• But no dispute that Nine again #1 in key demos and all people across 2020
Network 10 trailed both Nine and Seven in key demos and all people across 2020, but the broadcaster is able to claim it will head into 2021 as the only commercial network that has grown share year-on-year. 10’s 2020 prime time audience is up 8% in total people and 8% in under 50s, but also delivered its highest shares since 2011 in key demographics (under 50s, 16 to 39s, 18 to 49s and 25 to 54s).
Beverley McGarvey (pictured), chief content officer and executive vice president, ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand, said: “Despite the obvious challenges that 2020 presented, this has been a remarkably successful year for 10 ViacomCBS.
“This year, the integration and transformation of ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand was successfully completed. We embedded our powerful new sales team, amplified our investment in data and technology, made television advertising even more effective, launched a new channel – 10 Shake, expanded our digital media assets and innovated user experience on 10 Play.
“Not only were we the only commercial network to grow its audience, but we also had the biggest prime time commercial shares in key demographics since 2011. Our advertising revenue share continues to grow. Our digital platforms are boasting record audiences.
“Our established suite of shows are engaging, innovative, noisy and connect emotionally with Australians like few others can.”
With the 2020 ratings survey period ending overnight, the Nine Network has again won the year with all key demographics and total people, with a lead of 3.3 share points over its nearest competitor in the 25-54 demographic.
Michael Healy, Nine’s director of television, said: “We’re extremely proud that once again our slate has resonated so strongly with the demos we program our content for: People 25-54, 16-39 and Grocery Shoppers with Child.
“In 2020 we continued to deliver on our promise to provide a year-round schedule of hit shows. From Married at First Sight, to Lego Masters, Australian Ninja Warrior and The Block, our tentpole programs all delivered huge audiences in those key demos. Despite the challenges of Covid, we were able to work with our production partners to ensure all these programs made it to air.
“In arguably the biggest news year of our lives, audiences flocked to Nine’s suite of news and current affairs programs. I’m also thrilled that viewers have embraced our new-look Today show which has posted double digit audience growth in every capital city and is now regularly winning its slot with those key demos.”
Seven reported the most-watched TV program of the year, the #1 news and current affairs programs, the launch of three hit new tentpole shows – including the biggest new show of 2020 –and strong audience share growth in the second half of the year were among the highlights for the Seven Network across the 2020 ratings season.
Thanks to a regular content line-up that includes Sunrise, The Morning Show, The Chase, Seven News, Home and Away and Better Homes and Gardens; prime time hits including Big Brother, Farmer Wants A Wife, SAS Australia (the #1 new show of the year) and The All New Monty Guys and Gals; and the high-rating AFL season, Seven Network and Channel 7 were #1 from 6am to midnight.
In prime time, Seven Network increased its audience share during the June to November period, adding 3.8 share points in 25 to 54s, 6.5 points in 16 to 39s and 3.5 points in total people. From June to November, Seven Network was #1 in total people and 16 to 39s.
Seven West Media managing director and chief executive officer James Warburton said: “Our new content-led strategy of outsourcing proven international formats, coupled with our market-leading news and sport content, has produced strong results this year.
“The great performance of Big Brother, Farmer Wants A Wife, SAS Australia, Seven News, the AFL and more drove strong growth in our audiences in the key demographics of 25-54s and 16-39s during the second half of 2020.
“We’ve shown only glimpse of our best this year and that got us to about half a percentage point from being the most watched network in the country,” he said.
“Next year we will have all our returning hits, big new shows, the content that was delayed this year because of COVID, our first-class Olympics coverage, our winning news and sport schedules, and a few surprises we haven’t revealed yet. Bring on 2021.”
There is general agreement between the commercial TV broadcasters that Nine had the biggest TV audiences across 2020. There is some dispute about just how consistent its leadership has been across the two halves.
There is a dispute though over who operates the platform that is undergoing the fastest growth for TV viewers – broadcast video on demand (BVOD).
Seven has claimed its success on broadcast TV was matched by the growth of 7plus, which saw growth of 80% and ended the year as the #1 commercial free to air TV BVOD platform ahead of all its commercial rivals.
Seven’s BVOD highlights
• #1 commercial free to air BVOD platform
• 42.7% share of commercial free to air BVOD market
• Up 80% on 2019 in streaming minutes
Nine contradicted Seven’s claims, simply stating “in the BVOD space, 9Now is Australia’s No. 1 CFTA BVOD platform”.
Nine said that it had the five biggest live-streamed events of the year – three State of Origin clashes, the NRL Grand Final and the Men’s Final at the Australian Open Tennis.
Michael Stephenson, Nine’s chief sales officer, said: “In an extraordinary year, where television production schedules across the board were disrupted by Covid, Nine delivered the things we aim for every year: consistency across our schedule throughout the full year and clear leadership in the key demographics that matter to advertisers. To me, the thing I’m proudest of is our dominance across total television – looking at both linear television and digital BVOD – Nine is the place that audiences turn to for news and entertainment and marketers can rely on throughout the year to deliver real results for their business.”
While Network 10 is out of the race for overall BVOD leadership, it has been highlighting growth of its BVOD platform:
Network 10’s digital audiences surged this year with 10 Play having its biggest year ever, up 14% year-on-year. Its growth can be attributed to additional exclusive premium content and locally commissioned programs being added to the platform, as well as record broadcast video-on-demand (BVOD) audiences for 10 shows.
So far this year, the following shows have achieved their biggest BVOD audiences ever:
• MasterChef Australia: Back To Win up 25% on 2019
• I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! up 36% on 2019
• Australian Survivor: All Stars up 5% on 2019
• The Living Room up 33% on 2019
• Ambulance Australia up 8% on 2019
• The Lexus Melbourne Cup was 10 Play’s biggest ever live stream audience
Network 10’s BVOD highlights
• Total minutes viewed up 14% compared to the same point of 2019
• Live streamed minutes viewed up 176% compared to the same point of 2019
• Monthly unique visitors up 5% compared to the same point of 2019
• 6.7 million Premium Pause events so far in 2020
Some 18 months after the regional media industry put a self-funding plan to Communications Minister Fletcher for a vibrant and sustainable media sector, he has released his own plan which falls well short of a solution and would see regional media companies living off the public purse.
Regional commercial TV networks presented the Minister with a number of comprehensive reform recommendations and provided confidential data under NDA to three separate parties for ministerial review – all of which have been ignored. Our attempts to arrange a meeting with the Minister to discuss a workable plan also fell on deaf ears.
The regional media sector has urged the Minister to deliver critically needed reforms. The Minister’s proposal which was released to metropolitan press overnight, did not meaningfully consider any of the matters first raised by regional media companies with the Minister when he took office eighteen months ago.
His plan would see draft legislation enter the House in the second half of 2021. The last major media reforms took four years to pass into legislation. Who knows what passage of time will be required for this draft legislation to then pass the House? This proposal completely fails to understand the urgency and extent of reforms needed.
The Fletcher plan is simply a grab for spectrum to bolster the Federal Government’s coffers.
The notion that regional television broadcasters would surrender vital broadcast spectrum for access to a Public Interest News Gathering Trust, to which financial compensation has not been determined, is ill-considered and ignores the sector’s issues; being the Government-owned NBN facilitating access to our heavily regulated and licenced markets by the unregulated digital platforms of the metropolitan TV networks and international tech media giants.
Regional Australia must have an independent, vibrant, economically sound and self- sustaining media sector. We are disappointed that the Minister’s draft plan does not deliver this.
We plan to continue championing for reforms that more adequately address the pressing needs of regional broadcasters and the over 9 million Australians who rely on the local news services they provide.
Source: Save Our Voices
Mediaweek is able to reveal Seven Pups is the official winner and inaugural recipient of the Reg Grundy Award. One of five finalists, Seven Pups was entered by Sydney-based boutique production house The Full Box, producer of Nine’s Crime Stories Australia.
Seven Pups is a social experiment tracing a year in the behavioural development of one litter of seven pups and the seven culturally diverse families who will raise them. This is a unique look at nature vs nurture, through the doggie door. The series will cover the first 12 months of seven puppies’ lives.
Created by Steven Bedwell, and developed with The Full Box co-founders Geraldine Coy (pictured) and Bryan Cockerill, it was selected by the jury as it was thought to present an engaging and returnable format that would make for great family viewing. The judges also thought it “fresh and innovative, also presenting a great way to showcase a diverse range of families from across Australia as they deal with the joys and the challenges of raising a puppy.”
Steven Bedwell is a Melbourne stand-up comedian, radio and television host, producer and author and long-time friend and colleague of Cockerill and Coy.
In 2012, Bedwell brought the original concept of Seven Pups to The Full Box and the trio have been working together, honing and developing the format, along with other projects, ever since.
The team will now receive $50,000 in cash and development funds and ongoing guidance from the Reg Grundy Award jury panel – Chris Culvenor from Eureka Productions (Holey Moley, Dating Around, Full Bloom), Ian Hogg, Maz Farrelly and Sharon Wheeler – that will see Seven Pups move closer to realisation.
AACTA is also hopeful the other finalists – Trash to Cash, Vintage Van Revival, The Marriage Pitch and Next Slide Please – will progress to the next phase of their development.
Geraldine Coy told Mediaweek: “We are so honoured to be the inaugural winners of the Reg Grundy Award. It’s a fabulous initiative for creatives to have the opportunity to shine a light on original Australian formats. We are super grateful to the judges for their great feedback and advice and to AACTA for their support and guidance throughout the pitching process and finally a massive thank you to Joy Chambers Grundy for this incredible prize and the opportunity to see seven pups become a smash hit, locally and internationally.”
Bryan Cockerill added: “We’d like to thank the third member of team Seven Pups, Steve Bedwell, for trusting The Full Box with the original concept for the show and working closely with Gerri and I to develop this award-winning format.”
Latest emma figures show 18.1 million Australians – 95% of the population – regularly engage with news brands.
The latest release of emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) for the 12 months to September 30, 2020 shows an 11% increase in readership for digital news websites and a 3% cross-platform increase against the same period a year prior.
Overall, Australian news brands have delivered readership of 18.1 million, reaching 95% of the population 14+. Across measured digital platforms, news brands reached 17.1 million Australians representing 90% of the population aged 14+. Print reach was 11 million, 58% of Australians.
The Readership Works general manager Mal Dale said: “During a time of upheaval and uncertainty, news brands have demonstrated great durability. A growing number of Australians are engaging with both print and digital news media, testifying to the premium they place on news brands and the trusted content they deliver.”
Nine’s Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have the biggest cross-platform readership audiences.
News Corp’s biggest brands are The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun, with all having a cross platform readership over 4m.
The Australian’s editor-in-chief, Christopher Dore (pictured), said the growth in both digital and print audience was linked to the high quality of The Australian’s journalism, and reinforced the masthead’s status as the most-trusted source of news.
“It has been an astonishing year, and now more than ever readers are turning to outlets they can trust, and at The Australian they know they will get reliable, accurate news journalism untainted by bias, and world-class analysis and opinion,” Dore said. “Readers are also discovering the breadth of our journalism – not only do we present politics and business like no other, but we have the best arts and sports writers in the country.”
Daily Telegraph Ben English put the results down to the paper’s commitment to high quality journalism at a time when news has never been more important.
“I want to thank our readers for rewarding our team’s hard work and dedication during such an extraordinary time for journalism,” English said.
“These results are a testament to the dedication and relentless energy of our reporters and photographers to deliver the news, views and insights readers crave.”
Herald Sun editor Sam Weir said: “I am proud so many Victorians have turned to our trusted and respected journalism during one of the most challenging periods in all of our lifetimes.
“Our newsroom has worked 24/7 to inform our state, ask the essential questions and uncover the truth behind the disastrous second wave, and also inspire readers and help lead Victoria’s economic recovery.”
PodcastOne Australia has announced Brains Trust, produced and hosted by Chris Walker, co-creator and executive producer of ABC’s The Weekly with Charlie Pickering and Hard Quiz.
Brain Trust’s first season, 2020 – The Year We Can’t Forget, is a long form interview series which will see Walker speaking with some of Australia’s well-known personalities. Featuring the likes of Hamish Blake, Dr Chris Brown, Waleed Aly, Ronny Chieng, Adam Briggs, Annabel Crabb and Kitty Flanagan, his guests reflect on their experience throughout the unusual year of 2020. The series will be narrated by Gold Logie winner, The Project’s co-host and Hit Network co-host, Carrie Bickmore.
Walker has more than 14 years’ media experience across print, radio and television including time producing The Project. Working in almost all genres from sports broadcasting, documentaries, news and comedy, Walker reflects on his own experience from this year and said this project is not just an attempt to understand what events occurred, but how they motivated us.
“I can’t wait for people to hear this podcast. The Brains Trust’s first guests – Annabel, Kitty, Waleed, Dr Chris, Ronny, Briggs and Hamish – were so generous and candid,” Walker said.
“Putting this together really reframed my attitude toward 2020 and was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever made. It made it feel like none of 2020 was a waste. I really hope people enjoy it.”
SCA head of entertainment and news content – digital audio, Sam Cavanagh, said: “Chris is one of the most naturally curious people I know. He simply asks more questions than anyone I’ve met! So, when he came to us with this idea, I knew it would be a winner.
“Chris manages to get these very well-known Australians to share themselves in a way we haven’t heard before. The result is a unique look at 2020 that is both insightful and hilarious.”
The series is produced and edited by Chris Marsh, the audio wizard behind many of SCA’s top shows including Hamish & Andy and Matt & Alex All Day Breakfast.
By James Manning
Despite only winning one night of the final week of survey, Nine has hung on to win the week off the back of the huge head start it got from The Block auctions episode.
10 finished the week again in single figures with no Amazing Race Australia to help this year in the final week of survey.
Nine Week 48
Primary share: 18.9% (22.1%)
Network share: 28.3% (30.5%)
Multichannels: GO! 2.9% (2.7%) Gem 2.9% (2.5%) 9Life 2.2% (2.1%) 9Rush 1.3% (1.2%)
Nine had a massive boost to the start the week with a winning Sunday primary channel share of 33.4% and network share of 41.4%. The Block auctions broke all sorts of records regarding the auction prices and Blockhead profits.
Nine’s regulars helped keep Seven from getting too close – including 9News, 60 Minutes (658,000 time corrected down from its preliminary figure of 841,000) and A Current Affair (586,000).
Nine’s best 7.30pm weeknight number came from Gold Coast Cops on 396,000 with RBT and Paramedics both close to 360,000 on other nights.
Seven Week 48
Primary share: 18.2% (18.1%)
Network share: 27.8% (26.2%)
Multichannels: 7TWO 3.7% (3.3%) 7mate 3.8% (2.6%) 7flix 2.1% (2.1%)
Seven managed to rank #1 in all people and network share from Monday through to Saturday, just falling short though for a final survey week win.
Seven News again did the heavy lifting, but next best were the final two episodes of SAS Australia with both close to 730,000. The show has been setting new records though on 7plus and as Seven’s Angus Ross tells Mediaweek elsewhere today, when counting all audiences on all platforms, this show is bigger than The Block!
With just one episode of Home and Away to screen on Monday, this was the 7pm soap’s final full week where it had an average of 543,000.
The Front Bar cricket edition was a little disappointing on 272,000 on Seven, although it is worth noting it was up against a live WBBL semi-final on 7mate.
ABC Week 48
Primary share 13.1% (12.7%)
Network share 18.3% (18.3%)
Multichannels: Kids/Comedy 2.9% (3.0%) ME 0.6% (0.5%) News 1.8% (2.2%)
Wednesday night was the home to the two biggest ABC shows of the week – Gruen and Hard Quiz – with both on 670,000. Australian Story, all editions of the 7pm News and 7.30 all averaged over 600,000.
The channel had its best share on Friday – 16.8% – with Gardening Australia on 450,000 and a Vera repeat on 501,000.
10 Week 48
Primary share 9.6% (9.4%)
Network share: 17.0% (16.5%)
Multichannels: Bold 4.0% (3.7%) Peach 2.9% (2.8%) Shake 0.5% (0.5%)
The final episode of Have You Been Paying Attention? for 2020 was a clear favourite with the 10 audience on 665,000.
Next best was some way back – the 7pm edition of The Project on 410,000.
The only other shows in the top 50 – and only just – were Sunday Project 7pm on 3287,000 and The Living Room on 305,000.
SBS Week 48
Primary share: 5.0% (4.9%)
Network share: 8.6% (8.5%)
Multichannels: Viceland 1.3% (1.5%) Food 1.0% (0.9%) NITV 0.2% (0.1%) World Movies 1.1% (1.1%)
Three shows made it to 200,000 this week – Great British Railway Journeys (214,000), Pompeii: After the Eruption (203,000), Secrets of Our Cities (200,000).
By James Manning
• Six Aussie albums top 10 including AC/DC still #1
A seventh week at #1 for Mood from 24kGoldn featuring Iann Dior.
Only change to the top 10 was the arrival of Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber with Monster at #7. This is the second track from the forthcoming fourth Mendes album Wonder due at the end of this week.
New to the top 20 at #14 was Miley Cyrus with Prisoner featuring Dua Lipa. This Cyrus track also appears a week before the release of her next album Plastic Hearts.
As BTS debut high again on the album chart this week, they have a number of tracks appearing on the singles chart. Highest of them is Dynamite at #16 in its 14th week on the chart with Life Goes On a new entry at #27.
Two other chart debuts in the top 50 this week:
#40 Hooligan Hefs with Send It! First time in the ARIA Singles top 50 for the Sydney hip hop artist. His EP Living in Sin did make the top 10 on the album chart back in August this year.
#48 Meduza with Paradise featuring Dermot Kennedy. Third time in the ARIA Top 50 for the Italian production trio after two appearances in 2019. Here they are working with the Irish singer/songwriter Kennedy who cracked to Top 50 Album chart last year with his debut album Without Fear.
ARIA Award winners didn’t have an obvious chart impact, yet, but it was nonetheless another cracking week for Australian music with six albums in the top 10 plus Delta and Kylie both hovering just outside the top 10.
AC/DC spend another week at #1 with PWR/UP and three of the new releases in the top five are Aussie:
#2 BTS with Be. The highest new entry this week from the K-pop stars is their fourth entry on the ARIA Album Chart this year. The group scored a #1 back in March with Map of the Soul. Sydney electro pop twins Cosmo’s Midnight produced and co-wrote the track Fly To My Room.
#3 Tim Minchin with Apart Together. It took him a while, but Minchin has finally released his first studio album. The musician, comedian, actor and writer who wrote the musicals Matilda and Groundhog Day has previously released five live albums until 2013 before a seven-year album hiatus.
#4 Something For Kate with The Modern Medieval. The first album for eight years is the seventh studio album from the on-again of-again Melbourne alt-rock trio led by Paul Dempsey and featuring long-time colleagues Stephanie Ashworth and Clint Hyndman. Four singles have been released from the album starting with Situation Room earlier this year. The band had #1 albums in 2003 with The Official Fiction and 2006 with Desert Lights.
#5 Nick Cave with Idiot Prayer – Nick Cave Alone At Alexandra Palace. The audio version of the performance film recorded in June this year featuring 22 tracks from early Bad Seeds and Grinderman, right through to the most recent Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album, Ghosteen.
Eight other albums also cracked the top 50 on debut, including:
#17: Skegss with Holiday Food/Everyone Is Good at Something. The re-issue of EPs from 2016 and 2017 is the second 2020 chart entry for the Byron Bay trio. The band also charted this year with the re-release of the 2015 EP 50 Push Ups for a Dollar.
#21: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard with K.G. Certainly no stranger to the ARIA Album Chart in 2020 with seven top 50 appearances, this time with their 16th studio album. The ARIA Award winners last week for Best Hard Rock Album also charted with these live albums this year – Live in Adelaide (#6 January), Live in Paris (#9 January), Live in Brussels (#4 January), Chunky Shrapnel (#2 July) and Live in Asheville (#30 October). The Melbourne rock band also charted with the collection Demos Vol. 1 + Vol. 2 (#14 October).
#26 Josh Groban with Harmony. A collection of new tracks written by Groban and covers from artists as diverse as Kenny Loggins, Joni Mitchell and Elvis.
#37 Hilltop Hoods with Walking Under Stars (Instrumental Edition). One of a series of four vinyl-only instrumental versions of their last four albums. Each release limited to 1,000 copies globally.
#41 Megan Thee Stallion with Good News. Modest chart debut for the first studio album from the hip hop artist who spent six weeks at #1 this year for her work with Cardi B on WAP.
#44: Tired Lion with Breakfast for Pathetics. Second album from the Perth band which follows Dumb Days which peaked at #21 in 2017.
#45 Killer Be Killed with Reluctant Hero. Second album from the US heavy metal supergroup comes six years after their debut.
• Beat The Chasers secures Seven win on first night of summer
• Best of the rest: 60 Minutes year in review, Restoration Aust final
• Fox Cricket numbers lift as Aust v India cracks top 10 metro
Seven’s Beat The Chasers teamed up with Seven News and the 2006 Christmas movie The Holiday to secure Seven a win on the first night of summer survey for 2020/21.
The final of Restoration Australia on ABC also performed well with 520,000 watching a reno in Mittagong.
Fox Cricket has been enjoying an audience surge from the first two games in the three-match ODI series against Australia. The Sunday match saw Fox Cricket rank in the top 10 with its metro audience of 353,000 watching the end of the match where Australia defeated a very competitive Indian team. That national audience watching the cricket was over 400,000 (not including Kayo or Foxtel Go).
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.4%||7TWO||2.7%||GO!||3.1%||10 Bold||3.8%||VICELAND||1.5%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||3.8%||GEM||2.5%||10 Peach||2.7%||Food Net||1.1%|
|ABC NEWS||1.5%||7flix||2.7%||9Life||2.2%||10 Shake||0.5%||NITV||0.1%|
|9Rush||1.7%||SBS World Movies||1.4%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.3%||7TWO||4.3%||GO!||4.0%||10 Bold||4.1%||VICELAND||1.1%|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||6.6%||GEM||4.5%||10 Peach||3.3%||Food Net||0.8%|
|ABC NEWS||2.2%||7flix||3.5%||9Life||2.3%||10 Shake||0.9%||NITV||0.2%|
|9Rush||1.9%||SBS World Movies||1.5%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.9%||7TWO||2.3%||GO!||3.6%||10 Bold||3.9%||VICELAND||1.0%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||2.9%||GEM||3.2%||10 Peach||2.2%||Food Net||1.0%|
|ABC NEWS||2.0%||7flix||1.5%||9Life||2.1%||10 Shake||0.5%||NITV||0.2%|
|9Rush||1.2%||SBS World Movies||1.2%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.2%||7TWO||2.7%||GO!||3.3%||WIN Bold||4.8%||VICELAND||1.4%|
|ABC ME||0.8%||7mate||3.5%||GEM||5.3%||WIN Peach||2.0%||Food Net||0.9%|
|ABC NEWS||2.2%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.6%||9Life||2.2%||Sky News on WIN||1.5%||NITV||0.1%|
|SUNDAY METRO ALL TV|
Friday Top 10
Saturday Top 10
Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM
Rupert Murdoch‘s News Corporation turned down an offer from a US ‘blank cheque’ company to invest in Foxtel in a move that could have provided the debt-ridden pay TV company with some financial relief, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.
Industry sources briefed on the talks who could not speak publicly for confidentiality reasons said a special purpose acquisition investment company (SPAC) approached News Corp with an offer to invest in Foxtel in the middle of the year.
Under the terms of the deal, the SPAC would have acquired a major stake in Foxtel and paid off a large amount of the pay TV company’s $2.1 billion debt pile. The sources said News Corp would have kept a substantial holding in Foxtel under the proposal, which was not successful.
See also: The AFR’s Neil Chenoweth on News Corp asset disposals.
Will Murdoch’s Fox Corporation buy the Foxtel stake? Could Lachlan privatise the newspapers? At some point will News cash out the REA stake?
WPP has submitted a proposal to the board of WPP Australia and New Zealand to pursue an acquisition of the remaining shares in WPP AUNZ.
WPP currently holds a stake of approximately 61.5% of the share capital of WPP AUNZ, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
WPP said the proposed acquisition is in line with its global strategy of simplifying its structure and will move WPP to 100% ownership and control of its Australian and New Zealand operations.
The proposal made by WPP, of A$0.55 per share in cash, represents a premium of approximately 34.1% to the closing price of WPP AUNZ on 27 November 2020. The total aggregate consideration payable by WPP for the remaining shares would be approximately A$181m.
The proposal is subject to customary conditions (including regulatory approvals) and, if implemented, is expected to be completed in 2021.
WPP AUNZ notified the ASX this morning it has a received an unsolicited proposal from its majority shareholder WPP plc to acquire all of the ordinary shares in WPP AUNZ that it does not already.
The independent directors of WPP AUNZ, along with its advisers, are considering the proposal and shareholders are being advised to take no action in relation to WPP plc’s proposal until they receive the independent directors’ formal recommendation.
WPP AUNZ said it will update shareholders, in accordance with the company’s continuous disclosure obligations, in due course.
The only woman ever to run an Australian television network, Maureen Plavsic, has died following illness, reports News Corp’s Annette Sharp.
In 2000, Plavsic, a former Unilever and John Singleton Advertising ad industry executive who was then director of sales at the Seven Network, was tapped by Seven’s major shareholder and director Kerry Stokes to take the reins as managing director of Seven.
She stepped down three years later after being replaced by ex-Nine boss David Leckie.
Stokes yesterday paid tribute to Plavsic: “I’m very saddened by the passing of Maureen. We had a long and wonderful relationship and she was the best marketing executive in the Australian TV industry and the first female chief of a network,” Stokes said in a statement to The Daily Telegraph.
Nine Entertainment Co’s board of directors has hired recruitment firm Spencer Stuart and Associates to begin the hunt for a new chief executive following the abrupt resignation of Hugh Marks, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.
Industry sources with knowledge of the hiring process said Nine had selected the local arm of Spencer Stuart in the last week and that it had already started making calls to potential candidates.
A Nine spokeswoman declined to confirm the appointment, but said in a statement the board and management would not comment on speculation around the candidates for its business. “There is an appropriate process underway and we continue to focus on our work for Nine and our people,” the spokeswoman said.
SBS, take a bow. You have won the title of the most outlandish spending by a public broadcaster on a programming launch, far outstripping the ABC, reports The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff.
Diary’s investigations of Senate Estimates documents show that last year, SBS, led by James Taylor, spent a whopping $444,000 on five separate “upfronts” – events used to launch the network’s 2020 programming schedule — in the major state capitals. That’s nearly 100 Cartier watches!
By comparison with its baby sister, the ABC was a positive picture of financial modesty last year, outlaying just $22,000, or just four Cartiers, on a single upfront event at its Ultimo HQ last year.
The most outlandish SBS overspend came at its lavish Sydney upfront at Barangaroo, where it outlaid $318,000 on a single event.
On Friday, the government announced a suite of new media reforms, aimed at creating a unified regulatory environment. These included the setting up for two new trusts; the Public Interest News Gathering (PING) trust and the Create Australian Screen Trust (CAST), reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
The Australian Associated Press – along with a many regional news media companies – could lock in ongoing government funding to keep it afloat as part of the new trust proposed in a new green paper into media reform.
However, the trust is only a proposal, and if put into law is contingent on a number of other proposals, such as a new TV licence regime, being taken up, which could be years down the road.
Kevin Rudd sought me out in my capacity as editor of Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, a role I held from April 2005 to November 2008, giving me a front-row seat for the end of the Howard era and the Rudd victory, reports David Penberthy in The Australian.
We would have dinner together at a now-defunct French bistro called Tabou on Crown Street near the News Corp offices in Surry Hills, and sometimes head out for a cleanser after.
When he became PM, Rudd organised several nights at Kirribilli House for what he liked to call “The Tele Boys”, which meant myself, Luke McIlveen, Joe Hildebrand, Simon Benson, and when he was up in Sydney from Canberra, our national political editor Malcolm Farr. A couple of these nights finished around 3am, and they always involved a strange tradition invented by Rudd where he would challenge us to a running race up the hill at the harbourside property.
If you wanted a headline to describe the relationship between Murdoch and Rudd it would be this: Media figure stalked by crazed fan. His enthusiasm to ingratiate himself with our company was so extreme that we almost needed to obtain a restraining order. Rudd now believes the company is evil and that it misuses its power and picks winners.
News Corp’s The Daily Telegraph has removed an article about outgoing Nine chief executive Hugh Marks following threats of defamation action from media litigator Mark O’Brien, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
However, the prospect of Federal Court action remains, with O’Brien continuing to push for a published apology from the Sydney-based tabloid publication.
The article, published in the Saturday November 21 edition of the Telegraph, made allegations against Marks and former Nine managing director of commercial Alexi Baker.
triple j has announced Bryce & Ebony will take over triple j breakfast in January 2021.
Hailing from Moranbah via Woy Woy, 26-year-old Bryce Mills got his start in community radio, presenting on 2SER.
Mills later jumped at the chance to helm the triple j front desk in 2018, answering phones and stuffing marketing material into Unearthed High and Hottest 100 envelopes, unbeknownst to everyone that within two years he would be triple j’s go-to presenter, regularly filling in on peak triple j shows like breakfast, drive, mornings and lunch, while also hosting triple j weekend arvos in 2020.
In addition to radio, you can also catch Mills on his weekly podcast God Is Dead, which unpacks the worst offerings from the internet and pop culture, Channel 10’s Unpacked series, roasting episodes of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, or via his own social media docu-reality satire videos which have amassed over a million views. As a comedian, he’s soldout multiple shows at the Sydney Comedy and Sydney Fringe Festival, as well as appeared at events like Secret Garden Festival.
Co-hosting triple j Brekkie is 25-year-old hip hop and dance aficionado Ebony Boadu. Born and bred in Western Sydney, Boadu’s obsession with music led her to hosting spots on FBi, SBS and MTV, before joining triple j in 2019 to sound track your Saturday nights on triple j’s House Party. In that time, her fast-growing popularity also saw her pick up peak fill in shifts on triple j breakfast, drive, nights and the Hip Hop Show.
Boadu is also an accomplished DJ, having played sets at all major festivals, like Splendour In The Grass and Falls Festival, as well as supporting the likes of Stormzy and Leikeli47, in addition to her own headline tours.
In a year when TV viewers took control of the remote more than ever before, it seems only fitting that this year’s AACTA awards turned voting over to the public, reports News Corp’s Holly Byrnes.
The Audience Choice awards, marking the academy’s 10th anniversary, saw some of Australian TV’s biggest names battle it out in a public poll, across the national News Corp websites.
Those votes were then tabulated to reveal these top 5 short lists, with your winners in each category to be revealed during the gala telecast this Wednesday on Seven.
FAVOURITE TV ACTOR OF THE DECADE
FAVOURITE AUSTRALIAN TV DRAMA
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, ABC TV
Home and Away, Channel 7
Packed to the Rafters, Channel 7
Nine Entertainment dropped the ball with its $100m investment in rugby, according to Seven boss James Warburton, who says not only did the network pay too much for the three-year deal, but they “picked the wrong sport”, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.
The swipe follows Nine’s announcement earlier this month that it had signed a deal with Rugby Australia to broadcast the sport via its streaming platform Stan. In unusually frank remarks, Warburton also accused Nine of driving up the cost of sports broadcast rights.
“I think they’ve picked the wrong sport. At $100m (cash and contra) over three years, plus production for something that is incredibly niche, that is a massive bet,” he told The Australian in an exclusive interview.