Sunraysia Daily will suspend printing and all staff will be stood down due to the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the business, the Elliott Newspaper Group reported on Tuesday.
The publishers said the company is committed to reviving its printed publications when the coronavirus crisis gripping Australia subsides.
The directors of the Elliott Newspaper Group made what they called a “gut-wrenching” decision to stand down all staff under the Fair Work Act 2009 and suspend all its traditional newspaper publishing operations in Mildura, Swan Hill and Kerang due to the economic effect of the coronavirus pandemic.
Directors and senior management met with all staff Tuesday morning to announce the decision.
The last edition of all printed paper will be on Saturday, March 28, until further notice.
“It is our current intention that when this crisis subsides that we will be able to revive our printed publications,” Elliott Group managing director Ross Lanyon said in a story published on their website.
“Over recent weeks the newspapers have not received anything near the usual commercial support across all advertising sectors to remain viable as a publisher (in the interim period).
“This in combination with a grimmer economic outlook facing us, and the fact clients continue to cancel their spending gave us no option.
“It has been terribly disappointing to see many multi-national companies use metropolitan press across the nation to inform readers but ignore their readers in regional areas by not displaying those messages in the most read papers in those markets.”
The Lanyon family have been involved in the Mildura-based business for over 100 years. “Our newspapers have been a pillar of the communities they serve for in some cases over 100 years,” Lanyon said.
“In that time they have covered many adverse events that affected the community including depression, droughts, floods and war. However no event has had such an immediate impact on our viability than in the current situation.
“Our priority at this difficult time is to provide as much assistance to existing employees as is emotionally and financially possible.”
Elsewhere in Victoria, Gippsland’s The Great Southern Star and Yarram Standard have also closed after their Tuesday editions.
Yarram Standard is a local newspaper voicing the views and concerns of the local Yarram, Alberton, Port Albert, Woodside, Devon North, Balook and other communities in the area.
The Great Southern Star provides local news for South Gippsland and the Bass Coast.
On a post on the Facebook page of the Gippsland titles, the company wrote:
We thank our community for all your kind words of support today, some members from the Great Southern Star team and Yarram Standard may continue via their own channels throughout this crisis. At this stage we have had confirmation from the editor of the Great Southern Star and Deb Lucas journalist that they will continue to post to our community. Other staff may also offer support via their own private channels.
Thank you to all in the Star community, we hope to serve you more fully again at some point.
News of Sunraysia Daily‘s interim measures to suspend all printed publications from Saturday was met with overwhelming support from the community on social media.
Member for Mildura Ali Cupper wrote: “The recent wave of business closures and job losses has been heartbreaking, but when the institutions of democracy begin to stumble and fall, the gravity of the situation really hits home.
“The Sunny Daily has been a mainstay of our community for a century (2020 was its 100th year).
“To the directors, the journos, the advertising team, the front of house staff, the printers and technicians and to the Lanyon family, who I expect made this decision with an extremely heavy heart, please know your community is extremely grateful for your service.
“For the sake of our region, our people and our democracy, we hope you are back soon. In the meantime, stay safe.”
The mastheads affected are Sunraysia Daily, Sunraysia Life, The Guardian – Swan Hill, Gannawarra Times and Loddon Times and other associated periodical publications.
Sunraysia Daily, Mildura’s only daily newspaper, is in its 100th year.
‘Media owners have obligation to communities to keep publishing’
MEAA has said at a time when fast and accurate information is more important than ever, media owners have an obligation to their communities to do all in their power to keep publishing, broadcasting and serving their communities. MEAA is responding to reports that regional newspapers have begun shutting down their titles and putting their staff out of work.
MEAA Media president Marcus Strom said yesterday: “The media is an essential service right now. Media outlets have a heightened responsibility to their communities. They provide a lifeline that binds a community together and bolsters resilience. Their local knowledge cannot be replaced by media outlets in the bigger cities.
“Without doubt this is a difficult operating environment but many of these mastheads have a long and proud history – they have survived depression, drought and world wars. And yet a week of this current crisis has led them to close their doors. Shutting down in advance of the benefits they are to receive from the government stimulus packages, is a knee-jerk reaction.
“The stimulus money available to these businesses include lines of credit, relaxed insolvency regulations and business cash flow measures. Pulling down the shutters only piles more pressure on communities that already have limited employment opportunities and that can ill afford more people on welfare.
“Long after this crisis is over, those communities will remember how their trust in and support for their local newspaper over many years was repaid by having the media proprietors abandon them at a crucial time of need,” Strom says. “Furthermore, if the papers can’t survive, the government must step in and financially support them as an essential service until this crisis has passed.”
Strom adds that these closures reinforce the need for the AAP business to remain open. “AAP delivers an irreplaceable service. The media, like other industries, needs help to keep performing its vital function and outlets must be provided with every assistance to be able to stay operational,” Strom says.
The company might be in a trading halt as it navigates the impact of COVID-19, but it is business as usual as much as possible.
This week Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has announced two digital audio advertising initiatives to help brands find and engage audiences.
New mood and activity audience targeting utilises SCA’s and SoundCloud’s first party data and insights to identify listeners’ key habits and interests, targeting them during particular mood-states and activities. At launch the offering includes chill out, wanderlust, work out, night out and dinner party mood-states.
SCA National head of sales Nikki Rooke said: “This mood targeting product gives advertisers the opportunity to target with contextual relevance as well as apply best practice creative scenarios to each. The Studio at SCA and SoundVibes’ creative treatment ensures messaging is on point for the listening occasion and able to deliver optimum attention and engagement.”
In addition to the new audience targeting solution, SCA has also announced interactive audio ads with shakable and voice activated listener responses. The ShakeMe mobile-only format enables a listener to shake their phone or use a voice command to respond to a call to action such as: “shake your phone to” either open a website, download a voucher or call now.
SCA head of digital commercial Jonathan Mandel said: “As digital audio continues to grow at a rapid rate, it’s critical that we continue to innovate and offer brands best in class technology to achieve their campaign objectives. ShakeMe audio ads provide an all-new way for brands to engage with our audience and drive a call to action by shaking their phone when the ad plays. To date, our test advertisers have seen interaction rates more than 10 times a typical click through rate.”
Mood targeting is available across InStream, SoundCloud and catch up radio, ShakeMe is available on iOS and Android through SCA’s InStream, while voice-activation is in beta looking to launch later in the year.
By Claudia Siron
Finder, Australia’s most visited comparison site, has introduced an array of verticals since its establishment to help people better understand where and how to use their money.
Managing editor of Australia Kate Browne spoke to Mediaweek about the introduction of podcasting, their use of editorial and video, and the launch of a new app to reach multiple audiences.
Something Browne has been passionate about since she began her role at Finder 18 months ago has been focussing on video and podcasting content and working closely with the creative director on getting content from the site into other useful formats including podcasts. Finder has a team now that produces the weekly podcast, Pocket Money, with Browne as one of the hosts.
The podcast looks at a whole range of financial topics as another way to engage with their current audience and other potential audiences. “It takes the premise that money and finance topics can sound really boring – I used to think it was boring too – but it involves everyone’s lives and it affects everything. Pocket Money is fun to listen to and it’s designed to be entertaining and informative.
“We’ve talked about the cost of earning a pet – particularly designer dogs like pugs and french bulldogs. You can potentially be saving thousands of dollars out of pocket in vet bills. We’ve also touched on debt free communities (which I call the most useful cult to belong to). They’re communities online who cheer each other on about bringing down their debt. It’s a really fun and interesting way to take on debt which is usually associated with doom and gloom.”
Finder also uses video as a tool to engage with their audiences. “Our videos are casual and conversational, they’re not overly produced. We don’t all look perfect like newsreaders when we present. All the people who present are in-house so they’re all genuine Finder crew who really know their stuff.”
When it comes to revenue, Browne said they do have commercial partnerships. For example, if their readers are looking for a credit card, they have editorial information on credit cards, what to look for in a credit card, debunking all sorts of myths on credit cards, things to watch out for, and so on. “We’re also a comparison site as well, so we help people make better decisions. We will list the credit cards with all the necessary details – some of them are commercial partners, some may not be.
“If someone chooses one of the credit cards we’ve partnered with and clicks through to then sign up for them, we get a fee back from that partner. That’s our primary way of making all our content free. Unlike some consumer publications and websites, all of our content is free to use.”
Another method Finder uses to generate revenue is sponsored content. “At the end of the day, more and more of our audiences understand that someone has to foot the bill for content, whether you go for a paywall approach or you make your content free and look at other ways to do it. We don’t want to slide into advertorial, and that approach doesn’t provide any value to the partners either.”
Browne said the company remains neutral to give readers all the information they need to make a good decision for themselves. She’s noticed in the finance space there’s a lot of overly complicated language which can be very off-putting for many people. “When you strip it all back, often these things aren’t very complex, they’re just being made to seem that way. For us, it’s about saying what it is without the ridiculous marketing jargon.”
Browne revealed they’re working harder on social media, and rather than going for a broadcast approach, they’re really looking at niche audiences. A great example is their work on shopping and fashion content. “We have @finderstyle on Instagram – it’s highly curated for a certain audience and we’re looking at building that out very soon. We’re bringing on more resources for social specifically around creating more social content and engagement.”
Browne said for digital companies it can be hard to feel tangible to their users. ““A lot of our tangibility is our media presence – there’s a lot of us showing our faces in the media whether it’s on television, on the radio or in our own broadcast work. When you are in a digital company you can always do better in that space to bridge that gap. One challenge is that we have such a broad range of topics, so it can be quite hard to land on a single unique personality. Whether it’s doing media or social content, we try to have a nice range of personalities who represent Finder.”
The popular finance site has also launched a free app – the first app in Australia that connects people’s bank accounts, analyses information, and suggests potential savings across different categories like health insurance and credit cards. “It’s about identifying where you can be saving more which in the current climate is more important than ever for all Australians. It will also compare products and give people more visibility of their money all in one place. It makes all that stuff that’s so overwhelming actually quite visually appealing – almost gamifying it.”
Verizon Media has bolstered its growing RYOT Studio branded content division with two new senior hires. Julia Edwards joins as head of strategic solutions for RYOT and Nick Gorshenin as lead brand strategist.
Julia Edwards joins from Foxtel Media (previously MCN) where she was head of partnerships for Foxtel & Global Partners. Across the UK and Australia she has worked within the commercial teams at The Guardian, CNN and Seven Network, developing and commercialising premium branded content across their platforms.
In her new role Edwards will be taking on various responsibilities while head of RYOT Studio Zoe Cocker is on maternity leave. Edwards will be in charge of delivering integrated marketing communication plans and opportunities across Verizon Media’s platforms that include HuffPost Australia, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Lifestyle, Yahoo News and Yahoo Sport.
Nick Gorshenin was previously commercial content director at esports platform Twitch and prior to this, agency business director at Fairfax Media. His 12-year career spans branded content, publishers, ad tech, influencers and full service creative.
Rachel Page, national sales director at Verizon Media ANZ, commented on the new hires: “We’re very excited to welcome both Julia and Nick to the Verizon Media family. Their wealth of experience is a timely boost to RYOT’s ability to provide the right solutions for clients in these challenging times.
“While everyone moves to adapt to the new business conditions, we are fortunate to be part of a leading technology company enabling us to continue business as usual as people turn to our platforms including Yahoo News and HuffPost as they seek trusted news sources.
“As we all adapt to the new business conditions Julia’s leadership and Nick’s insightful strategic thinking will be fundamental to driving success for RYOT Studio and its clients into the future.”
QMS Media has been awarded the exclusive sales and marketing rights for 7-Eleven’s national digital advertising assets effective immediately.
The portfolio has a national footprint of more than 480 locations throughout metro and regional Australia.
Strategically located at the entry point to 7-Eleven stores nationally, the full motion, quality, digital portrait screens deliver broadcast scale and coverage at a critical time for brands, enabling them to communicate to consumers with a sense of immediacy and purpose.
QMS Media Australia CEO John O’Neill said: “As a nation, we find ourselves in extremely difficult and uncharted territory. The 7-Eleven portfolio provides a unique platform for advertisers to continue to effectively communicate to consumers during this challenging time.
“We know that Australians will require ongoing access to everyday essentials, and with social distancing top of mind, will be seeking short-term convenience for these goods and services.
“The increased pressure on transport and logistics services to ensure shelves remain stocked and essential items are available, not to mention the reliance on the car as the primary mode of transport for the average Australian during this time, places an even greater emphasis on the petro-convenience offering than ever before.
“We are proud to be given the opportunity to relaunch this quality digital offering, which will be underpinned by our intelligent data and insights platform and the flexibility and relevance of dynamic creative messaging.”
Media industry entrepreneur and former chairman of Carat, Haydon Bray, has unveiled Audience Precision, a new media strategy consultancy and technology business, that aims to unlock the true value of media in driving business outcomes and eliminating the guesswork from key marketing investment decisions.
Bray, together with five founding team members and equity partners, have worked together for the past five years to develop the Audience Precision model.
In a statement, the company laid out its offer:
The model challenges the outdated media buying industry by using a combination of technology that delivers actionable insights and superior strategy, which is now being applied both in Australia and globally.
Working with foundation client, Warner Music, the model has been so successful that Audience Precision has already established offices in New York and London with further global expansion to come.
“When I returned to the market, I found it in a worse state than when I left. It’s an industry overwhelmed by new platforms, hundreds of new reporting metrics and still marred by murky deals and a legacy model that hasn’t moved on since the 1990s. Real change was needed,” Bray said.
“Finding and targeting audiences has never been more fragmented and media is the single biggest marketing expense for most businesses. Media investments need to link to business outcomes, without a pre-determined media plan.
“Audience Precision rewrites the rule book. We use data – in fact 35,000 data points for each audience segment in multiple countries – combined with proprietary systems and machine learning to help marketers better understand audiences and potential customers, align their marketing efforts, optimise marketing expenditure and significantly reduce media wastage across all media channels. We’ve been able to do what no other media agency has even thought of to eliminate the guess work.”
Audience Precision has worked across numerous Warner Music artists to better connect them with existing and potential fans.
Tony Harlow, chairman and CEO of Warner Music UK, said: “Fan engagement is increasingly at the heart of what we do – data insights around fans can play a huge part in marketing success. Audience Precision has given us a competitive advantage on how we can reach and connect with fans. The data they provide is readily usable, easy to digest, and has made a real difference in helping us think harder and smarter about the way we market our music.”
The Audience Precision team includes Bray as Global CEO, Samantha Bolton as Managing Partner USA & UK, Laura Newman as Global Head of Research, Alison Coleman as CFO, Sean Gerraty as Head of Operations and Jeremy Cath as Chief Technology Officer. The broader team includes strategy architects, researchers, masters-level data scientists, campaign engineers, software developers and media buyers.
Audience Precision is channel agnostic, does not conduct annual negotiations nor has any reliance on media owner share or commissions. It does not buy media based on demographics, there is minimal advertising expenditure wastage and it uses machine learning to predict campaign success and media performance at a channel level.
“Our model moves the conversation from price and efficiency to deliver true value and return for advertisers and our work over the past five years has proven that it can build a sustainable competitive advantage of between 20% and 50%,” Bray said.
“Even with all the technology adoption in the advertising industry, consumer-based market research connected to top-level strategy has been virtually untouched by most agencies, yet this is one of the most important components of marketing. Our business is built around these key marketing essentials and we have developed proprietary technology and an end to end solution to help accelerate the process. We help brands align communication across their entire organisation to the core audiences that have a high propensity to become customers.”
Audience Precision is based on three key pillars: DNA, that has 60+ unique audience segments based on consumer lifestyle, psychographics and behavioural patterns, to find potential customers and what drives their purchasing behaviour and media consumption choices; Precise360 that builds media strategies four times faster than a standard agency approach to deliver precise targeting to potential customers; and Activation & Analytics that buys media and reports campaign performance against the DNA segments.
Audience Precision has the ability to measure digital, social and traditional media against any individual audience segment for the first time.
The consultancy also recognises that service offerings are not one size fits all. Models can be customised to suit clients’ marketing needs. Audience Precision is also working with clients in the entertainment, retail, health, tourism, media and other sectors.
By Trent Thomas
Last week it slipped, but this week The Mandalorian has completely fallen off the top of the mountain after 17 weeks of TV Demand chart dominance. After dropping from the top spot on the Overall TV chart in Australia last week it has now lost ground on the other three charts as an impressive run comes to an end for the Disney+ original.
We have a new show on top of the Digital Originals chart with Star Trek: Picard taking over the number one spot after biding its time since its first episode premiered on January 23.
The show is set 20 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis (2009) the last film to feature Captain Jean-Luc Picard which saw the destruction of the planet Romulus and the death of the android Commander Data. The show is created for the CBS All Acess platform but is shown in Australia on Amazon Prime Video.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine has continued where it left off last week after claiming the number one spot on the Overall TV chart in Australia, now also sitting atop of the Overall TV chart in New Zealand. The show started airing its seventh season on February 6 which can be seen in Australia on SBS and SBS on Demand.
The show which has made the biggest impression this week is Westworld which has rocketed up the Overall TV charts after premiering the first episode of its third season on March 15. The show, based on the 1973 film of the same name and to a lesser extent the 1976 sequel Futureworld, revolves around a fictional, technologically advanced Wild-West-themed amusement park populated by android hosts. The third season adds Breaking Bad star, Aaron Paul, to the cast and can be seen on Foxtel’s Showcase channel.
Also new to the charts is Netflix’s comedy-drama On My Block which released its third season on March 11. The show centres around four friends starting high school in a rough inner-city Los Angeles neighbourhood.
By James Manning
Week 13 2020
• Viewers can’t get enough: 13 of top 20 for news/current affairs
• My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals – redemption as Jake & Elle win
• Survivor down to final 3: David, Sharn and Moana battle it out for Sole Survivor
Seven News 6pm
The Latest Seven News
Nine News 6pm
A Current Affair
Nine News Special COVID-19
10 News First 5pm
10 News First 6pm
The Project 6.30/7pm
ABC News 7pm
SBS World News 6.30pm
News Breakfast 301,000
News Breakfast 271,000
Nine is getting close to the end on Married at First Sight. One more survey week before the Easter break and three more couples had their final dates last night. The episode is wedged between Nine News bulletins now and did 1,075,000, just a fraction below the number who stay tuned for the COVID-19 news special and the PM’s press conference.
Seven’s biggest primetime audiences were for its two hours of news from 6pm. Melissa Doyle returned to primetime co-hosting after 7pm with Michael Usher on The Latest. The big news crowds have helped lift the average Seven primetime primary channel audience up over 20% week-on-week so far.
The final episode of this season of My Kitchen Rules just might be the format’s final appearance. The episode did 553,000, but is a crowd that size now enough to get recommissioned? After being defeated by Dan and Steph in the season four Grand Final back in 2013 (in front of an audience of over 2m), Jake and Elle got their revenge by winning last night. The couple plan to use the $100,000 prize money to grow their Eat Street Northshore business (which is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions). Even though the 2019 series was down on previous years, that final 12 months ago still managed 875,000.
10’s best was the final four showdown on Australian Survivor: All Stars with a series high of 779,000 watching Brooke unable to win a critical immunity challenge to get her to the final episode. Going through to the final night’s battle are David, Sharn and Moana. Will either of the girls be able to win against David?
NCIS numbers look better on 496,000, but that is partly the PM’s press conference.
After ABC News and 7.30, Foreign Correspondent did 688,000. Revelation was then on 545,000 after launching with 454,000 a week ago. The show might have been impacted by PM’s press conference too.
On SBS Great Alaskan Railroad Journeys did 249,000. SBS 6.30pm World News came out of Canberra after a staff member testing positive for VOVID-19 closed the Sydney newsroom. That further impacted the Tuesday schedule with Insight on 131,000, Dateline on 119,000 and The Feed on 81,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.4%||7TWO||1.6%||GO!||1.4%||10 Bold||2.8%||VICELAND||1.1%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||2.3%||GEM||3.0%||10 Peach||1.7%||Food Net||0.5%|
|SBS World Movies||1.2%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.4%||7TWO||2.9%||GO!||2.2%||WIN Bold||3.0%||VICELAND||1.1%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||3.9%||GEM||4.1%||WIN Peach||1.6%||Food Net||0.5%|
|ABC NEWS||5.5%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.0%||9Life||1.7%||Sky News on WIN||2.3%||NITV||0.1%|
|TUESDAY 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
Cable/satellite companies are reliant on sports programming to attract and retain subscribers. In the space of a week that has dried up, reports The SHM’s Elizabeth Knight.
In Australia there is only one cable company of note – News Corporation’s Foxtel. It also owns the streaming service Kayo. Foxtel’s main broadcast platform is highly dependent on sport and Kayo is a sport only service. Far from a picture of corporate health before COVID-19 hit, Foxtel now faces a bigger crisis.
Marquee sports have disappeared as various governments around the world have banned (initially) spectators from attending venues and more recently the actual playing of sports. In Australia the major winter football codes, AFL and the NRL, have cancelled the season games until further notice. It is difficult to imagine that play will resume before the end of winter.
It is almost certain that subscriptions for Foxtel will be hit badly and Kayo, in particular, will experience a massive decline over the period in which the coronavirus affects the playing of professional sport.
Seven West Media is understood to have met with its bankers before the debt-laden free-to-air television and publishing group abandoned its annual earnings guidance on Tuesday, but the financial institutions showed no interest in taking control, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.
The Kerry Stokes-controlled company is understood to have held talks with its lenders after its interim results last month, with talks continuing. Its $541m debt pile equates to 2.4 times its underlying earnings, compared to a market capitalisation of $103m.
Seven has joined a growing list of Australian media companies to withdraw its earnings guidance, as the coronavirus wipes out its advertising revenue and marquee events, including the Australian Football League and the Tokyo Olympic Games.
After four years in the role, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne CEO Nick Garrett is leaving the agency to pursue other interests. As a result, Gayle While will step up from her current role as Deputy CEO to become CEO of Clemenger BBDO Melbourne while former VMLY&R Sydney CEO Peter Bosilkovski will join Clemenger BBDO Sydney as CEO, reports Little Black Book.
Clemenger Group executive chairman, Robert Morgan said: “We are excited to have Gayle take the role in Melbourne where she has been doing such a brilliant job for the last three years. And it’s also fantastic to have Peter come on board in Sydney. He’s someone we’ve wanted to have join us for some time and it’s great he’s now doing so in Sydney.
“At the same time, I’d like to thank Nick Garrett for his contribution to our agencies in both New Zealand and Australia over nearly 10 years. We wish him well in the next phase of his career. Nick will be making an announcement about his next move shortly.”
WPP AUNZ has confirmed the departure of its chief customer officer Sunita Gloster after less than 18 months in the role and a month after the group posted more than $230 million in losses in the first-half 2020, reports CMO’s Nadia Cameron.
In a statement distributed to media today, WPP AUNZ CEO, Jens Monsees, confirmed Gloster’s exit from the leadership team. CMO understands she has already left the business.
“By mutual decision, Sunita Gloster, chief customer officer, and WPP AUNZ, have agreed that she will leave the business,” the statement read. “On behalf of everyone at WPP AUNZ, we thank Sunita for her contribution and wish her the very best for the future.”
The SBS Sydney newsroom was closed on Tuesday after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19, reports SBS.
The employee was last in the office on Friday and is now at home and in good spirits. An SBS spokesperson said as a result of social distancing measures, the person had minimal contact with other employees in the office.
Immediate close contacts have already been identified and are self-isolating, and SBS is continuing a more comprehensive tracing exercise. “The health and safety of our employees remains our top priority,” the spokesperson said.
Friends and colleagues have been paying tribute to broadcaster Stuart Cranney who has died from cancer aged just 65.
This Facebook tribute is from one of his radio homes, Campbelltown’s C91.3FM:
Stuart devoted much of his life to broadcasting having commenced his love affair with radio at Double J Sydney in 1975 before starting a 17-year stint with Triple M. In 2001 Stuart joined C91.3 and quickly became a local favourite with his laidback style, ample catalogue of Dad jokes, Days-of-the-Year segment and his sincere warmth. After a break from C91.3 from 2008, he was welcomed back to the Macarthur family in 2011.
Over 45 years of reaching out through the airwaves, Stuart became a true legend of the industry as much for his impeccable professionalism on and behind the mic’ as for his interviews and associations with local and international music luminaries.
Led Zeppelin, Billy Idol, Bob Hawke, Cindi Lauper, The Angels, The Radiators, Mental As Anything, Elton John– virtually everyone who had a record out in the 80s and 90s was either interviewed by Stuart or in many cases wined, dined or partied with him. His stories were always greeted with a mix of wide-eyed envy and a somewhat cautious appreciation for his resilience.
Stuart loved radio but even more than that, he loved his listeners. Stuart’s joy came from entertaining people and making them smile. He asked for nothing more. Although slowed down by illness in recent months, Stuart continued to come to work and do what he did best. He was a friend, a mentor and an inspiration.
Our deepest sympathy goes to Stuart’s family and friends, and his colleagues around the country.
His voice may have now fallen silent, but his legacy shall remain with us forever.
Lyons, who joined Seven in 1997, is credited with managing blockbuster shows, including Dancing with the Stars, My Kitchen Rules, Deal or No Deal, House Rules and The Chase. He also worked on music’s first reality TV show Popstars, from which Bardot was born.
“Brad was such an instrumental part during the early days of my TV career,” KIIS FM breakfast co-host and former popstars judge, Jackie ‘O’ Henderson, told Radio Today.
“Despite having very little experience in TV, he took a chance on me and I was cast as a judge on Popstars. He was such a wonderful support and always shared a positive and optimistic attitude.
“He went out of his way to make me feel confident in what I was doing,” said Henderson.
“I truly loved working with him and am so saddened to hear of his passing. My thoughts, love and prayers go out to his family.”
Music mogul and former Popstars guest judge Chris Murphy, who spoke to TMN after learning of Lyons’ passing, said the pair had been planning to catch up and discuss new ideas.
“I once threatened to punch him when I was a judge on Popstars,” Murphy told TMN.
The pair formed a friendship after Lyons gave the green-light to Never Tear Us Apart, the two-part Australian miniseries about the rock band INXS.
“Brad was the man at Seven who gave the go-ahead for Never Tear Us Apart,” said Murphy. “Lyons decision restored INXS’ music to its former glory. God bless our creative Brad.”
In the ultimate redemption story, former runners-up Jake and Elle Harrison have been crowned winners of My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals, reports News Corp’s Amy Price.
The Brisbane siblings produced a near-perfect score of 29 out of 30 to claim the $100,000 prize, knocking out fellow Queenslanders Dan and Steph Mulheron, who beat them in the season four finale seven years ago.
The teams, who both returned to the series in a bid to boost their Queensland dining venues, found out the result live as the finale aired on Channel 7 on Tuesday night.
Despite most of the couples leaving the experiment, Nine is committed to stretching the show out as long as possible and they don’t care how unnecessary or uneventful this final string of episodes is, reports news.com.au’s James Weir.
It’s the final dates tonight and Michael says he wants to test Stacey to see if she can do away with her materialistic expectations and just appreciate who he is as a person. “So you’re going to lock her in this old Corolla and see how long she lasts while subsisting on the cold fries she finds under the seats?” we ask.
They drive the Corolla to the side of a busy highway where Michael makes Stacey get out to have lunch. What’s on the menu? A service station sandwich and a lukewarm pie he purchased this morning. Stacey is humiliated. “I’m getting eaten by bugs, I’m wearing Valentino on the side of the road sitting on a $20 Bunnings chair,” she snips.
Survivor All-Stars contestant Brooke Jowett’s luck ran out during Tuesday night’s penultimate episode of the season, sending her out of the game on day 47.
Brooke had no friends left in the game, but had kept herself safe for the past few episodes by winning the immunity idol. In Tuesday’s episode, David beat her to individual immunity.
“I can’t say I didn’t try,” Brooke sighed after losing the challenge. “I think Dave is probably the best Survivor player the world has ever seen. That’s a big person to go up against,” said Brooke.
Carrie Bickmore has echoed the resounding sentiment of confused Australians on The Project on Tuesday night, airing her frustrations amid uncertainty over what we can and cannot do while “social distancing”, reports News Corp’s Bella Fowler.
Speaking passionately after a segment explaining why social distancing is imperative to slow the spread of coronavirus, the Gold Logie winner admitted she still doesn’t quite know what’s “allowed” and what isn’t.
Responding to a question by panellist Monty Dimond, who appeared via video link, Bickmore said we need more direction in terms of what activities we shouldn’t be doing, especially with young children.
Amazon has made a selection of its children’s content free to watch to ease the burden of parents struggling to entertain kids now stuck at home as a result of coronavirus shutdowns, reports news.com.au’s Wenlei Ma.
The tech company is lifting the paywall on a raft of children’s TV shows and movies, including Peppa Pig S1, Pete the Cat, Jessy and Nessy and If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.
To access the free content, parents need to have an Amazon account, which is free to create. This is different to Amazon’s paid subscription Prime Video account, which is $59.95 a year in Australia.
The decision to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by a year is set to further disrupt the global sporting calendar, which has already been wrecked by the coronavirus pandemic, making for a crowded schedule next year, reports The SHM’s Richard Martin.
After weeks of speculation and mounting criticism at the delay in announcing a postponement, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and IOC president Thomas Bach agreed the event would be rescheduled for the summer of 2021 at the latest.
Swimming’s 2021 World Aquatics Championships set for July 16-August 1 in Fukuoka in southern Japan look set to be the first casualty of that move.
The country’s seven major sports are uniting behind a push for assistance from the government to “ensure that sport survives the current situation” as they contemplate crippling losses and, in some cases, the prospect of extinction, reports The SMH’s Chris Barrett.
With the professional football codes having all suspended their seasons, they face varying levels of economic distress, without content to satisfy broadcast partners and match-day revenue flowing into club coffers.
Sports have engaged individually with the government to press for support but will now come together in a united effort via the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports, which is comprised of the AFL, NRL, Rugby Australia, Cricket Australia, Football Federation Australia, Netball Australia and Tennis Australia.
The A-League is bracing for a financial firestorm as a result of the coronavirus pandemic but Western Sydney Wanderers chairman Paul Lederer is confident it can be weathered if the sport’s key stakeholders unite together – including Fox Sports, reports The SHM’s Vince Rugari.
Bloodletting is poised to begin at Football Federation Australia and at all 12 A-League clubs after the current season was officially put on hold on Tuesday morning.
Hopes remain high that it can be resumed as early as next month but the rapid spread of the virus is likely to mean that no more games in the 2019-20 campaign will be played, and the implications of that will be significant.