Thursday September 5, 2019

Podcast Week: What’s next for Gary Mehigan after MasterChef years

• Plus new podcast series from Amelia Philips, Sandra Sully & Matt Burke

By James Manning

Gary Mehigan: TV chef now free for more podcasting

Former MasterChef TV judge Gary Mehigan was very ambitious when he first started his relationship with PodcastOne. He recorded two series of his podcast A Plate To Call Home with a total of 32 episodes.

He found it difficult to keep up that pace when it came to recording a third season. Mehigan and his MasterChef colleagues George Calombaris and Matt Preston spent so much of the year working on the TV series, they eventually became frustrated at not being able to pursue other projects. It was ultimately one of the reasons they stepped away from the show.

MasterChef takes an enormous amount of time out of the year – six to seven months plus time for publicity,” Mehigan told Mediaweek. “I have managed to get a short third season of podcasts together, but there are lots of foodie conversations to come.

Mehigan added there is much exciting him about life post-MasterChef. “There will be more smaller projects instead of MasterChef, which was a giant of a commitment – more podcasting for sure.

The three of us made a promise than when MasterChef started to feel like a job, it deserved to go to someone else who would approach it as we used to. For me, last year and this year, it started to feel a little like a chore halfway through the season because there was so much else I wanted to do in the food space.”

Mehigan said the feedback he received from previous podcast seasons has been wonderful and one of the things that keeps him releasing more. “We have had many very different foodies. Some have been producers, others have been chefs.”

He recommends that listening to his Pete Evans podcast is a good place to start series three. “I could probably have done three podcasts with Pete because he has so much to say. People have different opinions of him and his public portrayal. But if you listen you will probably hear a different side to him. Much more than you would normally get from mainstream media.

“I found him fascinating and also the media scrutiny he has been under. I have followed him on Instagram for two years, and I just thought there had to be more to him. Pete makes a lot of sense, he’s not at all like the person that is portrayed in the media where what he says is dragged down and sensationalised.

Other guests in series three include Gorgi Coghlan and Jane Kennedy.

Meantime Mehigan keeps making content for Indian TV – a series called Masters of Taste for Banijay. “Last year we had to do five weeks of filming in three weeks because of other commitments. The joy was stripped out of it because I was trying to get back for the start of MasterChef.”

Regarding the next project for Gary, Matt and George, Mehigan said: “We have opportunities for next year and we all hope to be working again sooner rather than later.

Could we see the trio walking out onstage together at a TV upfront in October for Seven or Nine?

Listen to A Plate To Call Home here.

Maintaining health through motherhood

Amelia Philips is the host of Healthy Her, a PodcastOne series dedicated to maintaining health throughout motherhood.

A fitness and nutrition expert, TV presenter, and co-founder of the Michelle Bridges 12-Week Body Transformation, Phillips has created a series dedicated to helping women maintain a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their families.

Across nine episodes, Phillips, who is a mum of four and has over two decades experience in the health and wellbeing industry, speaks to the top parenting, fitness and medical experts across a range of topics – how you can thrive when you’re sleep deprived, learning to love your post-baby body, how to balance career with kids, and keeping your relationship with your partner on track.

“We need to nurture ourselves in a holistic way and that’s why I’m so excited about Healthy Her,” Phillips said.

“These conversations will educate, reassure and most importantly inspire us mums to make small changes to live that little bit healthier.”

Listen to Healthy Her here.

Have a Short Black with Sandra Sully

10 News First journalist and presenter Sandra Sully talks candidly to a series of intriguing and inspiring women who have something interesting to say, about what really matters in her new podcast from 10 Speaks, Short Black With Sandra Sully.

As a campaigner, author and women’s advocate, Sully is committed to giving a voice to women who are trying to make a difference.

Sully said: “Clearly as a journalist I love telling stories and I’ve had the great privilege throughout my career to meet so many well-known and not so well known women whose stories, I believe, need to be told.

“This podcast series shines a light on interesting women doing extraordinary things – be it career trajectory, maximising opportunities, risking it all or daring to be different.”

Network 10’s director of news content Ross Dagan said: “The range of women Sandra has lined up to speak with is nothing short of outstanding. 

“She is masterful at helping lead them through their stories. We gain inspiration and understanding as a result of her enthusiasm for Short Black. As Sandra approaches her 30th year at Network 10, we are proud that she will extend her talents to 10 Speaks to deliver these exclusive interviews.”

The first episode features founder of the Kindness Factory, Kath Koschel. New episodes will be released fortnightly on Tuesdays.

Listen to Short Black With Sandra Sully here.

Talking Rugby ahead of World Cup

Another new 10 Speaks podcast launched this week is Talking Rugby With Matt Burke. Burke will deliver a weekly insight into the players’ mindset during the Rugby World Cup, the way only a Rugby World Cup winning Wallaby can. Burke has a direct line to some of the biggest names in the game and he’s got them lined-up too.

First off the bench is Wallabies legend David Campese. In later episodes, Nick Farr-Jones and John Eales also get a call up with more big names to come.

Matt Burke said: “I remember as a player not only the intensity of a Rugby World Cup, but the fantastic memories that come from it and I wanted to share some of those memories from my playing days. Not only do we talk World Cup history with some of the greats of the game, but we plan to also have some very candid conversations within the current playing group at this year’s Rugby World Cup.”

Listen to Talking Rugby with Matt Burke here.

CJZ in UAE: Aussie production house expands to Middle East

• Reveals first two series and challenges opening new office

By James Manning

Sydney-based production company CJZ is spreading its production tentacles further afield.

After acquiring New Zealand production house Greenstone six years ago, CJZ has opened an office in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The idea of using the country as a base for further expansion came from the chief executive of the New Zealand business, Rachel Antony.

CJZ chief executive Matt Campbell talked about the company’s expansion plans at an AFI/AACTA Masterclass in Producing event held last night in Bondi Junction.

The event was hosted by AACTA chief executive Damian Trewhella who welcomed the CJZ team made up of CEO Matt Campbell, founders Michael Cordell and Nick Murray, CEO of their NZ subsidiary Greenstone, Rachel Antony, head of drama Claire Tonkin, head of comedy & entertainment Damian Davis and head of factual Andrew Farrell.

In front of a packed cinema, Murray joked that due to the challenges they faced opening their new office, they should have investigated Antony’s idea a little more thoroughly before they dived in.

Campbell said: “We originally thought it could be easy. Almost three years later we are now in Dubai and about to go into production on our first series Dubai 999. The number of hoops we had to jump through, and are still jumping through, have been incredible.”

Murray interjected it took them seven months to open a bank account.

One of the challenges of working in the UAE was the method of setting up meetings. “In Dubai, when Rachel goes to Dubai she knows who she wants to meet. But she can’t organise a meeting unless she is there on the ground. When you are there you have to wait for the call. She did that with great patience and it is finally paying off.

We have spent a lot of money and it has been a nail biting exercise.

Antony added that in Dubai 999 is an ob doc about the ambulance service. Not you average ambulance service though. “The ambos drive Maseratis,” she explained.

Campbell said the second series will be Supercar Cops. He said the first series will be filming shortly and CJZ will take it to MIPTV in 2020.

“There is gold to be made there but you have to be solid. A lot of companies have gone in and spent a lot more money than we have and [ultimately] turned away.

One of the good things about being as independent as we are, we can sit in our own boardroom and make our own silly decisions…and live and die by them.”

CJZ has employed two people to start with in its Dubai office. Campbell is the company director, which means he now calls Dubai home, for at least part of the year.

Top Photo:  Team CJZ at the AFI/AACTA Masterclass [L-R]: Michael Cordell, Matt Campbell, Damian Trewhella, Rachel Antony and Nick Murray

Triptych Pictures and Fremantle take option on Meg Mundell novel

Adelaide’s Triptych Pictures and Fremantle have acquired an option over Meg Mundell’s just-released second novel, The Trespassers (University of Queensland Press) form Alex Adsett Publishing Services.

The Trespassers will be a co-production from Triptych Pictures (Wake In Fright, The Babadook) and Fremantle. This is the first time the two creative powerhouses have partnered on a project with development on The Trespassers already underway.

Martin Shaw, literary agent at Alex Adsett Publishing Services, said: “We are thoroughly delighted by the news. There are so many images in this novel that leave such an indelible impression, and with the talent now assembling behind this co-production, I’m convinced it will be equally as impressive on screen”.

Kristian Moliere, producer, Triptych Pictures, whose production credits include the successful Australian horror film The Babadook as well as the recent TV adaptation of Kenneth Cook’s Wake in Fright, will be joined by screenwriter Andy Cox, who is currently also adapting Peter Temple‘s novel Truth. They will work with Fremantle’s drama team headed by Jo Porter (pictured), whose recent credits include the internationally successful series Wentworth now in its eighth season and Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Moliere said: “As soon as Andy Cox and I read Meg Mundell’s gripping and powerful novel, we could envisage a television adaptation that we knew would resonate with audiences. Through a group of isolated strangers forming connections, the book explores a range of relevant contemporary issues in a tense and suspenseful setting.”

Jo Porter, director of scripted at Fremantle, said: “This captivating novel’s unique framing of a story that deals with class, refugees, and fear set in a world in the not-too-distant future feels highly relevant in today’s climate. It lends itself to the kind of event television that makes it the perfect addition to our international drama slate. We are very excited to be realising this adaption in partnership with the talents of Kristian and Andy.”

Author Meg Mundell said: “I’m rapt to have signed with the Triptych and Fremantle teams, and excited about working with Andy and Kristian as they develop The Trespassers for screen. Andy’s a hugely talented screenwriter, and the perfect person to bring the book to life in this new form. The story couldn’t be in better hands.”

Ewen Leslie to star in new Porchlight series for ABC

Boutique French co-producer and distributor APC Studios has participated in the financing of Porchlight Films’ new drama for ABC Australia, Fallout (working title), and taken worldwide distribution rights to the six-part series, which is set to expose Britain’s atomic past in Australia.

Inspired by true events, Fallout shines a spotlight on a controversial time in Australia’s modern history, the 1950’s British nuclear testing in outback South Australia. This is APC Studios’ first investment in an Australian series and reinforces the company’s strategy of broadening its slate of English-language dramas.

Fallout is written by Australian writer Peter Duncan (Rake) and produced by Porchlight Films’ Vincent Sheehan (The Kettering Incident, Animal Kingdom, Kiki & Kitty) and Tanya Phegan, who co-created the series with Duncan.

Production started this summer on the high profile new project, which is being made with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC and Create NSW and with support from the South Australian Film Corporation. Fallout will air on the ABC in 2020.

Australian actor Ewen Leslie (The Cry, Top of The Lake) will star alongside Jessica de Gouw (Riot, Dracula, Arrow) and Academy Award-nominated James Cromwell (LA Confidential, The Green Mile, Babe) in Fallout.

ABC’s head of scripted production Sally Riley said: “The ABC is incredibly pleased to be reunited with Peter Duncan to work on this excellent new drama series, exploring a vitally important part of Australian history and the long term, devastating ramifications for the local indigenous community.”

Emmanuelle Guilbart and Laurent Boissel, joint-CEOs and co-founders at APC Studios say: “Fallout is a perfect example of the kind of drama we are committed to supporting – a locally grounded story which tackles universal themes and complex characters we know will resonate globally. We are excited to board our first Australian drama alongside world class creatives who we are confident will deliver a powerful series.”

Vincent Sheehan, producer at Porchlight Films added: “We are thrilled to be partnering with APC on Fallout and to be included in their quality catalogue. It was clear from my first conversation with Emmanuelle and Laurent that they appreciated the many layers and bold ambition and were set to embark on a journey with us to share this little known story worldwide.”

TV Ratings Analysis: September 4

• Big 9Gem audience despite rain delays on first day of fourth test
• Audiences elsewhere down, The Block and The Bachelor the best

Wednesday Week 36 2019

By James Manning

• Seven News 944,000/875,000
• Nine News 840,000/863,000
• A Current Affair 728,000
• ABC News 592,000
• 7.30 461,000
• The Project 296,000/497,000
• 10 News First 360,000
• The Drum 170,000
• SBS World News 150,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 265,000
• Today 203,000


An audience of 610,000 Home and Away fans were watching at 7pm after crowds of 653,000 and 625,000 previously this week.

Celebrity Chase episode three featured the return of Lawrence Mooney to Seven along with Seven presenter Abbey Gelmi plus Yvie Jones and Pete Rowsthorn. The episode was on 511,000 after 572,000 last week.

The Front Bar had some major footy stars in Malcolm Blight and Leigh Matthews guesting on the episode. The audience of 355,000 was close to last week’s 357,000 despite the cricket on offer elsewhere. Last night the Melbourne audience was 208,000. The Sydney number, despite it going to air just after 10pm, was just 17,000.


The network again thrived with strong audiences on Nine and 9Gem. 9Gem was boasting a channel share of 13.1% thanks to The Ashes, while Nine’s winning network share was 33.8%.

A Current Affair was on 728,000 for its midweek episode after 805,000 and then 751,000 on its first two episodes of week 36. The episode started with some nasty footage of car jackings.

The Block slipped to 750,000 against the cricket after 826,000 a week ago.

Grand Hotel has already gone to double episodes with 249,000 for the first and 166,000 for the second. The US series launched last week with 353,000.

On 9Gem, the rain interrupted first day of the fourth test in Manchester saw 624,000 watching the first session.


After two nights close to 470,000, The Project had its best audience of the week with 497,000. Tommy Little was at Melbourne Fashion Week and took part in one of the shows.

The Bachelor was on 674,000 after a midweek audience of 749,000 last week. The episode was #1 under 50 for the night.

Episode eight of the 10-part first season of My Life Is Murder was on 343,000 after 392,000 seven days ago. The audience for last week’s show has grown to 668,000 adding BVOD, encores and timeshift.


Hard Quiz was just over 500,000 after 615,000 a week ago.

Also feeling the heat from the cricket were Mad as Hell on 498,000 (681,000 last week) and Utopia on 442,000 (683,000).

Diary of an Uber Driver did 186,000.


Tony Robinson’s Coast to Coast was on the River Thames with 212,000 watching.

The third episode in primetime in three days of 24 Hours in Emergency did 173,000.

Week 36 TV: Wednesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.3% 7 16.5% 9 16.9% 10  13.9% SBS One 4.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.3% 7TWO 2.9% GO! 2.1% 10 Bold 4.2% VICELAND 0.8%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 2.7% GEM 13.1% 10 Peach 2.3% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix 2.2% 9Life 1.7%     NITV 0.2%
    7Food 0.5%         SBS World Movies 0.5%
TOTAL 14.6%   24.9%   33.8%   20.4%   6.3%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.8% 7 17.6% 9 14.0% WIN 11.6% SBS One 4.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.5% 7TWO 4.2% GO! 3.4% WIN Bold 4.0% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 1.1% 7mate 3.6% GEM 10.6% WIN Peach 2.4% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.0% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.7% 9Life 2.5% Sky News  on WIN 1.9% NITV 0.2%
    7food (QLD only) 0.9%            
TOTAL 14.4%   28.9%   30.5%   19.9%   6.4%


  1. Seven News  Seven   944,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight  Seven   875,000
  3. Nine News 6:30  Nine  863,000
  4. Nine News  Nine  840,000
  5. The Block   Nine  750,000
  6. A Current Affair  Nine  728,000
  7. The Bachelor Australia   10  674,000
  8. The Mid-Year Ashes: Fourth Test -Eng V Aus -Session 1 -D1  9Gem  624,000
  9. Home And Away  Seven   610,000
  10. ABC News  ABC  592,000
  11. The Chase Australia  Seven   550,000
  12. Hard Quiz S4  ABC  517,000
  13. The Celebrity Chase  Seven   511,000
  14. Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell S10  ABC  498,000
  15. The Project 7pm   10  497,000
  16. 7.30  ABC  461,000
  17. The Mid-Year Ashes: Fourth Test -Eng V Aus -Lunch -D1  9Gem  457,000
  18. Utopia  ABC  442,000
  19. Hot Seat  Nine  437,000
  20. 10 News First   10  360,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia   10  259,000
  2. The Block   Nine  176,000
  3. The Mid-Year Ashes: Fourth Test -Eng V Aus -Session 1 -D1  9Gem  158,000
  4. The Project 7pm   10  132,000
  5. The Mid-Year Ashes: Fourth Test -Eng V Aus -Lunch -D1  9Gem  129,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia 10 373,000
  2. The Block Nine 342,000
  3. The Mid-Year Ashes: Fourth Test -Eng V Aus -Session 1 -D1 9Gem 248,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 240,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 224,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. The Block Nine 385,000
  2. The Bachelor Australia 10 370,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 277,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 263,000
  5. Nine News Nine 254,000
WEDNESDAY Multichannel
  1. The Mid-Year Ashes: Fourth Test -Eng V Aus 9Gem 624,000
  2. The Mid-Year Ashes: Fourth Test -Eng V Aus 9Gem 457,000
  3. The Mid-Year Ashes: Fourth Test -Eng V Aus 9Gem 222,000
  4. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 201,000
  5. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 188,000
  6. The Mid-Year Ashes: Fourth Test -Eng V Aus 9Gem 175,000
  7. Go Jetters ABCKIDS/COMEDY 171,000
  8. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 169,000
  9. PJ Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 166,000
  10. Dinosaur Train ABCKIDS/COMEDY 164,000
  11. NCIS: Los Angeles (R) 10 Bold 158,000
  12. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 154,000
  13. Kiri And Lou PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 153,000
  14. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 152,000
  15. Kiddets AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 151,000
  16. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  17. Fireman Sam AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  18. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  19. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  20. NCIS: Los Angeles Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 126,000
  1. Gogglebox Australia Lifestyle Channel 170,000
  2. Grand Designs Australia Lifestyle Channel 60,000
  3. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 57,000
  4. Richo & Jones Sky News Live 53,000
  5. The Simpsons FOX8 52,000
  6. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 50,000
  7. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 50,000
  8. Blue Bloods TVH!TS 43,000
  9. Credlin Sky News Live 43,000
  10. The Simpsons FOX8 43,000
  11. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 42,000
  12. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 40,000
  13. Ryan’s Mystery Playdate Nick Jr. 38,000
  14. Border Security: Australia’s Front Line FOX8 37,000
  15. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 37,000
  16. Ryan’s Mystery Playdate Nick Jr. 34,000
  17. Family Guy FOX8 33,000
  18. Family Guy FOX8 33,000
  19. PML Later Sky News Live 32,000
  20. All Round To Mrs. Brown’s UKTV 31,000

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

SCA and PodcastOne holding SME event with Kochie & Julie Bishop

PodcastOne Australia and Southern Cross Austereo are bringing together leading business experts and thought leaders to share their knowledge and strategies to help your business not only survive but thrive in these uncertain times.

The full day event – Future Proof Your Business – will take place at the University of New South Wales on November 15 with tickets now on sale at Ticketek. The package includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.

Featured speakers include Julie Bishop, David Koch, Mark Pesce, Margie Hartley, Tim Harcourt, Shivani Gopel, Craig West and Bastien Treptel.

As an extra component guests can choose to attend one of a series of SME Mentor Sessions with the Full Day Event Package.

The sessions will feature a range of experts who will share their SME expertise with small intimate groups of up to 30 people.

Further information here.

JCDecaux promotes Cassandra Cameron to executive leadership team

JCDecaux Australia & New Zealand CEO Steve O’Connor has announced Cassandra Cameron (pictured), the out-of-home company’s head of trading and sales operations, has been promoted and will join the executive leadership team (ELT). Cameron’s appointment on the ELT is effective immediately.

Having held a similar role at APN Outdoor, Cameron leads an expanded JCDecaux trading and sales operations team responsible for the design and execution of the company’s revenue strategy as well as providing commercial insights, revenue analytics and modelling.

“Cassandra has been a tremendous asset to the business and her elevation to the executive leadership team will provide us with additional knowledge from the sales operations and trading area as well as her broader business acumen and commercial foresight,” O’Connor said.

“We look forward to welcoming Cassandra to the ELT and her counsel in aiding the success of the company as we navigate significant change and growth over the coming years.”

Commenting on her promotion, Cameron said: “This is an exciting opportunity for me. I am thrilled to be joining such an experienced leadership team at a time of great possibility and growth for JCDecaux Australia and New Zealand.”

Cameron joins O’Connor, chief operating officer Andrew Hines, chief financial officer Brendan O’Neil, chief commercial officer Max Eburne, chief marketing officer Essie Wake, NZ country head Mike Watkins, general manager finance David Watkins and director of government & public relations Tess Phillips on the executive leadership team.

News Brands

Nine boss Hugh Marks has regrets about Lib shindig, staff not happy

Nine chief executive Hugh Marks has admitted that hosting a $10,000-a-head Liberal fundraising event was a “mistake” after a widespread backlash from current and former editors, report The Australian’s Leo Shanahan and Lilly Vitorovich.

But Nine Entertainment’s newspapers could still face action from staff, who are planning to hold another meeting amid fallout from the unprecedented political fundraiser on the set of the Today show at Nine’s studios in Sydney.

In an email to staff on Wednesday, James Chessell, group executive editor of group metro publishing at mastheads including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Brisbane Times, said he raised specific concerns with Marks about the fundraiser that took place at Nine’s Willoughby Park studio on Monday night.

Chessell said Marks told him it was a “mistake” to host the function and “could have been handled better”, claiming one of the reasons the fundraiser needed to take place was to discuss issues such as press freedom and the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s report into digital platforms, despite the fact all media companies have been given opportunities to talk to the government about both issues.

Darren Goodsir, former editor-in-chief of The Sydney Morning Herald, said it was clearly a mistake to host the fundraiser.

Peter Fray, a former Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief and publisher, former deputy editor of The Australian and chair of journalism at University of Technology Sydney, said he was surprised by the decision and it was symptomatic of a “new culture” of Nine Entertainment newspapers.

[Read the original]

Costello must know Nine’s broadcasting all the wrong signals

During his record term as Australia’s treasurer, Peter Costello earned a reputation for having a fine political nose. He knew how to sniff the winds, writes Mark Day in The Australian.

Now, as chairman of Nine Entertainment Company, that skill has clearly deserted him. Nine’s decision to host an estimated $700,000 fundraiser for the Liberal Party was just plain dumb.

True, Costello had the good sense not to attend this blatantly political event, but he must have known about it and should have stopped it.

The sight of a media company hosting a party political event sends all the wrong signals.

[Read the original]

Chris Uhlmann’s ‘forthright’ complaint over Nine fundraiser

The fury over Nine’s embrace of the Liberal fundraising circuit extends beyond Hugh Marks’s new employees at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Financial Review, report Margin Call’s Will Glasgow and Christine Lacy in The Australian.

Nine’s Canberra television bureau was similarly unimpressed.

Margin Call has learned Nine Network political editor Chris Uhlmann let it be known to Marks’s government relations executive Clare Gill that the television side of the media operation was not happy with the company’s Liberal love in on Monday night.

[Read the original]

See also:
The SMH: Nine’s Liberal fundraiser is a serious blemish for independent journalism

The Sydney Morning Herald‘s former editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir writes that Nine has hurt a proud legacy of independent journalism by hosting a political fundraiser.

[Read the original]

Australia – the defamation capital of the world, QC tells Press Club

Australia has become the defamation capital of the world, with twice as many libel claims as the United Kingdom despite having well under half its population, reports The AFR’s Michael Pelly.

Victorian Bar Association president Matt Collins QC told the National Press Club on Wednesday, that “we inherited the English common law and then made it worse”.

He said a comparison between libel cases in superior courts between 2014-2018 revealed there were 268 references in the UK, which has 66 million people.

In Australia, there were 577 references for 25 million people. More than half  (312) came from NSW with a population of about 7.5 million.

[Read the original]


Wonderfully disrespectful: Celebrating 20 years of The Chaser

The Age’s Charlotte Grieve tells the story of The Chaser:

The story begins within the sandstone pillars of Sydney’s prestigious Grammar High School where Dominic Knight, Chas Licciardello and Charles Firth completed high school. They were the “annoying” students who signed up to every extra curricular activity available, says Knight.

In the final years, the trio started a student newspaper that made cult figures out of teachers and landed them in the principal’s office on more than one occasion for “taking the piss” out of serious events. But it was worth it.

“The only moment of popularity I had in high school was through that magazine,” says Knight, who hosts Radio Chaser on Sydney’s Triple M. “It was quite addictive that rush of putting something out that people enjoyed.”

That rush would motivate the troublemakers to continue writing satire through university, and eventually begin their own publication.

After “scamming” friends and family for money, the first issue of The Chaser hit the shelves in 1999 with a cover story featuring a long list of failed independent newspapers. The 20-somethings knew the future for print was dire, but were exhilarated by giving it a crack.

Craig Reucassel, whose involvement with The Chaser began in 1999, also enjoyed great acclaim with subsequent ABC shows, including as the host of the ABC’s War on Waste. Reucassel won’t rule out the possibility of a reunion, though he is wary of harking back to a “golden era”.

“You know you’re washed up when they start doing anniversary stories.”

[Read the original]

How it all went downhill for Rove McManus: Career highs & lows

Maria Bervanakis and David Mills from the News Corp Australia Network have catalogued the highs and lows of the TV and radio star’s career:


Aged 25, after making a name for himself as a stand-up comedian, Rove takes up Nine’s offer to produce 10 late night episodes of his own self-titled variety show, but it’s cancelled at the end of its run.


Rove Live premieres for Network Ten, with comedians like Corinne Grant in supporting roles. Over the next 10 years it becomes a flagship show for Network Ten, and also broadcast on TV3 in New Zealand. The show wins a total of 16 Logies, including for Most Popular Entertainment Program, and Rove takes the Gold Logie three years in a row, 2003-2005.


After taking bereavement leave, Rove returns to TV screens with a revamped version of the show, now simply named Rove, screening on Sunday nights (a move he reportedly was unhappy about). He also makes his debut as a game show host in the Australian version of the US game show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

[Read the original]


Mark Levy to continue on 2GB mornings with Hadley in hospital

Macquarie Media has provided an update on Ray Hadley’s current health battle:

Ray was admitted to hospital on Monday after another attack of diverticulitis.
It’s a painful condition that has required treatment in hospital.
Unfortunately the infection is now in his blood, so Ray will remain in hospital for now.
His specialist is confident the problem can be managed with continuing treatment.
Ray sends his thanks to his listeners for their support and well-wishes, and will provide an update on his condition later this week.

Mark Levy will continue hosting The Ray Hadley Morning Show while Ray

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