Wednesday October 23, 2019

How Mamamia grew to be a podcasting giant with 30+ shows

By James Manning

At the recent Mamamia Upfront events at the east coast capitals the digital publisher focused part of its presentations on its growth as a major podcast player in Australia.

At the event Mediaweek spoke with Mamamia co-founder and CEO Jason Lavigne, head of content Holly Wainwright and head of podcasts Rachel Corbett.

How Mamamia launched its podcasting strategy

HW: Mia Freedman [Mamamia co-founder and chief creative officer] was very instrumental in saying we should do podcasts, podcasts, podcasts. We dipped our toe in the water with Mamamia Out Loud which is now our flagship show. It’s been on air for over four years. We have found women have embraced every podcast we do.

There is no question the timing was good. The idea of busy women multi-tasking is a cliché, but there is only a certain amount of screentime they can or want to consume, so podcasting, being such an incredibly portable medium, works very well for them.

We have grown from the first show with three women sitting around the coffee table in the boardroom with a not very sophisticated mic, to now, where we have Rachel Corbett as head of audio and two dedicated Mamamia studios and 30 shows.

RC: There was a little bit of luck too. When things are new you are never going to know if they will grow. If you jump on an opportunity and do it well it helps. For a lot of our listeners podcasting is self care – “I am going to focus on this for a while because it’s my way of tapping out of the other things I have to do.”

Build it and they will come: Advertisers tune in

JL: The intimacy of the medium drives extraordinary trust between listeners and the hosts. We have never seen brand uplift like we have seen with host reads and re-voiced radio ads [in our podcasts].

As far as advertising goes it has been a slow burn. Podcasts have been around for much of the past 20 years. It is a medium that has now started to build a head of steam.

Podcasting gives women control and choice. The majority of the growth in the sector is from women.

HW: In the first couple of years we spent time explaining the medium when we went into agencies and speaking to clients. That is something we do not have to do anymore.

RC: Initially it seemed liked a niche sector because many people had no idea how to listen to a podcast. But now they start popping up in Spotify and landing in Google search results – platforms jumping on are making a real difference.

See also:
Mamamia promise: If advertisers not happy, they pay what they like!

Mamamia will be having more candid conversations that count in 2020

Mamamia’s podcast hit rate has been very good

RC: We only have rested shows, we haven’t really ever killed off any podcasts because they didn’t work and or we haven’t wanted to do them again. We realised we had other holes in the market to fill and there were other topics and areas of interest we wanted to focus on.

JL: The space has been evolving and can really be called a mass medium now. The stats out of the US recently have 53% of people listening to a podcast each month – that’s mass market. That means there are such a large number of niches to fill. We span the gamut with two daily shows. It has been our strategy to own the day as far as women’s podcasts go. We are well and truly advanced in that with The Quicky [mornings] and then The Spill [afternoons].

We call ourselves the largest women’s podcast network in the world and we are also the largest owned and operated podcast network in Australia.

It’s unclear if we have been the most successful at monetising them because those figures aren’t available.

We are definitely still learning though. Podcasting is sometimes seen by media buyers as a digital medium that should be able to be measured in the same way a website is.

We know very accurately how many people listen to every show on every day – that is something that radio can’t do. As far as analytics go, there is far greater transparency and depth with podcasts.

How Mamamia handles pitches for new programs

RC: We get sent proposals and I will chat with Holly and Mia as to whether there is a gap in our content for that and if it would resonate with our audience. I have to discern between a proposal that says “I have a really great voice and what to get on your network”, to “I have a really great idea for your audience.”

Sometimes there are really great ideas.

You often separate the podcaster from the pretender with a quick email back that asks for a pitch document and a pilot episode. That really whittles down the number of ideas.

JL: We now have a big enough platform that lets us market the podcasts. Podcasts are also a very, very good way to advertise podcasts.

We will continue to launch incredibly high-quality production shows that will gain mass audiences.

Don’t miss Mediaweek’s Podcast Week column every Thursday

Read past columns here.

Rachael Northey
Lovatts Media continues to thrive with lifestyle and puzzle print offerings

By Claudia Siron

Privately-owned publishing company Lovatts Media has been home to Australia’s best-loved puzzle magazines for the last four decades. With the business still thriving in a time when print is suffering, the publisher continues to successfully add new titles and create meaningful content for their readers.

CEO of Lovatts Media Rachael Northey shared with Mediaweek their different approach to publishing, how they use advertising, and how the company continues to grow.  

Northey has been with Lovatts for over a decade, and became the CEO around six years ago. She explained to Mediaweek how much the business has been transformed in the time she has been with Lovatts. “We’ve changed quite a lot. More than 10 years ago when I joined the business we were just publishing crossword and puzzle magazines and also did quite a lot of syndication of puzzle content to other publishers, like Bauer. Then about four years ago we decided we wanted to expand a little more into lifestyle publishing, and we’ve done that.” 

Lovatts media

“We’ve been growing and launching new titles – which will probably sound unusual in the last few years in publishing. In fact, when we launched our Breathe magazine some years ago, I recall doing an interview about that and I was told ‘so, launching a print magazine, that’s a strange thing to do. What an interesting move to make. Why have you decided to do that?’,” Northey laughed. “But Breathe has been really successful, so I think we just got it really right at the right time.”

“We’ve also moved from inland to a beach-front office in Terrigal. It’s a nice business, and we’ve changed a lot and we have grown, but at the same time I think we’ve retained the essence of who we are and how we like to do business.”

Northey spoke to Mediaweek about the newer titles and how mindfulness and puzzle titles appear to be receiving a great reception in Australia. “We launched Breathe magazine Australia around three years ago. Then we launched Audrey Daybook which is a hybrid puzzle and lifestyle title. Then we launched Teen Breathe, and then we acquired nourish and relaunched it. We actually acquired nourish from Blitz, when Blitz went into administration, and we relaunched that as a plant-based living magazine,” said Northey.  

lovatts breathe mag

“More recently we launched Mindful Parenting and KIT magazine, which is a ‘mindfulness for teens’ title as well. So we’ve launched quite a few new titles in the last three years; they’ve all done well.

They’re all in the mindfulness, wellbeing, conscious living space which happens to be a real growth area. I think that both mindfulness and puzzles are the two areas being spoken of – plus kids titles – as the growth areas in publishing, and we just happen to be in those particular categories.”

Northey told Mediaweek that most of the titles are ranged in supermarkets Coles and Woolworths, as well as in newsagents. “We also have a thriving subscription business, so all of them are doing very well,” said Northey. 

Lovatts isn’t mass market, and they’re not intending to be. Northey said they produce niche, bespoke, special interest magazines. “We do business quite differently from other publishers because we don’t run an advertiser funded model; we’re all about circulation. It’s our cover price that funds our publishing business, and as a result we’re not very focused on pumping up our numbers or our readership, we’re really just about running a profitable and ethical business”, said Northey.

Lovatts

Lovatts has been Australia’s most popular puzzle publisher for over 40 years. Northey explained that BIG Crossword magazine is probably their flagship puzzle magazine and has been around for a very long time. “Puzzle magazines didn’t really exist in Australia until Lovatts published their first one, and that was about 40 years ago, and that was in fact Colossus Crosswords magazine,” said Northey.

James Lovatt originally worked at People magazine and they said ‘’why don’t we do a crossword?’ and James said ‘I know someone who can actually make the crossword for us’ – his wife, Christine Lovatt, who always had a real love for puzzles and creating crosswords. So, she did create the puzzle for the magazine and it was the best-selling issue they ever had. The crossword was so well received and it became a regular feature.

“The first magazine that published puzzles in Australia was in ‘a nudie mag’. But then that went on to become the Lovatts publishing business; they launched Colossus Crosswords magazine and then BIG and now we have 24 magazines that were published regularly, and we’re published in the UK and NZ as well. It was a family business for many years, and now it’s grown to be quite a huge business.”

lovatts puzzles

Northey recalled when she joined Lovatts over a decade ago it was run by their son Patrick Lovatt, and he still works in the business now in the retail and circulation team lead by Jackie Garnett. “I’ve been running the business for about six years now. We still have all the same puzzle titles that we had many years ago, plus some extras, so puzzle publishing is certainly thriving,” said Northey.

Moving onto future plans, Northey revealed Lovatts will continue to add new titles and is on the search for new opportunities. “We always have new plans; we’re always innovating and doing new things. We will continue to launch print titles and keep working on the ones we have,” said Northey. “We’re looking at licensing opportunities internationally for our own titles. Our magazines in Australia are particularly quite beautiful, so I think international publishers appreciate the quality of the magazines produced here.”

2019 AACTA Awards: Foxtel on 56 nominations – Lambs of God 14

The nominations for the 2019 AACTA Awards were released this morning.

In television, Foxtel’s Lambs Of God leads the field with 14 nominations across television categories, with an additional four subscription television award nominations.

The AACTA Television category nominees are:

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST DRAMA SERIES
BLOOM David Maher, David Taylor, Glen Dolman, Sue Seeary – Playmaker Media (Stan)
MR INBETWEEN Michele Bennett – Blue-Tongue Films, Jungle Entertainment, Pariah Productions (Foxtel – Showcase)
SECRET CITY: UNDER THE EAGLE Stephen Corvini, Penny Chapman, Matt Cameron, Penny Win, Carly Heaton – Matchbox Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
TOTAL CONTROL Darren Dale, Miranda Dear, Rachel Griffiths – Blackfella Films (ABC)
WENTWORTH Jo Porter, Pino Amenta – FremantleMedia Australia (Foxtel – Showcase)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST TELEFEATURE OR MINI SERIES
THE CRY Claire Mundell, Brian Kaczynski, Stuart Menzies –Synchronicity Films in association with December Media (ABC)
FIGHTING SEASON Kylie du Fresne, Blake Ayshford, Elisa Argenzio – Goalpost Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
THE HUNTING Sophie Hyde, Lisa Scott, Rebecca Summerton –Closer Productions (SBS)
LAMBS OF GOD Jason Stephens, Helen Bowden, Sarah Lambert, Elisa Argenzio – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
ON THE ROPES Helen Bowden, Courtney Wise, Jason Stephens – Lingo Pictures (SBS)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST COMEDY PROGRAM
FRAYED Clelia Mountford, Sharon Horgan, Nicole O’Donohue, Kevin Whyte – Merman Television, Guesswork Television (ABC)
THE LETDOWN Linda Micsko, Julian Morrow, Sarah Scheller, Alison Bell – Giant Dwarf (ABC)
ROSEHAVEN Andrew Walker, Kevin Whyte, Celia Pacquola, Luke McGregor – What Horse?, Guesswork Television (ABC)
SAMMY J Sammy J, Michelle Buxton, Chris McDonald – Buxstock Entertainment (ABC)
UTOPIA Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, Rob Sitch, Michael Hirsh – Working Dog Productions (ABC)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM
AUSTRALIAN NINJA WARRIOR Julie Ward, Amelia Fisk, Mark Barlin – Endemol Shine Australia (Nine Network)
AUSTRALIA’S GOT TALENT Digby Mitchell, David Briegel-Jones, Jonathon Summerhayes – FremantleMedia Australia (Seven Network)
HARD QUIZ Chris Walker, Kevin Whyte, Tom Gleeson, Charlie Pickering, John Tabbagh – Thinkative Television (ABC)
LEGO MASTERS AUSTRALIA David McDonald, Eoin Maher, AJ Johnson – Endemol Shine Australia (Nine Network)
THE MASKED SINGER Sean Kneale, Janine Cooper – Warner Bros (Network Ten)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST FACTUAL ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM
GOGGLEBOX AUSTRALIA David McDonald, Kerrie Kerr – Endemol Shine Australia (Network Ten/Foxtel)
GRUEN Nick Murray, Polly Connolly, Wil Anderson, Sarah Douglas – CJZ (ABC)
TODD SAMPSON’S BODY HACK Chris Hilton, David Alrich, Todd Sampson – Essential Media Group (Network Ten)
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE Maxine Gray – Warner Bros (SBS)
YOU CAN’T ASK THAT Kirk Docker, Aaron Smith, Frances O’Riordan – Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST LIFESTYLE PROGRAM 
DESTINATION FLAVOUR CHINA Olivia Hoopmann, Joshua Martin – SBS (SBS)
GRAND DESIGNS AUSTRALIA Brooke Bayvel, Michael O’Neill – FremantleMedia Australia (Foxtel – Lifestyle)
THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN BAKE OFF Nicole Rogers, David Briegel-Jones – FremantleMedia Australia (Foxtel – Lifestyle)
LOVE IT OR LIST IT AUSTRALIA Karen Warner, Geoff Fitzpatrick, Howard Myers – Beyond Productions (Foxtel – Lifestyle)
SELLING HOUSES AUSTRALIA Sally Joyce, Sonia Harding, Geoff Fitzpatrick – Beyond Productions (Foxtel – Lifestyle)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST REALITY SERIES
AUSTRALIAN SURVIVOR: CHAMPIONS V CONTENDERS Amelia Fisk, Adam Fergusson – Endemol Shine Australia (Network Ten)
THE BLOCK Julian Cress, David Barbour – Nine Network, Cavalier Television (Nine Network)
MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT Tara McWilliams, Emma Lamb, Kate Feely – Endemol Shine Australia (Nine Network)
MASTERCHEF Marty Benson, Adam Fergusson – Endemol Shine Australia (Network Ten)
MY KITCHEN RULES Joe Herdman, David Dutton, Nicole Anthony, Therese Hegarty, Angus Ross – Seven Studios (Seven Network)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST CHILDREN’S PROGRAM
BLUEY Charlie Aspinwall, Daley Pearson, Sam Moor – Ludo Studio (ABC Kids)
DROP DEAD WEIRD Sally Browning, Monica O’Brien, Kylie Mascord – Ambience Entertainment, Air Pig Productions, Telegael (7Two)
HARDBALL Catherine Nebauer, Joe Weatherstone, Bernadette O’Mahony, Jan Stradling – Northern Pictures (ABCME)
THE INBESTIGATORS Robyn Butler, Wayne Hope – Gristmill (ABCME)
THE UNLISTED Angie Fielder, Polly Staniford, Justine Flynn – Aquarius Films in association with Buster Productions (ABCME)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM 
AFL 360 Tim Hodges, Tom Dullard – Fox Sports Australia (Foxtel – Fox Sports)
BOUNCE Bill Cannon – Fox Sports Australia (Foxtel – Fox Sports)
THE FRONT BAR Adrian Brown, Richard Molloy, Mick Molloy, Greg Sitch, Adam Rowe – Front Bar Enterprises (Seven Network)
ON THE COUCH Ben Roberts – Fox Sports Australia (Foxtel – Fox Sports)
SUNDAY NIGHT WITH MATTY JOHNS Ben Churchill, Matty Johns, John Singleton – Fox Sports Australia (Foxtel – Fox Sports)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST SPORTS COVERAGE 
2018/19 SEVEN’S SUMMER OF CRICKET – Seven Network
AFL 2019 – Foxtel – Fox Sports
THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2019 – Nine Network
STATE OF ORIGIN – Nine Network
TEST CRICKET LIVE ON FOX – Foxtel – Fox Sports

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
Patrick Brammall GLITCH – Matchbox Pictures (ABC)
Bryan Brown BLOOM – Playmaker Media (Stan)
Ewen Leslie THE CRY – Synchronicity Films in association with December Media (ABC)
Sam Reid LAMBS OF GOD – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
Scott Ryan MR INBETWEEN – Blue-Tongue Films, Jungle Entertainment, Pariah Productions (Foxtel – Showcase)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
Jenna Coleman THE CRY – Synchronicity Films in association with December Media (ABC)
Essie Davis LAMBS OF GOD – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
Ann Dowd LAMBS OF GOD – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
Deborah Mailman TOTAL CONTROL – Blackfella Films (ABC)
Anna Torv SECRET CITY: UNDER THE EAGLE – Matchbox Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE IN A TELEVISION COMEDY
Alison Bell THE LETDOWN – Giant Dwarf (ABC)
Celia Pacquola ROSEHAVEN – What Horse?, Guesswork Television (ABC)
Celia Pacquola UTOPIA – Working Dog Productions (ABC)
Rob Sitch UTOPIA – Working Dog Productions (ABC)
Miranda Tapsell GET KRACK!N – A Katering Productions, Guesswork Television (ABC)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
Damon Herriman LAMBS OF GOD – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
Damon Herriman MR INBETWEEN – Blue-Tongue Films, Jungle Entertainment, Pariah Productions (Foxtel – Showcase)
Ewen Leslie FIGHTING SEASON – Goalpost Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
Richard Roxburgh THE HUNTING – Closer Productions (SBS)
John Stanton BLOOM – Playmaker Media (Stan)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
Kate Box LES NORTON – Roadshow Rough Diamond (ABC)
Rachel Griffiths TOTAL CONTROL – Blackfella Films (ABC)
Asher Keddie THE CRY – Synchronicity Films in association with December Media (ABC)
Brooke Satchwell MR INBETWEEN – Blue-Tongue Films, Jungle Entertainment, Pariah Productions (Foxtel – Showcase)
Jacki Weaver BLOOM – Playmaker Media (Stan)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTION IN A TELEVISION DRAMA OR COMEDY
LAMBS OF GOD (Episode 1 – The Devil Into Paradise) Jeffrey Walker – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
THE LETDOWN (Episode 2 – The Dilemma) Sarah Scheller, Alison Bell – Giant Dwarf (ABC)
THE HUNTING (Episode 3 – #shittyboys) Ana Kokkinos – Closer Productions (SBS)
TOTAL CONTROL (Episode 3) Rachel Perkins – Blackfella Films (ABC)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTION IN NONFICTION TELEVISION
AUSTRALIAN SURVIVOR: CHAMPIONS V CONTENDERS (Episode 1) Richard Franc – Endemol Shine Australia (Network Ten)
TODD SAMPSON’S BODY HACK (Episode 1 – Gaza Frontlines) Jeff Siberry – Essential Media Group (Network Ten)
DESTINATION FLAVOUR CHINA (Episode 1 – Beijing) Olivia Hoopmann – SBS (SBS)
EMPLOYABLE ME (Episode 1– Eric, Kathleen & Paul) Cian O’Clery – Northern Pictures (ABC)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST SCREENPLAY IN TELEVISION
THE CRY (Episode 2) Jacquelin Perske – Synchronicity Films in association with December Media (ABC)
THE HUNTING (Episode 3 – #shittyboys) Matthew Cormack, Niki Aken – Closer Productions (SBS)
LAMBS OF GOD (Episode 1 – The Devil Into Paradise) Sarah Lambert – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
UTOPIA (Episode 2 – Working With Children) Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, Rob Sitch – Working Dog Productions (ABC)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY IN TELEVISION
THE CRY (Episode 2) Sam Chiplin – Synchronicity Films in association with December Media (ABC)
DESTINATION FLAVOUR CHINA (Episode 1 – Beijing) Gilbert Farkas – SBS (SBS)
LAMBS OF GOD (Episode 1 – The Devil Into Paradise) Don McAlpine – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
SECRET CITY: UNDER THE EAGLE (Episode 1 – Run Little Rabbit) Mark Wareham – Matchbox Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST EDITING IN TELEVISION
THE CRY (Episode 2) Alastair Reid – Synchronicity Films in association with December Media (ABC)
LAMBS OF GOD (Episode 1 – The Devil Into Paradise) Deborah Peart – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
TOTAL CONTROL (Episode 3) Deborah Peart – Blackfella Films (ABC)
THE UNLISTED (Episode 1) Mat Evans – Aquarius Films in association with Buster Productions (ABCME)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST SOUND IN TELEVISION
TODD SAMPSON’S BODY HACK (Episode 1 – Gaza Frontlines) Damian Jory – Essential Media Group (Network Ten)
FRAYED (Episode 1) Mark Cornish, Ralph Ortner – Merman Television, Guesswork Television (ABC)
LAMBS OF GOD (Episode 1 – The Devil Into Paradise) Nick Emond, Stephen Smith, Paul Devescovi, Mia Stewart – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
TOTAL CONTROL (Episode 3) Nick Emond, Dane Cody, Luke Mynott, Wes Chew – Blackfella Films (ABC)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST ORIGINAL SCORE IN TELEVISION
THE CRY (Episode 2) Lorne Balfe – Synchronicity Films in association with December Media (ABC)
FRAYED (Episode 1) Bryony Marks – Merman Television, Guesswork Television (ABC)
LAMBS OF GOD (Episode 1 – The Devil Into Paradise) Bryony Marks – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
THE UNLISTED (Episode 1) Diego Baldenweg, Nora Baldenweg, Lionel Vincent Baldenweg – Aquarius Films in association with Buster Productions (ABCME)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN IN TELEVISION
FRAYED (Episode 1) Fiona Donovan – Merman Television, Guesswork Television (ABC)
LAMBS OF GOD (Episode 1 – The Devil Into Paradise) Chris Kennedy – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
THE LETDOWN (Episode 2 – The Dilemma) Roslyn Durnford – Giant Dwarf (ABC)
SECRET CITY: UNDER THE EAGLE (Episode 1 – Run Little Rabbit) Elizabeth Mary Moore – Matchbox Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST COSTUME DESIGN IN TELEVISION
FRAYED (Episode 1) Nina Edwards – Merman Television, Guesswork Television (ABC)
LAMBS OF GOD (Episode 1 – The Devil Into Paradise) Xanthe Heubel – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
LES NORTON (Episode 1 – You Wouldn’t Be Dead For Quids) Jenny Miles – Roadshow Rough Diamond (ABC)
THE MASKED SINGER (Episode 1 – Face Off 1) Tim Chappel – Warner Bros (Network Ten)

SUBSCRIPTION TELEVISION
AACTA SUBSCRIPTION TELEVISION AWARD FOR BEST FEMALE PRESENTER
Maggie Beer THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN BAKE OFF – FremantleMedia Australia (Foxtel – Lifestyle)
Shaynna Blaze SELLING HOUSES AUSTRALIA – Beyond Productions (Foxtel – Lifestyle)
Claire Hooper THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN BAKE OFF – FremantleMedia Australia (Foxtel – Lifestyle)
Margaret Pomeranz SCREEN – Foxtel (Foxtel – Arts)
Yvonne Sampson – LEAGUE LIFE, FOX LEAGUE GAME DAY HOSTING – Fox Sports Australia (Foxtel – Fox Sports)

AACTA SUBSCRIPTION TELEVISION AWARD FOR BEST MALE PRESENTER
Graeme Blundell SCREEN – Foxtel (Foxtel – Arts)
Ron Iddles RON IDDLES: THE GOOD COP – CJZ (Foxtel – Crime + Investigation)
Matty Johns SUNDAY NIGHT WITH MATTY JOHNS, THE MATTY JOHNS PODCAST – Fox Sports Australia (Foxtel – Fox Sports)
Peter Maddison GRAND DESIGNS AUSTRALIA – FremantleMedia Australia (Foxtel – Lifestyle)
Andrew Winter SELLING HOUSES AUSTRALIA & LOVE IT OR LIST IT AUSTRALIA – Beyond Productions (Foxtel – Lifestyle)

AACTA SUBSCRIPTION TELEVISION AWARD FOR BEST FEMALE NEW TALENT
Asha Boswarva LAMBS OF GOD – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
Usha Cornish BLOOM – Playmaker Media (Stan)
Paulene Gibson WENTWORTH – FremantleMedia Australia (Foxtel – Showcase)
Emma Lancaster LAMBS OF GOD – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
Yvonne Rae LAMBS OF GOD – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)

AACTA SUBSCRIPTION TELEVISION AWARD FOR BEST MALE NEW TALENT
Marco Alosio FIGHTING SEASON – Goalpost Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
Frederick du Rietz SECRET CITY: UNDER THE EAGLE – Matchbox Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
Fletcher Kennedy SECRET CITY: UNDER THE EAGLE – Matchbox Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
Diesel La Torraca LAMBS OF GOD – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)

Ben & Liam departing triple j breakfast for Adelaide radio gig

After three years, Ben & Liam finish up at triple j on Friday 1 November, having decided to take up another opportunity next year in their hometown of Adelaide.

Although there has been no announcement yet, it is thought that the duo might have been recruited for the Nova Adelaide breakfast show as its seems the only role available in that market.

Reflecting on their time at triple j, Ben & Liam recalled: “We’ve had an absolute blast at triple j. Never in our wildest dreams did we think two dweebs doing community radio in Adelaide would get a crack at a gig like this. Thanks for waking up with us, listening to our shit talk and sharing your stories, we’ll be forever grateful.”

Triple J has announced that Sally & Erica will host triple j Breakfast in 2020.

After getting their start hosting FBi Radio’s hip hop show in 2015, Sally & Erica soon found themselves delivering a weekly hip hop segment on triple j breakfast with Matt & Alex. With their irreverent wit, it wasn’t long before Sally & Erica became regular voices on triple j, filling in on breakfast, drive, good nights, The Hip Hop Show, House Party and summer arvos. Then in 2018, Sally & Erica took over weekend arvos.

Sally said: “We’re constantly blown away by how funny, smart, compassionate and often straight cooked triple j listeners are. They never cease to entertain and amaze us and we can’t wait to spend our mornings with a couple of million music-obsessed mates.”

Erica added: “We both grew up with triple j and have so many great memories of singalongs in the car, Hottest 100 backyard parties and moshpit moments. It’s such a trip to be part of the next chapter.”

Looking forward to getting stuck in to triple j Breakfast, Sally & Erica said: “We love making radio that makes you feel like you’re just chatting with your friends. We’re really pumped to get your stories, discover new stuff together, nerd out about music, and talk about the real shit and the dumb shit. Think Oprah Winfrey meets Flight of The Conchords.”

Between them, Sally Coleman and Erica Mallett also have a wealth of music knowledge, with their combined experience covering everything from music licensing, publishing and label management to marketing, PR, festivals and live shows. As artists, Sally & Erica go by Coda Conduct, a hip hop duo who’ve performed at Groovin The Moo, Spilt Milk and Listen Out, as well as appeared on stage with Hilltop Hoods at Splendour in the Grass. After signing to Elefant Traks earlier this year, they’re getting ready to release their second EP, Other People’s Problems.

After Ben & Liam finish at the end of this week, Lucy Smith will present triple j breakfast from Monday 4 November, for the rest of this year’s programming.

Nova Confirms: Ben & Liam return home for Nova 919 breakfast

Nova has announced that Ben & Liam are set to wake up Adelaide listeners in 2020 with a brand new breakfast show after announcing their departure from triple j on Tuesday.

According to Nova the show will be delivering more of the content that won over triple j listeners and saw the duo take out the Radio Host of the Year Award at The Industry Observer Awards, with a local focus.

Paul Jackson, NOVA Entertainment’s Chief Programming and Marketing Officer said, “Ben & Liam have proven themselves to be top class radio broadcasters. We’ve been watching their progress for some time and with recent announcements around our Adelaide breakfast show, the perfect opportunity has arisen for us to bring the boys back to their hometown of Adelaide. The guys have great chemistry, tell great stories and are laugh out loud funny. I’m sure the Nova Adelaide listeners are going to love them”.

Ben Harvey and Liam Stapleton first met at the Fresh 92.7 Adelaide community radio station where they hosted the station’s breakfast show for three years before moving to Sydney in 2017 to take over from Matt Okine and Alex Dyson as hosts of Triple J’s national breakfast show.

Harvey said, “Working at triple j has been an incredible opportunity that we will never forget. Hopefully in 20 years people will still be abusing the current hosts telling them they miss the good ol’ days. Or maybe they just said that to us?

“Working at Nova has been something we’ve wanted to do ever since we started in radio. We can’t wait to start the next phase of our careers back home in God’s Country. Have they finished the road works on South Road yet? Has anyone driven onto the O Barn in a while? Is there a long line at the West End factory water refill station? I need to go home to answer these questions!!”

Liam Stapleton said, “We had an absolute blast at triple j and still can’t believe they hired us. Don’t know how Nova have either, but hey we’ve signed now (suckers). We’re really looking forward to coming home to Adelaide. At night we dream of giant silver balls, even larger Scottish men on the side of motels and Tony Modra’s right foot. You can take the boys out of Adelaide, but you can’t take Adelaide out of the boys.”

Nova 919’s Ben & Liam breakfast show will launch in January 2020.

Tanya & Steve re-sign with Triple M Newcastle

Triple M Newcastle’s Tanya & Steve will continue to wake up Newcastle after re-signing for at least the next three years.

Between the two, the duo has been on-air for over 20 years have had enormous success as the number one show in Newcastle for over 11 Surveys. With several Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) nominations, Tanya & Steve won Best Sales Promotion (Non-Metro) at the 31st ACRAs on Saturday night.

Breakfast announcer Tanya Wilks said, “Being asked to sign on for another three years was an absolute no brainer for Steve and I. As a loud and proud Novocastrian, there is no place I’d rather be than in the Triple M studios waking up our wonderful listeners and having a laugh with my bestie.”  

“The intimacy and immediacy of radio allows us to connect with the community we love and that’s a huge privilege I don’t take for granted,” she said.

Co-host Steve Grahame seemed a little confused, “Not sure what you mean, Tanya told me I was signing a get well card and I trust her with my life…” 

Southern Cross Austereo’s Group Content Director for NSW & ACT Jase Allen said, “There was no other decision but to re-sign Tanya & Steve, they are two extraordinary broadcasters that have woken up Newcastle and the Valley for over 20 years and will continue to do so for at least the next three and hopefully many more to come.”

“Our listeners and clients love Tanya & Steve, their connection and love for this city is unrivalled and I look forward to them on air in 2020, beyond and continuing their ratings dominance,” he said.

Listen to Tanya & Steve on Newcastle’s 102.9 Triple M weekdays from 6-9am.

TV Demand: Stranger Things is one week away from GoT's record

By Trent Thomas

Stranger Things has now sat at the top of the TV Demand charts in Australia for 18 straight weeks – one week away from matching Game of Thrones’ 2019 record of consecutive weeks on top of the charts. 

The Netflix series looks like a good chance of matching the record with there still being a fair amount of space between first and second on the charts. 

Two shows that are worth highlighting this week is Big Mouth and Keeping up with the Kardashians. 

Big Mouth returned to the Australian Digital Original charts last week after releasing its third season on Netflix on  October 4, 2019 which is the first new content released by the show since the Valentine’s Day special episode on February 8. While My Furry Valentine is considered the first episode of season three, Netflix still released a full slate of 10 episodes to bring it to 11 in total.

The series follows a group of friends who are on the precipice of puberty in the 7th grade, and centres on best friends Nick Birch and Andrew Glouberman and deals with issues like masturbation, and sexual arousal in suburban New York City.

They are joined by their hormone monsters Maurice and Connie who serve as both spiritual and sexual advisers to their adolescent companions.

The show is created by Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, and Jennifer Flackett featuring teens based on Kroll and Goldberg’s experiences going through puberty as best friends in Westchester County, New York, with Kroll voicing the character that is based on himself.

In July the series was renewed for a fourth, fifth and sixth seasons, and on October 3, Netflix announced a straight-to-series order for a spin-off series titled Human Resources, set within the show’s universe. 

Keeping Up with The Kardashians has returned for its 17th season after releasing its first episode on September 8, and during the most recent TV Demand ratings period the fifth episode of the season titled Have You Met Kim? aired which focused on Kim Kardashian as she prepares for the birth of her fourth baby, stars in a music video with Paris Hilton, and goes to the Met Gala.

The series has aired 247 episodes to date after first screening in 2007 and has been a frequent member of the TV Demand charts in both Australia and NZ over the years and has led to multipl spin-offs such as Kourtney and Kim Take Miami, Kourtney and Kim Take New York, Khloé & Lamar, Kourtney and Khloé Take The Hamptons, Dash Dolls, Rob & Chyna, Life of Kylie, and Flip It Like Disick. 

The series could be in for another boost next week thanks to the episode Pslam West aired which after the birth of Kim’s son Psalm West.

TV Ratings Analysis: October 22

By James Manning

• Explosive TV: Blow-ups on The Block, Bomb Squad on Love Island
• 10 use Harry & Meghan as lead in for One Born Every Minute launch
• Wedding night on Seven: Brides, Bridesmaids and The Proposal

Tuesday Week 43 2019

• Seven News 899,000/892,000
• Nine News 789,000/820,000
• A Current Affair 756,000
• ABC News 607,000
• 7.30 545,000
• The Project 261,000/439,000
• 10 News First 298,000
• SBS World News 138,000
• The Drum 137,000

Breakfast TV

Sunrise 262,000
Today 188,000

Seven

Home and Away lifted from 576,000 on Monday to 589,000 last night.

Bride & Prejudice – The Forbidden Weddings then had its best audience yet – 484,000.

Secret Bridesmaid’s Business then did 337,000 followed by The Proposal on 124,000.

Nine

Reid Butler had another good report on A Current Affair as he chased cowboy hire car drivers through Melbourne airport. The episode did 751,000 after 756,000 on Monday.

Tess and Luke have been great for producers of The Block this year – especially Tess in the interviews she gives recapping the show’s highlights. But it almost felt a little intrusive as we got to see her breakdown and walk-off following another intervention from Scotty about their dwindling funds. They rallied later in the episode though when Keith and his team turned up to help free of charge. That of course set off another drama with the other contestants. The episode was the #1 show last night with 917,000.

The explosive reality TV action kept on coming on the channel with what Love Island had imaginatively called the arrival of the Bomb Squad. The ratings suggest the audience wasn’t as excited as the male contestants on the show about the new arrivals. The show did 328,000 after 312,000 on Monday.

10

The channel is on a rollercoaster ride after a winning 20.9% on Monday to 11.0% last night. It is far from the lowest Tuesday share of the year though after a tough start in Q1 earlier in 2019.

The Project dipped over 100,000 from Monday to 439,000 despite the presence of Cody Simpson and then Sarah Jessica Parker. The Hollywood star who has been a longtime fan of the show, began her time telling Carrie Bickmore how she had been trying to interest US producers in the format, but had been, as yet, unsuccessful. When it was time to go she echoed the comments of some viewers – “It’s over already”. But with nearly 10 minutes of time near the end of the show, the producers were actually more generous than usual.

Harry & Meghan: An African Journey then did a disappointing 419,000. The program had also been available on 10 Play for a couple of days which might have attracted some die hard royalists.

One Born Every Minute Australia then debuted with 325,000 which is also disappointing for the local adaption of the format. The show did manage to rank #2 under 50 in the timeslot.

ABC

Foreign Correspondent saw Zoe Daniels in Alaska reporting on the impact of global warming and oil exploration on indigenous tribes and local wildlife – polar bears, caribou and whales. The episode did 405,000.

Catalyst then explored body image concerns with journalist Ruby Jones with 282,000 watching.

Nigel Slater’s Middle East then did 127,000.

SBS

Building Britain’s Canals did 270,000 last week and last night managed 241,000.

Insight was about birth too after 8.30pm with a look at the measures couples take to have a baby with 175,000 watching.

Week 43 TV: Tuesday
TUESDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 9.9% 7 17.4% 9 21.0% 10  11.0% SBS One 5.4%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.1% 7TWO 4.0% GO! 4.9% 10 Bold 4.6% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.6% GEM 4.1% 10 Peach 2.3% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix 2.1% 9Life 1.9%     NITV 0.1%
    7Food 0.6%         SBS World Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 13.8%   27.7%   32.0%   17.8%   8.6%

 

TUESDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.0% 7 18.8% 9 15.6% WIN 8.8% SBS One 4.4%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 4.4% GO! 6.9% WIN Bold 5.0% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 1.1% 7mate 6.1% GEM 6.6% WIN Peach 2.0% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.0% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.4% 9Life 1.7% Sky News  on WIN 1.8% NITV 0.1%
    7food (QLD only) 0.5%            
TOTAL 13.8%   31.3%   30.9%   17.6%   6.4%

 

TUESDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
87.7% 12.3%
TUESDAY FTA
  1. The Block Nine 917,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 899,000
  3. Seven News Seven 892,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 820,000
  5. Nine News Nine 789,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 751,000
  7. ABC News ABC 607,000
  8. Home And Away Seven 589,000
  9. 7.30 ABC 545,000
  10. Bride & Prejudice – The Forbidden Weddings Seven 484,000
  11. The Chase Australia Seven 484,000
  12. The Project 7PM 10 439,000
  13. Hot Seat Nine 432,000
  14. Harry & Meghan: An African Journey 10 419,000
  15. Foreign Correspondent ABC 405,000
  16. Secret Bridesmaids’ Business Seven 337,000
  17. Love Island Australia Nine 328,000
  18. One Born Every Minute Australia 10 325,000
  19. The Chase Australia-5PM Seven 317,000
  20. 10 News First 10 298,000
Demo Top 5

16 – 39

  1. The Block Nine 227,000
  2. The Project 7PM 10 122,000
  3. Love Island Australia Nine 119,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 113,000
  5. One Born Every Minute Australia 10 112,000

 

18 – 49

  1. The Block Nine 413,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 217,000
  3. The Project 7PM 10 206,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 194,000
  5. Nine News Nine 191,000

 

25 – 54

  1. The Block Nine 468,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 268,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 246,000
  4. A Current Affair Nine 241,000
  5. Seven News Seven 236,000
TUESDAY Multichannel
  1. King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword 9GO! 194,000
  2. Highway Patrol-Ep.2 PM 7mate 164,000
  3. CSI: Miami 10 Bold 150,000
  4. CSI: Miami Ep 2 10 Bold 150,000
  5. Death In Paradise 9Gem 146,000
  6. Towies PM 7mate 145,000
  7. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 140,000
  8. M- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel PM 7TWO 131,000
  9. Poirot 9Gem 126,000
  10. Highway Patrol PM 7mate 122,000
  11. Octonauts AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  12. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 114,000
  13. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  14. PJ Masks AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 112,000
  15. Neighbours 10 Peach 101,000
  16. Olobob Top AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 100,000
  17. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 99,000
  18. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 98,000
  19. Fireman Sam PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 96,000
  20. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 96,000
TUESDAY STV
  1. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 54,000
  2. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 49,000
  3. Jones & Credlin Sky News Live 48,000
  4. The Simpsons FOX8 47,000
  5. PML Later Sky News Live 44,000
  6. Credlin Sky News Live 41,000
  7. The Simpsons FOX8 39,000
  8. Batwoman FOX8 38,000
  9. Blue Bloods TVH!TS 38,000
  10. Debi Marshall Investigates Frozen Lies crime + investigation 38,000
  11. Family Guy FOX8 35,000
  12. Cops crime + investigation 33,000
  13. Family Guy FOX8 32,000
  14. Live: The Back Page FOX SPORTS 505 30,000
  15. 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown UKTV 27,000
  16. True Evil: The Making Of A Nazi History Channel 27,000
  17. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 26,000
  18. Crimes That Shook Britain crime + investigation 26,000
  19. Blue Bloods TVH!TS 25,000
  20. Shaun The Sheep Nick Jr. 25,000

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

Banijay close to securing $2.2 billion deal for Endemol Shine

Banijay Group is on the verge of sealing a deal for production and distribution powerhouse Endemol Shine, reports Variety.

Vivendi-backed Banijay and Endemol Shine’s joint owners, Disney and Apollo, are understood to have scheduled a meeting for Thursday after talks accelerated in recent days, with Banijay now on the brink of finally closing a deal for a big asset it has been chasing.

Numerous industry players have taken a look at Endemol Shine, a huge production and content sales operation that has shows including Black Mirror and Big Brother in its deep catalogue. Eighteen months of on-and-off talks with various suitors have so far failed to reach a deal. All3Media dropped out of negotiations in recent weeks.

A source with knowledge of the situation told Variety that the purchase price of the proposed Banijay deal will be in the region of €2 billion ($2.2 billion).

[Read the original]

In Australia, a deal as outlined above could mean Banijay-owned Screentime could be merged with Endemol Shine Australia. The latter produces some of the biggest shows in Australia including Married At First Sight, MasterChef, Australia Survivor and Lego Masters.

Verizon US customers to get year of Disney+ for free

Disney and Verizon on Tuesday unveiled a deal to give the phone giant’s wireless and Internet customers a year of Disney+ for free from November 12, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The offer of 12 months of Disney+ on Verizon will apply to the phone giant’s wireless unlimited customers and new Fios Internet and 5G home Internet customers. Set to launch November 12, the Disney+ streamer will provide movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and more.

The free-year offer, besides rewarding Verizon wireless and Internet customers for loyalty, also promises Disney potentially millions in new customers for Disney+ after the first year of viewing.

Disney+ is set to release more than 25 original series and 10 original movies and documentaries, including The Mandalorian, from executive producer Jon Favreau, and Lady and the Tramp, a retelling of the 1955 animated classic.

“Giving Verizon customers an unprecedented offer and access to Disney+ on the platform of their choice is yet another example of our commitment to provide the best premium content available through key partnerships on behalf of our customers,” said Verizon chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg in a statement.

Disney is challenging rival SVOD players by bankrolling new original series for Disney+ and by pricing the service below Netflix. Shares in Netflix fell by 2.4 percent to US$271.50 in early morning trading on news of Verizon bundling Disney+ with its wireless and Internet hardware.

[Read the original]

News Brands

ABC paid $5000 licence fee to Al Jazeera for One Nation, gun lobby footage

The ABC paid a $5000 licence fee to Al Jazeera for its undercover documentary into the One Nation Party and the American gun lobby, which hurt Pauline Hanson’s party at the May federal election, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

Managing director David Anderson said the documentary was acquired through its entertainment and specialist division, adding that the $5000 fee “might have been in kind for access to the ABC’s archive footage”.

Anderson said he didn’t know if the ABC had sought comment from the One Nation or its president about the documentary’s accuracy before airing.

“I don’t know if any member of the ABC reached out to One Nation or not,” he told Senate Estimates, which included questioning from One Nation leader Paul Hanson, on Tuesday evening.

However, before the documentary aired it went through ABC’s legal department for publication approval, he said.

[Read the original]

Your Right To Know

Army’s reports kept secret to avoid flak on social media

The Department of Defence has kept a series of reports into the culture within the Australian Army under wraps, claiming that their release would jeopardise any possible improvements and have the potential to fuel a social media backlash, report The Australian’s Sean Parnell and Matthew Denholm.

The latest example of government secrecy can be revealed as Scott Morrison’s Coalition came under strong criticism from former Liberal leaders over press freedom, with Jeff Kennett warning that the separation of powers had been “totally blurred” and John Hewson urging “serious” reforms to halt “abuse of power”.

right to know

The government’s refusal to provide access to information is one of the motivating factors behind­ a letter media organisations sent on Tuesday to all 227 federal MPs, sounding the alarm on a growing culture of government secrecy. The letter — signed on behalf of 19 media organisations by News Corp Australia’s corporate affairs director Campbell Reid— said that laws needed to “strike the right balance” and too many passed in recent years were at odds with “an open and transparent society”.

[Read the original]

Year-long backlog for Freedom of Information reviews

Freedom of Information reviews are taking more than a year, some without even being allocated to a case officer, because the federal government has not given the oversight agency enough funding, reports The Australian’s Sean Parnell.

The incoming Coalition government tried to abolish the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner but was unsuccessful. It has since allowed its three separate commissioner functions to be done by one person, most recently Angelene Falk.

In a Senate estimates committee hearing on Tuesday, Falk said there had been an 80 per cent increase in applications for review of FOI decisions over the past four years.

The OAIC budget allows for 19 case officers, however Falk said she had asked government for funding to hire another nine plus capital costs.

[Read the original]

Senator Rex Patrick’s leak on submarines may have saved lives

Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick says blowing the whistle on the leak of the French company that is designing Australia’s $50bn submarine fleet has made the nation safer, reports The Australian’s Greg Brown.

The South Australian senator, who is pushing for a referendum to include the right to press freedom in the Constitution, said the balance between national security and the public’s right to know was out of kilter.

In 2016, Senator Patrick, then a staffer for former senator Nick Xenophon, released to The Australian’s Cameron Stewart a leak on the combat capability of the six Scorpene-class submarines that French shipbuilder Naval Group designed for the Indian navy.

Senator Patrick has called for constitutional change to enshrine press freedom and an overhaul of Freedom of Information laws.

[Read the original]

The criminal on the PM's plane and other absurdities of a secretive democracy

Kevin Rudd’s plane had taken an unusual detour on the return journey from the 2008 APEC meeting in Chile, going via Hawaii rather than Auckland, reports Nine News political editor Chris Uhlmann in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Detours on domestic and international journeys were not that uncommon for the peripatetic Kevin747, so few in the travelling media pack thought much of it.

No one had any reason to sweat the refuelling stopover of a few hours, except, of course, for the convicted criminal in our midst.

As we disembarked, and handed over our passports and paperwork, the criminal was spotted and singled out by US officials. For his crimes he was taken and held apart from the rest of the pack for the duration of the stay and escorted back to the plane when it departed.

The criminal was the Melbourne Herald Sun’s political reporter Gerard McManus. A little over a year earlier he had pleaded guilty to five counts of contempt in the Victorian County Court. His colleague Michael Harvey pleaded guilty on four counts.

Gerard McManus is now a media adviser in the Morrison government so there is hope that all criminals may one day be redeemed. There was some change after his conviction with the introduction of shield laws to provide greater protection to journalists and their sources. It was a small pause in a steady retreat.

[Read the original]

Corruption investigations on the rise as Morrison fends off press freedom calls

Corruption inquiries have hit a record high at the nation’s law enforcement agencies in a telling sign of misconduct at the same time federal politicians face a united media campaign against government secrecy, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s David Crowe.

The federal integrity commissioner has disclosed the “highest ever” number of ongoing corruption issues being investigated, with the workload growing by 20 per cent to have 278 investigations under way at the end of June.

The findings come as Prime Minister Scott Morrison counters media industry calls for six reforms to protect media freedom including stronger laws to protect whistleblowers who reveal public sector misconduct.

Morrison has dismissed the need for stronger whistleblower protections in the past and has countered the media industry campaign this week, saying “no one in this country is above the law,” but Labor is challenging him to admit the need for reforms to curb secrecy.

[Read the original]

Geoffrey Robertson, QC, warns Australia looks second-rate

Australia looks like a “second-rate nation” because of its draconian laws that allow attacks on journalists and their sources, leading human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson, QC, has warned, reports News Corp’s Stephen Drill, Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson and Charles Miranda.

The UK-based Australian barrister has backed a campaign, supported by all of Australia’s major media companies including News Corp – the publisher of this masthead – to reform laws in Australia to protect the public’s right to know.

Robertson said more needed to be done to get Australia’s law up to speed with those of the United Kingdom.

“Australia is behind other advanced nations in its failure to protect the media from police harassment. In Britain, for example, they may only obtain a warrant to search journalists’ offices and homes with the Director of Public Prosecution’s approval, by making an application to a judge, which the media can oppose,” he said.

[Read the original]

Television

Seven ordered to pay compensation to contestant for 'psychological' injury

A former contestant on Seven’s House Rules has won a workers compensation case against the Seven Network that will have severe implications for reality TV shows produced in Australia, reports Robert McKnight from TV Blackbox.

The damning 27 page finding says season five contestant Nicole Prince suffered a psychological/psychiatric injury during the course of her employment with Channel 7, despite claims by the network there was no employment relationship established.

In what will ring alarm bells for the industry, the assertion by Seven’s defence Prince was not employed by the network was rejected by Arbitrator Cameron Burge.

The fact reality TV contestants must now be considered ‘workers’ could have a raft of ramifications for production companies, including liability for superannuation and payroll tax plus they will be subject to issues of workers compensation.

Prince, who along with her friend Fiona Taylor was the second team to be eliminated in the 2017 series, was paid $500 per week plus an additional $500 allowance. Despite the ‘allowance’ she was provided with breakfast, lunch and accommodation during her participation on the show.

[Read the original]

News Corp’s Mibenge Nsenduluka and Jonathon Moran report:

Reality TV stars have warned further lawsuits could follow a landmark ruling by the NSW Workers Compensation Commission where Channel 7 was ordered to pay compensation to a former House Rules contestant.

Former Married At First Sight stars Dean Wells and Nick Furphy said the ruling could open the door for further lawsuits.

“I would not be surprised if you see several more lawsuits come out of this,” Wells said.

“You sign these giant contracts that are filled with jargon but no one actually knows what they mean.”

[Read the original]

The Masked Singer did what no other reality show could

Now that it’s over, we need to talk about the success of The Masked Singer, writes News Corp’s Cameron Adams.

It finished on Monday night with over 1.3 million people watching Cody Simpson win, well, nothing except a whole lot of publicity, which ironically he already has thanks to his new and very public relationship with Miley Cyrus.

Unlike so many other reality TV shows, what made The Masked Singer so incredibly successful was not a singular thing.

And unlike shows like The Block, which take a week’s worth of episodes to show viewers the money, every single episode of The Masked Singer offered a reveal. In other words, viewers weren’t being shamelessly milked and bombarded with product placements while nothing really happened. Instead, people stuck around because they knew there was going to be a pay-off. We all have shorter attention spans these days and The Masked Singer tapped into that.

In being the lone reality television show that was essentially the antithesis of all other current reality TV shows, The Masked Singer triumphed, which is why so many of us are now counting down to the premiere of season 2.

[Read the original]

Sports Rights

Why bringing broadcast production in-house could cost the NRL

Existing television rights holders will oppose any deal that cuts them out of the production process amid predictions the NRL could be worse off financially if it took responsibility for the broadcasts itself, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Adrian Proszenko.

As revealed by the Herald on Monday, the NRL is considering bringing the production of its matches in-house before selling them off to interested media outlets. The move has already been made by a number of major sporting bodies in Australia and abroad in response to changes in technology and viewing habits.

Global Media and Sports boss Colin Smith – who has advised the NRL, AFL and ARU during previous rights negotiations – said centralised broadcasting often didn’t make financial sense.

“If you think about TV production, there are only really two houses that can do something. It’s not like the NRL is going to set up its own trucks for live TV production, there is literally only NEP or Gearhouse that could do that.

“When it happened with V8 Supercars a number of years ago, there was actually no saving. What it did was increase costs because the broadcaster still needed production people to make sure it was fit for purpose.”

Smith said the NRL rights remained a valuable commodity despite the consumer trend towards traditional television screens to other electronic devices.

[Read the original]

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