Wednesday October 3, 2018

Mediaweek Q&A: John Lehmann, Editor, The Australian

It has been a busy few weeks for News Corp’s national daily The Australian. The paper has been receiving staggering numbers for its recent podcast series The Teacher’s Pet.

By James Manning

Then just two weeks ago The Weekend Australian was named News Brand of the Year at the News Media Awards.

It has been a big couple of months for the paper editorially too with coverage of both the departure of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and then ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie.

To talk about the brand’s recent success, Mediaweek’s James Manning and Your Money anchor James Daggar-Nickson spoke with The Australian’s editor John Lehmann.

The national broadcaster and the national daily

Lehmann told Mediaweek when they ran a Stephen Brook story on the Monday just before Michelle Guthrie left the ABC that even they didn’t realise how bad her relationship was with chairman Justin Milne.

“What we are seeing now is a deeper look at how the ABC is performing as a journalistic enterprise,” said Lehmann.

“Did Guthrie or Milne have enough experience in journalism?

“The ABC at its heart is a media organisation. It is not a tech company. It’s not a commercial media organisation looking to grow revenue. It is very focused on content and there are some serious questions for the national broadcaster and how it has gone about covering news in recent times. The former Prime Minister raises questions about impartiality and I think they are reasonable questions.

The Australian has taken our coverage of the national broadcaster very seriously for a long time, way back to the days with reporter Errol Simper in the 80s and 90s. It is an institution that sits at the heart of our cultural life in Australia and we are uniquely placed to cover it in serious depth.”

Criticism of The Australian’s ABC coverage

“It is part of our job to cast a critical eye across the broadcaster. We take our media coverage very seriously whether it be the tech titans or the national broadcaster. The ABC is funded by the good will of taxpayers and it is important that other media outlets look at the coverage it provides.

“The numbers for the ABC are astonishing across the country and it is a very influential outfit. There was probably too much focus from Michelle Guthrie on growing audiences instead of focusing on the content that is provided to the audiences. The ABC is not a commercial enterprise that needs to be focused on growth. It needs to be focused on quality, accuracy and impartiality. They have lost their way to some extent.”

Are critics of News Corp’s coverage giving you credit for power you don’t have?

“To some extent they are. If you look at our coverage of the Turnbull years up until the recent by-elections, The Australian has had differing views on some policy issues, but in general we have been supportive of the Coalition government. We have differences on things like energy policy. We will continue to hold any government up to account when it comes to what we think is good policy.

This is an excerpt from the full article, which appears on Mediaweek Premium. Read the full article here or subscribe to Mediaweek Premium here.

Perth Radio Wrap Day 2: Mix 94.5 – big history with Big Breakfast

• Mix fighting Nova for Perth bragging rights

Mix 94.5 Survey 5 shares: 10+ 13.7%, Breakfast 12.6%

Cumulative audience: 10+ 525,000, Breakfast 271,000

The familiar voice of Dennis Cometti was part of Mix 94.5’s The Big Breakfast this week as the show discussed the weekend’s Grand Final result. Producer Tom Atkinson, a West Coast Eagle super fan, was another guest as the show started a new week. “It was the greatest day of my life,” he told his colleagues.

The station’s Big Breakfast is hosted by Clairsy, Matt and Kymba. The station and its breakfast show have been the traditional ratings champs in the Perth market. However, they have been challenged in the past by Nova, in particular this year where Nova has put together consecutive survey victories.

While Mix is sold nationally as part of the Triple M network, it is a different station. There are similarities though including the older audience profile and the presence of the Kennedy Molloy drive show in afternoons. However, there is also an early local drive show, The Rush Hour, hosted by Lisa and Pete. Lisa Shaw was a longtime co-host of the long-running Fred Botica Perth breakfast show at Mix.

The Clairsy, Matt and Kymba show this week also featured an interview with new prime minister Scott Morrison.

Another feature for the past few weeks has been the Secret Sound, which has now jackpotted to over $21,000.

Mix’s traditional rival for many years has been 96FM, which fought it for the lucrative 40-54 audience.

For some time, however, Nova has been Mix’s fiercest competitor. While Mix has a clear lead 40-54, Nova is able to have bragging rights for 10+, breakfast share and cume audience.

Nova breakfast has had the edge over Mix for some time but Mix has been much stronger with its 10+ station share. In the 16 radio ratings surveys in 2016 and 2017, Nova knocked off Mix just once 10+. However, it has been the leader in the past two consecutive surveys.

Mediaweek spoke with new SCA Perth general manager Gina Hogan earlier this year. She said although Mix differs from the Triple M network in a number of respects, it is aligned closer than ever this year. “Mix is a pretty unique station,” she explained. “While Triple M stations are clearly male-skewed, Mix covers a much broader demo with women and men. We have a formula in Perth that works and we grow and change with the market and its needs.”

It was a big week in Perth radio earlier this year with breakfast co-host Dean “Clairsy” Clairs celebrating 35 years in radio. “He is such a wonderful man to work with,” said Hogan. “He is a real talent and a true gentleman. He is not just wonderful on air but he’s also great for team culture where he helps and supports other people newer to the business.”

See also: Perth radio exec Gina Hogan’s new role as GM Southern Cross Austereo Perth

Top Photo: Clairsy, Matt and Kymba with ScoMo

Lachlan Murdoch reveals name and leadership team at new company

Since 21st Century Fox first revealed its deal to sell many of its assets to the Walt Disney Company, the remaining assets had been grouped together under the term “new Fox”.

Now Lachlan Murdoch has confirmed the name of the new business housing those remaining assets will be simply FOX.

Lachlan Murdoch has also revealed he will be the chairman and CEO of the new business.

This announcement outlines the structure of the new business and its key leadership team:

Lachlan Murdoch, the future chairman and CEO of FOX, the company to be spun off in connection with the merger with The Walt Disney Company, has announced key leadership appointments across the company’s sports, distribution, ad sales operations and corporate functions.

Key appointments include:

Eric Shanks, elevated to chief executive officer of Fox Sports from his current role of president, chief operating officer & executive producer, Fox Sports.

Mike Biard, elevated to president, operations and distribution for FOX from President, Distribution for Fox Networks Group

Paul Cheesbrough, promoted to chief technology officer and head of direct to consumer platforms for FOX; currently serves as 21CF’s CTO.

Marianne Gambelli, elevated to president of ad sales for FOX; currently serves as president of ad sales for Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.

Steve Tomsic, promoted to FOX’s chief financial officer; currently serves as 21CF’s EVP, finance and deputy CFO.

The appointments are effective upon the close of 21CF’s Disney transaction and the creation of FOX.

“We are fortunate to be able to continue working with these enormously talented executives who have helped make our businesses the incredible successes they are today,” said Lachlan Murdoch. “Collectively they bring to FOX the vision, entrepreneurial spirit and proven track records to position FOX to seize future opportunities for its leading and deeply resonant brands across sports, news and entertainment.”

As previously announced, John Nallen will be appointed chief operating officer of FOX, Suzanne Scott will continue to serve as chief executive officer of FOX News and FOX Business Network, and Jack Abernethy will remain chief executive officer of Fox Television Stations. In addition, Viet Dinh was recently named the chief legal and policy officer of FOX.

Eric Shanks, who currently serves as president, chief operating officer and executive producer Fox Sports, has been elevated to Chief Executive Officer at Fox Sports. In addition to overseeing all entities within Fox Sports, including FS1, FS2, FOX Deportes and all digital ventures, Shanks will be responsible for setting the long-term vision and programming strategy for the company’s overall sports business. Shanks will report to Lachlan Murdoch.

In his new role as president, operations and distribution for FOX, Mike Biard will oversee the company’s multiplatform distribution strategy as well as the operations of The Lot. In addition, he will participate with the leadership team on content acquisition strategies. He currently serves as president of distribution for Fox Networks Group. In his new role he will report to John Nallen.

Paul Cheesbrough, currently chief technology officer for 21CF, will expand upon his current purview at FOX to also include oversight of the company’s direct-to-consumer strategy. In his new role, Cheesbrough will drive the company’s investments in technology and direct-to-consumer platforms. He will report to Lachlan Murdoch.

Marianne Gambelli, the current president of ad sales for Fox News and Fox Business Network, will assume a broader role at FOX as its president of ad sales. In her new role, Gambelli will oversee all linear and nonlinear sales across FOX’s portfolio of brands, including FOX Broadcasting Company, Fox Sports, FS1, FS2 and FOX Deportes, in addition to Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. Gambelli will report to Lachlan Murdoch.

Currently serving as 21CF’s executive vice president of finance and deputy chief financial officer, Steve Tomsic will serve as the Chief Financial Officer for FOX and will report to John Nallen.

Top Photo: Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch at the Vanity Fair Oscar party earlier this year

Seven and ITV say ‘yes’ to royal wedding after BBC said ‘no’

Seven has always liked programming linked to the royal family but it has stepped up a notch with two key series screening this week and now confirmation it will be screening live coverage of the next royal wedding.

Seven via ITV will broadcast live coverage of the wedding of HRH Princess Eugenie of York and Mr Jack Brooksbank with extended coverage into the evening of Friday October 12.

The decision by ITV to show the coverage comes after the BBC reportedly declined an invitation to cover the wedding.

ITV is promising its royal wedding cameras will capture the atmosphere and arrivals at St George’s Chapel, with the hosts joined by guests, commentators and experts.

Seven told Mediaweek it will be the only broadcaster with live coverage of the ceremony from inside the Chapel, which will be broadcast in full, including the departure of the bride and groom as they leave the Chapel.

After the ceremony, Seven will continue to be live with comments, discussion and reflection on the events of the morning.

The coverage will be co-produced by ITV Studios and royal family specialist Spun Gold TV.

Top Photo:  The British Royal Family at Trooping the Colour last year, Princess Eugenie is standing to the left of the Queen

QMS gives a green light for Vodafone using drive time traffic data

QMS has worked with Vodafone to create a dynamic outdoor media platform utilising real time traffic triggers across its national digital billboard network.

The billboards promote Vodafone NBN through targeted and engaging messages to motorists.

The campaign uses drive time data pulled from a short stretch of road running past key QMS digital billboards. Analysis of this drive time data then generates light, medium or heavy traffic triggers that determine which NBN message will be displayed at each particular site.

This targeted campaign from Vodafone dynamically aligns the audience’s commuter journey with the speed of its network while simultaneously raising awareness around its NBN offering.

Steve Bovey, general manager of operations at QMS, said “By utilising drive time data to contextualise the creative being displayed, Vodafone is able to deliver greater cut-through and relevance and really tap into the driver’s mindset thus delivering a more powerful and relatable message.”

Natasa Zunic, general manager brand and marketing at Vodafone, said the QMS digital solution allows Vodafone to deliver timely and relevant messages to motorists.

“We are always on the lookout for different ways to make our communications more dynamic and engaging for our audiences. The QMS digital billboards were a strong solution that enabled us to experiment with different creative messages in a dynamic way for Vodafone NBN.”

$1 million podcast fund: ABC supports Australia’s audio storytellers

A landmark ABC initiative launched in 2017 for new and emerging podcasters has been labelled a success in supporting community-based creatives with remarkable Australian stories to tell.

The ABC reports its $1 million podcast fund has strengthened Australia’s audio industry by supporting compelling and distinctive podcasts such as The Pineapple Project, Fierce Girls, Positions Vacant, Alice Fraser Trilogy, Mindfully, Little Tiny, Out Of The Loop, Troll Play and new series No Feeling is Final.

Judith Whelan, ABC head of specialist content, said: “The ABC’s $1 million podcast fund has given an opportunity to many Australian podcasters and extended the diversity of content produced by the ABC. As the nation’s leading podcast producer, the ABC is committed to collaborating with our best and brightest podcasters and giving them the platform and audience to strengthen our growing audio industry.”

The $1 million fund was announced at OzPod 2017. In October 2017, the ABC also opened the fund to anyone with original and entertaining podcast ideas that reflected contemporary Australian life.

The public call-out attracted 1,273 submissions from across Australia. Among those selected for production under the $1 million fund were:

No Feeling is Final, a moving, engrossing and often darkly funny story about mental health and suicide for anyone who’s ever wondered if life is worth living.

Animal Sound Safari, exploring the weird history humans have with animals.

Parental Guidance Recommended (releasing October 2018), which uncovers the secret parenting lives of Australians such as Tom Gleeson and Ita Buttrose.

Other new podcasts developed via the public call-out will be produced in coming months. The $1 million fund has also enabled the ABC to provide professional development training to more than 10 freelance audio producers across Australia.

OzPod 2018, on 17 October in Melbourne, will feature a live performance of No Feeling is Final with host Honor Eastly and producer Joel Werner.

SMI August: Outdoor +22% as media agency ad spend grows yet again

Australia’s media agency market has achieved a rare feat in August with the SMI figures showing the market has now recorded 12 consecutive months of growth with spend up 1.8% to $572.2 million for the month.

The month is also remarkable for the return to growth of the newspaper media after almost three years of lower revenues, with total press bookings up 2.7% mostly due to an 11.1% increase in agency spending to metropolitan titles although regional press was also in the black.

The data continued to detail the ongoing changes in the media market, with the digital media recording more subdued year-on-year growth of 3.3% as all the growth instead was directed to the outdoor media where agencies grew bookings 22% to a record August level.

Radio delivered the next highest level of growth (+9.4%) while metropolitan TV was flat (-0.2%) and larger declines in regional and subscription TV brought total TV bookings back 4.2%.

SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said 12 months of consecutive growth was a great achievement by the market, but the most notable data point this month was the return to growth of the newspaper media with bookings up 2.7%.

“The print editions of newspapers have clearly been the media sector most affected by digital disruption, but to the industry’s credit they have continued to invest in their businesses in difficult times and now it’s paying off,” she said.

“We’ve seen far lower declines in newspaper bookings from agencies for the past four months, with each monthly decline being less than 4%, and clearly that improved momentum has continued with the August figures now in positive territory. And to have the largest print sector of metropolitan press drive the turnaround augurs well for the trend continuing.”

Among the major categories the most growth came from the auto brand, domestic banks and food/produce/dairy categories. The government category reported the largest decline in August but that’s only due to the federal government ad spend no longer being included in the SMI data after its account recently moved to the one agency not contributing to the SMI pool.

SMI’s ad spend data for the calendar year-to-date continues to also show the market to be strongly in front, with total ad spend up 4.8% at a record level of $4.7 billion.

More detail on the latest August ad spend trends is shown below.

Box office: Johnny English Strikes Again… Again

The start of the school holidays saw a 13% boost for the Australian box office leading to a $14.90m weekend.

The biggest winner was Smallfoot, which went from sixth place to second after getting close to the two million mark.

Johnny English Strikes Again retained top spot in its second week of release experiencing only an 11% decrease from its opening weekend.

There were two new entries this week with Night School joining Smallfoot in the top five.

Crazy Rich Asians has ended its run in the top five after five weeks dropping to sixth spot despite making $1.20m, bringing its current Australian total to $21.17m.

#1 Johnny English Strikes Again $2.39m

In its second week in the top spot the British spy comedy maintained its charm with the Australian audience during the first weekend of the school holidays, producing an average of $8,561 across 280 screens.


#2 Smallfoot $1.94m

A big hit for families in the school holidays, the Warner Bros animated comedy starring Channing Tatum and James Corden saw an increase of screens from 221 to 305 for an average of $6,380.


#3 Night School $1.69m

Debuting at number three in its first week in Australian theatres, Night School performed strongly despite being on only 204 screens, the least screens of any of the top five films. Despite this, the Kevin Hart vehicle produced a strong average of $8,324 to power it to third spot.


#4 Ladies in Black $1.68m

The Australian drama-comedy kept its spot in the top five, remaining popular with its local audience and averaging $5,115 per screen.


#5 A Simple Favour $1.27m

With its third week in theatres the mystery thriller continued to produce steady numbers with $5,245 across 244 screens.


TV Ratings Analysis: October 3

• The Good Doctor and the Good Queen powerful combo for Seven
• The Block’s Terrace Week keeps Nine #1 along east coast
• Brian gives new meaning to Survivor on biggest episode this season

By James Manning


The channel had its best Tuesday for a while with a primary and combined channel share win.

Home and Away was just under 600,000 after starting the week just over that mark.

Seven is loading up on royal family programming this week (and next – see our item about Princess Eugenie’s wedding) and the ITV-commissioned Queen Of The World did a healthy 691,000. It wasn’t a bad number, but it still ranked Seven third in the slot. The ITV doco premiered in the US on HBO this week too.

Seven then went with The Good Doctor, which saw the audience lift marginally to 712,000, enough to easily win the timeslot, well ahead of Hamish and Andy.


Nine was knocked off by Seven last night, but it managed to keep a lead along the east coast with a #1 finish in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

After a 900,000+ audience on Monday, A Current Affair backed up with 843,000.

Work started in earnest on Terrace Week on The Block as the apartments in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda near completion. The series will screen on Thursday this week after starting a day late because of the football. The Tuesday episode did 960,000, winning its timeslot.

True Story With Hamish And Andy followed with a new episode on 562,000 (593,000 last week) and a repeat on 440,000.


A different mix of stories last night with the 7pm half featuring an echidna allergic to ants and a baby that was delivered in a car. The half hour was on 517,000.

Australian Survivor always gets interesting near the end and five became four last night. The amazing Brian Lake dodged a bullet again. He used a hidden immunity idol, which he could have hung onto as he received no votes at Tribal Council. He looked pretty shattered afterward. The episode drew the biggest audience so far this season – 732,000.

Two episodes of Bull followed on 271,000 and then 241,000.


The second episode of Exposed: The Case Of Keli Lane uncovered some new evidence and some puzzled looks from those investigating the case. After launching with 558,000 last week, it was on 514,000 last night.

Tick Fucking Tock, part one of producer Ted Robinson’s look back at the Doug Anthony All Stars, featured some great footage and interviews with the members and former Big Gig host Wendy Harmer, who spoke about how huge the band became after their appearances on the series. The episode did 333,000.


Plenty of reasons to watch the channel last night. However, the biggest audience was again at 7.30pm for Great Continental Railway Journeys in Switzerland – 263,000.

The first part of CJZ’s Go Back To Where You Came From Live was good to its title with lots of live crosses with the participants in relatively dangerous places in three different countries. The season launched with 236,000.

ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 12.0% 7 20.8% 9 20.4% TEN 13.9% SBS One 5.1%
ABC 2 2.0% 7TWO 2.7% GO! 3.9% ONE 3.2% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 4.3% GEM 2.9% ELEVEN 2.1% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix 1.5% 9Life 1.6% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 15.8% 29.4% 28.7% 19.1% 7.0%
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates Ten Affiliates SBS
ABC 11.5% 7 22.4% 9 17.4% WIN 9.8% SBS One 4.2%
ABC 2 3.2% 7TWO 3.7% GO! 4.2% ONE 3.2% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.9% 7mate 6.1% GEM 5.0% ELEVEN 1.8% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix 0.6% 9Life 1.5% Sky News  on WIN 0.9% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 16.9% 32.8% 28.1% 15.7% 6.5%


87.3% 12.7%


  1. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 971,000
  2. The Block Nine 960,000
  3. Seven News Seven 954,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 867,000
  5. Nine News Nine 865,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 843,000
  7. Australian Survivor Ten 732,000
  8. The Good Doctor Seven 712,000
  9. ABC News ABC 704,000
  10. Queen Of The World Seven 691,000
  11. Home And Away Seven 594,000
  12. True Story With Hamish & Andy Nine 562,000
  13. The Chase Australia Seven 561,000
  14. 7.30-Ev ABC 537,000
  15. The Project 7pm Ten 517,000
  16. Exposed: The Case Of Keli Lane ABC 514,000
  17. 800 Words Seven 460,000
  18. True Story With Hamish & Andy (R) Nine 440,000
  19. Hot Seat Nine 440,000
  20. Ask The Doctor ABC 419,000
Demo Top Fives

16-39 Top 5

  1. The Block Nine 275,000
  2. Australian Survivor Ten 252,000
  3. The Project 7pm Ten 183,000
  4. True Story With Hamish & Andy Nine 167,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 136,000


18-49 Top 5

  1. The Block Nine 428,000
  2. Australian Survivor Ten 384,000
  3. True Story With Hamish & Andy Nine 280,000
  4. The Project 7pm Ten 256,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 247,000


25-54 Top 5

  1. The Block Nine 487,000
  2. Australian Survivor Ten 386,000
  3. True Story With Hamish & Andy Nine 308,000
  4. A Current Affair Nine 299,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 283,000


TUESDAY Multichannel
  1. Outback Opal Hunters-PM 7mate 175,000
  2. The Big Bang Theory TX2 9GO! 172,000
  3. Highway Patrol-E2 Pm 7mate 169,000
  4. The Big Bang Theory TX1 9GO! 165,000
  5. The Big Bang Theory TX3 9GO! 164,000
  6. Highway Patrol-PM 7mate 156,000
  7. Kiddets-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  8. Peppa Pig-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  9. Bluey-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  10. Neighbours ELEVEN 138,000
  11. The Big Bang Theory 9GO! 136,000
  12. Mrs. Brown’s Boys-E2 PM 7TWO 135,000
  13. Mine Kings-PM 7mate 133,000
  14. Play School-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  15. Charlie And Lola-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  16. Luo Bao Bei-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  17. Pawn Stars-PM 7mate 121,000
  18. Sarah And Duck-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  19. Brewster The Rooster-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  20. Becca’s Bunch-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 114,000
TUESDAY Subscription TV
  1. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 61,000
  2. Jones & Co Sky News Live 55,000
  3. Live: Back Page FOX SPORTS 503 54,000
  4. Mr Inbetween showcase 52,000
  5. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 49,000
  6. Credlin Sky News Live 38,000
  7. As Time Goes By FOX Classics 38,000
  8. Supercars Life FOX SPORTS 506 37,000
  9. Mr Inbetween showcase 36,000
  10. Escape To The Country LifeStyle Channel 35,000
  11. Family Guy FOX8 34,000
  12. Family Guy FOX8 34,000
  13. The Simpsons FOX8 34,000
  14. NCIS TVH!TS 34,000
  15. Motorsport: Supercars Life FOX SPORTS 506 34,000
  16. PML Overtime Sky News Live 33,000
  17. Selling Houses Australia LifeStyle Channel 31,000
  18. The Simpsons FOX8 31,000
  19. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 31,000
  20. Bones TVH!TS 30,000

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

Australian Information & Privacy Commission looking into Facebook hack

The Australian Information and Privacy Commission is informally investigating potentially the most significant coordinated attack ever launched at Facebook, which allowed hackers to gain access and take over 50 million user accounts, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

The latest breach further highlights the growing pressure on Facebook, which has been ridden with privacy scandals over 2018.

Facebook does not yet know if any of the accounts hackers were able to infiltrate belong to Australian users, but the Office of the Australian Information Commission has commenced inquiries after the social media giant reported the scandal on Saturday Australian time.

[Read the original]

How Justin Milne nearly delivered Kylie Minogue a $750,000 payday

Former ABC chairman Justin Milne wanted to hire pop queen Kylie Minogue to sing about the public broadcaster as part of a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign, reports Fairfax Media’s Michael Koziol.

Multiple sources have told Fairfax Media the idea was shot down by senior ABC management, including former managing director Michelle Guthrie, because the singer’s $750,000 price tag was deemed too expensive.

Guthrie is understood to have “hit the roof” when she discovered the proposal.

“It wasn’t my idea,” Milne told Fairfax Media on Tuesday. “An emotional campaign with Kylie singing a song… I thought that could be cool.”

Several sources confirmed the cost of the campaign was about $3 million, including $750,000 for Minogue.

[Read the original]

BetMakers’ chairman Nick Chan sells his Mosman property

BetMakers chairman Nick Chan has cashed in on his Mosman property holdings, having sold his home for about $5 million, reports Fairfax Media’s Lucy Macken.

Chan had only recently been appointed chief executive of Bauer Media when he bought the Federation residence with a contemporary rear extension two years ago, for $4.6 million from Moelis managing director John Garrett.

Chan left Bauer suddenly a year later, but remains chair of the fantasy sports and wagering company BetMakers (formerly known as TopBetta).

[Read the original]

News Brands

Kevin Rudd calls for royal commission into the abuse of media power

If ever there was a case for a full royal commission into the abuse of media power in Australia, it is now, writes Kevin Rudd in a column for Fairfax Media.

A free media is the lifeblood of a democracy. But media freedom in Australia is now under structural threat from a combination of extreme ideological conservatism, fuelled by rampant commercial interests.

Rupert Murdoch has been up to his neck in the elevation and removal of Australian prime ministers for the better part of a decade. The ABC has seen the conservatives politicise its board, demolish its funding and pressure its management to get rid of troublesome journalists. And now we face the prospect of the disappearance of Australia’s longest, independent print masthead (Fairfax) as it is consumed by a television company (Nine) which is chaired by Peter Costello.

Owning nearly 70% of Australian print, in addition to Sky, it is now clear Murdoch used this power ruthlessly to run a campaign to depose Malcolm Turnbull in favour of Peter Dutton – only to end up with Morrison as the consolation prize. Murdoch’s editorial henchmen, like Paul Whittaker, David Penberthy and Chris Dore, are always willing to respond to His Master’s Voice, while also maintaining “plausible deniability” that they had never been so “instructed”.

I remember Penberthy boasting one day when I asked him why he had relentlessly gone after a particular politician in the Tele when he was its editor. His reply was chillingly straightforward: “Because we can.” Something an aspiring politician never quite forgets.

[Read the original]

ABC News farewells a great – Ian 'Hendo’ Henderson signs off

ABC News veteran Ian Henderson (pictured) is to retire as Victorian 7pm News presenter after a long career at the national broadcaster spanning almost four decades.

Better known to colleagues and viewers as “Hendo”, he has been the face of the news for around a quarter of a century.

Henderson said yesterday: “After a long and rewarding career at the ABC, the time has come for me to explore some new directions. It hasn’t been an easy decision, but I’m convinced it’s the right one.

“I have some thanks to pass on: to the ABC for the wonderful opportunities it’s given me over the past 38 years; to my many colleagues for their support, good humour and camaraderie over the years; and to our loyal audience for welcoming me into their homes on a nightly basis! It’s been a rare privilege. I have a real sense of a bond with ABC viewers, and it’s a connection I’ll long cherish.

“As Australia’s media landscape contracts, ABC journalism has never been more important. And, importantly, it’s never been stronger.

“I leave you in very good hands.”

ABC director news, analysis and current affairs Gaven Morris paid tribute to Henderson’s contribution to the ABC, to audiences and to Australian journalism.

“Ian knows the 7pm audience and understands how to speak to them. As a result, viewers have a unique connection to him and they’ll miss him on their screens – as we will miss him in the newsroom,” he said.

“As well as being a favourite with viewers, Ian is an integral member of the Melbourne news team. His editorial decision-making, writing skills, smooth presentation and passion for the job have made him an asset to the ABC.”

Henderson’s last bulletin will be on Thursday October 11.

The new ABC Melbourne TV lineup will be announced soon.


Lisa Curry’s daughter seeks apology, compensation from Pacific and Bauer

The daughter of Lisa Curry and Grant Kenny is demanding an apology and compensation from two women’s magazines, claiming they used photos of her baby without permission or adequate attribution, report Mazoe Ford and Owen Jacques at ABC News.

Morgan Gruell, 27, claimed Woman’s Day and New Idea breached copyright by using social media photos she had taken of her son Flynn on the front covers and inside their issues on September 24.

Gruell’s lawyer sent letters to the two magazines’ executive editors saying their publications had infringed her copyright by using the Instagram images “without her permission or without acknowledgement or attribution”.

“She owns the copyright in the photos, including the moral rights,” the letters read.

[Read the original]


Speaking on 97.3FM, Celeste Barber discusses a #MeToo moment

Comedian Celeste Barber has opened up about her own Me Too moment, reports The Courier-Mail’s Kristy Symonds.

In an interview on Brisbane’s 97.3FM, the Australian Instagram star spoke about her decision to share her alleged story of being sexual harassed many years ago by a man working in radio in her upcoming book Challenge Accepted.

Breakfast host Bianca Dye, who spoke to The Courier-Mail earlier this year about the radio industry’s sleazy and sexist culture, told Barber she was “brave” to use her platform to speak out about it.

Barber, who chose not to name the man, said the stories coming out of the #MeToo movement made her think: “yeah, actually, that’s happened to me as well”.

Dye, who has worked in radio for the past 23 years, previously told The Courier-Mail she had been put in uncomfortable and unfair positions many times throughout her career, particularly during her early years when she was “scared and naive”.

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How Hutchy’s private conversation ended up live on internet radio

As Craig Hutchison and Crocmedia journalist Damian Barrett discussed their Sounding Board podcast ahead of their weekly Tuesday recording session, Barrett received a text telling him there was a problem.

The private discussion between the two hosts was being streamed live on Crocmedia’s NAB AFL Trade Radio.

The two later discussed their embarrassment when they started recording the latest episode of The Sounding Board. However, Barrett noted there was nothing that went to air that would have created a problem for the pair.

During the podcast, Hutchison said: “We apologise to anyone that was displaced by that unfortunate little own goal this morning.”

The Herald Sun has posted a transcript of the “private” discussion here.


Network Ten confirms launch date of new Ambulance Australia

Network Ten’s new documentary series, Ambulance Australia, will premiere on Tuesday October 16 at 7.30pm on TEN and WIN Network.

Ambulance Australia follows the call-takers, dispatchers and paramedics as they face high pressure situations every day they suit up for work. As the first to respond to urgent and emergency calls, they must use all their training and experience to make split second decisions that can mean the difference between life and death as they step into situations that can be emotionally fraught or physically dangerous.

Network Ten is promoting the new ob doc series by profiling some of the stars:

At 22 years of age, Gina (pictured) is one of the youngest paramedics in the service. The bubbly and energetic paramedic has been on the job for 18 months, having dreamed of becoming a paramedic since the age of five. Mature beyond her years, Gina is on the frontline responding to medical emergencies while her friends are out partying, and she would not have it any other way.

TV Tonight: Julia Zemiro originally said no to All Together Now

Aside from a short-lived co-hosting role beside Bert Newton on 2007’s What A Year it’s staggering to think that Julia Zemiro has never hosted a television show for a commercial network before, reports TV Tonight.

Her SBS and ABC resumé is a mile long, making her an audience favourite. But perhaps this oddity is in part due to her being choosy over projects.

She very nearly declined Seven’s new singing show All Together Now, politely discouraging producers Endemol Shine, until she watched the UK original.

“I said ‘I can tell you it will be No.’ And then I watched it and I thought ‘Hang on.’

“On RocKwiz a lot of the gold comes from contestants I’ve never met and two musicians. And now you’re going to give me 100 of them? Yes please!

“So when I met with Endemol Shine I said ‘If you let me do what I do, then it should be great. But if you try to change what I do we might get into trouble!’”

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