After four years of waking up at ungodly hours to host breakfast radio in Perth, Will McMahon and Woody Whitelaw moved east to host a national drive show.
The duo known as Will and Woody can be heard weekdays on ARN’s KIIS Network starting at 4pm.
Asked what it was like not having to wake up to early alarms any more, Whitelaw said, “Oh, man! You have no idea.”
“Breakfast radio is brutal. It’s early, very early.”
Having apparently recovered from the early morning starts already, the pair is gearing for another brutal exercise – the “Dancing Bender Weekend”.
Whitelaw has a self-proclaimed “god-given talent” for dancing, and will attempt to bust a move with McMahon at more than 50 parties across Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
Will & Woody’s “bender” – which has seen them invited to listeners’ events including weddings, 21sts and even nursing home bingo – will finish up in the wee hours of Monday morning… with enough time for them to catch some ZZZs before their Monday drive slot.
McMahon and Whitelaw were previously on SCA’s Perth station Hit 92.9 in breakfast alongside Heidi Anderson. The move from a trio to a duo took some getting used to.
McMahon said: “When you go from three to two there is a whole voice missing in the conversations. Heidi was always someone that we had to think about when creating stuff. That was beneficial for us in lots of ways.
“Heids taught us a lot. She was brutal. She made us jump out of our skin a little bit and just not relax into it. She made us appreciate what we had. I will always be grateful to her for making me a better announcer.”
Prior to deciding on the move to ARN, McMahon and Whitelaw had approached SCA asking for work opportunities in Melbourne. They were keen to come back home. “They threw around a few things for us, none of which we were really pumped about,” Whitelaw said. “We just thought it was time for us to go. So we politely declined and threw our hats in the ring. ARN was the first one to say that they would take us on. We didn’t expect that to happen.
“We were sitting at SCA having farewell drinks to radio and then that happened.” [Laughs]
After taking the a road trip around Australia this week, new APN Outdoor CEO James Warburton hosted an event last night in Sydney to outline the company’s plans.
Warburton has returned to the media in his new role after several years as CEO of Supercars. He has also returned to Pyrmont – last night’s function was beside his former Seven West Media office and his APN Outdoor executive suite is just metres from his former home at Network Ten.
Addressing an audience of agency buyers and outdoor partners, he explained how difficult 2017 was, given if the merger went ahead with oOh! APN Outdoor would no longer exist.
Warburton said a good comment that describes APN Outdoor was that it was a sleeping giant. “We have perhaps been too focused on what we are. We are #1 in lots of sectors and #1 metro. We are #2 in airports but there are a lot of tenders over the next two years and we have a strong ambition to get back to #1.
“Our over-arching plan moves us from being asset-led to audience-led.”
His key words were transformation, innovation and acquisition.
He signalled a complete brand refresh, which will be previewed next week ahead of the full reveal of the work Hulsbosch is doing later in the first half.
Warburton talked about a new flatter internal structure, and he paid tribute to several executives include COO Andrew Hines. Mark Fairhurst has joined the executive team, with Warburton noting this is the first time sales has been represented at that level.
Newcomer Charlotte Valente was also welcomed – she starts Monday as GM marketing.
The company is also recruiting for a new role – chief innovation and strategy officer. “A heavy hitter is needed to lead us into digital transformation and working on the future of our business,” said Warburton.
Stargazing Live 2 will be the first commission for BBC Studios in Australia, following the announcement that BBC Worldwide and BBC Studios are to form a single commercial organisation called BBC Studios from April 1 2018.
Stargazing Live 2, the multiplatform television event, will be produced for ABC locally by a team from BBC Studios’ Science Unit in the UK, including executive producer Helen Thomas and series producer Paul King.
The BBC Studios’ Science Unit format was first produced by the same team that produced a three-day event for ABC by FremantleMedia Australia in March last year.
Steve Bibb, Head of Factual at ABC, said: “ABC is thrilled to be working closely with BBC Studios to make Stargazing Live 2 an even bigger and more exciting event this year.”
BBC Studios has announced its intention to appoint a director of production for its production arm in Australia. This role will be tasked with launching and managing the growth of television production in Australia, building creative partnerships between BBC Studios’ editorial teams in the UK and Australian broadcasters, driving the creation of new intellectual property and exploiting the rich potential of BBC Worldwide’s format catalogue. The search for this role is being led by Mission Bay executive search company.
The new director of production will report into the international production division which, from April, will be led Anna Mallett, managing director, production and COO, BBC Studios.
Jon Penn, managing director of BBC Worldwide ANZ, will continue to lead the company in this territory as it transitions to BBC Studios in April.
Jon Penn said: “The new BBC Studios has got off to a great start in Australia with the Stargazing Live 2 commission and this new role will spearhead the growth of our Australian production arm. We’re looking forward to producing more of our own formats and programs for local clients, who already broadcast many of the quality shows that our expert BBC production colleagues make.”
QMS Media has reported its financial results for the six months to 31 December 2017 (H1 FY18).
The financial highlights included:
• Revenue up 25% to $99.0 million
• Digital revenue represents 66% of total media revenue
• Underlying EBITDA up 27% to $22.7 million
• Statutory NPAT up 11% to $8.3 million
Commenting on the results, QMS group chief executive officer Barclay Nettlefold said: “This is a pleasing result, which has been driven by our continued focus on premium quality landmark digital expansion in strategic markets. Our landmark digital development rollout has strong momentum, with 24 new billboards switched on during the half. As a result, we have updated our full year development target to over 112 sites to be operational by the end of June 2018. Our smaller-format digital presence is an important complement to our landmark network, and we are continuing to invest in strategic expansion to support integrated campaigns across multiple formats.”
“Developing our digital and data capabilities remains an ongoing area of focus. Our DataLab is enabling us to better understand our audiences, and deliver more targeted and valuable campaigns for advertisers, and our investment in Digital Commons provides the capability to expand online and mobile media audience buying into outdoor media.”
The company commented strong earnings and revenue growth was driven by continued landmark digital development and the contribution from the QMS Sport acquisitions.
QMS Sport has continued to expand its portfolio of sports media rights with the renewal of a three-year signage services agreement with the FFA. Following period end, the business announced a strategic alliance with Techfront Australia, providing exclusive sales media rights for the National Rugby League (NRL). QMS Sport has now secured a strong platform of rights to leading codes, and has positive momentum going into the second half.
“So many ‘reality’ shows have manipulative producers plotting faux dramas ,” writes TV critic Andrew Mercado.
After the success of Big Brother on Ten back in 2001, other networks rushed to cash in on reality TV but those early days were fraught with danger. Tacky and nasty shows like Chains Of Love and Shafted quickly flopped, prompting many to suggest Aussie audiences preferred shows about mateship and niceness instead.
But that was then, and today tacky behaviour and nastiness have crept back into vogue, particularly taking over once delightful formats. My Kitchen Rules, which was once a show about family and friends cooking, is now more about pitting women against each other. And they are up for it too, with Roula saying she doesn’t mind being portrayed as an “acid-tongued villain” because it fits her “career path” and it’s better to be “something” than “nothing”. At least she could cook, which was once a given, but that was a skill lacking in Ash and Matty even though Seven has cast them on a cooking show. Not surprisingly, they became the first evictees and bored viewers having a channel surf found much more scandalous behaviour over on Nine.
In a new low but ratings high for Married At First Sight, a bikini model and male chauvinist steal the spotlight by cheating on the spouses they are not really married to. It’s becoming harder to keep track of who’s who with so many tattoos and so much bad plastic surgery. Dean, who “married” Tracey, prefers Davina, another brunette but with spookily similar lips and filler. Their shenanigans have made MAFS number one, so MKR has decided to launch a much bigger war. With promos that now thunder “The Russians are coming”, it should be no surprise to learn they are “not here to make friends”.
Meanwhile, Ten is coming a distant third – and sometimes fourth – despite its best attempts to win a bigger audience on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!. Their bid to get more male viewers backfired when they stacked the show with male sports stars only to see the tough tennis player and the big talking boxer quit. Were they bad losers or just unable to deal with the boredom? Is the endless self analysis too terrifying for some, while others find it enlightening?
Mediaweek’s John Drinnan rounds up the latest media news from the NZ market.
At an Auckland media event this week, MediaWorks announced it will be launching a new lifestyle channel, ThreeLife.
Launching on April 15, ThreeLife is promising to take viewers to a lighter place with hit international shows including Married At First Sight USA, Restaurant Revolution and Bondi Vet.
Each night on ThreeLife will be themed – from all things food on Monday, to DIY Thursday, to romance reality on Friday.
MediaWorks’ chief content officer Andrew Szusterman (pictured above) said: “ThreeLife is where Kiwis will come to view programs that focus on their favourite pastimes. It’s a great opportunity for audiences to binge-watch television that they love, and for advertisers to meet Kiwis in their happy place.”
Newshub has promoted its Europe correspondent Tova O’Brien to political editor, replacing Paddy Gower. O’Brien is a popular choice having worked for MediaWorks since 2007 including a long and successful period in press gallery. Gower has stepped down to be editor-at-large working across the MediaWorks group.
An announcement is expected soon that TVNZ political interviewer Jessica Mutch has replaced Corin Dann as political editor. The other two journalists in the TVNZ press gallery team are a both women.
MediaWorks is beefing up its drive show on RadioLive, countering speculation it will be re-focusing the talk network from news to lifestyle. Newshub boss Hal Crawford has appointed top news talent Lisa Owen with up-and-coming reporter Ryan Bridge. MediaWorks has said it plans to relaunch Radio Live. The MediaWorks board chairman chairman Jack Matthews said last year Radio Live had lots of talent. But he said it had under-achieved in ratings and not met its potential.
Data released from Standard Media Index (SMI) shows a record NZ$1.048 billion spent on major media across New Zealand media in 2017.
TV remained the top, increasing 1% to $389.6 million. Digital was second increasing 7.1% to $338.9. Outdoor was third, up18.6% on 2016 to $136.3 million. Radio was fourth increased 2.1% to $83.1 million, newspapers were fifth, down 6.9% to $56.8 million.
Online media website The Spinoff is moving into television with a new format starting on TV3 later this year, most likely in a Friday night slot. Taxpayer funding has been allocated to the liberal left-of-centre opinion website, but The Spinoff owner Duncan Greive has not detailed content yet.
Auckland Council division Auckland Stadiums is selling naming rights to Mt Smart Stadium, the home of the Vodafone Warriors Rugby League Team. Auckland Stadiums director Paul Nisbet says it is the first time in more than a decade a naming rights sponsorship position has been offered at Mt Smart Stadium. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Mt Smart was known as Ericsson Stadium.
The National Business Review has parted company with Sir Robert Jones, its highest profile columnist, after staff and public reactions to racist comments he made. Sir Robert insists his comments were satirical. Sir Robert has been in trouble before at other media for his views. His column was culled due to a comment that the national day – marking the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi – should mark Maori “gratitude”. As a result Sir Robert announced he would no longer be writing for NBR. Though only online for a brief period, the gratitude comment caused an uproar on social media and has led to 50,000 people signing a petition for the government to strip him of his knighthood. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says that is not going to happen.
Small and cooperative works well for Jason Foden, appointed chief executive of Freeview New Zealand in November at a time of rapid change for the free-to air sector, writes Mediaweek’s John Drinnan.
With just six staff based at a small office in Freeman’s Bay near TVNZ, Freeview reflects a tight-knit free-to-air sector.
The dominant Freeview partner has tried unsuccessfully to convince others to sell up and give TVNZ a majority stake. To what end is unclear but many expect an alliance between TVNZ and Spark, the telco that owns the SVOD Lightbox – in large part a giveaway with Spark broadband.
Other partners – MediaWorks, Maori TV and Radio NZ – have resisted.
If RNZ was tempted, it will be glad it resisted with the surprise announcement the government is financing a new non-commercial TV network, RNZ +.
Other broadcaster non-partners such as Prime TV and Al Jazeera, ethnic and lifestyle channels are also on the platform. Free-to-air is a small sector in a tight media industry, and Foden says there are clear cost-saving benefits.
Foden started his broadcast career at Telecom (now Spark), once a key player in digital entertainment whose walled-garden approach came unstuck with the advent of smartphones.
From 2014 to 2017 he was general manager of On Demand at TVNZ. “I’m not a technologist, by any means. I’ve always worked on the commercial end,” he told Mediaweek.
Freeview is looking toward the marketing of a new set-top box recorder and is creating a one-stop catalogue of free-to-air on-demand content.
Smallness and a willingness to cooperate have been a boon for Kiwi digital, Foden said. “The three-year transition to analogue switch-off in December 2013 was incredibly smooth. Freeview was closely aligned with that – there was a common purpose.”
As NZ is relatively small, it has been easier for NZ broadcasters to work together. As a somewhat larger market, Australian partner channels were more inclined toward competition.
The upshot was that in New Zealand, people knew what Freeview was, but the struggle now is that consumers are less inclined to know everything that Freeview does.
The introduction of Freeview happened alongside persistent and trenchant criticism of Sky TV’s place in the unregulated market.
• Seven unleashes Winter Olympics snowstorm: 42.5% network share
• Best of the rest: My Kitchen Rules, A Current Affair, Gogglebox
By James Manning
After hovering close to or just under 700,00 for the week, Home and Away ended the first week of survey on 629,000 with just one episode last night.
A rare Thursday edition of My Kitchen Rules travelled to Perth to sample the instant kitchen run by Davide and Marco, who were promising true Italian cooking. They are now second on the group two leaderboard with 99 after a good performance with their mains and desserts. The Thursday audience was on 947,000.
Night 6 of Winter Olympics coverage followed with 891,000.
A Current Affair again won its timeslot with 757,000.
No Married At First Sight and RBT filled the hour after A Current Affair with 471,000.
The 2015 remake of the movie Point Break then did 244,000.
The channel had its best and easily most-competitive night of the week with a primary share of 13.6%, close to Nine’s 13.8%.
The Project 7pm was under 400,000 though despite the presence of Lisa Wilkinson.
Episode 14 of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! ran for close to 90 minutes with 581,000 watching.
Gogglebox Australia followed with 649,000, which was the channel’s best as the viewers tuned into the Winter Olympics and the Neighbours special.
Then it was time for an encore screening of This Is Us at 10pm with 141,000.
A new season of Call The Midwife for FTA viewers did 458,000 with a start time of 8pm.
A second episode of Q&A this week looked at the #MeToo movement and did 289,000.
In another episode in Scotland for Great British Railway Journeys Michael Portillo traveled from Dundee to Aberdeen. The gift that keeps on giving delivered a Thursday audience of 209,000.
Episode six of Shane Delia’s Recipe For Life did 88,000.
Running Wild with Bear Grylls was in Yosemite with Channing Tatum. The episode did 78,000.
In the 9.30pm slot was Knightfall on 79,000.
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||7.9%||GEM||2.8%||ELEVEN||2.3%||Food Net||1.2%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||Ten Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||6.9%||GEM||4.1%||ELEVEN||2.1%||Food Net||0.9%|
|THURSDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top 5
18-49 Top 5
25-54 Top 5
Telstra has released its first half results for 2017/18. Including the Ooyala investment impairment, total income was up 5.9%, EBITDA was down 2.5%, net profit after tax (NPAT) was down 5.8%.
Excluding the impairment of Ooyala, announced on 2 February 2018, NPAT was up 9.5%.
Telstra continued to add mobile customers, with 235,000 new retail mobile customers, including 130,000 post-paid handheld services added in the half. The company noted it had increased its customer base in mobiles for 20 consecutive halves, despite competitive pressures.
In the NBN market, Telstra added 454,000 connections, maintaining a 51% market share (excluding satellite services). About 57,000 retail bundled customers were added during the half, with one-third of these bundles including an entertainment component.
More than 1.5 million customers watched Netball, NRL and AFL games through the Telstra Live Sports app last year. There are now more than 1 million Telstra TV1 and TV2 devices in the market.
SMI has reported market demand is back 8.2% at $425.3 million for January, but that’s mostly due to an abnormally high level of late digital bookings due to be included at month end.
The metropolitan TV, regional radio and retail outdoor sectors are delivering above-average gains this month with metropolitan TV growing agency spend 5.1% to report its best January result in three years.
Regional radio remains one of the best-performing media sectors in the past year (total agency bookings are up 11% on a cumulative month basis) and the growth in retail outdoor (+17.7% YOY) has ensured the broader outdoor media has also reported a record level of January agency bookings.
From a product categories perspective, SMI reported the continuing demand from government advertisers (two state elections are now on the horizon helping push the total +13.8% to $14.6 million) while a number of major sporting events (Ashes, Australian Open, Big Bash) saw gambling ad spend grow 29% to $13 million.
On the negative side, SMI continued to report diminishing ad demand from the retail market (-15.5% in January) and there was also an unexpected decline in travel bookings (-18% YOY).
In the first seven months of this financial year, the market is showing growth of 1.3% to a record level of $4.2 billion. TV bookings are up 0.5%, digital up 8.6%, outdoor up 6.1%, radio up 3.9% and cinema up 9.2%.
APN Outdoor yesterday announced the extension of one of its largest contracts, Sydney Trains.
The multiyear agreement covers its rail assets and a range of key static and digital billboards that form a significant part of APN Outdoor’s media portfolio.
The relationship now extends to cover multiple roadside and premium backlit posters as well as several static and high-status digital billboards, resulting in approximately 1,500 advertising faces in total.
Adshel has appointed Ruby Grennan as marketing and communications manager.
Part of Grennan’s Adshel role is building awareness of recent wins such as the awarding of major contracts by Metro Trains Melbourne and Sydney’s Mosman council. Grennan reports to sales and marketing director David Roddick and the appointment is effective immediately.
In a 20-year career in marketing, Grennan has worked for key media brands such as the ABC, where she was marketing manager of triple j and later of the ABC regional division. Previously she was marketing manager at Junkee Media.
The widow of TV pioneer Reg Grundy, who created Neighbours, Wheel of Fortune and Sons and Daughters, has failed in a bid to have a dispute about her husband’s will heard under a suppression order, reports AFR Rear Window columnist Myriam Robin.
Joy Chambers-Grundy, the executor of the will, is being sued by her husband’s only child, Viola La Valette.
In 2015, this paper’s Rich List had estimated the Bermuda-domiciled Grundy’s wealth as being $809 million, a figure largely stemming from the $320 million sale of Grundy’s company to Pearson Television in 1995. The figure is disputed by Chambers-Grundy, who argues the estate had a net value of “not less than about $214 million”.
Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced the appointment of Goncalo Fialho as the general manager of Sony Interactive Entertainment Australia & New Zealand (SIE ANZ).
Fialho, who commences the role on April 3, currently serves as the marketing director for SIE Italy, a lead market contributing to the global success of the PlayStation 4.
Google has launched an ad-blocker for its Chrome web browser that is designed to prevent “annoying” and “intrusive” ads being shown to users, reports BBC News.
Google announced the move to curtail full-page and auto-playing video ads, among others, last year.
The choice of which ads to block will be determined by the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA) – made up of companies including Google and Facebook.
Sites will have 30 days to remove disruptive ads before blocking begins.
A survey of 40,000 US and European web users found that the most intrusive ads were full-page ads that hide the content of a web page and flashing animated ads.
Meanwhile the Coalition for Better Ads this week announced it has opened enrolment for its Better Ads Experience Program for publishers that wish to certify their compliance with the Better Ads Standards and participate in the program’s register.
CBS Interactive Australia has appointed Mark Serrels as the new editorial director of CNET, the world’s largest consumer news and reviews tech site.
Based in CBS Interactive’s Sydney office, Serrels will be responsible for leading CNET’s editorial team with a focus on discovering local tech stories that appeal to CNET’s global audience.
Serrels is an award-winning journalist who has edited Australian publications such as the Official Nintendo Magazine, Official PlayStation Magazine and Australian 360. More recently, he has managed the Australian editions of Gizmodo, Lifehacker and Kotaku.
“I’ve been watching CNET from afar for years now and I’m looking forward to finally working alongside this killer team. CNET provides a unique opportunity to bring Australian stories to a global audience and I’m so excited to help the local team tell those stories,” said Mark Serrels.
“We’re thrilled to have Mark Serrels join the CNET team and excited to have him lead the editorial strategy in such an important market,” said Connie Guglielmo, editor-in-chief of CNET News. “In addition to managing the Australia crew, Mark will also be overseeing our reporters in Asia. Stay tuned – he’s already working on stories that will resonate with our readers around the world.”
CBS Corporation in Australia owns and operates Network Ten, Simon & Schuster, CBS Studios International and CBS Interactive.
FremantleMedia International has landed another international deal for what promises to be one of the Australian TV highlights of the year.
The distributor is partnering with Deutsche Telekom’s EntertainTV to bring the new drama Picnic at Hanging Rock to German audiences later this year.
The announcement comes just days before executive producer Jo Porter and key cast represent the series at the Berlin International Film Festival.
“We’re proud to partner with Deutsche Telekom to bring Picnic at Hanging Rock to EntertainTV in Germany,” said Maximilian Bolenius, SVP of German-speaking Europe and Israel for FremantleMedia International.
“The drama has been selected to open the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival’s TV section, a huge testament to the series’ quality. We are very impressed by the content strategy, exposure and marketing opportunities that Deutsche Telekom provide with EntertainTV and believe it is the ideal launch platform for this creatively extraordinary series in Germany.”
Photo: Natalie Dormer in Picnic At Hanging Rock
Stan has announced its breakout hit show Imposters, starring Inbar Lavi, Rob Heaps, Parker Young, Marianne Rendón, Brian Benben and Stephen Bishop, returns for a second season on Friday April 6.
Golden Globe-winning actress Uma Thurman reprises her guest role as lethal fixer, Lenny Cohen. Additionally, executive producer Paul Adelstein will guest star with a story arc spanning multiple episodes, playing Shelly Cohen, a mysterious fixer who happens to be Lenny’s former husband.
Cricket Australia has reported more than 2.3 million people attended cricket this summer, setting a new record for attendance for the sport and smashing the attendance record set last season by more than 20%.
Crowd numbers: 2,349,882 people attended international cricket, the KFC Big Bash League (BBL), and the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), representing a 26% increase in attendance on the previous record, 1,863,846, set in the 2016-17 season.
The 2017-18 season was also viewed by more people globally than in any previous year. Australian cricket was broadcast into more than 130 countries around the globe this season.
Cricket Australia also reports it was the most digitally connected season on record as its digital platforms recorded another year of growth, making Cricket Network Australia’s number one digital sports destination across the summer. The unique audience across CA’s digital properties increased by 19% in December to 2.94 million, while video views have increased by 60% globally year to date. Streaming views and minutes watched increased by an incredible 100% year-on-year, while overall subscriptions increased 60% year on year.
Former Kangaroos, NSW Blues and Penrith Panthers star Ryan Girdler has signed on to join Nine’s NRL Footy Show from 2018.
Girdler, who holds the record for most points scored in a single match by a NSW Blues player, will join the panel full-time alongside Andrew Johns, host Erin Molan and regular contributors Darryl Brohman and Beau Ryan in a new-look format for the show as it enters its 25th year on air.
Andy O’Brien, executive producer of The NRL Footy Show, said: “We’re thrilled that Ryan is joining The Footy Show. Ryan’s contributions over the years are well documented, from the early days on the panel to presenting his extremely popular Their House segment.
“What you see is what you get with Ryan, a good-humoured, good-natured, knowledgeable and experienced thinker. It’s great to have Girds talking footy on Nine.”
Girdler will make his full-time debut on March 8 after the NRL season opener between the Dragons and Broncos.
A high-profile Cricket Australia delegation has flown to the US to meet the heads of the CBS network in the hope of drumming up more interest in the next television deal, reports The Australian’s Peter Lalor.
The Australian understands chief executive James Sutherland and executive general manager Ben Amarfio are part of the party that also includes Ten Network executives.
It is understood that deals for the domestic and international rights are a long way from being finalised.