Nine Entertainment Co CEO Hugh Marks talks to Mediaweek editor James Manning. Tune in to Mediaweek TV at 2.30pm on Sky News Business (Foxtel 601).
With the Nine/Fairfax merger announced, and having reported the company’s preliminary final results for the 2018 financial year. There is a lot for Marks to discuss this week with James.
Recorded in the middle of TEN’s Pilot Week. After watching the first four programs, Andrew and James review each format and choose the most likely program to be commissioned.
Lots more including Andrew on TV’s drama drought, Foxtel’s 4K, Bite Club and its stellar cast, Seven’s new programs plus Netflix’s Dark Tourist and Stan’s Get Shorty.
Nine Entertainment Co has reported the company’s preliminary final results for the 2018 financial year (FY18). Revenue was $1,318m (+6%), group EBITDA was $257m (+25%) and net profit after tax lifted to $157m (+27%).
Highlights for the period include:
• Improved ratings performance – 25-54s network share of 38.2%1
• #1 revenue share for the 12 months of 38.6%, up 2.9 points
• More than doubling of profit at refocused digital business (ex Bing)
• 90%+ growth in long-form streams resulting in 90% growth in revenue at 9Now
• 1.1m+ active subscribers at Stan currently, growth of 40% over the 12 months
Hugh Marks, chief executive officer of Nine Entertainment Co, said: “The strong operating performance from last year continued across our entire suite of assets. Positive FTA TV ratings momentum combined with our focus on the 25-54 demographics is translating to improving revenue share.
“In digital, 9Now is experiencing strong revenue growth and our digital publishing business has reported accelerating growth in premium revenues in line with our strategy. Stan has raced through the milestone of 1m subscribers and remains focused on the build of a longer-term competitive and profitable local SVOD player.
“The proposed merger with Fairfax will enhance our ability to continue to grow our business for the benefit of all shareholders. The increasing scale of the merged group will expand both our advertising reach and ability to offer innovative solutions, backed by data and Nine’s Galaxy platform. The combined reach of the group’s expanded media assets will enable an acceleration in the growth of the Domain business, while Nine’s ability to invest in and expand what will be Australia’s largest news platform, across television, radio, digital and print, is also incredibly exciting.”
The ACCC has announced it will not oppose the proposed acquisition of APN Outdoor Group Limited by JCDecaux SA or the proposed acquisition of Adshel by oOh!media. The ACCC has been reviewing both acquisitions in the out-of-home advertising sector.
“These transactions are between businesses that operate for the most part in complementary segments of out-of-home advertising,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.
“This is very different to the proposed tie-up in early 2017 between oOh!media and APN Outdoor, where the companies were in direct competition with each other.”
The ACCC noted APN Outdoor’s strength is in large format billboards and airports, whereas JCDecaux operates essentially in street furniture, a category in which APN Outdoor does not operate.
Similarly, oOh!media’s strength is in the large format billboard, airport and retail categories, whereas Adshel’s main operations are in street furniture, a category in which oOh!Media does not operate.
“The information before us, including bidding data for sites, indicates that the respective merger parties rarely compete head-to-head,” Sims said.
“Some market participants expressed some concerns, in particular about the possible anti-competitive bundling of different out-of-home categories. However, the major media agencies and large advertisers did not generally express strong concerns, and the ACCC considers that bundling is unlikely to have a significant impact on competition.
“The merged companies will continue to compete with each other and with other out-of-home advertising providers. We consider that the options for advertisers and site owners will not change significantly and so neither of the proposed deals is likely to substantially lessen competition,” Sims said.
This week’s column features Greg Rust’s passion, Corrie and Caro’s Crocmedia producer, podcast revenues grow at Cumulus, plus Spotify podcast sponsorship.
By James Manning
PodcastOne’s Rusty’s Garage with Greg Rust has been a big success for the platform.
People with a passion for cars and motorsport should download Rusty’s Garage at high speed. It is hosted by automotive commentator and journalist Greg Rust, better known as Rusty, who speaks with automotive designers, collectors, riders and drivers. Each guest shares their stories about the machines they’ve owned, raced, crashed or restored throughout their lives. Rusty catches up with these guests usually at the race track or in a workshop next to an iconic machine.
Across the series listeners will hear how each vehicle was owned and loved by the respective guests, unlocking memories and moments. Whether it’s a $500 bomb or a more glamorous speed machine, the kind of car you drive can say a lot about who you are.
Guests on the series include Craig Lowndes, Mark Webber, Jeremy Burgess, Toby Price and Tim Schenken.
One podcast to really make a mark since it launched last year is the weekly recording Don’t Shoot The Messenger from longtime friends Caroline Wilson and Corrie Perkin. The two met at journalism school at RMIT in Melbourne and then later worked together on The Age. Wilson of course still writes for The Age in addition to her other media commitments including 3AW, Nine and ABC TV while Perkin is a celebrity bookseller in Melbourne.
The podcast comes from the Crocmedia stable and, as well as celebrating 50 podcasts, the show now also has a regular sponsor.
Counted among its adoring audience is former Melbourne journalist and now CEO of News Corp globally, Robert Thomson.
Mediaweek spoke with the podcast’s producer Jane Nield this week.
Working as panel op/producer for Crocmedia’s AFL Nation product, Nield was asked by Crocmedia CEO Craig Hutchison if she’d also like to look after the podcast and she has been on board from the start.
“Although I have done a lot of radio, I had never produced a podcast before,” she said.
Nield credited actor and friend of Wilson, Marg Downey, for the idea Caro and Corrie should do a podcast. “Annabel Crabb, when she was in Corrie’s bookshop, also suggested it would be a good idea.”
The Sounding Board was Crocmedia’s first big podcast production with Hutchy and Damian Barrett, but Don’t Shoot The Messenger is the next biggest success story. Crocmedia also podcasts many of its SEN radio programs.
“Our aim is to offer people the chance to sit in on what could be a regular chat between two friends,” said Nield.
The hour-long recordings do cover sport, but listeners can also feast on travel, a little politics and plenty of books, screen and food. There are loads of recommendations every week on what to read, watch or eat – the last complete with recipes.
The best segment is perhaps the apologies and corrections at the start of every episode. Nield told Mediaweek that might soon be spun off into a separate podcast, something they also do for their AFL tips every week.
For the 50th episode, Nield picked up the guitar and sang a tune for the milestone.
Her musical background includes time as an announcer and music director at Power FM 3BA Ballarat. Interestingly, that was the first Crocmedia studio too before it relocated to Melbourne. “I also spent 10 years in a rock band singing and playing guitar.”
Nield calls herself a podcast addict. We shall list her favourites next week.
US company Cumulus Media, which operates the Westwood One Podcast Network, is forecasting stunning podcast revenue growth. In the whole of 2016 the company reported podcast revenue of US$100,000. CEO Mary Berner has said the business is now forecasting that to grow to $10m in the current financial year. Cumulus set a new record high for downloads, reporting 35 million in a recent month.
In addition to owning the Westwood One audio syndication business, Cumulus Media operates over 400 radio stations across the US.
The global music streamer has recently announced a new sponsored podcast, which has been financed by New Amsterdam Vodka.
The Ebb & Flow podcast launched on August 20. The five-episode series features candid conversations with rising hip hop artists and entrepreneurs who have dreamed, worked, and sacrificed their way to the top.
“We chose to do a branded podcast less because of the format and more because of the opportunity with Spotify,” said Michael Sachs, director of marketing for New Amsterdam Spirits, in a statement. “When discussing ways to work together, we wanted to be sure that we were supporting the latest and greatest that Spotify has to offer.”
Top Photo: Don’t Shoot the Messenger Team
Long-time Nova Entertainment executive Luke Minto was recently promoted to Sydney commercial director.
He has been with Nova Entertainment since May 2004, joining initially as agency client executive and then agency team manager in Sydney. In January 2010 he moved to Brisbane as sales director for Nova 106.9, before returning to Sydney to lead the Nova and Sydney teams in May 2013. He was recently promoted to his current role of Sydney commercial director and market lead.
Peter Charlton, Nova Entertainment’s chief commercial officer, told Mediaweek: “Luke brings a huge amount of commercial and senior executive experience to the role. He is well-known in the market, hugely popular internally at Nova Entertainment and is an accomplished generalist in business. Luke is strategic, empathetic and has a unique quiet confidence for a sales person. The business will be even better with him in the job.”
Minto had been working in Sydney in a general manager role and he told Mediaweek that also included some commercial responsibilities. “I was looking after our tier two agencies, or independent agencies as they are also referred to. This new role also gives me responsibility across major agencies as well, working closely with Rob Sloan, our Sydney agency sales director.”
Minto said Nova’s brands have enjoyed a good year. “Radio as a medium is doing good things and the market is up and we are getting our fair share of that. It remains a trusted medium for clients. Ahead for us is the peak part of the year and there is lots of activity pending.”
Nova Entertainment’s sales team in Sydney numbers around 14 in total. “Comparatively we probably are leaner than our competitors,” Minto admitted.
Nova Sydney reps eight metro stations including Adelaide’s Fiveaa while SCA has 10 and ARN nine. For non-music stations, Macquarie Media has seven.
“Our point of difference is the strength of our ideas and the execution and it’s what we have become famous for.”
Minto noted in many markets Nova is either #1 or #2 in terms of revenue. “Sydney has been a consistently strong performer for us in terms of [revenue] share and we had been #1 for a few years.” Despite underperforming in the Sydney market at 2Day, the dollars SCA writes nationally out of Sydney see it sitting at #1, with Nova #2.
When Nova Entertainment first announced the fifth annual smooth Festival of Chocolate would be moving from its traditional home at The Rocks to Sydney’s Olympic Park, more than a few people scratched their head wondering why.—
The nation’s best place to eat was revealed last at the Oscars of the Australian food world, the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards. Taking out the top spot, the recently re-opened Quay in Sydney has been named Australia’s Restaurant of the Year in the country’s longest-standing national restaurant awards.
Australia’s leading chefs and restaurateurs gathered at Restaurant Hubert in Sydney to attend the awards and launch the country’s national restaurant guide at a glam gala dinner hosted by Gourmet Traveller’s editor Sarah Oakes and chief restaurant critic Pat Nourse.
Josh Niland of Saint Peter in Sydney took out the peer-voted Chef of the Year, a remarkable turnaround hot on the heels of winning the Best New Talent award only 12 months before.
The well-dressed team at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal took out a collective win for Maître d’ of the Year, and Emma Farrelly, who oversees not one but four lists at Perth’s State Buildings complex, won Sommelier of the Year.
Regional winners: In addition to Ali Currey-Voumard, of The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery in Tasmania’s New Norfolk, winning Best New Talent, many regional establishments trumped their city cousins, including Laura, the glam eatery in a winery sculpture-park on the Mornington Peninsula that was named New Restaurant of the Year, and the awards’ first ever regional Bar of the Year, Liberté, which at five hours’ drive south of Perth, is about as regional as a bar gets.
On top of this, Brae, in the Otways of Victoria, won Regional Restaurant of the Year and scored three stars to boot.
“Excellence is not something that’s in short supply in Australian hospitality right now,” said GT editor Sarah Oakes, “so it’s an incredibly challenging process to choose winners in a pool of talent that is so deep.”
“We’re incredibly fortunate at Gourmet Traveller to have such a wealth of exciting talent and great adventures to share with our readers,” said chief critic Pat Nourse. “This country punches so far above its weight – it’s fantastic.”
Details of the winners are in the September issue of Gourmet Traveller, on newsstands with the new edition of the Gourmet Traveller Australian Restaurant Guide, presented in association with Vittoria Coffee, and supporting sponsors Ilve, Mutti and Harrolds, on Thursday August 23. The full list of winners follows.
RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
CHEF OF THE YEAR
Josh Niland – Saint Peter, Sydney
NEW RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
Laura, Merricks, Vic
BEST NEW TALENT
Ali Currey-Voumard – The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery, New Norfolk, Tas
REGIONAL RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
Brae, Birregurra, Vic
BAR OF THE YEAR
Liberté, Albany, WA
MAÎTRE D’ OF THE YEAR
The team from Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Melbourne
WINE LIST OF THE YEAR
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO HOSPITALITY
Rootstock wine festival: Linda Wiss, Matt Young, Giorgio De Maria, James Hird and Mike Bennie
SOMMELIER OF THE YEAR
Emma Farrelly – State Buildings, Perth
Top Photo: The Quay Team
Too many dating reality shows take themselves too seriously. Seven’s upcoming format Take Me Out is different, comedian and host Joel Creasey told Mediaweek.
By Kruti Joshi
He said: “Come on! You are TV dating show. Let’s be honest, 60% of the people are on it for fame. About the other 40%, I wonder why they need our help to find a date.”
When it was pointed out that the same assumptions could be applied to the participants of Take Me Out, Creasey said. “Absolutely! We’ve got some fame whores on there and some absolute losers who can’t get themselves a date. We’ve also got some people who thought, ‘Let’s do it for the experience.’ Then we also have some people who are genuinely there to find love.
“I call each one of them out for what they are. We don’t try to pretend we are something we are not.”
The show is a local version of Chinese dating show If You Are The One, which aired on SBS in Australia. There is also a British version called Take Me Out, which has been airing in the region for eight years.
The Australian edition of Take Me Out leans more towards the UK format than the Chinese one, Seven’s director of programming Angus Ross told Mediaweek. “It’s had a lot of success,” he said.
Ross described the local version of Take Me Out as an “alternative” to other shows currently on TV, including The Block on Nine and Ten’s Australian Survivor and The Bachelor.
Meanwhile, Creasey spoke about the format as an alternative to other dating reality shows on Australian TV such as Married at First Sight and Bachelor In Paradise.
“Dating needs a bit of a shake-up in this country. Take Me Out is funny and almost a piss take of all the other dating shows,” Creasey said. “If you are bored with dating shows, we are really for you. It’s a bit of an antidote.”
• Nine secure in top spot with The Block, but Bite Club slips
• Pilot Week Day 4: Kinne Tonight new audience favourite
By James Manning
Home And Away dropped closer to 600,000 with 623,000 after nights on 730,000 and 668,000 earlier this week.
Ob docs then ruled the schedule with Highway Patrol on 543,000, the new Motorbike Cops did 579,000 and 9-1-1 was on 498,000.
A Current Affair was back over 800,000 after previous week 34 outings on 886,000 and 736,000.
The Block did 901,000 after a midweek episode last week of 823,000.
Bite Club then did 443,000 after launching with 510,000.
The Project did 518,000 after 7pm.
The Bachelor then offered a bit of everything for episode three. However, the week-on-week numbers drifted lower from the launch audience of 940,000 to 819,000.
Kinne Tonight is the new popular champion in Pilot Week after five of the eight programs have gone to air making Troy Kinne the newest hot property to emerge from the programming initiative.
The Pilot Week numbers so far:
• Kinne Tonight 404,000
• Skit Happens 350,000
• Drunk History 367,000
• Taboo 277,000
• Disgrace 229,000
Anh’s Brush was on 652,000 at 8pm.
Rove and Jimmy Barnes were the guests on The Weekly with 625,000 watching.
The first part of the new series labelled by some “reality TV for thinking people”, The Employables, did 136,000.
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||3.5%||GEM||2.5%||ELEVEN||2.4%||Food Net||1.1%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||Ten Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||3.9%||GEM||3.5%||ELEVEN||2.2%||Food Net||1.3%|
|WEDNESDAY 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
Omnicom Media Group has announced the appointment of Ben Mulcahy (pictured), founder of Pink Media Group, as national head of OMG Diverse.
OMG Diverse was created in 2014, to help brands reach Australia’s diverse audiences including CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse), indigenous and LGBTI. Since its inception, OMG Diverse has uncovered invaluable insights for clients that include Telstra, Qantas, Estee Lauder Companies, Bayer, NSW Government, Village Roadshow, 7 Eleven and HP.
Mulcahy joins OMG with over 20 years of industry experience, with roles at JCDecaux, Big Mobile and most recently running his own media and communications agency, Pink Media Group, which connects brands with Australia’s LGBTI community. His appointment is part of a revitalisation of the OMG Diverse offering.
Peter Horgan, CEO, Omnicom Media Group Australia & New Zealand, said, “With over five million Australians speaking a language other than English at home, targeting diverse communities has never been more important. With this key hire, we are continuing to build our on-ground capability to unlock even more growth for our clients across the group, in a tailored and impactful way.”
Ben Mulcahy added, “Australia’s rich diversity of cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds provides a vast landscape of media opportunities. I’m excited to help brands tailor their communications for our rapidly growing diverse audiences. It’s great to be part of the OMD & PHD agency offering, and I am looking forward to crafting great work for our client roster.”
Mulcahy will be responsible for continuing the strong growth delivered by this specialist unit across all relevant Omnicom Group clients and agencies including OMD, PHD and Annalect.
The appointment is effective immediately.
Carsales chief executive Cameron McIntyre believes the digital auto-classifieds and services business can continue its solid growth both at home and overseas, but has flagged the need for reinvestment in Mexico and Argentina, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
Carsales saw its net profit after tax jump 68.8% to $184.8 million as the company took hold of the remaining stakes in international ventures in South Korea and Mexico. Adjusted net profit was up 10% to $131 million. Revenue jumped 19% to $444 million, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 16% to $205 million.
“The strategy is to diversify revenue streams domestically, and we’ve done that with our tyre sales business, Stratton business and Redbook business,” McIntyre said.
Will a merger of TPG and Vodafone create an aggressively competitive third player in the mobile market or usher in more “rational” competition, asks Fairfax Media’s Elizabeth Knight.
It’s a deal that will create a $13 billion telco player and has the potential to result in a tectonic shift in the Australian communications market.
The fact that Telstra’s share price rose 5% in response to the announcement the pair were investigating a merger suggests the market thinks all those synergies delivered from the deal will be enjoyed by shareholders rather than ploughed back into lower phone and internet prices.
Clearly this merger works for both parties. It is a ridiculously good fit and will save both plenty of costs and capital expenditure – enabling sharing of sites, access to 5G spectrum, some product bundling.
Sky News achieved record-breaking audiences across its evening programs Tuesday night as the channel delivered live and exclusive coverage of the still unfolding leadership crisis in Canberra.
Rolling coverage from Canberra this week saw political editor David Speers and chief political reporter Kieran Gilbert were the first to report the leadership positions had been vacated.
Political reporter Laura Jayes was then the first to confirm that Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull had won the leadership ballot.
The channel’s evening programs Credlin, The Bolt Report, Jones & Co and Paul Murray Live all set new audience records and delivered the channel’s largest Tuesday primetime audiences ever.
Credlin, anchored by Peta Credlin weeknights at 6pm, delivered its highest rating episode on record with an average audience of 71,320.
The Bolt Report, anchored by Andrew Bolt weeknights at 7pm, delivered its highest rating episode of the year and second-highest episode on record with an average audience of 83,137 viewers.
Jones & Co, anchored by Alan Jones and Peta Credlin Tuesdays at 8pm, achieved its highest rating episode on record, attracting an average audience of 98,792.
Paul Murray Live, anchored by award-winning broadcaster Paul Murray each Sunday–Thursday at 9pm, was the number one program on Sky News delivering its highest rating episode since 2016 with an average audience of 102,631.
Sky News was the number one channel on the Foxtel platform Tuesday (August 21) with a 4.2% audience share and achieved its highest rating day since 2016 and reached 479,000 unique viewers across the day.
Sky News recently announced its highest half-yearly ratings on record, now reaching more than one million Australians every week on Foxtel alone.
On Sunday September 2 at 6am AEST Sky News on WIN, a new dedicated 24-hour free-to-air news channel, will launch on the WIN Network’s Channel 53 in northern NSW and Channel 83 across all other WIN areas.
“The [AFL] Footy Show has been the most successful show on Australian television for a quarter of a century,” Eddie McGuire told the Herald Sun.
But is it true? asks TV Tonight.
On timeslot wins The AFL Footy Show has strong cred in its 3 markets, despite sliding numbers in recent years, reports TV Tonight’s David Knox.
As a successful panel show it has turned over millions in network revenue and that kind of longevity should be acknowledged in a fickle business. But that doesn’t make it the most successful show on Australian television for a quarter of a century. It’s this kind of arrogance that has arguably contributed to viewers turning off.
Finding one show deserving of such a title is nigh on impossible. But it’s hard to look past the success around Home And Away.
After 30 years the show is still competitive in the tough 7pm timeslot. It is watched in more than 140 countries, has more Logie Awards than any single show, ignited multiple star careers and as a Seven-produced show has generated millions in revenue.
The end of the road for CBS’s The Big Bang Theory has arrived, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Producers Warner Bros. Television announced Wednesday that the CBS comedy’s previously announced 12th season will be its last.
“We are forever grateful to our fans for their support of The Big Bang Theory during the past 12 seasons. We, along with the cast, writers and crew, are extremely appreciative of the show’s success and aim to deliver a final season, and series finale, that will bring The Big Bang Theory to an epic creative close,” WBTV and Chuck Lorre Productions said in a joint statement.
Created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, The Big Bang Theory will wrap its 12-season run in May as TV’s longest-running multicamera comedy in history, with a record-breaking 279 episodes. The series finale will air in May. The decision arrives as CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl told reporters August 5 that CBS was in preliminary discussions to renew the show for a 13th season with producers WBTV.
“The Big Bang Theory has been the defining comedy of its generation,” Kahl said in a statement Wednesday. “All of us at the network take exceptional pride in this series that uniquely combines creative genius, commercial ratings success, cultural influence and characters who became so popular, they are easily known by just one name. We’re incredibly grateful for our partnership with Warner Bros., Chuck Lorre Productions and a brilliant cast and crew that has made such a ‘big bang’ and lasting legacy on the television landscape.”