Friday September 20, 2019

Wendy Moore
Australian commissions key to Foxtel’s LifeStyle brand refresh

• GM Wendy Moore on streaming, broadcast and digital plans

By James Manning

Earlier this year Foxtel appointed former Home Beautiful editor and Pacific general manager of Homes & Food, Wendy Moore, as the new general manager of Foxtel’s Lifestyle group.

Moore replaced Hannah Barnes who steered the popular brands for five years.

See also:
Pacific to Foxtel: Wendy Moore takes the helm of Lifestyle brands

In the role Moore is responsible for overseeing all aspects of Foxtel’s Lifestyle brand including LifeStyle, LifeStyle HOME and LifeStyle FOOD and will guide the current and future direction and commercialisation of the brands across streaming, broadcast and digital.

In her five months in the role, Moore and her team have been examining what audiences want from the brand.

In a new Mediaweek podcast after her presentation at the recent Foxtel Media showcase, Moore said this includes getting a better understanding of what shows audiences want to see and when and what LifeStyle should be acquiring from international producers.

Listen to:
LifeStyle group general manager Wendy Moore on the Mediaweek podcast

“We buy a lot from the UK, which really resonates with our audience,” Moore told Mediaweek.

“We are also looking at LifeStyle’s website. The production team are also looking at commissioning new shows and we are examining the existing brands together with marketing and promotion.

“The channels are definitely the flagship product,” said Moore. “What we are focusing on more is that LifeStyle is a brand and the channels are a product of that brand.

Foxtel has shifted Arena to be part of Moore’s group, sitting alongside, LifeStyle and the multichannels that sit beside the heritage brand, Food and Home.

Moore’s remit from Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany is to remind people how import and popular the LifeStyle content is. “Females are the major part of our audience, about 65%, and we want to ensure we are still serving the content they want.

“As far as I am concerned though I don’t want to be marketed to because I am female, but rather for what I am interested in. Invariably much of our content on LifeStyle is family oriented.”

Moore said LifeStyle would also be more vocal to advertisers to remind them the brand has a really strong contingent of females who are the main grocery buyers and the big decision makers in a household.

Foxtel had a brief discussion about whether Arena should be rebranded. According to Moore that didn’t last long. “Arena remains a strong name and it is such a well-recognised brand. It does Hollywood and glamour very well. I know the value of brands and the strength of affinity audiences have with Arena so I wouldn’t play with that.”

Foxtel has commissioned a new season of The Real Housewives of Melbourne. “It is time for a bit of a shakeup of the cast and we will look at who has interesting stories to tell and see who will come back and what sort of new cast members we could get.”

Arena will retain its Bravo content partnership. “But we will add some layers to what we offer. There won’t be any big changes. By the time Real Housewives launches next year it will be a different channel with a more robust drama candy offering.

As to further commissions for Arena, Moore said: “Yes. We know Australian content works better than anything else on our channels, and not just first run, but in repeats too.”

Moore indicated the existing Australian commissions in the LifeStyle group would be continuing. Those programs include Selling House Australia (13 seasons), Grand Designs Australia (8 seasons), Love It Or List It and Great Australian Bake Off. “We also have Gogglebox too of course which is a great performer.”

Moore admitted there had been talk in the past if LifeStyle was the best home for Gogglebox. Moving to Arena has been mentioned, but Moore said it feels at home more on LifeStyle. “It reminds us that LifeStyle is more than just renovation and home, it is also about how people live.”

The brand has started a research project called The Great Australian Lifestyle. “We also have great viewing data we pull from the Foxtel iQ boxes. As part of the research project we are doing focus groups which will be ongoing and continually updating how our audience feels we are performing.”

Listen to:
LifeStyle group general manager Wendy Moore on the Mediaweek podcast

Foxtel is looking to expand LifeStyle beyond the channels. “That is something we did successfully with the Home Beautiful brand,” said Moore. “For such a strong brand, branching out beyond the screen is the plan. We are looking at events and other categories in the lifestyle space we could expand.”

When asked about a LifeStyle magazine, Moore pointed out that News Corp did sell its homemaker magazine to Bauer several years ago.

“News still has delicious, Taste and Vogue Living and we have started working with delicious on a few projects.”

Robin Bailey exits Triple M to love and care for Sean Pickwell

Margaux Parker will join Triple M Brisbane’s The Big Breakfast from September 30, taking over from Robin Bailey who today farewelled her Brisbane audiences in an emotional show, which Parker was part of.

Greg ‘Marto’ Martin and Nick Cody from The Big Breakfast, together with Triple M content director Rex Morris welcomed Margaux “home”.

Margaux Parker

It was an emotional morning on the radio show as the hosts, station staff, guests and the listeners shed tears during the farewell to Bailey. There were tributes from friends and colleagues played on air, including former Triple M Brisbane co-hosts Moonman and Ed Kavalee.

Bailey helped choose the music during her final show and ended with what she said was the appropriate classic rock anthem Eye Of The Tiger.

The emotions peaked during the final half hour when her on air colleagues Brendan, Nick and Marto said their farewells. Marto admitted that he didn’t think that Robin was the right appointment three years ago and he didn’t think she would resonate with the audience. He apologised for being wrong. With his voice cracking, Mart added: “You have made us see things through the eyes of a wonderful and caring woman.

Robin Bailey with Margaux Parker

Robin was joined in the studio by her husband, and former boss, Sean Pickwell, and through tears said: “Leaving this show is the first time I have walked of my own accord. I don’t think anyone thought it was going to work. It did…we found a way of respecting each other.”

Of the new appointment, Morris said: “Margaux is no stranger to many of us, having made her on air debut with Triple M on Dead Set Legends on the weekends, before transitioning to her first permanent role with the Rush Hour in 2018,” he said.

“She joins us from 92.5 Gold FM on the Gold Coast where she currently co-hosts the number one drive home show alongside Luke Bradnam.”

Parker will become a permanent member of The Big Breakfast as Bailey leaves to care for her husband Sean, who has been battling cancer for some time now.

Morris said Parker’s connections to Brisbane ran very deep.

“She’s a Logan local, mum of four, and wife of former Bronco and Origin great Corey Parker and we are looking forward to welcoming her back to the Triple M Brisbane family.”

Her first day with Triple M Brisbane will be live from Riverfire on September 28, before joining the Big Breakfast on September 30.

Top Photo: Robin Bailey with Nick and Marto

Auditions are open for 10's The Bachelor and The Bachelorette

The finale of The Bachelor tok place on Thursday night, and 10 is already opening auditions for the next series of the TV franchise’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette series.

After Matt Agnew chose Chelsie to conclude season seven of The Bachelor Australia, The Bachelorette Australia is the next cab off the rank.

From couch critic to jungle queen, it’s confirmed that Angie Kent from Gogglebox will be Australia’s next bachelorette in 2019.

On becoming the Bachelorette, Kent said: “I’ve always been the girl who loves to make everyone laugh, but now I reckon it’s time to have someone to laugh with me, rather than at me.

“I’m at a place now where I have loads of self-love, but I’m also open to all of life’s amazing possibilities. So, if 20 or so fellas want to join me, have a laugh and potentially be my perfect partner in life and love – I say – let’s give it a red hot go!”

Network 10 executive producer of The Bachelorette Australia, Hilary Innes, said: “Angie is the perfect Bachelorette. She’s genuine, funny, loveable and naturally gorgeous. I am so excited to see Angie’s love story unfold.”

If you’re single and you’re able to take 12 weeks off from work, it may be your time to shine. Women and men between the ages of 25 and 35 who want a shot at love can now applying here

Mercado on TV: What is ‘a frothy mash-up of comedy, drama and reality?’

Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990 – 2000) has already inspired several spin-offs, like send-up Grosse Pointe (2000) and next generation sequel 90210 (2008 – 2013). Now all of the original cast are back (with the exception of Luke Perry who died in March) for BH90210 (Tuesday on 10), a frothy mash-up of comedy, drama and reality.

By Andrew Mercado

What’s fun is that everyone (Jason Priestley, Tori Spelling, Ian Ziering, Jennie Garth, Brian Austin Green, Gabrielle Carteris, Shannon Doherty) is happy to send themselves up silly as they play heightened versions of themselves, and their characters. This is Tori Spelling at her most likeable, especially as she channels dad Aaron Spelling by producing the show within a show.

Shows about TV don’t really rate in Australia (or at least that’s what Seven always said when they ran 30 Rock at 11.30pm) but if The Masked Singer (Monday and Tuesday on 10) scores big, there could be a curiosity factor to watch BH90210 straight afterwards. The network is happily promoting the show as being “Back on 10” which makes me wonder why they have totally missed another iconic 10 title, which has had an even more successful reboot.

For months and months now, Entertainment Tonight (weekdays on 10) has been teasing clips from A Very Brady Renovation, which premiered on pay channel HGTV in the US last week to an astonishing 8 million viewers (while BH90210 only got 3.8 million on free to air Fox). CBS, which now owns 10, also owns The Brady Bunch franchise, so how did both of them miss the chance to grab a Brady version of The Block? Instead, it will air on Foxtel’s TLC from October 7, while the channel it shares a history with is airing the umpteenth repeat of Muriel’s Wedding (Wednesday on 10).

As Tim Ross says in The Pool (Sunday on ABC), we are all doomed if we ignore history. This riveting two-part doco, about Aussie swimming spots, has some important stuff to say about how the past should influence our future, particularly when it comes to community. Immerse yourself in The Pool, because it is a beauty.

TV Ratings Analysis: September 19

• The Bachelor decides: Viewers vote for 10, Matt votes for Chelsie
• Gogglebox also strong for 10 as channel ranks #1 with all ages

Thursday Week 38 2019

By James Manning

• Seven News 908,000/895,000
• Nine News 762,000/811,000
• A Current Affair 668,000
• ABC News 607,000
• 7.30 468,000
• The Project 269,000/533,000
• 10 News First 352,000
• The Drum 144,000
• SBS World News 130,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 294,000
• Today 223,000


Despite the audience flocking to 10 last night, Seven was able to claim the best network share all people.

Home and Away dropped below 600,000 after three nights well above that mark with a Thursday night audience of 537,000.

The Front Bar guests included Santo and Collingwood great Rene Kink with 393,000 watching, 243,000 of them in Melbourne.


A Current Affair dropped below 700,000 to 668,000 as the show revealed images from the Gold Coast that would turn away visitors.

RBT then did 449,000 at 7.30pm.

Viewers then saw different programs in different markets. Some got an ob doc double of Paramedics and Kings Cross ER, while others saw the second part of Queen: Days Of Our Lives.


There has been plenty of cross promotion on The Project this week and it has been good for the ratings with another night over half a million. The program featured a preview of the finale of The Bachelor as Megan Gale also joined the episode.

The 2020 finale of The Bachelor saw Matt chose Chelsie with the audience hitting 1.17m as he made his decision. Earlier the first part of the season final did 936,000. On location in South Africa, Matt took his best mates Kate and Jason along for the ride to meet his final two: Abbie, a 23-year-old property analyst from Queensland and Chelsie, a 28-year-old from Victoria. As Matt reached for the ring at the end of the episode, he told Chelsie: “I’ve never believed in such a thing as the perfect woman until I met you. I love how you make me feel and you make me want to believe in fairy tales because when I’m with you I feel like I’m living in one.”

The year-on-year ratings were down with the Honey Badger final pulling an audience of 1.07m at the start and 1.32m for the “decision”. 10 has noted last night’s numbers are up on 2017, the last non-celebrity final.

The numbers pushed the 10 share to 22.3%, giving it a win not only in all demos, but total people too. It was 10’s biggest audience since The Bachelor’s final episode last year.

Gogglebox then had a goodnight too with 759,000 as the home critics, some of them, warmed to I Am…Roxy.


Escape from the City was far north Queensland with 391,000 watching.

A Vera repeat then did 267,000.


Secrets of the Rolls Royce Luxury Car had the biggest audience with 154,000 after 8.30pm.

Earlier in the night Going Places with Ernie Dingo did 147,000 and Gourmet Farmer was on 129.000.

Week 38 TV: Thursday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.7% 7 17.7% 9 15.3% 10  22.3% SBS One 3.7%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.9% 7TWO 3.9% GO! 3.0% 10 Bold 3.5% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 3.4% GEM 2.4% 10 Peach 1.7% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix 2.1% 9Life 1.7%     NITV 0.3%
    7Food 0.9%         SBS World Movies 0.6%
TOTAL 15.4%   28.0%   22.4%   27.5%   6.7%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 11.7% 7 17.3% 9 13.7% WIN 15.7% SBS One 3.4%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.6% 7TWO 6.0% GO! 4.2% WIN Bold 3.4% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 1.1% 7mate 4.4% GEM 4.2% WIN Peach 1.6% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 0.8% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.5% 9Life 2.1% Sky News  on WIN 1.7% NITV 0.5%
    7food (QLD only) 0.8%            
TOTAL 16.2%   31.1%   24.2%   22.4%   6.0%


87.2% 12.8%
  1. The Bachelor Australia Grand Finale – The Final Decision 10 1,170,000
  2. The Bachelor Australia Grand Finale 10 936,000
  3. Seven News Seven 908,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 895,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 811,000
  6. Nine News Nine 762,000
  7. Gogglebox 10 759,000
  8. A Current Affair Nine 668,000
  9. ABC News ABC 607,000
  10. Home And Away Seven 537,000
  11. The Project 7pm 10 533,000
  12. The Chase Australia Seven 484,000
  13. 7.30 ABC 468,000
  14. RBT Nine 449,000
  15. Hot Seat Nine 405,000
  16. The Front Bar Seven 393,000
  17. Escape From The City ABC 391,000
  18. 10 News First 10 352,000
  19. The Latest: Seven News Seven 330,000
  20. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 304,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia Grand Finale – The Final Decision 10 436,000
  2. The Bachelor Australia Grand Finale 10 341,000
  3. Gogglebox 10 261,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 127,000
  5. Seven News Seven 99,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia Grand Finale – The Final Decision 10 646,000
  2. The Bachelor Australia Grand Finale 10 512,000
  3. Gogglebox 10 412,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 244,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 223,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. The Bachelor Australia Grand Finale – The Final Decision 10 653,000
  2. The Bachelor Australia Grand Finale 10 520,000
  3. Gogglebox 10 423,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 280,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 279,000
THURSDAY Multichannel
  1. Becca’s Bunch ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  2. Father Brown PM 7TWO 145,000
  3. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  4. Kiri And Lou PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  5. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  6. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  7. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 133,000
  8. Hawaii Five-O 10 Bold 131,000
  9. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 130,000
  10. A Touch Of Frost PM 7TWO 126,000
  11. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  12. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  13. PJ Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  14. QI ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  15. Dinosaur Train ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  16. Kiddets AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  17. Charlie And Lola ABCKIDS/COMEDY 111,000
  18. Andy’s Wild Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 108,000
  19. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 106,000
  20. Giggle And Hoot ABCKIDS/COMEDY 104,000
  1. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 76,000
  2. Grand Designs Australia Lifestyle Channel 55,000
  3. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 50,000
  4. Paul Murray Live: In Washington Dc Sky News Live 49,000
  5. Live: The Late Show With Matty Johns FOX LEAGUE 48,000
  6. The Simpsons FOX8 43,000
  7. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 42,000
  8. Credlin Sky News Live 40,000
  9. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 40,000
  10. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 39,000
  11. Blue Bloods TVH!TS 38,000
  12. Gold Rush: White Water Discovery Channel 36,000
  13. Paul Murray Live: In Washington Dc Sky News Live 34,000
  14. Family Guy FOX8 34,000
  15. AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 34,000
  16. The Simpsons FOX8 33,000
  17. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 32,000
  18. The Great Australian Bake Off Lifestyle FOOD 32,000
  19. Police Ten 7 FOX8 32,000
  20. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 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

Domain hires Woolies exec David Bolton as new tech boss

Domain has hired Woolworths executive David Bolton as its new technology boss, farewelling the long-serving Mark Cohen who has worked across Fairfax Media and the digital property classifieds business on-and-off for the last 16 years, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Bolton is current head of engineering and e-commerce technology at WooliesX, which combines the supermarket giant’s loyalty, digital, data and e-commerce businesses. He has previously worked at ING Direct, William Hill and News Corp.

Domain confirmed Cohen’s exit when contacted by The Australian Financial Review. He will finish up at Domain next Friday. Staff were told on Thursday.

Cohen had several stints at Fairfax over 16 years, starting as a technology manager in 2003 before leaving in 2005. He returned to Fairfax that year as a technology director for online real estate before taking on the role looking over classifieds more generally.

[Read the original]

Consolidation needed in regional media: Antony Catalano

Regional media needs to consolidate to survive and the government needs to act fast by removing more ownership restrictions to make sure Australians outside metropolitan cities won’t be “living in the dark”, Antony Catalano said, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Catalano is executive chairman of regional publisher Australian Community Media, which he and his business partner Alex Waislitz bought from Nine in a deal worth $125 million, which completed June 30. Nine inherited the business via its $4 billion merger with Fairfax Media, which completed in December 2018.

Catalano said his ambition is to turn ACM into a similar business model to Nine following the Fairfax merger, with a range of different mediums to take to advertisers.

“I want to grow our business and I want to look to consolidate it. Potentially are we a multimedia regional business that has print, digital, TV, radio? They are things we should look at,” he said.

[Read the original]

Google, Facebook cozy up to publishers as regulators circle

Alphabet Inc. ’s Google and Facebook Inc. are making concessions long sought by news publishers whose business has been hurt by the platforms’ dominance, moves that some in the media industry see as an effort to pre-empt potential regulatory backlash, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Google last week announced changes to how it ranks stories on its news page to better promote original content, addressing publishers’ long-running complaints that their scoops were often overshadowed by quick rewrites by other outlets.

Facebook, meanwhile, is negotiating with media outlets to pay them for the rights to publish their stories in a special news feed on the social media platform, and will rely on humans to determine which stories to feature, The Wall Street Journal reported last month.

Google executives said the prospect of regulation didn’t influence their effort to better promote original news, adding that technological advances had finally allowed the company to address a longstanding concern among publishers.

Facebook has expressed a commitment to improving its partnerships with news outlets, particularly those that publish legitimate, high-quality reporting.

[Read the original]

News Brands

Rock star denies ‘hurtful, humiliating, and damaging report’, sues paper

Singer Daniel Johns has commenced defamation proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria against The Sunday Telegraph newspaper, its editor and a journalist.

Johns says the legal action follows an article on August 11, 2019, when the newspaper published a photograph of him was splashed across the front page under the headline “King of the Kastle”.

In a social media post, Johns said: “According to the newspaper, it was a photograph of me leaving a brothel called The Kastle, which the article described as specialising in bondage, S&M, ‘brown showers’ and ‘adult babies’. The article stated that I am there so frequently that it has become my second home, spending up to 18 hours a day there for the previous two weeks. Additionally, it was stated that staff and patrons were ‘fed up’ with me, and I was full of venom and anger.

“The article was simply untrue.

“No contact was made with me or my representatives to check the facts before the article was published.”

Johns added he had asked the newspaper for an apology and retraction and neither has been provided.

“I have now issued legal proceedings in order to publicly correct the facts and vindicate my reputation.

“This false reporting has been very hurtful, humiliating, and damaging to me and my family. It is disappointing that the newspaper has not acknowledged this and apologised despite assertions from both myself, and a representative of the Kastle, that I simply was not, and have never been, there. In fact, I never even knew of its existence.”

Sky News congratulates award winners David Speers and Sharri Markson

Sky News political editor David Speers and The Daily Telegraph’s political editor and Sky News presenter Sharri Markson were this week recognised as the joint winners of the 2019 Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery Journalist of the Year Award at the Press Gallery Mid-Winter Ball in Canberra.

As Sky News Political Editor, Speers led the team for the channel’s Federal Election coverage. He was at the centre of one of the defining campaign moments as host of the Sky News People’s Forum, which saw Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten go head-to-head with the Opposition Leader accusing the Prime Minister of being a “Space Invader”.

David Speers

Speers also hosted the first-ever Sky News investigative documentary Bad Blood: Toppling Turnbull and New Blood: Morrison’s Miracle, which delivered some of the channel’s best ratings year to date.

Markson’s exclusive reporting in The Daily Telegraph revealed Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton intended to challenge for the prime ministership, significantly impacting the course of the political events of the Federal Election year.

Paul Whittaker, Sky News chief executive officer, said: “From all the team at Sky News, congratulations to David and Sharri on this prestigious award, which recognises their extraordinary skills in political journalism and their ability to set the national news agenda.”

Facebook expands local news accelerator to support publishers

The Facebook Journalism Project is expanding the Local News Accelerator program to Australia and New Zealand. Launched in partnership with the Walkley Foundation, program will convene 11 publishers from September to December in Sydney, and support their efforts to boost direct reader revenue through subscriptions, memberships, and one-off payments.

Facebook’s news partnerships lead ANZ, Andrew Hunter, said the Accelerator provides platform-agnostic training, coaching, and project funding for news organizations to connect with – and monetise – their audiences on and off Facebook.

Participating publishers include News Corp, Australian Community Media, The Guardian, The Conversation, Crikey, The West Australian, The New Daily, Schwartz Media, and New Zealand publishers The New Zealand Herald, The Spinoff, and Newsroom.

The Facebook Accelerator Program began in 2018 as a three-month pilot program in the United States to work with metro newspapers to elevate their digital subscription business strategies. Building on the success of previous Accelerators in North America, Latin America, and Germany, the Australia and New Zealand Accelerator will take place in two parts.

The first stage will be a three-month curriculum of hands-on workshops led by news industry experts and global media leaders, who will share best-in-practice reader revenue strategies and tactics.

Louisa Graham

New publishers will also be invited to face-to-face meetings at Facebook’s Sydney office. In the second stage, each publisher will receive funding to test and implement new reader revenue strategies that they will develop with coaches. Grants will be administered by the Walkley Foundation.

“The Walkley Foundation is committed to fostering resilience and growth in the industry in practical, measurable ways,” said Louisa Graham, chief executive of the Walkley Foundation. “Facebook’s Accelerator Program is designed to support Australian newsrooms in maximizing new revenue streams. This will ultimately allow news organizations to continue their important work and report on the issues that matter to Australian society.”


'My dear Prime Minister': Alan Jones's apology letter to Jacinda Ardern

Australian broadcaster Alan Jones’s apology letter to the New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, spells out he never intended “violence” towards her, and wished no harm on her and her family, reports New Zealand reporter for The Guardian, Eleanor Ainge Roy.

It includes the broadcaster pitching for an interview with Ardern despite earlier saying he would “puke” if he saw her again on TV.

On 16 August Jones penned an apology letter to the New Zealand PM, saying he never intended to cause offence, which has been released to the Guardian under an Official Information Request – New Zealand’s version of FOI.

“My dear Prime Minister,” the letter begins.

Jones says he and Ardern’s opinions on climate change “differ significantly” and his comments, which don’t need to be repeated, “didn’t come out quite as I intended”.

Jones goes on to say that, if she so wishes, he is happy to discuss the matter by telephone with the PM – and then pitches for an on-air interview.

“I would also like to extend a standing invitation to participate in an interview on my programme, which would allow us to constructively debate the issue of climate change,” he writes. “Again, my sincerest apologies and please know I wish you and your family only the best.”

[Read the original]


Foxtel celebrates 20-year partnership with Bell Shakespeare

Foxtel is celebrating a 20-year partnership with Bell Shakespeare this month as the National Schools Partner, which introduces Shakespeare’s work to 80,000 school students across Australia, from major cities to regional towns every year through school visits and stage productions.

To mark the occasion Foxtel Arts will showcase this month, four Foxtel Original/produced short films which highlight Bell Shakespeare’s initiatives, including the story of John Bell who founded Bell Shakespeare in 1990 and his idea to create a theatre company dedicated to producing the plays of William Shakespeare in a way that is relevant and exciting to Australian audiences.

The short films also cover Bell Shakespeare’s Regional programs including their Regional Teacher Mentorship program where 30 regional teachers travel to Sydney each year to practice techniques to bring Shakespeare’s works off the page and into the classroom. The third film features a follow up to one of the teachers from the program, Kate Dyer, who returns to her school in Darwin to inspire her students about Shakespeare and to produce a Macbeth performance.

The last film features Bell Shakespeare’s mainstage play Much Ado About Nothing which launches its national tour in Orange each year, and follows the creative process and the behind the scenes logistics that go into bringing a theatre production to the regions.

Foxtel has a commitment to fostering, supporting and participating in Australia’s creative industries and arts organisations and is delighted to be involved with Bell Shakespeare over the last 20 years and beyond.

Fraser Stark, Foxtel’s group general manager, Entertainment & Music Channels said, “By helping teachers and students in Australia’s cities and its regions access Shakespeare, Bell Shakespeare does much more than develop appreciation for The Bard. By forging a close connection with potent narratives, vivid characters, as well as the virtuosity of the language itself, Bell helps teachers and students from anywhere unlock their own potential to teach, inspire and entertain. Such is the richness of the texts and the dedication of the Company to draw them from the page. It’s an honour for Foxtel to support such a fine calling and we’re proud to have done so for twenty years. We hope that our short films form a fitting tribute to our partner’s great work.”

Image: William Shakespeare, English poet and playwright, Madame Tussauds Berlin wax museum

Fan victory: A Very Brady Renovation coming to TLC in October

After pleas from fans and a campaign from TV Tonight and Triple M’s Jane Kennedy, Discovery has announced A Very Brady Renovation will launch in Australia on Monday 7 October at 8:30pm on TLC.

The production, from TLC’s sister network HGTV, sees six original cast members reunite in an emotional journey as the sitcom’s iconic house – the most coveted and photographed in America after the White House – gets a mind-blowing renovation and replication.

The six Brady Bunch siblings, Barry Williams (Greg), Maureen McCormick (Marcia), Christopher Knight (Peter), Eve Plumb (Jan), Mike Lookinland (Bobby) and Susan Olsen (Cindy), team up with HGTV’s biggest renovation star experts Jonathan and Drew Scott (Property Brothers), Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen E Laine (Good Bones), siblings Leanne and Steve Ford (Restored by the Fords), Jasmine Roth (Hidden Potential) and Lara Spencer (Flea Market Flip), to execute the boldest home renovation the world has ever seen.

In A Very Brady Renovation, the Brady cast and HGTV team deliver a show-stopping transformation of the home by adding 2,000 square feet to its original footprint – all without compromising its instantly recognisable street view. Proving why they are the best in the business, the renovation experts leave no stone unturned as they create the perfect replica down to the vintage furniture, wallpaper and décor items, to ensure that the final renovation results stay true to the spirit of The Brady Bunch family home that everyone loves and remembers. From the unforgettable signature wood-panelled living room with floating staircase and the orange and green kitchen, to Mike’s den and Greg’s attic, and of course their memorable credenza and horse statue, The Brady Bunch house will forever hold a special place in television history and pop culture.

Sports Media

Game over: Saul Shtein out as head of Seven Sport

Seven’s head of sport Saul Shtein will depart the network after 15 years, following the AFL Grand Final next week, reports TV Tonight.

“We’re very grateful for all his service over the last 15 years with the network,” a Seven spokesperson told TV Tonight.

“An announcement in regards to his replacement will be made in due course.”

Sources suggest his shock redundancy is one of several announcements to be made by newly-installed CEO James Warburton and comes despite AFL performing well for the network in a challenging ratings year.

Shtein has an impressive CV across some 40 years the industry, enjoying 17 years with Nine before 9 years at Fox Sports.

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Shtein spoke to Mediaweek in 2017:

“I have loved every moment of it since I have been involved. I started in 1980 – 37 years ago. I started at Nine, later moved to Fox Sports and then joined Seven. I was at Nine for 17 years, nine years at Fox and have been with Seven since 2004. I have loved all the people I worked with during my time in telly.

“I still have mates at all places I worked and there is a collegiate friendship with people working in sport.

“We are lucky in Australia in that we enjoy the best sports telecast in the world which comes partly from the competitive environment we are in.”

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