Roundup: I’m a Celebrity, Sharri Markson, Sydney Trains contract, Free Netflix + more

I'm a celebrity

• Foxtel key appointment, Seven News, Spotify, and The Newsreader

Business of Media

Foxtel appoints new head of flagship productions Gogglebox, Selling Houses, Housewives

Howard Myers has been appointed as commissioning editor & supervising producer, unscripted, for Foxtel Originals.

In this role, Howard will have oversight across Foxtel’s local productions for Lifestyle & Entertainment content, working with both in-house producers and external production companies to commission, develop, produce and oversee content creation, series and specials.

These titles include Gogglebox, Selling Houses, Love It Or List It, The Great Australian Bake Off and The Real Housewives of Melbourne. The portfolio will also cover new titles The Repair Shop, Selling In The City and Find Me A Dream Home.

Howard joined Foxtel in July 2016 as network executive producer. Prior to Foxtel, Howard worked for Australian production companies, Lune Media and December Media.

In the United Kingdom, Howard worked extensively across the industry production sector, including as managing director & executive producer at Rival Media (London) producing series including Don’t Tell The Bride (TLC/Discovery), NATO Summit, Mission Beach (BBC) and Rooftop Rainforest (SkyOne).

Howard was also formerly head of formats for Buena Vista International ABC Television (London and Los Angeles) – handling the sales and production of shows around the world, from major scripted series such as Desperate Housewives, to reality programs (Extreme Makeover), and entertainment series (The Amazing Race and The Muppets). Howard was also the director of production for the Disney Channel UK and Europe.

Foxtel executive director of television Brian Walsh said “Howard has made a significant contribution to the success of our Foxtel Originals slate and I am delighted that his work has been recognised with this appointment.”

Howard Myers said: “It’s a challenging, exciting and rewarding role with an ever-growing diverse slate of shows in production across Lifestyle, Entertainment and Factual.”

JCDecaux wins Sydney Trains contract from oOh!Media

oOh!Media has lost the lucrative Sydney Trains tender, with JCDecaux winning the multi-million-dollar contract, reports AFR‘s Miranda Ward.

Industry speculation had suggested ASX-listed oOh!Media had lost the contract months ago, however, it has only now been officially announced, with Secretary for Transport for NSW Rob Sharp awarding the bulk of the contract to JCDecaux.

The outdoor company will manage advertising on the concourses and platforms of Sydney Trains’ stations as well as roadside billboards and posters, while Revolution360 will manage advertising on roadside bespoke assets.

[Read More]

News Brands

Sharri Markson’s Wuhan documentary the most-watched Sky News program of 2021

A Sky News documentary tracing the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic drew 260,000 viewers on Monday to become the highest-rated subscription television program that day and the broadcaster’s most popular this year, reports News Corp’s Sophie Elsworth.

The program, What Really Happened in Wuhan, was based on a forthcoming book written by The Australian’s investi­gations writer, Sharri Markson, and included revelations about the laboratory where intelligence ­officials believe the coronavirus may have originated.

OzTAM figures show the program drew 160,000 viewers on Sky News. The broadcaster said the program had an extra 100,000 viewers on free-to-air regional channels.

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Seven News reporter attacked in Melbourne protests

Seven News reporter Paul Dowsley has been attacked on camera whilst covering Melbourne protests in the CBD, reports TV Tonight.

This morning hundreds of protesters arrived at the CFMEU building, to be met by police Riot squad.

As protestors marched through the city a man was seen on camera gripping Dowsley in a headlock as others appeared to join in.

After he recovered Dowsley said some other protesters did stop and check he and his cameraman were OK.

[Read More]


Spotify poised to overtake Apple Podcasts this year in US market

Insider Intelligence is forecasting Spotify will this year have more monthly podcast listeners in the US than traditional market leader Apple.

Spotify is still expanding its podcast listenership in the US, while Apple Podcasts has essentially stagnated. In fact, Spotify will narrowly surpass Apple in that metric by the end of this year. The Swedish streaming company will have 28.2 million monthly podcast listeners over Apple’s 28.0 million, a razor-thin lead that will widen in the years to come.

This year, 40.0% of US internet users will tune in to podcasts at least once per month. Given the medium’s rapid listener growth thus far, we expect that growth to slow down for the next few years.

Despite this overall deceleration, Spotify’s growth among that listener base will continue to increase through the end of our forecast period in 2025.

YouTube and Google Podcasts are also popular platforms for podcast listening in the US. Amazon Music continues to build out its audio offerings and invest in the medium.

[Read more]


I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! crew member causes Byron, Tweed lockdown

The Covid positive Sydney traveller who sparked a 7-day lockdown for Byron and Tweed regions has been revealed to be a I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! crew member, reports News Corp’s Tessa Flemming.

The Sydney woman arrived in Ballina over the weekend and travelled to Byron and Tweed regions, forcing the snap lockdown announcement on Tuesday.

The woman was an authorised worker who had both rapid antigen tests and a PCR test before her positive result.

A spokesman for ITV Studios Australia said the production company had been filming I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! in Northern NSW in accordance with Public Health Orders and restrictions, as well as its own comprehensive CovidSAFE plan.

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Netflix reveals market test that offers free plan for ad-free shows on Android phones

This blog post at Netflix today detailed a subscription initiative:

At Netflix, we want everyone to be able to enjoy the suspense of Blood & Water, the romance of Bridgerton and the adventure of Army of the Dead. Now we’re giving audiences in Kenya the chance to experience these stories for themselves — completely free of charge.

Today, we’re launching a free plan that allows people to enjoy Netflix ad-free on Android mobile phones in Kenya. When you sign-up, no payment information is required. All you have to do is enter your email, confirm you are 18 or over and create a password. Then you can sit back and watch many of Netflix’s most popular series and films, as well as enjoy our personalized recommendations, parental controls, and profiles (including kids).

If you’ve never watched Netflix before — and many people in Kenya haven’t — this is a great way to experience our service. And if you like what you see, it’s easy to upgrade to one of our paid plans so you can enjoy our full catalogue on your TV or laptop as well.

The free plan will start rolling out in Kenya today over the next few weeks. We hope it’s a great match and that many of the people who try our free plan love Netflix so much that over time they upgrade to a full, paid subscription.

Sunrise’s Natalie Barr hits out over social media ‘haters’

Delete and block – that is Natalie Barr’s strategy in dealing with haters on social media, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

Since taking over the hosting job on Sunrise six months ago, Barr is acutely aware of the increased attention on her personal life and views.

Ratings-wise, the result couldn’t be better with Sunrise well ahead of its competitors and Barr finally allowing herself to relax into the job.

“I don’t buy into the whinging,” she said of social media critics.

“We have got to live with it so lets protect ourselves. I just delete and block. I have blocked hundreds of people. It is my social media account, I can block whoever the hell I want. I haven’t really gone down that rabbit warren of woe is me. There are more important things than how we feel about our social media. There are people without jobs. there are people who are absolutely hurting, more than they ever had in their whole life in this pandemic, that is the important story.”

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Will there be more of The Newsreader?

Several readers have been asking if there will be a second season of acclaimed ABC drama The Newsreader, reports TV Tonight.

ABC is yet to make any formal announcement, but earlier this year TV Tonight asked creator Michael Lucas if viewed it as an ongoing series.

“I’d love it to be!” he replied. “I mean, we still bring it to a satisfying crescendo. But yes, I know how I can do it. For sure.

“I hope the emotional relationship arc is satisfying in and of itself. But there’s heaps of opportunity.”

[Read More]

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