Wednesday October 2, 2019

Seven West Media
Seven getting new chief content officer in Warburton restructure

Seven West Media chief executive James Warburton is restructuring the broadcasting and publishing group into eight divisions. Three of those divisions are to get new leadership with the recruitment process for each well advanced.

Warburton explained: “With the new organisational structure, we have focussed on simplifying the SWM organisation to enable our content led growth strategy. This new flatter structure will cement our position as Australia’s leading media group with content at the heart of the business, digital growth maximised, duplication of roles removed in all areas and operating efficiencies implemented.

“We have had to make some tough decisions in order to build the network for the future. I take very seriously any decision that impacts our people and I am grateful for the loyalty and commitment shown by our team over many years. Anyone impacted by changes will have dedicated support and respect throughout the process of transition.”

The change that will potentially make the most impact on the business is a new head of content. The existing content executives Angus Ross (Seven) and Therese Hegarty (Seven Studios) will report to the new executive.

The eight divisions will be:

Content (new appointment soon)
Revenue (where Kurt Burnette will continue to lead)
Marketing (new appointment soon, publicity wrapped into this)
Digital (new appointment soon)
Commercial (where Bruce McWilliam will continue to lead)
Western Australian

Pacific will now fall under the expanded Digital division with Pacific CEO Gereurd Roberts reporting to the new digital boss.

GfK Radio Ratings 2019, Survey 6: Highlights + Full Results

• Full results and analysis of the sixth radio ratings report of the year


• Ratings steady despite controversies at 2GB & KIIS
• Markets biggest movers: Bogart & Glenn, Kyle and Jackie
• Good survey results to for Moonman plus Fitzy and Wippa

Biggest movers

UP: KIIS 1065 + 0.9

Read more: Sydney Radio Ratings: GfK Survey 6


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• Here comes Gold – Christian O’Connell + dayparts lift
• Listeners love music: Gavin Miller’s Gold drive show now #1

Biggest movers

UP: Gold 104.3 +2.2
DOWN: 3AW -1.3

Read more: Melbourne Radio Ratings: GfK Survey 6


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• Hit 105 back in the game, but Nova still untouchable
• Breakfast with Stav, Abby & Matt the big mover at Hit 105

Biggest movers

UP: Hit 105 +1.5
DOWN: 97.3FM -0.9

Read more: Brisbane Radio Ratings: GfK Survey 6


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• Mix #1 despite drop, Fiveaa commercial breakfast king

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• 96FM on the march, but Nova still rules overall + breakfast

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Duncan Campbell’s Virgin Mary moment: Why wasn’t Kyle dumped?

When Kyle Sandiland’s comments were made about the Virgin Mary on his Sydney ARN station two weeks ago, key members of the ARN executive team were on their way to Las Vegas for the annual iHeartRadio Music Festival.

By James Manning

ARN national content director Duncan Campbell had planned a few days off after the event before heading back to Australia. He still took that leave, but spent much of that time on the phone to Australia and to Sandilands, by then just a few hours away in Los Angeles.

One of the questions some are asking about the controversy is why the KIIS breakfast show’s censor didn’t hit the dump button when Sandilands started joking about religion.

On Monday morning this week at 5am Campbell was at work at the KIIS studios in Sydney before Sandilands delivered his apology for the comments at the start of the show at 6am.

“I have spoken to Kyle several times since the comments and at length on Sunday before his apology,” Campbell told Mediaweek. “He hadn’t anticipated there would be such a passionate response. He understood he overstepped the mark and had offended people and was keen to apologise and make amends. He realised why people of faith were upset and what their faith means to them.

“Religious beliefs are import for many people and are woven into the fabric of their life and you just have to respect those beliefs.

Kyle has learnt a lot about that in the last few days.

The Kyle and Jackie O Show employs a censor to press a dump button for sensitive material. The call can be made to bleep certain words or even take the show off the air temporarily. It’s not clear why the comments weren’t cut out.

There were some back end issues that didn’t work as well as they could have and we are looking into those,” said Campbell when asked about censorship at the breakfast show.

Sandilands said on Monday he was not going to get sacked. Campbell told Mediaweek that was not an option ARN had considered, nor was ARN about to suspend the co-host of Sydney’s #1 FM breakfast show.

“Kyle made a quick apology on the 20th of September and then followed it up with multiple on air apologies.

From an ARN point of view we are obviously disappointed it has happened. We also unreservedly apologise for any offense. Kyle’s on air apology was very genuine and he also took calls about in on air.”

Contrary to the perception some have about The Kyle and Jackie O Show, Campbell said offending people is not what the show is about.

“It has been a shame this has happened, because the show has evolved so much since it arrived at KIIS. Listeners get more light and shade than ever before. People get to see the more vulnerable side of Kyle and he also gives something back to the community.

It was a silly comment to make that will tarnish perceptions of the show that some non-listeners have. The show is much more than that.

As of yesterday, Campbell said he expected Sandilands back on air from Sydney next week.

Digital prophet David Shing and Kyle & Jackie O at Radio Alive 2019

New York-based digital prophet David “Shingy” Shing will feature with radio stars Kyle Sandilands and Jackie “O” Henderson at the Radio Alive 2019 national radio conference, with the full program released today.

Australian-born Shing is one of the most recognised and colourful figures on the US speaking circuit, having spent more than a decade at Verizon Media, which includes AOL, Yahoo, HuffPost and other media properties, before departing in August.

David “Shingy” Shing

David “Shingy” Shing

Forbes described Shing as an artist and “storyteller who identifies emerging trends and inspires clients to think differently”.

KIIS FM breakfast duo Kyle and Jackie O, who have spent nearly 20 years on air together, will make a special appearance to talk about their careers, the stars they’ve interviewed, their partnership and how they keep the show at the top of the FM airwaves.

The full conference program also features a panel of leading female executive producers hosted by the head of the Hit Network at Southern Cross Austereo, Gemma Fordham. The panel includes Sacha French, EP of the Hughesy & Kate Show; Nic McClure, EP of Nova’s national drive show Kate, Tim & Marty; and Millie Michael, EP of the Jonesy & Amanda breakfast show on WSFM. The panel will explore the elements that go into creating must-listen to radio.

They join previously announced speakers Hedley Thomas, producer of the Teacher’s Pet podcast, as well as radio CEOs Grant Blackley (Southern Cross Austereo), Ciaran Davis (ARN), Cathy O’Connor (Nova Entertainment) and Adam Lang (Macquarie Media).

More than 500 radio and media executives from around Australia will gather in Brisbane for the annual radio conference on Friday, 18 October, followed by the gala 31st Australian Commercial Radio Awards on Saturday, 19 October.

“We’re delighted to have such a strong line-up for the conference and we look forward to a big two days for radio,” said Joan Warner, chief executive officer of industry body Commercial Radio Australia.

James Warburton loses key Seven executive as broadcaster rebuilds

After less than two years in the role, Seven has lost the services of its head of corporate affairs, Stephen Browning.

In 2018 Browning moved to Seven replacing longtime head of comms Simon Francis. Browning came to Seven after several years at News Corp Australia. Prior to that Browning spent time at Austar and at BSkyB in the UK.

In his younger days, Browning worked in PR for the music business in London, often travelling with rock bands and looking after their press.

Browning, who is currently back in the UK on leave, will be relocating to Melbourne shortly after he returns as the head of external affairs at Orica.

Browning told Mediaweek he was excited at the opportunity to work in a field outside of the media.

Browning said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Seven – it’s been a privilege to work alongside such a talented and friendly team. But for me it’s time to try my hand at something completely different.

“There are too many people to call out individually, but I do want to particularly thank Kerry and Ryan Stokes and Tim Worner for giving me the opportunity.

“I’m sorry I won’t be part of the next exciting chapter as part of James’ team, but I shall be cheering on from the sidelines.”

Browning’s departure comes at a critical time for the network and just weeks before its 2020 Allfronts event.

There has been some speculation the departure could see new Seven West Media CEO James Warburton again working with journalist-turned-corporate PR Neil Shoebridge. The two previously worked together at Network 10 and APN Outdoor. Shoebridge is a partner at SKMG, a communications consultancy.

Playmaker appoints Network 10 exec as executive producer drama

Playmaker has secured Network Ten drama executive Sara Richardson to join their team as an executive producer. Richardson will be working across Playmaker’s extensive drama slate both in Australia and with Sony Pictures Television International’s LA creative team.

Richardson brings with her significant industry relationships and has been charged with putting Australia’s best writing talent on the world stage.

Richardson is one of Australia’s most highly respected drama executives. At Network Ten she oversaw the development and production of dramas including The Secrets She Keeps, Neighbours, Five Bedrooms and Offspring.

Listen to Sara Richardson with Mediaweek’s Andrew Mercado and James Manning on a Mediaweek podcast earlier this year.

This sees a return to Playmaker for Richardson who previously spent five years as their drama development producer. She has a history of both critically and commercially successful Australian drama with credits including The Wrong Girl, House Husbands, The Code and Love Child.

“We are excited to have Sara return to Playmaker. She is an incredibly talented drama executive who will play an integral part in leading Playmaker’s future drama projects,” said Playmaker founders David Maher and David Taylor in making the announcement.

Sara Richardson said: “I look forward to beginning this next chapter at Playmaker. My passion has always been to tell bold, complex and exciting stories that audiences can escape into. The ability to develop innovative, high quality projects with Playmaker is an exciting opportunity.”


A Sony Pictures Television company, Playmaker was founded in 2009 by award-winning producers David Maher and David Taylor.  An Australian television production company specialising in high quality authored drama, recent productions include Reckoning (Sony Pictures Television Networks) starring Aden Young and Sam Trammell, and the 2019 TV Week Logie Award winning (for Most Outstanding Mini-Series) Bloom (Stan) which starred Academy Award Nominee Jacki Weaver, Bryan Brown and Phoebe Tonkin. Playmaker also produced two seasons of The Wrong Girl (10 Network), four series of Love Child (Nine Network), five seasons of the TV Week Logie Award winning (for Most Popular Drama) series House Husbands (Nine Network), two series of the AACTA Award winning (for Best Drama Series) The Code (ABC) starring Ashley Zukerman and Golden Globe winner Anthony LaPaglia, the Emmy nominated SLiDE (Foxtel) as well as recent mini-series Friday On My Mind (ABC) and the Mandarin-language version of the thriller Chosen, made in Australia for China’s largest streaming service iQiyi.

Playmaker is currently in production on a new Stan Original series The Commons. Created by Shelley Birse, with Graham Yost as EP, it stars Golden Globe Winner and three-time Emmy Nominee, Joanne Froggatt (Liar, Downton Abbey), with Damon Herriman (Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, Judy and Punch) in a supporting role. A second series of Bloom is also slated for production in late 2019.

SMI: Tough agency ad market continues, travel one area of growth

Australia’s media agency market has reported another month of lower advertising demand in August with the total ad market back by 8.9% compared to August 2018’s strong result, reports SMI:

As a result we’re now seeing another month in which all major media are reporting reduced ad spend with, for example, total TV bookings back 5.8%, digital bookings back 8.6%, outdoor back 12.6% and radio ad spend back 10%.

But SMI can also see the market has improved in September, and our new forecasts show the agency market should deliver a positive result in October.

And as previously noted, last year’s record level of ad spend was exceptional, driven by the Financial Services Royal Commission, Commonwealth Games, Soccer World Cup and various by-elections and state elections all combining to deliver unprecedented levels of advertising expenditure spend.

In contrast, this year the market has been plagued by a lack of business confidence, global political uncertainty and a tighter credit market post the Royal Commission.

We’re now also in the unusual position in which every media is reporting lower ad spend over the eight months of the CYTD period, with the total market for that eight month period back 5.3%.

SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said SMI’s early look at September bookings was already encouraging with the level of decline well below that seen in recent months.

“Now that we’ve seen interest rates cut to their lowest point in history we are even more confident in our forecast for the advertising market to grow year-on-year in October,” she said.

“We can see in our category trend forecasts that many advertisers that spend the bulk of their advertising budgets in the Q4 period are already preparing to again grow their media investment.”

But for the month of August only 10 product categories reported any year-on-year growth with the largest increase coming from insurance advertisers (+33% year-on-year).

In contrast the largest category of automotive brand reported an 8.5% fall in August ad spend and the second largest category of retail reduced bookings by 14.8%.

And for the year to August automotive brand ad spend is back 3.8% and retail ad spending back 0.1%. Among the 10 largest categories the best growth so far this year is from insurance (+8.7%) and travel (+9.3%) advertisers.

Nine announces Weatherzone sale to DTN

Nine has confirmed the sale of weather information provider Weatherzone to US-based insights, analysis and decision-support solutions firm DTN.

“We are pleased to have successfully completed a deal with DTN for the sale of Nine’s 75 per cent holding in Weatherzone,” said Hugh Marks, CEO of Nine. “This is a mutually beneficial deal which sees us exiting a non-core business in order to focus on Nine’s portfolio of high-growth, digital, consumer-facing assets.

“For the team at Weatherzone it aligns them with a leader in the insights space and allows them to continue to grow and expand their business.”

DTN, which is headquartered out of Minneapolis, said the acquisition underscores its commitment to bringing the most accurate and actionable insights to consumers and customers in weather-sensitive industries throughout the world.

“Today we are excited to bring Weatherzone to DTN and expand our business in Australia,” said Steve Matthesen, DTN CEO. “Weatherzone has a great team dedicated to serving consumers and clients with the best weather information and insights available. We look forward to working together, leveraging global technology to continue driving success for our customers.”

Weatherzone is the leading commercial provider of meteorological services in Australia, and specialises in providing services to weather-dependent businesses such as aviation, mining and transportation. Nine inherited its ownership of Weatherzone following the merger of Fairfax Media and Nine in December 2018.

TV Demand: Matt Groening's Disenchantment joins the charts

Stranger Things has now made it 15 weeks in a row on top of the Australian TV Demand charts and 14 out of 15 in New Zealand as it maintains its steady TV Demand dominance.

By Trent Thomas

Once again it’s followed by the regular faces such as The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, The Boys, and 13 Reasons Why in the digital original charts as well as Game of Thrones, Steven Universe, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine on the Overall TV charts.

However, there is one notable new face on the Digital Originals this week and it comes from a familiar name in Matt Groening with his latest project Disenchantment releasing part 2 of its first season on Netflix on September 20, 2019.

The show is set in the medieval fantasy kingdom of Dreamland and revolves around 19-year old princess Bean, her elf friend Elfo, and her “personal demon” Luci as they follow her rebellious bent and alcohol-fueled adventures, while also dealing with Bean’s brutish father King Zøg and his royal court. 

The series is Groening’s first production for Netflix after creating The Simpsons and Futurama for 20th Century Fox Television.

Disenchantment stars the voices of Abbi Jacobson, Eric Andre, Nat Faxon, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille, Matt Berry, David Herman, Maurice LaMarche, Lucy Montgomery, and Billy West.

TV Ratings Analysis: October 1

• Blame Russel Howcroft, Mojo, CJZ & ABC for trouble sleeping
• Australia goes to bed with jingles bouncing around in their heads
• Wendell Sailor the latest Masked Singer reveal after cracking opener

Tuesday Week 40 2019

By James Manning 

• Seven News 950,000/940,000
• Nine News 819,000/869,000
• A Current Affair 761,000
• ABC News 655,000
• 7.30 567,000
• The Project 304,000/510,000
• 10 News First 328,000
• The Drum 174,000
• SBS World News 144,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 274,000
• Today 186,000


After Home and Away started its week on 656,000 the Tuesday audience was not far off that mark with 645,000.

The second night of The Real Dirty Dancing saw the launch audience of 580,000 fall to 532,000. It seems the remaining episodes will go up against the NRL final on Sunday night.

The third episode of Secret Bridesmaids’ Business then did 320,000 after audiences of 426,000 and 317,000 for the first two episodes.


Reporter Dan Nolan continued his investigation into the C3 Church on A Current Affair. An audience on 794,000 saw the Monday report with 761,000 watching last night.

The Block featured an auction preview for Domain guests as potential buyers were taken through the part-finished properties. The Tuesday audience was 820,000 after 814,000 a week ago.

The movie Pitch Perfect 2 took over the Tuesday drama slot with 305,000 watching.


The Project again featured crosses to Hamish Macdonald on the streets of Hong Kong as he weaved his way between demonstrators and police with onlookers, and the hosts back in the studio, telling Macdonald to put on his gas mask. The episode pushed over half a million after 492,000 on Monday.

The Masked Singer opened with a cracking version of AC/DC’s Long Way To The Top. The only problem was it was too short and lacked a guitar solo. The audience and the judges loved it. Later in the show Wendell Sailor was the celebrity unmasked and dropped from the competition. The Tuesday audience was 848,000 and then 1.004m for the reveal after 835,000/1.063m on Monday. That was enough to rank it #1 for night all people and key demos.

BH90210 then did 311,000 after launching with 468,000 a week ago.


I’m blaming Russel Howcroft, Mojo, CJZ & ABC for trouble going to sleep last night. It might have happened elsewhere too. The brilliant tribute to Alan Morris and Allan Johnston, How Australia Got It’s Mojo, was a dazzling display of advertising at its best with Aussies being hypnotised into action by Mojo jingles. It’s a must watch on iview if you missed it. The audience was a very healthy 578,000, which saw the program easily win its timeslot.

Elsewhere Foreign Correspondent looked at brave young women fighting the climate change war with 409,000 watching.


Cardiff was featured in Professor Alice RobertsBritain’s Most Historic Towns with 210,000 watching.

Inter-country adoption was the subject on Insight for the audience of 173,000.

Week 40 TV: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 12.8% 7 17.8% 9 20.3% 10  14.5% SBS One 4.7%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.1% 7TWO 3.2% GO! 3.1% 10 Bold 4.1% VICELAND 1.3%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 2.9% GEM 3.4% 10 Peach 1.8% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix 1.6% 9Life 2.1%     NITV 0.1%
    7Food 0.5%         SBS World Movies 0.5%
TOTAL 17.2%   26.0%   28.9%   20.4%   7.5%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 11.4% 7 19.5% 9 15.3% WIN 11.0% SBS One 4.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.5% 7TWO 5.7% GO! 4.4% WIN Bold 3.5% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 1.1% 7mate 4.9% GEM 5.0% WIN Peach 1.5% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.1% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.9% 9Life 2.2% Sky News  on WIN 1.7% NITV 0.3%
    7food (QLD only) 0.7%            
TOTAL 16.1%   32.7%   26.9%   17.7%   6.6%


87.6% 12.4%
Tuesday FTA
  1. The Masked Singer Australia – Reveal  10 1,004,000
  2. Seven News Seven  950,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven  940,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 869,000
  5. The Masked Singer Australia  10 848,000
  6. The Block  Nine 820,000
  7. Nine News Nine 819,000
  8. A Current Affair Nine 761,000
  9. ABC News ABC 655,000
  10. Home And Away Seven  645,000
  11. How Australia Got Its Mojo ABC 578,000
  12. 7.30 ABC 567,000
  13. The Real Dirty DancingSeven  532,000
  14. The Chase Australia Seven  522,000
  15. The Project 7PM  10 510,000
  16. Hot Seat Nine 439,000
  17. Foreign Correspondent ABC 409,000
  18. 10 News First  10 328,000
  19. The Chase Australia5PM Seven  325,000
  20. Secret Bridesmaids’ Business Seven  320,000
Demo Top Five

16-39 Top five

  1. The Masked Singer Australia – Reveal  10 298,000
  2. The Masked Singer Australia 10 252,000
  3. The BlockNine 180,000
  4. The Project 7PM  10 126,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven  115,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. The Masked Singer Australia – Reveal  10 485,000
  2. The Masked Singer Australia 10 401,000
  3. The BlockNine 362,000
  4. The Project 7PM  10 233,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 220,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. The Masked Singer Australia – Reveal  10 531,000
  2. The Masked Singer Australia 10 437,000
  3. The BlockNine 413,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 279,000
  5. The Project 7PM  10 264,000
Tuesday Multichannel
  1. Death In Paradise  9Gem 147,000
  2. Highway Patrol Ep.2 PM 7mate 138,000
  3. CSI: Miami 10 Bold 137,000
  4. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 134,000
  5. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  6. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  7. CSI: Miami Ep 2 10 Bold 125,000
  8. Jupiter Ascending  9GO! 114,000
  9. Peter Rabbit AMABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  10. Olobob Top AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 112,000
  11. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 112,000
  12. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 111,000
  13. Neighbours 10 Peach 111,000
  14. Towies PM 7mate 110,000
  15. Poirot  9Gem 108,000
  16. Little Princess AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 108,000
  17. Nella The Princess Knight PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 107,000
  18. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 106,000
  19. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 105,000
  20. Luo Bao Bei ABCKIDS/COMEDY 105,000
Tuesday STV
  1. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 62,000
  2. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 53,000
  3. Live: The Back Page FOX SPORTS 505 47,000
  4. Jones & Credlin Sky News Live 44,000
  5. Credlin Sky News Live 43,000
  6. Blue Bloods TVH!TS 41,000
  7. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 38,000
  8. Alone A&E 34,000
  9. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 33,000
  10. Family Guy FOX8 32,000
  11. Debi Marshall Investigates Frozen Lies crime + investigation 32,000
  12. PML Later Sky News Live 31,000
  13. American Dad! FOX8 29,000
  14. Pawn Stars A&E 28,000
  15. Below Deck Mediterranean ARENA 27,000
  16. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation TVH!TS 26,000
  17. Escape To The Continent Lifestyle Channel 26,000
  18. Escape To The Country Lifestyle Channel26,000
  19. Border Security: Australia’s Front Line FOX8 25,000
  20. NCISTVH!TS 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

Elisabeth Murdoch key investor in new production company

Media executives Elisabeth Murdoch, Stacey Snider and Jane Featherstone have launched a new entertainment production company called Sister, capitalising on the growing demand for content among streaming services, reports The Los Angeles Times.

The new firm, based in London with additional offices in Los Angeles, will develop movies and TV shows with a focus on supporting new and visionary talent, the women said in a statement. The company will be built on the foundation of Featherstone’s Emmy Award-winning indie production house, Sister Pictures.

Murdoch, daughter of Rupert Murdoch, is the lead investor in the new venture and will serve as executive chairman. Snider, the former 20th Century Fox Film chair; and Featherstone, the television producer and former Shine executive, are also investing. Financial details of the investment were not disclosed.

Sister Pictures, known for shows including HBO’s Chernobyl and the British drama Broadchurch, has a staff of 26 in London, the company said. In 2019, it produced 25 hours of scripted television per year, which will rise to 32 hours per year in 2020.

[Read the original]

Elisabeth Murdoch’s previous production company Shine was sold to 21st Century Fox in 2011 for US$675m. The production company was then merged with Endemol and Core Media.

Nine’s voting power in Macquarie Media close to total control

Nine Entertainment is edging closer to taking over the home of broadcasters Alan Jones and Ray Hadley, Macquarie Media, with its voting power increasing to 88.78 per cent, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

The disclosure was made in a Nine shareholder notice to ASX on Tuesday morning, as the clock ticked on its $1.46 a share offer for the remaining 45.5 per cent it doesn’t already own of the radio network.

That figure was up from 87.05 per cent following the recent sale of advertising veteran John Singleton‘s 32.2 per cent stake in the business for $80 million.

Nine, which inherited its controlling 54.5 per cent stake in Macquarie Media as part of its $4 billion merger with Fairfax Media in December, needs to get to 90 per cent to secure full control of the broadcaster. Its $1.46 a share offer is at the bottom of an independent expert’s report value range of $1.44 and $1.66 a share.

[Read the original]

News Brands

Prince Harry takes legal action against newspaper for 'bullying' Meghan

Prince Harry has launched legal action against British tabloid The Mail on Sunday, saying he fears the tabloid’s treatment of his wife is “history repeating itself”.

The 35-year old Duke of Sussex released an extraordinary statement on Tuesday, invoking his mother Princess Diana who died in 1997 in a car crash after being chased by paparazzi, saying his wife had become the latest victim of Britain’s tabloid press.

“Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one,” Prince Harry said.

“Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person.

“I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”

Prince Harry’s legal action has been filed under the Data Protection Act 2018 and relates to the newspaper’s publication of Meghan’s private letter to her father, from whom she is estranged. He said the paper’s “ruthless campaign” against his wife had escalated during her pregnancy when she could not defend herself.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are privately funding the legal action and say any proceeds from any damages will be donated to an anti-bullying charity.

[Read the original]


Bikie Wars star accused of making unwelcome sexual advances

A well-known Australian TV star has been accused of sexual discrimination after he allegedly forcibly kissed a female actor in a “non-consensual and unscripted” encounter during filming of a television show, reports News Corp’s Kay Dibben.

Rebecca Wilson alleges actor Damian Walshe-Howling made unwelcome sexual advances toward her, kissing her and forcing his tongue into her mouth, while they were filming Bikie Wars: Brothers in Armsin 2011.

Wilson, who was an extra playing a Bandido party girl, alleges Walshe-Howling held her by the back of her head, so she was unable to free herself, her court claim says.

The kiss, during filming in December, 2011, was “non-consensual and unscripted”, her Federal Circuit Court claim, filed by Shine Lawyers, alleges.

[Read the original]

Stranger Things 4 teased as Duffer brothers get bigger Netflix deal

It’s happening: Stranger Things is getting a fourth season to chronicle the sci-fi exploits of Eleven and her crew – and further heighten your sense of 1980s nostalgia, reports The Los Angeles Times.

Netflix on Monday announced its flagship series’ renewal with a teaser clip showcasing a spooky Stranger Things 4 logo and the ominous declaration that “We’re not in Hawkins anymore.” The development also came with word that the streaming giant had signed the series’ creators and showrunners, Matt and Ross Duffer, to a multiyear film and series overall deal, all but ensuring the creation of new worlds outside of Indiana and its all-consuming Upside Down.

“The Duffer Brothers have captivated viewers around the world with Stranger Things and we’re thrilled to expand our relationship with them to bring their vivid imaginations to other film and series projects our members will love,” the streamer’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, said in a statement. “We can’t wait to see what the Duffer Brothers have in store when they step outside the world of the Upside Down.”

The Duffers thanked Sarandos and the Netflix team for taking a chance on them and their show and forever changing their lives.

[Read the original]

Gabrielle Carteris reveals conditions for return to Beverly Hills 90210

Gabrielle Carteris had one main condition when she signed on to the Beverly Hills 90210 reboot, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

The 58-year-old insisted her character – Andrea Zuckerman – experiments with her sexuality.

“When I took this opportunity and said yes to doing it, I wanted to do it because it is fun but I actually think with storytelling we have a chance to also shift perceptions,” Carteris, who has two adult children with stockbroker husband Charles Isaacs.

Carteris, along with original cast members including Tori Spelling Shannen Doherty, Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth and Ian Ziering, are part of BH 90201 that premiered on Channel 10 last week.

Created by Aaron Spelling, the original ran for 10 seasons from 1990 to 2000 and was a global hit still broadcast in some countries today.

“When we started 90210, one of the things that was so appealing about this show initially was that we weren’t pretending that everybody was good and nobody makes mistakes,” she said. “It was the human part where people can see themselves in the character. Now, 30 years later since we started that show, our commentary has to be different.”

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Alan Fletcher, Jackie Woodburne: 25 Years on Neighbours

TV Tonight recently sat down with Australia’s longest-running drama couple and in the first of a two part story looks back on the early years.

The Kennedy clan, consisting of Dr. Karl Kennedy (Alan Fletcher), Susan (Jackie Woodburne), Malcolm (Benjamin McNair), Libby (Kym Valentine) and Billy (Jesse Spencer), arrived in the 10 soap in October 1994. Bill Searle was executive producer, Peter Dodds was series producer and Jan Russ was casting director.

Alan Fletcher had previously appeared in a guest role, which he was later asked to resume but declined due to theatre commitments.

“I was doing Shakespeare with the Melbourne Theatre Company,” he recalls.

“My goodness what a different life I might have had!

“I probably would have done a year and a bit and ‘headed off to the UK’ or something!

“Seven years later along came Dr. Karl Kennedy and I couldn’t have been more excited.”

He also filmed his first scenes on location a week before his on-air family filmed their first studio scenes.

“I always boast that I’ve been on Neighbours longer than Jackie, by a week!”

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Sports Media

Canberra Raiders set to cash in on grand final run with TV boost

The Raiders are poised to cash in on their fairytale grand final run with an increase in exposure on the NRL’s free-to-air broadcaster when next season’s draw is finalised in coming weeks, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Adam Pengilly.

Rights holder Nine is expected to carry more Raiders games when the 2020 schedule is published, a win for the club which has long campaigned for greater air time on the NRL’s biggest TV platform.

The Raiders had only five games shown on Nine during this year’s regular season and had blockbuster clashes late in the season against the Roosters, Storm and Sharks – which also doubled as Paul Gallen‘s farewell to the Shire – shown on the subscription-only Fox Sports.

Nine was asked to pick their free-to-air allocation for next year’s season as early as August meaning they had to lodge their preferences before the Raiders’ stunning finals run.

The Broncos have played more than 200 games on free-to-air since 2008 given the ratings hit they are in Queensland while other traditional Sydney clubs such as the Rabbitohs, Eels and Dragons are small screen hits.

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Radio silence for A-League as campaign cut close to new season

The radio silence around the upcoming A-League campaign has increased with a proposed nationwide advertising blitz having to be scrapped, reports AAP.

A failure to reach agreement on the strategy for the campaign on Australian Radio Network (ARN) between A-League clubs led to the collapse, which has come less than two weeks before the new season starts on October 11.

In previous seasons the FFA has been in charge of the strategy for promotion campaigns.

But with club owners now taking control of the A-League, the campaign had to be signed off by the 11 clubs as well.

AAP understands the campaign collapsed after the media agency hired by FFA revealed their concerns over the process to ARN directly.

A-League bosses have already decided to run a late promotion blitz for the upcoming season after the AFL and NRL finals, believing it will avoid their marketing being drowned out by the winter codes.

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Beau Ryan slams trolls amid allegations of feud between Nine stars

Beau Ryan has called “bullsh**” on trolling attacking his former FootyShow co-host, Erin Molan for the demise of Nine’s once-top rating NRL program, reports News Corp’s Holly Byrnes.

Molan has been victimised on social media after news of an alleged ‘feud’ with Andrew Johns, her league commentary partner, blamed her for the reported split – which saw Johns banished from working on the same telecast as his female co-star.

Ryan, who worked with both Molan and Johns at Nine – before signing with 10 to host a new series of The Amazing Race Australia– said “it was bullsh**” to scapegoat Molan for the casting call made by Nine management and head of sport, Tom Malone.

“I’ve been really close to Erin since she started and have so much respect for her,” Ryan told News Corp.

“You’ve got to remember she was one of the first women to come in and work in NRL. Girls like her and [Fox Sports’] Lara Pitt, it was super hard to break into the rugby league world. When I was a kid watching The Footy Show or commentary, there were no girls involved. So the first ones are always going to find it hard.”

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