Mediaweek Roundup: Footy Show is back, ABC moving?, Rupert Murdoch + more

• Whistleblower scheme, WIN TV, Nine, Piers Morgan , Adam Hill, and Todd Sampson

Business of Media

Acting PM: ABC could move to regional town to save money

Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack has suggested the ABC’s Sydney headquarters could be moved to a regional town in order to save taxpayer money while improving the public broadcaster’s coverage, reports The Australian’s Olivia Caisley.

McCormack’s comments were sparked by a question regarding WIN News’s decision to close four of its regional newsrooms across Australia – a move McCormack said was a blow for community journalism.

“As a former journalist and a former newspaper editor I’m saddened,” he said in Victoria, before describing the cuts as disappointing.

Asked whether the ABC could step up its regional efforts, he said the national broadcaster spent a lot of money renting its Sydney headquarters and quipped there were probably cheaper alternative shop fronts in towns such as Traralgon in regional Victoria.

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CNN Business reports: Rupert Murdoch recovering after pneumonia

Rupert Murdoch, the 88-year-old billionaire media mogul, is recovering after a bout with pneumonia, two people familiar with the matter reports CNN Business.

One of the people, a person close to Murdoch’s family, said the pneumonia occurred nearly three weeks ago. The second person and a third person familiar with the matter added that he had gone to a Los Angeles hospital. It is unclear whether he was admitted.

People who spoke to CNN Business all stressed that Murdoch was now doing well and that he was even making business calls to Fox News personnel.

Murdoch is also expected to call into a London board meeting on Friday, the person close to the family said.

Murdoch’s health is of keen interest to investors of both News Corporation and Fox Corporation. Even at 88 years old, he is widely seen as the driving force behind them, and his health issue comes at a precarious time, with Fox Corporation entering a new phase after the sale to Disney.

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News Brands

Attorney-General flags plan to protect sources behind public service leaks

Attorney-General Christian Porter plans to overhaul the protection of whistleblowers in the public service and has endorsed criticism from the judiciary that the scheme is “technical, obtuse and intractable”, reports Chris Merritt and Nicola Berkovic.

The move comes soon after a series of police raids on the media triggered by leaks from the public service, which focused international attention on government secrecy in Australia.

The overhaul is intended to make the whistleblower scheme easier to use in order to provide greater protection for public ­servants and those who are responsible for deciding whether they should be protected while their concerns are addressed.

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Newsroom closures: NSW Nationals pull all advertising from WIN TV

The NSW Nationals have pulled all advertising from WIN TV in retaliation to the regional broadcaster’s decision to shut down five newsrooms, which Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack has called disappointing, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.

“Rural and regional people need strong and diverse media coverage and moves to reduce those services will only weaken our communities,” Cadell said.

“In the first six months of this year we spent close to $3 million advertising on regional television in NSW, but as of this moment I have instructed our party to immediately cease all advertising with WIN TV until they reverse this decision,” he said.

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Nine Melbourne reporter & newsreader celebrates 40 years

Respected newsreader and reporter Jo Hall is celebrating 40 years with Channel 9, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

“I’d like to say it seems like yesterday that I walked through the doors of Nine’s Richmond studios,’’ she said.

“But it doesn’t. It seems like a lifetime ago. And I guess it has been. It’s been a wonderful journey and I’m incredibly grateful for the life it created for me.”

She also posted her thanks on Instagram.

“Today is the day four decades ago I first walked in the door of 9 News Melbourne as a skinny little girl from the suburbs,” Hall said on social media.

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UK TV: Piers Morgan confronts comic Adam Hills over Twitter feud

Piers Morgan threatened to fight comic Adam Hills during an awkward Good Morning Britain interview earlier this week.

Aussie Adam appeared on the breakfast show alongside Alex Brooker to promote the new series of their Channel 4 hit The Last Leg.

However, Piers couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to confront Adam over a tweet he’d sent last year calling the GMB presenter a “mercenary”.

Taking issue with the remark, 54-year-old Piers kicked off the live chat by saying: “Adam, I’ve got a bit of beef.

“Here’s your chance to show some humility and regret the tone because I always thought we got on well and then I pick up Twitter and get abused by you.

“Now you are on my show helping me get ratings, cash and views.”

Adam and Piers’ beef goes back to October 2018, when Piers tweeted a photo of Daniel Craig carrying his baby in a papoose alongside the hashtag “emasculated Bond”.

Adam took issue with the post, tweeting him back at the time: “Oh f*** off Piers you mercenary.

“You’ll honestly say anything for ratings/cash/views.”

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Watch the clip here.


Todd Sampson clips attract extreme reactions: ‘I don’t make the promos’

Since promos have aired for Todd Sampson’s first episode of his next Body Hack series some of the reactions have been extreme, reports TV Tonight.

Sampson has been subjected to abuse and even death threats, both online and in person, due to confronting, violent scenes filmed in the Gaza Strip. But Sampson says they are reacting to the vision without having seen the episode.

“They threatening me based on some kind of assumption they have in their mind,” he tells TV Tonight.

“It’s fear of the unknown. If they followed my shows they’d know they are not about politics. They’re about cultures on the edge of extremes.

“But I don’t make the promos! They’re made by Channel 10!”

Further episodes of Body Hack were filmed in Siberia, Ethiopia and Mexico City, with unique stories far removed from the terror of Gaza.

As with any of his stories, embedding himself, or putting himself at risk, is crucial to access into remote cultures.

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Sports Media

Footy Show return: Eddie, Sam and Trevor reunited for TV special

Nine has announced the return of The Grand Final Footy Show spectacular on Thursday, September 26, at 7.30pm on Nine and 9Now.

The Grand Final Footy Show, which has been a staple for footy fans in AFL Grand Final week, will pay tribute to the past 25 and a half years of The Footy Show.

Host Eddie McGuire and the other two originals on the show when it started in 1994, Sam Newman and Trevor Marmalade, will reunite for a grand farewell to the longest running sports entertainment program in the history of Australian television.

Plus, a huge lineup of footy greats will celebrate and look back on the hilarious, groundbreaking and touching moments of The Footy Show’s quarter of a century as a TV institution, as well as the ups and downs of a controversial 2019 football season.

Eddie McGuire said about the return of the Grand Final Footy Show: “For the biggest game of the year we need to have the biggest show of the year, and what has been a staple of Grand Final week for the past quarter of a century is back.

“I’m so delighted that we’re putting all our resources into one spectacular Thursday night Grand Final week Footy Show. It is a chance for us to pay homage to not only the Grand Final but 25 fantastic years of The Footy Show.”

Nine Melbourne managing director Matt Scriven said: “We want to pay tribute to the incredible success of the past 25 years of The Footy Show, and bringing back The Grand Final Footy Show will give fans exactly that – a chance to join in the celebrations and fun of a program that was a pioneer in football entertainment.”

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