Wednesday July 15, 2020

Angus Keane
Social media marketing during Covid-19: Information & entertainment

By James Manning

Twitter Australia’s head of partnerships, Angus Keene, has told Mediaweek it has been a positive few months at the social media platform, despite the turmoil caused by the virus.

“We are seeing a resurge in the number of people coming to Twitter in 2020. Those people are coming to find out what is going on in the world, to follow experts and to have conversations. More and more people are also using us and the platform to escape a little and be entertained.

Before the pandemic hit we had our biggest-ever user growth globally, lifting 24%. The growth comes from several things including product improvements as we continue to make Twitter better and easier to use, making it more valuable to users, and we have also introduced more video.

“Video is at the heart of the platform now and more people are consuming it. We are also seeing an increase around seasonal events.”

Not surprisingly major news events have been behind recent growth – from the bushfires to Covid-19.

Although Twitter doesn’t publicly release data on specific markets, Keene said advertisers do get extra insights. “We work with third party companies which can provide data on usage numbers in individual markets. Discussions we have with advertisers include information around particular demographics or a particular cultural moment.

“It might be answering questions about how many people are consuming content around The Voice or how many people are Tweeting around the AFL or NRL finals. We always supply that information.”

Some companies are also using Twitter to stream virtual events. “Video conferencing since we went into lockdown has grown 4x on the platform.”

Enhancements that have been welcomed by advertisers include the ability to hide replies, allowing the original author to moderate what is published around that post. “That allows both consumers and brands to hide replies they may not want to appear in their feed or under a particular Tweet. A new feature expected soon gives users even more control, managing who can respond to a Tweet. The three options are everyone (as is now), only people who you follow or only people that are mentioned. If no one is mentioned in the Tweet then no one can respond to the Tweet.

“In time that will give heavy users, celebrities and brands the ultimate control of who can enter the conversation.”

Recent executions with brands in the sports and media space includes the AFL and the NRL as their respective seasons re-started. “We partner with both leagues to send out near-live highlights in addition to some bespoke content. We are also working on covering the National Indigenous Awards and we want to support them via a livestream in August.

Twitter still continues in a long-term partnership with Seven which dates back to the days of Clive Dickens when he was head of digital. “Seven created a completely new brand that was exclusive to Twitter called Armchair Experts. That was in response to a brief three years ago for the creation for more live content. It is an exclusive show that runs after the football on a Friday night and we were regularly delivering around 50,000 views every week. We have been able to deliver to Seven an audience that is really challenging to reach on linear TV.

Twitter and streaming services

One of the big trends on Twitter of late is the explosion of streaming conversation. In early March when the pandemic started impacting the way people live, work and entertain temselves, Twitter saw a 35% increase in content related to streaming on the platform in Australia.

New research conducted by Twitter demonstrated a strong correlation between Twitter usage and significant consumption of streaming services. Some 80% of Twitter users in Australia subscribe to at least one streaming service, with a 25% of respondents considered to be heavy consumers that spend 10 hours+ a week streaming.

Twitter and The Last Dance

When one of the most anticipated sports documentaries ever launched in April, Twitter worked with @NBA_AU and @NetflixANZ to enhance the debut of episodes 1 and 2 of The Last Dance via a simultaneous event experience on Twitter. The dedicated timeline, discoverable via the explore tab, was a way for Australian sport fans to join the real-time conversation.

Keene: “We had 11m Tweets globally around that series and 1m on just the last episode. Globally we had a one hour live show with ESPN and people were able to tweet out a video before the first episode.”

AusBiz streaming

David Koch’s AusBizTV channel recently became Australia’s newest business streaming service. The opening 15 minutes of the ASX AusBiz coverage each day is streamed live and exclusive on Twitter, alongside a segment called StartUp Daily which goes live at the close of the ASX.

Commercial radio ad revenue tumbles 20% in FY2019/20, Q4 down 46%

Advertising revenue for Australian metropolitan commercial radio stations totalled $643.046 million for the 2019/20 financial year, down 20.39% from the $807.701 million recorded in the previous year, according to data compiled by Deloitte and released today by industry body Commercial Radio Australia.

Ad revenue fell across all five major capital city markets in the 12 months ended June 30.

Melbourne was down 20.13% to $209.709 million
Sydney was 21.97% lower to $193.571 million
Brisbane decreased by 18.34% to $101.360 million
Perth radio stations reported $80.246 million in ad revenue, down 22.37%
Adelaide stations dropped 16.41% to $58.160 million

“These results reflect the ongoing challenges resulting from COVID-19 and the flow-on effects that have been widely reported as impacting all local media sectors. Commercial radio stations are operating at a time of global crisis and providing an ongoing and vital service to communities across the country, but unfortunately strong growth in listener numbers has not as yet converted into increased ad revenue,” CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner said.

“We know that radio’s resiliency is matched by its influence and we will carry on working with our members to communicate the value of utilising radio advertising in these difficult times, so advertisers can continue to access radio’s live and local positioning to enhance the reach and power of their messaging.”

Ad revenue for the June quarter totalled $114.104 million, a 46.62% decline from $213.748 million in the same period a year ago.

The Melbourne market was down 46.57% to $37.263 million in the June quarter, Sydney was 48.45% lower to $34.040 million and Brisbane decreased by 48.48% to $16.929 million. Perth radio stations reported $14.806 million in ad revenue (down 43.87%), while revenue for Adelaide stations was 40.92% lower at $11.065 million.

The Deloitte figures report actual revenue received by metropolitan commercial radio stations in the five major capital city markets and include agency and direct advertising revenue.

*Note FY2018/19 ad revenue has been revised up slightly.


Photo by cottonbro

Hit Network Triple M apps
As mobile listening booms, SCA redesigns Hit and Triple M apps

SCA has launched a refreshed design for its suite of Hit and Triple M apps as in-app listening surges by 48%* year on year.

The Hit Network app has recorded a 40%* increase of unique users while Triple M has seen an 18%* rise year on year from June 2019 to June 2020. There has been 3.88** million mobile listening hours – up 48%** year on year.

SCA recorded increased interest for news on demand following this year’s bushfires, floods and COVID-19 pandemic, with a huge 203%*** increase of in-app news consumption in the past six months.

As a result, new versions of the SCA’s Triple M and Hit Network apps are now available on iOS and Android smartphones with newly designed user interfaces. News on demand will be a new feature of these updates with a dedicated section providing users with even greater access to local headlines. Users can also set their preferences to receive regular notifications of breaking news.

SCA head of digital product & innovation, Chris Johnson, said: “We’ve redesigned the listening experience on the new apps to support how audience behaviour is evolving. Users now have a choice of live radio streams from our FM and DAB+ stations, catch up podcasts of our best shows and up-to-the-minute on-demand local news and we’ve made it simple to switch between all of them.”

Since January 2020 SCA’s apps have delivered a total of 32.8 million streams**, with in-app activity increasing by 41%** as listening habits change.

“Our goal is to give listeners total control over their experience, and once signed in they can build a personal library of shows and get timely notifications of show availability,” Johnson said.

“Our growing signed-in listener base also benefits advertisers using our instream advertising platform and delivering increased addressable inventory for greater campaign targeting.”

The Hit and Triple M network app updates include:

• A dedicated news on demand experience accessible from the Hit or Triple M website home pages
• A bold new look and feel, allowing for a more seamless experience between web and app
• A brand new ‘Win’ section so listeners can enter competitions directly from the app
• Highly quality streaming and stability across all apps


 *Firebase Hit/Triple M – June 2019 vs. June 2020
** Adzwizz audiometrics – 1st January 2020 – 30th June 2020
***Omny Analytics – News Programs (In App Only) 1 Jan – 30Jun 2020 vs 1Jul – 31 Dec 2019

ooh Media sydney airport
Ready for take-off: Giant billboard goes digital at Sydney Airport

oOh!media’s iconic 40 x 10 metre billboard at Sydney Airport has gone digital, enabling more advertisers to reach audiences at one of the country’s most premium outdoor media sites.

Located on Joyce Drive and affectionately known as The King, the unmissable 400sqm billboard is now one of the largest digital airport advertising screens in the southern hemisphere and strategically located at the gateway to Sydney.

The King boosts oOh!’s digital airport and roadside billboard offering, adding to a premium portfolio that includes Big Mortey at Brisbane Airport as well as two super-sized billboards on the approach to Melbourne Airport, known as The Twins.

Targeting people heading to the city from the airport, The King has one of the highest audience reaches in Australia, in both number and high-value terms. Its upgrade has also been enhanced by the digitisation of The Prince, a 67sqm portrait-style billboard welcoming travellers coming into the airport, complementing the Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide airport external digital network.

Robbie Dery, oOh!’s chief commercial and product officer, said the two sites extended oOh!’s leadership across the eastern seaboard and represented a compelling proposition to advertisers seeking to reach audiences at scale.

“The King targets both the premium high-value airport audience as well as the high-volume road market, which makes it a superior asset that will form an essential part of leading out-of-home campaigns.

“Iconic and irreplaceable sites like this are few and far between – and digitisation gives brands a great opportunity to leverage this unique and sought-after space.”

Qantas took the opportunity to utilise The King exclusively during its first week of digital life, and more advertisers are set to follow on a billboard that has been a regular choice for Australia’s national airline and major luxury brands for many years.

The upgrade also sees the billboard now enter oOh!’s Signature Series, which comprises Australia’s most desirable large-format locations.

SEN signs former Fox Sports commentator Simon Hill

The voice of Australian soccer, acclaimed former Fox Sports commentator Simon Hill is joining SEN and its Football Nation syndicated call of the Hyundai A-League 2020 Finals Series.

With the support of Tobin Brothers Funerals, Hill has signed to call the finals series on 1116 SEN and beyond, including the Hyundai A-League 2020 Grand Final.

The voice of many memorable moments in Australian football history, Hill will also appear weekly on SEN’s Dwayne’s World with Dwayne Russell, starting today, for the next six weeks.

For the 52-year-old Hill, who left Fox recently after a 14-year run, his return will be welcomed by fans and the broader football community.

“I’ve been overwhelmed since leaving Fox with the support of Australian football fans,” Hill said.

“This is a chance to finish the job with regards to this year’s A-League season and express my joy at the return of the season after this difficult time, and further connect to fans and say thanks for their support.”

Crocmedia executive director Chris Giannopoulos said the resumption of the Hyundai A-League season was a credit to the FFA for working through the circumstances during COVID-19, and that the business and SEN wanted to support the remaining season and finals series around Australia.

“Simon Hill is revered among football fans and it’s an honour to have him behind the microphone for the finals,” Giannopoulos said.

“We’ve long admired his talents and look forward to working with him in what promises to be an exciting finish to the season.”

“We also thank Tobin Brothers Funerals who will partner our Football Nation finals series in part to support the return of Hill who recently appeared on Tobin Brothers Funerals-partnered This is Your Sporting Life show.”

Umbrella Academy
TV Demand: Umbrella Academy charts ahead of season 2 release on July 31

By Trent Thomas

The Mandalorian has regained the top spot on the Digital Original charts after it was overtaken by the German-language Netflix Original Dark last week. It continues the on and off the trend that has started since Disney+ launched late last year with the Star Wars spin-off being #1 or thereabouts.

A new entry to the digital original charts is the Netflix Original Umbrella Academy which will release its second season on July 31. The series is based on the graphic novel series of the same name which was created by Gerard Way who is also known for being the lead singer of My Chemical Romance. The show was seen by 45 million households in its first season of release and the show’s second season must be hotly anticipated considering it has made the charts weeks before dropping.

Another new addition to the Digital Original charts is the Amazon Prime Video Original Hanna which is based on the 2011 movie of the same name. The show released its second season on July 3. The series revolves around a 15-year-old who was the product of a CIA program and the agent who is attempting to hunt her down.

The top Australian show on the charts is MasterChef which is nearing the end of its 12th season. The show has experienced renewed success after the addition of new judges Jock Zonfrillo, Andy Allen and Melissa Leong.

TV Ratings Tuesday July 14, Week 29, 2020

By James Manning

• The Voice chooses the final four + Elton helps Nine to #1
• MasterChef: Heartbreak for Callum, ratings gold for 10
• Big Brother over 700k ahead of biggest twist ever tonight

Seven News 1,208,000/1,157,000
Nine News 1,138,000/1,054,000
ABC News 871,000
A Current Affair 767,000
7.30 612,000
The Project 332,000/601,000
10 News 444,000/284,000
Sunrise 275,000
The Drum 222,000
Today 216,000
SBS World News 213,000

Tuesday TV

Seven: Home and Away’s two episodes so far this week have had audiences of 695,000 and 677,000.
Big Brother was having more fun in the White Room where Kieran was robbed of his sanity, while in the house the housemates were robbed of… well everything. Furniture, crockery, cutlery, plants, toiletries, even their beloved fish – all gone! With Big Brother’s mind games accelerating, Sophie started to question the strength of her alliance with Daniel and Mat. After a tied elimination vote, Sophie was sent packing by Dan’s tie-break vote. But it’s not yet the end for Sophie with Big Brother sending her to the White Room where she was shocked to find Kieran lurking. The audience of 714,000 was up marginally from 695,000 a week ago.
Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back saw Gordon trying to help a Mexican restaurant in the San Fernando Valley. The audience was 293,000.

Nine: Tuesday’s A Current Affair was on 767,000 after 842,000 on Monday.
The Voice semi-final saw the top eight become the top four who now go to the Sunday night finale which meant some tearful farewells. It was a long, long episode that included performances of new songs from Guy Sebastian and Daryl Braithwaite. Kelly’s choice for the final was Guy’s brother Chris Sebastian. Guy went with Johnny Manuel, Boy George said he chose Siala Robson partly because he thought it was what Australian would have wanted. Delta chose the last singer for the finale and went with Stellar over Jesse after giving some reasons why Stellar may not be the right choice. The show is locked in the 700,000s with 714,000 after exactly 700,000 a week ago.
A replay of Elton John: Uncensored followed with 354,000 watching.

10: Last night was a special Carrie’s Beanies for Brain Cancer edition of The Project saw the program raised money to fight one of the deadliest killers and celebrate the scientists searching for a cure. The audience was just over 600,000 after 7pm.
MasterChef’s final Tuesday episode of the year saw Callum, Laura and Reynold cooking in a two-part elimination. They could cook what they liked, but had to choose from special pantries. The three cooks delivered three of the best dishes of the season said judge Melissa. All did well, and it looked like the winner of the first part of the elimination might be Laura. Wrong! The judges surprised choosing Reynold who became the second person through to next Sunday’s semi-final.
Farewelling contestants has always been difficult but the judges this year have done it with real dignity. Last night was perhaps the most difficult of all this year, made even tougher for those involved as there are no hugs allowed, just elbow bumps. The Tuesday audience was another 1m+ ahead of the final two episodes coming Sunday and Monday.
10’s Tuesday allowed it to claim leadership under 50 for the primary channel.

 ABC: Foreign Correspondent was reporting on North Korea with 460,000 watching after 406,000 a week ago.
The documentary about violence in the southside of Chicago, White Light, was on 216,000 after 8.30pm.

SBS: Another day and another new railway series. This time the very prolific Michael Portillo was back with Great Asian Railway Journeys with episode one visiting Hong Kong for the audience of 310,000.

Marc Fennell was hosting Insight again with an episode about people having affairs and the trouble they can cause with 199,000 watching.
Where Are You Really From? then visited Shepparton for an audience of 154,000.

Week 29 TV: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 9.5% 7 17.8% 9 21.2% 10  15.4% SBS One 5.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.6% 7TWO 3.4% GO! 2.3% 10 Bold 3.4% VICELAND 1.3%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 3.2% GEM 2.4% 10 Peach 2.5% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix 1.6% 9Life 2.3%     NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.4%     SBS World Movies 1.4%
TOTAL 14.2%   26.0%   29.4%   21.3%   9.1%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.2% 7 18.4% 9 19.1% WIN 11.6% SBS One 4.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.9% 7TWO 4.8% GO! 2.5% WIN Bold 4.1% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 6.4% GEM 3.2% WIN Peach 2.3% Food Net 0.5%
ABC NEWS 1.8% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.6% 9Life 2.8% Sky News  on WIN 1.6% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 1.1%
TOTAL 14.6%   31.2%   27.7%   19.7%   7.9%


89.0% 11.0%
  1. Seven News Seven 1,208,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,157,000
  3. Nine News Nine 1,138,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 1,054,000
  5. MasterChef Australia 10 1,010,000
  6. ABC News ABC 871,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 767,000
  8. The Voice Nine 739,000
  9. Big Brother Seven 714,000
  10. Home And Away Seven 677,000
  11. The Chase Australia Seven 675,000
  12. 7.30 ABC 612,000
  13. Hot Seat Nine 610,000
  14. The Project 7pm 10 601,000
  15. Foreign Correspondent ABC 460,000
  16. 10 News First 10 444,000
  17. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 401,000
  18. Hot Seat -5pm Nine 378,000
  19. Elton John Uncensored Nine 354,000
  20. The Project 6.30pm 10 332,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 318,000
  2. Big Brother Seven 205,000
  3. The Project 7pm 10 155,000
  4. Nine News Nine 148,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 144,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 460,000
  2. Big Brother Seven 346,000
  3. Nine News Nine 295,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 280,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 269,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 490,000
  2. Nine News Nine 370,000
  3. Big Brother Seven 364,000
  4. Seven News Seven 335,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 333,000


TUESDAY Multichannel
  1. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 189,000
  2. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 182,000
  3. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 173,000
  4. Outback Truckers PM 7mate 168,000
  5. Andy’s Safari Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 151,000
  6. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 151,000
  7. Little J And Big Cuz AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 149,000
  8. Neighbours 10 Peach 149,000
  9. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 148,000
  10. Kiri And Lou ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  11. Little J And Big Cuz ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  12. Peter Rabbit PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  13. Noddy Toyland Detective PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 138,000
  14. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  15. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  16. Digby Dragon AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  17. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  18. Highway Patrol-Ep.2 Pm 7mate 129,000
  19. Would I Lie To You? ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  20. Csi: Miami (R) 10 Bold 127,000
  1. Alan Jones Sky News Live 90,000
  2. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 82,000
  3. Credlin Sky News Live 70,000
  4. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 69,000
  5. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 50,000
  6. PML Later Sky News Live 47,000
  7. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 45,000
  8. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 38,000
  9. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 35,000
  10. Live: The Back Page FOX SPORTS 503 34,000
  11. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 33,000
  12. Afternoon Agenda Sky News Live 33,000
  13. Escape To The Chateau: DIY Lifestyle Channel 32,000
  14. AM Agenda Sky News Live 30,000
  15. Better Homes & Gardens Lifestyle Channel 30,000
  16. Blue’s Clues & You Nick Jr. 30,000
  17. The Front Page Sky News Live 29,000
  18. First Edition Sky News Live 29,000
  19. Open Mike: Ian Stewart FOX FOOTY 29,000
  20. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 28,000

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

Could MediaWorks CEO Michael Anderson return to oOh!media?

The announced departure of former oOh!media chairman Michael Anderson from his position as chief executive of broadcaster MediaWorks across the Tasman has some wondering whether he could be returning to his former employer in a different capacity, reports The Australian’s Bridget Carter.

Anderson was hired in 2016 to run MediaWorks, which owns free-to-air channel TV3 and a portfolio of some of New Zealand’s most popular radio stations. Before that appointment, Anderson was the oOh!Media chair.

It is understood that he will be carrying on at MediaWorks until the end of this year.

The timing is interesting, given that oOh!Media boss Brendon Cook is also leaving. He will finish up at the billboard company he founded around the same time.

Some believe it is more than a coincidence, and that after a prolonged search for Cook’s replacement at a time the company needs a strong performer, there is a fair chance that Anderson could be lined up to take the role.

[Read more]

Mamamia founder in home court battle over Bellevue Hill property

The last subpoena is due to be lodged on Wednesday in the intriguing matter of the occupancy and ownership of a pricey Bellevue Hill home, reports News Corp’s prolific property guru Jonathan Chancellor.

The Supreme Court battle relates to Fintry, the home of the entrepreneurial independent digital media couple Mia Freedman, the founder of the Mamamia women’s network, and her husband Jason Lavigne.

It was almost six years ago when the six-bedroom home, with Blainey North interiors, was bought by the couple who moved in under licence, after signing what Margin Call gleans was a December 2014 put and call purchasing option.

The matter is set for trial next week before Justice Rowan Darke. And for three days, which suggests it can’t be a simple issue of contract law and specific performance.

Fintry last traded at $10.2m in 2007 in a sale which was described as fully priced when sold by Channel Seven lawyer and fixer Bruce McWilliam and his lawyer wife, Nicky.

[Read the original]

News Brands

Nine’s Sophie Walsh feared being attacked by terrorist in suicide vest

The man who attacked Nine reporter Sophie Walsh in London while shouting “Allahu Akbar” was an Algerian asylum seeker wanted on criminal charges, a court has heard, reports News Corp’s Stephen Drill.

Walsh was doing a live cross in London on protests in Europe in reaction to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis when she was attacked on June 3.

She was grabbed and punched by Soofuue Yakr, 25, who she feared was wearing a suicide vest.

Yakr was carrying a screwdriver but did not use it to attack the reporter.

Southwark Crown Court in London heard that Yakr, who has pleaded guilty to the assault,was already wanted on charges in Newcastle before he was arrested for the June attack.

He did not turn up at Britain’s Newcastle Crown Court, where he was due to enter pleas for one count of conspiracy to steal, two counts of theft, and two counts of possession of identity documents with improper intention.

Carol Summers, prosecuting, said Yakr ran up to Walsh and pushed her with both hands.

“He then lunged at her as if he was going to take her down. He started to do a stabbing motion on the left hand side of her stomach although there was a stabbing motion she felt nothing sharp,” she said.

Cameraman Jason Conduit chased down Yakr with his tripod and managed to detain him until police arrived.

Walsh’s reaction was captured on screen during her cross to the Adelaide news, but the actual attack was not aired.

The case was adjourned until August 20 at Newcastle Crown Court.

[Read more]


Kyle Sandilands v The Daily Telegraph: Feud escalates over pubic hair

He is no stranger to controversy and Kyle Sandilands gave radio listeners an earful during a bizarre conversation about Chinese women on Tuesday morning, reports News Corp’s Mibenge Nsenduluka.

The Kyle and Jackie O co-host said he made an eyebrow-raising discovery about Chinese women after an encounter with a prostitute.

The Daily Telegraph has chosen not to repeat what Sandilands said and has contacted KIIS FM for comment.

A spokeswoman from The National Council of Women Australia told Confidential that Sandilands’ comments are “appalling”.

“The comments by Sandilands in my view are appalling and totally unacceptable for radio at any time,” NCWA president Robyn Nolan said.

[Read more]

Sandilands referred to the report in Sydney Confidential on his Wednesday show. “What did I say…does anybody remember anything I said?” Sandilands then asked if it was comments about Chinese ladies having straight pubes.

“They don’t all have straight pubes,” said Jackie O. “I did research it, and some do.”

Revisiting the subject in some detail again, a KIIS-FM producer revealed an Asian male listener had sent in a photo of their pubes which was shared amongst the staff. When looking at the photo, the show’s censor bleeped out the reactions from the hosts.

Sandilands: “There’s nothing wrong with people having straight pubes. Where is my apology. What a bunch of piss-ants.”

Sandilands then claimed both The Daily Telegraph, and Mail Online which also reported on the controversy, were guilty of pedalling “fake news”.

The host then asked producers to give time to a segment this morning where Sandilands would guess whether female callers had pubes or no pubes.

Sandilands also cancelled a live read scheduled to promote The Daily Telegraph. He then lampooned the copy in the ad and screwed up the script on air.

Carrie & Tommy devotes Tuesday show to Beanies 4 Brain Cancer

SCA’s Hit Network early drive show yesterday hosted a special event.

Co-host Tommy Little surprised his co-host Carrie Bickmore when he revealed at the start of the show at 3pm the day would be devoted to Bickmore’s Beanies for Brain Cancer charity. It was a special day for Bickmore who then also co-hosted the annual Project episode devoted to the charity.

Brain cancer survival rates haven’t changed in 30 years and the charity is dedicated to funding research to find a cure.

In isolation Bickmore has missed live music alongside her family and friends so Little pulled together an impressive list of artists in a show dedicated to Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer with all the music on the show performed live from artists around the world including:

Amy Shark (Everybody Rise)
Dua Lipa (Break My Heart)
The Jonas Brothers (Sucker)
Anne-Marie (2002)
Rob Thomas (If You’re Gone)
Rita Ora (Medley including Lonely and Anywhere)
Guy Sebastian (Standing With You)
Daryl Braithwaite (Love Songs)
Sam Fischer (This City)
Ava Max (King and Queens)
Dean Lewis (Waves)
Ricki-Lee Coulter (Raining Diamonds)

Listen to the highlights here.


Host of Beyond’s MythBusters Grant Imahara dies at 49

Electrical engineer and roboticist, Grant Imahara, who rose to fame as a host of the television show MythBusters, died on Monday at 49, the Discovery Channel has confirmed, reports The Washington Post.

In a statement released on Monday night, Discovery confirmed the death of Imahara, an enthusiastic influence in the popular science world best known for building robots and operating electronics on the hit show for a decade.

Imahara joined MythBusters in its third season in 2005 after an invitation from host Jamie Hyneman. For more than 200 episodes, Imahara, lovingly referred to as the “geek” of the show’s build team, wowed audiences by bringing tech to life through his ability to design and operate complex robotics that helped test myths in subjects ranging from skydiving to driving stunt cars.

“We are heartbroken to hear this sad news about Grant. He was an important part of our Discovery family and a really wonderful man,” the statement said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

A cause of death was not immediately released by the company. The Hollywood Reporter reported that Imahara died of a brain aneurysm.

Colleagues and friends took to social media to express their devastation at the engineer’s sudden death.

Adam Savage, a former co-host who also worked with Imahara at Lucasfilm, said he had “been part of two big families of Grant Imahara over the last 22 years”, and that he was honoured to call him a friend.

[Read more]

Preview: NBC starts streaming with a TV-style platform Peacock

NBCUniversal’s streaming platform, Peacock, looks a lot like broadcast TV, reports The New York Times.

The free version comes with commercials and plenty of vintage hits like The King of Queens and Everybody Loves Raymond. And it offers something viewers might have missed while they were logged onto other streamers: the ability to channel-surf.

The service said it has brought back the analog-era pastime by grouping its programming into distinct feeds, with one dedicated to NBC’s late night hosts and another for the network’s morning franchise, Today, among others.

Peacock, which becomes widely available Wednesday in the US, is also trying to distinguish itself from Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max and other competitors by betting that viewers want a free or low-cost streaming option during the coronavirus pandemic.

“People are looking for more affordable options,” said Matt Strauss, chairman of Peacock and NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises. “That was true before the pandemic and now that we are in the middle of it, arguably heading toward a recession, affordability is even more relevant than when we first laid out our strategy seven months ago.”

NBC said the three-month testing period had proved that streaming viewers were just as happy to flip through options before settling on a show, just as they did in the traditional TV era.

That finding prompted the company to build 20 channels within Peacock. In addition to the late-night and Today feeds, it will have one dedicated to Saturday Night Live and others for news and sports. The company said it will expand the offering to 40 channels within the platform in the coming months, on its way to 70 by year’s end.

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Sports Media

Rugby broadcast deal worth only $10m a year for domestic comp

The tough financial reality for Rugby Australia is that their next broadcast deal is likely to be worth no more than $10m a year for its domestic competition, reports News Corp’s Jessica Halloran.

All up, a deal could be valued at $20m adding in $10m for Test matches. If RA secures a broadcast deal like this, it is $15m a year less than the deal offered by Foxtel to the Raelene Castle-led administration last November.

Back then a five-year $US125m deal was tabled and RA walked away in the hope of starting a bidding war. It never materialised.

The TV ratings for Super Rugby AU have been paltry with 69,000 viewers tuning in to the NSW v Queensland season opener (but 95,000 inclusive of Kayo and Foxtel Now). When rugby was humming, a match like that could draw 175,000 sets of eyeballs on Foxtel. The 2011 Super Rugby final won by Queensland over the Crusaders broke records when it reached 518,000 on Foxtel.

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AFL is trying to outrun a pandemic with NSW exit possible

Football 2020 is being played with a pandemic on its heels. It is running but running out of places to hide, reports The Australian’s Peter Lalor.

Crowded into the pockets by Victoria’s closures and the restrictions of two other states, the whistle got closer to the umpire’s mouth on Tuesday as COVID-19 crept back into NSW. This opponent is as relentless as it is ruthless. Fleet-footed and foul of breath. Always hurrying near.

The AFL and clubs have done an extraordinary job keeping the game going despite the setbacks, reacting and adapting at a speed never before imagined.

The escape from Melbourne went off with some tears but without a hitch. You only had to look at the mishaps suffered by the A-League to see how many potential pitfalls were avoided. Things, however, are on a hair trigger, on Tuesday even the rugby league was thinking of pulling up stumps and vacating its home state.

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