Triple M scores NRL rights as 2UE launches new weekend sports show

John Gibbs and Paul Vautin to host 2UE weekend sports program after the station missed out on NRL rights

Sydney’s Triple M will have access to four games of NRL over the season’s weekends and go up against established game broadcasters 2GB and ABC radio’s Grandstand.

Sydney Fairfax Media radio station 2UE will ditch its Saturday and Sunday afternoon general talk back program hosted by Tim Webster in favour of a four hour sports program, hosted by station veteran John Gibbs and Channel Nine Footy Show host Paul Vautin.

The station had been bidding for rights to four NRL weekend games, but lost out to Southern Cross Austereo.

“We wanted the NRL games – that was plan A – but we had a plan B in place and we’ll be presenting a very exciting and topical sports show with two experts helming it,” 2UE general manager Chris Parker told Mumbrella.

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Myer to hold media review

Myer: reviewing media relationships

Retail giant Myer is preparing for a review of its media agency relationships, Mumbrella can reveal.

Ikon Communications, Myer’s incumbent media partner, will continue to handle the business until the end of the year, when its contract ends. Read more »

Three boutique agencies to merge into one with plans to expand

Three small agencies based in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra are joining forces to become one with plans to expand their staffs from roughly 25 to 50 or 60 in each office, and expand into the New Zealand market.

Sydney’s Brave, Canberra’s Zoo and Melbourne’s Boiler Room will merge under the one title of Zoo in an announcement to be made in six weeks by Pawl Cubbin, a shareholder in all three.

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Production sector opposes local content quotas with cartoon campaign

A cartoon of the ghost of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo interviewing Senator Stephen Conroy is part of a new campaign from the production sector to oppose changes to the local content sub-quotas that governs Australian TV stations.

The cartoon is drawn by Crikey’s First Dog on the Moon and sees Skippy grilling Conroy over the amount of American television on Australian screens and what the production sector calls Conroy’s ‘sweeping regressive changes to local content sub-quotas’ to the TV network’s multi-channels. Read more »

New boss Breen refuses to count his chickens as Today sees strongest start to ratings in eight years

The battle for breakfast television has tightened dramatically with Nine’s Today moving past Seven’s Sunrise this week with its best early ratings season launch in eight years.

The development comes as something of a surprise after Today struggled with its ratings in the summer break while the show’s regular hosts were on holiday. By contrast, Sunrise kept a roster of its hosts on air.

This week – the second of the official ratings year – Today has won four consecutive days – and will ultimately win the week, according to preliminary OzTAM ratings.

Yesterday Today again won with 374,000 capital city viewers to Sunrise’s 362,000.

Sunrise has led the ratings race since 2004.

New executive producer Neil Breen, who joined Today after previously editing Sydney’s The Sunday Telegraph, told Mumbrella Read more »

Fairfax unveils first look at compact Age and SMH

Fairfax Media has today unveiled the details of its long-awaited move to a compact format for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age which will see changes for both readers and advertisers in the newspapers and online.

How the new SMH will look

The move comes in ten days time, ending more than a-century-and-a-half as broadsheets for Fairfax’s two flagships.

The sports section will move to the back of the newspaper and the font size will increase by 10 per cent to make them more readable.

There will also be two new sections. Pulse – covering health, science and personal wellbeing – will appear in The Age on Mondays and the Herald on Thursdays. The Shortlist will replace the Metro section and appear on Fridays.

The homepages of the SMH and Age will also be redesigned ahead of the move as the company prepares to move to a metered paywall that will begin with next month for international readers and later this year for domestic readers.
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Printing company Geon goes into voluntary administration

Printing company Geon Group has gone into voluntary administration.

The Australian and New Zealand printing firm is now in the hands of advisory firm McGrath Nicol. Read more »

Directory for freelance creatives launches in Melbourne

A directory that hooks up freelance creatives with ad agencies and clients has launched in Melbourne.

Called The Brownbill Effect, freelancers pay to be listed on the site and clients can browse for talent at no cost.

Commercial photographer Sally Brownbill is behind the project, which officially launched at an event in Melbourne last night. Read more »

Three contest Cricket World Cup ad pitch

Three agencies are in contention to take on advertising duties for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, Mumbrella understands.

Ogilvy, GPY&R Melbourne – which handles Cricket Australia’s advertising – and CHE Proximity are understood to be in the running, although the ICC has not confirmed which agencies are involved.

The agencies made presentations to the cricketing body last week. A result is expected next month. Read more »

STW Group buys stake in digital agency Fusion

Marketing giant STW Group has expanded its capabilities in digital by taking a minority stake in Adelaide-based digital agency Fusion.

Fusion has 28 staff, offices in Adelaide and Sydney and a client list that includes Santos, People’s Choice Credit Union and ARUP.

The deal also sees STW Group form an alliance with Sydney brand agency Shift, with some Fusion staff working out of Shift’s offices in Redfern.

Fusion was founded by John Chaplin and Damien Mair in 1995, and was one of the first digital agencies to open in Australia. Read more »

Former BMF managing partner Chris Kay joins 72 and Sunny

Chris Kay, the former managing partner at BMF, has landed a role at one of the world’s top creative agencies, LA-based 72 and Sunny.

Kay left the Enero creative agency in October last year, citing family reasons.

Kay, whose role at 72 and Sunny is unclear, said, in a statement: Read more »

Fairfax delays paywall, dismisses threat from The Guardian

By Charis Palmer of The Conversation

Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood has dismissed the threat from the impending Australian launch of UK media group The Guardian, telling shareholders it is not a strong competitive brand in Australia.

“The Guardian is an extremely good brand in some suburbs of London,” Mr Hywood said, after Fairfax Media announced a first-half net profit of $386.3 million. Read more »

Two million consumers targeted in free product sample campaign backed by David Droga

pinch meA new company backed by three of Australia’s richest families will offer free product samples each day in return for consumers providing opinions on them via an online platform.

Kerry Stokes’ Australian Capital Equity and the Smorgon and Liberman families, Seek founder Andrew Bassat and creative agency Droga5 – owned by New York-based David Droga – have established the Pinchme company, which will gather the market research without using a middle man. Read more »

The Works starts on Jim Beam’s international account in joint venture with US and German agencies

Creative agency to Jim Beam has won the international account of the drinks giant in a joint venture with other territorial incumbents.

The Works won the international account pitching with Germany’s Jung von Matt and StrawberryFrog of the US to beat out competition from international networks. Read more »

Australian public has ‘lost faith’ in Ten, claims former sales chief Mike Morrison

The Australian public has lost faith in Ten, and now faces its main competition from secondary channels while Seven and Nine enjoy a duopoly over the market, the man who was briefly the company’s chief sales officer has claimed.

Mike Morrison – whose short tenure lasted from January to June last year after he struggled to win over media agency executives – is now MD of ad agency Innocean. This week Ten said Morrison’s claims were incorrect and naive.

Morrison told Mumbrella: “There has been a shift in the TV industry in Australia, and now we see Seven and Nine with a duopoly position in the market.

“There came a point where the Australian public no longer trusted Ten, and Ten is now competing with subscription TV channels. Read more »

Ipsos hires new MD to run readership survey

Simon Wake

Research company Ipsos Australia has announced the appointment of former Fairfax Media executive Simon Wake as managing director of its MediaCT division.

The move will see Wake take responsibility for the launch of the new newspaper readership metric that is being developed in conjunction with The Readership Works and which will provide readership numbers across various platforms.

Wake has a strong background in market research, audience measurement, marketing and publishing. For the last nine years he has been employed by Fairfax in various research roles and most recently as marketing and circulation director at the Financial Review Group.

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NewsLocal pulls back on local presence and trials roving reporters

News Limited’s NSW suburban newspaper division NewsLocal has closed more than half a dozen suburban newspaper offices across Sydney in the last 18 months.

The money-saving move comes at the same time that the company also experiments with roving reporters out in the community who do not work from a newsroom base. Read more »

Nine chief Gyngell kept a detail of the Packer story out of Howzat

Edwards: One stipulation

Nine’s boss David Gyngell asked the creators of Kerry Packer drama Howzat to leave an element of the story out of the show, producer John Edwards has revealed.

Edwards, one of Australia’s most successful television producers, was behind Paper Giants for the ABC and Howzat, which both focused on the life of Packer, who owned the Nine Network and ACP Magazines. He revealed Gyngell’s request – which he said was a fair one – in a video interview with Encore.

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