Monday October 8, 2018

News Corp exec moves: Paul Whittaker to run Sky News, Chris Dore to The Australian

News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller has announced a series of senior editorial appointments:

• Paul Whittaker, current editor-in-chief of The Australian, has been appointed CEO of Australian News Channel
• Christopher Dore, current editor of The Daily Telegraph, has been appointed editor-in-chief The Australian
• Ben English, current editor of the Gold Coast Bulletin, has been appointed editor of The Daily Telegraph
• Rachel Hancock, deputy editor of The Courier-Mail, has been appointed editor of the Gold Coast Bulletin

Paul Whittaker will replace Angelos Frangopoulos in the role of chief executive officer of Australian News Channel Pty Ltd (ANC), operator of Sky News channels – Sky News Live, Sky News Weather, Sky News Extra, Fox Sports News and the joint venture with Nine Network, the new Your Money channel.

“This appointment recognises Paul’s extensive and proven journalistic leadership and his intimate understanding of the Australian political, business and evolving media landscape, as well as what drives and engages audiences,” Miller said.

Siobhan McKenna, group director of broadcasting, said: “Paul’s appointment recognises the importance of live news to the growth of News Corp’s broadcast businesses. Under the leadership of Angelos, Sky News has become Australia’s number one 24-hour news channel and Paul will have the opportunity to make further investment to continue expanding Sky News’s reach to more Australians.”

Whittaker, a three-time Walkley Award-winning journalist, was editor of The Australian from 2007 to 2011, and editor of The Daily Telegraph for almost five years before being appointed editor-in-chief of The Australian in 2015.

He said he was excited to be taking on the challenge as CEO of Sky News after working for 12 years as a daily newspaper editor and executive in a career with News Corp spanning more than 30 years.

“Live news, like live sport, is a huge driver of audiences and future growth for our businesses,” Whittaker said.

Whittaker will commence at Sky News on Monday October 15.

Michael Miller announced that Chris Dore, editor of The Daily Telegraph, has been appointed editor-in-chief of The Australian.

Dore said it was a great honour to return to The Australian where be began his career as a cadet reporter and spent more than 15 years in senior editorial roles, including as deputy editor.

“I hold a deep affection for the newspaper and a great admiration for its tremendously accomplished journalists and editors,” Dore said. “It is one of the great news brands of the world and its place in helping shape our national character through big debates and advocacy can never be underestimated.”

Ben English’s appointment marks a return home to Sydney and also to the newspaper where he began his career.

“To now have the opportunity to lead this great paper in the city I grew up in is a huge honour and privilege,” he said. “I will leave the Gold Coast Bulletin with some wonderful memories. It is such a strong paper that serves its community so effectively and boasts terrific journalists who I will sorely miss.”

Rachel Hancock, former editor of the NT News and deputy editor of The Advertiser in Adelaide said she was thrilled to take the reins of such a vibrant and respected news brand as the Gold Coast Bulletin.

“In my last three years in Brisbane at The Courier-Mail, I have watched the growth and performance of the Bulletin with enormous respect and admiration. To now have the opportunity to lead this paper and its superb team, is a lifelong dream.”

Top Image: Paul Whittaker and Chris Dore


After six years, love still strong between smoothfm and Michael Bublé

• Nova Entertainment brand treats listeners and advertisers to exclusive performance
• Cathy O’Connor pays tribute to key execs who loved The Carpenters

During Michael Bublé’s whistle-stop Australian tour he played only three shows – a Sunrise concert in Sydney’s Martin Place, a one-off stadium show to close Allianz Stadium and smoothfm’s Feel Good Night show for just 400 people at Sydney’s Seymour Centre.

Even though Bublé was playing for a small crowd in an intimate space, he didn’t skimp on the presentation, bringing his complete 26-piece orchestra to the Seymour Centre stage.

Prior to the performance, Nova Entertainment hosted clients to cocktails in the venue’s Sound Lounge with smoothfm weekend announcer Richard Wilkins welcoming the guests. Sydney commercial director and market lead Luke Minto spoke, as did Nova Entertainment CEO Cathy O’Connor. She recalled the very first song played on smoothfm was Bublé’s Haven’t Met You Yet.

“Michael Bublé typifies every single part of the DNA of this wonderful brand smoothfm,” O’Connor said.

“I remember over six years ago when we came up with the idea for smoothfm we thought we had to do something different from what else was happening on FM. If we did more of the same we would have all just shared the same audience. We knew we had to be different and we had to be bold and do something that no one else is doing.

“We also thought we should do something we like as well. Doing more of the same is never really what gets you a break through performance.”

Nova Entertainment CEO Cathy O’Connor

O’Connor paid tribute to Nova Entertainment’s head of programming Paul Jackson and head of marketing Tony Thomas for the concept of smoothfm. (Neither of the Nova execs was able to attend on Saturday night.)

“These were two men in their 40s who loved The Carpenters,” O’Connor laughed. “I grew up in Australia and I don’t know too many men in their 40s who love The Carpenters. It’s usually all about rock and INXS and Midnight Oil. These guys were kind of in touch with their feminine side, which of course is no problem at all.

“They got so excited with the concept they said they were going to get Michael Bublé in the smoothfm ad. I said that was a great ambition and I was glad they were aiming high. If there is one artist that typifies what smoothfm is all about it is – which is feelgood, relaxed and fun and contemporary with wonderful music – it would be Michael Bublé.

“I told them if they could pull that off they would be legends.

“The two boys with big heads are still walking our corridors and we continue to have a connection with Michael Bublé.”

O’Connor noted how good the smoothfm commercial featuring the Canadian singer was, and it is something they still run six years later. “I don’t think there’s any radio station in the world that got that much mileage out of a commercial – it was just perfect.

“There was a great idea, a little bit of luck, a lot of guts and it was executed very, very well.”

Bublé started his performance with I Only Have Eyes, followed by When I Fall in Love, new singles Such A Night and Love You Anymore, and classics Nobody But Me, Save the Last Dance and Feeling Good.

smoothfm’s Bogart Torelli, Georgie Page and Glenn Daniel

Some of the tunes were from his new album Love, his first studio album in two years, which will be released on November 16.

Guests at the event included smoothfm 95.3 breakfast hosts Bogart Torelli and Glenn Daniel, smoothfm weekend announcer Richard Wilkins and partner Virginia, morning announcer Ty Frost, Kate Mason – smoothfm’s head of music, smoothfm program director Georgie Page, Peter Clay – head of programming Nova 96.9 and smoothfm network, Leanne Gibb – group marketing director, Claire Marshall – music marketing director, Ben Latimer – Nova 96.9 and Nova 919 program director, Rob Sloan – agency sales director, Polly Goodchild – brand & promotions director – Nova, smoothfm & Fiveaa, Nova’s Kent “Smallzy” Small and EP Zach La Cava, smoothfm 91.5 breakfast producer Lauren Saylor and smoothfm 95.3 breakfast producer Anna Crotti.

Others in attendance included Billy MacLeod – Warner Vice President Promotions and Publicity, Graham Donald – Seven creative director, Foxtel’s Danny Keenan – head of artist & music industry relations, Foxtel’s Fraser Stark – GM arts and music, Jamie Campbell – Foxtel’s director publicity & talent, Sasha Mackie – Foxtel’s head of marketing, Daily Telegraph’s Fiona Wingett, Vivienne KellyMumbrella editor, Pippa Chambers – editor AdNews, Cameron Adams – national music writer News Corp and 9Honey’s Shelly Horton.

Now To Love editor Fiona Baker: ‘We are not all things to all people’

Women-targeted content network Now To Love isn’t about publicising its own brand but rather the Bauer Media titles that sit under its umbrella.

By Kruti Joshi

The editor of the network, Fiona Baker, told Mediaweek that names like Woman’s Day and The Australian Women’s Weekly are so recognisable that it would be foolish not to use their brand power to attract eyeballs. She described Now To Love as a “department store”.

“Now To Love is still a baby. It is only 18 months old,” Baker said. “It’s unique, because it provides scale that is home to well-known, heritage magazine brands that still have a connection with their audience.

Each Bauer brand has its own tone and style of content that it produces so there is something to suit every reader’s mood and taste.

“If you are looking for royal content, we have Women’s Weekly,” Baker said. “If you are looking for TV content, there’s TV Week.”

There is a team of journalists and producers who keep track of what content is produced in which magazine. They take the content that is relevant to Now To Love’s readers and put it online. Along with this, the network produces about 80% of its own content. “It is just branded and powered by the magazine brands. We are working in real time,” Baker explained.

“We only take a small amount of content from print. The duplication of audience is minimal. A reader of Woman’s Day online isn’t necessarily a reader of it in print. We are very aware of that.

“Any content that we produce we make sure speaks in the voice of the brand that it is going to live under.

“It’s about understanding audiences and why they come to our brands for content.”

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

Top Photo: Fiona Baker

2018 News Media Awards winner profile: The Weekend Australian

News Corp’s The Australian has had a good year so far with its digital subscription growth and the uptake of its true crime podcast The Teacher’s Pet.

By Kruti Joshi

The podcast has clocked up over 22 million downloads since the first episode dropped earlier this year.

Another reason for the national masthead to celebrate is that its weekend paper The Weekend Australian took home the titles of inaugural News Brand of the Year and the Weekend News Brand of the Year at the refreshed 2018 News Media Awards (formerly called the Newspaper of the Year Awards). The Weekend Australian is a seasoned winner at the awards, having won the weekend news category four times in the last five years. However, the paper’s editor Michelle Gunn was still “surprised” by the recognition.

The Weekend Australian editor Michelle Gunn

“The win means the world to me because it is recognition of everyone who works on the paper,” Gunn told Mediaweek.

In 12 months to June 2018, The Weekend Australian’s readership climbed to 639,000. This shows the importance of it to the local news consumers, Gunn said. “That may surprise some people because there is a lot of talk about the decline of print. For us, the weekend newspaper is the biggest newspaper of the week.

“Our most successful bundle is the weekend newspaper plus digital. Thirty-two percent of our new subscribers last year took that option.”

There is still a strong urge among the consumers of The Australian to pull its weekend edition apart and spread the broadsheet over the dining table to immerse in the reading it has on offer.

“It’s an interesting thing,” Gunn said. “For some readers it is something they grew up with. They love the tactile feel of paper.

“People still like to read a 3,000-word article without scrolling on a screen.

“Having said that though,” Gunn said, “we now have more than 115,000 subscribers. Some of the biggest growth is in digital, so some of the biggest changes we have made are in the area of digital storytelling.

“We are constantly challenging our reporters, photographers and artists to come up with new and innovative ways to present their content.”

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

Visit Victoria sponsors Australian Ninja Warrior move to Melbourne

Australian Ninja Warrior is losing its dramatic Sydney Harbour location with confirmation that Nine’s smash-hit program will be returning in 2019 for a third season at its new home in Melbourne.

Nine has announced that hosts Rebecca Maddern, Ben Fordham and Freddie Flintoff will return for the next season. Fan-favourite Ninjas will also return to compete alongside fresh faces who have been inspired by those who have braved the course before them.

Nine’s CEO Hugh Marks said: “With a relocation to Melbourne, Australian Ninja Warrior will return with brand new, breathtaking elements, taking this remarkable show to a new level of awe-inspiring entertainment for Australians of all ages.

“There will be more excitement, more phenomenal challenges, more heroic Ninjas and more high-quality family viewing.”

The move has been made possible with the support of Visit Victoria.

Nine Melbourne managing director Matt Scriven said: “It is with great excitement that we welcome Australian Ninja Warrior to Melbourne. We take great pride in all the shows that are produced here and we can’t wait to have one of the greatest shows on Australian TV right on our doorstep.”

Todd Sampson and Virginia Trioli return to Radio Alive, plus new podcast sessions added

Todd Sampson, former CEO and chair of ad agency Leo Burnett, ABC News Breakfast co-presenter Virginia Trioli and premier Australian and international podcasters feature in the radio industry’s Radio Alive 2018 conference program released today.

Sampson will present the session Brain Power and provide practical tools and strategies to boost creativity and brain power. Returning to Radio Alive after a successful Q&A panel last year, Trioli will lead a discussion panel on the influence and impact of the media in and on society.

Three podcast sessions have been included at this year’s conference. The sessions called I Have an Idea for a Podcast, Will You Sign Me Up?, Building Your Podcasting Game and Did You Want a Brand with That? will explore the growing podcast category and how the radio industry is in prime position to continue to innovate across the sector.

I Have An Idea for a Podcast, Will You Sign Me Up? will feature award-winning US producer Julia Henderson (ESPN Podcasts), Jay Walkerden (Nova Podcast) and Grant Tothill (SCA’s PodcastOne). The session to be moderated by Jaime Chaux (CRA, head of digital), will look at what will be the next wave of podcasts and what it takes to turn an idea into a viable podcast series.

Building Your Podcasting Game will explore how radio professionals have branched out into podcasting, juggling existing careers and developing a new set of skills. The Did You Want a Brand with That? session will explore what clients are looking for in branded content podcasts and how to balance the demands of original content and client messaging.

Another key session is Preparing for Hybrid Radio Audience Measurement presented by GfK’s Dr Morten Boyer. He will explain the world-first initiative that will take an evidence-based approach to developing the next iteration of RAM in Australia.

Also speaking at this year’s conference will be Cathy O’Connor, chief executive officer of Nova Entertainment and inaugural chair of the CRA Automation and Programmatic Committee, on the future of buying radio.

These speakers join the already announced competing drive time presenters Ben Fordham (2GB), Kate Langbroek (Hit Network), Will McMahon (KIIS) and Kate Ritchie (Nova) in a headline panel discussion on the rise of the drive time session, and Amazon Alexa Skills country manager for Australia and New Zealand, Kate Burleigh, on the future of voice technology and the implications for consumers and brands.

Joan Warner, Commercial Radio Australia chief executive officer, said: “Each year the conference provides a forum for robust discussion on the radio industry and attracts key industry speakers and we look forward to a day of stimulating debate.”

The Radio Alive 2018 conference will be held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre on October 19, followed by the gala black-tie Australian Commercial Radio Awards on October 20.


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The Courier Mail unveils fourth instalment of GoQld! campaign

• The Courier-Mail partners with The Star, Transurban, Brisbane Airport Corporation, Brisbane City Council, SMEC, SEQ Council of Mayors, Sky News and Seven News Brisbane
• New exclusive research revealed from leading demographer Bernard Salt on SEQ
• Future SEQ event in Brisbane on October 23 expected to attract top business executives, politicians and VIPs
• The campaign launches with an eight-page wrap of The Courier-Mail

A city almost twice the size of Brisbane will be added to southeast Queensland’s population over the next quarter of a century, according to new findings released today in The Courier-Mail.

The Future SEQ special series, launched today in The CourierMail, will examine the threats ahead, explore options for solutions, and reveal innovative and achievable ideas for transforming the vital region which includes Brisbane, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, Logan, Moreton, Redland, Ipswich, Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley.

This is the fourth part of the successful GoQld! campaign by the masthead, which aims to discuss issues affecting the state and encouraging solutions to ensure the future prosperity of Queenslanders.

There has been progress with $10 billion in projects in Brisbane alone during the series, including Brisbane Live, Cross River Rail, Brisbane Metro and the Waterfront Precinct in the CBD.

The Courier-Mail editor Sam Weir said SEQ, as one of the fastest-growing regions in the world, had incredible opportunities moving forward over the next quarter of a century.

“But this population surge also brings significant challenges in transport and other physical and social infrastructure to maintain our productivity and liveability,” he said.

“Our future as a place people will want to call home and work from depends on planning decisions made today to get it right for tomorrow.

“The region’s roads, trains and buses will reach breaking point over the next two decades unless we find and fund solutions now.”

New exclusive research from leading demographer Bernard Salt shows an extra two million people will live in Queensland by 2043, growing the population from 3.5 million to 5.5 million.

“The southeast Queensland of 2043 will be the same size as Sydney or Melbourne is today,” Salt said.

“It is quickly emerging as Australia’s third global force and, as such, it will offer all the urban amenity and quality you would expect from an urban conurbation of that scale.”

Salt will also deliver his vision for the future of southeast Queensland at a special lunch event in Brisbane on October 23. Tickets are available at

More than 500 people are expected to attend, including Infrastructure Australia chairman Julieanne Alroe, The Star Entertainment Group managing director and chief executive Matt Bekier, Transurban Group chief executive Scott Charlton, Brisbane Airport Corporation chief executive Gert-Jan de Graaff and SEQ Council of Mayor chief executive Scott Smith.

The Future SEQ campaign will run in The Courier-Mail and The Sunday Mail in print and digital, with Sky News broadcasting the October 23 event. The campaigns runs until October 24.

The campaign will be launched with an eight-page wrap of The Courier-Mail, continuing daily with coverage in news as well as opinion and business across seven days. It also is supported by a dedicated digital site, which also showcases exclusive images of a future Brisbane provided by campaign partners.

The marketing campaign is run by the News Corp Queensland team, utilising house space for campaign and event ads. The digital promotion campaign is run collaboratively by editorial and marketing utilising masthead platforms using imagery sourced from campaign partners.

Partners for the campaign include The Star, Transurban, Brisbane Airport Corporation, Brisbane City Council, SMEC, SEQ Council of Mayors, Sky News and Seven News Brisbane.

Professional services firm PwC has provided exclusive insight and analysis with city-shaping specialists Urbis to bring the visions to life in striking images.

SLR Productions announces animated telemovie with Nine & ZDF

SLR Productions has announced production of an 80-minute animated drama-comedy telemovie, Alice-Miranda Shines Bright, with partners Screen Australia, Nine Network and ZDF Enterprises.

The animated telemovie, targeted to the 6-9yo audience, will premiere locally on the Nine Network and will be distributed internationally by ZDF Enterprises.

SLR Productions has adapted Alice-Miranda from the award-winning series of books by bestselling Australian author Jacqueline Harvey, published by Penguin Random House Australia.

The 17-part book series (and counting) has been an extraordinary success with sales exceeding 850,000 copies in Australia and 1,000,000 internationally including key international territories such as UK, North America, Germany, Brazil, Hungary, Turkey and Indonesia.

“I am thrilled to bring this perpetually positive and beloved young heroine Alice-Miranda to the screen with esteemed partners, Screen Australia, Nine Network and ZDF Enterprises. It’s an honour to work with Jacqueline Harvey, the author of this incredible publishing property, and to know that Alice-Miranda’s loyal and dedicated audiences will soon be sharing in her awesome adventures on screen,” said SLR Productions’ CEO and executive producer Suzanne Ryan.

“SLR Productions’ all-female creative team, including CEO and executive producer Suzanne Ryan, script editor Melanie Alexander and director Jo Boag, have crafted a smart and inquisitive protagonist in Alice-Miranda that young girls can look up to,” said Sally Caplan, head of content at Screen Australia. “Based off the success of the bestselling books, we’re excited to see this Emmy Award-winning team bring this fantastical and inclusive story to screen as an animated adaptation.”

“Alice-Miranda is a great role model for our audience and we are delighted to be working on this exceptional project with the team at SLR Productions. We know that Alice-Miranda has a great following with young readers and Jacqueline Harvey is one of Australia’s top female children’s authors. We believe all the right ingredients are in place for this dynamic, quality Australian children’s drama to be a huge success on Nine,” said Nine Network co-head of drama Jo Rooney.

“We are thrilled to be working with our longtime partner Suzanne Ryan and her team at SLR Productions on this animated adaptation of the Alice-Miranda book series by Jacqueline Harvey. The books are loved by millions of young girls all over the world and we are sure they will enjoy the telemovie Alice-Miranda Shines Bright just as much,” said Arne Lohmann, VP ZDFE.junior at ZDF Enterprises.

ARIA Charts: John Butler, Cher & The Living End new top 3 albums

• Singles: George Ezra #1, Khalid and Loud Luxury into top 10
• Albums: Top 3 turnover with John Butler, Cher & The Living End

By James Manning


Not a lot of movement this week with just two artists creeping into the top 10 from lower down the chart while three artists debuted inside the top 50 – but all of them in the 40s.

Khalid’s Better climbed into the top 10 at #8, moving up from #12 after three weeks on the chart.

Also into the top 10, at #10 from #14, is Canadian DJ duo Loud Luxury with Body, which hits a new peak after 12 weeks on the chart.

Three new tunes debuted lower down the chart:
#41 DJ Snake with Taki Taki featuring Selena Gomez, Ozuna and Cardi B
#42 Lil Wayne with Mona Lisa featuring Kendrick Lamar
#50 Lil Wayne with Don’t Cry featuring XXXTentacion


Lots of turnover at the top with six top 50 chart debuts, five of them cracking the top 10 on week one.

Eminem has lost top spot with Kamikaze dropping to #4 on its fifth week on the chart.

The new top 10 debuts are:
#1 The John Butler Trio with Home. Seventh album and fourth #1 for Burler.
#2 Cher with Dancing Queen. 29 years after first landing a #1 album, Cher is back in the top 10 with her 26th album.
#3 The Living End with Wunderbar. Eighth album, two of which have topped the ARIA chart.
#6 Lil Wayne with THA Carter. The rapper’s 12th album and the first to chart here since 2013.
#8 Logic with YSIV. Another US rapper in the top 10, this time with his fourth album.

Missing out on a top 10 spot was the chart’s other top 50 debut:
#15 Rod Stewart with Blood Red Roses

After their NRL Grand Final appearance last weekend, Gang Of Youths have eased back into the top 50 at #43 after the #1 album Go Farther In Lightness has spent a total of 59 weeks on the chart.

Also slipping into the 50 at #47 on another wave of ABBA nostalgia is ABBA Gold & More (Anniversary edition) after 58 weeks on the chart and a previous peak of #9.

Easing out of the top 50 after 319 weeks on the chart is INXS with The Very Best.

Top 10 Game Charts: FIFA 19 Scores

FIFA 19 has unsurprisingly blitzed directly past the keeper and crashed into the back of the net, shooting immediately to first spot on the charts for last week.

By Luke Reilly games editor, IGN Australia

The FIFA series is the best-selling sports franchise in the world so, with no bigger competition hitting shelves at this time, the result was virtually a forgone conclusion.

FIFA 19 is a definite improvement over last year’s instalment and adds several features sure to resonate with football and FIFA fans, including a licensed Champions League mode (snagging the one bragging right rival football series Pro Evolution Soccer previously had over its rival). You can check out IGN’s review here.

Spider-Man and NBA 2K19 continue their charts success in positions two and three. This is the fourth consecutive week the PS4 exclusive Marvel’s Spider-Man has found itself in one of the top two spots. First-party PS4 exclusives are generally strong performers so expect to see it hover in the charts for many weeks to come.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider drops a single spot to fourth, still unable to leapfrog NBA 2K19 in physical sales but comfortably in the top 10 for now. The fantastic Forza Horizon 4 enters the charts in fifth spot, which is impressive considering these charts ended on September 30 and Forza Horizon 4 wasn’t officially released until October 2 (Microsoft provided early access to the game from September 28 for digital purchasers of the Ultimate Edition, and it appears some retailers were selling special physical bundles which included a download code for the Ultimate Edition). Forza Horizon 4 is an open-world racing game set in Britain. Forza Horizon 3, which was set in Australia, was the most-played Xbox game down under in 2017 and the fourth biggest Xbox game in Australia for all-time so it’s no surprise to see the follow-up performing well.

SEGA’s Valkyria Chronicles 4 is the final new face in the charts this week, coming in at seventh. It’s certainly more niche than the likes of FIFA 19 – it’s a Japanese RPG that fuses turn-based tactical battles with semi-realtime, third-person shooter combat, set in an anime-inspired backdrop based in an alternate reality World War II(!) – but there is clearly a dedicated following out there that were still quick to snap up this long-awaited and quality sequel.

TV Ratings Analysis: October 8

• Nine starts eight-week countdown to end of survey year at #1
• The Block terrace reveal too strong for new competition formats
• New launches: All Together Now begins strongest with 800,000+

By James Manning


With just eight weeks to go until the start of summer survey, Seven has launched a new search for a singing sensation, All Together Now. The series got off to a good start with 813,000 up against The Block.

All Together Now’s key difference is there are not three or four judges but a panel of 100, which votes on each new artist. It doesn’t seem to matter that they are 99 people we have never heard of plus Rhonda Burchmore as the key interest is how many give a positive vote during the performance. The first episode started well with singer Chantelle performing Nutbush City Limits, which pulled a score of 94. It wasn’t long until we heard a dud though – Nicholas was next with just 16. Host Julia Zemiro worked the massive set beautifully although judge Ronan Keating got a little lost in the middle of the six-storey set amongst 99 other talent spotters.

Sunday Night followed the new format back in its later slot with 499,000. The show’s two weeks in the 7pm timeslot pulled audiences of just under 700,000 each week.


While The Block had something like 20,000 people converge on Fitzroy Street on the weekend for the first open day, Nine had over 1m again for its Sunday night reveal episode. The show again dominated the timeslot and key demos for the terrace reveals with cash-strapped Norm and Jess winning, scoring a perfect 30 out of 30. The episode ended with Scott Cam revealing details about the challenger unit, which will see the teams working on over the next fortnight.

As was revealed recently, the apartment will be given away, making it the biggest-ever prize on Australian TV.

The Sunday night episode did 1.13m, down from 1.26m when the show was last on Sunday night two weeks ago.

60 Minutes then featured its Stormy Daniels exclusive with reporter Liz Hayes hearing that stripper and porn star Daniels has some regrets about what she revealed about the US President in her new book. The episode did 698,000.


The channel had the biggest audience across the day with coverage of the Bathurst 1000 race. The metro average was 745,000, down on 905,000 in 2017. The raceday crowd helped fuel the evening numbers, which were TEN’s best since the evening of the MasterChef final.

The Sunday Project had one its biggest audiences ever for the much-anticipated Lisa Wilkinson interview with The Honey Badger. He didn’t give away too much about his decision at the end of The Bachelor, but the episode did a very healthy 620,000. That is closing in on double the audience watching the previous two weeks (discounting last week’s audience against the NRL Grad Final).

The lead-in should have helped the new Game Of Games show, which launched with 536,000. With $50,000 on offer, the format features many different challenges for contestants, with the winners of each coming together at the end in a battle for the cash. After viewers sat through Dizzy Dash, Don’t Leave Me Hanging, Tomb of Doom, Know Or Go, and Tuba Toothpaste, it all ended with Andrew winning the prize money during a round of Hot Hands.

A new season of NCIS launched after the game show ended close to 9pm with 296,000 watching.


Joanna Lumley was a guest on The Project on Friday night from the UK, but she was hosting episode three of Silk Road last night as she travelled across Iran. The episode did 593,000 after the show launched with 576,000 a fortnight ago.

The final episode of Rake was just as crazy, and funny, of the rest of this season. The episode did 453,000 after launching with 715,000 at the end of August.


The second episode of a repeat of Italy’s Invisible Cities looked at Venice with 159,000 watching.

Week 40-41 TV: Friday-Sunday
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 13.4% 7 20.2% 9 16.2% TEN 12.0% SBS One 4.9%
ABC 2 3.0% 7TWO 3.5% GO! 3.5% ONE 3.3% VICELAND 1.8%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 3.8% GEM 2.4% ELEVEN 3.1% Food Net 1.2%
ABC NEWS 1.9% 7flix 2.3% 9Life 2.3% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 19.2% 29.8% 24.4% 18.4% 8.2%
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 11.2% 7 21.8% 9 14.5% TEN 11.5% SBS One 5.7%
ABC 2 3.5% 7TWO 4.1% GO! 4.0% ONE 3.1% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 4.6% GEM 2.9% ELEVEN 2.8% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 3.1% 9Life 2.3% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 17.0% 33.5% 23.8% 17.4% 8.4%
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 13.1% 7 19.1% 9 23.1% TEN 11.9% SBS One 3.2%
ABC 2 2.5% 7TWO 3.3% GO! 3.8% ONE 2.7% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 3.3% GEM 3.2% ELEVEN 2.2% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.1% 7flix 2.2% 9Life 2.5% NITV 0.3%
TOTAL 17.4% 27.9% 32.4% 16.8% 5.5%
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates Ten Affiliates SBS
ABC 12.0% 7 17.6% 9 19.9% WIN 12.0% SBS One 2.7%
ABC 2 2.8% 7TWO 4.0% GO! 4.1% ONE 3.3% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 1.3% 7mate 3.8% GEM 6.6% ELEVEN 2.1% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix 1.6% 9Life 2.2% Sky News  on WIN 0.5% NITV 0.3%
TOTAL 17.3% 27.0% 32.8% 17.9% 5.1%


85.7% 14.3%


All People Rankings

Friday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 885,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 822,000
  3. Nine News Nine 804,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 795,000
  5. ABC News ABC 597,000
  6. Better Homes And Gardens Seven 583,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 580,000
  8. The Chase Australia Seven 495,000
  9. Gardening Australia ABC 490,000
  10. Father Brown (R)ABC 464,000


Saturday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 786,000
  2. Nine News Nine 685,000
  3. ABC News ABC 683,000
  4. M: Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone Seven 520,000
  5. Supercars Championship: Bathurst D2 Top 10 Shootout ONOetTwOoUrkT Ten 499,000
  6. Supercars Championship: Bathurst D2 Top 10 Preview Ten 396,000
  7. Exile (R) ABC 355,000
  8. Supercars Championship: Bathurst D2 Support 2 Ten 338,000
  9. Invictus Games: Competitor Profiles ABC 328,000
  10. Ambulance UK Ten 321,000
Sunday FTA
  1. The Block Nine 1,139,000
  2. Seven News Seven 942,000
  3. Nine News Nine 842,000
  4. All Together Now – The 100 Seven 813,000
  5. Supercars Championship: Bathurst D3 Race Ten 745,000
  6. 60 Minutes Nine 698,000
  7. Supercars Championship: Bathurst D3 Podium Ten 663,000
  8. The Sunday Project 7pm Ten 620,000
  9. Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road Adventure ABC 593,000
  10. Supercars Championship: Bathurst D3 Wrap Up Ten 569,000
  11. Game Of Games Ten 536,000
  12. Sunday Night Seven 499,000
  13. Ten Eyewitness News Sun Ten 496,000
  14. Supercars Championship: Bathurst D3 The Final Countdown Ten 470,000
  15. The Sunday Project 6.30pm Ten 455,000
  16. Rake ABC 453,000
  17. World’s Busiest Cities (R) ABC 392,000
  18. Supercars Championship: Bathurst D3 Build Up 2 Ten 344,000
  19. Vera (R) ABC 334,000
  20. NCIS Ten 296,000
SUNDAY Multichannel
  1. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line-E2-PM 7TWO 157,000
  2. Star Trek Into Darkness 9GO! 156,000
  3. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 153,000
  4. Dot. ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  5. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line -PM 7TWO 144,000
  6. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line- E3 -PM 7TWO 138,000
  7. Andy’s Baby Animals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 133,000
  8. Midsomer Murders 9Gem 131,000
  9. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  10. Peppa Pig-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  11. Hey Duggee-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  12. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  13. Border Patrol-PM 7TWO 114,000
  14. Kiddets-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 114,000
  15. Fixer Upper TX1 9Life 114,000
  16. M- Interstellar-PM 7mate 110,000
  17. Bluey-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 109,000
  18. Luo Bao Bei-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 108,000
  19. Little Roy-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 108,000
  20. The Big Bang Theory TX2 9GO! 108,000
SUNDAY Subscription TV
  1. Live: Supercars Bathurst FOX SPORTS 506 387,000
  2. Live: Supercars Live FOX SPORTS 506 259,000
  3. Live: Supercars Bathurst FOX SPORTS 506 195,000
  4. Live: Supercars Trackside FOX SPORTS 506 170,000
  5. Live: Supercars Bathurst Supports FOX SPORTS 506 144,000
  6. Live: Motorsport: F1: Japan Race FOX SPORTS 505 113,000
  7. Live: Cricket: Pak V Aus 1st Test Day 1 FOX CRICKET 111,000
  8. A Place To Call Home showcase 108,000
  9. Live: Supercars Bathurst FOX SPORTS 506 99,000
  10. Live: Cricket: Pak V Aus 1st Test Day 1 FOX CRICKET 85,000
  11. Live: The Rugby C’ship: Arg V Aus FOX SPORTS 503 69,000
  12. Live: Supercars Bathurst Supports FOX SPORTS 506 67,000
  13. Live: Cricket: Pre Game FOX CRICKET 65,000
  14. Live: JLT Cup: Between The Innings FOX CRICKET 55,000
  15. Live: JLT Cup: Sf2 WA V TBS FOX CRICKET 54,000
  16. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 49,000
  17. Live: Cricket: Pak V Aus 1st Test Day 1 FOX CRICKET 46,000
  18. NCIS TVH!TS 45,000
  19. Live: Supercars Bathurst FOX SPORTS 506 42,000
  20. NCIS TVH!TS 40,000

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

Ownership options for Fairfax Media events business being explored

Fairfax Media’s events business is under the microscope with options being explored about how the asset could sit in the Nine Entertainment portfolio, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

The future of the events business is understood to be undecided, but a straight sale is unlikely given its reliance on Fairfax mastheads, such as The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. The publications are key marketing platforms for the events business.

The Financial Review revealed Denver-based Motiv made an informal approach in August. Motiv runs events such as the Golden Gate half marathon in San Francisco and other digital and live experiences.

[Read the original]

News Corp seeks to back a winner with Racenet buy

Publisher News Corporation is seeking to double down in Australian horse racing with the acquisition of online industry news provider Racenet, reports The AFR’s Street Talk.

Racenet was founded by Sydney-based Craig Tompson and Glenn Robbins about 20 years ago and offers independent Australian racing news to customers, as well as form guides, results and the like, and is littered with advertisements from corporate bookmakers.

Racenet is similar to another digital racing news site,, which is backed by News Corp.

The ACCC is looking at whether the Punters/Racenet combination would impact other betting affiliates from expanding or entering the market and what impact it would be to lose an “independent alternative source of racing news”.

[Read the original]

Betting advertising defies predictions to hit record $282m for 2018

Betting advertising has smashed all records over the last year, in sharp defiance of predictions it would collapse in the face of recent legislation introducing a “siren to siren” television ad ban, reports The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff.

Definitive new advertising payment figures exclusively obtained by The Australian – compiled by industry bible Standard Media Index – reveal that spending on betting ads has boomed, hitting a record $282 million across all media categories for the year to June 2018.

This was up by more than 22%, as the major betting companies, including Sportsbet and BetEasy (the rebadged merged entity of CrownBet and William Hill), have made a major land grab that has significantly driven up prices for premium ad space.

[Read the original]

Screentime owner Banijay Group in talks to buy Endemol Shine

French TV giant Banijay Group is in talks to acquire production powerhouse Endemol Shine, sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter.

Some suggested that the company is currently the lead bidder, but the auction process isn’t finished yet.

Banijay, led by CEO Marco Bassetti, was founded 10 years ago and is one of the largest independent TV producers. The company is owned by LOV Group and DeA Communications, with Vivendi also owning a stake.

UK TV giant ITV on Wednesday said that it wasn’t planning to submit a takeover offer for Endemol. Other big-name companies originally mentioned as possible suitors have included RTL Group’s FremantleMedia and Liberty Global/Discovery Communications’ All3Media, but one source told THR that they haven’t shown real interest in pursuing a deal.

[Read the original]

News Brands

AdNews pays tribute to publisher David Yaffa who has died aged 84

David Yaffa, proprietor of Yaffa Media, publisher of AdNews, has died aged 84. A staunchly independent and passionate publisher, he built an empire of more than 30 business and consumer magazines and websites, becoming a significant force in Australian media, reports AdNews.

As one of the largest specialist publishing houses in Australia, the company could have been sold many times over, but he was not interested. Nor was he interested in joint ventures, partnerships or going public. He wanted to build the company his way and grow it as a successful family business.

His father, David Yaffa Snr, founded the company in 1925 when he established Yaffa Syndicate, which supplied cartoons, photographs and articles to the Australian and New Zealand newspaper industries. In 1928 he launched a monthly industry publication, Newspaper News, which later became AdNews. He also established a printing company, Rotary Colorprint, which printed not only his own magazines but also Phantom comics, Reader’s Digest and other publications under licence.

James Yaffa, publisher of AdNews, said: “I had the privilege to work with Dad for over 20 years, and enjoyed every minute of it. For me Dad was a real character who made a positive impact on so many Australians. Our staff simply respected him like no other.

“For me getting started there could have been no better mentor and for that I’m eternally grateful.

“And for the record we had plenty of fun working hard to be as competitive as possible. Make no mistake, David liked to win!”

[Read the original]

See also: David Yaffa, an empire builder who shunned the limelight

Photo: AdNews

Australian Financial Review seals China media partnership with Caixin

The Australian Financial Review reports it has struck a partnership with Caixin to exclusively bring its readers content from China’s foremost independent business and finance news outlet.

Caixin Media is China’s most influential media group, publishing news magazines, online news and Caixin Global, its English language outlet.

Financial Review editor-in-chief Michael Stutchbury said: “An opinion article we published just last week from Caixin founder and publisher Hu Shuli highlights how Caixin provides a business-based voice for economic openness in China, comparable to the Financial Review’s policy agenda for Australia.”

The Financial Review’s content-sharing partnership adds to its source of syndicated quality international news and information, including from the Financial Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Daily Telegraph in the UK.

[Read the original]

Rural newspapers defy the odds in a sea of media job losses

While large publishers are cutting staff and reducing coverage, independent publishers are thriving in many rural communities, reports Guardian Australia’s Brigid Delaney.

Almost three years ago, Alison Andrews moved back to her hometown of Longford, in northern Tasmania. After decades of working in the media, she cashed in her super and bought the town’s tiny newspaper, the Northern Midlands Courier.

She sells the ads, takes the photos, writes the stories and organises distribution.

Similarly, Jane O’Connor had a big career heading bureaus at AAP, and working for News Limited and Fairfax. She’s now running the Mountain Monthly in Kinglake, north of Melbourne, and says: “I started out on hyper-local news and now I’m full circle. It’s ethical, holistic and about understanding your community and catering for it.”

Further north-west, in central Victoria’s Castlemaine, acting newspaper editor Andrea Crawford is also upbeat. The Castlemaine Mail may have been around for 160 years, she says, but it is going from “strength to strength”.

[Read the original]

Obituary for journalist Gerri Hartigan: ‘warm, funny and fearless’

Geraldine Sutton was born on March 9, 1947, to Barbara, an artist, and Ian Sutton, a Sydney newspaper production manager from Lane Cove, Sydney, who worked at John Fairfax & Sons before moving to Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited where he played a key role in launching The Australian newspaper in 1964, reports News Corp’s Annette Sharp.

Just months after joining the News Ltd secretarial pool Gerri sat the cadetship exam, topped it, and landed a three-year cadetship on afternoon newspaper The Daily Mirror.

The forthright and fearless Sutton was soon on her way as a court and general news reporter. In the decade that followed she would prove herself a meticulous and tough reporter, a wonderful wordsmith and a formidable opponent.

After receiving her grading as a journalist, Gerri soon was tasked with writing news features and interviewing some of the world’s most charismatic identities, among them touring Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. The one-on-one interview in 1970 produced excerpts published around the world.

One memorable news feature saw her assigned to conduct an investigation on wayward youths.

For the story she was paired with newly employed Mirror reporter John Hartigan, a future CEO of the company, but then an unknown who Gerri took firmly under her wing.

The assignment led to romance and on September 2, 1972, marriage. The union would last more than three decades and produce one adored daughter, Jessica, in 1978.

In 1992, Gerri joined the founding team at magazine Who Weekly as the title’s television critic – a role that would last until her retirement in 2005 when she left journalism to spend more time with her daughter and her prize-worthy rose garden in Roseville.

Gerri passed away peacefully, with daughter Jessica at her side, following a long illness on Sunday September 30.

[Read the original]


Sony Music Entertainment Australia announces global deal with Illy

Sony Music Entertainment Australia has signed ARIA Award-winning Australian artist Illy to a global deal.

Illy’s career spans five albums, numerous multi-platinum and gold selling singles, countless live performances and many award wins and nominations. Illy is currently working on his sixth studio album, set for release in 2019.

Illy commented: “My life has been through a lot of change in the last year, and all of it has pushed me to be my best creatively. I knew from the first meeting with Denis Handlin and his team that Sony Music was the best place for me and my music and I can’t wait to get started.”

Denis Handlin, chairman & CEO, Australia & New Zealand and President, Asia, Sony Music Entertainment, commented: “I have been following Illy’s career from the very beginning and I am now thrilled that he has joined the Sony Music family. Illy has continued to evolve as an incredibly talented, compelling and authentic artist, who always reinvents and challenges himself so that he is constantly pushing boundaries with his music. We are very excited to be working with him in the next phase of his cutting edge career.”

Nick Yates, Illy’s manager at UNIFIED Music Group, commented: “We’re very excited to further develop our relationship with Denis Handlin and the team at Sony Music, with one of our longest-standing clients in Illy. Their dedication and passion for his music has already shone through and we look forward to celebrating many more great achievements together.”

 Photo: L-R back row: Paul Harris, Senior Director, A&R; Jaddan Comerford, CEO & Founder, UNIFIED Music Group; Nick Yates, Manager, UNIFIED Music Group; Pat Handlin, VP A&R Australia & New Zealand.

L-R front row: Denis Handlin, Chairman & CEO, Australia & New Zealand and President, Asia with Illy

Holland America Line to sponsor BBC’s Blue Planet II Live

International cruise company Holland America Line has been confirmed as a Gold Sponsor for Blue Planet II Live in Concert, hosted by UK superstar Joanna Lumley in Australia next March.

Using footage from the BAFTA Award-winning BBC Studios Natural History television series Blue Planet II, presented by Sir David Attenborough, Blue Planet II Live in Concert will bring the wonders and mysteries of the planet’s oceans and its inhabitants to the stage. Narrated by the iconic Joanna Lumley in her first Australian stage appearance and accompanied by the original immersive music score by Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea and David Fleming, the concert will be performed live by Australia’s finest symphony orchestras.

The sponsorship package will see Holland America Line integrated across the entire marketing campaign for the tour and strengthens Holland America Line’s existing fleet-wide partnership with BBC Earth, which launched in 2017.

The Blue Planet II Live in Concert partnership was brokered by Chantal Bindley, head of Live Entertainment at BBC Studios ANZ, and Brendan Wall, marketing manager for Holland America Line, Australia.

Blue Planet II Live in Concert will tour Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in March 2019 and is produced by BBC Studios and Andrew Kay & Associates. Tickets will be on sale from October 15, 2018 via


How local television producers fight the Netflix streaming tsunami

Chris Oliver-Taylor, new chief executive of production company FremantleMedia Australia & New Zealand, says streamers are at their best when they partner with local production houses and broadcasters, reports The Australian’s Justin Burke.

FremantleMedia produces the long-running prison drama Wentworth, which screens locally on Foxtel but which streams internationally on Netflix.

By far the most enthusiastic participant in the Netflix co-productions has been ABC, with Glitch, The Letdown, New Legends of Monkey and the upcoming Pine Gap (premiering on Sunday). Netflix has completed only one other local co-production, the animated series Beat Bugs with Seven.

Marshall Heald, the director of TV and online content at SBS, says that the multicultural broadcaster has had great success with creating limited series for the Australian market and gaining international distribution with streamers. “To date we have been commissioning predominantly in the four x 1hr miniseries format. That’s a model that was traditionally a harder sell in terms of international distribution, but the market has certainly evolved,” he says.

Others are not so sanguine about dealing with the international streamers. “Netflix and Amazon love taking all the rights from producers. It leaves no potential earning down the track and we are reduced to ‘fee for service’,” says veteran producer Nick Murray from Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder.

[Read the original]

The Block: Thousands squash into St Kilda for glimpse at The Gatwick

The Block superfans have choked St Kilda streets surrounding the former Gatwick hotel on Sunday, some waiting for days for their chance to inspect the renovated apartments, reports Domain’s Jim Malo.

Rachel Delahunty could be one of the most committed fans yet – she sat in Loch Street from 5am Friday and this is the ninth year in a row she has lined up for days to see the properties renovated on the show.

The show is in its 14th season, and feverish fans continue to turn up in their thousands to see what the contestants have spent months creating.

[Read the original]

Gogglebox favourites Wayne & Tom departing after this season

Gogglebox favourites Tom Walsh and Wayne Mott plan to exit the hit series at the end of this season, reports TV Tonight.

Tom Walsh told JOY podcast Word for Word he didn’t plan on continuing with the show.

“Tonight I start filming episode seven, and I think I have about three more left,” he said.

“I think we’re out of contract.”

Asked by host, an ex-Big Brother winner Benjamin Norris, if he might stay if the price was right, Walsh said no.

“I’ve had a lot of fun. And I think it’s just time,” he said.

[Read the original]


Delayed start for Eddie and Triple M’s Hot Breakfast in Hawaii

Eddie McGuire started back on air after a week off, on the phone to Triple M Melbourne this morning.

McGuire was in Hawaii on what was the first day back on air after a break following their coverage of Grand Final week. He was on the phone telling listeners a tech glitch meant he, Luke Darcy and Wil Anderson wouldn’t be able to start their Hot Breakfast show until a proper audio link was established.

Meanwhile back in the Melbourne studio, newsreader Seb Costello, footy reporter Tom Browne and Triple M overnight host Tom Bainbridge took the reins. They weren’t needed to step up for long though.

The audio problem was soon sorted though, with McGuire and Darcy on air properly just before 6.30am to host the early morning quiz.

Anderson joined his colleagues after the 7pm news. Even though the footy is over, the show dropped one minor AFL bombshell – Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has taken an extended break of three months in the off season.

Sports Media

Kia backs Nine tennis takeover with sponsorship package

Car giant Kia is the first major sponsor confirmed to be locked in for the Nine Network’s television takeover of tennis’s Australian Open, with the company all but certain to sign on for a deal estimated to be worth up to $3 million a year, reports The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff.

It is understood Kia will become one of Nine’s three main broadcast “partners” for its summer of tennis, with the TV network believed to still be in discussions with a number of other Australian Open sponsors, including banking group ANZ, pasta maker Barilla and vitamin company Blackmores.

The Kia partnership deal will cement what is set to be a massive $100m-plus, five-year commitment by the Korean car giant to the sponsorship of Australia’s grand slam event, and the media coverage that surrounds it.

[Read the original]

Fox Cricket secures The Professor and Gus Worland for summer shows

Just as we thought Professor James Rochford was disappearing from our TV screens for the summer months, Fox Sports has given the mad presenter a new late-night cricket show, reports News Corp’s Phil Rothfield.

The Nightwatchman will be shown on Friday nights after Big Bash games.

The Professor will be joined by a range of cricket’s funniest characters and biggest stars for some harmless fun directed at the players, fans, and every other aspect of the game that they can get their hands on. You can bet we’ll see some sandpaper. The show debuts on December 21.

Fox Sports has also hired Triple M personality Gus Worland to host another new show, Cricket Tragic, which will have a similar theme to Andrew Voss’s The Fan during the NRL season.

He’ll cover everything from old one-Test wonders to the legends of grade cricket and the wackiest fans.

[Read the original]

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