Tuesday June 16, 2020

ViacomCBS Australia & NZ to rep Foxtel new music channels

ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand has announced its sales representation of Foxtel’s new music channels, MTV Hits, Club MTV, MTV Classic and CMT (Country Music Channel).

The addition of the channels to the ViacomCBS commercial portfolio follows a partnership between ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) and Foxtel which saw VCNI assume programming over the music channels on Foxtel.

The new local channels go live on Foxtel from 1 July and will celebrate even more of the music audiences love, with curated music blocks for rock and pop, contemporary and country, charts and dance, urban R&B, easy listening and the all-time classics.

Network 10 and ViacomCBS chief sales officer Rod Prosser said: “This is really exciting for us. The addition of the new music channels to our already premium line-up of brands and shows further strengthens our under 50s proposition, while also expanding our offering into the music genre.”

MTV Hits, Club MTV, MTV Classic and CMT join 10, 10 Peach, 10 Bold, 10 Play, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nick Music and Comedy Central in ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand’s playground of brands.

Prosser added: “Our brand offering is unrivalled in market with a sharp focus on the demographics who are young at heart and highly-engaged. The opportunities across our portfolio are endless.”

Boom! Casefile True Crime debuts on new Podcast Ranker at #1

The first month that the podcast Casefile True Crime has been eligible for the Podcast Ranker chart, it has ranked #2 overall and #1 in Australian podcasts.

Ranking #1 on the May 2020 chart is Stuff You Should Know again after holding down top spot in April.
A new addition to the chart this month is details of the number of podcast episodes released during the Podcast Ranker reporting period.

More episodes lead to more downloads, but that’s not an essential to get to the top. Stuff You Should Know had 19 episodes during May, while Casefile True Crime had just three.

The busiest podcasts are radio stations chopping up their daily radio shows – The Kyle and Jackie O Show released 77 separate episodes across the month, Rush Hour Melbourne had 121 and Whateley did 144.

Eighteen new entities debuted in the Top 100 Podcast Ranker this reporting period, including Casefile True Crime and No Such Thing As A Fish (Audioboom), Matt & Alex – All Day Breakfast (SCA-PodcastOne Australia), CLAREMONT: The Trial (West Australian Newspapers), and The Fighter & The Kid (ARN/iHeartMedia).

As for the All-Australian Top 100 Podcast Ranker, 11 new entities debuted this reporting period, including AFL Trade Radio (SEN/Crocmedia), The Chaser Report (Nova), and 3pm PickUp (ARN/iHeartMedia).

Total downloads of all shows by all participating publishers in the month of May is 40.5M, up 20% over April 2020.

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


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Podcast Ranker: New Top 10 Publishers as Audioboom, The West join

The Australian Podcast Ranker for May features a new Top 10 Publishers list as well as podcasts from Audioboom and West Australian Newspapers, who have joined the ranker for the first time.

The UK-based Audioboom offers US, UK and Australian titles, including Casefile True Crime, a cult-hit Australian podcast that deals with well-known murders, and is hosted by an Australian man who remains anonymous. Australian sales representation for Audioboom is provided by ARN/iHeartPodcast Network Australia.

West Australian Newspapers produces the acclaimed Australian podcast Claremont: The Trial, as well as The West Live Podcast and The Hard Ball Gets AFL Show.

Commercial Radio Australia chief executive officer Joan Warner welcomed the two new publishers to the ranker.

“The addition of the new Top 10 Publishers list, along with the provision of new data on total monthly downloads and podcast episode numbers provides new detail on the scale of podcasting in Australia and gives advertisers a more complete, independent report to track and compare podcast performance,” she said.

Overall, total downloads of podcasts from participating publishers reached 40.5 million in May, a 20 per cent increase from April.

The Australian Podcast Ranker is an industry initiative and is published by Triton Digital in accordance with IAB Tech Lab’s Podcast Measurement Guidelines.

SCA’s PodcastOne Australia records biggest growth since launch

SCA’s PodcastOne Australia has recorded its largest month on month growth since its inception in July 2017, with a record number of original podcast downloads in May.

Original podcast downloads for PodcastOne Australia have grown 127% between March 1, 2020 and June 1, 2020. Comedy and Sport were the two biggest growth categories with Hamish & Andy and The Howie Games both recording their biggest ever month of downloads in May.

The period showed continued growth of new, original podcasts, Matt & Alex – All Day Breakfast, Em Rusciano’s Emsolation, The Briefing with Tom Tilley, Jan Fran and Annika Smethurst, Rosie Waterland’s Just The Gist, Christian Hull’s Complete Drivel, CTRL Group’s Cyber Hacker, Dr Keith Suter’s Global Truths, along with Dylan Alcott and Angus O’Loughlin’s Listenable, were all beneficiaries of increased listening during May.

In the May All Australian Podcast Ranker released today, SCA podcasts represent 30% of the total downloads in the Top 100 Australian titles with the largest number of original podcasts. SCA is the leading commercial publisher of Australian podcasts.

SCA head of podcasting PodcastOne Australia Grant Tothill said: “It is great to see premium Australian podcasts continuing to grow audiences, and in turn offering new environments for advertisers. We are seeing increased demand for trusted Australian voices to talk about brands throughout this challenging period which in turn has resulted in strong advertising revenue growth, with PodcastOne Australia recording its biggest revenue month in June.

“Comedy, sport and news-based original podcasts and radio podcasts have led the way. Health, wellbeing and business categories are now starting to show growth as Australians transition to their new normal.”

Podcasting in Australia is continuing to grow, according to the latest latest Edison Research The Infinite Dial Australia 2020 report – a quarter of those surveyed in Australia aged 12+ have listened to a podcast in the last month, up from 22% in 2019. 

TikTok launches Australian office with Lee Hunter joining as GM

TikTok has bolstered its commitment to the Australian market with a number of executive hires.

Following the app’s surge in popularity locally, TikTok announced the appointment of its local leadership team, with former Google and YouTube executive Lee Hunter joining as general manager for TikTok Australia alongside former Google executive Brett Armstrong (pictured) as general manager for global business solutions in Australia. Armstrong previously was at Google where he led as country manager for New Zealand and head of media agencies ANZ.

Hunter will lead a team of experts for TikTok based in Sydney, with a focus on overseeing the implementation of safety policies and resources, as well as driving growth, partnerships and the local product experience.

Other executives on the Australia team include Brent Thomas as director of public policy for Australia, leading engagement with policy and NGO stakeholders to maintain industry leading standards in safety and content, and Arjun Narayan Bettadapur Manjunath as head of trust & safety, leading TikTok’s dedicated APAC team based in Singapore.

Vanessa Pappas, general manager of TikTok US overseeing North America and ANZ, comments: “We are delighted by the positive response to TikTok in Australia and have been inspired by the remarkable creativity across Australia. As we continue to build a positive and safe environment for users, our focus is on hiring the right local talent and strengthening our local leadership team to best support the Australian TikTok community. I am confident in the management team we’ve assembled to drive TikTok’s growth and opportunity in Australia for creators and brands, and look forward to furthering the incredible creativity of our Australian community.”

Commenting on his appointment, Lee Hunter said: “I’ve been truly inspired watching Australia’s unique and creative spirit shine through on TikTok, especially during this challenging time. I love that TikTok has helped bring Australian communities together when we’ve needed it most, whether it’s having fun at home, sharing how we’re feeling, or expressing ideas and messages that need to be heard. I’m excited to build on this outpouring of positive, diverse and creative content, lead our growing local team, and support our brilliant community of Australian users, creators and partners.”

On his role, Brett Armstrong said: “TikTok is all about spreading joy and positivity through fun shared experiences, and I’m incredibly excited to continue to share this ethos with Australian brands and partners. We’ve got some fantastic campaigns underway, with results exceeding expectations already, so I’m really looking forward to growing our business offering from strength to strength locally.”

As well as continuing to invest in its local team and tools to promote a positive and safe environment for its Australian users, TikTok has committed to supporting communities affected by COVID-19 both globally and in Australia. As part of its financial support for relief efforts, TikTok has announced a AUD $3 million donation to The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.

NRMA Kennedy Awards: Live event on August 7, 2 weeks left to enter

As a healthy flow of entries continues for the 2020 NRMA Kennedy Awards for Excellence in Journalism, the Kennedy Foundation has reminded colleagues that there are just over two weeks left to submit work – including for the $25,000 Kennedy Prize for Australian Journalist of the Year.

The Kennedy Awards’ team of experienced judges are eager to begin considering entries in a massive news year which has seen outstanding coverage under difficult conditions of local and international disasters, the crippling world health crisis and global unrest over the death in police custody of black American George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Now in its 9th year, the 2020 NRMA Kennedy Awards will be staged on August 7th in the grand ballroom of Royal Randwick following the Prime Minister’s announcement to ease restrictions on gatherings of more than 100.

Entries have been streaming since the May 11 opening date and the Kennedy Foundation which stages the annual awards is keen for last year’s record for entries to be challenged in 2020.

All the pictorial categories sponsored by Salty Dingo are open for judging in the lead-up to the awards as are the raft of print awards, including Outstanding Reporting on the Environment, Outstanding Indigenous Affairs Reporting, Outstanding Travel Reporting, Outstanding Investigative Reporting and Outstanding Crime Reporting, all the television awards as well as Outstanding Online News Breaking, Outstanding Radio Journalism, the award for Young Journalist of the Year and Outstanding Illustration or Cartoon.

Kennedy Foundation chairman Rocco Fazzari said the 2020 Kennedy Awards would acknowledge media organisations and their journalists, photographers and cameramen for the way in which they have covered major news for readers, viewers and listeners in Australia.

“It has been a colossal news year all around the world and our media teams have continued to show their mettle in the toughest of times,” Fazzari said.

The awards include the richest prize in Australian Journalism – the $25,000 Kennedy Award for Journalist of the Year.

Entry registration and work from the current financial year are by close of business July 1.

Registration is completed via www.kennedyawards.com.au and then submit your entries, 400 word supporting statement and a head shot to: kennedyawardsjudging@gmail.com

Finalists in all 35 categories will be announced on July 22nd.

Kerrie McCallum on News Corp getting serious about Travel + Luxury
News Corp promotes Kerrie McCallum to run Food & Travel editorial

News Corp Australia‘s managing director, Food and Travel Fiona Nilsson has announced the appointment of Kerrie McCallum (pictured) as editorial director of premium Food and Travel, editor-in-chief of Escape.

In the newly created role McCallum will oversee the editorial direction and development of the company’s premium food and travel portfolios.

Nilsson said: “Kerrie is a talented editor with a proven track record in developing products that connect with consumers and clients. This promotion acknowledges her success with the market-leading delicious. brand and its high performing network across digital, video, social, print and events. I’m delighted she will now spearhead our travel offering, evolving the strategic direction of the portfolio and identifying new opportunities and partnerships.”

With more than 20 years publishing experience s McCallum has been the editor-in-chief of delicious. since 2014.

McCallum said: “I’m really excited by the opportunity of expanding our premium food and travel portfolios through bold content that connects with consumer aspirations, new contributors across key categories and evocative picture-led experiences. The Escape brand is trusted, it is big, powerful and it works, and it is also ripe for growth and development as we get ready to shake off the isolation shackles and discover what’s in our own backyard. I can’t wait to begin.”

Jana Frawley has been appointed content director, Escape.

Nova & smooth networks report growth in streaming audience in May

Nova Entertainment has reported a 49% increase in digital audience streaming, as well as a 69% increase for the Nova Network and 36% growth for smoothfm Network, from May 2019 to May 2020+.

In addition, Nova Entertainment recorded over six million total listening hours across 14 stations, its highest ever result.

Nova Entertainment had already seen strong year on year (YOY) increases pre-COVID, with further growth highlighting the continued attraction of streaming as a device option for audiences.

The Nova Network experienced strong streaming growth across all day parts, with a 48%+ increase in workdays and triple figure YOY gains on weekends (113%+). The smooth Network also experienced strong YOY growth with 34% increase in workdays and 82%+ on weekends.

Paul Jackson, Nova Entertainment’s chief programming & marketing officer said, “Since lockdown in March, it’s become the new normal for our listeners to listen live to Nova or smooth across various devices especially across the workday and weekends. This is a reflection of the broad appeal of both network’s music offering and of our audience’s enduring love for our brands through events like the Nova and smoothfm Thank You concert.”

The COVID-19 crisis and ensuring social distancing restrictions have had a significant impact on streaming behaviour, accelerating consumer adoption, with a 49% increase in cume to 1.29 million Streaming Listeners, 5.05 million Active Sessions (24% increase YOY) and 6.25 million Total Listening Hours (14%+ YOY increase). Smart Speaker Listening now accounts for 21.5% of Total Streaming Hours at 1.3 million hours in May*.

Fayad Tohme, Nova Entertainment’s chief digital officer said, “While May was another breaking record month, I expect the growth to continue. More listeners are adopting emerging technology and shifting to new channels. It is exciting to see that our most engaged listeners are now those streaming via smart speakers with an average time spent listening of two and a half hours.”

* Source: Web Metrics Triton Digital NOVA Entertainment May 2020, 6.257 million Total Listening Hours – 14 stations (Nova 96.9, Nova 100, Nova 919, Nova 106.9 & Nova 93.7, smoothfm 91.5 & smoothfm 95.3, smooth Adelaide, smooth Brisbane, smooth Perth, smooth Relax, smooth Chill, FIVEaa, Star 104.5)

+ Source: Web Metrics Triton Digital NOVA Entertainment May 2019 compared to May 2020

Ben Avery names Journalist of the Year at SA Media Awards

• South Australia Media Awards 2020: Complete winners’ list

Bronze Award Categories: All Media 

Commentary, Analysis, Opinion & Critique supported by MEAA
Jane Howard, Guardian Australia, Kill Your Darlings and Witness, “Body of Work”
Judges Comment: The winner stood out amongst a high calibre of finalists, for the clever and entertaining way she intertwined commentary and opinion, with hard facts. Tackling a range of topical issues from gender equity in the art world to the anti-vax debate, the winning body of work displayed extensive research and a knack for interpreting data in an interesting way. Jane Howard shines an important light on the increasingly neglected field of ‘Arts’ reporting.

Best Rural/Regional Journalist supported by Stories Well Told
Bec Whetham, 7pm news, ABC SA, News Breakfast and ABC Online, “Country convert”
Judges Comment: The judges agreed Bec Whetham was the unanimous winner in this category despite a strong list of entries. Her use of innovative techniques, such as drone footage, compelling subject matter, an engaging camera presence and a disarming sense of humour, helped give her the edge. Her love for rural journalism and the unique characters from South Australia’s country regions shone through, along with a keen instinct for constructing engaging stories under strict deadline pressures.

Best Coverage of Public Service Journalism supported by SACOSS
Fiona Churchman, Travis Saunders, Rachel Fountain, Joel Werner and
Monique Bowley, Audio Studios, ABC Radio, “The Parenting Spectrum”
Judges Comment: Travis and Fiona’s podcast, featuring their son Patch, is raw, deeply personal and incredibly insightful. It conveys feeling and information in equal measure through a medium the judges noted requires creativity and hard work. The topic challenges and changes the way people think about autism, celebrating diversity, ticking all the boxes in this category.

Sports Journalism supported by Media Super
Isadora Bogle, 7pm news, ABC SA and ABC News Online, “Sport in the South East”
Judges Comment: Wonderful writing, research and production, especially noteworthy given the lesser resources available to a solo reporter outside the metropolitan area. Shows real flair and a sense of community, resulting in engaging content of local, state, and national relevance. Strong presentation and delivery, with a gift for extracting the best from the talent.

Best Investigative Journalism supported by Media Super
Casey Briggs and Rebecca Puddy, ABC News, “Combustible cladding fears over major Adelaide buildings”
Judges Comment: The judges were impressed by Casey Briggs’ series of stories tackling the major public safety issue of combustible cladding on some of Adelaide’s most visited and iconic buildings. Months of investigation, including Freedom of Information requests, resulted in engaging, informative and impactful TV news packages that led to the state government having to address a lack of transparency in relation to concerns about the safety of buildings thousands of South Australians use every week.

Best Freelance Contribution supported by MEAA
Royce Kurmelovs, The Saturday Paper and Guardian Australia, “Body of Work”
Judges Comment: This category attracts more entries every year, revealing a depth of talent and diversity of content. This year the winning entry demonstrated qualities that epitomise the ideals of journalism, showing a determined commitment to find the truth, through investigation and sheer hard work-breaking impactful national interest stories on the lives, and well-being of Australians including the environment.

Bronze Award Categories: Radio 
Best Radio News or Current Affairs or Feature Report supported by Media Super
Annie Hastwell, The History Listen, Radio National, ABC, “Waterloo Bay: That word Massacre”
Megan Spencer, Australian War Memorial website, “From A Whisper To A Bang!”
Judges Comment: A powerful piece of important storytelling that explores the past, examines controversy today, and looks to the future. An exceptional piece that is beautifully researched, written and produced, with a sensitive and distressing topic presented in a balanced, insightful and non-judgemental way, painting a ‘picture in sound’ of fracture lines – dividing a community that has attracted attention world-wide. Riveting and courageous reporting. From a whisper to a bang is a beautiful, sometimes confronting journey that blends the personal with the public, a journey that takes the listener on an insightful ride. Exceptional research, writing and production that has been developed with empathy, curiosity, and presented with passion and richness. The audio story draws you into the scene.

Bronze Award Categories: Television 
Best TV/Video News Report supported by MEAA
Mark Mooney, 7 News, “Cancer Bungle”
Judges Comment: Mark’s piece is a heart-wrenching expose, which shines a light on holes in the health system. It is to be applauded that Mark’s enquiries prompted action from the government and that Mark continued to follow Mr Burg’s plight as the situation progressed. Mark’s piece allows us to experience the subtle stoicism of Mr Burg who seems to have a dying wish to take care of his family. It also provides an insight into the devastation felt by his wife, Lynda.

Best TV Current Affairs or Feature supported by MEAA
Angelique Donnellan,30, ABC, “Deadly DIY”
Judges Comment: It should not be underestimated the amount of background work Angelique has put into bringing this story to light. Clearly Angelique has recognised the importance of Mathew Werfel’s plight to Mathew, to his family and to the broader community. Mathew Werfel could be anyone of us. Angelique broke the story by realising the importance of Mr Werfels’ situation by trawling through court lists. Angelique then had the sensitivity required to convince Mr Werfel his story should be told, and the integrity to do the story justice. Mr Werfel and his family made a wise choice in trusting Angelique to tell his story.

TV/Video Camerawork supported by Mosaic Audio Visual
Tony Salvatore, Today Tonight, “Body of Work”
Judges Comment: Breathtaking. If, under normal circumstances a picture tells a thousand words. Tony’s work tells a million.

Bronze Award Categories: Print/Digital 

Print/Text News Report supported by Telstra
Lauren Novak, The Advertiser and Advertiser.com.au, “Ashlee’s Out”
Judges Comment: This category contained some excellent hard-news stories. Some were scoops, some were heart-warming human-interest pieces and some could point to positive outcomes for their audiences. But only a few were the complete package, which made judging quite difficult. Nevertheless, the entries by finalists Michelle Etheridge, Lauren Novak and Tom Richardson illustrate just how important hard-news reporting is in a world where transparency is in limited supply. The winning entry stems from years of work in this field, and from the patient and sensitive development of a relationship with these sources. The stories provide great insights into the damage crime can do, but also the power of forgiveness when there is genuine remorse. Excellent story-telling skills make this compelling reading, confronting the question in every reader’s mind: How could you ever forgive the person responsible for your granddaughter’s death. Especially when that person is your daughter.

Best News or Lifestyle Feature supported by University of South Australia
David Eccles, InDaily, “The Life and Death of Andy MacQueen: child sexual abuse, church cover-ups and the mental health system”
Judges Comment: In a strong field of feature writing on topics ranging from cannabis to kink culture, David Eccles’ entry is a stand-out. The Life and Death of Andy MacQueen: child sexual abuse, church cover-ups and the mental health system is a harrowing, poignant story sensitively told by the reporter who had clearly earned the trust of the family. The reporter displayed writing flair, making strong use of quotes and graphics to advance the storytelling.

Bronze Award Categories: Photography
Best News Photograph or Photographic Series supported by MEAA
Tricia Watkinson, The Advertiser, “Hellfire”
Judges Comment: Tricia’s stunning portrait of Alverna Ballard epitomises a great news image, where the photographer had to react to a situation with technical fluency and emotional maturity in order to capture a fleeting moment. The resulting image is bold and dramatic, while keeping a strong emotional connection between subject and viewer.

Best Sport Photograph or Photographic Series supported by MEAA
William Bailey, Murray Valley Standard website and Facebook, “Eagles Break Drought”
Judges Comment: The judges agreed that the raw emotion conveyed in Eagles Break Drought was a perfect distillation of the grassroots nature of football in regional South Australia and what it meant for these men to finally win. Judges also appreciated the technical skill required to capture such a fleeting moment.

Best Feature Photograph or Photographic Series supported by MEAA
Brad Fleet, The Advertiser, “Leigh Creek”
Judges Comment: Brad’s use of the natural tones and shapes of the Leigh Creek landscape, with the compliment of stunning portrait work, really set his entry apart. The earthy textures and harsh environment were blended beautifully with the warmth of personality and optimism.

Silver Award Categories 

The Max Fatchen Award for Best Young Journalist supported by Department of Human Services
Joshua Boscaini, ABC News – online and television, “China’s reach in South Australia”
Judges Comment: The Max Fatchen Award for the best young journalist is perhaps the most exciting category in the awards, since it shines with vigour and enthusiasm of youth and the promise of our media’s tomorrows. Once again it attracted a wealth of exciting entries confronting the judges with hours of intense deliberation. The standard was wonderful but one young journalist stood out with a demonstration of initiative, courage and tenacity which belied HIS years. He unravelled and doggedly pursued a delicate story which has long needed to be told. We know this young journalist will go far. Congratulations Joshua Boscaini.

Julie Duncan Memorial for Student Journalism supported by University of South Australia
Thomas Kelsall, The University of South Australia
Judges Comment: Thomas is a double-degree student doing journalism and international relations at UniSA. He focuses on reporting welfare policy, environmental politics, foreign policy and international politics. Apart from maintaining a stratospheric Grade Point Average throughout his degree, he has a keen interest in international affairs. He’s provided outstanding leadership as former Editor and current mentor of the university’s On The Record publication.

Best Radio Broadcaster supported by MEAA
Narelle Graham, Petria Ladgrove and Adam Jones, Regional Drive SA and Broken Hill, ABC Radio, “ABC radio Regional Drive SA and Broken Hill”
Judges Comment: Imagination, a well-modulated voice and good diction are the added professional tools to this element of our media awards and they are demonstrated in spades by this year’s winner, who knows not only how to source and research great stories and interesting people, but also weave them into engrossingly and enlightening entertainment.

Best TV Broadcaster (Presenter, Reporter and/or Camera) supported by Media Super
Ben Avery, Nine News, “Body of Work”
Judges Comment: As always a strong field contested the Best Broadcaster category in this year’s awards. The judging panel took the view that the winner was represented by more than one excellent story. Rather he exhibited the ability to adapt to a range of broadcasting styles and formats, all with maturity, authority and compassion.

Best Print Journalist supported by University of South Australia
David Eccles, InDaily, “The Life and Death of Andy MacQueen: Child sexual abuse, church cover-ups and the mental health system”
Judges Comment: Writing a series of articles for InDaily, David Eccles poignantly paid tribute to the life of Adelaide musician Andy MacQueen. MacQueen was one of 30 people sexually abused by Robert Brandenburg. It was a burden the young man carried for 42 years before taking his own life David expertly, but without the hyperbole often injected into works about paedophiles, documented the life and spiral downward of the happy boy who succeeded in his career despite being destroyed within, and ultimately succumbing.

Best Photographer supported by Serafino Wines
Sarah Reed, The Advertiser, “Body of Work”
Judges Comment: The judges noticed a trend towards some softer, feature-type treatment of news shots in this year’s entries, allowing the finalists to experiment with special effects producing spectacular pictures. This was nowhere more evident than in the Catching Fire shot by winner Sarah Reed. Sarah’s entries demonstrate how the art and craft of a news photographer cover a whole-of-life range of topics. From an emotive picture of Eddie Betts, through an empathetic shot of animal carers, to the joyful return of footy to the APY lands, her control of composition and technique is masterful.

Gold Award Categories

Hall of Fame supported by MEAA
Rex Leverington
Citation: Stepping in to the Hall of Fame in 2020 is a familiar name. He was not always in the media. Before he was in the media he was an office boy. We all have to start somewhere. He spent his early working life as a travel consultant for the Orient Steam Navigation Company and even Elder Smith. However, his heart had been elsewhere since he was a lad growing up in Edwardstown. His heart belonged to radio. It was 1957 when he managed to score a job as a junior tech with radio 5KA. He was a callow teenager, Sadly, he says now, he didn’t know a green wire from a red wire and he was quickly sidelined to other duties and then, well back into the workforce. It was a whole decade later when he got his foot in the radio door again. 5DN, bless it, took him on for the princely sum of $48 a week as the midnight to dawn announcer. The rest is fairly colourful history. These were the swinging 60s and the nascent days of talkback radio. Our man had workmates such as Mel Cameron, Vitor Stewart Braham and the great Jeff Medwell. There was a sort of “oops” moment in 1969 when he was sacked. But he shot straight over to 5KA where he made such a success of the graveyard shift that he went on to breakfast and then to the newsroom where he found his true raison d’etre. He wrote and chased up stories before slipping sideways into music PR at WEA records. In 1973 he returned to the newsroom as a journalist and newsreader at 5AD. But, like most journos of the time he simply had to do a London stint, so there he was working as a journalist for LBC and VISNEWS before returning home to the 5AD Broadcasting network. These were halcyon newsroom days. As news editor, he not only ran the newsroom then but when the Tiser and 5AD, who were one business and at the height of their profitable years, bought a helicopter, he was in charge of it. It was a busy working chopper, especially at lunchtimes. In 1983 he popped over to work as news editor of 2UE in Sydney for a year, co-ordinating the LA Games on air. Then it was back to Adelaide where, for the next decade he was one of the most beloved voices ever on the ABC Radio 5AN. He was the second longest serving AN Breakfast presenter and basked in fabulous ratings. He did the name on the night shift. He’s done myriad things and won myriad prizes – Best Current Affairs Program Pater Award for his interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Daniel Award for edited highlights of 5AN’s Formula One coverage in 1987. Among other things, he was responsible for reintroducing live radio to the Adelaide public with audience participation shows out at the ABC and in the Capri Cinema – big crowds and TV coverage. He’s MCed and judged, opened and closed events and, notably he was the man behind the most popular ever Quiz Show on radio, Rex’s Quiz.

Journalist of the Year supported by University of South Australia

Ben Avery
Hardworking … versatile … and humble … just some ways to describe the 2020 South Australian Journalist of the Year. This journalist has the ability to produce high quality coverage of major breaking news events, in physically trying conditions. They have the skill to follow a story patiently, working and researching to shed light on some of the darker South Australian mysteries. This journalist also has the natural ease to talk with people from all walks of life and show us their highs and lows. From live coverage of the Adelaide Hills bushfire disaster… to a revealing cold case murder investigation… to the redemption of the Australian Cricket Team, this journalist is solidifyng a reputation of being determined, compassionate and engaging. Recently given the well-deserved role as a foreign correspondent with Nine News, he’s already been seen running determinedly through the streets of London.

MFA to support agency staff who have lost jobs during COVID-19

The Media Federation of Australia (MFA) has launched MFA Support, a program to support media agency professionals who have lost their job due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The aim of MFA Support is to retain valued talent in the industry by ensuring they remain connected to the industry and providing them with an accessible mechanism for re-employment.

An initiative of the MFA Board, the program provides support to anyone who has worked in an MFA member agency and lost their job due to Covid-19, in three different ways:

1. Access to continued learning via MFA People programs: free access to all of the MFA’s learning and knowledge programs – MFA TV Foundations, MFA Digital Foundations, NGEN and MFA 5+.

2. Talent directory for re-employment: the MFA has created a Talent Directory of all out-of-work professionals for agencies to access when new roles open up. Available roles will also be posted on the MFA website and emailed to MFA Support members.

3. Staying connected via introduction to industry leaders: the MFA will facilitate conversations with senior leaders and industry peers at member agencies, providing an opportunity to build their networks, chat about developments in the industry, and gain CV feedback or career guidance.

MFA CEO Sophie Madden said: “The impact of Covid-19 has meant media agencies have had to make some incredibly tough decisions, in some cases having to let go of valued staff who are very good at their jobs. In speaking with our members, we identified a real desire to provide emotional and practical support to all those affected by job loss, to ensure we keep them connected to their colleagues in the industry and provide a smooth pathway to re-entry through future employment opportunities.”

MFA board member Aimee Buchanan, CEO of OMD Australia, added: “The entire board felt very strongly that we have a responsibility to ensure media agency professionals who have lost their job during this difficult time feel supported and remain connected to the industry. We are confident that this program will provide real value to our community.”

If you’ve lost your media agency job as a result of Covid-19, you can join MFA Connect & Support by contacting the MFA at: mfa@mediafederation.org.au

TV Ratings Monday April 15 Week 25 2020

By James Manning

• Nine wins Monday with final Voice blind auditions & Queen
• 10 wins the 7.30pm slot and key demos as top eight battle

Seven News 1,139,000/1,094,000
Nine News 1,103,000/1,011,000
A Current Affair 811,000
ABC News 791,000
7.30 648,000
The Project 352,000/578,000
10 News 404,000/269,000
Sunrise 254,000
The Drum 227,000
News Breakfast 221,000
Today 198,000
SBS World News 175,000

Seven: Home and Away started its week on 664,000 after a week 24 average of 667,000.
On Big Brother Kieran was given a small motorised vehicle and a purpose-built area in the backyard to complete a 3-point turn to Big Brother’s satisfaction, within an acceptable time frame and with minimal damage to the vehicle and surrounds. The reward was pizza for all, except Kieran because he damaged the wall.
The evicted housemate was Danni Keogh from Townsville who attracted 11 of 16 votes. On her way out Danni said: “I think I was playing a great game, I really thought I was good at it. I’m so confused about what went on tonight. I could be completely wrong and my game play is completely off but if my gut and my intuition is right, I believe it was Kieran. Kieran might have been that snake.”
The Monday Big Brother did 655,000 for the eviction and 658,000 for the start of the episode. On Sunday night Big Brother was just under 700,000 for both parts, while a week ago it launched on Monday with 862,000 and 931,000.
The US drama 911 then did 309,000.

Nine: The Voice did 941,000 after 848,000 on Monday a week ago. Despite the growth last night it was still outrated by MasterChef.
It was the final episode of the Blind Auditions with the episode starting with a full house of vocalists for Teams Boy George and Guy. That didn’t stop Guy from picking an extra singer as the others were about to pass on him. (“Cheating scandal”!) Delta quickly picked up an all-star to fill her team while Kelly agonised over her final two but eventually got there.

Earlier in the night A Current Affair featured the story of a surfing influencer Blade Roberts on the Sunshine Coast who had her Instagram account hacked with porn images while Instagram refused to help her get back control of her account. The episode was hosted by Deb Knight and had an audience of 811,000 after 718,000 across week 24.
Later in the night part two of Queen – Days of Our Lives was on 378,000 after part one was on 345,000.
In AFL markets Footy Classified had an audience of 95,000 with 70,000 watching in Melbourne. In NRL markets 100% Footy did 66,000 with 41,000 in Sydney.

10: Khanh was a special guest to end The Project where he managed to slip in a plug for his new book A Gay Guy’s Guide to Life Love Food. The episode did 578,000 after 7pm.
The winner’s trophy was on display for the top eight left on MasterChef after they learned that one of them would be going home every week from now one with just three episodes each week. In a gold Mystery Box challenge, Tessa made it into her first immunity challenge, along with Brendan, Reece and Callum. The Monday episode did 954,000 to rank #1 non-news after 855,000 a week ago.
Have You Been Paying Attention? then managed to just sneak over the 800,000 mark after 767,000 a week ago.

 ABC: Leigh Sales was at her best grilling Albo on 7.30 with 648,000 watching.
The second episode of Heather Ewart’s Nullarbor journey on Cross Roads did 678,000 after launching with 650,000 a week ago.
Four Corners featured a PBS documentary called The Age of AI with 530,000 watching.
Media Watch then did 515,000 with had a special interview with former ACT attorney-general, lawyer Bernard Collaery, who’s at the centre of a secret trial the media can’t cover. The episode had an audience of 515,000 after 455,000 a week ago.
Q+A featured sports administrators and journalists talking about the future of sport to an audience of 242,000, the smallest audience of the year.

SBS: Secrets of Royal Travel did 189,000 followed by a repeat of The Truth About Slim People on 129,000.

Week 25 TV: Monday
ABC12.8%717.5%921.7%10 16.3%SBS One4.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY2.4%7TWO3.0%GO!2.3%10 Bold3.8%VICELAND1.3%
ABC ME0.3%7mate3.4%GEM2.3%10 Peach2.1%Food Net0.9%
ABC NEWS1.1%7flix1.5%9Life1.6%  NITV0.1%
    9Rush1.3%  SBS World Movies0.5%
TOTAL16.6% 25.4% 29.1% 22.1% 6.8%


ABCSeven AffiliatesNine Affiliates10 AffiliatesSBS
ABC12.8%718.8%918.5%WIN11.8%SBS One3.8%
ABC ME0.4%7mate4.1%GEM4.3%WIN Peach1.8%Food Net1.2%
ABC NEWS0.9%7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)1.4%9Life2.0%Sky News  on WIN2.0%NITV0.1%
        SBS Movies0.4%
TOTAL16.4% 28.5% 28.0% 20.5% 7.0%


Monday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,139,000
  2. Nine News Nine 1,103,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,094,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 1,011,000
  5. MasterChef Australia 10 954,000
  6. The Voice Nine 941,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 811,000
  8. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 802,000
  9. ABC News ABC 791,000
  10. Back Roads S6 ABC 678,000
  11. Home And Away Seven 664,000
  12. Big Brother Seven 658,000
  13. Big Brother – Eviction Seven 655,000
  14. The Chase Australia Seven 655,000
  15. 7.30 ABC 648,000
  16. Hot Seat Nine 604,000
  17. The Project 7pm 10 578,000
  18. Four Corners ABC 530,000
  19. Media Watch ABC 515,000
  20. 10 News First 10 404,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 309,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 287,000
  3. Big Brother Seven 203,000
  4. Big Brother – Eviction Seven 186,000
  5. The Voice Nine 155,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 466,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 434,000
  3. Big Brother Seven 336,000
  4. The Voice Nine 335,000
  5. Big Brother – Eviction Seven 323,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 498,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 452,000
  3. The Voice Nine 380,000
  4. Big Brother Seven 362,000
  5. Big Brother – Eviction Seven 353,000
Monday Multichannel
  1. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 190,000
  2. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 173,000
  3. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 171,000
  4. NCIS Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 168,000
  5. Dog Loves Books ABCKIDS/COMEDY 163,000
  6. Shaun The Sheep AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  7. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 152,000
  8. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  9. Doc Martin PM 7TWO 145,000
  10. Rita And Crocodile PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  11. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 138,000
  12. Neighbours 10 Peach 135,000
  13. Thomas And Friends: Big World! Big Ad VAEBNCTKUIDRESS/C!-POMEDY 134,000
  14. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  15. Nella The Princess Knight PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  16. Floogals PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  17. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  18. M- Heartbreak Ridge PM 7mate 130,000
  19. Rusty Rivets PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 124,000
  20. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  1. NRL: Roosters v Bulldogs FOX LEAGUE 202,000
  2. NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 182,000
  3. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 126,000
  4. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 98,000
  5. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 96,000
  6. Credlin Sky News Live 76,000
  7. Kenny On Media Sky News Live 67,000
  8. Best Of Matty Johns FOX LEAGUE 63,000
  9. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 57,000
  10. PML Later Sky News Live 53,000
  11. Live: On The Couch FOX FOOTY 41,000
  12. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 40,000
  13. Battle Of Britain FOX Classics 37,000
  14. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 35,000
  15. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 33,000
  16. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 33,000
  17. The Simpsons FOX8 33,000
  18. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 32,000
  19. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 32,000
  20. Father Brown UKTV 31,000

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 unwilling to share ad revenue with news publishers

Facebook has rejected demands to share advertising revenue with local media organisations, and threatened to remove news from its platform if it is forced to, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

It was “not healthy nor sustainable to expect that two private companies, Facebook and Google, (would be) solely responsible for supporting a public good and solving the challenges faced by the Australian media industry”, it told the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission.

Facebook said even “if there were no news content available on Facebook in Australia, we are confident the impact on Facebook’s community metrics and revenues in Australia would not be significant”.

“News content is highly substitutable and most users do not come to Facebook with the intention of viewing news,” the submission reads.

[Read more]

TikTok targets Australia with new leadership team, ready to hire more

Chinese social media darling TikTok will increase its focus on Australian advertisers with the appointment of former Google and YouTube executive Lee Hunter as its first local general manager, reports The AFR’s Natasha Gillezeau.

He will work alongside TikTok’s head of global business solutions Brett Armstrong who oversees the commercial business including brand partnerships, client solutions, business marketing and sales operations.

Armstrong previously also worked at Google as New Zealand’s country manager and Australia and New Zealand’s head of media agencies.

Hunter will head up an existing local team of around 25 staff and is poised to kick off a hiring spree.

[Read more]

How TikTok is making advertising jingles cool again

The surge in popularity of short video social network TikTok is promising to bring back the lost art of the catchy advertising jingle for the modern era, reports The AFR’s Natasha Gillezeau.

Where going viral on Twitter relies on the written word, and Instagram is an unabashedly visual platform, the current wave of social media pioneered by the Chinese company has an undeniably sonic element.

After buying British powered music start-up Jukedeck last year that uses artificial intelligence to compose its own music, TikTok is now looking to hire an Australian head of music as brands look to associate their products with viral content.

One team at the cutting edge of new musical paradigms and writing catchy earworms is Sydney-based Uncanny Valley, comprised of producer and strategist Caroline Pegram, head of music and innovation Charlton Hill, and composer and sonic technologist Justin Shave.

[Read more]

Entertainment award season moves: Oscars pushed back to late April 2021

Industry bodies and awards organisers are handling their response to COVID-19 in different ways. In Australia the radio industry has cancelled its ACRA Awards for 2020, as has TV Week cancelled the Logie Awards this year.

Other events have found ways around public gatherings with the SA Media Awards holding a virtual event last weekend and paying tribute to workers in the sector.

In the US it was announced on Monday that the next Academy Awards have been moved from late February to Sunday April 25. The eligibility period for movies has been extended from January 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021 because of delayed movie openings because of COVID-19. The nominations announcement for the next awards will be held on Monday March 15, 2021.

Meanwhile in the UK the British Academy’s 2021 film awards has been pushed back from February 14 to April 11, 2021.


Nine Radio in trouble again as Ray Hadley breaches decency rules

An Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation has found radio station Triple M 105.1 Central West breached decency rules for comments made by Ray Hadley in which he allegedly made threats of physical assault against a social media user.

The ACMA investigated a complaint about a broadcast of The Ray Hadley Morning Show on Triple M 105.1 Central West, which aired in May 2019. During the broadcast, Mr Hadley made the comments about an unnamed individual who had allegedly made a remark about Hadley’s granddaughter.

Hadley’s language included terms such as ‘you flea’, ‘you low-life dog’ and inferred that if members of his family could locate the individual they would ‘be drinking through a straw for a long, long time’.

ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the comments were not appropriate for public radio broadcasting in Australia.

“The ACMA recognises that Mr Hadley was being defensive of his granddaughter, however it is not appropriate for him to use his position as a public broadcaster to direct threatening comments towards an individual,” she said.

The ACMA investigation found the comments breached generally accepted standards of decency under the Commercial Radio Code of Practice (2017). This is the first breach of the decency provisions in the Code in relation to The Ray Hadley Morning Show.

The investigation also found there was no breach in relation to comments Hadley made about referring matters relating to a junior football match to the police, and the police commissioner.

In response to the findings, Triple M Central West referred the matter to Nine Radio given the program was produced by Nine Radio’s 2GB. In response, 2GB have counselled Hadley and both 2GB and Triple M 105.1 Central West will ensure its staff legal compliance training will reference the broadcast and breach findings.


Seven denies Morning Show being cancelled due to 'decline in ad revenue'

Seven has been forced to deny reports The Morning Show is facing the axe due to a supposed ‘decline in advertising revenue’, reports Daily Mail Australia’s Candice Jackson.

The program has been hosted by Larry Emdur and Kylie Gillies since 2007 and is said to be costing the network $10million per year.

On Monday, Woman’s Day claimed that Seven was considering taking the show off the air as a cost-cutting measure amid the COVID-19 recession.

Seven’s director of news and public affairs, Craig McPherson, told Daily Mail Australia the claims were “complete rubbish”.

The Morning Show has been a dominant market leader for well over a decade. Advertisers are justifiably queuing up to get on the program,” he said.

After Seven’s denial, Woman’s Day removed the offending article from its website.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Innings over: Cricket Australia boss Kevin Roberts set to lose job

Kevin Roberts is set to lose his job as chief executive at Cricket Australia, reports The Australian’s Peter Lalor.

The 48-year-old’s fate will be sealed at a board meeting in the next 24 hours and an interim will be appointed.

Members of the Cricket Australia board held an emergency meeting on Sunday and plans are being put in place to ensure a smooth hand over.

Roberts has been criticised from all areas over his handling of the financial crisis that has rocked the game and the board has grown increasingly concerned about his performance.

There is no doubt sponsors will find it harder to invest in the game, but big-ticket items are in place and broadcasters will find less solid ground to argue for any discounts in the manner of the ones conceded by the football codes because matches — apart from a couple of ODIs — have not been lost.

Cricket looks set to deliver on its contract to provide both the Seven Network and Fox Sports with an international summer and the Big Bash Leagues.

[Read more]

A-League start date set but FFA awaiting Fox Sports commitment

After a near three-month break, A-League players will return to training this week without any certainty the season they are hoping to resume will be televised, reports The Sydney Morn9ng Herald’s Dominic Bossi.

Football Federation Australia is finalising a revised draw, with games beginning by mid-July, but whether Fox Sports will broadcast the remaining games is still unknown, despite it being contracted to do so.

Lengthy discussions between FFA, clubs and the players’ union over player payments, scheduling, safety and security concluded over the weekend, paving the way for the final 32 games, including finals, to be wrapped up by August 31.

Despite all players returning to training this week after COVID-19 testing, there is still no certainty about broadcast arrangements.

Fox Sports paid the final quarterly instalment for the 2019/20 season and remains the broadcast partner of the A-League until 2023 but has not indicated its plans for the final 32 games, according to FFA.

[Read more]

AFL TV ratings smash 2019 average with 5.8m people watching Round 2

The AFL’s much-hyped return from COVID-19-enforced shutdown has delivered bumper broadcast ratings despite several sub-standard games, reports AAP and the Herald Sun.

Fans hungry for their first taste of football in nearly 12 weeks warmly welcomed the AFL back, with almost 5.8 million tuning in across round two. That figure – based on OzTAM data – equates to a 1.8 million bump on last year’s average of 3.969 million per regular-season round.

Thursday and Friday night’s prime-time blockbusters propped up the result. Collingwood and Richmond’s dour 36-all draw attracted a national audience of 1.643m across free-to-air and subscription channels, while Geelong’s 61-point blowout of Hawthorn had 1.278m viewers.

Essendon’s six-point win over Sydney was the next highest-rated match with 876,000, with the one-sided Port Adelaide-Adelaide showdown also attracting 690,000 nationally.

Those matches were broadcast live into most or all five major metro markets on free-to-air television.

[Read more]

Is this the man to fill Bruce McAvaney’s shoes at Seven?

In a remarkably short space of time, Matt Hill has established himself as one of the finest racecallers this country has heard, reports News Corp’s Jon Anderson.

But could we see Hill, 34, follow the lead of a former calling great in Bill Collins by spreading his wings as a broadcaster into other sports?

And in doing so land himself in the pole position to one day inherit the large shoes of Bruce McAvaney at Channel 7.

Word has it that Hill wants to call some AFL games when his busy race-calling schedule allows, and certainly there are increased opportunities during the COVID-19 AFL fixture.

He isn’t an AFL novice, having called matches when he worked with the ABC

While Hill’s name is now associated with racing, he has already called at five Olympic Games (summer and winter) plus Australian Open tennis.

As for Seven, the broadcaster last year went well down the path in negotiations with Gerard Whateley. But that deal fell over very late when Tim Worner announced his surprise resignation in August and Whateley remained in his role as co-host of Fox Footy’s AFL 360.

[Read more]

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