Today in Media Files, Sky News political reporter Tom Connell makes a dash for it during a live cross, and the government has announced the new head of ACMA.
‘It’s probably a miracle I wasn’t tasered or something’. The things you do for live TV. Sky’s political reporter Tom Connell was put on the spot yesterday with a request during his live cross about the security fence installed around Parliament House in Canberra. All credit to him, he was barely puffed out by the jog up the hill, requested by presenter Peter van Onselen. Connell wouldn’t go so far as to roll down the hill, though.
New ACMA chair announced. Broadcast regulator the Australian Communications and Media Authority has announced its new head. Nerida O’Loughlin, who was most recently the interim head of the Digital Transformation Agency, has been appointed as chair and full-time member of ACMA for five years. She replaces Chris Chapman, who retired in February last year. Richard Bean has been acting chair for the past 18 months.
The Economist offsets sliding ad revenues. The Economist has suffered another year of sliding ad revenues, but unlike many of its peers has been able to offset much of the pain with digital subscriptions. In its 2017 annual report, it said advertising had fallen by 18% a year over the past five years. But it’s spent heavily to boost digital subscriptions, matching that spending with a 20% increase in subscription price last year. Surprisingly, that didn’t hurt subscriber numbers — they were up 21%, which helped offset weak overall sales. Circulation revenue is now the biggest source of revenue for the paper.
The Economist said in the report that despite largely avoiding the massive downturn other news companies have suffered, “the virus eventually caught up with us, and how,” and Chairman Rupert Pennant-Rea described the last year as “painful”.
“The success of this circulation strategy has encouraged the board to increase the newspaper’s marketing budget for the next few years. Research shows that there is still a large untapped market for high-quality journalism, particularly in America. Although this is already our largest market by far, relative to our target readership it still has barely one-third of the penetration we have in Britain,” he said in the report. — Glenn Dyer
Snapchat bows to Saudi pressure. Snapchat has done the Saudi Arabian government’s bidding in removing Al Jazeera’s Arabic-language news service from its Discover service in the Arab state. The Saudi government has been leading a bloc of Arab nations that earlier this year cut ties with Qatar, whose government owns Al Jazeera. That group of countries demanded Al Jazeera be shut down as a condition of removing sanctions against Qatar, but this condition was later removed. Snap has said in response that it’s working within local Saudi Arabian laws in that country.
ABC to broadcast Sydney Invictus Games. The ABC has won the exclusive rights to broadcast the 2018 Invictus Games, to be held in Sydney. The multisport event was founded by Prince Harry, and is open to wounded, injured and ill veterans and serving defence personnel. The event will be held in Toronto this year, and next year’s Games in Sydney will be the fourth.
Glenn Dyer’s TV Ratings. Nine’s night easily as The Block dominated. It topped nationally (1.92 million), metro (1.32 million) and regionals (603,000). Ten suffered another loss as the audience mostly ignored (high cost) Australian Survivor (744,000 nationally) and flocked back for the (low cost) Have You Been Paying Attention (926,000 nationally).
It was just a flat night — 7.30 saw a very odd interview with Roger Corbett, the former Woolies CEO and Q&A later in the night ventured (as it would) into the same subject on that “survey vote”. Liberal Party hack and Tony Abbott mate Michael Sukkar was again caught up in the logical absurdity of the No case — they all have gay friends, but don’t think they should be allowed to be married. And yes, the No people all believe in equality, so long it is on their terms, rather than equality for all.
In the regions The Block was on top with 603,000 viewers, followed by Seven News with 585,000, Seven News/Today Tonight with 471,000, Home and Away was fourth with 452,000 and the 5.30pm part of The Chase was fifth with 394,000. — Read the rest on the Crikey website