2012 – The year in radio

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we look back at the year in radio.

2012 begins with 2DayFM shock jock Kyle Sandilands in a continuing sponsorship shit-storm. Jenny Craig is the first to sponsor the Kyle and Jackie O breakfast show after advertisers withdrew from the program in late 2011 following Sandilands’ vitriolic on-air rant at a News.com.au journalist that included calling her a ‘fat slag’. The public response to the weight loss brand’s decision to advertise sees them cancel their ads 24 hours later.


Claire Hooper and Tim ‘Rosso’ Ross start their new partnership on Sydney’s Mix106.5 breakfast show as Jane Hall joins Chrissie Swan on Melbourne’s Mix101.1 breakfast show.


The Kyle and Jackie O Show opens the year with a ratings drop from 11.2 per cent to 10.1 per cent. Elsewhere, Adelaide’s Mix 102.3 clings to a market lead ahead of FiveAA.


In late February Southern Cross Austereo appoints Jeremy Simpson to the role of Sydney GM.


Merrick Watts’ new show, Merrick and The Highway Patrol, with Rachel Corbett and Julian Schiller, begins in the national drive slot for Triple M.


Late March and the Australian Communications and Media Authority makes a decision on Sandilands’ 2011 outburst. He is found to have breached the Commercial Radio Code of Conduct and ACMA hands down tough conditions stating 2DayFM must not broadcast material that demeans or could be perceived as demeaning women.


Sydney’s radio ad revenue for March is $17.5m, nearly 10 per cent down on March 2011. Come April, Sydney’s ad revenue will drop below Melbourne’s.


Tony Thomas, dmg’s group marketing director, appoints ‘advertising genius’ Ted Horton of Big Red to launch Smoothfm in Sydney and Melbourne. The brand replaces the Classic Rock stations in both cities.


2GB shock jock Alan Jones is cleared by ACMA for comments related to PM Julia Gillard after Jones suggested she should be put in a chaff bag and thrown out to sea. His comments, while deemed disrespectful and disparaging, did not breach guidelines, ACMA rules.


ABC Radio National presenter Alan Saunders passes away.


In June, Eardrum picks up a gold Radio Lion for its ad Eardrum Bully in Cannes.


In July Bruno Bouchet, producer of Kyle and Jackie O’s breakfast program, is sacked by 2DayFM after making distasteful comments on Twitter following a massacre at a screening of the Dark Knight.


Rdio and dmg launch a music streaming joint venture in August in what the platform claims is a global first. The service covers all of dmg’s brands.


Yumi Stynes loses her job on Mix’s afternoon show, 3pm Pick-Up, which she co-hosted with Chrissie Swan.


Derryn Hinch is fired from his 3AW drive-time show in Melbourne. Hinch had been with the Fairfax-owned talk back radio station for 10 years.


Lachlan Murdoch buys the 50 per cent of dmg Radio Australia he didn’t already own in early September, three years after he bought the first half.


The Kyle and Jackie O Show gets its best survey result ever with a 12.7 per cent share in Sydney.


2GB suspends ads on Alan Jones’ show following the presenter’s inflammatory off-air comments in early October about the death of Prime Minister Gillard’s father. Advertising is reinstated a week later.


At radio’s night of nights, the ACRAs, Jonesy and Amanda pick up the award for Best On-Air team in the metro FM category, 3AW’s Neil Mitchell wins for Best Current Affairs presenter and the Kyle and Jackie O Show wins for Best Networked Program.


Peter Brennan announces his departure as programming director from Fairfax station 2UE.


In November Mix 106.5 is reported to be looking for a new on-air partner for Tim ‘Rosso’ Ross as Claire Hooper reveals she plans to leave Mix.


A prank by Today Network’s Michael ‘MC’ Christian and Mel Greig saw the pair call the hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge for morning sickness. They impersonated Prince Chalres and The Queen and tricked a nurse into sharing details about the Princess’ condition. The initial delight of the Southern Cross Austereo-owned network at the worldwide headlines turned to horror and an angry public backlash when the nurse who put the call through was reported to have taken her life.

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The biggest viral videos of 2012

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we look back at the seven biggest viral video hits this year.

1. Dumb ways to die

The most viral Australian-made, brand-funded video of all time, this three-minute message about the dangers of messing about with trains was funded by Metro Trains and created by McCann Melbourne. It hit the front page of Reddit and generated 6m views in its first 48 hours.

2. Gangnam Style – Psy 

This is likely to be the most watched YouTube video for some years to come with more than 760m views. Intended as a commentary on the hyper-wealthy district in Seoul, most people probably know it as the horsie dance embarrassingly attempted by many of media’s finest.

3. Kony – Invisible Children

What began as an impassioned 27-minute plea to overthrow an oppressive military tyrant, notching up 80 million views in a day, ended in apathy and alleged public masturbation by the filmmaker.

4. Carlton Draught – Beer chase

This clever video outlines what would go down if cop chases happened on foot. Top notch comedy from Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, directed with a light touch by Steve Ayson and described by The Huffington Post as the best beer ad ever.

5. Bondi Hipsters – The life of the organic

Meet Dom and Adrian aka Christiaan Van Vuuren and Nick Boshier, the vowel-mangling style-setters whose biggest hit thus far is The Life Organic (“You know me, I’m on the 333”) with nearly 800,000 views to date.

6. Carly Rae Jepsen – Call me maybe

Since being uploaded in March, the song buried itself deep inside the world’s psyche delivering more than a third of a billion views.

7. A dramatic surprise on a quiet square

The launch of TV channel TNT in Belgium was anything but quiet. When a passer-by pressed the big red button in the town square, all hell broke loose.

Read more »

The Top Screen Ads of 2012

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we look at the year’s best screen ads.

1. Telstra – Land Down Under

Launched ahead of the 2012 Olympic games, DDB Sydney’s spine-tingling rendition of Men At Work’s Land Down Under was a fitting tribute to the Australian athletes competing in London.

The band’s lead singer and guitarist Colin Hay directs groups of Aussies in a rendition of the anthem, including a school choir and an AFL team inspiring a feeling of patriotism rarely found outside the sports arena.

2. Foxtel – London Olympics

A well-crafted ad that sums up the determination and sacrifice athletes put in to get Olympic gold. Created by Clemenger BBDO Sydney, a range of high-profile Australian athletes are shown training in the lead up to the games.

3. Nestle Purina – Fancy Feast

A sushi train style of dining for cats makes a refreshing change from the abundance of other pet food ads. Well executed and beautifully shot, it did well locally but went particularly well in the Japanese market. “It appears we have inadvertently latched on to the Japanese love of cats and sushi,” said Ryan Barlow, brand director at Banjo Advertising who made the spot.

4. Toyota Corolla – Feels Good Inside

A love struck cat that risks every one of its nine lives to ride in a Toyota Corolla stars in this comedic ad from Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand.  From creative directors Corey Chalmers and Guy Roberts, it’s a great example of high-calibre Kiwi work. The tagline ‘feels good inside’  says it all.

5. Tourism South Australia – Kangaroo Island

Inspired by Maurice Sendak’s popular kids’ book Where the Wild Things Are, this ad for South Australia’s Kangaroo Island is described as ‘the best work we have ever done’ by ad agency KWP! Adelaide’s managing partner, John Baker.

6. Transport Accident Commission Campaign

Historically, TAC ads are designed to shock. Gory, sickening, turn-away-from-your-TV type creative, there’s little censorship here. But there’s only so many times you can show a car smash before it loses its shock factor, so this time agency Grey Melbourne took a different angle, replaying in reverse slow motion a motorcycle crash as forensic police officers explain the contributing factors. Superb graphics and special effects make this one a stand out.

7. AAMI – Rhonda and Ketut

What began as a rather pedestrian ad for insurance company AAMI, from Oglivy Melbourne, featuring safe driver the ginger-haired Rhonda has grown into a cult-like phenomenon. With a series of ads following Rhonda as she holidays in Bali, the campaign attracted a huge audience on social media. But it’s the latest offering involving Rhonda’s holiday romance with local Ketut that has caught the public’s imagination with many viewers trying to guess what will happen in the next installment.

There’s even a Facebook page dedicated to ‘the sexual tension between Rhonda and Ketut’ which has clocked up more than 115,000 likes so far.

Read more »

2012 – The year in TV

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we look back at the year in television.


James Warburton starts at Ten 10 months after he was appointed to the role.


The summer non-ratings period comes to an end in February kicking things off with the battle of the bulge as Nine and Ten go head-to-head with their weight-loss shows. Ten’s established format, The Biggest Loser, ultimately triumphs as Nine is forced to move their offering, Excess Baggage, to digital channel GO! after abysmal ratings.


The cast of Revenge

Seven wins the first week of ratings thanks to American drama Revenge, which was heavily promoted during Seven’s Summer of Tennis. It premieres with a whopping 2.06m viewers.


Brad Lyons and Angus Ross step up at Seven to take on the roles of head of production and head of programming respectively after Tim Worner was appointed CEO of the network at the end of 2012. Worner’s role is effectively split in two with Lyons and Ross focusing on their areas of speciality.


Kevin Rudd’s resignation as foreign minister prompts Ten to bring forward the debut of its new breakfast program, Breakfast. The premiere is watched by few and Oztam figures report that no-one tuned in at all in Melbourne during a 15-minute segment of the show. In just a couple of months, Breakfast loses its executive producer, one of its hosts and has gained a small number of viewers delivering 50,000 at best, a stark comparison to Today and Sunrise which generally battle it out around 300,000 to 400,000.


In March, a trailer for a TV series called The Shire leaks online. Ten confirms the dramality will air later in the year and negative press around the show means the premiere is hotly anticipated. Although it debuts with 941,000 viewers in July, it finishes the series with barely 200,000 viewers two months later.


Foxtel’s Brian Walsh

Foxtel’s director of television Brian Walsh tells Encore in March that the subscription network has commissioned a re-imagining of 1970s series Prisoner but it will not be until November that the cast is announced and production commences in Melbourne.


In April, Nine’s singing show The Voice makes its debut smashing ratings predictions with a peak audience of 2.9m viewers. The show continues to rate well above the 2m mark throughout the series guaranteeing a return in 2013 although a new line-up of judges is expected after the departure of Keith Urban to American Idol.


Nine finds itself in the middle of a media shit-storm over its Olympics coverage as viewers turn to Facebook to vent their frustrations as coverage focuses purely on events Australians are competing in with a schedule heavy on swimming.


Ten’s post Olympic line-up falls to pieces when their new ‘shiny floor’ format Everybody Dance Now is boned after failing to draw an audience in August. It is on the air for only two weeks.


After 16 years at Ten, chief programming officer David Mott leaves the network. Rumours abound as to his replacement. Beverley McGarvey steps in as acting chief programming officer before being permanently appointed to the role in October.


Big Brother returns to Australian television after a four year hiatus. The premiere draws an audience of 1.6m. The finale in November, when winner Benjamin Norris scores $250,000, manages to draw an audience of 1.47m viewers. It is expected to return to Nine in 2013.


In July, SBS announces its first drama commission in three years. Better Man, starring Bryan Brown, Claudia Karvan and David Wenham, tells the story of convicted drug trafficker Van Nguyen, who was executed in Singapore in 2005.


In October, a disappointing set of full financial year results for Ten sees them ask for voluntary redundancies while Nine narrowly avoids receivership when an 11th-hour deal is struck to save the debt-riddled company.


Nine’s Tom Malone

Tom Malone, executive producer of Nine’s Today show, moves to Sixty Minutes. He is replaced by outgoing editor of Sydney’s The Sunday Telegraph, Neil Breen.

Shine CEO Carl Fennessy returns to Australia after a stint at the company’s US headquarters. MD Matt Campbell is laid off to make way for his return.


Seven axes Australia’s Got Talent. Nine snaps up the format which it is expected to air in 2013.


In November, Ten axes Breakfast. The final episode airs on November 30.

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Australian Financial Review gives digital content away for free in summer subscription drive

Fairfax newspaper The Australian Financial Review has taken down its paywall to entice new digital subscribers in a summer promotion sponsored by Westpac.

Readers new to the Fin will get free access to afr.com and the Fin’s iPad app from 20 December through to 31 January. The offer excludes charges for the Financial Review company ASIC search.

The ‘Summer Financial Review’ promo comes about a year after the AFR cut the price of its online subscription. Read more »

AAMI unveils Rhonda and Ketut romance remix

Rhonda and Ketut in remixed video

The stars of the Rhonda safe driver campaign by insurer AAMI have appeared in a remixed version of its hugely popular commercials starring actress Mandy McElhinney and Melbourne forklift driver Kadek Mahardika.

A minute-and-a-half music video devoted to the Balinese romance between Rhonda and Ketut was uploaded to AAMI’s YouTube channel today. It will also run on AAMI’s Facebook page, but not on television. Read more »

Alan Jones boycott tops Change.org list of ten most signed petitions

Alan Jones

Online petition group Change.org has released a list of its ten most popular petitions this year – with a campaign to pressure advertisers to boycott the radio show of shock jock Alan Jones topping the lot.

Jones’ station 2GB came under fire after the controversial host said in a speech that the PM’s father had “died of shame”. The Macquarie Radio Network station pulled ads after public pressure from groups including Change.org.

Media-related petitions made up three of the top ten. Campaigns to stop Cleo Magazine airbrushing young girls and a Facebook page of racist Aboriginal memes also featured.

The list in full: Read more »

Top screening rooms

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we look at the top screening rooms around the country.

1. Sony Theatrette, Sydney

A discreet rear door at Sony’s Sydney theatrette allows for an easy escape during terrible films, but coming out of the dark room of the Market Street venue, the city skyline is the first thing to hit you. One film reviewer suggested the backdrop of ABC’s At The Movies is based on the view.

2. Mu-Meson Archives, Sydney

The property of Sydney cult film enthusiasts Jay Katz and Ms Dead, the Mu-Meson Archives are as much a film museum as a cinema with film canisters and paraphernalia piled high. Directors often choose to view their rushes here and the theatre is available for private screenings.

3. Adelaide Studios Screening Theatre

As part of the new Adelaide Studios complex, the screening room seats 96 and is fully equipped with Dolby surround sound. It’s available for both rushes screenings and smaller guest screenings.

4. Universal Pictures, The Rocks

Adelaide Studios Screening Room

The screening room at Universal Pictures in Millers Point is located in an old sandstone building. It’s ideal for private screenings with a bar and plenty of room to mingle just outside the theatre door. It’s also used by Sydney-based advertising agencies.

5. La Premiere, Sydney

Hoyts Show Business has various screening options with La Premiere perfect for private screenings or campaign launches.

6. The Tribal Theatre, George St, Brisbane

Available for hire, The Tribal Theatre has one cinema running 35mm, with another fully digital. The cinema was previously owned by Dendy and the decor is best described as ornate. The venue is also open to the public and specialises in arthouse, cult and Australian films.

7. Cinema Nova, Melbourne

Favoured for small event screenings and film festivals including the Melbourne International Film Festival, Cinema Nova is an important part of Melbourne’s film scene.

Read more »

Snowtown producers’ new film accepted to Sundance

The producers of Australian film Snowtown have had their next film accepted into Sundance Film Festival.

Produced by Warp Films Australia’s Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw, Shopping is written and directed by New Zealand film-makers Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland. Read more »

Global Mail restructures Australian team and axes overseas journalists

global mail logoPrivately-funded online news site The Global Mail has made its overseas correspondents redundant and axed staff in its Australian office, according to reports.

story in The Australian claims a source said the company had let four local staff go on Friday.

The overseas correspondents, based in New York, the Middle East and Latin America, were informed three weeks ago their roles would cease to exist according to the Middle East correspondent Jess Hill, who announced her redundancy on Twitter today. Read more »

The biggest TV flops of 2012

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we present the year’s biggest TV flops.

1. Everybody Dance Now

Rumoured to have cost in excess of $10m, Everybody Dance Now was the biggest flop of 2012. From host Sarah Murdoch’s stiff delivery to the flawed format, the show was a write off from episode one. Ten were keen to turn it around, shortening the episodes and rejigging the show’s structure, but not even Murdoch’s pleas on Twitter to get the public to give it another shot were enough to save this disaster.

2. Bikie Wars

From the producers of Underbelly, Bikie Wars should have delivered. Instead it gave us bad wigs, bad acting and was a poor man’s Sons of Anarchy. Read more »

Screen Australia’s drama fund runs dry

SA: “It is very unfortunate that we are in this position.”

Screen Australia will not fund another drama production until mid-2013 due to a lack of funds.

The national screen agency has announced it has spent its budget for both film and TV drama production for the financial year.

The agency said: Read more »

Quit Victoria targets smokers who disguise gory health warnings on new cigarette packets

Anti-smoking group Quit Victoria has launched a campaign to challenge smokers who cover up the graphic new health warnings on cigarette packets.

The ‘No more hiding’ campaign – which centres on the website NoMoreHiding.com.au – depicts the various ways smokers try to avoid looking at the gory images on the new plain packaged cigarette packets. These tricks were sourced from comments made by smokers in social media. Read more »

Nuns turn to advertising for ‘Heavenly care’ Monastique cosmetics range

An order of nuns in Melbourne has turned to advertising for the first time.

The Carmelite Monastery in Kew has launched a campaign for Monastique, a skincare and fragrance range made by the Sisters themselves.

The campaign, created by over-fifties specialist Evergreen pro bono, carries the line ‘Heavenly Care For Your Skin’. Read more »

Mosquitos waltz to their death in ad for Gecko

A cloud of mosquitos flies in harmony into an insect-killing device to the tune of Johann Strauss’s The Blue Danube in a new campaign for Mayo Hardware’s Gecko brand.

The agency behind the campaign was Rouse Hill-based Xavier Advertising.

Mayo marketing manger John Thomas said: “We were looking for an agency that could turn around cut through creative in a hurry, off a solid strategic base. Xavier filled the bill perfectly.”

Read more »

The Rocket and Satellite Boy accepted to Berlin International Film Festival

Satellite Boy accepted to Berlin film fest

Two Australian films – The Rocket and Satellite Boy – have been selected to the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival.

Having its world premiere and nominated for the festival’s Best First Feature Award, The Rocket is written and directed by Kim Mordaunt.

It follows the story of a Lao boy thought to bring bad luck, who must lead his family through his war-torn country to the dangerous Rocket Festival. Read more »

Melbourne designer wins Kevin Rudd election T-shirt contest

A designer from Melbourne has won a competition to create the official election t-shirt for Kevin Rudd.

Melbourne-based Shane Marchewka, who designs under the pseudonym Studio 71 won the $1000-prized contest.

The winning design carries the slogan ‘It’s Our Ruddy Future” and will be worn by the former PM and his supporters during Rudd’s re-election campaign for his local seat. Read more »

Henry & Aaron create branded short film for Rottofest

Comedic duo Henry Inglis and Aaron McCann have produced a branded entertainment piece promoting West Australian comedy, music and arts festival Rottofest.

The Perth-based pair behind February’s It’s A Snap! viral for Perth’s Central Institute of Technology produced the eight and half minute online video from this year’s festival, held on Rottnest Island. Read more »

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