Mediaweek Roundup: Karl Stefanovic, Jackie O, Jane Bunn + more

• Chris Kenny, Amazon Studios, Apple, Scott McIntyre, Steve Price, Amanda Keller, Hit106.9, and rally for bushfire relief

Business of Media

Chris Kenny defends News Corp amid Murdoch attack

News Corp commentator Chris Kenny has defended the company’s coverage of climate change as the media giant faced intensified criticism over its reporting, this time from James Murdoch, who broke ranks with the family empire and took aim at its news outlets in Australia, reports AFR’s Max Mason.

James Murdoch, who remains a board member of News Corp, accused the company of promoting climate change denialism in the middle of Australia’s bushfire crisis.

“The point about climate change is that it presents an enormously complex range of debates around various scientific findings, meteorological records, historical context, modelled predictions, possible policy responses and their likely costs and benefits,” he told The Australian Financial Review.

“If, like me, you accept the science of global warming but are vitally interested in scientific analysis and policy options while being wary of alarmism and ideological opportunism, there are few media organisations outside of News Corp that provide fact-based, varied and realistic debate.”

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Amazon Studios’ Jennifer Salke Touts “Increased Appetite” for Global TV Strategy

“Global” was the buzzword when Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke appeared before reporters at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour on Tuesday afternoon, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Natalie Jarvey.

The executive, flanked by TV co-heads Albert Cheng and Vernon Sanders, touted Amazon’s efforts to bring original programming to the company’s 100 million-plus Prime members around the world. When she was pressed on how that strategy differs from Netflix, which operates in 170 countries around the world, Salke pointed to Joe and Anthony Russo’s spy drama Citadel, which will feature interconnected local-language versions shot in multiple countries including Italy, India and Mexico. Priyanka Chopra and Richard Madden, both of whom have global fan bases, are set to star.

Another project the exec described as fitting into Amazon’s global ethos is Steve McQueen’s Last Days, which is expected to feature an international cast portraying people from around the world who leave a dying Earth to colonize Mars.

“It’s no longer a barrier to read a translation for our customers,” Salke explained. “We’re seeing increased appetite, especially with younger Prime members. They really have no barrier to entry with language. The world is big, but it’s getting smaller in that way.”

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Apple Takes a (Cautious) Stand Against Opening a Killer’s iPhones

Apple is privately preparing for a legal fight with the Justice Department to defend encryption on its iPhones while publicly trying to defuse the dispute, as the technology giant navigates an increasingly tricky line between its customers and the Trump administration, reports The New York Times Jack Nicas and Katie Benner.

Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, has marshaled a handful of top advisers, while Attorney General William P. Barr has taken aim at the company and asked it to help penetrate two phones used by a gunman in a deadly shooting last month at a naval air station in Pensacola, Fla.

Executives at Apple have been surprised by the case’s quick escalation, said people familiar with the company who were not authorized to speak publicly. And there is frustration and skepticism among some on the Apple team working on the issue that the Justice Department hasn’t spent enough time trying to get into the iPhones with third-party tools, said one person with knowledge of the matter.

The situation has become a sudden crisis at Apple that pits Mr. Cook’s longstanding commitment to protecting people’s privacy against accusations from the United States government that it is putting the public at risk. The case resembles Apple’s clash with the F.B.I. in 2016 over another dead gunman’s phone, which dragged on for months.

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News Brands

Former SBS journalist Scott McIntyre spared jail in Japan

Australian journalist Scott McIntyre has been spared jail after facing a Tokyo court over trespassing, reports the Herald Sun’s Sophie Welsh.

McIntyre was detained for several days over the Christmas period, and those close to him claim he was held in a cell with the lights on 24-hours a day and was only allowed to bathe once every five days.

It is understood that McIntyre has been in detention since at least December 16, and was denied bail a few days later.
His trial began on January 10.

A friend of McIntyre’s, Sean Carroll, shared the news on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.

“Scott McIntyre’s trial just concluded in Tokyo,” Mr Carroll wrote.
“He was given a six-month suspended sentence with three years probation.
“He is now a free man.”

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‘National disgrace’: Karl Stefanovic unloads on children’s deaths

Today host Karl Stefanovic has laid into the much-maligned National Disability Insurance Scheme, labelling it a “national disgrace”, reports

A story published by the Adelaide Advertiser this morning revealed the scheme was particularly bad in South Australia, with the southern state enduring the longest wait times for NDIS support packages.

South Australians are waiting more than 200 days for support with kids younger than six waiting seven months for help from the government.

The horrific national statistics also revealed over the past three years, 1279 people had died while waiting for support from the scheme. Among the 1279, 65 of those deaths were children — 35 of whom were aged six and under.

Stefanovic described the deaths as “disturbing”.

“More than 400 people have died every year waiting for access to the NDIS. Sixty five children, 35 of whom are under six years of age. It’s unbelievable,” he said.

“Late last year the minister in charge Stuart Robert said waiting times categorically weren’t a problem. If 65 children dying in this children, if those figures are to be believed isn’t a problem, then you need help minister.”

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Steve Price issues groveling apology to Jacinda Ardern: ‘What I said was dumb’

Steve Price has issued a groveling apology to Jacinda Ardern after Twitter unleashed fury on the controversial broadcaster Tuesday night, reports’s Bella Fowler.

It comes after he let his mouth run while comparing the New Zealand Prime Minister’s family holiday to Australia with Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s infamous December trip to Hawaii amid the national bushfire crisis, in a puzzling argument.

“She should be in her own country and spend money in her own place,” he growled.

“Typical virtue-signalling from Ardern. I get sick and tired of that woman!,” he asserted, prompting viewers to call him out as “sexist”.

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Miguel says Amanda Keller ‘probably won’t even go’ to the Logies this year

Some, defend the Hard Quiz comedian Tim Gleeson’s parody of the public-voted award, while others abhorred his perceived bullying behaviour, believing the gong truly belonged to Amanda Keller, reports The Daily Telegraph’s Bella Fowler.

TV and radio personality Keller was nominated, but became the targeted victim of Gleeson’s aggressive smear campaign.

In last nights episode of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here, Miguel made it known he’s staunchly camp Keller – certifiably ripping into Gleeson in the process.

The Living Room co-host and close friend of Keller didn’t hold back as he slammed Gleeson – revealing Keller “probably won’t even go” to the ceremony this year, and saying Gleeson “wiped his arse” with the award.

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Jackie O reveals she almost left Kyle Sandilands and jumped ship to Nova

Jackie O has revealed for the first time why she almost ended her radio partnership with Kyle Sandilands and jumped ship to a rival station, reports’s Andrew Bucklow.

“I remember going into the (Southern Cross Austereo) boss’s office to negotiate and they were just basically saying, ‘We could take you or leave you. You’re not getting anything else, so be happy with what you’ve got’.”

Jackie was so furious with the treatment she received that she approached a rival radio station with the intention to jump ship without Kyle.

“I spoke to Nova,” Jackie told podcast host Kate Meade. “I had a meeting with them and was really close to going.”

Southern Cross Austereo found out about Jackie’s secret meeting with Nova and quickly changed their tune, she said.

“Wouldn’t you know it, they offered me a lot more money,” Jackie laughed.

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Nick Allen-Ducat to join Newcastle’s Hit106.9 Breakfast team

Newcastle’s Hit106.9 will welcome Nick ‘Ducko’ Allen-Ducat to its breakfast team, joining Jess Farchione and Nick Gill from Monday 20 January.

Allen-Ducat comes with an array of radio experience, spending most of his time with Nova Entertainment in Sydney and most recently in Brisbane across announcing and producing roles. In 2019, Nick became the host of Smashdown, a national children’s TV program due to air on Channel 9GO! this year.

Allen-Ducat, said: “I’m so excited to be joining the Hit Newcastle family for 2020, Nick Gill and Jess Farchione are loads of fun and I can’t wait to see what we get up to together! Newcastle are in for one hell of a ride!”

“Newy is an incredible city, I am pinching myself that I get to call it home and work on a breakfast show with such amazing people every day, even if there are two Nicks on the team,” he said.

Southern Cross Austereo Group Content Director for NSW & ACT, Jase Allen, said: “There was instant chemistry the moment the three of them were in the studio together and a sense of excitement that made it impossible to go with anyone else. Ducko brings a wealth of radio experience and we look forward to him becoming the newest Novocastrian.”

Nick, Jess & Ducko on Newcastle’s Hit106.9, 6 am to 9 am weekdays from Monday 20 January. 

Conflicting reports on why 3AW ended Jane Bunn weather spot

3AW is adamant that Jane Bunn’s segment came to an end because Seven ended its commercial agreement, reports The Age’s Broede Carmody.

3AW’s station manager Stephen Beers said there were no plans to replace Bunn with someone from Nine.

“Jane’s spot was a commercial agreement with Seven,” he said. “Seven have stopped paying, so the spot has ended. It was the same as a cross to the Seven newsroom we used to do in drive. The stopped spending and the cross stopped. We didn’t sack Jane, Seven stopped spending.”

Seven’s managing director for Melbourne, Lewis Martin, has hit back at the claims.

“When Nine Radio told us yesterday they were happy to continue to take our advertising spend but that Jane’s services were no longer required – without notice or a call to Jane after five years on their network, I might add – we elected to review our position,” he said.

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World’s top tennis stars rally for bushfire relief

The top stars of the tennis world came together to raise nearly $5 million for victims of the bushfires that have ravaged the country. But it was the volunteer firefighters who stole the show, reports The Herald Sun’s Peter Rolfe.

In the fun and supportive spirit of the night, superstar Rafael Nadal got Victorian CFA member Deb Borg to hit the court with him.

With more than $4.8 million raised for the cause, Nadal revealed he and Roger Federer had decided to donate $250,000 of their own cash to help tackle the “terrible disaster”.

Kyrgios said: “To see all the fire fighters here, it’s emotional, it’s fun,” he said.

Former world No. 1 and 2018 Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki said players from around the globe wanted to show their support for a country that had “been through a lot”.

“We all love Australia and we all want to help as much as we can,” she said.

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