News Corp Australia has announced changes to its digital leadership. The restructure of the business is part of a number of changes at the company in the past few days and follows the recent departure of chief digital officer Nicole Sheffield.
Julian Delany, managing director of News DNA, will expand his current responsibilities for digital – including subscriptions, product delivery, content optimisation and digital revenue – to incorporate digital platforms and strategy as well as taking on accountability for Food Corp.
Dominic Hatfield will move to the new role of chief information officer, expanding his current responsibilities to incorporate business intelligence and enterprise data.
Michael Miller, executive chairman of News Corp Australasia, said: “These changes reflect our ambition to create the digital organisation that best aligns digital and technology with our strategy and objectives of increasing audiences and their engagement, being more efficient and driving profitable growth.
“We are moving to a model that realigns the responsibilities under digital and technology to best reflect how we will serve both our external consumers and our internal customers.
“The result is a clear digital ecosystem to deliver on consumer product and client solutions along with a sharper focus for technology to allow it to evolve into a true enterprise and information function.
“With Julian and Dominic I am confident these changes will ensure we have the expertise, roles and resources to best support our goal of driving profitable growth as we build our digital future,” Miller said.
A further change will be Adam King, chief data officer at News Corp Australia, who has accepted a new role with Fox Sports. King has been the driving force behind the delivery and commercialisation of News Connect.
• 304 hours of live sport, across 13 different codes, on Fox Sports from Friday to Monday
• AFL JLT Community Series, Australia’s first Test v South Africa, Supercars Adelaide 500, Hyundai A-League, Super Rugby NBL Semifinals, AFLW and the Matildas at the Algarve Cup and much more
Fox Sports will set a new live sports broadcast record this weekend, with 304 hours of live action delivered from midnight on Friday (March 2), through to 1pm EDT on Monday (March 5).
Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany said: “The choice of live sport on offer for fans across the first weekend in March is fantastic. It really drives home the fact that if you love live sport, you need Foxtel, and it’s never been more affordable for Australian families than right now. For only $39 a month, sports fans will have access to all of their favourite sports, all in the one place, with live, ad break-free during play and HD coverage of the best codes from Australia and around the world.”
Footy fans will be able to watch the best male and female players live in action, with round 2 of the JLT Community Series, while the AFLW is playing four massive games.
The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship returns for another season, with fans able to watch Jamie Whincup launch his Championship defence at the season opening Adelaide 500.
The best international cricket will be on display with Australia in action against South Africa in the first Test, plus Aussie rugby rivalries will come to the fore with a Reds v Brumbies showdown headlining the Super Rugby action.
The Hyundai A-League hits the business end of the season, with just five rounds remaining until the finals series, while the Matildas square off against Portugal in the Algarve Cup.
It’s finals time in the NBL, and the top four teams will square off in two clashes across the weekend. Melbourne United faces New Zealand Breakers in a 1 v 4 showdown on Saturday, before Adelaide 36ers host Perth Wildcats on Sunday.
All this, and more, will be available all in the one place, on Foxtel, with AFL, motorsports, football, rugby, cricket, golf, tennis, basketball, boxing, baseball, MMA, cycling and darts all LIVE and in HD.
See a full list of all the live action below.
2018 JLT Community Series
2018 NAB AFL Women’s Competition
2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship: Adelaide 500
Qantas Tour of South Africa: First Test
2018 New Zealand v England: Third ODI
Hyundai A-League 2017/18
2018 Algarve Cup
Indian Super League
2018 Vodafone Super Rugby
2017/18 World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series: Las Vegas
2017/18 Aviva Premiership Rugby
2017/18 NBL Semifinals
2018 European Tour: Tshwane Open
2018 World Golf Championship: Mexico Championship
2018 Asian Tour: ISPS Handa New Zealand Open
2018 USLPGA: HSBC Women’s World Championship
ATP 250 World Tour: Sao Paulo
Mixed Martial Arts:
UFC 22: Weigh-ins, pre-fight show, prelims
WBC Heavyweight Title: Deontay Wilder v Luis Ortiz
UCI Track Cycling World Championships
2018 Coral UK Open
2018 Premier League Darts
Japan v Australia
• “If anyone wants to sponsor our show you will get more than you bargained for… in a good way”
By James Manning
Southern Cross Austereo’s Brian Gallagher and Nikki Rooke hosted media agency executives and clients to the Sydney stop on the Kennedy Molloy 2018 Long Lunch national tour.
After hitting Melbourne and Brisbane earlier in the week, the tour’s third stop on the national tour was the harbour city.
Triple M’s venue of choice was the Munich Brauhaus in The Rocks. Guests didn’t hold back from sampling the product of the show’s sponsor – Victoria Bitter.
There was royalty in the harbour with the Cunard cruise liner Queen Elizabeth moored nearby at Circular Quay, and Triple M Sydney’s Becko introduced radio royalty when Jane Kennedy and Mick Molloy spoke about their new national drive show.
“We wanted to say ‘hi’, meet you all, and let you know we are open for business,” said Molloy.
“We seriously understand the relationship between what we do and the fact we are allowed to do it because of the support we get from the business community. If anyone wants to sponsor our show you will get more than you bargained for… ”
“In a good way,” interjected Kennedy.
“We are having great fun on air with Victoria Bitter, our first major sponsor,” continued Molloy, noting it was a proper, pure integration. “When we do a piece of content around the brand for four or five minutes, we give the company the biggest cuddle and have fun. We see it as a creative exercise and we look forward to it.”
Kennedy said: “Being at Triple M feels like coming home for me. It is the only FM network I have ever worked for. I am an old rock chick at heart… but not too old.”
Molloy: “Cher’s in town. It could be a close thing between you two!”
Kennedy: “Steady on… this is what I have to put up with every day.”
Molloy said Triple M was the only station they had pitched the new show to. “When we started at Triple M it was a very young brand. As we have gotten older the audience has come along with us.
“I love radio. The beauty about radio is they can’t tell you not to say it, they can only tell you not to say it again.”
Molloy said TV was too vanilla these days, with all the biggest entertainers now working in radio. “This is where all the action is.”
While Triple M’s Jamie Angel, Bekko and Sydney PR manager Lucy Rowles were also at the event, there was no sign of the drive show anchor Dangerous Dave.
Kennedy: “He was at the top of the list for us to work with on the show. He’s a great guy, but we really didn’t think it right for him to join us at lunch.”
Travelling around Australia with the hosts are the show’s executive producer Sam Cavanagh (who is never far from the hottest drive shows in Australia), a Triple M digital team and Melbourne-based PR Kelly Black.
Crocmedia CEO and co-founder Craig Hutchison took the podium in front of brand partners and agencies last night on the edge of Sydney Harbour, addressing his customers from what he joked was his spiritual home, the Sydney Dance Company.
By James Manning
Hutchy’s PR company Thread had secured a function room that is part of the wharf, home to the Dance Company and the Sydney Theatre Company, for the launch its 2018 season. Guests had uninterrupted views of the Harbour Bridge and across the water and also toward Luna Park on the North Shore.
Crocmedia commentator Russell Barwick hosted the function and introduced the CEO.
“This is not a hard sell tonight,” said Hutchy. He had taken the stage after a presentation reel, also fronted by the company’s biggest asset, which detailed all the different Crocmedia divisions.
“Branded content is at the core of our business and we are very excited about our NRL move.”
There was not much talk about the impending merger with Pacific Star’s 1116 SEN, although the corporate video already lists it as a done deal.
“We are very excited about joining together with Australia’s only 24/7 all sports talk station. That creates another platform or us. It is one of 100+ radio stations we have supplied content to long term.” He did note the deal needs to be ratified by shareholders in two weeks’ time.
Hutchy talked about the national footprint Crocmedia can now offer advertisers. “It grew out of regional Australia, which remains the heart of our DNA. We are honoured to be able to deliver NRL into the heart of regional NSW and Queensland via NRL Nation.”
He noted there are close to 1m NRL fans in regional NSW alone across 30 regional markets.
Hutchy also paid tribute to his business partner Chris Giannopoulos, who not only runs Bravo Talent Management, but put together the NRL deal. “It’s a terribly complicated thing syndicated radio. There is a reason why not many people have done it before. If something goes wrong, 200 station managers ring you at exactly the same time.”
Crocmedia also noted it is only the third commercial broadcaster to carry NRL, and Hutchy said both Macquarie Media and Triple M do a great job with their coverage.
“We will have four NRL games exclusively every week. There are already 40 stations across two states taking our call.
“We want to be a little bit different – contemporary, inclusive, diverse and we will have some fun while being informative.”
Joining guests at the function were many of the Crocmedia NRL team including Blocker Roach, Brenton Speed, Laurie Daley, Brett Kimmorley and Luke Lewis.
Also at the event was Sydney Swans captain Josh Kennedy, who will take part in the Crocmedia AFL call when available.
Hutchy also reminded guests about the AFL calls of the Swans games, which come from the newly renovated 40-seat Ball Park corporate suite from the SCG. As well as hosting the call, the new box even has a McCafé installed!
Photos: Ashley Mar
Discovery Channel is returning to the goldfields of Western Australia with the announcement the network has commissioned season three of Aussie Gold Hunters from Electric Pictures.
The series follows crews of resilient gold prospectors in the outback and this season is the biggest yet, with 13×60 episodes ordered.
Production of the new season of Aussie Gold Hunters is currently under way in Western Australia, filming on the iconic goldfields as well as surrounding locations, including Kalgoorlie.
Returning for the new season are the Dirt Dogs (Vernon Strange, Leon Marsh and Jake Larsen), Gold Gypsies (Christine and Greg Clark), Ted and Lecky Mahoney, and solo prospector, Rick Fishers. They will also be joined by some new faces and a new crew will be added to the mix.
“Aussie Gold Hunters was Discovery Channel’s number one show in 2017 and we’re proud to see it return for a third season with more episodes than ever before,” said Jonathan Rudd, vice president, factual & sports products Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands, Discovery Networks International.
“Not only does the series explore the unique world of gold prospecting, but also the stories of the people who are putting everything on the line to change their fortune. These authentic characters connect with our audience and are the driving force of the show.
“The series has been successful not only here in Australia but internationally as well, and has aired in over 32 countries and territories around the world including the UK. There is a very strong demand for Australian factual programming and we’re excited to see the series continue.”
Aussie Gold Hunters season three will premiere on Discovery Channel on 31 May.
The series is produced by Electric Pictures for Discovery Channel.
Top photo: Dirt Dogs Vernon Strange, Jake Larsen and Leon Marsh
• Nine and Seven swap leadership this week: Nine’s turn at #1 last night
• Married At First Sight dinner party always a fave – 1.31m Wednesday
• My Kitchen Rules had first location challenge with episode just under 1m
By James Manning
After 688,000 on Monday and then 697,000 on Tuesday, Home and Away was down a little to 624,000.
On My Kitchen Rules the group 1 teams were tasked with serving high tea at one of Australia’s iconic hotels – the Hydro Majestic in the Blue Mountains – in the first location challenge. Teams had 90 minutes to prep and cook sweet and savoury dishes, preparing enough serves for 60 guests. The team with the weakest dish, as selected by judges Pete and Colin, finds itself in Elimination House next, fighting for survival against the bottom team from Group 2. The midweek episode of MKR was just under 1m, yet still the #2 show on TV last night.
Day one coverage of the Australian Swimming Championships followed from the Gold Coast with Basil Zempilas leading the Seven team for an audience of 313,000.
Nine was the leader in primary channel and combined channel share on Wednesday.
A Current Affair spoke with TV legend Cornelia Frances as she battles cancer and then asked if the launch of Amazon down under had been a fizzer. The midweek episode did 825,000.
It was dinner party time on Married At First Sight with a bumper crowd again tuning in – 1.31m.
A new episode of 20 To One followed with 593,000, a big jump from 435,000 a week ago.
The Project featured singers Kirin J Callinan and then Calum Scott last night with 497,000 watching after 7pm.
I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! ended with another Steve Price interview – this time with former AFL footballer Josh Gibson. The episode just made it over 600,000.
This Is Us then did 285,000.
Hard Quiz had a battle between experts at the different end of the musical spectrum – Led Zeppelin and One Direction. The 1D expert controversially exited early while the Zepp fan won the night. The audience was 527,000 after the series launch on 550,000 last week.
Mad As Hell then did 561,000 followed by Squinters on 343,000.
Great Continental Railway Journeys was travelling between Vienna and Trieste, which is truly a great journey. The three Michael Portillo-hosted programs were the channel’s three most-watched shows last week and it could happen again this week with 271,000 last night.
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||2.7%||GEM||1.9%||ELEVEN||2.3%||Food Net||0.8%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||Ten Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||3.1%||GEM||2.9%||ELEVEN||2.0%||Food Net||0.7%|
|WEDNESDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top 5
18-49 Top 5
25-54 Top 5
Sydney-based production house and distributor Beyond International has reported a 6% rise in revenue to $45.3m for the six months ending December 31, 2017.
The company has reported a net profit of $1.05m on that revenue.
Generating close to half of total revenue were the television productions and copyright segment, where revenue was down $1.44m to $21.11m. Australian productions commissioned during the six months included season 11 of Selling Houses Australia and series two of Love It Or List It. Both shows are amongst the most-watched programs on Foxtel via the Lifestyle channel. Long-running US series in production in the half included series 11 and 12 of Deadly Women for Investigation Discovery.
The 7Beyond JV, which returned a profit of $87,000 each for Seven and Beyond, had My Dream Lottery Homes commissioned for a fourth and fifth season.
Home Entertainment revenue leapt 73% to $7.35m after significant stock returns for the period 12 months prior.
The distribution division reported revenue was up $691,000 to $11.19m. Beyond reported strong sales for Mythbusters and Deadly Women.
Digital Marketing revenue was down 4.3% to $5.31m. The division’s Beyond D is working with Google to provide Australian businesses with their own Google assistants.
A Sydney lawyer has been charged with transferring close to $10 million from WIN Corporation and media mogul Bruce Gordon’s company Birteku to his personal bank account, reports The AFR’s Misa Han.
It is alleged Brody Clarke, 35, transferred $7.3 million from Birteku and $2.5 million from WIN to his personal bank account while he was employed as a junior lawyer in corporate law firm Atanaskovic Hartnell Lawyers, in order to dishonestly obtain a financial advantage.
In two multimillion-dollar transfers from Birketu to Clarke, it is alleged Clarke instructed Deutsche Bank to make the transfers.
The transfers were allegedly made on eight occasions between June 2016 and August 2017.
Clarke was granted bail at Central Local Court on Wednesday and his barrister, George Thomas, told the court Clarke turned himself in to the authorities in early October.
The criminal matter will return to court on March 14.
Larry Fink’s BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager and, up till a few weeks ago, was the second largest shareholder in Nick Falloon’s Fairfax Media, report The Australian’s Will Glasgow and Christine Lacy.
That silver medal status changed after the abrupt departure of Anthony “The Cat” Catalano from the Fairfax-backed property listings business Domain.
On February 7, BlackRock sold more than 55 million of its 144 million shares in Fairfax. That reduced BlackRock’s stake from 6.3% to about 4%, well below the ASX’s 5% substantial shareholder threshold.
British-based broadcaster, global TV producer and distributor ITV has reported its full year results.
• Total external revenue up 2% to £3,132 million (2016: £3,064 million), driven by double digit growth in non-net advertiser revenues (NAR).
• Total ITV Studios revenue up 13% to £1,582 million (2016: £1,395 million), with 7% organic revenue growth, excluding currency.
• Online, Pay & Interactive up 7% to £248 million (2016: £231 million), with double digit growth in Online.
Carolyn McCall, ITV chief executive, said:
“There is no doubt that ITV’s operational performance in 2017 in a challenging environment was strong. ITV delivered a great viewing performance on-screen and online and double-digit revenue growth in video on demand advertising and ITV Studios. This gives us a solid foundation to build on for the next phase of ITV’s development.
“We are very focused on our strategic refresh. This will enable us to define a clear strategy and priorities that will highlight the opportunities and address the challenges that we face in an increasingly competitive media landscape. This project is well underway.
“We have had a great start to 2018. On-screen we have grown our viewing share and volume, and online we have continued to deliver double digit growth in viewing. We expect ITV Family NAR to be positive in the first half, with Q1 up 1% and growth in Q2 around the football.
“ITV Studios is seeing increasing demand for its formats and dramas, particularly in the UK and US, and we have over 60% of this year’s expected revenue already booked.”
Network Ten has appointed Ross Dagan to the new role of network director of news content, effective early May 2018.
Dagan will be responsible for Network Ten’s news content and operations across all distribution platforms, including TEN Eyewitness News First At Five and news content on ten daily, the new website that will launch this year.
He will report to Network Ten chief content officer Beverley McGarvey.
An experienced media industry executive with a strong record of leadership, achievement and innovation across Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Middle East, Queensland-born Dagan is currently executive producer for news at Aljazeera English, based in Doha, Qatar.
Dagan’s previous roles have included director of news Brisbane and Seven Queensland at Seven Network, head of news and current affairs at TVNZ and director of news Sydney and Brisbane at Network Ten.
Beverley McGarvey said: “The appointment of Ross is the next step in the evolution of our News service and I am very pleased that someone with his Australian and global experience has agreed to join Network Ten.
“Network Ten has a very proud heritage in News, while CBS is one of the leading news organisations in the world. That combination underpins our commitment to building our News service.
“With more than 20 years’ experience in news, Ross has unique credentials, a proven track record and a reputation for leading change.
“He is the ideal person to lead and expand our News division,” she said.
Dagan said: “Network Ten’s people are its greatest assets, many of whom I have had the privilege of working alongside before.
“I am looking forward to returning home to help them build on the strengths of Ten News across all platforms.
“The network is extraordinarily well-placed to look to the future of news and how we produce and deliver news, information and conversations that are most importantly credible, but also contemporary and engaging,” he said.
Every Cloud Productions has appointed writer Jo Martino as head of content.
Martino’s appointment comes as Every Cloud plans to progress a diverse slate of projects in development to move through into production.
Martino has worked on series Good Guys Bad Guys, Halifax, Stingers, Something in the Air, Crash Burn and the showcase series, Satisfaction.
Creator, script producer and writer of Carla Cametti PD, Martino script-produced and produced series five of Nine’s House Husbands, wrote episodes of Ten’s high-rating and critically acclaimed Brothers In Arms and Every Cloud Productions’ hit series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries for the ABC.
The appointment of Martino comes as Every Cloud Productions is celebrating females of the industry through its Women in Front campaign. The campaign highlights Every Cloud’s advocacy and credentials for championing screen equity of females within the television industry. Throughout Every Cloud’s history of productions, it has championed female storytelling and has been a strong advocate of female representation in front and behind the camera.
Co-founder and creative director Deb Cox said, “Jo’s appointment reaffirms Every Cloud’s commitment to embedding writers within the company. I look forward to working with Jo and other creatives in what is shaping up to be one of our most exciting years of content development.”
CEO and co-founder Fiona Eagger added: “As a writer-led production company we are thrilled to appoint another talented female writer to the company who will work alongside creative director Deb Cox. Jo brings vast experience in scripted content, which will support Every Cloud Productions’ objective of making and delivering the highest-quality scripted productions to audiences in Australia and internationally. We are particularly pleased to announce Jo’s appointment during our Women in Front campaign.”
After 14 weeks of intense competition, Discovery has found its next global intern, Kaleb Anderson from New Zealand.
The 22-year-old has landed the dream internship: a gig travelling around the world for free, documenting his adventures for Discovery Channel’s social media platforms and Heaps of Stuff blog.
Hailing from Auckland, Anderson works as a gib stopper by day and freelances as a photographer/videographer. As passionate as he is about exploring the world, he is equally fuelled by the adventures that New Zealand has to offer and uses every opportunity to plan weekend road trips around the country to show his Kiwi followers the beauty and experiences they can find without having to travel too far.
Anderson’s internship will see him creating content in Japan, the USA, Germany, South Africa and Croatia, and he’ll also visit some of Discovery’s overseas headquarters during his journey. Plus he gets to take a lucky mate along for the ride.
The final five with Kaleb in the Discovery Intern competition were Andrew Cooney (22) from the Central Coast, NSW; Jeffrey Kieffer (20) from the Tweed Coast, NSW; Kate Carragher (34) from the Central Coast, NSW and Sophie Piearcey (26) from Queenstown, New Zealand.
Discovery will be offering each of the talented photographers and content makers the opportunity to contribute to Heaps of Stuff.
Now in its second year, the Discovery Intern competition searches for the best bloggers from Australia and New Zealand who are creative, love to travel and are armed with the skills to tell the story of a place through images, words and videos. After the Top 50 were announced, it was up to the public to determine the Top 5 through voting. Anderson’s submissions stood out from the start and he quickly emerged as a fan favourite.
Don’t miss Mediaweek New Zealand tomorrow with John Drinnan.
At a function to launch Nine’s 2018 NRL season, Nine’s director of sport Tom Malone said: “There is more footy than ever before on Nine and Nine’s digital platforms. Fans won’t need to go anywhere else to get more of the best games, presented by the biggest names – all live and free and in HD.”
“There’s a blockbuster lineup of rugby league programming too – a new-look NRL Footy Show, a new-look Sports Sunday and a new-look Sunday Footy Show will be joined by the brand new 100% Footy program, the Intrust Super Premiership in NSW, and the Intrust Super Cup in Queensland.
“In addition to 9Now providing access to live-streamed rugby league matches and programs, the Wide World of Sports digital offering on wwos.com.au will keep rugby league fans up to speed online with enhanced clips and highlights of all matches, live scores and statistics, round-the-clock news and expert analysis.”
Nine’s head of rugby league Simon Fordham said: “This year we are all about creating the best seat in the house at the biggest games live and free for footy fans. Nine has been the home of rugby league for four decades, but this year’s offering across Nine, 9Now and wwos.com.au is unprecedented. Our rugby league content is delivered by the biggest names in the game and that’s what sets us apart as a destination for all footy fans.”
The Wide World of Sports commentary team is again led by Ray “Rabs” Warren, the only voice rugby league fans have known and loved for over 40 years.
James Bracey will host Thursday Night Football, Friday Night Football, Saturday Night Football and Sunday Afternoon Football, and he will be joined by rugby league immortals Andrew Johns and Wally Lewis, along with Phil Gould, Peter Sterling, Paul Vautin, Darren Lockyer, Brad Fittler, Ray Hadley and Mat Thompson.
The growth of women’s rugby league is a huge focus on Nine in 2018. Nine and 9Now will broadcast up to eight women’s matches live and free in HD across the season, including a stand-alone women’s State of Origin game on Friday June 22 from North Sydney Oval. Jillaroos Ruan Sims and Allana Ferguson will join the Nine team across the footy programs, as well as in commentary for the women’s games and the Intrust Super Premiership in NSW.
Meanwhile, as if hosting a weekly television show, radio show and having a baby weren’t enough, Erin Molan has accepted another job, reports News Corp’s Karlie Rutherford.
As well as hosting the revamped NRL Footy Show on Channel 9, Molan will also host the new-look Sunday Footy Show, both starting next week.
It’s a first for anyone at the network.
Molan does this while juggling constant morning sickness, despite being halfway through her first pregnancy.
“Look, it will be hard and, don’t get me wrong, I’m nervous about not just the shows themselves but how I will balance it all when the bub comes and all the stuff associated with it, but it’s the same as any woman expecting her first child, regardless of what industry she’s in,” Molan said before Nine’s official NRL season launch yesterday.”