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.

CORPORATES

Regional TV on verge of market failure

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 12 : 12-Jun-20

The federal government may relax the local content requirements for regional TV broadcasters’ multi-channels due to their consistent failure to meet the hours-based quotas. The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development & Communications notes that 12 regional or remote TV stations failed to comply with the Australian content quotas in 2017. This is primarily because regional broadcasters often chose not to carry some of the secondary channels of their metropolitan affiliates.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

Nine budget cuts slam shut 60 Minutes chequebook

Original article by Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 19 : 1-Jun-20

Nine Entertainment Company is believed to have ceased the controversial practice of paid interviews, as part of broader budget cuts at its flagship ’60 Minutes’ current affairs program. Former ’60 Minutes’ reporter Ray Martin says he hated so-called "chequebook journalism" when he was at the ABC, but he came to accept that it was necessary after joining the Nine Network. Nine is also believed to have reduced the staff and travel budget of ’60 Minutes’.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

Jobs go as Ten closes 10 Daily website

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 15 : 19-May-20

The Ten Network has advised that its 10 Daily news and entertainment website will be discontinued as part of the network’s integration with US parent company ViacomCBS. About 20 jobs are expected to be lost due to the closure of 10 Daily, although it is uncertain as to whether the broader integration strategy will result in more job cuts at Ten. ViacomCBS Australia’s chief content officer Beverley McGarvey has stressed the need for Ten to be "platform-agnostic".

CORPORATES
TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, VIACOMCBS INCORPORATED

Ten readies its fourth channel

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 29 : 11-May-20

The Ten Network is expected to launch a fourth broadcast channel in the second half of 2020, focusing on general entertainment for Ten’s target audience of people under the age of 50. Ten’s chief sales officer Rod Prosser says the new channel will feature content from a range of sources, including parent company ViacomCBS. Prosser is confident that the advertising market will soon begin to recover from the coronavirus-induced downturn.

CORPORATES
TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, VIACOMCBS INCORPORATED

TV networks brace for potential 30 per cent fall in ad revenues despite rising viewership

Original article by Rod Myer
The New Daily – Page: Online : 21-Apr-20

The coronavirus lockdown has prompted a spike in ratings for TV news bulletins as Australians seek information on the pandemic. Think TV CEO Kim Portrate says there has been strong growth in audiences for traditional linear TV, broadcast video-on-demand and subscription video-on-demand services. However, TV networks’ revenue is being hit by a sharp fall in bookings from advertisers; Jane Ratcliffe from Standard Media Index estimates that ad revenue could fall by 25-30 per cent in April.

CORPORATES
THINK TV, SMI MEDIA INCORPORATED

Clock ticking on debt-laden Seven as lenders make plans

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich, Perry Williams, Bridget Carter
The Australian – Page: 19 : 13-Apr-20

Seven West Media’s $541m debt equates to 2.4 times its underlying earnings. CEO James Warburton is seeking to reduce costs in response to the coronavirus-induced downturn in the advertising market, but there are concerns that Seven’s lenders may opt to on-sell their debt; any buyers of this debt could potentially call in their loans or gain control of Seven via a debt-for-equity swap. Seven’s outlook has been complicated by uncertainty regarding the future of its $40m deal to sell Pacific Magazines to Bauer Media.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PACIFIC MAGAZINES PTY LTD, BAUER MEDIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Seven takes Bauer to court over mags deal

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 15 : 9-Apr-20

Seven West Media has stated that Bauer Media’s contract to buy Pacific Magazines is unconditional following recent regulatory approval for the $40m deal. Seven has launched court action to ensure that Bauer completes the deal. There has been speculation that Germany-based Bauer could withdraw from the Australian market following its decision to shut down its New Zealand arm. Seven in turn has flagged the possibility of further asset sales to reduce its $541m debt.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PACIFIC MAGAZINES PTY LTD, BAUER MEDIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, BAUER MEDIA KG

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.

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

Regional outlets plead for government help

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 6-Apr-20

Free TV Australia CEO Bridget Fair has warned that the coronavirus pandemic is likely to reduce revenue across the media sector by 40-50 per cent. Regional broadcasters are holding talks with the federal government regarding financial assistance; they are believed to have cited factors such as the complexity of their operations, their large broadcast areas and the fact that metropolitan affiliates receive a significant proportion of their revenue. The print media is also struggling, with publication of some regional and community newspapers having been suspended due to the pandemic.

CORPORATES
FREE TV AUSTRALIA LIMITED, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX SXL, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, BAUER MEDIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, PACIFIC MAGAZINES PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS