Regional media to get $50 million lifeline

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 29-Jun-20

News publishers account for 92 of the 107 regional media companies that will receive a combined $50m in emergency relief funding under the federal government’s Public Interest News Gathering program. Some $20m has been allocated to TV broadcasters, publishers will receive $18m in total and radio broadcasters have been allocated $12m. The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a sharp fall in advertising revenue for the media sector.

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HT&E radio, digital and outdoor advertising business going strong in coronavirus environment

Original article by Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: Online : 8-May-20

HT&E has one of the strongest balance sheets in the Australian media sector, according to chairman Hamish McLennan. He noted at the radio, digital and outdoor advertising group’s AGM that it has no undrawn debt and it boasted net cash of $111m at the end of 2019. Meanwhile, CEO Ciaran Davis said the newly-launched Dynamic Audio targeted digital advertising system will enable HT&E’s Australian Radio Network to deliver real-time, personalised advertising to radio audiences.

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HT&E LIMITED – ASX HT1, AUSTRALIAN RADIO NETWORK PTY LTD

Media groups slash costs as advertising slump bites

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 15 : 7-Apr-20

Southern Cross Media Group CEO Grant Blackley says the fundamentals of its business remain sound, despite the impact of the pandemic on the advertising market. Southern Cross will seek to reduce costs by $40m-$45m in 2020, while the proceeds of a $169m equity raising will be used to reduce its $330.5m debt. The group has also advised that advertising revenue fell 10 per cent year-on-year in the nine months to 31 March. Rival radio stations group HT&E has also flagged cost cuts, including temporary salary reductions and reduced working hours for its staff.

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SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX SXL, HT&E LIMITED – ASX HT1

Nine to give sport, movies the chop

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 27-Feb-20

Nine Entertainment Company has reported a 2019-20 interim net profit of $101.9m, which is 41 per cent lower than previously. The result was marred by write-downs totalling $75.2m. The Nine Network’s underlying earnings fell by 36 per cent to $103.5m and revenue was six per cent lower at $531.2m, while earnings from its digital and publishing assets rose by seven per cent to $46.7m. Nine CEO Hugh Marks has flagged cost cuts of $100m at the Nine Network over the next three years.

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NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Music to replace sport talk at Nine

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 17 : 22-Jan-20

Nine Entertainment Company intends to phase out its Macquarie Sports Radio network, which has not resonated with consumers. Nine will instead relaunch former radio station brands such as 2UE in Sydney and Magic in Melbourne. The Macquarie Sports Radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane will adopt a music format, featuring songs from the 1970, 80s and 90s. Nine has advised that the stations will honour their existing sports broadcasting rights contracts.

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NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, MACQUARIE SPORTS RADIO, RADIO 2UE SYDNEY PTY LTD, MAGIC FM

2020 visions: big calls for new year

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 30 & 31 : 9-Dec-19

The CEOs of Australian media, digital media and advertising groups have shared their views on the outlook for their company in 2020 and the media sector in general. Bauer Media Australia CEO Brendon Hill says the deal to acquire Pacific Magazines will increase the publisher’s stability and allow it to increase its focus on the creation of compelling branded content, while Foxtel CEO Patrick Delaney says the pay-TV group’s large customer base will be its biggest advantage in 2020. Southern Cross Media Group CEO Grant Blackley says factors such as weak consumer sentiment and its flow-on effect on the advertising market will be the biggest challenge facing his company in 2020.

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BAUER MEDIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX SXL, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, SEEK LIMITED – ASX SEK, OOH!MEDIA LIMITED – ASX OML, CARSALES.COM LIMITED – ASX CAR, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, HT&E LIMITED – ASX HT1, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FACEBOOK AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, TWITTER AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS PTY LTD, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, REA GROUP LIMITED – ASX REA, FETCHTV PTY LTD, JC DECAUX AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Nine feels squeeze of ad market

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 17 & 24 : 13-Nov-19

Nine Entertainment Company has downgraded its underlying earnings growth forecast for 2019-20 due to challenging conditions in the advertising market. CEO Hugh Marks has told the group’s AGM that there was a 6.4 per cent decline in the metropolitan free-to-air TV advertising market in the first quarter, and the outlook has not improved in the second quarter. Meanwhile, Nine chairman Peter Costello has called for digital platforms to be subject to the same regulations as traditional media companies.

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NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, MACQUARIE MEDIA LIMITED – ASX MRN, 2GB, RADIO 4BC BRISBANE PTY LTD, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, WALT DISNEY COMPANY

Jones socks it to rivals despite the drama

Original article by Zoe Samios, Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 3 : 28-Aug-19

GfK’s latest radio ratings survey data shows that 2GB retained its title as Sydney’s leading radio station, with its overall audience share falling 0.6 per cent to 13.4 per cent. The audience share of Alan Jones in 2GB’s breakfast slot fell to 17.1 per cent in the wake of his controversial comments about New Zealand Prime Minister­ Jacinda Ardern. Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson continued to dominate Sydney’s breakfast slot on FM radio. Meanwhile, 3AW remains the highest-rating station in Melbourne in both the breakfast and morning slots.

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GFK PTY LTD, 2GB, KIIS1065, MACQUARIE MEDIA LIMITED – ASX MRN, 3AW SOUTHERN CROSS RADIO PTY LTD

Alston Determination on the agenda for Fletcher

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 30 : 15-Jul-19

The federal government is reviewing a ruling that online live streaming of TV and radio content is not subject to the Broadcasting Services Act. The ministerial determination was made in 2000 by former Communications Minister Richard Alston, and it is slated to expire on 1 October 2019. Amongst other things, scrapping the distinction between live streaming and broadcasting may impact on the cost of sports rights, given that the online and TV rights to sports such as the AFL and NRL are currently sold separately.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE, NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, PHONOGRAPHIC PERFORMANCE COMPANY OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, COMMERCIAL RADIO AUSTRALIA LIMITED, APPLE MUSIC, SPOTIFY LIMITED, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD

Jones in $4m deal to stay on radio

Original article by Nick Tabakoff
The Australian – Page: 3 : 29-May-19

Macquarie Media has signed up Alan Jones for another two years as the host of 2GB’s breakfast program, following protracted negotiations. Jones has stressed that both himself and Macquarie chairman Russell Tate are happy with the new deal, and that it does not feature any onerous conditions. Jones has not ruled out remaining at 2GB beyond his new two-year contract, but says it is too soon to make such a commitment.

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MACQUARIE MEDIA LIMITED – ASX MRN, 2GB, RADIO 4BC BRISBANE PTY LTD, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC