Tuesday May 19, 2020

Nine shuffles its sales deck with restructure: Promotions and departures

Nine has announced the implementation of the final stage of its sales transformation and now has a fully integrated cross-platform structure to service television, digital, publishing, radio and data assets.

As part of the changes, Richard Hunwick assumes responsibility for the television and radio sales teams while Nick Young will have the responsibility for Nine’s digital and publishing sales teams, as well as Nine’s data strategy.

The transformation will create Australia’s largest integrated sales team, aligned under a director of sales in each state. Paul Brooks (Sydney), Sam Brennan (Melbourne), Rebecca Lawrie (Brisbane), Sean O’Brien (Adelaide) and Clive Bingwa (Perth) will lead Nine’s state-based sales teams across the country.

Under the new structure, Nine’s group business directors (GBDs) will be a single point of contact for all of Nine’s advertising partners. Each GBD will have complete responsibility for a media agency buying group or independent agencies, and lead. The GBD will have responsibility for a television, digital, publishing and a radio sales team who are experts and specialists in their channel.

Nine+, led by Tim Rose, will be expanded to create a “super group” focused on helping Australia’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to unlock the power of Nine. Direct sales teams in TV, digital, publishing and radio will align under the Nine+ brand to create a one-stop-shop for small business.

The development of 9Voyager, Nine’s self-serve platform, will be fast-tracked to include both radio and podcasts alongside TV and 9Now, putting Nine’s world-class technology in the hands of its direct sales Nine+ team.

“There is no doubt that COVID-19 has impacted our lives and our economy in a way that few if any of us have ever seen” said Michael Stephenson, Nine’s chief sales officer. “However, today’s changes are not driven solely by the impact of the global health crisis on our economy and our industry, rather by the need to create a structure that will allow us to create more innovative marketing platforms for new and emerging categories, to better service the needs of our clients in a more integrated fashion across television, digital, publishing and radio.”

Stephenson noted that Nine’s marketing solutions division, Powered, would continue to play a key role supporting the GBD teams.

“Our new integrated structure has given our specialists in data, insights, strategy and effectiveness the opportunity to accelerate the development of our data strategy,” he said. “Everything designed to make working with Nine more efficient and even more effective.”

Under the new structure, reporting to Stephenson will be Richard Hunwick, director of sales – television & radio; Nick Young, director of sales – digital & publishing; Liana Dubois, director of Powered; Tim Rose director of sales – Nine+ (SME); and Warwick Sharp, director of sales operations.

Liana Dubois

Chris Nardi moves to the newly created role of director of client partnerships – publishing, where he will oversee Nine’s team of specialists in key client verticals across travel, luxury, education, recruitment, finance, technology and classifieds.

Michael Stephenson explained that Nardi would focus on creating specific opportunities for brands in and around Nine’s mastheads and superbrands including Traveller, Good Food, Domain, Good Weekend and Sunday Life.

As part of the changes, Nine confirmed there have been some redundancies within the sales team.

Among the departures is Penny Kaleta, Nine’s director of sales – radio who joined Nine from Australian Community Media to lead the integration of its sales operation following the acquisition of Macquarie Media.

“Penny has been fantastic during her time at Nine. In the short time she has been with us she has fully integrated our radio team into the Nine family and reintroduced Nine radio to the market at large. She has done an outstanding job and she has become a great friend,” Stephenson said.

“I’m very sad that she will be leaving us. Our loss will be someone else’s gain and I can’t wait to see who is lucky enough to have Penny in their team.”

Top Photo: Richard Hunwick, director of sales – television & radio

As Bauer Media Australia regroups, NZ title sales still possibility

With the remaining staff of Pacific Magazines now integrated into Bauer Media, not physically in Park Street though as most working from home, the company is focussing on a re-engaging with the market.

The company has been copping it in the media with a Media Watch headline this week: “Bauer’s brutal cull”. During the report a former unnamed staffer said “Bauer has shown just how little they care”. Former Pacific Magazines publisher and editor Jackie Frank said she didn’t think paused titles would be back.

Bauer supplied the program with a detailed statement addressing all accusations and laying out a road map for its recovery.

Brendon Hill

Bauer Media Australia chief executive Brendon Hill spent time with his executive team last week outlining the vision for the resumption of “normal” trading for staff.

While the business does seem to be committing to Australia, the Q&A session was unable to questions from staff a possible sale to private equity. It is believed Bauer Media Australia very nearly changed hands last year and there are reports the same private equity investor, Mercury Capital, could still be interested in a deal.

There is also interest in New Zealand about trying to bring back some of the recently closed brands – particularly long-standing local magazines The Listener and North & South. Bauer Media this week advised the deadline for bid has been extended to the end of May for interest in NZ titles. However as every day passes with the brands out of the market the value decreases.

Of the recently completed Australian merger, Hill said: “Bauer was always committed to this deal and, along with Seven West Media we worked very hard to make this happen and are delighted to see this come to fruition and look forward to the opportunities this presents.”

While many thought Bauer wanted out of the deal, or at least a post-COVID-19 reduction, Bauer never wavered from its commitment.

Hill has confirmed that all the new titles have a future with Bauer Media:

We are completely committed to every brand. The [Pacific] brands exist wonderfully at the moment – I have no idea why that would change under a new ownership structure.

Andrew Cook

Andrew Cook

Hill has assembled his team at Bauer to run the expanded portfolio. The new Bauer Media Australia director of sales Andrew Cook has returned to magazines as he works alongside Sarah Belle Murphy, executive GM.

“After a period of uncertainty, it is time to move forward as one, strong, innovative business – we have some exciting plans and we’re getting out in the market next week to excite the trade about what our significant growth means to them – there are more opportunities than ever before for our clients to connect with our brand communities,” said Hill.

Publishing pause

Hill also further explained the reason some titles have been pulled from retailers shelves: “As you all know, we have made the decision to put a selection of titles on hold, effective immediately, so I wanted to confirm those and explain why:

NW and OK! – this was predominantly down to the complete drop out of travel and transit distribution channels. These titles rely heavily on the bundles we do in airports so without this, were significantly impacted.

WHO provides an alternative during this time, however, we are reviewing the situation weekly and feel optimistic that as restrictions ease up we will have all of our entertainment titles back very soon.”

One of the weeklies that continues to publish is TV Week, although Bauer has yet to appoint a new editor following the recent departure of Thomas Woodgate.

Hill: “Our ad model brands, as you all know bore the brunt, particularly in the luxury space. The following titles are all on pause:

Harper’s Bazaar
Men’s Health
Women’s Health
Good Health

“It is important to address that our intention is to absolutely reinstate these titles, and get our team members back to work, as soon as it’s possible.”

September is the target date for the return of some of the monthlies, perhaps with their October editions.

Bauer Media publishers

Shane Sutton – Group publisher of homes (Experience at both Bauer and Pacific)
Fiona Connolly – Group publisher across weeklies
Susie Loxton – publisher Luxury Group (ex-marie claire)
Nicole Byers’ role has been extended and will now oversee Australian Women’s Weekly, Country Style and Better Homes & Gardens

Digital brand management remains unchanged:

Fiona Baker – Digital Director Entertainment and Parenting
Lorna Gray– Digital Director Beauty, Luxury and Health
Amber Manto – Digital Director, Homes and Food


Dean Burge – Head of Product/Technology
Neil Donnelly – Head of Digital Ad Ops
Tessa Rex – Director Video & Audio
Annabel Hodges – Director Audiences

10 Daily to shut down on Friday with ViacomCBS to focus on streaming

It seems that the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 has claimed another victim in the digital news space with senior reporter for 10 Daily Josh Butler announcing on Twitter that Network 10’s news site will be closing up shop on Friday.

His announcement read:

” Sad news –  10Daily is being closed from Friday There will be a lot of people left without jobs – news, lifestyle and entertainment journalists; editors; video editors; social staff. They’re all guns If you need people, please DM me and I can recommend you a few legends to hire “


Network 10 released this statement about the closure:
“Network 10’s digital media strategy is evolving to capitalise on our momentum and match the new ViacomCBS global operating model. That means an increased emphasis on streaming services and social media.

“Over the past two years, 10 Daily has established a strong presence and a loyal following, thanks to a passionate and hardworking team producing great content. We are grateful for their efforts to drive that success. As a result of the strategic change, however, 10 Daily will cease to exist as a standalone website.

“Some of the 10 Daily roles will remain. Some of the 10 Daily content will also transfer to 10 Play and our social media brands.”

10 wouldn’t comment on the impact on staff numbers. It is thought there are about 30 people working on 10 Daily with some of them to stay with the business.

The closure comes almost two years after launching in 2018 and boasting contributors including Lisa Wilkinson, Waleed Aly, Clementine Ford, Jane Caro and Tanya Hennessy

Last Year 10 Daily editor Chris Harrison told Mediaweek that “Our tag line is “News with benefits” – a lot of people are coming to us for news, but they are also staying for the benefits.”

The closure of 10 Daily comes just days after Buzzfeed pulled the pin on its operations in Australia.

APC celebrates milestone with 40th birthday issue

APC magazine will celebrate 40 years of publishing, with its 40th birthday issue on sale Monday in newsagents and via digital platforms Zinio.com and the Apple App store.

APC editor Ben Mansill said: “It is humbling to look back at how APC has served the generations of Australians who have relied on us for high-quality tech journalism, for so long.”

“APC is a giant in the publishing industry, and to still be going strong after four decades is a testament to our writers, our values, and endless hours testing PC gear for Australian consumers to make informed decisions, with information they can trust.”

APC’s 40th birthday issue will reveal several new sections “We’ve given APC a fresh and contemporary new look and added compelling new content, while staying true to the core appeal that has kept us on top for so long,” said Mansill.

Neville Daniels, MD of Future Publishing Australia said: “We are delighted that APC continues to have such a broad and loyal following leading to it being the biggest selling technology magazine in Australia. It is a tribute to our experienced and knowledgeable team – and the power of magazine media – that they can create, curate and present the most relevant content in such a fast moving sector. We look forward to publishing APC alongside the rest of our titles for many years to come!”

Mansill added “Our readers really are wonderful – they phone in and email often to share their thoughts and we love having that connection. It compels the team with a sense of duty to uphold the quality and standards that make APC so well trusted, delivering thorough reviews, thought-provoking features, plus some of the best opinion columnists in the business.”

Australian Digital Advertising market slows in Q1 across all categories

• Achieves 3.8% growth year on year with video the star performer at +18%

Total online advertising growth slowed in the first quarter of 2020 to deliver overall year-on-year growth of 3.8% according to the IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER). The Report compiled by PwC, found that the drop in expenditure traditionally experienced after the December holiday quarter was more pronounced this year, with the total advertising in Q1 reaching $2,286m in expenditure.

The Report, which captures data until 30th March 2020, reflects the traumatic summer season of bushfires and drought, as well as the traditional post Xmas decline, but only includes a couple of weeks of data when the country was seriously impacted by COVID-19 lockdown.

Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia commented: “While this report captures the zeitgeist of the tough start to the year we experienced Australia wide, it precedes the real impact of COVID-19.  There is no doubt that the current quarter will be tougher for all in the industry but we are seeing shoots of hope in some sectors.”

Additional findings from the IAB OAER Report from PwC

All online advertising categories showed growth year on year, but general display and search & directories declined from the preceding December quarter (12% and 4% respectively.

Classifieds grew 2% from the December quarter.

Video advertising continued to grow, increasing to 53% share of general display advertising, an 18% growth on the same quarter last year.

The skew towards programmatic advertising continued, with 43% of all advertising bought programmatically versus 38% being bought from agencies using insertion orders (IOs).

The percentage of inventory bought directly from advertisers increased to 19%. Some 56%, the bulk of content publisher’s video inventory, was bought programmatically in the March quarter.

For the first time, the entertainment category entered the top five industry categories, joining retail, finance, real estate and automotive, despite all recording declines against the previous quarter.

The technology sector experienced the largest increase in share quarter on quarter, while the travel sector experienced the largest decline.

The Report also found that in Q1, content publisher’s desktop video inventory revenue share increased slightly to 36% with an increase in people working from home, up from 34% the preceding quarter, while viewing via connected TVs was 38% and 26% viewed via mobile video advertising.

Second wave of Ad Impact Research

IAB is working on the second wave of its ad impact research to understand the investment intentions of advertisers and agencies for the coming months. Data to date shows that approximately 50% of advertisers who had previously pulled spending are now back in market investing, though mostly at a reduced level. The number of those who have reduced or stopped their spending all together appears to have decreased, though a significant number continue to delay investment or completely withdraw.

Drowning in radio data: CRA commissions GfK for online audience survey

Commercial Radio Australia has commissioned radio audience measurement provider GfK to undertake a special online listening survey, to be released in June while the official radio ratings are on hold due to COVID-19.

The GfK Radio E-Diary Listening Study will capture industry-level consumer listening data across the five major capital city markets via an online e-diary. It will provide information on how many people listened to radio and key metrics on time, place of listening and demographics.

The survey is one of a schedule of data releases designed to keep the advertising industry informed about audience and listening trends.

“People have continued to rely on radio for information and companionship as their daily routines have changed. We will be releasing a range of data over coming weeks to provide insight into listening behaviour, so agencies and clients can continue to have confidence that radio offers cost-effective audience reach,” CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner said.

A special GfK report of pre and post COVID-19 listening data, released on April 16, found radio listening had increased by 1 hour and 46 minutes a week to an average of 18 hours during the lockdown period, compared to the weeks immediately preceding the lockdown.

Importantly the results of the annual Infinite Dial Australia study will be presented on 20 May via webinar.

Official radio surveys will resume with Survey 6 to be released on Tuesday, 29 September. The release of Survey 7 has been brought forward by one week to 5 November and Survey 8 will now be released on 8 December.

The full list of data releases and release dates

Infinite Dial Australia – Edison Research’s 4th annual study into digital media behaviour. Edison Research president Larry Rosin will present the findings via a webinar at 10.30am AEST on Wednesday, 20 May.

Register here.

GfK Radio E-Diary Listening Study – GfK survey of radio listening across the five metropolitan radio markets to be released in June.

Digital data – Analysis of listening metrics based on available industry digital data, for example streaming and website data, using GfK’s proprietary SENSIC tag, to be released July/August 2020.

GfK Radio Surveys – Survey 6 will be released on 29 September, Survey 7 on 5 November and Survey 8 on 8 December.

Australian Share of Audio – GfK’s 5th annual study into listening trends across the entire audio landscape will be released and presented via webinar in August.

Australian Podcast Ranker – Top 100 podcasts report and All-Australian Top 100 report compiled by Triton Digital will be released monthly.

Tasmanian Media Awards names Rhiana Whitson Journalist of the Year

• The winners of the 2020 Tasmanian Media Awards have been announced via an online event.

Best News Image supported by Media Super

Mitchell Woolnough, ABC, “Portfolio of Work”

The quality and techniques demonstrated throughout Mitchell’s work, displays an enormity of creativity in the execution – often during enduring circumstances. The imagery is well captured and the storytelling powerfully illustrated throughout. A worthy winner.

Comment & Analysis supported by Unions Tasmania

Simon Bevilacqua, The Mercury, “The magical lost art of the spiral punt”, “Shells and shacks; a reverie on the Tasmanian way of life”, “China syndrome: It’s time to talk about the dragon in the room”

Bevilacqua’s style of writing draws the reader into his mind. You can almost hear it churning over with every sentence consumed. He has a great ability to write about a broad range of topics and past times and with original storytelling that is easy to read, engaging and informative.

Arts Reporting supported by MEAA

Frances Vinall, The Examiner, “How Vicki Madden went from Brooks High to TV powerhouse”, “The grassroots movement of men fighting to be able to be vulnerable”, “How the true-blue Workers Club became Launceston’s hippest party space”

Frances’s work is deeply connected with her community, helping share the stories of proud, passionate and talented locals. It’s clear she has a natural talent for storytelling. Her writing is engaging and captures a growing confidence within Tasmania’s arts sector.

Science, Technology & Environment supported by Telstra

Alexandra Humphries, ABC, “Salmon industry panel ‘inherently compromised’, experts told the minister in leaked resignation letter”, “Long Bay Algae”, “Experts quit salmon farm approval panel after raising concerns, but reasons remain hidden”

The judges were extremely impressed with the high quality and breadth of the entries in this category – from wombats to digital futures to climate change and Huon Pines. However, the judges were unanimous in naming Alexandra Humphries from the ABC as the winner, for her body of work. She applied her investigative skills and contacts to obtain much-needed clarification to an FOI document about the Expert Salmon Panel. The inclusion of the voices of experts/scientists in the story was also excellent, and something often missing from news stories about scientific issues. The reporter also raised pertinent issues surrounding the FOI process, pointing to transparency questions which have dogged the government.

Sports Coverage supported by MEAA

Tom Johnson, 7 Tasmania, “The Resilience and Fragility of Regional Football in Tasmania’s North West”

Tom’s body of work presented an underlying theme, that is, the ‘silent death’ of local sport, in this case football.

Tom ventured into the small towns of the north west of Tasmania each with 100-year sporting records capturing the raw emotions of long-standing members faced with huge losses within the social fabric of their communities. These stories presented the best of localised journalism in the truest sense, with excellent and compelling reporting.

Health Reporting supported by MEAA

Linda Smith, The Mercury, “People Power”

Linda has shown a diverse range of extremely well written stories of the personal heartache affecting daily lives with sensitivity, empathy and awareness of suffering, combined with presenting the reader with a clear understanding of medical issues and conditions that affect Tasmanians, women in particular. Through engaging writing, the stories demonstrated a strong understanding with an absorbing delivery. Her win is well deserved.

Public Service Journalism supported by TasCOSS

Frances Vinall, The Examiner, “Reporting on lead contamination at Pioneer”

Frances Vinall’s series of stories on lead contamination in the water supply in the North-East Tasmanian town of Pioneer stood out because they had such a huge, positive impact on the local community. Frances’ stories not only led to significant improvements in the town’s supply of healthy drinking water but also subsequently to the residents’ health. Her stories were a great example of good, honest, civic journalism which has made a big difference to the lives and health of people who were not necessarily able to make their voices otherwise heard.

Excellence in Legal Reporting supported by Butler, McIntyre & Butler

Loretta Lohberger, The Mercury, “After the verdict”

A previous winner in this category, Loretta has shown growth and maturity, and continues to show strong compassion in her stories. Her coverage of the Neill-Fraser case injects a subtle tabloid style albeit, in parallel with excellent reporting of key facts, combined with elements of empathy, good sub-structure and a well-founded break-down of the components in the case. Loretta’s body of work also included the Otto murder trial, informative and well presented as a matter of high public interest and the Catholic Standard’s Apology to Cardinal Pell, this story in particular showed professional quality in research in obtaining a copy of the Standard before it was withdrawn. A worthy winner.

Feature, Documentary or Current Affairs supported by MEAA

Frances Vinall, The Examiner, “Forced adoption: stolen babies, family secrets, unsolved mysteries”

It was an incredibly strong field in the Feature, Documentary or Current Affairs category, the calibre of entries was wonderful to read. Frances’ piece on forced adoptions was ultimately chosen as the winner for the beautiful writing, the way she took you on a journey telling Carol’s story, but also the courage in publishing the piece for subscribers only online because of legal limitations. It was skilfully written, evocative in its telling. The level of trust Frances clearly gained from Carol as she recalls her trauma of forcibly giving her child up for adoption and then the discovery later on of Carol’s own beginnings.

Best News Story supported by Media Super

Sharon Webb, Meander Valley Gazette, “How Westbury became a site for a new prison”

This series of stories demonstrates the best in local reporting – understanding what is important to the community, political and community contacts, an ability to dig beneath the surface, persistence and relevance to a wider population. The story-telling is crisp and concise. As local news outlets disappear, this winner demonstrates what Tasmanian communities stand to lose.

Best New Journalist supported by The Mercury

Frances Vinall, The Examiner, “Forced adoption: stolen babies, family secrets, unsolved mysteries”, “Call for inquiry into Pioneer’s lead-contaminated drinking water”, “‘Go back to your country’: Why skilled migrants leave Launceston”, “The nine nuns living cut off from the world in West Launceston”

In her second year at The Examiner, Frances has demonstrated a passion beyond words on a page. Her original reporting style went further than facts and figures, by introducing readers to the human faces behind the stories. The judges would also like to commend Erin Cooper for her strong entry.

Journalist Of The Year supported by Tourism Industry Council Tasmania

Rhiana Whitson, ABC News, “Tasmania’s health crisis”

Rhiana was relentless in her pursuit of stories that highlighted widespread issues within the Tasmanian health system. Her reporting sought to put a human face to the toll taken by surgical delays, budget cuts and mismanagement. Using her extensive network of contacts, and a dogged approach to newsgathering, she broke a succession of stories that generated national interest, and helped put health firmly at the top of the local political agenda.

Keith Welsh Award For Outstanding Contribution To Journalism supported by Peter George

Peter Curtis

Peter Curtis has been one of the ABC and Australia’s most outstanding camera operators, working in Tasmania and around the world – Moscow, the Middle East, Washington included – for the past four decades. What makes Peter such a deserving Keith Welsh winner has been his collegiality with all colleagues, assisting journalists and camera operators to improve their craft and careers.

Top Picture: Rhiana Whitson

Lego Masters: Alex and Jackson win season two and $100,000

Western Australia’s Alex and Jackson were named the winners of season two of Nine’s Lego Masters.

Branded as Perth-based hipsters the pair were rewarded with a cash prize of $100,000 and the Lego Masters trophy.
Brickman and Hamish announced the final three teams last task was a 28-hour free build. But not only were they trying to impress Brickman, they were also building for 250 members of the public, with each person getting one vote while Brickman’s decision was worth 100 votes.
Jackson and Alex decided to build the Frankenstein-inspired world of a mad scientist. Set in a Victorian-era village, they named their robot the Frankenfig. Their build depicts the Frankenfig bursting through a mountain and terrorising the town below.
Adelaide’s Trent and Josh recreated six characters on a large pirate ship, vowing to build the biggest model Lego Masters has ever seen.
Queenslanders Andrew and Damian named their creation the Final Battle. Their plan was to construct a modern colosseum with two gladiators fighting in front of a huge crowd. They set a massive scale for their build, but an ingenious copy-and-paste technique help them do it at a lightning pace. Problems arose however when they found out that to fill their stadium, they needed at least 4000 minifigs.
Standing at two metres and hitting the workshop lights, as promised Trent and Josh’s pirate ship was the biggest model ever. Damian and Andrew’s colosseum and gladiators proved to be popular with the crowd. But it was Jackson and Alex’s fabulous Frankenfig that won them and Brickman over. Brickman described their winning build as a storybook he just wanted to keep on reading.

Brickman said: “This year’s Lego masters grand finale really was ‘the next level’. With all competing teams having won previous episodes I knew it was going to be a tight race, but not that tight! All three teams really did make amazing and different builds, from the highly detailed robots, to the huge pirates and even setting the scene for a Hollywood monster blockbuster. Like everyone else that has watched the show, I’ve been totally blown away by what they have all done. Alex and Jackson really took what they had learned over the series and made something truly spectacular.”
Jackson said: “The chance to participate in Lego Masters was a childhood dream come. Finishing with the win has been absolutely unreal. We never thought we would be standing here today with the trophy in our hands. The calibre of builders in this competition was next level, and we were really pushed to our limits. We’re so grateful to everyone we had the honour of competing against, and particularly to our fellow finalists for sharing this crazy journey all the way to the end.”
Alex said: “It’s surreal to have won the show. We were up against incredibly talented builders and, challenge after challenge, I was totally intimidated by the quality of the builds. The other competitors pushed us to a level that we would never have achieved on our own. I am just so grateful to have been given the opportunity to compete on the show and getting the win is really the cherry on top. Getting to see the production in full swing was unreal. So much goes into creating the show – the people behind Lego masters are incredible. Competing with Jackson was an absolute delight. We’re super close friends and I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anyone else. Can’t wait to see what’s next for us but it’s going to be pretty tough to top this feeling!”

TV Ratings Monday May 18 Week 22 2020

By James Manning

• Nine makes Perth hipsters $100k richer via Lego Masters
• Series finale of Lego Masters climbs over 1.4m for reveal
• 10 mounts challenge with MasterChef & HYBPA? close to 900k

Seven News 1,248,000/1,201,000
Nine News 1,110,000/1,033,000
A Current Affair 864,000
ABC News 839,000
7.30 699,000
The Project 368,000/669,000
10 News 464,000,000/282,000
Sunrise 311,000
The Drum 243,000
News Breakfast 216,000
Today 210,000
SBS World News 201,000

Nine: The series final of Lego Masters did big business for Nine last night and secured a Monday victory, albeit with a smaller share than it managed to build on Sunday. Alex and Jackson brandished the Lego Masters (Lego) cup at the end of the episode as they celebrated in front of the other teams and a pre-COVID studio audience. The final episode featured a big build for a big cheque. The final night audiences of 1.462m for the announcement and 1.219m indicate the show pulled a similar audience to the final of season one – 1.481m and 1.253m.
Earlier in the night A Current Affair started the week on 864,000 after a week 20 average of 726,000.
The US drama Emergence did 310,000.
Footy Classified did 64,000 in AFL markets as the season recommence gets closer with 49,000 in Melbourne.

Seven: Seven narrowly held on to second place last night with Home and Away on 667,000 after a week 20 average of 623,000.
There was plenty to do in the Greystanes house last night on House Rules: High Stakes with 565,000 watching after 568,000 a week ago.
9-1-1 then did 328,000.
The Michael Usher hosted real crime investigation Framed then did 265,000.

10: A team challenge took over MasterChef with the losers destined for a Pressure Test elimination cook tonight. Reece forced coerced Reynold onto his team and although the great chef didn’t deliver for once last night, his miss was not bad enough to cost them the victory. The Monday episode was on 896,000 after 870,000 a week ago.
Have You Been Paying Attention? followed with the contestants doing great work during the day to plug the episode. Three of the competitors had their own shows to remind viewers to tune in – Ed, Sam and Amanda Keller – while we heard both Kitty Flanagan and Glenn Robbins doing a sell on various stations across the day. The episode did a very healthy 881,000 after 866,000 last week.
Earlier in the night The Project 7pm was on 669,000 after a week 20 average of 614,000. The episode ended with Hayden recalling his MasterChef highlights. 

ABC: Roy and HG featured on Australian Story with 791,000 watching details of their radio and TV career.
Four Corners then did 599,000 followed by Media Watch on 578,000 and then Q+A on 352,000.

SBS: Secrets of the Royal Family attracted the channel’s biggest crowd with 221,000 after 7.30pm.

Week 21 TV: Monday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 14.0% 7 16.6% 9 22.5% 10  16.2% SBS One 4.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 1.9% 7TWO 3.5% GO! 2.1% 10 Bold 3.7% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 2.5% GEM 2.2% 10 Peach 2.0% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix 1.6% 9Life 1.4%     NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.1%     SBS World Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 17.8%   24.2%   29.4%   21.9%   6.8%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 14.2% 7 19.9% 9 17.7% WIN 12.0% SBS One 3.7%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.4% 7TWO 4.4% GO! 2.6% WIN Bold 4.6% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.7% GEM 3.8% WIN Peach 1.8% Food Net 0.6%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.5% 9Life 1.5% Sky News  on WIN 2.1% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 18.5%   29.5%   25.7%   20.6%   6.3%


89.5% 10.5%
Monday FTA
  1. Lego Masters -Winner Announced Nine 1,462,000
  2. Seven News Seven 1,248,000
  3. Lego Masters -Finale Nine 1,219,000
  4. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,201,000
  5. Nine News Nine 1,110,000
  6. Nine News 6:30 Nine 1,033,000
  7. MasterChef Australia 10 898,000
  8. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 881,000
  9. A Current Affair Nine 864,000
  10. ABC News ABC 839,000
  11. Australian Story ABC 791,000
  12. 7.30 ABC 699,000
  13. The Chase Australia Seven 696,000
  14. The Project 7pm 10 669,000
  15. Home And Away Seven 667,000
  16. Four Corners ABC 599,000
  17. Hot Seat Nine 597,000
  18. Media Watch ABC 578,000
  19. House Rules: High Stakes Seven 565,000
  20. 10 News First 10 464,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. Lego Masters -Winner Announced Nine 402,000
  2. Lego Masters -Finale Nine 330,000
  3. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 290,000
  4. MasterChef Australia 10 263,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 167,000

18-49 Top Five

  1. Lego Masters -Winner Announced Nine 692,000
  2. Lego Masters -Finale Nine 578,000
  3. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 452,000
  4. MasterChef Australia 10 415,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 313,000

25-54 Top Five

  1. Lego Masters -Winner Announced Nine 724,000
  2. Lego Masters -Finale Nine 610,000
  3. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 482,000
  4. MasterChef Australia 10 437,000
  5. Nine News Nine 351,000
Monday Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 229,000
  2. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 192,000
  3. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 186,000
  4. Shaun The Sheep AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 183,000
  5. NCIS Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 161,000
  6. Doc Martin PM 7TWO 160,000
  7. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  8. Neighbours 10 Peach 147,000
  9. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  10. Floogals PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  11. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 133,000
  12. Book Hungry Bears AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  13. Dog Loves Books ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  14. The Inspector Lynley Mysteries PM 7TWO 129,000
  15. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 126,000
  16. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 124,000
  17. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  18. Rita And Crocodile PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  19. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 116,000
  20. Nella The Princess Knight PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 116,000
Monday STV
  1. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 71,000
  2. Credlin Sky News Live 68,000
  3. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 68,000
  4. Kenny On Media Sky News Live 44,000
  5. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 44,000
  6. Blue’s Clues & You Nick Jr. 44,000
  7. PML Later Sky News Live 42,000
  8. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 42,000
  9. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 42,000
  10. Live: Supercars All Stars E-Series FOX SPORTS 506 38,000
  11. Ready Set Dance Nick Jr. 38,000
  12. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver COMEDY CHANNEL 38,000
  13. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 37,000
  14. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 37,000
  15. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 37,000
  16. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 36,000
  17. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 36,000
  18. Alvinnn!!! And The Chipmunks Nick Jr. 36,000
  19. Butterbean’s Cafe Nick Jr. 35,000
  20. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 34,000

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

Village Roadshow agrees to takeover talks as offer drops to $468m

BGH Capital is in talks with Village Roadshow to buy the troubled cinema and theme park owner for up to $468.5 million, ending months of takeover speculation and competing bids, reports The AFR’s Elouise Fowler.

Shares in the entertainment group shot up 17 per cent after the Melbourne-based private equity firm made an offer to pay at least $2.20 a share and 20¢ more if the group’s two Gold Coast theme parks and cinemas reopen by the time shareholders meet to vote on the deal.

The offer to take the company private is at least a 25 per cent premium to the entertainment group’s closing stock price of $1.77 on Friday when the deed was inked and a 51 per cent increase from March 19, when Village Roadshow announced to the Australian Securities Exchange it would close down operations due to COVID-19.

But the offer is still significantly lower than previous bids and is laden with conditions. BGH first made a $770 million offer in late January of $4 per share, while in late 2019 private equity firm PEP made a rival offer worth $3.90 per share.

[Read more]

See also:
Village people: three banks, two law firms, one boutique in BGH/VRL deal
• BGH lobs ‘bargain’ bid for battered Village Roadshow

Jobs boom for virus-resilient video game sector as console sales jump

The $200 billion global video game sector has proven one of the most resilient to COVID-19 as booming demand from players seeking social connection and distraction sees both revenue and job opportunities rise, reports The AFR’s Hannah Wooton.

This contrasts to the broader entertainment industry, which has been ravaged by job cuts in the wake of COVID-19 lockdown measures.

Game console sales jumped 285 per cent in Australia the week that lockdown measures were announced in March, after declining month-on-month previously, and game sales grew 278 per cent.

The Zip Weekly Spending Index showed video game retailers up by 115 per cent this April compared to last.

“For skilled people, there’s jobs in video games at the moment,” said Trent Kusters, co-founder and director of Melbourne game production house League of Geeks, which is currently hiring.

League of Geeks is about to advertise five to 10 new roles, as it moves to expand its current team of 30 to 50 within a couple of years.

[Read more]

News Brands

Matt White departs Network 10 on tough day for the business

Separate to the closure of the Network 10 news website 10 Daily, the network also retrenched several sales staff and its head of sport, Matt White, reports The Age’s Michael Lallo.

The veteran sports journalist, who made his name on the now-defunct Sports Tonight program, returned to 10 in 2014 after a decade at Seven. “He leaves with our sincere thanks and very best wishes for the future,” a network spokeswoman said.

[Read more]

More than 150 newsrooms shut as Covid-19 deepens media crisis

The closure of BuzzFeed News in Australia may have grabbed the headlines last week but the digital startup is just one victim on a growing list of media casualties of the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Guardian Australia’s Amanda Meade.

Five editorial staff at BuzzFeed have lost their jobs, and on Monday a further 30 editorial job losses were announced due to the closure of the online news site 10 Daily. Across the country hundreds more have been stood down in an already fractured media landscape. It’s unclear how many will ever return to their posts.

In the far north of the country the family-owned Cape and Torres News stopped the presses after 60 years in March when distribution became impossible and advertising dried up. In regional Victoria, locally owned mastheads entering their second century were forced to close as the coronavirus started to devour advertising revenue.

Sunraysia Daily was supposed to be celebrating its centenary, but owners Elliott Newspaper Group made the “gut-wrenching” decision to suspend all newspaper publishing operations in Mildura, Swan Hill and Kerang, albeit promising they would come back when the economy recovered.

[Read more]

New Zealand Prime Minister slams ‘rude’ question from TV host

Jacinda Ardern expertly dodged an invasive question about her appearance during a cringe-worthy exchange on New Zealand breakfast television Monday morning, reports news.com.au.

Speaking on New Zealand’s The AM Show, the NZ Prime Minister got stuck into “rude” host Ryan Bridge after he asked whether she’d been colouring her hair because it’s going grey.

“Why are you dyeing it anyway? Is it going grey or something?” Mr Bridge had said.

“Never … never … never … that’s not a polite question to ask anyone – I was about to say a lady – but anyone, actually,” she said, laughing uncomfortably.

After a brief silence she added that it was simply a “little touch-up,” with the host then justifying the question by commenting that her high-profile job would be likely to cause stress.

[Read more]


Annaliese van Riet leaves SCA after four months leading culture

Annaliese van Riet has departed Southern Cross Austereo, Radio Today reports.

Van Riet was named chief people and culture officer by SCA last December, with a January 20 start date, but after less than four months the executive is no longer in the building.

According to van Riet’s LinkedIn profile on Saturday, there is no record of her time at SCA. The executive’s current role is director of amplifi HR, a position she’s held since November 2018.

Radio Today reached out to SCA for comment, who confirmed the departure: “We can confirm that Annaliese has left the business and we wish her all the best with her future endeavours.”

Her appointment was labelled by CEO Grant Blackley as a key hire under the broadcaster’s revamped leadership team, including promotions for Nikki Clarkson and Dave Cameron.

[Read more]


Remembering Rod Webb, tributes to TV and film programmer

Former Sydney Film Festival, Australian Film Institute, SBS and ABC executive Rod Webb died on Friday after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 76, reports Don Groves at IF.com.au.

Among the numerous tributes on social media, former AFTRS director, degree programs, Ben Gibson said: “Rod was a great mate around the festival circuit back in the 80s when I was a distributor and he was doing SFF. Fondly remember his very definite opinions and style of argument – and a certain dandyish.”

Documentary maker Tom Zubrycki observed: “Rod and I were friends for a long time. He was a keen judge and critic of film and a sharp wit. Loved a good party. Was always very supportive to filmmakers trying out new ideas. Will be much missed.”

In the early 1990s he worked as the Australian Film Institute’s program manager followed by a 12-year career with SBS as network programmer and occasional acting head of television.

He was named head of programming at the ABC’s Australia Network in 2003 and retired from that position in 2011.

[Read more]

One of Nine’s two heads of drama departs the network after 14 years

Jo Rooney, one of two heads of drama at the Nine Network, has resigned after 14 years with the network, reports TV Tonight

Michael Healy, Nine’s director of television, said: “After 14 years at Nine Jo Rooney has made the decision to leave. Jo has contributed to an impressive slate of quality Australian drama and made many friends during her time at Nine. We wish her well in her next adventure.”

Rooney has shared head of drama duties with Andy Ryan since 2011.

Together they have overseen such titles as Doctor Doctor, House Husbands, Love Child, Here Come the Habibs, Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War, Beaconsfield, SeaChange, Bad Mothers, Bite Club, Gallipoli, various Underbelly incarnations and Stan’s Wolf Creek and No Activity.

She previously worked at Southern Star and ABC. Her other credits include Water Rats, Love My Way, Brides Of Christ, The Leaving Of Liverpool, Police Rescue, Wildside and Seven Deadly Sins.

[Read more]

Guidelines agreed to get UK television cameras rolling again

Television stars will have to do their own makeup, and cast and crew may have to bring their own cups and plates to sets, in new coronavirus safety rules agreed by UK broadcasters to get the cameras rolling again on some of the country’s favourite TV shows, reports The Guardian.

The guidelines have been agreed by the UK’s biggest broadcasters, including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky and news broadcaster ITN, as well as Pact, which represents the hundreds UK independent producers.

Popular programmes such as Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale and Top Gear plan to resume filming in the coming weeks, as stocks of episodes start to run out despite rationing them since the lockdown in March.

[Read more]


Bauer to close, merge or sell 10 UK magazines – say it ain’t Q

Magazine publisher Bauer Media plans to close, merge or sell 10 of its UK print titles it says will not be sustainable once the Covid-19 crisis is over, reports Press Gazette.


The titles affected are: music magazines Q and Planet Rock, car brands Modern Classics and Car Mechanics, “true-life” title Simply You, Mother and Baby, Golf World, Practical Photography, Sea Angler and Your Horse.

Bauer said for each of these titles it is currently looking at whether to move them to a digital-only format, merge them with sister titles, sell them, or close them altogether.

Bauer’s UK publishing chief executive Chris Duncan, who was appointed last month after leaving his role as Times Newspapers managing director, said: “The pandemic and lockdown has further accelerated the trends already affecting the publishing industry.

“Bauer publishes nearly 100 magazines in the UK, and some titles that were already challenged, unfortunately, are not expected to be sustainable after the crisis.

“We must protect the long term health of our business and ability to invest in future growth by re-shaping our portfolio.”

[Read more]

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