Mediaweek roundup: Jessica Mauboy, ABC, George Calombaris + more

• AFL, Dean Wells, Australian podcast market, Neighbours + Warren Brown

Business of Media

Jessica Mauboy’s shock split confirmed: Shopping for new agent

Frustrated at the direction of her career, Jessica Mauboy has parted ways with her agent of 16 years, reports News Corp’s Briana Domjen.

Confidential can reveal 30-year-old Mauboy has ended her professional relationship with long-time agent David Champion, of Parade Management, and will manage herself while she looks for a replacement.

She has also enlisted publicist Camille Thioulouse and rehired stylist Mikey Ayoubi, who was sidelined following the now infamous Melbourne Cup outfit debacle, and make-up artist Victoria Baron.

Mauboy has been with recording giant Sony Music Australia since her appearance on the reality television show.

A spokesman for Mauboy confirmed the news, saying the split was amicable.

“It has been an amazing 16 years for both Jess and Champo,” the spokeswoman said.

“There is no bad blood between the pair and Jess is so grateful for everything he has done for her, but it was time for Jess to make a change.”

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News Brands

AFP warrants used to raid ABC valid, Federal Court rules

A case over the validity of police warrants used to raid the ABC’s Ultimo headquarters last year has been dismissed by the Federal Court of Australia, reports ABC News’ Jamie McKinnell.

In June, Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers searched ABC computer systems for files linked to a series of 2017 reports known as “The Afghan Files”.

The reports covered allegations of unlawful killings by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.

The ABC launched a challenge to the validity of the warrant, arguing it was “legally unreasonable” and included search terms which failed to create any meaningful limitation on the scope.

Federal Court Justice Wendy Abraham on Monday morning dismissed the case and ordered the ABC to pay the costs of the other parties.

In a statement, the ABC’s managing director, David Anderson, said the raid was “an attempt to intimidate journalists for doing their jobs”.

“This is at odds with our expectation that we live in an open and transparent society,” he said.

“We are not saying journalists should be above the law, we’re saying the public’s right to know should be a factor that is taken into account — and legitimate journalism should not be criminalised.”

[Read more]

Ruling over AFP raids on ABC exposes problem with secrecy laws

The ABC’s attempt to strike down the legal basis for a police raid on its Sydney newsroom has been rejected by the Federal Court, which has allowed the Australian Federal Police to keep all the material it seized concerning leaks from the Defence department, reports The Australian’s Chris Merritt.

The raid on the ABC – and another on the Canberra home of News Corp Journalist Annika Smethurst – have exposed the Morrison government to pressure to reform government secrecy.

While the ABC has been defeated in the Federal Court, the High Court is yet to rule on a separate challenge by News Corp Australia that seeks to strike down the legal basis for the Smethurst raid.

While the constitutional argument failed before the Federal Court, News Corp’s challenge in the High Court has drawn support from the Australian Human Rights Commission, which has made a submission to the High Court urging it to apply free speech principles in a way that would mean the warrant underpinning the Smethurst raid was invalid.

[Read more]

Peter Greste: ABC judgment danger for democracy & press freedom

On Monday, the Federal Court issued a judgment that I suspect will come to be seen as a pivotal moment – downwards – in the fight to maintain transparency and accountability of the Australian government and its agencies, comments Peter Greste in a column for News Corp.

In its judgment, the court dismissed an application by the ABC, challenging the validity of a search warrant that the AFP used to raid the broadcaster last year. The police went into the ABC’s Ultimo headquarters in May, searching for evidence of the sources to a series of stories known as The Afghan Files, that alleged Australian Special Forces had been involved in the unlawful killing of civilians.

By dismissing the ABC’s case, the Federal Court has also condoned the AFP’s power to march into newsrooms and even a journalist’s home to hunt for evidence of sources.

[Read more]

Press Council Adjudication: Warren Brown cartoon in Daily Telegraph

The Press Council has considered whether its Standards of Practice were breached by the publication of a cartoon by Warren Brown in The Daily Telegraph on 11 February 2019, reports the News Corp news brand in a summary of the Press Council findings.

The edition in which it appeared also had both a main story and an editorial on the Medivac debate.

The cartoon depicted two figures running in a loop around the static figure of Kerryn Phelps, then the Member for the Federal seat of Wentworth.

The figure at the front is a bearded man with a head covering, long tunic and sandals, chasing a female doctor or nurse wearing scrubs trailing a stethoscope and with a mobile phone and medicines being thrown up in the air as she appears to run away.

Phelps is holding a piece of paper with the words “MEDIVAC” written on it. Behind the scene the word “Nauru” appears and above the scene is a speech bubble with the words “Do you mind not doing that until I’ve got the bill passed?”.

The cartoon appeared above an article by an opinion writer headed “Doctoring the system” with the subheading: “A Labor-backed plan would allow activists to effectively end offshore processing”.

The publication said the cartoon must be seen as commentary on major front-page news of the day, which was dominating public political debate in the country.

The publication also said by the nature of their work, cartoonists are also opinion columnists who use images and brief words to summarise public events often with biting satire and political commentary.

The Council considers that to the extent there was substantial offence or prejudice caused it was justified in the public interest.

As such, the Council does not consider that the publication failed to take reasonable steps to avoid causing substantial offence, distress or prejudice, without sufficient justification in the public interest.

Accordingly, the Council concludes that its Standards of Practice were not breached.

[Read more]


Former MAFS star Dean Wells slams the show in explosive interview

Former Married At First Sight contestant Dean Wells lifted the lid on the show that made him famous in an explosive radio interview this morning, claiming that MAFS is “so fake”, reports

Wells spoke to Hot91’s Dave, Sam & Ash yesterday after last night becoming the first celeb eliminated from this season of Dancing With The Stars.

When one of the radio hosts questioned his “star” status, season 5 MAFS contestant Wells shot back: “I was on the highest rating TV show in Australian history, and it somehow ridiculously seemed to be about me and some fake little affair.

MAFS is so fake, it’s so silly. I cannot believe people even watch that show. I’ve never watched it before and I never will, it’s so silly. I thought it was common knowledge.”

Addressing the negative public reaction to his MAFS appearances, Wells said: “I don’t blame anyone for having negative opinions of me. Some of the things I did and said I’m not proud of, but I’d also suggest a good 30 to 40 per cent of it is manipulated. They encourage you to say things … or they just blatantly edit a word from one sentence and put it on the end of another sentence so it’s completely incorrect.”

[Read more]

New woes for George Calombaris after attempt at quick sale dashed

Hopes of a quick sale of leases in George Calombaris’ collapsed food empire being locked down today appear to have been dashed, reports News Corp’s Jeff Whalley.

More than 400 staff are set to remain in limbo as administrators try to find new owners to keep some of the 12 venues open.

Any deals are now expected to be announced by the creditors meeting on Thursday in Melbourne.

The door could still be ajar on several venues with ­buyer interest in Gazi and Jimmy Grants venues.

Calombaris’ MAdE Establishment business last Monday appointed restructuring experts KordaMentha over 12 restaurants as it collapsed into voluntary administration.

There were hopes deals could start being signed by today after feverish negotiations over the weekend.

[Read more]

Neighbours star Jodi Anasta reveals character’s ‘brutal’ exit

Neighbours star Jodi Anasta has revealed her character’s upcoming demise on Ramsay St will be “next level brutal”, reports News Corp’s Nui Te Koha.

Anasta, who plays unpredictable Elly Conway on the popular Network 10 soap, said her character’s departure will shock even its most seasoned viewers.

“I don’t have any say in the way I exit the show, but I’m very, very happy with my exit. It will be next level brutal. I can’t believe I get to do this on television,” she told Confidential.

Anasta said working on Neighbours, and reflecting on her character’s choices, has taught her important life lessons.

“I feel through the arc of my character I’ve learned a lot about myself through watching her make good and poor choices,” Anasta said.

[Read more]


Australian podcast market tipped to tap $47m by end of year

A new study from Deloitte says the Australian podcasting market will grow faster than the rest of the globe, with annual revenue expected to reach almost $50 million by the end of the year, reports SMH’s Zoe Samios.

The 2020 Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions study suggests more than 1.6 million Australians are now downloading podcast content, an increase of 70 per cent from 2015.

And while global podcasting revenue is expected to grow by 30 per cent this year, Deloitte predicts Australian revenue will grow by 62 per cent, to $47 million. Deloitte says this is driven by increased supply and demand.

[Read more]

Sports Media

AFL decision: No twilight Grand Final for Seven in 2020

THE AFL Grand Final will remain in a day timeslot this season, reports the AFL’s Damian Barrett.

The decision to commit to a day game was reached by the AFL commission during its first meeting of the year in Melbourne on Monday.

The 2020 Grand Final – to be played Saturday, September 26 – will start at 2.30pm AEST, which has been the case in recent years.

AFL chief executive officer Gillon McLachlan has long advocated a personal preference to stick with tradition and keep the Grand Final away from a twilight or night slot.

It is believed McLachlan recommended to commissioners that tradition be maintained at the meeting.

[Read more]

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