Two weeks ago global provider of live broadcast facilities and production service Gravity Media revealed its latest acquisition – Telstra’s Chief Entertainment.
By James Manning
This week Gravity Media revealed the acquisition completed on August 30.
This is the fifth acquisition that Gravity Media has made since securing substantial investment from TowerBrook Capital Partners in September 2016.
In 2017 it took over sports production company Input Media, to enable the business to offer end-to-end solutions including high-end production and technical facilities, and Australian communications solutions company Stranger Designs to expand its event communications offering.
In March 2018 it bought Genesis Broadcast Services and immediately rebranded it as Gearhouse Broadcast Germany to serve the production markets of Northern Europe.
In July 2018 it acquired Proshow Broadcast, a supplier of mobile production solutions to broadcasters, producers and rights holders throughout the USA and Canada, which has since been integrated into Gravity Media’s Gearhouse Broadcast USA operations.
Gravity Media was started by CEO John Newton. He explained the origins of his 25-year journey to Mediaweek:
“I founded a company in 1994 that was sold to Gearhouse, then a listed UK company. Gravity Media was later set up to buy some of the assets back off that listed company. That happened in 2000 and I led the management buyout. Since then I have been chief executive and the majority shareholder of the group.”
Newton trained as an engineer and later worked in production. “I later moved from the technical side of production to the commercial side.” Although UK based, Gravity Media’s CEO lives in Sydney.
Gravity Media operates four brands in Australia – Gearhouse Broadcast, HyperActive Broadcast, Input Media and Chief Entertainment – with Newton telling Mediaweek it may group those brands together as Gravity Media in the future to simply the offer to customers.
Helping Gravity Media grow over the years have been many long-standing customers in various parts of the world engaging its services either weekly, monthly or annually. “We also have customers on the project side that we tend to work for on a bi-annual basis, often because of the nature of sporting events. That includes events like the football, rugby or cricket World Cups and the summer and winter Olympics.
“There has been a lot of consolidation in our industry in the past few years.
“There are three or four groups around the world that compete on the very large events because of the capital nature of the business.”
Of the major players, Newton noted NEP is the biggest, with Mediapro and Gravity Media other global giants.
Newton said it was hard to rank companies because of the different metrics that could be used. “If you judge on revenues then NEP would be the biggest by far. They are an equipment supply company with some production services. They would be followed by Mediapro who provide not only equipment, but they also own the rights to certain big sporting events. As an organisation it could be bigger than NEP by the nature of what it does.
“If you compare just on facilities, NEP would be the biggest followed by Euromedia Group, Mediapro and Gravity Media.”
Newton explained Media Gravity is partnered in the business by a private equity business Towerbrook Capital Partners, an Anglo American fund.
“When we work with private equity we set out what the landscape is and the core business and the risk. Our core business is in capital infrastructure and production services with a level of production.
“Would we go to the next level and buy events rights? Global events are so huge and so costly that under the way we are structured at present that wouldn’t happen.
“We are always looking at how we could diversify with the range of things we offer. Would we buy major sports rights – no.”
While sports coverage is key to the business, it works in many entertainment genres. “Reality TV is covered by us in a number of different ways. There is scripted reality, which they tend to shoot with camcorders and then they heavily post-produce it. We do provide that kind of equipment. It’s not capital intensive, the equipment, it is more labour intensive when you shoot it with a big post-production element.
“We do a lot of light entertainment shows – things like The Voice, The X Factor, Australian Idol-style formats, The Masked Singer etc.”
With a changing TV landscape, Newton noted the business has to adapt. “With 100s of channels of TV and streaming platforms – people consume media very differently. The content is produced differently for a different audience.”
Remotely produced events are something Gravity Media and others have been delivering for a decade. “They are not new. The ability to have less people at a venue and still send signals back reduces logistical costs. The technology will get better and less people will be needed on site. Artificial intelligence will soon play a part in cameras moving and tracking the play.”
The growth of streaming platforms has been good for Gravity in much the same way the explosion of TV channel choice has been.
“As long as people still consume media production will be required. Television studios and stages didn’t have very high utilisation going back a few years. Most of the big studio sites around the world are now locked out for three or four years.”
Globally Gravity deals with Netflix and Disney, among others. “Most of the major broadcasters in one shape or form. Out customers are three fold – broadcasters, rights holders and production companies.”
Every Wednesday Mediaweek provides a weekly TV Demand column with data from data science company Parrot Analytics which measure the popularity of TV content around the world. But what goes into making these charts and how do you measure the popularity of TV shows on an international scale?
By Trent Thomas
To find out we spoke with Parrot Analytics CEO and co-founder Wared Seger. With offices in Auckland, Los Angeles, New York, London, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, and Singapore, Parrot has accelerated quickly as it has established the industry’s first cross-platform global demand measurement standard for TV content. With a background in neuroscience including a Bachelor degree in Biomedical Science in neurobiology and a Masters degree in Bioscience Enterprise, his most recent role before Parrot Analytics was at the University of Auckland’s start-up program Velocity, and its sister organisation Chiasma, where he served as CEO and chair. With this background, Seger has led the development of the Parrot Analytics technology,
“I figured out quite early that every human innovation that has impacted the world in some way is based on three key principles: Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship. This really helped me to establish my own future pathway.
“Seeing the increasing importance of data made me realise the potential that existed to harness it in a way that created real value for organisations, such as media companies who rely on audience data to measure their success.”
Parrot Analytics’ measurement of demand for television shows includes social media engagement, video streaming and peer-to-peer protocols, photo sharing, blogging, and research platforms. The crux of Parrot Analytics product and the centre of our TV Demand column is the global Demand Rank system that the company produces which Seger explains uses data points to create a meaningful demand metric,
“We capture many, many new data points each day (more than a billion) across the entire global consumer activity spectrum, including video consumption (streaming and downloads), social media engagement (hashtags, liking, sharing) and research actions (reading about shows, writing about shows, etc.). In terms of downloading, just one of our many data sources, we hold the patent for deriving media usage according to consumer’s global P2P activity.
“The more consumer effort required, the more importance is attached to each signal. Once all the signals are weighted and combined, the audience demand for each show almost anywhere in the world can be compared with that of any other show using our globally standardized Demand Expressions metric.
“Our Demand Rank system ensures that the important demand signals (e.g. watching or downloading a series) are weighted more heavily than others. We use factors such as time as a key arbitrator, enabling us to filter out the “noise”, which results in a demand metric that is more than a measure of ‘buzz’ (which the industry, as you know, has had access to via traditional social listening tools for many years now).”
Parrot Analytics data was also used in conjunction with the upcoming 2020 edition of Guinness World Records to determine several new TV categories in the upcoming edition, will be available globally September 5.
The next step is how does Parrot Analytics monetise this data and find clientele? With the television industry in a state of flux with content being produced by streaming companies such as Netflix, Amazon, Stan, and Hulu, Parrot Analytics has found a demand for their data from content creators, marketers, and media companies in an attempt to increase the popularity of their content across all platforms. According to Seger, it does this by applying the global TV demand data to the industry’s key practices,
“We exist to help our partners around the world capture more value by applying global TV demand data to the entertainment industry’s core workflows. Our data accelerates content sales and distribution, informs better acquisitions and programming decisions, facilitates cost-effective marketing, de-risks production, helps content strategy and recommendations, informs better merchandising deals, and more. Clients partner with us to help them in all of these areas, which directly impacts their productivity and profitability.”
While Parrots Analytics is a data-driven company it doesn’t just stop at spreadsheets and charts as it brought its data to the red carpet this year with the first Global TV Demand Awards which saw The Walking Dead being named the ‘Most In-Demand TV Show’ in the World.
In January 2020, the Parrot Analytics Awards will return and will be adding several new categories, including regional awards. With Samuel Stadler, VP Marketing, Parrot Analytics announcing,
“As we know, there are a number of awards that honour the artistic merits of television shows and the creative talent behind them. At Parrot Analytics, we measure the audience demand for shows around the world, and we want to honor the shows that are resonating the most with viewers. The Global TV Demand Awards is the first data-driven awards show, and for 2020 we are adding more categories to showcase the impact of specific genres, as well as categories that illustrate the global influence of exports from territories with some of the top producers of content outside of the US. We’ll have more exciting details in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned.”
Garry Lyon will host a fast-paced combative new 30-minute show, The Bullring, every Wednesday on Fox Footy during the finals. Three-time premiership player Jonathan Brown will join the Melbourne great and former St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt as they discuss the biggest finals stories in history and today.
The Bullring promises to push the boundaries with the two young bulls (Brown and Riewoldt) debating hot topics with the older bull (Lyon) aiming to provoke the two. They will have many laughs along the way, with regular tongue-in-cheek segments, such as “Self Grab or News Grab”, poking fun at media and themselves.
Lyon will compare his era to the modern game with “That’s Not a Knife”, Brown will offer key footy figures and players advice during “Coffee With Browny” and Riewoldt will wrap his arms around personalities doing it tough with “Give Us A Hug”.
“The Bullring will be a lively, fast-paced chat about the issues of the day with an eye to the past as a reference point. We’ve just scratched the surface of Brown and Riewoldt’s media talent and as the show’s name suggests, getting the young bulls into the ring, eyeballing each other across the desk should make for some interesting and entertaining viewing,” said Lyon.
The Bullring headlines four weeks of finals coverage on Fox Footy.
David King and Ben Dixon return for The First Crack podcast this Saturday night after the footy. The televised podcast will offer fans the first analysis of the four qualifying and elimination finals.
Fan-favourite AFL 360 airs Monday-Wednesday making way for the game on Thursday this week and On The Couch will continue in regular time-slot on Mondays.
Jason Dunstall and the Bounce team move to a special time on Saturday afternoon live between the two blockbuster finals.
The comedy quiz show The Beep Test, with guests Kelli Underwood and Adam Spencer, and will air in regular time on Sunday after a replay of Bounce.
On The Mark takes a break this week, returning next week with special guests.
All four finals games will be televised live, with Fox Footy taking the Seven coverage of the clashes, but without the ads during play.
The Fox Footy team will provide extended analysis shows pre-game, at half time and post-match.
• Guesswork Television producing series for 200 countries in 2020
Amazon has announced that a series of stand-up specials featuring Australian comedians will be filmed in Melbourne this month and premiere exclusively on Prime Video in early 2020.
The specials will include a talented roster of award-winning and nominated comedians, and be made available to Prime members around the world in more than 200 countries and territories. The new specials will include performances by Lano & Woodley, Zoë Coombs Marr, Judith Lucy, Tommy Little, Anne Edmonds, Tom Walker, Celia Pacquola, Dilruk Jayasinha, Alice Fraser and Tom Gleeson.
The specials will be produced by Guesswork Television. The move follows a series that a Guesswork associated company Token Artists produced for Stan in 2016 – One Night Stan. That six-episode season also featured Judith Lucy, Tom Gleeson and Celia Pacquola.
“Amazon’s comedy series and stand-up specials have excited our customers around the world, and we’re looking forward to welcoming this talented group of Australian comedians to the Prime Video family,” said James Farrell, head of international originals for Amazon Studios. “These are hilarious performances that we know our customers will love in Australia and around the world.”
The Australian Amazon Original specials will be filmed at The Coopers Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne this September.
The shows featured in the comedy series are:
Joy – Tom Gleeson
Gold Logie winner. Chief celebrity interrogator. Host of the highest-rated Australian quiz show on TV. All-round hard man (especially in Cairns). There’s not much Tom Gleeson didn’t do in the last year – and Australia can’t get enough of him. Celebrities such as Karl Stefanovic, Lee Lin Chin and Andrew Denton keep lining up to be dragged over the coals by Tom on The Weekly’s Hard Chat. Sci-fi movie geeks and Led Zeppelin buffs are dying for the chance to impress Tom and have their shot at returning a quip on Hard Quiz, now Australia’s highest-rated quiz show. Despite his ruthless grillings, he’s still got a lot of love to give. He campaigned mercilessly to help Grant Denyer win the Gold Logie and he bloody won it, before scoring his very own little gold statue in 2019.
Accolades: Winner of the 2019 TV Week Gold Logie; Three-time Nominee for Best Comedy, Helpmann Awards.
All Talk – Celia Pacquola
Celia Pacquola’s All Talk was a highlight amongst the 600-plus shows at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, earning Celia a nomination for the 2018 Melbourne Comedy Festival Award for Most Outstanding Show. She also recently took home the Helpmann Award for Best Comedy Performer, beating out a star-studded line up of some of Australia’s top comedians. Celia is a multi-award-winning performer, but it is her genius as a writer that makes her stand-up so damn good, taking stories in unexpected and delightful directions. Sharp, frank, honest, deft and smart as hell, Celia is as good as it gets.
Accolades: Winner of the Best Comedy Performer, Helpmann Awards, 2019; Nominated for the Melbourne Comedy Festival Award for Most Outstanding Show, Melbourne Comedy Festival, 2014, 2018.
Self-Diagnosed Genius – Tommy Little
Idiot or genius? For many, the jury has been out on Tommy Little, but he’s here to set the record straight. I mean, would an idiot bungee jump nude on live TV? Or sign up to run one of the toughest marathons in the world, in minus 20 degrees Celsius in Antarctica with no previous experience or training? We rest our case. Despite not knowing how to spell the word genius, Tommy is without a doubt a genius. Miraculously, Tommy is back on Australian soil after surviving the Antarctic marathon and has a cracking story to share. A life of bad choices and dubious decisions has proven to be professional gold for Tommy, who effortlessly mines his life for big laughs across the country. His 2019 tour, Self-Diagnosed Genius, proved to be his biggest yet.
Judith Lucy vs Men – Judith Lucy
After reflecting on her entire history with men, Judith Lucy has concluded that maybe it’s time to shut up shop. “Whatever it is that I’m selling, a lot of straight guys simply aren’t that interested in buying it. And I’m including people like my father.” Judith Lucy vs Men toured in 2019, exploring stereotypes, Judith’s own desires and recounting her full history with the opposite sex, leaving it up to the audience to determine whether she should ever date again.
Accolades: Winner of the People’s Choice Award, Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2017; Winner, Best Comedy Performer, Helpmann Awards 2015.
Fly – Lano & Woodley
After 12 years apart, Colin Lane and Frank Woodley have reunited to realise Col’s dream of making some important theatre, telling the epic story of the pioneers of flight, the Wright brothers. The only thing that could possibly get in the way is… well… Frank. Fly has all the ingredients that have made Lano & Woodley Australian favourites for more than 20 years, with a magical chemistry and polish that had audiences whooping with uncontrollable laughter and jumping to their feet at the conclusion of every performance.
Accolades: Winner of the People’s Choice Award, Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2018; Nominated for the Barry Award for Most Outstanding Show, Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2018; Nominated for the Helpmann Award for Best Comedy Performer 2018.
What’s Wrong with You? – Anne Edmonds
Eddo let her alter ego Helen Bidou take her spot at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival last year but now, against her better judgement, Anne has returned and she wants to know… what’s wrong with you? Not just you, but the whole lot of you. Humanity has clearly flushed its own head down the drain and she can’t decide whether to pull you all up or leave you down there. Clear eyed and in no mood to suffer fools, Eddo is as angry as she is over it.
Accolades: Nominated for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award (formerly the Barry Award), Melbourne International Comedy Festival, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019; Nominated for Best Comedy Performer, Helpmann Awards 2018, 2019.
Bossy Bottom – Zoë Coombs Marr
After returning to the stage as herself last year (after years of performing with a neckbeard in her award-winning guise as ‘Dave’), Zoë Coombs Marr earned a nomination for Best Comedy Performer at the 2018 Helpmann Awards with Bossy Bottom. Playful, surprising and a little bit silly, it was an absolute hit with fans and critics from Melbourne to Edinburgh.
Accolades: Nominated for the Helpmann Award for Best Comedy Performer 2018; Winner of the Barry Award for Most Outstanding Show, Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2016; Winner of the Golden Gibbo Award for Best Independent Show, Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2016; Nominated for Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Comedy Show, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016.
Very Very – Tom Walker
After a massive 2018 delighting and frightening audiences around the globe with his show, Honk Honk Honk Honk Honk, Tom Walker is back and, this year he’s decided to strip things back a bit. With a few less words in the title (just two, Very Very) and many less words in the show (he keeps saying this), this brand new hour promises to be, well, frankly, we don’t know. We do know, however, that Tom teaming up with the award-winning comedian, theatre maker, writer and all-round creative genius Zoë Coombs Marr to direct the show is making for the most exciting and exhilarating new partnership in comedy. Put Very Very at the top of your list.
Accolades: Winner of the Best Newcomer Award, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, 2016; Nominated for the Barry Award for Most Outstanding Show, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, 2018.
Live – Dilruk Jayasinha
Dilruk Jayasinha has quickly become one of Australia’s favourite comedians. So much so that he won the 2018 Logie Award for Most Popular New Talent. His small screen star may be soaring but Dil’s finest work is all on stage. His live shows have been received with popular and critical acclaim, and his most recent tour culminated in knockout performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and London’s Soho Theatre.
Accolades: Winner of the Graham Kennedy Award for Most Popular New Talent, TV Week Logie Awards 2018.
Savage – Alice Fraser
Alice Fraser’s critically-acclaimed solo show, Savage, is about life, death and paper towels – a hilarious and heartbreaking show that straddles the line between comedy and tragedy. In 2015, Savage sold out seasons and earned astronomical critical acclaim at comedy festivals in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra, as well as getting glowing reviews from some of the hardest critics in the business during Alice’s debut season at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The Australian Amazon Original stand-up specials will be filmed at The Coopers Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne. Additional information and tickets are available via The Coopers Malthouse Theatre.
The announcement of the Amazon Original stand-up specials in Australia follows the recent announcement of Amazon’s first Australian Amazon Original, LOL: Last One Laughing, to be executive produced and hosted by Rebel Wilson.
Both LOL: Last One Laughing and Amazon’s Stand-Up specials will be available on Prime Video in Australia and around the world in more than 200 countries and territories in 2020.
Stranger Things death grip on the TV Demand charts is starting to loosen after dropping to second spot on both the Digital Originals and Overall TV charts in New Zealand and is holding onto the top spot for both charts by the thinnest of margins in Australia. This is thanks to a surge up the charts by 13 Reasons Why which released its third season on August 23 on Netflix.
By Trent Thomas
The latest season of the teen drama continues the original story established in the novel of the same name by Jay Asher and moves away from the Hannah Baker story as it uncovers the mystery of the murder of Bryce Walker as well as the cover-up of Tyler’s attempted massacre at the Spring Fling. The new season stars Dylan Minnette, Christian Navarro, Brandon Flynn, Justin Prentice, and Alisha Boe.
The fresh face in this weeks Digital Original charts for both Australia and New Zealand is The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance with the fantasy adventure series produced by Netflix and The Jim Henson Company serving as a prequel to the 1982 Jim Henson film The Dark Crystal.
The 10 episode season was released on Netflix on August 30 and is set on the planet Thra, where three Gelflings named Rian, Brea and Deet inspire a rebellion against the Skeksis when they discover a horrifying secret behind their power that threatens all of Thra.
Another face that we haven’t seen for a while in the charts is Breaking Bad which has worked its way back into Overall TV charts after the announcement trailer for the new film El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie was released by Netflix on August 24. The movie is due to be released on October 11 and follows on from the show’s finale with Jesse Pinkman pursuing freedom after escaping from his captors.
• The Block and Survivor battle for biggest TV audiences
• The Block #1 all people, Survivor #1 under 50
• ABC gets a Tuesday blockbuster with Old People’s Home a hit
By James Manning
• Seven News 966,000/929,000
• Nine News 877,000/913,000
• A Current Affair 751,000
• ABC News 641,000
• 7.30 495,000
• The Project 298,000/461,000
• 10 News First 347,000
• The Drum 191,000
• SBS World News 150,000
• Sunrise 271,000
• Today 194,000
Home and Away was on 625,000 after starting the week on 653,000.
Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly was just under 500,000 on the day Seven revealed a primetime Pooch production for 2020.
The audience haven’t warmed to The Proposal in the week since it launched. After the first episode did 307,000 a week ago, episode two was on, get this, 307,000 again.
Tracy Grimshaw warned A Current Affair viewers they would be angered by the bank who was about to take a struggler’s home when all she wanted to do was renegotiate the mortgage as she was spending $3,000 a month on medicines for her husband. Reporter Reid Butler revealed the bank was ANZ. Later in the episode Leila McKinnon interviewed actress Maggie Kirkpatrick about her wrongful sexual assault conviction. The second ACA episode of the week did 751,000 after 805,000 on Monday.
The Block looked at time like a VW commercial for red Amaroks as they lined up outside the construction site to transport the Blockheads to a challenge featuring former Block All-stars. The Tuesday episode did 847,000, down from 883,000 a week ago.
SeaChange episode five was all about love with 520,000 tuning in after 546,000 for episode four overnight a week prior. The consolidated numbers for that episode have lifted it to 650,000 metro without counting 9Now views.
After 475,000 Monday, The Project did 461,000. The show ended with another interview that was way too short – the talented couple of Tiffany Hall and Ed Kavalee who have produced a kids’ book – A First Time For Everything. The Project seems to be a nurturing ground for celebrities writing for kids. Authors connected with the show have included Hughesy and Holly Ife, Peter Helliar and Rove McManus.
Two contestants left Australian Survivor last night and it ended up both who were sent to Exile Beach are now on the Jury. First Daisy went home, and then it was Simon, explaining it was easier to win a Brownlow Medal than Survivor. After 40 days on the island there are six people to fight it out over the few episodes remaining. The Tuesday episode was on 808,000 after 803,000 a week ago. The episode won all the key demos for 10.
A repeat episode of NCIS then did 190,000.
Tuesday night has been a trouble spot for the broadcaster for some time. It has a hit on its hands now though with Endemol Shine Australia’s Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds. After launching with a swag of good reviews and an audience of 478,000 a week ago, the series has climbed to 628,000 for episode two.
Earlier in the night Foreign Correspondent was on 469,000.
The AFL doco Collingwood: From The Inside Out screened after 9.30pm with 264,000 watching.
The return of Britain’s Most Historic Towns with the wonderful Professor Alice Roberts did 215,000 as she explored the history Canterbury.
Insight then spoke with people who had been wrongfully convicted with the episode drawing 172,000.
Dateline then returned to its traditional timeslot with 172,000 watching a report on the comeback of measles in the US and how New York is ground zero for the anti-vax movement.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.6%||7TWO||2.9%||GO!||3.1%||10 Bold||3.8%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||3.1%||GEM||3.0%||10 Peach||2.4%||Food Net||0.9%|
|7Food||0.5%||SBS World Movies||0.8%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.7%||7TWO||5.6%||GO!||3.8%||WIN Bold||3.8%||VICELAND||1.2%|
|ABC ME||1.0%||7mate||5.8%||GEM||5.4%||WIN Peach||2.3%||Food Net||0.7%|
|ABC NEWS||1.0%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||2.3%||9Life||2.2%||Sky News on WIN||2.3%||NITV||0.2%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.4%|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
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
QMS Media has announced the completion of the merger between its New Zealand out-of-home, digital media and production business (QMS NZ) and MediaWorks. The merger establishes the multi-platform media company as having the largest audience in New Zealand.
The merged entity has also entered into an unconditional agreement to acquire ETC Media’s premium Christchurch digital billboard portfolio, adding 12 large format digital billboards, to its existing national digital portfolio. This acquisition will further extend its market leadership position with New Zealand’s largest large format digital network now encompassing Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Whangarei, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua and New Plymouth.
With the MediaWorks merger completed, QMS will hold a 40% interest in the combined New Zealand business, with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management L.P. (Oaktree) holding a majority 60% shareholding. QMS will hold two seats on the five member board.
QMS is receiving a capital return of A$38.0 million which will be used to repay part of the company’s banking facility.
QMS managing director and group CEO Barclay Nettlefold said: “The merged QMS NZ and MediaWorks business will be the first in market to realise the combined power of out-of-home, radio, TV and digital as an unrivalled destination for advertisers to build brands and maximise audience reach. The merger will deliver compelling value for advertisers and maximise cross-platform revenue synergies for the business.
“For QMS, the merged business remains a substantial ongoing investment in the New Zealand market where the combined capabilities of QMS NZ and MediaWorks can build on their existing market positions to drive future revenue growth. The merger and capital return realise value for QMS shareholders, better positioning the company to take advantage of compelling future investment opportunities as they arise.”
MediaWorks chairman Jack Matthews said, “We are very pleased to complete this partnership with QMS. The addition of QMS’ very strong out-of-home business will give MediaWorks an unparalleled portfolio of assets to deliver outstanding results to our customers.”
Photo: A QMS digital billboard in New Zealand
Property listings website REA Group has made 60 staff redundant in a restructure that comes as Sydney and Melbourne house prices bounce back after interest rates were cut to record lows, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.
The lay-offs represent a relatively small cut to a business that has grown its workforce every year since 2015 and more than doubled its staff in this period to about 1600 people. Sources close to the real estate website said that 15 people affected were being found new jobs within the business and there had been another 15 new hires in other roles.
The job cuts come after recently appointed chief executive Owen Wilson released strong results for REA for the 2019 financial year amid tough market conditions. He said he believed the conditions were ripe for a recovery in the property market and further interest rate cuts. The Reserve Bank of Australia board meets on Tuesday to decide whether to cut interest rates again to a record low below 1 per cent. The market is tipping the RBA will leave rates on hold.
Nine Entertainment Co’s print journalists are concerned about the impact on their newspapers’ Charter of Editorial Independence following reports that Nine hosted a Liberal Party fundraiser Monday night.
The house committees at the three major metro daily mastheads have written to Nine’s chief executive officer Hugh Marks and the managing director of publishing Chris Janz to inform them of their objections to the nature of the event and its impact on their editorial independence.
The letter says:
“Dear Hugh and Chris
Reports in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the AFR yesterday about Nine hosting a Liberal Party fundraiser at our Willoughby offices have raised the question of where the Nine newspapers’ political loyalties lie.
The former Fairfax mastheads have a long history of political independence. If this has changed and we are now associated with the Liberal Party, this should be conveyed to staff. A decision to host fundraisers for Labor or other political parties would be of equal concern.
We strongly object to our reputation for independent journalism being compromised by the hosting of party political fundraisers. This can only serve to make the job of working journalists more difficult.
Our mastheads have done much to expose the corrupting influence of money on politics. It is vitally important that we remain independent of the political process.
On behalf of the house committees of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review.”
Read more about the Liberal fundraiser on the set of Nine’s Today show:
• The AFR: Who attended Channel Nine’s Liberal Party fundraiser?
• The Australian: Always independent? Lapping it up with Libs has Fairfax throwbacks foaming
• ABC News: Scott Morrison-attended Liberal fundraiser at Nine infuriates reporters from former Fairfax mastheads
• The Australian’s Margin Call: Making his mark – “It’s pretty ballsy,” one senior Liberal conceded
• The SMH & The Age: Newspaper owner Nine criticised for hosting Liberal fundraiser
• Guardian Australia: SMH, Age and AFR journalists condemn Liberal fundraiser hosted at Nine’s TV studios
• Andrew Bolt: ‘Independent Always’? Nine newspapers a joke after Liberal fundraiser
Photo: Australian PM Scott Morrison – from the G7 to Nine’s Willoughby fundraiser
Here is one announcement Seven is not saving for its Allfronts event next month. And it indicates the broadcaster is not done yet with animal shows in primetime:
Dog lovers unite as Seven searches for Australia’s top pooch stylist
Seven has announced award-winning Hollywood actress and proud former junior dog handler, Rebel Wilson, will host its new competition dog styling series, Pooch Perfect. (Wilson last worked with Seven on two episodes of The Big Music Quiz in 2016.)
The Hustle and Bridesmaids star grew up with many dogs and is excited to revisit the professional dog world in her new hosting role.
Wilson said: “My childhood was full of weekend adventures at dog shows all around Australia and my family had a business selling pet products out of a caravan – such as leads, treats and the best dog styling equipment available.
“This show with Seven is going to be a ton of fun and showcase some amazing dogs and dog lovers. Technically I’m allergic to dogs though…so hopefully they can edit around my sneezing!”
Commenting on the announcement, Seven’s director of network programming, Angus Ross, said: “Rebel has a fantastic energy, great timing, the sharpest wit and like many Australians, she loves dogs. With her passion, humour and insight, she’s a great host for this entertaining and heart-warming series.”
With 38% of households owning dogs, Australians are finely tuned to the needs of their four-legged furry friends. From winter coats to car seats, doggy daycare to dietary needs, dog owners are prioritising their pet’s care, comfort and wellbeing.
As a result, the dog styling industry is booming, and man’s best friend has never been so well pampered.
Currently in pre-production, the series will feature ten professional dog stylists from around the country competing in a series of themed challenges revealing epic transformations of beloved pets.
The winner – who will take home $100,00 in prize money – will be determined by a panel of the industry’s top judges who will critique the overall styling.
Pooch Perfect is a Seven Studios production for Channel Seven and will premiere in 2020.
Simon Black was determined to go out fighting on Australian Survivor – until he realised it was a losing battle, reports News Corp’s Amy Price.
The Brisbane Lions AFL legend was blindsided by his tribe, including Champions alliance members Luke Toki and Abbey Holmes, on Monday night’s episode of the Channel 10 reality show and was sent to exile beach where he won a battle against fellow evictee Daisy Richardson to rejoin the camp.
With Survivor behind him, Black will attend this month’s AFL Grand Final to present the Norm Smith Medal, which he won in 2003, to the player judged best on ground – which he hopes is a member of the Brisbane Lions.
“That’s a great honour. I’m looking forward to being back on the field and to experience those emotions again,” he said.
In 2020 he will be inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame after he couldn’t make this year’s function due to filming commitments on Survivor.
Iconic Australian actress Maggie Kirkpatrick has exposed the unique mental anguish of being wrongly convicted of sexual assault, reports news.com.au’s Bella Fowler.
Kirkpatrick, now 78, was accused by a teenage fan of sexual assault dating back to the 1980s. She was convicted in 2015, and cleared on appeal six months later.
Speaking to A Current Affair, the celebrated screen and theatre actress — best known for her villainous role as sadistic guard Joan “The Freak” Ferguson on Prisoner – touched on the darkest points of the ordeal, which she describes as no less than a “nightmare”.
Kirkpatrick was convicted in July 2015 and subsequently sentenced to an 18-month community corrections order, including 100 hours of community service.
She successfully appealed the case in December that year, with Judge Geoffrey Chettle finding that there was reasonable doubt surrounding the circumstances and dismissing the conviction and charges.
“It was my worst nightmare, that’s all I can say,” Kirkpatrick told A Current Affair, revealing she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the trial and media scrutiny.
The Fourth Ashes Test commences this on September 4th at 7.30pm AEST, live and exclusively and in HD on Nine and 9GEM and streamed live on 9Now.
Following a miracle win in the third Test in Headingley, England has found the momentum it needed, having not won an Ashes Test since 2015. It was Ben Stokes who once again played hero, replicating his World Cup Final form as he defied the odds and record books, to hold on for one of the most memorable finishes to a cricket match in history.
The Ashes clash after huge audiences watched the final day’s play in the third Test on 9Gem. As England managed to score the runs needed, Nine reported a national average audience of 1m watching the first session on 9Gem on Sunday August 25.
A remarkable 694,000 were watching the second session until after midnight.
The cricket audiences gave 9Gem a Sunday night share of 15.8%.
The historic Old Trafford Cricket Ground serves as the battleground for the fourth Test, with the confirmation that former Australian captain and run machine Steve Smith will return to the side following a concussion suffered at the hands of a Jofra Archer bouncer. All eyes will be on him to see if he can reclaim the form he exhibited in the first three Tests.
Australian selectors surprised many by dropping Usman Khawaja, opting to stick with the hardy Marnus Labuschagne in the 12-man squad, while the fast bowling rotation continues as Mitchell Starc comes back in to replace James Pattinson. Australia remains only one win away from once again securing The Ashes for the first time in England since 2001.
England have shifted their much-maligned batting lineup, with batsman Jason Roy expected to shift to the no.4 position, while journeyman Joe Denly has slotted into the opening spot alongside Rory Burns. The newly-confident home side has not minced words this past week, with English linchpin Stuart Broad warning Smith they will not hold back upon his return.