Tuesday November 3, 2020

Cherie Romaro departs 2CH: What’s next for the radio legend?

By James Manning

• She wishes Hutchy and 1170 SEN well, could she fix 2Day FM again?

Longtime Sydney radio executive Cherie Romaro (pictured) has ended her most recent role as general manager of Classic Hits 2CH. The move comes after new owner Sports Entertainment Network co-founder Craig Hutchison spent $11m+ on the 2CH AM licence which is now the home to the new 1170 SEN Sydney. 2CH Classic Hits has moved to DAB+ and online streaming.

Romaro told Mediaweek she knew the AM frequency would eventually become a sports station following the sale. “It was a gutsy move by Hutchy but one needed for the future national success of the Sports Network. You don’t purchase in Sydney not expand into the biggest market in the country.

Over these past months Romaro has worked with the SEN executive team to enable a smooth transition of Classic Hits 2CH to DAB+ and to help relaunch 1170 SEN, Sydney’s new home of sport.

Sports Entertainment Network CEO Hutchison paid tribute to Romaro: “Cherie’s career and respect in Australian radio stacks up against anyone’s and she has been consummate professional working with us on our launch into Sydney and to successfully migrate Classic Hits 2CH from the AM band to DAB+,“ Hutchison said in a statement.

“On Cherie’s watch 2CH grew to a 4.8% share of the toughest and biggest radio market in the country.

“Cherie is adored by her staff, and her love and respect for the medium of radio and the desire to entertain audiences is an asset to the entire industry, not just 2CH.

Her legacy is profound at 2CH. We accept that the time is right for Cherie to choose new challenges, and we wish her every success in doing what she has always done … conquering and achieving the next media challenges that come her way.”

Romaro told Mediaweek her time at 2CH was amongst the best years of her long career in radio. “The EON Broadcasting Group was outstanding to work for.”

Romaro said 2CH filled a gap in the market vacated by WSFM in Sydney as it played music from more recent decades. Helping her build the audience at the station were a team of radio all-stars including Rob Duckworth, Tim Webster, Trevor Sinclair and Kayley Harris. Romaro managed to get these radio stars into the available budget: “It was not about the money, they were prepared to do it. They worked long hours. Some of them did five and seven hours shifts when the budgets were tight toward the end.

“It is hard to say goodbye at such an exciting time for 1170 SEN and I wish only the very best for Hutchy and the Sports Entertainment Network team with their foray into the Sydney market and continued expansion across the country.”

Romaro sounded in need of a rest after what had been a busy two years. But she doesn’t rule out taking another position in the media. “If another role comes along that I felt I could really make a difference in I would be back in a heartbeat, but right this minute I am on well-earned R&R, binging on Netflix, Stan and old Sydney Swans games.”

Romaro was the first program director at Triple M after it launched in Sydney. She was later head-hunted by Mike Willesee for the new 2Day FM. “That was a great journey and I was there for seven years.”

She later worked in radio in Paris then returned to Australia and launched the Mix and Gold streams for the Albert family at ARN.

Romaro said it is sad to see 2Day FM lingering at the bottom of the FM ratings. She was careful not to be seen to be critical of current management though. “However, to be successful you have to have a point of difference that could attract audience from elsewhere. You need to get the music right first before building a breakfast show.”

Would she have a plan for 2Day? “There do seem to be some obvious gaps in the market for it. To see it at 3.3% in the last survey it was so sad.” 2CH outrated both 2Day and Triple in the most recent survey.

Nikki Clarkson
SCA’s Nikki Clarkson makes her debut on the CMO50 list

SCA chief marketing officer Nikki Clarkson (pictured) has been recognised as one of the top 50 marketers in Australia, making her debut on the 2020 CMO50 list.

Now in its sixth year, CMO50 recognises Australia’s most innovative and effective chief marketing officers transforming their organisations. CMO is published by IDG Communications.

Other executives on the list included ABC director of audiences Leisa Bacon, Audi Australia’s CMO Nikki Warburton and Verizon Media CMO Anny Havercroft.

Clarkson’s key achievements this year included several COVID initiatives including the launch of the Brand New World podcast hosted by Russel Howcroft, the launch of Shop Local to help promote local businesses using SCA’s local air radio talent, and the launch of the Everyone’s Listening trade campaign to promote the huge increases in digital audio listening across SCA’s radio and podcast platforms.

In addition, Clarkson oversaw the new positioning and Sounds Like brand campaign for Triple M and the brand refresh and Get that Feeling repositioning, plus the return of heritage brands SAFM and B105, for the Hit Network.

“The intention of the CMO50 is to highlight and celebrate the stellar work our marketing chiefs – and by extension, their whole marketing functions – are doing to drive growth and customer engagement in their organisations today. It’s about celebrating the discipline of marketing as a strategic business contributor, an essential part of the c-suite, and as a function delivering sustainable commercial outcomes. This year, we also sought to celebrate the adaptability of marketers to the unprecedented situation we’ve had to navigate in 2020,” said CMO Australia publisher and editor, Nadia Cameron.

Clarkson said: “I’m honoured to be included among the amazing company of the top 50 marketers in Australia. I’d like to call out my hard working, talented and resilient team at SCA. Similarly, I would like to acknowledge our chief content officer, Dave Cameron, who worked closely with me on the Triple M and Hit new branding and his involvement, and that of the team, was invaluable. We have achieved some of the most creative and effective thinking during what has been an uncertain and challenging year.”

Australian Podcast Awards
Nominees announced for the 2020 Australian Podcast Awards

• Industry judges select the top podcasts across 24 categories ahead of November award ceremony

The Australian Podcast Awards (APAs) has announced its contenders for Australia’s best podcasts of 2020, celebrating the best local podcasting content and talent. Recognising the growing on-demand audio industry in Australia, this year’s nominees include over 100 podcasts across 24 categories.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) podcasting network leads the nominations, with seven nominations across five categories including two nominations for hallmark production Coronacast. Leading distributors, Acast, iHeartRADIO, News Corp and PodcastOne Australia each attained multiple nominations respectively.

Local productions Lighthouse, Shameless, Matt & Alex’s All Day Breakfast, My Mum is a Pornstar and What Happens Next? each garnered two nominations. Meanwhile, independent producer The Squiz achieved two nominations for daily news program Squiz Kids in addition to being recognised in the Best Publisher category.

Dave Gertler, founder of the Australian Podcast Awards, said: “There have been many uncertainties and lots of disruption in 2020. Despite these challenges, Australian podcast creators have continued to step it up, producing world class content. Across our 24 categories, the APAs celebrates the achievements of the nominees and the spectacular content they have provided for an ever-growing audience. The award ceremony may look slightly different in November, but we are thrilled to still be able to celebrate the achievements of Australian podcasters and producers.”

Category winners will then be announced at a virtual event on Saturday 21st November at 7.30pm (Syd/Mel). Winners of each category are all then go into the running to be awarded the Podcast of the Year, supported by PodcastOne Australia.

Categories and nominees include:

Moment of the Year supported by Acast

The most impactful, visible, compelling single piece of audio produced this year and exclusive to a Australian podcast.

• Coronacast (Dr Norman Swan and Tegan Taylor for ABC)
• Matt & Alex – All Day Breakfast – Black Lives Matter (PodcastOne Australia)
• Driven Young: Boys vs Girls Experiment Viral Moment (Byron Dempsey)
• Squiz Kids Q+A with Prime Minister Scott Morrison (The Squiz)
• Women of Influence (Kate Meade for ACE Radio)

The Creativity Award supported by iHeart Podcast Network Australia

Chosen at the discretion of the judges, this award recognizes a single piece of audio so creatively dazzling that it deserves its own trophy.

• All Ears (All Ears English)
• From A Whisper To A Bang! (Megan Spencer for the Australian War Memorial)
• The Last Voyage of The Pong Su (The Age and Sydney Morning Herald)
• Science Vs: Pandemic! (Gimlet Media)
• Tony Martin’s SIZZLETOWN (pots n pans productions)

Best New Podcast supported by Acast

• 7AM (Schwartz Media)
• Life Uncut Podcast (Laura Byrne, Brittany Hockley & iHeartPodcast Network Australia)
• Little Green Pod (ABC Regional & Local & ABC Audio Studios)
• Nut Jobs: Cracking California’s Strangest $10 Million Dollar Heist (Marc Fennell for Audible)
• Who The Hell is Hamish? (News Corp Australia)

Best Arts and Culture Podcast

• Bad Behavior (Nikila Cranage, Rosalind Anketell, Namcheja Maghembe)
• Beauty Island (Brittany Stewart)
• Eyes on Gilead (Fiona Williams, Natalie Hambly, Sana Qadar, Haidee Ireland and Jeremy Wilmot for SBS )
• Margin Notes (Yen Eriksen and Zoya Patel)
• Talking Words (Olivia O’Flynn & Lucy Hayward)

Best Branded Podcast supported by PodcastOne Australia

• Beyond Blue: Not Alone (Beyond Blue)
• Love & Proud (NAB & JOY 94.9)
• That’s Incredible (Mamamia Podcasts)
• This Girl Can – Victoria (VicHealth)
• What Happens Next? Hosted by Dr Susan Carland​ (Monash University)

Best Business Podcast supported by Nova Entertainment

• Building A Unicorn (Lawson Media)
• My Millennial Career (symo interactive)
• She’s on the Money (Victoria Devine & iHeartPodcast Network Australia)
• The Richards Report (Ted Richards)
• Women are the Business (University of Melbourne)

Best Comedy Podcast supported by Spotify for Podcasters

• A Rational Fear (Dan Ilic for Downwind Media)
• Dragon Friends (Dragon Friends Podcasting)
• Hamish & Andy (Hamish Blake and Andy Lee for PodcastOne Australia)
• Impromptunes – The Completely Improvised Musical Podcast (Impromptunes)
• Tony Martin’s SIZZLETOWN (pots n pans productions)

Best Current Affairs Podcast supported by Spotify for Podcasters

• 7AM (Schwartz Media)
• Background Briefing (The Background Briefing Team for Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
• Full Story (The Guardian)
• The Quicky (Mamamia Podcasts)
• What Happens Next? Hosted by Dr Susan Carland (Monash University)

Best Entertainment Podcast supported by Podfollow

• Just The Gist (Rosie Waterland & Jacob Stanley)
• Matt & Alex – All Day Breakfast (Matt & Alex – All Day Breakfast for PodcastOne Australia)
• Shameless (Shameless Media)
• The Convo With George Sargent (George Sargent)
• The Wellness Collective (Natalie Kringoudis and Cecelia Ramsdale)

Best Sports Podcast supported by Whooshkaa

• Dyl and Friends (Dylan Buckley)
• John Tapp Racing (John Tapp)
• Ordineroli Speaking (Neroli Meadows & iHeartPodcast Network Australia)
• The 19th Tee Podcast (Nathan Drudi & Kieran Marsh)
• The Phil Davis Podcast (Phil Davis for ABC)

Best True Crime Podcast supported by Whooshkaa

• CHILDERS – The Full Story (Paul Cochrane)
• Nut Jobs: Cracking California’s Strangest $10 Million Dollar Heist (Marc Fennell for Audible)
• The Last Voyage of The Pong Su (The Age)
• The Lighthouse (The Australian)
• Unravel True Crime: Snowball (ABC Audio Studios)

See a complete list of all 2020 nominees here.

SMI October
SMI reports ad spend improves in October, but media still hurting

• Move of key sporting events later in year impacts YOY comparison

The Covid-driven move of key sports events out of September resulted in an abnormal decline in Australian media agency ad spend in the month, but has also boosted early October advertising demand with bookings already the strongest since Covid began, reports SMI in its latest report looking at September and October ad spend.

The move of the AFL and NRL final series and Grand Finals into October was the main reason for a 19.5% fall in Television ad spend in September, with the Digital media emerging as the best performing for the month with ad spend back just 2.7%.

Digital’s growth is being driven by a continuing increase in ad spend to all forms of social media, with SMI’s Social Media sector data reporting growth of 47.8% in September and 28.9% for the September quarter as companies such as Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and LinkedIn all delivering large increases in ad spend.

But most importantly, SMI’s early October data shows the shift of the sporting-related ad spend into that month, with TV bookings already up 8.8% , which has in turn ensured early October market bookings being back just 14%.

And SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said the trend was continuing, with confirmed November bookings strengthening by almost three percentage points in the past two weeks to be 7.6 percentage points ahead of the same time last year.

“SMI’s forward booking data shows advertising demand for November returning to pre-Covid levels with more than 60% of the value of last November’s total ad spend already confirmed before the month’s trading has even begun,” she said.

“Television looks set to report another growth month in November given 90% of the value of last November’s total bookings have already been paid for. Across the market we can see other media poised to also do well as key categories such as Food/Produce/Dairy, Technology, Gambling and Household Supplies are already reporting higher year-on-year media investment in November.”

As for the September results, Ractliffe said there were also other significant timing issues affecting the market with the Rugby World Cup broadcast in September last year and an extra Monday last September which especially affects Radio given the increased level of week commencing bookings included in the September 2019 result.

The improvement in the Australian market mirrors that seen in other global advertising markets, with SMI reporting an 22.3% fall in NZ ad demand in September (that market was especially affected by the spike in ad spend for last year’s RWC) but in New Zealand the early October figures show the market only back 11%.

In markets unaffected by movements in sports events there is a clearer improvement in ad spend, with the value of US ad spend back just 2.7% in September (although Digital bookings lifted 8.0%) and Canadian ad spend was back just 5.7% (with TV bookings growing 2.5%).

However, the impact of the Covid pandemic will be seen in the longer term SMI figures, with the September quarter decline hitting 22.4% and the decline in ad spend over the past nine months is now at 23.4%.

US Election Sky News
Sky News promising unrivalled US Election Day Live from 5am

Sky News Australia is promising viewers a front row seat to one of the most significant US Presidential Elections in history as Americans cast their vote this Wednesday 4 November (Australian time).

US Election Day Live coverage will feature an experienced team of Sky News Australia reporters, commentators and political analysts providing around-the-clock analysis live from the US.

From 5:00am Peter Stefanovic will be live from Washington DC for US Election Day Live: First Edition, in the final hours before the polls close.

Political reporter Annelise Nielsen will report live from Joe Biden’s headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware for all the results as they break, state by state.

Then from 9:00am chief news anchor Kieran Gilbert will lead key events of this history-defining election joined by political reporter Tom Connell during US Election Day Live.

The team will lead eight hours of live rolling coverage joined by expert panellists throughout the day. They will provide viewers with unrivalled coverage as viewers find out if Americans choose Republican incumbent Donald Trump or Democrat challenger Joe Biden to become the President of the United States.

Joining Gilbert will be Sky News anchor Chris Kenny live from Washington DC, Australian political strategist Bruce Hawker and Rosalynn Carter‘s former press officer Barbara Heineback as the polls close across the United States.

At 11:00am Sky News anchor and political reporter Ashleigh Gillon joins Gilbert along with Sky News contributors Stephen Conroy and Michael Kroger, together with Outsiders anchors Rita Panahi and James Morrow who will be live from New York.

From 1:00pm Sky News commentators Rowan Dean and Graham Richardson will join the panel, crossing live to The Daily Telegraph’s Miranda Devine in New York.

Sky News anchor Paul Murray, business editor Ticky Fullerton and political editor Andrew Clennell will join Gilbert from 3:00pm.

Sky News US political contributor Joe Hockey will be live throughout the coverage from Washington DC.

At 5:00pm Chris Kenny will host a special edition of The Kenny Report. Kenny will be live from the US providing a grassroots view of the real issues and real people who will decide the future of the US.

Then at 6:00pm Peta Credlin will anchor a special edition of Credlin. Joined by a variety of political insiders, Credlin and her guests will dissect what the result of a Trump or Biden victory means for Australia.

Andrew Bolt will provide analysis from 7:00pm on The Bolt Report, as he shares his perspective on the US Election as America decides who their leader is.

At 8:00pm Alan Jones will dissect the day’s events. Jones will share his take on the US Election and the fallout from the high drama day.

Then at 9:00pm Paul Murray anchors a two-hour US Election Day special of Paul Murray Live. The host will be joined by a panel of special guests and will also give viewers the opportunity to share their verdict on the US Election in Better Call Paul.

At 11:00pm a special edition of Outsiders will be broadcast with Rowan Dean joining Rita Panahi and James Morrow who will be live in New York City.

At 12:00am Peter Gleeson anchors The Front Page looking at how the media is reporting on the monumental election. Gleeson will provide viewers with a first look at all the newspaper headlines from around the nation and across the world as the mastheads react to the US Election.

Sky News Australia’s broadcast of US Election Day Live will also be available live to Sky News on WIN regional viewers from 9:00am AEDT.

Visit skynews.com.au/whitehouse for all the latest developments and analysis from the Sky News Australia team.

US Election Day Live can be streamed by Foxtel subscribers on Foxtel Go, or international viewers at https://watch.australiachannel.com.au.

Sky News is also simulcast on Sky News on iHeartRadio.

Zenith: Video adspend will achieve stability this year despite pandemic

• Increased viewing, content and competition mean global adspend by video entertainment brands will fall just 0.2% in 2020
• Video brands will spend 57% of their budgets on digital advertising in 2020
• Recovery in 2021 and 2022 will be hindered by falling revenues from free and pay TV

Zenith forecasts video entertainment advertising will shrink by just 0.2% in 2020 across 10 key markets this year*, according to its Business Intelligence – Video Entertainment report, published today. Video entertainment adspend will far outperform the ad market as a whole, which will drop by 8.7% across these same markets.

Faced with spending much more time at home, consumers turned to video content to keep themselves informed and entertained. Online video platforms have invested huge sums in creating content to attract new viewers, forcing traditional broadcasters to up their game.

“Consumers are now faced with a vast and confusing array of programs and films vying for their attention,” said Christian Lee, global managing director, Zenith. “Video brands need to cut through this complexity and give consumers entertainment that matches their personal preferences with minimum fuss. Brands that provide compelling experiences and act as more than just repositories of content will be best positioned for growth in the long term.”

Lockdown has made digital even more vital to video brands 

Video entertainment brands spend more on digital advertising, out-of-home and cinema than the average brand. Their reliance on out-of-home and cinema has posed a particular challenge this year, as they have been forced to compensate for lost audiences from empty cities and closed cinemas. This means even more digital spending, which is forecast to rise from 53% of total video entertainment spend in 2019 to 57% in 2020.

Video entertainment adspend to exceed 2019 peak by 1.2% in 2022 

While video entertainment is expected to substantially outperform the market in 2020, Zenith forecasts it to underperform over the next two years, with no growth in 2021 and 1.3% growth in 2022. Online video platforms will have less capacity to raise budgets after spending heavily in 2020, and traditional TV broadcasters will be weighed down by shrinking revenues from TV advertising and pay TV subscriptions. Nevertheless, Zenith expects video entertainment adspend to be 1.2% higher in 2022 than it was in 2019, while overall advertising will still be 0.6% below its 2019 peak.

Spain and India to lead growth in video entertainment adspend

The stable headline figures for growth hide considerable variation between the 10 markets. In 2022, video entertainment brands are forecast to spend 27% more than in 2019 in Spain, and 19% more in India. Meanwhile, spending is expected to decline by 5% in the US and 7% in Australia over the same period.

The US is the only market where video entertainment adspend is expected to continue to decline after 2020, as rising online revenues fail to compensate for the ongoing declines in TV advertising and pay-TV subscriptions, reducing available ad budgets. The video industry is healthier in Australia, but here the ad market as a whole is retrenching after the sudden halt to Australia’s 29 years of unbroken economic growth, so video brands can maintain share of voice without raising budgets.

“Consumers are currently benefiting from a generous supply of video content from brands vying for their loyalty,” said Jonathan Barnard, Zenith’s head of forecasting. “This competition is providing a large boost to video entertainment adspend this year. But this level of investment in both content and advertising will prove difficult to sustain for the long-term, and we forecast very little growth in 2021 and 2022.”

Zenith Australia’s national head of investment, Elizabeth Baker (pictured), added: “In Australia, streaming services are the main reason for this category’s growth in ad spend. The surge in demand, fuelled by being at home more throughout pandemic conditions, coupled with the direct-to-consumer release of titles has accelerated subscription, consumption and ad spend. It will be interesting to see what happens moving forward. This period has provided major players with an opportunity to experiment with direct-to-consumer versus theatrical release models.”

* Video entertainment refers to long-form video content, supplied either by conventional television or online, including free TV, pay-TV and online video-on-demand platforms. The markets included in this survey are Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Italy, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and US, which collectively account for 57% of all global adspend.

The War on 2020
Chaser Digital presents all-star sketch comedy series War on 2020

Chaser Digital has announced a new sketch comedy series to premiere on The Chaser’s digital platforms this December in conjunction with Australia’s other satirical juggernaut The Shovel (yes it’s a satirical cartel, yes the ACCC have been notified).

Dubbed The War on 2020, it features an all-stars line up of the best satirical comedians in the country, directed by Jenna Owen and Victoria Zerbst (SBS The Feed), and written and performed by Mark Humphries (ABC 7.30), Nina Oyama (Utopia), Sami Shah (ABC Radio), Steph Tisdell (Deadly Funny), Nat Damena (SBS The Feed) and James Schloeffel (The Shovel). The series will also utilise the writing talents of Evan Williams and Rebecca Shaw.

It will be produced by Charles Firth (The Chaser) and DOPed by Chloe Angelo (At Home Alone Together).

Executive producer Firth said, “Everyone knows 2020 was the worst year ever, and so what better way to send it off than with a withering takedown by Australia’s top scientists and medical professionals. Unfortunately, none of them were available, so instead we’ve hired a whole lot of satirists to dress up as scientists and doctors, which is good because they’re much cheaper.”

War on 2020 is a series of 13 sketches about the year that will be distributed online. Firth said, “The demand for content that pours shit on 2020 is so immense that I’m pretty sure the NBN will collapse the moment we release the first video. We got Josh Frydenberg to help us work out our download numbers and he reckons 60 billion Australians will watch each video.”

War on 2020 started life as a live stage show, which Jenna, Vic, Mark, James and Charles have been touring nationally since 2017. “This year, we moved it online because of the coronavirus,” said Firth. “And in the process, we expanded the writer/performers even though it’s been a really boring year and nothing much has happened.”

The Shovel’s James Schloeffel said there were two big stories for 2020: “In 2020 we lived through two of the most traumatic events in living memory: the shocking bushfires in Australia and the release of Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina-scented candle. Thank God the year is almost over”.

“The low point of the year was the launch of COVIDSafe – definitely the least effective dating app of 2020,” said co-director Victoria Zerbst.

War on 2020 will be a great way for people to relive the year they’d rather forget,” said co-director Jenna Owen.

“It’s a great way to remember all the things about 2020 that you’d only just managed to repress,” said Mark Humphries.

War on 2020 has received principal production funding from Screen Australia and will be released online through social media and on the Chaser and Shovel sites throughout December.

There will also be two ticketed live Zoom performances of the show on 11th & 12th December. Tickets to that show can be bought at www.chaser.com.au/live and www.theshovel.com.au/live

Box Office: Aussie movie goers flock to see Rams

By Trent Thomas

The Australian box office has undertaken a drastic makeover this past weekend with three new releases joining the top five.

The freshman entries are led by the Australian flick Rams which stars screen legends, Sam Neill and Michael Caton. The other new entries are the supernatural film The Craft: Legacy and the horror film The Empty Man.

The movies to drop out of the top five are Never Too Late and Tenet which finally ended its run in the top five after 10 weeks of release and amassing $11.99m to date (the highest since Covid-19 lockdowns were lifted).

Overall the box office saw a 4% increase in revenue, making a total of $2.57m.

#1 Rams $809,177

Neill and Caton star as two estranged brothers who have been at war for years by raising separate flocks of sheep but are forced to work together to defy the authorities. Audiences have responded to the local legends with an average of $2,715 on 298 screens.


#2 Honest Thief $511,090

The Liam Neeson action film has slipped down one spot in its second week of release after averaging $2,086 on 245 screens. The film now has a total of $1.43m.


#3 The Craft: Legacy $235,996

The soft reboot/sequel to the 1996 film The Craft finds itself being released in Aussie theatres after being released via on-demand in the states on October 28. The film averaged $1,204 on 196 screens.


#4 Trolls World Tour $205,909

After 10 weeks, Trolls World Tour continues to find itself in the top five after averaging $1,211 on 170 screens. The film has now accrued $7.33m in revenue as it continues to establish itself as the clear #2 film, behind Tenet, since cinemas reopened.


#5 The Empty Man $139,543

Off the back of Halloween, the horror film finds itself in the Australian box office top five, averaging $895 on 156 screens.


SAS Australia
TV ratings: Monday Week 45 2020

By James Manning

• The Block’s final interiors being fitted out keeps Nine #1
• Best of the rest: SAS Australia, HYBPA? and Australian Story

Primetime News
Seven News 1,001,000/1,002,000
Nine News 888,000/924,000
ABC News 704,000
10 News First 350,000/226,000
SBS World News 171,000

Daily current affairs
A Current Affair 757,000
7.30 588,000
The Project 318,000/535,000

Breakfast TV
Sunrise 253,000
Today 220,000
News Breakfast 181,000

Late night news
The Latest 172,000
ABC Late News 156,000
Nine News Late 131,000
World News Late 61,000

Monday TV

Seven: Home and Away launched into a new week with 549,000 after a Week 44 average of 515,000.

SAS Australia really put the recruits through a punishing schedule of a “cat crawl” on a rope above the ocean, submerged them in some very icy surf and then given a physical drilling to the point of collapse. Ali Oetjen was given a mental workout in the interrogation room too. Suspended swim star Shayna hit breaking point and handed in her number, becoming the sixth recruit to quit the course. There are 11 recruits remaining. The Monday episode was down to 671,000 after 770,000 a week ago.

The Rookie’s two episodes had audiences of 284,000 and then 250,000. 

Nine: A Current Affair started its week with stories on helping dyslexic children and a cemetery that needs some TLC. The Monday audience of 757,000 was after a Week 44 average of 705,000.

The Block featured work starting on the studios and garages that have been constructed at the rear of the properties. It is the last inside space on the series ahead of the backyards and then the auction lead-up. After 975,000 for a room reveal episode on Monday last week, last night was on 830,000.

After a tribute to Sean Connery on Gem on Sunday night (Dr No and From Russia with Love), Nine screened Casino Royale from 2006 starring the man many think might be the second-best James Bond, Daniel Craig, to an audience of 304,000.

10: Titus O’Reilly was promoting his book on cheating in sport on The Project. He shared the program with recent Junior MasterChef evictee Ben. The episode was on 535,000 after a 474,000 average last week.

Later on Junior MasterChef, Curtis Stone set a mystery box challenge around potatoes. Up for grabs was a place in the forthcoming semi-final. The episode was on 486,000 after 447,000 a week ago.

Ed Kavalee took the points again on Have You Been Paying Attention? on the Cup Eve episode with 642,000 watching after 612,000 last week.

The Melbourne Cup broadcaster then had a Melbourne Cup Preview Show hosted by Katy Price with contributions from David Gately and James Winks. The audience dropped significantly though with 149,000 staying on.

ABC: Australian Story updated its Megan Washington story from several years ago with new content about the long journey she has been on to record a new album. The series did 529,000.

Four Corners then looked at the impact Covid-19 had on students in the final year of their studies with 374,000 watching, one of the smallest audiences this year, and down from 688,000 last week.

Media Watch was then on 430,000 followed by Q+A with 320,000. Both programs covered the US election.

Special mention too for the continuing strong performance of Bluey with audiences of 341,000 and then 264,000 for the episode on ABC KIDS.

SBS: Great House Revival had 134,000 watching at 7.30pm.

Two episodes of 24 Hours in Emergency from series 14 and 15 then had an average audience of 156,000.

Week 45: Monday
ABC13.0%718.2%921.5%10 13.3%SBS One4.4%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY2.5%7TWO3.4%GO!1.6%10 Bold3.6%VICELAND1.4%
ABC ME0.5%7mate2.7%GEM2.8%10 Peach2.5%Food Net0.8%
ABC NEWS1.6%7flix1.6%9Life2.2%10 Shake0.3%NITV0.1%
    9Rush1.2%  SBS World Movies0.6%
TOTAL17.6% 26.0% 29.4% 19.7% 7.3%


ABCSeven AffiliatesNine Affiliates10 AffiliatesSBS
ABC12.7%721.5%916.5%WIN9.2%SBS One4.1%
ABC ME0.7%7mate4.1%GEM4.4%WIN Peach2.3%Food Net0.5%
ABC NEWS1.4%7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)1.5%9Life1.7%Sky News  on WIN2.5%NITV0.3%
        SBS Movies0.7%
TOTAL17.1% 32.5% 25.2% 18.7% 7.2%


Monday FTA
  1. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,002,000
  2. Seven News Seven 1,001,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 924,000
  4. Nine News Nine 888,000
  5. The Block Nine 830,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 757,000
  7. ABC News ABC 704,000
  8. SAS Australia Seven 671,000
  9. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 642,000
  10. 7.30 ABC 588,000
  11. Home And Away Seven 549,000
  12. The Project 7pm 10 535,000
  13. The Chase Australia Seven 535,000
  14. Australian Story ABC 529,000
  15. Junior MasterChef Australia 10 486,000
  16. Hot Seat Nine 468,000
  17. Media Watch ABC 430,000
  18. Four Corners ABC 374,000
  19. 10 News First 10 350,000
  20. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 341,000
Demo Top Five

16-39 Top Five

  1. The Block Nine 200,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 186,000
  3. SAS Australia Seven 167,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 132,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 131,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. The Block Nine 366,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 323,000
  3. SAS Australia Seven 278,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 261,000
  5. Nine News Nine 230,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. The Block Nine 404,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 375,000
  3. SAS Australia Seven 304,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 302,000
  5. Nine News Nine 275,000
Monday Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 341,000
  2. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 264,000
  3. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 177,000
  4. Dog Loves Books ABCKIDS/COMEDY 174,000
  5. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 170,000
  6. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 168,000
  7. Love Monster AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  8. NCIS Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 158,000
  9. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 154,000
  10. Book Hungry Bears AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  11. Andy’s Aquatic Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  12. Doc Martin PM 7TWO 134,000
  13. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  14. Go Jetters PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  15. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  16. Housos 2020 PM 7mate 127,000
  17. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  18. NCIS Ep 3 (R) 10 Bold 122,000
  19. Rusty Rivets AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 118,000
  20. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 115,000
Monday STV
  1. Alan Jones Sky News Live 66,000
  2. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 60,000
  3. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 57,000
  4. PML Later Sky News Live 55,000
  5. Credlin Sky News Live 52,000
  6. The Undoing FOX SHOWCASE 49,000
  7. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver FOX8 41,000
  8. The Undoing FOX SHOWCASE 34,000
  9. NCIS FOX Crime 33,000
  10. Escape To The Country Lifestyle Channel 32,000
  11. NCIS: Los Angeles FOX Crime 31,000
  12. The Simpsons FOX8 29,000
  13. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 29,000
  14. Surgeons: At The Edge Of Life Lifestyle Channel 27,000
  15. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 26,000
  16. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 26,000
  17. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 26,000
  18. The Simpsons FOX8 26,000
  19. Live PD: Police Patrol crime + investigation 26,000
  20. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 24,000

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

Go Transit Media Group expands national network into WA

Australia’s largest privately-owned transit advertising company Go Transit Media Group has secured the exclusive advertising rights for seven key markets in regional Western Australia.

Launch campaigns will commence on the 18th of January 2021 as Go Transit expands its market reach from the east coast where it currently operates in over 400 markets.

Go Transit Media Group was founded in late 2010 by media executives Rob Gamble and Rick Chapman, along with their long-term shareholder Australia’s Associated Media Investments.

As Australia’s only supplier of metro, sub-metro and regional transit, Go Transit assets across six capital cities plus more than 400 regional communities in Australia.

General manager operations Caleb Harriott said the new contract included 110 busses across seven new markets including Bunbury, Busselton, Albany, Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Geraldton and Broome.

“This contract is an important acquisition for our business, it opens our presence into the Western Australian market for the first time and provides large format transit advertising to a range of new clients who are looking to promote their business in a market which is cluttered with digital disruption,” Harriott said.

Go Transit’s Group national sales manager Paula Kerr added independent research indicated that transit and outdoor advertising is becoming increasingly popular as advertisers sought new ways to cut through cluttered and fragmented traditional markets.

“We operate in over 400 markets across Australia offering external and internal bus advertising, as well as taxi and outdoor light rail opportunities on the Gold Coast and Newcastle so we have a good feel for what’s working in each specific market.

“This is a great opportunity for a diverse range of agency clients to increase their brand awareness in these key WA markets,” Kerr said.

$250m offer from Optus too good to refuse: Amaysim chief

Amaysim’s $250m sale to Optus represents a moment of poignancy for Amaysim co-founder and chief executive Peter O’Connell, who said it was increasingly difficult for challenger telcos to compete in Australia’s highly competitive and commoditised communications market.

Speaking to The Australian’s David Swan shortly after the deal was announced on Monday, O’Connell said the blockbuster proposal from Optus was too good to refuse, despite Amaysim reviewing several offers on the table.

If approved, the deal will lead to the delisting of the virtual network operator, which will continue to operate as a budget brand under Optus. Amaysim is Australia’s fourth-largest telco, with 1.2 million customers, and O’Connell said it was ahead of the curve in ­offering plans with no lock-in contracts and the ability for customers to bring their own handsets.

[Read more]

News Brands

Craig McLachlan says accuser spoke of his ‘perky bubble butt’

Gold Logie-winning actor Craig McLachlan claims it would have been “physically impossible” for him to have indecently assaulted his co-stars during a live performance in the Melbourne stage production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, reports News Corp’s Rebekah Cavanagh.

McLachlan, 54, was playing Frank-n-Furter in the popular theatre show when he was accused of indecently assaulting four female actors on and off stage.

Giving evidence for the first time in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday, he vehemently denied the allegations.

The former Neighbours and Home And Away star revealed how he was “devastated” and “deeply distressed” on hearing the women’s claims he had inappropriately touched or kissed them.

In a bid to debunk allegations from one woman that he traced and touched her genital area during the production, a video recording of the scene was played in court.

McLachlan’s barrister, Stuart Littlemore, QC, who appeared with the Australian actor via video link from Sydney due to the coronavirus pandemic, said the three-minute clip was proof the woman’s allegations were “a total fabrication”.

[Read more]

Special episode: The Project presents Trump Vs Biden The Interviews.

On the eve of the US election, Network 10 is presenting a special episode of The Project featuring the recent US 60 Minutes interviews with Donald Trump and Joe Biden. The episode screens Tuesday, 3 November at 8.45pm. 10 and WIN Network.

Before witnessing a jaw-dropping, mid-interview walkout from the President, long-time 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl sat down with Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, to talk about the coronavirus and his priorities if re-elected. Reporter Norah O’Donnell spoke with Joe Biden and running mate, California Senator Kamala Harris.

This is how the interview started:

Lesley Stahl: Are you ready for some tough questions?

President Donald Trump: You’re gonna be fair.

Lesley Stahl: Are you g–

President Donald Trump: Just be-

Lesley Stahl: I’m gonna be fair.

President Donald Trump: Just be fair.

Lesley Stahl: But you’re okay with some tough questions?

President Donald Trump: No, I’m not. I mean–

Lesley Stahl: (LAUGH) You’re not okay with tough questions?

President Donald Trump: I want them to be fair. You– you don’t ask Biden tough questions.

President Donald Trump: Okay. Are you ready–

Lesley Stahl: You ready? Everybody ready? So we have the pandemic. On your watch, we’ve had racial strife, we’ve had looting. Why do you want this job? Why do you wanna be president again?

US networks brace for an election night like no other

Television executives overseeing this year’s election night broadcasts are facing big challenges. And the world will be watching, reports The New York Times.

“Frankly, the wellbeing of the country depends on us being cautious, disciplined and unassailably correct,” said Noah Oppenheim, the NBC News president. “We are committed to getting this right.”

The “decision desks,” the teams of data experts at news organisations who project results, say they are not competing over who calls a race first. “We’re preparing the audience that this might not be over in one night,” said Susan Zirinsky, the president of CBS News.

“Just because a count may take longer does not mean that something is necessarily wrong,” said Sam Feist, CNN’s Washington bureau chief. “It may not even mean that it’s a close race. We have to constantly remind the viewer that patience will be needed and this may take some time in critical states, and that doesn’t mean anything is untoward.”

[Read more]


TV Week backs Bluey for the cover as show sets audience records

TV Week magazine has deviated from its usual cover strategy and gone with the first cover to feature an animated TV series. The issue that went on sale on Monday this week featured the hit ABC series Bluey.

The accompanying editorial covered the new series of the kids’ TV program in a bonus kids’ mini magazine inside.

In recent days new episodes of Bluey attracted record audiences of 348,000 and 424,000 when screened on the ABC KIDS channel.

TV Week deputy editor Amber Giles told Mediaweek: “We are very excited to have the first animated cover for TV Week in its 63-year history.

TV Week has always championed great Australian talent and Bluey is as big as it gets at the moment.”

“It’s a huge moment for TV Week, one that we are very proud of.”

The new edition of the magazine this week also covers SAS Australia’s Jackson Warne, Home and Away character Jasmine, offers readers the chance to win $20,000 and carries the troubling news that Scott Cam could be quitting The Block.

I'm a Grandmaster and The Queen's Gambit has all the right moves

The Queen’s Gambit is a seven-part period drama about a chess player in the 1960s. It is also one of the most watched shows on Netflix – worldwide and in Australia, writes Ian Rogers, Australia’s first chess Grandmaster, in Nine newspapers.

If these two statements seem incompatible, you must be too young to remember the time, half a century ago, when Australian television featured a nightly, high-rating, chess program which followed the erratic American Bobby Fischer‘s world title match victory against reigning champion, Boris Spassky.

The Queen’s Gambit, based on the novel of the same name by Walter Tevis, offers a fictionalised version of a female Fischer and her rise from a difficult childhood to take on the best from the Soviet Union during the Cold War era. Like Fischer, Beth Harmon (played more than convincingly by Anya Taylor-Joy), learns Russian to better study the games of the best. Like Fischer, she dresses fashionably. Like Fischer, she refuses sponsorship from organisations she doesn’t support.

[Read more]

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