Roundup: Tracy Grimshaw, Triple M Breakfast, Andrew O’Keefe

Jess Eva Triple M

My Millennial Money, ARIA Award, Peter Helliar, Amanda Keller

Business of Media

Former TV host Andrew O’Keefe allegedly failed drug test, breached bail

Former TV host Andrew O’Keefe has been granted bail but will have to undergo weekly drug tests after he allegedly breached his strict conditions, reports News Corp’s Lauren Ferri.

The 51-year-old was granted strict conditional bail in the NSW Supreme Court in May and was sent to a long-term residential rehabilitation centre in the state’s Hunter Region.

However, he was picked up by police on Thursday morning at his Vaucluse home and arrested after he allegedly failed a drug test.

O’Keefe faced Waverley Local Court on Thursday afternoon where prosecutors applied to have his bail revoked.

But the former TV host was released by Magistrate Jacqueline Milledge on the additional condition he undergo weekly drug tests.

[Read More]

News Corp’s UK name change: Times Newspapers dropped for new branding

Times Newspapers Limited announced this week it is being renamed Times Media to better reflect the modern media business it is today.

The formal name of News Corp UK business entity that comprises The Times and The Sunday Times will change to become Times Media Limited.

Brands including Times Radio, the portfolio of podcasts including Stories of our times and the news Off Air podcast with Jane Garvey and Fi Glover, as well as the TLS, will also be promoted as part of the Times Media family.

Times Media EVP publisher Chris Longcroft said: “The last few years have seen us undergo a powerful transformation in all parts of our business – from the newsroom, which is now well set as a digital-first environment, to bold new digital products like Times Radio, and most recently we have experimented with Times Documentaries, as well as continuing to service our loyal and valuable print audience.

“This brilliant work is reflected in our business performance. We have shifted from loss to profit as we have driven record subscriptions. This last quarter we recorded 468k digital-only subscribers, compared to 380k in the prior year, and our ambition is to continue to grow. Our new name – Times Media – much better reflects our onward journey.”

News Brands

King Charles presents Doctor of the Year award at The Sun’s health awards

The UK tabloid published by News Corp, The Sun, this week held its Who Cares Wins health awards event to celebrate healthcare heroes from the frontline NHS staff to the ordinary people who go above and beyond.

Dr Freda Newlands (pictured with King Charles) was awarded Best Doctor at The Sun’s Who Cares Wins health awards 2022, hosted by Davina McCall and attended by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer.

Dr Freda was hosted at Balmoral Castle in September by the then Prince of Wales when she was presented with the award. This week (Tuesday 22nd November) on stage she collected the trophy in front of a celebrity audience in London at The Sun’s Who Cares Wins awards ceremony.

HRH King Charles III said: “Many many congratulations. It’s incredibly well deserved. When I think of all the things you do, I can’t believe it.”

When originally meeting His Majesty, Dr Freda Newlands said: “This isn’t just for me but all the clinicians and all the other doctors who work in humanitarian settings, and without them I couldn’t do it. It’s a privilege to do my job everyday.”

On stage collecting the award, Dr Freda said: “I am completely overwhelmed. Little did I know the very next day Prince Charles would become our King. It’s been quite an overwhelming secret to keep for two and a half months. It is with a huge dollop of imposter syndrome that I stand here before you as Best Doctor as I am clearly not. But I’m very proud to be here and to be recognised for the work I have done with UK Med who support NHS clinicians and healthcare professionals who leave their jobs with the NHS to go out to humanitarian settings who are suffering in times of conflict.”

Newspaper hit by ‘lefty activists putting the hard word on advertisers’

In the week of major awards involving King Charles (see above), former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie believes his former title’s days are numbered.

In a column for Press Gazette, MacKenzie wrote: “I was told last week that the management of News UK had looked at the circulation decline of the Sun over the year, then threw in the startling decline in the paper’s advertising revenue, and worked out that sadly, the newspaper would close in six years

So the demise of print (not digital) is speeding up. It’s inevitable.

“This is how the activists work. They send emails to media buying groups acting on behalf of the retailers (and the CEO of the retailer itself) citing any story they don’t approve of, normally meaning race, trans, free speech, union excess etc. They urge the retailer not to place the ad again (even better pull the entire campaign) or threaten them with a public boycott.”

News Corp responded to MacKenzie’s claims about the paper’s future:

Any suggestion that The Sun is planning its closure are just nonsense and no such discussions have taken place. The Sun is the biggest news brand in Britain, as PAMCO and IPSOS numbers show, and we have ambitious plans for both digital revenue and audience growth. The Sun continues to break agenda-setting stories, hold the powerful to account and entertain our readers on a daily basis – both in print and online. Britain is always changing and The Sun is keeping pace with its audience.”

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Jess Eva reveals Triple M Breakfast axed the day before final show

A year on from Triple M unceremoniously sacking Lawrence Mooney from the station, the comedian’s former breakfast show has been immediately axed from the airwaves, reports News Corp’s Bella Fowler.

Host Jess Eva made the shock announcement about the future of Sydney radio show MG, Jess & Page — formerly known as Moonman in the Morning — on air today, giving listeners one day to prepare for its end.

“The MG, Jess & Pagey show will not continue in 2023, and you can tune in tomorrow for the final show,” former Block contestant Eva said on Thursday morning.

She added that she and her co-hosts would not be leaving the station, joking that they won’t be “getting some unemployment payments”.

“We’re going to be in the Triple M family, which is lovely,” she explained.

[Read More]


Money podcast began as a laugh, now it’s a million-dollar business

At the moment Glen James may just be the slowest man on the 2022 AFR Fast List, reports Nine Publishing’s Lucy Dean.

Stuck in a cast and crutches for two weeks, then a boot for four, and no running allowed until the new year, James -the founder of the My Millennial Money podcast brand – is still in a remarkably good mood.

SYMO Interactive, producer of the My Millennial Money podcast and associated podcasts, entered the Australian Financial Review Fast Starters 2022 list after posting a compound annual growth rate of 295.76 per cent, and a FY22 revenue of $1.2 million.

James doesn’t usually publicise listener numbers as he doesn’t want to “get into a spitting competition” with fellow finance podcasts, but shares the podcasts will get “in the hundred of thousands” a month in downloads.

SYMO Interactive makes its money through running ads on the podcasts, along with offering paid money courses, ebooks, webinars and referrals to advisers, mortgage brokers and accountants.

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‘I am terrible at goodbyes’: Tracy Grimshaw farewells A Current Affair

A Current Affair has long been a complex beast in the Australian TV landscape, a show that has offered a little bit of everything, skewering world leaders, disgraced celebrities and dodgy mechanics in equal measure, reports Nine Publishing’s Thomas Mitchell.

A program of such variety requires a special type of host, and for 17 years, Tracy Grimshaw has risen to the challenge. Using all the tools at her disposal – empathy, humour, instinct and heart – Grimshaw has helped keep A Current Affair afloat.

It seemed fitting, then, that Grimshaw’s final episode as host on Thursday night also offered a little bit of everything.

Barely holding back tears, she signed off from the show she inherited from Ray Martin in 2006 for a final time.

“I am terrible at the ‘goodbye’ word because I will blub, and that’s never pretty, so I am going to say thanks instead,” she said. “This is such a good place to work. It’s the kind of office where people walk around beaming.”

[Read More]

All the 2022 ARIA Award highlights… and lowlights

The 2022 ARIA Awards took place at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion on Thursday night, with Aussie music legend Natalie Imbruglia taking on hosting duties this year, reports News Corp’s Nick Bond.

But it was a surprisingly shambolic ceremony – even by ARIAs standards – with presenters missing their cues and wandering off stage before their duties are finished, as the show’s two backstage hosts floundered.

The worst offenders were backstage hosts Christian Wilkins and Lucinda Froomes, who appeared frequently throughout the night but seemed to have no idea what had been happening on-stage. The pair also regularly flubbed the names of the albums that were being awarded.

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When he leaves Project Peter Helliar also departs Network 10

When Peter Helliar wraps with The Project in two week’s time, he will also farewell 10 after a 22 year run of shows, reports TV Tonight.

But the network hopes to work with him again.

A 10 spokesperson confirmed Helliar is contracted to Roving Enterprises for The Project, meaning he will no longer be part of the network stable. This is the same for Carrie Bickmore, whom 10 also would like to work with in the future… presuming they are not snaffled up by a rival network.

Helliar announced his resignation this week to give himself space to focus on other projects, pardon the pun. Bickmore has also indicated she does not plan to leave television.

[Read More]

Amanda Keller: “That’s the risk Channel 10’s running here. That’s what upsets me, I think.”

In a big week of farewells and resignations, one more long-running show takes its leave from screens, at least until further notice, The Living Room, reports TV Tonight.

In the 11 years the show has been on air it has won 4 Logie Awards for Most Popular Lifestyle Program, ending a 7 year run by rival Better Homes & Gardens.

Officially 10 is “resting” the show to rejuvenate the timeslot and hopefully refresh the show with Amanda Keller, Chris Brown, Miguel Maestre and Barry DuBois for 2024.

But seasoned performer Amanda Keller tells TV Tonight, television doesn’t always work out that way.

“We’ve been told that we are being rested and having a tweak and retjzush, fluffing up the cushions and having a play again, we hope the following year. My concern as always is TV’s like a fast-moving river. The four of us as a force is such a rare thing,” she says.

“Chemistry, whether it’s on radio or TV, is such an elusive thing and the four of us have that in spades. We all can’t just sit out here and wait. But the four of us would always make time to make another show together, to make The Living Room together. But it’s a bit of an ask that we’re all going to be available at the same time. That’s the risk that Channel 10’s running here. That’s what upsets me, I think.

[Read More]

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