Wednesday November 27, 2019

Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019

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SBS’s James Taylor on his 12 months in charge & 2020 challenges

By James Manning

Just over 12 months ago James Taylor was promoted at SBS to the role of managing director, replacing Michael Ebeid who moved to Telstra.

One of Taylor’s first roles was hosting their 2019 Upfront, last week a year later he hosted the 2020 Upfront. Taylor explained to Mediaweek what he and the team have achieved in his first 12 months leading the broadcaster and publisher. They have been busy.

“Over the past year we have been able to offer a very clear brand position– ‘A world of Difference’ – and that’s a strong, unifying force for us,” said Taylor.

We relaunched SBS Food around this time last year which has pivoted back to be more about who SBS is. It is a real celebration of culture through cuisine. We launched SBS World Movies and that has been a tremendous success really honouring our charter. At least 50% of the content is in a language other than English and really bringing in audiences and giving them the best of world cinema.

“We have become the FTA home of basketball in Australia which is still only a few months old. It allows us to showcase all of the NBL and a solid chunk of NBA and WNBA. It is an important offering for younger multicultural Australians that really embrace basketball.

“Our successful drama this year was The Hunting which told a nuanced story featuring a multicultural cast that spoke to all Australians.”

SBS MD James Taylor

Taylor explained the broadcaster’s total budget is close to $400m and about 70% comes from government funding. “We have been fortunate that our funding has been maintained. The remaining 30% comes from our commercial activities, principally advertising. We have a number of other revenue sources which are really closely linked to our charter.

“We have an Inclusion Program which is an online training resource which helps corporations train their staff on different types of inclusion – cultural inclusion, Indigenous, LGBTI+, gender inclusion and disability inclusion to help create workforces and workplaces that better understand the need to create environments where everyone can participate irrespective of their background or their circumstances. It has 350,000 users around the country and is growing extremely fast.

“The revenue opportunities we pursue are very explicitly linked to our charter and purpose as an organisation.”

On diversity, Taylor noted in his Upfront presentation it is talked about more than acted on. He later told Mediaweek: “We all need to think how we move past a conversation about diversity. We need to quickly ensure our workforces are truly diverse so we can focus on inclusion.

As to future growth, Taylor said SBS is looking to continue to service audiences both on FTA channels and via SBS On Demand.

“The driver of the fragmentation of FTA channels has been about responding to audience’s desires to be fed more niche propositions. We will launch channels where it makes sense to do so. The roll of On Demand is to catch audience when they fall out of the FTA eco system. We are very pleased with the growth of our on demand. We are a public organisation and we need to be where the audiences are delivering value where they want it delivered. It is the sort of platform that only SBS could produce.”

Although the SBS budget has been relatively steady, Taylor admitted there is never enough money to do all the things they’d like to offer to audiences.

“The market continues to get more competitive and we constantly seek new skill sets so that in particular our digital products can really shine and be world class. We are always looking for awesome stories that will reflect the wonderful diversity of Australian society. We think the 2020 schedule is a very positive reflection of modern Australia.

Top Photo: SBS’s James Taylor with Ricardo Goncalves (left) and Joel Creasey (right)

K rock’s Fresh Daily with Tom & Loggy rock the ratings in Geelong

By Claudia Siron

K rock 95.5, owned by Grant Broadcasters, is home to the number one breakfast show in the Geelong region – Fresh Daily with Tom and Loggy.

Radio host Lauren (Loggy) Temuskos joined Tom Lewis on the brekkie show in September sharing laughs on-air and the top mainstream music in the country. Temuskos spoke to Mediaweek about her transition into K rock, some of the funniest moments on-air, and recent listenership that proves K rock is growing in the Geelong area. 

Temuskos said she felt like she came into radio so late (at about 27 years old) because a lot of people start in radio when they’re about 14 years old or younger. “Being on-air and content-wise, if you get into it a bit later you’ve got a lot more stories you can say on-air,” she laughed. “I did copywriting and graveyard shifts at Coast FM and then I moved into mornings. There was a new breakfast show that was starting on Coast called ‘Monkey & The Big Fella’ and they needed someone to panel. It wasn’t even a week in when it became a three-way show – ‘Monkey, Loggy, and The Big Fella’.

Lauren Temuskos and Tom Lewis

“After that, I got a job in Townsville on Hit 103.1 doing breakfast up there for a few years. Then I actually had a year and a half off to have a break and spend time with family – and then I got the job at K rock and I couldn’t be happier with the turnout.”

Temuskos thought she was never going to be on the radio again after taking her long break. “I went for the job at K rock a couple of years ago when Josh Buckle had left ‘Tom and Buckle’. At the time, my grandma passed away and my then my boyfriend had just got a promotion – so it was just bad timing and I decided not to apply for it, but I had made the contacts. A year later, James Speed – who was the content director at the time – messaged me saying they needed somebody to fill in for a month for K rock. 

“A few months later after I filled in for the short period, Sarah Maree who was doing the breakfast show with Tom on K rock was leaving (for Triple M), and the job was open again. It was the right place, right time.”

The reason Temuskos is especially happy to be in this job is that the team is incredibly supportive. “As soon as I walked in there, it felt like I had been there for years. From digital and sales to production and the content team led by content director Dan Hill, everyone is so caring and understanding of one another. It’s rare when you legitimately like everyone at your job.

Lauren Temuskos and Tom Lewis

“I know that I could cry in front of Andy Mathers, the GM, and throw a table and laugh about stupid stuff; he’s so supportive. I can’t explain how happy I am to be able to come into work every single day. I’m a quirky girl, I’m a bit full-on, but they’re hugely supportive. It’s the best workplace imaginable. We all have different ideas at times, but there’s that mutual respect for one another.

Lewis and Temuskos had an ongoing joke for about five weeks that began in the first week she started. “He knew I didn’t know the Jonas Brothers and he would throw me under the bus every time a Jonas Brothers song would play where he’d ask ‘who’s your favourite Jonas brother?’ and I’d say something random like Stefan?. It’s just hilarious.

I love the fun stuff. I know there’s a place for the serious stuff and it’s great when we can do good things in the community, but my heart soars for the fun content where we take the piss out of each other. Tom’s honestly awesome to work with.

Temuskos explained about a time when they gave away tickets for the Grand Final and they told their audience they’d swap the tickets for something, because they wanted something good too. “This guy offered us two goats and we said ‘yes!’. We set up this whole goat show and from six to nine on that Friday the farmer was going to come in with his goats. 

Lauren Temuskos and Tom Lewis

“We had a pen set up and all these really terrible goat songs we made up. The farmer, however, messaged us the night before saying he couldn’t come anymore. We panicked because everything was already set up; but of course, we rolled with it anyway. Tom brought in his two dogs and his wife knitted them little goat hats and they sat in the pen for the live stream, and we pissed ourselves. We still did ‘the goat show’. We just had to go with it.”

Fresh Daily became the number one breakfast show in the last month. “Our listenership across the station has just gone up massively. Our promotions manager at K rock Molly Perrett just won an ACRA award, as did the K rock Football Commentary team. To have the best promotions manager working in our building with us is just huge.”

Stars, producers & distributors celebrate summer of Stan Originals

• Joanne Froggatt, Jacki Weaver, Essie Davis, Emma Booth, Ewen Leslie & more

It was not really an Upfront, but Stan assembled an impressive cast of stars to celebrate their four major Original Series dropping for subscribers over a busy six weeks from mid-December until Australia Day.

Stan ambassador Beau Ryan was the MC for the evening. NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin also spoke and Stan CEO Mike Sneesby spoke briefly about the quality dramas and how import they were for Stan in what is becoming a crowded SVOD market.

Ryan then introduced the cast for each of the dramas and showed extended clips to the several hundred invited guests.

As well as the cast and trailers from the four series, as a bonus Stan also welcomed Jacki Weaver and some of the cast from the second season of Bloom which is currently in production in Victoria.

The cast of The Other Guy was led by Matt Okine and Harriet Dyer. Okine introduced the preview. The second series drops on Stan on December 13.

The Other Guy Cast

Golden Globe winner Joanne Froggatt was the star attraction from The Commons, a fascinating drama that will be available to subscribers on Christmas Day. Co-stars joining her last night included Ryan Corr and John Waters. Froggatt introduced the preview.

Joanne Froggatt with The Commons so-stars

Just a week after The Commons lands, The Gloaming will premiere on the SVOD platform on New Year’s Day. Stars introducing the preview last night were Emma Booth and Ewen Leslie who had fun trying to work out who should have been reading the teleprompter.

Jacki Weaver with Essie Davis and John Waters

The final preview was from True History of the Kelly Gang which goes out on Australia Day as Stan celebrates its fifth birthday. The preview was introduced by Essie Davis who portrays Ned Kelly’s mother Ellen.

Hosting the guests last night at the Opera House were Stan’s Mike Sneesby and many of his team including Nick Forward, Martin Kugeler, Les Sampson, Natalie Dubois, Rob Gibson, Adrian Foo and Diana Ilinkovski.

The event was overflowing with distributors including Paul Ridley from Fremantle, Robert Lanier from Sony, Julie Dowding from All3Media, Mark Benmore from Kew Media, Jonathan Page from Transmission Films, Joyce Smith from Paramount, Stephen White and Ben Richardson soon to be both from ViacomCBS, Richard Finlayson from Headland Media, Jo Azzopardi from Beyond and CME’s Chris Chard.

Production executives included David Maher and David Taylor from Playmaker, Michael Brooks from Warner Bros Int TV, Jason Burrows from Jungle, Ian Collie from Easy Tiger, John and Dan Edwards.

As part of the Nine Entertainment family, Stan colleagues attending included Hamish Turner, Lizzie Young, Vic Buchan, Luke Robinson and Nic Christensen and Nine shareholder WIN was represented by Andrew Gordon and Danny Mitrovic.

Top Photo: Stan’s Mike Sneesby with minister for the arts Don Harwin

Director Justin Kurzel and writer Shaun Grant join Fremantle project

The global producer and distributor Fremantle has announced that internationally acclaimed and award winning Australian director Justin Kurzel and award-winning screen writer Shaun Grant will bring to life the screen adaption of Richard Flanagan’s novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

Fremantle’s director of scripted Jo Porter will produce the landmark limited series.

Justin Kurzel and Shaun Grant have forged a formidable presence both locally and on the global screen landscape. Grant received the prestigious AACTA award for Best Adapted Screenplay for his chilling debut feature film Snowtown and Kurzel received the AACTA award for best direction for the film. They also collaborated on the upcoming feature True History of the Kelly Gang which debuted at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival to critical praise again – wins so far include the AWG for Grant’s screenplay.

Shaun Grant

Grant’s writing credits also include the films Berlin Syndrome and Jasper Jones, both for which he received AACTA nominations, David Fincher’s acclaimed Netflix series Mindhunter and the forthcoming feature Penguin Bloom starring Naomi Watts. Kurzel’s director credits include the films Macbeth, starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard for which he was nominated for a Palme d’Or, and Assassin’s Creed. He is currently in production on the television adaption of Shantaram for Apple.

Fremantle, Asia Pacific, CEO, Chris Oliver-Taylor and Fremantle’s Director of Scripted, Jo Porter said: “Richard Flanagan’s novel has been hailed as a masterpiece around the world. It had an immensely powerful impact on readers in Australia and was a bestseller globally.  We needed a screenwriter and a director creatively at the top of their game to bring this tragic, heroic and remarkable story to the screen. Justin and Shaun are audacious, bold and share our passion for this project. We are thrilled to announce they will be working with us to realise our ambitions for the series.”

Casting and further details about production will be released later. The Fremantle production team will include Chris Oliver Taylor, Jo Porter, Amy Noble and Nat Lindwall.

Top Photo: Justin Kurzel

More upheaval at Denstu Aegis: Henry Tajer out after 10 months

After a challenging year Dentsu Aegis since he arrived, CEO Henry Tajer is departing the company immediately. Tajer will now be looking for his third job since arriving back in Australia from several years in New York two years ago. Tajer also spent part of 2018 working for Amazon.

Tajer started at Dentsu Aegis last February and commented after accepting the role to replace Simon Ryan:

“I’m really excited to join Dentsu Aegis Network and team. The opportunity to be part of a diverse, progressive and agile organisation like DAN was one I couldn’t resist.

“I can’t wait to get to know the team and work with our clients to enjoy shared success moving forward. The Australian advertising market is one of the most exciting in the world. I feel very lucky to be a part of it.”

This statement was released today by Ashish Bhasin, chief executive APAC:

Henry Tajer, CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network ANZ and Reg Davidson, CFO, Dentsu Aegis Network ANZ are leaving the company with effect from 27 November 2019. I believe this is the right decision for the network and market.

Australia & New Zealand (ANZ) are important markets and have a critical role in our global business strategy. In 2019 our business in Australia continued to be impacted by local market and business challenges and I would like to thank Henry and Reg for their support during a difficult period.

To help the market return to growth, the ANZ Leadership team have created a blueprint to enable much-needed transformation, one which will leave the business with stronger foundations and a more competitive local business model.

As a Leadership team we are committed to all our regional markets as well as providing stability to our teams, business, clients and partners. 

Effective immediately, we have appointed Angela Tangas as CEO Dentsu Aegis Network ANZ & Jerome Whelan as CFO Dentsu Aegis Network ANZ, who will be instrumental in leading the business through its next phase of growth and into a successful 2020.

Seven shutters Today Tonight Adelaide and Perth editions

Seven has announced that it will be wrapping up Today Tonight in Adelaide and Perth which were the final two editions of the show currently in production. Both shows will screen their final editions this week.

Adelaide Thursday 28 November
Perth Friday 29 November

See also: Melissa Doyle will lead team celebrating Sunday Night on final episode

Today Tonight is hosted in Perth by Monika Kos while in Adelaide the host has is Rosanna Mangiarelli.
The Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane editions were axed in 2014 when Seven News went to an hour at 6pm.

The current affairs show first launched in 1995 and initially had separate editions for each mainland capital. Today Tonight was Seven Adelaide’s weekday ratings machine, and late last year claimed a record 700th consecutive winning week of official ratings.

Today Tonight premiered on January 30, 1995 with Leigh McClusky as host in Adelaide. Over the years Today Tonight’s Adelaide hosts have also included Paul Makin, John Riddell and Mike Smithson. Rosanna Mangiarelli began her role as host in August 2007.

There are still some at Seven who feel the format should be back on air in all metro markets. In a stirring speech in Sydney at the Kennedy Awards in 2018, Seven reporter and producer David Richardson said the format is not dead. It appears it now could be.

Speaking from Perth, Seven’s Director of News and Public Affairs Craig McPherson said: “For 25 years Today Tonight has dominated in Perth and Adelaide. Producing more than 25,000 stories reflecting the good, the bad and everything in between of their constantly growing markets. To end such a successful reign has been one of the toughest decisions but a necessary one as the audiences shift and change along with the economics. I want to thank all both past and present Today Tonighters. Always committed. Always passionate.”

Some staff will be redeployed into the Adelaide and Perth newsrooms as the team’s news operations revert to a one hour format from Monday 2 December.

TV Demand: The Mandalorian and Disney+ end Stranger Things streak

By Trent Thomas

Stranger Things has finally had its streak of 22 weeks on top of the Australian TV Demand charts snapped, and it was by relative newcomer The Mandalorian.

It took Disney+ only two weeks since its launch (one week since its launch in Australia and NZ) to make its way to the top spot of the charts in both  Australia and New Zealand.

Disney+ is following a different tact to other digital platforms like Netflix, opting to release episodes weekly as opposed to all at once in a binge style format. It will be interesting how this approach will assist The Mandalorian throughout its run on the charts. 

To date, it is the only Disney+ show to chart in Australia or New Zealand, but the platform has promised more original content including new original content from Marvel Studios which could impact the chart.

Netflix has made another impact on the charts though with the release of the third season of The Crown on November 17 which has seen it shoot close to the top of the digital charts – sitting in the top three in both Australia and New Zealand. The series plans to span 60 episodes over six seasons, with 10 one-hour episodes covering Queen Elizabeth’s life starting from her early years in the monarchy with new actors being cast every two seasons. Claire Foy was the first actress to portray the Queen in the first two seasons with Matt Smith as Prince Philip and Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret. This season Olivia Colman took over the role of the Queen for her two-season stint alongside Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret. Season four is currently in production and while there are rumors about possible castings for season five, Netflix has not officially commissioned any more seasons as of yet.

Amazon also has a new original joining the Digital Original charts this week in The Man in the High Castle which released its final season on November 15. The show is set in a parallel universe where Germany and Japan won World War II and have divided the United States into the Greater Nazi Reich in the east, and the Japanese Pacific States to the west. The series starts in 1962 and follows characters who come into contact with newsreels and home movies that show Germany and Japan losing the war with the Man in the High Castle considered to be the mysterious figure who created the footage.

TV Ratings Analysis: November 26

Last survey Tuesday of 2019

• Nine: ACA with Young Sheldon and Chris Hemsworth movie win
• Seven: Penultimate night of Home and Away and Zumbo Desserts
• 10: Nurses Nick and Femi narrowly miss out on Race final four
• ABC: Love on the Spectrum finds a place in the Tuesday top 10
• SBS: Start of Russia to Iran series plus Michael Moore movie

Tuesday Week 48 2019

Seven News 965,000/890,000
• Nine News 842,000/851,000
• A Current Affair 718,000
• ABC News 619,000
• The Project 238,000/428,000
• 10 News First 352,000
• The Drum 168,000
• SBS World News 139,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 269,000
• Today 214,000


The penultimate night of Home and Away for 2019 did 592,000 after 611,000 on Monday.

Zumbo’s Just Desserts then did 341,000 after 359,000 a week ago.

The 2017 movie Geostorm then did 272,000.


A Current Affair was just over 700,000 after 735,000 on Monday.

Young Sheldon returned to the schedule with two episodes on 470,000 and then 392,000.

The 2017 Chris Hemsworth movie Thor: Ragnarok did 354,000.


The Project did 428,000 after 7pm.

The final four was decided on The Amazing Race with nurses Femi and Nick eliminated. The remaining teams will go into battle next week for the prize as they fly into Australia. The episode was on 546,000 after 553,000 last week.

One Born Every Minute Australia then did 342,000.


Dream Gardens screened at 8pm with 387,000 watching.

The numbers rose to 453,000 after 8.30pm for the second episode of Love on The Spectrum.

The channel then screened at UK special The Prince & the Paedophile about the trouble the Queen’s second son has got himself into. The show did 331,000.


The first episode of the five-part Russia to Iran: Across the Wild Frontier did 215,000.

It was followed at 8.30pm by a repeat of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9 on 174,000.

Week 47 TV: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 12.8% 7 17.0% 9 19.2% 10  11.8% SBS One 5.9%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.4% 7TWO 3.0% GO! 1.6% 10 Bold 4.5% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.9% 7mate 4.2% GEM 4.3% 10 Peach 2.4% Food Net 1.4%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix 1.7% 9Life 2.7%     NITV 0.2%
    7Food 0.6%         SBS World Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 17.3%   26.5%   27.8%   18.7%   9.7%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.6% 7 19.3% 9 17.1% WIN 10.3% SBS One 4.4%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 3.8% GO! 2.8% WIN Bold 4.4% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 1.0% 7mate 5.7% GEM 6.0% WIN Peach 1.9% Food Net 1.5%
ABC NEWS 1.1% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.4% 9Life 2.2% Sky News  on WIN 2.2% NITV 0.1%
    7food (QLD only) 0.4%            
TOTAL 15.4%   30.6%   28.1%   18.8%   7.2%


86.2% 13.8%
Tuesday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 965,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 890,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 851,000
  4. Nine News Nine 842,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 718,000
  6. ABC News ABC 619,000
  7. Home And Away Seven 592,000
  8. The Amazing Race Australia 10 546,000
  9. 7.30 ABC 511,000
  10. The Chase Australia Seven 508,000
  11. Young Sheldon -Tx1 Nine 470,000
  12. Hot Seat Nine 455,000
  13. Love On The Spectrum ABC 453,000
  14. The Project 7pm 10 428,000
  15. Young Sheldon -Tx2 Nine 392,000
  16. Dream Gardens ABC 387,000
  17. Thor: Ragnarok Nine 354,000
  18. 10 News First 10 352,000
  19. One Born Every Minute Australia 10 342,000
  20. Zumbo’s Just Desserts Seven 341,000
Demo Top 5

16 – 39

  1. The Amazing Race Australia 10 160,000
  2. One Born Every Minute Australia 10 125,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 108,000
  4. Seven News Seven 103,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 101,000


18 – 49

  1. The Amazing Race Australia 10 264,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 222,000
  3. Nine News Nine 215,000
  4. Seven News Seven 203,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 191,000


25 – 54

  1. The Amazing Race Australia 10 283,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 270,000
  3. Nine News Nine 268,000
  4. Seven News Seven 263,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 237,000
TUESDAY Multichannel
  1. Death In Paradise 9Gem 189,000
  2. Highway Patrol-Ep.2 Pm 7mate 187,000
  3. Highway Patrol PM 7mate 172,000
  4. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 161,000
  5. Fat Pizza: Back In Business PM 7mate 160,000
  6. CSI: Miami 10 Bold 149,000
  7. CSI: Miami Ep 2 10 Bold 136,000
  8. Olobob Top PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  9. Play School Story Time PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  10. Poirot 9Gem 126,000
  11. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 124,000
  12. Nella The Princess Knight PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  13. Peter Rabbit AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  14. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 116,000
  15. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 116,000
  16. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 114,000
  17. Thomas And Friends: Big World! Big Adventure ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  18. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 112,000
  19. Dinosaur Train PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 111,000
  20. Octonauts AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 110,000
  1. Jones & Credlin: The Big Dry Sky News Live 69,000
  2. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 60,000
  3. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 57,000
  4. Family Guy FOX8 43,000
  5. Live: The Back Page FOX SPORTS 503 43,000
  6. Border Security: Australia’s Front Line FOX8 43,000
  7. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 42,000
  8. The Simpsons FOX8 41,000
  9. PML Later Sky News Live 40,000
  10. Credlin Sky News Live 40,000
  11. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 40,000
  12. The Great British Sewing Bee Lifestyle Channel 38,000
  13. Live: Marsh Cup: Final Qld V Wa FOX CRICKET 37,000
  14. Family Guy FOX8 37,000
  15. Border Security: International FOX8 35,000
  16. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 34,000
  17. The Simpsons FOX8 31,000
  18. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 30,000
  19. Escape To The Continent Lifestyle Channel 29,000
  20. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 29,000

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

Adelaide film post-production company KOJO signs film deal

South Australia’s screen industry has strengthened its Hollywood ties, with Adelaide’s KOJO Entertainment partnering with an independent US movie studio Stampede Ventures – started by a film executive who oversaw the Harry Potter franchise, reports News Corp’s Penelope Debelle.

In what will be a huge boost for the local film and television sector – which is currently hosting the Hollywood action feature Mortal Kombat in its second month of filming – Stampede has signed a strategic partnership with post-production company KOJO Entertainment, an arm of KOJO, to develop international feature films and television in Australia, focusing on Australian writers and directors, and Australian intellectual property.

The US company – which was founded by Greg Silverman, former president of Warner Bros Pictures – has set its sights globally on delivering “the next generation of blockbuster entertainment” and is in expansionary mode with projects in train including a Great Gatsby origin TV series, Gatz, about a mixed-race Jay Gatsby.

Apart from film locations with specific geographical demands, KOJO hopes to bring as much film and television as possible to South Australia.

“Absolutely, we see Adelaide and South Australia as the hub of this business,” KOJO managing director Dale Roberts said.

“Adelaide will be as much in the mix as it possibly can be.”

[Read the original]

News Brands

NSW Court transparency laws opposed by Public Prosecutions

The state’s top prosecutor has opposed moves that would force courts to allow greater access to court documents instead of keeping the public in the dark, reports The Daily Telegraph.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Lloyd Babb SC, has called for the repealing of the only law designed to make the courts more transparent because it would mean too much work for court staff.

He is also against changing the law to name juvenile offenders convicted of serious crimes once they become adults, such as in the case of the three killers of Janine Balding and a murderer given the pseudonym of DL who is now 29 and eligible for parole after stabbing schoolgirl Tania Burgess 48 times.

The act, designed to provide for open access to certain court information and promote greater understanding of the justice system, was passed by state parliament with bipartisan support in 2010 but was never enacted.

The act’s future is part of the review of open justice referred by Attorney-General Mark Speakman to the NSW Law Reform Commission which was ordered following The Daily Telegraph’s campaign against sweeping suppression orders and growing secrecy in the courts.

[Read the original]


Tributes for ACE Radio Network founder Geoff Handbury

The independently owned regional network ACE Radio has acknowledged the passing of its founding owner, Geoff Handbury. The company released this statement on Tuesday:

Geoff passed away peacefully on Tuesday, aged 94, surrounded by his family at his home in Hamilton, Western Victoria.

Geoff began ACE Radio in 1994 with his late wife Helen and saw the company expand to house 13 stations and one newspaper whilst he was at the helm.

[His wife Helen was the eldest child of Sir Keith and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch and sister to media entrepreneur Rupert Murdoch. One of Geoff’s four children is publisher Matt Handbury.]

Geoff wore many hats in his life – sailor, naval officer, farmer, entrepreneur and businessman, importer and exporter, radio network owner and, more importantly, devoted husband, father and friend. He was also a philanthropist who generously supported many regional communities, projects and organisations, including many within areas ACE operates in.

ACE Radio would simply not be the thriving business and regional radio stalwart it is without the guidance of Geoff, his knowledge and innovation, integrity, and passion for the industry.

Geoff was a treasured friend and mentor to the management and staff of the ACE Radio Network

So many of the Ace staff are grateful to Geoff and to Helen Handbury for the opportunity to work for a truly family oriented and regionally minded company.

The radio industry has lost a true gentleman today. We offer our sincere condolences to his family.

Top Photo: Geoff and Helen Handbury in 1997. Source: News Corp


From busker to chart-buster, Tones and I leads ARIA hopefuls

Melbourne’s Tones And I is expected to blitz Wednesday night’s ARIA Awards, with the former busker nominated for eight awards, reports News Corp’s Cameron Adams.

The musician, born Toni Watson, was in the US last week performing on Jimmy Fallon’s TV show.

Her global hit, Dance Monkey, is No.23 on the Billboard Chart and is being tipped as a potential American No.1.

Tones And I will perform Dance Monkey on tonight’s awards – the song having now been No.1 in Australia for a record-breaking 17 weeks and still sitting on top of the UK charts after eight weeks.

After selling demo CDs while busking in Bourke St Mall and Byron Bay, Watson only released her first official single, Johnny Run Away, in March this year.

Her rise from sleeping in her van while busking to having the most streamed song in the world and being the ARIA’s big buzz act in less than a year is a music industry fairytale.

At the other extreme, Melbourne blues rockers The Teskey Brothers hope their long road to the top is recognised at the ARIA awards. Formed in 2008 in Warrandyte, their second album Run Home Slow has been nominated for seven awards.

[Read the original]


Producers CJZ and Julian Morrow in court battle over The Checkout

A dispute between producers of The Checkout, Giant Dwarf-owned The Checkout Pty. Ltd. and Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder, has landed in the NSW Supreme Court, reports TV Tonight.

Both produced the consumer show for six seasons for ABC, but parties were in court earlier this month following a major fallout.

The dispute follows CJZ transferring a 50% share of a Checkout joint venture company to Giant Dwarf. Producer and presenter Julian Morrow is now sole director of Giant Dwarf.

While parties are locked in a feud over company documents, future royalties, full disclosure and consumer law, separately there are also doubts about whether ABC is interested in a return.

This week Morrow surprisingly took to social media disclosing communications with ABC as part of a campaign to see The Checkout return, and released a video through Facebook.

CJZ said in a statement to TV Tonight, “We are bewildered by the recent activity about The Checkout on social media. The ABC has made it clear that it will not commission The Checkout while there is a dispute between CJZ and Giant Dwarf about the show.

“CJZ has tried very hard to resolve the dispute but have been unable to do so. Julian has now chosen to commence legal proceedings and we will be defending that action.”

It noted, “We are very proud of The Checkout and are saddened if this dispute has delayed the return of the show to TV.”

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Matchbox Pictures wins International Emmy for drama on SBS

The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences this week announced the winners of the 47th International Emmy Awards at a Black-Tie Gala event attended by 1,000 television professionals from around the world and hosted by comedian Ronny Chieng at the New York Hilton.

Safe Harbour from Matchbox Pictures and screened on SBS won an International Emmy for Best TV Movie or Mini-Series.

Credits for the drama screened on SBS in 2018 are:

Executive Producer: Debbie Lee
Producer: Stephen Corvini
Director: Glendyn Ivin
Writers: Belinda Chayko, Matt Cameron, Phil Enchelmaier
Principal Cast: Ewen Leslie, Leeanna Walsman, Hazem Shammas, Nicole Chamoun, Jacqueline McKenzie, Phoebe Tonkin, Joel Jackson, Robert Rabiah

Synopsis: On a yachting holiday, five Australians come across a broken-down boat full of desperate asylum-seekers. The Australians decide to tow the refugees, but the next morning the boat is gone. Years later they meet some of the refugees again and learn the truth. Someone cut the rope between the boats and, as a result, seven people died. A wedge is driven between the Australians, as they grapple with protecting themselves and doing the right thing. The refugees struggle with desire for justice and, possibly, revenge. Old secrets come to light, relationships are shattered and lives are put in danger. And one question hangs over it all – who cut the rope?

Channel 7 axes Today Tonight in Adelaide and Perth after 25 years

Channel 7’s weeknight news and current affairs program Today Tonight has been axed in Adelaide and Perth after 25 years, reports News Corp’s Antimo Iannella.

The top-rating show, which is hosted in Adelaide by Rosanna Mangiarelli, will air for the final time on Thursday night.

The cost-cutting decision will result in seven jobs being lost in Adelaide but longtime presenter Mangiarelli – who also hosts the local 4pm bulletin – will remain with the network, with the majority of staff being redeployed into local newsrooms.

Today Tonight will be replaced by a one-hour news bulletin from 6-7pm, starting on Monday, in line with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The current affairs show has been phenomenally successful in Adelaide, this year claiming a record 750th consecutive weekly win in the official ratings.

“It’s been enormously successful but at the end of the day it just comes down to economics. The feeling was that a one-hour news bulletin would rate higher and cost less than putting out Today Tonight,” a TV insider said.

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See Mediaweek feature:
Seven shutters Today Tonight Adelaide and Perth editions

“Not everyone leaves a television show with grace and dignity”

Foxtel has thanked Adam Densten & Symon Lovett for their participation in Gogglebox, after the duo announced their departure at 10 seasons, reports TV Tonight.

Speaking on their podcast Symon said, “So we made this decision a couple months ago that we were going to leave so we could do other stuff, pursue other exciting opportunities.”

“It’s been five years and 10 seasons, it’s a nice round number,” Adam added.

The pair also indicated further interest in media opportunities.

“We hope the show will keep growing and getting better, but it’s the right time for us to go,” Adam said.

Interestingly Foxtel’s Brian Walsh made a rare Instagram comment to thank the boys, which contrasts to his feelings around Angie Kent and Yvie Jones discussing salaries when they departed.

“You have given the show countless hours of entertainment. All of the team here at Foxtel are grateful for your involvement in the series and we wish you only the best for the future. Not everyone leaves a television show with grace and dignity, but you both have done so, which speaks volume about your integrity and professionalism.”

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