GWAS Media Satchel

Bits and (Anna Wintour) bobs from the glossy media beat...

- Summer's spectator sport of choice: media! PBL Media has rebranded as Nine Entertainment Co, incorporating Nine Magazines, Nine Television, Nine Digital and Nine Events; David Symons muses on a PBL Media Nine Entertainment Co. float for May; the Ten Network's Billionaire's Club is under ACCC investigation;Bernard Keane examines the implications of our media ownership laws @ Crikey.

- True Blood Aussie Ryan Kwanten has taken out the GQ Man of the Year 2010 Award. The awards night was held at the Sydney Opera House Tuesday evening and attended by Vogue cover girls Elyse Taylor and Nicole Trunfio, as well as Who Sexiest People cover girl Jessica Marais. 

Though he wasn't in attendance, Kwanten's fellow Home and Away alumni Chris Hemsworth won the 'Breakthrough of the Year' award, while other winners included Ben Mendelsohn (Actor of the Year), Xavier Samuel (Man of Style), Wyatt Roy (Politician of the Year), Josh Thomas (Comedian of the Year), Mark Webber (TV Actor of the Year and Matt Preston (Critic of the Year). Jack Manning Bancroft – CEO of Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) and Young Australian of the Year 2010 – reportedly made a moving speech about breaking stereotypes of Aboriginies. 

The awards capped of a year of wins for the men's magazine. GQ editor Nick Smith, 33, who took the editorial helm of the News Magazines title in August 2008 and got his start at ACP, has talked to Mediaweek about his magazine's success:

"When I first came aboard from the mass-market side of things I could see how the men's market works. I thought, 'sex sells'. But that's not necessarily the case with our readership. Men no longer feel they need to buy a magazine with tits and arse on the front... We've started picking up a lot of younger readers who are looking for input and help on how to become a better man."

According to Smith, 30 per cent of GQ's readership is gay, which means, "If we put dumb girls on the cover, our ales drop by 30%!" He chooses covers that represent "celebrity masculinity" and ensures cover profiles are equally meaty: "We lock in a day to do photos and a few hours for the interview and we get the best writers on it."

But he's not averse to controversy. Of the 2009 cover of Ben Cousins, which garnered GQ extensive publicity and a boost in sales, Smith says, "I was positive when we put him on the cover that it would work and that we'd get a lot of high-profile coverage out of it, and we did." GQ has also launched a new-look website.

- News Magazines' CEO Sandra Hook has also spoken to Mediaweek: "We produce the most beautiful magazines in Australia and, I think, the world. Times are signalling quite a change for us in magazine land. In the recent round of readership results we had very sound increases for 16 of our 18 magazines. We are very proud of those recent results and our luxury and prestige magazines enjoyed some of the highest increases across the broader business."

- A royal bummer: Kate Middleton and Prince William's engagement has failed to spike weekly magazine sales in the US, reports the New York Post

- Fashion Copious reports on the "new magazine war" in NYC, between Deborah Needleman's WSJ and Sally Singer's T: The New York Times Style Magazine. "Both editors worked at Condé Nast. Both are running the luxury magazines of two broadsheet newspapers that are desperate for their advertising revenue. And both will release their debut issues this weekend."

- Vanity Fair January 2011 cover guy Johnny Depp tells Patti Smith that his The Tourist co-star Angelina Jolie has a "wonderfully kind of dark, perverse sense of humor" not dissimilar to Elizabeth Taylor. The anti-hero also tells Smith he delighted at making the Disney suits nervous about his interpretation of Captain Jack Sparrow and is fascinated by people who are considered completely normal.

- The (sydney) magazine/The age(melbourne) magazine has unleashed Tim Dick's cover profile of Kerry O'Brien on the web, just in time for his final The 7:30 Report on December 9 (he returns to the ABC next year to host Four Corners). The Queensland born and raised O'Brien, who irons creases in his jeans, tells Dick he'd like to loosen up the thick skin and empty the mind detritus he's developed over decades of political interviewing when he relocates to Byron Bay.

- O'Brien's replacement on The 7:30 Report? A double combo deal: Leigh Sales and Chris Uhlmann. (SMH)

- Publishers Australia has a new CEO, Claudia Sagripanti. The industry body recently aligned itself with the Magazine Publishers of Australia, which represents major publishers ACP, Pacific Magazines and News Magazines. In 2011, there will be an inaugural Australian Magazine Week, while the Magazine of the Year awards may be back on the cards. Publishers Australia recently held its Excellence Awards.

- Mischa Barton has made the January cover of Tatler

- Fashion editor Nina Garcia has made a baby boy.

- Top-selling weekly magazine That's Life has conducted a study on local communities, finding 38% of Aussies don't know their neighbours, 49% wouldn't ask to borrow a cup of sugar and 64% never thought to offer a hand with babysitting or pet minding. The magazine is using the survey findings to boost awareness of its Great Aussie Street Party concept, which aims to bring Aussies together. Oprah, eat your heart out - this is what it's all about.

- Women's Health magazine has found 75% of Australian men and women sleep with their mobile phone on in their bedroom. "With three quarters of the Australian population sleeping with their mobile phone switched on, and 42 per cent of us not caring about the health concerns – it’s a huge concern, and generates great debate; are we taking the same attitude smokers took back in the ‘50s when they refused to believe cigarettes were anything other than the cool?” says editor Felicity Harley.

- Issue #3 of the dreamy Spoonful magazine is out.

- Fashion's Night Out take three will be held on Thursday September 8, 2011.

Yours truly,
Girl With a Satchel