By James Manning
• Finale filmed across two countries, two states, two studios…and a hotel room!
When the series finale of Network 10’s The Masked Singer goes to air Monday night there will be a final sigh of relief from all involved at Network 10 and Warner Bros.
Network 10 executive producer and head of entertainment Stephen Tate told Mediaweek six weeks ago they were heading off on a journey to film the 2020 season in Melbourne – it turned out to be a lot more than he and all involved bargained for.
Tate and most of the NSW crew that relocated to Melbourne for the season actually ended up back in Sydney by the time the finale was filmed. Luckily they didn’t need to isolate back in NSW because their recent Melbourne quarantine period was recognised as what was required by NSW authorities before re-entering the state. The production went into quarantine for a fortnight after some of the crew tested positive for Covid-19 just days before the final episode was due to be filmed.
“It was really disappointing to get so close to the finale and then get shut down. We of course completely understand the reasons why that had to happen,” Tate told Mediaweek. “As a team we genuinely celebrate the people who owned up to experiencing symptoms.”
Although the production process for the finale was not what was originally planned, Tate doesn’t like it being described as “compromised”.
“What the finale became was a technical feat and it got the best out of our crews that I have ever seen. To produce a show out of two countries, two states, two studios…and a hotel room…is not something I have never done before, nor would many of the crew have ever done anything like it before.
“I am very much looking forward to people seeing what we achieved.”
Those two countries were Australia and New Zealand, the states were NSW and Victoria, the two studios were Docklands in Melbourne where the rest of the season was shot and 10’s Pyrmont studios and the hotel room belonged to Urzila Carlson back in quarantine in Auckland after returning from Melbourne.
For the finale, panelists Dave Hughes and Dannii Minogue stayed in Melbourne along with the three remaining singers who took part in the last episode. Tate, Syney-based panelist Jackie O, host Osher Günsberg and many of the Warner Bros creative team were in 10’s Sydney studio.
“We created a virtual set by using clean images of the Melbourne set and keying them in behind Osher and Jackie in Sydney,” explained Tate.
The audience weren’t tricked though into thinking everyone was together as the start of the finale features an explanation of how it came together.
Post-production work was a little more involved for this episode and the team worked across the weekend before the episode was delivered to 10 in time for the Monday night broadcast.
Tate had high praise for the team at Warner Bros and the production management team at 10. “They have pulled off the most extraordinary job to make this final.”
Helping keep the production focused and positive during some trying times were people from both Warners Bros and 10, said Tate, starting from the top with the CEOs of both keeping in regular touch. “People were checking on us throughout the entire production cycle. It was a lonely and confronting time going into quarantine on your own for another two weeks, especially as the finish line was in sight and we thought we were about to return to our families.”
Tate admitted he hit the wall at times during his quarantine. “There was the potential we would have to do it again too when we returned to NSW. We were all so relieved we were able to preserve the bubble and have our Melbourne quarantine period recognised.”
Not being allowed out of the room for two weeks meant Tate did a lot of pacing back and forth. “I was one of the fortunate ones as during that time I was working with Eureka Television to cast The Amazing Race and also ITV Studios on casting for I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! I had a lot of other things to focus on which helped me through.”
Tate: “The incredible camaraderie amongst the cast and crew. We all felt so incredibly privileged to be working when so many others couldn’t. Everybody took their Covid responsibilities so seriously.”
Tate: “We are steaming ahead on the new seasons for quite a few shows and we have some incredible learnings from what we have just been through. Things we can put into practice to ensure we are not facing the same situation again.
“As an industry we have to accept this disease is going to be around for a while so we have to find ways of working with that threat. We can’t just shutdown or our industry won’t survive.”
“We will be shooting the new season this year. We are working on what will be an incredible Amazing Race that will take in nearly every state in Australia. We are still waiting for some states to let us know if we can include them. But we have workarounds to change the race if we can’t.”
Tate said to standby for an announcement about where the Race will start and how 10 and Eureka will be running it.
“I have been producing TV in Australia for close to 30 years and the team has discovered some parts of Australia I have never been to before. It is very exciting about how much of Australia we will be able to showcase. It will be a stronger series by being wholly Australian than the international version.”
Tate: “The fact that we won’t have a time difference that Africa gave us will mean the show will need to be prerecorded. We have some exciting and very funny creative solutions around that. ITV has come up with some brilliant ideas and I can’t wait for the audience to see them.”
Tate: “We are definitely doing Survivor next year. We are now working on how, when and where. Why wouldn’t we? [Laughs] It is one of the best shows on television.”
Top Photo: The Masked Singer host Osher Günsberg with panelists Danni, Jackie, Urzila and Hughesy
Digital outdoor media business QMS Media has launched its revitalised 7-Eleven advertising portfolio under the Impulse brand to help drive immediate action and create increased awareness for brands nationally.
Since securing the exclusive sales and marketing rights for 7-Eleven’s advertising portfolio six months ago, QMS has undertaken investment to reinvigorate the small format digital network to premium quality standards.
The network now provides 100% full motion digital screens with dynamic ad serving capabilities, strategically placed to maximise audience delivery.
QMS said the Impulse product offering has evolved to provide brands with a level of transparency, accountability, immediacy and creative flexibility not previously associated with the product.
All digital panels are now a part of the industry’s audience measurement system MOVE, and to help advertisers better understand and target the Impulse audience, five unique customer segments have been introduced, providing enhanced planning capabilities and greater accountability.
Impulse technology has been upgraded to incorporate dynamic ad serving capabilities, delivering flexibility, immediacy and greater relevance in messaging, whilst agnostic verification provides complete transparency and trust for advertisers.
QMS Media CMO Sara Lappage: “We are excited to bring a refreshed and repurposed digital small format network to market, that delivers quality engagement and awareness far broader than its traditional petro/convenience category remit.
“Australians love to frequent their local 7-Eleven for everyday essentials, even more so in the current climate, and it is their position at the heart of local communities, that makes Impulse so effective. With the benefit of audience measurement and verification, Impulse is proven as a cost efficient small format opportunity to drive brand awareness and brand building across a range of categories and products.
“With 91% of Australians living within 5kms of a 7-Eleven store* and the ability to reach more than nine million contacts every fortnight**, it is no wonder that brands such as Amazon, AAMI, Nissan and Optus see the power of a broadcast network that delivers recency, localisation and convenience at scale.”
The QMS Impulse network is now live across 480 panels at 7-Eleven stores nationally.
*Based on capital cities, excluding Adelaide.
**MOVE based on Full PCA, People 14+, over 14 days.
• Gorgi Coghlan and Stephen Quartermain join Cup week commentary team
Network 10 has revealed how it will be covering the 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
10’s coverage will be underpinned by a new purpose-built broadcast centre at Flemington Racecourse.
To bring the Carnival to life right across the country, 10 will also set-up numerous activation and broadcast points in communities for live crosses throughout the Carnival.
In a year like no other, 10 will also broadcast the Lexus Melbourne Cup The Race of Dreams – a virtual race pitting 24 past champions of the Cup against each other on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, Tuesday, 3 November.
This year the iconic Myer Fashions on the Field fashion competition will be going digital with all Australians invited to compete in Myer Fashions on your Front Lawn.
A Cup week carnival reimagined begins with AAMI Victoria Derby Day on Saturday, 31 October, followed by Lexus Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday, 3 November, Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday, 5 November and Seppelt Wines Stakes Day on Saturday, 7 November – all live and free on Network 10 and 10 Play.
Sales director, Effect at ViacomCBS Australia & New Zealand, Nisar Malik said: “In the Lexus Melbourne Cup’s 160th year, this year’s Carnival will be unlike any other.
“Working closely with the Victorian Government and the Victoria Racing Club, we have designed a multi-platform broadcast and digital strategy which will bring the Carnival themes of fashion, celebrity, music and food closer to Australians than ever before. This year, everyone will have a ticket to Cup Week.
“We’re moving beyond the track and into communities. With broadcast and activation bases right around the country, we will be showcasing how Australians will be celebrating the Carnival from wherever they are.
“This rejuvenated strategy also unlocks more brand integration opportunities as well as more bespoke opportunities – it’s going to be an exciting year.”
To cover Cup Week Network 10 is promising a best-in-class racing commentary team and has announced two new additions to its stable of talent with Gorgi Coghlan and Stephen Quartermain to co-host the four-day racing spectacular.
Melbourne born and bred, Stephen “Quarters” Quartermain, is one the country’s most respected television and sports presenters. Joining 10 in 1984, he has been an integral part of the news and sports team ever since.
Quartermain said: “The Melbourne Cup Carnival is truly one of the best events on the Australian sporting calendar and I couldn’t be happier to saddle up in 2020. It’s going to be a really different carnival for all involved, but viewers will have the best ticket in town right at home.”
Former state-level dressage competitor Gorgi Coghlan is just as comfortable in the paddock with her horses as she is in front of the camera, co-hosting The Project.
Coghlan said: “2020 has come with so many challenges for so many Australians, but there is something special about the Melbourne Cup Carnival, and this year Network 10 will be transforming the coverage to bring the Cup to the people. I’m super excited to work with Quarters and the racing team on what will be an historic Melbourne Cup Carnival broadcast.”
Covering all the action from the Flemington Racecourse Mounting Yard and beyond is 10’s team of racing experts and reporters – Francesca Cumani, Peter Moody, Michael Felgate, David Gately, Caty Price, Brittany Taylor and Annie Kearney.
10 Sport’s Roz Kelly and Kate Peck will also join the coverage.
The Kate, Tim & Joel drive show launches Monday 14 September, 3pm to 6pm on the Nova Network.
When Marty Sheargold revealed on air July 24 that he would be quitting the Nova drive show, his on-air colleagues Kate Ritchie and Tim Blackwell had known about his departure for close to month.
Blackwell told Mediaweek that over the years of working together, “Marty always played by the Marty Sheargold rule book and does what is right for him and this is obviously right for him. We have worked with each other for over 10 years. I leave with a friend for life. I’m not sure how he feels, but maybe he has questioned, especially during Covid, that should he really be leaving a comfortable fulltime job on his own choosing? Ultimately it is his call, and this is how he has lived his life.”
Ritchie, Blackwell and Joel Creasey will come together on the Nova Network to bring a conversational cheekiness to the drive shift. Creasey will join Ritchie and Blackwell as the newest addition to the drive show, with a combination of the day’s hot topics, the best of digital and online and their unique benchmarks and games.
Featuring the segments that listeners have grown to love over the past six years, including Monday’s Mailbag, The Wednesday Wheel and the highly competitive Quick Draw, the team and their new co-host Creasey will continue to deliver everything their audience have come to expect and more.
Ritchie said: “We’re all keen to get into the studio on Monday… Get Joel out of the house regularly, kick off the show and start making KTJ radio instead of just talking about it!”
Blackwell said: “I’ve just told Joel to spend the time leading up to our first show listening to Cardi B’s WAP on repeat. If that doesn’t break him we’ll know he’s ready for the gig!”
Creasey said: “Can’t wait to start Kate, Tim & Joel on Monday. Is there any research I should do? A book I should read? Is there an online masterclass I can sign up to? Just kidding. That sounds exhausting… I’m sure someone’s going to tell me… right?…”
Joel Creasey will be heard alongside Kate Ritchie and Tim Blackwell as Nova’s Kate, Tim & Joel national drive show, 3pm to 6pm weekdays, from Monday 14 September.
Listeners can now find more Australian radio stations than ever on Google Nest devices, thanks to the new integration of RadioApp, the Australian radio industry’s official aggregator radio app, further expanding Australian radio’s accessibility across digital devices.
Now, more than 350 Australian AM, FM and DAB+ digital radio stations, including all commercial radio, ABC and SBS stations, are available via voice command on Google Nest speakers and displays.
The partnership between industry body Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) and Google Australia has resulted in a simple, reliable and easy process for listeners to access live and local radio via Google Nest devices. As part of the integration, Google Nest smart device users only need to ask for the station or frequency they want to listen to.
“We have been working hard in partnership with Google locally and globally for the past 18 months to ensure that all commercial radio stations and DAB+ digital stations are easily available on Google Nest speakers and displays. There is great value for radio audiences in being able to enjoy their favourite local radio station on these devices using a simple voice request,” said Joan Warner, chief executive officer of CRA. “It’s also good news for advertisers looking to invest in audio, as the growth in smart speaker ownership, and radio’s presence on these devices, strengthens radio’s position and reach.”
According to the Infinite Dial Australia 2020 study released by Edison Research, 85% of Australians have an awareness of smart speakers. There has also been an increase in smart speaker ownership, with 17% of Australians owning a device in 2020, up from 13% in 2019 and a leap from the 5% recorded in 2018. The Edison Research study also showed that, of the smart speaker brands available in the country, 82% of smart speaker owners in Australia have Google Nest devices.
“This new integration of RadioApp on Google Nest devices gives listeners easier access to their preferred local radio stations and favourite radio personalities, all with a simple voice command,” said Mel Silva, managing director of Google Australia and New Zealand. “After many months of collaboration with CRA, it is great to see the results of our partnership become available for Australian radio listeners and Google Nest owners – and by making this radio content discoverable, it will provide incredible value for local radio stations and advertisers too.”
A multi-layered promotional campaign highlighting the functionality will roll out over the coming months through on-air promotion and radio commercials, as well as online promotion via content on radio station websites, display advertising and the RadioApp website. There will also be a selection of popular radio personalities acting as on-air ambassadors to promote the initiative.
The RadioApp on Google Nest devices initiative has been developed by Commercial Radio Australia in partnership with Google and leading radio mobile solutions provider All in Media (AIM), a division of Xperi, Inc.
Seven West Media and LiveRamp have expanded their four-year-long partnership, with SWM becoming the first major media organisation in Australia to implement LiveRamp’s Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS).
SWM said its adoption of ATS will enhance its addressable and programmatic marketing across all its channels, including display, mobile and connected TV (CTV), without relying on third-party cookies or device-based identifiers, representing a milestone among publishers in Australia.
ATS allows publishers to match authenticated user data with LiveRamp’s people-based identifier, enabling end-to-end addressability.
Nicole Bence, network digital sales director at Seven West Media, commented, “Following the launch of our customer data platform, 7REDiQ, ATS further adds to our evolving data solutions, underpinned by our omnichannel approach to better understanding audiences across SWM properties, including 7plus, 7NEWS.com.au, and The West Australian’s digital platform thewest.com.au.”
ATS will sit within the 7PlugnPlay product suite which is focused on enabling marketers to combine their first-party data, along with SWM’s, to reach consumers with precision across cookieless inventory on desktop, including Firefox and Safari, mobile (web and in-app), and CTV.
“Not only will this help SWM unlock the true value of previously non-addressable environments and inventory, but it will allow brands and partners to reach our expansive digital audience at a true people-based level across all channels, including connected TV,” said Bence.
“Implementing ATS supports our ongoing commitment to offering brands and consumers a personalized and more transparent experience whilst still providing all parties greater control,” she added.
Melanie Hoptman, COO, ANZ at LiveRamp said the company worked hand-in-hand with SWM to help the media organisation pioneer a new era that will soon impact Australia’s entire digital marketing sector.
“With the deprecation of third-party cookies and evolving restrictions at the device-level, the industry is unquestionably moving towards a more consumer-centric future. Publishers and brands that prioritise flexible strategies that can adapt to the changing landscape will be at the forefront of this change and will be able to achieve better business continuity,” she said.
“SWM’s migration to an open, independent, and collaborative ecosystem enables it to capitalise on the already strong relationships it maintains across its consumer base. With the addition of ATS to its tech stack, SWM will be able to attract more advertising dollars, recognise new revenue streams and, most importantly, not just preserve, but enhance the three-way value exchange with readers and viewers, as well as advertisers,” said Hoptman.
Alcorn replaces acting editor Michelle Griffin who will return to the role of World Editor once the transition is complete. Alcorn is the first woman to be appointed editor of The Age.
James Chessell, group executive editor of Australian metro publishing, said:
“Gay is an insightful journalist with a strong sense of what is important for all Victorians,” he said. “She is steeped in The Age’s proud history of agenda-setting, independent journalism and will be a strong leader of the newsroom in Melbourne.
“Gay is an editor of substance who will inspire and lead a team of the most talented journalists in the country who have performed so admirably this year under immense pressure. I’m so delighted Gay has agreed to come home.”
A three-times Walkley Award winner for news and feature writing, Alcorn was The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald’s Washington correspondent from 1999 to 2002, covering the 2000 presidential election and the September 11 terrorist attacks. She was The Age’s deputy editor from 2006 to 2008 and editor of The Sunday Age for more than four years until late 2012. She won a Quill award for commentary in 2018.
“Returning to lead The Age is a privilege, particularly in these times of extraordinary change and challenge,” Alcorn said.
“There is pain and worry in Victoria now, and big challenges ahead. My aim is that The Age continues to be the Victorian masthead of choice for trusted, fair and brave journalism. In a polarised media era, these values are as crucial as ever.
“The Age, as it has been throughout its more than 165-year history, is part of our community. I want our readers to feel they have a stake in The Age, whether they always agree with what’s published or not.
“The Age consistently produces excellent journalism, whether investigative stories with consequence, coverage of a city that revels in ideas and debate like no other, independent sports, business and cultural coverage and vital reporting about national and international issues. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to make a contribution.”
Alcorn will start on September 28.
Sabra Lane and Linda Mottram, presenters of ABC Audio Current Affairs flagships AM, Saturday AM and PM, are on the move. In October Mottram will relocate to Bega, in south-east NSW, while Lane is planning a January move to Hobart.
Locating content-making roles in more parts of Australia is one of the key goals of the ABC’s Five-Year Plan, and being closer to their communities is integral to ABC NEWS’s “More Relevant to More Australians” editorial strategy, helping tap into the concerns and perspectives of the broadest cross-section of Australians.
Basing national current affairs programs in regional NSW and in Hobart is also a boost for the local teams, opening new possibilities for bringing original and relevant stories from those centres to the nation.
Melbourne-born Lane has been based in Canberra for 13 years, leading AM for the past four years. She says she has been contemplating a change of scene for some time.
“A couple of years ago I fell in love with Tasmania and its glorious native forests and had a dream to move there,” she says. “I asked if it was possible to present AM from Hobart and was delighted the answer was yes. I’ll still be keeping a ferocious eye and ear on Federal politics and national affairs.
“It’s been an honour to be part of the ABC’s Parliamentary Bureau team — it’s a powerhouse of reporting. But a new path awaits and I’m looking forward to joining my new ABC family in Hobart.”
Lane will broadcast from one of the ABC’s main Hobart studios. The move means she will relinquish her role as President of the National Press Club.
“It’s been a tremendous honour to serve on the National Press Club Board as a director and President,” she says. “It’s a wonderful institution. I shall miss the club and fellow directors.”
Mottram will broadcast Saturday AM and PM out of ABC South East, located in the town of Bega. Originally from Perth, Mottram has worked all over the world, including being the ABC correspondent in the Middle East and Moscow, and has been presenting PM for almost three years, out of both the Sydney and Gosford studios.
“We’ve never been a family that sits still for too long. We’ve travelled the world to work and just on a whim,” Mottram says. “Our family has south coast history from way back and there has been a real pull.
“Planting PM in a regional centre will also bring deeper understanding of rural communities and ties to their stories.”
AM can be heard Monday to Friday at 7.10am on RN and 8.00am on Local and Regional radio; Saturday AM is each Saturday at 7.10am on RN and 8.00am on Local and Regional radio; PM Monday to Friday at 5.00pm on RN and 6.30pm on ABC Local and Regional Radio.
By James Manning
The Block was again key to Nine’s primary channel victory for the week, but it was again a narrow margin, albeit it up slightly on the week prior.
Seven was also up while ABC and SBS were both down.
Seven ranked #1 in network share, but by the narrowest of margins – it was 0.2 ahead of Nine.
Helping keep Seven in front was 7mate which was the most-watched multichannel with an improved share on 4.0%.
Primary share: 18.8% (18.1%)
Network share: 27.8% (26.9)%
Multichannels: GO! 3.3% (3.2%) Gem 2.3% (2.3%) 9Life 2.2% (2.1%) 9Rush 1.2% (1.1%)
Nine’s biggest audience was for Nine News Sunday which was also the #1 Sunday bulletin in week 37. The channel’s best non-news program was The Block Sunday with the room winner reveal on 992,000 and the rest of that episode on 923,000. No other Block episodes made it over 800,000 with the low point on Wednesday with 687,000, up from 651,000 week-on-week. While the live audience watching The Block is lower, Nine noted its streaming audience was up 6%.
A Current Affair and 60 Minutes were both in the 600,000s with three shows making it to 500,000 or more – Emergency (519,000), Hot Seat (509,000) and Halifax-Retribution (500,000).
Primary share: 18.3% (18.0%)
Network share: 28.0% (27.9%)
Multichannels: 7TWO 3.4% (3.8%) 7mate 4.0% (3.9%) 7flix 2.2% (2.2%)
Turning around Seven’s week was the AFL again with a huge Friday night audience of 639,000 for the Cats v Tigers clash the highlight.
Apart from news and football, Seven’s nest biggest audience was out of primetime – The Chase did 570,000 at 5.30pm last week.
Home and Away was on 547,000 and Better Homes and Gardens did 512,000.
The best Plate of Origin could manage was 459,000 for its final Sunday outing where it has been replaced by The All New Monty.
Primary share: 13.1% (13.6%)
Network share: 17.3% (17.9%)
Multichannels: Kids/Comedy 2.3% (2.4%) ME 0.5% (0.4%) News 1.5% (1.5%)
After the news bulletins the channel’s best was again Hard Quiz on 681,000.
Shetland and Anh’s Brush with Fame were also over 600,000.
Joining the programming over half a million this week was Midsomer Murders with 528,000.
Primary share 11.2% (11.2%)
Network share: 17.2% (17.4%)
Multichannels: Bold 3.9% (4.1%) Peach 2.1% (2.1%)
The Masked Singer Reveal on Monday was the highpoint with 912,000 with the rest of that episode on 775,000.
Have You Been Paying Attention? was on 764,000.
Gogglebox was the only other show over 600,000.
Tuesday’s The Masked Singer Australia Unmasked was on 593,000.
Primary share: 6.1% (6.3%)
Network share: 9.6% (9.9%)
Multichannels: Viceland 1.6% (1.5%) Food 0.7% (0.8%) NITV 0.2% (0.2%) World Movies 1.0% (1.1%)
The World’s Most Scenic Railway Journeys again worked its magic with 354,000 watching Swiss Rail twist its away across the Swiss Alps. Great Asian Railway Journeys was next best as Michael Portillo crossed Malaysia, but the audience was 100,000 lower.
* Figures in brackets are Week 36 shares.
By James Manning
• Singles: Cardi B #1 again as Conan Gray and Tate McRae climb
Not a lot of movement again on the chart with no change to the top four, no new entry into the top 10 and just two chart debuts in the top 50.
WAP spends a fourth week at #1 for Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion which equals the female hip hop chart record of Salt-N-Pepa when they spent four weeks at #1 with Let’s Talk About Sex in 1992.
Two bullet performers inside the top 20 were Conan Gray with Heather (#20 to #13 after four weeks) and Tate McRae with You Broke Me First (#22 to #15 after five weeks).
The two top 50 debuts belong to:
#37 Saweetie with Tap In. Top 50 debut for the US hip hop artist with a track from her debut album Pretty Bitch Music which is not far away from release.
#47 Internet Money with Lemonade featuring Gunna, Don Toliver and Nav. A second single from the hip hop collective from the album B4 the Storm.
Another Aussie chart takeover this week with the top three albums featuring local artists, and two other Aussie chart debuts also top 10.
The Mushroom Group see its compilation Music From the Home Front jump back into the chart for a third week at #1 and a total of eight weeks in the top 50. The re-entry was spurred on by a triple vinyl release of the set.
Previously spending two straight weeks at #1 in June/July, Music From the Home Front includes performances by ARIA Hall Of Fame inductees Jimmy Barnes, Crowded House, Mark Seymour, Colin Hay, Paul Kelly, James Reyne and Andrew Farriss (INXS), as well as ARIA winners Tones And I, Missy Higgins, Vance Joy, Bliss n Eso, Kate Ceberano, Delta Goodrem, Dean Lewis, Guy Sebastian and others.
All profits from Music From the Home Front go to Support Act – Australia’s only charity delivering crisis relief services to artists, crew and music workers as a result of ill health, injury, a mental health problem, or other crisis that impacts on their ability to work in music.
Michael Gudinski, founder and chairman of Mushroom Group, said:
“It’s hard to believe that four and a half months after Music From the Home Front first etched its moment in history, the long awaited release of the triple vinyl album, together with the CD and downloads, returns this fantastic album back to #1 on the ARIA chart. It’s an amazing testament to all the artists and people involved.”
Dan Rosen, ARIA CEO, added:
“Congratulations to Michael Gudinski, Mushroom and all the artists involved in Music From the Home Front on getting back to #1 with an incredible vinyl edition of the album. It shows just what a special moment it was for Australia, and how our artists come together and heed the call when we need them most.
“I would also like to congratulate the awesome Powderfinger on reaching #2 with their 20th anniversary edition of Odyssey Number 5. It is a landmark album by one of this country’s great bands.
“And congratulations to San Cisco, on debuting at #3 on the ARIA Charts with their wonderful independent album Between You and Me.
“They are all part of a great week for Australian artists on the ARIA Charts. We have seen people all around the country continue to engage with our artists and music, and it is vital in helping many Australians get through these challenging times.”
The other artists who claimed a top 10 finish this week:
#2: Powderfinger with Odyssey Number 5: 20th Anniversary Edition.
The re-release of the Brisbane band’s fourth album didn’t quite match the chart-topping success of the original when released in September 2000. The album originally spent three weeks at #1 and features their most successful chart single – My Happiness – which peaked at #4. The album secured the band six ARIA Awards in 2001 including Album of the Year. Somehow Odyssey Number 5 tops this week’s ARIA Vinyl Chart despite the vinyl release of Music From the Home Front. Powderfinger sadly confirmed there are no plans for gigs when they declined the invitation to play at this year’s AFL Grand Final being held in Brisbane.
#3: San Cisco with Between You And Me. A second top 10 achievement for the Fremantle trio with their fourth album. Their previous release The Water peaked at #17 in May 2017 while their second album Gracetown made it to #2 in March 2015.
#8: Slim Dusty with Slim & I. – The soundtrack to the forthcoming documentary from producer Chris Brown and director Kriv Stenders tells the story of Slim Dusty and wife and musical collaborator Joy McKean. As well as their own music, the project feature contributions from Paul Kelly, Missy Higgins, Troy Cassar-Daley and Kasey and Bill Chambers.
#9: Wil Wagner with Spiralling. Extended EP or mini album – seven tracks from The Smith Street Band singer. There’s also an 18-minute podcast where Wagner answers questions from fans. This is Wagner’s first new solo music since his 2013 release Laika.
Three other albums debuted in the top 50 this week:
#22 Big Sean with Detroit 2. The fifth solo album for the Detroit rapper.
#28 Rex Orange County with Bcos U Will Never B Free. The debut album from the British indie pop artist gets its first ever vinyl release to mark its fifth anniversary.
#39 6ix9ine with TattleTales. The second album from the US rapper.
Top Photo: Back at #1 –Mushroom Group chairman Michael Gudinski with Music From the Home Front in his record library
By James Manning
• The Block delivers an upset as Harry & Tash topple Jimmy & Tam
• Strippers help bring back Seven’s Sunday audience on All New Monty
Seven News 1,132,000
Nine News 1,014,000
ABC News 755,000
10 News First 285,000/220,000
SBS World News 180,000
Daily current affairs
The Project 274,000/377,000
News Breakfast 166,000
Late night news
Nine News Late 266,000
Seven: The All New Monty: Guys and Gals has been a successful format as specials before and now Seven has “supersized” the format across three Sunday night episodes. It has launched with an audience of 781,000, well up on what Plate of Origin did in the slow a week ago – 459,000.
Crime Investigation Australia then filled the 8.30pm slot with 398,000 watching the Most Infamous episode.
Nine: The Block delivered an upset with Jimmy and Tam dropping to the bottom of the rankings for the week after previously winning everything. Winning master bedroom and en suite week by half a point were father and daughter team Harry and Tash. The audience of 991,000 and 960,000 was close to the numbers a week ago.
60 Minutes followed with Liz Hayes becoming part of the story as she reported on decent people in the country who are dying because of a rural health system that’s broken and failing them. One of those people was Liz’s dad Bryan Ryan, a farmer who lived near Taree, north of Newcastle in NSW. He was 88 years old when he died a year ago, but it’s highly likely he’d still be alive today if not for a catastrophic medical error that occurred while he was being treated in the rural health system. As Hayes reveals, what happened to her dad is inexcusable, but it’s just one of many cases that are as heart-breaking as they are tragic.
Hayes’ story comes as Nine is set to reveal at its Upfront she will be hosting her own primetime specials during 2021. The 60 Minutes audience last night was 586,000, down a little from 616,000 a week ago.
10: The Sunday Project featured Magda Szubanski as the show was the only primetime representative for the channel in the top 20. At 7pm the audience was 377,000.
Family Feud has struggled for a big crowd in its primetime slot and it did 210,000.
Two episodes of the US drama FBI followed with audiences of 172,000 and 135,000.
ABC: The doco co-production Freeman brought together boutique production house General Strike and Matchbox Pictures in the primetime Sunday slot. Twenty years after Cathy Freeman won Olympic gold in Sydney, the doco recalled her 400m victory and the lead-up to the event. The show delivered fascinating insights from Freeman about the Olympic build up in the days and seconds before the final. There were also some reminders about the role the media played in creating controversy, particularly surrounding Freeman’s arch-rival Marie-José Pérec who disappeared out of the country, missing a clash with her Australian challenger. The doco had an audience of 708,000.
The last in a short season of Midsomer Murders did 552,000 after 523,000 a week ago.
SBS: Lost Worlds and Hidden Treasures followed the news with 187,000 watching. The penultimate Sunday of the Tour de France started earlier at 8.30pm with 176,000 watching Stage 15.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.0%||7TWO||3.9%||GO!||3.7%||10 Bold||3.1%||VICELAND||1.6%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||4.3%||GEM||1.7%||10 Peach||2.2%||Food Net||0.7%|
|9Rush||1.2%||SBS World Movies||0.9%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.6%||7TWO||3.5%||GO!||6.3%||10 Bold||4.2%||VICELAND||0.8%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||3.9%||GEM||3.0%||10 Peach||2.0%||Food Net||0.6%|
|9Rush||1.5%||SBS World Movies||1.8%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.5%||7TWO||1.7%||GO!||3.6%||10 Bold||3.7%||VICELAND||1.1%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||4.4%||GEM||2.3%||10 Peach||2.0%||Food Net||0.5%|
|9Rush||0.7%||SBS World Movies||0.6%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.5%||7TWO||2.6%||GO!||4.1%||WIN Bold||3.8%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||4.4%||GEM||3.6%||WIN Peach||0.9%||Food Net||0.7%|
|ABC NEWS||1.0%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||2.7%||9Life||2.1%||Sky News on WIN||1.5%||NITV||0.1%|
|SUNDAY METRO ALL TV|
Friday Top 10
Saturday Top 10
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
While Australian media firms still face a tough market, the majority that used JobKeeper to hang onto staff are not expecting to qualify for the next round of assistance, reports AFR‘s Max Mason.
The government subsidy may have got them through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many now winding back their own emergency measures, such as temporary pay cuts.
Seven West Media, Here, There & Everywhere, Carsales, Domain, and WPP AUNZ are among those who received JobKeeper and do not expect to qualify for the next round, which will run from October.
oOh!media expects to qualify for the December quarter, but not the March quarter. Southern Cross did not return The Australian Financial Review‘s approach. Prime Media declined to comment. Network Ten was not eligible for JobKeeper because it is considered an overseas owned business due to its ownership by ViacomCBS.
Businesses with pre-COVID revenues of less than $1 billion will again need to show a decline of more than 30 per cent, while those over will have to show a drop of more than 50 per cent.
Businesses which file a quarterly Business Activity Statement will have to show a turnover drop between this year’s September quarter and last year’s quarter, while those filing monthly will have to show a drop between September this year and the same month last year.
News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller has deleted his Twitter account, saying the lack of regulation of content on the platform has moved beyond offensive to dangerous, reports AFR‘s Max Mason.
It comes during a week when popular platform TikTok struggled to stop the spread of a video featuring suicide and has been hidden in content targeted at children. The video was initially live-streamed on Facebook on August 31, but the video began spreading again after being hidden in other content.
“In the News this week has been plenty of discussion about the value of social media platforms, particularly of Twitter and TikTok, as offensive and personal material has circulated on their platforms,” Miller said in his weekly note to News Corp staff.
“Kids were exposed to material they shouldn’t see and didn’t want to see, and in today’s world it seems it’s possible for anyone and particularly journalists to be subjected to daily abuse, or campaigns by faceless people. Twitter, in particular has become a dark place for nameless and destructive personalities.”
Miller cited notes from ABC managing director David Anderson and head of news Gaven Morris telling staff they did not need to use Twitter and wouldn’t be measured on it.
“So what does all of this mean to me? Well I’ve asked myself – what are the positives? What good is coming from platforms like Twitter and, more broadly, is social media doing more harm than good? And the answer for me when it comes to Twitter is that the negatives far outweigh the positives – to me personally, or to News Corp as a business, or to society in general,” Miller wrote.
“For that reason, I have decided I am also going to delete my Twitter account. I’m of the view that the unfettered social news and the lack of effective regulation of the content that can be posted and shared, as well as the way it is used to target individuals, has gone well beyond offensive, and can now be classified as dangerous.”
A leading producer says commercial TV networks should be allowed to move their Australian drama, children’s and documentary content to their streaming or catch-up services, leaving their main channels for reality, entertainment, sports and news programming, reports SMH‘s Karl Quinn and Zoe Samios.
“Australians want to watch drama, and they want to watch Australian drama,” says Chris Oliver-Taylor, Asia-Pacific chief executive officer of Fremantle, one of the biggest local producers of both scripted and unscripted content. “But you need to go where the audiences are going.”
“There should be some incentives and structure around, say, Netflix and Seven working together, Nine and Stan, Ten and CBS, to make sure they can put their drama offerings on the right platform at the right time, and the free-to-air model can be designed around sport, reality and news.”
The comments mark a significant intervention by the respected industry figure in the debate around the future of the industry as the federal government considers its response to the Options Paper prepared by Screen Australia and the ACMA, and released in April. Allowing the broadcasters to acquit their obligations in drama, children’s and documentary off their main channels would be a major concession from the production side of the industry.
Emma Alberici was never going to disappear quietly into the sunset after her high-profile departure from the ABC last month, reports News Corp’s Nick Tabakoff.
Her new book will claim her reputation has been unfairly “smeared” over her 2018 corporate tax story, which the ABC found contained nine errors of fact and omissions.
The book will be called Rewrite the Story.
There will certainly be plenty for Alberici to “rewrite” when it comes to the controversial 2018 story, which caused ructions at the highest levels of the national broadcaster and the national government. Not only did it prompt the intervention of then PM Turnbull to complain and ask for it to be rewritten, but Justin Milne’s unsuccessful instruction to sack Alberici over the story and a separate analysis piece ultimately played a key role in his abrupt exit as ABC chairman.
Alberici says all of this and more will be addressed in the book. In an acquisition announcement to be released this week, Alberici says the focus of Rewrite the Story will be to clear her name with “irrefutable” evidence.
Industrial property funds manager Logos will develop a purpose-built printing facility for News Corp Australia at its Truganina Logistics Estate in western Melbourne, creating 130 jobs in the process, reports News Corp’s Ben Wilmot.
News Corp, publisher of The Australian, has committed to a 10-year term lease at the 11,215sq m site, which will become the company’s new print centre for its Victorian newspapers including the Herald Sun and the local edition of The Australian.
Logos acquired the Truganina site in mid-2018 with plans to transform it into a prime logistics and e-commerce estate offering modern facilities, primarily to serve Melbourne and surrounding areas.
The News Corp facility is the first precommitment for the estate.
The publisher sold its heritage print facility in bayside Port Melbourne and is reinvesting into the new development, which is slated to be completed in November.
News Corp partnered with property and supply chain firm TM Insight to design and procure the new facility, with TM Insight to project -manage the build with Logos.
With reality TV show ratings sliding backwards this year, there is news that 10 is poised to pull the pin on its expensive dance series, Dancing With The Stars, reports News Corp’s Annette Sharp.
The relocation of popular Irish dancer and judge Tristan MacManus to 10’s morning show, Studio 10, last week was interpreted by industry stalwarts as confirmation the dancing show was for the chop.
MacManus seemed an unlikely appointment to the morning chat show — which recently shed more seasoned show regulars Natarsha Belling, Joe Hildebrand, Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Denise Scott — and goes forward with just two anchors, MacManus joining long-time host Sarah Harris.
Insiders claim MacManus has a contract with 10 that must be honoured, prompting the cash-strapped network to move him to the morning advertorial program.
No word on where this leaves fellow judges Sharna Burgess and Craig Revel Horwood in 2021 if the show is cancelled, although hosts Amanda Keller and Grant Denyer look safe as they have other commitments on Ten.
Channel 7 stands to lose the equivalent of almost half the value of its station if it broadcasts cricket this summer, reports News Corp’s Robert Craddock.
It is understood Seven lost more than $60 million on cricket last summer and it has been forecast the damage will be much greater in a COVID-challenged summer if it proceeds with the third year of a six-year deal.
Seven, valued at $177 million at close of business on Friday, has informed Cricket Australia of its intention to terminate the deal in a letter delivered last week.
Seven is due to pay $25 million to CA on Tuesday as part of a routine instalment of its $85 million annual fee but is likely to resist making the payment which will leave Australian cricket in crisis.
Seven were aware Channel 9 lost more than $40 million a year in the closing years of its deal but Seven still bid for the product even though there were growing concerns about its value.
Free-to-air stations have long accepted they would make a loss on the cricket but have seen it as a loss leader because it allows them to promote their shows for new ratings season.
Cricket Australia had initially planned to launch the Big Bash and the four Test series against India on the same day but that will now be impossible with the Test series likely to start several weeks late in mid-December.
Seven had suggested to CA it might consider abandoning the Big Bash for a year but there is no chance of that for CA is determined to fulfil its contract-guaranteed 59-match schedule.
Foxtel is pushing Cricket Australia for a discount on its $600 million rights deal and potentially more exclusive games ahead of the virus-hit summer schedule, at the same time as free-to-air broadcaster Seven West Media threatens to terminate its contract, reports AFR‘s Max Mason.
Sources told The Australian Financial Review that Foxtel wrote to Cricket Australia on Friday alleging a shortfall in quality and a schedule that favoured India’s cricketing body rather than local broadcasters that signed a $1.18 billion, six-year deal in 2018.
Foxtel is not pushing to terminate its contract as Seven is threatening to do. However, like Seven, it believes there are clauses regarding the quality of various competitions, particularly the Big Bash League Twenty20 tournament, which entitle it to a discount.
Sources said it is considering withholding its payment due this week. It follows a similar threat in Seven’s letter last week.
Foxtel bought rights to all matches played in Australia, including exclusivity over limited-overs internationals and some of the BBL, for about $100 million a year before production costs.
Optus has not formally expressed interest in Rugby Australia’s revised broadcast rights package, leaving News Corp-controlled Foxtel in a strong position in negotiations with the under pressure code, reports SMH‘s Zoe Samios.
The Singtel-owned telco provider was on the brink of securing a deal with Rugby Australia earlier this year before the coronavirus pandemic hit, but formal talks fell apart during the crisis and only restarted last month.
Media industry sources who could not speak publicly because the process is confidential said Optus had not submitted interest in the code’s revised rights package, which RA unveiled last month.
The telco was now looking at alternative ways to grow subscriptions, but could return to negotiations at a later date, the sources said. “We don’t comment on rights, either current or future,” an Optus spokesperson said.
Optus’ absence from the official negotiating table leaves RA with fewer choices for a broadcasting partner. Fox Sports, which has broadcast Super Rugby since its inception in 1996, remains interested in rugby – particularly Super Rugby and Test matches. Amazon, which last week secured the rights to a one-off Eight Nations tournament in Europe, declined to comment on whether it was involved in the local tender process.
Meanwhile Network Ten, which is currently the free-to-air broadcaster for the Wallabies matches, did submit a formal expression of interest. Ten is the only commercial free-to-air broadcaster to formally enter talks, but sources have indicated the broadcaster is looking to pay less than it currently does for the matches. Ten currently pays about $3.5 million a year as part of RA’s $285 million deal signed with the broadcaster, Foxtel and BSkyB in 2015.