Monday November 18, 2019

Daily Telegraph editor Ben English on readership, news & resources

By James Manning

The editor of News Corp’s The Daily Telelgraph, Ben English, has been in the role for just on 12 months. Mediaweek last spoke to English just after he returned to the Sydney news brand, after last year’s Bradfield Oration, a key event the newspaper sponsors every year. This time we spoke with him after this year’s event last week.

English told us that it didn’t seem like he’d been running the newspaper for a year. “It’s 12 months and I feel like it takes probably that amount of time before you feel like you’re comfortably in the saddle and you’re comfortable with your team.”

English had worked the newspaper before as deputy editor and prior returning spent time editing others newspapers in the News Corp Australia network.

“News gave me a couple of roles editing great papers like The Townsville Bulletin and the Gold Coast Bulletin – that was a great grounding. The Telegraph is bigger because you’ve got stakeholders everywhere. I’ve got them upstairs, I’ve got them over in New York and of course, the number one stakeholders are our great readership.

“People care what the Telegraph has to say. The by its nature, the Telegraph front page is a statement.”

However because the news brand has its biggest audience online, most people engaging with The Daily Telegraph don’t get to see that front page. Has English taken any steps to counter that?

“There are several strategies we are using around that. The main one is with newsletters. You can deliver great tone and attitude through through newsletters, with great personalisation. Equally, we’re doing more deep dive journalism. Even though we’ve got less reporters than we had 10 years ago, we’re partitioning off journos to do deeper dive journalism. That’s what consumers are demanding. We’re going to have to have a point of difference, otherwise, we’re commoditised and the game’s over. The audience so far is responding to that. We are investing a lot of money in specific projects, but the payback has been tremendous.

The theme at the 2019 Bradfield Oration, Sydney’s future, delivered by US geographer Joel Kotkin, seemed tailormade for the Telegraph and its strategy of reaching out to Sydneysiders everywhere. The paper is not about the inner-city, instead reaching out to audiences all over.

We’re at an inflection point with the media where the media is increasingly reporting on media, on what politicians have to say and what think tanks have to say, and they and they have less resources to actually go out and talk to real people,” said English.

“That’s an opportunity for us. We still have enough reporters that we can get them out of the office and get on the streets and talk to real people. That allows us to cut through more than anything else. If we actually go the same way, as a lot of other media outlets, we will just get swallowed up.”

A clever use of reporters and group resources helped comprehensive coverage of the bushfires this month. English explained:

“It’s all about collaboration now. We’re fortunate to still have our News local network, and they feel very much part of the one team now. We were able to mobilise reporters in Newcastle and in the Illawarra who work for virtual local mastheads, who were reporting through them for us.

“The second thing was, whenever there’s a big event, journos just come into work. Even if they are on leave or just a day off – they all come in. I never cease to be astonished by the work ethic and the dedication when that happens. And that’s what happened this time. We had that deputy editor Gemma Jones come in, she had just began a holiday. She just came in and worked and we got a magazine out in 12 hours – 16 pages that normally should take a week was produced through this enormous work ethic the team has.”

In the recent News Corp results for Q1 of the new financial year, CEO Robert Thomson revealed how tough things were for the Australian newspapers. English is well aware how critical selling the news is to his brand’s business model.

Consumer revenues, undoubtedly, are the key to our future,” said English. “The best thing that’s happened to us in recent times is for us to erect a paywall. What that has done has brought a forced discipline on us to be ruthlessly relevant for our readers and we’re seeing the results. We’re learning all the time. We’ve only had a paywall for four years. But the data that we’re getting is more sophisticated. It’s more informative, we’re getting greater insights. We now have a really well-paced product and we do breaking news really well. We’re also learning what time of day, day of week, how people want to consume information and how they want their stories told. We’re getting much better at telling stories in a more modern, dynamic, agile way.

“There’s a lot of trial and error. One of the benefits of being a global village is that we’re getting learnings pretty quickly from around the world. I just went on a study tour of Silicon Valley. It was a revelation to me some of the advances that have been made in data collection. It’s an enormous opportunity – people talk about the onslaught of journalism of the digital age, but it’s also liberated us, there’s a lot of stuff that we used to have to do manually that we don’t do any longer so now we can get out information more efficiently. Now the temptation is for us to dive into that and actually never leave our office and I think that would be a mistake, it’s got to be a combination.”

Reading News Corp Australia products now you realise how focused the business is on synergies within the group. There are regular links and promotions to other owned properties from Foxtel to Kayo to the various news outlets.

“The whole world is waking up to collaboration being beneficial,” said English.

 “There is no doubt at times historically we were like a federation of warring states. Quite rightly so in that we were very competitive and very parochial. Now we’ve got to be smarter, we’ve got to work out where we can collaborate and where we can share content. One of our strongest points is our coverage of national affairs. Often the Telegraph sets the agenda with that, and you will frequently see content that is created in Sydney digested in Brisbane and Melbourne. At the same time, you can’t let go of being fiercely parochial and hyper local because that’s what people demand.”

Nova Entertainment announces return of Pilko to Fiveaa in 2020

• Former breakfast great part of a refreshed lineup in new year

Tony Pilkington will return home to Fiveaa in afternoons, weekdays from 20 January, following Alan Hickey’s departure.

Pilkington had two long stints at the station in the past. He had a long on air partnership with Barry Ion starting in 1976 as Bazz and Pilko on both Adelaide and Sydney radio. More recently he hosted Adelaide breakfast with Keith Conlan, winning 45 consecutive radio surveys until the hosts retired in 2010. Pilkington was subsequently inducted in the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame in 2011.

Bringing back retired radio hosts is not uncommon. Longtime Brisbane ratings champ Jamie Dunn helped breathe life into 4BC before it was overrun by Sydney hosts.

In Perth just this year Fred Botica was lured out of retirement by 96FM and the breakfast ratings have risen steadily since his return.

Pilko said he is excited to be returning to his former home, “I thought long and hard … and if KG could make a comeback, so could I! I’m really looking forward to coming home to Adelaide and Fiveaa.”

The Drive Sports Show with Rowey & Bicks will see a new face join the team. Jarrod Walsh will anchor the Rowey & Bicks Drive Sports Show from 4pm to 6pm.

Jarrod said, “I’ve grown up listening to the Fiveaa Sports Show since I was a teenager and to have the opportunity to now be part the #1 sports show in Adelaide, is literally my dream job. I feel like it’s draft day and I’ve been selected to play for my home team in my home city, and I just want to get pre-season over with and get into the real stuff!”

After seven years with Fiveaa breakfast and 44 years of working in the Adelaide media, Jane Reilly has made the decision to finish up as a regular contributor in Fiveaa breakfast with David & Will from 13 December. Reilly will continue to be a friend of the station and will feature throughout 2020 on special projects.

Reilly said, “I’ll still be around on the radio, it’s just that I won’t be up quite so early. I’m really looking forward to not looking at the clock and worrying about sleeping-in. I’m planning more travel, both locally and overseas in 2020.”

Fiveaa’s weekday line up from Monday 20 January 2020:

David and Will

5:30am – 6am: The Sports Wrap with Tom Rehn
6am – 9am: Breakfast with David & Will
9am – 12noon: Mornings with Leon Byner
12noon – 12.30pm: Nine News on Fiveaa
12.30pm – 3pm: Afternoons with Tony Pilkington
3pm – 4pm: Conversations with Cornesy
4pm – 6pm: Sports Show with Rowey & Bicks
6pm – 7pm: Sportsday SA with Malcolm Blight and David Wildy
7pm – 8pm: Early Evenings with Jon Blake
8pm – 12midnight: Evenings with Jeremy Cordeaux

Craig Munn, Fiveaa station manager said, “We at Fiveaa are thrilled to welcome Pilko back home and Jarrod to the station. We believe that our audience will enjoy these additions to the afternoon line up as well as continue to connect with all our presenters and programs in 2020. For all of us here at Fiveaa, it has been a privilege and delight to work with Jane who is such a passionate and professional South Australian media icon and a treasured and valued member of the Fiveaa family.”

Stan announces summer premieres on eve of Disney+ launch

Stan has revealed four big premieres of Stan Originals on the eve of the launch of Disney+ in Australia.

Stan released a first-look and premiere dates for what it has called Australia’s biggest ever line-up of premium originals premiering across the summer.
The titles include the return of Matt Okine’s comedy The Other Guy, relationship drama The Commons, haunting crime thriller The Gloaming and the critically acclaimed Stan Original Film True History of the Kelly Gang.

Okine’s comedy will return for its second season on December 13. Directed by Gracie Otto (The Last Impresario), the six-part comedy series stars Matt Okine, Harriet Dyer (Stan’s No Activity), Valene Kane (Rogue One), Christiaan Van Vuuren (Soul Mates), Lily Sullivan (Stan’s Romper Stomper) and Claudia Karvan (Newton’s Law).

Premiering next, on Christmas day, is the eight-part character-driven relationship drama, The Commons. Stan is calling it a vision of the future where rising temperatures give way to drought, dust storms and fires, and is also a story about motherhood as the ultimate act of faith in humanity.

Written and created by AACTA Award-winner Shelley Birse (The Code) and featuring an all-star cast led by three time Emmy nominee and Golden Globe winner Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey), the series boasts standout performances from David Lyons (Safe Haven), Ryan Corr (Stan Original Series Bloom), Rupert Penry- Jones (Spooks) and Damon Herriman (Stan’s Perpetual Grace, Ltd). The Commons is guided by an outstanding lineup of directors, including AACTA Award-winner Jeffrey Walker (Lambs of God, Riot), BAFTA Award-winner Rowan Woods (Nowhere Boys, Rake) and Jennifer Leacey (Reckoning,The Secret She Keeps).

Premiering on New Year’s Day is the thrilling eight-part series, The Gloaming. The crime series is the creation of Executive Producer and Writer Vicki Madden (The Kettering Incident) and stars award-winning actors Emma Booth (Glitch) and Ewen Leslie (The Cry). In it, Booth and Leslie play two detectives bound by a childhood tragedy who are driven to solve a horrific murder which connects the past and the present in a world of superstition and supernatural forces. Martin Henderson (Grey’s Anatomy), Aaron Pedersen (Mystery Road) and Rena Owen (Siren) also star, with a stellar director lineup including Michael Rymer (American Horror Story), Greg McLean (Stan Original Series Wolf Creek) and Sian Davies (Nowhere Boys).

Premiering on Australia Day is the movie inspired by Peter Carey’s Man Booker prizewinning novel of the same name, True History of the Kelly Gang. This Stan Original Film is an epic, fictionalised re-telling of the life of legendary Australian bushranger Ned Kelly. Written for the screen by Shaun Grant (Snowtown) and directed by the award- winning Justin Kurzel (Snowtown, Assassin’s Creed), it stars a cast of award- winning Australian and international stars, including BAFTA Award-winner George MacKay (Captain Fantastic), Oscar-winner Russell Crowe (Stan’s The Loudest Voice), Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road), Essie Davis (The Babadook), Claudia Karvan (Stan Original Series The Other Guy), Earl Cave (Born to Kill) and Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy).

Sky News reveals new 2020 programming as Chris Smith joins

Sky News has announced it will debut a host of new and exclusive national affairs programs, with both new and returning faces set to headline its anchor line-up in 2020.

Former 2GB radio broadcaster Chris Smith will join Sky News to host two regular programs in 2020, Chris Smith Tonight Thursdays at 8pm and a new late-night show Chris Smith & Friends Sundays at 10pm.

Smith will also host a special summer-edition program, Chris Smith: Inside the News live from the Sky News Sydney studio. The program will air weeknights at 7pm from December 16 to January 24 with the veteran journalist and commentator taking audiences inside the day’s news, with big interviews, fiery debate, and his unique take on the stories Australia is talking about.

Smith joins the top-rating weeknight primetime line-up featuring Credlin with Peta Credlin, The Bolt Report with Andrew Bolt, Kenny on Media with Chris Kenny, Jones & Credlin with Alan Jones and Peta Credlin, Richo & Jones with Graham Richardson and Alan Jones, Chris Smith Tonight, Paul Murray Live with Paul Murray and The Front Page with Peter Gleeson.

Other new programs joining the Sky News line-up in 2020 include In My View, Afternoon Agenda, Outsiders’ Guide To… and The Alliance.

In a new-look Sunday night line-up The Daily Telegraph‘s multiple-award winning political editor-at-large Sharri Markson returns to anchor Sharri Sundays at 6pm, with a focus on breaking news through exclusive interviews.

Sunday nights will also premiere a lively new debate program In My View at 8pm, followed by Paul Murray Live at 9pm and new Chris Smith & Friends at 10pm.

Sky News’ flagship talk program, Paul Murray Live will celebrate its tenth anniversary next year with a brand-new set and a fresh format.

Also debuting in 2020, chief news anchor and political journalist Kieran Gilbert will host a new political program Afternoon Agenda live from Parliament House Monday – Thursday at 2pm. Gilbert will also steer political discussion program Sunday Agenda, Sundays at 8am, featuring newly appointed Sky News political editor Andrew Clennell.

In the lead up to the US Election, Sky News business editor Ticky Fullerton will host a new six-part series The Alliance examining the important role and impact of the US-Australian partnership. Fullerton also returns with Leo Shanahan for another season of Business Weekend Sundays at 11am offering the latest business and market insights.

Following the success of Sky News Australia’s first locally produced documentaries Bad Blood/New Blood and Lawyer X: The Untold Story, in 2020 the channel will add to its documentary slate with Sky News anchor Peter Stefanovic and the investigative team set to bring audiences another new two-part series. Further details will be announced early next year.

Sky News’ award-winning team of experienced journalists including Kieran Gilbert, Laura Jayes, Peter Stefanovic, Andrew Clennell, Ticky Fullerton, Ashleigh Gillon, Tom Connell and Annelise Nielsen will bring viewers news and analysis across politics and business.

Returning weekdays from 5am on First Edition, Laura Jayes and Peter Stefanovic are the breakfast team reporting on the latest in news, politics, business and sport.

At 9am weekdays, political reporters Tom Connell and Annelise Nielsen team-up live from Canberra for morning political program AM Agenda, Australia’s only weekday morning program devoted to political news coverage.

From 12pm Monday-Thursday, political journalist Ashleigh Gillon returns to host NewsDay live from the Sky News Perth studio providing the latest current affairs, sport and business news including coverage of key news events and analysis.

Broadcasting live from the Sky News Melbourne studio, The Friday Show hosted by Herald Sun columnist Rita Panahi extends to three hours in the new time of Fridays 2pm – 5pm.

The Kenny Report moves to the new timeslot of 5pm weekdays and will see anchor Chris Kenny examine the issues that dominated the news agenda, particularly those involving national politics during sitting weeks in Canberra.

Paul Whittaker, Sky News chief executive said: “We’re excited to announce our 2020 programming schedule which brings together the best journalists, commentators and broadcasters in the country to provide comprehensive perspective and insights on the issues that matter most to Australians.

“In 2020 we continue our significant investment across live breaking news, expert commentary and national affairs, as well as long-form investigative content, to provide viewers with an unmatched line-up of must- watch news and national affairs programs.”

Sky News 2020 Programming Line-Up (returning from Sunday 26 January)
• First Edition with Laura Jayes and Peter Stefanovic (Weekdays at 5am)
• AM Agenda with Annelise Nielsen and Tom Connell (Weekdays at 9am)
• NewsDay with Ashleigh Gillon (Monday – Thursday at 12pm)
• Afternoon Agenda with Kieran Gilbert (Monday – Thursday at 2pm)
• The Friday Show with Rita Panahi (Fridays at 2pm)
• The Kenny Report with Chris Kenny (Monday – Friday at 5pm)
• Credlin with Peta Credlin (Weeknights at 6pm)
• The Bolt Report with Andrew Bolt (Weeknights at 7pm)
• Kenny on Media with Chris Kenny (Mondays at 8pm)
• Jones & Credlin with Alan Jones and Peta Credlin (Tuesdays at 8pm)
• Richo & Jones with Graham Richardson and Alan Jones (Wednesdays at 8pm)
• Chris Smith Tonight with Chris Smith (Thursdays at 8pm)
• Outsiders’ Guide To…with Rowan Dean, James Morrow and Rita Panahi (Fridays at 8pm)
• Hardgrave with Gary Hardgrave (Fridays at 8:30pm)
• Weekend Edition with Jaynie Seal and Tim Gilbert (Saturdays & Sundays at 6am)
• Sunday Agenda with Kieran Gilbert and Andrew Clennell (Sundays at 8am)
• Outsiders with Rowan Dean, Rita Panahi and James Morrow (Sundays at 9am)
• Business Weekend with Ticky Fullerton and Leo Shanahan (Sundays at 11am)
• Sharri with Sharri Markson (Sundays at 6pm)
• In My View (Sundays at 8pm)
• Paul Murray LIVE with Paul Murray (Sunday-Thursday at 9pm)
• Chris Smith & Friends with Chris Smith (Sundays at 10pm)
• The Front Page with Peter Gleeson Monday- Thursday, Jane Marwick Friday and Saturday and
Gemma Tognini Sunday (Nightly at 11pm)

Top Photo: Chris Smith gets his own Sky News primetime programs

Week 46 TV Ratings: The Block put Nine #1 and kept it there, Seven improves

Nine secured a massive 36.6% share on the first light of the week with The Block final. That share was more than double Seven’s primary share on the night.

Despite losing Monday through Thursday, Nine hit back with wins on Friday and Saturday to hold on to top spot for another week.

Helping lift Nine’s share was 60 Minutes with 898,000, its highest-rating episode in more than six months.

Nine News and A Current Affair were both contributors, with two episodes of David Attenborough’s Seven Worlds, One Planet next best with the two episodes averaging 551,000.

Seven was just 0.6 behind Nine in primary share and trailed just by 0.1 in combined channel share.

It was Seven’s best week in primary and combined share since the end of the AFL season in the last week of September.

The channel’s best again was Seven News across every night of the week. The final episode of a long, final, season of Bride & Prejudice – The Forbidden Weddings pushed just above 600,000 on Tuesday.

Sunrise had a strong week with an average of 300,000 during a week where it peaked at 329,000, its best audience of the year. Today was a long way back on 200,001.

7mate was the most-watched multichannel on 4.0%, narrowly outperforming 9GO! on 3.9%.

The Bachelorette’s final two episodes were the highlights for 10 with the series ending well upon how 2018 finished.

The Bachelorette Australia Grand Finale – The Final Decision, The Bachelorette Australia Grand Finale, The Bachelorette Australia Wednesday, Have You Been Paying Attention?, The Amazing Race Australia Monday, The Amazing Race Australia Tuesday and One Born Every Minute Australia dominated demos and saw week on week growth.

The Bachelorette Australia 2019 season concluded this week and saw a national lift of 23% year on year. The Final Decision and Grand Finale saw national lifts of 13% and 9% respectively year on year.

The ABC’s best was again Gruen with 670,000.

A repeat episode of Insight pulled the biggest audience for SBS with 232,000 watching.

ARIA Chart Chimp Champ: Dance Monkey spends 6 months on chart, 16 weeks #1

• US country singer/songwriter Luke Combs’ second album lands at #1


The moment many had been waiting for in the past month has arrived – Tones and I has set a new record for total weeks at #1 with Dance Money spending 16 weeks at #1 as part of its six months on the ARIA chart.

Dan Rosen, CEO of ARIA, said: “This is a truly historic achievement. I am so incredibly thrilled that an Australian artist now holds the record for the longest running #1 song in ARIA chart history. From busking a year ago to shattering chart records, this is just the start for Tones And I.

“This is the latest chart record for the singer-songwriter, who has broken many records to get here. Over the last 16 weeks she beat out most weeks spent at #1 on the ARIA singles by any female artist, and any Australian artist and finally this week, any artist. She has also topped the charts in 18 countries, including a record-breaking run by an Australian artist in the UK. She has topped the global charts for Spotify, Shazam, Apple Music, YouTube Music and other music services.

“Tones And I now heads into literally uncharted territory, whilst in the middle of a sold-out world tour. She is returning to Australia to perform at the ARIA Awards on 27 November, where she leads the nominations tally with eight.”

Tones and I’s Never Seen The Rain spends a second week #10.

The only new entry to crack the top 50 this week was Rozanne from the US singer/writer/producer Arizona Zervas.


By contrast plenty of action on the album chart this week with six new entries and two re-entries.

US country music singer/songwriter Luke Combs has scored his first #1 album in Australia with his second album What You See Is What You Get. His first album, This One’s For You, peaked at #7, a position it reached 12 months after release.

Christmas releases are starting to make an impact. Last week Mariah Carey re-entered the chart with Merry Christmas at #36. This week it has slipped to #48 as it chalks up 52 (non-consecutive) weeks on the chart.

Making a splash though is Last Christmas, the soundtrack powered by George Michael and Wham! The album has gone straight into the top 10 at #7. The album features an unreleased solo track This Is How (We Want You To Get High) and is Michael’s first posthumous release to enter the chart. The perennially popular Wham! single Last Christmas should turn up again soon after hitting the top 10 last December.

The third new arrival in the top 10 is the third album, and the first to chart in Australia, from New Zealand band Six60. This becomes their third #1 in New Zealand in a career that started with an EP on their own label in 2010. They now have a deal with Epic which sees Sony Music spreading the word about them in Australia.

Also new to the chart this week:

#11 The Script with Sunsets & Full Moons. The Irish band secure a sixth top 10 peak with their sixth album.
#22 FKA Twings with Magdalene. The follow up to LP! released in 2015 which peaked at #30.
#30 Dojo Cat with Hot Pink

Two albums re-entered the chart this week:

#2 Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds with Ghosteen. After debuting at #7 a month ago, the album returns to the chart following its physical release. This is the band’s 17th album and its ninth to go top five.#
31 Andrea Bocelli with Si Forever. A “Diamond edition” of his 2018 album features additional tracks and duets with Ellie Goulding, Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Matteo Bocelli and Jennifer Garner.

Top Photo: Tones and I receives platinum award for Dance Monkey UK sales

TV Ratings Analysis: November 17

By James Manning

• Hamish and Andy keep Nine’s Sunday winning streak intact
• Total Control delivers a powerful final episode, lifts ABC
• Zumbo returns for season 2 on Seven, ranks #2 in timeslot
• Trains deliver bigger Sunday share for SBS travellers

Sunday Week 47 2019

• Seven News 905,000
• Nine News 765,000
• ABC News 683,000
• Insiders 342,000
• The Project 193,000/320,000
• 10 News First 240,000
• Offsider 157,000
• SBS World News 143,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 250,000
• Today 183,000


After a first season in back in 2016, Seven launched the second season of Zumbo’s Just Desserts with a first episode audience of 446,000. That was enough to rank in the top 10 and the episode was #2 in the timeslot behind Nine. The series launched on a Monday originally with just over 1m metro.

Sunday Night then did 331,000.


The return of Hamish and Andy to primetime together has kept Nine in winning form on Sunday night. The first episode of Perfect Holiday didn’t muck around, taking the touring duo straight to the action on a speedway for buses just outside Seattle. The audience warmed to it immediately, with an audience of 881,000 for the first of three episodes.

Nine’s 60 Minutes then did 568,000, enough to give Nine three of the top five and secure a strong winning share.


The channel has been without a major franchise on a Sunday for some time and this is the ninth week out of 10 that share slipped into single figures.

The channel’s best was The Sunday Project on 320,000.

Jamie Oliver was programmed initially with The Naked Chef Bares All, yet it seems a Graham Norton re-run went to air with 272,000 watching.

NCIS then did 267,000.


The channel’s fallback position on Sunday night when it is not doing property is David Attenborough. Last night it was his series Pangolins with 420,000 watching.

The final episode of Total Control was as powerful and compelling as the previous five and left viewers wondering about the possibility of a second season. The final episode did 536,000.


It was “all aboard” for the broadcaster with three hours of train travel from 7.30pm.

Secrets of the Railway at 7.30pm was on 262,000 and sitting well inside the top 20.

Then the two-part Inside The Orient Express did 190,000.

The trains delivered the second-best Sunday share for the channel since June.

Week 46 TV: Friday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 13.0% 7 17.8% 9 16.0% 10  11.7% SBS One 4.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.1% 7TWO 3.6% GO! 5.5% 10 Bold 3.1% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 2.9% GEM 2.7% 10 Peach 2.9% Food Net 1.3%
ABC NEWS 2.1% 7flix 3.8% 9Life 2.2%     NITV 0.1%
    7Food 0.6%         SBS World Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 19.1%   28.7%   26.5%   17.7%   8.0%


ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.2% 7 17.3% 9 17.6% 10  6.6% SBS One 5.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 4.2% 7TWO 3.8% GO! 6.1% 10 Bold 3.2% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.9% GEM 3.6% 10 Peach 2.6% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix 5.0% 9Life 3.5%     NITV 0.1%
    7Food 1.6%         SBS World Movies 1.1%
TOTAL 16.7%   31.5%   30.8%   12.5%   8.5%


ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 11.8% 7 16.8% 9 22.7% 10  8.6% SBS One 6.4%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.1% 7TWO 3.8% GO! 4.3% 10 Bold 3.5% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.8% GEM 3.4% 10 Peach 1.7% Food Net 1.5%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix 1.3% 9Life 2.6%     NITV 0.1%
    7Food 0.5%         SBS World Movies 1.0%
TOTAL 16.9%   26.2%   33.0%   13.8%   10.1%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 11.3% 7 17.9% 9 18.5% WIN 7.5% SBS One 5.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.3% 7TWO 4.0% GO! 5.9% WIN Bold 3.5% VICELAND 1.3%
ABC ME 1.0% 7mate 4.5% GEM 5.4% WIN Peach 1.7% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.4% 9Life 2.7% Sky News  on WIN 1.2% NITV 0.2%
    7food (QLD only) 0.3%            
TOTAL 17.1%   28.1%   32.6%   14.0%   8.2%


85.7% 14.3%
All people ratings

Friday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 791,000
  2. Nine News Nine 744,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 720,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 715,000
  5. ABC News ABC 547,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 545,000
  7. The Chase Australia Seven 502,000
  8. Better Homes And Gardens Seven 462,000
  9. Gardening Australia ABC 454,000
  10. Grantchester ABC 442,000


Saturday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven  726,000
  2. Nine News Saturday Nine 610,000
  3. ABC News ABC 579,000
  4. The Good Karma Hospital ABC 417,000
  5.  Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2Seven 342,000
  6. Vanity Fair ABC 341,000
  7. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Nine 272,000
  8. Border Security: Australia’s Front Line (R) Seven 257,000
  9. Weekend Sunrise Seven  247,000
  10. Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull Nine 245,000
Sunday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven  905,000
  2. Hamish & Andy’s Perfect Holiday Nine 881,000
  3. Nine News Sunday Nine 765,000
  4. ABC News Sunday ABC 683,000
  5. 60 Minutes Nine 568,000
  6. Total Control ABC 536,000
  7. Zumbo’s Just Desserts Seven  446,000
  8. Pangolins: Narrated By David Attenborough (R)ABC 420,000
  9. Sunday Night Seven 331,000
  10. The Sunday Project 7pm 10 320,000
  11. The Graham Norton Show Encore 10 272,000
  12. NCIS  10 267,000
  13. Secrets Of The Railway SBS 262,000
  14. Weekend Sunrise Seven 250,000
  15. 10 News First 10 240,000
  16. Insiders AM ABC 231,000
  17. Landline PM ABC 229,000
  18. Seven News At 5 Seven 226,000
  19. Murder, Lies & Alibis Nine 219,000
  20. NCIS (R) 10 193,000
Sunday Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 170,000
  2. Border Security: Australia’s Front Line7TWO 151,000
  3. Nella The Princess Knight PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  4. Seven’s Cricket: WBBL Syd Sixers V Melb 7mate 137,000
  5. Border Security: Australia’s Front Line 7TWO 134,000
  6. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  7. NCIS (R)10 Bold 132,000
  8. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  9. Dot. AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 124,000
  10. The Equalizer 9GO! 123,000
  11. Kiri And Lou AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  12. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  13. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows 7mate 119,000
  14. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 118,000
  15. Would I Lie To You? ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  16. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 116,000
  17. Midsomer Murders 9Gem 114,000
  18. Luo Bao Bei ABCKIDS/COMEDY 114,000
  19. Border Security: Australia’s Front Line 7TWO 114,000
  20. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
Sunday STV
  1. Outsiders Sky News Live 60,000
  2. Live: Motorsport: F1: Brazil Qualifying FOX SPORTS 506 60,000
  3. Outsiders Sky News Live 56,000
  4. Live: ALeague Sydney V Melb V FOX SPORTS 505 47,000
  5. Live: Marsh Cup: Vic V NSW FOX CRICKET 46,000
  6. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 44,000
  7. World On Fire BBC First 44,000
  8. Live: ALeague Bris V Melb C FOX SPORTS 505 44,000
  9. Live: Marsh Cup: Vic V NSWFOX CRICKET 41,000
  10. S.W.A.T. FOX One 39,000
  11. 24 Hours In Emergency Lifestyle Channel 38,000
  12. PML Later Sky News Live 37,000
  13. Live: Football: ALeague Pre Game Show FOX SPORTS 505 37,000
  14. The Simpsons FOX8 37,000
  15. The Simpsons FOX8 35,000
  16. Midsomer Murders UKTV 34,000
  17. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 34,000
  18. Live: Cri: WBBL: Sixers V Renegades FOX SPORTS MORE 33,000
  19. Casualty 24/7 Lifestyle Channel33,000
  20. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 32,000

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

Masked Singer, Rugby World Cup help 10 secure October ad market lift

Network 10 has secured its biggest revenue share since the Big Bash League was on the free-to-air broadcaster’s screens in 2018, with the CBS owned broadcaster receiving a quarter of advertising dollars in October, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.

The growth in the 10’s commercial television metropolitan ad market share largely came at the expense of rival Seven West Media, which secured 34.5 per cent over the month compared to a winning 41.9 per cent in September and 35.5 per cent the year before.

The October result was the lowest share for Seven since January 2018 but monthly data can be volatile and Seven grew its share over the July to September quarter to 39 per cent.

Seven chief executive James Warburton took over from Tim Worner three months ago and has committed to a shake-up of the network’s shows in 2020 to attract audiences back to the broadcaster after a series of programming flops.

Network 10 chief sales officer Rod Prosser said there had been growth in ratings and revenue share year-on-year.

“We’ve had great momentum in the second half with shows like Australian Survivor, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and The Masked Singer all drawing strong audiences, particularly in the demos,” he said.

Commercial shares

Network 10

October 2018 – 24.77%
September 2019 – 19.72%
October 2019 – 24.99%

Seven Network

October 2018 – 35.5%
September 2019 – 41.89%
October 2019 – 34.48%

Nine Network

October 2018 – 39.73%
September 2019 – 38.39%
October 2019 – 40.53%

[Read the original]

Disney explores Disney+ partnerships with local players

The Walt Disney Company has held talks with Australian telecommunications providers, including Optus and Telstra, to offer new streaming service Disney+ free to its customers as a tool to drive telco subscriber additions, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Sources said there had been talks since it became clear Disney+ would be launching in Australia, although no agreement was reached. However, following Disney’s deal with Verizon in the US in October, giving customers 12 months free Disney+, there had been renewed interest, though they cautioned it was early days.

Any deal would likely operate in a similar vein to the way local telcos, such as Optus, paid Netflix to be able to offer its customers the service for free when it launched in Australia in 2015.

Disney Australia and New Zealand managing director Kylie Watson-Wheeler confirmed the US entertainment giant is having a number of discussions with local players, but would not be drawn on who it was talking to and what plans they might action.

It is understood these talks have included bundling Disney+ and Stan, which has rights to a range of Hulu original programming in Australia. Disney has global expansion plans for Hulu, but the rights for a lot of programming have been sold to different players in different markets.

“Both Stan and Foxtel continue to be great partners for us here in this market,” Watson-Wheeler said. “They’re key partners for us with the non-branded content portfolio. In relation to anything we might do with Disney+ in the future, we are having a variety of conversations. There’s nothing yet to confirm or share.”

Watson-Wheeler also revealed Disney has clawed back rights to The Simpsons, where seasons 1 – 29 will be available on Disney+ for the service’s launch of Tuesday. Seven West Media holds rights to the first run of season 30.

[Read the original]

Sydney Opera House and Stan sign partnership for events & content

The Sydney Opera House and Stan have announced a new partnership, bringing together the Sydney cultural institution with the local streaming service and home of original productions.

Under the agreement, the organisations will collaborate on co-branded events and digital content that will promote and celebrate the best in Australian arts, culture and entertainment.

To kick-off the partnership, on Tuesday 26 November, Stan will roll out its blue carpet for a special event at the Opera House, showcasing four brand-new Stan Originals that will premiere this summer. The diverse line-up of Australian productions will include the second season of Matt Okine’s comedy The Other Guy, a thought-provoking vision of the near future, The Commons; a thrilling journey into crime’s dark heart, The Gloaming; and the outlaw legend as never seen before, True History of the Kelly Gang.

Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron said: “We are thrilled to welcome Stan to our family of partners. Together, we champion Australian performers, artists and our creative industries. As well as launching original Australian productions and content, this collaboration will give Stan’s growing community of more than 1.7 million subscribers’ access to the Sydney Opera House’s digital programming.”

Stan CEO Mike Sneesby said: “The Sydney Opera House is a global icon and the cultural home of Australian creative arts. We are thrilled to work with the Sydney Opera House to put a spotlight on Australian storytelling and talent. Our relationship is a natural fit and we’re looking forward to a collaborative partnership.”

Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron and Stan CEO Mike Sneesby with Bryan Brown, Stan Original Productions Bloom and Claudia Karvan, Stan Original Productions The Other Guy and True History of the Kelly Gang. Photo: Caroline McCredie

News Brands

Outgoing Q&A host Tony Jones reveals new role for ABC in Asia

Tony Jones is close to signing a surprise new deal that will ensure he continues to be heavily involved with the ABC as a roving elder statesman in the Asia-Pacific, reveals The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff.

Jones will shortly be based in Beijing with his wife, Sarah Ferguson, in China, where she will become the ABC’s new bureau chief. It had been initially thought that Jones would simply be writing books in China while Ferguson became the ABC’s big presence in the world’s most populous nation.

Jones says he will be filing stories for the ABC’s Foreign Correspondent, but could also be deployed extensively across the ABC news and current affairs spectrum. While he won’t be reporting on China because of visa restrictions, he will be able to cover every other country in the Asia-Pacific.

“The ABC has some serious plans for a greater engagement with the region,” he said.

[Read the original]

ACCC calls on Facebook and Google to pay for journalism

Facebook and Google are undermining the economic foun­dations of journalism and should be subjected to a government-mandated bargaining code whenever they deal with news organisations, according to the nation’s competition watchdog, reports The Australian’s Chris Merritt.

This intervention is justified because the tech giants are damaging journalism, which is a public good that affects the community.

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims said he hoped the Morrison government would accept the commission’s call for a bargaining code to govern relations between the tech giants and the news media.

“For us, this is all about the future of journalism,” he told a conference in Sydney organised by the business law section of the Law Council of Australia on Friday.

“Journalism is a public good and whenever you have a public good, particularly one as large as this, government is inevitably involved,” Sims said.

[Read the original]

The Australian’s editor cuts a deal for readers to avoid cover price increase

News Corp’s The Weekend Australian lifted its price on Saturday from $3.80 to $4.00. But editor-in-chief Christopher Dore had a deal for readers to avoid the price hike:

While we are lifting the cover price, I want to present a special Editor-in-Chief offer: have The Weekend Australian delivered for just $3.50 a week for the next six months. You will also have full digital access every day of the week and bonus digital access to The Wall Street Journal.

In addition, we now send subscribers morning and afternoon email briefings, curated by me, on what’s making news – another subscription benefit that will make it even easier for you to stay up-to-date while you’re on the move.

We invest a lot in bringing you the best reporting, writing and analysis every weekend, wherever you live. Of course, we are the only newspaper in Australia that delivers to every corner of the nation, from the Top End to Tasmania and every town in between. We don’t do this often, but today we are increasing the cover price of The Weekend Australian to $4.

Whichever way you look at it, that is remarkable value: an unrivalled news section, unmatched depth and experience of news analysis within Inquirer, the best sports writing in the country and of course a Business section with a remarkable array of the best finance journalists and insightful and informed commentators.

Let’s not forget our gems in the middle of the newspaper – Review, our arts liftout, has more book, television, music and movie reviews than any other publication, written by the biggest names in the business; and The Weekend Australian Magazine, which features some of Australia’s greatest feature writers, and beautiful portraits.

You are doing well if you can get through The Weekend Australian in one session. It is exceptional reading.

Take up the offer, we won’t let you down, and thank you again for choosing The Australian and The Weekend Australian.

Take up the subscription of for The Australian here.

'Governments are going to mandate' fact-checking on Facebook: AAP boss

Australian Associated Press chief executive Bruce Davison says global governments are likely to force digital behemoths Facebook and Google to fact check more of the content being shared online and has called on local policymakers to tighten up copyright laws, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.

The AAP has a fact-checking agreement with Facebook that started about three months ago, which Davidson is hoping to extend in the future. It includes a team of four full-time employees who check about 50 posts a month for the social media website.

The deal came after worldwide criticism against social media sites for allowing unchecked claims in posts and advertisements online, potentially swaying public opinion.

Google initially provided assistance setting up the AAP fact checking unit during the 2019 election, Davidson said. The news agency and wires service now has a deal with Facebook to take a close look at posts flagged as potentially being fake or incorrect.

[Read the original]

Media People

Sydney farewells celebrity agent John Fordham the way he'd have loved

It was just the sort of room that late agent and Mr Fix-it John Fordham would have loved: a sitting NSW Premier, a former Australian prime minister, sporting legends past and present, radio kings and even an underworld figure.

Friday’s funeral for Fordham was not about bold-type names but rather an extraordinary life – both professionally and personally – of a man who was intimately involved in some of the biggest sports, media and business deals that helped shape a city and a nation for half a century.

What a roll-call it was: John Howard, former league player Wally Lewis, Gladys Berejiklian, Kings Cross identity John Ibrahim, winemaker Brian McGuigan, Graham Richardson, broadcasters John Laws and Alan Jones, socialite Skye Leckie, former Liberal Party identity Michael Yabsley, Fran Macpherson (mother of Elle), TV identities Susie Elelman, Lisa Wilkinson, Sylvia Jeffreys and Peter Stefanovic.

Also present were former Australian cricket captain Mark Taylor, NRL boss Todd Greenberg, Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart and former News Corp boss John Hartigan, sports presenter Tony Squires, businessman MarkBouris, former AFL coach Paul Roos and Outback Wrangler Matt Wright.

Old rivalries were buried, for just a few hours at least, with Laws and Jones cheekily trading gibes outside the church. Indeed for many years it was Fordham who was the meat in the sandwich of the pair, who for decades have waged battles over egos and ratings.

[Read the original]


Triple J’s Tom Tilley quitting ABC to join 10’s The Project

Triple J host Tom Tilley has called time on the ABC and will head over to Network 10’s The Project in a new reporting and hosting role, reports The Australian’s Leo Shanahan.

The long-time host of Triple J’s Hack has told The Australian he will make the leap to commercial TV at the end of the year, coming just two weeks after fellow Project and ABC host Hamish McDonald was named host of the ABC’s Q&A program.

The popular Tilley is a big loss for the ABC at a time when the national broadcaster is in a battle to keep talent from defecting to commercial rivals.

“I decided about a year ago that 2019 will be my final year of Hack. So last year was my seventh year of hosting the program and heading into my eighth,” Tilley told The Australian. “I’m going to open up the next chapter, make the most of what I’ve been able to build, making the most of what I’ve learnt working at Triple J and the ABC and moving to the next phase.”

[Read the original]

Sonia Kruger arrives at Seven, columnists reveal contract details

Seven will this week formally unveil the multi-talented Sonia Kruger, who had her last day on Nine’s Today Extra on Friday, as one of the faces of the network, in a deal believed to be worth $1m a year, or $3m over three years, reports The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff.

At that rate, Kruger’s package will surpass the salaries of talent like Seven’s breakfast stars David Koch and Samantha Armytage. But insiders are adamant that she will not be the highest paid on-air personality at Seven, with suggestions talent like Hollywood star Rebel Wilson (who will front Seven’s new reality dog show Pooch Perfect) are on bigger coin.

[Read the original]

Annette Sharp reported in The Sunday Telegraph:

Seven is said to have offered Sonia Kruger a three-year-deal – which according to reports was worth $500,000-a-year – which Nine was prepared to match.

When Seven improved its offer, Nine offered no further financial sweetener, prompting Kruger to give notice, sources claimed yesterday.

She finished up on Friday – earlier than might have been expected and without much network fanfare, unless you happen to be one of Today Extra’s meagre audience who were treated to packages of Kruger clowning on set with co-host David Campbell.

Kruger’s contract with Nine expires on December 31 – meaning Seven’s announcement concerning their new star could be weeks off.

[Read the original]

The Crown is one of the most ambitious gambles in TV history

In creative terms, it might go down as one of the most ambitious gambles in television history: to recast the world’s most successful drama series after just two years, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Idato.

The Crown, Netflix’s fabulously expensive and critically acclaimed royal soap opera, is a textbook case of a hit show. With House of Cards it confirmed Netflix’s place at the apex of content creation in the streaming age, and then with The Crown and made superstars of its actors: Claire Foy, Matt Smith and Vanessa Kirby, who played the Queen, Prince Philip and Princess Margaret.

But as the series continues its slow unfurling of royal family history, the highly anticipated third season shifts the story into the 1970s, requiring that Foy, Smith and Kirby be “aged up” and replaced with three new actors, Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies and Helena Bonham Carter.

The impact of those changes, and the gamble in swapping out the perfect cast, is lost on no one, least of all Colman on whose head rests the new crown: “It’s horrendous,” says the 45-year-old actress of taking on the role. “Everyone loves Claire, so I have got the worst job in the world at the moment.”

[Read the original]


Ben Fordham returns to radio days after dad John’s funeral

Broadcaster Ben Fordham will be back on air today after originally taking the rest of the year off to spend time with his celebrity agent father, who died last week, reports News Corp’s Matthew Benns.

“The timing of dad’s departure was a little faster than any of us anticipated,” Fordham said yesterday.

John Fordham died last Sunday surrounded by the family he loved so dearly. His celebrity-client packed funeral was held in Paddington on Friday.

“I think he would have wanted me to go back to work,” Fordham said of his return to the 2GB microphone.

Originally Fordham had thought he would still take the rest of the year off but has decided to return to work, taking a cue from his “workaholic’’ father, adding: “Dad worked up until 15 hours before he died”.

[Read the original]

Sports Media

Gerard Whateley signs new contract with Melbourne’s SEN

Respected broadcaster Gerard Whateley has extended his deal with sports-focused radio station SEN, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.

The Herald Sun reported last month that Channel 7 tried to poach the SEN caller and Fox Footy host to lead its 2020 sports coverage, including the Tokyo Olympics, but the plan fell through due to a change of management at the network.

Now Whateley, who left the ABC to launch a morning show under his own brand on SEN in 2018, has confirmed his future is with SEN.

“I have recommitted at SEN for a further three years, which was always the plan,” Whateley said.

“When Hutchy (Craig Hutchison) and I sat down we thought the first phase would be a five-year phase so there was never really any doubt that we would add the three years to it (his current deal).

“We have built the program that we intended to, which was a daily program that would reflect what the news of sport was and have the key people at the key time to answer the key questions.”

[Read the original]

Simply too much: NRL won’t pay $1m for Tina Turner anthem

The 2019 NRL grand final coverage closed with a shot of a microphone and Simply The Best playing over the top of the coverage, writes Nine reporter and The Sun-Herald columnist Danny Weidler.

It was a none too subtle hint that Tina Turner is on her way back – or at least the game’s greatest anthem was. The idea is a great one – bring the tune back 30 years after it enjoyed a league life.

But the talk around Turner has gone quiet.

This column has been told the reason for this is the $1million price tag that Turner or her management has placed on the deal. There is a view from the NRL that they could get Taylor Swift for that kind of money – but the sentiment Turner would bring with her would obviously not be part of the price.

The NRL have confirmed that they are still in talks with her management – and they didn’t deny the $1million asking price. The word out of the NRL is that they “won’t be breaking the bank” to do the deal. In other words, Turner won’t get what she wants or anything close.

[Read the original]

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