By James Manning
Jason Dunstall and his colleagues at Bounce and the Fox Footy channel had a difficult time ending the show for 2019 and then deciding whether to carry on in 2020.
They tragically lost their colleague Danny “Spud” Frawley in September 2019.
Bounce is returning in 2020 on Fox Footy with Dunstall and the rest of the extended team returning this Sunday. Dunstall told Mediaweek they were continuing the show as a tribute to their colleague.
“Spud and I had been there since day one which is about 12 years ago. It is hard when you have lost a great mate. I think his legacy will live on strongly through the course of the show. He would be sitting up there watching us, going ‘You have got to do something.’ We want to do justice to his memory and hopefully the show will help us do that.”
Dunstall said it is impossible to replace Frawley because he was such a unique character. “The future is about the rest of us stepping up and doing a bit more. Certainly Andrew Gaze is going to play a much bigger role in the show. He’s a man that everybody loves. We will have a lot of with him on the show this year.
“Cameron Mooney will also be there as will Bernie Vince and Sharni Layton.
“We will continue to do our challenges and Spud’s Golden Fist will continue to be a big part of the show. Somebody has to continue to support the cause of the defender and we will certainly do that.”
Dunstall added about their netball and AFLW star, “I love Sharni, but only in small doses! She is so comfortable with what she does and being part of the team. She sticks up for herself, and has a great sense of humour.”
Another team member may have to lift a bit, suggested Dunstall talking about Moons – Cameron Mooney. “I always say he could just sit there and take his shirt off and all the women watching would be very, very pleased! He spends the entire of season fine tuning himself in the gym.”
Bounce goes to air after the last game of the round every Sunday – a timeslot that could have some changes this year given the way the AFL might move games around.
“I will just turn up when I’m told to. Hopefully people will still want to wind down at the end of a weekend because there are so many serious shows with discussions and debates about footy. Sometimes it is nice not to have to think and just have a bit of fun.”
Dunstall is again providing special comments on a couple of matches every weekend on Fox Footy in addition to joining the studio team for Thursday or Friday nights.
He enjoys the nights when on duty in the Fox Footy studio hosting a game. “The studio is fun, very relaxed. You get to work closely with some really good people. We have great camera operators and great floor managers and we all have a bit of fun.”
Dunstall will use stats when necessary, but he explained: “Sometimes we worry too much about numbers instead of relying on what we are seeing. It can be good to just talk about what you are seeing, rather than looking at the numbers first and then justifying what they say. There are different ways of looking at games and we all try and bring something new in our comments.”
After giving up radio after the end of the 2018 season, Dunstall is happy to be exclusively on Fox Footy with its talented team. “They are a ripping bunch of people and we all get on very well. There are a few healthy egos, but we tend to keep them in check.”
As to people who Dunstall most enjoys working with, he named another legend from the forward line.
“Nick Riewoldt and I have always got on well. We love doing games together and we have a lot of fun.”
Dunstall doesn’t mind the travel to games when he has to. “Because of Bounce on a Sunday I rarely get to do Perth games.” When he does he has no problem sleeping on the plane on the way home. “I am very good at that!”
Top Photo: Bounce 2020: Bernie Vince, Cameron Mooney, Jason Dunstall, Sharni Layton and Andrew Gaze
• Updated: ARN’s Ciaran Davis on plans for remote broadcasting
In addition to our Thursday feature about the radio industry, Mediaweek has an update from ARN.
On Friday morning the three broadcasters who were working remotely – Amanda Keller, Jackie O and Kyle Sandilands have returned to their studios after news that Christian Wilkins’ test results were negative for COVID-19.
ARN updated Mediaweek that it does have the technology and resources in place that would support all its talent to broadcast remotely if it was required.
The majority of ARN teams are now working from home, except for content teams.
ARN CEO Ciaran Davis told Mediaweek:
“The health and well-being of our people is our number one priority and, in line with up-to-the minute Government advice, we’ve taken measures to reduce risk which includes reducing having the majority of our teams now working from home. This reduces any risk to talent and content teams, who are currently broadcasting both from our studios and remotely, in locations that are the safest places for them.
“ARN’s business continuity plans ensure that across the network, the technology and resources are in place to ensure all staff, including on air talent and content teams, can work from home or at other appropriate locations should it be required. In addition to this, bespoke kits with new equipment have been made for news teams and other announcing teams which can be distributed as needed. This will ensure we can continue to inform and entertain our audiences as this situation continues to evolve. The high level of service all of our teams have always provided to our clients and partners will not be compromised and, other than face-to-face meetings, there will be very little difference in the way they continue interact with ARN.”
As the world grapples with the coronavirus outbreak, radio has a more important role than ever to keep audiences well-informed, said Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner this week.
The comments came as some shows were remote broadcasting from home studios and some staff were in isolation after being tested for the virus.
“Isolation policies, remote working, closures of community meeting places and rapidly changing circumstances mean listeners and businesses will rely on radio for information, entertainment and to stay in touch with breaking news relevant to their local area,” said Warner.
All 260 commercial radio stations around Australia – including 220 in regional areas – have contingency plans and procedures in place to work with emergency and essential services organisations to ensure accurate and timely broadcasts as required.
Warner: “The full impact of the coronavirus on ad spend and the media and marketing industries is uncertain, but what is clear is that it’s essential for governments and businesses to keep communicating with their customers during these challenging times, and radio remains an important and effective channel.”
SCA has asked staff to continue working from their respective offices.
Southern Cross Austereo told Mediaweek it is prepared for any event in the wake of the rapidly changing circumstances of COVID-19. “We have the technical ability and a high level of awareness and training among all our people to either operate in our offices or remotely.”
All staff, including content teams, can work remotely with no interruption to business. “Our Technology Services division has been employing new technologies, software and hardware to meet the challenges of the future. This has resulted in SCA becoming a world class agile media entity able to meet both known and unknown threats to the continuity of our operations.”
All offices remain open and operational at this time.
“SCA has 65 offices across the nation and if any cases do present, we will work with offices on an individual case by case basis. Some offices are in densely populated areas, others are remote, so we will not necessarily adopt one policy for all our operations.
“We are updating our people regularly on any pertinent news and reminding them of personal hygiene best practice. It is a very fluid situation and we remain in close communication with our people and their circumstances. SCA has the ability to make changes quickly and be agile in our thinking.”
Southern Cross Austereo has taken precautionary measures to cancel or postpone all its external listener events nationally.
Southern Cross Austereo has cancelled all non-essential travel to minimise exposure to COVID-19 for its people.
A Nova Entertainment spokesperson told Mediaweek:
“At this stage the majority of our teams (Nova, smoothfm, Fiveaa and Star 104.5) are working from their usual studios but we have the technology, and have been testing this equipment with various announcers over the past few days, to provide us with confidence that they can broadcast from home or an alternative location if need be.
“At this stage Nova 96.9’s Fitzy & Wippa and their team are all broadcasting from their respective homes, a unique situation to broadcast from four locations, while they are awaiting the final results of their tests following close contact with Richard Wilkins who tested positive. The majority of the team have received negative results while we are still waiting on results for a couple of the team.
“Smallzy and his team are experienced at broadcasting remotely, as they travel internationally regularly, so have been using this technology for many years. Smallzy is still broadcasting his night show from the Sydney studios.”
Fitzy & Wippa team update: Executive producer Tommy, plus Fitzy & Sarah got their Coronavirus results back and they were all negative for COVID 19.
Thursday morning both Matt de Groot and Wippa received news of negative test results for Coronavirus.
At the start of the week both the breakfast shows at 2GB and 3AW were working remotely. 3AW’s Ross and John have plenty of experience at broadcasting from Ross Stevenson’s home after he suffered a bad back several years ag and couldn’t make it into the studio. 3AW’s Neil Mitchell has also been operating from a home studio.
Also working remotely in 2GB’s Alan Jones. Drive host Ben Fordham is also working remotely, but it’s not strictly connected with Coronavirus. Fordham is in Melbourne co-hosting filming of the new season of Nine’s Ninja Warrior.
Kyle Sandilands wondered on Monday why the Nine Radio big stars were not in the studio, but he and Jackie O were. “Does nobody care about us,” he asked listeners (and management).
Come Tuesday morning he and Jackie were both broadcasting from their homes. The hosts were in self-isolation while awaiting the results of Christian Wilkins’ test for COVID-19 (he visited them in studio last week). Now that Christian’s test results have come back negative, Kyle and Jackie are expected back in studio Friday.
The program was playing a Best Of show Thursday as Kyle was unwell.
At WSFM, Amanda Keller was broadcasting from home this week, also being cautious after working with Christian Wilkins on TV last Sunday on Dancing with the Stars. Her co-host Brendan Jones explained to listeners he was still in the ARN Macquarie Park studio because he had to operate the panel and put the show to air. “We aren’t as well-resourced as some other shows,” he noted on Tuesday.
At Gold 104.3, the host of Melbourne’s #1 FM breakfast show Christian O’Connell talked about a home set-up ARN techs were putting together in case he needs to broadcast from home in the future.
Top Photo: WSFM’s Brendan Jones in the studio with Amanda Keller at home earlier this week
An oOh!media spokesman has spoken to Mediaweek this morning after its requested the ASX to halt trading in its shares.
The out-of-home advertising business has suffered from market turmoil as many have in recent times. In the past two months its share price has gone from $3.82 to just 84 cents at the close of trade Thursday this week.
The dropping share price hasn’t been helped by the fact that founder and guiding light Brendon Cook announced in late January he would be stepping down as MD and CEO some time in 2020.
A spokesperson told Mediaweek this morning: “The company does not have liquidity issues. oOh enjoys long term relationships with its banking syndicate and facilities do not expire until 2021. As we announced on Monday, first quarter trading was in line with guidance. However near-term visibility is uncertain in unprecedented market conditions.
“For oOh!media it is about ensuring we are managing short term volatility to ensure the business is well-placed to leverage the opportunity when the markets stabilise and recover – and they will recover.
“In the short term it is about talking to our shareholders about managing CAPEX and implementing cost control measures. This is all about maximising our operational and capital structure to meet short term challenges.
“The long term fundamentals for out of home are still positive. Like the rest of the world, and companies in every sector of the economy, the out of home market is undoubtedly being impacted by the coronavirus.
“In the current environment what we are seeing is a change to how advertisers are using out of home. Audiences are still around. While they may not be travelling to the office, or flying domestically and internationally, they are shopping and exercising.
“Brands still have to have a presence to ensure they emerge as strong or even stronger when we all come out of this challenging time.
“For oOh!, less than 3% of our revenue comes from travel-related areas, and we have great support from our banks.”
By Claudia Siron
• Writer, editor and business-woman Katarina Kroslakova spoke to Mediaweek
Writer and editor (and self-confessed lover of luxury), Katarina Kroslakova, works across a range of businesses – including her own – to bring other businesses to life through quality editorial. As the editor of Winning Group’s quarterly neo-luxury lifestyle magazine Winning, the managing director of Primary Ideas, and the editor-in-chief of Il Tridente magazine, Kroslakova maintains a colourful career in the world of affluent magazine brands and lifestyle journalism. Kroslakova spoke to Mediaweek about why she started up Primary Ideas, some recent highlights for Winning, as well as plans for her business after the Easter holidays.
When we asked Kroslakova about how she became a lover of luxury, she said she’s always joked that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. “If I hadn’t found luxury I would’ve been a lot better off financially,” she laughed. “I was a bit of a late discoverer of the luxury world. I now know a lot of people in the creative field and in fashion and architecture and design and motoring, so it’s simply through my network and journalism and through stories on remarkably creative and successful people that I’ve learned to appreciate luxury more and more.
“As I’ve gone through my career and my life, my concept of luxury has changed fundamentally. Having two kids and now having my own business, luxury is now having breakfast without two other sets of little hands!”
Kroslakova started her own company – Primary ideas – just over a year ago and she revealed it’s nothing like what she wanted it to be when she started – it’s completely evolved. She confessed she really missed writing and before starting her company was working in management roles and editing roles, working with budgets and advertising, and so on. “I actually really wanted my main focus to be writing. It started off really well and then two days later I got a magazine to edit and then I got another magazine, and another magazine!”
Kroslakova said about 50% of what they do at Primary Ideas is, in fact, magazines. “We work for lifestyle, business, motoring, finance, to all sorts of sectors. We do custom magazines for people and we’ve got a few new projects coming up this year, which is great. I live and breathe magazines, it’s a huge passion of mine and I’m very lucky to be in it.”
The other half of Primary Ideas is more corporate and they help other businesses with bespoke content, press releases, social, media training, and biographies. “It’s more corporate than the other side of the business. It’s really interesting and we have great teams on board. It keeps us happy and busy!”
Kroslakova told Mediaweek that yes, juggling between the businesses and numerous titles is a lot of work, but because she’s in control of her own destiny and choices, it makes it so much more rewarding. “The stress and the pressures I have now working for myself are so different to working in mainstream media. There’s also a lot of insecurity in mainstream media – there’s so many changes and a lot of redundancies – I feel a lot more powerful and much more in control choosing my own clients and responding to enquiries. I’ve never been busier, but I’m also secure in my place in the world.”
Winning magazine has an almost 50/50 ratio of male and female readers, and a readership of 88,000. Kroslakova laughed when she said she’s never edited a magazine this big in her life. “It’s nearly 200 pages – it’s massive!” she said. “But what I love about Winning magazine is that you’ve got someone like John Winning who’s never published a mag before, and never been involved in that side of business before, and yet he has this strong vision of what he wants and how he wants it.
“This is our fourth issue, and he’s invested far ahead – he prepays his paper a year ahead, no-one does that! He’s visionary enough, brave enough and disruptive enough and is really set on having a luxury magazine that’s distributed nationally. I’m honestly in awe of John investing his time and doing this. He supports and he trusts, and he’s great to work with.”
With Winning magazine, Kroslakova said they just did a rebound from the front cover where they’ve added more textural elements. “It’s actually a very complicated cover, it’s very tactile. That’s a new design we’ve been working on, and it’s definitely a recent, personal highlight of mine.
“What John wants with the magazine is for it to be completely editorially-independent from the business – a self-standing product. Apart from the name, it doesn’t have a connection with the appliance business whatsoever, so we are maintaining that editorial integrity that way. We also have plans for some activations and events where we can bring in some advertisers and stakeholders.”
With Primary Ideas, Kroslakova mentioned they have two new magazines they’re working on at the moment. “One is at a really early creation stage and the other is at the stage of several cover approvals. Some other exciting news is we’re opening an office. I live in Canberra at the moment but I’m going to be opening a Sydney office just after Easter and that will be our headquarters for Primary Ideas.”
Winning is available in over 2,500 newsagents nationally and is available in all Qantas Lounges across Australia including the Chairman’s Lounges, plus many five-star hotels.
Earlier this week Fox Corporation announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Tubi, the free ad-supported streaming service, for approximately US$440 million in net cash consideration at closing.
Fox said Tubi brings an expanded consumer offering with a sizable, younger-skewing and directly connected user base that spends over 160 million hours per month watching content on the service.
Tubi, which is currently available on more than 25 digital platforms in the United States, features over 20,000 titles and 56,000 hours of film and episodic television programming from over 250 content partners, including many of the major studios. The combination of Tubi’s reach, the resonance of its content and the quality of its technology platform have doubled the service’s usage and monetisation over the last 12 months.
Fox also explained Tubi will also seamlessly integrate with and deepen Fox’s capabilities in key areas such as digital advertising, direct-to-consumer interfaces and personalisation technology. Similarly, Tubi will be able to fully leverage Fox’s advertising and distribution relationships, as well as its formidable national and local promotional platforms, to further augment the service’s growth trajectory.
Fox plans to continue to run Tubi as an independent service anchored by its consumer offering of licensed entertainment content. Fox will evaluate opportunities to expand the Tubi offering not through original content, but rather in a cost-effective manner by leveraging our expertise in national and local news and sports programming.
Executive chairman and chief executive officer of Fox Corporation Lachlan Murdoch commented: “Tubi will immediately expand our direct-to-consumer audience and capabilities and will provide our advertising partners with more opportunities to reach audiences at scale. Importantly, coupled with the combined power of Fox’s existing networks, Tubi provides a substantial base from which we will drive long-term growth in the direct-to-consumer arena.”
Tubi founder and CEO Farhad Massoudi, who will continue to head Tubi, added: “Fox Corporation’s relationships with advertisers and distribution partners, combined with the company’s dominance in news and sports programming, will help Tubi continue to grow and differentiate itself in the high-growth ad-supported streaming marketplace. I am proud of what the team has already accomplished here at Tubi and we couldn’t be more excited about joining such a fast-moving, entrepreneurial company. We look forward to working together with FOX to accelerate Tubi’s leadership position in the market and bring new competencies to Fox.”
Nine Entertainment Co has withdrawn its FY20 guidance it provided just last month. Nine’s board today released a statement which said that guidance was premised on a defined set of advertising market assumptions that are no longer applicable.
At the time Nine said it was expecting to report group EBITDA at a similar level to FY19 – a profit of $423.8m.
Explaining the reasons behind the profit warning, Nine’s board said:
Since this time, the rapid progression of COVID-19 is beginning to have an impact on Nine’s markets. The short-term impact remains limited to date, with Nine’s March quarter FTA ad revenues continuing to track close to flat and overall results for the quarter broadly in line with company expectations.
However, the forward ad market is becoming increasingly difficult to reliably predict. As a result of this Q4 uncertainty, Nine considers it prudent to withdraw its FY20 guidance.
Nine noted that its audiences across its key businesses remain strong. To help offset any drop in revenues, Nine is also bringing forward cost cutting measures where possible.
Nine’s share price has taken a tumble along with the rest of the market. As at midday on March 19, Nine’s shares were priced at .94 cents, down from a 12-month high of $1.04. The market cap is $1.75b.
Meanwhile the Seven West Media share price sank to under 10 cents today in the middle of trading with market cap around $170m. The company has yet to advise the ASX of any profit warning. Last month it was forecasting, subject to market conditions and improved ratings, underlying EBIT of $165m to $175m for the full year.
• Netflix has the largest demand share for digital original series in Australia with 48%
The Parrot Analytics SVOD platform trend report has revealed which SVOD platforms are attracting Australian audiences.
Parrot Analytics’ measurement of demand for television shows includes social media engagement, video streaming and peer-to-peer protocols, photo sharing, blogging, and research platforms.
The 86.7% share of expressed demand in Australia this quarter for linear series is a higher percentage than the global share for linear content of 84.7% with Australians showing a larger demand for content from more traditional network, cable and satellite platforms.
Netflix has the largest demand share for digital original series in Australia with 48%, however, this is 8% lower than the global average of 56%.
The two new platforms to launch last quarter finished fifth and sixth respectively with Disney + receiving a 5% share and Apple TV+ having 4.7%.
The arrival of these new platforms had an impact on existing platforms with the most affected being Netflix which dropped by around 9% from October to December, while Hulu and Amazon Prime both dropped by 2%.
The company has stated that a significant adverse impact is expected in the Cinema Exhibition division due to major studios rescheduling a number of titles including Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, Mulan, Bond: No Time To Die, Fast & Furious F9 and A Quiet Place Part II to the 2021 financial year.
The Theme Parks division has reported challenges as well with a reduction in visitation, particularly from the international tourist market combined with weaker forward bookings and lower annual pass sales to the domestic market.
Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic the company has stated that it is not possible to provide meaningful guidance on the group’s earnings at this time.
The company has also announced cost reduction strategies to reduce the potential impact on the group’s earnings and cash flows and are in discussions with Industry Groups and Government at Federal, State and Local levels to develop action plans and support
Cost saving initiatives include:
• Senior executives salaries will be reduced immediately
• Senior executive bonuses will be zero for FY20
• Freeze on all non-essential uncommitted capital expenditure
• Freeze on all non-essential international and domestic travel
• Freeze on all non-essential recruitment, consulting and advisory work
• Asking all employees to take leave to reduce employee costs
VRL CEO Clark Kirby said: “Based on international precedent, it is possible that cinemas and/or theme parks may be closed in Australia for a period of time, which would have a significant adverse impact on VRL’s earnings during that period. The Company is working on contingency plans for this eventuality.
“As always the safety and well-being of our employees and patrons is our first priority, we will continue to follow operating guidelines provided by government and health authorities despite the adverse impact on the profitability of our business. The cost reduction measures we are implementing will assist our group earnings and cashflows in challenging circumstances. Most of our earnings are derived from the domestic market which should enable a swift recovery once this terrible pandemic has passed.”
After the advice given by the Australian Government on Wednesday the 18th of March regarding non-essential services and public gathering mandates, the Australian movie industry has had to react accordingly to adapt to the fluid situation and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mediaweek has collected responses from Palace Cinemas, Hoyts, and Event Cinemas.
Palace Cinemas will temporarily close all locations from Thursday the 19th of March for an indefinite period.
Patrons who have booked online for future sessions will be offered a returnable form to receive a full refund. Any patrons seeking refunds for in-person bookings can email their relevant Palace Cinema location with images of their tickets, and a refund form will be provided to be completed and returned.
Hoyts have placed a limit on the number of bookings that can be made blocking out any additional seats to ensure that there will be no more than 99 people per auditorium. In addition, it has blocked out seats in auditoriums to ensure guests will have appropriate spacing between them and the next person.
The company has also included a virus cleaning agent at high touchpoint areas and surfaces, reminders in all toilets for patrons to wash their hands, regular seat cleaning between sessions and ongoing communication with site managers to regularly remind staff of the importance of maintaining good hygiene practices.
All cinemas are regularly cleaned and maintained during operating hours, with professional cleaning teams conducting detailed cleans every night, in each location. Cleaning and sanitising processes have also been increased as well as a higher frequency of surface cleaning and sterilisation in public areas.
Seating maps have been reconfigured to ensure the adequate distance between guests in every session with a capacity limit of 100 guests.
By James Manning
• Return of AFL drives Seven share to best Thursday of 2020
• Best of the rest: Gogglebox, Ambos, Sammy J, Grand Designs
News audience: major FTA news in massive news week
Monday 519,000/330,000 (6pm)
SBS World News
A Current Affair
Thursday 549,000 (No Brisbane)
Monday 387,000/582,000 (7pm)
Nine News Special: COVID-19
Seven News: The Latest
ABC News Breakfast
The late night news specials were impacted by the return of the AFL and the second round of the NRL.
Similarly A Current Affair didn’t air in all markets including Brisbane.
Best of the rest
Seven had not only its best Thursday of 2020, but also its third best primary share on any night in 2020. And that is with Pooch Perfect screening in Sydney and Brisbane. The broadcaster has every reason to feel confident about the future given MKR wraps next week and the AFL will help support new content arriving.
The first AFL match of 2020 did 798,000 in front of an empty MCG. The number is up on the same match with same teams to start the 2019 season on the same ground also on a Thursday – 739,000.
The second Thursday of NRL on Nine did 337,000 after 432,000 for the round 1 Thursday match.
10’s Thursday best was Gogglebox with the families and friends still grouped close together on their couches. The first show under the microscope was more of Married at First Sight with Gogglebox just over 600,000 after 610,000 a week ago.
Earlier in the night Ambulance Australia did 463,000.
The ABC’s best after News and 7.30 was Sammy J on 366,000 just before then 7pm News and Grand Designs Australia on 299,000 with viewers seeing the strawbale house from toward the end of season five. Foxtel viewers are up to season eight.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.1%||7TWO||3.4%||GO!||2.0%||10 Bold||3.3%||VICELAND||1.4%|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||3.3%||GEM||3.6%||10 Peach||2.7%||Food Net||1.0%|
|SBS World Movies||0.7%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.8%||7TWO||4.7%||GO!||1.9%||WIN Bold||3.8%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||1.1%||7mate||3.6%||GEM||4.7%||WIN Peach||2.6%||Food Net||0.6%|
|ABC NEWS||2.6%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.1%||9Life||2.2%||Sky News on WIN||2.4%||NITV||0.1%|
|THURSDAY METRO ALL TV|
16 – 39
18 – 49
25 – 54
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
Management of Australian Associated Press are in talks with several parties who have expressed an interest in buying the entire business that was set to close in June after 85 years of operation, reports The Australian’s Leo Shanahan.
AAP’s chief executive Bruce Davidson sent a note to staff on Thursday notifying them that the newswire has been approached in recent days by several unidentified parties interested in buying the newswire service, as well as the profitable arms of the business Pagemasters and Medianet.
“This development was not expected by either management, the AAP Board or the AAP shareholders. AAP’s shareholders have now asked me to enter into discussions with the interested parties to determine if any of these approaches offer a credible and sustainable future for AAP,” he wrote to staff.
Davidson said he was not at liberty to identify the interested parties “due to confidentiality commitments” although it is understood that the potential buyers could represent wealthy private family interests.
However The Australian understands any new owner of AAP would very likely have to do without their two biggest clients and current majority shareholders Nine Entertainment and News Corp (publisher of The Australian) as customers.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has taken action against Nine for breaching gambling advertising rules during online streams of the 2019 NRL State of Origin.
An ACMA investigation found Nine aired gambling advertisements during the pre-game programming for State of Origin Games 1 and 2 on its streaming platform 9Now.
Under gambling advertising rules, restrictions start five minutes before ‘kick-off’ if the broadcaster lets viewers know when the game starts at least 24 hours in advance. In this case, Nine did not do this, so the rules applied five minutes before the pre-game coverage.
ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the rules prohibit all gambling advertising during live sport streamed online between 5.00 am and 8.30 pm.
“I hope this sends a message to all streaming services that this is something they need to get right,” O’Loughlin said.
“One of the reasons these rules are in place is to allow families to watch live sport without exposing children to gambling.”
The ACMA has issued Nine with a remedial direction requiring it to conduct staff training on the rules for gambling advertising on online platforms, and to submit two written reports showing compliance with the rules over the next 12 months.
In the event that Nine does not comply with the remedial direction, the ACMA may seek penalties of up to $420,000.
Foxtel is offering AFL and NRL ticketed members its sport streaming service Kayo for $5 for two months as the sports prepare to continue their seasons without any fans at stadiums amid the spread of COVID-19 in Australia, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
Foxtel has been working with the AFL, NRL and their respective clubs about how fans could still access all games. Kayo’s basic package is normally $25 per month. Nine and Seven have free-to-air broadcast rights to NRL and AFL respectively. However, they do not have rights to every game, while Foxtel and its subsidiary Kayo do.
The AFL and NRL both confirmed they had reached agreements with Foxtel and their clubs have now sent information out to members.
AFL and NRL club members received emails from their respective clubs on Thursday afternoon.
As of February 5, Kayo has more than 370,000 paying subscribers, a slide from 402,000 as of November 5. News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson said at the company’s results in February it expected a pick-up in subscribers in the NRL and AFL seasons.
Event companies big and small are under pressure as coronavirus precautions wrecks havoc across all industries. In the media sector the flourishing event space is being hit hard with closures impacting both the big and the boutique.
At the big end of town, Mumbrella announced midweek that it was postponing everything. Co-founder Tim Burrowes explained in a post this week:
We’re postponing Mumbrella360. And CommsCon. And Audioland. And pretty much everything else we’ve got planned for the next six months too.
Financially, Mumbrella’s business model is more than 50% based on our events portfolio.
If this had happened three or four years ago, it might have killed the company.
We’re about to have a very tough year.
But we’re fortunate, because it will still be much better for us than many will experience. Many of those who read Mumbrella are in industries in situations where their employers may well go out of business and many jobs will be lost. For the media and marketing. world, it’s a far more desperate situation the GFC felt a decade ago.
Mumbrella is fortunate to have been acquired by a privately owned family firm, Diversified Communications, back in late 2017.
Diversified takes a long-term view and is in a strong financial position.
At the boutique end of the events business, the second year of Perth’s State of Social is now rescheduled for November 2020.
Event founder Meg Coffey wrote this week:
We held on as long as we could, but now we must face the inevitable.
Rest assured, your health and well-being, along with our staff and volunteers, has been and always will be our single most important priority.
We said that if the situation changed, we would too. Unfortunately, since our last statement to you, things have changed a lot. And continue to escalate.
Given the gravity of current circumstances, and in the interests of everyone’s health and well-being, we’ve made the difficult but important decision to postpone State of Social ’20.
We are lucky to work with an amazing team at Optus Stadium and have been able to secure two awesome days in November 2020. So it’s not over, it’s just running a bit late.
The Dame Changer organisation is showing Australian women working in film and television how to stay in the professional spotlight with a brand building masterclass as part of its 2020 member series. The event will be now be held in a special online session.
The Power of Visibility Masterclass – a two-hour online session to help them elevate their profile and accelerate career success – will be run by Karen Eck, founder of eckfactor, an entertainment, consumer and celebrity brand PR agency, on Saturday, March 28 from 2.00pm – 4.00pm (AEDT).
Karen Eck has been a driving force behind hundreds of brand and professional profiles in her 25-year career as a TV publicist, PR strategist and talent manager. She has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry including Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump (as a touring TV Star, not in the White House!) and Mark Burnett, creator of Survivor and Eco-Challenge.
Dame Changer founder Heather Oxenham, said: “Dame Changer is a growing non-for-profit organisation dedicated to building resilient, sustainable and successful careers for women in the screen industry.”
Karen Eck said a dedicated focus on your professional brand is critical to longevity in the entertainment industry.
“My message to the Australian women working behind-the-scenes in film and television is to be viable, not invisible – stop underselling yourself and start getting what you want,” Eck said.
Karen Eck’s masterclass will focus on how to self-promote with confidence and resilience; how to get cut-through from publicity that works; the real value of building an online presence and how to start or build a strategy; collaborating for brand success using free resources; and how to create an action plan that is relevant, achievable and sustainable.
Sacked radio boss Jay Walkerden has spoken out about his exit from Nova Entertainment, reports News Corp’s Kylie Lang.
Walkerden was the Brisbane general manager of station 106.9 as well as Nova’s program director and head of podcasting.
His axing follows an internal investigation after an alleged confrontation involving a male announcer on 106.9’s Ash, Kip and Luttsy with Susie O’Neill breakfast show when the crew was on a Californian trip in late February.
Walkerden told The Courier-Mail: “It was personally and professionally devastating to receive an email informing me that my time was up at Nova.
“I am proud of the work, results and leadership demonstrated over nine fantastic years with Nova in Brisbane and have always acted with integrity and empathy with our on and off air teams and clients.”
The Courier-Mail, which broke the news of the investigation into Walkerden earlier this month, understands that complaints from three Nova employees triggered the probe.
Australian Survivor is the latest show to face upheaval due to the coronavirus epidemic, reports TV Tonight.
Another 2020 season, due to begin filming in Fiji from April, has been postponed.
Today the government announced a closure of the borders to all non-residents coming to Australia, effective 9pm Friday March 20. It follows a 14 day self-isolation rule for all international arrivals.
A Network 10 spokesperson said in a statement, “Following the Australian Government’s latest advice on overseas travel, plus discussions with the Fijian Government, production of the new season of Australian Survivor has been postponed.
“While this news is disappointing, the health and safety of everyone involved with the show is our number one priority. We will update everyone on when production will start as soon as we can.”
Host Jonathan LaPaglia is already out for the Australian Survivor: Reunion, due to conclude the current season, with Osher Günsberg stepping in – LaPaglia will appear from LA.
Like all networks, 10’s production slate is being heavily impacted by coronavirus measures including changes to The Amazing Race Australia and Neighbours.
TV Tonight reveals Neighbours will be back in front of the cameras from today.
Filming will recommence by splitting its crews and working within restricted zones.
Shooting was halted on Wednesday after a casual crew member came into contact with someone off set who had been diagnosed positive. The crew member has since tested negative.
Full cast and crew will resume from Monday working to new guidelines. But in a social-distancing challenge for all, cast will be forced to avoid intimate scenes – which is tricky even for a PG soap.
Playboy has announced that it’s closing down its flagship magazine for the rest of 2020, reports New York magazine. It seems unlikely, given the wording of the announcement and the state of print magazine-making, that it will ever return.
It’s not a surprise, exactly – its circulation and advertising drooped long ago, accelerating as the nudie pictures for which it was celebrated became available everywhere for free. Hugh Marston Hefner, its founder/editor/latter-day reality-show star/loungewear enthusiast, died in 2017, as his faded empire contracted around him, and one got the sense that the magazine was kept going partly because nobody wanted Hef to outlive it.
Needless to say, Playboy, the brand, will continue. It’s a very big adult-entertainment business online.
With the NRL going into complete lockdown for Round 2 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, ANZ Stadium security for the opening clash between Canterbury and North Queensland was tighter than that mate who wants to go sixth in a shout of five, reports News Corp’s Nick Walshaw.
Already, fans had been told to stay away.
Arriving at Homebush some 90 minutes before kick off to cover the match, I felt good.
Which is why, after having my backpack checked by the two security staff guarding the sole entry into the venue, I easily passed the first two questions thrown my way.
“Are you unwell?”.
“Have you been exposed to anyone with the coronavirus?”.
But then, question three.
“OK, so have you been overseas in the past 14 days …”
And so at this point, I had to explain how, yeah, I’d only got back into Sydney nine days earlier from Las Vegas, having covered the UFC 248 headliner between Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero.