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 celebrated the 30th anniversary of the merger of its two newspapers yesterday. 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!
Australia’s media industry is continuing to show more signs of recovery as it emerges from the crushing COVID period, with August ad spend back just 17.2% in what has been the strongest improvement in ad market demand since the depths of the crisis, reports SMI.
The result is the third consecutive month of lower declines but also the best improvement with the level of decline improving by 13 percentage points.
Digital media reported the lowest year-on-year fall of 4.7%, driven by strong growth among Social Media and Video-based websites (such as TV streaming sites), and TV reported a solid result (-11%).
The improvement in the Australian market mirrors that seen in other global advertising markets, with SMI reporting an 18.1% fall in NZ ad demand in August, an 18.7% decline in UK ad spend and a 10.6% fall in Canadian ad spend.
And SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said the US market returned to growth in August, driven by higher ad spend to both the US Television and Digital media.
“The great news is that in all sophisticated media markets the level of decline in ad spend has now fallen well below 20%, while in the US advertisers have quickly returned to TV with most of the extra advertising spend flowing to news and the revived sports programs,” said Ractliffe.
“We’re also seeing strong improvements in TV advertising in Australia with the level of decline significantly reducing from 27% in July to 11% in August.”
An important driver of the market improvement in August was the second month of stronger spending from retailers – mostly supermarkets, chemists and online retailers – which drove a combined 20% increase in Retail category ad spend.
Ractliffe noted that in August a quarter of all SMI product categories reported growth, which was a turnaround from the situation two months ago when the ad spend for all 40 categories was in decline.
“Demand is clearly picking up quickly as this month we’ve also seen strong double digit growth in ad spend for household cleaning products, technology businesses (both for hardware and software products and services) and smaller categories such as oral and haircare,” she said.
“Of course the Covid-affected categories such as Travel, Live Entertainment and Movies/Cinema/Theme Parks are still reporting devastating declines in ad spend but outside of those areas the higher demand from other categories is beginning to move the market to a far more stable position.”
Given the lower August decline, the trend for the calendar year-to-date also continues to improve with the market now back 24.0% over the previous eight month period.
And all major media continue to report double digit declines in ad spend over that time given the fact the market was initially affected by the natural disasters at the start of the year, followed quickly by the Covid pandemic.
Sydney newest radio station 1170 SEN continues to build its line-up ahead of its imminent launch – including latest recruits Greg Alexander and Stephanie Brantz.
The station is expected to start broadcasting in less than two weeks.
Penrith legend and expert commentator and analyst Greg ‘Brandy’ Alexander will join Matty Johns as a regular guest on his Friday morning show – Morning Glory. Brandy will also do the Monday Means Test with Matt White every Monday from at 9.30am recapping the weekend in rugby league.
1170 SEN has also signed Stephanie Brantz who will host a weekly show: Trailblazers with Stephanie Brantz on Mondays 8pm. The show will feature long form interviews with trailblazing women in sport – current and former players, coaches and administrators – talking about their life, career and impact on women’s sport.
Brantz is an accomplished sports presenter who recently hosted the US Open primetime program on ESPN and prior to that was in France for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 for FIFA TV. Locally she has commentated for the Westfield W-League on Fox Sports and ABC, as well as presenting and covering Women’s Golf for the ABC and writing, reporting and hosting for ESPN Australia.
“I’m delighted to be joining the 1170 SEN team and to have the opportunity to tell the stories of the incredible women who have achieved such amazing things in sport. Women’s sport has been on an incredible upward trajectory over the past decade and there is no better time to celebrate those involved and get a real insight into their lives, careers and experiences,” Brantz said.
The pair joins a line-up of the biggest names in sport who have signed with the station including Andrew Voss, Matty Johns, Matt White, Bryan Fletcher, Joel Caine, Katie Brown and Jimmy Smith.
Acclaimed sports broadcaster Gerard Whateley’s sports radio show will also be heard live on 1170 SEN and DAB+ from 12-1pm Monday – Thursday.
1170 SEN Sydney will launch soon ahead of a big finish to the Australian sports calendar, including State of Origin, Big Bash and the much-awaited Australia v India Test series.
Top Photo: 1170 SEN Sydney team: Matt White, Katie Brown, Jimmy Smith, Andrew Voss, Bryan Fletcher, Joel Caine and Matty Johns (Source: News Corp Australia)
Hamish and Andy have dug deep into their extensive archives and have created a new podcast series, Remembering Project, to see what they can remember (or would rather forget!).
The Melbourne comedy duo have kept notes from over 2,500 Hamish & Andy shows, across two decades. They have gone back through those shows to see if they can recall what was going on behind the scenes at that exact time – whether it’s a personal memory, a poignant moment in history, the time a 19 year-old Taylor Swift surprised them by agreeing to a prank at a McDonald’s restaurant, a secret kept from Ron Howard or just a perfectly silly segment remembered with fondness!
Hamish and Andy will go back and listen to the original audio from either their drive radio show on the Hit Network, start on community radio or number one ranking podcast. Often they’ll find that their recollections are completely incorrect which makes for a fantastic and surprising trip down memory lane.
Andy Lee said: “We’d love to say that this new podcast is full of amazing historical audio moments that will conjure up great memories for all, but we can’t really remember what was going on back then to be honest.”
Hamish Blake added: “It’s kind of the point of the show really. I’ve got a feeling there will be just as much cringing as celebrating.”
Executive producer Sam Cavanagh said: “When we started digging into the archives the first thing that struck me was the sheer volume of content the boys have produced. It has been a joy discovering how differently they remember some of the incredible adventures 20 years of broadcasting has taken them on. It really has been a lot of fun, even when some recollections don’t quite line up!”
The first season of Hamish & Andy’s Remembering Project will launch on Monday, 12 October and publish every Monday and Tuesday until Tuesday, 15 December.
Season two will launch in early 2021. Hamish and Andy’s award-winning weekly podcast, The Hamish & Andy Show, will continue to publish every Thursday as usual.
The first NGEN PLUS Boomtown Masterclass: Rethink Regional, held at the end of September, has been branded a success with 37 participants from 13 agencies including Ikon, UM and Zenith, achieving an overall event satisfaction score of 9.1.
Participant Ellie Young from Wavemaker said: “The Boomtown Masterclass was a really great NGEN session – the varied format was engaging and fun, and I walked away with a greater insight to regional markets and their potential media opportunities.”
The Boomtown Masterclass education initiative moved to an online format with marketing specialist Gaye Steel (pictured) facilitating and a panel of experts featuring Jeremy Simpson (TRSN), Caroline Hugall (IAG) and Jo Fawkner (Zenith).
Zenith’s Jo Fawkner said: “I’m proud to be involved in the program and thankful to the Boomtown team for asking me to be a part of this initiative. We know that investment into regional markets is under-represented and can often be deprioritised, and while there can be many reasons that influence this, one barrier I have found is at times a lack of a deep understanding of regional markets and their strength in delivering reach. This masterclass series is a great step forward in educating the next generation of media professionals.”
Gaye Steel said: “We are so grateful to all of the participants for their time, energy and participation at the first ever Boomtown Masterclass. This interactive session delivered focused insights and industry tips to deliver significant regional audiences to unlock and drive business and brand growth. We’re looking forward to another great session planned for the 27th October.”
NGEN Head, Melanie Aslanidis, said: “The Boomtown Masterclass: Rethink Regional provides important knowledge for media buyers, delivering market based insights and practical planning tools to streamline the buying process which has often appeared fragmented and complex. The inclusion of the live panel discussion and access to leaders who truly understand the potential of regional advertising and the opportunity it represents for brands, was also critical to delivering our NGEN PLUS format that provides access to senior industry leaders and conversations that go beyond the basics.”
In conjunction with the masterclasses, Boomtown has developed its own regional ‘bible’, called The Boomtown Guide. The 80-page book is designed to be an invaluable resource for media planners, buyers and marketers, contains regional advertising insights – everything from an overview of the regional landscape and its future, geographical and audience profiles, to media channel profiles and case studies. It is available online here.
The next Masterclass will take place on the 27th October from 10.00am to 12.00pm. Register Here.
Boomtown plans to move the masterclasses to a face to face format in 2021, pending evolving government guidelines. These masterclasses will be open to everyone. To register your interest email email@example.com.
Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA), the national, not for profit industry association for the independent media agency industry, has welcomed four new media partners: Spotify, Kargo, EMX and Quantcast.
Kargo is the leader in creating mobile advertising experiences that elevate brands and motivate consumers.
Kargo general manager APAC, Robert Leach, said that independent, locally grounded media agencies were essential to the industry.
“The IMAA provides an arena for agencies to collaborate and celebrate the benefits of being independent, Australian-owned media agencies. While we are a branch of a nearly 20-year old company in the US, Kargo Australia launched just four years ago, with a focus on working with many of these independent agencies, sharing in their mobile advertising challenges and working to help solve them on what is now the largest media platform, both locally and globally,” he said.
“Independent agencies represent approximately 30% of media spend in Australia and are vital to a healthy media landscape. They tend to have a strong client focus, and to be extremely nimble in the face of an ever-changing market landscape. This ‘start-up’ mentality adopted by the independent agencies, is a natural fit with Kargo’s innovation and adaptability; we’re very excited to partner with the IMAA into 2021.”
EMX is a global digital advertising marketplace serving publishers, advertisers, and agencies with programmatic ad technology and advertising solutions.
EMX APAC managing director, Deryck Wills, said: ”The IMAA is a breath of fresh air and couldn’t come at a better time. As a media technology business that specialises in working with independent agencies, we are excited to be considered a partner of the IMAA and looking forward to supporting the Australian independent agencies.”
Quantcast is an audience intelligence and measurement company, headquartered in San Francisco. Combining machine learning, a privacy-by-design approach, and live data drawn from more than 100 million online destinations, Quantcast provides software, information and advertising services for marketers, publishers and advertising agencies worldwide.
Quantcast commercial director ANZ, Craig Bonser, said: We are extremely excited to partner with the IMAA and increase our ongoing support for independent agencies. We are in the fortunate position that we already have the pleasure of working with the vast majority of the IMAA members, often as an extension of their agency teams to help assist in delivering their respective digital planning, insights and activation strategies for clients.
“We are looking forward to working closer with the IMAA and its client base as we roll out further insights, education and thought leadership into the ever changing online world, with measurement, privacy/consent and life after the cookie – watch this space.”
Spotify is the world leader in audio streaming, bringing music and podcasts to over 299 million users in 92 markets.
IMAA general manager, Sam Buchanan, said: “Our media partners provide valuable advice, insights, webinars and resources to our growing IMAA membership and we are delighted to welcome our newest media partners. It demonstrates both the strength and importance of the independent media agency sector and media partners recognise the vital role we play in the broader industry. We are looking forward to a big year in 2021.”
• Seven days of motorsport: 38 hours live, 150+ camera, 200+ crew
• Bathurst 1000 live and ad-break free during racing
• 24/7 dedicated Bathurst channel broadcasting October 12-18
• 38 hours of live coverage on Foxtel and Kayo
Fox Sports will celebrate the build up to Bathurst in 2020 with a dedicated 24/7 Bathurst channel for 2020 ahead of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 next weekend.
Foxtel subscribers will receive the most comprehensive coverage of the 2020 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, with every session live including the Top 10 Shootout and the Great Race live in HD and ad-break free during racing on Foxtel channel 506 and to stream on Foxtel GO, Foxtel Now and Kayo.
Steve Crawley, executive director, Fox Sports, said: “On the back of last year’s record ratings, our team, headed by Jess Yates and Mark Skaife are really looking forward to getting back to the mountain. So many fans won’t be lucky enough to be there and we will endeavour to do everything possible to bring them closer than ever before to the great race and its superstars. Only on Foxtel, do you not miss a second of the Bathurst 1000 and all the race action around it. Our dedicated Bathurst 1000 Channel begins Monday October 12 and runs all week.”
Before racing begins at Mount Panorama on Sunday, October 18 the pop-up Bathurst channel will feature a day-long tribute to Holden and their Bathurst victories on Monday, October 12, plus every Supercars era race, and access to the biggest stars in the sport available nowhere else.
At Mt. Panorama in 2020, the best commentary team in Supercars will assemble on Fox Sports with Bathurst legends Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife hosted by Jess Yates, giving Foxtel audiences exclusive insight and analysis.
Then covering every Live Supercars session will be Supercars commentator Neil Crompton, technical analyst Mark Larkham and pit lane reporters Riana Crehan and Andy Jones.
From Monday, October 12 from 2.30am – Holden tribute – Ahead of the last Bathurst race for the Holden brand Fox Sports will pay tribute to the Lion’s victories on the mountain, when the dedicated channel switches on for the first time. Viewers can relive their seven victories-in-a-row from 1999-2005 and legendary drivers Mark Skaife, Greg Murphy and Garth Tander, before Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup in the last decade.
Tuesday, October 13 and Wednesday, October 14 – All the classic races from plus Bathurst documentaries of the best races ever seen on the mountain.
Thursday, October 15 from 8.55am – Live from the mountain for the first time in 2020 as Jess Yates, Mark Skaife, and Craig Lowndes preview the big weekend ahead.
The cars will hit the track for Practice and Neil Crompton and Mark Skaife will be behind the microphone for every Supercars session, with Jess Yates covering all the big talking points from the panel. Plus, special guests to feature across the weekend.
Friday, October 16 live from 8.35am – Qualifying. On track the action heats up when every driver goes flat out around the mountain in Qualifying at 4.00pm. Then the teams go head-to-head in pitlane for the Golden Rattle Gun Trophy in the Pirtek Pit Stop Challenge at 5.30pm.
Saturday, October 17 at 5.00pm – Top 10 Shootout. Heroes are made when the 10 fastest drivers get one lap to show who really is the fastest man in Supercars. From Greg Murphy’s ‘Lap of the Gods’ in 2003 to Scott McLaughlin’s new lap record in 2017, this is a session not to be missed. Who will it be in 2020?
Sunday, October 18 – Race day: Live coverage from 8.00am, race start 11.30am – it’s time for 1000km ad-break free only on Fox Sports. Who will conquer the mountain in 2020?
Broadcast Facts and Figures
• Over 150 track and speciality cameras
• 38 Hours of live Bathurst coverage
• 218 television crew members
• 295km/hr fastest corner in Australian motorsport, The Chase
• 33 Bathurst wins for Holden
• 20 Bathurst wins for Ford
• Fastest ever Supercars lap: 2.03.4813 – Scott McLaughlin, 2019
Ahead of the The Great Race Fox Sports Motorsports reporter Chris Stubbs is joined by Supercars driver Lee Holdsworth to chat with the biggest names in the game and relive their favourite mountain memories.
Episode 1: Reigning Bathurst winner Scott McLaughlin and 7-time Bathurst winner Craig Lowndes preview the 2020 race. Available now
Episode 2: Legends edition, 7-time winner Jim Richards, 6-time winner Mark Skaife and Ford legend Glenn Seton. Available on race week.
Top Photo: Fox Sports Supercars commentators: Jess Yates, Mark Skaife and Craig Lowndes
By Andrew Mercado
Big Weather and How To Survive It (Tuesday on ABC) was filmed exactly one year ago, when the unthinkable was happening as bushfires started burning in spring. Now it is airing as a timely and scary reminder of what might come next as host Craig Reucassel gives viewers crucial info to help them prepare for all future weather events.
This is a show that can save your life, because those who survive disasters have thought ahead and planned for the worst. In a week of new shows, this one is the most important.
Junior MasterChef Australia (Sunday on 10) should be inspirational fun and this is great timing to show something so life affirming. One contestant is 11-year-old Ryan Cheliah, who is the son of Sashi Cheliah who won MasterChef in 2018. Is this the new trend in reality TV?
The Bachelorette Australia (Wednesday on 10) also draws heavily on reality pasts, with one sister, Elly Miles, from The Bachelor. Together with sister Becky, they both agreed their favourite was Harry, a former contestant from House Rules. Are reality shows now casting based on family trees and previous TV experience, and does it give you an advantage?
Some shows seem to get made just because they sound good on paper. Scottish Vets Down Under (Thursday on ABC) tells you everything you need to know about the show, but after that, there’s not much else to it. One Scot works at a veterinary clinic, while the other one works nearby at a horse stud. And that’s it.
A bit more thought has gone into Australia: Come Fly With Me (Wednesday on SBS). This three-part series, hosted by Justine Clarke, tells the history of aviation in Australia and the first episode is delightful, especially the older ladies reminiscing about their wild air hostie pasts. Its only problem is that it screens directly opposite the return of Gruen (Wednesday on ABC).
A Country Practice seems to be one of the most watched shows on 7Plus, because there are now nine series available to watch (leaving just four, and the dreaded 10 version, still to come). A new podcast is cashing in on Wandin Valley nostalgia, so check out new episodes every fortnight at A Country Podcast.
Australian Idol is also making a comeback of sorts with former judge Mark Holden and daughter Katie now doing The Idol Archives podcast. It features a different singer each week and some controversial comments about racism and fat shaming. Maybe 10Play should replay the original series.
By James Manning
• Finals edition of The Front Bar helps Seven to a win
• Harry Potter lifts 7mate and leads Seven to network #1
• Gogglebox and The Bachelorette give 10 demo leadership
Seven News 970,000/947,000
Nine News 891,000/878,000
ABC News 665,000
10 News First 353,000/244,000
SBS World News 168,000
Daily current affairs
A Current Affair 722,000
The Project 328,000/481,000
The Drum 164,000
News Breakfast 189,000
Late night news
The Latest 255,000
Nine News Late 176,000
ABC Late News 66,000
SBS World News Late 66,000
Seven: Home and Away was bubbling just under 600,000 this week and the three back-to-back episodes did 495,000.
With no more Thursday Night Football until; season 2021, Seven put The Front Bar on at 8.30pm in southern states. Mick, Sam and Andy with special guest Mark Williams had 310,000 watching with 196,000 in Melbourne. Sydney and Brisbane got the movie Heat with 102,000 watching.
Nine: A Current Affair dipped to 700,000 on Wednesday and had 722,000 last night.
A themed night of factual medical programming rolled out then with Paramedics on 403,000, Kings Cross ER on 341,000 and 287,000 and then Botched with 248,000.
10: The Project was balanced just below 500,000 on Wednesday and then did 481,000 last night.
The Bachelorette Australia was on 543,000 after launching on 628,000 on Wednesday.
Episode seven of Gogglebox lifted the 10 audience to 613,000 with The Block one of the first programs being examined.
The two 10 Thursday programs kept the primary channel a clear leader in all key demos.
ABC: An hour of 7.30 included the Opposition’s Budget Reply on 391,000 and then an interview with Anthony Albanese which pulled an audience of 335,000 after 8pm.
An episode of Escape from the City was hunting for a rural holding near Port Stephens in NSW that was filmed 30 months ago when there was less demand for space in the bush. The episode did 327,000.
SBS: A repeat Queen Victoria’s Slum was on 192,000 at 7.30pm.
Series four of Fargo launched at 8.40pm with the first two episodes averaging 105,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.7%||7TWO||4.0%||GO!||1.7%||10 Bold||3.7%||VICELAND||1.5%|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||5.1%||GEM||2.5%||10 Peach||2.6%||Food Net||1.0%|
|ABC NEWS||2.1%||7flix||2.0%||9Life||2.2%||10 Shake||0.3%||NITV||0.1%|
|9Rush||1.1%||SBS World Movies||0.9%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.1%||7TWO||6.6%||GO!||2.4%||WIN Bold||5.1%||VICELAND||1.4%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||5.6%||GEM||3.7%||WIN Peach||2.9%||Food Net||0.6%|
|ABC NEWS||1.7%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.7%||9Life||1.8%||Sky News on WIN||2.2%||NITV||0.1%|
|THURSDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM
The months-long economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic is sparking painful fallout for media companies, reports Front Office Sports.
ESPN could lay off hundreds of employees in the coming weeks, according to sources.
One source pegged the potential number of job losses between 300 and 700 employees. Another estimated 400 possible lost jobs.
The cuts are expected to hit hardest among ESPN employees who work behind the camera. But some on-camera TV and radio talents could be impacted — particularly if their contracts are expiring this year.
The network may also ask its highest-earning talent and executives to take a reduction in salary. The goal is to potentially cut tens of millions in salary, said sources.
On the talent side, ESPN has been letting high-salaried stars with expiring contracts walk away. On Oct. 6, Keith Olbermann announced ESPN was letting him out of his deal early to launch a political show on YouTube.
Currently, ESPN has around 4,000 employees at its headquarters campus in Bristol, Conn., and 6,500 worldwide. ESPN declined to comment for this story.
The very first digital ARIA Season Launch is set to take place next week on Tuesday 13th October at 10am AEDT.
The launch will be the first time the world will hear the exclusive list of this year’s ARIA Award nominees, kicking off 2020’s ARIA celebrations, which will culminate in the ARIA Awards in partnership with YouTube Music ceremony on November 25th.
This year is also the first time that music fans worldwide will be able to hear the ARIA nominees at the same time as the industry, by tuning in to the YouTube Premiere both here in Australia and around the world.
Hosted as a YouTube Premiere on the ARIA YouTube channel, the digital season launch will allow even more music fans to participate in the excitement, showcasing the country’s best talent in all genres.
The special edition broadcast will be hosted by the Nine Network’s Brooke Boney and will feature appearances from Tones And I, Dean Lewis and Guy Sebastian.
The ARIA Awards will be a one-of-a-kind event this year; while there will be no physical audience, the ARIA Awards will be announced live from Sydney at The Star Event Centre stage, broadcast around Australia on the Nine Network, with performances shared around the world on YouTube. The show will feature live performances, both local and international special guests and the presentation of the prestigious ARIA Awards to Australia’s most successful artists of 2020.
The ARIA Awards celebrates the second year in partnership with YouTube Music, supporting ARIA to showcase the achievements of the Australian music industry in their 34th Annual event. The ARIAs will also once again be supported by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW and broadcast to screens across Australia on the Nine Network.
Are Media is launching its first virtual showcase next month, promising plans to reset, reshape and reinvigorate Australia’s leading premium content and experiences company in 2021.
The showcase will reveal an exclusively commissioned audience study and a presentation on research into the brain and how it holds attention from Shazia Ginai, CEO of Neuro-Insight in the UK. Are Media, which is the rebranded Bauer Media and Pacific Magazines, will also unveil its 2021 digital roadmap, amongst a number of new initiatives.
Are Media editors including Nicole Byers (Australian Women’s Weekly), Nicky Briger (Marie Claire), Joanna Hunkin (Australian Gourmet Traveller), Mahalia Chang (Syrup) and Elle Lovelock (Real Living, Home Beautiful), will present the 40-minute show.
Reaching six in 10 women every month, the recently launched Are Media has unveiled a new ‘Be captivated’ brand positioning recognising how audiences soak up its attention-holding content and experiences across beauty, fashion, homes, food, entertainment and lifestyle.
Andrew Cook, Are Media director of sales said: “A new name is the start of a new era for our business and this means a fresh approach to everything we do, particularly how we communicate our 2021 plans with our commercial partners. Our first ever virtual showcase will provide an opportunity to hear from Are media’s senior team and editorial leaders. Furthermore, the showcase will offer our partners insights into our latest advertising and engagement research on magazines and the plans with our digital assets over the coming 12 months. Registrations for the showcase are growing daily and I invite everyone to join us for a fun and captivating look into what’s ahead for Are Media.”
A joint ABC and Nine investigation referring to Chinese-Australian businessman Chau Chak Wing was neither tabloid nor sensationalist and the Federal Court should not find it defamed him, the media outlets’ barrister has said, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michaela Whitbourn.
On the third and final day of a defamation trial pitting Mr Chau against the media outlets, Victorian barrister Matthew Collins, QC, said the Four Corners report at the heart of the case went no further than raising suspicions about Mr Chau.
Mr Chau, who has previously donated more than $4 million to Australian political parties and substantially more to cultural and educational causes, is suing the ABC, Nine and journalist Nick McKenzie, an investigative reporter at The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, over a Four Corners broadcast on June 5, 2017.
Justice Rares will hand down his decision at a later date.
Former Nine cameraman Steve Russell, who worked in News for 36 years has died, aged 57, reports TV Tonight.
He lost his battle with cancer on Sunday, with ill health forcing him to leave GTV9 in March.
He started as a camera assistant in 1984 before becoming a cameraman. In later years he moved into the Links department.
Nine’s Melbourne news director Hugh Nailon said Russell was on the spot for some of the biggest stories both here and overseas.
“Although a man of few words, Steve had a cheeky / wicked sense of humour and a true passion for motorbikes and the Collingwood football club.
“We send our condolences to wife Sandy and Steve’s two boys, Brett and Jayden.”
Talkback radio legend Jeremy Cordeaux has been charged with drink-driving for the second time in four years – but his lawyer says the celebrity will fight the latest allegations, reports News Corp’s Sean Fewster.
In documents filed with the Adelaide Magistrates Court, SA Police allege Cordeaux recorded a blood-alcohol level of 0.056.
On Thursday, lawyer Michael Woods appeared in court on Cordeaux’s behalf and said the matter would be contested.
“I’m seeking a remand of this matter – I’ve advised my client that he has a defence to the charge,” he said.
Cordeaux, 74, has yet to plead to one count of driving with excess blood alcohol.
It is alleged he blew over the limit while driving home along Glen Osmond Road at Frewville in December 2019.
Magistrate Kym Millard adjourned the case until December.
Nine’s new drama Amazing Grace began filming in Sydney this week, reports TV Tonight.
The series from Playmaker Media stars Kate Jenkinson (Doctor Doctor, Wentworth, Offspring) as midwife Grace, working in an unconventional birth centre attached to a major city hospital. But her work/life balance is about to get even more chaotic when a new arrival at the birth centre changes her life forever.
Nine’s head of drama Andy Ryan tells TV Tonight the birth centre acts as a strong story engine in the new series.
“It’s a show about women and childbirth and midwives and their relationship with that whole process, and their personal lives. There’s some great reveals in episode one, which I want to keep close to my chest.
“Suffice to say, Grace’s world is going to be turned upside down in Episode One that’s going to force her to reassess her work and personal relationships as well.”
Nine Entertainment Co is in advanced talks with Rugby Australia about a broadcast deal that could reshape the sports rights landscape and result in games being shown on streaming platform Stan, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios and Tom Decent.
Foxtel is still considered the front-runner for the rights, having broadcast rugby games in Australia for two decades. However, RA has been interested in striking a deal with Nine because of its free-to-air and subscription platforms, and approached the broadcaster in recent months. Nine is the owner of this masthead.
Industry sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks are confidential, said Nine is willing to pay about $30 million a year in cash and free advertising, an offer smaller than what Foxtel has made but one that includes a free-to-air proposition for the sport.
ABC Radio Australia has signed a three-year deal to broadcast coverage of the National Rugby League men’s and women’s competitions to audiences in PNG, Timor-Leste and across the Pacific.
Starting this week, ABC Radio Australia will broadcast ABC Grandstand’s live coverage of the NRL finals as well as the women’s competition – the NRLW – and the State of Origin series.
Head of International Strategy, David Hua, said the ABC was the only Australian radio broadcaster providing coverage of the NRL to a region that is passionate about the sport.
“NRL is PNG’s most popular sport and one of the leading sports across the Pacific,” he said. “Almost half of the current NRL players have Pacific Island heritage which means there is an incredibly high interest in the competition right across the region.”
The start of the NRL coverage coincides with the launch of a new ABC Radio Australia Pacific sports show Can You Be More Pacific, hosted by Fijian-Australian comedians Joseph ‘Roq’ Rokoqo and Ratu ‘Cav’ Cavuilati. The one-hour show is broadcast on ABC Radio Australia on Thursday evenings at 6.00pm PNG time and started on 8 October.