The size of the potential audience that Virginia Trioli will lose in the move from national TV to Melbourne radio was not a concern in her decision to head back to radio as Jon Faine’s replacement at ABC Melbourne.
By James Manning
“For me it’s never been a competition about whether it is national or state,” Trioli told Mediaweek not long after coming offstage from Faine’s farewell show broadcast from the Melbourne Town Hall last Friday.
“It is about whether the show itself has real meaning and connection to the audience. This one does. It is the most powerful radio show there is in the nation in relation to its audience. It’s an enormous audience, it’s meaningful, connects with them and makes differences for them. That is exactly what I hope I will be able to continue.”
Jon Faine has regularly made headlines across the years at the Melbourne station. More recent highlights included criticism of his ABC boss (“Can you do your job better, please?”, was his comment to Michelle Guthrie), competition from 3AW, (“It must have been very frustrating for him – 23 years without an opinion,” said Melbourne morning rival Neil Mitchell this week) or clashing with politicians (“That’s a terrible lie Jon,” said PM Scott Morrison after his first question in an interview earlier this year).
Trioli said the bread and butter content of the program, that perhaps doesn’t attract the media coverage, is about “the big policy decisions that are being made apparently in service of the people of Victoria.
“We will be covering peoples’ experience of schools and hospitals, roads and rail. If we ever lose focus on those things then we are losing contact with the audience.”
As to what made her want to take on the new radio challenge, Trioli said the ABC radio chiefs told her she was one of the candidates they would be considering.
“I tried to image how I would feel on the day they announced his replacement and it wasn’t me. My heart sank every time I tried to imagine that day. It was then I really knew it was the job I wanted.”
As to the physical challenge of the new job, former News Breakfast co-host Trioli called it a “sleep in”.
“I used to get up at 2.30am and so anything at 5am or later is a lie in. Theses sort of jobs, breakfast TV or radio, where you never stop talking, are a mental game really.”
The ABC has not issued its new Melbourne morning broadcaster a brief. “We all are very aware at a station like ABC Melbourne about what the mission is and what we are there to do for whoever tunes in. We need to connect to them meaningfully and make a difference to their lives. I have an amazing team and it is the morning team that has been with Jon for some time. The three-person team is led by Katrina Palmer who was first person who produced and trained me when I started in radio.
“The older I get you begin to appreciate that it is not about job, it is not about the money, it is about the team, the people you will be working with day-in, day-out. That’s another thing that made this decision so easy.”
Television hosts are often critiqued on the way they dress. Even though people won’t be able to see what Trioli is wearing, she will still be making an effort.
“You have to dress your best for radio. I have always done my best broadcasting in heels. A person once told me about a job interview – even though you might be doing it on the phone from home, don’t do it in your pyjamas. They said you don’t sound your best unless you are dressed up. It is the same for radio. It is the costume you put on to be on the ball, on point and paying attention.
“I will not be turning up in tracky dacks!”
Q&A with Virginia Trioli
Virginia Trioli on future TV work:
“Maybe there will be something into the future, but it’s not something that I am pursuing. I have to be head down and bum up in this job.”
How does Trioli rank on the “radical register” for people who think the ABC might be a hot bed of lefties?
“I have no idea. Those who have it in for the ABC have it in usually for naked self-interest. They want us gone, out of the market because they want our listeners and viewers. They argue we are too big because they are struggling with a business model that doesn’t work.
“The idea that somehow I might be radical is hilarious!
“I have never been a member of a political party and have never been involved in politics, including student politics at university.
“My focus has always been creativity through storytelling.
“The journalism I did for years at The Age was the seeds of the journalism I am doing now – telling Melburnian stories.
“I have always been a tough and independent interviewer regardless of who the guest might be.”
Trioli noted that during interviews with politicians of either party she will get various tweets – some accusing her of being a left wing hack, while others claim her a liberal shrill.
Trioli’s media consumption
“For my job I need to consume a lot of media, but I would be doing it anyway.
“Twitter has always been a brilliant news resource, basically a wire service for me.
“ABC News is brilliant in informing on a number of different levels from foreign correspondents to news analysis to the online news pages.”
Top Photo: Virginia Trioli
• Hosts, performers & presenters announced for 31st annual Australian Commercial Radio Awards
Radio industry allstars to present awards to industry’s best
When the 31st Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) are held in Brisbane on 19 October, hosting the event for the 4th year in a row will be Chris Taylor and Andrew Hansen from The Chaser, who are regularly heard on Triple M on Radio Chaser.
Taylor and Hansen said: “Please don’t mention in the press release that we’re hosting again. We’re going to host the event wearing elaborate animal masks, and then invite the audience to guess who we are.”
Radio stars from across the country will join the hosts on stage to present awards, including:
Ben Fordham – Macquarie Media Limited (2GB)
Kate Ritchie & Tim Blackwell – Nova Entertainment (Nova FM)
Brendan “Jonesy” Jones & Amanda Keller – Australian Radio Network (WSFM 101.7)
Carrie Bickmore & Tommy Little – Southern Cross Austereo (Hit Network)
Melissa Doyle & Richard Wilkins – Nova Entertainment (smoothfm)
Mick Molloy & Jane Kennedy – Southern Cross Austereo (Triple M Network)
Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald & Michael “Wippa” Wipfli – Nova Entertainment (NOVA 96.9)
Lawrence Mooney, Jess Eva, Chris Page & Gus Worland – Southern Cross Austereo (Triple M 104.9)
Chrissie Swan & Jonathan “Browny” Brown – Nova Entertainment (NOVA 100)
Erin Molan & Natalie Peters – Macquarie Media Limited (2GB)
Michael “Mike E” Etheridge & Emma Chow – Australian Radio Network (The Edge 96.1)
Bianca Dye – Australian Radio Network (97.3FM)
Laurel Edwards – Australian Radio Network (4KQ)
Sarah Wills & Lise Carlaw (Those Two Girls) – Southern Cross Austereo (Hit Network)
Gavin Miller – Australian Radio Network (Gold 104.3)
Ashley “Ash” Bradnam, Kip Wightman, David “Luttsy” Lutteral & Susie O’Neill – Nova Entertainment (NOVA 106.9)
Three of Australian music’s brightest stars will perform at the event. Global sensation Morgan Evans, ARIA Award winner Samantha Jade and hip hop artist Illy will entertain the who’s who of commercial radio at the event in Brisbane.
Nashville-based and Newcastle-born star Evans made a name for himself globally in country music after he burst onto the scene with his chart-topping single Kiss Somebody, which achieved ARIA Platinum status, and follow up Day Drunk, which went Double Platinum in Australia. Both singles are off his album Things That We Drink To, which debuted at #5 on the ARIA charts. Evans is the winner of two APRA Music Awards for Country Work of the Year (2018 and 2019), five CMC Awards and an America’s Country Music Association Award for Global Artist of the Year.
Popular ARIA Award-winning singer and songwriter Jade returned to the ARIA charts and Australian radio in September with her latest single Bounce. Her hits include What You’ve Done To Me, Soldier, Up!, Sweet Talk, Firestarter and Shake That, which was a collaboration with Pitbull. Firestarter was awarded an ARIA for Best Video. Her album Nine, which was released in 2015, reached #2 on the ARIA charts.
Two-time APRA Award winner (Best Urban Act in 2017 and 2018) Illy has released a series of popular singles and albums, including the 2014 Top 20 Double Platinum single Tightrope, hit track Catch 22 (featuring Anne-Marie) and single Papercuts (featuring Vera Blue), which reached #2 on the ARIA charts and went 5 x Platinum. His 2016 album Two Degrees debuted at #1 on the ARIA albums chart and his Two Degrees Tour was awarded an ARIA for Best Live Act in 2017. In May 2019 he released Then What, the first single from his upcoming sixth studio album.
“What could be a better way to celebrate commercial radio in Australia than by showcasing not only some of our best radio talent but also some of the amazing and diverse local artists whose songs are played on radio stations across the country?” said Joan Warner, chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia.
The 31st ACRAs will be held at the Royal International Convention Centre in Brisbane on Saturday, 19 October.
Bauer Media has signed a multi-year licensing deal with Lagardére to continue publishing fashion and beauty brand Elle Australia across all channels.
Bauer Media chief executive officer Brendon Hill said the seven-year agreement is a testament to the strength of the Elle Australia and an example of Bauer’s commitment to bolstering its luxury portfolio.
“We are delighted to continue to bring Elle Australia, one of the world’s most recognisable brands, to its loyal and rapidly growing audience. Elle is an extremely high performing brand in Australia with growth across print and online readership, social media platforms and retail performance. This success demonstrates that the brand is a market-leader that Australians resonate with, and is a reflection of the exceptionally talented Elle team.”
First licensed by Bauer in Australia in 2013, Elle has achieved significant growth, particularly in the past 12 months; 15.5% growth in print readership YOY; 123% increase in online page views YOY to reach 3.9 million in July and a jump from 120,000 Instagram video views to 3.7 million views. Additionally, Elle is the only title in the luxury women’s category to experience growth in supermarket sales in the last year.
Following the sell-out success of its Elle Inspires panel event series this year, Bauer is planning to build on the events next year.
Elle editor-in-chief Genevra Leek (pictured) said: “We’ve had an amazing year with our brilliant team who remain committed to inspiring imagery and great story-telling across all of our Elle products. We’ve celebrated incredible highlights including our August Sustainability issue, our series of digital covers celebrating game-changing talent in the inaugural Elle list, and our launch onto IGTV, which has contributed to exponential growth in Instagram views. With big plans already in play for 2020, the future for ELLE Australia is bright.”
Hill added: “Bauer is committed to evolving our brands, the way we connect with audiences to better reflect our readers and provide the best content and brand experiences in the market.”
The November issue of Elle, featuring Hollywood star Elle Fanning on the cover, photographed by Kai Z Feng for Elle Australia in Los Angeles, is on sale Monday, October 21.
The week started very well for Nine with the NRL Grand Final on the first evening of week 41. Although the audience was the smallest NRL Grand Final ever, the match was easily the biggest thing on TV last week and one of the biggest programs of the year.
The Block ranked #2 for the week with its Monday episode on 978,000. The long-running Nine series had a rare Thursday episode because of the NRL taking its Sunday slot.
Love Island launched last week with 456,000 on Monday with the primary channel overnight numbers sliding on each successive evening. But Nine has pointed out the format is recording massive numbers on digital via 9Now and the program has gone straight to #1 on the VPM rankings.
Seven’s best was again its News bulletins and Today Tonight in Adelaide and Perth. Seven’s next highest rated program was Home and Away, but it was well down the chart of the week’s best at #27.
Seven had the #1 multichannel with 7TWO on 3.8%, just narrowly ahead of GO! On 3.7%.
Seven also maintained its strong lead in breakfast TV with Sunrise.
Seven’s primary share of 17.1% was its lowest this year.
Because Network 10 splits the coding of The Masked Singer into the Reveal and then the rest of the episode, the primary channel was able to claim two spots in the top 10 at #4 and #9.
Have You Been Paying Attention? continued is strong performance with another 800,000+.
In the week of its Sydney Upfront event, 10 was able to report it secured four of the top 10 spots in under 50s and 25 to 54s, six of the top 10 spots in 16 to 39s and five of the top 10 spots in 18 to 49s.
The ABC’s best was Gruen with 715,000. That was well ahead of the ABC News average of 620,000.
Julia Zemiro’s new season of Home Delivery returned with 596,000.
The return of Struggle Street for season three drew the biggest audience on SBS with 259,000 watching.
Three other shows were also very close to 250,000 – Insight, Britain’s Most Historic Towns and Britain’s Ancient Tracks.
SBS had its best primary share since July.
• Albums: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds land at #7 with Ghosteen
By James Manning
Given how hard it is to rank #1 or even get in the best 10, there was quite a bit of action near the top of the chart.
This was despite no change at #1 where Tones And I with Dance Monkey remains solid for an eleventh week. This week, the singer-songwriter breaks the record for most weeks at #1 on the ARIA Singles Chart by a female solo act, a record previously jointly-held by Sandi Thom’s I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair) (2010) and Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You (1992/93). Tones And I last week received eight nominations for the 2019 ARIA Awards, including for Song Of The Year and Best Video for Dance Monkey.
Two new releases managed to debut top 50 this week and both of them landed in the top 10:
#3: Travis Scott with Highest In The Room – US rapper Travis Scott takes out his first Top 50 debut for 2019 with a track that is his third top 10 single and his highest chart peak to date, surpassing Sicko Mode (#6 earlier this year), which spent 38 weeks in the top 50.
#4: Dan + Shay & Justin Bieber with 10,000 Hours – US country duo Dan + Shay team up with Justin Bieber which becomes the first to hit the top 50 singles for Dan + Shay.
New to the top 10 this week at #7 is Maroon 5’s Memories. The tune is the US band’s 12th top 10 single in Australia after first appearing in the top 10 with This Love 15 years ago.
Nine albums debuted in the top 50 this week with two into the top 10.
#7: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds with Ghosteen. This is 12th top 10 on the ARIA Albums Chart for Cave and his band. The group’s 17th studio album is a double album and follows on from Skeleton Tree (#1 2016) and Push The Sky Away (2013). More recently they released the compilation Lovely Creatures – The Best of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (1984 – 2014) which went top 10 in 2017.
#8: City and Colour with A Pill For Loneliness. The Canadian band’s fourth album is their first in four years and their fourth top 10 in Australia.
#15 Tyler, The Creator with Igor
#17 Summer Walker with Over It
#22 The Darkness with Easter Is Cancelled
#23 Wilco with Ode To Joy
#27 Angel Olsen with All Mirrors
#37 Dermot Kennedy with Without Fear
#41 We Lost The Sea with Triumph & Disaster
#42 Maundz with True North
• Bathurst 1000 late finish has over 1m watching on 10
• Tess and Luke get a lifeline: Studio week win on The Block
• Pop Sunday: Wham! On 60 Minutes, ABBA on Seven
By James Manning
• Seven News 817,000
• Nine News 741,000
• ABC News 591,000
• The Project 407,000/385,000
• 10 News First 250,000
• Insiders 243,000
• Offsiders 143,000
• SBS World News 138,000
• Sunrise 207,000
• Today 148,000
Instead of another episode of Bride and Prejudice, Seven turned to a Sunday night favourite – the Scandinavian pop conquerors with ABBA Forever – another look at the global success of the Swedish superstars. The special did 671,000.
Sunday Night was on earlier than normal, but still much later than the days when the show launched on Seven when its lead-in was the Sunday News. As the show counts down to its final farewell the episode did 422,000 after 473,000 a week ago.
Seven then went with a Sunday movie – 2017’s Murder On The Orient Express with 210,000 watching.
The Block revealed the finished studios after a week of stress for some of the contestants who faced cash burn problems trying to finish. The scores were all pretty close for Studio Week with Tess and Luke able to use a bonus point to push themselves in front of Mitch and Mark. That gave them $10,000, which will help secure their future on the show after a week dominated by budgeting. It’s on to verandas this week. The audience was a very impressive 1.136m.
60 Minutes then did 703,000 after 573,000 when the program was last on a fortnight ago. During the program Liam Bartlett reported on Australia’s biggest scammer while Tara Brown met Andrew Ridgeley as he publishes a book recalling the days when Wham! ruled the pop charts.
The end of the Bathurst 1000 stretched into the start of primetime with audience watching the final laps of the great race over 1m. The average for the race for most of afternoon was close to 800,000.
The Sunday Project started a little late with John Waters live in the studio with 385,000 watching after 7pm.
The Graham Norton Show was a must-see episode featuring Robert De Niro, Bruce Springsteen and Sienna Miller with 358,000 watching.
NCIS then returned with 377,000 for a new episode and then 260,000 for a repeat.
Grand Designs: The Street did 424,000 after 378,000 last week.
The wonderful new Total Control from Blackfella Films starring Debra Mailman and Rachel Griffiths launched with a very healthy 536,000.
The second episode of Patrick Melrose then did 194,000.
Great Continental Railroad Journeys saw Michael Portillo travelling from Kiev to Odessa with 171,000.
Two episodes of Concorde, a doco about the supersonic airliner, followed with an average of 216,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.4%||7TWO||3.6%||GO!||5.9%||10 Bold||3.6%||VICELAND||0.9%|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||4.1%||GEM||3.0%||10 Peach||2.4%||Food Net||1.6%|
|7Food||0.8%||SBS World Movies||1.2%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.2%||7TWO||4.6%||GO!||4.3%||10 Bold||3.3%||VICELAND||1.2%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||4.8%||GEM||5.5%||10 Peach||2.7%||Food Net||1.3%|
|7Food||0.9%||SBS World Movies||1.5%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.9%||7TWO||2.3%||GO!||3.1%||10 Bold||2.9%||VICELAND||1.4%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||3.4%||GEM||2.9%||10 Peach||2.2%||Food Net||1.1%|
|7Food||0.6%||SBS World Movies||0.6%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.7%||7TWO||3.3%||GO!||4.7%||WIN Bold||3.0%||VICELAND||1.4%|
|ABC ME||0.8%||7mate||4.9%||GEM||4.7%||WIN Peach||1.5%||Food Net||1.3%|
|ABC NEWS||1.3%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.3%||9Life||2.4%||Sky News on WIN||0.8%||NITV||0.3%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.3%|
|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
Former Sony Pictures Television and Seven Studios executive Kylie Munnich has been appointed the new chief executive officer of Screen Queensland.
Screen Queensland chair Linda Lavarch said she welcomed the appointment and the 25 years of expertise in international screen distribution and development that Munnich will bring to the role.
“Following the departure of our long-serving Screen Queensland CEO Tracey Vieira in August, it was important an experienced hand took the reins to keep Queensland’s screen industry on a course of opportunity and prosperity,” said Lavarch.
“Her extensive experience abroad will serve the State well as we work to secure the biggest and best international blockbusters, while continuing to develop diverse home-grown content with global appeal.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Acting CEO Jo Dillon. Ms Dillion has done a fantastic job leading the team seamlessly through the interim period.”
Prior to her last role as scripted sales & co-production executive at Seven Studios, Munnich served as the director of drama & comedy at Sky Vision, senior vice president UK, Ireland & Africa at Sony Pictures Television International and a sales director at MGM International Television.
“We are delighted to welcome Kylie back to her home state of Queensland and are certain her expertise and leadership will build on the strong foundations laid by our team at SQ and pave an exciting future for the industry in our State,” Lavarch said.
Munnich said she was thrilled to be leading Screen Queensland in an exciting period of growth.
“I am eager to leverage our State’s strong track record and continue to invest in local stories for global audiences, attract productions and cement our reputation as a screen production hub,” said Munnich.
Munnich will commence as CEO on 16 October 2019.
An entire floor inside one of Adelaide’s best-known office buildings will be offered to new tenants next week, reports The Advertiser.
Home to News Corp Australia’s local headquarters for 14 years, Keith Murdoch House has been at the forefront of bringing Australians the latest in sport, politics, business and other news.
And now, for the first time ever, the building is opening its doors to organisations seeking premium office space in the heart of Adelaide’s commercial precinct.
Named after the late Sir Keith Murdoch, an Australian journalist and father of News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, the state-of-the-art building was designed by award-winning international architecture firm Arney Fender Katsalidis.
The entire second floor of the building is on offer to prospective tenants, whether a single occupier or an organisation seeking a smaller portion of premium grade office space.
The building offers tenants and their staff access to a café, gym, modern end-of-trip facilities, on-site car parking and a rooftop deck with kitchen facilities and function space.
The prominent Australian journalist who featured in separate scandals involving disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has issued legal threats over investigative reporter Ronan Farrow‘s upcoming book on the MeToo movement, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Nick Bonyhady.
Lawyers for Dylan Howard, a former Channel Seven sports reporter who went on to become a top executive in the US with tabloid publisher American Media Inc (AMI), have sent legal warnings to Australian bookshops and a publisher over Farrow’s book Catch and Kill, which comes out on Tuesday.
Howard’s Australian solicitor, Andrew Thorpe, said his client “apprehends the book will contain content defamatory of him, by reason of disclosures made to our client’s US attorney by a ‘fact checker’ working for Mr Farrow or the publisher”.
“If, despite warning to the contrary, the author and publisher decide to release the book in Australia and if the book contains defamatory imputations against our client, then a legal action will be launched by our client against the author, the publisher and any distributors, seeking damages,” Thorpe said via email.
The Boy in the Blue Cap: The Gerard Ross Story, the first subscription-based video series for The West Australian, launched on Saturday, October 12.
The eight-part documentary directed and produced by award-winning journalist Kristin Shorten, documents one of WA’s most enduring and heartbreaking mysteries – the abduction and murder of 11-year-old schoolboy Gerard Ross.
On an ordinary Tuesday morning, almost 22 years ago to this day, Gerard vanished from a leafy street in the seaside town of Rockingham.
Gerard’s body was found two weeks later in a lonely pine plantation 20km from where he was last seen on October 14, 1997. His murder remains unsolved and his case has become the second largest investigation in WA police history.
Now, 22 years later, Gerard’s family, the WA Police and those connected to his case are speaking for the first time. The West Australian is sharing their emotional stories in the hope that it will compel those with information that will lead to a conviction to come forward.
Shorten has spent six months making The Boy in the Blue Cap, during which she conducted interviews all over the world while retracing Gerard’s life from his birth in Burntisland, Scotland through to his final resting place in Newman, WA.
Viewers will be taken inside the police investigation and hear exclusive interviews with Gerard’s family, witnesses and others connected to his case.
“The Ross family need justice for Gerard to fully move on,” Shorten said.
“After bravely sharing their traumatic story for the first time, I hope it will resonate with the Australian public more broadly and Gerard’s case will become better known, like those of Daniel Morcombe and missing boy William Tyrell.
“Somebody knows something and I hope that seeing the faces and raw grief of Gerard’s family will compel them to come forward with new information or a confession.”
Bauer Media has finalised a new seven-year deal to publish Elle magazine in Australia, ending speculation the title would be scrapped, but its chief executive has left the door open to a possible takeover of Pacific Magazines, reports The Australian’s Leo Shanahan.
The Australian reported last week that Seven West Media was negotiating a deal for the sale of its Pacific Magazines operations in the next major move by new Seven CEO James Warburton.
Brendon Hill, Bauer Media Australia chief executive, told The Australian he could not comment on the possibility of a merger or buyout by Bauer of Pacific Magazines but did not deny that talks were under way between the media groups.
The Australian has previously reported that Bauer was seriously considering scrapping both Elle and Harper’s Bazaar, with licensing agreements coming to an end in an extremely tough sales and advertising environment for magazines.
While the owner of the Harper’s Bazaar licence, the US-based media group Hearst Magazines, was reportedly unhappy with the performance of the magazine in Australia, Hill said there was a licence agreement in place to continue publication.
“With Harper’s, we have a great relationship with Hearst, and that’s a longstanding licence agreement.”
Meanwhile The AFR reports:
Seven West Media and Bauer Media are hashing out a $40 million deal to add some of Seven’s most-read titles, such as New Idea and Better Homes and Gardens, to the German publisher’s portfolio.
Reg Watson, the creator of Neighbours, one of Australia’s most popular and enduring television shows, has died. He was 93, reports The Age’s Tate Papworth.
The show’s executive producer, Jason Herbison, paid tribute to the “pioneer of drama” via the show’s Twitter account.
“Everyone at Neighbours is sad to hear of the passing of our creator, Reg Watson. He was a pioneer of drama, prolific in his output and by all accounts a lovely person to work with. His legacy lives on in Ramsay Street to this day.”
Actor Jason Donovan, who played the iconic Scott Robinson on the show, said Watson’s passion for home grown talent shone through.
“I only met Reg on a few occasions, what always struck me was his genuine passion for Australian talent, storytelling and the creative process.
“He was a pioneer of Australian television. Fact … without Reg we simply wouldn’t have the industry we have today.”
His onscreen partner, singer and actor Kylie Minogue, whose hugely successful entertainment career was launched on the show, said Watson’s legacy affected millions.
“What a legacy Reg Watson leaves. For me, and millions of others, Neighbours impacted our lives. My thoughts and best wishes to his family and friends,” she said.
Watson was raised in Queensland and began his career as an actor at the age of 16.
He moved to the UK in 1955 where he was hired by ATV, where he held the role of head of light entertainment.
He returned to Australia in 1973 and took up the position of head of drama at Reg Grundy Productions.
Culinary kings George Calombaris, Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan will be unable to resurrect their TV hosting careers at year’s end due to clauses in their contracts, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.
The ousted MasterChef trio have been in the sights of commercial TV rivals since their shock parting from Channel 10 earlier this year.
Channel 7 is understood to be keen to add at least two of the three to its stable of stars.
Industry rumours suggest Seven has a new cooking show in the works for late 2020 and sees Preston and Mehigan as ideal ingredients.
But Preston, Mehigan and Calombaris are unable to quickly bounce back to TV screens.
The trio are out of contract with 10 at the end of 2019, but each is believed to have a clause – known as a hold-back – to prevent them switching to a commercial rival for months after that.
Justine May, who represents Mehigan, said yesterday there was plenty of interest in the trio.
“They are honouring their contractual obligations to 10 and are looking forward to some really exciting things happening in 2020,” she said.
Will Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan host Seven’s My Kitchen Rules? asks The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff.
The hottest talk among insiders is that the axed MasterChef pair is about to take over Seven’s flagship show.
Preston and Mehigan have been seen in recent days at studio two of Seven’s Redfern compound, where network soapie Home and Away is based. But, no, the culinary pair’s appearance had nothing to do with a special guest-starring role in Summer Bay.
Existing MKR hosts Manu Feildel and Pete Evans would still play key roles on the cooking show under Preston and Mehigan, but maybe more in a support capacity: possibly as team coaches, given that they remain under contract to the show.
Professional golfer Rory McIlroy and NBC Sports are teeing up the launch of GolfPass, a subscription service combining tournament streaming, instructional videos, tee-time bookings and shopping, for Australian golf fans, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
McIlroy, who was voted the PGA Tour Player of the Year last month, teamed up with NBC Sports and the Golf Channel for the launch of the service in the US in February.