Tuesday June 2, 2020

ViacomCBS launches Independent Agencies and Direct Sales division

ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand have announced the expansion of its sales team with the establishment of a new Independent Agencies and Direct Sales division.

The new division will be led by Ian Smith, who returned to ViacomCBS’s Network 10 last month after a five-year absence. Most recently he was general manager of trading and operations, national sales, at News Corp Australia.

Reporting to Network 10 national sales director Lisa Squillace, Smith will work closely with Sydney sales director Diane Ho and digital sales director Sophie Hicks Lloyd.

The Melbourne sales team has also been restructured, with the appointment of Adam Quick to the new role of head of independent agencies and direct sales, and John O’Brien to the new role of head of agency. Quick and O’Brien were previously Network 10 group sales managers in Melbourne.

ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand chief sales officer Rod Prosser said: “The launch of the new Independent Agencies and Direct Sales division is a big step for us and our clients.

“It represents a significant investment and highlights the commitment of ViacomCBS to creating the best sales team to deliver the best results for clients.

The merger of the Network 10 and ViacomCBS sales departments on 1 May this year created one business that covers the best local and global brands, shows and events. Together, we offer marketers the power to engage and connect with people aged under 50 at every age and every stage,” he said.

“Now we are building on that incredibly strong proposition with a new focus on the important independent agencies sector and direct clients.”

Lisa Squillace said she was delighted to welcome Smith back to the business.

“With almost 20 years’ experience across sport sales, direct sales, content creation, agency investment and revenue management, Ian’s appointment as sales director, independent agencies and direct sales, is going to make big difference for our clients in those areas.

“I’m also thrilled to congratulate Adam and John on their new roles. Their talent, enthusiasm and professionalism make them a critical part of our Melbourne team.

“Melbourne is a critically important market and a unique market, given its large number of agencies, so it makes sense to have two great sales people leading our team there,” she said.

As a result of the changes announced today, Damon Jackson is leaving Network 10. Jackson has been with the network for almost six years and was appointed Melbourne sales director in September 2018.

Prosser said: “Damon has been a pleasure to work with and generated great results for our Melbourne business. He leaves us with my very best wishes and a big thank you from everyone at 10.”

Smith said: “I’m excited to join ViacomCBS, especially at a time when the company is experiencing such success. It’s great to see that ViacomCBS recognises the significance of the independent agencies and direct sales markets, particularly given the independent agencies have recently launched their own governing body. I look forward to working with the team as this important segment of the market continues to grow.”

Quick commented: “I am delighted to help lead the Melbourne team in this exciting time of growth in the independent agencies space. The new leadership structure puts us in a strong position to drive our strategy and achieve excellence and results, as we continue to focus on powerful, integrated solutions for our clients.”

O’Brien added said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be leading the agency sales team in Melbourne. We’ve built great momentum since having the sales team back in house and I’m keen to build on this for the future. With the addition of powerhouse brands such as MTV and Nickelodeon to the 10 line up, we now have a broader offering, catering for every stage at every age under 50. Our dual leadership approach will help us capitalise on this and deliver great business outcomes for agency and client partners.”

Top Photo: Network 10’s Lisa Squillace with (L-R) John O’Brien, Ian Smith and Adam Quick

Nova and smoothfm thank essential workers with a special music event

Nova Entertainment has announced the launch of Nova and smoothfm’s Thank You Concert which will acknowledge the incredible work, and share the stories, of those working in essential services who are keeping the community safe and running during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nova and smoothfm are working with music label partners to deliver an exclusive live streamed music event to recognise and say thank you to Australia’s front-line workers on Saturday 20 June.

Nova Entertainment will provide an opportunity for listeners to nominate and share the story of someone they know who has been working at the forefront of COVID-19 – from supermarket staff and medical workers to teachers and cleaners or anyone who has been at the front-line during this pandemic – and put them forward to experience Nova and smoothfm’s Thank You Concert. Those people only will be able to watch the streamed event.

Cathy O’Connor, Nova Entertainment CEO told Mediaweek, “It is a challenging time for so many people and as a business we recognise the important role that Nova and smooth plays in informing, entertaining and supporting our listeners during this crisis. The power of music has never been more evident and by partnering with our music record labels, and some of the most talented local and international artists, we are excited to create a special music event to thank and acknowledge those playing an essential role in our community at this time.”

Paul Jackson, Nova Entertainment’s chief programming & marketing officer, said, “This special live stream music event has been created to celebrate our essential workers and all they have done to help Australians during this global health crisis. We are so grateful that the artists involved are so giving of their time to show their Australian fans how much they mean to them.”

The Thank You Concert will be hosted by Kent ‘Smallzy’ Small and Richard Wilkins, artists will donate their time to perform exclusively, or share their experiences in intimate interviews and messages, for front-line workers watching the unique event.

Keith Urban, Amy Shark, Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran and Michael Bublé are the first of over 20 artists involved, with further artists to be announced every day from 3pm on Nova and smoothfm, and the full line up revealed in Nova’s Kate, Tim & Marty drive show and with Simon Diaz on smoothfm on Friday 5 June.

To nominate someone in the community who deserves recognition for the significant role they continue to play during these trying times, head to novafm.com.au or smooth.com.au for all the details.

Nova and smoothfm’s Thank You Concert will be held on Saturday 20 June at 8pm.

Marc Fennell’s new podcast: The $10m heist you’ve never heard of

Marc Fennell likes to keep busy. The journalist, presenter, interviewer and author is best known for his work on SBS where he co-hosts The Feed and hosts some episodes of Insight. To round off his Tuesday SBS trifecta, Fennell also gets to report occasionally for Dateline.

This week spoken word platform Audible releases Fennell’s second podcast Nut Jobs. The eight-episode series is being marketed as the $10 million heist you’ve never heard of.

Fennell also hosts the weekly ABC Radio National program (and podcast) Download this Show.

The new Nut Jobs series is Fennell’s second outing for Audible after last year’s award-winning It Burns.

What better way to explain a new podcast than on a podcast. And that is what Fennell did this week when he spoke on a new Mediaweek audio episode about how he came across the baffling crime taking place on the West Coast of the USA.

In six months, 20 trucks carrying $US 10 million of product had simply disappeared.

The trucks carried a cargo not normally associated with crime gangs. They contained nuts – almonds, pistachios, cashews, pecans and walnuts.

Food and beverages are now the most-stolen goods in America. And one of the hottest items on the US black market these days are nuts. They’re expensive, have a long shelf life, have no serial numbers, nor can they be electronically tracked. And the evidence gets eaten. But who took them? And where did they end up?

To understand just what was happening, the ever-inquisitive Fennell traveled to California, which grows 80% of the world’s almonds as well as virtually all of the pistachios and walnuts in America.

He went for a ride-along with a group of armed private investigators who protect the almond groves. Mike Boudreaux, Tulare County sheriff, explained these were not violent highway hold-ups, but conducted by “organised syndicates, very well-versed in the trucking industry, cargo industry, and the agriculture community”.

These were high-tech nut bandits, hacking databases, falsifying documents and adapting to shifting security measures.

During the series listeners get to meet the law enforcement officers, a nut thief, the farmers and the farm workers, as Fennell uncovers a picture of family honour, shame and faith.

“We have lost millions of dollars, and it impacts the farm laborers, the farming community, community stores, families. I think it’s an economic act of terrorism. It impacts us fiscally at so many levels,” Tulare County sheriff

Boudreaux told Fennell.

• Listen to Nut Jobs here.
• Listen to the Mediaweek podcast with Marc Fennell here.

More from Fennell and Nut Jobs in Podcast Week on Thursday

Top Photo: Marc Fennell on location for Nut Jobs

10 Speaks Launches 10 News First Person

10 Speaks has launched a new current affairs podcast that explores the people behind the headlines, 10 News First Person.

Hosted by Network 10 presenter and reporter Narelda Jacobs10 News First Person will take an in-depth look at stories with each episode featuring a 10 News Firstreporter who will reveal the people and their stories which are most memorable.  

10 News First Person will feature the witnesses, the victims and the first responders – and get a personal account of the events as they unfolded, providing an in-depth and detailed first-person account of what really happened. 

Ross Dagan, Network Director Of News Content, said: “You’ve seen them on the news. They are the people thrust onto our screens because of something they’ve said, something they’ve done, or something they believe. Now, 10 News First Person allows us to get to know those people far more intimately. For them, the story is personal… and they tell it in their own words.”

10 News First Person is available now on Acast, Apple Podcasts and Spotify. 

Bauer Media launches Bluey magazine as hit TV show moves into print

While more magazines are closing down than opening the award-winning TV show Bluey has made the move into print media after Bauer Media licenced the masthead from Ludo Studio and the BBC. 

After Immediate Media who held the worldwide licence approached Bauer to publish the magazine in Australia.

Appealing to three- to six-year-old fans of the show, the magazine is packed with different ways for young readers to explore activities independently: to draw, stick, colour, imagine, create, make and do, with plenty of open-ended play and opportunities for kids to use their imagination. The family can also get involved with easy makes and fun games to play together as a family.

From playing ‘copycat’ to dressing up Dad with silly stickers, to making their very own wagon complete with characters to play with, the magazine turns everyday life into an adventure. Every issue comes with a sticker sheet and all the Bluey fun that any young child could want.

Bauer publisher Sally Eagle said: “We are excited to be working with the BBC, Ludo and Immediate Media to produce and bring to life the extremely popular children’s TV program. The first issue went on sale in mid-May and we are already seeing impressive sales results as families and fans of the show are taking the opportunity to connect and create through the interactive nature of the magazine.”

Publisher at Immediate Media, Fiona Campbell, added: “We love working on this funny and brilliant brand. We have created content for the Australian market first, with plans to expand territories as the show grows in popularity around the world. It seemed natural for Bluey magazine to start in Australia to give little readers what they’ve been waiting for. We’re really encouraged to to see that the magazine is off to a flying start.”

Bluey magazine is available at Woolworths, Coles, Kmart and newsagents and following the launch issue, it will be published monthly.
 
ABC supports Australian producers and creatives with over $3m in funding

The ABC has committed more than $3 million from its Fresh Start Fund to help kickstart Australian productions and content ideas during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the launch of the $5 million development fund on 23 April, the ABC has earmarked some $3.2 million of the total to more than 80 productions and ideas for new Australian dramas, documentaries, comedies, music, arts and children’s content.

Applications for the remaining Fresh Start Fund money close on 12 June, with assistance available for Australian production companies and individual creatives to supercharge existing productions and innovative new stories across multiple genres.

The fund has attracted more than 1600 applications from Australian producers and creatives in need of urgent support due to the shutdown of the independent production industry.

Michael Carrington (pictured), ABC Director Entertainment & Specialist, said: “One of the best things about the Fresh Start Fund is being able to support so many fantastically creative people across the country,” he said. “There is no doubt that Australians are full of unique ideas.”

Projects in line for development support include new documentaries on Australian architecture and design, mental health, body image and sport, plus new animated series, short-form drama series, comedy podcasts, innovative digital content for regional Australians and early education content.

Support for Australian musicians includes financial grants for new classical and jazz compositions and new music recordings by emerging artists and bands.

TV Ratings Monday June 1 Week 23 2020

By James Manning

• The Voice keeps a narrow lead over MasterChef at 7.30pm
• House Rules: High Stakes eliminates two teams, reveals top four

Seven News 1,255,000/1,157,000
Nine News 1,240,000/1,190,000
A Current Affair 859,000
ABC News 803,000
7.30 658,000
The Project 408,000/652,000
10 News 470,000/326,000
Sunrise 263,000
The Drum 246,000
Today 234,000
The Latest 232,000
News Breakfast 213,000
SBS World News 199,000

Seven: Home and Away started a new week on 683,000 after an average audience last week of 596,000.
Tough night for some on House Rules: High Stakes as the number of teams dropped from six to four as they compete tonight on a life-changing charity renovation. After two episodes averaged close to 600,000 on Sunday, the Monday ep did 597,000.
US drama 9-1-1 followed on 363,000.

Nine: A Current Affair began its week on 859,000 after a stronger average of 767,000 last week.
The Voice saw things get more than a little heated as the coaches pitched to attract singers to their various teams. There was another handful of great performances last night as the Blind Auditions continued. The Monday ep was on 958,000 after 951,000 last week.
Part 1 of Whitney: Can I Be Me? followed with 402,000 watching.

10: The Project featured a short interview with eliminated MasterChef cook Jess. The show’s weeknight run started on 652,000 after a week 22 average of 559,000.
Heats week on MasterChef with small groups cooking against each other for an advantage when it comes to a cook off for immunity. Reynold and Callum progressed to round two as Brendan was guaranteed a spot in this week’s elimination cook. Callum was full of confidence as he faced off against Reynold and he pulled off a win. The episode did 934,000 after 929,000 a week ago.
Have You Been Paying Attention? had panellists across Australia and New Zealand with celebrity questions from all around the world. After 816,000 last week the show did 812,000 last night.
The second episode of Kinne Tonight was on 338,000 after launching on 380,000.

ABC: One of the channel’s strongest two nights of the week (Saturday is the other) had a share of 14.0%.
Australian Story reminded viewers of the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 when up to 15,000 lives were claimed in Australia. The program was on 715,000 after 653,000 last week.
Four Corners featured a German TV report on North Korea’s Bureau 39, called Kim’s cash machine with 627,000 tuning in.
Media Watch examined the recent News Corp Australia cutbacks and their impact with 561,000 watching.
Q+A discussed Australia’s energy future with 338,000 after 299,000 a week ago.

SBS: The final episode of Secrets of the Royal did 137,000.
Another show featuring the busy Dr Michael Mosley, The Great British Intelligence Test, followed with 94,000.

Week 23 TV: Monday

MONDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 14.0% 7 17.4% 9 21.6% 10  16.3% SBS One 3.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.1% 7TWO 3.2% GO! 1.7% 10 Bold 3.7% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 3.2% GEM 2.2% 10 Peach 2.1% Food Net 1.2%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix 1.4% 9Life 1.2%     NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.3%     SBS World Movies 1.1%
TOTAL 17.7%   25.1%   28.0%   22.1%   7.1%

 

MONDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 13.4% 7 21.4% 9 17.6% WIN 12.2% SBS One 3.9%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.0% 7TWO 4.7% GO! 2.2% WIN Bold 4.1% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 4.9% GEM 3.2% WIN Peach 2.1% Food Net 0.5%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.4% 9Life 1.3% Sky News  on WIN 1.8% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 1.2%
TOTAL 17.2%   32.3%   24.4%   20.2%   7.1%

 

Monday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,255,000
  2. Nine News Nine 1,240,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 1,190,000
  4. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,157,000
  5. The Voice Nine 958,000
  6. MasterChef Australia 10 934,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 859,000
  8. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 812,000
  9. ABC News ABC 803,000
  10. Australian Story ABC 715,000
  11. The Chase Australia Seven 689,000
  12. Home And Away Seven 683,000
  13. 7.30 ABC 658,000
  14. Hot Seat Nine 656,000
  15. The Project 7pm 10 652,000
  16. Four Corners ABC 627,000
  17. House Rules: High Stakes Seven 597,000
  18. Media Watch ABC 561,000
  19. 10 News First 10 470,000
  20. Hot Seat -5pm Nine 415,000
Demo Top Five

16-39 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 313,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 277,000
  3. Nine News Nine 185,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 183,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 169,000

 

18-49 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 488,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 442,000
  3. Nine News Nine 353,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 343,000
  5. The Voice Nine 339,000

 

25-54 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 505,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 464,000
  3. Nine News Nine 424,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 402,000
  5. The Voice Nine 382,000
Monday Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 207,000
  2. Shaun The Sheep AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 173,000
  3. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 166,000
  4. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 165,000
  5. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 165,000
  6. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 158,000
  7. NCIS Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 157,000
  8. Dog Loves Books ABCKIDS/COMEDY 152,000
  9. Doc Martin PM 7TWO 150,000
  10. Floogals PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  11. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  12. Neighbours 10 Peach 134,000
  13. Nella The Princess Knight PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  14. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  15. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  16. Rita And Crocodile PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 116,000
  17. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 114,000
  18. M- The Dirty Dozen PM 7mate 113,000
  19. Dot. AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 112,000
  20. PJ Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 112,000
Monday STV
  1. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 80,000
  2. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 75,000
  3. Credlin Sky News Live 71,000
  4. Kenny On Media Sky News Live 54,000
  5. PML Later Sky News Live 44,000
  6. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 43,000
  7. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 38,000
  8. Abby Hatcher Nick Jr. 36,000
  9. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 35,000
  10. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 34,000
  11. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 33,000
  12. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 32,000
  13. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 31,000
  14. Newsday Sky News Live 30,000
  15. Afternoon Agenda Sky News Live 30,000
  16. Afternoon Agenda Sky News Live 30,000
  17. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 30,000
  18. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 30,000
  19. Butterbean’s Cafe Nick Jr. 30,000
  20. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 29,000

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

Peter Tonagh-led consortium strikes as bidders circle AAP newswire

A consortium led by former News Corp Australia and Foxtel boss Peter Tonagh is understood to have submitted its bid for AAP newswire, which is being considered by the 85-year-old media group’s board, as others continue to circle, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

A representative from Australia’s biggest media union MEAA has told AAP staff that the “Tonagh-fronted consortium has formally submitted its bid, which is being considered by the board”.

“As it stands the bid is for the Newswire only, although Medianet could still potentially be involved,” the MEAA representative said in an email, seen by The Australian, on Monday.

[Read more]

Hollywood eyeing off Australia for post COVID film bonanza

Hollywood movie giants are eyeing off Australia as a COVID-safe location to film after the country’s so-far ­successful efforts to tackle the disease, giving it a major opportunity to kickstart the hibernating industry once restrictions are lifted, reports News Corp’s Matthew Killoran.

But a cash injection and an almost doubling of tax offsets for production companies are needed to secure the opportunities, according to Aussie production company Village Roadshow.

The Federal Government is in early stages of developing plans to restart the Aussie ­entertainment industry, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison in talks with industry figures over the weekend.

It is understood the PM is keen to get the film industry, which employs about 3000 people in Queensland, up and running again and that the Government is investigating ways to help kickstart it.

Australia is in the front row to get US and Hollywood productions, given its advanced state in combating the virus.

Morrison said he had spoken with entertainment ­industry representatives and indicated that some form of stimulus was in the works.

“We’re looking into the film industry and we want to ensure that we’re getting those sectors of the economy moving again as soon as they can.”

Village Roadshow chief executive Clark Kirby said it was critical the Government increased the location tax offset from 16.5 per cent to 30 per cent to ensure that when international productions were able to restart Australia would be competitive in securing the work.

[Read more]

News Brands

Dylan Voller: Media companies lose Facebook defamation ruling

A court ruling has paved the way for anyone with a Facebook page – including businesses, politicians and the courts – to be sued over defamatory comments left by others, a coalition of the nation’s largest media companies said, reports The Australian’s Deborah Cornwall.

The judgment, made in the NSW Court of Appeal on Monday, came after The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, Centralian Advocate and Sky News Australia tried to overturn a NSW Supreme Court ruling in June that found the organisations were the responsible “publishers” of all public posts on their Facebook pages.

The ruling followed a preliminary skirmish in a world-first defamation action against the media outlets by Dylan Voller, a former inmate of the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in the Northern Territory, over 10 allegedly defamatory comments posted by third parties on their Facebook pages. Voller, whose abuse at the centre made international headlines and sparked a royal commission in 2016, says the posts included claims he “savagely” assaulted a Salvation Army worker who visited him in detention, leaving him “blinded in one eye and deaf in one ear”.

[Read more]

Digital-only newspapers ‘a proven strategy’ says NewsLocal publisher

The architect of several News Corp digital publications, NewsLocal publisher John McGourty, will lead the reshaping of many other titles and says the strategy has achieved proven results for community news, reports The Australian’s David Ross.

The move to cease printing many of News Corp’s regional and community newspapers in a move to a digital-only model marks a turning point for the business.

Several digital-only news sites have been launched by News Corp in recent years, which according to McGourty point the way for how the model will work for other sites.

“There’s a lot of talk out there about us deserting community, all we’re doing is transitioning from one platform to another,” McGourty said.

“Our audience is moving online rapidly, we are responding.”

[Read more]

Facebook employees stage virtual walkout to protest Trump posts

Dozens of Facebook employees, in rare public criticism on Monday of their own company, protested executives’ decision not to do anything about inflammatory posts that President Trump had placed on the giant social media platform over the past week, reports The New York Times.

The employees, who said they refused to work in order to show their support for demonstrators across the country, added an automated message to their digital profiles and email responses saying that they were out of the office in a show of protest.

The protest group – conducting a virtual “walkout” of sorts since most Facebook employees are working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic – was one of a number of clusters of employees pressing Facebook executives to take a tougher stand on Trump’s posts.

[Read more]

Television

Actor Kate Kendall steps up as Neighbours producer

Former Neighbours actor Kate Kendall will become a producer on the 10 Peach soap, reports TV Tonight.

She steps in for series producer Natalie Lynch who begins maternity leave.

Kendall has already been directing for the series, including the much-lauded Sonya/Toadie episode with Eve Morey’s farewell.

She first joined Neighbours in 2013 playing Lauren Turner, enjoying a five year run, but developed her TV directing skills on the Fremantle soap.

“They were finishing up with the character of Lauren, so in the last six months while I was acting, I started to direct little scenes here and there,” she tells TV Tonight.

“I’ve always been interested in storytelling, no matter from what perspective, whether it was directing or acting.

“I hadn’t really done it with the cameras. I’d told stories through one-woman shows and stuff like that. But I didn’t know the technical, so it was really helpful to have a group of people who support you, and teach you everything they know.”

[Read more]

Sports Media

Matthew Johns apologises over Hitler joke amid cardboard cut-out outrage

The NRL will review the screening process for its ‘Fans in the Stand’ initiative after it was revealed the face of an English serial killer appeared at Campbelltown, reports AAP.

Dr Harold Shipman was one of hundreds of faces placed in venues this weekend, after a joke from one fan got through the scanning process.

It comes as Matthew Johns and Fox Sports have apologised for an on-air comedy sketch that depicted Adolf Hitler in the crowd at a match on Sunday. Hitler’s face was not in the crowd of any game and would never have passed the NRL’s vetting process, but others did.

“We are reviewing the vetting process for Fan In The Stand,” an NRL spokesman said.

“The weekend was a trial run and trials are designed to iron out issues.” Under the NRL initiative, images of fans are placed on corflute cutouts at their selected stadiums until crowds return, when the displays will be returned to the supporters.

It comes as Johns apologised for Sunday night’s ill-advised on-air gag, that showed Hitler next to Nine presenter Richard Wilkins in the crowd.

“The segment on my Fox League show on Sunday in which we showed an image of Hitler in crowd cut outs was in poor taste and completely inappropriate,” Johns said.

“I know Fox Sports has apologised but I need to personally step up to this. “I know how raw and devastating those events remain for so many people and families.

“I acknowledge it was wrong and I apologise to our viewers and to everyone in the community who is rightly concerned and offended by the segment.”

[Read more]

AFL star Wingard imposes media ban in wake of US protests coverage

Hawthorn star Chad Wingard says he will continue to fight to stamp out racism in Australia as he placed a temporary media ban on himself citing “mainstream media” coverage of protests across the US, reports News Corp’s Chris Cavanagh.

Wingard made a series of posts on Instagram and Twitter on Monday, expressing his frustration at coverage of the events in the US after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.

He also hit out at suggestions that racism wasn’t a big issue in Australia.

Wingard is a proud Indigenous Australian, with his father Trevor part of the Kaurna people who hail from the Adelaide Plains in South Australia.

“This happens here as well,” Wingard posted, along with a video of the death of Aboriginal man David Dungay Jr while in police custody in New South Wales in 2015.

Wingard went on to post photos of peaceful protests in the United States, writing “What Australian mainstream media forget to show, only show you the negative riots”.

The 26-year-old then tweeted: “I don’t trust our media anymore! Until things change I won’t be doing any interviews I’m not contracted to do!”

[Read more]

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