Roundup: Radio Ratings, Eddie McGuire, The Bachelor + more

• oOh!Media, Disney+, Piers Morgan & Meghan Markle, Alan Wood, Media Code in US, and AFL Grand Final

Business of Media

oOh!Media surge sets tongues wagging

The adland rumour mill is running hot with speculation over who’s been victorious in Sydney Trains’ long-running and highly lucrative tender for outdoor advertising, reports AFR‘s Myriam Robin.

The rumours usually hold ASX-listed oOh!Media the contract’s loser. But Sydney Trains insists that no decision has been made. It contacted bidders this week telling them to disregard the rumours, and told us the same thing on Thursday afternoon.

It is into these circumstances that we’ve been trying to explain oOh!Media’s perplexing 8.4 per cent gain on Thursday. It’s all the more confounding for coming on a day when the only major announcement should, all things being equal, portend poorly.

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News Brands

Alan Wood: a legend of journalistic rigour and wit

A legion of Australian journalism’s most senior figures turned out on Wednesday to celebrate the life of legendary economics writer and commentator Alan Wood, with his friends and family, reports News Corp’s Joseph Lam

The veteran journalist, who worked at The Australian as its highly influential economics editor and covered more than four decades of federal budgets, died on December 27 last year at the age of 76.

Among those who gathered at an eastern suburbs hotel in Sydney to pay their respects to the man many knew simply as “Woody” were Paul Kelly, Alan Mitchell, Ross Gittins, Michelle Gunn, Max Suich and Tom ­Dusevic.

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Legislation inspired by media bargaining code to be reintroduced in Congress

The battle that flared in Australia between news publishers and Alphabet’s Google and Facebook is moving to the US this week, reports SMH’s David McLaughlin and Sara Forden.

Lawmakers plan to reintroduce legislation on Thursday (AEDT) to allow news organisations to band together to negotiate with the technology companies over payment for content and the data the companies have about readers.

The legislation, which is being proposed in the Senate and House with bipartisan support, would make the US the next front in the news industry’s war against Facebook and Google.

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‘Ditched like a sack of spuds’: what’s behind Piers Morgan’s fury?

Piers Morgan’s spectacular exit from his top rated TV show in Britain has made almost (almost) as many headlines as Prince Harry and Meghan’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, reports News Corp’s Anne Barrowclough

It was reported on Thursday that it might have been Meghan herself who forced Morgan out of GMB after she filed a formal complaint about his remarks; she was allegedly worried not for herself, but about how his claim he didn’t believe her might affect others dealing with mental health problems.

The relationship between the two is almost as toxic as that between Meghan and the royal family. Yet only a few years ago the former Daily Mirror editor and the actress were good friends, swapping stories on Twitter and discussing storylines for her television series Suits.

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Sydney radio ratings: Ben Fordham’s mammoth win

Ben Fordham has recorded an unbelievable ratings win in the latest Sydney radio survey despite recently revealing he bawled his eyes out over the pressure of losing listeners, reports News Corp’s Angira Bharadwaj and Jonathon Moran.

See more: Radio Ratings 2021, Survey 1: Highlights + Full Results

Fordham has taken out top spot in the early morning timeslot with a massive 18.1 per cent of the breakfast share in the latest GfK survey.

For the same survey period last year, when Jones was still in the hosting chair, 2GB breakfast came in at 14.8 per cent of the market.

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Christian O’Connell is still king of FM breakfast radio

Radio host Christian O’Connell has marked a sixth consecutive ratings survey as FM’s number one breakfast show, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

The popular Brit grew listeners, going from 7.5 in December’s results, to 8.9 on Thursday in the first ratings for the year.

O’Connell was ahead of equal second on 7.2 — Fifi Box, Brendan Fevola and new recruit Nick Cody on FOX FM and Jennifer Hansen and Mike Perso on smoothfm. The latter team posted the highest gain of 1.9.

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Nine’s radio stations 3AW and 4BC continue to lose listeners

Nine Entertainment’s radio pressure continues with its talk back shows in Melbourne and Brisbane losing listeners following a Covid-linked surge, reports News Corp’s Lilly Vitorovich.

Its Melbourne station 3AW and 4BC in Brisbane lost listeners across all of its five shows during the weekday as well as the weekend, according to the first radio ratings survey of 2021, which covers the period from January 17 to February 27.

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How producers as casting this season of The Bachelor

With ratings low across The Bachelor Australia franchise last year, producers are working hard to improve the show, reports News Corp’s Mibengé Nsenduluka.

Confidential understands that producers of Jimmy Nicholson’s upcoming season of The Bachelor searched for contestants inside local bars and on social media, which has raised questions about the overall casting and vetting process.

Traditionally, singles are encouraged to formally apply for a spot on the show online via MyCastingNet.

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Eddie McGuire yet to commit to return to footy broadcasting

Eddie McGuire has yet to give an indication of when he will return to footy broadcasting, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

The former Collingwood president is taking an extended break following his emotional exit from the club last month, with Fox Footy saying he hasn’t committed to any work.

“Eddie made a decision on that day he resigned that he was going to have a break, and how long that break is and what happens at the end of it is unknown because that’s up to Eddie,’’ said Fox Sports executive director, Steve Crawley.

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AFL Grand Final time revealed

AFL club presidents were told on Wednesday afternoon the game would start at 2.30pm on Saturday September 25 at the MCG, reports the AFL’s Damian Barrett.

It is hoped that a capacity 100,000 spectators will be able to attend, pending COVID-19 protocols which last year forced the AFL to schedule a couple of firsts – a Grand Final played at night, at a venue outside of Victoria, the Gabba.

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