By James Manning
The Big Brother format is following TV executive Andrew Backwell around the networks. He oversaw the show during his time at Nine as head of programming and production and he’s now about to see the season launch on Seven where he has been director of production for over 12 months.
The format’s debut on Seven signals the start of Seven’s push into the back half of 2020 and the arrival of new content after returning series My Kitchen Rules and House Rules have led the charge so far this year.
Backwell told Mediaweek he was very much part of the commissioning process for the Big Brother which is about to air on its third network in Australia, with Seven CEO James Warburton making the final decision.
“James very much sees the value in having what we call a big super-brand, one of the biggest reality shows ever,” Backwell told Mediaweek.
So why did Nine let it go several years ago? “At Nine we commissioned it to change the demographic profile of the network. Big Brother did that very successfully.
“That’s one of the reasons we have commissioned it at Seven too. It is very rich demographically and gets a lot of younger viewers.
“Traditionally it was a 16-39-year-old skewing show. What we have done is to make it a 25-54-year-old show. There are a number of things we have done with the format to pitch it to that audience. Part of it is the casting and part of it is the way we have made the show. In former versions when it was younger you would have people sitting around the pool chatting about nothing. Now the whole show moves along at a much quicker pace. Pre-recording gives us control over what goes to air.
“On every single episode there is now a big challenge, a nomination and then an elimination.”
Backwell said today’s TV audience wouldn’t accept a program like Big Brother used to be. “People consume TV much faster and they like it to be much slicker. Endemol Shine has done a fantastic job reinventing the format. It is still Big Brother, but it offers much more than it ever has.”
Endemol Shine were part-way through the shoot for Seven when social distancing laws came into force. But it didn’t slow things down for long. “Production stopped for a few days before we started with social distancing regulations in place for the crew.”
For the cast it wasn’t really an issue. “Because they went into the house before any lockdown they were ok. Being completely isolated in the Big Brother house was probably one of the safest places in Australia. We had to be a lot more careful with the crew coming in and out of the control room rather than the contestants in the house.”
A key attraction on the new Big Brother for Seven is Endemol Shine executive producer Amelia Fisk who is also the EP of Australian Survivor. “She has worked in the UK on Big Brother,” said Backwell. “She knows and loves the format. When Endemol Shine pitched the project she was attached to it. What we liked about her was her understanding of Big Brother, her love for the format and that she had made Survivor. She did a great job on Survivor which looked very slick. We wanted her to bring those production values to Big Brother along with her understanding of Big Brother and what the audience expect from the show. That was one of the reasons we decided to commission it.”
Each episode of Big Brother now takes place over several days with Endemol Shine being able to control the storytelling and the pace.
Backwell’s tip to housemates is not to overthink it. “There is a lot of gameplay, but you really need to be yourself.” Backwell said there could be some twists with how the money is won. “The whole amount will be given away, but not necessarily at the end of the show.”
“Sonia Kruger is an absolute star,” said Backwell about Kruger who was also the host of Big Brother when he oversaw the format for Nine. “It is the perfect format for her and we are so impressed with her performance. Sonia understands that audience tastes have changed over the years. One of the things that have changed in reality TV is that production values are very high and the storytelling is very slick.”
The voice of Big Brother is not (yet) a celebrity. Backwell told Mediaweek it was a voice-over artist secured by Endemol Shine.
Will more “regular” contestants mean fewer former housemates looking for breakfast radio jobs next year? “We have tried to cast it with a cross-section of society. The common factor is they are all competitive and they want to win Big Brother, they are not there to get Instagram followers.”
Network FTA primetime is now mostly all about wholesome values with nothing too edgy going to air. “We have been very careful to make this a family show,” said Backwell. “There is nothing we will broadcast that would stop viewers watching it with their children. That is one of the advantages of having a pre-recorded season.”
Sunrise will be live from 5.30 am Monday from the Big Brother house for a special extended edition to mark the beginning of Big Brother Week on the breakfast programme.
Sunrise executive producer, Michael Pell said: “Sunrise will have exclusive access to the all-new house just hours ahead of the highly-anticipated launch of Big Brother 2020 on Seven.”
The Sunrise hosts will face-off in their own nomination challenge plus viewers will meet new Housemates in their first-ever television interviews as well as hear from some former show favourites. Big Brother Host Sonia Kruger will be live from the house with her final insights ahead of the premiere.
Samantha Armytage said: “ Being watched 24 hours a day is my worst nightmare. But I’m up for whatever epic challenge Big Brother has in store!”.
David Koch said: “When you host breakfast TV it’s important the team gets on well given the early starts… But spending time together in the Big Brother house? I don’t know about that. It’s certainly going to be interesting to say the least!”
Big Brother Australia 2020:
• More than 53,000 people applied
• There are 65 cameras in the house including GoPros and purpose built set cameras
• The house features sustainable plantation timber and LED lighting to reduce energy consumption, and they were repurposed from other sets
• Water savers include shower time limits and rainwater toilets
• Over 100 crew worked on the series
• Over 100 crew worked on the series
• 2019 marked 20 years since the show first aired in the Netherlands; since then, 480 series have aired across 62 markets producing more than 28,000 episodes
• This is the 12th season of Big Brother in Australia
Join Sunrise live from the Big Brother house from 5.30 am Monday for Big Brother Week on 7 and 7plus. Then settle in for the premiere of Big Brother 7.30pm Monday on 7 and 7plus.
On Monday this week he revealed a restructuring of the women’s lifestyle portfolio which includes the closure of whimn.com.au and the merger of two major Sunday print products.
In an email to staff on Monday, Skimin explained:
The new News Women’s Network will position us to be more focused on growing our brands which are number one in key categories:
• body+soul – number 1 in health, fitness and nutrition
• Kidspot.com.au – number 1 in parenting
• Stellar – Australia’s most read Sunday magazine
• news.com.au/lifestyle – number 1 in family and lifestyle
As part of this strategic direction, Kate de Brito and Sarrah Le Marquand will assume expanded leadership roles in the News Women’s Network.
Kate de Brito, editor-in-chief of our market-leading news site news.com.au which now reaches more than 12 million Australians, will expand her role to oversee the editorial direction of Kidspot.com.au. Kate will report to Michael Miller.
Sarrah Le Marquand will become editor-in-chief of our influential Sunday brands body+soul and Stellar, with responsibility also for bodyandsoul.com.au. She will oversee the development of an all-new combined magazine featuring both brands which will launch on Sunday 5 July. Sarrah will report to National Weekend Editor Mick Carroll.
This move will create a premium weekend women’s product, for the first time, across all our major markets of NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, and enable us to have a co-ordinated, compelling content offering for readers and importantly, advertisers.
As a result of these initiatives giving us a simpler, more growth focused structure, whimn.com.au will cease publication on June 30 and its relevant content will then be housed on bodyandsoul.com.au. I would like to acknowledge the whimn.com.au team who have delivered an engaging product over the past three years in a competitive environment and thank them for their dedication and professionalism.
The changes we are making today will be significant for how we position these titles for growth to meet consumer needs and ensure we are less complex for clients to leverage.
Operating as the one News Women’s Network will enable us to better collaborate to create brilliant storytelling that resonates with consumers and their lifestyles, while also developing advertising and custom marketing solutions using our data insights to ensure advertisers and clients are connected with the right consumer demographics for their products and services.
Nielsen Digital Content Ratings reported six of the top 10 online news mastheads maintained audiences over 10 million during April 2020.
Furthermore, average time was up 33% and 46% compared with Jan 2020 and Feb 2020 respectively.
ABC News Websites retained top rank for the fourth consecutive month.
Daily Mail Australia jumped up the rankings from fifth position to take second place – the highest ranking for the masthead to-date.
Nine.com.au also made a jump in ranks, moving from sixth position to third.
Whilst the total time spent in the Current Events and Global News sub-category has gone down month-on-month, audiences are still spending significantly more time on news sites then they did earlier this year.
Both 7News and The Guardian dropped a rank each this month – to fourth and fifth position consecutively – though both recorded their second highest monthly unique audiences.
News.com.au dropped to sixth place, while Smh.com.au maintained its rank at seventh place. The Age overtook Australian Community Media Network to take the eighth spot and Yahoo! Moved back into the rankings to round out the top ten.
Off the back of a record breaking month in March for audiences to online news content, Nielsen’s data reports a decrease in audiences in the month of April across the top 10 news publishers. However, audiences are still substantially high, with many of these mastheads reporting their second highest audience figures ever in this latest month.
The International News Media Association (INMA) has announced first-place winners in the 2020 Global Media Awards competition, with the grand prize presented to the collective work of news media companies in their inspirational response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Because the COVID-19 crisis caused the cancellation of INMA’s World Congress of News Media in Paris, today’s announcement was broadcast globally on multiple channels. Jamaican TV host Terri-Karelle Reid hosted the awards announcement, with commentary from Chrissy Towle of the Google News Initiative and Earl Wilkinson of INMA.
The INMA Global Media Awards competition rewards innovation and excellence in growing audience, brand, and revenue.
From the competition’s 922 entries from 262 news brands in 44 countries, Global Media Awards were announced for news media companies from five continents – with the most emotional moments coming from the responses to the coronavirus and its economic impacts. From 185 finalists, 32 were selected first-place recipients.
Due to the “trust, innovation, and agility” demonstrated by the news media industry in the unprecedented response to COVID-19, INMA chose to honour the collective outreach of media companies than any one company or campaign. While the competition deadline was late January, INMA re-opened the competition with a bonus pandemic response category in April.
Ten regional “Best of Show” winners, selected by judges from first-place recipients, saw New Zealand publishers dominate the Asia/Pacific region:
Best in Asia/Pacific, Regional/Local Brands: The Press/Stuff, New Zealand, for “Christchurch Mosque Shooting Coverage”
Best in Asia/Pacific, Global/National Brands: NZME, New Zealand, for “The People Programme”
The following awards were won by publishers in Australia:
Best New Technology or Digital Product
First Place: Nine, Australia, “Efficiency in Complex Newsrooms”
Best New Digital Subscription Initiative or Concept
Group 1 Third Place: News Corp, Australia, “Digital Subscription Gold in the Aussie Outback”
Best Idea to Acquire or Retain Advertising Clients
Second Place: News Corp, Australia, “Come Together 2019”
Best Execution of Native Advertising
Second Place: News Corp, Australia, “Biz Cover”
Third Place: Australian Community Media, Australia, “Coopers Couch Series”
Second Place: News Corp, Australia, “Stopping Australia’s Worst Serial Killer”
Top Photo: INMA Awards host Terri-Karelle Reid
Nova 100’s Chrissie, Sam & Browny celebrated Jonathan ‘Browny’ Brown’s induction into the AFL Hall of Fame last night, with a special show dedicated to the Brisbane Lions great.
To celebrate this moment they spoke to a number of special guests including Brisbane Lion’s Leigh Matthews, fellow inductee Simon Black, AFL CEO Gill McLachlan and a special montage from his family.
Browny discussed how it was a very different Hall of Fame this year as he watched the show from home with his kids. Browny said, “I felt very privileged and reflective of how lucky I have been in my career and my life.”
Browny discussed thanking his dad for igniting his passion for football. He got emotional talking about thanking his dad and the childhood memories that fuelled his fire to become the legend that he is. He talked about how his dad still is his hero.
Chrissie, Sam & Browny chatted to Browny’s former teammate Simon Black, who was also inducted into the Hall of Fame last night. They asked how he is going to celebrate today and he discussed it will be low key as his two and half year old daughter is dominating the house at the moment –
AFL CEO Gillion McLachlan called in to congratulate Browny. Gill confirmed that once restrictions are lifted they would do a proper event next year. Browny thanked him for the incredible job he is doing in protecting the AFL during this difficult time. AFL legend, former Brisbane Lions coach and 3AW and Seven commentator Leigh Matthews was a surprise guest on the show.
Brown’s Nova 100 breakfast colleagues paid their co-host a tribute in different ways. Chrissie Swan played a stunning version of Amazing Grace from The Voice last night. Sam Pang complained how Brown had sabotaged their mid-week program that was all about him. “Is there anything else happening in the world today?” Deano dedicated a Dojo Cat from their playlist!
Pang later quipped: “You retired in 2014 and stopped playing in 2012.”
At the end of the show a tearful Brown, who had just listened to recordings of his children talking about their dad, thanked his colleagues at Nova for their love today. “You are all beautiful people,” he said.
JCDecaux announced it is partnering with SCA to help extend its Shop Local audio campaign into the out-of-home environment with dynamic feeds and localised content across its digital street furniture network.
The activity with SCA brings the Shop Local campaign to life when people are out and about, with the voiced ads from Triple M and Hit radio shows featuring as a dynamic, API geo-targeted feed on the digital network across five capital cities. The feed will feature the station name, the local business name and its location, ensuring that audiences within specific suburbs receive content on local businesses in their local communities.
JCDecaux chief marketing officer Essie Wake said: “This unique campaign perfectly extends the SCA Shop Local project to the streets where people are now out and about. Our digital street furniture network provides a highly relevant opportunity for audiences to engage with and support impacted businesses at a local level to help them get back on their feet.
“JCDecaux connects organisations with communities, whether they are in the hearts of cities or deep in the suburbs. A number of research studies have shown that people want to shop more locally and support local businesses during and after the pandemic, and JCDecaux will amplify SCA’s Shop Local campaign and deliver the radio shout-outs directly to those local areas.”
SCA senior media manager Georgi Oats said: “We are so thrilled and thankful to work with JCDecaux to extend our Shop Local campaign in such an engaging and relevant way. Out-of-Home complements our radio campaign perfectly, given our localised approach. Now more than ever we need to support local businesses across Australia.”
SCA’s national campaign that launched last month, encourages communities to come together and support local businesses by shopping local. Shop Local is the largest ever national and locally voiced SCA campaign, with more than $1 million of SCA’s owned media invested in the campaign.
The JCDecaux Out-of-Home Shop Local campaign launched on 2 June nationally.
Generation Z are not who you think they are, a major research study commissioned by Bauer Media has revealed.
They push boundaries but take care to be playful, considered and less radical than previous generations. They are playing off script and brands need to understand this to effectively communicate with this audience.
Here are details of the findings as released by Bauer:
Gen Z are more grounded, pragmatic and interested in being ‘average’ than many people trying to engage or connect with them realise. The group of 14-24-year-olds – who represent 3.4 million Australians – prioritise ordinariness over individualism and ambition, with community ties and enduring relationships paramount. While they have an entrepreneurial appetite, they also have modest financial goals and grounded aspirations.
These unexpected findings form Bauer’s latest thought-leadership research, OFFSCRIPT. Commissioned using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to understand the thoughts, feelings and social media behaviours of Gen Z, it identifies the group’s emotional signature and how advertisers can tap into it.
The research used sophisticated AI semiotics to analyse more than 2,000 Instagram posts to discover and classify the underlying clusters of themes that connect this generation. This methodology was supplemented with qualitative research and manual semiotic analysis to provide context.
Despite there being many permissible identities and behaviours for Gen Z – with no clear ‘lanes’ – the study revealed four broad scripts that brands can tap into to connect with the Gen Z audience, with detailed executional guidelines.
The primary four scripts are:
• Celebrating the average – This is the primary script and is a celebration of the average; a representation of the real values and vulnerabilities that drive deep connections.
• Radical artistry – They push boundaries by provoking in a playful and gentler way than you would associate with other generations that are more strident.
• Intelligent play – Creativity is used as a way of dealing with uncertainty for Gen Z, finding purpose and creating communities through witty (often political) content or experimental design.
• Go easy – They relish moments and places that are natural and untainted, getting away from the urban grind and the pressure of everyday life to feel free through travel and outdoors.
Bauer noted it reaches 1,562,000* Gen Zers with brands including Girlfriend, ELLE, Who, InStyle, Marie Claire, BeautyCrew and Syrup. They are one of the top publishers uniquely reaching women aged 14-24 years, via social, print, digital and experiences.
Anna Preston, head of strategy at Bauer Media said: “It was great to partner again with the leading research agency, The Lab, to apply this ground-breaking methodology to uncover the emotional signature. We have never seen a generation like this one before. They are less rebellious than those which preceded them. They are also more thoughtful about how they chose to live and the choices they make.
“For advertisers, Gen Z is an opportunity, but also a challenge as it’s clear that a one-size-fits-all approach will not work. Communication needs to be tailored, authentic and engaging in order to connect with them and through this study we now have a clearer understanding of the best way to achieve that.”
The research findings were integral to shaping Bauer’s newest Gen Z product, Syrup – a digitally-led fashion, beauty and culture brand launched earlier this year that targets 16-22-year-olds who are still discovering themselves and where they fit in the world.
Across content pillars including Fashion, Beauty, Love & Sex, Future Focus, Real Life, and News & Politics, the Syrup website features articles, galleries and video content. Social channels such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Snapchat utilise separate and specific content strategies, rather than acting as supporting platforms for the website.
Editor Mahalia Chang said Syrup has a responsibility to give Gen Z the tools they need to take on challenges, a sentiment that informed Syrup’s ‘We Arm The Future’ purpose.
“Whether it’s optimism, positivity, self-love, information or inspiration, Syrup wants to provide this generation with the tools they need,” Chang said. “From questions on identity, sexuality and expression, to even ‘How do I pay my taxes?’, Syrup is a trusted and authentic resource.”
*Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, March 2020 – Print and digital reach and frequency (1 month campaign), AP 14-24
Top Photo: Anna Preston,
By Trent Thomas
Disney+ has continued its domination of the Digital Originals chart with The Mandalorian sitting on top again with either the Disney + original or Star Wars: The Clone Wars occupying #1 on the chart since April 22.
This continues the strong run from Disney + which only launched late last year.
Meanwhile, there is a new #1 on the Overall TV chart as Killing Eve has moved up to #1 this week after concluding its third season on May 31.
The show revolves around the relationship of international spy Eve Polastri from MI6 and international assassin Villanelle as a greater world of interconnectivity begins to unfold.
The show is produced for BBC America and was available to watch in Australia on ABC and iview. The series has already been renewed for a fourth season.
In NZ the DC Original Star Girl has joined the Digital Original charts. The show is based on the DC Comics superhero of the same name. The series stars Brec Bassinger as high school student Courtney Whitmore, who inspires the Justice Society of America with the cosmic staff.
The first season of the show premiered on May 18, 2020, and will consist of 13 episodes. The characters from the series had appeared in the Arrowverse crossover “Crisis on Infinite Earths” in 2019.
The highest rating Australian made show this week is The Voice which premiered its ninth season on May 24 and features returning coaches Delta Goodrem, Boy George, Kelly Rowland and Guy Sebastian. The show has also been a success with Australian TV ratings with the show regularly winning the 7:30 pm time slot.
By James Manning
• Game on at 7.30pm: The Voice narrowly #1 all people
• MasterChef immunity fight wins key demos for 10
• Miriam Margolyes’ hat trick: Final episode wins timeslot
Seven News 1,265,000/1,137,000
Nine News 1,085,000/1,012,000
ABC News 763,000
A Current Affair 762,000
The Project 392,000/588,000
10 News 379,000/326,000
Nine Late News 236,000
News Breakfast 222,000
The Drum 219,000
SBS World News 203,000
Seven: Home and Away dipped from 683,000 Monday to 633,000 last night.
A challenge for charity last night on House Rules didn’t stop the numbers sliding a little from 597,000 on Monday to 455,000 last night. The audience was close to last week’s Tuesday episode though which did 465,000.
Nine: After A Current Affair began its week on 859,000 the Tuesday episode recorded an audience of 762,000.
The coaches were tough last night on The Voice with former Australian Idol winner Natalie Gauci nearly departing the program in the Blind Auditions. She was saved at the last moment though and was one of four singers chosen for the next round last night. The episode did 926,000, narrowly outrating MasterChef with what was the smallest Voice audience so far this season.
The second part of Whitney: Can I Be Me? did 360,000 after launching with 402,000.
10: The producers are drawing out the chance for immunity this week with a series of heats which will culminate with an immunity cook. The small group challenges are revealing great skills though as the series slowly gets closer to a top 10. The Tuesday episode nearly knocked off The Voice all people and was leading in the timeslot and the night in key demos and under 50. Khanh won last night’s heat as the final four compete tonight for a place in Thursday’s cook off. The audience of 922,000 was close to last Tuesday’s 920,000.
How to Stay Married then did 428,000 with a guest role for Judith Lucy. The audience was up from 401,000 a week ago.
ABC: The final episode of the all-too-short series Miriam Margolyses Almost Australian was labelled The Lucky Country with the host finding herself heading to the Gulf of Carpentaria. The series ended on 571,000, easily winning its timeslot again. The first two episodes had audiences of 573,000 and 567,000.
SBS: Cameron Daddo was the subject of Who Do You Think You Are? with Daddo travelling to the Channel Islands to track his ancestors. The episode was on 319,000.
Later in the night Insight did 218,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.4%||7TWO||2.8%||GO!||2.5%||10 Bold||3.7%||VICELAND||1.2%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||3.2%||GEM||2.4%||10 Peach||2.2%||Food Net||1.3%|
|9Rush||1.2%||SBS World Movies||0.4%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.6%||7TWO||3.9%||GO!||2.4%||WIN Bold||3.8%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||0.9%||7mate||4.9%||GEM||3.6%||WIN Peach||2.0%||Food Net||0.8%|
|ABC NEWS||1.0%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.4%||9Life||2.1%||Sky News on WIN||2.7%||NITV||0.1%|
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
The Australian embassy in Washington DC has reached out to the US State Department after a Network Seven reporter and cameraman were beaten by police outside the White House, reports AAP’s Peter Mitchell.
Australian Ambassador to the US Arthur Sinodinos said on Tuesday he was “aware of the treatment” inflicted on Seven reporter Amelia Brace and cameraman Tim Myers.
Brace was clubbed with a truncheon and Myers hit with a riot shield while covering peaceful protests in Washington DC’s Lafayette Square on Monday.
The beatings happened when police and National Guard units aggressively cleared the square to allow US President Donald Trump to pose for photos outside a church holding a bible.
Brace and Myers were shot with rubber bullets and struggled to breathe after tear gas was fired at the crowd.
Brace said they were “pretty bruised, but okay”.
Seven’s director of news and public affairs Craig McPherson described the police actions as “nothing short of wanton thuggery”.
News Corp also reports:
Seven’s Network Director of News and Public Affairs Craig McPherson issued a statement saying the attack was “wanton thuggery”.
“The attack on our reporter and cameraman in Washington today is nothing short of wanton thuggery,” he said.
“They weren’t in anyone’s way just simply doing their job.
“To be belted with an armoured shield and then our reporter cop a truncheon in the back is abhorrent.
“The Prime Minister has informed us he’s been in touch with our embassy in Washington to have the matter urgently investigated. We are making our own complaints through the appropriate channels.”
Ben Roberts-Smith was involved in seven unlawful killings as an Australian soldier in Afghanistan, including the ‘‘blooding’’ of a junior soldier by ordering him to kill an unarmed man, fresh witness statements allege, reports The Age’s Adam Cooper.
Roberts-Smith, a Victoria Cross recipient and former Special Air Service soldier, is suing The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald over reports he allegedly committed murder on overseas deployments. He denies the allegations and says the news reports are defamatory because they portray him as a war criminal.
The newspapers are defending the claim. A trial was to start in the Federal Court this month but has been adjourned because of social-distancing restrictions arising from the coronavirus crisis.
In an application to amend its defence, lawyers for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald have lodged with the court new allegations Roberts-Smith was involved in two more unlawful deaths in Afghanistan in 2012.
Bianca Shugg (pictured) has been appointed as the group general manager – digital for the Grant Broadcasters Group and will be overseeing a restructure of the company’s digital capabilities.
Shugg joined Grant Broadcasters in January after nearly four years at Southern Cross Austereo.
The existing digital resources will be re-formed under a digital leadership group constructed of Group Online Content, Digital Production – Sparx, Network Websites & Development and Digital AdOps.
Announcing the restructure this week Grant Broadcasters’ CEO Alison Cameron said: “We are very excited about what the future holds for our newly aligned team and how we can work more effectively with content, sales and management to increase our digital footprint.
“Bianca and the digital leadership team are currently working on the mechanics of restructure, with particular focus on the product suites, workflows and processes.”
Shugg said: “We have an incredibly strong digital resource here at Grant Broadcasters and the restructure will bring extra focus on collaboration across teams and utilize the strengths of all digital members to increase our output both internally and externally.
“We have already launched a number of initiatives from helping clients through the challenges of a COVID 19 crisis by offering a simple and cost-effective local e-commerce solution to a total redesign and platform change to our 60+ station websites.
“The combined strength of radio and online is well known to savvy local advertisers and we will be able to extend this message across all our local markets.”
Shugg will report directly into Alison Cameron and the new structure will take effect from 1st July, 2020.
Times Radio has secured a number of high-profile journalists to present on the new digital radio station, which launches in June 2020, reports Press Gazette.
The station is part of Rupert Murdoch’s News UK, which also owns Talksport, Talkradio and Virgin Radio under its Wireless subsidiary.
It promises “provocative and well-informed” news and current affairs analysis, with no listener phone-ins nor the “old fashioned adversarial approach” to interviews seen elsewhere.
There will be no ad breaks, with sponsorship deals creating revenue instead.
One of the presenters familiar to Australian TV viewers is former UK Defence Secretary and TV presenter Michael Portillo will present a weekly Friday evening show looking at cultural highlights for the weekend ahead, showcasing the best of Times journalism, and reviewing the week in politics.
Portillo said: “My aim is to produce an entertaining and informative show that will engage listeners.”
Filmmaker Dylan River (The Beach, Mystery Road) tells TV Tonight he was adamant about not doing a second season with his young cast, but with the acclaim for the series he is working on a prequel.
“I’m looking for new stories but recently I’ve come to a bit of a realisation of where I can take the Robbie Hood story,” he said.
“It’ll be set in the 1980s and it’s going to be about Robbie’s mum, Robyn. So we’re just in the very early stages of development. But it’s very exciting and hopefully we’ll put that into production next year.”
The project is in development for SBS but River says he is exploring plans to expand his horizons to a much bigger scale.
“We made Robbie Hood on the smell of an oily rag,” he continues.
The NRL will block Telstra from streaming rugby league matches from 2023 as the governing body attempts to strike a five-year broadcast extension with Nine Entertainment Co, report The Sydney Moring Herald’s Zoe Samios and Michael Chammas.
The decision has upset Telstra, the naming-rights partner until 2022, but the code argues protecting the streaming rights will mark up its value when it returns to the negotiating table with Nine as early as next month.
Foxtel, in which Telstra has a 35 per cent stake, currently sells the streaming rights to the telco provider as part of a five-year $100 million deal. But under the NRL’s extended Foxtel contract, secured last week, the pay-TV operator is prohibited from on-selling in the 2023-2027 cycle.
The Foxtel extension, said by sources to be worth about $1 billion, allows subscription service Kayo to stream all eight matches. Should Nine, owner of this masthead, also agree to an extension until 2027, all games will be available through the television channel and 9Now streaming app. Telstra customers can currently access games for free through the NRL app and Telstra Live Pass.
Formula 1 has confirmed the 2020 season will begin in Austria next month – and revealed details on the first eight races of a new calendar. There is no indication of plans for a rescheduled Australian Grand Prix though as F1 announced double-headers for Austria and the UK.
Subscribers to Fox Sports and Kayo will be able to watch the season restart in the first week of July.
After racing was put on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak, F1, the teams and the FIA have been working to put together a plan to allow the season to begin safely, and today F1 chief executive Chase Carey outlined the first part of a revised calendar of races.
The season will kick off with the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring on July 5, followed a week later by a second race at the same track.
The Hungarian Grand Prix will follow a week after that, before a break. Then there will be two back to back races at Silverstone, followed by the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona.
The Belgian Grand Prix will follow that, with the Italian Grand Prix at Monza a week later on September 6.
Due to the ongoing fluidity of the COVID-19 situation internationally, F1 will be finalising the details of the wider calendar and hope to publish that in the coming weeks with an expectation of having a total of 15-18 races before completing the season in December.
F1 currently expect the opening races to be closed events but hope fans will be able to attend again when it is safe to do so.
The health and safety of all involved will continue to be priority number one, with Formula 1 and the FIA having a robust and detailed plan to ensure the races maintain the highest level of safety with strict procedures in place.
Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO of Formula 1, said: “In the past weeks we have been working tirelessly with all our partners, the FIA and the teams to create a revised opening 2020 calendar allowing us to restart racing in the safest possible way.
“We are pleased to be able to set out our opening eight race calendar today and look forward to publishing our full calendar in the coming weeks.
“I want to thank every promoter and partner for their support and ongoing commitment to Formula 1.
“While we currently expect the season to commence without fans at our races we hope that over the coming months the situation will allow us to welcome them back once it is safe to do, but we know the return of Formula 1 will be a welcome boost to sports fans around the world.”