Roundup: Carsales’ US deal, Dave Hughes, NCIS captions breach + more

siren awards dave hughes

• Plus oOh! media, News Corp, The Culture podcast, Hayley Bourne, Ellen DeGeneres, SAS Australia, 2020 TV quotas, AFLW expansion, 2021 FA Cup Final

Business of Media

Carsales’ US deal ‘makes strategic sense’

Analysts have backed’s move into the US recreational and industrial vehicles and equipment listings market, saying it will give the company the chance to flex its digital muscles in a much larger market than Australia, reports AFR‘s Miranda Ward. said on Wednesday it had offered to buy 49 per cent of online caravan, truck, equipment and motorbike listings group Trader Interactive for $US624 million ($800 million).

The Norfolk, Virginia-based listings group operates online marketplaces under brands such as RV Trader, Snowmobile Trader, Cycle Trader, NextTruck, Equipment Trader and Rock & Dirt. It is the number one or two marketplace in most of these segments.

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oOh!Media bats off question on Sydney Trains contract

oOh!Media has fended off a question on the up-in-the-air Sydney Trains contract at its annual general meeting on Thursday, asserting no contracts represent a large amount of the billboard company’s revenue, reports AFR‘s Miranda Ward.

Since early March, speculation has suggested ASX-listed oOh!Media has lost the lucrative contract, however Sydney Trains has repeatedly insisted no decision has been made.

oOh!Media chairman Tony Faure told shareholders that it is the company’s policy to not comment on live tenders.

“No one contract represents more than 6 per cent of our revenue or more than 1 per cent of the reach of our network,” he said.

[Read More]

News Brands

News Corp exclusive on Chinese ‘bioweapons’ based on discredited 2015 book of conspiracy theories

The Australian’s exclusive about a “chilling” document produced by Chinese military scientists is based on a discredited 2015 book containing conspiracy theories about biological warfare which is freely available on the internet, reports Guardian Australia‘s Amanda Meade and Daniel Hurst.

Written by the paper’s investigations writer, Sharri Markson, the report last Saturday said Chinese military scientists “discussed the weaponisation of Sars coronaviruses five years before the Covid-19 pandemic” and predicted a third world war would be fought with biological weapons.

The story was published to promote Markson’s debut book, What Really happened in Wuhan, which argues that there is “no scientific consensus that Covid-19 has a natural origin” and that China has conspired to cover up the truth.

[Read More]


Schwartz Media releases second series with new weekly culture podcast

Building on the success of its flagship daily news podcast 7am, and it’s growing arts and culture coverage, Schwartz Media is launching new podcast The Culture at the end of the month. Award-winning journalist, editor of 7am and pop-culture obsessive Osman Faruqi will host The Culture, taking a weekly deep dive into the latest and best in film, music, TV, streaming, books and art.

Osman Faruqi

Schwartz Media entered the audio space two years ago with what soon became the #1 news podcast in Australia, 7am. Amongst all Australian podcasts on the April Podcast Ranker chart, 7am ranked #5.

The Culture is a show I’ve wanted to make for a long time,” said Faruqi.

“We hear from our audience all the time that they’re hungry for smart, engaging and fun angles on what they love watching and listening to.

“The show will be mainstream and accessible but also won’t shy away from discussing broader social themes that emerge from discussions around film, music and TV. Think of an Australian Still Processing, the NYT culture podcast.”

The new series will feature conversations with critics from across the publisher’s titles including Anwen Crawford, Shaad D’Souza, Christos Tsiolkas and Bri Lee, as well as culture commentators from around the world.

The Culture will also include interviews with local and international musicians, filmmakers, writers and other artists about their work. Each episode will be a 30-40 minute in-depth examination into a work, artist or a particular theme.

Schwartz Media CEO Rebecca Costello said now was the perfect time for the publisher to increase its audio offering with a culture podcast.

“When we released 7am, we filled a gap in the market for an independent and high-quality Australian news podcast, quickly becoming the country’s most popular daily news podcast.

“News and culture are two of the things Schwartz Media does really well so The Culture just makes perfect sense for us.” said Costello. The publisher is also home to The Saturday Paper and The Monthly.

The first episode of The Culture will be released on Friday, May 28, 2021 and then weekly on Fridays.

See also: Podcast Week


Dave Hughes cops major backlash after getting the Covid vaccine live on air

Comedian Dave Hughes has upset his large fanbase after getting the Covid vaccine live on air, reports News Corp’s Bianca Mastroianni.

During a segment on the Hughesy, Ed and Erin radio show, they had Dr Van Mai on to give the host his jab.

However, this wasn’t something that sat well with some fans after the clip was uploaded to Instagram, with many claiming there was nothing in the syringe and that Hughesy was part of some conspiracy theory.

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Nine Radio appoints head of digital audio as audience transitions from analogue

Hayley Bourne is joining Nine Radio as head of digital audio as the business focuses on the transition of audiences and revenue from analogue to digital.

Hayley Bourne

In announcing the appointment, Nine’s managing director of radio Tom Malone said:

“Over the past 18 months, our focus has been overhauling our analogue radio operations from a programming and cost perspective. As we recover from Covid we are now starting to realise the revenue benefit as a result of these changes. We will continue to strive for operational excellence across talk radio and our music stations, while increasingly we’ll focus on the transition of audiences and revenue from analogue to digital.”

Bourne has 17 years experience in media, across TV, radio, digital, podcasting, social and production. She’s most recently been the head of brand partnerships at Joe Media in the UK, responsible for the distribution and commercialisation of audio content across digital and social platforms. Bourne will be responsible for the creation, implementation and execution of Nine’s digital audio strategy.

Malone added: “As part of this evolving structure, Matt Cram’s title will change to head of digital content and growth, to better reflect his core duties. Matt is a doing a terrific job leading our digital content team across our websites and social channels, and will continue to play a big role in our future plans.”

Nine’s previously advertised role of head of podcasts is still open for recruitment.


Ellen DeGeneres is ending her talk show, but was she really cancelled?

When Ellen DeGeneres announced on Wednesday that next year’s season would be the last for her eponymous talk show, it was hailed by some as the latest instance of a wayward celebrity being cancelled by public outrage, reports SMH‘s Karl Quinn.

One Twitter user opted for the pithy “Ellen Degenerate”, as if that said it all. Another, speaking for many who felt betrayed by revelations last year that behind the “be kind” slogan of the show lay a toxic workplace, opted for a more Socratic approach. “Everyone: ‘Hey #ellen can you make your staff less racist and take accountability for a toxic environment?’#EllenDeGeneres: ‘I quit’.”

The truth is more complex. While public outrage may have played some part in her decision to call time on the daytime chat show after 19 seasons and more than 3000 episodes, it is likely that money, not morality, really called the shots here.

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SAS Australia instructor Ant Middleton says show ‘crushed’ Sam Burgess

Former British special forces soldier Ant Middleton said he “crushed” footballer Sam Burgess on reality show, SAS Australia, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

The former Rabbitohs footballer Burgess — aged 32 and measuring 196cm tall — is one of the more formidable contestants on the gruelling reality show that was earlier this month shot near the Blue Mountains.

“We crushed him,” Middleton said.

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Without quotas in 2020 here’s what happened

With a global pandemic hitting the screen sector hard last year, Free to Air networks Seven, Nine and 10 were amongst those relieved of meeting normal content quotas for 2020, reports TV Tonight.

The good news is they still far exceeded the quotas required in screening local content. They also exceeded the normal minimum requirement in Documentary.

But the more disappointing news was there were targets missed in Drama and Children’s Television.

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WIN breach over NCIS captions

WIN Television has been found to have breached captioning rules for two episodes of NCIS broadcast in November 2019, reports TV Tonight.

An investigation by the Australian Communications & Media Authority followed a complaint that the captioning service provided during two episodes was inadequate.

Audio-visual copies of program content are used by the ACMA to determine whether broadcasts comply with industry rules. But when requested for copies of the broadcasts, WIN TV provided low-resolution audio-visual files that were insufficient to ascertain compliance with captioning rules.

[Read More]

Sports Media

AFLW expansion: Season to start in December, four more clubs soon

All 18 AFL clubs will have a NAB AFL Women’s team by the end of 2023, with the AFL Commission throwing the doors open to expansion and bringing the start of the season forward to December, it was announced yesterday.

The next AFLW season will begin in December this year to give the 10-round competition clear air and prevent an overlap with the AFL competition, with the Grand Final to be held in mid-March, 2022.

But that season – also known as season six – will still be contested by the existing 14 AFLW teams.

The clubs without AFLW teams – Essendon, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide and Sydney – have now been invited to submit proposals by July 9 as to why they should be included as early as season seven, which is likely to start at the end of 2022, with details to be worked through.

After its beginnings as an eight-team competition in 2017, the AFLW will consist of 18 teams when season eight starts in late 2023.

North Melbourne and Geelong joined in 2019, with Gold Coast, Richmond, St Kilda and West Coast added the following year.

AFLW season timelines

Season five – January-April, 2021
Season six – December 2021-March 2022
Season seven – Late 2022 start
Season eight – Late 2023 start

AFL TV broadcast rights are currently held by Seven and Foxtel.

2021 FA Cup Final live and exclusive early Sunday on ESPN

ESPN is the only place Australian football fans can watch the 2021 FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Leicester City, live and exclusive in the early hours of Sunday May 16 from 2am AEST.

Both Chelsea and Leicester have enjoyed successful campaigns this season, with the pair currently sitting in the top four of the English Premier League, still fighting for UEFA Champions League placings.

FA Cup final day at Wembley is familiar surroundings for Chelsea, who made it all the way to the final last season, only to fall to Arsenal.

Chelsea overcame Manchester City to seal their place in the FA Cup final, handing them a shot at redemption, and ensuring they have now featured in three of the last four FA Cup Finals.

Chelsea have won the trophy eight times, last defeating Manchester United in 2018.

This time they run into Leicester City, who are in their first FA Cup final since 1969.

Football will always remember the Foxes unbelievable English Premier League triumph in 2015-16, and glory on Sunday will be just reward for Brendan Rodgers’ men, after another stellar season.

It would also write more history for the club, as Leicester City have never won the FA Cup, finishing runners-up on four occasions.

Whilst their Premier League win remains the club’s last silverware, their last cup competition win was the English League Cup in 2000.

Leicester have eliminated Brighton, Manchester United and Southampton on route to Sunday’s final.

However, they run into a red-hot Chelsea outfit, who have transformed under manager Thomas Tuchel.

Chelsea also have the UEFA Champions League Final against Manchester City to look forward to on May 30 AEST, but Leicester hope they can ruin the party with a drought breaking win at Wembley.

FA Cup Final on ESPN

Sunday May 16
2am AEST, 2021 FA Cup Final, ESPN
12.30pm AEST, 2021 FA Cup Final (Replay), ESPN

*All times listed are AEST

Coverage on ESPN is available on Foxtel, Kayo Sports and Fetch TV.

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