Mediaweek Roundup: Craig McLachlan, The Voice judges, ABC + more

the voice

• The Australian, Grant Broadcasters, and Seven’s cricket deal

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‘We put our trust in the law’: McLachlan not guilty on all charges

Actor Craig McLachlan says he will have “a lot to say” in the new year but for now will enjoy Christmas after he was found not guilty of all charges that he indecently assaulted four women during a Melbourne stage show, reports The Age’s Adam Cooper.

His lead barrister, Stuart Littlemore, QC, smiled as the acquittals were read out.

McLachlan, 55, sat with partner Vanessa Scammell in a Sydney hotel as they watched a video link of magistrate Belinda Wallington delivering her verdicts from Melbourne Magistrates Court.

Several hours later, McLachlan, with Scammell at his side, emerged from the hotel and said they would speak in detail early next year.

“As you can imagine we have a lot to say,” he said. “We have maintained a dignified and respectful silence for the past almost three years and put our trust in the law. And here we are today.”

McLachlan praised Littlemore for his “exceptional captaincy, extraordinary energy and humanity”, and thanked the rest of his legal team.

“But for now, Christmas is upon us. Go and enjoy Christmas with your families. We’re going to this year. Stay safe, be kind to each other, we’ll see you in the new year,” he said.

[Read more]

Rocky horror ride over for vindicated star Craig McLachlan

Craig McLachlan will resume a $6.5m defamation case against Nine newspapers and the ABC over “false allegations of sexual misconduct”, as Australia’s commercial TV channels prepare to do battle for the actor’s first post-acquittal interview, reports The Australian’s Kieran Gair.

The Gold Logie-winning actor, famous for his roles in Home and Away and Neighbours, was acquitted on Tuesday of seven counts of indecent assault and six counts of common law assault against four women during a 2014 production of The Rocky Horror Show.

With partner Vanessa Scammell at his side, a visibly relieved McLachlan all but confirmed on Tuesday what many had long suspected – a forthcoming tell-all interview with the highest bidder.

Industry sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said McLachlan could net as much as $200,000 for his first television interview next year.

Meanwhile, McLachlan’s lawyer, Mark O’Brien, confirmed the actor would also be seeking aggravated damages for “false allegations” made by his former Rocky Horror co-star Christie Whelan Browne and published in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and by the ABC.

[Read more]

The Australian: Generation next upholds grand journalism tradition

Defying gloomy predictions for the future of journalism, The Australian is again upholding the great newspaper tradition of hiring cadets — five young men and women brimming with enthusiasm and eager to make their mark at the national daily, reports the paper’s Stephen Rice.

Rhiannon Down and Nicholas Jensen join The Australian from Victoria, Ellie Dudley and Jess Malcolm from NSW and Joseph Lam from Queensland, all chosen from a national search that prompted hundreds of applications.

The Australian’s editor-in-chief Christopher Dore said it was always exciting to welcome new young journalists to The Australian, having started at the newspaper himself as a cadet. “There are so many of us here in senior positions, including editor Michelle Gunn, who started out as young reporters on The Australian and have forged impressive careers in journalism.”

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Ita Buttrose needs to show us respect by changing ‘smug and boring’ ABC

Janet Albrechtsen, a former ABC board member and columnist with The Australian, writes about the broadcaster and its chair:

The now infamous Four Corners program that [Ita] watched before it aired is a symbol of the worsening bias and declining standards of ABC journalism. Aunty’s open invitation to Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd to diss on the Morrison government and the Murdoch press whenever they want has turned the ABC into a joke.

I want to believe that ABC veteran Barrie Cassidy was smoking weed when he said it would be “dangerous” for the ABC to recruit more conservatives to panel shows to satisfy cultural diversity. But the man was stone cold serious. Conservatives’ voices are not just ignored, they are treated as morally repugnant. Just as many sections of the left have hardened their views against intellectual diversity, so has the ABC. This public and flagrant wrecking of democratic traditions should not be funded by taxpayers.

[Read more]


David Wiltshire to lead Grant Broadcaster’s River 94.9 Ipswich

Grant Broadcasters has appointed David Wiltshire (pictured) as general manager at River 94.9 Ipswich.

Wiltshire will bring more than three decades of media experience in senior positions at ARN, News Corp and SCA across both content and sales. He also brings a wealth of regional knowledge to the Grant Broadcasters family and says he is looking forward to joining the successful team at River 94.9.

“I’m excited to be given the opportunity to lead the passionate, professional team at River 94.9 and looking forward to continuing the great work they have achieved for clients, listeners and Ipswich’s growing market. I love the station’s commitment to local content, local sales and the community. The talented staff are really showing the way by being the leaders in local content for the region.”

State manager for Queensland and NT Matt Chapman said he was very impressed with Wiltshire’s background and knowledge of the industry: “I am really looking forward to working with David in 2021 and no doubt he will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to this exceptional team.”

Wiltshire will start the role early in 2021.


The Voice: New 2021 judges Keith Urban, Jessica Mauboy, Rita Ora

Boy George, Delta Goodrem and Kelly Rowland are out while Guy Sebastian is back in the fold.

After months of speculation as to who will be on the new look coaching panel as Channel 7 revamps the reality singing show, News Corp’s Jonathon Moran reports the network has brought in three new judges to freshen the format.

Joining Sebastian is British pop superstar Rita Ora, as well as hitmakers Jessica Mauboy and Keith Urban, who was a judge on the first season back in 2011.

“The stars have finally aligned again,” Urban said. “Ten years after spinning in the first season, and just before getting back on stage around the world, I’ve been invited back alongside a very cool and musically diverse panel.”

Anywhere singer Ora has been a coach on The Voice in the UK, as well as The X Factor there.

“I love The Voice and I absolutely adore Australia so this is a match made in heaven,” she said.

Seven boss James Warburton has promised the 2021 season will be “all killer, no filler” with a shortened, punchier season.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Termination, damages on the cards: Seven’s push for better cricket deal

Seven Network’s legal push to secure a better broadcast deal with Cricket Australia will be heard in the Federal Court in mid-March, and could lead to damages or the termination of its $450m deal, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

After a brief first case management hearing by Justice Paul Anastassiou on Tuesday morning, involving Seven and Cricket Australia lawyers, David Thomas SC and Jefferey Gleeson QC, respectively, the judge set down March 15 for pre discovery action to start.

Seven’s move to start proceedings under order 15A in the Federal Court is a first step but could – if successful – lead to the seeking of damages or even potentially result in the termination of Seven’s $450m deal.

[Read more]

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