Rising costs and tough TV ad market eat into Nine’s profit

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 23-Aug-19

Nine Entertainment Company has posted a 2018-19 statutory net profit from continuing operations of $216.6m, which is three per cent higher than previously. Challenging conditions in the advertising market saw the Nine Network’s revenue fall by six per cent to $1.09bn; its costs rose four per cent to $876.6m, and Nine expects a similar increase in costs during 2019-20. The group’s publishing division posted full-year earnings of $82.7m, compared with $50.2m previously. Shareholders will receive a final dividend of $0.05 per share, and a full-year payout of $0.10.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, MACQUARIE MEDIA LIMITED – ASX MRN, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM

Seven set for tough result as ratings flop

Original article by Zoe Samios, Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 23 : 19-Aug-19

Tribeca Investment Partners’ Jun Bei Liu expects Seven West Media to announce weak earnings and writedowns when its 2018-19 financial results are released on 20 August. The media group had issued a profit warning in May, and the Seven Network’s audience share is currently 2.4 per cent lower year-on-year. In contrast, the Nine Network’s audience share has risen by 3.4 per cent. New Seven West CEO James Warburton has noted that the Seven Network has some "ageing formats"; data from OzTAM shows that ‘My Kitchen Rules’ and ‘House Rules’ in particular have lost significant audience share in recent years.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, TRIBECA INVESTMENT PARTNERS PTY LTD, OZTAM PTY LTD

15.5 million Australians read newspapers in print or online

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 2-Aug-19

Roy Morgan has released the latest readership results for Australian newspapers, for the 12 months to June 2019. Now 15.5 million Australians aged 14+ (75) read or access newspapers in an average seven-day period via print or online, a fall of 3.7 per cent from a year ago. The standout performer over the past year is ‘The Australian Financial Review’, which increased its total cross-platform readership by 15.8 per cent to 1,587,000; this was driven by a substantial increase in its digital audience (up by 23.5 per cent to 1,337,000). ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’ is still Australia’s most widely-read masthead, with a cross-platform audience of 4,125,000, down 3.6 per cent from a year ago. Meanwhile, ‘Good Weekend’ remains Australia’s most widely-read newspaper inserted magazine, with print readership of 916,000 (down 19.6 per cent over the last year). These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, derived from in-depth face-to-face interviews with 1,000 Australians each week and over 50,000 each year.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Waislitz chips in $30m for papers

Original article by John Stensholt
The Australian – Page: 21 : 9-Jul-19

Thorney Opportunities, the listed investment company of businessman Alex Waislitz, will finance 25 per cent of the deal to acquire the regional newspapers of Nine Entertainment Company. Waislitz’s private company, Thorney Investment Group, will also finance 25 per cent of the deal, while former Domain CEO Antony Catalano will contribute the balance. Waislitz and Catalano recently finalised the $115m deal to buy the regional assets from Nine.

CORPORATES
THORNEY OPPORTUNITIES LIMITED – ASX TOP, THORNEY INVESTMENT GROUP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA

Media leaders united in fight for public’s right to know

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 3 : 26-Jun-19

Freedom of the press and the public’s right to know will be the key thrust of a joint address to the National Press Club by three of Australia’s top media executives on 26 June. The joint appearance of News Corp Australasia chairman Michael Miller, Nine Entertainment Company CEO Hugh Marks and ABC MD David Anderson follows the recent police raids on the offices of the public broadcaster and the home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA), HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

News takes AFP raid fight to High Court

Original article by Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 25-Jun-19

The ABC and News Corp Australia will both challenge the constitutional validity of the Australian Federal Police’s recent media raids. The ABC will ask the Federal Court to rule that the AFP’s warrant was invalid on a number of grounds, including that it infringed the public broadcaster’s implied right of political communication. News Corp Australia will use similar arguments in the High Court; it will also seek confirmation from the AFP that it is no longer investigating the media group itself or journalist Annika Smethurst.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE, AUSTRALIAN SIGNALS DIRECTORATE

News Corp not interested in free-to-air TV: Miller

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 : 4-Jun-19

News Corp Australasia chairman Michael Miller says pay-TV operator Foxtel is the media group’s primary broadcasting focus in Australia, and it will not seek to acquire a free-to-air network. The merger between Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media in 2018 prompted speculation that News Corp could bid for the Seven Network. However, News Corp has since launched streaming video service Kayo Sports, which is part of Foxtel’s strategy to compete with digital rivals.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, KAYO SPORTS, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, MACQUARIE MEDIA LIMITED – ASX MRN, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, CBS CORPORATION

News Corp eyes growth but flags job cuts as skills change

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 29 : 3-Jun-19

News Corp Australasia’s executive chairman Michael Miller says its Australian newspapers will achieve a third successive year of profitable growth in 2019-20. Miller notes that News Corp will be looking to bring in people with new skills to the company, while roles that are no longer needed will be abolished. Miller says that increases in digital subscriptions are reducing the company’s reliance on advertising, while he supports the turnaround strategy being adopted by pay-TV unit Foxtel.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, REA GROUP LIMITED – ASX REA

Geoffrey Rush awarded almost $2.9 million after defamation win

Original article by Jamie McKinnell
abc.net au – Page: Online : 24-May-19

Nationwide News has been ordered to pay nearly $2.9 million in damages to Hollywood actor Geoffrey Rush. He was found to have been defamed by ‘The Daily Telegraph’ over allegations that he had behaved inappropriately towards actress Eryn Jean Norvill during a Sydney Theatre Company production of ‘King Lear’. Rush’s payment includes $850,000 for general and aggravated damages, $919,678 for future economic loss and $42,000 in interest. Rush’s barrister Sue Chrystanthou noted there had been an offer to settle for $50,000, but Nationwide News had instead chosen to mount a truth defence.

CORPORATES
SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY, NATIONWIDE NEWS PTY LTD

Nine dices up inherited events arm

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 22-May-19

Sydney’s City2Surf race is among five sports events that the Ironman Group will acquire from Nine Entertainment in a deal worth $31m. Nine will retain about seven of the events that were previously part of Fairfax Media’s events business, including the Night Noodle Markets and Good Food Month. They will be integrated into Nine’s publishing division, while a number of smaller events will be discontinued. Chinese-owned Ironman Group manages more than 230 events in 53 countries.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, IRONMAN GROUP, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, WANDA GROUP, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, THORNEY INVESTMENT GROUP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD