By James Manning
• Mick Carroll on The Telegraph’s Saturday & Sunday content strategy
Right about now Mick Carroll should have been deep in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics which were scheduled to start in five weeks. Last December Carroll, editor of The Sunday Telegraph, was appointed News Corp’s Australia Olympic editor, working alongside Fox Sports’ Steve Crawley as the Olympic director, the two media executives were to oversee a team of 40+ heading to Tokyo to cover the games.
A lot has happened since then. The Olympics of course has been postponed and given what COVID-19 has done to the media business, a team of 40 going to cover any event in the future would seem unlikely.
News Corp meanwhile has kept Carroll very busy. Last month he was given the role of national weekend editor, meaning he oversees the Saturday and Sunday editions of The Telegraph, in addition to running lifestyle and entertainment content that can be used across the national network.
Carroll told Mediaweek his new role has two parts to it: “There’s a national remit, helping coordinate national investigations. I take control of the national lift-outs on Saturdays and Sundays, trying to get us to work better together, and to leverage our national reach a bit better.”
The move to take over editing the Saturday paper won’t happen until next month. “Saturday and Sunday are the most important days for our business, in terms of our revenue and readers,” said Carroll. “We are doubling down on premium content, and we’ve had a philosophy at The Sunday Telegraph to concentrate on event journalism. Topics not necessarily on the news cycle, but things that make people go, ‘Wow, what’s this about?’
“We are planning to do a lot more cooperative national stories, part ones, part twos, investigations together, campaigns together, just to add a bit more clout to what we do.”
Ahead of the move to take over both papers, Carroll and News Corp are looking to maximise weekend readership. “On Sundays we’ve discovered there’s a pretty substantial digital audience, and the best thing for us is, they seem to have the same philosophy of weekend news as the print readers do, in that they’re very engaged, they’re prepared to pay more, and they stick around longer. Their engagement times on Sunday have dramatically increased, and also their propensity to pay to subscribe is much greater, and we think that same philosophy would apply to Saturdays as well, particularly in the evenings.”
A new weekend feature launching this week is a national project called The Night Watch. “It’s a celebration of the people who look after us while you sleep – ambos, firies, police officers, rural fire service, AFP officers – it’s a 12-part podcast, vodcast series, with a print execution, and it’s very good,” said Carroll. “We’ve singled out some high profile news events and will show readers how it affected the people who arrived there first. It investigates the personal toll those events have taken on the first responders, and the emergency services’ lives, families, friends.”
Carroll said the key creative leading the project is Nick Eagar. “He’s a digital picture editor and this was his idea, we gave him some journalistic support. He cut the project together and it’s come up very well. That’s kind of the territory we want to play in when we become a weekend offering.”
Ever since signing the former police officer earlier this year, News Corp has had much content from Gary Jubelin. Carroll told Mediaweek Jubelin has been working a lot with his Sunday deputy editor Claire Harvey. As well as contributing content for the Sunday edition, Jubelin is behind the I Catch Killers podcast. The series was originally promoted as running for six episodes, but so far they have published 13.
The Sunday travel magazine Escape has a new team, and a new look magazine launches soon on Sundays, with a new look digital site to come pretty soon after.
“Through this whole period, we’ve tried to support the travel companies by keeping Escape going,” said Carroll. “Even though the advertising revenue wasn’t there, we kept it going just to say, ‘Look, we’re in this together, and we are going to come out of it’.”
Another big change coming for readers soon is when Body+Soul and Stellar cease appearing as separate magazines, morphing into a 2-in-1 flipbook publication under editor-in-chief Sarrah Le Marquand. That is planned to happen in July.
Next week: Editing Australia’s biggest-selling newspaper during COVID-19
After 20 years Alex Lavelle is leaving The Age. In a note to staff today, group executive editor for Nine’s metro publishing James Chessell didn’t offer any explanation for the departure of the paper’s editor.
“I’m sure you will join me in wishing Alex all the best and acknowledge his immense contribution to the masthead,” he told staff.
“Over the past three-and-a-half years The Age has expanded its subscriber base, grown its audience and represented the interests of its readers without fear or favour. The Age newsroom can feel confident about its future at a time much of the media industry faces uncertainty. This is, in large part, down to Alex’s hard work.”
Lavelle’s departure coincides with a petition signed by more than 50 staff calling for improved racial diversity at the paper and also that more key editorial decisions should be made from the Melbourne newsroom, not Sydney.
In addition to Lavelle, the petition was also sent to Chessell and chief publishing officer Chris Janz.
Lavelle took on the editorship of The Age in December 2016. He has been a part of the newsroom since 1999, working in many roles including news director and sports editor.
In his email to staff, Chessell noted The Age’s readership had grown from 3.3m to 5.3m under Lavelle. Along the way overtaking the Herald Sun in terms of total readership.
While the company searches for a replacement, Michelle Griffin has been appointed acting editor of The Age.
“External and internal candidates will be considered,” said Chessell. “I am seeking a strong leader who will fight hard for the masthead, our readers and the issues that affect all Victorians. It is imperative they maintain The Age’s independence and preserve its unparalleled track record of high-impact, public interest journalism.”
Beyond International has announced that Paul Heaney has stepped down as CEO and Dina Subhani stepped down as executive director of UK distributor TCB Media Rights on 16th June 2020, following the company’s acquisition by Australia’s Beyond Entertainment in April this year.
Beyond Distribution and TCB will each continue to operate as separate full-service distribution businesses for the foreseeable future. The TCB senior management team will report directly to CEO & managing director of Beyond International, Mikael Borglund (pictured).
Paul Heaney commented: “We created an outstanding team at TCB, who in turn have built a solid creative and commercial community for both producers and buyers for which they should be very proud. We have an established culture and integrity that few would deny is exemplary in the unscripted distribution world. Both Dina and I wish each and every one of our colleagues the very best of success in the future, they truly deserve it. We would like to thank them for their endless hard work and support from TCB’s inception and especially through these recent uncertain times.”
Mikael Borglund added: “Paul, Dina and the management team have created a company with a strong reputation and catalogue. We all wish Paul and Dina well and look forward to continuing to work with the TCB team to further build the company.”
Hit Network’s late drive show Hughesy and Ed doesn’t go to air unless it has at least a few carrots to dangle for the listeners. Last night the 5pm program started with three of them. And the first one delivered big time.
Earlier in the week the co-hosts spoke with the show’s former co-host-turned-regular guest Kate Langbroek in Italy where she has been based for the past 18 months.
Langbroek was on a train travelling across Italy but wouldn’t reveal where she was headed. Yesterday on the program she revealed that train trip was in fact the start of a long journey back to Australia with her teenage son Lewis.
Speaking to Hughesy and Ed from her new home for the next fortnight, a Pullman hotel room in one of Australia’s capital cities, Langbroek explained the reason for her trip home was to visit her sick father.
She had the choice of a room with two beds in one room for herself and Lewis or the option of a suite with a private bedroom and another with a couch for her son. She chose the latter.
Langbroek said she and Lewis were two of about just 40 people on her international flight and she also described how spooky it was walking around a near-empty Dubai Airport.
Lewis also spoke to the two hosts about the challenges of being locked up with his mum in the same hotel suite for 14 days. “She never stops talking,” he shared.
Hughesy and Ed broadcasts on the Hit Network 5-7pm weekdays.
Top Photo: Kate Langbroek was a recent guest on 10’s Have You Been Paying Attention?
A highlight for many listeners to Triple M Sydney’s Moonman in the Morning breakfast show is the classic rock soundtrack and the interviews with some of rock’s greats.
Today the show was poised to interview rock royalty, securing an interview with Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee. “He’s had a life we can only dream about,” said Lawrence Mooney before welcoming him onto the show. The interview was organised to help promote new singles that have just been released from a forthcoming solo album.
Mooney started asking about life in LA under lockup in these incredible times.
But co-host Jess Eva soon weighed in with her first question and it didn’t go well:
“You’ve been a hero to so many men around the world because you’ve romanced so many hotties in your time – Heather Locklear, Pamela Anderson, Naomi Campbell…out of all your lovers who was the best one?”
The line to LA suddenly went dead.
“Did he just hang up on me?” asked Eva.
Mooney explained: “I think we just got hung up on because you went into a no-go zone.”
Eva: “What was I meant to ask him? His favourite chocolate chip recipes?”
A rep from the music company then explained further: “We weren’t allowed to ask about his ex-wives.”
Eva: “I didn’t know that.”
After a delay and some off-air negotiating, Tommy Lee returned to the interview.
Moonman: “The satellite dropped out there, so let’s just move on.”
The interview seemed to proceed on safer ground when he returned with the rocker talking frankly about his drug-taking years and about spending time in rehab. But nothing about the ladies in his life!
The interview appears to have been pre-recorded which means the show did a great job of packaging it up as a live rockstar blow-up.
Following the cancellation of the 2020 TV Week Logie Awards, that were scheduled for the end of June, Triple M’s Moonman in the Morning breakfast show is hosting its very own version of the event – Rudi Vanderstone’s Steaming Brown Logies.
Australia’s meanest TV critic, Rudi Vanderstone, has emerged from quarantine to host the awards for entertainment starved listeners, and there are some brand new, but much needed categories, that those TV folks are too scared to touch.
What Vanderstone lacks in actual entertainment industry knowledge, he makes up for in brutal hard truths and a no BS attitude.
Rove McManus, Costa Georgiadis, Peter Helliar, the ABC, David Koch and Tracy Grimshaw are just some of the victims…err…nominees, for this year’s inaugural awards.
Rudi’s Steaming Brown Logies will kick off with its very own Brown Carpet, with live coverage and comedy from Vanderstone and the team at Triple M’s Moonman in the Morning.
Host and judge of the awards Rudi Vanderstone said: “In my day job as a plumber I’ve never seen anything as stinky as what I’ve seen on Australian TV.”
Listen to the Steaming Brown Logies 2020 live on Friday June 26, 2020 at 8:30am on 104.9 FM Triple M Sydney or via the Triple M app.
STEAMING BROWN LOGIES 2020
RUDI’S CATEGORIES AND NOMINEES
THE STEAMING BROWN LOGIE
For the worst talent on Australian Television for 2020.
THE NEWEST NUGGET
This is the best new talent that has caused the most pain to the viewers sensory system. It’s hard to make a list of nominees because nothing is new in the sewer of Australian television.
REALITY TELEVISION SHTINKERS
Dancing with the Stars
I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!
ORDINARY LOSERS COMPETING ON THE TELEVISION AND HUMILIATING THEMSELVES
MKR The Rivals
The Tiger King
The Last Dance
MUTTS, MONGRELS AND HALF BREEDS
By Andrew Mercado
LOL Last One Laughing: Australia (today on Amazon Prime) is one of the most outrageous comedy series ever filmed in Australia. Ten Aussie comedians, locked up together for six hours, try to crack each other up, with $100,000 going to the last one not to laugh.
What follows next is costumes, nudity, dildos and banjos. An 18+ rated version of Home and Away, with Sam Simmons dressed up as a Summer Bay High schoolgirl, is about as blue as it can get, especially when discussing former headmaster Donald Fisher.
Host Rebel Wilson, last seen wrangling ridiculous poodles in Pooch Perfect, has a much better time here with comedy’s biggest bitches and dirty dogs. They include Anne Edmonds, Frank Woodley, Ed Kavalee, Susie Youssef, Nick Cody, Becky Lucas, Nazeem Hussain, Dilruk Jayasinha and Joel Creasey and their behaviour is crazy and disgraceful. Huge thumbs up from me.
Odd that Sky News special The Death of the Aussie Larrikin? said “comedy is in a lot of trouble today”. That’s because they spoke to no Aussie comedian under 50, therefore conveniently ignoring everything happening in comedy today. Surely larrikin Tom Gleeson, who won the Gold Logie by being politically incorrect, was worthy of a mention, but apparently not.
Today’s comedians can choose between doing sketch comedies, TV sitcoms or panel shows like Have You Been Paying Attention? Hannah Gadsby had worldwide success with Netflix hits Nanette and Douglas. Amazon Prime currently has 10 stand-up specials from Aussies like Tommy Little and Judith Lucy, while Stan’s originals include everyone from Wil Anderson to Tom Ballard.
Gone with the Wind (Saturday on Fox Classics) screens with a disclaimer beforehand this weekend on Australian TV. HBO MAX in America will use a new introduction from black scholar and TCM host Jacqueline Stewart. And that Fawlty Towers episode is streaming again in the UK, but also now with a disclaimer. Now, that wasn’t so bad was it? Guess it’s more like “pause culture” than “cancel culture”, but that doesn’t look as good on the front page of the newspaper.
Agatha Christie’s The Pale Horse (Saturday on ABC) is a modern reworking of her 1961 occult novel. There’s no Poirot or Miss Marple or all-star cast (just Rufus Sewell), but there are three spooky witches living in a weird Wicker Man-type village. At just two episodes, it’s immaculately styled, but story wise, it’s rather convoluted.
Perry Mason (Monday on Fox Showcase) has been rebooted for an HBO prequel set in 1930’s Los Angeles. It’s so gritty it verges on gruesome, so it probably won’t appeal to fans who remember the original 1957 series, American TV’s first ever one-hour drama. For a new audience, however, its themes of religious mania, corruption in power and racism in the police force, could not be more timely.
By James Manning
• Thursday winners: Seven and Hawthorn with AFL on 624k
• Knights win leads Nine to victory in Sydney & Brisbane
• No MasterChef delivers 10 single digit primary share
Seven News 1,086,000/1,013,000
Nine News 926,000/875,000
ABC News 763,000
A Current Affair 599,000
The Project 343,000/499,000
10 News 372,000/259,000
The Drum 209,000
The Latest 197,000
News Breakfast 193,000
SBS World News 169,000
Seven: Seven News and then Home and Away on Seven and 7TWO set the network up for a win last night.
The key to the victory of course was the AFL with a network audience of 624,000 ranking it #1 non-news in primetime. The Melbourne audience was 398,000 watching Hawthorn carve up last year’s premiers.
Nine: The NRL was also a one-sided match as the Knights ran away with the game. An audience of 326,000 were watching on Nine and 9Gem. The Sydney crowd was 163,000 with 138,000 in Brisbane.
10: No MasterChef was again a challenge for the network trying to attract viewers. Thursday share slipped into single figures for the first time this year.
Celebrity Gogglebox USA moved earlier at 7.30pm with 373,000 watching after 455,000 tuned in at 8.30pm last week.
ABC: Escape to the City returned to the schedule with 319,000 after 8pm.
Earlier in the night The Heights was on 204,000.
SBS: Part one of The World’s Busiest Stations was in New York visiting Grand Central Station and Penn Station with 207,000 watching.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.8%||7TWO||4.6%||GO!||2.8%||10 Bold||4.8%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||5.3%||GEM||1.5%||10 Peach||2.7%||Food Net||1.6%|
|9Rush||1.1%||SBS World Movies||1.1%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.3%||7TWO||6.4%||GO!||4.4%||WIN Bold||4.6%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||4.3%||GEM||3.4%||WIN Peach||2.4%||Food Net||1.1%|
|ABC NEWS||1.3%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||2.1%||9Life||2.3%||Sky News on WIN||2.0%||NITV||0.1%|
|THURSDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
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
Snapchat’s co-founder says he isn’t worried about competition from the likes of TikTok and Instagram, telling The Australian’s David Swan that Snapchat users are generally more engaged and use the app for ‘real connection’ more than their rivals.
Speaking exclusively to The Australian, Snap co-founder Bobby Murphy said that his app’s focus on communication between close friends – achieved through augmented reality and the app’s heavy focus on the camera – means it will retain its popularity with Generation Z and millennial users.
Snap has sought to set itself apart from rivals for both users and investors, focusing on friendships rather than broadcasting to an open audience, and allowing it to avoid the misinformation and hate speech problems that have plagued Facebook and Twitter.
It’s also fighting for young, savvy smartphone users with China-owned video app TikTok, which opened an Australian office this week.
“It comes down to focusing on what differentiates us,” said Murphy. “Snapchat has always been about communication between real friends, and in many of our core markets we’re an application that people use alongside other apps, not necessarily instead of.”
Our newest magazine tycoon is the charismatic fundie Clark Perkins who hopes his team understands the print landscape, reports The Australian’s Margin Call columnist Jonathan Chancellor. The Auckland-born venture capitalist, who turns 53 later this year, has certainly secured Bauer Media’s Australia and New Zealand publishing arm at a substantial discount.
Bauer had spent $565m accumulating their magazine stable, and while no one is confirming the latest price, the highest mooted figure is $50m.
Perkins founded Mercury Capital in 2010 after making private equity plays as Goldman Sachs JBWere’s managing director of merchant banking.
Mercury is headed by Perkins and boasts high-profile New Zealand directors Craig Heatley, who started Sky TV in New Zealand, along with Tom Sturgess and Geoff Ricketts. Perkins, the former chairman of Kathmandu, joined forces with CVC’s Ben Hawter and Oliver Tompkins of McKinsey & Co to set up Mercury.
Mercury initially raised a $120m fund 10 years ago. In 2015, a $300m fund followed, and in 2018 there was a third fund with a $600m raise.
Gold Coast conman Peter Foster has sensationally unleashed on the journalist behind a new podcast about him, calling the journalist a ‘horrible grub’ and challenging him to a boxing bout, reports News Corp’s Greg Stolz.
Former CNN anchor and A Current Affair reporter Justin Armsden produced the explosive podcast called King of Sting, which is being released this Sunday.
Armsden, who spent years tracking Foster with a private eye for ACA, took to Facebook today to reveal he had copped an expletive-ridden tirade from the serial scammer.
“You horrible c..t Armsden,” screenshots of the Messenger rant read.
“Keep out of my f…n life.. Your (sic) horrible grub.
“As if I would not square up to a horrible little (expletive) like you – anytime you want, Police Youth club boxing ring – 8 ounce gloves, I will teach you the lesson of a lifetime. Bring a TV crew.”
Posie Graeme-Evans, the creator of long-running Australian drama McLeod’s Daughters shared news with fans of the show yesterday that a long-anticipated reboot of the franchise could be coming:
“We’re developing a feature film,” Graeme-Evans posted on social media, revealing a project was in development with independent film distributor Transmission Films and Screen Tasmania.
“It’s called The McLeods of Drovers Run and I started writing the story a couple of months ago. Today we heard that we’ve got backing from Screen Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government to write the very first stage of the movie. This is such a vote of confidence in McLeods. And I promise, as we develop the story with the very talented screen writer Emma Jensen (Mary Shelley and the upcoming release, I am Woman – the Helen Reddy story) that I’ll keep you with us every step of the way. We’re just at the beginning, the very beginning, but we’re on our way. No promises but I have such a good feeling about this.”
Speaking to The Mercury’s Linda Smith, Graeme-Evans added from her Tasmanian farm near Cygnet:
“It’s insane,’’ she said of the hype around The McLeods of Drovers Run movie.
“I’m stunned by the response, it’s just astonishing – it’s a tidal wave. I’m also very grateful.’’
Smith reported the film will be set in Scotland – as viewers meet the original drover of Droversq Run from the 1850s – with Graeme-Evans hopeful those scenes could be filmed in Tasmania.
Foxtel has walked away from its current broadcast deal with Football Federation Australia but could lock in a new, cheaper agreement with the sporting body for the COVID-19-hit 2020 A-League season as early as Friday, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
Sources told The Australian Financial Review that Foxtel was using a clause in its contract regarding content – the staging of games – not being delivered for 20 days, allowing it to walk away or renegotiate.
Foxtel is open to a new, more financially suitable arrangement. It could announce a deal for the rest of the 2020 season as soon as Friday.
Foxtel made an earlier offer of $11 million per season, which the FFA was not happy with, as it was well below Foxtel’s current deal for broadcast rights with the sporting body worth about $57 million a year in an agreement that runs until 2023. The sport has not been a ratings success for the News Corp-majority owned subscription business.
The completion of the A-League season may yet be broadcast on Fox Sports, after more negotiations between the broadcaster and Football Federation Australia late on Thursday, reports News Corp’s Tom Smithies.
Though Foxtel, as owner of Fox Sports, has indicated it intends to walk away from its contract to show the competition until 2023, confirmation of a deal to broadcast the remainder of this season could come as soon as Friday.
One option would be for both parties to agree a one-year deal at a reduced rate, allowing FFA and the clubs time to find a new broadcast partner.
An invoice for nearly $15m sent by FFA to Fox on Monday – for the July-September quarter – appears to have been the catalyst for the breakdown, with Fox removing all domestic football content from its website late on Wednesday.