Monday September 28, 2020

CRA chief executive Joan Warner on return of ratings, erosion of revenue

By James Manning

“The impact in metro has been savage and significant for our members”

There’s a high level of anticipation about the survey 6 2020 radio ratings results coming out on Tuesday this week. Lots of reasons for this of course – it is the first GfK metro survey since ratings stopped back in April this year after survey 2 was released.

It is also the first results the industry will get for new programs broadcasting on what are the two biggest stations in Australian metro radio – 3AW and 2GB breakfast.

The chief executive of Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), Joan Warner, is expecting to see some growth in maybe both time spent listening (TSL) and cume audiences.

“We saw radio listening held up across the year through our e-diary pulse survey we did that showed strong listening levels at home,” Warner told Mediaweek.

“The survey showed there was some drop for in-car listening at the height of Covid-19, and we had a substantial increase in at-home listening to more than make up for that. There was an increase in TSL at home as well.

“We are sure the results will prove to all the stakeholders – advertisers and agencies – that radio continues to be a place they need to advertise if you want to get to your target audience.”

As a standalone survey, with nothing carried forward from the previous survey, Warner said it will be a great indicator of listening levels and market positioning of stations. “Minor fluctuations shouldn’t be over-emphasised, but if there is a massive increase in listening of course that should be taken seriously.” [Laughs]

Having an entirely fresh sample means it will be similar to what happens in survey one each year.

“Although this time we are in living in very different circumstances, living different lives. Lives have been very impacted, including how people interact with media. We are not expecting too much change in terms of market positioning of stations. The interesting things will be TSL and cumes.

People are creatures of habit so we are expecting breakfast listening to remain high. There could be more listening in the middle of the day. The results won’t mean that people won’t change again when Covid-19 ends. Some people thing the work-life balance has changed forever with more working from home. I’m not so sure about that.

“The key message is we know listening has remained strong which we know from the e-pulse survey. Stations’ internal tracking shows that too and it seems to indicate market positions remain stable too.

We have a feeling that cumes have gone up, with variations around TSL on various parts of the day. There is still an element of uncertainty about the market and peoples’ habits.”

This new survey has again featured a mix of paper and online diaries, except for Melbourne where it has been all online. “In Melbourne very soon after this survey started everything came crashing down. We went to e-diaries and placement of those diaries was done over the phone. Having virtually all the results from e-diaries in Melbourne will make it an interesting case study for the future.

The havoc caused by Covid has impacted the future of radio ratings. Warner: “It has focused our minds on the future. We have the Measurement Innovation Project which has been underway for two years. Part of that is looking at the use of passive measurement and increasing the number of e-diaries to more than the current 30% and the impact that would have. Toward the end of next year we are looking at the arrival of real-time streaming data.

“We are expecting to be able to announce a roadmap by the end of this year to having a more mixed methodology in terms of more e-diaries and less paper diaries.

We certainly don’t want to be in this position again where we have to pause three surveys. We want to future-proof surveys in case of further disruption.

“At least next year we will still have some paper diaries, but you might find a more rapid introduction of e-diaries and other forms of measurement across the year.”

Warner said there will never be less than eight surveys a year. “We would never reduce the number of surveys and the market would not allow us to do that. In the future there could perhaps be more data releases and mixed methodology may allow us to do that as we phase it in.”

See also: GfK Radio Ratings 2020, Survey 2: Highlights + Full Results

Revenue impact

The broadcasters who are members of Commercial Radio Australia have had a rough year. “We now the impact to metro revenue this year because we collect the data and report it on a quarterly basis,” said Warner. “We know the impact in metro has been savage and significant for our metro members.

Anecdotally our regional members tell us the impact hasn’t been as great in smaller markets where there are more direct advertisers. There has still been an impact because many direct clients were also shut down. But certainly smaller markets don’t seem to have had as savage a beating as big metro markets and large regional markets.”

See also: Commercial radio ad revenue tumbles 20% in FY2019/20, Q4 down 46%

Are Media
Bauer Media rebrands: Are Media marks new era for publisher

A new ‘Be Captivated’ brand positioning has also been unveiled,

Are Media has launched today, the new name for Australia’s leading premium content and experiences company, formerly Bauer Media.

Are is a representation of being present, a quiet confidence that reflects the position as the market leader with a rich heritage in storytelling. The key foundations of Audience, Reach and Engagement are also reflected in the word Are.

A new ‘Be Captivated’ brand positioning has also been unveiled, recognising how Are Media’s audiences savor and soak up its attention-holding content and experiences across beauty, fashion, homes, food, motoring, industry, entertainment and lifestyle.

Are Media

Brendon Hill, CEO of Are Media, said: “With new ownership and a new identity comes a refreshed and reinvigorated focus, one which embraces our existing strengths while allowing us to innovate and move into new areas.

We will continue to deliver captivating, premium magazine content and experiences across print, digital, books, rewards, events and TV, connecting six in ten Australian women with commercial partners each and every day.

“The new visual identity communicates a leaning in, a joining up with the central strength of the letter R, anchoring the connection between audience and engagement with our brands and advertisers.”

Brendon Hill

Brendon Hill

The rebrand is the culmination of an employee-led initiative and marks an important new era for the business.

Hill added: “Today commences a new chapter for our business. I want to thank the entire team for their collaboration in developing our new identity and for their ongoing passion and dedication to Are Media.”

Premium Content Alliance to detail benefits of ads in premium media channels

The study will determine how premium media channels supercharge awareness, affinity, loyalty, endorsement and business outcomes.

In the first research piece since the launch of the new industry organisation, the Premium Content Alliance will quantify the benefits of placing ads in premium media environments.

The Premium Effectiveness Study is designed to understand the branding value of premium advertising inventory versus other media options such as Facebook and YouTube.

Premium media is defined as media placements that align with professionally produced content, content that is curated and overseen by experienced editors, producers and journalists. This includes news media environments as well as other content categories including lifestyle, entertainment and sport.

In recent years, studies have shown advertising in premium channels compared to non-premium platforms offers real business results. For example, in 2016, Comscore found premium media to be three times more effective in driving mid-funnel brand metrics such as favourability, consideration and recommendation. 

Conducted by MediaScience, the Premium Effectiveness Study will go deeper to dissect the performance of specific ad units including display and short-form video on desktop and mobile in premium media environments, as well as print advertising units. 

Leading the study is MediaScience CEO Dr Duane Varan, a global pioneer in lab-based research integrating biometrics, facial coding, eye tracking, response latency testing and emerging measurement methods to understand the emotional dimensions of media encounters. Dr Varan has worked with the world’s leading media companies including Disney, CBS, NBC, Discovery Channel and MTV.

Dr Varan said: “This is a landmark study testing the same ad content across a wide range of media platforms and environments. Marketers have long been calling out for a better understanding of the value of premium content and this work will make a significant contribution not only here in Australia, but worldwide.”

The study will use a broad sample to help determine which media placement choices are best based on demographics, behavioural interests and purchase intent. The research will also track the impact of context in premium media environments.

Premium Content Alliance Head of Research Steve Weaver said: “The Premium Effectiveness Study will deliver the definitive answer on the value of premium media channels helping marketers and their agency partners to produce real business results.”

Findings from the study will be revealed later in the year.

The founding stakeholders of the Premium Content Alliance are Australia’s premium content producers, providers of effective, trusted and regulated advertising environments that grow businesses: Foxtel, Foxtel Media, News Corp, Nine, Network 10 and Seven West Media.

Nova
Nova Entertainment appoints Luke Minto group commercial director

Nova Entertainment has promoted Luke Minto to group commercial director and Antonell Doyle appointed to Perth commercial director.

Minto has held the position of Sydney commercial director for seven years and has worked in various senior commercial roles within Nova Entertainment since joining the business in 2004.

As group commercial director, Minto will have joint responsibility, along with national commercial strategy director Kate Murphy and group yield and inventory manager Michael Duncan, for revenue generation across all of Nova Entertainment’s platforms. Minto will lead the commercial directors across the country, creating great experiences and commercial solutions for all clients.

This new position was created following the announcement that Peter Charlton, Nova Entertainment’s chief commercial cfficer, will succeed Cathy O’Connor as CEO in November.

See also: New Nova CEO Peter Charlton talks future of radio company amidst pandemic

Peter Charlton said: “Luke’s passion and commitment to Nova Entertainment has been instrumental to the commercial success of the Sydney team. Luke is highly respected by the commercial team around the country and his appointment to this national role is a well-deserved recognition of his hard work. The creation of this new role will put the business and commercial team in a strong position for ongoing success.”

Luke Minto said: “The opportunity to lead this sales team nationally has been a long-term career goal and one that I will embrace. Nova Entertainment’s sales team is market leading in its reputation for delivering exceptional service and solutions for clients in every market and we will continue to evolve and build on this already solid platform of success which was created and lead by Peter Charlton.”

Antonell Doyle, head of direct sales, has been promoted to the role of Perth commercial director after a lengthy tenure within Nova Entertainment’s commercial team that has seen her play an instrumental role in the commercial success of Nova 93.7. Doyle will take on the expanded remit to lead the agency and direct commercial team in Perth.

Peter Charlton said: “Antonell has had an impressive career and made a significant contribution to the commercial and cultural success of the Perth team. She is not only exceptional at what she does but undertakes the role with infectious enthusiasm and energy. Antonell is a positive force within our business, and it gives me enormous pleasure to welcome her into a role in which I know she’ll excel.”

Antonell Doyle said: “I am excited to be taking on the role of Commercial Director for Nova 93.7 as we continue to support our clients and the Perth market moving into 2021. We have a strong team and will work together to create, not only value for our clients but continued results for their brands. I am passionate about this new role and looking forward to taking on the challenge.”

In addition to his role as the next CEO, Charlton will continue to have responsibility for the commercial team.

Peter Charlton, Luke Minto and Antonell Doyle will commence in their new roles on Monday 2 November.

 — 

Top Photo: Luke Minto and Antonell Doyle

News Corp Australia exports News Xtend with Singapore Press Holdings

News Corp Australia’s digital marketing service News Xtend and Singapore Press Holdings have struck a deal to target the island state’s small and medium business market, the first time News Xtend has ventured into an overseas market.

NewsXtend is a digital marketing business that provides expert advice and know-how to small to medium businesses to market themselves digitally. Its marketing specialists work one-on-one with business owners to understand their specific market needs and create targeted digital campaigns to increase customer numbers.

Anthony Tan

Anthony Tan, deputy CEO, Singapore Press Holdings said: “As Singapore’s largest media network with a quality audience, we are happy to collaborate with News Corp Australia to take our comprehensive omnichannel offerings to the next level with News Xtend.

“With Singapore’s digital penetration at almost 90%, SPH is excited to provide businesses with an affordable and convenient digital marketing solution to help them achieve their desired results. With this new partnership, we are well-positioned to support SMBs by bridging the gap in the solutions available in our domestic market,” Tan added.

News Corp Australasia’s executive chairman Michael Miller said the partnership was a significant step for News Xtend, which has been one of News Corp Australia’s fastest growing businesses over the past five years and won international accolades for its digital marketing and customer service.

This partnership demonstrates News Xtend’s globally recognised and award-winning capability in running performance marketing campaigns,” Miller said.

“It also recognises our ability to innovate digitally and create digital businesses that are easily scalable.

“We’re now exporting our know-how by partnering with another media company that, like ours, has successfully transitioned to the digital landscape. This is exactly the space we want to play in. It’s a great acknowledgement that the investment we’ve made to grow and diversify our business is now being deployed by another media business in another region.”

Singapore’s SMB sector, according to PwC research, generates almost half of Singapore’s gross domestic product and accounts for 72 per cent of employment. Much of the sector is family owned.

News Corp Australia’s managing director for commercial product and platforms, Emma Fawcett said these factors made Singapore an obvious choice for expansion.

“Singapore’s explicit digital agenda places it among the region’s most digital savvy nations, which is something that extends to its small to medium business sector and is highly attractive to a business such as ours,” Fawcett said.

“The fact Singapore has important synergies to Australia in terms of industries and digital habits, language and a highly supportive environment for foreign investment are wonderful extras and, of course, Singapore’s status as a critical commercial hub for the entire region is an added bonus.”

The three-year partnership will see Singapore’s number one publishing group resell News Xtend’s services.

“We’ll be running campaigns for their customers that include advertising services such as search engine marketing, social media advertising, video and display advertising,” Fawcett said. “This will allow Singapore Press Holdings to open themselves to an entirely new customer base and also allow them to meet more of the needs of their existing customer base.

“We will also be providing marketing services such as call tracking. This will be packaged up into simple, outcome-focussed solutions designed to make it easy for customers to achieve meaningful business results that they can measure.”

Fawcett said an important part of News Xtend’s competitive advantage was the platform’s customer-centric approach.

“We carefully select the services and channels that deliver the best and most cost effective outcomes for the customer,” she said.

“It’s how we consistently deliver better outcomes for our customers, by combining the very best of our media business, our data and digital assets – and now Singapore Press Holdings – with the best of other media channels and services, powered by the best people, tech, analytics and machine learning.”

Top Photo: Emma Fawcett

Junior MasterChef Australia
The Top 14 mini MasterChefs are coming: 10 reveals launch date

Network 10 confirmed earlier this year that Junior MasterChef Australia would be returning later in 2020. Promos on the channel last night revealed the launch date – Sunday October 11 at 7.30pm.

Almost 2,000 aspiring young cooks aged 9-14 from right around the country applied to follow their food dreams and become part of Junior MasterChef Australia 2020.

A talented final crop auditioned in front of judges Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen before the Top 14 talented tiny chefs-in-the-making were selected and handed their coveted aprons, walking through the famous doors to take their places in the competition.

Having grown up watching their idols in the very same MasterChef kitchen, it’s now their turn to fire up the ovens, get their pots and pans, and race to the pantry to create the most inventive, incredible and delicious dishes they have ever cooked to impress the judges, and special guest chefs alike.

Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen are all returning to the MasterChef kitchen as judges for a show that will showcase and celebrate the best and brightest young cooks Australia has to offer.

Judge Melissa Leong said: “We are so thrilled to be bringing Junior MasterChef Australia to life very soon. To be showcasing a generation of kids who have grown up with the show and who have literally been cooking for most of their lives, you know this is going to be spectacular.

“Jock, Andy and I are very excited to meet our incredible little cooks, and to see what the next generation has in store.”

Network 10 head of drama and executive production, Rick Maier, said: “It’s been nine years since we last heard the rattle of pots and pans with brilliant young Australians at the pass. High time for a recall, we think – especially at a time when families are sharing more and more adventures in the kitchen together.

“With Melissa, Jock and Andy in charge, we’re all looking forward to discovering the next generation of Pohs, Reynolds and Callums. Their time starts now.”

Junior MasterChef will be produced for Network 10 by Endemol Shine Australia.

10 Shake launches with four sponsors backing new multichannel

Network 10 has secured four major sponsors supporting the launch of its new free-to-air channel, 10 Shake. They are VTech, Toyworld, Spin Master and The Accent Group.

10 Shake, which launched on Channel 13 on Sunday 27 September, is focused on people under 40 and broadcasts kids content during the day ageing up into young adult content during prime time.

The new channel harnesses the power of ViacomCBS’ global library of content and features iconic shows such as PAW Patrol, Blaze And The Monster Machines, SpongeBob SquarePants, iCarly, Henry Danger, Catfish: The TV Show, Just Tattoo Of Us, The Daily Show With Trevor Noah and The Late Late Show with James Corden.

See also: 10 Shake viewers guide: What is on 10’s newest channel?

Network 10’s national sales director Lisa Squillace said: “10 Shake has strengthened our offering and extended the scale we can provide brands targeting kids and youth.

“With a strong line-up of iconic shows appealing to those under 40, we’re thrilled to be welcoming VTech, Toyworld, Spin Master and The Accent Group to the 10 Shake family.”

The launch of 10 Shake also saw the launch of Shake Takes, integratable bite-sized breaks which see young influencers delve into everything new and exciting including going behind-the scenes on some of the best new movies, experiencing real life immersion opportunities and showing off the newest toys, gadgets, fashion and footwear.

Shake Takes are produced and presented in the style of user-generated social videos and sharable across platforms. 

Squillace continued: “With Shake Takes, we’re really leaning into our target audience by giving brands the opportunity to immerse themselves into the demographic not just through linear integrations but also real-life integrations. It’s a fantastic initiative, an Australian-first and one brands have responded really well to.”

VTech Electronics is Australia’s number one infant & preschool toy company specialising in high quality, innovative, educational products that enrich children’s development through fun and smart play.

VTech’s managing director Ed Medica said: “We see the partnership with 10 Shake as a strong extension to our marketing plans, helping drive brand and product awareness during this key time of year with our core target audience, kids.

“The combination of a new free to air channel with an exciting and proven line up of programming will provide a whole host of new eyeballs, allowing us to showcase a selection of new and existing products along with a new brand launch.”

Spin Master is a leading global children’s entertainment company creating exceptional play experiences through a diverse portfolio of innovative toys, entertainment franchises and digital toys and games.

“Spin Master is very excited to be a major partner with Network 10 as they launch their exciting new channel, 10 Shake,” said Geoff Oliver, Spin Master Australia marketing director.

“With Spin Master owning the #1 preschool property in Australia, PAW Patrol, and having it as such a critical component of the 10 Shake schedule, it made a tremendous amount of sense to partner in a large way to support Network 10 with the launch.

“We feel this opportunity will open up a whole new avenue to connect kids with our content and couldn’t be more excited about partnering on 10 Shake and providing another channel for Australian kids to watch the shows they love,” he said.

Toyworld is “Where The Best Toys Come From”. Australian owned and operated, Toyworld operates the largest network of independent toy stores in Australia and has been serving its local communities for over 40 years.

Toyworld general manager Geoff Morton said: “Toyworld is excited to be a part of the launch of 10 Shake. Our stores right across Australia have been synonymous with kids’ fun for over 40 years and we look forward to this being a great partnership that will allow us to connect the best toys with a new generation.”

The Accent Group Limited is the regional leader in the retail and distribution of performance and lifestyle footwear, with over 420 stores across 10 different retail banners and exclusive distribution rights for 10 international brands across Australia and New Zealand.

Its brands include: The Athlete’s Foot, Hype DC, Stylerunner, Subtype, Pivot, Trybe, Platypus Shoes, Skechers, Merrell, CAT, Vans, Dr. Martens, Saucony, Timberland, Sperry Top-Sider, Palladium, Sneaker Lab and Stance.

General manager – marketing mono brands/The Athlete’s Foot & group creative Deena Colman said: “For The Accent Group and specifically our brands Skechers and The Athlete’s Foot, 10 Shake provides an exciting opportunity for us to showcase our incredible kids footwear ranges at key retail moments. Furthermore, the integration opportunities will allow us to create customer centric content that is right on point.”

Queensland secures three Universal Studio Group TV series for Brisbane

Three Universal Studio Group TV series – Young Rock, Joe Exotic and Irreverent – are set to film in Brisbane’s Screen Queensland (SQ) Studios generating an 18-month pipeline of continuous production work for the state’s screen industry.

Starting this month, the three high-end scripted television series from Universal Studio Group, a division of NBCUniversal, are set to film back-to-back in SQ Studios, as well as surrounding locations in South East Queensland and Far North Queensland.

Universal Studio Group, which comprises Universal Television, Universal Content Productions (UCP) and NBCUniversal International Studios, will bring Young Rock, Joe Exotic and Irreverent to Queensland.

Produced for NBCUniversal’s flagship NBC network, USA network, streaming service Peacock and the global market, it is expected that the three productions will provide a significant boost to the Queensland economy and creative sector.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said securing these three productions is a significant sign of confidence in Queensland’s economic recovery and would importantly create local jobs.

“These productions are expected to contribute around $143 million to the Queensland economy,” the Premier said.

“More than 3,500 local cast, crew and extras will also be employed to work across the three shows and many more jobs supported in numerous industries like hospitality, tourism, transport and logistics.

“Due to the measures we have in place and the amazing efforts of Queenslanders in dealing with this pandemic, Queensland is one of the safest places to film not just in Australia, but in the world.

 “Queensland locations, together with talented crew and first-rate facilities like Brisbane’s Screen Queensland Studios, are able to deliver what these big budget productions need.

“We’re able to support the industry and get people back into work in a COVID safe environment.”

Screen Queensland was able to help attract these productions to Queensland through the Queensland Government’s Production Attraction Strategy.

Matchbox Pictures will lead and oversee all three projects on the ground – partnering with Universal Television to deliver Young Rock and UCP to deliver Joe Exotic.

From Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off the Boat) and Dwayne Johnson, NBC’s Young Rock is a comedy inspired by Johnson. The show will be produced by Universal Television, Seven Bucks Productions and Fierce Baby Productions.

Joe Exotic is a limited series from UCP based on the hit Wondery podcast depicting the true events of Carole Baskin (Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon), a big cat enthusiast, who learns that fellow exotic animal lover Joe “Exotic” Schreibvogel is breeding and using his big cats for profit, and sets out to shut down his venture, inciting a quickly escalating rivalry. The eight-episode adaptation will launch on flagship network NBC, USA Network and streaming service Peacock.

Hailing from NBCUniversal International Studios’ Matchbox Pictures is new 10-part drama series Irreverent, which is being developed and produced for the global market. It follows a criminal on the run from his life of crime back in New York, who is forced to hide out in a reef town in Far North Queensland, posing as the new church Reverend.

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said this was a significant announcement and is testament to the hard work that has been done to highlight Queensland as an optimal choice for productions.

“This is a massive boost for the Queensland screen industry and a vote of confidence in how safe Queensland is as a major destination for film and TV production,” Munnich said.

“We can’t wait to welcome the Universal Studio Group and Matchbox teams to Screen Queensland Studios and watch as these series take shape, and also see our facilities and locations showcased around the world.”

Screen Queensland’s head of studios Derek Hall said the facility is a perfect match for Universal Studio Group and Matchbox, and the creative output that will be generated by the three productions.

“Having Universal Studio Group come in with major projects like these, for such a duration, allows SQ Studios to continue to increase its reputation to producers in Australia and internationally, while further cementing Queensland as one of the best places in the world to film.

“Onto the SQ Studios lot, we also recently welcomed resident company, Extra-Specialists, which utilise ex-military skill to provide expert training in wire-flying stunts, combat and weaponry. It’s a truly action-packed time here for us at SQ Studios,” he added.

Queensland-made Netflix series Dive Club to film in Port Douglas

A 12-episode teen mystery drama by Brisbane-based production house The Steve Jaggi Company will start filming in Port Douglas late October, with support from the Queensland Government through Screen Queensland.

The wholly Queensland-made series Dive Club, which includes post-production by Brisbane company Serve Chilled, will be released in 2021 on an Australian commercial broadcaster, and outside Australia to a global audience of over 190 countries on Netflix.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that her Government was proud to support the Queensland screen industry and overall economic recovery through her strong commitment to investing in the work of local producers.

“I am delighted to announce that filming is forthcoming on the series Dive Club, which is currently estimated to create in excess of 110 jobs for Queenslanders and inject nearly $8 million into the economy,” the Premier said.

Dive Club will showcase the tropical paradise location of Port Douglas and its lush surrounds to audiences across Australia, and the world, while providing jobs and training opportunities for established and emerging local crew permanently based in Queensland.

“Supporting this production is one component in our delivery of The Far North Queensland Screen Production Strategic Plan, which is successfully generating positive economic impact in the region.

“With additional outcomes for FNQ tourism, hospitality, logistics and transport, just to name a few, it’s not only local filmmakers who will benefit from this exciting new production.”

The Steve Jaggi Company produces feature films and series for global markets and major distributors including Netflix, MarVista Entertainment, Universal and Disney Channel.

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich commented on The Steve Jaggi Company’s impressive global production track record, as well as its demonstrated commitment to gender parity in the industry.

“This is the third Steve Jaggi Company production we have supported, following Swimming for Gold filmed in Brisbane, and This Little Love of Mine, which was filmed in Cairns.

“We are also delighted to see Dive Club feature strong lead female characters, as well as a wealth of female directors working on the series, including Hayley McFarlane, Rhiannon Bannenberg and Christine Luby,” Munnich said.

“Screen Queensland wishes The Steve Jaggi Company and all involved in the production, both on and off-screen, a fantastic shoot in film-friendly Far North Queensland.”

Dive Club follows a group of skilled teenage divers as they strive to uncover a mysterious disappearance that will change their small town and each other, forever.

Dive Club producer and showrunner Steve Jaggi said the drama series was always envisaged as a Queensland production, with Port Douglas the ideal location for the fictional seaside town of Cape Mercy.

“Port Douglas was my first choice for Dive Club from the get-go as it’s exactly the tropical wonderland I pictured Cape Mercy to be in my imagination.

“Following our positive experience of shooting This Little Love of Mine in the region, the decision to return to Port Douglas and FNQ was an easy one,” he said.

Jaggi emphasised that as a Queensland creation, Dive Club predominantly employs talent who already reside in Queensland.

“We are proud to be a Queensland based company and are always thrilled to be working with the fantastic cast and crew that our very own home state has to offer.”

Producer Spencer McLaren said the company’s decision to expand into television series was a natural evolution for the brand.

“With more young adult and family audiences looking for appealing and bingeable stories on their smaller screens, it seemed a natural progression for us to create content that fits that demand.”

The production of Dive Club will operate in compliance with the Queensland Screen Sector COVID Safe Work Plan developed by the Queensland Government and Screen Queensland.

ARIA Chart: Justin Bieber and Keith Urban crash into the top 10 on debut

By James Manning

• Albums: Aussie action as Keith Urban and Mildlife arrive in the top 10

Singles

No change at the top which is hardly surprising given there are so few songs that actually make it to #1. WAP from Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion enjoys a sixth week at #1.

Two of the three new entries this week manage to debut in the top 10:

#4 Justin Bieber with Holy featuring Chance The Rapper. This is the 14th time Bieber has landed a top 10 hit and the fourth in 2020. This is the fourth collaboration between the Canadian singer and the US rapper in a partnership that started back in 2013.
#6: Keith Urban with One Too Many featuring P!nk. The Nashville-based Australian country music superstar cracks the top 10 for the first time and the top 50 for the first time since 2017 with The Fighter (peak #19). P!nk on the other hand is no stranger to the top 10 – 26 times with the last four years ago with Just Like Fire in 2016.

The week’s other new arrival is Ritt Momney at #36 with Put Your Records On. After gaining traction on TikTok, this is the first time on the chart for Salt Lake City’s Jack Rutter aka Ritt Momney. The song is a cover of Corinne Bailey Rae’s 2006 single.

Albums

Keith Urban secures his fourth #1 album with The Speed of Now Part 1 two-and-a-half years after Graffiti U peaked at #2. Urban’s 11th studio album is another Australian chart success in 2020. Urban last week hosted the Academy of Country Music Awards in the US and two days later he and his band played an album livestream event on Amazon’s Twitch channel.

Seven other albums were new to the top 50 this week:

#7 Ava Max with Heaven & Hell. The US singer/songwriter’s debut album comes just over two years since the release of her debut single Sweet But Psycho in August 2018.
#8: Mildlife with Automatic. The Melbourne lockdown has its upsides and perhaps this second album from the eclectic rockers is one of them. The first shipment of vinyl sold out quickly, helping the album to put the band high on the ARIA chart for the first time. If you like aural adventures you can’t go wrong here – “The centrepiece of Automatic is the title track where the band sound like Kraftwerk and Herbie Hancock on quarantined lockdown in Bob Moog’s Trumansburg workshop,” say the band.
#13: Alicia Keys with Alicia. The US singer’s seventh album lands in the top 20 as have six of those releases. Originally planned to be released after she hosted the 2020 Grammy Awards and published her autobiography, Alicia has finally made it six months later– this time coinciding with her performance at the launch of the 2020 NFL season and the iHeart Music Festival.
#19: Yours Truly with Self Care. After their 2019 EP Afterglow, the debut album from the Sydney rock band cracks the top 20. The band is streaming a Sydney live show next Saturday via Netgigs.
#36 Take Two with Mind Like Mine. The debut album with 16 new tracks form Sydney twin brothers, Jordan and Brandon who are tradies by day and pop stars by night and on weekends!
#45 Julie and the Phantoms Season 1 soundtrack. Music from the first season of the Netflix series.
#50 Yusuf with Tea for the Tillerman. Fifty years after its initial release, Yusuf Cat Stevens has remade the classic album with new lyrics and instrumentation. The original is still the best of course, but worth a listen, especially the remake of Father and Son which mixes a 1970 vocal with the 2020 version.

The Block
Week 39 TV: Nine ranks #1 primary and network share

By James Manning

Nine manages the double this week – #1 primary channel and #1 network. Driving the result was a good week for The Block off the back of publicity about the site shutdown for Covid-19.

If only the real lockdowns lasted as long at the TV one. The Sunday episode was close to 1m, Monday close to 900,000 and Tuesday close to 800,000. By Wednesday that audience became 700,000 – still enough to win the timeslot each night it was on.

Seven’s best again was All New Monty on Sunday. A rare Monday night AFL did well on 605,000 but it was then Friday for the next best with Better Homes and Gardens getting a run on the primary channel on a footy-free Friday with 546,000 watching.

10’s primary share slipped despite a solid performance from the season finale of The Bachelor on Thursday. The dating format, Have You Been Paying Attention? and Gogglebox were the three programs able to crack half a million across the week.

Nine Week 39

Primary share: 20.0% (19.2%)
Network share: 28.8% (27.6)%
Multichannels: GO! 2.6% (2.7%) Gem 2.6% (2.2%) 9Life 2.3% (2.3%) 9Rush 1.3% (1.1%)

The Block was the key to a win this week. Nine was also able to enjoy better Thursday and Friday shares where NRL was the only live FTA sport with the AFL having a week off before the finals.

The improved network share came in part from a good lift at Gem.

Seven Week 39

Primary share: 18.5% (17.6%)
Network share: 27.9% (27.4%)
Multichannels: 7TWO 3.5% (3.7%) 7mate 3.6% (3.9%) 7flix 2.3% (2.2%)

The All New Monty had audiences of 805,000 and 758,000 on its second Sunday.

It did a lot better than Plate of Origin which wrapped up in a Tuesday marathon with 348,000 watching the semi-final and then 335,000 watching the final.

ABC Week 39

Primary share: 13.8% (13.7%)
Network share: 18.4% (18.1%)
Multichannels: Kids/Comedy 2.6% (2.6%) ME 0.4% (0.4%) News 1.5% (1.4%)

All ABC 7pm news bulletins averaged over 700,000. Also in that ballpark was Hard Quiz on 726,000.
Over 600,000 was the Todd Sampson episode of Brush with Fame.
Not too far below 600,000 were 7.30, Australian Story, Father Brown and Mad as Hell.

10 Week 39

Primary share 10.9% (11.2%)
Network share: 16.8% (17.1%)
Multichannels: Bold 3.7% (3.7%) Peach 2.3% (2.2%)

10 had four shows in the top 10 spots under 50, 16 to 39 and 25 to 54, and five of the top 10 in 18 to 49 – including the top spot 16 to 39. Those shows were The Bachelor Australia Grand Finale – The Final Decision and Grand Finale, The Bachelor Australia Wednesday and Gogglebox.

On Thursday night, 1.11 million people tuned in to see Locky chose Irena in The Bachelor Australia Grand Finale – The Final Decision making it #1 16 to 39 across the week and 10 Play’s biggest livestream event of the year.

10 Bold was the #1 multichannel of the week. Next week we will have the first weekly share for 10’s third multichannel 10 Shake which launched on Sunday.

SBS Week 39

Primary share: 5.1% (6.7%)
Network share: 8.1% (9.7%)
Multichannels: Viceland 1.3% (1.4%) Food 0.9% (0.7%) NITV 0.1% (0.1%) World Movies 0.7% (0.8%)

The World’s Most Scenic Railway Journeys pushed close to 400,000 and close to the top 50 for the week with the series final episode travelling across the South Island of New Zealand.
Next best was the new series of Every Family Has a Secret on 286,000.

* Figures in brackets are Week 38 shares.

TV ratings: Sunday Week 40 2020

By James Manning

• The Block still standing despite Monty Gals & Lindy doco
• Nine wins 10th Sunday: The Block’s perfect score & a disaster
• All New Monty Gals take it off for 800,000 in final episode
• Lindy Chamberlain disappoints with 360,000 as 10 Shake launches

Primetime News
Nine News 1,132,000
Seven News 1,087,000
ABC News 693,000
10 News First 241,000/173,000
SBS World News 191,000

Daily current affairs
Insiders 422,000
The Project 256,000/379,000

Breakfast TV
Sunrise 246,000
Today 205,000
News Breakfast 195,000

Late night news
Nine News Late 234,000

Sunday TV 

Seven: The final of the three-part The All New Monty: Guys and Girls finally got to the girls. The first week finished with the guys giving the girls a preview of their show (keeping their pants on) and then the second week finished with the guys strutting their stuff for the public (pants definitely off!). The girls pulled an audience of 800,000 for the performance (the men did 805,000 a week ago) with 717,000 watching the first part of the episode after the first two weeks were on 781,000 and then 758,000/805,000. Seven protected their audience from nudity though with both strips pixelated at the climax.

A Seven news special followed called Surviving the Crash. Seven had success with a Sunday night special during the GFC with Kochie hosting with huge audiences. Last night 7NEWS political editor Mark Riley and network finance editor Gemma Acton were moderating a panel that attracted an audience of 315,000.

Nine: The Block saw the teams present their bedroom and bathroom to the judges during a period that was interrupted by the Covid-19 site shutdown. Luke and Jasmine won with the first perfect score of 30 for this season. Harry and Tash had a shocker, well behind the others on 23.5 after the judges discovered a crooked wall which means they have to redo the room. The audience of 928,000/997,000 comes after 986,999/1,032,000 a week ago.

60 Minutes followed with Liam Bartlett reporting on the man Australia now knows is the Claremont serial killer who used to call himself the Bogeyman to people he met online. On Thursday, Bradley Robert Edwards was found guilty of murdering two young women in the mid-1990s. The judge at his trial said it was likely that he also abducted and killed a third woman, but because her body has never been found there was not enough evidence for a conviction. The episode just made it over 500,000 after 699,000 a week ago.

10: The Sunday Project featured a diverse offering again from Tommy Little’s interview with Machine Gun Kelly to Lisa Wilkinson’s chat with Sam Neill who narrated the Lindy Chamberlain documentary on 10 last night. The 7pm audience was 379,000 after 401,000 a week ago.

Lindy Chamberlain: The True Story Part 1 followed The Project and the Easy Tiger/Empress Road production found a disappointing crowd of 365,000 up against some proven performers on Seven and Nine. What the doco did was push 10’s Sunday primary share just into double figures, something it hadn’t achieved for the previous nine weeks. Lindy Chamberlain also improved the channel’s performance in the timeslot where Family Feud had been under 300,000.

Meanwhile 10 Shake launched yesterday with a day one primetime share of 0.4% taking 10’s network share to 16.6%, also its highest Sunday figures in nine weeks. The new channel’s most-watched show on day one was an episode of Lip Sync Battle in the early evening.

ABC: Part two of The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty was called The Rebel Alliance and had 433,000 viewers after launching last week on 548,000. Former News Corp executive Les Hinton didn’t hold back with comments about The Guardian and its coverage of the company.

The second episode of the new season of Grantchester did 440,000 after 517,000 tuned in a week ago.

SBS: Part one of Ancient Superstructures featured France’s Mont Saint Michel with 206,000 watching.

The first two episodes of the six-part documentary series Watergate screened after 8.30pm with all six also being available on SBS On Demand. The first two episodes had an average audience of 109,000.

Week 39-40: Friday-Sunday
FRIDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 16.0% 7 19.2% 9 19.2% 10  10.3% SBS One 4.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.1% 7TWO 2.9% GO! 3.2% 10 Bold 2.8% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 3.2% GEM 2.0% 10 Peach 2.2% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.8% 7flix 3.0% 9Life 2.0%     NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.5%     SBS World Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 21.4%   28.2%   27.9%   15.4%   7.1%

 

SATURDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 15.9% 7 18.1% 9 16.9% 10  6.7% SBS One 5.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.2% 7TWO 4.1% GO! 3.4% 10 Bold 3.4% VICELAND 0.8%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 4.0% GEM 4.8% 10 Peach 2.5% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix 2.7% 9Life 2.4%     NITV 0.2%
        9Rush 1.6%     SBS World Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 21.1%   28.9%   29.2%   12.5%   8.2%

 

SUNDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 12.0% 7 20.2% 9 23.6% 10  10.0% SBS One 4.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.8% 7TWO 1.9% GO! 3.0% 10 Bold 3.5% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 3.9% GEM 2.1% 10 Peach 2.8% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix 1.7% 9Life 1.9% 10 Shake 0.4% NITV 0.2%
        9Rush 0.8%     SBS World Movies 0.6%
TOTAL 16.6%   27.6%   31.3%   16.6%   7.8%

 

SUNDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 12.7% 7 19.4% 9 18.6% WIN 9.7% SBS One 3.7%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.2% 7TWO 2.4% GO! 3.3% WIN Bold 4.6% VICELAND 1.3%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 5.0% GEM 3.0% WIN Peach 3.6% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.1% 9Life 2.6% Sky News  on WIN 1.6% NITV 0.2%
                SBS Movies 0.5%
TOTAL 17.9%   28.9%   27.5%   19.6%   6.5%

 

SUNDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
86.9% 13.1%
All People Ratings

Friday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 973,000
  2. Nine News Nine 937,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 921,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 836,000
  5. ABC News ABC 688,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 549,000
  7. Better Homes And Gardens Seven 546,000
  8. The Chase Australia Seven 527,000
  9. Gardening Australia ABC 526,000
  10. Hot Seat Nine 513,000

 

Saturday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 883,000
  2. Nine News Saturday Nine 864,000
  3. ABC News ABC 733,000
  4. Father Brown ABC 567,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 562,000
  6. Border Patrol Seven 418,000
  7. M- Guardians Of The Galaxy Seven 313,000
  8. Getaway Nine 306,000
  9. The Split ABC 305,000
  10. San Andreas Nine 273,00
Sunday FTA
  1. Nine News Sunday Nine 1,132,000
  2. Seven News Seven 1,087,000
  3. The Block -Room Winner Nine 997,000
  4. The Block Nine 928,000
  5. All New Monty: Guys And Gals – Performance Seven 800,000
  6. All New Monty: Guys And Gals Seven 717,000
  7. ABC News Sunday ABC 693,000
  8. 60 Minutes Nine 520,000
  9. Landline PM ABC 480,000
  10. Grantchester ABC 440,000
  11. The Rise Of The Murdoch Dynasty ABC 433,000
  12. The Sunday Project 7pm 10 379,000
  13. Lindy Chamberlain: The True Story 10 365,000
  14. 7news Spotlight: Surviving The Crash Seven 315,000
  15. Insiders AM ABC 284,000
  16. Gardening Australia PM ABC 281,000
  17. Doc Martin (R) ABC 277,000
  18. Close Of Business PM ABC NEWS 272,000
  19. The Sunday Project 6.30pm 10 256,000
  20. FBI 10 251,000
Sunday Multichannel
  1. Close Of Business PM ABC NEWS 272,000
  2. The Mix PM ABC NEWS 220,000
  3. NCIS Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 155,000
  4. ABC News AM ABC NEWS 145,000
  5. M- Men In Black 3 PM (R) 7mate 145,000
  6. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 141,000
  7. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  8. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  9. Insiders AM ABC NEWS 138,000
  10. Weekend Breakfast: 10am AM ABC NEWS 135,000
  11. ABC News PM ABC NEWS 133,000
  12. Offsiders AM ABC NEWS 128,000
  13. Floogals AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  14. Dinosaur Train AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  15. Death In Paradise 9Gem 117,000
  16. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  17. Ghostbusters 9GO! 116,000
  18. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 114,000
  19. Love Monster ABCKIDS/COMEDY 112,000
  20. School Of Roars ABCKIDS/COMEDY 110,000
Sunday STV
  1. Live: NRL: Dragons V Storm FOX LEAGUE 254,000
  2. Live: NRL: Warriors V Sea Eagles FOX LEAGUE 145,000
  3. Live: F1: Russia Race FOX SPORTS 506 144,000
  4. Live: Supercars Tailem Bend FOX SPORTS 506 134,000
  5. Live: Supercars Tailem Bend FOX SPORTS 506 134,000
  6. Live: Sunday Night With Matty Johns FOX LEAGUE 102,000
  7. Live: Supercars Live FOX SPORTS 506 91,000
  8. Live: Supercars The Grid FOX SPORTS 506 84,000
  9. Live: Supercars The Grid FOX SPORTS 506 84,000
  10. Live: Supercars Tailem Bend Supports FOX SPORTS 506 79,000
  11. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 72,000
  12. Outsiders Sky News Live 72,000
  13. Outsiders Sky News Live 63,000
  14. Weekend Live Sky News Live 60,000
  15. Business Weekend Sky News Live 55,000
  16. Live: Supercars Tailem Bend Supports FOX SPORTS 506 55,000
  17. Live: Supercars Live FOX SPORTS 506 53,000
  18. Live: Women’s T20: AUS V NZL Game 2 FOX CRICKET 53,000
  19. Live: Supercars Tailem Bend FOX SPORTS 506 52,000
  20. Live: Moto GP Catalunya FOX SPORTS MORE 49,000

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

News Xtend broadens horizons with Singapore SMB deal

News Corp Australia’s digital marketing service News Xtend is making its first international foray, joining forces with Singapore Press Holdings to target the island state’s small and medium business sector, reports The Australian’s James Madden.

News Xtend, which has been one of the company’s fastest growing businesses over the past five years, is a digital marketing division that provides expert advice and know-how to SMBs. Its marketing specialists work one-on-one with business owners to understand their specific market needs and create targeted digital campaigns to increase customer numbers.

News Corp Australasia’s executive chairman Michael Miller said the partnership with SPH was a significant step for News Xtend.

“This partnership demonstrates News Xtend’s globally recognised and award-winning capability in running performance marketing campaigns,” Miller said.

“We’re now exporting our know-how by partnering with another media company that, like ours, has successfully transitioned to the digital landscape.”

[Read more]

Will Fetch TV boss Scott Lorson get Hugh Mark’s CEO role at Nine?

Hugh Marks, CEO of media company Nine, missed out on a potential $1.55 million short-term incentive in the financial year ended June 30, highlighting that life at the top of a major media company is not as rosy as what it once was, reports News Corp’s Annette Sharp.

In a year in which Nine was forced to pay a premium price, put at over $100 million, for content for its streaming platform Stan, Marks farewelled two CFOs in unexplained circumstances — and the collapse of sales revenue brought questions about the wisdom of Nine’s top-dollar buyout of John Singleton’s Macquarie Media radio network.

Industry sources believe a successor for Marks’ job, if Marks were to quit, may have emerged in Fetch TV executive Scott Lorson.

Lorson was CEO of Nine affiliate ACP Magazines in 2007 and prior to that CEO of Ticketek. Sources say he’s a man with Nine DNA in his veins who would be a worthy successor to Marks.

[Read more]

News Brands

Angelos Frangopoulos to launch 24-hour UK news channel to rival BBC & Sky

Andrew Neil has quit the BBC to launch a new UK right-leaning opinionated rolling news channel which aims to start broadcasting early next year as a rival to the public broadcaster and Sky, reports The Guardian.

GB News, which has drawn comparisons with Fox News, promises to serve the “vast number of British people who feel underserved and unheard” by existing television news channels, explicitly pitching itself into the middle of the culture war.

GB News has also hired the former Sky News executive John McAndrew and appointed Angelos Frangopoulos, the former boss of opinion-heavy Sky News Australia, as chief executive.

The new station is being backed by broadcaster Discovery, although it still needs to confirm tens of millions of pounds in investment before its launch. GB News said it hoped to create at least 120 positions, including more than 100 journalist jobs across the UK.

[Read more]

AAP 2.0 architect leaves newswire following government handout

The architect of an eleventh-hour bid to save embattled newswire Australian Associated Press left the company as it secured crucial funding from the Morrison government to prevent it from going broke, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.

Nick Harrington, an investment manager who brought together investors and philanthropists to save the newswire before becoming head of strategy and corporate development, left the loss-making company days after it received a $5 million government grant. AAP, which has lost a string a key media clients, is attempting to secure more external funding through a code that will force Google and Facebook to pay news outlets for their content.

AAP chief executive Emma Cowdroy said Harrington’s role was always meant to be temporary but there was no indication this was the case before his resignation. He did not mention resignation plans in the only interview he gave about AAP. He did not respond to interview requests on Sunday.

“Nick resigned on September 21st,” Cowdroy said. “He was only ever coming across to transition into the new corporate structure.” Cowdroy said the role was unlikely to be replaced.

[Read more]

High court judge Patrick Keane takes swipe at media on privacy

High court judge Patrick Keane has taken a thinly veiled swipe at “old media”, saying they will see “dollar signs” when faced with a choice between the right to know and the right to privacy, reports The AFR’s Michael Pelly.

In a speech at the Commonwealth Courts Building in Brisbane, Justice Keane said there was an element of self-interest in the current push to reform defamation laws.

He said the “vested interests of the old media are such that they can always be expected to sacrifice the privacy of citizens, that is to say, all those of us who do not own media outlets, in order to make more sales”.

Justice Keane’s speech – the Michael Whincop memorial lecture – was delivered on August 27 and recently posted on the High Court’s website.

[Read more]

Podcasting

Got an idea for a podcast? Spotify Australia wants to hear it

Spotify has three Australian original titles (Search Engine Sex, I Can’t Stop, Gee Thanks) and three exclusive titles (Generation Betoota, Vice Extremes 2 and The Dad Kit), reports The Age’s Michael Lallo.

The company will announce two more in each category before Christmas and intends to increase its investment in local original and exclusives by 30 per cent next year, resulting in an additional 15 to 20 titles.

Spotify’s Australian creative producer of podcasting Leah Harris‘s job is to develop and fund local original formats instead of acquiring exclusive rights to existing series. She is open to ideas from all Australians, including those with no industry experience.

“My number one thing is that anyone who wants to pitch an idea must know their audience,” she says. “Who are they, where do they live, what might they eat for dinner? Once you know who you’re talking to or who you’re creating [a podcast] for, you can’t go wrong.”

While news, sport, comedy and true crime are among Spotify’s most popular podcast genres, Harris will consider all suggestions. She wants these initial titles to attract sizeable audiences; once Spotify has established a larger podcast following, she’ll explore more niche proposals.

Over the past year, the number of podcast episodes on Spotify jumped from 450,000 to 1.5 million.

[Read more]

Radio

Media writers deliver Survey 6 Sydney radio ratings forecast

Radio executives at 2GB’s parent company Nine will learn on Tuesday if their gamble on new breakfast host Ben Fordham has paid off or if their 17-year run as Sydney’s number-one radio station is over, reports News Corp’s Annette Sharp.

The release of the survey 6 radio ratings results — the first since April due to the extraordinary six-month pandemic-forced survey suspension — is being touted within the ad industry as the most important radio survey in 35 years because of the retirement of Sydney talk radio legend Alan Jones, the man upon whose reputation 2GB was rebuilt in 2001.

Having strategically launched Fordham’s breakfast radio career at the start of the survey shutdown following Jones’s shock departure from the airwaves, Nine will find out next week if their 2GB overhaul has been a success or if radio bosses have misread a market that remains loyal to established stars and advertisers who still regard Jones as the greatest salesman in the business.

Among stations tipped to experience audience and share hikes in the latest survey, which clocked listening habits from July 26 and September 19, are Smooth, WSFM, KIISFM, Nova and the non-commercial ABC702.

[Read more]

The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff reported:

Privately, 2GB’s best guess is Ben Fordham will rate a 12 — about a third below Jones’s towering 17.9 in his last survey before leaving.

And if you were to apply a one-third audience loss across its entire new-look weekday line-up, 2GB’s overall ratings could fall from its market-leading 15.4 share in April to around a 10. In that scenario, 2GB’s two-decade crown would be in play. The ABC (second on 9.8 in April), KIIS, WSFM or even Smooth would only have to pick up a portion of 2GB defectors to take over the Sydney radio crown.

[Read more]

Radio braces for post-Alan Jones ratings reality check

On Tuesday, the radio world will learn whether the heavily promoted 2GB Ben Fordham experiment has paid off, when the latest GfK metropolitan radio survey – the first since April, and the first to cover Fordham’s performance in his new gig — will is released, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

Philippa Noilea-Tani, national head of investment at media agency Wavemaker, said key talent changes would have driven a change to the age and gender listener profile of some stations.

“With Alan Jones stepping down, the most notable change I am expecting to see in the survey is across 2GB breakfast. Alan Jones certainly left Ben Fordham with very big shoes to fill,” she said, noting that when Jones left radio station 2UE in 2001 his listeners followed him to 2GB.

“I have no doubt some of Alan’s avid listeners won’t stick around for Ben. However, the majority will.”

“Working from home was an instigator of increased listening,” according to Elizabeth Baker, head of investment at media agency Zenith. “Audio became a companion as well as a core news source and there are still a lot of people who have not returned to the office environment.”

[Read more]

Television

Michael Pell to run The Voice: Sunrise EP continues transition to primetime

Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell has been tapped by Seven CEO James Warburton to lend his magic touch to more prime-time offerings, having overseen the breakfast staple for a decade, reports News Corp’s Amy Harris.

Pell has been tasked with running the network’s next big shiny-floor production The Voice, which is Seven’s big ratings hope for 2021.

Already this year Pell has steered the successful relaunch of Big Brother and also produced Seven’s marathon 10-hour Firefight Australia broadcast – one of the network’s highest-rated shows of 2020.

It’s expected Seven will announce a new official title for Pell in the coming weeks.

[Read more]

Melbourne writer suing ABC over kids’ television boat show

A row over what inspired an ABC kids’ show is to go to Federal Court, reports News Corp’s John Masanauskas.

Melbourne writer Annie Duncan has claimed the ABC’s Bubble Bath Bay animation ripped off her creation, Buster the Brave Little Wooden Boat.

Duncan said that the national broadcaster rejected her pitch for a Buster series in 2010, but that in 2011 the ABC “had 13 pages of emails with a third party” about her concept.

In a statement of claim, Duncan said she met writer Claire Madsen at a Rusden College drama and media department reunion in 2013.

“Ms Madsen said words to the effect that she was working on a children’s animation (and) it was about a little boat in the harbour,” the statement said. “She did not know who the original writer was.”

Bubble Bath Bay was first broadcast on ABC Kids in early 2015 after the network commissioned an external firm to produce it. The program, later renamed Sydney Sailboat, has sold successfully overseas.

Duncan chose to sue the ABC in the Federal Court, arguing that the “similarities between Bubble Bath Bay, Buster the Brave Little Wooden Boat and Buster and Jack are so similar as it could not be said to be a coincidence”.

The ABC declined to comment as the case was before the courts.

[Read more]

A star is born as Claudia Karvan gives TV novice a career bump

To say Kelsey Munro is living a dream is almost an understatement. With little experience and no screen credits in television, the 44-year-old is now having her first show produced by none other than Claudia Karvan and John Edwards, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Louise Rugendyke.

“It actually doesn’t even feel real because I’ve hardly had the conversation out loud with that many people,” says Munro, whose day job is as a senior research analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra. “I just kept thinking it’s going to fall over, it’s not going to happen because there are so many planets that have to align for a TV show.”

Munro fell into writing while on maternity leave from The Sydney Morning Herald in 2014.

“I had a bit more time, sort of, except for the two small children, and I just sat down to see if I could teach myself how to do it,” says Munro. “I really enjoyed it and eventually, when I finally let other people read it, they were really positive about it. So I thought, ‘OK, I’ll see where this goes.’”

Bump has been shooting around the inner west since August, with Sydney Secondary College’s campus at Blackwattle Bay standing in for the show’s fictional Jubilee High, while empty offices at the Royal Blind Society’s former headquarters at Enfield have been turned into parts of the school’s interior.

It’s due to screen on Stan by the end of the year and by then, hopefully, Munro will have come to terms with her sudden, not-quite-overnight success.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Grand Final Eve Footy Show spectacular is being resurrected

Nine’s AFL Grand Final Eve Footy Show spectacular is being resurrected with Rebecca Maddern set to make a surprise return to footy-mad production, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.

Maddern and Shane Crawford will join Tony Jones, Billy Brownless, Nathan Brown, Matthew Lloyd, Damian Barrett and Kane Cornes in the three-hour prime-time special which will combine footy with fundraising.

The Grand Final Eve: My Room Telethon will kick a goal for the My Room Children’s Cancer Charity while previewing the 2020 Grand Final.

Maddern said the show, which airs at 7.30pm on Friday, October 23, would celebrate what has been a unique and unusual AFL season.

[Read more]

Network Ten bids for rugby union, Amazon also enters picture

Network Ten has bid for the rights to broadcast Wallabies Tests from next year but wants a cheaper deal from Rugby Australia that could put further financial pressure on the embattled code, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.

The television network currently pays RA about $3.5 million a year to broadcast the Tests as part of a $285 million deal signed in 2015 alongside pay TV companies Foxtel and BSkyB.

Industry sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the negotiation process is confidential said that Ten had lodged the bid late last week, offering to broadcast the Wallabies matches on its network again but for a lower price. International Tests played in Australia and New Zealand and all matches of the rugby World Cup that involve the Australian team must be broadcast on free-to-air television under anti-siphoning laws. The length of Ten’s new deal is open to discussion as is the potential to pick up new game formats such as a State of Union, a similar format to the NRL’s State of Origin. Ten and RA declined to comment.

Foxtel has not formally put in its bid but remains in discussions about airing Super Rugby and Test matches.

[Read more]

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