Mediaweek roundup: MAFS, Kyrgios, Robin Bailey + more

• Kristian Mynott, The Times titles, John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova, Awkwafina, Washington Post + Michelle Bridges

Business of Media

Times and Sunday Times to launch ad-free digital talk radio station

News Corp’s The Times titles are launching their own UK talk radio station, which promises “provocative and well-informed” news and current affairs analysis in a bid to boost subscriber numbers, reports UK Press Gazette.

Times Radio is the result of a partnership between The Times and Sunday Times and radio group Wireless, all of which are owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News UK.

The multi-million pound investment marks a further push into radio by the media mogul, who already owns Talkradio, Talksport and Virgin Radio, as commercial radio looks to challenge the BBC’s dominance of the airwaves.

[Read more]

News Brands

Over 300 Washington Post staff reject reporter’s suspension over tweet

An internal revolt is building inside one of the nation’s top newspapers after hundreds of journalists at the Washington Post came out publicly against a decision to suspend a reporter for tweeting an article about Kobe Bryant’s historical rape accusation hours after his death, reports The Guardian.

More than 300 Washington Post journalists have signed a letter from its union expressing “alarm and dismay” at the newspaper’s decision to suspend its national politics reporter Felicia Sonmez.

Before the letter was shared on Monday, the Post’s opinion section also published an article by its own media critic slamming the move. “If journalists at The Post are prone to suspension for tweeting stories off their beats, the entire newsroom should be on administrative leave,” wrote the critic, Erik Wemple.

[Read more]

Radio

Robin Bailey returns to radio following her husband’s death

Robin Bailey will continue to share her personal battles on radio, whether “miserable” trolls thinks she cries too much or not.

Just four months after the death of her husband, Sean Pickwell, Bailey returned to Brisbane’s airwaves on Tuesday with 97.3 FM’s reinstated breakfast show Robin, Terry & Bob.

And while she admits the majority of listeners were overwhelmingly supportive of her decision to return to the network she was dumped from three years ago, some of the comments had been “nasty and personal” with familiar complaints such as “she whinges too much” or “she cries too much”.

[Read more]

Television

Marketing executives’ verdict on Michelle Bridges’ DUI charge

In an unexpected twist, marketing and media executives believe Michelle Bridges’ drink driving charge won’t have any ramifications on her fitness business, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

The Biggest Loser star was forced to apologise for a “terrible mistake and error of judgment” after allegedly being caught mid-range drink driving with her son in the car on Sunday.

Marketing expert Dee Madigan commended Bridges for owning her actions.

“Even though she mentioned the break-up, she didn’t use it as an excuse,” said Madigan, creative director at Campaign Edge. “There was none of that faux-pology stuff that goes around. It humanises her a bit. It was a stupid mistake she won’t make again so no lasting damage.”

[Read more]

‘I can’t be more grateful’: Awkwafina is on a roll and keeping it real

Meet Nora from Queens. The TV work of fiction is awkward, klutzy and hilarious. The real woman, better known by her stage name Awkwafina, has a more assured command of her movement, but is possibly even funnier and lights up the room when she enters, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Idato.

The 31-year-old New Yorker is surfing a wave of prominence, propelled by a leading role in the comedy-drama The Farewell which has just netted her a Golden Globe award for best actress in a motion picture, comedy or musical; the first woman of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe in any lead actress film category.

Now she is starring in her own TV sitcom, Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens, in which she plays a fictional version of herself, named Nora.

Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens airs at 8.30pm Wednesdays on The Comedy Channel.

[Read more]

ABC actor Kristian Mynott, 42, used stolen credit cards to fund sex romps

A sex addict actor whose most recent role was in the ABCs acclaimed political drama Total Control used stolen credit card details to pay for his sex romps with male prostitutes, reports News Corp’s Craig Dunlop.

Kristian James Mynott, 42, on Tuesday faced the ACT Supreme Court and was sentenced to a two-year-and-five-month intensive corrections order after previously pleading guilty to six counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception and the unlawful possession of stolen property.

Court records show the part-time actor in 2017 stole credit card details from customers at Canberra Firewood Supplies in Fyshwick, where he worked, and used the details to pay for hotels, limousines and flights for interstate sex workers.

[Read more]

Where the cast of Married At First Sight season 6 are now

We’re days away from meeting a new cohort of hopeful singles willing to marry a complete stranger on national television, reports news.com.au’s Bella Fowler.

But as we look forward with glee to drinking in the drama served by the cast of Married At First Sight 2020 on February 3, we can’t help but find our minds drifting back to the past.

Last year saw the highest-rating season of MAFS yet, with two cheating scandals, plenty of vicious, wine-fuelled arguments and – rather surprisingly – the highest romantic success rate of the series so far, with two couples lasting beyond the experiment.

But while the season wrapped several months ago, we have barely stopped thinking about the season’s controversial contestants.

So what have the cast been up to since the season finished, and have the failed couples managed to find love?

[Read more]

Sports Media

John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova investigated over banner stunt

An investigation is underway into American legends John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova after they breached Australian Open protocols when continuing their protests against Margaret Court on Tuesday, reports The Australian’s Courtney Walsh.

A day after the pair called for Margaret Court Arena to be renamed due to her views on homosexuality, McEnroe and Navratilova unveiled a makeshift banner on the court.

The banner read “Evonne Goolagong Arena” and followed an open letter from Navratilova calling on authorities to switch the name of the court to the fellow Australian legend.

[Read more]

TV Ratings: Viewers in tune with summer of reinvention for Kyrgios

Australia’s fascination with Nick Kyrgios has blossomed into a full-blown obsession, with the tennis star’s fourth-round clash with Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open proving a ratings monster for rights-holder Nine, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Phil Lutton.

A peak of 3.363 million viewers (metro: 2.536 million, regional: 827,000) tuned in on Monday night, with a national average of 2.473 million (metro: 1.918 million, regional: 555,000) across four sets of enthralling tennis on Rod Laver Arena.

That made it the highest rating program of 2020, and it could take some topping. In 2019, the highest rating program was the State of Origin opener, which attracted 3.23 million viewers, ahead of the AFL grand final between Richmond and GWS (2.96 million).

[Read more]

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