Ian Hogg has stepped down as CEO of FremantleMedia Australia and Asia Pacific. He will leave the company at the end of January. A successor is yet to be announced.
Hogg has been responsible for the overall management and business performance of FremantleMedia Australia since 2009. He took on a wider role as CEO for Asia Pacific in 2011, adding responsibility for the company’s production operations across Asia.
Cécile Frot-Coutaz, FremantleMedia’s Group CEO, said: “On behalf of his many colleagues and friends across FremantleMedia, I would like to thank Ian for the significant contribution he has made to our business and to wish him well for the future.”
Hogg said: “The opportunity to lead the exceptional team at FMA is a career highlight. It is a business steeped in history that continues to write new chapters. I am particularly proud of the diversity of content we have produced while at the helm. I thank all those who’ve shared in this experience with me and genuinely wish the group’s fantastic leadership and staff the very, very best moving forward.”
Hogg has spent over 25 years working within TV networks and independent production companies. He began his career in production and programming at Ten and went on to assume key positions at TV3 New Zealand, Becker Group and MGM Worldwide.
FMA productions include Family Feud, The Great Australian Bake Off, Grand Designs Australia, Escape from the City, The X Factor, Australia’s Got Talent and Australian Idol. It is also the company behind original dramas such as Wentworth, Neighbours and the upcoming Picnic at Hanging Rock, which has sold around the world.
Only several years after Mumbrella launched there were rumours the business’s partners – founders Tim Burrowes and Martin Lane and “silent” partner and former MD of TNTmagazine Ian Wakeling – were exploring opportunities to sell. On December 22 2017 that finally happened.
Founder Tim Burrowes announced in a pre-Christmas post that a deal had been signed by Mumbrella publisher Focal Attractions with global events business Diversified Communications. It was perhaps unlike Borrowes not to mention how much the transaction valued the business at, but he remains steadfast that he will not discuss anything to do with a sale price as it is part of the deal to keep it secret.
There has been one guess that it might be worth $8m to the three partners, so let’s stick with that! That amount would be ultimately reached over several years according to goals being achieved.
Despite writing at times revealing posts about his business, Burrowes is a somewhat reclusive character with simple tastes. Although he strictly forbids discussion of how big a payday he and his partners enjoyed, there have been unconfirmed reports of sightings of him driving a new car. He is also believed to have moved from living in a unit to a house in a nice suburb!
Talking to Mediaweek, Burrowes confirmed talks about selling Focal Attractions had happened often across the Mumbrella journey.
“From quite early in the history of Mumbrella, every two or three years we tested the market a little bit. We had a few chats with people, sometimes discussing taking an investment to fast-track our plans. With Diversified things got a little more serious after a couple of people had come to us.
“We subsequently thought it might be the time to run a bit more of a formal sales process.”
Burrowed explained that he, Martin Lane and Ian Wakeling were equal partners in the business, owning a third each. “At the very least we were looking for a way for Ian to get a return on his investment as he wasn’t taking a salary from the business.”
Diversified made a straightforward easy-to-understand offer with fewer hurdles, and Focal Attractions got on well with the executives.
Nobody was willing to confirm how long negotiations took with Diversified, but Burrowes admits they quickly became a frontrunner early on during the recent sales process.
Diversified was once a media owner with content in different parts of the world and the arrival of Mumbrella sees them playing in that space again.
Although Burrowes has noted he is not about to retire, he declined to indicate if he now has the funds to step back if he so wished. He did explain: “There is always a period in any deal like this when people are obliged to stick around. We are sort of in a honeymoon period where we get to know Diversified and they get to know Martin and me to find out how long they really want us to stick around.
“One of the potential outcomes is that Mumbrella becomes a big global brand. Hopefully as we get to know each other they have the confidence to pursue that.”
With the learnings Mumbrella has from its success in Australia, there is a chance it could fast-track global expansion by avoiding mistakes it might have made here.
Burrowes: “Whenever I look back, the hardest thing to know is whether we got the strategy wrong or we got the execution wrong.”
At this stage Mumbrella is unsure about the need to have a big content business in new markets it enters. “The credibility an editorial product brings helps make the event side of things an awful lot easier.”
The Mumbrella business model has changed significantly from its early days. “The initial terrible idea was that it was going to be a series of weekly PDFs for different elements of the industry. We were thinking of a PDF newsletter for media agencies, one for ad agencies, another for PRs and so on.” The newsletters were to be ad-funded. “I was going to use my learnings from B&T, which had just re-launched as a PDF product. At that time there were advertisers who wouldn’t buy buttons and banners, who would buy display space in a PDF.”
However, because it was launched in summer, Mumbrella started as a website initially, gained popularity, and the PDF plan was dropped. “We were lucky with the timing – WordPress was a stable platform, sending emails became very cheap and it was just when Twitter started, which was a good audience driver for us.”
Photo: Tim Burrowes (left) with Martin Lane
More from Burrowes on Monday in Mediaweek:
Best AND worst business decisions, how big is the Burrowes’ ego and could the Mumbrella business change much?
Seven’s sporting calendar for 2018 kicked off this week with the start of the Australian Open. It’s the first major grand slam event in tennis every year.
The two-week event that takes over Melbourne every year started on January 15 and Seven was all across the action with coverage on its primary channel and multichannels, as well as the 7tennis app.
“We are now able to cover so much more tennis than we were able to,” Seven’s sport commentator Basil Zempilas told Mediaweek during day three of the event. Alongside his role at Seven, Zempilas is the co-host of Perth’s 6PR breakfast show with Steve Mills.
For the next two weeks Zempilas is fulfilling his duties at 6PR from a studio at Melbourne’s 3AW. At the time he spoke to Mediaweek, Zempilas had just come off air at 6PR and was headed out to prepare for the day of tennis on Seven. He often hosts the last or second-last game of the day. “And they tend to finish late,” Zempilas said. The one thing that works in his favour and allows him to fulfil his commitments at 6PR and Seven is the time difference. “So 5am in Perth is 8am in Melbourne,” he said.
During the conversation with Mediaweek, Zempilas said he was looking forward to that night’s clash between Australian Nick Kyrgios and Serbian Viktor Troicki. “Kyrgios in Hisense Arena is really exciting stuff. He loves playing out there and the crowd love him out there too. It’s a general admission crowd rather than a ticketed crowd, so they tend to be a bit younger and noisier. They tend to respond to him very enthusiastically.”
And so they did. Despite a few disturbances during the game, including a chopper hovering over the arena and a heckler, Kyrgios won 7-5, 6-4, 7-6.
As a commentator, Zempilas gets one of the best seats in town to watch the sport. This is not only the case with the Australian Open though. Zempilas is involved with many of the sporting events and competitions that Seven covers. This year is going to a busy one for the network and Zempilas.
Apart from the Australian Open, the next three months will see the broadcaster cover the Sochi Winter Olympics, Australian Swimming Trials and the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Then there is also Seven’s coverage of AFL, which starts at the end of March – just before the Commonwealth Games in early April.
The first four months of 2018 are busier than usual for Zempilas. But the radio and TV presenter is not complaining. “I am very fortunate that despite living in Perth, I am able to do it all and make it work with my family and radio commitments,” he said, before giving a special mention to his wife Amy Zempilas, who is an influencer on Instagram. “I couldn’t make it work without my wife’s enormous assistance.”
Basil Zempilas marks 25 years in the media industry this year. “When I studied journalism at university, I wasn’t sure where those qualifications would take me. But I have enjoyed every day ever since,” he said.
|ABC ME||0.9%||7mate||2.6%||GEM||2.9%||ELEVEN||3.3%||Food Net||1.5%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||Ten Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC ME||1.1%||7mate||2.5%||GEM||5.3%||ELEVEN||2.8%||Food Net||1.3%|
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Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM
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Australia’s peak cotton growers group has savaged the ABC for its coverage of rural industries, warning it is sensationalist, lacks impartiality and risks damaging agriculture’s reputation overseas, reports The AFR’sAndrew Tillett.
Cotton Australia has thrown its support behind proposed legislation requiring the ABC to be “fair and balanced”, telling a Senate inquiry that the public broadcaster’s recent reporting on claims of water theft and mismanagement in the Murray-Darling Basin were examples of how agricultural industries were “negatively represented”, particularly to metropolitan audiences.
A third so-far-unnamed woman has come forward with claims of having been sexually harassed by Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle, reports Myriam Robin in The AFR’s Rear Window.
Given the way the first complainant, Tessa Sullivan, has been treated by the press, in particular News Corp’s Herald Sun, it’s easy to see why the third woman has tried to keep her identity from public knowledge.
Sullivan, who ran on Doyle’s ticket for city council 2016, has had her private text messages to Doyle and other councillors splashed on the front page of the Herald Sun.
UK phone-hacking cases brought by Vic Reeves, Kate Thornton and two others against News Corporation’s Sun and News of the World have been confidentially settled, just as a six-week trial was due to hear allegations of a cover-up by senior executives at the media mogul’s British tabloids, reports The Guardian.
The last-minute deal on Thursday earned both sides a rebuke from Justice Mann, who complained that issues important to another 47 hacking cases in the pipeline had not been determined in a case that would have heard allegations of wrongdoing by James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks.
The judge told the court that the last-minute settlement of the four cases was a “serious matter” because the court had devoted “a significant amount of time and resources” to preparing them for trial due to the perceived importance of the case.
Rupert Murdoch suffered a serious back injury while vacationing on his son Lachlan’s yacht in the Caribbean earlier this month, three sources familiar with the incident told Vanity Fair.
The 86-year-old media mogul was helicoptered off the boat and was, until recently, recovering in a Los Angeles hospital, one of the sources said. The incident is said to have happened shortly after the New Year’s holiday.
Last Friday night, Murdoch sent an email to his senior management informing them of the accident: “I hope you all are having a great start to 2018. I suspect it has been better than mine,” he wrote, according to a source who’s seen the email.
“I am writing to tell you that last week I had a sailing accident and suffered a painful back injury. While I am well on the road to recovery, I have to work from home for some weeks. In the meantime, you’ll be hearing from me by email, phone and text!”
Denise Drysdale has this week been honoured in a new special collection of stamps by Australia Post, reports her agent, Watercooler Talent.
The collection showcases some of Australia’s much-loved TV personalities. Also featuring alongside Drysdale in the new stamps are Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Ray Martin, Daryl Somers and Bert Newton.
“Each of these multi-award winning television personalities have made unique contributions to the Australian entertainment industry and have played a role in forming our national popular culture,” said Christine Holgate, Australia Post managing director and group CEO.
Drysdale currently co-hosts Network Ten’s morning program Studio 10 alongside Sarah Harris, Jessica Rowe, Joe Hildebrand and Ita Buttrose.
Radio host Kyle Sandilands has settled on a new Southern Highlands home, reports Property Observer.
The co-host of KIIS 1065 Sydney breakfast has bought Twin Creeks Farm, aka Taballa, an 1890s Federation-style farmhouse on 61 hectares in Robertson which he will share with partner Imogen Anthony, who grew up near the area.
The residence has been partially renovated and remodelled since it last traded for $2.31 million in 2007. It has three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a guest house with a self-contained bedsit.
It cost Sandilands $2,982,500.
Photo: Sandilands and Anthony celebrate at the gates of their new home.
Seven West Media is working with former News Corp Australia public relations specialist Stephen Browning following the departure of veteran Simon Francis, reports The Australian’s Darren Davidson.
It is understood that Browning, a former head of corporate affairs at News Corp, is working with Seven on a consultancy basis.
He is expected to do further work with the media company in the coming months, and will work closely with Seven chief executive Tim Worner.
Herald Sun columnist Rita Panahi is the newest recruit to 3AW’s Sunday Morning program, reports News Corp’s Christine McGinn.
Panahi will co-host the morning program alongside Darren James and Nick McCallum, starting on January 21.
John-Michael Howson co-hosted Sunday Morning’s for a decade before his sacking last month. Since Howson’s departure, the show has had a number of hosts, including Steve Price who filled in last Sunday.
Panahi is a columnist at the Herald Sun and regularly appears on Channel 7’s Sunrise program, Sky News, 3AW and 2GB. She was most recently heard on Hot Breakfast with Eddie McGuire on Triple M.
BBC Three has acquired Stan original drama Romper Stomper. The six-part contemporary thriller was acquired from DCD Rights and will air on the UK channel in 2018.
Romper Stomper follows a new generation of far right activists, the anti-fascist counterparts who intend to bring them down, and its impact on Australia’s multicultural society.
Nicky Davies Williams, CEO at DCD Rights, says: “I’m delighted to confirm this key deal for Romper Stomper in the UK, fresh from its record-breaking launch on Australian streaming service Stan. Set amid the fast-moving world of political tribes and extremes, Romper Stomper combines an atmospheric, character-driven contemporary drama with an incredibly original political thriller that approaches this complex globally relevant issue from all perspectives.”
Nick Forward, Stan’s chief content officer, said: “Romper Stomper was brought to the screen by a world-class team telling an Australian story while also addressing important contemporary and global themes. Stan customers have embraced the show in record numbers and we look forward to viewers in the UK experiencing it on the BBC.”
The series is written and directed by Geoffrey Wright, alongside director Daina Reid (The Secret River), writer/director James Napier Robertson (The Dark Horse), and writers Omar Musa and Malcolm Knox.
A Stan Original Series, Romper Stomper is a Roadshow Rough Diamond production with production investment from Screen Australia in association with Film Victoria, and international distribution by DCD Rights.
The 6×60 series is produced by John Edwards (Love My Way, The Secret Life of Us, Howzat!, Tangle, Police Rescue) and Dan Edwards and will air on BBC Three later this year.
Photo: David Wenham in Rompter Stomper (c Ben King)
Unlike Australia, the UK still audits newspaper circulation. The Press Gazette reports on the latest sales data for December 2017:
The Times has a larger daily print circulation than the Telegraph (when bulk sales are included) for the first time, new monthly figures show.
The Times sold 446,204 copies in December last year, up on 393,310 at rival the Telegraph, according to ABC’s UK monthly newsbrands report.
The paper’s climb has been aided by a 14.5% year-on-year drop in circulation at the Telegraph, which was also down 14% on the previous month, and bulk sales of more than 93,000.
The Telegraph has ended bulk sales – those copies that end up in hotel lobbies and airport lounges and the like – previously passing off 67,000 copies. But the Times still sees value in selling copies to businesses who distribute in key locations, Press Gazette understands.