buzzfeed media files

BuzzFeed explores The Guardian model, new rules for online gambling ads, another ABC show gets the chop, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, plus other media tidbits from the day.

BuzzFeed goes begging. Following The Guardian’s successful, continued drive for donations, BuzzFeed is trying something similar. The Wall Street Journal reports that the website — best known for its lists and quizzes, but with a substantial news-gathering arm — was adding a donate button which would allow readers to donate between $5 and $100. Those who contribute would get updates on investigations and new content, with a view to introducing a membership program with more perks.

Online gambling ads restricted. Rules restricting gambling ads during live-streamed sports have been approved by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. The rules are an update to laws that prevent gambling advertising during live sport broadcasts on TV. Under the new rules, gambling ads are not allowed to be shown during live sport streamed between 5am and 8.30pm. ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said in a statement:

This brings online services in line with television and radio broadcasting services. It creates a safe zone for children and families to watch live sport across a variety of platforms.

The new rules will be in place from September 28.

ABC axes review show. The ABC hasn’t renewed last year’s movie and TV review panel show Screen Time, TV Tonight reports. The show, hosted by Chris Taylor with a rotating panel of guests, only showed one season, with a spokesperson telling TV Tonight that there were “no plans” for a second.

The revolving door. Fairfax’s chief marketing officer Michael Laxton is leaving the business, just months before a merger proposal for the company with Nine goes through. Laxton has been with the company since 2014. Metro managing director Chris Janz told staff in an email that Laxton was leaving “to take on a new challenge”, and would finish up next month:

Over the past four years, Michael has been instrumental in growing our digital subscriber base and revenues, repositioning our hero mastheads and transforming our marketing efforts. We will miss his energetic approach and wish him the very best with his next career move.

Radio beats TV with record revenue. Commercial radio was the place to be in 2017-18 for owners like HT&E, Lachlan Murdoch, Fairfax Media and Southern Cross Media, as radio ad revenues grew much faster than commercial TV. And in a twist, Melbourne commercial radio did better than Sydney with faster growth in the financial year and the June half, with a higher amount spent.

Figures released by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) and Deloitte show that ad revenue for the full financial year was up 3.8% to a record $802 million. Commercial TV revenues are nowhere near record levels (that was back nearly a decade ago). According to Nine Entertainment’s latest annual report, metro TV ad revenues rose 2.5% in 2017-18 and 3.8% in the six months to the end of June. Metro ad revenues jumped 5.9% to $400,989 million in the five metro markets (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth). — Glenn Dyer

The biggest US city without a daily paper. From last weekend, Pittsburgh became the largest US city without a daily print newspaper, after the city’s Post-Gazette cut its production schedule from seven days a week to five. The Post-Gazette, which launched 232 years ago and is one of the oldest newspapers in the country, revealed the cut in June, saying the digital edition of the paper will continue. The owners — the rightwing Block Communications — blamed rising costs of production for the cuts in a letter to advertisers— Glenn Dyer

Media Files. The Conversation has launched a new media podcast, featuring knowledgeable hosts in the University of Melbourne’s Andrew Dodd, LaTrobe Uni’s Andrea Carson and Deakin’s Matthew Ricketson. Looking at the “big issues in the media landscape today”, the podcast will be out once a month looking at media topics including ethics. Love the name.

Media Files

Glenn Dyer’s TV Ratings. Nine’s night, thanks to The Block (1.40 million nationally), with some help from a fading True Stories With Hamish and Andy (963,000 nationally). The inmates in Canberra are back from work release, so news figures eased — except for another solid night for the 7pm ABC News (1.11 million nationally) and News Breakfast, 290,000, one of the highest this year. Ten’s Australian Survivor got 882,000 nationally; Seven’s 800 Words struggled with 767,000. Read the rest on the Crikey website.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey