As Southern Cross Austereo has reported a significant drop in revenue, the broadcaster is searching for a chief content officer.
By James Manning
The company hasn’t had someone filling the group content role since Guy Dobson stepped away from the business almost 12 months ago.
The executive search also comes as Kyle Sandilands has again described former executives as “assholes”.
The stinging critique from one of Australia’s highest-paid radio hosts comes just two days before he will address a room full of former colleagues at the Radio Alive conference on Friday. There could be some interesting questions from the floor at the end of the session.
Sandilands was speaking this morning on KIIS 1065 as he read from The Australia Financial Review about SCA’s revenue warning.
Although Guy Dobson was ultimately in charge of content until his departure, his official title was chief creative officer. Prior to that Dobson spent a short time as CEO and before that was content director from 2005 to 2010.
Craig Bruce was the last content director from 2011 to 2015. Previous content bosses included Jeff Allis (seven years from 1997), Brad March (four years from 1994) and Greg Smith (eight years from 1986).
The key internal candidate for the role could be Triple M Network head Mike Fitzpatrick who just this week appointed Rex Morris to run Triple M Sydney.
The biggest challenge for anyone taking on the national role would be to get 2Day FM breakfast back on the radar. Other internal candidates would be longtime Melbourne SCA GM Dave Cameron and recently returned SCA program executive Dan Bradley. Another current SCA candidate would also be Gemma Fordham.
External candidates who could perhaps take on that challenge would include Andy Roberts, who just left Bauer Group in London after 12 years, Jay Walkerden from Nova, US-based Kiwi running a group of iHeartRadio stations Andrew Jeffries, maybe even Tom Poleman head of programming at iHeartRadio, former Nova national PD Dean Buchanan now head of content at NZME, Absolute Radio CD Paul Sylvestor, Nova head of programming across Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth Ben Latimer, former Austereo and Fox FM guru turned consultant Brian Ford, former Nova, SCA and ARN content executive Ryan Rathbone now content director at MediaWorks NZ, former SCA and now ARN executive Derek Bargwanna, SCA NSW head of content Mathew Eggleston or Tony Moorey group content director at Magic and Absolute Radio for Bauer Media.
Could SCA chief Grant Blackley even try and entice back former execs in the role Brad March, Craig Bruce or Jeff Allis?
Other candidates Mediaweek also rates would be content specialist Jay Mueller and the head of Virgin Radio UK Mike Cass. But would Cass, formerly CD for Nova in Perth and Melbourne, want to leave a new job where he looks after one of the world’s best breakfast shows – Chris Evans – to tackle the challenges facing 2Day FM?
But the job of course is about a lot more than just 2Day FM – based in Sydney or Melbourne and reporting into Grant Blackley, the role oversees content initiatives across a radio network of 78 FM stations, 10 DAB radio stations plus extended digital and associated on-demand content.
Triple M Network Head Mike Fitzpatrick today announced the appointment of Rex Morris as Content Director for Triple M Sydney. Having started out with the company in 1990 with an on-air role, Rex is a true radio and SCA stalwart.
“It’s really exciting to have Rex join our Sydney team. He has successfully led Triple M Brisbane’s content for two years and during that time he’s had three changes to breakfast including: losing Lawrence Mooney, hiring Nick Cody, losing Robin Bailey and hiring Margaux Parker,” Fitzpatrick said.
“Amidst all these changes, he has led the team and the station from single figures to a #1 radio station. Even now the station and breakfast show remains in double figures with record audience numbers.
“Triple M Sydney is on the path to something great, with the breakfast show and station overall producing some great results and with a fantastic off-air team in place. Rex is perfectly positioned to take the station and the team to the next stage.”
Commenting on his new role, Morris said: “I am passionate about Triple M and its place in the hearts of our 40+ audience with our rock focus. I’m also thrilled to be joining the Sydney team with Triple M’s amazing heritage in the city and its potential to grow. While I’m sad to be leaving such a fantastic team in Brisbane, I’m looking forward to joining the Sydney team to do great things.”
Morris replaces Jamie Angel who has moved to 2Day FM in the new breakfast music slot.
Research of 1,600 Australian Gen Zs & Ys commissioned by Mamamia, and revealed at its Upfronts events across Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney this past week, has identified the next generation of Australian women are taking back control and prioritising self-love, aware they’re not in a position to help others if they haven’t sorted themselves.
“Women who might have been pushed to the margins or not celebrated in previous years are now front and centre,” said Holly Wainwright, head of content at Mamamia.
Other findings from Mamamia’s audience research:
79% of Gen Z & Y women still feel they don’t hear enough from all types of women, what they simply consider to be reality, rather than the over-used ‘diversity’
88% say there’s still too much pressure for women to look a certain way
Only 6% of Gen Z & Y’s say they follow influencers because of how they look, compared to 63% who say it’s because of how they make them laugh and feel
Mamamia co-founder and chief creative officer Mia Freedman said:
“We speak to well over two million Gen Z and Y women each month, and it’s truly a 24/7 two-way dialogue with real time feedback that helps shape our content.”
Mamamia is having continuing success with its podcast catalogue and there are two launches planned.
Overshare (November 4th) and Eligible (January 2020) were announced this week.
Overshare is three next generation women very comfortable sharing “too much information” – young women like DJ, Flex Mami.
Eligible is being called a brand new concept in digital dating – it’s not about whether you swipe left or right, it’s about love at first sound. Freedman said: “Women can tell a lot by someone’s voice, it will be hosted by Rachel Corbett and it’s going to be a whole new genre in dating.”
Further announcements at Mamamia’s Upfronts:
After a successful sold out twelve-show 2019 live tour driven by Toyota Kluger, Mamamia is going again in 2020 including taking the You Beauty podcast on the road with Leigh Campbell, offering a fully immersive day across five cities with special guests, live podcasting and gift bags.
Mamamia has expanded the depth and breadth of its parent vertical on-site, in audio, video and social, including its hit parenting podcast adding a new show, This Glorious Mess – Little Kids, catering to parents with kids 0 – 5 years old.
Mamamia’s new parenting talent bench includes the newly-minted mum and reality TV alumni Laura Byrne, controversial truth-teller Constance Hall, and Paralympian and soon-to-be mum-of-three, Jessica Smith. The audience will hear about what happens when “you do you” collides with “now-I’m-doing-it-for-you-too”, straight from these influencers’ mouths.
Mamamia reported its network listeners doubled year-on-year (September, Omny Studio), with over 40 million minutes of active listening each month.
Sources: Independent Online Survey of 1,600 Gen Z and Y Australian women and men, September 2019; Google Analytics, IAS, Omny, Facebook Business Insights, September 2019.
In between the major showcases from TV broadcasters 10 Network, Nine and Seven this month have been the Upfronts from the digital network Mamamia.
The brand founded by Mia Freedman and her husband Jason Lavigne has spent a considerable amount on its Upfront roadshow which has visited Brisbane and Melbourne and rolled into Sydney this week.
One of the highlights which made some of its commercial partners sit up, was the Mamamia promise. Chief revenue and operations officer Tony Prentice explained that if for any reason an advertiser was not happy with their sponsorship or campaign they could simply alter their invoice and pay Mamamia what ever they thought was fair!
The digital and audio publisher’s co-founder Mia Freedman welcomed the overflowing room to the Upfront and reminded them of the size and reach of Mamamia.
Guests then heard about some new research the publisher commissioned.
Mamamia editor Jessie Stephens then took over to talk about developments in audio, a parenting vertical and plans for podcast live shows.
Stephens also hosted a panel featuring Mamamia head of podcasts Rachel Corbett plus Mamamia podcasters DJ Flex Mami, Marlee Silva and Kee Reece.
Mamamia head of content Holly Wainwright spoke about their new Parenting Village and Holly and Jessie spoke about Mamamia Out Loud and their plans for live shows in 2020 with You Beauty Live. Holly and Jessie will be wowing a crowd in Orange tonight.
Tony Prentice explained the power of the Mamamia Super Channel and the size of its reach. The brand’s podcasts have been downloaded by women 65m times. When you count blokes too that number climbs to 75m. Mamamia reaches 3m women on Facebook and the Mamamia website attracts over 5m video views each month.
Podcasts continue to drive massive engagement at Mamamia. The platform currently has over 30 shows and has released details of two new titles.
Prentice explained there were three ways commercial partners invested in audio – via run of network spots, sponsorships offering 100% SOV or the opportunity to fund a bespoke podcast.
More to follow soon with Mediaweek interviews with key Mamamia executives.
Girlfriend, is partnering with tanning brand Bondi Sands for the Girlfriend 25 Under 25 awards which will recognise the country’s top 25 empowered and powerful women under the age of 25 who are driving change in fields including sport, science, body positivity, beauty and tech.
Girlfriend Editor Stacey Hicks said: “Girlfriend’s audience is powerful, intelligent and ambitious. She’s more aware of the world around her and believes in positivity and empowerment. The 25 Under 25 awards are the perfect way to give these inspiring young women a platform to share their message and we’re thrilled to partner with Bondi Sands for this exciting concept.”
The awards will be the culmination of a four-month campaign across Girlfriend’s social, digital and print platforms which boast a total footprint of 2.3 million.
One winner will appear on the summer issue flip cover with the inspirational stories from all of the winners shared within the pages of the issue as well as social and online.
Bondi Sands Co-Founder Blair James said: “At Bondi Sands we are passionate about body positivity, innovation and celebrating women’s empowerment. We are thrilled to partner with Girlfriend for the 25 Under 25 awards as the brand shares our core values in celebrating all things positivity.”
Voters who nominate inspiring young women will be in the running to win a year’s supply of Bondi Sands tanning products as well as $5,000 cash. Voting is now open.
Robyn Foyster is no stranger in media. Dipping her toes in publishing, television and digital over three decades across a range of premium titles, Foyster continues to grow her portfolio.
By Claudia Siron
With her natural affinity to create quality media for women, Foyster has recently founded Sweep; an app designed to give consumers great shopping deals and help make insightful shopping purchases. Foyster told Mediaweek about her transition from print to digital, and her new online platforms including her app Sweep.
Foyster told Mediaweek she first started at AAP as a graduate cadet and then became a journalist and feature writer for Today newspaper in London.
Foyster said: “After that, I moved to Los Angeles where I was the West Coast reporter for Channel 4’s Big Breakfast and later joined the breakfast show GMTV in London. Then after a stint as a freelancer working for a range of titles including The Sunday Times, I took up a role as editor-in-chief of New Idea magazine in New Zealand and then in Australia. Later, I was poached to be editor-in-chief of The Australian Women’s Weekly where I worked for two years before joining the Seven Network as lifestyle editor at Sunrise.
“After one year, I got a call from David Gyngell and went back to ACP – which became Bauer – as a publisher across the top women’s titles. I was the publisher of Woman’s Day, Harper’s BAZAAR, Cosmopolitan, Madison, Good Health and Grazia. After that, I set up my own businesses including The Carousel, and Women Love Tech. Three years ago, I launched Game Changers where we profile entrepreneurs in what is a high-quality three-camera shoot with top interviewers including Edwina Bartholomew and Sarah Harris hosting the show. We are now filming our 11th series.”
Foyster said when she was at The Weekly, the brand was receiving great figures in the digital space. “We were getting a reach of four million a month and then after the first major redesign in 10 years the reach increased to six million a month,” said Foyster. “I had plenty of experience in digital, so the real transition really was making the shift from being the boss of a bunch of magazines in a very big company with big teams, to then going out on my own setting up something from scratch where I didn’t have a big brand behind me.”
Foyster said one of the reasons for starting The Carousel was because she wanted to do more video content. “Only five or six years ago, the idea of snackable content that we were starting to do was very new. Back then, there was a lot more money being made in digital by smaller publishers because Facebook and Google did not have a stranglehold over advertising like they do now. A lot of smaller websites that started at the same time as me haven’t survived, like The Hoopla and HealthyMeTV. I realised early on that you need different revenue streams such as content production to survive. It is harder to get revenue from traditional advertising,” said Foyster.
As a passionate shopper, Robyn founded the app, Sweep, which is the first community-based, augmented reality shopping app on the market.
Foyster said the app helps shoppers save time and money allowing them to discover deals and retailers both online and in stores nearby. With personalised feeds and a price history tool, the app connects active shoppers with retailers.
“Sweep uses people’s shopping preferences to give what deals are available in their location. There’s also a very unique feature – the Augmented Reality map finder – which shows people the pathway to get to nearby shops.”
Sweep offers all types of stores including technology, beauty, fashion, and health. With the available technologies like AI and geo-location, the app provides a better avenue for shoppers who are craving a sweet deal. “Immersive experiences are the future of retail, and Sweep will revolutionise how people shop and be a catalyst to drive incremental sales in-store,” said Foyster.
With Sweep as a finalist for Australia’s Best Shopping Innovation at the Finder Awards as this year, there appears to be significant growth potential.
“Sweep has a community of shoppers. Users can like, comment and share within their community; it’s got the same sort of interface as Instagram. Users can see where people have spent their money as well as read reviews from others. For the retailers, it’s increasing sales and building loyalty using immersive media,” explained Foyster. “At this stage, the app has been launched in Australia, and the plan is to go global.”
The team with Foyster on Sweep is Subin Park as Co-Creator and UX and Design Lead, and Philip Ip as Co-Creator and Solutions Architect and data expert Dr Jovan Barac.
Stranger Things has now made it 17 weeks in a row atop the Australian TV Demand charts and 16 of 17 in NZ, with the record for consecutive weeks on top of the charts sitting at 19 by Game of Thrones.
By Trent Thomas
Over the last 36 weeks, only two shows have topped the Overall TV Charts in Australia with Stranger Things also topping the Digital Originals chart too boot.
The standouts this week involve international controversy, a new entry, and a show continues its walk up the chart.
South Park has entered the charts this week after causing an international stir by being banned from China after the episode fittingly named Band in China. In the show’s, 299th episode Randy Marsh tries to expand his marijuana business to China and ends up in a Chinese labour camp. The episode also mocked American organisations such as Disney and the NBA for doing business dealings with China, and the censorship of Winnie the Pooh after the character was compared to China’s President Xi Jinping.
The episode angered Chinese censors, who wiped out video clips and discussions of the show on major platforms, such as the social network Weibo.
South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, issued a statement on their most recent stir:
“Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts. We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn’t look just like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the Great Communist Party of China! May this autumn’s sorghum harvest be bountiful! We good now China?”
Peaky Blinders also joined the TV Demand charts this week after the British crime drama created by Steven Knight, released its fifth season on August 25 2019. Cillian Murphy stars as Tommy Shelby, the leader of the Shelby Crime Family who operate in Birmingham, England, in the aftermath of World War I. The fictional gang is loosely based on the Peaky Blinders, a 19th- century urban youth gang who were active from the 1890s to the early twentieth century.
The six-episode fifth season aired its season finale on September 22nd with Knight confirming a season six and possibly seven are planned for the future.
The Walking Dead is now second on the Overall TV charts in both Australia and New Zealand after re-entering the charts three weeks ago and releasing the first episode of its 10th season last week on October 10. With the show being the 2018 Global TV Demand Award’s Most In-Demand TV Show, it appears the biggest threat to ending Stranger Things streak before it breaks Game of Thrones record for most consecutive weeks on top of the charts in 2019.
• The Block keeps Nine in first place across network & east coast
• Another big night for 10: 2 Masked Singers secure win under 50
By James Manning
• Seven News 891,000/854,000
• Nine News 766,000/833,000
• A Current Affair 721,000
• ABC News 602,000
• 7.30 497,000
• The Project 264,000/466,000
• 10 News First 333,000
• The Drum 148,000
• SBS World News 148,000
• Sunrise 284,000
• Today 182,000
Home and Away did 627,000 on Monday but slipped to 570,000 last night.
Bride & Prejudice: The Forbidden Weddings then did 406,000 after audiences around 400,000 for last week’s episodes.
Secret Bridesmaid’s Business then did 302,000 after 361,000 last week.
A Current Affair has drifted from 801,000 to 721,000 after two episodes this week. Curtis Stone and the Sydney poo jogger featured last night.
The Block then did 844,000 after 897,000 a week ago.
Love Island Australia was on 285,000 after 355,000 a week ago.
The Project slipped below half a million again to 466,000. Although ACA was inside Roxy Jacenko’s offices yesterday for its poo jogger story, Roxy saved her TV interview for The Project.
The channel then dropped a special gift for viewers – two episodes of The Masked Singer. For the ratings 10 coded the double episode into three parts. The Reveal attracted the largest audience of the night with 1.01m while The Masked Singer was on 839,000 and then the later Masked Singer – Unmasked did 619,000. The episodes came close to tripling the audience for the timeslot week-on-week and 10 was again the #1 channel and network under 50.
Foreign Correspondent was on 386,000 after 8pm followed by Catalyst on 348,000.
Kumi’s Japan then did 253,000.
Building anything in Britain works well for the channel and last night Building Britain’s Canals had the channel’s biggest audience with 270,000.
Insight was next best with 231,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.4%||7TWO||2.6%||GO!||3.7%||10 Bold||3.5%||VICELAND||1.5%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||2.9%||GEM||4.1%||10 Peach||2.4%||Food Net||1.2%|
|7Food||0.5%||SBS World Movies||0.7%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.9%||7TWO||3.9%||GO!||4.9%||WIN Bold||4.2%||VICELAND||1.5%|
|ABC ME||1.0%||7mate||5.5%||GEM||6.5%||WIN Peach||1.8%||Food Net||1.0%|
|ABC NEWS||1.1%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.8%||9Life||1.6%||Sky News on WIN||2.0%||NITV||0.3%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.7%|
|TUESDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
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
Southern Cross Media’s shares tumbled to a five-year low after the company reported an 8.5 per cent hit to revenue due to a ‘weak’ advertising market, reports The AFR’s Natasha Gillezeau.
In an update to the market, the media company, which has Australia’s largest radio network and operates the Hit and Triple M radio stations, said the weakness was across both radio and television segments.
Southern Cross Media chief financial officer Nick McKechnie said the main factor behind the update was ad spend had missed expectations for the quarter.
“We’re seeing weaker ad markets across first quarter, which seems to be linked to a lower desire to invest and spend in advertising,” said McKechnie.
“We’re seeing it as being broad in the market, SMI data is showing all sectors were back about 9 per cent, we think its kind of broad-based linked to the level of consumer and business sentiment in the economy.”
Broadsheet Media is celebrating its 10th birthday and a decade in publishing.
Broadsheet was established in Melbourne in 2009 to bring its readers the best of Australian city culture after founder and publisher Nick Shelton returned from a stint in London to find that no Australian media outlets were reporting on city culture in the way people were experiencing it.
Since then, Broadsheet has expanded to cover Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane and has a staff of almost 50 full-time employees despite never having sought external capital investment – a result of consistent profitability.
“Broadsheet’s growth over the past 10 years can, in large part, be attributed to the quality and reliability of our content. As a result of that our readers trust the Broadsheet brand – we value that trust above all else,” said Shelton.
Along its journey, Broadsheet has created unique products for its readers on and offline.
“We did our first pop-up cafe as part of Melbourne Food and Wine Festival in 2011, but since then we’ve done two restaurants, in Melbourne and Sydney respectively; we’ve produced five books, including three hardcover cookbooks; and most recently we wrapped up our Broadsheet Kitchen series, a new dining concept designed to support the next generation of culinary talent in Australia.”
This month the brand launches Broadsheet Editions: a curated edit of images by past and current Broadsheet photographers available to readers for purchase – printed, framed and delivered.
Shelton added: “We’re really only just getting started. I’ve got a first-class, passionate team with both strong editorial and commercial leadership at the helm driving more sophisticated products every day for our readers and clients. I’m proud to have hit this milestone, but for me goals are like a horizon – you never really reach them; you just keep evolving and striving to get even better.”
To celebrate the anniversary, Broadsheet has produced a special edition Broadsheet print paper in both Melbourne and Sydney, which will be complemented with digital content reflecting on what has made the cities great over the past 10 years as well as looking forward to what’s in store.
It has been a bust night in Canberra for politicians and TV news executives.
An event for Free TV featuring TV news chiefs has coincided with a farewell for Sky News political editor who is relocating to Melbourne as he joins the ABC.
The Australian reported Sky News Australia chief executive Paul Whittaker said Speers helped build Sky into a “leader in political news and national affairs coverage”.
Other guests at his farewell included Scott Morrison, Anthony Albanese and politicians from both sides of the house.
Guardian Australia political editor Katharine Murphy said Speers’ was “saying farewell in characteristically classy fashion, thanking the mentors and colleagues”.
Former Sky News colleague Jennifer Bechwati, now with Seven, called Speers: “Undoubtedly one of the best political journalists of our generation. A great mentor and friend.”
Canberra power broker Grahame Morris said: The most extraordinary collection of politicians and journos at David Speers’ farewell from Sky News tonight. Without a doubt the most influential journalist in Australia since Laurie Oakes.”
Karen Middleton from The Saturday Paper said: “Tributes from across the political spectrum – a testament to the quality of his work.”
Meanwhile, Free TV Australia was hosting an event at Parliament House in Canberra on the eve of the Government handing down its response to the ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry.
The event included a panel discussion moderated by Seven Network’s Melissa Doyle.
The event was co-hosted by Free TV CEO Bridget Fair and the co-chairs of the Parliamentary Friends of Free TV Group, Senator Andrew Bragg and Susan Templeman MP.
Sky News hostAlan Jones broke down in tears on live television on Tuesday night while “fighting” for hope-starved farmers, reports News Corp’s Campbell Gellie.
Jones, who grew up on a dairy farm in southeast Queensland, choked-up and called for a break as he tried to say that his father would have been ashamed of him if he didn’t fight for the desperate farmers.
His comments came in a week where farmers called into his 2GB radio show in tears and broken by the drought.
During his tribute last night, Jones said Prime Minister Scott Morrison “just didn’t understand”.
“I begged him to provide fodder water and freight so farmers wouldn’t have to send their breeding stock to slaughter,” he said.
“Ten minutes later, William, a farmer from up near Gunnedah, rang in and started to cry.
“His family had been in farming for 70 years, he is sending 90 breeders to the sale yard in Gunnedah today.
“We will fight, because I have been exactly where the people of Bourke are.
“My old man would be ashamed of me if I didn’t fight, I can’t speak for Canberra … take a break.”
Alan Jones has taken the Prime Minister to task in a heated interview about the ongoing drought crippling rural Australia, reports 2GB.
Scott Morrison is hitting back at criticism of the government’s drought relief programs, insisting they are investing in immediate and long-term solutions.
The PM says he’s delivering on what he promised, putting an additional $318.5 million into helping struggling farmers.
“Wherever you look at it, it’s meeting the immediate needs of farmers,” he tells Alan Jones.
“It’s about meeting the needs in communities that are affected by the drought and then it’s investing for the longer term in the water infrastructure.”
Alan Jones came down hard on the Prime Minister, demanding to know what is being done right now.
“Prime Minister, they’re gone. They’re gone! They can’t survive today. I’m not talking about long-term viability, what can you do today?”
Morrison eventually admitted there’s very little his government can do to fix the situation.
“We can’t kid ourselves that there’s a magic wand and a magic cash splash that’s going to make this thing totally solved.”
The openline went into meltdown in response to the Prime Minister’s interview.
Listeners were shocked and disappointed at Morrison’s answers, with some calling for him to resign.
Gyton Grantley will reprise the role that made him famous, playing Melbourne criminal Carl Williams for a third time in a new show to air on Nine in 2020, reports The Age’s Karl Quinn.
[The show is expected to be showcased at Nine’s 2020 Upfront today.]
Grantley, who is currently playing the adult Ron Weasley on stage in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, will appear in Informer 3838 as the central figure in the gangland wars that rocked Melbourne for more than a decade from the mid-1990s.
Convicted drug trafficker Williams was beaten to death in April 2010 by a fellow inmate in Barwon Prison, where he was serving a minimum 35 years on multiple murder counts.
Grantley shot to fame in 2008 playing Williams in Underbelly, winning both the audience-voted most popular actor and the peer-voted most outstanding actor award at the 2009 Logies.
He reprised the role in 2014 for Fat Tony & Co, the eighth crime-themed instalment from Underbellyfranchise creators Screentime. Informer 3838, which gets its title from the codename assigned to gangland lawyer-turned-informer Nicola Gobbo by her police handlers, will also see the return of a number of other characters and performers from the original Underbelly.
Andy Ryan, Nine’s co-head of drama, hailed the return of Grantley to the role that made him a household name.
“Gyton’s killer performance as Carl Williams in the original Underbellyhas gone down in TV folklore,” he said.
The big reveals on 10’s The Masked Singer just keep on coming – and Tuesday delivered double the fun, report News Corp’s Nadia SalemmeandZoe Smith.
Two singers were forced to unmask – the Spider and the Unicorn.
Former Australian Idol contestant Paulini was unveiled as the woman behind the Spider after wowing judges with her cover of Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi.
The next reveal did not come as a surprise to many, with Deni Hines unmasked as the owner of the soulful voice behind the Unicorn.
Hines said she loved the series as it allowed her to be judged “purely” by her voice.
Before her unmasking, Hines, the daughter of soul singer Marcia, had the audience and judges jumping with her cover of the Bruno Marshit Locked Out of Heaven.
Speculation had been rampant for weeks that Hines was the star underneath the elaborate costume.
Celebrity chef Poh Ling Yeow is returning to television – but the move means the closure of her Jamface Stall at the Adelaide Central Market, reports News Corp’s Robyn Douglass.
There is, as yet, no hint of what the new TV role is, but the Adelaide cook, who debuted as runner-up in the first season of MasterChef Australia in 2009, announced the Jamface stall’s closure on her Instagram account on Monday.
Poh said the closure was due to a “full-time return to my media and art career.”
The stall, which had its last trading day on Saturday, has been open since late 2015.
But lovers of Poh’s lunchtime treats, especially pastries and desserts, will still be able to enjoy Jamface products at the Adelaide Farmers’ Market at Wayville every Sunday.
Poh would be filming interstate on weekdays but flying home on weekends for her “beloved farmers’ market”, which is where Jamface began in 2014.
Poh has made a number of TV series; three seasons of Poh’s Kitchen for the ABC from 2010-12, and two of Poh & Co for SBS in 2015-16.
Australian Test captain Tim Paine will join Seven’s commentary team this summer for the 2019-20 BBL season.
Paine last month became the first Australian captain in 18 years to retain the Ashes in England, when he led the Aussies to a 2-2 result in the Test series against Joe Root’s team.
While the 34-year-old will continue as Test skipper, he will join Seven as a guest commentator for 10 BBL matches once this summer’s series against Pakistan and New Zealand have concluded.
Paine has enjoyed an outstanding career in the BBL with the Hobart Hurricanes as a wicketkeeper and top-order batsmen, and was a key member of the Hurricanes teams that reached the BBL Final in 2013-14 and 2017-18.
Seven’s new head of sport Lewis Martin commented:
“It’s a wonderful and rare opportunity to hear the insights of a current Test captain, but also to have a ripping bloke like Tim join our team.”
Lewis Martin was formerly managing director of Seven Melbourne and he takes on the role as head of sport from Saul Shtein who left Seven earlier this year.
Nine’s weekly program Cross Court, a magazine-style show dedicated to all things tennis, returns this Sunday, October 20, at 11am on Nine and 9Now.
Hosted by tennis legend Todd Woodbridge, winner of 22 Grand Slam doubles titles, Cross Courtis promising the latest news from the world of tennis, as well as player profiles, grassroots initiatives and classic moments ahead of the 2020 Australian Open coming to Nine in January.
Additional reporting will be provided by Aussie stars Jelena Dokic, Dylan Alcott and Sam Groth.
This week’s show will profile reigning Australian Open champion and world number one, Novak Djokovic. The Serb has won more AO titles than any other player in the Open era and will be out to claim number eight when the tournament begins at Melbourne Park in January.
From Rafael Nadal’s extensive pre-match routine to Dylan Alcott’s must-listen-to song, the program will also take a look at some of the wildest player superstitions.
Cross Court will relive Dylan Alcott’s fifth title win at the 2019 Australian Open in the men’s quad wheelchair singles, and from Queensland viewers will meet Chloe Johnston, a woman with Asperger syndrome, and see how tennis has transformed her life.
Cross Court is produced by Nine in collaboration with Tennis Australia.
An untimely change of management sunk an audacious Channel 7 plan to lure Fox Footy’s Gerard Whateley, reports News Corp’s Scott Gullan.
It’s understood talks were well down the track for Whateley to secure his “dream” job with Seven, which would have involved covering Australia’s summer of cricket, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and AFL.
With legendary broadcaster Bruce McAvaneyscaling down his commitments, the versatile Whateley was seen as a perfect fit for the network.
All of these top secret negotiations were happening midway through the year with the blessing of Channel 7 CEO Tim Worner.
But everything changed in August when Worner resigned abruptly.
He was quickly replaced by James Warburton, a former Channel 7 executive who had moved to the 10 Network.
His arrival signalled a major cost-cutting overhaul of the business and unfortunately the Whateley plan got caught up in the slashing.