Friday November 22, 2019

Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019

Vote in the second year of our awards selected by the Mediaweek readers.

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Melissa Doyle will lead team celebrating Sunday Night on final episode

After 11 years, Seven’s Sunday Night is coming to an end this weekend. A final episode will air on Sunday with repackaged highlight episodes screening across the summer.

The program was launched in February 2009 into the best timeslot a show could wish for – 6.30pm Sunday. Although it was a competitive timeslot, the show got the jump on Nine’s 60 Minutes which was screening back then at 7.30pm.

Seven was ruling the ratings in 2009 and a year later My Kitchen Rules joined the Sunday schedule.
However a decision several years later saw Sunday Night move later into the night and eventually lose its early timeslot.

Seven News Sunday went to an hour from 6pm and then My Kitchen Rules moved into the 7pm slot, pushing Sunday Night back later in the night with viewers having to be flexible with the program some nights starting close to 9pm.

The show’s first hosts were Mike Munro and Chris Bath. Bath later hosted solo for several years before Melissa Doyle took over after leaving Sunrise.

The initial producers were Adam Boland and then Mark Llewellyn.

Seven said in a statement this week: “Sunday Night has a proud tradition of fighting for the little guy. Our investigations delivered justice, re-opening cold cases and giving people a voice – often for the first time.

“We ventured to some of the craziest places on Earth and met amazing people. Celebrities dropped their guard and revealed their true selves. Every show was unpredictable. That’s what made it great.”

Sunday Night’s final episode will feature reporters both past and present – Melissa Doyle, Mike Munro, Matt Doran, Denham Hitchcock, Steve Pennells, Alex Cullen, Angela Cox, Rahni Sadler, Ross Coulthart and PJ Madam – as they remember their favourite stories and the moments that will stay with them forever.

The final edition of Sunday Night is scheduled for (about!) 8pm Sunday on Seven and 7plus.

Top Photo: Sunday Night host Melissa Doyle with reporters Denham Hitchcock, Steve Pennells, Alex Cullen, Angela Cox and Matt Doran

Sydney Morning Herald journalists fill concert hall for SMH Live

A live event for readers of The Sydney Morning Herald that features editors and journalists looking back at the year has become an annual event on the calendar. One that has continued under the new owners of the news brand, Nine Entertainment Co.

This week SMH Live 2019 saw just under 2,000 subscribers to the Nine Entertainment publishing portfolio Sydney flagship fill the Darling Harbour Theatre.

The hosts for the event were Sydney Morning Herald editor Lisa Davies and national editor of The SMH and The Age, Tory Maguire.

The hosts took it in turn across the evening to speak with small groups of Herald reporters. The select bunch was Ross Gittins, Alexandra Smith, David Crowe, Georgina Robinson, Peter FitzSimons, Kate McClymont, Peter Hartcher, Nick McKenzie and group executive editor James Chessell.

Running for a little over two hours, the guests only had time to skim over a few selected talking points across the year.

Much of the evening was taken up with talk about rugby union, and in particular the sins of Israel Folau. It was a fascinating discussion that was debated by Robinson and FitzSimons, but it ate up most of their time onstage and meant the state’s biggest sport, rugby league, didn’t get a mention.

Talking points that were discussed ranged from state and federal politics to corruption and the economy.
What the chosen reporters did show readers was that they are all as good onstage as they are on their keyboards.
It’s perhaps unfair to pick out favourites, but it would be hard to go past Georgina Robinson.

That’s no surprise though to people who have seen her other media appearances or to readers of her columns. But she was a delight onstage with the always entertaining FitzSimons. After one of his many throwaway lines (“There was once a great piece about that in the Herald…indeed I wrote it myself”), Robinson admonished the audience for still laughing at his jokes.

None of the contributors disappointed with Peter Hartcher commenting about climate change. After he pointed out what a month Sydney was having with fires, smoke haze and water restrictions, he commented, “Good job climate change is not real or we might be in trouble.”

When asked to mark the Federal Government on its year, Hartcher and colleague David Crowe ranked it C, while Ross Gittins was a little harsher with a D.

Alexandra Smith gave detailed insights into the challenges facing the state government and investigative reporters McClymont and McKenzie sparred about methods of research – the former likes snail mail for privacy, yet McKenzie much prefers encrypted digital messaging. McKenzie also teased a major investigation into Chinese influence in Australia the papers will be running this weekend.

Nova’s Red Room ARIA Week blasts off with Illy: 5 nights, 6 artists

Australia rapper Illy showed off his star power in Nova’s Red Room ARIA Week presented by Mitsubishi ASX last night.

It was the first event in a busy Week for Nova’s Red Rooms to coincide with ARIA Week.
Illy’s performance brought together 300 fans to The Lair in the Metro Theatre. It’s not a Red Room if it is not hosted by Smallzy and the Nova Sydney morning host and Nova network evening star introduced the Sony Music recording artist.

Illy’s energetic set included Then What, Tightrope, Swear Jar, Lean on Me and Paper Cuts.

The crowd got a real treat when Illy surprised them with a performance from singer Thandi Phoenix on their hit song Catch 22.
The rapper has only just recovered from an infection that left him unable to speak. He said on stage: “Yesterday I had laryngitis and no voice, but today thanks to the wonders of modern medicine – here I am performing at Nova’s Red Room and the first hip hop artist to do a Red Room. This has been a history making evening for me, I love you guys.”

Illy had plenty of praise for Nova who had stuck by him over the years. He also thanked his fans for supporting him over his decade long career.

His 2019 album Then What is already certified Platinum and nominated for Best Hip-Hop Release at this year’s ARIA Awards, held in Sydney next Wednesday evening.

Guests at the first ARIA Week Nova’s Red Room included Dan Rosen – CEO ARIA, Dan Nitschke – General Manager Media Strategy & Business Development, Sony Music, Tammy Hofbauer – Senior Manager, International artist promotions, Sony Music, Claire Marshall – Music Marketing Director, Nova Entertainment, Peter Clay – Head of Programming Nova 96.9 & smoothfm network and Megan Hales – White Noise co-founder.

The remaining Nova Red Room ARIA Week Shows are:
Guy Sebastian – Saturday 23 November @ The Factory Theatre
PNAU – Monday 25 November @ The Factory Theatre
Dean Lewis & Birds of Tokyo – Tuesday 26 November @ The Factory Theatre
Tones and I – Friday 29 November – The Lair @ The Metro

Girlfriend: After 30 years still a Gen Z source for informative entertainment

By Claudia Siron

Girlfriend magazine has brought three decades of relatable content designed for intelligent and ambitious young women and teens who are informed about the world around them.

The editor of the quarterly print offering Stacey Hicks told Mediaweek how the title has transformed over-time to suit their changing audiences, how they choose advertising, and hints about a competition that will launch in 2020.

Hicks said Girlfriend has really been a rite of passage for young women in Australia for the past 30 years. “What really differentiates us is that established trust we have with that audience – we always talk to her, not down to her,” said Hicks. “We’re that reliable source for everything that’s important in her world, whether that be relationship advice, or navigating through her first period, or interviews with the latest celebrities she loves and wants to hear from. 

“The big reason that Girlfriend is still here and still driving is that we’ve had that connection with our audience for so long and it’s almost like it’s been passed down through the generations to the Gen Z girls.” 

Girlfriend’s key audience now is Gen Z and young millennial women. Hicks said a big focus for Girlfriend has been changing the perception of who the audience is because brands are finally starting to see the power of Gen Z and the fact that their not little girls. “They’re intelligent, powerful women. The Gen Z girl is turning 23 this year, which often surprises people – and our average audience age is actually 22. 

“She’s 22, she’s fun, intelligent, and ambitious, and she’s also incredibly informed on social issues. She isn’t afraid to advocate for what she believes in. She comes to us because she wants to be entertained and informed, so we’re constantly thinking about the right nicks that will inspire her and encourage her, but also keep her entertained and up to date with the latest beauty trends, fashion and celebrity stories.”

Hicks said Girlfriend definitely has changed a lot over the last 30 years, and that’s been the key to its success. “We have seen other similar titles close because of perhaps that inability to move to where and when our audiences are consuming their content. Girlfriend, as it stands today, is a quarterly print offering, but we’re primarily online and on social as well as doing live events, activations and podcasts; which means we can still have a close relationship with that audience where and when she’s consuming that content.” 

Girlfriend has recently launched onto TikTok, because they found a lot of our audience were interested in that space. “In fact, one of our videos got seven million views alone, so it obviously did really connect well with them.

Girlfriend really has transformed in that way and in terms of where that content is delivered but in terms of the quality of the content that’s delivered, and I think that has very much stayed the same. I’m a big believer in that saying ‘you cannot be what you cannot see’, and so we try to make sure with every issue we are representing females in every avenue. We challenge the stereotypes that were once held for that audience.”

Girlfriend has the highest social reach across the Pacific network – a whopping 2.1 million. “You might think that social spaces like Facebook might be left behind, but we actually have a super-engaged audience on Facebook. They’re three times more likely to comment and twice as likely to ‘like’ a post compared to the average Australian Facebook user. 

“We use social media for a mix of content and campaigns. One of the highlights for the brand recently is our ‘25 under 25’ campaign. We launched that recently and partnered with Bondi Sands to name 25 inspiring young Australian women who are doing amazing things in their field, whether that’s sport, tech, climate change activism, mental health awareness, body positivity, anti-bullying, you name it. Girlfriend launched the campaign on social media in October this year and they’ll be naming their list of finalists in the summer issue that’s out in December. 

“Girls could nominate someone they know or admire as a people’s choice award surrounding female empowerment, and we’ve had an overwhelming response from girls who nominated.”

When it comes to advertising, Hicks said it’s primarily about working with brands that really stand for the same things they do. “A lot of our research has found that Gen Z is very discerning about the brands they’re using. They will know every ingredient that is in their foundation, and also if it was tested on animals or if it’s sustainable, and those values are really important to them.”

Hicks said she can’t reveal too much right now in regards to future plans, but they have an exciting competition coming out next year, which she said will be huge for them. “Brands are also finally starting to recognise the power of Gen Z, so we’re doing some cool, innovative executions to help brands reach them in an effective way, which is exciting. Watch this space!”

Radio station launch: SCA adding Hit Dance to its digital portfolio

Hit Dance is the latest brand launching on digital radio as The Hit Network expands its DAB offering, adding a fifth station in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide on Friday 22 November.

SCA has been sitting on a lot of digital spectrum and is carefully adding new brands when it sees a gap in the market.

The new station is promising to feature the hottest commercial dance music from the 90s to now, with a focus on the past two decades, featuring artists from Martin Garrix and Calvin Harris to Peking Duk and PNAU.

Calvin Harris

The Hit Network’s head of music, Irene Hulme, said: “Dance music has been popular for many decades now and it’s fantastic to be able to celebrate this genre from both international and local Aussie artists. We are excited to provide yet another specialist music offering to suit the listening habits and moods of our listeners.”

Aussie dance artists, Peking Duk, are thrilled with the launch of a dedicated dance music station: “Without dance music our whole lives would be different, we have no idea what we would be doing! We’re pumped that Hit are launching Hit Dance, we wish it was around when we were growing up!”

Hit Dance will sit alongside Hit’s existing DAB stations of Buddha, Oldskool, Easy and Urban. Earlier this year, it was announced that the Hit Network’s digital radio brands would be directly aligned to the Hit FM station brands across the five capital cities.

In Melbourne, Easy Hits became Fox Easy, while in Sydney it became 2Day Easy, and Hit Easy in Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. The same name structure applies to Oldskool Hits, Urban Hits, Buddha Hits and now Hit Dance.

Hit’s DAB stations have sat under the Hit FM station family since 2017, when it was announced that both Southern Cross Austereo’s Hit and Triple M networks would have a combined digital/FM radio offering. This has allowed for more streamlined access to the additional audiences that digital radio delivers.

All digital stations are available via the Hit Network app, at or via a digital radio.

Foxtel makes ABC iview app available for iQ3 and iQ4 

Foxtel has announced the arrival of the ABC iview app on iQ3 and iQ4 set-top boxes in addition to already offering the same service for Netflix. 

The addition of ABC iview follows Foxtel’s recent expansion of its long-standing relationship with the ABC as well as the completion of its rollout of the New Foxtel Experience across more than 1.1 million iQ3 and iQ4 set-top boxes.

Customers can stream ABC content directly from the iQ3 and iQ4 boxes, bringing viewers a host of ABC-produced drama, entertainment and documentaries along with its kids programming. Popular shows like Total Control, Frayed, Killing Eve, Mystery Road, The Cry, Bluey and more are now available to stream on Foxtel. ABC content can be watched directly from the ‘Home’ menu, or the dedicated genres section on the set top box user interface, like TV Shows and Kids. Customers can also launch the ABC iview and ABC iview Kids apps directly.

Alice Mascia, Foxtel’s Chief Product and Strategy Officer, said, “We’re pleased to have completed the New Foxtel Experience rollout across more than 1.1 million iQ3 and iQ4 set top boxes and the feedback from customers has been incredibly positive.

“Today’s addition of ABC iview to our iQ3s and iQ4s is the next step in our roadmap to bring customers the world’s best and favourite Australian entertainment all in one place, at the best value.

“The move greatly expands the reach of the ABCs streaming content to more Australian homes than ever before, and adds to Foxtel’s own original content; our massive library of shows from the world’s leading studios and integration with Netflix*, all available to stream, on demand, from Foxtel at the touch of the ‘Home’ button of their remote control. It has never been easier to stream all your favourite content on TV.”

ABC iview will begin arriving for iQ3 and iQ4 customers starting today and will download automatically to all set top boxes progressively over the next few weeks as part of the New Foxtel Experience, which can be accessed anytime via the ‘Home’ button of the remote control.

Following the integration of ABC iview on the iQ3 and iQ4 set top boxes, Foxtel is planning to  add SBS On Demand on the iQ3 and iQ4 soon after.

Nine & Wide World of Sports launch NRL 2020

• Coming next season: Greater coverage of NRLW plus crossbar and corner post cams!

Nine has announced its plans for the NRL in 2020 which will include an expanded and enhanced cross-platform presence for its television, radio, digital and publishing assets under the vision of “Your Footy, Your Way.”

In 2020 Nine is planning to expand coverage across all platforms for rugby league, including deeper coverage of the woman’s game through the NRLW.

“Our vision for NRL coverage is a clear one,” said Nine’s new director of sport Brent Williams. “It’s about delivering ‘Your Footy, Your Way’ both for our audiences and our commercial partners.

“From broadcast, digital, publishing and radio, Nine and Wide World of Sports will deliver the entertainment and the analysis, wherever, whenever and however audiences want it.”

Williams said Nine’s plans to widen the coverage of women’s NRL followed, the record audience figures this season. Nine will work closely with the code to continue to expand the NRLW in 2020 and beyond.

“This year, the women’s premiership and State of Origin series delivered the highest audience of any women’s sporting code,” Williams said. “In 2020, Nine will continue to support the women’s game as it goes from strength to strength, and as part of a broader women’s sport opportunity we are bringing it to market across all of Nine’s assets.”

Nine coverage will feature a new crossbar cam and corner post cam and is also working in conjunction with the NRL and the Rugby League Players Association on the introduction of player microphones.

“In 2020, we will bring NRL fans closer to the action than ever before,” Williams said. “With the aid of crossbar cam and corner post cam and the new player mics that we will be trialling in 2020, in partnership with NRL and NRL players association, we will give our viewers a new perspective on the game they love to follow.”

On the commercial side, Nine will offer new levels of integration in the NRL with the expanded coverage across all platforms and mediums including radio coverage for the first time, including the Continuous Call Team.

“Nine in 2020 will have more footy content across more platforms than any other media company in Australia,” said Matt Granger Director of Sales – Sport.

“In 2020, Nine will provide more ways in for brands, across more assets, from the home and away series, to Thursday nights Golden Point, Friday Knock Off, Sunday Footy, 100% Footy, State of Origin, Finals, Test Matches and All Stars, and the Women’s premiership and State of Origin.

“From Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Nine will also provide new promotional platforms for brands to capitalise on the time of year and calendar events for the unique NRL audience across all of our assets.”

Fox Sports launches Bushfire appeal across final Supercars weekend

To raise much needed funds for all those affected by the devastating bushfires across New South Wales and Queensland, Fox Sports has commissioned a special one-off Newcastle 500 artwork with aptly named local artist, Mitch Revs, to be auctioned off across the Newcastle 500 Supercars event this weekend.

With the auction link launching on Supercars Trackside yesterday, the artwork encompasses all the classic moments from the Newcastle 500, from Jamie Whincup backflipping into Newcastle Harbour after winning the 2017 title to Scott McLaughlin completing his road to redemption to win in 2018.

Supercars and Newcastle personalities feature throughout the artwork with Newcastle race winners Scott McLaughlin, Jamie Whincup, Shane Van Gisbergen and David Reynolds. Fox Sports commentators Mark Skaife, Craig Lowndes and Jess Yates, four-time World Surfing champion Mark Richards and local pro surfers Luke Egan and Julian Wilson, Newcastle Knights legend Danny Buderus and current superstar fullback Kalyn Ponga, departing Supercars personalities Garry Rogers and Simona De Silvestro and Red Bull Air Racing World Champion Matt Hall.

Online bids can be made online here from now until the chequered flag in the final race of the Supercars season on Sunday with the winning total announced in Fox Sports Supercars Trackside post-race coverage.

Pickles is auctioning the artwork for Fox Sports and bidders can register here.

Top Photo: Fox Sports’ Mark Skaife, Jess Yates and Craig Lowndes with the artwork in Newcastle

Mercado on TV: Remembering TV greats as Recovery takes on The ARIAs

By Andrew Mercado

On Becoming a God in Central Florida (Thursday on SBS) is set in 1992 which is the era this decade has been the most obsessed with. Pop culture likes looking back 20 years, but disappointingly, this is one of those shows trying too hard to be quirky. It plays like a low(er) rent version of the Coen Brothers, but Fargo star Kirsten Dunst might save it if you stick in there.

In the 70s, we were obsessed with the 50s (Happy Days and Grease). In the 90s, we were obsessed with the 70s and that’s why a certain sitcom family reunited to make a serious drama. The Bradys was so bad, it killed off the franchise for years until the recent A Very Brady Renovation (streaming on Foxtel) which married nostalgia with renovation reality and car shows. If only there was an Aussie TV show we could do something similar with?

There are just two Aussie shows who have never gone off the air, and they are Spyforce and Skippy. Both play forever because Nine kicked in production money at the start, and what a great deal that has turned out to be. Nobody would want to recreate Spyforce, but what about A Very Skippy Renovation? Is there enough time in the year to film at Waratah National Park when it isn’t under threat from bushfire?

Despite multiple channels and streaming options, there isn’t a lot of Aussie stuff out there, although Blue Heelers is on 7plus. Someone must be watching or why would Seven be talking about rebooting it? Next month, the first 96 episodes of E Street will be released as a DVD boxset, yet 10 has never replayed it in full, despite it being the most 90s Aussie show they ever made (the music! those fashions!). E Street should be playing on 10Peach, but they won’t go past 90s duds like Becker and The King of Queens.

Recovery hosts Dylan Lewis and Jane Gazzo

When it came to live TV, there was nothing wilder in the 90s than Recovery. The special Recovery: The Music and The Mayhem (Wednesday on ABC) goes all the way back to when Saturday morning music TV was a thing. You would lie on the couch and flick between Recovery and Video Hits (10) and music fans should keep that in mind because this new retrospective airs the same time as The ARIA Awards (Wednesday on Nine).

Top Photo: Kirsten Dunst in On Becoming a God in Central Florida

TV Ratings Analysis: November 21

By James Manning

• Seven Worlds, One Planet key to another Nine win
• Front Bar cricket edition keeps Seven competitive

Thursday Week 47 2019

 • Seven News 877,000/871,000
• Nine News 828,000/797,000
• A Current Affair 635,000
• ABC News 609,000
• 7.30 526,000
• The Project 224,000/360,000
• 10 News First 372,000
• The Drum 164,000
• SBS World News 120,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 293,000
• Today 197,000


The channel had FTA coverage of the First Test: Australia v Pakistan during the day with the three sessions recording audiences of 253,000, 347,000 and then 474,000.

Home and Away screened two episodes after 7pm, ending the week on 551,000.

An episode of Border Patrol then did 362,000.

A special cricket edition of The Front Bar then won its timeslot with 391,000 with guests including Thommo and Brian Lara.

The doco Inside the G then did 241,000.


A Current Affair was just under 650,00 which ranked it third most-watched program yesterday.

A second episode of Seven Worlds, One Planet then did 595,000 after 772,000 on Wednesday night.

The 2016 movie London Has Fallen was then on 280,000.


The Project had a tough night with 360,000 after 7pm.

Jamie Oliver: The Naked Chef Bares All then did 442,000 which is a competitive number in the slot at this stage of the week.

Trial By Kyle than got an early slot, but the audience slipped to 229,000 after 307,000 last week after The Bachelorette finale.


Grand Designs Australia did 393,000 after 8pm.

Shetland was on 230,000.


The Wonderful World of Chocolate attracted 150,000 at 7.30pm.

The premiere episode of On Becoming a God in Central Florida did 115,000 for two episodes after 8.30pm.

Week 46 TV: Thursday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.8% 7 18.5% 9 19.5% 10  10.0% SBS One 4.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 4.0% GO! 4.0% 10 Bold 4.6% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 5.0% GEM 3.4% 10 Peach 2.5% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix 1.9% 9Life 2.5%     NITV 0.1%
    7Food 0.9%         SBS World Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 15.8%   30.3%   29.4%   17.1%   7.4%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.9% 7 18.4% 9 17.1% WIN 9.0% SBS One 3.1%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.0% 7TWO 5.8% GO! 3.7% WIN Bold 4.1% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 1.1% 7mate 5.8% GEM 4.7% WIN Peach 2.1% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.5% 9Life 2.5% Sky News  on WIN 1.2% NITV 0.2%
    7food (QLD only) 1.1%            
TOTAL 16.7%   33.5%   27.9%   16.4%   5.5%


84.6% 15.4%
  1. Seven News Seven 877,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 871,000
  3. Nine News Nine 828,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 797,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 635,000
  6. ABC News ABC 609,000
  7. David Attenborough Seven Worlds, One Planet Nine 595,000
  8. Home And Away Seven 551,000
  9. 7.30 ABC 526,000
  10. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V Pakistan D1 S3 Seven 474,000
  11. Hot Seat Nine 474,000
  12. Jamie Oliver: The Naked Chef Bares All 10 442,000
  13. Grand Designs Australia ABC 393,000
  14. The Front Bar Cricket Edition Seven 391,000
  15. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V Pakistan D1 Tea Seven 386,000
  16. 10 News First 10 372,000
  17. Border Patrol Seven 362,000
  18. The Project 7pm 10 360,000
  19. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V Pakistan D1 S2 Seven 347,000
  20. Hot Seat -5pm Nine 294,000
Demo Top 5

16 – 39

  1. Seven News Seven 105,000
  2. David Attenborough Seven Worlds, One Planet Nine 103,000
  3. Jamie Oliver: The Naked Chef Bares All 10 101,000
  4. Home And Away Seven 96,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 92,000


18 – 49

  1. Jamie Oliver: The Naked Chef Bares All 10 197,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 191,000
  3. Seven News Seven 188,000
  4. Nine News Nine 188,000
  5. David Attenborough Seven Worlds, One Planet Nine 187,000


25 – 54

  1. Nine News 6:30 Nine 244,000
  2. Nine News Nine 234,000
  3. Jamie Oliver: The Naked Chef Bares All 10 222,000
  4. David Attenborough Seven Worlds, One Planet Nine 218,000
  5. Seven News Seven 218,000
THURSDAY Multichannel
  1. Hawaii Five-O 10 Bold 163,000
  2. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 154,000
  3. M- Die Hard 4.0 PM (R) 7mate 152,000
  4. A Touch Of Frost PM 7TWO 140,000
  5. Survivor: Island Of Idols 9GO! 130,000
  6. Octonauts AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 124,000
  7. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  8. Death In Paradise 9Gem 120,000
  9. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V Pakistan 7mate LTI 117,000
  10. PJ Masks AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  11. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  12. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 9GO! 110,000
  13. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 105,000
  14. New Tricks 9Gem 104,000
  15. Father Brown PM (R) 7TWO 103,000
  16. Neighbours 10 Peach 99,000
  17. Fireman Sam PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 98,000
  18. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 98,000
  19. Play School PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 97,000
  20. Thomas And Friends: Big World! Big Ad ABCKIDS/COMEDY 97,000
  1. Live: Aus V Pak 1st Test Day 1 FOX CRICKET 174,000
  2. Live: Aus V Pak 1st Test Day 1 FOX CRICKET 133,000
  3. Live: Tea For Two FOX CRICKET 129,000
  4. The Great Australian Bake Off Lifestyle Channel 108,000
  5. Live: Aus V Pak 1st Test Day 1 FOX CRICKET 95,000
  6. Live: The Big Break FOX CRICKET 86,000
  7. Live: Cricket 360 FOX CRICKET 77,000
  8. Gold Rush Discovery Channel 65,000
  9. Outback Opal Hunters Discovery Channel 59,000
  10. Love It Or List It Australia Lifestyle Channel 54,000
  11. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 47,000
  12. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 43,000
  13. Credlin Sky News Live 40,000
  14. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 38,000
  15. PML Later Sky News Live 37,000
  16. The Simpsons FOX8 36,000
  17. The Simpsons FOX8 36,000
  18. Test Day FOX CRICKET 35,000
  19. Family Guy FOX8 34,000
  20. Live: Test Cricket On Fox FOX CRICKET 34,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

Seven merger 'a matter of survival' for Prime Media

Prime chairman John Hartigan has urged the regional broadcaster’s shareholders to vote in favour of a merger with Seven West Media as a matter of survival for both the company and journalism outside metropolitan cities, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Last month, Seven made a move on Prime with an all-scrip merger proposal which was unanimously recommended by Prime’s board.

“The common theme is, as much as I loathe to use the descriptor, this is survival for us,” Hartigan said.

“You’ve seen the collapse of regional newspapers, you’ve seen the beginning of the collapse of broadcast television under the current model.

“The aggregation model was set up in the mid-1980s by the Hawke government. It has not satisfied the demands of the local marketplace and it hasn’t for years and years.”

[Read the original]

Rupert Murdoch says ‘no climate change deniers’ around News Corp

News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch has said “there are no climate change deniers around I can assure you” after he was asked at the corporation’s AGM why his company gives them “so much airtime” in Australia, reports The Guardian.

Murdoch was speaking in New York on Wednesday when he received a question from a proxy for Australian activist shareholder Stephen Mayne.

Murdoch was asked about the company’s “stance on climate change”.

The questioner asked: “What do you believe is the global role of News Corp in the geopolitical climate? If you do believe in climate change, Mr Mayne is interested to hear why News Corp gives climate deniers like Andrew Bolt and Terry McCrann so much airtime in Australia?”

Murdoch responded with a promotion of his company’s corporate carbon reduction goals, saying “we have reduced our global carbon footprint by 25% six years ahead of schedule”.

Murdoch then added: “There are no climate change deniers around I can assure you.”

[Read the original]

CEO forecasts "Circular Firing Squad" after streaming wars

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei on Thursday warned that Hollywood’s escalating and costly streaming wars will eventually undermine the pay TV industry, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

“OTT will drain linear TV first, but OTT players will drain each other in a circular firing squad, in our judgment,” Maffei told his company’s investor day gathering of analysts. The investor presentations included Liberty Media chairman John Malone touting the increasing profitability of TV sports content.

“Sport rights still have an enormous amount of market power, like all live entertainment. It’s unique, exclusive, timely and can still attract large audiences,” Malone argued.

As he discussed the current streaming wars involving Hollywood and Silicon Valley, Maffei pointed to mounting challenges for the scripted video space, including a glut of original content and competitors chasing “illusory global growth.”

“Our focus now is a more attractive space, where we are spending our time and dollars: audio,” Maffei added as he pointed to more favorable economics for production and distribution of content than in linear TV or video streaming.

Maffei argued consumers are spending more time listening to audio content, as opposed to an increasingly crowded and competitive video space, and there was an upside for Liberty Media from investing in the audio space.

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News Brands

Online journos ‘second-class no longer’ after Fair Work win

Journalists at online publications including Daily Mail Australia will win access to penalty rates and overtime under a landmark decision that found their minimum conditions were “significantly inferior” to print journalists, reports The Australian’s Ewin Hannan.

The Fair Work Commission ruled digital media workers should no longer be denied access to the Journalists Published Media Award and were entitled to the same rights and protections as those at print publications, including newspapers with digital arms.

The full bench decision followed a successful claim by the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, which was opposed, to varying degrees, by Daily Mail Australia, Nine Entertainment and Rural Press.

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Fels calls for tax incentives to back public interest journalism

Newly-appointed chairman of the Public Interest Journalism Initiative (PIJI) Allan Fels says regional media is in a burning platform crisis and the government needs to move fast or risk its disappearance, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Fels, who became chairman of PIJI last week, unveiled new research to back the organisation’s proposal for tax incentives for public interest journalism.

“In the regional and rural areas, there are a very large number of newspapers which have been shut down and I would guess more will do so,” Fels, a former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman told The Australian Financial Review.

“If no action is taken soon a really important contributor to Australian regional and rural society will disappear.”

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ABC ‘asked Christian Porter to take control of media rule’

Attorney-General Christian Porter has hit out at ABC chair Ita Buttrose for criticising his control over the prosecution of journalists – saying he took the step because the ABC asked him to, report The Australian’s Nicola Berkovic and Chris Merritt.

Under a direction issued by Porter on September 19, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions can no longer prosecute journalists under certain sections of Australia’s secrecy laws without his formal approval.

He told The Australian that one of the “very real considerations” he took into account when making the direction was that the ABC had requested it in a formal submission to a parliamentary committee inquiry into press freedom.

“Obviously I got heavily criticised for that in just about every media outlet in Australia, no heavier criticism than from Ita Buttrose as chair of the ABC,” he said. “One – not the only – but one of the very real considerations that I took into account as to whether or not to issue that section 8(1) direction … was that the ABC asked for it.”

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Theatre: Packer & Sons – ‘entirely believable, yet one dimensional’

Packer & Sons at Belvoir is an exploration of intergenerational power; how it is built, nurtured and passed – or wrested — from father to son, comments Mark Day in The Australian.

The play is built around the Sydney media family of Packers and it is, for a stage play where hyperbole, licence and extremes are the norm, surprisingly accurate. Yes, it is true Robert Clyde Packer found 10 bob (a dollar) and put it on a horse at 12-1 to win enough to get him a ticket from Hobart to Sydney; yes, his son Frank took a huge gamble in launching the Australian Women’s Weekly; yes, his son Kerry jettisoned print for a stellar career in television; and yes, it is true that his son James deserted TV for the less savoury world of casinos.

You can’t condense a century of Packers into 2½ hours of stage play without losing a few bits – there’s no room for sex, mistresses, marriage breakdowns or misogyny and no reference to the family’s fabled philanthropic work. Writer Tommy Murphy has distilled the generational struggles of the male Packers in an entirely believable way.

Yet, apart from a few moments, this portrayal is one dimensional.

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Screen Music Awards winner wants 'skip intro' button banned

The rise of streaming services may have gifted screen composers with a welcome new avenue of risk-friendly work, but they’ve also introduced a new dreaded nemesis: the ‘skip intro’ button, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Robert Moran.

“Oh, I think it should be banned and outlawed!” laughs veteran composer Antony Partos, who, on Wednesday night claimed the Screen Music award for best television theme for his work on Stan series Bloom.

“Look it’s up to people’s discretion. If they want to skip a theme, they’re welcome to move on to the rest of the content,” he adds diplomatically.

“I just remember watching Mad Men and I just had to listen to that theme every time. There was so much in the layering and the production of that particular piece of music that every time I listened to it I’d hear it in a fresh light. So I would encourage people to listen to the theme if possible, even if it does drive them crazy.”

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Sports Media

TV dealmaker Bruce McWilliam faces umpire in tennis trial

Bruce McWilliam, commercial director at Kerry Stokes’s Seven West Media, appeared in the Federal Court in Melbourne on Thursday as the star witness in a case where the corporate regulator seems to be trying to just about end the corporate career of another business heavy-hitter, Harold Mitchell, reports The Australian’s John Stensholt.

Mitchell and McWilliam go way back as power­brokers in Australia’s media industry for several decades, but the pair kept it low-key, exchanging a nod, a wink and a small smile before and after McWilliam’s witness box appearance.

McWilliam angrily denied Mitchell and Seven had colluded to deliver Australian Open broadcast rights to the network in 2013, though the rights never went to open tender and other networks were keen.

“He (Mitchell) should get the order of negotiation (award) because, seriously, they got everything they wanted and it was a great deal for them,” McWilliam said, reminding the court that Seven had lifted its price and agreed to let tennis produce its own broadcast, a concession he had personally disagreed with as it would “be like a minibar” and Seven would be charged for every TV cable it used.

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All-star cast at the Gabba as commentary caravan hits the road

There are so many former players in the various commentary boxes at the Gabba you can literally trip over numerous Australian captains in the coffee line, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Chris Barrett and Phil Lutton.

More telecasts and broadcasts of Test cricket mean a growing need for on-air talent. There are new faces and old but crucially, there’s plenty of them, enough in fact to compile two 12-strong squads of former Test players captained by Allan Border and Ian Chappell.

We’ll make a final decision on the XIs once we’ve put the key in the playing surface but we can confirm the top orders are formidable and adaptable and both attacks boast a few bonafide superstars. Let’s call them our Test One Twos.

Squad One: Chris Rogers (ABC), Michael Slater (Seven), Ramiz Raja (ABC), Allan Border (Fox, captain), Mel Jones (SEN), Darren Lehmann (Macquarie), Adam Gilchrist (Fox), Shane Warne (Fox), Jason Gillespie (ABC), Damien Fleming (Seven), Glenn McGrath (Macquarie), Carl Rackemann (Macquarie).

Squad Two: Michael Vaughan (Fox), Mark Taylor (Macquarie), Ian Chappell (Macquarie, captain), Ricky Ponting (Seven), Simon Katich (SEN), Michael Hussey (Fox), Mitchell Johnson (ABC), Wasim Akram (Fox), Brett Lee (Fox), Kerry O’Keefe (Fox), Trent Copeland (Seven), Brendon McCullum (SEN).

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