Das ist langweilig, Bauer. Gee, is this the best the Germans can do? Bauer Media this week closed Madison, the fifth such axing since the German media group took over ACP last year. This morning Bauer announced the launch of a new magazine, excitingly namedWorld of Knowledge, described as “a new magazine crammed full of amazing stuff about the world we live in”:
“From first looks at futuristic technology and exploring the secrets of the universe, to revealing nature’s breathtaking beauty and investigating the most important moments in Aussie and world history, this magazine will have something for every member of the family. Edited by Vince Jackson, every 100-page issue will be a voyage of discovery as it reveals awesome facts about the natural world, cutting edge science and the facts behind world events.
“The magazine is based on the Bauer Media Group’s titles World of Wonder in Germany, and Wonderpedia in the UK. The Australian version will have locally produced content highlighting Australia’s natural wonders, wildlife, unique history and current affairs.”
So is that a fair exchange: Madison and an unknown number of jobs gone, for what amounts to a tarted-up re-print of an existing Bauer title, with a heavy emphasis on UK and European sourced information, with a veneer of local content? It sounds like a populist imitation of National Geographic or Australian Geographic — the latter of which Bauer already produces. — Glenn Dyer
Next week will make or break networks. The next week will influence a good slab of the $2 billion and more to be spent on TV advertising over the remainder of 2013. It could very well determine the timing of the float of the Nine Network; it will squeeze the struggling Ten Network’s weak revenue flow even harder; and it could hurt the Seven Network — or boost its already strong position in the commercial TV sector. Sunday night at 6.30pm is when the ratings battle of the year starts when Nine’s The Voice goes up against Seven’s My Kitchen Rules in a head-to-head battle. And after the singing stops on Nine, the network brings us a different sort of music, the soothing strains of a thousand egos massed in a ballroom for the annual Logies.
Success for Nine will mean more ad dollars will flow to the network in coming months and advance the timeframe for the floating of the company. But equally it could see Seven stymie Nine’s move by holding viewers from watching The Voice and further solidifying its very successful MKR franchise, which some industry estimates say will generate upwards of $100 million in revenue this year for the network, directly through program advertising and what’s called the “halo effect” where ad dollars flow to the successful network’s other programs. That’s what we saw with Nine in 2012 with The Voice.
By the numbers: The Voice averaged 2.4 million in metro markets up to but not including the finals; MKR averaged 1.7 million in 2012 excluding the finals, against 1.9 million so far this year in the five metro markets (and more than 1.8 million including the finals in 2012). The Voice regularly had national audiences above the 3 million mark; MKR has had several in its 2013 season so far. The Voice and MKR go head-to-head on Sunday and Monday (The Voice then moves to Monday and Tuesday nights as Nine brings in The Great Australian Bake-Off from Sunday week at 6.30pm). MKR runs unopposed on Tuesday and Wednesday nights next week and should give Seven enough ratings oomph to go close to winning the first week and muting Nine’s ratings counter-attack. It could be very close. — Glenn Dyer
The Guardian‘s global leaks. Something big was coming from The Guardian, we were told on Twitter. Investigations editor David Leigh teased: “secrets of the offshore rich. link coming soon”. The next day it was there — the lead story, a huge cache of emails revealing that … lots of UK companies are based offshore. Shock horror. The cache was not un-useful, but it was hardly earth-shattering, and it hasn’t generated much of a reaction in the UK media. And, as it turned out, that wasn’t the most important thing:
Ah yes, of course, the actual news is of less importance than taking a cheap shot at WikiLeaks, former Guardian partner. James Ball, a former student of Leigh’s who was placed with Wikileaks, chimed in:
And just in case his new position at The Guardian wasn’t certain, he added:
Global leaks, yes. Also inadvertently leaked passwords. Of course, The Guardian offshore leaks matter far less than the Cablegate leaks because they’re all of the same kind. Cablegate cross-referenced a whole series of political and financial powers, while the latest Guardian list just fills out what we already know — the rich avoid taxes. No wonder everyone outside a narrow circle has been underwhelmed.
One other reason why the revelations were less than earth-shattering was that one UK company avoiding tax by going offshore is, erm, The Guardian which, according to Guido Fawkes, runs a Cayman Islands company called “Hazel Acquisition 1”. Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger (salary 435,000 pounds pa.) has said he’ll look into it. Let’s hope he has time before he has to make another appearance in his own newspaper, demonstrating his prowess on the piano. Just pray this newspaper never acquires missiles … — Guy Rundle
Vale Roger Ebert, you loved film too much. Three days ago Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times film critic for 46 years, announced he had decided to only write about films he chose to review. Battling cancer of the thyroid and salivary glands, Ebert had been unable to eat, talk or move his mouth for nearly six years. His jaw drooped comically towards the ground, hung in a permanent smile.
In 2012 Ebert achieved a personal record, reviewing 306 features. Fate got in the way of his plans to be more discerning about what he would watch and write about. Ebert, described by Forbes as “the most powerful pundit in America”, has passed away. He was 70.
There are already countless obituaries and thought pieces (no doubt many more to come) reflecting on the impact of his life and career by the many people inspired by him. The intention of this blog post is not to join the fold. Instead I want to briefly consider the gripe most commonly associated with Ebert’s work. Every critic has their detractors; every style of writing its vices. — Luke Buckmaster (read the full story at Cinetology)