SBS sales boss: Australia’s media landscape is out of touch with our cultural diversity

sbs logoThe Australian media landscape is out of touch with the cultural diversity of the country, the sales boss of SBS said this morning.

Andrew Cook told journalists: “The Australian media landscape isn’t adjusting as fast as the people are. There is another side to Australia that can’t be ignored.”

His comments came off the back of the network’s new media sales strategy, ‘Diversity Works’, which the network is taking to the industry.

Cook said that with over 400 languages outside of English spoken in Australia, and 49% of Australians either born abroad, or having a parent from another country, the media landscape is not catering to the changing face of Australia.

He pointed to major morning shows and news programs that held an editorial and cultural bias, while cooking and singing competitions all resembled each other.

With a new sales strategy comes a new name for the sales team, SBS Media. The team was formerly just called SBS advertising sales.

Cook said while rival sales teams shrink, SBS’s team has grown bigger with ten new staff and will continue to as the network moves towards preparing for the soccer World Cup.

Cook moved from ACP Magazines where he was head of brand and digital sales, to SBS in March.

SBS also outlined its content strategy for 2013, with specific genre programming throughout the week – comedy on Mondays, human interest and insight on Tuesdays, food on Thursdays and drama on Saturdays as well as the return of world cinema on Sunday.

The network will also have the rights to the A-League and World Cup soccer and return with the Tour de France.

In May, the government provided an additional $158.1m funding over five years to SBS, which also survives on limited advertising revenue. It is to launch a new indigenous free-to-air television channel, NITV.

At the time, Senator Stephen Conroy, minister for broadband, communications, and the digital economy said: “In an increasingly multicultural society, the Australian Government recognises SBS as one of Australia’s most important institutions.”


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