Thursday October 15, 2020

Podcast Week: Sam Cavanagh, Jack Post, The Space from Nova, Idol

By James Manning

• So What Now? Waleed, NEXT from AFTRS, Fremantle and Spotify

Hamish and Andy recall the past

Last week Mediaweek reported on how Hamish and Andy have dug deep into their extensive archives to create a new PodcastOne series, Remembering Project, to see what they can remember (or would rather forget!).

Hamish and Andy will go back and listen to the original audio from either their drive radio show on the Hit Network, start on community radio or #1 ranking podcast. They’ll often find that their recollections are completely incorrect which makes for a fantastic and surprising trip down memory lane.

Read more here: Hamish and Andy dig into archive for highlights podcast series

Long-time Hamish and Andy producer Sam Cavanagh spoke to Mediaweek about the new series after the first two episodes dropped this week via PodcastOne.

Under his title SCA head of entertainment and news content – digital audio, Cavanagh is overseeing the Remembering Project for PodcastOne after helping launch and produce both The Briefing and Matt and Alex – All Day Breakfast earlier this year.

Cavanagh first worked alongside Hamish Blake when they were both producers on the Matt and Tracey breakfast show at The Fox close to 20 years ago. He then started producing the Hamish & Andy weekend breakfast show on the station before it spread around Australia on what was then the Today Network. The duo were later secured Melbourne drive at Fox which also later added extra markets.

The new Remembering Project podcast is not just simply a compile of old clips. “Typically, with anything Hamish and Andy do, the rest of the world would probably have been happy with just a Best Of,” Cavanagh told Mediaweek. “They spent a lot of time thinking about this and working on an idea that was more than that. They felt that many people had heard the famous moments from their past like the Caravan of Courage and U2 onstage. They have created so much content that there are literally thousands of hilarious and surprising moments that might never had seen the light of day again.

“The idea is they choose a day of the year at random and then we go to the running sheet for every show they did on that day throughout their career. They will then select one talk break and they then have to try and remember it. They then listen to it and respond.” Sounds complicated, but it’s actually quite simple and loads of laughs.

As the executive producer for all of their shows at SCA across the years, Cavanagh kept detailed production notes for every episode. “I developed a system with a computer file for every show, mainly for my own sake to remember everything that happened. I then saved all of those docs into a parent file so I could search things.”

Cavanagh also paid tribute to Chris Marsh who was the audio producer for most of the Hamish and Andy radio shows. “He is the most fastidious and well organised audio producer I have ever come across. He would line up my production notes with his audio archive. Most of the stuff post-2007 we have. Andy has managed to track down the years on Melbourne community station SYN FM.” Marsh still works at SCA, most recently on Carrie and Tommy and before that Kennedy Molloy.

Listen to Hamish & Andy’s Remembering Project here.

Hamish visits Jacky Road Studios

Staying with the Hamish & Andy family, Hamish Blake was the guest this week on his long-time colleague Jack Post’s Jacky Road Studios podcast.

After working alongside Hamish & Andy for many years on their SCA drive show as Cacklin’ Jack, Post has been part of The Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show since launch and he still contributes to the Hamish & Andy Podcast.

Post started his series recording from his bedroom studio in Melbourne. However he recently was “kicked out” of his house and has had to set up a temporary Jacky Road home in an Airbnb he has been renting.

Listen to Jacky Road Studios here.

New Nova podcast chief launches The Space

The first podcast show launch since Rachel Corbett arrived at Nova Entertainment to run podcasting and digital content was launched this week.

The series is The Space, a ‘mindfulness for the rest of us’ podcast, hosted by Casey Donovan.

Donovan offers listeners a mini escape each morning and evening Monday to Friday as well as a bonus episode on Saturdays, with short five-minute meditations, motivations and tips on how to improve the day.

The concept of The Space is about making mindfulness accessible to everyone, even the sceptics. Written by mindfulness expert Amy Molloy, it’s for people who need a little me time in their busy lives, providing all the wellness, with none of the fluff.

Casey Donovan said: “The one thing I got told was ‘do not do a podcast during Covid’ but how could I not want to be part of something that is insightful and practical at the same time? This podcast is such a great initiative to get a little bit of wellness in your day in a down-to-earth, quick and fun way. Five minutes in the morning and five minutes at night, that’s all it takes to be more mindful.”

Rachel Corbett added: “Mindfulness is a concept that’s really intimidating for a lot of people, so we wanted to create a no-nonsense space where you can stop, breathe and take a moment for yourself in a way that doesn’t feel like hard work. Podcasting is the perfect medium to deliver this because our phones are usually the last thing we touch at night and the first thing we grab in the morning, so we’re hoping to inject a bit of Zen in peoples’ days before they get lost in the quagmire of Instagram or emails.”

Listen to The Space here.

So Now What? with Waleed Aly

Coinciding with Upfronts week ay Network 10, Walkley Award-winner Waleed Aly has released his new podcast on the 10 Speaks platform – So Now What? with Waleed Aly.

In the premiere episode, Waleed imagines life after Covid-19 – just how strong will social cohesion still be?

Joining Aly to discuss social cohesion are Professor Michele Grossman (Research Chair in Diversity and Community Resilience at Alfred Deakin University) and Rebecca Huntley (Principal at Vox Populi Research).

So Now What? with Waleed Aly is available now with new episodes set to be released every Monday morning.

Listen to So What Now? here.

Radio for the podcast generation

AFTRS Graduate Diploma in Radio students have launched their fourth and final broadcast for 2020, NEXT, now available on ARN’s iHeartRadio for two weeks from Monday 12 October.

The students, after researching the commercial radio market, identified a perceived lack of talk radio aimed at 25-39-year-old young professionals. To fill this niche, they’ve created NEXT – a combination talk/indie AC station purpose-built to cover the issues that matter to this diverse group of Australians.

Head of radio Fyona Smith applauded the students for finding a viable gap in the market. “NEXT is radio for the podcast generation. A unique format for young Australians. This is a chance to hear and see the work of the next generation of podcast and radio talent, producers, and content makers,” Smith said.

The station experience includes live and audio on-demand content covering news, current affairs, pop culture and entertainment.

AFTRS senior lecturer Jess Campanaro said, “Radio students have worked extremely hard to uncover a great audio opportunity, combining the localism of live radio and the quick on-demand passion this target audience has for podcasting.”

Fremantle and Spotify launch Flex’s Semi-Factual History Lessons

Fremantle Australia has announced its latest podcast series, Flex’s Semi-Factual History Lessons.

Partnering with Spotify, Flex’s Semi-Factual History Lessons is a history podcast with a twist, appealing to a youth audience. Created and hosted by Lillian Ahenkan aka Flex Mami, each episode in the 15-part season will feature Flex and a guest taking listeners deep into the historical archives to deliver a history lesson that never would have been covered in school.

Liz Burnett, executive producer and Fremantle’s head of product and brand, said: “We’re excited to be working with Flex to bring her signature storytelling and conversational style to Fremantle’s first Spotify Original podcast production. Conversations span from cannibalism to witchcraft, aliens to animal rights, with guests including musician Ziggy Ramo, broadcaster Linda Marigliano, podcaster Soaliha Iqbal and sex-worker Tilly Lawless.”

This latest series follows Fremantle’s successful debut into premium audio-on-demand content production in Australia with the Chasing Charlie true-crime podcast series, surpassing 900,000 downloads since it’s May 2020 release.

The new series will be available free only on Spotify’s global platform from October 13.

Podcast about Australian Idol rebrands

Originally announced as The Idol Archives, Mark Holden and Katie Holden have renamed their podcast Our Idol Archives to make clear the podcast is in no way sponsored, approved or affiliated with Idol format rights holder Fremantle Media.

Our Idol Archives is a weekly podcast hosted by former Australian Idol judge Mark Holden and Katie as they chat with a former Idol contestant; talking and reminiscing about their time on the show – behind the scene stories, memorable moments and where they are now. Some went to become ARIA nominated, successful recording artists. Others left singing behind and pursued different career paths. All admit that Idol shaped what they went on to do today.

10 Upfronts 2021: Beverley McGarvey and Rod Prosser on content strategy

By James Manning

Plans for major shows, 10 News and Sport, content spend, commercial opportunities.

Mediaweek asks the questions as 10’s Beverley McGarvey, chief content officer and executive vice president of ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand, and Rod Prosser, chief sales officer, provide the answers.

Measuring success in 2020

Prosser told Mediaweek: “While we can’t control the market or what we have gone though this year, what we can control is our revenue share. This year we have had 11 months of revenue share growth and I’m predicting that will be 12 months fairly soon.

“In that respect we have had a really great year. Given everything that has happened in the last year and I am thrilled with what’s been achieved.”

Prosser noted things that have kept sales on their toes included data, Buy 10, growing the sales team after the split with MCN, integrating the Viacom sales team and growing the content portfolio with 10 Shake.

“You are only ever as good as your product and the reality is we have had a really consistent, solid programming slate which has really helped with a better revenue share.”

Controlling the content spend

McGarvey told Mediaweek the network has been looking at ways to spend less, but maintain its quality.

“Everyone has probably done that this year, given the environment we are in. We have tried to be very efficient in how we chose to spend our money. Our audience share so far is 11% up and we want to maintain the growth, yet not be irresponsible with the investment. We have shaved bits here and there, but we are trying to keep the content the audience sees as intact as possible.”

Whatever happed to 10 News?

Despite the recent fairly dramatic cutbacks, McGarvey stressed that news remains important to the network. “Not just at 5pm, but also at 6.30 with The Project. What we have done is set ourselves up so we can continue to service local news in all markets. To a degree we have centralised newsreading to come out of Sydney and Melbourne. We still have news gathering in all states which allows us to maintain the same volume of local stories for our local audiences. It is much more efficient for us not to be running five presentation studios. However we still do have newsrooms in all markets with journalists and camera operators.

“News is important to us and is something that has always been important to 10.”

Feeding the 7.30 timeslot

McGarvey: “We had a major franchise planned for every single week this year, but we had production challenges with Survivor and other things. Next year we do have a very consistent run that starts on the third of January with I’m A Celebrity and then continues through until December with a strong slate.

Consistency is critical. Once you lose momentum, and that has happened a little this year, it is so hard to get it back. For our audiences and our clients we need to be strong all year. To still be up 11% given the challenges is a good result. Next year, in a more stable environment, we think we can do even better.”

Prosser added: “While 7.30pm is obviously very important, our schedule is much broader, starting at 5pm and then also running later in the evening with things like Gogglebox and Have You Been Paying Attention? What advertisers want is a strong schedule from daytime to night time.”

McGarvey: “When you get 7.30pm right everything else lifts that bit more. Despite the fact people don’t watch a particular channel like they used to, lead-ins and scheduling still has an impact to some degree.”

New content for 2020 and what’s missing

Dancing with the Stars is a major franchise not returning to the schedule. Also having a rest is Bachelor in Paradise. “Otherwise all our major shows are returning,” said McGarvey. “We love Dancing with the Stars, but we can’t do absolutely everything.”

Of the three new formats, McGarvey said Making It Australia is the biggest of the commissions. “It is a multi-night franchise and sits tonally in the space occupied by things like MasterChef, Bake-Off, Lego Masters. It’s a competitive reality show that sits in the world of crafting. It could range from a family making a Halloween costume to someone making a piece of art. It was created by Amy Poehler in the US and is into its third season on NBC.

“It is very different to everything else that is on air. It has family appeal and will be hosted by comedians. It is important to have franchises at all stages of their life cycles. MasterChef and The Bachelor are more mature brands, as is I’m a Celebrity and Survivor. The Masked Singer has only had two seasons as has The Amazing Race. It is always important to have something new coming through as well as those legacy brands like MasterChef.”

McGarvey said 10 was happy with the UK version of The Dog House this year about people adopting pets. “An Australian version will help us grow our audience at the back of the week at certain times of the year.”

The First Inventors sits in the space also inhabited by factual formats like Todd Sampson’s Body Hack. “Things that add a bit of texture to the schedule, things that are a bit different to what our competitors would do.”

While Todd Sampson’s Body Hack won’t be back in 2021, McGarvey said there will be something new featuring Sampson.

The Amazing Race Queensland

Industry speculation that the adventure travel competition might be based in one state is incorrect said McGarvey. The show has spent its first two weeks of filming in Queensland, but there will also be stops in other states. “The only place we are not going to is Victoria. Not only are we going to many of the iconic and beautiful parts of Australia, we are also going on a road less travelled too.”

Australian Survivor returning, but where?

McGarvey told Mediaweek 10 has two locations ready for the next season of Australian Survivor. “We just haven’t made the final decision yet. We may shoot in Australia. We are shooting I’m A Celebrity and The Amazing Race in Australia, but there is no final decision yet on Survivor.”

10 won’t be considering rolling out two seasons of any of its major franchises in 2021. “To be frank, giving all the complexities with production at the moment, one each of those shows is enough.”

Exploring commercial opportunities

The commercial team at Network 10 doesn’t wait until a new franchise has been acquired to explore sponsorship partners. “We start that work actually ahead of any acquisition,” Prosser said. “We have a robust discussion with Bev and her team about the commercial opportunities before any show gets commissioned. I am always looking for shows that are easy to integrate into that also come with an appeal to a good audience.

The new formats next year give us a real opportunity to get clients bedded into the shows.

“Because our major franchises are tried and tested, we have a lot of renewals that happen organically.”

10 has taken several new opportunities to market this year, including a new channel. “The take up of opportunities at 10 Shake from premium partners with clients wanting to get involved targeting a younger audience has been enormous.”

10 Shake: Growing the audience

As to spreading the word about new channel 10 Shake, McGravey said: “It had something of a soft launch, but the daytime audience doubled in the first couple of weeks. We are targeting a very specific audience so we need to make sure those people find it. We have a long-term plan, although it is already hitting its initial targets in terms of kids. We know want more people to sample the primetime offering.”

Monetising 10 Play

Prosser: “The BVOD market has been a real growth pillar for us and FTA TV this year, even through Covid. We have been making more money out of it. What has helped accelerate the monetisation has been our Premium Pause offering which has really taken off. We will soon launch the evolution of that, the Content Carousel, which allows advertisers to put their brands front and centre in the BVOD environment.”

Prosser also mentioned that by early next year 100% of 10’s platforms will be addressable. “This year we have added Flybuys which is a nice premium partner that compliments the existing ones we have got. It gives us access to about 8.6m spenders.”

10’s sport strategy

Although 10 is losing Supercars and the future of Rugby Union is yet to be decided, McGarvey said 10 remains a sports broadcaster. “We have said for a number of years our position on sport is tactical. We will look at everything and if it makes sense for our brand, ratings and revenue then we will be interested. We have the Melbourne Cup coming soon and for a few more years, the Bledisloe Cup rugby is on air at present and next year we still have the Australian F1 Grand Prix. Rod and I will look at every opportunity.”

Regarding the loss of Supercars, McGarvey noted it was an off-peak sport. “It was a great partnership while we had it, but it just didn’t make sense for us any longer.”

Prosser added: “Supercars became trickier and trickier for us to monetise, partly because it’s off-peak and on weekends.”

10 Upfronts 2021
Network 10 Upfronts 2021: New and returning shows

• One major new 7.30pm franchise – Making It Australia

From Sunday January 3 through until December 2021, day and night, Network 10 is promising to bring viewers all the laughs, love, decoupage, reality, sport and entertainment you could ever wish for.

Beverley McGarvey, chief content officer and executive vice president of ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand said: “Despite the obvious challenges, this year has been a remarkably successful year for 10 ViacomCBS.

“Not only are we the only commercial network growing its audience, but we have also had the biggest prime time commercial shares in key demographics since 2011.

“We have cemented our position as leaders in escapist entertainment and delivered a 50-week schedule to our key target market of under 50s.

“Our established suite of shows has seen our linear free to air channels enjoy an incredible 11% growth and generated more top regular programs in key demographics than any other broadcaster.

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, Australian Survivor, MasterChef Australia, The Bachelor franchise, The Masked Singer Australia, The Project, Gogglebox and Have You Been Paying Attention? continued to dominate both their timeslots and the national conversation.

“This year we have also enjoyed our biggest ever digital audience, with minutes viewed on 10 Play up 18% year-on-year. Social media interactions across 10’s programs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have also risen 25% from the same point of 2019.

“We have also welcomed several new podcasts to 10 Speaks including 10 News First Person, So Now What? with Waleed Aly and relaunched the popular Cocktails and Roses.

“In 2021, our biggest franchises are returning along with premiere series Making It Australia, The Dog House Australia and The First Inventors. We promise a strong, consistent line-up of premium content for all audiences, across all channels and platforms.”

On January 3, Julia Morris and Dr Chris Brown will enjoy the shortest flight of their Network 10 careers as they journey deep into the heart of the Australian bush for the seventh season of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! as it films in northern NSW.

Racing alongside I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! will be The Amazing Race Australia, a show whose name in 2021 is now more literal than anyone could have imagined. That’s right, the show is staying home to proudly present Australia at its most amazing.

Host Beau Ryan said: “I was over the moon when I found out The Amazing Race Australia would be filmed in our own backyard. We have the most stunning beaches, coastlines and natural landscapes on the planet.

“I can’t wait to show off the most beautiful country in the world, as well as the 20,000 different types of Aussie animals that can kill you! Wish the teams luck, they’ll need it!”

Meanwhile, the whackiest and wildest show on TV – The Masked Singer Australia – returns for a new series of spectacle and speculation.

The Masked Singer

Host Osher Günsberg and our panel of super sleuths Jackie O, Dave Hughes, Dannii Minogue and Urzila Carlson will all be back on deck in 2021 as the guessing games begin anew and the chant rings out once more to ‘Take it off!’

It’s the biggest food show in the world, and in 2020, MasterChef Australia served up a ratings smash hit with three new judges, 24 returning contestants and appearances from food god Gordon Ramsay and music superstar Katy Perry – all in the middle of a pandemic.

MasterChef

Judges Melissa Leong, Jock Zonfrillo and Andy Allen will be overseeing more magic in the MasterChef Australia kitchen just after Easter, when the granddaddy of cooking shows returns to its roots with ‘Ordinary People, Extraordinary Food’. It’s going to be the series’ most delicious season yet and yes, we’re licking our lips already.

Melissa said: “What a year. With it, a whole new realisation of what’s really important, and perhaps some respite from the troubles of the world from time to time, in the form of entertainment.

“I am thrilled to continue this inspiring MasterChef journey with Jock and Andy, and to bring another season of this magical show to life.”

The major new multi-night format coming to 10 in 2021 is Making It Australia.

Making It Australia

Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman

From executive producers Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, the light-hearted crafting series features a diverse range of talented ‘makers’ showcasing their artistic skills.

In 2021, 10 will be helping some lonely dogs find their fur-ever home when The Dog House Australia premieres on 10.

Set inside a rescue shelter, this heart-warming new show will set out to find the perfect match for canines looking for their fur-ever families. The Dog House Australia is destined to be the feel-good series of 2021.

The Dog House UK

And in an exciting new show called The First Inventors, 10 will take viewers on a journey back through time – somewhere between 70,000 and 120,000 years ago – to a community in the midst of developing sophisticated stone tools, art, agriculture, irrigation and much more.

In this incredible story of knowledge, resilience and invention, presenter Rob Collins will meet and collaborate with First Nations authorities whose frontline fieldwork is giving us an exciting new insight into ancient Indigenous innovations and discoveries.

The award-winning Australian Survivor will return in 2021 with Jonathan LaPaglia once again presiding over another series of jaw-dropping challenges, bold blindsides and unlikely alliances.

Jonathan said: “We saw the best of the best compete in this year’s All Stars season. In 2021, it’s time for some new blood to step into the ring and take the series’ mantra – Outwit, Outplay and Outlast – to a new level. It’s going to be one hell of a ride.”

Also returning is The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, but there will be no Bachelor in Paradise in 2021.

The Bachelor

Love guru Osher Günsberg will be back at the helm in a brand-new mansion for all the romance, drama, roses and twinkling fairy lights of both shows.

Osher said: “Get set for more love stories, luxurious dates, and alpaca cameos when we return with The Bachelor and The Bachelorette Australia in 2021.

“I’m thrilled to be dusting off the suits for another season, and I’m as excited as you are to meet our brand-new Bachelor and Bachelorette.”

After not being able to be produced during Covid, Kat Stewart, Stephen Peacocke, Doris Younane, Katie Robertson and Roy Joseph are back as a surrogate family of lovable misfits in the second season of the breakout Aussie drama hit, Five Bedrooms.

10’s Fab Four – Amanda Keller, Chris Brown, Barry Du Bois and Miguel Maestre – return for a fresh new season of The Living Room with more food, more renovation, more inspiration and more laughs.

Amanda said: “We’ve had a ripper of a year on The Living Room and thanks to our new format we’ve met some extraordinary Australians who’ve inspired us and changed us all in different ways. We’ve had laughs, a few tears and we can’t wait to do it all again in 2021!”

Gogglebox will also be back in 2021, along with Hughesy, We Have a Problem and Have You Been Paying Attention?

HYBPA? host Tom Gleisner said: “2020 was an amazing season of HYBPA?, with our contestants all competing via video link from home. Or, in the case of Marty Sheargold – home detention.

“Hopefully 2021 will see us all back in the studio for another exciting year of socially-distanced quiz show hilarity.”

There will also be more Bondi Rescue and Territory Cops.

The award-winning The Project enters its 12th year in 2021 and will continue to provide Australians with their dose of news delivered differently, six nights a week.

10 News First will present the biggest and most comprehensive coverage of local, national and international news stories while Studio 10 is back weekday mornings with its unpredictable mix of fun and energy.

From other corners of the globe there are new seasons from Jamie Oliver, Ambulance UK, The Dog House, Toddlers Behaving (Very) Badly, The Royals Revealed, The Savoy, NCIS, Bull, FBI: Most Wanted and The Graham Norton Show as well as the 2021 Grammy Awards.

Finally arriving is The Gilded Age – the eagerly anticipated drama from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is set in 19th century New York and boasts a stellar cast including Christine Baranski and Cynthia Nixon.

10 upfronts
Network 10 Upfronts 2021: NEW – Commercial opportunities for marketers

• 10 Play’s Curated Content Carousel & 10 bolsters data stack

Curated Content Carousel

10 Upfronts: Following on from the launch of 10 Play’s Premium Pause ad product, the Curated Content Carousel is a new addition coming in 2021 to 10 Play’s website and connected TV app ecosystem.

The Curated Content Carousel allows brands to blend into 10 Play’s homepage through the art of editorial curation, placing brands front and centre on the web and new connected TV apps.

Network 10’s general manager – digital Liz Baldwin said: “As we continue to roll out our world-class 10 Play app experience on connected TV, we want to continue to drive innovation around ad products that complement the viewing experience.

“Whether that’s targeted, non-intrusive formats like Premium Pause or editorially adjacent placements within our service like the Curated Content Carousel, we’re favouring new formats that consider the user experience first and foremost.

“The Curated Content Carousel is the perfect pairing to our successful Premium Pause ad product, with both products offering advertisers an innovative, impactful and non-intrusive way to engage with audiences with key brand messages on 10 Play.”

Network 10’s digital sales director Sophie Hicks Lloyd said: “The appetite for new branded opportunities that guarantee premium placement and ensure a lasting impact is strong in the market.

“When it comes to BVOD integration and sponsorship amplification, the union of Premium Pause with the Curated Content Carousel positions 10 Play as a trailblazer.

 “In 2020, we have soared from 10% to 85% addressability on mobile and connected TVs. In 2021, we are tracking to hit 100% in the first quarter.

“With 10 Play having its biggest year ever once again, it is time to pounce for prime position on 10 Play.”

Click here for a preview of the Curated Content Carousel product on the 10 Play homepage, combined with the Premium Pause product within show.

10 Upfronts: Network 10 continues to deepen data stack

ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand has bolstered its data stack with the addition of Flybuys.

10 said its combination with RedPlanet, Quantium and Smrtr (formerly Greater Data) gives brands even sharper targeting and measurement capabilities across its broadcast video on-demand platform, 10 Play, and across more industries, interests and behaviours.

10 ViacomCBS, head of data and digital audience Josh Slighting said: “In just 18 months, we have built best-in-class addressable advertising and analytics capabilities across 85% of our platforms.

 “We have the capability and acumen not just to compete effectively, but to win, with 75 per cent of total digital sales now powered by data. Backed by ViacomCBS, we are able to push the boundaries of innovation when it comes to targeting.

“We are invested in building something truly premium, with technology that gives us future optionality and removing any reliance on third party data and changing identifiers like cookies,” Slighting said.

With respect to the partnership with Flybuys, Slighting said: “The partnership with FlyBuys makes accessible to our clients premium targeting from one of Australia’s leading loyalty providers.

“The market is hungry for transparency and for better ways to measure and optimise investment in media, and with the advancements both Network 10 and Flybuys have made in the past 12 months, we feel confident this partnership is going to deliver very positive results for our clients.”

radio
Covid cash collapse: Radio revenue Q1 of FY2021 down 28% YOY

Australian metropolitan commercial radio stations recorded $130.402 million in advertising revenue during the September quarter (Q1 FY21), down 28.15% from $181.489 million the previous year, according to figures compiled by Deloitte and released by Commercial Radio Australia.

Melbourne market saw a YOY decrease of 36.61% to $37.645 million
Sydney stations fell 26.9% to $40.241 million
Brisbane stations were down 26.75% to $21.204 million
Perth stations fell 18.66% YOY to $18.104 million
Adelaide was 16.66% lower with a recorded revenue of $13.206 million

Compared to the June quarter (Q4 FY20), there was an increase of 14.28% from the $114.104 million in revenue recorded during that period.

Q4 FY20 saw a revenue decline of 46.62% from the year before. Brisbane was up 25.26% when comparing revenue from Q4 FY20 and Q1 FY21, with Perth up 22.27%, Adelaide up 19.35%, Sydney up 18.22% and Melbourne up 1.03%.

“These numbers are not surprising given the revenue results we have seen this year and the ongoing impact of COVID-19, as well as existing weakened economic conditions preceding the pandemic. The positive trend in all markets from the previous quarter and less of a year-on-year decrease in overall revenue for the quarter when compared to Q4 FY20 is certainly a trend that we hope continues.

“Radio is resilient and remains a competitive option for advertisers. Through RadioMATRIX, the radio industry’s advanced ad buying platform, we are transforming the way audio advertising is bought and sold. With new developments set to go live in the coming months, we are making it easier for media buyers to understand the opportunities across radio’s diverse audio ecosystem, so advertisers can have confidence in considering radio for their upcoming campaigns,” CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner said.

The Deloitte figures report actual revenue received by metropolitan commercial radio stations in the five major capital city markets and include agency and direct ad revenue.

GQ Australia
Out of print: One more GQ Australia magazine before digital first future

GQ Australia has announced that it will move to a new publishing model in 2021 evolving the premium men’s lifestyle brand to a digital-first future.

Publisher News Corp Australia is promising to expand its digital offering, building out gq.com.au and its social, video and events offering; and launching e-commerce, new podcasts and an all-new daily newsletter.

The brand will also introduce a broader editorial strategy that will include increased content in tech, gaming and sport. The digital transformation will see the final regular bi-monthly print edition of be the November/December 2020 issue.

Managing director The Australian, NSW & Prestige Titles, Nicholas Gray said: “Over the past 20 years Australian men have grown in their approach to style and attitude to improving themselves and GQ Australia has grown right along with them.

“Making this decision with our licensor, Condé Nast, we are refocusing the brand and investing in digital because that’s where GQ Australia’s growth is coming from, and our new offering has been designed to make the brand accessible to more people.”

Editorial director of GQ Australia, Vogue Australia and Vogue Living Edwina McCann said: “The male audience is very digitally focused, we can see that with the strong growth of gq.com.au across the year of 55.4%. It is particularly popular with the younger male audience, with three in 10 of its audience in any given month being aged 18 to 34.

“E-commerce is an exciting area of growth for GQ Australia, Conde Nast recently launched a successful e-commerce ecosystem for GQ internationally and with their support we will follow suit in Australia in 2021.

“GQ Australia has always been a campaigning brand and we’re incredibly proud of our GQ Men of the Year Awards, which have recognised and celebrated so many extraordinary Australians for their work and achievements over the past 13 years, and that will continue.

“The GQ Big Ideas virtual event series we are currently running has resonated incredibly well with our audience and will culminate on 5 November with the GQ Big Ideas Summit. We will continue to lead in this space and have plans to introduce even more thought-provoking digital series tackling important issues.”

News Prestige Network retains the right to publish custom printed GQ Australia products.

The November/December 2020, on sale Monday, 9 November 2020, issue will be the final regular bi-monthly print edition on newsstands.

Nielsen digital news rankings: 7NEWS and Yahoo! move up the chart

Data released today by Nielsen revealed that Australians collectively spent close to 39 million hours reading Current Events and Global News (CEGN) content online during September 2020 – an uplift of 38% when compared to the prior year.

Nielsen’s latest Digital Content Ratings data also showed that Australians spent 9% more time reading news content online than they did for the entire year of 2019, despite three months of the 2020 year remaining – see chart below.

Despite this consistent year-on-year growth, the Current Events and Global News subcategory reported month-on-month decreases in unique audience for the month of September 2020 when compared to the previous month.

Top 10 Current Events and Global News

ABC News Websites retained the top position in Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings results, with a unique audience of 12.0 million for the month of September 2020.

News.com.au ranked second with a unique audience of 11.3 million, followed by Daily Mail Australia with 10.7 million and 7NEWS with a unique audience of 9.6 million. nine.com.au was ranked fifth with 9.4 million.

When compared to August 2020, there were two changes in rankings, with 7NEWS overtaking nine.com.au to take the fourth position, whilst Yahoo! overtook The Australian to obtain the tenth spot for the first time since April 2020.

delicious. Produce Awards
Winners revealed of delicious. Harvey Norman Produce Awards

delicious. has announced the winners of the 2020 delicious. Harvey Norman Produce Awards and unveiled two new consumer initiatives in celebration of Australia’s best produce.

The delicious. Harvey Norman Produce Awards, now in its 15th year, celebrates the country’s new, innovative, native and consistently outstanding Australian ingredients grown, caught, sourced or produced with dedication, passion, knowledge and regard for the environment.

delicious. editorial director Kerrie McCallum said: “The delicious. Harvey Norman Produce Awards not only recognise the best Australian produce but, importantly, the people behind it, thanks to a passionate network of food industry experts who nominate outstanding produce and producers from all over the country.

“Following drought, bushfires, flood, then scaling back production due to Covid-19, there’s never been a more important time to acknowledge just how hard Australian farmers, fishermen and artisans work at their craft. Congratulations to all of our winners who delivered outstanding produce for this year’s judging.

“The coronavirus pandemic challenged us to come up with a new way to judge and celebrate our Awards this year. Our traditional Awards event has been reimagined and I’m very excited to join Matt Moran, together with an all-star line-up of top chefs, to host a virtual event that all Australians can be part of.

“I’d like to thank our naming rights partner Harvey Norman for their continued support, and new to this year’s campaign, Tourism Australia for their incredible contribution.”

The delicious. Harvey Norman Produce Awards celebration will be transformed this year into a virtual event that all Australians can be part of.

Consumers will be able to tune in for an All Star Dinner hosted by Kerrie McCallum and chef Matt Moran on Monday, October 26 at 7pm (AEDT).

The event will feature some of the country’s best chefs, including Colin Fassnidge, Danielle Alvarez, Josh Niland and Neil Perry, who will demonstrate how to cook with some of Australia’s best produce as crowned in the 2020 delicious. Harvey Norman Produce Awards. Plus, the critic and the comic Mike Bennie and Merrick Watts will be behind the bar shaking up cocktails. 

Also new to this year’s celebrations, delicious. has introduced an initiative that truly closes the loop on the Produce Awards campaign. delicious. has partnered with Vic’s Premium Quality Meat to create the Produce to You box, a specially curated selection of award-winning produce including, cheese, meat, wine and more that consumers can purchase online and have delivered directly to their door.

Seventeen trophies were awarded, and 61 producers received gold medals by some of Australia’s most renowned chefs including Guillaume Brahimi, Peter Gilmore, Matt Moran, Neil Perry, Danielle Alvarez and Colin Fassnidge, with winners across four major categories – From the Dairy, From the Earth, From the Paddock and From the Sea. While this year’s judging format was different with the NSW panel leading the tasting, the wider National Judging panel including Maggie Beer, Alla Wolf-Tasker, Shannon Bennett, Andrew McConnell and Christine Manfield, remained across the decisions of all of the Awards.

The overall Producer of the Year Award, presented by Harvey Norman, was awarded to Garry Kadwell for his Andean Sunrise Potatoes (NSW).

The full list of winners is presented in the November 2020 issue of delicious., on sale Thursday, October 15, and on delicious.com.au/produceawards.

For more information on how to order the Produce to You box visit delicious.com.au/producetoyou and for details on the All Star Dinner visit delicious.com.au/allstardinner

Carat
Carat boosts leadership team with new Sydney & Melbourne MDs

Sue Squillace, CEO of Carat ANZ, has announced two executive leadership appointments. Lauren Small (pictured) joins Carat Sydney as managing director and Chris Ernst has been appointed managing director of Carat Melbourne.

“We are building a team that is exciting for the future of Carat. Both Lauren and Chris are proven leaders with first class credentials and highly respected in their fields. They each have the ability to instil confidence and passion in their teams and focus on strengthening all client and partner relationships,” Squillace said.

“I’m thrilled to be working with both Lauren and Chris as part of our ELT who I have the utmost respect for, and both share my passion for collaborative people-based leadership.”

Prior to Carat, Small spent the last nine years with the Publicis Groupe. She started with Starcom Mediavest in 2011 as client business manager and quickly rose up the ranks to become client services director. From Mediavest she moved to Spark Foundry as general manager where she spent just under three years.  During her career with Publicis she forged strong cross agency collaboration relationships which ultimately led to the launch of integrated models, such as Diageo and Campbell Arnott’s.

“I’m truly excited to be joining Carat in a period of momentum, I look forward to drawing on my collaboration experience to create enduring and meaningful internal and external relationships with our people and partners. My plan is to start with building on the culture that already exists, and making Carat Sydney a fulfilling and exciting place to come to work every day,” Small said.

Chris Ernst

During his first 12 months with the company Ernst united the dentsu offering in Queensland, including the re-integration of Amplifi into Carat and the connection of Carat, iProspect and Haystac in the market to form a business that is integrated by design under the dentsu banner.

“It’s great to have been given the opportunity to lead the Carat Melbourne team and to be working more closely with Sue across the Carat business nationally.  We’ve got an incredible team in Melbourne, and we’re fortunate to partner with some of Australia’s top brands including Medibank, L’Oreal, Kraft Heinz and more.  I can’t wait to get stuck into it,” Ernst said.

Asian Academy Creative Awards
Australian TV producers compete Gold in Asian Academy Creative Awards

Australian are in competition for gold at this year’s Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA) with a strong showing at last night’s National Winners Announcement.

Under the AAA’s awards system, programs are firstly judged locally in each of the 16 member nations, with only one entry in each category going through to represent their country at December’s Finals.

ABC Australia featured prominently with a hand in seven of the nation’s 12 national wins.

Mystery Road (S2) will represent the nation in the Best Drama Series category but face tough opposition from 10 other nations including major productions backed by Netflix, Amazon Prime and Asian based OTT platform Viu. The Australian production picked up the AAA’s coveted golden “Goddess of Creativity” last year for Best Cinematography, so has been highly regarded by the international Jury.

Meanwhile, the hit Foxtel/10 reality series Gogglebox will go on to represent Australia against seven other nations for the highly competitive Best Non-Scripted Entertainment category.

In the kid’s TV categories Bluey continues to fly the flag for Ludo Studios and ABC Kids with local judges putting it forward for Best Pre-School.

Of the seven nations in the running Singapore will be represented by its three-time International Emmy nominated Oddbods which will also face up against Aussie entry Monster Beach (Cartoon Network) for Best Animated Program.

The ABC’s CJZ production of Rocky & Me was favoured by the judges to represent Australia in Best Children’s Program where India’s two-time AAA winner Lamput (Cartoon Network) is seeking the first ever three-peat.

Australia has its very own three-peat contender with VFX powerhouse Method Studios in the running for their work on Jumanji: The Next Level. This follows their previous wins for Christopher Robin (2019) and Game of Thrones (2018).

In the news categories SBS claimed the National Win for Hong Kong: Behind The Frontline which is up for Best Current Affairs Program while BBC News claims Best Single News Story with Echoes of Empire – The Incarceration of Indigenous Australians.

Australia will defend its Best Documentary crown with the Adam Goodes documentary The Australian Dream which also got the nod for Best Direction (non-fiction). Stablemate Collingwood: From The Inside Out is Australia’s entry for Best Sports Program.

Long running New Zealand series Shortland Street is up for Best Telenovela or Soap Opera.

The Grand Awards and Gala Final will be livestream on December 3rd and 4th

TV ratings: Wednesday Week 42 2020

By James Manning

• Gruen blitzes the ratings, ABC share soars to #2 all people
• The Block keeps Nine #1 as Shelley Craft breaks down the walls

Primetime News
Seven News 955,000/911,000
Nine News 912,000/839,000
ABC News 727,000
10 News First 290,000/197,000
SBS World News 161,000

Daily current affairs
7.30 653,000
A Current Affair 623,000
The Project 287,000/437,000
The Drum 179,000

Breakfast TV
Sunrise 257,000
News Breakfast 203,000
Today 192,000

Late night news
Nine News Late 143,000
ABC Late News 141,000

Seven: Home and Away was again close to 550,000 for the third successive night.

An hour of Highway Patrol was on 372,000 and then 387,000.
The Wednesday movie was 2013’s Man of Steel with 218,000. 

Nine: A Current Affair was down over 100,000 from Tuesday to 623,000 last night.

The Block saw work well underway on what the show has branded “future living” in the upstairs space of the houses with offices and retreats being built ahead of the Sunday reveal. Helping with the work was co-host Shelley Craft who was swinging a sledgehammer to knock down a wall. The episode was on 744,000 after the exact same number a week ago.

Australian Crime Stories then investigated what is possibly the most puzzling episode this series which details the work of one of Australia’s top forensic pathologists and why the state government involved doesn’t seem concerned about what happened during his career. The episode was on an improved 384,000.

10: The Project was under 450,000 after 7pm.

The Bachelorette slipped below half a million with its smallest audience ever despite the attraction of having two sisters deciding on the best bachelors. The episode did 468,000 after launching on 628,000 last Wednesday. 

ABC: The return of Gruen for 2021 pulled 943,000, the biggest audience the show since the launch episode in 2016. Host Wil Anderson pointed out early it was good to hear Russel Howcroft on TV on TV (he was broadcasting from the ABC studio in Melbourne). There was much chat about Covid including how both the government and brands had reacted during the year.

Gruen boosted ABC share – the channel was the #2 network and even managed to win the night in Adelaide. The ABC had its best Wednesday share of the year and the third best share on any night of the week in 2020.

Gruen also helped other shows grow – Hard Quiz was on 756,000 after 644,000 last week and Utopia did 535,000 after 354,000 a week ago.

Planet America continues to rate well too with 438,000 last night.

SBS: The premier of Australia Come Fly With Me saw the WildBear Entertainment program on 230,000.

Earlier in the night Walking Britain’s Roman Roads was on 232,000.

Week 42: Wednesday
WEDNESDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 18.0% 7 16.5% 9 20.5% 10  10.4% SBS One 5.6%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.1% 7TWO 3.7% GO! 1.9% 10 Bold 4.3% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.3% 7mate 2.3% GEM 2.0% 10 Peach 2.7% Food Net 0.7%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix 1.7% 9Life 1.8% 10 Shake 0.5% NITV 0.0%
        9Rush 0.9%     SBS World Movies 1.0%
TOTAL 22.1%   24.2%   27.1%   17.8%   8.7%

 

WEDNESDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 13.2% 7 18.8% 9 16.5% WIN 8.2% SBS One 4.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 1.8% 7TWO 7.3% GO! 2.5% WIN Bold 5.2% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.9% 7mate 3.2% GEM 4.5% WIN Peach 2.9% Food Net 0.7%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.4% 9Life 2.1% Sky News  on WIN 2.3% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 0.9%
TOTAL 17.7%   31.7%   25.7%   18.7%   7.2%

 

WEDNESDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
87.0% 13.0%
WEDNESDAY FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 955,000
  2. Gruen ABC 943,000
  3. Nine News Nine 912,000
  4. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 911,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 839,000
  6. Hard Quiz S5 ABC 756,000
  7. The Block Nine 744,000
  8. ABC News ABC 727,000
  9. 7.30 ABC 653,000
  10. A Current Affair Nine 623,000
  11. Home And Away Seven 546,000
  12. Utopia (R) ABC 535,000
  13. Hot Seat Nine 488,000
  14. The Chase Australia Seven 488,000
  15. The Bachelorette Australia  10 468,000
  16. Planet America-Le ABC 438,000
  17. The Project 7pm 10 437,000
  18. Highway Patrol-Ep.2 (R) Seven 387,000
  19. Australian Crime Stories Nine 384,000
  20. Highway Patrol (R) Seven 372,000
Demo Top Five

16-39 Top Five

  1. Gruen ABC 191,000
  2. The Block Nine 163,000
  3. The Bachelorette Australia  10 156,000
  4. Utopia (R) ABC 117,000
  5. Hard Quiz S5 ABC 111,000

18-49 Top Five

  1. Gruen ABC 312,000
  2. The Block Nine 307,000
  3. The Bachelorette Australia  10 246,000
  4. Nine News Nine 222,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 208,000

 

25-54 Top Five

  1. Gruen ABC 369,000
  2. The Block Nine 347,000
  3. Nine News Nine 282,000
  4. The Bachelorette Australia  10 266,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 257,000
Wednesday Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 211,000
  2. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 178,000
  3. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 167,000
  4. Fireman Sam AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 154,000
  5. Floogals AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 150,000
  6. NCIS: Los Angeles (R) 10 Bold 140,000
  7. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  8. Love Monster ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  9. Go Jetters PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  10. School Of Roars ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  11. Lewis PM 7TWO 128,000
  12. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 126,000
  13. Book Hungry Bears AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  14. PJ Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  15. The Coroner PM 7TWO 119,000
  16. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 115,000
  17. NCIS: Los Angeles Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 113,000
  18. Andy’s Aquatic Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 112,000
  19. The Hive AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 107,000
  20. The Big Bang Theory Ep 3 10 Peach 104,000
Wednesday STV
  1. Gogglebox Australia Lifestyle Channel 189,000
  2. Alan Jones Sky News Live 78,000
  3. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 77,000
  4. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 72,000
  5. Credlin Sky News Live 68,000
  6. The Great British Sewing Bee Lifestyle Channel 56,000
  7. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 37,000
  8. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 36,000
  9. PML Later Sky News Live 34,000
  10. NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 34,000
  11. NCIS FOX Crime 32,000
  12. The Matty Johns Podcast FOX LEAGUE 29,000
  13. AM Agenda Sky News Live 28,000
  14. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 28,000
  15. Newsday Sky News Live 27,000
  16. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 26,000
  17. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 26,000
  18. Escape To The Country Lifestyle Channel 26,000
  19. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 26,000
  20. NCIS: Los Angeles FOX Crime 26,000

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

Nobody from Netflix has been to jail, and that's kind of surprising

Finishing the final page of No Rules Rules – Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention, a new business leadership book by Reed Hastings, I was surprised nobody at Netflix has ever gone to jail, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

That’s not to suggest anyone at Netflix has done anything illegal.

But the fact that the executive suite regularly shares detailed financial information, strategy documents and upcoming executive appointments – including making Ted Sarandos co-chief executive in July – with the top 700 employees before it tells the sharemarket and investors, and that hasn’t led to a single leak in Netflix’ 18 years as a listed company, which could also lead to trading on that confidential information, seemed like a radical idea.

Instead of an autobiography of Hastings, or a history of Netflix (which no doubt would be incredibly well read), the book is based on the culture Hastings has sought to establish at Netflix, which is worth more than $US220 billion ($309.5 billion).

Hastings, 60, was planning to tour Australia to promote his book, which he wrote with INSEAD Business school professor Erin Meyer. But COVID-19 put an end to those plans.

[Read more]

Two weeks ago, The AFR Angus Grigg, also looked at the Sarandos book, but didn’t get very far with it:

Hastings put out his corporate philosophy in early September in the form of a 343-page book of such piercing insights the Nobel committee will surely feel compelled to offer a new prize in management theory.

Its title, No Rules Rules, sounds more like a comeback album from Vanilla Ice, and from the reviews I’ve read has about as much depth – I couldn’t bring myself to actually read the thing.

[Read more]

Morgan Stanley joins Nine discussions over Stan streaming service

Nine Entertainment’s streaming service Stan has been a topic of conversation in media circles of late, and now it appears analysts at Morgan Stanley have become part of the discussion, reported The Australian’s Bridget Carter yesterday.

While no sale or initial public offerings plans for Stan are currently said to be on the table, one theory currently circling in the market is that its media owner Nine may look to sell down part of the business in the future.

This could be through a float or an IPO, where Nine capitalises on the current booming conditions for movie and television content streaming providers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

[Read more]

News Brands

Financial Review sweeps press club finance awards

The Australian Financial Review has swept the Awards for Excellence in Financial Journalism presented at the National Press Club on Wednesday, reports new AFR journalist Miranda Ward.

Senior reporters Jonathan Shapiro and Carrie LaFrenz won the major award, after also picking up the Personal & Consumer award for their coverage of issues associated with the US investment arm of Australian wealth management group Evans Dixon.

Professional services editor Edmund Tadros won the Business & Company reporting category for his report on consulting group Deloitte’s attempt to have ASIC block rival firm PwC from publicly releasing its superior audit results.

Media and marketing editor Max Mason won the Digital Disruption & Technology category for his extensive coverage of the impact of Big Tech on traditional media. including the associated regulatory issues.

[Read more]

Daily Mail to quote Erin Molan’s words in court battle

The Daily Mail has hit back ferociously at Erin Molan’s defamation lawsuit, raking through several years of rugby league podcasts in a bid to prove in court that the sports presenter is racist, reports News Corp’s Lane Sainty.

Among the comments the media outlet has plucked from 2GB’s Continuous Call Team archive and quoted in its defence are Molan saying “You like raw feesh?”, “Pick up your chopsticks” and “I wuv you wery long time”.

The 61-page bombshell truth defence references the Nine star’s co-hosts, alleging the Continuous Call Team frequently spouted “racist content” on the show by mocking Pacific Islander and Maori names and emulating Chinese, Indian and other accents.

Molan’s lawyer told NCA NewsWire in a statement: “Ms Molan has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia for defamatory allegations made about her by the Daily Mail.

“Those allegations, now repeated by the Daily Mail in its defence, are denied. It would be inappropriate to comment further as the matter is before the court.”

The matter is due for a first court hearing on Friday.

[Read more]

Nine loses bid to reduce $3.6m defamation payout to Wagner family

The Nine Network has lost its bid to reduce a $3.6m damages payout to a wealthy Queensland family defamed in a report about the fatal Grantham floods in 2011, reported AAP this week.

The Toowoomba-based Wagner brothers were defamed by a 60 Minutes report from May 2015 that incorrectly insinuated they were responsible for the destruction of the town and deaths of 12 people.

They argued the report insinuated the collapse of a wall at a Lockyer Valley quarry they owned caused the “man-made catastrophe”.

The report, entitled The Missing Hour, described the wall of water that fatally swept through Grantham as an “inland tsunami”.

Nine’s lawyer, Sandy Dawson SC, argued Justice Peter Applegarth erred when he calculated the payout to the brothers and his client should pay a much lower figure.

In a decision handed down on Tuesday, the court of appeal determined Justice Applegarth made “appropriate orders” and declined to reassess the payout amount.

[Read more]

Television

ABC, Blackfella Films & Sticky Pictures win international diversity awards

ABC political drama Total Control and ABC Children’s short film And Then Something Changed have won prestigious awards celebrating diversity and inclusion across the international television industry.

The Indigenous-led Total Control, produced by Blackfella Films and starring Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths, won the MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Award for Representation of Race and Ethnicity, beating US series Twenties and Penny Dreadful: City of Angels.

Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths with Total Control director Rachel-Perkins

ABC ME series And Then Something Changed, produced by Sticky Pictures as part of the DisRupted funding program to support Australian creatives with disability, won the MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Award in the Kids’ Programming category, beating UK program Pablo and Canadian program Lockdown.

The ABC series were the only Australian winners of the annual MIPCOM Diversify Awards, announced in Paris overnight, which recognise outstanding television programs that create more opportunities for diverse talent and demonstrate the positive impact of diversity across the global media landscape.

Darren Dale, managing director and producer at Blackfella Films, said: “Blackfella Films has always championed Indigenous voices and fought to have more inclusive stories on our screens, so this award is a wonderful affirmation of all we have aspired to.

“Deborah Mailman is a powerhouse actor and the combination of her extraordinary gifts and Rachel Griffiths’ brilliance made a thrilling drama where overt notions of diversity and inclusion became irrelevant, because they were simply intrinsic to the power of the story. And that is where we all want to be.”

Donna Andrews, CEO of Sticky Pictures, said: “Sticky Pictures is thrilled to win this MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Award. We are incredibly proud of this film and the wonderful team behind it, with special thanks to producer Eliza Hull, director Keiran Watson-Bonnice and our young, very talented star Theo Watson-Bonnice.”

Sports Media

Nine, Foxtel duel for rugby reaches pointy end, Stan to add sport?

Rugby Australia could make a decision on its broadcast partner by the end of the week following a tightly contested battle between incumbent rights holder Foxtel and Nine, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Sources told The Australian Financial Review that discussions with both Nine and Foxtel were well advanced, and both were still, separately, going back and forth on various items.

They said Rugby Australia could decide by the end of the week, having held a series of meetings with Nine and Foxtel executives over the past week.

Rugby Australia is believed to be weighing up a slightly lower bid from Nine, but broader reach across its free-to-air network and subscription video on-demand service Stan.

A deal with Nine would give Rugby Australia the free-to-air coverage it has longed for, with one Super Rugby match likely on a Saturday each week of the season.

[Read more]

AFL to sever ties with Rio Tinto over Indigenous sacred site blast

The AFL has decided to part company with Rio Tinto, a sponsor of the league’s Indigenous pathway programs, over the mining giant’s destruction of a 46,000-year-old Indigenous sacred site in the Pilbara, reports The Age’s Jake Niall.

The AFL decision to end the partnership with Rio Tinto – which funds three Indigenous football programs and contributes sponsorship as well – had to be ratified by the AFL commission this week, but is a fait accompli after careful consideration by AFL boss Gillon McLachlan and his executives.

The AFL was subject to criticism for the partnership with the mining giant, which blew up the site at Juukan Gorge, Western Australia, to access iron ore, in an event that upset the traditional owners, prompted a Senate inquiry and saw three Rio Tinto executives resign, including the chief executive.

[Read more]

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