Archive for July, 2019

July 7th, 2019

The X Factor grand final, won by Marlisa Punzalan, sheds 1 million viewers

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Celebrations on the set of The X Factor last night.Latest:Marlisa will be home-schooledX Factor winner announced
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Has The X Factor lost its “X-factor”? 

Last night’s “winner announcement” segment drew  1 million fewer viewers than last year’s announcement – its worst winner result ratings since the talent show switched from Channel Ten to Seven.

Almost 1.43 million metropolitan viewers watched schoolgirl Marlisa Punzalan take the crown – compared to the 2.43 million who saw Dami Im win in 2013.

The remainder of the grand final episode had an audience of 1.38 million. (Commercial networks now regularly split reality show finales in two for ratings purposes, to take advantage of the peak in viewership when winners are revealed.)

Despite the slump, the two X Factor segments were Monday’s top-rating programs, giving Seven a whopping 34.5 per cent slice of the audience – well ahead of Nine’s 24.4 per cent share, ABC’s 20 per cent, Ten’s 17.7 per cent and SBS’s 3.3 per cent.

“The [X Factor] grand final was a superb production, with a worthy winner, and it was the most watched show on TV last night by a long way,” a Seven spokesman said.

Ten, meanwhile, enjoyed another Bachelor-fuelled ratings bump for The Project.

The second half of the news-based show, airing at 7pm, soared to eighth place with more than 1 million viewers – an excellent result given The Project sometimes draws an audience half that size.

But Ten’s new drama-comedy Party Tricks fared poorly, attracting just 407,000 viewers. If the network had considered this series as a possible replacement for the popular Offspring, which remains in limbo, it may be re-thinking that plan this morning.

Ten’s Family Feud was last night’s top-rating game show (592,000), beating both Seven’s Million Dollar Minute (535,000) and Nine’s Hot Seat (532,000) – though it does not compete directly with either show.

Tracy Grimshaw gained a narrow win of 5000 viewers over Alf Stewart, with Nine’s A Current Affair (907,000) beating Seven’s Home and Away (902,000). Yet neither was a match for the ongoing Bachelor saga, which helped The Project claim a rare timeslot victory.

ABC’s top show was Australian Story with 901,000 viewers, followed by Four Corners with an audience of 840,000.

The politician-free episode of Q&A was watched by 595,000.

Nine’s sitcom The Big Bang Theory remains popular: a fresh episode took third place with 1.13 million, while a repeat managed to crack the top 10, claiming seventh spot with 1.01 million.

Nine also had the most-watched news service with a metropolitan audience of 1.06 million for the first half of its one-hour bulletin.Most watched shows on Monday

1. The X Factor Winner Announcement (Seven) – 1.428 million

2. The X Factor Grand Final (Seven) – 1.378 million

3. The Big Bang Theory (Nine) – 1.127 million

4. Nine News (Nine) – 1.064 million

5. Seven News (Seven) – 1.045 million

6. Seven News/Today Tonight (Seven) – 1.029 million

7. The Big Bang Theory, rpt (Nine) – 1.012 million

8. The Project 7pm (Ten) – 1.002 million

9. Nine News 6.30pm (Nine) – 943,000

10. A Current Affair (Nine) – 907,000

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20. Big Brother (Nine) – 653,000

*Source OzTAM

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July 7th, 2019

Myer softens bonus blow for Bernie Brookes

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Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes was paid a total of $2.57 million in 2014, up from $2.54 million in 2013. Photo: Josh Robenstone Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes was paid a total of $2.57 million in 2014, up from $2.54 million in 2013. Photo: Josh Robenstone
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Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes was paid a total of $2.57 million in 2014, up from $2.54 million in 2013. Photo: Josh Robenstone

Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes was paid a total of $2.57 million in 2014, up from $2.54 million in 2013. Photo: Josh Robenstone

Myer executives have missed out on cash bonuses for the fourth consecutive year after the department store chain reported a 22.6 per cent fall in profits in 2014.

However, the Myer board has softened the blow for chief executive Bernie Brookes and finance director Mark Ashby, increasing their cash salaries by 11.1 per cent and 7.1 per cent respectively.

The board is also seeking shareholder approval to grant another $600,000 in performance rights to Mr Brookes in 2015 as part of his long term incentive and to pay termination benefits in the event of his departure.

Mr Brookes was due to step down in August after eight years at the helm. However, in February, in the midst of Myer’s failed ‘merger-of-equals’ proposal for David Jones, the board renewed Mr Brookes contract.

Under the open contract, Mr Brookes’s fixed remuneration was increased by 11.1 per cent to $2 million, the first increase since September 2011.

Mr Brookes is also eligible to receive as much as $3.6 million in short term and long term incentives, taking his total remuneration to $5.6 million, if performance hurdles are achieved.

Mr Brookes will no longer be entitled to a payment of $1.8 million if he ceases employment at Myer. However, subject to shareholder approval at the annual meeting in November, Mr Brookes will be entitled to retain some of his performance rights and may also be entitled to a pro-rated cash award.

According to Myer’s annual report, Mr Brookes received total remuneration of $2.57 million in 2014, up from $2.54 million in 2013, while Mr Ashby’s total package rose from $750,364 to $916,577.

Three senior executives – Adam Stapleton, Greg Travers and Mark Goddard – left during the year and were replaced by three new executives, strengthening the bench.

Myer’s profits have fallen each year for the last four years, from $169 million in 2010 to $98.5 million in 2014, as growth in costs outpaced sales growth.

However, chairman Paul McClintock has flagged better times ahead for 2015, when Myer expects to start realising the benefits of recent investments in new bricks and mortar stores, refurbishments, e-commerce, customer service and loyalty.

“We anticipate our performance will be assisted by a number of factors including the benefits of completed store refurbishments and openings; growth of the online business supported by an enhanced customer experience; new partnerships with Australian designer brands; continued growth in Myer Exclusive Brands, sass & bide, and other new national and international brands; as well as a new Christmas merchandise and marketing strategy,” Mr McClintock said in the annual report.

“We will continue to invest in the business in 2015 with a focus on accelerating our omni-channel strategy, investing in our people, optimising the Myer Exclusive Brands strategy, customer service innovation, and refreshing the Myer brand,” he said.

“These investments are important to deliver the operational improvements and capabilities required to underpin long-term, sustainable growth.”

Myer shares are currently trading around $1.80, their lowest level for two years, compared with $2.50 when Myer first approached David Jones with a merger proposal last October.

Investors have wound back expectations for a rebound in profits this year and analysts are forecasting a 2 per cent fall in net profit to $96.5 million, according to consensus estimates.

In 2014, Myer introduced a new “business transformation” metric for executive remuneration, which relates to the successful delivery of the company’s strategic plan. The business transformation hurdle accounts for 25 per cent of the performance rights granted to senior executives under long term incentive plans.

July 7th, 2019

X Factor Australia’s youngest winner Marlisa Punzalan plans to focus on stardom

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Marlisa Punzalan’s show-stopping Titanium, which won over The X Factor and made her the youngest ever winner. Marlisa thought Dean Ray was a sure-fire winner.
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Ratings: X Factor sheds 1 million

She is Australia’s youngest ever X Factor winner and the only girl under 25 to have won the television talent quest, but Marlisa Punzalan says she was convinced she wouldn’t win.

The 15-year-old Mercy Catholic College student beat 22-year-old Queensland crooner Dean Ray and folk-pop trio Brothers 3 in a surprise finish on Monday night.

“I’m feeling amazing, I just cannot believe it,” Punzalan told Fairfax Media.  “It hasn’t sunk in yet. I was expecting Dean to win because apparently he was the favourite, he had a lot of votes and his fan base is humungous.”

But seemingly not as “humungous” as Punzalan’s, whose victory was watched by 1.316 million nationwide, making it the most watched TV show last night.

Having now secured herself a recording contract Sony Music Australia, Punzalan will wave goodbye to her everyday life as a teenager.

While her classmates are in school today, Punzalan begins her winner’s journey and first up is a mammoth day of meeting the press.

“It’s going to be so busy. I have more than 30 interviews I think,” she said, but added that her mum Ria was with her at every stop.

As for school her days in the playground may be over, but she said she was still very focused on studying.

“I will be doing home-schooling because school is really important and I really need it in my life, but of course I will also be doing my music,” she said.

Throughout her time as a contestant on the show Punzalan spoke of former Australian Idol contestant Jessica Mauboy as her inspiration.

Performing with Mauboy on Sunday was one of the biggest highlights in the finals experience, Punzalan said. “She said to me, stay true to who you and keep your family close.”

Mauboy was among a number of Australian performers who publicly congratulated Punzalan on Twitter.Well done marlisa !!! 🙂 enjoy the ride gorgeous girl ! ❤️ — S∆MANTH∆ J∆DE (@sjademusic) October 20, 2014Marlisa Ann, I loved sharing the stage with you gorgeous young lady! May you continue to shine, stay true and… http://t上海龙凤论坛/WN1sAXXzjW — Jessica Mauboy (@jessicamauboy) October 20, 2014

July 7th, 2019

Femme Fatales producers sue actress over refusal to go nude

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Legal case: the series in question aired in May 2011, but a court battle is under way for next year.
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It’s a case which lays bare, so to speak, the grim realities of nudity negotiations in film production.

Actor Anne Greene is being sued by production company True Crime over an alleged breach of the unfortunately named “nudity rider” part of her contract for late-night TV series Femme Fatales, which aired in 2012.

Among the complaints swirling around, Greene is alleged to have refused to go topless for scenes and instead was fitted with “pasties” to cover her nipples, which is apparently a breach of network HBO’s “no pasties” policy.

The trial, which will begin on February 17 next year, will highlight the complexities of filming sex scenes, and at its core is the debate about whether actors can be legally obligated to go nude.

Producers claim Greene was contractually obliged to film nude sex scenes and are blaming her for “substantial delay and disruption” on the set, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In the latest development in the case, the production company was given permission on Monday to launch a countersuit against Greene.

Greene had previously filed a complaint in 2012 against Time Warner, HBO, Cinemax and True Crime alleging that she was bullied, sexually harassed and placed in a dangerous work environment.

Producers say there was no mistaking that the show was erotic in nature and that in Greene’s casting breakdown it said the role would “require partial nudity”, defined as “chest” and behind”.

Greene apparently objected on set to being filmed topless and was fitted with “pasties”, something which “would not be compliant with HBO’s policy prohibiting the use of ‘pasties’ in sex scenes”, according to the counterclaim. A body double and “substantial time editing” resulted in “significant unbudgeted expense”, according to the claim.

The actor claims she only went ahead with filming under a $100,000-plus threat of breach of contract.

Greene, whose previous credits include Saw 3D: The Final Chapter, has said she would not have agreed to the job if she knew it involved “soft-core porn”.

July 7th, 2019

Breakfast with the Best: the sausages sizzled, the punters roared, the horses strutted their stuff

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It might not have been the first Tuesday in November, but the second last Tuesday in October at Moonee Valley still provided plenty of excitement.
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Some of the best weight-for-age horses from around the country, and indeed the world, strutted their stuff at the famous racecourse in preparation for Friday night’s Manikato Stakes and Saturday’s Cox Plate.

Trackwork might have started at the ungodly (for this journalist at least) time of 6.30am, but that didn’t stop a healthy horde of racing enthusiasts from descending on the Valley to scrutinise some of the horses that will take part in the weekend’s Group 1 races.

The lure of a free sausage sizzle undoubtedly also played its part in boosting crowd numbers. In fact, some punters were so absorbed in consuming their greasy snags and bread that they wouldn’t have noticed if Phar Lap himself had walked by.

An eclectic mix of people rocked up- from gents who deemed tracky dacks were suitable attire to geezers who looked as if they had just left the set of the latest Ladbrokes betting commercial. Some could easily have passed as extras in the 1986 Tim Conway movie The Long Shot.

And that’s what made the morning so great – the mix of characters and the genuine trackside buzz.

The punters were treated to an absolutely glorious Melbourne morning with a cloudless sky and a picture-perfect sunrise dotted by the odd hot-air balloon.

While Cox Plate fancies Fawkner and Adelaide were conspicuously absent, an enthralled crowd studied the likes of Sacred Falls and Royal Descent as they were put through their paces.

TVN regulars Richie Callendar, Bruce Clark and Jason Richardson added to the atmosphere with their live telecast beamed directly onto the racecourse big screen, although their words were often drowned out by the very vocal onlookers.

There might be no such thing as a certainty in horseracing, but one thing you can bet on is that the Valley will be pumping when Friday night rolls around and will reach fever pitch come 5.40pm on Saturday.