Mediaweek roundup: Mike Perso, Sammy Power, Chuy Bravo + more

• Phil Rankine, Gumtree, Wide World of Sports + pop culture

Business of Media

Christmas shopping: eBay, Gumtree rev up Carsguide bid

EBay-owned classifieds website Gumtree is understood to be in negotiations to buy the Australian automotive classifieds businesses Carsguide and Autotrader, reports The AFR’s Street Talk.

US marketplace giant eBay and Cox Automotive, the majority shareholder in the business that owns Carsguide and Autotrader, have been locked in talks for months looking to do a deal. The price being discussed is believed to be less than $100 million.

A purchase of the Carsguide and Autotrader brands would be in line with a global strategy eBay has been implementing over the past 12 months. In February this year, Gumtree completed the acquisition of British car classifieds business, another subsidiary of Cox Automotive.

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$13.5m owed by promoter Phil Rankine’s company remains missing

The liquidators of one of failed Adelaide concert promoter Phil Rankine’s companies has so far been unable to figure out where $13.5 million of investors’ money has gone, reports News Corp’s Cameron England.

And the liquidator’s report into Space Production Company questioned whether it may have been insolvent from as far back as mid-2017, although it says further investigations are needed.

Rankine was previously Adelaide’s foremost concert promoter, bringing acts such as Florence and the Machine, Phil Collins and Bon Jovi to Adelaide.

But his group of companies went bust this year, with debts estimated at more than $20 million.

Martin Lewis and David Kidman of KPMG say in their report into Space Production that Rankine is not helping them with their inquiries, and the company’s bank accounts have no money in them.

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The most significant pop culture moments of the decade

The 2010s, to put it mildly, have been nuts, writes The Sydney Morning Herald’s Robert Moran.

The decade saw more rapid change than the 1920s, when people went from boiling cabbage daily to eating nothing but cocaine, or the 1960s when people went from wearing tuxedos and ballgowns to the movies to, like, just covering their privates with their long, dirty hair.

To put it into perspective: In July 2011, Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning; by 2018 she was set to headline a hologram tour. In 2010 Donald Trump was hosting the Golf Channel’s Fabulous World of Golf; by November 2016, well, you know. It’s been a wild 10 years.

Of course, like most people this decade, my memory reaches about 12 hours without the help of Google, so this list of the decade’s most significant pop culture moments may exclude some historical highlights. I don’t know, write your own article; what am I, Plutarch?

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Former radio queen Sammy Power dead at 55

Former radio star and Brisbane market heiress Sammy Power has died aged 55, reports News Corp’s Kylie Lang.

Friends of the beloved eighth-generation Queenslander and daughter of Jan Power, the founder of the state’s farmers markets and a former Courier-Mail contributor, revealed her death yesterday.

Sammy Power, who was once the queen of Triple M radio in Brisbane, lost a long-term battle with alcoholism and mental illness, and was found dead in her Hendra bedroom.

Power previously told The Courier-Mail she ditched her 28-year radio career, which included a stint on Triple M, because she was “burnt out” and “over it”.

She came back to Brisbane to help her mother Jan Power run her famous farmers markets and to live a more peaceful existence.

In 2017, she was featured on the cover of Brisbane News revealing how she had shed half her body weight, dropping from 120kg to 60kg, and opening up about what the journey home had been like. The cat lover had no hesitation in giving up her “glory days” for a more meagre wage back in Brisbane, she told the magazine.


Sammy Power with Triple M’s with Rob Duckworth, Dave Gibson in 1994
Sammy Power on the cover of Brisbane News

Smooth FM’s ‘quiet achiever’ Mike Perso reaches 40-year milestone

Smooth FM star Mike Perso will celebrate 40 years in radio this month as a calm influence in a “sea of bells and whistles” who never treated the audience like “punchlines to a joke”, reports News Corp’s Nui Te Koha.

Perso’s career milestone has come during a year where he and Smooth co-host Jennifer Hansen enjoyed No. 1 ratings success in Melbourne’s ultra-competitive breakfast market.

“It sounds like a cliché but we’re very real,” Perso said. “We’re very much more interested in our audience as people – as them – and not just props.

“Sometimes, you hear audience members being used almost as props and punchlines to a joke.

“But we’re very aware of why they come to Smooth … it’s different, they want to feel good, and they don’t want to be assailed by all the other stuff that goes on.”

He added: “There’s no huge demand to spill your guts about everything you’re thinking on-air.

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Chelsea Handler’s TV ‘sidekick’ Chuy Bravo dead at 63

Former late-night host Chelsea Handler has paid tribute to her beloved Chelsea Lately sidekick Chuy Bravo following news of his death, reports The Los Angeles Times.

“I loved this nugget in a big way, and I took great pleasure in how many people loved him as much as I did and do,” the comedian wrote Sunday on Instagram, recalling sweet memories with the actor and sharing a photo montage highlighting some of their time together. “@chuybravo gave us so much laughter and I’ll never forget the sound of his laughter coming from his office into mine.”

Bravo, who had dwarfism and stood 4 feet 3 inches tall, reportedly died suddenly over the weekend after being hospitalised with stomach pains while visiting family in Mexico. He was 63.

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Sports Media

Wide World of Sports coming to 2GB and 4BC in 2020

Macquarie Media will launch a dedicated sports show in 2020, but at this stage the Nine TV brand is heading to 2GB and 4BC, not the Nine-owned Macquarie Sports Radio.

The new one-hour program Wide World of Sports will go to air 6.00-7.00pm Monday to Thursday, hosted by broadcaster Mark Levy. It will draw on the broad suite of talent from Nine’s Wide World of Sports to provide the latest news and commentary.

“Wide World of Sports is an iconic Australian brand and we are thrilled to bring it to radio with a dedicated daily sports program,” said Greg Byrnes, Macquarie’s head of content. “It’s great to have a sports fanatic like Mark Levy in the chair hosting. He’ll be able to draw on the full gamut of Nine’s talent for sports like rugby league, tennis, cricket, netball and so many more to cover the latest happenings and drive the daily agenda across the games and codes that matter to Sydney and Brisbane.”

Levy has spent over a decade with Macquarie in various roles, including lead sports newsreader, host of The Continuous Call Team, and breakfast co-host of Macquarie Sports Radio.

“Sport is a big part of the fabric of being an everyday Australian and this show will give people the opportunity to voice their opinion on the big sporting issues of the day,” said Levy. “It will speak to the biggest names in Australian sport and give Sydneysiders and Brisbaneites what they need to know about the games they love.”

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