Tuesday February 20, 2018

Mediaweek meets The Programmers – Foxtel's Brian Walsh

Continuing our series with the people that control what goes to air on Australian TVs, Mediaweek’s James Manning speaks with Foxtel’s executive director of TV, Brian Walsh.

Foxtel’s executive director of TV Brian Walsh is of course much more than a programmer, but the buck stops with him when it comes to what viewers see across the Foxtel platform.

Our discussion with him was so expansive that we are running it across two days.

Viewers’ choices, marketing and publicity

Competition is a good thing for the industry. It is a good thing for consumers. I think the current environment in Australian media is incredibly competitive right now, particularly in the case of our business, which is video.

That competition brings out the best entrepreneurial ideas and strong marketing that connects and it forces us to think differently.

We are living in an age of enormous change and the key is to always look at the way we do things with a view to how consumer behaviour is changing.

Punching above our weight in terms of marketing and publicity is vital.

People are getting information about television from a number of different sources and we have to hit all those touchpoints if we want our programming to get attention.

What we did in Victoria for Picnic At Hanging Rock was a great old-fashioned launch. We had a fabulous location where the series was shot, we got to climb Hanging Rock, we had 13 different cast members with us and we got to see the first episode.

We are going to do more of that. We will hit the road and be very visible.

Catering for the Foxtel audience

We always have to be conscious of who our audience is and what is the heartland of a Foxtel home.

We are unapologetic about catering to middle Australia and family entertainment.

Senior Australia often gets forgotten by television broadcasters and we have very loyal customers who have had 20-year tenure with Foxtel.

They are important customers to cater for in terms of commissioning and acquisitions strategy.

Equally important though are younger members of the household.

There is an expression I learnt in another role at another company, but we almost need to be taking a “cradle to the grave” approach where we have to have something that caters for everyone.

When you look at the canvas we provide, we like to think we are catering for the younger members of the household with our kids’ offering, that we are catering for millennials, that we are absolutely catering for people who are time-poor – which our on-demand proposition serves – and we are catering for senior Australia.

The [FTA] networks have abandoned older people. It is understandable because much of the advertising dollars sit with a younger demographic, but we are not driven solely by an advertising model.

Commissioning strategy

I would argue that Picnic At Hanging Rock is very contemporary, very edgy and it’s not just a remake of the Peter Weir film. It is a completely new approach to the story, looking at it from a director’s point of view through a female lens.

The female characters, particularly the schoolgirls, are front and centre of the story, whereas they weren’t so much in the original film.

This plays significantly into the #MeToo movement and the promotion of stronger female characters on film and television.

That is no coincidence. It has been something we have been looking at doing for some time.

If you look at Foxtel’s overall drama strategy, you would say that we absolutely dial up stories that feature strong female characters.

Continued at mediaweek.com.au.

From ABC to Nine: Chris Uhlmann on making the career move work

Experienced political reporter Chris Uhlmann made a big career move in 2017 when he moved from the ABC to Nine as its political editor, replacing Laurie Oakes.

By Kruti Joshi

However, moving out of his old workplace and into the new was a breeze. “I am based at the Parliament House in Canberra. So all I had to do really was move 70 metres down the hallway from the ABC office to Channel 9’s office,” Uhlmann told Mediaweek.

“It was a big cultural change. I would be lying if I didn’t say that.”

The biggest aspect of this change was the commercial expectation that came with joining a for-profit business like Nine. “There are different things that drive the way ABC and Nine collect news. One of the advantages of the ABC – I am in favour of public broadcasting – is that no one has to worry about where the money is coming from or how they are going to fund their news service. But there are pressures that come with everybody having to change from the appointment viewing that we had to the new world where everyone has access to everything on their devices. For the ABC, it’s a matter of reallocation of resources.

“In a commercial network like Nine you have a commercial imperative. How do you make advertisers pay enough for these news services to support the journalism?

“If the media is to survive in Australia, it can’t be just public broadcasting. We have to find a way for journalism to make enough money to pay for the product.”

Uhlmann started his career as a journalist in print media at The Canberra Times. He joined the ABC in 1998 and had been its political editor since 2015. He moved to Nine in 2017. This wasn’t the first time he’d had the opportunity to join the network. Uhlmann had been offered a role in the past but said he’d declined it because he was “happy” with what he was doing at the ABC. However, when the network approached him after Oakes’s resignation, it was too much of a good opportunity to pass.

Continued at mediaweek.com.au.

News Corp’s We’re For You: Campaign plan + extract from Christopher Dore’s letter

As we continue our look at News Corp’s We’re For You campaign, chief marketing officer Tony Phillips spoke with Mediaweek’s James Manning about the campaign plan.

“We’re For You is a simple reinterpretation of the existing line we use where we focus purely and solely on our customer.

“We had to think how we could write that as a proposition and build creative around.

“One insight that kept on coming through in everything I was reading was: ‘I read, therefore I know, therefore I belong.’ The word ‘belonging’ was coming up all the time.

Then I wanted to build an ad that had a very strong emotional hook in it and had some key creative cues.

“I also wanted a music track that would deliver a very strong hook, a line and a suite of visuals that we could then start using to build the campaign.

“As a creative marketer I had an idea to use that iconic piece of music ‘A Day In The Life’ because I love pieces of music where the song tells you what it is you do.

“The song finishes with a very clear and well-known stanza, ‘I read the news today, oh boy.’ That works pretty well and the song tells the story of a day in the life of our customers.

Subsequently we built a stealomatic around that, tested it, and the customers responded very strongly to it.

“We then went back around the country, presented it to everybody and they started getting motivated how they could align their businesses to what we were doing and how they could drive retail sales and advertising sales with it.”

“It took some time to produce it all. On Monday we had editors writing about their commitment to the customer and then after launching it on our own assets, the following Sunday we go out with a TVC on broadcast TV, catch-up TV, digital, cinema, plus outdoor and radio.

“This is the most significant investment that’s been made in the [News Corp Australia] brands in many years.

“The plan is to reach out to existing customers first, before appealing to people who buy casually and are yet to subscribe.”

Editor’s letter to readers: Christopher Dore, The Daily Telegraph

Back in 1879 when the first edition of The Daily Telegraph rolled off the presses, life was a little simpler.

We were a newspaper then, as we are now. But these days we are so much more. We still land on your front lawn before dawn each morning, and one million people every single day get just a little bit of ink on their fingers to catch up with the news.

But of course, just as we have traded pen and paper for smartphones as our tools of trade, so have our readers. That thump on the lawn is now just the beginning. Throughout every hour of the day as the news breaks, we’re infiltrating your life. Headline notifications on your phone give you an armchair ride. As news unfolds, you’re the first to find out.

For four and a half million of you, The Daily Telegraph is your work distraction. It’s there as you watch the kids from the kitchen bench. It’s there when you jump on that plane, find a seat on a train or relax with a coffee or a juice.

The Daily Telegraph’s message to readers on pages 2/3 of the newspaper from sports columnist Phil Rothfield under the heading “We’re for the fans, the power and the passion”.

Later this week

Wednesday: Securing the editors’ support for We’re For You + more editors’ messages

Thursday: How did Tony Phillips and News Corp secure the rights for “A Day In The Life” + TVC preview as Phillips joins Mediaweek editor James Manning on Sky News Business

Friday: Tony Phillips reveals how News Corp will measure the success of the campaign and previews of the creative being used for the TVC and outdoor.

TV Week magazine future: Summer was special

Speaking to Mediaweek about new plans for the TV Week Logie Awards, editor Thomas Woodgate also talked about summer sales and future plans.

“Summer tends to be soft for some magazines, but we had a very strong start to the year and we are very happy with how things are going. We have been enjoying the celebrations for Home and Away turning 30. My Kitchen Rules and Married At First Sight have dished up plenty of drama for us too.”

Woodgate teased there are a number of initiatives he and his new publisher, with Bauer Media CEO Paul Dykzeul taking over from Jayne Ferguson, are about to sign off on. He wouldn’t break under constant questioning, but think “brand extensions” and you might be on the right track.

To coincide with the return of all the big shows this month, TV Week released a special edition called 2018 TV Preview, which Woodgate told Mediaweek could be the best-selling one-shot they have ever published.

Nine reported recently that the entire library of McLeod’s Daughters did massive business for them at 9Now over the summer.

TV networks digging into their vaults for their on-demand offerings is great news for TV Week.

“That could also have something to do with how we plan for the future,” Woodgate let slip.

“Classic TV shows have become a major part of streaming. The conversation so far has been dominated by Netflix and Stan and the new shows they are producing.

“Yet there hasn’t been too much coverage of the wonderful depth of Australian television programming. McLeod’s has proven there is a big audience for these shows with people yearning for a trip down memory lane.

“It is something TV viewers are talking about which makes it something we need to be talking about.”

Woodgate said TV Week has all the material it published in the past about the great Aussie TV classics, which will no doubt come in handy for the future.

MORE: Logies shock! Date announced, eligibility changes categories slashed

Seven West Media half year: Profit after tax of $100m, searching for $40m cost savings

The managing director and chief executive officer of Seven West Media, Tim Worner, has delivered the company’s first half result this morning.

“We have intensified our focus on the core with ratings, revenue and costs the priority,” said Worner.

“The return to growth in the FTA advertising market has been encouraging. With this momentum continuing in the second half, we now expect the TV market to grow in the 2018 financial year.

“We are confident in our new 2018 content schedule, which has already delivered a strong start to the ratings season. 2018 will see us capitalise on our proven ability to grow and deliver strong FTA and online audiences, featuring the 2018 Winter Olympics, the Commonwealth Games in April and AFL. The recent successful launch of 7plus provides us the platform to greater monetise audiences for our content whenever and wherever they want to consume it.

“We have reaffirmed our FY18 guidance issued at the AGM for underlying EBIT to be between $220 million and $240 million.

“We have also announced the temporary suspension of our dividend as a prudent capital management step to retain flexibility post relaxation in media ownership legislation.

“The pace of our transformation is accelerating, as we adapt our model to a leaner, more agile company. We have today announced an increase to our cost-reduction target to $125m over the 2018 and 2019 financial years.

“In FY18, we will deliver $40 million of cost savings, offsetting the AFL uplift and the spectrum charge, which will result in an overall small reduction in group operating costs. In FY19, we are targeting an incremental $70 million in net reductions to group operating expenses.

“The transformation of the group will also be marked by our headquarters moving to our existing premises, Media City, in Eveleigh in Sydney this year. We are all looking forward to bringing our Sydney teams together in our new modern workspace that will foster even greater collaboration,” said Worner.

Result details

Seven West Media reports a profit after income tax of $100.7 million on total revenue of $811.3 million. EBITDA of $176.8 million is up from $170.8 million in the prior corresponding period with EBIT of $159.3 million up from $148.5 million in the prior corresponding period. No significant items were recorded in the period.

Cost Management

Group operating costs (including depreciation and amortisation) decreased 13.8% in the period to $652.0 million. This includes the Rio Olympics in the previous half, uplift in AFL rights and RLWC in the current half and an ongoing focus on cost control.

Pacific recorded material cost reductions, down 26.6% versus the prior half.

Seven West Media outlook

Looking forward, the company announced its strategic goals for the group include:

1. Focusing on the core and delivering stronger ratings and revenue driven by our major events and new programming schedule.

2. Transforming the business model to be leaner and more agile, maintaining our focus on cost reduction, delivering and exceeding the cost savings we promised.

3. Creating, owning and controlling more exceptional content and ensuring we are maximising the return on this investment with the most effective windowing strategy.

4. Driving greater adoption of 7plus and delivering on the product roadmap rollout.

5. Investing in adjacent verticals where we can leverage our audience and brands.

APN Outdoor full year: “Credible outcome in a challenging environment” says Warburton

• Revenue up 4% to $342.9 million
• Digital revenue up 13%
• Underlying1 EBITDA up 4% to $90.3 million
• Statutory NPAT down 9% to $44.0 million (after $6.0m of non-recurring items post tax)

Commenting on the FY17 results and his appointment, APN Outdoor’s new chief executive officer James Warburton said:

“I am absolutely delighted to be back in the media industry, an industry that I love and enjoy and I thank the APN Outdoor board for the opportunity they have given me to run the company.

“The FY17 result was a credible outcome in a challenging environment. Underlying EBITDA of $90.3m was within our guidance range provided in August, albeit at the lower end of the range.

“At only circa 6% of the overall advertising industry, the out-of-home industry has untapped potential. In addition, our contract renewal exposure for 2018 and 2019 has reduced to single digits given the recent renewals won, including Sydney Trains just last week.

APN Outdoor has a clear strategy going forward, focused on the evolution of APN Outdoor as we shift to become an audience-led, sales-centric media business.”

FY18 Outlook

The Company is mitigating the $7 million EBITDA Yarra Trams contract impact.

Year-to-date trading at February 20 2018 is in line with the company’s expectations.

Versus the prior corresponding period:

• 1H18 is up low single digits on early indications

Excluding Yarra Trams:

• 1Q18 is up low single digits with good visibility
• 1H18 is up mid single digits on early indications
• Revenue and EBITDA is skewed to the second half of the year.

APN Outdoor will be investing ~$2 million during FY18 in innovation and new systems to support an audience and customer-led go-to-market sales strategy.

Digital billboard conversion rollout continues with 20 to 25 new digital (Elite) screens to be commissioned in FY18. Capital expenditure for FY18 is expected to be in the range of $25 million to $30 million.

Box Office Report: February 15-18

• Cinemas successfully catch a crowd for Black Panther debut

By James Manning

For the past few weeks anticipation has been building about how strong the launch of Black Panther would be. The film had a huge opening globally, in the US and in Australia too.

It drove the weekend box office here to $18.73m which is the best since the last two weekends of January, which were also both just under $19m.

This is the first weekend of 2018 we have had a $10m in a weekend release after the highs of January saw the love shared across a range of releases.

#1 Black Panther $10.52m

A staggering amount of money changed hands over the weekend for this new release. Black Panther broke a handful of records in the US with a $200m+ plus opening and when you add all the international markets you are looking at $400m+. In Australia it has set the bar as the biggest release so far in 2018 and the first movie to take over $10m in a single weekend. The movie has also had the biggest screen average this year for any movie in general release – $16,977 from its 620 screens – which makes it the biggest opening number of screens since Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the end of 2017.

#2 Fifty Shades Freed $2.34m

A strong second weekend despite a drop of 50% from the opening. Number of screens showing the movie dropped 126 from 551 to 425 with a screen average of $5,509. The movie has made it to $10m already.

#3 Lady Bird $953,000

The second of two new releases in the top 10 was also in the top five as it opened on 261 screens with a screen average of $3,653. The coming-of-age comedy/drama has been nominated for five Academy Awards.

#4 The Greatest Showman $940,000

Still holding in the top five after an impressive eight weeks, the movie was just short of $1m with its total just short of $30m. The number of screens actually lifted over the weekend from 310 to 336.

#5 I, Tonya $532,000

Just over half a million in the fourth weekend as the total sits at $7.13m.

TV Ratings Analysis: Monday February 19

• Married At First Sight starting to set a pattern leading at 7.30pm
• Seven’s My Kitchen Rules not far behind, episode up week-on-week
• Seven claims Monday points, but margin separating leaders shrinks

By James Manning

After Seven’s record-breaking start to 2018, the margin between the primary channels was under two points last night with Seven on 21.6% and Nine on 20.2%.

Seven was well in charge with combined channel share of 30.1% and Nine back on 24.7%.

ABC was just over double figures and TEN just under.

Seven

After the channel’s world record ratings last week, will the schedule stand up again and challenge the record books with a best-ever week two of survey? Two nights in and Seven remains #1, albeit with a narrower gap separating the top two.

Home and Away began the second week of survey with 704,000 after a week seven average of 670,000.

The contestants and judges on My Kitchen Rules found themselves in Coffs Harbour with sisters Georgie and Alicia running the kitchen. After 1.09m a week ago, last night did 1.12m. The girls shot to the top of the leader board with 113 and managed 54 out of a possible 60 from the judges.

Night 10 of the Winter Olympics followed with three gold medals on offer. After 922,000 on Monday last week, 755,000 tuned in last night.

Nine

Great work from Laura Turner on A Current Affair tracking down the family at the centre of the brawl aboard the cruise ship Carnival Legend though they were reluctant to talk! After a week 7 average of 747,000, ACA started week 8 on 989,000, which is the biggest audience this year.

It was grooms’ homestay on Married At First Sight with the brides spending the week in the homes of their husbands. After a bumper 1.3m+ on Sunday, and 1.15m a week ago, the episode last night did 1.29m.

Skiing was on the itinerary as the holiday reporters hit New Zealand on Travel Guides. The show did 627,000 after 610,000 when it was last on a fortnight ago.

TEN

Guests on The Project included Celebrity evictee Kerry Armstrong and visiting comedian Ross Noble. After a week 7 weeknight 7pm average of 440,000, the new week started on 561,00.

The Oldfields arrived in the jungle at the start of the episode with the inquisitive camper swarming around the new arrivals. Monday last week did 621,000 while last night was on 534,000.

The new episode of Law & Order: SVU did 281,000 followed by a repeat on 183,000.

ABC

Australian Story featured dancers Steven McRae and Alexander Campbell and told of their journey from western Sydney to London’s Covent Garden. The episode did 583,000 after just under 500,000 last week.

ABC reporter Matt Brown was in Raqqa reporting for Four Corners with 500,000 watching.

Media Watch followed with 523,000.

After two episodes last week, Q&A Monday was on 397,000.

SBS

River Cottage is just over halfway through season 4 at 7.30pm with 160,000 watching last night.

Michael Mosley questioned eating carbs in the evening on Trust Me, I’m A Doctor with 229,000.

24 Hours In Emergency then did 194,000.

Week 8 TV: Monday
MONDAY METRO
ABCSevenNineTenSBS
ABC12.0%724.8%923.2%TEN10.6%SBS One4.2%
ABC 22.2%7TWO3.5%GO!2.1%ONE2.7%VICELAND0.9%
ABC ME0.6%7mate5.2%GEM1.7%ELEVEN1.9%Food Net0.7%
ABC News1.0%7flix1.0%9Life1.3%NITV0.1%
TOTAL15.8%34.6%28.4%15.2%6.0%
MONDAY REGIONAL
ABCSeven AffiliatesNine AffiliatesTen AffiliatesSBS
ABC12.2%724.1%921.0%WIN10.3%SBS One3.7%
ABC 22.5%7TWO5.9%GO!2.1%ONE3.6%VICELAND0.8%
ABC ME0.8%7mate4.4%GEM2.5%ELEVEN2.3%Food Net0.5%
NEWS 240.9%7flix1.1%9Life1.1%NITV0.2%
TOTAL16.4%35.5%26.7%16.2%5.2%
MONDAY METRO ALL TV
FTASTV
89.2%10.8%
Monday fta
  1. Married At First Sight Nine 1,296,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules Seven 1,121,000
  3. Seven News Seven 1,020,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 1,006,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 989,000
  6. Nine News 6:30 Nine 958,000
  7. Nine News Nine 946,000
  8. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Night 10 Seven 755,000
  9. Home And Away Seven 704,000
  10. ABC News ABC 700,000
  11. 7.30 ABC 647,000
  12. Travel Guides Nine 627,000
  13. Australian Story ABC 583,000
  14. The Project 7pm Ten 561,000
  15. The Chase Australia Seven 550,000
  16. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Ten 534,000
  17. Media Watch ABC 523,000
  18. Hot Seat Nine 513,000
  19. Four Corners ABC 500,000
  20. Ten Eyewitness News First At Five Ten 457,000
Demo Top Fives

16-39 Top 5

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 414,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules Seven 275,000
  3. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Night 10 Seven 203,000
  4. A Current Affair Nine 172,000
  5. Travel Guides Nine 170,000

 

18-49 Top 5

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 647,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules Seven 431,000
  3. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Night 10 Seven 316,000
  4. A Current Affair Nine 302,000
  5. Travel Guides Nine 301,000

 

25-54 Top 5

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 693,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules Seven 472,000
  3. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Night 10 Seven 362,000
  4. A Current Affair Nine 343,000
  5. Travel Guides Nine 338,000
Monday multichannel
  1. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Night 10 Feed 2 7mate 208,000
  2. Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures ABC2 162,000
  3. Lewis-PM 7TWO 161,000
  4. Neighbours ELEVEN 159,000
  5. Dot. ABC2 154,000
  6. Peter Rabbit ABC2 153,000
  7. Thomas And Friends-PM ABC2 152,000
  8. Peppa Pig-AM ABC2 150,000
  9. Hey Duggee-AM ABC2 149,000
  10. Wallykazam!-PM ABC2 149,000
  11. Go Jetters ABC2 147,000
  12. Fireman Sam-PM ABC2 147,000
  13. Rosemary & Thyme-PM 7TWO 146,000
  14. Olobob Top-PM ABC2 141,000
  15. Kazoops!-PM ABC2 140,000
  16. NCIS E2 (R) ONE 137,000
  17. Peppa Pig-PM ABC2 136,000
  18. Octonauts ABC2 135,000
  19. Floogals-PM ABC2 134,000
  20. The Hive-PM ABC2 134,000
Monday subscription tv
  1. Britannia showcase 47,000
  2. NCIS TVH!TS 47,000
  3. Paul Murray Live SKY NEWS LIVE 44,000
  4. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver COMEDY CHANNEL 43,000
  5. The Bolt Report SKY NEWS LIVE 40,000
  6. Family Guy FOX8 35,000
  7. The Big Bang Theory COMEDY CHANNEL 35,000
  8. Law & Order: SVU UNIVERSAL 34,000
  9. Hawaii Five-0 TVH!TS 34,000
  10. Vera: Castles In The Air 13TH STREET 33,000
  11. Live: NRL 360 Summer Series FOX LEAGUE 32,000
  12. Credlin SKY NEWS LIVE 31,000
  13. PML Overtime SKY NEWS LIVE 30,000
  14. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation TVH!TS 30,000
  15. CSI: Miami TVH!TS 28, 0
  16. Vampirina Disney Junior 27,000
  17. NCIS: Los Angeles TVH!TS 27,000
  18. Fast N’ Loud Discovery Channel 27,000
  19. House TVH!TS 27,000
  20. Play Along With Sam Nick Jr. 27,000

Media News Roundup

Business Of Media

Exec chairman Nick Falloon delivers Domain financials, reports on CEO search

Commenting on Domain’s 2018 half-year financial results, Domain executive chairman Nick Falloon said: “Domain has today reported a pleasing first stand-alone result, with pro forma EBITDA growth of 8.7% and a strong underlying performance. It demonstrates the strength of Domain as a separately listed company and the ongoing success of its strategy.”

The company reported revenue of $112.7 million and a net loss after tax of $3.4 million (including significant items).

Pro forma results (excluding significant items) were revenue of $183.3 million up 12.5%, EBITDA of $56.8 million up 8.7% and net profit after tax of $24.7 million down 8.1%.

“Having stepped in as executive chairman [after the sudden departure of Antony Catalano], I can attest to the bench strength of the entire Domain team and their passion, skill and commitment. The business is in great shape with strong underlying momentum,” said Falloon.

“I’m pleased to say the global search is under way for a new CEO. We are searching for an individual who will take Domain through its next stage of growth. We expect the new leader to have execution discipline and relevant experience in driving a growth business and building a great culture. The calibre of the candidates that we are attracting is truly impressive, befitting Domain’s position as a leading real estate media and technology business.”

Falloon added: “Domain continues to make excellent progress in delivering on its strategy through its intense customer focus and cutting-edge product development. During the first half, achievements included:

• Continued expansion in relative market share to more than 95% of listings and more than 90% of agents

• Continued strong growth in Domain app downloads to 6.1 million with an 18% uplift in app launches

• 21% growth in residential mobile enquiries and 82% growth in CRE enquiries from our large premium audiences

• 19% growth in core digital revenue underpinned by 24% growth in residential depth, and strong Commercial and Developer revenue

• The launch of Domain Loan Finder and Domain Insure, with a 91% increase in transactions revenue from existing and new businesses.

“Print revenue declined 11.6% and Print EBITDA declined 25.4%. This performance reflects ongoing structural decline, with some offset from cost initiatives,” Falloon said.

“Cost initiatives delivered a 6% reduction in expenses year-on-year. There are further cost opportunities in printing and distribution efficiencies.”

Domain shares jumped 13¢ or 4.5% to $3.00 after a conference call with analysts and executives presented an upbeat picture about Domain’s opportunity to expand in Queensland, where it lags competitors, reports The AFR’s Aaron Patrick.

Domain chairman Nick Falloon, who was forced to step in after chief executive Antony Catalano resigned unexpectedly last month, said the result demonstrated the success of the company’s strategy.

Catalano hasn’t carried through on a threat to hire barrister Stuart Littlemore and sue Fairfax over the reports about his resignation, which he originally claimed was to spend more time with his family.

[Read the original]

Seven connections working with John McGrath: Lewis, McWilliam and Allerton

The new chairman of battered listed real estate agency McGrath arrived at its Edgecliff, Sydney HQ yesterday evening to formalise the handover from the Cass O’Connor era, reports The Australian’s Margin Call column.

As revealed by Margin Call online yesterday morning, Kerry Stokes’s former chief financial officer Peter Lewis is the company’s new chairman. McGrath’s stock rose almost 5% on the news.

Lewis – who is experienced at working at proprietor-led companies – is also a director on Justin Milne’s ABC board.

Advising “Mr Real Estate” [John McGrath] ahead of his tactical shift were Seven commercial director Bruce McWilliam (who knows Lewis well), Stokes’s trusted spinner Tim Allerton and celebrity accountant Anthony Bell.

[Read the original]

News Brands

Lawyer for Geoffrey Rush accuses Daily Telegraph of going on “fishing expedition”

The lawyer for Geoffrey Rush has accused The Daily Telegraph of going on a “fishing expedition” to dredge up a defence to defamatory articles it published about the actor last year, reports the ABC’s David Spicer and Ursula Malone.

Rush is suing the owner of The Daily Telegraph, Nationwide News Pty Ltd, over stories in late 2017 alleging he engaged in inappropriate behaviour during a production of King Lear for the Sydney Theatre Company (STC) in 2015.

The 66-year-old has claimed the allegedly false claim distressed his family and damaged his career.

A hearing has been held in the Federal Court in Sydney in relation to a subpoena by Nationwide News Pty Ltd to the Sydney Theatre Company to obtain access to the file detailing the complaint.

The lawyer acting for The Daily Telegraph said it would be alleging that Rush repeatedly touched a female actor in a way that made her feel uncomfortable.

[Read the original]

News Corp Adelaide editors deliver joint editorial ahead of SA mid-March election

Matt Deighton, editor of The Advertiser, and Nadja Fleet, editor-in-chief Adelaide’s Messenger Newspapers, have penned a joint editorial:

South Australia is set to embark on a landmark few weeks.

It will be a period where we all get the opportunity to decide the type of state we want to become – and who is best placed to lead us, as we count down to a March 17 state election.

The Advertiser and Messenger News will be at the forefront of this coverage.

At this point we have chosen not to advocate for one party over another.

We firmly believe the next few weeks are a chance for our state to engage in a genuine contest of ideas for one of the three main players – the Liberals, Labor and SA Best – to earn the right to govern.

There will be personality plays. There will be dirty tricks. Some of the players will pull out all stops in a quest for victory.

But our focus will be to look beyond the attacks – and the inevitable spin – and to drill down on policy and what these mean for our grassroots communities.

[Read the original]

Nine’s Darren Wick reveals long list of editorial roles available at Nine News

Nine’s national director of news and current affairs Darren Wick is after expressions of interest to fill key positions at Nine News in a number of markets.

“We demand perfection, professionalism, commitment and drive in a hyper-competitive and deadline-driven environment, said Wick.

“As a result we have the best teams in the best newsrooms in every market in Australia – digital, broadcast, metropolitan, regional and the nation’s capital.

“To continue developing and evolving our news content, distribution and audience engagement, it’s important that we create opportunities and encourage a path of progress and growth for everyone at every stage of their career within Nine. The better each of you get, the more experience you gather and the better 9 News becomes.

The positions are:

Canberra: Reporter based in Nine’s Parliament House Bureau to work across all bulletins on a roster that provides seven-day coverage for 9 News Digital, the Today show, Daytime bulletins and the 6pm News.

Gold Coast: Executive producer, a new role for a senior journalist with competitive fire in their veins and experience in running teams to daily deadlines.

Sydney has a number of vacancies to fill:

• National head of news social: A senior role managing the news social team in all newsrooms across the country. The candidate will develop social media strategy for news including accounts, channels, tone of voice and frequency of communication.

• Digital News Editor: A key role within the expanding 9 News Digital team. In the same way as a TV chief of staff, the news editor will identify key stories for Nine’s digital platforms from around the network, overseas and from our direct content suppliers.

• Senior Reporter – TCN News: An experienced reporter who is self-motivated, has a track record of initiating and breaking stories and has an established network of contacts. As with every traditional broadcast role, the successful candidate will be expected to report across all platforms – broadcast and digital – for 9 News.

• Reporter – TCN News: This is a 12-month maternity leave contract, which may become permanent at the end of that term.

• Senior Producer/Line-Up – TCN News: This is a 12-month maternity leave contract, which may become permanent at the end of that term.

• Associate Producers x 2/freelance – TCN News: These producers will be working across all broadcast bulletins, including Today Show News, Daytime and 6pm on a roster that covers seven days a week. Even though the roles are freelance, the roster will have you working on a full-time basis with the opportunity to attain a full-time role within Sydney when one becomes available.

• Associate Producer Sport/freelance – TCN News: The candidate must have a strong knowledge of sport, particularly rugby league and AFL for the national bulletins. As with the general news freelance producer, the opportunity will eventually occur to attain a full-time role.

Interested people should get in touch with Nine’s Michelle PikeMPike@nine.com.au.

Publishing

Limelight publisher reveals investors funding one new issue, maybe more

The publisher of Limelight magazine, Arts Illuminated, has announced that an interested party has come forward to work with the magazine’s staff to ensure the ongoing publication of the magazine and that the March issue, which features Australian soprano Nicole Car on the cover, has been sent to the printer.

The publishers also report it is expected that the longer-term future of the magazine will be settled within 10 days, at which time a further announcement will be made. Arts Illuminated, which has published Limelight magazine for the past four years, has not gone into liquidation.

“We have been incredibly heartened and touched by the many messages of support that we have received from readers, artists and arts organisations during this challenging time,” said Limelight editor Jo Litson. “We are thrilled that a small group of investors, who believe passionately in the importance of Limelight, particularly at a time of shrinking arts coverage, have ensured that the March issue will be published, and excited at the possibility of working with them into the future.”

Radio

Melbourne announcer Troy Ellis joining Nova and smoothfm from March

Nova Entertainment has hired announcer Troy Ellis, who will join Nova and smoothfm from March, filling a floating position across both networks.

With over 24 years’ media experience, including 10 years with Channel Seven and in excess of 20 years in radio, most recently Ellis hosted Gold FM’s breakfast show.

He spent over 12 years as part of one of Melbourne’s longest-running and successful breakfast shows on Fox FM – The Matt and Jo Show – before joining ARN in December 2014.

Peter Clay, head of programming Nova 96.9 and smoothfm network, said, “Opportunities like these do not present themselves every day and I am thrilled to jump at the chance to add Troy to our exceptional lineup of talented presenters.

“One of my priorities has been to get the best people in the business that complement our culture at Nova Entertainment and Troy is a great fit.”

Ellis will join Nova and smoothfm’s on-air lineup from Monday March 5.

Southern Cross Austereo launches dedicated talent development unit Hubble

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has this week launched its own dedicated talent development unit to be known as Hubble.

Hubble is designed to discover the next generation of audio personalities, invite new talent into the company and create more opportunities than ever before across radio, podcasting and digital properties.

“Hubble is set to revolutionise the way we discover, develop and deploy talent for our networks,” said Grant Blackley CEO of SCA.

“We are excited to pioneer a new approach to the discovery and development of future audio and radio personalities, provide an increased number of opportunities to talent, and create exciting new content for our listeners,” Blackley said.

Guy Dobson, chief content officer SCA, commented: “We know there are many talented people right across Australia, eager to break into this increasingly competitive industry, and we are thrilled to be able to provide a foot in the door with Hubble.

“Entertainment is a fast-paced landscape and it can be difficult to discover and keep track of who’s out there, and then align talent with audiences. This system will change all that.”

After 12 months in development, Hubble has created its own world-first internal software platform, designed to database talent and track development.

Hubble’s first success story sees promising duo Lewis Spears and Luke Kidgell hosting soon on Sunday nights on Melbourne’s Fox FM. Nurtured through SCA’s new talent development initiative, the stand-up comics made their debut into radio on Triple M Modern Digital with their daily show Luke & Lewis, and are now moving onto bigger audiences.

Hit Network appoints Tanya Hennessy to host networked weekend breakfast

The Hit Network has appointed Tanya Hennessy to host weekend breakfast in 2018.

Hennessy will host a networked breakfast show each Saturday and Sunday morning 7am-9am, with a regular rotation of guest co-hosts.

The self-described talker not walker has been a part of the Hit family for six years. Starting out in radio in Griffith, Hennessy was more recently co-host of the Ryan and Tanya show on Canberra’s hit104.7 weekday breakfast and Saturday breakfast on 2DayFM Sydney.

She has become well-known for her YouTube videos and now has over 1.1m loyal fans on social media.

Last year Hennessy was awarded the Video Junkee Breakthrough Award, the Commercial Radio Australia – Best Documentary Award and was nominated for Cosmo’s Woman Of The Year Award.

Head of content for The Hit Network Gemma Fordham said: “Tanya never shies away from having a laugh at herself and has a relatable and refreshing approach to life. We can’t wait for Australia to wake up with Tanya and kick-start each weekend the right way.”

Lisa Oldfield tells Kyle and Jackie O how to tell she is more popular than David

Reality TV regular Lisa Oldfield had a good laugh about her husband during her appearance on The Kyle and Jackie O Show on Monday.

Oldfield, who had misled the show on Friday about rumours she and husband David were heading to South Africa for I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!, noted she was more popular than her husband as she was assigned to speak to K&J, while husband David was a guest on 2Day FM. Kyle Sandilands laughed as hard as she did and added: “I would love to hear that.”

Later on in the show, Sandilands told listeners: “If you’ve ever wanted cock, today is the day. The Cash Cock has returned. He is in Liverpool today and he has $1,000 available.”

EP Bruno Bouchet and Kyle than traded double entendres.

“Are you guys having fun?” asked Jackie O after several minutes, trying to put a stop to it.

Charts

TV Demand Charts: Star Trek: Discovery and The Walking Dead lead markets

The Australian and New Zealand charts are in sync this week.

Star Trek: Discovery ranks #1 on the Top 10 Digital Originals charts in both markets, while The Walking Dead tops the Overall TV charts in the two countries.

Back on the Digital Originals chart this week are 13 Reasons Why and Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life.

New to the Overall TV chart this week in Australia is Supernatural with new episodes screening on ELEVEN.

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