The acquisition gives RyanCap’s clients access to globally integrated services
RyanCap has been acquired by French-based group Labelium in a move that strengthens its position in the data-driven marketing and digital media market.
The acquisition will give RyanCap clients access to globally integrated services, including marketing, offline and digital media buying, programmatic and tracking, social commerce, influencer marketing and business growth advisory.
Labelium Group, founded in 2001, is a global digital marketing performance and consulting agency. It is an independent digital group with over 1,200 marketing experts working in 27 offices across 17 countries worldwide, including Europe, APAC, the USA, and South America.
In Australia, the Group manages and optimises the digital performance of international and local brands and more, including LVMH, Zimmerman, Nude By Nature, Clarins, M.J. Bale, Sheike, Genesis Care, Maison De Sabre, Breville, and L’Occitane.
The key strategic acquisition, the twelfth to date for Labelium, signifies an investment in further strengthening the Group’s position in Australia and expands the capabilities of its data and digital media practice in the market with now more than 120 talent in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
RyanCap’s client portfolio includes Bet365, MyDeal, Live Nation, Anthem, Mahindra, MYOB, Big4, Hisense, CommBank KIT, Stratton Finance, Ray White, Ignite Travel, Click Frenzy, SelfWealth, AGL and Sleepmaker.
RyanCap employs more than 70 people, headquartered in Melbourne with offices in Sydney and Brisbane. The company brands include Ryvalmedia – a digital-first marketing and media buying specialist; Foxcatcher – a marketing and media data specialist offering data and technology-based media tools and services; and Tightrope – a business strategy consultancy.
The acquisition of RyanCap consolidates Labelium’s geographical footprint in Australia and APAC.
After accelerating in Australia with the acquisition of 1000heads in 2022 focusing on social strategies, this combined partnership with Labelium, 1000heads, and RyanCap aligns with the French Group’s vision to become a global platform addressing the 360-degree digital marketing value chain for its Australian and international clients.
This partnership also opens global career prospects for the Group’s workforce. Labelium anticipates that by the conclusion of 2024, its global talent count will surpass 1,300 people. The current management at RyanCap and brands Ryvalmedia, Foxcatcher, and Tightrope will remain in a business-as-usual position, with no plans for a merger or changes to day-to-day operations.
Jean Kerboul, APAC CEO of Labelium, said the acquisition is an exciting milestone in Labelium’s journey to expand and thrive in the Asia-Pacific region. “Ryan Cap is the perfect fit for Labelium as we are sharing values and vision of the marketing of tomorrow.”
Kerboul noted that the group is accelerating into the immense potential of the Australian market and strengthening its global presence.
“Together, with Labelium, Ryan Cap & 1000heads and our 120 talents in Australia, we will unlock new horizons of growth, innovation, and success, solidifying Labelium’s position as a dynamic force in the marketing landscape,” he added.
Simon Ryan, founder and CEO of RyanCap, shared that he was excited for RyanCap to be part of the French-based group, noting an alignment between both groups’ ethos and core values. He said: “Our unrivalled ambition to drive value via strong expertise in our complex sector is a key motivator for the team and myself.
“The team at RyanCap is energised and ready for the next growth stage this opportunity brings. Our commitment to our clients, people, and brands is business as usual with the added benefit of increased people power and global expertise,” Ryan added.
Ryan founded in June 2020 as an agile and digitally focused offering that enables client partners to thrive and grow in the new economy as brands increasingly rely on digital transformation to drive sales and business growth.
Top image: Simon Ryan and Jean Kerboul
By James Manning
After a year of change across the Nova network, 2024 is about growing the audiences
Nova Entertainment has again claimed the #1 spot nationally for its metro radio Nova network. The broadcaster has calculated it is the most listened to metro network with 4,000,900 listeners in GfK Survey 7, 2023.
ARN on the other hand claims leadership in share with 17.8% (excluding DAB+) in metro markets.
In terms of individual market leadership, Nova continues to perform best in Brisbane and Perth where the stations continue to rank #1. Although the competition is fierce in both.
Nova Network group program director Brendan Taylor told Mediaweek Brisbane has four strong FM stations that could be #1 at any given time. “The consistency of Ash, Luttsy and Susie O’Neill (pictured above) and the constant refinement of the program, plus the relationship they have with listeners, keeps them ahead of the pack.”
Nova Sydney had a better survey with cume audience up 70,000 to 1,215,000 for the station. “That growth comes off the back of a constantly improving breakfast show with Fitzy and Wippa with Kate Richie. It was off slightly in share but the cume audience was growing. It shows the strength of the connection they have and highlights the product we are building.”
Taylor also mentioned the cume and share growth in morning and afternoon at the Sydney Nova station. Both dayparts that have been challenged over recent years.
If there was a place where hard work will be needed it would be Melbourne. “What a tough market,” Taylor agreed. “There is strong breakfast competition. I feel for Ben, Liam and Belle who are a great team and a hard-working team. They are just seven surveys into that competitive market and they have to ride the highs and the lows. It gives us an opportunity to ensure we are refining the product and getting it connecting to the audience. Having a strong cume audience to convert into share is a priority.”
Nova Melbourne cume audience was down under 1.1m, ranking Nova fourth out of the five FM stations with an audience over 1m.
“There has been lots of noise in the Melbourne market about what is happening next year. We are working with the team over the last couple of weeks of Survey 8 to set them up for success in 2024.”
Like Melbourne, Nova Adelaide had a new show this year with Jodie and Hayesy. In fact Survey 7 has the first with numbers for them presenting for three hours from 6am after Nova stopped the Ben, Liam and Belle breakfast hour in September. A best of their Melbourne show now broadcasts daily in Adelaide at 5am.
“Jodie and Hayesy remain the most-listened to Adelaide breakfast show, which they have managed for seven successive surveys so we know they have a strong connection with the audience. Like their predecessors, they are hard-working and have great chemistry and a great support structure around them.”
Nova Adelaide share was down in cume and share 10+ and in breakfast this survey. Jodie and Hayesy do remain #1 in cume at breakfast, but they now share top spot with Triple M, both stations on 161,000.
While Nathan, Nat and Shaun were robbed of an ACRA after their first nomination this year, they remain #1 in Perth. The big news is though their lead has been cut from 7.7 to 2.9.
“From a share perspective we have dropped back in Perth,” said Taylor. “Cume is only off slightly. The breakfast team have had such a great year and to still be leading the pack is a testament to their skill as broadcasters.”
Taylor called 2023 a year of change with new Adelaide and Melbourne Nova breakfast shows, plus line-up changes at Sydney breakfast and national drive. “We made the changes we needed to make across the network this year. In 2024 the plan is about growing the audiences for all those new shows. We will ensure they all get the right support for success next year.”
In Sydney, Smooth FM had a strong survey, but there was a bit of rough 10+ and in breakfast in Melbourne.
Taylor: “In Sydney the station cume is so close to the KIIS cume [just 16,000 listeners separate the top two stations] which is testament to the team when you consider one breakfast show is on a 16% share and the other is on 8%. The Sydney station continues to be outright #1 afternoon and in drive plus #1 in evening and on weekends. Smooth FM Sydney is doing extremely well.”
While Melbourne smooth dipped 0.8 in share, cume audience was steady level with KIIS and trailing on Gold and Fox.
Taylor pointed out the combined cume audience for the DAB+ brand extensions was now over 1m. “That includes the smoothfm DAB+ stations in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth that are all #1 DAB+ in their markets.”
• Fitzy & Wippa with Kate Ritchie is the #1 show for their national timeslot (6pm-7pm) with an 11% share
• Smallzy’s Surgery continues to be the most listened-to Evening show (7pm-10pm) nationally with 567,000 listeners
• The Nova Network is the most listened-to network on Weekends nationally with 2,475,000 listeners
• Nova 106.9 is the #1 radio station in Brisbane with a 12.1% share, and most listened to with 702,000 cume
• Nova 106.9’s Ash, Luttsy & Susie O’Neill is the #1 Breakfast show with a 13.5%, and most listened to with 405,000 cume
• Nova 93.7 is Perth’s #1 has the most listeners in market with 674,000 cume
• Nova 93.7’s Nathan, Nat & Shaun is Perth’s #1 Breakfast show with 15.7% share and the most listened to with 400,000 cume
• Smooth FM around the country had 2.7 million listeners
• Smooth FM 95.3 is #2 FM station in Sydney with 10.6% share
• Smooth FM Brisbane is the most listened-to DAB+ station with 98,000 listeners
• Smooth FM Adelaide is the most listened to DAB+ radio station with 45,000 listeners (up 2,000 cume)
• Smooth FM Perth is the most listened to DAB+ station in Perth with 106,000 listeners (up 1000)
By Alisha Buaya
“If you were to rebuild the internet from the ground up, you would not rebuild it with cookies”
The impending end of cookies has helped propel the industry forward in terms of privacy, data and consent, according to The Trade Desk’s Stephanie Famolaro.
Famolaro, senior director of business development at The Trade Desk, told Mediaweek that contrary to criticism that brands were not moving fast enough for the end of cookies in the second half of 2024, she was witnessing an industry that’s becoming more privacy-conscious.
“It’s having a reverse effect, which has been fantastic for universal ID and the open internet Unified ID because brands are realising that they can’t wait, and it’s helped create a sense of urgency.”
Famaloro added the deprecation of third-party cookies was “the best thing that could ever happen”.
“It’s such an old piece of technology. If you were to rebuild the internet from the ground up, you would not rebuild it with cookies. A lot of the fastest growing, emerging channels look at BVOD, audio, digital, out of home – these aren’t reliant on cookies anyway,” she said.
To combat the end of the cookie, The Trade Desk launched Unified ID (UID) – a universal cookie aggregation tool that provides holistic targeting and measurement in response to the Walled Gardens’ reduction in available signals and identifiers.
Famolaro said: “I think that it’s well timed with the focus on a privacy-conscious approach, consent, and value exchange between sharing data and receiving content. It feels like the industry is having a good moment, and the progress the industry has made has just been incredible.”
The Trade Desk’s UID allows advertisers and brands to use and leverage their first-party data in a privacy-conscious approach and it now has 23% of adults’ emails and phone numbers, is powering UID in Australia, along with 50 brands actively testing it and 6000 sites actively using it. The solution is also an interoperable and scalable solution at the same time.
Famolaro revealed that the concept for UID came from the IAB, which needed more resources to execute it. The Trade Desk stepped in to provide the engineering hours to build the solution and to eventually make it available on the open internet, which she said was: “the only way that the industry can effectively compete against the walled gardens.”
“It’s very easy to integrate with, and we will be handing it back to a third party to be able to manage this because, again, we don’t believe identity is something that should be commoditised.
“We don’t think it should be a competitive advantage, and we think it’s critical to the health of the Australian publisher and journalism that there’s a common foundation of identity that underpins the industry,” she added.
“Everyone has a voice worth hearing… listen beyond the noise”
Earlier in the year, the IMAA launched its Female Leaders of Tomorrow programme as part of its commitment to fostering long-term diversity and inclusivity across independent media agencies nationally.
The six-month IMAA programme aims to create a support network between accomplished industry leaders and their mentees by matching senior staff with up-and-coming women in indie media agencies for knowledge-sharing and professional development opportunities.
One of the IMAA mentors involved in the programme is Rachel Page, network digital sales director at the Seven Network.
“Everyone has a voice worth hearing… listen beyond the noise.”
“I look up and sideways and I also look at the very talented next generation of our industry, to learn from and be inspired by. However, I also take time to look outside our industry at leaders across other sectors to ensure I have a balanced and fresh perspective and can find new ways to think and solve.”
“I didn’t have any formalised mentoring throughout my earlier career – it wasn’t really a thing until more recently, however, I had a bunch of amazing leaders and unofficial mentors over the years and roles, too many to name. I took a little away from each of them to help build my style. Everything from negotiation to team building, managing failure to authentic leadership and building purpose for yourself and your team.”
“Mentoring comes in many forms… advice, teaching, motivating, goal and career path setting, or just listening, and is not limited to career. Simply, it is passing on your learning and experience to another person to help enrich their experience…and make us all better!”
“Gender balance is critical for all the reasons we know, however we lose too many women in our industry in their mid-careers due to workload, pressure and burnout. I think we are doing a better job at recognising this, however we do need to do more to stay focused on this set of amazing women with their incredible experience. Investing more in mid career women will provide our industry with a better balance, richer IP and help them have longer, healthier and more sustainable careers.”
“The list is long…. and growing. I often feel overwhelmed by the amount of industry information to keep up to date on, so that takes up about 90%. The other 10% is general business and I love reading or listening to science, health and nature content.”
Top Image: Rachel Page
By Tess Connery
Plus: Interest rates and the current cost of living issues impacting people’s ability to spend
The end of the year is in sight, and the retail sector is currently gearing up for the silly season. With The National Retailers Association predicting that Australians will spend $62.97bn over the Christmas sales period, it’s all hands on deck for those working in the retail and e-commerce sectors.
To speak about how News Corp is making the most of the upcoming holidays and how advertisers are responding to economic conditions, Mediaweek spoke with News Corp’s Mark Brownie, general manager digital revenue and Adam Kron, director e-commerce, client product and strategy.
With Black Friday and Christmas just around the corner, Kron said that News Corp’s biggest challenge will be navigating the current economic climate.
Kron: “The big topic on everyone’s mind is how the interest rates and the current cost of living issues impact people’s ability to spend. We’ve got data to show that 73% of households have stretched budgets, and that these issues are impacting their ability to spend.
“On the flip side, that really highlights the importance to the consumer world of having great deals and sales, which might help concentrate a bit more of their spending around this particular period leading up to Black Friday. What we’re expecting to see is a lot more spend on non-discretionary items, less on discretionary, lower bucket sizes, less impulse buys.
“It also will help highlight the importance of getting really good, credible advice and recommendations to help consumers find those deals and solutions, which is what we’re very much focusing on at News Corp.”
The importance of those deals and sales sees consumers hunting down bargains over brand loyalty. Kron said that advertisers responding to this shift in a number of ways.
Kron: “Consumers will be looking for great deals to help alleviate budget concerns, which we expect to include increased online research, and finding trusted sources. The trust can come both from independent credible sources such as news.com.au Checkout, but also brands and retailers can create trust with advertising strategies that reinforce how they deliver value.
“Advertisers may respond to this shift with appropriate messaging, but also by using efficient tactics that target consumers that are most likely to trust and resonate with the brand. The importance of targeting through tools such as Intent Connect and being able to optimise will likely be a key focus for advertisers.”
When it comes to how News Corp is helping brands cut through in this economic environment, Brownie pointed out that “There’s a direct correlation between consumer spending and consumer confidence, and marketing budgets.”
Brownie: “For better or for worse, people will cut their budgets and start to focus more on the lower end of the funnel when there’s not as much money to go around. From our perspective, we want to minimise wastage for our partners’ budget as well, which is why now shifting to focusing exclusively on intent-based addressability for our audiences is critically important.
“Over the last six to 12 months we’ve been dramatically improving the capabilities of our data offering to focus exclusively around that idea of customer intent. That can be anything from understanding what content consumption signals indicate that somebody is very interested right now in a specific type of brand or product, all the way through to data that we can put together to understand that a person is likely to be looking for a particular product right now. Our job as a business is to help our partners push those individuals through that purchase funnel.”
Driving a lot of the economic pain that consumers are in are the most recent interest rate hikes. Kron said that despite this, the retail sector is set to perform well this festive season.
Kron: “The hikes will obviously crunch consumer budgets. We anticipate that this will drive a concentration of spend around major sales periods that consumers trust will deliver them value. We also expect a growing importance around Black Friday / Cyber Monday, Xmas sales, and Boxing Day. We anticipate the focus of spend to be when consumers believe products are discounted as far as possible.”
Looking ahead, both Kron and Brownie predict a big 2024 for those in the retail space.
Kron: “E-commerce is on a long-term trajectory of growth. We’re still under-penetrated as a market – the extent to which shopping is online in Australia is behind the UK, China, America, and other comparable markets. Then there are the market conditions – obviously, e-commerce is going to be impacted as much as any other retail sector with the cost of living issues such as they are.
“E-commerce will continue to grow into 2024, and the extent to which it grows will be impacted by market conditions. But the long-term trajectory is still upwards.”
Brownie: “From a broader business perspective, everything’s predicated on market conditions, but our job is to make sure that we’re continuing to make every dollar that our partners invest with us work as hard for them as possible. In many cases, we do as many different jobs at the same time as we possibly can with that spend to affect the best outcome.
“So from my perspective and my team’s perspective, that’s our singular focus: how do we maximise the efficiency of every dollar that’s invested with us to deliver outcomes for our partners?”
Some of the biggest industries this year have been retail, travel, and auto, with Brownie predicting that investment in those areas will continue into next year.
Brownie: “Travel and Auto obviously had big bounce-back periods after COVID and the supply chain issues that impacted auto manufacturers and our job, as a partner to them and our retail clients, is to continue to find ways to ensure their marketing dollars, in these challenging conditions, are working as hard as they possibly can to deliver outcomes and grow their businesses.
“As long as we continue to do that, they will continue to value our business, our brands and our audiences.”
Top Image: Mark Brownie and Adam Kron
Bridget Fair: “Local TV services are disappearing before our eyes.”
Free TV Australia has launched a new campaign addressing the challenges associated with locating free local television services on connected TVs.
Under the banner “Don’t Let Big Tech Take Your Free Away,” the campaign involves TV advertisements across all commercial free-to-air television networks. The primary objective is to emphasise the necessity for the Federal Government to enact legislation facilitating the easy discovery of local free TV channels
The initiative responds to global agreements between TV manufacturers and international streaming platforms, resulting in the preferential placement of global subscription services on home screens and remote controls, often overshadowing local TV offerings.
The launch further coincides with escalating tensions involving the industry body ASTRA. Legal pressures have been directed at Foxtel’s Patrick Delany, ASTRA’s chair, to withdraw an advertising campaign that is alleged to distort the truth, cautioning viewers that “the government wants to control your TV”.
Free TV is urging the government to implement laws mandating manufacturers to provide, free of charge:
• Access to all TV channels offered by Australia’s local networks.
• Installation of all local TV apps in prime positions on home screens.
• Priority placement of free local TV content in search results and recommendations.
Bridget Fair, CEO of Free TV Australia, underscored the campaign’s intent to raise awareness of the issue, especially in light of the growing economic challenges faced by Australians. Fair emphasised the essential role of free local TV services in uniting communities, offering entertainment, information, and safety during critical situations.
Said Fair, “Free local TV services bring our communities together – it doesn’t matter where we live, or how much we earn, free TV entertains, informs and unites all Australians.
“Free local TV services are there for Australians when the chips are down. They bring us together for our greatest sporting moments, provide trusted news and current affairs and keep us safe with critical emergency warnings and updates in times of crisis. They also provide thousands of hours of Australian drama, documentary and entertainment programming watched by millions every single day.
However, according to Fair, “these local TV services are disappearing before our eyes” who warned the disappearance of local TV services is imminent due to demands from TV manufacturers for substantial payments, up to 30% of revenue, for inclusion on screens or in app stores, funds that would directly impact Australian content.
Fair expressed her concern that finding free-to-air channels on TVs would become increasingly challenging, noting the push from pay TV providers to monetise content available for free on free-to-air channels. She further clarified that, “Claims by some pay TV providers that the Government is trying to control your viewing or limit search results are utterly misleading. This whole issue is about putting the viewer in full control, not being served up incomplete viewing choices based on who has paid the most money to be in the line-up.”
Fair has stressed the importance of protecting Australian stories and the services that showcase them. She urged the government to safeguard Australians’ ability to find and enjoy local content.
Media Movers takes a look at the recent movements announced across the industry during the week of 13/11/23
Media Movers across the industry include:
• Josh Szeps has a history of giving his ABC Sydney listeners content that is a little bit different and often more challenging than they might get on other programs on the broadcaster.
Last week, he really made his ABC Sydney (and into other markets around the state) sit up as he dropped details of his resignation just before the 3pm news.
While acknowledging how lucky he had been to be working at the ABC, he fired a shot across its bows noting the restraint he felt trying to work within its guidelines.
• Channel 7 has appointed Jake Lyle as the supervising producer of Sunrise.
• Courtney Greatrex has been appointed as the news editor of Yahoo News Australia.
• SCA chief commercial officer, Seb Rennie, has announced the appointment of Sam Keogh as the head of agency sales – Sydney. Formerly the group business director at JCDecaux, Keogh brings over 11 years of experience in advertising and media sales and management roles to his new position at SCA.
In his role, Keogh will assume the responsibility of providing strategic direction and leadership to the Sydney agency sales team. His focus will be on maximising revenue across all SCA metro radio and regional radio stations, as well as LiSTNR digital assets.
• Gavin Fang will be the ABC’s Editorial Director starting in late January 2024.
• Rod Savage is now News Corp Australia’s General Manager for Editorial Innovation.
• RyanCap’s data and technology specialist, Foxcatcher, has announced the appointment of Alex Cook to the newly created role of sales director.
Cook comes to Foxcatcher most recently from Digital Remedy, where he was the sales director and previously at Amobee and Big Mobile. He will be responsible for positioning Foxcatcher’s programmatic and proprietary product suite in the market while driving growth and new business development across clients and partners.
Read more: Alex Cook joins Foxcatcher as sales director
• Tom Crowley will be a digital journalist for the ABC’s federal politics team.
• Are Media has announced their appointment of Tessa Ogle as the digital managing editor for fashion and beauty, effective November 20 2023.
In her new role, Ogle will report to Nicky Briger, Are Media’s general manager for fashion and beauty, and will be tasked with driving the digital success of fashion and beauty brands such as ELLE, marie claire, and Girlfriend.
• Lindyl Zanbaka is now the deputy editor of Vogue Living
• Sophie Haslett is now the managing editor of 7Life and Commercial Editor at 7NEWS.com.au
• Ogilvy Sydney has announced the appointment of Aisling Colley as managing partner, further bolstering its senior leadership team. Colley, with over 15 years of experience in creative agency and leadership roles, previously led the ALDI Supermarkets account at BMF, contributing to its success as one of the most effective and creative brands in Australia. She brings extensive experience across various sectors, including QSR, sport, FMCG, and tourism, with a focus on large retailers.
In her new role, Colley will lead the agency’s partnership with KFC and provide leadership support for Ogilvy Sydney’s overall operational efficiency and effectiveness. This includes working closely with managing director Michelle Holland.
• Alexander Govan is now a reporter for the ABC based in Bunbury, WA.
• Matt de Groot is leaving his role as co-host of the Fitzy & Wippa with Kate Ritchie Show.
• Rachel McGhee has now finished as the senior journalist at ABC Capricornia.
• The Hallway has appointed Kent Boswell as creative tech and innovation director, leveraging his background in technology and production. Boswell, who recently served as the national director of Interactive at Traffik, the activation arm of the Clemenger Group, for four years, brings a wealth of experience to the role.
In his newly created position, Boswell will play a crucial role in shaping “Affective Ideas” that utilise latest technologies to maximise impact throughout the brand experience. His experience provides a unique perspective as a creative technologist and innovator, complemented by a deep passion for high-level creativity.
Howard Parry-Husbands: “People are losing trust in sectors that prioritise their own financial gain”
Recent research conducted by strategic insights business Pollinate sheds light on the evolving landscape of trust among Australians, highlighting farmers and scientific researchers as the most trusted sectors. The findings, derived from Pollinate’s The Australia Pulse study, depict shifts in public trust over the past two years.
Farming, now positioned at the top in 2023, has ascended from its third-place ranking last year. Scientific research, which held the leading position in the previous year, now occupies the second spot, with the medical sector closely following in third place.
Kirsty Bloore, research director at Pollinate, advised a proactive approach in addressing audience needs to prevent erosion of trust in certain sectors, stating, “The lesson here for brands and businesses is to understand where they currently sit with the public trust and identify how they can address their audiences needs more clearly before the public loses trust altogether in some sectors.”
The not-for-profit sector maintains its fourth-place standing, a consistent trend over the past two years. Public education also remains steady in fifth place. Conversely, the Federal Government has experienced a decline in trust, dropping from 10th place in 2022 to being excluded from the top 10 this year. Similarly, State and Territory governments slipped from eighth place in 2022 to outside the top 10 in the current year.
The telecommunications sector, absent from the top 10 last year, secures the 10th position this year, though the research predates the recent Optus network outage.
Howard Parry-Husbands, CEO of Pollinate, underscores the study’s clear indication that the most trusted sectors, such as farming, scientific research, and medical, prioritise the well-being of others. Said, Parry-Husbands “With the issues of cost of living, rental crisis and the economy being top of mind for many Australians, people are losing trust in sectors that prioritise their own financial gain. They also are trusting governments less and less.”
What sectors Australians do trust the most?*
The research, conducted in August of this year, surveyed 1,000 individuals aged 14 to 64 across Australia. Pollinate operates under The Influence Group, an independent marketing business that also owns Social Soup.
Top Image: Howard Parry-Husbands & Kirsty Bloore
By James Manning
Will two newsreaders be better than one? Loxley and Steinfort get plum weekday 9News roles
After presenting the weekday 6pm Melbourne news bulletin for Nine since 1998, Peter Hitchener is moving to weekend anchor.
Taking over as joint hosts of the Monday to Friday editions of 9News Melbourne are Alicia Loxley and Tom Steinfort.
Nine will be hoping the change will give it the edge in the 6pm ratings battle with Seven News Melbourne. Nine doesn’t change newsreaders very often. In fact, this is just the third time it has changed the hosts of its 6pm news bulletin since the channel started broadcasting in the 1950s.
In the ratings clash in 2023, Seven has the edge with victory so far with 36 weeks in first place. However, the margins are often paper thin with little separating the two channels. In the past fortnight, Seven won both weeks. The margin between the two networks though was close to 10,000 viewers or less in the 6pm and 6.30pm half hours for weeks 45 and 46.
Loxley, who has been the weekend presenter for 9News Melbourne for the past 12 years, will now take the helm during the week.
Steinfort, currently a globe-trotting reporter on 60 Minutes, will surrender his passport and join Loxley as co-anchor, giving himself an appointment every weeknight at 6pm.
On announcing the overhaul of the bulletin, Hugh Nailon, director of 9News Melbourne, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Alicia and Tom to the forefront of our news team. In what will be just the fourth hosting line-up for the bulletin, this really does signify the onset of a new age.
“Alicia and Tom will bring a fresh dynamism to Melbourne viewers as they follow in the footsteps of Sir Eric Pearce, Brian Naylor and Peter Hitchener. We have big plans for 2024 and look forward to bringing viewers the most accurate and informative news that they have come to rely on from 9News.”
Veteran anchor Peter Hitchener, a presence on television screens for more than 50 years, will now anchor the weekend edition of 9News Melbourne, beginning in January 2024.
Nailon added: “We’re delighted that Hitch will continue to be a valuable and much-loved part of the 9News Melbourne family. He has an unwavering passion for delivering news to Melbourne and we look forward to the wealth of experience he will continue to bring to our weekend broadcasts.”
The all-new line-up for 9News Melbourne is expected to start when the Australian Open commences on January 15, 2024.
The Publicis Groupe agency also welcomed the appointment of Drew Groves as client service director
Starcom Australia announced the promotion of Robert Millett to the newly created role of head of digital in Melbourne.
Millett will be focused on developing and deploying digital products and solutions for Starcom clients.
He steps up from his previous role as group digital director and will continue to achieve business objectives for clients through utilising Starcom’s broad range of technology and data capabilities.
Millet will also be tasked with leading the digital and performance craft teams at Starcom Melbourne.
Mark Duffy, Starcom’s national head of digital and solutions, celebrated Millett’s efforts, calling him a high performer at the agency with his digital craft, accelerating their client’s performance and people’s development.
“In this role, Rob will bring great value and thought leadership to Starcom and our clients as we navigate the ever-evolving landscape,” Duffy said of the promotion.
Millet welcomed his promotion and said: “I look forward to leveraging our wealth of talent and combining our expertise across performance, planning, data and analytics to deliver transformational growth for our clients.”
Starcom also welcomed the appointment of Drew Groves as client service director. In the role, he will be tasked with leading the newly won TPG Telecom account in Australia.
Groves will work to deliver best-in-class media strategy, planning, and activations to link media to business outcomes for the telecommunications provider. Prior to joining Starcom, he worked in agencies and media businesses in planning and client lead roles, including most recently as a group business director.
On Groves’ appointment, Nancy Lan, Starcom’s national managing director, said: “Drew joins us with extensive client leadership experience in Australia and the UK, and we are delighted to have him as part of the team. He is a passionate leader who is focused on driving outcomes for clients and growth for the agency.”
Groves said: “I’m thrilled at the prospect of joining Starcom, particularly after hearing the long-term vision the leadership team has for both TPG Telecom and the broader agency. Through a combination of razor-sharp planning smarts and our strong agency capabilities, I feel we’re brilliantly placed to deliver industry-leading work in partnership with TPG.”
In August, TPG Telecom named Starcom as its media agency across the Vodafone, TPG and iiNet brands, following a comprehensive, four-month review process.
Starcom appointment comes after the agency was re-appointed to lead the media strategy, planning and buying accounts in Australia for personal care and consumer products company P&G and FMCG giant Bega Group.
Truth On Trial is the seventh title in Stan’s Revealed documentary slate
Stan has announced that the original documentary Revealed: Ben Roberts-Smith Truth On Trial, will premiere December 10.
The feature-length documentary follows Nick McKenzie and Chris Masters’ quest to uncover the truth behind rumours that Australia’s most decorated living soldier, Ben Roberts-Smith, committed war crimes in Afghanistan.
Produced and directed by Dora Weekley, Ben Roberts-Smith: Truth On Trial traces the origins of McKenzie and Masters’ reports in 2018 and the subsequent stories on 60 Minutes, through to Roberts-Smith taking them to court in a defamation trial that ended in 2023.
Over five years, the pair looked into what occurred in Afghanistan between 2006-2013 alongside military and police inquiries. When Roberts-Smith launched Australia’s biggest defamation trial against them, the onus of proving the truth was on them.
In June, following the defamation trial verdict, Ben Roberts-Smith resigned from his position with the Seven Network. He had been working as general manager of Seven West Media’s Queensland operations since 2015, however he took leave due to the trial in 2021.
Nick McKenzie said: “Amid all the secrecy and attempts at cover ups, this documentary gives Australians the inside story into the fight by brave SAS soldiers to have the truth about Roberts-Smith revealed as well as our struggle as journalists to ensure the public learned the facts, not the myth, about Roberts-Smith.”
Chris Masters said: “I think of the Ben Roberts-Smith saga as a bundle of stories. We have two journalists inside the assignment of their lives; the elite SAS at war over one of their own; a courtroom drama for the ages, and behind it all, an extraordinary murder mystery.”
Created in collaboration with 60 Minutes, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, Revealed: Ben Roberts-Smith Truth On Trial is the seventh title in Stan’s Revealed documentary slate, following Danielle Laidley: Two Tribes, The Cape, Reefshot, Trafficked, Amongst Us – Neo Nazi Australia and No Mercy, No Remorse.
The Stan Original Documentary Revealed: Ben Roberts-Smith Truth On Trial will premiere December 10, on Stan.
Taylor Swift and Jack Harlow land #1 spots
The Kid Laroi’s debut studio album The First Time lands in the ARIA Albums Chart this week with a #3 debut, while Taylor Swift holds at #1 for a third straight week with 1989 (Taylor’s Version).
The First Time contains the recent hits Love Again, Too Much (with Jung Kook and Central Cee) and Bleed. The Redfern born-and-raised singer’s mixtape F*ck Love (Savage) hit #1 for one week in 2021. He has won three ARIA Awards, with Love Again receiving two nominations at Wednesday night’s Awards for Best Solo Artist and Song of the Year.
Stray Kids debut at #2 with Rock-Star, the South Korean boy band’s fifth charting album or EP here. They climbed to #2 earlier this year with 5-Star.
Re-issues of The Beatles’ greatest hits albums 1962-1966 (The Red Album) and 1967-1970 (The Blue Album) jump back to the chart at #15 and #8 respectively. 1967-70 contains the new track Now And Then, which debuted at #6 on the ARIA Singles Chart last week.
In 1973, 1967-1970 peaked at #8 – which it matches this week – and 1962-1966 climbed to #9. The Beatles’ most recent #1 album here was 1, which spent nine weeks on top in late 2000 and early 2001.
Higher, the fifth studio album by American country music singer Chris Stapleton debuts at #13, while Old Mervs arrive at #33 with Give It Up, the West Australian band’s first charting album.
Hilltop Hoods are new at #37 with The Highlights, and in more Australian success, Fronzoli by Psychedelic Porn Crumpets debuts at #72.
On the Singles Chart, Jack Harlow comes in at #1 with his new track Lovin On Me. It’s his fifth top 10 hits here: What’s Poppin hit #8 in 2020, Industry Baby (with Lil Nas X) peaked at #4 in 2021 and First Class spent two weeks at #1 in 2022. He also featured on Jung Kook’s 3D, which went to #7 last month.
Dua Lipa is new at #7 with Houdini, the first track from her upcoming third album, which arrives next year. It’s her 11th top 10 single here, following Be The One (#6 in 2015), New Rules (#2 in 2017), IDGAF (#3 in 2018), One Kiss with Calvin Harris (#3 in 2018), Don’t Start Now (#2 in 2019), Physical (#9 in 2019), Break My Heart (#7 in 2019), Levitating with DaBaby (#4 in 2020), Cold Heart with Elton John and PNAU (#1 for 10 weeks in 2021 and 2022) and Dance The Night (#3 earlier this year).
January 2 Mariah Carey All I Want For Christmas Is You
January 9 Sam Smith & Kim Petras Unholy
January 16 SZA Kill Bill
January 23 Miley Cyrus Flowers
January 30 Miley Cyrus Flowers
February 6 Miley Cyrus Flowers
February 13 Miley Cyrus Flowers
February 20 Miley Cyrus Flowers
February 27 Miley Cyrus Flowers
March 6 Miley Cyrus Flowers
March 13 Miley Cyrus Flowers
March 20 Miley Cyrus Flowers
March 27 Miley Cyrus Flowers
April 3 Miley Cyrus Flowers
April 10 Miley Cyrus Flowers
April 17 Morgan Wallen Last Night
April 24 Morgan Wallen Last Night
May 1 Morgan Wallen Last Night
May 8 Morgan Wallen Last Night
May 15 Morgan Wallen Last Night
May 29 Morgan Wallen Last Night
June 5 Morgan Wallen Last Night
June 12 Central Cee & Dave Sprinter
June 19 Central Cee & Dave Sprinter
June 26 Central Cee & Dave Sprinter
July 3 Central Cee & Dave Sprinter
July 10 Olivia Rodrigo Vampire
July 17 Central Cee & Dave Sprinter
July 24 Central Cee & Dave Sprinter
July 31 Central Cee & Dave Sprinter
August 7 Billie Eilish What Was I Made For?
August 14 Billie Eilish What Was I Made For?
August 21 Billie Eilish What Was I Made For?
August 28 Doja Cat Paint The Town Red
September 4 Doja Cat Paint The Town Red
September 11 Doja Cat Paint The Town Red
September 18 Doja Cat Paint The Town Red
September 25 Doja Cat Paint The Town Red
October 2 Doja Cat Paint The Town Red
October 30 Doja Cat Paint The Town Red
November 6 Taylor Swift Is It Over Now?(Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)
November 13 Taylor Swift Is It Over Now?(Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)
November 20 Jack Harlow Lovin On Me
January 2 Taylor Swift Midnights
January 9 Taylor Swift Midnights
January 16 Taylor Swift Midnights
January 23 Taylor Swift Midnights
January 30 SZA SOS
February 6 Sam Smith Gloria
February 13 Taylor Swift Midnights
February 20 Paramore This Is Why
February 27 P!nk Trustfall
March 6 Harry Styles Harry’s House
March 13 Harry Styles Harry’s House
March 20 Miley Cyrus Endless Summer Vacation
March 27 Morgan Wallen One Day At A Time
April 3 Lana Del Ray Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd
April 10 Melanie Martinez Portals
April 17 Cub Sport Jesus At The Gay Bar
April 24 Metallica 72 Reasons
May 1 Morgan Wallen One Thing At A Time
May 8 Peach PRC Manic Dream Pixie
May 15 Ed Sheeran –
May 29 Lewis Capaldi Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent
June 5 Taylor Swift Midnights
June 12 Foo Fighters But Here We Are
June 19 Niall Horan The Show
June 26 The Teskey Brothers The Winding Way
July 3 Kerser A Gift & A Kers
July 10 Taylor Swift Midnights
July 17 Taylor Swift Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)
July 24 Taylor Swift Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)
July 31 Barbie The Album
August 7 Travis Scott Utopia
August 14 Travis Scott Utopia
August 21 G Flip Drummer
August 28 Barbie The Album
September 4 Powderfinger Vulture Street (20th Anniversary)
September 11 Polaris Fatalism
September 18 Olivia Rodrigo GUTS
September 25 Olivia Rodrigo GUTS
October 2 Kylie Minogue Tension
October 30 The Rolling Stones Hackney Diamonds
November 6 Taylor Swift 1989 (Taylor’s Version)
November 13 Taylor Swift 1989 (Taylor’s Version)
November 20 Taylor Swift 1989 (Taylor’s Version)
By Anita Anabel
Another chef sent home on Dessert Masters
• Fans continue to solve clever riddles with The 1% Club
• 864,000 tune in for Dessert Masters season premiere in Total TV
Seven News 766,000
Nine News 673,000
ABC News 462,000
10 News First 149,000 (5:00 pm)/ 107,000 (6:00 pm)
SBS World News 114,000 (6:30 pm)/ 83,000 (7:00 pm)
Daily Current Affairs
The Sunday Project 133,000 (6:30pm) / 216,000 (7pm)
Weekend Sunrise 179,000
Weekend Today 149,000
Weekend Breakfast 136,000
The Cricket World Cup has given Nine a Sunday night win with a primary share of 40.2% and a network share of 47.2%.
ABC Kids / ABC TV Plus has won multi channels with a 3.9% share.
Seven received a primary share of 15.5% and a network share of 20.4%.
ABC took a primary share of 10.4% and a network share of 15.6%.
It was all about the ICC Cricket World Cup Final on Nine as 373,000 began their evening with the Pre-Game. An exciting match between Australia and India followed for 1,073,000 as our home team secured the victory! The team, led by captain Pat Cummins, secured a six-wicket win with 42 balls to spare.
“We saved our best for last,” Cummins said in a post-match interview with media. “We will remember this year for a long, long time. (But) this pips it all.”
Highlights included Marnus Labuschagne, who was 58 not out at the end of 110 balls and Travis Head, who was named Player of the Match.
571,000 began their evening with Seven’s The 1% Club as host Jim Jefferies put Aussies through their paces.
Then, 344,000 tuned in for Border Security: Australia’s Front Line where a package from Hong Kong had biosecurity officers digging deeper and detector dog Ralphy sniffed out some high-risk snacks.
Homicide: With Ron Iddles was up next for 259,000 as the series put a spotlight on the gruesome murder of Gina Rossato who had gone missing after catching a cab home from work in the early hours.
109,000 also saw Air Crash Investigation.
On 10, The Sunday Project’s (133,000 (6:30pm) / 216,000 (7pm) ) Susie Youssef spoke with Aussie star Troye Sivan plus the program looked at how the future is here! A new body-worn AI pin shoots laser ink straight onto the palm of your hand, eliminating the need for a screen.
Dessert Masters said goodbye to “doughnut kid” Morgan Hipworth in front of 342,000. During the only Mystery Box of the season — which had to include a frozen element — Hipworth’s berry liqueur sorbet failed to set and overpowered his Peach Melba, leaving judges Melissa Leong and Amaury Guichon wanting more.
166,000 also saw FBI.
412,000 watched ABC’s Joanna Lumley’s Spice Trail Adventure. It was the last leg of her journey for icon Joanna Lumley where she was led to the island of Zanzibar and the ancient city of Petra.
Annika followed with 389,000 tuning in to see the Marine Homicide Unit sent to investigate the death of a local lothario found encased in a block of ice while Annika reconnected with an old flame.
Shetland was up next for 273,000 as Perez issued a warrant for Connor’s arrest.
The highest rating non-news show on SBS was Fortress Britain with Alice Roberts with 83,000.
Then JFK Home Movie That Changed The World looked at Abraham Zapruder’s home movie that would be used by anyone with a theory about who shot JFK. 81,000 tuned in.
1,105,000 viewed Seven’s The 1% Club with Jim Jefferies, up 11%.
864,000 tuned into 10’s season premiere of MasterChef spin-off Dessert Masters, up 28%.
991,000 sat down for ABC’s Annika, up 56%
|ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS||3.9%||7TWO||1.3%||GO!||1.9%||10 Bold||1.9%||VICELAND||0.7%|
|ABC ME||0.2%||7mate||1.7%||GEM||2.8%||10 Peach||1.5%||Food Net||0.9%|
|7Bravo||0.6%||9Rush||1.1%||SBS World Movies||0.7%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS||Sky Regional|
|ABC||10.2%||7||19.8%||9||29.8%||10||5.8%||SBS||3.7%||Sky News Regional||1.8%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS||5.1%||7TWO||2.3%||GO!||2.4%||10Bold||2.5%||VICELAND||1.1%|
|ABC ME||0.3%||7mate||2.6%||GEM||2.6%||10Peach||1.7%||Food Net||0.7%|
|ABC NEWS||1.2%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.6%||9Life||2%||Nickelodeon||0.8%||SBS World Movies||0.7%|
|SUNDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2023. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM
Tensions between Australia’s free to air networks and pay TV body, ASTRA, have hit boiling point in a feud over a piece of legislation that will dictate how apps are displayed on smart televisions, reports Nine Publishing’s Calum Jaspan.
As the legislation expected to be introduced to parliament this month, Free TV Australia, the lobby group for commercial networks Nine, Ten and Seven, has sent a legal notice to Foxtel CEO and chair of ASTRA Patrick Delany demanding action over an advertising campaign run by ASTRA, alleging it misleads Australians.
The ad campaign, launched by ASTRA in early November, reads “Warning: Now the government wants to control your TV”. In response, Free TV on Monday has launched its own advertising campaign under the slogan “Don’t let big tech take your free away”.
Apple and several major entertainment companies stopped advertising on Elon Musk’s X after the social-media network’s owner described an antisemitic post this week as “the actual truth” and again lashed out at the Anti-Defamation League, report The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Flint and Patience Haggin.
Among those pausing ads on the social-media platform are Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount Global, NBCUniversal and its parent Comcast, and Lions Gate Entertainment, people close to those companies said.
The companies followed tech giant IBM, which stopped ads on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday. IBM’s statement cited a report from a media-watchdog site about the placement of its ads on X.
Elon Musk has said he will be filing a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against Media Matters and others, after major US companies paused their adverts on his social media site over concerns about antisemitism, reports The Guardian’s Harry Taylor.
“The split second court opens on Monday, X Corp will be filing a thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters and ALL those who colluded in this fraudulent attack on our company,” Musk said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
In 2006, the then 25-year-old real estate heir Jared Kushner bought the New York Observer – and went on to own it for more than a decade. Almost 20 years later, Kushner’s sister-in-law, the supermodel and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss, bought the British fashion publication i-D from Vice Media Group, months after the company filed for bankruptcy, reports The Guardian’s Kylie Cheung.
Kloss’s acquisition of i-D through her media company, Bedford Media, comes three years after she and a group of other high-profile investors including her fellow model Kaia Gerber bought W magazine.
Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart, has accused Mark Zuckerberg of doing nothing to stop the promotion of scams and “deceptive content” on his social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, reports The Australian’s Jenna Clarke.
Rinehart has personally written to the Meta chief executive to alert him to “numerous scammers” falsely using her name and identity online to “fraudulently solicit money from vulnerable people”.
There’s no end to the Holt Street palace intrigue of if, and when, News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller may exit the building, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.
Setting it off was the negative publicity following the end of News’ partnership with Matthew Tripp’s bookmaking venture Betr. In its first few months, News Corp injected about $75 million into the business even as it slashed expenses – and employee headcount – elsewhere.
In a difficult trading environment for publishers, News Corp’s local results have still come in (marginally) ahead of market expectations, even as subscriber numbers fall, detail that would have been hard to find in The Australian’s extraordinarily positive report about the latest accounts.
The Seven Network will recruit a journalist to cover the Mildura/Sunraysia region after failing to produce any local content over a 16-month period in breach of its licence obligations, reports The Australian’s Cameron England.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority found Seven subsidiary Prime Television (Victoria) to be in breach of local content rules, which set news quotas for licensees in regional areas.
The quota is calculated using a points system, which allocates points per minute of local content, with news content rated most highly. But ACMA found that Seven had not produced any local content while it was obligated to produce 100 minutes of local content or 50 minutes of local news per week, “as a condition of its licence to broadcast TV in the Mildura area’’.
On Friday ABC Managing Director David Anderson was quizzed about the departure of a number of high profile presenters, reports TV Tonight.
ABC Radio Melbourne’s Raf Epstein cited the departures of Stan Grant, Tracey Holmes, Mary Gearin, Madeleine Morris, and Andrew Probyn, asking “Do we have a problem with people leaving?”
“I don’t think so,” Anderson replied. “I think that people will leave from time to time. This year we announced changes with regard to our staff base as well as some of what it is that we were doing. We had to do that for two reasons. One was that our indexation wasn’t keeping up with rising costs and the other one was strategically investing in our future. With that comes some change, and yes, we have had quite a lot of change this year with regard to high profile people. You’re right.”
Carrie Bickmore and Tommy Little looked the picture of happiness this week as they celebrated a huge new milestone. The radio duo’s show Carrie & Tommy was announced as the number one drivetime show in Australia on Friday, reports News Corp’s Joshua Haigh.
Following the incredible news, Bickmore and Little decided to mark the occasion with their fans.
News.com.au has spoken to a number of staff who previously worked on Studio 10, reports News Corp’s Benedict Brook.
They gave several reasons why the struggling show stuck around for so long – and one huge reason why its viewers began switching off.
“Channel 10 never understood what they had with the original Studio 10,” Robert McKnight, the show’s first executive producer, told news.com.au.
Fans of Bluey have voted Cricket as their favourite episode ever. The episode screened in June this year, Cricket featured Blue Wiggle, Anthony Field as the voice of Rusty’s Dad, as the dads struggle to bowl Rusty out, reports TV Tonight.
Joe Brumm, Creator / Showrunner of Bluey said: “Cricket worked its way into every corner of my life as a kid. It was just always there. This episode uses cricket of course but it’s representative of whatever sport it is you had growing up that united your family and friends. Some of my favourites made it in there too…”
Hamish McLennan has resigned from the Rugby Australia board after being voted out as the organisation’s chairman, reports Nine Publishing’s Iain Payten.
The embattled Sydney business figure lost the support of fellow Rugby Australia directors on Sunday night just hours after declaring he would not resign in response to a letter of no confidence from six rebel state unions.
Former Wallabies centre Dan Herbert was voted in as interim chairman.