Friday October 30, 2020

Travis Winks
Wave FM’s Travis Winks on his memoir, hosting at ESPN, and what's next

By Charlotte Simpson

Travis Winks, news presenter at Wave FM Illawarra, shares with Mediaweek his recent memoir Shattered, his experience working for ESPN in the US, his love of local radio, and exciting news for the future. 

Travis Winks, news presenter at Wave FM Illawarra, shares with Mediaweek his recent memoir Shattered, his experience working for ESPN in the US, his love of local radio, and exciting news for the future. 

Turning trauma into literature

“Life is worth fighting for,” is the powerful message Travis Winks hopes people take away from his memoir, Shattered, which recounts the impact of mental illness and domestic violence on his family.

In 2016, within a 67 day period of turmoil, his brother attempted to commit suicide and his sister was jailed after destroying her abuser’s car and attempting to end her life by driving into a tree. Winks also dealt with his father being shot dead after a firearms standoff with police on the family property in Queensland, who were responding to his mother’s call of concern that his father was going to commit suicide.

Shattered Travis Winks book

Travis Winks’ memoir, Shattered

Winks wrote the book to grieve, but as he continued to write, he realised that people may be able to relate to his story and take a message away from it.

“I always thought that it would make an incredible story, because that was the journalism in my veins, but I wrote it to grieve and I didn’t write it to get it published,” said Winks.

“I don’t claim to be an author. I’m a journalist and I’m a radio presenter. I wrote a book because I had a story to tell, a very brutal, true story, that I hope encourages people to look at their lives, their choices and their relationships differently.”

Working for Wave FM

As the breakfast news presenter for Grant Broadcasting’s Wave FM in the Illawarra, Winks’ lifestyle allowed him to dedicate his afternoons to writing the book.

Winks is enthusiastic about local radio and the Illawarra, as working for Wave FM gives him the opportunity engage with the local community in a way that a large, metropolitan station wouldn’t be able to offer.

“We have a wide variety of things to talk about and get involved with, and the area is very charitable as well. Our local community here rocks and it makes it easy for us here at Wave FM to engage with them.”

Travis Wicks and Dale Ryder singing at the Wave FM illawarra high school reunion

Travis Wicks and Dale Ryder singing for Wave FM’s High School Reunion

Working at ESPN

Before joining Wave FM, Winks was a sports journalist at ESPN SportsCenter in the US covering Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, an experience he described as “mind-blowing”.

“It was like getting on a roller-coaster every day, except you didn’t know where the track was going, because hosting SportsCenter you would strap yourself in and hope for the best!”

Travis Winks hosting SportsCenter

Travis Winks hosting SportsCenter

Winks was invited to audition as an anchor for ESPN SportsCenter in 2006 while he was working for WSFM in Sydney. The role would require him to relocate to Connecticut.

In between covering the 2006 NRL Grand Final breakfast at the old Westin Hotel in Sydney and flying to Melbourne that afternoon to cover the Swans AFL Grand Final against West Coast, Winks had a short amount of time to record an audition tape.

“I went home and I got my neighbour on my handycam. I wrote some stuff out on a couple of sheets of butcher’s paper, threw on a shirt, tie and jacket (and probably tied the tie very poorly), and smashed out this recording. I got it onto DVD and put it in the post”

From there, Winks was invited to audition in Connecticut and offered a contract that same afternoon.

He described the ESPN newsroom as fast and furious, with constant feeds on television screens, thousands of employees working, make-up artists coming to do touch-ups and producers dropping off information.

What got Winks through the daily SportsCenter program was knowing his product, which is the advice he shares to anyone eager to get into a career in radio.

That knowledge is what opened Winks to incredible opportunities in his time with ESPN, such as being sent to cover the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. It was there he had the privilege of meeting Usain Bolt, who was a relatively unknown up-and-comer prior to his world record wins at that year’s games.

Travis Winks at the ESPN Espy awards

Travis Winks at the Espy Awards

The Future

So, where to from here? The maternity suites at Wollongong Hospital, where his wife Amanda is due to give birth in early November.

“I’m going to be taking a little bit of time off to enjoy the new arrival and some time with my wife, which will be wonderful. Re-introducing myself to newborns, because it’s been a long time, will be my first focus.”

As far as future plans go, Winks is keen to keep promoting his book into early next year. His focus isn’t on making it a monetary success, but rather a success in how it can reach people.

“I really hope that people can see what happened to my family, and realise that life is worth fighting for, and that bad things happen to good people all the time. It’s how you handle it, and how you deal with it, and how you come out the other side.”

If you need support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14

News Awards: Herald Sun’s Grant McArthur named Journalist of the Year

• Lachlan Murdoch, Robert Thompson, Penny Fowler & Nicole Kidman attend

News Corp Australia yesterday named the winners of the 2020 News Awards.

The virtual event was hosted by Hannah Hollis from Fox Sports and included appearances online from Robert Thompson, Lachlan Murdoch and Penny Fowler with guest presenters including Nicole Kidman, Amy Shark and Kylie Minogue.

News Corp Australia executive chairman Michael Miller said: “Congratulations to all our News Awards 2020 finalists and winners – you are an inspiring example of our excellence in journalism and in storytelling. You highlight the depth of talent across our newspapers, magazines, digital and broadcast.

“This was the first time that we have watched the Awards virtually, from our homes and offices, around the country. But that didn’t stop us from celebrating together. Thank you to all those who sent in messages of support, comments and photos of their celebrations.

Adella Beaini and Gemma Jones are the awards winners for the Daily Telegraph.
Picture: Christian Gilles

“The Awards provide an opportunity to look back at 2020 and reflect on the great stories that have changed lives and made an impact. I hope you, and your family and friends watching along at home, found the News Awards inspiring.

“What made me so proud this year was that through all the change, through all the upheaval, all of our teams across the business never stopped standing by our audiences, standing by our communities and letting our storytelling lead the way.

“I think Lachlan Murdoch said it best when he said: ‘It would have been understandable if we had been diverted from our core duty as we coped with the individual upheaval and threat of Covid 19, instead your work is better, your ambition is stronger and the sacrifices you and your family have made to pursue the stories Australia needed to know has never been higher.”

I want to call out and congratulate our Brand of the Year – Sky News, Lifestyle Brand of the Year – Vogue Australia as well as the recipient of the Keith Murdoch Award Grant McArthur.

Natasha Bita, Kelvin Healey and Jackie Sinnerton, Red carpet at News Awards, Bowen Hills, Queensland. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

“As Penny Fowler said when presenting Grant with the award. ‘It is Sir Keith Murdoch’s courage, his willingness to stand up to authority and deep belief that journalism must tell the truth no matter what that gives our company the spirit that lives on to this day.’

“Grant, your coverage of COVID embodied Sir Keith’s trademark courage and spirit. Not only were you there for your communities by detailing how COVID was spreading across Victoria but you also showed real bravery as the first journalist to enter highly infectious hospital wards to reveal the toll of the virus on ordinary Australians.

“Other notable firsts for 2020 was the Award for Storyteller of the Year which was awarded to The Australian’s Trent Dalton and the Audience Engagement Award which was given to Foxtel for the Fire Fight Australia event which raised millions for bushfire recovery.

“Also, for the first time, I handed out some personal awards this year – my Chairman’s Awards – to three teams that went above and beyond in a difficult year – the teams in NSW and QLD who worked on the transition to digital, to Penny and Zav and to the whole Victorian leadership team and to REA and the News Corp Real Estate publishing teams for a stellar year.”

News Awards

Hannah Hollis and Trent Dalton

Achievements in Campaigns
The Daily Telegraph – Save our Heroes
The Sunday Mail (QLD) – The Forgotten Women

Achievements in Outstanding Audience Engagement
Foxtel – Fire Fight Australia

Scoop of the Year
Tom Minear – Herald Sun: Victoria’s road out of lockdown

Keith McDonald Award (Business Journalist of the Year)
John Stensholt – The Australian

Headline of the Year
Jenna Cairney and Stuart Thornton – The Mercury: We’ve got a moat

Achievements in Regional Journalism
Sherele Moody – News Regional Media

Young Journalist of the Year
Adella Beaini – The Daily Telegraph
Chantelle Francis – The Weekly Times
Ellen Ransley – NewsWire/Western Star
Meg Gannon – Dalby Herald/The Chronicle

Photographer of the Year
David Caird – Herald Sun and Sunday Herald Sun

Photograph of the Year [NEW CATEGORY]
Alex Coppel – Herald Sun and Sunday Herald Sun

Achievements in Investigative Journalism [NEW CATEGORY]
Sharri Markson and Kylar Loussikian – The Australian: How China recruited Australian academics

Storyteller of the Year
Trent Dalton – The Australian

Achievements in Specialist Journalism
Paul Murray – Sky News

Bill Leak Cartoonist of the Year
Warren Brown – The Daily Telegraph

Achievements in Sports Journalism
Michael Warner – Herald Sun, National Sports Network

Achievements in Community Journalism
Jake McCallum – NewsLocal

Achievements in Outstanding Teamwork
MH370 Special Investigation

Innovation in Journalism
Fox Sports – Creating a fans experience like never before

Interview of the Year
Frances Whiting – The Courier-Mail: Hannah Clarke family

Lifestyle Brand of the Year
Vogue Australia

Brand of the Year
Sky News

Sir Keith Murdoch Award (Journalist of the Year)
Grant McArthur – Herald Sun and Sunday Herald Sun

Chairman’s Awards
Penny Fowler & The Victorian Leadership Team
QLD and NSW teams who helped the regional transition to digital
REA Group & Real Estate teams

Rich List
The Financial Review Rich list reveals jump in wealth – 104 billionaires

• Gina Rinehart tops the Financial Review rich list with wealth of $29 bn, up 109% since 2019
• Number of women on rich list is 30, up from 25 in 2019
• Australia has a record 104 billionaires
• 19 new names on the list this year

• Gina Rinehart tops the Financial Review rich list with wealth of $29 bn, up 109% since 2019
• Number of women on rich list is 30, up from 25 in 2019
• Australia has a record 104 billionaires
• 19 new names on the list this year

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart has topped the Financial Review Rich List becoming Australia’s richest person worth a record $28.89 billion – up 109% since last year’s list.

Rinehart tops the 2020 Rich List, which has seen Australia’s 200 richest increase their collective wealth by 24%, to $424 billion. Australia now has a record 104 billionaires, and the cut-off to make the Rich List sits at an all-time high of $540 million.

Iron ore miners are the big winners, seeing 12 Rich Listers with direct exposure to Western Australia’s mines more than double their wealth to nearly $80 billion collectively. As Chinese demand for iron ore surges on the back of infrastructure projects, the explosion of wealth has given rise to the ‘ore-ligarch’.

Andrew Forrest – Australia’s No.2 Rich Lister – was at one stage adding $500 million per week to his fortune, seeing his wealth go from $7.99 billion last year to $23 billion this year.

2020 has been an unprecedented year with unforeseen changes, and this year’s Financial Review Rich List, which has been published since 1983, is a fascinating insight into which industries have suffered through the worst economic downturn since the 1930s, and those that have flourished.

The acceleration towards e-commerce due to COVID-19 has helped e-tailers such as Ruslan Kogan (who re-enters the Rich List with a net wealth of $575 million), as well as Gerry Harvey (up 35%, now worth $2.57 billion), one of the few bricks and mortar retailers to benefit. The stockmarket frenzy for buy now, pay later businesses like Afterpay has resulted in co-founder Nick Molnar becoming Australia’s youngest billionaire ranked 50th on the list (up 283%, now worth $1.86 billion). His competitor Zip also saw an impressive windfall with its co-founder Larry Diamond debuting on the Rich List with an estimated fortune of $552 million. As we all take up a new working and shopping from home culture, the need for essential technology has benefited e-commerce and tech companies – such as BigCommerce and Atlassian.

With international travel off the cards, luxury car dealer Nick Politis (up 6.75%, now worth $1.31 billion) benefited from a switch to cars with a surge in June sales. And with most of Australia now declared drought-free and cattle prices booming, the top end of the agricultural sector is performing strongly with beef baron Trevor Lee and Manildra Group’s Dick Honan becoming billionaires.

For travel, entertainment, education and hospitality, however, 2020 is an annus horribilis.

It’s a year Flight Centre owners Graham Turner, Bill James and Geoff Harris would prefer to forget with the trio not making the Rich List for the first time since the 1990s. Nepalese-born couple Shesh Ghale and Jamuna Gurung, whose tertiary education and commercial property empire spans the sectors hardest hit by COVID-19, are no longer billionaires. Meanwhile, Alan Rydge, whose Event Hospitality and Entertainment business operates Rydges, QT and Atura hotel chains, Event Cinemas and Thredbo Alpine Resort, has seen his wealth reduce by $1.3 billion.

Some entrepreneurs fell off the list after previous big valuations for their business, driven by venture capital, were not borne out when it came time to exit. These included Patrick Grove (Netflix competitor iflix) and Tim Kentley-Klay (driverless car hopeful Zoox, which sold to Amazon for $1.5 billion this year after being valued at more than $4 billion).

“Some of the blue sky has started to come out of the tech scale-up scene, which could be a harbinger for other sectors as cheap money dries up,” said Rich List co-editor Michael Bailey.

“It’s been one of the most turbulent years the Rich List team have ever encountered. At the start of the pandemic many of the fortunes of the nation’s wealthiest were crumbling, but they have proven to be exceptional business builders. They have taken advantage of shifting demands within the economy, driving overall wealth to new highs,” Rich List co-editor Julie-anne Sprague said.

The Financial Review Rich List is available on and a special Rich List edition of AFR Magazine, featuring profiles of our richest people and analysis of the trends that are making them even richer, is available nationally on Friday October 30.

The Financial Review Rich List 2020 Highlights

TOP 5 (worth a collective $106.63 billion)

Gina Rinehart  $28.89 billion (up from $13.81 billion) – Resources, Agriculture
Andrew Forrest – $23 billion (up from $7.99 billion) – Resources
Anthony Pratt & family – $19.75 billion (up from $15.57 billion) – Manufacturing
Hui Wing Mau – $18.06 billion (up from $10.39 billion) – Property
Mike Cannon-Brookes – $16.93 billion (up from $9.63 billion) – Technology


NSW – 69 Rich Listers (up from 62 last year)
VIC – 59 (62 last year)
QLD – 23 (18 last year)
WA – 21 (19 last year)
SA, TAS, NT, ACT – all have 1 each

TOP 10 WOMEN RICH LISTERS (Combined wealth of $42.5 billion)

Gina Rinehart (ranked 1) – $28.89 billion
Angela Bennett (21) – $3.83 billion
Alexandra Burt & Leonie Baldock (25) – $3.62 billion
Melanie Perkins with Cliff Obrecht (26) – $3.43 billion
Betty Klimenko & Monica Weinberg-Saunders (29) – $2.73 billion


Tasmania has its first billionaire in 2020, with mining services magnate Dale Elphinstone increasing his wealth from $814 million to $1.08 billion.

WA and NSW has increased their numbers of Rich Listers while Victoria has dropped

The average age of Rich Listers is 66-years-old

SAS Australia
SAS Australia shatters records on 7plus – becomes most-watched ever

Seven has revealed its latest prime time hit, SAS Australia, has shattered 7plus records, becoming the biggest show in the history of commercial free-to-air BVOD service in record time.

The premiere of SAS Australia now has a BVOD audience of 320,000 viewers, surpassing 7plus’ previous record holder, episode one of Big Brother.

SAS Australia passed the record in just 10 days from launch.

The record-breaking numbers for SAS Australia on 7plus pushed the first episode’s consolidated audience to 1.67 million viewers nationally across broadcast and digital.

Brook Hall, director of content scheduling, said: “SAS Australia has not only been a hit on broadcast, but it is now our biggest-ever show on 7plus. Viewers are flocking to the original, uncensored versions on 7plus, driving record audiences.

“The multi-platform success of SAS Australia is set to continue as the series unfolds.”

SAS Australia continues Monday and Tuesday nights at 7.30pm on Seven, with the original, uncensored version of each episode plus bonus content available exclusively on 7plus immediately following broadcast.

Seven is calling 7plus the #1 commercial free-to-air BVOD service, with a 42.5% market share so far in the 2020 survey year. With hit shows, the biggest live-streamed BVOD entertainment launch of all time with Big Brother, continued investment in more content-led growth and more 7plus exclusives slated for 2021, Seven is labelling it the ultimate streaming destination.

Each week, over 200 million minutes are streamed on 7plus across thousands of unique pieces of content and 12 live channels.

New season of Lucy Lawless drama My Life Is Murder moves to NZ

UK-based distributor DCD Rights has raised production finance and secured distribution rights to a new season of the murder mystery drama series My Life Is Murder starring Lucy Lawless (Top Of The Lake, Spartacus, Xena: Warrior Princess).

This new season of the ratings-hit crime drama has been greenlit by a consortium consisting of AMC Networks’ streaming service Acorn TV, which will take a package of English-speaking rights (North America, the UK and Australia premiere rights with secondary rights for NZ), DCD Rights for rest of world and producer Greenstone TV, with New Zealand broadcaster TVNZ and Network 10 in Australia also on board.

The 10 x 60’ series moves from Melbourne, Australia to Auckland, New Zealand and is currently in pre-production, starring Lucy Lawless alongside her season one cohort Ebony Vagulans (Doctor Doctor, The Letdown, The Furies).

Don Klees, SVP Programming for Acorn TV and executive producer, noted, “Acorn TV’s subscribers adored the first season of My Life Is Murder, so we’re thrilled to work with DCD Rights, Greenstone TV and Lucy Lawless on a fun new season. We’re excited to come on board as a production partner for the new episodes and bring the show to even more of our subscribers in new territories.”

Nicky Davies Williams, CEO at DCD Rights, added, “We have seen strong international success with the first series of My Life Is Murder and we want to build on this with a second. Partnering with Acorn TV, TVNZ, Network 10 and local funding in New Zealand means we have raised the necessary investment to get this highly watchable series straight into production. We know this type of feel-good series is being sought out by many platforms and broadcasters for their viewers at this time and look forward to sharing it with our clients around the world in the coming months.”

My Life Is Murder stars award-winning Kiwi actress Lucy Lawless as private investigator Alexa Crowe, who brings her unique brand of investigation to an unsuspecting New Zealand. 

My Life Is Murder is a Greenstone TV production for TVNZ, Acorn TV and DCD Rights in association with Network 10.

Things I Know To Be True
Amazon orders drama from Blossom Films, Jan Chapman & Matchbox

• Nicole Kidman to star and executive produce Things I Know To Be True

Amazon Studios has picked up the new drama Things I Know To Be True, starring and executive produced by Academy and Emmy Award winner Nicole Kidman under her Blossom Films banner. Things I Know To Be True is from Amazon Studios, NBCUniversal International Studios’ Matchbox Pictures and Blossom Films, in association with Jan Chapman Films. NBCUniversal International Studios is a division of Universal Studio Group. The series will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide.

Based on the award-winning play by Andrew Bovell, Things I Know To Be True is about the resilience of an enduring marriage and the evolving nature of a family’s love, as Bob and Fran Price watch their adult children make unexpected decisions which change the course of their lives.

Things I Know To Be True is written by Bovell, who will also serve as executive producer. Kidman will also serve as executive producer for Blossom Films, along with Per Saari. Amanda Higgs and Alastair McKinnon are executive producers for Matchbox Pictures. Jan Chapman is executive producer for Jan Chapman Films.

Kidman said: “I’ll never forget the experience I had watching Andrew’s play in Sydney, having one of those transcendent theatre experiences. Andrew’s play is exquisite and his scripts for the series are just as good. With Amazon’s belief, Jen Salke’s guidance, and an extraordinary producing team, we have big hopes for what this can be.”

“This is a story about family, that thing you spend your life trying to escape from only to yearn for what you’ve lost if you ever do,” said Bovell. “I’m thrilled that an actor of Nicole Kidman’s calibre leads the series in the role of Fran Price. As a mother and a woman she is complicated, difficult and utterly compelling. I’m also thrilled that a company of Amazon Studios’ significance has shown such confidence in the story and will take it to a global audience.”

Things I Know To Be True is a wonderfully complex and intense emotional journey exploring what pulls a family apart and tests the very bonds of love that unite them,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “We are grateful to Andrew and to our partners for landing this on Prime Video, and are always so pleased to build on our slate with Nicole and Per and everyone at Blossom.”

“Our driving force at Matchbox is to tell stories for a global audience rooted in the richness of Australian talent,” said McKinnon. “It is thrilling to be in partnership with Nicole Kidman and the Blossom team alongside the combined creative forces of Andrew Bovell, Amanda Higgs and Jan Chapman. Together with the support of Amazon Studios, we know that we have something very special.”

Top Photo: Nicole Kidman in her current HBO hit, The Undoing

Will and Woody
Will and Woody get new EP with Tia Ucich departing after 3 years

ARN has announced that Ed Kirkwood has been appointed to the role of executive producer for the KIIS Network’s National Drive Show Will & Woody in 2021.

The appointment comes following the resignation of Tia Ucich who is returning to her hometown of Perth. She will continue as the executive producer of Will & Woody until Friday, November 27. 

Ucich came over with Will McMahon and Woody Whitelaw from Perth and has been the show’s EP since it launched on KIIS in 2018. Talking to Mediaweek earlier this year, Will McMahon said that Ucich had blossomed into an integral part of Will & Woody.

This news follows Will & Woody extending their contract with KIIS FM for a further three years earlier this year. The pair served a long apprenticeship under the guidance of former SCA content chief Craig Bruce. McMahon and Whitelaw spent much of the last decade at SCA working in regional markets, weekend metro breakfast shifts at 2Day and Fox and then four years in Perth at Hit 92.9 where they worked with Ucich.

ARN chief content officer Duncan Campbell said, “Over the past three years, Tia has been an important part of the Will & Woody team and I thank her for her contribution to the show’s success and wish her all the best for the future.

“I am very pleased to welcome Ed to ARN, he brings exceptional experience to the role and will be a great addition to the Will & Woody team in 2021.” 

Kirkwood began his career as an announcer on Triple J and has held a number of roles including content producer, senior producer and executive producer in commercial breakfast and drive shows 

Kirkwood will commence his role as Executive Producer in 2021.

Mercado on TV: Horror & politics– Halloween + Qld & US elections

By Andrew Mercado

Horror and politics collide this week with Halloween and election results everywhere on TV. How perfect then to fast track Hugh Laurie’s new BBC drama called Roadkill (Sunday on ABC) because it doesn’t get much more horrific these days than stories about corrupt politicians.

There is a lot to set up in Roadkill’s first episode, with a large cast of characters including a Prime Minister deliciously played by Helen McCrory. With just four episodes, this one positively screams out for a second season.

It is rare for Halloween to fall on a Saturday night this weekend but only a few TV channels are taking advantage of the chance to screen some horror classics. 7mate, GO and NITV have the odd title, and Foxtel Movie networks Greats and Family go hard all day and night.

SBS World Movies might win though thanks to classic comedies Young Frankenstein and What We Do In The Shadows. Queensland viewers, however, will be glued to QLD Votes: Election Night Live (Saturday on ABC News 24) and the result should have them holding their heads in horror or laughing crazily into the night.

Next Wednesday, ABC, 10 and Nine suspend their regular daytime programming to focus on the US Presidential Election results. Program guides list Seven as still running midday movie Who Killed JonBenet? Seriously? Surely they will make a last minute amendment and join the party (well let’s hope there’s something to celebrate).

It seems odd that Chaser host Andrew O’Keefe is absent from all the promos and marketing for Beat The Chasers (Sunday on Seven). Instead, the focus is all about the Chasers, and contestants who have won big on other networks’ game shows.

If Beat The Chasers does well, will more prime time quiz shows become a thing? 10’s recent run of Family Feud was a flop, but Celebrity Family Feud was the 10th highest rated show of the week in the US, scoring over 5 million viewers.

American viewers are also watching The Price Is Right At Night and The Weakest Link has returned with new host Jane Lynch. She makes references to her bitchy roles in Glee (Netflix) and The Marvellous Mrs Maisel (Amazon Prime) and promises to be “tough” on contestants, but “always with a wink and a smile”.

So will a local network bring back The Weakest Link (which screened on Seven in 2002 with the late great Cornelia Frances) especially given the success of the somewhat similar Hard Quiz (Wednesday on ABC)?

And is Tom Gleeson going to be the last ever Gold Logie winner? Nobody’s talking about it, but will the new management of TV Week have the will or money to bring back that costly awards show?

TV ratings: Thursday Week 44 2020

By James Manning

• Seven #1 network, Nine #1 primary, 7TWO #1 multi
• Gogglebox season final ranks #1 entertainment show
• The Block slips below 700k for rare Thursday episode

Primetime News
Seven News 982,000/994,000
Nine News 867,000,875,000
ABC News 671,000
10 News First 318,000/205,000
SBS World News 147,000

Daily current affairs
A Current Affair 685,000
7.30 586,000
The Project 268,000/465,000
The Drum 154,000

Breakfast TV
Sunrise 282,000
Today 231,000
News Breakfast 212,000

Late night news
Nine News Late 121,000
The Latest 105,000
ABC News Late 77,000

Thursday TV

Seven: Home and Away started on 582,000 Monday and was close again on 570,000 on Tuesday, but it dipped to 536,000 on Wednesday and closed the week with three episodes last night averaging 467,000.

Britain’s Got Talent was then on 201,000.

Nine: A Current Affair went from 816,000 on Monday and 762,000 on Tuesday before the show delivered audiences of just under 700,000 on Wednesday and Thursday.

More stress in the front yards in Brighton as a Thursday episode of The Block slipped just below 700,000. There will be more Thursday episodes this month as State of Origin takes over Wednesday nights for three weeks.

10: The Project was again below 500,000 as 465,000 tuned in.

The Bachelorette was just under 450,000.

The season finale of Gogglebox managed to lift the 10 audience by quarter of a million later in the night with 700,000 watching. 

ABC: Scottish Vets Downunder was on 359,000 followed by the repeat episode of Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road Adventure on 250,000.

SBS: The final repeat episode of Queen Victoria’s Slum did 141,000 at 7.30pm.

Secrets of the Tower of London was then on 150,000.

Week 44: Thursday
ABC10.7%716.4%919.1%10 14.6%SBS One4.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY2.3%7TWO4.7%GO!3.2%10 Bold3.5%VICELAND1.4%
ABC ME0.4%7mate4.6%GEM2.1%10 Peach2.9%Food Net0.8%
ABC NEWS2.4%7flix1.8%9Life2.0%10 Shake0.5%NITV0.2%
    9Rush0.8%  SBS World Movies1.1%
TOTAL15.8% 27.6% 27.2% 21.5% 7.8%


ABCSeven AffiliatesNine Affiliates10 AffiliatesSBS
ABC10.1%719.6%915.6%WIN10.9%SBS One3.7%
ABC ME0.8%7mate4.5%GEM3.5%WIN Peach2.7%Food Net0.6%
ABC NEWS1.5%7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)2.2%9Life2.3%Sky News  on WIN2.6%NITV0.3%
        SBS Movies1.4%
TOTAL14.8% 32.1% 25.4% 21.1% 8.0%


  1. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 994,000
  2. Seven News Seven 982,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 875,000
  4. Nine News Nine 867,000
  5. Gogglebox 10 700,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 685,000
  7. The Block Nine 679,000
  8. ABC News ABC 671,000
  9. 7.30 ABC 586,000
  10. The Chase Australia Seven 509,000
  11. Home And Away Seven 467,000
  12. The Project 7pm 10 465,000
  13. The Bachelorette Australia 10 441,000
  14. Hot Seat Nine 410,000
  15. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 388,000
  16. Scottish Vets Down Under ABC 359,000
  17. Paramedics -Encore Nine 342,000
  18. 10 News First 10 318,000
  19. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 314,000
  20. Hot Seat -5pm Nine 301,000
Demo Top Five

16-39 Top Five

  1. Gogglebox 10 193,000
  2. The Block Nine 143,000
  3. The Bachelorette Australia 10 130,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 111,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 102,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. Gogglebox 10 327,000
  2. The Block Nine 266,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 219,000
  4. The Bachelorette Australia 10 207,000
  5. Nine News Nine 196,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Gogglebox 10 366,000
  2. The Block Nine 306,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 264,000
  4. The Bachelorette Australia 10 243,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 236,000
THURSDAY Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 388,000
  2. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 208,000
  3. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 171,000
  4. Father Brown PM 7TWO 165,000
  5. NCIS 10 Bold 154,000
  6. Floogals AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 152,000
  7. M- Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire -7PmMa(tRe) 148,000
  8. Murdoch Mysteries PM 7TWO 129,000
  9. Book Hungry Bears AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  10. Murdoch Mysteries-Ep.2 Pm 7TWO 119,000
  11. Love Monster ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  12. Neighbours 10 Peach 112,000
  13. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 111,000
  14. Go Jetters PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 108,000
  15. Fireman Sam AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 103,000
  16. Stargate 9GO! 103,000
  17. Bargain Hunt PM 7TWO 103,000
  18. 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown (R) SBS VICELAND 100,000
  19. The Big Bang Theory Ep 3 10 Peach 99,000
  20. Hawaii Five-O (R) 10 Bold 99,000
  1. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 87,000
  2. Alan Jones Sky News Live 81,000
  3. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 77,000
  4. Credlin Sky News Live 67,000
  5. Outback Opal Hunters Discovery Channel 55,000
  6. PML Later Sky News Live 48,000
  7. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 43,000
  8. Love It Or List It Australia Lifestyle Channel 41,000
  9. OC: Real Housewives FOX Arena 33,000
  10. Deer Squad Nick Jr. 30,000
  11.  NCIS FOX Crime 30,000
  12. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 29,000
  13. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 27,000
  14. NCIS: Los Angeles FOX Crime 26,000
  15. The Adventures Of Paddington Nick Jr. 26,000
  16. Midsomer Murders UKTV 26,000
  17. Escape To The Country Lifestyle Channel 26,000
  18. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 25,000
  19. Location, Location, Location Lifestyle Channel 25,000
  20. Paw Patrol 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

Twitter, Facebook, Google grilled in fiery US Senate hearing

Should Facebook, Google and Twitter take action in Australia against “Mediscare” style campaigns at election time? What about Clive Palmer’s claims of Labor planning to introduce a death tax? Reports The Australian’s Chris Griffith.

Those types of issues in a bigger US context were the subject of a grilling of the CEOs of Facebook, Alphabet and Twitter by a US select committee examining their policies to remove or flag content posted during the US election campaign. At times the interchanges were hostile.

Section 230 of the US Communications Decency Act lets the tech giants remove material considered to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable. The law shields them from liability under the US First Amendment protecting free speech.

The fact the hearing took place within a week of the US election means it is seen as partisan by the Democrats, with one Senator branding it “a sham”.

The tipping point for the hearing was Facebook’s and Twitter’s action to block or limit the online distribution of The New York Post’s recent story about Joe Biden’s son Hunter, and his activities in Ukraine. The Trump team see it as a flashpoint issue at the election but the alleged facts around it are hotly disputed and many have dismissed them.

[Read more]

Netflix raises prices in the US, but cheapest plan remains unchanged

It’s getting a bit more expensive to subscribe to Netflix in the US, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The streaming giant has upped the cost of two of its plans, its first price increase in a year-and-a-half.

The standard plan, which let’s people stream on two screens at the same time and features access to Netflix’s HD library, will cost $1 more, going from $13 per month to $14 per month. The highest-price premium plan, which allows up to four streams at the same time, will increase by $2 to $18 per month.

Netflix is keeping its cheapest offering, the basic plan, at $9 per month. That option only allows for one stream and does not give the subscriber access to HD programming.

Netflix last raised prices in the US in May 2019. That means that, in less than two years, the price of its standard plan has risen by $3 and the price of its premium plan has risen by $4.

[Read more]

News Brands

News Award sinners: The Australian rewarded for premium journalism

News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson says the push to force technology “behemoths” such as Google and Facebook to compensate media outlets for news content they use on their platforms has “finally” started to pay off, reports The Australian’s Kieran Gair.

Thomson praised News Corp’s efforts to protect independent journalism at the company’s prestigious annual News Awards on Thursday evening, where four journalists from The Australian took home prizes for stories ranging from Chinese influence to bushfire recovery.

He used the occasion to pay tribute to a range of journalists at the company’s News Awards night, including 12 nominees and four winners from The Australian.

Investigations editor Sharri Markson and national chief of staff Kylar Loussikian, both Walkley Award-winners who returned to The Australian this year, won the Achievements in Investigative Journalism award for their explosive story revealing how the Chinese government recruited Australian scientists and academics to a ­secretive research program.

The Australian’s Damon Johnston, Rachel Baxendale and Remy Varga were also recognised as finalists in the Investigative Journalism category for their exposé on a Chinese agent’s secret role in Australia.

The Weekend Australian Magazine’s Trent Dalton won the Storyteller of the Year award for a body of work including a feature that explored the trail of destruction left by the summer bushfires.

Photo: The Weekend Australian Magazine’s Trent Dalton wins the Storyteller of the Year award at the 2020 News Awards hosted by MC Hannah Hollis on Thursday

[Read more]

Herald Sun scoops major journalism awards at News Awards

The Herald Sun has scooped the pool at the prestigious News Awards, with Health editor Grant McArthur taking home the Sir Keith Murdoch Award for journalist of the year.

National political editor Tom Minear won the highly-competitive Scoop of the Year award for his bombshell exclusive detailing the Premier’s top-secret recovery road map, which revealed Melbourne’s harsh lockdown would be extended. Daniel Andrews tried to claim the plan had “no status” and was out of date, only to release an almost identical road map days later.

Mick Warner won the award for Achievements in Sports Journalism for his powerful story on Danny Frawley’s posthumous diagnosis with neurological disorder CTE, and the first interview with Mark “Bomber” Thompson since his drug conviction.

[Read more]

Why iron ore, tech and e-commerce rule The AFR’s Rich List 2020

Covid-19 came along this year and upended the world’s priorities, and so it has upended the Financial Review Rich List, reports Rich List editor Michael Bailey.

It was a very good year to own an Australian iron ore mine, as governments everywhere threw money at infrastructure projects to stimulate their battered economies, at the same time as supply faltered in pandemic-ravaged Brazil.

The subsequent surge in the red metal’s price was enough to put Gina Rinehart back on top of the Rich List for the first time since 2015, with record wealth of nearly $29 billion – up 109 per cent from her valuation last year.

Her fellow Pilbara picker Andrew Forrest was next with $23 billion, his highest showing since he topped the list in 2008, and a 188 per cent increase from when his fortune was last measured.

Retailer Gerry Harvey and e-tailer Ruslan Kogan have had their differences, but this year both benefited as people spent more money on stuff for inside their houses. And lots of them used Afterpay to reduce the upfront hit of the spending, putting co-founders Nick Molnar and Anthony Eisen into 50th and 51st places respectively.

Then there are those who’ve fallen off the Rich List altogether. Most spectacularly, the three founders of Flight Centre – Geoff Harris, Bill James and Graham Turner – don’t appear in these pages for the first time since the 1990s, as the pandemic decimated the travel industry.

Also off is Patrick Grove, who took on Netflix in Asia. His iflix raised more than $420 million from investors, but Grove left its board in April and the business was sold for reportedly less than $100 million to Tencent shortly afterwards. Neville Bertalli comes off the list after a nightmare year for his Patterson Cheney car yards in Melbourne, made worse by Holden’s complete departure from Australia in February.

[Read more]

See separate Rich List feature today too.

What happens to Fox News if Trump loses? Rupert Murdoch is prepared

The man who helped create Fox News as the most influential platform for conservative politics in America fully expects that Biden will win – and frankly isn’t too bothered by that, reports The Washington Post in an item republished in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Rupert Murdoch, the 89-year-old billionaire whose family controls Fox News’s parent company, has told associates that he is resigned to a Donald Trump loss in November. And he has complained that the President’s current low polling numbers are due to repeated “unforced errors” that could have been avoided if he had followed Murdoch’s advice about how to weather the coronavirus pandemic, according to associates who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.

He had known Trump for decades as a frequent source and subject for his New York Post tabloid, and he was not initially thrilled with the idea of a Trump presidency. “When is Donald Trump going to stop embarrassing his friends, let alone the whole country?” he tweeted in July 2015. Murdoch even flirted with endorsing Hillary Clinton‘s 2016 candidacy and invited her to meet. She declined, according to two people familiar with the exchange.

[Read more]


SAS Australia: Is Schapelle Corby the highest paid cast member?

Contestants on Channel 7’s hit new show SAS Australia are each being paid five-figure sums, according to a well-placed source, reports News Corp’s Mibenge Nsenduluka.

Convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby and controversial lingerie model Arabella Del Busso are among 17 celebrities who took part in a gruelling SAS (Special Air Service) selection course and one ­insider told Confidential that contrary to reports, everyone is on the same rate.

“Part of their pitch was that everyone is on the same money. They said it’s a ‘favoured nations fee,’ the source said. “There’s a flat fee and an additional daily rate you’re paid for each day you stay on.”

A spokeswoman for the Seven Network would not confirm or deny salary speculation. “We do not disclose the terms of our agreements with any people, from any of our shows,” she said.

“All I’ll say is the total talent fee would’ve been less than $1 million for the entire group … a good investment for Channel 7 as ratings are through the roof,” the insider said.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Karl Stefanovic announces co-hosting role for 2020 State of Origin series

Today host Karl Stefanovic has announced his excitement at being called up to co-host Nine’s State of Origin coverage beginning with the series opener in Adelaide on Wednesday, reports Nine’s WWOS.

Stefanovic grew up in north Queensland, and has been a long-time, devoted Queensland Maroons and Brisbane Broncos supporter.

The TV personality said he was “pumped” for his role covering the State of Origin series.

“Ever since I was two years of age, watching Queensland win for 20 years in a row, State of Origin has been a part of the fabric of our being when we grew up in Queensland,” Stefanovic said, refusing to let facts get in the way of his passion.

“I am so excited. I have been asked to fly to Adelaide and co-host the coverage with James Bracey next week.

“I am not going to be at all biased, but I am going to bring a whole bunch of Queensland to the coverage with legends.

“We’ve got a huge team of the best in the business flying down in COVID bubbles to get this coverage like it’s never been done before, three weeks in a row. So it’s a huge logistical exercise. It’s going to be a packed stadium in Adelaide.”

[Read more]

Australia vs India: Channel 7 upset with day-night cricket clash

The prospect of Virat Kohli’s India playing an Australia A side in a day-night warm up game at the SCG next month has delighted fans and one broadcaster but given another more cause for complaint in the middle of a bitter court dispute, reports The Australian’s Peter Lalor.

The match which will potentially feature the biggest name in the game clashes directly with the first week of the Big Bash League.

Cricket Australia plans to start the BBL on December 10 and the three-day game against India begins December 11.

Fox and Seven share the rights to the BBL, but Fox also plans to broadcast the tour match on an alternative channel as well as the domestic T20 tournament.

Seven argues the match is a distraction at the start of the BBL which has a week of clear air before a brief hiatus for the first Test.

[Read more]

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