Monday September 21, 2020

Nine’s Hamish Turner on potential Covid impact on 2021 schedule

By James Manning

• Why Nine wants to reboot Celebrity Apprentice & Beauty and the Geek

Although Nine has shared its schedule for 2021 with media buyers and advertisers, the company has flexibility should Covid impact any of the production schedules.

“We need to have room to move in case things don’t play out as we hope they will next year,” Nine’s program director Hamish Turner told Mediaweek.

He noted that some of the 2021 series will also go into production a little earlier than might normally be required for when they will be broadcast.

The biggest change year-on-year at Nine is the absence of The Voice which has changed channels to Seven. Nine hasn’t replaced it with anything similar, leaving it with no performance format all year. “That was something of a conscious decision as there will still be a bit of risk around performance in 2021. If you have to produce a series with a smaller, or maybe even no audience, it does take away from the experience. For next year at least we want to mitigate the risk a little. Performance will certainly be on the radar for us longer term.”

The Covid impact on international production means there have been few new formats emerging. When that pipeline opens up again Nine will be well placed to look at any opportunities that present themselves.

“We will have room for one more show for our 2021 slate and if it ends up being in the performance space then fantastic.”

Hamish Turner on Nine’s major 2021 properties

Celebrity Apprentice

Celebrity Apprentice Australia

The last time Nine had Celebrity Apprentice on the schedule it was produced for it by Fremantle. This time it is Warner Bros Television Australia, the first time Nine is working with the production company here. “Michael Brooks [managing director] has been wanting to do something with us. We were bidding on The Masked Singer, but we missed out on that. It will be great to be able to work with them on Celebrity Apprentice. We really liked the pitch and they have re-envisaged the show as ‘Survivor in the city’. It is a good time for celebrities to come forward to work with their charities given the type of year we have had with bushfires and the pandemic.

“Lord Alan Sugar will come to the show not knowing who the celebrities are and he will certainly assert some authority over them.”

Beauty and the Geek

Beauty and the Geek

“We really liked the pitch from Endemol Shine Australia and we have worked closely with them on re-imagining Lego Masters and they did the stripped version of Married at First Sight – taking it from once a week to a daily show and it became a juggernaut. Further back in time they did something similar with MasterChef, taking the UK format and remaking a multi-night program for an Australian audience. Beauty and the Geek host Sophie Monk positions the show perfectly as a beauty and a bit of a self-proclaimed geek. The way they will be making it in a stripped format positions it well to attract a demo rich audience.”

Turner said it was too early to tell if Sophie Monk will also host Love Island Australia. “We have some time to make a decision. We would like to see Sophie work across both, but we won’t announce anything until into next year.”

Beach House Escape

This is a format being internally developed at Nine. “Many people have romanticised notions of escaping the rat race and moving to the beach. People are choosing a destination for lifestyle over one that was more predicated by the commute to work. We are tapping into the zeitgeist with 10 individuals who have the dream of escaping the rate race and living out the seachange dream.”

Turner said there is still some work to do on the format, but the ambition would be for the series to have a short multi-night run.

While most of Nine’s 7.30pm reality formats will run across multi nights of the week, Turner said exceptions to that rule will be Travel Guides (which will get a 7.30pm slot) and Celebrity IOU.

Amazing Grace

Nine’s new drama comes from Playmaker Media. Although the founders David Taylor and David Maher are leaving the business six years after selling it to Sony, Turner said they are very much working on this series.

“We have seen medical dramas do well in the past. This is a little different in that it centres on the Kate Jenkinson character Grace. She works in a birthing centre and the show balances the trials and tribulations of the birthing centre and how she tries to keep her personal life together. It is female skewed and will appeal to people who liked shows like Offspring.”

Both of Nine’s key dramas are now medical dramas with Doctor Doctor also returning for 2021. “Medical dramas with some quirky character at the heart,” said Turner.

Hamish and Andy

This is the first year for a while where Hamish Blake and Andy Lee don’t have a series featuring both of them on the schedule. “What they have been doing is working with their team on some creative ideas. There is nothing to announce yet, but we will give them time and will check in with them in a couple of months to see where they are at.

Blake has been shooting Lego Masters this year for Nine in Melbourne.

9Now streaming service

“It now serves both a VOD audience for new content after deals with NBC, Discovery, but it is also the digital destination for people who want to watch any of Nine’s channels live on connected devices. We have new series like Hunt for the Bone Collector and For Life from Sony and they will both launch in the next month. Many of the new US series probably won’t be launching until January or February next year.

“9Now was impacted a little this year by no Love Island Australia where it was the biggest brand for us. It accounted for almost 20% of our 9Now streams in 2019.”

9Now is helping fill that gap not only with more Love Island UK, but also Love Island Las Vegas which has been running this month. “This was originally planned to run mid-year, but was delayed and moved to Las Vegas and we have episodes dropping daily.” The US edition of the show is currently Nine’s second most popular BVOD offering after The Block.


“We are happy where Rush is after launching in April. It has been able to find a core audience in the demos we were after. 9Life continues to go well and during Covid we have seen more people looking for renovation and lifestyle content. On Gem we are getting good results for British crime, some of which may have been screened previously on the ABC.”

Northern River Review
Publisher ACM announces launch of Northern Rivers Review in northern NSW

Two weeks after confirming an expansion of its metro footprint in the northern beaches of Sydney, ACM has confirmed that it will launch a new print and digital publication in the Northern Rivers region of NSW, covering areas including Lismore, Ballina, Richmond River and Byron Bay.

Executive chairman Antony Catalano said: “Being a local business owner and having spent many years coming to the Byron area, I couldn’t be happier to be launching a new publication in the area I care so much about.

“Our focus has been to listen to the people and build a local team, which will focus on local stories, issues and the region’s best real estate. We’ve been lucky enough to secure experienced journalist, editor and columnist Sophie Moeller (pictured) to lead the editorial team. I would personally like to welcome Sophie to the team.”

Northern River Review

Moeller has had a long career in journalism that has taken her around the world, from The Australian to The Times in London. She has also been a columnist for The Sunday Telegraph and Pacific Magazines but, for the past three years, it has been her editorship of The Lismore Echo that has fuelled her passion for local stories reflecting life in a thriving community.

Moeller said: “I am so excited to get this lifestyle magazine off the ground to tell the stories that make The Northern Rivers the place where everyone wants to be and live.

“There’s no coincidence our airport is one of the busiest in the country right now. People come to the far north corner of NSW because they want to experience a way of life that is ‘real’. The Northern Rivers Review will be as unique as its environment. It will not only help local journalism but celebrate its people, rural produce, industries, arts and events, tourism, not to mention its beautiful rolling blue and green real estate.”

The new title rolls out weekly on a Thursday from October 29 with a $2 cover price in print and a $2 weekly digital subscription. It will tap into ACM’s 170 titles across the country, and will also have access to its sales force and its nation-wide team of more than 600 journalists.

Rod Harris, ACM’s commercial director in the Northern Rivers, added: “We feel the time is right to launch into the Northern NSW market with our new local news and lifestyle brand, which readers will engage with from day one.

“The market is proving resilient in so many ways during this period, and the outlook for population growth and economic certainty makes the Northern Rivers Review a credible environment for local and national advertisers to share their messages.

“Our bundled real estate offer through is like no other in the Northern Rivers, and presents the opportunity for vendors to connect with buyers at different stages of the property journey.”

AAP receives $5m lifeline from Morrison Government

The Morrison government has given AAP a $5m lifeline. This decision comes after AAP said that it was struggling financially amid an appeal to the public for money.

The funding comes from the Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program which is designed to boost the media industry.

AAP has launched a reduced service after Nine and News Corp pulled the news wires funding when it was sold to investors.

The minister for communications, Paul Fletcher gave 107 regional broadcasters and publishers $50m under the Ping program in June. The government extended the program from $50m to $55m for AAP, which applied in August due to being ineligible prior to the companies sale.

Fletcher, said of the announcement: 

“The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered unprecedented challenges for Australia’s regional media sector, with severe declines in advertising revenue threatening the sustainability of many news outlets,” Fletcher said on Friday.

“The AAP newswire provides services to more than 250 regional news mastheads across Australia, covering public interest content on national, state and regional news. This allows regional mastheads to concentrate on local news stories important for their communities.”

This follows chief executive of the new AAP Emma Cowdroy (pictured) launching a GoFundMe campaign to boost the revenue base at the newswire. With an initial target of $500,000.

Emma Cowdroy said: “Quality journalism doesn’t come for free and Australian Associated Press needs help to maintain the nation’s balance of fair, objective reporting – a bastion of our democratic life.

“AAP, a national treasure, is under new governance, operating as a not-for-profit company dedicated to covering news for all Australians.

“AAP journalists and photographers are the quiet achievers and first responders in Australian media. You might not know us by name but undoubtedly you would have read, heard or seen our articles – millions of them across our 85-year history. With no political axe to grind, nor advertisers to please, we are independent, trusted, accurate and consistent.

“We operate in an era of unprecedented disruption, national emergency and consolidating media ownership. Australians need AAP’s uncompromising focus on delivering facts fast more than ever. AAP plays a vital role in preserving Australia’s media diversity and is an essential piece of democratic infrastructure.

“AAP has a shared audience of more than five million. We provide hundreds of stories and images every day to hundreds of trusted newspaper, website and radio outlets across Australia. AAP’s domestic content is also beamed to other media around the world.

“The costs of collecting, covering and distributing national news are high. That’s why Sir Keith Murdoch and John Fairfax put their rivalries aside to build AAP in 1935, and the economic logic remains the same.”

Tonic Media Network
Business reposition: Tonic Health Media rebrands to Tonic Media Network

Tonic Health Media has rebranded to Tonic Media Network in a move to reposition the business as an all-encompassing health, wellbeing and lifestyle network.

The rebrand reflects the business’ growth areas following a number of recent developments including a programmatic DOOH partnership with Vistar, Hivestack and Broadsign; the launch of direct-to-consumer eCommerce platform Chemist2U, and the acquisition of health information website in partnership with Healthline Media and Medical News Today.

Tonic Media Network engaged global creative agency AnalogFolk for the rebranding process. The new name, logo and positioning will roll out across assets and communications over the following weeks.

Managing director and CEO of Tonic Media Network, Dr Matthew Cullen (pictured), explained the brand campaign was an ode to the established health arm of the business but also encapsulated other business growth areas.

Matthew Cullen

“Health will always be core to our brand identity but now under this new name and logo, we are better positioned to serve a broader array of clients.

“We are constantly looking at new and innovative ways to connect people to relevant consumer messaging when they need it most and this rebrand is the latest evolution of that vision.

“Building upon Tonic’s existing reputation in the market, we’re excited to continue growing under this new banner to become the largest lifestyle, health and wellbeing media network in Australia.”

Matt Robinson, AnalogFolk managing director added, “We’re very proud to have won this important project, helping Tonic Media Network develop its new brand identity and positioning.

“They are a business with huge ambition and our ‘brand folklore’ methodology – taking them back to their roots and redefining their beliefs, personality and purpose – has continued their evolution and given them room to fulfill that ambition in better serving Australia’s health and wellbeing needs.”

Since its inception in 2014, Tonic Media Network has grown to over 50 staff and works with major advertisers in the pharmaceutical, FMCG, government, food and travel sectors. 

Clarion Awards
Celebrating Queensland media excellence: All the Clarion Award winners

The winners of the 2020 Queensland Clarion Awards were announced on Saturday September 19 at a cocktail event.

The Queensland Clarion Awards are the pre-eminent state-based awards promoting excellence in the media. The annual awards celebrate quality journalism, and reward a media professional whose commitment to excellence in media coverage best informs and entertains Queenslanders.

2020 Queensland Clarion Awards Winners

All Media categories
Rural Journalism supported by Rural Press Club
Sarah Elks, The Australian, “The Grosvenor investigation”

Health Reporting supported by MEAA
ABC News Story Lab, ABC News Digital, “ABC News Story Lab COVID-19 coverage”

Business Journalism supported by O’Brien Accountants
Liam Walsh and Jonathan Shapiro, The Australian Financial Review, “Dunked: Behind Mayfair 101”

Commentary, Analysis, Opinion and Critique supported by MEAA
Mike O’Connor, The Courier-Mail, “Body of Work”

Sports Journalism supported by QSport
Eliza Reilly, Gold Coast Bulletin, “Line in the sand”

Multicultural Reporting supported by MEAA
Stefan Armbruster, SBS News Online, SBS World News 1830 Bulletin, “Untold stories from multicultural Australia”

Social Issues Reporting supported by Independent Education Union
Josh Bavas, ABC TV News and ABC News Online, “Angelo vs Bupa – A student’s fight for life”

Indigenous Issues Reporting supported by Queensland Council of Unions
Amy McQuire, Griffith Review 65: Crimes and Punishments, “White Justice, Black Suffering: Extracting False Confessions”

Broadcast Interview supported by QLD Police Union
Tim Arvier, The Today Show and Nine News – National daytime coverage, “Live Reporting in Minneapolis”

Artwork, Cartoon, Illustration or Graphic supported by MEAA
Tony Bela, The Sydney Morning Herald, “Apollo 11 – 50 year anniversary”

Innovation supported by Telstra
Tim Leslie, Ben Spraggon, Joshua Byrd, Nathan Hoad and Cristen Tilley, ABC News Digital, “How climate change has impacted the world since your childhood”

Three Headings supported by 10 News First
Baz McAlister, The Courier-Mail, “Apoocalypse Now”, “The Windsor of Our Discontent” and “You Shook ‘Em All Night, Elon”

Most Outstanding Final Year Journalism Student – Graduating 2020 supported by MEAA
Nibir Khan, ABC News Online and JACDigital via Adobe Spark, “Coverage of the Rohingya and Muslim Communities in Queensland”

New Journalist of the Year supported by MEAA
Marian Faa, ABC News Online and PM, “Ethical concerns over military’s COVID-19 drug trials”

Print/Text News Report supported by Nine Queensland
Kelmeny Fraser, The Courier-Mail, “Blow the Whistle – Hospitality Investigation”

Print/Text Feature Article supported by Local Government Association of Queensland
Kate Kyriacou and Thomas Chamberlin, QWeekend, The Courier-Mail and The Sunday Mail, “Childers – the 20th anniversary”

Radio News Current Affairs supported by MEAA
Mark Willacy, Alexandra Blucher and Rory Callinan, ABC AM, “The Village Idiot Killing”

Radio, Documentary and Podcast supported by MEAA
David Murray, Chris Bosley and Eric George, The Australian, “The Lighthouse podcast”

Best Metropolitan News Photograph supported by MEAA
Dan Peled, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, Financial Times, AAP and EPA, “Baptism of Fire”

Photographic Essay supported by MEAA
Lachie Millard, The Courier-Mail, “Sunshine Coast Fires”

TV News Report supported by QUT
Tim Arvier, Nine News and The Today Show, “Minneapolis Burning”

TV Current Affairs, Feature, Documentary or Special Broadcast supported by QLD Police Union
Mark Willacy, Four Corners, “Killing Field”

The John Bean Memorial Award for Television Camerawork supported by ABC
Luke Dorrington, Channel Seven News, “Country QLD COVID Comeback”

Regional and Community Feature Article or Opinion Piece – Print/Text supported by MEAA
Paul Weston, Gold Coast Bulletin, “Michael Yarwood – the last six months”

Regional and Community News Report – Print/Text supported by MEAA
Madura McCormack, Townsville Bulletin, “Clive’s Cash”

Regional and Community – Broadcast Report supported by MEAA
Douglas Smith, The Point NITV, “The Power of Repatriation: Returning stolen Indigenous remains and artefacts to where they rightfully belong”

Regional and Community News Photograph supported by Seven Network (Brisbane)
Alistair Brightman, Fraser Coast Chronicle, “Covid Couples”

Major Awards

Investigative Journalism supported by MEAA
Mark Willacy, Four Corners, “Killing Field”
Judges’ comments:
Mark Willacy’s investigation into Australia’s elite special forces was compelling viewing. The never before seen footage, damning interview with Braden Chapman backed up by local villagers truly revealed the extent of the “Killing Field”. The ramifications of this Four Corners report for our soldiers and the military as a whole will be far reaching. “Killing Field” encompasses the attributes of a fine investigative report. The extensive research and ability to cultivate contacts to take part in the story, combined with the strong vision, good scripting and interviewing makes it compelling viewing. The bravery of the whistleblower and the reporting team in pursuing this impactful story is evident.

Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism supported by The University of QLD

Nancy Bates
Judges’ comments:
Nancy Bates is a legend of Queensland journalism – the state’s first ever woman editor of a daily newspaper, a ferocious advocate for her regional community and an invaluable mentor for a generation of journalists.

She wrote an estimated 5.500 editorials for the Fraser Coast Chronicle during her 20 years in the editor’s chair – some of the campaigns she successfully fought for included changes to the law which had allowed men to rape their estranged wives, and convincing local schools to teach the language of the region’s traditional owners, the Butchulla. That campaign won the newspaper a United National Media Peace Award in 2008. This year the Premier named Nancy as one of nine Queensland Greats, describing her as a trailblazer in the truest sense.

Nancy began her career in 1966 as a cadet for New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty Times – and joined the Chronicle four years later.

When she retired in 2009, the then Premier Anna Bligh paid tribute to her 43 year career, telling parliament Nancy was known for her colourful turn of phrase and fiery words about all politicians.

In her retirement, Nancy continues to make a weekly contribution to the publication. The Chronicle’s present editor Jessica Grewal says Nancy often sends through breaking news and well-told local profiles, helping a community still grieving the loss of the local print newspaper.

The Fraser Coast Chronicle first published in 1860 as the Maryborough Chronicle, is one of more than 20 mastheads throughout Queensland that ceased printing a newspaper this year and moved to a digital only service.

It is fitting that at the end of this era, we pay tribute to one of the regional Queensland’s champions of journalism.

Journalist of the Year 2020 supported by MEAA

Tim Arvier, The Today Show and Nine News – National daytime coverage, “Live Reporting in Minneapolis” and “Minneapolis Burning”

Judges’ comments:

The judges complimented Tim on his courageous cross from the heart of the riots in Minneapolis – a compelling 17 minutes of live television that brought to the lounge rooms of Australia the chaos that was unfolding on the streets of America – as it happened, in real time.

Tim and his camera operator Adam Bovino worked seamlessly as a team as bricks were thrown and tear gas fired all around them. Tim kept a cool head and his professional composure, delivering colourful but precise commentary to the pictures being captured; at one point even remembering to apologise for the language when protestors yelled out the F word! But the cross itself was just 17 minutes of the days Tim spent on the front line of the riots, negotiating roadblocks, risking arrest – and worse – to produce top-quality television journalism that would captivate audiences anywhere in the world. At one point he was even detained at gun point by police.

If great journalism involves having courage and engaging your audience through compelling storytelling, Tim Arvier has proven a worthy recipient of the 2020 Queensland Journalist of the Year.

You Can’t Ask That
Context Media shops NZ adaption of ABC hit series You Can’t Ask That

Sydney-based production company Context Media has acquired the exclusive format rights from ABC Commercial to produce a New Zealand adaptation of ABC Australia’s original format You Can’t Ask That.

The break-out prime time hit series is now back in production for its sixth Australian season. Internationally, multiple broadcasters around the globe have to date commissioned 29 versions of the series.

Context Media’s managing director Peter Jenetsky said the company was drawn to the format for a variety of reasons:

In an era where audience cynicism abounds, fatigued by fake news and social media echo chambers, You Can’t Ask That is an utterly authentic series that viewers will find refreshing and engaging. Featuring participants from all walks of life, each episode focuses on a minority or sub-cultural group (including people of short stature, sex workers, recent war veterans, ex-reality TV stars, sporting and Olympic heroes and more), who are asked some very frank and often confronting questions, sourced from the public. Interviewees answer in their own words with candour and humour.

“Topical, controversial, at times confronting, yet heart-warming and humorous, You Can’t Ask That will surprise and delight digital and broadcast audiences alike.

“It is a recognised international success offering ‘returnability’ for commissioning networks. The ABC is enjoying audience growth season-upon-season, so it is proving to be an evergreen and truly multiplatform format engaging audiences across social, digital and broadcast.

“This is a production that is nimble, eminently scalable, quick to produce and cost efficient – all very relevant and important features for television productions during these challenging and uncertain times.”

Context Media and its strategic partner Omnicom Media Group, have commenced discussions with potential New Zealand media partners with a view to financing and producing the series during 2021.

Earlier this month Context Media has secured the exclusive production rights to work with the Animal Welfare League of South Australia (AWL) in the development and production of a television series focused on the operations of this incredible organisation and its newly revamped Animal Care Centre.

Located in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, the construction of what is Australia’s first purpose build care centre featuring state-of-the-art animal care and veterinary facilities comes after comes after years of fund raising by the not-for-profit organisation.

ARIA Chart: Former #1 hits won’t go away, Machine Gun Kelly highest debut

• Albums: Vika & Linda stopped from landing another #1 by Marilyn Manson

Cardi B has made it five weeks at #1 with WAP featuring Megan Thee Stallion. The song won’t disappear any time soon, just as other the chart toppers from the past 15 months won’t go away either. Virtually every #1 for the past year are active on the chart with most of them close to top 10 still.

Chart-toppers from Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo, DaBaby and Saint Jhn are still top 10 while The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights is at #11 (after 42 weeks on the chart). After 15 months on the chart Tones and I’s Dance Monkey is still top 30.

The one exception which has slipped out of the chart is Taylor Swift’s Cardigan which spent a brief one week at #1. However the album it came from – Folklore – is still #3 after eight weeks.

There were just two charts debuts inside the top 50 this week:

#41 Machine Gun Kelley and blackbear with My Ex’s Best Friend. The US rapper, singer, songwriter, and actor from Cleveland enters the top 50 for the first time since Rap Devil exactly two years ago. Machine Gun Kelly’s collaborator is US musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer blackbear who re-enters the Australian chart after a top 10 appearance in 2019 with Hot Girl Bummer. He also charted briefly with his album Everything Means Nothing which peaked at #82 in August this year.

#48 Marshmello and Demi Lovato with OK Not To Be Me OK. A second track from Lovato this year aimed at helping prevent suicide and overcoming self-esteem issues. This is the first collaboration between producer Marshmello and singer, songwriter and actor Lovato.

The biggest mover inside the chart is at #13: Internet Money, Gunna featuring Don Toliver, NAV with Lemonade. The US hip-hop collective jump 34 places.


An unusually quiet week on the album chart. While there were two new albums taking the top spots, there was only one other new entry in the top 50.

Racing straight to #1 for his second ARIA #1 was Marilyn Manson with We Are Chaos. The US rocker’s 11th album has been well received by fans and many critics with some noting the album title is not particularly accurate in that there is not too much chaos, but plenty of good music. Comparisons have included David Bowie and The Beatles, mostly favourable, as he partners with country music guitarist Shooter Jennings on songwriting and production. Although only Manson’s second Aussie #1, it is his seventh time in the top 10 and follows up Heaven Upside Down which made it to #4 three years ago.

Just missing top spot with a #2 debut are Vika & Linda with Sunday (The Gospel According To Iso). They came oh-so-close to scoring two #1 albums in a matter of months after their first ever chart topper in June with Akilotoa: Anthology (1994-2006). The sisters first scored a top 10 release with their debut self-titled album 26 years ago. The new album includes 12 gospel tracks plus an original written by Kasey Chambers and Harry Hookey.

The sole other new entry this week is at #40 from Melody MokoTwo Kids & A Radio. The Newcastle singer-songwriter makes her ARIA Top 50 debut at #40 with her second studio album three years on from her debut, 2017’s The Wreckage.


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Daniel Ricciardo says yes to joining Optus on 2 year deal

Australian Formula 1 sensation Daniel Ricciardo has joined Optus as part of a unique two-year partnership that will see Ricciardo inspire optimism for Optus staff and customers with a fresh approach to a range of business and customer facing initiatives.

Optus’ managing director of marketing and revenue, Matt Williams, saw it as a great opportunity to partner and collaborate with one of Australia’s most renowned athletes who embody Optus’ vision.

“Daniel is a world-class, globally renowned go-getter who understands the importance of unrelenting high-performance, innovation through technology, testing and learning and communication and teamwork,” said Williams.

“It’s his appreciation of precision, accountability and flawless execution that we will tap into to engage and energise our amazing people and customers.

“Just like our 5G network, Daniel is all about speed and performance and is the perfect partner to work with.”

On the partnership, Riccardo said: “I saw this as a terrific opportunity to partner with a company that shares my values and ideas and is also passionate about its customers and teams.

“I’m definitely a Yes! man and am excited to work with Optus on a range of initiatives that motivate and inspire customers and crucially, staff.

“Optus talks a lot about the speed of their network so I can’t wait to see just how fast their 5G network is.”

The partnership forms part of Optus’ new major brand positioning which centres around the idea: It starts with yes; building on the notion of how the greatest things in life come from the commitment, positivity and optimism to say yes.

“Daniel radiates positivity and optimism and we’re very much looking forward to amplifying this throughout our organisation and for our customers, as we continue to provide options for Australians and our people with our Yes! attitude,” said Williams.

The first step in the partnership will see the Optus’ famous ‘Yes’ logo will appear on Ricciardo’s Formula One helmet design for the remainder of 2020 as well as the 2021-22 seasons.

Tik Tok
TikTok announces first local brand campaign: It Starts On TikTok

TikTok’s first local brand campaign, “It Starts On TikTok” will launch nationally across all media formats on September 20.

Created with agency Akcelo, the campaign is a celebration of the Australians on TikTok who showcase a sense of humour, culture and personality to the world

The campaign will include:

• Billboards and digital displays will take over NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA and ACT.
• 2x TVCs with 15 and 30 second edits will be broadcast across Ch 7, 9, 10 and National STV at prime time.
• Digital video ads will be seen across multiple online and social media platforms including Twitch, Google, 9Now, Facebook and Instagram.
• Out of Home and digital Out of Home ads
• Digital display and social

Brett Armstrong, general manager of global business solutions, TikTok ANZ said:

“This campaign represents a major investment in building the TikTok brand with consumers locally and further driving the incredible user growth we’ve seen this year. Creating more opportunities for brands and advertisers to engage with Australian audiences in unique and creative ways remains our focus. Launching a major local brand campaign is a key element of our strategy, as we continue developing the TikTok platform in what is a priority market for us.”

Lee Hunter, general manager, TikTok ANZ said:

“Australia is full of talent and every day, thousands of Aussies are enjoying the thrill of seeing their video go viral on TikTok. The amazing local creators we’ve selected for our first-ever Australian brand campaign are as diverse as our country and have found an audience, both at home and abroad, by being their authentic selves. These ads are a celebration of the joy and opportunity that TikTok offers people everywhere and by showcasing some of the best local talent and trends on our platform, we’re hoping to see many more Australians jump on board and make it happen”.

The Masked Singer
Week 38 TV: Nine ranks #1 primary and network share

By James Manning

The Block is shutting down the site for the Blockheads on Monday – what sort of a ratings impact could that have on Nine’s ratings powerhouse?

So far The Block continues to help keep Nine in the ratings lead. The network won the first five nights of week 38 – four nights of The Block and then one night of NRL. (In network share Nine won the first four and Seven won Thursday through Saturday.)

Seven’s primary share was punished without any Thursday AFL, and 10 had a good week in its demos but challenges elsewhere with four nights of primary share under 10% all people.

Nine Week 38

Primary share: 19.2% (18.8%)
Network share: 27.6% (27.8)%
Multichannels: GO! 2.7% (3.3%) Gem 2.2% (2.3%) 9Life 2.3% (2.2%) 9Rush 1.1% (1.2%)

Nine is claiming the #1 commercial shares across all key demographics: People 25-54s (39.1%), People 16-39s (35.9%) and Grocery Shopper + Child (40.8%). Nine also won Total People with a share of 38.2%.

Nine News had its best numbers for Sunday again with 1.132m. Next best was The Block Sunday which did 960,000/978,000 (reveal).

The Block slipped as low as 742,000 on Wednesday.
A Current Affair averaged 700,000 and 60 Minutes was on 576,000.
Halifax: Retribution made it to 501,000 and the launch of the new season of Australian Crime Stories started on 442,000.

Seven Week 38

Primary share: 17.6% (18.3%)
Network share: 27.4% (28.0%)
Multichannels: 7TWO 3.7% (3.4%) 7mate 3.9% (4.0%) 7flix 2.2% (2.2%)

Share dipped week-on-week with no Thursday AFL on offer. After fixing the cricket schedule you would think CEO James Warburton would be pretty particular about trying to ensure Thursday, Friday and Saturday AFL clashes in every week of the season for the future.

Seven News again led the way with the biggest audiences. The primary channel was more competitive on Sunday with the launch of All New Monty on 781,000.

Home and Away was next best in primetime with 563,000, Friday AFL was on 513,000 and Better Homes and Gardens did 477,000.
Plate of Origin peaked at 410,000 on Tuesday after 342,000 on Monday.
7mate was the #1 multichannel and 7TWO was equal second.

ABC Week 38

Primary share: 13.7% (13.1%)
Network share: 18.1% (17.3%)
Multichannels: Kids/Comedy 2.6% (2.3%) ME 0.4% (0.5%) News 1.4% (1.5%)

ABC News Sunday led the week on 755,000.
It was followed by the Sunday doco Freeman on 708,000.
Hard Quiz (693,000) and Brush with Fame (647,000) both just missed the top 20 for the week.

10 Week 38

Primary share 11.2% (11.2%)
Network share: 17.1% (17.2%)
Multichannels: Bold 3.7% (3.9%) Peach 2.2% (2.1%)

In week 38, 10 shows performed well in the demos, securing five of the top 10 spots in under 50s, 16 to 39s and 18 to 49s, and four of the top 10 in 25 to 54s. Those programs were The Masked Singer Australia Final Reveal and Grand Finale, which topped all the demographics, Have You Been Paying Attention?, The Bachelor Australia and Gogglebox. The Masked Singer Australia Final Reveal was also #1 across the week.

Have You Been Paying Attention? achieved its biggest shares of the year in under 50s and all key age groups (25 to 54s, 16 to 39s and 18 to 49s), The Bachelor Australia episodes lifted week-on-week, Gogglebox achieved its biggest audience since April 2020 and Todd Sampson’s BodyHack debuted its fourth season with its biggest episode since July 2018.

The all people shares didn’t look good with four nights in single figures. However there was also a win all people on Monday thanks to The Masked Singer, putting the channel back at #1 overall for the first time since MasterChef wrapped.

SBS Week 38

Primary share: 6.7% (6.1%)
Network share: 9.7% (9.6%)
Multichannels: Viceland 1.4% (1.6%) Food 0.7% (0.7%) NITV 0.1% (0.2%) World Movies 0.8% (1.0%)

Share edged higher again thanks to the Tour de France. However The World’s Most Scenic Railway Journeys held onto top spot with 322,000 for a trip across northern Spain on Thursday.

The Michael Portillo-hosted Great Asian Railway Journeys was not far behind though with a series final visit to Singapore pulling a crowd of 306,000 on Tuesday.

* Figures in brackets are Week 37 shares.

The Block
TV ratings: Sunday Week 39 2020

By James Manning

• Nine’s Sunday win: Peter Overton and Scott Cam steer channel to #1
• The Blockheads triumph over adversity with brilliant bathrooms
• All New Monty lifts Seven over 800,000 on Sunday after 7pm
• Murdoch Dynasty launches top 10 with over half a million

Primetime News
Seven News 1,104,000
Nine News 1,011,000
ABC News 726,000
10 News First 220,000/197,000
SBS World News 175,000

Sunday current affairs
Insiders 422,000
The Project 263,000/401,000

Breakfast TV
Sunrise 270,000
Today 203,000

Late night news
Nine News Late 313,000

Sunday TV

Seven: The second episode of All New Monty: Guys and Gals got a little closer to the much-anticipated climax. After 781,000 a week ago the episode was on 758,000 for the start of the episode and then 805,000 for the performance segment.

Crime Investigation Australia looked at the case of the Bega School Girls who were held captive in 1997. The episode was on 395,000 after 398,000 last week.

Crime night then continued with a Code Blue: Murder repeat at 10pm with 176,000 watching.

Nine: Despite a tough week on The Block, the contestants managed to deliver some impressive work with the master ensuites chalking up plenty of praise and accompanying high scores from the judges. The Sunday episode had an audience of 987,000/1,029,000 after 969,000/978,000 last week. The Nine promos are calling Monday night Covid shutdown announcement the must-watch episode of the year.

60 Minutes was heavily promoting the “best friend” of Melania Trump revealing what life was like in the White House. As an extra bonus viewers also got Peter Overton with Keith Urban in the program. The episode managed to pull a much-improved audience of 717,000 after 576,000 last week.

It was a big night for Overton, after hosting the Sydney 6pm news and then a key interview on 60 Minutes, he returned to the Nine Late News with 313,000 watching.

10: Rhys Nicholson was amongst the guests on The Project with 401,000 watching after 7pm.

The seventh episode of Family Feud featured nurses from the Bondi beach drive through testing clinic who took on the Turbans 4 Australia charity. The program was on 230,000.

Episodes from series one and two of FBI followed with 187,000 for the new ep and 178,000 for the repeat.

ABC: The Murdoch Dynasty followed the news with 548,000 watching part one of the three-part documentary. The series has had mixed reviews, but it was pretty compelling viewing for some with a fascinating collection of interviews with commentators, former employees, critics, politicians and their staff.

The launch of season five of Grantchester featured scenes set in Cambridge as Will and Geordie became involved in campus politics after a student was found floating in the canal. The series launched with 517,000.

A Doc Martin repeat of season nine episode one then did 290,000.

SBS: Lost Worlds and Hidden Treasures followed the news with 163,000 watching.

The Michael Moore movie Fahrenheit 11/9 followed with the filmmaker touring the US as he examined the rise of Donald Trump with 148,000 watching.

The final night of the Tour de France started at 11.30am and had an audience of 76,000 tuning in to see an Australia in the top three for only the second time in the history of the race.

Week 38-39: Friday-Sunday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 14.8% 7 20.9% 9 17.3% 10  8.5% SBS One 5.9%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.3% 7TWO 4.0% GO! 3.0% 10 Bold 3.0% VICELAND 1.6%
ABC ME 0.3% 7mate 4.5% GEM 1.9% 10 Peach 2.0% Food Net 0.6%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix 2.9% 9Life 2.4%     NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.3%     SBS World Movies 1.1%
TOTAL 19.1%   32.3%   25.8%   13.5%   9.3%


ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 14.5% 7 19.0% 9 17.0% 10  6.1% SBS One 7.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.4% 7TWO 4.3% GO! 3.8% 10 Bold 3.4% VICELAND 0.7%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 4.9% GEM 2.7% 10 Peach 2.3% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 2.8% 9Life 2.3%     NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.9%     SBS World Movies 1.0%
TOTAL 19.9%   30.9%   27.6%   11.8%   9.8%


ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 13.1% 7 20.5% 9 24.5% 10  8.0% SBS One 5.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 1.9% 7TWO 2.2% GO! 2.8% 10 Bold 3.2% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 4.3% GEM 2.1% 10 Peach 2.1% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix 2.5% 9Life 2.1%     NITV 0.3%
        9Rush 0.8%     SBS World Movies 0.5%
TOTAL 16.7%   29.5%   32.4%   13.3%   8.1%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 13.0% 7 20.5% 9 20.4% WIN 6.5% SBS One 4.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.9% 7TWO 2.7% GO! 4.1% WIN Bold 4.6% VICELAND 1.3%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 4.5% GEM 4.4% WIN Peach 1.6% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.1% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.7% 9Life 2.6% Sky News  on WIN 1.5% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 0.6%
TOTAL 17.4%   30.4%   31.5%   14.3%   7.0%


86.9% 13.1%
All People Ratings

Friday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 925,000
  2. Nine News Nine 885,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 866,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 848,000
  5. ABC News ABC 681,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 595,000
  7. The Chase Australia Seven 528,000
  8. Seven’s AFL: Friday Night Football Seven 513,000
  9. Gardening Australia ABC 500,000
  10. Vera (R) ABC 499,000


Saturday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 820,000
  2. Nine News Saturday Nine 809,000
  3. ABC News ABC 713,000
  4. A Current Affair Nine 532,000
  5. Father Brown ABC 489,000
  6. Seven’s AFL: Saturday Night Football Seven 422,000
  7. Seven’s AFL: Saturday Night Football – Pre Match Seven 334,000
  8. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Nine 299,000
  9. Weekend Sunrise Seven 299,000
  10. Getaway Nine 296,000
Sunday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,104,000
  2. The Block -Room Winner Nine 1,029,000
  3. Nine News Sunday Nine 1,011,000
  4. The Block Nine 987,000
  5. All New Monty: Guys And Gals – Performance Seven 805,000
  6. All New Monty: Guys And Gals Seven 758,000
  7. ABC News Sunday ABC 726,000
  8. 60 Minutes Nine 717,000
  9. The Rise Of The Murdoch Dynasty ABC 548,000
  10. Grantchester ABC 517,000
  11. Seven’s AFL: Sunday Afternoon Football Seven 422,000
  12. The Sunday Project 7pm 10 401,000
  13. Crime Investigation Australia: Most Infamous Seven 395,000
  14. Nine News: Late Edition Nine 313,000
  15. Doc Martin (R) ABC 290,000
  16. Insiders AM ABC 287,000
  17. Weekend Sunrise Seven 270,000
  18. Landline PM ABC 267,000
  19. The Sunday Project 6.30pm 10 263,000
  20. Australia Remastered: Wild Australians ABC 262,000
Sunday Multichannel
  1. Seven’s Afl: Sunday Afternoon Football 7mate 176,000
  2. Floogals AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 146,000
  3. ABC News AM ABC NEWS 143,000
  4. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 138,000
  5. M- Men In Black 2 PM (R) 7mate 136,000
  6. Insiders AM ABC NEWS 135,000
  7. Kiddets AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 133,000
  8. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  9. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 129,000
  10. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line 7mate 122,000
  11. Dinosaur Train AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  12. NCIS Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 119,000
  13. Death In Paradise 9Gem 118,000
  14. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line 7mate 115,000
  15. Motorsport: 2020 MotoGP Live 10 Bold 112,000
  16. Offsiders AM ABC NEWS 112,000
  17. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line 7mate 110,000
  18. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 109,000
  19. Weekend Breakfast: 10am AM ABC NEWS 104,000
  20. Oblivion 9GO! 91,000
Sunday STV
  1. Live: AFL Sydney V Geelong FOX FOOTY 251,000
  2. Live: AFL Fremantle V Western Bulldogs FOX FOOTY 215,000
  3. Live: NRL: Knights V Dragons FOX LEAGUE 208,000
  4. Live: Supercars The Bend FOX SPORTS 506 154,000
  5. Live: NRL: Raiders V Warriors FOX LEAGUE 151,000
  6. Live: Supercars The Bend FOX SPORTS 506 147,000
  7. Live: AFL Hawthorn V Gold Coast FOX FOOTY 139,000
  8. Live: Supercars The Grid FOX SPORTS 506 106,000
  9. Live: Bounce: Episode 27 FOX FOOTY 99,000
  10. Live: Supercars South Australia Supports FOX SPORTS 506 92,000
  11. Live: Supercars The Grid FOX SPORTS 506 90,000
  12. Live: Supercars Live FOX SPORTS 506 87,000
  13. Live: Sunday Night With Matty Johns FOX LEAGUE 72,000
  14. Live: MotoGP Misano FOX SPORTS 506 66,000
  15. Outsiders Sky News Live 65,000
  16. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 65,000
  17. Live: Supercars South Australia Supports FOX SPORTS 506 63,000
  18. Live: Supercars The Bend FOX SPORTS 506 61,000
  19. Outsiders Sky News Live 58,000
  20. Live: Supercars Live FOX SPORTS 506 55,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

The relentless rise of media executive Hamish ‘the Hammer’ McLennan

Having started in the mailroom of a local ad agency, Hamish McLennan has accumulated a collection of directorships that makes him one of the most influential figures in Australian business – on paper at least, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.

The 54-year-old is chairman of News Corp’s most important asset, online real estate company REA Group, chair of radio and billboard business Here, There & Everywhere, and deputy chair of $100 billion funds management firm, Magellan Financial Group. And then there is his new role at Rugby Australia, which is arguably his greatest challenge yet.

During his early days at Y&R McLennan became known as “the Hammer”. No one can agree on where it came from. Some colleagues say it was because of his ability to get deals done quickly in the same way a hammer comes down at an auction. Others claim he hammered people who weren’t performing. One person said he was relentless, like a hammerhead shark.

He is respected by some of the 25 current and former colleagues who spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age for this profile and loathed by others. Several interviews began with a deep sigh or laugh. One call ended when his name was mentioned. Two of McLennan’s most famous bosses – Sir Martin Sorrell and Lachlan Murdoch – refused to comment.

McLennan doesn’t tread carefully. But he is aware of the toll his ruthless approach has on the people he has worked with.

[Read more]

Hamish McLennan joins insurance-tech start-up board

Hamish McLennan has joined the board of insurance technology business Claim Central, which has tapped Macquarie for a third seeding round out of the United States, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

“Claim Central is an absolute ripper and one of the best technology companies you may not have heard of,” McLennan told The Australian Financial Review.

“I was approached in market. The growth is explosive and we have a tight and very professional board. I was attracted to the fact that Claim Central is a disrupter in the insurance industry and insurance is a massive market opportunity globally.”

[Read more]

News Brands

Chris Kenny: Your superannuation supports more left-wing lunacy

It has long been wryly amusing that embittered old leftie journos like Paul Bongiorno and Michael Pascoe win adoration from the woke kids on Twitter by joining or fuelling nasty, obtuse pile-ons against people like me or anyone not avowedly green left, writes The Australian’s Chris Kenny. They need something to keep them amused, I suppose, and anyway, it is this pointless toxicity that drives sensible people away from the platform.

But I do draw the line at funding Bongiorno and Pascoe. It is not right that my compulsory super contributions (and those of many readers, no doubt) are boosting this pair’s semi-retirements, rather than just our own nest eggs.

They both write for The New Daily, a left-of-centre, free news website funded by industry super funds, including mine. And probably yours.

[Read more]

Sam Newman threatening legal action against former employer Channel 9

Sam Newman, once one of the most powerful figures at Channel 9, is sensationally launching legal action against his former TV employer, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.

The Sunday Herald Sun can reveal the former Footy Show star is suing Nine, claiming he was defamed in a news report.

Newman argues he was defamed in comments made by photographer Wayne Ludbey about an episode of Newman’s You Cannot Be Serious podcast that referred to Nicky Winmar.

Ludbey was strongly critical of Newman’s comments on the famous incident where St Kilda footy legend Winmar lifted his jumper and pointed to his skin at the end of a 1993 match against Collingwood during which he had been racially abused.

Newman’s legal team sent his legal demand on Friday.

Newman is also taking action against Ludbey and three other media outlets including the Daily Mail Australia which published or republished interviews.

[Read more]

Adelaide viewers switch off as 10 News comes from Melbourne

Viewers have swiftly reacted to Network 10’s decision to axe its local news presenting team in favour of a Melbourne-helmed weeknight bulletin, reports The Advertiser’s Lisa Woolford.

The first Jennifer Keyte-presented service on Monday (September 14) saw 29,000 people tune in locally, down from 42,000 on September 7 when Rebecca Morse was still presenting. Numbers dipped to a low of 23,000 on Tuesday, before picking back up to 31,000 on Thursday night.

A Network 10 spokesperson said the station expected the change to take some time to resonate with viewers.

“The dedicated team at 10 News First Adelaide continues to break stories every day and tell the stories of South Australia like they always have. Just this week, the team have broken several exclusive stories,” the spokesperson said.

[Read more]

Ratings update: 10 News First Adelaide weekday average for week 38 was 27,000, down from 41,000 in week 37, the last week of Adelaide-based presenters.

Julian Morrow sues for He Who Shall Not Be Named slur

Julian Morrow, co-founder of satirical group The Chaser, has always been a stout defender of free speech. He even gave an Andrew Olle Media Lecture on the subject, report Nine CBD columnists Samantha Hutchinson and Stephen Brook.

So it is a surprise to learn Morrow attempted to sue fellow TV producer Nick Murray for defamation, after Murray referred to him as “Lord Voldemort” the fictional villain from the Harry Potter series, in an email to the ABC. No need to point out that Morrow is perfectly within his rights to do so if he feels his reputation has been injured and livelihood damaged.

The pair, who used to jointly produce the consumer program The Checkout, via their respective production companies Giant Dwarf and Cordell Jigsaw, are already in a legal dispute after a nasty falling out, as CBD reported last week.

[Read more]


Podcasts strategy: Audio gives News Corp edge to win subscribers

Amid rising demand for audio content, News Corp Australia is strengthening its podcast slate with new releases featuring actor Paul Hogan and the latest cricket news and analysis throughout the summer, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

The media group is leveraging the podcasts to drive subscriptions at its digital mastheads, including The Australian and The Daily Telegraph.

News Corp’s audio network NewsCast has become the nation’s third largest podcast producer since its launch last year, after rivals ARN/iHeartMedia and Southern Cross Austereo which operate radio stations around the country.

Its string of news, sport, crime, business, politics and lifestyle podcasts – which include the nation’s top news podcast From The Newsroom, I Catch Killers with Gary Jubelin, and The Matty Johns Podcasts – reach more than 5.5 million downloads combined each month.

Ainslee O’Brien, News Corp’s general manager of commercial networks, says audience growth and demand for its audio content have been “very significant”.

[Read more]


Ben Fordham’s Good Weekend: Feeling the heat as radio ratings near

An article on 2GB breakfast host Ben Fordham is causing some internal headaches at media company Nine, reports News Corp’s Annette Sharp.

Insiders last week informed this column that reporter Tim Elliott has been commissioned to do a piece on Alan Jones’ radio successor.

According to sources, Elliott is working on a monster yarn for one of Nine’s magazine liftouts, Good Weekend.

Fordham, who enjoys a large fan base internally at Nine, is of the view the piece will be a jolly piece of PR.

But some within what was once called Fairfax say that may not be the case.

Meanwhile, with radio ratings set to be released in a week’s time, 2GB’s new breakfast host is understandably feeling some pressure.

[Read more]

Tim Bailey gets new job at 2GB after being axed by Network 10

It was a crazy 20 minutes that changed Tim Bailey’s life, reports News Corp’s Amy Harris.

First he received a phone call from Channel 10, his employer of 28 years, informing him that his services at the network where he began his career as a weather presenter at Good Morning Australia were no longer required.

The weatherman whose boundless energy and limitless enthusiasm had elevated him to something of a cult figure in Sydney TV was, suddenly, a lost soul.

“In that moment you begin to doubt everything you’ve ever worked for and ever done,” said Bailey, who does not elaborate on his sacking at Network 10, adding only that it was “sudden and unexpected”.

Just 20 minutes later he picked up a call from 2GB’s breakfast host Ben Fordham, freshly installed in the coveted slot occupied for 35 years by Alan Jones and looking for a weatherman.

Bailey had agreed to terms within minutes and a verbal deal was struck – he would start delivering weather bulletins both for both Fordham at breakfast and Jim Wilson on the drive shift.

Ten’s “Tim The Weatherman” was suddenly 2GB’s “Daily Bailey”.

[Read more]

Nick Tabakoff reveals Nine’s new radio deal with FM rival

TV sources tell The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff that Seven bid upwards of $500,000 in cash and contra to exclusively advertise its state-based 6pm news bulletins in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne on Nova FM’s high-rating national Kate, Tim & Joel 3-6pm drive time radio show.

But Seven was told by Nova a fortnight ago that it had been beaten in the bidding by none other than Nine, which of course already owns the country’s most valuable radio stations.

[Read more]


Ratings war forces Sam and Kochie back to work five days a week

Sunrise hosts David Koch and Samantha Armytage have had their four-day working week cancelled and been ordered back to work five days following a recent surge in the ratings of rival breakfast show Today, reports News Corp’s Annette Sharp.

The Sunrise stars were last week instructed to head back into Seven’s Martin Place studios from Monday to see off Nine’s Today, which has closed the ratings gap on the still dominant Sunrise on the strength of heightened viewer interest in COVID-19.

Seven News director Craig McPherson confirmed the reshuffle on Friday: “They are back five days a week,” he said, wasting no words.

Also said to have been ordered back into the studio control room is long-time Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell, who has spent most of this year enjoying a stretch in a newly expanded role overseeing prime-time light entertainment at Seven and leaving the day-to-day EP responsibilities on Sunrise to two more junior producers.

[Read more]

When The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff caught Koch on Sunday, the Port Adelaide president gave him a “game summary” of the 2020 breakfast TV season so far.

“Had a very strong first half, the opposition improved during the third quarter,” Koch started. “So we’ve adjusted at the start of the fourth quarter and changed our rotations off the interchange to finish the game solidly.”

[Read more]

Creative Arts Emmys: Australia's campaign for Emmy glory stumbles

Australia’s campaign for Emmy glory was dealt a blow with the shock defeat of comedian Hannah Gadsby on the final night of the Creative Arts Emmys in Los Angeles. Gadsby was nominated for her Netflix special Douglas in two categories: variety special and writing for a variety special, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Idato.

But in the final moments of the telecast Gadsby was denied Emmy glory with the award going to American comedian Dave Chappelle who won in both categories for his own Netflix special, Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones.

With the five-night creative arts Emmys wrapped, all that remains is the 72nd annual “prime-time” Emmys, which will be staged on Monday, Sydney time. The Creative Arts Emmys focus on artistic disciplines within television, such as casting, cinematography, make-up and hair styling, costuming, picture and sound editing and music.

Australia went into this year’s Emmy season with its strongest line-up in memory.

Glory came early for cinematographer Greig Fraser, who shared the Emmy for cinematography for a single-camera half-hour series with his long-time collaborator, New Zealand-born director of photography Baz Idoine. The pair won last week for their work on the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian.

Others were not so lucky.

[Read more]

Noni Hazlehurst’s hosting role: “It’s what reality television should be”

It was her episode of Who Do You Think You Are? that led Noni Hazlehurst to hosting Every Family Has a Secret for SBS, reports TV Tonight.

Revelations about her own family tree, and home truths her own mother had not shared, still resonate for the industry doyen.

But the other genealogy series has one very big difference, in not casting celebrities.

“Because they’re not well known, I think it’s easier for an audience to relate, to empathise and to really go on the journey with the subjects,” she explains.

“These are high stakes outcomes for these people. To me, it’s what reality television should be, because it’s actual reality for these people. It’s not exploitative, or manipulative of the subject or of the audience. I think that’s one of the reasons it stands apart and it encourages connection and empathy between human beings. We think, ‘How would I feel in this situation?’”

Every Family Has a Secret, now in its second season, is produced by WA-based Artemis Media, which previously made Who Do You Think You Are? Each episode profiles two Australians who trace their family tree to answer long-held questions, or even missing jigsaw pieces, of their family.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Summer of discontent awaits cricket with TV deals in jeopardy

Cricket sources acknowledge that the BBL has lost its lustre and is in need of an overhaul, reports The AFR’s Max Mason. However, they argue that the decline is not as dire as Seven and Foxtel make out, pointing to the league averaging 185,000 more viewers per match on TV than the big winter football games, AFL and NRL, and the third season in a row of 1 million-plus attendance.

They also point to the TV deal being a legal agreement, and dispute Seven’s assertion that Cricket Australia is in breach of contract. They say Seven knew about the BBL’s expansion and was desperate to sign up little more than two years ago.

TV executives describe the expansion as greed: it has diluted the family-friendly format, ratings have fallen and just two summers into the TV deal a review of the competition was called.

Foxtel seems happy to let Seven wage the public war and exert pressure behind the scenes – Foxtel only wants a discount and has never raised the idea of terminating its contract.

“These things are not just about the quantity of matches,” News Corp global chief executive Robert Thomson said of Australian sports rights generally on Friday.

“They are about the quality of the experience for our customers. And we all know which teams are the big drawers and the importance of exclusivity. And that for us is a big factor.”

[Read more]

Start your engines: Foxtel and Seven poised to sign Supercars deal

V8 Supercars is poised to sign a new five-year agreement with Foxtel and Seven West Media as early as this week, in a deal which will see the motorsport return to the Kerry Stokes-controlled broadcaster for the first time since 2014, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Sources were conflicted on what the agreement was worth, with one suggesting the deal, which includes cash payments, contra (free advertising) and revenue sharing arrangements, would be worth more than $200 million over five years. Other sources suggested it would be lower.

Indicating the deal is close, Supercars chief executive Sean Seamer will speak at a Foxtel event on Tuesday: Sport 2020, Breaking All Records showcase event.

The current six-year $241 million deal between 10 and Foxtel, signed in 2013, began in 2015 and finishes at the end of the 2020 season.

[Read more]

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