Thursday November 28, 2019

Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019

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

Vote here.

Podcast Week: New to Podcast Ranker, Missing Persons, new 7am team

By James Manning

• Debi Marshall, Christian Hull, Glenn Azar plus Back Story, Acast Plus

Three podcasts new to top 100: Christian Hull’s Complete Drivel

The original introduction to the PodcastOne series Complete Drivel from its host Christian Hull is a short one:

“My name’s Christian. I’m 30, gay and usually like to talk about shit that pisses me off as well as general observations.”

Hull is known to many for his work as a radio producer, YouTuber and comedian. Earlier this year his comedy show Complete Drivel Live toured around Australia.

Although Hull is new to Podcast Ranker this month at #59, he has been a fixture on the iTunes Charts for some time and has released over 200 episodes of Complete Drivel so far.

Hull has spent the last nine years working for SCA as their national digital video producer, creating hours of content for the national Carrie & Tommy Show with The Project‘s Carrie Bickmore and comedian Tommy Little. In his downtime, Hull goes home to his inner-city Melbourne apartment and shoots off-the-cuff videos, producing a few of these a week for his dedicated fan base. His characters, including popular sassy alter-ego Trish, and parenting parodies, have earned Hull over 850,000 online followers and tens of millions of views.

Listen to Complete Drivel here.

Debi Marshall’s Frozen Lies

Also making its first appearance in October on the Podcast Ranker chart at #54 is the eight-episode season of Frozen Lies from crime investigator Debi Marshall.

What began with a body in a kitchen freezer led Marshall to a sordid tale of seduction and lies, from Adelaide, to the Outback to the Adriatic Coast. Her investigation is the story of the five-part true crime series on Foxtel; Debi Marshall Investigates Frozen Lies. But the story of murder victim Derrance Stevenson, draws Marshall into the web of one of Australia’s most terrifying network of paedophiles, known colloquially as The Family.

The Nova/Acast podcast series reveals Marshall’s investigative process and provides additional material to the TV series, while also following new leads as she chases fresh information, tries to lift suppression orders, and attempts to bring justice for the victims.

Listen to Frozen Lies here.

Building Better Humans Project

The latest episode in Glen Azar’s personal improvement series dropped this week – it was called You’re Not Entitled to Success. The seven-minute episode was a “midweek motivation episode”. While Azar’s recordings are mostly under 20 minutes, there are plenty of them. In the past month alone he has released 20 episodes. All up he has delivered close to 400 since launching.

Azar offers inspiration, tips and advice to help people conquer life, one day at a time. He is a former soldier, boxer and Helicopter Evacuation Medic who now runs an adventure business called Adventure Professionals. He uses his background, knowledge and lived experiences to share authentic tips that are useful, usable and implementable immediately to give listeners a boost in every area of life.

Listen to Building Better Humans Project here.

Tennis Australia’s new podcast series Backstory

The opening episode of a new series, Backstory, from Tennis Australia is called A Movie and a Sleeping Pill.

It examines the 1959 Davis Cup Challenge Round, which became known as Fraser’s Cup, as Neale Fraser led Australia to a 3-2 victory over the United States in New York.

Australian captain Harry Hopman selected a young team including Queenslanders Rod Laver and Roy Emerson to try to recapture the cup.

However, his ace was veteran left-hander Neale Fraser.

In exclusive interviews, Fraser and Laver recount their memories of how Fraser went to extraordinary lengths to prepare for the final leg.

The podcast series, produced by Tennis Australia, ventures behind the headlines to divulge what went on behind the scenes.

Listen to Back Story here.

7am gets new team at Schwartz Media

Schwartz Media has announced that 7am will return in 2020 with Ruby Jones as host and Osman Faruqi as editor.

Jones has worked as a journalist at the ABC since 2012, where she has been on the national reporting team and hosted the seven-part investigative podcast series Unravel: Barrenjoey Road. Jones is currently writing a book based on the series, and is a finalist for best radio feature at this year’s Walkley Awards.

Jones said: “I’m looking forward to joining Schwartz Media as the new host of 7am. I’m so excited to be part of the team and build on the insightful, smart and relevant news and analysis that 7am delivers every morning.”

New editor Osman Faruqi is currently the deputy editor of ABC Life and an award-winning reporter with the ABC’s investigative audio program, Background Briefing. He is the former political editor at Junkee, and is currently writing a book on racism and the far-right in Australia.

Faruqi said: “I’ve been a big fan of 7am since it launched and have been lucky enough to be a guest on it once already. The team has done a brilliant job in creating a new journalism product that is already resonating strongly with audiences and I can’t wait to help take it to the next level.”

The editor-in-chief at Schwartz Media, Erik Jensen, who has edited 7am since its launch, said: “Ruby Jones and Osman Faruqi are two of the most exciting journalists working today. Together they will deepen the way 7am tells stories, and stretch the scope of what we do on the podcast. They think about Australia the way it needs to be thought about, and will be a key part of your morning routine.”

Elizabeth Kulas, the award–winning journalist who hosted 7am for its first year, has decided to move on. Erik Jensen said: “Elizabeth Kulas did an extraordinary job helping to launch 7am – and I can’t wait to see what she does next.”

Listen to 7am here.

Nova Entertainment launches Missing Person’s Podcast Network

Following the success of The Disappearance of Des podcast, Nova Entertainment has launched the Missing Person’s Podcast Network, a platform dedicated to podcasts that tell people’s stories and help families find answers about their loved ones.

The Missing Person’s Podcast Network will launch podcasts that allow family and friends to tell the stories behind the people that go missing, and rather than investigating disappearances, aims to spread the word to help loved ones get the answers they desperately need.

In August this year, Nova Entertainment launched a new true crime podcast series, The Disappearance of Des, coinciding with the 40-year anniversary of one man’s disappearance. The podcast launched during National Missing Persons Week, to support and raise awareness for this yearly event. Family and friends tell Des’ story leading to the discovery of startling new evidence that put the disappearance before a coroner for the first time, 40 years later, and lead the family one step closer to answers.

Jay Walkerden, Nova Entertainment head of podcasting said, “We know how powerful audio is to share stories. The Missing Person’s Podcast Network provides an opportunity for our audience to listen and share these podcasts with friends and by doing so they are helping as someone may know something.”

With over 2,600 long term missing people, The Missing Person’s Podcast Network has released two podcast series, The Disappearance of Des and What Happened to Zac? and will continue to release further podcasts, to allow families to tell their stories in the hope that by listening and sharing, this could help.

Acast launches Acast Open hosting engine

Acast is launching Acast Open – bringing the world’s most sophisticated podcast hosting engine to every podcaster, big and small. For the first time, any podcast of any size will be able to access the best tools in the industry.

Acast Open is a new product for anyone looking to create their own podcast for the first time, or who want to take the next step in their podcasting journey. They can choose from Acast Open’s three service tiers, one of which – Starter – is free.

Podcasters will get access to market-leading metrics and the smoothest hosting experience, while exclusive functionality such as automated episode transcription and the Snipper audiogram tool.

The move follows Acast’s acquisition of technology company Pippa earlier this year, which has now been integrated into the Acast platform. The Pippa brand will no longer exist.

All Acast Open subscribers — including former Pippa users who have been automatically migrated to the platform — will receive access to Acast’s world-class tech stack, which now includes the slick product suite built by Pippa.

Johan Billgren, Acast co-founder and CPTO, said: “Acast is the only truly global, end-to-end podcast platform that can take creators from bedroom heroes to worldwide success stories. Now we’re putting the same tools we’ve built for the world’s biggest and best podcasts and publishers into the hands of every podcaster on the planet.”

ARIA Awards 2019: Tones and I wins big & Human Nature HOF

The 2019 ARIA Awards in partnership with YouTube Music was held at The Star Event Centre, Sydney on Wednesday, November 26 and shown on Nine.

 Tones and I was the big winner taking home 4 ARIA Awards, including Best Female Artist, Best Pop Release, Breakthrough Artist and Best Independent Release.

She also stunned audiences with an epic performance of her international smash hit “Dance Monkey”, which has achieved 1 billion streams in less than 7 months since its release, costumed as an elderly man in homage to her music video.

The night kicked off on the Red Carpet with hosts Angus O’Loughlin and Jules Sebastian, with the ARIA Awards also live-streamed to a global audience on YouTube with host Ash London.

Tones and I weren’t the only one to put on a show with a  stunning performance of Better in Blak from Thelma Plum, and who was joined onstage by Mojo Juju and Kira Pura, cementing her place as one of Australia’s emerging stars. 

The Teskey Brothers, ARIA Award winners for Best Group, presented by the iconic rock group U2, and Best Blues and Roots Album, also marked themselves as definite ones to watch in the Australian music scene with their performance of “Rain”.

Taylor Swift fans delivered for the US star, voting her as the recipient for Best International Artist, following the release of her critically acclaimed album Lover earlier this year.

ARIA Awards veterans Hilltop Hoods had a great evening, performing their hit Exit Sign featuring Illy and Ecca Vandal, and taking home the fan-voted ARIA Award for Best Australian Live Act.

Fans were also treated to stellar performances from international superstars  Halsey Khalid, and Dua LipaHalsey executed a euphoric rendition of her critically acclaimed track Graveyard. Dua Lipa also blew the audience away with an incredible performance of her new single Don’t Start Now, which has fast climbed the ARIA charts since its release in early November. Mega-star Khalid stunned the crowd with his otherworldly vocal abilities, performing his top 5 ARIA-charting hit, Talk.

Much loved ARIA Hall of Fame inductees Human Nature delivered an entertaining medley of their biggest hits taken from their new album Still Telling Everybody – 30 Years of Hits, showcasing the awe-inspiring talent that has cemented them as one of Australia’s most successful groups for the past three decades.

Beloved entertainers Katie Noonan and Emma Wiggle announced the winner of the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Of The Year Award, and Antonio Chiappetta from St Andrews College in Marayong was the proud recipient.  

The 2019 ARIA Industry Icon Award was presented to Michael Chugg OAM, co-founder of Frontier Touring Company and Michael Chugg Entertainment. A pioneer of the Australian music industry, Michael Chugg, or Chuggi as he is affectionately known, has garnered a reputation both locally and internationally as one of the country’s most prominent music promoters, and is a name synonymous with some of the biggest tours to have come through Australia and New Zealand over the past 50 years. 

Host Guy Sebastian closed the show with a performance of his chart-topping track Choir.

Denis Handlin AO, ARIA Chairman and Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand and President, Asia said, “On behalf of the ARIA Board, I would like to congratulate all the winning artists and nominees at the 2019 ARIA Awards in partnership with YouTube Music. We were also thrilled to induct Human Nature into the ARIA Hall Of Fame in what has been a very special 30th year for them as a group.

The 2019 ARIA Awards has been an incredible celebration of Australian music, as we showcase the array of talent that our country has to offer to music fans both at home and around the world.

We would like to thank all of the 2019 ARIA Awards partners – YouTube Music, Destination NSW, The Nine Network, The Star, Swarovski, Telstra, Pepsi Max, Mitsubishi ASX, Jacob’s Creek, PPCA and Hennessy for their valued support in making the ARIA Awards such a unique event.”

Dan Rosen, ARIA Chief Executive said, “2019 has been an amazing year for Australian music and it was certainly on show at this year’s ARIA Awards. The collection of tonight’s winners, nominees and performers highlight our world class homegrown talent. I am thrilled to have shared the celebration with Australian audiences on the Nine Network and music fans around the world with YouTube.”

Mel Silva, VP & Managing Director of Google Australia and New Zealand, said: Tonight we got to see the very best in Australian music — congratulations to all the winners, nominees and performers! We are so proud of the partnership between YouTube Music and ARIA. We are honoured to be a part of the 2019 Awards, helping to get Aussies closer to the stage by launching voting for Song of the Year and Best Video right in Google Search, and spotlighting incredible homegrown talent to the world with an international YouTube live-stream.”

Stuart Ayres, NSW Minister for Tourismsaid, “On behalf of the NSW Government I congratulate all of tonight’s winners. The ARIA Awards bring together the very best talent in the Australian music industry, showcasing electrifying breakthrough artists and industry veterans alike, along with the world’s hottest international acts – the 2019 line-up was no exception.

These iconic awards not only provide a significant boost to the State’s visitor economy, but also cement Sydney’s reputation as Australia’s music and creative arts hub across the Asia Pacific.”


Album Of The Year
Dean Lewis – A Place We Knew (Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
Hilltop Hoods – The Great Expanse (Hilltop Hoods/Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
RÜFÜS DU SOL – Solace (Rose Avenue Records/Sony Music Australia)
The Teskey Brothers – Run Home Slow (Ivy League Records/Mushroom)
Thelma Plum – Better In Blak (Warner Music Australia Pty Ltd) 

Best Male Artist
Dean Lewis – A Place We Knew (Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
Guy Sebastian – Choir (Sony Music Australia)
Hayden James – Between Us (Future Classic)
Matt Corby – Rainbow Valley (Matt Corby/Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
Paul Kelly – Nature (EMI Music Australia) 

Best Female Artist
Amy Shark – Mess Her Up (Wonderlick Recording Company)
Jessica Mauboy – Little Things (Sony Music Australia)
Julia Jacklin – Crushing (Liberation Records/Mushroom)
Thelma Plum – Better In Blak (Warner Music Australia Pty Ltd)
Tones And I – Dance Monkey (Bad Batch Records/Sony Music)

Best Dance Release
Dom Dolla – Take It (Sweat It Out/Warner Music Australia Pty Ltd)
FISHER – You Little Beauty (etcetc Music)
Peking Duk & Jack River – Sugar (Sony Music Australia)
PNAU – Solid Gold (etcetc Music)
RÜFÜS DU SOL – Solace (Rose Avenue Records/Sony Music Australia)

Best Group
5 Seconds Of Summer – Easier (Interscope / EMI Music Australia)
Birds Of Tokyo – Good Lord (EMI Music Australia)
Hilltop Hoods – The Great Expanse (Hilltop Hoods/Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
RÜFÜS DU SOL – Solace (Rose Avenue Records/Sony Music Australia)
The Teskey Brothers – Run Home Slow (Ivy League Records)

 Breakthrough Artist presented by PPCA
G Flip – About Us (Future Classic)
Stella Donnelly – Beware Of The Dogs (Stella Music/MGM)
The Teskey Brothers – Run Home Slow (Ivy League Records)
Thelma Plum – Better In Blak (Warner Music Australia Pty Ltd)
Tones And I – Dance Monkey (Bad Batch Records/Sony Music)

Best Pop Release
Amy Shark – Mess Her Up (Wonderlick Recording Company)
Dean Lewis – A Place We Knew (Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
Guy Sebastian – Choir (Sony Music Australia)
Thelma Plum – Better In Blak (Warner Music Australia Pty Ltd)
Tones And I – Dance Monkey (Bad Batch Records/Sony Music) 

Best Hip Hop Release presented by Hennessy
Baker Boy – Cool As Hell (Danzal Baker/Island Records Australia)
Hilltop Hoods – The Great Expanse (Hilltop Hoods/Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
Illy – Then What (Sony Music Australia)
Sampa The Great – Final Form (Ninja Tune/Inertia Music)
Tkay Maidza – Awake feat. JPEGMAFIA (Dew Process/Universal Music Australia) 

Best Soul/R&B Release
Kaiit – Miss Shiney (Alt. Music Group/Ditto Music)
Matt Corby – Rainbow Valley (Matt Corby/Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
Adrian Eagle – AOK (Adrian Eagle)
Genesis Owusu – WUTD + Vultures (Ourness/AWAL)
Tash Sultana – Can’t Buy Happiness (Lonely Lands Records/Sony Music Australia)

Best Independent Release
Angie McMahon – Salt (Independent/AWAL)
G Flip – About Us (Future Classic)
Julia Jacklin – Crushing (Liberation Records)
The Teskey Brothers – Run Home Slow (Ivy League Records)
Tones And I – The Kids Are Coming (Bad Batch Records/Sony Music)

 Best Rock Album
Amyl and The Sniffers – Amyl and The Sniffers (Flightless Records)
Holy Holy – My Own Pool Of Light (Wonderlick Recording Company)
Jimmy Barnes – My Criminal Record (Bloodlines/Mushroom)
Midnight Oil – Armistice Day: Live at The Domain, Sydney (Sony Music Australia)
Skegss – My Own Mess (Ratbag Records) 

 Best Adult Contemporary Album
Julia Jacklin – Crushing (Liberation Records)
Paul Kelly – Nature (EMI Music Australia)
Samantha Jade – The Magic of Christmas (Sony Music Australia)
Seeker Lover Keeper – Wild Seeds (Liberation Records/Mushroom)
The Paper Kites – On The Corner Where You Live (Wonderlick Recording Company) 

Best Country Album
Charlie Collins – Snowpine (Mirror Music/Inertia Music)
Felicity Urquhart – Frozen Rabbit (ABC Music/Universal Music Australia)
Lee Kernaghan – Backroad Nation (ABC Music/Universal Music Australia)
Morgan Evans – Things That We Drink To (Warner Music Nashville)
Sara Storer – Raindance (Universal Music Australia)

Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album
Clowns – Nature/Nurture (Damaged Record Co./Caroline Australia)
Dead Letter Circus – Dead Letter Circus (BMG)
DZ Deathrays – Positive Rising: Part 1 (I OH YOU/Mushroom)
King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard – Infest The Rats’ Nest (Flightless Records/Inertia Music)
Northlane – Alien (UNFD) 

Best Blues & Roots Album
Dan Sultan – Aviary Takes (Liberation Records)
John Butler Trio – HOME (Jarrah Records/MGM)
King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard – Fishing For Fishies (Flightless Records/Inertia Music)
Paul Kelly – Live At Sydney Opera House (ABC Music/Universal Music Australia)
The Teskey Brothers – Run Home Slow (Ivy League Records) 

Best Children’s Album
Dan Sultan – Nali & Friends (ABC Music/Universal Music Australia)
Kamil Ellis and Ensemble Offspring – Classic Kids: Music For The Dreaming (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Regurgitator’s Pogogo Show – The Really Really Really Really Boring Album (ABC Music/Universal Music Australia)
The Beanies – Imagination Station (Kinderling Kids Radio)
The Wiggles – Party Time! (ABC Music/Universal Music Australia)

Best Comedy Release
Arj Barker – Organic (Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Carl Barron – Drinking With A Fork (Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Chris Lilley – Lunatics (Official Soundtrack) (ABC Music / Universal Music Australia)
Sammy J – Symphony In J Minor (ABC Music / Universal Music Australia)
Veronica & Lewis – Sex Flex: A Rap Guide To Fornication (ABC Music / Universal Music Australia) 


Song Of The Year presented by YouTube Music
5 Seconds Of Summer – Easier (Interscope/EMI Music Australia)
Amy Shark – Mess Her Up (Wonderlick Recording Company)
Birds Of Tokyo – Good Lord (EMI Music Australia)
Dean Lewis – 7 Minutes (Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
Guy Sebastian – Choir (Sony Music Australia)
Hilltop Hoods – Leave Me Lonely (Hilltop Hoods/Universal Music Australia)
Kian – Waiting (EMI Music Australia)
Morgan Evans – Day Drunk (Warner Music Australia Pty Ltd)
Ocean Alley – Confidence (The Orchard)
Tones and I – Dance Monkey (Bad Batch Records/Sony Music) 

Best Video presented by YouTube Music
Baker Boy – Cool As Hell (Danzal Baker/Island Records Australia)
Briggs – Life Is Incredible feat. Greg Holden (Adam Briggs/Island Records Australia)
G Flip – Drink Too Much (Future Classic)
Guy Sebastian – Choir (Sony Music Australia)
Hilltop Hoods – Exit Sign feat. Illy & Ecca Vandal (Hilltop Hoods/Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
Jessica Mauboy – Little Things (Sony Music Australia)
PNAU – Solid Gold (etcetc Music)
Sampa The Great – Final Form (Ninja Tune/Inertia Music)
Thelma Plum – Better In Blak (Warner Music Australia Pty Ltd)
Tones And I – Dance Monkey (Bad Batch Records/Sony Music Australia)  

Best Australian Live Act
Amy Shark – Amy Shark Australian Tour (Wonderlick Recording Company)
Baker Boy – Cool As Hell Tour (Danzal Baker/Island Records Australia)
Electric Fields – 2000 And Whatever Tour (Independent/Ditto)
Gang Of Youths – Say Yes To Life Tour (Mosy Recordings/Sony Music)
Hilltop Hoods – The Great Expanse World Tour (Hilltop Hoods/Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
Keith Urban – Graffiti U Tour 2019 (Capitol – Nashville/EMI Music Australia)
King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard – King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Australian Tour 2019 (Flightless Records/Inertia Music)
Midnight Oil – Midnight Oil (Sony Music Australia)
Peking Duk – Peking Duk’s Biggest Tour Ever… So Far (Sony Music Australia)
The Teskey Brothers – The Teskey Brothers – Intimate Venue Tour (Ivy League Records)  

Best International Artist
Ariana Grande – Thank U, Next (UNI/UMA)
Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go (INR/UMA)
Ed Sheeran – No.6 Collaborations Project (ATL/WAR)
George Ezra – Staying At Tamara’s (COL/SME)
Khalid – Free Spirit (RCA/SME)
P!nk – Hurts 2B Human (RCA/SME)
Post Malone – Hollywood’s Bleeding (UNI/UMA)
Shawn Mendes – Shawn Mendes (ISL/UMA)
Taylor Swift – Lover (UNI/UMA)
Travis Scott – Astroworld (SME) 

Telstra ARIA Music Teacher of the Year
Antonio Chiappetta (St Andrews College, Marayong, NSW)
Bel Skinner (North Regional TAFE, WA)
Julie Rennick (Gunnedah Conservatorium, NSW)
Lee Strickland (Narbethong State Special School, QLD)


Best Cover Art
Ben Jones for Amyl and The Sniffers – Amyl and The Sniffers (Flightless Records)
Jonathan Zawada for Flume – Hi This is Flume (Mixtape) (Future Classic)
Nick Mckk for Julia Jacklin – Crushing (Liberation Records)
Lucy Dyson for Paul Kelly – Nature (EMI Music Australia)
Emilie Pfitzner for Thelma Plum – Better In Blak  (Warner Music Australia Pty Ltd)

Engineer Of The Year
Hilltop Hoods – The Great Expanse (Hilltop Hoods/Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
Burke Reid for Julia Jacklin – Crushing (Liberation Records)
Kevin Parker for Tame Impala – Patience (Modular Recordings/Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
Sam Teskey for The Teskey Brothers – Run Home Slow (Ivy League Records)
Konstantin Kersting for Tones And I – Dance Monkey (Bad Batch Records/Sony Music)

Producer Of The Year
Dann Hume for Matt Corby – Rainbow Valley (Matt Corby/Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
Kevin Parker for Tame Impala – Patience  (Modular Recordings/Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
Burke Reid for Julia Jacklin – Crushing (Liberation Records)
Paul Kelly and Steven Schram for Paul Kelly – Nature (EMI Music Australia)
Konstantin Kersting for Tones And I – Dance Monkey (Bad Batch Records/Sony Music)


Best Classical Album
Diana Doherty, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Nigel Westlake, David Robertson, Synergy Vocals – Nigel Westlake: Spirit of the Wild / Steve Reich: The Desert Music  (ABC Classic/Universal Music Australia)
Genevieve Lacey – Soliloquy: Telemann Solo Fantasias  ( ABC Classic/Universal Music Australia)
Grigoryan Brothers, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Northey – Bach Concertos (ABC Classic/Universal Music Australia)
Nicole Car, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Richard Tognetti – Heroines (ABC Classic/Universal Music Australia)
Paul Kelly, James Ledger – Thirteen Ways To Look At Birds (Decca Australia/Universal Music Australia)

Best Jazz Album
Andrea Keller – Transients Vol.1  (MGM)
Angela Davis – Little Did They Know  (ABC Jazz/Universal Music Australia)
Barney McAll – Zephyrix (Extra Celestial Arts)
Kate Ceberano and Paul Grabowsky – TRYST  (ABC Music/Universal Music Australia)
Phil Slater – The Dark Pattern (Earshift/The Planet Company)

Best Original Soundtrack or Musical Theatre Cast Album
Burkhard Dallwitz – LOCUSTS: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Closereef Productions)
Gang Of Youths – MTV Unplugged (Live in Melbourne) (Mosy Recordings/Sony Music)
Luke Howard – The Sand That Ate The Sea (Mercury KX/Universal Music Australia)
Trials – Cargo (Causeway Films/Universal Music Australia)
Various Artists – The Recording Studio (Music From The TV Series) (ABC Music/Universal Music Australia)

Best World Music Album
Chaika – Arrow  (Mara Music/Independent/Gyrostream)
Joseph Tawadros – Betrayal of a Sacred Sunflower (Independent/The Planet Company)
Melbourne Ska Orchestra – One Year Of Ska (ABC Music/Universal Music Australia)
Tara Tiba – Omid (Cezanne Producciones/The Planet Company)
Zela Margossian Quintet – Transition (Art As Catharsis)

Steve Crawley on Fox Cricket: How new channel is better this year

By James Manning

Although Fox Cricket started its second summer of cricket in Australia earlier this year, the channel’s main games started last week with the First Test Australia v Pakistan in Brisbane.

The Second Test starts Friday in Adelaide and is a day/night match, giving more viewers the chance to watch later into the evening.

Although television executives always search for way to build audiences, not all of them want to revolutionise cricket traditions.

Steve Crawley, head of live sport at Fox Sports, pictured at their Artarmon headquarters in Sydney. Britta Campion / The Australian

I think there’s room for a mix,” when Mediaweek asked Fox Sports head of television Steve Crawley about how much night cricket he wanted. “It is certainly good watching and being at the cricket in the evening when it cools down a little. You wouldn’t want to change the Boxing Day test for example. It is important it is on in the morning.

“But a day/night match in Adelaide is good and then that will back up with another in Perth where Australia plays New Zealand.”

Cricket Shane Warne Alan Border and Michael Vaughan

Crawley is in Adelaide for the match this week and he said the great thing about Adelaide is walking down to the ground from the city. “People come from everywhere for the Adelaide Test. I believe there are around 30,000 tickets sold for Friday. That’s nearly as many as the total crowd for the Brisbane Test.”

The audience numbers indicate Fox Sports subscribers like the innovation Fox Cricket brought to the game. But Crawley notes there is still room for improvement.

“We had to be different when we started. We have the best commentary in world cricket. Isa Ghua played a lot of international cricket and she is hosting in Adelaide for us.” Gua’s mother was ill a year ago and was not able to be at all games last summer. “She will really make her mark this year,” said Crawley.

Michael Vaughan

Innovations this year at Fox cricket include a microphone and a second camera on the flying fox. “For the first time in the history of Test Cricket we spoke to a batsman in play.” That batsman was David Warner after he scored his Test century. “We did that a few times during the match and we are learning how best to do that without upsetting the players and officials. That is exclusive to Fox Cricket.”

The channel has also updated its Fox Rover camera on the ground and has overhauled the graphics. The onscreen score that is always present has added further information without becoming cluttered.

“During the first year of Fox cricket we threw a lot of resources and a lot of money at the coverage. But we didn’t get everything right. After covering some T20 cricket and one Test this summer I feel that we are a lot better than we were last year.

“We have to let people know we are here and doing a good job. When I was at Nine everyone knew the cricket was on Channel Nine. It’s not on Nine anymore…it’s on Seven and Fox Cricket. I want Seven to be successful, but I want Fox Cricket to be even more successful and we will compete everyday to be the best.

“The most important thing we have to do is make good television and the next most important thing is to let people know about it to see how different we are.”

One of the big attractions for audience is a seemingly more committed and entertaining Shane Warne. The channel also has given Mark Howard a bigger profile. “Shane Warne can simplify seemingly complicated cricket things like nobody else,” said Crawley. “The good thing about Shane too is you are never sure what you are going to get.”

After the departure of Neroli Meadows from Fox Sports, taking over the on field interviews during the match is Kath Loughnan who originally comes from Perth. Crawley said she makes a great addition to the team. He also had high praise to all the others including Adam Gilchrist (“Amazing…and such a good man”), Kerry O’Keeffe (“So funny”) and Michael Vaughan (“Our 2019 version of Tony Greig – a big Pom who captained England to an Ashes cricket and he has a massive social following. He’s so good we have employed him for the next three years.”)

Fox Sports is the host broadcaster for the Test matches. Seven adds some of its own pictures, but Fox Cricket has exclusive use of the Flying Fox and the Fox Rover. Fox Cricket is also the only one to broadcast in 4K.

Top photo: Cricket Isa Guha and Kerry O’Keeffe

Mark Noakes the latest departure in Tom Malone’s radio restructure

The makeover continues at Nine Entertainment’s Macquarie Radio business.

The latest departure is Mark Noakes, the ad industry veteran who is the network’s head of commercial. After what could only be described as an annus horribilis for 2GB, he follows a number of colleagues out the door.

In a not to staff about the departure, Nine Entertainment’s new head of radio Tom Malone said: “As a result of aligning the Macquarie sales structure more closely with the Nine sales structure we will continue to focus on maximising our revenue from the direct market whilst developing our agency sales and digital capability.

“As a result, the role of head of commercial has been made redundant.”

Noakes leaves after joining the business way back in 2002, around the time both Alan Jones and Ray Hadley made the switch from 2UE to 2GB.

Malone said: “Mark has made a significant contribution to the business over many years at 2GB and then in the wider radio network as we came together as one business across 2GB/3AW/4BC/6PR.”

Noakes and his team faced some incredible challenges over the years and they did as much as the star announcers to keep the stations on air. Finding money from advertisers is never easy and was perhaps near impossible at least during a couple of the bigger ad “boycotts” over the last decade. One was the “died of shame” controversy after comments made about Julia Gillard, the other of course was this year after the Jacinda Ardern controversy.

Nine Entertainment is expected to announce a new radio sales structure shortly.

Live motorsport returns to Seven in 2020 with Aust Racing Group deal

The Seven Network and the Australian Racing Group (ARG) have struck a deal that will see top line motorsport return to the Network, starting in 2020.

Seven will broadcast live coverage of ARG categories and key events including the TCR Australia Series, S5000 as well as other feature categories from the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships racing program in a new multi-year deal.

Seven’s new CEO James Warburton joined the board of ARG earlier this year after departing Supercars Australia where he was CEO at the end of 2017. Warburton told Mediaweek this morning his interest was declared all through the negotiations with Seven. Warburton is stepping down from the ARG board next month.

A minimum of six hours of live coverage across the Saturday and Sunday of each event is part of the deal, simulcast on 7plus, Seven’s BVOD service.

Seven’s renewed commitment to Australian motorsport will also feature extensive live coverage of two major events at Australia’s most iconic race track – Mount Panorama, Bathurst.

The two ARG events which include the popular Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour over the Easter weekend and the recently announced Bathurst International event in late 2020 will both receive extended TV time on the Seven channels.

The Seven Network has a history of motorsport coverage, having broadcast the Australian Touring Car Championship, the Bathurst 1000 and other motor racing categories through every decade since the 1970s.

The Network pioneered cutting edge technologies such as in-car racecam and driver-to-commentator interviews.

Lewis Martin, managing director Seven Melbourne and head of network sport, Seven, said: “We’re thrilled to be broadcasting these great motorsport events from next year. Motorsport has long been a passion of ours at Seven, and we’ve led the way with innovative coverage of iconic Australian motorsport for decades.

“This agreement marks the next step in our commitment to motorsport, and we look forward to working with Australian Racing Group to bring these events to Australians live and free from 2020.”

The TCR Australia Series will be one of the featured racing categories in the coverage.

Matt Braid, director, Australian Racing Group, said: “The maiden season of TCR Australia has been hugely successful with fantastic feedback from drivers, teams, commercial partners and, most importantly, from fans.

“ARG is extremely pleased to announce our new broadcast partnership with the Seven Network and look forward to continuing to develop the TCR Australia Series, and the new S5000 Championship with the support of Australia’s leading television network.”

The all-new S5000 racing car class will also feature on the live and free broadcasts. The category’s debut at Sandown in September attracted a record Shannons Nationals crowd who witnessed a display of high speed racing from the V8-powered open wheelers.

The coverage will also feature a range of other high-quality racing categories, including the popular Touring Car Masters, among others.

The first round that TCR Australia and the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships will be seen on Seven will be at Sydney Motorsport Park on March 27-29 next year.

Better Homes and Gardens' new editor on generations of success

By Claudia Siron

Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) magazine offers expert solutions in the home space for Australians who have a passion for home and garden styling since 1972.

Coming into the next decade, the magazine will soon be in its 50th year. Editor Dora Papas, who’s been with the magazine since 2001 and recently promoted, told Mediaweek how the brand has stayed so popular over the decades, the hand-in-hand cooperation between the print offering and the TV show, and her favourite project in the magazine to date.  

Papas said it feels like yesterday when she first started with the brand. “We actually came across from Murdoch in 2004. Murdoch Magazines sold BHG, marie claire, Men’s Health to Pacific Magazines in 2004, so I’ve been with the company since then – and obviously before with Murdoch,” said Papas. “I actually found the transition to be really smooth, seamless, and warmly welcomed; it’s been a great overall experience for me. In August this year, I became the editor of the title.”

Papas named a few on the team who are currently working on the print offering at Pacific Magazines. “Julia Zaetta is the editor-in-chief; the managing editor, who also helps to produce our podcasts, is Artemis Gourous; the DIY editor is Greg Fahey; our food editor is Elle Vernon; our gardening editor is Jenny Dillon; we have a production editor Joseph Kenworthy; our health and beauty editor is Annie Millar; and our interior stylist who is responsible for making the TV shoots look fabulous for print is Vanessa Tidy

“All of these people are experts in their field, and that’s part of why we are so unique. For instance, our food editor is a chef, and Greg is a builder.”

People usually come to BHG when they’re starting to nest and buy their first home or move into their first apartment. Papas said they offer their audience solutions all the time for creating their homes and making their home life better. “It’s not just their physical space, it’s also how they feel in that space. That’s part of the key for how we’ve stayed popular over the decades. 

“We’re a trusted brand, we offer ideas and then we follow up those ideas with inspiration and information so our audience can achieve what they want to do. That’s all part of the core DNA of our brand.”

Papas said they are always customer-focused and have experts on their staff so when they’re writing their stories on gardening, DIY, or food, they actually can drill down into the details so that people can trust the information they are giving them. “It’s not a celebrity-driven magazine – not that there’s anything wrong with that – but we find that our audience prefers it not to be such, and it’s about them and how their homes can be better and their how their home life can be better.”

Papas described the brand as ‘personal’ and said they speak to their readers like they’re friends – if you look at their language, it’s to the audience, not at them. “We give them the confidence to have a go and we encourage their creativity on whatever project they’re working on and that’s very important. It’s true with the television show as well – they go hand-in-hand.”

The BHG audience are doers; they’re makers; they’re creators; and they’re house-proud. In relation to the brand’s readership figures, it’s around 1.78 million. “It’s massive,” said Papas. “A majority of our readers are female, and they’re about 73.8% of BHG’s total print and digital audience. Also, 1.3 million of our BHG audience gets a lot of pleasure from their garden and like to DIY around the house. Around 80% is Gen X and they’re usually on a budget.” 

With almost two decades of BHG under her belt, Papas shared one of her favourite projects featured in the magazine to date. “In January 2011, we had this pavlova recipe. We went backwards and forwards in the office about this particular recipe because our food editor didn’t put any corn flour or vinegar in there and a lot of recipes call for these ingredients.

Everyone in the office said ‘we can’t do that’. I went home and I made it myself and brought it into the office – everyone raved about it, it was fabulous. It made the cover of the magazine and I still make the recipe to this day.”

BHG isn’t the most expensive magazine to produce, but they do have the biggest print run, so the cost would be associated with the number of copies, paper quality, and the number of pages in the magazine at any one time. “There’s editorial costs, marketing costs, mailing a subscription, distribution. We aren’t the most expensive to produce, but we do, however, spend quite a bit on shoots and making sure we follow through what with what our TV show has done, and reproducing it in our magazine.

“TV has the lucky luxury of moving pictures and people who are entertaining; while they give you the information, they can’t always give you the step-by-step. You can’t build a pergola, for instance, in three minutes like you can on the show.”

Papas told Mediaweek BHG TV is going gangbusters. “Our department editors go into meetings with the various TV researchers, producers, talent – and when I say talent, they are also experts in their own field – and that’s how we come up with a lot of the stories. We have great cooperation and we work hand-in-hand and hope to continue to do so.”

Foxtel Now box adds Netflix in addition to other TV apps

The news follows the addition of Netflix on Foxtel’s iQ3 and iQ4 set top boxes earlier this year.

The Foxtel Now box is Foxtel’s easy to use ‘plug-and-play’ streaming device that provides access to Foxtel Now in HD along with free-to-air channels via a built-in free-to-air tuner, with no lock-in contracts.

Netflix joins a host of apps, including YouTube; free-to-air streaming apps ABC iview, SBS On Demand, 7plus and 10 play; and subscription streaming app, Stan; on the Foxtel Now box.

Netflix is now available on all new Foxtel Now boxes, which will include a new remote with a dedicated Netflix button, while existing Foxtel Now boxes will begin to receive the Netflix app automatically as it rolls out progressively over the coming weeks.

With the update, customers can access Netflix’s library of original content including The Crown, Stranger Things and Ozark, alongside Foxtel’s own line up of current and upcoming international programming such as His Dark Materials, Catherine the Great, and Succession, as well as Foxtel originals, Wentworth, Mr Inbetween and Upright.

Alice Mascia, Foxtel’s chief product and strategy officer, said, “Since its arrival, the Foxtel Now box has become one of the most popular ways for customers to enjoy Foxtel Now and we’ve been working hard to make the experience even better with new apps and features, including other streaming apps.

“Today’s addition of the Netflix app consolidates Foxtel’s position as the ‘go-to’ aggregator for streamed content that sits alongside our own award-winning sport, drama and movies and makes a great customer experience even better.”

The Foxtel Now box also features built-in Chromecast functionality allowing viewers to ‘cast’ movies, music, video and photos from Android or iOS mobile devices, PCs or Macs straight to their television.

The Foxtel Now box is available for $99 directly from Foxtel at; via Foxtel’s eBay store or from JB Hi-Fi, Kogan, Betta Electronics Officeworks, Harvey Norman and David Jones stores nationwide.

TV ratings Analysis: 27 November

By James Manning

Last survey Wednesday of 2019

• Nine: ARIA Awards celebration of Australian music slips in ratings
• Seven: Home and Away cliffhanger and Good Doctor win the night
• 10: US comedy not the answer at 7.30pm in franchise free night
• ABC: Series final of Gruen is Wednesday entertainment champ
• SBS: Tony Robinson’s World by Rail channel #1 close to top 20

Wednesday Week 48 2019 

• Seven News 881,000/841,000
• Nine News 811,000/788,000
• A Current Affair 666,000
• ABC News 591,000
• 7.30 535,000
• The Project 216,000/361,000
• 10 News First 334,000
• The Drum 151,000
• SBS World News 112,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise256,000
• Today187,000


The final night of Home and Away for the year was a triple play that included a cliffhanger. The soap was #1 entertainment show nationally, but it trailed Gruen in metro markets. The soap ended its year with 593,000 metro after 611,000 and 592,000 to start the week.

Seven was then able to claim a midweek win with 517,000 watching The Good Doctor.


A Current Affair slipped below 700,000 after 735,000 and 700,000 to start the week.

The ARIAs might have lacked big star power, but the awards presented a memorable showcase of Australian music. Guy Sebastian proved to be a wonderful choice to host and the selection of artists performing covered most genres. The only thing missing was some classic Aussie rock. The Nine audience slipped from 500,000 last year to 417,000 last night.

Nine then followed the telecast with some classic Aussie rock – Cold Chisel The Last Stand– which did 203,000.


The Project numbers continue to drop this week with 361,000 for the midweek episode.

The channel is hurting from no major franchise at 7.30pm on Wednesday. The US comedy The Unicorn saw the audience dip to 209,000 for the first episode then it fell below 200,000 after 8pm.

That proved to be a terrible lead-in for Playing for Keeps which slipped to 141,000.


Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery was on 492,000 at 8pm.

The season final of Gruen was on 666,000 which ranked it #1 non-news last night.

Not sure about the idea of programming the Recovery music special up against the ARIA Awards. Both might have benefited if the programs didn’t clash. The ABC special from producer Paul Clarke Recovery: The Music & The Mayhemdid 252,000.


Tony Robinson continued his trip on World By Rail which easily pulled the channel’s biggest audience with 236,000.

Child Genius followed on 143,000.

Week 47 TV: Wednesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 13.8% 7 21.3% 9 19.5% 10  6.7% SBS One 5.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 4.1% GO! 3.0% 10 Bold 4.5% VICELAND 1.3%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 2.6% GEM 3.6% 10 Peach 2.5% Food Net 1.3%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 2.0% 9Life 2.2%     NITV 0.1%
    7Food 0.6%         SBS World Movies 0.9%
TOTAL 18.7%   30.7%   28.3%   13.7%   8.6%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 11.1% 7 24.1% 9 13.4% WIN 6.9% SBS One 4.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 5.5% GO! 2.7% WIN Bold 4.9% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.9% 7mate 3.2% GEM 5.2% WIN Peach 2.5% Food Net 1.3%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.4% 9Life 3.1% Sky News  on WIN 1.9% NITV 0.2%
    7food (QLD only) 0.6%            
TOTAL 16.5%   35.8%   24.4%   16.3%   7.0%


84.1% 15.9%
  1. Seven News Seven 881,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 841,000
  3. Nine News Nine 811,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 788,000
  5. Gruen ABC 666,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 666,000
  7. Home And Away Seven 593,000
  8. ABC News ABC 591,000
  9. 7.30 ABC 535,000
  10. The Good Doctor Seven 517,000
  11. The Chase Australia Seven 499,000
  12. Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery ABC 492,000
  13. Hot Seat Nine 431,000
  14. 2019 Aria Awards Nine 417,000
  15. The Project 7pm 10 361,000
  16. The Chase Australia 5pm Seven 345,000
  17. 10 News First 10 334,000
  18. Hot Seat 5pm Nine 283,000
  19. Sunrise Seven 256,000
  20. Recovery: The Music & The Mayhem ABC 252,000
Demo Top 5

16 – 39

  1. 2019 Aria Awards Nine 106,000
  2. Home And Away Seven 103,000
  3. The Good Doctor Seven 98,000
  4. Gruen ABC 92,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 87,000


18 – 49

  1. 2019 Aria Awards Nine 189,000
  2. Home And Away Seven 185,000
  3. Nine News Nine 185,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 181,000
  5. Seven News Seven 172,000


25 – 54

  1. Nine News 6:30 Nine 226,000
  2. Home And Away Seven 225,000
  3. Nine News Nine 219,000
  4. 2019 Aria Awards Nine 217,000
  5. Gruen ABC 216,000
WEDNESDAY Multichannel
  1. Border Security Australia’s Front Line 7TWO 162,000
  2. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 139,000
  3. NCIS: Los Angeles (R) 10 Bold 137,000
  4. Border Security Australia’s Front Line 7TWO 136,000
  5. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  6. Octonauts AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  7. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  8. Thomas And Friends: Big World! Big Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  9. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  10. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  11. NCIS: Los Angeles Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 123,000
  12. School Of Roars AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  13. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  14. Fireman Sam PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  15. Agatha Christie’s Marple 9Gem 119,000
  16. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 118,000
  17. Waffle The Wonder Dog PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  18. Olobob Top PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 116,000
  19. Luo Bao Bei ABCKIDS/COMEDY 115,000
  20. Air Crash Investigation: Special Report 7TWO 112,000

Love It Or List It Australia Lifestyle Channel 101,000

Live: AFL Draft FOX FOOTY 98,000

Find Me A Beach House Lifestyle Channel 63,000

Jones & Credlin: The Big Dry Sky News Live 60,000

Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 57,000

The Bolt Report Sky News Live 40,000

Family Guy FOX8 37,000

PML Later Sky News Live 36,000

The Simpsons FOX8 36,000

Father Brown UKTV 35,000

The Simpsons FOX8 33,000

OC: Real Housewives Of… ARENA 32,000

Coronation Street UKTV 30,000

AFL Draft FOX FOOTY 29,000

Credlin Sky News Live 28,000

Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 28,000

NCIS FOX Crime 27,000

Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 26,000

Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 25,000

Escape To The Country Lifestyle Channel 25,000

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

Forrest urges government to treat tech giants as publishers

Mining magnate Andrew Forrest is urging the Morrison government to treat Facebook and other technology companies as publishers and make them more accountable for fraudulent advertising on their platforms, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Fortescue Metals founder and chairman has recently been used to facilitate cryptocurrency scams.

“I’m saying they must be regulated like a normal publisher. They’re no different to the Fin Review, a television station or a radio station. They are responsible for the truth; well, so should these huge publishing houses (be),” Forrest told The Australian Financial Review.

“This is the absolute wild west where there’s no sheriff in control and I’m saying to governments across the world ‘stop falling for the biggest scam of all; that they’re just a billboard’.”

A Facebook spokeswoman said the social media giant was investing in a scaled technology to prevent these types of scams.

“We now have more than 35,000 people working on safety and security, and our security budget today is greater than the entire revenue of our company at the time of our IPO,” she said.

[Read the original]

Pessimistic outlook: Dying legacy media org with no real upside

It’s not the first time News Corp has been rated harshly, this time a stock recommendation from a US analyst:

News Corp is a dying legacy media organisation that in my opinion has no real potential to create an additional shareholder value in the long run, comments Aleksey Razdolgin, CEO of the proprietary trading firm Arbitrage Trades and a financial blogger at Seeking Alpha.

The rise of disruptors such as Google and Facebook pushed News Corp to the edge, as the company doesn’t have as much leverage with advertisers as it had two decades ago when Rupert Murdoch was fully in charge of his company. Ruthless competitive environment, negative profit margins and declining revenues are the main reasons why I believe that News Corp stock should be avoided.

At the beginning of November, News Corp reported Q1 earnings results that disappointed a lot of investors, as revenues for the three months’ period were down 7.1% year-over-year to US$2.34 billion. In addition, the company lost money, as its net loss in Q1 was $211 million. A year ago, News Corp made $128 million in net income for the same time period. What’s even worse is the fact that the company’s current profit margin is negative, which means that its costs outweigh the profit.

To improve the current situation, News Corp recently signed a partnership agreement with Apple to include its UK and Australian newspapers in the Apple News+ app. The management of News Corp also plans to optimise the company’s overall portfolio and is looking for a possible sale of some of its assets.

However, I don’t see any real long-term solution to the current problem.

[Read the original]

News Brands

Crikey publisher's investigative arm facing early financial pressure

Private Media chairman Eric Beecher has admitted the media company’s new Fairfax family-funded investigative journalism outlet has failed to live up to expectations, forcing it to cut costs and shed jobs, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.

Beecher told staff at a lengthy meeting this week that Inq, a new investigative outlet launched by the Crikey publisher this year, had failed to hit its targets. But in a subsequent interview with The SMH he said he had a long history of trying new models for journalism and was not backing away from the project.

“We always knew that we were in an exploratory period and we have to iterate and test and learn,” Beecher said.”We are still incredibly committed to Inq and our journalism not just at Crikey but across the business.”

[Read the original]

Media People

Australian writer and TV critic Clive James dies aged 80

Clive James, an expatriate Australian writer and broadcaster who wrote incisively and often hilariously about television, literature and current affairs, has died aged 80, his agents said on Wednesday, reports Reuters.

James, a big name in British television and radio in the 1980s, was influential in media circles and won awards for journalism and broadcasting.

His often coarse, dead-pan style peaked in popularity in the 1980s with the show “Clive James on Television”, in which he lampooned clips of absurd international television shows, in particular a Japanese contest called “Endurance”.

He wrote a newspaper column titled “Reports of My Death” in The Guardian after being diagnosed with leukemia in 2010. In 2016 he said his longevity after announcing his illness was “embarrassing”.

James acted as informal adviser to Britain’s Prince Charles and his ex-wife Diana, something he wrote about in a searingly honest portrayal of their friendship and the phenomenon of Diana’s popularity after her death in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

Vivian Leopold James was born in Sydney in 1939, changing his name to Clive as a child. He moved to England in 1962 and, after graduating from Cambridge University, remained there for the rest of his life.

[Read the original]

Beloved Herald illustrator Michael Mucci dies after brain cancer battle

Michael Mucci, a beloved member of The Sydney Morning Herald more than three decades has died at the age of 57 after a battle with brain cancer, reports the paper’s Matt Bungard.

The talented illustrator worked in the art department at The Australian Financial Review and The Sydney Morning Herald for 31 years before leaving in 2015.

“Michael’s engaging, thought-provoking illustrations were a much-loved addition to the Herald’s journalism over 30 years. His large Herald family will miss him,” editor Lisa Davies said on Wednesday.

Tributes from former colleagues immediately began pouring in. “So talented, way too soon, such a lovely guy,” one said.

He was the 2006 winner of the Archibald’s Packing Room prize, for his portrait of builder and television personality Scott Cam, entering the competition more than a dozen times.

Mucci was born in Italy in 1962, and moved to Australia as a child. He was a finalist in the 1989 Blake Religious Art Prize and the 1994 Doug Moran Portrait Prize.

Away from the world of media, Mucci taught graphic design, illustration and sculpture at the University of Wollongong.

[Read the original]


Subaru pulls major ad campaign from Alan Jones' radio network

Subaru Australia has cancelled plans for a major advertising campaign with radio network Macquarie Media after months of delays following 2GB host Alan Jones‘ comments about New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.

Sources with knowledge of the sales discussions at the radio network said there had been a campaign planned to run in September, which was delayed until October and then pushed back again until November. It has since been cancelled altogether.

A spokesman for Subaru Australia said the business did not advertise on the 2GB show or on the network, repeating a statement made in August when Jones initially made the controversial comments.

“We do not comment on commercial in confidence issues, including broadcaster and publisher negotiations,” the spokesman said.

[Read the original]


Seven axes brand-funded state travel shows around the network

Seven has axed a raft of brand-produced travel shows around the country: Sydney Weekender, SA Weekender, The Great Weekend, Queensland Weekender, The Great Day Out and Creek to Coast, reports TV Tonight.

The longest-running is Sydney Weekender hosted by Mike Whitney at some 25 years.

Queensland Weekender and The Great Day Out also have 19 seasons and Creek to Coast ends at 10 seasons.

Seven chief executive officer James Warburton said: “The programs that are not continuing have all made a valuable contribution to Seven, particularly Sydney Weekender which has been a Sydney weekend institution for 25 years.

“However, we will continue to make decisions that support our content-led growth strategy and focus resources where they will make the most impact.”

[Read the original]

Tim Minchin and Chris Taylor enter the friend zone for TV series

Tim Minchin and Chris Taylor have just collaborated on Upright, an eight-part Foxtel show in which Minchin plays Lucky, a desperate man making the long trip from east to west across the Nullarbor to see his dying mother. The catch? He’s towing an upright piano and has a mouthy 16-year-old runaway, Meg (Milly Alcock), in the passenger seat, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Louise Rugendyke.

It’s a road-trip comedy with a heart as big as the desert it crosses – flashing between drama, thriller, heartbreak, comedy and the downright delightful as the odd couple navigate each other and the demons driving them towards and away from family.

The show marks Minchin’s first major starring role on Australian TV – he was part of the ensemble cast of another vehicle-based comedy, Squinters, in 2018 and played the murderous Smasher in 2015’s The Secret River– while for Taylor, who came up with the concept and is one of the writers and producers, it’s a dramatic change from the satire he is most well-known for as a member of the Chaser.

The idea came to Taylor in 2016 , when he was at Los Angeles International Airport with bad Wi-Fi. Scrolling through news stories on his phone, he started reading about a man who was travelling across the US with nothing but an upright piano for company.

The pair first met when Taylor was co-hosting the Triple J drive show in 2004 and Minchin was a musical guest. Taylor remembers being a “bit overawed” because “Tim was the first person, and this was before you were really big, and you just knew what you wanted. You had very set ideas, particularly about the sound and all of that, and that impressed me a lot.”

But it wasn’t until Taylor began throwing ideas around for Upright with Lingo Pictures’ Jason Stephens, that Minchin came to mind again.

[Read the original]

Kiwi mockumentary Wellington Paranormal is comedy gold

There’s something about Kiwis. Whether it’s the accent, the natural friendliness, or the calm, phlegmatic response to basically any situation no matter how disturbing, Kiwis seem born to make us laugh, writes The Age’s Ben Pobjie.

Anyone who’s ever watched the strangely addictive cops-on-the-beat documentary series Police Ten 7 knows the kind of comedy gold that flows from the average New Zealander. But Police Ten 7 is, ostensibly, only an accidental comedy: press the humble Kiwi copper into service in a deliberate one, and the laughs become supercharged. That’s where Wellington Paranormal comes in.

WP is a spin-off of the masterful vampire mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows, which was the brainchild of Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement and director Taika Waititi, whose spectacularly oddball talents have since been embraced by Hollywood (Thor: Ragnarokamong others). That movie featured, in a couple of memorable scenes, a pair of utterly oblivious Wellington police officers, whose investigations into the private lives of vampires led to the discovery of nothing more sinister than an absence of smoke detectors. Clement and Waititi saw the potential in this dedicated but clueless pair, and Wellington Paranormalwas born.

[Read the original]

Sports Media

ABC stands firm on axing Olympics radio coverage

The ABC is standing behind its decision to axe its long-running Olympics radio coverage after crunch talks with the Australian Olympic Committee’s president and boss, citing budget pressures despite widespread outrage from sporting bodies, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

AOC President John Coates and AOC chief executive Matt Carroll met ABC chair Ita Buttrose and ABC managing director David Anderson at the broadcaster’s Ultimo headquarters on Wednesday in a last-ditch bid to stop the ABC ending a 70-year history with the games.

However, following the crisis meeting the ABC maintained it would not broadcast next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

[Read the original]

Matildas and Socceroos ranked high for emotional pull on fans

It’s the double-edged sword for football in Australia – the emotional links that explain why the Matildas are our favourite team, but the A-League clubs are struggling for fan engagement, reports News Corp’s Tom Smithies.

The Matildas and the Socceroos are the most popular and third-most popular national teams according to new research which explores the emotional connection between fans and a host of sports teams at club and national level.

The second most connected national team is the Australian Women’s Rugby 7s team and fourth is their full-sided equivalent, the Wallaroos.

The Wallabies are sixth, while the men’s cricket team is seventh – up from bottom of 13 national teams a year ago in the wake of the sandpaper scandal.

In rugby league, meanwhile, this year’s State of Origin win has helped the NSW team to climb one place above Queensland.

The findings come from the third iteration of True North Research’s Benchmark EC survey that ranks teams for emotional connection across five key criteria: respect, enjoyment, trust, pride and bond.

[Read the original]

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