Roundup: Could Nine air the tennis & cricket?, Fremantle restructures, AFL changes


Plus: SCA, Paul Coles, and Howatson + Company,

Business of Media

SCA boss urges government to act on critical media reform

The federal government must act to ensure radio is not left off the car dashboard, says Southern Cross Austero chief executive Grant Blackley, who argues easy access to free radio in cars is as important as free-to-air TV services being easily accessible on a connected TV, reports AFR‘s Miranda Ward.

“With an asset base that includes audio and TV, we continue to urge the government for further media reform in two ways,” Mr Blackley told The Australian Financial Review.

“Within the television area, we certainly look at the outdated spectrum text. Secondly, we look at prominence as a core issue and thirdly, we look at anti-siphoning as three legislative agendas that I feel we need certainty on.”

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Paul Coles joins DO as national managing director and co-owner

Paul Coles is joining independent Sydney-based creative agency DO as national managing director and co-owner.

Coles brings with him 20 years of experience to his new role, which comes as he leaves his general manager position at BMF Australia after almost five years with the company.

Paul Coles

He joined BMF as general manager of the Aldi account in 2018, which was The Australian Effie Awards’ effective advertiser of the year in 2018, 2019 and 2020, and won AWARD Awards’ marketing team of the year in 2018 and 2020. 

Coles was also promoted to the general manager position in May 2019.

He has held senior roles at M&C Saatchi, VMLY&R, J Walter Thompson Worldwide in London and Sydney, Saatchi & Saatchi in London, and Ogilvy in Auckland.

Coles serves as a consultant and lecturer for the Advertising Council Australia since 2020, he has also been advisory committee member for HeartKids Limited since 2015.

Paul Coles said: “I’m incredibly sad to leave my good friends at BMF – an agency with a big heart and bigger ideas.

Howatson + Company welcomes Richard Shaw and Jeremy Hogg

Richard Shaw and Jeremy Hogg have left CHEP Network to join Howatson + Company, both as executive creative directors.

They join the agency, headed by former CHE Proximity (now CHEP Network) CEO Chris Howatson, along with executive creative director Gavin Chimes.


Chimes joined Howatson + Company in May last year as executive creative director, he was also previously part of CHE Proximity up until March 2021.

Chief creative officer Levi Salvin, who join the agency in September last year, said: “If you’ve come across Rich and Jez in their previous roles at CHEP, DDB, Clems Melbourne, Marcel or The Monkeys you’ll know they’re super smart, very talented, quite tall, and truly lovely.”

The duo join a growing number of former CHEP Network staffers, including managing director Renee Hyde, head of production Holly Alexander, and chief data and technology officer Hoang Nguyen, who have moved up into senior positions.


Eureka takes on Fremantle entertainment under restructure

Fremantle’s Australian production arm is restructuring, to focus on Drama, Documentary and Factual. reports TV Tonight.

Chief Financial Officer Greg Woods, who has been acting CEO following the exit of Chris Oliver-Taylor late last year, is formally installed as his successor.

Chris Culvenor and Paul Franklin’s Eureka Productions, in which Fremantle increased its stake to majority last year, will take on Entertainment, Reality and Gameshows including Australia’s Got Talent, Australian Idol and Farmer Wants A Wife.

Drama titles at Fremantle include the upcoming Barons and Significant Others for ABC, and Heartbreak High for Netflix. Long-running Neighbours is in production until June unless a UK broadcaster steps up.

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Sport Media

Sneesby to hold serve on tennis as Nine profit surges

Nine’s Australian Open broadcast rights end in 2024 and will come up for renegotiation next year. Nine CEO Mike Sneesby told investors Nine would enter these talks “when the time’s right”, but it would do so “through a very commercial lens”, reports AFR‘s Miranda Ward.

He told the Financial Review while every sport needs cash from broadcast licensing deals, they equally need an audience to grow their own sporting brands.

“That’s where, when we approach a discussion with any sporting partner, we approach it holistically in a completely different light to I think how other television businesses might approach sport,” he said.

“Yes, there will be always a commercial negotiation, and when the right time comes for something like tennis, we’ll have that negotiation.“

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‘Nothing’s out of the question’: Nine could add cricket to summer line-up alongside tennis

Nine Entertainment Co boss Mike Sneesby has declared that the television and digital media company can afford to air both tennis and cricket during the summer months, after renewed strength in the advertising market and growth in subscriptions propelled it to a record half-year result, reports SMH’s Zoe Samios.

ASX-listed Nine ended a 40-year association with summer cricket in 2018 after securing rights to the Australian Open. While the high profile tennis tournament has delivered record television ratings for Nine, Sneesby would not rule out an attempt to bid for the summer cricket broadcast rights when they come up for tender later this year.

“Nothing’s out of the question,” he said. “The television landscape is changing dramatically … and we’ve made some really important inroads into being part of that shift of consumer behaviour to streaming consumption.

“The future will be very different to what we see today and that means the old paradigms that existed previously – this sport must be here and that sport must be there -all of that starts to get thrown out the window when you’re not limited by the constraints of purely linear and – in the years gone by – a single channel broadcast.”

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More shake-ups announced to Channel 7’s footy coverage

Footy great Matthew Richardson will move to Friday nights as Channel 7 continues to freshen up its footy coverage, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

Richardson, who was part of the Saturday night coverage along with Hamish McLachlan and Luke Darcy, will now have a broader hosting role.

The former Richmond forward, who was in the special comments chair, is still expected to do some footy commentary.

Last week the Herald Sun revealed Wayne Carey is out of Friday night football in favour of AFLW star Daisy Pearce in the prime time commentary spot.

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