Friday November 23, 2018

Hit podcast The Teacher’s Pet wins the 2018 Gold Walkley Award

The Australian’s investigative journalist Hedley Thomas and composer/producer Slade Gibson were announced as the winners of Australian journalism’s highest honour in Brisbane last night.

The Teacher’s Pet explored the 1982 disappearance of Sydney mother Lyn Dawson, bringing investigative reporting to 27 million listeners around the world. Thomas wrote and recorded an average of more than 15,000 words each week, as new informants came forward and the investigation unfolded in real time. Gibson added original music and audio production. The Teacher’s Pet is the only Australian podcast to go to number 1 in the US, the UK, Canada and New Zealand.

The judges described the podcast as “a masterclass in investigative journalism… The investigation uncovered long-lost statements and new witnesses, and prompted police to dig again for the body of Lyn Dawson.”

Having won the Gold Walkley previously in 2007, Thomas joins an elite club. The only other person to win the Gold Walkley twice in the award’s 40-year history is the legendary cartoonist Ron Tandberg, who passed away in January this year. The 2018 Gold Walkley is supported by Apple News. The winners also receive $10,000 in business class airfares thanks to Qantas.

Dean Lewins was named the Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year for a body of work spanning news and sport photographyJournalist Helen Pitt’s history of the Sydney Opera House, The House (Allen & Unwin), won the Walkley Book AwardMyanmar’s Killing Fields on SBS Dateline won the Walkley Documentary Award for Evan Williams, Eve Lucas and Georgina Davies.

And in a poignant presentation, Sean Dorney was recognised for his Outstanding Contribution to Journalism over 40 years of tireless reporting on the Asia Pacific and especially Papua New Guinea.

Chair of the Walkley Advisory Board, the recently departed Sky News CEO Angelos Frangopoulos, praised the range and depth of this year’s winners. “It’s so exciting to see innovative formats for journalism reaching huge audiences, and the diversity of our winners is a ringing endorsement of the quality of Australian journalism. With 1,329 entries this year, I want to particularly thank the judges who gave their time to carefully consider each one.”

The 63rd Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism were presented in 30 categories. Just under 600 journalists and media identities gathered at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre for the event with the support of Tourism and Events Queensland.

See the full list of winners here.

Podcast Week: Howie, Rusty, Gold Walkley and Mitch Wallis’s Real Talk

Some of the PodcastOne big guns have had some fascinating interviews the past month that could help fill summer leisure listening hours.

Rusty’s Garage with Mick, Merrick and Gold Logie winner Grant

Rusty’s Garage has had some big names parking their cars. Host, commentator and journalist Greg Rust spent time with Mick Doohan in his most recent podcast released this week. Prior to that he spent time in separate recordings with media motoring enthusiasts Merrick Watts and Grant Denyer.

Listen to Rusty’s Garage here.

 Sports guy Mark Howard in the ring with Mundine

Meanwhile Mark Howard is being kept busy by a punishing schedule on the Fox Cricket commentary team. He has a bank of great interviews recorded though and is releasing them via PodcastOne. This week his Howie Games podcast with Anthony Mundine has been released just days before his fight with Jeff Horn. Earlier this month he talked surfing with former World Champion Joel Parkinson.

Listen to The Howie Games here.

 The Betoota on tour

The Betoota Advocate’s Australian tour is under way as Clancy Overell and Errol Parker treat audiences to a no-holds-barred live show in true Betoota-style. They recently hit the stage in Perth with the roadshow to culminate at the Sydney Opera House on December 1. 

Meshel was missing, but now she’s back

While Meshel Laurie’s Nitty Gritty Committee hasn’t published a new episode in 12 months, the show has continued to gain traction. After much demand, Meshel is back. Her latest episode features Netflix’s greatest villain Ken Kratz. He confesses all of his sins, and then lays out, once again, a very compelling case against Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. He also has some interesting new questions for the makers of Making a Murderer.

Gold for The Teacher’s Pet

The Australian’s investigative journalist Hedley Thomas and composer/producer Slade Gibson were announced as the winners of Australian journalism’s highest honour in Brisbane last night.

The Teacher’s Pet explored the 1982 disappearance of Sydney mother Lyn Dawson, bringing investigative reporting to 27 million listeners around the world. Thomas wrote and recorded an average of more than 15,000 words each week, as new informants came forward and the investigation unfolded in real time. Gibson added original music and audio production. The Teacher’s Pet is the only Australian podcast to go to number 1 in the US, the UK, Canada and New Zealand.

The judges described the podcast as “a masterclass in investigative journalism… The investigation uncovered long-lost statements and new witnesses, and prompted police to dig again for the body of Lyn Dawson.”

Read more about this year’s Walkley winners at

How Real Talk is transforming the mental health conversation

The Real Talk podcast is humanising the real-life experiences of high-profile people and their unexpected journeys with mental health despite a seemingly “perfect” outside life. The series launched last week.

Heart On My Sleeve is the fastest-growing social movement on the internet dedicated to helping those experiencing or supporting others with mental health challenges.

Real Talk, Heart On My Sleeve’s shift into the storytelling space, has been created with the view that the podcast can provide something that allows the listener to feel understood, less alone and isolated, so that they can let go of the shame and make way for a new narrative to emerge.

The Real Talk podcast series shares the experiences of nine high-profile people – Mitch Wallis, Osher Günsberg, Mallika Chopra, Francesca Hung, Ruby Wax, Dr Dan Siegel, Thorald Koren, Nick Ward and Joe Williams.

Mitch Wallis, the host of Real Talk and founder of the Heart On My Sleeve movement, shares his story in episode one. As a young child he was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder and chose to internalise and suppress his feelings and behaviour rather than seek therapy. While in his teenage years, life on the outside was incredibly normal and privileged, but his mind spiralled and his OCD took on new forms. In the third chapter of his life, Wallis was the youngest intern at Microsoft, was rapidly promoted within the business and at 25 was transferred to Seattle in a global role as a Product Marketing Manager. He seemingly had it all: the luxury car, business class flights, was mixing with celebrities and working on some of the hottest products in the tech industry. On the side he set up a DJ business, managed a yoga certification and ran marathons but his internal world was very different from his external lifestyle.

Mitch said, “The stress was high and constant, equally matched by my ability to hide my inner world. For some reason my old coping techniques started to lose effect. I was dramatically losing faith that I was helpable. I tried everything, from yoga to meditation, but they didn’t replace the huge chunk of fear and deep suffering caused by not knowing who I was or what I was going through.”

Real Talk is available on and on other podcast platforms.


Nova Red Room ARIA Week show #2: Amy Shark at The Lansdowne

How has your year been? Sony Music recording artist Amy Shark has had a good year.

She told a devoted audience packed into The Lansdowne Hotel last night when she signed to Sony Music she asked about Nova Red Rooms. “Will I get asked to do one?” she questioned her new label. Shark said they told her to be patient as she had been with the label for only a few hours!

Her Red Room dream came true this year. But it was way better than she hoped for – she managed to play two Red Rooms in 2018, both of them at The Lansdowne.

The Amy Shark Red Room was the second of the special Red Room ARIA Week shows. (We excitedly and incorrectly explained there were five shows in the week. Wishful thinking perhaps – there are actually “only” four.)

We are now halfway with shows from Vera Blue and now Amy Shark.

See also: Red Room ARIA Week Show #1: Vera Blue at The Lansdowne

The week started brilliantly with Vera Blue, and Amy Shark kept the Red Room’s batting average sky high. Despite suffering the after-affects of a cold, and dosed on Codral Cold medicines, Shark said the show must go on. She joked with the crowd she might sound more like a heavy metal singer at times but then promised she would be going hard for her fans.

Tracks from Shark’s debut album went down a storm with the crowd as did the live favourite Teenage Dirtbag.

The set was made up of seven other tunes from her Night Thinker EP and Love Monster, her first album: Blood Brothers, Psycho, Mess Her Up, Weekends, All Loved Up, Adore and I Said Hi.

Although she wasn’t in the best of health, Shark was ultra-relaxed in the Chippendale music temple that closed a couple of years ago and was recently given a new heart and a coat of paint.

Smallzy joined Shark onstage at the end, wishing her well in the ARIA Awards next week. “Nominated for nine awards – let’s hope she wins them all. Now won’t it be awkward if she doesn’t,” he added as she left the stage.

Sony Music had a big team present at the iconic Sydney venue, led by chairman and CEO Denis Handlin and general manager, media strategy and business Dan Nitschke. They spoke to Mediaweek enthusiastically about Shark’s success in Australia and her inroads in foreign markets, particularly the US and Canada where she played on stage and at venues somewhat bigger than The Lansdowne!

When asked about plans for 2019, they looked at the ceiling when questioned specifically about a major tour.

In the past few weeks on her way to The Lansdowne, Shark has played Irving Plaza in New York plus gigs in Canada, Seattle, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Back in August she shared the stage with some massive names in Chicago at Lollapalooza.

Other Sony Music team members at The Lansdowne were national promotions director Rowan Thiedeman and artists marketing and management GM Wayne Ringrow.

Nova was out in force with several of its team backing up after the Vera Blue show including Paul Jackson and Lansdowne regular Marty Sheargold (along with ARIA’s Dan Rosen).

Nova Lansdowne newcomers included Sydney commercial director Luke Minto and Adelaide PD Ben Latimer. They were joined by breakfast news presenter Matt de Groot and Nova music director Jodie Williams.

There are two more Red Room special events to come next week, artists at different stages in their careers, but both have made and are making major impacts globally.

Award-winning Bunya Productions appoints funding/network exec CEO

Bunya Productions, the prolific feature film and TV drama production company owned by producers David Jowsey and Greer Simpkin and writer/director Ivan Sen, has appointed Sophia Zachariou as CEO for the group.

Zachariou was, until recently, director of screen investment, engagement and attraction for Create NSW, the state’s film, television and arts funding agency.

Prior to joining Create NSW, Zachariou was deputy head of entertainment at ABC TV where she commissioned and executive-produced hundreds of hours of television across all genres.

Zachariou was the network executive producer on all the satirical advertising-focused Gruen panel series, Kitchen Cabinet with Annabel Crabb, Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey, comedy quiz show The Chaser’s Media Circus, satirical comedy The Chaser’s War on Everything, variety show Saturday Night Crack Up, comedy series Agony, consumer affairs show The Checkout and At the Movies.

She also developed digital formats for ABC’s streaming platform iview such as comedy series Fresh Blood and Canberra Al Desko with Annabel Crabb, which featured interviews with Australian politicians during their lunchbreaks.

Prior to her time at the ABC, Zachariou was the producer of the legendary short film series Eat Carpet for SBS and, as an independent, she produced Australia’s first short-film initiative for smartphones, Micromovies, in 2004.

Zachariou said: “I am very excited to be returning to independent production and a hands-on role. It is a truly great time to be involved in Australian production with the international opportunities now available. Bunya Productions is lauded for its films and programs such as Mystery Road and Secret Country, which have outstanding production values, and I see great opportunities to grow the group internationally.”

Bunya Productions’ David Jowsey and Greer Simpkin at the SPA Awards

Bunya Productions intends to grow a slate of television productions and feature films along with a factual slate.

Producer David Jowsey said: “It is a great coup for the Bunya Group to attract a talented and admired executive such as Sophia, who has deep experience and wide respect within the industry.”

Bunya Productions received six nominations at the 18th annual Screen Producers Australia (SPA) Awards, winning three of them.

Top Photo: Sophia Zachariou

Nine expand The Block brand again: How about every day of the year!

Nine has fiddled extensively with the format of The Block ever since it first launched in 2003. Back then the first season ran for 13 episodes as the Jamie Durie-hosted format set alight TV ratings books.

Nine then commissioned creators and executive producers Julian Cress and David Barbour to double the number of episodes. The ratings were, by today’s standards, still massive but dropped year-on-year.

The format then disappeared for the rest of the decade while the EPs made other reality formats for Nine and also worked overseas.

The format returned in 2010 with just nine episodes and a winning formula for audiences and advertisers.

From Nine in 2010 the show grew to over 100 episodes a year across two seasons in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Nine then pulled it back to one season of close to 50 episodes, which is where it has been for the past few years.

Nine is now expanding the format dramatically onto digital platforms, announcing at its Perth Upfronts event this week The Block 365, an always-on digital destination focused on short-form video.

The first video series for The Block 365 will star Perth’s Ronnie and Georgia in a short-form video series called Quick Room Flips with Ronnie & Georgia.

“The content on The Block 365 will be made-for-purpose, short-form video,” said Lizzie Young, Nine’s group content strategy director.

Quick Room Flips will launch as an eight-part video series with Ronnie and Georgia battling the clock – and their budget – to deliver a covetable room each week, inspiring the audience with ideas, tips and tricks to transform their own space.

“For advertisers, we know The Block is a property that delivers, year in, year out, and The Block 365 is an extension of that 365 days a year. It is another way that brands can connect with a passionate and highly engaged audience in the home renovation space.”

Ronnie and Georgia were contestants on the 2017 series of The Block, who later signed with Nine to work on series of collaborations focused in the renovation space.

“We could not be more excited to have Perth locals Ronnie and Georgia getting their own short-form video series on The Block 365 and announce this initiative at the Nine Perth Upfront,” said Clive Bingwa, managing director and sales director Nine Perth.

“2018 has been another big year for Nine Perth. We are continuing to invest locally and this is reflected in the audience growth in both our six o’clock news bulletin and also our overall TV primetime schedule. We are also investing more broadly and demonstrating our commitment to the city, for example by securing both Perth’s Australia Day Skyworks and the Hopman Cup.”

Nine confirmed The Block 365: Quick Room Flips with Ronnie & Georgia will launch in early 2019.

SPA Awards: Mystery Road maker Bunya and Guesswork TV big winners

Screen Producers Australia held the 18th Annual Screen Producers Australia Awards last night. The event was hosted by comedian Anne Edmonds at Melbourne’s Forum Theatre.

Guesswork Television was named Media Super Production Business of the Year and shared the win for Comedy Series Production of the Year for Rosehaven with What Horse?

Guesswork’s talent-focused approach sees it working collaboratively with writers, performers and directors who are the driving force behind projects. In 2017-18 Guesswork continued to make waves in the comedy world, not only with its second successful season of Rosehaven for ABC and Sundance, but also Hannah Gadsby: Nanette on Netflix and the loud and proud debut of Get Krack!n. Guesswork made strides in other genres too – with the smash hit debut of game format Hard Quiz, provocative factual series Corey White’s Roadmap to Paradise, digital-first comedy series The Edge of the Bush, and the return season of satirical hit The Weekly with Charlie Pickering.

Aquarius Films walked away with the Screen Business Export of the Year award. In the last 18 months, the profile of Aquarius has risen significantly both in Australia and on the international stage. Lion was a phenomenal international success, nominated for six Academy Awards and winning 12 AACTA awards. Berlin Syndrome was selected to screen at Sundance and Berlin and sold to Netflix in a seven-figure deal. These two projects significantly raised the profile of the Australian film and television industry overseas and brought money into the local industry, as well as providing hundreds of jobs for local crew.

Bunya Productions was the biggest winner on the night, taking home three awards for Telemovie or Mini Series Production of the Year, Feature Film of the Year and Breakthrough Business of the Year.

Matchbox Pictures executive chairman Michael McMahon was named as the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, honouring his illustrious film and television career spanning over 30 years.

“The strong slate of productions this year by Guesswork and Aquarius have continued to open new pathways for Australian producers, both overseas and at home. I congratulate them both on these latest accolades – along with all of our winners tonight. The Awards have showcased the strength of the Australian independent production sector and I trust that our members will continue to innovate, create and push forward like true mavericks in the year ahead,” said Screen Producers Australia CEO Matthew Deaner.

The full list of winners at the 2018 SPA Awards:

• Animated Series Production of the Year – Kitty is Not a Cat, BES Animation
• Children’s Series Production of the Year – Grace Beside Me, Magpie Pictures
• Comedy Series Production of the Year – Rosehaven, What Horse? / Guesswork Television
• Documentary or Documentary Series Production of the Year – Anh’s Brush with Fame, Screentime
• Drama Series Production of the Year – Mr Inbetween, Jungle Entertainment / Blue-Tongue Films
• Light Entertainment Series Production of the Year – Gruen, CJZ
• Online Series Production of the Year – Fucking Adelaide, Closer Productions
• Reality Series Production of the Year – The Great Australian Bake Off, Fremantle
• Telemovie or Mini Series Production of the Year, Mystery Road: The Series, Bunya Productions
• Feature Documentary of the Year, Gurrumul, Resolution Media
• Feature Film of the Year, Sweet Country, Bunya Productions
• Interactive or Game Production of the Year, Wentworth VR, Start VR / Fremantle
• Short Film Production of the Year, Lost & Found, Lucy Hayes
• Services & Facilities Business of the Year, Moneypenny
• Breakthrough Business of the Year, Bunya Productions
• Media Super Production Business of the Year, Guesswork Television
• Screen Business Export of the Year, Aquarius Films
• Lifetime Achievement Award, Michael McMahon

Mercado on TV: The first entire Chuck Lorre episode I have watched

Some Netflix algorithm has decided that if you liked Grace and Frankie, you will also like its just-dropped series The Kominsky Method. Instead of Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin though, this is about two male friends and, in casting Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin, this is instantly elevated to must-see for all those of a certain age.

It also means gags galore about things that older viewers can relate to. Grace and Frankie did a whole season about making vibrators for arthritic hands so in this one, it’s prostate problems that get a lot of airtime. But who’s complaining when the urologist is played by Danny DeVito, who reunites with Michael Douglas after Romancing The Stone, Jewel of the Nile and The War of the Roses (although no Kathleen Turner… yet), while Alan Arkin reunites with his Going In Style co-star Ann-Margret (look closely though because plastic surgery has rendered her almost unrecognisable).

The Kominsky Method is the first time I have ever watched a complete episode of a Chuck Lorre show, let alone an entire season (and it’s just eight half hours too). And despite it coming across as a little bit calculated, it develops nicely even though, just like Grace and Frankie, the lead characters’ narcissistic offspring are there to make the parents look less neurotic.

One show that eschews that cliché, however, is the Murphy Brown reboot, which starts on 10 next Monday. Thanks to an inspired setup, Murphy’s (Candice Bergen) now grown-up son Avery (Jake McDorman) is the anchor of a rival news show airing opposite to her, but this situation is not played for angst. Avery may report for a conservative network (think Fox News) but he’s trying to provide a more balanced centre and, since he’s still living at home, any conflict with his more famous mom is sitcom-sorted out quickly.

Murphy Brown goes after Donald Trump even harder than Will and Grace does. Her White House adventure in the second episode is more believable and funnier than Grace Adler (Debra Messing) becoming an interior decorator for the Oval Office, and the real footage of Sarah Huckabee Sanders is priceless (Hillary Clinton’s cameo, however, is somewhat clunkier).

Meanwhile, Seven is hoping older viewers will be tuning into The New Blake Mysteries, now not starring Craig McLachlan, and airing on a Friday night where the original series once cracked the magic million mark for the ABC. Nadine Garner proves to be more than capable of carrying this show on her own but the real mystery here is why Seven has grabbed two ABC murder mystery series and set them both in the “swinging sixties”.

Ms Fisher’s Modern Mysteries, coming in 2019, will be about the original Miss Fisher’s (Essie Davis) niece (Geraldine Hakewill). Only ratings will tell if she will ever crossover with former housekeeper Jean Blake (Nadine Garner) but it’s good to see that old is in, even though it’s sometimes called new.

ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 12.5% 7 18.8% 9 21.6% 10  8.8% SBS One 4.5%
ABC 2 2.7% 7TWO 3.7% GO! 3.9% 10 Boss 2.9% VICELAND 2.0%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.6% GEM 3.8% 10 Peach 2.3% Food Net 1.2%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix 2.5% 9Life 2.3%     NITV 0.5%
TOTAL 17.5%   28.5%   31.7%   14.0%   8.2%
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 12.1% 7 18.3% 9 18.2% WIN 9.0% SBS One 3.2%
ABC 2 2.9% 7TWO 5.6% GO! 4.0% ONE 2.9% VICELAND 1.6%
ABC ME 1.2% 7mate 4.7% GEM 5.8% ELEVEN 1.6% Food Net 1.9%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 2.0% 9Life 1.9% Sky News  on WIN 0.8% NITV 0.7%
TOTAL 17.7%   30.6%   29.9%   14.3%   6.7%


83.2% 16.8%


  1. Seven News Seven 951,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 902,000
  3. Nine News Nine 834,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 788,000
  5. Paramedics Nine 720,000
  6. ABC News ABC 639,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 619,000
  8. Home And Away Seven 571,000
  9. RBT Nine 545,000
  10. The Chase Australia Seven 544,000
  11. 7.30 ABC 501,000
  12. Grand Designs Australia ABC 489,000
  13. Hot Seat Nine 425,000
  14. The Project 7pm 10 391,000
  15. 10 News First 10 347,000
  16. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 342,000
  17. Chicago Med -Ep1 Nine 325,000
  18. Endeavour (R) ABC 304,000
  19. Orange Is The New Brown Seven 302,000
  20. The Conners 10 283,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. Paramedics Nine 143,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 120,000
  3. Seven News Seven 114,000
  4. Home And Away Seven 114,000
  5. RBT Nine 113,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. Paramedics Nine 264,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 204,000
  3. Seven News Seven 197,000
  4. RBT Nine 195,000
  5. Nine News Nine 187,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Paramedics Nine 308,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 265,000
  3. Seven News Seven 257,000
  4. Nine News Nine 239,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 226,000
THURSDAY Multichannel
  1. The Big Bang Theory Tx2 9GO! 170,000
  2. Death In Paradise 9Gem 162,000
  3. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 155,000
  4. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 154,000
  5. The Big Bang Theory Tx1 9GO! 153,000
  6. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000
  7. Waffle The Wonder Dog PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000
  8. Luo Bao Bei ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  9. Andy’s Wild Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  10. Highway Patrol PM 7mate 142,000
  11. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  12. Neighbours 10 Peach 136,000
  13. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  14. Hey Duggee AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  15. The Middle 9GO! 127,000
  16. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  17. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 126,000
  18. Becca’s Bunch PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  19. Wanda And The Alien PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  20. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 124,000
THURSDAY Subscription TV
  1. Live: AFL Draft FOX FOOTY 104,000
  2. Love It Or List It Australia LifeStyle Channel 64,000
  3. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 57,000
  4. Gold Rush Discovery Channel 57,000
  5. Phil Spencer’s Stately Homes LifeStyle Channel 56,000
  6. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 49,000
  7. Inside Balmoral LifeStyle Channel 47,000
  8. Curious George Nick Jr. 47,000
  9. Family Guy FOX8 46,000
  10. The Simpsons FOX8 42,000
  11. Bones TVH!TS 42,000
  12. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 42,000
  13. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 41,000
  14. The Simpsons FOX8 40,000
  15. Nella The Princess Knight Nick Jr. 40,000
  16. Top Wing Nick Jr. 40,000
  17. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 40,000
  18. Family Guy FOX8 39,000
  19. Shimmer And Shine Nick Jr. 38,000
  20. Credlin Sky News Live 38,000

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

Betting on Australian growth : Ladbrokes jumps aboard Neds

The London-listed owner of corporate bookmaker Ladbrokes has paid up to $80 million for the online startup of its former chief executive, who left the company just under two years ago, reports The Australian’s Sarah-Jane Tasker.

GVC Holdings announced it had acquired Neds International as it flagged that Australia was a market that continued to grow strongly.

Kenneth Alexander, chief executive of GVC, said Australia was a core market for the group.

GVC said in its statement on the deal that Neds, which launched late last year, had grown rapidly and that it was expected to achieve about $1 billion of wagering turnover and $100m of revenue in the year to December 31.

The Brisbane-based, Singaporean-backed Neds last year made a total loss of $13.7m, according to its inaugural results recently lodged with the corporate regulator.

The founder of Neds, Dean Shannon, was the previous head of Ladbrokes and it is understood he had attracted a large portion of Ladbrokes’ customers to his new platform.

[Read the original]

News Brands, & ABC News have 1m+ weekly was out front in the audience stakes for news and current affairs brands in the week ending November 18, according to Nielsen Digital Content Ratings. The News Corp Australia digital brand had just over a 1.5m daily unique audience in that period.

Also above a million daily were and ABC News websites.

Meanwhile travel continues to be a growing sector for publishers as baby boomers roam the globe in growing numbers, spending their super on cruises, flights and accommodation.

An analysis of the traffic to travel publishers sees News Corp Australia’s travel vertical attracting an average of 164,000 daily uniques during the week ending November 18.

Fairfax Media’s Traveller brand was a clear second, albeit some way behind the leader.

Press power: The Daily Telegraph as a change agent

When The Daily Telegraph takes a stand, governments and the powerful take immediate action, starts an editorial today in The Daily Telegraph:

There have been three cases this week when The Daily Telegraph’s reporting has led to direct and positive reactions from authorities, and created circumstances that will make Sydney and NSW better places to live.

Our campaign for the rights of domestic violence victims, highlighting the relative leniency in sentencing for those convicted of killing a spouse or partner, has now prompted a review of sentencing procedures.

“The Sentencing Council will examine how sentencing decisions affect families of homicide victims and the devastating impact of domestic violence,” Attorney-General Mark Speakman announced.

As well, following The Daily Telegraph’s intensive multi-day background investigation of accused child-sex attacker Anthony Sampieri, NSW police chief Mick Fuller yesterday admitted the Telegraph was right and authorities were wrong.

As The Daily Telegraph pointed out, Sampieri should have been charged and his parole instantly revoked after police learned of alleged obscene phone calls three weeks before a seven-year-old girl was allegedly attacked in a Kogarah dance studio toilet.

Thirdly, legislation has now passed that will grant greater support to victims of crimes committed by offenders found to be mentally ill. Again, this important reform was a Daily Telegraph initiative.

When The Daily Telegraph takes a stand, we know our readers will back us all the way. And that’s why between us we can get things done.

Read the complete editorial here.

See also:

The NSW news brand has been making an impact in the same week it received an enthusiastic endorsement from Prime Minister Scott Morrison. • “I want to congratulate The Daily Telegraph for being a voice for Sydney.”

Former mistress says Ben Roberts-Smith coached her over evidence

The former mistress of war hero Ben Roberts-Smith has landed a series of explosive allegations in the Federal Court – including text messages where she says the Victoria Cross winner “coached” her to lie about the black eye he’d given her after punching her in the face, reports The Australian’s Deborah Cornwall.

In a 60-page statement to the Federal Court, the woman – identified as Person 17 – says she and Roberts-Smith were both married during their six-month affair and went to great lengths to keep it a secret.

She said Roberts-Smith, a 39-year-old former corporal in the elite Special Air Services Regiment (SAS), communicated with her under a number of assumed names, using a “burner” phone and the Telegram app to send encrypted texts.

The affair, she says, ended in April, just days after Roberts-Smith “punched me on the left side of my face” after the couple had attended a public dinner in Canberra on May 28.

Person 17’s allegations are part of the latest tranche of statements from Fairfax Media, which is defending a high stakes defamation action by Roberts-Smith, one of the most highly decorated war heroes in the country.

[Read the original]


First SeaChange, now Nine bringing back Rebecca Gibney in Halifax

In an announcement timed to coincide with its Perth 2019 Upfront event, Nine has revealed multi-award winning and critically acclaimed actress Rebecca Gibney will reprise her role as forensic psychiatrist Jane Halifax in the crime thriller miniseries Halifax: Retribution.

Forensic psychiatrist Jane Halifax will face the most thrilling and dangerous case of her career when she hunts down a killer terrorising an entire city. As she is drawn into the killer’s web, has she put herself and her family in the firing line?

Rebecca Gibney said: “I’m beyond thrilled to be re-teaming with Roger Simpson who created Jane Halifax and returning to Channel Nine where it all began. Nine was the first network I was ever employed by in Australia, in 1985 with Zoo Family, then Flying Doctors, All Together Now and Halifax, and it’s really exciting to be working with them again in 2019.”

Michael Healy, Nine’s director of television, said: “We are delighted to welcome Rebecca back to Nine. She is a legend of Australian television and we are honoured that she will bring back one of Australia’s most iconic characters in the exciting new chapter of this renowned franchise.”

Original creator and writer Roger Simpson (Stingers, Satisfaction, Good Guys Bad Guys) returns as writer and producer, alongside executive producer Mikael Borglund and writers Mac Gudgeon (Killing Time) and Jan Sardi (Shine).

Roger Simpson said: “The opportunity to bring back my favourite creation two decades after Rebecca Gibney first brought Jane Halifax to life has been irresistible.”

Filming on Halifax: Retribution, produced by Beyond Lonehand for Nine, will begin in 2019.

Christmas comedy: Stan reveals details of No Activity special episode

Stan has released details of the Stan Original series No Activity, which will return on December 14 with a festive season special No Activity: The Night Before Christmas.

The special episode reunites the original award-winning acting and creative team of Patrick Brammall (Glitch, Upper Middle Bogan, A Moody Christmas) and Trent O’Donnell (New Girl, Brooklyn 99, The Good Place, A Moody Christmas), who will also direct, as well as series producers Jungle Entertainment.

Joining Brammall and O’Donnell in returning to where it all began are the show’s original lead cast including Aussie TV legends Darren Gilshenen (The Moodys, Janet King, Rake), Harriet Dyer (Stan Original Series The Other Guy, Love Child), Genevieve Morris (That’s Not My Dog, Blue Heelers, Comedy Inc), Dan Wyllie (Stan Original Series Romper Stomper, Offspring, A Beautiful Lie) and David Field (The Secret Daughter, The Rover, Last Cab to Darwin).

No Activity: The Night Before Christmas is an improvised comedy that follows detectives Hendy and Stokes (Patrick Brammall, Darren Gilshenan) on their latest police assignment, this time with a seasonal twist. Tasked with a Christmas Eve stakeout, the pair monitor the scene from their parked car as a disgruntled Santa Claus holds a group of innocent Christmas shoppers hostage inside a suburban mall.

Karl Kamera: Hits the gym pre-wedding to help him lose weight

The minute-by-minute tracking of the Today show host continues:

Today host Karl Stefanovic is working hard even as he veges out ahead of his wedding in Mexico next month, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

Taking his pre-wedding shred seriously, Stefanovic was spotted on Wednesday walking out of a Maroubra gym holding a container of carrot and celery sticks.

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Angelina Jolie to guest edit BBC Radio 4 Today program

Angelina Jolie is to guest edit BBC Radio 4’s Today program, joining the likes of British broadcaster David Dimbleby and the author Kamila Shamsie in being given the chance to take control of the flagship news and current affairs show.

Although the actor is well-known for her humanitarian work with the UN and successful film career, she now faces the challenges of booking guests over the busy Christmas period, ensuring they make it to the BBC’s Broadcasting House studios in time for their slot, and managing the egos of the BBC’s journalists.

Jolie has said she intends to use her episode on December 28 to invite a series of guests who are pioneers in their fields to discuss solutions to violence against women in conflict zones and the global refugee crisis. She will also “explore themes of justice, accountability and international leadership, hearing directly from refugees and survivors of conflict themselves”.

“Angelina is grateful for this opportunity to draw on the BBC’s global expertise and network to explore practical solutions to a number of pressing issues of our time,” said a spokesperson for the actor. “She has already begun working with the Today program team, and is looking forward to engaging a broad and diverse range of voices in the program.”

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Sports Media

NSW cricketer to skip Shield match for Seven commentating role

Sporting teams have been known for not wanting their players to go down “media street” but NSW has taken a different tack, releasing fast bowler Trent Copeland from a Shield game so he can be part of Channel Seven’s Test commentary team, reports Fairfax Media’s Andrew Wu.

Instead of playing in the Blues’ match with South Australia, starting December 7, Copeland will be in Adelaide performing his role as Seven’s analyst for the first Test.

The move has the blessing of the Cricket NSW chief Andrew Jones, high-performance boss David Moore and coach Phil Jaques, but eyebrows have been raised within the playing ranks.

There is some disquiet around whether Copeland should be allowed to put his media commitments above his playing duties, especially if he wants to play on.

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A-League expansion date set, how will FFA spend cash windfall?

The next two teams to enter the A-League are set to be chosen on December 12, though Football Federation Australia is still to decide how to spend the financial windfall the expansion process will deliver the organisation, reports Fairfax Media’s Dominic Bossi.

The FFA’s coffers could be filled with a potential windfall of between $5 million and $15 million before Christmas when the organisation receives the licence fees from the two new entrants into the A-League.

Fairfax Media understands the new board will select the successful expansion franchises at a board meeting on December 12 where the licence fees offered by the bids will, to some extent, influence the outcome.

A minimum licence fee of approximately $13 million has been required of each bid to cover the operating costs of an A-League club over the next four years – the period of the current TV rights deal – and ensure existing clubs won’t have their annual grants reduced.

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