Wednesday June 24, 2020

Seven’s ratings revival: Angus Ross on Big Brother’s big difference

By James Manning

• Holey Moley: “This year is going to be closer than people think”

Seven was expecting the arrival of Big Brother would make a big difference, especially after the disappointing performance of My Kitchen Rules and then House Rules to start the year.

The product mix of what Big Brother delivered has combined well with Seven’s best other assets.

“We certainly had the bricks in the wall,” Seven’s director of network programming Angus Ross told Mediaweek. “We have the #1 news, #1 sport plus Sunrise and Home and Away doing well. We had spoken about the need to improve our 7.30pm tentpole performance.

Big Brother represents the first step to make Seven more outward focussed in terms of its commissions. And we are looking at established and proven formats for those tentpoles rather than creating our own IP. It can be a very difficult thing to achieve and quite a stressful process…I am now an 80-year-old in a 40-year-old body!”

Big Brother housemates

When Seven got it right regarding building a format, as it did with My Kitchen Rules, the results were impressive, but not everything struck gold.

Ross said Big Brother was the channel’s biggest new series launch in two years. “Within the space of a week it has changed our demographic profile completely. We are clean-sweeping everything – 25-54, 18-49 and 16-39. It has given us the best 16-39 result in 10 years.

“To put that in context it is a bigger show than I’m a Celebrity, Survivor, Amazing Race or The Bachelor. And it is beating The Voice too in some key demos.”

As well as the broadcast result, Ross noted it is the most talked about show on social and the biggest in the streaming space. “Each episode is adding in excess of 200,000 viewers to our 7plus service. We are looking at another record month for 7plus which has been leading the BVOD space for three months and I can’t see that leadership stopping anytime soon.

Ross said 7plus is attracting audience for broadcast hits (including dramas like 9-1-1 and The Good Doctor) and classic Australian drama. “When we have something like Big Brother arrive on the platform it becomes the icing on the cake for 7plus.”

Seven picked up the Big Brother franchise after Nine decided not to renew the option it had on the format. “Much kudos to the production team at Endemol Shine Australia – Mark and Carl Fennessy, Peter Newman and Amilia Fisk. They pitched us a version of the show for 2020 and they have delivered. None of us believed that the original Big Brother format could return. It had been cancelled twice in this marketplace. The reboot really had to work at attracting a new audience. It has evolved and has the storytelling techniques the marketplace now demands. They have delivered that in spades.”

After Big Brother screens across three nights, the shows asked to do the heavy lifting at present for Seven are three nights of live AFL, The Front Bar and America’s Got Talent.

For the football, Ross noted the improved numbers, and not just from the tradition southern AFL markets. Regarding America’s Got Talent, he said: “In the past America’s Got Talent had been with Foxtel. This is the first time it has been on FTA TV. With our deal to make Australia’s Got Talent, we have an option to look at the UK and US versions.”

When Big Brother wraps early next month it will hand over the slot to Farmer Wants a Wife. As to commissioning Endemol Shine to make more Big Brother for 2021, it’s on!

“If I was a betting man I’d put my house on it,” Ross laughed.

As to recommissions for MKR or House Rules, Seven’s programming chief replied: “The format change for MKR didn’t resonate as well as we’d hoped it would. MKR remains a power brand that has been the biggest show in this market for the last 10 years. It is not something we would dismiss, but we will look carefully as to when is the right time for the show to return.”

In defence of the MKR format, the show that screened this year was supposed to run at the end of 2019, with a regular version with new contestants to start 2020. “A confluence of events meant we couldn’t do that,” explained Ross.

If Seven manages to get away a reboot of Farmer Wants a Wife it will be known as the turnaround specialists. The show had nine seasons elsewhere before Seven picked it up. Ross: “If we get a reputation as turnaround specialists we’d happily take that title.

In former seasons, Farmer often ran just once a week. Seven will be running it several times each week. “It’s a proven format that worked in the past and we think it will engage audiences. [It is] perhaps better than some other formats we had where perhaps we pushed the boat out a little too far in the relationship space.”

Seven’s back half 2020

Ross: “We have had to do some juggling because of COVID-19 as have all the networks. We still have The All New Monty Guys and Gals, Farmer plus Plate of Origin and SAS Australia. We will now be shooting SAS Australia in the snowy mountains rather than New Zealand. The UK version, called Celebrity SAS, has just gone out and has been a major hit in that market. We think it could surprise a few people here – we have an absolutely killer cast. The best I’ve seen in a long time in terms of celebrity reality.”

The program is being made for Seven by Screentime and is scheduled to end Seven’s survey year in Q4.

Plate of Origin was impacted by COVID-19 in that there will only be 10 episodes. “We had to modify what we were doing in order to get something to air. We are quite happy with the way it has worked out.

While Seven has sorted out local production for Holey Moley, it means it won’t screen until early in 2021. “We are still deciding which state we will produce it in.” The show is being made for Seven by Eureka Productions. Building the sets is a big undertaking, with Ross confirming they are doing the complete 18 holes. “We think we will also attract other countries who want to come and use the sets we build in Australia.”

Seven’s ratings guide

“Being #1 is still important,” said Ross. “James Warburton has a very clear strategy of refocusing our performance on demographics. In the past we have won all people and won the demographics as well. We are improving our performance 25-54. If we are winning the week in that demo and a close second all people, I would take that. Ideally, I want to win both which is what we are doing at the moment.

This year is going to be closer than people think. We will be winning more weeks for a while yet. In the back half we will be extremely competitive.”

See also: Seven’s 2020 back on track with new SAS and Holey Moley plans. Andrew Backwell on how Seven will deliver programming in 2020

Mick Carroll: Editing the biggest-selling newspaper during a pandemic

By James Manning

• Newsstand sales, the conservative opinion pages, thriving on competition

Editing Australia’s biggest-selling newspaper during a pandemic has its challenges. Especially for a Sunday newspaper when it is all about one day of the week. As the editor of The Sunday Telegraph joked about his newsroom, organising journalists can be like herding cats, doing it from home can be even more of a challenge.

While editor Mick Carroll and key members of his team have been back in the office for the past couple of Saturdays, he estimates they produced about 10 successive editions of the paper completely from home.

“We really needed to get back because I was getting worried the shortage of content was starting to impact on the coverage of the stories,” Carroll told Mediaweek.

There was an upside to working from home. “It probably knocked many hours off my working day, because I’d tended to stay at the office until 2am or so. But being at home I would usually call it a night much earlier.”

When the newspaper’s audience wakes up on Sundays there are still three ways to consume the product. Hard copy or two versions of the digital – a web version and the PDF replica of the printed copy. It might be old school, but there is still a market for the PDF replica, said Carroll.

“There is an audience who prefer that and actually the number’s growing, and in some states, in Melbourne particularly, it’s quite high. Part of our remit is to encourage people to view our content in that way. The photos on digital look great for a start, and there are a few people out there who like the curated feel, but still want to use it digitally. Looking at the PDF it feels like someone’s edited and said, ‘Okay, you know what, today, this is the best story, and we think this is the best order you should read them in’.”

Regarding hard copy sales, Carroll indicated Saturdays and Sundays had been less impacted than weekday editions during COVID-19.

“We’ve found Sundays have held up really well. In fact, there was some Sundays, particularly in those early weeks, that we had really good sales. And actually to be honest, Monday to Friday paper sales have been pretty good too. Not only do people want the information, but they had a bit more time at home to consume it. Obviously we had some issues with people not wanting to go to supermarkets as much, but thankfully, it was picked up elsewhere in other channels, although supermarkets held up pretty well through the whole period.

“We did notice that Saturday’s changed for people during COVID, where there was no school sport, no junior sport, no running around. We found that Saturday sales held up pretty well, it kind of went back to those Saturdays when we were kids, where you had a bit more time on your hands.”

Although newspaper publishers no longer release sales figures, Carroll said it was safe to still call The Sunday Telegraph Australia’s biggest-selling newspaper.

Although he likes beating The Sun-Herald to stories, Carroll isn’t about to wish for a one-paper town on Sunday.

Nothing keeps you on your toes more than thinking you’re going to get knocked off. If you pick up The Sun-Herald on Sunday, and see something, it definitely makes you wish you had it.

“Our reporters are pretty seasoned, they’re all pretty protective of their own patches, and they’re very competitive. We would definitely prefer to have a competitor that keeps us on our toes, that’s for sure.

“We focus on keeping the paper’s energy level high, and staying open as late as we can on the Saturday night to make sure that the paper’s as up to date as it can be.” Carroll noted he made some changes last week at about 2am. It doesn’t make all of the run, but about 25% which would all be for Sydney city readers.

The opinion pages of the paper can be divisive with plenty of conservative commentary. Carroll didn’t disagree that the publication has a conservative outlook. “Obviously we lean that way, but we try and keep the issues and our coverage of stories diverse.

Carroll named a number of columnists who do offer a diversity of opinion on Sundays, many of them women. His list included deputy editor Claire Harvey who has her own column, Brisbane-based Lucy Carne and Adelaide-based David Penberthy.

“We also have Angela Mollard, Kerry Parnell, and then in Stellar, we have David Campbell, Joe Hildebrand, Sam Armytage, and Carrie Bickmore, so we have as many different voices.

“In terms of our news coverage, our number one philosophy is, ‘Does this story impact a person, or more than one person?’ We try and focus on more human stories, good, bad, or otherwise, it can be just celebrating people, or it could be a crime story, but essentially, at the core of that story, is a human, and we find that resonates well with the weekend crowd.”

Troy Cassar-Daley signs with Sony Music Entertainment Australia

Australian country music legend, Troy Cassar-Daley, has returned home to where it all started by signing an exclusive worldwide recording deal with Sony Music Entertainment Australia.

Cassar-Daley has released 10 studio albums throughout his 30 years of making music. He comes from a long line of storytellers and shares his musicianship with so many artists across different styles of music. His passion to pen stories about Australian land and what lies at the heart of it has been a driving force in his career. Most recently his new music was released by Liberation.

Cassar-Daley has been awarded numerous accolades including 37 Golden Guitars, 4 ARIA Awards, 3 APRA Song of the Year Awards, 9 Deadlys (Australian Indigenous Artist Awards), 4 CMAA Entertainer of the Year Awards, plus 2 NIMAs (National Indigenous Music Awards).

In 2017, Cassar-Daley was honoured as the 50th inductee into the prestigious Australasian Roll Of Renown. He has had numerous gold and platinum albums and achieved a staggering 32 Number 1 chart singles.

Along with the full catalogue re-release, Cassar-Daley’s first new release with Sony Music will be a new studio album that will be released in early 2021.

On signing with Sony Music Entertainment Australia, Troy Cassar-Daley, said:

“The saying full circle gets used quite a bit in our lives but every now and then it rings true for us personally. For me, starting my professional recording career back in 1995 with my dear mate Denis Handlin and the Sony team, gave me the tools all those years ago that I still use to this very day when I make my music. Well the circle has turned and I’m more than proud to be a Sony recording artist once again and I can’t wait to share my new music and new adventures with you all. Denis said ‘welcome back to the family’ and that’s exactly how it feels!”

Denis Handlin, chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand, said:

“Troy is a tremendous talent who is a trailblazer with his craft and remains relevant, compelling and believable to this very day. We are thrilled to have Troy back with the company and the team is excited to work with him as he continues his esteemed musical journey. I love Troy to bits and we cannot wait to help him take his new music to his far- reaching and ever-growing fan base.”

TV Demand: The 100 and Paw Patrol top the chart + Spongebob

By Trent Thomas

13 Reasons Why has maintained the top spot of the Digital Original charts this week, however, it has slipped down on the Overall TV chart in both Australia (The 100) and New Zealand (Paw Patrol).

The 100 entered the TV Demand charts on May 27 after its seventh and final season began airing on May 20. The CW show will wrap up the series with its 100th episode. The series centres on a group of convict adolescents who are sent back to post-apocalyptic earth to test its viability after generations of living in a space station orbiting the planet. The show stars Australian actors Eliza Taylor and Bob Morley.

Paw Patrol has continued its movement up the Overall TV chart in NZ after the controversy caused by a debate on whether or not the show should be cancelled due to the portrayal of the police dog character named Chase. Detractors have commented that the show should be removed due to it showing police in a positive light, following the cancellation of shows such as Live PD and Cops. Although Screen Rant has reported that the show has been renewed for a new season with a movie slated for 2021.

Spongebob Squarepants has seen a boost due to its new film The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run which has been delayed to August 2021 and forgoing a theatrical release to go straight to premium video on demand before being released on CBS All Access. The Nickelodeon property has also made the news cycle after the ViacomCBS company has appeared to confirm that Spongebob is an LGBTQI+ character with a tweet for Pride Month.

Once again the best performing Australian made show is The Voice which continues its strong run on the TV Demand charts and traditional TV ratings. The show has managed to navigate its production during COVID-19 and has featured Delta Goodrem, Boy George, Kelly Rowland and Guy Sebastian returning for season nine, which is the first time all four judges have returned for a subsequent season. 

TV Ratings Tuesday June 23 Week 26 2020

By James Manning

• Seven takes the points with best start to a week this year
• MasterChef’s Laura and Channel 10 both 7.30pm winners

Seven News 1,166,000/1,102,000
Nine News 1,027,000/945,000
ABC News 792,000
A Current Affair 707,000
7.30 643,000
The Project 358,000/541,000
10 News 374,000/275,000
Sunrise 280,000
The Drum 235,000
Today 206,000
News Breakfast 204,000
SBS World News 169,000

Seven: The third of three episodes of Big Brother this week. The numbers of 713,000 and 739,000 were down on last week’s 777,000 and 807,000. The numbers did help Seven win all people and key demos though. And they helped Seven to start the week with three successive nights over a 19% share for the first time this year. The numbers will also help keep Seven #1 commercial BVOD service. Seven’s director of network programming Angus Ross told Mediaweek, “With the addition of Big Brother to 7plus it is now bigger than 9Now and 10Play combined.” Ross added their BVOD commercial share was 50% last week.

See also: Seven’s ratings revival: Angus Ross on Big Brother’s big difference

The evicted Big Brother housemate was Zoe George from Melbourne – “It’s not a nice feeling,” said George on the way out. “The house has made a huge mistake because I’ve played an honest game but I guess I’ve got no control over what people vote. This experience has been wild, just crazy. I can’t believe that I’ve just done that. The first thing I’m going to do when I get home is cuddle my kids and give my husband a big smooch.”
Gordon Ramsay then made an early primetime appearance with an episode of Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back screening at 9pm. The episode featured the British chef trying to revamp a family-owned fine diner in Connecticut with 244,000 watching.

Nine: Paramedics is sticking in the Tuesday 7.30pm slot with 486,000, up from 443,000 a week ago.
An hour of RBT then did 340,000 followed by Botched on 216,000.

10: Callum, Poh and Laura were battling for immunity on MasterChef with Callum the first of the three from Adelaide out of contention early after a poor job cooking Kangaroo. That left Poh and Laura with the judges telling Poh she was unlucky to lose to a tasty-looing dish of Moreton Bay Bugs. That secured Laura immunity and a place in the top six. The final episode of the week did 957,000 after 954,000 last week.
The final episode of the second season of How to Stay Married then screened with preparations underway for Brad and Nadia’s wedding. The audience of 428,000 was the second-best this season and was up 69% compared to the 2018 season finale.

ABC: Foreign Correspondent at 8pm looked at the challenges facing single men in China where there are 30m more men than women. The episode was on 516,000, up from 408,000 last week.
The third and final episode of Australia’s Ocean Odyssey looked at whales making their annual journey back from their breeding grounds and heading down the Australian east coast on their journey to Antarctica. The episode did 429,000 which was the biggest of the three eps.
Episode five of Road to Now featured Globalisation and had an audience of 265,000.

SBS: Kat Stewart was the guest on Who Do You Think You Are? She didn’t manage to leave Australia, but got to travel internally to Warragul, Geelong and Tasmania in search of information about her Irish ancestors. The episode did 291,000 after 352,000 a week ago.
Insight then featured Marc Fennell hosting an episode about medical game changers and the future of modern medicine. The show did 167,000.
The first episode of season three of Where Are You Really From? then followed with 134,000.

Week 26 TV: Tuesday
TUESDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 12.8% 7 19.3% 9 16.4% 10  15.2% SBS One 5.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 3.4% GO! 1.6% 10 Bold 3.7% VICELAND 2.6%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 3.0% GEM 2.5% 10 Peach 2.5% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.8% 7flix 1.9% 9Life 2.5%     NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.0%     SBS World Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 17.6%   27.6%   23.9%   21.3%   9.5%

 

TUESDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 11.8% 7 18.0% 9 15.3% WIN 12.8% SBS One 4.4%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 4.4% GO! 1.6% WIN Bold 4.2% VICELAND 2.1%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 6.0% GEM 4.0% WIN Peach 2.1% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.5% 9Life 2.8% Sky News  on WIN 2.5% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 0.6%
TOTAL 16.6%   29.9%   23.7%   21.6%   8.1%

 

TUESDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
88.4% 11.6%
TUESDAY FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,166,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,102,000
  3. Nine News Nine 1,027,000
  4. MasterChef Australia 10 957,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 945,000
  6. ABC News ABC 792,000
  7. Big Brother – Eviction Seven 739,000
  8. Big Brother Seven 713,000
  9. A Current Affair Nine 707,000
  10. The Chase Australia Seven 682,000
  11. Home And Away Seven 675,000
  12. 7.30 ABC 643,000
  13. Hot Seat Nine 571,000
  14. The Project 7pm 10 541,000
  15. Foreign Correspondent ABC 516,000
  16. Paramedics Nine 486,000
  17. Australia’s Ocean Odyssey ABC 429,000
  18. How To Stay Married 10 423,000
  19. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 418,000
  20. 10 News First 10 374,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 300,000
  2. Big Brother – Eviction Seven 223,000
  3. Big Brother Seven 214,000
  4. How To Stay Married 10 139,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 137,000

 

18-49 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 462,000
  2. Big Brother – Eviction Seven 371,000
  3. Big Brother Seven 353,000
  4. Seven News Seven 250,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 246,000

 

25-54 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 499,000
  2. Big Brother – Eviction Seven 397,000
  3. Big Brother Seven 377,000
  4. Seven News Seven 331,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 329,000
TUESDAY Multichannel
  1. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 184,000
  2. Outback Truckers PM 7mate 156,000
  3. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 152,000
  4. Neighbours 10 Peach 136,000
  5. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  6. CSI: Miami (R) 10 Bold 133,000
  7. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  8. Luo Bao Bei ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  9. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  10. Little J And Big Cuz AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  11. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 124,000
  12. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 124,000
  13. Would I Lie To You? ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  14. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  15. Nella The Princess Knight PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  16. Thomas And Friends PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  17. Rosemary & Thyme PM 7TWO 117,000
  18. Escape To The Chateau 9Life 117,000
  19. Spicks And Specks Ep 2 ABCKIDS/COMEDY 115,000
  20. Catie’s Amazing Machines ABCKIDS/COMEDY 110,000
TUESDAY STV
  1. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 93,000
  2. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 71,000
  3. Chris Smith Tonight Sky News Live 60,000
  4. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 56,000
  5. Credlin Sky News Live 54,000
  6. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 50,000
  7. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 47,000
  8. PML Later Sky News Live 47,000
  9. Blue’s Clues & You Nick Jr. 43,000
  10. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 43,000
  11. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 41,000
  12. Top Wing Nick Jr. 40,000
  13. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 37,000
  14. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 36,000
  15. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 36,000
  16. Top Wing Nick Jr. 34,000
  17. Ready Set Dance Nick Jr. 34,000
  18. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 33,000
  19. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 33,000
  20. Abby Hatcher Nick Jr. 32,000

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

ABC board elects to take 10% pay cut amid economic slump

Board members at the ABC have elected to take a 10% pay cut over the next six months in recognition of the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus, which has sparked mass unemployment and cut a swathe through commercial media, reports Guardian Australia’s Katharine Murphy.

With the ABC poised on Wednesday to unveil its five-year strategic plan taking account of government budget cuts, Guardian Australia understands the board wrote to the Remuneration Tribunal and received its consent to cut fees by 10% for six months from July to December this year.

Board fees at the broadcaster range between $126,928 and $47,821, according to the ABC’s annual report.

The board’s move follows a decision by David Anderson, the ABC’s managing director, to take a 5% salary cut. Anderson told a staff meeting in mid-May that senior executives would forgo their bonuses and “at-risk” payments this financial year because of the Covid-19 crisis.

[Read more]

ABC 'Life' unit in focus as MD Anderson prepares to unveil budget cuts

The ABC’s online lifestyle platform will be overhauled under a five-year strategic plan to be announced on Wednesday aimed at cutting costs and adapting the national broadcaster to a funding freeze imposed by the Morrison government, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios and Nick Bonyhady.

Managing director David Anderson will announce the long-anticipated plan to staff at midday in what will be his most significant announcement since he took over the top job from Michelle Guthrie in September 2018. The “Five Year Plan” is expected to include up to 250 job cuts across the organisation and change various departments including its product and content technology division and the ABC Life website.

High-level executives were briefed about budget changes on Tuesday afternoon but ABC sources said rank and file staff would not be informed of specific cuts until after Anderson’s online briefing. One ABC source assured that no changes would be made to the public broadcaster’s regional and rural newsrooms, which were praised for last summer’s coverage of the bushfire crisis.

[Read more]

From police beat to Stuff owner: Sinead Boucher, NZ's newest media mogul

When Sinead Boucher started out in journalism her editors weren’t too bothered if she filed a story each day. Such was the number of journalists on the payroll at The Press in Christchurch, and such was the money fuelling the industry, reports Guardian Australia’s New Zealand correspondent Eleanor Ainge Roy.

Fast-forward 28 years and the paper, like all other Stuff mastheads, teeters on the verge of viability, and the brand has been involved in an ugly buyout process, shedding regional staff, scaling back original content and homogenising under the brand name in an attempt to survive the print media crisis.

“Some of those times [during the buyout process] were probably some of the lowest times I have had during my career,” says Boucher, Stuff’s new chief executive.

Stuff is New Zealand’s biggest media website, prints many of the nation’s daily newspapers, and employs about 900 staff, including 400 journalists. Staff agreed to 15% pay cuts in April during the national coronavirus shutdown

It was in the charged environment of the coronavirus lockdown – with the government announcing a media rescue package and Bauer closing some of the country’s most respected and iconic magazines – that Boucher, 49, reached out to Australia’s Nine, offering to buy Stuff for NZ$1.

She now has plans for a staff ownership model and a charter for editorial independence, although she says she has not yet decided what the exact model would look like. Plans for a merger with another company or laying off staff are off the table.

[Read more]

Rob Stott promoted as Tim Duggan steps back from Junkee role

Junkee Media publisher and co-founder Tim Duggan will be taking a step back from the publisher in October this year, becoming editor-at-large after 14 years at the helm of the leading youth brand.

The move will see current managing editor Rob Stott (pictured), who has been with the company for three years, promoted to editorial director to lead the written and video output across both Junkee Media and content for parent company oOh!media. A new managing editor will be hired to replace Stott.

Duggan decided to step back from the business he formed with Neil Ackland to enable him to spend more time writing, travelling and developing other projects. His first non-fiction book, Cult Status: How to Build a Business People Adore, will be published on 2 July.

Duggan said that the last decade and a half had marked a special time in his career.

“I’m so proud of everything we’ve been able to build with Junkee Media – the team, the stories we’ve told, the content we’ve produced and the people we’ve reached,” Duggan said.

“Being an integral part of oOh!media for the last four years has also taught me so much, and I’m eternally grateful to Brendon Cook and the oOh! family for helping us grow and thrive.

“I’m also grateful to Neil Ackland, my business partner and CEO, who I’ve worked with every single day since co-founding a website with him in 2006 that somehow evolved into the beautiful beast that is Junkee Media now.

“It feels right to be finishing up full-time at Junkee when it’s in such a good place with a talented team and we’re starting to see business optimism returning, and look forward to still being involved in the company as editor-at-large.”

Neil Ackland, oOh!’s chief content, marketing & creative officer, said Duggan had been an integral part of the evolution of Junkee Media and that his influence would continue in his new role.

“Tim has made an outstanding contribution to Junkee. There is no way we would be where we are today without him, and we’re eternally grateful for what he’s done for the Junkee brand. We’re glad that he’ll still be playing a role in the business and wish him all the best in his new adventures,” Ackland said.

“We’re excited to have Rob step up to add a new dimension to the editorial side of the business, which comes at a time when we have so many exciting projects on the horizon, such as the relaunch of our AWOL travel and lifestyle site.”

Float hopeful Ai-Media pitches corporate work, offshore growth

In a throwback to the pre COVID-19 era, initial public offering Ai-Media has spent the past few days in front of fund managers outlining its business and proposed path to the ASX boards, reports Street Talk in The AFR.

Fundies reckon the presentation (or phone call) was typically light on financial details. AI-Media management reiterated its $32 million revenue number, recorded across the first 10 months of the 2020 financial year, and talked about double-digit topline growth.

It said COVID-19 had presented an opportunity and a curse. While AI-Media’s work captioning and translating live events – sporting games, conference and the like – dried up overnight, corporate clients needed captioning and translation services for their round the clock online meetings.

Funds were told the business’ shareholders included former Austar and Foxtel executive Deanne Weir (who doubles as chairman), chief executive and co-founder Tony Abrahams, and a host of other investors brought in during recent funding rounds.

[Read more]

See also: Ai-Media expanding with US acquisition, closes fundraising round

Gerard Max’s Melbourne media boutique bought by global agency

Global marketing agency Hearts & Science has signed on the dotted line to snap up a Melbourne boutique and bolster its outpost Down Under, reports Street Talk in The AFR.

The Omnicom Media Group-owned Hearts & Science has acquired ex-Nine sales director Gerard Max‘s boutique agency Max & Partners, with Max set to join Hearts & Science as a managing partner out of its Melbourne office from this month.

Max is expected to bring key clients – including online retailer Catch, Maserati Melbourne, sports equipment business Mizuno and milk powder outfit Nature One Dairy – across to Hearts & Science alongside him and his team.

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Radio

ARN breakfast host acquires incredible $11m residence

Superstar radio host Jackie O’s search for a new home during COVID-19 is over, with her snap purchase of an incredible home in Woollahra for $11 million, reports News Corp’s Stephen Nicholls.

It’s the Nick Tobias-designed four-bedroom, three-bathroom residence with double garage overlooking Cooper Park – owned by high-profile stockbroker Angus Aitken and his wife Sarah – that hit realestate.com.au on Friday.

The sales agent, Ben Collier of the Agency – who had the plum listing exclusively – had a guide of above $10 million. But my sources say it’s fetched $1 million more. It’s been up online for just three days but buyers have been shown through the home over the past few weeks.

When contacted, Collier said he couldn’t confirm the identity of the buyer or the purchase price due to a confidentiality agreement. But multiple sources have confirmed that the popular “Kyle and Jackie O” co-host won the keys and revealed what she paid.

Rubinstein refused to comment when contacted this morning, but it makes sense he was involved since he was the agent that did the deal on the Vaucluse home she shared with former husband Lee Henderson.

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Television

Ryan Phelan domestic violence charges: Girlfriend Chelsea ‘devastated’

Ryan Phelan’s girlfriend says she is “completely devastated” after the former Channel 7 host was charged with domestic violence offences against her, report News Corp’s Mark Morri, Jonathon Moran and Karlie Rutherford.

Phelan agreed to be interviewed by detectives and presented himself at Manly Police Station yesterday before being charged with assault occasioning bodily harm against his live-in partner Chelsea Franklin on Saturday night.

“I am completely devastated. I’m heartbroken,” the ballet teacher told The Daily Telegraph. “He was my best friend and lover. We have had an amazing wonderful relationship so I hope he is okay.”

In a bold move, Phelan’s co-host Sally Obermeder, dressed in white, opened Tuesday’s show by acknowledging the former TV host’s charges.

“Before we go on I want to take the opportunity to address Ryan Phelan’s absence from the program. Ryan will not be returning to The Daily Edition due to the serious allegations that have being made against him,” she said.

“The network was unaware of these allegations until notified last night. We are all understandably shocked by the situation but as the matter is now before the courts, we won’t be commenting further.”

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Sports Media

COVID-safe: AFLW to remain untouched from cost cutting

The national women’s competition will be spared from the AFL’s dramatic cost-cutting with the league’s commission determined to plough ahead with plans to grow AFLW despite the toll of the coronavirus, reports The Age’s Daniel Cherny.

While this year’s AFLW season was cut short – before a premiership had been won – because of COVID-19, the AFL confirmed late on Tuesday afternoon that the women’s league would restart as scheduled next February with a nine-round home and away season and three weeks of finals, as enshrined in the AFLW collective bargaining agreement, signed after weeks of acrimony last October.

“It is the commission’s view that it is critical at this juncture to provide clarity to the AFLW clubs and players by demonstrating our ongoing commitment to women’s football and the NAB AFLW competition,’ AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said.

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