In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we look at the people and companies who would rather forget about 2012.
From ratings bombs Breakfast, Everybody Dance Now, The Shire and I Will Survive to the departure of 16-year programming veteran David Mott and a round of voluntary redundancies for the network’s journalists announced in October, it hasn’t been the best year for Ten. There were moments of hope in the program schedule with dramas Puberty Blues and Underground, The Julian Assange Story well received, but it’s expected to take CEO James Warburton three to five years to resurrect the network.
2. Fairfax and News Limited
It was a tough year for the two major media companies as many established journalists took home a large white redundancy envelope. Rumours continue that the weekday editions of flagship titles The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age will cease if the move to tabloid size does not succeed, while the merging of the weekday and weekend newsrooms at News Limited is still a work in progress.
3. Tina Alldis
In one of the most commented on opinion pieces on Mumbrella this year, public relations executive Tina Alldis shared her thoughts on how redundancies at News Limited and Fairfax would make life easier for PRs. In hindsight, the day after the first round of redundancies at the media companies wasn’t the best day to do it.
4. Campaign Palace
Once one of Australia’s most respected ad agencies, The Campaign Palace folded into JWT in June this year. The agency had been in decline for some time and in the 2011 Mumbrella Creative Agency Review, it came last in a pool of 30 agencies. Recent years saw a revolving door of management departures with clients including Bonds, Target and Domino’s heading for the door.
5. Alan Jones
The 2GB shock jock Alan Jones may not think so, but in the eyes of many, he had a year to forget. His comments about the death of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s father got him into strife with the radio network’s advertisers who jumped ship under a attack from Change.org supporters. Then he was sent back to school to learn the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice with industry watchdog, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, insisting his comments were fact checked by the station’s producers before going to air.
6. The group buying sector
It’s fair to say the group buying bubble has burst with recent months seeing the leaders of the major players exiting the space including Billy Tucker, the former CEO of Cudo, who called it quits at the end of 2011. Over at Spreets, the company Yahoo!7 purchased for $40m at the start of 2011, founders Dean McEvoy and Justus Hammer moved on in June. Technology analyst firm Telsyte says the industry has stabilised after three quarters of declining revenues. Mark Britt, boss of Mi9, owner of Cudo, predicts consolidation but it’s the tarnished reputation of the sector that’s causing the most grief with Tucker recently telling the AFR: “There are too many emails, too many deals, too many service issues and too many unused vouchers.”
7. DRAFTFCB Melbourne
The doors closed at DraftFCB in September after the agency lost its biggest client, Honda, to Leo Burnett’s Melbourne arm. Several clients, including youth depression charity Headspace, were left in the lurch by the closure.