By Trent Thomas
• Plus oOh!media chair Tony Faure on why they chose Cathy O’Connor
On Monday oOh!media announced the appointment of Cathy O’Connor as managing director and chief executive officer, from early 2021.
O’Connor comes to oOh!media with 35 years of sales experience working for Australian media organisations, including the last 12 years as CEO of Nova Entertainment Group.
The appointment follows a global search for a replacement for founder and CEO, Brendon Cook, who earlier this year announced his intention to stand down from the role after more than 30 years.
Mediaweek spoke with O’Connor shortly after the announcement and discussed her new role, her time at Nova, and the future of oOh!media .
O’Connor was approached about the role recently and described the opportunity to lead a company in a high growth industry as one that was hard to turn down.
“The CEO of Nova is a great job and you could only ever leave it for a great job. And I see the CEO of oOh!media and the chance to build on the work of Brendon Cook as a great job.”
“The out of home sector has very strong growth prospects and is becoming such a potent force in a world where intelligence around data in audiences is coming to prominence. And oOh!media is very well placed in that future landscape.”
While O’Connor described the out of home sector as the main reason for the move, another key aspect of the companies portfolio is Junkee Media which she says is a good fit for her with her background in content.
“The Junkee Media element of the business which is all about the content and the changes that they have made around developing their capability in content sits very comfortably with my background in radio.”
oOh!media chair Tony Faure said that there is only one Brendon Cook and that he could never be replaced, but the task was to find someone who would be right to lead the company into its next phase.
“The critical things we see in Cathy are first of all her incredibly strong track record of building a strong business in Nova over a long period of time. Secondly, she showed great ability to drive the profitability of Nova by innovating and also being efficient. And Thirdly, she has a terrific track record in investing in and developing talent.”
“We see a very big opportunity to build a business that is so efficient at reaching people it can take a broader market share from other media forms.”
Nova didn’t mess around with finding O’Connor’s replacement announcing her successor at the same time as her departure, internally promoting Nova chief commercial officer Peter Charlton as the new CEO of Nova – who O’Connor said was always her recommendation for the job.
“I am incredibly proud of building a commercial team under Peter’s leadership which has grown its revenue share every year since I have been in this role and it can only be done by a fantastic commercial leader like Peter.”
When pressed about her highlights during her tenure O’Connor said that she is proud of the progress Nova had made under her stewardship.
“When I took the role, I think Nova had plateaued in its performance in FM radio. So re-launching the Nova Network and establishing the hit position that ultimately took Nova to the number one reaching metro brand stands out, and the launch of smoothfm has been wonderful as well.”
While still a fair bit off from her anticipated 2021 start at oOh!media , when asked about her early plans for the company O’Connor says that oOH! is in a similar situation to most companies during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Coming out of a pandemic every media company is focused on resetting for growth and driving that growth in a really constructive and front foot way. And I expect to be working shoulder to shoulder with the team to do everything I can do to support the improvement of that commercial performance.”
By Trent Thomas
• Charlton was chief commercial officer for eight years at Nova before the announcement
Nova Entertainment announced on Monday that after 18 years with the company, including 12 years as CEO, Cathy O’Connor would be leaving Nova. In the same announcement Nova chief commercial officer, Peter Charlton was confirmed as the new CEO of the company.
Charlton was chief commercial officer for eight years and has worked with Nova in various roles since August 2012.
Mediaweek caught up with Australian media’s newest CEO who said that he was excited for the new role and is hopefully very well equipped from the eight-year apprenticeship that he served while working under Cathy O’Connor.
“It has been an aspiration and Cathy made it very easy in terms of succession, and we have worked closely together over the last 8 years with her and people like Paul Jackson as a tight-knit team. In the last two years, Cathy has opened up more generalist skills over the wider breadth of the business as well.”
Charlton said that while a succession plan is always difficult, he is inheriting a strong situation and he needs to make sure he is completely across every element of the company to keep Nova on its current path.
“We are a very joined up executives team that has been consistent for the last couple of years and have a very clear strategy on what we want to do and I just have to take up those reins and continue what has been a very successful strategy for us.”
“We want to maximise our strength in terms of radio listening and grow our revenue shares in a recovering market and that is the difficult bit.
“The media market has been suppressed this year and that was never the plan for any of us. We have to work closely with advertisers to give them exactly what they want to help get them out of what has been a difficult time for all of us.
“We have obsessed about securing our digital future. It is about new opportunities for the consumers to interact and for us to build a connected experience so we can understand more about consumers and give that back to the advertising community.”
Charlton has chosen an interesting time to take over the hot seat of one of Australia’s biggest media companies- in the midst of a pandemic.
“Anyone doing any job in media is an interesting one and a difficult one. All of us have faced challenges this year that we didn’t want to or didn’t expect to face. Hopefully, we are at the start of recovery and I feel comfortable working in the radio industry that we are at the start of recovery.
“I am just happy to get the opportunity in whatever conditions we are in.”
When asked about the positives and negatives of Nova the company’s new CEO said:
“The positives are the fact that we have had 11 years of growth in terms of audience, revenue and profitability. And we have been an enduring brand that has stayed true to its brand attributes.
“Any negatives that we have are shared by a media industry that is going through a challenging time. Our revenue has gone backwards which we are not used to and that is a negative for whatever business you do.
When asked what he thinks makes a good CEO Charlton said: “They are passionate about the industry they are in. They are far sighted and can predict future trends. And they are always challenging, particularly during success.”
Nova’s Goat.com.au – which launched in March 2018 – was designed as a mobile-exclusive news and entertainment platform. New Nova CEO Peter Charlton spoke to Mediaweek about the latest update on GOAT expressing the change of direction intended for the millennial-focussed brand.
“We at Nova have continued to deliver our client’s engagement with millennials since probably the word was invented. It’s been the main-stay of our listening. We try to follow that audience onto whatever platform was prevalent and whatever they were consuming – whether that be social media like Instagram through to a mobile site like GOAT,” he said.
“We decided to pivot the business and move it more into the digital audio space. We were doing more podcasts on GOAT and that’s what we’ll be doing going forward. We’ve thought about doing it for some time. We’ve been creating digital audio content on the back of that brand for a little while, so it’s been in consideration throughout the year and decided as a part of our plan for next year to make that move.
“We want to deliver ultimately what the customer requires and what they want and we think we can build audiences probably more effectively in a digital audience space rather than a mobile news platform.”
ARN has announced internal promotions and appointments as part of a restructure that will aim to revolutionise how the business creates relationships and commercial connections between brands, content and audiences.
This growth investment focuses on building ARN’s capabilities to scale quickly in the areas of data utilisation, content creation, and monetisation.
ARN have internally promoted Lauren Joyce to the newly created role of chief strategy and connections officer to try and amplify ARN’s commercial and content offering through the creation of mutually beneficial relationships between brands and audiences. This new role will also see Joyce join ARN’s Executive Leadership Team.
Joyce said: “Changes to the market brought about by COVID-19 have given us the opportunity to make our business even more customer focused. As part of this, we have created a team with a remit to go beyond selling our brands and instead, build and nurture enduring connections with our consumer and trade audiences and clients. This approach will deliver a more sustainable platform for both audience and commercial growth as we continue to diversify the ways people connect with our brands. We know our audience’s audio needs are constantly changing, so it will be a key focus for the team to ensure our brands and platforms can adapt to provide enhanced consumer experiences in a timely manner.”
Joyce will lead the newly created Connections Team, which includes the existing trade marketing and consumer marketing teams along with the research and insights team, to enable a strategic outlook that equally benefits the content and commercial functions of ARN.
Lauren joined ARN in 2019 as National Strategy Director where she led the client strategy team. During this time, Lauren led the development of the trade facing proposition Defining Audio, was integral to the successful launch of the iHeartPodcast Network Australia.
ARN’s CEO Ciaran Davis said, “As Australia’s #1 Network, radio is our core business, complemented by our digital audio offering. ARN already deliver exceptionally creative client campaigns and integrations that engage audiences nationally across our on-air, digital and on-demand audio offering, however this new approach will see ARN working with our commercial clients in more collaborative ways with embedded business partnerships that place audiences and customers at the centre of everything. This is an investment in our future growth as we build skills and capabilities within the business in key areas of data and commercialised content creation.
“Lauren has a proven dynamic approach to commercial content and brand-led activity, making her the best person to lead the newly formed Connections Team as part of ARN’s customer-focused evolution strategy. Her appointment to this newly created role is part of ARN’s unwavering commitment to invest in the best expertise across the business as we continue to innovate and evolve as a leading Australian media company.”
To further support this positioning and evolution of the business, ARN also announces internal commercial promotions across the business in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
In Brisbane, Brian Tanner has been promoted to Commercial Director and Emily Buckby promoted to the role of Agency Sales Director.
In Sydney, Denis Donati has taken on the newly created role of Digital Group Sales Manager.
In Melbourne, Sian Reid has been promoted to Group Sales Manager.
Davis continued, “ARN has always had a strong commercial strategy backed by exceptional teams. These internal promotions recognise the outstanding performance of these individuals and are part of ARN’s continued investment in our people and the business to maintain our market-leading position and commercial offering for clients.”
SCA national head of radio sales, Nikki Rooke, today announced the appointment of Amanda Unwin as head of radio sales – Sydney.
Unwin has been SCA’s head of agency sales in Sydney for more than three years and has worked with the company for more than seven years in total, starting as account manager, before being promoted to group sales manager.
In her new role, Unwin will lead the Sydney radio sales team, overseeing agency sales, local sales and SCA’s creative services arm, The Studio, Sydney.
“Amanda has always brought a passion for sales and for SCA to everything she does. She is a people-focused leader who prides herself on creating a high performance, positive culture. She understands radio, and its potential to drive results for advertisers and is embracing everything our digital audio future holds,” Rooke said.
“Amanda is well placed to lead the Sydney team as we continue our transformation from radio sales to audio sales and leverage the new exciting time for brands to invest in audio.”
Unwin said: “I couldn’t be more excited and humbled to take on the head of radio sales role at SCA Sydney, as our business continues its digital transformation and our industry experiences a seismic shift in how it transacts, engages and delivers for clients.
“SCA is a purpose-driven business and as I take on responsibility for the local arm of our sales division, I am committed to our mission of helping Australian businesses grow. I am incredibly proud of the work we do at SCA and am looking forward to my teams and I playing an important role in the recovery of our industry, as we produce insight-led audio campaigns for clients, that deliver tangible results.”
Unwin’s appointment is effective from 25 September and she replaces Carla Vella, who moved to Queensland earlier this year.
TikTok has appointed three new leaders across its local commercial division, completing the senior team for TikTok Global Business Solutions in Sydney.
TikTok has appointed Hollie Lowe as head of customer solutions, Elisa Kelsall as Head of Partnerships (commercial) and Andrew Cambridge as head of agency, to lead teams in delivering a full service offering for advertising partners.
“I’m delighted to welcome Elisa, Hollie and Andrew to our all-star lineup here in Australia, their appointments represent a key milestone in the development of our local operation as we continue to scale,” said Brett Armstrong, general manager of global business s olutions for TikTok in ANZ. “Since we opened our doors earlier this year, TikTok has gone from strength to strength in this market. We’ve grown the business at a phenomenal pace, thanks to partnerships with many of the country’s leading brands. With the expertise, industry know-how and passion our new leadership team will bring, I’m excited to deliver even more impactful results, and excellence in service for our clients and agencies.”
Bringing extensive digital experience across both ad-tech and agency, Hollie Lowe joins TikTok having previously held roles with Quantcast, iProspect and Carat.
“I am proud to be part of the positive impact we’re making on people’s daily lives, helping connect brands authentically to their audiences, and leading an inspired team of people every day,” said Lowe, of her role with TikTok.
Elisa Kelsall has joined TikTok after nine years with Google. As head of partnerships, Kelsall is responsible for leading the team of brand partner managers who work with advertisers across a range of industry verticals.
Kelsall said: “Being part of something as exciting as the juggernaut that is TikTok and joining a team and a community that is so passionate about our platform was very attractive.”
Having started his career with MySpace, Andrew Cambridge makes a return to the world of digital platforms as TikTok’s head of agency. Prior to his new role, Andrew worked for almost four years at Initiative where he led digital, data and technology for the national agency. As head of agency at TikTok, Cambridge will work with media and creative agencies throughout the ANZ region, building deep partnerships that allow them to maximise the value available through the platform and its creators.
“We’re in an era where creativity and speed pays off for marketers and TikTok provides a perfect canvas to flex this creative spirit,” said Cambridge. “The promise this platform shows for brands to once again evolve their marketing strategies in line with the pace of technological change is incredibly exciting.”
Top Photo: TikTok Global Business Solutions leadership team. L to R Hollie Lowe, Brett Armstrong, Elisa Kelsall, Andrew Cambridge
Comcast acquired the Dutch technology start-up Metrological in September last year. The app integrator’s technology allows for simple integration of over-the-top streaming apps, which can be uploaded once into its system and rolled out across a number of providers.
The AFR‘s Max Mason reported how this will allow Fetch to offer access to global streaming apps (like Disney+) which is not available on domestic devices like Fetch’s set-top boxes, Telstra TV and Foxtel’s iQ4, due to the small size of the Australian market.
Now companies like Disney can upload its app into Metrological’s systems and all providers that use it can have the app on their set-top boxes.
Metrological is used by Comcast, Liberty Global, Vodafone and Turkcell. It will also allow Fetch to integrate niche apps, such as NBA League Pass, NFL Game Pass and others, he reported.
Fetch chief executive Scott Lorson said to AFR: “The Metro application platform will be for tier-one pay TV operators what the One World Alliance is for airlines such as Qantas.”
The subscription television service will still offer customers the services they know and love, with these new added benefits from their participation in a global app platform.
Lorson added how Australian free-to-air television continued to prove resilient, but audiences were embracing streaming and the value on offer.
“The likes of Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube have led the charge, but there is a growing list of high-quality apps available locally and internationally, catering for all audience types and content genres.
“Fetch is focused on delivering ‘All your entertainment, easy’, and this partnership is a further demonstration of our commitment to provide a world-class entertainment experience.”
Originally reported by the AFR.
Shopper Media is leading the way in retail Out-Of-Home and is positioned to support advertisers to be more nimble with its 100% digital Smartlite® network in local shopping centres Australia-wide. Programmatic Out-of-Home offers unprecedented ability to stop, start and adjust campaigns.
Shopper Media’s Head of Programmatic, Laura Wall, says the need for flexibility in advertising is at an all-time high as brands react to localised outbreaks of COVID-19.
One constant throughout the pandemic has been the need to visit local shopping centres for essential groceries, further cementing retail DOOH as a critical channel for media.
“Australians spent $94.6 billion in supermarkets in the year to March 2020. By March 2020, as the pandemic took hold, only 3% of the nation’s total supermarket spend was taking place online. Our own first-party data show that visitation across our national network of over 370 centres has undergone a few changes, from spikes due to panic-buying in the early days of the pandemic, to softening of numbers during lockdown, but visitation remained robust and returned to growth in recent months, confirming that local shopping centres are the home of essential retail and an essential destination for Australians.”
At a time when marketers need to do more with less, programmatic technology offers greater flexibility and efficiencies. With the introduction of programmatic DOOH brands can now use a single platform to connect brand and performance outcomes as well as deliver on more strategic objectives using the same data strategies across all channels.
”Programmatic allows buyers to pause, delay or reassign allocations to different markets with an immediacy that, until now, has not been available in traditional methods of buying OOH,” says Wall. “Our programmatic offering allows clients to target consumers via digital OOH in the shopping centre environment, where Australians are buying their essential groceries.”
Shopper Media’s programmatic capability automates the buying and selling of digital OOH, giving the buyer greater control, and allows for a scalable and data-driven approach. Buyers can use data-driven audience strategies to understand the best environments in which they want their ads to appear, as well as targeting capabilities (time of day, day of week, weather conditions etc), offering brands a way to deepen personalisation and deliver highly targeted campaigns and messaging at scale in a brand-safe and relevant environment.
“Shopper Media, together with MiQ, delivered a DOOH campaign for a leading online retailer and the results showcase the power of OOH and online,” explains Wall. “MiQ technology was used to identify Shopper Media locations, and track online and offline behaviours of our shoppers, allowing us to directly attribute the audience exposure to the DOOH campaign, as well as measure the impact. The campaign increased conversion rate of shoppers exposed to the campaign by 2.4 times and increased the average spend by 1.5 times.
“Programmatic is now an essential media offering, and Shopper Media’s 100% digital inventory means it is best positioned to enable programmatic trading across our network as the specialist in retail DOOH.
“Brands can now seamlessly roll their data strategies into our Smartlite® network to deliver the most flexible, efficient and effective campaign outcomes possible,” adds Wall.
By Trent Thomas
While by pre-COVID-19 standards the $2.48m by Tenet isn’t an astronomical number but it is the biggest step forward since cinemas began reopening around the country.
The Christopher Nolan film has faced a series of delays, trials, and tribulations to be released in cinemas but this weekend the film was released crossed 760 screens in Australia – the most by any film since lockdown restrictions began to lift.
Number two at the Australian box office was also a new entry in Trolls World Tour which made $362,655 in an early release.
The Australian box office has seen a 200% increase in revenue over the weekend with a total of $3.59m.
Australia was one of 70 countries to receive Nolan’s most recent film as part of a staggered release which will see it gradually released in America later this month. The sci-fi epic has easily had the most successful opening weekend since March as it averaged $3,274. The film stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Kenneth Branagh and Australian Elizabeth Debicki.
Trolls World Tour was due to be released before the lockdown but is now starting to hit screens in Australia. The film caused controversy in the States when it was also released for digital rental on the same day as in theatres and set several streaming records including becoming Universal’s most successful day-one rental. Which led to Universal making a deal with AMC Theatres to shorten the minimum theatrical window from 90 days to 17 days, causing issues with other distributors. The film averaged $2,253 on 161 screens.
After five weeks Unhinged‘s strangle hold on the Australian box office has been loosened with the film dropping from top spot after averaging $992 on 188 screens. The film has made a total of $3.09m.
After three weeks the film has made a total of $800,495 and this week has averaged $928 on 153 screens.
The Chinese historical war drama film directed by and co-written by Guan Hu averaged $4,424 on 27 screens which was the highest average for the weekend.
By Trent Thomas
• The Masked Singer reveal is top non-news as performances get 729,000
• Plate of Origin slides down to 510,000 for its second episode
Seven News 1,206,000/1,118,000
Nine News 1,034,000/1,022,000
ABC News 791,000
A Current Affair 781,000
The Project 367,000/536,000
10 News 433,000/248,000
SBS World News 177,000
News Breakfast 137,000
The Drum 189,000
The Latest 108,000
Nine News Late Edition 265,000
Seven: Seven came second for the night in both primary share (17.3% ) and network share (25.0%) after Plate of Origin posted 510,000 viewers down from the 667,000 it posted during its launch on Sunday night. The numbers for Seven’s new reality TV cooking show is starting to resemble those of the network’s other cooking franchise My Kitchen Rules which aired earlier in the year. The other top performers for seven where The Chase Australia (649,000) and Home and Away (617,000).
Nine: The Block has continued its sub 800k marks for its weekday episodes, a trend that began last week in the first week of the shows 16th season. However, it is still the top performer over the entirety of the 7:30 pm slot as Nine won Monday night with an 18.2% primary share and 27.1% network share.
10: 10 had a strong Monday night performance with a15.7% primary share and a 21.7% network share. This was in large part to the combo of The Masked Singer Australia and Have You Been Paying Attention? which both performed well in the 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm time slots. The Masked Singer continues to remain extremely competitive with The Block after posting 729,000 for its performances which was an increase on last Monday’s 692,000. The big bump was in the reveal which was the #1 non-news piece of TV last night with 938,000 – an increase on last week’s 786,000. The show also won all key demos. Have You Been Paying Attention? followed with 766,000.
ABC: Australian Story (656,000) and 7:30 (655,00) were the best performers for ABC producing a 13.6% primary share and a 17.7% network share.
SBS: The top performer for SBS was How the Victorian Built Britain with 206,000 as the channel had a 5.6% primary share and 8.5% network share.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.4%||7TWO||3.7%||GO!||3.3%||10 Bold||4.0%||VICELAND||1.4%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||2.5%||GEM||2.6%||10 Peach||2.0%||Food Net||0.6%|
|9Rush||1.2%||SBS World Movies||0.7%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.1%||7TWO||5.1%||GO!||3.5%||WIN Bold||4.8%||VICELAND||1.7%|
|ABC ME||0.8%||7mate||3.5%||GEM||5.0%||WIN Peach||1.9%||Food Net||0.5%|
|ABC NEWS||1.1%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.6%||9Life||2.2%||Sky News on WIN||1.8%||NITV||0.1%|
|MONDAY METRO ALL TV|
16 – 39
18 – 49
25 – 54
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
Google and Facebook should pay to use ABC and SBS content as well as news produced by commercial media, public interest journalism advocates have told the competition watchdog, reports Guardian Australia‘s Amanda Meade.
The funds collected from the digital platforms should be used to set up an independent public interest journalism fund rather than be funnelled back into the public broadcasters, the Public Interest Journalism Initiative said in a final submission.
The media industry has been hit hard by Covid-19: 29 newspapers and TV stations have closed down and a further 97 newspapers have ceased to produce print editions, PIJI said.
In a joint submission the Public Interest Journalism Initiative and the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas called on the ACCC to amend the code to include the ABC and SBS, but use the revenue to fund public interest journalism.
Australian television presenter Cheng Lei has been detained in Beijing, reports News Corp’s Max Maddison.
Cheng, the anchor of the Chinese government’s English Television Network, was arrested on August 14, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Monday night.
“The Australian government has been informed that an Australian citizen, Ms Cheng Lei, has been detained in China,” Senator Payne said.
“Formal notification was received on 14 August 2020, from Chinese authorities of her detention. Australian officials had an initial consular visit with Ms Cheng at a detention facility via video link on 27 August and will continue to provide assistance and support to her and her family.”
Describing herself on Twitter as a “Passionate orator of the #China story”, Cheng last tweeted on August 12.
While Cheng hasn’t been charged, she has been placed in “residential surveillance at a designated location”, a form of detention where people can be imprisoned and questioned for six months without contact with their lawyers or the outside world.
Australia’s top cop rejected suggestions it was a “mistake” to raid the home of an Australian journalist even though the warrant behind it was later ruled “invalid” and no criminal charges were laid against her, he told a Senate inquiry into press freedom on Monday, reports News Corp’s Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson.
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw made the comments in relation to a raid on the home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst in June last year over a story about proposed spy laws to be used against Australian citizens.
And both Mr Kershaw and Home Affairs Secretary Michael Pezzullo dismissed calls from a group of media organisations to allow contested search warrants for journalists, arguing the move would be “detrimental to the workings” of the police.
Before proceeding any further, let’s acknowledge the clear superstars of the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards: Lady Gaga’s mask designers reports Variety‘s Chris Willman.
They should be given their own awards, at some point, for being keeping us on the edge of our seats during a show that has never drummed up much suspense about winners, even in its early glory days, let alone now. The best thing about this year’s telecast was how the pandemic has given Gaga an excuse to return to the slightly scary fashion of her early glory days, most particularly with a very au courant focus on what looked like avant-garde gas masks, sometimes with digital readouts.
Good news for The Masked Singer with the show proceeding to a “proper finale” reports TV Tonight.
On KIIS 1065 this morning, judge Jackie O. said, “We will finish it properly… a proper finale. There will be no zoom.
“Everyone is staying back now. Everyone’s doing it.”
The grand final was abandoned on the day it was planned due to a COVID outbreak. There are 17 confirmed positive cases related to the production, with all of the team now in their second week of a 2 week lockdown.
10 is yet to confirm its plans for a grand final, expected to screen in the week of September 14.
Hot Seat is moving to Queensland to film new episodes, reports TV Tonight.
Production is relocating for 7 weeks to film episodes after it was denied a chance to restart at Docklands Studios following The Masked Singer COVID outbreak. Producers had already mapped out a COVID safe plan with no audience and perspex screens.
Host Eddie McGuire is understood to be entering a quarantine period, having already crossed the border in accordance with Queensland regulations.
This also places him firmly in (current) AFL territory where Collingwood Football Club is based in a hub. He also has Triple M radio and FOX Footy commitments.
Key production personnel and the Hot Seat set will also travel to Queensland.
The production drift from Melbourne is now increasing after The Chase relocated to Sydney. While Seven’s shift is permanent, Hot Seat plans to return to Melbourne.
Nine is expected to confirm the announcement tomorrow.
Cricket Australia is hatching an ambitious plan to revitalise the Big Bash League by helping teams recruit and pay for big-name overseas stars outside the salary cap, opening the door to the likes of India icon MS Dhoni and England World Cup and Ashes hero Ben Stokes, reports SMH‘s Chris Barrett and Jon Pierik.
On the receiving end of a barrage from Seven West Media in the past week over the network’s concerns about a talent drain in the BBL this summer, CA is holding its ground ahead of crisis talks this week between Seven chief executive James Warburton and the sport’s interim boss, Nick Hockley.
Seven’s principal argument in threatening to rip up its $450 million deal with CA is over the likely absence of even more Australian internationals than usual during the Big Bash season because of the need to have them secured in hubs for limited-overs and Test series against India, a short-form campaign against New Zealand and a Test against Afghanistan.
However, it has emerged that CA has not only been looking to revitalise the BBL in its 10th season with the proposed addition of a third overseas international on team rosters, it is preparing to open the cheque book like never before and assist teams in signing as well as paying for the game’s very best players well above and beyond the $1.9 million salary cap.