Friday July 3, 2020

Regional publishing: Latte Life grows to Southern Highlands Express

By James Manning

The impact of Covid-19 has led to major upheavals in regional publishing. The major publishers have paused and/or closed titles around the country. Some disappearing all together, others living on as digital brands.

The changing media landscape has also offered opportunities for smaller publishers to launch titles. One of them is the boutique NSW publisher King Media Regional which has most recently launched the Southern Highlands Express weekly newspaper.

The business was started by Cristian King (pictured) who was looking after the free suburban title Latte Life in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. In 2014 later King added a Southern Highlands edition which is now the flagship publication. That move came a year after King’s mother and sister moved to the region in 2013. King faced a major health challenge soon after and he too moved to the region. “When I was in recovery I started to realise they needed a really strong local paper covering the area. With an investment in editorial including investigations into the local council and its operations, I was convinced Latte Life would work well there too and it has been a fantastic success.

The business started just with myself and our sales manager on a trestle table and a couple of milk crates has grown substantially.

The new publications were the same format as the eastern suburbs edition – A3 stitched and trimmed, printed heat set on gloss paper.

“A major expansion for us is the recent launch of the paid newspaper Southern Highlands Express, which runs on a different business model for us.” The competitor in this space is Australian Community’s Media’s Southern Highland News. “A vacuum was created when they ceased paused printing which presented both a threat and an opportunity,” said King. (That three times a week newspaper returned this week.)

 “I decided to take the opportunity. With my existing infrastructure in place, in terms of editorial, sales, design and administration, as well as six years of on-the-ground experience, it was a matter of upscaling the operations and establishing a network of retailers to sell the new title.

“Despite the impact of the Covid economy, we employed four new locals who are based in the Mittagong office. Two are journalists and one a photographer.”

King said the attraction for advertisers was getting a return on their investment, which his titles have been able to provide. “In most cases we have been able to exceed the expectations advertisers had for their advertising investment.

“The first step though is to create the compelling editorial for people to pick up the paper. Having that editorial attracts the audience and then the ads. Since Southern Highlands Express commenced late in May we have seen increasing sales each week. We have also just signed vendor agreements with Woolworths and Coles to supply their stores across the three biggest towns – Mittagong, Bowral and Moss Vale.

In November 2019, King Media Regional was a recipient of round 2 grant under the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund. The approved grant amount was for $347,000 to increase editorial output and was approved by an independent selection panel, convened by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Committee members included the CFO of the NSW Independent Pricing & Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), a board member from the Australian Press Council, and a Partner from Deloitte’s.

The Express is using the same paper stock and format as the Latte Life titles, but while they are free, the Express is $2. “The Express looks significantly different too. We wanted it to be distinctly different from Latte Life to make them look like very different products.”

King has been able to make his titles work without any real estate listings. “What we focus on is community news. That includes covering the achievements of many community groups and also what is happening in the local council. That gets people engaged much more so than real estate listings.”

Getting local ad support from Wingecarribee Shire Council, which covers the Southern Highlands, will take longer. “They do not advertise at present. They have a selection process done annually by tender. Until we see those requirements, we are not sure if we will apply for that or not.”

Guy Sebastian comments on charges laid against former manager

Sony Music recording artist and coach on The Voice, Guy Sebastian, yesterday released this statement regarding the charges laid against his former manager:

I am aware of the charges laid by police against my former manager Titus Day. As has been reported, I have had an ongoing dispute with Titus for a number of years, and today I am absolutely devastated to learn the nature and detail of these charges. After over a decade of partnership, I parted ways with Titus’ management company in November 2017.

All my income was controlled via Titus into a Trust account and after noticing some disparities in payments, I requested important financial information that I was rightfully entitled to, and upon doing so our relationship began deteriorating.

Over these last years, my integrity and reputation have been questioned, and many untruths have been publicly stated. For me, this has been deeply personal and this period has been the toughest of my life. These charges are a sad vindication of my position.

No one in my industry deserves this to happen and I hope my case can serve as an example to all artists about the importance of transparency and trust between a manager and an artist.

I will not be making any further comment as the matter is now with the police.

Stephen Brook
Stephen Brook moving to Melbourne as The Age’s CBD columnist

Nine publishing has announced that Stephen Brook has been appointed as The Age’s CBD columnist, working alongside Samantha Hutchinson, who has moved to Sydney to anchor the column.

“Viscount Brooky” has been contributing regularly to the masthead in the last two years, writing a media column for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, contributing to Traveller as well as writing for Crikey, marie claire and The Weekend Australian Magazine.

He has previously worked at both The Australian and The Guardian newspapers in Australia and Britain.

Brook wrote The Australian’s media diary column and was previously the paper’s media editor, features editor and science writer, working in Canberra, Perth and Sydney.

At The Australian he created and hosted the Behind the Media podcast, in which he interviewed more than 40 prominent journalists. The audio series was a finalist at the Australian Podcast Awards.

In Britain from 2004 to 2011 he worked for The Times and The Guardian, where he was press and publishing correspondent and deputy editor of MediaGuardian.co.uk.

During more than six years, he wrote more than 3,100 stories for The Guardian and reported from Russia and South Africa. He also wrote for Monocle and Reader’s Digest magazines

SEN Track moves to 1593 AM in Melbourne, same place on the app!

SENTrack Melbourne is on the move! From 6pm Friday July 3 you can catch all your chasing, pacing and racing action on its new home of 1593 AM in Melbourne or, as always, on the SEN app.

The popular The Odds Couple with Simon O’Donnell and David Taggart kicks off the weekend’s racing on Saturday morning from 8am with their take on the form for the big race day ahead. 

SENTrack’s flagship show Saturday Trackside from 11.30am with Jack Heverin, Simon O’Donnell and David Taggart promises punters the latest mail on race day.

A new show on Sunday mornings at 11am, Tricks of the Trade, offers a look at racing and sport from the punter’s perspective.

During the week, harness racing fans can get ahead of the game with Talking Trots on Track (Monday-Friday, 11am-1pm) presented by Harness Racing Victoria’s Blake Redden and Jason Bonnington.

On weeknights (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 5-6pm) Thrill of the Chase gives greyhound racing fans and casual punters alike, the inside form on the fastest sport on four legs. 

Thursday nights (6-10pm) are also dedicated to greyhound racing with The Lids Fly, presented by Sam Hargreaves and Molly Haines.

Across the week, Trackside (Monday-Friday, 1-5pm) with Campbell Brown, David Taggart, Sam Hargreaves, Jack Heverin and Cam Luke offers sharp analysis and a lot of laughs, from around the traps.

Catch all the action on SENTrack – now on 1593 AM in Melbourne, as well as in Gosford 801 AM, Wollongong 1575AM, Perth 657 AM, Ingham 96.9 FM, Atherton 99.1 FM or on the SEN app.

The Great
Tony McNamara’s dramedy The Great coming to Stan for a second season

Stan today announced that Catherine The Great will continue her reign on Stan for a second season. The comedy drama, led by Elle Fanning (Super 8) and Nicholas Hoult (Stan’s True History of the Kelly Gang), will return for another 10-episode run after its first season debuted on 16 May, only on Stan.

The comedy series chronicles the genre-bending, anti-historical ride through 18th Century Russia and follows the wildly comedic rise of ‘Catherine the Nothing’ to ‘Catherine the Great’ – as depicted by Hollywood heavyweight Fanning.

A sensational supporting cast includes Phoebe Fox, Adam Godley, Gwilym Lee, Charity Wakefield, Douglas Hodge, Sacha Dhawan, Sebastian de Souza, Bayo Gbadamosi and Australia’s own Belinda Bromilow (Doctor Doctor, Packed to the Rafters).

The first season of The Great was created, written and executive produced by Tony McNamara and executive produced by Marian Macgowan, Thruline’s Josh Kesselman and Ron West, Echo Lake’s Brittany Kahan Ward, Doug Mankoff and Andrew Spaulding, Elle Fanning, Mark Winemaker and Matt Shakman.

Mad Men
Calling agency professionals: Every episode of Mad Men now on Stan

If you never got around to watching, or want to relive the glory days of advertising, the high-powered world of New York City’s Madison Avenue recently arrived on Stan, with every episode of the multi-award-winning iconic drama series Mad Men now available to stream.

Set in the early 1960s, in an unexpected new world – the glamorous “Golden Age” of advertising – where everyone is selling something and nothing is ever what you expect it to be, this enthralling drama unfolds around Don Draper (two-time Golden Globe winner Jon Hamm), the biggest ad man in the business. As he calls the shots in the boardroom and the bedroom, he struggles to stay a step ahead of the rapidly changing times and the young executives nipping at his heels.

Created by Emmy and Golden Globe-winning executive producer Matthew Weiner (The Sopranos), this provocative series features an outstanding ensemble cast, including Emmy Award-winner Elisabeth Moss (Top of the Lake), Christina Hendricks (Good Girls), January Jones (The Last Man on Earth), Vincent Kartheiser (Das Boot), John Slattery (Spotlight), Jessica Paré (Hot Tub Time Machine), Rich Sommer (In the Dark), Aaron Staton (Narcos: Mexico), Emmy Award-winner Robert Morse (American Crime Story), Kiernan Shipka (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), Jay Ferguson (Twin Peaks: The Return), and Christopher Stanley (Waco).

Following the lives and careers of the ruthless ad men and women of the ego-driven world of Sterling Cooper & Partners, Mad Men explores a time where the ad agency was revered, while shining a light on the sexism, homophobia, dubious family values and misogyny of the era, when smokers were enjoying the last guilt free years of the cigarette – and when America was undergoing tumultuous cultural change.

Making history as the first basic cable series to win the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series in four consecutive years and winner of five Golden Globe Awards, in addition to countless other accolades, Mad Men is an iconic series not to be missed.

Mad Men by numbers
7 seasons
92 episodes
Binge it all in 3 days, 20 hours
Watch an hour a day in 92 days
942 cigarettes smokes
369 drinks
18 joints
Don Draper had 9 secretaries and 18 mistresses

retrograde
Mercado on TV: Bloody ABC – making good TV with our money

By Andrew Mercado

The bloody ABC is at it again. Despite budget cuts, a pandemic, and a bunch of boomers declaring that Aussie comedy is dead, the public broadcaster just keeps churning out new comedy shows.

At Home Alone Together finished with an insanely funny episode where everyone went for broke, including Ray Martin – it is required viewing (now on iview). Now we have another COVID comedy in Retrograde (Wednesday on ABC), as a group of thirtysomethings hang out in a virtual bar during lockdown.

Retrograde will screen as part of a double comedy block with Rosehaven (Wednesday on ABC). Now in its fourth season, the Tassie sitcom is still sweet and wacky, as best friends Daniel (Luke McGregor) and Emma (Celia Pacquola) move in together.

Rosehaven

Rosehaven Emma: (Celia Pacquola) and Daniel (Luke McGregor)

The Living Room (Friday on 10) has also moved, ditching the studio audience for a new terrace house location. There’s cameo pop-ins, poolside fashion parades and Miguel sports some fancy new footwear.

Life Drawing Live (Saturday on SBS) is hosted by Rove and will feature naked models to sketch. Don’t get too excited, because if it’s like the BBC series it’s based on (which will continue over the next few Saturdays), the nudity is discreet. Tip – if you’re going to play along at home, get some charcoal.

Eva (Jessica De Gouw) and Leo (Ewen Leslie) in Operation Buffalo

Operation Buffalo (Sunday on ABC) wraps up after six episodes, and what do you say? Is it believable that government ministers in the 1950’s were spineless alcoholic womanizers? Absolutely. Does it sometimes stray into silliness with double crossing communist ASIO killers? It does, but this strange confection is still devastating in its closing moments.

In My Blood It Runs (Sunday on ABC) is an eye-opening doco about Dujuan, a young Indigenous boy with an old soul. Set in Alice Springs, it follows his struggle as he straddles traditional school and the desire to learn more about his own culture.

In my blood it runs

Megan Hoosan and Dujuan Hoosan (Photo: Maya Newell)

With The Daily Edition now just a memory, Seven has replaced it with another hour of The Chase UK. Throw in The Chase Australia and that’s three hours of the same show every day. Seems pretty unadventurous.

It may also be the perfect metaphor for where TV is heading. There’s going to be less money and more fear about trying something new. The viewers keep getting older and the kids aren’t interested in endless news and quiz shows.

Or are they? Despite screening on Fox Classics, Jeopardy will now also be seen on free to air TV (7pm weeknights). If the hip kids at SBS Viceland think this quiz mainstay is cool, who are we to argue with them?

Top Image: Retrograde

AFL
TV Ratings Thursday July 2, Week 27, 2020

By James Manning

• Thursday AFL: Saints on a roll and so is Seven
• Thursday NRL: Storm snatch victory, Nine #1 Syd & Bri
• Best of the rest Celebrity Gogglebox & Escape form the City

Seven News 1,111,000/1,063,000
Nine News 1,060,000/958,000
ABC News 763,000
A Current Affair 727,000
7.30 542,000
The Project 320,000/467,000
10 News 401,000/260,000
Sunrise 291,000
Today 211,000
News Breakfast 207,000
The Drum 195,000
The Latest 187,000
SBS World News 159,000

Seven: Home and Away closed off its week with 590,000 after three nights around 650,000.
The AFL match between St Kilda and Carlton then did 512,000 with 349,000 in Melbourne. The match kept Seven #1 across southern metro capitals.
The 7.30pm movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire did 255,000 screening on Seven in some markets, 7mate in others.

Nine: A Current Affair dropped below 750,000 for the first time this week with 727,000
The NRL match that saw the Storm snatch victory from the Roosters who were leading in the 79th minute. The metro audience was 377,000 with 226,000 in Sydney and 113,000 in Brisbane.

10: Rove is trying his hand again at Saturday night live TV, but this time on SBS. That didn’t stop a promo appearance on The Project with 467,000 watching.
Celebrity Gogglebox USA then did 352,000 after 282,000 last week.
Law & Order: SVU did 216,000 after 8.30pm.

ABC: The Heights had 228,000 watching, followed by Escape from the City with 308,000 getting a real estate tour of NSW’s Macleay Valley.

SBS: Part three of The World’s Busiest Station had 213,000 learning about Zürich Hauptbahnhof.
A repeat of When Buildings Collapse was on 150,000.
The final episode of the Italian crime drama ZeroZeroZero then did 61,000.

Week 27 TV: THURSDAY
THURSDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.4% 7 21.8% 9 18.7% 10  9.7% SBS One 4.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.1% 7TWO 4.2% GO! 2.4% 10 Bold 4.9% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 4.3% GEM 1.9% 10 Peach 2.9% Food Net 1.2%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 1.7% 9Life 2.2%     NITV 0.2%
        9Rush 1.3%     SBS World Movies 0.9%
TOTAL 15.9%   32.0%   26.6%   17.5%   8.0%

 

THURSDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.4% 7 18.7% 9 19.7% WIN 8.1% SBS One 4.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.1% 7TWO 6.2% GO! 3.4% WIN Bold 5.5% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.9% 7mate 4.3% GEM 3.1% WIN Peach 2.0% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.1% 9Life 2.6% Sky News  on WIN 2.5% NITV 0.3%
                SBS Movies 1.1%
TOTAL 15.2%   31.3%   28.9%   18.1%   7.7%

 

THURSDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
84.1% 15.9%
THURSDAY FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,111,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,063,000
  3. Nine News Nine 1,060,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 958,000
  5. ABC News ABC 763,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 727,000
  7. The Chase Australia Seven 632,000
  8. Home And Away Seven 590,000
  9. Hot Seat Nine 566,000
  10. 7.30 ABC 542,000
  11. Seven’s AFL: Thursday Night Football Seven 512,000
  12. The Project 7pm 10 467,000
  13. 10 News First 10 401,000
  14. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 394,000
  15. Sammy J ABC 388,000
  16. Hot Seat -5pm Nine 360,000
  17. Celebrity Gogglebox USA 10 352,000
  18. Thursday Night NRL Live Nine 339,000
  19. The Project 6.30pm 10 320,000
  20. Seven’s AFL: Thursday Night Football – Pre Match Seven 316,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. Nine News Nine 147,000
  2. Seven’s AFL: Thursday Night Football Seven 133,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 132,000
  4. Seven News Seven 125,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 122,000

 

18-49 Top Five

  1. Nine News Nine 287,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 249,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 239,000
  4. Seven News Seven 238,000
  5. Seven’s AFL: Thursday Night Football Seven 211,000

 

25-54 Top Five

  1. Nine News Nine 331,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 300,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 288,000
  4. Seven News Seven 287,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 232,000
THURSDAY Multichannel
  1. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 207,000
  2. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 204,000
  3. Kiri And Lou ABCKIDS/COMEDY 190,000
  4. Dog Loves Books ABCKIDS/COMEDY 183,000
  5. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 182,000
  6. Floogals PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 168,000
  7. Father Brown PM 7TWO 160,000
  8. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 155,000
  9. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 153,000
  10. Little J And Big Cuz AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 146,000
  11. Neighbours 10 Peach 144,000
  12. Hawaii Five-O 10 Bold 144,000
  13. Peter Rabbit PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  14. Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  15. Thomas And Friends PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  16. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  17. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 133,000
  18. Murdoch Mysteries PM 7TWO 133,000
  19. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 126,000
  20. Hawaii Five-O (R) 10 Bold 126,000
THURSDAY STV
  1. Live: NRL: Storm V Roosters FOX LEAGUE 266,000
  2. Live: AFL Carlton V St Kilda FOX FOOTY 215,000
  3. Live: The Late Show With Matty Johns FOX LEAGUE 133,000
  4. Live: AFL Post Game Thursday FOX FOOTY 100,000
  5. Aussie Gold Hunters Discovery Channel 89,000
  6. Live: AFL Pre Game Thursday FOX FOOTY 69,000
  7. Live: NRL Pre Game Thursday FOX LEAGUE 68,000
  8. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 60,000
  9. Credlin Sky News Live 53,000
  10. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 47,000
  11. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 42,000
  12. Live: First Crack FOX FOOTY 40,000
  13. American Dad! FOX8 37,000
  14. First Edition Sky News Live 36,000
  15. The Simpsons FOX8 36,000
  16. American Dad! FOX8 36,000
  17. First Edition Sky News Live 35,000
  18. The Simpsons FOX8 34,000
  19. Play Along With Sam Nick Jr. 34,000
  20. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 34,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

News Corp mergers and acquisition exec joins old AAP board

News Corp Australia’s head of mergers and acquisition execution, Tim Archer, has joined the board of the old Australian Associated Press, as major shareholders News Corp and Nine assess whether to hold onto the remaining assets or offload them, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Archer, a former director at advisory firm Grant Samuel, joined the board of AAP on Wednesday, according to documents filed with the corporate regulator, replacing outgoing News Corp Australia chief financial officer Stacey Brown. Press release business Medianet, analytics division Mediaverse, and sub-editing business Pagemasters are among the remaining assets which will be assessed.

[Read more]

Police believe Guy Sebastian's ex-manager had more high-profile victims

Police strongly believe there are more high-profile victims of Titus Day, Guy Sebastian‘s former manager who has been charged with defrauding the Australian Idol winner of more than $1 million, a court has heard, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Sally Rawsthorne.

Sebastian’s manager of more than 10 years was arrested at the $4 million Bondi home he shares with his parents, wife and children on Wednesday night and taken to Waverley police station, where he spent the night after being refused bail on 61 counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.

Police allege that Day failed to pass on international royalties owed to Sebastian on almost 20 occasions.

“Five were paid and 19 remained in the trust account or were diverted into other accounts,” Waverley Local Court magistrate Ross Hudson said on Thursday, noting police “strongly believe there are more high-profile victims”.

His case, which has been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions’ office, will return to the Downing Centre Local Court in a fortnight.

[Read more]

News Brands

Australian Federal Police eyes charges for ABC reporter Dan Oakes

The Australian Federal Police has asked federal prosecutors to consider charging an ABC journalist over the publication of leaked classified information, reports The Australian’s Paul Garvey.

The AFP has investigated the publication of the information, relating to claims of war crimes, by ABC journalists Dan Oakes and Sam Clark for two years.

In a statement on Thursday night, the AFP said: “A brief of evidence has now been forwarded to the Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.”

However, if prosecutors want to press charges, they will require the approval of federal Attorney-General Christian Porter.

The AFP raided the ABC’s Sydney headquarters in 2018 over a series of 2017 reports known as the Afghan Files that revealed allegations of misconduct by Australian special forces in Afghanistan.

The ABC on Thursday confirmed that the brief of evidence sent to the CDPP related only to Oakes, not Clark.

ABC managing director David Anderson, in a statement, described the development as “disappointing and disturbing”.

[Read more]

Embattled regional media outlets may knock back government grants

Regional media companies may be forced to refuse or return government funding because of a condition preventing them from cutting the amount of journalism they provide to local communities over the next 12 months, report The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios and Fergus Hunter.

More than 100 radio, television and newspaper outlets were notified on Monday they were recipients of a $50 million fund aimed at helping regional news outlets through the coronavirus pandemic.

However, industry sources indicated some outlets would be unable to commit to a condition that they maintain or increase journalism in regional Australia during the grant period as there had been little sign of a quick recovery in the advertising market and the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme was due to end in September.

Financial strain could force regional media companies to turn to original contingency plans such as cutting jobs, shutting down signals or closing news bulletins, which would be inconsistent with grant requirements, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

[Read more]

Ten years of the Times paywall: How Murdoch's 'big gamble' paid off

Today marks 10 years since the London Times launched its online subscription model, putting all of its content behind a hard paywall, reports Press Gazette.

Times head of digital Alan Hunter tweeted this morning that the consensus at the time was that “nobody would pay” for general interest news.

“Now more than 300,000 do – and paid v free is no longer a debate.”

The Times’ paywall was more ambitious than existing paywalls at titles such as the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, which at the time allowed limited free access and let casual browsers to view articles via search engines like Google.

[Read more]

Television

MasterChef contestant slams judge’s ‘incredibly frustrating’ feedback

One of this season’s eliminated MasterChef contestants has let rip at judge Andy Allen over his “incredibly frustrating” critiques, reports news.com.au’s Andrew Bucklow.

Andy has been copping grief on social media all season long with some MasterChef viewers suggesting his feedback to the contestants has been “basic” compared to the insightful feedback offered up by Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo.

And it’s not just viewers who feel that way, with one of this season’s contestants telling news.com.au that Andy’s feedback is “not constructive”.

“It’s not feedback, it’s just a collection of words that make no sense,” Chris Badenoch, who was the seventh person eliminated from this season of MasterChef, said.

“He’s commented on things that I’ve cooked and when he’s walked away it’s like, ‘I have no idea what he said or what he meant.’ You almost need subtitles. I don’t get it!

“It’s incredibly frustrating,” Chris told news.com.au about Andy’s comments. “Jock or Melissa will give you a good critique … (but Andy) it’s not constructive. It’s like a Trump speech; a whole lot of words that don’t match.”

[Read more]

Sports Media

Big Bash League set to launch on same day as Indian Test summer

Australia’s Big Bash League looks set to launch the same night as day one of the Indian Test series as part of a plan to turbocharge the cricket summer, reports News Corp’s Ben Horne.

Cricket has been accused in the past of being too slow-fused at the start of the season, but The Daily Telegraph understands administrators are preparing to lock in a kitchen sink approach to emerge from the COVID-19 wilderness with a bang.

The Big Bash is set to start two weeks earlier this summer on December 3, with the regular season to finish before the end of the January school holidays, before a blockbuster finals’ series in early February where matches would be played in fan friendly slots between Thursday and Sunday nights.

It will be a noticeably longer season this year, but the extra breathing room will help ease congestion in the schedule, meaning more prime time matches for broadcasters and less afternoon games, which last year felt like they were just being packed in.

Plans for a world-first Christmas Day BBL game have again been shelved, with the holiday once again being left free of any cricket.

The WBBL is set for another big season between October-November and will not reduce in matches, with Cricket Australia and broadcasters hoping to cash on in the boom in the women’s game in the wake of Australia’s T20 glory and on the eve of a 50-over World Cup next February.

[Read more]

Brian Taylor’s plea to AFL players to travel to interstate hubs

AFL commentator Brian Taylor has issued a passionate plea to the competition’s players to keep the 2020 season alive, report the Herald Sun’s Al Paton, Glenn McFarlane and Jay Clark.

The former Collingwood and Richmond goalkicker has become a larger than life media personality but he was deadly serious when he spoke after St Kilda’s win against Carlton at Marvel Stadium.

Neither the Saints or Blues know when or where their next match will be, or even which state it will be in, as the AFL tries to piece together a plan to keep the season going amid a surge of coronavirus cases in Victoria.

Richmond is one club with stars weighing up whether they will travel interstate for what could be a weeks-long road trip. But Taylor said he couldn’t understand that kind of thinking.

“You’ve got to go,” he said on Channel 7.

“You know why? The competition is hanging in the balance. The competition is hanging by a thread.

“For any players that think that this is a time to be procrastinating and making decisions other than playing, I just think is unimaginable. I don’t get it.

“There are sportsmen all over the world that travel for months and months at a time. There are soccer clubs here in Australia, basketball (clubs), they go away for a couple of weeks at a time, it is a common thread among professional sportsmen.

“Come on. When the competition is in this sort of need, surely you as players can fulfil the duty of playing football.”

[Read more]

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