Wednesday March 4, 2020

Australian Associated Press closes AAP Newswire and Pagemasters

Australian Associated Press (AAP) has announced the closure of the AAP Newswire and the Pagemasters editorial production service.

The company stated that this was forced by the decline in the number of media companies subscribing to the news wire service in recent years. The AAP is owned by Nine, News Corp, The West Australian and Australian Community Media.

The Newswire will close at the end of June and Pagemasters at the end of August. The decision is still subject to the completion of formal processes by the shareholders.
 
AAP’s press release distribution business Medianet and its media intelligence business Mediaverse will be offered for sale.

AAP made a statement on the closure: 

“AAP has been providing a newswire to Australian media companies for 85 years but recently the number of companies subscribing to the service has declined to the point that it is no longer viable.

“The unprecedented impact of the digital platforms that take other people’s content and distribute it for free has led to too many companies choosing to no longer use AAP’s professional service. We have reached the point where it is no longer viable to continue.”

AAP also commented on potential job loses:
 
” The decision to close the AAP business means there will be job losses but there will be employment opportunities as AAP’s shareholders and other external companies reorganise the way they receive news and page production services.
 
In particular, News Corp and Nine will be making additional investment in their own news teams to replace some of the content they currently source from AAP. ”

AAP CEO Bruce Davidson said:
 
“AAP has been a critical part of journalism in Australia since 1935, and it is tragic that it will come to an end.”
 
“Hundreds of wonderful journalists made their start at AAP and went on to brilliant careers. Many others chose to stay with the agency for several decades and are part of the revered ‘AAP family’.
 
“Many more amazing people have been part of the fabric of the company in critical support and management roles.
 
“I want to thank all of them for their service and contribution to Australian journalism over many years.”
 
“Our reporters, photographers, videographers and production staff are second to none. They have been leading the country in breaking news for decades and showed the way for publishers in terms of the 24-hour news cycle.”
 
AAP chairman Campbell Reid said:
 
“For generations AAP has been journalism’s first responder,” said Mr Reid, who is News Corp’s Group Executive, Corporate Affairs, Policy and Government Relations.
 
“Its reporters, photographers and production staff have accurately recorded the first cut of contemporary Australian history and the nation is in their debt. 
 
“It is a great loss that professional and researched information provided by AAP is being substituted with the un-researched and often inaccurate information that masquerades as real news on the digital platforms.  
 
“I want to thank AAP’s leaders, CEO Bruce Davidson, Newswire editor-in-chief Tony Gillies and many others who have been fighting to keep the AAP business alive in the face of this relentless disruption.
 
“But eventually the number of organisations choosing to no longer rely on the AAP service has made the business unsustainable. 
 
“Today’s decision is made with a very heavy heart.”

Kerrie McCallum’s delicious. Month Out comes at right time for traders

By James Manning

If you have yet to plan any activities in the American Express delicious. Month Out (AEDMO) Sydney initiative you have already missed three days. The good news there are 28 left and still plenty of tickets and bookings left for over 200 food events.

Kerrie McCallum, editor-in-chief, of the News Corp Australia food brand delicious. told Mediaweek her team had been planning for the March activity for some time.

“We started talking to American Express and the City of Sydney about August 2019. We then had to move quite quickly as logistically it was bigger than anything we had to organise before. In the first year we have had a lot of learnings. We’d never engaged with retailers before so we were fortunate that we were able to get advice from the team at Vogue Australia who have done it event before with Fashions Night Out.

“We lent on a lot of people internally, but we got there. We have been able to attract small and large businesses – we wanted a large variety of operators to be able to participate – from a small café to a bar or a pub through to fine dining restaurants. We also went to the bigger groups like Solotel, Merivale and Rockpool – that was not just important to delicious. and News Corp Australia but also AMEX and the City of Sydney that we were able to get participation across the board. We wanted to make sure we could offer an array of price points and experiences.

“Sydney’s range of dining experiences are diverse, and we wanted delicious. Month Out to reflect that. Another thing that was important to the City of Sydney was that we offered free experiences for people too. That is the idea behind the pop-ups in each precinct on Thursdays from 4-7pm.”

McCallum said participating revenues did not have to pay to take part. “That was an important part of the initiative. We wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to participate and everyone was guaranteed editorial support at delicious.com.au. The more thought or effort put into an offer, the more compelling those offers are, the more successful they are likely to be. We put the challenge out to retailers and vendors that anyone could register, but they really needed to try and create something special.”

When the initial tickets went on sale it didn’t take long for some of the events to sell out quickly. One of the first to put up the House Full sign was Icebergs and its Full Moon Party with two courses and a glass of wine for just $40. “I even booked into that one myself,” admitted McCallum.

McCallum added on any major event there will be learnings from things that work better than others. “But overall the buzz is high.”

The delicious. Month Out could not have come at a better time for the sector. “They are really pleased,” agreed the editor. “Many people have had a difficult summer, dominated by the bushfire crisis. The suppliers to a lot of restaurants were impacted by fires and on top of that more recently there is a lot less travel because of fears of coronavirus.

“The sector is also fighting against a convenience culture – something that Colin Fassnidge labelled Deliver Flu. People are ordering in a lot. A lot of the city has also been impacted by the Light Rail construction and the lock out laws.

“With some of those challenges now behind us the City of Sydney was keen to support us to revitalise our key precincts and businesses.

We have offers from 250 businesses in our first year which exceeded our goals.

The delicious. Month Out partners have been extraordinary in helping the execution of delicious. Month Out. “They have contributed as much energy as we have,” said McCallum. “What American Express is offering to consumers and their customers is amazing. They have invested a lot on their own marketing support and they have built an AMEX house at each precinct offering members a free drink and a canape. If members then spend $60 they have a $20 rebate offer that can be used twice in the month.”

Having the City of Sydney on board was also critical in getting the necessary permits for precinct activity which even includes closing off some streets.

For News Corp’s delicious. brand this is both a marketing initiative and something that contributes to the bottom line. “We see this as an initiative can grow as a business for us. We also knew the industry needed the support, and it also helps us grow the brand and diversifying in a new space.” It also a nice value add for delicious. magazine subscribers and website visitors. Those magazine subscribers got first crack at tickets for some of the marquee events across March including the Friday night launch event.

See also:
News Corp launches American Express delicious. Month Out festival in Barangaroo

Group marketing support has included a Daily Telegraph gloss wrap and delicious. on Sunday support – Sunday Telegraph editor Mick Carroll even managed to find a spot for McCallum on the front cover of Australia’s largest-selling newspaper. There is also a standalone vertical at delicious.com.au.

Top Photo: Kerrie McCallum at the launch of AEDMO with American Express’s Jee Moon and Naylsa Edwards

Simply the Best: Steve Crawley on a new year of NRL on Fox League

By Trent Thomas

Ahead of the new NRL season, head of television at Fox Sports Steve Crawley spoke with Mediaweek about what sets the NRL coverage apart, what to expect this year, and what he is looking forward to and dreading the most about the new year of footy.

Read more: It’s still game on: Steve Crawley on News Corp’s Olympic coverage

Two of the main products produced by Fox Sports are the NRL and AFL coverage, Crawley said. He noted the NRL coverage is a bit more fun, but that it also comes down to talent.

“You can’t photocopy Matty Johns because he is the most naturally gifted television talents that I’ve seen in my 30 years of TV.”

Speaking of Johns, Crawley says that when he first started his broadcast career he did characters like Reg Reagan on Thursday night and then tried talking serious footy and it didn’t sit right, but now he has honed it into a skill that Fox Sports must utilise.

“I rang Joe Bromham (Fox League executive producer) and said that we better have Matty calling some games this year because he reads it so well and it’s stunning to hear him talk rugby league. It’s not just his cheekiness and natural entertaining streak we want to capitalise on, we also want to tap into his football mind and pass that onto our audience.”

When asked what the secret formula is for discovering great on-air talent like Johns, Crawley said it is like picking anything in life whether it be a dog, a horse, a partner in life or an on-air talent.

“The first thing that you’ve got to look for is a worker. It doesn’t matter how much ability you’ve got, if you don’t work hard then you won’t make it.

“The next thing you want to do is find out if a person is a dickhead or not because if they are a dickhead then you’re wasting your time.

“The third thing is how much improvement do they have in them and do they want to improve.”

Crawley doesn’t want to be compared to Channel Nine, but is aware that Fox Sports needs to produce a high level of product to earn people’s money.

“What I try to do is create points of difference for the viewer to justify them paying for the content. This includes being innovative and providing things like the best commentators, no ad breaks in play, doing it all in HD and a lot of it in Ultra HD.”

When asked if we will be seeing more Ultra HD this year he says that is not very likely but that it does not stop them from offering the best quality picture.

“It’s really expensive so I don’t know about doing more but it’s the case of picking the right matches to do and we are committed long term to deliver the best picture and we are pretty proud of that.

“I always have two screens to compare our coverage to the free to air broadcast whether it is AFL, NRL, or cricket, so I look at every picture humanly possible and I am very proud of the quality of our picture.”

With a new NRL season around the corner, Crawley said that he has a lot to look forward to from the round three game between South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Roosters, Fox Sport’s improving commentary team, The Matty Johns Show, and Cameron Smith’s final year as a player.

Although he says the better question may be what is he not looking forward to?

“The Professor has a new show The Narrow World of Sports covering both NRL and AFL and I wish I had nothing to do with that, but I do. You find yourself hiding under the couch when he comes on worried that he is going to get us in trouble.”

TV Demand: Altered Carbon and Better Call Saul joins the charts

By Trent Thomas

The Mandalorian has made it 15 weeks in a row on top of the TV Demand charts in Australia and New Zeland as it begins to eye the 22 week record set by Stranger Things last year. 

Although this week was a close scare with Brooklyn Nine-Nine in the midst of its seventh season making it a close contest on the Overall TV charts. With The Mandalorian not expecting new content anytime soon, this might be the Nine-Nines chance to spoil the party.

Two new faces have made their way on the charts with Altered Carbon making its way on both digital original charts and Better Call Saul making the Overall TV chart in NZ.

Altered Carbon released its second season consisting of eight episodes on Netflix on February 27. The cyberpunk web television series created by Laeta Kalogridis is based on the 2002 novel of the same title by Richard K. Morgan. Set over 360 years in the future in a world where consciousness can be transferred to different bodies the story revolves around a former soldier turned investigator who must solve a murder.

Better Caul Saul’s fifth season began airing on February 23 which is also the show’s penultimate season with a sixth and final season planned for 2021. The series is a spin-off of the megahit Breaking Bad and is set in the early 2000’s six years before the commencement of Walter White’s story. The show follows con-man turned small-time lawyer, Jimmy McGill as he begins the journey to becoming criminal for hire Saul Goodman, and sees numerous characters from Breaking Bad making appearances. 

SCA announces acquisition of WA's Carnarvon Communications

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) today announced the acquisition of Carnarvon Communications, which completes its radio coverage of northern Western Australia.

The acquisition includes two radio stations – Classic Hits 666 and Hot Hits 997 in the Carnarvon licence area. SCA previously represented the stations for national sales.

The stations will now begin the process of being rebranded, with Classic Hits 666 becoming Triple M and Hot Hits 997 becoming Hit 997.

The announcement follows SCA’s acquisition of Redwave Media’s eight stations in Western Australia’s Karratha, Broome, Geraldton, Port Hedland and remote mine site areas. These stations will rebrand to Hit and Triple M on 16 March.

SCA CEO Grant Blackley said: “Carnarvon Communications, like Redwave, was a logical acquisition for SCA to extend our radio coverage of Western Australia. With Australia’s largest radio network, SCA is continuing to invest in audio and these two stations add to our reach and connection with local communities.”

The Bachelor
From Tribal Councils to Rose Ceremonies Locky Gilbert is the next Bachelor

After being blindsided on last nights Australian Survivor: All Stars Locky Gilbert has wasted no time getting back on the reality TV horse being announced as the Bachelor in the new season of the Bachelor Australia.

At tribal council host Jonathan LaPaliga grilled the newly merged KaloKalo tribe and when he quizzed Zach, he all but revealed someone in the old Vakama was about to be blindsided. 

Locky stated he was there to see big moves played, not to sit on the sideline and watch. Moana retaliated with the fact that sitting on the sidelines was all he had done at the past four tribal councils.

Once the votes were cast, Locky got his wish and witnessed an epic move in the game – his own blindside. Will he now be blindsided by love?

An experienced cave diver, base jumper, mountaineer and athlete the 30-year-old adventure guide is about to take the largest leap of all by searching for love.

The self-confessed meat pie and sausage roll connoisseur describes himself as a hopeless romantic who wears his heart on his sleeve, he is looking for a driven and outdoorsy woman with a wicked sense of adventure. Someone with whom he can take on the world and snuggle up to on the couch.

“I really want to find love. I’m pretty content with my life at the moment. I go on these crazy adventures, but I’d love someone to share the memories with.

“I’ve got best friends, but I want to find that one best friend that I can spend the rest of my life with. This is an amazing opportunity to hopefully find someone special at the end.”

Past seasons of The Bachelor Australia franchise have resulted in fairy-tale endings for Tim and Anna, Sam and Snezana, Georgia and Lee, Matty J and Laura, Ali and Taite and Angie and Carlin. And with his turn fast approaching, will Locky find his partner in crime to join him for a life full of love, laughter and adventure?

Hosted by Osher Günsberg, The Bachelor Australia is made for Network 10 by Warner Bros. International Television Production.

Australian Podcast Ranker to include US titles from Stitcher and iHeartPodcast Network 

The next Australian Podcast Ranker, to be released tomorrow for the first time will include popular US titles from the iHeartPodcast Network and Stitcher.

ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network Australia is the sales representative for all Australian downloads of the iHeartPodcast Network, which includes the popular podcasts “Stuff You Should Know”, “Stuff You Missed in History Class” and the true crime series “DISGRACELAND”.

Whooshkaa represents Stitcher podcasts, which include “Freakonomics Radio”, US talk show queen Oprah Winfrey’s “SuperSoul Conversations” and “My Favorite Murder”, a true crime comedy podcast.

Commercial Radio Australia chief executive officer Joan Warner said:

“The ranker shows Australians have a diverse and growing range of interests when it comes to podcast listening.

“We’re pleased to welcome the new publishers with US titles to the top 100, so we can better reflect what’s popular and trending, which is valuable information for both publishers and advertisers.”

The international podcasts included can all carry Australian geo-targeted advertising.

The next Australian Podcast Ranker, which reports on the most downloaded podcasts amongst participating publishers, will be released on Thursday, March 5. 

Optus Sport acquires Copa America featuring the Socceroos

Optus Sport has acquired the Australian media rights for the CONMEBOL Copa America 2020 tournament, which will include the Socceroos for the first time as they take on South America’s best. Every match of both tournaments will feature live on Optus Sport between June 13 – July 13.

This adds to Optus Sports acquisition of the UEFA Euro 2020 already slated for June and July on Optus Sport.

The Copa America determines the South American national champion, since 1993, two teams from other confederations have been invited to play. In 2020 the Socceroos will make their first appearance, along with Qatar. 

“We are really pleased to be the home of every match of the Copa America tournament and to showcase the Socceroos on their quest against the best teams from South America,” Optus’ Head of TV and Content Corin Dimopoulos said.

“Optus Sport continues to grow and attract new content; with an active subscribing base of over 825,000 and other recent rights acquisitions including the FA Women’s Super League and the J.League.

“From Lionel Messi and Neymar in the Copa America, to Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappé in Euro 2020, what was already a big year for Optus Sport has now become a whole lot bigger.

The Socceroos have been drawn in Group A, which will see them take on hosts Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia and Uruguay. Their first match is scheduled for June 14, with exact match details still to be announced.

“To watch Australia play in such an amazing tournament against high quality opposition will be a brilliant experience, and I’m especially looking forward to seeing the rivalry with Uruguay reignite,” former Socceroo and Optus Sport expert Mark Schwarzer said.

“It’s going to be a feast of the best football on the planet across June and July, and I can’t wait to be part of the team that brings viewers our really exciting coverage of both Euro 2020 and the Copa America.”

Optus Sport will confirm coverage and hosting details for both CONMEBOL Copa America 2020 and UEFA Euro 2020 after both the Copa schedule is released and the four remaining playoff positions for UEFA Euro 2020 are filled.

CONMEBOL COPA AMERICA 2020

• 12 nations take part in Copa America 2020, and they are split into two groups of six, the North Zone and South Zone.
• North Zone includes Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Qatar, with all group stage matches played in Colombia, while South Zone includes hosts Argentina as well as Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay and Australia.
• Each nation will play every other side in their group, with the top four countries from each zone advancing to the quarter finals. From that point it will be knock-out football all the way to determine who will be the 47th Copa America champions.
• Uruguay have been crowned champion more than any other country since the tournament began in 1916, however the most recent winners include Brazil in 2019, Chile in 2016 and 2015, Uruguay in 2011 and Brazil in 2007.
• While for the Socceroos, the tournament will give the team some more high-quality matches as they continue their journey towards qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Sports streamer DAZN expands to Australia and over 200 countries

Global sports streaming service DAZN will be increasing its international distribution in 2020, expanding to more than 200 countries and territories, including Australia. This adds to its already existing service in Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the United States – across four continents. 

The first global event on DAZN will be Canelo Alvarez’s soon-to-be-announced fight during Cinco de Mayo Weekend, which will take place on Saturday, May 2.

This first phase of DAZN’s global expansion will be an English-language service focused on boxing, building on the company’s significant investment in the sport over the past two years.

DAZN holds international rights to many of the world’s top promotional companies including Golden Boy Promotions, Matchroom Boxing USA and GGG Promotions. Fighters such as Alvarez and Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin will be part of a robust year-round portfolio of premium fights and original programming on the new service.

DAZN Group Executive Chairman John Skipper said: “Beginning this spring, most of the world will have access to DAZN and its unmatched schedule of boxing events.”

“Our roster of championship fighters represents some of the world’s most popular athletes and we’ll be working with them to stage spectacular international events for years to come.”

DAZN EVP Joseph Markowski, who will oversee the global service said: “Since our launch in 2016, we’ve seen an encouraging level of interest around our key events from both international fans and potential partners, which highlighted the opportunity to capitalize on our existing rights portfolio within boxing to fuel our expansion.”

“Establishing DAZN as the global home of fight sports is just the first step and we couldn’t think of a better attraction for our inaugural event than Canelo’s traditional Cinco de Mayo Weekend fight.”

In addition, to live sporting events, DAZN also offers an archive of classic fights, athlete features and a slate of original programming featuring 40 DAYSThe Making Of and One Night.

The DAZN app will be available globally on most internet-connected devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, PCs, and living room devices such as smart TVs, streaming sticks and game consoles. 

Pricing by market will be announced in the coming weeks.

TV Ratings: March 4

By Trent Thomas

• Married at First Sight has rare dip under one million
• Elimination decider on MKR: The Rivals gets 489,000
• Australian Survivor: All-Stars merge as Bachelor Locky goes home

Married at First Sight has continued its dominance pushing Nine to a 24.5% primary share win and a 29.6% network share victory. Although for only the second time this year the program fell below one million metro viewers with 987,000 viewers tuning in for the honeymoons of the new newlyweds, Steve overcoming his fears and canoeing with Mishel, and Stacie and Michael beginning to patch things up with a kiss. The next best non-news program for Nine was Paramedics which had 597,000 viewers.

On Seven there was an elimination decider on MKR: The Rivals which failed to crack the 500k barrier with 489,000 viewers as season nine villains Roula and Rachael from team Manu were sent home.  This was an increase on last Tuesday’s 473,000.

For the second time this week, Seven aired an episode of the US hit The Good Doctor which had 410,000 viewers following MKR which is up from the 331,000 that it had in its Sunday timeslot earlier this week.

Seven finished second for the night in both primary (17.3%) and network (25.0%) shares.

Australian Survivor: All Stars has delivered its biggest audience of the year for 10 with 663,000 viewers watching the anticipated tribal merge and fan favourite David Genat ‘taking a chain saw to the game’ as the future star of Bachelor Australia Locky Gilbert was sent home in a blindside befitting of All Stars. 

ABC had a big name draw last night with 7:30 featuring Leigh Sales confrontation with Prime Minister Scott Morrison which garnered 601,000 viewers to the public broadcaster. 

Over at SBS the networks top show was Great Aust Railway Journeys which Michael Portillo traveling south of Cairns to Innisfail and Townsville along with 339,000 viewers. 

Week 10 TV: Tuesday
TUESDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.7% 7 17.3% 9 24.5% 10  13.4% SBS One 5.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 2.9% GO! 2.1% 10 Bold 3.6% VICELAND 1.7%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 3.4% GEM 1.2% 10 Peach 2.8% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.9% 7flix 1.3% 9Life 1.9%     NITV 0.1%
                SBS World Movies 1.2%
TOTAL 15.9%   25.0%   29.6%   19.8%   9.6%

 

TUESDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.3% 7 19.3% 9 20.5% WIN 10.6% SBS One 5.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 4.3% GO! 2.6% WIN Bold 4.5% VICELAND 1.6%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 5.5% GEM 1.6% WIN Peach 2.3% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.4% 9Life 2.2% Sky News  on WIN 1.7% NITV 0.2%
                SBS Movies 1.5%
TOTAL 14.0%   30.5%   26.9%   19.1%   9.5%

 

TUESDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
88.6% 11.4%
TUESDAY FTA
  1. Married At First Sight Nine 987,000
  2. Seven News Seven 958,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 942,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine854,000
  5. Nine News Nine 826,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 766,000
  7. ABC News ABC 711,000
  8. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 663,000
  9. 7.30 ABC 601,000
  10. Paramedics Nine 597,000
  11. Home And Away Seven 574,000
  12. The Chase Australia Seven 521,000
  13. My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals Seven 489,000
  14. The Project 7pm 10 450,000
  15. Hot Seat Nine 436,000
  16. Foreign Correspondent ABC 422,000
  17. The Good Doctor Seven 410,000
  18. Great Australian Railway Journeys SBS 339,000
  19. 10 News First 10 335,000
  20. The Chase Australia 5pm Seven 325,000
Demo Top 5

16 – 39

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 276,000
  2. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 235,000
  3. Paramedics Nine 153,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 125,000
  5. Home And Away Seven 103,000

 

18 – 49

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 462,000
  2. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 357,000
  3. Paramedics Nine 244,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 208,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 207,000

 

25 – 54

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 523,000
  2. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 376,000
  3. Paramedics Nine 274,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 263,000
  5. Seven News Seven 255,000
TUESDAY Multichannel
  1. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 166,000
  2. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 165,000
  3. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 164,000
  4. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 160,000
  5. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 157,000
  6. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 153,000
  7. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  8. School Of Roars ABCKIDS/COMEDY 138,000
  9. CSI: Miami 10 Bold 138,000
  10. Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  11. Highway Patrol Ep.2 PM 7mate 132,000
  12. Dot. PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  13. Thomas And Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  14. Bob The Builder PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  15. Noddy Toyland Detective PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  16. Neighbours 10 Peach 119,000
  17. Highway Patrol PM 7mate 118,000
  18. Play School Art Time PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  19. Olobob Top PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 115,000
  20. Full Custom Garage PM 7mate 110,000
TUESDAY STV
  1. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 61,000
  2. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 58,000
  3. Jones & Credlin Sky News Live 52,000
  4. The Great British Bake Off Lifestyle FOOD 51,000
  5. Credlin Sky News Live 44,000
  6. PML Later Sky News Live 34,000
  7. 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown UKTV 31,000
  8. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 30,000
  9. Highway Patrol FOX8 29,000
  10. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 29,000
  11. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 28,000
  12. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 28,000
  13. NCIS: Los Angeles FOX Crime 28,000
  14. Escape To The Country Lifestyle Channel 27,000
  15. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 27,000
  16. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 27,000
  17. NCIS FOX Crime 27,000
  18. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 27,000
  19. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 26,000
  20. Border Security: International FOX8 26,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

AAP set to close after 85 years: Reasons and reaction

National news agency Australian Associated Press will close its doors after 85 years in operation, with more than 180 editorial staff hit by the close of its newswire and hundreds from other parts of the company to be affected by the sales of various divisions and setting up of new businesses, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

AAP chief executive Bruce Davidson told staff on Tuesday afternoon that the AAP newswire will be closed, and the Medianet PR business and Mediaverse analytics business will be sold.

Sources told the Financial Review that changes will affect 500 individual staff members and 100 contractors, via the shutdown of AAP newswire, the sale of Medianet and Mediaverse, and the potential setting up of a new production entity. Staff entitlements are secure, sources said.

Davidson said AAP executives had been aware of the decision to close the business for nearly three months, with the final call being made in December.

Nine and News Corp are the largest shareholders and are believed to put about $5 million and $10 million respectively into the business every year.

AAP said the decision was forced by a decline in the number of media companies paying for the service in recent years and the impact of digital platforms taking other people’s content and distributing it for free.

[Read more]

ABC News reports:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Parliament that AAP journalists have a proud and wonderful history covering Australian federal politics.

“When you have such an important [publisher] such as AAP coming to an end … that is a matter of real concern,” he said.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese also addressed reporters in Parliament, saying “you will leave a massive void in terms of information coverage”.

“Democracy should not be taken for granted,” he said.

“It relies upon communication of what happens in this place and the Australian public will be less informed as a result of the decision today.”

[Read more]

Free TV: AAP the canary in the coalmine on news sustainability

Free TV Australia has released a statement claiming the closure of Australian Associated Press (AAP) announced today was a reminder of the need for real action to address the ongoing sustainability of Australian media companies in the face of unprecedented disruption and change.

Free TV CEO, Bridget Fair said: Today’s AAP announcement is a sad reminder of the pressures that Australian media businesses currently face. The work of AAP and its journalists was highly valued by Free TV members.

This shines a big, bright light on the impact that digital giants Google and Facebook are having on Australia’s media landscape.

In response to the ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry, the Government has required that Google and Facebook negotiate bargaining Codes of Conduct to redress the substantial power imbalance between them and Australia’s media businesses.

This also shows the urgency of reform of Australia’s archaic media regulations. It is simply not sustainable for our media businesses to continue to operate under regulations from the last century in areas such as Australian content quotas and advertising restrictions.

Today’s sad decision to close AAP only serves to emphasise that there is no time to waste in finalising both the bargaining Code and regulatory reform. The risk of Australians losing their trusted, local news services is real and it is here now.

MEAA: Closing AAP Newswire is irresponsible, government must act

The MEAA said the decision to close the AAP Newswire business in June and its Pagemasters sub-editing and production operation in August is a gross abandonment of responsibility by its shareholders – Australia’s major media outlets.

In a statement, MEAA calls on the investors to recognise that they cannot fulfil their duty to inform the community without delivering a solution to fill the enormous void left if AAP is not available to perform its function.

MEAA Media federal president Marcus Strom said: “There are at least 180 editorial jobs at stake – making AAP a major media operation. Any decision to abandon AAP will be devastating for our members and AAP staff and we will do all in our power to support them.

“This decision will also devastate the media industry and the communities it serves. AAP’s shareholders must realise the prospect they face should they abandon AAP. Look at the news stories, the photos, the coverage, the quotes and the enormous spectrum of excellent journalism that AAP has supplied over the past 85 years. AAP delivers news, photos and sub-editing services that the major media groups either cannot or will not.

“The decision to close the AAP Newswire business in June and its Pagemasters sub-editing and production operation in August is a gross abandonment of responsibility by its shareholders – Australia’s major media outlets. MEAA calls on the investors to recognise that they cannot fulfil their duty to inform the community without delivering a solution to fill the enormous void left if AAP is not available to perform its function.

“Bean counters at the top of media organisations might think they can soldier on without AAP, but the reality is it will leave a huge hole in news coverage. Filling those holes will fall to already overburdened newsroom journalists. Or coverage will simply cease to occur.

“AAP has also trained generations of journalists and has been an excellent start for many of Australia’s top journalists. It is reckless and short-sighted of media bosses to jettison this wonderful media institution.

MEAA is currently consulting with its members and MEAA House Committee delegates at AAP to ensure the company’s editorial staff can have maximum input to developing strategies to assist the company.

Journalists rally behind AAP to protest newswire closure

After the announcement of the closure of AAP yesterday, journalists around Australia used social media to protest at the closure of the business and what it offers the industry.

ABC

Group photos from staff at the ABC, The Age and SBS holding signs saying “We need the AAP newswire” were among those posted online.

The Age

SBS

Comcast CEO says Olympics plans going "Full Steam Ahead"

Comcast’s “base business is probably at the moment kind of unaffected” by the coronavirus, chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said Tuesday, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The biggest impact for the company will be at its theme park in Osaka, Japan, which has been closed for two weeks, Roberts said. That will “probably mean a 7 to 9 percent” incremental adverse hit in the first quarter to NBCUniversal’s revenue, depending on the length of the closure. “That park represents about 2 percent of our earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation” at Comcast, which in 2019 amounted to $34.3 billion, he said.

“The Olympics are obviously on everybody’s mind. What I know is it’s full steam ahead,” Roberts said, adding that the company has contractual protection and insurance. “There should be no losses should there not be an Olympics,” he said. “[There] just wouldn’t be a profit this year.” He concluded that he was “optimistic” the Summer Games would happen, adding that he was “looking forward to being there.”

[Read more]

News Brands

Bushfires add $3m to ABC broadcasting costs as funding cut

The summer bushfires added an extra $3m in emergency broadcasting costs to the ABC budget at a time the corporation had to absorb an ongoing annual budget cut of $105.9m, the managing director, David Anderson, has told a parliamentary committee, reports Guardian Australia’s Amanda Meade.

The ABC told the committee the Coalition’s $84m budget reduction announced in 2018 translated to a cut, but the defence minister, Linda Reynolds, insisted it was an “indexation pause” and ABC funding had been maintained.

Anderson confirmed both content and staff would be affected when he unveiled his plans to meet the shortfall next month, but he guaranteed there would be no reduction in regional services.

The ABC has made 935 emergency broadcasts already this financial year compared to 371 the year before and 256 in 2017-18, and has been widely praised for its vital role.

[Read more]

ABC’s David Anderson’s $10m regional funding pledge

The ABC’s managing director has pledged to invest another $10 million a year in regional journalism if the federal government lifts its freeze on funding the broadcaster, reports The Australian’s Leo Shanahan.

In a letter seen by The Australian, ABC managing director David Anderson wrote to communications minister Paul Fletcher on January 24 asking the government to lift the funding cap freeze, which would allow the broadcaster to devote an extra $10 million a year in funding to regional and rural coverage.

The extra funding would be combined with further cuts and “efficiencies” identified by Anderson.

[Read more]

Journalist Leigh Sales grills Prime Minister in fiery ABC interview

Veteran journalist Leigh Sales has gone hard on Prime Minister Scott Morrison on several issues in a fiery interview on ABC tonight, reports news.com.au’s Stephanie Bedo.

The 7.30 host didn’t hold back when questioning Morrison on the country’s economy, emissions targets and the sports grants saga.

Sales was praised on social media for her “extraordinary” work challenging Morrison as he dodged her questions.

Sales kicked off the interview quizzing the PM on how he’s managing the economy.

“How is it possible that you don’t have an economic centrepiece beyond a slogan for jobs and growth?,” she asked him.

“Well, I completely reject that,” Morrison replied.

Sales quickly responded: “Let me run through some of it with you…You have done nothing on IR or superannuation, nothing on GST reform, nothing big on company tax reform, no target for emissions reduction beyond 2030, business leaders feel there is no agenda.”

Sales then went on to grill Morrison on emissions reductions when things became more heated.

She told him a plan without a target is meaningless because you don’t know where you are going.

[Read more]

Hardball host Chris Matthews quits suddenly at MSNBC

Chris Matthews, the veteran political anchor and voluble host of the long-running MSNBC talk show Hardball, resigned on Monday night, an abrupt departure from a television perch that made him a fixture of politics and the news media over the past quarter-century, reports The New York Times.

Matthews, 74, had faced mounting criticism in recent days over a spate of embarrassing on-air moments, including a comparison of Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign to the Nazi invasion of France and an interview with Senator Elizabeth Warren in which the anchor was criticized for a condescending and disbelieving tone.

On Saturday, the journalist Laura Bassett published an essay accusing Matthews of making multiple inappropriate comments about her appearance, reviving longstanding allegations about the anchor’s sexist behaviour. By Monday, his position at the news network he helped build had become untenable.

Accompanied by his family, Matthews walked onto the Hardball set inside NBC’s Washington bureau shortly before 7pm to deliver a brief farewell. His long-time crew members, who had been told of his plans roughly an hour earlier, looked on stunned.

[Read more]

Entertainment

Sony Music boss honoured at Queensland Music Awards

Queensland’s next generation of music stars were celebrated alongside big-name music legends at the state’s annual music awards celebration, report News Corp’s Sophie Chirgwin and Amy Price.

The Queensland Music Awards, held for the first time at The Fortitude Music Hall, brought the best of the state’s music scene together in one room, changing the lives of up-and-coming musicians.

Thelma Plum, who was unable to attend the QMAs due to a conflict in schedule, took out the top gong for Album of the Year with her critically-acclaimed debut album Better In Blak, which tells the story of a Gamilaraay woman’s culture turning trauma into triumph.

Brisbane band The Jungle Giants won Song of the Year and the Pop category for their latest hit Heavy Hearted, which came in at number eight for Triple J’s Hottest 100 this year.

The Queensland Government’s 2020 Billy Thorpe Scholarship, which kicked off the careers of artists including Sam Hales from The Jungle Giants, was awarded to Brisbane-based singer-songwriter Harry Phillips, who will receive the $10,000 grant to record his next release along with career planning advice from Chugg Entertainment.

Winners were last night celebrated by renowned stars in the music industry including Bernard Fanning from Powderfinger and members of rock band Violent Soho.

Fanning was among the artists who presented an award while the ceremony was hosted by Dominic Miller, Jeremy Neale, The Grates singer Patience Hodgson and comedian Mel Buttle.

Queensland’s music golden girl Amy Shark surprised the crowd with an appearance to present the QMusic Honorary Award to Sony Music executive Denis Handlin in recognition for his 50-year tenure.

“Denis has changed my life and I’ve been pretty vocal about that. He continues to change my life daily,” she said on stage.

“We’ve really covered some ground in 3.5 years. He’s very rare. I’ve met people you think are all in and they’re not. As an artist having someone like Denis in your corner is an absolute weapon.”

[Read more]

Radio

Nova Brisbane general manager under internal investigation

Long-serving Brisbane general manager of Nova Entertainment Jay Walkerden is under an internal investigation following an alleged incident involving one of the announcers on 106.9’s top-rating Ash, Kip, Luttsy & Susie breakfast radio show, reports News Corp’s Kylie Lang.

The Courier-Mail understands the alleged incident occurred when Walkerden – who is also Nova’s program director – was on a week’s trip with the crew in California last week.

Several radio insiders, including announcers for rival networks, confirmed similar accounts.

One said: “There was an incident in San Francisco, and complaints were made.”

The Courier-Mail contacted Walkerden, but he did not return calls.

He has been in senior roles with Nova for almost nine years, and is married to afternoon announcer Katie Mattin.

[Read more]

Television

With drama under threat, Stateless proves home-grown shows matter

The ABC has debuted an exceptional Australian drama in the form of Stateless, a detailed and wrenching study of the lives consumed at every despairing turn by a razor-wire encircled detention centre, reports The Age’s Craig Mathieson.

Screening on Sunday nights, where it’s helping to reclaim the 8.30pm timeslot for quality local storytelling, the six-part series has a nuanced perspective on our nation’s divide over refugees and the terrible failures that form in the resulting deep cracks.

With its impressive ensemble cast, led by Yvonne Strahovski, Fayssal Bazzi, Jai Courtney, and co-creator Cate Blanchett (working some truly terrifying leisurewear as a cult leader’s courtier), the Matchbox Picture production gets at the official duplicity and private cost of fashioning a system that’s not meant to work for people supposedly in need.

The setting is the South Australian outback, but there are moments – grimly black in their offhand comic detachment – that suggest a 21st century update of Kafka’s worldview.

Following the ABC’s 2018 outback procedural Mystery Road and 2019’s full-tilt political thriller Total Control, it gives the national broadcaster an impressive three-for-three in Australian drama.

[Read more]

TV Renovation queen buys home of comedian Merrick Watts

Television renovation queen Cherie Barber has been revealed as the buyer of an insane converted warehouse that sold last month for around $6 million, reports News Corp’s Mat Bell.

Barber snapped up the Lilyfield property owned by comedian and radio presenter Merrick Watts and his wife Georgie, a week out from auction for the suburb record.

While settlement will reveal the actual price, CoreLogic confirms that a sale around $6 million will see the warehouse break the Lilyfield property record by nearly $2 million.

The finished product won multiple awards and features a 500-bottle cellar, rooftop pool, 5m high library wall, a suspended fireplace and retractable walls and roof. It also blends minimalist touches with original features such as the Oregon roof trusses.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Eddie McGuire nominates his most memorable footy calls

Eddie McGuire has paid tribute to footy callers as “custodians of the game” while naming broadcasters who inspired him and special matches he has called over the journey, reports News Corp’s Nui Te Koha.

McGuire, a Fox Footy broadcaster, said footy calling is about doing justice to the game and the players.

“You are, at that moment, the custodian of the game, you are the recorder of history,” McGuire said.

“If you miss someone taking the mark of the year, or the mark of the century because you’re talking about something else, or you haven’t got yourself quite right, you miss the opportunity to make something spectacular.

“The great commentators find the moment.”

McGuire cited Mike Williamson’s “Jesaulenko, you beauty!” as an iconic moment, and gave credit to Anthony Hudson (“I see it, but I don’t believe it” on Swans player Nick Davis kicking a game-winning goal in the 2005 AFL semi final), Stephen Quartermain (“Leo Barry, you star!” for another game-winning effort in the 2005 grand final), and legendary callers Bruce McAvaney and Dwyane Russell.

“As a caller, you just hope you can do the game and the player justice. That’s what it’s all about,” McGuire said.

[Read more]

Broadcaster says he would not cross the road to watch AFLW

Broadcaster Steve Price says AFLW is a waste of money and he “wouldn’t cross the road to watch it”, reports News Corp’s Nui Te Koha.

Price, appearing on Triple M Hot Breakfast with Eddie McGuie and Luke Darcy, said an AFL club official told him the spend on four AFLW games is $1 million.

“Is that a good spend?” Price asked. “I wouldn’t cross the road to watch it.”

He added: “I love female sport, but the amount of money we’re ploughing into this is ridiculous.”

McGuire, who is also the Collingwood Football Club president, told Price membership numbers were up because of AFLW.

“You will never get a dollar of government money for any infrastructure unless you’ve got female sports involved,” McGuire said.

“We’ve just done a deal which will be announced in the next couple of months … and the key part of that was the women’s sports.”

Price responded: “So governments are shaming you into supporting women’s football so you can get infrastructure built?”

[Read more]

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