By James Manning
There are five major benefits to joining Vogue Australia’s VIP program. One is a cheaper price for a subscription ($6.50 v $8.99 a copy) and another is you get the editions usually before they hit the newsstand.
That’s not always such a big deal, but in the week before the release of the doorstopper 60th anniversary edition of Vogue Australia it was.
Those readers were the first to see one of two covers that feature Nicole Kidman wearing some very exclusive and expensive diamonds.
“A 60th anniversary is traditionally celebrated with diamonds,” Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Edwina McCann told Mediaweek. “I felt quite passionate about finding our longest and oldest and most consistent luxury jeweler advertiser and that was Cartier who first entered the Australian market in the 1970s with a boutique in David Jones.
“They have a large fine jewelry couture collection that they show during the couture collections in July and we get to see them. They are one off pieces and can be valued at upwards of $20m. I saw a diamond necklace and ear cuffs and I approached Cartier about working with them to allow us to borrow them.
“We were able to use them to shoot Nicole in New York and the diamonds had to travel from Paris specifically for the shoot.” McCann explained their time with the diamonds was shorter than they had time with Kidman. “Nicole found it quite amusing that the diamonds had to leave before she did!”
A recent innovation at Vogue Australia is extra-luxe stock that greets readers at the front of the book. Last month it was a special message from Cartier and this month there are pages again from Cartier, plus Armani and Céline.
“We offered this to advertisers with this idea as an alternative to gatefolds as advertisers like running back to back pages with consecutive imagery. It is a way of standing out in the tunnel [the ad pages before the editorial starts] and it has been extremely popular.”
McCann added that some of the brand’s oldest advertisers are finding “paper tricks” very popular. “They really love thick paper stock and we also have an outside back gatefold on the new edition. We also use special stock when we want to promote something like VIP and place it in the middle of the book on thick paper because we know it works and draws attention to it.”
McCann thinks people who think “print is dead” are sadly out of date. “Our VIP program is bring in new and younger readers and the take-up has well exceeded our expectations with new subscribers every day above our target.”
Advertisers are not just utilising print, as McCann explained ad growth on other platforms is up over 100% year-on-year. “The briefs we get for this are from traditional advertisers who have a significant social media presence. We will close November with our best ever result for digital ad revenue.”
Vogue Australia’s print and digital audience was measured by emma at 986,000 in September this year.
Vogue Australia is almost a one-stop-agency when it comes to attracting some clients. “A good example this month is a significant campaign from Samsung for the Galaxy Fold phone. For that we brokered the talent, created the campaign which was then reverse-published with an influencer in print. We were the creative agency for the client which was published on our social platforms and then that imagery has been used in ads in the magazine.”
Vogue Australia Anniversary edition is big…how big?
• 350 pages
• Biggest book this year, one of biggest ever.
• The December edition is as heavy as Vogue Australia could go without Australia Post charging the publisher more for distribution.
• McCann explained the sales team exceeded its optimistic budget by $50,000. About 40% of the book is advertising (a Condé Nast guideline).
Vogue Australia VIP
McCann: “We have been really pleased with the take up – particularly younger people under the age of 28 who have been difficult to get to before. They understand monthly membership plans as they may already be customers for things like Spotify, Netflix or their gym. $6.50 a month seems a good price for them and the engagement they have with our EDM is exceptional with an open rate around 40%.”
McCann said many of the referrals to join were coming from Vogue’s recently relaunched website or from the greater News Corp family like news.com.au.
“Being able to work with other partners in the News Corp business has been a huge advantage in driving sign ups.”
Tomorrow: Vogue Australia celebration continues with details about the Apple News+ partnership, the Vogue Australia documentary and more.
• After tour of duty in Adelaide, Perth & Brisbane, Sam Weir moving to Melbourne
• Outgoing Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston moving to The Australian
Michael Miller, executive chairman of News Corp Australasia and Peter Blunden, Victorian managing director – editorial and chairman of the editorial board, have today announced two significant changes to the editorial leadership team at News Corp Australia.
Sam Weir (pictured), editor of The Courier-Mail in Brisbane since 2017, has been appointed editor of the Herald Sun in Melbourne, and Damon Johnston, editor of the Herald Sun for the past seven years has been appointed Victorian editor of The Australian.
Michael Miller commented: “Sam is one of Australia’s most experienced editors. He has spent his career at News Corp Australia, beginning as a cadet journalist in Adelaide, and previously edited The Sunday Times in Perth and The Advertiser in Adelaide.
“We are delighted he has agreed to take on the editorship of the Herald Sun, Australia’s largest-selling daily newspaper and we wish him every success.”
“Under Damon’s leadership the Herald Sun and Sunday Herald Sun broke some of Australia’s most important stories,” Miller said.
“We know Damon will bring that same talent and investigative skills to his new role in driving Victorian coverage for The Australian.”
Weir and Johnston will take up their roles early next year. The new editor of The Courier-Mail is expected to be announced in the New Year.
In new emma readership data released today, the Herald Sun has the most readers of any newspaper on weekdays (903,000) and Saturday (691,000).
The Sunday Telegraph with 698,000 has the biggest Sunday audience.
Seven has mapped out a busy year for its star recruit and will put her on the judging panel of Australia’s Got Talent: The Champions (replacing Manu), and has appointed her to host the international family blockbuster from Eureka Group, Mega Mini Golf. Kruger will also be part of Seven’s broadcast team for Tokyo 2020, which Seven is calling the biggest broadcast and digital event in Australian history.
Commenting on the announcement, Seven West Media managing director and chief executive officer James Warburton, said: “Sonia is without a doubt a superstar and one of the best television talents in Australia. I speak on behalf of the entire Seven team when I say that Sonia was the one that got away. To say we’re thrilled to be welcoming her home as a judge for AGT: The Champions, as host of Mega Mini Golf, and as a member of our team for Tokyo 2020, is an understatement.”
Kruger previously featured on Seven, as co-host of Dancing with the Stars and as entertainment reporter for Sunrise and Today Tonight.
Kruger said: “I’m beyond excited to be returning to the network where I first discovered my love of live television and family entertainment. With the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo and a slate of new prime time shows Seven is the place to be. I feel privileged to be joining James and the team for what’s going to be an exhilarating ride.”
Seven reveals Kruger’s 2020 to-do list:
AGT: The Champions
The battle to be crowned ultimate champion is here as the best of Aussie talent take on the world in an incredible, showstopping showdown. Australia’s Got Talent: The Champions will bring together the most talented, memorable, wackiest and all-round fan favourite acts from past seasons of AGT and some of the most popular acts from the Got Talent franchises around the world on the one stage. This super-charged celebration of creativity and talent will deliver the most spectacular competition ever seen in Australia.
Australia’s Got Talent: The Champions is a Fremantle production for Channel Seven.
Mega Mini Golf
Based on the hole-in-one hit format on America’s ABC Network, Mega Mini Golf is an extreme miniature golf competition set on a larger-than-life obstacle golf course. Aussie mini-golf lovers of all ages and backgrounds will have the chance to tee off on the most epic course ever devised in this country, competing head-to-head on supersized holes. They’ll face out-of-this-world challenges as their putting and physical skills are put to the test while they attempt to complete the course and reach the daunting final hole.
Mega Mini Golf is a Eureka Production for Channel Seven based on a Eureka/Disney/Unanimous format.
Starting on the 24th of July, Tokyo 2020 will redefine how Australians watch sport. The 30 days of the Olympic and Paralympic Games are forecast to reach over 21 million Australians, even more than Sydney 2000.
Seven’s broadcast coverage on Seven and 7TWO – led by the one and only Bruce McAvaney – will be simulcast in HD on 7plus. On top of this, six bonus curated 24/7 channels and 35 live streams on 7plus will allow Australians to experience the Olympics like never before. 7plus will also offer captioning in multiple languages – an Australian first. For the first time ever, all of the Olympics and Paralympics will be free, an offering never seen before in Australia.
Top Photo: James Warburton with Sonia Kruger
• Deal means Foxtel’s Arena no longer destination for Bravo content
• 9Now becomes major BVOD player with reality, comedy & drama
Nine has announced a significant multi-year deal with NBCUniversal (NBCU) encompassing both scripted and unscripted, territory premiere and library television content as well as feature films. The deal will see Nine substantially amplify the offering of 9Now in addition to providing premium content for its primary and digital terrestrial linear channels.
The deal highlights how much the recent Foxtel renewal with NBCU has changed what the subscription TV will have exclusively. Foxtel has some of the NBCU content exclusively, and some non-exclusive.
Just earlier this month, Foxtel’s Amanda Laing told Mediaweek:
“For some things it is important to have them exclusively, for others it is just important to have them. A lot of the content on our Fox branded channels it is not exclusive, but we know the channels we have created are exclusive. Our curation of that content is the special sauce that we bring.”
Hugh Marks CEO of Nine said: “Traditionally, platforms like 9Now have been focused on being largely a reflection of our linear channels. This deal with NBCU sees 9Now firmly beyond being a ‘catch up service’ and instead become an entertainment destination in its own right.
“Over the past four years, we have established 9Now as the leading commercial broadcast video on demand platform in Australia, but this deal with NBCU helps us not only ensure the consistency of 9Now audience throughout the year, it also helps us better compete with the digital giants with a premium video product, which is unmatched in this market.”
As part of the content slate in the agreement, Nine will secure broadcast premiere rights on new Bravo series commissioned from 2020 onwards and will be the free to air destination for shows from the Bravo stable including The Real Housewives franchise, Below Deck, Million Dollar Listing New York, in addition to upcoming globally exclusive brand-new titles from Bravo such as Family Karma, alongside content from E! including Botched, Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry.
The deal will also see Nine and 9Now secure first run of shows for premium NBCU scripted comedy and drama content with titles for 2020 including Resident Alien, Bluff City Law and the anticipated new animated American comedy, Duncanville, which is co-created and executive produced by producer, actress and director Amy Poehler and producers, Mike and Julie Scully (The Simpsons).
9Now will also launch new territory premiere programming exclusively to the platform including Suits spin-off Pearson, The Arrangement, The Enemy Within and Reverie.
Viewers will also be able to catch up on classic US television series such as Magnum P.I. and Miami Vice, as well as titles from the NBCUniversal library including Friday Night Lights, The Mindy Project and Royal Pains, amongst others.
“We have had a longstanding partnership with Nine and are delighted to expand our relationship with them through this monumental deal that highlights the diverse offering across the entire NBCUniversal portfolio,” said Belinda Menendez, President & Chief Revenue Officer, Global Distribution and International, NBCUniversal.
Nine will also remain as the free to air home of brand-new and classic feature films from Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation, giving audiences access to key titles in hit franchises such as Bourne, The Fast and the Furious, Back to the Future and Shrek, as well as new movies including Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, Yesterday and Downton Abbey.
The new slate of programming will be available to stream or watch on Nine and 9Now from December 1.
Top Photo: Hugh Marks
Demand for trusted, professionally generated news continues to drive Australia’s news media audiences across both digital and print platforms, reports NewsMediaWorks.
Australian news media reaches nine in 10 Australians (94%), or 17.6 million people aged 14+, the latest emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) data for September 2019 shows.
(News media is defined as member companies of NewsMediaWorks, including Nine Entertainment Co, News Corp Australia, Seven West Media’s West Australian Newspapers, The Guardian and The Saturday Paper.)
Across measured digital platforms news media reaches 15.5 million Australians, representing 83% of the population aged 14+.
At the same time, print audiences remain strong with 13 million, or seven in ten Australians (69%), choosing print news formats.
NewsMediaWorks CEO Peter Miller said that premium, trusted content is an important differentiator for news media.
“There is no more trusted media channel in the country than news media, both in print and digital channels. News media stands head and shoulders above the rest. News brands engage, inspire, challenge and reward their readers, with in-depth story telling in a premium environment. News media continues to attract and retain large audiences for this reason,” he said. “And our AdTrust research has proven that trust in content and ads increases consumer intent to purchase, which provides a powerful return on investment to advertisers.”
The top 10 most read mastheads in Australia continue to deliver large and influential audiences.
As these mastheads add new ways to talk to audiences, they continue to grow their ability to reach Australians at scale (see table below).
SEN has announced its new host of Afternoons – experienced play-by-by commentator and multi-sport analyst Dwayne Russell who will host Dwayne’s World from 12-3pm on 1116 SEN and SEN SA.
The show will include an extra 30 minutes exclusively for South Australian listeners before Kymbo & the Rooch on SEN SA.
Russell has signed an exclusive multi-year radio deal with SEN which also sees him join the AFL Nation call team as a play-by-play commentator. He will also call SEN’s Australian Open tennis coverage, while also forming part of the United Live basketball and Big Bash Nation commentary teams.
Russell had previously hosted a daily show of Dwayne’s World on SEN SA as well as the top-rating drive-time sports show Sportsday with Gerard Healy – syndicated across 3AW and regional radio stations across Victoria and Tasmania.
The former Geelong and Port Adelaide footballer who turned to sports journalism in the early 90s will continue his role at Fox Football as a play-by- play commentator.
Pacific Star Network, Chief Executive Officer, Craig Hutchison shared his delight at the signing.
“Dwayne is considered one of the most recognisable voices in Australian sport and securing his services exclusively from a radio broadcast perspective is a major coup for our station.
“Listeners to Dwayne’s World can expect Dwayne to be not only typically forthright and opinionated each afternoon and advancing the day’s agenda, but also a great sporting conversationalist.
“Equally, we are excited to add Dwayne to our commentary teams where listeners can enjoy the quirky Dwayne-isms that make him such a compelling voice in sport.”
Russell said he could not wait to join SEN in 2020.
“It’s the dream job. Talking sport for three hours every weekday on SEN, plus the opportunity to call live sport when it fits around my Fox Footy and Fox Basketball roles.
“I feel extremely lucky to be joining a brilliant SEN on-air team, and excited to be with an organisation that is always doing new and innovative things,” Russell said.
Dwayne’s World with Dwayne Russell will start on 13 January 2020 and SEN’s coverage of the 2020 Australian Open commences January 20.
By James Manning
Nine has won the penultimate week of survey for the year – taking top spot in both primary and combined channel share. Nine managed to win six nights of the week in primary share.
Nine’s best share of the week was for Sunday with 22.7% thanks in part to the launch episode of Hamish & Andy’s Perfect Holiday with 885,000 watching making it the #3 show of the week.
Also performing well were Seven Worlds, One Planet and A Current Affair.
Seven took second place in both primary and combined channel share. It was a close race in the latter with Nine winning on 28.8% with Seven on 28.6%.
Seven is able to claim the most-watched multichannel with 7mate on 4.3%. The biggest 7mate audience tuned in for Fat Pizza: Back in Business with 211,000.
Seven’s winners during the week included Seven News, Better Homes and Gardens and The Good Doctor. Sunrise again cleaned up all week and Seven’s coverage of the First Test between Australia and Pakistan saw the third session on Saturday make the top 20 programs of the week.
Have You Been Paying Attention? again was 10’s key program with 821,000 putting it in the top five for the week. The channel’s next best were two episodes of The Amazing Race.
Jamie Oliver did relatively well thanks to a provocative title (The Naked Chef Bares All), and The Project managed to just make it over 400,000 at 7pm.
ABC News Sunday was the channel’s #1 on 683,000, ahead of Gruen on 640,000. The final episode of Total Control was the most-watched Australian drama of the week with 536,000.
The honours at SBS on the week of its 2020 Upfront go to Secrets of the Railway with 262,000. No surprise another program about rail travel ranks #2 this week – Tony Robinson’s World by Rail on 194,000. Making it a rail trifecta is Inside the Orient Express which is one of three shows tied for third place in the channel’s ratings alongside Insight and a new UK series of Who Do You Think You Are?
By James Manning
• Singles: Billie Eilish new at #2, but Tones and I #1 in ARIA Week
It is very fitting that Tones and I continues its stunning chart performance in ARIA Week making its 17 weeks at #1. The single Dance Monkey has now ranked #1 in 19 countries. Tones and I performed on NBC’s Tonight Show last week and this week performs at the ARIA Awards and a Nova Red Room.
Billie Eilish could have ended the reign of Dance Monkey at the top, but Eilish’s Everything I Wanted had to settle with a chart debut at #2.
Three other songs made it into the top 50 on debut this week:
#38 Harry Styles with Watermelon on Sugar. A track from his forthcoming album Fine Line.
#39 Onefour with In The Beginning. First time in the ARIA chart for the western Sydney rap crew.
#42 Lauv with Mean It featuring LANY.
Paul Kelly at #1 means Australian artists top both charts in ARIA Week.
Songs From The South: Paul Kelly’s Greatest Hits 1985-2019 gives Kelly his third #1 album. His career has delivered 17 albums that have made the top 50, eight of them rising to the top 10. In that time Kelly has had 58 ARIA nominations, won 14 times and been inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. Kelly is nominated for three ARIAs this week.
Celine Dion just missed a #1 debut with her first English language album in six years landing at #2. A Current Affair featured a special episode with Tracy Grimshaw interviewing Dion in Quebec on the eve of the alum’s release. Dion has had nine previous entries into the top 10, the last time with the 2018 compilation The Best So Far…2018 Tour Edition which peaked at #4.
The third of three top 10 debuts this week belongs to US country trio Lady Antebellum with Ocean which lands at #7. Five of their six previous albums have all made the top 10 in Australia.
Three other albums also debuted top 10 this week:
#18 Tory Lanez with Chixtape 5. Second chart appearance for the Canadian rapper and singer after his 2016 release I Told You peaked at #37.
#24 Frozen 2 soundtrack. The soundtrack for the original movie peaked at #1 and is five times platinum in Australia.
#38 Winston Surfshirt with Apple Crumble. The second album from the Sydney funk and hip hop act who peaked at #24 with their first album Sponge Cake.
Last survey Sunday of 2019
• Nine: Hamish & Andy north to Alaska & 60 Minutes on China
• Seven: Melissa Doyle and all-star team farewell Sunday Night
• 10: Kylie and Ricky star on The Graham Norton Show
• ABC: Alan, Myf & Alan win timeslot with Spicks and Specs special
• SBS: Frozen Nordland Railway then Einstein and Hawking
• Seven News 859,000
• Nine News 734,000
• ABC News 688,000
• The Project 198,000/371,000
• Insiders 335,000
• 10 News First 140,000 (10 Bold)
• Offsiders 142,000
• SBS World News 133,000
• Sunrise 261,000
• Today 168,000
Just when it looked like Seven might not get much play on the fourth day of the First Test, Pakistan put up a fight and the game went until around 5pm. The Sunday audience started with 390,000 for the morning session. The audience peaked in the afternoon with 470,000 and then 450,000 is the preliminary number for the last session of the day which ended early with an Australian victory.
The final Sunday night of primetime survey for 2019 started with the ratings-winning Seven News Sunday on 859,000.
The second week of Zumbo’s Just Desserts started with 405,000 after the best ratings of 446,000 last week for the Sunday episode.
The last night of survey was also the last night ever of Sunday Night with host Melissa Doyle and the team. Past and present reporters recalled some of their highlights and the memories started with the first episode with Mike Munro reporting on Victorian bushfires on Black Saturday in February 2009. Among the other highlights were Alex Cullen recalling the Japanese tsunami aftermath, Steve Pennells reporting on refugees from Syria, Ross Coulthart talked about a trip to central Africa and Rahni Sadler swam with sharks in the Bahamas. The second part of the farewell episode featured some of the celebrity profiles and it was a stunning collection of guests from Charlie Sheen with Matt Doran to Lionel Ritchie with Alex Cullen, from Ed Sheeran with Angela Cox to Ricky Gervais with Rahni Sadler. Mike Willesee’s highlights included his interview with James Packer.
The 2018 Liam Neeson movie The Commuter followed with 175,000.
The final survey night of Nine News Sunday did 734,000.
Hamish and Andy couldn’t quite manage the #1 entertainment show of the night with 715,000 after Perfect Holiday launched with 885,000 a week ago. The show was narrowly outrated with the ABC’s Spicks and Specks just 6,000 viewers ahead. In the episode Hamish and Andy went dogsledding on a glacier in Alaska. They also assembled a crack team of treasure hunters to find a real $5 million treasure buried somewhere in Colorado. Hamish treated Andy to a local delicacy in Kentucky and they road-tested a new pizza-delivery system while launching cars off a cliff.
60 Minutes then featured Nine publishing investigative reporter Nick McKenzie working with the TV show again with revelations about from a Chinese spy about the country’s dirty secrets. The audience of 528,000 was up marginally on last week’s 512,000.
The Sunday Project featured Lisa Wilkinson with Kim Kardashian in LA. The episode did 371,000, up 50,000 on last week.
Graham Norton then had a great lineup with Kylie Minogue, Ricky Gervais, Elizabeth Banks and Lewis Hamilton. When the discussion turned to work, Gervais noted he didn’t really have to work too hard making TV shows or doing publicity. “We are just sitting here talking shit and getting drunk,” he said. The episode was on 330,000.
Two episodes of NCIS followed with the new one on 284,000 and the repeat on 246,000.
The Spicks and Specks Ausmusic special featured host Adam Hills and original team captains Myf Warhurst and Alan Brough. The Spicks and Specks army were right behind it with the audience of 721,000 making it the #1 non-news program on the last night of Sunday survey for the year. Guests included Missy Higgins, Brian Mannix and Rove. The special helped the ABC to its highest Sunday survey share of the year.
A special Australian music night on the channel then featured the FTA premiere of the doco Mystify Michael Hutchence. The archival footage was stunning and the Kylie Minogue segment was a highlight. The audience was 418,000.
Then it was the 1987 music doco Australian Made that stated at close to 10.30pm, which also featured INXS, and had 95,000 watching.
Secrets of the Railway was in Norway looking at the frozen Nordland Railway which was the northernmost line in the world after it was built. The episode did 212,000 after 262,000 last week where it was SBS’s most-watched show of week 47.
Both parts of the two-part doco Einstein and Hawking: Masters of the Universe followed with an average audience of 180,000 for both.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.0%||7TWO||3.9%||GO!||3.5%||10 Bold||3.3%||VICELAND||1.2%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||3.8%||GEM||3.3%||10 Peach||2.5%||Food Net||0.8%|
|7Food||0.7%||SBS World Movies||1.1%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||4.0%||7TWO||3.2%||GO!||4.5%||10 Bold||3.3%||VICELAND||0.5%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||4.6%||GEM||3.5%||10 Peach||2.3%||Food Net||1.3%|
|7Food||1.0%||SBS World Movies||1.6%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.5%||7TWO||3.6%||GO!||3.6%||10 Bold||2.9%||VICELAND||1.1%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||3.3%||GEM||3.8%||10 Peach||1.6%||Food Net||1.1%|
|7Food||0.7%||SBS World Movies||1.0%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.2%||7TWO||4.6%||GO!||3.6%||WIN Bold||3.2%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||0.9%||7mate||3.7%||GEM||6.4%||WIN Peach||1.7%||Food Net||0.9%|
|ABC NEWS||1.6%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.7%||9Life||3.1%||Sky News on WIN||0.9%||NITV||0.1%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.3%|
|SUNDAY METRO ALL TV|
Friday top 10
Saturday top 10
Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM
Rural media proprietor Antony Catalano says he is ready to mount a campaign through his Australian Community Media to convince the federal government to change the “one-in-a-market rule” and allow the greater sharing of media resources in the bush, reports The Australian’s John Stensholt.
Catalano, who owns ACM with his billionaire business partner Alex Waislitz, said the one-in-a-market rule, which restricts a business from controlling multiple television licences in an area, was “irrelevant” in the modern media world and that he would be open to doing deals with WIN and Southern Cross if he could not strike an agreement with Prime Media for closer co-operation.
Catalano described the one-in-a-market rule as “antiquated and completely outdated”, and that it was absurd a company could only be allowed one TV licence in a region yet allowed to have two radio licences or multiple newspapers and as many websites as it liked.
“TV is not the influential medium it was, so it makes no sense to the people of Ballina or Newcastle or regional Victoria,” he said. “Do they need three services or would they be better served by the consolidation of those companies into one to produce a better quality newsroom and a more profitable business? The answer is yes.”
Foxtel has successfully locked in the refinancing of $US1.1bn ($1.6bn) of debt, including $US900m of new bank facilities from local and international banks and financiers including South Korea’s Hana Financial Group, reports The Australian’s Leo Shanahan.
Foxtel’s total debt facilities of $US2.1 billion are unchanged after the refinancing, although debt is now understood to be on a tenure of more than three years, giving Foxtel more flexibility to execute its reset strategy.
According to Korean media, part of the refinancing included completing a $US200m refinancing deal with South Korea’s Hana Financial to secure the debt facilities of the subscription broadcaster and streaming service.
The debt facility adds to a total of $US700m in loans provided to Foxtel by News Corp, which owns two-thirds of the company, with the remaining stake owned by Telstra.
Nine has been ordered to pay a Toowoomba family more than $2 million in damages over a defamatory 60 Minutes story, reports ABC News’ David Chen.
A jury earlier this year found the program, which was broadcast on May 24, 2015, had defamed Denis, John, Neill and Joe Wagner.
The program made several allegations including that the Wagner family were responsible for the deaths of 12 people, including two children, in the 2011 Grantham floods when a quarry wall owned by the family collapsed.
Justice Peter Applegarth wrote in his 86-page ruling that Nine was “recklessly indifferent as to the truth or falsity of those imputations”.
Nine will pay the four brothers $600,000 each in damages plus $63,000 in interest.
Journalist Nick Cater, who was featured in the program, has also been ordered to pay $1.2 million in damages.
The Wagners won a similar case against broadcaster Alan Jones last year.
Jones and radio stations 2GB and 4BC were ordered to pay the family $3.75 million.
The federal government is flouting laws designed to expose its decisions to scrutiny, with internal emails revealing that top officials are “unfazed” by the breaches of the Freedom of Information Act, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s David Crowe.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s own department has defied the law on repeated requests for information, forcing applicants to wait for decisions with no explanation for the delays.
The Department of Home Affairs has also confirmed that it is up to 131 days overdue on one application, far outside the statutory requirement to respond within 30 days of a request.
The results fuel the debate over the public’s right to know about government policies and decisions at a time when publishers are calling for more transparency including stronger adherence to the FOI law.
Macquarie Media breakfast host Alan Jones‘ 2GB morning radio show has lost about half its advertising revenue after a boycott over the radio veteran’s comments about New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.
Jones has faced a commercial backlash since he made comments in August that Ardern should be given “backhanders” and have a sock shoved down her throat.
Despite Jones apologising on air, brands have continued to abandon his top-rating show that typically brings in about $12 million a year and is worth under 10 per cent of the network’s revenue.
Sources with knowledge of the commercial dealings at the radio business said that on an annualised basis the backlash could cost the show about $6 million in advertising, though some of the advertisers had switched to other shows at the network helping limit the hit to Macquarie’s revenues overall. In September the damage was estimated to be about $1 million.
Comedy giant Wil Anderson is still to commit to a new deal with Triple M Melbourne’s Hot Breakfast show, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.
Negotiations look set to go down to the wire as Anderson works out what his 2020 schedule looks like and how breakfast radio fits into that busy matrix.
Anderson signed a two-year deal when he joined the show at the start of 2018.
With a matter of weeks to go on his current contract, it is understood he is yet to indicate if he will be continuing with the popular and influential show that he hosts alongside Eddie McGuire and Luke Darcy.
Should Anderson opt out of the breakfast shift for 2020, that opens up an enormous opportunity for someone to score one of the most highly sort after spots in Melbourne radio.
2GB radio broadcaster Ray Hadley is facing allegations he defamed a Blue Mountains City Council officer after suggesting she had deliberately lied about the council’s handling of an asbestos crisis, reports The Australian’s Zoe Samios.
Blue Mountains City Council general manager Rosemary Dillon is claiming her character, reputation and business were damaged following a broadcast made by Hadley on Macquarie Media’s 2GB in May, which said she had “misled” a commissioner investigating the council’s response to problems with asbestos.
It follows changes made to new contracts for Macquarie Media, which has seen indemnity protections limited to $50,000 for staff following costly defamation actions against the network.
Gogglebox favourites Adam Densten and Symon Lovett have announced they’re leaving the show, reports news.com.au’s Stephanie Bedo.
Lovett took to social media to announce their departure from the popular Channel 10 program, saying it was “sad and exciting news” that they wouldn’t be returning for season 11.
“After 5 years we wanted to thank everyone that watched the show, helped make the show and was on the show,” Lovett wrote on Instagram.
“We were asked to be on Gogglebox 5 years ago, sitting at a pub.
“We thought we might get some free beers out of it, on that front we’ve well and truly filled out boots.
“We’re pumped for the future and if you’ve got a job I know a couple of guys. #unemployed.”
The hunt for Melbourne’s next superstar Housewives is on in earnest with secret meetings taking place across the city between casting agents and women of influence, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.
Coffee shops in the leafy suburbs, classy restaurants on the bay and Jaggad-clad laps of the Tan have been the location for the furtive meetings to anoint the next well-heeled members of The Real Housewives Of Melbourne – Australian TV’s ultimate girl boss squad.
The new series of the hit Foxtel reality show is expected to start filming early next year and none of the current crop of Housewives, Gamble Breaux, Lydia Schiavello, Janet Roach, Jackie Gillies, Gina Liano, Sally Bloomfield and Venus Behbahani, are guaranteed to be asked to return to the show.
Those in the sight of producers include Dionnie Fahour, Felicia Leoncelli, Mandy Andrianakos and Nadia Bartel.
Prolific director Gary Conway, who directed nearly 800 episodes of Neighbours, has died aged 73, reports TV Tonight.
Conway directed Australian drama for almost 50 years with early work on Matlock, Division 4, Ryan, Homicide, The Box, Bluey, Skyways, Sara Dane, Cop Shop, Bellamy, Prisoner, A Country Practice and Five Mile Creek. Other credits included The Flying Doctors, Bony, Blue Heelers, Snowy River: The McGregor Saga and Fire.
According to IMDb, he directed 786 episodes of Neighbours from 1988 – 2019. He was working until his final year and never losing his passion, never calling a scene completed until he was truly satisfied.
Neighbours executive producer Jason Herbison said, “Gary was a beloved member of the Neighbours family and a legend of the local industry. Proudly old-school, he honed his craft in the golden era of Crawford’s and Grundy’s, and we all loved to hear his stories about days gone by. He was never more home than on set and retirement was never in his script. There is so much to remember, not least his laughter. He did it his way and he gave it all to the end.”
The Voice is the latest television production to confirm a new studio home for 2020 due to a lack of available spaces, reports TV Tonight.
Producers ITV Studios Australia will fit out a new studio home in Sydney which can also be leased out to other production companies.
CEO David Mott told TV Tonight, “ITV Studios Australia is creating a bespoke studio. We are creating a new studio facility in Sydney.
“Essentially, Fox Studios Australia has basically shut the TV industry out. Frankly, it’s very disappointing given that we have an extensive lease.
“We were advised a little while ago that Disney was coming in and taking over FOX Studios and Marvel have taken all the sound stages. So that has shut out all TV production at FOX Studios.”
Mott is keeping his cards close to his chest as to where the new space is located.
“I’m not yet prepared to announce the location because the ink’s not dry. It’s quite an intricate process to go through.
“I’ve looked at old Bunnings warehouses, I looked at building a location.
“But I have found an exceptional location -essentially a warehouse that we are converting into a massive, working studio.
“We were even looking at taking The Voice elsewhere. But we didn’t want to do that. For the coaches and for the broadcaster, it made sense for us to remain in Sydney. There are other productions that have gone to Queensland, but there’s also capacity levels there as well.”
Rugby union risks turning into a third-tier sport in Australia after Rugby Australia walked away from a Foxtel offer to broadcast Tests and Super Rugby in Australia, reports The Australian’s Leo Shanahan and Zoe Samios.
Rugby will not have a TV broadcast deal with any major provider after talks between Foxtel and RA broke down after meeting in Japan following the World Cup.
RA is now believed to be in talks with Optus after Foxtel withdrew its offer for the rights.
RA was offered a deal worth about $20m by Foxtel, which has had the rights for rugby in Australia for more than two decades.
While Optus has the rights to the English Premier League, it does not have broader sports or entertainment streaming services offered by the likes of Foxtel or its sports streamer Kayo.
It would also be unlikely that Wallabies games, outside those on anti-siphoning lists, would be sold to a free-to-air broadcaster under a deal with Optus. Currently, Foxtel sells some games to the 10 Network.
RA said in a statement it was in “general discussions with the broader market about the rights for the period for 2021 to 2025. No formal negotiations with the broader market have yet taken place.”