Roundup: George Negus, I’m A Celeb pay, Murdoch family doco + more

George Negus

• Plus Ben Roberts-Smith, Mike Sneesby, ABC iview, Deloitte, Group M, Samantha Armytage, Kyle & Jackie O, Sydney shark attack

Business of Media

Ben Roberts-Smith defamation trial told of ‘bullet in the head’ threat

War hero Ben Roberts-Smith told a soldier if his performance did not improve, he would “get a bullet in the back of the head”, a court has been told, reports News Corp’s Ryan Young.

The ex-SAS soldier, who can be referred to only as Person 1 for legal reasons, made the claim at Roberts-Smith’s defamation trial, which continued in the Federal Court on Thursday.

Victoria Cross recipient Roberts-Smith, 43, is suing Nine and its journalists over reports he claims were defamatory because they alleged he committed war crimes and murders in Afghanistan between 2006 and 2012.

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News Brands

Why Nine’s Sneesby is excited about its digital future

As Ash Barty walked on to centre court at the Australian Open grand final, Nine chief executive Mike Sneesby looked on, with Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese a few seats away in the Nine corporate section at Rod Laver arena, reports AFR’s Miranda Ward.

All the boss of Australia’s largest locally owned media company discussed with Albanese was the game at hand and how many sets it might take for Barty to (hopefully) defeat American Danielle Collins (it took two).

Despite the brouhaha over the deportation of men’s top seed Novak Djokovic, the Australian Open broke rating records for Nine. About 12.5 million people watched Channel 9’s coverage over the entire tournament, excluding those who watched matches on streaming services 9Now and Stan Sport. The double bill of the women’s final and the men’s doubles final on the final Saturday delivered 9Network its highest primetime commercial audience share in TV ratings provider OzTam’s history.

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ABC iview Login to Watch from March 15

ABC iview’s Login to Watch will require email passwords from March 15, reports TV Tonight.

Emails can be anonymous or pseudonyms. Viewers will still be able to watch all the ABC’s live broadcast streams on ABC iview web including ABC TV, ABC News, ABC Kids and ABC ME without needing to log in.

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Deloitte Digital appoints Jennie Morris as executive creative director

Deloitte Digital has appointed Jennie Morris as executive director.

Morris returns to Australia and joins fellow creatives Matt Lawson, Charles Baylis and Dan Wright at Deloitte Australia as the company seeks to expand the business.

She joins the agency after nine years Publicis Communications office in Singapore where she was the chief creative officer.

Deloitte Digital

During her tenure, Morris was responsible for winning a number of key accounts including Ferrero Rocher, Mazda and MG, Visa, Citibank, and McDonalds.

She also spent more than 15 years working across the Middle East and Asia Pacific, where she was the global creative lead on the Emirates Airlines business at BBDO Dubai.

Morris later became the first female executive creative director in the United Arab Emirates.

Morris commented on her appointment: “I am beyond thrilled and excited to join such a formidable team that puts making an impact that matters at the heart of everything they do. Deloitte is creating new, sustainable and more purposeful ways for their clients to grow and prosper, and I can’t wait to be part of this and to help shape these stories.”

Rochelle Tognetti, Deloitte Australia CMO, said: “We are delighted to have a creative professional of Jennie’s pedigree join Deloitte at this critical time of growth. Working with our Deloitte Digital creative powerhouse led by Adrian Mills, Nick Garrett and Matt Lawson, Jennie will help us achieve our ambitions to be the most creative professional services firm globally.”

Matt Lawson, Deloitte Digital chief creative officer Asia Pacific, added: “We’re lucky to work for an incredible brand. One that is the most valuable professional and financial services brand in the world. Yet we believe we’re only scratching the surface of the impact the Deloitte brand can have.

“So we’re incredibly excited to have someone of Jenny’s calibre join the team to champion the brand and help solve some our clients biggest problems,” he added.

Group M launches influencer marketing platform in Australia

Group M has launched INCA, an AI-powered influencer and content marketing platform, in Australia.

The platform is designed to promote brand safety and return on investment.

INCA’s launch comes as brands look to the influencer market to take advantage of increased screen on social media – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok – as a result of the pandemic.

Group M reported 68% of marketers intended to increase influencer marketing spending this year, as brands adopting influencer campaigns see 44% higher attention metrics.

The agency also found that influencer ads generate six times more return on ad spend. INCA has been designed as an end-to-end AI solution to marketer’s concerns about getting influencer marketing right.

The platform uses AI driven data and a large network of creators to empower brands to work with trustworthy creators and reach relevant audiences.

Nick Brignell, general manager INCA, Xaxis & Sightline, said: “The world of influencer marketing is expanding at pace.

“INCA enhances the influencer expertise in GroupM agencies, bringing data-driven firepower to help connect brands with trustworthy and relevant influencers and reach customers – while providing the assurances of brand safety, transparency and guaranteed returns that marketers need.”

“Through our proven process and bespoke technology, we analyse the competitive landscape, identify the best creators, develop compelling brand-safe content, and strategically distribute the content across channels, maximising the return on investment through the intelligent application of technology and creativity.

“By putting data and tech front and centre, we’re taking the guess work out of influencer marketing and making it better and more effective for advertisers, creators and consumers,” he added.

INCA was first roll out in the APAC region in 2019, it launched in early 2021 in New Zealand and now spans across 30 countries.

The platform has created more than 2,000 campaigns with more than 35,000 content pieces for over 200 clients around the world.


Sam Armytage says she never watches Sunrise in chat with Kyle Sandilands

Former Sunrise host Samantha Armytage has confessed she never watches her former morning show after sensationally quitting as co-host last year, reports News Corp’s Bella Fowler.

Speaking with Kyle Sandilands on-air, the former presenter with David “Kochie” Koch made it clear Sunrise is not part of her morning routine anymore, laughing off a suggestion from Sandilands that it was a “silent protest”.

It comes after Armytage’s replacement Natalie Barr revealed they rarely spoke outside of work while they were colleagues in an interview last year following Armytage’s departure.

Armytage left the Channel 7 show less than two weeks after saying in an interview that the TV industry was full of narcissists.

“Do you ever watch Sunrise and a little tear rolls down your cheek and you think ‘that was my chair’?,” Sandilands asked.

“No, no” Armytage was quick to respond, adding: “You know, we never put the TV on in the mornings, ever.”

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‘I know exactly what he thinks’: Jackie O Henderson reveals secret to success with co-host Kyle Sandilands

Radio star Jackie O Henderson has opened up about how she and co-host Kyle Sandilands negotiated their rumoured $50 million radio deal, reports News Corp’s Nadia Salemme.

In a new interview, Henderson said the pair were paid equally – and struck the mega bucks salary together.

“It’s rare that you will get a radio duo … that are going in and making sure that they’re getting paid equally,” she told with Samantha Armytage on her podcast, Something To Talk About.

“And it’s to the benefit of your show to do that.”

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Jess Eva reveals paltry I’m A Celeb pay cheque

Retired AFL great Nathan Buckley famously pocketed a reported $300,000 for his stint on the most recent season of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here – but it’s not quite as lucrative for other contestants who take part on the show, reports News Corp’s Nick Bond.

Reality star and radio host Jess Eva made an eyebrow-raising admission about her own I’m A Celeb pay cheque during a discussion on Triple M Breakfast with MG, Jess and Pagey.

Mentioning Buckley’s rumoured six-figure payment, Eva’s co-hosts played coy and asked her if she’d received a similarly whopping amount for her stint in the jungle (aka Northern NSW bushland) last year.

“You son of a …! I know why you’re asking me this. You’ve got a big smile on your face,” she said, before revealing that she was paid “not even half of half of half” of Buckley’s amount, confirming that the sum was “lower” than $40,000.

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TV news legend George Negus diagnosed with dementia

One of Australia’s best known journalists, George Negus, has dementia, reports

Negus, 79, best known for 60 Minutes and Foreign Correspondent, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and moved into a Sydney nursing home late last year.

Negus’ family released a statement on Wednesday to share news.

As a family, we are sharing the new path we walk as George faces the realities of his diagnosis of dementia from Alzheimer’s disease. We continue to share wonderful family times and are grateful for the care and support we have had from extended family and friends over the past few years who understand our challenges,” the statement read.

“George continues to give and receive the love and respect of us all. We appreciate all the good wishes from near and far at this time.”

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Rupert Murdoch family documentary planned for CNN+ streaming service

A new documentary series, The Murdochs: Empire of Influence, will premiere on CNN+ when the streaming subscription service launches in the spring, the company said on Thursday, reports Reuters.

The series is based on Jonathan Mahler and Jim Rutenberg‘s New York Times Magazine article How Rupert Murdoch’s Empire of Influence Remade the World, which examined the legacy of media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

The six-part series will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the rise of the media tycoon, his influence around the globe, and the intense succession battle between his children over who would inherit control of his media empire, CNN said in a statement.

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Viewers notice movie change on TV after Sydney shark attack

Channel 9 has made a late change to its programming, with famous shark film Jaws scheduled to air just one day after a horrific fatal shark attack in Sydney, reports News Corp’s Chantelle Francis.

The 1975 thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg centres around three men who try to catch a huge great white shark after it kills multiple swimmers in a town.

The movie was scheduled for 7.30pm on 9Go! on Thursday, just a day after a swimmer was killed by a shark off a popular Sydney beach.

While Jaws was still listed on television guides, the film shown in the timeslot instead was 2002 action movie XXX starring Vin Diesel.

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Mad as Hell edits scene for sensitivity

Producers of Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell have made a post-broadcast edit to this week’s episode on view, reports TV Tonight.

An ABC spokesperson told TV Tonight, “We removed an animation that was explaining superannuation which referenced a shark attack. It was removed in deference to the family of the victim in NSW.

“It was purely coincidental, however it was felt it could have been construed as insensitive.”

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