Foxtel has a special announcement coming this week. How special? Special enough for Foxtel to make an announcement about the impending announcement!
The much-anticipated streaming drama package will launch in just a week on May 25. However Foxtel is not confirming the name of the service (that many think will be called Binge) until later this week.
Other details to be revealed late this week include the pricing packages and confirmation of content, including expected new Australian commissions.
Foxtel has revealed that the service will offer more than 10,000 hours of the best local and international drama and movies.
Foxtel has also revealed that the content will be powered with an extensive collection of drama and movies from Warner Bros, HBO, HBO Max, Sony, NBCU, FX and the BBC.
While the remaining details about Project Ares/Binge will be revealed Foxtel’s head of Kayo Sports, Julian Ogrin, Foxtel Group chief executive officer Patrick Delany said: “There has been a lot of speculation about our new streaming service and its name, and we are pleased to finally be ready for the big reveal to Australia this week.
“We have been beta-testing the service for a few weeks and we are sure Australians will love everything about it. It brings an exciting new brand to younger streaming audiences with a very different and compelling product experience, and a distinctly curated mix of the best drama and movies from the world’s best entertainment brands.
“The launch will be another milestone in the Foxtel Group’s strategy to transform ourselves and bring our unparalleled catalogue of entertainment and sports to even more viewers in Australia. Our goal is to consolidate our position as Australia’s preeminent subscription television and streaming provider.
“The foundation of our business is our Foxtel subscription television service which provides 2.5 million loyal customers with the complete premium experience – the best of TV and on demand all in one place.
“Foxtel is built around our advanced iQ3/4 set top boxes which bring together, all in one place, an unrivalled range of the world’s best drama, lifestyle, movies and sport, free to air television together with apps such as Netflix, ABC iview and SBS On Demand. Foxtel offers over 100 live channels and our complete range of premium on demand content and box sets, with Ultra HD and the ability to record.
“Our growth engine is in streaming. It includes Kayo Sports which has grown rapidly and is expected to resume subscriber growth when live sports restarts later this month with COVID- 19 restrictions easing.
“Our new entertainment streaming service, which launches next Monday, provides a different curation of the Foxtel Group’s entertainment content focussed on mobile devices and the streaming generation who want to share on the big screen. [The new service] is distinctly branded and aimed at part of the Australian market who either don’t want to pay for our premium product or who have decided Foxtel is not for them.
“Across the depth and breadth of the Foxtel Group’s sport, news, lifestyle and general entertainment content is Foxtel Media which sells advertising and sponsorship executions. The Foxtel Group’s iQ3/4s and the growth in on demand and streaming content adds to our data capability and provides Foxtel Media with more forward looking advertising assets than ever before.
“At the same time, we are making progress in right-sizing and modernising our cost base. For example, through continuing centralisation and technologies that allow us to drive greater automation and digitisation in the business. These changes have been painful at times but necessary to ensure we are ahead of the curve on costs to weather the significant impacts of COVID-19 and be better placed to compete in the future.”
ARN has extended the contract for KIIS FM national drive show hosts, Will McMahon and Woody Whitelaw for three years.
KIIS Network’s national drive show Will & Woody launched in 2018 and the show quickly gained a solid, loyal national audience with help from market-leading FM breakfast shows in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.
McMahon and Whitelaw had a long apprenticeship under the guidance of former SCA content chief Craig Bruce. Will and Woody spent much of the last decade at SCA working in regional markets, weekend metro breakfast shifts at 2Day and Fox and then four years in Perth at Hit 92.9.
Now at ARN Will & Woody is the equal #1FM drive show in Sydney and is the #2FM drive show nationally*. Every week they reach an estimated 1.4 million listeners across Australia.
The radio hosts are represented by Mark Klemens’ Profile Talent. Klemens and his team have runs on the board with drive contacts having managed Hamish & Andy for many years.
Of the contract extension, Will McMahon said: “I am just so grateful that we have an opportunity to keep doing what we’re doing. Particularly in the current climate, it’s an incredible show of faith from ARN and it does nothing but fill us both with confidence to continue to grow and perform together. Having said that, I’m under no illusion that we wouldn’t be here without all the people that get around our weird radio show and behind the scenes, the support of our team, our families and friends. All in all though, I absolutely love Woods and the idea that it’s a ‘job’ to hang out with him every day is absurd.”
Woody Whitelaw added: “Absolutely thrilled to be putting off getting a ‘real job’ for another three years. It truly is a dream to be given the opportunity to spend every afternoon having fun with my best mate. Also super grateful for everyone who have been on the ride with us so far – you are the ones who bring the show to life and I can’t wait to keep sharing the laughs with you all.”
The program offers brands opportunities for integrations. Recent campaigns have included ‘Coffee Making Intervention’ with Harris Coffee to show Aussies how they can make better coffees themselves, getting their mate Sophie Monk to show how fun a friendly game of tennis can be with Tennis Australia, and celebrating the ‘most wonderful time for a beer’ with Carlton & United Breweries at Christmas.
Most recently, Will & Woody launched their ‘Help in Ruff Times’ campaign in partnership with Ruffie Rustic Foods.
ARN chief commercial officer Pete Whitehead said: “Will & Woody deliver exceptionally creative client campaigns and integrations that engage audiences nationally across ARN’s on-air, digital and on-demand audio offering. By working collaboratively with clients to gain a deeper understanding of their campaign vision, Will & Woody are able to find unique ways to bring brand messaging to life organically within their show. From staging a ‘national coffee making intervention’ with Harris Coffee – which scored them an ACRA nomination – through to their recently launched initiative with Ruffie Rustic Food to help people in ‘Ruff Times’, Will & Woody put their sense of humour, fun and genuine love of radio into every campaign execution to deliver outstanding results for clients and their brands.”
ARN’s national content director Duncan Campbell said: “Will & Woody have a unique connection and genuine chemistry of true best mates and that’s what makes their show so compelling for our national audience. Since launching their show in 2018 as newcomers to a competitive drive show market full of household names, Will & Woody have consistently built momentum and delivered impressive results for the KIIS national network and have been the #2FM drive show nationally for the last three surveys. And this is only the beginning. Will & Woody continue to be a key part of ARN’s strategy to deliver consistent, strong and engaging content across the KIIS National Network and are part of the vibrant and results-driven team who our audiences trust and love.”
*Source: Figures from GFK standard Drive Show 4-7pm time period.
Top Photo: Lockdown drive: Will & Woody broadcast from home
Neil Breen has been named as the host of 4BC’s new local breakfast program in Brisbane, taking over from Alan Jones, who announced his retirement from radio earlier this week.
Breen is a multi-award-winning journalist who has been one of Nine’s most senior sports reporters and presenters for a number of years following a career in newspapers, during which he was editor of Australia’s largest selling newspaper The Sunday Telegraph, for seven years and sports editor of The Courier-Mail and The Australian.
“We are thrilled that Breenie is returning to his home town with a dedicated local breakfast show for Brisbane on 4BC,” said Tom Malone, Nine’s managing director – radio. “Local radio is an important part of any community and we know Neil is the perfect choice to provide Brisbane listeners with the very latest news and information.”
Commenting on his appointment, Breen said:
“4BC was a daily part of my life for decades, and to be going home to host 4BC breakfast and creating a show for the people of Brisbane that connects with them is beyond anything I could have dreamed of. I grew up in Brisbane, went to Brisbane State High School, studied journalism at QUT and did my first 13 years in journalism there. I was a cadet on the old afternoon Daily Sun in the Valley and was taught the ropes by old hardheads who worked hard and played harder.
“I then spent 10 years at The Courier-Mail, several as the chief police roundsman, and was appointed sports editor in my twenties. I’ve loved my time in newspapers and TV, but for me radio has always been a huge passion. I’m so honoured to be taking the mantle from Alan Jones.
“Radio has an intimacy and a connection with its listeners like no other medium and my program will be focused on telling the story of Brisbane. And I want the people of Brisbane to tell us their stories, particularly as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19. I want it to be their show.”
Breen joined the Nine Network at the end of 2012 as executive producer of Today and he has since been a sports reporter for Nine News Sydney, Sports Sunday, 100% Footy and the Sunday Footy Show.
In 2002, Breen won a Walkley Award for Journalism, and was a finalist again in the 2018 awards. He has won two Kennedy Awards, “Scoop of the Year” in 2012 and the Kennedy Harry Potter Award for Outstanding Television News Reporting in 2018. He has also won an Australian Sports Commission award for excellence in sports journalism and been a finalist several times.
He is married to the founder of Sydney suburban publishing business Local Publishing, Elizabeth Meryment. The pair met as journalists together at The Courier-Mail and they have three children together – Juliet, 15, Matilda, 13, and Harry, 5.
Neil Breen’s first 4BC breakfast show will go to air on June 1.
By James Manning
Magazines are the oft-neglected media as COVID-19 impacts the media sector. If it was not for the turmoil surrounding Bauer Media in recent months, magazines wouldn’t score a mention at all.
This week we look at publishers big and small having a go with innovation and launches – from Bauer Media’s marie claire to the country’s other multi-title publishing houses.
Today we start with a brave indie and a new licence it is bringing back to market.
Rolling Stone Australia
Source: The Brag Media
Book size: 100 pages
Ad count: 14 pages
When Mediaweek was speaking recently to The Brag Media CEO and publisher Luke Girgis it was clear this was a passion project for the company. He detailed about how he secured the licence for Rolling Stone from Penske Media. He explained how he and managing editor Poppy Reid decided to publish a magazine after initially only working up a business model for a digital iteration of the brand.
Girgis also spoke about music enthusiast Tyler Jenke who lives and breathes his passion for music and why he was the best choice as editor.
After reading the first edition of the new Rolling Stone Australia the news is good and it deserves your support as either a reader or an advertiser.
One piece of not-so-good news is that the print product will only be quarterly. Girgis talked about the investment in the paper stock which has made it feel like it is a quarterly worth $15.
The design is clean and crisp and seems to follow the US style book. The cover featuring Tones and I looks super smart, but the dark cover doesn’t really scream at you from the newsstand.
Some advertisers deferred their spend for the first edition, but The Brag Media said it will not lose money on the launch issue after support from subscribers. And the good news for newsagents is the ongoing subscription price is slightly higher than what readers will pay at the newsstand.
There seems to be a nice mix of content from the US edition with local news and feature interviews.
The magazine needs to carefully balance its reviews and culture recommendations given that they can only do it in print four times a year. People wishing to get more up-to-date guidance can no doubt do so on the sprawling Rolling Stone Australia website.
Poppy Reid’s cover feature is worth the investment in the issue and its classic Rolling Sone with the writer embedding herself in the world of Toni Watson, sharing insights and observations that can’t be gleaned from a phone interview.
There’s some good background on the business of music with a look at the Elvis Presley money machine, a piece on how heritage acts are helping fund the music economy (with great live photograph from one of Sydney’s best Ash Mar) and a five page examination of how the Hillsong Church became one of Australia’s biggest music exports.
But is there possibly too much music business? There’s also another piece – “Australia’s music industry in crisis”.
The album reviews run across five pages with 26 scores ranging from 2.5 stars (5SOS and VOIID) to 4.5 stars (Cub Sport one of three to score that high.)
There’s even a pull-out poster for Tones and I fans to put on the wall. It’s big and glossy, let’s hope it has the same impact on sales as the posters that helped launch Smash Hits Australia with back in 1984.
(James Manning edited Smash Hits Australia when Fairfax-owned Magazine Promotions launched the title in Australia 36 years ago.)
• New Chaser Report includes a special tribute to the broadcaster from Charles Firth
The Chaser’s podcasts have never disappointed and their new podcast being released today is another feast for fans.
Amongst the comedy is a collection of some of the clips you can guarantee that 2GB won’t play during the Festival of Alan across the next two weeks before his final Alan Jones show on Friday May 29. There is a special tribute to the broadcaster from Andrew Hansen.
Who should you invite to your first dinner party as the lockdown restrictions ease? Dom takes a probing look at the man behind the anti-lockdown protests in Melbourne.
Plus, Charles examines the delicate art of winning an argument with your partner while in lockdown.
All that, plus the latest Chaser headlines from Rebecca De Unanumo in the Chaser International Global World newsroom.
Here is a transcript of the Alan Jones clip package, but the words don’t do it justice.
Alan Jones, you were always the gentleman:
Oh fuck this!
An understanding man, even when you were given the wrong instructions:
I don’t understand why my life should be made a fucking misery because I’m not given the right instructions.
A man of great reverence, even when there was dust in the studio:
There’s fucking dust in this studio.
Someone who never felt threatened by powerful women, whether it was Julia Gillard:
Don’t have that lying bitch on your program again, I had to move the dial to another station.
Or Jacinda Ardern:
Shove a sock down her throat. She is a joke this woman. An absolute and utter light-weight.
Or even Clover Moore:
Put her in the same chaff bag as Julia Gillard and throw them both out to sea.
A delight to work with:
Oh, god. Nothing is working today.
You were a ray of sunshine:
Jesus I hope someone understands how fucking irritated I am by this.
A people person:
Whoever wrote that ought to be given a hot knife.
Kind to all:
Preferably across the lower part of the throat. Dreadful.
Not to mention a wordsmith:
Fuck me dead.
Alan Jones, your flawless professionalism will be missed:
Shit! I have to start again… I don’t give a fuck. I’m not doing this again.
By James Manning
For a while week 20 looked like being a repeat of the previous week. After Nine started strongly, Seven pulled it back and looked like it was headed for victory after six nights saw them with a lead of 0.5. Seven did win and rank #1 primary, however a strong Saturday night from Nine which included a Disney Family Singalong special and the Mama Mia! movie saw them narrow the gap to just 0.1.
Nine also did well enough to be able to claim a network win with a lead of 0.5 over Seven.
10 has claimed a key demo victory for its primary channel.
Seven News won the network numbers for six nights of the week which laid the groundwork for the channel’s #1 ranking.
Home and Away was on 623,000 at 7pm.
Seven’s improved Sunday share was powered by a double episode of House Rules High Stakes.
Better Homes and Gardens had a better week with 629,000.
Sunrise saw its average audience back above 300,000.
Primary all people 18.2%
Network all people 26.6%
Multichannels 7mate 3.3% 7TWO 3.1% 7flix 2.0%
A close finish in the primary race, but the network share was a winner thanks to being the only commercial broadcaster with four multichannels – a combined share of 9.0%.
Both episodes of Lego Masters were over 1.2m, with just two left to wrap the season in week 21.
Saturday News was a winner and A Current Affair averaged over 700,000.
60 Minutes was its only other program over half a million with 550,000, but it was a lousy result by the program’s own high standards.
Primary all people 18.1%
Network all people 27.1%
Multichannels Gem 2.9%, GO! 2.8%, 9Life 2.2%, 9Rush 1.1%
Although ranking third all people for its primary channel, 10 is claiming #1 channel in under 50s in prime time plus #1 channel in all key age groups (16 to 39s, 25 to 54s and 18 to 49s). 10 Bold was also #1 multichannel.
One episode of MasterChef was over 1m viewers. The channel had six of the top eight entertainment shows of the week. (Five MasterChef and Have You Been Paying Attention?)
The Sunday Project was the channel’s next best with 614,000 its second-best episode ever.
How to Stay Married and The Secrets She Keeps both held over 400,000 in their later timeslots with MasterChef lead-ins.
Primary all people 14.3%
Network all people 20.3%
Multichannels 10 Bold 3.9%, 10 Peach 2.1%
All 7pm news bulletins averaged over 800,000.
Death in Paradise (804,000) and Hard Quiz series final (756,000) were the most-watched non-news shows.
Primary all people 13.0%
Network all people 17.6%
Multichannels Kids/Comedy 2.3%, News 1.6%, ME 0.5%
Two railway shows both pushed above 300,000 to lead the week – Great American Railroad Journeys on 309,000 and The World’s Most Beautiful Railway on 306,000.
Next best was Britain’s Cathedrals with Tony Robinson on 286,000.
Primary all people 5.2%
Network all people 8.5%
Multichannels Viceland 1.2%, Food 1.0%, World Movies 0.9%, NITV 0.2%
By James Manning
• Albums: Drake manages what many can’t – second week at #1
Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber have crashed into the chart with the week’s highest new entry at #3 – Stuck with U. The collaboration is Bieber’s fourth time in the top 50 this year, but Grande’s first. Proceeds from the single will go to the First Responders Children’s Foundation, which will fund scholarships for children of frontline workers who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stuck with U was one of four new arrivals in the top 50, but the tune was not able to penetrate the grip that Saint Jhn and The Weeknd have on the top two spots. Between them those two artists have topped the chart for 17 weeks (Saint Jhn for six weeks and The Weeknd for 11).
Missing a top 10 position on debut was 6ix9ine with Gooba new at #14. Sentenced to two years in prison in December 2019, the US rapper was released and put under house arrest in April due to COVID-19 and hasn’t wasted time returning to his music.
Mount Druitt’s Onefour chart with Say It Again featuring US rapper A$AP Ferg and enter the top 50 at #34. Say It Again is the second Onefour release since three members of the western Sydney rap collective were sentenced to jail time. In December, YP and Lekks were handed four years over a July 2018 brawl in Rooty Hill. Former member Celly received 10 years for his part in the bar fight.
US rapper/singer/songwriter Don Toliver is new at #46 with After Party. Following collaborations with Enimen and Travis Scott, and a support slot on The Weeknd’s most-recent tour, this is from Toliver’s debut studio album and his first time on the ARIA chart.
Not many artists get a crack for a second week at #1, but that is what Drake has achieved with Dark Lane Demo Tapes. He has managed it before though, with 2018’s Scorpion holding at #1 for three weeks. Harry Styles and BTS also managed successive second weeks at #1 this year.
Two albums debuted in the top 10:
#6 Hayley Williams with Petals for Armor is the debut solo album from the singer from US rockers Paramore. The material for the album originated from journals Williams was keeping during therapy when she realised there was enough for a solo project she denied she would ever do. The music is unlike her band, but Paramore members appear on different tracks.
#7 HP Boyz with 6 to the World EP. The six tracks on the debut EP from the Melbourne hip hop act features the work of six different producers. This release comes exactly 12 months after the appearance of their debut single Blueprint.
Two more albums debuted top 50:
#17: Kehlani with It Was Good Until It Wasn’t. The US singer/songwriter is a graduate of the group Poplyfe who finished fourth on America’s Got Talent in 2011 (after performing a Queen medley). This is Kehlani’s second studio album and her highest chart spot after her debut album SweetSexySavage peaked at #32 in 2017 and a mixtape While We Wait hit #29 last year.
#29: Chris Brown & Young Thug with Slime & B. This mixtape collaboration is Brown’s ninth appearance in the top 50 and the first since Indigo (#3 July 2019), while for Young Thug it’s his second after So Much Fun (#36 September 2019).
By James Manning
• Lego Masters’ Smash & Grab and Night & Day builds do 1.2m
• 60 Minutes back up on Nine’s best Sunday since MAFS final
• House Rules: High Stakes single Sunday sees Seven slip back
• Two-part MasterChef elimination as Hayden end his journey
Seven News 1,234,000
Nine News 1,119,000
ABC News 814,000
The Sunday Project 321,000/574,000
10 News 368,000/270,000
SBS World News 229,000
Nine: The penultimate episode of Lego Masters started with four teams and ended with three after two builds separated Tim and Dannii from the series. The first build was Smash & Grab as teams had to fossick on the floor for blocks from a motorcycle build that Hamish Blake smashed. The second build was a challenge to build a city block to fit into a city landscape and to make it work in daytime and night time. The three remaining teams go into battle on the series final tonight for a shot at $100,000. Last night’s episode was on 1.217m which gives the series three successive Sundays over 1.2m.
60 Minutes also came back from a run of lower numbers, which it always manages to do after someone speculates about its future! The show did a very solid 725,000 to help Nine to its best Sunday share since MAFS pre-Easter.
Seven: A single Sunday episode of House Rules: High Stakes saw the teams at work on the Greystanes home of Lenore and Bradley. The episode did 641,000, bang on what the first of two episodes did on Sunday last week.
The 2000 movie Cast Away then did 254,000.
10: A two-part elimination challenge was the start of the end for Hayden who has flirted with elimination for a couple of weeks. After part one of the Sunday episode saw Tracy, Simon, Jess, Emelia, Khanh, Reynold and Reece safe as they joined Poh to watch the remaining contestants battle it out. The bottom two were Hayden and Sarah with Sarah dodging a bullet this time. The Sunday episode did 947,000 after 941,000 a week ago.
ABC: ABC News was on 814,000 before a two-house build on Grand Designs New Zealand did 495,000.
The drama Mystery Road lifted the audience to 572,000 after 576,000 a week ago. In the seven days since that episode, Mystery Road added another 190,000 on catch-up.
SBS: The special 2020 Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light was a hard sell with 98,000 after 8.30pm. The channel’s biggest audience came earlier in the night with 296,000 watching a repeat of King Arthur’s Britain.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.4%||7TWO||2.2%||GO!||4.8%||10 Bold||3.5%||VICELAND||1.4%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||4.5%||GEM||2.4%||10 Peach||2.6%||Food Net||1.6%|
|9Rush||1.1%||SBS World Movies||1.2%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.7%||7TWO||3.2%||GO!||4.1%||10 Bold||4.2%||VICELAND||1.0%|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||4.0%||GEM||3.1%||10 Peach||2.1%||Food Net||1.0%|
|9Rush||1.4%||SBS World Movies||1.1%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.1%||7TWO||2.6%||GO!||2.8%||10 Bold||3.1%||VICELAND||0.9%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||2.7%||GEM||1.9%||10 Peach||1.5%||Food Net||0.9%|
|9Rush||0.8%||SBS World Movies||1.0%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.9%||7TWO||3.9%||GO!||3.2%||WIN Bold||4.0%||VICELAND||1.2%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||3.0%||GEM||3.2%||WIN Peach||1.5%||Food Net||0.7%|
|ABC NEWS||1.4%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.1%||9Life||1.5%||Sky News on WIN||1.4%||NITV||0.2%|
|SUNDAY METRO ALL TV|
Friday Top 10
Saturday Top 10
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
Not-for-profit organisation Social Ventures Australia is one of the final bidders looking to salvage parts of national news agency Australian Associated Press, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.
Industry sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity said Social Ventures, a philanthropic organisation founded in 2002 which runs a number of investment funds and provides equity to companies that have a “positive social impact”, was still in due diligence. The organisation’s chairman Paul Robertson also leads outdoor advertising business Tonic Health Media.
Multiple bidders have engaged with AAP’s Board on due diligence. Private banker and the former boss of Antony Catalano‘s Metro Media Charbel Nader was another bidder vying to save AAP, but has since ended discussions.
Nine Entertainment Co is in discussions with regional media proprietor Antony Catalano about an extension of its multi-million dollar printing deal, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.
Australian Community Media prints newspapers, including The Age and The Australian Financial Review, in areas such as Victoria and Western Australia as part of an arrangement it negotiated with Nine when Catalano bought the regional publishing business last year.
Nine and News Corp Australia both have commercial arrangements with Catalano through his print centres and pay millions for the production of their newspaper titles. Nine’s deal with Catalano was originally planned to be “for a short transitional period”, but if extended could give ACM an alternative source of revenue to advertising. For large organisations like Nine and News Corp, outsourcing print production is a way to save costs.
Catalano is weighing up his options after concluding talks with News Corp Australia last week about acquiring the publisher’s regional titles. The executive chairman, who bought the regional newspaper group from his old employer for $115 million in cash and $10 million in advertising with billionaire business partner Alex Waislitz, was in due diligence with News Corp until early last week.
Industry sources said the discussions fell apart as News Corp did not want to sell some of its more valuable community titles and was planning to keep the digital rights to the titles it sold off. But others said it was unlikely ACM had the funding to do the deal.
The Weekend Australian’s award-winning editor Michelle Gunn has been appointed editor of the weekday edition of The Australian.
Gunn’s promotion was announced to readers on Saturday and comes after John Lehmann takes up a new role as commercial director and managing editor after four years as editor of the national daily.
Gunn will remain at the helm of The Weekend Australian also, which she has edited since 2012.
News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller said on Friday that Gunn, the first woman to be named editor of The Australian, had a unique understanding of the paper’s audience.
“There isn’t a person in Australia more qualified to edit The Australian at such an important time in its history,” Miller said.
Editor-in-chief of The Australian Christopher Dore announced the appointments to staff, who have been publishing the print and digital editions remotely over the past two months, during a video hook-up.
“Michelle’s characteristic passion is matched by her skill. Under her stewardship, The Weekend Australian has grown from a great newspaper into a truly world-class newspaper,” Dore told staff. “So I can say with conviction that Michelle will be exceptional as the new editor of The Australian.”
Dore also paid tribute to Lehmann for overseeing The Australian during its most successful period and leaving the post with its largest and most engaged audience in its 56-year history.
His new role will focus on driving commercial and consumer revenue.
After more than eight years as managing editor, Helen Trinca will become associate editor of The Australian and continue to edit The Deal.
Former PM Kevin Rudd got media bosses thinking on Twitter last Wednesday, the day after Alan Jones unexpectedly retired from 2GB, repots The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff.
A tweeted photo showed Rudd decked out in full radio regalia, with headphones in front of an on-air microphone, and the message: “I hear there’s an opening at the @2GB873 morning radio slot. Just letting (Nine chairman) Peter Costello and the team know that I’m available. Ready to rock and roll …”
KRudd was only half-joking. Diary has learnt that behind the scenes, the ex-PM has indeed been exploring opportunities for a media career.
There have been serious backroom talks this year involving Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell and host David Koch about reuniting Rudd with former treasurer Joe Hockey to renew their famous “Big Guns” slot on breakfast TV, the original segment to showcase politicians on breakfast TV. That slot played a huge role in catapulting Rudd to The Lodge in 2007.
Meanwhile why would Nine pay Alan Jones $4m-plus not to appear on 2GB and 4BC for the next 13 months? That head-scratcher was being asked time and again in media circles last week.
Now insiders have revealed a crucial reason. The timing of both Jones’s departure and his lucrative golden goodbye was carefully calibrated, to make sure he doesn’t become a competitor to 2GB’s new breakfast host Ben Fordham. The key to it all is that under the terms of his contract with 2GB, Jones is forbidden from joining any radio venture that competes in any way with 2GB, 4BC or any other Nine station until July next year.
Karl Stefanovic may have asked for Ben Fordham’s coveted drive time shift at 2GB. But it’s 2GB/Sky host Chris Smith who’s an early favourite.
Apart from Smith and Stefanovic, others mooted for the plum gig include Seven Sydney news boss Jason Morrison, Sky’s Paul Murray and Mark Levy, who will take the drive reins temporarily when Fordham leaves in a fortnight.
When it comes to Alan Jones, who has just announced his forthcoming retirement from radio, the word of the week was: “Divisive”, writes Sun-Herald columnist Peter FitzSimons.
And that part is true, for – let’s be nice for the moment – on one side of the equation he really did enjoy a great deal of support. There is no doubt that in terms of skill, work ethic, capacity to connect with listeners and win the ratings, he has been without peer for 35 years.
He equally did an enormous amount for many charities over that time, too. All that was enough to gain the slavish loyalty of about 10 per cent of the city.
On the other side of the divide, though, were the rest of us, completely revolted by the endless bullying, the misogynistic rants, the cash-for-comment, the race-baiting and, most recently, the outrageous encouragement for his listeners to ignore the dangers of coronavirus.
Let the record show. Jones was divisive. Yes, he did have deep support in a very narrow band. But the rest of us are glad he’s gone. His replacement, Ben Fordham, is an equally talented broadcaster to Jones, but will spare us all the endless polemics and bullying.
After seven years as one of the voices of triple j news, Nas Campanella presented her final bulletin on Friday afternoon. It was revealed late last month that she is embarking on a newly created role at ABC News covering disability affairs.
“Of course I’m sad to be leaving triple j. It has been my home for the last seven years,” Campanella said. “I’ve shared some special moments with the audience and they’ve been a huge part of my life.
“But I couldn’t be more thrilled to be taking on the role of disability affairs reporter. I want to provide a platform where the voices of people living with disability are heard. I want to support the disability community to share their experiences the way they wish to tell them. And I want them to feel represented and empowered.
“This is also an opportunity to educate people about the expectations, assumptions and barriers too often placed on people living with disability and I’m very proud to do this with the ABC.”
Campanella, who is blind and has a neurological condition which prevents her reading braille, started at the ABC as a cadet in the Sydney newsroom and went on to become a senior journalist and producer. She has reported from regional and metro areas for programs and teams including triple j’s Hack, Audio Current Affairs and ABC Life.
The TV rights talks between Nine, Foxtel and the NRL had been spirited but friendly for the most part but that has changed in recent times, reports Sun-Herald columnist and Nine reporter Danny Weidler.
Discussions about the revised season draw have been brutal; Nine and Fox have thrown out all niceties. There has also been some agenda-driven reporting, such as the story that Nine killed off Monday night football. According to the NRL, it was never seriously discussed for the return round but is on the draw for round four. So it’s hardly dead.
Nine and Fox are digging in and their partnership is now far from amicable. Acting NRL boss Andrew Abdo has been left to clean up the mess and had to work hard to get a draw out on Friday. Some big figures have been tossed around but these are the facts: for the next three years, Fox will get about a $100 million discount on its existing deal and Nine will save in the order of $70m. Fox has a long-term deal in place. Nine does not.
Victorian horse racing authorities are on the verge of rejecting a more lucrative broadcast rights bid from Network 10 to extend a contract with Seven West Media for prestigious races such as the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup, reports The Australian’s John Stensholt.
A battle over the rights to the famous Spring Racing Carnival is causing ructions among Victorian officials, who have urged governing body Racing Victoria to entertain a bid from 10.
Complicating the matter is that Racing Victoria is also working on the commercial terms of its joint venture arrangement with Seven for Racing.com, the free-to-air network owned by several Victorian racing bodies.
A package of rights held by Seven for about 21 “premium” Saturday meetings in Victoria, including famous spring races such as the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup, is set to expire on June 30.
Rugby Australia’s newly appointed chairman Hamish McLennan has dismissed suggestions that his long-standing affiliation with News Corp would lead to a quick broadcast deal with pay TV operator Foxtel, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.
McLennan, who is chairman of News Corp-controlled REA Group, said that he will negotiate with all interested parties on a new broadcasting rights deal as he thanked Foxtel for its contribution to the sports code.
Television and telco sources have expressed concern that McLennan may lean on his existing relationships with Foxtel to secure a deal. However, McLennan said the negotiation table was open for all comers.
Rugby Australia is in the final months of a five-year deal with News Corp-controlled Foxtel, which expires on December 31.