, allowing extended engagement with clients during lockdown, while celebrating the ‘Shop Local’ campaign that’s taken over our stations across the network.”

Brisbane’s Hit105 partnered with the Scenic Rim region to host two virtual cooking classes – called Quarantine Cuisine. The experience starred regional Ambassador Chefs, both multi-award winning and nationally acclaimed flavour makers: Richard Ousby of The Overflow Estate 1895 near Boonah (and former Executive Chef at Stokehouse), and Josh Lopez of The Wolfe, in Brisbane.

The chefs created their own recipes featuring local produce and guided clients through the cooking class live. Ingredients were delivered to each client via the Scenic Rim Farm Box and paired with local wines.

Dylan Lewis returns to ABC as Double J weekends presenter

Dylan Lewis (pictured) is taking over as host of Double J weekends from 9am – 12pm every Saturday and Sunday from 18 July until the end of the year.

Lewis was previously at the ABC when he hosted Recovery and The 10.30 Slot in the late 90s. Since then he’s hosted Video Hits, conquered Celebrity Big Brother, and is an ACRA awarded radio host for his work at Nova in Melbourne and Adelaide.

Lewis was on the Double J airwaves recently, filling in for Tim Shiel on afternoons, as well as hosting mornings over summer.

Excited to get stuck in, Dylan Lewis said: “I bloody love Double J. It feels like Aunty designed it just for me! It plays the music I love, and the presenters are all passionate about the music in the way I am. I feel very lucky and proud to be a part of the Double J family again. I’m home. I started out 25 years ago at the ABC doing a music show on a Saturday morning – and now I’m back on the weekends doing it again. Pretty neat huh?!”

As Double J welcomes Lewis, it waves a temporary farewell to music aficionado and host of both The J Files and the Inside The Big Day Out podcast, Gemma Pike who is taking a break to welcome a brand new music fan into the world, and will be back in 2021.

Stepping up to take over The J Files at 8pm every Thursday for the rest of 2020 will be Caz Tran, one of the country’s best music journos and historians of Australian music. Having been with the triple j family for almost 20 years, Tran hosted Super Request, Home & Hosed, lunch and weekend breakfast on triple j, before taking the reins as Double J weekends presenter since the station’s inception six years ago.


Axed: Network 10 ending Brisbane produced Toasted TV breakfast show

In a few short weeks a small, but dedicated, team will gather in Channel 10’s Brisbane studios to record the very last episode of Toasted TV, reports TV Blackbox’s Robert McKnight.

What started out as a replacement for Cheez TV in 2012 quickly established its own identity and became a favourite for children all around the country.

The show has changed over the years and is now hosted by Ollie McCormack and relative newcomer Lia Walsh. In fact, the timing couldn’t be worse for Walsh who only recently moved out of home into her own apartment. She is now locked into a contract without an income.

It’s understood the team of six had no idea the show would be finishing up until they were informed by management last week. The news came as a complete surprise.

[Read more]

Sports Media

TLA Worldwide secures contract extension with South Australian Tourism

Sports marketing agency TLA Worldwide has secured a two-year contract extension with the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) to provide PR services for the Superloop Adelaide 500.

The contract extension will see TLA’s experience with the largest domestic motorsport event in Australia extend to nine events, with the inclusion of 2021 and 2022.

TLA’s general manager – marketing & communications, Laura McLachlan, said TLA is thrilled to secure the contract extension after another successful campaign in 2020.

“The Superloop Adelaide 500 is a world class event that showcases the city to potential visitors all over the world. It is an important part of South Australia’s major events strategy and we are proud to play a part in this,” said McLachlan.

TLA’s national footprint allows the team to maximise results in key markets for South Australia, while the Adelaide office leverages strong relationships with news, sport and lifestyle media locally.

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