Friday October 19, 2018

New Mediaweek Podcasts

It’s been a bigweek in the Mediaweek Podcast studio, with recent guests The Chaser’s Dominic Knight, and Pine Gap’s Greg Haddrick.  Subscribe here.

Mediaweek with The Chaser’s Dominic Knight

A founding member of The Chaser, Dominic Knight has published his latest book – Trumpedia.<

He talks with Mediaweek’s James Manning about his fascination with all things Donald J. Trump. Alternative things about the real fake president is the subtitle. “This book is fake news,” says Knight. Or is it? Knight talks about what Trump is brilliant at, how his Presidency might end, Trump and the media and gives his thoughts on other Trump scholars Michael Wolff and Bob Woodward. There’s also plenty of Chaser chat – the best stunts and the media deals that didn’t come off. And their long, long relationship with Triple M.

Listen here

Mediaweek with Pine Gap’s Greg Haddrick

Mediaweek catches up with one of the most successful writers and producers working in television today, Pine Gap co-creator Greg Haddrick. He tells Mediaweek’s James Manning about working with Screentime and Netflix on this great Aussie spy thriller – now available on ABC iview. He also reveals how they set up the show’s very authentic Pine Gap control centre! Best known for perhaps his work on Underbelly, Haddrick recalls those series and other creative highlights.

Listen here

Hit 92.9’s Heidi Anderson: Perth is an ‘unheard market’

The look and sound of Perth’s Hit 92.9 breakfast changed when two people from the on-air breakfast team, Will McMahon and Woody Whitelaw, announced they would be leaving the station to take over KIIS FM’s drive show.

The successful run of Heidi, Will and Woody in the Western Australian market came to an end in December 2017. However, Heidi Anderson stayed with the station and in the timeslot.

Former Hit 92.9 breakfast presenters and now KIIS FM drive show hosts Will McMahon and Woody Whitelaw

“The boys called me, we went for a beer and they told me they were leaving,” Anderson told Mediaweek. “I’d just gotten engaged, actually, so they stole my thunder. [Laughs]

“We had an open conversation about it. It was sad that they were going but I was happy for them. Everything comes to an end. We’d had a really good run. I learnt a lot from them and they’d learnt a lot from me.”

Anderson is currently on-air with two new co-hosts, Xavier Ellis and Ryan Jon.

Hit 92.9 breakfast: Ryan Jon, Heidi Anderson and Xavier Ellis

“This is about the sixth show in my career. You always have moments where it’s scary,” Anderson said. “The chemistry with them was just right from the demos.”

This is an excerpt from the full article, which appears on Mediaweek Premium. Read the full article here or subscribe to Mediaweek Premium here.

Top Photo: Heidi Anderson

Nine Upfront 2019: Starcom and Amplify give presentation a big tick

• ‘The Nine Upfront confirmed the resurgence of TV’
• ‘Nine gave a balanced set of solutions. With much promise in many areas’

By James Manning

We reported extensively this week about Nine’s 2019 plans for content and media buying, unveiled to media buyers and clients in Sydney on Wednesday night.

Today we have feedback from the people that make Nine’s planned $1b 2019 content spend possible – the advertisers.

Toby Barbour – CEO Starcom Australia

Toby Barbour

Nine went to a lot of trouble to communicate its message. Barbour told Mediaweek:

“Very impressive performance, slick presentation, very clear messaging that represents the culmination of a well-crafted business strategy over the last couple of years.

“The Nine Upfront confirmed the resurgence of TV.”

Barbour came away with impressions: “Quality content with depth, measurable, premium brand partnerships, data proposition is clear and strong, like their message of Influential, Informative and Powerful.

“Nine has the biggest multi-night shows in Australia. They have great consistency in the slate to command audience and engage brands at key peak time with MAFS, The Voice, Ninja, The Block, and Family Food Fight. These are content franchises representing great opportunities for true brand integration partnerships with confidence in audience and ROI.”

There was not a lot of new content but what there was looks good, said the Starcom CEO. “Love the new Lego Masters with Hamish Blake – looks like a family viewing winner.”

Barbour also praised Nine’s trading options.

“Powered solution to create premium brand partnerships was compelling and a clear way of working to generate ideation connected to business results.

“Addressability was the first presentation I’ve seen that was clear on what their ambitions are, and how they are doing it with 7m 9Now UIDs. Best addressable TV presentation I’ve seen.”

Nine’s decision to devote a lot of time explaining its expanded sporting portfolio left an impression too:

“Thought Nine was strong and clear on key messaging around sport.

“All rights on all platforms: Australian Open and NRL. Having 100 cameras on Rod Laver Arena for the Australian Open with 360 view angle is a game changer for the viewing experience.”

Ashley Earnshaw, Chief Investment Officer, Amplifi ANZ

Earnshaw told Mediaweek: “Nine’s 2019 schedule presented less of a TV schedule and more of a content schedule of brands to partner with advertisers, across platform.

“The schedule balanced a blend of proven returning formats, formats that have room to refresh and new entrants to the Australian market. Tennis is an exciting pivot and sets our advertisers and Nine up well for 2019.

“For Amplifi, we want content platforms for our clients that deliver both cross-platform audience, brand safety and the ability to integrate key messaging. Nine left us with no doubt they had this for 2019.”

The 9Now information Nine presented about what has become much more than just a catch-up platform was well received.

“Certainly it was welcome to see Nine further removing friction from the buying process – the market has been slow to move on automation and technology and is now moving at pace with Nine in a position of strength,” said Earnshaw.

“We look forward to the promise converting into reality for our clients.

“At Amplifi we have embraced a TV Stack across the past four years and a fluid approach to executing video campaigns for clients – Galaxy is a confident solution to this aspiration for our clients.”

Earnshaw explained Nine seemed to cover all bases with the information on offer:

“We were left with a balance of their strategic pillars across their business between content, partnerships, technology and verification. They delivered multiple solutions that our clients are looking for, now and next.

“9Voyager was an interesting play and coupled with Galaxy 4.0 points to the future for local publishers in the Australian marketplace for growth.

“It was pleasing to see both the focus on addressable solutions coupled with measurement and effectiveness – both welcome for our clients.”

Audience decline in traditional viewing patterns is not a major concern.

“At Amplifi we embrace a screen neutral, TV Stack approach to our video campaigns. We are less concerned about linear audience decline and more focused on fluid strategies across audience connection touch points.”

Summing up the first major FTA Upfront, Earnshaw said:

“In the challenges and opportunities that exist in the market for our clients’ strategies for growth, Nine gave a balanced set of solutions. With much promise in many areas, we look forward to seeing these translated into reality in 2019. Overall it was a slick upfront and a welcome break from more traditional ways that TV networks have set up their stalls.”

Barbour and Earnshaw will return to Mediaweek, as part of an expanded media buyer panel, following the Seven and Network Ten Upfronts in the next fortnight.

Top Photo:  Ashley Earnshaw, Chief Investment Officer, Amplifi ANZ

James Warburton to exit APN Outdoor after JCDecaux takeover

APN Outdoor chief executive James Warburton will leave the business following the completion of the company takeover by JCDecaux.

Warburton joined the out-of-home advertising company in January 2018. He was previously the CEO of Supercars.

The news of JCDecaux’s interest in acquiring 100% of APN Outdoor was first made public in June 2018. The shareholders approved the takeover earlier this week.

On the announcement of his departure from APN Outdoor, Warburton said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my role and time at APN Outdoor. It has been a privilege and an honour to lead the turnaround of our company during 2018.

“The takeover by JCDecaux, which represents a record valuation multiple in the Australasian outdoor industry, means that the role I was hired for will change significantly.

“I want to thank all of my colleagues at APN Outdoor for showing such passion and commitment to the plan we articulated as a management team at the start of the year, a plan that produced great results. I also want to thank the executive team and the board of directors for their support and for being great partners for management,” he said.

“APN Outdoor will soon be part of the biggest outdoor advertising company in the world, a company with a proven reputation for using its vast resources to drive innovation and creativity. It’s an exciting time for the business and the outdoor industry as a whole. I look forward to seeing APN Outdoor grow under JCDecaux’s stewardship.”

Speaking to The Australian Financial Review,

2018 Walkleys nominations revealed: News Corp, Guardian & Fairfax in the running for Scoop of the Year

Finalists in the 63rd annual Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism were announced last night at simultaneous events in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. 

Journalists around Australia submitted over 1,300 entries, which were judged by more than 100 senior industry representatives.

2018 Walkley Award finalists

PRINT/TEXT NEWS REPORT
Award Partner Media Super

• Sharri Markson, Christopher Dore and Kylar Loussikian, The Daily Telegraph, “Bundle of Joyce”
• Kate McClymont, Lorna Knowles, Tracey Spicer and Alison Branley, The Sydney Morning Herald, “Don Burke Investigation”
• Nick McKenzie, Fairfax Media, “The fall of Shanghai Sam”

PUBLIC SERVICE JOURNALISM
Award Partner Naked Communications

• Laura Banks, The Daily Telegraph and Seven News Sydney, “Little Boy Dead”
• Belinda Hawkins and Sarah Farnsworth, Australian Story, ABC TV, “The Justice Principle”
• Louise Milligan, Sashka Koloff, Mary Fallon and Lucy Carter, Four Corners, ABC TV, “I Am That Girl”

INNOVATION
Award Partner News Corp Australia

• Nathan Bazley, Luke Gibbs, Matt Holbrook and Daniel Mee, ABC, “Kokoda VR”
• Kylie Boltin, Matty Huynh, Michael Green and Ella Rubeli, Instagram & SBS Online Documentaries, “She Called Me Red”
• Guardian Australia Team, Guardian Australia, “Deaths Inside: Indigenous deaths in custody”

HEADLINE, CAPTION OR HOOK
Award Partner Qantas

• Anthony De Ceglie and Brad Clifton, The Daily Telegraph, “BUNDLE OF JOYCE” “DELAY OLE! DELAY OLE!” AND “PEKING SCHMUCK”
• Baz McAlister, The Courier Mail and The Sunday Mail, “DEBBIE DOES DALLIANCES” “THROW IN THE TOWELS…” and “BOLD McDONALD HAS NO CHARM”
• Lane Sainty, BuzzFeed and Twitter, “The same-sex marriage saga, explained via Twitter flowchart”

FEATURE WRITING LONG (OVER 4000 WORDS)
Award Partner UQ

• James Bradley, The Monthly, “Ocean’s End”
• James Button, The Monthly, “Angels or Arrogant Gods: Dutton, Immigration and the Triumph of Border Protection”
• Melissa Davey and Carly Earl, Guardian Australia, “I still feel mutilated’: victims of disgraced gynaecologist Emil Gayed speak out”

FEATURE WRITING SHORT (UNDER 4000 WORDS)
Award Partner Fairfax

• Rosemary Neill, The Weekend Australian, “Family affair: How Dorothy Hewett facilitated her daughters’ abuse”
• Leisa Scott, Qweekend, The Courier-Mail, “Holly’s Choice”
• Paige Taylor, The Weekend Australian, “My arrival at a wretched realisation”

COVERAGE OF INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS
Award Partner PwC

• Allan Clarke and Yale Macgillivray, ABC, “Unravel: Blood on the Tracks”
• Laura Murphy-Oates, The Feed, SBS Viceland, “Kids of Kalgoorlie” “Reconciling Murder: The Myall Creek massacre” and “The Frontier wars: Australia’s Forgotten Conflicts”
• Guardian Team, Guardian Australia, “Deaths Inside: Indigenous deaths in custody”

COVERAGE OF COMMUNITY OR REGIONAL AFFAIRS
Award Partner BHP

• Belinda-Jane Davis, The Maitland Mercury, “The Big Dry”
• Shannon Tonkin, Illawarra Mercury, “State of Neglect”
• Giselle Wakatama, ABC, “Home of Horrors”

CARTOON AND ARTWORK

• Kylie Boltin, Tia Kass, Michael Green and Debra Shulkes, SBS Online network, “Faces of the Rohingya”
• Jamie Brown, The Sunday Age, “Generation Game”
• Jon Kudelka, The Australian, “From The Heart”

SPORTS JOURNALISM

• Chris Barrett, The Sydney Morning Herald, “Sandpaper, lies and videotape”
• Neil Breen, Nine News, Nine Network, “One Night in New York”
• Leo Schlink, Herald Sun, “The Big Fix”

SPORT PHOTOGRAPHY
Award Partner Nikon

• Scott Barbour, Getty Images, “Sport 2017—2018”
• Brett Costello, The Daily Telegraph, “No Limits”
• Craig Golding, AAP, “Body of Work ”

RADIO/AUDIO NEWS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS
Award Partner ABC

• Jane Bardon, AM, ABC Radio National Breakfast, ABC News Online, “NT youth detention and child protection systems in crisis despite Royal Commission”
• Ange McCormack, Karla Arnall and Philippa McDonald, Triple J Hack, ABC, “‘Disturbing’ privacy breach revealed: Over 1,000 NSW Health medical records abandoned in derelict building”
• Sally Sara, ABC Radio, “Going Back”

RADIO/AUDIO FEATURE
Award Partner Griffith University

• Hagar Cohen and Team Background Briefing, Background Briefing, ABC Radio National, “Fentanyl: A national emergency”
• Miles Martignoni, David Marr and Melissa Davey, Guardian Australia, “The Reckoning”
• Kylie Stevenson, Caroline Graham and Eric George, The Australian, “Lost in Larrimah”

PRODUCTION
Award Partner Google News Initiative

• ABC News Interactive Digital Storytelling, ABC News Online, “Into The Cave”
• Four Corners Production Team, Four Corners, ABC TV, “I Am That Girl”
• Peak Hour Project Team, The Age, “How to beat Melbourne’s worsening peak-hour traffic”

SCOOP OF THE YEAR
Award Partner Nine

• Sharri Markson, Christopher Dore and Kylar Loussikian, The Daily Telegraph, “Bundle of Joyce”
• Lisa Martin, Guardian Australia and AAP, “The Au Pair Affair”
• Nick McKenzie, Fairfax Media, “Shanghai Sam, the tip-off and the tape”

COVERAGE OF A MAJOR NEWS EVENT OR ISSUE
Award Partner Lion

• Drew Ambrose, Karishma Vyas and Liz Gooch, 101 East, Al Jazeera, “Rohingya Refugee Crisis”
• Guardian & 2SER Team, Guardian Australia, “The death of David Dungay”
• Paige Taylor, Natasha Robinson, Jacquelin Magnay and Chris Merritt, ABC, The Australian and The Weekend Australian, “Captain Dragan”

NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY
Award Partner Nikon

• Lukas Coch, AAP, “Linda Burney Airborne”
• Jenny Evans, Getty Images and The Daily Telegraph, “Life Saver”
• Andrew Quilty, The New York Times, “‘It’s a Massacre’: Blast in Kabul Deepens Toll of a Long War”

FEATURE/PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAY
Award Partner Nikon

• Jenny Evans, Getty Images, “Louth Races”
• David Gray, Reuters Wider Image, “Drought From Above”
• Chris Hopkins, SBS Online Documentaries, “My Name is Yunus”

TELEVISION/VIDEO: CAMERAWORK
Award Partner Australian Super

• Matthew Davis, Foreign Correspondent, ABC, “On Top Of The World”
• Aaron Hollett, Four Corners, ABC, “City of Ghosts”
• Ginny Stein, Lateline, ABC “The Duterte Solution”

TELEVISION/VIDEO: NEWS REPORTING
Award Partner Seven

• Alexandra Blucher and Mark Willacy, ABC 7pm News, ABC TV, “Corruption concerns at one of Australia’s biggest councils”
• Chris O’Keefe, Nine News, Nine Network, “Emma Husar Quits”
• Chris Reason, Seven 6pm News, Seven Network & Social Media & News Specials, “Thai Caves Rescue”

TELEVISION/VIDEO CURRENT AFFAIRS SHORT (LESS THAN 20 MINUTES)
Award Partner SBS

• Dimity Clancey and Natalie Clancy, A Current Affair, Nine Network, “Disgraced Doctor”
• Hagar Cohen and Nikki Tugwell, 7.30, ABC TV, “Fentanyl abuse series”
• Lorna Knowles, Kate McClymont, Jo Puccini, Alison Branley and ABC and Fairfax Team, 7.30, ABC TV, “Women claim Don Burke sexually harassed them” and “More people come forward with accounts of dealing with Don Burke”

TELEVISION/VIDEO CURRENT AFFAIRS LONG (MORE THAN 20 MINUTES)
Award Partner Ten

• Stephen Long and Wayne Harley, Four Corners, ABC TV, “Digging into Adani”
• Louise Milligan, Sashka Koloff, Mary Fallon and Lucy Carter, Four Corners, ABC TV, “I Am That Girl”
• Mark Willacy and Four Corners Team, Four Corners, ABC TV, “Out of the Dark”

INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM
Award Partner Bayer

• Lisa Martin, Guardian Australia and AAP, “The Au Pair Affair”
• Royce Millar, Ben Schneiders and Chris Vedelago, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, Fairfax Media, “Catholic Inc: What the Church is really worth”
• Hedley Thomas and Slade Gibson, The Australian, “The Teacher’s Pet”

COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS, OPINION AND CRITIQUE

• Julia Baird, ABC, The Sydney Morning Herald and The New York Times, “When women speak: The importance of female voices in the era of #MeToo”
• Mark Riley, The West Australian, “Atrocities committed in God’s name mean church will never sway me,” “Live exports to Middle East based on a lie,” “‘Disappointing Malcolm Turnbull comes under fire from his own faction”
• Ranjana Srivastava, Guardian Australia, “Healthcare from the frontline”

WALKLEY DOCUMENTARY AWARD SHORTLIST

• Myanmar’s Killing Fields, Evan Williams, Patrick Wells, Eve Lucas and Georgina Davies, Dateline, SBS
• The Song Keepers, Rachel Clements, Naina Sen and Trisha Morton-Thomas, Brindle Films, Indigo Productions and NITV
• Trump/Russia, Four Corners Trump/Russia team, Four Corners, ABC TV

WALKLEY BOOK AWARD LONGLIST

• Rachael Brown, Trace: Who Killed Maria James?, Scribe Publications
• Tjanara Goreng Goreng with Julie Szego, A Long Way From No Go, Wild Dingo Press
• Peter Greste, The First Casualty, Viking
• Sarah Krasnostein, The Trauma Cleaner, Text Publishing
• John Martinkus, Lost Copy: The Endless Wars, Australian Scholarly Publishing
• Chris Masters, No Front Line: Australia’s Special Forces At War in Afghanistan, Allen & Unwin
• Rick Morton, One Hundred Years of Dirt, Melbourne University Publishing
• Helen Pitt, The House, Allen & Unwin
• Kate Wild, Waiting For Elijah, Scribe Publications

NIKON-WALKLEY PRESS PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Award Partner Nikon

• Matthew Abbott, The New York Times, Oculi, ABC and The Australian
• Dean Lewins, NBCnews.com, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, The Australian and Time
• Andrew Quilty, The New York Times, Human Rights Watch, National Geographic Magazine, Politic and The Guardian

CRA: Commercial and public broadcasters join to grow podcast industry

• Opportunities for audience growth, measurement and commercialisation to be explored

Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) will establish a Podcast Working Group, comprising all major radio players – commercial, ABC and SBS – to spearhead the development of the growing podcast industry in Australia.

Joan Warner, chief executive officer of CRA

Announcing the initiative at the Radio Alive 2018 national conference in Melbourne today, Joan Warner, chief executive officer of CRA, said the working group would be charged with developing an all-of-industry podcast strategy, including recommendations on measurement, promotion and research.

“Radio broadcasters are key to driving the growth and development of podcasting in Australia because of our expertise in the audio sector and our existing content production and marketing infrastructure.”

The Podcast Working Group will be charged with providing advice to the radio industry on four key areas: consumer promotion, audience measurement and reporting, market research, and education to assist the marketplace in understanding the commercial opportunities.

“Australian radio is already very active in the podcasting space and has invested heavily in both original and branded podcasting,” Warner said. “The Podcast Working Group will bring together specialists across audio content creation, research, measurement, marketing and sales, and will allow us to work together on the challenges and opportunities that impact the whole industry.”

The ABC’s Michael Mason, head of regional & local welcomed the initiative. “As podcasting becomes increasingly important in the radio and audio sector it is equally important that we have the means to accurately reflect its share and growing influence. This working group is an important step in establishing an all-of-industry approach to what is still an emerging platform,” Mason said. Mason this week announced he will be leaving the ABC.

Mandi Wicks, head of radio at SBS, also applauded the move. “Australia’s multicultural communities continue to embrace SBS’s language podcast services, delivering rapid growth in consumption. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the broader radio industry to provide the best experience for audiences and clients.”

Cath O’Connor, chief executive officer of Nova Entertainment, will chair the Podcast Working Group.

CRA announces world-first GfK pilot: Watch and phone apps trialled

Commercial Radio Australia and global market research firm GfK have announced they will commence a world-first super pilot in the first half of 2019 to test the measurement of radio listening using a combination of diary and electronic meters.

Joan Warner, the chief executive officer of CRA, said the initiative would be the largest-scale radio audience measurement pilot study using diary and electronic monitoring ever undertaken in the world.

“Listening is evolving and Australians are consuming radio in many ways, in many locations, across many different devices. We want to make sure we use all the tools at our disposal to get a holistic picture of radio listening.

“The current radio survey system is still the most accurate way to measure radio audiences but if we can incorporate insights from electronic metering and streaming data to enhance this measurement, then we are keen to explore that,” Warner said.

“The super pilot will allow us to investigate how data from different measurement techniques can be used together to develop a world-first hybrid methodology for radio audience measurement.”

The pilot will be conducted by GfK under the multimillion-dollar Measurement Innovation Program announced last year as part of the extension of GfK’s radio surveys partnership with the industry.

Speaking at the Radio Alive annual national radio conference, GfK managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Dr Morten Boyer, said the pilot would involve participants in all five major metropolitan markets of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Dr Morten Boyer

Participants will be required to simultaneously record their radio listening using paper or online listening diaries, wear an electronic meter in the form of a watch and install a smartphone app that picks up ambient radio.

“The pilot will allow us to better understand and quantify the differences in listening recorded across the different measurement techniques, and across various factors such as age, gender and time of listening. This rich dataset will feed into the development of a hybrid measurement model that could incorporate the strengths of the diary system with the granularity offered by metering technology.

Boyer said wearable meters and apps were not capable of capturing all radio listening due to technology limitations and variable human compliance. A mini-pilot conducted in September found that participants did not always wear the watch or have their phone in close proximity, resulting in “lost listening”. The watch and app also cannot capture listening via earphones while variations also exist in the capability of the app across different smartphones and environments.

GfK has conducted the Australian radio ratings since 2014. More than 60,000 people are surveyed each year, making it one of the largest surveys in Australia after the Census. Consumers complete the survey using paper or online diaries, with metropolitan survey results released eight times per year.

CRA: Radio moves forward with automation to simplify buying airtime

• System now used by 131 advertising agencies and 380 radio stations

The commercial radio industry announced it is moving forward to Phase 2 of an industry-wide project to automate and simplify the buying of radio.

Phase 1 has resulted in the rollout of the AudioNET automated holding software RadioMATRIX. The industry-wide system, live since October 2017 and paperless since July 2018, is now used by 131 advertising agencies and 380 radio stations.

The sophisticated software allows agencies to interact with a radio station’s traffic management system electronically and without the burden of a previously excessive paper trail. Driving take-up within the industry is the double confirmation security strategy that ensures advertisers are correctly and securely linked to agencies.

Speaking at the radio industry’s Radio Alive 2018 conference in Melbourne, Cathy O’Connor, chief executive officer of Nova Entertainment, and inaugural chair of the CRA Automation & Programmatic Committee, said:

“As an industry we are extremely pleased with progress to date and the on-time rollout of Phase 1. The board of Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has now approved extending the partnership with AudioNET to move forward with Phase 2 of the project. By this time next year, the industry will have three additional modules – Mini Holdings, Direct and Electronic Bookings. Also, by this time next year we expect to be talking to agencies about programmatic trading trials to collaboratively explore the most effective way of trading not only broadcast but digital and podcast inventory.”

AudioNET will continue to work collaboratively with radio stations, agencies and large direct clients to build on the RadioMATRIX platform and further streamline the radio buying process.

AudioNET chief executive officer Dave Cox said:

“Over the next 12 months, Phase 2 will introduce an electronic bookings module for agencies and large direct clients. At the completion of Phase 2 the industry will be ready for the development and testing with agencies, of a live e-trading platform.”

Alexa makes it easier to listen to Alan, Ross & John, Nova, KIIS or Mix

• Listening to Aussie radio now easier than ever with Amazon’s Alexa

The commercial radio industry has announced the launch of the RadioApp skill for Alexa, which makes it simple for listeners to ask Alexa to play any of nearly 300 Australian AM, FM and DAB+ digital radio stations.

“Listening to radio is one of the most popular uses for smart speakers, so the Australian radio industry has created a voice experience that works easily and seamlessly across all Alexa-enabled devices,” said Joan Warner, the chief executive officer of industry body Commercial Radio Australia, who announced the initiative at the Radio Alive national radio conference in Melbourne today.

The RadioApp skill is now available for listeners to access simply by asking Alexa to play their favourite radio station by name or frequency. For example:

• “Alexa, play 2GB”
• “Alexa, play Smooth FM”
• “Alexa, play 103.5”
• “Alexa, play Triple M”

The initiative makes it easier for consumers to find Australian stations from among tens of thousands of radio stations worldwide.

Warner added: “Consumers have high expectations of technology, and more than ever, radio is working together as an industry to ensure our local Australian content is easily available on every platform and device,” she said.

The initiative has been developed by Commercial Radio Australia and app developer All in Media (AIM). The new RadioApp skill will be promoted through a marketing campaign including on-air promotion and advertising across commercial radio stations nationally.

Telstra delivers free Hyundai A-League streaming to customers

• Telstra drops price of annual A-League pass for non-customers

Hyundai A-League 2018/19 matches are to be streamed live, fast and data-free for first time on the Telstra network with the My Football Live app and a Telstra Live Pass.

Following the announcement of the deal between Football Federation Australia and Telstra in May, the My Football Live app has already streamed select domestic and international fixtures in the lead-up to Friday night’s round 1 match between Adelaide United at home against defending premiers Sydney FC.

In a deal that extends to 2023 and encompasses all Hyundai A-League fixtures, the app will offer customers and Live Pass holders select FFA Cup, Westfield W-League, Caltex Socceroos and Westfield Matildas games, including Caltex Socceroos home friendlies and select Asian Cup and 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification games.

In addition to streaming live matches, the app provides football news, full-match replays, live radio with the listen live feature, team and player stats, and text-based match commentary.

The live and data-free streaming of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season will be available to all eligible Telstra mobile customers. Non-Telstra customers can purchase a $99.99 annual Live Pass, $16.99 monthly Live Pass or $4.99 weekly Live Pass.

As a special introductory offer for non-Telstra customers new to any existing Live Pass, the annual pass can be purchased for $79.99 until January 15, 2019.

The My Football Live App is available from the App Store and Google Play Store.

Mercado on TV: A beautiful finale, and some not-so happy endings

Australian TV dramas often don’t end well because most shows overstay their welcome and sputter to an end only when the axe falls. Finales will often include either closing down the workplace setting (The Young Doctors, All Saints), killing off a beloved character (The Box, The Sullivans) or flashbacks during a closing clips package (Cop Shop, E Street).

Chances can claim the most outrageous ending of all time after Alex (Jeremy Sims) was metaphysically transported to the Melbourne Library where he met God. Seriously, why has Nine never repeated this show? Prisoner was the most satisfying when it finally put The Freak (Maggie Kirkpatrick) behind bars, but given months of unwatchable episodes beforehand, it was also a relief to slam that door shut.

A Country Practice ended on Seven with a bushfire razing Wandin Valley, only for it to rise from the ashes on TEN for 30 more (underwhelming) episodes. Nobody remembers how it ended the second time (because two characters nobody cared about got off their horses to kiss) but now that it could be coming back for a third time, let’s hope Wandin Valley returns to the social issues that made it great the first time round. What’s in store for SeaChange now that it is coming back to Nine is unclear at this stage, but given the ABC ended the series with Laura (Sigrid Thornton) being pregnant, let’s assume she will now have an 18-year-old teenager in tow.

Rake is another show that’s always ending and returning but it didn’t leave on a high note a few weeks back after a truly absurd season set in Canberra. It reminded me of Roseanne’s final series in 1990 (before the recent reboot) when the Conners won $108 million in a lottery and the show descended into madness. Rake was equally unhinged, but still very watchable, but as for that last scene with Cleaver (Richard Roxburgh) covered in bluebottles and sipping cocktails with the most unlikely of partners… yeah, right!

Now it is time to farewell A Place To Call Home, which wraps up this Sunday after six years and 66 episodes. While this season has occasionally stretched credibility, it has been done that way for the most noble of reasons and because, ultimately, this has been a show about acceptance and change. History shows that Australia would not be as progressive as the Bligh family and their friends turned out to be, but given the push from some to return to “traditional values”, this series has been a timely reminder that the good old days were very bad for some.

This beautiful finale, cleverly set in the final days of the 1950s, ties up every loose end and for fans like me, who have been there every step of the way, get ready for tears. This is one of the greatest Australian drama finales ever, and shows what can be done if you leave voluntarily and at your peak. Wentworth fans, take note.

Mediaweek New Zealand with John Drinnan: NBC and Sky? Much of the NZ media sector in play or on the verge

Mediaweek’s John Drinnan rounds up the latest media news from New Zealand.

What’s next for MediaWorks duo?

MediaWorks announced it is ending a seven-year run for its Jono and Ben comedy show. The company said it would soon announce a venture for stars Jono Pryor and Ben Boyce to run next year. The format had slid in ratings. MediaWorks’ TV3 screened more than 200 episodes of the show. Around 25 staff have been affected. MediaWorks also canned an entertainment show Spinoff TV after it failed to gain a commercial audience in its Friday night spot.

Agitation at Sky TV AGM

Investors at the Sky TV annual general meeting this week attacked director Derek Handley, who was named in the bungled government process to appoint a chief technology officer. Prospects for Handley winning the new role had been widely criticised in media. Criticism continued at the AGM to include Handley’s business interests. Sky chairman Peter Macourt came to Handley’s defence, praising his contribution at board meetings.

Maori TV plans

The government has announced a major review of Maori broadcasting services that many believe will bring closer ties between government-owned Maori TV and Radio New Zealand. Maori development minister Nanaia Mahuta said the review would be complete early next year. Media reported the review may delay plans for a review of Maori TV news services by the funding agency Te Mangai Paho. Currently Maori TV is provided by both Maori TV and TVNZ. Sources note that a major player in Maori broadcasting – Willie Jackson – is now an MP and has a key role as head of the Maori caucus in the Labour government. He is expected to have a big say in the sector configuration.

NBC looks at Sky TV

Speculation is rife about the state of flux in the corporate media sector. Indeed much of the New Zealand media sector is in play or on the verge of it. US giant NBC is reported to have conducted due diligence on Sky TV. The New Zealand Herald suggested Sky might buy MediaWorks. Sky declined to discuss both suggestions. Sky has considered buying MediaWorks in the past, but is said to have bailed at the valuation of the Newshub news arm. A revived sky MediaWorks merger would be an alternative to a suggested merger between MediaWorks and Fairfax- owned Stuff. The future of Stuff is up in the air with NZ assets said to have low priority in the merger of Nine and Fairfax in Australia. The latest Appeal court judgment upholds lower court decisions rejecting the merger of Stuff and NZME.

Sky TV CEO John Fellet

The rush of tyre kicking coincides with the imminent retirement of Sky TV CEO John Fellet and delays appointing a replacement. A proposed merger of Sky and Vodafone was knocked back by the Commerce Commission. Indeed, the activist bent of the Commerce Commission – backed up by the courts – suggests the regulators will be cautious about any further cross-media ownership in New Zealand.

Bauer’s beautyheaven expands

Bauer New Zealand has launched a localised digital platform for beautyheaven, matching the Australian site launched 10 years ago. Bauer said the Australian site had already been delivering to 30,000 New Zealanders.

Bundling news and broadband

Newly appointed broadcasting minister Kris Faafoi has predicted news reporting will come bundled with broadband connection in the future. Faafoi this week said media firms were considering shoring up their businesses by teaming up with internet providers as an alternative to the blocked merger of NZME and Stuff. He thought there would be more selection of “dance partners” from traditional media and ISPs.

Uncapped broadband grows streaming audience

Seventy per cent of NZ households with a broadband connection are now on an uncapped data plan. In 2014, 127,000 residential broadband connections had no data cap. Today it is 1.3 million with 182,000 added in the past year. Fibre connections increased by 54% to 598,000 in the year to June 2018. One in three households are now on fibre, compared to one in eight in 2016. New Zealand analyst Laura O’Leary said the average household used 150 gigabytes of data in June. According to a Roy Morgan survey released in August, 1.9 million New Zealanders were in a household with Netflix access in June – a 36% year-on-year increase that gave the streaming giant wider reach than Sky TV.

Top Photo: Jono Pryor and Ben Boyce

Loved and loathed: Independent investigative writer Nicky Hager

Independent investigative writer Nicky Hager is both loved and loathed in New Zealand. He has broken so many big stories he has become a local journalism institution his own right.

By John Drinnan

Numerous articles and six books have delved intro issues from global security to genetic engineering. The highest profile investigation was Dirty Politics, in 2014, which uncovered manipulation of information by politician and blogs. It has reverberations in New Zealand politics to this day.

He led a joint International Consortium of Investigative Journalists / Radio New Zealand / TVNZ investigation into the significant local angle for the Panama Papers examining tax avoidance.

Dirty Politics caused a storm and targeted the National Party, making Hager a local hero of the left. Others dismissed him as an activist. But amongst journalists there is respect for past research that held up to scrutiny.

Hager’s journalism was founded during his studies in physics at Wellington’s Victoria University, alongside a “fierce” interest in politics.

Later, working for the government Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), he drifted into investigative journalism.

“I learned early on that nobody was ever going to pay me for the things I wanted to write about. So I ensured my income separate from my passions,” Hager told Mediaweek.

“It was a very New Zealand way of doing it, in my opinion. I learned building from my brother-in-law, built my own house and worked on other building projects.

“It is one of the skills I bring to journalism. The way I conceptualise the processes and the disciplines of preparing each morning to hammer in nail is the same as do I do researching a story,” Hager said.

Despite questions about the economics of journalism in the digital age, he says publishers are more interested overall than they once were in challenging stories.

This is an excerpt from the full article, which appears on Mediaweek Premium. Read the full article here or subscribe to Mediaweek Premium here.

TV Ratings Analysis: October 18

• Nine won the night primary, Seven #1 combined share

By Kruti Joshi

Seven

The channel had a primary share of 16.3% last night. However, Seven had a winning combined share of 29.4%.

The news was its most-watched program with an audience of 867,000 (6pm) and 865,000 (6.30pm).

Home and Away was its most-watched non-news show with 544,000 watching.

Other programs from Seven in the top 20 were The Chase Australia and Sunrise.

Nine

The channel had a winning primary share of 19.5%. This was helped by the news and Paramedics.

The Australian factual television series was the channel’s highest-ranking non-news program and the night’s second most-watched non-news show

RBT and Hot Seat were also among the top 20 shows.

TEN

The channel had the most-watched non-news show on TV. Gogglebox Australia had an audience of 729,000.

Viewers of The Bachelorette saw the Bachelors dressed as gladiators on a group date, undertaking various challenges to win time with Ali Oetjen. The episode was watched by 586,000. The Thursday episode of The Bachelorette last week had 631,000 watching.

ABC

News was its most-watched program with an audience of 664,000. 7.30 followed with 587,000 tuning in.

Would I Lie To You? was its most-watched non-news program with an audience of 404,000.

Week 42 TV: Thursday
THURSDAY METRO
ABCSevenNineTenSBS
ABC9.6%716.3%919.5%TEN16.1%SBS One5.6%
ABC 22.4%7TWO4.6%GO!4.0%ONE3.2%VICELAND0.8%
ABC ME0.8%7mate6.0%GEM1.7%ELEVEN1.8%Food Net1.1%
ABC NEWS1.9%7flix2.6%9Life2.0%NITV0.2%
TOTAL14.6%29.4%27.2%21.2%7.6%
THURSDAY REGIONAL
ABCSeven AffiliatesNine AffiliatesTen AffiliatesSBS
ABC9.8%715.7%916.5%WIN13.6%SBS One4.4%
ABC 23.3%7TWO7.2%GO!4.4%ONE3.2%VICELAND1.0%
ABC ME1.1%7mate7.2%GEM2.5%ELEVEN1.8%Food Net0.8%
ABC NEWS1.8%7flix2.4%9Life2.2%Sky News  on WIN0.8%NITV0.4%
TOTAL16.0%32.525.6%19.4%6.6%

 

THURSDAY METRO ALL TV
FTASTV
83.3%16.7%

 

THURSDAY FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 867,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 865,000
  3. Nine News Nine 835,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 814,000
  5. Gogglebox Ten 729,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 685,000
  7. ABC News ABC 664,000
  8. Paramedics Nine 626,000
  9. 7.30 ABC 587,000
  10. The Bachelorette Australia Ten 586,000
  11. Home And Away Seven 544,000
  12. RBT Nine 515,000
  13. The Chase Australia Seven 499,000
  14. Driving Test Nine 483,000
  15. The Project 7pm Ten 453,000
  16. Hot Seat Nine 441,000
  17. Would I Lie To You? (R) ABC 404,000
  18. Ten Eyewitness News First At Five Ten 326,000
  19. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 324,000
  20. Sunrise Seven 295,000
Demo Top Fives

16-39 Top 5

  1. Gogglebox Ten 232,000
  2. The Bachelorette Australia Ten 226,000
  3. The Project 7pm Ten 129,000
  4. Paramedics Nine 123,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 104,000

 

18-49 Top 5

  1. Gogglebox Ten 368,000
  2. The Bachelorette Australia Ten 334,000
  3. Paramedics Nine 220,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 214,000
  5. Nine News Nine 195,000

 

25-54 Top 5

  1. Gogglebox Ten 401,000
  2. The Bachelorette Australia Ten 352,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 273,000
  4. Nine News Nine 255,000
  5. Paramedics Nine 255,000
THURSDAY Multichannel
  1. M- Die Hard 2-PM 7mate 204,000
  2. Father Brown-PM 7TWO 170,000
  3. Bluey-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 153,000
  4. Murdoch Mysteries-PM 7TWO 152,000
  5. The Big Bang Theory 9GO! 152,000
  6. Peppa Pig-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 149,000
  7. Highway Patrol-PM 7mate 142,000
  8. The Big Bang Theory TX1 9GO! 140,000
  9. The Middle 9GO! 138,000
  10. Peppa Pig-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  11. The Big Bang Theory TX2 9GO! 131,000
  12. Charlie And Lola-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  13. The Middle TX1 9GO! 128,000
  14. Murdoch Mysteries-E2 PM 7TWO 127,000
  15. Neighbours ELEVEN 124,000
  16. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  17. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  18. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  19. Wanda And The Alien-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  20. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 118,000
THURSDAY Subscription TV
  1. Live: Pak V Aus 2nd Test Day 3 FOX CRICKET 98,000
  2. Love It Or List It Australia LifeStyle Channel 79,000
  3. Live: Tea Break FOX CRICKET 75,000
  4. Live: Pak V Aus 2nd Test Day 3 FOX CRICKET 72,000
  5. Live: The Big Break FOX CRICKET 66,000
  6. Live: Pak V Aus 2nd Test Day 3 FOX CRICKET 50,000
  7. Gold Rush Discovery Channel 50,000
  8. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 48,000
  9. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 47,000
  10. The Fourth Protocol FOX Classics 42,000
  11. George Clarke’s Old House New Home LifeStyle Channel 39,000
  12. Credlin Sky News Live 37,000
  13. The Simpsons FOX8 36,000
  14. PML Overtime Sky News Live 36,000
  15. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 35,000
  16. Bones TVH!TS 35,000
  17. Motorway Patrol FOX8 34,000
  18. Shimmer And Shine Nick Jr. 33,000
  19. George Clarke’s Best Of Amazing Spaces LifeStyle Channel 33,000
  20. Nella The Princess Knight Nick Jr. 33,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

Michelle Guthrie to sue over ABC dismissal

Former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has launched legal action in the Fair Work Commission against the public broadcaster following her sensational sacking halfway through her five-year term, reports The Australian’s Nicola Berkovic.

Sources have confirmed Guthrie has launched an “adverse action” claim in the Fair Work Commission and has engaged leading law firm Johnson Winter & Slattery.

Guthrie, who was appointed to her role in 2016, filed the legal action asserting breaches of her general protections under the Fair Work Act on Monday.

At the time of her sacking on September 24, Guthrie said there was “no justification” for the ABC board to terminate her employment as managing director.

“I am devastated by the board’s decision to terminate my employment despite no claim of wrongdoing on my part,” Guthrie said in a statement at the time.

[Read the original]

Former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has lodged an adverse action claim against the public broadcaster following her sacking by the board last month, write Max Mason and David Marin-Guzman in The AFR.

The Australian Financial Review has confirmed with the ABC and a representative for Guthrie the action has been filed in the Fair Work Commission, with the potential for millions of dollars in damages.

“The ABC can confirm that Guthrie has lodged a complaint in the Fair Work Commission,” an ABC spokeswoman said.

“Details of the complaint are not a matter of public record.”

[Read the original]

 

Tim Blair: 'Their ABC, our legal costs'

The dispute between the ABC and former managing director Michelle Guthrie now heads to the Fair Work Commission, writes The Daily Telegraph columnist Tim Blair.

Sources have confirmed Guthrie has launched an “adverse action” claim in the Fair Work Commission and has engaged leading law firm Johnson Winter & Slattery.

Guthrie, who was appointed to her role in 2016, filed the legal action asserting breaches of her general protections under the Fair Work Act on Monday.

It’s an “adverse action” claim rather than an “unfair dismissal” claim due to Guthrie’s near-$1 million salary.

University of Sydney emeritus professor Ron McCallum told The Australian Guthrie could not take legal action for unfair dismissal because her $900,000 salary was well above the $145,400 threshold for lodging unfair dismissal claims.

[Read the original]

I’m ready to lead ABC full-time, says fill-in boss David Anderson

ABC interim managing director David Anderson has put up his hand for the job permanently and defended the public broadcaster’s work, report Lilly Vitorovich and Stephen Brook in The Australian.

He revealed he would seek the position on the same day one of the ABC’s most senior executives, Michael Mason, indicated he was departing the national broadcaster after 34 years. Mason, director of regional and local, and previously director of radio, helped to develop Richard Fidler’s Conversations and supervised triple j’s decision to move its Hottest 100 countdown away from Australia Day. He told staff in an email that his resignation was not linked to the ABC board’s sacking of managing director Michelle Guthrie and the subsequent resignation of chairman Justin Milne.

“This decision was made in early August, well before (their departures)… and is in no way linked to those events,” Mason said.

ABC Melbourne radio host Jon Faine launched an interview with Anderson yesterday by asking if he wanted the position long-term.

[Read the original]

Illegal downloads about to be much more difficult

The government could force search engines to remove or demote results for piracy websites. It is a surprise victory for the creative industries in their battle against copyright infringement, reports The Australian’s Darren Davidson.

The government yesterday introduced legislation that would make it harder for Australians to illegally download free music, films, television programs and other content.

Following a campaign by The Australian for measures to safeguard copyright laws, the government has proposed legislation that would lengthen the list of websites that companies could seek to have blocked. Currently, copyright holders can seek an order from the Federal Court to require internet service providers to block access to infringing websites. New rules would enable complainants to seek an injunction requiring search engines such as Google to take action against sites hosting illegal content.

Google has a 95% share of the search market in Australia and more than 50% of the market for mobile device operating systems via Android. The passage of Australia’s Copyright Amendment (Services Providers) Bill 2017 exempted American technology companies from safe harbour provisions.

[Read the original]

Luke Foley accused of harassing an ABC journalist by Corrective Services Minister David Elliott

A NSW minister has used parliamentary privilege to accuse Opposition Leader Luke Foley of “harassing an ABC journalist” at a function, reports The Australian’s Andrew Clennell.

Corrective Services Minister David Elliott used a debate on the Invictus Games to respond to a comment from the Opposition Leader Luke Foley that he was a “grub” by accusing Foley of poor behaviour.

“I tell you what, I’m not a double drink driver.

“I have never taken a quarter of a million dollars from a convicted murderer and refused to give it back [a reference to a donation to the Labor Party from Ron Medich].

“I haven’t had a little bit too much to drink at a party and harassed an ABC journalist.”

[Read the original]

Senior Labor figures have been aware for months of persistent rumours that Opposition Leader Luke Foley drunkenly harassed an ABC reporter, report Anna Caldwell and Rose Brennan in The Daily Telegraph.

In a sensational personal attack under parliamentary privilege, Corrections Minister David Elliott put the allegations on the record yesterday, unleashing on Foley and telling the chamber he’d “harassed an ABC journalist” after having “a little bit too much to drink at a party”.

Various iterations of this rumour – which Elliott did not table any evidence of – have circulated state parliament for months, with Foley’s colleagues and senior Labor Party figures aware of the details and privately wondering whether the Opposition Leader would ever come unstuck over the story.

[Read the original]

Australia Post CEO: It is time to redefine marketing

When Australia Post’s chief executive Christine Holgate appointed former News Corp chief digital officer Nicole Sheffield in June to lead the customer experience overhaul across 4,500 post offices, customer contact centres and digital channels, she realised marketing itself needed a work-over, writes Paul McIntyre in The AFR.

“Marketing has never been more important but it has been too narrowly defined and the CMO brief needs to be re-imagined,” Holgate says. “When I was recruiting for Nicole Sheffield’s role and I said I wanted a strong marketing person, it was quite interesting the number of people who put forward candidates who they thought were strong. It made me think this word marketing needs redefining.”

Holgate says real marketing should be the “powerhouse and creation” of the CEO. But the view that marketing is simply marketing communications or brand marketing was problematic.

[Read the original]

Television

Netflix’s Orange is the New Black is coming to an end

The women from Litchfield are finally getting out of prison.

Netflix has confirmed season 7 of Orange Is The New Black will be the last instalment of the award-winning drama, reports Broede Carmody in The Sydney Morning Herald.

The Netflix original series was first released in 2013, snapping up 12 Emmy Award nominations in its first season alone. Critics praised the show for humanising women prisoners – especially inmates of colour and those with mental health issues – and for showcasing diverse sexualities and bodies.

Well over 90% of reviews for the first four seasons were positive, according to review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The show also propelled the career of Laverne Cox, helping her to become the first transgender actor nominated for an Emmy.

[Read the original]

Seven’s Weekend Sunrise victim of Vice writer’s viral hoax

A viral hoax by a Vice writer who sent impersonators to do his media interviews around the world has claimed a high-profile suspect in Australia: Channel Seven’s breakfast show, Weekend Sunrise, writes Robert Moran in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Oobah Butler – best known for getting his fake London restaurant to the top of Trip Advisor’s rankings in 2017 via bogus reviews from friends – struck again in the wake of the media attention to his previous stunt.

In a new video, the writer sent actors made up to look like him to do his media appearances around the world, fooling the UK’s BBC2 and even collecting a prize for “Content Creator of the Year” at a journalism awards ceremony with a heavily accented Norwegian fill-in in his place.

[Read the original]

Comedian Julia Morris finds her sweet spot with two shows and comedy tour

Julia Morris can’t quite work out what has changed to have made her career so fruitful in recent years, reports Jonathon Moran in The Daily Telegraph.

“I feel like I’ve been the same performer all along,” Morris told Confidential.

“Is there something in ladies in their extreme 40s that are allowed to have a voice and an opinion. I can’t quite work out what it is because I honestly feel like I am the same person.”

Morris, who turned 50 in April, is the host of new dating show Blind Date.

She’s also returning to host I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in January, and she and Dr Chris Brown will anchor a new format, Sunday Night Takeaway, next year.

That’s all on top of Morris’s touring commitments and corporate work as a comedian.

[Read the original]

Grant Denyer hits back at claims ‘Game Of Games’ contestants are actors

Grant Denyer has hit back at claims the contestants on Game Of Games are paid actors, writes Andrew Bucklow at news.com.au.

Only a couple of episodes of the new show have aired on Network Ten so far, and the extremely animated contestants have raised more than a few eyebrows on social media.

Denyer assured news.com.au the contestants who have been featured on the show aren’t professionals.

“They’re not actors, they’re just Aussies,” he said.

“Sometimes when you put a call out to contestants, obviously the most animated ones become more attractive or appealing to you.”

Denyer also said the contestants’ behaviour is partly down to the fact Game Of Games is a show concept that was created by Ellen DeGeneres.

[Read the original]

Making a Murderer creators say stakes are higher in season two

It might surprise you to know that the creators of Making a Murderer don’t have an opinion on whether Steven Avery is innocent or guilty. They don’t know who killed Teresa Halbach and they aren’t emotionally invested in the outcome of Avery’s case, reports Ebony Bowden in The Age.

Ahead of the release of the second season of the true crime series, which made headlines around the world in 2015, Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi have a lot of misconceptions to clear up.

Filmed over 10 years, the Netflix series focused on the life of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man who spent 18 years in prison for a sexual assault he didn’t commit before being implicated in the death of a 25-year-old photographer after his exoneration.

A fierce debate raged over Avery’s innocence or guilt and police corruption, while accusations were levelled at Ricciardi and Demos of using Holbach’s death as entertainment and the series as a vehicle to support Avery.

[Read the original]

Audio

Sam Dastyari: What PM and Premier can learn from Kyle and Jackie O

Kyle Sandilands is alive and another political leader is dead, writes Sam Dastyari in The Daily Telegraph.

This time it’s National Party Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack who is politically dead. Which really just means he has to do a mea culpa and make a comeback next year.

Reportedly, a move is on to swap out McCormack for Barnaby Joyce as soon as next week.

Considering he only got the job because Barnaby resigned in scandal, this is particularly harsh on someone who is universally seen as being “a good guy”.

McCormack might survive next week, but that doesn’t matter. His authority is now shattered.

I’m trying to explain all this to Kyle Sandilands at a Kings Cross cafe but he isn’t listening.

He can’t. People keep coming up to him to talk.

[Read the original]

Entertainment

Jessica Mauboy unveils showcase of 20 portraits of Aussie celebs

Jessica Mauboy is always pretty as a picture, but this time her beauty is on canvas.

The 29-year-old got up close and personal with a portrait of herself painted by artist David Rosetzky in Canberra yesterday as part of the National Portrait Gallery’s new 20/20 exhibition.

Mauboy was in the nation’s capital for the unveiling of the exhibition that showcases 20 portraits of 20 outstanding and unique Australians commissioned by the gallery.

Twenty prominent Aussies were matched with renowned artists for the ambitious project, which was curated to celebrate the National Portrait Gallery’s 20th year.

The singer described the process of working with Rosetzky as an emotionally “raw experience”.

[Read the original]

Tourism Australia’s new Dundee stars ‘original’ Hemsworth Luke

Step aside, Chris Hemsworth. The “original Hemsworth” Luke is the new star of the Federal Government’s multimillion dollar Dundee campaign, report AAP and Natalie Richards in The West Australian.

Dressed in Crocodile Dundee-esque khaki, the Westworld star, who is the older brother of Thor’s Chris and The Hunger GamesLiam, describes Australia as one giant unexplored movie set.

“The movie almost took the world by storm and now you can visit the set, all three million square miles of it,” he said.

“I’m no stranger to movie sets but even I haven’t been on a set like this before.”

The ad includes footage of the Great Ocean Road, Sydney Harbour, Freycinet, the Great Barrier Reef and WA beauty spots Cottesloe Beach and Ningaloo Reef.

[Read the original]

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