As Australia’s subscription TV provider Foxtel faces big decisions about its future, it has lost one of its key content managers, Hannah Barnes.
The announcement of her departure came the morning after another of her ratings triumphs with the start of a new season of Gogglebox pulling a Lifestyle channel audience of close to 200,000.
Hannah Barnes is the group general manager of Lifestyle and she will be stepping down from the role in October. The Lifestyle group pulls the biggest Foxtel audiences alongside Fox Sports. The channel group includes the flagship Lifestyle plus Lifestyle Home and Lifestyle Food.
Starting as head of programming with Lifestyle nine years ago, Barnes was later promoted to general manager.
“This has not been an easy decision for me because I have loved every minute of my nine years here,” Barnes said after making her announcement.
“I am ready to embark on my next adventure and to start the next chapter of what has been an incredible career both in the UK and now back in Australia.
“It’s time for me to ‘see what’s possible’.”
Foxtel executive director of television Brian Walsh said yesterday:
“Hannah has made an indelible mark on the success of the genre over the course of her stewardship and the Lifestyle group is the envy of our competitors.
“Her craftsmanship is admired throughout our industry, both here in Australia and internationally.
“An exceptional leader and advocate for equal opportunity, Hannah has led a high-achieving team who admire and respect her. Throughout her time at Foxtel she has actively mentored many staff across the business.”
Walsh called on staff to join with him in celebrating Barnes’s hard work, dedication and leadership.
A long list of success stories from Barnes and her Lifestyle team in recent years includes Grand Designs Australia, Selling Houses, River Cottage, Village Vets, Great Australian Bake Off and Gogglebox.
Walsh noted that last year she championed the commissioning of Love It Or List It, which premiered as the highest-rating Lifestyle production in Foxtel’s history.
Barnes added: “I want to thank everyone at Foxtel. There are so many wonderful people working in this company, in particular Brian Walsh, who has been an amazingly supportive leader and influence on me. I would like to thank Steve Baldwin for his guidance, calmness and candour.
“The team at Lifestyle are the best in the business. Your passion, hard work, and brilliance is the reason Lifestyle is what it is today.”
Photo: Barnes with the stars of Selling Houses Australia at a recent Lifestyle channel function [L-R]: Andrew Winter, Hannah Barnes, Shaynna Blaze and Charlie Albone
A dialogue-free animated short film about a knitted toy dinosaur who must completely unravel himself to save the love of his life has taken out the highest honour of the Australian Writers’ Guild’s annual AWGIE Awards, the 2018 Major Award.
Bradley Slabe’s Lost & Found was first awarded the AWGIE for the Animation category before going on to win the Major, which is selected from the winners of each of the 18 AWGIE Award categories.
The 51st Annual AWGIE Awards were presented at the City Recital Hall in Sydney last night.
Saving Mr. Banks, Mabo and Brides of Christ screenwriter Sue Smith was the recipient of the 2018 Australian Writers’ Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award, one of the most prestigious honours in the industry, in recognition of the enduring mark her work has made on the Australian cultural landscape.
Matchbox Pictures co-founder Tony Ayres was awarded the Hector Crawford Award. The award-winning writer, director and producer recently launched Tony Ayres Productions to specialise in high-end scripted drama and feature films for both Australian and international audiences.
2018 also saw a number of indigenous writers winning categories, including Steven McGregor with David Tranter for Sweet Country (Feature Film – Original) and Erica Glynn for her episode Where’s Aaron? of Little J and Big Cuz (Children’s P Classification).
The 2018 winners included:
FEATURE FILM – ORIGINAL
Sweet Country – Steven McGregor with David Tranter
FEATURE FILM – ADAPTATION
Cargo – Yolanda Ramke
I Fucked a Mermaid and No One Believes Me – Joel Perlgut
TELEVISION – SERIAL
Neighbours: Episode 7776 – Peter Mattessi
TELEVISION – SERIES OR MINISERIES OF MORE THAN 4 HOURS’ DURATION, INCLUDING ORIGINAL AND ADAPTED WORKS
Mystery Road: Gone – Michaeley O’Brien
TELEVISION – TELEMOVIE OR MINISERIES OF 4 HOURS OR LESS DURATION, INCLUDING ORIGINAL AND ADAPTED WORKS
Sunshine – Matt Cameron and Elise McCredie
CHILDREN’S TELEVISION – ‘P’ CLASSIFICATION (PRESCHOOL – UNDER 5 YEARS), ORIGINAL OR ADAPTED, ANIMATED OR PERFORMED
Little J and Big Cuz: Where’s Aaron? – Erica Glynn
CHILDREN’S TELEVISION – ‘C’ CLASSIFICATION (CHILDREN’S – 5–14 YEARS), ORIGINAL OR ADAPTED, ANIMATED OR PERFORMED
Mustangs FC: Flawless – Magda Wozniak
COMEDY – SITUATION OR NARRATIVE
Get Krack!n: Episode 7 – Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan
Seoul City Sue – Noëlle Janaczewska
Rice – Michele Lee
Muriel’s Wedding the Musical – PJ Hogan with Kate Miller-Heidke & Keir Nuttall (lyrics) and Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus & Stig Anderson (lyrics)
Lost & Found – Bradley Slabe
Homecoming Queens: Beach – Michelle Law and Chloë Reeson
Lost & Found – Bradley Slabe
DAVID WILLIAMSON PRIZE
For Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre
Muriel’s Wedding the Musical – PJ Hogan with Kate Miller-Heidke & Keir Nuttall (lyrics) and Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus & Stig Anderson (lyrics)
HECTOR CRAWFORD AWARD
For Outstanding Contribution to the craft as a script producer, editor or dramaturg
AUSTRALIAN WRITERS’ GUILD LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Proudly presented by Foxtel
Top Photo: Luke Ceila
Is bigger better when a dating show comes back for its third incarnation? Ten had a brief romp with Taken Out in 2008, China turned it into If You Are The One (seen here on SBS) and now Seven has supersized it with Take Me Out, featuring the biggest cast and set yet.
On the new Take Me Out, host Joel Creasey corrals a conga line of 30 girls who gyrate to music and want to go away with some dude to… the Gold Coast. Two hours a week of this is a lot. And if nobody watched Dance Boss (which looks like it was filmed on the same set), who is going to watch a show with more squealing and even worse dancing?
Take Me Out did remind me though of Man O Man, Seven’s infamous Saturday night hit from 1994 in which Speedo-clad blokes were pushed into a pool. Today’s contestants are also willing to get their gear off at the drop of a hat, so why doesn’t someone have the balls to do an Aussie version of Naked Attraction, the Channel 4 dating show with full frontal nudity?
SBS Viceland starts a new French drama next week called Nude. Set in 2026, Europe has taken advantage of global warming to pass a law that insists everyone must be naked all the time. The opening episodes are patchy, with a cop waking up from a coma to discover the change, but in a crowded marketplace that title alone should get attention.
Even Neighbours got away with a bit of nudity this week, but next week it’s Australian TV’s first (legal) gay wedding when David (Takaya Honda) and Aaron (Matt Wilson) get hitched. There is some comedy gold from Susan (Jackie Woodburne) and wedding celebrant Jemima Davies-Smythe (Magda Szubanski) and the joy from everyone involved in this episode is almost palpable.
But even getting Magda Szubanski, one of the most popular women on Australian TV, and making TV history wasn’t enough to get onto the cover of TV Week, which went instead with another Home and Away Ultimate Fan Guide. And it’s only the first of three! Granted, making TV history isn’t really Home and Away’s thing but, if times ever turn tough, Summer Bay could always become a nude beach.
Seven’s Sam Lane has an emotional bond with AFL. The stadium, the people and the energy of the game are a part of her childhood.
By Kruti Joshi
As a young girl, she spent many weekends observing the nuances of the sport and everything to do with it while her sports broadcaster father Tim Lane was in the media box.
However, this love for the sport didn’t come to her naturally. Lane’s parents divorced when she was very young. She lived with her mother, who had zero interest in the game. However, Lane’s mother passed away when she was 10. This life-changing event saw her move in with her father.
“Initially, I hated it. I would sit in the commentary boxes and think the men sitting in there were like granddads – they weren’t speaking a language that I understood,” Lane told Mediaweek. “The trigger for me was when I stepped out of the commentary box and walked around in the crowd. I have very vivid memories of the smells and sounds at Carlton Princes Park.
“It felt like a family that I didn’t have at my fingertips at home, because it was just me, dad and three cats.”
Having spent time in this environment, observing the game and the people who came to watch it, Lane noticed something that hadn’t come to her attention before. “There were heaps of women and girls there. But there were not many women talking about the game on radio, TV or newspapers, with the major exception of Caroline Wilson.”
Dubbed “football’s first lady”, Wilson was the chief football writer for The Age until November 2017 and also Lane’s “hero from a distance”, who later became a colleague.
Compared to when she was a child, Lane said: “The AFL media landscape has evolved for the better dramatically.”
However, there is more to be done. “In general, on sports panels there is a default position for one woman to tick [the diversity] box. I look forward to the day where it’s normal for us to switch on the TV or radio and see more than one woman in sports coverage.” Lane pointed to ABC’s Offsiders as an example of this. She emphasised that she isn’t campaigning for an all-women panel but more for striking a balance. “The mix should look and feel natural, in the way it does when we walk down the street,” she said.
The channel will go live at 6am on September 2.
The new 24-hour news channel for regional Australia, Sky News on WIN launches on Sunday, September 2 at 6am AEST.
It will be housed on Channel 53 in northern NSW and the Gold Coast, and Channel 83 across all other WIN areas.
For the first time on free-to-air television, viewers can watch Sky News’ national affairs programs, the latest breaking sports news from Fox Sports News and weather updates on Sky News Weather.
Sky News on WIN will broadcast in 30 markets across the latter’s regional network throughout Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, and statewide across Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.
Sky News on WIN will feature programs such as Paul Murray Live, The Bolt Report, Credlin, Outsiders, Jones & Co, Richo, Politics HQ, Kenny on Sunday, Speers, Speers on Sunday and AM Agenda, as well as the Live coverage of Question Time during parliamentary sitting weeks.
Weekdays 6am-8:30am, Sky News anchor Jaynie Seal will host the new breakfast program Headline News. With a focus on regional issues, the program will give viewers the latest news headlines every 15 minutes. Headline News will simulcast on WIN (Channel 008/080) and Sky News Weather (Foxtel Channel 603).
Sky News on WIN Program Schedule – Sunday September 2
6am – Sports First
8am – Speers on Sunday
9am – Ross Cameron and Rowan Dean on Outsiders
12pm – Fox Sports News
5pm – Warren Mundine launches second season of Mundine Means Business
7pm – Kenny on Sunday with columnist Chris Kenny
9pm – Paul Murray Live
11pm – Heads Up hosted by Peter Gleeson
Sky News On WIN – Program Schedule Overview
(Channel 53 in Northern NSW and Channel 83 across WIN’s regional network)
• Sky News Weather (LIVE at 5am)
• Sports First (LIVE at 5:30am)
• Headline News with Jaynie Seal (Weekdays LIVE at 6am)
• AM Agenda with Kieran Gilbert (Weekdays LIVE at 8:30am)
• Sports Nation (Weekdays LIVE at 9:30am)
• Live Now (Weekdays LIVE at 10am)
• All Australian News (Weekdays at 11am)
• FOX Feed (Weekdays LIVE at 12pm)
• SPEERS with David Speers (Monday – Thursdays LIVE at 4pm)
• The Friday Show with Rita Panahi (Fridays LIVE at 4pm)
• AFL Tonight (Monday – Thursday LIVE at 5pm and Fridays LIVE 5:30pm)
• NRL Tonight (Monday – Thursday LIVE at 5:30pm and Fridays LIVE 5pm)
• Credlin with Peta Credlin (Weeknights LIVE at 6pm)
• The Bolt Report with Andrew Bolt (Weeknights LIVE at 7pm)
• Outsiders with Ross Cameron and Rowan Dean (Mondays and Thursdays LIVE at 8pm)
• Jones & Co with Alan Jones and Peta Credlin (Tuesdays LIVE at 8pm)
• Richo with Graham Richardson (Wednesdays LIVE at 8pm)
• Politics HQ with Nicholas Reece (Fridays LIVE at 8pm)
• Paul Murray LIVE with Paul Murray (Sunday – Thursdays LIVE from 9pm – 10pm)
• Hardgrave with Gary Hardgrave (Fridays LIVE at 9pm)
• Bill & Boz with Bill Woods and Mark Bosnich (Monday – Wednesdays LIVE at 10pm)
• Heads Up with Janine Perrett (Monday – Thursdays LIVE at 11pm) and Peter Gleeson (Fridays LIVE at 11pm)
• Sky News Weather (LIVE at 5)
• Sports First (LIVE from 5:30am)
• Gameday LIVE (LIVE from 9am)
• Sports Saturday (LIVE from 12pm)
• Fulltime Live (LIVE from 10pm)
• Heads Up with Peter Gleeson (LIVE at 11pm)
• Sky News Weather (LIVE at 5)
• Sports First (LIVE from 5:30am)
• SPEERS on Sunday with David Speers (LIVE at 8am)
• Outsiders with Ross Cameron and Rowan Dean (LIVE at 9am)
• Sports Sunday (LIVE from 12pm)
• Mundine Means Business with Warren Mundine (LIVE at 5pm)
• Kenny on Sunday with Chris Kenny (LIVE at 7pm)
• Paul Murray LIVE with Paul Murray (LIVE at 9pm)
• Bill & Boz with Bill Woods and Mark Bosnich (LIVE at 10pm)
• Heads Up with Peter Gleeson (LIVE at 11pm)
The new Western Sydney Stadium is 70% complete and on track to open in April 2019.
The operator of the facility VenueLive has commenced a process, on behalf of the NSW Government and owner Venues NSW, to enter in to a stadium naming rights partnership with a corporate sponsor.
“With major construction more than halfway complete, securing a naming rights sponsor is a major milestone for the commercial operations of Western Sydney Stadium,” said Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres.
This unique opportunity offers the naming rights partner the chance to align their brand with the new home of live sport and entertainment.
Located in the heart of Parramatta, Western Sydney Stadium is a 30,000-seat purpose-built rectangular stadium, featuring steep grandstands.
Shane Stoddard, general manager commercial at VenuesLive NSW, said: “Naming rights sponsorship occupies the highest point on the sponsorship pyramid, and for good reason given the many benefits that it offers.
“The competition to gain consumer attention is as intense as ever and this is a rare opportunity for a corporate sponsor to use naming rights at the amazing Western Sydney Stadium to rise above the advertising clutter and gain direct access to consumers.
“The Western Sydney Stadium naming rights present a rare opportunity for a corporation to embed their brand in the fabric of Western Sydney through the channel of sport and entertainment at the most exciting stadium in the country.”
Armed with a Canadian birth certificate and an Australian university degree, Jennifer Batty travelled the world and worked all over, gaining a global perspective that’s now being put to use in an increasingly globalised media landscape.
By Peter Olszewski
She’s been very much a global operator, having worked in diverse media companies in a diverse range of territories including Hong Kong, India, Scandinavia, US, Eastern Europe and Canada.
In October last year, Batty signed on as chief content officer with Hooq in Singapore. Hooq is a joint venture between SingTel, Sony Pictures and Warner Brothers, which bills itself as Asia’s first premium VOD service.
Batty tells Mediaweek that her global experience and perspective very much come into play in her new role.
“Definitely, working and travelling in many countries has helped me to understand and appreciate that no two countries are the same and even within one country you can have a very diverse audience,” she said.
“I’m much more aware of cultural sensitivities that we don’t experience in Australia, Canada or other more Western countries.
“I have been incredibly lucky that, after many years in Europe based in London, I was able to transition to Asia.
“Asia is such a dynamic area and the opportunities are endless here. With Hooq’s current partners in our five territories we have access to over 500 million people and the possibilities are endless.
“I also work with a great team at Hooq and we have country content heads in each territory who are experts in the territory. I’m very excited to be part of this new wave of media consumption in the OTT world.”
Batty also notes that Hooq’s five current Southeast Asian territories – Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand and India – all have differing languages, cultural contexts and viewing demands.
“We acquire different content for each territory – we have the ability to program for each territory, as every territory is different. Local content is a big driver of viewing minutes for us in Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand, where as Hollywood content drives the minutes in Singapore and India.
Peter Olszewski rounds up all the latest media news from Asia.
Mediacorp has partnered with Singapore’s largest property portal 99.co to create more relevant property-related news and information for property buyers, sellers, agents and developers. The partnership, effective on September 1, is part of Mediacorp Partner Network initiative to better unite customers and advertisers in Singapore. Under the agreement, Mediacorp will be the exclusive representative for all media sales in Singapore for 99.co. Mediacorp will also have the right to represent 99.co in key markets outside Singapore on a non-exclusive basis. For its part under the agreement, 99.co will provide property editorial on Mediacorp’s platforms and will also support client solutions using branded content.
Hong Kong’s main free-to-air broadcaster and oldest TV station, TVB, posted an 18% rise in first-half profit on Wednesday, due mainly to higher ad revenue and healthy income from drama serials co-produced in mainland China. TVB’s net profit for the first six months of this year was HK$201 million (A$35 million), up from HK$170 million in the same period last year. The Chinese revenue was driven by income from drama serials co-produced with Chinese studios, including Deep in the Realm of Conscience, a popular historical drama, and from TVB licensing its own titles in mainland China. Advertising income increased 2% to HK$1.2 billion, comprising 80% of TV revenue.
KL-based Southeast Asian streamer iflix has launched “the first of its kind” 24-hour live news hub, iflix News. The service will aggregate live news streams, clips, and linear feeds from international, regional and local news authorities and will be freely available to all users in iflix’s 28 global markets from September 3. Its regional partners will include CNN, Al Jazeera, DW, CGTN, CCTV 4, and it also has direct access to local linear news channels, including CNN in the Philippines, Bernama News Channel, and KiniTV in Malaysia, Berita Satu and Kompas TV in Indonesia, Thairath TV and Spring News in Thailand and Mizzima TV in Myanmar. iflix co-founder and CEO Mark Britt said: “We have invested significantly in the creation and development of our new 24-hour News Hub including editorial and curation teams and infrastructure, working in close partnership with international, regional and local content providers.”
Jakarta-based Tech in Asia – which bills itself as “the largest English-language technology media focusing on Asia” – has laid off a “great number” of employees in its Singapore and Indonesia office, according to Singapore-based tech blog E27. Tech In Asia declined to comment to E27 on the reports, as did venture capital firm East Ventures, which had invested in Tech In Asia. In March last year Tech in Asia confirmed that it had downsized its Indian operations, laying off some staff and cancelling a planned conference.
Tencent-backed Chinese news and content aggregator Qutoutiao has filed for an initial public offering of up to US$300 million (A$408.2 million) in the US. Qutoutiao – the name means “fun headline” – is backed by Tencent Holdings and aggregates articles and short videos from professional media and freelancers and presents customised feeds curated using artificial intelligence technology to users on its namesake mobile app. The company ranks fourth among the news apps in Apple’s Chinese App Store, after Toutiao, Alibaba’s UC web browser and Tencent News.
Regional media agency Phibious Indochina and Cambodian firm Active Communications have merged and launched a new business model focusing on digital media. The merged company is to be called Phibious Group and will employ about 50 people.
Mediacorp’s newly appointed chief marketing officer Debra Soon – who took up the role in June – has quit to take up a “new challenge” outside of the media industry. Media veteran Soon was hired to set up an integrated marketing organisation to bring together most of the company’s marketing and communications staff under the her leadership. During her time at Mediacorp she also served as managing director of Channel NewsAsia.
Thailand’s SET-listed Nation Multimedia Group, publisher of the English-language news portal The Nation among other things, posted a consolidated net loss of 2.16 billion baht (A$90.5 million) last year, partly because of lower advertising revenue and higher expenses, according to rival publication, the Bangkok Post. The net loss was 83% larger y-o-y than the loss of 1.18 billion baht registered in 2016.
Malaysia’s Media Prima has followed its announcement earlier this month that it partnered with YouTube’s Player for Publishers service, by shortly after announcing that its SVOD service tonton will be switched to a free service on August 31. Media Prima Television Networks said it has changed its business model by consolidating all its online video content using YouTube’s Player for Publishers service, and the group’s managing director Kamal Khalid admitted to The Edge Financial Daily that YouTube could prove be a more efficient delivery channel and replace tonton altogether.
• China’s top international property portal, Juwai.com – a partner of Tencent and JD.com – has launched the first annual Juwai Global Chinese Choice Awards to recognise the world’s leading China-focused real estate developers and agents. Nominations are open until October 12 and winners will be announced at a black-tie gala dinner in Shanghai in December.
• Singapore’s Rewind Networks announced at the opening of the 10th annual ContentAsia Summit on Tuesday that it will launch a movie channel that will feature hit films made between 1960 and 1990. Hits Movies HD will be available via Singaporean pay operator StarHub TV’s service on October 1, featuring movies from studios including MGM Studios and Paramount Pictures in high definition.
• StarHub in Singapore has unveiled the StarHub Go Streaming Box, an all-in-one entertainment site combining the best of StarHub’s content catalogue and the Google Play store. StarHub Go Streaming Box claims to be the first in the world to run on the Operator Tier version of Android TV Oreo. The Box supports Ultra HD content (4K), comes with Google Assistant voice search, enabling users to seek out content with a simple voice command to the voice remote. Google Chromecast is also built into the box to allow customers to stream video content to the TV set from their smart devices.
• Malaysia-based streamer iflix has partnered with Bernama – Malaysian National News Agency – and iflix Malaysian users can now access news via a premium-branded Bernama channel for free as part of the just-launched iflix News service.
• Singapore-based VOD service Hooq will add over 20 pay-TV channels to its premium service that will include Discovery, TLC, Hits, tvN, AFC, DreamWorks and History. The channels will be available in October in Indonesia and in other Southeast Asian territories later. Hooq hopes the move will be a disruptive regeneration of pay-TV among millennials. Pay-TV penetration is less than 10% in Indonesia.
• The Bachelor and return of Gogglebox push TEN to first place
• The Bachelor audiences setting new tenplay BVOD records
• Best of the rest: The Front Bar, NRL Live, Grand Designs
By James Manning
Three episodes of Home And Away back-to-back after 7.30pm last night gave the Summer Bay soap a Thursday average audience on 536,000.
The Front Bar followed in some markets at 8.30pm. Dipper and Lippa were the special guests with a network audience of 327,000 and a Melbourne crowd of 239,000.
A Current Affair was on 680,000 after a week high of 840,000 earlier in the week.
The NRL last night featured South Sydney v Wests Tigers with 351,000 watching in metro markets.
The Footy Shows combined audience was 326,000. ScoMo was a guest on the NRL Footy Show with 84,000 watching after the game last night.
The AFL Footy Show did 128,000.
The Project after 7pm did 522,000.
The Bachelor started in a hot air balloon last night after beginning Wednesday on a yacht. Soon after it started Rhiannon and the producers took the show into Unreal territory with footage of the contestant talking about how awkward she feels on camera when it comes to intimacy. Six girls were on a camp with Nick, which included some late night adventures in a tent. With six Bachelorettes and only five roses, Nick sent Vanessa Sunshine home after she revealed she had mixed emotions about the rugby star. The episode did 820,000 after 871,000 on Wednesday.
Episode four of The Bachelor from last week has delivered the biggest ever tenplay audiences for the broadcaster. It beat a record that had only been set the previous week by the series.
Gogglebox was back last night with the shows under review including The Block and The Bachelor. The first night back for this season did 806,000.
Grand Designs Australia was on 507,000 after 8pm.
The launch of crime drama Loch Ness then did 413,000.
The biggest audience of 289,000 tuned in at 7.30pm for a repeat of Tony Robinson Down Under.
24 Hours In Police Custody then did 152,000.
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||3.9%||GEM||2.4%||ELEVEN||2.5%||Food Net||0.9%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||Ten Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC ME||0.9%||7mate||4.8%||GEM||3.9%||ELEVEN||1.6%||Food Net||0.9%|
|THURSDAY 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
TPG Telecom boss David Teoh has managed to hit his mobile milestone well ahead of schedule with the $15 billion merger between his company and Vodafone Hutchison Australia set to create the third biggest telco operator in the market.
The deal, revealed by The Australian’s DataRoom column, will see Teoh, who has kept a tight grip on the existing TPG business, cede some ground but it’s a compromise that he said was a necessary one for the company.
“This merger will create a very strong company and that’s a lot more important than the control that I will have in it,” Teoh told The Australian yesterday.
Vodafone Hutchison Australia and TPG Telecom have agreed on a $15 billion merger to create Australia’s third telecommunications giant to take on Telstra and Optus, reports The Australian Financial Review’s Max Mason.
The merger will combine Vodafone’s large mobile network, with more than 5,000 sites, with TPG’s extensive fibre assets, at more than 27,000 kilometres.
Vodafone’s shareholders, Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison and UK-based Vodafone Group, will hold 50.1% of the merged company, while TPG shareholders will take the remaining 49.9%.
News of the plan pushed TPG’s shares to a near-two-year high, trading up 16.5pc at midday at $9.17.
There have been two major disruptive forces that have totally reshaped the Australian telecommunications sector over the past decade – the government-wielded sledgehammer that is the National Broadband Network, and a virtually anonymous Malaysian billionaire named David Teoh, writes Paul Smith in The Australian Financial Review.
The TPG chairman and CEO is an intriguing mix of pure corporate aggression and unparalleled reserve, who is so reclusive that he once accidentally knocked a photographer from The Australian Financial Review on to his bum with his car in an unsuccessful bid to escape having his picture taken.
David Teoh is probably one of Australia’s most reclusive billionaires, but he is also one of the best dealmakers among the nation’s wealthy elite, writes John Stensholt in The Australian.
The TPG Telecom chairman watched his wealth from his shareholding climb by more than $400 million to reach about $2.72 billion yesterday, after agreeing to a $15bn merger of equals with Vodafone Hutchison Australia.
Teoh and his family could also share in a special cash dividend worth an estimated $100m-$150m that will be distributed prior to the merger, which is slated for completion next year.
The Oracle of Omaha is adding to his already large stake in Apple.
Warren Buffett, 88, likes the technology giant because of its devoted customers, and has built up his stake in the company by “just a little” since his last regulatory filing, he said in an interview with CNBC. The Berkshire Hathaway chairman and chief executive officer said his firm has also bought back some of its own stock recently.
“They’ve got to keep having the product that this huge clientele regards as indispensable,” Buffett said of Apple. For customers, “the iPhone is enormously underpriced” compared with the utility it offers, he said.
Apple set September 12 as its most important day of the year when the world’s most valuable public company will unveil the next iPhones, reports Mark Gurman in The AFR from San Francisco.
The event will be held in Cupertino, California, at the Steve Jobs Theatre on the company’s Apple Park campus, according to Apple’s website. “Gather Round”, the invite said, likely referring to the shape of the company’s new campus.
The company will unveil its renewed iPhone strategy at the event. It’s planning three new models that look like the iPhone X, including a refresh to the flagship device, a larger premium model, and a larger, cheaper model that comes in different colours. All three devices will have facial recognition and edge-to-edge screens like the iPhone X, but the two premium models will have OLED screens, while the cheaper phone will use LCD technology, Bloomberg News has reported.
Could Rupert Murdoch unite New York’s two major tabloids after nearly a century of competition? asks Nick Turner in The AFR.
That’s a scenario reported by Nieman Lab media analyst Ken Doctor, citing an unnamed source, who said Murdoch is looking to acquire the New York Daily News. The billionaire’s publishing arm, News Corp, already owns the New York Post, a property it bought in 1976.
The turn of events would be set in motion by the potential breakup of the Daily News’ current owner, Tronc. Investment firm Donerail Group, backed by Starboard Value veteran William Wyatt, is preparing to acquire Tronc’s 10 daily newspapers and possibly sell them to individual buyers, Doctor said.
Tronc, based in Chicago, declined to comment. News Corp didn’t have an immediate comment.
oOh!media shareholder WPP is not sticking around to see whether the company can make the most of its big new acquisition, report Sarah Thompson and Anthony Macdonald in The AFR.
WPP has sold its stake to investment bank Goldman Sachs, which was in the market seeking buyers for the shares on Wednesday morning.
WPP owned a 5.7% stake via subsidiary Cavendish Square Holding BV.
Goldman Sachs bought the stock for $66 million and fund managers said it was seeking to offload the shares before the market opened.
The shares were being offered at $5.13 each.
British based advertising giant WPP has offloaded its 5.5% stake in Australian billboard company oOh!Media (OML) at a time when the global group is exiting various investments around the world, Bridget Carter reports in The Australian.
Goldman Sachs is handling the trade involving 12.9 million shares being sold at $5.13 each.
The shares are being sold at a 2.8 per cent discount to its last closing price of $5.28.
It appears that one more deal could be about to unfold in the outdoor advertising space, involving Hoyts’s Val Morgan cinema and outdoor advertising arm and QMS Media.
QMS declined to comment on speculation suggesting the pair are in talks about a Val Morgan acquisition, sale or merger.
The company reports its annual results today.
The QMS market value is $337 million and some analysts have estimated that Val Morgan could be worth about $200m.
News Corp’s subsidiary Move Inc, operator of realtor.com, has agreed to acquire real estate technology platform Opcity for $US210 million, as the media and information services company looks to increase its presence in the digital real estate services market.
Using proprietary data, analytics and machine learning, Austin, Texas-based Opcity has grown its US client base to more than 5,000 brokerages and more than 40,000 agents since 2015, News Corp (NWS) said. Opcity customers include Better Homes & Gardens, Keller Williams, ReMax, Century 21, and Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.
Digital real estate services have become the fastest-growing segment of News Corp, the company said. Move has nearly doubled its revenue since News Corp’s acquisition in 2014 to $452m in the year ended June 30, News Corp said. Move provides access to real estate information through a network that includes realtor.com, The Home of Home Search, Doorsteps, Moving.com and SeniorHousingNet.
The ABC is in hot water with other TV networks after a mix-up in filming arrangements for Scott Morrison’s first overseas visit as Prime Minister to Indonesia, Stephen Brook reports in The Australian.
Morrison flew out of Sydney last night and is due to meet Indonesian President Joko Widodo today to announce a free-trade deal. But the ABC was unable to uphold its commitment to supply networks with footage of his flight leaving Sydney Airport.
“Sorry, guys, no departure shot of the PM’s plane leaving Sydney,” an ABC chief of staff wrote in an email to ABC colleagues and news producers at the Nine, Ten and Seven networks, and SBS. “ABC was the pool camera, but somehow didn’t get the message to the guy meant to be shooting it. Apologies.”
Only snippets of the apartments being created on the latest season of The Block have been revealed on our screens. But the luxury pads inside the transformed Gatwick Hotel have officially hit the market this week, with price guides ranging from $2.2 million through to $2.75 million, writes Samantha Landy in The Herald Sun.
Not only that, but buyers are already eyeing them off.
Check out the rooms that have been revealed on the Channel 9 show, and find out what the agents appointed to sell them think will make them popular under the hammer.
Facebook has been slammed for dragging the chain in taking action against an ongoing scam ripping off unsuspecting Australians, reports News Corp’s Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson.
Only this week – after Gold Logie winner Carrie Bickmore became the latest victim – did the multibillion-dollar company take belated action to shut the hoax down.
Scammers had falsely claimed she had been forced out of The Project to focus on selling face cream.
A Federal Court judge has thrown out former Labor leader Mark Latham’s written defence to a defamation claim brought against him by journalist and former Greens candidate Osman Faruqi, describing the document as “extraordinary” and labelling parts of it “frivolous and vexatious”.
Faruqi, an ABC journalist and former political editor of pop culture website Junkee, is suing Latham for defamation over comments made by the former Labor heavyweight on his Outsiders YouTube program.
He alleges Latham defamed him in an Outsiders episode on August 2 last year, titled “The Rise of Anti-White Racism and Terrorist Plots in Australia”, by suggesting he “knowingly assists terrorist fanatics who want to kill innocent people in Australia”, “condones the murder of innocent people by Islamic terrorists”, and “encourages and facilitates terrorism”.
Two days after going MIA following his first ratings loss in years, Kyle Sandilands today returned to the airwaves telling listeners he was “just sick”, report Derrick Krusche, Kris Crane, Jack Houghton and Marnie Cohen in The Daily Telegraph.
Guest host Beau Ryan was the stand-in with Jackie O for two days while Sandilands went to ground.
“We all know I was just sick,” Sandilands said on air.
“I went around and said good on you to Amanda and Jonesy.
“I’m not sad or tired. I was sick.”
Sandilands’ barista was yesterday left wondering when the controversial radio jock would return for his usual morning caffeine fix.
The September 2018 edition of Vogue Australia, covered by Kylie Jenner, has become the fastest-selling issue of the magazine on record. It went into reprint yesterday.
The Vogue Australia September issue went on sale on August 27 with a Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit at the special cover price of $12.99 at newsagencies and supermarkets.
Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Edwina McCann said: “Our September issue of Vogue Australia is the fastest-selling issue in the title’s history. It has sold at an astounding rate and in just three days it almost sold out. Due to the high demand we are reprinting the issue to have more copies on sale as soon as possible.
“We’re very proud of this issue with the beautiful Kylie Jenner on the cover. She is a successful businesswoman who has turned the beauty world on its head, and a perfect candidate for this season’s new power dressing.
“Once we had secured Kylie for the cover, working with her on the Kylie Cosmetics beauty integration for the issue was a wonderful opportunity. We knew Kylie’s beauty products were in demand here in Australia and were thrilled to secure products to provide a special offer for our readers.”
One of Australia’s most popular wedding publications, White, has been criticised by contributors who say the magazine refuses to feature same-sex couples but won’t publicly admit it, reports Perry Duffin in The Sydney Morning Herald.
Text messages between the magazine’s editor and a photographer reveal the publication isn’t including gay weddings.
Separately advertisers, photographers, videographers and celebrants have turned to Facebook this week to share stories about their interactions with White.
Many say they’ve been ignored after they’ve submitted same-sex content.
Fairfax Media’s The Canberra Times has put a call out to readers to join its Insiders Panel.
In a post on the website yesterday, the masthead wrote: “Journalism exposes corruption, draws attention to injustice, holds politicians and businesses accountable for their promises and duties. It informs citizens and consumers, helps organise public opinion, explains complex issues and clarifies essential disagreements. Journalism matters.”
QMS Media has reached an agreement in principle to acquire the majority interest of TGI Systems Corporation (TGI) and TGI Europe GmbH (TGIE) as it continues to expand its existing sports technology and media rights business, QMS Sport.
The key commercial arrangements include a total investment by QMS of approximately $40 million to acquire a 90% stake in TGI and TGIE, both internationally recognised sports media companies providing digital technology solutions across the USA, Europe and South America. Another strategic shareholder will hold 5% of the entities, while existing key management will also retain 5%.
Cricket Australia’s board has been ensnared in a feud after an outgoing director attacked chairman David Peever in an email, labelling his performance “substandard” and alleging issues critical to the game’s future were mishandled, writes Peter Lalor in The Australian.
The email, obtained by The Australian, was written by Bob Every, a former chairman of Wesfarmers, who stepped down as a Cricket Australia director in May, five months before his three-year term on the board was set to end.
The email reveals that Peever, a former managing director of Rio Tinto Australia, offered to resign as chairman after it became public that he had denigrated the Ten Network as “bottom feeders” in a message to CBS executive Armando Nune.
Former Cricket Australia employee Angela Williamson has filed an unfair dismissal case, with court documents detailing explosive allegations about Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman’s involvement in the sacking.
Williamson was sacked from her $100,000 a year government relations role in Tasmania after tweeting about the state’s failure to provide adequate abortion services, which has resulted in women having to travel to the mainland to terminate pregnancies, as revealed by Fairfax Media.
Documents lodged with the Federal Court on Thursday allege that Cricket Tasmania decided that Williamson’s employment in the role was “no longer tenable” because she had upset Tasmanian Premier William Hodgman and Health Minister Michael Ferguson with a tweet she had sent out on June 14.