Roundup: James Warburton, AFR article complaints, Stan

James Warburton

Elon Musk, alt/shift/, Dentsu and Microsoft, Half Dome, Sarah Tomlinson

Business of Media

Seven West Media chief James Warburton expects TV revenue to drop by 8 per cent

Seven West Media expects television revenue to decline by 8 per cent in the six months to December 31, largely because of a lack of an Olympic Games broadcast, reports The Australian’s Sophis Elsworth and Hayden Johnson.

Those revenues will still be 2 per cent lower, adjusted to remove the effect of the Tokyo Olympics which were held in that period last year.

Seven West chief executive James Warburton said while “more people watch Seven than any other network,” there would be challenges in the months ahead.

“For the first half, Seven’s total TV revenue is expected to decline 8 per cent, or 2 per cent adjusting for the Olympics,” he said at the company’s annual meeting on Thursday.

Warburton said that in the 2022 financial year Seven had a 39.1 per cent revenue share, including the Tokyo Olympics, and the company was targeting 39 per cent in the 2023 financial year.

Seven is targeting a 40 per cent-plus revenue share in FY24.

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Would Nine add an ad supported tier to Stan?

Nine held its annual AGM on Thursday morning, with CEO Mike Sneesby and Chairman Peter Costello providing shareholders with a current trading update and the company’s outlook for FY2023.

After the presentation Sneesby and Costello spoke at a media conference, with Sneesby addressing whether or not Stan would take inspiration from streamers like Netflix and Disney+ by introducing an ad supported tier to the platform. 

Sneesby: “I think the opportunity for advertising in this market on SVOD services, when we look at it from the point of view of a streaming company, is going to be fairly minimal. Look at the upside of more revenue minus the downside that you get from the cost of additional licensing, the cannibalisation of tiers, and the greater complication of the service. 

“With Nine, we already have an ad funded platform – and that’s 9Now. We have the opportunity to collaborate between those platforms in constructive ways, as that makes sense. So my position hasn’t changed. 

“I think we are in the fortunate position of being in both categories, and having the opportunity to see how this unfolds over the next six to 12 months. If that opportunity seems like it grows for us, then it’s not a significant shift for us to take advantage of it, but we’re going to monitor the market at this stage.”

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Seven and ABC lodge official complaints over AFR article

Both the ABC and Seven have complained to Nine owned Australian Financial Review in light of an article published on Thursday that they say included an “irrelevant, incorrect and trivialising” reference to journalists working at their outlets. 

The article, written by Aaron Patrick, analysed the coverage of the upcoming Victorian election. Whilst listing a number of female journalists who had attended a press conference, Partick wrote about: “the ABC television’s Bridget Rollason, who has shot TikTok videos to catchy music of herself going to a gym, eating breakfast and having makeup applied” and “the Seven Network’s Sharnelle Vella, who has her own talent agent.”

Victorian state political reporter for the ABC, Rollason later said on Twitter that “It’s also factually incorrect I’ve never shot a Tik Tok going to the gym or eating breakfast, but even if I had how is that relevant?”

The article has since been amended, with a clarification reading: “An earlier version of this online story included some detail that was not relevant or necessary. Those details have since been deleted.”

On Twitter, Seven’s Sharnelle Vella said AFR’s editor-in-chief Michael Stutchbury had sent a statement to Seven News reading: “The claims about the journalists contained in Aaron Patrick’s report have been deleted from the online story. The claims detracted from what was an otherwise well-written piece.”


Elon Musk scraps Twitter’s work from home policy

Elon Musk has scrapped Twitter’s work from home policy and ordered its staff back to the office, days after firing 3,700 employees, report The Guardian’s Dan Milmo and Alex Hern.

The social media platform’s new owner told staff in an email, seen by the Guardian, that its “road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed”.

The Tesla CEO added that working from home would no longer be allowed except in special circumstances, with such cases personally vetted by Musk.

“Remote work is no longer allowed, unless you have a specific exception. Managers will send the exception lists to me for review and approval,” Musk wrote.

He added that the new policy, first reported by Bloomberg, would be effective from Thursday for a minimum of 40 hours a week.

[Read More]


alt/shift/ announces the launch of its behaviour change offering

alt/shift/ has officially launched the behaviour change arm of its business.

The team is spearheaded by full-time behavioural scientists and supported by specialist PR and account staff with extensive experience across the government and for-purpose sectors.

The independent creative communications agency also has a fully integrated creative and content team, which allows for complete in-house campaign development.

Senior planner and behavioural scientist Kate Napoli leads alt/shift/’s strategic planning team and is involved in developing all responses to behaviour change briefs.

Supporting Napoli is Maddy Chambers, research and insights executive and a fellow University of Melbourne Masters of Applied Psychology graduate, who received the award for most outstanding student in her Masters program in 2021.

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Dentsu and Microsoft announce metaverse collaboration

Dentsu International has announced it has collaborated with Microsoft to build a unique collaboration space in the metaverse, designed to excite and inspire brands to innovate and experiment with Web3 technologies.

Using their combined expertise, the businesses have partnered to showcase a range of real-world use-cases that have been re-imagined in a virtual setting to drive greater engagement, productivity, and accessibility for business.

With many brands and businesses still assessing how to take advantage of the huge opportunities presented by Web3, dentsu and Microsoft have come together to showcase what can be achieved in critical business areas such as customer service, retail, and learning and development.

The initiative is underpinned by dentsu’s recently announced Web3 Center of Excellence, falling within the Creative pillar. This is where clients and dentsu teams have the chance to innovate, test ideas, experiment with hypotheses, and learn how evolving technologies and platforms could be used within integrated campaigns or future business models.

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Half Dome is appointed as full-service media agency of GMHBA health fund

Half Dome has been appointed as the full-service media agency of regionally-based private health insurer GMHBA.

The independent agency will deliver media strategy, planning and implementation across both GMHBA Health Insurance and Frank Health Insurance for offline and digital channels.

Founded in Geelong, GMHBA is a 100% member-based, not-for-profit private health insurance and care company that has served the community for more than 85 years and is Australia’s biggest regionally-based health insurance company. In 2009, GMHBA launched Frank Health Insurance to offer clear and simple health insurance options to Australians.

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ABC radio star Sarah Tomlinson suddenly dies

An ABC radio star has died after suffering a fatal anaphylactic shock, reports

Sarah Tomlinson, chief of staff for ABC Mildura-Swan Hill in South Australia, was on annual leave when she suddenly fell ill.

Friends have paid emotional tributes to Tomlinson, remembering her as “generous” and “deeply passionate” about her work.

She started broadcasting aged 14 and went on work at Radio Adelaide before hosting Mornings and Regional Drive for ABC South Australia and Broken Hill.

In 2018 she became chief of staff at ABC Mildura-Swan Hill.

[Read More]

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