CBS Corporation chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves has resigned from his role with immediate effect. The news follows allegations of sexual misconduct, which Moonves has denied.
The company’s chief operating officer Joseph Ianniello will serve as president and acting CEO while the board conducts a search for a permanent successor.
Ianniello joined CBS in 2005 and has been its COO since June 2013.
The chairman position will remain open pending the appointment of a permanent CEO.
In a statement announcing the changes at the top, CBS writes, “Moonves and CBS will donate $20 million to one or more organisations that support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace.
“The donation, which will be made immediately, has been deducted from any severance benefits that may be due Moonves following the board’s ongoing independent investigation led by Covington & Burling and Debevoise & Plimpton.
“Moonves will not receive any severance benefits at this time (other than certain fully accrued and vested compensation and benefits). Any payments to be made in the future will depend upon the results of the independent investigation and subsequent board evaluation.
As a result of the changes in executive rank, CBS has announced five of its current independent directors and one National Amusements Inc (NAI) affiliated director have stepped down from the company board. Six new independent directors have been elected to the board. The ongoing members of the Nominating and Governance Committee have endorsed the new independent directors. The new board will be composed of 11 independent directors and 2 NAI-affiliated directors.
The six new independent board members are: Candace Beinecke, Barbara Byrne, Brian Goldner, Richard D Parsons, Susan Schuman and Strauss Zelnick. The independent directors, who will remain on the board in addition to Bruce Gordon are William Cohen, Gary Countryman, Linda Griego and Martha Minow. On behalf of NAI, in addition to Redstone, Robert Klieger remains on the board.
In addition, NAI confirmed that it has no plans to propose a merger of CBS and Viacom and has agreed that it will make no such proposal for at least two years after the date of the settlement. NAI reaffirmed that it will give good faith consideration to any business combination transaction or other strategic alternative that the independent directors believe are in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders.
Vice Chair Shari Redstone said, “CBS is an organisation of talented and dedicated people who have created one of the most successful media companies in the world. Today’s resolution will benefit all shareholders, allowing us to focus on the business of running CBS and transforming it for the future. We are confident in Joe’s ability to serve as acting CEO and delighted to welcome our new directors, who bring valuable and diverse expertise and a strong commitment to corporate governance.”
Nine’s political editor Chris Uhlmann recently made his own headlines after accusing some in the media of “waging a war against the prime minister of Australia”. The commentary came during the last week of August as the Liberal Party was swapping leaders.
By James Manning
Uhlmann singled out Sky News, in particular what goes to air after 6pm.
“Sky after dark has been running a campaign against Malcolm Turnbull. Sky after dark at the moment is turning Liberal National Party voters into One Nation voters and they are not coming back,” Uhlmann said.
“I mean, with friends like Sky News, Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t really need many other enemies.”
Speaking to Mediaweek recently about the criticism were two of the biggest names working for the News Corp-owned TV channel, which now also broadcasts around Australia on regional FTA TV as Sky News on WIN. David Speers and Paul Murray looked back on the controversy and reflected on what it had done for the channel’s ratings too.
Paul Murray (PM): I think it is terrible our numbers have gone up and up and up. The more people that know there is diversity of opinion on Sky News on Australian television the better.
David Speers (DS): Chris Uhlmann is a mate and I respect him as a journalist. I have spoken to him about what he said and his views. I don’t disagree that Malcolm Turnbull did cop some pretty aggressive criticism. I think every prime minister who leaves office has made the same complaint though about copping some grief from a section of the media. Maybe it was a bit tougher on Turnbull in particular. What I don’t see evidence of is what Chris is suggesting in terms of what went on behind the scenes. Bullying, threats or intimidation to MPs – I know those people but I am not aware of any of that sort of behaviour.
PM: People know there is a difference in Australian media between straight news and opinion. Everyone knows that the news at the top of the hour on the Alan Jones breakfast show is different than the editorial that happens at 7.05am. What is different now is that this is the first time it has happened on television. A lot of people have generalised about the content at Sky News and dumped it all together.
I always feel very self-conscious if David, Laura Jayes or Kieran Gilbert have to cop any shit for something that I have said. They have always been incredibly supportive and professional about knowing that it works like a newspaper where no one worries about the difference between the opinion page and the news page.
Because we have commercial competitors who will do everything they can to stop our growth (and why wouldn’t they – it is in their business interest to do so). All sorts of terms have been invented – After Dark is a great line and very clever. But last time I checked, if you can’t tell the difference between what I do at 9pm and what David does at 4pm I can’t help you.
How will Sky News treat the new prime minister Scott Morrison?
PM: We haven’t had the meeting yet. [Laughs] You know how it works. They send us the orders of what to say ever day.
DS: Nothing changes for me. Quite honestly, and people may believe it or they may not, I treat every day as a blank page and treat every story on its merit and treat every politician the same. At least I try to. That is my approach and there are no favours for anyone.
PM: As someone who was very critical of Malcolm Turnbull, a lot of people have tried to read why I am critical of a certain politician. As to why you get frustrated with a single person, it builds up over time and then the smallest thing can trigger a big reaction.
It can take some time to explain why you are so fired up.
I have a great relationship with Scott Morrison. I hosted his 10 years in parliament function and have been to the footy with him plenty of times and he has been a mate all the way from Opposition into Government and pre-Abbott and post-Abbott. He is the best shot [the Coalition] has got. Whether or not he is going to win, who knows? He’s going to have to be close to perfect to get close, we will see what happens.
Sky News impact and audience
DS: One thing that always amuses me is those who deride our viewership, yet also claim we can change the government.
Most main media outlets do have an influence and it would be silly to pretend otherwise. We do, but that’s no bad thing if we are opening up the debate and bringing new ideas to the table. If you watch Sky News you know that not everyone sits there and agrees with each other. Far from it – Paul and I will have some terrific debates day in, day out. That is the beauty of political discourse and what free speech should be about.
PM: If we disagree with each other on-air, 100% of the time one or the other will text and explain why we were so fired up. There are no Machiavellian moves about trying to push anyone away from the microphone. I have responsibility for two hours of what we do. I don’t own the hour before and I don’t own the hour after.
If we have a small audience and nobody cares, then why does anyone talk to Radio National breakfast? Should people be only talking to Kyle and Jackie O or doing interviews on MasterChef?
I don’t think I’m the first person to call myself a bogan and we speak in a very direct fashion. There are rules of how you are supposed to debate and I am happy to break that convention. But I am respectful of others who work in lots of different ways.
This has always pissed me off and genuinely annoys me about Sky News. I want it to be part of your media diet, but not your total media diet. My personal media habits see me watching Sean Hannity and then I listen to the Rachel Maddow podcast on the way to work. What I find amazing is that people who work in media, who understand the nuances, complexities and difficulties, come up with some of the laziest analysis of what our channel is and the integrity of the people who are on it. I was the first to do opinion on the channel and have been there for 10 years.
Guardian Australia recently launched a project called Songs Of Brisbane. This is an editorial series that allows readers to vote for the best songs about the Queensland capital and/or music by a band that has originated from there.
By Kruti Joshi
“It’s an idea that been bubbling away for a while,” Guardian Australia’s culture editor Steph Harmon told Mediaweek. The news outlet found partners in the music conference and festival BIGSOUND and independent community radio station 4ZZZ. It’s an initiative that Harmon hopes to roll out in the other parts of Australia. However, this would depend on the partners that are willing to come onboard with Guardian Australia.
“The temptation is to always do it in the big cities like Sydney and Melbourne that have great music scenes but in Australia, if you look at somewhere like Tamworth and Arnhem Land, there are a lot of smaller regions [with rich music history too],” Harmon said.
The event was a gamble for Guardian Australia as it has never done something like it in Australia.
“We wanted this to be about reader engagement,” Harmon said. This was especially important because Guardian has a growing reader base in Brisbane. Harmon also pointed to the latest Neilsen figures, which show Guardian Australia is the fifth most-read news outlet in Australia with a monthly unique audience of 4.258 million. About 30% of its readers are millennial and its culture coverage gets more than one million views per month.
Harmon said that with over 6,000 votes cast and 300 songs nominated, Songs Of Brisbane has delivered Guardian Australia what it wanted. “Music is something that everyone has a connection to.”
Harmon was the founding editor of Junkee. She was appointed culture editor of Guardian Australia in 2015.
“Junkee was an incredible experience – I got to create a site I wanted to be reading,” she said. “Junkee’s readership is really young and with a site like that you have to keep it evolving and changing. I was getting older than a lot of our readers and wanted experience at a global outlet.”
Both FM stations have audiences over 1m, but Fox well ahead in breakfast with Fifi, Fev and Byron.
Cumulative audience: 1,137,000, Breakfast 634,000
It’s a tight market in Melbourne with smoothfm, Gold and Fox all fighting for top spot.
Fox is super competitive and really on fire this year. All five surveys have seen the station’s 10+ share over 10% after none in 2017 and two in 2016. Similarly breakfast is hitting home runs with three of the five surveys in double figures after none in the previous two years. Secret weapon: the on-air dynamic Fifi and Fev have had for many years on different shows.
The real market interest continues to be on how British superstar radio host Christian O’Connell will perform transplanted from this Absolute Radio audience, where the draw was as much about him as the different music feed his audience chose, to a Melbourne single feed classic hits broadcaster.
After three successive surveys above 10% (and only one last year), the station has slipped (only just) into single figures.
To get some insights, let’s hear what the respective network content chiefs have to say about their stations.
Hit Network’s Gemma Fordham:
“Fox has traditionally been very dominant and we are very thrilled to retain #1 breakfast show and we are still #1 drive too with Hughesy and Kate. Some of the success at smoothfm seems to be them taking Gold listeners. For Fox to still be a leader and competitive amongst those music formats is great.
“We are seeing some floating cume after some movement and we will fight hard to retain our listeners. We continue to dominate under 40 yet we are also strong 40-54. The broad appeal of Fox over the years has been critical to its success.”
Fordham made mention of Gold launching a very different breakfast show, which has contributed to market churn. “The same at KIIS – that breakfast show is very different from what those listeners had previously so we expect there to be continued market volatility. We have a very loyal Fox audience and it appears we continue to grow them.”
Fordham noted Hit Network continues to be hits and Old Skool. However, she noted Sydney and Adelaide music is a little different from the rest of the network. “In those markets it is more of a variety format where you hear us playing music from older eras that we don’t play on the rest of the network. The music is chosen for the local market and what the competitive set is. We look at where there are gaps.”
Cumulative audience: 1,003,000, Breakfast 395,000
There was some expectation that Gold might drop in Christian O’Connell’s first full survey. And it did – breakfast was down slightly to 8.7%.
“We expected some churn,” said ARN’s Duncan Campbell. “It was masked last survey by a strong overall station result. What happens in breakfast does impact across the day, but the station this time had some very strong figures.
“Gold has a #1 in afternoons and #2 in drive. Gold on the weekend is also strong. We know the format is rock solid and, despite the fact we have huge confidence in Christian O’Connell and the content is being very well received, audience churn does occur. We learnt that from Robin Bailey in Brisbane [when she moved from 97.3 to Triple M].
“Replacing just one person can disrupt listening patterns and that is what happens everywhere. It happened at KIIS 101.1 and now it has happened at Gold. We expect the churn to be short-lived at Gold and Christian O’Connell will start to lift pretty quickly. We are getting a very positive reaction with no negative feedback around the content.
“Gold is a still a very strong station with a cume over 1m, which is extraordinary. We are still marketing the breakfast show and that will have an effect before the end of the year.”
Foxtel’s mobile streaming app Foxtel Go has returned with a new look.
It brings with it HD streaming, allowing customers watch sports and shows on the go as part of their subscription, at no extra cost.
From this week, multiroom subscribers can also take their big screen experience with them on the go with support now added for Chromecast and AirPlay.
This function comes as part of a Foxtel multiroom subscription.
Customers can register Foxtel Go on multiple devices and watch it on two screens at the same time.
The app is available for download on the App Store for iPads and iPhones. Google Play for Android smartphones and tablets and can be watched on PC via the Google Chrome browser or on Mac using the Safari browser at watch.foxtel.com.au.
Foxtel Go also arrives with new features designed to personalise the viewing experience, including personal Watch Lists, closed captioning and universal Continue Watching across Foxtel Go supported devices.
Patrick Delany, Foxtel CEO, said, “We’ve been working hard at Foxtel to ensure that this year is one like never before. We have momentum behind our push to improve the way our customers enjoy the high quality entertainment experience they are paying for.
“We got things started with our newly secured cricket rights that are set to bowl customers over with no ad breaks during live play starting this November, and our recently announced 4K channel will bring the sights of sport, movies and docos to you like you’ve never seen this coming October.
“Today, we’re bringing a familiar name back to our mobile app, Foxtel Go, and giving it a high-def makeover while adding the ability for our multiroom customers to share it with big screens when you’re away from home. Foxtel is a great entertainment option for a family who can watch it together or rip it apart so each member of the family can watch what they want, where they want and when they want.
“These changes are just the beginning as we continue to make the way customers experience Foxtel better than ever before.”
HD, AirPlay and Chromecast for Foxtel GO come as Foxtel is gearing up for the arrival of its new dedicated 4K channel set to take to the air in October. Foxtel in 4K will be delivered to compatible 4K TVs through its new iQ4 set-top box to Sports HD customers.
Production will begin this week for ABC’s new weekly panel show Tomorrow Tonight, to be fronted by Charlie Pickering and Annabel Crabb.
The program is being produced by Thinkative Television, the team behind The Weekly with Charlie Pickering and Hard Quiz.
On each episode, Pickering will introduce Crabb and a panel of experts and comedians to a story that hasn’t happened yet but could.
Pickering said, “I’m excited to take a break from making fun of the news to have a go at making up some news of our own, which could all turn out to be true any day now.”
Crabb said: “The escalating lunacy of domestic and global events in recent years is a sombre reminder to us all that we should be prepared for things to get even weirder. Tomorrow Tonight is, under these circumstances, a cornerstone obligation of the ABC Charter. Jokes included at no additional public expense.”
ABC head of factual and entertainment Josie Mason-Campbell said: “We are thrilled to work with Charlie Pickering and Annabel Crabb and the team at Thinkative Television on this original production. Tomorrow Tonight will unpack some of the most burning issues of our time and ask: ‘What if?’ Tomorrow Tonight joins ABC shows such as Gruen, Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell, The Weekly with Charlie Pickering and Hard Quiz in informing and entertaining viewers about the world around them and the world to come.”
Chris Walker and Kevin Whyte will serve as the executive producers on the show, alongside ABC’s Nick Hayden.
Tomorrow Tonight will air later this year on the ABC.
The Australian economics editor Adam Creighton has joined News Corp-Nine JV Your Money’s on-air lineup.
Creighton has been an economics writer at the national broadsheet for almost seven years. He worked for the Reserve Bank and studied economics at Oxford University. He has also written for the Wall Street Journal, The Spectator, The Economist and Oxford University Press.
Now, in addition to his role as Economics Editor of The Australian, Creighton will host a daily program as part of Your Money’s rolling daytime business and finance coverage.
“Adam is one of Australia’s leading economics journalists and will bring a unique perspective to Your Money,” said Kylie Merritt, CEO of Your Money. “Adam has a rare ability to articulate how business, the economy, policy and social issues intersect. He will play an important role in making Your Money the destination to make sense of all those issues.”
“I am very excited to be joining Your Money and what is a strong lineup of some of Australia’s best business journalists,” said Creighton. “Your Money will be a great opportunity to talk to a broad audience about economics, financial markets and the impact they have not only on the wider economy but also people’s everyday lives.”
The lineup announced so far for the new 24-hour business, personal finance and luxury lifestyle channel includes Ticky Fullerton, Brooke Corte, Chris Kohler and James Daggar-Nickson.
Your Money will launch later this year on free-to-air (channel 95), Foxtel (channel 601) and across multiple digital destinations including www.yourmoney.com.au.
Tennis Australia has entered into a three-year partnership with business consulting, information technology and outsourcing services provider Infosys.
The company will be the official digital innovation partner of the Australian Open and will leverage its expertise in emerging technologies such as big data & analytics, artificial intelligence as well as virtual and augmented reality to provide engaging experiences for fans.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said, “Partnering with Infosys is an exciting next step in our ongoing quest to innovate the Australian Open and engage new audiences across the world. We have long understood the importance of using data and insights to improve connections with our fans, players, coaches and the rest of the tennis community and we look forward to working with Infosys to change the way we all experience our great sport in the future.”
Infosys CEO and managing director Salil Parekh said, “This partnership is about creating new ways of experiencing the Australian Open. We’re really excited about the opportunity to showcase how digital technologies can enhance the boundaries of this tournament, to change the way the Australian Open is watched, analysed and played. This association with Tennis Australia also reaffirms our strategic commitment to the region where we partner with some of the leading enterprises in driving their digital transformation agenda.”
Horror movie The Nun and thriller A Simple Favour both debut in the top five in their first week in Australian cinemas in another solid weekend for Aussies films with a 2% increase on box office gross on last weekend.
After six weeks Mission: Impossible – Fallout finally drops out of the top five, and is joined by Mile 22 which departs after its second weekend in theatres.
Maintaining top spot after another big weekend, which sees its total come to $13.38m, the film’s Mandarin cover of the Coldplay hit Yellow also hit #1 in the Spotify charts this week.
The fifth instalment in the Conjuring universe is an extension of the story established in The Conjuring and Annabelle. It has also been an extension of the films’ commercial success as it has brought home a per screen average of $11,411, which is the highest total from the weekend.
In its third week in cinemas it has risen from fourth to third as it continues to show staying power. Appearing on 279 screens this weekend, it provided an average return of $2,853.
Falling from second spot The Meg brings its robust total to $9.32m after another good weekend across 314 screens.
A sign of things to come, the Paul Feig film had a strong return in its pre-release screenings averaging $2,960 across 208 screens, which gave it the third-highest average in the weekend’s wide releases.
• The Block, News, ACA and Doctor Doctor strong performers for Nine
• The fascination around the Lynette Dawson case continues on ACA and Australian Story
• Strong night for HYBPA? with 811,000, Survivor just outside the top 10
By Kruti Joshi
The channel had another strong night thanks to The Block. It was kitchen week on the renovating reality show, but what has been dubbed as Norm and Jess’s poolgate debacle continued to take up screen time. The five teams got together to make a decision on whether Norm and Jess should be allowed to get a pool or not. Initially, the decision largely fell on their downstairs neighbours Courtney and Hans as additional beams would have needed to be installed in their space to support the weight of the pool above. However, they decided against it and eventually told the rest of The Block contestants. A body corporate meeting was held and the verdict was a no.
Norm was later shown telling the producers they’d already decided against a pool. Jess said: “We blew all our pool money on marble… All this commotion for a pool we can’t even afford.”
This episode of The Block was watched by 1.046 million. A good lead-in audience of 845,000 watching A Current Affair supported it. The current affairs show further investigated the mysterious disappearance of Lynette Dawson in 1982. It spoke to the schoolgirl that Dawson’s husband Chris was having an affair with, Joanne Curtis.
Later in the night, Australian drama Doctor Doctor had 631,000 watching.
Seven News was the most-watched program on free-to-air TV last night with an audience 1.110 million. It was well ahead of its competitor on Nine. The news was the network’s only program inside the top 10. However, Home and Away, Little Big Shots and The Chase Australia easily secured a spot inside the top 20.
There was some sibling rivalry on display on last night’s episode of Little Big Shots. Twins Elias and Zion showed off their impressive classical piano skills to an audience of 605,000.
It was a good night for Working Dog’s Have You Been Paying Attention? with the program being the seventh most-watched show on TV on Monday night. An audience of 811,000 welcomed first-timer Gen Fricker on the show. Fricker is a stand-up comedian and a presenter on triple j. Evicted 2018 Survivor contestant and five-time Olympian Lydia Lassila and Diamonds captain Caitlin Bassett were the guest quiz masters on last night’s episode.
Australian Survivor just missed a spot in the top 10. It ranked #11 with 654,000 tuning in.
The broadcaster had three shows inside the top 10 last night. Australian Story was its best performer at #7. The 32-year-old Lynette Dawson case keeps on giving. The Australian Story episode was called The Teacher’s Wife and took a look behind the making of popular News Corp podcast The Teacher’s Pet. It featured the journalist behind the series, Hedley Thomas. Mediaweek interviewed Thomas in the early days of the podcast series. He said: “This case is a stain on the NSW justice system.” Read the full interview here.
The other two ABC shows inside the top 10 were ABC News and 7.30 with 742,000 and 668,000 viewers respectively.
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||4.0%||GEM||2.5%||ELEVEN||2.2%||Food Net||1.0%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||Ten Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC ME||0.8%||7mate||4.8%||GEM||3.7%||ELEVEN||1.8%||Food Net||0.9%|
|ABC NEWS||1.6%||7flix||2.4%||9Life||1.8%||Sky News on WIN||0.9%||NITV||0.4%|
|MONDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top 5
18-49 Top 5
25-54 Top 5
Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM
Telstra has ramped up plans to roll out 5G network infrastructure more than a year before consumers will have new generation devices capable of using the faster technology, but the telco giant’s rivals have rubbished claims this will give it an edge in the hyper-competitive mobile market, reports Max Mason in The AFR.
At a Gold Coast telecommunications conference set to ratify technology standards for 5G networks, spectrum, systems and devices – to ensure devices work in all corners of the world – Telstra chief executive Andy Penn said Telstra was working hard to progressively add 5G capability to its mobile network towers.
“We’ve already lit up 15 5G-enabled mobile sites, our aim is to increase that to 200 by the end of this calendar year and continue to roll out into 2019,” Penn told The Australian Financial Review following his keynote speech.
Coalition MP Warren Entsch has seen text messages sent to colleagues by high-profile media commentators that were hateful of Malcolm Turnbull and demanded he be dumped, reports Phillip Coorey in The AFR.
Entsch would not name the commentators on the basis his colleagues asked him not to. But he said such behaviour was an “absolute disgrace” and, if they wanted to be players, they should run for Parliament.
“I thought it was an absolute disgrace. I don’t think Sky News in particular wrapped itself in glory. I actually saw texts coming through to colleagues encouraging them to get rid of the Prime Minister, from some of these commentators,” he said.
News executives have publicly challenged Facebook and Google to alter their algorithms to reward quality journalism over plagiarised and fake news, accusing the tech titans of undermining the viability of trusted media, reports Matthew Denholm in The Australian.
Nicholas Gray, chief executive of The Australian, ABC news director Gaven Morris and News Corp Australia executive Campbell Reid used a conference in Hobart yesterday to urge the tech giants to give trusted news fairer treatment.
Facebook did not show up to the Navigating the News conference as advertised, but Google hit back, urging publishers to focus on quality and arguing it was not its role to “filter” or “censor” the internet.
Cinema chain Hoyts Group is pitching a strong set of numbers as it goes about finding support for a new $400 million-odd loan, report Sarah Thompson and Anthony Macdonald in The AFR.
Street Talk understands Hoyts management, with the help of Grant Thornton, has started talking to existing and new potential lenders as it seeks to refinance a $400 million loan due in December.
Hoyts’s team wants a deal on better terms that it squeezed out of a bunch of Australian and Chinese banks three years ago, so it is talking up the company’s financial performance and strength under new owner Dalian Wanda.
Police arrested a 31-year-old man yesterday and charged him with stalking and intimidation after a woman was allegedly assaulted at the ABC offices in Sydney last week, reports Stephen Brook in The Australian.
The man was refused bail and was due to appear at Central Local Court later today.
“Following a media appeal, about 7.45am today, a 31-year-old man was arrested,” NSW police said in a statement.
“He was taken to Day Street Police Station where he was charged with stalking and intimidation with intent to cause fear, trespass, and common assault.”
The ABC is investigating the major scare in which an intruder assaulted a female employee and caused a radio station to go off-air after breaching security at its Ultimo Sydney headquarters.
The ABC has beefed up its security after a man allegedly broke into the broadcaster’s Ultimo offices and indecently assaulted triple j host Gen Fricker, who he had been stalking since May, report Sally Rawsthorne and Broede Carmody in The Age.
On Wednesday September 5, Kieren Gallagher, 31, entered the secure building by tailgating a staff member and made his way into the studio.
Police say that after he forced his way in, Gallagher – who is of no fixed abode – grabbed and kissed the comedian and fled the building once security became aware of the issue.
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire says the AFL’s finals fixturing makes “zero sense”, with the winner of the Pies-Giants semifinal getting just six days’ break before facing Richmond.
McGuire took the AFL’s fixture boss Travis Auld to task live on radio on Monday morning, saying the AFL’s decision was “an anomaly that seems to be totally ridiculous”.
“Richmond has a 15-day break going into the preliminary final and then an eight-day break going into a grand final,” McGuire said on Triple M. “If you just changed one game, that is the preliminary final and played Richmond’s on a Saturday night and West Coast’s on a Friday night every team would get a seven-day break [going into the preliminary final]. Why is that not top of mind?”
Eddie McGuire says they “cocked it up” but the AFL has backed its finals scheduling, reports Michael Warner in the Herald Sun.
The league on Monday said it was a principle – but not a steadfast rule – to fixture the minor premier in the Friday night preliminary final slot if it won its qualifying final.
It means a refreshed Richmond will host the winner of Saturday night’s Collingwood-Greater Western Sydney clash off a six-day break on Friday September 21.
Monday morning marked the first day of 2DayFM’s long-struggling Sydney breakfast show since Em Rusciano was mercilessly etched out of the program’s publicity shots, writes Fairfax Media’s Robert Moran.
The episode saw veteran presenter Ash London bouncing into the vacant role alongside Grant Denyer and Ed Kavalee, where she’ll remain for at least the rest of the year.
September seems a little early in the calendar for Southern Cross Austereo to be throwing in the towel when it comes to the show’s breakfast ratings, but here we are.
Jackie O broke down on air yesterday morning as she announced the death of her boss’s four-year-old son, reports news.com.au.
The radio star was audibly emotional as she spoke about the sad passing of Derek Bargwanna’s son.
“Over the last week or so we’ve been going through something behind the scenes that’s been really difficult for all of us to deal with,” Jackie O said on air with Beau Ryan this morning.
“I’m sorry if on days we’ve been a little flat… Our boss, DB, who we’re extremely close with… He’s a dad now and just a little while ago his four-year-old son, Tate, died in his sleep and it was completely unexpected and we don’t know why.”
Hughesy might have a problem, writes Andrew Bucklow for News Corp.
The Aussie comedian is bracing himself for a spike in heated mentions on social media after US President Donald Trump tweeted about an American politician whose name is also Dave Hughes.
The TV and radio star told news.com.au he first heard about Trump’s tweet when his manager texted him yesterday.
“I really was trying to do a ‘No Social Media Sunday’ but when the President of the Free World gives you his endorsement you have to get involved,” the comedian said.
Nine, production house Screentime and Scripted Ink, a not-for-profit, screen development company, have united to develop a specialised creative program.
The three will work together to select three writers through a competitive process to take part in a six-week program aimed at developing a number of potential drama projects.
The program will be open to selected members of the Australian Writers’ Guild Pathways Program, with other experienced writers of one-hour dramas and narrative comedies also invited to apply.
The successful candidates will be paid industry rates to convene in a writers’ room for three days per week over six weeks, with executives from all three partner organisations providing guidance and feedback throughout this process.
At the completion of the brainstorm process, the writers will pitch their drama concepts to Nine and one drama project will be chosen to go into active development.
The drama project chosen for development by Nine will be optioned by Screentime under terms approved by the Australian Writers’ Guild, and the writer will be engaged to plot and write a series bible and at least one script for the series.
Tim Pye, Scripted Ink’s head of development, said: “It’s fantastic to be working with Screentime and Nine in this way,” he said. “The Drama Hothouse is a perfect example of how Scripted Ink’s development funding can work with the industry to create valuable career opportunities for writers.”
Screentime executive chairman Bob Campbell said: “Screentime is pleased to be associated with Scripted Ink and Nine with the Drama Hothouse Program.
“We believe it will provide writers with a process, through the AWG Pathways Program and then on to the pilot and series bible development, that will give their work every opportunity to be commissioned.”
Nine’s co-head of drama Andy Ryan said: “We are big supporters of Scripted Ink’s mission to enhance the careers and marketability of Australian screenwriters. Nine is delighted to be part of this innovative way to nurture writers and develop exciting new Australian content.
The selection process will begin in late September and be completed by late October. The successful project will be chosen by December.
Top photo: Chopper was a Screentime production for Nine
The Block has established itself as one of Australia’s most consistently successful television shows since relocating production to Melbourne in 2011, writes Tas Mavridis in the Herald Sun.
With eight different series produced in that time, the auction results across each of the seasons has highlighted the volatile nature of Melbourne’s housing market.
Controversial talking head Prue MacSween has claimed a Greens MP is a “danger” to the community and even his own wife, reports Broede Carmody in The Age.
The comments come just days after the conservative commentator was found to have contributed to ridiculing indigenous Australians and spreading false information on Seven’s Sunrise program.
On Monday’s episode of Today Extra, MacSween was asked what she thought about Melbourne politician Adam Bandt calling his wife “hot” on social media.
MacSween unleashed on the left-wing MP, with hosts Sonia Kruger and David Campbell having to quickly hide their shock due to the intensity of her comments.
“This little flea is so obsessed with climate change,” she said. “I can’t stand this cretin.”
Kylie Minogue has been joined on stage by her former Neighbours co-star Jason Donovan during her headline show in London’s Hyde Park, reports Laura Harding.
Minogue was top of the bill at the BBC Radio 2 Live show on Sunday, where she performed her and Donovan’s 1989 hit duet Especially For You.
Midway through the song Minogue said “I need a dance partner” and Donovan came out on stage, picked her up and spun her around.
Ten announced three new shows it has commissioned for 2019 in the last three days. Herald Sun’s Colin Vickery examines how they will combat the cricket on Seven and tennis on Nine.
Channel 10 looks set to get a jumpstart on its rivals in the 2019 ratings war by scheduling some of its new shows throughout January.
Ten has announced a batch of new programs, including Dancing with the Stars, Chris & Julia’s Sunday Night Takeaway and Changing Rooms.
The big question is how many of the new bunch will drop into the gaping hole left by the loss of the Big Bash cricket.
Tennis Australia’s annual profit has halved despite record revenue as the cost of hosting the Australian Open vaulted past $200 million, financial documents show, reports The Australian’s John Stensholt.
The governing body’s 2018 financial report, which was recently lodged with the corporate regulator and obtained by The Australian, shows Tennis Australia recorded a net surplus of about $6m in the year to June 30, down from $11.4m a year earlier.
The result is the first under new Tennis Australia president and A2 Milk chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka, although administrators said the sport was in strong financial health and they put the profit fall down to a series of one-off items.
Revenue of $337m was up from $318m a year earlier. A $22m rise in total costs to $329m was the result of prize money increases, more spending on grassroots and integrity measures and a $2m loss on its Laver Cup investment.
Delivered well, special comments add depth and insight to a radio or television footy call, a way for the punters to gain an understanding of the machinations of our great game, writes Jamie Duncan for News Corp.
Often, special comments come from a highly experienced former player or coach, but not always. In this story, we examine some of the great special commentators and boundary riders who’ve given VFL/AFL football the benefit of their knowledge, colour and humour.
• Bob Skilton
• Dixie Marshall
• Tommy Lahiff
• Robert Dipierdomenico
• Ron Barassi
• Peter “Crackers” Keenan
• Sam Newman
• Ray “Slug” Jordon