Friday May 1, 2020

Bauer Media finally the home of New Idea, marie claire & who

• Money in the bank as Seven exits magazines, all weeklies in one place

Back on October 21, 2019 Seven confirmed the impending sale of its magazine division Pacific to Bauer Media Australia for $40 million.

It seems like a lot longer though given all that has gone on since then. The first challenge was to get the ACCC to clear the deal which eventually happened after the regulator initially raised concerns about the loss of competition in the sector with Bauer Media emerging as Australia’s only publisher of major weekly and monthly titles.

An even bigger potential deal-breaker was the arrival of COVID-19 which has seen the bottom drop out of the advertising market that has upended business models and hammered media values.

It is believed Bauer Media wanted out of the original Pacific deal unless the sale price was reviewed. However thanks to a contract that locked them in the sale has closed today, with the Pacific staff Bauer Media is taking on starting work for Bauer, albeit from home under lockdown, and not the infamous Park Street magazine high rise.

The proceeds of the sale will be used to pay down debt, improving SWM’s balance sheet flexibility and simplifying the organisation to focus on what it has called its content led growth strategy.

SWM and Bauer Media were also planning to enter into commercial arrangements to mutually benefit both parties, including advertising spend commitments, the ongoing production of Better Homes and Gardens television program, and sharing lifestyle content under a long-term agreement. In addition, SWM was to receive $6.6 million of advertising on Bauer Media assets over three years.

At the time of the announcement of the sale, Seven West Media CEO James Warburton said, “The sale of Pacific Magazines is another major initiative aligned with our strategy to improve balance sheet flexibility and simplify the operating model to enable greater focus on growth initiatives. The team at Pacific have been at the forefront of our groups transformation and have done a tremendous job at repositioning their business, but there can be no doubt that there is a greater future within a larger scaled magazine group.”

The Pacific brands that will now have a new home include New Idea, That’s Life! and Home Beautiful. Brands that Bauer will have the Australian rights to under licence include marie claire, Better Homes and Gardens, InStyle, Women’s and Men’s Health and Who.

Even has confirmed $40 million in cash consideration, pre-adjustments and leave provisions, as well as $6.6 million in advertising over three years in Bauer publications, was received by SWM from Bauer for the sale early this morning.

Commenting on the completion of the sale today, Warburton said: “We welcome today’s completion of the sale of Pacific Magazines to Bauer Media. The completion of this transaction is a key step as we work to transform SWM.

I want to thank all the staff at Pacific for their passion, commitment and tireless work over the years at SWM.

Brendon Hill, Australia CEO, said: “We are extremely pleased to complete the purchase of Pacific Magazines. It will drive the consolidation publishing needs right now to be competitive at what is a very challenging time for our industry. We welcome the Pacific staff to the Bauer Group and look forward to working with them.

“The economic impact of COVID-19 is affecting the entire media industry but by combining Pacific Magazines with Bauer Media Australia, it will create a stronger business with the capabilities to better compete in a digital world.“The Pacific brands have unique audiences and our combined digital reach will be compelling. We look forward to emerging from the other side of COVID-19 to drive innovation and maximise reach and engagement with our audiences,” said Hill.

“This move sucks” Anger as newsagents lose valuable traffic, News Corp responds

Australian newsagents are not welcoming the decision by News Corp Australia and Chemist Warehouse to join forces to make newspapers available to customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

From this week, 100 Chemist Warehouse stores across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia will become a point of sale for News Corp’s metro mastheads, The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, The Courier-Mail and The Advertiser.

The initiative will operate on a trial basis until July and, pending the result, may be extended to 400 stores nationwide.

See also:
Chemist Warehouse trial to sell News Corp metro dailies in four states

Mark Fletcher, a Melbourne retailer with three stores in addition to running newsXpress which runs a franchised group of 225 retailers, told Mediaweek:

“Newsagents are wondering if the News Corp move to sell papers through Chemist Warehouse is a move by the company to break away from these local family businesses. It certainly looks that way. Equally, it could be News Corp sucking up to a valuable advertiser.

“Given the Chemist Warehouse model, look for free papers to be offered when shoppers spend above a certain amount, like News Corp regularly runs in supermarkets. These campaigns hurt local newsagency over the counter sales.

“Regardless of the reason, the News Corp decision will hurt small business newsagents and this is bad news for the channel.”

Fletcher was more scathing on Newsagency Blog today, under the headline “FFS! News Corp. puts papers in 100 Chemist Warehouse outlets”, Fletcher commented:

I think this move sucks. There is nothing good about it for newsagents. The move by News is socially irresponsible.

“Our channel has been a good and faithful servant of News Corp for decades. We already have had to put up with cuts to margins and watching as publishers preference supermarkets with sweet deals.”

A News Corp Australia spokesperson told Mediaweek today:
“Our support for newsagencies is unchanged as they remain the major channel for our print distribution. However, we’ve always sold our news brands through multiple channels, ranging from our websites to newsagents, the local milk bar to supermarkets and petrol and convenience stores. Adding an essential service like pharmacies to this mix makes sense given people are turning to trusted news sources for accurate information about the COVID-19 crisis.”

No footy, but AFL Media Network still has 4m+ March audience

The Australian Football League (AFL) has retained its strong network engagement with 4.4 million users tuning in to AFL Media in March and an average of more than 1 million per week across the network.

In addition, the AFL is officially the most engaged Australian sports league on social media, with over 2.1 million reactions shared on the platform last week, and 4.7million video views – despite the absence of live matches.

While the official AFL Toyota Premiership Season remains on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions, overall traffic is up on average 53% vs. the 2019 off-season period.

Head of AFL Media Network Sarah Wyse said the impressive engagement numbers came down to the diversified offering and ability to remain agile in the approach to market.

“The AFL Media network has evolved from a traditional football news publisher to a next-generation media business. We deliver tailored platform offerings; diversified, audience-led content, strategic brand integration and optimised content delivered for our partners.

“Our primary focus is to build an emotional connection with fans – our content is powerful and drives the game forward in this unprecedented time. The network’s ability to retain fan engagement has come down to the ‘always on’ approach.

“We’ll continue to serve the biggest names and exclusives in football, but we’ll do that while we deliver meaningful content to keep fans entertained, informed and connected,” she said.

Scheduled viewing led by some of the AFL’s biggest names has proven to be a hit, with Yokayi Footy, The Coach with Ross Lyon, What Really Happened with Kane Cornes and Damian Barrett’s live show Ask Damo continuing to draw fans in week by week.

The AFL has also recently announced the Toyota AFL Fixture Throwback, a series of archived matches streamed across the AFL Live App and for Australian and New Zealand audiences, and Watch AFL for international users.

Reimagining traditional AFL experiences and expanding into new shows, content themes and platforms has been an advantage to the new way of working while footy is on hold, said Wyse.

“We’re embracing the new normal as an industry, working hard to innovate our offering and to bring new experiences to life during the shutdown period. Flexible working is something we pride ourselves on at the AFL, but the current COVID-19 situation has pushed us into flexible working arrangements we never thought possible.

We are running one of the largest digital sports networks remotely, leveraging AI technology to create video content at scale, enabling us to supercharge our on-demand video offering to satisfy our fans appetite.

“Football has a special place in so many Aussie households, and while almost every sport around the world is on hold due to COVID-19, we will continue to strive to deliver the most entertaining and relevant content we can until we return to play,” Wyse concluded.

Source: Nielsen’s Social Content Ratings report

Top Photo: Ross Lyon, Yokayi Footy host Bianca Hunt and Kane Cornes

The other TV show that Gordon Ramsay filmed in Australia in January

Gordon Ramsay spent part of January 2020 in Australia. Part of his visit was to co-host the first week of MasterChef Australia alongside new judges Melissa Leong, Andy Allen and Jock Zonfrillo.

But it has just been revealed he also filmed another series during his visit. Gordon Ramsay laced his boots, grabbed his knives and buckled up as he visited Tasmania as part of the second season of Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, premiering July 7 at 7.30pm on National Geographic.

The multi-Michelin-star chef and Ironman athlete continues his adventure across the globe in his relentless pursuit of culinary inspiration. The series will air globally in 172 countries and 43 languages. Season two follows Ramsay as he embarks on more exhilarating adventures, exploring world cultures through food.

“We are exploring seven new regions this season, each with vastly different culinary customs and history,” said Ramsay. “We get the opportunity to learn from the locals and hear their stories, and that gives us a much deeper experience and understanding of the world around us.”

Ramsay feasts his way through Tasmania plus also visits South Africa, Indonesia, Louisiana, Norway, India and Guyana, venturing even more off grid and off recipe to explore global cuisines. He journeys deep into the landscape of each place he visits, scaling mountains, battling 3-metre waves, braving frigid temperatures and bushwhacking his way through the backcountry to forage for some of the finest ingredients in the world.

From swimming in great white shark-infested waters to participating in a traditional bull run, Ramsay risks life and limb in his biggest and boldest missions yet in order to achieve edible excellence.

Under the guidance of local experts and food legends he meets along the way, Ramsay partakes in culinary customs and learn about delicious delicacies and fresh flavours unique to each region.

Every ingredient he harvests, dish he tastes and person he meets will inspire him to create a recipe from scratch, intended to represent the heart of that culture. Each episode concludes with Ramsay challenging himself during a final big cookout with a local food legend by his side, as they prepare a meal together for locals he met during his journey.

Some of the adventures — culinary and otherwise — that Ramsay experiences this season include:

• Risking life and limb by participating in a traditional bull race in a remote West Sumatran rice paddy field
• Braving Tasmania’s stormy waters to hose-dive among the rocks for giant spiny lobsters
• Leaping from a helicopter into high waves to harvest mussels along the South African coast
• Exploring a bat-infested Indonesian cave system in search of giant prawns
• Racing a four-wheeler through Louisiana’s dangerously muddy back roads to forage for fresh greens and hunt for bullfrogs and crawfish
• Plunging into Norway’s frigid waters to uncover the bounty of ingredients found within the fjords
• Battling strong surf to catch fish using traditional techniques in South India — that is, with a 90-kilogram net out at sea

Ramsay in Tasmania

The Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted episode in Tasmania screens on July 7 at 7:30pm AEST.

Chef Ramsay explores isolated Tasmania and uncovers the purity of the island, diving into shark-infested waters for giant saltwater spiny lobsters; avoiding venomous snakes in the bush while foraging for local herbs; and soaring in a seaplane to the rugged interior to fly-fish for trout and extract one-of-a-kind honey, all before facing off against culinary nomad Analiese Gregory to prepare an epic feast.

Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted is produced by Studio Ramsay for National Geographic. For Studio Ramsay, executive producers are Gordon Ramsay, Lisa Edwards and Jon Kroll. For National Geographic, executive producer is Betsy Forhan, vice president of production is Kevin Tao Mohs and executive vice president of National Geographic unscripted entertainment is Geoff Daniels.


Top Photo: Analiese Gregory with Gordon Ramsay in Tasmania in January

Crocmedia’s racing station SEN Track coming to Queensland

In late March Crocmedia announced the launch three pop-up radio stations to be known as SEN Track to support Australia’s racing, harness and greyhound industries while those sports are still able to operate under COVID-19 guidelines.

SEN Track initially launched in Melbourne on 1377 SEN+, in Perth on the 657 AM frequency and in Wollongong NSW on 1575 AM. It was also later available in Atherton on 99.1 FM, Ingham on 96.9 FM and Gosford on 801 AM.

This week Crocmedia revealed the new brand will launch from 7th September on 1053 AM Brisbane and 1620 AM Gold Coast.

In Queensland former Australian test cricketer Ian Healy and veteran sports journalist Pat Welsh will present Breakfast with Pat and Heals to provide a local lead-in to each day’s racing coverage – commencing 7th September. The pair said they were looking forward to sharing their banter with sports fans Monday – Thursday, 6.30-8.30am.

Crocmedia chief executive officer Craig Hutchison said the move was in support of participants of the sports as well as fans craving content.

“Racing, Harness and Greyhounds have huge participants and suppliers, create massive jobs across the country and contribute significantly to the economies of every town in Australia,” Hutchison said.

“We had existing plans for a national SEN Track network later in the year but have decided to go early as a small sample of our content offering, to support the last remaining live sports events being staged in Australia.

“Our business calls every sport and it’s a rare opportunity in the present circumstances. With the threat of COVID-19 looming and through our consultation with the participants, we felt these industries needed our support like all industries do and so we are jumping in early.

“We are in the fortunate position, using our existing radio frequencies and resources, to quickly turn on SEN Track to support the owners, breeders, trainers and the fans.”

Stan confirms launch date, new stars for Lockdown Comedy Festival

Stan has announced that the new Stan Original Australian Lockdown Comedy Festival will premiere Saturday, 9 May at 7pm AEST, with new episodes weekly.

The Stan Original series was commissioned as a direct result of the cancellation of many of Australia’s comedy festivals and tours, including the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Sydney Comedy Festival.

Created by Stan and Guesswork Television, the Australian Lockdown Comedy Festival is a four-part series which will showcase the cream of Australia’s comedy crop.

Starting on the 9th of May, each episode will feature at least six different comedians performing short standup comedy spots captured by cameras delivered to their homes.

Previously announced comedians Wil Anderson, Cal Wilson, Nazeem Hussain, Dave Hughes, Zoe Coombs Marr, Tommy Little, Geraldine Hickey, Dilruk Jayasinha, Steph Tisdell, Aaron Chen, Sam Campbell, Michelle Brasier, Nath Valvo will be joined by new additions including Tom Ballard, Randy Feltface, Claire Hooper, Becky Lucas, Sam Taunton, Nikki Britton, Demi Lardner & Tom Walker, and emerging talents Lauren Bonner, Oliver Twist, Blake Freeman and Bec Charlwood.

Episode one will feature MC Dave Hughes along with Tom Ballard, Becky Lucas, Randy Feltface, Nikki Britton and newcomer Oliver Twist. 

The second instalment of the comedy special will feature MC Nazeem Hussain, along with Zoë Coombs Marr, Dilruk Jayasinha, Nath Valvo, Demi Lardner & Tom Walker, plus emerging talent Lauren Bonner.

Episode three will see Cal Wilson taking up the MC spot, while other comedians include Tommy Little, Aaron Chen, Geraldine Hickey, Sam Taunton and newcomer Bec Charlwood. 

Rounding out the special, episode four will feature Wil Anderson as MC, plus Claire Hooper, Sam Campbell, Steph Tisdell, Michelle Brasier, and emerging talent Blake Freeman.

From starters to main course – Food Bytes podcast at 100

April 2018 saw a weekly newspaper column become a weekly podcast and the next part of the Food Bytes journey began.

The 100th show was released this month with AFL legend Dermott Brereton the special guest.

In this episode the five-time premiership hero recounts eating bull’s testicles during his stint on the I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! reality show, talks about his passion for chocolate and manages to shoo away a helicopter that flies too close to his backyard while being interviewed.

That sums up Food Bytes with Sarah Patterson. It is real people talking about real things – mostly food related – as relaxed as you will ever hear them.

Over the 100 episodes those people have included rock stars, sporting heroes, politicians, comedians, actors, radio and television stars and some of the biggest names in food and hospitality including Maggie Beer, Leo Sayer, Samuel Johnson, Peter Hitchener, Eddie McGuire, William McInnes, John Paul Young, Derryn Hinch, Matt Preston, Kate Ceberano, Shane Jacobson and Merv Hughes.

From the stories of kitchen triumphs and disasters and childhood memories of over-boiled vegies and offal to the weird and wonderful dream dinner party guests (dead or alive), the show is never short of fun, surprises and a kitchen tip or a revelation or two.

Actor William McInnes unveiled to the culinary world his dim sim pizza, entertainment reporter Peter Ford admitted not having a kitchen at all while international tennis correspondent Craig Gabriel revealed he has not one, but two kitchens.

A radio journalist for more than two decades, Patterson is one of Melbourne’s most recognisable newsreaders.

Better known as Patto, she is currently heard across Australia every weekday afternoon on the Air News network as well as occasional fill ins on RSN927 and Gold FM.

Patterson’s career began in Wangaratta at radio station 3NE. Since then, she has worked for Gold 104, K-Rock, Bay FM, Radio Sport National, Triple M Melbourne as breakfast newsreader for Eddie McGuire’s Hot Breakfast show and WIN Television where she was bureau chief of the network’s Bendigo office.

Patterson is also an emcee, voiceover artist and copywriter and is married to radio personality Kevin Hillier and they have a 15-year-old son.

Listen to Food Bytes here

Mercado on TV: From axing of the Logies to death of Natalie Wood

By Andrew Mercado

Cancelling the 62nd TV Logie Awards is another kick in the guts to the local industry. How sad not to even have a simple lockdown ceremony so that great productions like Lambs Of God (Foxtel) and Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds (ABC) could have got some recognition.

As discussed in our latest Mediaweek podcast (listen here), how about replacing our Logies fix this year with some previous broadcasts? Edit it down a bit, put it to air with live tweeting and watch social media go crazy about the fashion and has-beens.

Surely any Logies is more interesting than that just filling gaps with more movies. America’s CBS network has just brought back Sunday Night At The Movies after 14 years, but will only screen films from their sister subsidiary Paramount Pictures.

With corporate laziness like this, well done to everyone trying something new. At Home Alone Together (Wednesday on ABC) will be hosted by Ray Martin and feature Aussie comedians like Anne Edmonds and Christian Van Vuuren.

Another show from isolation is The Disney Family Singalong (Disney +) and it is delightful, with stars like Darren Criss and Ariana Grande giving it their all. There’s also ITV’s Isolation Stories, with Sheridan Smith and David Threlfall. Each episode is only 15 minutes long, but screened nightly at 9pm makes it an event for UK viewers next week.

Surely it’s not that hard to try something different and then talk it up as an event. Remember when Eddie McGuire hosted The National IQ Test, with huge rating events in 2002, 2003 and 2010? Nine could repeat that, get Aussies to play along at home again, and then reveal if we are smarter or dumber as a nation than we used to be.

How smart were 10 to re-license classic episodes of The Bold and The Beautiful? Derryn Hinch revealed it was “doing his lockdown head in” trying to figure out Brooke’s love life from 30 years ago so maybe we need an IQ Test for Bold too.

Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (Wednesday on Fox Showcase) is unmissable next week. Beautifully made by daughter Natasha Gregson Wagner, a cavalcade of new pictures and home movies remind you how stunning and iconic the actress was and still is.

Robert Wager, Natalie Wood and their children (HBO)

2018’s top-charting podcast Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood featured Lana Wood revealing “new details” about her sister’s death but she has “declined to participate” in this one. Instead, it features all the rest of Natalie Wood’s family, including Robert Wagner, as well as friends Richard Benjamin, Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.

Natalie Wood’s daughter Natasha Gregson Wagner (HBO)

Top Photo: Natalie Wood and daughter Natasha Gregson Wagner (HBO)

TV Ratings Thursday April 30 Week 18 2020

By James Manning

• MasterChef & Gogglebox deliver 10 second consecutive win
• The Project outrates A Current Affair, grows across the hour
• Seven screens Devil Wears Prada on eve of magazines sale

Thursday news highlights
Seven News 1,232,000/1,165,000
Nine News 1,078,000/1,000,000
ABC News 840,000
The Project 438,000/679,000
A Current Affair 673,000
7.30 596,000
10 News 463,000/320,000
Sunrise 306,000
The Drum 263,000
The Latest 216,000
Today 212,000
ABC News Breakfast 207,000
SBS World News 199,000

Nine: The channel ranked #3 last night. A Current Affair slipped below 700,000 and ranked #3 in the 7pm timeslot.
RBT did 467,000 at 7.30pm.
The 2002 movie The Bourne Identity then did 308,000.

Seven: Home and Away slipped below 600,000 with 562,000 watching three episodes.
The Seven programmers then paid tribute to their departing magazine staff, playing The Devil Wears Prada at 8.30pm with 331,000 watching.

10: The Project had a good night, winning the 7pm slot posting growth in both halves with 438,000 at 6.30pm and 679,000 at 7pm.
An immunity challenge on MasterChef did not feature Poh! For once there were minor questions marks over all the dishes, but it was Jess who got the nod from the judges who were joined by guest judge Curtis Stone. It was an easy appearance for the now LA-based Michelin star owner who walked in, watched the food auction at the start and then judged the dishes at the end of the episode. No cooking needed so he was dressed in a shirt and jacket. The episode pushed over 1m again and helped 10 secure its third consecutive night over 17% for its best three-night performance this year. The channel share over 19% was also 10’s second consecutive winning evening and its third consecutive Thursday victory.
Gogglebox followed with the series final starting with the home critics looking at BGT, then Too Hot To Handle before ending on Anzac Day highlights which had some shedding a tear as it put current day hardships into perspective. The audience of 848,000 was the third-biggest crowd ever.

ABC: The Heights did 282,000 followed by Grand Designs Australia in East Melbourne on 323,000.

SBS: The first episode of World’s Most Beautiful Railway began a journey around Scotland with 313,000 watching.

Week 18 TV: Thursday

ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.3% 7 17.6% 9 16.4% 10  19.3% SBS One 6.1%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.6% 7TWO 3.4% GO! 2.6% 10 Bold 4.0% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 2.7% GEM 2.7% 10 Peach 2.2% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix 1.9% 9Life 1.8%     NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.0%     SBS World Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 15.0%   25.7%   24.4%   25.6%   9.3%


87.2% 12.8%
  1. Seven News Seven 1,232,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,165,000
  3. Nine News Nine 1,078,000
  4. MasterChef Australia 10 1,015,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 1,000,000
  6. Gogglebox 10 851,000
  7. ABC News ABC 840,000
  8. The Chase Australia Seven 690,000
  9. The Project 7pm 10 679,000
  10. A Current Affair Nine 673,000
  11. Hot Seat Nine 603,000
  12. 7.30 ABC 596,000
  13. Home And Away Seven 562,000
  14. RBT Nine 467,000
  15. 10 News First 10 463,000
  16. The Project 6.30pm 10 438,000
  17. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 417,000
  18. Sammy J ABC 417,000
  19. Hot Seat -5pm Nine 332,000
  20. M- The Devil Wears Prada Seven 331,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 319,000
  2. Gogglebox 10 264,000
  3. The Project 7pm 10 207,000
  4. Nine News Nine 140,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 135,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 491,000
  2. Gogglebox 10 434,000
  3. The Project 7pm 10 327,000
  4. Nine News Nine 283,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 264,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 513,000
  2. Gogglebox 10 467,000
  3. Nine News Nine 347,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 342,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 321,000
THURSDAY Multichannel
  1. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 182,000
  2. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 164,000
  3. Hawaii Five-O 10 Bold 163,000
  4. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 159,000
  5. Hawaii Five-O (R) 10 Bold 140,000
  6. Father Brown PM 7TWO 140,000
  7. Luo Bao Bei ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  8. Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  9. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  10. Catie’s Amazing Machines ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  11. Death In Paradise 9Gem 133,000
  12. Neighbours 10 Peach 133,000
  13. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  14. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  15. Shaun The Sheep AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  16. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  17. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  18. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  19. Olobob Top PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 124,000
  20. Thomas And Friends PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 124,000
  1. Aussie Gold Hunters Discovery Channel 106,000
  2. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 85,000
  3. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 72,000
  4. Credlin Sky News Live 70,000
  5. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 63,000
  6. Gold Rush: White Water Discovery Channel 55,000
  7. Chris Smith Tonight Sky News Live 51,000
  8. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 50,000
  9. PML Later Sky News Live 47,000
  10. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 44,000
  11. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 42,000
  12. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 41,000
  13. Calvin & Kaison’s Play Power Nick Jr. 39,000
  14. The Simpsons FOX8 38,000
  15. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 38,000
  16. NCIS FOX Crime 38,000
  17. Ryan’s Mystery Playdate Nick Jr. 37,000
  18. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 37,000
  19. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 36,000
  20. The Simpsons FOX8 36,000

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

Foxtel axes 70 marketing & creative jobs in latest restructure

Foxtel is making a further 70 staff redundant as part of a restructuring aimed at creating a business that can compete more aggressively with global streaming platforms, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.

The redundancies affect Foxtel and Fox Sports’ marketing and creative divisions and are the third major round of job cuts to take place at the business this year.

“These are changes we had to make to face up to the impacts of COVID-19 on our business and a very different future for everyone involved in the media, entertainment and sporting industries,” a Foxtel spokesman said.

“The changes in marketing and creative reflect a new way of working following the merger of the Fox Sports and Foxtel teams last year that is now seeing us reduce our internal creative spend and centralise, outsource or consolidate some marketing functions.”

Foxtel employed about 2500 staff until last month, but sources have indicated the company is trying to reduce its staff below 2000.

[Read more]

ACCC clears Gumtree’s acquisition of Carsguide and Autotrader

The ACCC has granted unconditional merger authorisation to Gumtree’s proposed acquisition of Cox Australia Media Solutions (Cox Media), allowing Gumtree Cars to be combined with Cox Media’s Carsguide and Autotrader sites.

“We authorised this merger because we concluded it was not likely to lead to a substantial lessening of competition, including in the supply of online automotive classifieds in Australia. Therefore it was not necessary to consider the public benefit limb of the authorisation test,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

Carsales is the leading provider of online automotive classified advertising in Australia and is a significant competitive constraint on Gumtree and Cox Media. Facebook Marketplace is also a growing competitor to Gumtree and Cox Media in the supply of online automotive classifieds services.

“Our investigation showed that Carsales and Facebook Marketplace are likely to continue to provide significant competition in online automotive classifieds after Gumtree acquires Cox Media,” Sims said.

“We also found that Gumtree and Cox Media focus on different segments, with Gumtree focussing on private seller listings and Cox Media focussing on dealer listings.”

Gumtree is a subsidiary of eBay Classifieds Holding BV, whose ultimate parent company is eBay Inc. eBay operates a multi-category general classifieds website in Australia.

Cox Media is a subsidiary of Cox Automotive, which is 70 per cent owned by Cox Automotive International Sarl and 30 per cent owned by DealerMotive Ltd, a consortium of Australian dealer groups. Carsguide and Autotrader provide automotive editorial content and automotive classifieds.

Facebook points to ‘signs of stability’ as ad declines flatten

Facebook cautioned Wall Street this week that it could face intensifying difficulties in its advertising business from the coronavirus pandemic, but also indicated that the toll would not be deep, reports The New York Times.

The company, which reported rising revenue and profit for the first three months of the year, said that it experienced a significant reduction in advertising in the last three weeks of March and that its business would continue to be affected by “issues beyond our control.” It added that it would not give forecasts about future financial results because of the coronavirus impact.

But the ad declines flattened in April, Facebook said, adding that it had “seen signs of stability” and that “advertising revenue has been approximately flat compared to the same period a year ago.”

Coupled with relatively robust financial results from Google’s parent company, Alphabet, on Tuesday and from Microsoft on Wednesday, Facebook and other tech giants appear to be limiting the pain from the pandemic as people flock to their digital services while in lockdown.

[Read more]


Tones and I, Amy Shark perform for Gold Coast Music Awards 2020

It is a tough time for the music industry due to COVID-19, but last night Gold Coast musicians got the recognition they deserved in an award ceremony like no other, reports News Corp’s Sophie Chirgwin.

The sixth annual Gold Coast Music Awards forged ahead despite the coronavirus lockdown, with thousands gathering online to celebrate the local music industry.

The night was filled with highlights including special guests Byron Bay’s Tones and I, Gold Coast’s Amy Shark, Sophie Monk and Michael Chugg delivering warm messages among loungeroom performances.

Days after hitting No.1 in the ARIA country album charts, Casey Barnes took home the top gong of Artist of the Year.

Barnes was due to have his biggest year yet, but touring his new album Town of a Million Dreams was halted due to government restrictions.

Other big winners of the night included roots duo Busby Marou, who won Release of the Year for their album The Great Divide; and Breakout Artist went to young indie rock band Eliza and the Delusionals.

[Read more]


Can 10 All Access compete in streaming wars against Netflix and others?

When Network 10 went into administration in mid-2017 reports emerged CBS was circling an acquisition, with particular interest in launching a localised version of its streaming platform CBS All Access.

Fast forward to three years later, what do we make of 10 All Access, which launched in December 2018? asks TV Tonight.

Stacked side by side against Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime and even newcomers Disney+ and Apple TV+, its offering in original content is meagre at best.

But some observers think 10 All Access is struggling in a competitive market.

TV critic Colin Vickery said, “The battle between streaming services is even more competitive than free-to-air. When you have Netflix rolling out smashes like Tiger King plus quality content from Foxtel and Stan and the introduction of Disney+ in tight economic circumstances you have to bring your A-game or you risk becoming irrelevant.”

But 10 All Access spokesperson disagreed, noting Q1 marked its most watched quarter to date.

“We are regularly adding new content to our library. With over 10,000 episodes on the platform including classics, originals and favourites from Australia and around the world ready to be binged, 10 All Access provides great value for its subscribers,” they said.

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Netflix partners with Denmark’s DR to bring back political drama Borgen

Netflix and DR, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, have announced that Borgen is back. For the first time ever, the first three seasons of Borgen will be available on Netflix globally later this year, with brand new episodes of the critically acclaimed political drama landing on the service in 2022.

The Danish political drama was originally screened in Australia on SBS.

The new Borgen, which will premiere on DR before becoming available on Netflix around the world, reunites the creative team and talent behind the BAFTA Award Winning series. That includes creator Adam Price and lead actresses Sidse Babett Knudsen as Birgitte Nyborg and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen as Katrine Fønsmark

Borgen will be produced by SAM Productions, a Danish screenwriter-based production company, and is written by Adam Price (Borgen, Ragnarok). The executive producer is Meta Louise Foldager Sørensen (Antichrist, Melancholia) and the producer is Stine Meldgaard Madsen (Ragnarok, Something’s Rockin’).

In the new Borgen audiences will again follow Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen), her staff and the media tasked with covering her, this time in her role as Foreign Minister. The show will also follow Katrine Fønsmark’s (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) journey. After being Birgitte’s head of press for a while, in the new season she is back in journalism where she has landed a job as news director for a large, nationwide television station.

Borgen is a Danish political drama series that originally launched in 2010, the second season in 2011 and the third season was launched in 2013.

Sports Media

Peter V’landys fighting fires but TV storm awaits for NRL

ARL Commission chair Peter V’landys will personally address a selection of players on Friday morning as he looks to put out one brushfire before moving onto a raging storm in the shape of talks with the game’s broadcasters, reports The Australian’s Brent Read.

V’landys has pledged to work his backside off to ensure the players receive 80 per cent of their salaries for this season, his determination coming amid dissension in the playing ranks over the uncertainty that continues to surround the code’s return. Broadcasting talks are at the heart of the matter, discussions with the Nine Network and Foxtel dragging on despite the NRL’s decision to announce a 20-round schedule that will stretch the competition into November.

It is understood Foxtel and the Nine Network are largely aligned on the season’s value.

The Nine Network is agitating to pay less given the loss of four rounds and the prospect of State of Origin being played in November. It would be folly to think Foxtel would not follow suit given they too could save themselves millions.

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Foxtel seeks multimillion-dollar discount for resumed NRL season

The NRL’s hopes of quickly finalising its broadcast deal have hit a hurdle, with sources close to the negotiations on Thursday suggesting Foxtel wants to reduce the amount it pays for this year’s competition, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Chammas.

After the Herald revealed that Nine Entertainment Co was prepared to only pay for a 17-round resumed competition, Foxtel appears to have followed suit by telling the NRL it will not pay for any more rounds than the free-to-air channel.

Sources close to the negotiations say the News Corp-owned pay-TV network wants a further three-round discount after initially agreeing to pay for 20 rounds. That would mean a further $28 million reduction on the $190m Foxtel is contracted to pay in 2020 and a $53m discount in total.

Nine wants a reduction of $28m from the $118m it is contracted to pay under the current broadcast deal. The reduced payments from Nine and Foxtel would leave the NRL facing a shortfall of $81m for the year.

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