The Nine Network and Fairfax Media say advertiser interest in their new, jointly produced business news TV show has been so great they have fielded a few angry calls from advertisers denied the opportunity to book airtime. Financial Review Sunday, pools the reporting and production resources of Fairfax’s Australian Financial Review and the Nine Network in a half-hour program. Financial Review Group chief executive Brett Clegg said the program would be the “Sunday edition” of the Monday-to-Saturday AFR and would complete the paper’s status as a 24/7, multi-platform brand. The program will be profitable from the start, with more than 30 weeks of advertising booked in.

Financial Review Group commercial director Simon Smith said the advertising schedule for the new show had sold out within two days and the two sponsors, Westpac Bank and accounting industry body CPA Australia, had paid a premium to block other advertisers out. Nine and Fairfax’s arrangement is a partnership, sharing production costs and revenues, rather than a brand licensing exercise. Elements from the Financial Review, such as the Rear Window business gossip column, will feature in the program, presented by AFR journalist Joe Aston. The creation of Financial Review Sunday comes after Ten Network and News Limited combined resources this year to produce the Sunday morning program, Meet the Press. With the merger this concentrates the media even more and ownership continues to dwindle.

Will ownership of the media soon be a monopoly in Australia?


by Craig Waldron


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