Mediaweek Roundup: Rove McManus, PodcastOne, Hugh Marks + more

• The Chaser, JCDecaux, Peter Costello, Nine, National Press Club, and Ray Hadley

Business of Media

SCA and PodcastOne holding SME event with Kochie & Julie Bishop

PodcastOne Australia and Southern Cross Austereo are bringing together leading business experts and thought leaders to share their knowledge and strategies to help your business not only survive but thrive in these uncertain times.

The full day event – Future Proof Your Business – will take place at the University of New South Wales on November 15 with tickets now on sale at Ticketek. The package includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.

Featured speakers include Julie Bishop, David Koch, Mark Pesce, Margie Hartley, Tim Harcourt, Shivani Gopel, Craig West and Bastien Treptel.

As an extra component guests can choose to attend one of a series of SME Mentor Sessions with the Full Day Event Package.

The sessions will feature a range of experts who will share their SME expertise with small intimate groups of up to 30 people.

Further information here.

JCDecaux promotes Cassandra Cameron to executive leadership team

JCDecaux Australia & New Zealand CEO Steve O’Connor has announced Cassandra Cameron (pictured), the out-of-home company’s head of trading and sales operations, has been promoted and will join the executive leadership team (ELT). Cameron’s appointment on the ELT is effective immediately.

Having held a similar role at APN Outdoor, Cameron leads an expanded JCDecaux trading and sales operations team responsible for the design and execution of the company’s revenue strategy as well as providing commercial insights, revenue analytics and modelling.

“Cassandra has been a tremendous asset to the business and her elevation to the executive leadership team will provide us with additional knowledge from the sales operations and trading area as well as her broader business acumen and commercial foresight,” O’Connor said.

“We look forward to welcoming Cassandra to the ELT and her counsel in aiding the success of the company as we navigate significant change and growth over the coming years.”

Commenting on her promotion, Cameron said: “This is an exciting opportunity for me. I am thrilled to be joining such an experienced leadership team at a time of great possibility and growth for JCDecaux Australia and New Zealand.”

Cameron joins O’Connor, chief operating officer Andrew Hines, chief financial officer Brendan O’Neil, chief commercial officer Max Eburne, chief marketing officer Essie Wake, NZ country head Mike Watkins, general manager finance David Watkins and director of government & public relations Tess Phillips on the executive leadership team.

News Brands

Nine boss Hugh Marks has regrets about Lib shindig, staff not happy

Nine chief executive Hugh Marks has admitted that hosting a $10,000-a-head Liberal fundraising event was a “mistake” after a widespread backlash from current and former editors, report The Australian’s Leo Shanahan and Lilly Vitorovich.

But Nine Entertainment’s newspapers could still face action from staff, who are planning to hold another meeting amid fallout from the unprecedented political fundraiser on the set of the Today show at Nine’s studios in Sydney.

In an email to staff on Wednesday, James Chessell, group executive editor of group metro publishing at mastheads including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Brisbane Times, said he raised specific concerns with Marks about the fundraiser that took place at Nine’s Willoughby Park studio on Monday night.

Chessell said Marks told him it was a “mistake” to host the function and “could have been handled better”, claiming one of the reasons the fundraiser needed to take place was to discuss issues such as press freedom and the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s report into digital platforms, despite the fact all media companies have been given opportunities to talk to the government about both issues.

Darren Goodsir, former editor-in-chief of The Sydney Morning Herald, said it was clearly a mistake to host the fundraiser.

Peter Fray, a former Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief and publisher, former deputy editor of The Australian and chair of journalism at University of Technology Sydney, said he was surprised by the decision and it was symptomatic of a “new culture” of Nine Entertainment newspapers.

[Read the original]

Costello must know Nine’s broadcasting all the wrong signals

During his record term as Australia’s treasurer, Peter Costello earned a reputation for having a fine political nose. He knew how to sniff the winds, writes Mark Day in The Australian.

Now, as chairman of Nine Entertainment Company, that skill has clearly deserted him. Nine’s decision to host an estimated $700,000 fundraiser for the Liberal Party was just plain dumb.

True, Costello had the good sense not to attend this blatantly political event, but he must have known about it and should have stopped it.

The sight of a media company hosting a party political event sends all the wrong signals.

[Read the original]

Chris Uhlmann’s ‘forthright’ complaint over Nine fundraiser

The fury over Nine’s embrace of the Liberal fundraising circuit extends beyond Hugh Marks’s new employees at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Financial Review, report Margin Call’s Will Glasgow and Christine Lacy in The Australian.

Nine’s Canberra television bureau was similarly unimpressed.

Margin Call has learned Nine Network political editor Chris Uhlmann let it be known to Marks’s government relations executive Clare Gill that the television side of the media operation was not happy with the company’s Liberal love in on Monday night.

[Read the original]

See also:
The SMH: Nine’s Liberal fundraiser is a serious blemish for independent journalism

The Sydney Morning Herald‘s former editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir writes that Nine has hurt a proud legacy of independent journalism by hosting a political fundraiser.

[Read the original]

Australia – the defamation capital of the world, QC tells Press Club

Australia has become the defamation capital of the world, with twice as many libel claims as the United Kingdom despite having well under half its population, reports The AFR’s Michael Pelly.

Victorian Bar Association president Matt Collins QC told the National Press Club on Wednesday, that “we inherited the English common law and then made it worse”.

He said a comparison between libel cases in superior courts between 2014-2018 revealed there were 268 references in the UK, which has 66 million people.

In Australia, there were 577 references for 25 million people. More than half  (312) came from NSW with a population of about 7.5 million.

[Read the original]


Wonderfully disrespectful: Celebrating 20 years of The Chaser

The Age’s Charlotte Grieve tells the story of The Chaser:

The story begins within the sandstone pillars of Sydney’s prestigious Grammar High School where Dominic Knight, Chas Licciardello and Charles Firth completed high school. They were the “annoying” students who signed up to every extra curricular activity available, says Knight.

In the final years, the trio started a student newspaper that made cult figures out of teachers and landed them in the principal’s office on more than one occasion for “taking the piss” out of serious events. But it was worth it.

“The only moment of popularity I had in high school was through that magazine,” says Knight, who hosts Radio Chaser on Sydney’s Triple M. “It was quite addictive that rush of putting something out that people enjoyed.”

That rush would motivate the troublemakers to continue writing satire through university, and eventually begin their own publication.

After “scamming” friends and family for money, the first issue of The Chaser hit the shelves in 1999 with a cover story featuring a long list of failed independent newspapers. The 20-somethings knew the future for print was dire, but were exhilarated by giving it a crack.

Craig Reucassel, whose involvement with The Chaser began in 1999, also enjoyed great acclaim with subsequent ABC shows, including as the host of the ABC’s War on Waste. Reucassel won’t rule out the possibility of a reunion, though he is wary of harking back to a “golden era”.

“You know you’re washed up when they start doing anniversary stories.”

[Read the original]

How it all went downhill for Rove McManus: Career highs & lows

Maria Bervanakis and David Mills from the News Corp Australia Network have catalogued the highs and lows of the TV and radio star’s career:


Aged 25, after making a name for himself as a stand-up comedian, Rove takes up Nine’s offer to produce 10 late night episodes of his own self-titled variety show, but it’s cancelled at the end of its run.


Rove Live premieres for Network Ten, with comedians like Corinne Grant in supporting roles. Over the next 10 years it becomes a flagship show for Network Ten, and also broadcast on TV3 in New Zealand. The show wins a total of 16 Logies, including for Most Popular Entertainment Program, and Rove takes the Gold Logie three years in a row, 2003-2005.


After taking bereavement leave, Rove returns to TV screens with a revamped version of the show, now simply named Rove, screening on Sunday nights (a move he reportedly was unhappy about). He also makes his debut as a game show host in the Australian version of the US game show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

[Read the original]


Mark Levy to continue on 2GB mornings with Hadley in hospital

Macquarie Media has provided an update on Ray Hadley’s current health battle:

Ray was admitted to hospital on Monday after another attack of diverticulitis.
It’s a painful condition that has required treatment in hospital.
Unfortunately the infection is now in his blood, so Ray will remain in hospital for now.
His specialist is confident the problem can be managed with continuing treatment.
Ray sends his thanks to his listeners for their support and well-wishes, and will provide an update on his condition later this week.

Mark Levy will continue hosting The Ray Hadley Morning Show while Ray

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