Roundup: Kyle & Jackie O team with Ray Hadley, Jono Coleman, Thomas Markle + more

Sydney Radio Ratings

• Facebook, Twitter, Snap, See-Saw Films, ABC, Kate, Tim & Joel, Bert Newton, music bubbles, HBO Max, and Peacock

Business of Media

Revamp Australia urges Facebook to revamp algorithms that direct users to COVID misinformation

Reset Australia wants Facebook to revamp algorithms that direct users to anti-vax site, Covid misinformation and conspiratorial groups, reports News Corp’s Chris Griffith.

The Australian this week reported research by internet trust tool NewsGuard that anti-vax groups were not only thriving on the platform.

Facebook algorithms were actively pushing users to other Covid misinformation groups such as anti-mask groups and 5G conspiratorial groups. Users were directed to this content after seeking health information.

Reset Australia’s executive director Chris Cooper says the Facebook recommendations are the result of unchecked algorithms.

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Twitter tops 206M users, soars past revenue expectations

Twitter on Thursday reported that it now had more than 206 million monetizable daily active users, and revealed its Q2 earnings, which easily topped Wall Street expectations, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Alex Weprin.

Twitter reported revenue of $1.19 billion for the quarter (up 74 percent year over year), beating the $1.07 billion expectation, and earnings per share of $0.20, versus an expectation of $0.07. The company had GAAP operating income of $30 million, compared to a year earlier when it lost $274 million amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Twitter stock was up more than 6 percent in after-hours trading after the earnings report was released.

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Snap reaches 293M users, revenue sharply increases

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, on Thursday reported a 116 percent increase in revenue in its second quarter and a 23 percent increase in daily active users, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s J. Clara Chan.

The company made $982 million in Q2 and has reached 293 million daily active users, according to a report released ahead of Snap’s earnings call. The company also decreased its net loss to $152 million, compared to $326 million in the previous year.

“Our second quarter results reflect the broad-based strength of our business, as we grew both revenue and daily active users at the highest rates we have achieved in the past four years,” Evan Spiegel, Snap’s CEO, said in a statement. “We are pleased by the progress our team is making with the development of our augmented reality platform, and we are energized by the many opportunities to grow our community and business around the world.”

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See-Saw Films announce new Creative Director

See-Saw Films’ joint Managing Directors Emile Sherman and Iain Canning have announced the appointment of Helen Gregory to the newly created position of creative director.

Gregory will be responsible for leading See-Saw’s team of executive producers across the UK and Australia. Based in the London office, Gregory reports directly to Canning and Sherman and will work closely alongside Simon Gillis in his role as COO.

Canning and Sherman said: “See-Saw is at an exciting juncture, with many returning television series, limited series and films now in production, working across the theatrical, streamer and broadcaster landscape. We need a creative director to join us for this next stage of our journey, and are so fortunate to have enticed Helen. She’s a truly exceptional creative leader with deep expertise as an executive producer, commissioner and managing director, but most importantly we share a vision for distinctive, original storytelling.”

Gregory said: I am so thrilled to be joining See-Saw whose brilliantly authored work I have long enjoyed and admired. See-Saw’s growth over the last year is so exciting and impressive and I’m looking forward to working with Iain and Emile and their fantastic team to further build upon that success to deliver ambitious, inventive and relevant stories for international TV and film audiences.”

Gregory joins See-Saw from her company Trapeze Entertainment and was most recently an executive producer on Pulse and Sister Pictures’ season two of Gangs of London for Sky/AMC. At Trapeze Gregory set development projects up with the BBC, Netflix, Sky and with Jude Law’s production company Riff Raff Entertainment, which she will continue to build at See-Saw.

Before founding Trapeze Entertainment, Gregory was Managing Director of Twelve Town (formerly Pinewood Television) and executive produced The Child In Time, an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel for BBC One starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

News Brands

ABC concedes that its staffing numbers are rising, despite budget ‘cuts’

The ABC has admitted its employee numbers have risen in the past 12 months despite its repeated claims that staffing levels at the national broadcaster are on a downward trajectory, report News Corp’s James Madden and Sophie Elsworth.

ABC managing director David Anderson told a Senate hearing last month he didn’t believe the organisation’s headcount had ­increased over the past year but fresh figures provided by the taxpayer-funded broadcaster show this is inaccurate.

The staffing details, which were included in the ABC’s responses to questions it took on notice during the Senate hearing in June, reveal the organisation had 120 more employees on its books in the 2020-21 financial year compared with 2019-20 – with an extra 25 ongoing employees and another 95 (non-ongoing) temporary staff on the payroll.

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Kyle and Jackie O join forces with Ray Hadley to aid vaccine rollout

Ray Hadley has made a surprise truce with his radio rivals Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O, with the trio coming together to encourage people to get vaccinated, reports News Corp’s Karlie Rutherford.

Hadley had the FM duo onto his AM morning program to play Sandilands’ catchy new vaccine jingle Get Vaxxed Baby.

In the song, Sandilands raps to the beat of Vanilla Ice’s iconic 1990 one hit wonder, Ice Ice Baby.

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Private funeral service for Jono Coleman in Sydney

Jono Coleman was expected to be laid to rest in a small funeral service with just immediate family yesterday, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

The much loved radio and television broadcaster will be remembered by wife Margot Fitzpatrick and their kids Oscar and Emily.

Ongoing Covid restrictions have meant the service has been kept small with just 10 people allowed to attend.

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Nova’s Kate, Tim & Joel bring their drive show to locked down Australians

Nova’s Kate, Tim & Joel are bringing the drive show to Saturday morning in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide on 24 July with Kate, Tim & Joel – Live in Lockdown.

Dressed in their best trackies, Kate, Tim & Joel will bring their banter, chemistry and cheekiness to Saturday morning, live from the Nova studios.

The trio will come together this weekend to entertain their listeners caught in lockdown states and will be chatting to Nova’s breakfast announcers also in lockdown – Chrissie Swan, Wippa and Liam Stapleton – as well as other friends of the show.

Kate, Tim & Joel – Live in Lockdown can be heard from 10am to 12pm on Nova 96.9 Sydney and Nova 100 Melbourne, 9.30am to 11.30am on Nova 919 in Adelaide, across the country listeners can stream the show via the Nova Player app and listeners can check out the podcast after the show.

It’s a big change from the last special. The drive show team had been dreaming of travelling ever since the opening of the travel bubble with New Zealand hit the news, and in May they got to pack their bags for their first overseas trip as a team.


Thomas Markle; Meghan Markle’s half brother joins Big Brother Australia

Days after The Daily Telegraph revealed Caitlyn Jenner was in hotel quarantine ahead of shooting the celebrity version of the Australian reality show, the estranged half brother of the Duchess of Sussex, is understood to have flown to Sydney, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

Markle Jr, 55, is one of a number of high profile international names tipped to compete in the reality show that is scheduled to begin shooting at Sydney Olympic Park over the coming weeks.

Broadcaster Channel 7 is yet to make any announcements regarding casting although host Sonia Kruger recently confirmed there would be “some extraordinary internationals who will be taking part”.

A further 10 or so Australian celebrities are expected to be included in the cast.

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Bert Newton ‘still smiling’ on long, hard road to recovery

Bert Newton will spend his 83rd birthday in hospital on Friday as he continues to recover from a leg amputation, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

Newton has suffered complications since undergoing the operation in May after a toe infection four months prior put his condition in a serious category and he was told he could die if drastic action was not taken.

In fresh pictures surrounded by wife Patti and his grandchildren, the TV legend looked in good spirits with his right leg bandaged.

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Australian promoters want sports-style music bubbles for Guns N’ Roses, KISS and Splendour acts

American rock legends Guns N’ Roses would be the first big international act to trial an Australian tour bubble if the music industry pulls off their painstaking behind-the-scenes negotiations with federal and state governments, reports News Corp’s Kathy McCabe.

The live music industry is also depending on high vaccination rates among music fans to convince governments to allow the same size crowds at concerts as have been present at sports events.

While they are hesitant to adopt vaccine passports or negative Covid-19 test results as conditions of entry for fear of alienating ticket-buying fans, promoters are determined to kickstart the industry’s recovery with big gigs in late spring.

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‘A classic Australian character’: John ‘Strop’ Cornell dies at 80

John Cornell – the man behind comedian Paul Hogan’s success and Kerry Packer’s confidante during World Series Cricket – has died at the age of 80 following a 20-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, reports The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Andrew Webster.

He was surrounded by his family, including his wife and television personality Delvene Delaney and children, at his home at Byron Bay.

“A classic Australian character, John Cornell made the lives he touched much richer, not only through donations, but also through his generosity of spirit, humour, humility and honour,” his family said in a statement. “A true egalitarian, John sought equity and equality, and fought for a fair go.”

His passing is being considered a blessing from those close to him, including former Nine boss David Gyngell, who considered him a father figure.

His career took off when, in 1971 while working for Mike Willesee on A Current Affair, he met Paul Hogan, who had been interviewed on the program.

He became Hogan’s manager and later appeared on the hugely successful The Paul Hogan Show as the character Strop, the name he was often referred to by many during his life.

Together, in 1986, they produced Crocodile Dundee, which is still the most profitable Australian movie of all time having earned $47 million. Its sequel raked in $24 million.

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HBO Max and HBO add 2.8M U.S. subscribers in second quarter, AT&T boosts 2021 global sub target

HBO and HBO Max reached 47.0 million U.S. subscribers as of the end of the second quarter, up 2.8 million from 44.2 million as of the end of the first quarter, “driven by HBO Max retail subscriber growth,” WarnerMedia parent and telecom giant AT&T said Thursday morning, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Georg Szalai.

That was also up by 10.7 million from the year-ago quarter and exceeded analysts’ expectations for the latest period.

Global HBO and HBO Max subscribers rose from around 63.9 million as of the end of March to about 67.5 million as of the end of June, with international users growing by 760,000 in the latest period. HBO Max launched in Latin America towards the end of the second quarter and also brought to market its advertising-supported service tier that month.

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Peacock’s subscriber bet: Can streamer stick landing at Tokyo Olympics?

One of the most anticipated events at the Tokyo Olympics, at least for U.S. viewers, will be women’s gymnastics, with Simone Biles looking to add to her 2016 haul of four gold medals. But if Americans want to watch Biles live, they will have to do so on NBCUniversal streamer Peacock, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Alex Weprin.

NBC is betting that Biles and the rest of the U.S. gymnastics team, as well as the track and field teams and the men’s basketball team, can help Peacock rack up subscribers as athletes keep racking up medals, making live coverage of those events exclusive to the streaming service. “The plan was [for the Olympics] to be part of our launch platform a year ago. That obviously didn’t work out,” Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBCUniversal television and streaming, tells The Hollywood Reporter, adding that the company now looks at the delay “as an advantage.”

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