Thursday October 8, 2020

Podcast Week: Adam Shand Breaking Poverty, OzPod cancels, Audible

Edited by James Manning

Plus Verizon’s Brand Building, Migrant Footprints, Gary Jubelin, Idol Archives

New series from prolific Adam Shand

Investigative journalist Adam Shand is back with a new PodcastOne series done in collaboration with The Smith Family called Breaking Poverty.

Across two episodes Shand interviews students, carers and The Smith Family CEO Dr Lisa O’Brien. Together, they discuss the effects of child poverty and the impact it has on education, mental health and the future of Australia’s youth – especially since the Covid-19 pandemic and concerns over increasing poverty in Australia.

Shand said: “When the Covid-19 support programs come to an end there will be a $31 billion hole in the national economy. Now is the time Australians need to support our children to get the best education possible and meet the challenges of the future. Many families need a hand up not a handout, an investment towards self-sufficiency and self-confidence.”

Shand seems busier than ever, although he told Mediaweek he’s not quite operating at the speed he did for 6PR when hosting the weekday drive show for several years.

“I am now busy in different fields, working with PodcastOne on different projects and with Nine on The Full Box’s series Australian Crime Stories.”

Shand’s other PodcastOne projects include Adam Shand at Large where the idea was to go a bit beyond crime, which has happened with Breaking Poverty.

Shand has also done a series on the impact of Covid-19.

Breaking Poverty came out of our Covid research where we were looking at the things Australia could be doing. Some of the changes people thought would happen might not eventuate because we have something of a flawed state/federal relationship model that makes if difficult to go forward from here. In Breaking Poverty we look at what would happen if we got rid of student loans. If you look at our recent history we had the greatest period ever of wealth creation, yet we have more people in poverty.”

Also new from Shand this week is a new episode of State Crime Command. “We are aiming for two new episodes a month. We did a couple of what I call pilot episodes to see how people in the force reacted. We now have many officers coming forward asking for us to have a look at particular cases.”

Read more about State Crime Command here.

Shand is also looking at a podcast extension of Australian Crime Stories with additional information which has come to light following the screening of the current series. One in particular might feature passengers on the Qantas flight involved in the recent bomb hoax episode.

Listen to Breaking Poverty here.

Verizon Media launches Build Brand You podcast series

Verizon Media has launched a new podcast series, Build Brand You, a practical guide to help listeners adapt and flourish at home and in the workplace.

The series features guest speakers including founder of The Huffington Post and founder/CEO of Thrive Global Arianna Huffington, head of mental health and wellbeing at the AFL Dr Kate Hall, director of people science and culture at Culture Amp Chloe Hamman, executive coach and director of Be. Coaching Leigh Morrison, and leadership strategist at Happiness Concierge Nicole Hatherly.

The series comes off the back of the virtual Verizon Media Academy masterclasses that took place earlier this year as part of the company’s free industry talent program.

Listen to Build Your Brand here.

OzPod cancelled, partners US conference

The ABC has cancelled the OzPod conference for 2020 because of the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The organisers have partnered with the world’s largest podcast conference Podcast Movement Virtual, providing an opportunity for all past attendees of OzPod to attend the online event at a reduced rate. Others have until 6pm Thursday for an early bird rate.

The Podcast Movement Virtual event will be held on 19-29 October 2020, and members of the OzPod community will be able to access the Plus level ticket at a half price rate of $99USD. This ticket allows access to live sessions as well as videos of all keynotes, breakout sessions, Lunch & Learns and live networking events.

Podcast Movement Virtual details here.

Jasmine Batra’s Migrant Footprints podcast

Jasmine Batra, co-founder of award-winning Melbourne-based growth marketing agency Arrow Digital, has this week released Migrant Footprints podcast via Spotify.

Batra meets with first and second-generation migrant business owners from across the country to share their tales of heartache and celebration, and their turbulent, inspiring and often hilarious experiences in business down under.

Bantra emigrated with husband Anup from Lucknow, India to Melbourne in 2004. Frustrated with the transactional, cookie-cutter approach delivered by the big digital agencies, they decided to set up their own with a more personalised, results-driven approach to marketing. In 2007 Arrow Internet Marketing was born. Now named Arrow Digital, and with a team of 15 digital specialists, Jasmine and Anup have worked with over a thousand clients to date, including Telstra, Fuji Xerox and the Queensland Government.

Listen to Migrant Footprints here.

Film Victoria and Audible launch Amplify Victoria

Film Victoria and Audible have partnered on Amplify Victoria, a documentary development funding initiative for Victorian factual content creators.

Through the initiative, Film Victoria and Audible are on a mission to help creators develop captivating true stories into premium documentary podcasts, with the intention that the podcasts may be released on Audible or adapted for screen.

The creative brief from Film Victoria and Audible calls for strong and challenging ideas that spark conversations and examine issues from different perspectives, with a well-developed multi-episode narrative and relatable subjects. Up to six teams will be selected to receive investment to develop their project from a total funding pool of $60,000. 

Applications for Amplify Victoria: The Audible and Film Victoria Documentary Development Fund are now open and close 11pm Thursday 29 October. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of 2020. The Amplify Victoria initiative is managed and administered by Film Victoria, with co-funding support by Audible Australia.

Find out more about Amplify Victoria here.

The Idol Archives with Mark and Katie Holden

Mark Holden and daughter Katie have joined forces in a new podcast that goes behind the scenes of one of Australia’s most beloved and popular television reality talent shows. The Idol Archives is a weekly podcast launching October 9 hosted by former Australian Idol judge Mark Holden and Katie as they chat with a former Idol contestant, talking and reminiscing about their time on the show with behind the scene stories, memorable moments and where they are now. Some went to become ARIA nominated, successful recording artists. Others left singing behind and pursued different career paths. All admit that Idol shaped what they went on to do today.

In the first season, Mark and Katie catch up with 10 Idol alumni to relive the Idol days. Guests include Anthony Callea, Natalie Gauci, Damien Leith and Cosima De Vito.

Listen to The Idol Archives here.

Gary Jubelin had 1.6m downloads, now he’s back

Gary Jubelin with a guest from his first episode of season two, former tactical officer Brett Pennell

Former NSW homicide detective Gary Jubelin is delving into the personal toll of catching killers in the new season of his chart-topping podcast.

With more than 1.6 million downloads, season two of I Catch Killers with Gary Jubelin gives listeners unprecedented insight into the dark underbelly of Australian crime.

Jubelin, now a News Corp investigative journalist, talks to police, bad guys and survivors.

News Corp metro subscribers will be able to access the podcast from Sunday at icatchkillers.com.au, with the episode available a week later on public platforms.

I Catch Killers is available from Sunday, October 4, at icatchkillers.com.au with episodes released every Sunday.

Wil Anderson
Podcast Week bonus: Wil Anderson on podcasting with Charlie Clausen

By James Manning

Plus: Tofop superhub, AFL copyright infringement, business models

Prolific podcaster Wil Anderson has stepped up in 2020 with even more podcasts than ever in a year where he has found time to focus on what started as a hobby.

“Informally I have been podcasting for a decade, but all the shows have really been things that have been fit in between other work,” he told Mediaweek.

There has never been a time the podcast has been something we concentrated on fulltime. The for the past few months the podcasts have been my main focus.

“The shows have never sounded better. Wilosophy has gone from strength to strength and Charlie Clausen and I have had a new lease of life on Tofop and 2 Guys 1 Cup. When we sit down to do episodes now, we are doing them as shows. I can focus on it instead of squeezing it in between three other things I already have on the day.”

Clausen is Anderson’s long-time podcasting colleague and co-host of Tofop and 2 Guys 1 Cup. On the latter the pair have attracted the attention of the AFL legal team who have fired off a “cease and desist” letter about the use of the AFL cup in the football podcast’s logo. It hasn’t disappeared yet and the podcasters seem ready to take on the sporting giant.

Regarding making money from podcasting, the two probably can’t afford a legal battle. Anderson admitted the business model he and Clausen have chosen is a “difficult balance” between keeping control and reaching the biggest possible audience. While some podcasting business are offering financial rewards to sign up big names, Anderson seems to like the idea of being an “indie”.

“We have experimented with a bunch of different models over the years. We definitely want to keep creative control and we have leaned further into that this year with Tofop.com and having all the shows in the one place. We now say we are an indie media company making a range of shows. We think of Tofop as an indie media production company making different shows that could sit in different places.”

The Tofop.com superhub is home to not just 321 episodes of Tofop, but also 188 Wilosophy, 329 Fofop, 149 2 Guys I Cup and 36 episodes of Charlie Clausen’s That’s Aweson. There is also an exhaustive range of podcast merchandise (although nothing with an AFL Cup on it) and lots of James Fosdike artwork, the artist who does great work for the podcast covers, and when he is touring, Anderson’s shows.

“If Spotify want to come along and give me a Joe Rogan deal and put Wilosophy on Spotify,” said Anderson. “The thing I would want to do is keep the shows available for everybody. We might think about at a first look deal where some people get the show a couple of weeks before everybody else or something like that. I don’t see myself ever giving someone the exclusive rights to any of the shows because we like the idea they can be accessed for free.

Wil’s weekly podcast schedule

(“We are working toward this”)

Monday: Wilosophy
Tuesday: Fofop
Wednesday: Tofop
Thursday: 2 Guys 1 Cup
Friday: Wilosophy catch-up episode

Anderson: “All of the shows have sponsors except for Fofop which is intermittent at present. My plan by the end of the year is that Fofop will be a weekly podcast.”

After having time to work regularly on all his audio brands, Anderson said he gets equal pleasure from each series. “We probably have the most fun doing 2 Guys 1 Cup at the moment. Basically, we stopped watching football and stopped caring about it being a football podcast. We describe it as being an ‘AFL-adjacent’ podcast. Since then it has found it feet and we both really laugh a lot and have a great time. The audience for 2 Guys 1 Cup has nearly doubled this year.

“Now that we better understand what each of the different shows are this year and how they fit into the Tofop universe, they all provide their own great pleasures. In a really practical sense it has been a good way for me to stay in contact with people when you are isolated. It has been a very positive way for me to keep my own emotional and mental health through this year. I really do look forward to them all equally at the moment.”

See also the rest of Wil Anderson Week:

Tuesday: Unemployed stand-up on return to TV and departure from radio
Wednesday: TV’s best bullshit detector: The return of Gruen to ABC

— 

Top Photo: Charlie Clausen and Wil Anderson (Credit: Shaun Maluga)

Turning 30: Rupert Murdoch and Penny Fowler on Herald Sun anniversary

Victoria’s most read print and digital news brand will mark its 30-year publishing milestone by unveiling a 30-day multi-platform campaign that aims to inspire readers despite Melbourne’s harsh Coronavirus lockdown.

The Herald Sun’s “30 Words” campaign features love letters in 30 Words to the city and state. The 30 Words will be brought to life via editorial, marketing and PR coverage across print, online, social and outdoor for 30 days from October 8.

A raft of high-profile Victorians – including foodie Matt Preston, musician Kate Ceberano, marathon legend Steve Moneghetti, AFL greats Kevin Sheedy and Shane Crawford and community campaigner Ann Peacock – have penned letters which are published in a special 12-page wrap of Thursday’s Herald Sun and have been brought to life on billboards located on six iconic Melbourne street corners.

News Corp’s founder Rupert Murdoch and global CEO Robert Thomson, both proudly Melbourne-born, have also contributed their own 30 words.

“The use of the digital billboards at landmark CBD locations for launch week reflects the newspaper sellers on street corners of yesteryear,” said Herald & Weekly Times chairman Penny Fowler.

Fowler said 2020 was unlike any other year in the brand’s 30-year history, and the campaign to mark the anniversary would also be unique.

“This year has highlighted how Victorians have found a strength in unity, hardened by testing times and fuelled by the inspirational among us, and we wanted to build on that momentum,” she said.

“We intend to deliver 30 days of optimistic, upbeat and inspiring coverage that continues to unite our audience in tough times. Since the early days of the Good Friday Appeal, to multiple editorial campaigns championing important causes, we’ve always been there for Victorians, connecting our community when it counts.

“This campaign brings the brand’s promise of ‘We’re for You’ to life at a time when residents remain effectively housebound.”

Rupert Murdoch paid tribute to the brand: “The Herald Sun is going from strength to strength as it celebrates 30 years of agenda-setting journalism and campaigning on behalf of its community. [It is] the voice of Melbourne and Victoria, and this powerful connection with its audience in print and digital ensures Australia’s largest-selling newspaper has a bright future ahead.”

Editor Sam Weir said the Herald Sun had achieved a publishing milestone during lockdown, bursting through the 100,000 subscriber mark in May and since growing almost 20 percent to 118,000 paid digital subscribers. The Herald Sun now has a monthly Victorian print and digital audience of 2.9 million.

“Our growing audience is always vocal. Our 30th anniversary campaign – created in partnership with QMS Media – will highlight that while the city might be silent, its biggest fans cannot be silenced,” he said.

“Thirty years ago the Herald Sun was sold on the street corners of Melbourne’s CBD – we wanted to return to these city streets to again provide a platform for multiple voices to be heard.

“We are inviting readers to submit their own contributions at heraldsun.com.au. A selection will be displayed in print and online over the next 30 days and on the QMS billboard located on the corner of Flinders St and Elizabeth St for a week from the final day of the campaign, in an effort to help draw crowds back into the CBD.”

Also in today’s paper, a sketch by resident cartoonist Mark Knight showcases some of the state’s most recognisable faces. Knight joined the paper in 1987 and was on hand when the first edition of the Herald Sun hit the state’s streets on October 8, 1990 following the merger of the afternoon newspaper, ​The Herald with its morning stablemate, The Sun News Pictorial.

Other publishing plans include 30 days of editorial coverage featuring lists of “30 Somethings” – the most epic moments in 30 years, most memorable sporting wins, most influential characters, most iconic restaurants, most notorious villains and more, judged by the Herald Sun’s expert writers across sport, business, crime and community.

“This whole campaign is our way to say a big thankyou to all of our readers and commercial partners, whether they’ve partnered with us for 30 years or simply the past 30 minutes.”

QMS Billboard locations:

• ‘Melbourne Square Domination’ – Cnr Flinders & Elizabeth Streets
• ‘The Punt’ – Punt Road Bridge at Richmond Station
• ‘The Flinders’ – 238 Flinders Street
• ‘The Victoria’ – 1 Hoddle Street
• ‘The Como’ – Cnr Chapel St & Toorak Rd
• ‘Yarra Promenade’ – 8 Market Street

Herald Sun
HWT using Herald Sun anniversary celebration as a reset for Victoria

By James Manning

News Corp’s Peter Zavecz recalls the merger of two Melbourne newspapers

Apart from Rupert Murdoch perhaps, there’s no better person to talk about the impact of the merger of The Herald and The Sun News Pictorial newspapers on the Herald and Weekly Times since 1990 than News Corp Australia managing director, commercial for Victoria and Tasmania, Peter Zavecz.

The Victorian arm of News Corp Australia is today celebrating the 30th anniversary of the merger of its two newspapers. At the time in 1990 Zavecz was the last ad manager of the afternoon daily The Herald and became the first ad manager of the new Herald Sun. Normally there would have been a function for a significant anniversary like this one, not this year though.

Remembering back to 1990, Zavecz told Mediaweek there wasn’t too much nostalgia about losing the evening daily. “It was all about looking to the future,” he told Mediaweek. “It was a true marriage of two brands which had strong elements of both newspapers. We saw it as a new beginning and there were some ambitious plans at launch when it was going to be a 24/7 newspaper with different editions, not just a morning newspaper.

Zavecz can remember being on the press floor on the night before the first edition went on sale. “Mr Murdoch was looking at the front page, and questioned why more wasn’t being made of the Collingwood premiership win.” The football victory was also sharing the front page with a Kerry Packer health scare after a heart attack. The paper subsequently appeared on the Monday with Collingwood coach Leigh Matthews dominating page one, a promotion in the top corner for a “Magpies special” edition and smaller report on Mr Packer.

The decision was popular with the sports desk at the paper and also the Collingwood army.

“The plan for the paper was to make it quintessentially Melbourne, not to turn it into something it wasn’t,” explained Zavecz. “We would put football on the front whenever it warranted it. That doesn’t mean the paper doesn’t also have a more serious focus with news throughout. But in Melbourne the AFL transcends every demographic – reaching people from the boardroom to the boiler room.”

Looking at the printed copies today, Zavecz said there are still elements of The Herald that have survived the merger. “The tabloid format gives the paper the feel of The Sun News Pictorial of course, but the more serious news feel of The Herald is still very strong, especially with our commentary, opinion and business news.”

The afternoon paper started as the senior partner, even if the tabloid had a much bigger audience. Zavecz said it was no accident that the paper was named the Herald Sun, and not the other way round.

With afternoon newspapers on the way out around the world, Zavecz said the new publication was soon getting more revenue than both papers were pulling combined. “Ad sales had been trending down at The Herald. Afternoon papers had passed their heyday. When I started at The Herald it was selling over 500,000 copies a day and was full of ads for Myer and others.”

News Corp’s Victorian investment remains strong with plans for a new HWT print facility, moving from the old site at Westgate Park to the western Melbourne suburb Truganina.

Zavecz started with the Herald & Weekly Times at the then Wangaratta Chronicle before moving to Melbourne. He had had too many separate stints with the publisher over a long journey to document them here.

He saw Rupert Murdoch take back control of the Melbourne Herald for the family in 1987. “The Victorian operation remains the jewel in the crown,” said Zavecz about the home of Australia’s biggest-selling newspaper.

“In the time I’ve been here The Australian has been a big improver and it is performing very well.”

While there remains a separation between advertising and editorial, Zavecz said: “You have to work together. Advertising is now presented in lots of different ways. Travel is a great example of how that has grown over the years, until the pandemic hit of course.”

Many retail advertisers though have been filling some of the slack from paused travel campaigns. Zavecz is confident that those people will continue to use the newspapers when retail opens back up. “They are not spending with us because they like us. They are spending because they see an opportunity.

He also notes News Corp gets a good return for those retail pages which seem to grow almost weekly.

“It is a retail renaissance in print.”

The subscriber numbers at the Herald Sun are closing in on 120,000, said Zavecz. “About 40% of those subscribers are reading the digital version of the print edition. Those readers like the level of curation that goes into the print product. Those readers also get to read all the ads as they appear in the print product too.

“We are using the anniversary as a celebration and as a reset for the state and to remind ourselves what we should be proud of. At this time of the year we are missing the Spring Carnival, AFL Finals, our vibrant retail sector is closed, but it will all come back.”

Instead of hosting Melbourne’s movers and shakers in the HWT compound in the Birdcage on the first Tuesday in November, Zavecz this year could be on a Zoom call taking part in a family tipping competition!

See also: Rupert Murdoch and Penny Fowler on Herald Sun anniversary

Guardian Australia’s new subscription option for growing audience

By James Manning

• 160,000 contribute financially as readers revenue overtakes ad dollars

The managing director of Guardian Australia, Dan Stinton, is adamant there should be no confusion about the newsbrand’s new app Australia Weekend and the Saturday edition of News Corp Australia’s broadsheet newspaper The Weekend Australian.

Stinton told Mediaweek: “This app is the editions app which The Guardian has rolled out globally, and we have focused on Guardian Australia’s weekend edition, hence a title reflective of exactly what is does.”

Guardian Australia undertook research on its readers over 12 months ago which revealed several things they wanted. “Our audience, and consumers in general perhaps, find the news quite overwhelming,” continued Stinton. “There is so much news. We alone have scores of journalists in Australia and 100s around the world, and the ability to keep up with it all was overwhelming for some of our readers.

The very clear feedback was our readers wanted something that was a more curated experience – something which had a beginning, a middle and an end, not unlike a printed newspaper was, rather then a non-stop digital feed.

“The other key insight was Guardian Australian readers wanted something tailored to the weekend when they had more time to engage in a wider range of content.

“We subsequently decided to launch what is in effect a digital edition of a weekend newspaper with a number of stories we thought the most important for the weekend and a broader range of content.

The other point clear in the research is that readers were prepared to pay for this. We have had tremendous success with our reader revenue strategy broadly. We have a large number of people who make voluntary contributions to us. People are prepared to pay for Guardian curation in an ad-free environment.”

Stinton explained Guardian Australia now has three subscription products.

“One is Guardian Weekly which is our printed magazine style which has a small but growing audience.

“We then have people who have the existing Guardian Live app. People can take out a premium subscription to that app which removes the ads and additional functionality.

“This new product gives readers an ad-free experience on mobile across both apps with the main benefit being the new weekend app.”

Guardian Australia audience

Guardian Australia, like many news publishers, has enjoyed significant audience growth during 2020. Stinton: “Our most recent Nielsen monthly figure shows we have 7.4m Australians reading us. Our peak was 11.6m earlier this year in April during peak coronavirus, but we have since settled between 7-8m.

In terms of financial supporters there are close to 160,000. Stinton explained about 110,000 of them contribute regularly with the other 50,000 contributing once in the past 12 months.

There are about 40,000 people who have a Guardian Live subscription.

Stinton didn’t share financials, but he did say just over half of revenue in Australia comes from readers. “Advertising is also still growing for us and we see a really strong future for advertising, but it is not growing as quickly as our reader revenue.

Stinton added that the public’s propensity to pay for news continues to increase.

Places We Go
Places We Go and Outdoor partner to showcase regions in new collaboration

The TV show Places We Go and Adventures Group Holdings have announced the creation of Outdoor by Places We Go, a magazine with the first edition to focus on Australia and the regions that have been impacted by the events of the past year.

Jen Adams, host and co-owner of Places We Go said: “Outdoor is so aligned with the Places We Go mantra that it was such a natural fit to collaborate on this project to help out the regions who have been our inspiration for so many years.

“Having a print extension is something we have dreamt about, and to develop a partnership with Outdoor which allows us to expand our large digital reach into an immersive, tactile experience that our audience can cherish.”

Chris Jefferson, general manager of Adventures Group commented: “Outdoor is such a loved brand and the partnership with Places We Go gives us the reach it needed to not only inspire audiences but also drive meaningful impact for our partners.

“Unlike other travel publications, Outdoor by Places We Go will focus on the experience in the regions and the unique story behind it that will attract the outdoor enthusiasts of all levels, from epic adventures to immersive nature-based experiences.”

Rob Gallagher, CEO of Adventures Group parent company Emprise Group, added: “The strategic fit for Outdoor and Places We Go is so well aligned and helps both businesses to leverage their core capability, the production of authentic, quality content.

“We are privileged to have someone of Jen’s talents and experience take on the editor-at-large role for Outdoor by Places We Go. The ability to connect more meaningfully with the regions and help drive economic impact for our regional partners is core to the relationship, and why it is such a natural fit.”

The first issue of Outdoor by Places We Go will be published in late November 2020 with a guaranteed distribution to subscribers, partners and via retailers. The print magazine will be supported by online content hosted on the Places We Go website plus a video content showcasing the featured regions hosted on the Places We Go website, eDMs and social platforms.

Places We Go has confirmed the first of its domestic TV episodes will run in February 2021 showcasing the New England High Country town of Armidale in NSW.

Adams added “It feels so good, and so natural, to be back planning our amazing trips into regional Australia. Hopefully through this partnership it will allow us all to tick off some more boxes on our own Australian bucket list”.

Founded in 2008, Places We Go has a global audience of 300 million. The series airs on Network 10, regional networks in Australia, and a variety of international networks including National Geographic People. A pioneer in the omniplatform travel marketing space, Places We Go (PWG) has helped over a thousand travel operators share their stories with travellers across the world.

The Emprise group operates a number of brands (including; Hema Maps, Camper Australia, Caravan World, Trade-A-Boat, Trade RVs and Outdoor) which each engage with a niche industry segment to connect with and engage consumers. The Emprise brands deliver content through magazines, navigation devices (including GPS) books, mobile applications and websites and have over half a million active users interacting with them each month. Emprise also custom publishes the CMCA member magazine, The Wanderer, and a number of other industry publications.

TV Demand: South Park's pandemic special shoots to #1

By Trent Thomas

South Park is #1 on the Overall TV chart in Australia after the release of its one-hour Pandemic Special which had the show’s best TV ratings in seven years in the US. The special episode originally aired on September 30 and can be watched in Australia on 10 Play.

The show’s 308th episode is also the first time in the show’s history that it did not air on SBS, instead of airing on the new multichannel 10 Shake. The episode skewered Disney, Donald Trump and cops on its way to surging ahead on Overall TV charts. 

On the Digital Original charts, The Boys and The Mandalorian continue to dominate in both Australia and New Zealand as they maintain the top two spots, with The Boys also being #1 on the Overall TV chart in NZ.

Outside of these two shows, Netflix continues to dominate the middle portions of the Digital Original chart with five entries in Australia and six entries in NZ making the top 10.

TV ratings: Wednesday Week 41 2020

By James Manning

• The Bachelorette tops demos, records biggest live stream launch
• The Block and Australian Crime Stories keeps Nine #1
• Mad as Hell wraps second season with 500k and The Ramones

Primetime News
Seven News 1,029,000/1,020,000
Nine News 898,000/826,000
ABC News 656,000
10 News First 353,000/222,000
SBS World News 173,000

Daily current affairs
A Current Affair 708,000
The Project 302,000/497,000
Th Drum 155,000

Breakfast TV
Sunrise 225,000
Today 186,000
News Breakfast 181,000

Late night news
Nine News Late 151,000
The Latest 126,000
ABC Late News 112,000

Wednesday TV

Seven: Home and Away had a Wednesday audience of 595,000 after two episodes close to 580,000 to start the week.

With AGT done and dusted, Seven had an hour of Highway Patrol after 7.30pm with 410,000 and then 435,000 watching.

The midweek movie was the 2016 Tom Cruise film Jack Reacher: Never Go Back which did 357,000. 

Nine: A Current Affair was up over 800,000 on Tuesday and that turned into 708,000 last night.

On The Block hosts Scott and Shelley were visiting the houses checking on progress as decorating the living/dining rooms was underway. It was also Jasmine’s birthday with an audience of 744,000 helping her celebrate. After cracking 1m on Sunday and then 760,000 and 800,000 on the following nights, Wednesday was down to 744,000 after 829,000 a week ago.

Australian Crime Stories featured the unsolved murder of Sydney designer Florence Broadhurst with 358,000 watching, up from 312,000 a week ago.

Footy Classified was on 142,000 in its late-night midweek slot.

10: The Project started with Carrie Bickmore playing a teenager on TikTok as the budget impact was reviewed. Later in the episode Davey Lane from You Am I talked guitar solos and Eddie Van Halen with co-host and guitarist Waleed Aly. The audience of 497,000 was also saw Elly and Becky from The Bachelorette.

The Bachelorette launched with the pressure of returning a 7.30pm audience to the network. It worked with 628,000 watching sisters looking for love.

Network 10 head of programming Daniel Monaghan said this morning: “Elly and Becky Miles’ unique and compelling journey has clearly struck a chord with Australians. We are delighted with the response to the start of the new season of The Bachelorette Australia. It is going to be a fantastic adventure, with double the dates, double the fun and double the romance as Elly and Becky search to find their one true love – make that, their one true loves.”

Performance highlights as detailed by 10:

#1 show in under 50s and all key demographics (25 to 54s, 16 to 39s and 18 to 49s).

#1 live stream show last night and up 92% on last year’s launch on live stream

Biggest live stream launch audience for The Bachelorette (and second biggest overall behind last year’s Grand Finale – Final Decision)

Including live stream + overnight, last night’s Bachelorette launch audience (651,000) was bigger than the 2018 Bachelorette launch audience (641,000).

The Bachelorette launch commercial share last night (26.7%) was bigger than the launch commercial share in 2018 (23.6%), 2016 (22.6%) and 2015 (25.4%).

The dating format set a few records it didn’t want either including the smallest launch TV audience ever for The Bachelor franchise or its major spin-off in Australia.

ABC: Prime Minister Scott Morrison ended 7.30 with 561,000 watching and he couldn’t resist a puzzled grin when Leigh Sales asked if he would level with the truth to the Australian people about Covid-19.

Special subjects on Hard Quiz ranged from Prince Charles to Kill Bill with 643,000 watching after 704,000 a week ago.

On the final Mad as Hell for the year finance department spokesperson Darius Horsham met his doppelganger, soon-to-depart finance minister Mathias Cormann. ABC parodies included host Sean Micallef getting the real Ita Buttrose to sign off on the show’s content last night, an episode of Way Back In Time for Dinner, Drum hosts Ellen Fanning and Julia Baird and Midsomer Nuclear Holocausts. The series ended with a song, a message of hope, a version of The RamonesPet Sematary. The audience was close to 550,000 after 577,000 last week.

The Utopia repeat then had multiple government departments making things difficult with 354,000 watching.

Planet America had plenty to talk about, yet again, as the hosts tried to make sense of the President’s weekend visit to hospital. The ABC audience climbed to 401,000 after 429,000 last week.

SBS: Walking Britain’s Roman Roads was a fascinating journey across southern England which featured a Roman fancy dress party for the audience of 230,000.

The final episode of Hilary had an audience of 126,000.

The Good Fight was then on 64,000.

Week 41: Wednesday
WEDNESDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 13.4% 7 19.0% 9 19.6% 10  14.4% SBS One 4.7%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 1.9% 7TWO 3.6% GO! 2.0% 10 Bold 4.0% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 2.1% GEM 2.3% 10 Peach 2.7% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix 1.7% 9Life 1.8% 10 Shake 0.4% NITV 0.3%
        9Rush 1.0%     SBS World Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 17.5%   26.4%   26.8%   21.4%   7.9%

 

WEDNESDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 12.0% 7 21.2% 9 16.6% WIN 9.5% SBS One 3.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 1.9% 7TWO 6.2% GO! 1.9% WIN Bold 4.7% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 3.1% GEM 5.6% WIN Peach 2.8% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.9% 9Life 2.4% Sky News  on WIN 2.2% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 1.1%
TOTAL 15.9%   32.4%   26.5%   19.2%   7.1%

 

WEDNESDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
87.1% 12.9%
Wednesday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,029,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,020,000
  3. Nine News Nine 898,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 826,000
  5. The Block Nine 744,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 708,000
  7. ABC News ABC 656,000
  8. Hard Quiz S5 ABC 643,000
  9. The Bachelorette Australia – Launch 10 628,000
  10. Home And Away Seven 595,000
  11. 7.30 ABC 561,000
  12. Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell S12 ABC 542,000
  13. The Chase Australia Seven 535,000
  14. The Project 7pm 10 497,000
  15. Hot Seat Nine 440,000
  16. Highway Patrol-Ep.2 (R) Seven 435,000
  17. Highway Patrol (R) Seven 410,000
  18. Planet America-Le ABC 401,000
  19. Australian Crime Stories Nine 358,000
  20. M- Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Seven 357,000
Demo Top Five

16-39 Top Five

  1. The Bachelorette Australia – Launch 10 234,000
  2. The Block Nine 166,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 119,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 113,000
  5. Seven News Seven 113,000

 

18-49 Top Five

  1. The Bachelorette Australia – Launch 10 349,000
  2. The Block Nine 316,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 222,000
  4. Nine News Nine 218,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 217,000

 

25-54 Top Five

  1. The Bachelorette Australia – Launch 10 362,000
  2. The Block Nine 349,000
  3. Nine News Nine 279,000
  4. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 271,000
  5. Seven News Seven 269,000
Wednesday Multichannel
  1. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 168,000
  2. NCIS Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 166,000
  3. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 157,000
  4. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 155,000
  5. Peter Rabbit PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 153,000
  6. The Coroner PM 7TWO 150,000
  7. Go Jetters PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 138,000
  8. Nella The Princess Knight PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  9. Luo Bao Bei PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 126,000
  10. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  11. Love Monster ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  12. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  13. Neighbours 10 Peach 116,000
  14. Play School Art Time PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 114,000
  15. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  16. Digby Dragon PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  17. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  18. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 112,000
  19. Dinosaur Train AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 110,000
  20. Lewis PM 7TWO 109,000
Wednesday STV
  1. Gogglebox Australia Lifestyle Channel 161,000
  2. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 81,000
  3. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 76,000
  4. Alan Jones Sky News Live 66,000
  5. Credlin Sky News Live 65,000
  6. PML Later Sky News Live 53,000
  7. The Great British Sewing Bee Lifestyle Channel 50,000
  8. Live: Cricket: ODI Innings Break FOX CRICKET 49,000
  9. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 40,000
  10. Live: Women’s ODI: AUS V NZL Game 3 FOX CRICKET 40,000
  11. Live: Women’s ODI: AUS V NZL Game 3 FOX CRICKET 40,000
  12. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 35,000
  13. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 33,000
  14. Yes, Prime Minister FOX Classics 32,000
  15. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 31,000
  16. AM Agenda: Budget 2020 Sky News Live 30,000
  17. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 30,000
  18. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 29,000
  19. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 29,000
  20. Judge Judy FOX Arena 29,000

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

Village Roadshow board holds line against dissident shareholder

Village Roadshow’s board is holding the line against dissident shareholder Mittleman Investment Management, which is trying to scuttle a scheme of arrangement proposed by private equity firm BGH Capital, reports The Australian’s Ben Wilmot.

The battle for the famed movie and theme park company has come to life this week, with Mittleman upping its stake to about 10.5 per cent and calling for the corporate regulator to intervene as it seeks to head off two structured takeover schemes proposed by BGH Capital.

The Melbourne-based private equity group has teamed with the founding Kirby family and former chief executive Graham Burke, who together control about 42 per cent of the register, to propose a privatisation.

[Read more]

US inquiry asks if tech giants ‘view themselves above the law’

A high-ranking US Congressional committee has slammed the power of digital platforms including Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon, calling for more powers to combat their influence, reports The Australian’s John Durie.

The US House Judiciary Committee said the question was raised whether the companies “view themselves above the law”.

The report tabled Wednesday (AEDT) comes as Australia’s competition watchdog is due to hand its media bargaining code to the federal government in the next couple of weeks.

In several submissions, news publishers raised concerns about the “significant and growing asymmetry of power” between dominant platforms and news organisations, as well as the effect of this dominance on the production and availability of trustworthy sources of news.

[Read more]

Radio

Payday! Howard Stern nears deal with Sirius XM for $170m a year

Howard Stern, the radio shock jock who’s maintained his star power in the podcasting era, is nearing a contract renewal with Sirius XM Holdings Inc. that would boost his pay to about $170 million a year (US$120m), according to people familiar with the matter, reports Bloomberg.

Stern’s contract with Sirius expires at the end of December, and the 66-year-old has been negotiating a fresh deal for the better part of the year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the conversations are ongoing. His previous five-year contracts, which cover production and staff, topped out at roughly US$80 million to $100 million.

Analysts have speculated that Stern could leave Sirius for Spotify, which has built a large podcasting operation to complement its online music service. But even though Stern’s team held preliminary conversations with Spotify, they didn’t progress very far, according to people familiar with the talks.

[Read more]

Television

SBS appoints development executive to commissioned drama slate

SBS has announced the appointment of Donna Chang (pictured) as development executive, scripted, working across SBS’s slate of distinctive and critically acclaimed original drama series. 

Chang will take a leading role in developing SBS’s pipeline of commissioned scripted fiction projects which reflect and explore the diversity of Australia. As well as working across long form event series, she will also support the development and production of SBS’s short form and feature initiatives which provide opportunities for emerging talent from often underrepresented backgrounds, to share their unique stories of contemporary Australia.

Chang joins SBS from Lingo Pictures where she was head of development, working there since 2018 across a range of projects including The Secrets She Keeps. Prior to that, she was a development executive at Screen Australia, and has been a story development external assessor for Screen Australia since 2015. She spent several years working in the UK after being selected as one of three emerging Australian producers to win a six-month international placement with Ridley Scott’s production company, Scott Free, in London, where she continued to work for several more years as a production executive before returning to Australia.

Amanda Duthie, head of scripted (acting) at SBS, said: “It is exciting as we exit the Covid cloud to be gearing up with commissioned content across the slate and welcoming the exceptional talents of Donna Chang to the SBS team. With big plans for SBS across features, short form and prime time series, Donna brings experience and sensitivity in developing outstanding fiction, demonstrated by her work in Australia and overseas.”

Donna Chang said: “It’s been a dream of mine to work in the nexus of screen and inclusivity. There is a real audience hunger for authentic, distinctive storytelling from underrepresented communities, and I’m elated to be joining the SBS Scripted team at this critical time. I look forward to supporting creators in making world-class content.”

Chang’s appointment to the scripted commissioning team comes as SBS’s new comedy-drama series, The Unusual Suspects, starring Aina Dumlao, AACTA award-winner Miranda Otto and Michelle Vergara Moore continues production in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Other commissioned dramas coming up for SBS include New Gold Mountain, a four-part revisionist western telling the untold story of the Australian gold rush from the perspective of Chinese miners, and The Tailings, a short form drama series giving an insight into life in regional Tasmania, and set to premiere on SBS On Demand in 2021. 

In the role of development executive, scripted, Chang will report to and work closely with the head of scripted. Chang commences 12 October.

How Ed Kavalee often wins Have You Been Paying Attention?

He may be a perennial champ on Have You Been Paying Attention? but Ed Kavalee insists there are some logical reasons why he wins the 10 quiz most weeks, reports TV Tonight.

Insisting he doesn’t see the questions in advance, he tells TV Tonight he does have two advantages.

“The first is that the others are morons,” he jokes. “The second is I do radio everyday. As you know, from reading things, you get an osmosis from looking things up to do on the radio.

“If we just sat there, and no-one was answering any questions, we’d have no quiz. So often my role is to help move it along a bit.”

Have You Been Paying Attention? recently marked its 200th show, not bad for a show that drew mediocre ratings of 301,000 in its original 30-minute Sunday slot. But 10 stuck with the show eventually settling into a one-hour Monday slot it now consistently wins.

Kavalee: “It started as an extension of a podcast that me, Santo & Sam were doing, where Tom would come in and ask us questions and we would make funny answers. Rob (Sitch) heard it and said ‘There’s something here…’ and went into the Working Dog ‘brains trust.’

“Next thing I knew I was sitting on a set.”

Format rights for New Zealand, hosted by Hayley Sproull, and Cypriot versions have since been sold.

[Read more]

Virus-hit Britain recruits Dr Karl Kennedy from Neighbours

The United States has Dr Anthony Fauci. Victoria has Professor Brett Sutton. In Britain, we have Dr Karl Kennedy, reports Nine newspaper’s Bevan Shields.

Alan Fletcher, the actor behind Australian television’s most enduring GP, has been recruited by the National Health Service to help spruik its new coronavirus app. Neighbours still rates its socks off here, and calling up Ramsay Street’s popular medico is a shrewd move. Strict adherence to government rules is needed to avoid a major second wave but fatigue is setting in and new voices are needed to cut through.

“There are a lot of people in Australia who still have very strong affiliations with the UK and we watch what is happening there with as much dread as we watch in our own country,” said Fletcher, who has played Dr Karl for 26 years and shares the title of longest-serving cast member with Jackie Woodburne, who plays his on-screen wife Susan.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Lyon, Brown and Riewoldt headline Fox Footy’s Ultimate Preview

Melbourne great Garry Lyon will host a special one-hour finals analysis show every Thursday night on Fox Footy for the remainder of the Toyota AFL Finals Series. From this Thursday, October 8, he will be joined by three-time premiership player Jonathan Brown and former St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt as they dissect the upcoming blockbusters on Fox Footy’s Ultimate Preview.

The trio will team up with other Fox Footy experts David King and Leigh Montagna as they take a Lab deep-dive in to the final games, clubs and players that all have the premiership cup in sight.

“This extraordinary season is coming to a conclusion and it warrants exceptional examination – that’s what we’ll try and do with the benefit of the talent we have at Fox Footy and all our resources,” Lyon said.

With Friday night’s teams being revealed on Thursday, Fox Footy’s Ultimate Preview will guarantee fans will have all information needed to cheer on their club.

Hosts Sarah Jones and Eddie McGuire will lead Dermott Brereton and Brown for Friday night’s match-up between Richmond and St Kilda, while Lyon, Brown, Riewoldt team up again on Saturday with Alastair Lynch at the ground when Geelong take on Collingwood.

Fox Footy’s Ultimate Preview airs on Thursday nights during finals at 7.30pm on Fox Footy, channel 504 on Foxtel.

To Top