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Adelaide/Brisbane Hit Network stations revive old branding

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Hit Adelaide/Brisbane branding (photo credit: SCA)The Hit Network stations in Adelaide and Brisbane have been rebranded once more as SAFM and B105, respectively. 

Southern Cross Austereo content chief Dave Cameron said in a RadioToday interview that the rebrand is part of a new Hit Network plan to attract more market share. Hit96.1 Mount Gambier is also part of the SAFM umbrella.

“We are moving from being an under-40 network to a 30-to-54 demo, still a female-skewed network but broad enough for all. It’ll still be a pop-based format. This is a direct reflection of where we see advertising money and briefs come through, which is to an older, broader audience. And we feel like we have a really strong point of difference here,” he said.

The stations’ retro rebrand kicked off with the breakfast shows having some hosting updates.

SAFM breakfast hosts Rebecca Morse and Andrew Costello were joined by Anthony Lehmann. Stav, Abby, and Matt will remain in place at B105. 

Hit90.9 Gold Coast, meanwhile, will have former 97.3FM DJ Bianca Dye on the Brekkie Crew with Dan Anstey and Ben Hannant.

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Spirit rebranded as SENSpirit

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Crocmedia is refashioning the former Spirit Radio Network into a new station called SENSpirit 621 Southwest (pictured).

Scheduled to go live on 24 August, SENSpirit 621 will cover WA from Bunbury to Harvey, and as far as Dunsborough and Donnybrook.

Crocmedia bought the 621AM frequency from Spirit in May this year.

NOVA readies staff cuts

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

NOVA Entertainment is letting go of an estimated 70 employees.

NOVA CEO Cathy O’Connor announced the decision in a virtual town hall meeting, where she claimed lower ad revenues forced an internal review of all existing personnel. 

The network already shed 15 jobs late last year.

The marked personnel will be notified over the next few weeks, but placement and skills training programs are already set up for them.

Smethurst to exit News Corp Australia

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Annika Smethurst has opted to leave her responsibilities at News Corp Australia next month. 

She stated in a Tweet that she would be taking a one-year writing sabbatical and spend more time with her family in Victoria. 

Currently political editor at the Sunday Telegraph and the Herald-Sun, Smethurst attributed the move to stress arising from the Australian Federal Police’s search of her house, related to her 2018 story about government plans to expand surveillance powers. The High Court later invalided the warrant and the police backed down from filing charges.

“She’s an outstanding reporter and a much-loved member of our team. We can’t wait to see what she does next. The concerns about press freedom, however, did not ease when the High Court threw out the spurious investigation into Annika,” the Sunday Telegraph’s editorial read. 

“ABC journalist Dan Oakes still faces the threat of criminal charges over his reporting on alle

Seven introduces Spotlight investigations team

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

7NEWS has activated a new investigative journalism team called Spotlight. 

Led by Mark Llewellyn and Denham Hitchcock, the Spotlight crew is tasked to produce a new series of primetime specials, focusing on breaking news and deepdive stories.

The first Spotlight special is scheduled to air on 16 August. Spotlight: The Lindy Tapes details never-before-published audio recordings that tagged the police for plotting to implicate Lindy Chamberlain in the infamous outback disappearance of her baby daughter.

“It may be late, but the truth always finds its way out. Finally, broadcast for the first time, the police at the centre of this original investigation were hell-bent on locking up Lindy Chamberlain for life. Over a period of months our 7NEWS Spotlight team has tracked down the witnesses who have stayed silent for all these years, and uncovered shocking unseen camera tapes buried deep in the Channel Seven vault,” said Hitchcock.

Redundancies signaled at 10 News

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Network 10 has a fresh wave of redundancies in its news and operations division, reported Mumbrella. 

The move is part of a department restructure plan. Up to 25 people are set to depart with the list including presenters Mike Larkan, Georgina Lewis, Josh Holt, Rebecca Morse, Will Goodings, Kate Freebairn, Michael Schultz, Monika Kos, Kerri-Anne Kennerley, and Natarsha Belling, and national weatherman Tim Bailey.

Bailey’s exit is part of plans to introduce a national weekday weather report model, with his replacement to be announced.

Starting 14 September, the 10 studios in Sydney and Melbourne will produce the weekday 10 News First bulletins for Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, but production for the Adelaide news bulletin remains in SA. All news teams in the major cities will still be operational.   

Sandra Sully and Matt Burke will host the Sydney and Brisbane news, while Jennifer Keyte and Stephen Quartermain will handle the bulletins for Melbourne and Adel

Wales off to Tasmania

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Sean Wales is signing off from ABC Wimmera in Horsham.

He stated in a Tweet that he will be going to Tasmania, as ABC Northern Tasmania’s new Drive producer.

Wales had been with the network since January 2019 after a year working the sports beat at the Wimmera-Mail Times.

Follow Wales on Twitter @SeanWales01.  

5 Minutes with Emily Bencic

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
This week we get all the insights on professional and personal life from Emily Bencic, Editor of Appliance Retailer and Retailbiz.
What do you do and where does your work appear?
I am the editor of two B2B publications, Appliance Retailer and Retailbiz, within the Intermedia Group. Appliance Retailer is the leading source of news for Australian appliance and consumer electronics retailers including Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi with news distributed via our website, subscription-based twice-weekly newsletter and bi-monthly print magazine. Retailbiz is a primary source of information on the latest innovations in the retail industry, both here and abroad, incorporating supply chains and logistics, store designs, security systems, payment trends and digital marketing tools, with news distributed via our website and weekly subscription-based newsletter.
What did you really want to be when you were growing up?
A professional dancer. My dream was to open my own dance studio but

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