Yesterday we noted the striking similarity of new Australian news satire site the Aussie Advocate to another news satire site, the Betoota Advocate. The two sites look pretty obviously similar to us, but the man behind the new site, “Steve”, assured Mumbrella that his project would be different. This prompted the Crikey bunker to consider some of the greatest and most obvious media rip-offs of competitors’ ideas. 

Real Life

The precursor to Seven’s Today Tonight was hosted by Stan Grant long before his rebranding as a Serious Journalist. Launched in 1992, Real Life was an unashamed challenger to Nine’s A Current Affair, then-hosted by Jana Wendt, in the same time slot, and featuring the same style of tabloid TV journalism. The show was canned following poor ratings at the end of 1994, to be replaced with state-based editions of Today Tonight from 1995.

Sunday Night

Seven has long been playing catch-up to Nine when it comes to the news offerings. Seventeen years after copying A Current Affair, Seven launched its answer to Nine’s long-running 60 Minutes, Sunday Night, to run in the same time slot on Sunday nights, in 2009. The shows follow the same news-magazine format as the US version of 60 Minutes, with long-form news and features.

Cleo magazine

Cleo was masterminded by industry icon Ita Buttrose and mogul Kerry Packer when his ACP Magazines lost the rights to publish Cosmopolitan in 1972. Packer started the magazine as a rival to Cosmo — and for many years it came out on top of the international brand.

The Squiz

The Squiz is a sassy Australian morning news briefing email, aimed at women. When it launched last year, we thought it had quite a few similarities to an American morning news briefing email called The Skimm, including its name, logo, format and style. So did The Skimm, which sent a cease and desist letter, prompting a redesign and some tweaks to The Squiz.

Mark Latham’s Outsiders

When former opposition leader Mark Latham was sacked from his Sky News program Outsiders last year, Mark Latham wasn’t ready to be silenced. So he launched a very low-budget, online-only version of the show without even bothering to change the name (other than adding his name to it).

9Honey/Now to Love/most ‘women’s’ websites

The content of clickbait-y lifestyle websites, aimed at women, isn’t hard to replicate. Mamamia is one of the biggest and most successful in Australia, and its conversational takes on the news/internet stories of the day is pretty easy and cheap to replicate, which is what media companies Nine (9Honey) and Bauer (Now to Love) have done.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey