Mediaweek Roundup: Ray Hadley settlement, Bachelor lawsuit, Halifax, 10 + more

Ray Hadley

• FOMO, Annastacia Palaszczuk, Daily Mail, Grant Denyer, Racing.com, Rugby World Cup, and AFL

Business of Media

Lizzo contract breaches ‘partly to blame’ for event downfall, report claims

Pop powerhouse Lizzo has been accused of contributing to the downfall of music festival FOMO and the subsequent $6.2 million owed to creditors, reports News Corp’s Sally Coates.

FOMO entered liquidation owing hundreds of creditors money.

The Daily Telegraph understands that of the $6.2 million owed, the ATO, Facebook and another performer from the 2020 line-up are owed the greatest amounts.

Three-time Grammy winner Lizzo headlined the festival’s 2020 dates in January this year, performing at the Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide legs of the four-year-old festival.

But despite her popularity, a report from liquidators Hall and Chadwick state that FOMO director Anand Krishnaswamy claimed Lizzo made multiple breaches of her contract.

[Read more]

Daily Mail publisher to cut up to 100 jobs as revenues fall

The British publisher of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, the i and Metro is to cut up to 100 roles as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hammer the newspaper and magazine industry, reports The Guardian.

Daily Mail and General Trust, which also owns MailOnline, is making cuts across the editorial and commercial operations at its publishing arm DMG Media. The company has started a consultation with staff.

One hundred roles have been put at risk, although it is not clear ultimately how many people will be made redundant. The majority of the cuts will come from the commercial side of the business.

DMGT said print advertising across its portfolio of titles fell by 69% in the three months to the end of June. The publishing arm recorded a 17% reduction in digital revenues, despite an impressive increase of well over a third in traffic to its main digital property, MailOnline.

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News Brands

Annastacia Palaszczuk to gag media reporting on corruption probes

Media will be banned from reporting on corruption complaints and investigations into politicians in the lead-up to the October 31 state election, under surprise laws introduced by the Palaszczuk government, report The Australian’s Charlie Peel and Sarah Elks.

After high-profile corruption investigations this year into its top ranks — including former deputy premier Jackie Trad and Annastacia Palaszczuk’s former chief-of-staff David Barbagallo — the government is threatening a possible six-month jail term over publication of complaints to the state’s corruption watchdog during the election campaign.

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath introduced the legislation — opposed by media companies, the journalists’ union and the Liberal­National Party opposition — on Thursday, saying the new laws targeted the politicisation of “baseless” claims being made to the Crime and Corruption Commission.

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Journalist not entitled to protect murder investigation source, court rules

A Queensland court has found a journalist is not entitled to protect a source who provided information linked to a murder investigation and terrorism raids, reports The Age’s Tammy Mills.

Media lawyers say the decision highlights the urgent need for laws that better protect confidential sources.

The journalist, who has not been identified, works at a television news station.

In 2018, he received information from an unnamed source and directed a reporter and cameraman to knock on the door of a home. A few days later, the crew went back to the address to film an arrest taking place, according to the recent Queensland Supreme Court judgment.

The journalist refused to answer the questions on the grounds of public interest immunity and took the case to the Supreme Court to decide whether he had the legal basis to refuse to reveal his source.

His lawyers also asked for an injunction so he didn’t have to be questioned further and argued that the provision under the Crime and Corruption Act was invalid as it “impermissibly burdens” the constitutional freedom of communication about matters of government and politics.

Media lawyer Matthew Collins, QC, said journalists did not have adequate legal protection to refuse to identify sources, and faced criminal charges.

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Radio

Ray Hadley agrees to settle court action brought by former staffer

Ray Hadley and 2GB have quietly reached an out-of-court settlement with the talkback star’s former staffer and friend Chris Bowen, just weeks after claims were aired in court alleging Hadley had called Bowen’s former girlfriend a “curry muncher”, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Andrew Hornery.

After accusing Hadley of bullying in a Facebook post that ignited a series of internal investigations at 2GB, Bowen launched legal action in the District Court, accusing Hadley of negligence and breaching his duty of care. His claim alleged the racial slur was one of “no less than 1000” attacks Bowen said he sustained over a 16-year period.

He also accused Hadley of calling him a “f—ing poof”, a “f—ing spastic” and a “poor simpleton”.

Bowen left 2GB in 2017, two years before the station was fully acquired by Nine Entertainment Co.

The settlement between the former workmates was agreed to 10 days ago.

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News Corp’s Matthew Benns also reports:

Sources from 2GB owner Nine confirmed the matter had been settled out of court following mediation. Hadley was off air last Monday when the mediation is understood to have taken place.

Both parties have been muzzled from saying anything further about the case, which is understood to have been settled for a substantial financial sum.

Bowen’s barrister Shaun McCarthy told the court in June that his client was making 175 separate allegations of intimidation, bullying and harassment against Hadley.

“Mr Bowen is alleging Mr Hadley bullied, harassed, intimidated him on no less than 1,000 occasions when the pair worked shoulder to shoulder,” McCarthy said.

At an earlier hearing he said: “On 20 occasions Mr Hadley called my client a bald, fat c***”.

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Television

Grant Denyer hasn’t wasted time during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Gold Logie winner, who is expecting his third child with wife Chezzi, learned to become a pilot and hosted special return episodes of Family Feud featuring frontline workers which will air from Sunday, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

“I didn’t want to get to the end of the COVID period and go, ‘I really should have done something with all that time’,” Grant Denyer said.

“So I hit the books and studied and learned a completely skill that wasn’t television. I taught myself to fly.

“You’ve got to try to look for a silver lining in a time of darkness and I thought I’d use that period to become the domestic goddess I probably always should have been at home.

“I learnt to cook, learnt to fly and learnt to have more fun with the kids than I’ve been able to in a couple of years. There have been some good aspects.”

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Jamie Doran says legal issue with reality show not just about his ‘edit’

Bachelor in Paradise alum Jamie Doran has issued a follow-up statement to his bombshell announcement last month that he intends to sue Channel 10 and Warner Bros Australia, reports news.com.au’s Bella Fowler.

Doran, 40, revealed on Wednesday that his legal issue with the show’s creators was not just about a “bad edit” but would be “in-depth”.

It comes after Channel 10 released a brutal response to Doran’s first public claim, declaring that they had not received any paperwork regarding the matter.

Posting to his Instagram stories this week, the reality star, originally from Angie Kent’s season of The Bachelorette, wrote: “I know I said I wouldn’t comment any further but the ‘wolves’ in the media have forced my hand.

“Don’t assume that my legal case against Network 10 and Warner Bros is built around an ‘edit’. It’s a lot more in-depth and there’s a lot more in play here,” he said, adding: “A ‘bad edit’ should be the least of their problems moving forward.”

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“We want Halifax”: how Nine rebooted a favourite drama

Rebecca Gibney’s Jane Halifax saw the light of day as an Australian drama through the collapse of an earlier drama, Snowy, reports TV Tonight.

Snowy, which was set around the building of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme, ran for one season on Nine in 1993. But it was not renewed for Simpson Le Mesurier Films.

When Snowy was axed, Nine management asked producer Roger Simpson, if they had any other project that would suit star, Rebecca Gibney?

“We said, ‘We will have next week!’ We came up with Halifax f.p. and pitched it to them. And they said ‘Fantastic. We love it!’ and they ordered six telemovies,” Simpson told TV Tonight.

David Leckie was Nine CEO. John Stephens ran programming and Kris Noble was head of drama.

“They were an amazing team. They said, ‘Go and make it’ and they hardly interfered at all. But they’d cut our legs off at the knees if we failed! Classic Leckie!”

Those six telemovies would run to a massive 21, sold to 60 countries around the world with Gibney as a young forensic psychologist in stand-alone stories.

Fast-forward to 2019 and Nine again came calling to reprise the character with its leading lady, through Simpson’s production company Lone Hand. This time they wanted a series arc.

In the seven part Halifax: Retribution Jane is an internationally renowned professor in forensics, but when a sniper begins to terrorise the CBD, Inspector Tom Saracen (Anthony LaPaglia) persuades her to join his Task Force.

Gibney and LaPaglia are matched by a formidable cast including Claudia Karvan, Mandy McElhinney, Craig Hall, Mavournee Hazel, Rick Donald, Ming-Zhu Hii, Ben O’Toole, Mark Coles Smith, Hannah Monson and Michala Banas. Guest stars include Jacqueline McKenzie, Louisa Mignone, Stephen Curry, John Waters and Luke Ford.

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Sports Media

Racing.com a blueprint for other sports, says Seven boss

Seven’s head of sport Lewis Martin believes industry-owned Racing.com can become “a real template” for other sports to adopt as he prepares to step down from its board, reports The Age’s Damien Ractliffe.

Martin flicked the switch on the free-to-air station in 2015 and has played a major role in its operation over the past six years as well as the deal with Racing Victoria for Seven to broadcast 21 feature Victorian race days.

But Martin will step down from Racing.com’s board this month as the media company switches from a joint venture between Racing Victoria and Seven to a commercial partnership. Documents were lodged with ASIC on Tuesday to cease Seven’s direct involvement with Racing.com.

Martin said the media company was in a position to flourish under Racing Victoria’s full control.

“I’m a big believer in free-to-air television and what it does for sports and brands and Racing.com has achieved every milestone we ever asked of it and it’s done everything Racing Victoria ever asked of it,” he said.

“We [Seven] build brands and we like to build brands to last and Racing.com is in really good shape.

As Racing Victoria assumes full control of the station, which was a key piece in the negotiations that secured Seven a five-year extension on its media rights deal with RV, Martin said other sports could look at Racing.com as a blueprint for the future.

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Hosting bid: Australia in prime-time zone for 2027 Rugby World Cup

The Asian time zone could prove Australia’s trump card in winning a third Rugby World Cup after Japan delivered a cash bonanza to World Rugby last year, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Georgina Robinson.

Australia is bidding for the hosting rights to the 2027 tournament but will come up against stiff competition, potentially including Russia, the United States and England.

Convention suggests there will be an appetite to bring the tournament to the southern hemisphere after three consecutive World Cups in the north (England 2015, Japan 2019 and France in 2023).

But World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper said the runaway success of the Japan tournament could bolster Australia’s case as much as any geographic re-balancing. The first Asian World Cup delivered World Rugby a $246 million surplus, a $79.5m surplus for the Japan organising committee and an overall $7.8 billion “total economic impact” for the country. It set records for attendance and was the most-watched World Cup in history on social media views and television audiences.

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AFL fixture 2020: Rounds 14-17 will be played in just 18 days

The AFL is unleashing a second compressed Footy Frenzy that will see matches played on 17 of 18 days across Rounds 14-17, reports News Corp’s Jon Ralph.

The league is in the midst of 20 consecutive days of football as part of its original frenzy – Rounds 9-12 – and will on Friday unveil a fixture beginning on Thursday August 27 after a three-day break from Round 13.

The AFL will compress those three rounds but have a conventional Thursday-Sunday round 18 that will not have official days or times for games until later in the home-and-away season.

The AFL has announced Hawthorn-Essendon will be played on Thursday August 27, with 10 of the 18 teams to be handed a bye in that block.

Melbourne and Essendon will play their catch-up game in that block, and are among the teams with a gruelling schedule ahead.

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Channel 10’s Tim Gossage made redundant as part of network’s latest cuts

Channel 10 sports presenter Tim Gossage has emerged as the latest veteran journalist to get the chop as part of the network’s sweeping cost cuts, reports PerthNow.

Following days of speculation that his job was on the line, the Perth-based journalist confirmed the news on Twitter this afternoon.

“It’s official I am leaving [10] in a month. Been the best 31 years & I depart having had the best time.

“I grew up wanting to talk sport and I was lucky enough to get paid for it. I leave sad but not bitter. Much love for everyone past and present at 10. Best job ever,” he wrote.

Gossage, who has been with 10 since 1990, is best known for hosting footy show The Western Front. His former co-host Lachy Reid offered his support on Twitter.

“You took a punt on me, challenged me, corrected my spelling, you even took the mickey out of me and I appreciate it,” he wrote.

Channel Seven sports presenter Basil Zempilas also paid tribute to Gossage’s long career writing: “Best of luck mate. Congratulations on a stellar TV career. Bravo.”

[Read more]

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