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The Big Smoke acquires political satire site Friday Mash

By Briana Healey in Media News on
Political satire site Friday Mash has been acquired by Australian opinion forum The Big Smoke, and is now set to become a permanent part of its publishing ecosystem. The merger follows a recent collaboration between the two sites, which saw a dedicated Friday Mash column analysing the current US elections published in the US branch of The Big Smoke.
Established in 2008, Friday Mash was targeted to Australian audiences and has since grown to see strong support in the UK and US. It pens political cartoons and humorous articles lampooning local and international public figures such as Barack Obama, David Cameron, Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott and Clive Palmer.
The move has been part of a number of commercial developments for The Big Smoke, including a joint venture with ASX listed big data solutions company Invigor Group, and the introduction of student mentoring program TBS Next Gen, which sees school children aged 8-18 being mentored by professional writers and producing articles which appear on The Big Smoke each month.
“All three directors of Friday Mash bring such value to the table, and I look forward to overseeing both content and commercial developments with them,” commented Alexandra Tselios, founder and publisher of The Big Smoke.
“I am thrilled about this acquisition, which for me is about a long-term strategy around building an even stronger brand together as we continue to establish our mark in both Australian and US territories,” she said.
The three directors of Friday Mash will now be integrated into the The Big Smoke team, with a view towards further expansions of The Big Smoke brand in other territories, with the partnership aimed at extending the publisher’s commercial footprint.

Founder of Friday Mash, Alisdair Blackman, added that the acquisition marks a seismic change in the content landscape in Australia, and offers a blended approach to commentary and public opinion.
"Advertisers are bored with the limited innovation in publishing and the lacklustre results from their campaigns. The Big Smoke represents a singular destination for free thinkers, opinion leaders and brands to interact; all underpinned by openness and transparency,” he said.

Media enquiries can be directed to Michelle Simmonds at or on 02 9779 0999.

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News Corp Australia community papers out of print

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Sixty of News Corp Australia’s NSW, Victoria, Queensland and SA community papers are to be taken off the printing presses.

News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller said a drop in ad revenues due to the closure of commercial establishments under the COVID-19 situation forced a decision to end community title printing after 9 April 2020. 

The titles will be purely digital and their readers will be offered a 28-day free trial subscription, including access to the Herald Sun, The Daily Telegraph, The Courier-Mail and The Advertiser’s websites. 

“During this unprecedented time it is imperative that we reduce costs while continuing to keep the community informed and doing all we can to retain jobs. The print suspension will allow us to assess the shape of the market itself and future conditions, taking into account how the Coronavirus situation unfolds in the coming period,” added Miller.

5 Minutes with Julia Talevski

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
She’s a senior journalist at ARN, but also a massive soccer fan who’s juggling toddlers on the side – so watch her schedule accordingly. It’s 5 Minutes with Julia Talevski.
What do you do and where does your work appear?
I work three days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) as a senior journalist for ARN, covering almost anything related to the IT industry - particularly within the channel.
Anything else in your career you’ve been known for?
I absolutely treasure taking part in the shortlist committee for our annual ARN Innovation Awards and Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA). I also used to co-host a classic hits and country music radio station.
What did you really want to be when you were growing up?
A marine biologist or a pilot. 
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Cassidy returning to ABC

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

National broadcaster ABC has brought Barrie Cassidy back for eight episodes of interview show One Plus One.

The network revealed that Cassidy’s stint on the show, called One Plus One: Leadership, will begin on 9 April, with the discussions to focus on the various aspects of leadership. 

The show will be Cassidy’s first gig since stepping down last year as host of ABC’s Insiders.

The 9 April episode, in particular, will see Cassidy talk with Bawley Point Rural Fire Brigade Captain Charlie Magnuson. The fire chief is slated to recount his experiences leading the crew during the recent bushfires and what they had to do to survive.

Australian cricket team coach Justin Langer, APY Lands Executive Board Council chairwoman Sally Scales, and former ASIO director-general Denis Richardson are among the other scheduled guests.

Will and Mel joins FIVEaa drive sports show

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Adelaide station FIVEaa has tapped the duo of Will Goodings and Mel Usher, AKA Will and Mel, for its drive sports show, alongside current hosts Rowey, Bicks and Jarrod.

Will and Mel will start the broadcast at the top of the hour and at every 20-minute mark with the latest COVID-19 information and news, plus updates on other news of the day. 

“FIVEaa will be the only local station in Drive and we believe it is vitally important that providing this service and content is of tremendous value to our listeners and clients as well as demonstrating our ability to be versatile and proactive in these times,” said FIVEaa station manager Craig Dunn.

Radio Sport gets off the air

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

NZME has closed down sports station Radio Sport.

NZME management stated that all Radio Sport programming would be replaced by syndicated Newstalk ZB content. It’s official Facebook and Twitter channels were also deleted. 

The decision was reportedly made in the absence of sporting activities due to the COVID-19 situation. It also ended Radio Sport’s long journey that started in the early 1990s as RNZ’s Sports Roundup. 

However, staff were informed there were no guarantees of Radio Sport coming back if and when the pandemic subsided. Instead, they were asked to discuss alternate roles with the NZME hierarchy. 

New Zealand media figures were left disappointed by the apparent end of Radio Sport. 

“To all of our listeners. Thanks for your incredible support over the decades. It’s been a wild ride, so glad to have been a part of it. All we can control is the controllable, that being our reaction to events. Look after yourselves. Stay sa

AWOL undergoes rebrand

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Junkee Media has adjusted its travel publication AWOL into a new support title with the tagline “Activities WithOut Leaving.”

Designed to help Australians cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, the repurposed AWOL offers information on various activities to keep people occupied at home and help them ease the stress of the situation. Channel director of travel Cassandra Vozzo will lead the effort. Kassia Byrnes has joined as editor.

The content will also include other material from parent firm Ooh! Media.

“We’ll show you how to upskill, like learning how to use Photoshop or how to speak a new language. The new AWOL will also guide you through ways to make your day better, including the best ways to exercise at home, how to master cooking, or even how women can reset their skin now that they’re wearing less makeup,” said Junkee Media publisher Tim Duggan.

“When we all emerge from our homes, the world will be unmistakably different. What we all care

Triple M sport shows stay on air

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

The Triple M Network’s AFL and NRL-oriented shows are still set for broadcast despite the COVID-19 situation.

On the AFL front, the company stated that for Victoria and SA, the Triple M Footy Saturday Rub with James Brayshaw, Brian Taylor, Wayne Carey, Damian Barrett, and Billy Brownless is on air 12 noon to 2PM AEST. It will be followed at 2PM to 5PM by replays of classic Grand Finals; tomorrow’s episode, in particular, will cover the 1989 Geelong/Hawthorn showdown.   

NSW and Queensland’s NRL audience will have the Saturday Sin Bin with Paul Kent, Gorden Tallis, Anthony Maroon, and James Hooper, from 12 noon to 3PM AEST. The 3PM-5PM block will have replays of the NRL’s most heated games, starting with Game III of last year’s State of Origin. 

Weekday show Rush Hour is still on at 5:30Pm-7PM in Adelaide and 6PM-7PM in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.  Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth, will still have their edition

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