Wednesday October 31, 2018

Armando Nuñez to lead new CBS Global Distribution Group

As he arrives in Sydney this week for the Network Ten 2019 Upfront, Armando Nuñez (pictured) has been promoted to president and chief executive officer for the CBS Global Distribution Group and chief content licensing officer for the CBS Corporation.

The announcement was made by Joe Ianniello, president and acting chief executive officer, CBS Corporation.

The newly created position, reporting to Ianniello, streamlines CBS’s content licensing, domestic syndication and international distribution in one division under Nuñez.

“CBS is a global premium content company. This reorganisation establishes a focused structure for content monetisation of our shows across all platforms, both domestically and internationally, under an accomplished worldwide distribution leader,” said Ianniello. “Armando is a best-in-class executive with strong client relationships on every continent and an impressive track record for creating business opportunities and distribution strategies that maximise revenue for CBS programming.”

In his new role, Nuñez will assume oversight of the company’s content licensing to domestic and international distribution partners across all platforms: cable, broadcast television and on-demand services.

He will be responsible for a growing portfolio of CBS-owned original content that airs on the CBS Television Network, The CW, CBS All Access, Showtime and non-CBS platforms, as well as a library of more than 10,000 episodes of programming.

Ten’s Paul Anderson and Beverley McGarvey with CBS’s Amando Nūnez
Photo: CBS Studios Inc / Jeff Katz Photography

Nuñez will also continue as head of CBS Studios International, whose varied businesses include worldwide distribution and format sales for content from all CBS Corporation programming areas. The division also manages 11 channel ventures covering 109 territories, the company’s ownership of Network Ten in Australia, international co-productions and local content production, and coordinates with CBS Interactive to support the Company’s global rollout of CBS All Access.

In addition, Nunez will also re-assume leadership of CBS Television Distribution, which produces and distributes seven of the top 10 first-run shows in syndication, including industry-leading franchises such as Entertainment Tonight, Dr. Phil, Inside Edition, Rachael Ray, Wheel Of Fortune, Jeopardy! and Judge Judy.

Previously, Nuñez led a combined CBS domestic syndication and international distribution group from 2012-2016. For the past two years, he has focused on CBS’s expanding international business.

Nuñez has led CBS’s international operations since joining the company in 1999 as president, CBS Broadcast International. In January 2000, following the merger of CBS Television and King World Productions, he assumed the role of president, CBS Broadcast International and executive vice president, CBS Enterprises. He was named president, CBS Studios International (formerly CBS Paramount International Television) in August 2004, following the merger of CBS Broadcast International and Paramount International Television.

Seven Allfronts: Angus Ross on programming strategy, deals and drama

Although Seven, along with Nine and TEN, is focused on big reality formats at 7.30pm daily, Seven has a lot of drama in the schedule – both imported and domestic.

By James Manning

Seven and its competition have been busy to find another US drama with the attraction that the first season of The Good Doctor had.

Seven’s director of network programming Angus Ross told Mediaweek: “Everyone’s seen an uptick in interest in that genre.

“We’ve certainly been very happy with how 9-1-1 has tracked this year. It’s actually growing its audience in the back part of this year. It’s a strong overnight performer, it’s a strong seven and 28-day performer and it’s extremely strong in the 7plus BVOD space.”

The days of acquiring international content by output deals are gone, but networks are not averse to what are labelled “volume agreements”. Seven has those deals with Fox and ITV. Otherwise they buy programming on the open market.

Seven’s Angus Ross on stage at the Allfronts event with host Julia Zemiro (left), head of drama Julie McGauran and programmer Brook Hall

One of the Seven local dramas to attract attention at the Allfronts was the John Edwards-produced Australian Gangster. Dramas are now short-run series, with Australian Gangster a miniseries screening over just two nights. Seven will promote it during the cricket next year and it is expected to screen early in 2019.

Seven invested in a lot of new content for its 2018 back half of the year, with Ross admitting it didn’t all find the audience hoped for.

“We have certainly improved year-on-year and that’s what we said we’d do. We certainly lifted our performance, a very, very strong performance, going far deeper into the back half. There were a couple of shows that didn’t perform to expectations. We go back to the drawing board on those, but we are the only network that has lifted share in the back half of the year.”

Underpinning Seven’s performance is its early evening with The Chase, Seven News and then Home And Away. And don’t forget the dominant multichannels, said Ross.

“At the end of the year, we are still going to have the highest all people share ever for a network and we are going to win all key demographics and that excludes the Commonwealth Games.

Even with the odd stumble, we’ve still ended up in a very, very solid position.”

Ross is in no doubt that coming late to market with another food channel will not hinder the success of 7Food Network.

“A lot of the Food Network content we’re using has not been exploited in this marketplace… or not been exploited well, and those other food channels do not have the power of the Seven Network behind them.

“You are going to see us produce a number of shows specifically for that network. They’ll be produced by Seven Studios and we’ve also got a lot of content on the shelf that we just haven’t had the right environment to use.

“We’ve got a number of overseas series, like other My Kitchen Rules, that are excellent that, for various reasons, we haven’t felt we had the right environment to run.”

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: Angus Ross (left) with Seven network sales director Natalie Harvey and chief digital officer Clive Dickens

Seven Allfronts: Clive Dickens on, spectrum and 8K

The announcement at the Seven Allfronts that will have the biggest impact on its audience is the launch of

By James Manning

Seven News online currently remains part of the soon-to-be-rebranded Yahoo business. Seven will split from that soon and then will emerge early in 2019.

When it comes to TV news online, has set the pace. However, Seven’s chief digital officer Clive Dickens told Mediaweek they feel they will have a much better product in market soon.

“Seven News, on broadcast, leads Nine. 7Plus now leads 9Now, as of last week, for the first time. And Seven News will lead Nine.”

Dickens clarified that they won’t just lead 9News, 7News will be #1.

He also added: “We’re going to be bigger than six months after launch.”

While Seven hasn’t put a figure on new hires, Dickens said they are adding staff and Seven’s director of news and public affairs Craig McPherson will soon have hundreds of journalists employed around the world.

“Our point of difference will be the unbelievable access to video content we have from the field,” said Dickens. Seven has teams in the US and UK and a massive operation in Perth too where the newspapers and TV work in cooperation. He also noted the editorial strength of brands inside Pacific Magazines.

When it comes to sport, Seven doesn’t have digital rights for its cricket, but Dickens is more excited about the next Olympics, now less than two years away.

“The thing about Tokyo, the thing about Commonwealth Games, the Winter Olympics, you can give people a choice online. Online works best when you really get choice. A choice of a camera angle is not really a choice.

“I want to be able to choose whether I watch swimming in Olympic swimming, or some of the athletes. I want to be able to watch what I want to watch effectively, figure skating or snowboarding. With cricket, it’s just one game on at a time.”

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

Behind the making of Nine’s Family Food Fight

Following the end of 2018 season of The Block, the next reality format off the ranks at Nine is Family Food Fight. The show, produced by Endemol Shine Australia, is in its second season.

By Kruti Joshi

The first season disappointed in ratings, however, Nine placed its faith in the format and renewed it for a second season in December 2017. Telefe in Argentina and ABC in America have since picked up the program.

The executive producer for the second season of Family Food Fight in Australia is Keely Sonntagm. She told Mediaweek that the format was reviewed and changes have been made for the second season.

“Cooking shows are not a new reality genre, there have been cooking shows around for a long time. We have carved out our own unique space this year with our real focus on families and diversity,” Sonntagm said. “This is not just in terms of cultural backgrounds, but also dietary. There is a vegan family on the show this year too.

“Family Food Fight is about family relationships … There are things that you do and say with a family that you can’t in any other relationship. That is something that we are really hooked on to and it sets us apart.”

The key change to the format is that instead of having families of four cooking in the kitchen, there are are only two members of a family participating. Instead of six families like in season one, the 2018 season of Family Food Fight will have eight teams cooking it out in the kitchen to win the ultimate prize of $100,000.

Speaking about this change, Sonntagm explained: “Having four people in the kitchen means that there is a lot of food that gets produced, so there were a lot of feasts last year. For this reason, we thought it was hard for people at home to hone in on specific dishes. We wanted to streamline that process. Therefore, we have less dishes than last year, but still a lot of incredible food.”

Chefs Matt Moran and Anna Polyviou, along side English food writer Tom Parker Bowles return to the show as judges. “They have a really great rapport with one another. They are a fantastic foodie bunch to work with,” Sonntagm said.

Former MasterChef contestant and judge from season one of Hayden Quinn will not returning to the second season.

Talking about the scheduling of the program in the back end of the year, Sonntagm said, it provides the audience with a good break from other cooking reality formats on FTA TV.

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

ABC and Sky co-pro from Guesswork/Merman to star Sarah Kendall

Award-winning Australian comedian Sarah Kendall is to star in the new comedy/drama Frayed, a co-commission between ABC and Sky (UK). The 6 x 45’ comedy is the first scripted collaboration between the two broadcasters and is now filming in Newcastle (NSW), Sydney, and London.

Set in 1989, Frayed follows the journey of Sammy Cooper (Sarah Kendall), a fabulously wealthy London housewife who is forced to return to the town in Australia she grew up in. In coming home, Sammy must revisit her past and the events that led her to flee as a teenager years ago.

Sarah Kendall, who stars and created the series, said: “I just wanted to visit my family in Newcastle but I ended up shooting a six-part comedy here for the ABC and Sky. I’m incredibly excited to be given this opportunity. And I also love free flights.”

Sky’s head of comedy Jon Mountague said: “We can all relate in some way to complex family drama, which is at the heart of this ingeniously written comedy. Sarah Kendall is an exceptional lead and I’m excited to add Frayed to Sky’s lineup of original British comedy in 2019.”

ABC head of comedy Rick Kalowski said: “Frayed is among the funniest, but also most moving, pieces I’ve ever had the pleasure to work on. I’d been a fan of Sarah Kendall’s stand-up for years and am delighted to be collaborating with Sky, Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford’s Merman, and Kevin Whyte’s Guesswork to bring Frayed to Australian and worldwide audiences next year.”

Frayed is created and written by star Kendall and produced by Merman Television (Motherland/BBC, There She Goes/BBC, Women on the Verge/UKTV, Catastrophe C4/Amazon), the production company founded and run by award-winning duo Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford, in association with Australia’s Guesswork Television (ABC’s Rosehaven, Get Krack!n, Please Like Me). Joining Sarah Kendall is an Australian and British ensemble cast to be announced soon.

Frayed will air in 2019 on ABC in Australia and Sky and streaming service NOW TV in the UK.

Sky Vision will distribute Frayed internationally.

Production Credits: A Merman production in association with Guesswork Television for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Sky in association with Create NSW.

Produced by Nicole O’Donohue. Merman Executive Producers Clelia Mountford and Sharon Horgan. Guesswork Television Executive Producer Kevin Whyte.

Commissioned by Sky’s Executive Producer Morwenna Gordon. ABC Executive Producers Rick Kalowski and Que Minh Luu.

Melbourne morning king Neil Mitchell: ‘Radio is the most pure form of communication’

Neil Mitchell has been on air at Melbourne’s 3AW for the past three decades. In this time, he has collected 21 ACRA trophies. However, despite such frequent wins, it’s not something he has gotten used to.

By Kruti Joshi

“The important one is always the next one, not the last one,” Mitchell told Mediaweek. “That’s the way I view everything including programs. It’s great to have a good show today but, once that’s done, what is important is what will happen tomorrow.”

Mitchell won an award at the ACRAs this month for Best Current Affairs Presenter.

The radio broadcaster credits his team and listeners for keeping the program fresh. “The audience helps enormously because you have such a direct relationship with them. So if you were to start getting stale – I hope I haven’t – then they would tell you. I live by the reactions on the phone. If I am having a quiet day and people aren’t calling for whatever reason, I get very anxious and start refreshing,” Mitchell said.

3AW morning has been dominating its timeslot for the most part of the last three decades it has been on air. Mitchell said a strong lead-in is very important on radio. The 3AW breakfast show, hosted by Ross Stevenson and John Burns, is one of the most successful radio shows in Australia. It has had over 130 consecutive radio surveys as #1 breakfast in Melbourne.

Ray Hadley said the other day that I was no-talent bum and the only reason we rated was that we have a big breakfast program. I’ll go with that. It is enormously important to have a good lead-in. That is a great program,” Mitchell said.

“I take the ratings very seriously. They are an assessment of how we are going. Thankfully, we have had 184 number ones in the last 30 years – we have been beaten a handful of times. But if we ever slip back a bit, I get very self analytical about it.

“The audience is very discerning. If you lose touch with them, you will likely lose ratings. So if your ratings go down, it is a good reason to reassess.”

Mitchell knew he wanted to be a journalist when he was a teenager. After completing high school, he did not waste any time and started applying at various media outlets. He worked in the industry while pursuing his tertiary education part-time: “I thought I couldn’t handle being stuck in an office. I wanted to go out there, talk to people and experience things. Here I am now, stuck in a padded cell talking to people. [Laughs]

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

History of A-League ratings: How much have the numbers dropped?

At the start of every A-League season there is much discussion about the crowd figures and the TV audiences with both supporters and critics putting their spin on the figures.

Below Mediaweek reports on the average audiences for each of the 13 completed seasons since 2005/2006.

The numbers for 2017/2018 are down year-on-year with different explanations as to why.

Sydney Morning Herald sports reporter Vince Rugari wrote today:

A-League executives are reserving judgment on declining television ratings until streaming figures are available and a clearer picture emerges of just how much the viewing habits of football fans have changed in a shifting technological landscape.

Anecdotal evidence suggests there has been a significant take-up of the new My Football Live app launched by Football Federation Australia this season, which offers Telstra customers free streams of all A-League, W-League and FFA Cup matches.

The data below, which is an average for every match of the season, including finals, shows season 2012/2013 was strongest with an average over 70,000.

A-League season average on Fox Sports:

2005-2006 – 42,054
2006-2007 – 55,465
2007-2008 – 69,745
2008-2009 – 63,792
2009-2010 – 54,018
2010-2011 – 44,968
2011-2012 – 65,789
2012-2013 – 74,659
2013-2014 – 65,109
2014-2015 – 59,749
2015-2016 – 55,193
2016-2017 – 63,422
2017-2018 – 51,169

TV Ratings Analysis: October 30

• News, H&A, Good Doctor: Seven has 3 of the top 4 in Tuesday win
• Best of rest: Ambulance, Bride & Prejudice, Barrenjoey Road

By James Manning


Home and Away was a timeslot winner nationally last night, but narrowly trailed A Current Affair in metro markets. The daily drama did 627,000 Tuesday after 663,000 on Monday. See Angus Ross interview today on for Seven’s plans for the timeslot.

The second night of Bride And Prejudice did 583,000 after launching on 633,000.

The Good Doctor was on 629,000 after 613,000 a week ago. See Clive Dickens interview on to see list of Seven’s hottest streaming properties.


After starting its week on 757,000, A Current Affair Tuesday dipped to 659,000. Host Tracy Grimshaw will be screening her interview with Barbara Streisand tonight on the program.

The second night of Family Food Fight was on 359,000 after series two launched on 411,000.

A new episode of The Big Bang Theory then did 446,000 followed by a repeat on 339,000.

Two episodes of Kath & Kim had audiences of 213,000 and 188,000.


Kate Ritchie was on The Project promoting a new kids’ book, but she wandered a little off topic. The episode did 446,000 after the show started the week on 445,000.

Ambulance Australia was then down week-on-week from 684,000 to 613,000.

The US drama FBI did 335,000 after 366,000 a week ago.


Ask The Doctor featured stress relief last night with 354,000 watching.

The launch of the three-part crime investigation Barrenjoey Road did 411,000 with the episode having a bigger audience than The Good Doctor in Sydney. The ABC true-crime show featured the return to TV of Neil Mercer, working alongside Ruby Jones.


Michael Portillo’s Abandoned Britain did 272,000 after 274,000 last week. Insight then did 234,000.

Week 44 TV: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 11.6% 7 21.2% 9 16.3% TEN 13.2% SBS One 5.8%
ABC 2 2.7% 7TWO 3.0% GO! 5.1% ONE 3.3% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.9% 7mate 4.2% GEM 3.4% ELEVEN 1.7% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix 2.0% 9Life 1.8%     NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 16.4%   30.4%   26.6%   18.3%   8.3%
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates Ten Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.5% 7 21.4% 9 12.7% WIN 11.9% SBS One 4.7%
ABC 2 2.9% 7TWO 4.4% GO! 5.2% ONE 2.7% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 1.4% 7mate 6.9% GEM 5.7% ELEVEN 1.9% Food Net 1.3%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix 0.9% 9Life 1.6% Sky News  on WIN 1.1% NITV 0.3%
TOTAL 16.1%   33.6%   25.2%   17.6%   7.4%


84.7% 15.3%


  1. Seven News Seven 895,000
  2. Nine News Nine 851,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 848,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 817,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 659,000
  6. ABC News ABC 655,000
  7. The Good Doctor Seven 629,000
  8. Home And Away Seven 627,000
  9. Ambulance Australia Ten 613,000
  10. Bride & Prejudice – The Forbidden Weddings Seven 583,000
  11. 7.30 ABC 537,000
  12. The Chase Australia Seven 483,000
  13. The Project 7pm Ten 446,000
  14. The Big Bang Theory Nine 446,000
  15. Hot Seat Nine 416,000
  16. Barrenjoey Road ABC 411,000
  17. Family Food Fight Nine 359,000
  18. Ask The Doctor ABC 354,000
  19. Ten Eyewitness News First At Five Ten 339,000
  20. The Big Bang Theory – (R) Nine 339,000

16-39 Top 5

  1. Ambulance Australia Ten 169,000
  2. Bride & Prejudice – The Forbidden Weddings Seven 144,000
  3. The Project 7pm Ten 127,000
  4. The Good Doctor Seven 116,000
  5. Home And Away Seven 107,000


18-49 Top 5

  1. Bride & Prejudice – The Forbidden Weddings Seven 254,000
  2. Ambulance Australia Ten 251,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 210,000
  4. The Good Doctor Seven 208,000
  5. The Project 7pm Ten 204,000


25-54 Top 5

  1. Bride & Prejudice – The Forbidden Weddings Seven 282,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 273,000
  3. Ambulance Australia Ten 263,000
  4. Nine News Nine 255,000
  5. The Big Bang Theory Nine 234,000
TUESDAY Multichannel
  1. The Big Bang Theory Tx2 – (R) 9GO! 238,000
  2. The Big Bang Theory Tx1 – (R) 9GO! 215,000
  3. Outback Opal Hunters PM 7mate 154,000
  4. Highway Patrol-Ep.2 PM 7mate 145,000
  5. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 142,000
  6. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  7. Neighbours ELEVEN 141,000
  8. New Tricks 9Gem 135,000
  9. Hey Duggee PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  10. The Big Bang Theory – (R) 9GO! 131,000
  11. Dot. ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  12. Mrs. Brown’s Boys-Ep.2 Pm 7TWO 130,000
  13. Wanda And The Alien PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  14. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  15. Man On Fire 9GO! 123,000
  16. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  17. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  18. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  19. Highway Patrol PM 7mate 119,000
  20. Little Roy PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 115,000
TUESDAY Subscription TV
  1. Live: Football: FFA Cup FOX SPORTS 505 78,000
  2. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 61,000
  3. Jones & Co Sky News Live 60,000
  4. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 57,000
  5. Live: Football: FFA Cup Post Game FOX SPORTS 505 52,000
  6. Live: Back Page FOX SPORTS 503 48,000
  7. The Simpsons FOX8 47,000
  8. Black Panther Foxtel Movies Premiere 46,000
  9. The Simpsons FOX8 44,000
  10. PML Overtime Sky News Live 42,000
  11. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 40,000
  12. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 37,000
  13. Mr Inbetween showcase 36,000
  14. Credlin Sky News Live 35,000
  15. Selling Houses Australia LifeStyle Channel 35,000
  16. Bubble Guppies Nick Jr. 34,000
  17. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 34,000
  18. Escape To The Country Revisits LifeStyle Chan nel 32,000
  19. As Time Goes By Reunion Specials FOX Classics 32,000
  20. NCIS TVH!TS 32,000

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

Nine’s shopping list: Extra investment needed to secure new assets

The merged Nine and Fairfax media group is finalising a bid to take John Singleton’s stake in Macquarie Media as it looks to ramp up its radio business and shore up the new company’s future earnings, report The Australian’s Scott Murdoch and Bridget Carter.

The chief financial officer of the merged Nine and Fairfax businesses will be Greg Barnes, who reportedly is already telling investors the new company will pitch to buy out the shares of Macquarie Media that it does not already own.

Under the current structure, Fairfax owns 54.4% of Macquarie Media while John Singleton owns 32.4 % and banker Mark Carnegie holds about 7%.

The deal to buy the stake comes as the new company prepares to sell Fairfax’s community newspapers and some of the merged New Zealand assets.

[Read the original]

Armando Nuñez to lead new CBS Global Distribution Group

Just hours before he is expected to be in Sydney for Network Ten’s 2019 Upfront, CBS has revealed a promotion for Armando Nuñez.

He has been named president and chief executive officer for the CBS Global Distribution Group and chief content licensing officer for the CBS Corporation, it was announced today by Joe Ianniello, president and acting chief executive officer, CBS Corporation. This newly created position, reporting to Ianniello, is aimed to streamline CBS’s content licensing, domestic syndication and international distribution in one division under Nuñez.

Nuñez will also continue as head of CBS Studios International, whose businesses include worldwide distribution and format sales for content from all CBS Corporation programming areas. The division also manages 11 channel ventures covering 109 territories, the company’s ownership of Network Ten in Australia, international co-productions and local content production, and coordinates with CBS Interactive to support the company’s global rollout of CBS All Access.

Read more about the Nuñez promotion and the additional duties he takes on.

Australian Film Television and Radio School appointments

Chair of the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) Russel Howcroft has announced appointments to the School’s Council and Academic Board.

Tanya Hosch (pictured), general manager of inclusion and social policy at the Australian Football League (AFL), is joining the Council.

Hosch has a long history in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy, advocacy, governance and fundraising. Before joining the AFL as the first ever indigenous person and the second only woman in its executive ranks, Hosch was the joint campaign director of the Recognise movement for constitutional reform.

Professor Mark Rose, who is based at RMIT in Melbourne, has been appointed as chair of the AFTRS Academic Board, taking over from the University of Sydney’s Robyn Ewing, who is finishing her second term.

Professor Rose is traditionally linked to the Gunditjmara Nation of western Victoria. With a 40-year career in education he has contributed to a broad range of educational settings both nationally and internationally and has consulted regularly with indigenous and non-indigenous organisations here and overseas.

Also appointed to the Academic Board are Vaughan Dai Rees, associate dean international & engagement at UNSW Art & Design, and Christine Burton, who is associate dean education at the UTS Business School. They join Rachael Weiss, who is currently university quality manager at University of Sydney.

AFTRS Council members are Russel Howcroft (chair), Katrina Sedgwick, Annabelle Herd, Carole Campbell, Peter Tonagh, Neil Peplow (CEO), Pearl Tan (staff representative) and Adam Boys (student representative).

Warning for media firms as Australia mulls introducing tech tax

Australian media companies and other significant and emerging online business could be caught by proposals for a new digital services tax on revenue as the Government appears increasingly likely to follow the UK in seeking a bigger take from the digital giants, reports The Australian’s Andrew White.

The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond this week announced in the budget plans to introduce a tax of 2% on the revenues of “established tech giants” in social media platforms, internet market places and search engines from April 2020.

Australian tax experts said the UK move makes it more likely that Australia would follow, with the Federal Government this month releasing a discussion paper after it was flagged in the Budget in May.

Sources said that if Australia went ahead with a digital services tax like that of the UK it could potentially capture Australian businesses including News Corp, Fairfax Media, Domain, Seek and that have significant online advertising businesses.

[Read the original]

Claim Seven employee was ‘overlooked’ for promotion due to pregnancy

A senior executive at Seven West Media claims she was “overlooked” for promotion because she was six months pregnant, reports Fairfax Media’s Jennifer Duke.

Former Seven West Media director of program partnerships Lisa Squillace has made the claim as part of dispute with the network over when she can start her new job at the rival Network Ten.

Seven filed for an injunction against Squillace’s plans to work for Network Ten on Thursday claiming she had breached her contract. At the same time, Squillace filed an adverse action claim in the Federal Court relating in part to her non-compete clause.

In a letter from law firm Laxon Lex to Seven’s lawyers in early October, Squillace also expressed her frustration at not having the opportunity to apply to be network director of sales after the resignation of Adam Elliott.

“However, our client was not even invited to apply for the Director of Sales role, with Natalie Harvey being appointed to the role. Our client’s view was and is that she was overlooked for the role solely because she was, at that time, approximately six months pregnant. Our client now wishes to make that view very clear to Seven.”

A Seven spokesman said Harvey was appointed to the role on merit due to her media agency background.

“Lisa’s pregnancy had no bearing on the appointment. She was not chosen since she was not as suitably qualified or experienced for this role when compared to Natalie,” he said.

[Read the original]

Snap announces UK original shows and media partnerships

Snap has revealed a slate of new UK shows coming to its platform through partnerships with the likes of Sky and Vice as it pivots away from commissioning producers, reports TBI Vision.

Rami Saad, head of international content partnerships for Snap, revealed 16 new localised titles from The Guardian, The Culture Trip, Gleam Futures and long-term partners Sky and Vice during an event in London on October 30.

He noted that “now is not the time” for Snap UK originals like the slate launched in the US earlier this month. Instead, the platform is pushing into more localised programming via media partnerships as it leads to results for the platform.

Saad said that the time spent on shows – which are 3-7 minutes long but still have an episodic format that is “TV-like” – has more than tripled since the start of 2018.

[Read the original]

Majority of Americans think cable TV has become 'unaffordable'

A Hollywood Reporter/Morning Consult survey indicates 90% of Americans say that the most important factor when deciding to subscribe to a TV or streaming service is cost.

Meanwhile, 56% say cable is “unaffordable” and 47% say the same about satellite, while just 17% deem streaming unaffordable.

“People are just homing in on affordability, especially younger consumers,” says Morning Consult VP Tyler Sinclair.

In 2015, there were 205.4 million subscribers to traditional TV, according to eMarketer, but that will drop to 169.7 million by 2022. If TV executives intend on wooing some of those defectors back, they have their work cut out for them, as the THR/Morning Consult poll indicates that 72% of those who have cut the cord have little or no interest in resubscribing.

While 42% of Americans say they watch more cable and satellite TV than they watch streaming, the younger the demographic the fewer hours of TV watched in general, be it streaming or traditional, Sinclair notes.

[Read the original]

News Brands

Geoffrey Rush trial: Actress says she felt ‘belittled’ by sexual gestures

The actress at the centre of Geoffrey Rush’s defamation case has told a court she felt “belittled, embarrassed and shamed” when the Oscar-winner allegedly made sexual gestures towards her, reports ABC News’s Jamie McKinnell.

Eryn Jean Norvill, who played King Lear’s daughter opposite Rush in the Sydney Theatre Company (STC) production of King Lear, began giving evidence at the Federal Court on Tuesday morning.

Norvill told the court Rush’s behaviour towards her changed when she was lying on her back during week three of rehearsals.

She said Rush – who played King Lear – was grieving over her body.

“I had my eyes closed and remember hearing titters of laughter, murmuring, responses around the rehearsal room,” she said.

“He was looking up to the front of the room and kind of raising his eyebrows, bulging his eyes, smiling, licking his lips.”

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Mediaweek guide to Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

One of pop culture’s favourite witches, Sabrina Spellman, is back in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, from Netflix and starring Kiernan Shipka.

The show has become a cult favourite in Australia since release, showing up on the Parrot Analytics Demand TV charts this week.

See also: New to TV Demand charts this week is the new Netflix series Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina.

The first season launched globally on Netflix in the last week of October.

The series, featuring the teenage witch Sabrina from the Archie comics, was created and written by Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who is also the Archie Comics chief creative officer.

The series was developed for Netflix by Warner Bros. Television and Berlanti Productions. Aguirre-Sacasa, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Jon Goldwater and Lee Toland Krieger are executive producers on the series.

Starring as Sabrina is Kiernan Shipka, 18, who thrilled audiences as the troubled daughter of Don Draper, Sally Draper, in Mad Men.

Sabrina is a magical 16-year-old whose mixed heritage – half witch, half mortal – often leaves her feeling conflicted. The show takes viewers along on Sabrina’s personal journey of her discovering what she stands for and where she belongs.

Shipka is joined by the original characters from the comic book, who are brought to life by an international cast of actors:

Ross Lynch plays Sabrina’s human boyfriend Harvey, who just happens to come from a family of witch hunters.

Sabrina’s aunts are played by Britain’s Lucy Davis as Hilda Spellman and Australia’s Miranda Otto as Zelda Spellman.

English/American actor Chance Perdomo plays her bad boy cousin, Ambrose Spellman, a warlock.

Jaz Sinclair is her best friend, Rosalind. Scotland’s Michelle Gomez is Sabrina’s favourite teacher Mary Wardwell, who is also possessed by the Devil’s handmaiden, Madam Satan.

Gavin Leatherwood plays Nicholas Scratch, the young warlock who catches Sabrina’s eye.

See the gallery of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina here.

Nazeem Hussain prepared for backlash from his new comedy series

Nazeem Hussain is ready to face his critics head on. With his new sketch comedy series Orange Is The New Brown launching on Seven next week, Hussain is prepared for some backlash, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

“Comedy is hard to get right. It is very subjective,” he says.

“People don’t watch drama the same way they watch comedy.

“When they watch comedy, they either love it or hate it. So I am ready… my Twitter thumbs are ready to go and I am going to reply to everyone. I should probably have an auto reply though linking to the next episode.”

Hussain has courted controversy throughout his stand-up and television comedy career.

While he was a contestant on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!, Orange Is The New Brown is a much bigger comedy platform than his previous work on SBS from where he says the public often referred to him as the “Muslim comedy guy”.

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German TV network scouting for lovelorn Aussies farmers

After 13 seasons, it looks like the German iteration of popular reality show The Farmer Wants a Wife has run out of local countrymen willing to search for love on national TV, reports Fairfax Media’s Genevieve Rota.

In Sydney’s CBD this week, flyers are advertising in German for local farmers who can speak the language to join the cast of a familiar-sounding program.

“Farmers wanted,” the ad starts. “We are looking for German-speaking farmers worldwide for a new primetime production [for] a large, private TV channel in Germany.

“Are you a farmer and still looking for the big love? Get in contact with us.”

Any willing and able international farmers who apply and are successful in landing a spot on the show will likely be interviewed and profiled via video call, with a filmed segment then put together for German television screens.

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The Block finale: Dave Hughes reveals identity of mystery caller

Dave Hughes has revealed the truth about one of the tense moments from The Block finale, reports’s Andrew Bucklow.

It eventually fired up a little before once again coming to a standstill.

In a desperate attempt to get some last-minute bids, buyers advocate Nicole was shown running out onto the deck to make an urgent phone call to a potential buyer.

Norm and Jess, who were watching the auction on a TV screen, were hoping the mystery caller might chip in with a huge offer. But it wasn’t to be, with the person on the other end of the phone declining to make an offer.

In a surprise twist, Dave Hughes revealed on his Hit Network radio show on Monday afternoon that he was the person on the other end of the call.

Hughes explained that someone had registered his interest in the auction on his behalf, although he didn’t find out about it until after they’d done it.

“I knew they’d done it, but I didn’t ask them to do it,” he said. “I didn’t disagree with them doing it… I consented after the fact.”

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Sports Media

AFL 2019: More Thursday games and Sunday night football returns

The AFL will again dabble with Sunday night football early in the 2019 season, using daylight savings to hand Melbourne fans a 6.40pm contest, reports News Corp’s Jon Ralph.

The AFL’s fixture [schedule] will be released at midday on Thursday, AEDT, with the Herald Sun revealing this month as many as 12 Thursday night games will be the centrepiece of the new broadcast-friendly draw.

A series of five-day breaks handed to clubs – approved by the AFLPA and requiring changes to the collective bargaining committee – will allow the league unprecedented fixture flexibility.

It means the league can not only play more Thursday night games, but also supercharge Friday nights by at times playing a big club in a Sunday game, then scheduling them the next Friday night.

In another bold move, early in the year when Melbourne is still in daylight savings mode the league will schedule a West Australian team against a Victorian team in a Sunday 3.40pm Perth game.

It will mean a 6.40pm starting time in Victoria, allowing Fox Footy to assess the ratings of a game that would finish at about 9.20pm on Sunday night.

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