Tuesday October 23, 2018

MCN announces key executive appointments and unveils new brand

Multi Channel Network (MCN) has announced four key executive appointments to lead its new organisational structure. The company has also unveiled its new brand, revealing a new people-centric visual identity and philosophy.

The move to reshape MCN comes after Network Ten moves its ad sales in-house. As MCN promotes talent from within, it is losing a number of longtime members of its senior team.

The executive appointments include:

Nick Young, MCN’s National Sales Director has been promoted to Chief Sales Officer, responsible for sales and revenue growth for all MCN divisions: TV, Digital, Mobile, Sport and Digital Out Of Home.

MCN’s Chief Commercial and Corporate Development Officer, Suzie Blinman, will refocus her role to Chief Customer & Commercial Officer to help create more shared value between channel partners and advertisers.

National Digital Sales Director, Nev Hasan, has been appointed to Director of MCN’s new Advanced Advertising Team dedicated to helping advertisers win in the attention economy.

Longtime business leader, Naomi Edney, is Director of the new Centralised Trading Group established to provide a fast and efficient transactional sales service for all MCN assets.

All four roles are based in Sydney and will report directly to CEO, Mark Frain.

MCN has also promoted Lauren Winters to Director of People and Culture and Sammy Lo has been appointed to Director, Technology, Product and Operations heading up the converged tech and product teams across TV and Digital.

Angela Goodsir, Chief Technology Officer, will be departing the business at the end of the calendar year, as will Shae Bonney, MCN’s National Director for Direct and Independent agencies; Paul MacGregor, National Director for Multiply, Marketing and Client Solutions and Melina Augoustakis, Melbourne Sales Director.

Of the new appointments, MCN CEO, Mark Frain, said: “MCN has always been known for pioneering technology platforms and generating powerful ideas. Our new organisational structure, led by these four exceptional media executives and the broader MCN executive team including Ben Sumpter running MCN Melbourne and Kevin Hearn in Brisbane, will ensure we continue to deliver premium advertising experiences.

“Nick, Suzie, Nev and Naomi’s passion and dedication have helped shape MCN into the leading business it is today and their expertise will help us reshape the business to ensure improved efficiency and service to our advertisers and partners. I’m thrilled to have them as part of MCN’s key leadership team as we look to further disrupt the status quo and reset our business.”

MCN’s rebrand, steered by MCN’s new Head of Marketing and Communications, Sarah Tucker, sees the business redefine its behaviours, positioning and visual identity to express a new, people-centric philosophy.

Frain commented: “As we look to the future, we’ve made the decision to put people – whether that be our team, partners or clients – at the heart of MCN. We’ve kicked off our transformation with a customer-centric organisational model and I’m thrilled to now share the next stage of our evolution – a people-focused brand position.

“From the way we look, to the way we talk and service our clients, MCN will be focused on putting people at the centre – so much so, we’ve put the silhouette of a person in our new logo. We’re focused on doing things differently, and we look forward to taking our community along on the journey. Welcome to the new MCN.”

Nick Young – Chief Sales Officer

Young, who commenced at MCN in 2011 to help develop and grow the digital business, will use his experience across both TV and digital sales to lead the new integrated Agency Sales Group, inclusive of the Client Partnership’s Team tasked to deliver deeper, long-term partnerships for agencies’ key clients.

Suzie Blinman – Chief Customer and Commercial Officer

Blinman joined MCN in 2011 as the Commercial and Business Development Director and has been the Chief Corporate and Commercial Officer for the past three years. The newly created senior executive role was established with the objective of driving growth through improved efficiencies, the development of new revenue models and commercial outcomes. As Chief Customer and Commercial Officer, Blinman will use her expertise in strategy and commercial models to support and drive growth for MCN’s channel power brands.

Nev Hasan – Director, Advanced Advertising

A media executive with over 10 years’ experience combining data and creativity for digital media sales, Hasan’s new focus as Director of the Advanced Advertising team will be to drive more effective advertising opportunities in collaboration with agency and channel partners. The division will build new solutions and models that aim to cut through the attention economy.

Naomi Edney – Director, Centralised Trading

Following many years leading MCN’s Dynamic Trading team, Edney is now responsible for MCN’s entire trading function as the business looks to converge TV and Digital sales. Edney’s role will focus on extracting briefs in real time in order to provide the sales group with additional time in market. The engine room for MCN’s sales force, Edney’s team will be aligned with agency portfolios in order to ensure clients’ needs are meet from brief to delivery.

Radio Awards: Network scores, K&J, Ray, Grant and Lee Simon talk

Kyle Sandilands was in a grumpy mood Monday as he explained why he didn’t head to the ACRAs on Saturday as originally planned.

Co-host Jackie Henderson said at the start of their KIIS FM Sydney breakfast show: “We don’t even show up and we get more press than if we were there. I was never going to go.”

“It is one of the world’s worst events,” added Sandilands.

“Isn’t that every award show?” responded Henderson.

Later in the show, Sandilands dumped on the awards again, adding that Commercial Radio Australia wasn’t his favourite organisation either.

“What’s wrong with them?” asked his puzzled co-host.

After more strong of invective from Sandilands, Henderson said: “I hate it when you are like this,” alluding to his grumpy mood.

Sandilands thought about giving the victory speech he would have on Saturday night on the Monday show. He decided not to.

What Kyle and Jackie did do though was give one of their team, Pedro Cuccovillo Vitola, time to make his speech after winning the ACRA for Best Newcomer Off Air. Pedro thanked every one of his colleagues, eventually, and was dragged off air after the background music slowly increased in volume until it drowned him out.

Kyle and Jackie O’s ACRA-winning producer Pedro with show EP Bruno Bouchet

Without the Kyle and Jackie O Show, ARN metro stations would have won only a single ACRA – for the Paul McCartney documentary One-On-One hosted by WSFM’s Amanda Keller.

Five of the 10 ARN ACRAs came from people working on the KIIS FM Sydney breakfast show (although Andy Procopis did win for his work on the KIIS and Gold networks).

Will Kyle Sandilands attend the ACRAs next year? Unlikely. He suggested he might attend in 2019. However, when he was told that would mean a trip to Brisbane, Sandilands said: “I hate going to the Awards when they are in a regional place like that.”

 ACRA winners: Network score sheet

Southern Cross Austereo 30
Nova Entertainment 14
Grant Broadcasting 12
Australian Radio Network 10
ACE Radio Network 10
Macquarie Media 6
Super Radio Network 4
WIN Radio 2
Capital Radio Network 2
Hot Tomato 1
Resonate Broadcasting 1
Andy Wells Media 1

 Grant Denyer’s latest trophy: Best Newcomer On Air

“Winning this award has blown me away,” said 2Day FM’s Grant Denyer after winning his ACRA on Saturday night. It has been a hell of a year for Denyer, who has already won the coveted TV Week Gold Logie.

Asked if he could keep doing radio despite his growing list of Network Ten commitments – Game Of Games and next Dancing With The Stars with Amanda Keller – Denyer told Mediaweek: “Radio I like. TV is very pre-planned and pre-determined. It is a slow-moving beast. Radio is kind of wild and loose, fast and exciting and that becomes addictive pretty quickly.

“While I don’t feel I’m very good at it just yet, there’s no way I want to stop. It is an adrenalin rush that is pretty hard to match.”

Denyer said he and his 2Day breakfast co-host Ed Kavalee don’t yet know what will be happening with their show in 2019. He wants to be involved though.

“It’s not only bloody good fun, but it makes me a lot better TV presenter as well. It has improved my television presenting out of sight.”

Denyer said the chance to work with Ed Kavalee was one of the reasons he joined the breakfast show.

Kavalee said the two have a great time on air. “We love each other,” Kavalee told Mediaweek. “Grant has come into radio and it couldn’t be more different from television. The show at 8am can be completely different from what we thought it would be at 6am.”

 Hall of famer: Lee Simon signs off from radio with ultimate accolade

Some of the warmest applause, including two standing ovations, was heard for departing Triple M announcer-turned-programmer-turned-producer Lee Simon, who was named 2018’s Hall Of Fame inductee.

“My career was started by absolute chance,” he told the audience as he started his eight-minute (“I’ll try to keep it tight”) speech.

“In 1971 I started working full-time for the ANZ Bank. One day in the city I was walking past 3AW and saw a sign for 3AW Radio School. I signed up for a 12-week course Tuesday and Thursday nights and halfway through Wayne Brown from 3AW took me aside and told me a job had come up for a panel operator. I didn’t have time to think about it because the job started the next Monday. So I said yes.”

Simon told how he quit the next day, then started at 3AW at 5.30am as panel operator for Peter James in 1971. It didn’t go well initially, but Simon survived.

“I ended up in Bega later that year after jagging a job up there. There was no music director and no music format. We did just whatever we wanted.

“I apologise to everybody in Bega for the bombastic British rock I played for the duration.”

Simon said the Bega playlist while he was on air there consisted of people like King Crimson and Uriah Heap.

He later return to Melbourne, working at 3DB and then in Hobart at “the wonderfully named” Boss Radio 7HT.

The radio great Holger Brockmann (aka Bill Drake) heard Simon on air and told him there was a job going at 2NX in Newcastle. “I didn’t have to think about that – 2NX at the time was part of the Digimay Group. It was a programming consultancy run by Rod Muir and they had glued together 4IP, 2MN, 2NX, 2SM, 3XY and I’m pretty sure 5AD in Adelaide too.

“There I was living the dream at 2NX. Rod Muir was king and he wore the crown.”

He soon moved to 2SM and then to his favourite radio station and the one he really wanted to work for – 3XY.

“A little TV show then came along. When I didn’t think my career could get any better, it did. At the end of the 70s I worked as program director for EON FM, building a radio station from scratch.

“I won’t go through the next 38 years because we don’t have the time. The story of Triple M is very well known – EON FM became Triple M.”

Simon was careful about not forgetting people during from thank-you list, but the ones he remembered included 3AW’s Wayne Brown, Rod Muir, Trevor Smith, Mike Webb, Garvin Rutherford, John Brennan, Mike Drayson, Dick Hemmings, Stan Rolfe for the Digimay years.

Simon thanked Michael Gudinski and Andrew McVitty for TV show Nightmoves. “It was the same as my day job, but with a few cameras.”

He mentioned he had been lucky to work with thousands of talented people during the Triple M years. Amongst his Triple M colleagues he mentioned Geoff Campbell, Bill Armstrong, Glenn Wheatley, Clive Simpson, Rod Muir, Trevor Smith, Ian Grace, John Kirby, Barry Chapman, Grant Blackley, Mike Fitzpatrick and Guy Dobson.

His final two acknowledgements were for longtime Southern Cross Austereo board member Peter Harvie and then a tribute to his mum and dad who supported him, his children and his wife Jan.

“Tonight is my official retirement and that is it from me. I walk away from this industry knowing it is in the best of hands.”

 Ray Hadley: Another award and another (much shorter) speech

The best on-air team for an AM station went to 2GB’s weekend warriors The Continuous Call Team. Accepting the award was the man who launched the show, 2GB’s Ray Hadley.

Ray Hadley

Hadley noted the show has been going for 31 years.

During his acknowledgements, Hadley mentioned the hard work by the women newsreaders in the 2GB newsroom, singling out ACRA winner Erin Maher and colleague Amie Meehan, who was earlier this year diagnosed with breast cancer. Hadley said she didn’t take much time off work during her treatment and had just recently been given the all clear.

He also paid tribute to Erin Molan, who joined the Continuous Call Team last year as the first female member, winning the ACRA for Best Newcomer in 2017. “She remains a very important part of the team,” Hadley told Mediaweek.

The multi-ACRA winning announcer said he’s faced a number of challenges this year away from the microphone. “I have to confront those challenges and they are still a concern.”

One of those challenges was helping his policeman son after he was arrested on drug charges earlier this year.

“My son is in recovery and hopefully he’ll make a full recovery, which could be a long time off. It has been tough. The fact that he was plastered all over the front of the newspaper, for a story that would normally be well inside, was difficult for him because he was my son. He is going okay. He is under treatment and he will continue that treatment for a fair while.”

Hadley was also at odds with Macquarie Media management after they accepted advertising from Clive Palmer for his reborn political party that filled much of the airtime on Hadley’s show.

“It’s not a matter of Clive Palmer advertising on the network. It’s a matter of him taking an ad in every break. He did it for a deliberate reason – to try to aggravate me – and he succeeded. It’s not good radio – it doesn’t work for him, for us or our listeners.”

Hadley said he was still enjoying the work. “The day I stop enjoying it is the day I give it up.”

With the weekend’s Wentworth by-election result, Hadley said there will be plenty of content. “It was fairly predictable. It will be a very testing period between now and the next federal election.”

Top Photo: Grant Denyer with Ed Kavalee

Planet Broadcasting: No longer just a podcasting network

Within a year of its launch, Australian business Planet Broadcasting has expanded itself beyond being a podcasting network. It now has creators on its slate who produce audio and video content.

By Kruti Joshi

Within a year of its launch, Australian business Planet Broadcasting has expanded itself beyond being a podcasting network. It now has creators on its slate who produce audio and video content.

Two schoolteachers, James Clement and Claire Tonti, gave up their full-time jobs to launch Planet Broadcasting in 2017.

Tonti, who is a co-founder and CEO of Planet Broadcasting, described the business to Mediaweek as a “digital network”.

“We are not pigeonholing ourselves into one category,” Tonti said.

Some of the popular podcast series and YouTube channels in the network include Mr Sunday Movies, The Weekly Planet, TOFOP and Aunty Donna.

YouTube channels such as Mr Sunday Movies and The Weekly Planet have substantial followings on the platform. Therefore, the revenue is a key part of Planet Broadcasting’s business model.

The expansion of the network to include video content made sense, because “some of our podcasters are using YouTube too so there is a crossover”, Tonti said.

Planet Broadcasting recently entered into a partnership with Triton Digital to monetise podcasts. This marks a big change in the company’s advertising strategy.

Tonti explained: “We have changed our strategy when it comes to advertising. Initially we were partnering with other companies to tap into their advertising expertise. I was also running a lot of it by myself.

“We are using Triton Digital to dynamically insert advertising, but there is still the option of having a host read ads. The listener probably wouldn’t even realise that we have changed over to Triton but from our perspective, it’s made everything so much easier such as controlling inventory and seeing what we have available.

“At the moment in the media landscape and online, so much advertising is automated… we don’t want to flatten our offering by having cheap ads that are harsh on the ear.”

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


Sports radio SEN returns to Adelaide, local hero hosting breakfast

Pacific Star Network is continuing its aggressive expansion with the launch of a new 24/7 dedicated sport content radio station, SEN SA, following the recent acquisition of the South Australian 1629AM narrowcast radio licence by its wholly owned subsidiary Crocmedia.

The launch of SEN SA sees the brand return to Adelaide after it initially launched way back in 2005 at SEN 1323 before closing not long after. That frequency is now used by ARN’s Adelaide music station Cruise 1323.

Pacific Star Network CEO and managing director Craig Hutchison said yesterday 1629 SEN SA will kick off with the first Test match of the cricket season at Adelaide Oval on December 6, 2018.

Other programming will include a local breakfast, afternoon and drive show, exclusive coverage of all 59 Big Bash League matches and syndicated sport talk shows from the company’s other radio assets. Hosting the local breakfast show will be former Port Adelaide star Kane Cornes while there is no detail of the local drive show yet. Malcolm Blight already hosts an early evening sports show for Crocmedia which is heard in Adelaide on Nova Entertainment’s Fiveaa. Kornes will be leaving that show which he currently co-hosts with Blight.

Kane Cornes

SEN will broadcast its Melbourne-based morning show with Gerard Whateley and the afternoon show with Andy Maher on the new Adelaide frequency.

Hutchy said yesterday: “South Australia is a parochial state and 1629 SEN SA will deliver thousands of hours of local content each year across all sports. That’s content made in Adelaide for South Australians.

“It will also, however, provide national content and leverage the broader business rights and content portfolio. Put simply it provides the best of both worlds.

“South Australia already provides 10% of SEN Melbourne’s online audience and around 40,000 South Australians are already 1116 SEN listeners remotely.”

Pacific Star paid cash for the Adelaide licence but did not disclose the amount, which it claimed was “not material to the company”.

CBS acquires format rights for Working Dog’s HYBPA?

CBS Studios International has today announced an agreement with Working Dog Productions for the exclusive, worldwide format rights to the award-winning comedy quiz show Have You Been Paying Attention? (HYBPA?)

Now in its sixth season, HYBPA? is broadcast on the CBS-owned Network Ten in Australia and is the #1 quiz show and the third-highest-rated overall show on the network in 2018, after MasterChef Australia and The Bachelor Australia. Using the format of a quiz show, each week the host asks five well-known and well-informed guests, made up of comedians, radio presenters and TV stars, questions about the news of the week.

HYBPA? has celebrated audience growth year after year since it launched on Network Ten in 2013. The show is #1 in its primetime slot in total people and the 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54 demographics. The 2018 season is having its biggest audience ever since premiering, 148% higher than the first series.

HYBPA? joins CBS’s portfolio of the biggest formats on television; from Wheel Of Fortune to America’s Next Top Model,” said Paul Gilbert, Senior Vice President, International Formats, CBS Studios International. “This agreement is a terrific example of the new synergies we have in Australia since acquiring Network Ten, and we look forward to partnering with the team at Working Dog Productions to make HYBPA? a global success.”

“We are proud and delighted to bring the show we love to the rest of the world,” said Michael Hirsh, Executive Producer, Working Dog Productions. “We’re grateful to CBS for the opportunity to share what has become the one Aussie show families bookmark to watch together every week.”

Network Ten’s chief content officer Beverley McGarvey said: “We love bringing Have You Been Paying Attention? to Australians every week. The show has continued to get bigger each year since it debuted on Ten in 2013, with this current season being the most successful to date. It’s fantastic that Working Dog and CBS will now be able to bring this much-loved Australian format to a broader audience.”

Francis Leach joins The New Daily as sports editor

Broadcaster Francis Leach has joined online publisher The New Daily as sports editor.

“Let’s face it, sport these days is big business. I’m interested in connecting and contextualising sport with the big issues we face as a society, including economics, politics, gender equality and the environment,” said Leach.

“I want sports fans to understand it’s all connected.”

Leach has been a significant presence on the ABC since starting at triple j in 1989. He has also hosted ABC Grandstand, presented on ABC News Radio, and is still a regular on ABC TV’s Offsiders. Along with this he is a guest presenter on Double J.

Outside the ABC, Leach has hosted programs on 1116SEN radio for several years, created and curated The Sports Writers Festival since 2015, and covered the 2018 FIFA World Cup from Russia for TV, radio and podcasts.

Paul Hamra, managing director and publisher of The New Daily, said Leach’s appointment is a coup: “Francis has a depth of experience, insight and peripheral understanding that is hard to find in sports journalism. We are thrilled he’s coming on board to challenge our readers to think differently about the sports they love.

For his part, Leach said The New Daily is a natural fit: “I’ve read The New Daily since its inception. I love the content and it’s a strong platform for people who want to be informed through both news and analysis. It’s game-on from my end.”

Leach starts at The New Daily today.

Top Gear reveals Australian Ninja Warrior star one of its new hosts

Following Matt LeBlanc’s announcement that he will leave the BBC motoring program after the next series, Top Gear has announced a new-look lineup of hosts who are promising to cause comedic car chaos and take the world’s biggest motoring entertainment show to another level.

Lancashire lads Paddy McGuinness, the UK primetime entertainment host and comedian, and former Ashes-winning England cricketer and TV presenter Freddie Flintoff will join motoring journalist and racing-driver Chris Harris in what the BBC is calling one of television’s most explosive combinations of entertainment firepower and petrolhead fumes. And the all-British team were officially unveiled at a photocall on the banks of the River Thames in central London, flanked by a red Aston Martin DSB Superleggera and a blue Porsche 911 GT2RS.

Flintoff’s busy media career includes time spent in Sydney as part of Nine’s series Australian Ninja Warrior. A Nine spokesperson told Mediaweek that Flintoff will be remaining with Ninja Warrior. The show will be filming its 2019 series soon from a new location in bayside Melbourne.

The new Top Gear trio will begin production on Series 27 of the BBC Two show in early 2019 – with their inaugural series premiering later in the year.

Rory Reid, who has co-presented Top Gear since series 23, will step down from the main presenting lineup but will remain part of the Top Gear family, along with Sabine Schmitz. He will continue to be the face of Top Gear’s companion Extra Gear and will be at the heart of what will become a bigger digital presence for the show.

Paddy McGuinness commented: “Getting the Top Gear gig is a real honour and I’m thrilled the BBC has given me this opportunity. To be hosting a show I’ve watched and loved from being a small boy is beyond exciting. Top Gear fans worldwide are a passionate bunch and I consider myself one of them. Now let’s start up this great British machine and see what it can do!”

Freddie Flintoff added: “It’s not often you have the chance to do both of your dream jobs, but I’m now lucky enough to say I will have. I’ve always been passionate about cars and I’m so excited to be joining the Top Gear team.”

Chris Harris says: “I think you can tell just how much fun we’re going to have making Top Gear with Paddy and Freddie. They’re both brilliant, natural entertainers – and their mischief mixed with the most exciting cars on the planet is sure to take the show to the next level. My dream job just got even better.”

The next series of Top Gear, LeBlanc’s last as lead host, will screen early in 2019 on BBC Knowledge in Australia, before the new hosts’ premiere series 27 later in the year.

Val Morgan Group acquires health media business Collective Media

Val Morgan Group has announced further growth for Val Morgan Outdoor with the acquisition of Collective Media.

The group brings the Anytime Fitness network into the portfolio of health clubs represented by VMO, which includes Fitness First, Good Life and Fernwood Fitness.

Val Morgan Group CEO Daniel Hill said: “Collective Media is another marquee piece in a key growth category in Australia. People are spending more time and money in the health and fitness industry and our most recent research tells us that health club advertising is the least avoided of all out-of-home formats. It is logical for us to grow this vertical and as a business we are providing opportunities for advertisers to deliver contextually relevant content in brand safe environments.”

Anthony Deeble, chief commercial officer of Val Morgan’s parent company Hoyts Group, said: “The acquisition of Collective Media is a key part of the VMO strategy to grow its location based digital advertising network. It further bolsters the impressive growth of its health club circuit following the addition earlier in the year of Fernwood Fitness to the group.”

The addition of Anytime Fitness sees the VMO market share in health club advertising rise to 80% across Australia. Collectively, the VMO Active network now reaches over 1.1 million highly desirable consumers in nearly 700 clubs.

Collective Wellness Group chairman Justin McDonell said: “We are excited by the expertise, resources and innovative ideas Val Morgan Outdoor will bring to the table, and we are confident they will provide an enhanced experience to the Anytime Fitness network.”

VMO will represent Anytime Fitness effective immediately with former Collective Media CEO Andrew Sneddon joining the organisation as GM – VMO Active.

Sneddon’s role will have a key focus on driving commercial growth within the Active vertical.

On Demand TV: Halloween action – Hill House & Horror Story #1

With Halloween just days to go, horror fans have taken over the On Demand TV charts as measured by Parrot Analytics across the Australian and New Zealand markets.

Both the Digital Originals and Overall TV chart leaders from last week have been scared from their #1 positions.

On the Digital Originals charts, the new Netflix horror series The Haunting Of Hill House dropped just over a week ago and has shot straight to #1 in Australia and New Zealand. Last week’s leader Big Mouth has dropped lower in both markets, yet remains in the top 10.

On the Overall TV charts, American Horror Story has returned to top spot in both markets after hovering in the top 10 for some time including previous weeks on top in both countries.

Social Content TV ratings: Supercars and The Block top the charts

The sports Social Content Ratings as measured by Nielsen see the Gold Coast 600 round of the Supercars series, broadcast on Fox Sports and Network Ten, top the chart.

Not too far behind was another Rugby League international, broadcast on Fox League and Nine, with a better score line for the Kangaroos.

The first weekend of the A-League, broadcast on Fox Sports and Ten’s digital channel ONE, also made the top five.

In the non-sport rankings, The Block took the top two spots for its episodes broadcast on Wednesday and Sunday last week. Also making the top five was the Thursday episode of The Bachelorette.

Box Office: A Star is Born soars in first week

With the school holidays officially over, the Australian box office has begun to correct itself with a 16% decrease from last weekend bringing in a total of $12.79m.

By Trent Thomas

Despite the decline in overall revenue, A Star is Born enjoyed a big opening weekend as it grabbed top spot off the back of the star power of Bradley Cooper and Lady GaGa.

There was only one other change to the top five this week as Ladies in Black rejoined the top money makers, taking the spot of Johnny English Strikes Again, which slid down to sixth. Holiday favourite Smallfoot dropped from #3 to seventh spot.

#1 A Star is Born $6.01m


The fourth version of the 1937 film of the same name was well received by Australian audiences, generating more than triple the revenue of any other film this weekend, thanks to a $11,209 average across 537 screens.

#2 Venom $1.95


Despite almost breaking the two million mark in its third week in cinemas, Sony’s Marvel film found itself in second spot this week after producing an average of $4,606 through 424 screens. The Tom Hardy vehicle has amassed a strong overall total of $18.82 million in Australian cinemas.

#3 First Man $1.11m


The Neil Armstrong biopic slipped to third in its second week in cinemas after a 52% decline in revenue, producing an average of $3,264 on 342 screens.

#4 Bad Times at the El Royale $600,411


The star-studded neo-noir thriller stayed in fourth spot after a 51% decline on the previous weekend, bringing home an average of $2,512 on 239 screens.

#5 Ladies in Black $537,787


After five weeks in cinemas the Australian comedy drama found itself back in the top five after spending the previous week at #6. With an average of $1,669 across 321 screens, it cracked the ten million dollar mark with its Australian box office total.

Jess Eva and Norm Hogan
TV Ratings Analysis: October 22

• Penultimate episode of The Block wins as Nine rules Monday
• Jane Kennedy lifts audience for Have You Been Paying Attention?

By James Manning


Home And Away started very quietly with a Monday audience of 629,000 after a week 42 average of 592,000.

The ob doc hour started with Emergency Call on 557,000 and then lifted slightly to 567,000 for Border Security.

Rebecca Gibney’s crime caper Wanted followed with another double episode – 450,000 for the first and then 379,000 for the second. The episodes last week did 455,000 and 396,000. The drama’s episodes last week topped the Monday consolidated ratings with both episodes adding over 100,000 viewers in the following week.


Tracy Grimshaw was on assignment for A Current Affair with Leila McKinnon guest hosting. The show started its new week on 769,000 after a week 42 average of 715,000.

The last Monday episode of The Block, and the penultimate episode this season, did 945,000. That’s a strong number given it was largely an open for inspection episode leading into the auctions.

The FTA premiere of Tom Hanks’s 2016 movie Sully then did 452,000.


The Project was again working hard to cross-promote Blind Date with celebrity contestant Casey Donovan recalling her dating experience – or as much as she was allowed to reveal. The Monday episode did 441,000 at 7pm after a week 42 average of 471,000.

Blind Date then dropped from its launch audience of 448,000 to 377,000 last night.

Working Dog managed to lift the audience again, with Jane Kennedy making a welcome return on Have You Been Paying Attention? She and her radio co-host Mick Molloy were wondering yesterday if he had been banned from the soon-to-be international format. Answer – no. He returns next week. The show did 778,000 last night after 769,000 last week.


No Australian Story last night with Invictus Games Today taking the slot for 482,000 viewers.

Four Corners then did 480,000 followed by Media Watch on 489,000.

A strong panel on Q&A, including the much sought-after Dr Kerryn Phelps, did 424,000.


Britain’s Most Historic Towns visited Norwich with 273,000 watching.

Week 43 TV: Monday
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 14.6% 7 18.1% 9 21.4% TEN 12.4% SBS One 5.0%
ABC 2 2.4% 7TWO 3.6% GO! 3.5% ONE 3.5% VICELAND 0.8%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 3.5% GEM 3.1% ELEVEN 1.8% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 1.8% 9Life 1.5%     NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 19.0%   27.0%   29.5%   17.7%   6.8%
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates Ten Affiliates SBS
ABC 13.6% 7 19.0% 9 18.5% WIN 9.2% SBS One 4.2%
ABC 2 2.5% 7TWO 4.5% GO! 4.4% ONE 4.3% VICELAND 0.9%
ABC ME 1.0% 7mate 4.5% GEM 5.3% ELEVEN 2.0% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix 1.1% 9Life 1.7% Sky News  on WIN 0.7% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 18.5%   29.1   29.9%   16.2%   6.3%


86.7% 13.3%


Monday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 961,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 946,000
  3. The Block Nine 945,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 892,000
  5. Nine News Nine 872,000
  6. Have You Been Paying Attention? Ten 778,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 769,000
  8. ABC News ABC 728,000
  9. 7.30 ABC 635,000
  10. Home And Away Seven 629,000
  11. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line Seven 567,000
  12. Emergency Call Seven 557,000
  13. The Chase Australia Seven 554,000
  14. Media Watch ABC 489,000
  15. Invictus Games Today ABC 482,000
  16. Four Corners ABC 480,000
  17. Sully Nine 452,000
  18. Wanted Seven 450,000
  19. Hot Seat Nine 441,000
  20. The Project 7pm Ten 441,000
Demo Top Fives

16-39 Top 5

  1. Have You Been Paying Attention? Ten 271,000
  2. The Block Nine 256,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 128,000
  4. The Project 7pm Ten 118,000
  5. Emergency Call Seven 115,000


18-49 Top 5

  1. The Block Nine 428,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? Ten 417,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 225,000
  4. A Current Affair Nine 210,000
  5. Nine News Nine 203,000


25-54 Top 5

  1. The Block Nine 470,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? Ten 463,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 270,000
  4. A Current Affair Nine 251,000
  5. Nine News Nine 251,000
MONDAY Multichannel
  1. The Big Bang Theory TX2 (R) 9GO! 192,000
  2. The Big Bang Theory TX3 (R) 9GO! 186,000
  3. The Big Bang Theory TX1 9GO! 171,000
  4. Death In Paradise 9Gem 168,000
  5. NCIS E2 (R) ONE 143,000
  6. Doc Martin-PM 7TWO 141,000
  7. Peppa Pig-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  8. Bluey-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  9. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 138,000
  10. Ncis (R) ONE 136,000
  11. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  12. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  13. Dot. ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  14. Andy’s Wild Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  15. The Big Bang Theory 9GO! 130,000
  16. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  17. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  18. Rusty Rivets-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  19. Hey Duggee-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  20. New Tricks 9Gem 127,000
MONDAY Subscription TV
  1. Live: Motorsport: F1: USA Race FOX SPORTS 506 67,000
  2. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 63,000
  3. Mr Inbetween showcase 59,000
  4. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 55,000
  5. Credlin Sky News Live 51,000
  6. The Walking Dead showcase 46,000
  7. Family Guy FOX8 46,000
  8. 24 Hours In Emergency LifeStyle Channel 45,000
  9. The Walking Dead showcase 43,000
  10. Sharri Sky News Live 41,000
  11. The Brokenwood Mysteries 13TH STREET 40,000
  12. NCIS TVH!TS 40,000
  13. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 40,000
  14. The Simpsons FOX8 39,000
  15. PML Overtime Sky News Live 38,000
  16. Family Guy FOX8 36,000
  17. The Simpsons FOX8 35,000
  18. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 35,000
  19. Selling Houses Australia LifeStyle Channel 35,000
  20. Play Along With Sam Nick Jr. 34,000

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

Big payday possible for Michelle Guthrie as she claims compensation

How many cents a day will each Australian taxpayer end up paying for Michelle Guthrie’s golden bungee jump from the ABC? asks The Australian’s Margin Call columnists Will Glasgow and Christine Lacy.

Margin Call reports Guthrie’s closely guarded statement of claim in the Fair Work Commission makes clear that, whatever the additional motivations, her ambitious legal adventure is very much about money.

Indeed, sources close to the ABC familiar with the claim – which was lodged last week – tell us it concerns more than just the remaining two and a half years of her original five-year contract.

A compensation claim for forfeited earnings through to the end of a second term in 2026 could run to almost $8.5m.

[Read the original]

Netflix to increase debt by US$2b to fund programming push

Netflix said Monday it is tacking on an additional US$2 billion in debt so it can continue to make original shows and movies and license content from others as it faces mounting competition from other streamers, including services expected next year from Disney and WarnerMedia, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Netflix finished last quarter with $8.3 billion in long-term debt so the new debt, details of interest and maturity dates still to come, will put the leader in streaming over $10 billion in debt as it still burns cash. In the most recent quarter, it reported a cash-burn of about $1.7 billion.

Netflix said it will use the $2 billion in borrowed money for “content acquisitions, production and development, as well as potential acquisitions, investments and general corporate purposes”.

Netflix has said it will spend $8 billion on content this year, but some analysts expect it to spend as much as $13 billion producing north of six dozen movies and paying for talent like David Letterman, Shonda Rhimes, Chris Rock, Ryan Murphy, Ricky Gervais and others.

[Read the original]

News Brands

Safety Bureau refuses to detail how it tried to muffle newspaper

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has refused to release correspondence about its failed attempt through big-end-of-town lawyers to restrict The Australian’s coverage of claims it used the wrong theory to search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, reports the paper’s Ean Higgins.

The ATSB will not say how much taxpayer money it paid law firm Minter Ellison to prepare and send a letter asking this newspaper to “refrain” from its style of coverage of veteran Canadian air crash investigator Larry Vance’s new book revealing a detailed analysis of wing parts from the Boeing 777 found washed up on islands off Africa.

Days after The Australian ran a series of reports in May on Vance’s findings and their implications, the newspaper received an extensive letter from Minter Ellison partner Andrew Gill, warning of various implied possible adverse actions if the newspaper continued with this coverage.

[Read the original]

Kerry Stokes speaks about James Packer for launch of biography

Media magnate Kerry Stokes said he had to play “scrooge” to shield his friend James Packer from the wrath of Mariah Carey’s entourage when he engineered the cancellation of the 2016 wedding between the pop diva and troubled billionaire, reports The Australian’s John Stensholt.

Speaking in a special presentation to mark the launch of The Price Of Fortune: The Untold Story Of Being James Packer by Damon Kitney, The Australian’s Victorian business editor, Stokes revealed intimate details of the key role he played in stymieing attempts by Carey’s agents and friends to make the wedding happen.

The launch was attended by a star-studded group of business identities and several of James Packer’s closest confidants, including his ex-wife Jodhi Meares, Consolidated Press Holdings executives Mark Arbib and Sam McKay, Crown Resorts chief financial officer Ken Barton and Peter Yates, the former chief executive of Publishing and Broadcasting Limited.

Also in the room were fund manager Geoff Wilson, Village Roadshow boss Graham Burke and Herald & Weekly times chairman Penny Fowler, News Corp Australia executive chairman Michael Miller, new editor-in-chief of The Australian Chris Dore as well as Siobhan McKenna, News Corporation’s group director, broadcasting.

[Read the original]

Your Money exclusive: Damon Kitney interviews Stokes about Packer

Ahead of the launch of The Price of Fortune, Damon Kitney sat down with Stokes to discuss the unlikely but influential role Stokes has come to play for the son of his former rival and namesake Kerry Packer.

In this interview – aired exclusively on Your Money’s TICKY program on Monday – Stokes denied the label of “father figure” and offered intimate details of a relationship that began on skiing trips to Perisher and Colorado in the 80s.

Speaking to Your Money’s Ticky Fullerton, Kitney reflected on the “amazing act of friendship” that Stokes showed Packer in intervening in his business and personal affairs during the depression.

He also echoed Stokes’s sentiments that Packer’s darkest days may well be in the past.

“I think that James is in a much better place [than he was] in March,” Kitney said. “I’m hoping he can come back to where he was.”

[Watch the Your Money interviews here]

Geoffrey Rush claims Daily Telegraph branded him a ‘pervert’

Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush has said a front-page story in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph branding him “King Leer” made him appear as though he was a “criminal” in a “police lineup”, as he sues the newspaper for defamation in the Federal Court, report Fairfax Media’s Michaela Whitbourn & Georgina Mitchell.

The woman was not named in the stories but was later revealed to be Eryn Jean Norvill, who played King Lear’s daughter Cordelia in the production. The court has heard she did not speak to the Telegraph for its stories.

In documents filed in court, Rush’s lawyers say the stories convey a string of defamatory imputations including that he is “a pervert” and “sexual predator” who engaged in “scandalously inappropriate behaviour in the theatre”.

Nationwide News is defending the reports on the basis the allegations are true.

[Read the original]


Breakfast TV gossip: Changing channels – new focus on love interest

Channel 10 Brisbane newsreader Georgina Lewis and her husband Paul O’Brien have reportedly separated, with rumours swirling that he is now dating Channel 7’s Samantha Armytage, reports News Corp’s Kristy Symonds.

According to an article published in Woman’s Day, the prominent Queensland business owner and the Sunrise presenter have been seeing each other for a number of months, with the magazine reporting that a Channel 10 spokesperson confirmed his separation from Lewis.

[Read the original]

Woman’s Day reports: Samantha Armytage’s new love revealed

Tongues were wagging when a smiling Sam Armytage was spotted enjoying an intimate breakfast with a stocky mystery man in the exclusive Crystal Club at Crown Towers in Melbourne on the AFL grand final weekend.

The man she was seen eating with can now be revealed as millionaire Paul O’Brien, a Brisbane-based private jet tycoon who separated from his wife, Ten’s Brisbane newsreader Georgina Lewis, earlier this year.

Woman’s Day can reveal that Samantha Armytage was first seen with Paul earlier this year, when they were photographed together sharing a laugh as they took the TV star’s pet labrador Banjo for a stroll in Sydney’s Bondi Beach, where Sam lives.

“There are good things happening… I don’t talk about anyone before I’m 100% sure, because you have to keep some things private,” Sam told Who magazine, refusing to identify her new boyfriend.

[Read the original]

Seven secures Sydney inner-city building ripe for reality renovation

The unprecedented popularity of lifestyle shows such as House Rules and The Block is driving television production companies to snap up inner-city real estate, report The Australian’s Lisa Allen and Ben Wilmot.

The Seven Network is the latest to buy, choosing an inner-Sydney Beaconsfield warehouse for one of its lifestyle shows such as House Rules or Better Homes & Gardens, whereas The Block opted for Melbourne, buying again in St Kilda.

Seven Network (Operations) was so keen to acquire the two-level warehouse at 12-14 Victoria Street, Beaconsfield, for about $3 million that it snapped up the property before its scheduled auction on September 20.

[Read the original]

Footy Show crumbles: Sam Newman’s own show, Damian Barrett quits

Shane Warne and Sam Newman have plotted the idea of doing a nightly TV show together as D-day approaches for Newman and his employer, Nine Network, reports Jackie Epstein in the Herald Sun.

Warne said the network should re-sign Newman, who has headlined The Footy Show for 25 years and is out of contract at the end of this month.

Newman could go on the market following a meeting scheduled on Thursday with network bosses, reports Epstein.

“Sam is Channel 9. Sam Newman is everything Channel 9. He should have his own show,” Warne said on Monday talking to the paper.

“There is an amazing opportunity for anyone who comes up with the right nightly show.”

Epstein reported names floated for a potential show include Tonight Live with Shane and Sam and Melbourne Live.

The Herald Sun reported Newman and Warne played golf together on Monday at The Metropolitan Golf Club to celebrate one month to go until the World Cup of Golf.

Newman, who said goodbye on-air last month, was philosophical about his TV fate.

“What will be will be,” he told the Herald Sun.

“They have summonsed me. They run their network and company how they want.”

Damian Barret

As Nine decides what to do about its Thursday night football slot, The Footy Show’s AFL newsbreaker Damian Barrett revealed last week he has quit the program.

Barrett, who hosts a weekly podcast The Sounding Board with former boss Craig Hutchison, explained he had quit the program for his dream job, running football coverage online at afl.com.au.

While Barrett will cease to be a salaried employee at Crocmedia, he will continue The Sounding Board podcast and is expected to remain part of Triple M’s AFL team. He also indicated he hoped to continue working with Nine where he is a contributor on The Sunday Footy Show.

Another continuing link with Crocmedia will see the group managing his career.

Barrett is spending a week with Hutchison in New York as part of an annual ritual where they watch as much NFL as possible in their favourite New York bars.

TV Tonight meets the voice of Lifestyle & TEN’s Gogglebox

When Jo Van Es first auditioned for a narration role on a new show about people watching television, she wasn’t especially hopeful of landing the gig, and at best thought it would be a short-run contract, reports TV Tonight.

Eight seasons later she is now an integral part of Gogglebox’s success, giving it a flavour without ever being seen.

“It was just one of those auditions that don’t end up as anything. As voiceover artists we do a lot of auditions,” she tells TV Tonight.

Van Es has a been a full-time voice over artist for 16 years and is now one of the busiest (she is also the voice behind ABC promos).

Her Gogglebox week begins with recordings on Tuesday afternoons, lasting about an hour. Sessions occasionally, but not always, include footage of the cast for added script context.

[Read the original]

Sports Media

Fox Sports Live streaming on Echo after simple Alexa voice command

Australian sports fans can now tune into Fox Sports News live on their Amazon Echo device.

Alexa users are now able to add the new Fox Sports Alexa skill to their daily routine by asking “Alexa, play the Fox Sports live stream.”

The Fox Sports Skill will deliver sports fans a live stream of Fox Sports News on their Echo device with no subscription necessary.

Customers can watch the Fox Sports Alexa skill on the Echo Spot and the all-new Echo Show or listen to the live stream on any Amazon Echo device.

Fox Sports head of digital Brad Schultz said:

“We’re excited to be able to extend our news coverage to smart speakers, meaning sports fans can get their sports news anytime, anywhere, just by asking.

“At Fox Sports innovation is at our core and we’re always looking for new ways to get fans closer to their favourite sports.”

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