Tuesday July 7, 2020

Sky News wider distribution sees audience surge on multiple platforms

In Mediaweek on Monday Sky News Australia CEO Paul Whittaker spoke about improved ratings the News Corp-owned TV news channel.

As we pointed out his brief on taking the role 21 months ago was to reach even more Australians. He has done that by widening the distribution of the channel.

“We’ve been on Kayo in this COVID period,” Whittaker told Mediaweek. “Basically offering our channel there for subscribers during the period where live sport was absent. But in terms of broadening our reach, yes, we’ve been focused on broadening our reach and that’s been manifested in a couple of ways. Obviously we’re increasing our ratings on the main linear broadcast, on the Foxtel platform and platforms. We also did a deal that we announced in March with iHeartRadio, where we have a live channel simulcast going out on the iHeartRadio platform, which reaches a large audience. That’s been growing quite strongly.

“There’s been a big focus in my time here in terms of the team in digital. We’ve really built our digital capacity quite a bit, so for instance, on YouTube, we have the second largest number of subscribers for any of the commercial channels. We were first for some weeks during COVID, but we’ve got 492,000 subscribers on Sky News Australia on YouTube. That’s a growing channel, both for in terms of reaching a younger demographic, as well as in terms of a source of revenue.”

Alan Jones

Alan Jones

Sky News Australia yesterday released details of its growing audience as it reaches its biggest audience ever since launch. Here are the highlights:

Sky News Australia has achieved its best half-yearly results on record driven by its global coronavirus crisis coverage.

Since launching its 2020 programming line-up Sky News has continued to hold the #1 channel position on Foxtel, ranking the top subscription television channel for 22 weeks running (26 January – 27 June).

Sky News has set a new channel All Day (2am – 2am) average audience record, up +31% and a record share of 2.9%, up 0.7 share points year-on-year, reaching 3.5 million unique viewers on Foxtel.

In primetime (6pm-10pm) Sky News achieved record average audiences up +22%, and a record share of 2.5% up 0.6 share points year-on-year, reaching more than 2.4 million unique viewers on Foxtel.

Weekday Breakfast (5am -9am) has seen average audiences grow by +30% in the first half of the year, while viewing across Daytime (9am-5pm) has increased by +52% with a record share of 3.3% up 1.1 share points.

Sky News launched a dedicated 24/7 Sky News COVID-19 channel (previously Sky News Extra) on Foxtel on 23 March, with the channel seeing an All Day average audience uplift of +283% reaching more than 2.1 million unique viewers.

Flagship Sky News programs are seeing large average audience growth with some programs experiencing their best individual episodes.

First Edition with Laura Jayes and Peter Stefanovic (Weekdays 5am – 9am) has increased its average audience by +44% and reaches an average of 213,000 unique viewers each week.

AM Agenda with Annelise Nielsen and Tom Connell (Weekdays 9am – 12pm) has seen an average audience uplift of +56%, reaching an average 239,000 unique viewers a week. The program delivered its highest rating individual telecast on record on 7 April during the height of the COVID-19 lockdowns in Australia.

NewsDay with Ashleigh Gillon and Tom Connell (Weekdays 12pm – 2pm) is up +68%, reaching an average of 253,000 unique viewers each week.

Afternoon Agenda with Kieran Gilbert (Monday – Thursday 2pm – 5pm) is up +63% on the same timeslot last year, reaching an average of 252,000 unique viewers each week.

The Kenny Report (Monday – Thursday 5pm) hosted by Chris Kenny is up +35% compared to the same timeslot last year, with a weekly average reach of 219,000 unique viewers. The program delivered its highest rating episode to date on 6 April.

Credlin (Weeknights 6pm) anchored by Peta Credlin has grown +35% year-on-year, reaching an average of 252,000 unique weekly viewers.

The Bolt Report (Weeknights 7pm) hosted by Andrew Bolt has increased its average audience by +27% reaching an average of 327,000 unique viewers each week. The program achieved its best individual audience on 14 April for the George Pell World First TV Exclusive Interview.

Kenny on Media (Mondays 8pm – now moving to Friday evening) hosted by Chris Kenny increased average audiences by +30%, reaching an average of 115,000 unique viewers each week.

Jones & Credlin (Tuesdays 8pm) with Alan Jones and Peta Credlin recorded an increase of +7% while Richo & Jones (Wednesdays 8pm) anchored by Graham Richardson and Alan Jones increased by +64%.

Paul Murray Live (Sunday – Thursday 9pm) with Paul Murray, has delivered an average audience uplift of +20%, now reaching an average of 300,000 unique viewers each week on Foxtel as it celebrates its tenth year on air.

Chris Smith Tonight (Thursdays 8pm-9pm) saw average audiences lift by +59% compared to the same time last year, reaching an average of 112,000 unique individuals each week.

The Front Page (Monday – Thursday 11pm) anchored by Peter Gleeson has grown its average audience by +19%.

Sunday Agenda (Sundays 8am) with Kieran Gilbert and Andrew Clennell is up +14% year-on-year and delivered its highest rating episode on 5 April.

Outsiders (Sundays 9am) with Rowan Dean, Rita Panahi and James Morrow has seen a +77% average audience increase, achieving is best episode audience ever on 14 June. Outsiders’ Guide (Fridays 8.30pm) has grown the timeslot average audience by +84%.

Business Weekend (Sundays 11am) with Ticky Fullerton, and now joined by Adam Creighton, saw its average audience lift by +20% compared to the same time last year.

Sharri (Sundays 6pm) anchored by Sharri Markson has increased average audiences by +32%.

In My View (Sundays 8pm), a lively panel discussion with no host to moderate, has grown the average audience in the timeslot by +7% compared to the same time last year.

The Peter Stefanovic Coronavirus Specials which aired each Sunday at 7.30pm in April saw average audiences increase by +304% on the timeslot average.

Sky News’ audience growth is also reflected in its record-breaking online results, with more than 350 million video streams throughout the first half of 2020, an average of 50 million views per month, up +405% year-on-year.

More than 9.2 million users visited SkyNews.com.au during the first half of 2020, up +209% year on year.

After launching in May 2019, Sky News Australia now has 490,000 subscribers to its YouTube channel, making it the second-largest Australian commercial TV news channel on YouTube.

Regional commercial free-to-air news channel, Sky News on WIN has seen year-on-year growth with All Day (2am – 2am) average audience up +26% year-on-year reaching 3.1 million unique viewers year-to-date.

In primetime (6pm-10pm) Sky News on WIN has also achieved year-on-year growth up +32% reaching more than 2.2 million unique viewers year-to-date.

Source: OzTAM National STV, Linear data, Overnight, Wk 5 – 26 Vs. STLY, Total People, Average Audience, Share, Average Daily Reach, Average Weekly Reach & 1Min Cume Reach. Program average audience is based on first run only. Where the program didn’t air in 2019, the program is compared to same timeslot.

Regional TAM Data, Overnight Data; Combined Agg Markets; Weeks 5-26 2020 vs same period 2019; 02:00-26:00, 18:00-22:00; Sky News on WIN; AUD, Commercial Share, Cume Reach (1 min); Total People.

Video: Jan-Jun 2020 vs Jan-Jun 2019, Facebook, YouTube, Microsoft, SkyNews.com.au (Brightcove), News Corp (Adobe).

Pageviews and Users Jan-Jun 2020 vs Jan-Jun 2019, Google Analytics.

Top Photo: Kieran Gilbert and Andrew Clennell

Jim Wilson ticks all the boxes on day one on new 2GB drive

2GB’s new drive presenter Jim Wilson arrived at 2GB yesterday with his first 3-6pm show. The former Seven sports presenter delivered a fast-paced and packed program, keeping his promise to listeners that he wouldn’t be “reinventing the wheel” as the replacement for Ben Fordham.

Wilson’s first drive show wasn’t unlike Fordham’s first breakfast outing – both announcers showed off the pulling power of Nine’s radio brand. Wilson’s guests included the Prime Minister, NSW State Premier, the NRL boss and a sprinkling of Nine reporters.

Former prime minister Julia Gillard was even a guest on the show, someone listeners may not have expected to hear on the station once upon a time.

While Fordham’s drive theme music was supplied by Coldplay, Wilson has opted for something a little closer to home, INXS’s New Sensation.

He could have hardly hoped for a bigger news day to start his new career as a radio host. The NSW/Victorian border had just been closed and Wilson was all over the story with state and federal leaders and Nine reporters in Melbourne (Seb Costello) and at Albury/Wodonga (Reid Butler).

“Usually when we start this show we will go straight to the news of the day – that’s what we are all about, keeping you informed,” said Wilson who started the show with a lengthy chat to listeners.

“But I just want to say a few words on day one in the chair. This is the closest thing I can remember to welcoming audiences to the 2000 Sydney Olympics. I have got such a buzz and it is such a privilege to be in this chair to be taking the reins of a show that is all about informing you, chatting with you and in these difficult and challenging times helping you. We will have a laugh along the way and I do love a chat.

I am a long-time listener and contributor to this station and network, but I am a first-time host. I won’t be reinventing the wheel – the man who was in the chair for the best part of a decade did an absolutely fantastic job. Ben Fordham you have raised the bar high on this program and now you Zac and the team are doing a superb job on breakfast.

“I am lucky to the be joining the 2GB family and I have to scratch myself to say I am working with the legendary Ray Hadley who I have enormous respect for. And Deborah Knight, on holidays this week, who will be handing the baton to me every day. Deb is a great journalist and broadcaster.

“To the man who has occupied this chair for more than a month, Mark Levy. You are a good mate and we go back a long way. He has done a great job on drive and was in spectacular form on the weekend on The Continuous Call Team. He’s just 35 years of age and has passion and energy to burn and he will be a regular on this program. This bloke does everything, he works seven days a week.

Nine’s managing director of radio is a good mate of mine and had been for a number of years – Tommy Malone and the national content director Greg Byrnes, who is right beside me in the studio today. Thanks for backing me guys and having faith in me.

“Our brilliant team is led by Paul Christenson who produced the legendary Alan Jones for three decades. And Alan good luck to you tonight with your new show on Sky. I am lucky to have you Paul, and to producers Tara and Matt, we are going to have a lot of fun. And to my wingman, panel operator extraordinaire Jordan I promise I won’t touch the buttons.

“[I had] 33 years as a journalist starting at Nine, and then 28 years with Seven, and I hope chairman Kerry Stokes is listening. I am pretty sure he is along with his executive assistant Kate Lewis. They are great friends of mine and supporters through thick and thin.

“Welcome everyone to drive.”

Top Photo: Jim Wilson at 2GB

Pauline Hanson
Pauline Hanson will no longer appear on The Today Show confirms Nine

Channel 9 has confirmed that One Nation leader Pauline Hanson will no longer appear on The Today Show after comments made about Melbourne residents trapped inside nine housing commission towers.

Darren Wick, Nine’s director of news and current affairs said of the decision:

The Today Show has advised Pauline Hanson that she will no longer be appearing on our programme as a regular contributor.
“We don’t shy away from diverse opinions and robust debate on the Today Show. But this morning’s accusations from Pauline Hanson were ill-informed and divisive. At a time of uncertainty in this national and global health crisis, Australians have to be united and supportive of one another. We need to get through this together.”

Pauline Hanson had responded to Co-host Ally Langdon after she discussed whether the residents were receiving adequate meals while in isolation.

“Ah come on Ally, we’ve seen food being delivered there,” she replied. “The fact is a lot of them are drug addicts as well, they are getting their medication, they are alcoholics so they’re being looked after in that way.

“They are actually getting paid extra money. Why are they getting paid extra money? For what? They are not leaving the premises.”

“A lot of these people are from non-English speaking back grounds, probably English is their second language who haven’t adhered to the rules of social distancing. They all used a lot of the same laundry,” she said.

You can read more on the Pauline Hanson story here.

Sony Music enters JV with Andrew Jackson for Avoca Drive label

Sony Music Australia and Andrew Jackson, founder and director of LA-based management company Milton Archer, have announced a joint venture label called Avoca Drive.

Jackson’s career in music spans over 20 years. He has held roles at Richard Branson’s V2 Records, Chris Murphy’s Petrol Records, as A&R and general manager of Ministry of Sound Australia, as well as co-founding etcetc Music. He led the Australian campaigns of PNAU, Two Door Cinema Club and Disclosure before moving to the US in 2012. There he founded Milton Archer, building campaigns for artists such as Norwegian streaming giant Matoma, breakout New Zealand artist BAYNK, and multi-platinum American writer/producer Andrew Goldstein’s FRND project, whom collectively have amassed over 2 billion streams.

With A&R executives in LA and Sydney and a network of writers and producers, Avoca Drive finds artists, makes records and works them internationally with a hands-on approach tuned to artist’s needs commercially and creatively.

On the forming of Avoca Drive, Jackson said: “Australia will always be my home so it was natural to find a partnership here, but I needed one with a global outlook. To partner with a titan like Denis [Handlin] is a true honour. He shares my ambitions for finding the big victory for the artist above all. Having done a round of calls to various label heads here and around the world in the past couple weeks, I’m genuinely impressed at the level of competence, enthusiasm and willingness at Sony Music Australia to collaborate from top to bottom. Everyone just wants to find that win together.”

The label announcement coincides with the label’s first signing, Galdive, described by Jackson as: “this beautiful young male/female duo who just make pure ear candy – playful, sweet and universally appealing”.

Galdive’s debut album will be released in early 2021, commencing with a series of singles this summer that will start with their first single Nescience on July 17.

Osvaldo and Tanisha from Galdive, on signing with the label, said: “We have the same visions, the same feelings for music, for how special it should be presented. We cannot wait to share what we do with Avoca Drive for people to connect to!”

Denis Handlin, chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand, commented: “I have been wanting to work with Andrew for a long time as I have a tremendous amount of respect for his talent and ability. I am thrilled that we now have that opportunity as he has decided to partner with Sony Music for his Avoca Drive label. We are looking forward to working with Andrew and his team to help take the artists’ creative vision and music to fans around the world and we are excited to do that first with Galdive later this month.”

Top Photo: Galdive

Box Office: Cinemas continue slow return with $1.88m

By Trent Thomas

The last Box Office column was published on March 24 as cinema doors around the country begun to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At the time Bloodshot was the highest-grossing film in the country after making $475,906 in its final weekend before lockdown. 

Cinemas have now begun to reopen across Australia bringing in a total of $1.88m lead by new release The Personal History of David Copperfield which made $330,419.

#1 The Personal History of David Copperfield $330,419

With an international release date that has been thrown into chaos due to the pandemic, the latest rendition of the Charles Dickens classic has finally hit the big screen in Australia. The most noticeable new release since cinemas tentatively reopened the film averaged $1,628 on 203 screens.


#2 The Invisible Man $214,613

The remake of the classic black and white film had spent four straight weeks in the top two before the lockdown and has seemed to have picked up where it left off 19 weeks after its initial release. The film averaged $1,179 on 182 screens, bringing its total to $8.54m.


#3 Sonic the Hedgehog $199,645

After 21 weeks since it was first released in Australian cinemas, the big-screen version of the video game classic has continued to be a top-five film once theatres re-opened. The big-budget film’s total now sits at $12.59m after averaging $1,097 on 182 screens this past weekend.


#4 Love Sarah $140,802

The second of three new releases to make it into the top five this weekend is the British film about a young woman wishes to fulfill her mother’s dream of opening her own bakery in Notting Hill, London. The film averaged $848 on 166 screens.


#5 Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs $138,009

The South Korean animated fantasy film produced by Locus Corporation, and based on the classic German fairy tale made an average of $802 on 172 screens.


TV Ratings Monday July 6, Week 28, 2020

By James Manning

• Nine share dips, Tracy returns, wins night all people
• MasterChef close to climax with final immunity tonight
• Big Brother has now doubled Seven’s 16-39 audience

Seven News 1,233,000/1,155,000
Nine News 1,129,000/1,001,000
ABC News 810,000
A Current Affair 795,000
7.30 652,000
The Project 380,000/593,000
10 News 431,000/257,000
Sunrise 268,000
The Drum 222,000
SBS World News 217,000
Today 197,000
News Breakfast 193,000

Monday TV

Seven: Home and Away was on 639,000 after a week 27 average of 651,000.
Big Brother was on 664,000 after 686,000 a week ago. The series has now doubled Seven’s 16-39 audience for its timeslot year-on-year. Chad and Sophie celebrated their one-month anniversary in the episode with a champagne breakfast for two. When Casey stepped up and won the nomination challenge, she decided to play the long game, nominating Kieran and Marissa for eviction. Marissa then got all five votes.
The second episode of 10 Years Younger in 10 Days did 232,000 after launching with 245,000 last week.

Nine: A Current Affair saw host Tracy Grimshaw returning after nursing a broken foot. The episode did 795,000 after an average of 733,000 last week.
The Voice continued in a week with three episodes of The Playoffs. The Monday instalment did 789,000 after 809,000 on Sunday.
A repeat of the ABBA doco Secrets of Their Greatest Hits was then on 343,000.
The late night footy shows followed. Footy Classified was on 115,000 with 90,000 in Melbourne. 100% Footy did 46,000 with 27,000 in Sydney.

10: Poh was the final guest on The Project in what could be her TV farewell until the final episodes of MasterChef next week. The Project 7pm did 595,000 after averaging 510,000 last week.
In the lead-up to tonight’s final immunity challenge, MasterChef’s Callum, Reynold and Laura won the chance to get that free pass to the final four and final’s week. The Monday episode did 965,000 after 943,000 last week.
Glenn Robbins was the victor on Have You Been Paying Attention? with the episode dipping below 800,000 to 762,000.

 ABC: Back Roads was just under 600,000 followed by a visit to recovering bushfire areas on Four Corners with 487,000 watching.
Media Watch then did 479,000 followed by Q+A with 389,000.
The Q+A audience was up week-on-week, but the other three were down.

SBS: The Windsor’s Lost Letters kept the royal family slot alive at 7.30pm with the first of three episodes on 186,000.

Week 28 TV: Monday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 13.6% 7 17.5% 9 19.9% 10  16.4% SBS One 4.7%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.2% 7TWO 3.0% GO! 2.0% 10 Bold 3.5% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.3% 7mate 2.8% GEM 2.8% 10 Peach 2.0% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 1.4% 9Life 1.8%     NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.4%     SBS World Movies 1.0%
TOTAL 17.5%   24.7%   27.9%   21.9%   8.0%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 14.6% 7 18.1% 9 16.4% WIN 12.7% SBS One 3.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 1.9% 7TWO 4.2% GO! 2.4% WIN Bold 4.3% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 4.2% GEM 4.7% WIN Peach 1.8% Food Net 0.6%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.8% 9Life 2.3% Sky News  on WIN 2.5% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 0.9%
TOTAL 18.7%   28.4%   25.9%   21.4%   6.6%


89.5% 10.5%
Monday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,233,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,155,000
  3. Nine News Nine 1,129,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 1,001,000
  5. MasterChef Australia 10 965,000
  6. ABC News ABC 810,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 795,000
  8. The Voice Nine 789,000
  9. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 762,000
  10. The Chase Australia Seven 700,000
  11. Big Brother Seven 664,000
  12. 7.30 ABC 652,000
  13. Home And Away Seven 639,000
  14. Hot Seat Nine 636,000
  15. The Project 7pm 10 593,000
  16. Back Roads S6 ABC 591,000
  17. Four Corners ABC 487,000
  18. Media Watch ABC 479,000
  19. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 455,000
  20. 10 News First 10 431,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 277,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 244,000
  3. Big Brother Seven 215,000
  4. Nine News Nine 154,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 145,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 439,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 383,000
  3. Big Brother Seven 346,000
  4. Nine News Nine 298,000
  5. Seven News Seven 272,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 466,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 411,000
  3. Nine News Nine 366,000
  4. Big Brother Seven 359,000
  5. Seven News Seven 338,000
Monday Multichannel
  1. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 195,000
  2. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 165,000
  3. Little J And Big Cuz ABCKIDS/COMEDY 161,000
  4. NCIS Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 154,000
  5. Neighbours 10 Peach 142,000
  6. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  7. Kiri And Lou ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  8. Floogals PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  9. Doc Martin PM 7TWO 140,000
  10. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  11. Peter Rabbit PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  12. Thomas And Friends PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  13. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  14. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  15. Little J And Big Cuz AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  16. Bargain Hunt PM 7TWO 123,000
  17. Fireman Sam PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  18. Play School Story Time PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  19. Dot. AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  20. Midsomer Murders 9Gem 120,000
Monday STV
  1. Alan Jones Sky News Live 109,000
  2. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 107,000
  3. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 94,000
  4. Credlin Sky News Live 67,000
  5. PML Later Sky News Live 62,000
  6. Perry Mason FOX SHOWCASE 43,000
  7. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 41,000
  8. Afternoon Agenda Sky News Live 39,000
  9. Border Security: Australia’s Front Line FOX8 39,000
  10. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 39,000
  11. Border Security: International FOX8 37,000
  12. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 36,000
  13. Live: On The Couch FOX FOOTY 35,000
  14. Afternoon Agenda Sky News Live 34,000
  15. Escape To The Chateau: DIY Lifestyle Channel 32,000
  16. Newsday Sky News Live 32,000
  17. Family Guy FOX8 31,000
  18. 44 Cats Nick Jr. 31,000
  19. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 30,000
  20. Afternoon Agenda Sky News Live 30,000

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

Facebook Australia leader responds to ‘hate speech’ boycott

The sense of crisis enveloping the social media giants is deepening, as major brands continue to leave Facebook, and in some cases social media altogether, due to what they say is inaction on dealing with hate speech, report The Australian’s David Swan.

Some of the world’s most influential advertisers including Coca Cola, Ford, Starbucks and Unilever have pulled millions of dollars worth of advertising from Facebook in recent days, declaring that they don’t want to be associated with perceived hateful content.

The unrest has now spread to Australia. Telstra told The Australian it is monitoring the situation and mulling its options.

Facebook Australia and New Zealand managing director Will Easton told The Australian, “Over the past few weeks we have been listening to the concerns of our advertising partners, creators and agencies in Australia and New Zealand and discussing the changes we have made to our policies and our services over the last few years and more recently.

“There is a heavy responsibility on companies like Facebook to limit the spread of hate speech and wrestle with the complex issues involved. We’ll continue to work hand-in-hand with our partners and industry experts to develop even more tools, technology and policies to make progress against hate together.”

[Read more]

The AFR reveals: Geoff Wilson one of AAP's investors

Prominent fund manager Geoff Wilson is among the 35 investors who tipped money into the impact-investing consortium that bought the Australian Associated Press newswire, successfully saving it from closure, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

The Wilson Asset Management founder confirmed to The Australian Financial Review he had been pitched to invest by consortium lead Nick Harrington, and was more than happy to chip in via an entity he personally owns 100 per cent of, not the listed investment company of which he is chairman.

“Media plays a crucial role in society. AAP contributes to the independence, objectivity and diversity in Australian journalism, and I am happy to be involved,” Wilson said.

[Read more]

Nine swaps Willoughby bunker for North Sydney 'creative campus'

Nine chief executive Hugh Marks is excited about a new “creative campus” in North Sydney that will bring together people from Nine and Fairfax for the first time since the 2018 merger of the two companies, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Nine and staff from former Fairfax publications The Australian Financial Review and The Sydney Morning Herald will move to the new offices at 1 Denison St in North Sydney in coming months.

Marks moved into his new office, along with the majority of his executive team, on Monday.

“It’s got all the technology that you could want for the next 50 years of what this business will be. It’s completely fitted out so everybody can publish from their desk,” Marks said.

“It’s the investment in those new technologies will mean the business can function like it hasn’t functioned before, so the speed of being able to publish an update and get things out to the audience, which is the demand in this era, is completely enhanced by this place.”

[Read more]

See also: TV Tonight: Gallery – Inside Nine’s new North Sydney home

Photo: TV Tonight

NZ's Stuff newspaper group joins Facebook boycott as 'experiment'

New Zealand’s largest newspaper group has temporarily quit Facebook in a bold “experiment” aligning itself with a global boycott of the social media site, which has been condemned for failing to crack down on escalating hate speech, reports Guardian Australia’s Eleanor Ainge Roy.

Stuff is the biggest news media website in New Zealand and owns dozens of newspapers around the country, employing more than 400 journalists.

Recently bought by former group digital editor Sinead Boucher for $1, the company has “paused” its relationship with Facebook and Instagram; directing staff to stop posting breaking news and stories to those platforms immediately.

According to the internal email from Stuff’s deputy editor Janine Fenwick, sent to staff early on Monday, the company was “trialling ceasing all activity on Facebook-owned networks” as part of a global boycott to pressure the social media giant to take stronger action against hate speech on its platform.

[Read more]

News Brands

Alan Jones ranks #1 in first TV ratings, drives Sky News share higher

Alan Jones has debuted at #1 in the Monday subscription TV ratings with a first up audience of 109,000.

His appearance on Sky News helped the channel overall too with Sky News boasting the five biggest audiences and then seven of the top 10.

While Jones had the biggest TV audience, he wasn’t too far ahead of Sky News’ colleague Andrew Bolt on 107,000 with special guest last night Pauline Hanson.
Paul Murray Live was the next best on 94,000.

On Jones’ first show in his new weeknight 8pm slot his first guest was Mark Latham who will be a regular. Other regulars were also introduced to the Sky News audience – former Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and 2GB overnight host Michael McLaren.

Pauline Hanson accuses Nine of silencing free speech after Today ban

Pauline Hanson has blasted Channel 9 for banning her from the Today show over her attacks on migrants and addicts living in Melbourne’s nine COVID-19 lockdown towers, saying the network is telling everyone with controversial views to stay silent, reports The Australian’s Richard Ferguson.

Senator Hanson sparked outrage on Monday morning when she said in her regular Today show spot that the tower residents should not get extra financial support from the Victorian Government while in quarantine. She also accused some residents of not following social distancing rules and not learning how to speak English.

Senator Hanson told The Australian that while she did not care about the ban, she believed Channel 9’s actions were “detrimental” to free speech and that she stood by her comments.

“We’re getting to the point to where you can’t give your opinion. What Channel 9 has done is detrimental to freedom of speech,” she told The Australian.

[Read more]

 See also: Pauline Hanson will no longer appear on the Today show confirms Nine

Brooke Boney tells Q&A she’s ‘so happy’ Hanson is axed from Nine

Today show reporter Brooke Boney said she is “so happy” controversial politician Pauline Hanson was axed by Nine as her recent comments about social housing tenants are “disgusting”, reports news.com.au’s Candace Sutton.

“I am so happy to see her gone,” Boney said on ABC-TV’s Q+A program on Monday night.

She said she felt “completely heartbroken” when she saw Hanson’s comments on television.

“I grew up in Housing Commission. To me, I was thinking about all of those kids sitting at home watching.

“All of those people trapped in their apartments, watching and thinking, ‘This is what Australia thinks of us. This is what the rest of our country thinks – is that we’re alcoholics and drug addicts’.

“And that’s disgusting.”

Boney, a Gamilaroi/Gomeroi woman, was one of four panellists on Q+A on Monday in a wide-ranging program including topics such as COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, cancel culture, alcohol in lockdown and political ethics.

[Read more]


What MasterChef’s Poh Ling Yeow plans to cook up next

MasterChef fan favourite Poh Ling Yeow says she has no regrets after her shock elimination from Channel 10’s hit cooking show, reports The Age’s Broede Carmody.

The high-profile cook, television personality and small business owner was widely-tipped to win MasterChef Australia’s inaugural all-stars season given she was the runner-up to Julie Goodwin back in 2009. She has also published several cookbooks and even hosted her own shows on SBS and ABC TV.

But during Sunday evening’s episode her run was cut short as part of a nail-biting elimination where Yeow attempted to cook a “redemption dish”: Sardinian potato dumplings that missed the mark in an earlier challenge.

Devastated fans and co-stars have since paid tribute, with MasterChef judge Melissa Leong describing the 46-year-old cook as a “national treasure”.

Speaking after her televised elimination, Yeow said she was actually in good spirits despite not making it into the top five.

“I’m very good at processing emotional stuff,” she said. “You have to accept the lows and highs. One makes you appreciate the other. I’ve had a little bit of time to sit back and all I can say is I loved every minute of it. No regrets.”

As for what comes next, Yeow said she will continue to refine her bakery, Jamface, which is located at the Adelaide Central Markets. She also has plans to release a fourth book and embrace her former life as an artist.

[Read more]

The Project: Marc Fennell apologises for ‘appalling’ disability joke

SBS star Marc Fennell has issued a lengthy public apology after making a joke about a woman “missing a chromosome” on The Project last week, reports news.com.au’s Bella Fowler.

The guest host, 35, who most would recognise from The Feed, or as Triple J’s former movie reviewer, faced fierce backlash following his comments about a segment on an American vlogger making beans on toast in the microwave.

“Every time she posts a video I’m like, ‘Are you missing a chromosome? Like, what has happened to you?’,” Fennell had said to laughs from the panel.

Addressing the controversy on Facebook yesterday, Fennell apologised to families of people living with disabilities, admitting he didn’t realise how “appalling” his remark was until it was pointed out to him on social media.

He vowed to “do better” and shared screenshots of his private messages to those who took him to task.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Broncos suffer huge hit in TV ratings as AFL surges in Brisbane

Explosive figures suggest fans are switching off the embattled Broncos en masse, with AFL television ratings at record highs in Brisbane, reports News Corp’s Ben Horne.

Even when they won three AFL premierships in a row earlier this century, the Brisbane Lions could not keep pace with the Broncos in the race for television eyeballs.

But in a stunning win for the AFL in Queensland’s rugby league heartland, free-to-air ratings have spiked by 38 per cent in Brisbane alone, and it would appear the boost has as much to do with the Broncos being at rock bottom in the NRL as it does the Lions flying in equal first on the ladder.

The alarm bells don’t stop there for the Broncos or for the NRL, who promote Anthony Seibold’s team ad nauseam in their blue ribbon timeslots of Thursday and Friday nights.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal that the AFL has outperformed the NRL by a whopping 38 per cent in national audience on Thursday nights and 28 per cent on Friday nights.

Given the Broncos have featured in four Thursday night clashes and two Friday night prime time matches from their eight matches this year – it’s another brutal assessment of how the Broncos are on the nose.

[Read more]

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